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Hairdresser Goes Above And Beyond For Young Customer With Autism

A South Carolina mom’s viral Facebook post is demonstrating the power of empathy when it comes to kids with special needs.

On Dec. 29, Jennifer McCafferty posted a photo that shows her 4-year-old son Isaiah having his hair cut while sitting on the floor of a Sport Clips salon in Charleston. In the caption, the mom explained that Isaiah has autism, so this hairstylist’s kindness meant a great deal to their family. 

“This woman, Kaylen, … did more for my heart than she will probably ever realize,” McCafferty wrote. “Haircuts with Isaiah are no small feat. He hates having anything near his ears, the sound of clippers sends him in to a tailspin.”

McCafferty explained that this particular evening at the salon was consistent with their past difficult experiences. “I was ready to give up, but she wasn’t,” she said. “She sat on the floor with my baby in her lap, and she cut his hair. They talked about Dory and Christmas, and she even let him spray her with her water bottle.”

Concluding her post, the mom shared a message on behalf of her family and others facing similar challenges. “Autism can be so very, very hard, but people like this make our days just a little easier,” she wrote. 

McCafferty’s post received nearly 95,000 likes and the Love What Matters Facebook page shared her story. The comments sections on both posts are filled with responses from fellow parents of kids with autism. 

McCafferty told The Huffington Post that Kaylen was a real lifesaver that day at the salon. When Isaiah had a meltdown, she went above and beyond to help him find “his quiet, safe space” in the midst of the overwhelming sensory stimulation.

“She wasn’t fazed by his screams; she understood his fears,” McCafferty recalled. “She figured out where it was he needed to go, which just so happened to be the floor, and she took him there.”

The mom said Isaiah has a “beautiful soul” and a warm heart. “He is everything that you would want your child to be,” she said. “He’s fun and full of energy. He’s sweet and kind, and ridiculously funny. He loves with everything he has.”

Isaiah’s love is especially boundless when it comes to his 6-year-old brother, Alex. “They have an amazing bond, and I credit Alex for a lot of the progress Isaiah has made with his social interactions,” McCafferty said. “Alex is able to comfort Isaiah when the rest of us can’t, and always seems to know just what Isaiah needs to soothe him.”

McCafferty told HuffPost she hopes Isaiah’s haircut story will bring hope to other parents of kids with special needs. “I want them to realize that even though it can feel like it, they are not alone,” she said. “I want everyone to see just how much love and kindness matter.”

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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Walk For Autism Women’s Hoodie by Spreadshirt

Walk For Autism Women’s Hoodie by Spreadshirt


Women’s Hoodie – Cute awareness butterfly with Walk for Autism quote. – This plush pullover is perfect for the gym, errands or kicking around the house. The midweight fabric makes for a versatile under, over or solo layer. A staple in casual comfort, this classic style is a must-own.50% cotton/50% polyester Fabric Weight: 8 oz (midweight)Soft, plush insideAdjustable drawstring hoodRibbed cuffs and waistPLEASE NOTE: item runs big, it is recommended to order a size downImported; processed and printed in the U.S.A. + + + With hundreds of designs – Spreadshirt – is the online destination for your favorite tees. Many of our designs are available in mens, womens, youth, kids and baby sizes and come in a variety of different colors. Check our Rakuten store to see them all!

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60 Social Situations and Discussion Starters to Help Teens on the Autism Spectrum Deal with Friendships, Feelings, Conflict and More

60 Social Situations and Discussion Starters to Help Teens on the Autism Spectrum Deal with Friendships, Feelings, Conflict and More


Teenagers and older children on the autistic spectrum are, like the rest of us, surrounded by complex social codes and rules that govern everyday interaction. Interpreting these and reading social cues such as sarcasm, idioms and body language often presents a real challenge, but this book of realistic and thought-provoking stories can help. Designed with both parent and child in mind, every story outlines a real-life situation that young people on the spectrum are likely to encounter. Each of these is followed with questions such as ‘what else might he have done?’, ‘how do you think she felt?’ and ‘why do you think they were upset?’, along with practical tips for parents on how to facilitate constructive discussions. As children consider these questions with adults, they begin to put themselves into someone else’s shoes and are encouraged to think about how their actions and behaviour may affect those around them, gaining invaluable skills and understanding that will be transferable to everyday life situations. Packed with 60 stories exploring real-life situations, this book will be an essential tool for parents, caregivers, teachers, and anyone else wishing to enable young people on the autistic spectrum to improve their social skills.

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Let’s All Listen: Songs for Group Work in Settings that Include Students with Learning Difficulties and Autism

Let’s All Listen: Songs for Group Work in Settings that Include Students with Learning Difficulties and Autism


Lloyd brings together 46 songs composed or adapted for use with children with communication problems. She suggests how each song can be used to encourage communication and social interaction, and lists a range of possible objectives for each one. She demonstrates how musical activity can be adapted to the specific needs of individual students.

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Special needs children with autism are always unique Greeting Card

Special needs children with autism are always unique Greeting Card


7 x 5 Paper Greeting Card
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Walk For Autism Women’s Hoodie by Spreadshirt

Walk For Autism Women’s Hoodie by Spreadshirt


Women’s Hoodie – Cute awareness butterfly with Walk for Autism quote. – This plush pullover is perfect for the gym, errands or kicking around the house. The midweight fabric makes for a versatile under, over or solo layer. A staple in casual comfort, this classic style is a must-own.50% cotton/50% polyester Fabric Weight: 8 oz (midweight)Soft, plush insideAdjustable drawstring hoodRibbed cuffs and waistPLEASE NOTE: item runs big, it is recommended to order a size downImported; processed and printed in the U.S.A. + + + With hundreds of designs – Spreadshirt – is the online destination for your favorite tees. Many of our designs are available in mens, womens, youth, kids and baby sizes and come in a variety of different colors. Check our Rakuten store to see them all!

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Walk For Autism Kids’ T-Shirt by Spreadshirt

Walk For Autism Kids’ T-Shirt by Spreadshirt


Kids’ Premium T-Shirt – Cute awareness butterfly with Walk for Autism quote. – The Spreadshirt Collections premium t-shirt should be a big part of any kids wardrobe. It wears rough and tough for kids who play the same way. Ideal for playing outside or sitting quietly doing homework, the premium t-shirt from the Spreadshirt Collection is as versatile and durable as it gets. 100% cotton (heather gray is 95% cotton/5% viscose) Fabric weight: 5.29 oz (midweight)Double-stitched collar, sleeves, waist, shoulder and side seamRibbed collarOptimized for vibrant print resultsImported; processed and printed in the U.S.A. + + + With hundreds of designs – Spreadshirt – is the online destination for your favorite tees. Many of our designs are available in mens, womens, youth, kids and baby sizes and come in a variety of different colors. Check our Rakuten store to see them all!

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Autism Awareness Hand Women’s T-Shirt by Spreadshirt

Autism Awareness Hand Women’s T-Shirt by Spreadshirt


Women’s Slim Fit T-Shirt by American Apparel – Colorful autism awareness hand with puzzle piece – April is Autism Awareness Month. You can show your support with this design. – This figure-flattering, slim fit t-shirt is soft, stylish and above all comfortable. This is the one you dont let your girlfriends borrow, because youll never see it again. Fits very snug, order a size up for a roomier fit.100% jersey cotton (heather gray color is 90% jersey cotton/10% polyester) Fabric Weight: 4.3 oz (lightweight)Extremely soft and smooth to the touchDurable double-stitched waist and sleeves and stretchable collarReinforced shoulder construction maintains shape through repeated washingsMade, processed and printed in the U.S.A. + + + With hundreds of designs – Spreadshirt – is the online destination for your favorite tees. Many of our designs are available in mens, womens, youth, kids and baby sizes and come in a variety of different colors. Check our Rakuten store to see them all!

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Jim Carrey Apologizes For Tweeting Photo Of Boy With Autism In Anti-Vaccine Rant

Jim Carrey spent Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning tweeting about his anti-vaccination views, and on Thursday night he apologized for including a photo of a young boy without permission.

The actor had sent out an image of the boy, who has autism, as part of a series of tweets challenging a new California law that eliminates personal-belief exemptions for childhood immunizations.

The mother of Alex Echols asked Carrey to remove the photo of her son, noting that he had not been given permission to use it.


The picture, which has since been removed, was attached to a tweet that read, “A trillion dollars buys a lot of expert opinions. Will it buy you? TOXIN FREE VACCINES, A REASONABLE REQUEST!” It was included among several images of distraught children with autism.

The scientific consensus, based on multiple studies, is that the vaccines distributed in the United States do not cause autism. Moreover, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that thimerosal, the specific compound that Carrey argues can lead to autism, was removed from childhood vaccines more than a decade ago, except for some flu vaccines.

Alex’s aunt, Elizabeth Welch, posted a screenshot of Carrey’s tweet on Instagram. In the caption, she said that her nephew does have autism but was diagnosed before receiving any vaccinations.

Carrey is not the only anti-vaccine celebrity. Most notably, there’s his former girlfriend, Jenny McCarthy, whose son has autism.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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Jim Carrey Apologizes For Tweeting Photo Of Boy With Autism In Anti-Vaccine Rant

Jim Carrey spent Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning tweeting about his anti-vaccination views, and on Thursday night he apologized for including a photo of a young boy without permission.

The actor had sent out an image of the boy, who has autism, as part of a series of tweets challenging a new California law that eliminates personal-belief exemptions for childhood immunizations.

The mother of Alex Echols asked Carrey to remove the photo of her son, noting that he had not been given permission to use it.


The picture, which has since been removed, was attached to a tweet that read, “A trillion dollars buys a lot of expert opinions. Will it buy you? TOXIN FREE VACCINES, A REASONABLE REQUEST!” It was included among several images of distraught children with autism.

The scientific consensus, based on multiple studies, is that the vaccines distributed in the United States do not cause autism. Moreover, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that thimerosal, the specific compound that Carrey argues can lead to autism, was removed from childhood vaccines more than a decade ago, except for some flu vaccines.

Alex’s aunt, Elizabeth Welch, posted a screenshot of Carrey’s tweet on Instagram. In the caption, she said that her nephew does have autism but was diagnosed before receiving any vaccinations.

Carrey is not the only anti-vaccine celebrity. Most notably, there’s his former girlfriend, Jenny McCarthy, whose son has autism.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.



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Seven Cartoon Characters Who Might be on the Autism Spectrum

2015-07-02-1435863470-3995659-depositphotoanimatedtelev1.jpg 2015-07-02-1435863503-6002835-depositphotos_46884227Collectiblesmurfcharacters1.jpg 2015-07-02-1435863535-2635888-depositphotos_48404605CookieMonster.jpg
“Mom, I think that person has autism,” says my 10-year-old son Noah. And because his brother Evan is on the spectrum, he has developed an intuitive ability to detect even the most subtle signs of autism.

Sometimes Noah notices an inability to decipher social cues. Sometimes it’s an unusual speech pattern or a repetitive behavior. Once it was something as simple as a mother holding the hand of her young teenage boy.

Noah’s A-dar* got me thinking about which cartoon characters might have an autism diagnosis if such a thing existed in the world of animation. But then, like every responsible attorney, realized I probably should include some sort of disclaimer.

Caution: This post is intended for people who have an appreciation for sarcasm and humor.Yes, I know that autism is a pervasive developmental disorder characterized by deficits in social interaction and communication, a limited range of activities and interests and often the presence of repetitive behaviors. And I know that if a person exhibits one or even some of these traits, it does not necessarily mean he/she has autism. But, for the fun of it, I have diagnosed seven cartoon characters who meet at least one of the criteria for autism. Just remember; sarcasm and humor – or at least one mom’s attempt at it.

1. Cookie Monster Not only does this Sesame Street character exhibit a significant preoccupation with cookies, but his expressive language is significantly delayed when compared to his monster peers. Like many on the spectrum, if he had his way and the writers didn’t cave in to pressures to make him eat healthier, Cookie Monster would happily live on a self-restricted diet consisting of only his preferred food.

2. Schroeder, the object of Lucy’s unrequited affection, is a precocious piano playing prodigy. His savant skills are perfect, and his knowledge of all things Beethoven are nothing less than impressive. Typically, Schroeder is content to play his music and engages in very little on-going dialogue. He can, however, become easily agitated if either his piano playing or his idol Beethoven are criticized.

3. One of the 101 Dalmatians. The prevalence of autism is 1 in 68. Statistically speaking, if you have 101 Dalmatians, chances are at least one of them will fall somewhere on the spectrum.

4. Tigger clearly has issues with attention and focus. With all his bouncing around, we can also speculate that his sensory-seeking behaviors are indicative of an autism diagnosis.

5. Elmer Fudd Forget about the fact that he really needs a good speech pathologist, the guy is obsessed with killing a rabbit. Does he even talk about anything else, ever?

6. Brainy Smurf is a know-it-all intellectual who isn’t afraid to impart his wisdom upon the entire Smurf clan Do they want it? Mostly they don’t, so it’s not unusual for Brainy to be kicked outside the village or smacked over the head with a mallet. Despite the abuse, he remains oblivious to the fact that his fellow Smurfs have no interest in his “wisdom.”

7. SpongeBob wins the award for having the most characteristics of autism. Although hyperactive, he is extremely focused and determined and will do whatever it takes to accomplish a goal. Often, he is oblivious to impending danger, and his lack of awareness tends to put him and others at risk for harm. He has a hard time detecting lies, and his kind-hearted and innocent nature means he is nice to everyone, notably those who are not always kind to him. SpongeBob also has anxiety. He is especially anxious about clowns and the dark.

*A-dar is a made-up term used to refer to someone with an intuitive ability to identify an individual on the autism spectrum.

Which cartoon characters would you add to this list?

This post originally appeared on SpecialEv.com.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.



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Autism and the World According to Matt

Autism and the World According to Matt


They say you must walk a mile in another person’s shoes to really know them. Liz Becker is an Autism Mom who walks a marathon in her autistic son’s shoes and details it beautifully in her book Autism and The World According to Matt: A collection of 50 inspirational short stories on raising a moderate/severe mostly non-verbal autistic child from diagnosis to independence. This delightful collection of stories is a love letter from a mom who refuses to accept the 1990 view of autism that is imposed on her son, and instead embarks on a journey to uncover the beauty of who her son really is. The stories encompass everything from the trials and tribulations of potty training to helping Matt get his own apartment. Becker’s style of writing evokes an Earl Hamner simplicity, making you feel as though Walton’s mountain has visited the land of Autism. The result is lush and beautiful, you feel as though you are a part of the family that continually gathers ranks to protect Matt and help him safely make his way to independence. Readers will find themselves laughing along as both mother and son find the way to communicate in a world filled with complexities, half-truths and unrealistic expectations. They will cheer as Matt enjoys victories large and small and, like me, they will likely shed a tear when the road blocks seem just too tall to scale. Do yourself a favor and read this inspirational book from a Mom who helped to forge a path for Autism parents before Autism Speaks, before insurance reform and before there was any reason to hope.” -Shannon Penrod, Host, Autism-Live

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Apps for Autism

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Autism? There’s an app for that! Actually, there are more than 200 apps for autism, and this book will guide you through them so you can confidently utilize today’s technology to maximize your child or student’s success! Speech Language Pathologist Lois Jean Brady wrote this book in order to educate parents, teachers, and other professionals about the breakthrough method she calls “iTherapy”–which is the use of Apple products (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) and various apps (computer applications) in meeting students’ individual educational goals. Lois believes that all persons on the spectrum can learn how to use technology in a way that is relevant to them. She shares important tips on how to use apps responsibly and effectively by maintaining a child-centered, team approach to teaching and learning, taking into account the individual’s interests, strengths/challenges, vision, motor planning, attention, sensory processing, memory, cognitive ability, environment, and access to tools. Lois also coaches adults on how they can use prompting and reinforcement techniques to help establish and generalize skills learned, until students are able to consistently demonstrate the skills in various environments (home, school, etc.). For those who are new to the wonderful world of apps, worry not! Lois provides helpful sections on how to get started, including: Choosing an iDevice, Basic iDevice Operations, Opening an Account, How to Download an App from iTunes, and more!But what about apps that were released since this book was published? Again–Lois has you covered! Just visit this book’s companion website AutismApps dot org for reviews of new apps that made the grade. And be sure to “like” the Apps for Autism Facebook page for insider tips on limited-time app sales and giveaways!You will be astonished and excited by the number of apps available, and the vast variety of issues they can address: Voice OutputSign LanguageOne-Touch SwitchText-to-SpeechArticulationEncouragementLi …

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