Assistive Tech to support independent living–webinar from PACER

PACER Center is a taxpayer-funded national parent information center in Minnesota. Wow, I wish I lived there, or better yet, that PACER was in Michigan. Here’s a great opportunity through the internet, or as my sister says, that inter-webby thing.

Assistive Technology that Supports Independent Living for Young Adults with Disabilities

Date: Thursday, April 12, 2018
Time: 6:00pm-7:30pm
There is a wide range of assistive technology (AT) that can be used to support young adults with disabilities who want to gain independence and live on their own. These include devices to manage medication or practice healthy habits, as well as apps for a smartphone or tablet that help to manage tasks, keep track of money, or find transportation. Join us to learn about the many kinds of AT that can help teens and young adults to develop the skills needed to live more independently.
Live:Web Streaming Availible

Meeting Thursday 3/1 in Mason

We’ll be meeting for the Girls’ Social Group on March 1 and 15, and then every first and third Thursday through May. We meet at 1981 Eden Road in Mason. We meet from 6:30 to 8. Put a comment below if you want to ask questions.

Is there someone you’d think might like to know about our social opportunities for girls and young women with autism or other social issues? Send them the link to this webpage, and encourage them to join our list. Helpful resources only go as far as our mailing list members!

Next time: What we’re finding out about housing, summer opportunities for blind youth, and other useful thoughts about transition to adulthood.

What’s laughter got to do with it?

How do you learn social skills? Most of us learned as we grew up, a little at a time, and our parents and friends told us when we did something that was socially incorrect. We probably did things wrong again, but slowly adjusted and got it right.

But how do kids who have developmental disabilities like autism spectrum disorders learn these skills? It might take more practice, or more explicit instruction than is needed by kids who are developing typically. Before learning the appropriate ways to interact socially, a child might bring out negative reactions from other people, including parents.

Any child can bring tears to a parent’s eyes, and for lots of different reasons. Sometimes we have happy tears after seeing one of our children accomplish a herculean task.

Some behaviors might trigger a very response from a parent. I’ve gotten angry when I was embarrassed by the actions of one of my children. I’ve gone away deeply saddened by misunderstandings between my child and others.

No matter how our kids’ social skills impact our own lives, we just keep on teaching them how the social world works. My own child with autism learns a lot from her sisters, and I have to smile when I hear her laughing with them and their friends.

But it’s hard to laugh with friends if you don’t have very many to get together with. Do you know  a young woman who wants to make new friends? The participants in our social group often get together with other participants outside of the group time.

We’ll be meeting on the first and third Thursdays of every month through May. Email Lydia at, or comment below if you want more information.

Got Transition?

Have you visited Got Transition aims to improve transition from pediatric to adult health care through the use of new and innovative strategies for health professionals and youth and families.

For many young people with disabilities or other health care related issues, the transition to adult health care systems can be quite a challenge. Our daughter, at 25, just saw her behavioral pediatrician for the last time! She’d already successfully been managing her doctor visits for everything else, but it’s hard to part with the doctor who has walked through autism with us!

Our next group meeting for young women is on Thursday, February 15.

Challenging Behaviors and Transition Planning — PACER Center Webinar

Don’t miss the opportunity to learn from the brilliant folks at PACER Center, the national parent information project. And be sure to visit their website to see all the great information. Then linger a little longer to explore the rest of the PACER website. This is funded by your tax dollars, so why not take advantage of it?

Challenging Behaviors & Transition Planning Strategies for Success

Web Streaming Event Date: Tuesday, January 30, 2018
Time: 6:30pm-8:30pm
Parents of teenagers with behavioral health challenges play an important role in transition planning throughout the high school years. This training will cover the role of special education and Section 504 in promoting post-high school success. Parents and others will learn strategies to increase youth participation in the transition planning process and ways to promote individualized planning, goals and services when working with the school.
Live:Web Streaming Availible

How do YOU find housing for a friend with disabilities?

We’re looking for an apartment for our young adult child who has several disabilities. She has a very small microbusiness, which is the best thing in her life, but essentially, she lives on SSI. That’s poverty, friends. So we’re looking for options for inexpensive housing that can also be somewhat supportive.


We’ll be sharing our strategies for apartment hunting, but we thought we’d give you the chance to share your ideas first. So how do you find a place for your child or friend to live? Tell us all about it in the box below.

Photo by Adriaan Greyling from Pexels

Girls’ Social Group Starting for 2018

The Girls’ Group will take place on the first and third Thursdays of every month through May, starting on January 18. We meet at 1981 Eden Road, Mason, MI  48854, from 6:30 to 8 PM. We’ll be talking about short term and long term goals for the first few meetings, with lots of time for talking, laughing, and fun. The group is designed for young women ages 12 and up, but our current group has more older girls (17 and up). We’d like to have another day of the week for younger girls (middle school up through high school only), so if you have a younger girl, call or email Lydia first. 517-676-4621

The Sound of Music — Join in!

Musical opportunities to look into, here in Mid-Michigan

Community Music School, Michigan State University

Opportunities for music education and music therapy are available to people of all ages with special needs. Through music programming at CMS, individuals with special needs have found joy, new friendships, and have made progress in the acquisition of motor, verbal, communication and social skills through music.

All Faith Ministry for disABILITIES

“Harmony-us”  Music Therapy Group at the Okemos Library located at 4321 Okemos Road in Okemos. Free for All Ages and All Abilities and limited to 15 participants. Led by Denise Travis, a Board Certified Music Therapist. Please RSVP to Cathy Blatnik, Program Director at 517-381-1410

Elderly Instruments

Why should you go to Elderly Instruments for a little winter “field trip”? Because Elderly is an established music store (in business since 1972) with a real showroom and employees who like music, play music, and really know the instruments they sell. Your curious questions will be welcomed at Elderly! 888-768-9834


Younger girls, too — Meeting in 2018

Our girls’ group has become a fairly steady little group, but it is mostly girls who are out of high school. Sometimes we meet someone with a younger daughter or friend, and maybe they don’t want to bring a 12 year old to our group with older young ladies.

In February, we’ll start a monthly group for girls ages 12 to 17. Of course this is flexible, since girls develop at different rates. Generally, older girls are talking about living, learning, and playing in settings away from family. Younger girls are still very much thinking of themselves within family and school building contexts.

Older girls will enjoy goal-setting for adult life, while younger girls would rather talk about getting through high school. Which girl is your daughter, granddaughter, or friend? Watch this space for announcements of meetings in 2018.

If you aren’t following us yet, sign up. You may be receiving our occasional emails, but those who follow the blog get all of the announcements and resources we have to offer.


Partying on the 14th

The Girls’ Social Group meets on Dec. 14 at 6:30 for our last meeting of the year…we’ll be exploring some sensory delights as we celebrate being friends and starting a new year together. Come on over! 6:30 PM (or earlier if you like) 1981 Eden Road, Mason, MI  48854

We’d like to know if you have an idea for our meetings in the new year. What would you or your daughter want to learn about becoming an adult? What fun activity would you like to share? Tell us below if you have an idea. And be sure to follow the site!