Women and Girls with Autism

Here’s a website I discovered recently. It’s the Yale University Initiative for Women and Girls with Autism. Find it HERE. Here’s what the Initiative says about itself:

Over the last ten years, ASD interventionists and researchers have begun to appreciate that the development of socialization and communication processes for girls and women is quite different from that of boys and men. Unfortunately, the research and intervention implications of these differences have not been systematically addressed for girls and women with ASDs. The Initiative is designed to address these communication and socialization differences through recreational and communal activities. These activities allow our participants to pursue their particular interests and leisure activities in a safe and supportive environment.

The purposes of the Initiative are:

* To understand the unique needs of teens and young women with ASDs;
* To promote social development through recreational and communal activities and to measure gains in social development, a sense of personal competency and self-worth;
* To educate others and inspire research regarding the unique profile and needs of girls with ASDs.

Our Girls’ Social Group will meet again on Tuesday, April 4. We have some new younger girls and would like to welcome more so the younger girls and the older girls could meet in 2 smaller groups at the same time. Follow this blog by filling out the form or by emailing us at lschuck51@gmail.com.

Book Review and April Meeting

We had a great meeting in March with a couple of new faces. Join us in April!

Want to read a good book about parenting a child and young adult with autism? Finding Ben is a nonfiction account of one family’s experience. I think you’ll find that Ben’s mom is a lot like you or a friend of yours. She’s a smart lady who is competent and achieves a great deal in her life. But the birth of Ben, her first child, is the beginning of a new journey.

Ben is a blessing, but he is a blessing wrapped in challenges! Ben’s mom relates the story of Ben’s beginnings, the struggles in her marriage, the discovery that there is a name for the set of symptoms Ben displays. There are some pages that will be discouraging to some parents, but overall, the story shows us that there is hope in the journey.

This is a great book to read and share with family members. I gave a warning to people  with whom I shared the book…read all the way to the end. You want to catch the hope and joy that come from the whole story of Finding Ben.

Our next meeting will be on the first Tuesday of April, April 4th. Bring your daughter and join us! We’d like to have a few younger girls (12-16?) so that they could meet in another room on another day than the older girls.

Girls Social Group March 7, 6:30 PM

The Girls’ Social Group will meet on Tuesday, March 7 at 6:30 PM. We are meeting at Anna’s Schuck’s house, 1981 Eden Road, in Mason. Anna’s mom, Lydia, will be facilitating activities for the girls. We’ll be playing a get-to-know-you game and will have lots of options for things to do with beads.

Parents can meet at Lydia and Nathan’s house across the street (1988 Eden Road) or drop off a young lady and come back at 8:00 PM.

Join our mailing list and get announcements of our meetings!

The Girls’ Social Group includes young women who range from 15 to 26, most of whom have some kind of social challenge, such as autism or Asperger Syndrome Any girl over age 12 is welcome to come and make new friends. We started the group to give girls who have social challenges a place to form friendships away from the rough and tumble of school hallways!

Call Lydia at 517-676-4621 for more information.

Girls’ Social Group meets on Feb. 7

For the spring of 2017, the Lansing area Girls’ Social Group will meet on the first Tuesday of February, March, April, and May. That’s February 7, March 7, April 4, and May 2. We meet from 6:30 to 8 PM at 1981 Eden Road, Mason, the home of Anna Schuck, one of the members. The social group is for any girl or young woman age 12 and over. Any girl or young woman is welcome, but we especially want to offer this opportunity to girls who have social challenges, including Asperger Syndrome, autism, and ADHD.  Everybody wants to have a friend. Here’s a place to make a friend and feel like part of a group, away from the rough and tumble of school hallways.

While the girls meet at 1981 Eden Road, parents can meet at 1988 Eden Road, the home of the Schuck family. Lydia Schuck is a transition specialist for young adults with disabilities. Lydia facilitates the girls’ group, getting the girls started on games, crafts, and conversation, and letting them have lots of informal time to get to know each other.

Please call 517-676-4621 or email Lydia at lschuck51@gmail.com for more information. Tell a friend who might want to attend! There is no cost to participate.

Follow our blog in 2017 Eden Transition Alliance – Serving Youth with Disabilities in Transition to Adulthood

If you provide your name and email address, we will send this blog right to your mailbox, with announcements of our meetings, book reviews, and resources.

Celebrating Together? Growing Adults

In our family, celebrating the birth of Christ is part of our faith tradition. Most families have traditions, but ours are changing as our children reach adulthood. First of all, the three girls in our family (ages 24, 21, and 15) are busier, with their own social commitments. We just aren’t together as much as we used to be!

Along the same lines, our kids are all older, and we just don’t get as excited about everything the way we did when they were little. On the other hand, they all like getting each other gifts, and our youngest did the work of putting up decorations. (She also managed to destroy the plastic mistletoe that I had overlooked from last year!)

What will life will be like for our

adult children

when we are gone?

Sometimes the changing of seasons is a bit bittersweet as we reflect on our oldest daughter’s adult life.  We wonder if she will marry, live on her own, be able to manage money well, and to be happy when we are not in the picture anymore.  Now there’s a thought that will dampen the celebrations!  At those moments, I try not to think about all the people who asked me if I think about how she will get along without her parents some day.

Well, really, how could  I NOT be thinking about it? I don’t talk about it that often, but I certainly think about it every single day. My strategy for now is to keep teaching her about adult living. We continue our transition-to-adulthood conversation all year long, and I am celebrating that our daughter is more grown-up at the end of 2016 than she was at the end of 2015!  Is anybody else celebrating?

What is transition to adulthood?

Everyone goes through transitions in life.  One important time of transition occurs when young people move from high school to adult life roles.  This can be tough for anyone, but youth with disabilities often face more barriers than other youth.   Youth who face social challenges want to have fun and friendship as much as anyone else.  We all like to have companions on our important journeys.  The transition to adulthood is an important journey.

Our director, Lydia Schuck, has 3 daughters who are making the transition to adulthood.  One of them has several disabilities.  From this experience, Lydia developed an academic and practical specialty in supporting youth with disabilities in transition to adulthood.  You can read a helpful article about transition at https://nfb.org/images/nfb/publications/fr/fr35/1/fr350106.htm.  This article tells about how Lydia’s family has travelled through the transition process.

Our social groups provide companionship and friendship on the journey to adulthood.  Parents of social group participants who talk together also find companionship on their own journeys!  Come join us.  See our Events calendar for social group dates.


What is transition to adulthood?

It’s just what you might think.  Every child makes a transition to becoming an adult.  This journey to adulthood is different for every person.  We all faced obstacles in reaching adult life goals, but kids with disabilities may face more barriers than others.  Eden Transition Alliance is run by some folks who recognize that youth with disabilities might need to make friends in a setting other than the school building, and might want to talk to adults who know what extra resources and supports are available to them.  We define the time of transition to adulthood as ages 14 to 24 for our girls groups, but there are no hard and fast numbers.  Reaching age 29 or 39 or 49 is no guarantee of a smooth journey, and everyone faces bumps along the way.  Our goal is to support youth as they make the journey to adulthood.

Girls Social Groups meet on the the second Monday evening of every month in Mason, and the 2nd and 4th Tuesday evenings in Lansing.  Check our Event Calendar for more information.  And follow our site for updates (below right).

Girls Groups Growing!

The girls’ groups are growing, and the fun is growing, too!

Girls’ Social Groups are for young women ages 12 and up.  We welcome all young women who want to make new friends and we are especially recruiting young women with social challenges.  These challenges might be associated with autism or other disabilities, and the groups are a fun way to practice social skills in a warm and friendly environment.

In Mason, the group meets on the second Monday evening of every month.  We meet at 1981 Eden Road, Mason, from 6:30 to 8.

In Lansing, the groups meet on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month.   We meet from 6 to 7:30 PM at Foster Community Center, 200 N. Foster, just north of Michigan Avenue.

Contact us by email: lschuck51@gmail.com, or 517-676-4621.

Join us for friendship and laughter

We started holding small social groups for girls with social challenges in 2008.  Eventually, we formed a nonprofit organization so that we could seek grant money to do some fun stuff with kids who have disabilities.  But we are still just a few people who have a passion to serve youth.  We provide opportunities for friendship and for doing crafts, playing games, and exploring choices for adulthood.

Our groups are facilitated by Lydia Schuck, a transition specialist in Mason, Michigan.  Lydia is the mom of a young adult who is a wonderful storyteller and pianist, and who also has autism and is blind.  Lydia and Nathan’s daughter, Anna, is 23 now, and still needs to find friends.  Join us for friendship and laughter!