Research Study: An internet parenting education and support group for mothers with psychiatric disabilities

ImageThe Temple University Collaborative has launched an Internet-based parenting education and social support program, part of a national research study examining the effectiveness of an Internet parenting education and social support program for mothers with a psychiatric disability. Participants will be compensated up to $100 for their participation in this study.  For more information:

–        Visit the study website,

–        email,

–        or download the study flyer.

The art of the present

Child giving a gift

For kids who have a hard time taking the perspective of others — kids with “social thinking” challenges — coming up with presents for Mom, Grandpa, or a school buddy is a near-Herculean task.

After all, a present is a way of saying, “I know you, and when I put myself in your shoes, I think you would like this.”

My son, who has an Asperger’s diagnosis, doesn’t do that so well. He is great at thinking of stuff we should buy him. He is the king of online browsing. While I cook, he tells me about various toys in great detail, then emails me the links to buy them.

But he’s not so keen to shop for others. His gift-buying for friends and relatives has always been heavily facilitated.  I suspect that this aspect of “thinking of others” needs to be explicitly taught.

So this year I made a worksheet that breaks down the steps involved in buying a present. Here is one he filled out for a close relative:

Gift Worksheet

Step 1: Brainstorm about what the person likes. Note there are two ways to think about this: by interests and hobbies, which are more abstract categories (“science”); and by what the child has seen the person enjoy, which is more experiential (“frozen yogurt”).

Step 2: Building on the ideas in Step 1, come up with some ideas for gifts.

Step 3: Figure out where the gifts might be purchased or made.

Step 4: Follow through! After your child makes or buys a present, let him or her check off the box and write out what is certainly the world’s best present. If you’re offering positive reinforcement, follow-through should be a big part of earning the reward.

The worksheet pictured led my son to buy a little jewelry kit online. It has arrived, and we will wrap it, but the best part will be watching him revel in “ooohs” and “ahs” when his Nonnie opens it.

Feedback needed on your experience with SB 946


Matrix blogged last summer about a new law, SB 946 that went into effect July 1, 2012 (Know Your Rights — Health insurance must cover autism) which mandates that insurance must cover behavioral health treatment for autism.

Directors of several Area Boards in southern California are meeting with the Department of Managed Health Care on December 4, 2012 and working with the Office of Clients Rights’ Advocacy and Disability Rights California to address concerns families may have about the implementation of SB 946.  In order to best represent the concerns of those who are impacted by SB 946, they are requesting your feedback.  Your feedback is welcome even after the December 4 meeting date has passed.  Please reply to this survey if you and your family have had challenges in the following areas:

  • Co-pays
  • Delays in the start of services
  • Choice in terms of providers
  • Co-Insurance
  • Other issues

Survey Link:

Research Study: Students Affected by Autism, ADHD or Regular Development

From UC Davis’s Social-Attention Virtual Reality Lab

Help us learn about learning!

The SOCIAL-ATTENTION VIRTUAL REALITY LAB at the UC Davis is beginning a new U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences study. We hope to find out how attention and memory affect the growth of reading, writing and math in elementary and secondary students, including students with Autism and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

We are looking for 200 students between 8-15 years-old.

  • Students with typical development, Autism or ADHD.
  • The study involves 2 visits to UC Davis and follow-up visits 15-months and 30-months later.
  • Students will work on computerized virtual reality tasks, as well as computerized and paper/pencil problem solving tasks.
  • Gift card compensation ($40.00 equivalent) is provided to students and families for each 2.5-hour visit attended.
  • Families can request an academic achievement report.

Please contact us at UC Davis for more information:

Call (530) 297-4430 or email

Learn more about us at:

Flyer available for download here

More information available here

Learn how to maximize your insurance coverage for Autism!

Meet with the Insurance Experts
Learn How to Secure Insurance Coverage for ABA, Speech & Occupational Therapy Services for Your Child with Autism

Come learn about your children’s rights and how to maximize your insurance coverage. The insurance landscape is changing in California for children with autism (ASD). With the recent passage of SB 946 and the current insurance settlement agreements, more parents are accessing insurance coverage for their children’s treatment for ASD.

When: September 27, 2012
Time: 7:00-9:00pm
Where: Joseph A. Nelson Community Center, 611 Village Drive, Suisun City, CA 94585 (See Map)

Cost: FREE! (must RSVP to save a spot)

RSVP: Register on our website or call. | 1-855-824-5669

Presented by TBH and ACT

Featured Speaker

Feda Almaliti, Executive Director of Autism Health Advocates. They provide advocacy to families and help secure insurance funded services for children with autism. Ms. Almaliti is the proud mother of three beautiful boys, one of whom is a child with autism. Having a child with autism and successfully obtaining ABA, Speech, and Occupational Therapy Services gives her first-hand experience to the challenges faced by other parents with children with autism in regards to the complexities of obtaining services through various insurance companies. Ms. Almaliti was instrumental in the passage of SB 946 – CA Autism Insurance Mandate.


About us:

Trumpet Behavioral Health is a leading provider of behavioral health services. We specialize in the treatment of children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders and related disorders using the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). At Trumpet, we strive to maximize the potential of our clients by creating lasting partnerships with children, parents, educators and healthcare professionals.

Autism Community Team (ACT) is a partnership of families and professionals in the Napa, Solano and Sonoma counties working together to improve services for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Call or visit us online:
1-855-824-5669 |