A blog about resources for autism and care and treatment.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

ONEHOPE Wine Returns as Major Sponsor for San Diego Run and Family Festival, Benefiting Military Children with Autism

ACT Today! announces ONEHOPE Wine will be the Festival sponsor of the 2nd Annual ACT Today! for Military Families 5k/10k Run/Walk and ONEHOPE Family Festival, held on April 7, 2012 from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Mission Bay Park in San Diego, California. The event is hosted by actor/comedian Mark Christopher Lawrence (“Chuck”), fitness expert Kathy Kaehler and KNBC-TV morning show hosts Jason Austell and Marianne Kushi.

ONEHOPE Wine is considered one of the most recognizable cause brands in the United States of America. The charitable company has grown rapidly over the past five years due to a respected and positive presence in all charitable fields. ONEHOPE Wine donates 50% of its profits to partner charities benefiting a variety of causes, including the military and autism.

"ONEHOPE Wine has a long tradition of giving back to the two causes this event honors, the military family and the family impacted by autism," says Tom Leahy, Founder and President of ONEHOPE Wine.

"We recognize that April is National Autism Awareness Month and the Month of the Military Child. We are honored to highlight our support at this community event."
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 110 children in America is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), making ASD more prevalent than juvenile diabetes, pediatric cancer and childhood AIDS combined. It is estimated that autism affects 1 in 88 military children. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors. They include autistic disorder, Rett syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) and Asperger’s Syndrome. ASD can be associated with intellectual disability, difficulties in motor coordination and attention and physical health issues such as sleep and gastrointestinal disturbances.

The ONEHOPE Family Festival is free for the entire community and will include live entertainment, vendor booths, egg hunt for kids, ONEHOPE wine tent, and celebrity autograph signings.

Registration for the ATMF 5k/10k Run and children’s fun run is now open. To register as an individual or team, visit www.acttodayformilitaryfamilies.kintera.org.

Corporate sponsors of the 2nd Annual ACT Today! for Military Families 5k/10k Run/Walk and ONEHOPE Family Festival (as of February 24) include: ONEHOPE Wine, KNSD-TV, Sophie FM, Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Autism Speaks, Butterfly Effects, TriWest Healthcare Alliance, Ralph’s, SeaWorld San Diego, Wells Fargo, Great Plains Laboratories, Jersey Mike’s Subs, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, Gatorade, Navy Federal Credit Union, Granite Investment Group, Baron’s Market, Newport/Naples Rib Company, Clif Bar, Emergen-C, and Another Side Tours.




About ACT Today!: ACT Today! (Autism Care and Treatment Today!) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to providing resources and funding to families of children with autism who cannot afford or access the necessary tools their children need to reach their full potential. For more information about ACT Today!, visit: www.act-today.org.

About ACT Today! for Military Families: ACT Today! for Military Families (ATMF), is a national program of ACT Today!. It was launched in July 2010. ATMF works to improve awareness and delivery of effective autism services, and provides financial assistance to military families to help defray out-of-pocket costs associated with autism treatments, services, and other quality of life programs. For more information about ACT Today! for Military Families, visit: www.acttodayformilitaryfamilies.org.

About ONEHOPE Wine: Since the inception in 2007, ONEHOPE Wine has expanded into a variety of markets across the country and continues its positive growth. The unique label is offered in hundreds of reputable hotels, restaurants, bars and retail stores in select markets across the nation, and can be purchased online. ONEHOPE effortlessly seeks to turn ‘giving back’ into a lifestyle of hope and change. Thus enabling wine lovers to enjoy the product and be a part of ONEHOPE's vision. To date ONEHOPE has raised over $600,000 for a wide range of charitable organizations. For more information about ONEHOPE Wine, visit: www.ONEHOPEWine.com.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

What is Autism?

I get asked "What is Autism?" often, so I thought I would share this great news segment with you.

Monday, February 27, 2012

ACT Today! Discusses Mission on Headline News Charter Edition

In the News...

Headline News/Charter Edition sits down with ACT Today! board member Eddie Guardado and Director of Programs & Development Laura Marroquin for a discussion on the impact ACT Today! is making on children and families affected by autism.

Watch the interview with us.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Join Us This Week for Two Exciting Events!




Join us THIS WEEK for 2 exciting events...

EVENT ONE - our Executive Director will speak at the Autism/Asperger's Conferencin Anaheim, CA this Friday.



EVENT TWO - we are hosting a red carpet movie documentary in Sherman Oaks, CA on Saturday.

Click here for complete details:

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

KWSD Interviews ACT Today About Mission

IN THE NEWS...

KWSD - Los Angeles interviewed ACT Today!'s Executive Director Nancy Alspaugh-Jackson about ACT Today!'s mission, the impact the non-profit organization is making on families in need and how ACT Today!'s Founder/President Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh is making it possible for children to recover from autism.

Listen to the interview with us, right now.



1 REASON 2 RUN Rocks Marathon for ACT Today!

Finishing the Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Marathon & 1/2 Marathon was more than just an athletic achievement for 1 REASON2RUN.

They say each mile they ran, reminded them of their reason for running.

Thanks to all of their supporters, they were able to raise a great amount for ACT Today! (Autism Care and Treatment).

THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH, 1 REASON2 RUN!

We LOVE and APPRECIATE you!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Autism Signs Detected in Brain Scans of Infants

By Monica DyBuncio

Brain scans of infants may predict high risk for autism, new research shows. While symptoms of an autism spectrum disorder usually appear before age three, they are typically not identified until after a child's first birthday.

PICTURES - Autism-spectrum disorders: 24 warning signs

The new study - published in the Feb. 17 edition of the American Journal of Psychiatry - looked at the brain development of 92 high-risk infants ages 6 to 24 months. The babies were considered high-risk because they all have older brothers or sisters who have been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, said the researchers from the Infant Brain Imaging Study network.

The infants underwent a type of MRI called diffusion tensor imaging at 6 months, 1 year and 2 years of age. With the repeated scans, researchers created 3D pictures that showed changes in white matter - the part of the brain embedded with nerve fibers that help different areas of the brain connect with one another.

What did they find? Researchers saw differences in the brain matter of children who were eventually diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder by age 2. These children were more likely to show thicker, denser nerve-fiber readings at 6 months - but thinner white matter at age 2.

"These findings raise the possibility of developing imaging markers that could detect risk for autism in advance of actual symptoms, and [to] begin treatment before symptoms begin," study author Geri Dawson, chief science officer at Autism Speaks, told HealthDay.

Study authors caution the findings do not mean that autism can be diagnosed with brain scans, but the research is a step in earlier treatment.

An estimated one in 110 children in the U.S. have an autism spectrum disorder. Behavioral signs of autism include little or no eye contact, lack of interest in peer relationships, delay in spoken language, and persistent fixation on parts of objects.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Wandering and Autism: Prevention Strategies and Resources

Wandering and Autism: Prevention Strategies and Resources

Wandering is a real risk when it comes to children on the autism spectrum. Sadly, half of families with elopers report they had never received advice or guidance about elopement from a professional (IAN Research Report: Elopement and Wandering, 2011).

Autism College, in partnership with the National Autism Association, wants to help change that statistic. On Saturday February 18, we are offering a webinar on The Scope of Wandering, Prevention Strategies, and Resources as part of our free online Autism Safety and Crisis Prevention conference, sponsored in part by The Social Express. It’s your opportunity to get strategies you can use to decrease your worries. The webinar will take place on Saturday, February 18, 8:15 am – 9:45 am PST (11:15 am -12:45 pm EST). The webinar will be interactive.

Register here for the conference, and you will receive information on how to attend this webinar.

How much of a problem is wandering for children with autism? A few statistics:

  • In 2009, 2010, and 2011, accidental drowning accounted for 91% total U.S. deaths reported in children with an ASD ages 14 and younger subsequent to wandering/elopement. (SOURCE: National Autism Association, Lethal Outcomes in ASD Wandering, 2012)
  • More than one third of ASD children who wander/elope are never or rarely able to communicate their name, address, or phone number (IAN Research Report: Elopement and Wandering, 2011)
  • Two in three parents of elopers reported their missing children had a “close call” with a traffic injury (IAN Research Report: Elopement and Wandering, 2011)
  • Children with ASD are eight times more likely to elope between the ages of 7 and 10 than their typically-developing siblings (IAN Research Report: Elopement and Wandering, 2011)

Description of Presentation Topic: The Scope of Wandering, Prevention Strategies, and Resources

Incidents of missing children and wandering-related deaths are being reported in the news with frightening frequency. In the last three years, more than 20 individuals with autism have lost their lives due to wandering. Preliminary data in the first IRB-approved study on autism-related wandering shows that half of children with autism have successfully wandered from adult supervision. Families cite wandering as the most stressful behavior they face. Drowning associated with autism elopement is a leading cause of death among children and adults on the autism spectrum. This presentation will discuss the scope of this issue, prevention strategies and provide resources for caregivers to keep their loved ones safe.

Presenter: Wendy Fournier is a founding board member and President of the National Autism Association. The organization has been instrumental in bringing federal attention to the issue of autism-related wandering. In 2010, Wendy and NAA Executive Director Lori McIlwain were invited to present on the wandering/elopement issue before the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee at NIH, where they outlined the need for data collection, medical diagnostic coding, and federal health agency involvement. As a result, the committee has since implemented several of NAA’s recommendations. In addition to bringing awareness to the issue, NAA has developed extensive resources for the community including the AWAARE collaboration website and the Big Red Safety Box program.


Join ACT Today! in making a difference in the lives of children with autism.

To make a donation to the ACT Today! Safety Fund,

visit www.act-today.org.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Perfect Autism Dad???

My Valentine's Gift to You: The Perfect Man

Courtesy of Extreme Parenting Blog: the perfect partner if you have a child on the spectrum. And he looks just like Ryan Goslin
g! Hilarious! And, please do share your comments with me. I'd love to know which one is your favorite. :-)





Monday, February 13, 2012

SeaWorld Gives Free Tickets to First 50 Children Who Register for San Diego Run, Benefiting Military Children with Autism



ACT Today! (Autism Care and Treatment Today!) is partnering with SeaWorld San Diego to give a free SeaWorld San Diego ticket to the first 50 children who register for the 2nd Annual ACT Today! for Military Families 5K/10K Walk/Run and Family Festival, held on April 7, 2012.
ACT Today! announces SeaWorld San Diego has joined forces to help contribute to the ACT Today! for Military Families (ATMF) fund by way of donating one SeaWorld San Diego ticket to each of the first 50 children who register for the 2nd Annual ATMF 5K/10K Run/Walk and Family Festival. The fundraiser will be held on Saturday, April 7, 2012 at Mission Bay Park in San Diego, California, benefiting military families of children with autism. The event is hosted by actor/comedian Mark Christopher Lawrence (“Chuck”).

To receive a complimentary SeaWorld San Diego ticket, children must be 17 years old and under and register for the Youth Division or the 1 Mile Kids Fun Run. Registrants will receive one general single day admission pass to SeaWorld San Diego, which is valued at $73. Blackout dates apply to the tickets, and is offered on a “first come, first serve” basis. All qualifying registrants will be required to collect their tickets at a designated location the day of the event.


“We are very thrilled to have SeaWorld recognize our efforts and contribute to the overall mission,” says Andrekka Lanier, ATMF Campaign Director. ”This generous donation rewards the supportive efforts of our young community while allowing them to mingle, exercise, have fun and make a huge difference in the lives of military children with autism.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 110 children in America is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), making ASD more prevalent than juvenile diabetes, pediatric cancer and childhood AIDS combined. It is estimated that autism affects 1 in 88 military children. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors. They include autistic disorder, Rett syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) and Asperger’s Syndrome. ASD can be associated with intellectual disability, difficulties in motor coordination and attention and physical health issues such as sleep and gastrointestinal disturbances.


Corporate sponsors of the 2nd Annual ACT Today! for Military Families 5K/10K Walk/Run and Family Festival (as of Jan. 30) include: KNSD-TV, Sophie FM, Butterfly Effects, TriWest Healthcare Alliance, Ralph’s, SeaWorld San Diego, Wells Fargo, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, Gatorade,, Granite Investment Fund, Baron’s Market, Newport/Naples Rib Company, Clif Bar and.Emergen C.
For more information about the ATMF 5K/10K Run/Walk and Family Festival, visit: www.acttodayformilitaryfamilies.kintera.org.

About ACT Today!:
ACT Today! (Autism Care and Treatment Today!) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to providing resources and funding to families of children with autism who cannot afford or access the necessary tools their children need to reach their full potential. For more information about ACT Today!, visit: www.act-today.org.

About ACT Today! for Military Families:
ACT Today! for Military Families (ATMF), is a national program of ACT Today!. It was launched in July 2010. ATMF works to improve awareness and delivery of effective autism services, and provides financial assistance to military families to help defray out-of-pocket costs associated with autism treatments, services, and other quality of life programs. For more information about ACT Today! for Military Families, visit: www.acttodayformilitaryfamilies.org.


About SeaWorld San Diego:
SeaWorld is open year-round, including holidays. SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, a portfolio company of The Blackstone Group (NYSE:BX), operates 10 parks across the United States. For more information, visit: www.seaworldsandiego.com.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

One More Day - “Have a Heart” - Help Military Children with Autism!



ACT Today! (Autism Care and Treatment Today!), has launched the “Have a Heart: Help a Military Child with Autism” campaign this month from February 1 through 14, 2012, to benefit the ACT Today! for Military Families (ATMF) national campaign. Anyone wishing to “have a heart” can make a monetary online donation at http://www.act-today.org/haveaheart, as well as tweet “Have a Heart: Help a Military Child with Autism – Donate @ http://www.act-today.org/haveaheart” on their Twitter or Facebook pages.
“Military families shoulder tremendous responsibilities today. These challenges are compounded for military families with a special needs child,” says ACT Today! for Military Families Campaign Director Andrekka Lanier. “This campaign will not only draw more awareness to their plight of military children with autism, but also help raise necessary funds these children need in an effortless way and during a time when everyone especially feels loving!”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 110 children in America is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), making ASD more prevalent than juvenile diabetes, pediatric cancer and childhood AIDS combined. It is estimated that autism affects 1 in 88 military children. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors. They include autistic disorder, Rett Syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) and Asperger’s Syndrome. ASD can be associated with intellectual disability, difficulties in motor coordination and attention and physical health issues such as sleep and gastrointestinal disturbances.

The goal of the ATMF fund is to improve awareness of the unique needs of the military family living with autism and access to urgently needed treatments and support services. In its first year of operation, ATMF has provided assistance to over 120 military connected families through its family grant program.

Grants funded included assistance with applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy, medical services, iPads and communication devices, safety equipment, service dogs, legal services, therapy equipment, assessments, and other quality of life supports.

“Have a Heart: Help a Military Child with Autism” campaign ends on February 14, 2012 at 12:00 am (PST).

About ACT Today!: ACT Today! (Autism Care and Treatment Today!) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to providing resources and funding to families of children with autism who cannot afford or access the necessary tools their children need to reach their full potential. For more information about ACT Today!, visit: www.act-today.org.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Eddie Guardado’s STARS & STRIKES Celebrity Bowling Tournament Raised Over $100-Thousand Dollars for Underprivileged Children with Autism

ACT Today! (Autism Care and Treatment Today!) and The Eddie Guardado Foundation (EGF), two national non-profit organizations based in Southern California, announce their STARS & STRIKES Celebrity Bowling Tournament, benefiting children with autism, raised $130,000. The event was held on January 29, 2012 at Bowlmor Lanes in Tustin, California. Proceeds from the fundraiser will be used to provide resources and grants to children with autism whose families cannot afford the necessary care and treatment their children need to reach their full potential.
Former Ducks Player Todd Marchant and his wife, Caroline, Eddie and Lisa Guardado and Bret Saberhagen with Bill Cernius, Dan Carney
"My wife Lisa and I are touched that so many ball players and celebrities joined us in to support of our mission of helping children with autism receive the care and treatment they need,." says Eddie Guardado, 2-Time Major League Baseball (MLB) All-Star and ACT Today! board member. "Thanks to them and the many sponsors and event attendees, we will be able to serve many more children this year."
Lisa Guardado and daughter Ava with ACT Today!'s Executive Director Nancy Alspaugh-Jackson
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 110 children in America is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), making ASD more prevalent than juvenile diabetes, pediatric cancer and childhood AIDS combined. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors. They include autistic disorder, Rett Syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) and Asperger’s Syndrome. ASD can be associated with intellectual disability, difficulties in motor coordination and attention and physical health issues such as sleep and gastrointestinal disturbances.
Torii Hunter, Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh and Howie Kendrick

The fundraiser was attended by more than 400 guests, including celebrities 2-Time All-Star Pitcher "Everyday Eddie" Guardado, world-renowned autism expert Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh, LA Angels of Anaheim 4-Time All-Star Torii Hunter, Texas Rangers 6-Time All-Star Michael Young, Texas Rangers 2-Time All-Star Adrian Beltre, LA Angels of Anaheim 3-Time All-Star Vernon Wells, 3-Time All-Star Garret Anderson, LA Angels of Anaheim Howie Kendrick, Arizona Diamondbacks All-Star Pitcher J.J. Putz, LA Angels of Anaheim LaTroy Hawkins, Former MLB Player and Radio Personality Rex Hudler, 4-Time All-Star Troy Percival, All-Star Pitcher Jamie Moyer, Cincinnati Reds Carlos Fisher, St. Louis Cardinals Brad Thompson, Former MLB Player Adam Melhuse, 2-Time All-Star Pitcher Aaron Sele, All-Star Pitcher Chad Cordero, Texas Rangers Coach and Former MLB Player Gary Pettis, 3-Time All-Star Pitcher Bret Saberhagen, Former NHL Player Todd Marchant, Former MLB player Denny Hocking, Chicago Cubs Darwin Barney, Chicago Cubs Ty Wright, Former MLB Infielder Chris Gomez, actress Sasha Pieterse (“Pretty Little Liars”), actress Musetta Vander, On-Air Radio Personality Lisa Foxx, and actress Erin Murphy.

Eddie and actress Sasha Pieterse
Events such as the Eddie Guardado’s STARS & STRIKES bowling tournament allow ACT Today! to raise essential funds to provide grants for families in desperate need of care and treatment. In the past year, ACT Today! has distributed $434,000 in grants to families.

Vernon Wells signing autographs
ACT Today!: ACT Today! (Autism Care and Treatment Today!) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to providing resources and funding to families of children with autism who cannot afford or access the necessary tools their children need to reach their full potential. For more information about ACT Today!, visit: www.act-today.org.

About The Eddie Guardado Foundation: The Eddie Guardado Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) founded in 2008 after the Guardado’s daughter was diagnosed with autism. In January 2011, the foundation merged with ACT Today! (Autism Care and Treatment Today!) as both non-profits organizations share the mission of providing awareness of and access to effective therapies for children with autism. Eddie and Lisa and Eddie Guardado now serve on the ACT Today! board of directors. For more information about the Eddie Guardado Foundation, visit: www.eddieguardadofoundation.org.