A blog about resources for autism and care and treatment.

Monday, June 25, 2012

TheSpeedGamers’ Pokémon Marathon Raise Nearly $60,000 for Children with Autism



TheSpeedGamers of Dallas-Fort Worth ended their weeklong Pokémon marathon by raising $58,993 on behalf of ACT Today! (Autism Care and Treatment Today!), a national non-profit organization whose mission is to provide access to care and treatment for children with autism. TheSpeedGamers’ Pokémon Marathon ran from June 15 – June 22, 2012 for 168 hours and was watched by thousands of avid gamers and autism supporters online at www.thespeedgamers.com.

"It was truly exciting to watch them play Pokémon and raise so much money for children with autism who desperately need care and treatment,” says ACT Today!’s Executive Director Nancy Alspaugh-Jackson. “This is the fourth year TheSpeedGamers have hosted a marathon fundraiser for our non-profit. We are truly, truly amazed by their gaming skills and their compassion for ACT Today!’s cause.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in every 88 children in America has an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), making ASD more prevalent than juvenile diabetes, pediatric cancers and childhood AIDS combined. Proceeds from TheSpeedGamers’ Pokémon Marathon will help ACT Today! provide resources and access to therapy, medical care, social skills programs, special needs camp, entrance in special needs schools, assistance dogs, and basic safety equipment to children with autism whose families cannot afford these necessary tools their children need to reach their highest potential.

“Our team of gamers love being able to play games and raise awareness and funds for charitable organizations,” says TheSpeedGamers’ founder Britt LaRiviere. “TheSpeedGamers really appreciated ACT Today!’s supportive comments on our website as we played throughout the week. It was cool! The support fueled our engines and made us even more determined to reach our monetary goal.”

In December 2008, TheSpeedGamers raised $5,923 for ACT Today! in 72 hours. They broke the 2008 record the following year, with over $50,730 raised in 168 hours. And, in June 2011 they surpassed the previous year again by raising over $57,400 in 189 hours.

TheSpeedGamers set out to raise $50,000 during the June 15-22 marathon. They surpassed the goal on June 21st.

About ACT Today!:
ACT Today! (Autism Care and Treatment Today!) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness and providing treatment services and support 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 SpeedGamers:
The SpeedGamers are based in the Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas, but have members from around the world. The group was founded by Britt LaRiviere in March 2008, and has since raised over $300,000 for non-profit organizations across the country. For more information about TheSpeedGamers, visit www.thespeedgamers.com.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Autism Film Program for Military Children is Featured in the News


**IN THE NEWS....

NBC San Diego features ACT Today!'s Autism Film Program for Military Children. 

Watch news segment with us, right now. 



ACT Today! (Autism Care and Treatment Today!) has joined forces with Cox Communications to present the Autism Film Program for Military Children. The two-week program, taught by Inclusion Films, will run from June 18-29, 2012 at the Cox Communications main campus in San Diego. The program is free for military children with autism and their siblings between 9-21 years of age. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Autism Film Camp for Military Children Off to a Rousing Start!

Film Camp for Military Children with Autism Off to a Rousing Start!
The ACT Today! for Military Families Inclusion Films program camp got off to an energetic start today in San Diegowith founder Joey Travolta led the group in some warm up and dancing to get the creative juices going!
Joey Travolta is facilitating the  2 week program with his crew of professional filmmakers who are experienced at teaching individuals with disabilities all elements of the film making process. The experience will not only give participants the opportunity to work with professional film makers, but will promote individual creativity, build self-esteem, and may lead to lasting friendships. This program, in partnership with Cox Communications, is FREE to military children with autism and their siblings. 
We will be bringing you the latest news from the camp as it develops this week!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Join the Fun! TheSpeedGamers' Marathon Starts TONIGHT!



And I Don’t Mean The Miami Heat and The Oklahoma City Thunder!

Sure, the whole country is watching the NBA Playoffs, but around ACT Today! (Autism Care and Treatment Today!), there is a different game that has us all transfixed over the next week. TheSpeedGamers are at it again…dedicating 168 spellbound, speed gaming hours in their Pokémon marathon to help us raise money to fund care and treatment for children with autism. TheSpeedGamers’ Pokémon marathon runs June 15 – June 22, 2012, and can be seen online at www.thespeedgamers.com. 
 

I absolutely love these TheSpeedGamers! To me, they are right up there with the newly crowned champion LA Kings! Over the course of three years, TheSpeedGamers have raised over $115,000 for ACT Today!. Who says today’s young people are slackers???

Join the fun and join TheSpeedGamers today at 6PM PST. Donations will be accepted on behalf of ACT Today! at www.thespeedgamers.com through Friday, June 22, 2012. Every little bit counts! Let’s set a new record!

Nancy Alspaugh-Jackson
Executive Director, ACT Today!






Sunday, June 10, 2012

ACT Today! Hosts 7th Annual Denim & Diamonds for Autism, November 3 in Malibu

ACT Today! (Autism Care and Treatment Today!), a national non-profit organization whose mission is to provide care and treatment to children with autism, announces its highly anticipated 7th Annual Denim & Diamonds for Autism, will be held on Saturday, November 3, 2012 at the Calamigos Ranch in Malibu, California. 500 attendees are expected to attend the red carpet fundraiser, including corporate leaders, celebrities, dignitaries, the press, and other autism supporters. 


“This annual fundraiser allows ACT Today! to provide DIRECT HELP to children with autism,” says ACT Today!’s Executive Director Nancy Alspaugh-Jackson. “Proceeds from this event will make it possible for us to provide grants for therapy, medical care, assistance dogs, social skills programs, assistive technology, and even safety equipment like helmets for the self-injurious children, as well as fencing for those who wander. We are thrilled that the event has become such an anticipated event in Southern California.” 



According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in every 88 children in America is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), making ASD more prevalent than juvenile diabetes, childhood cancer and pediatric AIDS combined. 


“We count on the community’s support each year and appreciate every individual contribution and corporate giving – without the financial support, we are unable to continue our mission of helping those children whose families cannot afford or access the necessary tools their children need to reach their full potential,” adds Jackson, who will co-host the event alongside ACT Today!’s Founder/President and world-renowned autism expert Doreen Granpeesheh, PhD, BCBA-D, with a host of celebrity presenters from film, television, sports, and the music world.
The 7th Annual Denim & Diamonds for Autism will feature red carpet arrivals, a cocktail reception, silent and live auctions, live entertainment, seated dinner buffet, a special live musical performance, and tribute to the 2012 ACTivist award recipients actor Joe Mantegna (“Criminal Minds”) and television executive Steve Mauldin (KCAL-TV/KCBS-TV President and General Manager), as well as recognizing the 2012 Golden Cowgirl award recipient Kathleen Sternbach. 

The event is sponsored by (as of June 11, 2012): Vin Di Bona Productions, Reaction Audio Visual, TWIW Insurance Services, LLC., Natrol, Sandy and David Stone, Universal City Nissan, Wells Fargo, CodeMetro, City National Bank, Burbank Printing, Charity Lives, Linda Bertch, Isabella Emporium, and The Resort at Pelican Hill. 


“You can’t measure our gratefulness and appreciation of the corporate supporters because it’s boundless,” says Jackson. “Families with children with autism face tremendous burdens. ACT Today! is grateful that the community is helping us alleviate the financial burden and emotional turmoil for many families by providing access to care and treatment to those in desperate need.” 

In 2011, the 6th Annual Denim & Diamonds for Autism sold out one month prior to the event and raised over $230,000. An estimated 500 supporters attended the red carpet event, including TV news broadcaster Nancy Grace (HLN), TV host Tom Bergeron (“Dancing with the Stars” and “America’s Funniest Home Videos”), Vin Di Bona (“Vin Di Bona Productions”), actress Ariel Winters and actor Nolan Gould (“Modern Family”), model/TV host Brooke Burke Charvet (“Dancing with the Stars”), actor Erik Fellows (“Days of Our Lives”), television personality Leeza Gibbons, actor Daniel Goddard (“Young and Restless”), actors Kyle and Chris Massey, actor Mark Christopher Lawrence (“Chuck”), professional dancers Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Val Chmerkovskiy (“Dancing with the Stars”), actresses Juliana and Jennessa Rose (“Pretty Little Liars”), retired LA Laker Jamaal Wilkes, actor Robert Adamson (“Lincoln Heights”), actor Arjay Smith (“Precision”), actor Callan McAuliffe (“I am Number Four”), and actress Florence Henderson (“The Brady Bunch”). 
For more information about the 7th Annual Denim & Diamonds for Autism, visit www.DenimAndDiamondsForAutism.net.
*** 
"LIKE" Denim & Diamonds on Facebook at 

About ACT Today!: 
ACT Today! (Autism Care and Treatment Today!) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness and providing treatment services and support 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.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Center for Autism and Related Disorders Opens Massachusetts Treatment Center, Open House on June 30

The Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD), considered one of the most effective autism treatment centers in the world, announces the opening of its CARD Massachusetts treatment center, located at 118 Long Pond Road, Suite 205, in Plymouth. CARD Massachusetts provides a variety of services based on the scientifically proven, applied-behavior-analysis (ABA) approach. Services include center-based treatment, home therapy and supervision, parent training, and school shadowing. 
The grand opening will be held on Saturday, June 30, 2012 from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm. The community is invited to meet the staff, tour the facility and review the state-of-the-art CARD curriculum. Refreshments and kid-friendly activities will be provided. 
CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE

“Science has shown that early, intensive ABA intervention can help individuals with autism by minimizing challenging behaviors and maximizing skill acquisition,” says CARD Massachusetts’ Clinical Manager Ben Craighead, M.Ed, BCBA. “The CARD Model of treatment takes into account the unique needs of each client. Then, we develop a set of short and long-term goals that produce results.”

With highly trained and experienced staff, a focus on evidence-based treatment, and the use of technology, CARD has delivered cost-effective treatment that leads to measurable results for each client. In August 2009, CARD researchers published "Retrospective Analysis of Clinical Records in 38 Cases of Recovery from Autism” in the Annals of Clinical Psychiatry, showing that those results can indeed include recovery.

The CARD model of treatment is known for its comprehensiveness. The curriculum includes over 3500 lessons in eight areas of learning: academic, adaptive, cognition, executive function, language, motor, play, and social skills. In addition, the model’s relationship-building, cognitive, and executive-functioning programs are known throughout the world for their focus on developing advanced skills such as perspective taking, inferring others’ thoughts and feelings, and developing and maintaining friendships. With the rate of autism diagnosis on the rise, CARD has taken the initiative to develop and utilize technology to increase access to treatment. The Skills® online solution developed by CARD is based on over 30 years of research on child development. CARD supervisors and therapists use the Skills program to assess a child’s strengths and weaknesses, design a treatment plan, and track progress through integrated reports, graphs and timelines.

For more information about CARD Massachusetts, visit: http://boston.centerforautism.com or call (855) 345-2273.


About the Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD): CARD treats individuals of all ages with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) around the globe, with 23 treatment centers and a staff of nearly 1,000. CARD was founded in 1990 by leading autism expert and clinical psychologist Doreen Granpeesheh, PhD, BCBA-D. CARD treats autism using the principles and procedures of applied behavior analysis (ABA), which has been empirically proven to be the most effective method for treating individuals with autism. Many insurance carriers cover ABA as a medically necessary treatment. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the US Surgeon General also recommend ABA.

For more information about the Center for Autism and Related Disorders, visit: http://www.centerforautism.com.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Actor Joe Mantegna to Host ACT Today!’s 6th Annual Charity Golf Classic, Benefiting Military Children with Autism



ACT Today! (Autism Care and Treatment Today!), a national non-profit organization whose mission is to provide care and treatment to children with autism, announces its 6th Annual Charity Golf Classic, hosted by actor Joe Mantegna (“Criminal Minds”), will be held on Monday, August 27, 2012 at the North Ranch Country Club in Westlake Village, California. The event is presented by the Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD). Proceeds from the fundraiser will help provide access to care and treatment for military children with autism.

“This year’s golf tournament is dedicated to the military children with autism whose families are protecting our freedoms, while their children are battling an epidemic,” says ACT Today!’s Executive Director Nancy Alspaugh-Jackson. “Proceeds from this event make it possible for us to provide access to therapy, medical care, assistance dogs, social skills programs, assistive technology, and even safety equipment like helmets for the self-injurious children, as well as fencing for those who wander.” 

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in every 88 children in America is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), making ASD more prevalent than juvenile diabetes, childhood cancer and pediatric AIDS combined. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal/nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors. They include Autistic disorder, Rett syndrome, Childhood disintegrative disorder (CDD), Pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) and Asperger’s syndrome.

Corporate sponsors of the 6th Annual Charity Golf Classic, include (as of May 31, 2012): Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc. (CARD), TWIW Insurance Services LLC, Retirement Benefits Group, Kirsch, Kohn, & Bridge, and Trillium Sports Medicine.

Committee members consist of golf professionals, business and community leaders, including: Tagg Baker of TWIW Insurance Services, LLC; Jonathan Bruce of JTB Insurance Services, David Carmel of JD Financial, Josh Eveland of Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc., professional golfer Greg Goad, Cal Lutheran Student Shayne Romero, Dr. Michael Spagnoli of Trillium Sports Medicine, Justin Walker of FTF Properties, Darin Wassmann of Retirement Benefits Group, and ACT Today! President and world-renowned autism expert Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh.


2011 winners of ACT Today!'s 5th Annual Charity Golf Classic (seen in picture with Joe Mantegna) Greg Goad, Dave Carmel, Johnny Bruce, and Justin Walker.

The tournament begins with a shotgun start at 10:30 am and included a modified “best ball” format, par 3 challenges & other contests, followed by cocktails and dinner reception with a live auction. 

To register, sponsor or donate to ACT Today!’s 6th Annual Charity Golf Classic, visit www.act-today.org/golftournament

About ACT Today!:
ACT Today! (Autism Care and Treatment Today!) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness and providing treatment services and support 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.