Girls Scouts on Zoom

Going Virtual

In early March, before COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, I arrived in an art room overflowing with giggles and bustling with activity, juggling our Good Friend toolbox, technology, and program materials. There were 25 Girl Scout Daisies waiting to learn more about autism and good friendship. Leaders helped the girls shift their focus from coloring … Read more

Jeff Schill Collage

Celebrating Jeff’s Decade of Service to GFI!

Good Friend magic happens only because we have a team of people who believe in our vision of Autism Understanding through Respectful Education. Part of that team includes our volunteer Board of Directors.Jeff Schill, who once attended college with GFI co-founder Chelsea Budde, uses his professional superpowers at Crisis Prevention Institute. His position at CPI allowed him … Read more

‘Of course you should understand me!’

If you’re a long-time reader of this blog, you know that much of what we (Good Friend, Inc. co-founders Chelsea Budde and Denise Schamens) write about comes from personal experience.  Whether it’s something we’ve encountered while “in the field” or in our own homes, raising children with differently-wired brains, it’s often illustrative of a greater … Read more

Milestones are fun, but people matter!

In this era of measurable outcomes, numbers are important.  How many were served?  What percentage of various ethnic groups were represented?  How much did it cost?  How long did it take?  And all of those things are important — but not without people.  And not without each individual. At Good Friend, Inc., we never started … Read more

Reasonable Accommodations

My family and I are on vacation.  We are visiting theme parks and family, splitting up when we need to for the well-being of our kiddos on the spectrum.  My 15-year-old son in particular has a number of “rules” he’s self-imposed to protect against sensory assaults and general violations.  One is that he cannot get … Read more

Talking to Children about Talking

A couple weeks ago, I was with my 12-year-old daughter and 15-year-old son at a public park pool in our community.  It’s generally a great place to connect with friends from school.  But not all children are friendly — or at least they say some pretty unfriendly things.  One group of 14ish-year-olds made my son … Read more

Teachers Who Make a Difference

It’s the last week of school in our district, and my own children have been through tremendous transitions this year.  In the hands of less capable educators, this week might have felt very different for us.  I have had school years as a mom — and I’m sure you teachers and students have had them, … Read more

Good News: Red Carpet Premiere Party was a HUGE success!

Seems like Good Friend, Inc.‘s hometown of Waukesha, Wis., has been the epicenter for a lot of bad news over the last few days.  Let me tell you some good news that will warm your heart.  And let me replace those sad images with inspiring ones. On Wednesday, May 28, we welcomed joyfully more than … Read more

Talking about an ASD Diagnosis

Following a recent Good Friend Peer Sensitivity Workshop, an observer remarked how she had seen similar presentations about autism, but the presenter never actually used the word “autism”.  I thought that was much like talking about reproduction without mentioning the sex organs: not very helpful, and one leaves with more questions than useful information.  I … Read more

Register for the premiere of ‘We ALL Fit’!

We look forward to seeing you at the Red Carpet Premiere Party of our newest autism peer sensitivity film, We ALL Fit!  But your admission to the May 28 event requires a ticket, and you can’t get a ticket unless you register online here.  Have the names of your guests ready to enter in the … Read more