March 5, 2014
Autism Awareness Preparedness

World Autism Awareness Day is just over four weeks away.  How are you preparing?  In my house, I'll start bringing out my exterior blue light bulbs and hanging the Autism Awareness ribbon garden flag in a couple of weeks.  I'll get my Highlight It Up Blue hair extensions and wear my button on my jacket. […]

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February 10, 2014
Kids say the loveliest things!

Like many other states, Wisconsin has had a tough winter.  In fact, it interfered with preparation for a recent student service at an elementary school. Generally, we send a presentation kit to the host school ahead of our visit so staff and students can prepare to receive Good Friend's Awareness-Acceptance-Empathy® message.  Part of the kit […]

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January 30, 2014
Making an impact

Whether it's as an employee or a parent, do you ever wonder, "Am I really making an impact?  Is the effort I'm giving returning anything?"  I know when my children were younger and I was home with them, some of those days seemed awfully long.  I'd change my shirt for the third time that day […]

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June 24, 2013
Autism: an explanation -- not an excuse

Even though Denise Schamens and I have been providing Peer Sensitivity Workshops through Good Friend for nearly six years now, we are still often met with resistance about explaining a classmate with autism spectrum disorder's (ASD) differences.  And we respect that.  But admittedly, it makes us a little sad, because we've seen the benefit talking […]

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June 17, 2013
LAUNCHED: Campaign for New Film Project

We've been planning for this for a looooooooong time (just ask Good Friend co-founder Denise Schamens -- she'll tell you): the official start of our new elementary school film project!  It's hard to believe it's been three years since we started work on Choosing To Be a GFF for middle school, and that How Can […]

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July 2, 2012
"Be prepared!"

(adapted from our Aug. 2010 newsletter) We are indeed borrowing that famous motto of the Boy Scouts of America. Whereas they’re reminding their boys to be prepared for whatever wilderness adventure or lifesaving opportunity they might encounter, we are encouraging schools and families to be prepared for whatever classroom situation they might encounter. When considering the research of Dr. Connie Kasari (UCLA, 2009), we […]

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May 14, 2012
The Right Tools

Last week, I had four enormous spruce trees removed from my yard.  The work crew arrived at 9 a.m. and by 2 p.m., all that remained were four piles of fragrant, shredded mulch.  Even if my husband and I possessed the skill and knowledge these gentlemen had, there's no way we could have done the […]

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April 2, 2012
Creating a Culture of Acceptance

Yes, today is World Autism Awareness Day.  It's a day recognized by the United Nations as having significance to draw attention to the plight of individuals with a brain-based difference that impacts the way they experience the world.  So many have chosen to show their support by displaying the color blue - in their choice […]

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