Everything tagged

Latest from The Spokesman-Review

Autism and the portal of Disney

Pulitzer-prize winner Ron Suskind has two children and one of them, Owen, has autism. The writer tells the story of his family’s remarkable journey with Owen in his book “Life, Animated” to be released in a few weeks.

Autism offers complex challenges to families and those who love them as well as the communities who serve and support those families. The Suskind family found their way to Owen through Disney and its characters. Yes, really. Just ask Owen - president of the Disney Club where he and others with autism decipher myth and fable, learning lessons of friendship, heroism, sidekicks and, yes, love.

(S-R archive photo: Disney Live! Mickey’s Music Festival)

Hi-Noon: Getting Skills On, Off Court

The thumping sound of bouncing basketballs echoed throughout the Warehouse on a recent Sunday morning. While a men’s league sank 3-pointers on one court, another group warmed up nearby. “I want to play a game of basketball!” shouted 6-year-old Henry Peterschmidt. He was one of a dozen kids gathered to learn some new skills. But the primary focus of this league isn’t dribbling and shooting – it’s social interaction. Last month, Northwest Autism Center launched its first recreational basketball program for children with autism spectrum disorder/Cindy Hval, Washington Voices. More here. (Colin Mulvany SR photo: Volunteer Jamie Palmer helps Isaac Mitchell, 5, with his dribbling skills)

Question: This program is the first of its kind locally. Do you think there should be more recreational sports opportunites specifically for kids with autism spectrum disorder?\

volunteer Jamie Palmer helps Isaac Mitchell, 5, with his dribbling skills.

Team Laughing Dog Raises $80,000

Four Sandpoint men, known as Team Laughing Dog, finished 10th among 19 in their division of the Race Across America cross-country bicycle race. From left: Al Lemire, Jacob Styer, Wayne Pignolet and Mike Murray. (Photo courtesy of V. Scott Pignolet)

Four mostly middle-age Sandpoint men have bicycled across the country in 6 days, 9 hours and 28 minutes to raise $80,000 for autism. Wayne Pignolet, 51, describes his experience with Team Laughing Dog as “epic.” The Sandpoint cyclists’ 10th place finish among 19 teams in their division of the Race Across America was faster than Pony Express riders took to get halfway across the country on swift horses. Laughing Dog, named for the brewery that sponsored it, averaged 19.5 mph in the nearly 3,000-mile relay race. Riders climbed 100,000 feet of grades that sometimes exceeded 10 percent and rode down them at speeds that reached 55 mph/John Craig, SR. More here.

Question: Have you ever raised thousands of dollars for a worthy cause? Tell us about it.

NIdaho Blogos: Meet ‘Kiddo’

“Kiddo” is Spencer, an 8 year old, first grader at North Star School. “Kiddo” has autism. In many ways Spencer is like any first grader, he loves the trampoline, he loves Sponge Bob and he loves the water. But in many ways he is not like most kids. Diagnosed at age 5, he requires intensive therapy and constant attention. Thom George is using his camera and writing skills to tell “Kiddo's” story. Click here.

Hucks Online numbers (for Wednesday, April 27): 8877/5252

Question: Is there any history of autism in your family?

The Challenge Of Living With Autism

Item: Living with autis: Greg Washington will be racing Ironman and raising money for autism society/Bill Buley, Coeur d'Alene Press

More Info: Today, in many ways, Maara is a normal 4-year-old. She loves to eat strawberries. She goes to the bathroom on her own. She dresses herself. She follows directions. She watches SpongeBob with her sister and they play games. “Maara has really enriched our family,” Greg said. In other ways, though, caring for her is difficult and it has changed the Washingtons' lives. Maara is in a program at North Star Child Development Center for autistic children. She has difficulty speaking. Social outings can be trouble. Maara has her own version of playing with other children. (SR file photo, of Trevin, from the website of Ashley Potter, who photographed Spokane children with autism)

Question: I admit I don't know squat about autism, beyond what I see on television. I don't know of any relative in my extended family who has autism or a child with autism. Have you had first-hand experience with autism? Can you tell us about it?

Parents sue over 8-year-old’s arrest at school

The parents of an 8-year-old autistic girl who was arrested at her North Idaho elementary school are suing the school district and the sheriff’s department in federal court, the Associated Press reports, contending the agencies violated the Americans With Disabilities Act. Spring Towry and Charles Towry, along with their daughter, Evelyn, filed the lawsuit Friday in Idaho’s U.S. District Court against the Lake Pend Oreille School District and the Bonner County Sheriff’s Department; click below to read the full story from AP reporter Rebecca Boone.

Posing Naked (Sorta) For Autism

Marsha Cunningham, Debby Sims, Barbara Weber, and Lavonne Northcutt, members of the Knotty Knitters, pose for The News Tribune behind a white fence draped with hand knit scarves in Tacoma. Marsha Cunningham’s grandchildren Josef and Mollee Cunningham, 7-year-old twins with autism, are the inspiration for the upcoming 2011 Knitting Naked for Autism Calendar, featuring eight Pierce County knitters and one from New York State, tastefully draped in knit goods. Most of the proceeds will go to getting the twins the treatments that have shown promise. Cunningham is also making the calendar available to other autism groups that want to use it as a fundraiser. (AP Photo/The News Tribune, Drew Perine)

Question: Is there a cause that would prompt you to post naked — tastefully — for a calendar to raise money?