Monday, December 16, 2013

Shaking The System

Lea Schizas & Litsa Kamateros welcome you to Shaking the System, an upcoming book on autism.
Friday, December 18, 2009
CDC says 1 in 110 --
The CDC's newest study says 1 in 110 children have autism. According to this report it states it's a 600 percent increase in the past 20 years.

With this newest study, will it make an impact to eliminate the long waiting periods for a diagnosis, and then the long waiting period for therapies to begin?

How many studies or statistics do we need to wait for before changes begin?

Questions abound and keep reflecting the angst of parents seeking answers. Let's hope and pray that 2010 will begin a new chapter, one that will see movement toward the right step.

Posted by Lea Schizas - Author/Editor at 3:54 PM 6 comments
Labels: CDC
Friday, November 13, 2009
A2Z Parents - New FREE Magazine

Litsa and I are thrilled to announce an awesome and new and quite FREE Montreal magazine that came out in October: A2Z Parents.

Let us explain how we came to find out about this magazine. Litsa and I hosted our second autism awareness conference on November 3rd at the Beaconsfield Library. As soon as the conference was finished and we were taking questions from the audience for our guest speakers (Sarah Moyel, Brenda Porter and her two experts from Brilliant Beginnings) Litsa received a phone call from Sheila Botton, Editor-in-Chief and co-publisher of the magazine, interested in interviewing us. Right away we did what anyone else would have done, we seeked out to find out more about this magazine.

In all honesty, when I heard it was a FREE magazine the visual that came to me was a colored cover and back with black and white imagery inside. Well, was I totally shocked when Litsa grabbed a copy for me. Superb and very impressive can't describe it. And what's more they offer a PDF download of the issue. There are a plethora of coupons at the back for readers to use, and currently they are hosting a contest.

We highly recommend our readers to take a look and grab their first issue in PDF and read it from front to back. We are sure you'll be as delighted with the quality of A2Z Parents initial publication. Click HERE to go to their website to download the PDF.

As fellow Montrealers and parents, it's thrilling to see a quality magazine (and at the right price) offered to us. The design and contents within is done tastefully and chock-full of articles to entertain and educate everyone.

The exciting news? Litsa and I have been invited to contribute an autism article for their Spring/Summer issue, and hopefully for each issue after that.

A2Z Parents - BIG congrats and continued success!
Posted by Lea Schizas - Author/Editor at 6:14 PM 0 comments
Labels: a2z parents magazine
Saturday, August 29, 2009
The Autism Answer Book reviewed by Litsa Kamateros

The AUTISM ANSWER BOOK written by William Stillman is a helpful and reassuring guide to parents and professionals. This book serves as a resource guide in a question/answer format, with autism related topics in a categorized and organised manner.

Receiving an autism diagnosis for your child can be a shocking experience. William Stillman 's book helps shed some light into answering parents lingering questions. Clarifying what may seem confusing, and insolvable actually offers some hope and concrete solutions to many. This book is written in a straight-forward and clear manner.

Autism Answer Book transitions between issues in childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. This is a useful resource/guide to be referred to on a daily basis, and in the forthcoming years. There are many autism realities facing parents today. The Autism Answer Book will educate,illuminate,and create a positive light into the questions that continue to overwhelm many parents today.
Posted by Lea Schizas - Author/Editor at 9:48 AM 0 comments
Friday, August 28, 2009
Donation to the Pat Roberts Center

Finally we have a picture to go with our post. During this summer's first of many more to come AUPTIMISM Walkathon, Litsa and I were proud to have raised $3,700 and presented to the Pat Roberts Center.

The weather had cooperated with us, many showed up - we estimated around 200 people - music and free food supplied by our big sponsor IGA rounded our first walkathon to the 'success' rating.

We're now in the process of preparing for our next walkathon so please stay tuned for information.

We'd like to thank everyone who took part - from our amazing and very generous sponsors, our on-site guests, our fabulous DJ, and to all our wonderful participants who came with their families to spend the day walking, dancing, eating, and mingling and making new friends.

Thank you is not enough. We hope to see many of you next year once again.
Posted by Lea Schizas - Author/Editor at 5:16 PM 0 comments
Labels: 2009 walkathon
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Autism Awareness Walkathon Part One

What can we say...truly humbled and grateful to have seen so many people show up for our first annual Autism Awareness AUPTIMISM Walkathon. We had over 200 people, and the weather smiled on us that day.

As you can see the front of our T-shirts holds our logo - a heart with a missing piece. The reason is: Our children are the heart of our hearts and we're continuously striving to find that missing puzzle piece.

Over the next week we'll give you a chronological play by play of the day's event to give you a better idea of the behind the scenes action and to bring this awesome picturesque day before you.

Let's start off first with the planning. Many told us there is no way we'd get a walkathon ready for this year. Takes over a year to plan. And you know what? They're a sense. This year we wanted to bring families together to get to know us so there was no need for the grandeur display you might see in other walkathons. We simply wanted families to meet/mingle/and talk to each other, meet various centers and therapists, walk with us, and have a great time. These aspects we accomplished according to the feedback from parents.

This day, however, would never have happened with such a low budget we had to work with if it wasn't for our amazing sponsors who truly stepped in and helped us in so many ways. You can see the list of sponsors for our 2009 Walkathon HERE.

Litsa, my partner and co-writer, did an awesome job. Her legs took her all over Montreal, meeting and greeting sponsors, talking up a storm about our cause, picking up and delivering the registration forms, and so much more. This lady I am sure works off an endless supply of EverReady Batteries. LOL! This is why we make a great team because both of us work on different things and never clash nor complain.

So, everything seemed to be going smoothly in the beginning and we were thrilled and finally relaxed enough to uncross our fingers. Maybe we should have kept them crossed. Although we were told that within 2 - 3 weeks we should have our charity registration number, we went ahead with that knowledge and set up our registration forms. Almost 2 months later we called the government office again only to be informed it would take 6-9 months to be assigned an agent. From the whole outline and preparations we had done up to that point, this was the only disappointment. However, misinformation abounds and we chalked this up to a learning opportunity. We immediately made a note on our website that this year's walkathon will be a non-taxable donation. However, we did take everyone's information in the hopes we do get our go-ahead to issue receipts before the 2010 tax month rolls around. Keep reading this block for updates on that.

In-between the preparations for the walkathon, we continued writing our book and offering our first conference with guest speakers at the DDO library, hosted on April 30th. This was a great experience for us because we had the opportunity to meet parents face-to-face for the first time. In April, Litsa and I also visited an elementary school and performed a short skit. It's actually Litsa's and Nia Morfonio's upcoming children's picture book SARAH'S SOCK SCENE, contracted by Guardian Angel Publishing about a young girl who is sensitive to textures...socks in particular. I was the narrator and Litsa played the part of Sarah. Can we tell you the kids had a blast, especially when 'Sarah/Litsa' pulled out these funky furry/balled/colored socks out of my jacket. Everyone - except me - wanted to touch them.

But I've strayed from the Walkathon - more to come in Part Two but before we say goodbye for now Litsa and I want to send out HUGE thank you's to our sponsors, our awesome volunteers, to the centers and therapists/representatives who were present talking with parents, to our DJ and his dancing music to set the mood, and to the children and parents who came out to have a great time with us.

THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts. Please stay tuned for more in Part Two...coming to our blog very soon.
Posted by Lea Schizas - Author/Editor at 11:40 AM 3 comments
Labels: 2009 walkathon, autism awareness
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Testimony from Dr. Bernard Rimland, Ph.D
Came across this interesting article dated 2000 that caused me once again to shake my head and wonder how many more of these testimonials there are out there from doctors who are being ignored.


Do you have an opinion on what Dr. Rimland wrote?
Posted by Lea Schizas - Author/Editor at 1:04 PM 0 comments
Labels: Dr. Rimland, testimonial
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
I Cried!
I'm not sure anymore what year we are living in. Are we that busy we need to isolate children in a chamber? Are we that inhumane we cannot be tolerant and teach along with guide and love these children? When I say 'these children' - apart from the video you will see - I am referring to children in general, the ones who are at risk of dropping out of school, the ones who act out in school. Surely school boards can implement a peer program to involve these kids in some capacity.

It's understandable that not every single child will be a success story, but giving these kids suspensions, making them sit outside the principal's office, or whatever other method used, there has to be a mediator who can speak to them and find out what's troubling them.

As a mom, this video, although nothing much in there, brought tears to my eyes because I visualized the 'jailed' children and thought, "Isn't there another solution?"

I would love to hear what your schools are doing with children, whether they are autistic, disabled in some way, or typical, to include, guide, and educate them.

Posted by Lea Schizas - Author/Editor at 1:33 PM 0 comments