How to Prepare a Child with Autism to Leave the House
By Julius Odtojan


Clearly explain your destination and why you’re going. If you’re taking your child out to the store or park, set their expectations with a structured plan for the day ahead of time. Allowing them to know when, why, and how long in advanced can help ease any anxieties your child may have. Be sure to inform your child if they’ll need to be going on public transportations, communicate with others, and come up with a way for them to let you know when things are beginning to get overwhelming.

•Provide an activity for your child while you’re out. If your child likes to read, allow them to bring a book or two with them to occupy themselves while you’re out shoppi...

7 Sensory-Friendly Places in the Tampa Bay Area for Children with Special Needs
By Julius Odtojan


For families of children with special needs, finding fun places to go can be a nightmare because of loud noises, bright lights, and large crowds. Thankfully, many places have recognized the problem and are now offering sensory-friendly options. Here is a list of 7 sensory-friendly places in the Tampa Bay area for children with special needs.

AMC Theatres

AMC partners with the Autism Society to offer sensory and family friendly movies on the second and fourth Saturday of every month. For specific show times, check your local listings.

Cobb Theatres

Cobb Theatres offers sensory-friendly showings of their own. Once a month they hold a family-friendly showing for kids in a safe environment. All sh...

Parents of Children with Special Needs Fear Police Misunderstandings
By Julius Odtojan

Phil Buck, WTSP


TAMPA, Fla (WTSP) – Video released this week of a North Miami Police officer’s shooting a behavioral therapist while working with someone with autism sent a wave of fear throughout the special needs community.

Families across the country have had what are often difficult discussions with their kids about how to act around police in recent weeks after law enforcement shootings in Baton Rouge and Minnesota, but for people with autism and other special needs those conversations can be even more difficult.

“We, the parents of children with special needs, we’re afraid,” said Yadira Calderon, whose daughter has autism and is writing a boo...

10 Tips for Starting Off the School Year Right
By Julius Odtojan

School is back in session! And we have a feeling this will be your child’s best year yet. Don’t let the summer blues get you or your child down this fall. If your child has autism or behavioral challenges, by following the below tips, you can ensure that this year starts off on the right foot!

1. Prepare your child for the school year. Start talking about school at least two week before school starts. Transitioning from summer vacation to school can be difficult for a lot of children. Going over changes will help avoid confusion when school starts. Talk with your child about the new teacher, the classroom routines, and any additional information that is important for your child.