Milestones Magazine Late Summer 2022

Helping Individuals with Disabilities & their Families Achieve & Celebrate Events & Milestones in their Lives

Helping Individuals with Disabilities & their Families Achieve & Celebrate Events & Milestones in their Lives


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eyond disabilities<br />

<strong>Late</strong> <strong>Summer</strong> Issue <strong>2022</strong><br />

ON THE GO<br />

travel for people with<br />




What on Earth is<br />

Sensory Integration?<br />

Play with Me<br />

Nature Calls<br />

Temper Temper

ON THE COVER 15<br />

ON THE GO<br />

travel for people with<br />

03 What on Earth is<br />

Sensory Integration?<br />



07 Picture Perfect<br />

09 Get the Words Out<br />

11 Play with Me<br />

13 Nature Calls<br />

Publisher<br />

Susie Redfern is the parent of a young<br />

adult on the Autism Spectrum.<br />

17 Special Needs Alliance<br />

She developed <strong>Milestones</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong><br />

to help individuals with disabilities<br />

and their families achieve and celebrate<br />

19 Life in the Green Zone<br />

21 Temper Temper<br />

events and milestones in their lives.<br />

info@milestonesmagazine.net<br />

<strong>Milestones</strong><strong>Magazine</strong>.net<br />

LATE SUMMER <strong>2022</strong><br />


What on Earth is<br />



As the parent of two children with autism, the term “sensory integration” is<br />

not new to me. My older son, never experienced the social and/or cognitive<br />

challenges that seriously impacted his ability to navigate his world independently,<br />

so was never diagnosed with autism. However, his sensory issues came out often.<br />

As a preschooler, he would climb up playground activities very cautiously. He had<br />

difficulties with handwriting. Those are the two biggest issues I remember about<br />

him during his early school years.<br />

Having heard that term frequently during my children’s school years doesn’t<br />

necessarily mean that I know what the term means. To provide the how, what,<br />

why, and wherefore about Sensory Integration, I am pleased to introduce Lillian<br />

Chen-Byerley, MS, OTR/L, C/NDT, RCTC, an Occupational Therapist with<br />

Senseable Kids.<br />

“Although sensory integration dysfunction (DSI) has been around since<br />

1954 when A. Jean Ayres Ph.D. pioneered and researched this topic, few<br />

have truly understood the depth of which her theory encompassed. Present-day<br />

neuroscience continues to expand and support the neurobiological meaning<br />

which I hope to summarize here. Thus, the term sensory integration is based on<br />

the work of Dr. Ayres to describe the theory and the intervention; whereas, a new<br />

nosology is used to describe the diagnostic category of this disorder known as<br />

sensory processing disorder (SPD).<br />

Dr. Ayres sought out initially to identify how poor processing of sensory<br />

stimuli affected the child, resulting in atypical motor, social/emotional, and<br />

functional patterns of behavior. These behaviors were hypothesized to interfere<br />

with end product competencies in speech/language, attention, and motor.<br />


Definition:<br />

Widely recognized as A. Jean Ayres’ definition of sensory integration.<br />

“-<br />

changing pattern.<br />

A Jean Ayres, 1989<br />

Sensory integration is the neurological process that<br />

organizes sensations from one’s body and from the<br />

environment and makes it possible to use the body to<br />

make adaptive responses within the environment. To do<br />

this, the brain must register, select, interpret, compare,<br />

and associate sensory information in a flexible, constantly<br />

Simply said, sensory integration is the relatedness of one to others, one to<br />

their environment, and one’s ability to adjust oneself to function within the<br />

environment with oneself, others, and objects within it.<br />

Sensory Systems:<br />

Ayres’ theory and intervention are based on categorizing seven neurosensory<br />

systems and the relationship of each with one another. Alfred Tomatis, MD,<br />

also developed his framework similarly identifying the same basic systems as<br />

Ayres. Current neuroscience research continues to verify and confirm these<br />

sensory systems as:<br />


Vestibular:<br />

Known to be one of the first sensory organs completed in utero, this system provides us with<br />

information to help detect and process our sense of movement, the pull of earth’s gravity, and<br />

position in space. “A well-modulated vestibular activity is very important for maintaining a<br />

calm, alert state. The vestibular system also helps keep the level of arousal of the nervous<br />

system balanced. An under-active vestibular system contributes to hyperactivity and<br />

distractibility because of its modulating influence.” A. Jean Ayres Ineffective processing of<br />

this system may lead to sensory-based motor disorder or sensory modulation disorder.<br />

Tactile:<br />

As it sounds, this system is responsible for our sense of touch. The tactile system addresses<br />

the surface area of our body including the skin, hair, hands, feet, and oral motor cavity.<br />

Ineffective processing of this system leads to sensory discrimination disorder or sensory<br />

modulation disorder.<br />

Proprioception:<br />

This system allows one to process information and gain information from our internal sense<br />

which comes from our joints and muscles. One could say this system is a necessary foundation<br />

for muscle memory. Generally, problems in the area are associated with tactile and/or<br />

vestibular issues which lead to sensory modulation and sensory-based motor disorder.<br />

Auditory:<br />

This system serves as the sensory integrator of two basic systems within the ear (vestibular and<br />

cochlear) and is responsible for 90% of our brain’s processing, Sixty percent of the stimuli to<br />

the brain originate from the bones, joints, and muscles through the vestibular system, while<br />

the remaining forty percent is from the sound processed through the cochlea. Since the brain<br />

needs stimuli to be nourished, the stimuli and significance of it from the ear is the perception<br />

of different sound wave frequencies.<br />


Visual:<br />

This system is now known to be reflective of auditory processing and therefore, it is the ability<br />

to perceive and make sense of spatial orientation and direction (vertical vs. horizontal), color,<br />

shape, assess the intensity of light, process form, etc.<br />

Olfactory & Gustatory:<br />

This system is responsible for our sense of smells, odors, and tastes, and measures the<br />

intensity of them. Often we find that individuals who seek excessive salt, sweetness, or hot<br />

spice are under-reactive, while people who tolerate only very bland or have a limited<br />

repertoire of foods are overly reactive. Likewise, some demonstrate difficulty with smells<br />

which may result in nausea or emesis.<br />

Dr. Ayres further established four categories in the 1960s to classify and refine specific<br />

sensory manifestations as seen by sensory modulation dysfunction (SMD), developmental<br />

dyspraxia, bilateral integration dysfunction, and generalized dysfunction (a combination<br />

of all areas). The SPD<br />

global umbrella<br />

identifies three primary<br />

diagnostic categories<br />

as sensory modulation<br />

disorder, sensory<br />

discrimination disorder,<br />

and sensory-based<br />

motor disorder.<br />

Sensory modulation<br />

dysfunction (SMD) is<br />

the ability one has to take in sensory sensations be it auditory, visual, gustatory, olfactory, or<br />

tactile stimuli, by interpreting what it is and filtering what is important while ignoring what is<br />

not by inhibiting that sensation. Often, as seen in the Today Show video, children with SMD<br />

are unable to process information to cause them to have ineffective sensory modulators.<br />

Examples that are often reported may be being unable to tolerate smells from the lunch room,<br />

intolerance for noise such as that of other children or fireworks/vacuum cleaners, being<br />

unable to move without fear or feeling nauseous, clothes that are intolerable, craving<br />

bumping and crashing into things/people. Or, perhaps the opposite is observed where the<br />

child does not seem cuddly or recognize when they are hurt, does not seem to hear auditory<br />

information, or will not sit still. Often one may hear this being described as being<br />

over-reactive or under-reactive.” M<br />


“I combined my two passions in life:<br />

special needs children and photography.”<br />

Most families, over the years, fill photo albums with pictures of their children.<br />

Some also go through the ritual of formal photography sessions, from time to<br />

time. Outcomes of these sessions can be unpredictable for any family,<br />

and sometimes even more so for children who have special<br />

needs (sensory, cognitive, physical, etc.).<br />

Many photographers don’t have much experience<br />

with these circumstances, but some specialize<br />

with these families. One such business is<br />

PhotoFab in Deerfield IL.<br />

I am pleased to introduce Photo Fab’s<br />

owner, Fabiana (a special education<br />

teacher and therapist before turning<br />

to photography) to tell us how a bit<br />

(generally) about how she shapes photo<br />

sessions for families with challenges to<br />

make them picture perfect.<br />

_____________________________________<br />

Picture Perfect<br />

“I’d love to have our family photos taken but<br />

my child won’t look at the camera and follow<br />

directions”<br />

“He/she is always chewing on a shirt, looking at the<br />

IPad, spinning…”<br />

“It’s painful to see other neurotypical kids’s beautiful graduation photos,<br />

knowing that my child is not able to have them…”<br />

“We once had a professional photo shoot and<br />

the photographer kept getting frustrated<br />

because my child wouldn’t cooperate…”<br />

Sounds familiar? Yes, I’ve heard it all a<br />

million times during my 30 plus years of<br />

working as a Special Education teacher<br />

and therapist.<br />


There is a gap and a need for photographers that are<br />

familiar with the particular needs of this community,<br />

someone who not only has the expertise in taking beautiful<br />

images but also understands what’s in front of them,<br />

someone who won’t ask for what’s impossible but<br />

instead make magic with what’s available.<br />

This is exactly why I decided to combine my two passions<br />

in life: special needs children and photography.<br />

I became certified by “Special Needs Photographers of<br />

America” and started Photofab Photography, specializing<br />

in these wonderful children and their families.<br />

My sessions are child-led; by that I mean that I<br />

customize the session to each particular child<br />

and his/ her specific needs.<br />

Prior to the session I conduct a lengthy<br />

interview with the parents in order to get<br />

as much information as possible. I want to<br />

know what the condition is, physical<br />

limitations, preferred items and activities,<br />

places, songs, snacks, etc. Is the child<br />

happiest while in front of a screen? organizing<br />

toys? dancing? swimming? jumping? Most<br />

importantly I also want to know what are absolute<br />

dislikes that will cause the child to lose interest and<br />

cooperation or become over stimulated. I like to<br />

provide parents with a social book for non-verbal<br />

kids so they can read and prepare for the<br />

photoshoot, this seems to help with anxiety<br />

and answer any questions they may have.<br />

During the sessions I usually bring with me a<br />

number of props and tricks to make them fun<br />

and memorable.<br />

My work can be seen on my website at:<br />

photofabphotography.com and my Facebook<br />

page at: Facebook.com/Photofabart<br />

I can be reached by phone at: 757-589-0306. M<br />


Language can be a complicated matter.<br />

People often can say the wrong thing;<br />

the expression “that came out wrong”<br />

is probably said daily by someone in the<br />

world. Words matter.<br />

Thank you for taking the time<br />

to read this article. There are so<br />

many ways that we communicate.<br />

Some are easily understood and<br />

others, not so much! But one thing<br />

is for sure, whatever mode you<br />

For some folks, however, they have<br />

difficulty saying anything, for a variety<br />

are using, a speech-language<br />

pathologist (speech therapist) is<br />


What’s Your Mode?<br />

of reasons. Their difficulties fall within<br />

the scope of speech-language<br />

pathologists (commonly referred to<br />

as speech therapists).<br />

available to help you or your<br />

child be understood. There are<br />

many modes of communication.<br />

Do you know what mode you<br />

use? Children and adults<br />

I am pleased to introduce Lisa Morris,<br />

Speech-Language Pathologist<br />

and Clinical Director of Pediatric<br />

Interactions, to tell us a little about<br />

what situations they find among<br />

patients at their clinic and how they<br />

communicate verbally by<br />

speaking much of the time.<br />

We even use non-verbal<br />

communication such as facial<br />

expressions, body language,<br />

and gestures.<br />

help these children get the word(s) out.<br />

Here is her article, in its entirety.<br />


Some verbal communicators come to us for help with the<br />

sound production, speech fluency, or voicing concerns due<br />

to hearing loss or a medical diagnoses. But there are many<br />

communicators who don’t communicate verbally at all.<br />

That is where we (Speech-Language Pathologists) come<br />

in. It is our job to find the mode of communication that<br />

works best for each child (or adult). This can be through<br />

pictures, picture exchange, picture sequencing,<br />

augmentative and alternative communication (AAC)<br />

such as a communication application on a computer or<br />

We demonstrate the expectations and model everything<br />

we want them to be doing (verbal, non-verbal, picture use,<br />

AAC, gestures, signs). As they start to develop skills such<br />

as increasing their vocabulary, we begin modeling words in<br />

combination, introducing new vocabulary, and establishing<br />

compliance with instructions. All these skills lead to more<br />

independent communication. We begin using exclamatory<br />

phrases, animal and environmental sounds, and facial<br />

expressions to add more of an impact to what we<br />

are saying.<br />

iPad, signing, and even use of objects for self-expression.<br />

Beyond Toddlers: Functional communication and<br />

Over the past 30 years, it has been my pleasure to help<br />

many families with a variety of<br />

communication complexities.<br />

Our little 0-3-year olds, they<br />

independence is where we are leading our children. We<br />

begin teaching communication skills<br />

as they relate to play activities,<br />

events, community outings, and<br />

Lisa Morris<br />

Speech-Language<br />

Pathologist and<br />

Clinical Director of<br />

Pediatric Interactions<br />

communicate too! They cry different<br />

cries and they use non-verbal<br />

communication. When something<br />

interferes with this communicative process, we jump in.<br />

We support the families in learning how to identify those<br />

signs of communication and move toward developing<br />

functional patterns of communication.<br />

other social interactions. It is<br />

important that we allow our children<br />

to communicate beyond our own<br />

little circle in the family and help them to communicate<br />

with extended family, friends, and community members.<br />

Using their own mode of communication, we help by<br />

working with children in those special environments that<br />

help bridge the gap between single person communication<br />

Babbling to your babies, imitating their babbling, playing<br />

and group communication skills.<br />

peek-a-boo and a host of other activities help engage your<br />

infant in communication.<br />

If you have communication questions, reach out to a<br />

speech-language pathologist near you. They are speaking<br />

Toddlers: As our kids move through a variety of<br />

your child’s language! M<br />

developmental stages, we are looking for that curiosity,<br />

exploring, taking things apart, and/or asking “what’s this?”<br />

So what do we do when these things aren’t happening?<br />


Play<br />

with<br />

Me<br />

The Basics of Play Therapy<br />

One of the mainstays of early childhood education is the saying<br />

“Children Learn Through Play”. That is true. But not only can they<br />

learn through play, they can also heal through play. Play therapy<br />

has grown up around that fact.<br />

The requirements to become a<br />

Registered Play Therapist:<br />

- Independently licensed in your state of<br />

practice as a LPC*, LCSW** or LMFT***<br />

- Completed at least 150 Continuing<br />

I have pulled information from the website of Wilson’s Garden<br />

of Hope, where Shatisha M. Wilson, LPC, CPC-S, RPT-S, a<br />

registered play therapist-supervisor, serves as Executive<br />

Education hours in Play Therapy training.<br />

- Completed at least 35 hours of clinical<br />

supervision with a Registered Play<br />

Director. This will give a quick overview of what a Registered<br />

Play Therapist does and the qualifications for that position,<br />

Therapy Supervisor.<br />

M<br />

paraphrasing the website’s page.<br />

*Licensed Professional Counselor<br />

**Licensed Clinical Social Worker<br />

Wilson’s Garden of Hope, LLC Play Therapy & Counseling Center<br />

***Licensed Marital & Family Therapist<br />

uses play therapy, which according to research, helps making<br />

children feel comfortable and safe enough to express their<br />

concerns and helps them handle most social, emotional, and<br />

behavioral problems.<br />

Wilson’s Garden of Hope has an in-house Registered Play<br />

Therapy Supervisor and 2 additional clinicians pursuing their<br />

certification in play.<br />



Many activities present difficulties for children (and adults) with<br />

sensory or physical challenges. But perhaps none more than using<br />

public outdoor areas such as playgrounds and nature areas. Schools,<br />

park districts, and other entities across the country have addressed<br />

these concerns. One such organization is the Four Rivers<br />

Environmental Education Center in Channahon IL.<br />

The district offers a wide variety of<br />

educational and recreational programs<br />

including virtual programs that are<br />

presented online via Zoom webinars.<br />

All programs are listed on the Event<br />

Calendar at ReconnectWithNature.org.<br />

Four Rivers Environmental Education Center is part of the Forest<br />

Preserve District of Will County. It was named a Certified Autism<br />

Center in 2020 and now features an All-Persons Trail.<br />

For more information, please contact<br />

the public information officer:<br />

Cindy Cain<br />

815-722-5370<br />

The trail has five interactive, multisensory display panels, and<br />

ccain@fpdwc.org M<br />

visually or cognitively impaired visitors can use handheld audio units<br />

to provide trail narration. Participants can stop for an activity at each<br />

interpretive panel. The All-Persons Trail includes tactile paving, which<br />

lets visually impaired visitors know when to stop for an interpretive<br />

panel, and tactile signs for guests who learn best by touch.<br />

Four Rivers also will be offering Sensory Sunday programs on<br />

Sept. 4 and Oct. 30 for those with sensory processing needs. The<br />

building will only be open to registered participants at this time.<br />

Call 815-722-9470 to register.<br />

In addition to Four Rivers, the Forest Preserve owns Isle a la<br />

Cache Museum in Romeoville, Plum Creek Nature Center in<br />

Crete Township, and the recently purchased Hidden Oaks Nature<br />

Center in Bolingbrook.<br />


M<br />


ON THE GO<br />

travel for people with<br />



For people with physical, cognitive, sensory, or other conditions (and the rest of<br />

us, for that matter), life can be challenging and travel even more so. There are a<br />

number of travel agencies that focus on people with divergent abilities.<br />

One such company is Wheel the World. I came upon their booth at Ability Expo<br />

in Schaumburg. I am pleased to share their article about accessible travel.<br />

Wheel the World<br />

Makes Accessible Travel<br />

Worry-Free<br />


There’s nothing worse than arriving at a<br />

hotel after a long travel day and being told the<br />

accessible room you booked is no longer<br />

available. Or have you ever been in a situation<br />

where you’ve booked an accessible room only to<br />

As a result, Wheel the World was born and<br />

assists travelers with booking accessible<br />

vacations to over 140 destinations worldwide.<br />

“We have a clear belief and purpose to make<br />

the world accessible,” says Alvaro.<br />

learn that it doesn’t meet your accessibility needs?<br />

These issues are way too common and are an<br />

example of some of the challenges travelers face.<br />

Through Wheel the World’s website, users can<br />

create custom accessibility profiles allowing<br />

Wheel the World to recommend listings that<br />

Wheel the World’s mission is to make the world<br />

more accessible. They strive to make travel<br />

worry-free by providing travelers with reliable<br />

accessibility information, comprehensive<br />

planning, and personalized support before and<br />

during their trips. Founded by Alvaro Silberstein<br />

and his lifelong friend Camilo Navarro, Wheel<br />

the World was inspired by a 2016 trip to Torres<br />

del Paine National Park in Chile. This journey<br />

felt impossible after a car accident left Silberstein<br />

paralyzed from the waist down. Organizing an<br />

accessible trip to Torres del Paine was no easy<br />

are compatible with their travel aspirations<br />

and personal accessibility needs. Using the<br />

Accessibility Mapping System (AMS) volunteer<br />

“mappers” crowdsource real-time information<br />

on more than 200 data points including<br />

wheelchair accessibility, transportation logistics,<br />

bed height, room width, braille signage<br />

availability, adaptive equipment requirements,<br />

and more. Travelers can also view detailed<br />

photos of places to stay showcasing the<br />

property’s accessibility. There is no fee for<br />

travelers to access this information.<br />

feat. After lots of extended research, contacting<br />

multiple tour operators, and researching a<br />

special wheelchair, the duo realized it was<br />

possible. An accessible wheelchair called a Jolette<br />

(used for difficult terrain) could be used to<br />

navigate the park.<br />

The company’s travel experts also work<br />

directly with customers to plan and customize<br />

their travel experiences in addition to aiding<br />

with securing accessible transportation during<br />

their vacation.<br />

After meticulous planning, the trek occurred,<br />

and the experience went viral. Alvaro and<br />

Camilo soon received numerous requests from<br />

travelers around the world to assist with booking<br />

accessible trips.<br />

In addition to providing places to stay,<br />

Wheel the World offers a variety of accessible<br />

things to do, multi-day trips, and group tours.<br />

No travelers are excluded, as the company<br />

caters to travelers of all ages and abilities.<br />

Mark Zuckerberg, Founder of Meta even shared<br />

To plan your next accessible vacation, head to<br />

the story during a global meeting.<br />

www.wheeltheworld.com<br />

M<br />


Special<br />

Needs Alliance<br />

R<br />

R<br />

R<br />

Maximize &<br />

Preserve<br />

Benefits<br />

Protect<br />

Assets<br />

Assure<br />

Families who have a child with challenges, be they<br />

physical, cognitive, sensory, social/emotional, or<br />

some other kind, are often in search of resources to<br />

address whatever issues their child is having. One<br />

of the biggest needs for families who have a child<br />

with more complicated and involved issues is to get<br />

their financial and legal affairs in order to help and<br />

provide for their child’s long-term (especially after<br />

they’re no longer a resource for their child in<br />

person). Not every lawyer and financial planner<br />

have the knowledge, training, and skills to help<br />

such families. How do these families find the<br />

resources they need?<br />

Lifelong Care<br />


One resource to address this is the Special Needs Alliance. I am<br />

pleased to introduce Carole Cukell Neff, “One of only two New<br />

Orleans members of the national Special Needs Alliance, a<br />

blue-ribbon organization of professionals who service the legal<br />

needs of people with disabilities”, to tell you more about this<br />

organization and how it helps families find special needs”<br />

lawyers and financial planners. Ms. Neff has added<br />

the following:<br />

and drafting the Trust, securing and<br />

maintaining the public benefits for a<br />

personal injury/medical malpractice victim,<br />

securing governmental approval of Special<br />

Needs Trusts, and resolving third-party and<br />

government claims and liens against<br />

settlement proceeds. SNA attorney<br />

services can include estate planning for<br />

family members, including the drafting<br />

Special Needs Alliance (SNA) is made up of attorneys who<br />

understand the difficulties faced by individuals and their<br />

families with regard to Disability and Public Benefits Law. The<br />

of Wills and Trusts tailored for special<br />

needs, as well as representation in the<br />

Probate Court.<br />

SNA was born out of a collective belief that individuals with<br />

special needs have a right to representation that considers the<br />

added dimension of their quality of life. The SNA works to<br />

protect the financial future of these individuals and their<br />

families. The SNA’s mission is to assist clients in locating<br />

experienced disability and public benefits attorneys in their<br />

area and to assist other professionals and settlement companies<br />

and personal injury and medical malpractice matters involving<br />

clients with special needs.<br />

As attorneys in the fields of Disability and<br />

Public Benefits Law, SNA members help<br />

to enhance your child’s quality of life by<br />

employing resources and legal expertise<br />

to assist with the maintenance of public<br />

benefits for your child and to the<br />

development of effective estate plans<br />

that protect your assets.”<br />

The SNA understands that disability and public benefits laws<br />

provide opportunities for abuse and mismanagement that may<br />

threaten the financial futures of individuals with special needs.<br />

These could include the loss of Supplemental Security Income<br />

(SSI), Section 8 Housing, and Medicaid. SNA member attorneys<br />

work to protect these assets and strive to ensure that all<br />

Editor’s Note:<br />

The Special Needs Alliance maintains a<br />

website, www.specialneedsalliance.org,<br />

at which families can get the additional<br />

information and search for a special needs<br />

lawyer in their state. M<br />

potential benefits remain available. This representation can<br />

include determining the advisability of a Special Needs Trust<br />


Life in the<br />

Green Zone<br />

Are You Ready to Experience Greater Well-being?<br />

As the parent of a now-28-year-old on the autism<br />

spectrum, I am well aware, especially in recent years,<br />

of the obstacles placed in his path; including from<br />

vocational rehab services, who focus on providing<br />

ways we can achieve a place of emotional, mental, and spiritual<br />

well-being, which we now call the “Green Zone.” I realized that<br />

without a positive mental and emotional outlook, it was difficult,<br />

if not impossible, to move forward to create the life we desired.<br />

employment/training services only to individuals<br />

who do not need lifetime support and supervision in<br />

the workplace due to their disability. They are not<br />

equipped for folks with mental health issues and/or<br />

the neurologic/sensory issues related to autism and<br />

similar conditions.<br />

In 2010, I started a Non-Profit called Neuroshifts to help young<br />

adults in the autism and neuro-diverse communities achieve the<br />

desired employment outcomes. I found that teaching these young<br />

adults job-ready skills was essential. However, equally if not more<br />

critical to their success was providing information and teaching<br />

them the tools and techniques related to emotional awareness and<br />

I am pleased to introduce Vicky Westra, a fellow<br />

management and how to achieve a positive mental outlook.<br />

parent of a child diagnosed with autism, to give us a<br />

quick overview of her non-profit, called Neuroshifts.<br />

Today, Neuroshifts works with families to help them shift from the<br />

Red Zone to the Green Zone. We offer workshops, courses, a<br />

Are You Ready to Experience<br />

Greater Well-being?<br />

membership program, group coaching programs, and social and<br />

meet-up groups designed to greater well-being for ourselves and<br />

our families. “We are building a community network of families<br />

Today, many individuals and families in the Autism<br />

and Neurodiverse community live in the “Red Zone”<br />

passionate about creating the future they desire and paving the<br />

way for others.”<br />

on our emotional guidance scale. In the Red Zone,<br />

we experience stress and anxiety caused by many<br />

things, including our negative thoughts and beliefs<br />

about our child’s diagnosis, our fear about the future,<br />

and our often-limited opportunities for our child in<br />

If you are ready to live in the Green Zone, we invite you to join<br />

us by going to www.neuro-shifts.org or calling us at (813)251-2787.<br />

We’d love to learn about you and your family and provide the<br />

resources you need to live a Green Zone Life.<br />

meaningful educational opportunities, employment,<br />

and independence.<br />

Vicky Westra<br />

Neuroshifts Founder<br />

As the mother of a child diagnosed with autism at<br />

the age of 4, I know the Red Zone and these<br />

challenges very well. However, I recognized that<br />

staying in the “Red Zone” would not help me or our<br />

daughter achieve the fulfilling and positive future we<br />

Editor’s Note: <strong>Milestones</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> has partnered with Neuroshifts<br />

in an affiliate arrangement. Income received from this will go to the<br />

expenses of publishing the magazine and maintaining the website.<br />

For more details, please email Susie Redfern, <strong>Milestones</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong><br />

desired. My path called me to extensively research<br />

19<br />

publisher, at milestonesmag1@gmail.com or call 630-499-5810.<br />



Affiliates with<br />

Neuroshifts<br />

Neuroshifts<br />

“Neuroshifts’ mission is to guide those in<br />

the Autism and Neurodiverse Community who<br />

are currently feeling stuck or living in a place<br />

of stress and anxiety into a place of mental<br />

well-being.” Courses, coaching, support, and<br />

member community conferences are offered.<br />

Beginning on Sept 8th, <strong>2022</strong>, they will be offering<br />

Launchpad and Lift Off live courses. These courses<br />

are meant for young adults (ages 18 - 29) “who are<br />

ready to achieve their goals and dreams, including<br />

employment, creating healthy relationships, and<br />

moving towards independence”.<br />

Neuroshifts’ Memberships are Affordable!<br />

Neuroshifts:<br />

- Lift Off 8 Sessions<br />

- Launchpad 4 Sessions<br />

- Neuroshifts Coaching/Courses/Social Groups<br />

- Neuroshifts FIGZ Memberships<br />

<strong>Milestones</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> is offering its own Resource Lists as part of the affiliation!<br />

For more information: info@milestonesmagazine.com<br />

<strong>Milestones</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> is pleased to announce our affiliate relationship with Neuroshifts.<br />

Income from this affiliate partnership will go to the expenses of our free online magazine<br />

and website, www.milestonesmagazine.net.

Temper<br />

Temper<br />

Temper<br />

Temper<br />

Just about everyone has trouble keeping their cool from time to<br />

time. Very young children, who are just learning social skills such as<br />

sharing, are developmentally more vulnerable to squabbles and fits<br />

of temper. Pile sensory or neurological conditions such as autism onto<br />

this, and parents and other caregivers can have a very difficult time<br />

indeed (not to mention the children themselves).<br />

Therapists can provide assistance to children and families dealing<br />

with emotional regulation issues. One such therapist is Catherine<br />

Schully, MS, LPC, RPT, a registered play therapist who also has<br />

created a course for parents called Parenting W Play.<br />

I am pleased to welcome Catherine, to tell you a little about play<br />

therapy in general, and her course in particular, and how both help<br />

children, with and without divergent abilities, and their families.<br />

“Hi, my name is Cat and I am a Licensed Professional Counselor and<br />

Registered Play Therapist from Louisiana. I have been working with<br />

children and families for well over 6 years and have found a missing<br />

ingredient in childhood behavioral health.<br />

That Missing Ingredient is YOU!<br />

As a child therapist, I have learned that parents are the best people<br />

to serve as their child’s therapeutic agent! I mean think about it, in<br />

therapy, a child has to build trust and rapport with the clinician<br />

before change can really take place. This is not something you can<br />

force! In my experience, that trust can take 6 months to 1 year to build.<br />

I am as patient as can be and have no problem taking that time with<br />

kids in therapy, but I also understand the frustration parents experience<br />

being stuck at home still dealing with the behavioral problems day<br />

in and day out.<br />


This is why I created my program, Parenting W Play!<br />

I know that parents already have that trust and innate bond with<br />

their children so it just makes sense that they could produce faster<br />

and more long-lasting changes in their child’s ability to regulate<br />

emotions, follow limits, and so much more. I also know that children<br />

communicate and process their words the most effectively using play<br />

because that is their most natural language.<br />

My program is for parents of children between 5 and 10 years old and<br />

consists of 3 courses: Tantrum Tamer, Confident Emotion Regulator,<br />

and Motivated Power Struggle Master.<br />

Tantrum Tamer is an introductory 4-week course where you will<br />

learn skills in emotion coaching and reflective responding that will<br />

help you learn effective strategies for bringing the temperature down<br />

during a temper tantrum as opposed to adding fuel to the fire. By<br />

honing these skills, you may even be able to stop a tantrum in its<br />

tracks before it escalates.<br />

Upon completion of Tantrum Tamer, you will be able to move on to<br />

Confident Emotion Regulator, which is a 6-week course that builds<br />

off of the skills learned in Tantrum Tamer. In this course, you will<br />

fully grasp the importance of serving as the key regulator of your<br />

child’s emotions and how you play a role in helping them learn<br />

how to regulate their emotions on their own.<br />

The final course is Motivated Power Struggle Master, which is<br />

another 6-week course that offers education in appropriate limit<br />

setting that promotes putting your child in the driver’s seat of their<br />

consequences and keeps you from having to be the “bad guy.”<br />

Each course includes using play as a tool to connect with your child<br />

and support their behavioral health development. After all, if you are<br />

not playing with your child, you are not communicating with them!<br />

In the end, you will feel like a totally in-control parent!<br />

For more information, please visit my website: parentingwplay.com” M<br />



Helping Individuals with Disabilities & their Families<br />

Achieve & Celebrate Events & <strong>Milestones</strong> in their Lives<br />

MILESTONES <strong>Magazine</strong> - Sponsorship for an Event Guide<br />

The Event Guide will include information about the event and highlight all the speakers.<br />

Sponsors will be highlighted on socia media and in the Event Guide. A sponsor can sign up for<br />

a full, half, or quarter page; outlined below. Each sponsor will also be included in the program<br />

schedule and receive (as per resource list order form) one or more resource lists, with a license<br />

to freely distribute (sales prohibited) to clients, colleagues, friends, and family.<br />

Our Next Events in September: (Click the name of the event to register.)<br />

Off to College<br />

Virtual Event:<br />

Speaker:<br />

The Event Includes:<br />

September 1, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM Central Standard Time (CST)<br />

Cindy Fisher<br />

Creator of the Smart Steps App, will have a discussion format about<br />

college adaptations for students with divergent abilities.<br />

Protecting Your Child - Special Needs Trust<br />

Virtual Event:<br />

Speaker:<br />

The Event Includes:<br />

September 8, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Central Standard Time (CST)<br />

Deidre Braverman<br />

The founder of Braverman Law Group is hosting a discussion for parents<br />

who have a child with special needs; financial planning is perhaps even more<br />

crucial than it is for other children.<br />

Resources for Inclusive Child Care<br />

Virtual Event:<br />

The Event Includes:<br />

September 10, 11:00 AM - 11:30 AM Central Standard Time (CST)<br />

Showcasing strategies and resources to develop and enhance inclusive infants,<br />

toddlers, preschool, and school-age programs for children with divergent<br />

abilities and their peers.<br />

Clothing Solutions for People with Divergent Abilities<br />

Virtual Event:<br />

Speakers:<br />

The Event Includes:<br />

September 20, 1:00 PM - 1:30 PM Central Standard Time (CST)<br />

Keisha Greaves and Heidi McKenzie<br />

The founders of clothing companies are leading a discussion about clothing<br />

created for people with physical, sensory, coordination, or other challenges.<br />

Currently, we have 1,000+ invitees on our list for these Events!<br />

Sponsorship Opportunities<br />

Please email Susie Redfern at info@milestonesmagazine.net<br />

if you are interested in Sponsoring an Event Guide.<br />


Event and Speakers will be Highlighted<br />


Your Bio, Picture, Logo and Contact Information<br />

Check out our website:<br />

milestonesmagazine.net<br />


Your Bio, Picture, and Contact Information

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