On the Horizon – 05/18/2010

Horizons Developmental Remediation Center

On the Horizon
On the Horizon

Welcome to “On the Horizon”

Issue 108: Prioritizing Needs and Treatments for Children with Autism

the Horizon
is an award winning
weekly ezine for parents of children with developmental disabilities
who want simple, effective strategies to reduce stress, support their
child’s development, and improve quality of life for the whole family.

keep receiving On the Horizon,
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In This Issue

A Note from Nicole: Great Time at Autism Speaks Walk

Idea of the Week:  Dirt Cake

Feature Article: Prioritizing Needs and Treatments for Children with Autism

The Horizons Team Recommends:  Learning as We Grow; Extreme
Makeover: Autism Education Workshop

NEW! Allergen-Free Recipe of the Week: Fabulous Fish Cakes

NEW! Allergen-Free
Product of the Month: Gluten Free Dreams Pancake Mix

Upcoming Events: Summer CAMPS; Workshops/Conferences

A Note From Nicole
Nicole Beurkens

Hi Everyone,

A group of us from the office had a great time in Chicago this weekend at the Autism Speaks walk held at Soldier Field.  We had the opportunity to talk with many families and professionals, and the kids enjoyed all the carnival games and activities available.  I know there are lots of different opinions about the organization Autism Speaks, but regardless of what you think about them it was wonderful to see thousands of people coming together to support individuals with autism and their families.  The beautiful weather was a bonus, too!

A couple of reminders for this week:

1) If you are considering signing your child up for one of our Summer CAMPS, please make sure you register soon.  Some of the weeks are filling up quickly and the deadline to register is coming up the first week of June.  Go to our summer camps page to get information and to register.
2) Extreme Makeover: Autism Education Edition Workshop is returning to Grand Rapids this summer August 4-6.  If you are a parent or professional interested in learning how to support students with autism to reach their highest potential – without added time, energy, or materials – this event is for you!  Get all the details now at www.ExtremeMakeoverAutism.com.  Remember – if you register by May 31st you can use the coupon EMO2010 to save $300 on your registration at the checkout.

Here’s to a great week! 

Looking to the horizon,

Idea of the Week

Dirt Cake

Eating dirt may not be the best idea to do, but here is a recipe that makes eating dirt yummy and fun.

Dirt Cake Recipe


1 Kids sand bucket or new 8” flower potLet's Make a Dirt Cake!
1 ½ – 2 lbs of chocolate sandwich cookies
8 oz of cream cheese
1 cup of powdered sugar
½ stick of softened butter
3 ½ cups of milk
2 sm. Packaged of instant vanilla or french vanilla pudding
12 oz of whip cream

Cream together cream cheese, powdered sugar, and softened butter.

Mix 3 ½ cups milk and instant pudding for 2 minutes and then add 12 oz of whip cream.

Add pudding mixture to creamed mixture.

Place chocolate sandwich cookies in a large zipper plastic bag and crush to desired dirt like texture with a rolling pin.

Put 1 ½ inches of crushed cookie crumbs on the bottom of the bucket or aluminum foil lined flower pot and layer the pudding mixture and crumbs. End with pudding mixture. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Just before serving, add 1 more inch of cookie crumbs and decorate with gummi worms, gummi bugs, and/or plastic flowers.

Serve using a toy shovel or small trowel.


Feature Article

Prioritizing Needs and Treatments for Children with Autism

By: Nicole Beurkens, M.Ed.

HomeworkI recently had a parent refer to the many needs of her daughter in this way: “It’s like there are three floors of the house burning! Where do we start and which level do we fight the fire on first?” This provides an excellent visual metaphor for determining priorities in treatment.

When a child has autism, or another neurodevelopmental disorder, there are many areas of need to consider. The pervasive nature of the diagnosis leaves little unscathed in terms of development and functioning. The extent to which each area of functioning is impacted varies, but it’s safe to say that all children on the spectrum are affected by their autism in numerous areas. There are communication problems, social interaction problems, restricted behaviors, rigid thinking, and other issues that come from having the core deficits of autism. Then, for many kids on the spectrum, there are the co-occurring problems to address such as impulsivity, feeding problems, sensory processing problems, motor deficits, academic problems, and more. The list can go on and on depending on the child and it can, indeed, feel like all three floors of the house are burning.

Once you have carefully and thoroughly identified the conditions and areas of functioning that require treatment, the question becomes what to treat, when to treat it, and how to treat it. The pervasive nature of these disorders is the equivalent of a house that burning from a fire that started in the foundation. There are a few options to consider when making these decisions.

Read more …

The Horizons Team Recommends

Extreme Makeover

Extreme Makeover: Autism Education Edition Workshop


August 4-6 • 2010 Grand Rapids, MI

Put together the
soaring increase in children diagnosed with autism and related
impairments, a group of dedicated educators seeking solutions to the
challenges they face daily, a team of been-in-the-trenches experts,
three days of amazing content and hands-on experience, and what do you

An amazing 3-day
workshop that will transform how you understand and educate students
with autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders.

here for workshop details!

Learning as we Grow

Learning as we Grow

You’ve Been Asking For It – The Resource for Applying Principles of Remediation in School Settings is Finally Here!

This long-awaited book is written for parents and
professionals who want to be more effective in their work with students
who have neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism.

You will learn how to:

  • Identify the core features of neurodevelopmental disorders
    that create communication, learning, and relationship challenges for your students
  • Shift from a mindset of working around deficits
    (compensation) to correcting the root issues that create obstacles for
    your students (remediation)
  • Modify your communication to promote your students’
    communication and thinking abilities
  • Identify the unique strengths and obstacles of each student
    in order to determine appropriate placement and programming
  • Achieve meaningful outcomes for students that allow them to
    reach their greatest potential
For more
information, click here
NEW! Allergen-Free Recipe of the Week

Fabulous Fish Cakes

Adapted from: Cooking Up a Storm, Dairy Farmers of Canada (Ontario)

Whether you have just started a special diet with your child or you have been following one for years, it can be difficult to come up with what to serve. We decided to try to make that just a bit easier by providing you with a new allergen free recipe each week. While it is impossible to meet every person’s unique food sensitivity needs, we hope you will find these recipes helpful and delicious. Please feel free to adapt the recipes to meet your needs and taste buds; we do it all the time. In addition to the weekly recipes, we will be highlighting a specific allergen free product of the month. Enjoy!

Get the Fish Cakes Recipe …

NEW! Allergy-Free Product of the Month
Allergen Free Products

Gluten Free Dreams Pancake Mix (plain or chocolate chip)

Get this pancake mix and other allergen-free products at CherrybrookKitchen.com.

Upcoming Events

Please join us!

  • AutismOne & Generation Rescue Conference
    – Chicago
    May 28-30, 2010
  • Summer CAMPS – Red, White, & Blue
    (ages 4-7 morning  & ages 8-12 afternoon)
    June 28 – July 1
  • Summer CAMPS – Let’s Make Music
    (ages 4-7 morning  & ages 8-12 afternoon)
    July 12 – 15
  • Summer CAMPS – All About Pets
    (ages 4-7 morning  & ages 8-12 afternoon)
    July 26 – 29
  • Summer CAMPS – Fun in the Sun
    (ages 4-7 morning  & ages 8-12 afternoon)
    August 9 – 12
  • Summer ProgramCollaborate and Create: Session 1
    Ages 11-18, 9am-12pm, Tues & Thurs
    June 29, July 1-15
  • Summer ProgramCollaborate and Create:
    Session 2
    Ages 11-18, 9am-12am, Mon-Weds, 9am-1pm Thurs
    July 26 – 29
  • Extreme
    Autism Education Edition
    August 4-6, 2010

the Horizon

is a weekly ezine for parents of children with developmental
disabilities who want simple, effective strategies to reduce stress,
support their child¹s development, and improve quality of life
for the whole family.

Our mailing address is:
Horizons Developmental Remediation Center
3120 68th Street SE
Caledonia, MI  49316

Our telephone:
(616) 698-0306

Our email address:

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