On the Horizon – 03/06/13

Welcome to "On the Horizon"

Issue 215:
Experience Sharing Communication

On 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.

To keep receiving On the Horizon, please add the email address "nicolebeurkens@horizonsdrc.com" to your safe address list.

  • A Note from Dr. Beurkens
  • Feature Article:
    Experience Sharing Communication
  • Ask the Horizons Team
  • Upcoming Events
  • Recommended Resources

Hi Everyone!

I’ve been having fun this past week looking at color swatches and working on design plans for the new clinic space. I really enjoy interior design but don’t get much time to spend on that hobby. However, new additions call for new paint, furniture, and design! We are looking forward to showing our in-person and virtual communities the finished space sometime in April. In the meantime we continue to watch the construction unfold daily.

This week’s feature article by Erin is a really important one on communication style. Using experience-sharing communication makes a profound difference in so many areas of functioning for people who have autism and any other neurodevelopmental disorder. The reality is that we all use primarily experience-sharing communication with everyone in our lives all day long. However, when engaging with kids and adults who have neurodevelopmental issues we resort to commands and demands that rob them of opportunities to think, communicate, and engage on a higher level. I challenge you to read the article and think about small experience-sharing shifts you can make in your communication today.

One last reminder for local families – Sibshop is happening THIS SATURDAY! If you haven’t signed the kids up yet, you’ve only got a couple of days left to do that. Call our office for details or to register.

Make it a great week!

Looking to the horizon,

Experience Sharing Communication

By Erin Roon, MA CCC-SLP

SharingTake a moment to read this short conversation between a mother and son. As you read, think about what is being communicated. Are you able to get a picture in your head?

"Hey mom, you’ll never believe this! I saw a baby turtle in the road."

"Really, I wonder how big it was."

Click here to read the rest of this article…


My family eats a gluten-free diet and we also stay away from artificial and refined sugars. Our kids’ behavior is much better and we all physically feel better as a result of eating this way! I’ve got some tried-and-true recipes, but would like to find some new ones to branch out. I know you use nutrition principles in your practice, so I thought you might be able to recommend some recipe books or resources for me to check out.

Thanks – Nancy in Providence, RI


Hi Nancy,

I’m so glad you find that your son and family benefit from better nutrition! This can be such an important factor for many of our patients and their families. Here are some of the newer resources we are using and recommending:

Nourishing Meals: Health Gluten-Free Recipes for the Whole Family
By: Alissa Segersten and Tom Malterre
(Even though the title says "gluten-free", this book is full of recipes that can be used for people with many other dietary restrictions.)

Practical Paleo: A Customized Approach to Health and a Whole-Foods Lifestyle
By: Diane Sanfilippo, Bill Staley, and Robb Wolf

Everyday Paleo Family Cookbook: Real Food for Real Life
By: Sarah Fragoso

100 Days of Real Food Blog – great ideas for improving health and nutrition; including recipes and shopping tips!

I hope you find these resource helpful. Happy cooking and eating!

Take Care,
Dr. Beurkens

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Upcoming Events


Saturday March 9, 2013

We feel strongly that as part of our family-focused mission we need to attend to the needs of all of your children, not just the ones with disabilities. Siblings of children with autism or other disabilities have their own unique needs and experiences, and we will be using the renowned Sibshop model that is designed to provide them with support, education, and fun.

RESERVE YOUR SPOT TODAY by emailing our office info@horizonsdrc.comor by calling us at (616) 698-0306.


Hear Dr. Beurkens Speak

Upcoming dates and locations where Nicole Beurkens, PhD will be speaking:

Autism and Other Neurodevelopmental Disorders: Practical Strategies to Improve Processing

April 10, 2013 in Tarrytown, NY

April 11, 2013 in Plainview, NY

April 12, 2013 in Manhattan, NY


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