On the Horizon – 3/28/12

Welcome to “On the Horizon”

Issue 181: I Want, Therefore I Shall Have?

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 Nicole: Participate in Research Project
  • Feature Article:
    I Want, Therefore I Shall Have?
  • Ask the Horizons Team
  • Upcoming Events: Sibshop
  • Recommended Resources

Hi Everyone!

I just returned from a weekend trip to Chicago, where my family and I enjoyed two days of fun together.  The weather was beautiful and we were able to hit all of our favorite eating, shopping, and playing spots.  My middle son bought a new Lego kit for himself at his favorite place in the world – The LEGO Store.  It was quite a large kit so he’d been saving his money for a while.  Somehow he figured out how to work on assembling it in the car and had the entire thing completed on the three-hour ride home! 

Speaking of kids saving up their money to buy things, Michelle’s feature article this week spotlights the importance of raising kids in ways that don’t make them feel entitled.  I see this as a growing problem in our culture, and Michelle provides some good tips for avoiding the pitfalls of entitlement with our children.

If you’re on Facebook and haven’t joined our community on the Horizons Developmental Resource Center fanpage, what are you waiting for?  Hop on over there and “like” our page to join in the conversation at www.facebook.com/HorizonsDRC!

See you back here next week!

Looking to the horizon,

I Want, Therefore I Shall Have?

By Michelle VanderHeide, LLBSW

“I wish you guys would move to the end of the driveway, so I didn’t have to walk so far.” These were the words of a young girl trick or treating at our house this year. It seems that every generation gets just a little worse with this sense of entitlement. What causes this? Maybe because resources were scarce in previous generations, people now have a tendency to spoil their children and themselves because the resources are available – but perhaps not affordable? Credit cards are evidently part of the equation. Whatever the reason, entitlement has become the new trend. What happened to the work ethic, and doing everything you can to support yourself, your family, and your community? It certainly doesn’t help that our media encourages this entitlement behavior.

Well, just because this tends to be the trend, it doesn’t have to be this way for your family. Here are three things you can do to ensure that your child(ren) will not grow up thinking they are entitled to have everything they want:

Click here to read the rest of this article…


A professional just told me that my child has anxiety on top of his autism.  Is this possible?  How do I know when it is happening?

– Parent in Illinois


Dear Parent,

The answer is yes, it is possible.  When thinking about autism and all that is involved with it and other similar neurodevelopmental disorders, we sometimes overlook the possibility of co-occurring conditions like anxiety.  However, anxiety disorders are quite prevalent in children with autism and other neurodevelopmental difficulties.  Anxiety is often overlooked, as many of the behaviors related to anxiety are often thought to be related instead to the autism.  Increased static patterning and self-stimulatory behaviors are common in individuals with autism; however, they tend to be more prevalent during periods of anxiety.  Thus, we really need to look at how the comorbidity of each of these disorders impacts the individual.  There are many strategies available to assist individuals with anxiety that can work for individuals who have autism as well.  What I would suggest doing at this point is observing your child in various settings and situations.  Document when you notice behavioral changes in your child, along with what was happening in the environment prior to the change in behavior.  This will likely help you identify what situations are increasing your child’s anxiety.

Best Wishes,

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Upcoming Events


Looking for an opportunity designed for SIBLINGS of children with autism or other developmental disorders?

Siblings of children with autism or other disabilities have their own unique needs and experiences, and we use the renowned Sibshop model designed to provide them with support, education, and fun.

May 12th – 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Cost is $20 per child – Sibshop is held at Horizons in our sensory room. We will do a combination of movement and discussion activities, arts and crafts, and games. Participants need to bring a lunch. Snack will be provided.

RESERVE YOUR SPOT TODAY by clicking here, emailing our office info@horizonsdrc.com, or by calling us at (616) 698-0306.


Hear Nicole Speak

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

Autism and Other Neurodevelopmental Disorders: Practical Strategies to Improve Processing

April 18, 2012 in South Bend, Indiana

April 19, 2012 in Fort Wayne, Indiana

April 20, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana

Autism Society of Wisconsin Annual Conference

May 3-5, 2012
Green Bay, Wisconsin

AutismOne/Generation Rescue Conference 2012

May 23-27, 2012
Chicago, Illinois

MAGIC Foundation Annual Convention

July 19-22, 2012
Chicago, Illinois

American Psychological Association Annual Convention

August 2-5, 2012
Orlando, Florida


Autism Transformation for Families Audio Program

Transform Tough Days With Your Child Into Great Ones: Five Simple Steps to Better Communication, Behavior, and Relationships

More Information >>