1 (866) 409-WINE (9463)
Can we keep it up? Let us all spread the word about Autism Awareness, let us empower each other and educate more people while sipping a glass of wine (always to be enjoyed and drunk in mo-de-ra-tion of course).
Would you like to contribute to our Autism Blog?
If you have a knack for writing a story in any of these categories (and I know that a lot of you do) please contact us here and we will be delighted to feature you and give you all of the credits you deserve!
• ARTISTS & AUTHORS
• BIOMEDICAL INTERVENTIONS
• EDUCATION & OTHER THERAPIES
• FAMILY’S PERSPECTIVE
• WINE TALK
Now, don’t be shy about the last category. We don’t expect you to be a Master of Wine, we just want to hear your wine stories (at home, restaurants, fundraising events, in the plane, abroad, nowhere...). Submissions should be 50-300 words in length and written for a broad audience.
Please submit your story in an MS Word or Text document with the story. Please no foul language or overly crass stories. You will be notified via email if your story is chosen and/or requires any edits prior to publishing.
Please give us your name, location and let us know if you have a personal blog. If you have a photo, images or a video you would like to include you are welcome to, just keep in mind that the image dimensions and resolution should not be too high.
Cheers to all of you!
On Friday, June 18th, Jeremy Sicile-Kira graduated from high school with a full academic diploma and a GPA of 3.7 last week despite being severely impacted by autism and having to use assisstive technology to communicate. He gave a speech at the graduation ceremony.
A few days ago Jeremy sent me a very nice e-mail about his future plans.
“My goal after graduation is to attend community college, to help others, and raise autism awareness about teens and young adults by continuing to write. My next project is to write and publish an online newsletter.”
“My immediate project is to present to two autism parent support groups - The National Autism Association (NAA) Metro Chapter, and their support group on Staten Island (for more information on these support groups visit www.naanyc.org.)
This idea came from the fact that I wanted to visit New York this summer to visit family and friends. Also, I get emails from people who tell me they are inspired by my story and want to know how I became the success I am today. My mom said I had to find the money myself to pay for the trip for me and a support person. Two local NY chapters of the NAA offered me some donations to help pay for the trip, but I need more to cover the cost of the trip (airline tickets, ground transportation, two nights hotel in Manhattan, food, etc).
My mom nicely encourages me to pay for what I want. I made enough money one year to buy my assistance dog and best friend, Handsome, by starting my own flower business on my high school campus.”
Thanks to the generosity of other sponsors Jeremy is getting very close to his goal and only needs to raise $250 for his trip to New York.
We are proud to sponsor Jeremy and help him reach his goal in any way we can.
We hope that Jeremy’s story inspires many people.
Please feel free to share this blog with friends.
Best wishes to you and your loved ones,
I would like to honor Matt Savage who received a PDD-NOS (Pervasive Development Disorder Not Otherwise Specified) diagnosis at the age of 3 and is a true inspiration about recovering from autism. Thanks to the DAN! (Defeat Autism Now!) protocol and to other therapies, AIT (Auditory Integration Therapy) in particular, Matt has overcome his numerous handicaps and become a jazz prodigy. He wrote an amazing piece for his dad called "Father's Day" a few years ago.
"Where genius and joy make a quantum leap" go to http://www.savagerecords.com/
“It’s about time I wrote something for my father! This is a fun musical adventure with several interesting tempo changes.” Matt Savage
Father's Day Trio
$56.97 $49.99/3 bottles. Take Dad and his taste buds on an intercontinental red wine journey. A tasty exploration of the globe is his when he samples these wines from Italy, Australia, and of course, our own famous Napa Valley. This three bottle set includes a classic, premium Chianti, a Malbec, and a Cabernet Sauvignon from a California star winery. Save over individual purchases. Shipping included - Save over 25%!
2006 Archery Summit, Red Hills Estate Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills, Oregon (96 Points)
$84.99 $74.99 /Bottle This wine opens with focused aromas of french Bing cherry, intriguing black currant, brown baking spices and fragrant rose petals. The palate is lively and festive with notes of Christmas cake and mincemeat, clean forest floor and ripe cherry pie. The confectionary nose leads to a more earthy minerality layered with flowers and spice, and the mid palate and vivid acidity combines a moderate framework of tannin and succulence to give this wine both a power and prettiness, a richness as well as restraint. This wine is ready to drink now but will also benefit from 3 to 8 years of proper cellaring.
“Archery Summit has established itself as the Rolls-Royce of Oregon Pinot Noir.”- Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator
"Ciao Down" Italian Wine Sampler6 Italian wines for just $84.99 complete with food pairing ideas – SAVE 15%
$112.89 $84.99 / "Ciao Down" Who among us hasn’t dreamed of the food to be had in Rome dining at its many bistros? Now you can wine and dine Italian style in the comfort of your own kitchen. This “Ciao Down” sampler contains six different wines perfect for pairing with rich, flavorful traditional cuisine. Dolcetto, Barbera, and of course, the ever-popular Chianti are included here along with other regional favorites. Italian cuisine can offer more than seven courses in one sitting from antipasto through pasta. You’ll be amply prepared with this collection. Save 15% over individual purchases.
If you order no later than June 14th, Dad will receive his wines via ground shipping. If you are too late I am sure he will still enjoy them!
Kevin Hosseini is a talented 15 year old artist with autism that we are extremely proud to feature in our next “Autism Wine” from Portugal which should be available this summer.
Kevin’s artwork is simply amazing and talks to the soul. Kevin is the California Representative for VSA Arts (The International Organization on Arts and Disability) and one of eleven representatives to fly to Washington D.C. for an exhibit at Union Station last year.
Not only is Kevin a true inspiration to our community but he is also extremely generous.
To make a long story short when we had everything planned for the artwork of our first Portugues wine, the artist (who is not on the autism spectrum) changed his mind and wanted us to pay him some astronomical price for permission to use his artwork just a few days before the labels were going to be printed. So we ended up with no labels, no bottles, a lot of wine in stainless tanks in Portugal and strict deadlines to meet.
Everybody was very stressed out here in the United States and there in Portugal. From years of dealing with extreme stress and autism I said “Why don’t we run a Contest on Facebook for a week and look for an artist who is willing to be featured for free.” The theme will be the "Ocean" which is also one of my son's favorite subject. Anything about the ocean brings him joy.
Fate would have it that before I even posted the Contest on Facebook (I still had to figure out how to do it), Kevin’s mom contacted me out of the blue asking me if I would consider featuring the artwork of artists with autism on wine bottles. Talking about good Karma...
The rest is history and Kevin won the contest.
You can visit Kevin’s artwork here.
We are very saddened to learn that Kevin is not doing well.
Kevin started a slow decline into mental illness at the age of 14. He is now in a psychiatric hospital in Cerritos said his mom.
It means a lot to his family and to us.
With much hope and dedication to our cause,
by John LeSieur
The video “I Love Someone with Autism” all started with a message from Carol Janusky DeMaio on my Facebook page. Carol wrote, “It would be nice if parents could share a picture of a loved one on the autism spectrum.” What a fabulous idea, I thought. Let’s post a message on my wall. It's the weekend, so if we get around 50 pictures, then I can create a quick video and send it April 2nd.
I was stunned. In less than 48 hours, over 500 pictures arrived on my wall, inbox and email.
However, I was traveling and knew it was impossible to manage so much information and images by April 2nd.
I decided to stop in a hotel room and lock myself in for three days. I hung a “Do not disturb” sign on the door, rolled up my sleeves and got to work.
After hours of wrestling with the most basic internet connection ever, things began to become organized. But something was lacking. What I needed was the perfect song to accompany the images, but I couldn’t decide on the proper one. That problem too was quickly resolved, thanks to the generosity of Valerie Foley - Flame (The band) and Hannah Hatt (for the song of Bruce Anderson).
At last, it all came together. It is my honor to introduce you to hundreds of families of fabulous angels on the autism spectrum.
There are millions of them around the world – Let’s make this place a better world for them!
With all my heart and back pain (thanks to chair in my room),
I am delighted to introduce you to George Saidah and to his non-profit organization, Heart of Sailing.
I first met George four years ago at the Autism One Conference in Chicago. He was standing alone behind a table with a few flyers and a poster... Nothing showy or flashy. The name of his organization intrigued me so I started asking him questions about it. After a few seconds I asked him if he was French. You can never get rid off the accent no matter how hard you try... He said yes so I immediately switched to French and I became more impressed with his foundation and work.
First of all Heart of Sailing is free. Second, Heart of Sailing is unique.
Although there are no published and peer-reviewed scientific studies on the benefits of sailing for autism, George, an accomplished and passionate sailor, had observed that once kids and adults on the autism spectrum were taken on a sailboat they immediately calmed down and started smiling much to their parents’ dismay. George would tell me that they would relax unlike their parents and would start taking risks and becoming more independent and mainly would be proud of themselves. I had observed the same beneficial effects on my son.
I told him last week “If I had waited for those published and peer-reviewed scientific studies on every single diet or intervention I did for my son he would not be where he is today. My motto is “If it works you stick to it and if it does not work you move on”. Start with the simple, inexpensive and safe.
It does take a lot of guts and a lot of self-control to take those kids out sailing.
Sailing is neither simple nor inexpensive unless you sail with Captain George. His dream is to take all of our children sailing around the world. He is already doing it in Canada and in France. For France he switched “Heart of Sailing” to “Au Coeur des Voiles”.
I am delighted to introduce you to John Lesieur and his accomplishements for the special needs population and in particular the autism community if you do not know him yet.
The best way to describe John is a philantropist.
He is also a workaholic. He even works during weekends and he always answers all of his Facebook friends very kindly. How does he do it? I don’t know... It must be his young age although he is a grandfather or maybe it is just his passion to make a difference in our world. Follow John in Facebook.
Okay, you can see that I am a big fan of John not to mention that he speaks French too.
I do not know how he pulls it off but ALL of his software are free and they are amazing tools for our community.
His latest creation is Pal Browser.
“We see a need and feel compelled to help,” says John LeSieur of People CD. “Zac Browser’s appeal, embraced by 1 million users in the first year, gave us hope that if we could develop software for Autism, we could do the same for those with physical challenges.”
“Providing online solutions is a way for me to help: enabling people to navigate the web, and connect with other lives, in a way that provides ease and enjoyment to those who are elderly, suffering from disease, or disabled.”
PAL Browser has been created for three important reasons:
- To aid People with Physical Disabilities, PAL Browser allows anyone to surf the internet without needing to ever touch a mouse or keyboard.
- To provide visual assistance for mature and senior internet users through PAL Browser's helpful magnifying tools and oversized buttons.
- To enhance your touch screen technology. PAL Browser partners with Touchsmart Tablet PC, Smart Board and others.
“Our focus is the end user,” John LeSieur says. “Pal Browser was created to bring the best that technology has to offer - and the best entertainment (watching tv online, changing channels, accessing the news & weather, participating on social networking sites, and more!) – to those who need it, for free.”Pal is Compatible with Windows 7 - Vista - XP - 2000 - ME - 98
For more information contact John LeSieur by phone: 702-968-0357, by email: info(at)Peoplecd.com and visit their website for detailed information: www.palbrowser.com
While my children are playing quietly with their dad I would like to feature Confidential Sources written by an amazing lady, advocate, author, journalist, teacher... and a mom of a young adult with autism – Barbara Fischkin.
I am grateful to Facebook because this is how I met Barbara as well as an equally amazing lady, advocate, author, mom of a young adult with autism and compatriot – Chantal Sicile-Kira.
I already knew Chantal from her monumental writings about autism but I never had an opportunity to exchange thoughts with her about our native country and of course about wine...
Readers of Chantal's newsletter will receive a 30% discount on the book Confidential Sources by Barbara Fischkin plus free shipping and handling when purchasing through the newsletter. All you have to do is sign up for Chantal's free monthly newsletter and she will not rent or sell your e-mail address.
About Barbara Fischkin (Courtesy of Chantal’s newsletter):
"As for autism in my own household: As some of you may know, our 22-year-old son Dan Mulvaney, who is nonverbal and afflicted with severe autism, moved into a group home near us on Long Island on August 22. It's a temporary stop for him. A nice place but the other residents are much older than he is. A more permanent and appropriate abode, which he will share with three young men his age, will be ready in January. (Hooray!) I have been chronicling these life changes on my Autism One Radio Program, "Maverick Mama" archived at: here.
Dan is doing well despite this two-step process. He seems happy and, like any typical 22-year-old, appears to view visiting us more as an obligation than something "fun" to do. He did agree to ice skate with us on Sunday and I do think he really liked the idea that his "elderly" parents could still skate. That probably had more to do with my ability to stand up straight on the ice - and yes, indeed, move as well -- since my husband, Jim Mulvaney, regularly coaches Dan's ice hockey team for individuals with disabilities.
I realize that Dan's ability to adjust to his new surroundings is a great thing. And to be perfectly honest, he is taking it a lot better than I am. Remember the separation anxiety that some of our kids had when they were little? Well, now the shoe is on the other foot. I miss him terribly, even though I usually see him at least twice a week when he has speech therapy at (what is now, in his estimation) our home, not his -- and on visits back and forth and occasional sleepovers. Last weekend, when his younger brother who lives and plays hockey in Massachusetts, had a game closer to home I took Dan for a ride to see Jack play.
The rite of passage and the separation have been so hard for me - and yet I know so good for Dan.
I do think there is so much to tell about this process from both parental and offspring perspectives - and so little written. Hence, I am plugging away on a new book of narrative non-fiction, which now has the working title: Dan the Man and His Generation: The Children of the Autism Epidemic Grow Up. Stay tuned. Could take a while - Publishers these days seem only to want autism stories in which the children are completely cured. Dan, like most of our kids, isn't - although he is making great strides with the Defeat Autism Now Bio-Medical interventions as prescribed by Dr. Michael Elice of Woodbury, New York.
Case in point: His behavior in his current group home, temporary though it may be has, they tell me, been exemplary.
Meanwhile if you'd like to read about Dan's life, from diagnosis with
Childhood Disintegrative Disorder at the age of three and a half after prolonged development through to his teenage years- you might like a copy of Confidential Sources. The book, which takes place in Mexico City, Hong Kong, the Philippines and on Long Island, is a novel. It's fiction and it's about the fictional alter egos of the members of our family. But the parts about autism are pretty much true. Hard to make that stuff up.
I would be delighted to send you a copy or copies and as mentioned above it would be my pleasure not only to sign them but to personalize them to a friend or relative, perhaps as a holiday present. It shouldn't take longer than a week from the time I receive your order for delivery. The cost is $8 per brand new book, a 30% discount of the list price now advertised on Amazon. Three personalized books going to the same address can be purchased for $20.
Please send checks or money orders with your address to:
Barbara Fischkin, 85 Dalton Street, Long Beach, New York 11561
Any questions please email me. And to read more about Confidential Sources and my other work please visit my website.
Please feel free to make friends with me and with my son Dan Mulvaney on Facebook.