Thursday, February 21, 2008

Autism Breakthrough: Girl's Writings Explain Her Behavior and Feelings

Feb. 19, 2008

Carly Fleischmann has severe autism and is unable to speak a word. But thanks to years of expensive and intensive therapy, this 13-year-old has made a remarkable breakthrough.

Two years ago, working with pictures and symbols on a computer keyboard, she started typing and spelling out words. The computer became her voice.

"All of a sudden these words started to pour out of her, and it was an exciting moment because we didn't realize she had all these words," said speech pathologist Barbara Nash. "It was one of those moments in my career that I'll never forget."

Then Carly began opening up, describing what it was like to have autism and why she makes odd noises or why she hits herself.

"It feels like my legs are on first and a million ants are crawling up my arms," Carly said through the computer.

Carly writes about her frustrations with her siblings, how she understands their jokes and asks when can she go on a date.

"We were stunned," Carly's father Arthur Fleischmann said. "We realized inside was an articulate, intelligent, emotive person that we had never met. This was unbelievable because it opened up a whole new way of looking at her." This is what Carly wants people to know about autism.

"It is hard to be autistic because no one understands me. People look at me and assume I am dumb because I can't talk or I act differently than them. I think people get scared with things that look or seem different than them." "Laypeople would have assumed she was mentally retarded or cognitively impaired. Even professionals labelled her as moderately to severely cognitively impaired. In the old days you would say mentally retarded, which means low IQ and low promise and low potential," Arthur Fleischman said.

Therapists say the key lesson from Carly's story is for families to never give up and to be ever creative in helping children with autism find their voice.

"If we had done what so many people told us to do years ago, we wouldn't have the child we have today. We would have written her off. We would have assumed the worst. We would have never seen how she could write these things  how articulate she is, how intelligent she is," the grateful father added.

"I asked Carly to come to my work to talk to speech pathologists and other therapists about autism," said Nash. "What would you like to tell them? She wrote, 'I would tell them never to give up on the children that they work with.' That kind of summed it up."

Carly had another message for people who don't understand autism.

"Autism is hard because you want to act one way, but you can't always do that. It's sad that sometimes people don't know that sometimes I can't stop myself and they get mad at me. If I could tell people one thing about autism it would be that I don't want to be this way. But I am, so don't be mad. Be understanding."

**To view the full article + video, CLICK HERE. **

Source: (thanks Christina!)

Monday, February 18, 2008

ASI resources

The Associated Students, Inc. is a great resource for students.

They offer the following services:
-laptop rentals $15-20 a week (printers are also available for an additional
-locker rentals - $15 for the first quarter, then $5 for every quarter after
-$150 textbook voucher (deadlines are approaching mid-February and March)
-Student health and dental insurance: covers students AND their dependents
for very low cost. Covers illnesses or injuries on or off campus.
-local business discounts
-movie/amusement park discounts
-free scantrons and blue books

The Cross Cultural Center located right next to ASI allows students
to print up to 10 pages free per day on their laser printers.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Reminder: Spring Quarter Registration Fees

Hey everyone! Just a quick reminder that CSULA's Spring quarter registration fees are due by 3/3/08, if you want to avoid a late fee.

~thanx Dione =)

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Graduation 411!

For those of you who are graduating...

The Graduation Committee has decided to hold two graduations by Colleges, rather than by Undergraduate and Graduate.

The college of Health and Human Services (where COMD is housed) will have graduation ceremonies FRIDAY EVENING for all our graduates, Undergrad and Grad.

Master’s graduates will still be hooded at that ceremony.

** Please pass this info on to the people who may not have heard about the update. Thanks! **

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Campus resources!

Hey guys... we'll be sharing at our NSSLHA meeting this week about resources you might be interested in. Here's the summaries for those who are interested.


Family PACT is a state-funded program that provides family planning services to low-income men and women - for FREE! Services include, but not limited to:

- Personal & confidential healthcare (as it pertains to family planning/prevention)

-Education, counseling, assessment & treatment to protect reproductive health

-Contraceptives: Birth control pills, male/female condoms, diaphragms, contraceptive implants, Fertility Awareness Methods (FAM), Lactation Amenorrhea Method (LAM), and male/female sterilization <~ I’m sure everyone will jump on this one! Jk To be eligible, you need to be a California resident and not exceed a certain amount of income. (This may vary every year so please check on the Family PACT website or ask someone who works at the CSULA student health center.) Signing up is easy. Just go to the 2nd floor of the student health center and ask for a Family PACT application. Fill it out, turn it in, and get your FREE Family PACT card – all on the same day. Can we sound any more like a commercial? But seriously, Family PACT is an easy way to save a big chunk of change. For more information, visit:

ASHA's Minority Student Leadership Program

Opportunity to attend ASHA conference for free (including hotel accommodation and meals), network with ASHA leaders, and build leadership skills.

Best Way to Find Cheap Books Online

PROJECT PASS (Preparing Autism Spectrum Specialists)

Project PASS provides up to $5700 of funding to students who are currently in masters degree programs in Special Education, Counseling, and related fields like Communication Disorders.

Autism Certificate consists of 4 courses:
1. EDSP 413 or COUN 501 (4 units)
2. EDSP 586: Teaching Children with Autism (4 units)
3. EDSP 587: Teaching Functional Communication (4units)
4. EDSP 503: Autism Fieldwork (6 units)

Students who are accepted will receive up to $1000 for 3 quarters (maximum total of up to $3000). Students who are on the grant will receive a summer living allowance of $2700 contingent on attendance of amandatory 10 day Autism Summer Institute at CSULA.

Completion of all of the above courses is required for eligibility and participation in summer institute.

Applications can be found at the bulletin board across the office of Special Education in King Hall C1064.

Dr. Jennifer Symon (Director of PASS program)
King Hall B1036 Office Hours: Tues/Thurs 3:30-4pm


Ever wonder exactly what you get charged for when you pay tuition? In case you haven't noticed, we all pay $55 each quarter for services at the student health center. So it's time to make that money count!

The services you pay for include: FREE doctor visits, cheap blood tests, free x-rays, free TB and hepatitis shots, free counseling services of all types, courses for stress/anger/time management, nutritional services, and chiropractic, acupuncture, and massage services. There is also the opportunity to access other services for small fees (which vary), these include the dental clinic, optometry clinic,women's and men's health care (i.e. contraception,check-ups, etc.) and CPR courses. You can also get your prescriptions at a reduced price (even if it's not from a Cal State doctor) at the small pharmacy located in the bottom floor of the HealthCenter.

To get all the information drop by the Health Center
(across from the Biology building) or go to


General tips for getting financial aid:

Fill out FAFSA early
Get to know your professors so they see your dedication and your interests and can write specific recommendation letters
Apply to as many scholarships as possible to increase your chances
Begin the application process early, especially if you need letters of recommendation!
Save your application essays and lists of community activities/jobs/volunteer experiences so that you can adapt and re-use them
When application dates fall around the same time, give an organized packet of recommendation letter requests and forms to a professor well ahead of time; make sure that they know the deadlines, and thank them for their help!

CSULA scholarships

General CSULA application (due March 7th):
This puts you in the pool of applicants for most of the scholarships available through CSULA

Other scholarship opportunities:
Look especially at...
President's scholarship (for entering undergraduates)
College of Health and Human Services (for graduate audiology students)
Perkins Loans-- these are cancellable for SLP's! (a certain percentage for every year you work)

For graduate students:

Alumni Association scholarship (due at the beginning of winter quarter)
inquire within KH D145

Emeriti fellowship
apply through the CSULA general application

Graduate Equity Fellowship (due fall quarter)
inquire within the Office of Graduate Studies and Research, Admin 710

COMD departmental scholarship (due fall quarter)
inquire within COMD department

Other opportunities to get funding:

PASS program
see above

Teaching Assistant positions (income does not get taxed or counted against you on FAFSA)
inquire within COMD department

Outside scholarships for COMD students:

Sertoma scholarship


Scholarship search engines

Grants for Research:


Acoustical Society of America (funds research in phonetics and speech production)

Pre-Doctoral Scholar's Program at CSULA (application due in March)
In addition to funding summer research, this program will also connect you with a faculty mentor and fund any trips you want to make to check out doctoral programs
Inquire within the Office of Graduate Studies and Research, Admin 710