Six Flags NJ – bring a doctor note

by rickcolosimo on October 7, 2015

This summer, I finally managed to stop in at the guest services building (which is not the main guest services, so ask first before you wait in the line) at Six Flags in Jackson, NJ. I picked up the Equal Access Pass for my son with ASD.

The process was super-fast and painless. The pass allowed us to either enter through the exit immediately or come back through the exit at a designated time to avoid simply waiting in the line.

Today, I received an email from the park directing me to their new page on the “Attraction Access Pass.”

Six Flags offers an Attraction Access Pass for guests who are unable to wait in ride lines due to a disability, mobility impairments, or certain qualifying impairments. Beginning November 7, 2015 any guest requesting use of one of these special passes will need to provide a doctor’s note at Guest Services at the time they pick up the pass. This new program replaces our old Equal Access Pass program.

So get your note from your child’s doctor in advance and it will go more smoothly for you.


Non-jobs for people with autism

by rickcolosimo on October 30, 2013

As many of you know, my son with autism is still a young child. But already I see that I am more and more thinking about the next 80 years of his life. I am aware (not ready to resign myself to ANYTHING at this point or any other, ever) that his life may be “non-traditional” in terms of job, home, and family.

In the past, I’ve thought about the idea of setting up an organic farm where he and folks like him could be self-sufficient, eat well, have good, honest, work in a close-knit community setting, and ultimately build a future for themselves. I’ve spent time thinking about how to restructure and break down even computer-aided instruction in programming for kids on the spectrum. Kodable is a great fun introduction to concepts and thought processing, but it doesn’t teach coding and programming in a way that pays you money.

I’ve thought about using Amazon Mechanical Turk to structure specific tasks. I’ve thought about how to package up those common task types and create instructional programs to actually teach them. 

This article describes two smartphone apps that offer random tasks to people through that channel. The samples seem very human-oriented, i.e., things that computers can in fact not do. As a plus, though, they seem to be tasks that are out in the world rather than in front of a keyboard. For many on the spectrum, avoiding isolation, whether internal or external in source, will be a lifelong challenge. I like the idea of my son walking through a grocery store more than him sitting at a table typing alone in a room.

I can see that I should start building a platform for collecting these types of small alternative task channels (for lack of a better term) and categorizing them by a few major characteristics – online, offline, speaking required, reading level, type of output, freeform vs. structured. As with any NT person, skills will always have to match up; but I suspect these other characteristics can be critical deal-breakers for someone on the spectrum, and pointing a person in the right direction is hopefully going to be a big help.


What ideas or dreams have you thought of for the person on the spectrum in your life?


Autism Speaks housing survey – responses needed

July 31, 2013

Autism Speaks is seeking responses to this housing surgery from people with autism aged 14 and up – and their caregivers. Take the Autism Speaks Housing and Residential Supports Survey to share your needs and hopes for the future! Complete it for a chance to win a FREE iPad!

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What chores does your child do?

July 19, 2013

I just came across this article about a boy whose family has integrated him into family chores in the classic ABA model: harnessing natural motivations, creating discrete tasks, and implementing positive reinforcement, both tangible and social. My older son is 8, and he’s certainly capable of many things. But I haven’t formalized the chores for […]

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Pathway to individualized therapies

June 10, 2013

While the I in “IEP” mean “individual,” many parents question how individualized educational and treatment programs are. When every child in a class has the same amount of classroom time, PT, OT, and speech therapy, they wonder where the I comes in. One problem I see as a parent is what seems to be a […]

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World Autism Awareness Day 2013

April 2, 2013

Today is World Autism Awareness day. My Facebook profile picture is my 8yo son Dylan, showing you, and me, what he thinks of autism. I imagine it’s something along the lines of “I just want to do what I want and have fun like every other boy. Sometimes it’s just hard.” Other times I imagine […]

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Thanks, Ridgewood Soccer!

January 1, 2013

Summer is well past over, and one hurricane, one Fall season, and a few major holidays later, there’s finally some time to think about it.   I’d like to say thanks to the Ridgewood Soccer Association, which runs a special needs soccer program alongside the large program for typical kids in town. What made this special […]

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Damn, science!

May 26, 2012

 I really love this site; she’s got a way of focusing on clarity of communication.   Damn, science!   Yes, I know that many parents don’t agree, many more worry, and even more are questioning. Some of those are people I personally like and respect. Feel free to sound off in the comments if you […]

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More thoughts on prevalence & DSM-V

May 16, 2012

Here are two more reviews/discussions of the CDC prevalence report from sources I believe to be intelligible, authoritative, and well-meaning, as opposed to fear-mongering, uninformed, and unskilled). The Autism Science Foundation describes the basics of the report in cogent language and provides a little education along the way, helping the reader understand what is being […]

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Autism costs more than money

May 4, 2012

  Here’s a short CNN piece reflecting on the costs of autism. It’s not news to those of us who’ve been living with it, but I’m sure it will surprise the heck out of those friends of yours and mine who don’t know the numbers. But there’s another poignant moment in this piece that is […]

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