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COVID Safe Activities Week One

Unfortunately, it looks like COVID-19 cases are ramping up this fall, and we can expect to be extra cautious again this year to protect ourselves and our families and friends. Nick wants to publish some ideas each week for fun, COVID safe activities. Staying busy while staying safe can be fun!

Nick loves being able to have some guy time, and with football finally back this year, what better excuse is there? Having a couple of vaccinated friends come over to cheer on your favorite team and eat some tasty food is a wonderful way to have some safe fun.

Nick’s favorite team is the Denver Broncos, but he enjoys the quality time spent with friends even more than the game. Recently Nick invited his friends Alex and Jonas over to have a game day BBQ. Everyone had so much fun and Nick was very happy to be able to spend the weekend with friends and catch up. Go Broncos!

Nick with his friends Alex and Jonas

Another good idea for some COVID safe fun is to get outside while the weather is still nice! Nick enjoys going to the Benson Sculpture Park in Loveland to look at the sculptures. The park is beautiful, and Nick especially loves all the animal sculptures. Walking outside is a great way to keep your distance from others while still enjoying some fresh air.

Nick is making his sign for “mom” because she has so many pesky bunnies in her yard!

Nick loves going bird watching with his job coach Audrey and her family. Bird watching with Audrey is a tradition Nick has enjoyed for years. Nick’s favorite part about bird watching is when furry friends come along for the fun, even if it gets a little crazy! Walking your dogs with family or friends is a great way to get some exercise and stay safe.

Walking the dogs

With mask mandates returning and colder weather heading this way, Nick plans to post weekly with new COVID safe activities for everyone to enjoy, so be sure to like Awesome in Action on Facebook and follow his blog for more ideas!

April is Autism Awareness Month…Awesome!

Nick with SerageMy friend Jordan likes to play bad guys. My friend Serage likes to sing. My friend Jacoby loves the water. My friend Cambden likes to go to the library.  They are all different kids, but they are all awesome!

They all have different interests and personalities… and they all have Autism.

Serage and Camden

Autism is a not a defining trait, it is just a piece of a person.  I think my friends with Autism are funny, energetic, and brave…but others may have a different misconception because they do not know anyone with Autism. The Autism Speaks website debunks 11 common Myths about people with Autism:

Here is my friend, Camden and I!

Camden and Nick

1. Myth: People with autism don’t want friends.
Truth: If someone in your class has autism, they probably struggle with social skills, which may make it difficult to interact with peers. They might seem shy or unfriendly, but that’s just because he or she is unable communicate their desire for relationships the same way you do.

2. Myth: People with autism can’t feel or express any emotion—happy or sad.
Truth: Autism doesn’t make an individual unable to feel the emotions you feel, it just makes the person communicate emotions (and perceive your expressions) in different ways.

3. Myth: People with autism can’t understand the emotions of others.
Truth: Autism often affects an individual’s ability to understand unspoken interpersonal communication, so someone with autism might not detect sadness based solely on one’s body language or sarcasm in one’s tone of voice. But, when emotions are communicated more directly, people with autism are much more likely to feel empathy and compassion for others.

4. Myth: People with autism are intellectually disabled.
Truth: Often times, autism brings with it just as many exceptional abilities as limitations. Many people with autism have normal to high IQs and some may excel at math, music or another pursuit.

5. People with autism are just like Dustin Hoffman’s character in Rain Man.
Truth: Autism is a spectrum disorder, meaning its characteristics vary significantly from person to person. Knowing one person with autism means just that—knowing one person with autism. His or her capabilities and limitations are no indication of the capabilities and limitations of another person with autism.

6. Myth: People who display qualities that may be typical of a person with autism are just odd and will grow out of it.
Truth: Autism stems from biological conditions that affect brain development and, for many individuals, is a lifelong condition.

7. Myth: People with autism will have autism forever.
Truth: Recent research has shown that children with autism can make enough improvement after intensive early intervention to “test out” of the autism diagnosis. This is more evidence for the importance of addressing autism when the first signs appear.

8. Myth: Autism is just a brain disorder.
Truth: Research has shown that many people with autism also have gastro-intestinal disorders, food sensitivities, and many allergies.

9.  Myth: Autism is caused by bad parenting.
Truth: In the 1950s, a theory called the “refrigerator mother hypothesis” arose suggesting that autism was caused by mothers who lacked emotional warmth. This has long been disproved.

10. Myth: The prevalence of autism has been steadily increasing for the last 40 years.
Truth: The rate of autism has increased by 600% in the last 20 years. In 1975, an estimated 1 in 1,500 had autism. In 2014, an estimated 1 in 68 had an autism spectrum disorder.

11. Myth: Therapies for people with autism are covered by insurance.
Truth:  Most insurance companies exclude autism from the coverage plan roughly half of the 50 states currently require coverage for treatments of autism spectrum disorders.



Jacoby as a little guy

Jacoby older

My friend Jacoby now!

My advice to interacting with someone who has Autism:

Say “hi“…and go from there. Chances are you have met a new friend!

Thank you for your support!

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