By Suzanne Oshinsky

Suzanne Oshinsky is a Los Angeles based artist. She received her BFA at Otis College of Art and Design in Fine Arts with a minor in Creative Writing. Her work focuses on cognition and the social phenomenology of perception. For the past 2.5 years and counting she has worked for the Center for Autism and Related Disorders filming and editing autism related content.

March Smarty

March Smarty

Kids love playdough, but for our kids with gluten sensitivity, the branded kind can be a nightmare. Here Suzanne teaches us how to make our own homemade gluten free playdough that every kid can enjoy!

Jack Riley

Requesting And Reinforcement

Meet Jack, a CARD ABA client that receives 25 hours a week. Over the last 2 years we’ve gotten to know and love Jack as another member of the #CARDFamily. In this episode, Jack Riley begins verbally requesting for things he wants. This is great! However, this also can prove difficult for his parents, as they are supposed to reinforce each request.

February Smarty

This particular Valentine’s Day craft will help your child develop their pincer grasp while ‘sewing’ together their heart! Using shoelaces and the Autism Live template, your child will get the opportunity to practice their pincer grasp, which is a precursor to learning to write!

The A-Word

The A-Word, Autism

The A-word chronicles a family’s experience with autism and progress motivated by therapy from the Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD). Follow Mike, Cheryl, and little Jack Riley, and experience the true meaning of autism, the A-Word.

The A-Word, Part 57: Update On Preschool At Clinic

In this episode we see that Jack Riley has been in preschool for the last three days with Jessica as his shadow. And during clinic they discuss how school is going and work on some new skills. Jessica updates the team on how Jack Riley’s behaviors are in class, and how his teacher is handling him.

Smarty – October Spooky Eye Portraits

It’s October and while the ghosts and ghouls are out to play, we wanted to work on labeling emotions and socio-dramatic play with our kids by making spooky eye portraits. Using ping pong balls you get the illusion the pictures eyes are following you! Creeeepy! And, using props and costumes to take the photos is a great learning opportunity for our kids to act out different emotions and expressions. Enjoy!

ABA for Autism: Take Action Now!

Autism parents, experts and activists, encourage everyone to sign the petition asking Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to clarify the essential health benefits to include ABA for Autism! This small clarification can open a world of possibilities for children with Autism. Learn how you can make your own infinity ribbon to tell the world that with ABA, the possibilities are infinite!

The A Word, Autism Part 37: Parents Talk About Inflexibility Issues

Jack Riley is more aware of others and gets excited when he has visitors. When Jessica and other therapists first started coming over, he wouldn’t acknowledge their presence, but now he does with enthusiasm. At the same time however, Jack Riley has been having behavioral issues and has been very inflexible. Cheryl and Mike share with Jessica what his behaviors have been like. Jessica and Jack Riley continue working on categories as Mom and Dad help as interpreters.

Autism Independence

The schooling that Phil’s students were receiving was something called transition services. Transition services are classes that help adults with disabilities become as independent as possible. Bob, Phil’s highest functioning student is somewhere on the autism spectrum. He would leave class everyday and go to work at his job for a few hours. It was a menial task but Bob enjoyed it, he liked the independence he had and would tell me about what he did there.

Defining Autism

Some common signs of autism are difficulty communicating, lack of social skills, and repetitive behavior. [1] Remove the word autism from that sentence and those descriptions define most artists. There is an iconic, preconceived notion associated with artists labeled as genius. As they are consumed by their practice and their unique vision of the world, their artwork is the defining way for them to relate to others. Their medium is their voice. Their reality is experienced in a tunneled vision which allows them to focus on their craft.