Ryan's Friends, Inc. - Hands in Hope for Children with Autism

MAY 19, 2014
6:30 P.M.
at McDonough Presbyterian Church,  427 McGarity Road, McDonough, Georgia, in the Fellowship Hall (old sanctuary) in the middle of the facility.   We will enter from the side parking lot....look for the signs.

APRIL 1, 2014

Each April 2, Autism Speaks celebrates Light It Up Blue along with the international autism community, in commemoration of the United Nations-sanctioned World Autism Awareness Day.
Light It Up Blue is a unique global initiative that kicks-off Autism Awareness Month and helps raise awareness about autism. In honor of this historic day, many iconic landmarks, hotels, sporting venues, concert halls, museums, bridges and retail stores are among the thousands of buildings lit blue to raise autism awareness.
The Light It Up Blue site for 2014 is now available at www.autismspeaks.org/LIUB. Join us on World Autism Awareness Day April 2nd, and throughout April by signing up today!

APRIL 2, 2014

APRIL 3, 2014

Susan Magdalane Boyle (born 1 April 1961) is a Scottish singer who came to international attention when she appeared as a contestant on the TV programme Britain's Got Talent on 11 April 2009, singing "I Dreamed a Dream" from Les Misérables. Her first album was released in November 2009 and debuted as the number one best-selling album on charts around the globe.

Boyle was raised in Blackburn, West Lothian, Scotland. to Irish parents originally from County Donegal, Ireland. Her father, Patrick Boyle, was a miner and veteran of the Second World War who also worked as a singer at the Bishop's Blaize; her mother Bridget was a shorthand typist, Boyle was the youngest of four brothers and five sisters. She was raised thinking that she had been briefly deprived of oxygen during a difficult birth resulting in a learning disability. She has, however, recently been told she was misdiagnosed and instead has Aspergers Syndrome with an IQ "above average". Boyle says she was bullied as a child, and was nicknamed "Susie Simple" at school.

To read more about Ms. Boyle click on the link below:
by:  Emily Perl Kingsley
APRIL 4, 2014

Ms. Kingsley is often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."
"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.
But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.
APRIL 5, 2014

Neurotypical is an unprecedented exploration of autism from the point of view of autistic people themselves. Four-year-old Violet, teenaged Nicholas and adult Paula occupy different positions on the autism spectrum, but they are all at pivotal moments in their lives. How they and the people around them work out their perceptual and behavioral differences becomes a remarkable reflection of the "neurotypical" world — the world of the non-autistic — revealing inventive adaptations on each side and an emerging critique of both what it means to be normal and what it means to be human.

This documentary first aired on PBS on   July 29, 2013

Encore Broadcast Date: August 11, 2014      

For more information and to view a trailer of the presentation, click on the following link:

APRIL 6, 2014

Date:  March 29, 2014 

Autism Speaks epidemiologist Michael Rosanoff answers questions on how the CDC tracks prevalence and what the numbers mean in the US and globally

Epidemiologist Michael Rosanoff is Autism Speaks associate director for public health research. We asked him to explain some of the technical aspects of how the CDC tracks autism prevalence, how prevalence is tracked internationally, and what the numbers mean to communities in the United States and abroad. 

To read entire article click the link below:

California Institute for Regenerative Medicine
APRIL 7, 2014

Click on the link below to read an article on stem cell research and autism.

APRIL 8, 2014

Often times when doctors are not sure where on the spectrum a child or adult falls, but autism is believed to exist, that person will be diagnosed as having a PDD or Pervasive Development Disorder Unspecified. Matt Savage was diagnosed with PDD at the age of three and later became a jazz prodigy. In Savage’s teens he become a professional jazz pianist with his own trio. He plays alongside the best adult musicians of our time and plays all over the world. He has recorded three audio CDs with the proceeds being donated to autism research and support. The legendary Dave Brubeck, known as ‘the jazz legend’ has coined Savage as the “Mozart of jazz.” Savage now attends the largest independent college of contemporary music in the world at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts.

April 9, 2014

Learning, social interaction and other mental functions in people with autism may be affected by receptors inside brain cells, scientists at Washington University School of Medicine have learned. The type of receptor they studied glows green on the surface of this cell. Inside the cell it covers a membrane that is stained red.

To read article, click on the link below:

April 10, 2014

There is no telling, despite a diagnosis of autism, what an autistic person may be able to achieve. Such is true with Tim Page, a famous critic and author who won the Pulitzer Prize as a music critic for the Washington Post. He was also chosen by Opera News as one of the 25 most influential people in the world of opera. Tim has produced concerts all over the world and has since been named a professor of journalism and music at the University of Southern California. In 2009 Page published a book called, Parallel Play, his memoir about growing up with Asperger’s syndrome.

April 11, 2014

BLESSED ARE YOU who walk with us in public places, and ignore the stares of strangers, for in your friendship we feel good to be ourselves.

BLESSED ARE YOU who never bid us to "hurry up" and, more blessed, you who do not snatch our tasks from our hands to do them for us, for often we need time rather than help.

BLESSED ARE YOU who stand beside us as we enter new and untried ventures, for our unsuredness will be outweighed by the time we surprise ourselves and you.

BLESSED ARE YOU who ask for our help and realize out giftedness for our greatest need is to be needed.

BLESSED ARE YOU who help us with the graciousness of Christ, for often we need the help we cannot ask for.

BLESSED ARE YOU when, by all things, you assure us that what makes us individuals is not our particular disability or difficulty, but our beautiful God-given personhood which no handicapping condition can confine.

REJOICE AND BE EXCEEDINGLY GLAD for your understanding and love have opened doors for us to enjoy life to its full and you have helped us believe in ourselves as valued and gifted people.

While Ryan's Friends does not endorse any particular provider of therapies, we want to list the ones we know of for the information of our friends:
Ameri-Kan Karate
Karate For Kids with Special Needs
106 Dogwood Drive
Suite 102
Conyers, GA 30013
Dentistry for Children
Locations in Conyers, Jonesboro, McDonough, Peachtree City, Stockbridge
Partners N Therapy
Keanna Nelson, CCP-SLP
Speech Language Pathologist
696 Mount Zion Road
Suite 3B
Jonesboro, GA 30274

Mary Subra
Occupational Therapist at OT4U
Pediatric Occupational Therapist
Sensory Certification
Therapeutic Listening
Metronome Training

Sensations Therafun
A fun place for special needs kids to play while achieving therapeutic goals
1704 Chantilly Drive
Atlanta, GA 30324
*  Our list of providers is new and will continue to grow.  Please check back soon to see what has been added.
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