Bay Area Autism Tool Kit

Ronnie's Awesome List presents a guest article by Lynn Samuels, a personal chef, mom, and founder of S.T.A.R. Soccer, an autistic/special needs soccer team to help find ways to over come obstacles and the challenges ahead.

I am the proud mother of Hannah. My daughter was diagnosed with autism when she was just 2 years old. The great news is that we had time to get early intervention and that has made a remarkable difference in her young life. With many great therapy options and people guiding us, our path became a bit easier, more focused and less lonely. We were building a great community of professionals to help our daughter get to where she is today.

Iโ€™m not going to kid you, many days this journey is exhausting and frustrating. Then I step back and watch this amazing little girl who is happy, social, caring, lovable, funny, curious and feisty. I am blessed and privileged to be her mother. As I became more comfortable with where she is in life, I began to search further, finding a support group, and have met many wonderful people. I created the website 'Shaping Her World With Autismโ€™ where I began to heal, help others, and put more focus on to my daughter and her needs. Now I have created the S.T.A.R. Soccer team which allows my daughter to be included in a sport she enjoys and for my husband and I to meet new parents that are dealing with similar situations.

If youโ€™re a parent who is just learning about autism and trying to figure out how to manage your world, here are my personal tips that have helped me on this journey:

WHERE TO START

Shaping Her World With Autism

Sesame Street Autism Resources for Parents

SPORTS

S.T.A.R. Soccer, for special needs in Corte Madera (May 7th first time field time)

Project Awareness and Special Sports or PAASS (baseball, basketball, swimming, soccer, hiking), for for kids 5+ 

SUPPORT GROUP

Marin Autism Collaborative or MAC hold monthly support meeting first Thursday of each month, I help facilitate these meeting. Held at Audistry studios 6:30 till 8448 du Bois St, San Rafael, CA 94901 ยท (415) 454-1037

Resources for Military Families

SCHOOLS IN MARIN

Oak Hill, San Anselmo

Anova, San Rafael, Santa Rosa, Concord

The Helix Learning Center, San Rafael

Marin Schools Special Education Services, San Rafael

Student Accessibility Services (SAS) at College of Marin

All Children Academics, San Rafael

Star Academy, San Rafael, for students with learning differences 

Special Needs Learning, County of Marin

LOCAL ORGANIZATIONS & AGENCIES

San Francisco Bay Area Autism Society

Matrix Parent Network + Resource Center

Wellspring Educational Services

Sonoma County Autism Resources

Diagnostic Center of Northern California

Dedication to Special Education

Parents Helping Parents

Lifehouse

Golden Gate Regional Center

California Autism Resources

Autism Aspergers Spectrum Coalition for Education Networking and Development, AASCEND

Bay Area Healthy Kids

SpecialNeeds.com

Support for Families of Children with Disabilities

Autism Service Dogs of America (ASDA)

NATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS & AGENCIES

Autism 360

Child Mind Institute

Documenting Hope

Documenting Hope, The Film

The Rapid Interactive Screening Test for Autism in Toddlers

Academic Accommodation Resources

DIET

The Personable Chef

Nourishing Hope

CAMPS, CLASSES, & COLLEGE

SummerAde teens that work with special needs kids going to camp

Artistry Studios

Jumping for Joy, Marin Humane Society

Marinwood Pool, our daughter came here for private lessons, great instructors 

Anat Baniel Method, San Rafael

San Francisco Bay Area Autism Society, Camps and Respite

Spectrum Surf Camp

FUN THINGS TO DO

Autism Fun Bay Area

Autism-friendly free jazz jam and Azure family night

Childrenโ€™s Discovery Museum of San Jose

Movie Nights 2016

AMC Theater Sensory Friendly Films

82 Summer Activities for Families with Special Needs

Shaping Her World With Autism

Parents Night Out, Marinwood, San Rafael

San Francisco Bay Area Autism Society, events

Support for Families of Children with Disabilities, events

Reduce the Noise: Help Loved Ones with Sensory Overload Enjoy Shopping

CHECKLIST

Sensory Checklist

M-Chat, an informal test to get answers about your toddler being autistic 

Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist (ATEC)

Estate Planning for Parents of Special Needs Kids

ADVOCATES

Sally Kirk

Karen Kaplan

Colleen Arnold, M.S.

Mental Health & Autism Insurance Project

TRAVEL

Autism on the Seas

Traveling By Air with Your Autistic Child

ONLINE RESOURCES

Dedication to Special Education Connections

My Autism Team

Sensory Checklist

LOCAL DOCTORS & INSURANCE

Michelle Perro, MD, DHom, autism/ADD/anxiety Greenbrae  

Melanie Johnson Ph.D. she evaluated our daughter, I highly recommend her.

Autism Health Insurance

Going to the Orthodontist with CFS

THERAPY

Hillock Creek Ranch, Nicasio

Hooves for Harmony, Morning Star Farm, Novato

Helping Hands Therapies

Forester Counseling & Music Therapy

Kidspace

Dyslexia Solutions of Northern California

Gateway

Bay Area Music Therapy

Directory, Marin

Lynn Samuels is a personal chef and founder of S.T.A.R. Soccer, an autistic/special needs soccer team to help find ways to over come obstacles and the challenges ahead, NOW OPEN FOR SIGN UPS. Her second, and more important job, is helping her autistic daughter Hannah be all that she can be. She lives in Marin with her husband and daughters. She is also writes for 'Shaping Her World With Autismโ€™