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


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

* Next meeting: May 5, 6:30-8pm, about IEP's with Colleen Arnold, M.S. 


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





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



CHECKLIST

Sensory Checklist

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

Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist (ATEC)


ADVOCATES

Sally Kirk

Karen Kaplan

Colleen Arnold, M.S.

Mental Health & Autism Insurance Project




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


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€™