Autism-Friendly performance of The Lion King in New York

Save the Date for the upcoming Autism-friendly performance of The Lion King on
September 27, 2015

 Autism friendly performance of the Lion King
Autism-friendly performance of The Lion King. Photo from Theatre Development Fund site

Please save the date for
The Lion King
Autism-Friendly Performance:
Sunday, September 27, 2015 @ 1:00 PM

Minskoff Theatre
200 West 45th Street, New York, NY 10036

(Thursday, August 20, 2015 @ 12:00 PM)

Wendy Chung: Autism — what we know (and what we don’t know yet)

Wendy Chung is the director of clinical research at the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative, which does both basic and applied science to serve people affected by autism spectrum disorders. She’s the principal investigator of the foundation’s Simons Variation in Individuals Project, which characterizes behavior and brain structure and function in participants with genetic copy number variants such as those at 16p11.2, which are believed to play a role in spectrum disorders. Chung also directs the clinical genetics program at Columbia University. In assessing and treating kids with autism spectrum disorders and intellectual disabilities, she uses advanced genomic diagnostics to explore the genetic basis of neurological conditions. She thinks deeply about the ethical and emotional questions around genetic medicine and genetic testing. (information from site

SPD and Sensory Integration Activities


Children need and love play doh and messy play, unless they have tactile defensiveness that is. There are so many versions of play doh, from pre-package to homemade, scented to unscented, textured to non-textured, cooked to uncooked. You name it, I have found a recipe for it. Check out Play Doh Recipes… here you will find dozens of fun recipes which make tactile experiences messy and fun!

Children need to touch a variety of textures and play with them to develop normal tactile processing.  If your child will not play with messy items, it is even more important that you continue to find fun and creative ways to introduce these to them.

Check out the SPD Symptoms Checklist to find out if your child shows signs of tactile dysfunction.

You will also want to take a look at General Treatment Guidelines for helpful hints on how to introduce these materials to your child safely and effectively so they can learn how best to process this input.

Need modeling dough or accessories to use with it? Visit The Crayola Store for additional fun products to use!


These types of activities are imperative for children who have difficulty regulating their arousal levels. They are the crashers, the jumpers, the leg shakers, the ones that can’t ever seem to sit still. Boy, can they try your patience as a parent, teacher or even therapist! Regular heavy input into their neurological systems WILL help calm them down.

The premise behind these activities is to help their bodies receive
regular input into their muscles and joints in the most appropriate ways so they can get the input they crave and settle their bodies down.

You will see and hear a lot about heavy work activities. Often these activities will include using weights, weighted products, jumping, bouncing, rocking, pushing, pulling, swinging and being “squished”.

All kids need this! But, our children with under-reactive neurological systems will need it even more.  These activities are truly used for most sensory processing issues and can have an amazing affect on the nervous system for regulation and modulation.

Hint: Always best to precede a sit down task with a heavy work activity.

Check out an extensive list of Heavy Work Activities I have compiled. Have fun trying them all!  These activities should indeed be a big part of your daily sensory diet.  Also, check out my Heavy Work Equipment And Activities Store for jumping, bouncing, moving and rocking products, as well as books for great game ideas!

Digging and playing in the sand is also a great way to give your body heavy input (as well as tactile experiences). Check out this e-book… How To Build Your Own Awesome Toy Backhoe.

Ethan Bortnick – 8 Years old piano player

The story behind a rising star in the music and entertainment world, Ethan is a young musician, composer, and entertainer who has captivated the world one performance at a time. You won’t believe what he has done at age 8.. Just Watch!

Another amazing piano player – superstar musician with autism. A blind severely autistic man, Derek, is known as the Human ipod. By the age of four his family realised that after hearing a song only once he could play it perfectly on the piano. Now, 25 years later Derek has a repertoire of well over 20,000 songs that he can play instantly from memory. In this clip he is taking requests from the audience at a concert set out to give the limelight to some severely autistic people.