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Newsletter and eFLASH! archives, December 2012 to December 2013

December 7, 2012 / March 8, 2013 / March 20, 2013 / April 18, 2013 / May, 2013 / June / September, 2013December, 2013

STiLE logo
Register now for
Winter Term Groups

Registration for Boundaries and Jewlery groups can be done with this PDF.

Required participant information form HERE

Boundaries with Nel Applegate: 
Tuesdays, 3:30 - 5:00 PM January 7 - March 25, 12 sessions. SAIL Housing Community Room, Willakenzie Crossing, 3057 Willakenzie Rd, Eugene.

This group training is designed to give people with autism and other disabilities help with learning and practicing personal safety, increasing independence, setting boundaries in a variety of settings and support in interpersonal and social skill development. 
Cost: $100
 Training fee based on attendance at $5.56/hr for up to 18 hrs. 
LTD: bus #67, 3:07 PM, get off at Papa's Pizza, walk east on Willakenzie

Jewelry Expressions – Introduction:
Mondays, 10:30 AM - 12 PM January 13 - March 10, 2014, 8 sessions. No class on 1/20/14. Washington Park, 2025 Washington St., Eugene.

This training is designed for individuals with autism or other developmental disabilities. It provides opportunities for students to learn skills in jewelry design, encourages self-expression and social skill development. Instruction and supports are provided to encourage independence, productivity, creative expression and self-confidence. One-on-one skill instruction is also available. 

Cost: $100 Training fee based on attendance for 8 sessions up to 12hrs. @ at $8.33 an hour.
In partnership with the City of Eugene-Adaptive Recreation program.

Jewelry Expressions:

Mondays, 12:30 - 2 PM, January 13 - March 10, 2014. No class on 1/20/14. 8 sessions. Washington Park, 2025 Washington St., Eugene.

This training is designed for individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities that are interested in creating beaded jewelry to sell. Students will learn new techniques and designs, how to market and sell their jewelry and become more confident, self reliant and self-determined with this training. 

Cost: $100 Training fee based on attendance for 8 sessions up to 12hrs. @ at $8.33 an hour. In partnership with the City of Eugene-Adaptive Recreation program.

Get-up-Give Back:
Fridays, 2:30 - 5 PM, January 10 – March 21 2014. Hilyard Community Center, 2580 Hilyard ST., Eugene.  Cost: $100 

This training provides adults with disabilities a safe, educational and fun opportunity to learn and practice job skills that will enhance their ability to find and keep volunteer positions and/or employment. This training is an Adaptive Recreation program.
Contact the Hilyard Center (541-682-5311) for questions, registration and more information. 
Registration for this class MUST be done at Adaptive Recreation 

For more information go to or call Tim Mueller at 541-521-7208,  or

 KindTree - Autism Rocks 2096 1/2 Arthur St Eugene, OR  97405 . 

Brokerage invoices will be sent upon completion of the sessions, as appropriate.



December, 2013

Merry Christmas and
Happy Holidays to All

From KindTree - Autism Rocks Board of Directors

We wish you Peace...


Help support the work we do. We can't do it without you!

STiLE Garden to Table group


KindTree – Autism Rocks positively impacts the lives of hundreds of people with autism every year. Kids, young adults, older adults, family members; people only mildly affected and people profoundly disabled, KindTree – Autism Rocks is there for all of them, a population growing every year. They find their strength, their heart, and their family. We can do more of it, do it all year long, with help from you. We need your help.

How KindTree – Autism Rocks supports the Autism Community

  1. Frame and promote autistic art
  2. Provide a quality family camp for a reasonable fee
  3. Build personal skills and community awareness
  4. Maintain the infrastructure we need to meet these goals

Our Art Program now has over 80 participants. In 2013, this program brought in $2,300 from art sales, but spent $4,000 enhancing and marketing the art.
     $1,700 in additional donations will support these artists.

Our summer Autism Family Camp brought in $7,500 in guest fees, and $3,500 for scholarships. Serving 160 guests, the 2013 Camp costs us $12,500.
     $1,500 in additional donations will keep fees affordable.    

Our Newsletter now reaches over 1100 homes three times a year and costs about $3,000. General donations fund this and other non-income producing infrastructure expenses all totaling over $8,000. Grants, in-kind and major donations help.
     $5,000 in additional donations will support the nuts and bolts of our mission.

Our STiLE Program is expanding, serving over 50 people in this first year. Life skills groups, social groups, gardening and healthy eating programs need an administrator. Grants have helped us get started, but...
     $3,500 additional startup funds will fill this critical and important position.

Our Support Groups, some going strong since 2000, are extraordinarily successful. People can experience a place where they can be themselves – safe, free, forgiving – a place to make the friendships that come to life at our Camp last all year long.
     $300 is enough to support this inexpensive and volunteer run outreach.

These amounts may seem overwhelmingly large to you. But when we work as a team - a community - every individual contribution makes a difference. Our volunteers keep costs low by donating their time. We find in-kind donations for camp food, framing supplies, accounting help and more. Our grant writing committee of volunteers has had success this year. But support from grassroots people like you is really our bedrock.

Please make a donation to support our programs today. Thank you.

Mary-Minn Sirag
President, KindTree Productions Inc.


Make a donation today
tell us your choice when you check out

  1. $50 supports one framed art work or one issue of the newsletter for 75 people
  2. $100 supports one artist scholarship or community outreach for two fun events
  3. $175 supports one family at camp or supplies for the Mask Party
  4. $250 supports one lifeguard at camp or paper and ink for 1000 note cards
  5. $500 supports our office or storage expenses
  6. $1000 supports one meal for everyone at camp
  7. Choose your own amount/program


All Access Dance postponed until January 14. Gonna be even more fun next year!

All Access Holiday Dance

All Access Holiday Dance


STiLE offering
Fall Term Groups

Registration for any group can be done with this PDF, or the options listed below...

Printable flyer of these training groups available HERE

Jewelry Expressions – Beginning:  Mondays, September 23 – November 11, 10:30-12p, Washington Park, 2025 Washington St., Eugene. Cost: $100.

Students with disabilities will learn how to make necklaces using various sizes and colors of glass and stone beads.  This is an opportunity to make unique jewelry to keep or sell, make new friends and be creative. Offered in partnership with Adaptive Recreation and the KindTree-Autism Rocks STiLE program.

Jewelry Expressions – Beginning:  (Extended) Mondays, November 18 – December 9th, 10:30-12p, Washington Park, 2025 Washington St., Eugene. Cost: $50.


Jewelry Expressions – Intermediate:  Mondays, September 23 – November 11; 12:30 – 2p, Washington Park, 2025 Washington St., Eugene.  Cost: $100.

Students with disabilities will have a large inventory of beads, wire, and supplies to create jewelry to keep or sell.  Focus is on using different colors and sizes of beads to create unique patterns and designs for necklaces, bracelets, and earrings, wire twisting, and individual creativity.  Offered in partnership with Adaptive Recreation and the KindTree-Autism Rocks STiLE program.

Jewelry Expressions – Intermediate:  (Extended) Mondays, November 18 – December 9; 12:30 – 2p, Washington Park, 2025 Washington St., Eugene. Cost: $50.

Registration for the jewelry classes can be done at Adaptive Recreation HERE


Garden to Table:  Saturdays, September 7 – September 28, 9:30-11a, Alton Baker Park Community Gardens, 100 Day Island Rd., Eugene.  Cost: $ 45.

This training offers individuals with and without autism the education, support, training and tools to grow their own food in a community garden setting using the Riley Campbell Memorial Garden plots located at the east end of the Alton Baker Park parking lot. Come harvest your own organic fruits and vegetables and plant a winter garden.

Registration for the Garden to Table Sessions can be done by downloading this PDF and sending with a check, or online with a credit card HERE.  or see below...


Get-up-Give Back:  Fridays, October 11-December 13; 2:30-5p, Hilyard Community Center, 2580 Hilyard ST., Eugene, OR.  Cost: $100.

This class provides adults with disabilities a safe, educational and fun opportunity to learn and practice job skills that will enhance their ability to find and keep volunteer positions and/or employment. This training is a partnership with Adaptive Recreation and the KindTree-Autism Rocks STiLE program.

Registration for Get-Up-Give-Back can be done at Adaptive Recreation HERE 


For more information go to or call Tim Mueller at 541-521-7208,  or

Registration for the jewelry classes can be done at Adaptive Recreation HERE

Registration for Get-Up-Give-Back can be done at Adaptive Recreation HERE

Registration for the Garden to Table Sessions can be done by downloading this PDF and sending with a check, or online with a credit card HERE

 KindTree - Autism Rocks 2096 1/2 Arthur St Eugene, OR  97405 . 

Brokerage invoices will be sent upon completion of the sessions, as appropriate.



Fun-Raiser this Friday, September 20!

MyVoice Project

Chris Chellsen sent me a Facebook message.
He wanted to do a Comedy Show for Autism...

He started out with Autism Speaks, and then heard about KindTree - Autism Rocks. So, with very short notice, WE HAVE A PARTY!

Any other comics who would like to perform, there will be an open mic following the showcase and "funny story" auction.

When: Friday, September 20, 2013

Time: 8:00pm until 12:00am

Tickets Here and Here

at Bonaroo Tattoo

860 Olive Street, Eugene, Oregon

More info here


Upcoming Events

  • Mask Making Party 2013
     Mask Making Party 2013 - Sunday, October 27th, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. 
    We supply the mask blanks, the feathers, the beads, the glue guns, the markers and paints, and all the other crazy stuff to make you own unique mask. We also have volunteers to help you realize your perfect project.

    Bring your family and friends, order some pizza or wine or beer, or just enjoy the great KindTree - Autism Rocks atmosphere of safety and acceptance.

    Frankie Sharp will be hosting Karaoke. You just love that!

    And we just might have a few guest surprises, too!

    See You There!

    Printable Flyer HERE

  • Holiday Market Weekend Holiday Market Weekend - Friday, November 29th, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Dec. 1st 

    This is a great weekend to connect to your Holiday Spirit, wandering through the aisles among the crafters, artisans, local growers, great musicians, savory food and body healers.

    Visit KindTree - Autism Rocks in the Holiday Hall, the southernmost side of the main building, across the hall from the large room. We will be in a non-profit space offered by the Holiday Market with our Notecards, T-shirts, "Autism Rocks" aprons, and framed original works by artists with autism.

    Everything has special pricing, too, with our $3.00 Notecards on sale for only $1.00 each. WOW!

    So come on by Thanksgiving Weekend and pick some up. As many as you want. Thanks for supporting these terrific artists with autism.

    Want to Volunteer to staff the Sales Table? Learn more here...

Transition Focus Of New Documentary On PBS


September 5, 2013

A documentary following a special-education teacher as she prepares her students with autism to leave high school and enter adult life is set for its national television debut.

The film “Best Kept Secret” examines the transition process through the eyes of teacher Janet Mino and her six students at John F. Kennedy High School in Newark, N.J. over the year-and-a-half prior to their graduation in the spring of 2012.

Teaching at an inner-city public school where students’ options after aging out are limited, Mino is determined to find opportunities for her students to succeed in the community so that they don’t become homebound, institutionalized or homeless after graduating.

Central to the story are Erik, the most high-functioning member of the class who dreams of working at Burger King; Quran whose father worries that the emphasis on education at school means he is not spending enough time learning basic life skills; and Robert who struggles with behavior and has a difficult home life leading him to miss class often.

Mino investigates everything from a jobs program and recreation center to a medical daycare and a local fast-food restaurant in hopes of opening doors for her students.

“This is a personal story about some young men who live with (autism) and their very dedicated teacher in one remarkable school. It’s about the struggles they face beyond the confines of that school,” said Samantha Buck, the film’s director, who indicated that she was inspired to tell a story about how autism affects those from minority and less-financially-secure backgrounds.

“Best Kept Secret” premieres Friday at theaters in New York and Los Angeles and will be broadcast nationally on PBS’ POV series Sept. 23 at 10 p.m. ET.

Copyright © 2013 Disability Scoop, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Artist Opportunity

Erik's Ranch & Retreats, premiere residence and workplace for adults with autism, announces a Call for Artists for the inaugural Diamonds in the Rough, an art sale and exhibit to benefit Erik's Ranch & Retreats and artists on the spectrum.

We are looking for artists on the autism spectrum, age 16 and older, to provide art for this benefit. If you know of students with autism who have artistic ability, please pass on the attached call to artists and art submission forms to offer them the opportunity to showcase their art and be compensated for their ability.

Submit a high-resolution pdf or jpg of each submission no later than July 15 to Include: artist name and contact information, medium, size and title of the artwork

More information at

Artist Spotlight

Leah DeMonia is a participant in KindTree - Autism Rocks Art Program, submitting art regularly, winning artist grants for many years, funded by the Lane Arts Council. She is 11 years old and lives in Oxford, PA. Her art is featured on KindTree's website.

Leah's Voice is a story that touches on the difficulties children encounter when they meet a child with special needs such as autism. Children who have a brother or sister with special needs find it difficult to explain to friends, or feel disappointed when their friends aren't more understanding. Leah's Voice tells the story of two sisters facing these challenges. Through her kindness and devotion, one sister teaches by example the importance of including everyone and showing acceptance.

Read more here...

Leah's Voice illustrated book

The real sisters



In this issue, June 2013:


STiLE Program video
a Project MyVoice production

STiLE(Skills Training for an Independent Living Experience)

Taylor Ames produced this video to showcase how STiLE, an offshoot of Autism Rocks, creates a series of trainings in life skills and recreational subjects. The session featured in this video meets every Monday at Washington ...

This video, along with all the other MyVoice Project videos (see them here), is available from KindTree - Autism Rocks in a wonderful DVD that you can purchase and share with your fellow professionals, educators and family members. It's a great way to emphasise the contribution people on the spectrum can make to our community, and celebrate the diversity of all peoples. All proceeds will help fund our programs.

purchase through PayPal here...


Thank You!

the PROM!
We had a blast!

see it on FaceBook
Siuslaw Bank
Pacific Cascade Federal Credit Union
Teach Your Child to Read
Oregon Roads
many more at

Community Calendar

August 9 - 10 Island Park Blues Festival. Music and fun for you music lovers. Our booth will offer art cards, jewelry creations, t-shirts and free info.

Summer Events, Eugene Adaptive Recreation. Fitness, arts & crafts, music and dance, much more…

July 22nd - 26th, 1:30 - 2:30pm Summer Intro to Theatre Class

August 23 - 25 Autism Camp / Retreat, Come home with KindTree. Registration form Here.

September 7 - 8 Let's Go Camping: Oregon Parks & Recreation Department. Curious about camping? Don't have a tent or sleeping bag? Let's Go Camping lets you try it out with our gear. Families may register for the limited # of spots by calling 1-888-953-7677 during business hours on a weekday. More info at

September 22 Oregon Walk Now for Autism Speaks - Sunday, Location: Alpenrose Dairy, Portland, Oregon

October 27 Mask Making Party and…? More info to come

November 22-14 Thanksgiving weekend Holiday Market. Get your art in now!

May 17, 2014 the next PROM!!! Mark your calendar.

Mary-Minn's Stim Page  

(Personal stories about autism. If you would like to see your musings on this page, please email Mary-Minn at

My Path of Fire, Part 2

In 1976, during the second recession of the ‘70’s, I graduated from college, armed unimpressively with majors in Classics and Art, and no marketable skills. For the following year, I lived with my college roommate, whose last parent had just passed away, and waited tables at a Chinese restaurant in downtown Cedar Rapids, Iowa. 

The following June, I fled to New York City to study life sculpture at the Art Students’ League.  

The Big Apple was bankrupt. When I arrived, the streets reeked from a garbage strike, and it was a hot summer. I was living without air conditioning on the 11th floor of NYU student housing at the time of the big blackout during a record-breaking heat spell. True to my good luck, I had not yet gotten onto the elevator when the lights went out. There was looting but not in the Village, where I was living. The Son of Sam, a famous serial killer, was at large and I fit his profile. 

Still, I loved New York. It was vibrant, extroverted, and had an invigorating edginess. New Yorkers are tolerant of eccentricity and, contrary to reputation, friendly. They’d start up a conversation in the elevator or in line at the Strand Bookstore on a rainy afternoon. I loved the people watching, the exuberant serendipity of random events, the contrast between high culture and street culture, the exotic food, all the different languages, even the gritty and noisy subway with its graffiti. 

I was physically invincible and fearless about everything besides my bleak financial prospects. I was a dismal waitress but had no other marketable skill. 

It was easy to find the kind of bottom-feeding work I had on my resumé. I was eager, enthusiastic and energetic. I could feign optimism long enough to get a job. 

Having figured out early on that there was too much competition for anything in the wants ads, I’d walk down 3rd Avenue, inquiring at every establishment if they needed help. After an hour or two, I usually would land a job, which would last for 5 or so weeks. Then, jobless yet again, I’d despair for a day and go at it again. 

During the next 18 months, I worked for 10 employers: 1) waitress at a Greek diner on Times Square for a non-leisurely afternoon; 2) cocktail waitress for a weekend at a jock bar in the Village; 3) waitress for 5 weeks at a Mexican restaurant in Midtown; 4) waitress for 5 weeks at a sushi house in the Village; 5) waitress for a weekend at a restaurant on the Upper West Side; 6) secretary for a week at an export company across from the World Trade Center; 7) cashier for 3 weeks at the Chocolate Factory on Canal St.; 8) cashier for 3 weeks at Baskin Robbins on the Upper East Side. My last two jobs were working as a fishmonger for 3 weeks at a fish store on the Upper East Side and delivering bag lunches to office workers in the publishing houses. 

I was fired from most of my jobs for unremarkable reasons. Only a few stand out. 

The Chocolate Factory touted itself as a chocolatier. In the back of the store, where my boss allegedly created his chocolate masterpieces, was a hot plate and a small saucepan with some dusty melted chocolate at the bottom and unconvincing dribbles down the side. The inspectors came by a couple of times during my tenure. The boss hid out in the back while my co-workers talked the inspector into coming back later. I kept mum, not trusting my own powers of persuasion. 

Allan Silver was my boss’ name. Priding myself in my “candor” and “wit”—or rather, bluntness and sarcasm--I called him Silverfish. 

Silverfish sent his most attractive female employee to Brooklyn to purchase chocolate from the vendors who wouldn’t sell to him. After closing up shop, we tore down the boxes, to destroy evidence that he was not making his own chocolate. 

If chocolate fell to the floor, we were to dust it off and put it back in the display case. We threw it in the trash when he wasn’t looking. 

After a couple days, I was able to weigh the chocolate precisely to the ounce but was admonished to enhance the order by throwing in an extra piece or two, which chafed at my esthetics of precision. 

Before Valentine’s Day, my co-workers and I were sent down to the 2nd-level sub-basement to retrieve some sad looking used heart boxes with dents and faded ribbons, a sad rebuke to the boyfriends who had waited until the last minute to grab something for their sweethearts. We banged sticks to keep the rats at bay. 

Silverfish stole from my till and deducted the over-ring from my paycheck. I was sorely tempted to call the police with an anonymous bomb alert on Valentine’s Day, but unceremoniously quit instead. 

Another job worthy of further mention was the Mexican restaurant, my most lucrative job in New York. Most of our customers were civilized sorts who worked at the U.N. They took leisurely lunches and left good tips. The staff were fed a delicious and hearty lunch. I made enough tips during the lunch hour not to need a second job. I could take classes in the evening and party.

For the privilege of working there, we arrived early to set up the dining room and clean the toilets. On payday, the boss had us sign our paychecks in the back. He paid us from the register. We weren’t allowed to see the front of the check.

One Monday, I arrived at work and 3 cooks had been deported. Though Mondays were usually slow, there was a line out the door, and only one cook. The food was not coming out. I was circulating around the floor, explaining to my patient customers that we were short-handed. 

My boss yelled at me on the floor for being so slow and brought out the orders himself, as though the food had been sitting out the whole time. We got into a nasty argument and I was fired. 

My next job was scooping ice cream at Baskin Robbins and keeping the “whites” (wall surfaces) spotless and shiny. The boss told me to help myself to as much ice cream as I wanted, even after I warned him that I was a bottomless pit when it came to ice cream. One day, when he was getting rid of some obsolete flavors, I made myself a giant sundae. 

The following day he pulled me aside to ask for some advice. He confided to me that he had told a houseguest to make himself at home and help himself to whatever was in the fridge. The guest had the audacity to make himself a giant submarine sandwich. 

What would I do? my boss asked me. I told him I’d be fine with it, having told my guest to make himself at home. 

The story turned out to be an allegory, with the guest as a stand-in for me. I had taken literally my boss’ generous invitation to help myself to whatever I wanted, especially since he was going to get rid of the discontinued ice cream anyway. I was fired. 

When my sleazy boyfriend and I got evicted from my apartment, in December of 1978, I was working at the fish market and at the catering company. These were my two favorite New York jobs. I loved working at the fish market because it was a 2-block commute from my apartment and the customers were pleasant.  

Delivering bag lunches was my favorite. I was the fastest delivery person and made decent tips. I loved burning off my excessive energy dashing around in all kinds of weird weather, racing the traffic lights and elevators. I relished the mindlessness and was grateful to be out and about by myself, not cooped up inside, annoying someone every time I turned around. 

In a futile attempt to escape my parasitic boyfriend, Gene, and a roiling feud with my brother that Gene had instigated, I ran away to California, where the economy was booming and my sister was living. After only two weeks, I landed a secretarial job in the San Francisco office of Mitsui, a gigantic Japanese trading conglomerate. The corporate world presented a whole new phase of my career—more lucrative, for sure, but socially more treacherous. 

 (To be continued in October’s issue…)
Read Part 1 here:


Mary-Minn Sirag

This was YOU!

Supported by:

Organically Grown Company; Café Mam; Bread Stop; Springfield Creamery; Market of Choice on 29th St.; Sundance; Sno Temp Freezer and Storage; Toby’s Family Foods

Autism Society of Oregon; The Downtown Eugene Lion's Club; GreyWolf Projects; Nancy Stamm; the Riley Campbell Memorial Scholarship Fund; BSA; and more...

Photo album
Talent Show
Dr. Who
Frankie & Deano


Newsletter and eFLASH! archives, December 2012 to ....

December 7, 2012 / March 8, 2013 / March 20, 2013 / April 18, 2013 / May, 2013

STiLE offering Gardening opportunity

KindTree-Autism Rocks
STiLE Training
Garden to Table Program

Saturdays: 9:30am – 11:00am; June 15-August 10, 2013 at Alton Baker Park Community Gardens

Make Friends and Be Part of the Community Garden

Have Fun and Learn How to Grow and Care for Your Plants and Flowers

Harvest and Eat Your Own Organic Vegetables

Cost: $90 for 8 Weeks

The Garden to Table training will offer individuals with and without autism the education, support, training and tools to grow their own food in a community garden setting using the Riley Campbell Memorial Garden plots in the Community Gardens at Alton Baker Park, 100 Day Island Rd., Eugene. (Located at the east end of the Alton Baker Park parking lot, Bus #13 at 9:00 am)

Maggie Pecora, an organic farmer with a degree in horticultural therapy, and community volunteers will provide instruction and guidance. 

This training is made possible through a partnership with the City of Eugene Parks and Open Space and Adaptive Recreation, KindTree Autism Rocks STiLE program and Kendall Auto Group-Kendall Cares.

Jewelry Expressions sessions are also available.

On-line registration can be done at or by submitting the registration form to
KindTree-Autism Rocks,
2096 ½ Arthur St.,
Eugene, OR 97405.

For more information please contact Tim Mueller at 541-521-7208 or



Movie Premier Event

MyVoice Project

MyVoice Project
Autism Rocks!

Tuesday, May 28, 5PM
Bijou Cinema 492 E 13th
Free ($5 donation hoped for)

Funded by the Kilkenny Service and Leadership Fund

A P r o j e c t M y V o i c e
P r o d u c t i o n

This film features Autism Rocks! volunteers and participants Stephen Peeler, Mary-Minn Sirag, Tim Mueller, Nel Applegate, TR Kelley, Larry Hurst, and others. Images from Autism Artism 2013 and the PROM will be included.

Check out the preview at and come to the Bijou to join in our premier! We'd love to see you.

As part of the civic journalism movement, Project MyVoice connects socially responsible and community-minded UO journalism students with underrepresented groups in Lane county that want to have a "voice.”

Through the art of digital storytelling and the practice of community engagement, heart warming and thought provoking stories are produced and shared through free public screenings at the Bijou theater each term. Our launching of the project features the local nonprofit "Autism Rocks.”

For more information:

Larry Hurst Vignette

Twitter: @ProjectMyvoice

Autism - Rocks Family Camp
Open for Registration

Thank You
to everyone who donated in memory of Riley Campbell. All the funds will be placed in the "Riley Campbell Memorial Scholarship Fund" for 2013 Family Camp scholarships.
Thank you!

Read more here...

Donations in Riley's memory can be made to KindTree's Riley Campbell Memorial Scholarship Fund.

This was YOU!

thanks to our donors and volunteers

Photo album here
Limbo Contest video here



“I know how to make the sun shine. I can do it anytime I see you...”

- Tim Mueller, STEEL WOOL

Autism Artism 2013

All of April at Territorial Vineyards, 3rd and Adams, Eugene

Last Friday Art Walk April 26, 5:30pm-8pm

Come enjoy these always amazing creations by people living with autism.
10 pieces have already been sold. You will not walk away untouched.

Autism Artism 2013 See Gala Opening photos here

Mary-Minn Sirag

Alisa McLaughlin

the show


eFlash! April 18, 2013

the PROM

the PROM 2013 - Saturday, May 18th, from 7:30 p.m. to midnight

Time to get your TICKETS

*Tickets on sale here*

Vet's Club Ballroom, Willamette St, Eugene, Oregon 97405

"Starry Night" ADULT PROM

Come fancy, funky, or uniquely you!

Joanna Broh Band
Dance Club DJ's
Dance Lessons
Silent Auction
Full Bar

This is the most fun fundraiser in Eugene today!

Who are you coming with?

Find out on Facebook...
Read more here...

Thank You
to everyone who donated in memory of Riley Campbell. All the funds will be placed in the "Riley Campbell Memorial Scholarship Fund" for 2013 Family Camp scholarships.
Thank you!

Read more here...

Donations in Riley's memory can be made to KindTree's Riley Campbell Memorial Scholarship Fund.

This could be YOU!



Autism Artism 2013

All of April at Territorial Vineyards, 3rd and Adams, Eugene

Gala Opening Saturday April 6, 5pm-7pm

Music by Frankie Sharp & Deano

snacks, fun, special guests
Meet the Artists, too!

On display all of April, with another party on the Last Friday, April 26.

Come enjoy these always amazing creations by people living with autism. You will not walk away untouched.

Autism Artism 2013




Sad news:

KindTree board member Dyan Campbell has suffered a great loss. Her son Riley Campbell died Saturday March 9 from natureal causes. He was 36 years old.

A memorial gathering will take place at the Universalist Unitarian Church at 13th and Chambers, Thursday, March 21st, from 5:30 - 7:30 pm. All of Riley's many friends are welcome. You are requested to wear something tie-dyed and loud... Sounds like a celebration of Riley-ness to me...

Read more here...

In lieu of flowers, donations in Riley's honor can be made to KindTree.

KindTree Receives Grants from Wells Fargo Bank and Spirit Mountain Community Fund

UO class chooses Eugene autism group for $5,000 Wells Fargo grant

EUGENE, Ore. – A new program will help autistic Lane County residents lead a better life, thanks to a collaborative effort between the University of Oregon, Wells Fargo and the nonprofit KindTree – Autism Rocks of Eugene.

As part of their studies, the 23 students in UO’s “American Philanthropy” freshman seminar conducted research about local nonprofit groups. After reviewing a number of possibilities, the students split into teams and made site visits to five agencies. After more discussion over a 10-week period, the students voted to allocate a $5,000 grant from Wells Fargo to KindTree in Eugene.

Read More Here...

Sprit Mountain Community Fund awards $4,000 to support KindTree - Autism Rocks' new STiLE Program.

Thanks to the efforts of Don Damon, Advisory Board Member, Mary-Minn Sirag and Molly Elliott, both current Board Members, an award-willing proposal was submitted to the Spirit Mountain Community Fund that resulted in a grant of $4,000 for the STiLE program. Thank YOU!!

Read More Here...

Community Events:

OSLP Arts & Culture Exhibition - Friday, March 29th, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

OSLP Arts & Culture is a person-centered arts and culture program where individuals of all abilities can explore and share their skills and pursue their personal artistic goals.

This event will feature original art creations by participating artists, with music provided by Rick Smith

the PROM 2013 - Saturday, May 18th, from 7:30 p.m. to midnight

Saturday, May 18, 2013.
7:30pm - Midnight

Buy Tickets. ( . *Tickets on sale here*

Vet's Club Ballroom, Willamette St, Eugene, Oregon 97405


Come fancy, funky, or uniquely you!

“The Future belongs to those who can imagine it”

-Cezar Chavez

Autism Artism 2013

All of April at Territorial Vineyards, 3rd and Adams, Eugene

Gala Opening Saturday April 6, 5pm-7pm

Music by Frankie Sharp & Deano

snacks, fun, special guests
Meet the Artists, too!

On display all of April, with another party on the Last Friday, April 26.

Come enjoy these always amazing creations by people living with autism. You will not walk away untouched.

Autism Artism 2013

Alissa Martin

Marcie Deutsch

Mary-Minn Sirag


In this issue, March 8, 2013:

Notes from Tim
the PROM 2013
Mary-Minn's Stim Page
Eugene Area Resources
Shortcomings in Autism Health Care
STiLE Program update
Guinea Pigs?
7 Myths Busted
More news and events at


KindTree Productions-Autism Rocks STiLE Program Update

Thanks to the efforts of Don Damon, Advisory Board Member, Mary-Minn Sirag and Molly Elliott, both current Board Members, an award-willing proposal was submitted to the Spirit Mountain Community Fund that resulted in a grant of $4,000 for the STiLE program. In addition, Professor Stone's U of O class on non-profit support awarded KindTree's STiLE Program $5,000 during a class competition. Thank YOU!!

This will allow us to begin offering trainings in April at Washington Park Community Center and other locations yet to be identified. Although we still need additional start-up revenues, KindTree has received an in-kind donation from the City of Eugene's Adapted Recreation and a major fundraiser "STEAM" is planned for Friday, March 15th from 8p-2a at the WOW Hall. Proceeds from this event will be used to help STiLE with start-up costs.

STiLE stands for Skills Training for Independent Living Experience. The idea for this program grew out of a dinning room discussion in Mary-Minn's kitchen over two years ago. The program is licensed through the DD Licensing Unit of the Department of Human Services. KindTree's Advisory Board and Board of Directors believe that services provided by STiLE will fill an unmet need in our community and with additional funding we will be able to fully implement our program plan.

Designed specifically for young adults with developmental disabilities, STiLE will offer services and skill instruction designed to foster self-awareness, self-advocacy, build skills that enhance daily living and help individuals establish and maintain healthy relationships. STiLE needs your continued support and additional start up funds. To learn more about this new service, get involved in the program development, or help with fundraising or donations, please contact

What kind of benefits does the state of Oregon offer?

My son Aaron is a 15 year old non-verbal boy with severe autism. I am looking at a job in Eugene, Oregon. Currently he receives DDD benefits from the state of WA. What kind of benefits does the state of Oregon offer and if possible do you know how they compare to Wa? Does Eugene have very good services for a child with autism?

I am not sure how benefits in Oregon compare to benefits in Washington, but I'm aware that benefits in Oregon are not very generous. I have an 8 year old son who is severely impacted by autism and non-verbal, so I can tell you about the services we've been able to access for him.
As a minor, your son would be eligible for services through the Oregon Dept of Human Resources, Developmental Disability Services (DD Services). Here is the general information link:
You apply through the county, and it's not a difficult process. They have 45 days to make a determination after your application. Here is contact information for the Lane County DD Services office: Lane County Dept. of Health & Human Services, Main Line: 541-682-3695
DD Services provides Family Support funds on a quarterly basis, depending on availability of funds. Generally, it's about $1,200 per year and can be used on a variety of supports, including respite, behavioral therapies not paid by insurance (currently only Kaiser Permanente provides ABA coverage, but I'm not sure if they are available in Eugene) and expenses related to the disability such as diapers. Here is the link to the DD Services site for more information:
If your son is on OHP, which is the Oregon version of medicaid and available to all children in Oregon, he would also qualify for up to 20 hours per month of "Personal Care" services to help him with activities of daily living.
Other services will be available at public schools.
Resource Listings: - links - resources

Autistic adults report significant shortcomings in their health care

Oregon Health & Science University study finds fewer preventive services, higher use of the emergency department than non-autistic adults (who represent about 1 percent of the adult population in the United States), and they report significantly worse health care experiences than their non-autistic counterparts.
209 autistic adults and 228 non-autistic adults were surveyed. They reported poorer satisfaction with provider communication and lower comfort in navigating the health care system or managing their health.
"The existence of health care disparities in our sample, most of whom had diagnoses of Asperger's and/or high educational attainment, also highlights the possible negative consequences of stricter criteria in the new DSM-V. Not having a diagnosis may deprive patients and their providers of insights, strategies, and accommodations to improve health care experiences," explained researcher Nicolaidis.
AASPIRE has received a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health to create an interactive toolkit to improve primary care services for adults on the autism spectrum. More information, including how to participate in the project, is available at
Read more here

How Guinea Pigs Could Help Autistic Children

Feeling a little awkward? As any dog walker knows, it's easy — unavoidable, even — to strike up conversations with strangers when accompanied by a canine friend. Smaller animals like rabbits and turtles can also lubricate social interactions.
In a study described in the latest PLOS ONE, Maggie O'Haire and her colleagues introduced two guinea pigs into 15 different classrooms and looked at how the presence of these furry creatures affected the interactions of autistic children with adults and non-autistic kids.
The researchers found that autistic children were significantly more talkative and cheerful in the presence of guinea pigs than in the presence of toys. The children were also more likely to look at faces, make physical contact, and interact with other children and adults.
O'Haire has several theories as to why animals might have this effect.
First of all, animals facilitate social interaction by giving people a common focus of attention.
Additionally, animals have a calming effect. For children with autism, the classroom can be a stressful environment, and O'Haire says an animal may relax them enough to make them feel comfortable interacting with peers.
Animals also make people look better. "If you have an animal with you, people actually perceive you as friendlier, happier, and less threatening," O'Haire says. "Having an animal there may have changed the children's perceptions of their peers in a more positive light." Read more at .

7 Autism Myths Busted

Home / Blogs / shanesh's blog / 7 Autism Myths Busted

'Anguished', 'Annoyed', and 'Hurt' are the emotions parents of autistic children feel acutely, when people mistake autism for some kind of disease and start behaving indifferent with their kids. It has become the need of the hour to cast aside assumptions and understand autism. So, it is imperative to debunk the myths associated with kids on the spectrum, in order to make them live a life of reasonable independence.
1. Autistic kids are mentally retarded - Problem is not with these kids; problem is with people who have such mentalities towards children on the spectrum. Most people think that if children are not behaving savants, they are the exact opposite! However, several studies have debunked the myth that children on the spectrum are mentally retarded. Though some kids on the spectrum are difficult to test as compared to others, they do not lack in intelligence.
2. Non-speaking autistic kids lack in intellectual skills - Don't you think this statement is hypercritical? Researchers believe that most children with autism communicate by typing, which is also known as alternative and augmentative communication (AAC). Special children do have intellectual skills. The only thing is they take their own time to deliver.
3. Children with autism do not make eye contacts - Usually kids on the spectrum find it painful to make eye contacts. For most of them it even becomes difficult to talk and make eye contact at the same time. But they can respond in other ways, which people should understand and respect.
4. Kids on the spectrum lack sense of humor - This is biggest misconception one could ever have. Many researchers and the parents of autistic kids believe that children on the spectrum are very gleeful and they love being happy.
5. Autistic children do not empathize - This statement is completely wrong as children with autism do empathize with others. In fact, these little ones are more empathetic as compared to those who are non-autistics. The only thing is these special kids have certain filters to guard themselves from other people's emotional states.
6. Kids on the spectrum do not feel love - Researchers believe that this notion is completely untrue as kids with autism do feel love. In fact, they are much more capable to feel and express love as compared to non-autistics, but they can be idiosyncratic sometimes to express their love.
7. Children with autism do not like to be touched - This is not at all true! There are kids on the spectrum who love cuddling and caring. They are quite affectionate and friendly people. They just love to be loved and accepted by others.
So, break down the stigma attached to autism and give these kids a chance to at least show that they have 'normal' emotions and feelings. Just as different people have different behavior and mood patterns, individuals with autism have their ways of expressing themselves in unusual ways. Learn it, understand it, and accept it! This is what you can do to let them feel they are a part of this society and this still beautiful world.
So, break down the stigma attached to autism and give these kids a chance to at least show that they have 'normal' emotions and feelings.


an Electronic Dance Music Extravaganza

March 15!!
the WOW Hall

Oregon's Best Dj's
2 Stages
All Ages
Live Art

be part of this happening event
See it on FaceBook


the PROM!

see it on FaceBook
May 18

Dance Dance Dance

7:30 Fun and Easy Dance Lesson
8:00 Live Music:  The Joanne Broh Band
9:00-Midnight Dance, Dance, Dance Party with DJs from the Swing, Zydeco, R&B, Salsa Clubs + surprises Meet and be greeted by Her Royal Highness–Slug Queen, Sadie Slimy Stitches

Get your tickets today

Our Bed of Tolerance

As I write this, the sun is shining in my window and I'm disoriented: isn't this Eugene, Oregon? Where are the clouds? Where are my sunglasses?
You know that feeling - you think you know where you are, what you're supposed to wear or do, but somehow it's just not right. You just don't seem to fit. What are you to do?
In my case, I'm gonna shut the curtains, keep the too bright sunlight out. But in other situations, separating myself from the discomfort may not be an option. If I could adapt, that would be good. But if adapting is not possible, what can I do then? How about just plowing ahead and ignoring my discomfort? I can squint. Blink a lot. Look at the ground. Maybe mention to my friends how doggone bright the sun is. And, with luck and a little tolerance from them, I will be OK - they will help me get through it.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is what we do here at KindTree - Autism Rocks. We provide a bed of tolerance for anyone - anyone - to rest safely on, to be themselves in, a place where squinting or flapping or rocking or being loud or messy or late is not a big deal, it's OK. We get it. So now we can move on to having fun or learning or working, whatever. Together, we make it work.
After a winter of behind the scenes prep, we are getting things done. Our STiLE Program is gearing up with enough of the funding in place to move forward. We hope to offer art trainings, gardening, and social skills work in various settings in the community. Molly Elliott, former Eugene Adaptive Recreation Director and now KindTree board member, is heading up this new program. It's bound to be great!
Autism Artism is getting ready for another great Opening Gala on April 6, featuring two of Eugene's most talented impressionists, Frankie Sharp and Deano, along with 27 artists on the spectrum. New Eugene City Councilor Claire Syrett will be joining us. I hope you can be there, too.
March 15 is the debut of former board member Max Lester's production company Cerebral Productions, presenting a EDM (electronic dance music) extravaganza fundraiser at the WOW Hall. Max is on the spectrum, now raising money for KindTree. Awesome! And May 18 we will mount our 2nd annual PROM - a dance for grownups. Again hosted by the reigning SLUG Queen and featuring both live music and DJ's, this event will be so much fun. There's a great silent auction, a fun dance lesson at 7:30, Limbo contest, outfit contest, and dance contest. Do not be afraid. Be your wild and craziest. Be your hidden beauty, your daring dashingest. Be yourself. It could be a night to remember.
Making memories, building your future. Right here. Come join us.

Thanks for listening, Tim Mueller


Mary-Minn's Stim Page  

(Personal stories about autism. If you would like to see your musings on this page, please email Mary-Minn at

My Path of Fire, part 1

I got my first job in April 1970, two months before my 16th birthday and a month or so after my family had moved from Lebanon to Burkittsville, Maryland. My early work history was an escape from the endless chores at home, for which, despite all my efforts, I almost invariably got punished for lack of thoroughness. I had never been shown--or figured out on my own--what "done" looked like.
Burkittsville had a population of 180 people. There were four churches and two general stores. One unnamed store was adjoined to the post office. Gordon's General Store, where I worked, was situated on the one street corner, kitty-cornered from our house, which had bullet holes from the Civil War, a ubiquitous historical presence in western Maryland.
There wasn't much in the way of entertainment in Burkittsville. On summer nights, the village idiots (or so my two younger brothers and I called them) stood on the street corner and cheered on passing vehicles, "Get it on!" in sexually charged grunts.
Both stores had a gas pump, so I pumped gas and wiped windshields. In the summer, the store was kept comfortably cool by a swinging screen door and a large ceiling fan suspended from a high ceiling. The proprietors, Mildred and Hubert Gordon, were a church-going elderly couple. They lived in back of the store with Hubert's energetic mother, Mrs. Young, who cooked us up a delicious and filling lunch.
The store had a clean and friendly smell of old wood and penny candy. It carried candy, cigarettes, 8 oz. bottles of Coca Cola and 7-Up, cigarettes, bulk cheese, milk, nails, sewing notions, rope and string, stationery, cheap perfume, and other basics to tide you over until your next trip into town, which happened to be Frederick. She ran tabs, even for the deadbeats.
The cash register was a giant brass machine with large round typewriter keys that didn't have weighted action so you had to push them down forcefully. You added numbers by pulling a lever, like returning the carriage on a manual typewriter. You multiplied by adding however many times you wanted to multiply by. Receipts were written out by hand, including a carbon copy. I had to write slowly as to be legible and remember not to cross my 7's.
I was hired to replace Brenda Murphy, who was going off to college. Brenda had grown up in Burkittsville and knew everybody. I, on the other hand, though hungry for any gossip at all, had no point of conversational reference. I couldn't recognize the people coming through the door, let alone remember who their daughter was, whether they suffered from bursitis or a bum hip, or put a face to the person who had been seen at the game with a colored man.
Mrs. Gordon was disappointed that I had to be told what needed to be done during the down times, unlike Brenda, who instinctively picked up on useful tasks such as inventorying the canned goods or cleaning the dairy refrigerator. So, during the year I worked there, my wage was frozen at fifty cents an hour.
The summer after my junior year, my brother John and I got a part-time job cleaning offices for a friend's mother's janitorial service. I enjoyed the mindless physical work and obvious procedures, joking with my co-workers, and being treated to a McDonald's milkshake on payday.
The summer before I went off to college, my friend Jean and I got a job cleaning rooms at the Holiday Inn in Frederick. Jean lasted through the summer, but I was fired after a week. The manager had pushed the quota from 25 minutes a room to 20 minutes, and I couldn't get past 22 minutes. On my last day, I was "training" a new girl, who had been cleaning rooms for a while and knew all the short cuts. The manager caught the two of us dancing to Soul Train on TV and fired us both on the spot.
Though I had a learner's permit, my parents would not let me use their car so I had to be driven places. John had gotten his license, so we both got jobs at the Horn and Horn Family Restaurant in a strip mall in Frederick—he as a short-order cook and I as a waitress. The waitresses' job included preparing salads and cold sandwiches, bussing tables and cashiering.
Unlike me, John was a quick study. He'd rub it in how pleased the manager was with his work and, in contrast, the toll my poor performance was taking on the poor man's health. (He had a heart attack the following winter.)
I would not have made it through the summer without the interventions of the head waitress, Ursula. A tall and buxom Fraulein newly emigrated from northern Germany, she barked orders in a stentorian Prussian accent. For some reason, though, she found me, with my pretentiously large vocabulary, amusing. Whenever I had a meltdown out on the floor because my brain was spinning too fast, Ursula would drag me off into the kitchen and put me to work making crab cakes until I calmed down. Though nobody knew from autism back then, she and the other girls intuitively understood how hard I was trying and cut me a lot of slack. My high-school friend Diane and her boyfriend Dan would sometimes pick me up after work and calm me down with sassafras tea.
During college, I knew enough to cherish the ivory-tower luxury of the academic year. School came more easily to me than anything else useful. Campus life in the sleepy college town of Mt. Vernon, Iowa, was simple and pleasurable. My board job, working circulation and shelving books in the college library, was scheduled around classes.

On the other hand, summer was an odious thing—with the humid heat, having to make money to pay for the following year's expenses, and, worst of all, moving back to Maryland to live with my parents.
During my sophomore year, my brother and I got jobs at the I-70 Truck Stop outside of Frederick--he as a short-order cook on evening shift and I as waitress on graveyard shift. I slept during the day, thereby managing to escape the tumultuous horror of our home life. Business was slow enough for me on graveyard to keep up with the orders, and the truckers were a sociable and good-humored lot. The waitresses on graveyard shift were all older women, who were maternal toward me. The cooks were cantankerous, especially Johnny, who, nonetheless, snuck me steak and eggs when the snitch from day shift wasn't looking.
The following summer, my parents and I bid each other good-riddance. My mother's recently widowed best friend, Sally, who lived in Washington, D.C., invited me to move in with her and her two daughters. Though this family was less chaotic and not verbally violent like my parents, the older daughter, who was my age, took a vocal and spiteful dislike toward me. When I moved in, I asked Sally about house rules and expectations but these turned out to have many nonverbal footnotes that were beyond my intuitive grasp, so I would find myself tiptoeing around mine fields of misunderstandings and gaffes.
I escaped into my work, as a cocktail waitress working from 8 pm to 4 am at a bikers' bar on Wisconsin Avenue that boasted the most tiltable pinball machines in that fair city. The bar served no snacks, not even pickled eggs or Vienna sausage.
The bartender was a short-statured Irishman who bragged constantly about his latest sexploits. I ridiculed him to his face though I didn't dislike him. It never occurred to me that such "teasing" could actually be hurtful, not just witty repartee. Looking back, I am amazed that he didn't fire me for being rude and disrespectful. The clientele were a congenial bunch of guys. After work sometimes, we'd go out for a massive breakfast and I'd return home a little after dawn, a truly decadent bedtime. Though I had been told that I could come and go as I pleased, Sally would be up waiting for me.
On days off, I'd escape to the Mall and take in a museum or gallery. When it was simply too hot, I'd rock myself into a blissful oblivion in the basement rec room, listening to Les Menestriers, a group that played medieval dance music on period instruments, and different instrumental variations of Stravinsky's Pulcinella Suites, which were my addictions that summer.
I graduated in 1976, in the depths of the second big recession that decade, which added to my diffidence about my employability and competence. I lived in Cedar Rapids with my college roommate, whose father had just died of cancer and whose mother had died years before. After a couple of weeks, I nabbed a waitressing job at the Dragon, a Chinese-American restaurant which aspired to some elegance, with mysterious lighting, piped-in muzak, glass-covered tables with Chinese astrology paper mats, candles in red globes with plastic netting, and a nice selection of potent umbrella drinks. They assigned me to the smallest station of 2's and 4's. Again, my job was saved from extinction by the head waitress, who liked me because I gave her my Christmas off. She had young kids; I had no family in Cedar Rapids and my roommate was too depressed to celebrate Christmas. The following summer, I fled to New York City to study life sculpture at the Art Students' League.  (To be continued in June's issue…)

Mary-Minn Sirag

“If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you”

-Oscar Wilde.



KindTree - Autism Rocks is pleased to announce the scholarship recipients for our "From the Studio to the Gallery" program, supported by the Lane Arts Council and the City of Eugene. Each of these artists will be submitting an entry into the "Autism Artism 2013" juried show. Application for that show can be found here.

Grant Recipients:

Stephen Peeler
Nora Blansett
Alyssa Martin
John Rushing
Perry Johnson
Lea DeMonia
Saige Donaldson
Benjamin Wefler
Frank Macauley
William Whitney


ARI Newsletter

read it all here

This newsletter from the Autism Research Institute features KindTree's Art Program. Check it out!

From the Editor:

Welcome to another edition of the ARI Adults with ASD eBulletin. Our offering this issue is a bit non-traditional, as we break from the format of written articles to feature artists with autism from a wide variety of disciplines. As you journey through each artist's story, you will be encouraged to view brilliant images, listen to audio samples of music, watch clips of performances and follow links to a variety of content for each artist...hopefully noticing along the way that the artists' "perspectives" on their art are as diverse as the art itself. Some use art to directly express their autism neurology. Others merely are expressing an artistic impulse on the canvas, page, keyboard, stage or screen. The point with all art is that there are no rules, no predetermined formulas or boundaries. We hope you enjoy this issue as we celebrate those whose creations gracefully push aside those rules and boundaries!

Andrew Nelson
Assistant Editor 

KindTree: Autism Rocks


Beth Davis

Mary-Minn Sirag



December 7
Gala Opening

Color Explosion

original paintings by
Larry Hurst and Kwang Lee

holiday snacks
music by Laura Kemp
meet the artists
more here...

Kwang Lee

at the Jazz Station
124 W Broadway
5:30 - 7:30

Larry Hurst

124 West Broadway, Eugene


KindTree Board Member
Lorraine Kerwood in New York

NextStep Recycling founder and KindTree board member Lorraine Kerwood is among only 10 candidates ("Honorees") for the "Women of Worth" Program.


Through Women of Worth, L'Oréal Paris is committed to recognizing women who embody the dedication and spirit of making a difference in their communities. L'Oréal Paris supports these inspiring women through a donation for their charity and by raising awareness for their causes. Each honoree will receive a $10,000 donation for her cherished charity. The National Honoree who's selected via public vote will receive an additional donation of $25,000.

The winner will be announced at a banquet in New York this week, and Lorraine is there.

"Security cameras everywhere. Times Square at night is lit up like daytime" says Lorainne.


Lorraine Kerwood

Wish her luck!


The Bridgeway House Holiday Fair
is this Saturday 12/08/12 Sign your family up for a private visit with Santa and Chris Pietsch from the RG will take a beautiful photo for $5.00

Gifts for every child~ Please call Bridgeway House for an appoint time between 10:00 a.m.  and noon follow by potluck and open visits till 2:00 p.m. Call 541.345.0805

Music, cookie decoration, candle making, crafts and fun games~ Please join us in the holiday spirit!

Asperger's dropped from revised diagnosis manual

CHICAGO — The now familiar term "Asperger's disorder" is being dropped. And abnormally bad and frequent temper tantrums will be given a scientific-sounding diagnosis called DMDD. But "dyslexia" and other learning disorders remain.

The revisions come in the first major rewrite in nearly 20 years of the diagnostic guide used by the nation's psychiatrists. Changes were approved Saturday.

One of the most hotly argued changes was how to define the various ranges of autism. Some advocates opposed the idea of dropping the specific diagnosis for Asperger's disorder. People with that disorder often have high intelligence and vast knowledge on narrow subjects but lack social skills. Some who have the condition embrace their quirkiness and vow to continue to use the label.

And some Asperger's families opposed any change, fearing their kids would lose a diagnosis and no longer be eligible for special services.

But the revision will not affect their education services, experts say.

The new manual adds the term "autism spectrum disorder," which already is used by many experts in the field. Asperger's disorder will be dropped and incorporated under that umbrella diagnosis. The new category will include kids with severe autism, who often don't talk or interact, as well as those with milder forms.

Read the rest here



Time for Giving

Please help support KindTree - Autism Rocks' programs

Donate $50 or more and receive a free download of this great Music CD Featuring Stars from Eugene's local Talent Pool!

KindTree needs your support.
The need continues to grow.
Please donate today!

Holiday Shopping
Starts Here!

On the web:

  • Notecard Sale - many new designs and old favorites at half price
  • New art from Claire Athens, Nora Blansett, Neri Avraham, Larry Hurst, Kwang Lee, and many more.
  • T-shirts and aprons, NEW colors
  • Autism Rocks Logo items - mugs, clothing, toys
  • Original Art - framed fine art or matted reprints

Support Artists With Autism


Order today.

"Sensitive Santa” Caters to Families with Autism

Eugene, OR, December 15th, 2012 10am - 4pm Boys & Girls Club, 1545 W 22nd, Eugene (KindTree will be there!)

A “Sensitive Santa”, catering to children with autism, will be available for photos from 10am -4pm at Eugene Boys and Girls Club Holiday Faire. “Sensitive Santa” will be quiet (no loud Ho Ho HO's), no unsolicited touching, and photographer is talented in catching candid moments with Santa if a posed picture isn't possible. $10 suggested donation.

Owners Cyrus and Sunshine Parsons are parents of a child with autism and were determined to make a safe and enjoyable experience for other parents and their children. Considering approximately 1 in 88 children have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), it can be difficult for families of children with autism to enjoy some of the holiday celebrations and traditions most people take for granted – including simple things like sitting on Santa’s lap in a busy shopping mall.

There will also be music, local crafts (including KindTree - Autism Rocks Notecards and T-shirts!!) and other Holiday vendors.

This event is more than just a Holiday sale. Family and friends of autistic nine-year-old Lief O'Neill are organizing several fund-raisers to help pay for mounting medical bills. Lief has severe autism, and his heart recently became badly damaged. Now he needs a transplant. Due to his autism, his family says Lief cannot get a new heart in Oregon, so he's at the Stanford Children's Hospital in northern California.

Lief's family owns a Christmas tree business; 100% of sales from their lot at 28th and Friendly St.. in Eugene will go to his fund. Other friends have put together a spaghetti dinner and auction at Monroe High School Saturday, December 8th from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Plus this Sensory Safe Santa event at the Eugene Boys & Girls Club December 15th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. More information about the "Life for Lief" campaign is available on a Facebook page.

Adaptive Recreation for Winter

Seven non-fat ways to enjoy the holidays.
It's that time of year to get together with family and friends, but instead of sitting around munching on goodies, invite a friend or the whole gang to some non-fat fun! Learn more here.

Check out all the activities on the virtual Rec Guide for Winter/Spring 2013.

Check out Inclusion Services Here.


DUE RIGHT NOW!!       

  December 2012: Autism Speaks iPad 2 Grant!

Autism Speaks is thrilled to announce that through the generosity of and the James W. Pickle Foundation, 625 financially disadvantaged individuals with autism and schools will receive an Apple iPad 2!
Eligible applicants are individuals who:
- Have been diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder by a licensed professional,
- Reside in the United States,
- Have limited income and cannot afford to purchase an iPad.
Note: If you already submitted an application for the iPad 2 grant in February 2012, you must re-apply to be considered for the new round.

  Technology Grant Timeline

December 3: Online Application Opens
December 7: Application Closes
December 7-14: Review Committee Selects Recipients
December 17: Recipients Announced and iPads sent out!!

   How to Apply

Applications must be submitted by the person with autism, an immediate family member of the person with autism, or a licensed teacher, social worker, or therapist. The Technology Grant Review Committee will review eligible applications based on established criteria and select the iPad grant recipients. Some applicants will be contacted by staff for follow up information. All applicants selected to receive an iPad 2 will be contacted on December 17. Others will receive an email informing them of their status.

Visit the AutismCares website to apply! You must create a login and select Autism Speaks iPad Grant.
Note: Please DO NOT complete the application entitled "AutismCares Application" if you are applying for an iPad. Only those applicants that complete the application entitled “Autism Speaks iPad Grant” will be considered.

Only applicants in the United States will be considered. We cannot accept applications from outside the United States.

Earlier this year, Autism Speaks was able to award 180 iPads to families across the USA. Read more about it here!


Questions or comments? 
Contact Serena Selkin, Family Services Grants Manager at or (917) 475-5059.

“If you are a rap star, you can be both funky and fresh. If you are a glass of milk, however, you must choose one or the other.”

-Sam Rutledge.
P O Box 40847
Eugene, OR 97404
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