New Book Added to Resource Library of Leading Autism Organization

New Book Added to Resource Library of Leading Autism Organization

SOURCE: The Adams Group

Autism Speaks, the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization, has added the book Life Not Typical: How Special Needs Parenting Changed My Faith and My Song (Carpenter’s Son Publishing) to their Resource Library. The book was written by top 40 Billboard recording artist and speaker, Jennifer Shaw, who shares her son Toby’s struggles with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD).   SPD is closely aligned with autism in that every autistic child has some form of SPD. To date, the medical community is unclear of the exact connection. SPD is also often misdiagnosed as ADD or ADHD. One study estimated that 1 in 20 children in the U.S. are affected by the disorder.

Touted as the first book of any genre to detail Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) from the parent’s perspective, Life Not Typical: How Special Needs Parenting Changed My Faith and My Song, describes the Shaw family’s journey with their son, describing moments of frightening behavior.  “He could not touch anything or be touched by anyone other than my husband or me,” says Shaw.  “He would hardly eat anything and made no sounds except for crying all the time.  He would scream in terror if water touched him unexpectedly.  SPD is just unrelenting.  It was extremely intense,and he could never stay with anyone else, so there was no respite, even at night.  There was the fear of not knowing what would happen to him, not knowing if he would ever be ‘okay’ or if he would be able to live a normal life. You have to rethink what dreams you have from your child.  We went from’maybe he’ll be a great this or that’ to ‘maybe he’ll be able to walk on grass someday.’ When you work for eight months, every day, just to get him to eat apiece of bread, it changes your definition of success for your child.”

Shaw includes five informative appendices in her book, including an in-depth Signs and Symptoms section on SPD as well as original interviews that Shaw conducted with a Certified Early Childhood Intervention Specialist, a Speech and Language Pathologist and an Occupational Therapist who were all instrumental in helping her own son.

“We were told that therapeutic methods used before age three would actually be ‘re-wiring’ his brain,” says Shaw. “After age three, the brain is not pliable enough, and the therapy shifts to coping techniques.  Our friend’s son is in that situation, and it is hard.  It is also very common since SPD is not usually diagnosed at a young age.  In hindsight, we consider it a blessing hat Toby’s behavior was so severe at an early age that it was obvious something was really wrong.  A year after his diagnosis, when he was retested, they described his progress as miraculous, and told us repeatedly that they’d never seen anything like it.  One therapist told us that given his intake profile, it ‘should not have been possible.’  When I share my story at concerts or women’s events,I have people come up to me and tell me I am describing their child, but they have never heard of SPD.  I want this book to be a quality resource for parents who are facing similar circumstances as well as give them hope that there is help available.”

Shaw is currently working on a new recording project entitled Someday with Lifeway Christian Resources’ Producer of the Year, Paul Marino.  Shaw and Marino co-wrote the song “Life Not Typical” which became a music video directed by Jeffrey Kubach whose credits include the hit television show “Survivor” as well as a Best Pop Music Video nomination from Gospel Music Channel.

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ABOUT JENNIFER SHAW:
With degrees in both piano performance and vocal performance, Shaw completed her graduate work in opera performance at the prestigious Manhattan School of Music. A former professor of voice at Cedarville University, Shaw is a top 40 Billboard artist and has garnered a #3 hit song on the national Inspirational radio charts. Her CD, Love Broke Through , also introduced the song “God Loved the World” which was used in Lifeway’s Christmas musical last year and was recently the #1 best-selling Easter choral anthem for Lifeway Christian Resources. Jennifer and her husband, Nathan, live with their three children in central Ohio. Visitwww.JenniferShaw.comfor more information.

ABOUT AUTISM SPEAKS:
Autism Speaks is the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization. It is dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. Autism Speaks was founded in February 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright, the grandparents of a child with autism. Mr. Wright is the former vice chairman of General Electric and chief executive officer of NBC and NBC Universal. Since its inception, Autism Speaks has committed over $180 million to research and developing innovative resources for families. Each year Walk Now for Autism Speaks events are held in more than 95 cities across North America. To learn more, visit www.autismspeaks.org.

VeggieTales Hits the Digital Game Play Space With Engaging Apps for Young Kids

VEGGIETALES HITS THE DIGITAL GAME PLAY SPACE

WITH ENGAGING APPS FOR YOUNG KIDS

Big Idea Entertainment Partners with, Weeblets, Playful Owl & ReelCards Powered By GorillaSpot To Launch Fun and Instructive Games, Stories, Music, Ecards and More

The Successful Spotisode Collection from Weeblets Recently Launched

Landing the #1 Free App For Kids Position In The Amazon Appstore


SOURCE: Hoganson Media

FRANKLIN, TN (April 4, 2012) — Big Idea Entertainment, a leading studio and producer of children’s and family programming, announced today that it has expanded its digital program for its popular VeggieTalesÒ brand by partnering with mobile kid-play experts, Playful Owl, an app developer focused on meaningful play, and social media development and marketing company, GorillaSpot, which creates video applications across web, social and mobile platforms for producers of premium entertainment content.

 

These partnerships come on the heels of a successful launch with Weeblets, a developer and publisher of mobile apps for kids, for The VeggieTales Spotisode Collection™ that’s currently available on Android and iPhone. Within the first few days of its exclusive launch in the Amazon Appstore in February, the app became the number one free app for kids, and reached as high as number 11 overall.

 

VeggieTales is the first property to launch with Playful Owl’s Step-by-Story reading readiness mobile app. With Step-by-Story, children two through six years old can create their own short story through a series of simple and entertaining choices. The app automatically turns their choices into an animation that can be shared with parents and friends. Big Idea has recently launched VeggieTales: The Goofy Gift and VeggieTales: Larry’s Missing Music, with six other additional titles scheduled to roll out this year. Each title includes over 500 possible story combinations, and promotes reading readiness by associating words, pictures and sounds. Apps are available for Android, iPhone and iPad.

 

Big Idea is working with ReelCards powered by GorillaSpot to introduce VeggieTales ecards. Fans will be able to access the ecards through a Facebook application that will enable them to send personalized video cards using short clips from popular VeggieTales titles. They will be available for various occasions including birthdays, holidays and other special moments, and can be used as part of daily communications with friends and family. This launch is expected to roll out this summer and will be available as a mobile app on Android and iPhone beginning early summer 2012.

“We are delighted to see more than one million game plays and the very positive response of fans with the Spotisode app,” said Brian Mitchell Vice President of Marketing and Licensing for Big Idea Entertainment. “Additionally, the meaningful lessons shared and reading readiness promoted in every Step-by-Story app delivers great value to young families. We will continue to roll out fresh content to ensure the most fun and engaging VeggieTales experience.”

Within the first month of its launch, The VeggieTales Spotisode Collection surpassed one million games played. The app consists of fan-favorite clips from the VeggieTales series and presents children with the challenge to find or “spot” objects in the videos. Each clip helps develop motor skills as they play through the various themed levels. A child’s success with a “spot list” opens up new levels built on additional videos that teach new important lessons with updates scheduled regularly and for special occasions. Upcoming updates will include VeggieTales: Robin Good and His Not- So- Merry Men, featuring new game levels based on scenes from the new video release.

 

The VeggieTales Spotisode Collection was a tremendous success right out of the gate and fit perfectly into our overall strategy of building great apps for children based on animations, characters and stories they know and love,” said Weeblets CEO Adam Somer. “We look forward to continuing to update the app to deliver new content to VeggieTales fans and their families.”

 

These app releases are just the first of many that Big Idea Entertainment has in development and slated to roll out later this year.

About Big Idea Entertainment

Big Idea Entertainment is a leading studio and producer of children’s and family programming, characters and brands. Big Idea’s best-selling series VeggieTales® is a leading animated home video series in the US with moms of pre-schoolers*.  Since 1993, VeggieTales® has sold 56+ million videos, 13 million books and more than 7 million CDs.  VeggieTales® and Big Idea’s property, 3-2-1 Penguins!®, enjoyed four seasons as top-rated series on NBC Saturday mornings, Telemundo and ION TV via the qubo® children’s programming block.  The studio’s two theatrical releases, Jonah-A VeggieTales Movie® (2002), and Universal Pictures’ and Big Idea’s The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything®-A VeggieTales Movie® (2008), are distinguished among the most successful faith-based films of all time. Big Idea also maintains an extensive presence in publishing, licensing and live entertainment arenas. For more information on Big Idea, visit: www.VeggieTales.com.

*Spring 2011 Q-Score

The Kingdom of Heaven

I marvel at my three year old daughter! I don’t know from where she gets some of her amazing qualities. She’s so unlike me in so many ways and I wish to be more like her in many ways.

We’re often seen at our neighborhood park at least several times a week. Little Miss Social Butterfly is devastated if there are no other children at the playground. Often she’ll just say, “Let’s go home, mama.” But today in particular there were at least five or six other children within her age range. She was in her glory!

There she was, my fairest of the fair beauty (we’re talking nearly white towhead, blue eyes and fair skin) with out so much as another thought playing with other children that don’t look even a speck like her! She makes it look so easy to talk to people she’s never met before. “Hi! My name is Lillie! And I’m here! Do you want to play?”

Meanwhile, I push the stroller carrying my other nearly one year old daughter to a nearby bench and seclude myself in the comfort of its loneliness. Really, it’s just an excuse, if I’m totally honest to not interact with the other parents. My mind wanders: well, they don’t know me, what if they think I’m weird for talking to them, their table looks too full and I would just make it crowded, what if they think I’m some stuck up white person, the dad is smoking-don’t want Evie to be around that, what if I have nothing to say, I have nothing to give back anyway… I totally defeated myself without even starting! I settle into the bench and check out Facebook on my iPhone. Great, now I just look like a parent that doesn’t even care what their kid is doing. And that’s so not me! I’m just, well, uncomfortable approaching someone I don’t know. It’s not natural for me. Makes my skin crawl just thinking about it.

And it’s not that I’m antisocial. I love to have conversations with people I don’t know, but I’m more comfortable when others pursue me. There’s Lillie again, “Mama, can I have a Popsicle?” Sure, honey. One of the other parents went to the store for Popsicles and handed them out to all the kids. She easily asks the mom if she may have one too, a purple one. Gold star, baby, for good manners! The mom smiles sweetly at her and hands her a purple Popsicle. All the kids sit together at the now very crowded picnic table and chat about only things Preschoolers and toddlers find interesting. Later they share chips and Hawaiian punch.

And I just watch. And I’m proud of her. I remind myself that this is all she knows. She’s always lived in the city with all its beautifully colored people. I, on the other hand, grew up rurally in an almost totally pasty white community. I feel so out of place here, so plain, so vanilla, so boring!

As I survey Lillie playing “run around tag” with her new friends, laughing gleefully, I’m reminded that this is what it’s supposed to look like!

Matthew 18 (The Message)

Whoever Becomes Simple Again
1 At about the same time, the disciples came to Jesus asking, “Who gets the highest rank in God’s kingdom?”

2-5 For an answer Jesus called over a child, whom he stood in the middle of the room, and said, “I’m telling you, once and for all, that unless you return to square one and start over like children, you’re not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in. Whoever becomes simple and elemental again, like this child, will rank high in God’s kingdom. What’s more, when you receive the childlike on my account, it’s the same as receiving me.