Articles

“Traveling, Trips, and Dining Out” Featured in Charlottesville Family Magazine

Life with a Child with ASD, One Mother’s View

Raising a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)  isn’t always easy,  and you shouldn’t feel that taking care of yourself is an act of selfishness—it’s a necessity.  Because, being emotionally strong  will not only better prepare you to care for your child but also give you the focus and understanding you need when your child throws you a curveball. With children on the autism spectrum, there are no consistent expectations or habits. It is a spectrum, and every child has varying abilities and challenges, and handles situations differently. Keeping an open mind and retooling information to fit your family’s  needs is some of the best advice. Read on to share in our family’s  journey and, I hope, take away some ideas and ….

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“Ask Cathy” Column: October 2017

“Ask Cathy… An Open Dialogue with a Mother and Special Needs Architect”

Q: My daughter on the spectrum is 14 and attends public school. She has an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) which provides her support each day. The school team is beginning to discuss transition. I’m not really clear about this process. Can you advise me about your experience?

A: Transition is a requirement of the federal  IDEA Act (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) and must begin by or before the student is 16. This addresses your child’s needs to either be on diploma track or certificate bound. Different states call this by different names but fundamentally, the team begins to focus on the specific transition requirements for your child to adulthood. A child with special needs can remain in school until age 21 ….

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“Funding and Services” Featured in Albemarle Magazine

A Broadstroke Overview of Funding and Services for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities from Birth to Death
By Cathy Purple Cherry, featured in Albemarle Magazine’s October/November 2017 issue 

During the journey of raising a child with special needs, it is unusual for parents to only understand a small segment of the services available to their child and family. It is also not unusual for the groups providing services to only understand a different segment of services. Very few truly know the full picture of supporting a child with disabilities through life, who to approach and where the funding comes from. The purpose of this article is to provide a broad stroke fundamental overview of this journey. This is not specific to Virginia but rather to be an overview of how states may implement ….

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“Purposeful Architecture” Featured in Albemarle Magazine

Purposeful Architecture – Designing living and learning environments for adults and children with disabilities
By Cathy Purple Cherry, featured in Albemarle Magazine’s October/November 2017 issue

The name “ Purposeful Architecture” was selected for the specific body of work within my architecture firm, Purple Cherry Architects, dedicated to positively impact living and learning environments for adults and children with disabilities. In this work, I serve as a special needs architect consulting with teams across the country to positively influence the built environment that supports individuals with special needs and the staff that serve them. For me, this work has a very specific purpose. Thus, the name. My “Purposeful” heart extends to my other non-profit work as well. I am dedicated to helping nonprofits and have found the design and building process to be very intimate ….

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“Ask Cathy” Column: August 2017

“Ask Cathy… An Open Dialogue with a Mother and Special Needs Architect”

Q: With school about to start, can you advise how I might prepare my young daughter with ASD so that she is ready to return to a regular routine?

A: I would recommend a few things. Getting your daughter into a predictable routine and preparing her environment to support that routine are the best first two steps. You may want to use a wall clock, a song, and several strategic signs mounted in her room, her bathroom, and around the house. Even before school starts, if you can encourage her to select her clothes for the next day the night before, this will help w ith her routine. In the morning, you may want to play a favorite song or two to ….

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