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Press Releases

In The News

Tailor Learning to Children's Special Needs
By Betsy Flagler, Post and Courier, Charleston.net, September 4, 2007
A new tool to help parents talk with teachers is at AutismSupportsForYou.com. ...Read More...

Parenting Children with ASD: a Source of Personal Growth
The Spectrum, April 2006
Summary: Many parents would agree that parenting a child with autism is challenging. While not highlighted as often, it is also true that the experience of parenting a child with special needs can be a source of gratification, personal growth, and positive transformation.  View PDF

RelateNow: New Internet-based Program Helps Families and Professionals

The Autism Perspective, Spring 2006
Summary: The first thing RelateNow’s founders looked for when their son was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder was a comprehensive online education and support tool to help us, but we could not find it…That’s when it occurred to them to develop an online tool for parents, teachers and other autism professionals and the idea of RelateNow was born…..View PDF

Web site makes it easier to care for autistic children

Carson City Times, December 1, 2006
Summary: Toni Richard is relieved to give up the role as case manager and move back into the sole role of mommy to her autistic 5-year-old son Tyler. As of Nov. 1, a comprehensive Web site, RelateNow.com, went live in Nevada and has been a source of help to her...View PDF

Press Releases

New Internet Service Helps Deliver Cost Effective Therapy for Children with Autism
Madison, Wisconsin, October 25, 2006 — It is recommended that children with autism receive a minimum of 20 hours of intensive therapy per week.  This costs an average of $29,000 per person per year according to a recent study published by the Harvard School of Public Health.  Since these costs far exceed the ability of most families to pay, an affordable new Internet-based service called RelateNow.com has been developed to empower parents and professionals to deliver more cost-effective therapy to help children with Autism reach their full potential.

The system works by asking parents or therapists a series of questions to identify a child’s strengths and weaknesses in 14 different domains. Next, individually tailored goals and objectives are established to create a customized treatment plan.  The RelateNow program then suggests activities, strategies and online video training programs about how to deliver therapy to advance a child’s treatment goals, and it ranks activities and strategies that have been rated as most effective by parents and therapists working with children who have similar profiles.  The system can also be used to track a child’s progress with his or her treatment plan over time.

Additional capabilities include the ability to facilitate the scheduling of therapy sessions – a significant challenge when coordinating the availability of families and multiple therapy team members for over 20 hours each week – and communication tools to make it easier for professionals and parents to work together toward the same treatment goals.  

The founders of RelateNow had worked for many years creating Internet-based health education and support programs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for the National Institutes of Health and other philanthropic organizations for people facing a variety of health issues, and they turned to creating RelateNow when their son was diagnosed with Autism.  “We’d seen how people can benefit from using such state-of-the-art Web-based health education and support systems,” said Kelly Gatzke, Founder and President of RelateNow.  “When our son was diagnosed with Autism, we set out to create the kind of system we wished were available for us.  We used our ten years as researchers in Internet health education and partnered with a team of visionary leaders in autism treatment to develop RelateNow.”

RelateNow’s initial customers are providers of intensive home-based therapy services for children with Autism who saw RelateNow as a way to involve parents more actively in their child’s treatment plan and enhance training for parents and staff.  Agencies are also using the service to extend their ability to serve families living in remote locations that they otherwise would be unable to serve. 

RelateNow and Imagine a Child’s Capacity Introduce Portrait of Learner Classroom Strategies Report to Support Students with Autism at School: Web-based Survey Tool Helps Teachers Develop Individualized Classroom Strategies
Madison, Wisconsin, September 27, 2006 – RelateNow, an innovator in Web-based solutions empowering parents and professionals to more effectively help children with Autism, and Imagine a Child’s Capacity, a leading provider of training and support to educators for building inclusive classrooms for children with special needs, today announced the availability of a Web-based tool called the Portrait of a Learner Classroom Strategies Report that provides individualized, hands-on recommendations to parents and teachers about how to help children with Autism have the most successful possible educational experience.

The survey tool asks parents or teachers about a child's specific learning needs and then recommends individualized strategies that can be used in the classroom to more effectively support and teach students with Autism and other similar learning styles.  The tailored suggestions focus on using what students with Autism are best at to help them achieve greater success in situations and environments that can be difficult for them such as making friends, smoothly transitioning between different parts of the day, completing tasks, managing emotions and behaviors, understanding social expectations, and handling sensory information in ways that are conducive to a positive learning environment.

This survey is not intended to replace the advice and support of a professional trained to address the needs of students with Autism at school,” said Nannette Negri, Ph.D., one of the lead authors of the survey and a consultant who has worked at schools help students with Autism for over thirty years. “However, we believe it will make it easier for parents to talk with teachers about what strategies are likely to be most effective in the classroom based on their children’s specific needs,” she said.  “Our hope is that it will be a conversation starter that will empower families and educators to work together more effectively, particularly in school districts where professional training services are harder to obtain because of resource issues or in remote, rural districts where Autism experts may be difficult to access.”

The individualized strategies offered by this Web-based tool are based on best practices that have been found to help students with Autism do better at school,” she said.  “We’ve seen hundreds of children benefit from these approaches during our many years working in the field,” she said.  “They are strategies that first consider the children’s strengths, interests and perspective of the world to help them build relationships and learn in ways that make the most sense to them. All strategies can be implemented non-obtrusively and respectfully in general education classrooms.

The interactive support plan can be accessed at www.AutismSupportsForYou.com