Saturday, February 4, 2012

President’s Volunteer Service Award

Dear Friends,

The Mendoza Science and Arts Autism Foundation inc. has a long proud history of volunteer service. Our volunteers are working to meet the needs of their neighborhoods and the community by advocating for low-income children and adults with autism and other special needs.

In recognition of these outstanding achievements, The Mendoza Science and Arts Autism Foundation Inc. is proud to announce the availability of the President’s Volunteer Service Award, a prestigious national honor offered in recognition of volunteer commitment. Established in 2003, this new Award is given by the President of the United States and honors individuals, families and groups who have demonstrated a sustained commitment to volunteer service over the course of 12 months.

The Mendoza Science and Arts Autism Foundation Inc. has teamed with hundreds of organizations and businesses across the country to deliver this Award to our most outstanding volunteers. As a Certifying Organization of the President’s Volunteer Service Award, we can nominate potential recipients and distribute the Award to those who meet or exceed the Award criteria.

“ The Mendoza Science and Arts Autism Foundation Inc is extremely proud to join the President of the United States in recognizing the volunteers who consistently take the time to make a difference in the lives of others,” said Tatiana Mendoza president and Founder of The Mendoza Science and Arts Autism Foundation Inc. “Volunteers strengthen America and inspire others to get involved. We are proud to honor our volunteers who are answering the call with this Award.”

Children, adults, families and groups can receive the Award and, given their ongoing service activity, many of our volunteers may already meet the requirements. To qualify for the President’s Volunteer Service Award, volunteers simply submit a record of their service hours to The Mendoza Science and Arts Autism Foundation Inc., and we will verify the service and deliver the Award.

Volunteer service hours are not limited to those performed on behalf of The MSAAFINC. In fact, service hours can be accumulated through work on a variety of projects throughout the year. The only requirement is that the necessary hours be completed within 12 months; recipients can qualify for a new Award each year.

“Our volunteers should strive to earn the President’s Volunteer Service Award every year,” said Tatiana Mendoza. “Even if you’ve never volunteered before, the Award is within your reach. In fact, the strength and success of our nation depends on every one of us taking an active role in the community where we live. You can also help strengthen America by asking your friends, families and neighbors to join you in helping your community. Most people say ‘yes’ if asked to volunteer – all it takes is a personal request.”

The President’s Volunteer Service Award is issued by the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation – created by President George W. Bush to recognize the valuable contributions volunteers make to our nation. To learn more and find out how to qualify for the Award, contact The MSAAFINC, our Award administrator, at or visit

To be eligible to receive the President’s Volunteer Service Award, applicants' service hours must be confirmed by a registered Certifying Organization. There are three levels of the Award varying by hours of service completed within a 12-month period:

Kids - 14 and younger​

Bronze Award​50 - 74 hours
Silver Award​75 - 99 hours
Gold Award​100 or more hours

Young Adults - Ages 15 - 25
Bronze Award​100 - 174 hours
Silver Award​175 - 249 hours
Gold Award​250 or more hours

Adults - Ages 26 and up​
Bronze Award​100 - 249 hours
Silver Award​250 - 499 hours
Gold Award​500 or more hours

Families and Groups (two or more people)*
Bronze Award​200 - 499 hours
Silver Award​500 - 999 hours
Gold Award​1,000 or more hours
*Each member contributing at least 25 hours towards the total

President’s Call to Service Award
Individuals who have completed 4,000 or more volunteer service hours over the course of their lifetime are eligible to receive the President’s Call to Service Award.

Thank you!


Friday, January 27, 2012

Why Me?

AMY LENNARD GOEHNER said it best, "The "typically developing" siblings of autistic children are, in fact, the furthest thing from typical. Often, they are wiser and more mature than their age would suggest. And they have to be, given the myriad challenges they face." .

I wanted to share this poem with you written by a very strong, loving, and much wiser then his years young man. He is Ammanuel Rufael an autism worrier! Having a brother and or sister with autism can also teach you many things. Hope love and understanding.

Ammanuel Rufael

Why Me?

I asked God, “Why me? Why do my brother
and sister have autism?” Going to places is
hard, people starring at you looking at
them like they’re stupid, but they’re not. I
asked my mom why are people starring at us
She said two words, “So What.” One day
she said to me, “Why not us?”
I realized that day how blessed we are.
We swim, we play , we walk, and
we have fun together. In their
eyes they’re in a different world.
I love their world.
They teach me many great things
even though they can’t communicate
as well as others.
They are really smart. They
can solve so many big puzzles,
ride bikes, and can even read.
I love my siblings, I always have
and I hope one day they can talk.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Dear Friends

My name is Tatiana Mendoza I am the CEO and founder of The Mendoza Science and Arts Autism Foundation Inc. I wanted to wish everyone a Happy New Years!
Let's make 2012 a year of hope and love! Sending all the parents pure love!

This year I will be running, jogging, walking and crawling at the L.A. Marathon 26.2 miles. I hope to raise a pair of shoes for every mile! The money donated will be used to buy low-income children with autism shoes! Please click on link to donate!
Running to raise shoes for low-income children with autism.

Please help spread the word! March 18th will be the big day! Any donation will be of big help!

Donate $500.00

I will wear company name on running bib. Will wear a company logo on shirt on the day of the run. Links to all platinum sponsors websites will be added to our blog. A public thank you. Families will be told about your generous gift. You will be listed as a platinum sponsor.

Donate $200.00

Will wear company logo on shirt day of run. Will add company website to our blog. Families will be told about your generous gift. You will be listed as a Gold sponsor.

Donate $100.00

Will wear company name on shirt day of run. Will add company website to our blog. Families will be told about your generous gift. You will be listed as a silver sponsor.

Donate $50.00

Will add company website to our blog. Families will be told about your generous gift. Will be listed as a bronze member.

Donate any amount
Friend of MSAAFINC

Families will be told of your generous gift!

Please donate what you can any and every amount is extremely appreciated!

Thank you!
Tatiana Mendoza
CEO and Founder

Location:Running to buy low-income children with autism shoes!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Happy Special Education Day!

Dear Friends,

This year marks the 7th anniversary of Special Education Day!!

MSAAFinc takes this day to honor progress and celebrate students with disabilities--and their strong parents, amazing teachers and schools. Our hats go off to you!!

Special Education Day began in 2005. That year marked the 30th anniversary of the IDEA--the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

Where are we now on providing access to education for all children, including children with disabilities? Do you feel we have come a long way from when President Gerald Ford signed the ground-breaking legislation?

We have come a long way but we still have a long way to go. I am thankful and grateful everyday for IDEA. And for the strong community that stands behind it!

Thank you!!
The MSAAFinc

Please click here, for a story about President Ford's signing statement.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Twelve Tips for Helping Those Living with Autism Have a Happy Holiday Season

Twelve Tips for Helping Those Living with Autism Have a Happy Holiday Season!

While many happily anticipate the coming holiday season, families of people on the autism spectrum also understand the special challenges that may occur when schedules are disrupted and routines broken. Our hope is that by following these few helpful tips, families may lessen the stress of the holiday season and make it a more enjoyable experience for everyone involved. The following tips were developed with input from the Autism Society, the Indiana Resource Center for Autism, Easter Seals Crossroads, the Sonya Ansari Center for Autism at Logan and the Indiana Autism Leadership Network..

1. Preparation is crucial for many individuals. At the same time, it is important to determine how much preparation a specific person may need. For example, if your son or daughter has a tendency to become anxious when anticipating an event that is to occur in the future, you may want to adjust how many days in advance you prepare him or her. Preparation can occur in various ways by using a calendar and marking the dates of various holiday events, or by creating a social story that highlights what will happen at a given event.

2. Decorations around the house may be disruptive for some. It may be helpful to revisit pictures from previous holidays that show decorations in the house. If such a photo book does not exist, use this holiday season to create one. For some it may also be helpful to take them shopping with you for holiday decorations so that they are engaged in the process. Or involve them in the process of decorating the house. And once holiday decorations have been put up, you may need to create rules about those that can and cannot be touched. Be direct, specific and consistent.

3. If a person with autism has difficulty with change, you may want to gradually decorate the house. For example, on the first day, put up the Christmas tree, then on the next day, decorate the tree and so on. And again, engage them as much as possible in this process. It may be helpful to develop a visual schedule or calendar that shows what will be done on each day.

4. If a person with autism begins to obsess about a particular gift or item they want, it may be helpful to be specific and direct about the number of times they can mention the gift. One suggestion is to give them five chips. They are allowed to exchange one chip for five minutes of talking about the desired gift. Also, if you have no intention of purchasing a specific item, it serves no purpose to tell them that maybe they will get the gift. This will only lead to problems in the future. Always choose to be direct and specific about your intentions.

5. Teach them how to leave a situation and/or how to access support when an event becomes overwhelming. For example, if you are having visitors, have a space set aside for the child as his/her safe/calm space. The individual should be taught ahead of time that they should go to their space when feeling overwhelmed. This self-management tool will serve the individual into adulthood. For those who are not at that level of self-management, develop a signal or cue for them to show when they are getting anxious, and prompt them to use the space. For individuals with more significant challenges, practice using this space in a calm manner at various times prior to your guests' arrival. Take them into the room and engage them in calming activities (e.g., play soft music, rub his/her back, turn down the lights, etc.). Then when you notice the individual becoming anxious, calmly remove him/her from the anxiety-provoking setting immediately and take him/her into the calming environment.

6. If you are traveling for the holidays, make sure you have their favorite foods, books or toys available. Having familiar items readily available can help to calm stressful situations. Also, prepare them via social stories or other communication systems for any unexpected delays in travel. If you are flying for the first time, it may be helpful to bring the individual to the airport in advance and help him/her to become accustomed to airports and planes. Use social stories and pictures to rehearse what will happen when boarding and flying.

7. Know your loved one with autism and how much noise and activity they can tolerate. If you detect that a situation may be becoming overwhelming, help them find a quiet area in which to regroup. And there may be some situations that you simply avoid (e.g., crowded shopping malls the day after Thanksgiving).

8. Prepare a photo album in advance of the relatives and other guests who will be visiting during the holidays. Allow the person with autism access to these photos at all times and also go through the photo album with him/her while talking briefly about each family member.

9. Practice opening gifts, taking turns and waiting for others, and giving gifts. Role play scenarios with your child in preparation for him/her getting a gift they do not want. Talk through this process to avoid embarrassing moments with family members. You might also choose to practice certain religious rituals. Work with a speech language pathologist to construct pages of vocabulary or topic boards that relate to the holidays and family traditions.

10. Prepare family members for strategies to use to minimize anxiety or behavioral incidents, and to enhance participation. Help them to understand if the person with autism prefers to be hugged or not, needs calm discussions or provide other suggestions that will facilitate a smoother holiday season. If the individual becomes upset, it might also be helpful to coach others to remain calm and neutral in an effort to minimize behavioral outbursts.

11. If the person with autism is on special diet, make sure there is food available that he/she can eat. And even if they are not on a special diet, be cautious of the amount of sugar consumed. And try to maintain a sleep and meal routine.

12. Above all, know your loved one with autism. Know how much noise and other sensory input they can take. Know their level of anxiety and the amount of preparation it may take. Know their fears and those things that will make the season more enjoyable for them.

Don’t stress. Plan in advance. And most of all have a wonderful holiday season!

For more information please visit Autism Society

Thank you Autism Creations for making our neat Tag. Please
Find them on Facebook

Thank you for reading The MSAAFinc

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thanksgiving food drive!

Dear Friends
Please join us in helping families in need this Thanksgiving.

Last year friends of The MSAAFinc donated enough
Thanksgiving groceries to feed over 10 families directly, and another 20 individuals where provided with a hot meal!

How can you help? Here’s how it works. If you’d like to adopt a family for Thanksgiving, just email The MSAAFinc at We will gather needed information and offer you options about the family or families you wish to adopt.

For a family of four: 12 pound turkey Two each of: Canned corn Canned sweet peas Canned cut green beans Canned yams Mac a roni & Cheese Boxed stuffing mix Canned chicken Broth Cans of fruit One each of: Turkey gravy Canned Cranberry Sauce Boxed corn bread mix Boxed instant potatoes
What you decide to do for your adopted family this Thanksgiving is entirely your choice. The suggested list at the right is a general guide for a family of four, but is in no way intended to pre scribe your Thanks giv ing meal choices. Do remember that if you are adopting a family of more than four, you will want to adjust your quantities accordingly.

While many of our sponsors are individuals, many organizations, churches or plantations also call and sponsor any where from 1–5 families. So, either call your self or propose to your Book Club, neighborhood, etc. that you do some thing together.

Last year we fed over 10 families. This year we are expecting more. We need your help! Thanks for participating!

Any donation no matter how small will be of great help!!

Thank you so much!!