We hope this helps some of the moms (and dads!) out there get some free days from cooking! If you know of any restaurant deals, please email the following information to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., so that we can get them added to our list: 

  • Name of Restaurant
  • Location
  • Phone Number
  • Special

And please be sure and double-check with restaurants before you go to make sure they haven't changed their policy.

Click here for the most recent listing of local restaurant deals in the Huntsville area!

Families affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) often become isolated and do not participate in community activities. The following are just a few of the many reasons that this happens:

  • When a child first receives a diagnoses of having ASD, it causes the parents to focus all their time and efforts on the needs of their child. Parents spend countless hours researching and learning about ASD and all the different types of therapies available so that they may determine the best path for helping their child.

  • Their child’s “behavior” issues.

  • Lack of support.

  • Lack of Finances – Autism related therapies can become extremely expensive and most insurances do not cover the therapies needed.

  • Hard to talk with friends who have typically developing children – parents talk about all the accomplishments their children are making, which can be extremely hard for a parent who’s child was recently diagnosed with ASD. It is not that they are not happy for their friend’s child, it is simply devastating to watch their child fall further and further behind his typical peers.

The best thing a parent can do for themselves and for their child affected by ASD to avoid isolation is to join a support/networking group. Support/Networking groups can provide you with local resources, saving you endless hours of research. They can provide you with opportunities to meet and make new friends that are facing some of the same struggles you may be facing or connect you with parents that have been there, that can offer their advice and experience, and most importantly, gives you someone you can just talk to that will truly understand what you are going through. Some support/networking groups such as Making Connections ASD Networking Group (MC) will also offer Family Outings that help to get families out in the community together as a group to provide support and help prevent families from becoming isolated.

MC Family Outings offer a wide range of activities throughout the year. Some outings that we provide include:

Family Outings offers families affected by autism opportunities to get together out in the community to have and share some family fun! Family Outings may include a trip to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, YMCA, and Sci Quest, etc.

Mom’s Night Out offers moms a night out to relax, meet and get to know other moms affected by autism. Mom’s Night Out may include dinner at a local restaurant or a game night. etc.

Dad’s Night Out offers dads a night out to relax, meet and get to know other dads affected by autism. Dad’s Night Out may include dinner at a local restaurant or a game night, etc.

MC Trunk or Treat Picnicoffers a family fun day out at a park with a Trunk or Treat, children activities and a picnic dinner!

Holiday Partiesoffer families affected by autism a fun, safe environment to share some holiday spirit. Some activities may include holiday crafts, games and sensory friendly Santa Claus, etc.

 

Legos can help individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  First, Legos are just naturally engaging, they are fun, challenging, rewarding and when you finish building a kit or a creation you get that automatic sense of accomplishment and who doesn’t love that feeling. When you have an individual with ASD involved in a naturally engaging activity such as Legos other challenges they are faced with while participating in that activity are more likely to be overcome! Some ways Legos can help individuals with ASD include:

  • Legos help develop and improve fine motor skills
  • They help with hand-eye coordination.

  • Legos plays off strengths on an individual which can help build confidence and they can Challenges ones weaknesses!

  • Such as when you have a strong skill set at the foundation, individuals with ASD are more likely to participate in behaviors that are often challenging for them like using their creativity, imaginative play and socialization.

  •  Legos can provide opportunities for collaborative learning with adults and peers
  • Lego help develop the 3Ps – patience, persistence and perseverance. You learn to stay calm and not get frustrated (patience), you learn to keep trying new things (persistence) and you learn to know that it will work out eventually (perseverance).

  • Legos provided in a group setting can encourage cooperation, teamwork and again socialization which are often harder skills for individuals with ASD to learn

  • Following directions is a huge benefit in Lego building. Many Lego kits come with step-by-step instructions that you must follow in order to complete that task.

  • Legos can open new circles of communication for an individuals with ASD which also allows that individual to practice and learn additional receptive and expressive language skills.

  • Legos are a great family experience, when parents sit along with their child and build with them, they are creating a bonding experience that they will remember and share forever.

  • Legos can also be beneficial for older individuals by continuing to build up from the skills that they have learned at younger ages.  While playing with Legos Individuals continue to experiment with new shapes, & patterns, because of this they learn to build more complex structures, which indirectly enhances the brains organizational skills.

  • All these benefits and I have not even mentioned any of the education benefits Legos can have! The possibilities of using Legos in educational ways are absolutely endless. You can use Legos to

  • Sort by color or size

  • In Language Arts – to teach the Alphabet (can build letters, match capital and lowercase letters), write sight words on them read and build, days of the week, months of the year, you can even build a Lego calendar, You can match up word families, use them for spelling words, alphabetizing, sentence building, make a book (take pictures of lego figures and structures you have built, then make up a story to go with the different pictures for that book)

  • In math you can use them for counting, patterns, learning about length, sizes, weight. telling time, addition, subtraction, multiplication, fractions etc....

  • To enhance Science – Build a Zip Line (and learn how to speed up, slow down or stop, the lego mini figure by increasing and decreasing the angle of the slope while studying how gravity works, learn that tension on the cord is needed to maintain travel)   Learning about Space? Build a Lego Solar System to go with you studies. Make a Balloon powered Lego Car, Catapult, Maze, Lego Ice Excavation, Float /Sink ( build a lego boat and see how long it will float, what if you put different objects inside your boat etc). Learn about habitats and then build one for a hex bug!

  • For Social Studies – build all the shapes of each state, Read & Learn about the world then do a fun activity by building different Legos to represent different parts of the world and place them on a map. Read & Learn about Egypt then build a pyramid, Match States, Capitals & Abbreviations using Legos, Studying Landmarks use a picture of a specific landmark and then try building it with Legos!

We could go on and on about how Legos benefit individuals with ASD but we are confident you all got the idea and understanding of how Lego’s can enhance many much needed skills in an individual with ASD. With knowing all the great benefits Legos have to offer individuals with ASD we created our “Lego Friends Program” to offer individuals of all ages an opportunity to join us to use their imagination and creativity building with Legos in a fun, safe and relaxing environment. We currently host our Lego Friends twice a month at different locations around Madison County, please see our event calendar for details of our next Lego Friends. 

Individuals on the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) may experience Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) related to their vision, hearing, taste, touch and smell. An individual can either be Hyper (over) - sensitive or hypo (under) - sensitive to their sensory input which can interfere with typical life activities.  One example of being hypersensitive is a certain sound such as a clock ticking or humming noise coming from a light or refrigerator may cause an individual with SPD to cover their ears or to try to escape from that room or location. An example of being hyposensitive may include not reacting to a loud sudden noise. Similar to ASD itself, SPD can affect each individual differently and can differ from day to day and situation to situation.

Making Connections ASD Networking Group (MC) partners with other organizations to provide sensory friendly activities for individuals affected by autism and their families. Click here to read more about our Sensory Friendly Activities!