Step-in Autism Services of Alaska is Moving

new buildingThank you all for your kindness and patience as we waited for our new space to be prepared.   We are grateful to be moving into a  first floor location and with a fenced-in back yard which opens to the park nestled beyond the property. The new space is just across the street, which also means it remains in a prime area for working with older clients on skills such as safely crossing the street, restaurant etiquette, ordering, money management and many others which we have enjoyed in this commercial area. Additionally, our friends at Crazy Zeeks (a computer gaming hot spot) will be within walking distance (they have been amazing to us and our clients). What preteen, teen, and young adult doesn’t LOVE computers and gaming- it has been a strong reinforcer and social activity for many! In this new space, we will have the space to spread out and really offer all our families and clients the experience we have always wanted. As per our standard operating procedure, we try to find ways to reuse and recycle in order to fulfill these dream. Please help out if you come across any of the items in your storage that you are willing to part with!

One vision is to decorate the space with artwork from our clients.  To fulfill this vision, we request you cull through those storage boxes in the back of your closet and hand over your unused pictures frames.   Any style, any condition will be accepted.

We are hoping to have a “fix-it” area for some of our older clients to practice using tools, fixing objects, and creating new ones. If you have any excess tools lying around, feel free to bring them by!

We will be sharing critter exploration with our clients as well. We would like to obtain a fish tank to offer some frogs a chance to grow and live. This observation of the life cycle offer components of science while often an intriguing subject to many kiddos.

Thank you for your participation and we look forward to keeping you all updated as the move progresses!

National Standards Project, Phase 2

Courtesy Repost from the National Autism Center website:

The National Autism Center chose World Autism Awareness Day – April 2, 2015 – to release its new review and analysis of interventions for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) based on research conducted in the field from 2007 to 2012. The new publication provides an update to the summary of empirical intervention literature (published in the National Standards Report in 2009) and includes studies evaluating interventions for adults (22+), which have never been systematically evaluated before now.

This project is designed to give educators, parents, practitioners, and organizations the information and resources they need to make informed choices about effective interventions that will offer children and adults on the spectrum the greatest hope for their future.

The National Autism Center began work on the second phase of the National Standards Project (NSP2) in 2011 in order to provide up-to-date information on the effectiveness of a broad range of interventions for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). There has been a great deal of new research published since 2007, the end of the period evaluated by Phase 1 of the National Standards Project (or NSP1).

Phase 2 (NSP2) reviewed studies published between 2007 and February of 2012. As in the first iteration of the NSP, the focus was an evaluation of educational and behavioral intervention literature for individuals with ASD. The review updated our summary of ASD treatment literature for children and youth under age 22. We have updated our original findings, added information, and evaluated whether any of the “Emerging” interventions in NSP1 had moved into the “Established” or “Unestablished” categories in NSP2.

We also analyzed intervention outcome studies for individuals ages 22 years and older. Because the first phase of the NSP focused solely on interventions for individuals under age 22, the recent literature search for individuals ages 22+ spanned several decades. The earliest intervention outcome study for individuals ages 22+ was published in 1987.

Parent Observation in the Classroom – The Wrightslaw Way

Yourspecial ed law clip involvement is huge and you should be seeing how all providers are working with your kiddo. Observe, meet, and participate at school, with us, and with any other therapy/extracurricular activity your kiddo might be in.

A parent’s right to observe his or her child during the school day is supported by federal law.  This applies to all students, in regular and special education alike. – See more at: http://www.wrightslaw.com/blog/?p=12652#sthash.h1SGqeW9.dpuf

13 Tough Truths Only Parents of Kids With Autism Will Understand

This is a courtesy repost of an article by Eric Williams we found in Yahoo Parenting, April 21, 2015.  He states:

Autism is not a childhood diagnosis; it is a lifetime diagnosis. And it’s not a diagnosis that affects one person. It affects the entire family and beyond.

I know this because I am a father of 7-year-old identical twin boys on the spectrum. I don’t profess to be an expert on autism, but I am an expert on my boys.

As fathers, we are an essential component of this autism phenomenon, and our parenting experience is unique. Here are 13 observations (and some advice) that dads of kids with autism will understand and everyone needs to know.

Read more of Eric’s article here.

1. We have a different definition of “awareness” …

To the world, World Autism Awareness and Acceptance Day is April 2, and April is National Autism Awareness Month. To us, however, every day is autism awareness day. We’ll always be aware of the diagnosis and always work to make others aware and help them understand the disorder. Continue reading →

Professor provides tips for parents of children recently diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder

It affects one in every 68 children in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“It” is autism spectrum disorder, a condition in the news, discussed in schools and worried about by parents. April is Autism Awareness Month.

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, autism spectrum disorder is a complex neurobehavioral disorder characterized by impairment in social communication and social interaction across multiple contexts, and the presence of restrictive, repetitive, and stereotypic patterns of behaviors, interests, and activities.

And it has been the work of Rowan University’s Dr. Denise Kerth for years.

“As Maya Angelou said, ‘When people know better, they do better.’ Autism Awareness Month is important for this reason,” Kerth said. “It is an opportunity to share information about autism with people who are not directly involved in the autism community. Autism Awareness month is an opportunity to highlight the achievements and hard work of individuals with autism, to focus on abilities rather than diagnosis and to share the stories of families who are committed to helping their loved ones overcome challenges. When our community is aware of the unique needs and strengths of all its members, we can all ‘do better.’”

Receiving a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder can be devastating and overwhelming for parents and family members. Kerth provided a few tips for parents of newly diagnosed children:

  1. Begin intervention as soon as possible.
  2. Become informed. 
  3. Focus on your child, not the diagnosis. A new autism diagnosis often highlights a child’s deficits. Although identification of deficits is important to diagnosis and to the development of treatment goals, it is essential to identify what your child can do and to maximize those strengths.
  4. Be kind to yourself (and your spouse). An autism diagnosis can evoke a range of emotions for parents, including the stages of emotion often associated with grief, such as denial, anger, bargaining and sadness. Keep in mind that spouses may experience these stages at different times. Give yourself permission to experience these stages. Plan for ways to take care of yourself  —  such as eating well, getting adequate rest and getting short breaks from your child  —  so that you can be take the best care of your child and family.
  5. Establish your support network. Work with your friends and family to identify those who are willing to help support you, your spouse, your child and siblings. Ask for help when you need it.

– See more at: http://today.rowan.edu/home/news/2015/04/14/professor-provides-tips-parents-children-recently-diagnosed-autism-spectrum-disorder#sthash.Xx2ebQtx.dpuf

 

The Importance of Independence

independent taskIndependence is so important. At Step-in Autism Services of Alaska, we push for kiddos to complete tasks/skills independently from the beginning. Provide support to start learning the skill but don’t stop teaching until he/she can complete the task free from help and (if appropriate) even supervision. Visit the Autism Site.com for one of their recent videos.

 

Autism Awareness Month Interview Series: Essentials of Verbal Behavior with Mark Sundberg, PhD, BCBA-D

Today marks the start of Autism Awareness Month. This year, we’re thrilled to introduce a series of exclusive interviews with renowned experts on topics that are of interest and importance to both parents and professionals working with students on the autism spectrum. We can’t think of a better way to kick off this series than with an information-packed interview with Mark Sundberg, PhD, BCBA on the Essentials of Verbal Behavior.

SAM BLANCO: There is often confusion about what differentiates ABA and Verbal Behavior. Can you tell us what Verbal Behavior is and how it relates to ABA?

To see this full article click here.

#LightItUpBlue for Autism Awareness Month

#LightItUpBlue

#LightItUpBlue

Step-In Autism Services of Alaska

Events we are sponsoring during the month of April, 2015

Thursday, April 2: World Autism Awareness Day – LIGHT IT UP BLUE!

Join the event by displaying blue lights and wearing blue!


Saturday, April 11: Parent Night Out (registration required by Monday, April 6)

Parent Night Out and PJ Party

When: 4:00 PM-7:00 PM

Cost: Clients FREE and Siblings $10

Who: Clients and siblings (age 2 & up) are welcome. We ask that families provide a snack for the group to share. Kids may come dressed in their PJs.

Where: 3550 Airport Way, Fairbanks AK


 Saturday, April 18: Fairbanks Children’s Museum (registration is not required)

When: 10:30 AM-12:30 PM

Cost: Free to our clients and their families.

Who: Clients and families are welcome to join us at the museum for some fun! This event is sponsored by SiAS and there will be no cost to the families.

Where: Fairbanks Children’s Museum, 302 Cushman St, Fairbanks AK


 Saturday, April 25: Parent Training (registration required)

When: 9:30 AM-12:30 PM

Topic: Applied Behavior Analysis for Parents.

A pancake breakfast will be provided with sausage, fruit, and breakfast!

Who: Free to public. Sessions will be cancelled. We will offer child care for those parents that would like it (please bring a lunch for your kiddo).

Where: SiAS NEW OFFICE 3568 Geraghty Ave., Fairbanks, AK  99709

Social Saturday Activities are FUN and HEALTHY

social saturday activity
Everyone had great fun with these Social Saturdays activities.  Here is one of the final productions after working on the “golden rule” and creating an apple carving. The group also went “gaming” at Krazee Zekes. What fun!

Autism–I’m lonely because nobody is interested in what I have to say.

Courtesy Repost written by EILEEN PARKER on FEBRUARY 10, 2015. Inside the Autism Experience

I read this blog post title on Facebook, and I can certainly relate.

I remember talking about something and people would start talking, leave, interrupt, or ignore me by turning to talk to someone else.  Sometimes they would look at me oddly, then usually find some way to go, and my self-esteem would get kicked in the head again.

Continue reading →

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