We are adding to our staff

new buildingStep-in Autism Services of Alaska is currently seeking a qualified administrative assistant to support our very capable team of therapists. Please check out our website for a complete description of the position.

Linda’s Blog: Amazing Summer at Step-in Autism Services of Alaska

AnStepinSocialGroupActivityother amazing summer day at our offices.

I love having the kids longer (many of them) and that we don’t have schedules to keep except for comings and goings.

Reinforcers at this time of year are anything from science experiments (thanks Jude), soccer in the yard, helping grill fresh caught salmon and eating it (thanks Ed), to Nature walks in the park next door. It’s a nice change from so many trips to Subway…Did I mention how much I love my job? Happy kids learning how to be social, and how to control their own behavior. What more could you ask for??teacher cartoon

Beautiful Example

Dailylike This is a beautiful example of what many of our clients go through. We are asking them to unlearn certain behaviors and relearn others. The longer the history with that behavior, the harder it is to change.

Click here to view via dailyliked.net

Previously unknown lymph network connects brain and immune system, may offer insights into inflammation’s role in neurological conditions

Brain Image from University of Virginia Health System

Maps of the lymphatic system: old (left) and updated to reflect UVA’s discovery. Credit: University of Virginia Health System

Courtesy repost from Autism Speaks, June 2, 2015

For every neurological disease that has an immune component to it, these vessels may play a major role. The discovery was made possible by the work of Antoine Louveau, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow under Dr. Kipnis’, PhD, professor in the UVA Department of Neuroscience professor and director of UVA’s Center for Brain Immunology and Glia (BIG).

The vessels were detected after Louveau developed a method to mount a mouse’s meninges – the membranes covering the brain – on a single slide so that they could be examined as a whole. Scientists fixed the meninges within the skullcap, so that the tissue is secured in its physiological condition, and then dissected. After noticing vessel-like patterns in Continue reading →

Step-in Autism Services of Alaska has moved.

Step-in Autism Services of Alaska, LLC’s new address is 3568 Geraghty Ave, Fairbanks, AK 99709.

New stepin office

Thank you to our amazing volunteers who came out and moved more with us on this beautiful Memorial Day. The participation of the people in our community is amazing! Tomorrow is set up day and we WILL be ready to restart services on Wed!

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



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