#LightItUpBlue for Autism Awareness Month



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

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.

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 →

Upcoming Presentation by Dr Hannu Rue, Executive Director of National Autism Council, May Institute

Dr. Rue is the executive director of National Autism Council out of the May Institute. Dr. Rue will be lecturing on best practices in supporting individuals with autism spectrum disorder. A question and answer session will follow each lecture. Click this link for more details and registration information:  http://sesa.org/content/aarc-home/spring-training.

She will be in Fairbanks on February 2nd, her presentation will be at Noel Wien Library from 3:30 to 5:30 and on February 3rd, she will be at Old U Park beginning at 5:30.

To register, call the AARC at 866-301-7372, or email aarc@sesa.org.

Linda’s Blog: Where’s the Lunchtime Social Time in School?

teacher cartoonPosted by Linda Joy Robertson, Co-Owner and BCBA,
Step-in Autism Services of Alaska, LLC

 The other day, I was visiting with another Grandmother who is raising her young (Kindergarten) grandson. She mentioned that he often comes home from school without eating his lunch; sometimes his lunch was untouched. This child is thin and Grandmother is concerned. Continue reading →

Dr. Michael Dorsey’s tips about preparing for the IEP process

Dr. Michael Dorsey, Professor of Education and the Director of the Institute for Behavioral studies at Endicott College. Dr. Dorsey is a licensed Psychologist and Board Certified Behavior Analyst. He is a Professor of Education and the Director of the Institute for Behavioral Studies at the The Van Loan School of Graduate and Professional Studies, Endicott College.

Shared with permission:  http://youtu.be/hrJPM95rfzI


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