News from Balance Autism
CELEBRATING DSP WEEK
Help us celebrate our frontline Sept 11-15!
Friends, parents and guardians - this one is for you!
Direct Support Professionals (DSP) Week is a big one we look forward to every year at Balance Autism. While we are honored our DSPs have chosen Balance Autism as their place of work EVERY DAY, this is a special week in the year we CELEBRATE those on the frontline who are fulfilling our work, mission and changing lives of those we serve.
DSPs include Autism Associates (AA), Behavior Technicians (BT/RBT), Job Coaches, and Assistant Clinic Supervisors.
One of the most motivating benefits of working at Balance Autism? Staff consistently tell us it's seeing the growth and independence of those we serve. It's knowing they are coming to work each day and making an impact on someone else's life.
If you have a staff member or team you'd like to recognize who has helped shape your life, or the life of a loved one, please visit the link below and fill out this very brief form.
We will use these messages during DSP Week to make this week extra special for our frontline team. Thank you!
Back to School Time
The start of the new school year is exciting, but it's also normal to feel stress and anxiety as we think through and try to prepare for this big transition, too.
We all know children with autism spectrum disorder often thrive when they are able to follow a consistent routine. Planning ahead and including your child in preparations can help ease tensions and problem behaviors. Consider some of these tips to make as successful transition back to school as possible:
* Consider scheduling a play date with classmates to reconnect before summer break ends.
* Post a picture or calendar so your child can see what to expect from the new routines/schedule.
* Talk about school with your child as you begin setting new expectations.
* Slowly accommodate for your child’s new wake-up and meal times, if needed.
* Incorporate sensory-friendly school supplies and tools to help your child cope.
* Ensure new clothes are comfortable and new shoes have had time to be broken in.
* Take your child to visit the school and tour different rooms/learning environments he/she will experience.
* Set up a communication plan with the teacher.
* Consider providing helpful resources to your teacher that have worked for your child in the past.
* Write a social story for him/her using pictures and the new schedule.
We recognize that every child is unique and that these tips may not work for everyone. This content is general and we hope serve as a jumping-off point for finding the best approach to helping a child with autism transition back to school.
In Loving Memory
Celebration of Life
Last month our Quad Cities team gathered with heavy hearts to honor and remember an extraordinary soul who touched the lives of so many of the children we work with in the most beautiful way. With deep gratitude, we pay tribute to Jen, a truly exceptional Direct Support Professional, who dedicated her life to helping others and serving children with autism.
Jen was a shining beacon of compassion, kindness, and unwavering dedication. Her immense love for the children she worked with was transparent from the moment she walked through the door. She was embraced by the team that worked alongside her and has left a legacy that will forever live on in the hearts of those she touched.
As we mourn the loss of an incredible soul, let us also celebrate the joy, laughter, and progress Jen brought into the lives of our children and their families. Let us all take an extra moment today to hug those important and special individuals in our lives.
Rest in peace, Jen. Your light will continue to shine brightly through the lives you transformed and the love you instilled in each heart you touched. Thank you for blessing us with your presence and for paving the way for future direct support professionals.
Story credit: Sean Saito
Hard Work Pays Off
Earlier this year, James mentioned that he really wanted to own a Nintendo Switch. The Balance Autism team was quick to react with a plan to help him meet this personal goal!
James worked for 10 weeks to consistently budget and save money to purchase a Nintendo Switch. The team supported him in identifying a consistent budget considering needs for groceries and monthly expenses. The team also supported James in creating an envelope system so he could separate savings and spending money. James implemented a tracker so he could track what money he saved.
Last week James had saved enough to make his big purchase. When the day came for him to buy it, he couldn’t be prouder of himself! Anyone who walked in the door he was showing them his new switch and telling them, “I bought this with my money!”
James is still so proud of himself that he keeps his box the switch came in as decoration over his bed! Way to go, James; we are so proud of you, too!
Story credit: Jessica Crawford