Weekly Update

Strive Center for Autism - July 30, 2021

Ending Early Release on Fridays

Effective September 7th, we will end our early release on Fridays for all children. With the lessening of some cleaning protocols, and our increased efficiency with the remaining cleaning and Friday rotation protocols, we will no longer need additional time for our team to complete these duties on Fridays. We are pleased to offer all of our children full sessions on Friday, beginning after Labor Day. Please continue to enjoy an early Friday release for the summer, and we'll remind all of our families as the date gets closer. September 10th will be the first full Friday with dismissal at 3:20.
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Meet Katlyn, ABA Therapist

Katlyn has worked at the Strive Center since February 2021. She previously worked for the State of Michigan as a student assistant with services for the blind. She helped with events and casefile management.

Katlyn is working towards her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from SVSU. She is planning to attend grad school for Clinical Psychology or becoming a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.

Katlyn enjoys sewing and cosplay. She runs a business for pop culture scrunchies. She enjoys sewing costumes for cosplay. Her favorite costume that she has made is baby Yoda.

Now Hiring in Burton

We are hiring for the role of ABA Therapist in Burton. If you know anyone who's great with kids and looking for an exciting opportunity, please send them our way.

Some important details:

  • Minimum 60 college credits required
  • Must be highly energetic, engaging, and enjoy children!
  • Extensive training is provided, so it's not necessary to have specific experience in ABA
  • Apply here: https://www.sc-centers.com/career-opportunities
  • Resume and cover letter required

Food Desensitization Program

The food desensitization program is going great - children are trying carrots or grapes, depending on location, and they are excited and happy to participate!

If you want to encourage trying new foods at home, this is the 12 step hierarchy we are following for each food:

12-step hierarchy

1. Tolerate food in therapy room

2. Tolerate food on therapy table

3. Tolerate food within 1 ft.

4. Touch food and throw away

5. Smell food and throw away

6. Kiss food and throw away

7. Lick food and throw away

8. Lick food five times and throw away

9. Break food with teeth and throw away

10. Chew food five times and throw away

11. Eat a small piece

12. Eat an entire piece

Keep in mind that if you follow these steps, you need to provide lots of reinforcement at every step, in the form of praise and perhaps a bite of preferred food too. With the earlier steps of tolerating the food, it should be a very relaxed presentation - "Oh, look, you have a carrot on the table - great job!" and that's the end of the expectation. We allow the child to throw the food away when snack is done during steps 1-10. Keep it fun and happy, and don't stress if it takes some time to progress through the steps, it is not a quick process. Encouraging a positive attitude toward new foods is the most important part!

Why do we have Fun Fridays?

We've always done Fun Fridays in the summer, as a way to incorporate some fun activities for the kids, and make summer just a little more exciting! In the past, we just planned the Fun Friday activities - a mix of "cooking", science, and general fun outdoors. These types of activities expose the children to things they might be expected to participate in while enrolled in a preschool, elementary school, or summer camp program. It's both an opportunity for access to the fun activity and a learning opportunity for our children.

The dress up days were a parent suggestion - similar to the type of spirit week activities you might see in a school! When children with Autism transition to a school program, and they see these types of dress up days, they may struggle with things being unusual. Typically, children with Autism prefer things to follow a routine, and anything out of the ordinary can really throw them off. Kids might struggle with everyone else wearing unusual clothes, or they may not be able to participate in the dress up day as they might find the clothes or other aspects too uncomfortable.

We thought the addition of the dress up days to the Fun Fridays might especially help children who are transitioning to school this fall, and these days have really been successful. We've been able to help children adjust to someone wearing something unusual, and to try wearing something different themselves. We've also practiced speaking to a group of peers about your own Fun Friday outfit, and explaining what you've chosen to wear. Staff participate in the activities too, just as they will in school, and with our small groups, that allows for more people to participate. Children have been able to see that it's ok to choose to participate or not, and it's ok for someone else to make a different choice. We hope you've found it fun, too!

Fun Fridays

We'll keep listing these in the newsletter for a quick and easy spot for you to check them, and we'll send Remind messages each Thursday to help you keep up to date!

August 6th - SPORTS DAY – wear a shirt for your favorite sports team, or any sports related clothing AND Ice Cream in a Bag - we will send home a permission slip with all of the ingredients listed, but the children can help make it the ice cream even if they don't eat it, since they won't need to touch the ingredients.

August 13th - SCHOOL SPIRIT DAY – Wear your Strive t shirt AND Wheels Day/Wheels Wash - kids can bring their own wheels and helmets, and we'll ride and wash our wheels!

August 20th - ALL ONE COLOR DAY – Dress in all one color of your choice AND What Melts in the Sun? Science Activity. This will be our FINAL FUN FRIDAY of the summer!

Strive Centers CLOSED

Friday, Aug. 27th, 8am

Burton and Brighton

Both Strive Center locations will be CLOSED for staff Professional Development Day. Therapy will resume on Monday, August 30.

Strive Centers Closed

Monday, Sep. 6th, 8am

Burton and Brighton

Both Strive Center locations will be CLOSED for Labor Day. Therapy will resume on Tuesday, September 7.