Weekly Update

Strive Center for Autism - June 18, 2021

Happy Father's Day!

To all our dads, grandpas, stepdads, father figures, and men who make a difference in our lives, thanks for being there!
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Autism Alliance of Michigan Hero Walk

Please join us for the Autism Alliance of Michigan (AAOM) Hero Walk on Sunday, July 25th at the Detroit Zoo or virtual. This year, the Strive Center is sponsoring the walk, and we have a walk team.

To join the Strive Center Walk Team, click here.

Please feel free to share our team page with others to help in our efforts to fundraise.

For general information on the walk please visit their website here.

This year, the zoo will allow 900 walkers to access the zoo for the day. Other walkers will receive a zoo voucher to use at a different time, and the AAOM will have a virtual event organized for those walkers on July 25th as well. Number of zoo vouchers earned is dependent on fundraising amount, and details are available on the AAOM Hero Walk page.

Strive Center proudly sponsors the AAOM whenever possible, as this organization provides families affected by Autism with a wide variety of opportunities, services, and information. For more information on the AAOM, or to access any of their services or opportunities, please visit the AAOM page.

Please understand there is no obligation for any of our families to participate in this event or to donate to the AAOM.

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!

June 24th - We'll have Fun Friday on a Thursday, due to the centers being closed on June 25th for Professional Development for staff - Beach Day - wear your sunglasses, shorts, hats, whatever makes you ready for the beach! AND Sink or Float science activity (another fun activity with water outside!)

July 2nd - Red, white, and blue day - wear any combo of these colors for a fun pre-Independence day celebration! AND Reading Buddies - we'll grab a blanket, some books, and a buddy and head outside to read.

July 9th - Hat day - wear any hat you like! AND Make Your Own Edible Flag treat - ingredients are graham crackers, cool whip or frosting, strawberries, and blueberries. For any allergy or dietary concerns, reach out directly to your BCBA so they can provide the actual ingredients purchased in each building. Kids could easily skip the graham cracker and cool whip/frosting and just enjoy the berries, or you can pack your own special treat!

July 16th - School Spirit Day - wear your Strive t shirt AND Water Balloon Day! Feel free to send sandals or water shoes or whatever foot wear you'd prefer your child to get wet in, as well as extra clothes or even a bathing suit if you'd prefer they wear that to get wet.

July 23rd - Mismatch Day - stripes with polka dots, crazy colors, 2 different socks, the less it matches, the better! AND Reading Buddies Day - pick another cozy spot to read outside with a friend.

July 30th - Super Hero Day - wear a shirt with your favorite super hero on it, or go all out and dress like your favorite super hero AND Fireworks Science experiment. "Fireworks" are made by mixing oil and food coloring and dropping it into water - no flames, just fun colors! Kids won't need to touch the oil or food coloring directly, but please reach out to your BCBA if there are any allergy concerns here.

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Meet Emily, Registered Behavior Technician in Brighton!

Emily has worked at the Strive Center for Autism since June 2018. She has a bachelor’s degree in Family Life Education with a minor in Social Services from Concordia University in Ann Arbor.

Previously, Emily was a youth worker at Youth Villages in Memphis, TN working with at-risk youth in a mental health facility. She was also a youth mentor with Life Center Inc., providing in home support services to children with disabilities and a caseworker for an adoption/foster care agency.

Emily enjoys spending time with her loved ones and has a passion for traveling internationally and doing any outdoor activities such as camping and fishing.

Outdoor Mask Update

As we continue to do our best to keep up with ever-changing recommendations regarding COVID-19, we want to inform parents that children will NOT be required to wear masks outside at all. We have reviewed all of the information from the CDC and from MiOSHA, and we will continue to require staff to wear masks, regardless of their vaccination status for the time being. This is in keeping with CDC guidelines for summer camp programs where there is a mix of vaccinated and unvaccinated people.

We continue to encourage the children to wear their masks whenever they will be within 3 feet of one another indoors, which includes any group lessons, playing with another child (whether scheduled or just for fun), music time after lunch, and circle time.

We have taught each of the children to ask before removing their mask, and we do honor those requests. If your child will be attending school in the fall, your BCBA can talk with you about what that may look like, and whether your child may need to learn how to accept "no" as an answer to a request to remove his mask.

Please let us know if you have any concerns, and know that your child should be able to run and breathe freely outdoors this summer!

Travel Quarantine Requirement Discontinued

We have a number of COVID related updates this week, including discontinuing quarantine requirements following travel. MiOSHA does not recommend a quarantine after travel, and with the decreasing numbers of COVID cases, Strive Center will no longer require a quarantine after travel for our families, effective Monday, June 21st.

We will ask that if you are aware of an exposure to COVID while vacationing, or anyone in your family experiences symptoms during vacation or upon return that you inform your BCBA and plan on keeping your child home while we consult with the local health department and while symptoms resolve. Simply following the daily health screening will guide you as to whether your child needs to stay home at all.

We know that it has been a burden on families to arrange childcare for quarantine periods, and the lengthy disruption in therapy is very hard on the children, so we are pleased to discontinue this requirement.

As always, please complete a Therapy Schedule Change Request when you are planning time off, and speak to your BCBA. We hope that all our families are able to find some time to relax this summer!

Parents are BACK in the Building

Another exciting announcement: we are working to welcome parents back into our buildings!

With the relatively low case numbers of COVID-19 in our area, we feel confident that we can begin offering parent training in our buildings again AND that parents can observe therapy in person again.

Parents will need to wear a mask at all times, regardless of their vaccination status.

Parents will also need to complete the daily health screening for themselves each day they enter the building; simply answer the questions for yourself, rather than your child, and be sure to include your name.

Your BCBA will speak to each parent individually about their preferences for returning to the buildings, and telehealth will continue to be available if needed. We can even use a tablet or computer to observe therapy remotely while you're in the building, if your child finds your presence too distracting!

We've missed you, and can't wait to see our parents in the buildings again!

Parent Observation Friendly Reminders

It's been a long time since parents observed in person, and we know it will take some time for children to adapt to this again. We'd like to remind you of our guidelines for observing, which will definitely help children adapt quicker. These are directly from the handbook, which each family receives at intake and an updated copy is provided every January.

Per our family involvement policy, at least 1 parent, guardian, or significant caregiver will attend observation of the child’s therapy for 30 minutes per week (again, this can continue remotely if needed.)

While observing, parents must follow these guidelines:

o Sit at least 4 feet away from the area where the child is engaged in therapy.

o Take off your coat and put down your purse or belongings so that it looks like you are planning to stay. Find a place to sit down – you are welcome to move an empty chair, or ask our staff for the best spot to sit.

o You can say hello when you come in, but then do not interact with your child further unless the therapists ask you to.

o Remain quiet during therapy – don’t prompt your child, don’t answer for your child, don’t ask questions of the therapist – all of this will interrupt the therapy and you won’t be able to see what your child typically does.

o Hold all questions until therapy is over, or ask the BCBA quietly. Never ask the therapist questions.

o If your child is struggling, remain quiet and allow the therapist to handle the situation.

o Please direct your attention toward your own child; of course you will see other children, but please respect their privacy by focusing on your child. Do not ask questions regarding other children; our staff will not share any information about any child outside of their own family or caregivers.

o If you would like to take a picture or video, please ask the therapist first and make sure that no other children are visible in the picture or video. We are also happy to take video for you or provide pictures using our equipment. It is essential that confidentiality be maintained for all families.

Strive Centers CLOSED

Friday, June 25th, 8am

Brighton and Burton

Both Strive Center locations will be CLOSED on Friday, June 25th for Professional Development for staff.

Strive Centers CLOSED

Monday, July 5th, 8am

Brighton and Burton

Both Strive Center locations will be CLOSED on Monday, July 5th to observe Independence Day. Therapy resumes on Tuesday, July 6th.