Weekly Update

Strive Center for Autism - February 12, 2021

Centers CLOSED

Monday, Feb. 15th, 8:30am

Brighton and Burton

Both centers will be CLOSED for therapy on Monday, February 15th for President's Day.

New Leaf Counters on Website

We've added a new feature to our website - leaf counters! As you know, for every new skill a child learns in our center, we send a leaf sticker home to add to your tree poster, and we keep a poster in the center too. We've tracked these skills acquired for some time, and often report it here in the newsletter. Now, we've added a tracker to our website.

The tracker will show an updated count of all the skills acquired by our children in the last month, and the total skills acquired this year.

You can see below that our children acquired 172 new skills in January! We can't wait to see how they grow and change each month.

To see the live tracker, simply go to our website: www.sc-centers.com. The trackers are toward the bottom of our home page. We're so proud of all the hard work these kids put in daily, and this is a fun way to share it with everyone!

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Valentine's Party Success

Both centers celebrated Valentine's day this afternoon with a fun party!

Kids had the chance to

  • Paint a picture
  • Make a Valentine for someone special
  • Eat a delicious cookie
  • Toss Cupid's arrow
  • Play Valentine's Bingo, I Spy, and Musical Hearts
  • Win a prize from our heart shaped punch board
  • Exchange Valentine's with all their friends

We sent home a fun note from the party so that you can find out more about your child's day. What a fun way to celebrate our friendships!

App Highlight: Routine Factory

One tool we use in our centers is an electronic visual schedule, called Routine Factory. Visual schedules are often recommended to help children with Autism to organize their day and know what to expect. When you think about it, most of us rely on some type of schedule to manage our daily life - calendars and to do lists help keep us on track. Why wouldn't our kids also like to be able to anticipate their daily activities?

We have tried a variety of ways to use schedules with our children over the years, including paper schedules, laminated schedules with little tags, and different apps, but the one we like best is Routine Factory. It is electronic, and can easily be updated and individualized for our children. We start with a "basic" schedule for the day, then we can easily copy it and make changes for children who have different activities, need a reminder to use the bathroom, or have something unusual on the schedule for the day, like being picked up early or picked up by someone different.

The schedule app is on the tablets our children use daily, so the children interact with it. When it's time for a new activity, there's a timer sound so they know to look at the schedule. The children can mark the current activity completed, and then the schedule shows them what's next. The app allows us to upload pictures of our center, so if the kids are going to the motor room, it looks like our motor room. We add the written words too, so kids who are beginning to read get that exposure too.

Routine Factory is one of many apps that are available for use at home too - there are free apps, and some that have a fee. Another great one available for Apple products is Choiceworks and we have used it in the past and like it quite a bit too. Both of these apps cost money, but to find other apps, search for "visual schedule autism" in your app store.

Please reach out to your BCBA if you'd like to set up a schedule to use at home - if an app isn't the best choice for you, we're happy to help create materials that work for you. A good schedule can help prevent negative behavior around activities or changes in schedule - it can help make a routine work better, like getting ready for bed, and help children understand what's going to happen today.