Weekly Update

Strive Center for Autism - August 26, 2021

Professional Development Day TOMORROW

Both Strive Center locations will be CLOSED, TOMORROW, August 27th for a Professional Development Day for staff.

We close for about 4 of these days per year, and we provide additional training opportunities and team building for our staff on these days.

Tomorrow, we are having a staff picnic as a thank you for our team's hard work, with some fun team building activities planned. We'll be sure to share photos here!

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.

Chore Chart

We have started implementing a chore chart with some of the children and everyone is enjoying it! The kids are actually quite happy to help out, and it's a great life skill. Please reach out to your BCBA if you need ideas on incorporating chores at home.

Some of the things children are learning to do include sweeping the floor, wiping tables or counters, and loading the dishwasher.

Also, please know that when children wipe down tables, we have them use a regular baby wipe - only staff use bleach or other chemical type wipes.

Mask Update

Some local counties (Oakland and Genesee at the time of this writing) have instituted mask mandates for ALL people in schools. To clear up any confusion, the Strive Centers are NOT schools, therefore we are not required to follow all school guidelines. We do look to local school districts for guidance, but since we are a very different setting, with fewer children, we have different factors to consider.

These are our current plans with regards to masks and visitors:

  • We will continue to require all adults to wear masks in our buildings, including staff, parents and caregivers who come inside for parent training, observations, or tours.
  • We will not require masks for children in our buildings, but we will enforce each family's choice (so please let your BCBA know your preference, and you may change it at any time.)
  • We will continue to limit visitors to those who need to be in the building, which will include caregivers for scheduled training or observation, and new families for tours or screenings.
  • We will continue to greet children at their cars and walk them in and out of the building each day (no plans to return to all the families in our small waiting areas, it's just too chaotic!)
  • We will NOT require social distancing between the children in our buildings.
  • We request that parents continue to keep children home when showing any symptoms of COVID-19 and please know that we will call the health department for the most up to date guidance for each absence related to those symptoms and share that information with you. We ask the same of our staff, and we contact the health department for staff symptoms as well.

Some factors parents should take into consideration when deciding to have their child wear a mask or not:

  • With requirements in local schools, will your child be going back and forth to school, and will it cause confusion to wear the mask in one setting but not in another?
  • Does your child need practice wearing the mask in order to go in other settings?
  • We do not require social distancing between our children, but we have no more than 10 children in one building, and most often, the children stay with a smaller group of up to 6 children.
  • The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) and the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) are both recommending mask wearing indoors for everyone age 2 and up, regardless of vaccination status, in schools.
  • No matter what, if you choose to have your child wear a mask, we will teach him to ask to remove it and allow him to do so when he is at his own table with his therapist or in any other setting where he is not directly within 3 feet of another student, unless a different request is made by parents.
  • We will continue to require hand washing throughout the day and we continue to clean our centers regularly.
  • We understand the challenges in mask wearing for young children diagnosed with Autism, and we can assure you that if you choose to have your child wear a mask, we are able to introduce it slowly and in a way that makes it easier on your child.

With your cooperation in keeping children home when they are ill, we are confident that we can continue to allow families to have the choice on masking for their children while continuing to keep everyone healthy. Please reach out to your BCBA if you would like to change your preference on mask wearing for your child or if you have any more questions.

Friendly Reminder - Absences

Please remember that the process for reporting an absence is for the caregiver to call our main office number: 810-344-8082 and leave a message on the attendance line for your center (press 1 for Brighton and 2 for Burton.)

It's important that you report the absence this way, as it alerts multiple members of our Leadership Team. This way, if one staff member isn't in the office, your therapist will still hear about your child's absence. If you use Remind or email, it's harder for us to ensure that everyone who needs to know finds out on time. Also, if we don't receive the message, we'll call you within fifteen minutes of the session start time.

You can call and leave a message anytime, day or night - so feel free to call even if it's the middle of the night and you realize your child can't come in tomorrow.

Back to School Tips

Summer is almost over, and it’s time to start preparing kids to go back to school. As parents of kids on the spectrum, this is a big job. Whether your child is returning to the same classroom and teacher as last year, or starting something new, now is the time to start preparing. What are some simple things you can do?

-Drive by the school 1-2 times per week. Talk about how much fun it will be, and who your child’s teacher is. Mention anything that you know your child likes about school (playground, friends from last year, reading books, etc.)

-If your child is anxious about returning to school, try some simple pairing. Pack a favorite snack when you drive by the school. Give your child the snack when school is in sight. Over time, begin to pull into the parking lot and eat the snack, or get out and check out the playground. Try to make the experience as positive as possible.

-Share with your child’s therapists any info you can about the school – name of the school, name of the teacher, friends your child expects to see again. We can talk about these in therapy as well. Share pictures if you have them and we’ll work on familiarizing your child with these important people and places.

-Call the school office and ask if you can take pictures of the lobby, classroom, hallways, gym, etc. Explain that you want to use the pictures to help your child with ASD prepare for the new year.

-Make sure you have ONLY good things to say about school in front of your child! Your attitude will influence his, so bite your tongue if you have to. Talk about what a great year he’ll have, how smart he is, and how happy you are that he’s going back to school. Save your doubts and concerns for grown-up conversation.

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.