Autism Awareness Month 2021
Together we can achieve more.
A Closer Look
Approximately 1 in 54 children are diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder each year. (cdc.gov) About 2% of all children in the United States have some form of autism. Autism is a spectrum disorder that encompasses a range of linked conditions, singular symptoms and/or traits. By cultivating compassion and celebrating our differences, we can create a more inclusive world for one another.
Autism Awareness Month has been celebrated since 1972. This was the year when the Autism Society organized their first annual National Autistic Children’s Week. Overtime this week in April expanded to include the entire month, and is now April is recognized across the country as Autism Awareness Month.
SARAH Inc.'s KIDSTEPS Autism Services
As part of our Early Intervention Services, SARAH Inc. KIDSTEPS offers services specifically designed for children with
autism spectrum disorder. Our teams utilize the Early Start Denver Model to develop a play-based program for your child. This program uses a child’s natural curiosity and enthusiasm as a building block for learning new skills in specific areas of development, such as communication, social skills, play skills, self-help skills, and motor skills. The dedicated KIDSTEPS team will monitor your child’s progress as new skills are learned, assesses the goals in your child’s IFSP, and then adapts their program accordingly. Services can typically take place wherever you and your child are typically spending your time. Currently in the pandemic, we are offering virtual supports. As we phase back into in-person services, visits can take place at: homes, childcare, playgroups, parks, supermarkets, the bank and other places in your community. See below for an example of a recent in-home visit.
Grocery Cart Activity
ESDM is an acronym for Early Start Denver Model. Every moment in a child’s life is a teaching moment. The more fun, the more engaged the child and the family are with each other and the more learning takes place. This is one of many examples.
Robbie with his sister during an EI visit with a LBA-Licensed Behavior Analyst and DT-Developmental Therapist during a joint visit. They are using a play activity to incorporate language learning, (requesting and following directions) into a grocery cart activity
Before getting into it, Robbie’s sister thought of “Let’s go shopping”. She handed him items and he followed her directions to put them in. Through various dialog, Robbie and his sister worked together to develop both verbal and non-verbal cues. Then together we added in more movement to the activity. Robbie’s sister started spinning him around. His uncle added “SPIN”, a word Robbie has used in the past to tell his Uncle he wanted to spin a different toy. They used similar throughout the rest of this visit.
SARAH Inc. KIDSTEPS is proud to offer Autism Services to more children and their families than ever before. We recently expanded our Birth to Three services from 31 to 50 towns throughout Connecticut. You can request a Birth to Three Early Intervention evaluation at any time.
Request an Evaluation
To request a Birth to Three Early Intervention evaluation you can:
A) Call the toll-free intake phone number at Child Development Infoline 1-800-505-7000
B) Complete the online referral form on the Birth to Three System web site www.birth23.org
C) Download the referral form from the Birth to Three Website and Fax your referral to 1-800-571-6853
If you would like KIDSTEPS to provide the evaluation you must request us by name during the intake process. Otherwise, your child will be assigned to the program in your town that is next on rotation. Please contact the us at (860) 399-1888 ext. 324 if you have any questions.
How to Get Involved
This month is an opportunity to open your mind and your heart to learning more about autism. Pick up a book, listen to a podcast, or start conversations with those around you. In addition to learning, this month should be spent celebrating our differences and promoting inclusivity in our communities. This year more than ever, Autism Awareness Month can bring us together through our shared desire to understand and be understood.