April 2020 Newsletter

Autism Awareness Shirts
For April 2020, we have over 30 supporters who have purchased the See the Able, Not the Label shirts. These shirts were designed as a fundraiser for the Cornerstone Autism Foundation, and we raised over $150 for the foundation! They also serve as a reminder to be kind to one another. These shirts will be worn around our community this year to help spread positivity and autism awareness.

Co-Op Internship Reflections
We had the pleasure of speaking with Camila González about her spring Co-Op internship at Purdue University with Cornerstone Autism Center. Here is what Camila shared with our marketing department — click here to read full blog.

The Cornerstone Autism Foundation Gives $10,000 Grant to Local Organization
The Autism Community Connection, previously known as the Johnson County Autism Support Group, received a $10,000 grant from the Cornerstone Autism Foundation this year. Read more about it on the foundation’s website and how this donation will impact children with autism locally.

Thank you to these staff members for Maximizing Those Who Struggle, Embracing Those Who Love and Fulfilling Those Who Serve.

Rachel, Team Lead Since being at Cornerstone I have accomplished many Dream Manager goals which include traveling to California and Colorado, and finishing my masters degree in ABA. A dream that I am currently working on is to one day become a BCBA. My favorite memory so far at Cornerstone is watching clients grow and learn, and being a part of their journey.

In my free time I enjoy being outside, being with my family, and reading a good book. An organization that I hold close to my heart is called Champ Camp. This camp provides a week long summer camp experience for children with tracheotomies and those requiring respiratory assistance. The children enjoy activities such as swimming, archery, climbing a tower, and zip-lining. It is amazing to watch the children smile and do activities that they never thought they could do before. More information about Champ Camp is online at www.champcamp.org.

Jacob, Therapist  A favorite quote of mine is, “Don’t be afraid to be yourself, because everyone else is already taken.” I truly love individualism. We are all unique and I truly enjoy learning what makes each person tick. The enthusiasm in a person’s voice when they are discussing their absolute favorite thing is truly indescribable. The very foundation of our job centers around finding out clients’ motivation to bring out their full potential. We can apply this to our own lives, and when we find what we are “motivated” or “inspired” for, we can live happier, healthier lives.

My favorite thing about working with children with autism is the variety in the field and on the spectrum itself. I love seeing each child get so unbelievably excited about their favorite things. I love talking about my job and helping to break the stigma surrounding autism.

I have so many favorite memories at Cornerstone, but one that stands out to me the most is when the coolest little boy taught me the backwards ABCs! We were singing the ABC son, and he immediately looked at me and said, “try this,” and taught me the entire song backwards! I loved hearing him use some of the things I say in our programming sessions!

ABA 101: Manding

A fundamental component of communication is the ability to express wants and needs. We do this through making demands and requests of others, also known as mands.“A mand is an operant that is evoked by motivation and followed by specific reinforcement.” Watch Cornerstone’s training video to learn more about this ABA topic by clicking here. 

Natural Supports  The Arc of Indiana shares information for families about natural supports in their community: “Natural supports are the relationships that occur in everyday life. They usually involve family members, friends, co-workers, and neighbors. Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities often need help in developing these connections, but once they do these “natural systems of support” become an important part of their life in the community. For example, being involved in a YMCA swimming program, community center arts class, or worship services may lead to friendships and connections that last far beyond the actual event. Over time, these connections can help an individual build a strong community network and support system. For more information on natural supports and how to encourage them in people with disabilities, visit this link.

Fire Safety Resource Collection  Fire safety is important for all individuals, especially those with autism. ASERT (Autism Services, Education, Resources and Training) has put together a collection of fire safety resources including fire safety plans and education, an interactive storybook and social story, and tips for how to prepare and stay safe during a fire. Visit paautism.org to access the collection.

Introduction to ABLE Accounts  In 2014 Congress passed the ABLE Act (Achieving a Better Life Experience). This law allows money to be set aside for a person with special needs in a way that will not affect their federal benefits. Money in an ABLE account can grow tax-free over time and be used to pay for qualifying expenses toward the care and support of the special needs beneficiary. ABLE accounts can have advantages and drawbacks. To learn more, take a look at this article from elderlawanswers.com.


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