January 2020 Newsletter

Star Wars Visit  Recently our staff and clients had an “out of this world” encounter with the local chapters of Star Wars Indiana. A Stormtrooper, R2D2, and Jedi Knight all made an appearance at our Edinburgh location. Our clients had the opportunity to practice many skills, such as waiting and making appropriate social interactions, while meeting the characters and dancing with R2D2! The volunteers of Star Wars Indiana have a goal to connect with the communities they serve and support charitable and educational causes while sharing their love of Star Wars. Take a look at our Facebook link to see more pictures taken during the event!

Success Story  Since starting at Cornerstone three years ago, Wesley has gained great functional communication abilities, self-management skills and so many friendships, all while increasing his ability to transition from activity to activity more easily and reducing challenging behaviors. “His energetic and contagious personality makes everyone smile and we will miss him dearly as he goes to school,” said BCBA Erica Bushnell. Read Wesley’s full success story here.

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

Rachel, Therapist  I take inspiration from all sorts of people and situations. I always look for the positive and how obstacles can be overcome in every circumstance. So I draw on all those around me as my inspiration to be better every day. Dream Manager goals I have worked on include educational goals, and goals in my personal and family life by involving myself in several opportunities at the local community theater– the Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette.

A favorite recipe is Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken from Six Sisters’ Stuff.

At Cornerstone I love playing and being silly with my clients. Embracing what makes them happy and getting to bond with them is my favorite part of my job.

Sarah, Therapist  Spending all the play and cuddle time I can get with my Golden Retriever, George, is a favorite pastime. And it may sound silly, but I love when I get the chance to just hang out at home, organizing and cleaning! I have also accomplished many Dream Manager goals since starting at Cornerstone, including putting myself first and focusing on what makes me happy. I bought a house, got engaged, and this spring is my last semester for my masters in ABA. Organizations I am passionate about are 4pawsforability.org, which works to place service dogs with children with disabilities, and pawsandthink.org, which promotes literacy and allows kids to read to therapy dogs.

My favorite thing to do with my clients is to just be silly with them, whatever that may mean for each of them: belly laughs are the absolute best! I also love witnessing ‘firsts’. First words, first successful potty trips, first steps towards independence. I can’t help but break into tears every time a client says my name when finding their voice, as well.

Haley, Therapist and Administrative Support  A Dream Manager goal I have accomplished since coming to Cornerstone was to swim with sea turtles in the wild, which I accomplished this past May. Additionally, I am in school working on completing my master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis with hopes of becoming a BCBA.

In my free time I enjoy traveling, listening to Crime Junkies podcast and watching YouTube. My favorite place in the world is a Taylor Swift concert (wherever that may be) because it is where I’m the happiest.

What I love about working with children with autism is learning from them. They teach me every single day and I am so lucky to learn from them. They make me a better therapist, but more importantly they make me a better person.

Winter Coat and Car Seat Safety Tips  Winter is a tricky time for car seats with warm coats. These tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics will help parents strike that perfect balance between keeping children warm as well as safely buckled in their car seats: “As a general rule, bulky clothing, including winter coats, should not be worn underneath the harness of a car seat. In a car crash, fluffy padding immediately flattens out from the force, leaving extra space under the harness. A child can then slip through the straps and be thrown from the seat. Dress your child in thin layers, use a coat or blanket over the straps, and pack an emergency bag for your car.”  Read more at healthychildren.org.

Image result for the autism help book"

Lending Library   Cornerstone’s Lending Library features many books for parents and staff to borrow for a two week period. A new title recently added to our library is The Autism Help Book. Written by the mother of a sixteen-year-old boy with autism, this book offers practical advice on self-care, education, preparing for adolescence and adulthood, legal considerations, wandering, and more. Parents can visit our website to view other titles in our library, and contact us to check on the availability of a book.

Building Bridges: Supporting Families and Self-Advocates  Building Bridges events are opportunities for families and self-advocates to meet with the Bureau of Developmental Disabilities Services (BDDS) state staff. These sessions are an avenue for individuals to share their feedback on services such as waivers, and provide a forum for constructive and valuable conversations on successes and concerns, as well as suggestions for positive change. It is the desire of BDDS that these meetings will allow for meaningful conversations that result in positive outcomes and stronger relationships. All meetings will be from 6 – 8 p.m. EST local time. If you are in need of any accommodations to participate, please contact Heather Dane at heather.dane@fssa.in.gov. The following are the dates and locations for the next quarterly Building Bridges meetings:

  • January 22nd: Crawfordsville Public Library, 205 S Washing Street, Crawfordsville
  • January 28th: Johnson County Library White River Branch, 1664 Library Blvd, Greenwood

Sensory Open Gym in Columbus  Sensory Open Gym is a parent participation open gym experience. During this time, our gym is specifically dedicated to providing a fun and safe space for children ages 2 to 14 who experience Autistic Spectrum Disorders, ADHD, or who have special sensory needs. The entire facility is set aside so that attendees can run, jump, swing, and climb on our equipment in a calm and comfortable setting. Siblings are more than welcome to also attend Sensory Open Gym. Dates: Jan 11, Feb 8, March 8, and April 12 from 6:00 – 7:30 pm. Entry is $4 per child; under age 1 is free and parents are free. For more information visit this link or call 812-376-2680.

Sensory Ice Skating in Carmel  A sensory-friendly event for families, especially designed for children with autism and Sensory Processing Disorder. Free admission and skate rental for the entire family. Wheelchairs are welcome on the ice and ice walker supports are available to share. Rink will be closed to the general public. Guardians must accompany on ice. January 27th and February 24th, 4-6 pm. For more information, visit this link.

Sensory Friendly Roller Skating in Lafayette  All ages and abilities are welcome; low music volume and no flashing lights. Admission $6 per person plus skates rental of $3. Parents spectating will not need to pay. Siblings welcome. Skate mates are also available for an additional $3. Location: Great United Skates, 135 S Earl Ave, Lafayette. January 21st, 6-8 pm. For more information visit this link.


View past newsletters or subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here.