November 2019 Newsletter

Success Story  When he graduated, Austin was able to follow instructions, wait for his peers to finish their work, respond to instructions from various group leaders and respond to questions from his peers. This has aided in his ability to follow instructions from multiple teachers/staff members at school with ease as he switches between subjects throughout his day! “When I think of Cornerstone, I think of Austin,” said Melissa Maggard, ABA therapist. “So many of us have been a part of his story, so it will not be the same without him here. It’s bittersweet because we will miss him, but it’s so exciting he’s going to middle school!”  Read Austin’s full story, and many others, on our website!

Fall Signs  In our latest training video, Sign Language Coordinator and BCBA Stephanie Dille-Huggins guides families through a few seasonal signs they can use at home with their kids this fall. Visit our YouTube channel to learn the signs for tree, leaves, apple, pumpkin, and more.

Halloween Parade  Clients and staff enjoyed our Halloween parade last month, which allowed them time to practice skills they’ve been working on with their therapists, such as requesting items (manding), waiting, making appropriate social interactions, and improving fine motor skills. Our West Lafayette clients got to practice waiting in line for their Halloween goodies, working on their pretend play with dress up, and using their fine motor skills to create a picture frame to take home to their families.

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

Madison, Therapist and Clinical Support  Dream Manager goals I have accomplished include completing the Master’s program for Applied Behavior Analysis at Ball State University, and I am currently studying for my board certification. My husband and I have also built our first home. In my free time I like to spend time with my family. We love to have game days where we play card games for hours.

I really enjoy working at Cornerstone. I love watching the children grow and to see the progress they have made since starting here. My favorite memories at Cornerstone are during the holidays. The children light up when our Christmas tree goes up, and they get thrilled to see Santa. Two organizations I feel passionate about are Riley Children’s Hospital and the Ronald McDonald House. They have provided so much assistance for my family since my nephews were born.

Jennifer, Therapist  Since starting at Cornerstone, I’ve been able to have my dream wedding to my favorite person and go on our dream honeymoon to England! My current goals for the upcoming year are to buy a home and start pursuing my master’s degree for ABA!

I am so inspired every day by my fellow therapists, clients, and my husband. Seeing my coworkers doing great therapy and encouraging each other makes my job so worthwhile. Seeing the progress my past clients and current clients make is rewarding beyond words. My husband (also a Cornerstone therapist!) always pushes me to be my best self. I’m surrounded by inspiration! My favorite thing to do with one of my clients right now is to cheer so loud when he does something independently. He gets so proud and will throw his arms up and say “Woohoo!” with me!

Stephanie, Therapist  Since coming to Cornerstone, a Dream Manager goal I have accomplished is to purchase my first home! My goals are now to finish painting and decorating, as well as buy a car and skydive!

In my free time I like to do arts and crafts, shop, cook, and spend time with my kids.

I knew from the time I was a little girl that I wanted to work with children. My favorite thing about working with children with autism is seeing all of their personalities explode! I also really enjoy seeing the progress they make.

Safety Alert Seat Belt Cover  These seat belt covers from the National Autism Association can share important information about your child in case of an emergency. They are made from soft fabric with smooth snaps. An inside pocket contains a medical information sheet to be filled out with your child’s emergency medical and contact information. Visit NAA’s Little Shop of Hope for this and other safety items.

Autism Study  A new study has found that interoception is impaired in children, not adults, with Autism Spectrum Disorders.  Interoception is the ability to sense the internal state of the body—for instance, to accurately identify sensations such as hunger, thirst, pain, and internal temperature. Learn more about this study and other research on the Autism Research Institute’s webpage:

Medicaid Waiver RFA Process Webinar  IPMG recently created a webinar that walks families through the process of applying for waiver funding for environmental and vehicle modifications, as well as specialized medical equipment through the Medicaid Waiver RFA (Request For Approval) process. Items requested may include noise-blocking headphones, weighted blankets or vests, special eating utensils, crash mats, anti-scald devices, door alarms, and more. You can click here to view the recorded webinar on IPMG’s YouTube channel.  

Spirit Week is November 18th to 22nd!  Monday: Character Day, Tuesday: Tie Dye Day, Wednesday: Collegiate Attire Day, Thursday: Cornerstone Colors Day (wear green, blue or orange), Friday: Flannel Day.

All centers will be closed Thursday November 28th and Friday November 29th for the Thanksgiving holiday, as well as December 23rd to 27th for Winter Break.

West Lafayette and Greenwood Polk Centers: Playing With a Purpose Workshop  December 5th at 8:45 am  This speech-language workshop will focus on how to turn your child’s everyday toys and activities into moments that foster communication and language growth! This workshop by speech therapists Emily Diekhoff, MS, CCC-SLP and Kayla Unkrich, MS, CCC-SLP will look at tips for selecting toys, along with ways to increase play interactions with your child using specific toys and activities that are great for speech, language, and social development. More information and RSVP details will be coming home soon in client backpacks.

Lights Up Sound Down: Frozen 2   Saturday, 12/7 at 10 am   Location:  Lafayette 7 Theater, 3525 McCarty Ln. # 7. Join us for a sensory-friendly movie experience where the lights are up, the sound is down, and no one cares if you talk or move around! The first 100 people to RSVP are admitted for free, sponsored by the Cornerstone Autism Foundation. RSVP to Lynsey at

Center Holiday Parties Families are invited to join us for our annual holiday party! We will have crafts, activities, and a picture with Santa. Party dates by center:  12/6: Polk and West Lafayette; 12/13, Edinburgh and Madison. Keep an eye out in your child’s backpack or check your email for more information specific to your child’s center.



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