Our Intention: Connection
Social interactions transform lives. We believe that all children with autism can become connected with family and community members. We intend to help cultivate and foster connections. Children demonstrate connection by (1)
- being calm and attentive
- looking at parents and family, peers and caregivers
- smiling and using other facial expressions
- sharing in the sights, sounds, and activities around them
- using gestures and postures to communicate reciprocally
- connecting their own feelings to purposeful, intentional behaviors and words
- engaging in creative and imaginative play
- demonstrating reality-based logical thinking
These core abilities are difficult for children and adults living with autism. Most of us take these abilities for granted because they’re largely unconscious. They seem to come naturally. They help us form the foundation for meeting our deepest emotional needs and social connections. And they are the basis for all future academic learning and lifelong success.
Connecting young families living with autism to the information, strategies and support they need to engage fully in their homes, schools and communities. We are dedicated to building bridges between research, practice and everyday life. Here, families are the center.
- Interventions must be based on goals, objectives, and strategies that complement each child’s unique sensory processing, behavior, communication and cognitive needs
- Each child’s own innate interests work best to draw him/her into social experiences that the child enjoys
- All children can be engaged socially and it is through this engagement that the symptoms of autism are diminished and the gifts of the individual shine
- Responsive parents are key to a child’s ongoing development
- Shared enjoyment and deep meaningful connections are learned experiences
- Parents can intervene to support the development of the foundational skills of sharing attention, self-regulation, purposeful behavior, and back-and-forth conversations
- In-home interventions that empower parents to engage with their child, benefit the whole family over the lifetime of the child
Involved Community Support
- Skilled professionals expand access to more families for evidence-based interventions through professional development offerings and current information on autism research
- Intensive early intervention is critical for all children on the spectrum
- Coordinated care service between families and physicians, educators, and therapists improves outcomes and relieves stress
(1) The listed items are paraphrased descriptions of developmental milestones as described by Stanley Greenspan, M.D. and Serena Wieder, Ph.D. (1998), The Child with Special Needs, Encouraging Intellectual and Emotional Growth, Perseus Publishing Co., Reading, MA (p. 92-97).