April 2020 has taught us so much! Now more than ever, we are grateful for our dedicated staff and the incredible autism community. Spectrum Autism Services didn’t let COVID-19 stop us from lighting it up blue in support of Autism Awareness!
Grand Opening Extravaganza
What a wonderful last few weeks we have had at Spectrum Autism Services! We are so grateful for the Stafford community for welcoming us with open arms and for supporting the opening of our clinic!
In addition to providing one on one ABA therapy, our clinic, located at 35 Walpole St #204 in Stafford, Virginia, also offers both Full Day and Half Day Programs for children ages 2-5.
Our Board Certified Behavior Analysts, Registered Behavior Therapists, and certified teachers will develop individualized programs for your little one with ASD.
5 Sensory Summer at Home Activities for Kiddos with Autism
Summer days can be sunny and magical, but they can also leave parents wondering how to keep their kids from climbing the walls.
That’s why having a few go-to warm weather activities can make an otherwise stir crazy stay-at-home afternoon a little more enjoyable. We have found that using daily visual schedules helps ease our kids’ anxiety.
This type of home schedule can help maintain routine and predictability for your child.
There are endless possibilities for at home activities, but these are some of our household favorites!
1. At Home Obstacle Course
There are endless options when creating your own obstacle course. Consider activities you already have, that your child finds exciting, and add a few new items to keep it entertaining.
Components of an at home course:
Take advantage of any stable trees in your backyard and add a few pieces of 4×4 or wall climbing pieces to make climbing steps along the trunk of it, or attach a rope to a branch that can be used to climb up the base as well!
Take a portable slide that you might already have and add it to the “course.” Considering it’s summer weather, putting the slide into a kiddie pool makes a fun splash!
Another fun component of an obstacle course would be something to crawl through! A tunnel would be a fun addition.
Consider the toys you already have around the house, write out the sequence of events in the course, and get racing!
2. Sensory Sandbox
Creating a sensory box can be an indoor or outdoor experience! If you are interested in a traditional sandbox outdoors, here are some fun additions to keep it exciting:
If you are interested in a mess-free indoor sensory box, fellow blogger 3 Dinosaurs offers a great water bead alternative!
Add water beads of any colors and toys of your interest!
For instance, add dump truck toys or shovels for scooping!
Consider Playmobile toys and houses as other creative additions to an otherwise typical house-play!
3. Self Made Water Park
If available, corner off a section of your yard and deem it the “Waterpark”! Everything sounds better with an alluring name 😉
Items to consider including:
a slip n slide:
a sprinkler of your choosing!
a water table with boats, mermaids, and torpedos!
a kiddie pool with slide!
4. Chef In Training!
Create a summer recipe book with your child’s favorite meals or baked goods, consisting of at least 5 items that include pictures of the dish and the ingredients!
Have your child brain storm the meals and help with compiling the images into the recipe book/scrap book with you. That way, when you need an interactive activity together, they can pick out their favorite summer snacks/meals and help make them with you!
This activity helps teach valuable skills such as following multiple step instructions and team work!
5. Make A Home Garden
The wonders of new life mystify all of us, and it is especially exciting to witness it in the eyes of children!
There are many ways to begin a home garden with your kiddos. Some fun and mostly fool proof items to plant in a garden are herbs and potted plants! Some go-to favorites of ours are the following:
- Tomato plants- they are exorbitantly fruitful and often produce en masse! So you won’t have to worry about “nothing showing up”! Make it a weekly outing to the garden to pick a basket full for the week’s meals!
- Basil- A generally easy plant to maintain in the home or outside! The magnificent smell provides a sensory experience your child won’t want to miss! They also produce quicker the more they are plucked, so don’t hesitate to have your child pick a few leaves off each week!
- Bromelaide Plant- the Bromelaide plant has many varieties, and is a simple indoor plant that can survive even unattended conditions (even though we don’t recommend that! We just know it might be easy to forget them 😉 ). Usually only needing watering about twice per week, this can be a source of beauty, nurturing, and responsibility for your child.
There are limitless options with plants and herbs for your young one to water and nurture, both indoor and outdoor! Learning about nature and adoring its resilience and beauty is fun usually for kids aged pre-school and up! Feel free to comment below with any plants your youngster loves to care for, or other go-to summer activities!
Employee Spotlight: Faith Martino
“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
Along with making Spectrum Autism Services more magical than it would be without her, Faith impacts the lives of others with profound generosity.
Faith is a Registered Behavior Technician who has a deep passion for aiding children on the spectrum to reach their optimal potential. She thrives as a caregiver and has a unique ability to connect with children and help them grow as they reach their goals.
Faith continuously helps those around her and brings a positive perspective to any conversation. She also enjoys working out, lifting weights, road trips, sings like a Disney princess and mostly finds ways to make those around her smile.
Faith has a professional background in customer service management, coordinates weekly social groups and assists in the development of curriculum that is used to target social skills in a group setting.
She is currently studying at the University of Mary Washington earning her degree in communication. Faith also leads a team of volunteers for the children’s ministry at her church.
Employee Spotlight: Emily Taylor
This month we are spotlighting a wonderful team member at Spectrum Autism Services!
Emily Taylor has always had a passion for working with children and helping them reach their potential. In 2016, she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from James Madison University. She then began her career in the field of Autism in the school setting by providing both classroom-based and one-on-one services at a Special Education, Applied Behavior Analysis based school in Maryland.
In 2018, she moved to Fredericksburg where she became a part of the Spectrum family as a Registered Behavior Technician.
It wasn’t until joining Spectrum that Emily truly realized her calling for working in the field of ABA. She is currently enrolled at The University of Southern Maine in pursuit of a Master’s in Educational Psychology and Applied Behavior Analysis.
Emily is extremely excited to continue her education and to inspire others to find passion in working in the field of Autism! We are so lucky to have her on our staff.
Thank you for all that you do, Emily!