Monthly Archives: October 2017

Keep our “au-some” friends in mind while trick or treating!

Halloween Tips for Kids with ASD

  • Create a picture story of what Halloween is like for your child. Be sure to include some pictures or drawings. This will help your child prepare for the day’s activities and it can eliminate anxiety.
  • Do not wait until the party of trick or treating to show the costume to your child. Doing so can result in anxiety and even some meltdowns. Be sure to try on costumes before Halloween. If the costume is uncomfortable, it may cause unnecessary distress and ruin their fun.
  • Don’t make your child wear the costume if they don’t like it. Instead, talk about the situation with your child and try to discover why they don’t like it. After a talk with your child, they may get used to the costume. Have them wear it for short periods of time and at increasing intervals over time.
  • Consider a Halloween costume that fits over your child’s regular clothes, such as butterfly wings or capes; you know your child best and masks may not work.
  • Practice going to a neighbor’s door, ringing the bell or knocking on the door and receiving candy.
  • Know your child’s limits and do only what he or she can handle. For example, if your child is not comfortable trick-or-treating, you can start by going to three houses. Assess how your child is doing and build up to more houses or end it.
  • Take your child to an activity in the community, such as a school festival or a neighborhood party where the child is already comfortable and knows people. This will ensure they are comfortable and still get a chance to celebrate the occasion.
  • Partner with family and friends that your child likes. This will make it fun for you and your child.
  • If you are giving out candy at your home, give your child the option to give a piece of candy. During the day, practice greeting people and giving out candy; this can help build social skills.
  • If your child is afraid of going out at night, plan indoor or daytime Halloween activities. Never force your child to participate in activities if it will cause a meltdown or anxiety. licensed-counselor-marion-il-creative-mind-solutions-feature-4

Here we “grow” again…..

Hey there #teamleaf! It has been some time since I’ve stopped to chat with you on this platform. Hopefully you’ve been following us on our Facebook page. So much has happened over the past few months. Soooooooo, let’s back up a minute….as you may recall, I  relocated from Maryland to Virginia Beach last fall. Two VERY different places, but I have come to enjoy not sitting in traffic jams on I-495 & I-270. I still visit often (because deep down I really love the traffic..ha!).

LEAF has joined forces with a wonderful organization in Virginia Beach, Community Direct Services (CDS), and as a result so many families have access to many more services. I serve as the Chief Operations Officer at CDS, and also recently became credentialed as a Positive Behavior Support Facilitator for the state of Virginia. We do accept clients that are Waiver recipients and those with medicaid (with prior authorization). If you are interested in learning more about Behavior Consultation, click here  or all me at (757)965-4899. At CDS, we offer many other services such as Personal Care, Respite, Companion, and Sponsor Residential Services. If you are interested in learning more about these services, click here.

As you may or may not know, LEAF started as a tutoring agency in 2011. Over the years, I have kept MY love for teaching, but have made it a priority to ensure that the professionals that provide direct care services for our “au-some” friends are highly trained and remain in compliance with the state of Virginia. At CDS, we have also continued to provide training opportunities to families so that they are able to better support their loved ones. Some of those training topics include behavior support, IEP preparation, an introduction to Autism, and person centered practices. A new service coming under the LEAF program is Doula services. That’s right! Yours truly will begin offering support to expectant mothers that have intellectual and/or developmental disabilities, mental health challenges, or are expecting to give birth to children with developmental disabilities. As a certified Doula, I will be able to not only support expectant mothers through the life changing process of childbirth, but I will also be able to utilize my years of experience in the special education field during the postpartum period to help new families understand their rights, milestones that their child may encounter, and serve as a liaison between medical professionals and the family.

These are only a few of the changes that we have happening over at #CDS headquarters. My days are spent providing support to our wonderful staff, supporting families, and seeking new ways to be of service. I would love to stay connected with you, and hope that you will check us out on Facebook . Until next time!IMG_0003581496925241302250815