Creating the Connections
Creating the Connections is the newest outreach and training program of The Autism Project. The funding for this program is through a federal grant from Health Resource and Services Administration (HRSA).
The primary goal of Creating the Connections is to assist concerned families and professionals to access screening, evaluation, and appropriate services for children, youth, and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or related Developmental Disabilities (DD). Our Family Support Specialists (FSS) work with agencies, organizations and families through on-site trainings to teach participants to recognize developmental milestones, to support concerns families may have, and to provide the tools necessary to empower families to make informed decisions and access care. Our FSS also work with parents and caregivers as one to one mentors as they navigate educational and resource systems in RI. The FSS team is one of many resources available to families and caregivers at The Autism Project.
CREATING THE CONNECTIONS’ PROGRAMS
Family Support Specialists
- Providing necessary tools to empower families to make informed decisions and access appropriate care regardless of where they are in their journey.
- Presenting training for parents or professionals utilizing curriculum based in the CDC “Learn the Signs. Act Early” and The Autism Project educational resources to better understand developmental milestones and area resources in order to support concerned parents, caregivers, professionals and community workers.*
- Providing One-to-One support, modeling, and coaching for parents and caregivers.
- Shared Resources Connecting families, caregivers and professionals to the network of RI resources for children and their families, including RI Medical Home Portal: an online resource of reliable information for clinical and community services.
- Presenting Tele-Education through The Autism Project, including live stream presentations and a webinar library of workshops for parents, caregivers and professionals. Resources will be available January 2018.
*Individuals who need sign language interpreter/C.A.R.T services or other assisted listening devices for effective participation are asked to make these needs known at least 3 weeks prior to the training.
Training for Professionals or Parents and Caregivers
Our team is ready to present a no-cost training to teach staff at local organizations, community and outreach programs to recognize typical and atypical developmental milestones, support concerns families may have, and provide the tools necessary to empower families to make informed decisions and access care. The core of the training curriculum is based in the CDC program Learn the Signs. Act Early. The material is supplemented with The Autism Project resources for hands-on techniques and information for area resources.
It is our goal to engage with professional and volunteer groups that work in communities on behalf of families to educate them on the importance of early detection and to teach them the resources in our state to support families through screening and subsequent evaluations. Training can be offered in the community or at The Autism Project offices.
If you would like more information, please contact: Claire Walker, Project Manager 401-785-2666 x76798 Claire.Walker@Lifespan.org.
The Autism Project
The Autism Project is a unique collaboration of parents, professionals and community members who provide quality support, training, and programming that is accessible to all for children and adults with an Autism Spectrum Disorder and related Developmental Disabilities (ASD/DD), their families and those who work with them.
We work to support individuals with an autism spectrum disorder or related developmental disabilities (ASD/DD) in many areas.
We educate their parents and caregivers on best practices for supporting individuals with autism and related developmental disabilities; we educate and train teachers, speech professionals, occupational therapists, teacher assistants, day care providers, community members and other professionals on the current best practices; and, we offer direct services to individuals with ASD/DD. We also work to advocate for individuals with ASD/DD and their families to increase availability of programs to support them. Finally, we offer support services for families from early diagnosis through transition to the work force through our parent resource specialist, support groups, parent training, a parent resource center and our active website and social media efforts (FB, Twitter and Pinterest).
The Autism Project works to ensure children with an ASD/DD benefit from an appropriate education and related therapeutic services within their local school, community and at home. Our programs educate parents and families in their newest role as teacher, but more importantly as mom and dad.
Each day our staff works with individuals using current evidence-based interventions and best practices. We host a National Speaker Conference each year to bring new advancements and knowledge to our community. We support schools and families as we learn, practice and generalize the new information into the classroom, home and community. Together we master the new skills to better support the student or child with an ASD/DD.
We work to our mission by: providing multiple training programs, consultation to schools and community organizations, running social skills groups and a summer camp for children with an ASD/DD and related communication disorders, hosting a national speaker conference, our Family Support Specialists lend support to families across our state, and we increase awareness at our annual Imagine Walk and Family Fun Day.
THE CORE VALUES OF THE AUTISM PROJECT
- The Autism Project’s supports and programs are accessible to everyone.
- All individuals, regardless of their abilities, have the potential to thrive when supported by caring and knowledgeable families and communities.
- Families are a respected member of the support team and integral to supporting the needs of individuals with an Autism Spectrum Disorder and related Developmental Disabilities (ASD/DD), and celebrating their achievements.
- Inclusive environments should be accessible to everyone; individualized services and interventions are essential to ensuring progress.
- If you’ve seen one person with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, you’ve seen one person with an Autism Spectrum Disorder.
- An eclectic approach draws on current evidence-based practices to achieve the highest standards of care.
- Individuals are empowered through education and training facilitated by teamwork that values all members.
- Individuals with an ASD/DD, their families, those who work with them, and members of their communities are best supported through a model driven by continuous learning and research.
- The Autism Project provides a welcoming and warm environment where individuals and their families feel safe, respected, and supported.