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World Autism Awareness Day 2015: Celebrating Breakthrough Moments!
April 2nd is always an extra special day at Breakthrough Autism. On World Autism Awareness Day, we not only celebrate autism awareness but also the amazing breakthrough moments that we have shared with all of the children we work with and their families. It’s truly remarkable to think that not so long ago (i.e., back in the ‘60s and ‘70s) many believed that children with autism couldn’t learn. Thanks to close to 50 years (yup, that’s right! half a decade!) of pioneering work and research published by some incredible Behaviour Analysts, we now know that this myth couldn’t be more untrue! In fact, when children with autism are given access to quality Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)-based services they can learn critical skills that help improve the quality of their lives.
Here at Breakthrough Autism, we are incredibly lucky to witness how ABA changes the lives of children with autism every day. To celebrate these kids and their breakthrough moments, some of our staff put together this mini-highlight reel to showcase some incredible accomplishments. Over the past year, ABA has helped:
- Kids at our centre learn how to play social games such as: hide and go seek; connect four; duck, duck, goose; rock, paper, scissors; tennis on Nintendo Wii and so much more. We love seeing our clients of all ages interacting and having fun!
- Kids at our centre learn how to use the bathroom independently. Yay, to all of our clients that are now diaper free!
- Kids learn how to self-advocate. For example, learning how to express their emotions appropriately by using “I” statements when others have hurt their feelings (e.g., “I felt sad when you didn’t let me play with you today”).
- Kids use the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) to say things like “I love you” to their parents.
- Some of our “tweens” learn independent self-help skills, such as putting away groceries, putting on chapstick, washing their face, and making a snack. These skills that have empowered them to live more independent lives. Isn’t that what being a teenager is all about?
- Bring a huge smile to our faces by hearing kids use their words, PECS, iPads or any augmentative communication system to communicate and ask for things they want.
- One of our clients successfully started high school this year. Teachers’ report that he is doing amazing with his academics and social skills.
- Kids of all ages form friendships with others.
- All of our incredible ABA graduates over the past year successfully transition back to school full-time. We’re so proud of all they have accomplished! ABA that has helped them reach their full potential!
Yes, that’s right, ABA can help kids learn all of these wonderfully meaningful and life-changing skills and more! One of our Instructors said it best when she wrote: “Every child who comes through the front doors at Breakthrough Autism has so much potential, and I consider myself so lucky to be a part of a team who takes each achievement and celebrates it as should be celebrated – as an incredible Breakthrough moment.” We all consider ourselves lucky to celebrate with all of the kids at Breakthrough Autism and their families as they reach their full potential!
This year, we invite all of you to help us celebrate World Autism Awareness Day by reflecting on all of the great achievements that children with autism and their families have accomplished by using the hashtag #breakthroughmoments #WAAD2015. We can’t wait to hear your stories too!