Welcome Back To School Trellis

 

-Submitted By Allison Barnes, Trellis Lead Instructor

The new school year is underway and the Trellis staff is so excited to see our leaner’s smiling faces once again. Jumping back into a routine after vacation is hard for any child, and can be especially difficult for a child with autism. Adjusting back to school after a summer break can feel frustrating and overwhelming for anyone. Fortunately, our learners have remained motivated to learn and are happy to be back.

Exciting changes have happened inside Trellis, making it more fun than ever to be back at school. Our NET space has been revamped with newer and more functional toys, allowing our learners to increase manding and pretend-play more appropriately and functionally.

“I love the new NET space. My learners need to use more communication to get what they want and it’s exciting to see them more motivated by functional play.” -Allison Killion, Early Intervention Instructor.

Additions to the NET include a play grill set, pretend laundry station, a brand new Dora The Explorer kitchen, improved train sets, and many more new toys. New items keep our learners MO high and promote functional play with peers. The staff is just as excited as the learners for these new additions and the opportunities they bring to teach new skills.

Inside the classroom, learners are adjusting enthusiastically to new curriculum and working hard with their teachers and instructors.

“We’re integrating the Baltimore County curriculum to incorporate ELA components of the Common Core. It’s exciting that I’ll be teaching the same concepts and using some of the same materials that a typical peer uses in public school,” explains preschool teacher Jessica Volz.

Guided by the Baltimore County curriculum, our learners get the opportunity to learn and interact with peers in groups of 3-4, in addition to our usual 1:1 instructor-to-child ratio.

Setting up the stage for success in social engagement is Julia Miller-Iarossi. Julia worked in the Love 2 Learn program from 2010-2014, and has recently rejoined the Trellis team as Social Skills Specialist this school year. We are so excited to have her back!

“I’m looking forward to meeting all the new students and getting to know them. I am excited to make our learners motivated by peer interaction, and to make social interaction as meaningful as possible so that they are still motivated in their homes and communities.”

Social groups at Trellis incorporate sensory strategies, gross motor movement, and academic skills to motivate each learner and fit their individual needs. Interactive peer play is essential to our students’ progress and independence, both in school and in the community. Our learners have happily jumped back into their social groups, focusing on skills such as greetings, sharing with friends, asking questions, high-fives, and other appropriate attention skills.

We’re off to a great start of the new school year. Our learners have had a successful transition back and we can’t wait to see the progress to follow. We hope everyone had a fantastic break, and that everyone is just excited for the fall as we are!

3rd Annual Bull Roast

In addition to creating opportunities for promoting awareness of autism in April; it’s a great month to join us for our 3rd Annual Bull Roast to raise funds for an organization that has been providing resources to the community for 15 years.

Pathfinders for Autism is the State’s largest autism organization dedicated to helping individuals, parents and professionals find resources, supports and training while working to increase the awareness of autism spectrum disorders and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families.

The event will be held on Saturday, April 11, 2015 7:00pm-12:00am at the Valley Mansion by Martin’s in Cockeysville, MD. Tickets for the event are $50 per person. Over 350 guests had a great time last year enjoying the great food, live music, open bar, silent auction, money wheel, 50/50 raffle and photo booth. This year we hope even more attendees join the festivities.

Buy Tickets Now

“We started the Bull Roast as a fundraiser for Pathfinders for Autism because we believe in the services that they provide for the families in our community. Parents need to have a resource that they can depend on to know to access the simple things that many of us take for granted; haircuts, sensory friendly medical professionals, workshops and events for families. Pathfinders is not only a resource for families, they are vocal advocates for individuals with autism and provide trainings for first responders and other professionals across the state. Our event has raised over $20,000 in just 2 years and we are looking forward to increasing the amount we are able to donate in year three.” said Diana Campitelli, Trellis Services Associate Executive Director.

Similar to other non-profits, Pathfinders is supported by grants and independent fundraisers. Over 70% of the operational budget for the organization is funded through the non-restricted funds generated by events. Jennifer Hobbs, Pathfinders for Autism Fund Development Associate had this to say about the event, “The Bull Roast sponsored by Trellis is one of our largest independent fundraisers – so it is a HUGE part of enabling us to offer free resources and services to individuals with autism and their loved ones.”

When asked about the purpose of the event, Suzanne M. Heid, Trellis Services Associate Executive Director exclaimed, “Pathfinders does amazing work in our community and their contributions are invaluable. We are willing to give 100% of our efforts to anything that benefits them!”

Consider raising awareness tor autism in April by supporting our event for a worthy cause. Still need your ticket? Click this link to purchase now!