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Special Needs Planning Every parent of a special needs child asks themselves

“What will happen to my child when we’re gone?”

We can help you find the answers Special Needs Trusts Guardianships and Conservatorships Sorting Out SSI & Medicaid Asset Protection Plans Wills Living Trusts Financial Powers of Attorney To order a free copy of our Legal/Financial Planning Guide, call (503) 245-0894 or visit our website at

Planning for your family tree 6500 SW Macadam Ave., Suite 300 | Portland, OR 97239-3565 Ph: 503.245.0894 | Fax: 503.245.1562 |

Helping families with special needs kids provide security and quality of life since 1984




Summer staycations: embarking on adventures close to home Photo by Jen Downer | She Saw Things

F E AT U R E D S E C T I O N S Lifespan


The nonPareil Institute aims to open a Portland campus



Families and stakeholders push to open a local campus of the technology nonprofit that serves teens and adults with autism.


Public transportation for special needs

Navigating the public transportation system and understanding the accommodations available for riders with special needs.



Summer staycations


Autism Serves volunteer program

Recommendations for creating summer adventures close to home. Changing the world—one volunteer at a time.

Becoming an IEP partner

Understanding the process and roles each person plays in the Individualized Education Plan (IEP).

Health & Wellness


“My Turn”

One story of life with autism.



Occupational Therapy (OT)


Using teletherapy for autism


Therapy options resource directory

The history and methods behind OT and how it can be an effective therapy option for those with autism. Using technology as a multi-disciplinary approach to serve patients on the spectrum. Local professional directory.



SUMMER 2014 | VOLUME 2, ISSUE 2 SPECTRUMS MAGAZINE LLC Courtney Freitag, Founder and Publisher

School is out for many students, bringing summer break and the love-hate relationship many of us have with the 9-plus weeks of unstructured days. For some, it brings a break from the daily grind of packing lunches, shuttling between school and therapy as well as gives slight respite for the work-life balance during the academic year. However, it’s quickly replaced by piecemealing child care summer camps, activities and OT sessions. We have high hopes of filling the days with engaging, thoughtful and educational activities tailored to their individual needs and interests. My inner pep talks begin months before that final school bell rings, with a promise to embrace the unstructured days and the commitment to join my kids during their selfdiscovery. After all: this is a very small blip in their lives. (Truth be told, I begin to panic about summer break right around the time Spring Break wraps up). But how can their boredom, restless energy and need for routine be channeled? On page 14, we put together some staycation ideas for making memories without a lot of travel. Follow your family’s lead and what’s realistic, involve your kids in planning a short trip and relish in escaping the confines of the structured school year days. I’m always surprised how little it can take to create incredible memories. My son just finished a school year that felt definitively different, with several instances indicating the bubble of innocence is slowly becoming strained. That, undoubtedly, he is dipping his toe in the social hierarchy waters and beginning to experience all the wonders, growing pains and hurt that can come with it when you’re on the spectrum. Because of that, I plan to hold on to this summer with white knuckles, embracing it in all its unstructured glory. But I also won’t beat myself up too much for starting the countdown to September by week 2 of summer break.

Mailing address: 1722 NW Raleigh Street, Suite 422 Portland, Oregon 97210 Phone: (971) 998-5967 • Fax: (971) 327-6702 Connect with us online! /SpectrumsMagazine @SpectrumsMag SpectrumsMag Editorial Advisory Board: Genevieve Athens, Michael Brooke, Amy Donaldson, Karen Krejcha and Jody Wright Spectrums Magazine LLC makes no warranty, guarantee, endorsement or promotion of any service, provider or therapy option listed in this publication or its website (www. This is a free community magazine created as a courtesy to the public. Spectrums Magazine LLC cannot be held liable for any action or decision based upon information found in this publication or the magazine’s website. It is the responsible of individuals to discuss any therapy or treatment option with the care team. Every effort is made to ensure accuracy and verify information, however readers using this information do so at their own risk. No part of this publication maybe reproduced or transmitted without prior written consent from the publisher. ©2014 All rights reserved.

ON OUR COVER Travel memories can be made right in our own backyard—or within just a few hours of home. Check out our staycation ideas and create a summer full of adventure. Our cover features 9-year-old Sam Downer picking strawberries on Sauvie Island.

Courtney Freitag Founder and publisher


Photo by Jen Downer She Saw Things

Open 7 Days a Week 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

Speech Therapy Occupational Therapy Play/Social Skills Training Academic Tutoring Private OT Gyms Dedicated Outdoor Therapy Space Low Sensory Waiting Room Available Self-Care Teaching Room 1700 NW 167th Place, Suite 220 • Beaverton, OR 97006 • (503) 985-9527



IN THIS SECTION Portland working to launch a nonPareil Institute campus .......8 Using public transportation with special needs............................. 10



Dental care for families of children with special needs Make a trip to the dentist more smile-worthy. At Providence Specialty Pediatric Dental Clinic, children and young adults receive excellent dental care in a safe, fun environment. Our dentists and staff welcome patients ages birth to 26 with behavioral, developmental and medical needs, and their siblings too. We’re changing the world of special-needs pediatric dentistry, one smile at a time! For more information, call 503-215-1056 or visit Providence Child Center • 830 NE 47th Ave. • Portland, OR 97213

Providence Child Center offers families of children with special needs comprehensive services through Swindells Resource Center, Providence Neurodevelopmental Center for Children and the Center for Medically Fragile Children.



THRIVING TECHNOLOGY The efforts to bring a nonPareil Institute to Portland

By Courtney Freitag

Imagine you had been told all your life that you’re “not normal,” and the expectations from most people is you could get a job stacking shelves or something similar. Now imagine you have the chance to express your creativity in a safe, sympathetic environment.

Founder Dan Selec drew from the personal experiences of his son’s autism, watching him lose language at 18 months old and remain non-verbal for many years. Through intense observation of his son, Selec realized that that undoubtedly, life was going to look different.

This is how Lake Oswego dad, David Brebner, explains his introduction to the nonPareil Institute (nP), a nonprofit technology company providing technical training, employment and housing to individuals who have been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.

“I began to wonder what this ‘different’ would be,” he explains. “By observing how my son would solve problems, I saw some inherent technical strengths in the way he reasoned, how he worked with the world. Weakness, Check. Strengths, Check. I wondered what existed that would allow my son to live a fulfilled, safe existence.”

“Of our three sons, one is on the spectrum and one is profoundly dyslexic,” Brebner explains. “We have never seen these conditions as disabilities, we have tended to think of them more as alternative ways of viewing the world.” However, the public education system isn’t necessarily set up to support this way of thinking, Brebner adds. Standardized testing and the new Common Core can restrict students from showing their true potential by measuring performance against arbitrary scores. “The nP Institute is a natural progression of that thinking—it is a shining example of creating an environment that helps people thrive,” Brebner says. “Of course we jumped at the chance of being involved as soon as we could.” Based in Plano, Texas, close to 40 cities throughout the United States have submitted requests to launch an nP (which means “no equal”) sattelite campus. And if a group of dedicated parents and professionals, such as Brebner, get their way, Portland could be next. Currently, Portland is one of three candidate cities for expansion, along with Fort Worth and Houston, Texas.


Upon meeting like-minded parents of children with autism—and seeing the common thread of the teens’ interests in computers and video games—the small group began to address the question: “What happens to our kids when they grow up?” Studies show that nearly 90 percent of adults on the autism spectrum are unemployed or underemployed, and 70 percent will be unable to live independently. If children, like Selec’s son, could help harness the passion for gaming and computers in a marketable ability, “an entirely new method of communications, expression and productivity would be made possible,” Selec says. Together with co-founder Gary Moore, Selec welcomed nine students in his kitchen for five nights a week beginning in 2009. Today, nP Institute is a thriving nonprofit with 150 students, or “Crewmembers,” and 600 on a waitlist. Additionally, there is a full-time staff of 17 and 31 part-time student hires who serve as instructors. The organization operates out of Southern Methodist University in Plano. Continued on next page

Photos courtesy of George Fox University

nP Institute Founder, Dan Selec, works with student, Liam Nelson, at the 2-day game programming event held in March. nP Institute, continued from page 8

Selec wrote the software that manages the operations of the company, as well as the curriculum, training and production teams. The organization is well-positioned to begin rolling out what they do with the limited resources on hand, he says. “There are thousands who are in need of what we do, so we are pushing as hard as we can,” Selec says. As of October of last year, the Institute had created five apps in the iTunes® store, four in the Android® store, as well as dozens of free-to-play maps and campaigns for various games. The Institute has garnered national media attention and countless mentions online. The goal is to teach tools and instruct students on how to build something marketable to sustain a lifetime of financial sustainability, Selec explains. “Many are saying that getting them [teens and adults] employment, any employment, is the solution,” Selec says. “It’s not. I have seen stakeholders place our people in part-time, low paying positions that would never begin to cover a lifetime of living wages, and call that success.” These positions don’t draw on the individual’s power, abilities or desires, he says. “To me, that’s a loss of brain power,” Selec continues. “Once it’s gone, it’s gone.”

Over Spring Break in March, the roadmap for opening nP Portland began with a 2-day game programming camp at George Fox University in Newberg. The camp was hosted by GFU marketing professor Justine Haigh, the mother of a child with autism. Thanks to the GFU technology staff and the campus’ capabilities, 12 students on the spectrum gathered for a tutorial on the nP software and how it’s used to build games and apps. Selec also traveled from Texas with two Crewmembers to assist with the workshop. “It was a huge success,” Haigh says. “Everyone was highly engaged with the material and the students left feeling accepted, confident and with a new sense of purpose.” Selec agrees and says, “We were very moved by our reception from the families and tech folks in Portland, and the staff at George Fox. My respect for the university and the Portland community is boundless.” Students and parents felt equally excited and hopeful for the future after the camp. “I am pleasantly surprised such a program exists that gives the autistic community such a big opportunity,” says Liam Nelson, a 16-year-old Beaverton High School student who participated in the camp. “I really got a lot out of the camp and I couldn’t be more excited for it to come to Portland permanently.” Continued on page 31




Photos courtesy of TriMet

By Courtney Freitag

For those with autism or other special needs, the importance of independence and community inclusion is invaluable for a fulfilling life. Using public transportation to travel to employment, social outings or medical appointments is a key contributor to participate in the surrounding communities. “Access to transportation means mobility,” according Ride Connection’s website, a Portland nonprofit organization working with community partners to secure safe and reliable transportation for seniors and those with disabilities. “Mobility opens doors. It allows a person to be independent and it offers a way to access life’s essentials and connect with community.” Ride Connection offers a variety of programs to individualize the experience of its riders, from training riders how to safely use public transportation to

Having access to consistent transportation is a must, not only playing a part in meeting the individual’s daily living needs but also as a means to further support that individual’s social and emotional welfare.

shuttle services to neighborhood centers. Door-to-door services for riders with disabilities is offered at no cost and offered to partner agencies for a wide variety of needs such as medical, shopping, supportive services, recreational and more. These services, while mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), are imperative for living a whole life. “Public transit is convenient, flexible, affordable and allows people to connect to community services they need,” says Mary Fetsch, media relations director with Tri-Met. TriMet operates a comprehensive transit network in the Portland metro area providing about 11 million annual rides annually to customers with a variety of needs. It offers a number of services aimed at making it easier for older customers and/or people with disabilities to get where they need to go, independently and safely, Fetsch says. Accessibility features include such things as: low-floor boarding ramps; lifts; the ability to “kneel” to allow easier boarding; an onboard audio system announcing major Continued on next page


Public transportation, continued from page 10

stops; reduced fares for customers who qualify as an “honored citizen,” and service animals are permitted on the entire transit system. “A majority our our clients do not have driver’s licenses. Utilizing public transportation is often their only consistent means to get around in order to perform life’s necessary activities,” says Marie Johnson, founder and director of Empowerment Services, a Portland nonprofit committed to a holistic approach for supporting adults with individualized and structured employment alternatives, community experiences and daily living skills. “It’s important to remember that once this population has graduated from high school, sadly their social opportunities can drop significantly. Having access to consistent transportation is a must, not only playing a part in meeting the individual’s daily living needs but also as a means to further support that individual’s social and emotional welfare.” TriMet also has LIFT door-to-door service for those who are unable to use the fixed-route system due to a disability or disabling health condition. About one million rides are provided each year on LIFT to those that are determined eligible for this program. The organization looks to continuously improve and expand its offerings, Fetsch adds. In southwest Washington, C-Tran operates fixed routes throughout Clark County, as well as its on-demand C-Van, a point-to-point, shared transportation service for riders with disabilities. Many factors can impact whether a passenger uses the main bus route, a fixed route or needs extra support via the shared-ride on the C-Van, says Walt Gordon, C-Tran’s passenger service manager: the complexity of the route, whether the rider has completed travel training support and the family’s comfort level. C-Tran partners with several agencies including: the Clark County Office of Developmental Disabilities, the ARC of Clark County and the case workers within the social services division. Additionally, Gordon says they partner with local education service districts through its transition programs to build life skills and to dovetail what students are currently learning.

Some services availble to riders with special needs One-on-one travel training: A short-term, practical and individualized instruction to teach older adults and people with disabilities to travel safely and independently using public transportation. Group travel training: Available for people receiving support through transition programs, older adult residential facilities, community centers and more. Riders Club trips: Designed to give customers more opportunities to become comfortable with the public transit system by creating fun adventures that include riding fixed route to and from the destination. Neighborhood shuttles: A door-to-door shuttle service available for seniors and people with disabilities.

“People with disabilities should have a level of service based on their capabilities rather than their diagnosis,” Gordon says.

Local contacts for public transportation assistance: C-Tran (Clark County) (360) 695-0123 • C-Van (Clark County) (360) 695-8918 • Tri-Met (Portland Metro) (503) 962-2370 • Ride Connection (503) 226-0700 •



IN THIS SECTION Summer staycations............................................................................ 14 Autism Serves volunteer program..............................................16





Summer vacation doesn’t have to mean jumping a plane for hours. Fill up the tank and head out to an area attraction within just a couple hours of home. Here are a few ideas to get you on the road...


Long Beach Peninsula, Washington Long Beach offers a variety of activities, trails, beach access, carnival rides, a boardwalk and more. Check out Cape Disappointment’s Washington Coast Trail, the Centennial Murals Tour or the Discovery Trail that stretches between Ilwaco and Long Beach. Things to do: Stroll the boardwalk, head into Cape Disappointment State Park, take a horseback ride along tidal waters, ride a go-kart and more. More information:


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Mt. St. Helens Forest Learning Center The Mt. St. Helens Forest Learning Center is located inside the blast zone of the May 18, 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens on Highway 504. The center features an outdoor volcano playground, hiking trails, elk and wildlife and interactive exhibits, Things to do: Take a short hike with amazing views of the crater, Spirit Lake, Mount Adams and Mount Margaret. The Great Wolf Lodge & Water Park is about an hour north and is a family favorite.


More information:



Collins Lake Resort, Mt. Hood/ Government Camp Within an hour of Portland, the 28-acre Collins Lake Resort boasts the Mt. Hood Adventure Park, whitewater rafting, fishing, lakes, waterfalls, bungee jumping, indy carts, zip lining, benches and picnic areas. There is also a heated pool, spa and sauna. Things to do: Try the half-mile alpine slide, one of the 20 attractions at the Mt. Hood Adventure Park at Ski Bowl, ride the chairlift or relax in nature. More information:

Continued on next page


Staycations, continued from page 14


The Fruit Loop, Hood River Located one hour from Portland, the Fruit Loop is a collection of farms, orchards, vineyards, wineries and value-added agricultural businesses in the Hood River region of Oregon. It is a haven for u-pick fruit farms, wineries, lavender, alpaca and chestnut farms. Hood River County Fruit Loop Stands offer a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, flowers, fresh fruit pies, jams, syrups, fruit smoothies and local artisan gifts. Things to do: Pack a picnic and enjoy the cherry, blueberry, apple, pears, peaches and raspberry farms. There are a variety of lodging options from hotels to lodges to make a weekend out of it. More information:


Seaside, Oregon Located less than 80 miles west of Portland, Seaside is a favorite family destination. Seaside boasts pristine beaches, a paved 1.5-mile oceanfront promenade, carousel and the largest arcade on the Oregon coast, an aquarium and more. Things to do: Ride the carosel in the mall; fly a kite; feed the seals; bike the promenade; rent a surrey; have a picnic on the beach; pick out some saltwater taffy from more than 170 flavors at the Candyman. More information:


Tillamook Forest Center Located at the heart of the of the Tillamook State Forest, this interpretive and educational center showcases the legacy and history of the Tillamook Burn and reforestation efforts. Things to do: Climb the 40-foot tall replica of the forest fire lookout, walk the 250-foot-long pedestrian suspension bridge crossing the Wilson River, watch salmon from the viewpoints or camp at the Jones Creek Campground. More information:


Hatfield Marine Science Center Visitors Center Located on Yaquina Bay in Newport, the Visitor Center is the public wing of Oregon State University’s Mark O. Hatfield Marine Science Center. Exhibits feature live marine animals, interactive puzzles and games that demonstrate current marine science research. Things to do: Visit the annual events such as Shark Day, Whale Watch Weeks and Fossil Fest and the monthly talks, demonstrations and films. Take in the hands-on exhibits designed to demonstrate marine science and be sure to say hello to the resident octopus. More information:


Sand Master Park Located in Florence, the Sand Master Park has the largest sandbox in the state and features ramps, slopes, jump ramps and rail slides—all made from sand. Take a lesson, ride a dune buggy, check out the gardens and picnic area or view it all from above on a helicopter tour. Things to do: Check out the annual Sand Master Jam competition the third weekend in July, take a sandboard or sand sled lesson, or ride a skim or boogie board. More information:




LIFE SKILLS through volunteering By Karen Krejcha

Envision living in an inclusive society where youth and adults on the autism spectrum are accepted, valued and respected as friends, family and contributing members of society. Imagine living in a world where all people are appreciated for their strengths and gifts despite differences in abilities, ideology, neurology, religion, cultural upbringing or socioeconomic status. Autism Serves is a volunteerism movement providing world change, one person at a time. Launched in March in the southwest Washington and Portland metro areas, Autism Serves embraces each person’s unique combination of skills, gifts and talents. The vision is to utilize the person’s individuality to support positive societal change for people with autism, and of all abilities. Autism Serves is a program of Autism Empowerment, a local nonprofit that develops and offers inclusive community programs, support services and innovative leadership opportunities for those

on the autism spectrum and their families. What sets Autism Empowerment apart from most autism-related organizations is that everyone on the Board of Directors or Advisory Staff is either on the autism spectrum or closely related to someone who is. Whether volunteers self-identify as Autistic, Aspie, on the autism spectrum or as an autism spectrum supporter, Autism Empowerment values and respects neurodiversity, inclusion and individualism. The organization encourages a proactive, positive attitude of self-advocacy— for all ages and ability levels. “I chose to volunteer with Autism Empowerment because I believe in their mission of enriching the lives of people on the autism spectrum,” says Board Member, Brian Tashima. “A few years ago, my son was diagnosed with Asperger’s and I welcomed the opportunity to help make a difference for people in the autism community.” Children and adults each have special strengths, talents and gifts. Some of these talents we may know about, and some are yet to be discovered. Eight-year-old Ryan loves volunteering because, “It’s fun. I like helping and getting to try out new things. My brother, Mommy and Daddy help, too.” Since each one of us has the potential to improve the world, it is important that each one of us, despite the physical, developmental or emotional challenges we may face, be

given the opportunity and accommodations necessary to positively contribute to society. Many nonprofit organizations would like to include youth and adults on the autism spectrum within their volunteer programs but lack training and resources to effectively do so. Common challenges that may prevent someone from volunteering include sensory issues, anxiety, difficulty communicating and fear of rejection or embarrassment. Autism Empowerment hopes to minimize these challenges by offering training to volunteers and nonprofits from a self-advocacy perspective. The organization collaborates with forward-thinking organizations in the nonprofit and for-profit sector that understand the value of volunteerism and all the benefits it can bring to improve health and well-being, as well as promote systemic change. Features and benefits of the Autism Serves program include learning and practicing life skills, social skills, job skills and having opportunities for meaningful bonding, friendship and inclusion within the local community. Monthly service projects are driven by the interests, skills and passions of those within the autism community and seek to connect volunteers with a wide range of age-appropriate opportunities. “Everyone benefits when they volunteer,” says Julie Borghello. “I volunteer with Autism Empowerment because I have a son on the spectrum and they are a local organization doing great things in our community.” Continued on next page

Volunteer Jodie Kotrlik has volunteered at the Autism Empowerment Easter Egg Hunt for several years. “It was an honor to be a part of it.”


Autism Serves, continued from page 18

One of the attendees of the Autism Empowerment Egg Hunt for All Abilities held in March. More than 180 volunteers helped at the event which launched Autism Serves, a new service arm of Autism Empowerment. support services that they require or desire. It can also be quite difficult to access services in a timely fashion that is not cost-prohibitive or so timeintensive that treatment ends up taking away from quality of life rather than contributing to it.

Photo by Fraley Photograhy

Autism Serves, continued from page 16

Borghello shares that her family benefits from seeing her son and his friends have fun and not have to worry about acceptance from others. Annie Lamberto, special education teacher at Prairie High School, adds, “No matter our abilities, every person finds value in their purpose. Volunteering provides a purpose and connection to others.” Volunteers are afforded opportunities for rewards and recognition based on volunteer hours in multiple categories. If someone already volunteers in the community through school, work, church or another venue, they have an option for their volunteer hours to rollover into the Autism Serves program. Youth and adults on the autism spectrum have a wide range of challenges that they face throughout their lives. Because the autism spectrum is so vast and the severity of symptoms varies from individual to individual, there is no one-size-fitsall treatment or support service. It is often challenging for individuals and families to access the medical, educational, social and vocational

Public perception of individuals on the autism spectrum is often mixed because the messages of gloom and exclusion often compete with messages of hope, inclusion and autism acceptance. It is not a surprise that individuals and families impacted by autism often report feeling isolated, alone, anxious, depressed and not meaningfully connected within society. It can be hard to self-advocate when one believes his or her voice will not be heard or respected. Autism Serves aims to build bridges and positively transform public perception by providing fun, meaningful and interesting opportunities for youth and adults with autism to volunteer alongside others by engaging with Autism Empowerment and other non-profits. “What I like best about volunteering with Autism Serves is the idea that EVERYONE has something to offer,” says Patty Sprenkel, special education teacher at Amboy Middle School. “Volunteering not only allows us to help others, but to be helped ourselves. Being able to contribute to our community makes us an integral part of it—instilling a sense of pride, fulfillment, self-worth and validation.” At the Autism Serves launch event, the 3rd Annual Easter Egg Hunt for Acceptance of All Abilities, more than 1,300 attendees came out for egg hunting, entertainment and a crossdisability resource fair connecting families to more than 40 agencies and organizations from throughout the southwest Washington and Portland

metro areas. Over 180 Autism Serves volunteers took part in making this special event happen. “My twin boys have participated in the egg hunt for several years and I’ve seen it grow into a huge successful event,” says Jodie Kotrlik. “As a volunteer this year, I had an opportunity to be on the other side. Seeing all those eager volunteers come out to help was mind-blowing. And the hundreds of smiling faces before, during and after the event was priceless. It was an honor to be a part of it.” Of the 180 volunteers, there were opportunities for students, adults and seniors of all abilities to participate. Those that are not on the spectrum, but who would like to support Autism Empowerment, are encouraged to apply as well. “Autism Empowerment does so much to help the autism community through its various programs, services and activities,” Tashima adds. “I think any and every contribution that a volunteer can make—from donating funds to cleaning up at the annual Easter Egg Hunt—helps to make a difference in the lives of people on the spectrum, as well as their families.” To become involved, visit programs/autism-serves/ Karen Krejcha is Executive Director of Autism Empowerment, host of Autism Empowerment Radio, member of the Spectrums Magazine editorial advisory board and a published author. She was diagnosed on the autism spectrum after her two sons (now 8 and 14) were diagnosed in 2008.



IN THIS SECTION Becoming an IEP partner................................................................. 20


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Becoming an IEP partner By Megan Stenberg For a child with special needs, the Individualized Education Program (IEP) is the most important document in their school file. But it’s more than a written document—it is also a process by which parents become equal partners in their child’s education. Being an effective member of the IEP team is how you make sure the school knows what you know about your child, and is vital to realizing the vision you have for your child’s future. The key to developing the plan for your child is to have a clear strategy going into the meetings. It can be daunting to be seated around a table surrounded by professionals, but by using valuable supports and resources, and being abreast of special education law, your child’s chance of success increases.

• Your family’s vision for your child • What strategies work best for your child/which don’t • Strengths, skills, and interests • Goals for the school year • Achievements • A description of the kind of person who works best with your child Also be prepared to discuss how communication between home and school will occur, and how you can monitor your child’s progress. Consider purchasing a three-ring binder to keep your copies of all your written input and your child’s special education paperwork. For information on receiving a free care notebook, contact Swindells Resource Center at (503) 215-2429.

“Being the parent of a child with disabilities is often isolating, and it would be easy to take the path of least resistance,” says Noelle Sisk, parent and program coordinator for Family and Community Together (FACT). “But my goal for my daughter’s education is that it be meaningful and support her in accessing her life. That has meant educating myself, strengthening my negotiating skills, and focusing on being a solution-oriented member of her IEP team.”

IEP Team Roles

Preparing for an IEP Meeting

Resource Room staff: Special education teachers can talk about the most important aspects of individualizing instruction to meet the child’s unique needs, including modifying curriculum and testing to help the child learn. Teachers can begin deciding what supplementary aids and services that the child needs to be successful in the regular classroom and elsewhere at school.

Clearly identifying goals and collecting thoughts before the meeting allows written input from parents to be part of the IEP. This can make it easier to express the vision for your child with the IEP team. Creating a one-page, person-centered profile that explains to the team what makes your child unique is helpful (templates and sample profiles are available at FACT Oregon’s web site: Here are some areas to include in the profile: • A picture of your child

Parents: Parents of the child with a disability are vital members of the IEP team, with an expertise to contribute like no one else’s. Parents know their child very well—not just the child’s strengths and weaknesses, but all the little qualities that make their child unique. By being an active IEP team member, parents can also infuse the IEP planning process with thought about long-term needs for the child’s successful adult life.

Mainstream classroom teacher: If a child is going to be in a mainstream, or regular education, environment, at least one mainstream educator is included on the IEP team. The mainstream education teacher

knows the curriculum for a child’s grade level, what children in regular education classes are typically expected to do and can contribute to decisions about the types of supplementary aids and services your child needs to be successful. School district administrator: The administrator at the IEP must know what resources the school has available. This person must also have the power to commit the resources needed so that services can be provided as outlined in your child’s IEP. Others with knowledge or special expertise about the child: Either the parent or the school system may invite others to join the team if they have knowledge or special expertise about your child. This can include related service providers from within the school district, or private practitioners who have provided services to your child. These often include district occupational or speech therapists and school psychologists. Your child: Depending on your child’s age and ability, the role he or she plays as an IEP team member can be as broad as your own or limited to what you and your child feel most comfortable with. When your child is part of the IEP process, the program can be much more worthwhile to him or her, instead of something to put up with. Taking part in IEP meetings also helps your child learn to speak up for him or herself and develop valuable self-advocacy skills. Using an Advocate at an IEP Meeting When parents are processing their child’s diagnosis, stress and intense emotions can get in the way of effectively communicating and listening at an IEP meeting. It may make sense for parents to bring someone to the meeting for support or advocacy. It can be a family member or friend who will Continued on next page


IEP, continued from page 20

provide moral support, or another parent with experience to guide you through the IEP process. An advocate can also be a member of the IEP team—someone who has knowledge or special expertise about your child and special education law. Another option available to families are fee-based special education advocates, most often lawyers or doctors specializing in special education law, contracts and mediation.


“Bringing support in the form of a family member or friend can be very helpful,” says Nancy Ford, director of Birth to Age 5 Services at Northwest Regional Education Service District. “They can take notes and review what took place in an objective way that perhaps the parent is not able to.” Tracking IEP Progress How will you and the school know if your child is making enough progress to reach a goal outlined in the IEP by the end of the year? It begins with developing strong communication with teachers, specifically your child’s case manager—the IEP team member charged with making sure the plan is implemented and with typing up progress notes. FACT Oregon recommends parents exchange information with their child’s teachers in a notebook that the child carries to and from school. This is a particularly important resource for children with limited communication. Your own observation of your child outside the classroom is valuable in gauging developmental, academic and behavioral progress. A record of progress can be created by making a list of two or three areas in which you would like your child to improve, and jotting down specific observations over a threemonth period. This record can also be an important source of information to share at teacher conferences or IEP meetings. Beyond the IEP Advocating for your child outside the school setting takes commitment and will look different for every family. Exposing them to the same experiences as their typical peers is a great way to model that we all need each other to have a well-rounded life experience. “It might take time to find just the right activity but once you do, be committed,” says Holly Hooge, whose 13-yearold daughter Allyson is a gymnast and a member of the Beaverton Stars Special Needs Color Guard. “Look into opportunities outside of school, such as weekend programs and academic summer camps. We take the approach that she can do anything she wants to do but it takes work and commitment.” Allowing them to assume increasingly greater degrees of responsibility and independence at home will increase their sense of pride and competence. By supporting your child in accessing their life, they will grow into young adults who are defined by their successes not by their disability. Megan Stenberg has worked for the last nine years as the Communications Manager for the Northwest Regional Education Service District and also serves at the director of the agency’s nonprofit foundation.

Check out the Spectrums Magazine website For a full list of IEP support in our area: IEP Tips for Parents and Teachers: Before During and After the Meeting Wrights Law Tips for a Successful IEP Meeting Great Understanding IEP Team Meetings Ten Common Mistakes Parents Make During IEP Meetings Kids Together, Inc. htm Strategies for IEP Dispute and Conflict Resolution Special Education Guide Effective IEP Meetings: Advice from a Parent Brave Kids Parent Tips for IEP Meetings Brain Balance Achievement Centers blog/2012/03/parent-tips-for-iep-meetings/



IN THIS SECTION “My Turn”.................................................................................................. 24


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By Sarah Phillips “You better watch this one, Mom, she’ll walk away with anyone,” warns the nurse as she leads my threeyear old daughter down the hall toward the scale. My daughter, tiny for her age, with blue eyes and tight blonde ringlets tumbling every which way, never looked back, never checked to see if I was following, never showed the slightest bit of anxiety about walking away with a complete stranger. “We are working on helping Eliza understand boundaries with strangers,” explains her preschool teacher, one year later. The teacher had pulled me aside at pick-up time to express her concerns about my daughter’s interactions with strangers. Apparently, earlier that day, a man had delivered a new couch to the classroom and before he left, my daughter ran up to him, hugged him and earnestly proclaimed her love. So, I suppose I should have welcomed the email that came home to all first-grade families two years later letting us know that my daughter’s class would be starting a “stranger danger” curriculum. But instead of being grateful, I went online, booked flights and arranged for my daughter to go skiing in California for the week. I am not callous or cavalier. In fact, most people who know me would describe me as an excessive worrier, and I do worry about my daughter’s safety. And yet, I have problems with the simple “don’t talk to strangers” rule that governed my own childhood which have created


a kind of paralysis. I have taught my daughter nothing about stranger danger, and even though I understand that I cannot watch her every second, there will come a time when she is on her own and must negotiate a world of strangers. As a sociologist, I like strangers. When other people imagine vacationing on a secluded beach with no other people in sight, I imagine wandering the busy streets of Manhattan, Chicago, or San Francisco. Strangers represent excitement and the possibility of new discoveries, portals into other worlds. Strangers offer the liberty of anonymity, the freedom to reinvent and redefine ourselves in a way that is impossible around those who know our past. Strangers are fun. Yet, as a mother, and particularly a mother of a child with an autism spectrum disorder, I have absorbed and internalized our cultural wariness of strangers. While my sociologist mind may be calm and rational, the mother mind constantly interrupts like an overactive Twitter feed with warnings of impending danger. On a recent visit to Seattle, my daughter insisted on talking to every single pan-handler, street musician and homeless person we passed. With each encounter, the mother voice in my head shouted “Danger! Danger! Danger!” These people are dirty, unpredictable, drunk, stoned and sometimes completely incomprehensible. “Don’t Touch!” But as the mother voice grows more shrill, Continued on next page


My Turn, continued from page 24

the sociologist asks rhetorically, “Who is more interesting to talk to: the guy sitting on the sidewalk with a shopping cart full of random stuff all tied up with different bits of colored twine, feeding pigeons out of his hands or the man in a grey business suit, hurrying past while talking on a cell phone?” My daughter’s autism spectrum disorder means that she does not read subtle social cues and can fail to experience the same hesitancy that most of us feel around a person living on the streets. In Seattle, Eliza didn’t care that she couldn’t understand half of what Pigeon Man was saying. She didn’t care that he was smelly or incoherent. She was thrilled that he was feeding the birds. Without any hesitation, she plopped down on the sidewalk next to him and snuggled up against him while the mother voice in my head screamed “Stay back! Personal Space! Germs!” Pigeon Man gave her a pat. He reached into his pocket and took out a dirty, many-times recycled, plastic bag full of rolls, buns and bread and handed Eliza a chunk. Then he gently took her hand and coaxed one of the pigeons onto her palm. My daughter was ecstatic. After years of stopping to talk with every single street musician we meet­—sometimes even going out of our way, crossing the street, or going down an extra block just to pass by the street musician­—we are yet to encounter one who has not been kind, gentle and playful with a little girl who is delighted by their music, no matter how bad it might sound to my ears. Still, the mother voice warns that it only takes one. But most strangers aren’t acting friendly and looking innocent; they are friendly and innocent. Is it now considered prudent­—safe—to simply to fear everyone we encounter? Research tells us that fear is a bad teacher; rather than eliciting the desired behavioral outcome, fear tends to produce, well, fear. A year ago in September, a few weeks before starting first grade, Eliza and I were on the campus where I teach dropping off some paperwork for the upcoming year. We were outside the school building and happened to run into her kindergarten teacher from the previous year. “Hi Eliza!” exclaimed Lindsay, “How was your summer?” Eliza looked at her, gave a cautious “Hi” and then asked “Who are you?” Because Eliza has a very difficult time recognizing people if they change clothes, hats, hairstyles or contexts, my husband and I have learned to give her quick, quiet little prompts before we go into social situations, but chance encounters are always tricky because there is often no time to prepare her. How would my daughter differentiate between a stranger and a police officer, a firefighter, a paramedic or a store employee? Aren’t all these people, by definition, strangers as well? Is there some trick for distinguishing between

“good” and “bad” strangers? And how do we deal with the fact that statistics tell us that if we are going to fear someone, we might very well fear our own family members more than strangers? If a stranger offers you money, candy, or a toy don’t take it. Don’t take anything from a stranger. Recently, Eliza’s second grade class had walked to the neighborhood park to play after lunch. A woman in the park was sitting with a bag of candy and offered a piece to Eliza. Eliza’s teachers told her she was not allowed to take the candy. Eliza insisted, arguing that the candy was wrapped (our rule for accepting candy from strangers on Halloween) and the lady was “nice” (by definition, since she was handing out candy). A battle of wills ensued. Granted, Eliza should have followed her teachers’ instructions. But the incident that set it off is so cliche—offering little girls candy in the park —that it is almost ridiculous. And how do I answer Eliza’s obvious question: “What are you so worried about?” If a stranger tries to get you to go with him or her anywhere, say no. And here, the mother voice can get the upper hand. My daughter, like many kids with ASD, will wander away. At age eight, she will walk off with anyone who is kind and invites her, just as she did as a toddler in the doctor’s office. Since I have a television, radio, internet connection and a newspaper subscription, it is difficult not to see this tendency to wander as dangerous. Even though I know it is statistically unlikely, the thought of somebody taking or molesting my daughter is so terrifying that rational thought can seem like too much of a luxury. But the truth is that I want to be more like my daughter. She takes time to talk to anyone—everyone—she meets. She is genuinely interested in who they are and what they are doing. She accepts strangers exactly as they are. And I am still left looking for a curriculum that balances a mother’s interest in safety with an acknowledgement that living requires some risk, and that the next stranger we meet may be the best thing that has ever happened to us. Sarah Phillips is a Professor of Sociology and Associate Dean for the College of Arts and Sciences at Pacific University. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband David Friedman and her daughter, Eliza. Currently, Sarah spends her intellectual time trying to understand if her daughter just doesn’t fit the world, or if the world just doesn’t fit her daughter. Most of the time, the answer is surprising and revealing about how we all live our lives.



IN THIS SECTION Occupational Therapy....................................................................... 28 Therapy for the 21st century........................................................... 30




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Occupational Therapy: Skills to take outside the clinic By Joanna Blanchard, MOTR/L

When Vancouver mom Kari Sullivan’s son, Nick, began demonstrating poor motor planning and was constantly seeking sensory input, her family sought treatment from an Occupational Therapist (OT). Nick, who is on the autism spectrum, was also incredibly sensitive about some sensory input. In those weekly therapy sessions that followed, Sullivan began to quickly recognize what may be going on with her teen son’s brain-body connection. “It’s not something that is just done in the clinic at a oncea-week appointment,” Sullivan explains. “We began to learn how his needs can be met doing everyday activities. Swinging at the park can meet sensory needs, and climbing the monkey bars can work on motor planning. Washing a window, digging in the dirt or pushing a weighted ball back and forth can serve as ‘heavy work’.” Occupational Therapy is often one of the many treatments recommended when a child is first diagnosed with autism. Yet you will often see people struggle to define OT because it encompasses such a large and varied scope of practice. Unlike physical, speech, music or art therapy, the name does not imply the type of therapy until you get to know it a bit better. The therapeutic practice began in America during the early 1900s with nurses and Veterans Affairs staff called “reconstructive aides” who focused on rehabilitating

World War I soldiers. Hospital staff noted that veterans recovered more quickly with better results when they had meaningful and purposeful activities, or “occupations.” More than just wound care, rest and exercise, this practice grew by using occupations as the means and the end to an individual’s recovery and long-term health. Researchers in the field of Occupational Science have since demonstrated what those nurses intuitively knew: People need to be able to achieve desired occupations for well-being and quality of life. Occupations can be categorized into types: Work (or “productivity”), self-care and leisure (or play). Think about the many mundane, but crucial, tasks you do every day. If you couldn’t do them for whatever reason (for example, brushing your teeth becomes impossible because you injure your hands), over time this would impact your health. Both your teeth and your stress level would be impacted as you become dependent on someone to help you. Occupational Therapists are trained to break down occupations and determine what parts are difficult. They assist in figuring out how a person can achieve them as successfully as possible—this is done in a variety of different ways by adapting a person’s skills, the occupation’s requirements or the environmental support. A specialized area of OT is pediatrics, specific to treatment of children and teenagers. Treatment strategies often use play as a natural way for children to develop and practice new skills. While OT is not a direct treatment for the global diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorders, it can address some of the comorbidities, such as sensory processing disorder or motor delays. An OT knows that occupations are never dependent on just one skill area or factor, so treatment is typically approached holistically while looking at the whole child. When families begin seeing an OT, the therapist will typically use standardized tests to check a child’s abilities. Often these tests look at gross and fine motor, visual motor and perception, self-care or sensory processing. An OT can also analyze or use other testing to determine impacting factors. Treatment can consist of many different approaches depending on the therapist’s background and the child’s goals.

Occupational Therapist Karen Drogos, and her patient, Holdyn Hanset.


Continued on next page

OT, continued from page 28

Here are just a few examples: • OTs often help with motor development for a child who has physical disabilities to enable play. Since people tend to use hands for many occupations, OTs have a long tradition of fine motor expertise. However, gross and sensory motor skills that support fine motor function should be considered as well. Visual perception, and how our eyes work with our hands, can also be analyzed. • Arts and crafts are often used in therapy for growing these skills and also to practice sequencing, problem solving and following directions. • If your child struggles with interpreting their world, either by overreacting or underreacting to sensory input, an OT can educate families on how these complex neurological systems work together and how to help. • One of my favorite areas of OT is to help design environments within the home or other settings to support sensory needs. We can also help children with sensory impairments (such as hearing or sight) learn to navigate environments and teach adaptive play techniques. • Some occupational therapists specialize in feeding difficulties that are derived from a complex medical history, sensory defensiveness or motor delays. An OT can use different approaches to help improve these skills. • OTs also work with adaptive equipment. This could be anything from a weighted blanket to calm a child, to a weighted spoon for decreasing tremors while eating. • OTs can also be trained to fit or make splints or special clothing. These can help protect skin and joints and prevent or correct muscle and tissue shortening from injuries, burns, congenital conditions or other issues. Your OT may recommend garments made for specific sensory input or protection. Occupational Therapy can work in all types of settings: schools, clinics, hospitals, home health, rehab and longterm-care facilities. Sometimes understanding what capabilities an OT has and what areas they can help alleviates confusion. For example, OT does not traditionally teach social skills, however therapy that addresses sensory or motor impairment can help support a child in being able to navigate social situations. When a person can interact without being overwhelmed by auditory and visual input, they are more likely to have the processing skills to follow and focus on a conversation.

OT sessions can include tasks to work on fine motor skills. Many children take part in various therapies for the treatment of autism symptoms that overlap with OT, such as speech-language and physical therapies. These professions have different degrees, backgrounds, training and focuses, therefore it is important to find the right therapist for your child’s needs. An Occupational Therapist holds a master’s, doctorate, or bachelor’s degree in Occupational Therapy, depending on the education institution. They have to maintain a state license and follow a code of ethics, just like your pediatrician. Being a strong problem-solver is a common trait in OTs. We tend to love challenges, creativity and many times end up being a “jack of all trades” after years of scrutinizing thousands of human occupations. From putting on socks to riding horses, we want people to be able to do it all. And since our profession emphasizes the importance of leisure and play for a healthy balance, OTs tend to have a fun reputation: We love to play! Joanna Blanchard is an occupational therapist and the mother of two boys on opposite ends of the autism spectrum. She is the owner of Everybody Stims Occupational Therapy in Vancouver and is a regular columnist for Spectrums Magazine.

Additionally, while OTs are not solely handwriting tutors, they can work on underlying visual motor and dexterity skills. They are able to provide strategies that help kids with writing, thus improving academic performance. Since no system within a human being is ever disconnected from the other systems (physical, social, cognitive, psychological, neurological, etc.), it makes sense that changing one system can, and will, impact the others.



THERAPY for the By Courtney Freitag

Cutting edge research is being conducted on how those with autism learn, with well-studied interventions that have a new technological twist. A Portland-based behavior analyst is getting extraordinary results with a video modeling intervention method that has proven results called Discrete Video Modeling (DVM). “Think of it as high tech video flashcards—or for more advanced learners—think of it as a live action social story,” says Dr. Maria Wynne, a researcher and behavior analyst who recently relocated to Portland from Los Angeles. “I have used this method with many individuals on the autism spectrum and the outcomes have been the best I have ever seen compared to any other language intervention.” DVM, is a method of demonstrating desired behaviors through video (as opposed to a “live” model). It is also a form of observational learning that has been proven to teach a wide variety of skills. DVM adds to that teaching power by stripping away all non-essential information. Words and concepts are taught on white screens to give clean and easy-to-process information. The end goal is for the patient to be able to confidently model behaviors across settings. Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) studies show this method can lead to increased language, social skills and the ability to socially regulate. This method has also been certified as evidence-based, according to the National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders, and the addition of video-based learning has been shown to be more effective than ABA alone. “The individual with autism can learn in a way through video that does not require as much of the social filtering skills that are needed for live, face-to-face interactions,” says Wynne. “I am pushing the boundaries to see how much our kids can actually learn. It’s more than most thought possible.” Video therapy is most effective for language and skill building, she adds. “There always must be a live, human face for the individual to talk to and interact with once the language and skills have been acquired through the video modeling.” With the new tools Dr. Wynne is using, the video therapy sessions she creates can be sent home over the Internet. Parents, teachers and therapists are then able to collaborate and use the same methods and terminology when working with a student.

Studies are also showing that once a skill is learned through video modeling, it is maintained over time and generalized across settings. Parents, teachers and therapists are also able to collaborate and use the same methods and terminology when working with a student, helpful to many on the spectrum who are incredibly literal. Using teletherapy with online video modeling can also provide access to those in rural settings that otherwise would be unable to physically see a provider. “Teletherapy simply addresses the access issue many families contend with today, especially with the rising numbers in need and lack of access to high quality therapy, or any therapy services at all,” Wynne says. At age 12, John* (*not his real name) had behavior so erratic that he was breaking dishes, electronics and had pulled a knife on his nanny. Diagnosed with High Functioning Autism and ADHD, John’s family began work with Dr. Wynne in a desperate attempt to help complement their work with a local psychologist and psychiatrist near their Los Angeles home. Because of their high public profile status, the family declined to be named for this article. “We knew we needed different help then we were getting,” says John’s mother. “We had no idea about telehealth services for what we needed, and at first we didn’t think it was possible for Dr. Wynne to assess our son unless she was physically in our home to see what was happening.” After spending several face-to-face sessions with the family, Dr. Wynne wrote up the most “spot-on” assessment the family had seen from any professional, his mother says. Because of the family’s extensive travel and work schedules, teletherapy, and the ability to connect remotely from anywhere in the world, was essential. “We knew Dr. Wynne was the perfect set-up for this,” she says. During a 30-day assessment, the family and Dr. Wynne worked together in person (sometimes daily), created a crisis intervention plan, helped the family effectively respond to John’s erratic and destructive behaviors to ensure everyone’s safety. A phone tree of local supports, including crisis intervention response, and a flow chart of response choices to various behavioral outbursts was put into place. Continued on next page


DVM, continued from page 30

Teletherapy then began twice a week via Skype, as well as videos the family would take of John’s day-to-day life. John’s mother reports that his behaviors subsided immediately, and with continued support two years later, and continued sessions three times a month remotely, the family has learned invaluable information. The couple identified what they were doing to reinforce John’s behavior, how to problemsolve more collaboratively, as well as the importance of consistency. “We can go out in public and not have to worry about the paparazzi catching our son having an outburst,” John’s mother reports. “It is like a completely different life and we owe so much to Dr. Wynne.” Implementing a treatment plan using video modeling should first begin with targeting a specific behavior. Practitioners clearly define the goals within the plan so accurate data can be collected throughout the process to track and monitor effectiveness. Equipment set-up for teletherapy is pretty straightforward: a computer with a high-speed internet connection, an email account and a video camera. Working from a script or detailed plan, therapists can break down complex skills into a sequential set of tasks or behaviors by modeling them to the patient. Patients can watch and perform the therapy sessions live, or view recorded sessions before performing a certain task, such as making lunch or going to the grocery store. Spokane, Wash.-based Gemiini has been a pioneer in the video modeling arena, creating a system of videos and online software that has been implemented in university and public school settings internationally. Founders Laura and Brian Kasbar draw on personal experience, with three of their seven children on the autism spectrum. The website has quickly grown to feature more than 12,000 videos accessible with an annual or monthly membership, and scholarships are available so no child is turned away for an inability to pay. “A child can never have enough in-vivo (face-to-face) therapy,” Brian Kasbar says. “But we all know the realities: therapy is scarce and it’s expensive. We need to make those golden hours of face-to-face therapy as productive and efficient as possible.” The DVM can work best as “therapy homework,” Brian Kasbar says. Parents like the system because it is a clinician-designed intervention used in addition to the hours of in-person therapy that is completely customized to each child. “We should let computers do what they do best (repetitive tasks and teaching) and let humans do what they do best—which is to use all of their technical skills to bring out the wonderful, communicative and loving children that are inside each of our kids.”

nP Institute, continued from page 9

An online crowdsourcing campaign, Programming Hope, runs through mid-July with a $10,000 fundraising goal (www. These funds will allow a community event and the opportunity to meet Selec and Moore, as well as the nonPareil Portland team, hear student success stories from both Texas Crewmembers and those who recently attended the Portland game programming camp. A stretch goal of $160,000 has been set and a strategic partnership has been developed with GFU who will act as the hosting entity for nP Portland. Campus-wide relationships have also begun to take shape in hopes to integrate with the university, including: College of Business, College of Engineering (CENG), Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology, and the College of Education. Requirements for enrollment will include being 18 years or older and having an official diagnosis on the autism Spectrum. No prior related experience or education is required for students to become a Crewmember. “My vision for the new paradigm, is to bring these adults on the spectrum together, give them the environment and training they need, in an area in which they have an interest, and give them the ability to build and market product that could help them earn revenue for their lifetimes,” Selec explains. “This would be based on their work.” The plan is to grow slowly to accommodate the needs of the students, with an initial lab/space on the GFU campus, Haigh explains. It is expected that the program will start with a cohort of 12 Crewmembers and grow to 84 by the end of the second year. “The existing ‘go to school, graduate and go to work’ would not work for my child,” Selec says. “Employment as an end goal, was an answer to the wrong question. How do I support him for his entire life was the right question.” For more information: Email: Website: Facebook:





THERAPY OPTIONS THE PORTLAND/SW WASHINGTON METRO AREA HAS HUNDREDS OF EXPERT PROVIDERS, THERAPISTS AND PROFESSIONALS. FIND YOURS TODAY. Spectrums Magazine began with a vision of creating a comprehensive guide of therapy options and resources—all in one place. Our print directory has the most up-to-date contact information for therapy options, and our website is a hub for the latest news and information on everything from health and wellness, education, tutoring, insurance, employment and more. While we can’t endorse, promote or guarantee the services or outcome of any one provider or type of therapy, this directory was compiled with community input. And we want yours: if you would like to be added to our online directory, please email APPLIED BEHAVIOR ANALYSIS (ABA) ABA Learning Solutions 15915 SW Stratford Loop B, Tigard (503) 381-8440 A Hope for Autism (see ad on page 23) 2900 SW Peaceful Lane, Portland (503) 516-9085 AKA Consulting LLC (971) 258-5555 Autism Behavioral Consulting (see ad on page 13) Two locations: 9901 NE 7th Avenue, Suite C-116, Vancouver 129 NE 102nd Avenue, Suite E, Portland (360) 619-2462 • Building Bridges 112 SW Pennoyer Street, Portland (503) 235-3122 • Center for Health and Performance (see ad on page 5) 1700 NW 167th Place, Suite 220 Beaverton (503) 985-9527 Christine Shaw 2816 NE 12th Avenue, Portland (206) 406-0060

Life Tools Jennifer Knipling, MA, BCBA (503) 853-9408

Canine Companions for Independence (800) 572-2275 •

Melissa Gard, Ph.D., BCBA (612) 432-4135

City Dog Country Dog 5531 SW Macadam Avenue, Suite 258-210, Portland (503) 740-4886

Northwest Young Autism Project 15685 SW 116th Avenue, King City (503) 620-9952 •

Creative Therapy Solutions 5232 N Interstate Avenue, Portland (503) 922-1345 •

Pathways for Potential 10151 SW Barbur Blvd, Suite 108, Portland (503) 201-7750

Dogs for the Deaf (Autism Assistance Dogs) 1-800-990-3647

Play Connections 15100 SW Koll Pkwy, Suite A, Beaverton (503) 737-4693 Portland Autism Center 10300 SW Greenburg Road #240, Portland (503) 206-6285

Flyin’ Changes Ranch 11904 NE 314th Street Battle Ground, Washington (360) 921-2341 Therapy Gone to the Dogs 5410 SW Macadam Avenue, #270, Portland (503) 764-9508 AQUA THERAPY

Synergy Autism Center 7739 SW Capitol Hwy, #220, Portland (503) 432-8760

Innovative Services Northwest 9414 NE Fourth Plain Road, Vancouver (360) 892-5142


Providence Macadam Therapy Pool 5757 SW Macadam Avenue, Portland (503) 215-2233

Autism Service Dogs of America

Continued on page 34




Over 30 years of research and over 120 studies have shown video modeling is a powerful, cost-eective way to teach language and play skills to children with special needs.

GemIIni's researchers pioneered Discrete Video Modeling. In school-based clinical trials, DVM language gains were TRIPLE those seen with other interventions. This web-based library of over 12,000 videos allows clinicians, educators & parents to create customized therapy sessions in minutes.

Harness the clinically proven power of video modeling and see language skills soar!



Therapy Directory, continued from page 32

ART THERAPY Annette Shore, MA, ATR-BC, NCC 1942 NW Kearney Street, Suite 31, Portland (503) 222-1807 Cheri Epstein 2929 SW Multnomah Blvd, #201, Portland (971) 205-2708 Children’s Healing Art Project (CHAP) 1910 SE 11th Avenue, Portland (503) 243-5294 • Counseling & Art Therapy 525 1st Street, Suite 110, Lake Oswego (503) 635-8122 Erica Fayrie 2931 NE Broadway, Portland (503) 953-0234

BIOFEEDBACK + NEUROFEEDBACK Advanced Neurofeedback Clinic 2301 NW Thurman Street, Suite A Portland (503) 243-7907 • Biofeedback & Behavioral Management 9450 SW Barnes Road, #255, Portland (503) 292-0707

Disability Art and Culture Project (503) 238-0723 • Happy Mindful People (202) 420-8754

Juliana Friedman 4110 SE Hawthorne Blvd, #723 Portland (503) 250-4373

Portland Neurofeedback 1306 NW Hoyt Street Portland (503) 248-1182

In Touch Counseling Services 203 SE Park Plaza Drive Park Tower II, Suite 105 Vancouver (360) 334-9959



Nantz Ruby 10175 SW Barbur Blvd, #109b Portland (503) 245-9999

Face in the Mirror Counseling 599 Weidman Court, Lake Oswego (503) 201-0337 •

Albertina Kerr’s Children’s Developmental Health Services 1675 SW Marlow Avenue, Portland (503) 802-5273

Strasser Chiropractic 2100 NE Broadway, Suite 101 Portland (503) 287-2800 •

Heart & Soles

OT Solutions 5115 SE 38th Avenue, Portland

Center for Communication & Learning Skills 371 Sixth Street, Lake Oswego (503) 699-9022

(503) 641-3444

Insights to Health 2929 SW Multnomah Blvd, #302 Portland (503) 501-5001

Erika Johnson 2901 SE Clinton Street, Portland (503) 236-7884



Patty Ehlers 1010 Washington Street, #280 Vancouver (360) 699-6374

Avista Chiropractic & Wellness 1201 SW 12th Avenue, Suite 600, Portland (503) 224-2425 ChiroPlus Wellness Center 109 SE 101st Avenue, Vancouver (360) 256-6748 Dr. Chris Chlebowski 923 NE Couch Street, Portland (503) 236-9609 www.drchrischlebowski Natural Healing Center 9970 SW Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy, Suite 100, Beaverton

Imagination Yoga (971) 645-9606

MoveAbilities 9955 SE Washington Street, Suite 109 Portland (541) 647-8811 North Clackamas Parks and Recreation Department (Various inclusive classes) 150 Beavercreek Road, Oregon City Shelli Vrabel, Recreation Coordinator (503) 742-4371 • Polaris Dance Theater All Access Dance 1501 SW Taylor Street, Portland (503) 380-5472 Portland Parks and Recreation (Various inclusive classes. Check website.) 1120 SW 5th Ave #1302, Portland (503) 823-PLAY Sensory Kids (see ad on page 19) 1425 N Killingsworth Street, Portland (503) 575-9402 Continued on next page

Therapy Directory, continued from page 34

Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District (Various inclusive classes. Check website.) 15707 SW Walker Road, Beaverton (503) 645-6433 •


DEVELOPMENTAL/BEHAVIORAL PEDIATRICIAN Albertina Kerr’s Children’s Developmental Health Services 1675 SW Marlow Avenue, Portland (503) 802-5291 Dr. Peter Biasco OHSU CDRC 707 SW Gaines Avenue, Portland (503) 346-0644 Dr. Gregory Blaschke OHSU CDRC 707 SW Gaines Avenue, Portland (503) 346-0644 Dr. Sara Cuthill Kaiser Permanente 3550 N Interstate Avenue, Portland (503) 331-6577 Dr. John Liedel Children’s Program 7707 SW Capitol Hwy, Portland Dr. Robin McCoy Children’s Program 7707 SW Capitol Hwy, Portland Dr. Michele Raddish Providence Neurodevelopmental Center for Children 830 NE 47th Avenue, Portland (503) 215-2533 Evergreen Pediatric Clinic (Legacy Salmon Creek) 2101 NE 139th Avenue, #370 Vancouver (360) 892-1635 Evergreen Pediatric Clinic (PeaceHealth Southwest) 505 NE 87th Avenue, #120, Vancouver (360) 892-1635

Autism Behavioral Consulting (see ad on page 13) Two locations: 9901 NE 7th Avenue, Suite C-116, Vancouver 129 NE 102nd Avenue, Suite E, Portland (360) 619-2462 • Advanced Pediatric Therapies (see ad on page 23) (Two locations) 8339 SW Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy Portland 4201 NE 66th Ave, Suite 106 Vancouver (503) 245-5639 • (360) 885-4684 Albertina Kerr’s Children’s Developmental Health Services 1675 SW Marlow Avenue, Portland (503) 228-6479 Family Connections Northwest 2001 H Street, Vancouver (360) 993-0866 Pacific Northwest Pediatric Therapy 4305 SE Milwaukie Avenue, Portland (503) 232-3955 Sensory Kids (see ad on page 19) 1425 N Killingsworth Street, Portland (503) 575-9402 FAMILY PHYSICIANS Children’s Program 7707 SW Capitol Hwy, Portland (503) 452-8002 Dr. Jennifer Lyons The Vancouver Clinic Columbia Tech Center 501 SE 172nd Avenue, Vancouver (360) 882-2778


Dr. Mary Lynn O’Brien Kaiser Division Clinic 7705 SE Division Street, Portland (503) 777-3311 Integrative Pediatrics 11790 SW Barnes Road, Bldg. A, #140 Portland The Evergreen Center 516 High Street, Oregon City (503) 722-4270 Pediatric Associates of the Northwest (Two locations) 2701 NW Vaughn, Suite 360, Portland (503) 227-0671 and 4103 SW Mercantile Drive Lake Oswego (503) 636-4508 The Children’s Clinic (Two locations) 9555 SW Barnes Road, Suite 301 Portland (503) 297-3371 19260 SW 65th Avenue, Suite 340 Tualatin (503) 691-9777 Thomas Koch, M.D. Doernbecher Children’s Hospital Neurology 745 SW Gaines Road, Portland (503) 494-5856 doernbecher/programs-services/ neurology/ IN-HOME SERVICES Autism Behavioral Consulting (see ad on page 13) (Two locations) 9901 NE 7th Avenue, Suite C-116, Vancouver 129 NE 102nd Avenue, Suite E, Portland (360) 619-2462 • Beyond the Clinic 10600 SE McLoughlin Blvd, Suite 202 Milwaukie Continued on next page



Therapy Directory, continued from page 35

(503) 496-0385 • CDM Long-term Care Services 2409 Broadway Street, Vancouver (360) 896-9695 • Children’s Nursing Specialties 9900 SW Greenburg Road, #290 Portland 1-866-968-2401 Everybody Stims Joanna Blanchard, MOTR/L (360) 608-5143 Steele Speech Language Therapy 1827 NE 44th Avenue, Portland (503) 810-5921 • Tamerlano Speech & Language Services 3945 NE 37th Avenue, Portland (503) 481-5426 Heather Thompson, M.A. CCC-SLP 14585 SW 87th Avenue, Tigard (503) 505-4516 MASSAGE THERAPY Healthful Healing Massage (503) 724-5771 Red Bird Speech and Language (503) 583-2314 MENTAL HEALTH THERAPY Brooke Psychologists (Two locations) 516 SE Morrison Street, Suite 1010 Portland 400 E Evergreen Blvd, Suite 208 Vancouver (503) 235-8696 x2 Catherine Pivetti 3433 NE Sandy Blvd, Portland (503) 388-9028 •


Collective Perspectives 5201 SW Westgate Drive, Suite 105 Portland (971) 264-7025 • Counseling for Moms 5234 NE Farmcrest Street, Hillsboro (503) 459-2073 Creative Connections Counseling Services (503) 309-8671 Carol B. Markovics 1880 Willamette Falls Drive, Suite 230 West Linn (503) 305-8505 • Edie Dietzen, M.A., M.S., L.M.F.T. 800 A Officer’s Row, Vancouver (360) 953-0169 In Touch Counseling 203 SE Park Plaza Drive, Park Tower II Suite #105, Vancouver (360) 718-8544 Karen Joy Campbell 516 SE Morrison Street, Suite 310 Portland (503) 998-7030 Kimberly Johnson (503) 260-8971

Linda Fishman, Ph.D 720 SW Washington Street, Suite 340, Portland (503) 227-4211 Mental Health Association of Oregon 620 SW 5th Avenue, 5th Floor, Portland (503) 243-2081 • Neurobehavioral Concepts 1609 Willamette Falls Drive West Linn (503) 803-9361 • Patrick Ethel-King 9400 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway, Suite 210, Beaverton (503) 352-0240 • Peggy Piers 7739 SW Capitol Hwy, Suite 220 Portland (503) 977-2411 • Portland Autism Center 10300 SW Greenburg Road, #240 Portland (503) 206-6285 Psychologists Services to You (in-home treatment) 818 NW 17th Ave #6, Portland (503) 349-9973

Katie Statman-Weil, MSW, MS (503) 564-0131

Rita L Smith 2929 SW Multnomah Blvd, #105 Portland (503) 427-8943

Kathy J. Marshack PO Box 873429, Vancouver (360) 256-0448

Robert Finkelman 1305 NE Fremont Street, Portland (503) 258-7971

Leslie Carter 9600 SW Oak Street, Suite 280, Tigard (503) 807-7413

Sundstrom Clinical Services 8440 SE Sunnybrook Blvd, # 120 Clackamas (503) 653-0631

Life Choices Counseling Center 7000 SW Hampton Street, #204, Tigard (503) 446-5199

Continued on next page

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OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY Advanced Pediatric Therapies (see ad on page 23) (Two locations) 8339 SW Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy Portland 4201 NE 66th Ave, Suite 106 Vancouver (503) 245-5639 • (360) 885-4684 Assistive Technology NW 2100 NE Broadway #119, Portland (503) 312-3348 Celebrate the Senses 1509 SW Sunset Blvd. Suite 1K Portland (503) 810-0275 Albertina Kerr’s Children’s Developmental Health Services 1675 SW Marlow Avenue, Portland (503) 228-6479 Center for Health and Performance (see ad on page 5) 1700 NW 167th Place, Suite 220 Beaverton (503) 985-9527 Cooperative Therapies NW 7759 SW Cirrus Dr., Building 26, Beaverton (503) 433-8085 Creative Therapy Connections 5232 N Interstate Avenue, Portland (503) 922-1345 • Early Choice Pediatric Therapy 106 E 15th Street, Vancouver (360) 750-5850 • Everybody Stims (in-home OT services) (360) 608-5143

Groundplay Therapy Works 5220 NE Sacramento Street, Portland (971) 888-5265 Innovative Services Northwest 9414 NE Fourth Plain Road, Vancouver (360) 892-5142 Legacy Meridian Park Medical Center Pediatric Rehabilitation 19250 SW 65th Ave, #125, Tualatin (503) 692-1670 Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center 2211 NE 139th Street, Vancouver (360) 487-1000 Neurotherapeutic Pediatric Therapies 610 High Street, Oregon City (503) 657-8903 • New Horizons Wellness Services 9400 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway, Suite 210, Beaverton (503) 352-0240 • OHSU CDRC 707 SW Gaines Street, Portland (503) 494-8095 OT Solutions 5115 SE 38th Avenue, Portland Pacific Northwest Pediatric Therapy 4305 SE Milwaukie Avenue, Portland (503) 232-3955 • Pediatric Sensory Therapy 6635 N Baltimore Avenue, #229, Portland (503) 477-9527 Pediatric Therapy Services 532 N Main Avenue, Gresham (503) 666-1333 • Play 2 Grow 18959 SW 84th Avenue, Tualatin (503) 563-5280


Western Psychological & Counseling Services (Various locations) (503) 233-5405 •

Randall Children’s Hospital at Legacy Emanuel Pediatric Rehabilitation 2801 N Gantenbein, Suite 2225, Portland (503) 413-4505 Providence Neurodevelopmental Center for Children East Portland Providence Child Center 830 NE 47th Avenue, Portland (503) 215-2233 patients/programs/providenceneurodevelopmental-center-forchildren/Pages/default.aspx Providence Neurodevelopmental Center for Children Gerry Frank Center for Children’s Care 9155 SW Barnes Road, Portland (503) 216-2339 patients/programs/providenceneurodevelopmental-center-forchildren/Pages/default.aspx Pacific Northwest Pediatric Therapy 4305 SE Milwaukie Avenue, Portland (503) 232-3955 • Sensory Kids (see ad on page 19) 1425 N Killingsworth Street Portland (503) 575-9402 Therapy Solutions for Kids 5200 SW Macadam Avenue, #100 Portland (503) 224-1998 Thrive Therapeutics 2135 N Humboldt Street, Portland (503) 753-6943 Westside Pediatric Therapy 12525 SW 3rd Street, Beaverton (503) 641-2767 RDI® Barbara Avila, M.S. Synergy Autism Center Continued on next page



Therapy Directory, continued from page 37

7739 SW Capitol Hwy, Suite 220 Portland (503) 432-8760 SENSORY INTEGRATION/ PROCESSING Advanced Pediatric Therapies (see ad on page 23) (Two locations) 8339 SW Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy Portland 4201 NE 66th Ave, Suite 106 Vancouver (503) 245-5639 • (360) 885-4684 Dr. Chris Chlebowski 923 NE Couch Street, Portland (503) 236-9609 Early Learning Matters 1400 NE 48th Avenue, Suite 108 Hillsboro (503) 648-8917

Play 2 Grow Developmental Therapy Services 18959 SW 84th Avenue, Tualatin (503) 563-5280 Qigong Sensory Training Institute P.O. Box 92, McMinnville (503) 474-0218 • Sensory Kids (see ad on page 19) 1425 N Killingsworth Street, Portland (503) 575-9402 Therapy Solutions for Kids 5200 SW Macadam Avenue, #100 Portland (503) 224-1998 SOCIAL SKILLS + GUIDED PLAY

Groundplay Therapy Works 5220 NE Sacramento Street, Portland (971) 888-5265

A Hope for Autism (see ad on page 23) 2900 SW Peaceful Lane, Portland (503) 516-9085 •

Minaz Chauthani, MS, OTR/L 1748 NW Miller Hill Place, Portland (503) 758-2728

Aspiring Youth 68 SW Miles Street, Portland (888) 458-0481

Neurotherapeutics Pediatric Therapies (Four locations) 610 High Street, Oregon City (503) 657-8903 10130 NE Skidmore Street, Portland (503) 657-8903 5293 NE Elam Young Parkway #170 Hillsboro (503) 883-0036 2191 NE 2nd Street, McMinneville (503) 883-0036 Pediatric Sensory Therapy 6635 N Baltimore Avenue, #229, Portland (503) 477-9527


Pediatric Therapy Services 532 N Main Avenue, Gresham (503) 666-1333 •

Albertina Kerr’s Children’s Developmental Health Services 1675 SW Marlow Avenue, Portland (503) 228-6479 Autism Behavioral Consulting (see ad on page 13) 9901 NE 7th Avenue, Suite C-116 Vancouver 129 NE 102nd Avenue, Suite E Portland (360) 619-2462 • Brooke Psychologists, LLC 516 SE Morrison Street, #1010 Portland (503) 235-8696 x2 Building Bridges 0112 SW Pennoyer Street, Portland (503) 235-3122 Center for Health and Performance (see ad on page 5) 1700 NW 167th Place, Suite 220 Beaverton (503) 502-2709 Happy Mindful People (202) 420-8754 New Horizons Wellness Services 9400 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway, Suite 210, Beaverton (503) 352-0240 • Pathways for Potential 10151 SW Barbur Blvd, Suite 108 Portland (503) 201-7750 PlaySpace 1727 NE 13th Avenue, Portland (503) 224-2820 Playful Intervention 7824 SE 13th Avenue, Portland (503) 735-5870 Small Talk Speech Therapy Angela Arterberry, MS, CCC-SLP (503) 358-8182 Social Kraft (503) 381-9344 • SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY Albertina Kerr’s Children’s Developmental Health Services 1675 SW Marlow Avenue, Portland (503) 228-6479 All About Speech 8196 SW Hall Blvd, Suite 114 Beaverton (503) 641-2005 • Continued on next page

Therapy Directory, continued from page 38

Dvortcsak Speech and Language Service 818 SW 3rd Avenue, #68, Portland (503) 887-1130 •

Providence Neurodevelopmental Center for Children 310 Villa Road, Suite 101, Newberg (503) 537-3546

Barbara Erskine Speech Therapy 8513 NE Hazel Dell Ave, Suite 201 Vancouver (360) 573-7313 7000 SW Hampton Street, Suite 127 Tigard (503) 675-7711

Early Choice Pediatric Therapy 106 E 15th Street, Vancouver (360) 750-5850 •

Providence Rehabilitation Services 270 NW Burnside Street, Gresham (503) 215-2233

Buckendorf & Associates 10300 SW Greenburg Road, #410 Portland (503) 517-8555 Center for Communication & Learning Skills 371 6th Street, Lake Oswego (503) 699-9022 Center for Health and Performance (see ad on page 5) 1700 NW 167th Place, #220 Beaverton • (503) 985-9527 Clackamas Speech (see ad on page 23) 2305 SE Washington Street, #102 Milwaukie (503) 654-1014 Communicating Together 1727 NE 13th Avenue, Portland (503) 224-2820 Cooperative Therapies NW 7759 SW Cirrus Dr., Building 26, Beaverton (503) 433-8085 Creative Connections Counseling Services (503) 309-8671 D’Onofrio & Associates 1827 NE 44th Avenue, Suite 20 Portland (503) 808-9919

Gresham Speech Therapy 4336 SE Viewpoint Drive, Troutdale (503) 312-9362 • Jo Workinger (503) 422-3337 Kelli Murdock Eickelberg, SLP 7701 SW Cirrus Drive, Suite 32-D Beaverton (503) 520-5030 Legacy Meridian Park Medical Center Pediatric Rehabilitation 19250 SW 65th Avenue Medical Plaza 1, Suite 125, Tigard (503) 692-1670 Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center 2211 NE 139th Street, Vancouver (360) 487-1000 New Horizons Wellness Services 10700 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy, Building 3 Suite 618, Beaverton (503) 352-0240 • NW Speech Therapy (503) 512-9355 • (360) 747-7144 Play 2 Grow Developmental Therapy Services 18959 SW 84th Avenue, Tualatin (503) 563-5280 Providence Neurodevelopmental Center for Children 830 NE 47th Avenue, Portland (503) 215-2233 Providence Neurodevelopmental Center for Children Gerry Frank Center for Children’s Care 9155 SW Barnes Road, Portland (503) 216-2339


Assistive Technology NW 2100 NE Broadway #119, Portland (503) 708-5720

Randall Children’s Hospital at Legacy Emanuel 2801 N Gantenbein, Suite 2225 Portland (503) 413-4505 Red Bird Speech and Language (503) 583-2314 Scottish Rite Center Kid Talk 5125 SW Macadam Avenue, #200 Portland (503) 226-1048 Small Talk Speech Therapy (503) 358-8182 Speech Language Pathology LLC 6035 SW Florida Street, Portland (971) 255-1961 VISION THERAPY NW Eye Care Professionals (Three locations) 15259 SE 82nd Drive, #101 Clackamas (503) 657-0321 9901 NE 7th Ave. #C115 Vancouver (360) 546-2046 10970 SW Barnes Road Beaverton (503) 214-1396


Helping Kids Succeed Improving the daily life of kids and families to reach their maximum potential “Because of the help we had from Dr. Wynne, we are the happiest we have ever been and so is our son. We have challenges at times, but we know how to handle them and how to handle our own lives in order to help our son.” —Wynne Solutions client

ABA services for all ages Collaborative care with children, parents, school staff, therapists and more Parent training and support In-person and tele-health services Innovative, cutting-edge technology to teach our future generations

Dr. Maria Wynne (408) 479-4357

Spectrums Magazine: Summer 2014