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Lexington 2021 Summer Programs

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Summer is a great time for kids to enjoy summer activities with friends safely. Make Lexington Services a part of your family’s summer experience by becoming a summer explorer at one of our campus’s Summer Programs.

At Lexington, we are offering our summer program to individuals with autism and developmental disabilities. Each campus will have its own activities, water games, and field trips!

Check out each campus for your ideal summer program fun!

Lexington Learning Center – Mesa

  • Tuesday, June 1st – Friday, July 30th
  • 2 sessions daily (Monday – Friday)
    • Morning Session: 8 am – 12 pm
    • Afternoon Session: 1 pm – 5 pm
  • Activities will include
    • Arts & crafts
    • Game center
    • Splash pad
    • Trampoline park
    • And much more

Lexington Life Academy – East Mesa

  • Tuesday, June 1st – Friday, July 23rd
  • 2 sessions daily (Monday – Friday)
    • Morning Session: 8 am – 12 pm
    • Afternoon Session: 1 pm – 5 pm
  • Activities will include
    • Arts & crafts
    • Board games
    • Water Play
    • And much more

Lexington Life Academy – Phoenix – Maryvale & South Mountain (Laveen)

  • Tuesday, June 1st – Friday, July 23rd
  • 2 sessions daily (Monday – Friday)
    • Morning Session: 8 am – 12 pm
    • Afternoon Session: 1 pm – 5 pm
  • Activities will include
    • Arts & crafts
    • Board games
    • Water Play
    • And much more
  • Cost
    • Option 1
      • Covered under DDD Services (DTS Services must be in the students’ ISP)
    • Option 2
      • Private Pay at $13 per hour

Also, check out our Spanish flyer!

Lexington Life Academy – Show Low

  • Tuesday, June 21st – Friday, July 15th
  • Monday – Thursday
    • 9 am – 1 pm
  • Activities will include
    • Gardening
    • Kickball
    • Freeze tag
    • Water day
  • Cost
    • Option 1
      • Covered under DDD Services (DTS Services must be in the students’ ISP)
    • Option 2
      • Private Pay
        • 1:1 at $50 a day
        • 4-6:1 at $25 a day

Please note for ALL Lexington Campuses

DTS covers ONLY morning sessions. Any combined sessions will be considered a full day of Respite Care. Field trip costs are not covered by DDD Services and will require additional payments.

COVID-19 Protocol

All of our Lexington locations will follow COVID-19 protocol to ensure students are having fun and being safe all summer long. Our goal is to continue providing the critical services our members and students with disabilities and special needs greatly rely on.

For more information on Lexington Services COVID-19 Protocol, please click here.

Transportation

Transportation will be offered on a first-come, first-serve basis if available on that campus. 

For more information on all the summer programs, visit us at Lexington Services.

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Lexington Services Expands to Utah

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Lexington Services has expanded its services to Utah.

Having first met in 2020, Founder and CEO Harrison Rogers spoke with James Stubbs, a Utah Local, about potentially expanding Lexington Services to the state of Utah. Stubbs was immediately excited about the idea of serving individuals and their families who often find themselves underserved in our society.

“I couldn’t be more excited to have James leading our Utah expansion. He has a stellar track record of helping grow mission-driven organizations of different sizes,” Rogers said. “Most importantly, he has a passion for our specific mission and the families we serve. I can’t think of a better partner for this phase.” 

Available In-Home Services

Lexington Utah will begin with In-Home Services and will soon add ABA Therapy to their list. 

Lexington Services is currently contracted with the Division of Services for People with Disabilities (DSPD) to provide in-home services in Utah. They will start in Davis, Salt Lake, and Utah counties. 

Services that will be offered include:

  • Respite: provides relief to the Person’s usual caregiver
  • Companion Services: one-on-one non-medical care, support, socialization, and supervision, including assistance with daily household tasks and accessing community services and resources 
  • Personal Assistance Services: personal assistance and supportive services specific to the needs of the Person, including daily living care
  • Supported Living Services: Supporting the member to live as independent, self-determined lives as possible, integrated into their community. Examples include personal care (e.g., eating, bathing, and dressing), homemaker and chore tasks, advocacy and self-help, communication and socialization, personal finances (e.g., keeping track of money and bills), and accessing community services and resources

Lexington Services Utah is also a member of the Utah Association of Community Services, a non-profit organization “with over 40 member agencies in Utah [that] serve over 5,000 people with developmental and other types of disabilities in over 400 locations throughout Utah.”

Meet James Stubbs

Stubbs graduated with an MBA from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and received his undergraduate degree at Brigham Young University. He focused on mission-driven internships to serve underrepresented or underserved populations, including: 

  • social impact investing
  • small business workshops for local Native American business owners
  • access to higher education for first-generation students, cultural minority, or of low-socioeconomic status

Stubbs’ career spans various finance and strategy roles across multiple industries and business models, including durable goods, manufacturing, consumer packaged goods, health insurance, and religious/non-profit. 

“Throughout my career and education, I have come to recognize that business is one of the best vehicles to positively impact not only our world as a whole, but also the lives of individuals,” said Stubbs. “Lexington Services has a strong track record of providing successful services to those with autism spectrum disorder and developmental disabilities, and I am excited to carry on its reputation to Utah.”

For more information regarding Lexington Services Utah, please contact utahinfo@lexingtonservices.com or visit www.lexingtonservices.com/utah.

Lexington is very excited about this expansion and the services that are to come in Utah! Stay up to date on our social media for more updates as we grow and expand. 

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Lexington Therapies – Before and After

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Mesa Therapy Sensory Gym Before Renovations

Lexington Therapies is a fun and engaging atmosphere for those with disabilities to receive therapy services. Director Dallin Webster oversees the programs and therapists and has found that creating an environment for children to feel comfortable and engaged will provide the best results. 

Lexington Therapy has two locations; one in Mesa and one in Phoenix. Both centers went through renovations in 2020 to improve both the services offered and the facilities. Both renovations had different purposes, but both have beautiful outcomes and provide families better services for their children.

The Mesa location was renovated to bring more life to the center. When Lexington first moved into the building, it did not reflect Lexington. The colors were dull, and it did not “scream children.” To make matters worse, the previous sensory gym was small. The facility also lacked equipment that could better children during therapy.

In March of 2020, the opportunity came to expand the facility by connecting with the suite next door. With great support and a plan in mind, the renovations began for expansion. A wall was knocked down to join the suits, the walls were painted, and the rooms were updated to reflect the therapy they accommodate.

Now upon visiting the Mesa Therapy location, families will experience vibrant colors, a larger sensory area, and purple carpet to tie it all together. 

“For whatever reason, I love the carpet,” commented Webster. “That carpet brings it all together. It’s a fun purple, and it was a big risk when we picked that carpet out. We had no idea how it would look when it was all laid out, but now, it screams this is a place for kids and that this is a clean and safe environment.”

Disney Pixar characters line the walls, and members can experience a beautiful treasure hunt art mural along the hallway. More therapists have been hired to fill the new offices, and the music department has blossomed to the point of having a waitlist. 

The Phoenix location is no exception. The renovations there began in early fall when Webster expanded to include another part of the building. He found it was a great time to renovate the space for safety and upgrade purposes. The Phoenix location did not need more space but better functionality to utilize the space more efficiently. 

Mesa Therapy Sensory Gym After Renovations

Now, the Phoenix location has renovations and improvements both inside and out. Inside the therapy center, families will now find

  • more offices to accommodate more therapists and children
  • an expanded music department
  • an upgraded sensory room

Outside the therapy center, members will see

  • a security fence
  • freshly painted walls
  • brand new signage 
  • added security around the center

“My favorite part in the Phoenix location is what we recently did,” said Webster. “We added a new wall to create room for new employees, and I love adding members to our team. So now we can hire more people, and we can service more kids. It gives us the opportunity to help even more!” 

These renovations have made families feel safe, secure, and help ensure the high-quality services their children receive are better than ever.. Parents are seeing these spaces and know that Lexington Therapy is helping their child meet their goals and highest potential.

Meet the Director of Lexington Therapy

An Arizona native, Dallin Webster grew up the middle of three kids in Mesa and graduated from Mesa High in 2006. From 2007 to 2009, Webster served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Fresno, California. Since then, he has received his Associate’s Degree from Mesa Community College (MCC) and is currently pursuing his Bachelor’s Degree in Family and Human Development from Arizona State University (ASU). 

Director Webster is married and has two children diagnosed with autism, and attends various therapies. He enjoys everything and anything Disney and watching and playing basketball.

Since 2010 Webster and Harrison Rogers, the founder, and CEO of Lexington Services, have been close friends. During 2019, Webster was a stay-at-home father working closely with his children and assisting them in their growth through attending therapies. He was contacted and offered the Director of the Therapy program in December of that same year and has been working hard since making Lexington Therapy Services a significant staple and benefit to the Mesa and Phoenix communities. 

“I grew up in this neighborhood,” said Webster. “It brings me an abundance of humility and joy to be serving this community now in my adult years!”

Follow us!

Instagram.com/LexingtonServices

LinkedIn.com/LexingtonServices

Facebook.com/LexingtonServices

Youtube.com/LexingtonServices

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Form of Art Therapy that Works Best for Your Child

 Art therapy, also known as expressive therapy, helps clients communicate and deal with emotions and thoughts. It “combines psychotherapy, or talk therapy, with the interpretation of visual images to delve into an individual’s subconscious.” Children do not have to

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be creative or artistic to participate in art therapy. Some may feel intimidated by some art forms. All they need is the right supplies and the correct format to begin.

Brief Art Therapy Lesson

The term art therapy was created in 1942 by a British artist named Adrian Hill, although it was used long before a term was made. Hill discovered the benefits of art through painting and drawing while recovering from tuberculosis. Several writers in the mental health field during the 1940s began to write about their work using art therapy on patients. There was no training or programs for this therapeutic approach. They were guided by psychiatrists, psychologists, or other mental health professionals. 

In the mid 20th century, art therapy has become more of an established and publicly accepted therapeutic approach. Now it is used to treat a multitude of health issues such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Post Traumatic Stress (PTSD)
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity (ADHD)

Art therapy benefits people of all ages, but it can specifically benefit

  • those with learning disabilities
  • those with autism
  • those who find it hard to express emotions

Those with learning difficulties may find it hard to verbalize their feelings. At the same time, those who struggle to express their emotions can show their feelings without much verbal communication. Clients who have autism may find art therapy or creative art outlets to help distract them and calm them down.

Art therapy comes in many different forms. A therapist is trained to recognize the most appropriate tools and techniques for their clients to use to help them communicate and express themselves. There are eight main types of art therapy forms that a child could use, and that can be incorporated into their daily routine.

Painting

Painting is a common art therapy form that most are familiar with. It gives the child a free-form approach to art by creating images from a blank canvas. Painting involves using tools to help make pictures but can be done with fingers. Types of painting may include:

  • acrylic
  • watercolors
  • pray painting and much more

Note that painting may not be suitable for children who struggle with control and perfectionism.

Drawing

Drawing is another commonly known form of art and art therapy. It usually involves paper and a pencil but can include other supplies such as 

  • pens
  • pastels
  • charcoal
  • crayons

When introducing drawing, remember that some children may perceive this art form as a specialized skill and may need encouragement to begin. The child should be reminded that art therapy aims not to produce artwork but to explore emotions through art.

Writing

Writing is sometimes not viewed as a creative visual outlet. With art journaling, storyboarding, and comics, more people begin to see the benefits through writing. For art therapy, a child could write in a journal and then create art on top of the journal to “let go” of writing content. If children are struggling to write, they can use keywords to solidify their overall thoughts and feelings.

Sculpture

The sculpture is an excellent way for a child to use their hands and bring dimension to the issues they are facing. While creating a sculpture or when it is completed, remind the child that situations are multidimensional and can be approached from different points of view to find a solution. Sculptures can be made with

  • Clay
  • Paper clay
  • Paper mache

Additional tools can include

  • Carving tools
  • Decorative items, i.e., paint, paintbrushes

Collage

Creating a collage can be seen as more of a passive type of art form than painting or drawing. A collage combines multiple items that are already created or designed, such as magazine images or word titles. This form of art therapy can be more straightforward for those who struggle with communication and making decisions. A child might find making a collage less threatening and can focus more on construction. 

Creating a collage can involve a variety of supplies such as

  • patterned papers
  • magazines
  • stamps
  • paper-based substrates
  • brayers
  • adhesive
  • pens
  • pencils
  • paints

Photography

Photography is a fun way to incorporate past memories and images on a physical or digital medium. Photos have a funny way of stimulating memories and help people relive certain events. Those same photos can be used to create a positive narrative or framework. Technology makes it easy for us to take pictures and use them right there on our devices. 

Textiles

Textiles involve stuffed toys and puppets and help children who have physical difficulties using art supplies that require fine motor skills. Textiles involve using stuffed toys and puppets and add a sensory level of softness and texture and a level of safety and comfort.

Digital

Digital art is a newer form of art that is constantly developing and evolving. It can take a range of formats like

  • manipulating photos
  • creating more elaborate artistic projects using graphic software or video editing software
  • Apps for drawing, i.e., Procreate
  • Apps for coloring, i.e., Lake
  • Note-taking apps that allow you to add photos and stickers, i.e., Noteshelf
  • Journaling apps

Digital art will require a device that can handle the software or apps needed to create the art. It may also require supervision for younger children. It is a great way to look back at old artworks and see how far they have come, both with art and communications and emotional development.

Choosing the Form of Art Therapy that Works Best for Your Child

Art therapy can be done at home or with a therapist. It is essential to select the child’s correct type as some forms may negatively impact them and their progress. For example, a person who shows Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) symptoms may not do well with messy and less controllable art forms.

Therapists usually take the time to gauge the child’s interests then explore alternative options as they build trust with their child. The same can be done with parents and their children. Take note of what interests them, then find alternatives. They may like a few different art forms, and others may help them explore difficult emotions or thoughts. 

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HELP and VEST Programs at Lexington

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My child is in their senior year of high school and the district wants them to graduate, but they are not ready and require additional learning programs. 

As a parent, finding the right resources for your child can be difficult. If your child is clearly not ready to graduate, there are other options for them to achieve their goals and success. The main option Lexington can provide for you is to enroll your child at a Lexington campus that provides the HELP and VEST programs, such as the Lexington South Mountain and Maryvale campuses.

What are the HELP and VEST programs and how can I get my student into them?

HELP (Home Enrichment Life Program)

Students in the HELP Program are instructed in practical and functional living skills to prepare them to function appropriately in the community, workplace, and home. 

This program includes a multitude of areas such as:

  • Self-care
    • Our schools encourage each student to be as independent as possible, beginning with students caring for their personal needs. Depending on students’ ability and age levels, they can practice self-care skills such as brushing their teeth, grooming, and basic hygiene practices.
  • Pre-vocational skills
    • Pre-vocational skills are a large part of the occupational therapy-related services curriculum. Students experience a wide range of pre-vocational tasks encompassing beginner, intermediate, and advanced level tasks. As students advance in the program, they learn about various occupations and necessary job skills.
  • Daily living skills
    • Students are encouraged to learn various activities that they will encounter in their everyday lives. This alternative classroom offers students the opportunity to make a bed, vacuum, set the table, and other skills needed to live in a home or apartment environment. Students get to practice these skills in Lexington’s ADL room. The goal is to help foster a greater level of independence in the home and the community.
  • Community-based instruction
    • Lexington brings the community into the classroom and the classroom into the community. Students participate in various activities within the community to help promote community awareness and independence. Lexington teachers also plan visits to local businesses to learn onsite what has been discussed in the classroom. 
  • Cooking skills
    • Each classroom provides an opportunity for students to practice their cooking skills. Through a collaborative approach with the classroom and therapy staff, students are instructed on various cooking skills that they will need to be successful in their independent lives. Students learn how to make simple recipes with a few ingredients to full-fledged meals as they progress through their day. 
  • Functional reading skills
    • Leisure skills are an integral part of Lexington’s curriculum. Students can discover things they enjoy during their free time. As a part of their everyday lives, students can socialize with friends, play games, surf the web (on safe and appropriate sites) and play video games with one another. 
  • Functional math skills
    • Lexington students learn functional math skills throughout the school day and through Lexington’s many different classroom businesses. Students practice working with money using real-life experiences within the school building (i.e., school store) and apply those skills when students go to locations on class trips. Students visit local stores and restaurants to make selections, calculate the cost, exchange money for goods and collect change.

Other HELP Program areas of learning include:

  • Service Learning
  • Community Participation
  • Shopping Skills
  • Laundry Skills
  • Leisure and Recreational Skills

Students who would like more of an employment-based approach after high school would enter the VEST program.

VEST (Vocational Education and Supported Training)

The VEST Program offers students who have completed traditional high school courses but require further instruction invocation and supported training. This program solely focuses on your young adult’s vocational education. 

Traditional academic courses should have already been explored/completed before entering this program. A young adult can be in this program until 22, exiting when the team determines that exit criteria have been met. During this program, students will explore:

  • Career Exploration
    • Our students are encouraged to explore a wide variety of careers. Instruction and experiences designed to make students aware of the broad range of available employment, teach them general job preparatory skills, and offer them courses of study that allow them to develop skills needed for specific careers: retail, clerical, food service, etc.
  • Supported Employment
    • Lexington offers a unique way for employers and their students to come together in an employment setting. We pre-screen potential candidates for employment and match the needs of an employer in the community. Once the match is made and a person is hired, a job coach will train and assist both the person hired and the new employer.
  • Work-Related Behaviors
    • As students transition into adulthood, they encounter various job scenarios and work experiences. We expect students to uphold Lexington’s expectations for behavior and its work expectations while attending job sites and work sites. Classroom assistants and a job coach guided by the transition coordinator direct students while they work alongside them.

Students will also learn:

  • Job Readiness
  • Community-Based Instruction
  • Job Seeking
  • Job Shadowing
  • Real World Numeracy
  • Real-World Literacy

Lexington can never guarantee employment to graduates of our program. However, Lexington makes every effort to select training partners that offer results-oriented job readiness services. Lexington will help graduates prepare for interviews and connect with potential employers in their areas of interest. 

Traditional High School Programming

Lexington also offers high school students a traditional academic and transitional focus program that is highly individualized and tailored to their child’s specific needs. We provide curriculum modifications to help your child access the curriculum and create, develop and implement transition plans and graduation requirements. This program explores some of the realms of HELP and VEST but offers a more traditional approach to learning standard-based academic programming that our parents have come to know and love. Students enrolled in this program typically seek college or trade school admittance. 

I am Interested, How can I enroll my Student?

As the parent, you can choose to dis-enroll your child from the public school and enroll your child into Lexington’s autism high school program, VEST program, or HELP program, depending on their educational track. You will have to meet with our tuition specialist to ensure your child meets the Empowerment Scholarship Program‘s qualifications (ESA) before acceptance into the program

Empowerment Scholarship Program Funding

Students who participate in these programs can receive funding through the Empowerment Scholarship Program if they have not graduated from an Arizona public or Charter school. 

For more information regarding the HELP and VEST programs, please visit our FAQ Page or contact Principal Hermosillo at daniel@lexingtonlifeacademy.com.

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What is Autism Awareness Day?

The 14th annual World Autism Awareness Day is here! All over the world, people are showing love and support towards those with autism. The theme this year is Inclusion in the Workplace: Challenges & Opportunities in a Post-Pandemic World

New normals are coming into place with the world entering a post-pandemic state, and many things have been highlighted. The most prominent challenge people have noticed is inequality, especially in

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the workplace concerning wealth and health distribution. Those with autism especially experience these levels of inequality. 

For this year’s virtual event, participants can hear two different panels about this topic from individuals with autism who have experienced these challenges and have found opportunities in employment.

History Behind World Autism Day

World Autism Awareness Day began when the United Nations General Assembly unanimously declared April 2nd as World Autism Day (A/RES/62/139). This day was proclaimed in hopes of “highlighting the need to help improve the quality of life of those with autism so they can lead full and meaningful lives as an integral part of society.”

The United Nations has always celebrated diversity and promoted the rights of persons with disabilities.” In 2008, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities entered into force, reaffirming the fundamental principle of universal human rights for all. Its purpose is to promote, protect, and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities and promote respect for their inherent dignity. It is a vital tool to foster an inclusive and caring society for all and to ensure that all children and adults with autism can lead full and meaningful lives.”

Themes in Past Years

Each year the UN gives a theme for World Autism Awareness Day to educate and reflect on how everyone can love and support the members of the autism community. The theme is typically centered around recently highlighted issues people with autism are facing. Autism-friendly events and seminars also become available for those who wish to attend. Last year, the theme was “the Transition to Adulthood.”

World Autism Awareness Day themes began in 2012 with the “Launch of Official UN Awareness of Rising Stamp” and have covered subjects such as education, employment, inclusion, and girls with autism.

How Lexington Incorporates Workplace Opportunities

Growing up with a sister who has severe autism and who struggled in formal education herself, Harrison Rogers, Lexington Services Founder, and CEO, always wanted to find a solution for what he believed was broken informal education, thus founding and building what Lexington is today.

Today, Lexington is proud to offer Transition to Employment and new programs, Vocational Education and Supported Training (VEST), and Home Enrichment Life Program (HELP) programs to help members with autism become independent. These programs each provide members with a practical set of skills to live a full, meaningful life.

Transition to Employment

Transition to Employment or TTE is a service that teaches individuals with disabilities that qualify for employment the “meaning, value and demands of work and in the development of positive attitudes toward work.” This program is related to several employment initiatives designed to provide training and support to promote integrated and competitive employment skills.

The overall goal of the program is to help members transition to a more independent employment setting. This program can also guide individuals through unpaid shadowing experiences to engage with their interests and current skill set. 

This summer, the Transition to Employment program is offering a summer program! Participants will spend 11 weeks developing the skills necessary for integrated and competitive employment. They will be guided through unpaid shadowing experiences to engage with their interest and current talent set to work toward a career. 

For more information or to register, contact tte@lexingtonservices.com.

Lexington also provides programs within the schools to help develop skills. VEST and HELP are perfect examples of in-school programs, each with a specific focus for the future. For more information on the following programs, please contact the specific school as these programs may live under different names.

VEST (Vocational Education and Supported Training)

Lexington Life Academy’s VEST Program, a new program being offered this fall, offers students who have completed traditional high school courses but require further instruction invocation and supported training. This program solely focuses on a young adult’s vocational education and leads to competitive employment and or work experience. 

HELP (Home Enrichment Life Program)

In addition to the academic programs at Lexington Life Academy, students can enter into the HELP Program, a new program launching this fall. In the HELP Program, students learn practical and functional living skills to prepare them to function appropriately in the community, workplace, and at home. These programs include a multitude of areas such as:

  • Self-care
  • Pre-vocational skills
  • Daily living skills
  • Community-based instruction
  • Cooking skills
  • Functional reading and math skills

While World Autism Awareness Day is April 2nd, the month of April is National Autism Awareness Month. Take the time to learn about Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and how to support loved ones who have autism. Lexington blogs are a great place to start!

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Transition to Employment Programs at Lexington

Lexington Services is proud to announce that our Transition to Employment program is accepting members! 

What is Transition to Employment?

Transition to Employment or TTE is a service that teaches individuals with disabilities that qualify for employment the “meaning, value and demands of work and in the development of positive attitudes toward work.” This program is related to several employment initiatives designed to provide training and support to promote integrated and competitive employment skills.

This TTE is integrated directly into a Person-Centered Service Plan with the planning team, similar to the IEP plan that many individuals use while in school. This service is designed to help individuals realize their employment and vocational goals while supporting their skill development and pursuing their passions. 

The overall goal of the program is to help members transition to a more independent employme

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nt setting. This program can also guide individuals through unpaid shadowing experiences to engage with their interests and current skill set. 

TTE services ensure that individuals have mentor guidance and supervision from Lexington experts to have the most favorable employment experience possible. Through a Transition to Employment program, an individual with autism can expand their employment horizons and work toward a career that incorporates their interests and unique skill sets.

Why Are Programs Like TTE important?

With an alarming number of adults with autism living unemployed, some studies suggest at least 27%, the need for services that help people with ASD find meaningful employment is striking. 

There are several things that parents and guardians can do to help their loved ones prepare to join the workforce. Even with a perfect interview and a qualified skill set, some employment venues aren’t fit to deal with the unique needs of individuals with autism and other disabilities. This is where programs like Transition to Employment can significantly improve the outcomes for these individuals. 

TTE provides a route for individuals to find honest work for actual pay, rather than sheltered workshops, which significantly bolsters an individual’s perception of themselves and their independence. 

With some reports indicating that only 26% of youth with disabilities are employed, it’s essential to support our youth through these programs “So They Can” thrive as they transition to adulthood. With proper guidance, there are many employment paths that young people can excel at, and programs like Transition to Employment at Lexington will help them on that path to success

TTE at Lexington

“We primarily prepare our members to join the workforce,” explained Frances Oder, the TTE Director at Lexington. “We start by finding out their learning styles, likes, dislikes, and interests and build on what each individual needs to acquire their first job and enjoy it.”

TTE also teaches the basics that every employer wants their employees to know, such as soft skills, following the rules, dressing for success, and getting along with supervisors and peers. Members are taught essential independent skills such as knowing how to read a pay stub, how to get to work, and budgeting, among other things. 

Our members all have individual skills they need to build on, and right now, our focus is on learning the value of money. We have some members that know of it but don’t understand the worth of a dollar or understand change (coins). Other members do, and they are encouraged to help with teaching those who don’t, so in essence, just about everyone here has the opportunity to teach one another. 

“It is a program and job that I love,” said Oder. “Every member brings a unique talent to our team. We all learn and grow together as we prepare our unique individuals to enter the workforce and share their talents with the world.” 

The TTE program at Lexington is aimed at young adults who are preparing for employment and are exploring their career paths. Members practice interviewing, learn how to find and apply for jobs and sometimes get the opportunity to practice the jobs they want in a Lexington environment. 

For those seeking to join the Transition to Employment program at Lexington, or if you would like more information, contact us at TTE@lexingtonservices.com.

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5 Tips to Navigate IEP Meetings during COVID-19

What is an IEP?

IEP stands for Individualized Education Program. It is an evaluation, written document, and ongoing process for children with disabilities to ensure they are getting the support they need every school year.

IEPs are developed by a group of professionals at the school. This group becomes the team that works with the parents and the child. The meeting would involve

  • Looking at how much progress the child has made over the past year
  • How the goals, services, and support should be adjusted for the next year
  • Make sure the IEP provides the right help to meet the child’s present needs

Although they do take quite a bit of work, attending meetings can help shap

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e the plan and monitor your child’s process.

Here are a few assessment questions that could help parents navigate the IEP process:

  1. Do I have an understanding of what my child is doing throughout his or her school day?
  2. Am I confident that the best techniques are being applied so my child is learning at school every day?
  3. Do I have open and accessible communication with my child’s teacher and or the school?

If “yes” is not the answer to any of these questions, it may be time to look over your child’s IEP or speak with the school.

Problems with IEPs

An IEP is a legal document, and navigating this document can be cumbersome. Parents are in a unique situation with IEPs because they know their child best but must rely on a team of professionals to help create a plan for their child. Together, they must discuss the child’s best options, but sometimes not everyone sees eye to eye.

Sometimes parents might bring in legal action if things have not been going well. Other times, there is a mix-up in paperwork, and parents experience the pressure of deadlines to get things in order.

Overall the process can be overwhelming for parents. They are given unfamiliar terms and are asked to sit with a team of professionals and teachers to discuss their child and their academics while still processing their child’s diagnosis.

With COVID-19, things seem to become more complicated when ensuring children with autism and other disabilities get the support they need.

Navigating IEPs

The good news is navigating IEPs during COVID-19 does not have to be complicated. With these five simple steps, parents can feel more at ease during these times of uncertainty.

Be Prepared

Being prepared to enter an IEP meeting, whether in person or online, can make all the difference. You will find better results being prepared. To prepare for a meeting:

  • Review your child’s IEP and take notes
  • Write down what you would like to say in the meeting
  • Make sure to write down questions
  • Speak with other members of the IEP team before the meeting

If IEPs are still confusing, look for other resources to help. Podcasts, online resources, and books are all great when understanding IEPs.

Focus on Collaboration

While in the meeting, keep your focus on collaboration. If things arise that you disagree with, talk it out and collaborate with the IEP team members. As the parent, you clearly understand your child’s needs as you spend the most time with them. IEP members may only spend small amounts of time with your child, so collaborate on solutions when problems arise.

Ask for Ways to Support

Support is one of the main goals the IEP was created for your child. They will require that support every step of the way from everyone involved in their lives. From their home to the classroom, children with autism a vanity cryptocurrency address and other disabilities need support. This can be from the community, family members, friends and the school. When navigating an IEP, the team should be like a support system for the child and the parent.

Follow Up with Questions After Meetings

After a meeting, it is best to give yourself time to take in all the information and review any notes you took during the session. If things seem unclear or you are just not sure about a line item that came up, follow up with questions.

Getting clarification can help neutralize any conflict or communication issues that may arise. Asking questions will also ensure your child is getting the proper support in the classroom.

Keep Communication Open Always

Communication is critical when it comes to the progress of your child. If something is not understood or something is not working the way it should, that needs to be communicated. Open and free communication with the teachers and school will allow for quick, efficient change.

IEP meetings may have its challenges, especially during these times, but with preparation, collaboration and continuous communication it can be done efficiently and effectively. It is important to keep the end goal in mind as it will help to navigate the best option available for your child.

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What is LEF?

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Did you know that Lexington Services has a nonprofit organization that helps students?

Lexington Education Foundation or LEF is a certified School Tuition Organization (STO). It is a non-profit 501(c)(3) that helps students in Arizona attend schools regardless of their financial situation. LEF supports students who have disabilities attend private schools, specifically, private schools with facilities and staff who provide for their needs to help them reach their academic goals.

LEF began in 2016 to help kids with disabilities who did not qualify for Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) funding get the education and services they needed for success in schools, especially in the Phoenix area. The founder of LEF, Harrison Rogers, wanted to provide an opportunity to others to help serve kids in need and who would otherwise go without the specialized education they need

While the mission of LEF is to support all students and their families with their educational dreams, LEF primarily focuses on supporting students who have disabilities or special needs through donations and scholarships.

Lexington Education Foundation was created to fill this gap and is dedicated to enriching children’s experiences and empowering families with the freedom to guide their children’s educational future. LEF is committed to providing financial support to families and access to the educational tools and community resources needed to ensure each student’s unique success.

Impact of LEF In the Community

LEF packages donations made by generous individuals into special needs scholarships and awards them to kids across the state who may not otherwise attend the school of their choice.

Parents who have children with disabilities are slowly beginning to leave public schools and homeschooling to pursue private institutions. Unfortunately, private schools can cost quite a bit for tuition and services. STOs like LEF make it possible for children to attend the school of their choice and get the services they deserve to succeed in school and life.

LEF has proven to make a significant impact in the lives of children with disabilities and their families. From 2019 to 2020, LEF received $28,958.00 from 36 individual donors. As a result:

  • 13 students apply for scholarships
  • 4 were granted scholarships
  • $31,587.30 in scholarships were awarded
  • The scholarships were awarded to 3 schools

From 2020 to 2021, LEF had 15 individual donors and one corporate donor, equaling $32,127.00 in donations. As a result:

  • 10+ students applied
  • 4 were granted scholarships
  • $10,000+ in scholarships were awarded
  • The scholarships were awarded to 2 school

LEF has more than $15,000 to continue to award for this year to more students.

LEF also participates in community events such as Giving Tuesday. Giving Tuesday is the world’s largest giving movement. It was created in 2012 with the simple idea of dedicating a day, typically the Tuesday after the U.S Thanksgiving holiday, to encourage people to do good. Over the past years, Giving Tuesday has become a global movement that inspires people to celebrate generosity by donating to charitable causes and nonprofit organizations.

LEF set four objectives for the Lexington Life Academy schools to achieve for the 2020 Giving Tuesday event, which was

  • Raise a minimum of $10,000 in total; schools keep the money they raise.
  • Have 100 Lexington employees raise at least $100 each.
  • Lexington’s donations will be matched up to $5,000
  • Money can be used for new supplies, equipment, and computers for Lexington.

In turn, Giving Tuesday received 59 donors, which equaled $5,514.00. While we did not reach our intended goal, we were still able to bring our community together.

How You Can Get Involved

While we all love helping our communities, the state of Arizona also recognizes the sacrifices made by individuals and businesses. That’s why your donation earns you a tax credit, which could significantly reduce your tax burden or even wipe it out completely buy tiktok followers. For those that receive a tax refund, this could mean more money back in your wallet, and you get to help people with special needs in your community.

Many people contribute to these special needs scholarships by donating their tax liability to the state of Arizona. Everyone has a tax liability to the state, which you must pay the state in tax from your paychecks over the year. When you donate your tax liability to LEF, you get to decide where your tax liability goes. You can help create special needs scholarships just by rerouting the money you already had to pay for the year–all at no cost to you!

LEF also has other ways to donate! Lexington Education Foundation can be found on Amazon through Amazon Smile’s or the Community Fry’s Reward. More ways to donate will be coming soon.

For any questions about Lexington Education Foundation or if you are interested in donating, please contact:

Ashley MacPherson

Email: lef@LexingtonEducationFoundation.com

Phone: (623)-349-4322

Website: https://lexingtonscholarships.com/

Disclaimer: This email provides information on just one of several ways to utilize tax credits in Arizona. Our post is by no means intended to prompt you to handle your taxes in any specific way. We strongly recommend you speak with your tax professional before making any tax decisions.

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5 Additional Books for Children with Special Needs

Books are a fantastic tool to transport the reader into a new worl

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d, show a unique perspective, or even teach someone a little more about themselves. When a character is relatable, we become more drawn to their adventure and find pieces of ourselves in them. 

Children with autism may find this connection while reading specific stories. Characters who face the same challenges they do and resolve them can act as a learning tool for them to face their own daily challenges. Common challenges such as emotions, social interactions, or just learning what autism is can be narrated in a book for children with autism, their siblings, friends, or parents. 

In the past, Lexington has offered some great book choices for children of all ages who have autism. Here are five more books to add to the growing collection

Hello Roar, Little Dinosaur by Hazel Reeves

Meet Roar, a cute little dinosaur who does things a bit differently from the rest of her friends and family. But she is brave and strong and knows it is okay to do something a bit different. This book is excellent for ages 3-8 and was written to help children with high-functioning autism. It is the perfect book for everyone to celebrate the strength of children with autism. 

Andy and His Yellow Frisbee by Mary Thompson

Andy is a boy with autism and is fascinated by things in motion, like his yellow frisbee. A classmate notices Andy and his frisbee and becomes curious and his behavior. Meanwhile, his protective older sister sees the classmate’s curiosity. She does her best to explain Andy, his autism, and her perspective as his sibling. This book is suitable for children ages 5-8.

Autism is…? by Ymkje Wideman-van der Laan

Explaining the term autism to a young child can prove difficult, but this illustrated book can make the task easier. The book is about an autistic child named Logan who overhears his grandma speaking to a friend about him and mentions he has autism. So, he asks her, “Autism is…?” and she provides an answer in a beautifully illustrated story. This book is recommended for children ages 5-8 and provides a positive explanation of what can seem like a complicated answer.

Everyone is Different by Fiona Bleach

When a family member is diagnosed with autism, everyone in the family will have questions. Siblings especially may appear puzzled at the behaviors of their brother or sister. “Everyone is Different” aims to answer those questions about autism and identify characteristics and behaviors for siblings to become aware of when spending time with their brother or sister. The book is excellent for ages nine and up as it gives warm illustrations and simple terms

The Asperger Children’s Toolkit by Francis Musgrave

Toolkits and learning guides are some of the best ways to handle complicated challenges, especially for young children. “The Asperger Children’s Toolkit” is a guide with lovable characters who walk children with autism through some tough situations like:

  • anxiety
  • negative thinking 
  • sensory overload
  • emotions, friendship
  • trust
  • social situations

This toolkit also comes with cutout tools that can be done with a parent, caregiver, or teacher. Together with the guide, children will learn how to cope with areas of difficulty, learn about their own strengths and celebrate along the way. They will also learn other practical skills such as online browsing safety, social networking, and how to text message safely. For ages 6-12, this guide is fun, original, and highly interactive.

Check out more books for children with autism here and here in our blogs. We have books listed for all ages!

Lexington has a Library!

For a fun library experience, Lexington Services is happy to share the opening of their own library located on Gilbert Road in Mesa, Arizona to the Lexington community. This quaint library is run by the Transition to Employment segment of Lexington Services. The librarian Stephanie, is one of our very own members and is a sweet aspiring librarian-to-be who put together a reasonable sum of the library. There are books for many genres of reading and more to come. 

While visiting, don’t forget to pick up a beautiful, handmade bookmark for your new books and to grab some coffee or hot chocolate for $1. Come by and support your local Lexington library on Monday, Wednesday, or Friday from 1 pm to 5 pm. See you soon!

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