Special Learning, Inc. Partners with Step By Step to Launch Virtual Group Counseling Program for Individuals with Autism

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The two leading providers of educational resources and the treatment of autism and other development disabilities collaborate to create a first-of-its kind virtual counseling program using HIPAA-compliant web portal to teach program participants living skills and vocational skills as they transition into independent adulthood.

We are excited to leverage our technology capabilities to offer a secure, web-based, HIPAA-compliant portal that can be used to serve individuals across the globe.

Special Learning, Inc., the leading global provider of mobile technology applications and educational resources for the autism community, today announced the launch of its virtual group counseling program for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and other developmental disabilities. The program is being offered through a partnership with its sister company, Step by Step, an award winning center-based Applied Behavior Analysis treatment facility for children, adolescents and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities.

Group counseling sessions will be facilitated by Cynthia Ring, MSW, LSW, director of day habilitation services at Step By Step Academy. Program participants will access therapy sessions remotely, through a HIPAA-compliant web portal that allows for private video interaction and participation in the sessions with other members of the group.

“Given our mission to deliver ABA and related services to every person with a need, we are excited to leverage our technology capabilities to offer a secure, web-based, HIPAA-compliant portal that can be used to serve individuals across the globe. We are proud to leverage our partnership with Step By Step to bring exceptional counseling services to areas where they are typically not available” said Karen Chung, president of Special Learning. “Through this program, and with our technology, we’re able to immediately address the pent-up demand within this under-served population within the autism community.”

Sessions are designed for individuals ages 18 through 25. The program is designed for high-functioning individuals with ASD and Asperger’s Syndrome who have transitioned out of high school and are getting ready for adulthood. Its purpose is to help individuals to increase their level of functioning in areas including independent living, healthy relationship, community safety and social skills. The program will also begin to address vocational skills to prepare participants for the vocational counseling program.

Upon completion of the course, participants will be able to perform simple tasks, such as: how to shop at the grocery store, how to manage their money, how to use the microwave, how to cook simple menu items, understanding the importance of nutrition, proper hygiene management, cleanliness and laundry care.

Virtual sessions, which are 90 minutes per week for 10 weeks, begin in August 2012.

Individuals interested in participating should contact Special Learning via
contact (at) special-learning (dot) com. Participants and/or caregivers will be required to undergo an eligibility interview with Cynthia Ring, the program director to determine eligibility.
Special Learning has a maintained a strong strategic partnership with Step By Step since October 2010. By partnering, the two organizations are able to leverage their expertise to provide solutions firmly grounded in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) to support ongoing research and , application of ABA, and other related services to individuals with autism across the entire age spectrum from childhood to adulthood.

“The goal of the virtual group counseling program offered by Special Learning and facilitated by Step By Step is to teach social, life and vocational skills to individuals affected by ASD and to ensure they function to their highest potential in their community,” said Michele LaMarche, executive director of Step By Step and co-founder of Special Learning.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, autism affects one in 88 children in the United States and is quickly becoming one of the most prevalent disorders affecting children. With estimated growth rates between 10 to 17 percent annually, autism is reaching epidemic proportions. There are currently fewer than 8,000 clinicians in the U.S. capable of providing certified treatment of ASD.

About Step By Step Academy
Step By Step Academy is a private, nonprofit treatment center for children, teenagers and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) of other developmental disabilities. Step By Step provides several services designed to support the ongoing needs of the community including assessment services by a psychologist or licensed social workers, center-based intensive behavioral intervention treatment services, parent advocacy and case management services. Step By Step is based in Worthington, Ohio. Follow Step By Step on Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/stepbystepacademy, and Twitter, https://twitter.com/SBSA_Ohio.

About Special Learning
Special Learning is the leading global provider of autism and Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) solutions. Special Learning designs mobile applications and educational resources based on clinical evidence-based research to ensure that every person diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is capable of attaining an abundant and fulfilling life. Through its comprehensive web portal, Special Learning provides the global autism community with a range of ABA training and educational products, web-based and downloadable tools and professional services to empower parents, teachers and providers so that they can help individuals with autism move up the skills spectrum intuitively, successfully and affordably. Follow Special Learning on Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/speciallearning, and Twitter, https://twitter.com/#!/speciallearning.

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Cherry Cleary
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