Dear STAR Community,
Thanks to our incredible board, staff, community partners and amazing donors we have been able to face the challenges presented by COVID head on and continue to provide critical care and support to those who have needed it the most.
We know there are still challenges ahead and that the needs of our community continue to grow. We are devoted to making sure our services, youth programs, resources and educational programs continue to be easily accessible and reassure our community that we are there for them now and in the future.
I wanted take a moment and share with you some updates and incredible, creative ways that the STAR organization has has been working to support our sensory processing community:
- Our doors are open and we're seeing families for in-person treatment. With staggered scheduling & routine deep cleanings with specialized equipment, we continue to take important measures to keep our staff and individuals/families safe. Stay up-to-date with our latest COVID guidelines.
- Our team has introduced 6 additional youth programs and groups and adapted our other successful programs to support children and families both online and in-person. Allowing for children ages 3-17, to interact, develop, socialization and connection throughout the year.
- We have provided discounted online Occupational Therapy and Speech and Language Therapy Small Groups. Helping those families who have been unable to come into our treatment center to receive the care and support they need.
- We continue to partner with Developmental Pathways and Rocky Mountain Human Services to provide discounted rates to services and youth programs.
- In June, we launched a new annual education event, our Virtual Summit, dedicated to the awareness and advocacy of Sensory Processing in Autism. This 4-day event had 14 presentations with over 400 attendees. We've since released the recording and they are now available on our Online Learning Platform.
- Our Education Center has transitioned all courses to work virtually and altered course structures and schedules to better support working professionals for online learning.
Can you help us continue to do more. Donations from people like you, allow us to run these services and continue to reach children and families that need assistance. It is crucial for many of our families to have ways to that support the things they need and to find relief during such difficult times.
Finding hope when least expected!
One family shares their experience through COVID.
In March 2020, when the world shut down, I didn't know JUST HOW BAD the damage was going to be for my son. He was 7 years old, and relied heavily on his therapy team, both at school and at STAR. My son has SPD, Dyspraxia, and a speech/language disorder. Socializing is very challenging for him, and when his body is dysregulated, he has a very hard time finding words. On top of that, even though he is VERY smart, he struggles to use language to describe his thoughts, or experiences. I decided to sign him up for remote social groups and speech therapy sessions through STAR.
I didn't really think that zoom therapy would be super successful, but I thought it was better than nothing. I am SO GRATEFUL for those sessions! The social groups gave him something to look forward to every day and he was happy to spend time with friends...even if it was all online! He was able to continue building the social skills he so badly needs. There was REAL progress. I was truly amazed!
In his speech sessions he was able to really focus on his story-telling skills and descriptive and expressive language. The best part about these sessions was that we were given really helpful tools so we could continue to build on what he was doing with his therapy team. We had fun games that we could all play as a family, and they actually worked! I found it really incredible that Lindsay and Carrie were able to keep him so engaged while looking at an iPad. Usually only Minecraft can do that!
I am excited to report that there was no regression over our COVID break. In fact, my son is going into 3rd grade with confidence and excitement because he KNOWS he has had a lot of success. I thank Carrie and Lindsay for that! ~ Joanna B.
Highlights of what we have coming up in the weeks ahead:
- Ongoing Parent Workshops offering a Pay What You Can pricing to support parents through life transitions, social distancing and back to school. Starting with our first series: Using A SECRET to Support Online Learning.
- Fall Kids Programs and Groups providing children with ways to stay engaged, social and active.
- October is Sensory Awareness Month, help us spread the word and raise awareness. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for some special stories and highlights.
- Participating in El Grupo Vida's virtual conference, building awareness of sensory processing and providing resources and support to local our local Spanish Community.
- 2020 STAR Sensory Symposium - Our annual conference will be virtual this year. Our 4-day event includes parent and professional workshops, 4 in-depth presentations over our 2-day symposium and includes 30-day access to recordings to help with accessibility for professionals.
Will you donate today?
Grateful for your support,