Offerings’ vision is to empower communities to better serve people with special needs.

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Offerings empowers people not by telling them what they should do but helping them gain the skills to develop control over their program vision.  This enables them to make their own decisions as problems arise in order to improve their services.  Offerings helps people to connect to resources and find new opportunities.

Offerings trip to Bali & Java Indonesia 2014 was about helping programs build their capacity to support children and adults as well as their families with Autism, Downs Syndrome, ADHD and Physical Challenges.

Our kick-off event was hosted by YPK (Yayasan Peduli Kemanusiaan) at the Annika Linden Center in Denpasar, Bali.  Approximately 40 guests representing 8 special needs centers or organizations attended. Morning session focused on addressing challenges faced by centers with specific children. Through group facilitation Offerings’ Executive Director, Karen Kaplan, identified suggestions and solutions.

The afternoon session offered a functional based, academic curriculum to guests focused on meal planning, shopping, meal preparation, eating and social communication. Participants learned how to see how a key life skill can be used to teach math, reading, communication, socialization, motor planning, science and writing.

Offerings traveled next to the island of Java to the city of Bogor and spent two full days presenting to nearly 150 parents and staff who work with children and adults with autism. This event was hosted by YKPII (Yayansan Kelluarga Istimewa Indonesia).

Day 1 focused on how existing centers can build their capacity to serve children & adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Karen Kaplan once again facilitated and broke centers and agencies into groups to address key questions (Methodologies, Mission/Vision, Goals for families, staff and students, Development Strategies, Philosophy and Training)

Day 2 focused on helping the student with Autism understand how their bodies change as they move from a child to a young adult.  Discussions on nutrition, exercise, body changes, masturbation and feminine hygiene were all explored with teachers and parents.  Ashley Davis, credentialed regular education teacher and educational specialist, joined Karen by offering insight into how she presents a Family Life Curriculum to her elementary students in California and how she adapts to meet the needs of the special needs students mainstreamed.

The final large event Offerings participated was hosted by the University Dhyana Pura in Kuta, Bali and Sekolah Kalman Kudas Bali (private public schools).  Approximately 70 early education teachers and administrators attended this day long workshop to gain some basic understanding of the characteristics, causes and strategies for supporting the student with Autism, Downs and ADHD.

Special Education Teacher Ashley Davis, again presented with Offerings Executive Director, Karen Kaplan at this event on accommodations and modifications she provides in her public school classrooms for students who are mainstreamed with special needs.

Our Executive Director was also able to make some private observations of children and programs and provide suggestions for developing communication skills, play skills and reducing anxiety in children and understanding and acceptance.

2013-2014 was also an amazing year locally for Offerings being able to offer seven meaningful lectures for parents, grandparents and professionals in the field of ASD. Marin County Office of Education provided a wonderful conference space for all lectures.   The seven topics included wisdoms from fathers and grandfathers, suggestions from mothers, information from Dr. Clarissa Kripe on how to look at autism through a medical lens and adjust interventions according to the change in issues that stem from medical concerns, information from Laura Briggin, Director of Cypress School on how to prepare our teens and young adults for the real world of work, information from Dr. Neal Rojas on Evidence Based Autism Interventions, information from Dr. Kari Berquist from Stanford on a parent group approach to evaluating ASD interventions and from Dan Phillips, certified SLP and technology specialist on the newest developments in technology to support communication and learning. WOW!

Our annual North Bay Special Needs Resource Fair was hosted at Marin County Office of Education on March 1st where over 40 resource providers obtained vendor tables to connect to professionals and families. Three amazing panel discussions were held on best practice early intervention, building social skills in school and on the world of adult vocational opportunities.  

The 2014-2015 Lecture Series kicks off September 24 with Dr. David Traver, Board Certified Peditrician on employing a Bio-Medical approach to ASD. The series will continue with presentations from Music Therapists, Drama Therapists, Reading Specialists, Technology and Communication experts, Dr. Peter Clive Mundy from the M.I.N.D. Institute in Davis and from College Living Experience Director, Dr. Clare Joy Manning.  It will be a great series. The series will once again be hosted at Marin County Office of Education in San Rafael, CA.

Our Annual Resource Fair, will again be held at Marin County Office of Education on Saturday March 14th and focus on bringing together organizations, agencies, speakers to discuss Wellness strategies and supports for those professionals and family members raising and educating children with special needs. To see 2014 Resource Fair program click here »

© 2013 Offerings • 187 Professional Center Parkway • San Rafael, CA 94903 • 415.497.3751 • karensupportsu@comcast.net