The beginning of a new school year is a time for taking stock and starting new things across all of our programs. Here are a few snapshots of new things in the works across VIA.
Adult Academy – Kiwanis Aktion Club
On August 29, VIA’s Adult Academy hosted the first meeting of Aktion (pronounced “action”) Club – Charlottesville, a volunteering and service leadership opportunity for adults with developmental disabilities. Aktion Club is a program of Kiwanis International and is implemented with support by Charlottesville’s local Kiwanis organization. VIA’s adults are joined by residents of Innisfree Village. At the first meeting, the club members voted in a board and officers and started planning future activities. Some ideas for service projects: SPCA volunteering, nursing home visits, and relief and support for the flood victims in Texas. Thanks and congratulations to everyone who has worked to develop this club as a resource for the Adult Academy.
James C. Hormel School — UVA Medical Interns
VIA’s multi-faceted collaboration with UVA has been a great resource for both organizations – helping both VIA and UVA deepen their programs and meld academic knowledge with practical service in the community. At the end of August, we extended that collaboration by welcoming two UVA medical students to the James C. Hormel School. During their internship, UVA first year medical students Tyler and Natalia will learn more about autism, its impact on the family, and about evidence-based interventions. They will shadow instructors and their students, as well as the school nurse. They will also practice applying current evidence-based intervention with learners with autism. According to one of our Clinical Directors, Lisa Falke, “VIA partners with UVA Medical students to provide opportunities for future doctors to see the impacts of autism on the individual and the family.”
Outpatient Behavioral Services — Parents’ Corner
Listening to families’ needs is one of the most important things we do. OBS staff at their weekly meeting are starting to implement a new way to do just that. Parents corner has been a part of the Outpatient Center’s all-staff meetings for three years now – a chance for staff to bring parent concerns to the table. Starting in August they began including a different parent every other month to sit in and lead the all-staff meeting and present staff with any issues they may be facing at home. This helps staff better understand the challenges families face. According to our Outpatient Director Ashley, Parents’ Corner was started because “about 50% of Outpatient’s work with their clients takes place at home. Therefore, they aren’t just treating the client, but the entire family unit.”