Stepping Stones has been involved in ongoing community projects across the US and internationally abroad. We are also in collaboration with the Autism Hope Foundation in enhancing awareness in the field of Autism Spectrum Disorders and advocacy for early intervention using evidence-based treatment practices. While our specialty lies in the clinical realm of services, we also believe that exuding the many hidden talents our client population demonstrates is also key in demonstrating the many strengths that exist within the individuals we serve. Two such projects that serve as examples of this include the following:
Summer Acting Camps-San Jose, California
One such project we have been proudly hosting over the years involves our summer acting camps. Such camps consist of a two-week project consisting of individuals’ ages 8-22 who are both on the autism spectrum and those individuals who are “neuro-typical” reaching a capacity of 50 students, overall. These camps take such individuals through the process of making a film, from start to finish, utilizing scripts written by professional writers while working alongside industry professionals. The finished product for this camp is a short film which can be classified in a variety of mediums: documentary, comedy, horror, educational, etc. and will be presented at a “Film Premiere” event at the conclusion of the camp where all participants’ family members, friends and community members celebrate the outcome of their project. Each acting camp participant will receive a copy of their short-film on DVD as part of their enrollment in the camp at the “Film Premiere” event.
Swimming with the Dolphins-Dubai, UAE
Stepping Stones’ affiliate in Dubai Healthcare City had teamed up with photography students at Dubai’s Murdoch University to help bring about a new exhibition showcasing photographs taken by special needs children and adolescents at Atlantis Hotel’s Dolphin Bay that took place on May 13, 2010. This exhibition featured work by both the Stepping Stones’ children served along with the Murdoch University students, who spent a morning together at Dolphin Bay at the Atlantis Hotel to take pictures of the bottle-nosed creatures and also have an opportunity to socialize with other children and adults who were there to share the same experience.
This particular project offered a host of benefits for the children served in that it also provided an opportunity for such children with special needs to learn through peer-to-peer interaction. Therefore, working with the older children and students from Murdoch University was really beneficial for them, socially whereby they’ve been taught a skill, and the finished product makes it tangible.