September 2015 Parent Newsletter

Cornerstone Events 

CB: Columbus | GW: Greenwood | WL: West Lafayette

  • WL  10/29  A Taste of Care  Prompt Ambulance Central, in partnership with Cornerstone Autism Center, will host the 2nd annual Greater Lafayette Taste of Care on October 29, 2015. This is a unique opportunity for members of our community to enjoy some of the area’s finest cooking. The Taste of Care will also include live entertainment and a fun, social atmosphere inside the beautiful Trails Banquet Facility, Greater Lafayette’s premier event setting. All proceeds from the Greater Lafayette Taste of Care will benefit the Cornerstone Autism Foundation. Click here for the Facebook page.

  • WL   10/8  5:30 - 7 pm  Waiver and Resources Night  This workshop will cover the Indiana Medicaid waiver, how to apply, and additional resources. Kate Sondgerath, Health Information Specialist at FVI (Family Voices Indiana) will present and answer your questions. The Family Supports Medicaid Waiver for people with developmental disabilities, including autism, can provide up to $16,250 annually in services and supports such as respite and music therapy. This workshop would be especially helpful to families who have just received an Autism Diagnosis and want to know what to do next. This event is free and open to the public, please invite your friends!  Click here for the Facebook event or RSVP by email


Success Story --  Ryleigh

Ryleigh came to us with very little language to communicate her wants and needs, and she was unaware of her surroundings and the people in them.  She took to her therapists pretty easily, but she would walk away from or push away other adults in the center.  Ryleigh had difficulty sitting through lunch and transitioning from place to place, and these activities typically resulted in problem behaviors. 

Since starting services, Ryleigh is able to request so many more things she wants, often asking for things that we have not taught her to request.  She is able to transition between activities without dropping to the floor, and she sits appropriately for the entire lunch period.  Best of all, she is starting to walk up to various staff members and take them by the hand to walk or play, and she is becoming more interested in watching her peers.


Meet Denise   

Hello! I am a small town girl that grew up on a family farm with my two brothers. From living on a farm, I have always been a huge animal lover! Now that I live in town, it is impossible to have my cattle, pigs, or sheep so I resorted to having three dogs. I have two Basset Hounds and one 130 pound St. Bernard which is my baby.

This past spring, I graduated from Purdue University so I am just now getting adjusted to the “real world” and I am enjoying not having any homework. In my free time I like to play with my dogs, make DIY home décor for my house, and cook new recipes. I am a big fan of home cooked meals and this is one of my favorites. I also like to go fishing, garden, go on Polaris RZR rides in the country and just be outdoors. If I am not doing any of these, I am spending time with family. I am truly blessed to have the love and support from my family and boyfriend (Dalton) who is my rock.

I am so passionate about working at Cornerstone because of my younger brother, who is autistic. Growing up with him, I knew that I wanted to help others with autism.  Plus, I have been able to see the progress he has made. From being nervous among big crowds and not talking, to being the school mascot and giving speeches in front of his classmates. I believe all of this just goes to show what hard work and determination can lead to.


Storyline Online    story

Storyline Online features well-known actors reading picture books to children, much in the style of Reading Rainbow. You can search by title, author, or the person reading the book. According to their website, "reading to children has been repeatedly shown to improve their reading, writing and communication skills, logical thinking, concentration and general academic aptitude… as well as inspire a love of reading."

Click here to start reading


Letter Monster Craft letter-monster-craft-for-kids 

This fun craft lets kids make their own monster while learning or reviewing their letters. You can cute out your own monster, and buy letter stickers at the craft store to make it easy. Add some wiggle eyes and you've got a letter monster!


Click here for instructions.




Homemade Musical Instruments music

This post lists many fun ways to use crafts and household items to create objects that make different sounds. Some of the instruments include bongo drums, rain sticks, a cardboard box guitar, and castanets. 

Creating and playing with these instruments would involve the tactile (touch) and aural (hearing) senses.  

Click here to get started!  Once there, click the links for the different instruments to get instructions on how to make each one. 



A Walk In Your Shoes 

About Special Kids (ASK) is looking for families who are willing to have a Pediatric Resident shadow them and observe during a doctor's appointment for their child with special needs. The goal of the program is to "help doctors understand what families like ours face on a daily basis and then provide their future patients with great care and compassion."  

If you would like to have a Resident come to your child’s medical appointment in Central Indiana, please call 317-257-8683 or email  

Young Adult with Autism Receives National Awardconnor

From The AGI eBulletin:  "Conner Cummings is a young adult with autism who loves all things Disney and is very passionate about changing laws related to child support for adult children with disabilities. In July 2015 Connor received the Advocate of the Year Award presented by the Autism Society of America for his legislative advocacy in the state of the Virginia and the passing of Conner's Law. He and his mother hope to continue this work, bringing similar legislation to every state of the USA.  Check out his Facebook page, Conquer for Conner: My Special Love at Conquer for Conner."   





EWG Top Green Cleaning Products 

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) scores products based on the safety of their individual ingredients, giving them a final overall letter grade for consumers to view, in order to compare products and make informed decisions.

Check out their list of the best cleaners to use for laundry, dishes, bathrooms, and more.  

Limiting toxins in the home is important for people with autism, because their bodies often have a difficult time removing the toxins they come in contact with. Dr. Jill James found that in kids with autism, active levels of glutathione, the main antioxidant needed to detox the body, are reduced by 80%. Dr. James Adams' research similarly tied severity of autism to heavy metals and glutathione levels in the body.  

Community Events


  • 9/11  9 am  Columbus Autism Network Coffee Talk  Panera Bread in Columbus on National Road. A casual way to chat with others about life with autism. 
  • 9/15 3:30 - 6:30 pm  Car seat inspection day offered at St. Francis Greenwood  5230 E. Stop 11 Rd (parking lot of St. Francis Weight Loss Center). No appointment needed; first come, first served. Car seats provided for those who show a need and are on public assistance (Hoosier Healthwise, Medicare, etc.). Children must be present to receive a car seat, unless mother is expecting.  Vehicle must be there to receive a car seat. Spanish, Chin and Burmese interpreters available.
  • 9/16 5:30-7:00 pm   Understanding Behavior and Selecting Appropriate Strategies for Individuals with ASD  Speaker: Kristie Lofland, MS, CCC-A. Location: Autism Family Resource Center, 4740 Kingsway Drive, Indianapolis. Sponsored by Easter Seals Crossroads. Contact: Amy Miller, Childcare provided if you RSVP. 

  • 9/19 1-4 pm  Car seat inspection day offered by St. Francis Lafayette  Location: Kathryn Weil Center for Education, Bill Long Building, Suite 102, 1415 Salem Street, Lafayette. Must schedule an appointment:  765-449-5133.  
  • 9/22 Different Like Me, a social club for teens & tweens on the autism spectrum.  The group will meet at 6:30 at Craig Park in Greenwood.  Contact Abbey Parker for more details: 317-781-1571. 
  • 9/25  6:30 pm  Columbus Autism Network:  Canvas and Wine Class  Columbus Tri-State Artisans Studio, 422 Washington Street in downtown Columbus.  Please join us for a canvas painting evening in downtown Columbus. This is a free, fun, relaxing activity for parents and caregivers.This is a BYOB event, so if you would like to bring an adult beverage, please do, although it is in no way a requirement.  You must RSVP as there is a limited amount of space, and if you do accept please commit to coming as the gallery brings in more instructors depending on numbers!  RSVP to Adults only please.  Childcare is not available.
  • 10/3 to 10/5  The Arc National Convention  Indianapolis  A gathering of individuals with I/DD and their families, chapter leaders and staff and those dedicated to our movement to come together and learn, grow, and be inspired.  Learn More  A limited number of scholarships are available to help cover a portion of the cost of registration. Click here for the scholarship application 

  • 10/27 6-8 pm  Addressing Challenging Behaviors in the Home  Speaker: Dr. Cathy Pratt, BCBA-D. Location: First United Methodist Church, Martinsville. Sponsored by the Autism Society of Indiana. Contact: Natalee Mace at

  • 10/31 Sensory Friendly Film: Casper  Historic Artcraft Theatre.  Doors open at 9:30am; movie starts at 10:00am.  Admission is $5 per person and includes movie ticket, small popcorn and small drink.  The Artcraft Theatre is located at 57 N. Main Street, Franklin, IN  46143
  • 11/16 6:30-8 pm  Puberty & Sexual Health in Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders Speaker: Catherine Davies, M.Ed., M.Sc., LMHC.  Location: Earlywood Education Center, Franklin. Sponsored by Special Services, Johnson County & Surrounding Schools. Contact: Kris Baker,, 317-738-5459 or Johnson County Autism Support Group, Sheila Benham,

  • Community Drum Circle  Thursdays from 7 - 8 pm   No experience necessary. All ages and levels are welcome. Drums will be provided.  Bongo Boy Music and Wellness Center, 8481 Bash Street, Indianapolis. Info at 317.595.9065. Free.

  • Otte Golf and Family Fun Center offers free VIP passes to mentally and physically disabled individuals to allow them to play miniature golf, use the batting cages and hit golf balls on the driving range, all for free. The facility is open year round. Call ahead to find out the seasonal hours. The owners stress that they will do everything possible to help disabled individuals have a great time. They ask you to let them know in advance if you are bringing a large group. Located at 681 S. Sheek Road in Greenwood. Info at 317.881.4620.

  • Somewhere on the Spectrum Greater Lafayette Area Support Group meets the third Monday of every month at The Wabash Center: 2000 Greenbush Street, Lafayette. Childcare is provided, email for more information. 



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