From 1991 to 1995 we developed, opened
and ran Step-Up™ Foundational Program for Young Children with Autism. It was a model site-based program that integrated a trans-disciplinary services approach to providing best developmental practices in the field of Autism intervention. We served the majority of young children with Autism and other developmental conditions from ages two to seven--just prior to the approaching explosion of the rates of Autism in our US state of Oregon, during an era in which that many children would soon be diagnosed each month.
We were granted initial associate and then achieved affiliate program status from the University of North Carolina/Division TEACCH (Teaching and Education of Children with Autism and Communication Handicaps). Through ongoing training and consultation with their lead research professionals we were appraised to have achieved certified program quality, a status reserved for large public agency providers at that time.
When Oregon was selected to test new
federal children's health programs that resulted in and strategic state mandates first most and then
all of our funding for our comprehensive medical-mental
health-therapeutic-educational services that we jad accessed to provided had
40 hours a week 40 weeks per year from private providers to the public
schools in 1995, and sadly, Step-Up had to be closed. But we adapted and working together our staff helped children and their families were able to choose whether to transition to public school with great success due to our staff providing training to hundreds of public service providers OR to join our new Open Door School Private Parent Cooperative for Home Programmers--so our mission trail to helping us all better understand Autism continued forward.