July 2012, Early Steps Update

Manasota BUDS Monthly Meeting
July 5, 2012

Guest Speaker:
Kylee Barry, Family Resource Specialist
Early Steps
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Changes at Early Steps

The biggest change for those receiving Early Steps services is that as of July 1st all services must be provided in the child's/family's natural environment. This means no services are permitted to be provided by or in clinics. This is a federal law and the State of Florida set July 1st as the date for 100% compliance from all Early Steps agencies in Florida. Any Early Steps not in 100% compliance with this law will be considered non-compliant (breaking the law).

Another change is that Gulf Central Early Steps is in the process of creating zone teams. The zone teams are being created to make sure each area in our six counties has enough of the service providers needed for/in that area. Service providers consist of direct service staff employed by Early Steps as well as outside providers that contract with Early Steps. We have two employees working very hard to obtain new service providers, but without the benefit of being able to provide services in clinics, it is a lot harder to find providers willing to travel to the natural environments.

We have a lot of OT/PT/SLPs in our community.  If anyone is looking to become a contracted provider with Early Steps, they can email me.

Kylee Barry, Family Resource Specialist


May 2012, Guest Speaker: Gulf Coast Psychotherapy, LLC

Rachel Thorpe, LCSW, DAPA

Gulf Coast Psychotherapy, LLC

4167 Clark Rd.

Sarasota, FL 34233



Rachel has practiced for over 17 years in a broad array of settings and populations.  She specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Skills Building, Neurofeedback, Animal Assisted Therapy, Grief Therapy, Care Giver Support, Interactive Metronome and Varied Relaxation Skills.  Rachel’s goal is not only to treat symptoms, but also to teach her patients skills that they can utilize to maintain progress achieved in therapy.  She has extensive experience working with children, families, adults, and older adults.  She has practiced in the areas of outpatient therapy, school therapy, home care therapy, hospital therapy, emergency psych triage, nursing home, residential treatment and rehabilitation therapy.

Rachel has experience working with individuals with developmental delays, (including Downs Syndrome), in several capacities including: employment as a direct support staff member in a group home and workshop settings in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, development and management of an innovative program for retiring individuals with developmental delays including those with Down’s Syndrome (some of whom also struggled with dementia). Rachel continues her work with individuals with developmental delays, their families and community agencies in her private practice. For more information, please see her website at

Rachel accepts many insurance plans and also offers a sliding scale fee schedule.


April 2012, Scholarship Information

Once again this year, Manasota BUDS has budgeted a pool of funds from Buddy Walk proceeds and donations, and applied for grants, in order to provide scholarships for summer camp/enrichment activities for individuals with Down syndrome and educational conferences for families.

Summer activity/enrichment/camp scholarships are intended for any summer activity of choice (other than school tuition or daycare fees) that will benefit your child's ability to grow, interact with their peers and gain further social, academic and/or physical skills. This scholarship is for individuals with Down syndrome of any age, for any camp/class/activity/sport.

Scholarship for conferences are intended to help families get the information they need about education, health and well-being for individuals with Down syndrome and the whole family.

Scholarships will cover a portion of the cost of attending the conference or a portion of the tuition cost for a summer program.  Available funds are divided and allocated to applicants who meet the scholarship fund criteria for funding (see above) and submit a completed application by May 5, 2012.

Manasota BUDS is not responsible for conference registration, reserving a place or enrolling your child into a particular program.


Scholarships for conferences will be reimbursed to families upon submission of receipts from the event.

Scholarships for summer activities will be paid to the organization in advance of the program that provides your activity of choice, not directly to the family.  Once you have applied for the class or activity and your scholarship has been approved, you may direct the organization to contact Manasota BUDS for payment, explanation of the scholarship program, and confirmation of our commitment to pay.


Manasota BUDS will accept 2012 scholarship application from April 2 through May 5, 2012.

Applicants will be notified of their scholarship status and, if approved, the amount of the scholarship by May 18, 2012.

The Board of Directors will review and consider every scholarship application carefully. The approval of scholarship funding will be determined solely at the discretion of the Board of Directors of Manasota BUDS based on a number of factors including but not limited to a family's active involvement with Manasota BUDS.

March 2012, World Down Syndrome Awareness

21 March 2012 marks the 7th anniversary of World Down Syndrome Day and for the first time in 2012 this day will be officially observed by the United Nations. Each year the voice of people with Down syndrome, and those who live and work with them, grows louder. But there is still so much more we can do.

Down Syndrome International encourages our friends all over the World to choose your own themes, activities and events to help raise awareness of what Down syndrome is, what it means to have Down syndrome, and how people with Down syndrome play a vital role in our lives and communities.

The internet is a powerful tool for raising awareness and we encourage people to celebrate World Down Syndrome Day through your own websites, blogs and social networking sites. However, we want to create a single meeting place where everyone can share their experiences and advertise their activities.

For this purpose we created a dedicated website For 2012, we have re-launched this website with new features and you are now able to register with us and share details of your activities and events with the global community.

Join our cause to create a single global voice for advocating for the rights, inclusion and well being of people with Down syndrome on 21 March.


In honor of World Down Syndrome Day, please participate in The Giving Challenge:

The Community Foundation of Sarasota County, Gulf Coast Community Foundation and Manatee Community Foundation—with support from The Patterson Foundation and the Herald-Tribune Media Group—are sharing an innovative way to recognize and support the positive work of local nonprofits in Southwest Florida. During a 36-hour period, you will have an opportunity to make online donations to over 100 nonprofits which have completed a profile in The Giving Partner.


February 2012, Potty Training Workshop Notes

On Saturday, February 11th, Manasota BUDS welcomed Stacy Taylor, BCBA, to talk about potty training tips and tricks for children with Down syndrome.

Contact Information for Stacy Taylor:

Stacy Taylor, Oviedo, FL

To set an appointment to consult over the phone or by Skype, call (407) 375-8176.
$80 per hour
20% discount for BUDS members through March 2012.

To find a local BCBA (Board Certified Behavior Analyst), use the zip code finder on BCBA website.

Notes from the workshop:

Sample verbiage for the IEP, "Johnny will stay dry on a toileting schedule having less than two accidents per week for six consecutive weeks."

Also remember that special equipment such as adaptive toilet seats, step stools, etc. can be added to the IEP.

Good sources for equipment:

Home Depot

Final note, no more pull-ups!


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