HEARTism Community Center recently renewed its Certified Autism Center™ (CAC) designation by completing autism-specific training and certification through the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES). The staff and volunteers at the HEARTism community center can now build upon their skills to help them teach and assist autistic children and those with other special abilities through arts, music, and sensory movement.
“The training through IBCCES has prepared HEARTism to tap into the needs of both our participants and their families and enables us to offer ideas, solutions, and resources beneficial in understanding the unique gifts and needs of our neurodiverse population. We believe in strength-based solutions and strive to offer services that help unwrap the gifts and talents of our participants,” said Jessica, Executive Director of HEARTism.
Gina Wiezel, HEARTism’s AmeriCorps Vista representative shared, “After certification, our volunteers are more informed about autism and have shared that they feel more empathetic and confident assisting the children and families.”
HEARTism also created a new social club program for autistic individuals and others with special needs, offering many activities, including art projects, woodworking, games, and movie nights. This platform provides young adults with diverse abilities a chance to interact and form friendships with similar peers in a safe and sensory-friendly environment. In addition, HEARTism is also building 500 sensory kits consisting of noise-canceling headphones, sunglasses, chewy tubes, and fidgets to go in local EMS, police, and fire vehicles.
HEARTism believes in strength-based solutions and strives to offer services that help unwrap the gifts and talents of its participants, staff, and volunteers. “I signed up to be a volunteer at HEARTism without knowing about autism,” said Paul Nelson, a HEARTism volunteer. “The sensory training was of great value in helping me be aware of the challenges autistic individuals face each day.”
“IBCCES is excited to continue to work with HEARTism Community Center as they maintain their dedication to providing autistic individuals a place where they can have fun,” said Myron Pincomb, IBCCES Board Chairman. “It’s fantastic to see an organization like HEARTism making a positive impact on the lives of the community they serve.”
For more than 20 years, IBCCES has been the industry leader in cognitive disorder training and certification for education, healthcare, and corporate professionals around the globe. IBCCES provides evidence-based training and certification programs created in conjunction with its board of clinical and subject matter experts, as well as individuals with autism, to provide professionals serving individuals with cognitive disorders a better understanding of what these disorders are, industry best practices, varied perspectives, and the latest research in these areas.
IBCCES also created CertifiedAutismCenter.com, as a free online resource for parents, that lists certified locations and professionals. Each organization listed on the site has met the Certified Autism Center™ (CAC) requirements.
About HEARTism Community Center
The mission of Bitterroot Arts for Autism ~ HEARTism Center (BAA) is to provide education and socialization for children with special needs through exploration of the arts — music, dance, creative movement, yoga, a variety of activities and life skills — while supporting and educating parents and families.
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