Monday, October 28, 2013

Meet Another In Stepps Rock Star!

We are excited to announce our newest  In Stepps Star! Our team of therapists is such an awesome group of dedicated individuals and we love getting to praise them for all their hard work! 

Introducing..... Richaun!

Here are what Richaun's supervisors had to say about her:

Richaun is truly a consummate professional.  She approaches all situations with such poise, sincerity, and kindness.  She does a remarkable job of building rapport with her clients and families and maintaining a consistent, professional yet caring relationship.  Her clinical strength is such an asset to all of her teams.  She has great ideas in regards to the ways she targets goals with her clients and is so adept at communicating progress and challenges to her supervisors and team mates.  Richaun's personality makes her a pleasure to be around and work with. I am so fortunate to have gotten to work with Richaun for the past several months and I look forward to working with her in the future.- Nicole H

Richaun is a rock star!!  She is such a strong therapist and our families love her!  She is such a strong therapist, super playful, and can think quickly on her feet.  She is such a great asset to our In Stepps team!    -Nicole F

Working with Richaun is an absolutely wonderful experience!! She holds the perfect combination of friendliness while maintaining professionalism with families. She pours creativity and passion into each session, making learning opportunities almost inevitable for the child. Richaun also has an ability to include siblings and make them feel special and important, and yet hold boundaries with them when the time is appropriate. Parents have noted how impactful this is within their home and how appreciative they are (for all of her amazing qualities) to have her on their team.  I love collaborating with Richaun on a child's progress, or a specific challenge they may be having, and coming up with a solution that will help foster the child's growth. Thanks Richaun for all you do! I truly appreciate you! -Elise

Richaun is positive, professional, responsible and hard working.  She is always prepared for her meetings and she takes, and implements, feedback well.  Richaun is super playful and animated and is able to use these skills to her clients' advantage by keeping sessions fun.  Richaun is one of those people who seems like a "born leader."  She takes initiative appropriately and asks for the assistance she requires without hesitation.  Richaun is an asset to In Stepps and absolutely a "STAR"!!!- Dave

Congrats, Richaun! We appreciate you so much and we are lucky to have a star like you in the In Stepps family! 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


We are excited to announce that In Stepps will be offering a special opportunity to Orange County teenagers that have difficulty in social situations due to ADHD, high functioning Autism, Asperger's Disorder, Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Depression, Anxiety, and other social and behavioral problems. Parents will also attend! Check out our flyer for more information.

PEERS® (Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills) is a 14-week evidence-based social skills intervention for motivated teens in middle and high school who are interested in learning ways to help them make and keep friends. During each group session, teens are taught important social skills and are given the opportunity to practice these skills in session during socialization activities. Parents attend separate sessions at the same time and are taught how to assist their teens in making and keeping friends by helping to expand their teen’s social network and providing feedback through coaching during weekly socialization homework assignments. Enrollment is limited. Parent participation is required.

The next round of PEERS® for Teens begins Wednesday, September 18th and enrollment has already begun - please contact us to begin the enrollment process! We are also taking ongoing applicants for future groups.

There is more information about this awesome program on our website:

For enrollment information, please contact us at (949) 474-1493 or email our certified PEERS® instructor at

Friday, June 28, 2013

Meet Our Swim Instructor

We would like to take a moment to introduce our AMAZING swim instructor and tell you a little bit about her. 

Meet Nicole! 

(Isn't she the best??)

Nicole is happiest in the water. Growing up on the peninsula of Newport Beach, she was in the water before she could walk. Competing in swimming and surfing at a young age, she became a member of the United States National Team, was a US Open champion, and competed in a number of surfing events. She went on to attend the University of Hawaii where she competed at NCAA and was awarded Western Athletic Conference Swimmer of the Year all four years. While attending the University of Hawaii she was a beach lifeguard, taught ocean safety classes to children and adults, and taught surf lessons. Upon moving back to California Nicole found her love working as an ABA therapist. Using ABA therapy she instills confidence and shares a passion for the water.

We are proud to have her on our team! By signing up for our In Stepps Swim Program, your child will be getting more than just swimming lessons. Nicole provides a fun, safe, and encouraging environment to teach life long water safety skills using ABA and PRT principles. Your child's program will be individualized and based on ability. For more information about our private (1:1) pool and ocean classes check out our post called Orange County ABA Swimming Lessons . 

If you would like to sign up or receive more information about In Stepps Swimming Program please email:

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Orange County ABA Swimming Lessons

We have a very exciting announcement to make!

In S.T.E.P.P.S. Swim Program

During July and August of Summer 2013, we will be offering individualized swimming lessons and ocean lessons! 

In S.T.E.P.P.S. offers two different individualized programs using ABA teaching principles that can be completed separately or work together. Enroll your child based on their specific skill level and needs. These courses are taught by a CPR certified former swim champion with more than 20 years experience. 

Learn about the available program options by checking out the flyers below. 

This is an amazing opportunity to teach your child life-saving water safety lessons, build self-confidence and skills, and have fun in a supportive environment!

If you are interested in learning more or would like to sign up, please email

Don't forget to like us on Facebook so you never miss an In Stepps event or announcement! 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Summer Bucket List (Survival Guide?)

A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken.

It's official! Summer is here. The kids are out of school and home all day. The weather is getting warmer. You have become the entertainer. Do you find yourself dreading the next few months because you have no idea how to keep the little ones busy? Do the words "I'm bored" or "there's nothing to do" sound like nails on a chalkboard? Let us help!

Make this the best Summer yet by finding a creative way to incorporate daily activities for the kids or big events for the whole family! You can use a large calendar, post it notes, jars, stickers, white board, poster board, colored markers, game spinners, and more to get the kids involved in planning their time off. Or use as reinforcement/rewards for completing less-preferred activities (chores, summer homework, reading, shopping, etc.). The possibilities are endless. Not only will it give the kids things to do but it will also keep your schedule organized and structured. Tip: Take photos of all the fun things you do and make a Summer scrapbook/memory book before school starts.

Need some help brainstorming? Be sure you ask your kids first, they probably have some ideas of their own! Then check out the list below if you are still stuck or need to add more to fun to your calendar. 

Tip: Pinterest also has some amazing ideas and links to step-by-step instructions for recipes, art projects, kid's activities, and more! You could even make a "Mom Bucket List" and try some new crafts, DIY projects, organizing, cooking, and baking ideas! 

Send us pictures of your Summer Bucket List/Survival Guide/Activity Chart and tell us what fun things you will be doing! 

*Have a picnic in the park
*Go on a hike
*Have a bike "car wash"
*Make a lemonade stand
*Run in the sprinklers
*Plant flowers or vegetables
*Bike ride at the beach
*Have a Skype call with a family member or friend that lives out of state
*Eat dinner in the backyard
*Go on a stay-cation. Find a hotel in the area (we suggest one that has a great pool) and book a night or two
*Play hide and seek outside during the full moon or with flashlights
*Bubbles, bubbles, bubbles
*Movie night with popcorn
*Make birthday cards and thank you cards
*Watch fireworks
*Volunteer to walk or play with the dogs and cats at a local animal rescue
*Pull out a map and let the kids pick somewhere to take a day trip. Tip: Help them google all the things to do in that city
*Make a sandcastle
*Go on a bug hunt
*Collect seashells and make home decor by putting them in a jar or basket
*Decorate the driveway with chalk
*Water balloons
*Play "high/low" at dinner every night. Take turns talking about the "high point" of your day and the "low point" of your day. Discuss as a family. 
*Visit an amusement park, water park, aquarium, local museum, zoo, or activity center. Take a family picture in front of each place you visit
*Invite the neighborhood kids over for an ice cream sundae party
*Go to a local senior living home and have the kids read stories to the residents
*Clean out the closets and donate old toys and clothes to Goodwill
*Set up relay races or obstacle courses in your yard or at a local park
*Make a bird feeder with household materials and hang it from a tree
*Send snail mail to someone (write a letter, put it in an envelope, stamp it, and send it through the USPS)
*Ride horses
*Look up local carnivals, fairs, and festivals to attend
*Exercise as a family (walking, biking, yoga, jump-rope)
*Write letters or send care packages to troops overseas
*Check out a local concert in the park
*Visit your local farmer's market and pick up local produce to make smoothies
*Add the hose to dirt or mud and throw in some rubber worms or plastic animals
*Make a playlist of the kid's favorite songs and have a dance party
*Paint with items other than paint brushes (think apples, hot wheels, potatoes, sponges, q-tips, cotton balls, string)
*Spend the day "screen free" (no tv, ipad, itouch, kindle, iphone, laptop, etc.) Tip: Mom & Dad, too!
*Check out library books
*Have a sensory day - fill tubs up with rice, beans, water, slime, sand, etc 
*Find kid-friendly recipes that they can help you make
*Head out to the local bowling alley and have a friendly competition
*Have a family board game night
*Go to baseball games or host your own
*Host a birthday party
*Make homemade popsicles
*Finger-paint with pudding
*Have breakfast for dinner
*Fly a kite
*Find art classes or kids workshops (check out Michaels, Lowe's, and Home Depot)
*Find some household items to use as instruments and make a band
*Make your own playdoh
*Use paper bags to make puppets and have a puppet show
*Build a fort with sheets and blankets in the living room
*Make candy jewelry
*Make homemade ice cream
*Go to all the parks within a few miles of your house. Make a list and check them off as you go.
*Grab a tent and go camping (even if it's only in your backyard)
*Have a campfire and make s'mores

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day Appreciation

"Children are the anchors of a mother's life."

Thank you to this very special mom for sharing her Mother's Day story!

As I reflect back on all that has happened, I take a deep breath. I can't help but smile and be grateful for all those who have helped our family.

I entered the world of Autism in 2006. Since then, both of my children have been diagnosed with Autism. My children truly represent the Autism Spectrum. They are both so different, so unique, with their own set of strengths. They amaze me with their hard work, even when things are tough. I see huge potential in each of them and know that everything I do every day will help them succeed in their own way in the future. I would do anything for my kids. I am doing everything I can for them. My life is about theirs. I live for them, for their success and their future. 

In life, we never know where paths will take us. Sometimes we end up in a place we never knew existed. I didn’t know about Autism before I was thrown into this world. I’m a better mom/person because I’m here, thanks to my kids. I am proud to be their Mom and forever grateful for them, Autism and all.

From one mother to another, wishing you a wonderful Mother's Day and may God bless you and your children!

~Proud mom of Timothy & Emily 

This Mother's Day I feel very grateful for all of the wonderful moms I have the honor of working with through IN STEPPS.  Every day I get to witness the strength, bravery and commitment that our amazing moms possess. Many of our mother's have had to learn through experience how to advocate and fight to get services for their children. They often juggle caring for their child (or children) with autism while also caring for their other children,  working full or part time jobs, and being active participants in their child's treatment through participation in session and parent consultation. I am inspired by our amazing mothers and feel truly blessed to be part of their team. Happy Mother's Day to all of our moms!!!

~Cheri Vandermey, Case Supervisor

The In Stepps Mom is Super Mom

The In Stepps Mom
By Lindsey Lewis

Dedicated to all the wonderful mothers that allow us into their homes every day. 

We work in a unique field in which we find ourselves in the private sanctuary of those we work with--their home. I think it can be easy to forget how personal and intrusive our services can be when we lug our bags of toys in the front door every day for two (or more) hours, move around the living room or yard or kitchen, ask for accommodations, and make ourselves comfortable. I can’t help but think: most mothers use their homes as their refuge from the world; a place to keep their children safe and warm, a place to nurture their marriages, a place for privacy and solitude. A place they can let their hair down, put their feet up, and feel most at ease.

And then I think of the “In Stepps Mom.” I think of her home, her life, and the strength she may not see in herself. But we think the In Stepps Mom is super woman.

She is a woman that wakes up every morning with a schedule. And I’m not talking about a schedule like dropping the kids off, going to yoga, a lunch date, or a trip to the mall. I am talking a schedule that includes more acronyms than any mother should know: PT, OT, ABA, SDC, IEP, RCOC, PC, DI, IFSP, BIP. Her day requires planning from start to finish. She is the first to wake up and the last to go to bed; her life is in constant movement.

She is a woman that has allowed her home to become grand central station; an endless revolving door of play dates, activities,  meetings, and services on top of every day routines like bathing, meals, and cleaning. The walls around her are covered in visuals, schedules, and data sheets.

She is a woman who does not think about herself, but constantly thinks of her children. She struggles to balance the needs of her child(ren) with autism with her other children; trying to find a way to show each of them the abundance of love she has, even though she is stretched so thin.

She is the woman who is home, every day, at the same time for therapists and consultants. She puts aside her own needs and schedule so her child can receive hours and hours of therapy. She opens her door to strangers who, over time, become part of her daily routine and her family.

She is the woman who has dealt with ugliest of tantrums and the pickiest of eaters. She has dealt with the judgmental stares of those that have not walked in her shoes and the unsolicited advice of family and friends. She has dealt with the most devastating setbacks and the most celebratory triumphs. She has dealt with tears—tears of anger, tears of pain, tears of sorrow, and tears of joy. Yet, in all that she has dealt with, she opens her door with a smile and allows us in.

She is the woman who offers us coffee or water, when she herself has yet to sit down and take a sip of anything. She asks about our families, spouses, children, and lives before sharing anything about her day. She stops herself from complaining and venting (even when she has every right to both) and keeps moving, eager to see what progress the session will bring.
She is the woman who trusts what we do, the advice we give, and embraces the support we provide. She challenges herself to change her own behavior to better the daily living of her children and family. She has learned that every decision she makes has a consequence that can affect her child and she may weigh her choices more heavily than most.

She is a woman who is moving to overcome her fear of the word “autism.” She has googled every therapy, every vendor, every doctor. She can anticipate a tantrum before anyone else can sense it. She can understand the unclear language of a child that once could not speak. She can see the way her child shows love, even if it is not through hugs, kisses, and words. She is a woman who sees past stereotypic behaviors, limited language, and having to assist the most basic of skills and she sees the child she knows inside and out. The child she loves. The child she fights for. The child she advocates for. The child she believes in. The child that makes the entire journey worthwhile.  Instead of breaking down in grief, she has stepped up and marched on.

The In Stepps Mom and her home are special. She does not always get to relax, kick up her feet, and enjoy quiet at the end of the day. She has little to no privacy. Her hair may not be washed, there may be dishes piling in the sink, and the laundry is scattered all over the couch. She is tired, hungry, stressed, and anxious, yet she is giving everything she has to give. She does it for her family. She sacrifices so much and asks for so little because of the love she has for her children. Even on the darkest of days, she does not quit; she does not let the challenges get the best of her. She does not use her front door to shut the world away once she is inside; she allows the world in for her child. Her home is the heart of her day, and she is the heart of her home.

Happy Mother’s Day to the amazing women and moms we have the privilege of working with every day. We admire you so!  

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Our April Star!

Honestly, we feel so lucky any time it is time to nominate another star and feature them on our blog. We love introducing you to our amazing team of creative, hardworking people. It's always so difficult to pick just one! This time around, one particular person stood out and supervisors were so excited to talk about how fabulous she is! 

So without further adieu ... meet Brianna!

Brianna, thank you so much for your dedication to In Stepps. We value you and all that you bring to each team that you are on more than you could ever know! Your supervisors have so much respect for your ability to take on multiple roles, and for how well you do them all! 

If you know Brianna or have her on any of your teams, please take the time to give her a huge shout out for being such a shining star! 

Here is what a few people had to say about Brianna ... 

Brianna is a great therapist and an AMAZING parent trainer.  She has the ability to teach parents to work with their children, while at the same time making them feel at ease.  She is a master at explaining and teaching PRT to her parents.  It is a pleasure to watch her in action, as she encourages parents and makes them feel successful.  You rock, Brianna! - Nicole F

Regardless of the job in front of her..whether that be therapist, parent trainer, making a visual schedule, finding a new motivator for a child, or being an awesome encourager, Brianna takes on the challenge with excitement, joy, and a sense of determination that cannot be faltered. I can always count on Brianna to break down a complex skill when explaining it to others in a way that is understandable and applicable to what they are dealing with. Her flexibility and ability to work in any situation is such a valuable asset, and her energy and passion  for what she does shines through in the brightest way!!!! It's truly contagious! Thank you for ALL you do Brianna!!! – Elise

Brianna is an invaluable member of her therapy teams. I have Brianna as a parent consultant on one of my teams and I love watching her share her passion for ABA. She is knowledgeable, experienced, dedicated, and professional. She collaborates so well with both therapists and supervisors and is always willing to help out! IN S.T.E.P.P.S. would not be the same without her. I feel lucky to have the opportunity to collaborate and learn from her every day!- Cheri

Brianna's creativity, professionalism, critical eye, and flexibility are just a few attributes that stand out to me.  She is consistently an active and insightful participant in discussions and is really good at giving specific praise, giving and taking constructive feedback, and asking for help when she needs it.  I appreciate her ability to jump in and do just about anything anyone asks of her to.  In regards to her work with parents I am truly impressed and many times find that she has come up with the exact same solutions that I planned on suggesting.  Brianna is smart and confident and I feel privileged to have the opportunity to work with her.- Kimberly

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Recipes for Fun

It is a happy talent to know how to play. -Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is officially Spring! And that means we are one more season closer to Summer! At In Stepps, we become overjoyed with the prospect of sunny days and warmer weather. You know why? It means it is time for fun outside! Balloons, bubbles, balls, squirt bottles, swimming, sprinklers, watering cans, hoses, mud, dirt, and more! Being outside with kids opens up a whole new world full of learning opportunities. So you can understand our excitement when the seasons change, when Target starts carrying our favorite outdoor toys again, and when we start moving our 1:1 sessions into the front yard, back yard, park, pool, and any other place we can just be out in the sun.  In honor of the Spring Equinox, we wanted to share some fun, messy recipes with you in hopes of sparking some play inspiration! From playdough, to puffy paint, to bubbles, to goop! Get your hands messy and the kids involved and create some sensory magic in your home! 


2 cups flour
1 cup salt
2 cups water
2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons cream of tartar
A few drops liquid food coloring (optional)

In a medium pot, mix flour, salt and oil, and slowly add the water (and food coloring, if used). Cook over medium heat, stirring until dough becomes firm. Cool. Knead. Store in airtight container.
Puffy Paint
1 cup flour
1 cup salt
1 cup water
Food coloring
Mix equal amounts of flour, salt, and water. Add food coloring for color. Pour mixture into squeeze bottles and paint. Mixture will harden in a puffy shape. 
2/3 cup Joy dish soap
1 gallon water
2 to 3 tablespoons of glycerin (available at drugstores)
Mix ingredients in large plastic bowl or tub. Store in covered container.
Note: Various recipes call for different brands of dish soap (Joy, Dawn, etc). If you use another brand, you may need to adjust the other quantities to get the right consistency.
(Warning: this one is messy and FUN)
1 cup cornstarch
2 cups baking soda
1 1/4 cups water

Mix dry ingredients and add water a little at a time. (This is important, as you may not need all of the water.) Mixture should be scoopable with hands - not too runny. When a lump is squeezed; it melts, then becomes more solid again.
Sidewalk Chalk
1/3 c. quick setting Plaster of Paris 
3 t. water 
1 T. paint 
Glitter (optional) 
Mix all ingredients. Scoop into empty toilet paper tube and let set for 20 minutes. Peel off cardboard. Let dry for one day.
Edible Playdough
2 cups smooth peanut butter 
2 cups rolled oats 
2 cups dried milk 
2/3 cups honey 
Mix all ingredients until thoroughly combined. Storage: When not using, MUST be stored in an airtight container 

Have fun and let us know which recipes are a hit with your kiddos! 
Don't forget to check us out on our Facebook page!

Monday, March 11, 2013

She's a Star!

Introducing our newest In Stepps Star.... 


Leigh-Ann, we are so thankful to have you as a part of the In Stepps team! Your hard work and commitment have not gone unnoticed! 

Take a look at what some of Leigh Ann's supervisors had to say about her.... 

Leigh Ann is such an asset to In Stepps. She is always willing and eager to cover sessions whenever necessary. She is such an incredibly strong therapist and brings so much to the teams she's on and the kids she works with. It's a pleasure working with and knowing Leigh Ann!—Nicole H

Leigh Ann is such a great asset to each and every team she is on.  Specifically, the one team that I share with her.  Leigh Ann has won over the hearts of the entire family and goes above and beyond. She makes it a point to include the entire family during all sessions, especially the other children in the home.  Leigh Ann has taught the children how to prompt and play with our client.  The mother only speaks Spanish, however, Leigh Ann has done a tremendous job working with this mom through the language barrier.  Much of the success in this home is attributed to Leigh Ann's hard work and dedication.  Leigh Ann truly is a shinning star!- Laura

Leigh Ann is awesome! As busy as she is with school, she is always willing to cover/pick up sessions when needed (even on weekends). She is bubbly, fun, dedicated, and has an amazing skill set that makes her so important to every team she is on and to every family she works with! Thanks for being so amazing, Leigh Ann!- Lindsey

Leigh Ann is dedicated, hard working, and professional... in the office... and with her clients she's silly, creative, fearless, consistent, playful, and unrelenting.  Her understanding of ABA and ability to implement strategies in the natural environment are excellent; however, the thing I find most impressive about Leigh Ann is her focus on family involvement.  She is the only therapist I've known that has brought in a video of a whole family playing and working together.  She set up her camera and worked with her client to interact with parents and sibling while they all participated in washing the family car.  To have a record of this moment in a family's life, especially a family that has been touched by autism and successful interactions that include the whole family are rare, is truly a treasure.  I am so thankful to have the opportunity to work with Leigh Ann and to watch her helping kids and their families to reconnect in a real and meaningful way.- David

Way to go, Leigh-Ann! 

Join Our Team!

Are you or someone you know looking to be a part of a great company that offers excellent support and training, work with kids, and FUN? Keep on reading.... 

As a young organization that is growing quickly we are looking for highly motivated and skilled professionals. We work in close collaboration as a team and seek experienced and passionate individuals at all levels of expertise. We offer flexible hours, quality training and supervision, and competitive hourly rates. We are currently hiring for the following positions:

Behavior Therapist
A behavior therapist works directly with the child in the natural setting. Therapists must be flexible, resourceful, creative and have fun playing with kids. Experience working with children with developmental disabilities is preferred, but not required. If you are enthusiastic, have high energy, can multitask, and if you like feeling supported in the field through on the job coaching , you are an excellent candidate for this position!

Supervisor/Parent Consultant
A Supervisor/Parent Consultant provides ongoing support to therapists in the field with their families. In addition, this person provides ongoing training and feedback to all members of the child’s team, including parents, grandparents, and other stakeholders. This position requires high level knowledge of Applied Behavior Analysis and Pivotal Response Treatment and a BCBA is highly preferred. This position can be salaried.

If you are interested in any of these positions, please email us your resume at 

or call us at (949) 474 1493. We look forward to hearing from you !

18008 Skypark Circle, Suite 110 Irvine, CA 92614  Phone: (949) 474 1493 Fax: (949) 726 8324