Monday, December 15, 2014

A Look Back at 2014 with In S.T.E.P.P.S.

It seems like we say this every year around this time, but seriously, where has time gone? Is 2014 really over? Are we REALLY going into 2015? Ok, time to let go of the denial and realize we can’t stop time. However, one thing we can do is reflect back on what was probably the best year yet at In S.T.E.P.P.S. Hopefully we will say that again next year, but for now… 2014 was pretty darn awesome.

-In S.T.E.P.P.S. Moved-

If you have been with In S.T.E.P.P.S. since the beginning (way, way back in 2010), you may be familiar with our “office journeys” over the years. We started off in a kitchen and living room. Then we moved into a small, 2 room office in Irvine. Then we busted down some walls and expanded into another space. Then, we grew out of that office and desperately needed more room. So we packed everything up and crossed the hallway of our building and have made a new home in a large space that we are LOVING. There is a room for social skills, a conference room and lots of individual offices, a beautiful reception area, a kitchen (with a dishwasher!), a training room, a toy room, and more. If you haven’t had a chance to see it, come out for our Holiday Open House on December 23rd and check it out!

-In S.T.E.P.P.S. Went to Mexico-       

In S.T.E.P.P.S. crossed borders this year back in March. One of our supervisors, Mayra Corona, gave a presentation on ABA and PRT to more than 800 people in Puebla Mexico. 800 people! Can you believe that? We are so very proud of our team for branching out and reaching new people in new locations!

-In S.T.E.P.P.S. Expanded -

Speaking of reaching new people, In S.T.E.P.P.S. is now serving families in North San Diego County! This project was headed by two of our BCBAs, Nicole F and Nicole H (or more affectionately known as “The Nicoles”), and we are so excited for this big step! We started accepting insurance and private pay clients in October. Woohoo! In S.T.E.P.P.S. is expanding!

-In S.T.E.P.P.S. Turned 4-

Every year we have a little birthday party for ourselves to celebrate our anniversary. This year was no different! Well, other than the fact that we had waaaaay more people! We kind of love that our “birthday” is in the middle of July so that we can enjoy the beautiful weather outside as a group. So this year we had a fabulous pool party!

-In S.T.E.P.P.S. Team Member Accomplishments-

2014 was so good to our team in their personal and professional endeavors. Our Clinical Director, Dr. Erin McNerney, became a Licensed Clinical Psychologist. Yay! On top of that, we have SEVEN BCBAs on staff! Congrats to Elise, Nicole F, Kimberly, and Nubia for passing that beast of an exam this year! Good luck to our staff that will be taking the test in 2015. Study hard!

-In S.T.E.P.P.S. Programs-

Let’s just say, our programs had a fantastic year. First, our Social Skills group has really flourished! We added new groups, brought new kiddos on board, and all involved have been super successful! We also started our PEERS Group for Teens. On top of all of that, Parent’s Night Out is filled to capacity every month. We love that parents are getting a few hours off and letting us have dance parties with their little ones! We also started our Remote Program this year and hosted a family from Germany for a multiple-day, intensive parent training course. We hope to have our Remote Program reach more families in our office and through the use of technology in the coming months.

-In S.T.E.P. P.S. Growth-

It is hard to believe how much we have grown in 2014! Aside from our physical move to a new office and expanding to San Diego, growth is happening across the board! We have lots of new clinical team members on board, we have taken on more clients, and our presence on the internet is really booming. Our Facebook page has almost 300 likes (make sure you find us, like us, and follow us) and we have created Pinterest Page to create boards of fun ideas for our staff and families to use (again, make sure you find us and follow us). We have some great ideas for upcoming posts on our blog! We even had a piece written by Lindsey Lewis, one of our supervisors, be featured on the Autism Speaks blog!  Check it out here:

-In S.T.E.P.P.S. Supervisor Retreat-

We had our first Supervisor Team weekend retreat in 2014! We spent the weekend in a beautiful villa in Temecula and spent two days team building and brainstorming program ideas! Not only did we get a TON of work done, we also ate delicious food and shared lots of laughs. Sometimes we have to pinch ourselves when we see the team of people around us. Our “In S.T.E.P.P.S. Culture” is so unique and the family-vibe that is felt across our staff really shows that.

-In S.T.E.P.P.S. Holiday Party-

Our annual Holiday Party had a major makeover this year! It was held at the beautiful Coto de Caza Golf and Racquet Club. The 2014 party included a wonderful slideshow put together by Lindsey L., a DJ for dancing, delicious food, and lots of people. It was definitely our biggest Holiday Party yet! This year we did therapist awards (think Academy Award style) and gave recognition for Creativity (Megan Y.), Collaboration (Melissa), Perseverance (Jeannie), Responsibility (Lindsay M.), and Top Clinician (Jeanette).Congrats to our winners and thank you for all of your hard work!

-In S.T.E.P.P.S. Holiday Open House-

This year we are hosting our first Holiday Open House on December 23rd from 10-2 complete with our own “Calm Santa” that will be available for free pictures and activities like cookie decorating and arts and crafts. This is a great opportunity for our clients to visit with Santa in a sensory-friendly, safe environment and for all of us to mingle with each other! Our clinical team will be on hand to make sure this event is successful for all! Check out more information here:

-In S.T.E.P.P.S. Professional News-

Finally, In S.T.E.P.P.S. has some big upcoming announcements in the publication world. We will fill you in once details have been worked out, so be on the lookout! Our team also attended some big conferences and events in 2014. We are always striving to be up to date on the latest research, studies, articles, and journals. We will share information that impacts our families frequently on our blog and Facebook, so check back often!

Phew…  It still is hard to believe how much happened in 2014. With that said, we are sure 2015 will be just as good to us! Thank you to you all for all your support and encouragement. We do this for you and we would not be able to do it without you! We wish you and your family a happy holiday season!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

You Are Invited to Our Holiday Open House!

Join us on December 23rd from 10 am to 2 pm for this fun holiday event at the In STEPPS office! We will have a sensory-friendly "Calm Santa" to visit with. Each child is welcome to take a FREE picture! There will also be fun activities like cookie decorating and holiday arts and crafts. This event is open to the entire community! It is a great opportunity for parents of children with and without special needs to see Santa and enjoy holiday festivities in a fun, safe environment. Our highly trained ABA team will be on hand to make sure this event is successful for everyone! You can RSVP by emailing Lindsey Lewis ( or check out our Evite here!

Hope to see you there!