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Connections/Life Access Program

NOW AVAILABLE. . . Email to partner with us

Life Access Program Opportunities

Connections Groups

Connections Group is a space where communicators utilizing devices/spelling boards with diverse needs and interests can come together and share time and ideas with one another.

The groups will be 90 minute sessions, occurring once or twice per week focusing on different topics. Participants will be encouraged to share ideas for topics they would like to dive into or explore.


Groups targeted to begin in Spring 2024.

Best-Practice Approach in Life Access

Indispensable elements of Life Access Program's best practice approach are identified below. (Primary researchers are indicated, however, a complete list of research references is available at the end of this document.)


  • The identification of autism as primarily a psychomotor regulation disorder (i.e. an inability to initiate, inhibit, and/or sustain movement which impedes demonstration of true intent and masks cognition (Dziuk et al., 2007; Nayate, Bradshaw, & Rinehart, 2005; Rineshart, Bradshaw, Brereton, & Tonge, 2001; Teitelbaum et al., 2004; Teitelbaum, Teitelbaum, Nye, Fryman, & Mauer, 1998; Vilensky, Damasio, & Maurer, 1981)


  • The identification of emotional motor dysregulation that exacerbates the psychomotor regulation symptomatology (Dapretto et al., 2006; Trevarthen et al., 1998; Williams, 1996)


  • The presumption of competence due to lack of empirical data linking autism and mental retardation, and the existence of data linking dyspraxia in autism to decrease IQ scores (Biklen & Burke, 2006; Biklen & Kliewer, 2006; Dawson, Soulieres, Gernsbacher, & Mottron, 2007; Donnelan 2006; Edelson, 2006)


  • The provision of competency-based communication accommodations that decrease frustration and thus improve emotional motor responses; provision of a communication system that allows for active, ongoing, open-ended communication vs. fixed and predetermined responses (Biklen & Burke, 2006; Donnelan, 2006; Wetherby, Prizant, & Schuler, 2000)


  • The provision of sensory accommodations that improve sensory processing and facilitate motor mapping which in turn allows for skill demonstration and initiation of novel motor patterns (Anzalone & Williamson, 2000)


  • The provision of rhythmic accommodations that prime the motor system and facilitate initiation and fluency of movement as well as improve cognitive processing via neurologic music therapy standardized interventions (Hardy & Lagasse, 2013; Thaut, 2005)


  • The use of the “Least to Most Strategy” (i.e. providing varying levels of touch support to maximize independence while allowing for optimal demonstration of cognitive potential) (Chadwick, 1995) 


  • The recognition and ongoing provision of varying levels of support (i.e. physical, communication, emotional) and the provision and fading of those supports as needed (Institution on Communication and Inclusion, 2000)

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