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Lifesteps Newsletter


Building a Bright Future

Lifesteps Employment Services

Lifesteps Special Events

Letter from Karen Sue Owens, Lifesteps President and CEO 

Building a Bright Future - Malachi & William's Early Education Journey 

Housemates and Best Friends

Malachi and William are typical brothers. They play, joke, and rough house — and a brotherly relationship would not be complete without the occasional argument. They are your average five and six year old boys; except that what you don’t see is that both were diagnosed as toddlers with autism and language disorders.
Like most parents, Skye and Sonny, wanted to give their children the best possible start in life including a solid educational foundation — paving the way for lifelong learning, which led them to Lifesteps. 
Growing up, Malachi and William were complete opposites. William, the older of the two, was very active. “He liked to climb everything…and he wanted to bolt outdoors” his mother Skye said. His speech was limited and he was unable to carry on two-way conversations or express his needs to others. Malachi on the other hand, was quiet and liked to be alone. His mother can recall the enjoyment he would get from sitting alone in his swing or playpen. However, Malachi too struggled with speech and communication. “At 18 months old he was meeting his communication milestones, but then he started regressing,” Skye shared. By four Malachi was non-verbal. 
Knowing that finding a preschool for her sons might come with some challenges, Skye began researching early education and intervention services when she found Lifesteps Early Education Center. 
William was the first to enter Lifesteps through the Pre-K Counts preschool program located in South Butler, just one of four sites between Butler and Beaver counties. Within six months of attending the program, his family began to see a difference. 
His communication and social skills began to improve and he was able to carry on conversations with his parents and other children. “He’s a lot happier now,” expressed Skye, “his social skills have improved because of Lifesteps.” Through the individualized attention and care he received in the classroom, William made tremendous improvements and continued on to Kindergarten. 
So when the time came to enter Malachi into preschool, the family chose Lifesteps again because of the remarkable progress they saw with their first son. When Malachi began at Lifesteps Early Education Center he was non-verbal. “He didn’t speak at all,” his mother recalls “[therapists] didn’t know if he would ever be verbal.” Now, in his second year of preschool at Lifesteps, Malachi is able to speak and is meeting goals established for continual improvement. 
Skye and her husband attribute their sons’ success to the teachers, staff, and the quality education at Lifesteps preschool program — sharing,“We are very happy with Lifesteps, and we’ve seen so many positive changes.” Though the future apeared to be uncertain in the beginning, with help from Lifesteps preschool program, Malachi and William have built a strong educational foundation for the future.  

Lifesteps Employment Services - Career Support for People with Disabilities

The right job can provide satisfaction, an income, and a purpose. Often it is where people may spend the majority of their days and feel part of something larger. But for individuals with disabilities finding a career path isn’t always easy. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, only 20 percent of people with a disability participate in the workforce. Here at Lifesteps, we want to see that change which is why we have added our new Employment Services to meet the changing needs of our communities! 
Lifesteps offers Supported Employment and Job Coaching; Vocational Evaluations & Training; Community-Based Assessment for individuals with intellectual, developmental, and physical disabilities; as well as Pre‑Employment Transition Services for area schools.
It is an exciting part of the journey — both serving people with disabilities who are striving to be competitively employed, and working with potential employers who need capable, qualified employees. 
Lifesteps Special Events - Putting the Fun in Fundraising
Lifesteps Star Gala 2015 Star Award Reciepient
You can make a difference by enjoying a beautiful day on the golf course; a fun‑filled night of dinner and dancing or by eating delicious pancakes. Our agency is blessed by the community and businesses who have supported Lifesteps for decades. Benefiting the Lifesteps Family Caring Fund, these events support programs and services for those in need across our region. 
We invite you to explore our many community events and ask you to consider Lifesteps as part of your philanthropic efforts. 
For upcoming event information or to view the many other ways
you can get involved, visit our events page.

Letter from Karen Sue Owens, Lifesteps President and CEO 

Karen Sue Owens - CEO Lifesteps, Inc.

Strengthening individuals and families is a core element of Lifesteps. Our mission of…”Helping individuals and families with life’s changing needs by developing programs and providing services which will improve their quality of life,” has guided us for over 90 years. 
The successes of those we serve, whether it is a child, adult, or senior, motivates us and continues to drive us to provide quality programs, comprehensive services, and accept opportunities and challenges to serve with creativity and flexibility.   
As you read about the accomplishments and milestones
celebrated  in the newsletter, please know that it is your support and the support of our many partners who help to make it possible for others to live their life to the fullest. 
To our staff, Board members, volunteers, funders, and contributors who are helping Lifesteps continue to improve the quality of life for those we serve, thank you!
Yours in Service, 
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