October 2020
Board Member of the Month
Meet Diane Raba
Diane Raba is the longest serving of Firefly's many valued Board of Directors. During her 12 year tenure Diane has served as Board President and Vice President and is currently the Board Secretary. Upon moving to Colorado, Diane had a desire to invest in a local nonprofit and give back to her community. She became immediately interested in the fledgling Firefly Autism because of her experience in ABA during her graduate work and her career as a classroom teacher and special education consultant. "I always worked to maximize learning opportunities by tailoring lessons and goals based on where my students were at the time," Diane says. After taking a graduate class on Functional Behavior Assessment and Applied Behavior Analysis, Diane was, "ecstatic because it was such a clear way to baseline skills, set measurable goals, and know whether the plan was effective."
Diane says, "There have been so many amazing achievements because of the work that is done at Firefly every day. The initial dream of the founders was to provide all of the services to support individuals with autism in one location. That vision has come to fruition in this outstanding organization. Our expanded reach is very exciting! Moving to our magnificent new facility will enable us to reach more families, do more research, and to provide more training for professionals. The Firefly team is extremely talented and visionary."

Diane says a core value of her's is the belief that every person should have the opportunity to learn and to be provided with the tools and information that will bring them success in that endeavor. A favorite mantra of hers is "KEEP MOVING FORWARD; one step, one day at a time. She teaches to stay on your path and trust your journey, never give up and keep going, and growing. "I know that Firefly will continue to follow these ideas," concludes Diane.

Join us in celebrating and honoring our Board Member of the Month, Diane Raba.
Check out these programs!
Sibling Groups:
Firefly Autism is now offering an after school sibling program on selected week days from 4:45pm-6:15pm. The group is specifically for siblings of individuals with autism or related diagnoses, and aims to engage individuals in activities to build their creative and learning skills while socializing with others with shared perspectives and experiences. Each session will give the children a chance to demonstrate and share their ideas while having fun. Interested individuals will be grouped based on similar age ranges. 
Please contact:
pbonneua@fireflyautism.org with any questions or to express your interest.
Adult Groups:
Firefly Autism in Lakewood is initiating a social emotional skill group for high functioning adults on the autism spectrum. We are reaching out to your group or organization to gather information about potential individuals who may benefit from this type of service. 
Sessions will focus on adaptive therapeutic strategies to address rigidity or over focus on irrelevant stimuli that may be getting in the way of meaningful progress towards life goals, and teach and encourage values driven behavior. The sessions will also build in practical skills training, job readiness, and passion area content and activities. 
The ultimate goal is to bring together like minded individuals to socialize and spend time sharing and gathering skills for their lives. 
If interested, please contact Dr. Amanda Kelly or Paula Bonneau at Firefly.
Firefly Daycare is Coming Soon!!
Now families both in and outside of the Firefly community have a new option for high-quality daycare in a nurturing and rich environment. Learn more at:

Firefly Autism would like to invite you to a no-cost Community Connection Zoom gathering. It will be an evening to virtually view the new Firefly facility, learn about the mission of Firefly and the programs we offer, and meet two amazing adults with Autism.

Firefly Autism will host the Event via Zoom on Tuesday, November 10th from 6-7 PM

Please RSVP by November 8th by clicking here: 

Please contact Paula with any questions, pbonneau@fireflyautism.org
Donor Spotlight
Robert B. Sturm
Each quarter Firefly Autism will honor a donor who has made a difference for Firefly Autism. This quarter we are pleased to introduce you to Robert B. Sturm.

Bob’s story is a special one to Firefly Autism because he came to our old facility to learn about the work we were doing. We learned at that time that Robert was diagnosed with Asperger’s just two years prior. After the tour of our facility, Robert stopped into Executive Director, Jesse Ogas' office and posed a question Jesse will never forget.

"Where was Firefly when I was a younger boy?" asked Robert. It was at that time he shared with Jesse that he had been diagnosed recently, in his 50's, and now looking back he understood why he felt at times he didn’t fit in. It was so powerful and moving that the team decided Firefly Autism would immediately design programs to work with adults on the spectrum with high executive functions to ensure they have the support systems in place and to help build a community of like-minded peers.
Robert has provided significant funding for programs and renovations for our new building. We are exceedingly grateful for his commitment to our organization and the legacy he will leave as we continue to work towards serving high functioning adults on the spectrum.

Thank you, Robert B. Sturm.
Be sure to pick up your copy of Where is Baby Ford written by Al Jackson of Daily Blast Live. This book is about life on the spectrum and addresses important issues that will be relevant to friends and family members of Firefly Autism. The book is available for sale at Firefly Autism's Lakewood Center. Inquire about the book today!