Meet the People We Serve
At First Step, we are proud to serve a diverse array of beneficiaries, providing life-enhancing services to individuals from birth to adulthood who face developmental delays, disabilities, and special needs.
Infants and Toddlers
Our youngest beneficiaries, infants and toddlers up to 36 months old, receive comprehensive early intervention services, including health, medical, and therapy services. We assist with the development of crucial milestones and mitigate potential developmental delays at this early stage.
Preschool and School-Aged Children
We provide special needs education and pediatric therapy services for children aged 18 months to 21 years old. Our Early Intervention Day Treatment (EIDT) program and School-Aged program aims to nurture and promote growth, independence, and success in children with developmental delays, disabilities, and special needs.
Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Our Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) services cater to individuals diagnosed with ASD. We provide services designed to help individuals become more independent and successful in the short term as well as in the future.
Adults with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities (IDD)
We offer robust adult services, including developmental disability day services, family support services, community inclusion services, respite care services, and Community and Employment Supports (CES). Through these offerings, we aim to assist adults with IDD to have fulfilling lives and ensure they have an active role within their communities.
Their Stories, Our Inspiration:
Testimonials from Our Beneficiaries
We believe the best way to understand the impact of First Step is through the voices of those we serve. Here are just a few stories from our beneficiaries that highlight their experiences and growth with us.
Building Brighter Futures Through Quality Care
Everyone deserves the opportunity to reach their full potential. We offer a wide range of tailored services for both children and adults with developmental delays, disabilities, and special needs, fostering growth and independence every step of the way.
Cultivating Potential from the Start
- First Connections: Our early intervention program for infants and toddlers up to 36 months delivers a comprehensive range of developmental services. From health and medical services to diverse therapy services including speech, physical, and occupational therapy, we ensure the earliest start for success.
- Development Preschool/Early Intervention Day Treatment (EIDT): We offer inclusive developmental preschools, serving children ages 18 months to 6 years old with and without developmental disabilities, special needs, and autism. This program provides special instruction through daily skill sessions and specialized services with low staff to student ratios.
- School Age Program: Designed for children ages 5 to 21 years, this program equips your child with independent skills, teaching them to function to the best of their abilities.
Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA):
ABA is our targeted therapy for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), aimed at enabling individuals to become more independent and successful. This program is tailored based on the age and ability level of the person with ASD, ensuring they receive the support they need at their pace.
Meeting Individual Needs
Our licensed therapists design programs specific to each person’s needs:
- Speech-Language Therapy: We assess and treat language, articulation, hearing, voice, fluency, and feeding skills.
- Physical Therapy: We evaluate, assess, and treat individuals with limitations in functional mobility and gross motor skills.
- Occupational Therapy: We assist individuals with limitations in fine motor skills, visual motor tasks, and sensory processing.
Community and Employment Support (CES) Waiver Services
Our CES Waiver Services aim to support individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities (IDD) in all major life activities. This helps them live in a community rather than in an institutional setting.
The CES Waiver is a state and federally funded program for individuals with developmental disabilities. The program promotes inclusion for clients through community experiences and provides care coordination for getting services. The CES Waiver can provide various services such as supported living, non-medical transportation, specialized medical supplies, adaptive equipment, and supplemental support. One of the most important features of the Waiver Program is the Person Centered Service Plan. This service plan lists all the different services the individual will need and is reviewed annually by the individual’s team.
- Adult Developmental Day Treatment (ADDT): We assist adults with developmental disabilities in learning to live as independently as possible.
- On Our Own Program: Through group homes and individual apartment living, we provide varied levels of support based on need.
- Supported Employment: We provide job counseling and coaching, skill training, and placement with employers in our community, helping our adult clients establish fulfilling careers.
Personal Care Services
Our caregivers provide essential one-on-one in-home services that assist clients with basic living needs.
Intermediate Care Facility (ICF)
Our ICF houses adolescents with intellectual disabilities who require a more structured environment than is allowed by their home setting. The ICF is a community-based residential program for children 8-18 years of age. They should have a diagnosis of moderate or mild intellectual disability or be on the autism spectrum to qualify for this program.
The ICF offers our residents a spacious, caring environment that is staffed round the clock. Residents attend either Hot Springs Public Schools or the School Age program at First Step. The program is regulated by the Arkansas Department of Human Services Office of Long Term Care (OLTC).
We offer transportation services for all our programs. This service is essential for our families to have necessary access to our day programs as well as for our clients traveling to doctor’s appointments, special events, and work. We understand that access to safe and reliable transportation impacts the health and well-being of rural populations, therefore we provide options for our children and adults daily.
Success Stories: Testimonials of Transformation
“The occupational therapy services at First Step have been a game-changer for my son. His fine motor skills have improved dramatically, and we’re so grateful for the support and care he receives here.”
– Maria, Parent
Our Approach to Excellent Care
How we do things is rooted in our understanding that each individual’s journey is unique. We’ve harnessed the power of evidence-based practices, integrated service delivery, and professional expertise to create an approach that serves our clients.
Comprehensive, Tailored Services
We provide a variety of services designed to cater to the specific needs of each individual. Our licensed professionals aim to provide the highest quality of life to those we serve. We meet our clients where they are and craft individualized paths to help them reach their potential.
While our services encompass a wide range, our commitment to quality and personalization remains constant. Our pediatric therapy services form the backbone of our early intervention strategy, promoting a smoother transition into adulthood and paving the way for a more promising future.
For adults, we offer disability services and family support services aimed at creating a network of support and fostering an inclusive community.
Evidence-Based Practices and Continuous Learning
As part of our journey toward excellence, we never stop learning and evolving. We actively incorporate the latest research findings into our approach, ensuring that our services remain at the forefront of the field. This continuous refinement of our practices enables us to deliver the most effective interventions that change the lives of our clients.
Every Effort Counts
Let us work together and improve the lives of those we serve. Whether you’re a parent, a caregiver, a volunteer, or a donor, there are many ways you can contribute to the transformative work of First Step.
Your generosity supports our array of services, enabling us to continue providing special needs education, therapeutic programs, and much more. Every donation, big or small, can help transform lives.
Lend your time, talent, and heart. Join our dedicated team of volunteers who assist in various capacities across our programs. There’s always a place for your invaluable service in our community.
Spread the Word
Become an advocate for First Step. Share our mission with your network. Talk about our work, the services we provide, and the individuals we support. The more people know about First Step, the more we can do.
Let’s Take the First Step Together
We’re here to help you and your loved ones navigate the path toward better care and a brighter future. Whatever your question is, we highly encourage you to reach out.
Fill out the form below and one of our team members will get back to you as soon as possible. Please note that our response time may vary, but we’ll strive to get back to you as soon as possible. Your patience is appreciated. For immediate assistance or for more urgent matters, please call us directly.
Thank you for considering First Step. We would love to walk alongside you on this journey.
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