Creating Optimal ACCESS
to life, learning, communication & autonomy for those who cannot rely on speech for communication
WE NEED YOU TO JOIN US THIS WEEKEND IN-PERSON or VIRTUALLY!
Your participation can help bring 300 Hours of FREE Communication Support Training to help nonspeaking autistic students find a
reliable voice in their families, school, and in our community!
Speech does not make someone more human.
Communication Rights are for ALL of us!
Inspired by the book Underestimated, this full-length documentary challenges conventional wisdom regarding a group relegated to society’s margins: autistic nonspeakers. The film opening asks, “What if we’ve been wrong…about every single one of them?”
SPELLERS tells the stories of eight nonspeakers—who spell to communicate.
Purchase a ticket through Kinema to view on demand! Only $10!
Casey is a board-certified neurologic music therapist, small business owner, sought after presenter, and fierce advocate for the rights of those with communication disabilities. She founded Optimal Rhythms, Inc. to provide increased access to community training programs and support services for autistic individuals and those with neurologic disability or injury who struggle to communicate via speech.
Kaitlin has been a member of the Optimal Rhythms team since 2019, supporting students in-person and virtually. She is passionate and skilled at helping families get the supports they need to address the individualized needs of our students. She graduated from the University of Southern Indiana with a Bachelor's of Science in Psychology and is pursuing her Master's degree in Clinical Counseling.
Eric is a University of Evansville grad with 13+ years of experience in the field of music therapy. Eric started his career with Integrative Music Therapy and was instrumental in the start of Optimal Rhythms and ACCESS Academy. He has presented at regional and national conferences, often alongside self-advocates. Eric is a composer and songwriter and enjoys making music with all people.
This new registry for vulnerable persons is informed by individuals with sensory, motor, and communication challenges and will better inform first responders to the needs of individuals who respond best to specific supports and accommodations.
This registry is designed as a collaborative effort across communities to ensure the safety of those who are statistically at risk.
Click on the button below to lean how you can apply and receive your Keep Me Safe Decals.
Registrations are open for our
2023 CAN-Do Camp [Home Edition]!
This camp is designed to meet the needs of camp families, through an accessible and innovative camp model.
CAN-Do Camp will again be held virtually via Zoom, and each family will be assigned a Camp Coach and a Board-Certified Music Therapist. Families will receive activity kits with all of the materials needed for our weekly themed camp activities - it doesn't get much easier than that! Large group and small group sessions will be filled with engaging activities, movement breaks, sensory-motor supports, communication opportunities, peer interaction, and parent/caregiver training that has been proven to lead to improved confidence and communication in the home. Our incredible staff will be meeting you where you are and ensuring you and your loved one succeed!
Thank you to all of the campers and families who participated in previous camp experiences since 2014. We have learned so much and we have so much to celebrate!!
The 2023 CAN-Do Camp spots will fill on a first-come first-served basis. Registration is now open!
This program grew out of the needs we've heard expressed for years from parents and students who have been advocating for an educational opportunity that presumed competence and supported the motor and regulation challenges so many autistic students face in our schools. This program is implemented virtually, and we are so excited and prepared to partner with students and families all across the country (and beyond) to unleash potential and achieve their dream of rigorous classes that allows them to earn an academic diploma -even if they believed they had missed their chance! No more discrimination. No more set-backs. No more isolation. Welcome to our A2A Community!
ESA funding can be used for A2A in IN, NC, and AZ!
More states coming soon!
Contact us for details.
Our amazing team of full-time and part-time staff is committed to serving those with complex communication, sensory, and motor challenges.
If you have an interest in learning more about how you can train to be a part of our team, visit our About Us page to complete an application.
We grew out of the needs expressed by our community. Many other programs focused on DISability and did not provide opportunities to young autistic individuals to learn and live at their highest potential. In 2014, we opened ACCESS Academy as an alternative to traditional special education/life skills. Focusing on our student’s strengths
We grew out of the needs expressed by our community. Many other programs focused on DISability and did not provide opportunities to young autistic individuals to learn and live at their highest potential. In 2014, we opened ACCESS Academy as an alternative to traditional special education/life skills. Focusing on our student’s strengths and abilities, then supporting their challenges, allowed them thrive!
To optimally support autistic individuals to experience their full potential through access to communication, education, and connection for a good, full, and autonomous life.
Nancy was a friend of our students at Optimal Rhythms. She valued them and asked that others remember to support them at her passing. She was full of joy and patience.
Jay is the father of Optimal Rhythms CEO, Casey (Heath) DePriest. He was a life-long educator and a long-time supporter of the mission of Optimal Rhythms.
Join us as a mission partner!
Your support and contributions will enable us to meet our goals and improve conditions for children and families.
Your generous donation will fund our mission.
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