Community Support Services, Inc.

Community Support Services, Inc. is committed to the provision of quality community-based services to individuals with developmental disabilities. We provide innovative services to support an individual with their needs in school, work, home and the community. We strive to serve individuals in the environments in which they desire to live, work, recreate, and learn. Our services are flexible and designed in accordance with each individual's self-directed life goals.
Jul 29, 2014

Summer is the time for action!

Summer camp has started!

The summer recreation program is a busy time at CSS. We believe in community integration and that means

Even though many children are funded by the state or their parents are able to find resources, there are still a number of families that do not receive funding. At CSS we do have a fund to help support these families and it allows individuals, ages 5-20, the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of constructive, community-based social and recreational programs during extended school breaks.

Weekly activities regularly include playing at the park, Frisbee, soccer, bubbles, football, and playing on the playground equipment. On rainy days activities include art projects, sensory play, trampoline, air hockey, quiet games and puzzles in the classroom with peers. Summer is a great time to go swimming at the community swim center and a favorite is to hike along the trails at Sugarloaf Mountain or Great Falls Park.

However we cannot do any of these activities without donations like yours. There are so many children requiring the support of programs like ours, but because they parents are on a waiting list for funding they are often in inappropriate care settings. Every donation makes a difference in a child’s life this summer!

Jul 25, 2014

Vegetables as sweet treats!

grating the zucchini
grating the zucchini

This time of year gardens tend to produce an overabundance of one vegetable or another, and in this region we start to see more zucchini than most people usually know what to do with. But in our creative kitchen Chef Adam knows that zucchini is simply a great opportunity to introduce more healthy foods into our diet!

Narrow eating habits are reported in over seventy percent of those on the autism spectrum. And while it’s okay to simply not like some foods (most of us have foods we don’t like!) we do want to encourage healthy eating choices. Which brings us to this week’s recipe – Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes!

 It may sound strange at first, but adding zucchini to our sweet baked goods keeps them delectably moist. By adding vegetables in friendly vehicles like chocolate cupcakes, we build familiarity and positive associations. Individuals start to think of zucchini as something fun and not something scary!

Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 ¾ cups sugar or low calorie sweetener
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¾ cup olive oil or apple puree
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 ½ to 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

 Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Grease & flour a muffin tin
  2. In a mixing bowl combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Break up any lumps and mix until evenly combined.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl combine the oil, water, zucchini and vanilla. Add this to the dry ingredients, stirring until no traces of flour remain.
  4. Pour into prepared muffin pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. This recipe makes about 24 muffins.
Mixing the batter
Mixing the batter
Ready for the oven!
Ready for the oven!
May 12, 2014

April Showers bring May Gardens!

Untilled earth waiting to be cultivated.
Untilled earth waiting to be cultivated.

We had a long winter this year in Maryland. Schools were closed, roads were terrible, schedules were askew, and even worse, now we are now a month behind in our planting season!

Here at Community Support Services we maintain five community garden plots and each plot takes a lot of work to get ready for planting.  This year we are working with new plots and have to start our ground cultivation from the beginning. The dirt was hard but everyone persevered because we needed to start getting our seedlings in the ground!

First the ground was tilled. A tiller had to be rented every time which was one more cost in our budget.  Then we laid a mix of organic soil and fertilizer on the tilled earth before covering it with a weed block fabric. And then it was finally time to plant!

Our first crops making it to the gardens are Lacinato kale, collards, and onions. But we have a lot more waiting in our greenhouse to be planted! This weekend we began planting in our home gardens. It’s going to be a vegetable rich summer for everyone!

Every dollar contributed to our project makes a difference. Several of our garden tools are old and starting to break but we are still putting our broken trowels to good use.  This is the time of year to help us expand our backyard garden program. We hope to increase the number of raised beds so that more individuals with autism have the opportunity to grow their own vegetables. With your help we’ll be able to grow more than ever before!

A garden plot finally ready for planting!
A garden plot finally ready for planting!
Everyone enjoys a sunny morning in the garden.
Everyone enjoys a sunny morning in the garden.
Planting kale!
Planting kale!
A broken trowel still digs!
A broken trowel still digs!
Shoveling mulch to lay bed and path foundations.
Shoveling mulch to lay bed and path foundations.
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