Family Resources

Clinical Services Workshops

Social Skills workshops, known as R.I.S.E. (Resiliency, Independence and Social Engagement), facilitated by Christine O’Gara, LMHC, and Robert Smith, BCBA, LABA, will be held this fall during the following dates:

Tuesdays, 4:30 PM, September 29 – November 17, 2020
Tuesdays, 5:45 PM, September 29 – November 17, 2020
Wednesdays, 5:15 PM, September 16 – November 4, 2020

Groups will be conducted for one hour per week for 8 weeks and take place via Zoom. Groups have a maximum capacity of 6 participants, and each participant must commit to attend all 8 sessions. 

All groups will be led by a licensed clinician, Christine O’Gara, with support from Robert Smith for at least two of the sessions. The focus of the social skills groups will include direct and explicit teaching of specific social skills in a small group format that is safe, fun and supportive.

The structure of the small group will allow participants to develop and practice skills utilizing modeling, role-play, prompting, shaping and reinforcement techniques. Group members will receive constructive and supportive feedback from staff and peers. Skills taught will assist residents in developing and maintaining social connections and improve overall social functioning. LIFE staff will be provided with current social skill targets and methods for prompting, supporting and reinforcing targets outside of the group setting. 

Cost to Attend

$55 per session, plus a one-time assessment of $130, which will be conducted prior to the start of the R.I.S.E. sessions. Those who have already attended a R.I.S.E. group do not need to repeat the assessment. Because these sessions are run by an LMHC, those with private insurance may be able to submit the paid invoice to their insurance for partial reimbursement of the cost of the sessions.

Session Demand
Sessions will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis and in consideration of the formation of complimentary peer groupings. Wait lists are maintained and those who are already on the wait list will be among first served. Additional R.I.S.E. groups will be run throughout the year.

To Register
Email Cheryl Evans, [email protected], with your interest, your date preferences ranked according to 1st, 2nd or 3rd choice from the above session dates. PLEASE RESPOND BY NEXT MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 5PM.

Do you want to learn more about R.I.S.E. and the recent expansion in our clinical services?
Join Robert Smith and Christine O’Gara for a Zoom workshop on Tuesday, September 15 at 7:00 pm.

Register here:
Meeting ID: 827 3983 1248
Passcode: 917852

August 2020

LIFE is pleased to announce an expansion in our clinical services. Under the direction of Robert S. Smith, M.A., M.Ed., Licensed Applied Behavior Analyst, Board Certified Behavior Analyst, LIFE will now be offering a full suite of behavioral services to enhance the lives of the individuals we serve. 

LIFE has expanded its clinical services as a result of feedback from the individuals we serve, their families, and our partners including the Department of Developmental Services.

At LIFE, we have the unique opportunity to provide these services within the natural everyday environment were the individual lives, works and plays. This allows these services to be provided seamlessly with the other services LIFE provides and allows for better acquisition and maintenance of the learned skills. All LIFE staff that work with the individual will be utilized and leveraged as part of a natural support network to make these services even more meaningful and powerful.

These services will be delivered through and guided by research and evidence-based practices with the goal of developing specific skills that open new opportunities and increase the life satisfaction of the individual.


Health Care Coverage for Adults with Autism and Other Disabilities

This presentation focuses on health care coverage for adults with autism and other disabilities. Topics include: private and public insurance benefits as children transition into adulthood, keeping adult disabled dependents on a parent’s private insurance past the age of 26, social security and how it impacts coverage, and strategies for maximizing access to insurance-funded treatments.


Amy Weinstock is the Director of the Autism Insurance Resource Center at the University of Massachusetts Medical School’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center, and an instructor in the medical school’s Department of Psychiatry. 

She has an extensive background on insurance issues related to autism and has played a key role in passing several significant pieces of autism insurance legislation in Massachusetts, including the groundbreaking 2010 law requiring health insurance to cover medically necessary treatment for autism. Amy also serves as a trustee of the Riverview School, and as a Commissioner on the State’s Autism Commission.

Following a successful career in real estate and banking, Amy, the parent of a child on the autism spectrum, decided to merge her personal passions and professional experience. 

She completed a Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) fellowship at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center in 2005. 

Following this, she served as President of the outreach organization of the Lurie Center for Autism at Massachusetts General Hospital for two years prior to her appointment as Chair of the Insurance Committee for Advocates for Autism of Massachusetts (AFAM).

Amy’s work has been recognized through numerous awards including the Federation for Children with Special Needs Martha H. Ziegler Founders Award, the Margaret L. Bauman Award for Excellence, the Massachusetts ARC’s Distinguished Citizens Award, the Autism Speaks Advocacy Award, the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation’s Shining Star and Essential piece awards, and the Northeast ARC’s Edward C. O’Keefe Memorial Award. 

She is a graduate of Wellesley College and received a Masters of Architecture from Harvard University.

Acquiring the Skills That Lead to Resiliency

Robert shares his work at LIFE during the pandemic, and discuss a clinical approach to supporting the development of skills in the people we serve that lead to resiliency.


Robert S. Smith, M.A., M.Ed., LABA, BCBA is a licensed applied behavior analyst, a board-certified behavior analyst, a licensed special educator, and consultant to organizations serving individuals with disabilities and mental health conditions across the lifespan. 

He has over 15 years of experience implementing positive behavior supports within organizations and providing educational and clinical support to individuals with developmental disabilities and mental health diagnoses. Robert is a certified trainer in Non-Violent Crisis Intervention and has provided certification training to hundreds of individuals. 

He has served as a senior level therapist for Massachusetts’ Department of Developmental Services’ Autism Waiver Program and provides post graduate practicum supervision to those seeking board certification as a behavior analyst throughout the United States. Robert specializes in assessing and treating individuals with explosive and unsafe behavior, conducting functional analyses, teaching social skills, designing individualized skill acquisition plans, developing coping skills, training staff and providing programmatic development consultation to organizations.

To watch the video below, use password: lifeskills


Call to schedule a tour: 508.790.3600

Main office: LIFE, Inc., 550 Lincoln Road Extension, Hyannis, MA 02601

[email protected]

Living Independently Forever, Inc. is a non-profit with multiple locations throughout Southeast Massachusetts supporting adults with autism, learning disabilities, and intellectual disabilities in their pursuit of a happy, independent life.

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