VOLUME 37, NO. 2 • ISSN 1044-1921 • SUMMER 2020
Lessons Learned in Telehealth Services COVID-19 and the 2020-21 School Year Marking 50 Years of Improving Lives
Mission Statement The Autism Society of North Carolina improves the lives of individuals with autism, supports their families, and educates communities.
The Spectrum The Spectrum (ISSN 1044-1921) is published in January and August by the Autism Society of North Carolina, Inc. Copyright 2020. All rights reserved. Viewpoints expressed are not necessarily those of the Autism Society of North Carolina, Inc. or its Board of Directors. Editors: Amy Seeley & David Laxton Graphic Designer: Erika Chapman
Table of Contents Features:
Lessons Learned in Telehealth Services...................................4 COVID-19 and the 2020-21 School Year..................................6 Direct Supports and a New Normal.........................................8 Camp Royall Adapts to Take Care of Campers.......................10 Elections 2020: Voting and COVID-19...................................13 Marking 50 Years of Improving Lives.....................................14
Careers The Autism Society of North Carolina is always looking for qualified candidates who are passionate about helping individuals on the autism spectrum and their families. ASNC has offices in Asheville, Charlotte, Fayetteville, Greensboro, Greenville, Raleigh, and Wilmington. A variety of part- and full-time positions are available. Please visit www.autismsociety-nc.org/careers to learn more about current ASNC career opportunities. We appreciate referrals; please help us recruit the best talent by sharing the above link.
Annual Conference Update...................................................15
Also in this issue: Message from the CEO ........................................................... 3 Chapters................................................................................ 16 Hispanic Affairs...................................................................... 17 Fundraisers & Events............................................................. 18
Donations ............................................................................. 20 Call on Us............................................................................... 23
ASNC is also supported by:
5121 Kingdom Way, Suite 100 Raleigh, NC 27607 919-743-0204 â&#x20AC;˘ 800-442-2762 â&#x20AC;˘ Fax: 919-882-8661
Message from the CEO
What an incredible time in our world’s history it has been since I last wrote. This year has been such a challenging period for our country and especially our community, but we continue to persevere. This too shall pass, not without great sacrifice and loss, but I firmly believe we will be stronger on the other side of this enormous challenge. As I heard one parent say, “our world has dramatically changed due to the pandemic, but autism and the needs of our families remain the same.” As we continue to adjust to our “new normal,” ASNC has worked creatively to continue to meet the needs of our community in a variety of ways. Working in collaboration with our families and communities, a lot has been accomplished that we can all take pride in. Helping to meet the needs and address the challenges that families face due to autism has always been a core part of ASNC’s mission, and we’ve continued these efforts even under the direst of times. Improving Lives: Working with our families and staff and following guidance from medical professionals, we have been able to serve many families in a variety of settings throughout the pandemic. We have been able to offer overnight camp at Camp Royall this summer at limited capacity, which has meant the world to those campers. Additionally, we provided community-based skilled support and ABA services to over 400 people daily. Our Clinical Department even started a new service, Rapid Response Clinical Consultation through telehealth, enabling families in all 100 counties to access our clinical expertise. All of these services were provided with the utmost care and more precautions than can fit in this magazine. We also got creative with efforts such as Zoom Yoga, virtual scavenger hunts, and telehealth. Through it all, the training and safety of our staff and clients were top priority! Supporting Families: Obviously, this has been a challenging time for all families, but especially for those who have loved ones with autism. To address various new challenges, our Clinical and Advocacy departments have offered multiple live webinars and recorded others. We also have provided many blog posts, social narratives, and toolkits to address COVID-related issues. And as always, our Autism Resource Specialists have answered thousands of your calls related to new and ongoing concerns. Educating Communities: As soon as COVID became a pandemic, we created a webpage to serve as a one-stop-shop for our families and the community at large. It has been a tremendous resource for so many, with resources related to autism and COVID in general. Additionally, we have been diligently working with the General Assembly, LME/MCOs, and the NC Department of Health and Human Services at all levels to advocate for the needs of our community and the organizations that support our families and loved ones with autism. This time of great change is also a good time to look forward. We are in the final stages of completing our 2020-23 Strategic Plan. Our Board of Directors and staff are heavily focused on continuing to address the current and future needs of our community.
Board of Directors Executive Committee Chair Chris Whitfield Vice Chair Ron Howrigon 2nd Vice Chair Kristin Selby Secretary Steven Jones Treasurer Mark Gosnell Immediate Past Chair Ruth Hurst, Ph.D.
Directors Stephanie Austin Doug Brown Rob Christian, M.D. Latonya Croney Sandy Daston Steve Love, Ph.D. Craig Seman Scott Taylor
Throughout the pandemic, we’ve given every effort to be the best support to individuals with autism and their families. We couldn’t have done it without our stakeholders, supporters, and donors. Thank you all for partnering with us as we provide help to those most in need. Much remains to be done, and we are committed to being here for you. And as always, we appreciate the many generous contributions received during these times. Your continued support is needed more than ever before. We are better together. My best,
Tracey Sheriff, Chief Executive Officer www.autismsociety-nc.org • 3
Lessons Learned in Telehealth Services: Tips for Professionals and Families By Alana Ianello, MAT, BCBA & Louise Southern, M.Ed., BCBA
The world seems vastly different than it was in 2019. As we try to adjust to wearing facial coverings, staying at home, working from home, meeting virtually, and online schooling, many must also explore the world of telehealth. Telehealth services typically involve live, two-way video interaction between a professional and the client (the individual, and their caregivers). Almost overnight, many caregivers had to learn how to navigate new online and telehealth technologies to support their child. For some individuals with autism and their families, this period has been supremely challenging for many reasons. Some individuals with autism respond effectively and independently to well-structured telehealth services. They interact with the professional, learn from the virtually delivered content, and enjoy those virtual sessions. However, other individuals with autism struggle to access and respond to telehealth without ongoing, direct facilitation or mediation by a caregiver. In these situations, the caregiver becomes the instructor, and the professional is there through telehealth to coach and support the caregiver as they work with the individual.
Telehealth Strategies and Guidelines In any case, there are strategies and guidelines to consider when providing telehealth services to support individuals with autism, and below are just a few of these: • Assure that everyone is very comfortable with technology and the telehealth platform. Build in time to support individuals with autism and caregivers in accessing and using the technology. • For some individuals with autism, it is most effective and appropriate to start with short telehealth sessions (5 or 10 minutes) and build up from there as they begin to understand and engage with this new format. • It may be necessary to adjust goals during this unique and challenging time. Prioritize and focus on skills valued most by the individual and their family. • For some caregivers/parents who are providing parentmediated telehealth services, it may be most effective to start with shorter sessions and build up from there. Again, it needs to work for the family. • Discuss a plan with the caregiver to establish their needs for upcoming sessions. If a caregiver will be facilitating the session, identify the natural family routines and activities in which skills could be targeted. Prep the family with any materials needed for the session. 4 • The Spectrum, Summer 2020
• Be sure to choose a time for telehealth sessions that aligns well with the caregiver’s schedule. It needs to work for the family. • Structure the sessions for success. Use familiar visual supports (e.g., schedule, agenda, activities plan) to clarify what will happen and in what order for the individual with autism. There are a wide range of telehealth platforms, tools, and online resources that enable screen sharing, dynamic interactions, and varied response forms. • While many individuals with autism may gravitate toward technology, some are not accustomed to interfacing with technology in this way. It is likely that the professional will need to take things slowly, and keep things relaxed and “work-free” at first. For instance, use preferred videos, music, and online interactive games. Build in breaks. Continual interaction in a virtual platform can be overwhelming and exhausting for some. • Continue to provide choices! We all need choices, especially in a time when it seems that our choices are incredibly limited for where we can go and what we can do. Provide
Our Clinical team can address your professional development goals During COVID-19 and beyond, ASNC’s Clinical Department can provide live virtual training events using interactive and dynamic approaches to address a range of topics. We customize our trainings to meet the needs of your group. Below are examples of recent trainings: • Best practices in instruction for students with autism • Supporting students with autism in regular education settings • Tiered framework for behavioral intervention in school settings • Contemporary approaches to functional behavior assessment and behavior intervention plans
• Strategies to promote socio-emotional skills • Sexuality education in autism • Let’s play! Addressing social engagement and communication in young children with ASD • Self-advocacy, safety, connectedness and wellness: Addressing meaningful outcomes for adults with autism
Who do we train? Workshops are tailored to professional groups across the state including, but not limited to, early intervention clinicians and instructors, K-12 regular and special education teachers, school administrators, community-based service providers, residential service providers, health-care professionals, vocational rehabilitation and employment supports professionals, emergency responders, and post-secondary educators. We go beyond the workshop/webinar format. Our approach includes follow-up projects and direct, individualized coaching as features of the professional development autism training package. Our clinical professionals will support your staff in implementing instructional interventions and behavioral strategies that are proven to be effective for individuals with autism. A variety of specialty and individualized autism training options are available.
choices regarding session activities and be ready to switch up activities if the individual is having a difficult day or if they would like to opt-out of an activity. • Consider presenting only previously mastered skills/ concepts in early telehealth sessions to help the individual stay successful, to prevent frustration, and to maintain skills already learned. • Celebrate successes no matter how small. Every step counts. This period of uncertainty and change provides us an opportunity to connect with individuals with autism in new ways, and to collaborate with parents and caregivers on an even deeper level. In these trying times (and always), it’s all about staying connected and using creative, individualized approaches to advance the outcomes that matter most to the individual with autism and their family. g The ASNC Clinical Team provides LifeLong Interventions, telehealth, behavior support consultation, and training for parents and professionals. For more info, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 919-390-7242.
Free online resources ASNC Clinical webinars are available on our website. Recent additions include: • COVID-19 and Autism: Teaching the rules in this new norm • Structuring the Academic Day during Covid-19 • Preventing Challenging Behaviors • Developing Calming, Movement and Coping Routines • Sexuality Education To learn more, vis�t www.autismsociety-nc.org/webinars
www.autismsociety-nc.org • 5
COVID-19 & the 2020-21 School Year By Robin McCraw, Autism Resource Specialist
When NC public schools stopped face-to-face instruction in March, a minority of high school students were participating in virtual learning classrooms, fewer in middle school, and even fewer elementary students. Overnight, the face of education changed. Through astounding efforts, we made it to the end of the 2019-20 school year, remotely. Remote learning did bring some positive aspects, but also challenges. The experiences will have a compelling effect on the future of education, both short and long term.
Among the positive aspects was that general and special education teachers and related services providers acquired new ways to collaborate through virtual platforms. Continuing this will improve teamwork for meeting each child’s unique needs. Most children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, regardless of functioning level, have a relative strength in technology. During remote learning, technology allowed some students with autism to demonstrate academic skills they struggle to demonstrate in a traditional classroom setting. Going forward, beneficial technology will be more accessible to students. Challenges to remote learning included technology access and proficiency, learning differences, attention span, lack of interest, developmental level of students, academic content, and parent work schedules. Although the same standards were taught statewide, instruction looked different from district to district, sometimes even from class to class. Although there were many effective educator, parent, and student partnerships across the state, for some, communication and/ or support was inadequate. Some students experienced regression.
2020-21 School Year in Flux At the time of publication, the state had announced a combination of in-person and remote learning for reopening K-12 schools in August. That decision might be updated based on available data metrics from the NC Department of Health and Human Services. Regardless of the state plan, school districts may choose to begin with a more restrictive plan, so refer to your school district’s website and district correspondence. As the school year progresses, the NC Department of Public Instruction (DPI) will continue to monitor state and regional metrics to determine whether districts will need to alter plans. Legislative bills are currently being considered in both the state House and Senate to provide additional support for school districts, staff, and students. Refer to the ASNC blog, www. autismsociety-nc.org/blog, for legislative and DPI updates. On May 21, the State Board of Education approved requirements for remote instruction plans, listing 15 components that each must include. Component 10 requires that all plans address the needs of students with disabilities: “ensuring that students 6 • The Spectrum, Summer 2020
with disabilities have equal access to the remote instruction provided by their public school units and that remote instruction is provided in a manner consistent with each student’s individualized education program (IEP) or 504 plan.” Remote learning plans are to be considered and included when appropriate during revisions of or development of an IEP or 504 plan.
Your Voice is Important A parent’s unique perspective should be voiced during the IEP process, especially now. EC staff want parent input concerning your child’s interests, strengths, and challenges. You are your child’s best advocate. Parent involvement in the IEP process and their child’s education supports the best educational outcomes. If you are unable to attend an IEP meeting in person, consider participating virtually through Zoom, GotoMeeting, etc. Video chats offer improved interactivity over participating by phone; however, participating in person is still preferable when possible.
Keep Data Now The instructional changes due to COVID-19 make your documentation more important than ever. School personnel have data, but you know your child best. Your data will help you be an effective advocate for your child. If you are not already doing so, start ongoing documentation. Follow these tips and refer to the ASNC IEP toolkit at www.autismsocietync.org/toolkits for guidance. • Document what you see as the most significant barriers to your child’s ability to learn and reach IEP goals.
• Behaviors, sensory issues, attention, social or academic deficits may be a barrier. Document specific examples that demonstrate how this is a barrier in the education setting.
whether staff have enough time to work on these goals with your child. Increase instructional time (service delivery) if needed.
• Note progress or lack of progress from the remote learning period through work samples and notes. Write down specifics concerns and questions.
Considering Learning Environments
• Document any regression, including related services such as speech, OT, or PT. • For IEP purposes, valid data usually consists of at least six weeks, preferably 8-10 weeks of work samples, notes, or other information. • Any verbal conversation with school staff concerning IEP, 504, or other education issues should be followed up with an email summarizing what was discussed. Sometimes busy school staff may forget a conversation or interpret the conversation differently than a parent. Your email documents the conversation and reduces the chance of misinterpretation. • Save and print important emails for future reference.
List Concerns Before the IEP or 504 meeting As you plan for any IEP or 504 meeting, create an outline of information to share, including your child’s successes, strengths, and weaknesses. Include concerns that have risen since the last meeting, including education setting, amount of services, etc. Keep your concerns specific. Be part of long-term education planning by communicating your vision for your child, including long-term goals.
Writing Goals in the IEP or 504 Bring your meeting outline and relevant documentation to the IEP or 504 meeting in an organized binder or folder so you are prepared to share about what worked and what did not. Consider any lack of progress or regression. If this is due to a lack of appropriate instruction, your child may be eligible for compensatory education. (Learn more about compensatory education with this ASNC webinar: www.autismsociety-nc. org/asncwebinar/compensatory-education.) Use your data to voice concerns, providing potential solutions when possible. Do you have ideas for possible annual goals? A goal should be reasonably accomplished within one year. Focus on specific skills to maximize overall academic, functional, socialemotional, or behavioral competency. If goals are added, ask
Learn More Toolkits: www.autismsociety-nc.org/toolkits Blog: www.autismsociety-nc.org/blog Webinar library: www.autismsociety-nc.org/autism-webinars COVID resources (see “Education Updates and Resources” section): www.autismsociety-nc.org/coronavirus
In response to COVID-19, many school districts have announced virtual academy options for the 2020-21 school year. Virtual learning may be an appropriate option for some students with technology strength. For those with autism, issues beyond academic strength must be addressed, including socialemotional, sensory, functional, and behavioral needs. The needs of each student with a disability must be addressed in the least restrictive environment under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The appropriate setting looks different for every student. Before moving to a more restrictive setting, needs should be addressed through extensive IEP accommodations and modifications. Ask questions before you agree to a change of educational setting, including a virtual academy or other remote learning option. How would the change affect your child’s long-term educational outcomes? Could it limit attending college, earning a high school diploma, chances for employment, or create other limitations? Goals and individual needs, not EC category, should drive placement.
Considering Accommodations and/or Modifications During remote learning, you may have observed a need for IEP accommodations and/or modifications to support your child’s learning. IEP accommodations and modifications are not intended to provide advantage but help “level the playing field” for a student with a disability. Accommodations adjust instruction, material or environment without altering what is taught. Modifications alter the academic content. Both are based on individual need. In addition to academic deficits, anxiety, stress, social issues, processing speed, etc. that limit access to the curriculum and/or work completion can be addressed this way. The focus of the IEP meeting is your child and his educational needs. Personnel issues and past grievances should be addressed at another time. If you disagree with the rest of the IEP team, be prepared to have data to support your view. Our ASNC webinars and IEP Toolkit provide further guidance for advocating for your child’s educational needs. g Thank you to EC Department directors Kathryn Green and Barbara Skelly for their insightful contributions. ASNC Autism Resource Specialists are available to help families in every county of North Carolina on topics such as accessing services, community resources, IEPs, and residential options. They are all parents of children or adults with autism themselves, so they have firsthand knowledge and a unique understanding of what you are going through. They also are trained professionals with many years of experience. Find one near you: www.autismsociety-nc.org/ resourcespecialists www.autismsociety-nc.org • 7
Direct Supports and a New Normal
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted routines and services as North Carolina has been under “Stay at Home” and “Safer at Home” orders. Many of the home and community supports that ASNC provides involve close contact and were disrupted. ASNC offices and programs closed to protect workers and participants while we worked with the NC Department of Health and Human Services and the LME/MCOs to determine how to offer them safely. As the months have passed, we have learned more about COVID-19, put safeguards in place, and resumed services where possible. Here’s a snapshot of the new normal. • Community and in-home services have implemented screenings, protective measures, and modified activities and have adapted to different methods of service delivery based upon family needs and preference. If you have questions about supports, contact your ASNC services coordinator.
on our frontlines during the COVID-19 pandemic. They are sewing masks for our communities, keeping our stores stocked, helping you get your groceries to your car, keeping your stores and restaurants clean, ensuring your items are packaged and shipped.
• Facility-based programming such as adult day programs, social recreation, transition supports, and IGNITE, are being offered in-home (when possible), on a limited basis at facilities, and in some cases virtually via technology due to limits on the number of people who can gather at an indoor location. Daily screenings, protective measures, and adherence to the occupancy limits are mandatory. Some outdoor small group activities and meetups are resuming in settings where social distancing can occur.
Although these individuals are so excited to be working, many still need support to obtain and maintain these work opportunities. Some individuals were laid off due to COVID-19. Others found it difficult to transition to new guidelines imposed due to the pandemic or are facing changes to routines and policies in their jobs. ASNC employment specialists have been out there in the community, ensuring that each individual they serve has the greatest opportunity possible to be successful on a job they choose.
• Employment supports continues to work to match workers with jobs during this challenging time. ASNC was pleased to be able to help secure jobs for several adults during the early months of the pandemic. Daily screenings and protective measures are in place. (Read more below.) If you are interested in services, please contact your area ASNC services office www.autismsociety-nc.org/skill-building or your Autism Resource Specialist www.autismsociety-nc. org/resourcespecialists.
Employment Supports More Important Than Ever 2020 has brought a new year of challenges, including increased unemployment rates because of the pandemic. ASNC has continued to support individuals to maintain employment and has even continued to secure new job placements at a pace consistent with pre-COVID rates. Even during these unprecedented times, many individuals with autism continue to seek employment opportunities and are not only willing but eager to work. Individuals with autism are among some of the unacknowledged heroes working 8 • The Spectrum, Summer 2020
Ideas for Virtual Connections from IGNITE As the pandemic hit North Carolina, young adults in our IGNITE program working to increase their independence still needed support, but in-person group meetings had to be limited. IGNITE staff worked quickly to transition exercise, learning, and social groups to online offerings. Through virtual classes, the Davidson and Raleigh IGNITE members have been gathering, learning, and working together daily. The new method of interaction has helped form new connections across the state.
We have found the virtual format can be better for individuals with autism because the pressure of in-person gatherings is removed. Here are some examples of shared virtual experiences you can try at home with friends and family. • Many zoos and museums provide virtual tours. Watch with others simultaneously using StreamParty and share knowledge and exchange facts in a virtual chat room. • Netflix Party gives you the ability to keep movie night on a schedule. Form a group and vote using a virtual poll to determine which movies to watch and then use the online chat feature during the movie. • For virtual game nights, we recommend the Houseparty app. From virtual escape rooms to becoming a contestant on the virtual game show Deal or No Deal, Houseparty lets you continue to be social during this time of social distancing. Don’t forget about health and wellness. There are many free online classes including High Intensity Interval Training, circuits, and cardio. If you want something more fun, try TikTok dance workouts and the Cupid Shuffle. The main thing is to have fun and move.
Nominate Your ASNC Direct Support Professional for the Roman Award
Do you have a direct support professional who regularly goes above and beyond? Have they had a significant impact on you, your loved one, your family, and the community?
Do you know someone who is passionate about helping individuals on the autism spectrum and their families? Let them know that the Autism Society of North Carolina is always looking for qualified candidates to join us as we improve lives.
Recognize their excellence by nominating them for the John and Claudia Roman Direct Service Award. This award honors an Autism Society of North Carolina direct support professional who has demonstrated outstanding dedication to individuals with autism and their families. The winner will be recognized at the Autism Society of North Carolina’s annual conference as well as receiving a monetary award and other recognition. Please complete the nomination form at www.autismsociety-nc. org/RomanAward by Sept. 10. The John and Claudia Roman Direct Service Award was endowed by Lori and Gregg Ireland to honor Christine Roman, the direct support professional who worked with their son, Vinnie. It was named for her parents, John and Claudia Roman. The Autism Society of North Carolina has bestowed the award for 12 years as part of its annual celebration of direct support professionals. g
Save the Date! November 28, 2020
8th annual car show to benefit IGNITE
Why work for ASNC? We offer: • Extensive training and education • Full- and part-time positions across the state • Flexible hours and customized schedules • Competitive pay • Benefits starting at 20 hours • Extensive client matching to ensure good fit • Rewarding and relevant job experience We are always looking for candidates or referrals for the following positions: • Autism Support Professionals • Vocational Support Professionals • Autism Services Coordinators • Social Recreation Counselors • Behavior Technicians
www.autismsociety-nc.org/careers www.autismsociety-nc.org • 9
Camp Royall Adapts to Take Care of Campers This summer, we were thrilled to be able to open Camp Royall so that campers could again have the best summer ever. They were splashing in the pool, singing songs at Shady Circle, and learning new skills. They were greeting old friends and making new ones! The past several months have been hard on everyone, and many things have changed. But what hasn’t changed is the strength of our autism community. We thank our supporters for enabling us to offer these opportunities to campers and to their families, who enjoyed some much-needed respite while knowing their loved ones were well taken care of. Our safety efforts began long before campers arrived at Camp Royall. In planning, Autism Society of North Carolina followed best-practice guidance and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American Camping Association, the NC Department of Health and Human Services, and local health officials. We had to completely change our camp structure so that we could maintain smaller groups that did not interact with any other camper groups. Unfortunately, this meant fewer campers were able to attend this year. All campers were asked to screen their health for two weeks before arriving at Camp Royall and stay home if they were not feeling well. (We enacted flexible cancellation and refund policies.) Camp staff arrived at Camp Royall two weeks before opening to train on all of our new safety protocols, such as increased hand washing, social distancing, and sanitizing. We commend them for taking all of our cautionary measures seriously and helping campers to understand and follow all guidelines through the use of social narratives, modeling, and visual supports such as physical markings.
The facility team also went above and beyond to ensure we had all of the supplies and staff to support extra cleaning and the delivery of meals, which campers ate with their small groups in a home base, rather than in the dining hall. Small groups spent all of their indoor time in these home bases, and then rotated into outdoor activity spaces. These spaces were sanitized between small groups, and no activity equipment was shared. During camp, all staff wore face coverings all day, and campers who could tolerate masks also wore them; everyone received a temperature check three times a day. Even with all of these changes, campers were able to have their best summer ever at Camp Royall! Joshua C., who has been coming to Camp Royall since he was very young, said thinking about camp and seeing everyone again has made him happy! His favorite camp activities are the pool and the campfires. His dad says, “Whether it’s having a place other than home to go where my boys can be just who they are and be loved for it, or gaining skills like communication and making lifelong friends, or just giving our family a chance to breathe and get some much-needed R&R, Camp Royall has been a blessing beyond words. You know a place is great when a kid on the spectrum who prefers not to talk can always be relied upon to say ‘camp’ and smile while doing it!” Lia’s favorite part about Camp Royall is hanging out with her friends. She also loves to play outside, do arts and crafts, and
Go Green: Receive the Spectrum electronically! We send out over 30,000 printed copies of the magazine twice a year. If you would like to help us save money on printing and postage – and have early access to the magazine and clickable links – sign up to receive your next Spectrum digitally.
Complete the form: www.autismsociety-nc.org/edelivery 10 • The Spectrum, Summer 2020
of course, sing and dance! Her mom says, “It is such a gift to be able to drop Lia off at Camp Royall and know she will be surrounded by counselors and staff that not only understand her, but appreciate her entirely. Camp Royall knows the aspects that will make the experience successful for people with autism, including sending out a schedule in advance, providing a sensory room to relax if needed, and creating the time and interest in talking to parents about the unique needs of their child.” Joshua A. said he loves everything about camp, and he had his best week ever because of his new friend, Harrison. His mom says, “Joshua started coming to camp at Camp Royall before kindergarten because I needed help. Before that first time at camp, I still tucked him in and helped him with his bedtime routine, but after that first week at camp, he came home and told me he didn’t need me at bedtime anymore. He gained independence and became self-assured at camp. Camp Royall is the only place on the planet where he can be himself. He doesn’t just fit in there, he belongs there.”
More Fun to Come at Camp Royall As of this printing, we plan to offer most of our usual yearround programming but attendance will have to be limited to follow the safety protocols we established during summer camp. Please check our website for updated dates and to register: www.camproyall.org. Track-Out Day Camps will be offered for school-age children during breaks from school. Mini Camps provide campers the chance to spend the weekend at camp, from 5 p.m. Friday to 12 noon Sunday. Campers enjoy a miniature version of our summer camp program while families benefit from some respite; preference is given to campers living at home. Supervision at a ratio of 1:1 or 1:2 is provided for all campers during these weekends. Residential Week-Long Camps will be offered in December, with a range of activities. Dates will be set based on school and college schedules, which affect staff availability, so please check our website. The overnight program includes a 1:1 or 1:2 counselor-to-camper ratio, based on each camper’s level of need. Adult Retreats give independent adults, 18 years and older, a chance to enjoy time with friends at Camp Royall. We hope to offer a week-long retreat plus several weekend retreats. Participants enjoy recreational activities at camp as well as outings in the community when safety guidelines allow. Teen Retreats give independent teens (ages 13-22) time at Camp Royall with friends. We gather on Friday evening to share dinner and activities. The weekend includes leisure and recreational activities at camp, as well as outings in the community when safety guidelines allow. Compared to our other programs at Camp Royall, the supervision level during Teen Retreats is low.
Teen Tuesday offers teens (ages 13-22) the opportunity to learn life skills in a welcoming group setting. The group meets one Tuesday a month from 5 until 7:30 p.m.
Registration for 2021 Programs As we did last year, we will open registration for the Camp Royall Summer Camp lottery earlier this year. Online registration for summer 2021 will run from Nov. 9 to Jan. 15, and we will be able to notify you about placement and scholarship awards on Feb. 3, 2021. We hope this will help you as you make your summer plans! Registration will be open from Nov. 9 to Dec. 15 for all other programs running from January to August 2021, and families will be notified about their placements on Jan. 8, 2021. After the registration period, you can apply for waitlists. g As always, we are honored to provide a caring, accepting place for campers on the autism spectrum. Please contact Camp Royall staff if you have any questions at 919-542-1033 or camproyall@ autismsociety-nc.org. You can also learn more on our website, www. camproyall.org.
www.autismsociety-nc.org • 11
Achieve A Better Life Experience: NC ABLE By North Carolina Treasurer Dale R. Folwell, CPA
In years past, those with disabilities who accumulated more than $2,000 risked losing critical benefits, such as Medicaid, SSI and other public support programs. However, in direct response to the asset limitations imposed by public support eligibility, the federal Achieve a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act was introduced and signed into law in 2014. This important federal legislation laid the groundwork for each state to create and administer its own ABLE savings program. North Carolina passed its NC ABLE Act in 2015, with the NC ABLE Program launching two years later. The NC ABLE Program is designed for individuals of any age with the occurrence of disability prior to the age of 26. NC ABLE accounts are tax-advantaged savings that allow for contributions up to $15,000 per year, with a greater annual allowance for employed account holders through the ABLEto-Work provision. NC ABLE account balances up to $100,000 are excluded from assets for the purpose of determining SSI eligibility. In terms of being able to think about financial independence, transformative care and resources for eligible individuals, this program is a game-changer. Funds held in an NC ABLE account may be used for qualified disability expenses (QDEs) by the account holder. QDEs are broadly defined as expenses that maintain or improve the health, independence and quality of life for the account holder. Examples of QDEs may include education, housing, healthcare, transportation, assistive technology, cellphones, food and more. Many states have enacted ABLE programs, but there are distinct differences in the way they are implemented. North Carolina took time to develop the NC ABLE Program structure and administration. NC ABLE is administered by the Department of State Treasurer and governed by a Board of Trustees that has the fiduciary duty to establish, manage and oversee all aspects of the program for the exclusive benefit of account holders. Additionally, the NC ABLE board made the decision to join the National ABLE Alliance, a consortium of 17 states that uses the strength of its partnership to negotiate multiple financial options at a low, competitive cost. Through this alliance, NC ABLE offers seven account types, including checking and investment options ranging from conservative to aggressive risk. You can include a combination of checking and investment types in your NC ABLE account. And, while you certainly receive the benefits of hometown advantage, accountability and accessibility if you reside in North Carolina, you do not have to be a resident to participate in the NC ABLE Program. In three years and through primarily grassroots efforts, we have enrolled over 1,000 participants. For those receiving means-
12 â&#x20AC;˘ The Spectrum, Summer 2020
tested public benefits, it is a monumental step towards financial independence. However, these accounts not only help those receiving public assistance, it provides a more secure financial future for all qualified individuals. NC ABLE accounts act much like a health savings account in the sense that you can use the funds for qualified expenses now or in the future. With an average account balance of over $7,000, we can see that the program is working. In North Carolina, 2.5 million people are directly or indirectly impacted by a disability. While not all of them may be eligible for an NC ABLE account, it does speak to the work that needs to be done to raise awareness and let everyone know the program exists. Awareness is key and we must connect with the individuals and families that would benefit from the NC ABLE Program. In a recent survey of current account holders, over 97% stated they would recommend the program to others. We need to continue that momentum. Opening an account is easy and can be done online by the individual, guardian, parent or authorized person. In June, the North Carolina General Assembly, under a bill sponsored by Reps. Carson Smith, Allen McNeil and Senator Andy Wells, expanded this list to include siblings. Allowing parents and siblings of eligible adults lacking capacity to open an account on their own is a distinguishing feature of the NC ABLE Program and increases the reach and accessibility of these savings accounts. NC ABLE savings accounts provide a path to financial independence and security for the future in a way that was not possible just a few years ago. This program is a tool, a resource and a beneficial option for many individuals. It is now not only okay to dream, to plan, and to transform care, it is now okay to save. Be Able with NC ABLE. Learn more about NC ABLE, its benefits and how to open an account at www.nctreasurer.com/ divisions/nc-able. g
Elections 2020: Voting & COVID-19 By Jennifer Mahan, Director of Public Policy
With the spread of COVID-19, some people are concerned about how elections will be conducted safely this fall. Voting laws were changed in June to make it easier for people to vote from home using absentee ballots. The general election on Nov. 3 will elect a variety of officials who can influence issues related to autism, disabilities, education, health and human services, and rights. As a nonprofit organization, ASNC does not become directly involved in elections or campaigns, but we want you to understand your right to vote, how to vote, and where to get accurate information.
How to Register to Vote
Accessible Voting and Voting in a Facility
The deadline to register to vote is Oct. 9. To register, you must fill out a registration form and mail it to your county board of elections office. Download the form from the NC State Board of Elections (SBOE) website. You can also register online through the NC Division of Motor Vehicles website at https:// bit.ly/30i6HTa.
Do you need assistance to vote, or live in a facility and don’t have a relative to request an absentee ballot?
To update your registration, see the SBOE website for instructions and forms or update your info online through the DMV.
Absentee Ballot Voting At home/absentee ballot request forms can be found on the SBOE website or by calling your local board of elections. All request forms are due by 5 p.m. Oct. 25. Two important features of the new rules: 1. Only one witness is required to sign your absentee ballot. 2. People with disabilities who need assistance and do not have a close relative to help them can ask for a local Multipartisan Assistance Team to help them get and complete a ballot. Other Absentee Ballot reminders: • Follow the instructions on the form for providing proof of the voter’s information, including an ID number. • Your ballot must be marked in the presence of a witness then sealed into the return envelope (specifically for the ballot). The witness must complete the Absentee Application and Certificate on the envelope and sign it. Anyone assisting must also sign. • Ballots can be mailed or delivered in person, but only the voter, guardian, or relative/near relative can deliver them. If delivered in person, ballots must be received by the county board of elections by 5 p.m. Nov. 3. If mailed, ballots must be postmarked on or before Nov. 3 and received within three days after the election. • Note: By federal law, those who live overseas or are in the military stationed out of the country have other options and requirements. Please consult the SBOE website.
• Voting sites should be accessible to all voters, including those with disabilities. • By law, voters can receive assistance from an immediate family member in the voting booth and with ballots. Voters who have physical disabilities, are illiterate, or are blind and prevented by those conditions from accessing the voting booth and filling out a ballot may request assistance from non-relatives (but not union reps, employers, or agents thereof). • Voters at all locations can also receive help to vote curbside at or in their vehicle if they encounter barriers or have difficulties leaving their vehicle to vote. The voter must swear an oath that they need to vote in this manner and are not required to show proof of a condition or disability. • People living in facilities can request help to vote absentee from Multipartisan Assistance Teams. Typically, the facility can contact the local board of elections to schedule a visit from the local team, but the request must be initiated by the voter/residents; facility staff are prohibited from being involved in the voting activities of residents. There is a checkbox on the absentee ballot request to ask whether assistance is needed.
Voting in Person You can vote in person at an early voting site Oct. 15-31 or at your polling place on Nov. 3. Check with your local board of elections or the SBOE website for early voting locations and times. If you plan to vote Nov. 3, be sure to check your polling place, as some may have changed. Do I need identification? NO, except for one-stop voting. Can I register and vote the same day? Yes, but ONLY at onestop early voting sites. For details about what documents and forms are required, visit the SBOE website. One-stop voting does require you to provide a photo ID. g Have questions about public policy or advocating? Contact Jennifer Mahan, Director of Public Policy at ASNC, at 919-865-5068 or by email at email@example.com. www.autismsociety-nc.org • 13
Marking 50 Years of Improving Lives
Earlier this year, the Autism Society of North Carolina marked 50 years of improving the lives of individuals with autism, supporting their families, and educating communities. Our organization was started in 1970 by a group of parents who wanted to build better lives for all children with Autism Spectrum Disorder across the state and offer supports throughout the lifespan. ASNC planned to begin celebrating our golden anniversary at the March annual conference and continue through the spring with in-person events at our offices throughout the state. Unfortunately, COVID-19 meant none of these events could take place, and we were called upon to adapt to change, as has often happened throughout our history. ASNC began as a small group of parents and professionals who shared a goal and vision for their children to be able to access schools, recreational programming, and other services. Over the past five decades, ASNC has grown and evolved into an organization offering so much more across our state. From those small, volunteer-driven beginnings, ASNC now responds to the changing needs of individuals with autism and their families through more than 1,000 employees across the state. Autism Resource Specialists now cover all 100 counties, and staff work one-on-one with people of all
Reliable Resource Are you reading ASNC’s blog regularly? Our Autism Resource Specialists, Clinical team, and Public Policy staff contribute in-depth articles aimed at supporting individuals with autism and their families. Some of our most popular recent posts: • Working through the Challenges of Wearing a Mask • Telling Your Child about an Autism Diagnosis • New Adventures in These Challenging Times
www.autismsociety-nc.org/blog 14 • The Spectrum, Summer 2020
ages daily, helping them to succeed in school, develop new skills, maintain fulfilling employment, and live independently. Our website includes a wealth of online resources (webinars, toolkits, social narratives, etc.) that empower our community and the over 200,000 people who view it annually. “Fifty years later, improving lives, supporting families, and educating communities are still the pillars of our organization, and the Autism Society of North Carolina is fulfilling that mission more than ever,” said CEO Tracey Sheriff. We encourage readers to go to www.autismsociety-nc.org/ history to view our 50th retrospective video, a timeline of notable events in our history, and remembrances from parents, individuals we serve, and longtime staff. We hope you will share your memories there in our virtual guest book.
To mark the 50th anniversary, ASNC also refreshed its logo to better align with our mission statement and community. The updated look recognizes our history and established brand elements and has changed to reflect the diverse needs of our community during the next 50 years. Our well-established brand now has a more modern, connected look, reflecting the collaborative relationship between adults with autism, families, and professionals. Our colors remain the same. But we have adapted the icon and fonts, recognizing we live in a digital-first world of mobile devices. Those elements are now easier to see and read across all mediums. “As the prevalence rate of autism has risen and the number of diagnosed adults has increased, the Autism Society of North Carolina has responded to community feedback, creating numerous innovative services and supports year after year,” Sheriff said. “As our new look shows, we aren’t finished being innovative and creating new options for our community. We’ve come so far in the first 50 years and are excited about what we can do moving forward.” g
Annual Conference Update
The Autism Society of North Carolina’s 2020 annual conference was slated to be the most attended ASNC conference ever. More than 500 people had registered, and our wait list was nearly 200. What an incredible response to our program lineup that included Temple Grandin, Michelle Garcia Winner, and more! Then, the COVID-19 pandemic happened and ASNC staff made the difficult decision to cancel the event. Our goal is to always provide an informative conference where attendees, speakers, and exhibitors can connect, share, and learn from each other. We share your disappointment that the conference had to be canceled. We have worked hard to process refund requests and acknowledge those who donated their registration fee to support ASNC during this challenging period. If you need a refund or have questions regarding your registration fee or status, please contact Director of Communications David Laxton at dlaxton@autismsociety-nc. org or 919-865-5063. Thank you for your understanding and support! Looking ahead, our 2021 conference is scheduled for March 26-27 at the Hilton University Place in Charlotte. Currently, the plan is to have the conference in person. We are working with
the Hilton to ensure that our attendees will be safe and that the appropriate protocols for health and safety are in place. Recognizing that there are many unknowns at this time, ASNC’s conference planning committee is exploring options that may enable us to add virtual attendees and/or make the content available online. Look for more information about the conference program and options on the ASNC website and via our email newsletters this fall. If you are not currently receiving email newsletters, go to www.autismsociety-nc.org/contact-us and register. We look forward to seeing you in March! g
Gain Knowledge with ASNC Toolkits Free toolkits that can be read online or downloaded and printed www.autismsociety-nc.org/toolkits • • • • • • • • • •
Guardianship & Alternatives Autism and Health Accessing Services The IEP Behavior & the IEP Bullying Residential Options Advocacy 101 IEP: Transition Component Autism & Faith Communities
Webinars We offer our most popular webinars on our website so you can watch at your convenience! Here are some of our top titles: www.autismsociety-nc.org/online-webinars • • • • • • • •
Safety Considerations for Caregivers Residential Options for Adults with Autism Preparing for College Starts at Home Guardianship: What You Need to Know Taking Autism on the Road IEP Basics Understanding & Addressing Problem Behavoirs NC ABLE Accounts
Chapters: Providing Support When It’s Needed Most Autism Society of North Carolina Chapters and Support Groups have traditionally been built around a “front porch” philosophy, providing a welcoming place for individuals with autism and their families. That welcoming place has had a far different look these past few months as Chapters have experienced new challenges around the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since late March, most of ASNC’s in-person programs and events, including those hosted by Chapters, have been suspended per “stay at home” and social distancing recommendations by the state. Passionate about helping families through this very difficult period, many of our volunteer Chapter leaders have taken the initiative to learn and transition to “virtual” venues of support. Through a number of online platforms, Chapters have successfully offered meetings, educational presentations, and social activities such as virtual bingo and a talent sharing event. Individual Chapter support meetings, along with those offered regionally, have given families the opportunity to come together so they can share and address their concerns. Forty online Chapter meetings were scheduled in May and June. ASNC even launched a new Chapter in Duplin County during this time, testifying to the value of online support when inperson interactions are not possible. Lauren Buhrmaster, Regional Chapter Coordinator for the Duplin area, said, “Local Chapters look forward to the day they can once again meet and socialize face-to-face, but until then, they are committed to providing support in whatever way they can.” It has been truly heartwarming to see how Chapter members have gone the extra mile to reach out to each other during this time of uncertainty and hardship. In addition, they have given back to the autism community at large, donating close to $21,000 to help sustain the critical work that ASNC does for families across North Carolina. The Autism Society of North Carolina extends heartfelt thanks to all of its Chapter leaders and members for the important work they do to uphold ASNC’s mission.
New State Chapters Director Amy Seeley was named State Chapters Director this spring. She had been with the Autism Society of North Carolina for seven years as Communications Associate after two decades of working for newspapers across the state. She shares this message to all families: 16 • The Spectrum, Summer 2020
Before in-person events ended, the Guilford County Chapter celebrated Valentine’s Day with a painting party. The Person County Chapter hosted a fun rock-painting event for their families.
(Left) The Orange Chatham Chapter quickly joined the virtual bandwagon and continued their monthly coffee meetings online. They also offered some social activities including a Talent Sharing Event. Luke Lee, 13, shared his artwork. (RIght) Noah Khuri, a member of Scout Troop 505 in Dobson, built a new portable stage for the Surry Chapter’s annual walk as an Eagle Scout project. He put in 182 hours of work designing and building the stage.
When my son was diagnosed with Asperger’s about 16 years ago at the age of 5, I began attending Durham County Chapter meetings. Meeting other families there gave me a chance to learn about autism and how to help him. And maybe even more importantly, getting to know older children who were succeeding gave me hope for his future. These are strange and challenging times for all of us, obviously. Now more than ever, all of us here at ASNC are working hard to figure out how we can best support you. If you are not already a member of a Chapter, I highly recommend joining. Many of them have been providing online meetings, featuring educational presentations or just time for families to share. They also all have Facebook groups to facilitate sharing ideas and resources. We invite you to find a Chapter near you on our website: www.autismsociety-nc.org/chapters. g
Recursos para las Familias Hispanas
Debido a la pandemia de COVID-19, la Sociedad de Autismo de Carolina del Norte ha aumentado sus servicios en español para padres vía teléfono, correo electrónico, videocharla, Facebook y otras redes sociales. El Departamento de Asuntos Hispanos ha prestado servicios a casi 600 familias a través de reuniones del Grupo de Apoyo Hispano, seminarios web en español con expertos del Departamento Clínico de ASNC, recursos en línea y consultas individuales. Alentamos a los padres que buscan recursos y estrategias durante el tiempo de aislamiento que llamen al 800-442-2762 extensión #1 para español o que manden un correo electrónico a Mariela Maldonado, Enlace de Asuntos Hispanos a mmaldonado@autismsociety-nc. Grupos de Apoyo Hispano Para ayudar a las familias a lidiar con el aislamiento, ofrecimos muchas reuniones de Grupos de Apoyo en línea para que pudieran participar por teléfono, tableta o computadora. Las familias aprendieron y compartieron sus experiencias al apoyar a sus hijos en el aprendizaje remoto y las terapias virtuales, así como ideas para crear rutinas en el hogar y lidiar con comportamientos desafiantes. Muchos dijeron que participar en estas reuniones virtuales les ayudó a sentirse menos aislados y les trajo la calidez humana que siempre ha caracterizado las reuniones de los Grupos de Apoyo Hispano. Continuamos ofreciendo estas reuniones virtuales del Grupo de Apoyo, ya que es una manera oportuna de conectar a las familias desde la distancia. Las reuniones se ofrecen por región, pero los padres pueden participar en el que sea más conveniente para su horario. Wake, Nash, Pitt Primer viernes, 6 p.m. Ana Chouza 919-244-9633 Guadalupe Ortega 919-247-5760 Johnston, Wilson, Wayne, Craven Primer miércoles, 10 a.m. Hilda Munguia 919-946-5080
Cumberland, Robeson, New Hannover, Sanford Ultimo viernes, 10 a.m. Alma Morales 910-785-5473 Gloria Lliran 910-391-8257
Mecklenburg, Cabarrus, Rowan, Union, Gastonia Segundo jueves, 10 a.m Laura Torres 704-430-0281 Clara Amarante 347-217-5661
Durham, Orange, Vance, Alamance, Chatham Primer miércoles, 10 a.m. Juana Garcia 919-687-7692 Mayra Tapia 919-540-6543
Guilford, Forsyth, Randolph, Buncombe, Henderson Último viernes, 4 p.m. Monica Giffuni 336-549-75786
Recursos en Línea en español autismsociety-nc.org/recursos-en-espanol Seminarios webs: Las escuelas fueron cerradas y muchos servicios y terapias suspendidos debido a la pandemia. ASNC ha estado ofreciendo seminarios web gratuitos en vivo para ayudar a los padres a aprender cómo dirigir a los niños para que tengan éxito en la tarea escolar, el enfoque, y cómo manejar los desafíos de comportamiento así como su propio estrés. Los presentadores incluyeron a Melida Baldera, BCBA con el Departamento Clínico de ASNC, y Nora Herrera-Olivieri, cirujana y gerontóloga. El Departamento Clínico de ASNC también ha grabado en video algunos seminarios web como la creación de apoyos visuales, el manejo de comportamientos difícil y otros temas. Búsquelos en la página de Recursos en Español del sitio web de ASNC. Estos videos también son útiles para profesionales y profesores. Narrativas sociales: Una herramienta para ayudar a los niños y adultos con autismo a comprender los cambios recientes en la rutina son las narrativas sociales. Nuestro Departamento Clínico creó muchos ejemplos nuevos que incluyen temas como
el uso de máscaras, dormir bien por la noche, hacer tareas escolares con los padres y no visitar a los abuelos. También puede encontrar esos y más en nuestra página web. Recursos: Además de seminarios web y narrativas sociales, la página web ofrece información sobre COVID-19, distribución de alimentos y vivienda y ayuda financiera.
Eventos para la Comunidad Hispana El Departamento de Asuntos Hispanos mantendrá informada a las familias sobre el estado de los próximos eventos a través de la página de Recursos en español del sitio web de ASNC. Se necesitan patrocinadores: El Departamento de Asuntos Hispanos recibe donaciones con gratitud para proporcionar educación y promover oportunidades para las familias hispanas en todo el estado. Ofrecemos becas para la conferencia anual, así como la traducción de talleres y la conferencia. Si desea ser patrocinador o contribuir a ASNC, comuníquese con Mariela Maldonado. g www.autismsociety-nc.org • 17
Fundraisers & Events
Spring Run/Walks for Autism Raise $67,000
Each spring, thousands of children and adults with autism gather with those who love them for our Run/Walk for Autism events in five communities: Greenville, Wilmington, Mount Airy, Beaufort, and Concord. Teams and families wear shirts that celebrate the reasons they run/walk, smiles abound, and everyone experiences community like they never have before. We treasure these events, and we know our communities do, too, so we were devastated when COVID-19 forced us to cancel them in-person this spring. Many of our supporters recognized, however, that individuals with autism and their families need our support now more than ever, so they rallied to continue collecting donations and participate virtually! More than $67,000 was raised, with more than 40 teams participating in the virtual Run/Walks for Autism. We greatly appreciate all of the individuals, families, and businesses that participated, donated, volunteered, or sponsored this spring.
Register Now for a Fall Run/Walk for Autism: www.runwalkforautism.com Our fall Run/Walk for Autism events are going virtual! Register now for the WNC Run/Walk for Autism, Triad Run/Walk for Autism (formerly Greensboro Run/Walk), or Triangle Run/Walk for Autism and start building your team to improve lives and support families. Proceeds from each event will stay in your local community. During the week of Oct. 3-10, participants are invited to
complete a 5K or 1-mile race and upload their times to our virtual race site. Our events will still include T-shirts, which you can pick up in person or have mailed for a small fee. On Saturday, Oct. 10, at 9 a.m., we will live stream to recognize our runners, team award winners, donors, and sponsors from each event. We encourage teams to continue to register friends and family from all over and to fundraise even though we canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t celebrate in person. Now more than ever, individuals with autism and their families need you!
Spring Event Sponsors We thank the following sponsors of our spring events, which would not be possible without them. Please support these businesses and thank them for helping to improve the lives of individuals with autism and their loved ones. Diamond ($10,000 +)
Advocate ($500-$999) Alliance One Central States Manufacturing, Inc. Corning Cox Farm 18 â&#x20AC;˘ The Spectrum, Summer 2020
New Hanover Regional Medical Center OT Solutions Seaside Bagels
Friend ($250-$499) Atlantic Chiropractic & Rehab Austin Veterinary Cape Carteret Aquatic & Wellness Carolina Therapy Connection Carteret Craven Electric Foundation Coastal Kids Therapy
Coastal Plains Restaurant, LLC Columbiettes of Holy Angels Frankâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Pizza and Subs Johnson Granite, Inc. North Carolina Solutions
More than $250,000 Raised to Send Campers to Camp Royall
Thanks to longtime supporters and our talented performers, Catwalk to Camp was again a success this year, in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic! On June 18, we held a virtual event that included all of the most loved components of the annual Catwalk to Camp. Our talented performers were Sophia Bean with a beautiful dance number, George Yionoulis with some fun breakdancing, Matthew DiBlasi and his band performing “It’s a Long Way to the Top” by AC/DC, and Julian Ballen and DJ Svoboda with inspirational speeches. Ray Evernham, a NASCAR Hall of Fame member and legendary crew chief, was our keynote speaker. Evernham shared his gratitude for the IGNITE program, which he helped found as father of a young adult on the autism spectrum. “The biggest thing they offer is quality of life, and everybody deserves that. The world is not always a comfortable place, and IGNITE is a comfortable place for those on the spectrum. Everyone needs to feel like they fit, whether you’re on the spectrum or not.” Ron Howrigon, who is an ASNC Board member and also has a son with autism, shared the great need for Camp Royall during this time. “Now more than ever, campers and their families need our support,” Howrigon said. “Together, we can make sure that whenever it’s safe, there will be kids in that pool and on those trails. We can make sure that new friends will be made and that families can get a much-needed break. Together we can once again turn on the magic of Camp Royall.” The evening wrapped up with a live auction. More than $250,000 was raised to benefit campers this summer. We are so grateful to all who helped to provide scholarships to Camp Royall.
Camp Royall Donors We hope you will consider joining these generous donors in helping to provide a life-changing experience for a camper with autism. Please contact Kristy White, Chief Development Officer, at 919-856-5086 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in donating to camp, learning about named scholarships, or helping with fundraising
$10,000 and Above
Applied Vision Works BB&T Charitable Giving Citibank Trust South Dakota Estate of Mary V. Balliet Fulcrum Strategies North Carolina Football Club Youth Premiere Communications & Consulting Ronald McDonald House Charities of North Carolina The Pratt Family Foundation Triangle Community Foundation’s Send A Kid to Camp Program Donald Hadley Kristen and Ron Howrigon Torrie and John Kline Lorraine and Dale Reynolds Kim and Jeff Woodlief
Carolina Panthers Charities Credit Suisse Foundation For The Carolinas Galloway Ridge Charitable Fund Integrated Speech Therapy LGI Homes Pfizer University of Delaware Leigh and Jeff Vittert
Foodbuy Gaston Community Foundation (Roberts-Miller Children’s Fund) John W. Roffe and Marjorie A. Roffe Endowment (for Moore County), a component fund of NCCF North Carolina Community Foundation (NCCF)
The Summer Camp Fund Women of Fearrington Meg and Gary Jack Sharon and Randy Martin Heather Moore and Steven Jones Denise and Stephen Vanderwoude
The Bobby and Gloria Martin Foundation Craven County Unrestricted Endowment Fund, a component fund of NCCF Jamie’s Vision, Inc Kamm McKenzie OBGYN The Knightly Order of The Fiat Lux (Triangle Chapter) Martha Frances Pruitt Endowment Fund, a component fund of NCCF Mayer Brown LLP The Raidy Charitable Foundation Wake Electric Foundation George Araujo Kiel Bowen Janet and James Cozart Karen and Michael Crow Sandy Daston Paula Dinnerstein Amy Durso Patrick Falvey Carol and Douglas Fink Leeann and Mark Garms Marea and Brad Goodwin Jemma and Chris Grindstaff Ruth Hurst and Tom Wiebe Alison Kalinowski and Anthony Womack Helene and Bill Lane Carol Manzon and Chris Diplock Beverly and Alan Moore
Maureen Morrell Kristy and Aleck Myers Elizabeth and Chris Norton Nina and Scott Pernell Jim Phillips Linda and Kevin Routh Karen Schaefer Katie and Tracey Sheriff Kristy and Andrew White
ASNC Craven County Chapter ASNC Crystal Coast Chapter ASNC Guilford County Chapter ASNC Lee County Chapter ASNC UNC-CH Campus Group Bright Funds Foundation Chapel Hill Service League The Eisner Charitable Fund Enviva Holding LP Raleigh Kiwanis Foundation Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church Melissa Barbour Julie and Scott Bare Courtney and Daniel Cantrell Darin Clark Kimberly and Robert Cummings Pamela Dilavore Kathleen DuVal and Marty Smith Kerri and Jeremy Erb Jenny and Michael Farmer Shirley and Vincent Francis Lesley and Michael Graves Karen Harbin Sandra and Ed Hooks Melissa and Matt Huemmer Melissa and Robert Johnson
Kari and Monte Johnston Lisa and David Kaylie April and Brian Lehrman Sandra and Stephen Lehrman Cindy and Scott Nyberg Candace and Joseph Roberts Dawn Rohlik Dionne and Don Silvester Tracey and Henry Smith Gina and Jeffrey Stocton Don Stroud Maria Townsend Judy and Paul Wendler
Durham Tech Kiwanis Club of Lee County LAMB Foundation of North Carolina Spyglass Promotions Rebecca and Cory Bean Joe Booden Amy Brande Angie and Doug Brown John Coleman Christina Flake Madison Gardner Bruce Gresham Judy and Norbert Lechner Nan and Craig Maples Sue and Jan Martin Kirby Ring Kimberly and Robin Rose Michelle Scatamacchia Kristin and Scott Selby Laura and Phillip Simson Susan and Derek Smith Andrew Turner
www.autismsociety-nc.org • 19
The Autism Society of North Carolina extends a heartfelt thank-you to all of our donors. Below is a list of Honorarium and Memorial gifts. Thank you for your tremendous support. This list reflects donations received on or between December 1, 2019, and June 30, 2020. Please contact Beverly Gill if you have any questions or corrections at 800-442-2762, ext. 1105 or email@example.com.
Honorariums ASNC Support Staff
Amy and Ken Soderstrom
Clarissa and John Allen
Jean Alvarez and Jaime Alvarez Joseph Sadighi
Nicole and Ken Baldwin
Claire, Patrick and Edward Balhoff
Joanie and Hereford Percy
Tracey and Henry Smith
Gwendolyn and T.Y. Baker Evelyn Carlise
Lindsay and Jim Bedford Anne and Hal Travis
Jaxton Bodette Susan Bodette
Terri and Richard Sharpe
William Bromley Keith Weitz
The Ashley and Scott Brown Family
Carolyn and Steven Middleton
The Carolyn and Brandon Bryan Family Ann and Ken Ward
Heather and Marty Burch Marsha and Peter Burch
Letha and John Byrne
Stacy and Eliot Fenton Hillary Greenberg Beverly Linden Christie Stegall
Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Harwood
Marlene and Joseph Diorio Jan Armbruster
Sharon Gannon Susan Crews
Kathy and Mark Green
Pam DiLavore Linda Watson
Willian Dolan Dave Dolan
Shannon, Charlie and Heide Emmanuel
James Emmanuel Martha Thorne
Christine and Bobby Eudy
The Fellerman Family Leigh and Frank Girard
Evelyn and Thomas Ferreira Tim Ferreira and Joshua Logan
Liam Foster Kirk Foster
Natalia Fouts Cynthia Hoyt
Vance G. Fowler, III
Della Fowler Mol Phyllis and Paul Immanuel
Charlotte Community Health Clinic
Rhonda Grode Rebecca Hanson Janice Harward
Beverly Thomas and Jesse McDaniel
Sam Heitman Amy Krebs
Diane and Royden Higgins Ann and Ken Ward
Spencer Holliday Marjorie Best
Gabriel Honeycutt Hayden Hall
Kamm McKenzie OBGYN Rhodena and Richard Brunstrom
Hope Power & Industrial Inc.
Roman Glabicki David Glabicki
Josh Goodwin and Family Marea and Brad Goodwin
Hollin and John Goodwin
Elaine and Ned Friece Jane Luyben Rachel and Marc Luyben Kirsten Pritchard
Nathan Lyere-Okojie Oluwaseun Asogbon
Temel and Nygel Mack
Karen and Michael Lowrance
Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church
Mark Hurst Steve York
The Hutchens Family
Sarah and Paul Nunnally
Leah and Joshua Isgett
Victoria and Chris Thornton
Graham Johnson Cameron Lambe
Sara and Mike Mollo
Noell Bernard-Kingsley Daniel Kelly
Daniel Kelly Rosemary and Michael Spagnola
Karah Manning LPL Financial
Patricia and Ralph Marshall
Gertrude and Wesley McDougald
Mary and Francis Tuggle
Gayle, Wayne Russell and Amanda Meredith
Mr. and Mrs. John Montgomery
Beth and Ronald Swanner
Hayden Munger Karen Miller
Mr. and Mrs. Jim Nance
Beth and Ronald Swanner
Annabelle Leigh Lawrence
Clark and Rob Nelson
Sarah and Bryan Fansler Helene and Bill Lane Benjamin Comer
Kathy and Mark Green Joe Shannon
20 20 •• The The Spectrum, Spectrum, Summer Summer 2020 2020
Kathy and Lanny Vaughan
Patricia and Michael Petelle
Paula Freeman Munos
Phyllis and Bobby Lowery
Catherine Gadsbury Sara Gage
Chance Ian Lowery
Jeanette and Ned Huneycutt
Wake County Real Property Lawyers Association
Sandy Peterkin Sandy Peterkin Dorothy and Davis Peticolas Mary Beth Wilkie
Paige and Carter Owen
Fred Howard Adams, Sr.
The Tuan Pham Family
Pat and George Owen Lynda Kelly
Dorothy and Davis Peticolas Jean and Gustav Leichte Purser& Glenn, PLLC
Nancy and Steven Piper
Gail and Bob Pope
Doris and Mark Edwards Julie and John Seibert
Nathan Potter Judy Shepherd
Nancy and Mark Ranta
Lisa and Gary Hooker
Joyce and Richard Hendricks
Mary Alice, Brian and Connor Ridout
Patti and Garland Terry
David Rivera Susan Gray
Earl Roaquin Clint Lowry
Clarence Roberts Phillip Roberts
Colin Roberts and Family
Candace and Joseph Roberts
Mr. and Mrs. Art Rogers
Beth and Ronald Swanner
The Rose Family
Nancy, James, Jim and Davis Johnson
Joyce and Richard Crabtree
Jean and Henry Sasser
Bridget and Jeremy Scharpenberg
Oak City Government Relations, LLC Julia Adams-Scheurich
Julie and John Seibert Gail and Bob Pope
The Selby Family Emily Lackey
Carson Shaffer Jane Van Pelt
Sue and Roy Bradley Patrick Simpson Tanya Pope
Carole and Jay Root Dorothy and David Smith Steven Love Kathy and Michael Snyder
Darlene and Milton Rhodes
Darlene and Milton Rhodes
Barbara, Walt, Doug and Ethan Stanfield Katherine Kellar
Mr. and Mrs. Doug Stokes Beth and Ronald Swanner
Maxine and Austin Spangler
Ellyn and Steve Sukonick
Vicky and Chris Thornton Ann and Craig Thornton
Patricia Kinnaman and Anita Banta
Annie and Karl Whitney
Jude Williams Jeff Harrison
Vicki and James Fuller Lyniece Talmadge Donna and Nathaniel Wynn
Katie and Lewis Wills Vicki and James Fuller
Doretha Woods Lisa Woods
Terri and John Mainey
George Yionoulis Donald Holder Evan Yionoulis
Brandon Young Brent Young
Jackson Young June Young
Ann and Ben Zrubek Jared Smithson
Casa Carbone Ristorante Oldcastle Adams Products Safran Law Offices Sarah Baucom Julia Beasley Julie and Rob Berton Anthony Blackman Elbert Bradshaw Jean and John Crowe Richard Day Abigail Gabbard Lorraine Gupton Linda and Gerald Hayes Marlene and John Heslip Carol Hollahan Mary and Bob Hosea Frankie and Charlie Jamerson Charlaine Karam Katherine Lam Cynthia and Lance Landvater Martha and Robert Leak Lynda Lumpkin William Oberfield Connie O’Neil Martha and Keith Parrish Margaret and Scott Perry Mary Lou Pringle Janet Qubain Sharon Reynolds Dorothy Sankey Debbie and Thomas Saunders Nancy and Ronald Scheeler Sharon Shepherd Christine and Paul Simson Ray Sparrow Linda and Jeff Stewart Louis and Lytle Wooten
Stephanie and Douglas Taggart
Eileen “Beanie” Smelstoys Bird
Holly Berk David Bird Samantha Blair Tracy and Ryan Boland Deb Bradford Suzanne Bruen Julie Butler Jill and Tim Cannon Susan Chugha Jennifer Devlin Claudette and Eric Doyle Dunia Goodno David Hannum Dylan Hannum Marge Hannum
Angela Herrington Alecia and Clark Kontzen Anna McKeon Harrison Miller Angela Muller Pete Nikitas Stephanie Ostrowski Alycia Peter Dawn and David Puck Mark Pyne Lourdes Rahn Paige Robinson Gary Schatz Molly Shields Barbara Smelstoys Michele Smelstoys Amy and Alex Smith Danielle Spellman Janet Staff Allie Beth and Timothy Stuckey Jim Supple Barbara Turek Shannon Turek Diana Urichich Jacqueline Valouch
Shirley Dannels Graydon Miller
Lori and Paul Eitel
Anne and Bobby Eason
Martin Henry Glynn
Jeanette, Steve and Jordan Bates Lois and Tim Beverly Miriam and John Carver Sara and Lewis Cockerill Sharon Gannon Anthony Westmoreland
The Cook Family The Kagan Family The Meir Family
Charles “Chuck” Hydeman Jane Hydeman
Glenda and Thomas Jeffries
Julie and Daniel Coulter
Steve Jones International Alliance of Theatrical & Stage Employees
Jean Paschal Lippard Linda and Brad Griffin
Anne S. Lippincott
Bitsy Grant Tennis Center Melissa and Alan Burrus The Raymond B. Lippincott Family Ann Parker
www.autismsociety-nc.org••21 21 www.autismsociety-nc.org
Laura and Jay Hendler
Karen D. Mauldin Carrie Reid
Bonnie and Larry Brooks Monique Carter Gloria Ingram Joe McCollum Tommy and Dennis Roberts
John J. McGovern
Jean and Mark Calkin
Elizabeth “Libby” McGraw Andree and Bill Stanford
Lucy McIntosh Priscilla Shao
Debbie Meredith Gayle, Wayne Russell and Amanda Meredith
Matthew Adam Pion
The Mark and Laurie Cohen Fund Robin Angel Wendy Apgar James Ayscue Laura Brodsky Scott Christie Tim Ferreira and Joshua Logan Meredith and Jeff Fulton Kathleen and Joseph Genna Deborah and Rene Gonzales Beth Hendriks Karen and Kaitlin Jacob Mary Kuhr Kathleen Lovett Arlene and Donald Markowitz
Carla, Paul, Luca, Joel, Silke, Jodi, Brandon and Libby Pion Eileen and Marc Pion Alex Richardson Pari Sethuraman Diane Sherman Jamie, Kim, Kendra, Gracyn and Hal Smith Andree and Bill Stanford Sarah Thompson
Joseph “Joey” Scott Poteat EGI Associates Qwest Electric
University City United Methodist Church Marc Abbagnaro Addie and Steve Butts Kerri and Robert Callahan Cindy and John Cavanaugh Amie and Victor Cennamo Michael Grossman Debra and Charlie Ihle Carla and William Jenkins Stephanie Kapolnek Loretta and Bill Melton Julie and Chris Mendlik Peggy Nuccio Carol and Nicholas Pasquale Kelly and Kevin Perry Nancy and Ronald Poteat Chris Rand Sharen Shiffer Robert Siock Charlene and Scott Sumner Kim and Mark Tizzard
Greg Walsh Page and Jeff Whitten Lesley Witt
Stacy and Eliot Fenton Beverly Linden
Paula and Robert Trufant
Stella Julia Vazquez Vaughn
Randall Hinds Amy Craig
Carol and Chuck Moore
Wandra Raynor APW Flooring and Home Remodeling Ira Stone Granite and Marble Raynor Builders, Inc. Corie Burgess Julia Thomas Ernestine and Dale Young
Tim Ferreira and Joshua Logan
Tommy Roe, Jr.
Donna and Nathaniel Wynn
Denise Althea Sharpe Rogers Victoria and Edward Marks
Katie and Lewis Wills
Randy Kirk Schmitt Colleen Mitchell
Marcus “Mook” Scott Angel Jones Keyoka Smith Lashawn Smith
Jernigan-Warren Funeral Home, Inc. Moorman, Kizer & Reitzel, Inc.
Barbara Foster Ward Bobbi Sue and TJ Ross
Joyce Ann Weiser Dr. Alfred and Mrs. Marybeth Childers Fund Mary Andrus and Tim Lynch John Dolan Betty Kestner Kathleen and Lawrence Krieger Amy and James Maurer Pam Stone
Larry Donald “Donnie” Wheeler
Bridgit Jones Kay and Billy Reynolds Lorraine and Dale Reynolds Jane and Robert Rhew Beverly and Barry Whitlow
Lawson Bailey Whitaker Lydia Stewart
Jerry Michael White, Sr. Judith and Harold Hall
Geraldine Wiggins Smith Dolores and Robert Sloop Irma Wiggins and Family Norma Wiggs
Donor Spotlight: Durham Police Department
The City of Durham’s Police Department has worked with ASNC to increase autism awareness and ensure safe encounters for several years. This spring, several Durham officers and dads realized they shared more than a uniform. Through conversations about autism, these officers from different units connected because they have children with autism and decided to challenge their coworkers. Their goal was to increase autism awareness and raise funds for ASNC leading up to April and Autism Awareness and Acceptance Month. The initial goal was $1,000. As an incentive, the department allowed participating officers to grow a neatly trimmed beard. The effort began in March, just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, over 180 department employees participated (officers and non-officers), and they blew past their original goal, raising $10,000 for ASNC. At a recent check presentation ceremony, one of the fathers said: “Having an autistic child, I know it’s expensive, and this money can be used to provide much-needed resources to families in need.” Durham’s police chief C.J. Davis added, “I can’t think of a better way to show our compassion and support for the autism community… I know we will continue this effort in the future.” The funds will provide scholarships to families receiving support services through ASNC and fund other areas of need. g 22 • The Spectrum, Summer 2020
Call on us!
The Autism Society of North Carolina improves the lives of individuals with autism, supports their families, and educates communities. Autism Resource Specialists connect families to resources and provide training to help you become your child’s best advocate. As parents of children with autism themselves, they understand your concerns. Find yours: www.autismsociety-nc.org/resourcespecialists Webinars, workshops, and conferences with our Autism Resource Specialists or Clinical staff will help you learn more about topics that concern you, such as early intervention, evidence-based practices, IEPs, transitioning, and residential options. www.autismsociety-nc.org/autism-workshops Online resources, including toolkits, recorded webinars, a blog, and a Staying Safe section, provide opportunities to learn on your own time from your home. www.autismsociety-nc.org Chapters and Support Groups around NC provide a place for families who face similar challenges to feel welcomed and understood as they offer each other encouragement. www.autismsociety-nc.org/chapters Skill-building and support services provide children and adults with autism the skills to increase self-sufficiency and participate in the community. ASNC’s services across the state include skill-building in areas such as communication, socialization, community integration, and personal care; family consultation; respite; and adult day programs. Services are provided through the NC Innovations waiver, state funding, B3, and private pay. Contact us to learn which supports are available in your region. www.autismsociety-nc.org/skill-building Clinical Services offer a variety of supports for families and individuals with autism. LifeLong Interventions (LLI) provides comprehensive treatment for children and adults. LLI is rooted in the principles of ABA and involves effective instruction using evidence-based practices to promote meaningful skills and behaviors in the home, school, and community. Training is provided by registered behavior technicians under the direct supervision of Board Certified Behavior Analysts and master’s level psychologists. ASNC is an in-network provider for many insurers, including BCBSNC, Aetna, and United Healthcare. Children under 21 who rely on Medicaid are also eligible to receive treatment under EPSDT. We also provide treatment through privatepay arrangements. Rapid Response Clinical Consultation (RRCC) via telehealth is a new service for children and adults available in all 100 NC counties. RRCC is a short-
term consultation service (2-4 weeks) that provides tips and strategies to address social communication, behavior intervention, and other skills. www.autismsociety-nc.org/clinical Behavior consultations provided by our psychologists and BCBAs can help explain why behaviors are occurring, develop comprehensive behavior plans, and coach caregivers on effective strategies. www.autismsociety-nc.org/clinical Employment Supports helps individuals with autism explore their skills and interests, then assists them in finding, keeping, and thriving in a job. Services are funded through the state Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. www.autismsociety-nc.org/employmentsupports Adult Transition Supports, for individuals ages 16 to 26, focuses on job readiness and placement while incorporating skill development in other areas necessary for a successful transition to adulthood. The program is available in Wilmington and Greenville. www.autismsociety-nc.org/transition IGNITE community centers in Davidson, Raleigh, and the Triad area (Greensboro) offer activities, skills training, and educational workshops that foster social, financial, educational, and employment independence for young adults with high-functioning autism or Asperger’s Syndrome. www.autismsociety-nc.org/ignite Camp Royall is the nation’s oldest and largest camp for individuals with autism. Located near Pittsboro, Camp Royall serves all ages and offers year-round programming. www.camproyall.org Social Recreation programs provide opportunities for participants to bond over common interests, practice social skills, and try new activities. In Newport, Wilmington, and Winterville, social recreation programs include summer day camp, afterschool programs, and adult programs, with support from Trillium Health Resources. In other areas, summer camp and group activities may be available. Contact us to learn which services are available in your county. www.autismsociety-nc.org/socialrecreation ASNC’s public policy efforts aim to advocate for the needs of individuals with autism and their families by maintaining a wide range of ties with the executive and legislative branches of state government. You can get involved and make your voice heard. www.autismsociety-nc.org/make-voice-heard
www.autismsociety-nc.org We have regional offices in Asheville, Charlotte, Fayetteville, Greensboro, Greenville, Newport, Raleigh, and Wilmington. Contact our state office to be connected to resources.
ASNC State Office: 800-442-2762
5121 Kingdom Way, Suite 100, Raleigh, NC 27607 Sign up online to receive our email updates: www.autismsociety-nc.org/contact-us
Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage
5121 Kingdom Way, Suite 100 Raleigh, NC 27607
Raleigh, NC Permit No. 2169
Stepping out to imp imprrov ove e liv lives
All Fall Races are Virtual www.runwalkforautism.com WNC â&#x20AC;˘ Triad â&#x20AC;˘ Triangle October 3-10 - Complete the race that you registered for, anywhere that works for you!
Surry | Coa oasstal NC | Cabarrus | Ea Eastern | Cry Crystal Coa oasst | WNC | Triad | Triangle riangle
October 10 - Livestream celebrations
Learn from Home We offer 30+ free, recorded trainings on our website so that you can learn when you want, from your own home.