2020 Winter Spectrum Magazine

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VOLUME 37, NO. 1 • ISSN 1044-1921 • WINTER 2020

Empowering Through ABA Tips for Successful Transition Annual Conference 2020

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. Editor: Amy Seeley Graphic Designer: Erika Chapman

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.

Table of Contents Features:

Achieving Empowerment and Engagement Through ABA.......................................................................... 8 Lessons Learned: Tips for Successful Transition................... 12 Annual Conference: Celebrating, Empowering, Preparing........................................................ 14 Elections 2020: Get Ready to Vote....................................... 20

Also in this issue: Message from the CEO........................................................... 3 Direct Supports....................................................................... 4 Camp Royall.......................................................................... 10 Social Recreation in Eastern NC............................................ 11 Chapters & Support Groups................................................. 16 Hispanic Resources............................................................... 18

Privacy Policy The Autism Society of North Carolina respects the privacy of its members and those who receive our publications. We do not sell or otherwise share our mailing list, email notification list, or any other personal information with other businesses or organizations.

Fundraisers & Events............................................................ 23 Donations............................................................................. 29 Call on Us.............................................................................. 31

ASNC is also supported by:

5121 Kingdom Way, Suite 100 Raleigh, NC 27607 919-743-0204 • 800-442-2762 • Fax: 919-882-8661


Message from the CEO

As we wrapped up 2019, we took a moment to reflect on all that was accomplished. As we expected, it was a very busy year for ASNC in our efforts to support our families, improve the lives of individuals with autism, and educate our communities. Now is the time to look forward as well. We are approaching the end of our three-year strategic plan and are in the preliminary stages of creating our 2020-23 plan. As you well know, much remains to be done to fulfill the vision of the Autism Society of North Carolina. A few years ago, I saw an interview with Kyle Maynard that resonates in this situation. Kyle is a quadruple amputee who climbed Mount Kilimanjaro without the aid of prosthetics. Kyle had numerous lifetime accomplishments, but he was the first person to accomplish this amazing feat. What struck me as Kyle recounted his journey was that he admitted that his biggest mistake was that he was too focused on what was ahead and what he had to do. He failed to be inspired by and take pride in the distance he had already come. While our community’s needs remain so great and there is so much left to be done, it can be easy to overlook what has been accomplished – not specifically within the past year or our current strategic plan, but over the course of the history of disability services. Our organization turns 50 this year, and if you think back to the 1970s and what disability rights and services were like, there is much to be thankful for in today’s environment. I think that perspective provides a great mindset for future planning and success.

Board of Directors Executive Committee Chair Ruth Hurst, Ph.D. Vice Chair Chris Whitfield Secretary Steven Jones Treasurer Mark Gosnell

As I mentioned in the last Spectrum, adult services are a huge focus for ASNC. You can expect our next strategic plan to have several objectives with the intent of addressing this need.

Immediate Past Chair Elizabeth Phillippi

The training and education for the community at large will likely never end. Autism awareness and acceptance are at an all-time high. But we must continue to educate law enforcement, medical staff, and similar groups on best practices and strategies to support individuals with autism. ASNC also must continue to teach other providers and educators about evidence-based best practices and advocate for their implementation.


And our support to our families will always be of paramount important to this organization. We will work to expand existing educational opportunities as well as exploring new ways to provide education, such as online or in more rural areas. Finally, every good plan must acknowledge challenges. We are well aware that there are many. Of primary importance is the workforce for individuals with disabilities. We also want to use technology not only to improve processes but to better capture data, allowing us to produce better outcomes from services. Clearly our strategic plan will be far more inclusive of our many issues, but I wanted to touch on just a few. We have several surveys that we have conducted during the past year to inform us in the creation of our strategic plan, but please contact us at info@autismsociety-nc.org if you have items you’d like to add.

Stephanie Austin Doug Brown Rob Christian, M.D. Latonya Croney Sandy Daston Ron Howrigon Steve Love, Ph.D. Kristin Selby Craig Seman Scott Taylor Dana Williams

In closing, thank you all for your continued support. We strive to be the best advocate for families, provider for individuals on the spectrum, and educator within our communities. This is all contingent on our continued work together in the coming months and years. Much remains to be done, and we are committed to your families. Wishing you all a warm winter!

Tracey Sheriff, Chief Executive Officer www.autismsociety-nc.org • 3

Improving Lives Across NC

The Autism Society of North Carolina improves lives across our state through direct supports that are tailored to the unique needs of individuals with autism. We provide a variety of services throughout the lifespan, transition to adulthood programs, and employment supports. Our professionals respect individuals’ unique strengths, preferences, and dignity as we use research-based best practices to help them reach their maximum potential. We support individuals on the spectrum as they build healthy, safe, and fulfilling lives in their own communities.

Improving Health and Building Community in Asheville

Every Monday from 3 to 4 p.m., you can find a group of people of all ages running and walking at French Broad River Park in Asheville. Each time a participant completes the half-mile loop, a check is placed next to his or her name on a giant chart. They are all members of the WNC Run/Walk Club, made up of people who are supported through the Autism Society of North Carolina’s Asheville services office as well as many staff. The weekly club is just one part of the direct support staff’s emphasis on improving health for the people they serve, said WNC Regional Director Michael LePage. Individuals with autism often face health challenges; studies have shown that they are more likely to have physical ailments such as diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and obesity.

‘Running more and more’ Michael said the club is beneficial because the participants with autism enjoy it and are excited to attend. The club is structured, with a set timeframe and organization, all features that make it comfortable for individuals with autism. “One of the really cool things that I’ve seen happen as the weeks have gone by is people running more and more,” he said. “There’s a contagion in seeing other people run.” Attendance each week ranges anywhere from 10 to 20 people. The club welcomes people of all skill levels, unlike many groups that tend to focus on more experienced runners. Amy Sorrells has lost more than 12 pounds since the club started in the summer. “I like the cool weather, and it is good for you,” she said. Amy and many of the club participants attended the WNC Run/Walk for Autism in September, running or walking in it for the first time. The weekly club is also a social opportunity, giving individuals with autism a chance to interact with a lot of other people. 4 • The Spectrum, Winter 2020

“I think when you’re in school, you have a naturally built-in social system, but as you graduate and are in an adult world, those social events become less structured and less frequent,” Michael said. “It’s also a really great opportunity for us as professional staff to make sure we’re connecting with our community,” he said. “It’s a great way that we can reach out to the community. We’ve had parents come and walk and talk.” The ASNC staff sets up an information table as well and is happy to chat with anyone who attends with questions. They will be meeting year-round, so if you’re in the area, come out and join them! Contact Michael LePage at mlepage@autismsociety-nc. org for more information. Seeing the success of the WNC run club, our Greenville staff has also started one on Monday afternoons. Contact jspurrier@ autismsociety-nc.org to learn more.

Adult Transition Participants Building Independence

Our adult transition program opened last summer in Wilmington and Greenville, serving teens and adults with the support of Trillium Health Resources. The program focuses heavily on job readiness, job development, and job placement and training services, while incorporating skill development in other areas necessary for a successful transition to adulthood. Our participants are already learning skills that are transferable to future employment opportunities and many of the responsibilities of adulthood. Through a partnership with nonprofit Cape Fear Enrichment Program, Wilmington participants worked on composting and

gardening at Russell’s Reach farm once a week. One of our young adults, Anna, said the program “helps me learn to work hard and use people skills.” Tasks such as distributing alfalfa, aerating the compost bins, and evenly distributing compost materials require attention to detail and following specific directives. The skills they are practicing can be used in various employment settings that involve functional tasks such as restaurants, retail stores, warehouses, and more. Each week, they use checklists and follow schedules to gain independence, appropriately manage time, and ensure that all assigned tasks are completed. Participants can share new ideas to contribute to the space, as well as fulfill tasks that are needed to maintain the area. They also collected their own compost using scraps from weekly cooking activities in the transition program and worked on a compost tea project to contribute to the site. Members of the transition program in Greenville volunteered at the Community Crossroads Center, which serves the homeless and those at risk by providing safe housing and resources that lead to self-sufficiency. They worked in the clothing area, sorting donations and assisting recipients. While at the center, one of the members said he could see the difference he was making, while also working on his employment and social skills. If you or a loved one would like to learn more about our transition program, please fill out our interest form at www.autismsocietync.org/transition, and we will contact you.

Flourishing in Work that Fulfills with Supported Employment

work that day. We review any changes, such as needing to take time off or rearranging my schedule.”

Kaitlin, who was diagnosed with autism before her second birthday, worked with an Employment Supports Professional from the Autism Society of North Carolina to find a job. With her mother’s encouragement, they went in for an interview at Jerry’s Artarama in Raleigh.

Having a job gives her more independence, Kaitlin said. “I enjoy my job and the new friends I make. I get to work in something that interests me. I even go out with my coworkers occasionally.”

Kaitlin Moncol had a tough time finding a job that was a perfect fit. She wanted to work near her home in Raleigh, but most of all, she wanted to work in art, which was her passion.

Seven years later, Kaitlin is still flourishing at the art supplies store. “She’s hard-working, conscientious, smart,” said Tom Dowd, long-time manager of the flagship store. “She is reliable, and she completes every task to the best of her abilities. I could really go on about her for a long time. She’s just amongst the best people I’ve ever had work for me.”

After taking Kaitlin to work, the Employment Supports Professional leaves. “This is a big change from when I started,” she said. “My job coach used to need to stay the entire shift but has faded to what it is now to maintain my success!”

She hopes that more employers will hire people with autism. “We are very dedicated and we don’t like to be late. People with autism pay great attention to detail.” Kaitlin’s dedication to her job shows, according to Tom. When asked to learn how to operate the cash register, she was

In the beginning, Kaitlin worked part-time straightening shelves, restocking, and helping customers. Tom supported her by providing very specific directions and breaking projects into smaller tasks so they weren’t overwhelming. Her Employment Supports Professional would accompany her throughout her shift. “Her support staff have been wonderful. They have really helped her navigate the challenges,” Tom said. “Now I can run the register, do limited framing work, write special orders, do inventory counts, and train new employees,” Kaitlin said. “My job coach comes to my apartment, and we discuss any situations or concerns I might have from my previous shifts. This relieves any anxiety I might have about www.autismsociety-nc.org • 5

anxious, but “she took that challenge and she turned into one of my very best employees at the register,” he said. Tom said he would encourage any business to embrace an opportunity to hire people with autism. “You would have an incredibly loyal employee. You will have someone who will make every effort. It’s been incredibly rewarding as a manager, as someone running a business. It’s made me better with employees overall.” ASNC’s Employment Supports staff work with adults with autism to assess their skills and interests and then match them to possible jobs. They also help with the application and interview process. ASNC can assist employers by helping to train the employee, educate co-workers about autism, and put in place a structured system to help the employee maintain their job. In some cases, employers may be eligible for tax credits for employing individuals with autism. For more information, contact Shannon Pena, Employment Services Director, at 336-333-0197 ext. 1413 or spena@autismsociety-nc.org.

Direct Support Award Winners

Each September, the Autism Society of North Carolina celebrates Direct Support Professionals, the staff members who work one-on-one with individuals with autism. We employ hundreds of Autism Support Professionals across the state. They teach skill acquisition and support individuals in reaching their life goals. We applaud each and every one! This year, we also honored two of them with achievement awards. “My work and friendships with people on the spectrum have brought so much more joy and love into my life than I would have ever imagined!” Jen said. They enjoy going to movies, concerts, baseball games, and just hanging out at the park or beach. Jen has a background in elementary and special education and was inspired to work in the field of autism by her twin brother. “He loved the people he served, and they loved him,” she said. “He helped people make breakthroughs.”

Jen Pyne Named Roman Award Winner Jen Pyne is not just a service provider to the people with autism whom she supports. She is a true friend and a member of their family. “She has helped me to create a life on my own terms that I am proud of,” said Jade Williams, one of the individuals Jen supports. “I have a very happy, very autistic life that I love.” Debra Walker, mother of another person Jen supports, said, “She has been with us for over seven years through moves, illnesses, traumas, and fun times. Jen is a member of the fiveperson board we put in place for Davis when we are gone. We know she will do what is right for him.” Because of Jen’s outstanding commitment to individuals with autism and their families, Debra and Jade nominated her for the 2019 John and Claudia Roman Direct Service Award. Jen, who works in the Autism Society of North Carolina’s Asheville region, was named the winner on Sept. 4. Jen’s great respect for individuals with autism is evident in the fact that she spends time with them outside of work, Debra said.

6 • The Spectrum, Winter 2020

Jen has worked with Davis for about seven years and with Jade for more than four. She met Jade at an autism conference that she attended with Davis. Jade was a speaker and used their really cool comics and illustrations for their presentation. “I loved Jade’s creative way of expressing themselves,” Jen said. Eventually, Jade and Jen agreed that they would love to work together. “I love getting excited about things and she does too! It’s a joy and a pleasure to be around,” Jade said. When they met, Jade had not lived independently before and didn’t have the confidence to believe that was possible, Jen said. “Jen’s help has affected me in a million ways both small and big,” Jade said. “It’s allowed me to live on my own, be an advocate for our community, to eat healthy – there is nothing that we can’t undertake or make better together.” For her part, Jen says she has gained much from having people with autism in her life. “I love what they have to teach me. I love the unique perspective they bring to the relationship. I love how unapologetically authentic and real they are.” The John and Claudia Roman Direct Service Award, a cash award of $1,000, 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.

past year has been painful for him on so many levels, but he has pressed on,” she said. Debra, who has two adult grandchildren on the autism spectrum, has worked with Chris for three years. In that time, he has moved into his own townhouse with supporting staff. Debra is glad to know that he has reached some of his goals with the consistent and patient help of his staff. She also enjoys “watching him do what he loves – using his camera!” Chris also loves to entertain, as his mother did, and wants to have an open house in his home for Christmas. “He’s a great host, so I will assist him in making it happen.”

Debra Wyatt Named McCrimmon Award Winner Debra Wyatt might have saved Chris Schild’s life, says his father, Bryan. Chris and Debra were at Walgreens, where he works and she supports him as a job coach, when a tragic incident occurred. “My son was not 10 feet away from a man who had just shot the pharmacist and the pharmacy tech,” Bryan said. “Chris’s instinct was to run toward his co-workers to help.” After the gunshots, “Chris immediately turned toward the pharmacy to check on his friends,” Debra said. “I had a split second to secure him.” Debra held Chris on the floor and shielded his body with hers. “She also helped Chris stay calm while they were on lockdown until the police arrived and gave them the all-clear,” Bryan said. “I remained calm and spoke slowly to Chris, never losing eye contact,” Debra said. Debra is more than a one-time hero, Bryan said. She is professional, caring, and competent and consistently goes above and beyond in her role as caregiver. Because of her outstanding dedication, Chris’s family nominated her for the McCrimmon Award. The McCrimmon Award is named for Ed McCrimmon, a longtime member of the Autism Society of North Carolina staff. He was known for his outstanding dedication and integrity as he served individuals with autism. Tragically, he died in 2017. The McCrimmon Award was established to keep Ed’s memory alive, and at the same time, celebrate others like him who give their heart and soul in providing critical care to individuals with autism. Dr. Rob Christian, a member of the ASNC Board of Directors, and his wife, Jennifer, made a gift so that ASNC could honor a direct support professional.

Of her work, Debra says, “Is it hard? Yes! Is it worth it? Most definitely.”

Medicaid Transformation Suspended

As of the printing deadline for this magazine (Dec. 15), NC DHHS had suspended the rollout and implementation of Medicaid managed care, often referred to as Medicaid transformation, because of the budget impasse with the NC General Assembly in November. The managed-care rollout will not go live as previously planned on February 1. This means those who were identified as eligible to choose new plans under transformation do not need to take any action at this time. Their physical and behavioral health services will continue to be managed as they are today and not by the new plans. Beneficiaries can contact the Medicaid Contact Center at 888245-0179 for more information. We will continue to keep you updated through our blog at www.autismsociety-nc.org/blog, emails, and social media. We acknowledge the work and effort of DHHS staff, health plans, providers, associations, families, individuals with disabilities, and others to move toward a vision of a healthier NC. g


Debra, who works in the Autism Society of North Carolina’s Triangle region as an autism support professional, was named the winner of the McCrimmon Award on Sept. 4. Over the past few months, Debra has also helped Chris through the loss of his mother, Nancy. Chris wrote a letter for his mother’s Celebration of Life. When he was unable to read it aloud, Debra read it for him while he stood by her side. “This

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www.autismsociety-nc.org • 7

Achieving Empowerment & Engagement Through Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) By Louise Southern, MEd, BCBA & Aleck Myers, PhD, LP, Clinical Director

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) represents a range of systematically implemented strategies that have developed from the science of learning and behavior. At its heart, the science of behavior analysis is used to enhance an individual’s quality of life. Applied Behavior Analysis is used to help someone learn socially appropriate, naturally integrated behaviors and reduce behaviors that interfere with learning and/or being involved in one’s community. There is a lot of confusion about what ABA is and is not, particularly when used as a treatment for an individual with autism. Today, ABA programs that are high quality prioritize the values and goals of the individual and emphasize meaningful skill development, close collaboration with the individual and their family, and the use of a variety of evidence-based approaches. ABA, both the practice and the term, has become somewhat of a lightning rod within the autism community. It’s a topic that evokes passion and emotional responses because of the perceptions – and in some cases, reality – of how ABA is practiced and used as a strategy to help individuals with autism learn skills. It’s confusing for parents who are trying to determine treatment options and providers for their child and for autism self-advocates who may have experienced ABA that is not reflective of today’s best practices.

The team would also use fun and creative social interactions and play activities to motivate the child socially. For example, if this child were interested in swinging, music, Paw Patrol characters, or silly sounds, that’s what the team would use to engage him in basic play interactions and build from there. It’s about fun engagement. As Fred Rogers said, “Play is really the work of childhood.” High quality ABA programs reflect this principle. And, with family and professionals working together, developmentally appropriate and socially significant communication and social behaviors can replace less appropriate behaviors that the child uses to communicate and interact with the world.

Where does this happen? Research shows that it is best to work on these skills in the child’s natural environment, and within the routines and interactions that matter most to the child and family. The goal is not to control the child. Rather, the objective is to empower, to create strong social ABA has been around for almost 100 connections, and simply to see more years, and during that time, it has Learn more about evidence-based contentment, smiles, and laughs. Let’s evolved and grown with knowledge practices, which are interventions that look at another situation involving and experience. We want to share our researchers have shown to be safe and a young adult who aims to achieve view on good ABA practice as well as effective through scientific research, at greater independence with daily living explain how modern, high quality ABA www.autismsociety-nc.org/treatment. skills and community navigation. The is used to help empower individuals team may support him by increasing with autism and other intellectual and his understanding of the underlying social rules that govern developmental disabilities, expand their communication and interactions with peers and with co-workers. Because the “why” social skills, increase their independence, and help them behind these rules is almost more important than the “what” connect and engage with their communities. (i.e., the performance of the skills), that’s what the team would focus its teaching on. There are no repeated, isolated trials Myth: In some cases, ABA treatment is viewed as using food happening in this scenario. There is no effort to eliminate the as reinforcers, punishment, and repetitive drills working on self-stimulatory behaviors that he uses to regain calm and focus. isolated skills, all intended to establish control over a person. Instead, the team capitalizes on natural opportunities and his desire to practice relevant skills and concepts. Fact: Modern ABA focuses on empowerment of the individual, connecting, and engagement. Person-centeredness Myth: ABA is only done at a table via “discrete trial training.” is a hallmark of modern ABA, as it focuses on the individual and his/her wants, hopes, and dreams. Compliance is not the Fact: Modern ABA interventions occur across all settings, and goal in high quality programs today. teaching opportunities are added to all activities that matter What does this mean? In one case, this might mean that a for the individual. Teaching should occur in the most natural treatment team works with the family to teach a young child setting where the skill will be used. to communicate important messages, such as what they Teaching is not confined to one setting (the table in the want, what they don’t want, when they need attention, when corner) or to a two-hour block. Quality, comprehensive ABA they need a break, where it hurts, how they feel, and more. programs target the most important skills for that person, in 8 • The Spectrum, Winter 2020

the environments that matter, using materials and activities that are most functional and relevant for that person. ABA happens in schools, at the grocery store, in the workplace, at the coffee shop, at the swimming pool, and in the kitchen. Each intervention program is based on an individual’s needs. High quality programs do not emphasize isolated teaching trials.

Myth: ABA is something that only Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) can do.

Fact: In modern ABA programs, parents and caregivers

should be treated as equal partners when developing the program. Professionals who work in the autism intervention field have a responsibility to operate within the scope of their expertise and within the bounds of their licensure and certification areas. However, this does not mean that ABA occurs in isolation. Natural supports, such as family members and caregivers, should be coached to understand and use effective strategies in their natural routines and interactions. Strong coordination and communication should occur with all team members, including the school-based team, occupational and speech-language therapists, medical providers, etc. If you are not experiencing strong collaboration with your provider, advocate for change.

Myth: ABA is just for autism. Fact:

In fact, the origins of ABA were not in autism intervention. The strategies and principles of ABA have been demonstrated to be effective in an array of issues, including education, addiction, mental health, gambling, exercise, organizational behavior management, environmental sustainability, memory impairment, health, and more. Have you ever heard of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) in a K-12 public school? PBIS has been implemented in virtually every school system in North Carolina, and many of its components stem directly from the science of ABA. This is a proactive approach designed to enhance the overall school climate and culture, to improve academic outcomes and graduation rates, and to reduce discipline referrals and suspension rates.

Myth: ABA is just for early intervention/young kids. Fact: Behavior analysis can assist in the acquisition of critical skills for any learner of any age.

Research has shown that behavior analytic techniques can be highly effective in teaching new skills and reducing challenging behavior in young children with autism. Finally, more research is centering on older learners with autism. In our clinical experience, we know that behavior analytic strategies continue to be relevant and effective no matter the age of the individual. For instance, when we teach an adult to use an Learn more about LifeLong Interventions, ASNC’s comprehensive treatment for children and adults, at www.autismsociety-nc.org/clinical-services.

augmentative tool, it enables him/her to finally have a “voice” (and self-advocate and express choice). We have also seen this work when we help an adult identify goals that matter to her, establish actionable steps toward those goals, and self-monitor her performance along the way. Life-improving outcomes can happen at any point in time. The mythical “window of learning” never closes. We are all lifelong learners! That’s why the comprehensive ABA services provided by the Autism Society of North Carolina are called LifeLong Interventions (LLI).

Myth: ABA strategies cannot work with standard schoolbased educational services.

Fact: Behavior analytic strategies are used in conjunction with other evidence-based practices in schools.

Effective pre-K through 12 classroom teachers for students with autism employ many forms of behavior analytic instruction. For example, task analysis involves focusing on clear, measurable skill areas and breaking skills down into teachable segments. Multiple opportunities are structured to target these skills and build success by using prompting and guidance that is systematically faded out as students become more independent. The students’ motivation and progress are enhanced with effective reinforcement and generalization strategies. Teachers also use meaningful data gathered through behavioral analytic techniques to help drive decision-making. A teacher does not need to be a Board Certified Behavior Analyst to learn and apply these instructional strategies.

Myth: ABA is incompatible with other treatments such as speech therapy, occupational therapy, or other evidencebased practices.

Fact: One of the most prevalent objectives in any modern, high quality ABA program is communication. It would seem silly not collaborate with, for example, speech and language pathologists (SLPs) as we design such programs.

Also, several prominent evidence-based practices, including Structured Teaching (TEACCH), the Early Start Denver Model, Pivotal Response Treatment, and cognitive-behavioral interventions (CBI) are heavily influenced by and work with behavior analytic principles and strategies. This is likely one of the biggest areas of confusion for families and professionals. You don’t have to choose one evidence-based approach over another. It’s unfortunate when professionals add to the confusion by saying that you must choose “this camp” over “that camp” for your loved one. Finally, evidence-based practices – those that have been shown to be effective through review and research – such as visual supports, video modeling, social skills interventions, social narratives (including Social Stories©), peer-mediated interventions, parent-mediated interventions, incidental teaching, and/or exercise, are often integrated within a comprehensive ABA program. Other strategies and curricula, such as Social Thinking© and Zones of Regulation©, are also used to enhance the behavior analytic approach. g www.autismsociety-nc.org • 9

Camp Royall Register now for Summer Camp!

Registration for the Camp Royall Summer Camp lottery is open online until January 27. Both our Residential and Day Camp programs register campers using a three-tiered lottery system. We arrange all campers into groups based on their past attendance. Our high priority group consists of applicants who have never attended camp. Our medium priority group consists of campers who have attended Summer Camp in the past but not in the previous summer. Our low priority group consists of campers who did attend the previous summer. We assign each camper a random number and place the high group into weeks first, then the medium, and then the low. We have been able to place all of our high and medium priority campers each year as well as a good number of our low priority campers. Feel free to contact us to learn more about our lottery system. To register and find all of the latest information about Summer Camp, including the dates and rates for 2020, please go to www. camproyall.org. If you need assistance or have any questions, please contact us at 919-542-1033 or camproyall@autismsociety-nc.org.

Year-Round Programs As the demand for camp programming has risen over the years and we received feedback from families, we decided to have two registration periods for our year-round programs. This will give us the ability to keep innovating and give new families an opportunity to apply a bit later in the year. We opened registration for our January-August 2020 programming (including Summer Camp) on December 9. It will close January 27 for summer camp lottery applications, but it will remain open for other spring programs until all spots are filled. We will open registration for our September-December programming on March 16, and it will remain open until all spots are filled. We are excited to announce some new programming for the coming year as well. We had our first Teen Retreat, for ages 13-22 with high-functioning autism or Asperger’s Syndrome, this past fall and are excited to host another this spring. We also will run Day Camps during the Wake County Track 4 breaks. And finally, we added extra weeks of Residential Camp for winter and in April. We will continue to evaluate and expand all of our offerings throughout the year. In addition to Teen Retreats, Residential Camps, and Day Camps during track outs, we will continue to offer: Adult Retreats: Independent adults, 18 or older with highfunctioning autism or Asperger’s Syndrome, can spend time with friends enjoying activities at camp and in the community. Five weekend retreats and two week-long retreats will be offered in 2020. Family Fun Days: Bring the whole family out to camp for a Saturday afternoon filled with fun, recreation, and leisure activities in a safe and welcoming setting. Four will be offered in 2020. These are a great opportunity for families who are new to camp to see what Camp Royall has to offer.

10 • The Spectrum, Winter 2020

Family Overnight Camping: Come for the Family Fun Day and stay overnight! Enjoy dinner and a campfire together on Saturday night; breakfast on Sunday is also provided. Four will be offered this year. Mini Camp Weekends: Campers arrive Friday evening and stay through Sunday for a weekend of fun at camp, providing a much-needed break for both campers and families. Seven will be offered in 2020. Teen Tuesday: Our group for individuals ages 13-22 with high-functioning autism or Asperger’s Syndrome brings them together to work on life skills in an interactive group setting. The group meets one Tuesday evening per month. We encourage you to check out all of the happenings throughout the year. Better yet, print a copy of our flyer found at www.autismsociety-nc.org/camp-royall/programs, so you won’t miss anything in 2020!

Help Send Kids to Camp The Autism Society of North Carolina has been offering camp programs for more than 40 years for individuals with autism of all ages. Camp Royall is the oldest and largest camp exclusively for individuals with autism in the United States. We work year-round to raise money to give campers who are unable to afford camp the opportunity to learn new skills, have fun, and make friends. Each year, the demand for scholarships exceeds the funds we have available. We hope you will consider giving to provide life-changing experiences for campers with autism. Please contact Kristy White, Chief Development Officer, at kwhite@autismsociety-nc.org or 919-865-5086 if you are interested in donating to camp, learning about named scholarships, or helping with fundraising. We look forward to working with you to help campers across North Carolina. Thank you! g

Social Recreation in Eastern NC Summer Camp Programming

We have been running Social Recreation programs in Eastern NC for four years now and have seen amazing growth in our programs and in our campers! During summer 2019 alone, we served 213 campers ages 4-22 across our five Day Camps. Our campers explored their local communities in Winterville, Wilmington, Newport, Brunswick County, and Onslow County on fun and exciting field trips, participated in enriching activities, and made meaningful friendships that will last a lifetime. Camp Awesome ran from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays with a counselor-to-camper ratio of 1:1 or 1:2 based on self-help and behavioral support needs. To express interest for this summer, fill out our online interest form, which will be available starting March 1 at www.autismsociety-nc.org/ social-recreation.

Year-Round Programs We are also offering Afterschool Programs for children, social programs for adults, weekend group respite programs, and Day Camps for individuals ages 4-22 during school breaks in Winterville, Wilmington, and Newport. All of our Eastern NC programs are made possible by funding from Trillium Health Resources. This initiative supports children and adults with autism through programs in underserved areas of the state, helping them to improve their social and communication skills, broadening their peer networks, and aiding them to increase their health and wellness. Throughout the 2019-20 school year, our three programs are providing countless hours of peer engagement and structured support between 2:30 and 6:30 p.m. each school day. Children take part in enriching and engaging activities in an environment designed to meet their needs.

have monthly weekend respite opportunities at each location as well as Day Camps when school is out of session (teacher work days, spring break, etc.). These programs provide a great opportunity for campers to come to our centers and enjoy recreation and leisure activities in a group setting. Families also experience much-needed relief, knowing their kids are well cared for and they can have time to devote to other activities and events.

Want to Help? If you would like to volunteer or donate items, please contact us at the email addresses below. g

In fall 2019, our Social Recreation programs served 23 adults both in center-based activities and in community events, leading to higher levels of independence and peer relationships. Our adult programming provides opportunities for adults on the spectrum to have a meaningful location to learn social skills, hang out with friends, and so much more. Adults 18 and older can contact our sites directly or go to our website to learn more. Our group respite programs have continually grown from year to year, and we have collectively provided more than 300 hours of respite to clients’ families in Eastern North Carolina through date nights and weekend respite opportunities. We currently

Learn More For more information about any of our programs, go online to www.autismsociety-nc.org/socialrecreation or contact the director for your area: Winterville: SRP_Winterville@autismsociety-nc.org

Newport: SRP_Newport@autismsociety-nc.org

Wilmington: SRP_Wilmington@autismsociety-nc.org

Onslow County: SRP_Onslow@autismsociety-nc.org

Brunswick County: SRP_Brunswick@autismsociety-nc.org www.autismsociety-nc.org • 11

Lessons Learned: Tips for Successful Transition By Robin McCraw, MEd, Autism Resource Specialist

No matter your student’s level of independence, successful transition to adulthood involves universal components. When my son, Evan, entered eighth grade, planning for his adulthood became intentional. With my background in special education, I thought helping him plan for meaningful, self-determined adulthood would be a straight path. However, it required more planning and proved more challenging than expected. Self-determined adulthood begins with involving the student early in planning. When Evan was 13, my husband and I looked at his support system and the role each might play in his transition to adulthood. With the support of Evan’s (MCO) care coordinator, we created a person-centered plan. Support teams may include family, friends, school staff, therapists, MCO staff, Innovations or (B)(3) workers among others. Once we defined goals, we anticipated Evan’s needs five years ahead, identifying the support necessary to achieve the goals. School-based transition planning must begin during the IEP year in which the student turns 14. Students are invited to their IEP meetings at age 14; attending earlier is an option.

community experiences provide the best setting for transition activities, they can be partially addressed at school. The longterm goal is to have skills generalized across environments. The six activities are: • Instruction • Related services • Community experiences • Adult living skills • Daily living skills (if appropriate) • Functional vocational assessment (if appropriate)

When we began the school transition process with Evan, we received a multi-page assessment with open-ended questions to complete with him. The questions were abstract, and beyond his ability to provide meaningful answers. I suggested assessments that matched his learning style and ability. With limited answer choices, Evan was able to provide useful information. Over time, he provided more in-depth information, and the transition plan became more focused. Assessments are available for students of all ability levels, including non-readers and non-verbal students.

Post-Secondary Education and Training

What Are Post-Secondary Goal Areas?

It is a good idea to investigate options at Think College! by the time your student is in 11th grade. When Evan was enrolled in the OCS curriculum, we found that school staff were not familiar with appropriate post-secondary programs for pursuing his long-term educational goals.

IEPs contain three post-secondary goal areas, updated on an annual basis. These are: • Education/training • Independent living • Employment skills The ultimate goal is gradually decreasing the young adult’s dependency on the school while maximizing their ability to navigate the adult world. To achieve post-secondary goals, six areas of transition activities are considered. Parents and the student have some responsibility for most of these activities. Although home and 12 • The Spectrum, Winter 2020

Many of our students desire post-secondary education. College life is now a realistic option for many students graduating with an Occupational Course of Study (OCS) diploma or receiving a certificate of achievement. The Think College! website, https://thinkcollege.net/, provides information about 280 postsecondary programs nationwide for adults with an intellectual and/or developmental disability. There are 15 in North Carolina. Adult Basic Education is also available for students who need additional academic support.

For students pursuing community college degrees, new programs such as RISE can make them more likely to succeed. RISE improves student success rates in gateway math and English courses in a timely manner by replacing the developmental prerequisite system. School counselors help college-bound students explore colleges and universities for desired academic programs. But deficits in daily living skills, organization, and social isolation are the most common reasons many students with autism do not

complete a college degree, not academic inability. Colleges are required to have disability services, but some public and private colleges have more specialized autism services. Students, with parental support, should assess barriers to college success and investigate colleges’ autism supports in addition to their academic programs.

Improving Independent Living Skills Due to the nature of autism, students of all functioning levels demonstrate the most significant deficits in community experiences, adult living, and daily living. These deficits are hurdles as they attempt to achieve their post-secondary goals. Both school-based transition plans and person-centered plans must address the most significant barriers to community inclusion. The unspoken rules of behavior or “soft skills” at school, at work, and in the community are key to integrating into society as an adult. Deficits must be addressed outside of the school setting for generalization in the real world. Social skills training and groups, as well as abundant and varied community outings, addresses this need. For Evan, this included social skills clubs, adaptive sports, extra-curricular school activities, and hanging out with friends. Schools provide independent living instruction and simulated activities, but authentic activities have more impact. I always encouraged my Future-Ready Core Course of Study and OCS students to sign up for at least one adult-living course. After graduation, students and parents often told me that Teen Living and Success 101 classes were the most helpful. Ask your child’s EC teacher or guidance counselor for class suggestions to improve independent living skills. Providing authentic community experiences and opportunities in the home helps with skill-building. Shopping can help improve several deficits including money skills, planning, and social interaction. Household chores are excellent ways to gain independent living, problem-solving, time management, and planning skills.

Employment (and Volunteer) Skills Some students easily translate their interests into an employable skill. Others need guidance and exposure to potential options. In the OCS curriculum and functional curriculum, they are provided experiences to explore and expand their interests. Students in the Future Ready Core Course of Study usually have less exposure to career options. All parents should expose their students to a variety of career choices. Evan was on the OCS diploma track in high school. He also took advanced academic courses in his areas of strength. He

benefited from many career exploration activities. He explored career clusters with unexpected results; he developed new interest areas and requested placement for community and paid hours in these areas. Evan learned that not every job is suited for everyone and (with some guidance) successfully advocated for a new community experience when a placement did not work out. As parents, we helped Evan locate many volunteer activities throughout high school. The variety of opportunities allowed him to target his employment goals while gaining skills.

Dream Big and Be Flexible Evan graduated cum laude with a plan to start community college classes the following fall. But as the date got closer, it was evident that he needed a break from school. Evan began a part-time job in a restaurant suited to his personality and abilities. He wanted to focus on his job for a while before continuing his education. We quickly helped Evan explore meaningful daytime activities. These included volunteering, art classes, fitness activities, five adaptive sports, church, and social activities. Evan did not have the organization skills to keep track of his activities. He had used our para-transit system but needed to become proficient at scheduling rides and responding appropriately if the ride did not show up. He also needed a more sophisticated organizational tool and a way to share it with us. It was a learning process for all. At age 22, Evan has two part-time jobs and is considering some employment changes. He graduated from community college with a certificate in foodservice as well as ServSafe Certification. He recently expressed interest in returning to college, possibly for a degree in culinary arts. He enjoys cooking and has a cooking blog at https://evan528061506.wordpress.com/. He also continues his volunteering, sports, and fitness activities. His church involvement has expanded. He has developed a close circle of friends, and some progress has been made toward living in a townhome with a roommate. Although early planning is best, it is never too late to help a young adult have a meaningful, self-directed life. Regardless of where you are in the process, the Autism Society of North Carolina is here to help. g 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 • 13

2020 Conference to Celebrate, Empower, & Prepare Our Community Register today! www.autismsociety-nc.org/conference

In 2020, the Autism Society of North Carolina will turn 50 years old! We will kick off our golden anniversary March 27-28 in Charlotte and invite you to join hundreds of parents, autism self-advocates, teachers, and other professionals at our annual educational conference. The 2020 theme, Celebrating, Empowering, Preparing, builds on a program that provides personal perspectives, knowledge from experts in the field, and topics that span the lifespan and spectrum. Attendees will hear practical ideas and strategies for use at home, at school, at work, and in the community. “This is the organization’s 50th anniversary and marks our 41st year of hosting an educational conference,” said David Laxton, ASNC Director of Communications. “Over those 40+ years, tens of thousands of people have participated in a conference – learning how to help themselves, their students, patients, and loved ones. And, because it’s our annual ‘family reunion,’ parents, autism self-advocates, and professionals have connected and developed lifelong relationships, learning from each other during and after the conference. No matter where you or your loved one happen to be on the spectrum or along life’s journey, you don’t want to miss this year’s program.” Topics will include creating a supportive and challenging environment, social communication, bullying, school issues, parent-professional collaboration, staying safe, and personal journeys.

Friday Highlights We are pleased to have Dr. Temple Grandin kick off the conference on Friday. Dr. Grandin is arguably the most recognized individual with autism in the world. She is a Professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University, operates a successful business, and is a leading expert in designing humane livestock handling facilities. She was the subject of the Emmy Award-winning HBO film Temple Grandin. She has authored several books, including Thinking in Pictures, The Loving Push, Different Not Less, and Emergence: Labeled Autistic. Books will be available! Dr. Grandin will share her personal journey, thoughts on challenging and encouraging children and adults with autism, and more. Friday afternoon, we are excited to have Michelle Garcia Winner, MA, CCC-SLP, as keynote. Ms. Winner specializes in the treatment of individuals with social learning challenges and is the founder and CEO of Social Thinking®, a company dedicated to helping children, adolescents, and adults develop 14 • The Spectrum, Winter 2020

their social competencies to meet their personal social goals. She coined the term “Social Thinking” in the mid-1990s and has created numerous treatment frameworks and curricula that help educators, clinicians, professionals of all types, and parents/family members appreciate that social capabilities are integral to a person’s success in life, socially, academically, and professionally. Ms. Winner has written and/or co-authored more than 40 books and over 100 articles about the Social Thinking Methodology. She travels globally presenting courses on the Social Thinking Methodology, helps to develop educational programs, and consults with and trains families, schools, professionals and businesses. The conference exhibit hall will be open Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. with more than 30 organizations, service providers, and product tables as well as the ASNC information section. Friday evening, we will hold our annual gathering for autism self-advocates. This is an opportunity for adults with autism to come together, share ideas, and connect. This event is for adults with autism only; no parents or caregivers will be admitted.

Saturday: Choose Your Sessions Saturday will feature two keynote talks and two sets of concurrent sessions. Attendees will be together for the opening and closing sessions. They will choose between concurrent workshops in the middle of the day. The day begins with Dr. Laura Klinger from the TEACCH Autism Program and UNC. Dr. Klinger will explain how collaboration between parents and professionals is key to creating win-win outcomes for individuals with autism. Morning concurrent workshops: Staying Safe: Tom Unland, former law enforcement officer and father of a young woman with autism, has worked with members of ASNC’s IGNITE program to develop a safety

curriculum. Attendees will hear from Mr. Unland and IGNITE members about tools and tactics to increase understanding for individuals on the spectrum and first responders. They will also explain how to teach important safety skills to your loved one and/or student. Autism and School: Sherry Thomas, Director of the Exceptional Children’s Division at the Department of Public Instruction, will address navigating the special education system, implementation of best practices, and more. Afternoon concurrent sessions will examine: Bullying: Bullying is a reality for many individuals on the autism spectrum. It takes many forms, including cyber, physical, and emotional. Vickie Dieter, Autism Resource Specialist, will explain what bullying is, how to know the signs of bullying, and what to do to protect yourself, loved ones, and students/clients. Social Communication Across the Spectrum and Lifespan: Experts from the ASNC Clinical team will teach strategies to increase social communication in children and adults with autism. Attendees will learn teaching methods that can be used at home, at school, and in the community. The closing session will be a panel discussion of parents and autism self-advocates. The panel will provide an insightful look at life’s challenges, how to face and overcome them, and the importance of our community. Saturday’s exhibit hall hours will be 7:30 a.m.-3:45 p.m.

Save by registering early!

Register early to save your seat and save money! Early-bird discount rates will be available through Feb. 29. www.autismsociety-nc.org/conference. We are again using the Whova app for the conference, with free access for all attendees. The app enables you to connect with other attendees, exhibitors, ASNC staff, and speakers. All handouts and other materials will be available exclusively through the app. We will upload materials prior to the conference and update if presenters change their content.

Conference Rates Parent, teacher, support worker, or caregiver Single day $150 Both days $250 Individual w/ASD Single day $100 Both days $150 Professionals Single day $175 Both days $275

Registration includes access to lectures and the exhibit hall, conference program, continental breakfast, lunch, and afternoon refreshments.

Discounted Hotel Rooms & CEUs Attendees can reserve a room at the Hilton Charlotte University Place for a significantly discounted rate of $105 per night if booked prior to March 6. (Subject to availability.) Discounted rates are available for Thursday-Sunday nights. We will again offer Continuing Education Units through our educational partner, the Charlotte AHEC; visit www. autismsociety-nc.org/conference for updates on number of hours, fees, and types of CEUs.

Financial Assistance We recommend two sources of financial assistance: CAP/Innovations Waiver Funding: Innovations waiver recipients and their natural supports system (family, caregivers, etc.) are eligible for funding assistance to attend the conference. Contact your care coordinator at your managed-care organization (MCO) and let them know that you wish to use Natural Supports Education funds through your Innovations waiver. There is an annual limit of $1,000 for conference expenses. Note that family members who are employed/paid as caregivers cannot use these funds. A completed registration form may be required by your MCO. Download the form at www.autismsociety-nc. org/conference. Jean Wolff-Rossi Fund for Participant Involvement from the NC Council on Developmental Disabilities: This fund reimburses individuals with an intellectual or other developmental disability (I/DD) and parents, family members, or guardians of a child with I/DD or at risk of I/DD. It will pay for portions of costs associated with registration, child care, personal assistance, lodging, and transportation. To apply, contact the council at www.nccdd.org or 919-850-2901. Funding is limited to $600 per year for in-state events per individual applicant.

Exhibits & Sponsors We are pleased to announce that SpecialCare Mass Mutual returns in 2020 as primary sponsor for the conference. Business owners, organizations that serve the autism community, and interested individuals are eligible to apply to be a conference sponsor or exhibitor. Contact David Laxton at dlaxton@ autismsociety-nc.org or 919-865-5063 to learn more. g

ASNC has an App for that! • Quick to the top sections of the ASNC website • Important updates and policy news on your phone • Download from the App Store (iPhone) or Google Play (Android)

www.autismsociety-nc.org • 15

Chapters: Empowering Families

Empowerment – in this case, providing an individual the tools and resources needed to successfully navigate life’s challenges – is an important concept when we talk about the Autism Society of North Carolina’s mission. Inspiring individuals and families to advocate for themselves and to pursue their dreams is what ASNC and its Chapters are all about. United by a bond of empathy and friendship, Chapters and Support Groups help empower through education, peer engagement, social fun, and community awareness. With close to 80 groups across the state, more and more families are experiencing the positive impact that a Chapter can make in their lives. So how can you, too, become inspired, involved, and empowered? Start by checking out our website at www.autismsociety-nc. org/chapters and learning more about what we do at ASNC and about the opportunities available through your local Chapter. If your county doesn’t have a Chapter, we invite you to consider starting one. Contact Marty Kellogg at mkellogg@autismsociety-nc. org for more information. In the meantime, here is just a glimpse into our beloved world of Chapters!

Race Garners Support in Rockingham

More than 150 locals came out in August to support the City of Eden’s first Autism Awareness 5K, with proceeds benefiting the Rockingham County Chapter. Local elected officials also attended, including Councilman Darryl Carter, Mayor Pro Tem Jim Burnette, Sheriff Sam Page, Congressman Mark Walker, Chief Greg Light, and District Attorney Jason Ramey. Volunteers from the Chapter staffed a table to provide information on autism and the group’s local meetings. Ashley Carter, treasurer for the Chapter, said, “Our volunteers did a great job spreading the word about autism and about how thankful we are that this Chapter has been able to take off. It’s made such a huge difference in our community.” The Chapter also knows how to have fun. For back to school time, they got together at the Eden Splash Pad.

Western NC Chapters Step It Up for Autism

Local Chapters showed up in a big way at ASNC’s WNC Run/ Walk for Autism in September. Buncombe, Macon, and Haywood County families helped advertise this premier event in their local communities, assisted in fundraising efforts, participated as teams, and volunteered on Run/Walk day to help make this a successful event once again.

The Stars Are Out in Orange County

New as well as seasoned performers had a chance to shine at the Orange/Chatham Chapter’s talent show in June at Seymour Center in Chapel Hill. 16 • The Spectrum, Winter 2020

Calling All Artists in Alamance

In October, Alamance County Chapter members enjoyed a painting event co-sponsored with Painted Grape Burlington and Family Support Network of Central Carolina. Chapter Leader Sande Pahl said, “The event was a success and lots of fun. Several new families joined us, and kids of all ages and abilities got to participate.”

Person Families Rally for Fitness Run

In November, Bullpen Fitness of Roxboro held its second annual Bullpen 5K, this year to benefit the Person County Chapter. Registration for the event was free with donations accepted. The Person County Chapter sold art projects made by their members and children held signs that they created at the September and October monthly meetings. Almost 200 participants came out for the event – an amazing turnout! Chapter Leader Cindy Martin accepted a donation from Bullpen Fitness for $4,500. Also, back by popular demand, the Chapter in September held its Second Chance Prom, a magical opportunity for guests to re-create their prom night.

Wake Chapter Lunch ’n’ Learns Expand

In September, the Wake County Chapter launched a slightly different format for its monthly lunch ’n’ learns, adding Spanish interpretation for area Hispanic families. With topics ranging from challenging behaviors to dealing with extended family issues and the opportunity to mingle over a light lunch, these sessions have been very popular. Wake Chapter Leader Freda Dias said, “Coordinating with ASNC’s Hispanic Affairs Department to offer interpreter services has been a wonderful addition to our program. Our attendees have enjoyed the opportunity to come together and learn.”

Wake West Chapter Launches

Wake West, a new sister Chapter to the Wake County Chapter, is meeting the needs of families in the Apex, Cary, and Morrisville areas. Wake West held a resource fair and professional panel in November to kick off their new Chapter. Panelists included representatives from Duke Center for Autism and Brain Development, UNC TEACCH, Wake Special Advisory Council, Carolina Center for ABA and Autism Treatment, Special Siblings, and Autism Grown Up. NC Rep. Julie von Haefen also attended, giving an inspiring introductory speech for this special event.

Goodies Boost Awareness at Appalachian

The Appalachian State Campus Club geared up for the fall semester with a “Coffee and Pastries for Change” Booth. In addition to encouraging donations to the Club, this event also helped spread autism awareness and recruit club members.

Macon Chapter Celebrates the Holiday Season

Macon County Chapter families had a blast at Halloween and Thanksgiving time as families gathered to celebrate the season and enjoy some holiday fun.

Durham Chapter Hosts Spook-tacular Gala

The Durham County Chapter’s Costume Festival was fun for kids ages 5-99, with activities including indoor soccer with Oak City Soccer, Zumba, a bounce house, and professional family portraits. Also represented were Duke Autism Research, Gingerland Child Care Center, ASNC Clinical Services, and Durham Public Schools.

Bowling Bash in Johnston

Strike! The Johnston County Chapter offers a regular monthly Bowling Group during the school year and weekly during the summer at Rainbow Lanes in Clayton. It is primarily for teens and young adults and is enjoyed by all.

Wayne Families Enjoy Some ‘Horsing Around’

The Wayne County Chapter sponsored a therapeutic horseback riding event over the summer at Stepping Stone Stables. Chapter families were invited to enjoy a morning of therapeutic horseback riding free of charge. g www.autismsociety-nc.org • 17

Recursos y Eventos para las Familias Hispanas La Sociedad de Autismo de NC ofrece recursos en español para ayudar a familias hispanas que tienen seres queridos con autismo y profesionales bilingües que trabajan con niños y adultos con autismo. Grupos de Apoyo Hispano Las reuniones de grupos de apoyo hispano en español brindan información y capacitación sobre recursos y tratamientos. También permiten a los padres y cuidadores conocer a otras familias que viven en su área y compartir experiencias en su lengua materna. Los grupos también promueven la concientización del autismo en la comunidad hispana. Póngase en contacto con los líderes para obtener más información sobre las reuniones; las horas y días pueden cambiarse debido al clima u otros eventos. Cumberland Último viernes, 9-11 a.m. Oficina Regional de ASNC 351 Wagoner Drive, #402, Fayetteville Alma Morales: 910-785-5473 Gloria Lliran: 910-391-8257

Johnston Primer viernes, 9-11 a.m. Johnston County Partnership for Children 1406 S. Pollock Street, Selma Hilda Munguía: 919-946-5080

Randolph Una vez por cada trimestre First United Methodist Church 224 N. Fayetteville Street, Asheboro Sugey Ramirez: 336-308-6097

Durham* Primer miércoles, 9-11 a.m. Mount Hermon Baptist Church 2000 Chapel Hill Road, Durham Juana García: 919-687-7692 Mayra Tapia: 919-450-6543 Karen Díaz: 919-641-3718

Mecklenburg Segundo jueves, 9-11 a.m. Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church 6212 Tuckaseegee Road, Charlotte Laura Torres: 704-430-0281 Clara Amarante: 347-217-5661

Vance Una vez por cada trimestre Henderson Beatriz Solano: 252-378-4491

Guilford Una vez por cada trimestre St. Mary’s Catholic Church 1414 Gorrell Street, Greensboro Xochitl Garcia: 336-253-2482

Pitt Una vez por cada trimestre St. Gabriel Catholic Church 3250 Dickinson Avenue, Greenville Mary Cordova: 252-288-1668

* Estos grupos colaboran con otros grupos (no hispanos) para que las familias se conozcan entre sí y aprendan juntos sobre temas cruciales (con traducción al español). Para obtener más información, comuníquese con la Directora de Chapters, Seanyea Rains at srains@autismsociety-nc.org.

Talleres y Seminarios Web Capacitación del IEP: Se ofrece en varias regiones de Carolina del Norte para educar a los padres sobre la mejor manera de abogar por sus hijos en la escuela. El IEP, o Programa de Educación Individualizada, es el documento que proporciona la dirección para la educación de su hijo, y especifica los tipos de servicios que recibirá. Aquí hay algunas recomendaciones para sus reuniones del IEP: • Participantes: padre/cuidador; estudiante (debe ser invitado a los 14 años); proveedores de servicios relacionados, defensores, otros miembros de la familia. 18 • The Spectrum, Winter 2020

Wake* Primer viernes, 9-11 a.m. Westover United Methodist Church 300 Powell Drive, Raleigh Ana Chouza: 919-244-9633 Guadalupe Ortega: 919-247-5760 Becy Velázquez: 919-802-0621

• La escuela invita a los padres a la reunión del IEP. Los padres también pueden solicitar una reunión por escrito, indicando el motivo y una lista de los profesionales requeridos. • Solicitar adaptaciones si son necesarias, como extender el tiempo de tarea, tomar exámenes en un aula con menos distracción, responder a los exámenes oralmente en lugar de por escrito, etc. • Solicitar modificaciones: cambiar lo que se espera que el alumno aprenda, el nivel de instrucción, etc. • Solicitar otros servicios: terapias del habla, ocupacionales o físicas; transporte especial, etc.

• La asignación se basa en las metas y objetivos anuales y la cantidad de servicios de educación especial. • Prepárese revisando el IEP anterior, solicitando el borrador del IEP en cuestión y haciendo una cita con el maestro. • Contáctenos para obtener más información sobre cómo prepararse para el IEP, comprender sus derechos, establecer metas para su hijo y otros asuntos escolares. Fondo de Donación Weyerhaeuser: El Fondo de Donación Weyerhaeuser recientemente proporcionó una generosa donación al Departamento Hispano para ofrecer un taller gratuito en áreas rurales. En septiembre, Ryan Sayre, MC, LPC, BCBA del Departamento Clínico de ASNC, presentó Estrategias de Comunicación Visual Para el Autismo en New Bern. La donación nos permitió ofrecer traducción, guardería y comida en el taller. Les agradecemos también a Seventh Day Adventist Church por ser anfitriones, los Chapters y los voluntarios. Equipo de Intervención de Crisis (CIT) de Mecklenburg. En coordinación con líderes del Grupo de Apoyo de Mecklenburg y el departamento de policía del condado, el equipo de CIT explicó el programa en un esfuerzo por preparar mejor a las familias para contactarse con este equipo en caso de crisis. Padres e hijos visitaron la estación de policía para familiarizarse con la oficina, sonido de la sirena y con los oficiales. Estamos coordinando con el CIT para presentaciones en otras regiones

Otros recursos Camp Royall y Recreación Social: Estos programas que incluyen campamentos, programas para después de la escuela, programas para adultos y relevo grupal, brindan oportunidades para establecer vínculos con intereses comunes, practicar habilidades sociales y probar nuevas actividades. Contáctenos para conocer qué servicios están disponibles cerca de usted, o visite www.autismsociety-nc.org/socialrecreation. Camiseta en Español: ¡muestra su amor por las personas que tienen autismo con nuestra camiseta en español! Cada venta ayudará a proporcionar servicios a las familias. Haga su pedido hoy en autismsocietync.rallyup.com/spanish-tshirt. Se necesitan patrocinadores: Las donaciones sirven para proveer educación y oportunidades a familias hispanas en todo el estado. Ofrecemos becas para la conferencia anual, traducción y cuidados de niños. Por favor contáctenos si desea convertirse en patrocinador o contribuir con nuestro departamento. Página Web en Español: Infórmese y comparta sobre recursos, capacitaciones y eventos en español en el sitio web de ASNC: www.autismsociety-nc.org/recursos-en-espanol. g Para más información o ayuda en español, comuníquese con Mariela Maldonado, Enlace de Asuntos Hispanos, al 919-865-5066 o mmaldonado@autismsociety-nc.org.

Otros talleres: Se ofrecen capacitaciones y seminarios web (WEBINAR) sobre temas como Seguridad en la Comunidad y Comprensión del Autismo de Alto Funcionamiento (HFA) y el Síndrome de Asperger.

Eventos recientes Zumba por Autismo: El Grupo de Apoyo Hispano de Wake reunió a familias, profesionales y miembros de la comunidad en un divertido evento de recaudación de fondos para ayudar proporcionar becas para de la Conferencia Anual. Agradecemos a los anfitriones Brooks Avenue Church of Christ en Raleigh, líderes del Chapter de Wake, instructores de zumba, donantes y voluntarios. Carrera/Caminata por el Autismo: Familias con hijos recien diagnosticados y los que participan en los grupos de apoyo, asistieron a estos eventos en Greensboro, WNC y el Triángulo. La Carrera/ Caminata Anual por el Autismo crea conciencia y apoya la misión de ASNC. Para más información sobre los eventos de primavera y regístrese en línea, viste www.runwalkforautism.com.

Próximos Eventos Conferencia anual: 27 al 28 de marzo en Charlotte. Registrarse en línea: www.autismsociety-nc.org/conference Celebración del Día Mundial de la Concientización y Aceptación del Autismo: 4 de abril en el Camp Royall. Por favor confirme su asistencia en línea: waad2020.eventbrite.com www.autismsociety-nc.org • 19

Elections 2020: Get Ready to Vote By Jennifer Mahan, Director of Public Policy

2020 is a year in which much attention will be paid to state primaries, state legislative races, and the national presidential election. As a nonprofit organization, ASNC does not become directly involved in elections or campaigns, but we do want you to understand your right to vote, how to vote, and where to get accurate and up-to-date information. When are we voting in North Carolina?

disability services offices, and employment assistance offices.

Primary: March 3 General election: Nov. 3

To update your registration, use the same form and mail it to your current county board of elections. If you have moved or are planning to move during the election year, please see the SBOE website for special instructions regarding relocations, moves, and residency requirements.

Primaries determine which candidates will run from various parties in the general election. North Carolina has “semiclosed” primaries. If you are registered with a specific political party, you will vote with that partisan ballot, closed from other parties. Unaffiliated voters can vote for one registered party’s ballot. The general election in November will elect a president, members of Congress, statewide officials including governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, auditor, superintendent of public instruction, members of the NC General Assembly, and judges for the State Supreme Court and appellate courts. All of these elected officials and more have influence on issues related to autism, disabilities, education, health and human services, and rights. ASNC encourages you to understand when and how you can exercise your right to vote.

How do I register to vote and when is the deadline? The registration deadline is 25 days before each election: Feb. 7 for the primary and Oct. 9 for the general election. To vote, you must be a citizen, at least 18 years of age, live in the county where you register, and reside there for 30 days before the date of the election. People with felony convictions must have completed their sentence, including probation or parole, before registering. To register, you just need to fill out a voter registration form and mail it to the board of elections office in your county. (Find the address for your county online at https://vt.ncsbe. gov/BOEInfo.) You can download a registration form from the NC State Board of Elections (SBOE) website at www.ncsbe. gov or get a printed form at local county boards of election or sites in your community, including libraries, high schools, college admissions offices, the DMV, public assistance agencies, 20 • The Spectrum, Winter 2020

Can I register and vote the same day? ONLY at one-stop early voting sites. To do so, you must attest to your eligibility by filling out the forms and also provide proof of residence such as your driver’s license with current address, an ID with address, utility bill, bank statement, etc. Please see the SBOE website for a full list of acceptable documents to prove residency. (Please note that separate from registering, you must also provide photo ID to vote as per voting laws in effect in 2020.)

Do I need identification to vote? YES. Starting this year, you will need to show photo identification to vote in person or include a copy of your photo ID to vote absentee in North Carolina. Acceptable photo IDs are listed on the SBOE website; in general, IDs must have been issued by a government, government agency, tribal government, military, or college or university. Free IDs are available from the county boards of election EXCEPT from the end of one-stop voting through Election Day (March 1-3 and Nov. 1-3).

Absentee voting laws have changed. What do I NEED to know? You can still vote absentee, but you must show some additional proof and only family or guardians can request absentee ballots for someone else. You will need two witnesses to the absentee vote process, and either a copy of your photo ID must be included with the returned ballot or a signed statement saying that a “reasonable impediment prevented you from enclosing copy of your ID.” Only voters, guardians, and relatives or near relatives can deliver completed absentee ballots.

Absentee ballots must be requested by the voter, the legal guardian, or the voter’s relative or near relative using a form from the state or county board of elections. Relatives or near relatives include spouses, siblings, parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren, mothers-in-law, fathers-in-law, sonsin-law, daughters-in-law, and stepparents. The request form must be received no later than 5 p.m. on the last Tuesday before the election. For the March primary, that would be Feb. 25, and for the November general election, that would be Oct. 25. We recommend that you plan ahead: ballots are available 50 days ahead of the primary, 60 days ahead of the general election, and 30 days ahead of local elections.

website for full information about absentee voting and voting for citizens living and working out of the country.

What if I need assistance to vote? What if I live in a facility and don’t have a relative to request an absentee ballot? By law, any voters are allowed to 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 are prevented by those conditions from getting in or out of the voting booth and filling out a ballot may request assistance from non-relatives (but not union reps, employers, or agents thereof).

Follow the instructions on the form for providing proof of the voter’s information including an ID number for the voter Voting sites should be accessible to all voters, including those OR proof of residency documents, such as a utility bill, bank with disabilities. statement, pay stub, etc. with the voter’s name and address. A full set of instructions and documents can be found on the Voters at all locations can also receive help to vote curbside at State Board of Elections website. or in their vehicle if they encounter barriers or Elections Resources have difficulties leaving their vehicle to vote. Your ballot must be marked in the presence NC State Board of Elections The voter must swear an oath that they need to of two witnesses (or one notary public), and www.ncsbe.gov vote in this manner, but they are not required then sealed into the container-return envelope to show proof of a condition or disability. To report voting problems (specifically for the ballot) along with a copy of by phone: your approved photo ID or a signed statement People living in facilities can request help to SBOE 919-733-7173 “declaring that a reasonable impediment vote absentee from Multipartisan Assistance Election Protection prevented you from including a copy.” The Teams (MATs). These impartial groups are 888-687-8683 witnesses must complete the Absentee available in every county to visit facilities Application and Certificate on the back of the Disability Rights NC such as nursing homes to assist with mail-in container-return envelope and sign it. Anyone Voting Project absentee voting, which requires witnesses. assisting the voter must sign as well. www.accessthevotenc.org Typically, the facility can contact the local board of elections to schedule a visit from the Ballots can be mailed or delivered in person, but only the local MAT, but the request must start with the voter/residents, voter, guardian, or relative/near relative can deliver them in as employees at facilities are often prohibited from becoming person. If delivered in person, ballots must be received by the involved in the voting activities of their residents. There is county board of elections no later than 5 p.m. on the date a checkbox on the absentee ballot request to ask whether of the election. If mailed, ballots must be postmarked on or assistance is needed and the name of the facility, as well. g before the date of the election and are only valid if received within three days after the election. Again, we urge you to plan Look for our blogs on voting throughout the year for additional information and details on all of these topics. www.autismsocietyahead. It is also possible to deliver absentee voting materials nc.org/blog to election officials at one-stop voting locations. Please see the SBOE website for more details on absentee and one-stop voting. Have questions about public policy or advocating? Contact Jennifer Please note: By federal law, those living overseas and, in the military, stationed out of the country, have other options and other requirements for voting. Please consult the SBOE

Mahan, Director of Public Policy at ASNC, at 919-865-5068 or by email at jmahan@autismsociety-nc.org.

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

Gain Knowledge with ASNC The Autism Society of North Carolina strives to provide families and individuals with the tools they need to lead fulfilling lives.



Free toolkits that can be read online or downloaded and printed

We offer our most popular webinars on our website so you can watch at your convenience! We will continue to build this library of resources. Here are some of our top titles:

www.autismsociety-nc.org/toolkits • • • • • • • • •

Autism and Health Accessing Services The IEP Behavior & the IEP Bullying Residential Options Advocacy 101 IEP: Transition Component Autism & Faith Communities


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 Behaviors NC ABLE Accounts

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, IEPs, transitioning, and residential options. www.autismsociety-nc.org/workshops

22 • The Spectrum, Winter 2020

Fundraisers & Events Run/Walk for Autism Events

We thank everyone who ran, walked, donated, or volunteered to make our fall Run/Walk for Autism events a success! The Run/Walks provide a day for us all to come together, celebrate our loved ones with autism, and teach our communities about acceptance. Relive those wonderful memories with our photo albums on Flickr: www.flickr.com/ photos/autismsocietync.

WNC Run/Walk for Autism On Sept. 14, more than 400 participants and 26 teams ran and walked in the 14th annual WNC Run/Walk for Autism in Fletcher. Together, they raised more than $30,000 to improve lives and support families. Lively musical entertainment was provided by Yannick Brewster, an autism self-advocate who played piano and sang original songs. Members of the WNC Run/Walk Club, made up of ASNC’s local staff and clients, also participated in the race; for many, it was their first race. The top fundraising team was Team Marlowe Place, with Team Austin close behind. Each of the teams, which have participated for many years, raised more than $3,000.

Greensboro Run/Walk for Autism More than 700 participants and 61 teams raised $50,000 in the 11th annual Greensboro Run/Walk for Autism on Sept. 28. Tracey McCain from WFMY and Keith Allen from KISS 100.3FM were our emcees for the morning. Participants enjoyed two performances from Shelby J, a singer/songwriter best known as the vocalist in Prince’s band the New Power Generation. Danielle Farmer from Covelli Enterprises presented $46,000 to support local services and programs. The gift was raised through the sale of special puzzle piece shortbread cookies at the company’s Panera Bread locations in central North Carolina in April. The largest team was High Point University’s men’s lacrosse team, with 55 members. First-time team Quest Starts raised the most money: $2,550.

Triangle Run/Walk for Autism Oct. 12 dawned cool and clear, as 112 teams and more than 2,900 participants gathered at Halifax Mall in downtown Raleigh for the 21st annual Triangle Run/Walk for Autism. All told, they raised more than $200,000 to improve lives and support families in the Triangle! It was a fun-filled day as participants enjoyed a Zumba warmup with Jon Delancy, a certified instructor who is on the spectrum, and several songs by Crescenloe, the student a cappella group from Enloe High School in Raleigh. Walking with Grace once again fielded the

largest team with 135 members, while Carolina Restoration Services’ team was the top fundraising team with more than $10,000 in contributions. Our team spirit award went to Ryan’s Racers, backing Ryan Webb. The Webb family has participated in the Run/Walk for 10 years, but this was their first year with their own team named after Ryan.

Start Your Teams Now for the 2020 Run/Walks We hope you will join us this year for one of our Run/Walk for Autism events in Asheville, Beaufort, Concord, Greensboro, Greenville, Mount Airy, Raleigh, or Wilmington. You can create a team now and start encouraging friends and family to join you or donate to support your efforts. Go to www. runwalkforautism.com to find the event near you.

Help Us Plan Upcoming Run/Walks Our families, friends, supporters, committees, and volunteers work very hard year-round to make these events successful. We need new committee members to help them continue to grow. For more information, email Heather Hargrave at hhargrave@ autismsociety-nc.org or call 919-865-5057. All of the proceeds from our fundraisers stay in our state to help North Carolinians with autism and their families. Your contribution makes a difference. www.autismsociety-nc.org • 23

Run/Walk for Autism Sponsors

Many thanks to the following sponsors of our fall Run/Walks for Autism. Please support these businesses and thank them for their support of the Autism Society of North Carolina.




PARTNER Arden Premier Dentistry • ASPEN Painting • Carolina Rehabilitation & Surgical Associates, PA • Carolina Restoration Services Integrated Speech Therapy • Oowee Products • Piedmont Local • PPD • RTP Resumes • Runologie Springbrook Autism Behavioral Health • Sumus, LLC • Triangle Securities Wealth Management Wake Orthodontics & Pediatric Dentistry • Wild Wing Café

ADVOCATE Asbury Associates, LLC • BLOOM Photography • Carolina Pediatrics • Coastal Carolina Neuropsychiatric Center Culligan of Western North Carolina • David Allen Company • Duke Center for Autism and Brain Development Fleet Feet Greensboro • Greensboro Jaycees • The Hop Ice Cream Café • Jaguar Land Rover Asheville • McKinney Immigration Law Mint & Mustard Photography • NAI Carolantic• Raleigh Neurology Associates • Raleigh Pediatric Dentistry • Ross Photography Starbucks - Asheville • Triad Moms on Main

FRIEND Biscuitville • Blue Ridge Pharmacy • Brittian Chiropractic Center • Duke Center for Autism and Brain Development Kelly Office Solutions • Lionheart Academy of the Triad • Northwest Pediatrics • Penske • Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company of Hickory P.O.W.E.R. of Play • Triad Coordinated Services 24 • The Spectrum, Winter 2020

Stepping Out to Give Back to Camp Royall

Each summer at Camp Royall, Tommy Guthrie Johnson is all grins and giggles as he enjoys swimming, hiking, digging in the garden, and singing camp songs, silly motions and all. Tommy, who is 14, is “complex,” said his mother, Megan Johnson. “He’s so challenging but so funny and smart and cuddly and loveable.” Megan adopted Tommy when he was 2, and he was soon diagnosed with autism. He had experienced trauma, had no safety awareness, and was aggressive toward other children. He also is diagnosed with apraxia and did not communicate verbally. Tommy required 24-hour supervision. At the Autism Society of North Carolina’s Camp Royall, campers receive one-on-one care and are able to enjoy typical camp activities in an environment structured to meet the needs of individuals with autism. “The meaning of Camp Royall to my family is outside of paid professionals, there are very few people who can care for him,” Megan said. “So that one week of camp has been one of the only times that our family can do stuff that we can’t do with him.” Tommy has come to the camp almost every year since 2010. He still requires constant supervision, but he has made “phenomenal progress” over the past year and a half, Megan said. He can engage with other children. He is very adaptive and communicates with a combination of verbal approximations, signing, and manipulating the environment. At Camp Royall, Tommy can be engaged and kept safe while the rest of his family spends time together. “It’s truly a break because we know it’s a place he is well-loved and taken care of,” Megan said. “That says a lot about the skills, education,

passion, and knowledge that you all put into the camp and the services.” Tommy’s family has also used Autism Society of North Carolina (ASNC) respite care and attended some year-round programs at Camp Royall. “Over the years, the support that the Autism Society of North Carolina has given our family has allowed us to keep him at home,” Megan said. “It’s hard to put into words or quantify the impact that the Autism Society of North Carolina and Camp Royall has had on our family.” To help give back to ASNC, Tommy and his family participate in the annual Greensboro Run/Walk for Autism. Over the years, family, friends, school staff, and direct support workers have joined Team Tommy, wearing shirts with his photo as they raise awareness and funds. The Greensboro Run/Walk for Autism is also a community celebration, giving individuals with autism and their families a chance to feel connected. Raising a child with autism can be isolating, Megan said. Even if you have supportive family and friends, as other parents are mentioning their children’s milestones, you feel like you are living in a different world, she said. At the Run/Walk, her family has a day to be with others who understand their journey.

Struggling with your child’s challenging behavior?

LifeLong Interventions can help LifeLong Interventions is offered in the Asheville, Wilmington, Triangle, and Charlotte areas. The comprehensive treatment for any age or skill level is rooted in the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). ASNC is an in-network provider for many insurers and also accepts private pay. Children who rely on Medicaid are also eligible.

919-390-7242 | clinical@autismsociety-nc.org www.autismsociety-nc.org • 25

Celebrate Our Loved Ones with Autism April is National Autism Awareness Month! We want people with autism, and their families, to feel welcomed in their communities. They deserve the same opportunities as everyone else to reach their goals and dreams. They deserve to be celebrated!

Share on Social Media with


Spread Awareness

Videos, informational items, and ideas for bulletin boards, crafts, and fundraisers Use in your schools, places of worship, and community organizations


Party on April 4

8th annual World Autism Awareness and Acceptance Day celebration Saturday, April 4 at Camp Royall Bounce houses, outdoor games, hay rides, face-painting, an ice cream truck, and a lunch cookout!

Get in gear:


Please register online:


Host a Fundraiser to Improve Lives and Support Families

Volunteers throughout our state regularly hold fundraisers to benefit the Autism Society of North Carolina. They rally friends, families, and colleagues to participate in restaurant nights, donate proceeds from the sale of various items, or create a unique event. It all starts with an idea. If you are interested in hosting your own fundraiser, please contact Gillian Hayden at ghayden@autismsociety-nc.org or 919865-2275. Facebook fundraisers have also become a popular and easy way for our supporters to encourage contributions from their friends. In the past year alone, they have raised more than $53,000 to improve lives, support families, and educate communities.

ASNC is grateful to all of the individuals and businesses that have supported our mission. Here is a list of recent events and supporters: Apex Friendship HS Volleyball Team Aces for Autism

Community Bash Car Truck Bike Show

Appalachian State University Baseball Event

Disney Charity Run

Area 51 Fall Crawl for Autism B&B Bowling Lanes 60th Anniversary

DH Conley High School Softball Team Durham Bulls - Autism Awareness Night

Beta Delta Chapter of ADK Sorority

East Albemarle Elementary School Friday Dollar Days

Bleecker Automotive Group

Ethan Allen Awareness Event

Blue Ridge Relay

Flour Power Cary Parkside Kids

Books for Good, Inc.

George Watts Elementary School Afterschool Fundraiser

CADCO Construction - Golf Tournament Campbell University Volleyball Team

Hubert A. Eaton Sr. Elementary School Pin Sale

Charles E. Boger Elementary School Blazing Boger Beacons Run Club

Huckleberry Trail Farm - Pumpkin Sale I Am Salon and Day Spa

CKO Kickboxing

Kennedy Kreations - Jewelry Sale

Cleveland Draft House of Clayton Cornhole Fundraiser

Keystone Insurers Group - Golf Tournament

Coddle Creek Elementary #318 Jeans Day

Knights of Columbus - Bowling Night Label America Lighthouse Baptist Church of Belvoir

Panera Bread, Covelli Enterprises Pieces of Hope for Autism Cookie Campaign Raleigh Elks Lodge No. 735 Golf Tournament Rebecca and Eddie Hurst Wine for A Reason Riverside Elementary School Rockism for Autism Running for Camp Royall Seventh Judgement Band Shining Stars Pediatric Therapy Shoe Drive Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity at Barton College Summerfield Elementary School Towne Properties - Casual Day Triangle Gujarati Association 5K Tuna Run 200 UNC Pediatrics Residency Program Manuary Event

Llowell Max Book Sale

Union County Early College Student Council - Pin Sale

Market & Show Expos - Girls’ Day Out

Union Hill Elementary - Skyler Dean

Mt. Holly Middle School - Autism Fundraiser

University Dental Associates Jeans Day

NC Rock Autism Music Festival

Vibhu Pavuluri Grease Recycling Project

Nerfing for Autism Nightmare Factory Haunted Attraction Northcross Shopping Center - Family Fun Puzzle Run 5K Paint the Rink Blue Roller-Skating Party

West Buncombe PTA - Christmas Ornament Sale Wilson’s Mills Elementary School Usborne Books & More - Puzzle Drive

www.autismsociety-nc.org • 27

Young Musicians Donating Concert Proceeds to Help Others on the Spectrum

Seventh Judgement played its first gig last April in Charlotte. The three members of the band – all men in their 20s – weren’t expecting much. They were the opening group in a show that featured five other heavy metal bands. But the crowd loved them, moshing and waving pool noodles. They were called back for two encores. “It made me feel quite giddy,” said drummer Phillip Tackett. “It was humbling in a way. We couldn’t have been more happy with the outcome.” In fact, Seventh Judgement got the biggest reaction of the night, said Jacob Karvonen, lead singer and guitar player.

Phillip and Menelik both began playing music with piano as young children. Phillip, who is 25 now, said he was mostly self-taught on the drums. He started playing when he was a teenager and his father got a drum set. Over the years, he also played bass guitar but switched back to drums for Seventh Judgement. Phillip also studied music in college. Menelik competed in classical piano as a child, earning many superior ratings. He eventually learned he could play by ear and began composing his own songs. Now, he is a junior at Queens University, studying music therapy.

In October, the band was back at OSO Skate Park for another multi-band show. This time, they were the headliners and were donating proceeds of ticket sales to the Autism Society of North Carolina. They raised more than Jacob said being $450.

The young men chose to benefit the Autism on the autism Two of the three young men in Seventh Judgement Society of North Carolina with their latest gig are on the autism spectrum: Jacob and Menelik spectrum helped because they wanted to do some good alongside Cannady, who plays keyboard. They have all played music and making a name for themselves, him progress in writing music since childhood. Jacob, who is 23, said being Jacob said. “Right now we’re not doing it for the on the autism spectrum helped him progress in money.” music. music. “The things I was interested in, I would be Seventh Judgement hasn’t played many shows; they are more obsessed over,” he said. “Because of that, I was more driven focused on writing music right now. They play traditional heavy to learn more.” He began learning the guitar when he was 10 metal, Jacob said, listing some of their influences as Black with his father but also taught himself by looking up how to Sabbath, Deep Purple, Judas Priest, and Metallica. play certain songs and through practice.

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: • Social Skills Start at Home • Taking Care of Yourself Benefits Your Loved One with Autism • Creative Living: Respecting the Uniqueness of Each Individual


28 • The Spectrum, Winter 2020

“Some songs we write individually, others as a group,” Jacob said. “Some of our songs are more personal.” Each of the young men has a day job, but they’ve committed to getting together each Saturday morning to “mess around” and play until they find something that sticks out, Jacob said. “Phillip will throw up a beat, I’ll start playing along with it, and then Menelik will join in on the keyboard.” They often come up with three or four good melodies per session as they throw out ideas, Jacob said. Phillip said the fact that the three of them come from different musical backgrounds can be helpful. “When the three of us come together, it’s almost a clashing of ideas, but we find what each of our strengths are. Our best bet is to put in a healthy mix of all of our likings.” They hope eventually to record an album. “We have big dreams for this band but we’re also trying to set our earlier goals lower,” Jacob said. “We’re all driven.” Phillip agreed. “We’re trying to make this run as long as we can. We want to persist.”

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 July 1, 2019, and November 30, 2019. Please contact Beverly Gill if you have any questions or corrections at 800-442-2762, ext. 1105, or bgill@autismsociety-nc.org.


Noa Robinson

Julian Ballen

Urmila Shanmugam

Womble Bond Dickinson

Landon Bjornson Mercy Norcisa

Cameron Brown

Robyn and Craig Marshall

Cameron Carlyle Barbara Rhew

Luke Christopher Curfman Nannette Bryant

Gabriel Dichter

Betty Wolf Coonrod

Charlie Dill

Rebecca and Charles Peters

Roman Glabicki David Glabicki

Shannon Gutches Laura Valentine

Joshua Hayes

Gladys Johnson

Jordan Huff

JA King - Raleigh

Miles Jones

Suzanne Eaton Jones and Daryl Jones

Tilton Lambing

The Bobby and Gloria Foundation John Elliott Karen Harbin Susan Hogarth Dorothy Mays David Ulmer Beverly Wilcox

Andy Lipson

Alka and Neeraj Sachdeva

Luke Marcum

Brenda Marcum

Meredith McCumbee PPD Development

Haley McDonald Keven McDonald

Seamus Millet

Holly and Pierre Boumerhi

Chad Mitchell Rice Amber Joiner

Connor Ridout

Christine and Milan Dragic Stephen Ridout

MaryAlice and Brian Ridout Stephanie Shaw

Justin Rigda

Cathie and David Blakeslee

Ashley Smathers Padmini Chandra Srirekha, Aashika, and Ananya Viswanathan

Trilby Newkirk Will Okun Jeannine and David Rosen

Travis Alexander McRae Candace McRae

Raven Simpson

Deb Meredith

Lesley Stewart

Lettie Moran

Steven Wall

Marc D. Naumowich

Patrick Simpson Jenna Stewart

Lara and Hugh Feinberg

Ryan Webb

Roberta Allred

The Whelchel Family

Christine Wiese and Jared Westbrook

Memorials Kathleen Alvarez

A-B Tech Community College

Noah Dombkowski

AG Container Recycling Council Theresa and Steve Klose Cheryl and Granville Rouse Don Van Liew

Kyle M. Early

Northern Wake Fire Department

Martin Glynn

Miriam and John Carver Rebecca and Mike Pezzoni

Jean Pearson Gray

Custom Machine & Tool Marce Pearson

LaRue Kellogg

Ceci and Steve Breese Julia Morrison Kim and Mark Tizzard

Karen Mauldin

Lucille and Richard Floyd

Noel McCall ArcBest

Ed McCrimmon

Barbara and John Aluise Ed Aluise Brad Baker Charlotte Baldwin Cathy Carl Becca Champion Robert Christian Corrie Crews Bobby Gonzalez Virginia Greenway Nirav Kachalia Alison Leith Myers Teresa McCrimmon

Carolyn Crews Charles Sams Anne Dunn Susan Emmons Merry Gregg Emily and Kenneth Hang Barb Holdcroft

Owen K. Owens Kimberly Owens

Arlene Price

Randall Hinds

Jessica “Brooke” Wagner Rackley Sanderson High School David Brock Pamela Case Shirley Jones Amy and Mark Richardson Neila Stuckey

David Reisman

Milton Goetz Ann and Douglas Turner

Betty Sorrells

Gene Cole Obera Currin Molly and Dale Keller Karen Owensby Kay and Edward Rochelle Betty and Mark Sorrells Pat Williams

Barbara Hall Stephenson Patricia Evans Linda and David Potter Sondra and Bruce Wilson

Lorene P. Walters

Minnie Arnold Julie and Mark Trexler

Jerry Michael White

Monta Lucas Barbara and Richard Smutney Janet Wilson

Calvin Willoughby

The Angel Family Kimberly Beauchamp June Tilley

Les Wood

Velma and Andrew DePowell

www.autismsociety-nc.org • 29 www.autismsociety-nc.org • 29

Lumberton Community Event Honors Brother & Friend

The event raised more than $2,400 to improve lives and support families through dozens of show sponsors, in addition to presenters Downright Customs and Biggs Park Mall.

Community Bash 2019 in September at Biggs Park Mall in Lumberton was a fun family event, but it also had a higher purpose. Organizers Brent Goad and Dennis Herring, friends of more than 20 years, wanted to honor Dennis’s late brother, Phillip Herring. Phillip was survived by a son, Jase Rhyne Herring, who is on the autism spectrum, and so the men decided to donate all proceeds from the event to the Autism Society of North Carolina. This was their second year holding the bike, car, and truck show, which featured local vendors and custom shop awards. This year, the show grew to about 80 registered vehicles and more than 100 spectators, Goad said. “We get to have a great day bringing the community together while supporting a fantastic organization.”

Community Bash 2019’s success was thanks to a host of volunteers, Goad said, including his wife, Christy; Dennis’s wife, Deanna; Chris Prevatte; Aaron Milstead; Chris Gibson; Tabatha Jackson; and Chelsea Biggs of Biggs Park Mall. “We get all the details worked out beforehand so the day and the event goes off without a hitch, which allows everyone involved to enjoy the day, event, and support the charity, which is the most important thing!” The event also raised autism awareness in the community, with ASNC Regional Director Steve King attending and sharing information about autism and resources with attendees. Goad and Herring hope to continue the show and their support for individuals with autism and their families for years to come. We appreciate their generosity and dedication! g

The A+ Treatment Study Does your child have problems paying attention or being too active? Does your child have difficulty playing well with others or struggle to understand others’ reactions? If your child is 3-10 years old, then Duke’s A+ Treatment Study may help. • You will receive evaluations and reports so you can better understand your child’s behaviors. • If your child has ADHD and autism, you will come to Duke’s Clinic to learn strategies to help your child develop and grow. • Your child will receive a study drug that may help some of your child’s challenging behaviors. • You will have access to expert doctors 24/7 to answer your questions and address your concerns. • You will be compensated for participating in the study. • You can stop the study drug at any time during the study. 888-691-1062 autismresearch@duke.edu

30 • The Spectrum, Winter 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 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, evidencebased practices, IEPs, transitioning, and residential options. www.autismsociety-nc.org/autism-workshops Online resources, including toolkits, 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 LifeLong Interventions provides comprehensive treatment across skill domains and the lifespan. This service is rooted in the principles of ABA and involves intensive teaching, using evidence-based practices to promote appropriate skills and behaviors. LifeLong Interventions is directed by a psychologist who supervises PhD and master’s level psychologists and Board Certified Behavior Analysts. Training is provided by registered behavior technicians under the direct supervision of these clinical professionals. ASNC is an in-network provider for many insurers, including Cigna, BCBSNC, Aetna, and United Healthcare. Children under 21 who are eligible for Medicaid are also eligible to receive treatment under Research-Based Behavioral Health Treatment. We also provide treatment through private-pay arrangements. 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 adolescents and young adults, 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 with support from Trillium Health Resources. www.autismsociety-nc.org/transition IGNITE community centers in Davidson and Raleigh 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, Winterville, and Brunswick and Onslow counties, social recreation programs include summer day camp, afterschool programs, and adult programs, with support from Trillium Health Resources. In other areas, afterschool programs and social-skills groups for a range of ages and abilities are available. Contact us to learn which services are available in your region. 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, #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

Spring 2020 Events Charlotte Hornets Autism Awareness Night Charlotte - March 3

Cabarrus County Puzzle Run Concord - April 25

Carolina Hurricanes Autism Awareness Night Raleigh - March 21

Eastern Run/Walk for Autism Greenville - May 2

World Autism Awareness & Acceptance Day Camp Royall - April 4 Surry County Walk for Autism Mount Airy - April 18 Coastal NC Run/Walk for Autism Wilmington - April 25

Camp Royall Classic Golf Tournament Chapel Hill - May 4 Crystal Coast Run/Walk for Autism Beaufort - May 30 For more information, please contact Heather Hargrave at 919-865-5057 or hhargrave@autismsociety-nc.org

2020 Annual Conference


March 27-28 • Charlotte

For more information, see pages 14-15

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