2021 Winter Spectrum Magazine

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VOLUME 38, NO. 1 • ISSN 1044-1921 • WINTER 2021

Building Self-Advocacy Skills Celebrating 50 Years of ASNC Annual Conference Goes Virtual

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 2021. All rights reserved. Viewpoints expressed are not necessarily those of the Autism Society of North Carolina, Inc. or its Board of Directors. Editors: Molly Edmonds & David Laxton 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:

On Empowerment: Where to Begin When Building Self-Advocacy Skills and How to Be a Better Ally.....................4 Building Skills Across the Lifespan ..........................................8 Celebrating 50 Years of the Autism Society of North Carolina .........................................10 Public Policy Advocacy: What’s Ahead and How to Help ...........................................13 Virtual Conference to Create Connection for Community . .....................................14

Also in this issue: Message from the CEO ........................................................... 3 Camp Royall .......................................................................... 12 Chapters................................................................................ 15 Hispanic Affairs...................................................................... 16

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............................................................. 17 Donations ............................................................................. 20 Call on Us............................................................................... 23

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 begin a new year, we’d like to take a moment to thank you for your support throughout 2020. Whether you are an autism self-advocate, caregiver, professional, or donor, you are an important part of our family. With you by our side, we have improved so many lives across our state. 2020 showed the strength and resiliency of the autism community. Together, we worked harder than ever to keep individuals with autism healthy, safe, and able to live successfully in their communities.

Board of Directors

We also celebrated our 50th anniversary, and in this issue, we include some highlights from five decades of supporting individuals and families in North Carolina. We have grown tremendously since 1970, and continually adapted to new technologies and implemented best practices. Still, some things remained the same over 50 years: We are still committed to improving the lives of individuals with autism, supporting their families, and educating communities. These are the values that will guide our next decades and are the same since I began my career with ASNC in 1996. While I have seen immeasurable growth in services and quality, our values have remained the same.

Chair Chris Whitfield

To ensure that ASNC directs its resources to meet its mission, the Leadership Team and Board of Directors developed the 2020-2023 strategic plan in collaboration with staff and stakeholders to provide goals for the next three years. I encourage you to learn more about the plan on our website, at bit.ly/ASNCStrategicPlan. This issue also includes our latest public policy targets, which guide our advocacy to help create better services and opportunities for individuals on the autism spectrum. You will note that one part of our strategic plan includes continuing to work with adults on the spectrum to increase opportunities for self-advocacy. In this issue, we have a great article written by a self-advocate in partnership with one of our Clinical experts about building self-advocacy skills, and how we can all be good allies to self-advocates. This issue shows that we are continuing to find new ways to connect and support each other. From Camp Royall to Chapters to our new IGNITE location in Greensboro, we are always working to provide opportunities for our community to learn, communicate, and grow. I am especially excited about our upcoming virtual conference on March 19-20. I hope you will join us to hear from our expert speakers, ask questions, and meet other people from across the state in our online connection rooms. Each year, more individuals and families join our autism community. We will continue to ensure that appropriate and meaningful options are available throughout people’s lifetimes. We know that with you as a part of our family, we will accomplish much in 2021. My best,

Executive Committee

Vice Chair Ron Howrigon 2nd Vice Chair Kristin Selby Secretary Steven Jones Treasurer Mark Gosnell Immediate Past Chair Ruth Hurst, Ph.D.

Directors Stephanie Austin Doug Brown Rob Christian, M.D. Latonya Croney Sandy Daston Steve Love, Ph.D. Craig Seman Scott Taylor

Tracey Sheriff, Chief Executive Officer

www.autismsociety-nc.org • 3

On Empowerment: Where to Begin When Building Self-Advocacy Skills and How to Be a Better Ally By Jade McWilliams, Self-Advocate, Activist, and Artist, and Lea Crusen, ASNC Clinical Professional

For any individual, empowerment is crucial when it comes to the creation of a meaningful life—one that is embedded with communication, choice, and opportunity. These positive outcomes are often spoken about when speaking about empowerment, but there is a dark side… disempowerment. We don’t want to think about bad things happening to the people that we love and care for, but one unavoidable truth is that people with autism can be especially vulnerable to many kinds of exploitation. It’s hard to think about, but there are measures we can take to combat this problem. One thing we can all do is to help teach self-advocacy skills, starting as young and soon as possible. Put simply, self-advocacy means knowing how to speak up for yourself, make your own decisions, and create boundaries. Disempowerment is avoidable. It has nothing to do with any specific diagnosis and has everything to do with how you, as an ally, choose to teach, honor, and cultivate self-advocacy skills over time. There are major safety risks in teaching “compliance” (i.e., teaching someone to follow all directions immediately). Not only does this type of teaching eliminate the perception that boundaries are okay, it also teaches that neurotypical adults are the ultimate authority, which over time, may send the message that the neurodiverse voice is less valuable or important. “Compliance”-based teaching or discipline styles often involve the neurotypical adult dominating the interaction, which may squander creativity or punish freedom of expression. Be aware of the impact of how and what you teach. You can help to grow the “No!” and you should. Self-advocacy builds resilience. It’s vital and important to have these skills in place so we can express preferences, have greater control in our lives, and have these skills to call upon if an exploitative situation presents itself. Self-advocacy is an area we may all need to grow in (neurotypicals and neurodiverse alike). If you are a teacher, a clinician, or a caregiver, we ask that you consider HOW you are teaching this skill currently. What are you doing to give tools of empowerment? Below you will find many suggestions from the two of us, both on skill areas to target and on how to be a better ally; we hope that you’ll walk away from this article with inspiration. Consider these rights as the foundation for our suggestions.

4 • The Spectrum, Winter 2021

The right to have a communication system that plays to one’s strengths and preferences Skills to teach: First, focus on developing communication to express basic needs and preferences. This may start with simple gestural exchanges or by guiding someone to an area, may then move into “yes”/”no” choices, and then may develop further, either with spoken language, sign language, a picture exchange system, or the use of a speech-generating device (such as Proloquo2go or Tobi Dynavox). Be a better ally: If teaching communication skills to a beginner, follow the individual’s lead on communication mode. For example, if the learner is more comfortable gesturing for items, rather than speaking, this may indicate an eventual preference for sign language; if the individual is interested in pictures and is a strong visual learner, this may indicate the appropriateness of picture exchange or a speech-generating device that uses icons. Having visual cues or pictures available for times of stress may help any learner to communicate more effectively. If at some point the learner’s preference shifts, shift with them and mirror their preferred mode.

The right to a patient communication partner Skills to teach: Practice thinking phrases that indicate the need for additional processing time, such as “Hear me out,” “Let me think about that,” or “Can I get back to you later?” Teach ways to express grievances and preferences, so that the person can

address issues after the fact; for example, “Do you mind waiting a little longer next time? I lose my focus when you interrupt.”

more advanced topics. Use visuals and multiple examples to contextualize.

Be a better ally: Allow time for the person to respond (silence and pauses are okay), don’t follow up right away or add more words, and wait quietly. Make sure that as a communication partner, you are responding with a communication style that suits the person’s strengths and preferences. If the person is struggling to communicate in their usual form, offer other means of communication like typing together (taking turns) or texting, using communication forms, or drawing. Do not be quick to dismiss or assume that a long pause means that the person would like to talk about it later, rather than now. If in doubt, ask!

Be a better ally: LISTEN to the no and respect the “no” in the moment. Later, when emotions have subsided, if you need to know “why not?”, then follow up with the person and ask. Use this as a learning opportunity to identify other preferences so that you can be better in the future. ALWAYS obtain consent before touching anyone or entering their bubble (1-2 feet) unexpectedly. When it comes to boundaries, remember: We are all entitled to secrets. We are all entitled to private spaces. We are all entitled to make choices. We are all entitled to sentimental items. This list goes on… Respect these rights.

The right to having one’s needs met or questions answered in a timely fashion Skills to teach: Teach the person to ask questions (using their preferred communication form) about anticipated deadlines or events. Develop the skills required to “keep time,” either visually, by using a clock or calendar, or by another system that plays to their strengths (setting a timer and listening for the audible signal). If the other person does not deliver something as promised, practice skills to remind others of unmet needs. For example, after a timer alert has beeped, but the caregiver has not brought dinner, the person can sign for “eat?” indicating that it is time to eat dinner, at the time promised. Be a better ally: Meet needs within reasonable timelines and keep your promises to the best of your ability! Be a reliable and truthful ally. If you are unable to keep your promises, be ready to explain “why” and provide choices for fair alternatives. Answer questions as timely as possible; if the person asks often, consider incorporating visual or written supports and having them available, such as social narratives or communication boards.

The right to speak up against things that one does not like and establish boundaries Skills to teach: As early as possible, understand and encourage the person’s preferences and help them to identify the feelings associated. Put very simply, we “like” something if it makes us feel happy most of the time, and we “dislike” something if it makes us feel sad or angry. Encourage the person to say “no” in the face of dislikes. Make it clear that “no” does not require explanation and should be held with confidence (despite duress or pressure). Teach consent, in as many ways as possible, but especially when it comes to body autonomy. This applies to hand-over-hand prompts (e.g., “Can I help you write your name?”) and hugs from relatives (e.g., “Can auntie give you a hug?”) alike. Boundaries can be extremely abstract; begin by teaching concrete concepts (e.g., teach privacy by always stepping out of the restroom while the person toilets), with basic human rights as your guide, and then build into

The right to a trauma-free environment Skills to teach: Teach the person how to report grievances to appropriate parties (e.g., “Kim took my iPad”). If this skill is too complex, teach the person to walk away and seek caregiver assistance. As this skill develops, continue to build on other skills such as identifying injuries and alerting caregivers, teaching about “okay” and “not okay” behaviors involving the actions of other people (e.g., aggressive acts, appropriate vs. inappropriate touch, stealing), and discourse. As these skills advance, continue education on learning about rights and rules surrounding consent and social skills regarding understanding intentions of others. Be a better ally: Do as much as you can to prevent people from observing traumatic events (such as observing another person have a behavioral crisis) or from being put in unsupervised situations if they struggle to advocate their preferences or express grievances (e.g., placed with a child that always steals toys). Protect the person from bullies--both intentional and unintentional! Intentional bullies act from a place of malice to harm another person. Unintentional bullies, which are rarely spoken about, are individuals that may not understand the negative impact on the other person, but can still cause considerable harm (i.e., may hit another person if they get in the way during a crisis). It is imperative that all teachers and caregivers take measures to create a trauma-free space.

The right to have control over one’s own information Skills to teach: Teach the person about their diagnosis and give them information about it. Help them to understand when or why they might want to disclose information (for accommodations or to a first responder) versus times when it might not be necessary. Be a better ally: Always pause and think, “Do I need to disclose this information?” before speaking about someone else’s information, even as a parent or caregiver. Is it really relevant to the situation? Is it my information to tell at this moment? There are already so many stereotypes associated with an autism www.autismsociety-nc.org • 5

diagnosis… don’t make the person wade through all of the assumptions because you disclosed their personal information.

The right to ask for accommodations Skills to teach: Teach the person to identify necessary accommodations. Certain times of day or transitions may be more difficult than others, and it may take a second set of eyes to identify these times. With this information, help in structuring a schedule that suits the person and familiarize them with the events in which they might need more resources. Teach the person to utilize requests (in their preferred communication method) such as, “I need quiet please,” “Can you show me?” or “Can you type it out instead of saying it?” Be a better ally: Provide these accommodations and understand that they are necessary for the person’s success. If you see someone struggling to ask for accommodations and see that a meltdown or shutdown may be building, pause and ask the person if they need “x” accommodation (e.g., “Do you want me to dim the lights?”) or begin to decrease the stimulation in the environment if possible (do not ask further questions), then wait and support. After the fact, take note of the context and help the person to identify the potential changes needed in the future.

The right to leisure in the way that we choose and the right to “stim” or engage in activities just because they feel good Skills to teach: Provide access to a variety of different leisure routines and sensory items to encourage the person to identify things that are preferred and when they might like those things (certain times of day, or upon completing a task). Teach the person how to request the things that they enjoy and how to advocate for sensory needs. For example, “I need a movement break” or the sign for “music.” Be a better ally: Accept these preferences without imposition or judgment. “Age-appropriateness” is not the goal here. Understand that every person has the right to fully unwind; without the opportunity to access leisure that is free of impositions, a full “unwind” will be hard to come by. If you’re in charge of a loved one’s schedule and daily routines, make sure you intentionally carve out leisure time that is led by the person. Provide access to stim toys/equipment (e.g., a swing, trampoline, or headphones/music) and always give enough free time to have sensory needs met. We all just need to do “our thing!”

6 • The Spectrum, Winter 2021

The right to social preferences Skills to teach: Teach the person how to express their social preferences, whether it be that they want to be alone, just with family, or with friends. Continue to fine-tune these skills by teaching the person to identify the level of interaction they want to have, such as going to an event to see people, but not staying for the event’s entirety. Be a better ally: Respect the preference and let that person take the lead. Get rid of the iteration that there is any sort of “correct” preference. Recognize that everyone has different social preferences, and these may change daily. Always check in. And remember that while some things may be obligatory (such as school), other things are not (a birthday party on the weekend). Don’t sweat the small stuff—preserve social energy for when it matters.

The right to procrastinate Skills to teach: Teach the individual how to gain “social permission” to access more time with other activities they’re already engaged in (e.g., “Can I finish this first?”), how to postpone things to a certain time in coordination with someone else (e.g., on device navigates to “ok, after lunch?”), or how to re-prioritize the requirement based on needs (e.g., “I don’t have the energy today, maybe tomorrow instead?”). Be a better ally: Respect communication and be amenable. If the person does not communicate this need, but you see that they may need an accommodation (e.g., are fixated on finishing one task first), provide the delay regardless and acknowledge it (e.g., “Hey, I’m sorry. I see that’s important to you… Let’s do ‘x’ after”). In general, allow the person to finish one project before you expect them to start something new and allow extra time when shifting focus from one kind of task to a different kind of task (it is often necessary!).

The right to know “why” and the right to contradict false information Skills to teach: Teach the person how to ask for explanations, such as “why” things are necessary or “why” things may be different in the routine for the day. Teach the person to speak up when someone says something untrue that affects them or is about information relevant to them (e.g., “My birthday is actually in June”). Teach the differences between “truth” and “lies,” and “intentional lies” versus “misspeaking.” Be a better ally: Provide context and explanations voluntarily, as appropriate. Be literal and concrete. Information doesn’t always have to be verbal; you can also write it down or draw a picture. Always aim to speak from fact and give true information from the start! Avoid “half-truths” or lies, even if trying to prevent conflict. If you misspeak, label it as such—but do not abuse the term to explain “half-truths” or lies.

The right to be upset and the right to access one’s calming strategies Skills to teach: Teach the person that all emotions are perfectly normal and okay! It’s hard being a person and sometimes we all get upset. Teach the person to recognize feelings, request breaks to calm, and teach them different calming techniques that they can utilize when they need them. Be a better ally: Support the person if you’re wanted. Back off if you’re not. Acknowledge and believe that calming tools are NECESSARY… they are not “special treatment.” Respect what is a “big deal” to the person, even if it’s not a big deal to you, and remember preferences moving forward. Always validate emotions (e.g., I know that this is tough… I’m here for you”); do not discount the experience.

The right to make mistakes, to have the “dignity of risk” Skills to teach: Teach yourself to SIT. BACK. Be a better ally: Everyone has the right to self-determination, and part of that is being allowed to make choices. Some choices might turn out to be mistakes, which is okay because all people make mistakes. We can learn and move forward. Allow the person to make their own decisions even if they aren’t the ones that you would make for that person. Offer support and validation. Empowerment can begin with just one single, definitive response… What will you teach? How will you become a better ally? g

Additional Resources: Autism… What Does It Mean To Me?, by Catherine Faherty, which is a workbook about self-awareness and life lessons for individuals with autism. Communication: What Does It Mean To Me? A “Contract for Communication,” by Catherine Faherty, which is a guide on how caregivers and individuals with autism can communicate with one another most effectively. Integrated Self-Advocacy ISA Curriculum: A Program for Emerging Self-Advocates with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Other Conditions, by Valerie Paradiž, which targets transition-aged individuals and emphasizes self-awareness of their expression and experience of autism, as well as individual agency for current and future advocacy. Autism and Learning Differences: An Active Learning Teaching Toolkit, by Michael P. McManmon, intended to help professionals “impart essential life skills,” including self-advocacy.

We’re Hiring! Do you know someone who is passionate about helping individuals on the autism spectrum and their families? Let them know that the Autism Society of North Carolina is always looking for qualified candidates to join us as we improve lives. Why work for ASNC? We offer: • Extensive training and education • Full- and part-time positions across the state • Flexible hours and customized schedules • Competitive pay • Benefits starting at 20 hours • Extensive client matching to ensure good fit • Rewarding and relevant job experience We are always looking for candidates or referrals for the following positions: • Autism Support Professionals • Vocational Support Professionals • Autism Services Coordinators • Social Recreation Counselors • Behavior Technicians

www.autismsociety-nc.org/careers www.autismsociety-nc.org • 7

Building Skills Across the Lifespan

The Autism Society of North Carolina provides high quality services that improve the lives of individuals with autism and their families. Our Direct Support Professionals work one-on-one with individuals with autism, teaching skill acquisition and supporting individuals in reaching their life goals. In September, we honored three of them with achievement awards. Our IGNITE program offers activities and educational groups that teach practical skills and foster independence. Our third location in Greensboro opened at the end of 2020.

Beth Strathern Named 2020 Roman Award Winner During her career as a special education teacher in Pitt County, Beth Strathern helped countless children with autism. But it’s her special 20-year relationship with Shala Bell that made Beth the 2020 winner of the John and Claudia Roman Direct Service Award. The annual award honors a direct service employee of the Autism Society of North Carolina who has demonstrated outstanding dedication to individuals with autism and their families. Beth first met Shala and her mother, Teedra, when Shala was placed in Beth’s preschool class. “I was a young parent who had a child with a condition I knew nothing about,” Teedra recalled. “Beth took me under her wing and educated me on the services Shala needed. She helped me get through some tough times.” “One of my goals, as a teacher, is to show children they can trust me,” Beth said. “One of my earliest memories of Shala is her allowing me to hold her for a minute in the rocking chair I had in my classroom. It was a way to feel the trust we were building. Once we had that trust, then we could pave a road for her to communicate, to feel safe in the world.” After Shala graduated from preschool, Beth was asked to provide direct support for her for an additional two weeks, until another professional could be found. Eventually, everyone realized, the best match for Shala’s needs and challenges was Beth, and that two weeks turned into two decades. “Initially, I was disheartened that they couldn’t find another support person for Shala,” Beth said. “People were giving up before they gave her a chance. But now, I can’t imagine life without her. I’m never losing her. We are each other’s sidekicks.” “Beth is the reason why Shala met so many of her goals,” Teedra said. “She’s always working on Shala’s goals relating to personal care, education, and independence.” “We’ve worked through challenges and struggles in many areas of development,” Beth said. “But Shala never gave up on any task. I have so much joy in seeing her achieve her goals, express her thoughts, and have a sense of pride in herself.” 8 • The Spectrum, Winter 2021

Beth says she’s learned patience and perseverance from Shala. “I’ve learned not to doubt what she can achieve. She’s taught me a different perspective and given me a more intimate observation of the world and what goes on around us. Shala shared the world through her eyes and gave me a larger world. And when I experience the world through her eyes, I can help her navigate it.” With a relationship that spans 20 years, Beth and the Bell family share many memories. Teedra remembered how Beth brought Shala to the hospital shortly after Teedra had her second child. “She took pictures and created memory books for us,” Teedra said. Beth remembered that visit for how uninterested Shala was in a baby, but she also recalled how, a few years later, Shala guided her toddler sibling away from a hot oven. Teedra said she’ll never forget seeing Shala in a garden with Beth, and Beth said that the duo’s current favorite hobbies are dancing, singing, and making up funny songs. For Teedra, Beth has been an essential help to her family beyond the work she did with Shala in the home. “We could call Beth at all hours, and she would guide us through what to do.” Beth has also been vital in helping Teedra through meetings with schools and doctors: “I didn’t know the language of autism, but she did,” Teedra said. “When I don’t know what to say, she steps in and is my advocate. More than anything, that’s what I admire.” Teedra works in the school system and is hoping to work more closely with exceptional children after seeing the work that Beth has done with Shala. Beth, who retired from the classroom six years ago, says she’s grateful for the resources in Pitt County that made her work with Shala possible, from her fellow teachers to the parent support groups. “Every child has an infinite capacity to learn and grow, beyond a diagnosis. I never get tired of seeing a child learn something, and I don’t think I ever will,” Beth said. “I cherish that opportunity to be there when a person makes those connections. It’s more than a job. It’s a privilege.”

Jessica Romero and Laura Belmar-Ramos Honored with 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.

Adam’s size and behaviors, she takes it all in stride and uses all of the tools she has learned to deescalate behaviors and move on for a productive day. We are thrilled she stuck with us through COVID and we value her role as a strong asset to Adam’s success.

This year, two direct support professionals — Jessica Romero and Laura Belmar-Ramos — were chosen to receive the McCrimmon Award for their outstanding work. Learn more about their extraordinary work, directly from the people who nominated them:

Nominated by Kim Tizzard Laura Belmar-Ramos is extraordinary. She and my son, Trevor, immediately fell into a groove and Trevor was flourishing with community activities and volunteerism. When the “stay at home” order was announced due to Covid-19 in early March 2020, Trevor’s life as he knew it came to an abrupt halt. He became anxious and depressed with the uncertainty. Laura became concerned with the change she saw in Trevor. She asked us how she could make his days fun and something to look forward to. From this came Theme Days. Each week Laura and Trevor decide the themes for the following week. Laura takes the theme idea and prepares activities through diversified instruction incorporating Trevor’s goals. She researches virtual tours, games, food and anything else that may enhance their experience. The themes have run the gamut from “Big Cat Day” to “Carnival Day” and so much more in between. Our family saw a transformation that has not only profoundly affected Trevor, but anyone who gets to overhear and participate in their special time as well! They are silly, happy, and creative.

Jessica Romero Nominated by Geino and Iris Suriel Jessica has been the most helpful, dedicated, and loving person that has worked with our daughter, Haley. Jessica has become a good and real friend of our daughter. Jessica is always aware of Haley’s emotional and physical needs. She teaches Haley how to get organized and how to complete tasks to be a responsible and productive person, now and for the future. We have been blessed in getting someone like Jessica to help us and work with Haley with lots of love, patience, and caring. Nominated by Terri Joyner Jessica is by far one of the best direct support staff members we have had. She is professional, with an excellent work ethic; she maintains confidentiality; she is punctual and communicates with us as needed. She is creative in working on Adam’s goals, keeping his interests in mind and utilizing his strengths to help him grow in his social skills and language/communication skills. When she arrives for her shifts, she has prepared for the day, often bringing art supplies and projects to add to the schedule. She treats Adam with respect, care, and concern for his learning needs. She celebrates his successes with him and with us, making sure she gives me daily updates on how his day went. Although she is petite and could be threatened by

New IGNITE Opens in Greensboro

Laura BelmarRamos

Laura consistently brings her best. She walks in the door with an air of joy and enthusiasm that is contagious. She brings her best self for Trevor and in turn she is rewarded with his best self! She demonstrates dedication, enthusiasm, and incredible professionalism.

We are excited to be growing the IGNITE program with a new location in Greensboro!

and then with the TEACCH Autism Program in Greensboro. As a native of the Triad, she brings valuable knowledge of the area.

IGNITE Greensboro is located in Revolution Mill, a live-workplay complex that includes many businesses and restaurants. This location allows the IGNITE members to be in the midst of a vibrant community, offering opportunities to practice social interactions and make connections. It’s also conveniently located on a bus line.

IGNITE Greensboro will offer 40 hours of programming each week, with the same great curriculum offered at our Davidson and Raleigh locations. Members will work toward financial, educational, and employment success, all while enjoying social opportunities and fun activities.

Allison Butwinski is joining ASNC as the director of the Greensboro location. Allison has more than 30 years of experience in the autism community, first working as a teacher

We are currently accepting interest forms for the Greensboro location. If you know someone who is interested in becoming a member of IGNITE Greensboro, please direct them to the interest form on our website. g www.autismsociety-nc.org • 9

Celebrating 50 Years of the Autism Society of North Carolina 1960s

• Autism was known as childhood schizophrenia and was widely accepted to be a psychological disorder caused by emotionally distant mothers. • Children with autism were discouraged from attending school. They grew up in the seclusion of their family homes or were inappropriately institutionalized. People did not believe that they could grow up to have productive employment or lead fulfilling lives. • A group of parents in North Carolina – including Betty Camp, Mary Lou “Bobo” Warren, and JoAnn Jeffries – did not accept that their children were unreachable or should be excluded from school or community life. They decided to create an organization to provide support and improve the lives of all children with autism in the state.


ASNC was formally incorporated as a nonprofit and focused on advocacy for clinical services, educational opportunities, and policy changes that recognized autism as a developmental disability. • Organized an autism awareness breakfast for legislators and kids with autism, resulting in funding for the TEACCH Autism Program at UNC, the first statewide clinical program for autism in the nation. • Started the summer camp program.



The organization expanded staff to provide family support (parent advocates – now Autism Resource Specialists), fulltime summer camp staff, and community-based (Medicaid waiver) services.

ASNC continued to expand opportunities for selfadvocates, parents, and professionals. As services grew, ASNC received CQL accreditation.

• Acquired funding for and constructed Camp Royall, opening in 1997. • Continued HUD group homes expansion, stopping at 20. • Hosted national autism conference in Greensboro with 3,000+ attendees (1995), when ASNC employed 23 fulltime employees statewide.

• Received national recognition for efforts to educate law enforcement personnel about autism. • Held inaugural WakeMed Autism Ribbon Run 5K (now Triangle Run/Walk for Autism) with 335 runners.

• Opened other offices throughout NC and an adult day program (Creative Living) for adults in Raleigh.

From small, volunteer-driven beginnings, ASNC now responds to the changing needs of individuals with autism and their families through more than 1,000 employees across the state. We have 11 offices across the state, and our Autism Resource Specialists support families in all 100 counties. Our staff work one-on-one with hundreds of people of all ages daily, while our online resources empower and educate our community. We are proud of what we’ve accomplished with you over the past 50 years, and we look forward to continued partnership with the autism community. g

2020 marked the 50th anniversary of ASNC. While we had hoped to celebrate this milestone at in-person events last year, we joined countless others in canceling celebrations and focusing on what’s truly important – supporting individuals with autism so that they are healthy, safe, and able to live successfully in their communities. Still, we couldn’t let our golden anniversary pass by without acknowledging how far we’ve come together.

1980s • Worked to establish self-contained classrooms so that students with autism could attend public school and receive appropriate instruction. • Published first organization newsletter, hosted the first annual conference, and formed local chapters.

ASNC transitioned from an all-volunteer organization to one with employees and continued to work closely with legislators to expand opportunities for individuals with autism. • Offered supported employment services to assist adults with obtaining and maintaining employment. • Pursued residential options for adults by building group homes with HUD funding. • Secured funding for the Carolina Living and Learning Center (operated by TEACCH) and acquired land for Camp Royall. • Opened bookstore to provide resources to parents and professionals who could not find books about autism in local bookstores.

2010s • Added first self-advocate Board member. • Opened or expanded offices across the state and opened additional day options for adults in Greensboro and Fayetteville

ASNC continued to improve the lives of individuals with autism, support their families, and educate communities. • Created Clinical Department, LifeLong Interventions treatment program, Employment Supports, IGNITE program, and Social Recreation in Eastern NC. • Expanded Camp Royall year-round programs. • Celebrated the passage of coverage of autism treatment under health insurance. • Hosted eight annual Run/Walk events across the state.


www.autismsociety-nc.org • 11

Camp Royall Prepares for 50th Summer

Summer 2021 will mark ASNC’s 50th installment of Summer Camp (the 25th at Camp Royall). By now, you should have received notification about your placement if you entered the Summer Camp lottery. As a reminder, we start our registration for Summer Camp lottery in November and conduct the lottery in January so that families have more time to finalize their summer plans. Though the registration period is complete, you can apply for the waitlist. We are planning for another summer that’s a little smaller than usual, so that we can maintain the safety protocols we put in place last summer. We are looking forward to providing a caring, accepting place for campers on the autism spectrum.

Year-Round Fun at Camp As of this printing, we plan to offer most of our usual year-round programming, but attendance will have to be limited to follow safety protocols. We will not, unfortunately, be able to present our annual World Autism Awareness and Acceptance Day Celebration in April this year, but there are other opportunities to attend Camp Royall. Programs include: •

Mini Camps

Adult Retreats

Teen Tuesday

Residential Camps

Teen Retreats

Family Fun Days

Please check our website for updated dates and to register: www.camproyall.org.

Positions Available at Camp We are looking for hard working, passionate young people who are looking to provide service this spring and summer. Working at Camp Royall is a life-changing experience filled with fun, friendships, and an amazing feeling of accomplishment. It’s an excellent learning opportunity for individuals interested in a profession in the fields of human services, education, special education, psychology, or recreational, speech, and occupational therapy. Internship credit is a possibility for many of our staff as they work toward achieving academic and professional goals at work. We provide training and support to our staff so they are prepared to work with individuals with autism. If you or someone you know is interested in working at Camp Royall, please direct them to our website, www.camproyall.org, to learn more. Full job descriptions are available at www.autismsociety-nc.org/careers.

12 • The Spectrum, Winter 2021

Supplies for Camp Camp Royall always needs supplies to keep camp operating smoothly. If you are interested in giving supplies to Camp Royall, we have an Amazon wish list: bit.ly/CampRoyallWishlist

Help Send Kids to Camp Camp Royall is the oldest and largest camp exclusively for individuals with autism in the United States. We work yearround 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

Public Policy Advocacy: What’s Ahead & How to Help

As an organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of individuals on the autism spectrum and their families, ASNC advocates for public policies that support people on the spectrum and monitors changes in our developmental disability and education systems. We work with policymakers at the General Assembly, state departments such as NC Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Public Instruction and others, and with Managed Care Organizations, and other health care and service managers to help create better opportunities for people on the autism spectrum. ASNC creates public policy targets every two years based on feedback from a public policy survey shared with our community; our work with families, individuals, professionals, coalition partners, and policymakers; and our staff and Board of Directors. There are significant, numerous needs: The wait list for the Register of Unmet Needs with LME/MCOs has grown to nearly 15,000 people, many community-based services and supports have shrunk, and crisis services do not meet demands. Disparities remain in local funding for special education. Unemployment for those with autism remains between 50 and 80 percent. Our targets are framed by the challenges of the last decade; prior to the current global pandemic, economic recovery did not result in investments in services and supports. Due to the pandemic, we again face uncertain economic times. With limited resources with which to advocate, ASNC selected three focus areas for our advocacy targets:

Focus Area 1: People with autism can live in and contribute to their communities. •

Make meaningful progress in increasing funding in services that reduce or eliminate the 15,000-person waiting list.

Ensure people with disabilities have staffing for services by supporting initiatives to pay direct support professionals (DSP) a sustainable wage, support the DSP career path, and increase provider rates.

Establish a centralized Registry of Unmet Needs list to eliminate disparities between wait times in different counties.

Focus Area 2: People with autism have opportunities for growth and are not left behind their peers. •

Assure early access to diagnostic assessments by increasing rates and directly funding low or no cost programs.

Increase special education funding and remove funding disparities, including caps on local special education funds, to better support students in schools, expand teacher training/mentoring, and provide access to the same learning resources.

Make sure adults on the spectrum do not “fall off a services cliff” after leaving high school. Help youth transition to employment opportunities, secondary education programs, and meaningful activities. Ensure adults have access to an array of services that work for them and their families.

Close health care coverage gaps and assure access to affordable health care coverage.

Focus Area 3: People with autism are treated justly. •

End the use of seclusion and restraint in schools by implementing evidence-based alternatives.

Ensure NC’s guardianship program has stable funding, training for courts and families, and focuses on retention and/or restoration of rights when possible.

Ensure people move effectively between services systems (early childhood, education, child services, adult services, employment, etc.) with conflict-free, person-centered care management.

We cannot do this advocacy alone. We need families and individuals touched by ASD, whether as a parent, a selfadvocate, a friend, a neighbor, or a service provider to get involved in autism advocacy in order to create much needed public policy changes. Here are some ways to get involved: 1. Build a relationship with your NC state legislators. Sharing our stories with Legislators is one of the most powerful ways to educate them on the need for suppor ts for people with autism and their families. Review our tips for contacting officials at www.autismsociety-nc.org/legislativetips. 2. Stay informed. Sign up for the ASNC Policy Pulse email list at our website. This periodic email focuses on public policy and advocacy to keep you aware of what is happening across the state that may impact you or your family. We will alert you there when direct action may be especially necessary. We also encourage you to also stay informed by visiting the ASNC blog - www.autismsociety-nc.org/ blog - for the latest in issues affecting people with autism and their families. g

www.autismsociety-nc.org • 13

Virtual Conference to Create Connection for Community Register today! www.autismsociety-nc.org/conference

The Autism Society of North Carolina will host its 2021 conference virtually, on March 19 and 20. The program includes knowledge from experts in the field on topics that span the lifespan and spectrum. The 2021 theme, Bringing Our Community Closer, reflects our belief that we can still find ways to connect and support each other, even though it’s not yet safe to gather in person. “Our 2020 conference was scheduled for late March, right as everything began closing,” said David Laxton, ASNC Director of Communications. “We couldn’t let another year go by without bringing our community together to hear from experts, share experiences, and connect. While we look forward to the time when we’re meeting in person again, we also hope that a virtual conference will be more accessible to people who may not have been able to join us before. We’ll still be presenting a great program, but this year, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy it from the comfort of your home.”



Autism and ADHD: Geraldine Dawson, PhD, William Cleland D i st i n g u i s h e d P ro fe s s o r, D e p a r t m e nt of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences; Director, Duke Center for Autism and Brain Development, will present information from Duke’s NIH-funded five-year program studying connections between autism and attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder. An estimated 40 to 60 percent of people with ASD have ADHD. Problem Behaviors and Picky Eating: Gregory Hanley, PhD, BCBA-D, LABA, Founder and CEO of FTF Behavioral Consulting, will provide strategies for improving social behaviors of children and adults with autism. Dr. Hanley has been working in the field for 30 years and has published over 100 articles in peer-reviewed journals and book chapters primarily focused on the assessment, treatment, and prevention of problem behavior and sleep problems, teaching strategies for developing life skills, and empirically-derived values for practitioners.


Dialectical Behavior Therapy: Lisa Guy and Lorie Ann Ritschel from the TEACCH Program will present on this new program for adults (18 and up) with autism, which uses skill-focused modules designed to help individuals improve management of behavioral, emotional, and cognitive instability. Autism and School: Sherry Thomas, MEd, 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. 14 • The Spectrum, Winter 2021

Each session will allow ample time for questions from the audience. No sessions will run concurrently, so you will be able to view all the presentations.

Connection Rooms We know that meeting other people and making connections is an important part of the conference. While we can’t replicate the experience of bumping into a new friend in the halls of the hotel, we are pleased to offer virtual connection rooms on both days of the conference. The virtual connection rooms will be open for people to meet and connect. There will be connection rooms for parents of the newly diagnosed, selfadvocates, chapters, and professionals working with individuals with autism.

Exhibits & Sponsors Our online platform allows us to offer an exhibit hall…without the walking! 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 to learn more.

Conference Rates The cost of the conference is $30 for an individual and $50 for a household. For this flat fee, you will be able to view and participate in the two days of programming, access connection rooms, and meet exhibitors. The household cost allows for multiple people to participate in connection rooms at the same time. g To register for this year’s conference, visit www.autismsocietync.org/conference

Chapters: Creating Connection During Adversity

As we near the one-year anniversary of a world turned upside down by COVID-19, we reflect on the ways that so many have supported and inspired us along the way. Our Chapter families have barely missed a beat in their heartening support of one another. Through virtual meetings and safely distanced activities, individuals with autism and their loved ones have spent the last year connecting, learning, and sharing moments of joy. We are proud of the creative efforts by our Chapter leaders as families continue to confront adversity together and combat COVID loneliness. The Chapters are a vital part of how ASNC serves families, right where they live. If you would like to join a local Chapter, find one near you at www.autismsociety-nc.org/chapters or contact Marty Kellogg, State Chapters Coordinator, at mkellogg@autismsociety-nc.org. Find details about online meetings at www.autismsociety-nc.org/calendar. Never have community and connection been more important. The Haywood County Chapter received a grant of $2,500 to build a resource lending library for its families! Leader Tenisea Higgins purchased books and sensory items such as fidget chair bands, weighted vests, and noise-canceling earmuffs. Parents said their children were sleeping better and were more able to concentrate on remote learning with these tools. The Chapter also joined forces with ASNC’s Asheville services office to rent out a local drive-in theater for a private movie event in the fall so families could enjoy a safe and judgement-free evening. The Surry County Chapter didn’t let the pandemic stop its annual events for families, including a fall festival and holiday celebration. Leader Bridget Soots invited families to sign up for appointments to maintain social distancing as they posed for themed pictures and picked up goodies, sensory gifts, and craft kits. The Person County Chapter has been there for families throughout the isolation period. They developed a pen pal program for Chapter families, and Leader Cindy Martin sent cards and made phone calls to maintain connections. When the Chapter received a large donation, they used it to provide sensory supplies, such as wiggle cushions and fidget toys, to help children focus during remote school. The Chapter also has offered online meetings and in-person social events such as an ice cream social, following health guidelines for safety.

(Top) The Surry County Chapter offered a safe Halloween experience. (Left) The Bladen County Chapter raised funds by “flocking.” (Right) Sleep sacks offered relief in the Haywood County Chapter.

flamingos, a sign reading “You’ve been flocked” and featuring the ASNC logo was placed on lawns chosen by donors.

The Orange/Chatham Chapter, which has offered a virtual support coffee for parents and caregivers monthly throughout the pandemic, is also offering a meeting for autism selfadvocates. Autism self-advocates from across the state are welcome to join in! Check the ASNC website calendar for details at www.autismsociety-nc.org/calendar.

From webinars with ASNC Autism Resource Specialists or Clinical professionals to drive-thru Santa visits, many more Chapters offered social and educational activities than we can mention here. We even saw four new Chapters started, demonstrating families’ continuing desire to make connections and build community: Chowan, Martin, Pasquotank/Camden, and Perquimans/Gates.

The Bladen County Chapter’s “flamingo flocking” fundraiser raised awareness as well as donations this fall! Along with the

We hope you will find a Chapter near you and join our community! g www.autismsociety-nc.org • 15

Recursos para las Familias Hispanas La Sociedad de Autismo de NC continúa ofreciendo servicios en español a través de llamadas telefónicas, correo electrónico, videoconferencia, Facebook y otras redes sociales.

Durante el aislamiento debido a la pandemia, muchos padres han desarrollado con entusiasmo y con gran esfuerzo el conocimiento de la tecnología para el uso de aplicaciones en Internet y programas de video, por lo que cientos de familias han participado en seminarios web y Grupos de Apoyo Hispano para aprender estrategias en cómo ayudar a los niños en el hogar. Recomendamos a los padres a llamar al 800-442-2762 extensión #1 para hablar en español o envíen un correo electrónico a mmaldonado@autismsociety-nc.org para comunicarse con Mariela Maldonado, Enlace de Asuntos Hispanos.

Sitio Web de Recursos en Español: www.autismsociety-nc.org/recursos

Visite la página web en español de la Sociedad de Autismo de NC para encontrar vídeos, narrativas y estrategias sociales, lista de formación, recursos y servicios disponibles durante la pandemia en español. El Departamento Clínico de ASNC ha grabado videos de los seminarios web como estructuras visuales, manejo de comportamientos difíciles y otros temas. Reuniones Virtuales de Grupos de Apoyo Hispano: El número de familias que participan en grupos de apoyo ha aumentado desde la pandemia en todas las regiones del estado de Carolina del Norte. Los padres que antes ni podían participar en persona, ya sea por la distancia o problemas de transporte, ahora pueden participar con su teléfono celular o computadora, conocer a otros padres e intercambiar ideas y tratamientos en su propio idioma español. Participe en estas reuniones poniéndose en contacto con voluntarios del Grupo de Apoyo para más preguntas. Seminarios Web gratuitos en español: Se ofrece una serie de seminarios web en español que son capacitaciones en línea sobre: estrategias para comportamientos difíciles en el hogar; ayuda en el enfoque de los niños en la educación

a distancia; servicios comunitarios para niños y adultos con autismo; transición a la edad adulta; solicitudes de asistencia financiera; tutoría legal; y otros temas. Los presentadores del seminario web son psicólogos y BCBA del Departamento Clínico y Especialistas en Recursos de ASNC. Narrativas sociales: Nuestro Departamento Clínico ha creado narrativas sobre el uso de la máscara, permaneciendo en casa, limitando las visitas familiares, la educación a distancia, las rutinas y otras historias de interés. Recursos y Eventos: Además de seminarios web y narrativas sociales, el sitio web ofrece información sobre COVID-19, distribución de alimentos, vivienda y ayuda financiera, e información sobre los eventos en la comunidad.

Donaciones para el Departamento de Asuntos Hispanos de ASNC El Departamento de Asuntos Hispanos está muy agradecido por su apoyo con donaciones que sirven para la educación y promueven oportunidades para las familias hispanas en todo el estado, becas para la conferencia anual, talleres de traducción y la conferencia. Si desea ser patrocinador o contribuir a ASNC, póngase en contacto con Mariela Maldonado. g

Quién debe hacerse la prueba de COVID-19?

16 • The Spectrum, Winter 2021

Cualquier persona con síntomas de COVID-19.

Contactos cercanos de casos positivos conocidos, independientemente de los síntomas.

Si no tienes síntomas, debes esperar que al menos seis días después de la última exposición conocida a COVID-19 antes de hacerte la prueba.

Personas que viven o tienen contacto regular con entornos de alto riesgo (Refugio para personas, campamento de trabajadores agrícolas migrantes).

Trabajadores de primera línea y esenciales (supermercados, empleados de gasolineras, trabajadores de cuidado de niños, obras de construcción, plantas de procesamiento, etc.)

Trabajadores de la salud o socorristas.

Personas con mayor riesgo de padecer enfermedades graves.

Fundraisers & Events

Fall Run/Walks for Autism Raise $170,000

We’re grateful to all of the participants who made the 2020 Fall Run/Walk for Autism a success! During the week of October 3-10, our community stepped out to improve lives, and together, the WNC, Triad, and Triangle events raised more than $170,000. While we were separated for the event, we still felt an amazing sense of community as participants posted videos and photos of their walk or run on social media.

Register Now for a Spring Run/Walk for Autism

The Spring Run/Walks for Autism in Beaufort, Greenville, Surry County and Wilmington will take place April 17-24. Participants in the Surry County Walk for Autism can complete their walk any time during that week. Participants in the Greenville, Wilmington, and Beaufort areas can complete either a competitive 5k or a one-mile fun run during that week; those who choose to do the competitive 5k will be able to upload their times to our app and compete for awards. We encourage teams to register friends and family from all over the country and to fundraise even though we can’t celebrate in person. All funds that you raise will stay in the area you choose when you register. Now more than ever, individuals with autism and their families need you!

AmeriCarna LIVE raises $125,000 for the IGNITE programs The 8th annual AmeriCarna LIVE virtual car show raised $125,000 for IGNITE, the Autism Society of North Carolina’s community centers for young adults with high-functioning autism or Asperger’s Syndrome. In past years, thousands of car enthusiasts have attended the AmeriCarna LIVE car show in Davidson, NC to see celebrity cars as well as classic, custom, and collector cars. This year, car lovers from around the world submitted photos of their special ride. Prizes were awarded for several car classifications and judged by the event sponsors and Ray Evernham, NASCAR Hall of Fame crew chief, car owner, and founder of IGNITE.

Register: autismsociety-nc.org/springrunwalk www.autismsociety-nc.org • 17

Run/Walk for Autism Sponsors

We thank the following sponsors of our Run/Walks for Autism this fall; these events would not be possible without them. Please support these businesses and thank them for helping to improve the lives of individuals with autism and their loved ones.





Jungle Adventure Black Light Mini Golf


Advocate Asbury Associates • Carolina Pediatrics of the Triad • David Allen Company Fleet Feet - Greensboro & High Point • Fulcrum Strategies • Greensboro Jaycees McKinney Immigration Law • Northwest Pediatrics • Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company of Hickory Raleigh Neurology • Raleigh Pediatric Dentistry • RTP Resumes • The Branding Agency Friends Blue Ridge Pharmacy • Kelly Office Solutions • Landura Property Management • Lionheart Academy P.O.W.E.R of Play Foundation • Ross Photography • Triad Coordinated Services Honorariums Claudia Campbell • Paul Hoyt • Mable Quinby • Carol & Tommy Roe Betty & Al Scarborough • Jill Schadt • Katie, Lewis & Jesse Wills 18 • The Spectrum, Winter 2021

Host a Fundraiser to Help Families

Volunteers throughout our state host fundraisers to benefit the Autism Society of North Carolina. They rally friends, families, and colleagues to attend unique events or donate proceeds from the sale of various items. It all starts with an idea. If you are interested in hosting your own fundraiser, please contact Heather Hargrave at hhargrave@autismsociety-nc.org or 919-865-5057. ASNC is grateful to the many individuals and businesses that hold fundraisers to help families affected by autism. 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 $44,000 to improve lives, support families, and educate communities. Here is a list of recent events and supporters: Allen Industries Avangrid Books For Good CADCO Construction - Golf Tournament

Great Harvest Bread Company Greenville

Oowee Products - #GiveBackTuesday

Gregory Poole Equipment Company

Rockism for Autism

Huckleberry Trail Farm - Pumpkin Sale

Rauch Brands

Carolina Restoration Services

Jackson Orthodontics

Sportscar Vintage Racing Legends of NASCAR

Cedar Fair Parks Autism Awareness Week

Kayla Dietz - Scentsy

Two Old Birds

Kendra Scott - Gives Back Virtual Event

Coddle Creek Elementary #318 Jeans Day

Label America

West Buncombe PTA Christmas ornament sale

Davidson Community Players

McGuireWoods - Casual Day

Davidson Learns Durham Police Department

Wild Birds Unlimited of New Bern

Llowell Max Book Sale Middle Creek High School

Flour Power Cary Parkside Kids

Mosaic Pediatric Therapy #CampRoyallChallenge

FOB (Fan of Beanie) Memorial Fundraiser

North Carolina Football Club Youth Kick 4 A Cause 4V4 Tournament

Colby Bircher - Pay It Forward Kim Perry Cummings Running for Camp Royall Alison Luyben - Birthday Fundraiser Melissa Sledge - Scentsy Fundraiser Tina Acker-Walsh Daily Fitness Ideas Fundraiser

Gain Knowledge with ASNC: Blogs 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. www.autismsociety-nc.org/blog

Some of our most popular recent posts: • Diagnosing Autism – Frequently Asked Questions • Is Teletherapy Right for You? • Supporting Individuals on the Autism Spectrum through Grief

Webinars We offer our most popular webinars on our website so you can watch at your convenience! Here are some of our most recent webinars: www.autismsociety-nc.org/webinars

• Autism and COVID-19: Teaching the rules in this new norm • Navigating the Challenges of Online Learning and Telehealth Services through Collaboration • Structuring Your Child’s Academic Day during COVID-19 • Let’s Play! Best Practices in Early Intervention

The Autism Society of North Carolina would like to extend a heartfelt thank-you to all of our donors. While we appreciate every gift, we have limited the donation list to Honorarium/Memorial gifts in the interest of space and printing costs. Thank you for your tremendous support. This list reflects donations received on or between July 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020. Please contact Beverly Gill if you have any questions or corrections at 800-442-2762, ext. 1105 or bgill@autismsociety-nc.org.

Honorariums ABSS Elementary Autism and Adapted Curriculum Teachers Robin and Chip McCraw

Braxton Alford

Wilma and Nicky Monroe

Julia and Ilya Alimov

Wanda and Mike Constantino

JC Aller

Timothy Flanagan

Jaime Alvarez

Joseph Sadighi

Jean Alvarez

Joseph Sadighi

Ann and Patrick Armand Eugena Rich

ASNC Asheville Staff Kari Johnston

ASNC Winterville Social Recreation Staff Kari Johnston

Daniel Attaway

Sherry and Matt Attaway

Caroline Ayan Atilla Ayan

Julian Ballen

Womble Bond Dickinson Beth Miller Tracey and Henry Smith

Zephan Bartolet

Betty and Ray Ingool

Zayna Bartolet

Betty and Ray Ingool

Shannon Bedford

Lindsay and James Bedford

Emelie Beecham

Anne and Lang Anderson

Nicholas Benedict

Helen and Don Stedman

Mary Best

Linda Nelson

Mikey Borneman

Terri and Richard Sharpe

Kyle Brackett

Laura and Michael Spain

Ashley and Scott Brown

Carolyn and Steven Middleton

Micah Brown

Doug and Angie Brown

Carolyn and Brandon Bryan Ann and Ken Ward

Luke Burgess

Amy Buchanan

20 • The Spectrum, Winter 2021


Robin Green

Greyson Knowles

Sarah Caldwell

Alex Griffin

Joseph Krevat

Gail Canipe

Don Hadley

The Ladies of North

Garrett Carr

Abigail Hamilton

Patrick Lane

Patrick Cavanaugh

Joshua Hayes

The Laxton Family

Dominic Cecere

Sam Heitman

Michael LePage

Anne and Russell Salisbury Sarah and Dave Johnston Margaret and James Wright Sharon and Gary Carr Cindy and John Cavanaugh Rama and Tom Leddy-Cecere

Robert Christian

Betsey and Rob Christian

Kay Cochran

Beth and Ronald Swanner

Mary Ann Connell Duffy Huffman Janie Martin

Mathew Cookson

Mindy and Tom Storrie

Sloan Daughtery

Ann and Tom Anderson

Scott Denton

Kathy and Mark Green

Gabriel Dichter

Betty Wolf Coonrod

Charlie Dill

Rebecca and Charles Peters

Samuel P. Mandell Foundation Linda and Brad Griffin Lincoln Investment Ellen and Walter Gould Gladys Johnson Cathy Heitman Amy Krebs

John Hollingdale

Cathy and Jeffrey Fickett

Zac Houghton

Elizabeth Traini

Zachary Houghton Anthony Traini

Conner Howrigon

Rhodena and Richard Brunstrom Jon Carr Margaret Howrigon Laurie and Richard Milham Nancy and Michael Smith

Knox Hutchinson

Mary and David Hutchinson

Lawrence Hyman

Constance and Wilson Hyman

Maria and Robert Parillo Madhavi and Matthew Krevat Kerri and Casey Huffman Helene and Bill Lane

Holly Dressman Kari Johnston

Brianna Lewis

Yuliya and Antonio Thomas

Vicky Long

Cindy and Dennis Horner

Chance Lowery

Phyllis and Bobby Lowery

Jessie Lunsford

Kathy and Lanny Vaughan

Matthew MacMahon

Karen and Michael Lowrance

Emma Mamone-Peeples Nancy Peeples

Kennedy Manning Karah Manning

Hannah Marshall Ralph Marshall

Jonathan Marshbanks Kelley Lynn Marshbanks and David Kelley

William Dolan

David Jones

William Downs

Diana and Jimmy Jones

Christopher McHenry

Miles Jones

John McKee V

David Dolan

Maryellen McDonald

Hunter Emmanuel Shannon, Charlie and Heide Emmanuel

Donna and Doug Knowlton Keola and Brad Loase

Susanne Eaton Jones and Daryl Jones

Mary and Francis Tuggle Mary McLean Bradshaw

Logan Meeks Cone Health

Brian English, Jr.

Samuel Jones

Derek Flake

Ryan Joseph

Christina Flake

Karen Hill

Nick Fleckenstein

Adam Joyner

Mr. and Mrs. John Montgomery

Amy Fowler

Andrew Julian

The Morrell Family

Shagun Gaur

Daniel Kelly

Shannon Morrissette

Keagan Kelly

David Moser

Riley Kenna

Clark Nelson

Katareena Kinsey

Paul Offen

Priscilla and Bryan English

Michael Criss

Gwen and Jonathan Van Ark Hope Power & Industrial

Roman Glabicki David Glabicki

Smith Golding

Jenny and Daniel Barnes

Owen Goodwin

Hollin and John Goodwin

Ann and Dennis Jones

Frances and Richard Warner Mildred and Henry Julian Capital City Lumber Company Rosemary and Michael Spagnola Pattie Rae and David Grothe Jacqueline and Jeremy Kinsey

Brenda and Bryan Miller

Dreamweavers Unlimited, Inc.

Beth and Ronald Swanner Helene and Bill Lane Elizabeth Plotkin

Ann and Jerry Moser Dorothy and Davis Peticolas Carol and Neil Offen

Carolyn Ogburn

Ean Roaquin

Vicky and Chris Thornton

Paige and Carter Owen

Victoria “Vicki” Robertson

Mitch Tindall

McKenzie Parrish

Mr. and Mrs. Art Rogers

Logan VanHouten

Ethan Patterson

Oliver Sassaman

Mary and Joe Vassallo

Richard Perkins, Jr.

David Sasser

Nathan Vieyra

Kathy Peticolas and Rob Nelson

Jill Schadt

Jai Vijay

Ethan Scheurich

Joe Waked

Jessi and Joe Ogburn Pat and George Owen Lynda Kelly

Heather and Warren Earl Margaret Holland

Dorothy and Davis Peticolas

James Petrilli

Holly and Joe Petrilli

The Pham Family

Jean and Gustav Leichte

Kris and Zack Plimpton

Clint Lowry

CSF Mayport

Beth and Ronald Swanner Valerie and William Sassaman Jean and Henry Sasser Gail and Michael LePage Oak City Government Relations Julia Adams-Scheurich

Colin Schmitt

Kathy and Dan Schmitt

Sydney Cunningham Betsy Short Toni Floyd

Eileen Hancox Joe Regan

Meenakshi Thanikachalam Timothy Flanagan

Jesse Wills

Vicki and James Fuller Sarah Wilson

Julie, John and Will Seibert

Laurie Wood

Stephanie Poindexter

Odin Sevigny

Andrew Yeager

Deepthi Ponnam

Mikaila Simmons

Jay York

Raven Simpson

Warren Zaccaro

The Slominski Family

Eric Zhang

Peggy Murphy

Mary and Ian Vingoe Regina Locke

Gail and Bob Pope Doris and Mark Edwards Julie, John and Will Seibert

Nancy Popkin and Mark Stanback Susan Popkin

Preschool Team 1! Whitney Markwell

Mable Quinby Sandra Riggin

Andrew Raxter

Linda and Henry Raxter

Amilea Redmon

Stephanie Redmon

Alex Reynolds

Jane and Cecil Williams

Jayden Richardson

Joyce and Richard Hendricks Ila Killian

Pamela Richardson

Lynne and Robert Richardson

Jake Ricks

Dorothy and Jim Royal

Joshua Rigda

Gail and Bob Pope Cynthia Santilli Lester Degrange Patrick Simpson Laura O’Connell

Grace Smith

Berni and Richard Kabele Kristin and Benjamin Oliver

Mary and Norm Wood Terri and John Mainey Kristin and Jeffrey York Bonnie and Ed Anderson Cindy Ma and Ying Zhang


Adele Smithmyer

Marian and Dick Ackerman

Jackson Soto

Fred Howard Adams, Sr.

Pamela Peterman

Rising Sun Pools and Spas

The Stephens Family Emily Norboge

Mary Lynn Ackerman Willis Kannon’s Clothing Pat and Frank Holding Linda Youmans

Mr. and Mrs. Doug Stokes

Helen Arnold

Austyn Suite

Craig Arts

Beth and Ronald Swanner Kari Johnston

Mr. and Mrs. Steve Surratt Beth and Ronald Swanner

Conner Termini

Patricia Devereaux

Beverly Tharpe

Patricia Kinnaman and Anita Banta

Cone Health

The Chenango Valley Home, Inc. Donald Beckwith Lora Rowe

Virgil Bauzon

Evelyn Laxton

Mohamad Amjad Bhatti

Naadia Bhatti and Jeff Luedeke

Cathie and David Blakeslee

Eileen “Beanie” Smelstoys Bird Matt Connor and Family Margot and Lee Navins Karla and Timothy Valas

Barbara Lou Michael Blanchard

Judy and Norwood Blanchard

Ginger Booth

The Barefoot Family

Alpheus “Al” Earl Buckner NCDOJ-Worker’s Comp Section Rosa Andrews Gail and John Davis Sharon and Joseph Hunt Kathy and Cecil Little Debra and Walter McCuiston Debra Reeves Betsy Stephens Silas Stephens Eileen Townsend

Garrett Capps Gail and Paul Cole Ralph Potter Joanne, Ted and Leanne Routh

Jaqueline Davis Camille Hancey

Kenneth Eugene Ervin Furman University Watts Water Technologies Spindale Facility Wanda and Don Hasting Margaret and Larry Mason

Nicholas Fasul Finch

Anna and Thomas Finch

Chuck Hydeman Jane Hydeman

Kyle J. Jarman

Tracy Barley Chris Barnes Joseph Biggers Abigail Bingham Teresa and Paul Daye Mae Godette Cheryl Hairston Anita Hicks Gail and Wayne Hosch Tracey and Cedric Jarman

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 www.autismsociety-nc.org • 21

Leon Powell Robert Rawls Wanda Russell Hazel Washington Lolita Watkins

Robert “Rock” Edward Lee Jolly

Kathy and Lanny Vaughan

Katherine and Daniel Kelly Dan Kelly

Mary Margaret Mactutis Kester

The Harold H. Bate Foundation, Inc. Amy Carr-Richardson and Mark Richardson Sharon Coll Rachel and Bryan Hupfeld Anne Meeks Terri and Kenneth Tippette Jean Wiggs

Elijah Cole Kolker-Hicks

Jenny, Paul and Elliott Kolker

Victoria R. Long

Marcia and Gary Guffey Melisa and Darrell Long

Karen D. Mauldin

Lucille and Richard Floyd Carrie Reid

Jasmine McCreary

Katie Rodwell

Ed McCrimmon

Emily, Christopher, Thomas and Amelia Vann Christie Warren

Kimberly Whitehead Evie Aksel Kirsten Bergman Robert Christian Margaret DeRamus Virginia Greenway Megan Locklear Jeffry Low Rob McClaskey Eh Parikh Lorene Perry Kelly Smith Zera Stewart

Walter P. Morgan

Laura and Michael Spain

John J. McGovern

Jean and Mark Calkin Jeanne McGovern and Michael Schwenk

Billy Scott

Maureen Scott

Gertrude Siegel

Judy, John and Ellen Croiter

Ronnie Steed

Warren “Ren” Newton Morris, Jr.

Deborah Stroud

Anna and Thomas Finch

Wanda and Jeff Curley

Jake Nelson

Pamela and Chris Nelson

Foard Parsons GKN Newton Purchasing Department Megan Parsons

Larry Allan Phillips Town of Webster Judi Wilcox

Matthew Adam Pion Kathleen Lovett Sonya and Scott Pion

Joshua Miles McLamb

Camille Boone Karen and George Hicks Jenny and Matt Lewis Von and Roy Massengill Glenda Raynor Lynn Rebello and Kerry Whitt

Susan and Wayne Hughes

Rob Morrell

Candice Autry McDaniel Gail McDaniel

Don Saunders

Arlene Price

Randall Hinds

Jamani Lee Prince Gerald Plovsky

Elizabeth and Steven DeGeorge Greg Acree Mary Margaret and Timothy Braddy Dwayne Davenport Nancy Smith

Paula and Robert Trufant Christine Trufant

Everett L. Vernon Susan Whitlow

Barbara Ward

Peggy and Eugene Gschwind Melody Stewart

Joyce Ann Weiser Liana Bruce

Ruth Woodward Evernham Family-Racing for a Reason Foundation

Deborah Ramsey Bonnie Fischer

Donor Spotlight: CADCO Construction

The families that own and operate CADCO Construction Company have a personal connection to autism. Cortney Duncan, president of CADCO, and Josh Hines, vice president, each have a son on the spectrum. ASNC has partnered with the Duncan family throughout their son’s life. Autism Resource Specialists have helped with his transition from preschool to kindergarten and attended his IEP meeting, and a behavioral consultant has worked with them on behavior at home. The support they have received from ASNC inspired the Duncans to start the CADCO Construction Autism Awareness Golf Tournament to help other families like theirs.

“We knew we wanted to support an organization that helps individuals and families with autism right here in our community,” said Ashley Duncan, Cortney’s wife. “We thought a golf tournament would be a fun way to raise money for autism.” CADCO’s first two golf tournaments raised $37,800 for ASNC. The third was canceled due to the pandemic, but CADCO held a virtual fundraiser and donated $6,225 to ASNC. They are planning for the next golf tournament fundraiser on March 22, 2021, at MacGregor Downs Country Club in Cary. “We have several friends and family members that come out to help with volunteer responsibilities and it really is such a fun, positive day where everyone is there to play golf, have some fun, and support autism all at the same time.” Ashley said. “Our goal with this tournament is to continue to have it grow in the coming years and to be able to raise even more funds for the important work that the Autism Society of NC is doing,” Ashley said. “We also hope we can help to raise awareness of what autism is, and how it affects families in our community.” For more information on the upcoming tournament, see CADCO’s Facebook page, at facebook.com/CADCOConstructionCo. 22 • The Spectrum, Winter 2021

Call on us!

The Autism Society of North Carolina improves the lives of individuals with autism, supports their families, and educates communities. Autism Resource Specialists connect families to resources and provide training to help you become your child’s best advocate. As parents of children with autism themselves, they understand your concerns. Find yours: www.autismsociety-nc.org/resourcespecialists Webinars, workshops, and conferences with our Autism Resource Specialists or Clinical staff will help you learn more about topics that concern you, such as early intervention, evidence-based practices, IEPs, transitioning, and residential options. www.autismsociety-nc.org/autism-workshops Online resources, including toolkits, recorded webinars, a blog, and a Staying Safe section, provide opportunities to learn on your own time from your home. www.autismsociety-nc.org Chapters and Support Groups around NC provide a place for families who face similar challenges to feel welcomed and understood as they offer each other encouragement. www.autismsociety-nc.org/chapters Skill-building and support services provide children and adults with autism the skills to increase self-sufficiency and participate in the community. ASNC’s services across the state include skill-building in areas such as communication, socialization, community integration, and personal care; family consultation; respite; and adult day programs. Services are provided through the NC Innovations waiver, state funding, B3, and private pay. Contact us to learn which supports are available in your region. www.autismsociety-nc.org/skill-building Clinical Services offer a variety of supports for families and individuals with autism. LifeLong Interventions (LLI) provides comprehensive treatment for children and adults. LLI is rooted in the principles of ABA and involves effective instruction using evidence-based practices to promote meaningful skills and behaviors in the home, school, and community. Training is provided by registered behavior technicians under the direct supervision of Board Certified Behavior Analysts and master’s level psychologists. ASNC is an in-network provider for many insurers, including BCBSNC, Aetna, and United Healthcare. Children under 21 who rely on Medicaid are also eligible to receive treatment under EPSDT. We also provide treatment through privatepay arrangements. Rapid Response Clinical Consultation (RRCC) via telehealth is a new service for children and adults available in all 100 NC counties. RRCC is a short-

term consultation service (2-4 weeks) that provides tips and strategies to address social communication, behavior intervention, and other skills. www.autismsociety-nc.org/clinical Behavior consultations provided by our psychologists and BCBAs can help explain why behaviors are occurring, develop comprehensive behavior plans, and coach caregivers on effective strategies. www.autismsociety-nc.org/clinical Employment Supports helps individuals with autism explore their skills and interests, then assists them in finding, keeping, and thriving in a job. Services are funded through the state Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. www.autismsociety-nc.org/employmentsupports Adult Transition Supports, for individuals ages 16 to 26, focuses on job readiness and placement while incorporating skill development in other areas necessary for a successful transition to adulthood. The program is available in Wilmington and Greenville. www.autismsociety-nc.org/transition IGNITE community centers in Davidson, Raleigh, and the Triad area (Greensboro) offer activities, skills training, and educational workshops that foster social, financial, educational, and employment independence for young adults with high-functioning autism or Asperger’s Syndrome. www.autismsociety-nc.org/ignite Camp Royall is the nation’s oldest and largest camp for individuals with autism. Located near Pittsboro, Camp Royall serves all ages and offers year-round programming. www.camproyall.org Social Recreation programs provide opportunities for participants to bond over common interests, practice social skills, and try new activities. In Newport, Wilmington, and Winterville, social recreation programs include summer day camp, afterschool programs, and adult programs, with support from Trillium Health Resources. In other areas, summer camp and group activities may be available. Contact us to learn which services are available in your county. www.autismsociety-nc.org/socialrecreation ASNC’s public policy efforts aim to advocate for the needs of individuals with autism and their families by maintaining a wide range of ties with the executive and legislative branches of state government. You can get involved and make your voice heard. www.autismsociety-nc.org/publicpolicy

www.autismsociety-nc.org We have regional offices in Asheville, Charlotte, Fayetteville, Greensboro, Greenville, Newport, Raleigh, and Wilmington. Contact our state office to be connected to resources.

ASNC State Office: 800-442-2762

5121 Kingdom Way, Suite 100, Raleigh, NC 27607 Sign up online to receive our email updates: www.autismsociety-nc.org/contact-us

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Our Spring Races are Virtual!


March 19-20 • Online

Register: autismsociety-nc.org/conference More information on page 15

Beaufort • Greenville • Surry • Wilmington April 17-24, 2021 Complete the race that you register for, anywhere that works for you!


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