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Spectrum the

VOLUME 32, NO. 1 • ISSN 1044-1921 • WINTER 2016

Moving from Awareness to Acceptance Annual Conference: Autism Through the Ages Building Blocks of Communication and Social Engagement


Mission Statement The Autism Society of North Carolina is committed to providing support and promoting opportunities which enhance the lives of individuals within the autism spectrum and their families.

Vision Statement The Autism Society of North Carolina strives to create a community where people within the autism spectrum and their families receive respect, services, and support based on individual differences, needs, and preferences.

Table of Contents FEATURES:

Learn About “Autism Through the Ages” at 2016 Conference .............................................................4-5 Building Blocks of Communication and Social Engagement...............................................................6-7

Privacy Policy

Moving from Awareness to Acceptance..................................8

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.

Succeeding with a Dedicated, Caring CSI.........................10-11 Protecting our Children....................................................12-13 Meet Camp Royall’s Fellows..................................................17 “One of Our Favorite Days of the Year”.................................24

The Spectrum The Spectrum (ISSN 1044-1921) is published in January and August by the Autism Society of North Carolina, Inc.© 2016. 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

ALSO IN THIS ISSUE: Message from the CEO............................................................ 3 Direct Services........................................................................ 9 Advocacy & Public Policy................................................. 14-15 Camp Royall.......................................................................... 16 Chapters & Support Groups............................................ 18-19

Would you like to work for the Autism Society of North Carolina? ASNC is a direct-care provider throughout the state with offices in Asheville, Charlotte, Fayetteville, Greensboro, Greenville, and Raleigh. We are always looking for good candidates who are passionate about helping individuals on the autism spectrum and their families. A variety of part- and full-time positions are available! Please visit http://bit.ly/ASNCcareers to learn more about current ASNC career opportunities. We appreciate referrals; please help us recruit the best talent by sharing the above link.

505 Oberlin Road, Suite 230 • Raleigh, NC 27605-1345 919-743-0204 • 800-442-2762 • Fax: 919-743-0208

www.autismsociety-nc.org

Hispanic Affairs................................................................ 20-21 Research Opportunities........................................................ 22 Fundraisers & Events....................................................... 23-30 Donations........................................................................ 29-30 Call on Us.............................................................................. 31

ASNC is also supported by:


Message from the CEO

Happy New Year! 2015 was quite an eventful year for the autism community. Individuals with autism, their families, and those who care for them can celebrate some legislative successes that occurred during the year. First, ABLE accounts were approved by the NC General Assembly on August 3, enabling many individuals and their families to save for the future and fund essential expenses such as medical and dental care, education, communitybased supports, employment training, assistive technology, housing, and transportation. The ABLE Act will give North Carolinians with disabilities increased choice, independence, and opportunities to participate more fully within their communities. Second, on October 15, Governor Pat McCrory signed SB 676, “Autism Health Insurance Coverage.” After many years of advocacy on this issue, autism insurance is now law! The new law requires large group health plans to provide health-care benefits for the treatment of autism in children and youth through age 18 and will be effective starting July 1. Although these accomplishments are significant and we have much to rejoice over, we clearly recognize that these pieces of legislation do not come close to fully meeting the needs of our community. So much work remains to create access to meaningful services for all people with autism. Some areas of focus for ASNC in 2016 will be: Crisis: The current funding for crisis services is vastly below the necessary levels. ASNC will continue to advocate with the legislative and executive branches to ensure that our youth and adults on the spectrum have their needs adequately met. We will also continue to work to improve access and delivery of meaningful preventive services as detailed below. Funding cuts: The $153 million cut to single-stream funding for LME/MCOs will cause significant gaps in services. ASNC will work with others to restore the funding for muchneeded services. Innovations waitlist: The current waitlist for waiver services is incredibly long. Past legislation directs future General Assemblies to invest in services including waiver expansion for the I/DD community. ASNC will work with policymakers to ensure that happens so that people in need of these critical services will have access in the future. Evidence-based services: ASNC will continue to advocate with LME/MCOs, NC Department of Health and Human Services leadership, and the General Assembly on the importance of establishing and funding an array of evidence-based autism treatment services through our public system as commercial insurance has done. This will be a continued investment and increase in access for those in need in our community. Medicaid reform: As the conversations and decisions around policy regarding whole person care are made within reform, ASNC will advocate to ensure that those with ASD have a voice in the significant changes in our system. As we kick off the new year and I reflect on our past 45 years, I also want to take this opportunity to thank all of our individual and corporate donors who have supported the more than 65,000 families affected by autism across North Carolina. Our donors’ generosity and leadership enabled ASNC to create and expand on innovative programs we operate across the state. We are excited about what can happen with your continued help and hope that you can join us in 2016 as we change lives across the state by helping individuals with autism live life to the fullest.

Board of Directors Executive Committee Chair Sharon Jeffries-Jones First Vice Chair Elizabeth Phillippi Second Vice Chair Dana Williams Secretary Darryl R. Marsch Treasurer John Delaloye Immediate Past Chair Beverly Moore

Directors John Cavanaugh Ray Evernham Barbara Haight Ruth Hurst, Ph.D. Monique Justice-Nowlin Fran Pearson Michael Reichel, M.D. Dale Reynolds Steven N. Scoggin, Psy.D. Dave Spicer John Townson John Wagner Jeff Woodlief

Best,

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


Learn About “Autism Through the Ages” at 2016 Conference

Register online today! http://bit.ly/ASNC2016Conference

We invite you to join nearly 800 parents, self-advocates, and professionals March 11-12 in Charlotte for the Autism Society of North Carolina’s annual educational conference. The theme “Autism Through the Ages” reflects ASNC’s goal to provide support and serve individuals on the autism spectrum and their families through all stages of life. Topics will include best practices, planning for your child’s future, staying safe, creating more accepting communities, transitions, social skills training, and sleep and feeding issues. Dr. Aleck Myers, ASNC Clinical Services Director and chairman of the planning committee, said, “We recognize that an individual with autism will be an adult much longer than they are a child. This conference provides information that will be helpful for selfadvocates, parents and other caregivers, and professionals so that they are better equipped to plan for and provide what is needed. “Specific challenges such as sleep and feeding, safety, and transition are issues that are universal to our community, and we are excited to have such a diverse and wonderful group of presenters this year. In addition to Drs. Geri Dawson and Katherine Davlantis of the Duke Center for Autism and Brain Development, we have Dr. Laura Klinger from the TEACCH Autism Program, Dr. Peter Girolami from the Kennedy Krieger Institute, and a dynamic

4 • The Spectrum, Winter 2016

self-advocate named Tom Iland who will close the conference this year. This is an all-star lineup of topics and presenters.”

Friday:

New This Year! Two Keynotes On Friday, March 11, we will start with “Sleep and Feeding Issues in Kids and Adults with Autism: Creating Successful Outcomes.” This presentation by Girolami will provide practical action steps to address these challenges. In the afternoon, Dawson will return to the conference for a second year with “Early Start Denver Model: The Science and Theory Behind the Treatment.” Early Start is an evidence-based practice that can be used by all caregivers and professionals. Davlantis will expand on Dawson’s talk by discussing “Clinical Applications and Practical Strategies for Implementation.” Also on Friday, the exhibit hall will be open 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m., giving attendees the opportunity to meet more than 30 exhibitors offering a variety of services, products, and information.


Saturday:

You Choose Your Workshops Based on the positive response from last year’s conference, we will again offer two times for concurrent sessions as part of the Saturday program. Saturday attendees will be together for the opening and closing sessions and will choose between concurrent workshops for the middle two sessions. The day begins with a keynote address by Klinger: “Making the Transition from High School to Adulthood a Positive Experience.” Klinger has published research on this topic, and with more than 14,000 students with ASD in NC public schools, achieving successful transitions is an increasingly important issue. The first group of concurrent workshops offers two important topics from well-respected professionals. “Your Dependent With Special Needs: Making Their Future More Secure”: Representatives of the MetLife Center for Special Needs Planning will provide an overview of government benefits and the legal steps you should take to benefit your child. New savings opportunities, including ABLE Act accounts, will also be discussed. “Beyond Social Skills: Practical Strategies to Address Social Understanding and Anxiety Regulation”: Louise Southern, M.Ed., BCBA, and Associate Clinical Director for ASNC, will share a framework for creating social skills programming, mainly for teens and adults with language skills. After lunch, our second group of concurrent sessions will look at aspects of community involvement and interactions. “Creating Accepting Communities: What One Person Can Do”: Every community can be more open and welcoming of individuals with ASD. How do you start the conversation about making it happen? Based on ASNC’s recent series of successful workshops with faith communities, a panel of parents and ASNC Autism Resource Specialists will provide information about how to engage your community and bring more awareness and acceptance to churches, recreational programming, community clubs, and more. “Staying Safe: What You Need to Know”: Dr. Michael Teague, former forensic psychologist with the Raleigh Police Department and parent of a young adult with autism, will lead a session on safety. New threats via the Internet and social media, as well as navigating the real world and interacting with authority figures and the legal system, can present challenges for individuals with ASD. How can you prepare your child to be aware and remain safe? Join this session for answers. The final session of the day is a keynote titled “What Matters Most: Transition Planning and Meaningful Preparation for Life” by self-advocate Iland, a Certified Public Accountant from California. Diagnosed at age 13, he has worked to achieve many life goals, including completing school, working and living on his own, and maintaining a romantic relationship. How did he do it? What were the challenges? What type of supports were there to help him along the way? How can his experience provide guidance for you and your loved one? Iland will provide answers and share his words of inspiration. Saturday’s exhibit hall hours are 7:30 a.m.-3:45 p.m. g

Register Now for Early-Bird Rate!

Past conferences have been sellouts, so we encourage you to register early! The early-bird rate ends February 10. http://bit.ly/ASNC2016Conference

Conference Rates General registration Individual w/ASD one day..........$135 one day............$90 two days........$250 two days........$160

College student one day..........$110 two days........$200

(All fees will increase by $20 on February 11) Registration includes access to lectures and the exhibit hall, a conference program and handouts, continental breakfast, lunch, and break refreshments.

Discounted Hotel Rooms & CEUs Conference attendees can reserve a room at the Hilton Charlotte University Place for a significantly discounted rate of $99 per night through the ASNC website by February 16. We are pleased to again offer Continuing Education Units through the Charlotte AHEC. At press time, the exact amount of credit hours offered per day was not finalized. Visit the conference page on the website for updated information. CEU fees are $35 per day and can be purchased online or at the conference.

Financial Assistance ASNC recommends two sources of financial assistance: Jean Wolff-Rossi Fund for Participant Involvement from the NC Council for 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.nc-ddc.org or 919-850-2901. Funding is limited to $600 per year for in-state events per individual applicant. 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 managedcare organization (MCO) and let them know that you wish to use Natural Supports Education funds. There is an annual limit of $1,000 for conference expenses. Please note that if a family member is employed/paid as a child’s caregiver, they cannot use these funds. A completed registration form may be required by your MCO. Please contact ASNC at 800-442-2762 with questions.

Exhibits & Sponsors We are pleased to announce that the MetLife Center for Special Needs Planning will return as primary sponsor for the conference. If you are a business owner – or know one – who is interested in participating in the conference as a sponsor or exhibitor, please contact David Laxton at dlaxton@ autismsociety-nc.org or 919-865-5063. www.autismsociety-nc.org • 5


Building Blocks of Communication & Social Engagement By Louise Southern, M.Ed., BCBA, Associate Clinical Director When we are called upon to support individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder, we often find that a key area of focus is communication. Communication can mean many things, and it is not characterized only by what an individual expresses or tries to express verbally. Communication is primarily composed of nonverbal behaviors such as gestures, facial expressions, and body language, and these nonverbal communication behaviors, perhaps more so than what an individual can actually say, moderate the quality and functionality of their communication. Joint attention is also a vital building block of communication. Joint attention occurs when two people share interest in an object or event at the same time, and there is understanding between the two people that they are interested in the same object or event. For instance, when you point to a big dinosaur in the book and exclaim, “Look at those scary teeth!,” we want the child to look at the dinosaur, and then look to you with similar affect, such as interest or excitement, to share in this social experience. Another example of joint attention is when an adolescent attends to a peer who is telling a funny story, and then the adolescent looks to others in the group to get more information about their reactions to the peer’s story. We know that many individuals with autism struggle to display these communication and social behaviors. Thus, it is important to focus on the development of these nonverbal behaviors, because they are foundations to communication and socialization. In many cases, the strategies we use to target communication draw from developmental and behavior analytic approaches such as the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) and Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT). Such approaches hinge on the understanding that the fundamental deficit of social motivation should be addressed through joint activity routines that build reciprocity and sustained engagement with another person. We believe that many of the principles and strategies derived from these models are highly applicable across the lifespan.

Joint attention occurs when two people share interest in an object or event at the same time, and there is understanding between the two people that they are interested in the same object or event. Focusing on these pivotal communication and social behaviors does not mean sitting an individual down at a table for extensive practice drills. Rather, these important communication behaviors are most effectively and appropriately targeted in the context 6 • The Spectrum, Winter 2016

of naturalistic, highly motivating sensory and play- or leisurebased routines that you expand over time. We start with what is interesting and motivating to the individual. For example, if a young learner has an interest in stacking and knocking down blocks, a routine might start like this: 1. Build a block tower, taking turns. 2. You slowly drive a toy car toward the tower, as if you will crash it. 3. Crash the car if the child expresses any sign of interest, such as smiling or looking at you or the car. 4. Repeat the routine, assessing motivation along the way.

Nonverbal communication includes shifting attention to the other person, looking, gesturing, reaching, pointing, and sign language. Another routine might start like this: 1. The individual is sifting mulch outside, so you do so as well. 2. Then, you lift your hand up, pause and wait to capture attention, and then pour mulch onto the ground again. 3. If the individual shows any signs of interest, try pouring mulch into the individual’s hand. 4. Repeat if the individual shows any motivation to continue. Within such routines, we can begin to create opportunities to target joint attention and communication behaviors because the individual is motivated to communicate. In addition, we are working to add a social component to these primarily sensory-based routines. The key is to start simple and recognize that with some individuals with autism, we might make very slow, incremental progress. A few more seconds of engagement with the individual or any small sign of interest, such as a glance toward you or the activity, is still progress. Here are a few basic guidelines when targeting communication behaviors within leisure and sensory-based routines: • Start with the individual’s interests. What does he do in his free time, what materials does he use, and how does he use them? If it’s a train set, start there. If it’s jumping and spinning, start there. If it’s talking about Pokémon, start there. To learn the power of communication, the individual has to be motivated to engage and to communicate something. • Arrange the environment to control access to highly preferred items or materials so that the individual must communicate with you in some way – not necessarily through words – that she wants the item. Otherwise, if she can freely access the things she wants, what does she need you for?


• If possible, break up delivery of the item or activity into parts, to allow more opportunities to target a nonverbal behavioral request. For example, if the individual is motivated to sift through LEGOs, don’t give him all of the pieces at once. Give a piece or two and then pause and look in anticipation. Immediately reinforce any gesture, look, or action that might mean “I want more” by giving the individual more of the item. • Once the activity has started, imitate the individual’s actions to capture her attention. Look for any sign of shared affect and engagement, even if it is fleeting. • Playfully add one action or item to the routine that might interest the individual. Examples might include swirling the string, fingers moving to tickle the child, dropping a figurine into water to create the motivating splash, and singing as

the individual jumps on a trampoline. Then after a moment or two, pause, wait, and look in anticipation to see whether the individual expresses any motivation for you to continue or repeat the action. Reinforce any nonverbal communication behavior by immediately continuing the action with lots of enthusiasm. This is how we begin to shape communication behaviors in these motivating contexts and this is how we expand upon an existing routine. g ASNC’s Clinical Department staff is composed of PhD and master’s-level licensed psychologists and Board Certified Behavior Analysts. We provide consultation and comprehensive ABA intervention programs to support children and adults across the spectrum. For more information about our clinical services and our workshops, email training@autismsociety-nc.org or call 919-865-5070 or 800-442-2762, ext. 1118.

LifeLong Interventions FAQs: Why is LifeLong Interventions the best option for my loved one?

LifeLong Interventions is rooted in the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and involves intensive teaching and training using evidence-based practices to promote appropriate skills and behaviors in the home, school, and community.

Struggling with your child’s challenging behavior? Want your loved one to build language and social skills to better connect to family and peers? Would your teenager or adult benefit from frequent, high quality instruction to improve daily living skills or academic readiness? Want to receive training in your home to help you to teach your child new skills? The Autism Society of North Carolina offers LifeLong Interventions, comprehensive treatment for children, youth, and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder. ASNC has been the leading resource for individuals and families affected by autism for more than 45 years.

Who can receive this treatment?

Clients can be any age and any skill level. LifeLong Interventions is offered in the Triangle (Durham, Orange, Wake, and Johnston counties) and greater Charlotte areas (Union, Iredell, Mecklenburg, Gaston, Lincoln, and Cabarrus counties), with expansion planned.

How can I pay for LifeLong Interventions?

ASNC is an in-network provider for many insurers, including BCBS-NC, Aetna, United Healthcare, and Cigna, as well as the State Health Plan for Teachers and State Employees. Go to the online link below for a list of employers that provide coverage for autism treatment. We also provide treatment through private-pay arrangements.

Who provides the treatment?

Psychologists and Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) develop and directly oversee the intervention programs. All psychologists and BCBAs operate under the guidance of ASNC’s Clinical Director, Dr. Aleck Myers. Direct 1:1 training is provided by registered behavior technicians who work under the direct supervision of our psychologists and BCBAs.

Contact us to learn how ASNC’s expertise can benefit your loved one:

919-390-7242 | http://bit.ly/ASNCIntervention www.autismsociety-nc.org • 7


Moving from Awareness to Acceptance

The Autism Society of North Carolina has stood by individuals and families affected by autism for more than 45 years. We have been with you every day to listen, encourage, and provide resources to overcome challenges. And we know that life with our loved ones with autism is not just about challenges. People with autism have much to teach us, and they have unique gifts that can make our communities a better place to live for all of us. We certainly do not want to miss out on any of that, and we know you do not either!

So this April, for National Autism Awareness Month, our campaign will focus on acceptance and inclusion, not just awareness. We want people with autism, and their families, to feel welcomed in their communities. We want people to know about autism’s challenges, so they can be more accommodating. But we also want them to know how their lives can be better when they include people with autism.

A 2 #foA r Autism

#A2AforAutism We’ll be spreading this message across our social media channels: Awareness is the first step. Acceptance is the goal. We’ll use the hashtag #A2AforAutism – we want people to move from Awareness “2” Acceptance. We hope you will join our efforts! Share photos of autism awareness events in your schools, houses of worship, and local communities. Snap a pic of your kids playing with their neighborhood friends. Share photos of your loved ones with autism that show off their unique talents. Be sure to include the #A2AforAutism hashtag, so we can see and share your images, too!

Want to wear your support? Pre-order one of our new T-shirts at www.autismbookstore.com, and we’ll send it before April. (Buy two so you can wear one while you wash the other!) We’ll also have #A2AforAutism magnets so you can decorate your car to spread the message around town. Start a conversation – you never know who might need support or who might have a way to lend a hand, perhaps by hiring someone with autism or holding an awareness event at their school.

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A 2 #foA r Autism a lin aro r th C Autism Society of No

World Autism Awareness and Acceptance Day As we have for the past three years, we will welcome everyone to our World Autism Awareness and Acceptance Day celebration on April 2 at Camp Royall in Moncure, outside Pittsboro. Join us for special activities including bounce houses, outdoor games, hay rides, and a lunch cookout, as well as checking out many of Camp Royall’s facilities. You’ll also have a chance to chat with ASNC staff, including our Autism Resource Specialists. To help cover costs, attendance will be $5 per person. Please register at this link: http://asnc-waaad.eventbrite.com.

Toolkits online This year, we also are assembling materials that you can use to raise awareness and increase acceptance in your schools and community organizations. These will all be free and available on our website starting in March, so you can prepare. We plan to share personal perspectives, informational items, and ideas for crafts and fundraisers. Of course, we will also have book recommendations for all ages from the ASNC Bookstore. We hope you will find these helpful as we join together to move our communities from Awareness “2” Acceptance! g 8 • The Spectrum, Winter 2016


We Love Our Direct Support Professionals

They go by many names: direct support professional (DSP), community skills instructor (CSI), habilitation technician (hab tech), CAP worker, employment supports professional residential instructor, etc. But whatever you might call them, these individuals deserve our praise and thanks. Every day, they work one-on-one with individuals with autism, teaching skill acquisition and supporting them in reaching their life goals. In addition to staff, many become trusted friends, natural supports, and honorary members of families. The Autism Society of North Carolina employs hundreds of direct support professionals; without their dedication and continued efforts, many individuals on the autism spectrum and their families would not have needed support services. Some come to work for ASNC for a few months, others stay for a lifetime. DSPs are the largest percentage of ASNC’s employees, and we learn how to improve what we do as an organization and as a system from them. Many full-time ASNC employees and managers got their start in the field through direct support work. National Direct Support Professional Recognition Week gives us all an annual opportunity to make sure our DSPs know how much they are valued. Last September, ASNC honored its DSPs with goody bags, parties, and gift cards. You also might have seen ASNC’s social media campaign using the hashtag #DSPsImproveLives. We hope you will join this campaign in coming years and help us applaud the individuals who are so important to the autism community!

Clary Lamberton Named 2015 Winner of Roman Award Services. “The importance of ensuring that individuals who are no longer living with their families are given opportunities to maintain and enhance those relationships as adults cannot be emphasized enough.”

The Autism Society of North Carolina named Clary Lamberton of Asheville as the 2015 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. Lamberton is a residential instructor in ASNC’s supported living home, Marlowe Place. She has worked for ASNC for more than 5 years. “The families who nominated Clary said she not only found very personal and meaningful ways to connect to the individuals she serves, but was very conscientious and intentional about facilitating their connections with their community and strengthening their bonds with their families,” said Kari Johnston, ASNC Director of

In their nomination, Katie and Lewis Wills of Asheville wrote that Lamberton calls or emails them often to share stories of their son’s life. “Jesse is nonverbal and unable to tell us about his daily life,” they said. “Recently, she taught our son how to make an apple tart, bringing a smile to his face; she took photos to share with us so that we could enjoy the experience, too.” Christine Reagan wrote that Lamberton “exudes calmness, even when there is chaos in my son’s life. Her calm approach has been so valuable in helping my son self-regulate. In addition, Clary’s goal has always been for my son to have a voice (even though he is minimally verbal). She encourages him to make choices and to feel accomplishment.” Lamberton received a cash award of $1,000. The John and Claudia Roman Direct Service Award was endowed by Lori and Gregg Ireland to honor Christine Roman, the direct service professional who worked with their son, Vinnie. It was named for her parents, John and Claudia Roman. g www.autismsociety-nc.org • 9


Succeeding with a Dedicated, Caring CSI Alex Bagley has won many Special Olympics medals over the years at the county, state, and national levels. The 22-year-old from Fayetteville competes in 5-on-5 basketball, cycling, and aquatics. Alex, who has autism, is a hard worker and is dedicated to doing the best job he can, no matter whether it is housework, homework, volunteer work, or athletics, says his mother, Angela Bagley. But it is not just hard work that has helped Alex excel. His Community Skills Instructor (CSI), Andrea Miller-Weir, has supported him for 11 years, setting goals beyond what others think is possible and helping him achieve them. “If I had millions of dollars, it wouldn’t be enough to compensate her for her untiring efforts at making Alex the best he can be,” Bagley said. “She has tirelessly worked to ensure that he enjoys life to the fullest.” And Alex does enjoy life! Athletics and physical fitness, which originally were challenging for him, are a major part of that life. “I couldn’t swim, play basketball, or ride a bike until I got Ms. Weir as my CSI,” Alex said. “I love working with Ms. Weir. She is nice, patient, she cares about me, and loves me. Ms. Weir is fun.”

“They can do whatever they set out to” Weir said she began working with children with special needs as a substitute teacher in a middle school and found that she enjoyed it. “I was told I was very patient and caring with the children. So, when a job offer came my way to work with children with autism, I gladly accepted because I wanted to make a difference.” Her mission as a CSI is “to improve the life of the person I am working with to their maximum potential, and to make them feel that they can do whatever they set out to,” she said. Weir certainly has done that for Alex. When she met him, he wouldn’t even put his face in the water, Alex’s mom said, and now he has gold medals for swimming. Weir said, “I felt I was really making a difference when Alex rode his bike without me running behind him for fear of him falling and when he jumped in the water and swam two lengths of the pool and won the gold medal. I cried. It was his first time doing two lengths. “I feel I am really making a difference when he says, ‘Ms. Weir, I am having fun,’ or ‘Ms. Weir, I like this!’ I look at Alex and he is happy.” Back when Weir started working with Alex, he was having a tough time in PE with basketball, and his mom told Weir she wished he could improve. That small wish led Alex far beyond even Weir’s expectations. Weir began taking Alex to a recreation center after school every day and taught him how to dribble, throw, and shoot. Alex then joined a Special Olympics 3-on-3 basketball team for 11- to 12-year-olds, and eventually he moved on to a 5-on-5 team. “To make a long story short, his team was selected to represent the state of North Carolina in the Special Olympics national competition held in New Jersey. They even won the bronze medal in their division,” Weir said.

Working toward life goals Now Weir is working on meaningful employment for Alex. About two years ago, she convinced a custodian to allow Alex to shadow him so he could learn his trade. Since then, Alex has done janitorial work in a couple of furniture stores. To overcome potential employers’ concerns about Alex’s capabilities, Weir created a portfolio about him and gathered letters of recommendation from previous supervisors. Weir hopes that Alex eventually will be able to work at assembling furniture. 10 • The Spectrum, Winter 2016


Alex agrees that having a job is one of his top three goals in life; his others are to stay in good physical shape and to own a house. His mother hopes that he will continue to have strong faith in God and remain involved in his church. “Alex’s faith is a big part of his success,” Bagley said.

Weir said the most challenging part of her job is “getting others on board to see when I am trying to give Alex new and different experiences that are age-appropriate – wanting more for him. I ask myself, what are some things a 22-year-old would be doing? How would they be dressing? How would they be acting? What would they be participating in?” Bagley said Weir’s complete dedication to Alex has made her like a second mother to him. “She treats Alex as her son – she is firm where she needs to be, kind, and compassionate,” Bagley said. “As a working, divorced mom, I know that I would not have been able to provide Alex with the expertise that he’s received from Ms. Weir.

“If I had millions of dollars, it wouldn’t be enough to compensate her for her untiring efforts at making Alex the best he can be,” Bagley said. “She has tirelessly worked to ensure that he enjoys life to the fullest.” “Ms. Weir has been instrumental in reinforcing what Alex learned in preschool and at home, and she taught him skills that he would have likely taken many months, if not years, to learn. She’s taught him how to do laundry, to include sorting clothes; how to wash dishes; how to clean the bathrooms; how to dust and vacuum. “Ms. Andrea Miller-Weir is worth more to Alex and our family than anyone can imagine.” g

Do you have what it takes to

join our team?

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. 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: • Community Skills Instructors • Employment Support Instructors • General Instructors & Residential Instructors • Community Skills Coordinators Join ASNC to create meaningful lives for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder. To see openings we have now, visit

http://bit.ly/ASNCcareers

www.autismsociety-nc.org • 11


Protecting Our Children

By Kathy Dolbee, Autism Resource Specialist

Parents want to protect their children. We follow doctor’s orders, childproof the house, cut food into tiny pieces, and when there’s a “Baby on Board,” that little one is safely buckled into a car seat. Parental protection is not limited to the human species. Here in the mountains, if we spot a bear cub, we know Mama Bear is nearby. At home or in the wild, human and animal offspring need to be taught the skills to avoid danger and defend themselves if necessary. Parents of children with autism face special challenges in that regard. The first time my son refused to go into a public women’s restroom with me, I panicked. I stood outside the men’s room, my foot propping the door open several inches, calling in, “Kyle? Are you okay? Do you need me to come in?” I was terrified. Nonverbal individuals rely on others for assistance, increasing their vulnerability. Parents have the challenge of finding, and retaining, qualified people they can trust to work with their child. The “higher functioning” your child is, the greater chance that an adult may not always be there to protect him. No matter where our children are on the spectrum, we must do our best to teach them the skills they will need to protect themselves. Dangers come in many forms. This article will focus on two that aren’t easy to discuss but cannot be ignored: sexual predators and Internet pornography.

Sexual Predators •

Become your child’s first line of defense. Most often, when a child is victimized, the perpetrator is someone the child knows. Carefully screen anyone who volunteers to spend time with your child. Make it clear that you are likely to check on your child at any time. Active involvement in your child’s life makes him a difficult target. Communication deficits may prevent a child from using words to tell an adult when he or she is uncomfortable in a situation or with a person. Remember the rule: “BEHAVIOR = COMMUNICATION.” Be sure to “listen” to subtle changes in your child’s mood or behavior that might be communicating a problem. Start sex education early. The old saying, “What you don’t know can’t hurt you” isn’t true. Take the initiative. Start early naming body parts and use real words, not baby names. Teach your child that there is nothing funny or shameful about any part of his body. Teach the meaning of “good touch/bad touch” and which body parts are strictly private. Don’t wait until puberty to have the “sex talk,” and don’t overload your child with more information than he or she is ready or able to digest. Instead, make discussions about sexuality a natural, ongoing aspect of parenting, sharing information that is developmentally appropriate. Teach a balanced view of obedience. We all appreciate obedient children. But kids must learn how to say “NO” if a peer or an adult tries to engage them in behavior that is risky or crosses the line. They also need to know that if anyone asks them to keep a secret, they should tell you right away.

12 • The Spectrum, Winter 2016

Teach simple words to say and actions to take. You might say, “What if we were in a store and we got separated? How would you find me?” Similar questions can help a child know how to respond if someone tries to touch him in a wrong way. You might choose to begin the conversation with a hypothetical situation such as, “A little girl was visiting her relatives for the holidays and ...” But avoid being too general. It is important that your child learn how to respond. “NO! DON’T DO THAT! LEAVE ME ALONE!” might convince a would-be predator to rethink his choice of victim. Practice together making the sign for “STOP,” like a police officer directing traffic. Reinforce the lesson periodically, rehearsing different scenarios until your child feels confident refusing loudly and getting away quickly. An easy phrase to remember is: “SAY “NO” THEN GO!”

Make sure your child knows not to interact online with people he does not know in real life, and certainly not to meet with them in person. Be aware that the Internet provides a way for sexual predators to make contact with your child. Monitor your child’s activity online. Keep the computer in a common area in your home and encourage your child to use any other devices where you can see him or her. Regularly review social media accounts, if you allow them. Online video games often allow users to instant message or converse with each other, so monitor their use as well.


Internet Pornography In the old days, if people wanted to view pornography, they had to go looking for it. It was concealed behind the cash register, for adults only, and obtaining it required effort and expense. Today, the Internet makes pornography more accessible than ever before. Are kids with ASD at higher risk than their neuro-typical peers? Probably. Let’s consider reasons why that might be the case. Having autism doesn’t prevent puberty and the natural interest in sexuality that comes with it. Neuro-typical kids talk with their friends. Adolescents with ASD may feel social awkwardness more acutely than their peers. They want to connect and have relationships but often lack the social thinking and skills to make and keep friends. Supportive parents can help, but most teens do not come to their parents with questions. Lacking a close friend, many young people with autism are more comfortable going online to find answers to their questions. Information without embarrassment is a good thing, but only if the source of that information is reputable. Most kids with ASD use the computer from an early age and may have computer skills that exceed those of their parents. Many enjoy researching their focused interests as a leisure activity, and increased computer time means increased risk of exposure to unwanted, graphic images. Even fleeting or accidental exposure can have a negative impact. Some families have learned the hard way that pornography is highly addictive with no clear detox protocol. Some young people have had their educational goals derailed because they used school technology to access pornography. Others have downloaded and/ or shared some forms of pornography and found themselves on the wrong side of the law. This is a serious situation, so serious precautions are in order. •

Make sure your child knows which materials are inappropriate, so they do not download or share them and face legal trouble. Tell them about potential consequences.

Talk with your child about Internet safety.

Create and post a list of rules for computer use. The FBI website includes a sample list at www.fbi.gov/fun-games/ kids/kids-safety. The NC Department of Justice website has a section at www.ncdoj.gov/Protect-Yourself/Protect-Children. aspx that includes rules for teens’ online behavior.

Contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP) to learn how to manage your child’s online activities and to download or activate parental controls. Kids can often find ways around your attempts at control, so stay vigilant.

Review and update parental controls regularly.

Switch to an age-appropriate search engine to reduce the chances that your child will be exposed to inappropriate material. The NC Department of Justice suggests Learn NC at www.learnnc.org/bestweb and KidsClick at www.kidsclick.org.

The bottom line is this: Parenting has always been a weighty responsibility, but we step up to the challenge because we love our kids and want them to be safe. The best way to protect them is to keep informed, stay involved, and be available. Teach healthy habits, build self-esteem, and share family values. If you lay a foundation of trust and open communication, your child will sense your stability and feel safe coming to you with questions or concerns. g Kathy Dolbee is an Autism Resource Specialist in the Western region. She can be reached at kdolbee@autismsociety-nc. org. To find an Autism Resource Specialist near you, go to http://bit.ly/AutismResourceSpecialists. For more information on protecting your child from many dangers, visit the Safe in the Community section of our website at http://bit.ly/ASNCSafetyKit. Look in the ASNC Bookstore for resources on these issues. Here are three we recommend; to find them easily, search by the listed code on our website, www.autismbookstore.com: Be Careful and Stay Safe, by Cheri J. Meiners. BBEC01 The Autism Spectrum, Sexuality and the Law, by Tony Attwood, Isabelle Hénault and Nick Dubin. BAUT71 No More Victims: Protecting those with Autism from Cyber Bullying, Internet Predators, and Scams, by Jed Baker. BNOM02

www.autismsociety-nc.org • 13


Celebrating Autism Insurance and Looking Ahead

By Jennifer Mahan, Director of Government Relations at ASNC

The Autism Society of North Carolina, numerous families, and many partners worked for more than seven years to make the first requirements for autism treatments and services in health insurance a reality in North Carolina. Over that time, many versions of the legislation were introduced. Every bill is a compromise between what you know is best and what is politically possible. Most legislation is a starting point. While celebrating what we have worked so hard to achieve, we recognize that there is always more to do to make sure that people on the autism spectrum have the services and supports they need. Here are some quick highlights of the law: •

Health plans subject to the law include large group plans (employers with more than 50 employees); grandfathered plans; and transitional plans.

Defines treatment under the term “Adaptive Behavioral Treatment.” Adaptive Behavioral Treatment is not limited to one type of therapy, but includes Applied Behavior Analysis as well as other evidence-based interventions, including ones that were developed here in North Carolina by TEACCH.

Covers medically necessary treatments such as occupational therapy, speech therapy, and physical therapy. It also covers psychiatric, psychological, and pharmacy care.

Coverage will be available through age 18, with an annual benefit for Adaptive Behavioral Treatment of up to $40,000. (Co-payments and deductibles apply.)

When will the law take effect? Because the bill passed on the last day of the 2015 session, the implementation date was moved from January 1 to July 1 to allow for the state and federal regulatory, legal, and implementation requirements for a new insurance benefit to take place. Group insurance plans renew on a quarterly basis, so the new benefit will be added to plans when they renew over the next year, starting July 1. Plans that renew on July 1 will start then, and plans that renew after July 1 will offer the benefit starting with their renewal date: October 1, 2016; January 1, 2017; or April 1, 2017.

14 • The Spectrum, Winter 2016

Who is covered? Who is not covered? Health-care coverage varies depending on the type of employer providing the benefits and the type of plan they offer. We strongly suggest contacting your employer directly to discuss the new legislation and its effect on your health-care coverage. The ASNC website, www.autismsociety-nc.org, includes more information on health insurance. For FAQs on this legislation, go to “Get Involved” then “Public Policy” then “Autism Insurance.” The new insurance law covers group health plans of larger employers (those with more than 50 employees) that are based in and operate only in North Carolina. Large employers that operate in more than one state or internationally, as well as those that self-insure, are not required to follow state law. These employer health plans operate under federal ERISA insurance laws. They may be more likely to offer coverage to employees living in North Carolina but are not required to do so. The North Carolina State Health Plan sets its own benefits package and adopted an autism treatment benefit starting in January 2015, so its benefits may differ from other plans covered under the new law. Individual plans sold under the Affordable Care Act on the health-care marketplace are not covered by this law. Nor are public insurance plans, such as Medicaid and Medicare or those for federal employees and retirees, the military, and railway employees. ASNC continues to advocate with the NC Department of Health and Human Services to ensure that the state’s Medicaid program follows recent federal guidelines to offer autism treatment services under Medicaid Early Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment (EPSDT) regulations. We will send out information about any changes to Medicaid as it becomes available.

We are advocating for you Although this new law will not cover every person with autism, ASNC is dedicated to continuing public policy advocacy to ensure that people have health care across the private and public insurance systems. Autism health-care coverage is one of many issues that ASNC continues to work on with the General Assembly and other state policymakers. Thousands of people with autism are on waiting lists for waiver services; many go into crisis and still find there are no services once the immediate


crisis ends. There is also much to do to ensure better outcomes from education systems and create inclusive and supportive communities. Our policy targets include these issues and more. We cannot do this advocacy alone. We need all of the families and individuals touched by ASD, whether as a parent, a self-advocate, a friend, a neighbor, or a service provider, to get involved in autism advocacy to create much-needed public policy changes. Here is how you can help in 2016 and beyond: 1. S t ay i n fo r m e d a b o u t a u t i s m p u b l i c p o l i c y issues. Sign up for our Policy Pulse newsletter at www.autismsociety-nc.org/policypulse. The periodic e-update focuses on public policy and advocacy to keep you aware of what is happening across the state that might affect you or your family. We also encourage you to sign up for ASNC e-updates and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Learn more about all of these ways to connect at http://bit.ly/ASNCStayInformed. Information about ASNC’s public policy targets and the policy issues facing individuals and families can be found on the website, www.autismsociety-nc.org, under “Get Involved” and then “Public Policy.” Visit the ASNC blog at https://autismsocietyofnc.wordpress.com/ regularly for the latest in issues affecting people with autism and their families. 2. Get involved with your local ASNC Chapter or Support Group. Visit the ASNC website at http://bit.ly/ ASNCChapters to find Chapters and Support Groups in your area. Volunteer to help – many Chapters are looking for volunteers interested in public policy and keeping other families informed! No chapter in your area? ASNC works with local families to start new groups; contact

Maureen Morrell at mmorrell@autismsociety-nc.org for more information. 3. 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 supports for people with autism and their families. If you have never contacted them before, this is a great time to make a resolution to do so! Current General Assembly members will be back in April to make adjustments to the budget as well as to consider legislation that did not pass in 2015. Check out our Advocacy 101 Toolkit for information and advice at http://bit.ly/ ASNCContactingLegislators. This is an election year for state officials; primaries are in March, and the general election is in November. New policymakers may or may not have experience or information about autism. You can be a great community information resource for them and help make sure our priorities are theirs! g Need help finding your elected officials or who is running for office in your area? Have questions about public policy or advocating? Contact Jennifer Mahan, Director of Government Relations at ASNC, at 919-865-5068 or jmahan@autismsociety-nc.org.

Learn from the comfort of home Our Autism Resource Specialists now offer webinar versions of their educational workshops. You just register online, receive a password from the presenter, and log in online at the designated time. What could be easier? The dozens of workshop topics cover the concerns that families and caregivers might have throughout the lifespans of their loved ones. From early intervention to IEPs to residential options to guardianship, we address it all. ASNC also presents these workshops in locations across the state each month, including some in Spanish. For a schedule of all of our workshops, visit

http://bit.ly/ASNCWorkshopCalendar www.autismsociety-nc.org • 15


Camp Royall

Register Now for Summer Camp!

It’s the start of a new year, and that means it’s time to register for Summer Camp! We are accepting applications for the overnight Summer Camp lottery from January 12 through February 29. We are excited to continue our expanded Day Camp program this summer, with more slots available, and the opportunity for campers to attend multiple weeks of day camp. Day Camp registration is first come, first served and opens March 1. You can register and find all the latest information about our Summer Camp program, including the dates and rates for 2016, at www.camproyall.org. If you need assistance with registration or have any questions, please contact us at 919-542-1033 or camproyall@ autismsociety-nc.org.

Year-Round Programs 2015 was another busy year at Camp Royall; we love seeing our year-round programs continue to grow! We are now offering three weeks of overnight camp (outside of summer camp) throughout the year: Fall Camp, Winter Camp, and Spring Camp. Our MiniCamp Weekends are now serving as many as 30 campers per weekend, and our Afterschool Program numbers continue to increase. In 2015, we served more than 2,050 individuals and their families at Camp Royall. If you have not been out to camp in a while, we encourage you to check out all of the happenings throughout the year. Better yet, print a copy of our 2016 flyer, found at http://bit.ly/ CampRoyallPrograms2016, so you won’t miss anything in 2016!

Adult Retreats: Independent adults 18 or older with high-functioning autism or Asperger’s Syndrome can spend time with friends enjoying activities at camp and in the community. Weekend and week-long retreats are offered. Afterschool Program: Every day during the school year, campers

take part in outdoor activities, gym play, group games and more. Transportation can be provided, and siblings are welcome.

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.

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. 16 • The Spectrum, Winter 2016

Field Trips: Bring your group out to Camp Royall for some fun and

recreation in a safe and supportive environment. Field trips are offered on weekdays for classrooms and adult programs.

Mini-Camp Weekends: Campers arrive Friday evening and stay through Sunday for a weekend of fun at camp, providing a muchneeded break for both campers and families. Week-Long Camps: Overnight camps are offered during the spring, fall, and winter breaks from school, providing fun and structured activities. Day Camp may be available with priority given to overnight campers.

Help Send Kids to Camp

The Autism Society of North Carolina has been offering summer camp 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


Meet Camp Royall’s Fellows

“The most important thing about what I do here at camp is getting the opportunity to share this amazing place with as many people as possible... it’s my personal mission to make sure everybody gets a little taste of ENTHUSIASM!”

By Lesley Fraser, Camp Royall Assistant Director

Last September, we welcomed four new year-round staff members to Camp Royall. They are Camp Royall Fellows – interns, if you will – and they call Dogwood (Cabin 4) home. They each committed to Camp Royall for a year, so they will be here through the end of this summer. We are really excited to have their support for our year-round programming! We rely on returning summer staff to work in our year-round programs, but most are in school or have full-time jobs. We are extremely grateful that they give up their limited free time to come back to give our campers the best Camp Royall experience. As we considered expanding our programming throughout the year, we realized the need for consistent and experienced leadership staff. So the Fellowship Program was born! We were thrilled that veteran staff were interested in taking on these new positions. Kory Morgan started at Camp Royall in 2013 and has worked as a lifeguard, counselor, and activity director. Tatiana Martinez also started in 2013 and has worked in lifeguard and counselor roles. Graham Johnson started working as a counselor in 2013 and was our volunteer coordinator and job coach last summer. Seth Smith started as a counselor last summer. Last fall, we saw exciting growth in our year-round programs. Previously, about 15 campers would attend our average Mini-Camp Weekend; in November, we had our largest Mini-Camp with 32

– Graham Johnson

campers. We added a week-long Adult Retreat in September and a week-long overnight camp for kids and teens during the fall break from school. More week-long overnight camps are planned this year, including Adult Retreats and camps for kids and teens during the spring, fall, and winter breaks from school. Our Afterschool Program continues to serve more local families each day as well. As well as the increase in the number of people served, we have also seen great development in our programs because of the consistent support of our Fellows. They come with new ideas and fresh enthusiasm, enabling us to make Camp the best it can be for our campers. Each Fellow has taken on a different role at Camp Royall, including volunteer coordination, working with our Campus Chapters across the state, developing our field trip program for classrooms and adult groups, and specializing in art and communications. They are gaining skills in program development, coordination, communication, and leadership. We are always beyond grateful for our amazing staff members who make Camp Royall what it is. Having four of them here year round has already made a huge impact, and we are excited to see how it continues. g

“This new role is constantly bringing about personal and professional growth within me, along with an ever-growing passion for people on the spectrum. When I think about my future, I know that autism will be a part of it because of the impact that Camp Royall has left on me.” – Seth Smith

“Camp is a place where individuals on the spectrum are not only welcomed with open arms, but also celebrated for who they are. That is exactly the kind of impact I wanted to continue to make at camp, and that’s what this fellowship has allowed me to do.” – Kory Morgan

“Being a Fellow has only reinforced the sense of community and family I feel being at camp. Camp is the most welcoming and accepting place for campers and staff alike, and it has helped me grow so much both as a person and as a part of the Camp Royall family!” – Tatiana Martinez

www.autismsociety-nc.org • 17


Welcomed and Encouraged in Chapters & Support Groups

ASNC’s statewide network of Chapters and Support Groups provide families who face similar challenges an opportunity to encourage one another, to share experiences and solutions, and to have a place where they feel welcomed, accepted, and understood. Our Chapters and Support Groups are led by volunteer parents and family members whose parenting “plates” are often already overfilled … yet, a generous spirit and passion for their children inspire them to help other families in their community even as they help their own. “Families who are new to autism need someone to give them a road map on how they can incorporate their child’s autism into the life of their family. Veteran families they meet through Chapters can help them navigate and give support – and the best gift of all – the knowledge that while there are challenges, there are also joyful moments,” said Nancy Nestor, a former Chapter Leader and Regional Chapter Coordinator. Here is a sampling of recent Chapter events and activities from across the state.

Craven County Chapter’s Social Events Who can’t use a night away from the kitchen? The Craven County Chapter held a relaxing Take the Night Off from Cooking event right before school started. Enjoyed by a maxed-out crowd at Paula’s Pizza, the evening provided a nice break for families as well as a chance to socialize. Another of the Craven Chapter’s social events was the Fun Times with ASNC Pumpkin Project. Halloween fun was clearly had by all!

Robeson County Chapter Benefit Proceeds from Paint for a Purpose, held by Biggs Park Mall in Lumberton, were donated to the Robeson County Chapter to help support the group’s ongoing activities. The instructor was Barbie Dees Coble, an art teacher with Robeson County schools and mom of a child with autism.

18 • The Spectrum, Winter 2016


Wake County Chapter’s Wrightslaw Workshop In September, the Wake County Chapter held a Wrightslaw Workshop at NCSU in Raleigh. More than 200 families and community members – from as far away as Louisiana – attended to learn from Pete Wright, Esq. Wake Chapter Leader Leslie Welch said, “Mr. Wright provided helpful information on understanding your child’s rights when dealing with IEPs as well as tips for caregivers on becoming empowered advocates who can come to the table with knowledge and strength.”

Mecklenburg County Chapter Tailgating Party In August, Mecklenburg families gathered before the Carolina Panthers game vs. the New England Patriots. Families enjoyed the chance for their children to practice appropriate public behavior, and everyone was treated to a free ticket to the game! One father was excited to learn that his son was able to sit through the crowds and hoopla for more than half of the game.

Cabarrus County Chapter’s Trunk or Treat The Cabarrus County Chapter hosted its annual Trunk or Treat featuring fun, treats, and the opportunity to show off your trunk in costume.

Faith Workshops Chapters played a big part in putting on two recent faith workshops. The first, in Winston-Salem, was held in mid-October and drew support from the Forsyth County Chapter and Hispanic Support Groups from Charlotte, Greensboro, and Winston-Salem. The second, in Lumberton in November, was facilitated by members of the Robeson County Chapter.

Guilford County Chapter’s Wings for Autism The 2nd annual Wings for Autism, held at the Piedmont Triad Airport and cosponsored by the Guilford County Chapter in mid-September, proved to be another “flying” success. This fun AND educational event featured an airline rehearsal, allowing families to experience the processes of ticketing, security screening, waiting at the gate area, boarding, and taxiing around the airport.

Surry County Chapter’s Fall Festival Members of the Surry County Chapter had a blast with their very first fall festival in October. Families – and more than 40 kids – enjoyed a variety of games including fishing, a ring toss, corn hole, a cake walk, and much more. All took home prizes and candy. A shout-out by the Chapter to the local Salvation Army in Mount Airy for volunteering the facility and time. This is on tap to be an annual event! g For information on how you can become involved with one of our Chapters around the state, please visit http://bit.ly/ASNCChapters. No chapter in your area? ASNC works with local families to start new groups. Contact Maureen Morrell at mmorrell@ autismsociety-nc.org for more information on starting local ASNC groups.

www.autismsociety-nc.org • 19


Recursos para las Familias Hispanas La Sociedad de Autismo de Carolina del Norte ofrece muchos recursos para ayudar a las familias Hispanas afectadas por el autismo.

Talleres en Español presentan temas tales como: entendiendo

el autismo, Programas Individualizados de Educación (IEPs), y transiciones hacia la edad adulta.

Professionals. Familias hispanas también formaron equipos para apoyar a ASNC y promover la concientización.

Manténgase en sintonía para estos próximos talleres:

Talleres de Fe: Muchas familias hispanas participaron en los talleres de ASNC para las comunidades de fe en Winston-Salem y Lumberton. Líderes y miembros de las comunidades de fé se acercaron para aprender sobre el autismo y como incluir a individuos y familias afectadas por el autismo. Las presentaciones fueron interpretadas y los materiales traducidos al español para las personas de habla hispana.

Como Ayudar a los Niños con Autismo – condados de Durham y Davie

Asperger: Entendiendo y Ayudando en la Escuela y en la Comunidad – condados de Wake y Cumberland

Autismo, Nutrición y Problemas de Alimentación – Asheboro y Hickory

Viviendo con el Autismo: Labor Paternal para Tener Éxito a Través de la Vida - Wilmington y Greenville

Para ver el programa completo y registrarse online, por favor vaya al http://bit.ly/ASNCWorkshopCalendar.

Grupos de Apoyo Hispanos ayudan a los padres a conseguir información sobre programas, talleres de capacitación, y servicios en español; compartir experiencias, preocupaciones, y esperanzas en un entorno cómodo y comprensivo; disminuir la sensación de aislamiento; y provee apoyo a otros miembros del grupo quienes necesitan ayuda. A continuación algunos de los eventos que los Grupos de Apoyo han participado recientemente.

Carrera/Caminata Triangle por el Autismo: Cada octubre, cientos de familias hispanas de todos los sectores participan en el evento más grande del año de ASNC, la Carrera/Caminata Triangle por el Autismo. En el 2015, tres equipos hispanos participaron: Univision-40, Centro para Familias Hispanas, y Bilingual 20 • The Spectrum, Winter 2016

Comienzo de un Ministerio Hispano: Lourdes Pavon, es un líder del Grupo de Apoyo del Condado de Johnston, y fue inspirada gracias a los talleres a comenzar un ministerio para niños con necesidades especiales en la Iglesia Bautista Rey de Reyes en Smithfield. Pavon reclutó y capacitó a los voluntarios para el ministerio, el cual trae a la iglesia a niños con autismo y otras discapacidades. Otras dos iglesias también están comenzando ministerios similares: La Roca en Winston-Salem y el Ministerio Monte De Los Olivos en Fayetteville.


Tú también te puedes involucrar: Conferencia Anual de ASNC: Cada año, padres hispanos de todo el estado participan en la conferencia anual de ASNC; este año, será el 11 y 12 de marzo en Charlotte. ASNC provee becas a los padres para cubrir la matriculación y los servicios de interpretación. Si usted o su negocio podrían ofrecer una donación para cubrir los esfuerzos mencionados, por favor comuníquese con nosotros. Mes de Concientización sobre el Autismo: ASNC anima a padres y a profesionales a distribuir el concientización y la aceptación sobre el autismo en sus comunidades durante el mes de abril. En nuestra página web, nosotros proveeremos más información sobre como usted se puede involucrar. También, el próximo 2 de abril acompáñenos al Camp Royall a celebrar el Día Mundial de Concientización y Aceptación del Autismo. Este evento incluirá actividades de entretenimiento tales como: bounce houses (casitas donde brincan los ninos), un disk jockey musical, juegos al aire libre, y pintura facial. Muchas de las instalaciones del Camp Royall estarán abiertas y nuestro personal estará disponible para contestar preguntas. Las actividades y el almuerzo son

gratis, pero estaremos aceptando donativos en el sitio. Para ayudarnos a planificar el personal y la comida por favor RSVP por computadora en https://camproyall.campbrainregistration.com/. Se Necesitan Patrocinadores: La división de Asuntos Hispanos reciben con agradecimiento las donaciones para proveer educación y promover las oportunidades para las familias Hispanas en todo el estado. Para más información, contáctese con Mariela Maldonado, Intermediaria de Asuntos Hispanos del ASNC. Además, la Sociedad del Autismo en Carolina del Norte tiene la biblioteca más grande del país enfocada en el autismo, y ofrece muchos titulos en español. g

Para mayor información o ayuda en español: Mariela Maldonado, Enlace de los Asuntos Hispano 919-865-5066 | mmaldonado@autismsociety-nc.org The Autism Society of North Carolina offers many resources to help Hispanic families affected by autism. For more information or bilingual assistance, please contact Mariela Maldonado (see contact info above).

Grupos de Apoyo: Cabarrus: Reunión con el grupo latino Ángeles de Esperanza, el segundo lunes de cada mes, 10 am.-12 pm., en la iglesia Epworth United Methodist Church, 1030 Burrage Road NE, Concord. Líderes: Magnolia Aguilar, 704-493-9339, y Teresa Harris, 704-425-3967 Catawba: Reunión con el Grupo de Apoyo Familias

Especiales Latinas de HOPE-Family Support Network una vez al mes en Newton Library, 115 W C St., Newton. Coordinadora: Milagros Ramos, 704-308-7082

Cumberland/Robeson: Reunión el último viernes de

cada mes, 9:30-11:30 a.m. en la oficina regional de ASNC, 351 Wagoner Drive, Fayetteville. Coordinadora Voluntaria: Alma Morales, 910-785-5473

Durham: Reunión el primer miércoles de cada mes,

11 a.m.-1 p.m., en El Centro Hispano, 600 E. Main St., Suite 100, Durham. Coordinadoras Voluntarias: Maricruz Romero, 919-620-0918, y Mayra Tapia, 919-450-6543

Forsyth: Reunión cada tres meses en una Iglesia de Winston Salem. Coordinadores Voluntarias: Jazmin Loera 336-997-2664 and Alma Molina 336-926-4071 Guilford: Reunión una vez al mes en la oficina regional

del ASNC, 9 Oak Branch Drive, Greensboro. Coordinadoras Voluntarias: Maggie Hanflkink, 336-298-6598 ó hanflkink@yahoo.com, y Maria Correa, 336-698-5490

Johnston: Reunión el primer viernes de cada mes, 9-11 a.m., en The Partnership for Children of Johnson County, 1406 S. Pollock St., Selma. Coordinadoras Voluntarias: Diana Wilkerson, 919-300-9966, y Lourdes Pavon, 919-915-1232 Mecklenburg: Reunión el segundo jueves de cada

mes, 9-11 a.m., en la Iglesia Catolica, Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, 6212 Tuckaseegee Road, Charlotte. Coordinadora Voluntaria: Maria Laura Torres, 704-430-0281

Pitt: Reunión con AMEXCAN. Líder voluntario: Juvencio Rocha- Peralta, 252-258-9967 Randolph: Reunión cada tres meses en una Iglesia local de Asheboro. Coordinadora Voluntaria: Yadira Guzman, 336-460-6313

Vance: Reunión una vez al mes de 6-8 p.m. en la Iglesia First Presbyterian Church, 222 Young St., Henderson, NC 27536. Coordinadora Voluntaria: Beatriz Solano, 252-378-4491 Wake: Reunión el segundo martes de cada mes, 6-8 p.m., en El Centro Para Familias Hispanas, 2013 Raleigh Blvd., Raleigh. Coordinadoras Voluntarias: Bernardita Cortez, 919-235-5431, y Guadalupe Ortega, 919-247-5760

www.autismsociety-nc.org • 21


Research Opportunities

Simons Foundation

The Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI) is launching a landmark project to speed up the pace of autism research and has asked the Autism Society of North Carolina to help this winter during a pilot phase. The ultimate goal is to recruit 50,000 individuals with autism and, when possible, their biological parents. Participants will provide basic medical information about themselves and a DNA sample and will agree to be contacted for additional research studies. Participation in the SFARI project can be done entirely at home; registration can be completed online, and the DNA sample can be provided using a saliva collection kit mailed to the home. Upon completion of registration, the individual with autism will receive a $50 gift card. To learn more or to join, contact Kathy Cockrell at kcockrell@autismsociety-nc. org or 800-442-2762.

Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities

Shop the ASNC Bookstore • Largest nonprofit, ASD-specific bookstore in the United States • More than 600 titles, many exclusive to the ASNC Bookstore • Extensive inventory is priced competitively compared to major online retailers • Proceeds help provide assistance to individuals with autism and their families • We employ individuals on the spectrum Contact the ASNC Bookstore for help in finding resources on a particular topic or in assembling a purchase order.

800-442-2762 (NC only) | 919-743-0204, ext. 1132 books@autismsociety-nc.org www.autismbookstore.com

/AutismBookstore Keep up to date on the newest books & resources! 22 • The Spectrum, Winter 2016

The Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities (CIDD) is conducting a research study of brain development in infants at high risk for autism. Eligible participants are 3- to 6-month-old siblings of individuals with a diagnosis of ASD. The study monitors brain development and behavioral characteristics until the child is 3 years old, with several visits between 3 and 36 months of age. Parents will receive reports on their child’s diagnostic and cognitive assessments, are paid for each visit, and are compensated for travel. To learn more, call 800-793-5715 or email ibisnetwork@ gmail.com. CIDD also maintains the NC Autism Research Registry to match participants with other studies. To learn more, contact Renee Clark at research_registry@unc.edu or 866-744-7879.

Duke Center for Autism and Brain Development The Duke Registry for Autism Research is a database to connect eligible participants and research opportunities. Once you are registered, you will be notified of research studies for which you meet the criteria. Families or individuals are often compensated for their time and also receive diagnostic and cognitive assessments that are reviewed by licensed clinicians on staff. Parents can then use the reports with other care providers or schools. To sign up for the volunteer research registry, contact Elise Nelson at 888691-1062 or elise.nelson@duke.edu. g


Our Future: A Lifetime Together ASNC’s New Scholarship Campaign

The Autism Society of North Carolina has stood by individuals and families affected by autism for 45 years. We are a partner when families don’t know where to turn, and we join with them as they seek the best lives for their children. Individuals with autism possess unique skills and can reach their goals and contribute to their communities, when they receive the right support. Our annual campaign, A Lifetime Together, will increase the number of children, adults, and families that we are able to serve. Through scholarships, donors will make investments that improve lives well beyond the day they make a gift.

How can your gift change a lifetime?

50 for the evening so they

$

are better able to care for their families.

100 training to understand

their child’s diagnosis and how early intervention helps.

250

$

$

We share your passion for improving lives, supporting families, and educating communities. Together, we can make a difference for the growing number of loved ones with autism. Together, we will share a lifetime. g

$

Make a gift today: www.autismsociety-nc.org/donate

Show Your Support!

provides a couple with

$

Every day, new families learn their children have autism. As we look ahead, expanding this campaign will ensure that individuals with autism share their unique gifts, contribute to their communities, and give all of us a better future. For more information, please contact Kristy White, Chief Development Officer, at kwhite@ autismsociety-nc.org or 919-865-5086.

gives parents a break

gives a person with autism a day of oneon-one tutoring on skills to live independently and participate in the community.

1,000 to a family’s home

brings a psychologist

to consult and then develop recommendations tailored to the individual’s communication and behavioral needs.

1,700 Royall for a week to

sends a child to Camp

have fun, learn new skills, and make friends.

5,000

$

provides four adults with autism the ongoing job-skills training to gain meaningful employment.

You can show your support everywhere you drive by purchasing an Autism Society of North Carolina license plate. A portion of the plate fee is donated to public awareness and autism education programs throughout the state. To learn how to order a plate from the NC Department of Motor Vehicles, go to http://www.ncdot.gov/dmv/vehicle/ plates/ and click on the “Specialized & Personalized Plates” button at the upper right.

www.autismsociety-nc.org • 23


“One of Our Favorite Days of the Year” The second Saturday in October is a special day to 9-yearold Seamus Millet. On his family’s calendar, it is marked with a puzzle piece, and he counts down the days.

Seamus, who was diagnosed with high-functioning autism just before his fifth birthday, is a veteran of the Triangle Run/Walk for Autism, the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Autism Society of North Carolina. Every day, he asks his parents: “How much money have we raised? How many people are walking? How many people have signed up?” said his mom, Katie Millet. “He takes it very, very seriously.”

He and his family have participated in the downtown Raleigh event every year since 2010, raising more than $36,000. They know the money will help dozens of individuals and families affected by autism, but what is most important to Seamus is the actual event. “This day is huge for our family. It’s one of our favorite days of the year, honestly,” Millet said. “It is a special day for Seamus to understand how big his support network is and how many people there are supporting him and behind him and behind our family. When you see that, that goes a long way.” Seamus’s team is called the Wizards of Auz, a play on the word “autism” and his favorite movie when the family first created the team. Their T-shirt, which Seamus helped design, features the yellow-brick road and ruby slippers. It was voted best team T-shirt by participants at the 2015 Triangle Run/Walk for Autism. “Everything has to get approved by Seamus, according to him,” his mom said, laughing. “He takes a lot of pride in his team.” The team has a core group of family members who walk every year, but they also are joined by friends and friends of friends, some of whom even fly in. They usually have 20-25 team members; the bigger the team, the happier Seamus is, his mom said. After the Run/Walk for Autism in downtown Raleigh, they all go back to the Millets’ Durham home for a big party to celebrate their success and what Seamus has been able to do to help others. They certainly deserve to celebrate; $36,000 is an incredible amount for a Run/Walk team. Millet said she and her husband, Dan, each send out letters by email and on Facebook, to share their family’s story, Seamus’s milestones that year, how the Autism Society of North Carolina (ASNC) has helped them, and 24 • The Spectrum, Winter 2016

Everything has to get approved by Seamus, according to him. He takes a lot of pride in his team. where the money will go. “We are just very big into appreciating the help that we got early, and ASNC is great about advocating and getting information out there,” Millet said. “It’s a way for us to help support that cause.” She said making the cause personal helps people understand the challenges some families face. Even asking for small amounts often results in bigger donations, she said. “I’m always surprised by people who give. …You never know who’s affected, and who it means something to. Go for it!” Millet’s most recent letter shared a lot of positive news about Seamus. He started a new school last year, but took that in stride, making plenty of friends. “He is doing amazing. This past year he has really come into his own,” Millet said. “For a child on the spectrum, I think most of us would agree he’s a social butterfly.” Seamus has come a long way from the 3-year-old who was so frightened and anxious around groups of people that he wouldn’t get out of the car for his first day of soccer, or on the field later in the season. “When there was a group of kids, Seamus would cling for dear life to us. He would not look at anybody; he would not talk to anybody. He was terrified.” Now, Seamus has close friends and is in Cub Scouts. Last fall, he shook the Cubmaster’s hand for the first time. “Seamus is to the point now where there’s a lot of cool things that he can do and that he is good at, that are very closely related to the autism,” Millet said. “And we really see it as a strength for him, and we talk about how cool it is that he has autism. He understands that he is one of the lucky ones.” g


Fundraisers & Events

Run/Walk for Autism Events

The Autism Society of North Carolina’s Run/Walks create awareness about autism while raising funds throughout the state. Thank you to everyone who sponsored, participated, or volunteered! Our fall events in Greensboro, Asheville, and Raleigh had more than 4,700 participants and raised more than $360,000 to support individuals with autism and families affected by autism across our state. Whether you ran, walked, volunteered, or donated, you have changed the life of a loved one with autism. Donations are still being accepted at www.runwalkforautism.org. Here are some highlights from the fall of 2015:

Triangle Run/Walk for Autism The fall decorations and weather set the tone for the 17th annual Triangle Run/Walk for Autism in downtown Raleigh on October 10, which raised over $260,000. More than 3,500 participants and 230 teams signed up this year to raise money in honor of a loved one with autism or to promote awareness in the community. Many of the teams showed their team spirit and creativity with customized T-shirts, banners, and costumes. Team Wizards of Auz won the best T-Shirt award, and our Team Spirit award went to Friends of Jeanne, the dedicated group of volunteers who helped throughout the year to plan the run. Team Liam raised more than $18,000 for autism services, and Walking with Grace had the largest team, with 273 members.

WNC Run/Walk for Autism The 10th annual WNC Run/Walk for Autism on September 12 raised more than $46,000 for services in the region. More than 600 runners and walkers, 100 volunteers, and a variety of businesses participated in the family event to raise awareness and change lives in the community. UNC-Asheville hosted the run with its signature challenging course full of hills. Staff from local Kohl’s stores came out in full force and provided exceptional volunteer service and encouragement to runners along the way. Team Marlowe took top honors with more than 30 members and $3,500 raised. The 101 Big Truck Team came in a close second with $3,100 raised.

Greensboro Run/Walk for Autism On September 26, more than 600 people braved the rain and raised more than $53,000 at the 7th annual Greensboro Run/ Walk for Autism. The event was held on the campus of UNCGreensboro and featured several returning teams and new faces. The High Point Men’s Lacrosse team took top honors as the

largest team and largest fundraising team. The team brought out 43 members and raised $3,665 for services in the Triad region. They were followed closely by Team We Are the Village, which raised $3,289.

Help Us Plan Upcoming Run/Walks Our families, friends, supporters, committees, and volunteers work very hard year-round to make these events successful. We hope you will consider joining us next year for one of our signature Run/Walk events. We currently have events planned in Asheville, Beaufort, Concord, Greensboro, Greenville, Mount Airy, Raleigh, and Wilmington. We need new committee members to help these events 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 affected by autism. Your contribution makes a difference. g www.autismsociety-nc.org • 25


Run 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.

PREMIER & GOLD

VISIONARY

CHAMPION

PARTNER Bayada Home HealthCare • BlackBird Frame & Art • Bryan School of Business & Economics Carolina Rehabilitation & Surgical Associates • Chick-fil-A of Asheville • Culligan of WNC • Earth Fare • EarthLink • Fairway Outdoor Feel The Sound Productions • Henco Reprographics • Knights of Columbus/Saint Catherine of Siena • Krispy Kreme Mission Children's Hospital • Piedmont Local • VF Corporation • Wake Living Magazine • Yes! Weekly York Properties / 505 Oberlin Rd.

ADVOCATE Alec Joyce Photography • Asbury Associates, LLC • Asheville Canopy • Biscuitville Capital City City Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. • Carolina Parent • Carolina Pediatrics of the Triad • Cherry Bekaert LLP David Allen Company • Fleet Feet Greensboro • Garden Supply Company • Greensboro Jaycees • Higher Ground Pediatric Therapy Kane Public Security • Kingsdown • KoKo FitClub of Cary • LearningRx of Raleigh • Massage Envy • Orangetheory Fitness P.O.W.E.R. of Play Foundation • Pediatric Possibilities • Pepsi • Raleigh Neurology Associates • Skyland Behavioral Health Associates Spyglass Promotions • The Health Insurance Store • The Hop • The Pediatric Express • The Joint... The Chiropractic Place Triangle Spine Center

FRIENDS ABC of NC Child Development Center • Asheville Compounding Pharmacy • Butterfly Effects Capitol Pediatric & Adolescent Center, PLLC • Chick-fil-A at Friendly Center • Clayton Pediatric Dental Center • Dr. Zachary Feldman Great Beginnings Pediatric & Orthodontic Dentistry • Hertz Equipment Rental • Lionheart Academy of the Triad • Mountain Xpress Raleigh Pediatric Dentistry • Randal M. Benefield, DDS, PA • Recycles Bicycle Shop • Relay NC • Rosenthal Schoor The PorterHouse Bar and Grill • United Credit Bureau • Wake Orthodontics & Pediatric Dentistry 26 • The Spectrum, Winter 2016


AmeriCarna LIVE

Nearly 5,000 car lovers turned out for the AmeriCarna LIVE Car Show in Davidson on Saturday, Nov. 28, raising more than $115,000 to benefit IGNITE, the Autism Society of North Carolina’s community center for young adults with high-functioning autism or Asperger’s Syndrome. The third annual AmeriCarna LIVE featured celebrity cars from Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kelley Earnhardt, Joey Logano, Ryan Newman, and Rusty Wallace, among others. About 450 classic, custom, and collector cars also were featured. The event was presented by Ingersoll Rand and MSC Industrial Supply Co. and hosted by Ray Evernham, former NASCAR championship crew chief, star of the “AmeriCarna” television show on Velocity, and founder of IGNITE. “We are so grateful to everyone who turned out for our third AmeriCarna LIVE show,” Evernham said. “Once again, car lovers had a chance to see amazing cars and enjoy a beautiful day here in Davidson. We thank them all for coming out and supporting IGNITE, and especially our dedicated partners, who make this possible every year.” Ingersoll Rand and MSC Industrial Supply Co. each contributed $15,000 to support IGNITE, which was founded with support from the Evernham FamilyRacing for a Reason Foundation. IGNITE offers activities, skills training, and educational workshops that foster social, financial, educational, and employment independence for its members. g

Find the support you need with ASNC’s free toolkits! The Autism Society of North Carolina strives to provide families and individuals with the tools they need to lead full and meaningful lives. We have introduced six easy-to-use, accessible toolkits to guide you through challenging times. All of the free toolkits can be read online or downloaded and printed.

http://bit.ly/ASNCtoolkits

www.autismsociety-nc.org • 27


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 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 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. Here is a list of recent events and supporters: AME Zion Church BDR Ventures Ben & Jerry’s North Hills Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School-Math Honor Society Club Brixx Pizza Burlington Royals Autism Awareness Night Carolina Chord Connection’s Travelin’ On Benefit Show Carolina Hurricanes Champs for Camp Fundraiser Community of Athletes’ William Peace Basketball Event CVS Caremark’s Giving Tuesday Fundraiser David Allen Company’s Bracket Challenge David Evert Defy Gravity’s Gourmet Giving Fundraiser Delta Zeta ECU Collegiate Chapter’s Zeta Lambda 5K Fundraiser Duke Energy PGC Golf Tournament Dunn-Benson Ford Stangs R Us Car Show

28 • The Spectrum, Winter 2016

Durham Academy’s Autism Awareness Club Raffle Fundraiser Durham Bulls Autism Awareness Night Five Below, Inc.’s Giving Back Fundraiser Full Throttle Car Club Genworth Financial-US Mortgage Insurance Raffle and Bingo Fundraiser Happy Days Child Care, Inc. Hunters Creek Elementary School’s PJ Day Iredell County DSS’s 365 Days of Giving Iron Order MC Club-Cary Chapter Poker Run It’s All Love, LLC Jake Ruggles Racing Jamberry Fundraiser Keystone Insurers Group, Inc. Golf Tournament Laughter Yoga fundraiserShannon Reeder LeBrew Coffee Millbridge HOA Turkey Trot Mint Confections-Britani Booth Mt. Pleasant AME Zion Church

Autism Walk NC IOTA Chapter Sigma Phi Epsilon’s Raffle Fundraiser OneHope Foundation’s Wine Tasting Event Peebles 30 Days of Giving Piedmont Health SeniorCare’s Walk and Roll Fundraiser PPD Jeans Day Pure Light Yoga’s Yoga on the Deck Fundraiser Raleigh Orthopaedic Clinic, PA Jeans Day Randleman High School’s Color Run Saint Matthew Catholic School Sky Zone Stand Up for Autism TIPS Golf Tournament & Bow-Tie Affair Talbots, Inc. The Greater Triangle NC Chapter of ISES The Mason Jar Tavern, Inc. The Players Golf Association, Inc. Tuna Run 200 Wakefield High School Wine for a Reason Winget Park Elementary PTO Jeans Day Daniel Gluckin Janey Trivette-Lawson Lacey Trumbo Lisa Turner


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/Memoriam 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, 2015, and December 15, 2015. Please contact Beverly Gill if you have any questions or corrections at 800-442-2762, ext. 1105, or bgill@autismsociety-nc.org.

Honorariums Julian Ballen

Womble, Carlyle, Sandridge & Rice

Sarah Barker

Krystal and Jon Pister

Sarah Barton Krista Lucas

Jennifer Beale Kristina Beale

Elisabeth Benthem

Sandra and Donald Bryant Jean and Kenneth Oakley

Harrison Bischof Diana and Paul Bischler Isabela Brown

Lynette and William Weant

Jahmal Brown

Barbara and Joel Bentley

Al Bugg

Ruby Bugg

Stephanie Burke

Kim and John Feller

Katie Burnet

Heather and Glenn Matthews

Hannah Clark

Laura and Tony Fox Debra and Steve Hurd Bettie and Rick Lambeth

Veronica Dodson Susan Edwards

Jessica Earnhardt

Carolyn and John Nowaczewski

Hunter Emmanuel

Shannon and Charlie Emmanuel

Kenzie Farmer

Daisy and Guy Anderson Holly and Hollis Bolanz Laura Luykx and Darryl Marsch

Martha Routh Figuerdo

Sondra and Arthur Brown

Natalia Katherine Fouts Cynthia Hoyt

Zach Gerew

Steven Sedlak

Sarah Glick

Maryellen Smith and Emily Onorato

Rhiannon Grabus

Lisa and Arthur Konold

Colleen Hait

Denise Larson

Tanisha Hansley

Carolyn Bailey Linda and Robert Bristow

Rachel and Marc Luyben

The Harvey Family

Charlotte Davenport

Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Harwood Beverly Thomas and Jesse McDaniel Brittany Hendrick Beth Kuklinski Elise Graziano and Steve Mesa Sabrina and Jefferson Osborne

Elizabeth Hicks

Carol Ann and Samuel Applegate

Peyton Hixson

Georgena Hixson

Jack and Jake Howard

Marie and Joseph Blizzard

Paul Hoyt

Patricia and Michael Petelle

Mark Nicholas Hurst Casey Hurst

Island Montessori School

Heather Winterbottom and Eric Lescault

Graham Johnson Donna Weeks

Jackie Johnson Judy Cram

James F. Jordan III Dorothy Jordan

Keagan Kelly

Rosemary and Michael Spagnola

Sarah Key

Jane Cunningham

Leslie Killian Susan Jane King and Patrick King Altrusa Club of Salisbury

Stacey Kohn

Meredith Hickory

Arlene and Ron Kronquist Josephine D'Andrea Kristin Witz

Matthew Kuhr Gretchen and Phillip Arth Noam Laks Elaine Coonrod Joshua Lawrence Melissa Lawrence

David Laxton

Evelyn Laxton

Jada Linnen Tracy Dix

Jessie Lunsford

Kathy and Lanny Vaughan

Benedicte Mangala

Richard Poole Christy and Tommy Scarboro

Luke Marcum

Brenda and Neil Marcum

Hannah Marshall

Patricia and Ralph Marshall

Catherine McAuliffe

Joleen and Michael Smith

Taylor McDuffy

Nancy and James McDuffy

Elizabeth Mesquita

Kimberly Yarboro Mesquita

Kat Moncol

Sarah and Paul Nunnally

My wedding guests Christina Frum

Gavin Owen

Ann and Harold Shelton

Taylor Pearce

Susan and Randal Parks

Jacob Petery

Palmer and James McIntyre

Tuam Pham Family

Jean and Gustav Leichte

Andrew Phillips Krista Lucas

Gail and Bob Pope

Doris and Mark Edwards

Joel Evance Rawls, Jr.

Tracy "TracyMac" McNeil

Andrew Raxter

Julie and Mark Ruane

Anna Reeves

Samuel E. Smith Deborah Smith

Seth Michael Smith

Maura and William Waugh

Curtis Sobie

Laura and Andrew Branan

Isaac and Samuel Soderstrom Amy and Ken Soderstrom

Jane Harbinson Teague Vicki Vaughn

Griffin Tillotson Holly Tillotson

Mia Tomaselli

Kate Tomaselli

Jesse Trimbach Forrest Newton

Nathan Vieyra Joseph Regan

Brandon Wahlmann Anna Talmage

Donna and Hank Waldal Kay and Dan Walker

Moriah Walters

Glenn and Heather Matthews

Josh and Ella Weinzimmer Louise and Roger Loucks

Patrick Wetherhill

Laura and David Berry

Jesse Wills

Katie and Lewis Wills

Jade Womble

Krystal and Jon Pister

Andrew Yeager

Terri and John Mainey

Sue and Jan Martin

Jayden Richardson

Joyce and Richard Hendricks Ila Killian

Joshua Roets

Lori and Paul Valone

Jessica Rogers Lil Williams

Kim Rubish

Keith Beyer and Bruno Michael

The Sall Family

Diane Arsenault

David Sasser

Jean and Henry Sasser

Judy Simmons Katie Morrison

Jackie Smith

Belinda Harder and Ed Ferro

MEMORIALS Ann Alston

Maureen and Rob Morrell

Cassandra Beaver Charles Goldman

David Berglund Janet Zurbach

Ronald E. Bowman

Jody and Don Castruo Dolores and Raleigh McGary Lynda and George Provence

Catherine Bullion

Kay and Dan Walker

Eleanor Sloan Marshall Byrum Margie Baucom Lois and Jack Watson Janey Webster

www.autismsociety-nc.org • 29


Thomas Edens Byrum

Elizabeth Byrum Linda and Brad Griffin Chesley Kalnen Jessica Kennedy Maureen and Rob Morrell Sara and Daniel Pate

Henry J. "Harry" Emmel Linda and Brad Griffin Maureen and Rob Morrell

Betsy Strickland Evans

Tamara and Ronald Gibson

Judith Fisher

Julie and Mark Ruane

Glendora Salter Hadder

Debra Browne Betty and Robert Fisher Sandra and Robert Garrison Evelyn and Eugene Koonce Penny and Jeff Williams

Kelly Elizabeth Hartis

Overby Sunday School Class

Jill Helms and Wallace Killough Linda Nicholson

Margaret and Leon Couch Jeannette and Dan Davis Marjorie and Jimmy Dunn

Kathy Henderson Faye Figlewski

Lexton Keeter

Catherine Lassiter Betty Jane and Jerry Reaves

Charles "Chuck" Hydeman Jane Hydeman

Bobbi Packard Sauls Jeff Butler Judy Hamblett Ruth Lacy Michael Lee

Bill and Billy Scott Maureen Scott

Nancy J. "Nan" Johnsen

Charlie Pahl

Barbie and Jerome Smith

Rock Jolly

Arlene Price

Marie Spencer

Kathy McLean

Joan R. Regan

Thomas Luke Spencer

Jack J. McGovern

Kim Tatum Roe

Karen and Jim McSwain

Maureen and Rob Morrell

Randell Hinds

Kathy and Lanny Vaughan

Clare Hall

Darlene and Milton Rhodes

Larry Cone Patsy Helms Monty Montague Lynn and James Moore Pamela and Donald Roe Bonnie Jo Schell Cheryl and Duane Schipull

Jean and Mark Calkin

Steve V. Naylor Anne Elliott

Jake Nelson

Pamela and Chris Nelson Graham Tyree Olive, Jr

Karen and William Hough Linda and Brad Griffin Judith and Don Gaster Teresa and James Lanier

Jodie Swift-Christian Nancy Christian

TIPS Serves Adults with Autism Serving others is obviously important to members of the Triangle Indian-American Physicians Society (TIPS); they are, after all, in health care. But serving outside of their chosen careers is also important to them. For years, members have volunteered their efforts and expertise at free clinics all around the Triangle and at a yearly free screening. Two years ago, TIPS wanted to give back to the local community in a different way. They worked with friends and local business leaders to research charities and decided the Autism Society of North Carolina had the kind of impact they were seeking. “ASNC has been the leader in helping not only families but adults with autism. Some of the success stories of adults being able to be a functioning part of our society really hits close to home,” a TIPS board statement said. “We as health-care providers are always trying to make a positive impact on patients, and we feel ASNC also is doing the same for people living with autism in our state.” Several TIPS members have loved ones with autism and others frequently work closely with patients with autism as in their health-care practices. In addition, ASNC has supported multiple adults with autism who have gained meaningful employment at one member’s local Raleigh pharmacy.

TIPS has held three events to benefit ASNC in the past two years: two golf tournaments and a gala with live and silent auctions. These events have raised close to $100,000 to benefit ASNC’s Employment Supports department, which enables adults with autism to become contributing members of society and feel a part of the communities in which they live. The events also brought in hundreds of attendees, raising awareness of autism in the community, a success that the TIPS board notes is immeasurable. Kristy White, Chief Development Officer, praised the dedication and time that the members of TIPS put into their events to give adults with autism full and meaningful lives. “I think it is so remarkable what they give on a daily basis through their work, and then to do this for us in their spare time. They spend every moment making a difference in each and every life.” We are grateful for the partnership of TIPS and excited to see its future! The TIPS board stated, “We hope to continue to raise awareness about autism professionally as well as socially in the surrounding communities, and hope to keep hosting these great events to raise the much-needed funds to keep this program running and helping empower adults with autism.” g

30 • The Spectrum, Winter 2016


Call on us

The Autism Society of North Carolina (ASNC) is the leading statewide resource organization serving people across the autism spectrum throughout their lifespans. We understand the challenges of the autism community because we work with individuals on the autism spectrum and their families every day. We offer advocacy, training and education, and direct care. We have a statewide network of resources, connecting individuals with autism and their families to life-changing programs and supports unavailable anywhere else. 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: http://bit.ly/ AutismResourceSpecialists Workshops with our Autism Resource Specialists are quick, easy ways to learn more about topics that concern you, such as IEPs, transitioning, and residential options. Our Clinical trainers provide comprehensive sessions for professionals and caregivers on topics such as preventing challenging behaviors and functional communication. See the complete schedule: http://bit.ly/ASNCWorkshopCalendar Online resources, including IEP toolkits and a Safe in the Community 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. Find one near you: http://bit.ly/ASNCChapters Direct-care services provide children and adults with autism the skills to increase self-sufficiency and participate in the community in a meaningful way. ASNC’s directcare options across the state include skill building in areas such as personal care, communication, socialization, and community integration; family consultation; afterschool programs; respite; adult day programs; and social skills groups for adults and teenagers. Services are provided through the NC Innovations Waiver, state funding, B3, and private pay. Contact us to learn which services are available in your region. Connect with us: Sign up to receive our monthly email newsletters and twice-yearly magazine or follow us on our social media channels. http://bit.ly/ASNCStayInformed

LifeLong Interventions provides comprehensive treatment for Autism Spectrum Disorder across skill domains and the lifespan. This service is rooted in the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and involves intensive teaching, using evidence-based practices to promote appropriate skills and behaviors in the home and community. Clients are accepted at any age, with treatment plans developed based on intake and formal assessments. Training is provided by registered behavior technicians under the direct supervision of psychologists and Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs). ASNC is an in-network provider for many insurers as well as the State Health Plan. We also provide treatment through privatepay arrangements. http://bit.ly/LifeLongInterventions 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. http://bit.ly/ASNCEmploymentSupports 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 The ASNC Bookstore is your one-stop shop for quality autism books and materials selected by our experienced staff. The bookstore employs adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and all proceeds benefit ASNC. www. autismbookstore.com ASNC’s public policy efforts aim to advocate for the needs of individuals with autism and their families by working with policymakers and managed-care organizations. You can get involved and make your voice heard. Subscribe to legislative updates: www.autismsociety-nc.org/policypulse

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

ASNC State Office

800-442-2762 505 Oberlin Road, Suite 230 Raleigh, NC 27605-1345 www.autismsociety-nc.org • 31


Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage

PAID

505 Oberlin Road, Suite 230 Raleigh, NC 27605-1345

Raleigh, NC Permit No. 2169

Spring 2016 Events Cabarrus County Puzzle Run Concord – March 5 Carolina Hurricanes Autism Awareness Night Raleigh – March 26 Catwalk to Camp Raleigh – April 7 Coastal NC Run/Walk for Autism Wilmington – April 23

Camp Royall Classic Golf Tournament Chapel Hill – May 2 Catwalk to Camp Charlotte – May 5 Stand Up for Autism Charlotte – May 13-14 Crystal Coast Run/Walk for Autism Beaufort – May 14

Surry County Walk for Autism Mount Airy – April 23

Zipping for Autism Asheville – June 5

Eastern Run/Walk for Autism Greenville – April 30

Stand Up for Autism Asheville – July 23-24

For more information, please contact Heather Hargrave at 919-865-5057 or hhargrave@autismsociety-nc.org

2016 Annual Conference

Autism Through the Ages March 11-12 • CHARLOTTE

For more information, see pages 4-5.

2016 Winter Spectrum  
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