VOLUME 33, NO. 1 • ISSN 1044-1921 • WINTER 2017
Annual Conference: Building a Better Future Managing Frustration and Anxiety Considering Residential Options
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:
Join Us in “Building a Better Future” at 2017 Conference...... 4 Managing Frustration and Anxiety with Dr. Jed Baker.............6 Collect Data to Support Decision-Making...............................8 Considering Residential Options: Two Moms Share Their Stories..............................................12
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.
Longtime Advocate Maureen Morrell Retires.......................22
ALSO IN THIS ISSUE:
The Spectrum (ISSN 1044-1921) is published in January and August by the Autism Society of North Carolina, Inc. Copyright 2017. 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
Celebrate Acceptance this April............................................23 Run/Walk for Autism: A Day “I Can Just Be Me!”..................24
Message from the CEO............................................................ 3 Direct Services....................................................................... 10 Advocacy & Public Policy.......................................................14 Camp Royall........................................................................... 16
Social Recreation in Eastern NC.............................................17
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 qualified candidates who are passionate about helping individuals on the autism spectrum and their families.
Chapters & Support Groups..................................................18
A variety of part- and full-time positions are available! Please visit www.autismsociety-nc.org/ careers to learn more about current ASNC career opportunities. We appreciate referrals; please help us recruit the best talent by sharing the above link.
Call on Us............................................................................... 31
505 Oberlin Road, Suite 230 • Raleigh, NC 27605-1345 919-743-0204 • 800-442-2762 • Fax: 919-882-8661
Hispanic Affairs...................................................................... 20 Fundraisers & Events............................................................. 25 Donations.............................................................................. 29
ASNC is also supported by:
Message from the CEO
What a whirlwind of a year 2016 was! As one year winds down and 2017 begins, I think about all that has been accomplished but all that remains to be done on behalf of families and individuals on the spectrum. I also consider daily how the Autism Society of North Carolina is better able to serve our families as we plan for the future. In the next couple of years, a large part of our time will be spent working with policymakers at all levels. As outlined in our 2017-18 public policy targets on page 15, our goals are to improve our education system, to create better access to and quality of direct services, and to ensure that the safety and the rights of individuals with autism are recognized. We also plan to improve our web presence in 2017 and beyond. In 2016, ASNC launched an online Resource Directory allowing families to search for services and supports throughout NC. We are currently working on a new website that we hope will be a better resource to our families and the community at large. The education of our community and the public is a huge area of opportunity and need that will be of paramount importance moving forward. This fall, we brought a nationally known speaker, Dr. Jed Baker, to Raleigh for a one-day conference about anxiety; hundreds of parents and professionals attended. Our trainings and educational events across the state are too many to mention, but I encourage you to check our online calendar. Also, our annual conference is right around the corner on March 24-25. This year’s theme is “Building a Better Future,” and we will have an impressive slate of speakers as always. The reshaping of Medicaid will also be a focus for many at ASNC. The Medicaid system at large will be transformed over the next three to five years. ASNC will be actively engaged to ensure that no matter the payor source or process, individuals’ rights and access to treatment will be at the forefront of the minds of the architects of the new system. Additionally and more immediately, we have been actively engaged in stakeholder meetings about the design of the new Innovations waiver and have been in communities across NC educating families who access those services. As we kick off the new year, I 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 2017 as we change lives across the state by helping individuals with autism live life to the fullest.
Board of Directors Executive Committee Chair Elizabeth Phillippi Vice Chair Ruth Hurst, Ph.D. Secretary John Townson Treasurer John Delaloye Immediate Past Chair Sharon Jeffries-Jones
Directors Courtney Cantrell Ray Evernham Mark Gosnell Barbara Haight Monique Justice-Nowlin Joey Nichols Fran Pearson Michael Reichel, M.D. Dale Reynolds Dave Spicer Chris Whitfield Dana Williams Jeff Woodlief
Tracey Sheriff, Chief Executive Officer
www.autismsociety-nc.org • 3
Join Us in “Building a Better Future” at 2017 Conference
Register online today! www.autismsociety-nc.org/conference
We invite you to join nearly 800 parents, self-advocates, and professionals March 24-25 in Charlotte for the Autism Society of North Carolina’s annual educational conference. The 2017 theme, “Building a Better Future,” reflects ASNC’s goal to provide information and strategies that help individuals on the autism spectrum, their families, caregivers, and professionals to make each person’s future as successful as possible. Topics will include current trends in the science of autism, how to implement best practices, sensory issues and strategies that help, anxiety and autism, autism and the family, and interventions that work across the lifespan. Dr. Aleck Myers, ASNC Clinical Services Director and chairman of the planning committee, said, “Everyone on the autism spectrum deserves the best future possible. The 2017 conference offers strategies and information that will help self-advocates, parents and other caregivers, and professionals work together so that each person with autism has the opportunity for a better future.” “We are often asked about issues around anxiety, sensory issues, and what interventions or treatments work best for individuals with autism. Dealing with stress and the impact on a family is another important topic we will address during our breakout sessions. Our keynote presenters are very exciting. Dr. Kara Hume is with the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, and Dr. Alycia Halladay is Chief Science Officer at the Autism Science Foundation. John Donvan and Caren Zucker are journalists and authors who have been covering autism issues with ABC news for decades.” 4 • The Spectrum, Winter 2017
On Friday, March 24, the conference begins with Hume’s presentation on “Implementing Best Practices.” Her research has focused on implementing best practices in schools, etc., and we look forward to her sharing knowledge and tips that we can take back to our communities.
In the afternoon, Halladay will explain areas of emphasis in scientific research on autism and help us understand what the research means for individuals with autism, families, and others. Also Friday, the exhibit hall will be open 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m. with the ASNC Bookstore and information section, as well as more than 30 exhibitors offering a variety of services, products, and information.
Saturday: You Choose Your Workshops
We will again offer two times for concurrent sessions on Saturday, plus two keynote addresses. Saturday attendees will be together for the opening and closing sessions and will choose between concurrent workshops in the middle of the day.
The day begins with a keynote address by Donvan and Zucker: “In a Different Key: The Story of Autism.” This talk will share information gleaned in researching their book of the same title. The authors go back to the first person to be diagnosed in the United States and share how he is doing today. Founding families of the Autism Society of North Carolina and programs in our state are featured in their book. Both Donvan and Zucker have family members on the autism spectrum.
Register Now for Early-Bird Rate!
Past conferences have been sellouts, so we encourage you to register early! The early-bird rate ends February 17. www.autismsociety-nc.org/conference
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
The first group of concurrent workshops are:
Registration includes access to lectures and the exhibit hall, a conference program and handouts, continental breakfast, lunch, and break refreshments.
“Sensory Involvement and Practical Strategies”: Linda King-
Discounted Hotel Rooms & CEUs
Thomas, OTR/L, C/NDT, who is the founder of Developmental Therapy Associates (DTA) in Durham, will provide an overview of common sensory challenges experienced by individuals on the autism spectrum and strategies that can help overcome them. King-Thomas brings a wealth of experience and success to her talk.
“Autism and Anxiety: Strategies that Help”: Holly Moses, MS, BCBA, brings more than 17 years of experience working with individuals with autism to her presentation. Anxiety and its impact on individuals with autism can be debilitating, even leading to depression. This talk will break down some of the causes of anxiety in those with autism and provide practical tips to help parents and professionals reduce anxiety and its impact. After lunch, our second group of concurrent sessions will examine effective interventions and treatments and how autism affects family dynamics.
“LifeLong Interventions Do Work Across the Lifespan”:
More and more, families want to know which treatments work. Dr. Aleck Myers and Whitney Luffman, MA, LPA, BCBA, of ASNC’s clinical team will discuss how to evaluate treatments and research on their effectiveness across the lifespan. This session will provide tips and information for parents of all ages.
“Autism in the Family: Moving Beyond Surviving to Thriving”: Stephanie Holmes, MA, is a licensed counselor in Georgia and a certified autism specialist. Building on her family’s experience after her oldest daughter was diagnosed and her work with families, she will share how your family can maintain strong relationships while supporting your loved one with autism.
The final keynote session will feature Kirk Herbertson, a man with Asperger’s Syndrome, who has achieved success and acceptance through hard work and the support of his family and community. In fact, he is so respected and admired that he was elected to a four-year term on the Lincoln County School Board in November. You will not want to miss Kirk’s story about his accomplishments, his work, and how he is helping to build a better future for students like him in his home county. Saturday’s exhibit hall hours will be 7:30 a.m.-3:45 p.m. g
Conference attendees can reserve a room at the Hilton Charlotte University Place for a significantly discounted rate of $100 per night through the ASNC website by March 2. Rates are discounted for Thursday-Sunday evenings (March 23-26). We will offer Continuing Education Units again this year. At press time, the exact amount of credit hours offered per day and various types of CEUs was not finalized. Visit www.autismsociety-nc.org/conference for updates.
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 Special Care, a division of MassMutual, (formerly the MetLife Center for Special Needs Planning) will return as primary sponsor for the conference. Business owners or organizations that serve the autism community may participate in the conference as sponsors or exhibitors; please contact David Laxton at dlaxton@ autismsociety-nc.org or 919-865-5063 to learn more.
www.autismsociety-nc.org • 5
Managing Frustration & Anxiety with Dr. Jed Baker Dr. Jed Baker, noted autism expert and author, shared some of his expertise with parents and professionals at a November one-day conference in Raleigh. His presentation was titled “Managing Frustration and Anxiety and Teaching Social Skills” and provided strategies for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, anxiety, mood disorders, and learning challenges.
For those who could not attend, we are sharing highlights of the portion of Baker’s presentation on managing frustration and anxiety. You can also learn more with his award-winning books, available in the ASNC Bookstore at www.autismbookstore.com.
Keep Your Cool Baker’s first tip was that caregivers must learn to control their own emotions. “If you can be cool, you can get someone else cool,” he said. Reacting to someone having a meltdown by either giving them what they want or forcing their compliance is not effective, he said. Giving in doesn’t last; it feels good in the moment but has disastrous long-term consequences. Getting angry comes from not feeling respected. Caregivers can use fear and unpredictability to scare individuals into complying, but in the long run, the individuals don’t trust you anymore, they don’t want to be in your home or class, and they will not like you, he said. “90 percent of teaching and parenting is tolerance,” Baker said. Caregivers must tolerate their own discomfort long enough to think about what to do and not give in or get angry. So how do caregivers control their own emotions? Number one, by having hope! Think of challenges as a temporary issue that can be fixed, not a character flaw. Know that things will get better eventually as long as you stick to strategies. Studies have shown that parents who are optimistic stick to strategies and therefore bad behaviors lessen over time.
Two other things to keep in mind when attempting to control your own reactions: Realize that the individual’s behavior is not intended to challenge your authority but is rather a reflection of their lack of coping skills. Also, do not worry about what other people think. Most observers understand that a child having a meltdown in public is not a reflection of your competence, and they do not blame you. You can gain respect by controlling yourself, not the child. Lastly, be sure to take care of yourself and maintain balance in your life. What are you doing to make yourself happy? Baker suggested trying yoga, meditation, and exercise as great ways to reduce your own stress and enable yourself to maintain control of your emotions in the face of meltdowns.
Build a Positive Relationship The first step to managing an individual’s behavior is to build a positive relationship, Baker said. It is very important for children to know that adults around them actually do care about them; show warmth and caring. Ensure that the individuals know what is expected of them by using structure, visual supports, and differentiated instruction. Fair is giving everyone what they need, not teaching everyone at the same level, Baker explained. You can also build confidence through the 80/20 rule. Enable individuals to succeed by starting with tasks or lessons they already grasp, then move on to new or more difficult material for the last 20 percent. If you start with the difficult material, they will feel defeated, Baker said. If you don’t let them make a mistake or fail the first eight times, they will believe they can succeed. And finally, avoid power struggles. For example on homework, allowing breaks or limiting the amount of time they spend on it is not giving in, it is managing the work. You could also try doing the work with them or doing the first problem for them.
6 • The Spectrum, Winter 2017
Manage Crises When an argument, meltdown, or crisis does come up, first be willing to take some time to manage it. Listen to their side of the situation, agree, and apologize when necessary. Show some sympathy; there is always a kernel of truth in why they are acting out. Then collaborate and ask them “what do you want? Let’s find the right way to get that.” If the individual is too distraught to use logic or reason, try to distract them and change their mood or focus with novel items, special interests, or sensory activities. Baker said that when he is working with individuals on the spectrum, he always keeps his pockets full of things he can use to distract them. Distraction is not rewarding the behavior as long as you don’t give them what they were having a tantrum over. If the individual is trying to avoid a task, distraction helps them avoid it, so give them a legitimate way such as taking a short break or breaking the task into pieces. Once the crisis is over, make a plan for next time.
Work on Repeat Behavior Problems If the individual is repeating unwanted behavior, explore why it happens. Observe and keep a journal so that you know what happened before, during, and after the behavior. The difficulty is that causes for the behavior come before the behavior, when you might not be paying attention. But with practice and time, you should be able to discover the trigger for the behavior. Some of the typical triggers Baker listed were: 1. Internal issues - hunger, exhaustion, illness 2. Sensory issues - noise light, touch, overstimulation, boredom 3. Lack of structure - not enough visual supports to give expectations 4. Challenging or new work, feared situations 5. Having to wait, not getting what one wants, disappointments 6. Threats to self-esteem such as losing, mistakes, criticism 7. Unmet wishes for attention - being ignored, wanting others to laugh Once you have data on the trigger(s), you can develop a prevention plan. Baker mentioned his No More Meltdowns app that will help caregivers keep track of behaviors. The app allows you to upload to www.symtrend.com/nmm, which will analyze data and give you a prevention plan. A good behavior plan will change or remove the triggers as much as possible, teach the individual skills to deal with the triggers,
We plan to offer more one-day conferences around the state this year; sign up for our email newsletters to be informed on dates, locations, and topics:
and reward new skills. If the individual is not already frustrated, you can also use a loss system when they do not use new skills to deal with the triggers. For more on how to work on preventing meltdowns because of specific triggers, see our complete article on Baker’s presentation on our blog at http://bit.ly/BakerHighlights. g Jed Baker, Ph.D. is the director of the Social Skills Training Project, an organization serving individuals with autism and social communication problems. He is on the professional advisory board of Autism Today, ASPEN, ANSWER, YAI, the Kelberman Center and several other autism organizations. In addition, Baker writes, lectures, and provides training internationally on the topic of social skills training and managing challenging behaviors; he was the keynote speaker at ASNC’s 2015 annual conference.
Reliable Resource Are you reading ASNC’s blog regularly? Our Autism Resource Specialists, Clinical team, and Legislative Affairs staff contribute in-depth articles aimed at supporting individuals with autism and their families. Some of our most popular recent posts: • • • •
Friends of His Own ’Tis the Season … for Opportunities! ABLE Accounts Coming in Early 2017 To Bully or be Bullied, that is the Question
www.autismsociety-nc.org • 7
Collect Data to Support Decision-Making
By Matt Alcala, MA, LPA, BCBA Thousands of treatments for autism exist. It can be really difficult to tell whether an intervention is worth trying. It can even be difficult to tell whether something is working after it has been implemented. Sometimes a therapeutic intervention will show a positive change in learning right away. Sometimes the changes can happen so gradually it is difficult to notice on a day-to-day level. Some of the interventions can have no impact or even a negative impact. Every intervention needs to be tailored to the individual, and having objective information can help us make better decisions and improve the impact of teaching procedures. An effective way to evaluate a program’s impact on an individual’s learning and behavioral patterns is to take behavioral data.
Set Goals and Define Terms The first step in taking behavioral data is deciding what to monitor. Start with outlining some goals for the individual. Is the goal to be more independent in self-care? To have fewer behavioral challenges in school and at home? To increase communication? To work on safety skills in the community? Choose observable behaviors to track based on the desired outcome. For example, if the goal is to have less disruption at school, it would be helpful to define exactly what is happening in the classroom. If the student is leaving the room, verbally refusing to do work, and having meltdowns, then these could be the behaviors that a team tracks. Behaviors should be defined in directly observable and objective terms so that everyone can take data consistently. The targets of an intervention should be clearly defined at the outset to reduce confusion and speculation. For example, let’s say the goal of a program is to increase communication while decreasing behaviors associated with the frustration caused by a lack of communication skills. Here are some definitions you could use: • Request using Picture Exchange Communication: Locating the photo exchange book, pulling the photo from the choice board, extending the photo of the requested item to the listener and waiting for a response • Tantrum: screaming, flopping on the floor, or stomping feet These response definitions are simple and could be interpreted by most anybody who would need to take data. Consistency across caregivers in understanding the target behaviors is critical.
Good Data Provides Context and Can Point to Potential Solutions There are many forms of data collection. A common type of descriptive data is ‘ABC data’, or antecedent, behavior, and consequence data. It can provide a lot of information about how often the behaviors are happening, while also providing information about the conditions before and after the behavior. Antecedents: What circumstances or actions are occurring before the behavior occurs. Sometimes this is called a trigger. Stick to what you can see! Behavior: What the individual did. Consequence: The response of others to the behaviors. How did it resolve? The context of behaviors is important, and looking at the broader trends can reveal some patterns. Below are some examples of ABC data. Antecedent
Doing independent math work in school
Shoving materials off desk and yelling “I hate math!”
Someone comes over, helps him clean up and provides help with the work
Told to quit playing video games.
Ignores and refuses to turn off the game console
Parents turn off games and the child is upset for 15 minutes.
Parent is busy cooking dinner, child is playing in the living room
Tantrum, screaming, stomping
Parent approaches, consoles, and says “inside voice please”
This data provides some clues as to what might be maintaining the behavioral patterns seen in this child. It can also lead to potential solutions. In the first example, the schoolwork may need to be adapted or the core skills reassessed or the student may need more intensive instruction on the front end with new materials. The student also might need a functional way to ask for assistance, such as a help card or raising his hand, which can be taught with a social story. Being on task with schoolwork could also be met with a lot of praise and appropriate breaks. Sometimes difficult situations will arise again and again. Having difficulty with the transition away from videogames or other highly preferred activities might sound familiar to some parents. Structuring this transition using a written or visual schedule and/ or a timer to indicate when time is up might make this transition go more smoothly by making it predictable. Seeing the patterns in the consequences is also informative. In the final example, it might be that the child is having a tantrum
8 • The Spectrum, Winter 2017
to get attention from his parents when they are busy running the household. It may be beneficial to check in and give attention regularly during tasks like this, work on independent play skills, include the child in the activity or keep them nearby, and/or shift the reactions to the behavior.
more challenging behaviors. In this example, it would be really difficult to know during the beginning of the intervention whether the behaviors were decreasing without more data, and this might lead to giving up on something that could be beneficial in the long term.
These are only intended as examples of how it can be helpful to consider the context of behaviors. Writing down what happened before and after a challenging behavior can help you start thinking through what social and environmental factors might be maintaining some of the behavioral challenges. Referring to the data over a few weeks or months can lead to seeing patterns that are hard to notice day-to-day.
Good Data Shows Changes
Data can also indicate when something is not working well. In the above example, the data show that a medication change did not have the intended impact of helping a child focus in school. Psychiatrists and developmental pediatricians often rely on parent and teacher reports in their decision-making. If everything has been written down, it is much easier to provide them with useful information to aid their decision-making.
Decision-Making This data could be produced by counting the number of times a behavior occurred per week. Data is often collected during a baseline to determine the regularity of a behavior before measuring the impact of any interventions. Weeks 1 and 2 would be the baseline before the intervention in this case. A baseline gives a useful reference point for any potential changes. In this case, the frequency would ideally go down from the baseline. The graph shows that the idea of teaching and only reinforcing communication responses was very successful in replacing the
Free workshops with our Clinical staff Addressing Challenging Behavior 9:30am-12 noon, January 28 99 N. Main St., Marion
Strategies to Promote Social Understanding 9:30am-12 noon, February 4 705 S. Kerr Ave., Wilmington
Collecting good data is a practice in equipping yourself and the professionals in your child’s life, as the decision-makers, with clear and concise information about how things are going. It is easy to get caught up in the day-to-day and miss the subtle changes that are happening. Anyone who has raised a child has probably had the experience of an extended family member coming over for the holidays and being astonished at how tall the child has become. As a parent, you were there every step of the way and so the changes were too gradual to see. Having the information that behavioral data provides can allow you to “zoom out” and see how things are going on a broader scale. Families of people on the spectrum must make a lot of decisions to create the optimal learning environment for their children, and no matter which one is chosen, data can help you figure out how things are going. g ASNC’s Clinical Department staff is composed of PhD and master’slevel licensed psychologists, Board Certified Behavior Analysts, and former special education teachers. We provide individualized intensive consultation using evidence-based practices to support children and adults across the spectrum in home, school, employment, residential and other community-based contexts. We also deliver workshops to professionals and families on a wide range of topics including but not limited to, strategies to prevent and respond to challenging behaviors, best practices in early intervention, functional communication training, and enhancing social understanding in individuals with autism. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-390-7242. www.autismsociety-nc.org • 9
Services Staff Changes Lives Chef Pepper Jack’s Food Drive
When 17-year-old Jack Cullen began to notice people on streets holding signs requesting donations, food, or jobs, he started asking questions. He wanted to understand why they didn’t have food or jobs. He wondered whether they had homes or other belongings. The growing concern that Jack displayed led his Autism Support Professional, Holly, to ask him whether he would like to help people with these kinds of needs. Jack enthusiastically embraced the idea, and together, they began looking for ways that they could serve people whose most basic needs were unmet. After doing their research, Jack and Holly chose to become involved with the local food bank, but it was in an old warehouse that did not have air conditioning, and the noise from the machinery was very loud. This environment presented a variety of sensory challenges that could have prevented Jack, who has Autism Spectrum Disorder, from becoming involved. But instead of allowing those barriers to limit Jack, Holly helped him find a different approach. Instead of doing work inside the food bank, after food was already collected, Jack worked with Holly on a plan for his own food drive. This allowed him to collect and sort the food in a suitable environment, before delivering it to the food bank. Together, Holly and Jack created flyers and collection bins for the food drive. Jack named his endeavor Chef Pepper Jack’s Food Drive, based on his favorite game, Skylanders. Holly coached him on how to talk to family, friends, and community members to solicit donations. He passed out flyers and set up collection bins, and it wasn’t long before donations starting coming in! As his box filled, he sorted the donations, loaded the boxes into the car, and, with Holly’s help, took them to the food bank. Jack also sent handwritten thank-you cards to friends and family who had made donations. So far, Jack has made three trips to the food bank, with his biggest donation weighing in at 120 pounds! Jack’s original goal was to collect 500 pounds, but when asked whether he plans to keep the food drive going, he answered, “Yes! Absolutely!” The Autism Society of NC provides a variety of community-based services that enable individuals with ASD not only to receive the day-today support they need and to gain valuable skills, but also to find and engage in opportunities to become involved in their communities in a meaningful way. Jack’s story is just one example of how ASNC is committed to empowering individuals to connect with others and achieve goals that bring them personal satisfaction and purpose.
ASNC Celebrates Services Staff
Each fall, the Autism Society of North Carolina has the privilege of celebrating the amazing work that our Direct Support Professionals do every day, providing crucial support and opportunities for individuals with autism. We do this in a few ways. During our celebration of Direct Support Professional Recognition Week, our regional services offices found large and small ways to thank these important people for their dedication to the people they serve, ranging from morning donuts and breakfast buffets, to a mini-carnival complete with food, activities, and game booths.
This year, ASNC also was pleased to send one of our staff members who was nominated by her supervisors to a weekend at Great Wolf Lodge to participate in a Direct Support Professional Appreciation event held by the NC Alliance for Direct Support Professionals. The event was sponsored by the Benchmarks alliance. Becky Buchanan of Asheville was selected to attend this event in recognition of her exemplary dedication to and work with those she supports. Buchanan and her family were treated to nationally recognized speakers, waterpark fun, and a great opportunity to network with other Direct Support Professionals. Finally, this marks the 10th year that we honored one Direct Support Professional with the John and Claudia Roman Direct Service Award for outstanding commitment to individuals with autism and their families. The Roman Award, a cash award of $1,000, was endowed by Lori and Gregg Ireland to honor Christine Roman, the professional who worked with their son, Vinnie. It was named for her parents, John and Claudia Roman. We congratulate Jennifer Dixon of Raleigh for being named this year’s Roman Award recipient. Dixon was nominated by the Coleman family for exhibiting dedication that “goes beyond the expectations of her role every single day” throughout the past 2½ years of supporting their daughter. 10 • The Spectrum, Winter 2017
New Associate Director of Services
We are thrilled to introduce Greta Byrd as ASNC’s new Associate Director of Services. Byrd has served for the past two years as the Regional Services Director in the Asheville area. During that time, she has demonstrated exceptional leadership by expanding and strengthening services in the western region of the state, enhancing our relationships with external partners, building new community connections, and forging a strong team of professionals who are committed to excellence in service delivery. Byrd’s career, spanning more than 20 years, has been entirely dedicated to serving individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and empowering them to pursue fulfilling lives. Her wealth of experience includes various positions in the delivery and administration of I/DD services in both provider and LME/MCO settings. Byrd’s passion for removing barriers for individuals with autism is clearly evident to all who know her. In her new role, Byrd will employ her extensive knowledge and infectious desire to improve lives to lend support to our services across the state. The focus of this role will be to work closely with the Director of Services to provide additional support to regional services staff. This will include activities such as departmental planning, educational initiatives, monitoring of progress, and ongoing evaluation and efforts to enhance quality and customer satisfaction. We are confident that placing Byrd in this role will foster many positive outcomes for those we serve in the years to come. While Byrd’s position will entail travel to all service regions throughout NC, her primary office will remain in Asheville.
Titles Changed to Autism Support Professionals
Each week, more than 800 of our valued employees provide more than 10,000 hours of direct support to approximately 700 individuals from the mountains to the coast of North Carolina. These staff are our most visible team members and their quality, dedicated work is integral in the overall mission of the Autism Society of NC. For more than 15 years, ASNC has referred to our direct-support staff as “Community Skills Instructors” or “General or Residential Instructors” (in our licensed programs). However, along with many aspects of our organization, the role of the “instructor” has evolved over the years in scope, purpose, and importance. To acknowledge this, we believed that a title change was due. The new title, “Autism Support Professionals,” was chosen to highlight the autism-focused work these employees do on a daily basis, as well as to recognize the professionalism we expect of our direct staff workforce. We believe that this title better reflects the important and skilled role that our direct-care staff play in the lives of individuals with autism and the high value we place upon them! 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: • Autism Support Professionals • Vocational Support Professionals • Autism Services Coordinators • Social Recreation Counselors • Behavior Technicians Join ASNC to create meaningful lives for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder. To see openings we have now, visit
Considering Residential Options: Two Moms Share Their Stories
Two of our Autism Resource Specialists shared their experiences in choosing residential options for their children. Wanda Curley’s son, Ryan, is 24 years old and Judy Smithmyer’s daughter Adele is 34. They both live in homes for individuals with autism.
When did you each start planning for your child’s move from your home?
WC: My husband and I knew early on that Ryan was going to need substantial supports to live as independent and productive a life as possible. We also recognized the sad reality that we would not be here forever. We know that his sister, who is 21 now, will more than likely play a huge role in providing support for and in advocating for Ryan once we are gone, but as his parents, we wanted to set things in place while we were still able to do so. Our original plan to start searching for residential options once Ryan became a young adult was put into motion earlier than we anticipated when he went into crisis during his mid-teens. JS: My husband and I knew from fairly early on that Adele would require care her entire life. Because of the severity of her differences, we were brought to this decision sooner than we would have liked. We started researching options in our county through our managed-care organization (MCO). Adele was about 13 when I first started researching group homes and filling out applications.
What were your concerns? What feelings did you experience? WC: I think my biggest concern at first was that Ryan would not be nearly as happy going into a residential setting as he had been at home with us. But my husband and I have come to realize that it would be good for Ryan to have some of the same independence that all young adults experience. It was hard to “let go” so to speak, but seeing him thrive in a residential setting the past few years has given me confidence that many other people do love and care about him and will stand alongside him to help him have the best life possible. JS: Our concerns were very much for Adele’s safety and well-being. But as her mother, I was more disappointed in myself that I felt I couldn’t “do it all” for her anymore. I had to come to the realization that I would be a better mother to her if I accepted help from others 12 • The Spectrum, Winter 2017
in areas that I wasn’t able to control and deal with, such as her behavioral issues. Adele also had a younger sister, and this was taking a toll on her. Once I got over the “control issue” and saw that I could still be very involved in the decision-making for Adele and see her whenever we wanted to, it became easier to deal with.
What types of residences did you consider and how did you research them? WC: We looked at almost all of the appropriate options recommended to us, from intermediate care facilities (ICFs) to alternative family living (AFL) to homes for developmentally disabled individuals with 24/7 supervision. We wanted to envision Ryan in every option so that we could know we had made the best decision. We also went online to research group homes and we took as many tours as we could. As we connected with different agencies, we asked for references and spoke with families. We made a very specific list of questions to ask and compiled lists of the “pros” and “cons” of each option. Although our son was unable to share his living preferences, our biggest desire was to choose a setting that we felt he would choose. JS: Because we had a case manager at the time, we were able to get information on types of facilities available. My husband and I also visited different group home settings (children’s homes, adult DDA homes and ICF-IDD homes). We even met with an AFL provider and let Adele spend an afternoon with a proposed family. Also, even though Adele was a teen at the time, I applied to adult ICF-IDD settings and spoke with their directors to give me an idea of how those were run and what I could expect.
How did you prepare your children for their new living situations? WC: I would advise families to take their child to visit their new home at least once. In our case, the staff from Ryan’s new setting met with him to get to know him, spoke with us as needed, and got advice from the professionals who worked with him. We made a social story book that included pictures of his new home and described it in great detail. We also made sure that the social story included that we would visit frequently and that he could talk to us on the phone whenever he wanted. PREPARATION is key! Ryan transitioned to his current setting at age 18. It went extremely well for him, and because of that, it went well for us.
JS: Adele is deaf and nonverbal, but she has a pretty large list of sight words that she knows. So with the help of her case manager and a few others, we developed a social story to let her know where she was going, that she would have a housemate, and most importantly, that she would see us very often and could come home on weekends. She was two months shy of 16 and didn’t move schools or change her teacher, and that consistency helped a great deal. Once she realized that we were still going to be a part of her life, she transitioned very well.
Can you give us any tips on funding? WC: I advise families to start their research early. Make sure to contact your local managed-care organizations to let them know you are searching and to see what options are available now and in the future. Various streams of funding are available, from SSI to Innovations waiver and/or Medicaid to private funding such as special-needs trusts. JS: I often tell parents that funding is the biggest issue we deal with when looking at residential options. This is why it is imperative that parents get their children on the Innovations waiver wait list early, through their MCO. However, look at SSI, SSDI, HUD housing, and low-income housing if your adult can live semi-independently or with minimal supports. Sometimes you need to be creative.
Do you have any final pieces of advice for families? WC: My biggest advice to families is to think of the residential process in much the way that they have been thinking about their child’s educational process. IDEA ensures that individuals are guaranteed the right of a free appropriate public education
Learn from home Our Autism Resource Specialists offer webinar versions of their educational workshops. 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
To learn more, see our Residential Options toolkit at www.autismsociety-nc.org/ toolkits
in their least restrictive environment. In choosing residential options, we need to allow our children as much independence as possible, based on their needs and desires. Parents can foster this independence by teaching them daily living skills. Finally, remember that even though your child may no longer live with you, you can continue to support and help make decisions for and with them and be their parent as you have always been. It has given me great hope for Ryan’s future to see how well he has done living apart from us, and I can rest easy knowing that he has a “village” of support that will support him and cheer him along in his journey. JS: PLAN EARLY! I can’t stress this enough. Because Adele can’t speak for herself, we needed to be her voice, but we also took into consideration what types of environments she would like. Adele is now living in a rural farm setting where the demands are low, which is how she functions best. She enjoys being outside in the sun, swimming, walking around the farm, and feeding the cats! Her life is good; she is happy to come home to us, but happy to go back to where she lives now. The other piece of advice for parents is to “follow your gut instincts.” If something doesn’t feel right, say something. Ask questions, be assertive but not difficult to work with. My husband and I are so glad that Adele has this opportunity to live in an environment where she is accepted, respected and taken care of, even as she learns to do more for herself and enjoy life apart from us. g
www.autismsociety-nc.org/workshops www.autismsociety-nc.org • 13
Public Policy Advocacy: Your Efforts Count
By Jennifer Maham, Director of Government Relations
The Autism Society of North Carolina has dedicated its time and resources to advocating individually for families and people on the spectrum one-on-one across the state, but we know that individual support through our Resource Specialists is not enough alone to push for the changes we need in our world. We must take our collective voices to the North Carolina General Assembly and to Congress and our federal government to push for our rights, for equal access, for services and supports to live full lives in our communities. Advocacy has brought our community the things we now take as givens: access to special education in schools, Medicaid services for people with disabilities in their homes and communities, gains in insurance coverage, education options, the expansion of community services, and new programs such as the ABLE Act to save for the future. These policy initiatives have been hard-fought – one letter, one call, one visit at a time. ASNC works continuously to represent the needs of people and families through our public policy advocacy but it is YOUR voices that remain with elected officials when we leave their offices. Your voices describe the triumphs and challenges, the incredible strides as well as the lack of help – all the realities of life with autism. Advocacy is not always easy, but the important things take time and effort. So many gaps in services and supports still exist: 12,000 people on waiting lists for community waivers and other services, a lack of special-education services in schools, educators who need to better understand autism, and people without health care or supports waiting in emergency care for community support. Our public policy agenda for the next two years reflects the needs for a fair and equitable system. 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. 2017 marks the start of the long legislative session, which will run from mid-January through June, as well as the start of a new federal administration and congressional session. NC General Assembly legislators will introduce new bills as well as a two-year state budget. We urge everyone in the autism advocacy community to begin working with your legislators now, as they will be determining their priorities very quickly. Let’s make sure our priories are theirs. ASNC, and everyone we represent, need your help more than ever: 1. I dentify the people who represent you in Washington DC and in the NC General Assembly and brush up on civics lessons. The US Congress will have tremendous influence on health care, funding, and services for people with disabilities including Medicaid and Medicare. Your NC General Assembly members will decide on funding for special education, services offered for people with developmental disabilities and mental health needs, and how our services system will be managed. Most elected officials know little about autism; YOU can teach them. ASNC has an Advocacy 101 Toolkit at www.autismsocietync.org/advocacy101. It includes tips, examples, and a brief overview of how government works. The NC General Assembly website at www.ncleg.net can tell you who represents you at the state level as well as in the US Congress. 2. M ake a commitment to calling and writing your elected officials about autism. Sharing our stories with those in public office is one of the most powerful ways to educate them on the need for supports for people with autism and their families. The start of the new legislative session and the new administration following an election is a good time to introduce yourself and let your elected officials know who you are. Review our tips for advocating with your legislator at www.autismsociety-nc. org/advocacy101. 14 • The Spectrum, Winter 2017
3. L earn more about public policy that affects people with autism and stay informed about current issues. ASNC has created a periodic e-update focused on public policy and advocacy to keep you aware of what is happening across the state that may affect you or your family; sign up at www.autismsociety-nc.org/ policypulse. We encourage you to stay informed by also visiting the ASNC website at www.autismsociety-nc.org/stayinformed to sign up for other email newsletters and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter. Visit the ASNC blog regularly at https:// autismsocietyofnc.wordpress.com/ for the latest in issues affecting people with autism and their families.
ASNC Public Policy Targets What follows are our state public policy targets for 2017-2019. ASNC’s two-year policy targets match up with the two-year legislative and budget cycle. ASNC seeks input on policy targets from community members, studies the legislative outlook, and decides which issues it will work on to create policy changes. ASNC will be working with local chapters and community partners to keep you informed on these issues and provide opportunities to advocate with your elected and appointed officials.
1. N orth Carolina ensures a high quality continuum of services and supports for individuals on the autism spectrum and their families across the lifespan, with a focus on community settings and ensuring that people with Autism Spectrum Disorder achieve a good quality of life. This includes access to developmentally appropriate services, supports and interventions, health care, employment supports, and longterm care. o E nsure that the services system is accessible and better serves individual needs of people with autism through eliminating Innovations community-based waiver waiting lists, funding autism services under Medicaid EPSDT requirements, increasing state-funded I/DD services for people without health-care coverage, and increasing community-based I/DD crisis services for youth and adults. o E nsure that adults across the autism spectrum have access to the training, services, and supports needed to be prepared for employment. 2. T he education system is accessible to and better serves people with autism and other developmental disabilities. Students have options that suit the unique needs of people with Autism Spectrum Disorder. o I ncrease per-student funding for special education and allocate special-education funding to address individual education needs. o Increase autism-related training and professional development for teachers and other school staff. o E nsure that employment is an outcome of education services by improving IEPs and transition plans as well as access to vocational training, job experience, and post-secondary opportunities that meet individuals’ goals and aspirations.
3. N orth Carolina develops policies and invests in services to ensure quality life outcomes for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other developmental disabilities. Our public and private health-care system supports people in community settings, operates in a transparent fashion, is outcomesfocused, provides integrated access to physical health care and prevention, recognizes the unique needs of people on the autism spectrum, and includes self-advocates and families in the decision-making process. o Encourage innovative service delivery, professional education, and funding that will improve the geographic distribution and quality of services across the state. This includes adequate funding for a well-trained and stable direct-care workforce. o E nsure that the needs of people with autism are met in Medicaid as NC implements managed-care options. o F ocus the services system on person-centered outcomes. 4. O ur system of justice and individual rights recognizes the needs of individuals with autism and their families to ensure that people are safe, treated equitably, and able to exercise their personal freedoms. oC reate access to autism-related training (similar to that for law enforcement) for judges, magistrates, court systems, county departments of social services, and others involved in determinations of guardianship, child protection, individual and parental rights, and other legal issues. g Need help finding your elected officials? Have questions about public policy or advocating? Contact Jennifer Mahan, Director of Government Relations at ASNC, at 919-865-5068 or by email at email@example.com.
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. 1130 firstname.lastname@example.org | www.autismbookstore.com /AutismBookstore
Register Now for Summer Camp!
We are excited to be accepting applications for the Summer Overnight Camp lottery from January 11 through February 28! Day Camp registration at Camp Royall is first come, first served and opens March 1. Campers can sign up for multiple weeks of Day Camp. You can register and find all the latest information about our Summer Camp program, including the dates and rates for 2017, at www.camproyall.org. If you need assistance with registration or have any questions, please contact us at 919-542-1033 or email@example.com.
Year-Round Programs Our year-round programs at Camp Royall continue to grow; it is always exciting for us to welcome campers every day. In 2016, we served more than 1,600 individuals and their families at Camp Royall.
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. Teen Tuesday: Our group for teens, ages 13-20 with high-functioning autism or Asperger’s Syndrome, brings them together to work on life skills in an interactive group setting. The group meets on the second Tuesday of each month.
We enjoyed our first-ever week of Spring Camp in 2016, as well as our second annual week of Fall Camp and our eighth annual week of Winter Camp. Our Mini Camp Weekends and Adult Retreats continue to be really popular throughout the year. We also started a Teen Tuesday group this year, inviting teens to come and learn life skills together each month. We encourage you to check out all of the happenings throughout the year. Better yet, print a copy of our 2017 flyer found at www. autismsociety-nc.org/campprograms, so you won’t miss anything in 2017! 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. Four weekend retreats and one week-long retreat are offered in 2017. Afterschool Program: Every afternoon during the school year, participants 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 2017
Week-Long Camps: Overnight camps are offered during the spring, fall, and winter breaks from school, providing fun and structured activities for campers, and a week of respite for families.
Help Send Kids to Camp The Autism Society of North Carolina has been offering camp programs for more than 40 years for individuals with autism of all ages. Camp Royall is the oldest and largest camp exclusively for individuals with autism in the United States. We work year round to raise money to give campers who are unable to afford camp the opportunity to learn new skills, have fun, and make friends. Each year, the demand for scholarships exceeds the funds we have available. We hope you will consider giving to provide life-changing experiences for campers with autism. Please contact Kristy White, Chief Development Officer, at kwhite@autismsociety-nc. org or 919-865-5086 if you are interested in donating to camp, learning about named scholarships, or helping with fundraising. We look forward to working with you to help campers across North Carolina. Thank you! g
This summer, we were excited to offer day camps in four Eastern NC locations for the first time. Campers ages 4-22 enjoyed swimming, arts and crafts, gym time, and all of the typical camp activities in Greenville, Wilmington, Carteret County, and Brunswick County. “It’s great,” said one camper. “At this camp, we have pool time every day. I usually have my own goggles for underwater. They’re orange.”
Just like at Camp Royall, many campers made friends for the first time. “We want them to feel love for who they are,” said Sara Gage, Social Recreation Services Director. “We like to provide an environment that understands them and gives them the opportunity to flourish just as they are.” The camps are part of an array of Social Recreation programs made possible by funding from Trillium Health Resources. This initiative will support children and adults with autism through programs in underserved areas of the state, helping them to improve their social and communication skills, peer networks, and physical wellbeing. Summer Day Camp served 87 campers from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays this summer with a counselor-to-camper ratio of 1:1 or 1:2 based on self-help and behavioral needs.
“My son is so grateful for this opportunity. He has made many new friends and has created many wonderful memories.” Elaina Wingfield said her 6-year-old son, Marshall, had not been able to attend other camps. “He was the kid the other kids didn’t really want to play with or that the staff treated differently, even if they weren’t trying to.” But at the Greenville camp, “He’s just Marshall. He’s really great, Minecraft-loving, teddy beartoting Marshall,” she said. “This is the first place he’s ever been that he wants to come back every day.” “It has truly been a blessing to our family,” said another camper’s mom. “My son is so grateful for this opportunity. He has made many new friends and has created many wonderful memories.”
The Afterschool Programs opened this fall at our Eastern NC centers and currently serve about 75 individuals with autism, providing much-needed support for working families. The programs run from 2:30 to 6:30 each school day, with transportation from schools. Children take part in enriching and engaging activities in an environment that is designed to meet their needs.
Upcoming Programs Adult Social Groups: This January, we are starting some social groups and social skills learning for adults on the spectrum at our centers. Registration for these programs will be ongoing. Summer Camp: Registration will open at https:// srp.campbrainregistration.com in March for the Greenville, Wilmington, Carteret County, and Brunswick County locations. Want to help? If you would like to volunteer or donate items at one of the locations, please contact us. g For more information, please go online to www.autismsociety-nc. org/socialrecreation or contact the director for your area: Greenville: SRP_Greenville@autismsociety-nc.org Wilmington: SRP_Wilmington@autismsociety-nc.org Brunswick: SRP_Brunswick@autismsociety-nc.org Carteret County: SRP_Carteret@autismsociety-nc.org
www.autismsociety-nc.org • 17
Chapters Just Wanna Have Fun
Fall 2016 got off to a busy start for our 50+ Chapters and Support Groups across North Carolina. Our ASNC statewide calendar has been chock full of Chapter meetings and events these past few months – all designed to give families a place to share information and experiences, to learn practical solutions to everyday problems, and to feel welcomed, accepted, and understood. Of course, the Chapters are never all-work-and-no play and do plenty to create fun for families. Particularly during months that include holidays and festivities, Chapters make it possible for families to enjoy social gatherings and outings safely and without judgment or added stress. Here are just a few ways that our Chapters had fun this fall!
Iredell County Chapter’s Bowling Outing In early November, Iredell County Chapter families took a break from their usual educational gatherings to enjoy an afternoon of fun at their local bowling alley. Word is they had a ball!
Johnston County Chapter’s Halloween Party A night of spooky fun happened in Clayton recently when the Johnston County Chapter hosted its first annual Halloween party. Kids were invited to come dressed in costume and enjoyed playing games, making crafts, viewing “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” and feasting on popcorn and drinks throughout the night. Jeff Holland, treasurer for the group, said “It was the best event we have had in several years!”
Mecklenburg County Chapter’s Trunk or Treat A scary good time was had by all at the Mecklenburg County Chapter’s second annual Trunk or Treat, featuring a pumpkin patch visit, fall games, pumpkin decorating, and lots of candy for treat buckets.
Guilford County Chapter’s Wings for Autism In late October, Guilford County Chapter families took to the air for some combined fun and learning. Close to 200 people attended Wings for Autism at PIT airport featuring “rehearsals” specially designed for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other intellectual/ developmental disabilities. Sponsored by The ARC of the U.S. and Delta Airlines, along with several organizations including the Guilford County Chapter, the event provides families a fun and realistic opportunity to practice entering the airport, obtaining boarding passes, going through security, and boarding a plane. Airport, airline, Transportation Security Administration professionals, and other personnel also have the opportunity to observe, interact, and deliver their services in a structured learning environment. 18 • The Spectrum, Winter 2017
Surry County Chapter’s Fall Festival More than 60 people turned out for the Surry County Chapter’s fabulous Fall Festival on October 27. Fall and fun were definitely in the air as families enjoyed pumpkin decorating, a cake walk, corn hole, and games including “go fishing.”
Campus Chapters’ Halloween Events In the spirit of fun, several of our ASNC Campus Chapters held or were involved in October Halloween activities. Our Campus Chapters consist of talented, caring, and passionate student volunteers who work closely with local ASNC staff to make a difference in the lives of individuals with autism and their families. In addition to doing service projects, Campus Chapter members plan recreational events, provide respite, mentor to college students with ASD, raise funds for ASNC programs, and spread autism awareness.
Craven County Chapter’s Skate Party Our Craven County Chapter mixed up a brew full of fun at its third annual Halloween Skate Party on October 22 at Rollerland in New Bern. The event featured a sensory-friendly skate, pizza, and glow necklaces.
Crystal Coast Chapter’s Friends & Fun Every kid deserves a special birthday with good friends, which is the whole idea behind our Crystal Coast Chapter’s Friends & Fun event. Held the second Saturday of each month, the party event recognizes birthdays in the group for that particular month and features everything from friends and games to gifts and snacks!
Orange/Chatham County Chapter Activities On October 22, Laura Speer from the Natural Science Museum in Raleigh gave a presentation with live animals for the Chapter at the Chapel Hill Public Library. Orange/Chatham families also gathered at Defy Gravity’s Durham location in late September for the second annual event featuring lots of trampoline jumping fun!
Davidson County Chapter at Trunk or Treat In late October, some 800 kids and parents turned out for a sweet Halloween Trunk or Treat event at Stoner-Thomas School in Lexington. The Davidson County Chapter participated, handing out 100 treat bags in the first 20 minutes and more than 400 pieces of candy after that! g For information on how you can become involved with one of our Chapters around the state, please visit www.autismsociety-nc.org/chapters. No chapter in your area? ASNC works with local families to start new groups. Contact Marty Kellogg at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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. Preste atención a estos próximos talleres: • Entendiendo el Autismo de Alto Funcionamiento: Greensboro y Fayetteville • Como Ayudar a Niños con Autismo: Asheville y Greenville • Autismo y Capacitación en la Sexualidad: Raleigh, Durham, y Charlotte Para ver el programa completo y registrarse online, por favor vaya al www.autismsociety-nc.org/workshops.
Grupos de Apoyo Hispano 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 continuacion uno de los eventos en los cuales los Grupos de Apoyo han participado recientemente: Taller de Autismo de Alto Funcionamiento: Esta sesión de entrenamiento en las ciudades de Raleigh y Charlotte educaron a los padres y profesionales sobre estrategias a implementar en el hogar y en la escuela. Le agradecemos a las estaciones locales de radio y televisión Hispana, a los diarios y sitios web, por ayudarnos a promover estos y otros talleres y eventos a lo largo y ancho del estado.
Eventos Carrera/Caminata por el Autismo: Muchas familias y profesionales participaron en la Carrera/Caminata por el Autismo en Greensboro el 24 de septiembre. Miembros de los Grupos Hispanos de Apoyo de los condados de Wake, Durham, Vance y Johnston también tenian planeado participar en la Carrera/Caminata Triangle por el Autismo el 8 de octubre, pero se canceló debido al huracán. Un agradecimiento especial al canal de TV Hispano Univisión 40 por promover el evento. Eventos de concientización del Autismo: Lideres de los Grupos Hispanos de Apoyo participaron en varios eventos de concientización para educar a la comunidad Hispana sobre el autismo y los servicios provistos por la Sociedad de Autismo de Carolina del Norte (Autism Society of North Carolina – ASNC).
20 • The Spectrum, Winter 2017
Tú también te puedes involucrar: Conferencia Anual del ASNC: Cada año, padres Hispanos de todo el estado asisten a la conferencia anual del ASNC. La conferencia de este año, “Construyendo un Futuro Mejor,” se llevará a cabo el 24 y 25 de marzo en Charlotte. Los temas incluirán implementar mejores prácticas en la escuela y en la comunidad, asuntos sensoriales y estrategias prácticas que ayudan, el autismo y la ansiedad, y más. Habrá disponible traducción al español. Regístrese en www.autismsociety-nc.org/conference. 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. g Para mayor información o ayuda en español, por favor contáctese con Mariela Maldonado, Enlace de los Asuntos Hispanos, a 919865-5066 ó email@example.com.
Grupos de Apoyo: 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
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 y Clara Amante, 704-299-4694
Durham: Reunión el primer miércoles de cada mes, 9:30-11 a.m., en El Centro Hispano, 2000 Chapel Hill Road, Suite 26A, Durham. Coordinadoras Voluntarias: Juana Garcia, 919-687-7692; Mayra Tapia, 919-450-6543; y Karen Diaz 919-641-3718
Pitt: Reunión el tercer viernes de cada mes, 5-6:30 p.m. en Saint Gabriel Catholic Church, 3250 Dickinson Ave., Greenville. Coordinadora Voluntaria: Mary Cordova, 252-288-1668 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Guilford: Reuniones en la oficina regional del ASNC, 9 Oak Branch Drive, Greensboro. Coordinadora Voluntaria: Monica Giffuni, email@example.com
Vance: Reunión el último viernes de cada mes, 7-8:30 p.m. en Church of the Holy Innocents 210 S. Chestnut St., Henderson. Coordinadora Voluntaria: Beatriz Solano, 252-378-4491
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 Wilkinson, 919-763-6203, y Lourdes Pavon, 919-915-1232
Wake: Reunión el primer viernes de cada mes, 6-8 p.m., en El Centro Para Familias Hispanas, 2013 Raleigh Blvd., Raleigh. Coordinadoras Voluntarias: Guadalupe Ortega, 919-247-5760; Becy Velazquez, 919-802-0621; y Bernardita Cortez, 919-235-5431
Longtime Advocate Morrell Retires
With a combination of heavy hearts and much gratitude for her lifetime of work, we bid farewell to Maureen Morrell as she retires as State Chapter Director. Morrell leaves an amazing legacy with the Autism Society of North Carolina, having served on the leadership team, as a Board member, as a chapter leader, and as a volunteer. In 2015, she was awarded ASNC’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Tracey Sheriff, CEO of ASNC, said, “Maureen has been a trusted advisor, a mentor, my moral compass, and a champion above everyone else. She has dedicated her life to serving others.” Over three decades of involvement with ASNC, Morrell helped start the Triangle Run/Walk for Autism, advocated at the legislature and across the state for services in communities and schools, supported our 50+ Chapters and their hundreds of volunteers in their support of families, and connected ASNC to community organizations, increasing the value and visibility of the organization. Jennifer Mahan, Director of Advocacy and Public Policy, said, “Maureen is well-known (or is it notorious?) for her ability to talk people into supporting the vision she has for people with autism and their families: ASNC volunteers, Chapter leaders, Board members and many staff can trace their connection to ASNC to that moment when Maureen said, ‘Have you ever thought about...’ or ‘Could you help me out with...’” Terri Meyers, Regional Chapter Director and Autism Resource Specialist, said, “Maureen has been my champion for 25 years. We have served together on various boards, committees, volunteer opportunities, and so much more. We are colleagues and friends. Maureen has been a voice of reason, a trusted confidant, a ‘remember-when,’ and a friend to all of the individuals and communities she has served.” Morrell, who began her working life as a nurse, was motivated to advocate for individuals with developmental disabilities after the
birth of the first of her three sons. Justin, now 38, has autism and lives and works in a residential farm community. Morrell said she was honored to provide a parent’s viewpoint to the work of ASNC. “The organization was founded by parents who were my mentors, and it’s always been a valued voice. I’ve been glad to have the opportunity to look at our strategic plans and add a parent perspective.” As a parent, she saw firsthand the importance of connecting families to one another through the Chapters and many of those experiences found their way into the book she co-authored on autism, Parenting Across the Autism Spectrum, the Autism Society of America’s Outstanding Literary Work of the Year in 2007. “There’s nothing I like better than having the opportunity to go to different parts of the state, meet with parents who are trying to help their own children and yet also have the generous spirit to organize and help all the families in their community. It is so inspiring,” Morrell said. Morrell looks forward to spending more time traveling and enjoying her family, including her new granddaughter. We wish her the best as she begins her next chapter! 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 easy-to-use, accessible toolkits to guide you through challenging times. All of the free toolkits can be read online or downloaded and printed.
22 • The Spectrum, Winter 2017
Celebrate Acceptance with Us in April Join us this spring as we again focus on acceptance and inclusion, not just awareness, for National Autism Awareness Month. 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.
#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!
A 2 #foA r Autism
Order Your Gear Now
WHY FIT IN when you were born to 2A #foA r Autism Moving
reness to from awa
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#forAA 2A utism
Aut ism Societ a y of North Carolin
Autism is not a choice.Acceptance is.
Wear your support with one of our T-shirts at www. autismbookstore.com or put a magnet on your vehicle 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.
Celebrate on April 2 You are invited to our fifth annual 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. The event is free, but please register online to help us plan: https://waaad2017.eventbrite.com.
Resources Online Check out our online materials at www.autismsociety-nc.org/acceptance that you can use to raise awareness and increase acceptance in your schools and community organizations. The resources include videos, informational items, ideas for crafts and fundraisers, and book recommendations for all ages from the ASNC Bookstore. These are all free and available on our website year-round, so you can prepare. We hope you will find these helpful as we join together to move our communities from Awareness “2” Acceptance! g www.autismsociety-nc.org • 23
Run/Walk for Autism: A Day “I Can Just Be Me!”
Two years ago at the 2014 Triangle Run/Walk for Autism, 7-yearold Abigail was in tears after crossing the finish line. She told her worried mother that she was sad because she didn’t win the race. Abigail’s parents explained to her that finishing first was not their goal.
The little girl with autism took the lesson to heart before the 2015 race. “She surprised me last year when we crossed the finish and she exclaimed how happy she was,” said her mother, Emily Hamilton. “She said that we are winners in this race because we can make people’s lives better.” The Hamilton family has indeed been making people’s lives better, raising more than $2,500 in the Autism Society of North Carolina’s biggest fundraiser of the year with their team, Piece, Love and Abigail. (The team’s name is a play on the puzzle piece that often represents autism, but they also have fun by sporting tie-dye and other hippie-themed attire, Emily said.) But to the Hamiltons, the Triangle Run/Walk for Autism is much more than a fundraiser. “It gives us a chance to be with so many others on the spectrum,” Emily said. “It is a whole day where you know there will be no judgment, just understanding. It gives all of us a chance to see representation of the entire spectrum and socialize with families just like us. “Abigail says it is a day ‘I can just be me!’”
“It is a whole day where you know there will be no judgment, just understanding. It gives all of us a chance to see representation of the entire spectrum and socialize with families just like us.”
Unfortunately, Abigail has not always had that opportunity. Her parents noticed she was different from other kids her age when she was as young as 1 and wasn’t meeting developmental milestones, but their pediatrician advised them that she would catch up. By the time Abigail was 3, the gap was widening between her and her day-care classmates. She behaved aggressively and was sensitive to sounds, lights, and other sensations. “She was socially withdrawn and was struggling in almost every task asked of her,” Emily said. “Her behavior seemed to be reflecting all of the inner turmoil she was dealing with. We were at a loss.” When she was 4, Abigail was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, and auditory processing disorder at UNC Hospital. Emily said their family and friends were surprised by the diagnoses. “Many people said things such as ‘But she’s a girl, they don’t have autism.’ Others said, ‘But she looks so normal.’” 24 • The Spectrum, Winter 2017
Emily said this lack of understanding is another reason the family supports the Autism Society of North Carolina. This year, the family from Creedmoor started fundraising for their team early as part of Autism Awareness Month in April, and they made bracelets, lanyards, watchbands, and other items to reward those who donated. Abigail has enjoyed helping to make the bracelets, practicing her fine-motor skills, and interacting with donors, practicing her social skills. “So in a way, although we are helping the efforts of ASNC, the fundraising activities have actually helped her,” Emily said. “We have also found this to be a super way for us to have some mother-daughter time, which is so special to me!” Abigail is now 9 and is much more successful in school. She has received speech and occupational therapy for the past three years, and her mother has relied on resources from the Autism Society of North Carolina. “I found that the information provided by ASNC was very helpful in teaching myself and others about autism and was crucial in helping Abigail at school,” Emily said. “The IEP and services information proved to be invaluable as she progressed in school. We were able to utilize many of the tools and recommendations to formulate a plan that worked at school as well as home.”
Abigail has also benefited from her service dog, a French Briard that was trained by a local group, Ry-Con Service Dogs. “Prior to getting Samson, Abby suffered from some pretty severe social anxiety. She was unable to go into public places such as restaurants and grocery stores due to sensory overload and anxiety,” Emily said. “Since Samson came along, that has all but subsided. She loves introducing Samson to people that she meets, and he keeps her calm even in the most stressful of situations.” The Hamiltons had planned to bring Samson to this year’s Triangle Run/Walk for Autism, which unfortunately was canceled because of the hurricane. But they will be back next year, and Abigail will proudly lead her team of family and friends through downtown Raleigh, making sure to spread her message. “I’m just like everybody else, but at the same time I like being different!” g
Fundraisers & Events Run/Walk for Autism Events
We would like to thank everyone who ran, walked, donated, or volunteered to make our fall Run/Walk for Autism events a success! The Run/Walks provide a day for us all to come together, celebrate our loved ones with autism, and teach our communities about acceptance. Relive those wonderful memories with our photo albums on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/autismsocietync/.
WNC Run/Walk for Autism
Start Your Teams Now for the 2017 Run/Walks
More than 300 people and 20 teams joined us for the 11th annual WNC Run/Walk for Autism on Sept. 11 at UNC-Asheville. They raised more than $38,000 to support services in the WNC region. Team Marlowe once again was our top fundraising team, with a total of $3,065; Team Austin came in second with $1,900 raised.
We hope you will join us this year for one of our Run/Walk for Autism events in Asheville, Beaufort, Concord, Greensboro, Greenville, Mount Airy, Raleigh, or Wilmington. You can create a team now and start encouraging friends and family to join you or donate to support your efforts. Go to www.runwalkforautism. com to find the event near you.
“I feel proud of joining the Run/Walk,” said Jesse Trimbach, who has autism and lives on his own with support from ASNC. “It’s important to help raise money for people on the spectrum, so they can receive more services and benefits.”
Greensboro Run/Walk for Autism The 8th annual Greensboro Run/Walk for Autism on Sept. 24 raised more than $46,000 for individuals and families affected by autism. More than 400 participants and 45 teams ran, walked, and raised awareness. The top fundraising team was Gavin’s Gang, with $4,000, and the Guilford College Men’s Lacrosse team raised $3,875. Jenny Beale, mom to Gavin for whom Gavin’s Gang is named, said the family feels fortunate that he is doing so well and wants to help other families who might not know about resources that are available from ASNC. “I just know that there are so many people that aren’t as lucky as we are. It feels good to do something.”
Triangle Run/Walk for Autism The 18th annual Triangle Run/Walk for Autism ended up being a little different than we had planned. As in years past, families and supporters worked hard to build their teams by encouraging friends and family to join them or donate to support their efforts. But with heavy hearts, we had to cancel our Oct. 8 event because of Hurricane Matthew. Everyone found a way to celebrate anyway with team luncheons, parties, and cookouts. ASNC also held a celebration at Marbles Kids Museum in October, featuring facepainting, dancing to a DJ’s tunes, arts and crafts, and superheroes. The Triangle Run/Walk for Autism raised more than $230,000 with more than 2,600 participants and 188 teams. Walking with Grace once again had our largest team and raised more than $7,000, and Walking with Nolan raised almost $14,000! Team Aneris won the T-shirt contest.
Help Us Plan Upcoming Run/Walks Our families, friends, supporters, committees, and volunteers work very hard year-round to make these events successful. We need new committee members to help them continue to grow. For more information, email Shelley Jarman at sjarman@ autismsociety-nc.org or call 919-865-5051. All of the proceeds from our fundraisers stay in our state to help North Carolinians affected by autism. Your contribution makes a difference. 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
PARTNER Asheville Compounding Pharmacy • Auto Value Parts Stores • Bayada Habilitation • Carolina Rehabilitation & Surgical Associates Crider Racing • Culligan of WNC • Earth Fare • Fairway Outdoor • Henco Reprographics • Mission Children’s Hospital Mountain Xpress • Piedmont Local • Ross Photography • Senn Dunn Insurance • SPARK UNC • Sumus Development Group The Pediatric Express • Top End Realty • Triangle Securities Wealth Management • VF Corporation • Wake Living Wake Orthodontics & Pediatric Dentistry • Walmart • Wild Wing Cafe • Yes! Weekly
ADVOCATE Asbury Associates, LLC • Asheville Pediatric Associates • Biscuitville • Capital City Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. Carolina Pediatrics of the Triad, PA • Carolina Restoration Services • Chick-fil-A • David Allen Company Fleet Feet Sports Greensboro • Getaways 4 U • Greensboro Jaycees • Massage Envy • Pediatric Possibilities • Pepsi P.O.W.E.R. of Play Foundation • Raleigh Neurology Associates • Riccobene & Associates • Spyglass Promotions The Hop Ice Cream Café • The Joint...The Chiropractic Place • WithersRavenel, Inc. • Triangle Spine Center
FRIENDS Alpha Custom Exteriors, LLC • Dr. Zachary Feldman • Great Beginnings Pediatric Dentistry • Lionheart Academy of the Triad PorterHouse Bar & Grill • Raleigh Pediatric Dentistry • Randal M. Benefield, DDS, PA • ReCycles Bike Shop The Art Shop • Triad Family Dental • Triad Moms on Main • UNC-Asheville Education Department United Credit Bureau • York Properties
26 • The Spectrum, Winter 2017
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: Abbotts Creek Elementary School
Erwin Elementary School
Rock Corps 4x4
Alpha Sigma of Chi Psi’s Golf Tournament
Flour Power Kids Cooking Studios
RTP Maharashtra Mandal Youth Wing 5K
American Asset Corporation
Forest City Owls Autism Awareness Night
Saint Ann Catholic School
Ammons Chiropractic, P.C.
Garner Farms, Inc.
Saint Matthew Catholic School
Ashe Medics LP
Green Circle NC
Southern School of Energy
Books for Good
Iredell County DSS’s 365 Days of Giving
Stand Up for Autism
Brixx Wood Fired Pizza
Iron Order Motorcycle Club - Cary Chapter Poker Run
Strikeout for Autism - Sydney Ramey
Burlington Royals Autism Awareness Night
Jake Ruggles Racing
Student Occupational Therapy Association
Burning Coal Theatre Company
Taylor Morrison Homes
Capital Ford’s Jeans Day fundraiser
Kendra Scott Design
Tuna Run 200
Linville Falls Winery
Champs for Camp Fundraiser
UNCG National Student Speech Language Hearing Association’s Yogathon
Chipping in for Autism Golf Tournament Austin Ludwig
Mills Park Middle School
Wakefield High School Wells Fargo Bank
Chuy’s of Raleigh
OneHope Foundation’s Wine Tasting Event
Wicked Weed Brewing, LLC
Coddle Creek Elementary School
Peebles 30 Days of Giving
Wine and Win Fundraiser - Emily Kovac
D.H. Conley High School’s softball fundraiser
Wines for Humanity
DECO Raleigh, LLC
Piney Green Volunteer Fire Department
Yoga & Wellness of High Point
Raleigh Off Road Club
Dunn-Benson Ford Durham Bulls Autism Awareness Night
Randolph Hospital Patient Support Council
www.autismsociety-nc.org • 27
AmeriCarna LIVE Car Show
More than 5,000 people enjoyed the fourth annual AmeriCarna LIVE car show in Davidson in November with host Ray Evernham, legendary NASCAR championship crew chief and team owner. They came to see nearly 600 cars from celebrities – including NASCAR drivers Jeff Gordon, Ryan Newman, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Joey Logano – and proud collectors. The show and a gala the night before raised more than $125,000 to benefit IGNITE, a program operated by ASNC for young adults with highfunctioning autism or Asperger’s Syndrome. Two generous sponsors, MSC Industrial Supply Co. and Autogeek.com, each donated $15,000 during the car show. IGNITE offers activities, skills training, and educational workshops that foster social, financial, educational, and employment independence for members. More importantly, IGNITE offers a social environment where members can connect with others and experience a sense of community. Evernham, who has a son on the spectrum, said he hopes AmeriCarna LIVE will continue to grow. “This is an incredible place of love and unselfishness every year,” he said. g
Chipping in for Autism
UNC sophomore Austin Ludwig is determined to spread understanding for people with autism. His little brother Mason, who is 10 and lives in Holly Springs, was diagnosed when he was 2 years old and is nonverbal. “He is my motivation for a lot of things I do,” Austin said. “He’s an incredible kid, super happy all the time.” As part of his mission, Austin has held golf tournaments in the Triangle the past two years, raising almost $10,000. Last year, the business administration major and some of his Sigma Chi fraternity brothers tapped into their connections to recruit corporate sponsors and more than 50 golfers. At the event, the Autism Research Registry provided information, and artist DJ Svoboda spoke about his struggles, encouraging attendees to be empathetic to those who are different. “He had grown men in tears,” Austin said. In addition to supporting the work of ASNC, Austin donated some of his proceeds to his brother’s school, Lincoln Heights Elementary, to launch a peer program. Eventually, he would like to create a broader education initiative to expose young children to autism. “Anybody who works with kids with autism will definitely get something out of it,” he said. “A lot of people just really don’t have experience with it. Different is not a bad thing.” Austin is now planning his third annual tournament to be held in May. For more information on participating, becoming a sponsor, or volunteering, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. g
28 • The Spectrum, Winter 2017
“Anybody who works with kids with autism will definitely get something out of it.”
The Autism Society of North Carolina would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all of our donors. While we appreciate every gift, we have limited the donation list to Honorarium/Memorial gifts in the interest of space and printing costs. Thank you for your tremendous support. This list reflects donations received on or between July 1, 2016, and November 30, 2016. Please contact Beverly Gill if you have any questions or corrections at 800-442-2762, ext. 1105, or email@example.com.
Honorariums Andrew Allen
Clarissa and John Allen
ASNC Development Department Maureen and Rob Morrell
Womble, Carlyle, Sandridge & Rice
Elaine and Tony Muniz
Linda and Buford Stancil
Gene Darrell “Tres” Crump III
Heather and Steve Moore Kathleen Duval and Marty Smith
Ingrid and Neal Conley
Lisa and David Kaylie Mark Sobieraj
The Howrigon Family Kari Alberque
Mary Nell Fletcher
Mary and Harry Walker
Lindsay and Jim Bedford Mary Reynolds
River Bend Ladies Golf Association Pauline and Lawrence Humphrey
Catherine and Michael Clark
Tanya Carter-Reichle Pamela Dilavore
Penny and Harrison Gaskins Pamela Dilavore Ila Killian
Cheryl and Bruce Allen
Valeta and William Dyal
Kerry and Marcus Briones
Derek Strong Carol Famulary and Sherry Elliott Barbara Gragg Barbara Baker and John Rex Diana Trivette
Mildred McDonald Donovant Laura Boyce Candace Finley Joyce Griffith
Georgia Overton Earnhardt Patty and Rex Allred Karen and David Blinkhorn Brenda and Sheral Daniels Donald DeLaPorte Brenda Hodges Mr. and Mrs. George Johnson Andrea and Osborne Stewart
Harry and Mary Emmel
Michael Batten Selby
Elizabeth Jewel Weaver
Marie Covil Horne
Mary Bell Moore
Pamela and Anthony Haryn Bobby Hilgoe Elizabeth Traini
Lynn and Robert Carter Midway Elementary School Frances and Richard Warner Elaine Coonrod Patricia Marszalek Montwood Baptist Church Alan Mankowski Dee Ann Hilliard Lucille Conlin Sylvia and Paul Mitchell Mimi Martin
Wanda and Jeff Curley
Valeta and William Dyal Valeta and William Dyal Letha and Roy Selby Julietta Apple
Valeta and William Dyal Triangle Luncheon Civitan Deborah Jackson Leslie and Mary Weaver Sheena Green
Roberta Allred Sarah and Mark Wilkinson Pilot Club of Monroe Patricia and Marshall Thompson Terri and John Mainey
Cynthia Lofaro Judith and Myron Miller Maureen and Rob Morrell John Morrison Judy and Steven Smithmyer Kim and Mark Tizzard
John Michael Ess
Timothy Foley Mary and Lyle Hathaway Michael Salim
Suzanne and Claus Stang
Kristina Delossantos and Daniel Fertel
Robert Charles “Bob” Hogan Margaret and Harold Manning Carole and Fred Sindel Mary and Guy Sparger North Carolina Division of Mitigation Services Joyce Griffith Joyce Langdon Maureen and Rob Morrell Shirley Nilles Jean Williams Patricia Yelvington
Christopher Patrick Joyner John Hackney Agency, Inc.
www.autismsociety-nc.org • 29
Bernard Harry “Bernie” Kellogg Ellen and David Boone John Morrison Ronnie Nickel Elizabeth Noble Cheryl Whipple
Irene Ann Bond Sheriff
Maureen and Rob Morrell
Tommy Ray Troutman
Alice and Glenn Reynolds Beverly and Leon Reynolds
Lucille and Richard Floyd
John J. McGovern Brenda Mille
American Airlines Group Linda and Buford Stancil
Robin Angel Laurie Cohen Kathleen Lovett
Kevin L. Underwood
White Oak Church of God Kelly and Rene’ Kreie
Otis Lee Narron
Arlene and Donald Markowitz Diane Sherman
Harold Cooley Walker
Darrel Hartsell Hilda Williams and Kenneth Land Joseph and Candace Roberts
Linda and Rance Winkler
Mary Agnes Wolff White Kirk Brown Kimberly Callaway Jean Hanna Sally and Jack Harrison Daria Holcomb Nancy Sturges Barbara White
Dan Wilkinson Ellen Takatori
Mary Jane Wilson
Carolina Meadows’ Activities Department Durham Bulls Baseball Club, Inc. Jeannette Gallucci Leanne Jones David and Dessie Laxton Carol and David Lewis Judith Plaice Jean Wallace
Vicki and Barney Ramsey
Find the help you need with our online
Search online for resources that are most often requested by families. ASNC continues to add and update listings. Easy to use! Search by: • Category of service • Keyword • Name of provider agency or program Creation of the Resource Directory was supported in part by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Autism Spectrum Disorder State Implementation Grant from the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Medical Homes for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Initiative of the North Carolina Council on Developmental Disabilities.
Call on us!
The Autism Society of North Carolina improves the lives of individuals with autism, supports families affected by autism, and educates communities. Autism Resource Specialists connect families to resources and provide training to help you become your child’s best advocate. As parents of children with autism themselves, they understand your concerns. Find yours: www.autismsociety-nc.org/resourcespecialists Workshops 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 schedule: www.autismsociety-nc.org/workshops Online resources, such as 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: www.autismsociety-nc.org/chapters 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. www.autismsociety-nc.org/offices Behavior consultations with our licensed psychologists or analysts can help explain why behaviors are occurring, develop comprehensive behavior plans, and coach caregivers on effective strategies. www.autismsociety-nc.org/Clinical Employment Supports helps individuals with autism explore their skills and interests, then assists them in finding, keeping, and thriving in a job. Services are funded through the state Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. www.autismsociety-nc.org/employmentsupports
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 private-pay arrangements. www.autismsociety-nc.org/LifeLongInterventions Social Recreation helps individuals with autism improve their social and communication skills, peer networks, and physical well-being. Camp Royall, near Pittsboro, is the nation’s oldest and largest camp for individuals with autism and serves all ages with year-round programming. www.camproyall.org In Greenville, Wilmington, Carteret County, and Brunswick County, social recreation programs include summer day camp, afterschool programs, recreational respite, and adult programs, with support from Trillium Health Resources. www.autismsociety-nc.org/socialrecreation 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 Connect with us: Sign up to receive our monthly email newsletters and twice-yearly magazine or follow us on our social media channels. www.autismsociety-nc.org/stayinformed
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
Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage
505 Oberlin Road, Suite 230 Raleigh, NC 27605-1345
Raleigh, NC Permit No. 2169
Spring 2017 Events Carolina Hurricanes Autism Awareness Night Raleigh - March 3 World Autism Awareness & Acceptance Day Camp Royall - April 2 Catwalk to Camp Raleigh - April 6 Cabarrus Run/Walk for Autism Concord - April 8 Coastal NC Run/Walk for Autism Wilmington - April 29 Eastern Run/Walk for Autism Greenville - April 29 Surry County Walk for Autism Mount Airy - April 29
Camp Royall Classic Golf Tournament Chapel Hill - May 1 Stand Up for Autism paddleboard event Charlotte - May 5-6 Crystal Coast Run/Walk for Autism Beaufort - May 13 Catwalk to Camp Charlotte - May 18 Zipping for Autism Asheville - June 4 Stand Up for Autism paddleboard event Asheville - TBA For more information, please contact Heather Hargrave at 919-865-5057 or firstname.lastname@example.org
2017 Annual Conference
Building a Better Future
March 24-25 â€˘ CHARLOTTE
For more information, see pages 4-5.