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APRIL 2019


also inside:

Our first-ever disAbility Resources Guide

Veronica Brown is loving life as a

U! GM t o i r t Pa


Gleanings from the Bible

Ruth 2:2

Judicial Redemption & Organic Salvation Salvation is customarily defined as deliverance from eternal punishment for sins. Christians understand that this salvation is obtained by faith in Christ and His redemptive death. Although this definition is clearly supported by the Bible, the Scriptures also reveal that judicial redemption is only the first of two aspects of God’s complete salvation and is, in fact, a remedial procedure to restore man to a position in which he can experience the primary purpose of God’s complete salvation—a salvation in life, or, an organic salvation. Judicial redemption was accomplished by Christ in His earthly ministry, as recorded mainly in the four Gospels, and organic salvation is accomplished by Christ as the Spirit in His heavenly ministry, as recorded primarily in the Acts and the Epistles. Nevertheless, these two crucial aspects of God’s complete salvation both are revealed throughout the New Testament. God created man in His image, gave him dominion, and positioned him so that he could choose to partake of God as life, thereby revealing His purpose for man—that man would receive Him in order to express Him and represent Him on the earth (Gen. 1:26; 2:9). However, due to Adam’s fall, sin entered into man and caused man to become spiritually dead (Eph. 2:1), rebellious enemies of God (Col. 1:21), and under sin’s reign (Rom. 6:12). In order to save man from the fall, Jesus Christ, the sinless God-man, was not only crucified as the Lamb of God to take away our sinful deeds (John 1:29), and as the brass serpent to deal with our sinful nature (3:14), but also as a grain of wheat to release the divine life (12:24). Accordingly, when Jesus died on the cross, the Roman soldier pierced His side and out came blood and water (19:34). Blood is for judicial redemption, to deal with sins (1:29; Heb. 9:22), whereas water is for organic salvation by imparting life, to deal with death (12:24; 3:14-15). The Lord’s death, on the negative side, accomplished a judicial redemption to take away our sins, and on the positive side, initiated an organic salvation by imparting life into us. To prove this point, the apostle Paul writes in Romans 5:18, “As it was through one offense unto condemnation to all men, so also it was through one righteous act unto justification of life to all men.” Life is the goal of God’s salvation; thus, justification is “of life.” Justification is not an end in itself; it is for life. Through justification we have come up to the standard of God’s righteousness and correspond with it, so that now He has the righteous standing to impart His life into us. Justification changes our outward position; life changes our inward disposition. Justification unto life indicates that the organic union of life is an issue of justification. Thus, salvation has two aspects: the redemptive aspect and the life-imparting aspect. The redemptive aspect is for the life-imparting aspect and the two aspects together comprise God’s complete salvation. Furthermore, the apostle Paul writes in Romans 5:1-2, “Having been justified out of faith, we have peace toward God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand.” He continues in verse 10, “If we, being enemies, were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more we will be saved in His life, having been reconciled.” Here we can see that judicial redemption includes such items as justification and reconciliation, as well as, propitiation (1 John 2:2) and positional sanctification (Heb. 13:12). To be redeemed is to be purchased back by the precious blood of Christ from under the condemnation of God’s righteous law, to be justified is to satisfy the standard of God’s righteous requirements in Christ, to be reconciled is for enemies (us and God) to resolve their conflict and to make peace, to be propitiated is to meet the demand of God’s righteousness and glory by the blood of Jesus and be brought into a place of oneness with God, and to be positionally sanctified is to have a change in our position out from the satanic world and unto God. All of these steps restore us to a legal or judicial position to be able to righteously receive

God’s life. In summary, the judicial aspect of God’s salvation is according to His righteousness (Rom. 1:17a; 3:21-26; 9:30-31), is accomplished by the death of Christ (5:10), and is for sinners to be forgiven before God (4:7; Luke 24:47), washed (Heb. 1:3), justified (Rom. 3:24-25), reconciled to God (5:10-11), and sanctified unto God positionally (1 Cor. 1:2; Heb. 13:12), thereby entering into the grace of God for the accomplishment of the purpose of God’s organic salvation. Therefore, according to Paul, judicial redemption is the basis for a “much more” salvation which is an organic salvation to be saved in His life. To be saved in Christ’s life is to be saved in Christ Himself as life. He dwells in us, and we are organically one with Him. By the growth of His life in us, we will enjoy His full salvation to the uttermost—saving our entire being (spirit, soul, and body) by life. This organic salvation begins with the regeneration of our spirit (Titus 3:5) making or spirit life itself (Rom. 8:6, 10), and continues with dispositional sanctification as the holding line (1 Thes. 5:23; Rom. 6:19, 22; 15:16) to not only change or position before God but to sanctify our inner disposition by partaking of God’s divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). This “much more” salvation is based on the renewing of our mind with the new element of God’s life (Rom. 12:2) thereby giving life to our mind (Rom 6:8) that we may have the mind of Christ (Phil. 2:5). Based on the renewing of the mind, life transforms our soul into the same image of Christ and from glory to glory by beholding and reflecting the Spirit of the Lord (Rom. 12:2; 2 Cor. 3:18), thereby conforming us to the image of the Firstborn Son of God (Rom. 8:29). The final stage of God’s organic salvation is glorification (v. 30), the step in God’s complete salvation in which He will completely saturate us with the glory of His life and nature. In this way He gives life to and will ultimately transfigure even our mortal body (Rom 8:11), conforming it to the resurrected, glorious body of His Son (Phil. 3:21). This is to be saved to the uttermost (c.f. Rom. 5:10; Heb. 7:25)! While being reconciled to God through Christ’s death is an accomplished matter, being saved in His life from so many negative things unto glorification is a daily, continuous matter spanning the entire Christian life. Through this wonderful organic process, we will eventually reach glorification. It is the ultimate step in God’s complete salvation, wherein God obtains a full expression, which will ultimately be manifested in the New Jerusalem in the coming age. The Lord Jesus told the righteous Jewish leader Nicodemus that he needed to be born of water and the Spirit (3:5). Here water signifies baptism for repentance, by which the negative things of the old creation are terminated (judicial redemption), and the Spirit signifies the germination of people as the new creation with the life of God (organic salvation). In order to receive judicial redemption, we need pray with a repenting heart, confessing Jesus as Lord with our mouth, and believing that God has raised Him from the dead (Rom. 10:9). We also need to be baptized (Mark 16:16). To enjoy organic salvation, we need to behold and reflect Him each day (2 Cor. 3:18), love God with our whole heart (Rom. 8:28), drink the milk of His word (1 Pet. 2:2), always rejoice (1 Thes. 5:16), unceasingly pray (v. 17), and in everything give thanks (v. 18) that we may grow unto God’s complete salvation! “Gleanings from the Bible” is a series of articles contributed by a local Christian home meeting group that loves the Lord Jesus, believes that the Bible is God’s Word, and cares for the oneness of the Body of Christ. For more information please visit our website at www.fromhouse2house.org or email us at info@fromhouse2house.org. This article is based on the Holy Bible Recovery Version and other publications of Living Stream Ministry.




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o you love someone with autism? I do. My 27-year-old son, Casey, has high functioning autism and it’s because of him that I’m passionate about helping individuals with autism and the families who love them get the supports they need to lead full lives. Of course, part of getting that support is knowing where to turn, and that’s where this special issue comes in. Smack in the middle of the magazine you’ll find our first-ever disAbility Resources Guide. Created by both the Arc of Greater Prince William and the Arc of North Central Virginia, this incredible tool bursts with information on advocacy organizations, community supports, recreation options, transition services, and more. How I wish I’d had such a guide when my son was growing up! Beyond the Guide you’ll find profiles of families whose strength and determination to care for their kids will touch your heart, interviews with special needs students who are redefining what it means to be a college coed, a look at the healing power pets can bring to an autistic individual’s life, and a clear and concise explanation of Virginia’s waiver system. Many thanks to Lucy Beadnell at the Arc of Northern Virginia for her assistance with that feature. My deepest thanks to Marilyn McCombe, Executive Director of the Arc of North Central Virginia, and Karen Smith, Executive Director of the Arc of Greater Prince William for undertaking the mammoth task of creating the Guide, to all those who contributed to this issue including Frannie Barnes, Christine Craddock, Robin Earl, Pam Kamphuis, and Kara Thorpe, to all those who shared their stories with us, and to the advertisers that grace these pages. Thanks also to Dennis Brack and Bruce Potter for their support. And last, but never least, to my son, Casey, for giving me my purpose. I love you.

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ON THE WEB www.PiedmontLifestyle.com Facebook: @PiedmontLifestylePublications Email Newsletter: Sign up at www.PiedmontLifestyle.com The Haymarket Lifestyle Magazine is published monthly and distributed to over 11,500 selected addresses. While reasonable care is taken with all material submitted to The Haymarket Lifestyle Magazine, the publisher cannot accept responsibility for loss or damage to any such material. Opinions expressed in articles are strictly those of the authors. While ensuring that all published information is accurate, the publisher cannot be held responsible for any mistakes or omissions. Reproduction in whole or part of any of the text, illustration or photograph is strictly forbidden. ©2019 Rappahannock Media LLC.


{ APRIL 2019 |




P.S. How packed is the disAbility Resources Guide? So packed we couldn’t fit it all here. But don’t worry, the entire thing is available online at PiedmontLifestyle.com. Simply click on “More.”


contents 06


Through Their Eyes:

Can a Dog Enhance the Life of a Special Needs Child?

Stories of local families facing autism with hope and strength

12 Think College is Unattainable? This professor wants you to know it’s not BY ROBIN EARL

14 College Success Stories BY ROBIN EARL

The answer is a definite “maybe.” BY KAREN PEAK

32 Health & Fitness; Feeding the Heart Diets and our cardiovascular health




18 Navigating the Virginia Waiver System

Business HGBA Member Meet & Greet Deborah L. Trnka, Edward Jones

Q&A with Lucy Beadnell, The Arc of Northern Virginia



Don’t let April’s wine fool you!

The Arc of Greater Prince William


Doing it all for the developmentally disabled one person at a time



38 News from InsideNova




ON THE COVER: Veronica Brown photographed by Robin Earl exclusively for Haymarket Lifestyle Magazine.

The Lifestyle magazines are sister publications of Northern Virginia’s Leading News Source, INSIDENOVA.COM TWITTER.COM/INSIDENOVA FACEBOOK.COM/INSIDENOVA

VISIT US today for the latest news, sports and features from Fauquier, Prince William, Arlington, Fairfax, Stafford and throughout the region.

{ APRIL 2019 |

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special needs awareness & resources issue

Through Their Eyes

Stories of local families facing autism with hope and strength

Zachary Dewhurst taught himself to play the piano at the age of three.


“My heart hurts for them,” Dezira Dewhurst says of families whose children have been recently diagnosed with autism. When her son Zachary was diagnosed at age three, the Bristow mom says her initial reaction was complete devastation. The feeling lasted a day before she sprang into action. She started searching for a therapy that would be best for Zachary and discovered Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA). It was when she saw how her son responded to it that changed everything and gave her the sense that “it’s going to be ok.” Dewhurst went back to school to learn how to provide ABA therapy, and for the last


{ APRIL 2019 |


17 years has been helping other families find their way through this difficult diagnosis. Research states that less than ten percent of autistic children go on to live independently. But there are so many ways this statistic can be altered. “Early intervention is key,” Dewhurst says. In some counties, like Prince William, autistic children are provided services two days a week initially, and then more frequently as they get older. This, though, is the opposite of what the research says they need, she explains.


Thanks to his mother’s love and advocacy, today Zachary is a master at completing puzzles, and his room is decorated with framed 1000-piece Disney Pixar puzzles he finished in two days. He’s also an electronics and tech whiz with a wonderful affinity for music; he taught himself to play the piano at the age of three. “He will listen to and play anything from Jesus Loves Me to Enter Sandman,” Dewhurst said. “He likes to record himself playing the piano and singing his favorite songs

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One Mother’s Advice Dewhurst offers the following suggestions for parents of children who have been recently diagnosed: Find an Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) provider. Leap Ahead, a practice in Manassas where Dewhurst has worked since 2003, explains that ABA, the most widely used intervention to treat children with autism, focuses on treating behavioral difficulties and producing significant social improvement. Learn the laws of Individualized Education Programs in your state. In order to be your child’s best advocate, you must become versed in this language. Find a support group – in person and online. Chances are that if you have a specific question, another autism parent has experienced it and can provide advice. Discover your child’s strength and build on it. Most of these kids are underestimated, says Dewhurst, and ultimately, they need to learn a job. Ask the school to include classes that will benefit your child. Finding your child’s strengths and interests early could lead to something wonderful. Surround yourself with people who “get it,” people who love you and your child unconditionally.


{ APRIL 2019 |

and then watches himself over and over.” In addition to these activities, Zachary really enjoys playing for the Brentsville District High School Unified Basketball Team. When asked where she sees Zachary in the future, Dewhurst says “I see him with me for the rest of his life.” Her hope is that what she

and her family are doing for Zachary now will someday enable him to do something outside their home for a few hours a day. “If you’re lucky enough to meet my son,” Dewhurst says, “you’ll know he likes you if he says, ‘Show me your happy face,’ ‘Whistle for me,’ and ‘Take off your glasses I want to see your eyes.’”


When Haymarket mom Kathy Gill noticed something “off” with her then nine-month-old son Brandon, she immediately had him tested for development delays. Nonverbal for the first two years of his life and diagnosed officially with autism when he was five, Gill believes the key to her son’s progress was early intervention via the special education Pre-K setting at Tyler Elementary. Now a fifth grader, Gill says Brandon’s IEP “has helped tremendously in regard to academics.” As with many individuals with autism, Brandon has difficulty with social interactions and completing simple tasks. But he also has a great sense of humor, dances in class, and, says his mom, “is a huge blessing to our family. He makes us laugh and keeps us on our toes but most of all, he’s a truly brilliant kid with a bright future ahead of him.” While I was talking with his mom, I got to meet Brandon. I thought you’d enjoy meeting him, too. Lifestyle: Brandon, what would you like others to know about autism? Brandon: Autism is tricky because I get triggered easily. When I am really hungry, I get hangry. I wish other kids would learn more about autism, maybe they would be nicer to me. L: What are your dreams for the future? B: I want to be an author and a famous YouTuber. I want to do 24-hour YouTube challenges and unlock my creative mind. L: What is your day-to day life like? B: I have a tough time completing work at school. I know the answers, but it is a challenge getting them from my brain down to the paper. I try to do my best, but



I wish other kids “ would learn more about autism ” it doesn’t always go so well. I get bullied a lot and I do not have any friends. L: Where do you see yourself in five to ten years? B: I am working on a book series that I will have published one day. It is a series about a group of survivors living through the zombie apocalypse. When I’m 18 I would like to change my name to Henry Boris Singleton and publish my books under that name. L: Why Henry Boris Singleton? B: I want to change my name to Henry because it is not a popular name and it matches me. I like it because it is different, and I am different. L: What is your favorite subject? B: Reading because it helps me think of more ideas for writing my own books.

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“Step out of your comfort zone” BY HANNAH SAMLALL PHOTOS BY DOUG GRAHAM

“I see myself as differently abled, not disabled.” This is just one of the many sentiments Joanna Hughes shared with me on a cold and snowy Thursday in January, as we chatted in her cozy apartment in Warrenton. Childhood was difficult for Joanna, particularly since she wasn’t diagnosed with autism until she was in high school. “It took me a while to accept who I am,” she said. “It was a long, hard road. Being in public school was hard, too. I was bullied a lot.” Along with bullying came other day-to-day challenges. “A kid without autism can walk into a grocery store and it doesn’t bother them,” Joanna said. “For a person with autism, it hurts them. The lights, the people, the noises. I used to have meltdowns in stores because of that.” Fast-forward nine years since being diagnosed at age 16, Joanna has been working at Harris Teeter now for two years. “It’s a bit ironic,” she said. “I’m working at a grocery store where I used to have public meltdowns.” One of the recurring themes that came up over and over during our time together, was


{ APRIL 2019 |



how important it is for people with autism to have a support system. Lucky for Joanna, she has always been surrounded by people who care for her deeply. “They were just there when I was at my lowest,” Joanna said. “They were a shoulder to lean on and someone to listen. Even one kind person can make a huge difference in someone’s life.” She went on to list the people in her life who have supported her – her family and her friends at school, among others. “Some people with autism don’t have that support. It makes me sad. We need the help.” She hasn’t always had the mentality that autism isn’t a disability, though. “It helps to have a person on the spectrum talking to you about it. A really good friend of mine helped me see the light in it,” Joanna said. “Discussing things with him really helped. I try to do the same thing for others now.” Of all the supports and resources we talked about, the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services was at the top of the list. “I’ve been with them for years,” Joanna said. “They’ve helped me a lot.” DARS was able to set Joanna up with a group that assisted her throughout the application and interview process for her current job. “They also come with you to your job until they think you’re ready,” Joanna said. Other resources Joanna recommends are Facebook groups, specifically for those with autism. “It really helps to have people to talk to that relate to your experience.” Other support resources we discussed were things like anti-bullying groups, specifically outside of the school system. “I know special education tried their best, though.”

It’s a bit “ironic, I’m

working at a grocery store where I used to have public meltdowns.

It would be remiss of me not to share Joanna’s passion for music. “You know, people with autism have their one obsession,” Joanna said. “Mine is singing. It’s a huge passion of mine.” She shared how much singing and music has helped her throughout her life. Growing up in the church choir, she went on to become the lead singer. In high school, her chorus teacher pushed her to go after what she wanted, which resulted in her singing “For Good” from the musical Wicked at her high school graduation. One day, her dream role is to play Elphaba. “I can relate to her,” Joanna said. “I was an outcast, I think different, and I feel different.” When I asked Joanna if there was one thing she wanted people to take away from this article she said, “I want people with autism to know you’re not alone. There are people that understand the struggle you’re going through. We’re all going out of our comfort zone to do our own thing in the world,” she said. “I’m going out of my comfort zone every day and you can, too.” ❖





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{ APRIL 2019 |







special needs awareness & resources issue

Think college is unattainable? This professor wants you to know it’s not BY ROBIN EARL


amon Selove, 54, was glad to provide input for an article about college-age students with autism. “During Autism Awareness Month, all of the articles are about young kids. The thing about autism is, we grow up.” Selove, who is autistic, has been an associate professor of anatomy and physiology at the Middletown campus of Lord Fairfax Community College for 30 years. He said he takes issue with the infantilization of people with autism; research on autism, for instance, mostly

focuses on children. “Parents tell me that I’m the first adult they’ve ever met with autism.” He said that people seem to think autism fades in adulthood. That kind of thinking, he said, “negates the struggle. It takes a lot of work to be social when you are autistic – and to maintain it. It’s a lot of effort, and it can be exhausting.” THE SENSORY BREAK ROOM

Selove recognized that sometimes students with autism need a safe place to escape from sensory overload. He pushed for years for such a room. Finally, in 2018, the Sensory Break Room was established on the Middletown campus. When Selove meets a student he thinks might benefit from the room, he gives them a card with the room number and the security code. The Sensory Break Room features a rocking chair and a beanbag chair, weighted blankets and a dimmer on the light switch. The professor demonstrated, “I like to put the weighted blanket over my shoulders. Feeling the weight is comforting. And rocking chairs are good for me.” There’s also a box in the room filled with small objects that offer auditory, visual or physical stimulation. “They provide a coping strategy for controlling hypersensitivity,” said Selove. Selove also said that as autistics age and gain experience, “they can learn to recognize when a meltdown is coming, and sometimes they can delay it.” He said that just knowing there’s a safe place to go can allow students to forestall it completely. The Sensory Break Room is their safe place on campus. LEFT: Lord Fairfax Community College professor Ramon Selove shows off the Sensory Break Room, assisted by Coriander, his service dog.


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Several students who are members of the school’s B.O.N.D. Club (an acronym for Bureau Of Neuro-Diversity) expressed appreciation for the Sensory Break Room. Devon, who is studying for a career in healthcare, said, “it’s definitely been helpful to me.” Selove said that the club “comes from the desire to bring together people with differing neurotypes like autism, ADHD, PTSD, dyslexia, epilepsy, OCD, anxiety disorder, etc. It also reinforces that our goal is social support — helping us bond with each other.” At a recent gathering, the group discussed the challenges of being neurodiverse in a neurotypical world, and how some people they meet are surprised to hear they’re autistic. John said people tell him, “You don’t look autistic.” Daniel laughed, “What does an autistic look like, anyway?” He added, “They say, ‘you talk and make eye contact so well.’ They don’t realize I’ve worked at it.” “I’m not good with small talk,” said Anya, a general studies student. “I find it kind of fun to work on a group project though, because I wouldn’t talk with other people if I didn’t need to.” Devon talked about taking a leadership role during group projects. “I often find myself in that position and it’s not comfortable. I’m not set up to be a leader. I just want to do my job and be left alone.” At the B.O.N.D. Club, the students appear to feel accepted and understood in a way they may not elsewhere. They know that Selove has been where they are, and that helps. “Some autistics think college is unattainable,” Selove said. “I want them to know that it’s not.” ❖

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special needs awareness & resources issue

Yneeds es,canthose with special succeed in college

BELOW: Veronica Brown is enjoying every moment as a George Mason Patriot.

Veronica Brown: Thriving in College

Mason LIFE program introduces students with disabilities to university life STORY AND PHOTO BY ROBIN EARL

Veronica Brown of Delaplane is grateful “to finally have the chance to be a grownup.” At 22, the junior at George Mason University lives on campus, attends classes, has an exciting internship, and is having tons of fun as a Mason Patriot. She’s also learning to cook, budget her money and keep up with other tasks of “adulting.” Veronica has Down syndrome and a tertiary diagnosis of autism. When Veronica graduates from the Learning into Future Environments (LIFE) program at Mason, she will receive a certificate of completion in the areas of theater and music. She attends classes with her LIFE classmates, but is also enrolled in some traditional undergraduate courses, for which she’s accompanied by an aide. Her favorite classes are Greek history, American history, and the Renaissance. “I want to learn different perspectives,” she said. Veronica also has an internship in the nation’s capital. She and other LIFE students take the metro to work in government offices in D.C. where she scans papers, does data entry and other computer work, organizes bills and shreds papers. “I love it!” she said. LIFE LESSONS Veronica remembers that as a freshman, she was homesick and a little scared. She didn’t want to be away from her mother,


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Maite Dougherty. The semester was made even more difficult because of a troubling social dynamic. Dougherty explained, “One girl was very possessive of Veronica. It got so bad, she kept her from leaving her room. It went on for a few months before we got the whole picture, and I left it up to the program to sort out. They’re very well prepared. What it highlighted to us were some holes in Veronica’s education.


She has since learned to stand up for herself.” She’s also developed some other important tools, too: The ability to invite someone to go to the cafeteria with her, for instance, and the confidence to start a conversation with someone new. Said Heidi Graff, director of Mason’s LIFE program, “Sometimes the process that allows students to gain life skills includes the opportunity to make mistakes and learn from them.” She

remembers a student who forgot to check his bank account before going grocery shopping. When he swiped his card, he couldn’t pay for his groceries. Graff said, “The student was upset but he doesn’t forget to check his account anymore!” At one point, Dougherty said, “I was going on about academics and putting too much pressure on her. She pulled back, had some down time and put a little music back into her life.” A non-profit in Middleburg called A Place to Be has helped Veronica reduce her anxiety through music therapy. This dovetails nicely with the mental health supports the LIFE program provides. “Behavioral and mental health is a pillar of the LIFE program,” Graff said. “We provide extra foundational help in that area and promote healthy practices and strategies for all our students.” Dougherty said, “Everyone connected with Veronica’s education meets once a year to review all aspects campus life – academics, mental health integration; it’s called person-centered planning. And no decisions are made about the student’s education without the student present.” Graff emphasized, “I like to think of the process as a triangle. The student is at the top of the triangle. The student’s family is one corner of the base and Mason LIFE is the other corner of the base. We must listen to our Patriot. They are always at the top of the triangle.”

mom, had a great experience in the public schools; he obtained an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) early on and had an aide to help him every day. “It was a very smooth process for us. We never had turmoil. He had wonderful teachers and a wonderful support system.” After high school, Camden enrolled at Lord Fairfax Community College. After two years he transferred to George Mason University (GMU) in 2014. It was at a meeting with the Mason’s Office of Disability Services (ODS) that Donna and Campbell learned about the MASI program. She explained, “It’s a sub program of ODS. You have to apply and be accepted — and pay for it out of pocket.” Through the MASI program, Camden had learning strategists to help him stay organized, register for classes, and search for internships. “They checked in with him once a week and were accessible any time by email or phone.” The MASI program also provided peer mentor support, students who have some background in working with students with developmental disabilities, to help with nonacademic concerns — like socialization and having fun. Although Camden’s autism presents some obstacles, his mother describes him as “high-

Camden Mitchell Poised for the Next Step

George Mason’s MASI program provides support for students with autism

functioning.” He did well in his classes at GMU and graduated on the Dean’s List. His only academic accommodations included extra time for test taking and being able to take exams at the ODS office (a quieter environment). Camden has difficulty with social cues, though. He said, for instance, “I have trouble recognizing sarcasm.” During his time at GMU, Camden lived on campus. Like all college students, he had to navigate roommates who were sometimes noisy and failed to clean up after themselves. Recently he earned his driver’s license and, with the help of his father, George Mitchell and his stepmother, was able to buy a car. Since he’s been working since 2012 — he volunteered at a game store for a while and has worked at Dominoes and Ruby Tuesday’s — having his license and his own wheels will certainly help with the next step in his development: working with a transition coach with the Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services (DARS). “He has been a DARS client for years,” said his mom. “They are going to help him with his job search.” He's also considering a master’s degree in political science. “A master’s gives you the chance for better jobs,” he said. In his spare time, Camden enjoys singing and collecting vintage video game systems, adding, “I don’t just collect them. I tend to play them too.” When asked what he’s thankful for, Camden said that he’s most thankful for his family. “I have a family that loves me so much and does their very best to help me whenever I need something.”


Camden Mitchell’s mother, Donna, didn’t believe that her son would ever graduate from a four-year university. But in December, with the help of George Mason’s Autism Support Initiative (MASI), Camden earned a bachelor’s degree in government and national politics from the Schar School of Policy and Government. Camden’s professional resume states that he’s looking for a job in government. His mom thinks he’d be an asset working in a research or writing position. Camden smiled and said he’s looking for something with “low-stress and high wages.” Camden, 25, of Warrenton, graduated with an advanced studies diploma from Fauquier High School in 2012 and, according to his

ABOVE: Camden Mitchell, 25, shows off his vintage video game system collection. RIGHT: Donna and Camden are contemplating Camden’s next steps, now that he has his bachelor’s degree from George Mason University.

{ APRIL 2019 |




Alex Luna Ready to Fly


Beth Luna of Nokesville lovingly refers to her son Alex as a child of opposites. He didn’t speak until he was four. But when he did, he more than made up for lost time. He spoke three languages: English, Spanish, and his own special made up language, one whose words he often made his mom repeat, just to keep her on her toes. Smart kid. Alex has Asperger’s and today the freshman at Northern Virginia Community College drives himself to school and to his job at a coffee house in Manassas. He loves to travel and has an affinity for photography. In fact, he recently set up a new lens with the sole purpose of capturing the lunar eclipse. “I’ve always felt life is too slow for me,” Alex said. “Living in the suburbs and the country, people don’t walk fast enough; they move too slow. I like the fact pace of the city.” He likes it so much that his postcollege plans include living in Chicago and then New York and working in the financial industry. Clearly Alex craves stimulation and continues to live up to his mom’s “child (now man) of opposites” moniker.

THE POWER OF INDEPENDENCE Raising her children with a strong sense of independence has been a main tenet of parenting for Beth, and the reason Alex attended a Montessori school when the family lived in Tennessee. It was there that a teacher recommended he be evaluated. He was, and a second evaluation two years later confirmed the diagnosis. Although the Montessori approach is a natural fit to foster self-sufficiency, traditional therapies and support for Asperger’s weren’t available and Alex moved to a public school. Luckily, the school he attended had an autism specialist and one terrific additional benefit: Alex’s teacher had a son who was autistic, and she totally “got” Alex.

“Get the IEP, work with the teachers, don’t shy away from getting the proper tools to help your child.”

Childhood though, still had its challenges. Alex’s parents kept him mainstreamed in school, appropriately independent for his age, and involved in typical childhood activities, but they quickly learned that despite his interest in sports, team sports weren’t a good fit. Cheering and yelling didn’t mesh well with a child who was easily overstimulated and sensitive to loud noises. Alex’s hearing was so sensitive that sounds most consider to be background noise could be heard by him, causing distress. Work moved the family to northern Virginia in 2012, and Beth was hopeful she would find good resources here for Alex, then 11. While the schools had good teachers and offered support, specialists – even as far as D.C. and Baltimore – were lacking. It was then that Beth realized that if you have the correct diagnosis, you have the tools to get help for your child. “Get the IEP, work with the teachers,” Beth said. “Don’t shy away from getting the proper tools to help your child.” And when you need to, get creative. As mentioned earlier, Alex loves sports, but the associated noise doesn’t love him, so Beth and Alex came up with a plan to get him involved with his favorite sport, hockey. Beth called the hockey coach at Battlefield High School where Alex was a student. He was interviewed and got a job with the varsity team working in the penalty box, and then on the scoreboard. Now, as a student at NVCC, he works with the school’s nationally ranked hockey team, a gig he got by himself. Perhaps the best advice Beth offers is, “Don’t be afraid to teach your child to be independent early. As parents we tend to do everything. Teach your child to work toward being self-sufficient at a young age.” ❖

Alex and his family outside their Nokesville home.

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special needs awareness & resources issue

Waivers are needed to receive services children with special needs may benefit from, such as speech therapy.

Navigating the Virginia Waiver System Q&A WITH LUCY BEADNELL, DIRECTOR OF ADVOCACY, THE ARC OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA Your loved one has an intellectual and/or developmental disability for which he or she needs and deserves support services. To receive those services, he or she is going to need something called a Waiver. If you’re wondering what exactly a Waiver is, how you go about getting one, and why, for Pete’s sake, it’s called a Waiver, read on. Lucy Beadnell, Director Advocacy at the Arc of Northern Virginia, explains it all. LIFESTYLE: WHAT IS A WAIVER?


LUCY BEADNELL: A Waiver is a long-term support system for someone who will have long-term care needs. Once you’re awarded a Waiver, you will have access to a menu of services offered by your Waiver.

LB: Frequently used services include attendants who work one on one with the person with a disability, respite care so parents can have a break from care provision, group home supports where a person with a disability lives in a home shared by other people with disabilities,



{ APRIL 2019 |



long term employment or meaningful day services, assistive technology, environmental modifications, nursing, and more. These services are offered at no or very low cost. L: THEN WHO PAYS FOR THEM? LB: Waivers are funded by Medicaid and are often called Medicaid Waivers. The person with a disability must qualify for long-term care Medicaid to use a Waiver. As of 2019, this means that the person

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with a disability cannot have more than $2,000 in assets in their name (no cap if they’re under 18 years old), unless those assets are in a Special Needs Trust or ABLE Account, and they cannot earn more than $2,313 per month.

Developmental Disabilities Waiver Contacts

L: I’M CONFUSED. WHAT COMES FIRST, MEDICAID OR A WAIVER? LB: First you get a Waiver and then you can get long-term Medicaid. You can’t even apply for long-term Medicaid until you get a waiver. L: TELL ME MORE ABOUT WHO BENEFITS FROM A WAIVER. LB: People who need assistance with

taking care of themselves, managing their environment, or maintaining a job because of a disability should consider Waivers. I recommend them for people with the full range of disabilities. If your disability is more significant, you’ll use more services and if you have fewer needs, you’ll use less. L: SO, ANYONE WITH A DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITY SHOULD APPLY? LB: Yes. Even though some Waivers have

waiting lists, if you qualify for a Waiver, you will eventually receive services. As you grow and change, you can use more or fewer Waiver services to meet your needs. The Waiver should grow with you over time and provide the supports you need to be as independent as possible in your community. Also, as a result of a 2012 Department of Justice settlement agreement with Virginia, if you’re on the waiting list for either an ID or DD Waiver, you can apply for up to $1,000 each year to purchase supports you need to be independent and safe. This is called the Individual and Family Supports Program. L: HOW MANY KINDS OF WAIVERS ARE THERE? LB: Virginia has several Waivers. The

L: I’VE DECIDED TO APPLY. WHAT DO I DO FIRST? LB: First you consider your specific situation. For example, let’s say you have a diagnosed developmental disability that started before age 22. If this is the case, you should apply for the Developmental Disabilities Waivers. This is done through your county’s Community Services Board, who will assess you using the VIDES survey to test functional eligibility. You’ll also be asked questions to assess your urgency of need. If you qualify, you will be put on a waiting list. Of course, the more urgent your situation, the sooner you will receive a Waiver. You will be given one of the three developmental disability Waivers based upon the type of services you need.

On the other hand, if you have a disability and a medical nursing need, you should apply for the Commonwealth Coordinated Care Plus (CCC+) Waiver, too. This Waiver has limited services, but no waiting time, so you could use it while waiting on a more robust Developmental Disability Waiver. You would apply through either your county’s Department of Health or Department of Social Services, who will assess you using the Uniform Assessment Instrument (UAI). If you qualify, you’ll start what’s called the intake process, and your services will begin in a few months. At this point, you may also apply for the Developmental Disabilities Waiver. L: JUST ONE LAST QUESTION. WHY IS IT CALLED A WAIVER?

three most commonly used by people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are all broadly called Developmental Disability Waivers. The specific names are the Community Living Waiver, the Family and Individual Supports Waiver, and the Building Independence Waiver. Sometimes people with disabilities and medical support needs also use the Commonwealth Coordinated Care (CCC) Plus Waiver.

LB: The Federal Medicaid system has a lot of rules. If a state wants an exception to any of those rules, they request special permission to do that. That permission is called a "Waiver." In this case, the term Waiver indicates that Virginia got approval to offer additional Medicaid services (i.e., long term care supports) to people with developmental disabilities. These are services that other people with Virginia Medicaid cannot get. ❖



{ APRIL 2019 |


For residents of Fauquier, Rappahannock, Culpeper, Madison and Orange: Rappahannock Rapidan Community Services 540-825-3100 For residents of Prince William County, Manassas and Manassas Park: Prince William County Community Services 703-7927800 or 703-792-4900

CCC Plus Waiver Contacts Fauquier County: For those under 18 call the Department of Health at 540-347-6400. For those 18+ call the Department of Social Services at 540-422-8400 Rappahannock County 540 675-3313 Culpeper County 540-727-0372 Madison County 540-948-5521 Orange County 540-672-1155 Prince William County, Manassas and Manassas Park 703-792-7500 For more information, visit thearcofnova.org/programs/ waivers/ To watch a recorded webinar that walks you through Waivers from start to finish, visit youtube.com/ user/VideosatTheArcofNoVA Virginia Waiver Assistance Hotline 1-844-603-9248

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special needs awareness & resources issue

W The Arc of Greater Prince William Doing it All for the Developmentally Disabled One Person at a Time BY ROBIN EARL


{ APRIL 2019 |



here do thousands of developmentally and intellectually disabled children and adults – and their families – find support in Prince William County? At the Arc of Greater Prince William. From childcare for special needs children, to helping students with autism transition from school to the workforce, to educating parents on how best to help their children, The Arc does it all, one person at a time. For The Arc’s 330 employees and more than 200 volunteers, the work is not just a job, it’s a calling. Chris Caseman, director of resource development, had a long career with Exxon Mobil, but said that it wasn’t until he retired that he finally found his true mission. “I had a prominent job, but there was not a single day I had an impact on the organization. Here, I have an impact every day.” The Arc of Greater Prince William provides a variety of services across the community and manages 31 facilities, including group homes, childcare centers, adult day programs and recreation facilities. The main headquarters is in Dale City; it includes a childcare center, an adult day program, recreation rooms, and education and administration space. Jan Russell, family support coordinator, has been with The Arc for 23 years. She said, “I had to go out on medical leave for about a month. When I left, Sammie, who is 3 or 4 years old, couldn’t walk. By the time I came back, she ran to me. That’s the kind of difference we can make.” Karen Smith has been executive director of The Arc of Greater Prince William for more than 50 years and, while she’s fought tooth and nail for folks with developmental disabilities the entire time, the work still touches her heart.

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Child Care

“When our folks get sick and go to the hospital, a staff person goes with them. The nurses and doctors often don’t understand how to work with a person with disabilities, so we’re there for them. They can be fragile. When our people die, they die in the arms of our staff.” Caseman said that when Smith started, there were three employees and the budget was $26,000. Now the budget is $15 million. The money to support The Arc comes mostly from Medicaid. Smith explained, “When a family has an individual with significant needs, they go through their local Community Services Board to get on a waiting list for a Medicaid Waiver.” The waivers pay for residential services, adult day and vocational support, and transportation. Childcare doesn’t require a waiver. Smith said that currently there are 13,000 people waiting for waivers in Virginia. More than 3,100 are on the priority 1 waiting list (where there is immediate risk to the health or safety of the individual in need of care), but that “there is not enough funding.”

Two licensed developmental childcare facilities – the Muriel Humphrey Center at The Arc headquarters and the Robert Day Center in Old Town Manassas – offer warm, nurturing environments for children and young adults ages six months to 22 years with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including autism. Smith said, “The children we support are those with medical or behavioral needs that cannot be met in a community childcare center or with a sitter. We also serve those children over the age of 12, whereas most centers don’t.”

Vocational Services

The Arc also offers a chance for those with intellectual disabilities to find productive work. Spinaweb, a specialty shop in Occoquan, employs weavers who produce handwoven fabric that is made into clothing and placemats, said Smith. “We sell our products all over the U.S.” Another employment initiative, Little Creek Services, provides janitorial services at locations throughout the community. “No one makes less than minimum wage,” said Smith. She said that the goal of these programs is to integrate those with disabilities into the general population. “We want our folks to be treated with respect and to be as independent as possible, and it’s good for everyone to see people with disabilities contributing in the community.”

Independent Living

INSIGHT, Inc. the residential component of The Arc, offers adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities the opportunity to enjoy a level of independence in a variety of living situations. Community residences provide a family-like environment for adults to live together. Counselors assist residents with complex medical needs 24 hours a day/seven days a week, and help them develop new skills. Smith said, “Every group home has a different ‘flavor.’ We try to bring people together who like doing the same things.” Supported living offers a less structured environment for those capable of living semiindependently. Individuals live alone or with roommates in a house, condo or apartment. Smith said of the supported living groups, “They have jobs during the day; the staff helps with meal prep, banking and other tasks.”


{ APRIL 2019 |



ABOVE, TOP TO BOTTOM: Landry, age 2, shopping with The Arc staff at Wegmans. Damone enjoying the sights during a three-day conference in Norfolk with The Arc. Rob and Christine getting creative in a painting class at Muse, sponsored by The Arc.


The Arc hosts more than 140 recreational activities annually – dances, bowling nights, art classes, yoga, exercise and wellness instruction. Anyone in the community can attend, said Smith. “Our dances are unique. Everyone is on the dance floor the whole time. And if we say the music stops at 9:30, you’d better not turn it off at 9:28!” The Arc also sponsors a local International Lions Club for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Members meet at the

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Open Mic Gives Students in Transition a Voice

LEFT: Members of The Arc chapter of the Lion’s Club. ABOVE: Attendees enjoyed evenings around the fire and other activities at last summer’s camping trip.

Dale City Arc headquarters to plan various activities and fundraisers. “It’s a way for them to give back,” said Smith. “They organize food drives, collect eyeglasses; they are a very active Lions Club group. And they have some interaction with other local Lions Clubs.”


Individuals attending adult day services are picked up and dropped off at their homes via the Arc’s fleet of 50 vehicles. Most are wheelchair accessible and all are driven by people trained to work with individuals with disabilities. “They are not just bus drivers. They have to be able to deal with someone having a seizure or a medical emergency.” Smith said, “There are pick up points in the community for anyone associated with our various recreation offerings.” Those who live in residential homes are provided transportation for day services or anything they are doing – from doctor visits to getting to work. For community activities, like weekly bowling, drivers pick up participants from the local high schools. Childcare transportation, while unavailable for pick up and drop off, is available for field trips.


{ APRIL 2019 |


A big part of The Arc is helping parents and caregivers cope with the physical and emotional challenges of caring for an intellectually disabled person. Family support coordinator Jan Russell spends her days working with families who are sometimes overwhelmed by the responsibilities involved. In addition to working with families, Russell organizes frequent educational seminars that address practical questions such as how to navigate special education in the public school system and the ins and outs of special education law and advocacy.

Circle of Support

Every year since 1994 The Arc has hosted its Circle of Support Conference. “It was originally a conference for early intervention, and then we expanded to help families learn all the resources available in the community,” Russell said. Last year’s event featured dozens of workshops and drew 450 attendees. This year’s Conference will feature 50 workshops and is scheduled for Saturday, November 2 at Hylton High School. For information, call 703-670-4800 or visit arcgpw.org. ❖



Every other month, The ARC of Greater Prince William sponsors an open mic night for students making the transition to adulthood. At the open mic in February, there were 20 such young people in attendance, most of whom are on the autism spectrum. Several were still in high school while others were relatively recent high school graduates. Because this group discussion was focused on the transition that students face after high school, Joy Ocetnik, director of recreation and training, and moderator for the evening, asked the group what they thought they’d like to do after school. She started with Alyssa and Amber, who are still in high school. “I’d like to live in a group home with other girls my age,” Alyssa said. “I’d like to one day get married and have a family. I plan on going to college.” Amber, who will graduate from Hylton High School in the spring, said, “I’m not ready to leave yet; I’ve made so many memories. It’s an emotional time for me. I’m excited to graduate. I’d like to go to college. I’m interested in childcare. Once I graduate I’ll be able to start a new chapter.” Ocetnik asked those who’ve already left high school if they had any advice for the younger ones in the group. Christine responded to Amber, saying, “Don’t be stressed about it. Be yourself. I’m here for you.” Danny offered, “Be aware that there are plenty of resources out there. You don’t have to do college on your own.” Jeffrey spoke with gravity, “Don’t rush into anything. Take your time. Figure out what you are interested in.” When Ocetnik asked participants to talk about what struggles they’ve faced since graduating high school, several expressed concern about their health. Christine said that she struggles with being overweight, “It’s hard to get the weight off.” The others agreed that this was difficult, but had some suggestions: join a gym; join the Special Olympics; try the ARC exercise class held on Thursday nights at Hylton High School; find a friend to exercise with. Rob said that while he is searching for a cure for his disability, he tries to keep in shape and says he does pull ups from his wheelchair. He grinned as he pushed up his sleeve to show off an impressive bicep muscle. The discussion turned to employment. Several of the students have jobs. Ben works at BJs; Jeffrey works in doggy daycare; Amber has a job at Food Lion; Danny works at Ace Hardware. Ocetnik said, “It’s important to get out in the community. If you can’t find a job right away, find a way to volunteer. It can help you develop skills… answering phones, using a copier. it’s important to get connected. The Special Olympics, church activities, these can all be good ways to get connected. Janelle volunteered here at ARC. I’m pretty sure she wants to have my job.” As the session was wrapping up, Ocetnik asked, “Does anyone else have any suggestions?” Matt, who had been quiet most of the evening, demurred, “I don’t have any advice for anyone. Honestly, I just came for the pizza.”

Questions or Concerns: Contact Emily Lockhart at (703) 753-2600 or elockhart@townofhaymarket.org

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special needs awareness & resources issue BY KARA THORPE

Can a dog enhance the life of a special needs child? The answer is a definite “maybe”

Connor with Foster, one of his family’s dogs who he has worked with in dog shows.



ne of the hardest things for a parent to hear is that their child is not “perfect.” That something is not “right.” I have been there, done that, and have multiple t-shirts. My oldest child, Connor, is autism spectrum. He was diagnosed before entering preschool. Immediately we started with intervention and testing. By elementary school, we had what we needed in place at home and in school. Since the 1970s, researchers have known autism is genetic, but the genetics are complex. At this time autism is still diagnosed through behaviors. This means other things may be mistaken for it. It is thought up to 50% of children with the 22q11.2 deletion syndrome are first diagnosed as autistic. Things causing a child to look like he is ignoring you may be misdiagnosed as autism. Autism covers a wide spectrum. Autism affects everyone differently. In 2010, Connor was highlighted on the Shetland Sheepdog episode of Animal

Planet’s Dogs 101. A friend of mine put me in contact with the producers who were looking for a human-interest story. Connor was working with our dog Foster in UKC dog shows and agility classes to help improve his coordination, communication and observational skills. The producers decided Connor and Foster were just what they needed. Since then, I have gotten many contacts from parents needing guidance



{ APRIL 2019 |


Check out Connor’s episode of Dogs 101 at: bit.ly/2OdP0Oq

about their autistic children and dogs. One family’s pediatrician recommended a large dog as an outlet for their child’s behaviors. Luckily the mother sought my opinion as a dog trainer and the parent of a special needs child. I learned her child had frequent, violent outbursts. It was not safe to get a dog at that point. Another mother wanted to get a dog, but her child needed more work before

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RIGHT: Connor and Foster in 2010, shooting the Shetland Sheepdog episode of Animal Planet’s Dogs 101. BELOW: Connor and Sarah, a high school freshman who is involved with various dog sports and volunteers in an elementary school autism class several days a week, surrounded by Ravyn, Foster, Splash, and Uhura.

a dog could be introduced. My daughter, this child’s therapy team, myself and one of my dogs worked together to help this child learn how to interact in a safer manner with dogs. After about a year, Mom decided they were ready to add a carefully chosen dog to the house. The key words here are “carefully chosen.” There is no perfect dog for life with any special needs child. If you are considering bringing in a dog to try and enhance the life of your child, I recommend talking to trainers familiar with special needs children and pets. There are many of us in NoVA willing to discuss this topic. Roni Campbell of Walking with a Friend (on Facebook at @walkingwithafriend) and Laura Sharkey of WOOFS! (on Facebook at @woofsdogtraining) are two others you can contact for guidance. Be honest about what is going on and understand if the answer is “I would not recommend a dog at this time.” What you see when you watch Connor and Foster on Dogs 101 reruns was the result of many factors. Before becoming a parent, I had 16 years of various dog-related work, including 6 years of pet therapy experience and three years volunteering at a behaviorist’s facility. One of my first jobs after high school was with cognitively impaired adults of various ages. Connor had an early diagnosis and intervention. And finally what you see is how autism affected Connor as an individual. There are no magic


{ APRIL 2019 |


“In many situations, a dog can enhance the life of a special needs child. However, in the wrong ones, things could turn out badly.” wands, essential oils or mystical powers added to a puppy that will suddenly make everything turn out like a Hallmark Channel movie. It is work and dedication. What do I want you to take away from this? In many situations, a dog can enhance the life of a special needs child. However, in the wrong ones, things could turn out badly. Careful choice of the dog and reasonable expectations for the dog and the child are important. Early intervention once concerns are raised with your child is a must. Expecting a dog to tolerate anything a child can do is not fair and could result in problems. However, careful work, understanding and reasonable expectations increase the chance of a good outcome. ❖ ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Karen Peak owns West Wind Dog Training and The Safe Kids/Safe Dogs Project in Prince William County. She shares her life with her husband of 26 years, her two children, multiple dogs and cats.


Catching up with Connor: Today, Connor is a college sophomore studying chemistry and secondary education. He lives on campus, drives, is involved with various clubs, and has volunteered or worked for Prince William County Schools and Kings Dominion. In tenth grade, as part of the IBMYP program, Connor did a personal project on the topic of autism, pets and technology. The website may be found at: ibmypautismproject.com.

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Feeding the Heart

“When you avoid carbohydrates, your body breaks down fats to get the energy it needs, but also may break down muscle and often provides an excess amount of unhealthy fats and excessive amounts of protein. A healthful diet will provide energy and nutrients for physical and metabolic processes including cardiovascular function, structure and conduction.”

Diets and our cardiovascular health



“The decision to start a diet is usually sparked by a desire to lose weight and/or control risk of cardiovascular events,” says Dr. Maranian. “Nationwide, we’re seeing an increase in risk factors, including hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol), hypertension (high blood pressure) and diabetes, often caused by obesity. We’re facing a nationwide obesity epidemic, with people consuming too many calories and expending too few. One way to offset this is to be more mindful of what we eat and make adjustments, even small ones, to achieve better eating habits long-term.” Determining exactly what diet will yield the best results varies by individual, but there are two that Dr. Maranian and Travi agree have positive effects on heart health: DASH and the Mediterranean diet.


he human body is a complex machine comprised of separate, but interdependent parts. The heart, for example, wouldn’t be the powerful organ it is without other organs functioning properly and being well-maintained. To function properly, the heart – and all of our organs – needs nourishment. We associate the food we consume with our guts. But while foods physically stay within the stomach and intestines, they affect every other organ. Consider a time when you’ve felt bloated or broken out after a particularly greasy meal. A heavily-salted meal might contribute to kidney stones. And eating a lot of transfats can lead to heart disease. In fact, partially hydrogenated fats/oils are among the worst things you can consume, according to Ara M. Maranian, MD, physician leader for Novant Health UVA Health System’s heart and vascular service line and cardiologist at Novant Health UVA Health System Prince William Cardiology. “They are used to flavor foods, but don’t have any basic nutritional value and actually carry risks.” But what about all these popular diets that encourage high-fat, low-


{ APRIL 2019 |

carbohydrate eating habits? Diets like the ketogenic diet and Atkins follow this structure, but might be doing more harm than good in the long run.

MACRONUTRIENTS Let’s look at the three major macronutrients – proteins, carbohydrates and fats – and the roles they play in our health. “Proteins are the primary building blocks of our cells, carbohydrates fuel and energize our cells and fats provide a structural component and lubrication,” explains Teri Travi, RD, a registered dietician and Novant Health UVA Health System diabetes educator. “It’s important to get the recommended amounts of each nutrient and avoid going overboard on one or restricting one to follow a certain diet – everything in moderation.” Many popular diets restrict certain food groups to accomplish quick weight loss. But these diets are difficult to maintain long-term and can lead to negative effects on cardiovascular health as well as other organ systems. “Diets like the ketogenic diet, Atkins and South Beach are examples of this,” explains Travi.



DASH DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) was designed to help control high blood pressure by limiting sodium, saturated fats, fatty meats, dairy fats and sugars and encouraging an increase in fruits, vegetables, grains and lean proteins. The key to its success? It doesn’t outright restrict any food groups, nor does it provide rigid calorie guidelines. The DASH diet is a traditional diet that complies well with the

American Heart Association’s recommended low-fat and lowsodium diet.

MEDITERRANEAN The Mediterranean diet is based on studies that show low rates of cardiovascular events and disease in the Mediterranean region. Olive oil, legumes, nuts, lean proteins, moderate amounts of cheese and red wine – yes, you read that correctly – have been dietary staples in this part of the world for centuries. “The Mediterranean diet allows up to 40 percent of calories to come from healthy monounsaturated fats, including healthy cheeses, yogurts and olive oil” says Dr. Maranian. The renowned Prevención con Dieta Mediterránea (PREDIMED) study in Spain followed people on the Mediterranean diet from 2003-2011 and saw a 30 percent reduction in cardiovascular events compared to individuals on a standard diet. The Mediterranean diet encourages increased consumption of healthy fats and omega-3 fatty acids, but also follows the moderate and non-structured approach that Dr. Maranian and Travi recommend for long-term adherence. “I encourage anyone to approach trendy diets with caution, especially when they aren’t backed by scientific studies,” says Dr. Maranian. “The more traditional diets may not offer an easy fix, but they have been proven to work long-term.” For more information about Novant Health UVA Health System Prince William Medical Center cardiology services, please visit novanthealthuva.org. ❖



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When and why did you decide to join this company?

What are some hobbies you enjoy?

I joined the firm because I wanted to help people. It may sound cliche', but it’s true. Having lived through financial hardships with my parents, I have seen how it affects the family. My parents had to dip into retirement to care for my sister and they didn't enjoy the golden years. So, this is why I am passionate about empowering people to take control of their financial situations.

I love to travel and go on Disney cruises. My husband and I have found it is the only way to truly shut down and relax. We can totally unplug and de-stress. Anyone who knows me knows Disney is my happy place. I figure if you can't be happy at Disney you can’t be happy anywhere!

How does your business serve the local community?

I’m on the board of W+Wings, Women Walking in God's Spirit, which is a local non-profit. We gather resources to provide for women and children in need. Having grown up less advantaged I know what a free meal or a gift can do to lift someone's spirit. We provide meals at Thanksgiving and gifts at Christmas to some local families. I love to give back, or pay it forward, in my community. There is something about rolling your sleeves up, truly sacrificing, and putting in the time to help others in need.

Are you involved with any nonprofits? If so, which one(s) and why?

As a small business, I serve the community by helping people reach their long term financial goals. There is an educational component to help them plan and prepare.

Please share one of the greatest moments you’ve experienced in your current profession. One of my favorite memories is when I was invited to a client's wedding. I realized then that my clients care about me as much as I care about them. I value those relationships and treat clients like family.

Tell us about your experience with the HGBA. How has it supported you in your local business? I really enjoy being a part of HGBA and I’m on the board as the Membership Chair. Networking is vital to a successful business and HGBA provides that platform. Being a member helps me build my brand and get to know people in the community.

What are the top three business tips and tricks can you offer other professionals? Three top tips I can offer other professionals is to be present, actively engaged and show up! It takes all three to be successful when networking!

Are you from this area? If not, what brought you here and what do you like about our town? As a retired military spouse we moved around a lot. I moved here from Singapore. My husband was active duty Army when we moved here more than 13 years ago, and

he retired about nine years ago. We chose to stay in Haymarket as we liked the small town feel surrounded by the city life. There is always something fun to do around here, like going to visit the local battlefields, or hanging out at some of the best wineries with friends.

What is your favorite season in this area, and why? I love spring as it reflects a time of renewal and growth. The temperatures are just right and the flowers are blooming. I love seeing the trees turn green again.

What was your first job, or your most interesting job prior to your current profession? One of my most interesting jobs ever was being the advertising editor of a women's magazine in Singapore. I had the opportunity to really dig into the culture and learn about the Asian community. I experienced first hand working with people from different cultural backgrounds and celebrating our similarities, as well as our differences. I loved seeing "how the locals live." I want to go embrace the local scene wherever I go. ❖

The Haymarket Gainesville Business Association was established in 1990 and is the premier association supporting business and community involvement in the Haymarket-Gainesville area. They offer a forum for information sharing and contribute to community projects that positively impact businesses and residents. Want to learn more? Visit www.HGBA.biz


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Don’t let April’s Wine Fool you… BY MARK LUNA


love being fooled by an unassuming wine. Of course, not every bottle offers up the ultimate triune of an eye-catching label, divine juice and the penny-perfect price.

local expert THE EXPERT:

Mark Luna



Mark Luna is a Portfolio Rep for Roanoke Valley Wine Company. He has a Level 3 Advanced Certification from the Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET) and is a member of the prestigious Wine Scholar Guild, where he’s finishing his Italian Wine Scholar post-nominal accreditation. Through and beyond his work for RVWC, Mark writes, teaches and guest-speaks about wine in a variety of both industry and privately held events. He lives in Nokesville with his family. For events, Mark can be reached at info@winespique.com.

But, that’s the beauty of any given wine; on any given day, you’re going to be fooled by what’s in store…sometimes a disappointment, hopefully more often a joyous surprise. This month, which always begins with a day of pranks, I introduce you to a few wines that totally fooled me the first time I tried them. Hopefully, you’ll be happily fooled as well… There’s a wine company called Boutinot Wines, a UK-based distributor that both sells and produces wonderful wines from around the world. Started in 1980 by Paul Boutinot, the eponymous label has morphed from a one-man supplier in a rented van (Paul) to a multi-faceted company, with a portfolio of over 1600 wines from 10 different countries, selling more than 44 million bottles annually. The Boutinot mantra has always been, really good wines at fair prices. And this approach applies to its agents, grape growers and winemakers. The rugged landscape in southwest France surrounding the fortified town of Carcassonne and the commune of Limoux is home to Boutinot’s label Les Volets. The heart of the Languedoc - Roussillon region is historically known for varietals such as grenache, syrah,

cinsault and other Rhone Valley grapes; however, you’ll also find beautiful wines from pinot noir and malbec, two more traditional varietals that are equally majestic in this lesser-known land. Les Volets Pinot Noir 2016 is made from hand-picked grapes and vinified in large, old oak barrels. Dark red in color, with aromas of fresh raspberries and a savory note, the palate offers more red fruits that complement both the acid and tannin…a more rustic counterpart to the softer pinots of other regions. Winemakers Samantha Bailey and Guillaume Letang maintain the wine’s integrity, with a drinkable 12.5% ABV. And the price? Try $12… can’t beat it. Staying true to Boutinot form, the Les Volets Malbec 2016 also delivers in superb ways. Malbec (Cot in France) has an old tradition in Languedoc, where it’s used in the art of blending. This wine, however, is 100% malbec. Les Volets Malbec 2016 is ruby in color and semi-dense in viscosity. Aromas of blueberries, cassis and violets jump, while red and black fruits fill the mouth, along with a touch of dark chocolate truffle. It’s delicious, uniquely separated from the more ubiquitous Mendoza malbecs. Priced even less than the PN,

around $11, it’s a steal. In addition to France, Boutinot also produces wines from South Africa, a vine-rich country that is both overlooked and underappreciated. Boutinot’s South African book of today reflects almost three decades of partnerships with grape growers, allowing them access to the most unique sites around. Of their many SA labels, my favorite is Prime Cuts, a Western Cape wine from the sandy, granitic soils of Swartland. Prime Cuts White Blend 2016 is a clean, fresh wine comprised predominantly of chenin blanc. It also has viognier, grenache blanc and a splash of semillon. All grapes are picked by hand and it’s vinified in stainless steel tanks, giving the wine great acidity. Instantly, you'll notice jasmine, lemon, and citrusy overtones on the nose. The palate is equally enticing, reflective of its sandy soils terroir. It’s a great ‘everyday’ wine. Ryno Booysen is the young talented winemaker, and he takes pride producing wines that people want to drink; and priced less than $10, you’ll want to drink it often! Not to be outdone by its little sister, Prime Cuts Red Blend 2016 is also a worthy wine of South African origins. Here, Booysen really delivers with a powerful blend of shiraz, petit verdot and cinsault, again from

the Swartland area of the Western Cape. A foodie wine for sure, blackberries, dark spices and very red cherries permeate both the nose and palate. Although stainless steel vinified, there’s still some tannic structure to complement the steady acidity. It’s a great match for steak and chips and beef stir-fry. And like the Prime Cuts White Blend, it’s also $10, another steal. So yes, I was certainly fooled by the little gems. Packaging on all these wine is very eye-grabbing, and I love the prices…but, it’s the juice in the bottle that gets the last laugh here, especially in April. If you’re heading up Leesburg way, check out Vanish Brewery, you’ll find the Prime Cuts wines there. Until next time, Happy Vino’ing! ❖

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{ APRIL 2019 |




news you may have missed...

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Are you ready for a rematch? Prince William County voters heading to the polls in November may see three familiar names running for school board chair. Current Chair Babur Lateef is expected to face challenges from the two candidates he defeated in last year's special election: Alyson Satterwhite and Stanley Bender. Satterwhite, the Gainesville District member of the school board, said she is running because she is passionate about education. “We want our graduates to be ready for college and career, and as Prince William County Schools continues to have high graduation rates, we want to see our graduates move on to success.”


And the winners of the 2019 Youth Art Month Flag Contest are…



Congratulations to Brentsville High School’s Anna Mentzel and Bristow Run Elementary School’s Olivia Kim! Both students took first place in their respective divisions in this year’s Youth Art Month Flag Contest, sponsored by the Virginia Art Education Association. More than 200 students from across Virginia submitted entries to the annual competition which asks for designs that combine imagery representing the state of Virginia, the Youth Art Month logo and the contest theme which, for 2019, was “Your Art, Your Story.” The Youth Art Month Flag Contest is one of several activities designed to promote the importance of arts education and to increase awareness of and support for the arts among students, their families, and the community.

POLAR PLUNGE OFFERS HAIR-RAISING FUN FOR A SPECIAL CAUSE The annual Polar Plunge recently hosted by the Prince William County Police Department raised $80,285 for Special Olympics Virginia. More than 200 law enforcement officers, area residents and revelers — some decked out in meticulously crafted costumes — attacked the river and raised funds for the special organization.


{ APRIL 2019 |



In November, Satterwhite received 42 percent of the vote, compared to Lateef’s 48 percent and Bender's 10 percent. Lateef has said previously that he will seek re-election for school board chair, and Bender has submitted preliminary paperwork to run again. The filing deadline for candidates for school board is June 11.

Haymarket’s CaddieNow on course for expanded success With the hiring of a new chief operating officer, Haymarket-based CaddieNow, which provides easy access for caddie services through 4,000 independently contracted caddies, is on course for continued growth. Tommy Joyce, a 25-year PGA member, will direct all caddie and customer operations departments, including caddie service managers, orientations and employee training, and caddie services implementation and support. He will also assist in sales. “Bringing caddies back is compelling to the many clubs looking to keep their members engaged,” said Joyce. “But the most exciting aspect of CaddieNow is its leadership in creating the largest workforce platform and operations solution in golf.”







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Profile for Piedmont Publishing Group

Haymarket Lifestyle Magazine April 2019  

Haymarket Lifestyle Magazine April 2019  

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