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February Update - SC Autism Society

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  • Susan Leiby
    February 2013 divider2.gif scaslogo_SMALL 2
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 25, 2013
      February Update - SC Autism Society


      February 2013


      scaslogo_SMALL 2

      The Update
      PDF format, click here



      Message from the Board Chair

      As many of you know, SCAS’s most recent Executive Director passed away unexpectedly in early February.

      Craig Stoxen left a legacy to people affected by autism spectrum disorders (ASDs).

      Our 2013 slate of Strides awareness and fund-raising walks kicks off in April in the Upstate.  Craig and I launched the Strides walks several years ago, as a way to bring families affected by ASDs and the professionals that work with them together in a fun environment, and to raise funds so that support to the people SCAS serves could grow.

      We started with two walks in that first year.  Now SCAS hosts four walks across the state. And SCAS has a staff coordinator to manage logistics of Strides and other special events, allowing both Board and staff to focus on services, including other new support initiatives.  I was thrilled when Strides events were established sufficiently that I could give up title of co-Chair.

      The Strides walks are only one way that SCAS expanded services during Craig’s 15-year tenure.  SCAS now helps individuals in South Carolina who have an ASD and their families through seven specific programs, most of which Craig helped develop.

      The best way to acknowledge and honor Craig’s contributions is to continue to support SCAS so that, in turn, more individuals and families can be helped.

      Kim Thomas has been appointed Interim Director of SCAS. Kim has been with SCAS for more than five years, serving as Vice President prior to the interim position. The Board has begun a strategic search for a new CEO who, like Craig, is dedicated to the mission of SCAS.  We don’t have a firm timeline for completing this transition, though we will post periodic updates as we progress.

      We may even make announcements at the Strides events.  So make your plans to participate. We want everyone affiliated with SCAS – members, families, professionals, friends – to stride on in support of the mission because we believe in someone with autism.

      Susan Kastner
      Board Chair, SC Autism Society

      Message from the Interim Director

      Join the South Carolina Autism Society along with the South Carolina Partnership of Disability Organizations on March 6th for Disability Advocacy Day.  This is a very important day for all people affected by a disability as it’s a chance for our voices to be heard and our faces to be seen by our state legislators. 

      Registration will occur from 8:30-9:30 in the Blatt Building at the State House, followed by people meeting with their legislators.  After meeting with your legislators everyone will gather back at the Strom Thurmond Statue around 9:45 and shortly thereafter we will go to the floor of the state house during session from 10-11:30.  At 11:30 am, self-advocates will have a rally, followed by lunch for those that are interested. 

      It’s crucial that you let your legislators know how much we appreciate them continuing to fund necessary services for people with disabilities.  Additionally, this year it is important to talk with them about targeted case management and how proposed changes by DHHS will be detrimental to our loved ones and families.  With the proposed changes, your service coordinator will be going from having 45 consumers on their caseloads to 100 which means person centered case management will no longer exist!  So take a stand and let your voices be heard and your faces seen at the 24th Annual Advocacy Day on March 4!
      Kim Thomas
      Interim Director



      Disability Advocacy Day

      YOU can make a difference. Let your voice be heard by attending Disability Advocacy Day (DAD).

      Individuals in South Carolina with disabilities, their family members and service providers will meet with legislators at the state house where self advocates will speak about current disability issues that are of great concern to them. They will gather to see the S.C. General Assembly at work and personally urge their representatives and senators to take whatever measures are necessary to continue essential services for children and adults with disabilities.

      Our 2013 priorities include:
      · Maintain current essential services.
      · Emphasize the need for services NOW, not long waiting lists.
      · Continue critical services provided by DDSN to individuals with disabilities and their families.

      Tentative Schedule of Events

      Registration in the Blatt Building                             8:30 – 9:30
      Appointments with Legislators or Staff                   8:30 – 9:15
      Walk (Meet at Strom Thurmond Statue)                  9:15 – 9:45
      Press Conference                                                     9:45 – 10:00
      Floor of State House/Balcony                                  10:00 – 11:30
      Self Advocacy Rally & Lunch                                     11:30 – 12:30
      For complete information on Disability Advocacy Day, including directions and FREE parking, visit http://www.scdisabilityadvocacy.org

      To find out who your legislators are, visit www.sc.gov or call the voter registration office in your county.




      Strides for Autism

      Mark your calendars for the first two Strides for Autism events of 2013!

      Upstate -- Saturday, April 13, Heritage Park, Simpsonville
      Midlands -- Saturday, May 4, Riverwalk Amphitheater, West Columbia

      Strides for Autism is SCAS’s signature fund-raising and awareness walk.  They include a fun-walk, resource fair, and family-fun activities.  The goals of our Strides for Autism events are:

      • To raise the awareness of autism spectrum disorders.
      • To raise funds for the South Carolina Autism Society.

      SCAS is the only statewide agency advocating for children and adults with autism spectrum disorders and their families, while also providing assistance and resources.  SCAS promotes, educates and raises awareness that one in every 88 births in the U.S. is a child with autism, and provides support for South Carolina-based research and development.  Most importantly, SCAS works to ensure that the 50,000+ individuals with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) living in South Carolina have opportunities to achieve a quality of life comparable to their peers.


      Participants in the event can register as an individual, family, or team.  Contact your family and friends and ask them to sponsor you!  There is no minimum donation, but individual registrations of at least $25 will receive an event t-shirt, and family registrations of at least $50 will receive 4 event t-shirts.  T-shirts are distributed at Strides events only.  (Previous participants will need to create new accounts and teams each year.)

      Monies raised for South Carolina Autism Society stay in South Carolina and go towards family supports, education, advocacy, and South Carolina-based research. 

      Corporate Sponsorships & Resource Fair

      Corporate Sponsorships opportunities are available, as are spaces at the Resource Fair.  For more information, visit https://scautism.org/strides/sponsorships/

      Thank you to our Current Sponsors!

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      simpsonvilletreelogo   attpioneers2   indexx_logo

      Registration and other information for Strides for Autism, along with information about autism and SCAS, is available at the event Web site, www.scautism.org/strides/, or by calling the Columbia SCAS office at 1-800-438-4790.



      Rethinking Autism Conference

      On April 24, 2013, we are proud to announce the launch of the conference "Rethinking Autism" in Greenville, South Carolina.  This state-of-the art day-long conference includes sessions that will guide attendees to explore new and positive ways of living and working with autism and appreciating neurodiversity.

      This Conference is Sponsored by Youth Advocate Programs, Inc. in partnership with Spring Brook Behavioral Health System, South Carolina State University, Children's Hospital at Greenville Hospital System, and  the South Carolina Autism Society

      Wednesday April 24, 2013 
      9:00 AM to 4:00 PM EDT

      Crowne Plaza Greenville Hotel
      851 Congaree Road
      Greenville, SC 29607

      Click here for more information.  



      Coffee Talk Parent Support

      There will be NO COFFEE TALK in March, so that families and staff can attend Disability Advocacy Day.






      Upcoming Events

      Stay tuned for information on the following Upcoming Spring Events!

      Respite Event — Family Fun Bowling Event




      We have come a long way in our knowledge about autism and the education and treatments that best help children with autism spectrum disorders.  Nonetheless, there is still much work to be done.  You can make a difference by volunteering your time or resources to the South Carolina Autism Society.  You can join even if you don’t have a family member with autism, but want to help out in some way.  A financial contribution might cover the costs of printing materials or long distance telephone calls to support a family living in a remote part of our state.   

      Membership Levels

      BASIC                     BENEFACTOR             SUPPORTING
      Individual ($10)     Individual ($75)         Individual ($35)
      Family ($20)           Family ($100)             Family ($50)  



      Research Opportunities

      Autism Mothers

      Hello, my name is Julie Kellett, and I am a student working towards completion of my doctoral dissertation as part of my training in the Clinical-Community Psychology Program at the University of South Carolina.
      My dissertation research focuses on understanding the parenting experiences of mothers raising children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). I am currently seeking participation from biological mothers of boys between the ages of 4 and 14 who have been diagnosed with an ASD for at least one year.
      Mothers participating in this study will be asked to complete a packet which includes six questionnaires. This study does not require any in-person appointment, interview, or any additional follow up contact. All the information provided by participants on study questionnaires will be kept completely confidential.
      If you are interested in participating in this study, or would like more information, please contact me at (864) 483-0649 or at kellettj@....
      Thank you in advance for your assistance with this project. I look forward to learning from you and your family!
      Julie Kellett


      Bullying & ASDs

      My name is Kirsten Scheil, and I’m a senior at Furman University conducting my senior thesis on bullying experiences among youth with autism spectrum disorders.
      After learning that very little research exists in the literature on this topic, I became eager to conduct a study that would allow both children with ASD and their parents to discuss this issue. I’m hoping that this research will help spread the word about bullying that individuals with ASD may experience both in and out of school.

      To do so, I’m aiming to bring males with Asperger’s Syndrome/High-functioning ASD (ages 10-16) and one parent onto Furman’s campus to participate in my study. The study involves a one-time visit to Furman, and families will have a chance to win a $50 cash prize by participating. All sessions are scheduled at the family’s convenience whether that may be on weekends, weekdays, early mornings, or in the evenings.

      For more information about the study or to participate, please send me an email at kirsten.scheil@... or call me at 828-228-1176. Please feel free to pass along this information to anyone who you believe may be interested in participating. I look forward to the opportunity to learn from you and your children!


      Upcoming Workshops

      SC Autism Society Monthly Workshops
      in Conjunction with the South Carolina Department of Education at the SCAS Columbia Office

      April 24, 2013

      Strategies for Working with Student with Autism Spectrum Disorder – Various Strategies that will help students with academic, organizational, and social skills.

      4:30 – 6:30 p.m.

      May 22, 2012

      Free Literacy Supports and Study Aids – Free or low-cost literacy supports for students to
      use in the classroom and at home.

      4:30 – 6:30 p.m.

      South Carolina Department of Education Regional Autism Workshops




      Workshop Title



      Coastal – Myrtle Beach



      Various strategies used to facilitate communication for children with ASD.

      February 27, 2013
      4:30 – 6:30

      Pee-Dee – Florence

      520 Francis Marion Rd, Florence, SC 29506


      Various strategies used to facilitate communication for children with ASD.

      March 27, 2013
      4:30 – 6:30

      Upstate – Rock Hill



      Various strategies used to facilitate communication for children with ASD.

      April 17, 2013
      4:30 – 6:30

      Upstate - Greenville



      Various strategies used to facilitate communication for children with ASD.

      May 29, 2013
      4:30 – 6:30

      Register by calling Delilah at (803) 750 6988 ext 108 or emailing iandr@...



      Event & Activity Calendar

      March 6

      Disability Advocacy Day

      March 10

      Family Bowling Event

      April 3

      Coffee Talk parent Support

      April 6

      Poker Run

      April 13

      Strides for Autism Upstate

      April 23

      Rethinking Autism Conference

      May 4

      Strides for Autism Midlands


      South Carolina Autism Society
      806 12th Street, West Columbia, SC  29169


      South Carolina Autism Society
      806 12th Street
      West Columbia, SC 29169


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