Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Flood Survivors with Disabilities

Flood Survivors with Disabilities
Are you a flood survivor with a disability living in one of the following SC counties: Bamberg, Berkeley, Calhoun, Charleston, Clarendon, Colleton, Darlington, Dorchester, Fairfield, Florence, Georgetown, Greenville,Greenwood, Horry, Kershaw, Lee, Lexington, Marion, Newberry, Orangeburg, Richland, Spartanburg, Sumter or Williamsburg?

If so, The University of South Carolina needs your input regarding your experiences during the 2015 "1000 Year" flood. The information collected will not be identifiable and will be used to enhance South Carolina’s emergency response services for persons with disabilities during and after a crisis.



If you have any questions or if you would like assistance (ie. have the survey read to you, alternative format, etc.) completing the survey, please contact Dr. Robert Dawson at 803-386-1711 or email at 

Friday, February 05, 2016

REVIEWS: Books about Autism for Siblings - By Thomas Kane

My name is Thomas Kane, and I am twelve years old. I am in the seventh grade, and I have two brothers, Christopher and Peter. My younger brother, Peter (age six), was diagnosed with autism at two years old. Recently, I read three books aimed towards siblings of children with autism to compare them to our family and to see how accurate they were. This is my review of those books.

The first book I read is titled Everybody is Different, by Fiona Bleach. In this guide to understanding autism, Bleach explains what autism is, behaviors that autistic children might have, what siblings of autistic children may experience (and what they can do), and special help that autistic children can get. One question this book mentions is, “Why does my brother or sister make strange noises?” It explains, “Imagine being in a foreign country where everyone speaks a language you do not know. You might try to copy what you think are the right sounds and words without knowing the meaning of them just to join in!” Peter is nonverbal, so he cannot talk. Although he has a Language Acquisition through Motor Planning (LAMP) device (which we call his Talker), he frequently makes funny noises that we have learned to decipher. For instance, when he says, “oooo” or, “ba mmmba”, it may mean he is happy / excited, or wants something. If he says, “aaauaaaaummm” (very high-pitched) it probably means he is
very happy!

The next book I read was Oh, Brother! by Natalie Hale (illustrated by Kate Sternberg). After reading this book, I thought that it was the most similar to our family out of the three. This book is a story about a girl named Rebecca, whose older brother Jonathan has autism. It tells about their (sometimes very funny) experiences as a family. It also explains how you can help your special needs sibling, how to understand (and love) your autistic brother or sister, and how to be a kid and be responsible at the same time. One funny story in this book describes a time when Jonathan is taking a bath, and forgot to turn off the bathtub faucet, and water leaks through into the kitchen where they were eating dinner! My little brother is too little to take baths on his own, but a few times when he was alone upstairs, he went into the bathroom, got into the tub with all his clothes on, and turned the water on! Another chapter in the book talks about a time when Jonathan was alone in his room. He found a baby powder container, and covered the entire room with it! Peter also did this once, except we found out before he could get it everywhere. I can also relate to another part of the book. In one part, it says how if Jonathan gets very quiet, it is a bad sign. It is the same with Peter; he is always running around making lots of noise. If he is quiet, then that is a bad sign and he likely getting into some kind of trouble!

The last book I read was All About My Brother, by Sarah Peralta. This book is about an eight-year-old girl and her seven-year-old autistic brother. This book describes her family and her brother, Evan. It contains many stories (most of them a little funny) about Evan and some of the things he does, like swinging really high, playing with sticks, and eating raw pasta. This book also has a lot of things I can relate to. It describes how Evan loves to swing, play / run around outdoors, swim, take baths, eat crunchy things, and jump around (especially on his bed). Peter loves to do a lot of those things too! This book also has a story where Evan is taking a bath, and leaves the water running until it overflows! Evan makes a lot of funny sounds too, because he is nonverbal, just like Peter. This book shows how Sarah, and all siblings of autistic children, want to help them make sense of the world, have fun, and especially be happy.

I very much enjoyed reading these books, and I recommend them to any siblings or parents of children with autism. I found them all accurate, funny, informative, and extremely affirmative, supportive, and encouraging. They are very beneficial to read and they explain autism very well. 

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Resources for Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Click here for more information and registration.
All individuals experience sexual urges and individuals on the autism spectrum need help in learning how to deal with these feelings when they begin,  In this workshop we will go over various problems that might arise and how to help your child cope with them.  We will also discuss personal hygiene and birth control.  I will demonstrate various resources and websites that individuals might find helpful in teaching individuals on the spectrum about sexuality.  This workshop is for parents, caregivers, educators, and therapists.  There will be graphic materials presented and discussed. There is no charge for this workshop.
This workshop is free but registration is required.
Wednesday, February 24, 2016 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM (EST)
University Center of Greenville - 225 South Pleasantburg Drive. Room 503. Greenville, SC 29607

Shuck-A-Rama Oyster Roast Coming Up!

Hi friends! The Shuck-A-Rama Oyster Roast in James Island, SC is only 8 days away! We have three AMAZING bands lined up to sing and dance along with. Don't forget to get your early bird rate tickets here for unlimited oysters, beer, wine, BBQ sliders and fun!
Header for Cvent- 2016 ShuckARama-for website 2    
The Oyster Roast Fundraiser will begin at 5:00 p.m. and end at 8:00 p.m. We are excited to host this event at the Brick House Kitchen this year. You can see the venue in the picture on the left. To learn more about the Brain Injury Association of SC please click here to access our website!
This year we will be accepting toiletry donations to be distributed families needing to stay overnight in the hospital after a loved one has sustained a traumatic brain injury. Those making toiletry donations will receive an extra door prize ticket.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

AccessAbility Workshops

This is from Julia Martinelli, Executive Director of AccessAbility 
AccessAbility is offering eight different workshops to assist people with disabilities to empower themselves.  We offer individual and group life skills coaching programs for people with disabilities. We serve Williamsburg, Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester Counties.
Free for people with disabilities

Call Nathan Todd at 843-225-5080, ext. 104 or register online.

Workshops are offered weekly for six weeks. One hour each.

Williamsburg, Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester Counties only
Workshops can be held at your site or at AccessAbility
The workshops focus on:
Empowerment - Target tweens and young adults with disabilities to build positive self-esteem, worth and self- determination.

Bullying - Target youth with disabilities who have received or engaged in bullying.

Soft Skills 1 – Introduction: Focus on rudimentary skills in the following areas: Time Management, Boundaries, Communication and Personal Hygiene.  A review is completed during the final session.

Soft Skills 2 – Intermediate: Introduction of learning about what Soft Skills are- Social interaction (handshake and introductions), key mannerisms that build on success in workforce and social interactions (dos & don'ts), and social and business etiquette (rules that govern working with others including cell phone use).

Soft Skill 3 – Advanced: Time Management Tools (schedules, time worksheets, priority lists, etc.) Boundaries (material, physical and mental), communication including role play - interactive participation (how we communicate, the art of give and take), and hygiene (much more involved. Includes: spread of germs, odor control, etc.).

Hard Skills - Banking (how to), Resume writing (step by step development), interviewing techniques (interviewing skills) and money.
Others include nutrition and health and grief.
A certificate of accomplishment will be issued upon completion. 

Needs Assessment Survey


Your input is needed by February 10!

Graphic with a bull horn that reads: Make Your Voice Heard.
We need your input! Come participate in the Needs Assessment Survey. Your responses will help address unnecessary barriers for people with disabilities. 
Click Here to Complete the Survey
The Tri-Annual Needs Assessment Survey is hosted by the South Carolina Independent Living Council.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

MIDLANDS Parent/Caregiver ASD Support Group Meeting

Image result for support group
MIDLANDS Parent/Caregiver Support Group Meeting
Join us this Thursday, February 4th from 10 am – 12 noon at our West Columbia office!  This group is for caregivers of individuals with ASD to provide support, education, and encouragement and to share resources to help our children and young adults reach their full potential.  Come with your questions and learn more about how we can help you.
Please click here to RSVP so we know to expect you!

South Carolina Autism Society's Annual Conference Call for Presentations Now Open

South Carolina Autism Society's Annual Conference
Call for Presentations Now Open
This is your chance to be part of the South Carolina Autism Society’s Annual Conference!
The South Carolina Autism Society’s Annual Conference is scheduled for Friday, April 15, 2016 in Columbia, SC.  This year in addition to our Keynote Speaker, we will have numerous breakout sessions for attendees to choose from. 
Our Annual Conference is the only statewide event to consistently bring together professionals, individuals on the autism spectrum, family members and advocates in energetic forums for in-depth presentations that cover what’s new in the field of autism and explore how to improve existing services and supports.
This Call for Presentations is seeking presentations that address the full range of issues facing those affected by autism today,provide best practices, practical skills/knowledge, and cutting edge research on topics of interest to those affected by autism. Content areas include transition, early intervention, education, employment, quality of life, behavior, communication, social skills, community inclusion, mental health and others.
Presentations should be about 45 minutes long, with the opportunity for audience questions.
The varied expertise and experiences of presenters enables attendees to learn how to more effectively advocate and obtain needed services and supports. The ultimate goal of the Annual Conference is to empower family members, individuals on the spectrum and professionals to make informed decisions.
Approved presenters will receive complimentary admission to the Annual Conference, as well as space in the Resource Fair.
Please use the attached form to complete your submission, or online at http://scautism.org/call-for-presentations/.
Submissions may be emailed to Conference@scautism.org, or mailed to SC Autism Society, ATTN:  Annual Conference, 806 12th Street, West Columbia, SC  29169 by February 12, 2016.
Should you have any questions, please email conference@scautism.org.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Information from the SSA on ABLE Accounts

Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Accounts

Please see the below link containing information provided by the Social Security Administration on ABLE accounts. This is a good summary of the parameters of the new ABLE accounts which could benefit many individuals served by DDSN and others across our state.