Friday, September 22, 2017

South Carolina Autism Society’s Latest Newsletter


Call to Action

Proposed Federal Healthcare Bill

September 21, 2017 


From The President

Hello SCAS friend!
By the end of next week, the US Senate is expected to vote on another proposed Health Care Bill.  This bill is casually known as the Graham-Cassidy Bill.  The South Carolina Autism Society shares the concerns of many other disability organizations about the effect this Bill on individuals with autism and other disabilities.
According to the Center for Public Representation, the following are significant concerns about the Graham-Cassidy Bill:
• Would cap federal Medicaid spending (per capita caps), leading to devastating cuts in funding
• Eliminates the Medicaid expansion and marketplace subsidies and replaces with an inadequate block grant and then ends them completely in 10 years
• Allows states to waive protections for people with pre-existing conditions
• Allows states to waive the requirement to provide essential health benefits (like mental health and substance use services, rehabilitative and habilitative services, and maternity care) 
The National Health Law Program also provides it’s “Top 10 Threats to People with Disabilities under the Graham-Cassidy Bill”, available by clicking here.
Further, in an interview with the Greenville News regarding ongoing oversight of the Department of Disabilities and Special Needs (DDSN), the Chair of the South Carolina House healthcare oversight committee, Rep. Phyllis Henderson (R, Greer) expressed concern about the possible impact to DDSN if Congress decides to issue future Medicaid funding in the form of block grants.  She said she fears future funding could be an issue for the agency if the federal government changes the way it distributes Medicaid.  “The state is not going to be able to replace the money that goes away,” she said. “That’s a big challenge.” (Greenville Online, September 18, 2017,
For more information on how this bill would affect individuals with disabilities, please review the following reports:
• Center on Budget and Policy Priorities statement on effects of the Graham-Cassidy Bill.
• The Consortium for Citizen’s with Disabilities (CCD) letter to Senate on behalf of disability organizations.
The US Senate is under a deadline to pass this bill.  According to Disability Scoop, “Under a procedural maneuver, they could pass a bill to change federal health care law with only a simple majority by Sept. 30, but after that, 60 votes would be needed.”

We Must Act Now!


We encourage everyone to contact their United States Senators and tell them you oppose this bill and any cuts or caps to Medicaid.


Here’s how you can Take Action Now!

• Find your legislators at
• South Carolina Residents can contact Senator Lindsey Graham and Senator Tim Scott
• Call your United States Senators and tell them to oppose the proposed Medicaid cuts in the Senate Health Care Bill! 
• Call your Governor and State Legislators.  Remind them what cuts to the Medicaid would affect the state budget and why Medicaid matters to you.
• Ask your family and friends to support you and do the same!
What to Say:
• I am your constituent.
• Explain if you are a person with a disability, a family member of someone with a disability, or a professional in the disability field.
• Tell them that you do not want cuts or caps on Medicaid! 
• Explain how Medicaid helps you or your family member to have health care and community based services.
If you need assistance in learning how to get engaged, visit ASAN’s toolkit on basic civic engagement for self-advocates.
Thank you for all your efforts to advocate for those with autism and other disabilities!
Kim Thomas, President & CEO
South Carolina Autism Society

Always online for you : 

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Join us for the 2017 Assistive Technology Leadership Conference!

Date: October 19, 2017
Sign In: 7:30-8:30 am
Time: 8:30 am – 3:00 pm
Cost: FREE
AT Team members, Special Education Teachers and Staff, District AT Leaders, and Librarians or Media Specialists
Where: Olympia Learning Center, 621 Bluff Road, Columbia, SC 29201

SC Department of Education, Office of Special Education Services invites school staff to attend the 2017 Assistive Technology Leadership Conference designed to provide resources, networking and support for local assistive technology teams. Are you part of a small or a large district? Are you a member of an experienced local AT team? Have you been assigned with the task of building a team from the ground up? Regardless of your situation, there are things you should know when building capacity for Assistive Technology. Attending this conference will provide you with practical ideas and tools used in planning, developing, and implementing a successful assistive technology program for both new and experienced district teams.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

No Sign That Antidepressants in Pregnancy Harm Kids' Brains: Study

No Sign That Antidepressants 
in Pregnancy Harm Kids' Brains: 

Large Swedish study found no link between mom's use of the drugs and kid's intellectual disability

By Robert Preidt

WEDNESDAY, July 12, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- For women battling depression, the decision over whether or not to continue their antidepressant during a pregnancy can be a difficult one.

Now, reassuring news: A new study finds little risk of intellectual disability in children whose mothers take these pills while pregnant.

The data "provides more information for clinicians to evaluate the risks in pregnant women taking antidepressants," said study co-author Abraham Reichenberg. He is a professor of psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, in New York City.

The new findings "should be factored into other considerations, such as the increased risk for the mother if [she is] not medicated, the drug's side effects, and other medical conditions," Reichenberg explained in a hospital news release.

An Introduction to Sign Language for Parents and Professionals

Date: September 22, 2017
Time: 10:00-11:30
Cost: $15* (Make checks payable to “Jill Eversmann.” Due on date of training.)
*FREE for parents of children with special needs
Location: Palmetto Health Richland Campus
2 Medical Park Rd, Columbia, SC 29203
Lecture Hall in the Lower Level
Limit: 50 participants


This is an introduction to sign language workshop. It covers 25 single signs, the manual alphabet, and numbers 1-10. Participants will learn and practice the signs and learn tips for teaching signs to children. It also covers how sign language can encourage speech and language development, enhance overall communication and reduce frustration for children who are not yet able to effectively communicate using speech.


Jill Eversmann is a pediatric speech-language pathologist with 30 years of experience and is a Signing Time instructor. In addition to working in early intervention, she teaches sign language workshops for parents and professionals and is a national speaker with Cross Country Education. She loves working with young children and their families, teaching sign language and sharing the many benefits signing can offer to preverbal and non-verbal children, children with hearing loss as well as to typically developing children. Jill received her B.S. in Speech-Language Pathology from James Madison University and her MS in Speech-Language Pathology from Towson University. She is ASHA certified and licensed in SC. 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

AAIDD FYI - September 2017

September 2017
Call for Papers Now Open: AAIDD 2018 Annual Meeting
Submissions due by: November 27, 2017
Event takes place June 25-28, 2018 in St. Louis, Missouri
"Reaffirming Diversity and Inclusion"

AAIDD Call for 2018 Fellows Nominations
Nominations are due October 31, 2017
Preferment to Fellow status is an application or "self-nomination" process. Three letters of reference from AAIDD members are required, one of which must be from a Fellow.

AAIDD Call for Awards Nominations
Nominations are due October 31, 2017
Please note two exciting changes to our awards program: AAIDD now requires only one letter of support per nomination and has added two new award categories! Individuals may nominate themselves or others.

Call for Submissions: AAIDD Journal Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Special Issue on Partnering with Families Throughout the Lifespan
Manuscript Submissions Due: February 1, 2018

Statement in Support of Diversity and Inclusion
New Position Statement of AAIDD

AAIDD Bookstore
Visit the AAIDD Bookstore
AAIDD Members receive a 15% discount on ALL books!

AAIDD Journals
Check out these articles and more in AAIDD Journals. Available at no cost to members. Members: login with your email as your username and your password to see your full article access.
Promoting Social Inclusion in High Schools Using a Schoolwide Approach
Volume 5, Issue 3 of Inclusion

A Model for Analyzing Disability Policy
Volume 55, Issue 4 of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Narrative Language and Reading Comprehension in Students With Mild Intellectual Disabilities 
Volume 122, Issue 5 of American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Upcoming Conferences & Events
AAIDD Louisiana Chapter Annual Meeting and Conference
September 20-22, 2017 in Alexandria, LA
South Carolina AAIDD Chapter Fall Conference: Thinking Globally. Acting Locally
October 4-6, 2017 in Myrtle Beach, SC

2017 National Lifespan Respite Conference
October 4-6, 2017 in Huntsville, AL

National Research Summit on Care, Services and Supports for Persons with Dementia and Their Caregivers
October 16-17, 2017 in Bethesda, MD

NADD 34th Annual Conference
November 1-3, 2017 in Charlotte, NC
AAIDD is a Co-Sponsor

The Arc's 2017 National Convention
November 1-4, 2017 in San Diego, CA

The 2017 Coleman Institute Conference on Cognitive Disability and Technology
November 2, 2017 in Broomfield, CO

AUCD 2017 Conference: Lift Your Voice!
November 5-8, 2017 in Washington, DC
Registration Now Open!

TASH 2017 Conference
December 13-15, 2017 in Atlanta, GA

Summer Institute on Theology and Disability 2018:
June 11-14, 2018 in Raleigh, NC

142nd AAIDD Annual Meeting
June 25-28, 2018 in St. Louis, MO
Save the date!

AAIDD Texas Chapter 43rd Annual Convention
Save the date! July 24-27, 2018 in Corpus Christi, TX

In This Issue...
1.    Announcements
2.    AAIDD Bookstore
3.    AAIDD Journals
4.    Join AAIDD

Connect with AAIDD on Social Media:
*Please feel free to forward this message to colleagues and other interested parties.
Join AAIDD Today
AAIDD is the definitive membership organization and the authoritative source of information for those in the intellectual disability profession. Our membership is over 5,000 professionals strong, in over 55 countries around the world. Joining AAIDD lets you tap into a network of top professionals who can help you find a job, show you the ropes, and deepen your involvement in your profession. Click here to join.

Members receive our journals, discounts at our online bookstore, conferences, webinars and receive the latest news and activities in weekly, monthly and quarterly reports directly to your email box. All Members have online journal access.

Current members can click here to renew - it is easy online!
Use your email as your username and password you have set to login and renew at your chosen level.

Job Opportunities
Director with Faculty Rank, Institute on Community Integration (ICI), UMN
Minneapolis, MN

Associate Director, Virginia's University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD)
Richmond, VA

Successful Life Project BCBA - Behavior Analyst, Minnesota Department of Human Services
St. Paul, MN

Director, Department of Health and Human Services, Milwaukee County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)
Milwaukee, WI

President/CEO, Babcock Center
West Columbia, SC

Chief Operating Officer, Pathfinder Services
Huntington, IN

To post a position or search for listings on the AAIDD job board: Click Here

AAIDD Webinars and Online Learning
Aging and I/DD: Planning for Growing Older
Tuesday, September 26, 2017
2:00 pm-3:00 pm EST
Sibling Leadership Network Webinar - hosted by The Arc Center for Future Planning

Guardianship and Supported Decision Making
Thursday, September 28, 2017
New AAIDD Webinar

State of the Science: Advances at the Intersection of Aging and Long-Term Disability
A webinar series the week of October 16th presented by National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) and the National Council on Aging (NCOA)

Supporting Adults with IDD to Develop Healthy and Meaningful Relationships
Tuesday, October 3, 2017 at 4:00 pm
New AAIDD Webinar

Promoting the Wellbeing of Individuals with IDD Through Research and HealthMatters, Maryland
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
New AAIDD Webinar

Writing for Publication
Thursday, November 9, 2017
New AAIDD Webinar

Ways to Support People with Autism Spectrum Disorder
AAIDD Online Learning Course

American Association on Intellectual
and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD)

501 3rd Street, NW, Suite 200
Washington, D.C. 20001
Telephone: 202-387-1968
Fax: 202-387-2193