Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Pro Parents Calendar of May Workshops

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6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

PRO-Parents Overview
Sponsored by: The Epilepsy Foundation
Greenville Memorial Hospital
Conference Center, Room 5
701 Grove Road
Greenville, SC

5/08/2008 10:00 am
Transitioning Into Special Education Workshop
Transitioning In Workshop
Williamsburg DDSN
61 Greenlee Street
Kingstree, SC 29556

5/08/2008 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Individualized Education Program (IEP) Workshop
Sponsored by: Dorchester County DSS
Knightsville United Methodist Church
Summerville, SC

5/09/2008 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Individualized Education Program (IEP) Workshop
C.R. Neal Dream Center
2430 Atlas Road
Columbia, SC

5/12/2008 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Transitioning Out of Special Education Workshop
Bluffton High School
12 North East McCracklin Circle
Bluffton, SC

5/13/2008 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Transitioning Out of Special Education Workshop
Special Service Building
305 Burroughs Avenue
Beaufort, SC

5/13/2008 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Communication Workshop
Hope Center
901 North Main Street
Sumter, SC

5/13/2008 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Is Your Child A Target of Bullying? Workshop
Union County YMCA
106 Lakeside Drive
Union, SC 29379

5/15/2008 6:00 pm
Individualized Education Program (IEP) and Section 504 Overview Workshop
Tabernacle Baptist Church
(Fellowship Hall) 3076 Dexter Street
Blackville, SC 29817

5/19/2008 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Communication Workshop
Marlboro Foster Parent Association
DSS Office
713 South Parsonage Road
Bennettsville, SC 29512

5/20/2008 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
ADD / ADHD Workshop
Darlington County Foster Parent Association
Wesley United Methodist Church
Hartsville, SC

5/22/2008 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Communication Workshop
3 South Church Street
Clarendon County DSS
Manning, SC

5/27/2008 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Transitioning Out of Special Education Workshop
Growing Homes
Aston Mfg
1310 North Jefferies Blvd.
Walterboro, SC 29488

5/27/2008 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
Transitioning Into Special Education Workshop
Sponsored by: Marion School District 2
Palmetto Education Center
(Parenting Center)
200 Broad Street
Mullins, SC 29574

5/28/2008 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Transitioning Out of Special Education Workshop
Growing Homes
6650 Rivers Avenue
North Charleston, SC

5/29/2008 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Transitioning Out of Special Education Workshop
Growing Homes
Teen Center
Boys & Girls Club
1211 Harrington Street
Beaufort, SC 29902

For more information and to register, please click the title above.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

SCATP Seeking Web Testers

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The SC Assistive Technology Advisory Committee of the Office of the Chief Information Officer of the SC Budget and Control Board, is beginning a pilot program to train people who use assistive technology to evaluate state agency web pages for accessibility and usability.

We're looking for people who are proficient in using assistive technology to access the Internet. We need people who have the ability to learn the basics of accessibility and usability (with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act as a guide), and apply these principles to evaluate web pages using a testing matrix or evaluation tool that we'll develop specifically for this program.

If you or someone you know is interested in learning about this program, contact Janet Jendron at the South Carolina Assistive Technology Program at

Reflection Obscured: A Portrait of Autism

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Tonight at the Crayton Lecture Hall, Reflection Obscured: A Portrait of Autism will be the opening act for the play Lion and Mouse Tales.

Written by Christopher Cook, instructor of theatre at Crayton Middle School and a father of a child recently diagnosed with autism, Reflection Obscured is a 10 minute one-act play about a little girl with autism and how autism affects the entire family unit.

It was entered in the Ensemble Category at the South Carolina Speech and Theatre Association's annual festival. Out of 8 entries, it won 2nd Place!

The play will be presented at 6:30 at Crayton Lecture Hall.

For more information, please click the title above.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Strides for Autism!

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Midland residents will walk in support of families affected by autism and the South Carolina Autism Society (SCAS) on Saturday morning, May 10th in Columbia.

Strides for Autism is SCAS's signature fund raising and awareness event. The non-profit agency is launching its campaign in a walk in Columbia on May 10th and just finished a successful walk in Greenville on April 12th at Greenville Tech.

The Columbia walk is scheduled for Finlay Park in downtown Columbia with registration starting at 8 a.m. and the walk starting at 9 a.m.

Registration and other information, along with information about autism and SCAS, is available on the agency's Web site,, and the walk Web site,, or by calling the Columbia SCAS office at 1-800-438-4790 or (803) 750-6988.

For more information, please click the title above.

What's going on this week at Family Connection!

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Monday, April 21
Autism Connection Family Potluck!

It's Autism Awareness Month!
Bring a warm or cool dinner dish to share and join us at the Family Connection Office in Columbia and let's celebrate our blessings and joys of knowing one another!
Drinks and paper products will be supplied!
No dishes with PEANUTS, please!
2712 Middleburg Drive 103-B
Contact Susan Haney for childcare at 252-0914

Wednesday, April 23 9 am
Mom's Morning Coffee
Lizard's Thicket
10170 Two Notch Road

Thursday, April 24 6pm
Single Parent Connection
Contact Susan Haney at 252-0914 for childcare!
Come learn money saving tips and feel free to share your own tips.

Friday, April 25 8pm
BandKamp (an 80's / 90's rock band that is compiled of doctors) is playing at Delaney's in Five Points
***NOTE: This is NOT a Family Connection sponsored event but one of the band members, Dr Chris Hutchinson, is a father of 2 children with Autism and the band whole-heartedly supports Family Connection and it's efforts! Parents and Friends, come out and play, dance, and socialize!

Saturday, April 26 6 pm
"Pages from the Heart" The Scrapbooking Store
3250 Forest Drive
$2 per person. Bring your own supplies or buy them there!

Sunday, April 27 6pm
Family Connection Annual Benefit Auction at The Millstone at Adam's Pond
***Honorary Hosts: The Ryan's Law Grassroot Gang
Call Debby Jernigan for more information at 803-252-0914

Monday, April 28 6 pm
Up on Downs: Down Syndrome Support Group
Come learn about Music Makers of the Midlands

Friday, April 18, 2008

U.S. Teams Aim to Grow Ears, Skin for War Wounded

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"By Kristin Roberts - WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Teams of university scientists backed by U.S. government funds hope to grow new skin, ears, muscles and other body tissue for troops injured in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Defense Department said on Thursday. The $250 million effort aims to address the Pentagon's unprecedented challenge of caring for troops returning from the war zones with multiple traumatic injuries, many of which would have been fatal years ago."

To view this entire article, please click the title above.

Stem Cells From Skin Treat Brain Disease in Rats

Image of Brain

"By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor - WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Skin cells reprogrammed to act like embryonic stem cells eased symptoms of Parkinson's disease in rats, researchers reported on Monday in a first step toward tailored treatments for people that bypass concerns about using human embryos.

The experiment suggests it may be possible to take a small sample of skin and turn it into a transplant perfectly matched to patients with Parkinson's and other diseases, the researchers reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences."

To view this entire article, please click the title above.

Knockout Head Injuries Found to Cause Loss of Brain Tissue

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"By Julie Steenhuysen - CHICAGO (Reuters) - A blow to the head that knocks a person unconscious can result in widespread loss of brain tissue, Canadian researchers said on Monday, explaining why some people who suffer head injuries are never quite the same. The more severe the injury, the more brain tissue is lost, they said."

To view this entire article, please click the title above.

Brain Fitness Seen as Hot Industry of the Future

Image of a Computer Game
"By Toni Clarke-BOSTON (Reuters Life!) - When her son Alex was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder at the age of 10, Karen George was reluctant to put him on medication. Instead, she enrolled him in a clinical trial designed to test the efficacy of a brain stimulation program made by Cogmed, a private company that uses computer programs to exercise parts of the brain responsible for short-term memory.

The five-week program required Alex to spend up to an hour a day on a computer, pitting his wits against a robot. Among other exercises, the robot blinked out sequences of flashing lights that Alex was required to replicate."

To view this entire article, please click the title above.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Brain Study May Lead to Improved Epilepsy Treatments

image of person using microscope

ScienceDaily (Apr. 16, 2008)
— Using a rodent model of epilepsy, researchers found one of the body's own neurotransmitters released during seizures, glutamate, turns on a signaling pathway in the brain that increases production of a protein that could reduce medication entry into the brain. Researchers say this may explain why approximately 30 percent of patients with epilepsy do not respond to antiepileptic medications.

The study was conducted by researchers at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), part of the National Institutes of Health, and the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy and Medical School, in collaboration with Heidrun Potschka's laboratory at Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich, Germany.

"Our work identifies the mechanism by which seizures increase production of a drug transport protein in the blood brain barrier, known as P-glycoprotein, and suggests new therapeutic targets that could reduce resistance," said David Miller, Ph.D., a principal investigator in the NIEHS Laboratory of Pharmacology and co-author on the paper.

To view this entire article, please click the title above.

Boom in camps for chronically ill kids

image of man on zip line
WASHINGTON - Summer camps just for kids with chronic diseases are booming — places to learn about epilepsy or finally meet someone else with Tourette's tics or slice open a cow's heart to see what's wrong with their own.

Now fledgling research suggests such special camps may offer more than a rite of passage these children otherwise would miss: They just might have a lasting therapeutic value.

It's work that helps explain why children's hospitals increasingly are sponsoring disease-specific summer camps. One in the nation's capital actually integrated the camps into the neurology department.

"How do you live well with a chronic condition? I believe in part, the power of being amongst your peers normalizes the experience," explains Sandra Cushner-Weinstein, a social worker at Children's National Medical Center who founded the hospital's weeklong camps for five illnesses, and is studying the impact on campers

To view this entire article, please click the title above.

Family Fest 2008!

image of child fishing
When: Saturday, May 3
Time: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: Graham’s Turnout, Denmark, S.C.

Family Fest is an outdoor experience for youth and adults with disabilities.

Activities include: fishing, archery, target shooting (BB guns only), hunting and fishing simulators, arts and crafts, and entertainment. Adaptive equipment so you can participate regardless of a disability.

Lunch with be served from 12:00 to 2:00 pm. Hamburgers, hot dogs, chips, ice cream, cookies, and a variety of drinks will be served!

The entire event is free of charge, but registration is required.

To register, please call (803) 584-4225 or visit for more information.

For more information, please click the title above.

EdVenture Parenting Class

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EdVenture will hold a Parenting 101 class on Thursday, April 24th at 7:00pm at EdVenture in their theater.

It starts with an energizer warm up by Taquina Billups from the YMCA in uptown Columbia. She will show ways to incorporate physical activity while doing activities of daily living and makes it fun for parents and children.

Then at 7:30 Dr. Jennifer Baker, a pharmacist from the SC Pharmacy Association, will talk about our children’s medications, prescription and over the counter. It will be over by 8:30 and there will be a time for questions too. There is no charge, but we do not have child care. Children are welcome to attend with their parents, but the museum will not be opened and the program is designed for parents.

For more information, please click the title above.

Monday, April 14, 2008

What's Going On This Week At Family Connection!

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Tuesday, April 15

Mom's Morning Coffee
Panera Bread
1007 Bower Parkway

Tuesday, April 15
6:30 pm - 8 pm
Father's Network
Insurance 101
Family Connection Office
2712 Middleburg Drive 103-B

Saturday, April 19
10 am - 12 noon
Family Event
Swan Lake Iris Gardens - Sumter
Meet at enclosed, fenced-in playground
Bring lunch and old, stale bread to feed the swans!
This is a wonderful park and worth the drive!
Contact Stephanie at, if you would like to caravan or carpool to save gas!

Save the Date!
Monday, April 21
Celebrate Autism Awareness Month!
Bring a supper dish to share and join us at the Family Connection Office!
2712 Middleburg Drive 103-B
Childcare is provided!

Muscle Weakness Found in Some Autistic Children

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SUNDAY, April 13 (HealthDay News) -- New research suggests that muscle weakness in a child with autism may point to an underlying genetic defect that's causing mitochondrial disease, which means the muscles don't get the energy they need.

Conversely, it's possible that the mitochondrial disease may also play a role in the development of autism, perhaps by preventing the brain from getting the energy it needs to perform properly, the researchers noted.

"In large studies of kids with autism, about 20 percent have markers of mitochondrial disease in the blood," explained Dr. John Shoffner, an associate professor of biology at Georgia State University and president of Medical Neurogenetics.

To view this entire article, please click the title above.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

"Making Connections for a Brighter Tomorrow" Seminar

Image of a Conference April 17, 2008
Colleton County DSS Office
215 S. Lemacks St. Walterboro, SC 29488

**RSVP BY APRIL 14, 2008**
Hosted by Social Security Administration and Department of Health & Human Services in Walterboro, SC

Do not miss out on this great opportunity to learn what is new for advocacy organizations to better serve the working disabled!!

Who should attend?
Local agency representatives associated with aiding persons with disabilities who are looking for, or returning to, work.

How do I register?
You may RSVP, no later than April 14, by emailing the following information to Venita Billingslea at :
  • Name(s) of Attendee(s)
  • Agency
  • Email Address(es)
  • Phone Number(s)
  • Work Address(es)
Space is limited, so please RSVP as soon as possible.

Columbia Parkinson's Support Group New Website

Image of Support Group Meeting
The Columbia Parkinson's Support Group is happy to announce that they now have a new website which provides information about their support group at

They plan to expand the website with meeting information, calendar of events, links, and other information related to Parkinson's disease.

They welcome all visitors and guests to their meetings. The Columbia Parkinson's Support Group is located in the Mid-Lands of South Carolina; serving the counties of (but not limited to) Aiken, Calhoun, Fairfield, Kershaw, Lexington, Orangeburg, Newberry, Richland, Saluda, and Sumter.

To learn more, please click the title above.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Rise In Autism Is Related To Changes In Diagnosis, New Study Suggests

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ScienceDaily (Apr. 9, 2008) — New research suggests that many children diagnosed with severe language disorders in the 1980s and 1990s would today be diagnosed as having autism. The research supports the theory that the rise in the number of cases of autism may be related to changes in how it is diagnosed.

Professor Dorothy Bishop, a Wellcome Trust Principal Research Fellow at the University of Oxford, led a study which revisited 38 adults, aged between 15-31, who had been diagnosed with having developmental language disorders as children rather than being autistic. Professor Bishop and colleagues looked at whether they now met current diagnostic criteria for autistic spectrum disorders, either through reports of their childhood behaviour or on the basis of their current behaviour. The results are published this month in the journal Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology.

To view this entire article, please click the title above.

Increasing Positive Experiences Decreases Depression Symptoms In Patients With Multiple Sclerosis

image of child laughing with sunflower
ScienceDaily (Apr. 8, 2008) — Depression is prevalent among people living with chronic diseases, such as multiple sclerosis (MS). Although most people with MS live normal lives, they must manage symptoms and treatments that cause increased emotional and psychological stress on a daily basis. Now, researchers from two universities have found that people with MS who increase positive experiences decrease their symptoms of depression and improve the overall quality of their lives.

As part of an ongoing NIH-funded study of people with MS, Alexa Stuifbergen, professor of nursing and associate dean of research at The University of Texas at Austin, and Lorraine Phillips, assistant professor in the University of Missouri Sinclair School of Nursing, determined the extent to which positive experiences influenced the health of people with MS. The researchers found that a higher number of positive experiences was associated with fewer symptoms of depression, fewer functional limitations, and better quality of life in people with MS.

To view this entire article, please click the title above.

Sleep Problems Common In Children With ADHD, Study Shows

image of child sleeping

ScienceDaily (Apr. 8, 2008)
— Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) appear likely to experience sleep problems, according to a new report. Sleep problems in these children may be associated with poorer child psychosocial quality of life, child daily functioning, caregiver mental health and family functioning.

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is a behavioral disorder, usually first diagnosed in childhood, that is characterized by inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity. "ADHD is the most common mental health disorder in childhood, affecting up to 11 percent of Australians aged 6 to 17 years," according to background information in the article. About half of parents of children with ADHD report that their children have difficulty sleeping, feel tired on waking or have nightmares or other sleep problems such as disordered breathing and restless leg syndrome. Parents of children with ADHD are more likely to experience stress, anxiety and depression than those of children without ADHD.

To view this entire article, please click the title above.

An Evening With Embry Burrus

logo of the down syndrome association of the low country
Embry Burrus is coming back as promised on April 26 - this time with her sister Margaret!

Date: Saturday, April 26, 2008

Time: 7 p.m.

Queen Anne's Revenge
160-B Fairchild Street, Daniel Island, SC 29492

Embry and Margaret will be participating in the Special Olympics Bocce Bash Saturday morning, and then having dinner with us at Queen Anne's Revenge on Daniel Island that night.

Please plan to attend this special dinner with the author of Mama and Margaret - And meet Margaret!

A special evening with Embry Burrus and her Sister Margaret will begin at 7 p.m. at Queen Anne's Revenge on Daniel Island.

Space is limited to the first 36 people that RSVP by April 22 to (843) 553-DSAL.

About A. Embry Burrus, MCD, CC/SLP

Embry is the author of Mama and Margaret, a heartwarming, honest and funny book about Embry's sister Margaret, who was born with Down syndrome, and her mother, Augusta. The story takes the reader through the tense moments after Margaret's birth, the challenges she faced as a child, and her awe-inspiring life as an adult, including a jam-packed social calendar,
colorful friends and numerous accomplishments. The reader also gets to know Mama, in all her exquisite southernness, whose emotional, quirky and sometimes hilarious relationship with Margaret provides an underlying current throughout each chapter.

Embry is a licensed speech pathologist and spends her days doing clinical teaching with graduate students in the Department of Communication Disorders at Auburn. Embry has always enjoyed writing, whether letters to friends (and now e-mail), diaries, journals or simple notes to herself. She also enjoys storytelling and has been relating stories about her family for many years. Mama and Margaret is her first attempt at actually writing them down. She has been published in ByLine, Lake Martin Living and the Birmingham Arts Journal.

For more information about Embry Burrus, please visit her website at

For more information about this event, please click the title above.

SCATP Assistive Technology Exchange

image of wheelchair
The SC Assistive Technology Exchange is an online recycling database to help citizens with disabilities and older people with functional limitations find affordable assistive technology devices and equipment. For more information or to buy, sell, or donate, visit the Web site at or email Catherine Graham at

Some items currently listed for sale include:

5 foot long 1 piece Wheelchair Ramp. Ramp solutions, 5 foot long - one piece aluminum wheelchair ramp, used only once, non-skid, Excellent condition, For Sale: $100.00 or Best Offer

Pride Jet 2 HD (Heavy Duty) Scooter. Scooter/chair. Brand new and never used. The scooter has arms and will allow complete mobility. Never Used. For Sale: $400.00 or Best Offer

Sunrise Medical Kid Kart (Child's Wheelchair). Blue seat with Green Base. Very Good condition. Able to use in van with tie downs. Very Good condition. For Sale: $200.00 or Best Offer

Some items currently being sought:

"Sure Hands" Ceiling Hoist. A ceiling mounted hoist that can pick up a person with paraplegia and move him up & over to his wheelchair

Personal Lift. Lift to assist with transfers for a child approx 125lbs

Exterior Power Chair Lift with a Hitch. Seeking an exterior power chair lift with a hitch and/or funding for an exterior power chair lift with a hitch. The lift will be installed on a 1998 Grand Marquis and needs to be fully automatic with hand controls. It should accommodate a Jet II power chair with a weight of 220 pounds. I appreciate any help that anyone can give me.

To view these and other items, please click the title above.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Kurzweil Training

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

"Active Learning and Study Strategies using the Kurzweil 3000 Software"
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Poplar Conference Room, Midlands Center, Columbia
Presenter: Edna Beard - Kurzweil Consultant and Reseller in the Carolinas

2:30 PM - 3:00 PM
“Introduction to the knfbReader Mobile”
Poplar Conference Room, Midlands Center, Columbia, SC
Presenter: Edna Beard - Quintex of Asheville,
knfbReader Mobile Distributor in the Carolinas

Workshop Description: If you already have Kurzweil 3000 or are just thinking about purchasing it - this workshop will help to clarify just how the Kurzweil 3000 can be used to help struggling students. The Kurzweil 3000 is a content-independent reading, writing, and learning software. It is used in elementary schools, middle schools, high schools and colleges and universities to help students succeed in the classroom regardless of their curriculum or lesson plans.

The attendees will be shown activities using the Kurzweil 3000 to teach learning strategies for pre-reading skills, vocabulary development, active reading strategies, writing and proofreading, and test taking skills. In demonstrating these activities the presenter will be providing an overview of how this product can be used with any struggling student.

Educators and independent research have demonstrated that Kurzweil 3000 provides not only the tools students need to improve their reading speed and comprehension, but also the features that make it possible for them to learn and study independently. Each attendee will receive a demo copy of the Professional Color software, a product overview brochure, and a copy of "Scientifically-Based Research Validating Kurzweil 3000 - An Annotated Review of Current Research Supporting the Use of Kurzweil 3000 in the Classroom."

The knfbReader Mobile is a phone that reads to you - a truly pocket-size solution to reading on the go. This is a major advancement in portability and functionality of print access for blind, the visually impaired, and those with reading difficulties. The knfbReader Mobile and kReader Mobile software packages run on a multifunction cell phone which allows the user to read mail, receipts, handouts, and many other documents wherever the user happens to be. The knfbReader Mobile software has a feature set which is designed for use by blind or low-vision users. The kReader Mobile is designed for users who have difficulty reading due to learning or language problems. The presenter will demonstrate the functions of this truly amazing technology.

To register for this workshop:
Option 1: Complete the online registration form at>

Option 2: Email Sally Young at

Option 3: Call Sally Young at (803) 935-5263 or 800-915-4522.

Option 4: Fax your registration information to (803) 935-5342. Please include your name, organization, address, email address, phone. This workshop is free of charge, but is limited to 12 attendees.

For more information, please click the title above.

Offer for Free MiniMO Augmentative Communication Device

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From Family Connection:

We have just heard about a great program offered through the SC Telecommunications Equipment Distribution Program(TEDP). Through the SC TEDP your child may qualify for an assistive technology device called a MiniMo at no charge. This device will take the PECS program that your child is currently working on to the next level. The best part is that it is something that they can take from school to home and you can receive training from the SC TEDP FREE!!

So here is what I need you to do
1 - Fill out the attached application (Please click title above for application. Contact person is Meghan Blackburn whose phone number is 803-749-7700)
2 - Read the SC TEDP Conditions of Acceptance
3 - Return the application along with a copy of you phone bill that shows your
phone number (does not include cell phones) and a copy of your valid SC driver's
license, SC state identification card, or SC voter registration card to me ASAP.

I will collect all the addition materials needed and submit them to the SC TEDP. If you have any questions or concerns please contact me. Please remember that submitting the application does not guarantee that your child will receive a MiniMo, however, it is worth the effort.

For more information, please contact:
Meghan Blackburn

Friday, April 04, 2008

Strides for Autism

Image of South Carolina Austism Society Logo
Columbia - Saturday, May 10, 2008
8:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Location: Finlay Park

Greenville - Saturday, April 12, 2008
8:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Location: Greenville Technical College, Barton Campus

The South Carolina Autism Society is sponsoring Strides For Autism, two fun and inspiring annual events in South Carolina that will raise funds for the South Carolina Autism Society, increase awareness of autism in our state, honor those who have been touched by autism, and most importantly, to be a part of the solution. The goals for each event are to raise $45,000 to provide for family support programs, promote awareness, and support South Carolina-based research. All proceeds from these events will be used in South Carolina.

Please contact Barbara MacWilliam at 803-750-6988 ext. 120 or email Barbara at

For more information, please click the title above.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Mom Wins Fight For Autism Insurance

image of mother and child
LEXINGTON, South Carolina (CNN) -- Ryan Unumb just turned 7 years old. He has about 100 words in his vocabulary, even if they are difficult to understand. He's potty trained. He loves playing with water. He follows instructions, he asks for food when he's hungry, and he gives lots of kisses.

He's not where a 7-year-old should be developmentally, but for a child with severe autism, his parents are thrilled with his progress.

Lorri and Dan Unumb attribute these achievements to the 40 hours of intensive therapy Ryan gets every week. Tears streaming down her face, Lorri says they know they're lucky they can afford the team of private therapists who spend all day at their house outside Columbia, South Carolina.

To view this entire article and other personal stories about autism, please click the title above.

ADHD Drugs Seen As Not Linked To Future Drug Abuse

image of medication
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Using stimulants like Ritalin to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in children, particularly younger ones, does not seem to boost the risk of later substance abuse, researchers said on Tuesday.

There has been a debate over whether such medications are the best way to treat ADHD, a condition marked by inattention, hyperactivity and impulsive behavior that appears more often in boys than girls. Some experts have worried these drugs could make children more prone to substance abuse later on.

Two teams of researchers who examined the issue in studies published in American Journal of Psychiatry said their findings should offer some reassurance about using these stimulants.

To view this entire article, please click the title above.

Study Links Preemies With Autism Signs

image of premature baby feet
CHICAGO - A small study of toddlers finds that about one-quarter of babies born very prematurely had signs of autism on an early screening test.

The research is preliminary since formal autism testing wasn't done. But the results are provocative, suggesting that tiny preemies may face greater risks of developing autism than previously thought.

That suggests autism may be an under-appreciated consequence of medical advances enabling the tiniest of premature babies to survive, said lead author Catherine Limperopoulos, a researcher at McGill University in Montreal and Children's Hospital in Boston.

To view this entire article, please click the title above.