Celebrating a Successful 5K & Family Fun Day!
More than 1,200 participants came together for the 17th Annual 5K & Family Fun Day, held on May 18 at Stony Point Fashion Park, to support and honor our local autism community. We are grateful for our outstanding sponsors, participants, teams, donors, vendors, committee members & volunteers! We have a proud autism community here in Central Virginia, and we could feel the passion, drive and dedication throughout the crowd.

Participants enjoyed exploring our Resource Fair, where over 40 community businesses and organizations gathered to share their programs & services. The Highwoods Properties Kids Zone was a big hit for our youngest participants, featuring bounce houses, face painting, and costumed characters.  Our Sensory Friendly Zone, sponsored and staffed by Behavioral Health and Wellness Center, provided a quiet space for a break from the festivities, complete with Yogibo gear. Participants stored their belongings at the AnswersNow Bag Check before starting the course. Kona Ice, Chick-fil-A, Raise Coffee, Inc, and Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse were on-site offering breakfast treats, and The Next Steps Behavioral Centers Photo Booth helped participants capture the day.

Kat Simons of Mix 98.1 recognized our au-some community of loved ones, friends, caregivers, and advocates during our Opening Ceremony. Richmond Urban Dance led participants in an energizing warm-up before we headed to the Start Line. Runners and walkers enjoyed a scenic certified 5K course, pausing for hydration and high fives at the Commonwealth Pediatrics Water Stop and Dominion ABA Cheer Station. Anthony Antoine of NBC12 cheered on the crowd and announced runners as they crossed the Dominion Energy Finish Line. After the race, we celebrated our runners, teams, and fundraisers at the stage, surrounded by our Top Teams and their Celebration Tents. Kids enjoyed cooling off in the Pop Jet Fountain after the Awards Ceremony.

Thank you to all who joined us, donated, and shared the event with your networks, for being advocates for our local autism community. We are proud to share that we have raised over $165,000!
Congratulations Award Winners!
Thank You to Our Top Sponsors!
Executive Director's Message
Ann Flippin

I hope all who attended our annual 5K & Family Fun Day enjoyed it as much as my family did!  My brother, Jamie, age 28 with severe autism, was the happiest I have seen him in a long time. It meant the world to me to see him in his element. He got to see so many of his friends and mentors – buddies he met over 20 years ago through the ASCV programs, high school friends, and his favorite character, the Chick-fil-A cow. It was the first time in a while he’s been able to stay for the whole event. He especially enjoyed our first-ever sensory friendly zone and its bean bag chairs, and he completed one lap of the 5K course—a big milestone for him!
It was great mingling with many families at the 5K who had similar experiences.  How inspiring it was to host an event where individuals from all across the spectrum, their families, and service providers could come together for a fun, engaging event!  I am grateful to our leadership committee for planning such a fun morning of activities, to our sponsors for hosting interactive booths, and to our wonderful new venue Stony Point Fashion Park for embracing our community and hosting us at their beautiful space.
The 5K is our largest annual fundraiser, and its proceeds help fund many of our regular programs throughout the year.  We were blown away by the generosity of the community this year, growing our sponsorship and team fundraising significantly!  We are so grateful to our sponsors, fundraisers, and donors; your support means the world to us and to so many local families impacted by autism.

I’m excited for a summer full of fun programs ahead.  Make sure to join us for another great member evening at the Flying Squirrels game this month, and for our annual member family event in August!

Ann Flippin
Executive Director
ASCV Member Spotlight
The ASCV Spotlight features individuals, families, events and organizations that are supporting the Autism Society Central Virginia’s mission of improving the lives of all affected by autism by maximizing the self-sufficiency, independence, and quality of life for all living with autism.  This month’s column features ASCV member, Carissa Garabedian and her family. Special thanks to Carissa for contributing this article to the June 2019 Newsletter.
Why I Walk.

My family started walking 5 years ago for the ASCV 5K. It started off as something I thought we would try once at my daughter’s suggestion, and has turned into an event that means so much to all in our family. Even our son, with autism, looks forward to it every year.

We moved to Richmond 10 years ago, our son was in Kindergarten. We did now know any one here and had no idea what, if any, resources were available for those with autism. I learned about ASCV years later and found the website through friends. What a world of knowledge! The ASCV has become an extension of family, a place where, although all of our loved ones are unique, we share a common bond and know we wont be judged.

I walk because I can support and share and be a part of a community where we all feel safe.
I walk because it helps me feel like I am making a difference
I walk because the smiles on all in our team are so incredible .
I walk because so many need the services and I know our fundraising matters .

I have members on our team that look forward to this every year. Some walk, some run, some cheer , some live miles away and can only make a donation. Everyone that knows me, knows how much this means to me and when we come together, the energy is contagious. I am thankful for this community and I am excited for the future. ASCV makes such a difference in our lives.
2019 was Team Marky G’s biggest year yet, we were honored to win the Don Mayfield award for team spirit. Our team had such energy and such joy going into this day, everyone was excited and everyone came together for Marky - he may not have expressed it with words, but, his eyes said it all. He knew he mattered and he knew he was loved. That Is what this walk does. That is why I walk.

Here’s to 2020! We cannot wait!
Advocacy Updates
Governor Northam Signs Autism Insurance Bills Into Law!

May 28, 2019 marked a momentus occasion here in Central Virginia! Our team had the privilege of witnessing the culmination of over 10 years of passion, dedication, and relentless advocacy as Governor Northam signed House Bill 2577 and Senate Bill 1693 into place. This legislation means diagnostic services and autism-related therapies will be covered by state regulated plans for Virginians at ANY AGE. There is no longer an age cap! 

We are grateful for the individuals who fought for this important and necessary change, the leadership of both parties in the General Assembly, and the support this will provide for Virginians with autism and their families!
Check out some of the media coverage of the event here:
May's Featured ASCV Program - Support Groups
The ASCV strives to offer support to families experiencing autism through all ages and all life's stages  We currently do this through Information and Referral services, as well as hosting support groups for parents and caregivers. These groups offer families personal connections to those who understand their challenges, and allow them to share their experiences and learn from others.

The ASCV currently hosts two support groups for parents and caregivers, one for parents of young children with ASD ages 0-8 and the other group is for parents of adults on the spectrum. Each of these groups offer their own perspectives on what it means to be a parent to a child with autism, no matter their age.

Parents of young children on the spectrum (ages 0-8) find this support group is a great resource for any family receiving a new diagnosis, as well as families who are navigating the pre/elementary school years. This group meets from 12:30pm-1:30pm on the second Saturday of each month at the Manchester YMCA in Chesterfield. Childcare is available to the first 12 children to register. Meetings are open to all and the next one is scheduled for Saturday, June 8th. Details & registration available here: https://ypsupgrpjune19.eventbrite.com

The support group for parents of adults with ASD meets at 7pm on the last Monday of the month at River Road United Methodist Church, 8800 River Road in Richmond. The next meeting will be held on Monday, June 24th- no registration is required and all are welcome. The Adults with Asperger's/HFA Interest Group meets at the same at the church. This allows many parents to bring their adult children to a fun and inclusive social opportunity each month.
June Workshop

Autism: A Sibling's Perspective
A Sibling Panel hosted by the ASCV
Friday, June 7 at 7pm at River Road United Methodist Church

Join us to hear from a panel of six local siblings, as they share their perspectives on growing up as a brother or sister to an individual with autism.  The panel will be moderated by ASCV Executive Director, Ann Flippin, sister of a young man with autism.  Siblings will answer questions and if time allows, will take questions from the audience.  The presentation is appropriate for parents and providers, as well as siblings in grades 3 through adulthood.

Ann’s experience as a sibling is what inspired her to take a leadership role in supporting the local autism community. While her personal autism journey has been challenging, isolating, and overwhelming at times, it has also been extremely meaningful and transformative. She has found that siblings often share many of the same concerns that parents of children with autism experience, as well as issues that are uniquely theirs.

Our team at the ASCV is passionate about finding ways to support parents and younger siblings who might face similar experiences to Ann’s and providing resources and support she wishes she had earlier in her journey.  This sibling panel is an opportunity to do just that!

Meet the siblings on the panel:


Amal, Hamza and Daanish Ali are a dynamic trio of siblings who love to get on each other's nerves and bond over all sorts of goofy and fun things! Daanish is the eldest, at age 18, and attends the Faison School for Autism. He is nonverbal, but his brother and sister understand his language pretty well. Amal, 15, will be a junior at Godwin High School and Hamza, 11, is entering the IB program at Moody Middle School in the fall. Their interests are vast and varied, but the common thing they all agree on is how much they love their cat, Luna! (Well, Daanish is a bit in different to her!).
Shannon Colson is 20 years old and is a rising 3rd year at the University of Virginia. She is the proud sister to Parker who is a rising sophomore at George Mason University. Parker also happens to have Asperger’s Syndrome. Shannon is Parker’s confidant and biggest cheerleader- she is a strong advocate for inclusion and acceptance for all, and she knows that her brother has many unique gifts to share.
Sophia Garabedian is 18 years old. Her younger brother, Marky, is 16 and a sophomore at Deep Run High School. Sophia just finished her first year at JMU; she is a Communication Sciences and Disorders Major studying to eventually become a speech pathologist. Her passion is helping others and the profession she is pursuing is a great way to do it. Sophia’s brother Marky is her best friend, and he teaches her something new every day, even without meaning to! She feels lucky that her life gets to be impacted by someone with autism.
Kaitlyn and Kyle Ledford are the 20-year-old twin siblings of Carter. Kaitlyn is a rising junior at Case Western Reserve University studying nursing, and Kyle has been working full time as a technician/operator for rapid-prototyping machines for Old Dominion Dental Corporation for the past two years. Growing up in a household with a sibling with autism has taught Kaitlyn and Kyle patience, discipline, and, most importantly, compassion. Autism is an integral part of their lives, and always has been. From participating in the ASCV 5K to attending the ASCV annual membership picnics, the twins have many fond memories with Carter that made their childhood memorable.

We hope you will join us for this special opportunity to hear from this compassionate group of siblings as they share their experiences.
  May Workshop Wrap-Up: DD Waivers 
Last month we hosted two informative workshops on Medicaid Developmental Disability (DD) waivers. Bradford Hulcher, ASCV Information and Referral Specialist and a Medicaid Waiver Mentor, shared her expertise and experience with the waiver system as both a mother and an advocate.

In the first workshop, Bradford covered the three types of DD waivers, available services, eligibility, how to apply, and what resources are available while you are on the waitlist. The second workshop focused on the process of utilizing a DD waiver, roles and responsibilities of case managers and service facilitators, developing the plan of care, detailed descriptions of services available, and important steps to keep your waiver in place. Given the importance of last month’s workshop topics, we thought it would be helpful to do a recap.

A DD waiver provides an individualized bundle of service and support options that can be used in homes and communities to support the health, safety and welfare of children and adults with developmental disabilities. In order to qualify for a DD waiver, one must meet specific diagnostic, functional and financial eligibility requirements; parental income is disregarded for the purpose of financial eligibility. Examples of services and supports that a waiver might be utilized for include care attendants, respite care, group home supports, day services, employment support, assistive technology, environmental modifications, nursing, and more. These services are typically offered at little or no cost and enable those receiving them to live more integrated, independent lives.

There are three types of DD waivers:
    Building Independence Waiver: For individuals 18 years and older who     live independently in the community and own, lease or control their own     living arrangements. Wavier supports may be complimented by non-waiver     funded rent subsidies. 
    Family & Individual Supports Waiver: For individuals living with their     families, friends or in their own homes, including supports for those with     some medical or behavioral needs.
​​​​​​​    Community Living Waiver: Includes residential supports and a full array of     medical, behavioral, and non-medical supports; may include 24/7 supports     for individuals with complex medical and/or behavioral support needs     through licensed services.

Unfortunately, due to lack of State funding for DD waivers, there is currently an extensive wait list; as of May 1st, the waitlist totaled 13,287 people. If found eligible, an individual can be placed in one of the three waitlist categories:
    Priority One: It is anticipated that the individual will need waiver services     within 1 year.
    Priority Two: It is anticipated that the individual may require waiver services     in 1-5 years.
    Priority Three: It is anticipated that the individual will need a waiver slot in     five years or longer, assuming the current supports and services remain in     place.

Despite strong advocacy efforts to provide funding for those on the Priority One waitlist, no new DD waiver slots were allocated during this session of the General Assembly. This means our advocacy efforts to provide additional funding for waivers are more important than ever! 

Let’s continue to make our voices heard! Contact your Senators and Representatives and educate them on the importance of providing funding for the Priority One waitlist! If you do not know who your legislators are, you can find out here: https://whosmy.virginiageneralassembly.gov/.

If you are interested in learning more about waivers, how to apply and what to do once you receive waiver supports, please contact us at info@ascv.org.
 ASCV June Programs Calendar
Find our entire calendar of events here.​

June 1
ASCV Member Improv Workshop for Teens at Comedy Sportz; members received Eventbrite invitation

June 7
ASCV June Workshop: Autism From the Perspective of Siblings- A Sibling Panel; 7pm; details and registration: 

ASCV Teen Groups; free for ASCV members; members received Eventbrite invitation

June 8
Support Group for Parents of Children with ASD Ages 0-8; 12:30-1:30pm;

June 15
June ASCV Sensory Friendly Movie at the Byrd Theatre: Dumbo; 2pm; Carytown

ASCV Member EventRichmond Flying Squirrels; members received Eventbrite invitation

June 24
Adults with Asperger’s/HFA Group; 7pm; River Road United Methodist Church

Parents of Adults with ASD Support Group; 7pm; River Road United Methodist Church

June 29
One Eyed Jacques Game Night for Adults with Asperger's/HFA
7pm; 3104 W Cary St, Richmond; be on the lookout for this Evenbrite soon



6/1 ASCV Member Event: Teen Improv Class at Comedy Sportz
6/15 Sensory Friendly Movie at the Byrd Theatre
6/15 ASCV Member Event: Flying Squirrels Game
6/29 One Eyed Jacques Game Night for Adults with Asperger's/HFA


7/10 ASCV Family Art Event
7/13 ASCV Support Group for Parents of Children with ASD Ages 0-8

7/17 ASCV Member Event: Laser Quest
7/20 ASCV Sibshop Summer Celebration
7/20 Sensory Friendly Movie at the Byrd Theatre
7/27 ASCV Elementary Event at Sylvan Learning Center

7/29 ASCV Adults with Asperger’s/HFA Group

7/29 ASCV Parents of Adults with ASD Support Group


8/3 ASCV Member Event: Teen Improv Class at Comedy Sportz
8/5 Minds of All Kinds at The Science Museum of Virginia
8/9 Westchester Commons Summer Concert Series benefiting the ASCV
8/10 ASCV Support Group for Parents of Children with ASD Ages 0-8

8/17 Sensory Friendly Movie at the Byrd Theatre
8/18 ASCV Member Event: End of Summer Shindig

8/26 ASCV Adults with Asperger’s/HFA Group

8/26 ASCV Parents of Adults with ASD Support Group

ASCV Members: Please email info@ascv.org for your member code to receive $10 off of the Comedy Sportz Improv for Autism 101 class.
June Community Calendar
click on links in blue for additional info
The following announcements, events, and opportunities are not sponsored by the Autism Society Central Virginia. They are provided for informational purposes and should not necessarily be considered an endorsement by the ASCV. ​

The Arc Virginia Annual State Conference; July 29-31; details & registration: https://www.thearcofva.org/2019-state-convention

PEATC Building a Community of Support Virtual Training; June 9-July 1; details & registration here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/building-a-community-of-support-virtual-training-registration-61812142783 

PEATC 2019 Transition University Virtual Training; June 23-July 28; details & registration here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/junejuly-2019-transition-university-virtual-training-registration-60195585617

Miracles in Motion Summer Camps registration now open; details here: miraclesinmotionva.org

Richmond Urban Dance Show- I am Hip Hop; June 7th at 7pm & June 8th at 12pm; Maggie Walker Governor's School; details:  

June 1
Comedy Sportz Sensory Friendly Improv Show; 3pm; details & tickets here: https://www.cszrichmond.com/tickets

June 2

SPARC Live Art Performance; 4pm; details & tickets here:

June 3                 
Sensory Story Time at Glen Allen Library; for more information visit:

Sky Zone Special Needs Sensory Friendly Night, 5pm-6pm; for more information call 804-379-2500 or visit http://www.skyzone.com/richmond

June 4
TTAC Webinar: Neurotypical Brain Development: "How Different Is It from Autism, ADHD, Language Delay, etc.?" 12-1pm; details & registration: 

Jumpology Special Needs Night, 5pm-7pm; http://www.jumpology.us/Pricing-Hours for more information

Sensory Story Time at Varina Area Library; for more information:

June 7
Special Nights at the Children's Museum- Downtown; 5:30-7:30pm; details: https://www.childrensmuseumofrichmond.org/full-menu/calendar/

June 13
Sensory Friendly Story Time at Chesterfield Central Library; 10:30am; for more information: http://chesterfield.evanced.info/signup/Calendar

June 18
Launch VIP Time; 5-7pm; details here: 

June 26
Caminos Group support group for Latino families with autism; meets at the Sacred Heart Center, 1400 Perry Street, Richmond, 23224 from 10am-12pm; RSVP at 804-646-0145

Advertise in the ASCV Newsletter
Our newsletter reaches over 3,000 families, professionals and educators on a monthly basis. If you would like to place an advertisement, please contact us at info@ascv.org. Ad Rates: 1/2 page ad = $75 ($68 non-profit) or Full page ad = $100 ($90 non-profit). Long term Ad discounts: Ads of 6-11 months =10% discount, Ads of 12 months or longer = 15% discount.

The Board reserves the right to refuse to place an advertisement.
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