We Want Your Input - 2020 Programming
We are looking forward to another wonderful year of exciting of programming, collaborating with all of you, and supporting our local autism community. As we head into 2020, we would love your help as we prepare and plan this year's programs and events. 

Please click HERE to take to fill out a brief survey about our ASCV programming. The information will help us learn more about the experiences of our membership base and other community members, inform program evaluation and development, and ensure we are providing appropriate services and supports. 
ASCV Winter 2020 Programs
ASCV 2020 Volunteers Register Here!
Exciting 2020 Volunteer Opportunities with the ASCV!
The ASCV has several exciting programs continuing through the winter and spring months, and we are looking for volunteers who can help us make these programs a success for individuals with autism and their families. Whether you are an experienced ASCV volunteer, or a first-timer- we want to hear from you!

The programs and dates are listed below.  If you are able to volunteer, please fill out this ASCV Volunteer Interest Form. If you have a have questions or a big group that would like to volunteer, please email us at info@ascv.org.
Au-thentic Volunteers needed for our Teen Social Groups!
Our teen groups meet monthly to promote positive peer connections and support the development and practice of social, communication, and interpersonal skills for middle and high school students with autism in a small group setting.  Volunteers will support with interactive games, recreational activities, and group discussions under the leadership of an ASCV staff member.
(18 years of age and older are welcome to volunteer) 
Location: Midlothian YMCA, 737 Coalfield Road, Midlothian
Dates: Jan. 10, Feb. 21, Mar. 13, Apr. 24, May 8, June 12
Time: 5:45-9pm
Supportive Volunteers needed for our childcare!
The ASCV hosts monthly workshops for individuals, families, caregivers and professionals.  Volunteers support onsite childcare we provide for youth with autism and siblings (ages 2-17) during the workshops.   
(18 years of age and older are welcome to volunteer) 
Location: River Road United Methodist Church, 8800 River Road, Richmond
Dates: Jan. 10, Feb. 5, Mar. 4, May 6, June 3
Time: 6-8:30pm
Outgoing Volunteers are needed for our Bowling Program!
Volunteers serve as buddies to a children, teens and/or adults with autism by actively cheering on bowlers, and helping them to bowl as needed. (High school students & older are welcome to volunteer) 
Location: King Pin Lanes- 200 N Otterdale Road, Midlothian
Dates: Jan. 12, Mar. 1, May 3
Location: AMF Shrader Lanes- 8307 Shrader Road, Richmond
Dates: Feb. 9, Apr. 19
Time: 12:45-3:30 
Motivated Volunteers needed at Inclusive Lego & Game Club!
Volunteers help set up Legos and board games, engage with the children during Lego/Game play, and help clean up.
(High school students & older are welcome to volunteer) 
Location: ASCV Downtown Office, 200 S. 3rd St., Richmond
Dates: Jan. 25, Feb. 29, Mar. 28, Apr. 25, May 30
Time: 9:45-11:30am
Exceptional Volunteers needed for our Special Events!
The ASCV offers it's members special events throughout the year and volunteers are needed to help assist the staff. Volunteers are currently needed to sign up for the annual ASCV 5K.
(High school students & older are welcome to volunteer) 
Dates: Friday, May 15, 2020 and Saturday, May 16, 2020
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 Britt Thurman, Manager, Science Within Reach, at the Science Museum of Virginia. Special thanks to Britt for contributing to the ASCV's January newsletter!
The Science Museum of Virginia is dedicated to creating opportunities to engage with science for people of all abilities and from all walks of life. To do this, we rely on community partnerships to help inform us on best practices. One of the most valuable partnerships the Museum has is with the Autism Society Central Virginia. Their guidance has allowed the Museum to create and strengthen existing programs and resources geared for guests with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Among these community-driven programs and resources are the social narrative and Curiosity Guide. These two documents help guests with ASD prepare for and navigate their visit at the Science Museum. The Curiosity Guide details all of the sensory stimuli that a guest might encounter at each exhibit and for our giant screen films in the Dome theater. To make a visit to the Museum more manageable, ASCV helped the Museum create the new sensory backpacks. Each backpack is equipped with noise-cancelling headphones, sunglasses, fidget toys, activity sheets, and a map of the Museum.

Even with the social narrative and the Curiosity Guide, we understand that it can be difficult to visit the Museum due to crowds and lots of noise. With the help of ASCV, we created Minds of All Kinds, a sensory friendly evening at the Museum. Minds of All Kinds events take place four times a year and are completely free for guests with disabilities and their families. We want the community to be able to explore the Museum in a welcoming and judgement-free environment without an overwhelming sensory overload. Sarah and Megan have been exceptionally helpful walking through the Museum with us to advise us on exhibits we may want to lower sound or lighting levels on or maybe even turn off for the evening. In addition, we offer extra programs and sensory activities, have designated quiet rooms, and train all staff on working with guests with ASD.

The staff training has been an immeasurable help to the Museum. As a participant in the pilot program for Autism Friendly Communities, ASCV is offering multiple trainings to Museum staff on Autism 101. We fully believe that it doesn’t matter what programs or resources you offer if your staff isn’t trained to work with guests with ASD. Going through an Autism 101 training will be required of all new staff.

Without our partnership with ASCV, the Museum wouldn’t be able to offer all of the programs and resources that we currently have available. Their training, advice, and support helps us to better be able to serve and engage with the community. The Science Museum of Virginia is forever grateful to be an ASCV member and looks forward to all of the ways we will work together in the future.
ASCV December Program Spotlight -
Annual Holiday Party at Science Museum of VA

The ASCV hosted almost 200 friends at the Science Museum of Virginia for our annual Member Holiday Party. Members enjoyed appetizers, cake, visits with Santa and music by Healing Sounds. Each member was also treated to a ticket to tour the Science Museum. Thanks to all of our families, self-advocates and volunteers who helped make this a memorable event!

Not an ASCV member, but would like to join us at our next special event. Click here to get more information on ASCV membership!
ASCV January Workshops
Mindfulness Essentials for Parents
Friday, January 10, 2020

Join us on Friday, January 10, 2020 at 6:30pm for a workshop presented by Sherry Klauer, a qualified Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) teacher, at River Road United Methodist Church.

Calm. Presence. Compassion. The very qualities we want to show the most to our children are often the most difficult to find in our busy days full of commitments and constant stimulation. As a parent of a child with special abilities and needs, how we show up is potentially even more important for the well-being of our children. Not only must we protect and advocate for our kids, but it's critical that we practice self-care along the way, as well. Join us to learn more about the practice of mindfulness - what it is and how it can be a game changer for parents and the whole family!

For details & registration, click here: https://ascvjan20workshop.eventbrite.com
I'm Determined Family Night for Teens, Caregivers & Families
Monday, January 27, 2020
Don't miss the I'm Determined Family Night presented by Jackie Neidel and Shelley Jewell at River Road United Methodist Church, on Monday, January 27, 2020 at 6:30 pm. This is a great opportunity for families, especially teens and their caregivers, to learn more about this amazing program!

I’m Determined is a state directed project funded by the Virginia Department of
Education that focuses on the elements of self-determination which include choice making, decision making, and problem solving. By providing opportunities to practice skills associated with self-determined behavior, youth, especially those with disabilities, begin to understand how to advocate for themselves, helping to set and steer their course rather than remaining the silent passenger in their life. Our time together will allow participants the opportunity to hear the journey of one of the youth leaders from
the I'm Determined project as well as participate in activities related to the elements of self-determination.  The night will include highlight tools developed to help youth to share who they are, what they strive to do and who might help them as they travel their road to self-determination.

Come learn more about this amazing program! Click here for details & registration: https://ascvimdeterminedfamnite2020.eventbrite.com
Register Now for the January ASCV Sibshop!
ASCV Sibshops are a great opportunity for siblings of individuals with disabilities to obtain peer support and education in a fun, recreational environment.

WHO: Sibshops are for youth, ages 7-13, who have a sibling with special needs. Siblings 14 and up are encouraged to contact us and volunteer - we would love to have you!
WHERE: ASCV Downtown Office, 200 South 3rd Street, Richmond 23219
WHEN: Saturday, January 18, 2020; 10am-12pm. Please RSVP by Thursday, January 16, 2020.
PAYMENT: There is a non-refundable fee of $4 per session for ASCV members, and $10 per session for non-ASCV members. Register here:

Not an ASCV member yet? Click here to join before you register for Sibshops.
 ASCV January Programs Calendar
 Find our entire calendar of events here.​ 
If you have any questions about our Fall programming, please email us at info@ascv.org 
January 10
ASCV Workshop: Mindfulness Essentials for Parents
6:30-8pm; details & registration: https://ascvjan20workshop.eventbrite.com

Teen Social Groups at Midlothian YMCA; members received Eventbrite invitation via email

Support Group for Caregivers of Teens with ASD; middle school parents meet 6-7pm; high school parents meet 7:30-8:30pm; Midlothian YMCA; details & registration: https://teencaregiversupgrpjan20.eventbrite.com

January 11
Support Group for Caregivers of Children with ASD Ages 0-10 at Manchester YMCA; 12:30-1:30pm; details & registration: 

January 12
ASCV Member Bowling Event at Shrader Lanes; members received Eventbrite invitation via Email 

January 14
Support Group for Caregivers of Children with ASD Ages 0-10 at Shady Grove YMCA; 10-11am; details & registration: 

January 18
ASCV Sibshops; 10am-12pm; ASCV Downtown Office; details & registration:
January 19
ASCV Teen Sibling Club; 3-5pm; be on the lookout for details soon

January 25
ASCV Inclusive Lego & Game Club; 10-11:30am; details & registration: 

January 27
ASCV Workshop: I'm Determined Family Night
6:30-8pm; details & registration: 

Adult Social Group; 7pm; River Road United Methodist Church

Caregivers of Adults with ASD Support Group; 7pm; River Road United Methodist Church
January 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. ​

Louisa County Sherrif's Office Foundation & Project First Responder presents- Special Needs Got Talent; registration open until January 9th; details: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/special-needs-got-talent-tickets-79071327469

Swift Creek YMCA Diverse Abilities Swim Lessons; January 4-25; for more information, email Rob Britt @brittr@ymcarichmond.org

January 7
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:

Central Region REACH Training Series (6 sessions): Mental Health Approaches to Intellectual/Developmental Disability; 1-4pm; details & registration: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/mental-health-approaches-to-idd-tickets-73111575691?aff=utm_source%3Deb_email%26utm_medium%3Demail%26utm_campaign%3Dnew_event_email&utm_term=eventname_text

January 9
Sensory Friendly Story Time at Chesterfield Central Library; 10:30am; for more information: http://chesterfield.evanced.info/signup/Calendar

January 14&15
VA Access Class: Get Rid of the Myths! - Working While On Benefits, SSI/SSDI & Work Incentives; 2 day class; details & registration: 

January 21
Launch VIP Time; 5-7pm; details here: 

PEATC Workshop: Turning 18 in VA : What Invididuals with Disabilities of ALL AGES Need to Know; 6-7pm; details & registration: 

January 22
PEATC Workshop: Disability Benefits: VA’s Medicaid Waivers and Social Security; 9:30-11:30am; https://www.eventbrite.com/e/disability-benefits-vas-medicaid-waivers-and-social-security-faison-morning-registration-86043694005

January 25
Ashland Theatre Ausome Movie; 12pm; Title TBA; call 804-401-7007, ext. 210 to leave a message to reserve up to 4 free tickets for the movie; must call to reserve, seating is limited

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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