First Annual ASCV Gala Wrap-Up

The Autism Society Central Virginia (ASCV) hosted our First Annual Gala, A Toast to the Autism Community, on November 9.  This inaugural event celebrated our local autism community and honored ASCV members who have made a significant impact on the organization and our mission.  

Nearly 200 ASCV members, sponsors, providers, and other guests filled the Bolling Haxall house, enjoying live music by Jackass Flats, delicious food by White House Catering, an open beer & wine bar, games, a silent auction, and more.  Anthony Antoine of NBC12 served as the Master of Ceremonies for an incredible evening.
The ASCV was proud to unveil our first Annual Mission Awards, recognizing five key supporters who embrace our mission to improve the lives of all affected by autism.  Please be sure to check out this month's ASCV Member Spotlight for more information on the evening's special honorees.

It was a fun and successful evening, raising over $40,000 in proceeds to support the ASCV’s programming and services.  Thank you to everyone who joined us and toasted our community—we’re already looking forward to next year’s event! 

Find more photos from the Gala
on Facebook!
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 those honored at the ASCV's 1st Annual Gala: A Toast to the Autism Community. Pictured below are: Todd Schall-Vess, Michael McGrath, Bradford Hulcher, Shawn Kirk and Jennifer Barnum.
At the Autism Society Central Virginia’s first Annual Gala this November, we had the privilege of presenting five Mission Awards to recognize members of our community who have gone above and beyond in their commitment to the ASCV mission.  These outstanding honorees are central to the mission of the ASCV, whether they are supporting it, living it, or promoting it.

Jennifer Barnum- Mission Amplifier Award
Jennifer is a catalyst for the mission.  Her dedication and ability to promote the ASCV to her friends, family, and community has helped the organization reach new heights with resources and support.  Through the years, this inspiring lady has raised more than $88,000 for the ASCV through her 5K fundraising efforts. 

Michael McGrath- Mission Exemplifier Award
Michael demonstrates the ASCV’s mission in his everyday work.  Through gymnastics, he focuses on building self-esteem, courage, and confidence for his participants.  Many of our families tell us he’s created a special, inclusive environment in which to learn and grow.  He lives and breathes the mission every day. 

The Byrd Theatre- Mission Partner Award
The Byrd Theatre is a strong community partner of the ASCV who hosts programming month after month, creating a friendly, accommodating, and sensory-friendly atmosphere for our community in their beautiful theatre.  This past April, they went above and beyond, hosting An Evening with Temple Grandin, with over 1,000 attendees.  Special thanks to Todd Schall-Vess for his support and dedication to the ASCV.

Bradford Hulcher- Mission Champion Award
Bradford is an incredible advocate who has helped establish the ASCV’s strong foundation.  She has made a tremendous impact through the years with her leadership, devotion, and daily commitment to the ASCV mission.   She has been a significant source of support for numerous families in our community, helping them navigate local services and resources. 

Shawn Kirk- Mission Inspiration Award
Shawn is a self-advocate who is the spark that shines light on the ASCV mission.  He has served in numerous leadership roles and is a strong advocate for himself and other adults with autism.  The ASCV is so proud to see him working in the community, leading social groups and hosting inclusive holiday parties.

Congratulations to all of our honorees! The ASCV thanks you for your dedication and commitment to the autism community.
ASCV November Program Spotlight -
"Autism Goes to College" Movie Night

The ASCV, along with Spectrum Wise College Consulting, hosted a viewing of the documentary, "Autism Goes to College" on Tuesday, November 9th at the Byrd Theatre. Over 150 attendees enjoyed the inspiring story of a group of young people with ASD and the ups and downs of their college journeys.

We also heard from two recent college graduates with ASD and a parent of college student with autism. Thank you to Barbara Simeroth of Spectrum Wise College Consulting for spearheading the event, as well as the Cameron Gallagher Foundation and the Autism Success Foundation for participating. Special thanks goes out to the Byrd Theatre for hosting this wonderful event and we are so grateful to all who donated to the ASCV at the theatre.
Executive Director's Message
Ann Flippin
Holiday Tips from the Autism Society of America
Twelve Tips for Helping Individuals with Autism
Have a Happy Holiday Season

While many happily anticipate the coming holiday season, families of people on the autism spectrum also understand the special challenges that may occur when schedules are disrupted and routines broken. Our hope is that by following these few helpful tips, families may lessen the stress of the holiday season and make it a more enjoyable experience for everyone involved. 

1. Preparation is crucial for many individuals. 
2. Decorations around the house may be disruptive for some. 
3. If a person with autism has difficulty with change, you may want to gradually decorate the house. 
4. If a person with autism begins to obsess about a particular gift or item they want, it may be helpful to be specific and direct about the number of times they can mention the gift. 
5. Teach them how to leave a situation and/or how to access support when an event becomes overwhelming. 
6. If you are traveling for the holidays, make sure you have their favorite foods, books or toys available.
7. Be prepared and stand firm. Accept well-meaning but unwanted advice with the phrase, “I’ll have to think about that,” and smile.
8. Prepare a photo album in advance of the relatives and other guests who will be visiting during the holidays.
9. Practice opening gifts, taking turns and waiting for others, and giving gifts.
10. Prepare family members for strategies to use to minimize anxiety or behavioral incidents, and to enhance participation. 
11. If the person with autism is on special diet, make sure there is food available that he/she can eat. 
12. Above all, know your loved one with autism. 

Don’t stress. Plan in advance. And most of all have a wonderful holiday season!

For the full article, click here:
ASCV December Workshops
Last Chance to Register for Wednesday's Workshop:
A Panel Discussion with Local Law Enforcement
Don't miss this Wednesday's workshop, as representatives from Chesterfield, Henrico, Hanover, Richmond and Louisa participate in a panel discussion about supporting individuals with autism in the community. This workshop will give families and members of law enforcement the opportunity to discuss how they can best support each other to promote positive interactions, relationships and outcomes in our local communities. Our goal for the evening is to be positive and solution-focused, and we hope you can join us to be part of the conversation! Please join us at 6:30pm at River Road United Methodist Church.

You can reserve your seat here: 
Wednesday, December 11th Workshop:
Beyond ABC…Fundamental Behavioral Supports and Strategies​​​​​​​
Join us, on Wednesday, December 11th at 6:30pm for a workshop presented by VJ Petillo on Fundamental Behavioral Supports and Strategies at River Road United Methodist Church.

Some individuals with ASD display behavior that can disrupt or cause problems in their lives and challenge those who support them.  In these situations, it is best if caregivers and supporters are as well-equipped as possible to address the problem behavior. This presentation will focus upon some of the fundamental concepts and strategies of behavioral supports and interventions. 

 ASCV December Programs Calendar
 Find our entire calendar of events here.​ 
If you have any questions about our Fall programming, please email us at 
December 3
ASCV Holiday Concert with the James River Singers; 6:30-7:30pm; details & registration:

December 4
ASCV Workshop: A Panel Discussion with Local Law Enforcement;
6:30-8pm; details & registration: 

December 8
ASCV Member Holiday Party; 2-4pm; members received Eventbrite invitation via email

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

December 13
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:

December 14
Support Group for Caregivers of Children with ASD Ages 0-10 at Manchester YMCA; 12:30-1:30pm; details & registration: 

December 15
ASCV Member Bowling Event at Shrader Lanes; members received Eventbrite invitation via Email 

December 16
Adult Social Group; 7pm; River Road United Methodist Church

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

December 21
ASCV Sensory Friendly Movie at the Byrd Theatre: The Polar Express; 2pm; Carytown
December 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. ​

December 3
Jumpology Special Needs Night, 5pm-7pm; for more information

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

December 5, 6, & 9
Children's Museum 2019 Sensitive Santa Schedule; details & tickets: 

December 6
Special Nights at the Children's Museum- Downtown; 5:30-7:30pm; details:

December 8
YMCA Sensitive Santa in Powhatan; 10am-1pm; Bienvenue Event Venue; registration required, call 804-598-0250 to register and choose a time slot

December 10
VA Repertory Theatre's Sensory Friendly Showing of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella; 10am; for tickets:

December 12
Sensory Friendly Story Time at Chesterfield Central Library; 10:30am; for more information:

December 17
Launch VIP Time; 5-7pm; details here: 

December 28
Ashland Theatre Au-some Movie: Star Wars- The Rise of Skywalker; 12pm; 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 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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