Fall 2019 Workshop Series Kick Off
Executive Director's Message
Ann Flippin
I’m proud to share a recap of the fun-filled summer we shared with many of our ASCV member families! We hosted 895 participants at a variety of programs and events throughout the summer.

We launched into summer with our annual evening at the Flying Squirrels, 100 ASCV members strong!

Our families also enjoyed time at Laser Quest, Sylvan for robotics, Minds of All Kinds at the Science Museum, and games at Dave & Busters and One Eyed Jacques.

Nine families joined us for a special Family Art Night, hosted by Girl Scouts from Troop 3533 at Inspire Art Studio for an evening of creativity and fun for all.

We hosted two pool parties over the summer, one for our sibling group and another for our teens, thanks for our hosts Woodlake Aquatic & Fitness Center and the Midlothian YMCA.

Comedy Sportz offered two teen improv workshops.  I really enjoyed seeing one in action, as well as mingling with families on that hot afternoon afterwards over delicious gelato!

We’ve enjoyed spending time with our adult social group, as well as many parents at both our young families support groups, and our caregivers of adults with autism group and being part of the invaluable resources and support participants give each other. We look forward to expanding our caregiver support groups to those of teens (both a middle school and a high school support group!), as well as a second young families support group, all starting this fall.

We hosted 100 ASCV members for our End of Summer Shindig, which was such a fun afternoon, with field games hosted by SCOR, face painting by Paint Crazy RVA, Bach to Rock, and food from Noodles & Company!

I’m very excited to share that so far in 2019, the ASCV has expanded our reach, touching over 30% more individuals through our programs and services than this time last year. We have exciting plans for the fall, in hopes to continue this wonderful momentum. Based on our program attendance and feedback from families, we recognize the need for additional recreational, social & support programs throughout our local area, and we’re striving to provide as many offerings as possible.

Thank you to all who’ve made this growth possible and been dedicated champions over this last year. We look forward to a wonderful fall season ahead!
ASCV Program Spotlight
Our 13th Annual Member Family Fun Day was a blast! Our members had a great time at Sports Center of Richmond (SCOR) playing games, getting faces painted with Paint Crazy RVA, jamming with Bach to Rock, and eating a delicious meal from Noodles & Company!! If you are interested in becoming an ASCV member to join us at events like our End of Summer Shindig, visit our website to become a member today! 
2019 Scholarship Campaign 
Back to School Tips
As we all know, the beginning of the new school year is a time of transition for all children, but can be especially difficult for those with autism. We want to kick-off our September newsletter will a few tips from one of the Autism Society of America's great resources, Planning for Successful Transition Across Grade Levels:

• Any anxieties the student may have about the new setting should be alleviated. Preparation for this move can be facilitated by providing the student with a map of the school, a copy of his or her fall schedule, a copy of the student handbook and rules, and a list of clubs and extracurricular activities.

• Key people or a mentor should be identified that the student can contact if he or she is having a difficult time adjusting to or understanding a certain situation. Finding allocation where the student can go to relax and regroup also is helpful, as is providing the student with a visual menu of coping strategies.

• Methods and a schedule should be established for communicating between home and school. Suggestions for maintaining ongoing communication include journals, daily progress notes, mid-term grades, scheduled appointments or phone calls, informal meetings, report cards and parent-teacher conferences.

• Once in the new school, peers should be identified who are willing to help the student with the transition and acclimation to the new school. By gaining the support of a friend without a disability, the student with autism may have greater access to social opportunities during and after school.

These are only a few of the great tips included! Click here to continue reading Planning for Successful Transitions Across Grade Levels. 

The ASCV also reached out to one of our member families, The Fletchers, to find out how they prepare for the upcoming school year. Here's what Kate, mom of three boys on the spectrum and an educator herself, has to share...

Our oldest, Matthew, is starting middle school. To prepare him for the different school and routine, I signed him up for our school’s camp for rising 6th graders. He spent four days working with his new case manager, getting familiar with the school, meeting classmates. His ABA therapist even attended one day to answer questions and help with the transition. At home, we talk A LOT about school and how awesome it is, and I pumped him up shopping for school supplies. When school starts, I will email Matthew’s general education teachers to let them know his strengths, struggles, sensory issues, favorite reinforcers, as well as our goals for the school year.

Wesley, age 9, is also headed to a new school because we moved. He’s heading to a brand new SOL Autism program, which brings its own set of unknowns. Because he struggles with change, we drive by the school often, pointing out “Wesley’s new school.” I contacted the principal to arrange a tour and described his anxiety about school. Two weeks before his first day, we’ll start a back-to-school countdown on the calendar, and I will send the same informational email about strengths and sensory challenges to Wesley’s teacher when we find out who that is.
The ASCV's Information and Referral service is available to answer any questions you might have as you start this new school year. Please email us at info@ascv.org or call 804-257-0192, and we will connect you with the resources your family needs.
ASCV Fall Program Announcements
Although it is hard to believe September is here, we are eager to kick off our Fall programs! We are excited to announce that we have several NEW support groups to introduce this Fall as well as a few updates for some of our regular programs. 
Find our entire calendar of events here.​ If you have any questions about our Fall programs, please email us at info@ascv.org
September Sibshop
ASCV Sibshop is a great opportunity for brothers and sisters to obtain peer support and education in a fun, recreational environment.

WHO: Sibshop is 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: Weinstein Jewish Community Center- 5403 Monument Ave, Richmond- please check in at the front desk.

WHEN: Saturday, September 21, 2019; 10am-12pm.
Please RSVP by Thursday, September 19, 2019

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.
Announcing Our 1st Annual Gala
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 Recreational Facilitator, Lindsey Weeks. Special thanks to Lindsey for contributing this article to the September 2019 Newsletter.
Hello, all! My name is Lindsey Weeks, and I am the Recreational Facilitator for our Bowling outings and Lego Club events. Prior to working at the ASCV, having long been passionate about working with this community, I was involved in integrative initiatives within my high school advocating for greater equality of opportunity for peers with varied levels of ability. Our integrated track team, senior graduation, and basketball event were especially memorable. I believe this experience in advocacy, and working toward increasing quality of life for this population was what lead me to seek out such an empowering organization, the ASCV, years later after moving to the Richmond area to go to school. 

Unsurprisingly, my experiences working as a facilitator have consistently proven to be the most fulfilling and rewarding experiences I have been able to be a part of throughout my studies as an undergraduate student, and played a large role in my decision to pursue a career as an Occupational Therapist. The majority of my time spent working tends to not really feel like “work”, as a result of the uplifting and positive atmosphere created, and embodied, by the participants and their families. Particularly so with our Bowling outings, despite running around for the majority of the events to check on volunteers, administrative work, or to chat with a family. As such, the sense of community and happiness the programs provided by the ASCV bring to participants, has proved to be quite an uplifting and motivational experience for me in particular, and many volunteers we have had (many of which come back time, and time again)! 

Many of these same sentiments, and the opportunity to participate in my community in a leadership position has had a tremendously positive impact on my life far beyond my responsibilities as an employee. Now the President of my class at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Entry-Level Occupational Therapy (OT) Doctorate Program, and our Virginia OT association representative, I feel I have gained the confidence and experience needed to take on more leadership roles in my occupational goals. Much of this, I owe to my experiences and future involvement with the ASCV and its participants, and will always cherish learning the value of service to one’s community, and the unexpected breadth of positive impact it may have. I hope to continue to have a positive impact on this community in my work with the ASCV, and my future work in Occupational Therapy. My sincerest thanks for the positive impact you all have had on me!
   Advocacy - Back to School Edition
The back to school transition is filled with excitement, apprehension, frustration, and hope for a successful school year. Special education requires parents, students, caretakers, and teachers to tackle challenges and provide extra support so individuals on the autism spectrum can fulfill their right to a meaningful education. The Autism Society of America has put together a digital toolkit of resources, information, and guides to help navigate the education system. You can check it out here
   Attention Everyone on the DD Waiver Waiting List
 ASCV September Programs Calendar
September 10
NEW Support Group for Caregivers of Children with ASD Ages 0-10 at Shady Grove YMCA; 10-11am; details & registration: 

September 13
Teen Social Groups at Midlothian YMCA; members received Eventbrite invitation via email

NEW 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://supgrpteenparentssept19.eventbrite.com

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

September 15
ASCV Member Bowling Event at King Pin Lanes; members received Eventbrite invitation via Email 

September 18
ASCV Workshop: "Extraordinary People" Screening and Panel Discussion; 7-9pm; Charterhouse School Auditorium; details & registration: 

September 21
ASCV Sibshop; 10am-12pm; Weinstein Jewish Community Center; details & registration: https://ascvsibshopsept19.eventbrite.com

ASCV Sensory Friendly Movie at the Byrd Theatre: Aladdin; 2pm; Carytown

September 25
ASCV Member Event: Moms Night Out at Paint Crazy RVA; members will receive Eventbrite invitation via email

September 28
ASCV Inclusive Lego & Game Club; 10:30-11am; details & registration: 

September 30
Adult Social Group; 7pm; River Road United Methodist Church

Caregivers of Adults with ASD Support Group; 7pm; River Road United Methodist Church
ASCV Members check out your membership perks to receive $10 off the Comedy Sportz Class!
September 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. ​
Easterseals Camp Fairlee Respite Weekends; details & registration: 

Henrico County Parks & Rec Class Registration: Music with Me (ages 1-5); Pop in & Play (ages 12-22); Blended Voices: Holiday Spectacular (ages 12+); for details and registration, contact Jennifer Godfrey, god001@henrico.us

September 3
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:

September 4
Eden II Programs Webinar: Safety in the Community; details & registration: https://eden2.org/webinar/webinar-wednesday-september-4th/

September 6
Special Nights at the Children's Museum- Short Pump; 5:30-7:30pm; details: https://www.childrensmuseumofrichmond.org/full-menu/calendar

September 10
Aveanna Back to School Resource Fair; 3:30-6:30pm; Rehabilitation Associates, 9325 Midlothian Turnpike, Suite A, Richmond, 23235

September 11
Eden II Programs Webinar: Using Incidental Teaching To Increase Speech-Language And Communication Skills In Individuals With ASD; details & registration: 

September 12
Sensory Friendly Story Time at Chesterfield Central Library; 10:30am; for more information: http://chesterfield.evanced.info/signup/Calendar

September 14
2019 PEATC Parent and Youth Empowerment Summit; Great Wolf Lodge, Williamsburg; details & registration: 

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

September 18
Eden II Programs Webinar: Relationship Between Language Acquisition And Theory Of Mind; details & registration: https://eden2.org/webinar/webinar-wednesday-september-18th/

September 25
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

Eden II Programs Webinar: Evidence-Based vs Non-Evidence-Based Practices; details & registration: https://eden2.org/webinar/webinar-wednesday-september-25th/

September 26
Next Steps Behavioral Centers September Monthly Speaker: Stephen Burns - Special Needs Trusts; 6-7:30pm; details & registration: 
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.

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