ASCV Halloween Happenings
ASCV Member Event: Pumpkin Patch Outing
The ASCV is hosting a member event at the Chesterfield Berry Farm  Pumpkin Patch this weekend! Families can participate in a wide range of fun activities, including the kid zone, corn maze and wagon barrel train ride - just to name a few! Participants will also have the opportunity to take a hay ride to choose their own pumpkin.

ASCV members received an Eventbrite invitation to this annual event. Not a member, but would like to join the ASCV and attend our family friendly events? Click here to learn more about ASCV membership!
Trick-or-Treating: 7 Tips to Set You Up for Success!
Check out this summary of Halloween Tips from the Autism Society of America! For the full article, click here:

By its very nature, Halloween is scary. Everything from the decorations, horror films, costumes, and the inflated cost of candy. However, perhaps the scariest part of Halloween is trying to understand it through the eyes of our kids with autism. So how do we make this spooky night less of a nightmare?

BOO! Take Out the Surprise Factor
Talk about Halloween ahead of time so your child will know what to expect. 

Scope Out the Neighborhood(s)
Take a nighttime stroll through the streets where you plan to trick-or-treat and look at the decorations. 

Teach the Rules of Trick-or-Treating
Provide step-by-step instructions for how trick-or-treating works. Here is the link for a social story that might be helpful: 

Have a Dress Rehearsal
For a child with sensory issues, costumes can pose some problems. 

Make a Candy Plan
Think pre- and post-trick-or-treating. If your child has a restricted diet, you could drop off packages of allowable snacks or small toys to your neighbors for them to give to your child.

Go with Friends
Pair your child up with a neurotypical buddy that can help your child remember the trick-or-treating rules. 

Eliminate the Fear Factor
There’s a lot going on during Halloween’s evening hours that startles the senses. It’s dark and there are many people running around in scary costumes. Go before it gets dark if your child would be afraid during the later hours or if you need a less crowded time.
Executive Director's Message
Ann Flippin
It’s hard to believe that October is already here!  September was a productive month - we kicked off our Fall programming, announced our Gala event, welcomed a new team member, and recruited our Fall 2019 Board of Directors class!

Throughout September, we hosted over 240 participants at our variety of social, recreational, support and educational offerings. In addition to our regular programming, we launched several new programs including three new support groups and our first ASCV Mom’s Night Out. We also finalized plans for a new Teen Sibling Club – more details later in the newsletter! 
We kicked off our fall workshop series with a special screening of the documentary Extraordinary People, along with a dynamic panel discussion with representatives from two local vocational programs, Frank Community Farm and Next Move Program, along with a young man who works at the VCU Cary Street Gym and his compassionate job coach from VCU RRTC.  We left feeling inspired by the opportunities we learned about for focused employment and volunteer experiences where individuals with autism can be fulfilled and successful in their roles.  Thank you to all who joined us for this special evening!

Our first annual ASCV Gala, A Toast to the Autism Community, will take place on on November 9th, and we hope you’ll join us! Our Gala committee has been working hard to secure sponsors, auction items, and wonderful entertainment for this exciting event! Features will include a delicious food by White House Catering, drinks, a silent auction, prizes, photo booth, live entertainment by the Jackass Flats, dancing, and special champagne toasts! 

There are many ways you can get involved in this inaugural event, including sponsoring, attending, or purchasing a toast in honor of a special someone from our local autism community. Purchase your tickets here before we sell out! Information about sponsorship opportunities can be found here.
I’m excited to introduce our new Development & Operations Manager, Kathleen Petroziello. Kathleen comes to the ASCV from The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society with extensive fundraising and event planning experience. Prior to her role at LLS, Kathleen was a Stage Manager for the Goodman Theatre in Chicago, and she has also spent time volunteering with the Richmond Peace Education Center. She and I worked closely together at LLS, and I’m excited to welcome her to our ASCV team - she’s going to be a wonderful asset to the organization during our exciting time of growth!

Did you know the ASCV has built a strong and talented Junior Board? Please be sure to read our Junior Board President’s “ASCV Member Spotlight” article in this newsletter, which introduces each of our members and their passions for being part of the group.  In next month’s newsletter I’ll introduce our 2019 Board of Directors class, another strong, talented, and dedicated group of ASCV volunteer leaders!

On top of the new additions here at the ASCV, I also want to share that my family and I are expecting a little boy at the beginning of December; we cannot wait to introduce him to all of you. It sure is an exciting and busy time for us at the ASCV!

Thank you for your continued support, participation with, and dedication to the ASCV.  We hope to see you at one of our many upcoming programs soon, and at the Gala on November 9th!
ASCV September Program Spotlight -
ASCV Moms' Night Out
Last month, we collaborated with Paint Crazy RVA to host our first ASCV Moms' Night Out. Participants enjoyed an evening sipping sangria, creating one of a kind art pieces and getting to know fellow moms. Thank you to all those who attended and to Paint Crazy RVA for a wonderful evening!
New ASCV Program - Teen Siblings Club
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 Junior Board President, Patrick Jorgensen. Special thanks to Patrick for contributing this article to the October 2019 Newsletter.
Patrick Jorgensen, President of our ASCV Junior Board, shares his passion for volunteerism and supporting the ASCV, and introduces each of our Junior Board members!

As a student at Christopher Newport University, there were many opportunities for service and volunteering, and giving back to my community became an important part of my time as a CNU Captain.  After graduating and developing a new career as a financial advisor with Ameriprise Financial, these opportunities were lost in the shuffle.  However, I still felt a commitment to serve my community, and found that opportunity in the ASCV’s Junior Board.

In the spring of 2018, I was invited by a client of mine to the first ASCV Junior Board meeting.  Since that first meeting when the Junior Board was just in its infancy, it has evolved into an amazing group of people that strives to unite those who have a passion for supporting individuals with autism and help further the mission of the ASCV.  Over the last year and a half, members have volunteered at numerous ASCV fundraisers, events, and programs, including the 2018 golf tournament and 5K, and the development of ASCV’s new Autism Friendly Communities program.  Our current initiative is supporting the upcoming fundraising Gala, A Toast to the Autism Community.  Several Junior Board members are serving on the Gala planning committee, and the Junior Board as a group is working tirelessly to secure donations and sponsorships and raise awareness for the event.  We are all excited for the Gala and can’t wait to celebrate the individuals and families in our autism community!

For me, the Junior Board has given me so much more than that outlet for service that I had been yearning for since graduation.  Prior to serving on the Junior Board, I had very little exposure to the autism community and did not know much about autism in general.  Since that time, I have not only learned a lot about autism and grown tremendously as an individual, but have come to realize why what we do, and the Autism Society Central Virginia as a whole, is so important.
I’m proud to introduce the wonderful individuals of the Autism Society Central Virginia Junior Board, and their passions for joining and supporting the ASCV in their leadership roles!

Kitty Ball is an events coordinator at McGuireWoods.  Kitty enjoys her “involvement with events and initiatives that maximize opportunities and quality of life for people with autism and their loved ones in the community.”

Jamie Bass is a BCBA with RCG Behavioral Network's Life Prep Program and has been working in the field of developmental disabilities for over 10 years. She is “passionate about supporting and enriching lives for teens and adults on the autism spectrum and believes that a strong community is a critical part of what makes us all successful”.  She is also “excited to be a member of ASCV's community to support and advocate for those in the greater Richmond area.”

Tiffany Dowd is the Outreach Coordinator at RCG. Tiffany has worked within the autism community in different capacities for the past 8 years and shares that “it is one of my passions to provide support to families and individuals living with autism. I have enjoyed being on the ASCV Junior Board and being able to connect with other individuals with similar passions in supporting this community!”

Cromley James is a Business Development Coordinator at McGuireWoods. She is "passionate about helping others and committed to supporting ASCV and increasing understanding and acceptance of people with autism in our community."

Kristen Keys is a BCBA Clinical Supervisor at RCG.  She has been working, learning, and providing care in the autism community since high school and has been involved with the ASCV for over 9 years. She has “seen first-hand what the ASCV can do for children with Autism with all the activities, clubs, social groups, and outings they provide for these children with little cost. In addition, they provide numerous resources for the other members in the family, which goes a long way to promote a better lifestyle and enhance the confidence of each person. I am excited to be assisting with planning these activities and offering opportunities to grow for this wonderful community that’s such a huge part of my life.”

Amanda Maino is an experienced Human Resources professional at Fahrenheit Advisors with expertise in recruiting, developing, and engaging employees while focusing on the overall success of her clients.  With a personal connection to family and friends with autism, Amanda wanted to become involved in the ASCV Board to better promote Autism inclusion in the workplace.

Christopher Parthemos is a Richmond native and Registered Behavior Technician working fulltime at VCU’s ACE-IT in College career program for individuals with intellectual disabilities, providing career supports through the lens of ABA.  Chris supports multiple ASCV programs, as a SibShops facilitator and member of our Autism Friendly Communities committee.

Kassandra Reyes, Secretary of the Junior Board, is the owner and operator of Camilla Creations, a small business in Richmond VA.  Kassandra is “excited about the opportunity to be involved with the ASCV and to be able to support the autism community and improve the lives of those with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their families.”

Nicole Rosen, Volunteer Chair of the Junior Board, is an Adapted PE teacher at The Faison Center. Nicole has been involved with working with individuals with disabilities since elementary school and is “eager to support ASCV in continuing to provide a wide range of unique opportunities for individuals with autism in the community.”

Cherelle Williams, Community Outreach Chair of the Junior Board, has worked in the field of ABA for 10 years specifically with children and adults with autism.  She is “passionate about helping individuals with autism to achieve independence and the meaningful life they deserve.”  She is “excited to work with the ASCV to expand inclusion opportunities and promote acceptance throughout our community.”

We’re so grateful for all the dedicated members on our ASCV Junior Board, who bring a variety of passions, backgrounds, and skills to our group.  We look forward to seeing ASCV members at upcoming programs and events, and if you have an interest in joining our growing group, please let us know!
   Advocacy Updates -
The Autism CARES Act is Signed Into Law!
We are thrilled to share the President has signed the Autism CARES Act into law, authorizing $1 billion in federal funding over the next five years! Since its enactment in 2006, the Autism CARES Act has significantly increased research efforts, surveillance and awareness activities, public education, and training of professionals to screen and/or diagnose for autism and other developmental disabilities. This law helps millions of children, youth, and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities in our country, and we are grateful to all who have worked hard to make sure this bill was passed! This exciting moment is reminder that your voice matters, your advocacy is important, and together, we can make difference for our autism community! 
Update from DMAS on the EVV Roll Out
Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) issued a Medicaid Memo on Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) in late September. There will now be a transition period to allow providers additional time to come into compliance with the EVV requirements. During this transition period from October 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019, agency directed providers and consumer directed attendants will continue to be reimbursed for services that do not meet EVV compliance.

We strongly encourage everyone to begin using the EVV apps starting in October to become familiar with the system and troubleshoot issues. Starting on January 1, 2020, EVV will be required and reimbursement will be denied for services not compliant with EVV requirements.

Please read DMAS’ memo with additional information here.
  Reminder for Those on the DD Waiver Waiting List
 ASCV Membership Benefits Program
 ASCV October Programs Calendar
 Find our entire calendar of events here.​ 
If you have any questions about our Fall programming, please email us at 
October 2
ASCV Workshop: Sensory Foundations: Implications for Behavior, Communication, and Life Skills;  7-9pm; details & registration: 

October 5
ASCV Member Event: Pumpkin Patch Outing; members received Eventbrite invitation via Email 

October 8
Support Group for Caregivers of Children with ASD Ages 0-10 at Shady Grove YMCA; 10-11am; details & registration: 

October 11
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:

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

ASCV Sensory Friendly Movie at the Byrd Theatre: Toy Story 4; 2pm; Carytown

October 13
ASCV Member Bowling Event at Shrader Lanes; members received Eventbrite invitation via Email 

October 26
ASCV Member Event - Fall Tiny Sounds for Ages 2-5 with Healing Sounds; 10-10:45am; members will receive Eventbrite invitation via Email 

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

October 28
Adult Social Group; 7pm; River Road United Methodist Church

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

October 30
ASCV Member Event: Trunk or Treat; members received Eventbrite invitation via Email 
Reserve your seat today:
October 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. ​
October 1
Jumpology Special Needs Night, 5pm-7pm; for more information

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

October 4
Special Nights at the Children's Museum- Chesterfield; 5:30-7:30pm; details:

October 5
VCU ACE-IT in College Open House; 8am-12pm; VCU Academic Learning Commons; details & registration:

ThisAbility's Special Education Transition to College Workshop; 11am-2pm; Chester Library; space is limited; details & registration: 

SCOR Family Fun Fest; 9am-12pm; for more details, email

October 6
Fall 2019 Transition University Virtual Training; Oct. 6-Nov. 10; details & registration:

October 7-18
Patrick Henry YMCA Free Adaptive Swim Lessons; for more information email, or call 804-798-0057.

October 8
VCU-ACE Webcast: Self-Advocacy and ASD: Theory and Practice for All Ages Part 2; 3:30pm; details & registration:

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

October 11-14
The Arc National Convention; Washington D.C.; details & registration:

October 15
Launch VIP Time; 5-7pm; details here: 

October 17
Disability Resource & Employment Expo; 10am-2pm; Arthur Ashe Athletic Center; for more information, email

October 23
Caminos Group support group for Latino families with autism; 10am-12pm; Sacred Heart Center, 1400 Perry Street, Richmond, 23224; RSVP at 804-646-0145

October 28
Rehabilitation Associates An Aveanna Company Fall Festival; 5-7pm; 9325 Midlothian Turnpike, Suite A, Richmond, 23235

October 28
Next Steps Behavioral Centers Monthly Speaker Series: Speech Language Pathologists and Your Child with Autism; 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 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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