HPU Lacrosse Team Steps Out to Improve Lives in Greensboro Run/Walk for Autism

10538289026_8775b7d797_o

The High Point University men’s lacrosse team has quickly established a winning tradition in the first four years of its existence, but for Triad families with autism, some of the team’s off-the-field stats are what make the players outstanding:

4 years of participating in the Greensboro Run/Walk for Autism as a team
56 lacrosse players ran last year
$7,291 raised since 2011

The team has become a familiar sight at the annual fundraiser for the Autism Society of North Carolina. The players come straight from practice and “basically show up as the gun is going off for the race,” said Associate Head Coach Pat Tracy.

They might arrive at the last minute, but that doesn’t reflect their dedication. Each year, every player on the roster registers for the Run/Walk and takes the time to seek donations from family and friends beforehand. “We have really great kids who care a lot,” Tracy said. “They’re definitely not hesitant to go outside of their comfort zone to help.”

Tracy has a stepbrother with autism and had participated in fundraisers for the cause in Baltimore before coming to High Point. It was his idea to make the Greensboro Run/Walk for Autism one of the team’s many community service projects. The first year, their team had just 19 players; last year, they were up to 56. “The guys have been unbelievable in being supportive of it,” Tracy said.

15358636360_cf335862b8_zNick Bittner, a fifth-year senior, has been part of the lacrosse team since the beginning. Participating in the Run/Walk for Autism meant a lot more to him last year, though, after he spent the summer working with children with autism during an internship with the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore. Bittner was part of a team led by a clinical psychologist that was teaching social behaviors.

“It really opened my eyes to see what autism is, and to see the effort it takes for families who have children that have autism,” he said. Last fall, Bittner shared his experiences with his teammates. “I had seen firsthand what donating to the Autism Society could do to help people with autism.”

Bittner, who is a biology major and hopes to attend medical school, is now considering the autism field specifically. “I definitely found a certain passion for it,” he said.

In the meantime, he’ll join his teammates one last time for the Greensboro Run/Walk for Autism on Sept. 26. Coach Tracy said they wouldn’t miss it.

“We’re excited. Our guys look forward to it every year,” he said. “Our guys really do enjoy being out there. They enjoy supporting the cause and supporting the community and the families.”

Step out to improve lives in the Greensboro Run/Walk for Autism on Saturday, Sept. 26! The event at UNC-Greensboro will include a 5K race and a recreational 1K run/walk. Celebrate autism awareness and acceptance with music, refreshments, and vendor space that will showcase local businesses, service providers, support resources, and sponsors. Proceeds will fund local programs of the Autism Society of North Carolina.

Register today: http://www.greensbororunwalkforautism.com

Bringing Art into the Lives of Adults with Autism

101024_ASNC_9956_5x7

The Autism Society of North Carolina’s day program in Raleigh, Creative Living, focuses on clients’ individual strengths and interests to help them lead meaningful lives. Art is a large part of this individually tailored approach. Creative Living clients express themselves through many media, including painting and pottery.“Through art, there’s no right or wrong way to do something,” said Katherine Gardocki, Director of Creative Living. “For a lot of clients, it’s a really big stress relief because they don’t have to be verbally engaged or necessarily extremely focused on another person, they can focus on the work.”

Through art, the clients can grow as they have a chance to try something new in a safe environment.

Eric Lionheart Wolf, who has attended Creative Living for three years, enjoys drawing and painting items with meaning or symbolism. “Being able to use different colors and techniques gives me control in my life, and my artwork. I like being creative.”

101024_ASNC_0907B_5x7Clients’ art can also help others get to know them and how they are feeling that day, Gardocki said. Creative Living has about 20 clients who are paired one-on-one with staff, which allows them to build a relationship. “I think that you can learn a lot about somebody through their art – the colors that they select, the styles that they use,” she said.

Artists choose whether to display and sell their work; they keep some of the proceeds, and some goes back into the program. But the program still requires a lot of funding to continue, as art supplies are used up on a regular basis.

That’s where White Memorial Presbyterian Church in Raleigh has stepped in.

Since 2004, White Memorial has given more than $11,000 in donations and grants to ASNC and Creative Living. The grants have helped provide supplies for the art program and specifically the pottery program. With White Memorial’s generous support, Creative Living was able to purchase a kiln.

Rev. Gloria Johnson, Associate Pastor for Community Ministry at White Memorial, said the church was inspired to support ASNC by members who have relatives with special needs. “We want to support them and let them know how much we care about their families,” she said.

Church member Marie Horne is the mother of Rob Horne, who is 51 and has attended Creative Living since it started in 1997. Rob thrives at Creative Living, she said, because he is able to get out into the community with his staff member to do volunteer work at the church, the SPCA, a thrift store, and an assisted living facility. “He has to have something that lets him move around.”

Horne brought up Creative Living to the church’s grant committee after seeing the positive influence it had on her son, whose main challenge is expressive language. “He’s gotten a lot better about greeting people because the Creative Living staff really understand him and people with autism,” she said.

Rev. Johnson is the coordinator of the church’s community grant program. “We want to help people that are doing a good job continue to do the job that they know how to do best. We’re not equipped to work with people at the caliber and the depth that other organizations are able to do, but we are certainly committed to our community and helping the community be the best that it can be.”

Church members are happy to support the art program at Creative Living’s request. “They do some wonderful things to allow that kind of creative spirit that we all have to flourish,” Rev. Johnson said.

Gardocki said it is the church’s donations that have allowed the art program to expand based upon clients’ interests, and through the art program, they have also built relationships. For example, they recently held an art show at Roundabout Art Collective in Raleigh. “It just continues to allow us to form those relationships, and in turn, I think it really helps educate the community about adults with autism and what they’re capable of,” Gardocki said.

The Autism Society of North Carolina is thankful to White Memorial Presbyterian Church for its support in bringing art and all of its benefits to the adults at Creative Living. We hope the partnership will continue for years to come.

Make This Your Child’s Best School Year Yet

school desk

Are you ready for back-to-school time? Or does the mere thought of a new school year make you anxious? The Autism Society of North Carolina is ready to partner with you and your child for a successful school year.

Please take advantage of the resources we offer.

IEP-Toolkit-webToolkits: In the past year and a half, we have introduced easy-to-use, accessible toolkits to guide you through challenging times. Several are on school-related topics: The IEP, Behavior & the IEP, and Bullying. All of these free toolkits can be read online or downloaded and printed: http://bit.ly/ASNCtoolkits

Autism Resource Specialists: We have 19 Autism Resource Specialists across the state, standing by to consult with you. They are all parents of children or adults with autism themselves, so they have firsthand knowledge and a unique understanding of what you’re going through. They strive to empower families to be the best advocates for their children. Find the Autism Resource Specialist serving your area: http://bit.ly/AutismResourceSpecialists

Podcasts: We have recently added podcasts to our list of resources, and one of the first discussions we recorded was “Back to School: What You Need to Know and Do for a Successful Start!” with some of the Autism Resource Specialists. You can check out the complete list of available podcasts here: http://www.autismsociety-nc.org/podcasts

Workshops: Our Autism Resource Specialists also share their expertise through workshops, both in-person and online. Some upcoming titles are Autism: Building on Strengths to Overcome Challenges, Preparing for College Starts at Home, and The IEP Process: Building Success for Your Child at School. Find the complete schedule here: http://bit.ly/ASNCWorkshopCalendar

bookstore couponASNC Bookstore: If you are looking for books and videos, our bookstore is the place to go. The ASNC Bookstore is the most convenient place to find the very best autism resources, with over 600 titles. Bookstore staff members are always willing to share recommendations on particular topics. And until Aug. 31, we have a 15% off sale with code BTSS2015. Browse online: www.autismbookstore.com

Chapters & Support Groups: ASNC has more than 50 Chapters and Support Groups around the state. Chapters provide a place where you can receive encouragement from families facing similar challenges and share experiences, information, and resources. Look for one near you: http://bit.ly/ASNCChapters

Our blog: Of course, you already know about our blog because you are reading it right now. But have you subscribed? You don’t want to miss the educational posts from our Autism Resource Specialists or Clinical staff. The recent post, “Preparing for a New School Year: Calm Parent = Calm Child,” gives you a checklist of helpful tips. Read it here.

Stay connected: Last but not least, connect with us! Sign up to receive our monthly email newsletters and the twice-yearly Spectrum magazine at http://bit.ly/ASNCStayInformed. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook. We are constantly sharing helpful information, and we don’t want you to miss any of it.

Still have questions? Please contact us so that we can help you find the help you need:

info@autismsociety-nc.org

800-442-2762 (NC only)

919-743-0204

Autism Society of North Carolina

505 Oberlin Road, Suite 230

Raleigh, NC 27605

WNC Run/Walk for Autism Celebrates 10 Years of Community Stepping Out to Improve Lives

The Wills family at the WNC Run/Walk for Autism

The Wills family at the WNC Run/Walk for Autism

The WNC Run/Walk for Autism celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, and Katie Wills has been with it every step of the way.

Katie moved to Asheville in 2000 with her husband, Lewis, and son, Jesse, who was then a teenager. Jesse was diagnosed with autism at the age of 3 and is nonverbal. Since the family’s move, Jesse has received many services from the Autism Society of North Carolina (ASNC), including help with school issues and community skills instruction so he could be a part of his community. “That was just invaluable to us,” Katie said.

Knowing how much ASNC had supported her son over the years inspired Katie. “It’s just a part of who I am to feel that we need to give back,” she said.

So in late 2005, she asked ASNC leadership in Asheville how she could help sustain and improve services that the organization offered. After some brainstorming with Amy Hobbs, the regional director, they decided to create the first regional Run/Walk for Autism. Katie agreed to organize the event even though she did not know anything about running and had never done any fundraising. “When you love your son, and you know something’s really important, you do it.”

In 2006, ASNC held the first WNC Run/Walk for Autism, a trail run at a park outside of Asheville. The crowd was not that big, and it was so cold that they needed a bonfire, but all agreed it was a success.

“It was important to us that this not just be a fundraiser, but that it be a community festival,” Katie said. Ten years later and now held at UNC-Asheville, the WNC Run/Walk for Autism maintains that feel with children’s activities, live music, food, and exhibits from community partners.

“A lot of the runners who come don’t know anything about autism. I think they get a real education. They really get to meet the families,” she said. “It’s just a great community outreach.”

Katie helped lead the Run/Walk for the first three years and also served on the event committee for a couple of years after that. Nowadays, she still volunteers for the week of the run.

Team Marlowe at the WNC Run/Walk for Autism

Team Marlowe at the WNC Run/Walk for Autism

On race day, you can find her with her extended family and Team Marlowe, the team from Jesse’s residence. All of the staff members and residents participate; exercise is a big part of the program at Marlowe Place.

Katie hopes to see the WNC Run/Walk for Autism continue to grow, saying that it is especially fun when you are part of a team with friends and family. Her extended family has joined them from the beginning, after a little prompting from her: “Over the years, you have said to us, how can we help, I want to help. I don’t know how to help. Well, guess what, now’s your chance. When you help the Autism Society, then you help the Wills family. Because I don’t know what we would do without the Autism Society.”

Today, Jesse is 34 and works part-time at Red Lobster, with the support of an ASNC job coach. His supervisors say he is a “valued and valuable” employee, and he is a contributing member of his community, Katie said.

“It’s just been amazing to us what doors have been opened to Jesse because of the Autism Society,” Katie said. “Even at 34, he’s still learning things that make him more and more independent. That’s what we want for him.”

Step out to improve lives in the WNC Run/Walk for Autism at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12! The event at UNC-Asheville will include a 5K race, which is part of the Asheville Track Club Grand Prix Series; a 5K noncompetitive run; and a recreational 1K run/walk. Celebrate autism awareness and acceptance in the Fun Zone for children and with music and refreshments. Vendor space will showcase local businesses, service providers, support resources, and sponsors. Proceeds will fund local programs of the Autism Society of North Carolina.

Register today: http://www.wncrunwalkforautism.com

Preparing for a New School Year: Calm Parent = Calm Child

school girl 12670314Small

This article was contributed by Nancy Nestor, an Autism Resource Specialist in the Charlotte region, an autism mom, and a former teacher.

With all the hot weather we have had this summer, it is hard to believe, but summer is fading. Before you know it, yellow school buses will fill the streets, packed with students excited to start another year. The change in schedule can be hard for families; transitioning is not usually a strength for people on the spectrum.

Recently I created a chapter presentation on preparing for the new school year, and I wanted to highlight here some of the information others have presented, as well as add a few tips that I found while researching. With a few changes to your life at home, you and your child will be ready for school this year. If you are calm, your child will have an easier time with the transition, too.

Start preparing now

Preparation is key, and now is the time to start. Along with getting new clothes, backpacks, and lunchboxes, fill prescriptions and check your stock of special-diet foods, if that is something your family needs. To find a school menu listing allergens, go to the child nutrition department section of your school system’s website. This will help you figure out which days your child can eat at school and which days you must send lunch.

One of the biggest challenges is the shift back to the school year schedule, but getting up early does not have to be traumatic. It just takes some time. For example, you can begin turning back wake-up times and bedtimes by 15 minutes every four days. A small, slow change will make the whole transition to school time easier.

Work on “waiting skills”

Back-to-school shopping offers plenty of time for our children to wait. This is not always easy, but it is good to practice. Waiting is a skill that is very important in life, such as when your child has to wait before school. Many of our kids use electronic devices to fill waiting time. If your child’s diversion tool is not working as well as it used to, then it may be time to find something new. Whatever you choose, it would be good to use it only when you need your child to wait; otherwise, the attractiveness of the device can wear off sooner.

Practice new skills needed for middle or high school

For students entering middle or high school, a locker and its lock may be part of their day. If your child is not proficient at using a lock or is anxious about it, then now is the time to purchase one and work on it until your child becomes competent and comfortable. Nowadays, there are lots of options for combination locks, and some are much easier to use than others. Of course, the use of a lock and key is very easy, too. Most schools don’t care which kind you get.

Make sure your child is comfortable with sensory tools

Along with washing new school clothes to get rid of the stiffness, you should make sure your child has become comfortable with any new devices you bought to help them cope with sensory issues. Some schools are finicky about comfort items sent from home to ease transitions, but rarely do they discourage items such as noise-blocking headphones and chewy devices, especially when students are in a self-contained class.

Use a morning schedule

Children who are used to following a schedule daily have an easier time learning a new schedule for school. If you put away your “Getting Ready for School” schedule for the summer, it is time to get it out. If you never made one, it is time to do that. For a nonverbal child, visual schedules are a great way to communicate expectation, increase independence, and reduce anxiety. For verbal children, societal expectations are much higher, and schedules can also help them in those areas. Most children learn through play, and play helps decrease anxiety, so make your use of the schedule fun and reinforce proper use with social praise or other rewards. Some parents give a prize to the first one to complete a schedule or to those who beat the timer.

Here are some websites that can help you create a schedule: PBIS World and Do2Learn.

When making a schedule, try using pictures of your child doing the activity. This helps your child understand that the schedule is for him or her, and increases compliance. If you are unable to take pictures of your child, then take pictures of items he or she will need in your house to do the activities on the schedule. For teens who are high-functioning, a checklist with a calendar might work just as well. Use whatever method your child will likely use independently and with accuracy.

Use a social story about going to school

Social stories are a simple way to let your child know what to expect in the future, and they are a great way to help them prepare for going back to school. Often social stories can be used to explain the rules or order of events. They are written in first person so that your child knows it is about him or her. Use a positive tone to reduce anxiety.

Here are some websites that can help you create social stories: Child-Autism-Parent-Cafe.com, Do2Learn, PBIS World, and Supporting Autism Spectrum.

Create a profile of your child for teachers

Even teachers who have taught your child before will be interested to know about new and emerging skills. For those who are new to your child, including regular education teachers; music, art, and other special teachers; speech therapists; and OTs, this information can be invaluable. Having been the teacher on the receiving end of new students, I can say that unfortunately, IEPs from the sending school are not always available to the new teacher on the first day of school. Having a student profile is very helpful.

Because teachers have so many students, you should condense the information to one page. Be sure to include your child’s strengths, areas of challenge, motivators, and strategies in case things do turn toward trouble. It is also very helpful to let teachers know the behaviors that indicate your child is getting stressed, so that they can implement a distraction or a calming technique.

Helpful resources:

  • Website: The Exceptional Children’s Assistance Center provides a step-by-step guide online.
  • Webinar: ASNC will offer an online workshop called “All About Me” on Saturday, Aug. 15. Register here.

If writing is not your thing, you can go to the Do2Learn website, print out the descriptors for the main areas of autism, and then highlight those that define your child. The site also lists strategies that are helpful in those cases, and you can highlight any that have been helpful for your child. If you know of strategies that have been effective at home or school and are not listed, be sure to share these as well.

Other ways to prepare your child

Try reading age-appropriate books about starting school, which should be available at your public library. For some children, listening to a book about someone else starting school is a non-threatening way of bringing up the topic. Another idea is to role-play going to school the first day with your child. Some families use toys to “play the part” of other children in the class or teachers – but don’t use a toy that is already an obsession, or you might create more problems. Just seeing pictures of the school and classmates might be helpful in getting them ready. All of these methods provide a way to resolve any anxiety your child might have about the coming year.

Visit school before the school year starts

A week or so before school starts, arrange a visit. For many of our families, a meeting before school is much more helpful to the student and the teachers than coming to an open house, which is usually overstimulating. This would be a great time to give your child’s personal profile to teachers. Be sure to take pictures, so you can review them with your child several times before the first day of school. Take pictures of the teachers and common places: the lunchroom, playground, gym, and the classrooms where your child will spend time. Try to meet as many of your child’s teachers as is possible. This will help your child develop a mental picture of what to expect, and it will ease anxieties that arise the first day. Also meet the office staff and be sure they know your child. They will be the ones who need to know that your child cannot walk themselves down the hall to a class alone when they are tardy. They will be the ones who greet you on the phone when you call the school, so they need to have an understanding of your child and your life.

Create structure for afterschool, too

Make a schedule for afterschool and create some down time with limited talking and expectations. A day filled with language is tiring for many of our kids, and they need a sensory-free zone to decompress before they begin the expectations of home. For some kids, listening to music is calming.

It is important to get school work out of the way while it is fresh in their memory, so don’t wait too long to start. If working on homework is a problem, break it down into smaller, more manageable parts and reward your child for working independently, perhaps with a short sensory break or a 5-minute break to do some other preferred activity.

Using a schedule helps children realize that the list of work to be done is getting shorter and that they have another break to look forward to after completing more work. For some older students, a checklist might be more appealing. Many students forget to record their homework assignments, so be sure to find out whether their teachers have a website or Wiki site or other means to check on assignments. Lastly, a great way to prepare for the next day is by having your child help pick out their clothes and put all the things they will need for school in a place that will be easy to access in the morning.

Call on us

If you would like more advice, feel free to contact the Autism Resource Specialist for your part of the state. Every year we spend time helping parents solve challenges related to going back to school and schools that don’t seem to be supportive. We will be happy to help you, too.

If you would like more in-depth information on any of these topics, check out the ASNC Bookstore, especially the following categories: Visual Supports, Classroom, and Children’s Books. Through August, you can save 15% on online orders with the code BTSS2015.

We also offer frequent workshops on school-related topics as well as online toolkits; we hope you will take advantage of these resources.

The new school year is here, let’s get it done!

Nancy Nestor can be reached at nnestor@autismsociety-nc.org or 704-894-9678.

General Assembly Approves ABLE Accounts for NC Families

This article was contributed by Jennifer Mahan, Director of Advocacy and Public Policy at ASNC.

On Monday, Aug. 3, The General Assembly approved legislation authorizing ABLE accounts in North Carolina; Gov. Pat McCrory is expected to sign the bill into law. The Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act, a federal law signed in December 2014, will give many individuals with disabilities, including those on the autism spectrum, and their families the opportunity to save for the future and fund essential expenses such as medical and dental care, education, community-based supports, employment training, assistive technology, housing, and transportation. The law allows eligible individuals with disabilities to create “ABLE accounts” that resemble the qualified tuition programs, often called “529 accounts,” that have been established under that section of the tax code since 1996.

By saving for and funding critical daily expenses, these ABLE accounts will give North Carolinians with disabilities increased choice, independence, and opportunities to participate more fully within their communities. Without these accounts, people with disabilities have very limited ways to save, and any savings may prevent them from accessing other needed programs and services.

Key Characteristics of ABLE Accounts

  • An eligible individual may have one ABLE account, which must be established in the state in which he resides (or in a state that provides ABLE account services for his home state).
  • Any person, such as a family member, friend, or the person with a disability, may contribute to an ABLE account for an eligible beneficiary.
  • An ABLE account may not receive annual contributions exceeding the annual gift-tax exemption ($14,000 in 2015). A state must also ensure that aggregate contributions to an ABLE account do not exceed the state-based limits for 529 accounts.
  • An eligible individual is a person (1) who is entitled to benefits on the basis of disability or blindness under the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program or under the Social Security disability, retirement, and survivors program OR (2) who submits certification that meets the criteria for a disability certification (to be further defined in regulations). An eligible individual’s disability must have occurred before the age 26.
  • Qualified disability expenses are any expenses made for the benefit of the designated beneficiary and related to his/her disability, including: education, housing, transportation, employment training and support, assistive technology and personal support services, health, prevention and wellness, financial management and administrative services, legal fees, expenses for oversight and monitoring, funeral and burial expenses, and other expenses, which are approved by the Secretary of the Treasury.
  • Tax treatment: Earnings on an ABLE account and distributions from the account for qualified disability expenses do not count as taxable income of the contributor or the eligible beneficiary for purposes of federal tax returns. Contributions to an ABLE account must be made in cash from the contributors’ after-tax income.
  • Rollovers: Assets in an ABLE account may be rolled over without penalty into another ABLE account for either the designated beneficiary (such as when moving to another state) or any beneficiary’s qualifying family members.

 Federal Treatment of ABLE Account under Means-Tested Programs

  • Means-Tested Programs: Assets in an ABLE account and distributions from the account for qualified disability expenses would be disregarded when determining the designated beneficiary’s eligibility for most federal means-tested benefits.
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI): For SSI, only the first $100,000 in an ABLE account will be disregarded. Assets above $100,000 will count as resources under SSI. If the designated beneficiary’s ABLE account balance exceeds $100,000, the individual’s SSI benefits will not be terminated, but instead suspended until the individual’s resources fall below $100,000. It is intended that distributions expended for housing will receive the same treatment as all housing costs paid by outside sources.
  • Medicaid Eligibility: A beneficiary will not lose eligibility for Medicaid based on the assets held in an ABLE account, even during the time that SSI benefits are suspended (as described above for an account over $100,000).
  • Medicaid Payback Provision: Subject to certain limits and upon a state’s filing of a claim for payment, any assets remaining in an ABLE account upon the death of the qualified beneficiary must be used to reimburse the state for Medicaid payments it made on behalf of the beneficiary. The amount of Medicaid payback is calculated based on amounts paid by the beneficiary as premiums to a Medicaid buy-in program.

How Soon will ABLE Accounts be Available?

  • Federal Regulations: The Secretary of the Treasury issued draft regulations on June 22 that are up for public comment until September 21. A public hearing will follow on October 14. Final rules will be issued after that.
  • State decisions: Each state must decide whether to offer a qualified ABLE program to its residents. States offering ABLE accounts must then decide whether to have the state itself run the program, to select another entity to run it, or to contract with another state to allow residents to use that state’s program.
  • North Carolina: The House and Senate have both put funding to administer the ABLE program in their budgets. The NC legislation states that accounts would be available once the NC Office of the Treasurer has the program up and running and federal regulations are set for ABLE accounts. While no specific time is set, we hope that accounts would be available in 2017.

The Autism Society of North Carolina has supported the development of ABLE accounts, which will be another tool that families and individuals can use to create opportunities to enhance their lives. We will provide information to the public about how to access them as it becomes available. Please check our blog, website, and social media outlets for updated information and other helpful resources.

If you have questions about this or other public policy issues, please contact Jennifer Mahan, Director of Advocacy and Public Policy at ASNC, at jmahan@autismsociety-nc.org or 919-865-5068. ASNC believes in the importance of public policy advocacy to enhance the lives of people on the autism spectrum and their families. Please see our website for more information on public policy issues and how you can get involved.

We thank The Arc of NC for support in writing this article. ASNC has been proud to partner with The Arc of NC in support of efforts to increase asset building, promote independent living, and create more access to services and supports. You can read more about The Arc of NC’s public policy efforts on their website, www.arcnc.org.

 

Learn More about ASNC with New Podcasts

soundcloud screenshot

Online interviews explore issues faced by the autism community in North Carolina, provide information about the Autism Society of North Carolina’s services and supports, and share personal stories.

If you have a smartphone, you probably use it for more than phone calls. Today’s technology enables us to use our phones to listen to music, watch movies, track our health, play games, and much more. One of the ways that many organizations are sharing information is through podcasts or online audio. The Autism Society of North Carolina (ASNC) recently joined this growing community with a SoundCloud feed.

What does all this mean? If you are over 40 years old, the easy answer might be to ask your kids or a millennial coworker to explain it, as they are likely more plugged in to this medium. But, if you prefer not to go that route, here’s a simple answer: Our feed is like a radio broadcast that can be listened to at your convenience. You can stream it while sitting at the computer or download it and listen during your commute or workout. You can also subscribe to receive notifications when we add new episodes.

We are doing this because now, more than ever, it’s important to have information at your fingertips. Being online with portable media that you can hear and share with other families and friends is important to increasing understanding of autism, the issues that are affecting the NC autism community, and how ASNC helps.

It’s an exciting first step in adding digital content to the web that will help self-advocates, parents, professionals, and the public. This builds on other digital initiatives including the live webinars facilitated by our Autism Resource Specialists. (Click here to see the workshop schedule and look for “webinar” in the title.)

We have plans to add more episodes in the coming year, so please take a few minutes to explore and listen. If you have ideas for topics, please email me at dlaxton@autismsociety-nc.org.

Now, for a brief tutorial on how to access our broadcasts.

  • Option 1: On your computer, smartphone, or tablet device, go to https://soundcloud.com/autismsocietync. From here you can see all the episodes and topics we have uploaded. Click on what you want to listen to and enjoy!
  • Option 2: Download the SoundCloud app for your device from the iTunes or Google Play stores. (It’s a free download.) Create an account and then search for “AutismSocietyNC.” Our stream will appear and you can “follow” us to receive updates and new episodes.
  • Need help? Contact us at info@autismsociety-nc.org.

Thanks for reading. Happy listening!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,337 other followers