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St. Gerard House
Home of the Grotto School
April 2015

In This Issue
Contact Us
Family Group Night
Autism in the News
Feed the Need!
SGH Blessings
St. Gerard House News!
Welcome to the SGH Team!
Upcoming  Events:
Spotlight On: Annie Starr Teel
Giving to SGH
Contact Us
St. Gerard House
620 Oakland Street
Hendersonville, NC 28791
Family Group Night
Monday: April 19th

Theme: Music Therapy for Special Needs
Thank you to Jesse Smathers and Karla Mensah from Smoky Mountain Center, as well as Duncan Reid from The Arc of NC for coming to share with us in March!
We'll serve a family meal (with GF/CF options) at 5:30pm, then at 6, we'll divide into break-out groups:
  • siblings (all ages)
  • child care (0-5 yo)  
  • children with special needs (6-11 yo)
  • youth with special needs (12-21 yo)
Family Group Night is open to all families experiencing special needs in Henderson and surrounding counties. Come share your stories, gather resources, and have fun! Please be on time so you don't miss out on anything!
This group meets on the 3rd Monday of every month at 5:30 at St. Gerard House, 620 Oakland St. Additional parking at Immaculata School at 711 Buncombe St.
Provided to the community free of charge by SGH and Family Support Network of WNC
Autism in the News
[Medical News Today 03.26.15] Evidence many young children with autism show gut symptoms
[Huffington Post 03.30.15] Why Autism Is Not a Secret in Our Family
10 Tips to go Gluten-Free, Casein-Free on a Budget [Autism File Magazine]
The Power of Play [Autism File Magazine]
Elevated Stress Can Cause Nutrient Deficiencies in Parent [Autism File Magazine]
The Exercise Connection [Autism File Magazine]
Local Resources:
The Adventure Zone is a collective of hands-on activities (indoor and outdoors) that were designed to help children and adults with autism become active in the outdoors and gain a better understanding about the natural world. Click here to read more about The Zone.
Because of the variety of age groups we serve and the variety of programs we offer, St. Gerard House is a great place to volunteer for learning opportunities.
We are currently looking to have more support and help in the following areas:  planning fundraisers and teacher aides at our Grotto School.

We rely on over 800 hours of volunteer work every month!
If you or someone you know are interested in any of these opportunities, please call us at 828-693-4223 x 14  or send us an email:
Feed the Need!
The Feed the Need Garden is an exciting program for young adults with Autism. Unlike other programs at St. Gerard House, Feed the Need specifically geared toward young adults and teens in order to prepare them for the working world. Feed the Need focuses on vocational, social, and daily-living skills that are not usually taught in a typical classroom setting.
Feed the Need uses a seed-to-sale philosophy, which allows participants to be involved in every aspect of an agribusiness. If you are interested in learning more about this program call Harlan Chumley (828) 693-4223

Thank you to Botanical Interests and Johnny's Selected Seeds for donating seeds to Feed the Need! Thank you also to our new greenhouse partner for generously allowing us to start seeds for the spring in their nursery: A Growing Concern. We appreciate all of your help and support!
SGH Blessings

We have completed our One Thousand
Blessings Challenge! However, we continue to be blessed and have much to be grateful for! Our top blessing this month is: Tarheel Lanes! Our Grotto students, staff and families had a wonderful time bowling there last week. We truly appreciate their hospitality!
St. Gerard House News!

First Words of Hope Luncheon - Our fifth annual First Words of Hope Luncheon will take place on April 22, 2015 at Blue Ridge Community College. If you are interested in participating at this event or attending please contact Bertha Medina by April 10th at 693-4223.
April is Autism Awareness and Acceptance Month!
Help us celebrate by sharing our videos with your friends, liking our Facebook page, or reading more about autism. Today, and all month, you can show your support by wearing something blue or Lighting it up Blue!
Summer Program:
We are looking for a few typical students ages 4-6 to enroll in our Grotto Summer camp this summer! It runs from June 15 - August 7th. The cost will be $800. Please call our main office for more information.

Welcome to the SGH Team!
Anika Williams: I moved from Massachusetts to the beautiful mountains of Asheville in June 2012.I have been working in the field of ABA for the past seventeen years. I have had the opportunity of being a support to the families with this specially gifted population of children with Autism. My experience has been in Early Intervention, Preschool School, and home services. The drive I have comes from the kids I encounter, which has created my passion while witnessing the fruits of our labor. This truly is an exciting time to become apart of the St. Gerard House family. I'm ready for new adventures and learning new things each day.
Hey everyone my name is Faith Alexander. I came to Asheville this past summer from San Diego to work at a summer camp for kids on the spectrum. It was such a great experience and I loved the area so much I decided to stay and make it my new home! In the past 7 years I have done a lot of volunteer work doing swim lessons, a P.E. class and helping with therapy on horseback all for children with special needs. Since graduating with my degree in Kinesiology I have worked in different settings with individuals on the spectrum ranging in age from 3-22. I am very excited to be joining the SGH team and to be working with young kids again. 

Hello my name is Shannon Lamblin.  My husband and I, along with our four pets, recently moved to Hendersonville from Midland, MI.  I have my Bachelors of Art in Elementary Education.  In Michigan I worked as a lead teacher at a nature-based preschool for seven years.  During that time I took a year off and worked as a program coordinator and support coordinator for adults with disabilities.  I was extremely excited to find the St. Gerard House and even more excited when I saw they were hiring.  I am happy to be a part of such a great team and to work with so many amazing kids!
Connect Program
June 15 - 26 9:30 am - 12 pm
July 6 - 17 9:30 am - 12pm
July 27 - August 7 - 4-6pm.
The Connect Program is open to children in elementary, middle and high school, who need a little bit of extra support in the social world.
Students do not need a diagnosis to enroll. Classes meet twice a week after school, and include a parent forum. Teachers use fun, hands-on activities, based on Michelle Garcia Winner's Social Thinking┬« Curriculum, to teach specific strategies for children to use in the classroom and at home.

For more information on how to register click here or please contact our main office at 828-693-4223 or via e-mail at
Each month we want to introduce you to some of the characters that are used in the Social Thinking® Curriculum.

Gets people to use humor at the wrong times.
  • Causes a person to use a lot of humor without realizing it wears out quickly or sometimes isn't even funny at all.
  • Causes a person to have difficulty recognizing appropriate times for humor.
  • Causes a person to use laughter inappropriately
How to defeat him!
  • Use the one-time rue: Only say the word or joke once.
  • Look around to see if others are laughing too.
  • Look at the faces of others. Are you making them uncomfortable?
  • Self talk: "Is now a silly moment or a serious moment?"
Upcoming  Events:
Week of the Young Child - The Children & Family Resource Center will host the 4th Annual Week of the Young Child Conference on April 18, 2015. The conference will draw child care teachers, directors and other early childhood professionals and parents from Henderson, Buncombe and Transylvania Counties to Blue Ridge Community College to participate. We are looking forward to this great event!

Foot RX Run for St. Gerard House - On July 8th, St. Gerard House will be the beneficiary of a 5K. The minimum donation per runner will be $5. The theme will be a prediction run, each runner will predict their finishing time, and will not be allowed to run with a watch.  The top 3 runners who predict the closest to their actual finish time will win, regardless of actual finishing place. We hope you can join us!

Spotlight On: Annie Starr Teel

Annie Starr was born and raised here in our area. She is a talented young lady that has spent the last few years working as an intern at St. Gerard House. A recent graduate from Hendersonville High School, Annie Starr plans to further her education in Early Childhood Education. We are blessed to have Annie Starr's help and dedication!

B: How did you become involved in the Grotto/SGH?
A: I know Caroline Long and she thought it would be a great opportunity for me to be able to work with kids and to get involved at The Grotto.

B: What do you do when you come to SGH/The Grotto?
I volunteer in The Grotto and I like to learn from the teachers and ask questions and I like watching the kids learn in different ways. I have also learned some sign language over the years while I have been volunteering from the staff that work there.
B: What is your motivation to help out at the Grotto/SGH?
A: My motivation is to learn from the staff at The Grotto and to be able to help the kids learn more. I love to watch the kids make progress. I love to watch them learn something new every day. That is what motivates me to help every day.
B: What do you plan to study in college? What are your career aspirations?
A: I plan to study Early Childhood Education. I would like to be able to work in a school. I enjoy working with younger children.

B: What is your favorite part about volunteering at the Grotto/SGH?
A: My favorite part about volunteering is to be able to be helpful.

We are very grateful to Annie Starr for her incredible dedication to our programs and the families we serve. Thank you Annie Starr!
Giving to SGH
Even a small contribution makes a big difference for us. Please consider a donation, a pledge, or an in-kind gift, to help us continue offering evidence based autism services in the community. And remember, we are a 501c3 non-profit, so all monetary and in-kind donations are tax-deductible! Click here to make a donation.  
Your gift will help us provide scholarships for Grotto students and Connect participants who are on the waiting list for scholarship slots.

Wish List: We have our wish list at Amazon, if you'd  like to donate to SGH in-kind. It works just like a wedding registry - you can order items to be sent straight to us! Take a look and see if there is anything on here you could donate to SGH. Click here to see it!
St. Gerard House • 620 Oakland St. • Hendersonville, NC 28791
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