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St. Gerard House
Home of the Grotto School
May 2015

In This Issue
Contact Us
Family Group Night
Autism in the News
Resources
SGH Blessings
Volunteers
Feed the Need!
St. Gerard House News!
Welcome to the SGH Team!
Run a 5K & Support St. Gerard House!
Spotlight On: Rachel Smith
Giving to SGH
Contact Us
St. Gerard House
828-693-4223
620 Oakland Street
Hendersonville, NC 28791
info@stgerardhouse.com
www.stgerardhouse.com
facebook.com/stgerardhouse
 
Family Group Night
UPCOMING MEETINGS:
Monday: May 18, 2015

Theme: Summer Leisure Plans

 
REGISTER HERE!
 
Thank you to Nicole Croisant, Board Certified Music Therapist with Smoky Mountain Music Therapy, LLC for coming to our Family Group Night. We are grateful to you for all that we learned and experienced!
 
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
[5.05.15 Forbes News] A New Business Model For Autism
 
[5.05.15 Medical News Today] Preterm birth alters brain connections linked to cognitive functioning, study finds
 
[4.28.15 Medical News Today] Less severe autism symptoms in girls may lead to delayed diagnosis, study suggests
Resources
Autism Speaks Resources for Parents and First Responders
Amid a frightening number of wandering cases of children with autism this summer – many of them fatal – Autism Speaks wants to remind families of the resources available and the advice to follow to keep your children safe.

 
Preventing Wandering: Resources for Parents and First Responders
 
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.
 
Ability Shirts is a nonprofit corporation incorporated in North Carolina, we sell awareness products and we will donate a portion of our sales at the end of the year to the St. Gerard House. Ability Shirts believes that everyone has a unique ability and can do many things with that unique ability. To purchase our awareness products please visit www.abilityshirts.org
SGH Blessings

Our biggest blessing this month is our fabulous volunteers that helped us put together our Fifth Annual First Words of Hope Luncheon! We had over 40 people working hard behind the scenes to make it happen! Thank you to all who helped:

decorate the candle holders, roll flatware, cut cards, organize name-tags, stuff programs,  prepare the meal, bake brownies, set up the venue and clean up after the event!
We are especially grateful for Don Nolan who helped us seek sponsorship for this event, Tony Seagle who designed our printed materials, Mike Okpych, the lead chef preparing our meal and Jolie Singletary, our Table Captain General. Thank you all for doing a wonderful job!
Volunteers
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 for volunteers for our summer programs! 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: info@stgerardhouse.com
 
Thank you to Ethan Burns, Brooke Caldwell, Duncan Roe and Will Avery for their help with childcare at Family Group Night!
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!
St. Gerard House News!

First Words of Hope Luncheon - Our Fifth Annual First Words of Hope Luncheon was a great success! Thank you to all those who attended the event, made a donation or volunteered! This was our largest luncheon attendance yet with 380 guests.  We are very blessed to have your support!
 
 
 
Thank you to all of our sponsors for supporting our luncheon. This is a vital event for the growth of and impact of our programs.

 
United Federal Credit Bank 
Our Whole Lives
 
And a special Thank you to:
 
 
NC Autism Bill Clears the Senate- A state bill aimed at requiring NC regulated health insurance plans to cover autism diagnosis and treatment has passed the Senate. Our Executive Director, Caroline Long was interviewed by WLOS. Check out the news clip here!


Special Olympics of Henderson County

Our Grotto students, families and staff enjoyed a great day at the Special Olympics of Henderson County. Our students had fun attending this great event. The variety of events and activities allowed all of our students to participate.  We are already looking forward to next year! You can see more pictures here.
 
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!
Hi, I’m Hannah Roy and I am so excited to be a part of the St. Gerard House team! I recently moved from Charlotte after working for a company providing in home ABA services. My passion for working with people on the spectrum began at a summer camp designed for kids with autism, where I worked for 4 amazing summers. From there I went to graduate school at Spalding University and received my Master’s in Applied Behavior Analysis. Through my program I was able to work in multiple settings including a school for kids with autism, a psychiatric hospital, and in home consulting. Shortly after graduating I became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and found the perfect job for me at St. Gerard House! I am excited every day to work with the amazing kids and families that we provide services to!
Connect Program
SUMMER SESSIONS!
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 once 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 connectsgh@gmail.com
 
Each month we want to introduce you to some of the characters that are used in the Social Thinking® Curriculum.
 
Worry Wall:
Makes people worry too much
Makes a person worry or feel so nervous they can't participate in an activity or be part of the group.
 
How to defeat Worry Wall:
  • Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and let it out slowly. Continue to do this until your body feels relaxed.
  • Fina a thought that can change how you are feeling or help you solve the problem.
Run a 5K & Support St. Gerard House!

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: Rachel Smith

Rachel was born in Monessen, PA, a small town outside of Pittsburgh. She attended Milligan College in TN where she obtained her undergrad in Elementary Education k-6. After college she soon realized her heart was not in Gen Ed teaching. She went back to school at East Tennessee State University to get her masters in Early Childhood Special Education. After she finished grad school she worked for a few years in public schools as a k-3 resource teacher and then as an early intervention classroom teacher. Rachel got married in July of 2014 and her husband's job brought them to Asheville. Rachel interviewed at many places and got offers from a few, but ended up accepting a position as a Behavior Technician at St. Gerard House.
 
"I'm beyond grateful that God placed me here at St. Gerard House where I belong." Rachel Smith.

Bertha: What is your job like?

Rachel: I am a Behavior Technician at the Grotto Center. I work one on one with children with autism and related disorders, implementing ABA therapy. My job is a daily whirlwind of smiles, laughs, cries, joy in the the small successes and hard trials that test my patience. I spend my time amazed at the child that masters a new task in two days.  Equally as amazing to me is the child that works for months and finally masters this same task with a genuine smile and clapping hands. My job is meeting the child and the families where they are, and loving them through every step of the way.

B: What is your favorite part of being at the grotto? 

R: My favorite part is my co-workers. St. Gerard house is the most supportive work environment I have ever encountered. With this job comes hard emotional days along with the good days. No matter what kind of day I am having there is someone there to listen, support, and brainstorm a solution with me if need be. I feel so blessed to work in a place that supports me.

B: What do you look forward to every day? 

R: I look forward to the sweet children in the grotto looking up at me with a smile because they have been successful with a new skill. I look forward to the child from Pre-k that runs to me to tell me one of the grotto kids is her best friend in the whole world. I look forward to helping our kids through the day to be successful on their own personal level.
 
We are so grateful for Rachel's talents, joy and her natural abilities with the children. She has been a great blessing to our program and team!
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
http://www.stgerardhouse.com
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