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St. Gerard House
Home of the Grotto School
July 2015

In This Issue
Contact Us
Autism in the News
St. Gerard House News!
Spotlight On: Heidi Nash
Feed the Need!
Family Group Night
Giving to SGH
Contact Us
St. Gerard House
620 Oakland Street
Hendersonville, NC 28791
Autism in the News
[Medical News Today 6.12.15] Special Skills of perception 'could pick out autism at age 9 months'
[The New York Times 6.29.15] Guinea Pigs Are Autistic Child's Best Friend
[NPR 6.10.15] More Evidence That Parents' Ages Could Influence Autism Risk
Connect Program
It's not too late to enroll!
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
Each month we want to introduce you to some of the characters that are used in the Social Thinking® Curriculum.
Destroyer of Fun (D.O.F)
  • Makes people too competitive
  • Causes someone to insist on going first
  • Makes people only play what they want to play
  • Causes people to refuse to compromise or think about how others feel
  • Makes a person bend the rules to influence the outcome of a game
  • Causes someone to take the fun out of playing with them
How to defeat D.O.F
  • Look at the faces of the other people playing. Are they having fun? Will they want to play with me again?
  • Gauge the size of your discomfort. If it is a tiny problem, you will still get a turn or might win another time.
Benefits of Summer Sun for Kids with ADHD and Other Challenges:  Summertime may be particularly beneficial for children with learning and behavioral challenges, particularly due to the sun. Click here to read more about the positive aspects of summer sunshine!
Aquatic Therapy for children with Autism is a great source of fun and exercise this time of year. The benefits include, but are not limited to, sensory-motor, muscle strength, and gross motor skills. Click here for more information about the benefits of Aquatic Therapy for your child.
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
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 currently need volunteers on the following days:
  • Water our Feed the Need garden on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. (Time is flexible)
  • Help at the front desk on Tuesdays from 2:00- 3:00 pm and Thursdays from 12:30 - 2:00pm.

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:
St. Gerard House News!

Run for St. Gerard House! Put your running shoes on and come support SGH! Join us on July 8, at 6:30pm for a $5 5k at Jackson Park. Foot RX of Asheville is hosting monthly 5Ks that benefit different charities. This 5k will be a prediction run, meaning 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 have the top 3 spots - regardless of actual finishing place.  Help us spread the word through Facebook. All proceeds go directly to SGH programs!
Nominate us on Facebook to win $500! Miller's Dry Cleaning is giving away $500 this month to the Henderson County charity with the most nominations. Help us win by clicking here to nominate SGH starting today! You can only nominate once. We truly appreciate your support! 

Summer Program: Our summer is in full swing with 18 bright young participants, three of which are Grotto students, who after spending the next eight weeks fully integrated in the program will move into mainstream learning environments in the fall. We are excited to share that this summer participants will be given countless opportunities for social and academic growth through individual instruction, direct and incidental teaching, and many new and exciting summertime activities! 
Spotlight On: Heidi Nash

Heidi is originally from Dallas, TX, but grew up in Florida. After spending three summers at Camp Greystone in Tuxedo, Heidi fell in love with Western North Carolina and went on to attend Western Carolina University. Her husband Mark is a Deacon at Immaculate Conception, and the two of them enjoy splitting time between here and Florida, as well as spending time with their two children. Heidi volunteered at The Grotto last summer and has returned again this summer!
"I am amazed by the progress the children have made since I saw them last year. It is wonderful!" - Heidi Nash

Bertha: How did you become involved in the Grotto/SGH?
Heidi: Last summer, Immaculate Conception's Fr. Martin told me about the opportunities and work being done at the Grotto/SGH. After seeing a notice for volunteers in the bulletin, I took Fr. Martin's advice and took a tour! 
B: What is your motivation to help out in the Grotto/SGH?
H: Volunteering gives me the opportunity to be with children and gives me the chance to learn more about ABA, something I was unfamiliar with before joining the SGH volunteer team. 
B: What other kind of work have you done with individuals with autism/disabilities? 
H: I am a former special education teacher and taught in public school systems for 25 years. I love working with children. SGH has given me the chance to continue my passion! 
B: How has your work at the Grotto influenced you?
H: I have learned so much from the fantastic staff at the Grotto/SGH. Everyone is so loving and patient. I love watching students make incredible progress. Being here is a true joy! 
We are so blessed to have Heidi's help again this summer. Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication!

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 preparing young adults and teens 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, allowing participants to be involved in every aspect of an agribusiness.

Stay tuned to learn more about our Feed the Need Culinary Training program. It will be a year-round after school training program that will allow teens and young adults with autism learn how to cook, prepare, and serve food as well as many other important social and daily living skills. The program will be open to individuals age 14 and up!

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!
Family Group Night
Monday: July 20, 2015; 5:30 - 7:30 pm

Theme: Family Picnic! We will provide hot dogs and sides. Families can bring desserts. We will have fun outdoor activities for the children!

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
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.  
Monetary Donations! Your gift will help us provide scholarships for families and individuals who are on the waiting list for scholarship slots for The Grotto, Connect and Feed the Need programs.
In Kind Donations! 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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