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St. Gerard House
Home of the Grotto School
August 2015

In This Issue
Contact Us
Autism in the News
SGH Blessings
Giving to SGH
St. Gerard House News!
Spotlight On: Hannah Roy
Feed the Need!
Family Group Night
Contact Us
St. Gerard House
620 Oakland Street
Hendersonville, NC 28791
Autism in the News
[Autism Society of North Caroline 8.04.15] General Assembly Approves ABLE Accounts for NC Families
[Huffpost 8.06.15] Dogs Can Benefit Families With Autistic Children, Study Says 
[SFARI 8.04.15 ] Sibling study questions cesarean section link to autism
[Autism Speaks 8.03.15] Pediatricians join autism advocates to urge universal early screening
Connect Program
Fall Session! 
September 8 -November 11
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.
Each month, we introduce you to a different character from the Social Thinking Curriculum.

Focus Tron: I help give you focusing powers so your brain can stay connected to what others are talking about or what you are doing.

For more information on how to register click here or please contact our main office at 828-693-4223 or via e-mail at

SGH Blessings
We have been blessed this month by the support of Carolina Village Retirement Center, a NC incorporation that is non-stock and nonprofit. They are a Type A Lifecare Continuing Care Retirement Community governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. Since opening in June of 1974, Carolina Village has has offered the full continuum of care from independent living to skilled care and assisted living.
This past week, Carolina Village residents organized a FUN fashion show to raise FUNDS for our Grotto Center. As of today, they have raised $7,500! We are very grateful for their incredible support and generosity!

5 Fabulous Fidgets for Special Needs [National Autism Resources]

Back to School for Children with Autism
Tips for Reducing the Stress associated with Back to School [Autism Speaks]

Ability Shirts is a nonprofit corporation that sells awareness products. They donate a portion of their 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:
  • Administrative help answering the phone Tuesdays 2 - 3 pm or Thursdays 12:30- 2:30pm.
  • Watering our Feed the Need Garden on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The time is flexible.
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:
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
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 News!

Thank you for Running! We thank all of you who came out and supported St. Gerard House at the $5 5K this past July 8th!. We raised almost $400 thanks to you! Thank you for participating and for supporting St. Gerard House! 

Horizon Heat and Air: In partnership with the Community Foundation of Henderson County, Horizon Heating & A/C set up a new charitable giving program for 2015. The program is awarding $1000 per month to Henderson County non-profits. We thank Horizon Heating and A/C for selecting St. Gerard House to be the recipients of the $1,000 grant this month! We are very grateful for their support of our programs! 
Summer Program 2015: We had a great summer program this year! We thank our staff, Bridget Kinsey, Jenny Baker, Karina Melendez, Sara Melendez and Lisa Maddock as well as all of our Behavior Technicians for their incredible work this summer! We had three Grotto Students integrate full-time during the 8-week program. We are already looking forward to next year's summer! 

Spotlight On: Hannah Roy

Hannah grew up in Huntersville, NC as the middle of three children in her close knit family. After receiving her Bachelors Degree in Communication Disorders from Appalachian State University, Hannah decided to pursue a Masters Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis at Spalding University. She graduated in December 2014 and shortly after joined the SGH team. Daily, we are blessed by her knowledge and passion to serve families and individuals facing Autism!
Bertha: What is your job like?
Hannah: My job is exciting and different every day! I am involved in many aspects of SGH which gives me the opportunity to work with the kids in the Grotto, supervise staff, write programs, and contribute to Feed the Need. I love being able to dive into something new every day! 
Bertha: How did you end up at SGH? 
Hannah: I spent all of my summers during college around Asheville and fell in love with this area. I was so excited to discover that St. Gerard House was hiring. After taking a tour and interviewing, I knew that I had found the perfect place for me! 
Bertha: How did you become interested in this type of work?
Hannah: I always knew that I wanted to work with kids, but it was't until college that I truly figured out what I was supposed to do. My first summer in college I started working at a camp for individuals with Autism and developed such a strong passion and love for the people I was working with. I worked at camp for the next 3 summers and knew that I wanted to continue working with people on the spectrum! 
Bertha: How has working at the Grotto/SGH impacted your life?
Hannah: I have worked in a variety of settings with autism prior to coming to SGH. While each of those experiences was great, after working at SGH for 4 months, I am still blown away by how amazing this place is. I have been learning more than I thought possible, and I am making some wonderful friends along the way. I am so grateful to have this opportunity and to have coworkers who are so passionate about the families that we serve.
Feed the Need!
FALL SESSION: September 7 - November 13
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!

For more information about this program, please 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: August
Theme: Back to School!

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
St. Gerard House • 620 Oakland St. • Hendersonville, NC 28791
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