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St. Gerard House
Home of The Grotto Center
September 2015

In This Issue
Contact Us
Autism in the News
Feed the Need
St. Gerard House News!
Spotlight On: Fr. Martin Schratz
Giving to SGH
Family Group Night
SGH Blessings
Contact Us
St. Gerard House
620 Oakland Street
Hendersonville, NC 28791
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.

Blurt Out Blue - Gets people to shout out  answers to questions or make comments when it's not their turn.  He often teams up with Volume Volumizer to make people talk too loud when they blurt.
How to defeat Blurt out Blue -
  • Wait until it is your turn to speak
  • Raise your hand if you need to interrupt
  • Take turns talking
  • Let everyone have a chance to speak
  • Make eye contact when you are talking
  • Listen with your ears, eyes, hands, feet, body, brain, and heart
  • Use polite words
For more information on how to register click here or please contact our main office at 828-693-4223 or via e-mail at

Autism in the News
[Autism Speaks 7.08.15] "Looking at the bonds that strengthen couples raising kids with autism"
[Autism Speaks 7.16.15] "Experts call for greater attention to autism-related nutrition problems"
[Medical News Today 8.24.15] "People with autistic traits may be more creative, study suggests"
[Autism Daily Newscast 8.26.15] Why teaching a child/youth with autism to follow instructions is a good thing"
[Huffington Post 8.28.15] "Scientists Show Immune System for Some With Autism Triggered by Gluten and Casein"
[SFARI 8.28.15] "Brain hormone levels linked to social deficits in autism"
Thank you to all of our amazing volunteers that roll up their sleeves and help us in a variety of ways every day! As a small token of our appreciation we held a gathering to thank them. Click here to see more pictures.
One of our volunteers receives a thank you gift from Kathi, a Board Member on behalf of the SGH Team.
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.
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
September 9 - November 13
The Feed the Need Garden is an exciting program for young adults and teens with Autism helping 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, 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 Feed the Need, please call Julia Matthews (828) 693-4223.
St. Gerard House News!

WNC Run/Walk for Autism: St. Gerard House is excited to participate in the 10th Annual WNC Run/Walk for Autism this September 12 at 1:30pm. It's not too late to join the St. Gerard House team! Click here to register! The event includes a competitive and non-competitive 5K, as well as a recreational 1K. We hope to see you there!

Carolina Village Raises $10,000 for The Grotto!

St. Gerard House is very grateful to all of the staff and residents from Carolina Village who participated and contributed to the Fun Fashion Show, a fundraiser for our Grotto Center. We especially thank Pauline Corn and Phyllis Smith for their hard work. We are blessed to have your support!
Now Hiring an Accounting Clerk: St. Gerard House is expanding its accounting department and is looking for an experienced  accounting clerk who is looking to grow with our organization. We offer a friendly environment, long-term growth opportunity, stability, and competitive pay. For more details call our office 828-693-4223 or reach us via email at 

The Exceptional Children's Assistance Center presents Informed Effective Parents  - A FREE one-day Institute for parents and families with children who have disabilities and special needs, educators and other professionals on Saturday September 26th 8:45 am - 3:00pm. We will learn more about IEPs, The Special Education Process, Parents Rights and Responsibilities, Keeping communication between home and school on the right track, among other topics. 
For more information, directions, to register or if you have special needs, please contact: Anne Johnston: ECAC Asheville 1-866-545-5299 or Margaret Campbell, ECAC main office at 1-800-962-6817 ext. 317. 
  • Green Smoothies... YES You Can! (RECIPE) [Nourishing Hope]
  • "Are you a parent with experience with special diets, and are interested in learning how to identify which symptoms are related to which foods, which diets work best for which conditions, and when to customize or combine special diets?" To learn more about what Bioindividual Nutrition is doing, click here. [Nourishing Hope]
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
Spotlight On: Fr. Martin Schratz

 Fr. Martin was born and raised the oldest of five children in Philadelphia, PA. He received his BA in Elementary Education at LaSalle University in Philadelphia and his M.Div. from Immaculate Conception Seminary in NJ, now a part of Seton Hall University. Fr. Martin is currently the pastor of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Hendersonville, and is a member of our Board of Directors.

Bertha: Tell us more about being a Capuchin Franciscan Priest?
Fr. Martin: I entered religious life in 1968 and was an elementary school teacher as a Brother of Charity. In 1977, I transferred to the Capuchin Franciscans to pursue another vocational calling to the priesthood, now as a Capuchin. I took my final vows in 1979 and was ordained in 1983. During these years, I was the director of students at our seminary for five years, as well as vocation director. I have served in parishes in NJ, VA, FL, and NC. For me, the greatest part of being a Capuchin is our fraternal life, living and praying in community. Our Capuchin calling invites us to be brothers and live as one in an international community, with St. Francis of Assisi as our founder and spiritual guide.
Bertha: What are your hobbies?
Fr. Martin: While I am not sure if it is actually a hobby, I love working and exploring on the computer and in my free time and taking care of our parish website and Facebook page. While I was in Charlotte for 12 years, I was very much into NASCAR, attending all the races and even saying Mass before many of them. During that time, I got to meet most of the drivers and enjoyed spending free time at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Bertha: What is your favorite part about being a Board Member?
Fr. Martin: I thoroughly enjoy the interaction with other Board Members and often time I'm in awe of their knowledge and commitment to SGH. Autism is something new for me since coming to Hendersonville, and I have learned so much from these dedicated men and women.
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!
Family Group Night
Monday: September 21, 2015
Theme: Grandparents and Extended Family... The Roles They play.
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
SGH Blessings
St. Gerard House is a blessed organization for many reasons. One of the biggest blessings is the incredible group of talented staff members that make up our SGH team.
Cliff Cowan has been a part of the SGH team since August 2010. Cliff began working one-on-one with our Grotto students as a behavior technician and is currently a Program Coordinator. 
This past weekend, Cliff married his best friend, Cate Vierling. We are excited for them as they begin their marriage!
St. Gerard House • 620 Oakland St. • Hendersonville, NC 28791
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