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 April 2017
First Words of Hope Luncheon 2017
Save the Date for our seventh annual First Words of Hope Luncheon on Wednesday, April 26, 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m. at Blue Ridge Conference Hall. 
We anticipate a great program and can't wait to share with you a glimpse of the impact our services make on families in this region. 

We are so grateful for Sammie, a Feed the Need participant, who designed and illustrated the artwork for the Save the Date.

If you would like to attend the event or volunteer, please send an email to Bertha by April 13:

Grotto Summer Camp - Enrolling Now!
The Grotto Summer Camp is a 8-week program focused on continuing the integration process for Grotto students. The Camp recruits students of typical development, aged 3-8, to take part in a high teacher-to-student ratio educational setting. 
Students have the opportunity to be a part of a project focused on continuing the teaching process of social and educational goals aimed at maintaining and developing those skills further. They will have the experience of spending the summer with qualified educators, Behavior Technicians and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, whose goal is to make learning fun. The cost for the summer camp is $1,000 for the 8-week program that runs from June 12 - August 4. Camp hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

SGH also offers Part Time Enrollment (MWF) at $750. After school care is offered for an additional fee 2:30-6 p.m.

If you are interested in enrolling your child, email Cecilia Tovar,
Autism Awareness Month: Meet Eric
This month SGH has a powerful story from Eric, a teenager affected by autism.

Meet Eric

"Ever since I was little, I've been diagnosed with a mild form of autism call Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified.

Been through a lot of struggles throughout my life. Struggles like understanding language, communicating with the right words or school.
Throughout my time growing up, my mother pushed me real hard to make me the type of person I am now: A hardworking and an independent young man. I soon became independent with my work when I started high school. Within 4 years, I got myself involved in some clubs. And I graduated with some awards I never thought I'd get when I was a freshmen.

This past year, I've been taking a year off on school. And it's worked out pretty well. I have experienced more freedom. I found some new activities to do. Also learned some rough lessons as well. But there's one thing I've been working on this past year.

I've been working on improving my social skills. And fortunately, I feel like they've gotten better. I've come to understand the type of things people like to talk about. Whether it's an experience (old or new) or talking about something at the right time. I've gotten better laughing at jokes. I've gotten better trying to keep a conversation going when I walk past a person and say "Hello" or "How are you?" to them. And there's another thing that I feel like it must be said.

For a while, I would never go out with friends. Or bother to ask, "Hey, do you wanna go out and hang out?" All because I wasn't confident enough with my social skills. But this past year, I've gotten a lot more confident with my social skills. So much to the point where I'm finally willing to go out with friends. And actually yesterday, I went to Carl Sandburg and Main Street for a few hours with 2 friends and it was worth it (obviously).

I finally hung out with friends for the first time outside school in a decade. I have become much more comfortable doing something like that. I've also gotten a lot more comfortable talking about things I used to be uncomfortable talking about.

Rough life as an autistic. But I've overcome so much. And I'll keep overcoming if I continue to push myself."

Autism and the Pursuit of Happiness
In honor of Autism Awareness Month, The 4th Annual Empower Autism Conference will be taking place April 22nd, 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. at the MAHEC Education Building in Asheville. The 2017 theme is Love & Relationships. Read More and Register
Sesame Street's first autistic character
Stacey Gordon is the voice behind Sesame Street's newest muppet, Julia. Sesame Street first introduced Julia back in 2015, but it was announced late in March that Julia will be joining the regular cast as the first muppet with autism. 

Gordon is especially connected to the character of Julia, because her 13-year-old son is autistic. Gordon hopes that Julia will help introduce more children and families to autism.

Watch Julia on CBS 60 Minutes.

News and Resources
Are you interested in supporting our work to provide joy and meaningful outcomes to families facing autism?
Click here to make a donation!
Read about Expanding Hope -- our first capital campaign. We're in the midst of transformative growth that will allow us to expand facilities, programs, and scholarships, and we need your help to reach our goal of raising $500,000 more. 
For more on naming opportunities, planned giving and  other charitable opportunities, contact:
Caroline Long,
Executive Director
828-693-4223 ext. 1005

St. Gerard House is looking for volunteers for our Family Group Night.

We need volunteers 5 - 7:30 pm. 

If you are interested in learning more, please call us at 828-693-4223 or email Sharon Stokes, Family Group Night Coordinator,
Upcoming Programs
Garden: June 19 - Aug. 25
Art: June 20 - Aug. 24
Culinary: June 20 - Aug. 24
Helping young adults with autism and similar needs prepare for, find and retain meaningful employment through art, gardening & culinary learning environments.
For information or to register, please call Program Coordinator Julia Matthews at 828.693.4223 ext 1009
Connect is a social skills program for ages 5 - 19
First Summer Session: 
June 19 – June 30 (Mon-Fri) 

Second Summer Session: 
July 31 – Aug.11 (Mon-Fri)

Sept. 17 - Nov. 14 (Tues.)

For more information or to register, call Sharon Stokes at 828.693.4223 ext. 1010
or via email
A panel discussion on Behavior 101:  In-home reinforcement systems parents can use to support daily routines, presented by Sophia Greco, Program Coordinator of the SGH Grotto Therapeutic Center.
Monday, April 17
 5:30 – 7:30 pm.

 We start at 5:30 pm with the family style meal. From
6- 7:30 pm, we have childcare (ages 1.5 - 5), a children's group (ages 5 - 11), and a youth group (ages 12 and up) while the caregivers and parents are participating in the presentation!

We invite you to come with questions and ideas to share. To sign up, call St. Gerard House at (828) 693-4223 or email Sharon Stokes

 Click here to register now! 
Contact Us
St. Gerard House
620 Oakland Street
Hendersonville, NC 28791

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

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