Category: autism

Ten Things Parents Should Know about Autism

Ten Things Parents Should Know about Autism

Matthew Reardon Center for Autism Open House Nov 15

With 1 in 68 children, 1 in 44 boys, and 1% of USA population having an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the below list will help parents identify signs and symptoms of autism.

They can also stop by The Open House for The Matthew Reardon Center for Autism, taking place Wednesday, Nov. 15, 5:30-7:00 pm.

The Center for Autism operates southeast Georgia’s only accredited year-round day school for children with autism as part of the ADVANCE Academy. For more information visit http://www.matthewreardon.org/

The following is a modified excerpt from Ron Sandison’s blog, 10 Things Teachers should know about Autism.

1.Every child with autism is unique. Some children are nonverbal and may never be able to speak. Many children with autism are highly intelligent and learn to read and write at an early age. Some children with an autism diagnosis can have an unbelievable gift for math, music, or art. Parents should know that autism is a spectrum, and each child is distinct and should not be labeled based on his or her place on the bell-shaped curve. A high-support child may not be a low-functioning child.

2.Every child with autism has his or her own strengths and weaknesses. Parents must use learning styles that fit the child’s strengths.

3.Children with autism usually have a special interest. We should use the child’s passion as a motivational tool for learning new subjects. Julie Ann Reed, whose son has Asperger’s, said, “If your son or daughter has an obsession, use it to help him or her to learn new material. My son Paul is obsessed with computers; so I use computers as a reward system.”

4. Children with autism usually have repetitive behavioral patterns. Parents should understand a child’s routine and help him to follow his patterns to prevent a tantrum or meltdown. Disruptions in schedule can result in extreme anxiety and anger.

5.Children with autism usually have sensory issues. Most of us pay little attention to our senses. When you feel cold, you put on a sweater. When music is too loud, you turn down the volume. For some children with autism, senses provide unreliable information causing great discomfort and anxiety. These children may experience sensory issues with touch, sound, taste, smell, or sight. Parents need to be aware of sensory issues a child may experience in his environment.

6.Children with autism may display stimming behavior. When you bite your nails, tap your pencil, or twirl your hair, you are engaging in the behavior pattern called stimming. This behavior with children of autism can include flapping their hands up-and-down, pacing in circles, rocking back-and-forth, or spinning their whole body. Autistic stimming can be a hindrance by prohibiting the child from interacting with peers.

7. Children with autism tend to experience difficulty with understanding verbal instructions. Parents should relay their instructions in easy-to-follow steps and also use visual aids to ensure your child understands your instructions.

8. Children with autism may have difficultly decoding social cues. Inability to interpret nonverbal communication will cause a child to feel awkward in social settings. Parents should teach students with autism to model their peers through deliberate and specific observation and instruction.

9.Children with autism who lack social skills may make inappropriate and mean comments. Parents need to be prepared for a child with autism to say hurtful words and not to take those comments personally. Teach the child by your own example to say words of praise and thanksgiving.

10. Like all children, children with autism need your love and encouragement. Many children with autism may feel isolated due to having been bullied. Your love and support will encourage your students.

MRCA also offers regular instructional and training opportunities to parents and family members, educators, health professionals, college interns and self-advocates.

Ron Sandison works full-time in the medical field and is a professor of theology at Destiny School of Ministry. He is a task force member for the Autism Society’s Faith Initiative and is on the autism spectrum. (http://www.autism-society.org/10-things-every-teacher-know-autism/)

Matthew Rearden Center for Autism Open House

ABOUT THE MATTHEW REARDON CENTER FOR AUTISM (MRCA):
MRCA operates southeast Georgia’s only accredited year-round day school for children with autism. They have provided advocacy and outreach services to more than 800 families across southeast Georgia and have hosted professional training and instructional opportunities for more than 4,000 family members, educators, health professionals and self-advocates. The organization was incorporated in 2000 and currently serves 22 students through ADVANCE Academy. They have 11 full-time employees and operate in a 6000 sq foot suite located at 6602 Abercorn St #200, Savannah, GA 31405. Website: http://www.matthewreardon.org/

DIRECTIONS TO MRCA:
The center is located off the Northeast corner where Abercorn St. intersects with Jackson Blvd. (just north of Chucky Cheese), 2nd floor.

CONTACT
Patti T. Victor, President and CEO
The Matthew Reardon Center for Autism, Inc, and Advance Academy
912-355-9098 (office)
912-352-2460 (fax)
pvictor@matthewreardon.org
www.matthewreardon.org

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Matthew Reardon Center for Autism to Host Open House in Savannah on Nov 15

Matthew Reardon Center for Autism to Host Open House in Savannah on Nov 15

WHO: Matthew Reardon Center for Autism, Inc. (MRCA)

WHAT: Open House and Tour of Expanded School

WHEN: Wednesday, November 15, 2017, 5:30 PM – 7 PM

WHERE: 6602 Abercorn Street, Suite #200

CONTACT: Patti Victor Phone: (912) 355-9098

NOTES:
MRCA has recently expanded their existing 5,000 square foot facility by 1,000 square feet, allowing the organization to increase enrollment to 22 students. The Matthew Reardon Center for Autism operates southeast Georgia’s only accredited year-round day school for children with autism, ages 5 to 18-years-old, ADVANCE Academy (AA).

MRCA offers a multi-therapeutic, communication-based approach to academics, and social and life skills education using Applied Behavior Analysis methodology. Additionally, all students receive Speech, Occupational, Physical and Music therapy as part of their curriculum.

Accredited by the Georgia Accreditation Commission, ADVANCE Academy’s teachers communicate with parents daily. Student progress can be monitored by parents through their online system. Parent training workshops are held four times a year in addition to quarterly parent conference and annual IEP conferences. MRCA advocates work with families, both at AA and throughout the community, to ensure they obtain needed support services needed, such as IEP planning and development, SSI, Medicaid and extra-curricular activities.

Student to teacher ratio is 2:1 in elementary and 3:1 in the middle and upper school classrooms. Teachers and staff members have special certifications, including Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA), Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) and GA Professional Standards Commission Certification. All staff members are Safety-Care Certified and CPR Certified. A master’s degree is required for all lead teachers, and a bachelor’s degree required for all teaching assistants.

Teachers will be available for questions at the open house. Refreshments will be available for guests.

Annual tuition is $9,350 for the 12-month school term. Students at MRCA participate in the Georgia Special Needs Scholarship Program, with limited additional tuition assistance available through the GA Tax Credit Scholarship Program.

QUOTE:
“Decades of research data clearly demonstrate that the earlier intervention support begins, the better the outcome for the child and for the entire family,” said Patti Victor, President and CEO of MRCA.

AUTISM STATISTICS:
The CDC estimates that 1 in 66 children in Georgia will be diagnosed with autism. This equates to more than 38,000 school-aged children in Georgia, more than 2,000 of whom live in the Coastal Empire community. One percent of the population of the USA has autism.

ABOUT THE MATTHEW REARDON CENTER FOR AUTISM (MRCA):
MRCA operates southeast Georgia’s only accredited year-round day school for children with autism. They have provided advocacy and outreach services to more than 800 families across southeast Georgia and have hosted professional training and instructional opportunities for more than 4,000 family members, educators, health professionals and self-advocates. The organization was incorporated in 2000 and currently serves 22 students through ADVANCE Academy. They have 11 full-time employees and operate in a 6000 sq foot suite located at 6602 Abercorn St #200, Savannah, GA 31405. Website: http://www.matthewreardon.org/

DIRECTIONS TO MRCA:
The center is located off the Northeast corner where Abercorn St. intersects with Jackson Blvd. (just north of Chucky Cheese), 2nd floor.

Matthew Rearden Center for Autism Open House

CONTACT
Patti T. Victor, President and CEO
The Matthew Reardon Center for Autism, Inc, and Advance Academy
912-355-9098 (office)
912-352-2460 (fax)
pvictor@matthewreardon.org
www.matthewreardon.org

MEDIA CONTACT
Cynthia Wright
Carriage Trade Public Relations
912-856-9075
cynthia.wright@carriagetradepr.com
www.carriagetradepr.com

LDSS Night of Champions 2017 Recipients

Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society Honors 2017 Champions at Annual Gala

The Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society (LDSS) recognized five outstanding individuals and their employers during the organization’s eighth Annual Night of Champions gala, held Thursday, May 11 at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Savannah.

The organization’s 2017 Champions are adult workers who demonstrate exemplary dedication and commitment as employees and are recognized as integral team members at their places of work.

The awards went to:

“By living to their fullest potentials, the LDSS Champions are advocates for themselves and others with Down syndrome or other cognitive or developmental challenges, proving themselves truly able,” said the 2017 Night of Champions chairwoman, Allyson Harvin. “Each year, we recognize those Champions who, through their paid or unpaid work, bring about a greater public awareness and understanding of people with Down syndrome and all differently-abled adults.”

The President of LDSS, Candy Bogardus presented the President’s Award to Bonnie Rachael, founder and CEO of Faith Equestrian Therapeutic Center. Located in Guyton, Georgia, Faith Equestrian began back in 2006 with the mission of, “We exist to improve the lives of individuals with different abilities through the power of the horse.” The center now has 12 horses, a donkey, and offers two primary programs, the Therapeutic Riding program and the EFL Program. For more information on the Faith Equestrian Therapeutic Center, visit http://faithetc.org.

Over 600 Savannah area business leaders, employees and advocates attended the event. The National Down Syndrome Society’s Chief of Staff delivered welcoming remarks and Savannah’s own Jamie Deen, TV personality and best-selling cookbook author, served as master of ceremonies. Deen, who sits on the LDSS Board, is a strong advocate for hiring individuals with Down syndrome and other different abilities.

2017 Night of Champions Attendees

2017 Night of Champions Attendees

2017 CHAMPIONS

NICHOLAS BROWN came to the Savannah International Airport in 2014 and worked in the airport terminal before he was offered a job as a groundskeeper. His supervisor, George Miller, says Brown demonstrates commitment, dedication, personal care and pride in his work. He also has been recognized by WTOC as a Community Champion.

MACKENZIE HANCOCK has worked for Polka Dots Gifts & Accessories for the past year. Hancock has several tasks that she does regularly but is always willing to try something new. Her manager, Jackie Pickering, says Hancock comes to work happily, has an enthusiastic personality and does whatever she is asked to do. Her coworkers say she is incredibly funny, caring, kind and loving and is personable with staff and customers.

GEORGE GATES has worked as a custodian with Goodwill Southeast Georgia for 15 years. He greets his co-workers with a smile, a sincere “hello” and his signature hug. His supervisor, Runella Black, says Gates comes to work early and never hesitates to work late if the facility is short-staffed. He impresses others with his work ethic, compassion, friendly personality and ability to work well under pressure. He demonstrates superlative customer service and enjoys speaking (and taking pictures) with the various dignitaries who tour the building. He also loves sharing his success story of how Goodwill has impacted his life.

DENNIS PICKETT has been employed as a warehouse team member with Fulfillment.com for eight months. His employment specialist, Alina Rickards, says Dennis volunteered in the cafeteria while he still was in school and expressed a desire to become part of the Fulfillment.com workforce. After completing a job assessment, Pickett joined the Fulfillment.com warehouse team.

BRENTON SCOTT has been on the team at Coastal Pet Rescue for a year. His supervisor, Jennifer Taylor, and the facility’s director, Lisa Scarborough say Scott’s family had spent several years trying to find a place where the young man could work on developing his independence. He first was teamed with a senior volunteer to work one day a week in the kennels to provide proper diets, perform all sanitary cleaning and make sure the dogs got daily exercise. After about four months, he started joining coworkers on weekends to attend adoption events to promote the dogs he cared for and to help them find new homes.

Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society Night of Champions 2017

Jamie Deen, Jennifer Taylor, and Brenton Scott

MORE ABOUT THE LOWCOUNTRY DOWN SYNDROME SOCIETY
The Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society (LDSS) is a family support group to benefit people with Down syndrome and their families through local leadership, outreach, education and advocacy to champion and celebrate acceptance and inclusion. Meetings are held every fourth Tuesday of the month, typically with a guest speaker and social time for families to meet and interact with one another. LDSS encourages people to bring their children. LDSS is an affiliate of the National Down Syndrome Society. For more information about LDSS, visit http://www.ldssga.org/. Find LDSS on Twitter at @LowcountryDSS.

CONTACT
Candy Bogardus
cbogardus@ldssga.org
912-663-8573

MEDIA CONTACT
Cynthia Wright
Junior Partner
Carriage Trade Public Relations®
Cecilia Russo Marketing
912.856.9075
www.carriagetradepr.com
cynthia.wright@carriagetradepr.com

Boom! Zap! Pow! Salute to Savannah Super Heroes Awards Banquet Raises $20,000 for Local Autism Organization

Savannah, GA – November 4, 2015 — The Matthew Reardon Center for Autism (MRCA) announced today that it raised $20,000 from its awards banquet held on October 22 at the DeSoto Hilton Hotel. Proceeds from the evening will be used to support the organization as it expands its resources and footprint in Georgia in order to better serve the growing needs of the regional autism community.

Boom! Zap! Pow! A Salute to Savannah Superheroes Awards Banquet was the second of three events hosted in celebration of MCRA’s 15 years serving the autism and special needs communities in Savannah and throughout southeast Georgia. The evening featured the inaugural presentation of the Marie Backus McGaughey Award for Childhood Philanthropy. Greg Parker of the Parker Companies received the award in recognition of his outstanding generosity including Parkers’ “Fueling the Community” program, which provides funding to local schools in southeast Georgia and the South Carolina Lowcountry. Area high school students contributed to the evening’s entertainment, including the Habersham Vibe jazz quartet and The Savannah Arts Academy Dance Company.

MRCA’s final anniversary event will be the 2016 Autism Conference in Savannah (Feb. 11-12) that will feature internationally recognized experts in various autism-related fields of work and research. Conference organizers are bringing together a variety of professionals and family participants from the U.S. and Canada, most notably Dr. Temple Grandin as the keynote speaker. MRCA will also host a Friday evening (Feb. 12) community event featuring Dr. Grandin that is free and open to the general public.

About MRCA: The Matthew Reardon Center for Autism operates the only year-round, day school in southeast Georgia for children with ASD. Furthermore, it promotes outreach and advocacy through forged partnerships with families and with existing medical, educational, and community services in order to help these children reach their full potential and enhance their quality of life as well as that of their families. The Matthew Reardon Center for Autism is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation, and relies on support of those who share our passion and vision. For more information, visit www.matthewreardon.org.

Contact: Patti Victor

  1. 912-355-9098
  2. pvictor@matthewreardon.org