Christmas Potluck Dinner and Discussions on “Holiday Coping Strategies and ASBG’s 2013 program“

This is the time when we can exchange strategies for coping with the holidays. How well are our families and kids prepared for the stresses of the up-coming holiday season? Also bring your ideas for programs and topics should be offered at meetings or workshops in 2013 that would be of benefit to our membership and community. Please, please bring your ideas and recommendations.

Bring a dish if you wish but bring your experiences and coping skills to share as the Holidays approach. (ASBG will supply all paper-goods, drinks and a main dish). Free childcare will be provided.

Wendy Wheeler Mullins and Alyssa King

It is important that our loved ones on the Autism Spectrum have their voices represented at the ballot box. The right to vote is universal and persons of voting age with ASD can participate in the process with guidance. Wendy Wheeler-Mullins has designed a series of visual communications to help persons with limited verbal skills make their own decisions about voting. Come join us as she explains how to keep your family member with autism engaged in elections. As an American, each of us has the right to make a decision on voting and to exercise that right at the ballot box. Members of the ASD community are often dismissed and or neglected at the ballot box. Come learn how to be heard.

Amelia Mullins is a 20-year-old young woman with autism, who votes. Her mother, Wendy Wheeler-Mullins, will share with the group strategies that help Amelia to be an informed voter and how to get the supports a person with a disability needs in order to vote at the polling place. We will also review information about voting for individuals with disabilities, including those who may have guardians.

September 24

Updates from Behavioral Health and Intellectually and Developmental Disabilities around Autism Spectrum Disorder services
Dr Stephen Hall, Commissioner

Stephen R. Hall, Ph.D., Commissioner of the Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities, is a national leader in the area of mental health and developmental disabilities. Before coming to Kentucky, Dr. Hall served as director of the Georgia Office of Developmental Disabilities since 2005. During his tenure, Georgia made significant progress in funding services for individuals with developmental disabilities and in moving people from institutions into the community. As director, Dr. Hall also oversaw Georgia moving to first in the country in a ranking of individuals with developmental disabilities reporting they feel safe in their homes. Dr. Hall is a well-respected leader who has devoted his career to collaborating with and engaging partners to improve services for those with developmental disabilities,” said CHFS Secretary Janie Miller. Hall also has extensive experience in developing programs to promote individual and family self-direction and authority.

Fayette County’s Special Ed. Advisory Council and Special Needs Awareness Week
Alva Clark and Kim Grasso

Two of ASBG’s members, Kim Grasso and Alva Clark, serve on the Special Education Advisory Council on an ad hoc Education committee, whose roles include educating the community at large. One of the best ways they’ve found to accomplish this is a Special Needs Awareness Week. They would love to enlist a Special Needs Coordinator within each school’s PTA or PTSA. They will introduce this Awareness Week concept with a presentation to us and will be able to talk about the Council in general.

Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT) – Part 2
Brandon Griffith – CEO, Community Alternatives Kentucky

Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT) is a federally mandated Medicaid program for children. In Kentucky, it is divided into two components: EPSDT Screenings and EPSDT Special Services. Any Medicaid eligible child is eligible for EPSDT screenings. Additionally, any Medicaid eligible child may receive EPSDT Special Services as long as the services are medically necessary and not covered in another Medicaid program area. Children who are KCHIP III are not eligible for EPSDT Special Services or non- emergency transportation. EPSDT Special Services may only be provided to individuals under age 21. Brandon Griffith is the Executive Director of CAKY Lexington and will share insights and lead a discussion on the steps necessary to access services through the EPSDT waiver.

Understanding and using EPSDT to Access Services for Your Child
Latisha Jackson, The Children’s Law Center
The Children’s Law Center staff Latisha Jackson will present on EPSDT services and how to access them. This term comes from the federal Medicaid Act. The purpose of EPSDT is to ensure all Medicaid eligible children receive comprehensive and preventative health care to the maximum extent that Medicaid allows. The intent of EPSDT is the early identification and treatment of conditions that may impede the growth and development of children

Differences in Gender in High Functioning Adults with ASD
Updates in Screening Tool for Autism
Whitney Brooks, PHD Candidate Ohio State University

School Based Autism Services in Kentucky
Melissa Murphy, MS Doctoral Candidate, School Psychology Program, UK


Equine Assisted Program Therapy at Horses Healing Humans
Rosemary Taylor, Facilitator

Sherry Cooke will present an invitation to join and participate in the many athletic activities offered by the Special Olympics of Kentucky organization (SOKY). Sherry says she “would love to at least give everyone an idea of what Special Olympics offers, how it’s affected our kids’ lives and the information on how to get involved.” Sherry and other volunteers are trying to re-energize the Special Olympics participation here in Fayette County and have formed a new organization – SOKYFC. Many of them are parents with special-needs family members who do not or did not get involved in sports or Special Olympics until their late teens. As Sherry put it, “participating in sports has done wonders for our children and we all wish we had gotten them involved much earlier.” Sherry will share information with the ASBG on how to get involved in the many year-round activities offered by SOKY.

Supported Employment from Milt Tyree, followed by an open-topic discussion.

Milt Tyree will speak about employment options for individuals on the Autism continuum.
Milt does the required training on Supported Employment for people who work with individuals who provide through the Voc Rehab and/or the Michelle P and SCL waivers in Kentucky. This will be a preview of our all-day workshop coming in March on Saturday 03/03/12.

Afterward, we can all join in on the discussion of employment issues and add any other desired topics, such as school IEPs, testing, social activity opportunities, available vacation activities, the ASBG Walk, Milt’s March workshop, April Autism Awareness Month, and training opportunities. We will pay special attention to families with a new diagnosis or facing new issues in child rearing. We invite any new families and members to come and share in a warm welcome to our community!

Also, Scott County Autism Team (SCAT) is inviting the ASBG to join them at Monkey Joe’s in Lexington on Feb 18th at 8:15 am till however long they want to stay. The cost is $6.99 for kids, adults free. This opportunity will be offered monthly. The SCAT is also scheduling outings to sensory-friendly movies in Georgetown. For more information or to check for cancellations due to inclement weather, please call Tammy Mischler at 502-535-6676 (home) or 502-316-3957 (cell).