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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

2011 Upstate SC Autism Forum


From now until August 6th, we will be Spotlighting the Sponsors to the 2011 Upstate SC Autism Forum. It’s FREE and you get a free lunch. To learn more about each of the sponsors and Service Providers featured, please register today for this free forum and meet them in person on August 6th at Brookwood Church in Simpsonville. Today’s Resource Fair Participant Spotlight is on The LUCAS Network

The L.U.C.A.S. Network (Loving Unconditionally Children with Autism Support Network) was created in 2007 by Derrick and Sandrine Howle in honor of our son, Lucas, who has autism. We developed this network after the successful passage of Ryan’s Law in June of 2007. We feel compelled to share our story and experiences of Lucas’ battle with autism with other families and having other families share their stories as well in hope of making a difference in the lives of families struggling with this disorder and of making the journey down the path of autism a little easier.
Outside of our advocacy efforts in SC, The LUCAS Network has started a number of initiatives in the last few years and will continue to do so in the future. Because we believe that it takes a strong team to accomplish a goal,  we partner with other autism and special needs organizations locally, statewide and nationally. Below are a list of past and present initiatives along with our partnering organizations.
The South Carolina Autism Services Directory:
Sandrine and I created and maintain this directory that includes services and information about autism from all across SC. It is available free of charge in electronic format. Derrick is also the Community Services Liaison for Autism Speaks in SC.
Upstate SC Autism Forum:
In 2008, 2009 and again in 2011, we have partnered with Brookwood Church, The SC Autism Society, Family Connection of SC, Winston's Wish Foundation, The Greenville Hospital Systems Autism Division, and Autism Speaks to bring information from the experts and service providers about autism and autism services, free of charge, to the Upstate of SC. This event has had as many as 250 parents and individuals with autism attend and includes a Resource Fair.
Greenville, SC Autism Awareness Day Candlelight Vigil 2009:The Lucas Network partnered with the SC Autism Society and Family Connection to hold a candlelight vigil in  Greenville's Falls Park. Mayor White declared that day as Autism Awareness Day for the City of Greenville.
Annual Autism and Special Needs Turkey Drive:
Since 2008, The LUCAS Network has initiated and partnered with The SC Autism Society and the Christy Ruppert Delseni Autism Program to provide families having a child with autism or other disability in need with a turkey and dinner for Thanksgiving. We have been able to provide as many as 90 families a Thanksgiving Day meal.
Promoting Inclusion of Special Needs Students in the Public School System:
The Lucas Network is currently working with The Greenville County School District, The SC Autism Society, The Hope Foundation, The Christy Ruppert Delseni Autism Program, Family Connection of SC, The Greenville Down's Syndrome Society and The Circle of Friends, The Path to Inclusion Organization to start a Circle of Friends Chapter in 5 schools within the Greenville County School District.

The Lucas Network has also participated in the Autism Speaks Light it Up Blue campaign. In 2010, the Riverplace Office Building and NEXT Building in Downtown Greenville lit up in Blue. In 2011, along with last year’s participants, The BMW Zentrum Museum, Hubbell Lighting, Westin Poinsett Hotel, Addy’s Dutch Café, Coffee Underground and the Furman University Bell Tower and the West Columbia City Hall lit up in Blue for World Autism Awareness Day. The goal for 2012 is for all of Greenville’s Main Street to be lit up in Blue.
Derrick is also the Family Services Liaison for Autism Speaks in SC.
You can now register to attend the 2011 Upstate SC Autism Forum to be held on August 6, 2011. Click on the link to the SC Autism Societies website below to register and also browse their website while there. We ask that you please let us know you will be attending so that we can have the appropriate number of lunches available and to also choose which afternoon lectures you will attend. The forum begins at 8a.m. with the resource fair. Come have a seat about 15 minutes before the program starts (8:45 a.m.) to see the SC Faces of Autism Video featuring individuals with autism and their families from all across South Carolina and Autism Events from throughout this year.


The LUCAS Network, Brookwood Church, Family Connection of SC, Winston's Wish Foundation, The SC Autism Society, The Greenville Hospital Systems Autism Wonders Program, and Autism Speaks, are excited to present the Upstate SC Autism Forum,  set for Saturday, August 6, 2011, from 8 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. at Brookwood Church in Simpsonville SC.
This free event aims to bring together parents and professionals from across the Upstate region, to provide evidenced based information about autism, current autism research for the cause and treatment, and resources available in South Carolina to assist families affected by the disorder.
The Upstate Autism Forum will be a great place for families to learn more about the services available in the area and for service providers to meet and hear from families as to what they need and are looking for. The Forum will also feature a Resource Fair of booths and exhibits for family members and educators to continue their learning outside of the forum itself.
Forum speakers include medical professionals and Upstate parents Phil and Amy Parham.  Phil and Amy are the parents of three children, one with autism. In 2008, they were contestants on NBC’s “The Biggest Loser.” During their time on the show, they lost a combined total of 256 pounds. As a couple, they lost one of the highest percentages of any married couple in “The Biggest Loser" history. “ Out of 110 contestants to date, Amy holds the title of the 3rd-highest percentage of weight loss for all the women in “The Biggest Loser” history.
Phil and Amy will be sharing their story and the role that autism has played in their lives and talk about how the entire family can remain healthy even with the challenges that the diagnosis of autism can present.

 http://www.luluhowle.com/2011Forum.html
2011 SC Upstate Autism Forum
August 6th, 2011
Agenda (Subject to change)

8-9am  Resource fair
8:45am SC Faces of Autism Video Presentation
9-910am  Opening and Welcome  (Derrick Howle and Dr. Lisa Castellani)
910-940am  Inspirational speakers Phil and Amy Parham from NBC’s The Biggest Loser
940-1030am  Main Session #1  Dr. Desmond Kelly reviewing top research in 2010
1030-1040am Q&A
1040-1130am  Main Session #2  Artistas Café, Vicky Westra
1130-1140am Q&A
1140-1230pm  Main Session #3  Dr. Jane Ford on Puberty and Sexuality in Adolescents with ASDs
1230-1240pm Q&A
1240-130pm  Lunch & Exhibits

130-225pm  Concurrent Session #1
A.    All Are Welcome, Susan Leiby, SC Autism Society
B.     ABCs of Functional Analysis, Mark Knight, BCBA, Hope Reach
C.     Ins and Outs of Insurance Coverage of ASDs, Julie Kellett, MA, Autism Wonders
D.    Autism Wonders (GHS Children’s Hospital Autism Program) Update, Lisa Castellani, MD, Autism Wonders
225-230pm  Move to next Concurrent Session
230-325pm  Concurrent Session #2
A.    Transition Issues in Autism, TBD
B.     Seizures in Autism, GHS Pediatric Neurology TBD
C.     Navigating the IEP Process in Autism: Natalie Smith, Autism Coordinator, Greenville County Schools
D.    Evaluating Research Articles and New Autism Treatments, Julie Kellett, MA, Autism Wonders
325-330pm  Move back to main session

330-4pm  Closing remarks



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