Jenn – Parent of newly diagnosed child
It was so nice meeting with you today and I am so grateful for you taking the time to help me! I feel like I have some knowledge on where to begin. It truly meant so much to me – just being able to know the first steps I need to take without having to reach out to multiple resources is such a blessing!
Julie Crews Grandparent of a ten year old
My gratitude is boundless. Through meetings, programs, seminars, recommended reading, wonderful leaders, and other grandparents, I found direction and how best to provide support to my sweet and smart grandchild.
Becky Cope Parent of a teenager with an autism spectrum disorder
The Autism Society of Central Virginia is the best local source of information and training for parents of individuals across the autism spectrum at every stage of life. The support of other families with similar experiences is invaluable as parents learn about community resources and how to meet the needs of their children. I am very thankful I joined this organization when we moved here.
Kyle Cope 15 year old student with an autism spectrum disorder
Autism Society provides good opportunities for kids to socialize with other kids who can relate to them.
Allison Thurman Parent of a child with autism (7 years old)
ASACV Value to me: My son has a rare syndrome (1 in 12 million) and did not initially have the diagnosis of autism when we joined ASACV. However, I found the resources to be invaluable when navigating the special needs journey- from seminars with world leaders on topics regarding autism, their resources website, and, most importantly, the passion and advocacy of Bradford Hulcher. I have contacted ASACV multiple times with questions- and have received informed advice- not only from knowing what the status is in the community and legislature but also from first-hand experience with a child with autism. Since our son’s diagnosis with autism, all of our family members have joined as well as my son’s childcare provider. I can’t thank ASACV for all it has provided my family!
Tammy Burns Parent of Jared age 14
The Autism Society Central VA, has helped us since my son was first diagnosed. I called soon after my son was diagnosed, and was able to ask questions, locate resources and have a guide for the next steps along our journey. The free monthly meetings have offered a place to learn from extremely knowledgeable people, a huge variety of information. These meetings also offer a time to meet others who also have children on the spectrum, and realize that you are not alone in this world. One of the most important things the ASCV has offered me and my family is a place to give back. We have been able to volunteer at various times, and feel like we are helping others whose families are affected by autism. That has been one of the most healing and rewarding parts of being involved with the ASCV.
Elizabeth Edens Mother of Dustin, Speech-Language Pathologist
I am the parent of a young adult with Autism. I also serve individuals with Autism as a school speech-language pathologist in Colonial Heights, Virginia. The Autism Society of Central VA has provided me with valuable training and resources to help me better navigate parenting a child with Autism. This knowledge also transfers over to my profession as a clinician dedicated to helping children on the spectrum become the best communicators they can be. I am grateful for the ASCV and the support my family has received from the staff and other parents who are trying their best to help their children grow and develop a life like ours. Thank you.
Anita Resnick Parent of a nine year old boy on the spectrum
The Autism Society of Central VA offers a wide variety of workshops, a monthly Lego Club and bowling league for kids which gives me the chance to share our challenges, get advice and celebrate our joys with others that understand, while our son gets a chance to socialize with other children. They also have support groups, a weekly newsletter and an amazing lending library. The ASACV is the best support system in Richmond for anyone on the spectrum or for those of us with a child on the spectrum.
Sandra Mother of 2 with autism
My husband and I were stunned after our son’s diagnosis. We didn’t know anything about autism. Our only frame of reference was a movie we had seen years earlier, “Rain Man”. The doctor was not helpful and didn’t give us any information regarding therapies or what we could do to help our son. Maybe he didn’t have access to that information or maybe he thought we wouldn’t hear anything else because we were still in a state of shock. He did give us the phone number to the ASA. Family and friends tried to encourage us, but no one knew how to help us. When I made that phone call to the Autism Society, it felt like someone had thrown me a lifeline. Finally, I had someone who understood what I was going through, another parent just like me. Coming home from a meeting from the Autism Society helped me feel empowered. The speakers were knowledgeable and gave me valuable information that taught me how to understand and help my child. The Autism Society wants to change the way you view people with autism: to see ability instead of disability, to see a person instead of a label, to see an opportunity instead of a challenge, to see strength instead of weakness, and to see the value of each person no matter what their level of ability may be. What the ASA, CV does-informative monthly meetings, lending library, newsletter, websites, emails alerting members to important information, sponsoring trainings and seminars, information about other resources in the area and support groups. Learn about medical issues, educational rights, government policy, insurance regulations and so much more. Everything you need in one place to navigate the complex world of autism. Teaching parents to advocate for their children, teaching individuals to advocate for themselves, giving teachers and other professionals the tools needed to teach and work with individuals with autism, giving information on a broad range of subjects. It’s about educating yourself, so you can make the right decisions for your child. I’ll never forget those parents I met through the Autism Society in the early years when my son was first diagnosed. They always took the time to talk with me and answer my questions. They shared their stories with me, letting me know that I was not alone. They listed to mine as well, giving me advice and encouraging me. I learned so much from them. They gave me a different perspective from their years of experience. With time, I became a strong advocate for my son with the knowledge I gained from the ASA, CV. The ASA, CV can help you no matter where you are on your journey. You could be a parent with a newly diagnosed child or an adult with ASD, looking for job opportunities. The ASA can answer your questions and give you helpful information that will help you continue your journey.
Rosemary Seltzer Parent of a child with autism
Our daughter was not diagnosed with autism until she was ten. When she was diagnosed, it was almost a relief because we could finally join a support community. The Autism Society has provided us with education about topics such as preparing for an I.E.P. meeting, Medicaid waivers, and transitioning to adulthood. The Autism Society provides social activities for the kids such as a bowling league, picnics, social skills groups, and an inclusive Lego club. Bradford Hulcher works tirelessly for children and adults with autism and their families. We are so grateful for the Autism Society! It has helped our family immensely in so many different ways.
Matthew Quick 16 year old with autism
My name is Matthew Quick and I’m 16 years old with Autism. My family and I moved from Georgia almost three years ago and I lost all my friends I had in Georgia since I was very small. The first year in Virginia was really hard on me and my family. My mom called the Autism Society Central Virginia and we started to have friends and to have some activities to go to like picnics and Christmas parties and go bowling. Some nights I get to play with other kids every time my mom wants to learn something else about Autism. I have enjoyed this activities a lot and I ask my mom to take me and it is awesome. We like Virginia now and I like to share with others that have autism.
Chele Brandon Mom to 3 children on the spectrum
The Autism Society has been extremely helpful to me in helping navigate IEPs and understanding the Medicaid Waivers.
Cheryl H. Curbeam Parent of a teen with autism
As a parent, the ASCV helped me understand and accept my child’s diagnosis. They provided a resource list of therapists and doctors that helped us in our journey post-diagnosis. I learned parent strategies through the many workshops that were sponsored by ASCV. The workshop speakers were all knowledgeable and experts in their field. I appreciated the child care that was provided during the workshop meetings for both my child with autism and the one without, so that I could learn as much as possible about the topics that were being discussed without having to pay for a babysitter. I also like the activities sponsored for the kids too, especially the holiday party, spring picnic, and Monkey Joe Bounce nights.
Mary Driebe Parent teen on the spectrum
The Autism Society of Central Virginia has provided our family with well researched and current information regarding strategies to supporting our child, medical advances, nutritional guidelines, problems and solutions to anticipate and most importantly an outlet to express our bittersweet journeys. We celebrate, anguish, reflect, deliberate and then make inroads together. Bradford Hulcher is an unsung hero!
Shawn Kirk Adult with autism
The Autism Society has given me real friends for the first time in my life. It has given me the courage to take charge of my life in ways that I never thought would be possible. If it were not for the help and support from the Autism Society I would not be the person I am today.
Eric Jenkins Parent of Matthew age 12
ASACV’s collective knowledge has presented numerous opportunities for our son and family. They have allowed our family to establish relationships that will benefit us for a life time.
Ken Yasnowsky Father of 17 year old child with Autism
The Autism Society (Central VA Chapter) has been helpful to me, my wife Paige, and my son in many ways:
- Provided useful books, DVDs, and CDs for loan through the chapter library;
- Set up meetings on important topics such as IEPs, Transition, Behavior issues, ID/DD Waivers, and many more. Not only has the material been of great benefit but the meetings offer a great opportunity to hear from and collaborate with other parents of children with ASD and also with professionals from many different fields;
- Provided social events such as bowling and picnics;
- Provided a place to go for advice when there was no where else to go. Members and Leadership of the Autism Society have reviewed my IEPs, letters. and helped with major decisions;
- Lead and informed of advocacy needs and events;
- Through email, kept us informed of many other events and resources that will help us raise our child with ASD in the best manner possible;
- Set up and run a 5K race every spring to raise money for the Chapter. This is a very fun event that we look forward to attending each year. In all, the ASACV has been an invaluable resource and only a very minimal dues is required. Everyone who has a child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder should be a member.”
Christy Evanko Parent of an 8-year old boy on the Autism spectrum.
As a parent of a child with ASD, I have found the ASCV to be a terrific resource. There is so much available and so many activities going on, but it’s difficult to navigate all of the services. The ASCV puts together wonderful events and keeps me up to date on all that is going on around my area. Bradford is also a great representative and has helped me in many arenas. Central Virginia is lucky to have the ASCV to assist with parents with children with Autism.