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South Carolina Autism Society 

News and Happenings

September 2017

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From The President

Hello SCAS friend!

Now that students have settled in to school and Fall is here, many are starting to think about the upcoming holidays.  We at the South Carolina Autism Society are busy preparing some great activities for you as well, and will be announcing more over the coming weeks. 

We are now just 2 months from Thanksgiving, and that means it's time for our annual Thanksgiving Turkey Drive.  For 9 years now, we have helped ensure that autism families in South Carolina in financial need can prepare their own Thanksgiving dinner.  

But we cannot do it alone.  Your donations are key to keeping this program going.  Just $25 will provide a Thanksgiving dinner for one of our families.  Please donate now!

See the article in this newsletter for more information on how you can support the Turkey Drive, or how to apply to be a recipient.

Please contact us if you have questions, need assistance, or would like to get further involved.  Our main number is 803-750-6988, or visit our website at scautism.org.

Sincerely,

Kim Thomas, President & CEO
South Carolina Autism Society

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Advocacy

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CALL TO ACTION! Proposed Federal Healthcare Bill

Proposed Federal Healthcare Bill

By the end of this week, the US Senate is expected to vote on another proposed Health Care Bill.  This bill is casually known as the Graham-Cassidy Bill.  The South Carolina Autism Society shares the concerns of many other disability organizations about the effect this Bill on individuals with autism and other disabilities.

According to the Center for Public Representation, the following are significant concerns about the Graham-Cassidy Bill:

• Would cap federal Medicaid spending (per capita caps), leading to devastating cuts in funding

• Eliminates the Medicaid expansion and marketplace subsidies and replaces with an inadequate block grant and then ends them completely in 10 years

• Allows states to waive protections for people with pre-existing conditions

• Allows states to waive the requirement to provide essential health benefits (like mental health and substance use services, rehabilitative and habilitative services, and maternity care)

The National Health Law Program also provides it’s “Top 10 Threats to People with Disabilities under the Graham-Cassidy Bill”, available by clicking here.

Further, in an interview with the Greenville News regarding ongoing oversight of the Department of Disabilities and Special Needs (DDSN), the Chair of the South Carolina House healthcare oversight committee, Rep. Phyllis Henderson (R, Greer) expressed concern about the possible impact to DDSN if Congress decides to issue future Medicaid funding in the form of block grants.  She said she fears future funding could be an issue for the agency if the federal government changes the way it distributes Medicaid.  "The state is not going to be able to replace the money that goes away," she said. "That's a big challenge." (Greenville Online, September 18, 2017, http://www.greenvilleonline.com/story/news/2017/09/18/ddsns-director-talks-challenges-and-criticism-lawmakers/676203001/)

For more information on how this bill would affect individuals with disabilities, please review the following reports:

• Center on Budget and Policy Priorities statement on effects of the Graham-Cassidy Bill.

• Families USA statement on Graham-Cassidy Proposal.

• The Consortium for Citizen's with Disabilities (CCD) letter to Senate on behalf of disability organizations.

The US Senate is under a deadline to pass this bill.  According to Disability Scoop, “Under a procedural maneuver, they could pass a bill to change federal health care law with only a simple majority by Sept. 30, but after that, 60 votes would be needed.”

We must act NOW!

We encourage everyone to contact their United States Senators and tell them you oppose this bill and any cuts or caps to Medicaid.

Here is what you can do!

• Find your legislators at http://www.scstatehouse.gov/legislatorssearch.php.

• South Carolina Residents can contact Senator Lindsey Graham and Senator Tim Scott.

• Call your United States Senators and tell them to oppose the proposed Medicaid cuts in the Senate Health Care Bill!

• Call your Governor and State Legislators.  Remind them what cuts to the Medicaid would affect the state budget and why Medicaid matters to you.

• Ask your family and friends to support you and do the same!

What to Say:

• I am your constituent.

• Explain if you are a person with a disability, a family member of someone with a disability, or a professional in the disability field.

• Tell them that you do not want cuts or caps on Medicaid!

• Explain how Medicaid helps you or your family member to have health care and community based services.

If you need assistance in learning how to get engaged, visit ASAN’s toolkit on basic civic engagement for self-advocates.

Thank you for all your efforts to advocate for those with autism and other disabilities!

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Seasonal Programs

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Annual Thanksgiving Turkey Drive

Annual Thanksgiving Turkey Drive

In 2008, the South Carolina Autism Society and the LUCAS Network first partnered to provide a Thanksgiving dinner to families affected by autism who are going through financial difficulties. Thanks to the community’s donations, almost 900 families in need have been served since 2008. Your donations supported 130 families in 2016 alone! The need continues to grow.

For 2017, we will again be collecting financial donations and distributing grocery store gift cards to recipients.  

Your donations allow this beneficial program to continue!

To make an online donation, click here.  You can also send a check made out to the SC Autism Society, with "Turkey Drive" in the memo field.  Mail it to SCAS, 806 12th Street, West Columbia, SC  29169.

Your donation is tax deductible.  Thank you for supporting our families!

Nominations:  To nominate someone to receive a gift card, please click here.  Qualifications are as follows:

• Must have family member with autism living in the home.

• Must receive SNAP/food-stamps and/or free/reduced school lunch.

• Must reside in South Carolina.

• Individuals may self-nominate.

For any questions, please email SusanL@scautism.org.

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Ticket information forthcoming...

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Upcoming Events

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Coffee Talk Parent Support October 2017

Coffee Talk Parent Support

Wednesday, October 4
9 - 11 AM
Greenville

Join us for Coffee Talk on the first Wednesday of every month at SCAS Upstate office.  Parents, Grandparents, and Guardians can visit, talk, share resources, and have coffee with goodies.  Children are always welcomed, but childcare is not provided.

Important Provider Notice 

Please note that this is a parent and caregiver support format.  Businesses, organizations, and providers are welcome to send or drop materials for us to distribute.  Thank you for respecting the needs of our families!

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Spectrum Harvest Fest -- October 2017

Spectrum Harvest Fest

Saturday, October 15
2 - 4:30 PM
Simpsonville, SC

Join us on Sunday, October 15th for one of the post popular family events of the year!  We will meet at the Hollingsworth Outdoor Center in Simpsonville for an afternoon of fun fall activities.  Tentative activities to include hayrides, pumpkin painting, archery, broom making, ash cakes,and more.

All families affected by autism or related conditions are invited. You do not need to be a Y member, nor a resident of Greenville.

Please click here to sign up now.  We ask that everyone sign up to bring a drink or snack to share.

Cost is $10 per family. Scholarships are available.

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Outreach & Exhibitor Requests

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Outreach & Speaker Requests

Outreach & Speaker Requests

The South Carolina Autism Society is available to provide staff members and/or information for your event.  Whether you are looking for a Keynote Speaker for a Conference, a Speaker for a class or meeting, or an exhibitor table, we would love to talk to you! Please click here to complete our Outreach/Speaker Request Form.  We will review your request and …

READ MORE >>

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Become a Member

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Membership
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Donations

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We could not fulfill our mission without the support of our generous Donors.  We ask that you please consider supporting the South Carolina Autism Society.  Your support will help us continue to reach out to families and to expand our services in South Carolina.

Thank you in advance for your support. Please remember, almost 90 cents of every dollar goes directly to programs.  The South Carolina Autism Society is a 503(c) organization, and your donation is tax deductible.

You can donate by mailing a check to:

SC Autism Society
806 12th Street
West Columbia, SC  29169

or online at http://scautism.org/donate/

Thank you for your continued support over the past 40+ years.

VIEW AND DONATE EASILY ONLINE >>

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Featured Item

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Each month we'll feature items from our online store which could easily make the perfect gift for the ones you care about.  Here's what we have for you:

Autism Awareness Silicone Bracelet

Autism Awareness Silicone Bracelet

Show the world that you support someone with autism!  Autism Awareness silicone bracelet.

READ MORE >>

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Connect with Us

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For more immediate information, consider liking our Facebook Page, following our Twitter account or joining our Facebook Group. You can also join in our community interaction by joining one of our many online forums.

You can also subscribe to the following Yahoo Groups:  

SCAS Announcements Forum: This group is for the distribution of events and announcements by the South Carolina Autism Society.  To subscribe, send a blank email to scasannouncements-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

SC Autism Forum:  A discussion group for South Carolina parents and families whose lives are affected by autism. Share your joys, stories, challenges, and solutions.  To subscribe, send a blank email to scautismforum-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Autism South Carolina:  An online support group is for teachers, professionals, service providers and family members.  To subscribe, send a blank email to autismsouthcarolina-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

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Always online for you : http://www.scautism.org