Support the South Carolina Autism Society through
Thanksgiving is over… we braved the crowds on Black Friday… we supported our local communities on Small Business Saturday… and we searched for discounts on Cyber Monday.
The South Carolina Autism Society is busy supporting our families in many ways, including Service Coordination to ensure individuals get all the services for which they are entitled, Information & Referral for families with a new or existing diagnosis, and the Parent School Partnership supporting individuals in the school system. In addition, we just completed the 5th Annual Thanksgiving Turkey Drive, partnering with the LUCAS Network to provide Thanksgiving assistance to 80 families. We continue to partner with several groups in the next few weeks to provide fun, autism-friendly events for our families. (See below for details!) We have a full slate of both new and returning events being planned for the New Year.
So on this Giving Tuesday, please consider making a donation to the South Carolina Autism Society, and help us continue to support our Mission of ensuring that all individuals with autism spectrum disorders meet their maximum potential. Click here to donate now, or mail your check to 806 12th Street, West Columbia, SC 29169.
Wednesday, December 4 – Coffee Talk Parent Support @ Upstate SCAS Office.
Wednesday, December 4 – Digital Books training in Columbia. Click here for more information.
Saturday, December 7 – SCAS Upstate Holiday Party, presented by the AT&T Pioneers. Click here for more information.
Saturday, December 7 – SCAS Float in the Greenville Poinsettia Christmas Parade.
Sunday, December 8 – YMCA Spectrum Holiday Party, presented by the YMCA of Greenville. Click here to register.
Wednesday, December 11 – Visual Supports training in Rock Hill. Click here for more information.
Saturday, December 21 – Pre-Holiday Respite Event, with the Junior League of Columbia. Click here for more information.
The South Carolina Autism Society
is partnering with
Junior League of Columbia
to host a Pre-Holiday Respite Event!
Our goal is to give caregivers an opportunity to do last minute Holiday preparations while creating a memorable and fun event for our friends on the spectrum!
-Siblings are invited as well-
Saturday, December 21st, 2-5pm
All Star Gymnastics, 4046 Fernandina Rd.
Columbia, SC 29212
All Star Gymnastics is an indoor facility that offers a safe, fun and physically interactive environment. Food will be provided to include gluten free options.
Space is limited!! Register by calling or emailing Sarah at 803-750-6988 ext. 120 or email@example.com.
We look forward to seeing you soon!
We are pleased to let you all know that the Parent School Partnership will be back up and running beginning November 26th. I want to thank all of our families for being patient while SCAS worked with the South Carolina Department of Education on a resolution. The parent mentors are excited about coming back to work! I can't wait to have our team back together helping families and children across the Palmetto state.
If you have questions or need further information don't hesitate to contact Kim Thomas at 803-750-6988 ext. 101 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
I hope you all have a blessed Thanksgiving!
Interim President and CEO
South Carolina Autism Society
Thanksgiving Turkey Drive Update as of 11/6/2013:
YOU DID IT! The $1500 goal has been reached! All nominated families will receive the $20 gift card!
The final number of Autism and Special Needs Families needing help this Thanksgiving is exactly 75. This includes a handful of families from other areas of SC outside of the Upstate including Myrtle Beach, Columbia, Charleston and Beaufort areas.
What some 2013 Recipients are saying….
Amount needed to provide a $20 gift card to each Family: $1500
Amount donated : $ 1165
Amount Still Needed: $335
YES WE CAN! 100% of donations will go to help autism families in need this Thanksgiving! Please make your donations today. Details on how to donate are below.
To make a donation now
• Online: click here, or visit the SC Autism Society’s website at http://www.scautism.org/, and click on the Donate button. In the Comment section, just write TURKEY and the donation will go directly towards the Turkey Drive.
Corporate Sponsorships are welcome. If you have any questions or would like to be named as a sponsor, please email Derrick Howle at email@example.com or by phone at 864-292-6116 .
Thank you for supporting our families!
Click here to view the latest SCAS update from WYFF News 4 Investigates. For any questions, please contact Interim Director, Kim Thomas, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Barclay School is Ahead of the Curve!
On 1 January 2014, special needs students who qualify will be able to apply for scholarship funds to attend certain pre-approved, private, special needs schools in South Carolina. The Barclay School, Columbia has been pre-approved! Apply to the Barclay School now and let us help your child begin a new year with new hope. Contact Dr. Gillian: 803 629 6318. www.thebarclayschool.org.
Click here to view the October 2013 Mini-Update newsletter in PDF format.
SCAS Board Meetings
The Board of Directors of the South Carolina Autism Society will meet on the following dates:
All meetings begin at 10:00 am at the SC Autism Society offices at 806 12th Street, West Columbia, SC 29169
SCAS Members are welcome to attend meetings of the Board of Directors. If you would like to speak at the meeting, please call SCAS 803-750-6988 to be put on the agenda.
September 24, 2013
Dear friends, families, supporters, and loved ones:
As many of you know, the South Carolina Autism Society (SCAS) has been undergoing a great deal of transition following the passing of our former president early this year. SCAS was investigated by the South Carolina Office of Inspector General (OIG). The investigation was closed and a report, which can be found at http://oig.sc.gov/Pages/Reports.aspx, was issued by OIG in July.
The Board of Directors was reluctant to discuss this investigation while it was ongoing, because we had hoped to resolve some of the issues cited in the report, and be able to present clear, complete information to our families, partners, and supporters. Resolution is taking longer than we planned, though we are making significant progress with each of the Agencies involved.
The report from the Inspector General indicated discrepancies in accounting for funds from the SC Department of Education (DOE) and the SC Developmental Disabilities Council (DDC). It also noted that a former SCAS employee used a company credit card for personal use, and that the expenditures were reimbursed and the employee was terminated.
When OIG first approached SCAS, the only issue raised was the credit card theft. By that time, the employee had been terminated for many months because the theft was addressed swiftly after the organization learned of it. SCAS had received a clean audit report every single year prior to the credit card misuse.
Issues with grant accounting were identified later. Our records and the OIG report indicate that no money was stolen from SCAS, other than the reimbursed credit card theft. What we have identified is a failure to keep sufficient backup documentation to show which grant or funding source expenditures should have been allocated to, and there were clearly some errors in SCAS' internal accounting. Still, we believe that we can provide evidence to show that almost all of the grant expenditures referenced in OIG's report were used for the correct purpose.
As recommended in the OIG report, SCAS is working with both the DOE and the DDC to resolve these discrepancies. We recognize that there were not enough accountability measures in place, as identified by OIG. SCAS is collaborating with the agencies involved to make sure appropriate safeguards are implemented, both with SCAS' internal record-keeping and with the submission process to the state agencies. In addition, SCAS has hired new outside consultants to help us improve our internal accounting system. During this process, we have had to suspend some programming, such as the Parent School Partnership Program. We are hopeful all programming will be restored very soon.
SCAS wishes to be as transparent as possible and answer your questions. We have scheduled a series of Town Hall meetings, in an effort to hear your feedback and address your concerns. You may also contact your service coordinator with your questions or concerns.
We also want to know what services you find most helpful, wish we offered, and other ideas to help us determine what SCAS’s future programs will look like, while maintaining our mission to enable all individuals with autism spectrum disorders to reach their maximum potential.
Our annual SCAS members’ meeting will be held on Saturday, Oct. 12, from 10am-12pm at SCAS’ Columbia headquarters, including elections of Board members and officers. All Active Members of the South Carolina Autism Society are eligible to vote on the proposed slate of Board of Directors.
Please click here to register your intended attendance at one of the events above so that we can have adequate space available. You may also call SCAS headquarters in Columbia to RSVP, ph. 803-750-6988 or 800-438-4790.
Please watch the Web site, www.SCAutism.org, and SCAS’ Facebook page for updates about the Town Hall and other activities.
For more information on becoming a SCAS Member, click here.
For more information on the Annual Meeting and the Board of Directors, please click here to view SCAS Constitution and Bylaws.
SCAS continues to collaborate with other organizations that provide training related to ASDs across the state. Find information about upcoming training presented in conjunction with DOE by clicking here.
We are also actively “re-starting” the search for a new CEO. Plans are to identify possible candidates by late autumn and have a new CEO in place early next year. Kim Thomas continues to serve as interim CEO.
SCAS has provided important services to people with autism spectrum disorders for over 40 years. We are committed to fulfilling our mission, to enable all individuals with autism spectrum disorders to reach their maximum potential. We want everyone affiliated with SCAS – members, families, professionals, friends – to become a member of SCAS if you aren’t already, and we want you to continue to take steps with us, in support of the mission because we believe in someone with autism.
South Carolina Autism Society Board of Directors
Susan Kastner, Chair
Alex Holbert, Vice Chair
Rebecca Hughes, Secretary
Mitchell Yell, Treasurer
Click here for our September Mini-Update Newsletter, and for information on our Regional Town Hall Meetings and Annual Meeting.