Advocating for Change
Due to the weather forecast, our 2/20 Brown Bag Workshop has been rescheduled for 2/27, noon-1:30pm at HCAS. The Mom’s Night Out at Cured has been canceled but will be rescheduled soon!
Tickets to the HCAS 14th Annual Pieces of the Puzzle Gala — this year with a GROOVY 70’s Theme! – are now on sale! CLICK to purchase online!
Keeping students safe on a special needs bus is everyone’s responsibility–from bus drivers and attendants to parents and teachers. Learn what can parents can do to help ensure students are safe and secure while riding a HCPSS special needs school bus.
Tickets for HCAS’ 14th Annual Pieces of the Puzzle Gala go on sale Friday, February 1st, at www.howard-autism.org! The event, this year with a Groovy 70’s theme, will be held on April 27, 2019 at Turf Valley Resort in Ellicott City from 7:00pm – Midnight.
A big THANK YOU to all who participated in our wonderful event this morning. Your support will go a long way to enhance our mission of providing support, promoting awareness and acceptance, and advocating for positive change in the community.
Click HERE for 5K race results.
Thank you to everyone who participated in our 11th Annual One Step Closer… Autism Walk/5K Run! We raised $61,230 and counting! Race results can be seen here.
Teams Who Raised Over $1,000:
Teams Who Raised Over $2,000:
Teams Who Raised Over $3,000:
Team Who Raised the Most Money:
We’d also like to acknowledge:
Our Largest Team: Ryan’s Troop with a total of 28 Team Members!
Our Most Spirited Team: Sam’s Squad for their enthusiasm and efforts to support the Howard County Autism Society with this event!
All of these team won awards during the event. If you have not picked up your awards, please contact the office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 410-290-3466.
Mark your calendars for next year’s Autism Walk/5K Run held on October 6, 2018! We look forward to seeing you there!
The Housing Initiative has been selected as a finalist for the Changemaker Challenge competition! Sponsored by the Horizon Foundation and the United Way of Central Maryland, the Challenge is designed to support innovative ideas to address some of the most pressing social challenges facing Howard County. We’ll compete with other finalists at a live “pitch event” on Monday, October 30, 2017 at 6:00 PM at the Johns Hopkins University Kossiakoff Center for one of three $10,000 grants and valuable project consultation services.
Admission to watch the Changemaker Challenge is free, but you need to register. Click here to sign up and join us on October 30!
For more on the Housing Sub-Committee, click here.
AMAZING RACERS is a new component of our One Step Closer Walk & 5K that offers support for youth and adults with autism who may need additional supports to participate. HCAS will provide one-on-one assistance the day of the event plus the opportunity for two “training sessions” on September 23rd and 30th from 10am-11am at Centennial Park to acclimate individuals to the course and prepare them to take on our Cake Walk ¾-mile course on October 7th. We will meet for the training at the playground near Pavilion D. To guarantee support volunteers for your child, please register by Friday, September 22.
Support will be provided by Spirit Club, The Children’s Spot and student volunteers from University of Maryland and Towson University. Special “Race Clues” will be located along the course to inspire our AMAZING RACERS as they make their way around the course! All racers will be recognized at the Awards Ceremony immediately following the race.
We are holding our 11th Annual One Step Closer… Autism Walk/5K Run at Centennial Park on October 7! See details at http://howard-autism.kintera.org/onestepcloser2017
Thank you to everyone who made our annual 12th Pieces of the Puzzle Gala a success! We are proud to report that the event hosted 265 guests and raised over $80,000 through sponsorships, ticket sales, donations, and the live and silent auctions. A transcript of John P. Hussman’s keynote address can be found here. We would like to thank our generous sponsors for their support:
We’d also like to thank our In-Kind Contributors:
Sharma & Associates
Toby’s Dinner Theatre
Zippy Shell Portable Storage & Moving – Rich Perry, Storage Unit
For more photos, go to our facebook page!
Join us on May 17th from 9:30-3:30 as we host a workshop titled: “Bullying of Individuals with Special Needs: What it Means and How You Can Help”. Funded in part by our HCAS ‘Family Advocacy and Parent Education’ grant through the Department of Community Resources and Services, this event is put on in partnership with HCPSS and RISE for Autism. For additional information, see this flyer.
Registration can be reached at this link on the RISE website.
Gala Registration is now closed! We thank all of you who have purchased tickets and plan to attend. Looking forward to a great evening!
This year’s event, once again held in partnership with the Hussman Foundation, is set for Saturday, April 29, 2017 from 7pm – Midnight at Turf Valley Resort.
To register or learn more about the event, see our gala page here.
Report and Recommendations
Howard County Autism Society and Howard County Public School System
In June 2014, a workgroup was formed to address concerns from parents, the Special Education Community Advisory Committee (SECAC), and the Howard County Autism Society (HCAS) with regard to the middle school experience for students with autism.
The Purpose of the workgroup was to evaluate the program needs of students with autism and related disabilities in middle school and to make recommendations for systemic change aligned with the HCPSS Vision 2018 strategic plan and the Bridge to Excellence Act. In each document, students—including those with disabilities—are to be given access to rigorous curriculum and highly qualified teachers. According to HCPSS, its vision is that “every student is inspired to learn and empowered to excel.”
The Need for this workgroup was agreed upon by the Department of Special Education and families. The increasing number of students with autism in Howard County Public Schools and the intensity of their needs were growing concerns among educators and parents. In addition to the intensity of student needs, a primary concern was improving professional
development with regard to teaching and including students with autism and related
The Goals of the workgroup were to:
1. Collect comprehensive data on the current middle school landscape;
2. Determine barriers to a successful middle school experience for students with autism;
3. Formulate recommendations for systemic change that are evidence-based and feasible.
The Howard County Commission on Disability Issues recognized the Howard County Autism Society (HCAS) for its dedication to improving the lives of people affected by autism at their annual awards ceremony on Oct. 6. A service award winner, HCAS was recognized for its commitment to empowering individuals with disabilities to live self-directed, meaningful lives as full participants in their communities.
The 22nd Annual Commission on Disability Issues Award Ceremony honored the outstanding efforts of individuals and organizations that advance full participation in community life for all people and promote the spirit and intent of the Americans with Disabilities Act and other disability rights laws.
Welcome to The Howard County Autism Society’s 10th Annual One Step Closer… Autism Walk & 5K Run!
HCAS is very sorry to learn of the loss of Autism Speaks co-founder, Suzanne Wright. Mrs. Wright lost her battle to pancreatic cancer on Friday, July 29. Her work to raise awareness of autism was remarkable and she received many awards for her commitment to the cause. HCAS appreciates her efforts and offer its sympathy to the Wright family.