News


October Mid-Month News!

What’s happening the last 2 weeks of October? Read all about it here.

October News!

The October newsletter is out! The San Antonio “Autism Walk in the Park” is this Saturday 10/7 and Disability Mentoring Day is 10/20. Check out our Volunteer of the Month, Ann Hart! You can also honor an “Autism Star” at our film festival, AutFestTX!

Read the October newsletter here.

Subscribe to our newsletters here. The newsletter comes out every 2 weeks.

Today is National Disability #SaveMedicaid Call-in Day! 

Monday, September 25th – please call or email our Texas US Senators. Please see below for a suggestion of what to say when you call or email.

Senator John Cornyn
Email https://www.cornyn.senate.gov/contact
Washington D.C. Office: 202-224-2934
Central Texas Office: 512-469-6034

Senator Ted Cruz  (We are aware he is currently opposed to the Graham-Cassidy legislation. Please call anyway & make the healthcare needs of people with autism clear).
Email: https://www.cruz.senate.gov/?p=form&id=16
Washington D.C. Office: 202-224-5922
Central Texas Office: 512-916-5834

Here’s What You Can Say (from Autism Society of America)
I am calling to tell Senator _____ to vote NO on Graham-Cassidy, and reject any plan that significantly cuts Medicaid and institutes block grants and per capita caps. Such a proposal will have devastating effects on people with disabilities, especially those with autism. Medicaid provides healthcare services and long-term services and supports that maintain health, function, independence and the well-being of over 10 million with disabilities and their families, including mine. I urge Senator _____ to oppose the Graham-Cassidy bill.
From Autism Society of America:
Today is National Disability #SaveMedicaid Call-in Day! The Autism Society of America is joining with disability advocates across the nation for a day of action in opposition to the Graham-Cassidy legislation. The latest Affordable Care Act repeal effort is gaining momentum, so we must keep up our advocacy and defeat the proposal. While a number of senators made overtures about opposing the plan over the weekend, we can’t let up until each NO vote is fully secured.
Graham-Cassidy proponents are working overtime to ensure passage of this harmful legislation that guts$215 billion from federal Medicaid spending, eliminates the Medicaid expansion, and allows states to penalize those with pre-existing conditions. The proposal also waives requirements for essential health benefits – which make it possible for people with autism and their loved ones to obtain critical long-term services and supports to work and live independently in their communities. The Senate could vote on the repeal bill as early as tomorrow or Wednesday, so we must ACT NOW to stop it.
Please join today’s National Call-in Day! We need everyone to flood office phone lines and let senators know cuts and caps to Medicaid are unacceptableCall (202) 224-3121 and ask your senator to please oppose Graham-Cassidy and reject proposed cuts and restructuring to Medicaid.
Here’s What You Can Say
I am calling to tell Senator _____ to vote NO on Graham-Cassidy, and reject any plan that significantly cuts Medicaid and institutes block grants and per capita caps. Such a proposal will have devastating effects on people with disabilities, especially those with autism. Medicaid provides healthcare services and long-term services and supports that maintain health, function, independence and the well-being of over 10 million with disabilities and their families, including mine. I urge Senator _____ to oppose the Graham-Cassidy bill.
High Priority Targets
Maine (Senator Collins); Alaska (Senator Murkowski); West Virginia (Senator Capito) ; Ohio (Senator Portman); Arizona (Senators McCain and Flake); Colorado (Senator Gardner) ; Kansas (Senator Moran); North Carolina (Senators Tillis and Burr); Iowa (Senators Grassley and Ernst); Indiana(Senator Young); South Dakota (Senator Rounds); North Dakota (Senator Hoeven); and Tennessee(Senators Alexander and Corker)
Additional Items and Other Ways to Help
  • The Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing on the Graham-Cassidy proposal today at2:00 p.m. EST; for the video link to the hearing, click here.
  • Share your story! Spread the word throughout social media using hashtag #SaveMedicaid.

 

Action Alert: Stop Last-Ditch Health Care Repeal Effort – Autism Society

Efforts are underway (again) to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which would have dire consequences for people with disabilities including autism. Please take a few minutes and call or send an email. The Autism Society of America’s link explains the latest efforts:

Action Alert: Stop Last-Ditch Health Care Repeal Effort

Please call or email our Texas US Senators. Please state your connection to autism when you call.

Senator John Cornyn
Email https://www.cornyn.senate.gov/contact
Washington D.C. Office: 202-224-2934
Central Texas Office: 512-469-6034

Senator Ted Cruz
Email: https://www.cruz.senate.gov/?p=form&id=16
Washington D.C. Office: 202-224-5922
Central Texas Office: 512-916-5834

Thank you!

 

September Mid-Month Newsletter

Read the September Mid-Month Newsletter here.  Our Adult Siblings group is meeting, and our girls group is meeting for yoga and support!

Subscribe to the newsletter here.

September Newsletter

So much going on in September. We have been busy assisting families and individuals affected by autism, and will continue to provide services and supports to those in need. You can also read about our San Antonio “Autism Walk in the Park”, First Responder Safety Day, and our 2nd Annual Autism Film Festival, AutFest Texas. Read the newsletter here.

Fall Intern Opening

Application period extended through end of day on 9/18/17.

The Autism Society of Texas is seeking a Fall Intern at our Austin office. Please review the job description and how to apply here:  Intern Job Description

Deadline to apply is September 15th. For questions please email info@texasautismsociety.org   Thank you!

Volunteer Needs: Birthday Brigade & Support Group Leaders

 

As many of you know, we have a small (but mighty) staff, and rely heavily on volunteers to support our autism community.  For over 20 years we relied solely on volunteers to support other parents and individuals with autism, and we need your help!

We are launching a new program this Fall, Birthday Brigade. This program will provide a birthday party for children or adults with autism. We have a location, but will need a lead “Birthday Brigade Coordinator” to coordinate party event details. We will train you in this role and provide support. We have space already donated through Austin YMCA.

We are also seeking additional support group leaders. This could either be to start a new group (if there is not one in your area of Texas), or we could use some volunteer “substitute” support group leaders. Because most of our support group leaders are volunteers, things come up – work, family, or other issues. It would be helpful to have some additional leaders to substitute or co-lead a group.

Resource Fairs & Conferences:  We are often asked to attend events and hand out literature about autism all over the state. These events are generally on weekdays between normal business hours. If you are able to help out for even two or three hours once a month or every couple of months, we could use assistance in this area also. Thank you!

If you are interested in helping in any of these areas please contact Caroline at caroline@texasautismsociety.org.

 

Hurricane Harvey Information: Assistance & Resources

UPDATED 9/3/17 1:00 PM – New Form Added: Volunteer, Donation Items, Therapy Provider Support

8/31/17: We would like to thank the autism community around the country for their overwhelming generosity in offering support and donated items. At this time, it is most helpful if you can make a monetary donation or mail gift cards to Target, Walmart, or Texas grocery stores (HEB, Kroger) so we can distribute. We also ask that if you are offering volunteer help, therapy or other professional services, or have items to donate, please help our staff by filling out the form below, so that staff is freed up to directly provide support to Hurricane Harvey victims. We thank you for your assistance in helping us work more efficiently to help Harvey victims!

If you are family or an adult with autism seeking assistance after Hurricane Harvey:  If you have phone or internet service, please contact the organizations below for Harvey support. You can also call our office (512) 479-4199 or the national office (1-800-3-Autism or 328-8476) for autism navigational or emotional support, or email Anne@texasautismsociety.org.

To donate items, offer therapy support or professional services, or offer volunteer help: Please complete this form. We will contact you as we match needs to offers of help. Thank you so much!

Social Story for families in shelters:  Harvey social story

Hurricane Guide For Families (Sesame Street):  SupportAfterEmergency_Printable_Hurricane_FamilyGuide

If you are looking to donate to support Autism families in Texas, please click below to make a donation to the Autism Society of Texas. We are working with families directly to get them the supports that they need. Please do not mail donated items (other than gift cards) to our office. Thank you!

Donate here: https://austinautismsociety.greatfeats.com/donate  Please check the “Harvey relief” box. Thank you.

Checks, cash donations, or gift cards can go to our office at 300 E. Highland Mall Blvd, Suite 205, Austin, TX 78752.  Please indicate “Harvey” in a note, or the check memo line. Thank you.

The Autism Society of Texas has set up a Hurricane Harvey Disaster Fund for autism families. 100 percent of all contributions will be used to help individuals and families impacted by the hurricane who are also impacted by autism. Funds will be used for immediate short term needs such as helping individuals and families with flooding by providing temporary housing, cleaning supplies, food, clothing, sensory support items etc. If funds remain after helping on an immediate basis, then funds will be used for longer term recovery issues such as relocation, anxiety and stress related issues, etc. All funds will be tracked and a comprehensive report of use of funds will be made available to donors.

Flooding and wind damages to a family or individual impacted by autism often creates issues and problems beyond such safety, clean up, relocation, etc. While each family and individuals impacted by autism will have different issues, common challenges will be the sudden onset of change to a person’s life, loss of routine, loss of a familiar environment, etc.

Disaster Distress Hotline:

The Disaster Distress Helpline, 1-800-985-5990, is a 24/7, 365-day-a–year, national hotline dedicated to providing immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster. This toll-free, multilingual, and confidential crisis support service is available to all residents in the United States and its territories. Stress, anxiety, and other depression-like symptoms are common reactions after a disaster. Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.
(
https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/disaster-distress-helpline)

Houston Area General Donations:

http://www.houstonemergency.org/donations-drop-off/

Austin Area General Donations:

www.adrn.org

Houston Shelters:

http://abc13.com/weather/list-of-shelters-around-houston-area/2341032/

Austin Shelters:

List of shelters for evacuees, residents seeking shelter

Clean up support:

https://www.texasrescuemap.com/muckmap

Autism Specific Support in Houston area:

Autism Rescue Angels

Red Cross: Disaster Safety for People with Disabilities

http://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/disaster-safety-for-people-with-disabilities#Plan-Ahead

Texas Health & Human Services

https://www.dads.state.tx.us/hurricane/

Texas 211

https://www.211texas.org/211/ Provides a voluntary registry for people who need assistance and evacuation in the case of a hurricane or natural disaster. The public may register year-round. Registry information will be forwarded to local Offices of Emergency Management (OEMs). Local OEMs have the responsibility for coordinating evacuations.

State of Texas Emergency Assistance Registry (STEAR)

https://publicregistry.csr.utexas.edu/enroll/

STEAR provides citizens with a means to voluntarily register their needs during an emergency response. This registry was developed for people who need assistance during an emergency response, including evacuation assistance during a hurricane response.

Austin Disaster Relief (aid throughout Texas, not just Austin)

https://www.adrn.org

FEMA

https://www.fema.gov/

READY.GOV

https://www.ready.gov/

Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies

Hotline for Harvey: Phone: (800) 626-4959

Website: http://www.disasterstrategies.org/?fref=gc

http://disasterstrategies.org/application/files/3815/0370/1936/DisasterSurvivors-Hotline.pdf

Portlight

Hotline for Harvey: (800) 626-4959

Website: http://www.portlight.org/

After the Storm-United Way Houston guide

https://www.unitedwayhouston.org/assets/uploads/documents/news-publications/Greater-Houston-after-the-storm.pdf

Autism Speaks Natural Disaster Resource

https://www.autismspeaks.org/family-services/autism-safety-project/natural-disaster-resources

Disability Rights-Housing Resources for those displaced by Harvey

https://www.disabilityrightstx.org/resources/housing

August 2017 Newsletter

We have many activities and support groups happening this month!  Learn about what’s happening during the Texas Legislative session as well!   Click here to read the August newsletter.

To subscribe to our newsletter: http://www.texasautismsociety.org/subscribe/