next when children with autism become adults?
By PHIL BLEVINS
Executive director, Carolina Autism
Special to CharlestonCurrents.com
30, 2009 -- During the early 1990s, I frequently spoke to groups
about autism, teaching them about the characteristics and treatment
of the disorder. Early in the talk I would ask audience members
to raise their hands if there was someone in their family or other
circles with autism. Usually a few people would raise their hands,
but not too many.
forward to 2009. Today when I speak to groups and ask the same question,
nearly everyone raises a hand.
difference between then and now is a troubling trend. For whatever
reason -- vaccines, environment, genetics or causes unknown -- autism
has become epidemic. The school systems must spend more money every
year to help the autistic children they serve. Families fight insurance
companies, Medicaid and mortgage their homes to pay for treatment.
Families become tired and their children with autism grow older.
we face this fact: The tide of children with autism is fast becoming
a storm surge of older teens and adults, and they will outlive their
does this mean to you? While we have seen pieces on "Dateline"
or "60 Minutes" about children (maybe of celebrities)
who benefitted from treatment, and we may have heard about the needs
of parents with a child affected by autism, we don't hear about
the majority of kids who didn't get the right treatment and fail
to progress. We may have an idea about schools trying to include
children with autism in regular classrooms, providing much-needed
social skills training. And it isn't uncommon to see stories about
an adult with autism with a special skill, adding a hopeful tone
to a lifetime of challenges.
we rarely see the rest of the story: a severely disabled adult living
a solitary life locked within his or her own world. Who can help
prevent that once the parents no longer can?
with autistic children share a similar trait. They fear death, worried
that there will be no one to take care of their adult child. For
you, the reader, this means that your friend or co-worker with a
child who has autism will need to worry about finding a place for
the child. There are agencies (including ours, Carolina Autism)
that are capable. But our capabilities are limited. We are in no
way ready for the coming wave. Agencies that serve the disabled
but do not specialize in autism are helping - but most families
want to find an "autism specific" provider of services.
services Carolina Autism provides are designed to last a lifetime.
The adults with autism we serve need round-the-clock assistance.
Most of these adults can't prepare food or complete basic self-help
tasks. Many engage in very limiting behaviors. This is why it's
so important that the agency serving them understand autism.
you can imagine, these services are expensive. We help the state
by taking adults living in institutions and giving them a home,
and it costs over $200 a day to do this. As more adults need services,
the government programs that help pay for them are unable to keep
up. Although the cost of serving people with autism has gone up
a little each year, the assistance that agencies like ours get has
been cut dramatically. To serve the large numbers of people with
autism entering the adult services system, the available money must
be spread more thinly.
is where you come in. We get calls almost every day asking for services,
and we must tell them that we can't help them at this time. We,
and other similar organizations, operate on your support, including
community acceptance, funds and services. If you have any questions
regarding this article or adults with autism, please contact me
Sanford pushes ahead despite cloud
ANDY BRACK, publisher
30, 2009 - On the day newspaper headlines screamed that the state
Ethics Commission accused Gov. Mark Sanford of 37 violations, the
governor's sense of humor remained intact. When asked how he would
like his terms as governor to be remembered, he said, "Better
during another of his Rotary Club apology tours across the state,
Sanford paused 9 seconds to consider the question. He highlighted
two areas he hoped to be remembered for:
He pointed to $8 billion in job-creating business investment over
the last two years. He briefly highlighted some initiatives, such
as tort reform and tax policy, that improved the "soil conditions"
for small businesses to thrive better.
Sanford said more land had been protected under his administration
than any other. In turn, that improved the state's attractiveness
and quality of life. Since funding for the S.C. Conservation Bank
started in 2004, more than 152,000 acres have been set aside at
a cost of $80.6 million.
the talk (and after the self-imposed obligatory apology for letting
people down with his extramarital affair), Sanford asked Rotarians
to urge state lawmakers to make a few specific policy changes -
what he called "rifle shots" -- to help set the course
on a new direction. Among the suggestions: restructuring the state
Budget and Control Board into an executive Department of Administration
overseen by a governor; allowing the governor and lieutenant governor
to run on the same ticket; changing some constitutionally-elected
officers into appointed positions; setting spending limits; improving
economic development; and reforming the state Employment Security
of his proposals were new. As he discussed them, what was remarkable
was how the sometimes rambling, professorial rhetoric had not changed,
but how the wind was gone from his sails. He was a fellow talking
the talk, but who seemed really tired of walking the walk.
said he had become a big fan of these policy rifle shots because
he "thought there was more power in the executive branch than
there was. And we took some bigger bites than were achievable.
bites are indicative of the ways that more policy has to change.
We have a political system designed to guard against revolutionary
so it would be revolutionary if South Carolina's legislators actually
turned Sanford out as governor. While a House subcommittee started
work on an impeachment bill this week, caution is in order.
this point, Sanford is accused not of any felony, but of ethics
violations, each of which carry about a $2,000 civil fine. Although
some GOP lawmakers remain mad, embarrassed and highly irritated
with how the governor behaved over the summer, the real question
is whether these ethical allegations are aggravated enough to throw
out a weakened weak governor out of office.
has been weakened by his affair. His legislative initiatives
are pretty much dead on arrival in the General Assembly. But
he hasn't reached the threshold of serious wrong to be turned
out of office according to the law in the state constitution."
he's made some mistakes. But flying business class instead of coach
doesn't reach the level of impropriety envisioned by the framers
of our state constitution. It's better for a governor to get off
a 14-hour plane trip a little refreshed than to go into immediate
meetings with bad jet lag from being cramped in a coach seat.
campaign spending might have some minor problems, but that's not
unexpected with millions of dollars and hundreds of events over
several years. Most
of the legislators "sitting in judgment" of Sanford probably
wouldn't meet the standards they're setting for Sanford in their
own campaign spending.
sure, he might have used some state travel in questionable ways.
But remember, governors and their families live in a bubble imposed
by the job. They have big pressures on them to try to maintain normalcy.
line: Sanford has been weakened by his affair. His legislative initiatives
are pretty much dead on arrival in the General Assembly. But he
hasn't reached the threshold of serious wrong to be turned out of
office according to the law in the state constitution. Instead of
obsessing on Sanford in 2010, lawmakers should spend their time
on real problems - getting better jobs for people, improving education
and bettering health care.
Brack is publisher of CharlestonCurrents.com. This commentary first
was published in SC
Statehouse Report. You
can reach Brack by email
column on courage
23 column was) an excellent piece that I'd like to see get picked
up by more media outlets. My husband and I bemoan the lack of leaders
who are thoughtful and deliberate. Courageous is certainly the third
leg of that stool. Our president is showing us that he will not
be forced into rash decisions on the basis of politics alone.
as you mention, Lindsey Graham is doing that as well. Sarah Palin
is so dangerous because she is the polar opposite: unthoughtful,
impulsive and fascinating in a train-wreck kind of way. I hope you
will keep the focus on politicians of any party with the best qualities
and bring the local ones to our attention. It is a vital service
you can perform.
Diane De Angelis, Charleston, SC
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West Of newspaper. West Of is West Ashley's community newspaper
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to help students study history, science at Patriot's
$25,000 donation from the USS Yorktown Association will make it
possible for 3,100 Charleston County fifth-graders to take part
in the Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum's History and
Science Initiative in early 2010.
left, and retired Rear Admiral Jim Flatley, right, of the
present a $25,000 check to Dick Trammel, executive director
of Patriots Point.
donation, made at the USS Yorktown Association's Annual Reunion
Gala aboard the aircraft carrier, was earmarked specifically for
the initiative, which is designed to dovetail with the curriculum
taught by area fifth-grade teachers in the classroom. The donation
will make it possible for all Charleston County fifth-grade students
to be involved.
is important to the members of the Yorktown Association and everyone
here at Patriots Point, and we are both committed to making certain
today's students know of the sacrifices made for the freedoms we
enjoy today," said Patriot's Point Executive Director Dick
Trammell. "This is an incredibly generous gift and exciting
partnership that will benefit more than 3,000 of our future leaders."
the History and Science Initiative, students study key World War
II social studies standards such as the attack on Pearl Harbor and
the "War on the Homefront." Students also conduct standards-based,
hands-on science experiments with information and resources gathered
from the estuaries found at Patriots Point. In addition, a new Marine
Science Lab that's scheduled to open in January will further enhance
to hold first tree-lighting at Memorial Waterfront Park
Pleasant will hold its town Christmas-tree-lighting ceremony at
Memorial Waterfront Park this year, officially flipping the switch
at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 2 at the park near the foot of the Ravenel Bridge.
The 21-foot-tall tree, which features almost 600 Christmas lights
and a star on top, will help "create a new tradition,"
Mount Pleasant Mayor Billy Swails said.
will arrive on a bright red fire truck to listen to Christmas requests
and distribute candy canes," he said. "Entertainment will
include local performers, and a Toys for Tots drive will be held
at 7 p.m. in the Cooper River Room at the Visitor Center. Bring
your children and good cheer and help us usher the Christmas season
into our wonderful town!"
details on the "Tree of Lights" ceremony, contact Su McManus-Frost
Charleston kicks off
holiday season this weekend downtown
city of Charleston will officially mark the beginning of the holiday
season on Saturday with a tree-lighting ceremony, farmer's market,
and boat parade. Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr., Santa Claus and other
special guests will light the 60-foot city tree at Marion Square
during festivities from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Dec. 5. For the month
of December, the square will be beautifully lighted and decorated
for the holidays, including the Tree of Lights, a Hanukkah Menorah
and a Kwanzaa Kinari. Each of these cultural symbols will be lighted
at the appropriate times during the holiday season.
Holiday Farmers Market will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays
and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays, Dec. 5 through Dec. 20. Market patrons
will find greenery and wreaths, baked goods, fresh vegetables, and
an assortment of arts-and-crafts and gift items as well.
details on the Parade of Boats and the city's Christmas parade,
see The List elsewhere in today's issue.
organizations honored for recycling efforts
Lowcountry organizations picked up awards recently from the S.C.
Department of Commerce and the S.C. Recycling Market Development
Advisory Council for their impact on South Carolina's environment,
communities and economy.
Cooper in Moncks Corner was named Recycler of the Year. During
fiscal year 2009, the utility recycled more than 970,000 tons of
materials, including paper, cardboard, aluminum cans, used motor
oil, fluorescent tubes, consumer electronics, gypsum, flyash, ferrous
metals, wood products, lead-acid, alkaline and rechargeable batteries.
The calculated goal is based on the quantities recycled, carpooling
miles saved, landfill gas and solar generation. Santee Cooper's
Give Oil for Energy Program began in 1990 and has more than 450
do-it-yourself collection sites.
Island Golf Resort was honored in the "Best Large Business"
category. The resort recycles office paper, glass, plastic bottles,
aluminum cans, electronics, pallets, batteries, florescent light
bulbs and oyster shells. Damaged automobile, golf cart and bike
tires are also collected and sent to a rubber recycler. The resort
holds electronics recycling drives and collects pallets for recirculation
back to the shipping industry. Gravel in the parking lots is made
from slag, a byproduct of the steel industry, and room keys are
made from 50 percent recycled polyvinyl chloride. Unused cell phones
and empty printer cartridges are collected and donated to local
schools or sold to recycling companies. The resort also has a small-scale,
educational compost bin that handles animal bedding, vegetative
food prep and plant material from landscaping.
Island Habitat for Humanity's Deconstruction Unit on Johns Island
won in the "Best Reuse Program" category. The unit diverted
more than 94 tons of usable materials from the landfill, and Sea
Island Habitat's staff handles both the deconstruction and removal
of building materials and accessories, as well as housing a reuse
store. Work on 93 construction projects had a direct estimated value
of over $119,000. Reusing items such as decking, appliances, carpet
and cabinets saves energy and natural resources.
Our friend Liz Collins in Durham, N.C., sent along this little,
umm, holiday tidbit.)
Thanksgiving, my friend and I decided to forego invitations to the
big meal at other friends' homes this year for a 'kitschy' meal
instead: Taste-testing frozen turkey dinners! The
Hungry-Man Roasted Carved Turkey with gravy, stuffing,
mashed potatoes and corn, and a bonus 'apple cranberry dessert.'
(560 calories, 18 grams total fat, 1620 mg sodium, 78g carbohydrates
and 19g protein; net wt. 17 oz)
Market Turkey Breast Medallions with home-style mashed potatoes
and gravy, with carrots and green beans (360 calories, 14 grams
total fat, 1570 mg sodium, 35g carbohydrates and 24g protein;
net wt. 15 oz)
Roast Turkey with gravy and seasoned bread stuffing and mashed
potatoes topped with paprika ((290 calories, 12 grams total
fat, 970 mg sodium, 30g carbohydrates and 16g protein; net wt.
the ease of cooking this particular Thanksgiving feast can't be
beat - preheat the conventional oven (I don't have a microwave)
for about 15 minutes; when the buzzer beeps, pop in the food trays
with various bits of plastic either poked or pulled back, bake for
35 minutes, remove the smaller of the meals, continue baking others
for another 10 minutes and cooking is done.
sampled freely, armed only with forks as we "purposed"
the food trays as plates in true TV dinner style.
The best of the three -- Boston Market. The turkey slices tasted
like real slices of roasted turkey, the carrots and green beans
were actually pretty good and the potatoes were tasty. I'm not a
gravy fan (that's where a lot of the sodium seemed to be in all
three), so I can't attest to the gravy, but the parts that didn't
get scraped off didn't ruin the meal.
worst -- Hungry-Man. The "roasted carved turkey" advertised
was, technically, roasted and carved; however, they should have
added the word "roll" to the description - it was very
obviously a processed turkey roll that was sliced and doused. The
stuffing (which should have been called dressing, as it had never
been inside a turkey) was glue-like. The corn was the best thing
on the tray, as it retained its crispness. I heard the apple cranberry
'dessert' was ok - it just looked like thick red goop to me.
Stouffer's wasn't too bad - the mashed potatoes were the best of
the three (must have been that paprika!).
of a possible combined 1210 calories, the two of us probably each
had about 450; the dog ate most of the Hungry-Man meal. The upside
of this taste-testing - Portion control! Easy clean-up (toss in
trash, put forks in dishwasher)! No leftovers! It was fun - and
total cost of the three meals hovered around $11 total for two!
Did I mention shopping was easy???
Liz Collins, Durham, N.C.
If you have a review of a book, movie, restaurant or local arts
endeavor, please send no more than 150 words to editor Ann
Thrash. Make sure to include your name and full contact information.
spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum) became the official
state amphibian by a law signed by Governor Jim Hodges on June 11,
1999. The designation resulted from the interest and activity of
children in the third-grade class at Woodlands Heights Elementary
School, Spartanburg, taught by Lynn K. Burgess. Students conducted
research and a letter-writing campaign to get an amphibian adopted,
enlisting support from scientists, public officials, and other third-graders
in the state.
spotted salamander is a six-to-eight-inch-long cold-blooded amphibian
marked by two rows of yellow or yellowish-orange spots on its black
or steel-gray back. The animal ranges from southeastern Canada throughout
the eastern United States and is found across South Carolina. It
lives mostly in bottomland deciduous forests but can also be found
in coniferous forests and mountainous areas.
with gills, the spotted salamander later develops lungs. The female
lays eggs mainly in springtime ponds. Salamanders are seldom seen
by people because they live mostly underground, in or beneath rotting
wood or leaf litter. All salamanders are predators; they play an
important ecological role by consuming vast quantities of earthworms,
mollusks, spiders, and insect larvae. They can live twenty-five
years or more.
legislators and scientists had preferred designating a rare South
Carolina species, the pine-barrens tree frog, found in the Sandhills,
as state amphibian, but there is agreement that the spotted salamander
is a beautiful and important animal. Salamanders are used extensively
in scientific research, such as medical studies of limb and tissue
regeneration. Scientists consider them important indicators of overall
Excerpted from the entry by David C.R. Heisser. To read more about
this or 2,000 other entries about South Carolina, check out The
South Carolina Encyclopedia by USC Press. (Information used by
read more about this or 2,000 other entries about South Carolina,
check out The
South Carolina Encyclopedia by USC Press. (Information used
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love a parade
Charleston County will get the holidays rolling this weekend with
their official parades. Here's a list of the major parades that
will be held in the next two weeks, as well as their times, dates
and links to details on the parade routes and other accompanying
- 10 a.m. Dec. 5.
Parade of Boats - 5 p.m. Dec. 5.
Charleston - 6 p.m. Dec. 5.
- 2 p.m. Dec. 6.
Beach - 1 p.m. Dec. 12.
Pleasant - 5:45 p.m. Dec. 13.
is no such thing as fun for the whole family."
Seinfeld, comedian (1954 - )
7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Dec. 3, Eye Level Art Warehouse, 2143 Heriot
St. Learn about issues that are threatening local waterways at this
event, sponsored by the Charleston Waterkeeper. Includes music from
DC-based DJ duo Party on Marz, local food, cold drinks a raffle,
aquatic touch tank, inflatable video dome, art installations and
more. Tickets: $15 for Charleston Waterkeeper members; $20 nonmembers.
Buy at the door or online.
More info: 608-WATR or http://www.charlestonwaterkeeper.org.
Candlelight Service: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 4, Dec. 5 and Dec.
6, Summerall Chapel, The Citadel. The S.C. Corps of Cadets will
present its Christmas Candlelight Service for the Lowcountry. Cadets
from the Protestant, Catholic and Gospel choirs, the Chorale, the
Women's Ensemble, and members of The Citadel Regimental Band will
take part in the annual celebration, which features Scripture lessons
and carols (both traditional and international favorites). Free
and open to the public. More info: 953-5049.
in the Swamp Food Drive: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 5, Cypress
Gardens, Moncks Corner. To benefit a local food bank, visitors to
Cypress Gardens who bring a canned good will be admitted at half-price
($5). Children ages 12 and under who bring a canned good will get
in free. Santa will arrive by flat-bottom boat at 11:30 a.m., and
other activities include music, crafts vendors, children's make-and-take
crafts, photos with Santa, a new parrot display, etc. More
info or 553-0515.
Days: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 5, downtown Summerville.
Enjoy an old-fashioned holiday experience in historic Summerville
with shopping, caroling, cookies and cider for shoppers and visitors.
Sponsored by the merchants of Summerville and Summerville D.R.E.AM.
More info: 821-7260 or online.
Parade of Boats: 5 p.m. Dec. 5, Charleston Harbor. This
Lowcountry holiday tradition features festively decorated and lighted
boats of all sorts parading through the harbor, following by a fireworks
display. View the procession along Charleston's waterfront or decorate
your own boat and join the parade. Parade begins in the harbor off
Mount Pleasant at 5 p.m.; viewing from the peninsula begins at 6:30
p.m., and fireworks start about 6:45 p.m. More info: 724-7305.
Under the Oaks: Noon to 5 p.m. Dec. 6, Boone Hall Plantation,
1235 Long Point Road, Mount Pleasant. Sponsored by the Carolina
Lowcountry Chapter of the American Red Cross. Sample a variety of
wines and gourmet food from local chefs; bid on silent auction items;
and shop for holiday gifts. Tickets: $20
in advance or $25 at the gate.
Local Week" Bash: 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Dec. 6, The
Landing at Shem Creek (former Trawler site). The event, which caps
off Lowcountry Local First's "Buy Local Week," will include
live music, local beer, FireFly vodka and rum, and a variety of
food. tickets. Tickets: in advance, $30 for LLF members, $35 nonmembers;
at the door, $35 for LLF members, $40 nonmembers (cash or check
only at the door). Purchase
ONGOING AND SOON
Lending: 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. Dec. 9, Charleston Metro
Chamber of Commerce, 2750 Speisseger Drive, Suite 100, North Charleston.
The chamber's Charleston Area Business Council will discuss small-business
lending and how to obtain financing in today's current lending climate.
Cost: $15 chamber members, $30 nonmembers. More
American Business Expo: 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 10, 10
Storehouse Row, Noisette, North Charleston. The Charleston Metro
Chamber of Commerce's Latin American Business Council (LABC) will
host a seminar and expo to educate attendees on the economic impact
that Latin Americans and their businesses have on our region, and
to offer local businesses an opportunity to exhibit to this community.
The event will also provide Latin American and traditional business
owners with an opportunity to network with industry experts. Cost:
$15 chamber members, $30 nonmembers. More info: Email
of Wreaths: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 10, Palmetto Café,
Charleston Place Hotel. Fourth annual festival will feature champagne,
hors d'oeuvres, live music from Silver Lining and wreaths from local
interior designers being auctioned with all proceeds going to the
MUSC Children's Hospital. In addition to the wreaths provided by
members of the American Society of Interior Designers, kids from
the Youth Center at the Charleston Air Force Base will provide several
wreaths as well. Tickets: $10 in advance at the Orient-Express Boutique
at Charleston Place or by calling 937-9142; $15 at the door. Guests
can get parking-ticket validation for the Charleston Place garage
on Hasell Street.
Bliss and Scrooges": 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 10, Omar
Shrine Temple, 176 Patriots Point Blvd., Mount Pleasant. Family-oriented
event to benefit Windwood Farm features Santa, snow, live performances,
the Grinch, Scrooge, shopping from local retailers, carolers, cocktails
and more. Tickets: $5; free for kids age 12 and younger. More info:
Silks Exhibition: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 10, 214 King
Street Gallery, 214 King St. Kimono Silks features new works by
batik master Mary Edna Fraser. Fraser discovered the vintage narrow
silks on a recent Australia trip and has blogged about the experience
A master dyer, Fraser came home with aerial landscapes featuring
batiks, monotypes, oils and archival prints. Exhibition on display
through Jan. 24; gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each Monday
through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. More info: 762-2594
or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Conroy Book Signing: 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Dec. 12, Blue
Bicycle Books, 420 King St. Conroy will sign copies of his latest
novel, "South of Broad"; this is currently his only planned
signing on the peninsula. To secure a place in line, customers can
get tickets for the signing starting Dec. 11. Tickets are free to
customers who purchase a Pat Conroy hardback or have already purchased
"South of Broad" from Blue Bicycle Books (please bring
your receipt). For a full explanation of the guidelines for the
signing or to order a signed copy, go
here online or call 722-2666.
Polar Plunge prep
Homes for Christmas
Enjoy holidays sans lbs.
Instruments of Hope
Armas: Latin biz expo
Be a principal
Women at Gibbes
new food show
on car tags
way of tithing?
over on Sanford
off a little
is time for courage
place for prejudice
fun at Halloween
to old clunker
to squeeze in
on holiday lights
a tourist here
lists of year