Programs and Classes

Thu Jul 18 @ 6:00PM - 07:00PM
Parent support group/ sensory jump hour

Headlines Academy held an Autism awareness fundraiser for ASBH and donated a percent of their revenue to our local chapter. We received a check in the amount of $300! Thank you Headlines Academy!

Once again, the Autism Society of the Black Hills received a wonderful donation check from the Knights of Columbus (Our Lady of the Black Hills, Piedmont). Along with other Knights from the council, members did several Tootsie Roll give-aways for donations last fall and voted to give the proceeds to the ASBH. They presented a check in the amount of $842.00! We thank the Knights of Columbus and appreciate their generosity!

The Autism Society of the Black Hills held a fall rummage sale to benefit our ASBH family programs. We raised $1,300 for our one day sale. ASBH wants to thank all of the people who donated items to this special fundraiser. We had such a wide array of rummage from Halloween costumes to lighted reindeer and christmas trees to books, cds, bike and toys. It was a big success and we are so appreciative of your support. We also want to thank the awesome team of volunteers who came out and helped set up, work the sale and pack up. A big thanks to the men of Ellsworth Airforce Base who transported all the rummage to the Senior Center. It took eight trucks and some strong arms to move it all. Another big thanks goes to the wonderful honor students from Douglas High School who spent many hours setting up and taking down the sale and helping with check out. To all of our friends and families and board members who helped - you are the best! We can't do this without you. Thank you again!

Day of Excellence was developed by the Leadership Rapid City Class of 2009 and provides an opportunity for people in the Black Hills region to gather with locally and nationally recognized speakers for personal and professional development. Day Of Excellence awards $40,000 to area charities. Day of Excellence, Inc. awarded $40,000 in grants to ten area charities on August 3, 2011, among them was the Autism Society of the Black Hills. Development Director, Susan Ricci, was on hand to accept the $4,000 check and thanked the Day of Excellence for their support. The award will greatly assist the Autism Society of the Black Hills in expanding their programs and support groups.

The South Dakota Community Foundation is pleased to announce that the Autism Society of the Black Hills has been awarded a $2,000 grant to assist with developing an Asperger's Peer Group. This grant was presented through the South Dakota Community Foundation’s statewide grant program. The Autism Society of the Black Hills serves nearly 200 families in the West River area. An Asperger's Peer Group will bring young Asperger's adults together to network with one another and develop a social support system to help mentor them with the everyday tasks that they need to master in order to live fuller lives. This program will guide them through the processes of preparing for college, attending college classes, going on job interviews and subsequent employment opportunities. According to Ginger Niemann, Program Officer of the South Dakota Community Foundation, the development of this Asperger’s Peer Group will assist these young adults in being productive members of society and to help ease the burden of families. “The South Dakota Community Foundation is pleased to support the efforts of the Autism Society of the Black Hills and the Asperger’s Peer Group.” Niemann said.

At a recent Knights of Columbus Spaghetti Dinner held at Our Lady of the Black Hills, #7079, Grand Knight Armando Montes presented a check for $826 to the Autism Society of the Black Hills. The money was raised in 2010 as part of the annual Knighs of Columbus Tootsie Roll Drive and will be used to help support programs in the Black Hills area.

Many families wonder whether they can write a grant proposal and receive funds to help them manage the financial challenges that come with an autism spectrum diagnosis. The good news is that there are such grants; the bad news is that most are very small (less than $500) - and all are very competitive. What's more, many will only pay for specific medical expenses, and send the funds directly to the medical provider. A growing number of foundations, though, are making autism a priority for non-profit grants, which means local organizations that serve families have a better chance of receiving funds than ever before.

A concerned mother calls my office one morning for advice. "My sister just found out that she's pregnant," she says, "and I have a 6 year old son with autism. I've heard it's genetic, is there a test she could have to find out if her baby will have autism?" Inquiries such as these are frequent for professionals involved in autism genetics research. The answers are far from straightforward, and a simple test for diagnostic purposes or prenatal detection is not available in most instances. Explaining the current state of affairs is a complex process, and one that requires some knowledge of the history and methods of autism genetics research.

A Fredericton company that created an online therapy program for families with autistic children has won a national innovation award.

AutismPro by Virtual Expert Clinics Inc., winner of the Rogers Innovation at Work Award, helps parents and professionals use the internet to plan and deliver individual educational therapy to children with autism.

By Autism Speaks (

Wide-Ranging Legislation Addresses Key Issues Facing the Autism Community, Including Services for Adults and Insurance Reform

NEW YORK, NY (April 2, 2009) – 
A key section of the bill requires insurance companies to provide coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorder (ASDs), including coverage of Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapy – a medically-necessary, evidence-based autism treatment – and assistive communication devices. In most states, insurers are currently allowed to specifically exclude coverage for these critical services, which can cost upward of $50,000 a year – well beyond the means of most families.

Contributed by Kim Davis (Autism Support Network)

How does this pertain to families who have a son or daughter with a disability? Many times the systems in which families find themselves (e.g., early intervention, school, adult agency) can be overwhelming and confusing. Add increased emotions to the mix, and it is often hard for family members to think clearly and rationally in the heat of a meeting in which they are asked to make crucial life decisions. To make those meetings and situations more manageable and less overwhelming, an advocate may be “employed” to assist, encourage, or educate a family in understanding the ramifications of their decisions. The right advocate at the right moment can have a lasting impact on everyone involved, including the family, the staff of professionals supporting the individual with disabilities, and ultimately, the individual with the disability. That impact can be positive or negative. An advocate is not a person to simply choose without thought and discussion. The wrong advocate can have a serious impact on the relationship between the family and agency. That relationship may likely be longer lasting than the relationship the family may have with the advocate!! Just as finding the right doctor, teacher, or therapist takes time and investigation, so too should obtaining an advocate.