Programs and Classes

Sat Feb 24 @12:00PM - 01:30PM
2018 Winter Swimming Program
Sat Mar 03 @12:00PM - 01:30PM
2018 Winter Swimming Program
Sat Mar 10 @12:00PM - 01:30PM
2018 Winter Swimming Program
Sat Mar 17 @12:00PM - 01:30PM
2018 Winter Swimming Program
Mon Mar 19 @ 5:30PM - 07:00PM
ASBH Board Meeting
Sun Apr 08 @ 2:00PM - 04:00PM
April Showers 5K

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.

The Autism Society of the Black Hills would especially like to thank all our major sponsors for their support in this year’s Mardi Gras event: Assurant, Dale’s Tire, Wells Fargo, Holiday Inn Rushmore Plaza, Black Hills Workshop and the Officers Spouses Club Welfare Fund—Ellsworth AFB. Thank you to all of our silent auction donors who helped make our fundraising auction a wonderful success! 

The Autism Society’s 4th Annual Mardi Gras fundraiser took place on Saturday, March 5th at the Canyon Lake Chophouse. This year’s event was sold out and guests were treated to a fabulous night of Mardi Gras food, music, costumes and fun. We welcomed new Krewes this year to honor our sponsors, including the Krewe of Bacchus, Poseidon, Spartacus and more. We had over 25 silent auction packages up for bid, including a live auction sculpture Show of Valor donated by Xanterra Mount Rushmore Gift shop. Jazz music was provided by Jami Beck from the Black Hills Symphony and saxophonist Gary Bloomberg.

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.

The nearly full parking lot of the “Chophouse” was tinged with snow and ice, the air a chilly 28 degrees. The windows to the restaurant at Canyon Lake were coated with condensation and frost as one approached the entrance.

The Autism Society of the Black Hills is excited to announce registration for our Asperger’s Community Social Group! This is a 6 week program, designed to help adolescents and young adults with Asperger’s and their parents improve on their community social skills and friendship skills. Parent’s will be involved by using the learned skills at home and in the community with their child.

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. 

For 2009, Toys"R"Us, Inc. and the Toys"R"Us Children's Fund have increased their support of Autism Speaks. This year, the company's more than 260 Babies"R"Us locations have joined nearly 540 Toys"R"Us stores in a nine-week in-store fundraising campaign, which began March 1 and ends Friday, May 1. Donations also will be accepted through the company's dedicated Autism Speaks microsite, To increase public awareness about the disorder, Toys"R"Us, Inc. has partnered once again with Autism Speaks and the National Lekotek Center to develop the "Ten Toys That Speak To Autism" handout. Also, for the third consecutive year, Toys"R"Us, Inc. employees nationwide will participate in the Autism Speaks Walk Now for Autism program. To kick off the 2009 partnership, including national sponsorship of the walk program, the Toys"R"Us Children's Fund awarded Autism Speaks a $400,000 grant. Since the partnership began in 2007, the Toys"R"Us Children's Fund, Toys"R"Us, Inc. and customer donations have combined to provide Autism Speaks with more than $3.7 million.