Welcome to CHART! Our purpose at CHART is to connect families with the people, tools, and services that will help them to support their loved one with autism or a sensory processing disorder. We share local resources and events taking place in Chapel Hill, NC and around the Triangle. We also address national news about autism and share our personal experiences and tips. Please join us on Facebook and Twitter for the most up-to-the-minute news.

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Monday, October 19, 2015

October in Autism: Advocacy, Coffee + Halloween Fun!

October is a busy month, with more things happening than we can even keep up with! We'll be sharing a few highlights here; please check out our Facebook page for more frequent updates on what is happening in the world of autism around the Triangle.

But before we get to what is coming up, we have to share the great news about what has already happened this October: after many years, and several false starts, North Carolina has finally passed autism insurance reform! We are so thankful for the tireless efforts of the Autism Society of North Carolina, and the countless other organizations and individuals who made this dream a reality.

Now, on to October:

October SNAC Meeting: Let's Talk About It! The Power of Promoting Disability Awareness, Understanding, Acceptance and Advocacy.

Presenter: Sherry Mergner, MSW, LCSW, Clinical Asst. Professor at CIDD
When: Thursday, October 22, 2015 7 - 8:30pm
Where: Smith Middle School Media Center, 9201 Seawell School Road, Chapel Hill, NC

Just in time for Disability Awareness Month, SNAC (Special Needs Advisory Council of Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools) welcomes Sherry Mergner for this important presentation about self-advocacy:

It is never too early to start teaching a child with a disability how he or she can advocate for himself or herself.  Like many other important life skills, self-advocacy is a critical tool a child needs in order to achieve goals, increase self-sufficiency, and become a successful young adult.  It is a life-long process that begins with parents or caregivers “talking about it” with both the child and others. Talking about a child’s disability involves promoting awareness, understanding, acceptance and advocacy.

This presentation will focus on talking with a child about his/her disability as well as educating family members, friends, neighbors, the school community and others. Assisting the adult child advocating for him/herself with employers will also be touched on.  A number of approaches will be examined highlighting the importance of the child becoming a self-advocate and a valued member of the community as they grow into adulthood and into the work world.

ASNCOC Monthly Coffee Gathering:

Join the Autism Society of North Carolina Orange Chatham for their monthly coffee gathering! The coffee gatherings are a great chance to meet parents, grandparents, and others who care about someone on the autism spectrum. Meet in the front meeting room at The Egg and I for coffee and casual conversation.

When: Friday, October 23, 2015 10 - 11am
Where: The Egg and I, 1101 Environ Way, Chapel Hill, NC

Download the flier to share:

ASNC-UNC's Halloween Extravaganza

And now for something just plain fun! Join the Autism Society of North Carolina UNC Chapel Hill Campus Chapter for their annual Halloween Extravaganza this weekend. There will be games, prizes, snacks, a sensory haunted house, face-painting, crafts, costumes and more. All families affected by autism or other developmental disabilities are welcome.

When: Sunday, October 25, 2015 12:30 - 2:30pm
Where: UNC Farm - 1 Alice Ingram Circle, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Admission is free, although donations are welcomed.

Last, but not least, early voting starts Thursday, October 22, 2015 in Orange County. This is an important election for any stakeholders in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools because 4 Board of Ed seats are up for grabs. Who you vote for definitely matters - at the CHCCS Board of Ed Candidate Forum, there were 2 candidates who did not have a good understanding of special education at all. A quick way to get a sense of where the candidates stand on key issues is to read the Storify. Below is a key takeaway from Jeff Hall on Twitter. (Jeff wrote an amazing post for us about his son William - read it!)

Get out there and vote, friends! 

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