Monday, April 14, 2014
Founding member of Georgetown County Autism Support Group
Bio: Native of Philadelphia, Pa.
Certified elementary and special education teacher
Classroom teacher for seven years, autism consultant in Chester County, Pa. for eight years
Pursuing Masters degree to become a certified behavior analyst
How did you get involved with the Autism Support Group?
I met Melanie Stecz and explained my background, as well as the resources I brought with me from Chester County, Pa.
I offered to try and help families she was working with and we formed the Autism Support Group.
The Georgetown Autism Support Group meets on the first Tuesday of the month at the Georgetown Library from 6 to 8 p.m.
We then got involved with a collaborative called the SOUL Program (Skills of Understanding Life).
What is the SOUL program?
The SOUL program is aimed toward autistic youths ages 8 to 18.
Once a week, participants have the opportunity to develop greater awareness and understanding of perspectives different from their own to improve conversation skills, develop relationships with peers, and deal with emotions and behaviors.
Younger children work on play skills as well as conversation skills. SOUL meets every Thursday from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at The Cooper Center 95 Academy Blvd. in Georgetown.
What else does the Autism Support Group do?
We are holding a free “Autism & You” Seminar on Friday, May 2, at Georgetown Memorial Hospital, in the GMH Education Center, located behind the hospital on Black River Road in Georgetown.
We will have some great speakers from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Registration and coffee begin at 8:30 a.m. and lunch will be provided.
Why do you like working with the Autism Support Group?
It is a passion of mine.
The first kid I ever met with autism was when I was in college.
I immediately had to know what was happening.
Since then, I have met so many kids and families that are dealing with autism. I am passionate about giving these children and their families the support they need so they can be successful.
With the right support system you can really reach great potential.
With what other local groups do you work?
I have been working with Miss Ruby's Kids and served as the education mentor coordinator for two years.
It is such a great group of people to work with and the program is based on the idea of building self esteem in kids, and in turn building success.
Can you tell me about your family?
My husband Dave is in sales with CL and D Graphics.
We have three daughters, Marlee, who is in 7th grade at Waccamaw Middle School, Meghan, a 5th grader, and Lily, a 3rd grader. They are both at Coastal Montessori Charter School.
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