Step by Step ConsultingRivers Bend Academy Recognized for Excellent by bzs14448


                                                                                                                       JoAnna Bryant
                                                                                                                     Co-Vice Presidents:
                                                                                                                        Laura Fahey
                                                                                                                          Jeff Fahey

                  Willingness to do things which benefit other people, even if it results in disadvantages for
                                                                                                                       Tina Mazzacane
                                                                                                                   Theresa Zano-McMillan
                          Step by Step Consulting/Rivers Bend Academy
                         Recognized for Excellent Emergency Preparedness                                            BOARD MEMBERS:
                                                   By Angel Barnhill                                                      Jan Solock
                                                                                                                        Diane Kenney
                                                                                                                        Patrick Fuller,
                                 Kim Bryant, Registered Nurse at
                                 Heartland Home Health and Hospice                                                    Jillian Knorr, and

Rivers Bend Academy
                                 recently contacted the Tidewater                                                       Angela Sadsad
Recognized                       Chapter. As a medical professional
                                 on the scene during the recent torna-                                             Information & Referral
Upcoming                                                                                                                 Specialist
                                 dos Bryant expressed how impressed
Conferences/                                                                                                           Angel Barnhill
                                 she was with the staff at Step by Step
                                 Consulting/Rivers Bend Academy, a
TASA President
Attends Defeat Autism            center providing therapeutic programs
                                                                               Tornado going over Suffolk
Now Conference                   and a school for children with Autism
                                 Spectrum Disorders, during Suffolk’s recent tornados.                              Next Board Meeting
Green Our Vaccines                         Step by Step and Rivers Bend Academy is located in the Bur-               Date: May 21, 2008
                                 netts Mill section of Suffolk, near Nansemond River Medical Center                    Time:7:00 pm
3rd Annual 5k &                  and the strip mall that was leveled by a tornado on Monday April 28,                  Contact TASA @
 1 Mile Walk-a-Thon              2008. “We only had a five minute warning before the touch down of                         461-4474
                                 the tornado” said Bryant. After the tornado hit, Bryant and some of                if you are interested in
TASA’s 2nd Annual                her colleagues went to check on certain buildings surrounding their                      attending.
Golf Tournament
                                 facility. “Rivers Bend Academy had their children all taken care of and
                                 protected in the bathroom” Bryant said. “They did an outstanding job
Surfers Healing                  with the children. It was unbelievable.”
VB Surf Camp                               During a telephone interview with Wendy Fitch, M.Ed.,
                                 BCBA, founder of Step by Step Consulting and Rivers Bend Acad-
Special Interest/                emy, Fitch began to depict the frightful moments as they unfolded dur-
Support Groups                   ing the recent tornados. “We had no idea there was a tornado warn-
                                 ing” said Fitch. One of her staff members, Katlyn, received a call
Autism Awareness                                                                                                   TASA is a locally funded
                                 from her grandmother who informed her that there was a tornado that             organization serving families
Month Highlights
                                 touched down in Holland, another neighborhood in Suffolk. A few                      and professionals in
Virginia Special                 moments following that call, Fitch’s mother, who is an administrator at             Hampton Roads. All
Education Regulations            Heartland Home Healthcare called from Pennsylvania. The staff at                  information provided or
                                 Heartland had called to inform her that they were in the middle of the                 published is for
                                                                                                                 informational purposes only.
                                 office in anticipation of a tornado and didn’t have the telephone num-              We do not promote or
                                 ber to contact the staff at Step by Step/Rivers Bend Academy.                       endorse any program,
                                                                           Continued on page 2                      treatment or provider.
        TASA       Cover story continued...
        for con-“Everyone come to the middle”! Fitch calmly instructed her staff and students. As
sideration any  she started walking towards the front door of the building the tornado was plowing
comments, in-   through the parking lot. “Get off the phone Christi!” Fitch told one of her staff mem-
formation, or   bers. “Everyone against the wall!” Fitch cried out as her staff and students headed to-
announcements   wards the center wall. Fitch and her staff laid on top of the children to protect them.
for publication A voice from her staff yelled, “get them into the bathroom!” The staff proceeded to
in our chapter  move the children into two bathrooms as they laid flat on the floor over the children in
newsletter. You a section between the stalls. “The pressure in my ears was like when you are on an
may send your
                airplane” Fitch said.
contributions to
the chapter at
                         When the noise subsided, Fitch went out to assess the situation. Parents of
our office      some of the children were in the parking lot at the time of the storm. One parent ran
address or emailtowards the building with his hand cut. Fitch ran next door towards the medical cen-
contributions toter. “Are you a nurse?” Fitch said to a woman. “We have a man over here with his
tide-           hand cut”. As Fitch looked around another parent and grandparent walked up. They
waterasa@veriz  too were in their cars at the time of the storm and their car windows had been shattered         by the winds. The area surrounding the academy was catastrophic. A plank of boards
                with nails sticking out was embedded in the building. The fence that once surround
                the building was gone. From afar two more women started walking towards Fitch.
                The two women were office staff from Heartland Home Health and Hospice. Just as
                they gathered a firefighter announced “Everyone take cover there is another one com-
                ing!” Fitch and her staff ran back to grab cushions and mats to protect the children
                once again. No tornado transpired after that was finally over.
                          With no power and no phones, the staff at Step by Step Consulting and Rivers
                Bend Academy gathered the children for a final headcount. Staff were unable to make
                calls with their cell phones to get in touch with families. “We could not make any
   Correction   calls out, however we could receive incoming calls” said Fitch. “ We were able to give
                a parent a list of contacts for our students and she was able to help us out by contacting
                family members and caregivers to inform them that the children were ok.” By this
                time Emergency Response teams came over to check on everyone. The staff at Step
                by Step Consulting and River Bends Academy were told they had ten minutes to get
                out of the building. Some parents were able to pick up their kids from an area Farm
                Fresh and some of the staff drove the other children home.
  There was a             There was not a broken window in the building of Step by Step Consulting/
 typographical Rivers Bend Academy. Power was restored on the following Thursday and building
  error in our  inspectors permitted the staff to go back in for business on Friday. The children at
  March 2008    Step by Step Consulting and Rivers Bend were able to return for therapy and school on
Newsletter. The Monday May 5, 2008. “I was stunned” Fitch said. “I mean with all of the staff and
  correct tele- the children. It could not have went more perfect in my mind.” Fitch was asked how
phone number
                well the children were able to deal with the situation. She stated that there was a calm
  for Norfolk
  Therapeutic   to them. “No one was talking” said Fitch. One kid said “I need to get out of here”!
   Recreation   Another said “I can’t see” as I laid over him, and another kid stood up to preach and
   Center is    pray like we were in church. “Thanks to all my wonderful staff that put the children
757-441-1764 we serve first in a crisis situation. They did an unbelievable job working together as a
                team!” said Fitch.
                   TASA would like to congratulate Step by Step Consulting and Rivers Bend Academy
                   staff for a job well done!

         In wake of the recent tornados that hit the Tidewater area, TASA would like to express our deepest con-
         cerns to those who were affected.

              My Child has Autism: Now What?                                  Autism Society of America
              Presented by CHKD’s Pediatrician,                    39th National Conference & Exposition on Autism
                    John Harrington, M.D.                                         Spectrum Disorders

 Date (s):            May 28, 2008                              Date (s):         July 9-12, 2008
 Time:                7:00 pm-9:00 pm                           Location:         Orlando, Florida
 Location:            CHKD
                      Brickhouse Auditorium                     For more information please visit

             Register online at

                     Save The Date!                                                   Shining Stars:
                 3rd Annual Statewide                                  Charting the Future for Today’s Children
      “Strong Roots for a Health Future” Conference               Virginia’s Fifth Annual Early Childhood Conference
             Sponsored by Medical Home Plus                                    Sponsored collaboratively by:
                                                                 VDOE, VDOE T/TAC’s, The Partnership for People with
 Date (s):            July 12th, 2008                                Disabilities and VA Division of Early Childhood
 Location:            Marriott at City Center
                      Newport News, Virginia
                                                                Date (s):         July 14th-July16, 2008
                                                                Location:         Wyndham Virginia Beach Oceanfront
 For More Information: call 877-264-8366 or http://                               Virginia Beach, VA or
                                                                     For more information and to register please visit

               2008 Youth Leadership Forum                                “You're Going To Love This Kid”:
                       July 14-18 2008                            Educating Students with Autism In Inclusive Schools
               Christopher Newport University                     Presented by Commonwealth Autism Service and The
                     Newport News, VA                                  Virginia Department of Education T/TAC’s
      Designed for high school students with disabilities.
                                                                Date (s):        July 22, 2008
 Through a competitive process, 25 students statewide will be
                                                                Time:            8:30 am-4:00 pm
 selected to represent the commonwealth of Virginia as Dele-
                                                                Location:        Sheraton Park South
              gates at the Youth Leadership forum.
                                                                                 Richmond, VA
             For more information please contact:               Cost:            $50
             Terri Baker Morgan at 804-786-9381 or               For more information or to register call Commonwealth
                   Kara White at 804-786-3441                              Autism Services at 1-800-649-5481

                                           Save the Date!
         Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program
                                (The VB-MAPP)
                 Presented by Mark L. Sundberg, Ph.D., BCBA
                                 Sponsored by Tidewater Chapter Autism Society of America
                                 An initiative of Project ACT (Autism Community Training)

                    Wednesday, October 8, 2008            &        Thursday, October 9, 2008
                    9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.                            9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

                       For more information, contact TASA at 757-461-4474 or
                                     Watch for more information as it becomes available.

May 2008                                         Page 3                                                   Altruism
                        Spring 2008 DAN! Conference
 JoAnna Bryant, TASA president, recently attended the Spring
2008 DAN! Conference. The conference was held in Cherry
Hill, New Jersey. DAN! (Defeat Autism Now) is a group of
clinicians who have joined together to learn the causes of
Autism Spectrum Disorders, focus on effective treatments for
metabolic issues and the overall general health of children on
the autism spectrum. DAN! clinicians also provide powerful
tools and information, including nutritional tips to help
parents treat some of their children's symptoms. “The
conference was very enlightening” said Bryant. There was a
substantial amount of information provided to parents and
clinicians which included behavioral and biomedical                       Jenny McCarthy and JoAnna Bryant
                                                                              at DAN! Conference 2008
interventions, the risk and benefits of vaccines, gastrointestinal
pathology, and pathways to recovery. At the conference Bryant met Jenny McCarthy, actress, comedian,
TACA (Talk About Curing Autism) spokesperson and author of her fourth bestselling book “Louder
Than Words - A Mothers Journey in Healing Autism”. “Jenny was one of the keynote speakers who spoke
to a standing room only crowd of parents. She touched on different methods she used that help her son
recover from Autism and presented a brief glimpse of the documentary that she and Jim Carrey are work-
ing on. She is very inspirational” said Bryant. “She is very passionate about getting national health agen-
cies to recognize that vaccines are too toxic and the need for a safer vaccine supply and schedule for our
children”. Jenny McCarthy along with Jim Carrey have planned a Green Our Vaccines Rally in Washing-
ton D.C. The purpose of this rally is to demand congress to green our vaccines and change the current
vaccination schedule. For more information on how you can get involved, visit
         For more information about the DAN! Conference please visit

      Please Join Us for the Most Historical Event of 2008!

                           Green Our Vaccines March/Rally with
                              Jenny McCarthy & Jim Carrey
                               When: Wednesday, June 4, 2008

                                    Where: Washington D.C.

                                 Let your voices be heard!
 TASA has chartered a bus for local families to join Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey on this journey!
           To sign up and for more information please contact TASA at 757-461-4474.

                                       SPACE IS LIMITED!
              For more information about the Green Our Vaccines March/Rally please visit

May 2008                                   Page 4                                              Altruism
                           Tidewater Autism Society of America
                          Autism Awareness 5k & 1 Mile Walk-A-Thon
                                   Mount Trashmore Park
                                     Virginia Beach, VA

                                         Saturday, May 17, 2008
                      Register online at or download a brochure by
                             visiting our website at
                       For more race information please contact TASA at 461-4474

        Create your own website to help raise money for TASA’s 5K! Visit and click donate under the registration tab or visit

                                                 2nd Annual Tee Off
                                                      for TASA
                                                  Golf Tournament

                                            Date: Wednesday, June 11, 2008
                                            Time: 9:30 Shotgun Start
                                            Location: Cypress Point Country Club
                                                      Virginia Beach, VA

                        Please contact TASA at 461-4474 for further details.

                                          WE NEED YOUR HELP!
  TASA is looking for volunteers to help with our upcoming events. If you are interested in helping , please e-mail
  us at A variety of sponsorship opportunities are also available. Please contact our
  office at 461-4474 for further details.

May 2008                                   Page 5                                                Altruism
           Visit the new local Surfers Healing Virginia Beach website at

May 2008                        Page 6                                 Altruism
    Parents of Children with Special Needs
               Support Group
               Facilitated by:                       Coffee and Chat: Theresa Zano-McMillan
      JoAnna Bryant, Parent Coordinator              will be facilitating this friendly monthly chat group
     CHKD Care Connections for Children              for parents to network and share information. The
                                                     meetings are held at Paneras in Janaf Shopping
Date:             May 28, 2008
Time:             9:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.               Center each month, on the Thursday following the
Location:         The Endependence Center Building   TASA meeting at 6 p.m.
                  6300 E. Virginia Beach Blvd.
                  Norfolk, VA 23502                        For questions, please contact our office
    For questions or to RSVP please call 461-4474.                      at 461-4474.


                                                                  Friday Night Friends

                                                             Teens with high functioning ASD.
                                                        Group meets the third Friday of every month
A Chat Group for Young Adults (high                                   6:30-9:30 p.m.
school and up) with HFA/Aspergers meets
the last Tuesday of each month at the Endepend-                  Contact FACT Director
ence Center in Norfolk from 7 to 9 p.m. The                           Pam Clendenen
group is facilitated by Vike Xides, LCSW and is            For more information at 757-422-2040
held in conjunction with our TASA monthly                   Or email

Call the office at 461-4474 for more information.

                       TASA’s Online Meet up           Adults with HFA/Aspergers Peer Support
                             Group                           Group and Social Outings
               Join TASA’s online meet up            Meet with other adults affected by Aspergers Syn-
               group for updates on meetings,        drome for support and discussions. This group is
                                                     run by those with Aspergers Syndrome, Dr. Rick
               events, and to network
                                                     Ellis, Ed.D. provides some administrative support.
with other families and professionals navigat-       Everyone is welcome, even if you only suspect that
ing the world of autism.                             you have Aspergers. No diagnosis is necessary.

            To register please visit http://              For more information please visit http.://

May 27, 2008: 7:00 p.m. Medicaid Waiver Services Overview by Theresa Zano-McMillan
June 24, 2008” 7:00 p.m. Ice Cream Social/Green our Vaccines Rally Overview
July 29, 2008: 7:00 p.m. TBA

      Childcare is available upon request and must be requested at least 3 days prior to meetings

May 2008                                   Page 7                                          Altruism
                  Autism Awareness Month Highlights

                                      School Awareness Projects
TASA would like to thank the local schools who hosted events and activities promoting
National Autism Awareness Month. School staff, parents, and students participated in
contest, receptions, and other fun activities to help recognize NAAM.
Listed below are a few of
the schools that partici-
Little Creek Elementary
Churchland Elementary
Pembroke Elementary
Thalia Elementary
Glenwood Elementary

                                                               Autism Awareness Bulletin Board at Little Creek Elementary

                            Fun in the Sun at the Car Wash!

           You missed a spot! Paying close attention to detail, Austin, Diane Kenny’s grandson, helps out
           Pat, a dedicated volunteer.

On April 26, 2008, TASA members along with several volunteers washed, rinsed, and
dried their way through TASA’s annual carwash fundraiser. The carwash was held at
the Holiday Food Store located at 5301 Princess Anne Road in Virginia Beach. This
event was spearheaded by Board Member Diane Kenney, proud grandparent of Aus-
tin. We couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day! With the hard work and efforts
of all of our volunteers, TASA raised over $600!

May 2008                                     Page 8                                                         Altruism
During National Autism Awareness month in April, Holiday Food Stores partnered with
TASA to sell Autism Ribbon cards at their Tidewater area stores. The fundraiser pro-
vided customers of Holiday Food Stores an opportunity to support autism awareness.

The customers at Holiday Food Stores were not the only ones supporting awareness.
TASA and Holiday Food Stores held a contest for the store and employees who sold the
most ribbon cards. The store that sold the most ribbons cards were treated to a pizza

Also, the 1st and 2nd place individual employees who sold the most ribbon cards won a
cash prize! The manager of the store that sold the most ribbon cards also received a
cash prize.

Thank you Holiday Food Stores for your continued Support!

Autism Ribbon cards were provided by: Print & Mail, 4376 Holland Road, Virginia Beach

                Virginia Special Education Regulations
The first round of public comment known as the Notice of Intended Regulatory Action
(NOIRA) is the initial step in the regulatory process which includes a 30 day comment period
on what the public wants in the Regulations.

After publication of the new proposed Special Education Regulations in The Virginia Register
of Regulations on April 28, 2008, the dates of the official public comment period will be
from April 28, 2008 through June 30, 2008.

During that time period, the Virginia Department of Education will accept written public
comments regarding the proposed revisions. A local public hearing will be held on May 28,
2008 from 6:30-9:30 p.m. at Norview High School located at 6501 Chesapeake Boule-
vard, Norfolk. The proposed revisions significantly reduce protections and rights of many
students. This is a time when it’s important for parents and other stakeholders to get involved
and make their desires known. Visit
for additional information.

May 2008                            Page 9                                Altruism
                                                                                                    U.S. Postage
                                         ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED                                     PAID
                                                                                                     Norfolk, VA
                                                                                                   Permit No. 2045

   6300 East Virginia Beach Blvd
   Norfolk, VA 23502
   Phone 757-461-4474

                                                    Newtown                     Next meeting:
                                                                                 May 27, 2008
                                                                                 7 p.m. –9 p.m.

                                                                      Medicaid Waiver Services Overview
                                                                                Presented by
                                                                           Theresa Zano-McMillan

                                                                 Childcare is available upon request and must
                                                                 be requested at least 3 days prior to meetings

   Detach & Mail Directly to: 7910 Woodmont Avenue, Suite 650, Bethesda, MD 20814


       Renewal               New

Membership Categories:              Family-$40             Individual-$30       Life-$1,500
An annual subscription to the ADVOCATE is also included.

City: ______________________ State ___________ Zip_________
Phone: (H)___________________ (W)_______________________
E-mail _________________________________________________
Please return this form to the above address with your check or money order payable to ASA.
Joining through Chapter #261 Tidewater, VA

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