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HeARTs for Autism®
Supporting Families and Raising Awareness for the Autism Spectrum Disorders

November 2007 – Thanksgiving

Hello Families and Friends –
Blessings to each of you, your families and friends in this Thanksgiving season!

HeARTs for Autism started its family program officially in November 2005. Since then, we have had the privilege of meeting many Spectrum families through monthly programs, Autism events and other special programs. We are grateful for the community and fellowship we have found as we travel this journey together. We are also immensely grateful to our volunteers! Over these 2 years, we have had more than 75 people give generously of their time, and we have a core of 20 who consistently provide loving support to the kids and parents. A beautiful note written by one of our parents said she was truly thankful for a program like this - we are too! It is amazing how one kid doing art turned into such heartwarming support and friendships.

We are pleased to announce we have moved from “grass roots” to registered 501c3 nonprofit Pennsylvania corporation. With our new status we plan to expand services and programming to meet the needs of our families. A special thank you to the many families and professionals who gave us the encouragement to move forward!

Our program on the 17th focused on Visual Strategies. With that in mind, here is a social story for Thanksgiving. You can use this story or get ideas how to create a story which is specific to the way you celebrate the day. We have found that the combination of visual story telling and repetition has eased anxieties for many of our kids as well as helped them to understand the flow of the day and any expectations we have for them. In some cases, this approach can give the families opportunity to have the child co-create a strategy for the day, so that they feel a sense of involvement and personal empowerment. An example is in the story for our family, Kevin has decided to add the picture of the Robots video he will watch after he politely interacts with family, eats dinner, and helps to clear away plates. He chose his reward and is happily telling everyone what his day will look like.

Here is the link to the story from SlaterSoftware for you to download:

We hope that this will be helpful. You can also ask your wrap around agency to help you with a social story, your speech therapist or class teacher.

Enjoy and may you have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Robin V Schwoyer
HeARTs for Autism, Director


“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”
– John Fitzgerald Kennedy

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