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Catch up with the latest updates on local events and great activities from HEAL!
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April 2015

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HEAL Zoo Walk for Autism Next Sunday, April 26


Join HEAL at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens on Sunday April 26. Registration opens at 7:30 am. Avoid long lines and preregister in advance and you will be automatically entered to win a $50 Visa gift card. Online registration will close on Friday, April 24 at midnight. You can still register in person on Sunday, April 26 at the Zoo! Please get there by 8 AM in order to join the walk. 

Following the walk Patty Crosby will host the HEAL After Party – “Party with Patty” sponsored by Nimnicht Family of Dealerships on the Great Lawn. The kids can play on the bouncy houses and slides, try out the climbing wall, get their face painted, and dance their little hearts out to music! FREE train rides for all, compliments of HEAL board members! 
 
Fun at the HEAL Zoo Walk
 
The Zoo walk raises funds to assist individuals and families with Autism in our local area and brings families and our Autism community together on one day for a special purpose. The top three fundraisers may select a grant recipient to receive funds totaling $1,800:
  • 1st place - $1,000
  • 2nd Place - $500
  • 3rd Place - $300
This is a great opportunity to award funds to your favorite school or organization!
 
Avoid long lines and register today at healautismnow.org.
 
More Info & Registration

Fun Summer Activities Across the First Coast Area

Riding the Wave of Autism - Surf Camp

A multitude of specialized summer camps and programs are being offered across the First Coast for individuals with Autism. HEAL recently granted $50,000 towards summer camps and programs. Below is a list of HEAL grant recipients who will be offering summer programs.
  • DOSA Camps: Camp I Am Special - Overnight Summer Camps
  • City of Jacksonville Beach: Autism Super Surf Camp
  • Cummer Museum: VSA & Camp Cummer Art Camp
  • Family Farms of NE Florida: Behavioral Support Camp
  • Haven Horse Ranch: Horse Therapy Programs
  • Henderson Haven: Camp Possible Summer Day Camp
  • Hope Therapy: Horse Therapy Programs
  • KARMA: Music Therapy Camp – Producing Music Videos
  • Beaches Tutoring: HEAL Bowling Buddies & Peer to Pier Fishing
  • Jacksonville School for Autism: JSA Summer Enrichment Camp
  • Little Star Center: Summer Camp and Field Trips
  • North FL School of Special Education: Flora, Fauna & Fitness Camp
  • Church of the Redeemer: Special Nation VBS Summer Camp
  • HUG/HEAL Golf Camp - TPC Sawgrass
Visit HEAL's website to find day camps and overnight camps.
 
 

Haven Horse Ranch - Therapeutic Riding Center


Special Olympics Florida - Duval County offers great activities throughout the summer months:
 
BOWLING
Offered in two locations on Saturday mornings. At the Cassatt Batt Family Fun Center on the Westside and Jax Lanes on Beach Blvd. Ages 8 and up.
 
GOLF
Offered in two locations, First Tee of North Florida and Jacksonville Beach Golf Club. Begins in May. Ages 8 and up.
 
SURFING
Meets Tuesdays throughout June and July near the Jacksonville Beach Pier.
 
AQUATICS
Offered in two locations Good Shepherd Church in Riverside and Arlington Family YMCA. Ages 8 and up
 
STAND UP PADDLE (SUP) 
Held at Black Creek Outfitters, must be comfortable around the water. Ages 12 and up.
 
Find out more about Special Olympics Duval County.

You can also visit Jax4Kids. They have a Special Needs section which includes summer camps.

Visit CARD Jacksonville and see their summer offerings.
 
To find about more summer camp activities, visit HEAL's local resource guide.
 

How To Make Autism Awareness Month Really Count: Part 1


By Janeen Herskovitz
 
Every April I am reminded to adorn my house with blue lights, post infographics on social media and give to my “favorite charity”. I field well-meaning comments from family and friends letting me know they are thinking of me, and asking where they can donate in honor of my son. It’s “Autism Awareness Month.” And to be quite honest, it aggravates me. In my experience working with ASD families, I’ve learned I am not alone in my aggravation.

Before you stop reading, this is not going to be a rant about how others are too insensitive and autism is really really hard and no one understands my life, blah, blah, blah. Instead, what I’d like to do is briefly express my feelings about this occasion, to help you understand why many ASD families feel the way I do. Then I’ll direct you to some “best practices” for those of you who wish to truly honor our families.

Continue Reading >>
 

Upcoming Events in Northeast Florida

 
DATE EVENT
Ongoing Social Skills and Support Groups - Dr. Maria Tapia, Licensed Psychologist with the UF/Jacksonville's CARD Program, runs several support groups for adolescents and adults with Asperger's syndrome, as well as for the siblings and mothers. If you are interested in joining any of these groups or gathering additional information, such as date, time and ages, please contact Dr. Tapia at maria.tapia@jax.ufl.edu or 904-633-4330.
Now - May 31 Survey for The Florida Department of Education (FDOE) - Parents of students who have an individual educational plan, receive ESE services and are currently attending a Florida public school. This survey is open now through May 31. You can complete the survey at esesurvey.com.
April 1-28 Pinedale Elementary Autism Awareness Blanket - Help Pinedale Elementary, in Duval County, by participating in an online auction for a handmade crocheted afghan blanket. To see the afghan and place a bid to win, click here. Bidding is already at $80 on this beautiful blanket!
April 18 Access Life Expo Tour 2015 - Free event for individuals and families living with disabilities from 10-2pm at Bethesda Park, Keyhaven Blvd in Jacksonville. Boat rides, games, arts and crafts, food and fun! Register to participate or volunteer at www.access-life.org.
April 18 Sensory Friendly Films: Underdogs - AMC & ASA are bringing families an opportunity to go to the movies in a safe accepting environment on a monthly basis. Lights are brought up, sound is turned down, and families may bring their own snacks. Movies are shown at the AMC Regency 24 at the Regency Center Square. All viewings are held at 10 AM. Click here for more information.
April 20 11th Annual JSA Golf Classic - Join JSA at Deerwood Country Club for their annual golf outing. Shotgun start at 9 AM. Visit jsakids.org for more information.
April 25 Peer to Pier Fishing - Fishing off the Jacksonville Beach Pier. Great activity for children and teens with Autism, and for parents to connect. To register, contact Mary Erickson-Verdi at inclusionsolution@gmail.com or 904-994-1005.
April 25 Flavor Run Jacksonville - Taste the Flavor! Bring the family out for this fun 5K and 1-mile fun run at Nocatee. Register here.
April 25 Arc Village Meet & Greet - Sessions will include important updates regarding construction, services and some "sneak previews" of what life for Arc "Villagers" will be like. There will be save the date reminder in February with more complete details. Attendees are required to submit a residential interest form in advance to attend the event. Please visit arcjacksonville.org for more information.
April 26 HEAL Zoo Walk For Autism! Registration now open! Join HEAL at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens for another fun HEAL Zoo Walk for Autism! This great day includes seeing the Zoo before other guests, and an after party Party with Patty sponsored by Nimnicht family of dealerships! Visit HealAutismNow.org for more information or to register. See you all for another fun filled day at the zoo!
May 7 Parent Support Group Meeting at Keystone Behavioral Pediatrics. Monthly meeting with different topics each month. Join Keystone at their offices at 6867 Southpoint Drive North, Suite 101 from 6:00 to 7:00 PM. Visit them at keystonebehavioral.com.
May 9 Bowling Buddies - Join Inclusion Solution at Beach Bowl on Beach Boulevard for 4 lanes of fun! Educators and therapists are on hand to facilitate social interaction. This is a great activity for children and teens with Autism, and the parents enjoy connecting with other families. Meet Mary and her team at 12:30 PM. Register in advance by emailing inclusionsolution@gmail.com.
May 23 Peer to Pier Fishing - Fishing off the Jacksonville Beach Pier. Great activity for children and teens with Autism, and for parents to connect. To register, contact Mary Erickson-Verdi at inclusionsolution@gmail.com or 904-994-1005.
June 13 Bowling Buddies - Join Inclusion Solution at Beach Bowl on Beach Boulevard for 4 lanes of fun! Educators and therapists are on hand to facilitate social interaction. This is a great activity for children and teens with Autism, and the parents enjoy connecting with other families. Meet Mary and her team at 12:30 PM. Register in advance by emailing inclusionsolution@gmail.com.
June 15 - July 31 Social Superheroes - Navigating through the social world of childhood and adolescence is not an easy task. The CARD course is designed to help your child become more adept at making and keeping friends, handling conflict, and standing up for themselves when necessary. The group meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Contact Michele at michele.bellbadger@jax.ufl.edu.
June 27 Peer to Pier Fishing - Fishing off the Jacksonville Beach Pier. Great activity for children and teens with Autism, and for parents to connect. To register, contact Mary Erickson-Verdi at inclusionsolution@gmail.com or 904-994-1005.
June 27 Sensory Friendly Films: Inside Out - AMC & ASA are bringing families an opportunity to go to the movies in a safe accepting environment on a monthly basis. Lights are brought up, sound is turned down, and families may bring their own snacks. Movies are shown at the AMC Regency 24 at the Regency Center Square. All viewings are held at 10 AM. Click here for more information.
July 18 Sensory Friendly Films: Minions - AMC & ASA are bringing families an opportunity to go to the movies in a safe accepting environment on a monthly basis. Lights are brought up, sound is turned down, and families may bring their own snacks. Movies are shown at the AMC Regency 24 at the Regency Center Square. All viewings are held at 10 AM. Click here for more information.
August 3-6 One Week Study Strategies Camp Designed for Middle School Students - Keeping up with homework, planning for long term assignments, learning to read effectively, and studying for tests can be quite difficult for many middle school students. This week long CARD camp will equip middle school students to be organized with their school assignments, manage time well, and become test-wise. Contact Carolyn at carolyn.fagen@jax.ufl.edu.
September 7 The Great Ponte Vedra Paddle! Join us for the 4th Annual Great Ponte Vedra Paddle benefiting HEAL. Stand Up Paddle board races, and an "Anything that Floats" Challenge make this fun for the whole family. See you at Mickler's Landing.
September 26 Sensory Friendly Films: Hotel Transylvania - AMC & ASA are bringing families an opportunity to go to the movies in a safe accepting environment on a monthly basis. Lights are brought up, sound is turned down, and families may bring their own snacks. Movies are shown at the AMC Regency 24 at the Regency Center Square. All viewings are held at 10 AM. Click here for more information.
October 17 Sensory Friendly Films: The Jungle Book - AMC & ASA are bringing families an opportunity to go to the movies in a safe accepting environment on a monthly basis. Lights are brought up, sound is turned down, and families may bring their own snacks. Movies are shown at the AMC Regency 24 at the Regency Center Square. All viewings are held at 10 AM. Click here for more information.
November 14 Sensory Friendly Films: The Peanuts Movie - AMC & ASA are bringing families an opportunity to go to the movies in a safe accepting environment on a monthly basis. Lights are brought up, sound is turned down, and families may bring their own snacks. Movies are shown at the AMC Regency 24 at the Regency Center Square. All viewings are held at 10 AM. Click here for more information.
December 5 Sensory Friendly Films: The Good Dinosaur - AMC & ASA are bringing families an opportunity to go to the movies in a safe accepting environment on a monthly basis. Lights are brought up, sound is turned down, and families may bring their own snacks. Movies are shown at the AMC Regency 24 at the Regency Center Square. All viewings are held at 10 AM. Click here for more information.
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