Autism foundation, Genetic Center join forces

The Project HOPE Foundation in Greenville has joined with the Greenwood Genetic Center to develop a program that will give families with autistic children an integrated approach to delivering services and support and conducting research.

Called Helix and Hope, the program brings Project HOPE's Applied Behavioral Analysis therapy for autism to Greenwood with plans to grow ABA and other therapies there, as well as explore personalized therapeutic models, support education models that promote inclusion, enhance independent living and job skills training, and formulate evidence-based medical strategies, officials said.

Project HOPE is a center in Greenville that offers therapy, education, training, family support, social groups, adult services and employment to people with autism and their families. Pooling resources and sharing expertise will foster success, officials said.

“Helix and Hope was born out of a desire to provide individuals with access to proven therapeutic services and educational opportunities along side the latest in scientific discoveries and potential treatments,” said center director Steve Skinner. “By combining our expertise and resources with that of Project HOPE Foundation, we hope to better understand the biology of (autism spectrum disorders), deliver needed services, expand opportunities for inclusion, and formulate medical treatment strategies.”

GGC is developing a blood test for autism and the foundation is providing samples from both those with autism and those without the condition to help validate the test, officials said. They are also collecting clinical data on clients so GGC scientists can determine whether the test can measure a person's level of functioning.

“This collaboration is truly innovative in the world of autism, bringing two important components together — science and services,” said Susan Sachs, a co-founder of the foundation.

“Greenwood Genetic Center’s research in developing new diagnostic options is a game-changer for our families, who often waste critical years waiting for a diagnosis before they can access services,” she said.

“This partnership opens up possibilities that have not been tapped into before, directly connecting scientific research with life-changing services,” said Lisa Lane, co-founder of Project HOPE.

Based in Greenwood, the nonprofit genetic center has offices in Greenville, Charleston, Columbia and Florence.

To learn more, go to www.ggc.org and www.projecthopesc.org.

Project HOPE Foundation and Greenwood Genetic Center Join Forces

The Project HOPE Foundation in Greenville has joined with the Greenwood Genetic Center to develop a program that will give families with autistic children an integrated approach to delivering services and support and conducting research.

Called Helix and Hope, the program brings Project HOPE's Applied Behavioral Analysis therapy for autism to Greenwood with plans to grow ABA and other therapies there, as well as explore personalized therapeutic models, support education models that promote inclusion, enhance independent living and job skills training, and formulate evidence-based medical strategies, officials said.

Project HOPE is a center in Greenville that offers therapy, education, training, family support, social groups, adult services and employment to people with autism and their families. Pooling resources and sharing expertise will foster success, officials said.

“Helix and Hope was born out of a desire to provide individuals with access to proven therapeutic services and educational opportunities along side the latest in scientific discoveries and potential treatments,” said center director Steve Skinner. “By combining our expertise and resources with that of Project HOPE Foundation, we hope to better understand the biology of (autism spectrum disorders), deliver needed services, expand opportunities for inclusion, and formulate medical treatment strategies.”

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Parent Toolkit Training

Project HOPE Foundation teamed up with Institute for Behavioral Training to provide a parent workshop in Greenwood on Friday, August 28, at the Greenwood Genetic Center. This training, funded through a grant from the Department of Disabilities and Special Needs, is one of a statewide series, focusing on empowering parents awaiting therapy services for their children with autism.

Parents attending the training were equipped with a package of free resources, including:
· a hard-copy manual, Evidence-Based Treatment for Children with Autism
· a one-year subscription to over 40 hours of online training modules to be watched at an individualized pace, and
· a year's access to an online "curriculum" (Skills®) designed to help parents begin working with their children with autism to build skills and to diminish problem behaviors, personalized to each particular child based on input from the parents.

The response of parents has been overwhelmingly enthusiastic. “This is the best autism workshop EVER,” reported one mother.

Future workshops are planned for Aiken, Charleston, Columbia, and Florence.

South Carolina Parent Training Collaboration

The South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs (DDSN) indicates that there are over 1200 families waiting for services for their children diagnosed with ASD. Project HOPE Foundation and the Institute for Behavioral Training were awarded a DDSN training grant in early 2015 to provide training for SC families that are waiting.

Project HOPE Foundation and IBT will host eight parent training workshops across the state of South Carolina in 2015. The first event will take place in Spartanburg on April 30, 2015 at the Mary Black Foundation (downtown Spartanburg) from 9 am-4 pm. The next event will take place in Aiken on May 11, 2015 (location and time to be determined). The remaining events will take place in the summer and fall in Charleston, Columbia, Clemson, Florence, Greenville, and Greenwood. Project HOPE staff will be on site to provide in-person training to parents on ASD, behavior management techniques, ABA, and other topics. IBT staff will be on site to provide free access to its popular Parent eLearning program, so parents can continue their training at home, at their own pace. Families will also be able to access Skills, an on-line assessment and curriculum (www.skillsforautism.com), as well as a recently published book on evidence-based treatment for individuals with ASD.

Since 1996, Project HOPE Foundation, a non-profit organization, has been making great strides with ASD in the state of South Carolina. Their mission is to lead the way in providing a lifespan of services for the autism community through programs that Help families, Open minds, Promote inclusion, and Expand potential. Their website is www.projecthopesc.org.

Eligible parents should attend the training event that is most convenient for them. For registration, please visit the Project HOPE website at www.projecthopesc.org/parent-training. For further information about the events, please call Project HOPE Foundation at 864-476-7400.

Training Dates and information (information will be added as determined):

  • April 30, 2015, 9am-4pm, Mary Black Foundation, 349 East Main Street #100, Spartanburg, SC 29302
  • May 11, 2015, 10am-5pm, Aiken County Public Library, 314 Chesterfield St. S, Aiken, SC 29801
  • August 28, 2015, 9:30am-4pm, Greenwood Genetics Center, 101 Gregor Mendel Circle, Greenwood, SC 29646
  • November 2, 2015, 9:30am-4pm, Sea Coast Church, West Ashley Campus, 2049 Savannah Highway, Charleston, SC 29407
  • December 4, 2015, 9:30am-4pm, McCloud Medical, Plaza Auditorium, 800 East Cheves Street, Florence, SC 29506
  • Greenville, SC (TBA)
  • Columbia, SC (TBA)
  • Clemson, SC (TBA)

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PHF to receive Grant from DDSN

We are delighted to announce that Project HOPE Foundation has been awarded a $125,000 grant from the Department of Disabilities and Special Needs to bring training resources to parents of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who are waiting for therapy services. To do so, Project HOPE Foundation will partner with Institute for Behavioral Training (IBT), which has trained over 5,000 people across the US and other countries since 2013.The training resources include in-person parent training workshops across the state of South Carolina as well as a book and online tools that provide parents and caregivers with in-depth training on ASD, applied behavior analysis (ABA), and behavior management techniques, as well as other important topics.