Eastern Panhandle Indigo Children (EPIC) is a 100% volunteer autism awareness and advocacy non-profit located in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia. We were founded in 2010, and are a 501c3 in good standing. EPIC provides educational trainings for community professionals, as well as STEM and recreational programs for persons on the spectrum. To date we have received grant monies from Autism Speaks to seed funding our Blue Ribbon Recreation Program. We are overjoyed that our Blue Ribbon Recreation Program continues to enable hundreds of children and young adults in our region access integrated recreation activities with their typical peers.
We also are one of two non-profits that participate in the Harpers Ferry Half Marathon as our primary fundraiser.
Join us at our next EPIC Membership Meeting Wednesday the 13th to hear autism advocate and expert Bonnie Zamprino from 7-9pm .
EPIC Meeting Location:
Charles Town Baptist Church 211 E Congress St, Charles Town, WV 25414
“The Hold Your Voice Challenge for Autism Awareness” In honor of April as Autism Awareness month, Eastern Panhandle Indigo Children (EPIC) is championing a hold your voice challenge. Our challenge is inspired by Mussleman High School Student, Cassidy Barbee’s recent pledge to not speak for an entire week. Cassidy raised more than $750 for EPIC by not speaking at all for an entire week. She asked for donations from those close to her with the support of her mother and teachers. Her efforts moved our community to challenge others to follow suit.
Many on the autism spectrum can’t speak or have a multitude of speech challenges. Therefore, to increase awareness, EPIC challenges YOU not to speak for an entire day! Ask friends and family that want you to be successful to make a donation to you, which you in turn, will donate to EPIC. Monies will help fund EPIC’s emerging vocational job training and placement program so that young adults on the autism spectrum can have an opportunity to work in our region.
Donations can be made directly on our website via PayPal (at bottom of home page) http://www.epic-wv-autism.org/ or check can be written to EPIC and mailed to 297 Euclid Charles Town, WV 25414. All donations are tax deductible and donation letters will be sent to those who participate in our Hold Your Voice for Autism Awareness Challenge.
Youth on the Spectrum and Benefits of STEM Programming
U.S. business and policy leaders have made it a priority to increase the number of students pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering and math, collectively known as STEM. But one source of STEM talent is often overlooked: young people with autism spectrum disorders. A study published late last year in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders found that students with autism choose majors in science, technology, engineering and math at higher rates than students in the general population. Yet students with autism enter college at far lower rates. The authors say the results highlight the need to encourage students with autism to pursue a post-secondary education and that doing so may strengthen participation in the STEM fields.
EPIC's Blue Ribbon Recreation Program ~ 6 years of Inclusive Learning and Fun!
Learn the Signs of Autism
Autism Speaks' multi-year Ad Council public service advertising campaign stresses the importance of recognizing the early signs of autism and seeking early intervention services. Recent research confirms that appropriate screening can determine whether a child is at risk for autism as young as one year. While every child develops differently, we also know that early treatment improves outcomes, often dramatically. Studies show, for example, that early intensive behavioral intervention improves learning, communication and social skills in young children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).
One of the most important things you can do as a parent or caregiver is to learn the early signs of autism and become familiar with the typical developmental milestones that your child should be reaching.
The following "red flags" may indicate your child is at risk for an autism spectrum disorder. If your child exhibits any of the following, please don’t delay in asking your pediatrician or family doctor for an evaluation:
· No big smiles or other warm, joyful expressions by six months or thereafter
· No back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles or other facial expressions by nine months
· No babbling by 12 months
· No back-and-forth gestures such as pointing, showing, reaching or waving by 12 months
· No words by 16 months
· No meaningful, two-word phrases (not including imitating or repeating) by 24 months
· Any loss of speech, babbling or social skills at any age
The M-CHAT (Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers) can help you determine if a professional should evaluate your child. This simple online autism screen, available on our website, takes only a few minutes. If the answers suggest your child is at risk for autism, please consult with your child’s doctor. Likewise, if you have any other concerns about your child's development, don't wait. Speak to your doctor now about screening your child for autism.
You can learn more about how to recognize the signs of an autism using our Video Glossary. It contains over a hundred video clips illustrating typical and delayed development. Whether you are a parent, caregiver, relative or friend, it can help you learn the subtle differences and spot the early red flags for ASD.
The 6th annual Harpers Ferry Half Marathon will be held May 14th, 2016 and will begin and end at River Riders. Half of proceeds will go to fund EPIC's Blue Ribbon Recreation Program and Autism Summit to be helf in July. To register go to http://harpersferryhalf.org/
Autism Speaks 100 Day Kit and the Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism Tool
Kit. In addition, our Video Glossary provides information about a wide
range of treatments and behavioral interventions that may be suitable for your
child. Within the glossary, you can also download descriptions of these
treatments and interventions.
visit Treatment of Autism and our Resource Guide for more information. Have more
questions? Autism Speaks' Autism Response Team can help you with information,
resources and opportunities. Call us at 888-288-4762 (en Español
888-772-9050) or email email@example.com.