This month’s Lowcountry autism events roundup includes 2017 Project Rex Groups, opportunities to participate in autism research (some with compensation), sensory-friendly theater, and more!

The events below are listed with new or one-time events first and recurring events next, so be sure to read through the end!

Project Rex Reports

Families, now is the time to register for 2017 Rex Groups! They begin meeting in January, so it’s imperative to complete intakes in December.

We’re offering Groups to support the entire family: children, teens, and young adults with autism and ADHD, siblings, and parents too.

Don’t put off registration; call (843) 792-9162 to sign up for a Group today. We’re offering four social skills Groups with start dates in January (flyers included below):

*Note that the Sibling Support Group and Yoga Group are held at the same time so that all members of the family can participate! The child with special needs can be in yoga while the neurotypical sibling is in Sibling Group and the parent is in the Parent Group.

Also know that this is an especially important time to sign up for Sibling Support, as the level of enrollment will determine whether or not we can offer this Group going forward.

2017 Social Skills Groups for Autism Families

School-Age Group (ages 5-10)
Weekly on Tuesdays from January 10 – February 28, 2017 from 2:00-3:00pm
Click here for a hi-res flyer to print and get the word out!


Adult Group (ages 18+)
Weekly on Wednesdays from January 11 – March 29, 2017 from 3:30-5:00pm
Click here for a hi-res flyer to print and get the word out!


Sibling Support Group (ages 8-14)
Weekly on Thursdays from January 12 – February 2, 2017 from 4:00-5:00pm
Click here for a hi-res flyer to print and get the word out!


Yoga Group (ages 6-12)
Weekly on Thursdays from January 12 – February 2, 2017 from 4:00-5:00pm
Click here for a hi-res flyer to print and get the word out!



New or One-Time Events

Research Study Enrollments Open!

We currently have three opportunities for families to participate in MUSC Research Studies:

LENS “Learning Enhancement through Neurostimulation” study: Examining whether brain stimulation paired with social skills learning (via the PEERS program) can help teenage boys with autism ages 14-17 learn how to make and keep friends (compensation available).

Adults with Autism and Depression: Studying new treatment possibilities for adults ages 18-65 who have a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder as well as Depression (compensation available).

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for Adolescent Depression: Exploring treatment of depressive symptoms using Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) for adolescents ages 12 to 21 (no cost-treatment available).

Sensory-Friendly Performances at Charleston Stage

“Charleston Stage, in residence at the Historic Dock Street Theatre, has been awarded $25,000 from Charleston Regional Alliance for the Arts via the Boeing Vision Award for Charleston Stage’s Sensory-Friendly Performances performed at the Dock Street Theatre.”

Upcoming Sensory-Friendly Performance Dates:

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, Dec. 10 at 11am
James and the Giant Peach, Jan. 21 at 11am

Upcoming January – February 2017 Events

Mark Your Calendars for Move, Groove, Get Active!

Ready to Move, Groove, Get Active in the New Year? The goal of this FREE recreational program is to improve the quality of life for children on the Autism Spectrum, in a family-friendly environment.

Move, Groove, Get Active is hosted at the College of Charleston campus at 26 George Street in the Silcox Gym on Saturdays from 2:30-3:30 pm.

Confirmed 2017 dates are as follows: January 28th, February 4th, February 11th, February 18th, and February 25th.

For more information, visit the Move, Groove, Get Active Facebook page.


Charleston Transition Fair

Want information and resources to promote positive post-secondary outcomes? Then save the date for the FREE 2017 Charleston Transition Fair, happening at West Ashley High School on Saturday, February 25, 2017 from 8:30am – 12:30pm.


Ongoing Events

Special Adult Network of Dentists (via Family Connection SC)

Do you or someone you know have special healthcare needs? Are you having difficulty finding a dentist to provide dental care in your area? Contact us so that we may assist you in finding the dental care you need!

The Special Adult Network of Dentists is a project of the Medical University of South Carolina to connect adults with special needs to dental care providers in all areas of the state.

Contact: Joan McLauren, SANDs Program Coordinator

Charleston Young Adult ASDs

Charleston Young Adult ASDs is a social enjoyment group for young adults (17-32 +/-) in the autism spectrum in the Charleston area. Its purpose is to give individuals the opportunity to:

  • Practice different social scenarios in a safe and non-judgmental environment
  • Connect with others like them (and realize they’re not alone!)
  • Develop skills (through fun activities) to navigate life more smoothly
  • Increase chances to make/keep friends and get/keep a job
  • Share experience, strength and hope

To get involved, join the Meetup page or the private Facebook group (just click “Join Group” so an admin can approve your request).

Autism Family Network of the Lowcountry

This Facebook group was created to provide South Carolina families a chance to get together to discuss and share topics related to Autism Spectrum Disorder. Click here to join today.

Also note that the Autism Family Network of the Lowcountry (supported by the Lowcountry Autism Foundation) also has a Parent Training and Support Group that meets monthly in Summerville on the fourth Tuesday of the month from 6-8pm at Bethany Methodist Church.

This month’s meeting is Tuesday, December 27; see you there!

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Charleston Meeting

The Charleston-area NAMI meeting takes place in Moncks Corner on the first Tuesday of the month. This month’s meeting is Tuesday, December 6 from 6 – 7:15pm at Moncks Corner Baptist Church Fellowship Hall at 500 E. Main St., Moncks Corner, SC 29461.

This meeting is for both individuals in recovery and family and friends of people with mental illness. All meetings are confidential. For a full list of Charleston-area NAMI meetings, visit the NAMI Charleston Area website.

Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry’s SuperStars

SuperStars is a FREE, registration-required event in which children with special needs and their families can visit the Museum, explore, and play without the crowds and over-stimulation. The Museum is open before-hours on the second and fourth Sundays of every month from 10am-12pm for this event.

Click here to learn more and register for SuperStars.

Parent Support Group for families of children with Asperger’s, HFA, & related conditions

Location: Cherokee United Methodist Church, 2105 Cosgrove Avenue, North Charleston
Time: 6:00 – 7:30pm every Tuesday

For families of children with Aspergers, HFA, Anxiety & Related Conditions

Share your concerns and tips with other parents who understand what it’s like to raise a child with special needs. Give and get support in a safe and non-judgmental place.

Free childcare is provided. Contact Tracie Hayward at for more info.


Featured Book of the Month

This month’s featured book is John Elder Robison’s memoir Look Me In The Eye: My Life With Asperger’s.

Amazon description: “Ever since he was young, John Robison longed to connect with other people, but by the time he was a teenager, his odd habits—an inclination to blurt out non sequiturs, avoid eye contact, dismantle radios, and dig five-foot holes (and stick his younger brother, Augusten Burroughs, in them)—had earned him the label “social deviant.”

It was not until he was forty that he was diagnosed with a form of autism called Asperger’s syndrome. That understanding transformed the way he saw himself—and the world.

A born storyteller, Robison has written a moving, darkly funny memoir about a life that has taken him from developing exploding guitars for KISS to building a family of his own. It’s a strange, sly, indelible account—sometimes alien yet always deeply human.”

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~ The Project Rex Team