This month’s Lowcountry autism events roundup includes tons of great programs and events! Read on for a special needs prom, an inclusion summit, a transition fair, two recreation programs, sensory-friendly adventures, opportunities to participate in autism research, 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

Research Study Enrollments Open!

We are currently recruiting participants for our LENS “Learning Enhancement through Neurostimulation” study.

This MUSC study will examine 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 is available.

For more, visit our LENS study page … now featuring a fun video of Dr. Gwynette demonstrating LENS technique!


Adults with Autism and Depression

We are currently recruiting adults ages 18-65 who have a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder as well as Depression for a research study at MUSC. The purpose of this study is to investigate new possibilities for treatment for symptoms of both autism and depression.

Compensation will be available to participants.

Prospective research participants and referring providers are invited to review detailed information about this study at the official information page at

If you or someone you know is interested in being in this study, please call us at 843-647-6799 or email us at

New or One-Time Events

FitCatZ Program

The College of Charleston’s FitCatZ Program  is an aquatic and motor program designed for children with disabilities. The program’s goal is to help participating children become efficient movers in a fun and safe environment. Each child in the program is assigned a trained volunteer student clinician who will work one-on-one with the child.

FitCatZ Spring 2017 Program Schedule
FitCatZ Program will be held on six Wednesday early evenings in Spring 2017.
The specific program dates are: March 1, 15, 29; April 5, 12, 19
(Program training will be held on February 22, 2017.)

The deadline for parents & clinicians to submit applications is Friday, February 3, 2017.

Program Schedule
Ashley Hall School, 172 Rutledge Ave., Charleston, SC  29403
3:30-3:40 Parents drop off children (clinicians will be outside on front entrance for pick up).
Parents MUST sign in children with program assistant.
3:30-4:30 Aquatics for younger children and Motor for older children
4:30-5:30 Motor for younger children and Aquatics for older children
5:30-5:40 Pick up

Please direct all questions to Susan Flynn at or at 765-414-3837, and visit the FitCatz program page for registration information.

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 (all are Saturdays): January 28th, February 4th, February 11th, February 18th, and February 25th.

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


Night to Shine

Happening on Friday, February 10, Night to Shine is a worldwide event presented by the Tim Tebow Foundation. The purpose of Night to Shine is to celebrate people with special needs and give them an unforgettable prom night experience!

The Charleston-area event is hosted by Mt. Pleasant Christian Church.

Charleston Inclusion Summit

The City of Charleston Inclusion Summit for Inclusion in the Workplace is happening Friday, February 24 from 9 – 11:30am at Dock Street Theater, 135 Church St, Charleston, SC.

Join Mayor John J. Tecklenburg and other community leaders for a discussion that will bring together businesses, disability employment providers and government officials to participate in a learning experience that will foster new direction and collaboration for inclusion of people with disabilities in the workplace.

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.


Sensory Friendly Day at the SC Aquarium

The SC Aquarium is hosting a Sensory Friendly event for Lowcountry Autism Foundation families. Spots are limited to 25 individuals with autism with 1 adult chaperone. A total of 50 tickets are available for this event. The event will be from 8:30am to 10:00am on Saturday, February 25, 2017. Ticket pick-up will begin at 8:00am. Click here for registration details.

Repack the Backpack

Repack the Backpack is a free event to help families restock school supplies. It’s happening Sunday, February 26 from 2 – 5pm in at the Danny Jones Gym, 1455 Monitor St, North Charleston. Refreshments, health screenings, and prizes are all available!

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 at 843-876-0059,

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, February 28.

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, February 7 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.


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~ The Project Rex Team