Holiday Happenings

Believe in love.

Believe in magic.

Believe in joy.

Don’t Stop Believing!

The holidays are a magical time of year. Glenwood wishes your family a joyous holiday season. We greet each day full of hope for the individuals served by Glenwood. It’s because of people like you that they learn more each day, building skills that will help them communicate better and increase their independence.

Thank you for providing hope! Happy Holidays!

The Santa Wagon featured above was drawn by one youth who calls Glenwood home. He was asked to draw an ice cream truck. We love to see how creative minds work! Art provides people a wonderful way to express themselves and grow in creative ways. As you can see, we have lots of creativity at Glenwood.

We are grateful to the Vestavia Hills (VH) Girl Scouts for providing holiday cheer to all of the Glenwood residents. For over 10 years, the VH Girl Scouts have organized a holiday party for the children and adults. They provide entertainment and treats at three different locations on campus, bringing joy to all in attendance. 

And they don’t stop there. They also collect gifts for 134 children and adults so that everyone has something special under the tree on Christmas morning. We cannot thank them enough for their generosity and continued support over the years. They embody their Girl Scout Oath: On my honor, I will try: To serve God and my country, To help people at all times, and to live by the Girl Scout Law.  


Glenwood’s annual Christmas program always delivers a creative and moving performance by the staff and individuals served. Inspired by Glenwood’s first children’s book, Frankie’s Change, Frankie’s journey to donate his popsicle money was brought to life. The dancing California Raisins were one of many showstoppers that day. Many people left the program singing the famous song “I Heard it Through the Grapevine.”

The program offered many touching moments. Family members, friends and staff had the opportunity to see their loved ones in roles that help them build confidence and self esteem.

We are grateful to National Bank of Commerce for sponsoring the book Frankie’s Change. Books are still available for purchase online or at the pecan warehouse on Glenwood’s campus. They make great stocking stuffers! Stop by the pecan warehouse through Friday, December 21st.

The faces in the photo above are hidden to protect the privacy of the youth.


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A Mother’s Story

Three years ago, I was filled with fear and doubt and uncertainty of my son’s future. Hayes was documented as “non-verbal” at almost 3 years old. I didn’t think I would ever hear my son say “mama” or “I love you” or sing songs or function age appropriately. I found myself on my knees praying for answers and divine intervention for my beautiful baby boy who would not speak a word.

Then, in His perfect timing, God placed us in the care of the wonderful people and therapists at Glenwood. Hayes started speech therapy at the Montgomery campus and it quickly became our “happy place”… our escape. I had endless questions for his therapists. I was unsure if therapy would help him, unsure that he would ever start speaking. I have shed many tears, some happy tears, some scared tears…..and proud, happy tears. Glenwood has worked miracles with my son. We have watched him transition from a 3-year-old who would only grunt and whine to a 5-year-old with the articulation level of a 7-year-old and an ever-expanding vocabulary. He has accomplished a level of learning and comprehension that I only dreamed of a year ago. Thank you, God for your grace and blessings and for placing us in the care of the wonderful people at Glenwood. I believed in his potential, I believed in his therapists, I believed in Glenwood, and it has been worth all the miles and all the effort. Early intervention is key.

Glenwood will always hold a special place in my heart. The staff and therapists are amazing, and a GODSEND to my son and all the other kids they help each day. Glenwood has become a special place for me and my family. It’s a safe haven, a place of healing, a place where scared, fearful, broken hearts find hope and peace. Glenwood is our happy place, and it always will be. With their help, Hayes is now a successful Pre-K student, and ready for Kindergarten next year. He talks in complete sentences, asks questions, and makes friends. Hayes’s challenges are not over, but thanks to Glenwood, his future is full of promise.

We thank Glenwood for the difference they have made in our world. You, too, can help make a difference for families like mine! As a nonprofit, Glenwood relies on community support to continue being able to serve and make a difference. We are asking for you to help other broken hearts find hope and peace.

Will you help?

Please consider donating to Glenwood by midnight on December 31st. Your gift will keep the miracles coming for little ones in need. We appreciate any contribution to support “Hayes’s Happy Place.” Together, we can make a big difference in the lives of so many.

~Laci, mother of Hayes

Gift of Smiles

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A Story With a Happy Ending


Glenwood is best known for specializing in autism spectrum disorder across the lifespan. There is another important group we serve…young boys with severe emotional and behavioral disorders. These boys deserve a chance for a better life, a better future, and a loving family.

Tyler was one young boy who came to Glenwood. Before moving here, Tyler lived in 13 foster homes in less than a year. 

When he came to Glenwood, he weighed a mere 34 pounds, couldn’t speak, resorted to violence to express himself, and lacked many basic skills. Tyler required one-on-one assistance for basic daily routines. Glenwood staff taught him how to bathe and how to dress. Working with speech therapists, he learned how to communicate. Thanks to tailored therapy, Tyler learned how to express his feelings with words instead of actions. With the care and expertise of Glenwood’s amazing staff, Tyler made the most amazing transformation. His sister was eventually located, and they were able to see each other, to play together again for the first time in two long years.

After a year of therapeutic support, he left Glenwood and went to live with a new foster family. This time it was different from the families before Glenwood. Now, Tyler was different. This family was full of love and happiness, and they grew to love Tyler in a way he had never known before. This family is now his family. He was adopted as their son.

Without community support, Tyler’s story had a different ending. We need YOUR help TODAY to provide these vital services. 

Would you consider making a year-end gift to Glenwood?

Many more kids like Tyler need a chance for a better life and a better future.

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Save the Date for Big Top 2019

The date has been set for A Night Under the Big Top! For 15 years, Glenwood’s Junior Board has hosted this premiere event to benefit children with autism. Over 700 guests are expected each year and are treated to an evening of entertainment at The Club in Homewood.

Enjoy live music, a delicious menu, complimentary beer and wine, and an extensive silent auction. The event is best known for the silent disco where guests dance the night away as they overlook the Birmingham skyline.

Funds raised by this event directly support children with autism. Your support helps provide diagnosis, treatment, early-intervention, education programs, and in some cases, full-time residential care. Treatment is focused on each individual’s needs including assistance in behavior management, communication skills, social skills, and daily living activities to help them increase their independence.

Visit the event website to purchase tickets. For sponsorship opportunities contact:


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Christmas Program Coming Up

2018 Christmas Program Invitation

The Glenwood annual Christmas Program is coming up and you’re invited. This is a beloved event for the staff and individuals served by Glenwood. Each year, they put on a creative performance that can’t be beat for holiday spirit. This is not your mother’s Christmas program!

The event will be Friday, December 14th at Grace, a United Methodist Congregation (formerly Liberty Crossings United Methodist). The program will begin at 11:00 am with a boxed lunch to follow. Please let us know if you plan to attend and we will order a lunch for you. A $10 donation is requested to cover the cost of lunch. You can RSVP to

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Noah was diagnosed with autism at an early age and struggled with aggressive and destructive behaviors. He rarely, if ever, spoke or even smiled. His parents felt like there had to be help for Noah somewhere. That’s when they found Glenwood.

Noah moved into a home at Glenwood where he is provided 24-hour support. His schedule is structured, attending school on Glenwood’s campus. He engages with others in activities to learn daily independent living skills. Noah has overcome his initial shyness, now immersing himself in the classes and activities offered at Glenwood. He has learned new skills including how to communicate and better interact with others.

When Noah’s mother came for one of her visits, she was not prepared for the change in Noah. She entered the classroom and first, she was greeted by a huge smile from her son. She wasn’t ready for what happened next. Noah then gave his mother a big hug, stepped back, proudly pointed to himself and exclaimed, “I’m Noah.” With those two words, Noah’s mother began to cry. This was the first time she had heard her son speak in over 10 years.

Can you imagine what Noah’s mom felt when she saw her
son smile and heard him speak after 10 years of silence?

The need is great.
Help us help others like
Noah and his family.

Children and adults with autism
AND their families need you now.

Will you help today?

Gift of Smiles

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Parent Training Classes: Responding to Challenging Behavior in the Home – an ABA perspective

Dr. Mary-Kate Carey, PhD, BCBA-D, LBA, will offer a training course over 3 weekly classes for free this month. The training will deal with How to Respond to Challenging Behavior in the Home. 

Individuals with autism may engage in challenging behavior as way to communicate everyday wants and needs. In the home, this can be particularly challenging for parents and caregivers to respond to effectively. The goal of this training is to teach parents how to identify, describe, and understand the challenging behaviors their children engage in. More importantly, parents will learn some basic strategies for how to respond to these behaviors in the moment while teaching appropriate placement behaviors.

1st class: November 7th, 8:45 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.
2nd class: November 14th, 8:45 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.
3rd class: November 28th, 8:45 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

Glenwood’s Avondale ABA building. 
3721 6th Avenue South
Birmingham, AL 35222

For parents and caretakers of children with behavioral issues. 

How to Sign Up:
RSVP with Mary-Kate Carey by calling (205) 970-1263.


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Glenwood Receives CARF Accreditation

Glenwood receives important accreditation

We are honored to share that Glenwood’s accreditation with CARF International has been renewed for three years. Maintaining a CARF-accredited status is an important part of Glenwood’s commitment to providing quality services and enhancing the lives of the people we serve. 

The Three-Year CARF Accreditation is the highest level of accreditation that can be given to an organization.  To receive this acknowledgement, Glenwood was part of a rigorous peer review process. During an on-site visit our staff demonstrated our commitment to offering programs and services that are measurable, accountable, and of the highest quality. 

Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) is an independent, nonprofit accrediting body whose mission is to promote the quality, value, and optimal outcomes of services through a consultative accreditation process and continuous improvement services that center on enhancing the lives of persons served. Founded in 1966, CARF International accrediting establishes consumer-focused standards to help organizations measure and improve the quality of their programs and services. ​

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Montgomery Run for Autism 2018

Register for October 20 Run for AutismReady to get moving for a great cause? Glenwood’s Montgomery campus will hold its seventh annual Run for Autism on Saturday, October 20, 2018. Glenwood is Alabama’s leading autism service provider, with state-wide services for children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Proceeds from the 2018 Run for Autism will help provide developmental screenings, psychological assessments, and speech and language therapy to children in the Montgomery and Central Alabama area.

The race will begin at the Glenwood office located at 2361 Fairlane Drive, Montgomery, AL. The 5K Run ($25) will start at 8 a.m. and the 1 Mile Fun Run/Walk ($10) will start at 9 a.m. Don’t feel like waking up early on Saturday? Sign up for the sleep-in option for $25 and rest easy knowing you are helping children with autism in Alabama. Click here to register. The first 200 participants will receive a T-shirt.

Support and race day services will be provided by The River Region Runners.

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It is said that “a journey begins with a single step.” One huge journey that begins with one such step is bringing a child into the world. When you learn that your child has autism spectrum disorder or a mental health concern, it becomes a journey for which the entire family needs a great deal of support.

We thank our donors for joining us in making the journey a better one for families touched by autism and mental health issues. Supporting The Renowned Care, Renewed Hope: Campaign for Glenwood gives life-changing care and hope to more and more families.

Donors made it possible for us to exceed our $10,000,000 goal. Much more important than any campaign number, though, are the people behind the number – people who are living – and going to live – better lives because of community support.

Earlier this year, Capstone Collegiate Communities completed three houses for individuals with autism on Glenwood’s campus off Sicard Hollow Road. Those beautiful houses on serene Turkey Foot Lake have now become home to 16 people who are enjoying the peaceful surroundings immensely.

This summer, in collaboration with United Methodist Children’s Home, eight children moved into our first off-campus children’s residence, Overton Home. And in Irondale, six women are now enjoying two community homes.

Overton Home

The heart of our campaign is coming to life with the purchase of three buildings to expand our services. Our new Glenwood Avondale campus is where we will provide evaluations, diagnosis, speech and occupational therapies and host our in-home services team.  Here we will also offer ABA (applied behavior analysis) services.

ABA is currently the most utilized therapy for autism in the country. ABA is an evidence-based therapy to improve social behavior. ABA therapy begins with a comprehensive evaluation of a child’s skills and current environment. Based on scientific methods, therapists help to develop new skills, shape and refine previously learned skills, and decrease socially significant problem behaviors.

ABA Services-Avondale

Heating and air have been added to our gymnasium and the pool has been resurfaced at the original campus. These are both important aspects of the health, wellness and the physical development of – and the social interaction and recreation time of – our students and residents.

Other projects made possible by the capital campaign include:

  • A memorial garden created near Harper Chapel.
  • Space for our Human Resources Department.
  • Start-up expenses for our Montgomery campus.
  • In Huntsville, Journey Academy’s educational programs for adults with autism or other behavioral health needs. Here, adults participate in programs focusing on the development of daily living, social, vocational and technical skills.
  • A vocational rehab program on Birmingham’s southside called Journey Academy Birmingham. Adults here receive aid in community-based living and vocational skills. They also have the opportunity for job training and coaching at this location.

Journey Academy Birmingham

Donors have recently helped us secure a matching donation from The Daniel Foundation to work on the Community Center and a few other important campaign projects. Projects have begun including:

  • An Arts Center – A visual and performing arts center will broaden and enrich the experience of people with ASD and other mental and behavioral concerns. An Arts Center can also help therapists address social and sensory concerns with those we serve.
  • Much needed renovations to some of our older residential facilities.
  • Long overdue renovations to our camping facilities.
  • Improvements at our new Avondale campus, including plans for a preschool, with an indoor playground/gymnasium, to serve more children and be a demonstration site where others can learn to work with children with autism.

Outpatient Services-Avondale

Early intervention is the key to improved outcomes for young children on the autism spectrum. The vision for our Avondale campus is that more children than ever before will receive outpatient diagnostic services, speech therapy, occupational therapy, behavioral therapy and preschool services at this one location and parents will receive training and support. It will serve as a training site for Universities in the areas of Education, Psychology, Nursing, Speech, Occupational Therapy, and Public Health.

We are thankful for the support of so many donors that have helped provide hope to families on this important journey.

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