Jugglers, Smiles and even Mickey Mouse

Glenwood staff put on our first social distance parade for residents living in isolation in Glenwood homes. Prior to COVID-19, residents used to socialize together through activities and school. We are now 78 days in to quarantine and residents miss their friends, teachers, staff members, and even families.

The parade provided an opportunity for staff to wave and cheer for residents, lifting spirits and helping them know they are missed. Spectators were treated to decorated vehicles, smiling faces, a juggler, and even a special appearance from Mickey and Minnie Mouse! Hopefully it gave the individuals we serve and staff a small break in the day for something encouraging and fun!

We are expecting residents to remain in quarantine through the end of June. But, residents are now able to have socially distant visits with family members. Strict protocols are in place to try to keep residents and families safe and healthy. Meetings are held outside, when possible, with a safe 6′ distance maintained. Temperatures are checked and everyone wears a mask.

A few visits have already taken place and they were a success for all involved. While it’s hard not to be able to hug or hold hands, just seeing one another has been an amazing experience. Staff have been so moved by being a part of these special family moments.

This bike from Regions Bank has been getting lots of extra love. We are so grateful for their bike donation which has provided fun for residents, students and staff, especially during quarantine. One staff member even rode it in our recent campus parade. Regions Bank has supported Glenwood for many years in so many ways. We are grateful to have them as a partner!



Are you looking for a meaningful career or do you know someone who is? Do you want to make a positive difference in the lives of others and in the world? While many companies have had to furlough workers, Glenwood has continued to hire staff. Glenwood is seeking Direct Support Professionals to help better the lives of those we serve. YOU can be a light to many in these times.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Jugglers, Smiles and even Mickey Mouse

THRIVE Lab Invites Parents to Participate in a Study

The THRIVE Lab at UC Irvine reached out to Glenwood for help finding participants in a study that includes an online program for parents of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) between the ages of 3 and 7 years old.The study aims to assess the efficacy of a short parenting program designed by Dr. Jessica Borelli, a licensed clinical psychologist.

During their involvement in the study, parents complete brief, online reflective activity on their own. Mothers of typically developing children have reported finding the activity to be helpful in thinking about positive, impactful moments in their everyday lives.

If you would like more information, contact Gerin at (858) 504-8443 or thriveasdstudy@gmail.com. See below of FAQ. Click here for the approval letter from the University of California, Irvine Institutional Review Board.

FAQs for the Parenting the Spectrum (PTS) Study

What is the study about?

  • We are looking at the parent-child relationships in the ASD community.

How do I enroll in the study?

  • The PTS study includes two ways to participate:
  1. Complete the online study (Study 1) by opting out of additional home visits
  2. Complete the in-home study (Study 2) by opting in for additional home visits
  • Participants enroll and opt out or opt in using the following link: https://goo.gl/Jg8MsF or use the QR code on our flier, which will take you to the consent page of the study.

What are the differences between the in-home study and the online-only study?

  • The online study (Study 1) is a brief, one-time questionnaire. The survey must be completed in less than two hours and takes about 1-hour to complete (typing answers in response to fill-in questions and completing survey questions).
  • The in-home study (Study 2) lasts about 5 weeks and includes two home visits, online activities, and opportunities for children and secondary caregivers to participate as well.

Who is eligible for the online study (Study 1)?

  • Mothers of a child with ASD between the ages of 3-7 who live outside a 30-mile radius of UC Irvine or who lack the time/desire to participate in-home study.

Who is eligible for the in-home study (Study 2)?

  • Mothers of a child with ASD between the ages of 3-7 who live within a 30-mile radius of UC Irvine (Greater Orange County Area).

What would I be doing during the study?

  • For the online study (Study 1), mothers are invited to complete an online survey (in one sitting) that takes on average, about 1-hour to complete.
  • For the in-home study (Study 2), mothers are invited to complete two home visits that include play activities with their child (which we guide participants through), surveys, a reflective activity, and some online activities independently. The mother, child, and secondary caregiver are invited to complete a cheek swab for a DNA sample.

How much compensation can I receive? How do I get compensated?

  • For the online study (Study 1), mothers can receive $20 in an Amazon gift card.
  • For the in-home study (Study 2), families can receive up to $90 compensation; Participants will receive cash and children receive toys during each home visit.

Can my partner/husband participate in the study too?

  • Yes, the in-home study (Study 2) invites secondary caregivers to participate in an online survey and provide a check swab for a DNA sample.
Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on THRIVE Lab Invites Parents to Participate in a Study

Glenwood’s Updated Response to COVID-19

May 14, 2020 

“We never imagined a time like this, and our unwavering priority during this time has been for the well-being of those we serve. What we are doing is working; everyone is well. We serve a vulnerable population, many of whom have compromised health. I hate to think of where we’d be if the virus had gotten to any of the individuals we serve or our residential care team,” says Ken Oliver, Glenwood President and CEO. “Our team members are doing amazing things every day.”

“In an organization with 37 programs, planning, flexibility and thinking through many situations is vital. The staff talks constantly about how to adjust to keep people healthy and to get back to providing services that families need. It hasn’t been easy, but we are grateful that all is well,” said Oliver.

Update on programs:

  • In Residential we continue to monitor when we might safely discontinue isolation. It’s hard on the residents, who often don’t understand. It’s hard on their families, and we appreciate their patience as we do what’s in everyone’s best interest. Even social distancing visits aren’t considered a good idea. Covid-19 has been difficult on everyone’s mental health, and that’s true with our residents as well. The team – including the care staff and behavior therapists – are working to make it easier by adding activities at the homes such as art projects, puzzles, walks and using the lakes on campus. We’re especially grateful for our direst support professionals who care for the individuals in the homes. We’re thankful to those who have donated money for Easter enjoyment and for weekly treats from Mayfield and Golden Flake. We’re thankful to DJ Mark AD for hosting Dance Parties via Zoom so that our students, residents, staff and families can enjoy virtual time together.
  • Allan Cott School for children with autism and Lakeview School for boys with severe emotional and behavioral disorders continue to use distance learning and are evaluating when they may be able to open our classrooms again.
  • Sullivan Center and Journey Academy – day programs for adults with autism – are both getting visits from the adults for activities with great care on cleaning between visits.
  • Outpatient Services began doing evaluations and diagnosis again on May 4. Telehealth therapy continues as a way to serve some families who may prefer not to be involved in physical visits.
  • Children’s Center staff began seeing some children May 6 and are working to being fully functioning by June 1.
  • Family and Community Services, which provides in-home treatment, is back in operation as well.

What else have we learned?

There’s a saying that “we learn more in crisis than we learn in comfort.” Oliver says, “I’ve learned that our frontline staff and managers are more creative, determined, passionate and committed than ever. I’ve learned we have much to be thankful for – from what we are taught by the individuals we serve who are adjusting and coping – to families who are patient and supportive. I’ve learned that the community is here for us, both emotionally and financially.”

What’s Next?

“We love being able to serve the community who desperately needs us. From a financial standpoint, the pandemic is costing us a tremendous amount of extra money. We’ve lost revenue from the programs we had to suspend. Giving comfort and hope to families is what we do. We are confident that we will be able to continue to be there when people need us,” says Oliver.



Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Glenwood’s Updated Response to COVID-19

Glenwood Superheroes

We have seen so many acts of heroism, kindness, and compassion during this 7-week isolation. Through uncharted territory, our staff, donors, friends, families, volunteers, sponsors, and partners have all stepped in and stepped up. We want to honor some Autism Heroes that have shown great persistence, strength, and compassion during this time of uncertainty.

Mask Makers

Who is a superhero without a mask? Our staff has been outfitted in colorful masks courtesy of some amazing volunteers. With over 200 employees working directly with residents 24 hours a day, the need for masks was great. Volunteers from five different states sewed 250 masks to help outfit our heroes in their superhero gear. Thank you to our sewing warriors Jon’s Army, Nurse Amy, Ethelene Harbison, Ravenna Rice, Robin Wood and Staci Hawkins!


Our Mighty Team

The health and wellness of our residents is the direct result of our amazing staff doing outstanding work every day. There are not enough ways to thank them for their service. Hero signs were posted all over our campuses and on the lawns of 29 homes. It’s a small way to recognize the big job they are doing throughout quarantine to keep residents healthy and happy. We are honored to have them as team members and caregivers!


Aprons Are Superhero Capes

Food Services at Glenwood have pivoted to meet the needs of residents. Staff in our cafeteria have been preparing to-go meals for all residents. Workers from each of the 29 homes come to the cafeteria to pick up their meals. The men and women who work in food services miss seeing the cafeteria full of the residents they have gotten to know over the years. But, they are showing their love through carryout cooking!


Teaching Superpowers

We already know that teachers are superheroes. We’d like to add therapists to that category. Teachers and therapists from Glenwood schools have been working together to develop lesson plans to help residents and students at home. They are utilizing technology, computers, and some old-school hands on activities to make sure students continue to learn and develop new skills during quarantine. Students can now add video chats to their list of skills learned!

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Glenwood Superheroes

CARES ACT offers incentives to support charitable giving

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was  signed into law  March 27, 2020. In addition to providing fast and direct economic assistance for Americans regarding jobs and business, it offers  incentives to encourage individuals and corporations to continue supporting their charitable interests.  

Some tax considerations include:

  • For non-itemizers, a $300 above-the-line deduction for cash gifts to qualified charitable organizations (no donor advised funds or supporting organizations).
  • For itemizers, an increase in the deduction limit for charitable gifts of cash from 60% to 100% of AGI with a five-year carryover.
  • Increased deduction limit on corporate giving from 10% to 25%.
  • Increased deduction limit on gifts of food inventory to 25%.
  • As always, check with your advisors for specifics regarding your situation.

What else is included in the new law?

  • A one-time tax rebate of up to $1,200 for adults and $500 per child. The full rebate will be available for individuals with income up to $75,000 and married couples up to $150,000. The benefit is phased out for higher income individuals and families.
  • Enhanced unemployment benefits of $600 a week for four months in addition to state benefits.
  • $350 billion in relief to small businesses (including nonprofits) to help them continue operating and maintain employees.
  • The CARES Act includes incentives to encourage individuals and corporations to continue supporting their charitable interests.
  • Increased limits on borrowing from retirement plans; waiver of the 10% penalty for coronavirus-related early withdrawals from 401(k)s and IRAs; all RMDs suspended for 2020 tax year.



Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on CARES ACT offers incentives to support charitable giving

Donate $35+ and Get a T-shirt

During the COVID-19 response, we’ve all learned a lot. We know we’re better together, even if we can’t physically be together, or if we have to practice social distancing. Glenwood continues making the health and safety of those we serve a top priority. With 120 individuals isolated in 29 homes, our staff have been heroes in keeping everyone well and making it as comfortable as possible. Students have enjoyed walks, art, games and hunts for crawfish and frogs.

We can’t wait to be open again for important evaluations and diagnoses so parents can have a treatment plan. Our behavior, speech and occupational therapists miss working with the small children, and we know families need these services.

We must be here for many families as soon as we can be. We know some of you are hurting, too. But if you can, we ask for your support today. Your donations help fund the expense of extra care in the homes during isolation and financial losses we are experiencing in suspended programs. With every gift of $35 or more by April 30th, we will send you a Glenwood Better Together (6 feet apart) t-shirt shown above.

Make a gift online or mail it 150 Glenwood Lane, Birmingham, AL 35242. *Include your t-shirt size and shipping address with your donation. We’d love to see you in your shirt! Snap a photo and post it to our Facebook page. Thank you for any help you can do!

*Include your t-shirt size and shipping address in the comments section of the online donation form.



Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Donate $35+ and Get a T-shirt

Glenwood Names Director of Compliance and PI

April Richardson has been named Director of Compliance and Performance Improvement at Glenwood Inc. She comes to Glenwood with more than 13 years of health care experience.  She is a recent graduate of Cumberland School of Law and holds a master of science degree from Samford University with a focus in health law and policy. She also earned a master of science in management from Faulkner University and a bachelor of science in health care administration from Auburn University. Richardson is currently pursuing certification in health care compliance through the Certification Compliance Board.

As an advocate for both individuals served and staff, Richardson seeks to promote organizational culture that reflects the mission, vision and values set forth by Glenwood, which touched the lives of more than 18,000 families last year.

 “April’s expertise will be a tremendous asset in working with management across all divisions to guide Glenwood’s continuous quality improvement program. With 37 programs that serve people as young as 18 months through adulthood, it’s a big and important role. Ensuring that Glenwood continues to deliver the highest quality standards of care for those we serve is a top priority,” said Ken Oliver, Glenwood president and chief executive officer.

Apart from her career, April enjoys quality time with her husband Sam, and two children, Samuel and Savanna. One of her favorite things to do is encourage others through acts of kindness. She firmly believes in the golden rule, “ Treat others as you would want to be treated.”

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Glenwood Names Director of Compliance and PI

Stories of Care in Isolation

Life at Glenwood has been a bit different as staff care for residents who have been under self-quarantine. Our team is moving mountains to make sure that the individuals we serve stay healthy AND have some fun. We are 25 days into the quarantine and are happy to share that no residents have tested positive for COVID-19. With 27 homes and 120 residents, that is something that we are proud to report.

Staff are working 24 hours a day to take all the steps to keep this virus at bay. During that time, they are coming up with creative ways for the residents to have some fun. On campus, the lake has become a favorite spot. Canoes and paddle boats are ready to enjoy. Off-campus, some homes have brought in a pool for some back-yard fun. And don’t worry, all water activities have a lifeguard present.

Art projects and outdoor games have been a great way to pass the time. Painting bird feeders, sidewalk chalk, and beanbag toss are a few ways that residents and staff are keeping busy. As many of you can relate, being at home can inspire some simple and creative fun.

One building on campus has become a favorite place to go..the gym. Staff developed a schedule for each house to use the gym independently and clean it between each use.

Caleb LaRue normally serves as the PE and Recreational Instructor. Caleb shared, “going to the gym yesterday was something that many of our guys had been looking forward to for several days. When we got there, it was amazing how excited they were to just stretch their legs. Several of our guys enjoyed running and jumping on scooters. One individual would get a running start and take off flying across the gym on the scooter. The whole group was excited about being out of the house after a week of isolation. The gym has provided our children and adults with a breath of fresh air.” He went on to say that, “Glenwood’s campus and trails have also provided a great way to get fresh air and a way to stretch one’s legs since community outings and non-essential visits are not allowed.

We are so thankful to our care team for giving their hearts to supporting the individuals we serve. Their hard work is truly making a difference!


Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Stories of Care in Isolation

Telebehavioral Health Now Available at Glenwood

Glenwood’s Outpatient and Family and Community Services (FACS) programs have been working hard to adapt our services to assist families and develop effective and safe platforms for continuing services during COVID-19. We are happy to announce we are now able to provide telebehavioral health services and therapy for a variety of needs including anxiety, depression, behavior support, and social skills, as well as for our intensive, in-home therapy program (FACS). This service is available to current clients and anyone in immediate need.

To get started, contact Glenwood’s intake coordinator for more information at 205-939-1088. We are continuing to explore options for assessment services and will provide updates regarding additional telebehavioral health options as they develop. 

Help get the word out! Share this with anyone that you know that needs help.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Telebehavioral Health Now Available at Glenwood

How Glenwood is Responding to Covid-19

With the health and safety of the individuals we serve, and those who serve them, as a top priority, Glenwood is responding to mitigate exposure in several ways. So far, things are going well.
Glenwood is a complex organization with more than 20 programs touching 18,000 lives annually so planning and being flexible to change are part of what we do. While no one ever expected anything like COVID-19, the team quickly went into action to decrease opportunities for exposure. We made early preparations, ordering supplies and planning how to incorporate social distancing.
“I’m really proud of our staff,” said President & CEO Ken Oliver. “Across the organization, everyone has come together to do what’s best for those we serve.”
Many of our programs remain in place with adjustments for health and safety. These programs have been temporarily suspended:
  • Allan Cott School for children with autism is utilizing distance learning
  • Lakeview School for boys age 6-13 with severe emotional and behavioral issues is utilizing distance learning
  • Sullivan Center, a day program for adults with autism
  • Journey Academy, where adults with autism learn about jobs
Full-time residential care remains in place for more than 120 residents. A few went home to quarantine with their families, and the rest are remaining with Glenwood under self-quarantine with our staff. Longer hours are now required from staff to work in the homes. We’ve deployed staff from some of the suspended programs to work in the homes. 
Many people with autism thrive on consistency, so the changes have been challenging for them. The quarantine means no community outings, shopping trips and no community activities and no visitors from the outside. Staff are encouraging telephone, Skype and other social media contact for our individuals with family and friends. Staff working in one home cannot work in another home, and if someone becomes ill, we have an emergency home ready to house them away from others.
The therapists and teachers, who aren’t usually in the homes, are cross training, and working with direct support professionals and managers to make the quarantine the best experience it can be for residents. That’s where hula hoops, technology, games, balls and outdoor walks come in very handy. We also have a beautiful campus that offers lots of opportunity for outdoor activities for residents on-campus. Staff are managing well.
This has also been hard for residents’ families who typically visit regularly with their loved ones at Glenwood. There are other families who are suddenly working from home with a child with special needs. Staff are communicating with families and making themselves available by phone. The Children’s Center also made therapy packets to send home with parents to work on during the break.
From a financial standpoint, there are extra costs for supplies and staffing homes full-time. There will likely be a loss of revenue from suspending appointments, and we’re looking to move the golf tournament to the fall. “We all hope to be back to normal soon, but in case we aren’t, we’re looking for ways to meet the needs of the families we serve. They need us, and we will be here for them as long as it takes, whatever it takes,” said Oliver. 
Extra donations can be a big help during these uncertain times. If you can help us, please consider making a donation online or mailing a gift to 150 Glenwood Lane, Birmingham, AL 35242.
Our team is moving mountains to make sure that the individuals we serve stay healthy AND have some fun. Click here to read Stories of Care in Isolation.


Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How Glenwood is Responding to Covid-19