Autism Acceptance Month

Autism Acceptance Month begins in April and you may notice a growing change. The autism community is shifting from Awareness to Acceptance. “It’s not enough to know that someone has autism, we need to accept and push for inclusion so that individuals can fully participate in our social fabric,” said Christopher Banks, president and CEO of the Autism Society.

The prevalence of autism in the United States has risen from 1 in 125 children in 2010 to 1 in 54 in 2020. Autism Acceptance Month is a time to push for more opportunities, community partnerships, and more inclusive experiences for people with autism. Click here to read more about the change to acceptance. Glenwood is proud to be a leader in serving families touched by autism. Unique in the services we provide from as early as 15 months throughout adulthood, Glenwood served more than 7,000 families last year.

As Autism Acceptance Month continues, we will be celebrating those on the spectrum, their families, and the people who help to better their lives. We look forward to sharing these stories with you!

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RUBI Autism Network



RUBI is an eleven-week research-based program designed for caregivers of children 3 to 12 with a diagnosis of autism. The program consists of 11 core weekly sessions including functional assessment of target behaviors, antecedent and preventative strategies, functional communication training, reinforcement strategies, and instruction in teaching of daily living skills. Outcomes typically include reduced behavioral concerns and increased functional communication and independence in the home setting.

Learn how to:

  • Apply Behavioral Principles
  • Develop Prevention Strategies
  • Use Effective Reinforcement
  • Teach New Skills
  • Plan for Generalization and Maintenance
  • Address Behavioral Concerns in the Home

Short-term program meets with parents individually.
Meets weekly for one-hour sessions over 11-14 weeks.
Can include sessions on sleep problems and/or toileting concerns.
Accept most insurance plans including BCBS, Medicaid, Allkids, Peehip, SEIB, Tricare and UHC.

For more information contact Glenwood’s Intake Coordinator Lisa Braxton at 205-939-1088 or Sacha Toth, PhD at 205-212-6721.

Glenwood Outpatient Services
614 38th Street South
Birmingham, AL 35222

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Golf Tournament Returns in May

Spring is around the corner and you know what that means? It’s time for the 29th Annual Ireland Legacy Golf Tournament! We are back in May and the tee time is set for Monday, May 3, 2021 at Old Overton.
Thanks to the help of our sponsors, this long-running golf tournament raises more than $100,000 each year for Glenwood’s programs for adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). It is named in honor of the Ireland family and in memory of Kitty, Kathy, Fay, Bill Sr., Mallie, and Glenn Ireland. The Ireland family was instrumental in founding Glenwood 40 years ago to serve individuals with ASD and behavioral health needs in Alabama.
Special thanks to our returning Title Sponsor, King Acura, who has supported Glenwood for over 15 years! Teams for the golf tournament are almost sold out! If you would like to reserve one of the last spots, make sure to contact us soon.
There are other ways to support including hole, contest, and 19th hole sponsorships. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact Jackie McLean at or 205-795-3268.
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Watch the Big Top Virtual Event

We are ecstatic to announce that Big Top had its best year yet! We are incredibly grateful to the sponsors, Friends of Glenwood, auction donors and bidders, and all who have given your financial support. We also must thank the Glenwood Junior Board whose hard work made the event such a success.

With your help, the event raised a record-breaking $330,000! Every gift makes a difference and will go miles to help children with autism and mental health concerns, along with their families. What a blessing this will be during one of the most challenging years in our history. This has been an unprecedented year and your support is needed now more than ever.

Missed the event? Check out the replay!

Big Top would not be possible without each and every one of our generous sponsors. Thank you for supporting children with autism and other behavioral health needs!

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Big Top is Friday

It’s Big Top week and this could be one of the best events yet! We are embracing the new format and are excited by the opportunity to show how community support is truly making a difference. Friday night you will get to meet the people that YOUR gifts directly support.

Read below for information to help you fully participate in the event:

  • The live stream event will be Friday, February 19. It will start with a pre-show at 7:45 pm and the live event will be 8 – 8:30 pm. You can watch the live event via YouTube or FaceBook on Friday.
  • The silent auction opens on Wednesday, February 17. No purchase is necessary to bid on the auction. You can pre-register for the auction by texting bigtop2021 to 243-725 or click here and sign up for a Free Virtual Event Ticket.
  • You don’t have to watch the event to bid on the auction. Please invite your contacts to check out the auction, too!
  • There are still Watch Party Host and Friends of Glenwood tickets available. Click here to purchase.

Proceeds from this event will support children with autism and other behavioral health concerns, along with their families. There are many ways you can help!

  • Purchase a ticket as a Watch Party Host or Friends of Glenwood starting at $75.
  • Invite your friends to watch and bid. 
  • Share on social media using #bigtop2021
  • Make a donation at or
  • Text to donate by texting bigtop2021 to 44321
  • Bid on the silent auction. Click here to register for a free ticket and view the auction when it goes live on February 17. You do not have to buy a ticket to bid on the silent auctions.
  • Support one of our Fund-a-Needs listed as the first items in the silent auction
  • Purchase a $10 opportunity to win a 2-for-1 package from Avani Rupa Fine Jewelers in Mountain Brook. $10 tickets can be purchased in the silent auction program. Package includes a pendant necklace featuring a princess cut black diamond surrounded by a halo of round white brilliant diamonds on 14KT white gold AND a gift certificate for a private party at their Mountain Brook location for up to 50 guests.

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Connections Newsletter Winter 2020

Check out our latest newsletter below or download it here..

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10 Good Things To Tell You

While the pandemic has been a scary time, we have learned so many things this year. Blessings are all around, you just have to look for them. The management team had a call this week and reflected on the positive things that have come from this challenging experience.

We want to share 10 things we have learned in 2020 and plan to continue for years to come! 

  1. The Glenwood campus and its camp-like setting has been revitalized and the pandemic gave us plenty of time to enjoy it! Hiking trails, canoeing, and fishing are now favorite activities that will continue.
  2. Bringing the outside world to campus through parades and Zoom dance parties helped residents feel less isolated. They were a huge hit for residents, staff, families, and community groups, including local police and fire departments. Staff families even got to take part and see the impact their loved ones have on the people we serve.
  3. Several students have thrived using the distance learning model. It gave the opportunity for fewer transitions between activities. Transitions are often one of the most challenging things for students. The new model will be used as an option going forward as a tool for students to get used to new structures and routines.
  4. Technology helped start a Parent Support Group that takes place weekly. In the past, the service was needed, but scheduling a convenient time with multiple families was a challenge. Now, families are getting together weekly to learn ways to better support their children.
  5. Zoom is our friend, and we used it for so many things! The technology gave more people the opportunity to participate in residential care planning meetings. Care meetings have always taken place, but scheduling conflicts with off-campus participants often proposed a challenge. Now, caseworkers, attorneys, and extended family can easily join a Zoom call and join in for the important planning meeting.
  6. FaceTime and Zoom gave more opportunities for families to participate in daily activities with their loved ones. They could be a part of day-to-day tasks like never before.
  7. Glenwood continued to hire staff throughout the pandemic. With 24-hour care, hiring was crucial. Technology provided opportunities for enhanced training. The management team was able to “meet” new hires through Zoom. People could put faces with names and immediately feel like a part of the team.
  8. We already knew it took special people with a heart for others to work at Glenwood. Staff creativity has been at an all-time high as they created opportunities for residents and students to stay active while quarantined at home. Arts and crafts, gardening, dancing, exercising, and creating videos were just a few engaging activities.
  9. Teamwork between staff programs has increased, as well as cross-training. School staff and others were reassigned to the homes when distance learning was implemented or day programs were suspended. This has enhanced the collaboration between school and residential staff.
  10. The staff continued to care for the students and residents like their own family. When we had our first positive COVID case with a resident, several team members stepped up to take care of the individual in quarantine, putting their own health at risk to make sure the resident was well cared for.

None of this would be possible without the help of donors like YOU! Thank you for stepping up during a time when we needed it most. Our work is not done! Can you help us with a year-end gift?

While we hope that next year we will see an end to this pandemic, we still need your help. Please consider a gift to support a resilient team and most importantly, the people we serve who have adapted to challenging circumstances and continued to thrive.

Thank YOU for supporting those we serve through your gifts of time, money, prayers, and advice. We are blown away by the help we have seen throughout this challenging year. Happy New Year, and we hope your next year is happy and healthy!


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Thankful to Serve

Jacob Sims works at Glenwood as a registered behavior therapist (RBT). This position is more than a job to Jacob. It’s a chance to serve others with his talents, skills and training.

Jacob gets to serve others with a work family that is just that – family. When reflecting on his time here, Jacob says, “It has been an honor and a privilege to work with such amazing people. It’s not often that you get to work in a place where people feel more like friends and family as opposed to colleagues.

The work is not drudgery, because he’s doing something that makes a difference. He’s changing the lives of the children he works with. “Of course, we work hard to collect data and help these children move in a positive direction, but the common denominator here, unlike anything I have ever seen, is how much you all truly love these children. It is so encouraging,” says Jacob. “These kids will never be the same, not just because of the amazing treatment they get, but also because of the love that has been shown to them.”

As Thanksgiving rolls around, this is something to reflect on. How you spend your time matters. Where you give your money matters. There are many ways to serve and many ways to give. Whether it’s buying pecans for your Christmas gifts, making a donation, collecting Christmas presents for residents at Glenwood or something else, the things you do for Glenwood make a difference in the lives of the individuals we serve.

This Thanksgiving, we are going to take a few minutes to reflect on how thankful we are for those we serve, our caring staff and our generous donors and volunteers. It all matters, and it all makes the world a better place.

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Pecan Shop is Open

How do you pronounce pecan…peekan or pacon? No matter how you say it, we can all agree that Pecans for Autism are delicious! The Glenwood online pecan shop is now open! Whether you need a sweet or salty treat, we have something for you! Treats start as low as $4. Chocolate covered, roasted & salted, pecan brittle, and even coffee can be yours with the click of a button.

Buying pecans is easy! We have an online store or you can order by calling (866) 729-2189. Our pecan shop on Glenwood’s main campus, 150 Glenwood Lane, will be open Monday-Friday, 8 am – 4 pm and  on Saturdays 10 am – 3 pm through January 5. You can also purchase pecans at IBERIABank branches, select Piggly Wiggly and Winn Dixie stores, SouthPoint Bank branches and Nails Convenience Store. Click here for a full list of locations.

Every purchase of our pecans and coffees raises funds essential for the operation of Glenwood’s services for individuals with autism and their families. For corporate and employee gifts, call Shanda Daniel at 205.795.3353. Get yours today!

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Have Art, Will Travel

We are excited to report back that we are one step closer to creating an Arts Center for Glenwood residents and students. Dr. Ann Phillips has joined the Glenwood team as the Arts Center Director. While the brick and mortar center is still in the works, Ann is bringing art on the road. She’s traveling among Glenwood’s main campus, the Avondale campus, and Glenwood community homes to help individuals we serve express themselves in an artistic way.

We have been lucky to have several groups collect art supplies and donations to help this project. Our thanks goes out to Bama Belle Pageants, Shades Mountain Baptist Church, Church of the Highlands, and our very own Junior Board!

For individuals with autism or behavioral health concerns, art can be an important means of expression. Emerging studies have shown that art can relieve stress and anxiety, develop motor skills, and encourage a sense of self. We are excited to give the individuals we serve a variety of artistic experiences including painting, drawing, music, and more.

Are interested in collecting or donating art supplies? 

Most items can be found at Amazon, Walmart, Michaels and more.
Here are a few items to look for:

Contact Dr. Phillips at to coordinate pickup or delivery of your donation. If shopping online, you can ship them directly to us at Glenwood Development, 150 Glenwood Lane, Birmingham, AL 35242. 

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