Monday, April 2, 2012

Rock for Autism!

TEAAM USM is hosting our annal fundraiser event to send 5 kids on the Autism Spectrum to Kamp Kaliedescope- an adventure-based camp in Mize, MS dedicated to providing an incredible camp experience to children with an Autism spectrum disorder. Our goal is to raise $3,500 dollars that can provide five families with the funds to send their children to Kamp!

From 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on April 19th, rocking chairs will be set up in the Union. Each rocking chair will be assigned to a participating student group at USM, and their goal is to keep the chair rocking for 12 hours. The day will be full of food an fun- so you can expect a DJ, a few rounds of Twister, Tug-of-War, three legged races, hula hoop contests, dance performances, musical chairs, free pizza and more! There will also be a workshop held by the improv group Stage Monkeys for anyone interested in trying their hand at acting (with a twist!), a blood drive hosted by Mississippi Blood Services, and a silent auction.

To raise money before the event, raffle tickets are being sold by $2 for a Southern Miss football signed by Bret Favre!

TEAAM USM is an Autism advocacy group at Southern Miss committed to educating students about Autism and to promoting the inclusion and acceptance of all individuals with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. We are partnered with TEAAM (Together Enhancing Autism Awareness in Mississippi), a statewide Autism advocacy organization. Together we aim to teach the importance of accepting and including Autistic individuals who, if provided with the proper opportunities, can accomplish amazing things! So come join in the fun, and join in the effort to give a voice to Autism with TEAAM USM!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Join us for the Center Ridge Outpost Retreat!

Are you interested in working in the field of Autism?
Do you want to learn new things about Autism?
Do you want counselor training so that you can work at Kamp Kaleidoscope this summer?

If you answered "yes" to any of these, then you need to join TEAAM USM for our overnight retreat at Center Ridge Outpost October 28th-29th! We will be staying in cabins complete with bunk beds and bathrooms, gathering in the big pavillion, having cookouts, and much more! It will be a great opportunity to learn more about Autism while having fun and getting to know your fellow TEAAM USM members better. To learn more or sign up, please email Jamie Jelinkski at We hope to see you all there!

For more information about Kamp Kaleidoscope and Center Ridge Outpost, you can visit:

Dr. Yeager speaks to TEAAM USM!

Dr. Mark Yeager
TEAAM USM gathered on Tuesday, September 27th, to meet Dr. Mark Yeager and hear him speak on Autism. One of the co-founders of TEAAM, Dr. Yeager is an alum of The University of Southern Mississippi and one of Mississippi's leading experts on Autism. In his career he has founded Kamp Kaleidoscope, authored the Autism Bill of Rights, is on Board of Directors for the American Association in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Washington, D.C, and much more! To read his full biography, visit

In case you missed his presentation, here are a few of the key points he made:

  • Autism is a young field that has evolved greatly in the past 20 years
  • Now Autism may be diagnosed as early as 1 year old, but the earlier the diagnosis the better it is for the individual. If Autism is identified early on, the child can be given more information on their condition and be taught how to blend into social situations.
  • The Autism Spectrum is wide and there are many symptoms, but not all are shown sometiems.
  • Autism is the fastest growing disability in the world- 1 out of 100 kids are diagnosed with Autism.
  • Being diagnosed with Autism isn't the end, it is the beginning! Opens up a new world and allows the individual to embrace who they are.
  • Executive function governs how we conduct ourselves throughout the day, and Autistic people struggle with this kind of function. They lack the ability to make logical decisions, even if what they are doing seems reasonable to them.
  • For field experience, the best resource is to have a friend with Autism.
  • TEAAM is about gathering people for the filed, raising awareness, building friendships for Autistic people, and creating support groups.   

Dr. Yeager speaks to TEAAM USM

    Tuesday, September 6, 2011

    TEAAM Websites

     Be sure to check out these websites! 

    Official TEAAM Website:

    TEAAM's Adventure Based Programs: (Center Ridge Outpost and Kamp Kaleidoscope Information)

    First TEAAM meeting paves the way for an incredible year!

    TEAAM USM members visit before the meeting
    On Tuesday, August 30th, TEAAM USM held its first member's meeting of the year and it was a huge success! Familiar faces were mixed with new ones as room 228 of the Thad Cochran Center was packed with dozens of Southern Miss students eager to take their part in helping to raise Autism awareness on campus and across Mississippi. The club's newly installed fearless leaders were introduced to the crowd, and are as follows:

    President: Marie Holowach
    Vice President: Jessica Jelinski
    Secretary: Jamie Jelinski
    Historian: Michelle Holowach

     TEAAM USM founder and President Marie Holowach proceeded to fill everyone in on the incredible plans for the year, and they will be recapped here for anyone who missed the first meeting.

    President Marie Holowach tells club of new ideas
    The first big volunteer opportunity of the summer is a retreat to Center Ridge Outpost- the new location of Kamp Kaleidescope. The retreat will take place October 28th-29th, and the cost for the retreat is $20. As part of the package, participants get to stay overnight in a cabin, the time spent volunteering at Center Ridge would count as counselor training for Kamp Kaleidoscope, and everyone will have the opportunity to get to know their fellow club members better.

    New members sign up for committees

    This year TEAAM USM wants to involve its members in as many ways possible and has designed committees that allow anyone who wants the opportunity to play a bigger part in making this club a success. The committees are as follows:

    Social Committee: Felicia Loving, chair
    Community Service: Darryl Harris, chair
    Fundraising: Dequontis Saul, chair

    Members are welcome and encouraged to sign up for as many committees as they want, and as the year unfolds we will see the work of the club as a means of raising Autism Awareness on campus come to life through these groups!

    TEAAM USM participants learn what the year has in store for them!
    Who has seen the fliers hanging around campus advertising TEAAM USM and maybe even attended a meeting thanks in part to these signs? Putting our name out there helps to let people know about TEAAM USM's presence on campus, and any members who want to help hang fliers up before meetings would be greatly appreciated! Please contact Jamie Jelinski ( to volunteer and you will be given the time and place to meet. Fliers are generally hung up a week before the meeting and you can pair up with a friend to pin them around campus.

    Leftover T-shirts from last year's Rock for Autism are for sale for $12! All proceeds are a direct donation to the statewide TEAAM organization, so be sure to come get yours today!

    Finally, we ask that all members pay a club fee of  $10. This is due as soon as possible, and will help to fund things such as end of the semester pizza movie parties and general club expenses.

    Thanks to everybody who came to last week's meeting, we hope to see you all in the future!

    Thursday, August 25, 2011

    TEAAM USM Takes off for a New Year!

    I know we are all excited to be back at Southern Miss after a long summer break, and TEAAM USM is especially excited to be back for its second year!

    Last year was a huge success; we had movie and pizza nights, volunteered at the Center Ridge outpost, heard some incredible speakers- and, oh yeah- raised over $2,000 to send four lucky kids to Kamp Kaleidoscope with the Rock for Autism!

    This year we have even more plans up our sleeves for how to raise Autism awareness here on campus and throughout Mississippi. On Tuesday night TEAAM USM officers met to discuss some plans for the future of the club, and we all agreed that a Rock for Autism complete with limbo, rocking chairs, greasy cheesy pizza, hula hoops and dance-offs would definitely go on the Spring agenda. We also hope to take a group of TEAAM-sters to a weekend retreat at the Center Ridge Outpost- the new home for TEAAM's Adventure Camp Kamp Kaleidoscope- in October, and are even starting the process of pulling strings to bring in a surprise speaker to talk to us about living with Autism. (I'll give you a hint- we watched a movie about her last year at one of TEAAM USM's movie nights.) Speaking of which, we plan to have more of those movie nights as well. Come prepared to stuff your face with all the Oreos and Papa Johns pizza you can eat!

    All this and more is coming up for TEAAM USM, so be sure to come join us! The first new member meeting will be Tuesday, August 30th at 6:30pm in Thad Cochran 216. We hope to see you all there, and can't wait to kick off another incredible year!

    Monday, February 21, 2011

    Matt's Presentation

    This is just a brief post on Matt's excellent presentation made at the last TEAAM meeting. The topic was vaccines and their (non)connection to autism in children. Matt did a great job presenting the whole issue, from it's start with a fallacious article that tried to link the MR vaccine to autism, all the way to the recent developments in the medical discipline to correct the damage done by the article.
    Without going into the details that took a meeting to cover, the night was a successful one with a healthy bit of discussion between the members both on the topic and on autism in general. We can only hope our next speaker will be able to stand up to such high expectations!

    Marie and Jessica engaged in intense discussion before the meeting.

    Marie kicked the party off with a brief introductory discussion on autism in general for the new members.

    Matt captivating the members with his presentation.