Saturday, March 27, 2010

Bowlathon Success -- Thanks to Everyone!

Bowlathon! March 21st, 2010, Bowlmor Lanes, Manhattan. Here is a recap from Peggy Becker, NAA-NY Metro’s Secretary:

Wow!!!! What an exciting day. Stuart Flaum and I, with the help of Liz Elting and others on our board, had been preparing for this, our first fundraiser, for quite some time and at last the day arrived. Our Bowlathon was this past Sunday.

We asked people to organize teams that then solicited donations from their friends, family, etc. Our goal was to raise $30,000 and, with donations still coming in, we are at almost $53,000! We used Firstgiving (platform to support online giving) to collect donations - here is a link to our page.

It was a great fun, family event - each team had a lane - we took over a whole floor of the bowling alley, 22 lanes - and everyone bowled. The bowling alley gave us a discounted rate. We played mellow jazz, turned off the flashing neon lights and had a quiet room (AKA the VIP room) to escape to if the din overwhelmed anyone.

Our own Kirstin - who is an amazing chef - created delicious breakfast food that was diet sensitive - GFCF and SF (soy free). Another corporate sponsor donated lemonade stand kits as party favors for the kids. Another friend helped me make a DVD slide show with images from our corporate sponsors, our fundraisers and images from our events over the last year or so.

We felt the love! We had over 100 people bowling and over 500 donors - many of them new to our organization. It was such a great event and we are really excited for the programs that we can initiate with the money we raised. Check out our Facebook Fan Page for more photos from the event!

A huge thank you to our sponsors:
And to our bowling teams:
  • Floortime Friends
  • Adaptations
  • Im So Elmys Special Services
  • Luger’s Baracudas
  • Team Rehman
  • Team Alex
  • Team Createabilities
  • Team Daniel
  • Team Henry & Scott
  • Team Jojo
  • Team Learning Spring
  • Team Leslie
  • Team Michael
  • The GF Cereal Bowlers
  • The Jaguars
  • The Rebecca Ballers
  • Transperfect
  • What to Feed Your Kids
And, of course, to our donors (too numerous to list)!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Facebook and Twitter and NAA-NY Metro

Follow   NatlAutismNYM on Twitter

Learn more from NAA-NY Metro and share with your friends.

NAA-NY Metro Chapter is now on Facebook and Twitter - Click on the buttons above.

If you are on Facebook, remember to "fan" the NAA-NY Metro Chapter's facebook fan page. Check regularly for posts -- share those with your friends, tweet them etc. We are posting lots of interesting items there and adding more all the time.

If you are on Twitter we are @NatlAutismNYM - follow us and retweet our posts to your followers!

April 14th Screening of "The Horse Boy"

In honor of her birthday and to show her support of SNACK (Special Needs Activity Center for Kids), SNACK parent, Jennifer Ford is holding a Private Screening of "The Horse Boy"

Marymount School
(@Fifth Avenue & 84th St.)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010
6:00pm - Doors open
6:30pm - Movie begins
Cocktails and Hors d'oeuvres will immediately follow

The Horse Boy" follows one Texas couple and their autistic son as they trek on horseback through Outer Mongolia to try to treat his condition with shamanic healing. The film touches many topics: autism, relationships between humans and animals and humans and nature, cultural differences and different ways of being (autistic vs. normal, or "neurotypical"), and the nature of healing.

SNACK provides unique programming to support children on the spectrum and their families . . . From SNACK’s website:

"SNACK after school and weekend programs, geared toward children ages 3-18 with special needs, are designed and staffed to address challenging behavioral issues, increase skill levels and promote improved social interaction. SNACK provides a variety of group and individual activities including sports, art, music, yoga, movement, drama and swimming. Our high ratio of student to staff (2:1), class size limit (maximum 8 per class), and use of the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) to manage behavior and provide reinforcement, enables children who participate to make progress. SNACK provides children and their parents with a nurturing environment all too often unavailable to those most in need of these services. At SNACK, you can be confident that your children are safe, happy, and having fun!"

Please RSVP before or by Friday, April 9th
Click HERE to reserve your seat for a suggested $50 tax-deductible donation

Prefer email or phone? or 212-439-9996

Join us in toasting Jennifer's birthday and her generosity!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Cocktail Reception for the Elizabeth Birt Center for Autism Law & Advocacy

Friend of NAA-NY Metro and friend to the Autism Community, the Elizabeth Birt Center for Autism Law and Advocacy (EBCALA), is an exciting AutismOne initiative to provide a voice to the Autism Community on legal/advocacy issues, to educate professionals, and to help families facing legal challenges. Kim Mack Rosenberg, VP and Treasurer of NAA-NY Metro, and an attorney, also is proud to serve on the EBCALA steering committee.

here to learn more about the work of EBCALA and here to learn more about Elizabeth Birt, a tireless autism advocate, and, among other things, a founder of our national parent, the NAA, who was taken from her family and our community too soon.

There will be a cocktail reception to benefit EBCALA and to honor Mary Coyle, John Gilmore and Robert Krakow for their years of service and dedication to the Autism Community.

Monday, May 3, 2010
6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Presentation begins at 7:15 p.m.
Cosmopolitan Club
122 East 66th Street (near Lexington Ave.), Manhattan
Please reserve your space by April 20th
$150 minimum donation*
*Donations are tax deductible less $50 per reception ticket


Event Host Committee: Kevin Barry, Lisa Colin, Louis Conte, Daniele Gerard, Louise Habakus, Jimmie and James Holland, Mary Holland, David Kirby, Kim Mack Rosenberg, Lisa Rudley, Sabeeha and Khalid Rehman, and Katie Weisman

We hope to see you there!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

NAA NY Metro Supports Learning Spring School

“Imagine” was the theme of the 2010 Learning Spring School Benefit. Peggy Becker, NAA-NY Metro Secretary, and Kim Mack Rosenberg, NAA-NY Metro Vice President and Treasurer, attended the March 8, 2010 benefit to show NAA-NY Metro’s support for Learning Spring’s unique program.

Learning Spring imagines creating an environment in which each child’s potential can be realized to the fullest and where each child’s unique needs can be met and unique gifts appreciated. However, Learning Spring does not just “imagine” -- it brings what it imagines to fruition, from the bricks and mortar of building a new, state-of-the-art school building into which the school soon will move to nurturing social and academic success in its students through its integrated curriculum. The latter was evident in the two recent Learning Spring graduates who spoke at the benefit. These young people were poised and articulate, despite standing on stage with a microphone, facing hundreds of adults! Each spoke with great affection and respect for their Learning Spring years and the staff who supported them there. I cannot imagine a finer testament to the school than those graduates. They truly personified the “imagine” theme -- imagine what our kids are capable of!

Kim and Peggy enjoyed the opportunity to meet many Learning Spring staff and families, to chat with Director Margaret Poggi, and to share NAA-NY Metro’s mission with those they met.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Planning for Life After School

Ms. Helene F. Craner, L.M.S.W., the Associate Director of the Resources for Children with Special Needs, Inc., conducted a workshop on “Life After High School,” co-sponsored by the National Autism Association -New York Metro Chapter, on Wednesday, March 10, 2010.

Ms. Craner reminded the audience that “time flies and before we know it; our children on the spectrum have suddenly grown up” and that it is critical to plan – and plan early - for “Life After High School.” “In the eyes of the law, anyone who is 18 years old is an adult regardless of any disabilities. The transition from a child to an adult brings with it a whole special set of challenges for the young adult and his or her parents,” she said.

Ms. Craner explained the transition from the educational system to adult services – which, depending at least in part on the type of diploma a student achieves – occurs, at the latest at age 21. Ms. Craner walked the group through the period of transition and discussed how to prepare. While discussing the federal Individuals with Disability Education Act (“IDEA”), she outlined the rights and entitlements of transitioning students. She highlighted the mile posts on this timeline to adulthood and pointed out things that need to be done for a successful transition.

Ms. Craner explained that, “The parents should start to address work and career goal before middle school. If possible, the child should be given an allowance and be taught money management. By the age of 12-14, the student and family should participate in level I vocational assessment. Student should learn about different types of high school diplomas offered in NY State during the middle school years. At the age of 15, transition goals should be part of the IEP and from then on, transition should be discussed at every annual IEP meeting. A valuable gift is the gift of travel training and other transportation options that parents can give to their teenager.”

After leaving the educational system and the protections afforded by the IDEA, a young adult must prove that he is disabled to be eligible for public services. To prove eligibility, records such as IEP documents, psychological and physical evaluations, and disability determinations come in handy. She emphasized the value of good record keeping starting when your child first begins to receive services.

Ms. Craner explained that the intake to the N.Y. State’s Office of the Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities (OMRDD) in order to receive adult services is facilitated through its contracted agencies and borough wide offices. The child and the family must get through a long waiting list, psychological tests, reviews, and lot of paper work to establish eligibility for OMRDD services. She distributed contact information for various offices in the department of education, OMRDD, article 16 clinics, adult mental health services, independent living services, and tools for planning for employment.

She went on to explain that, because a child legally becomes an adult at age 18, there are additional safeguards parents need to address for children with disabilities. For example the parents should have planned for guardianship by that time. Financial planning, including applying for Medicaid and SSI also should be in place.

NAA-NY Metro thanks Ms. Craner for providing this important information to our families.

Ms. Craner can be reached at Resources for Children with Special Needs, Inc located at 116 East 16th Street, 5th Floor, NY, NY 10003. Tel: 212-677-4650. email: The organization’s website details the many services the organization provides to New York City residents, including training sessions. Further, access to a database of approximately 8,000 programs specific to special needs individuals can be found at