Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Autism Awareness Month Commemorated at City Hall

Kim Stagliano receives Spirit of Hope Award from Commissioner Matthew Sapolin and Sabeeha Rehman

On Monday, April 19, 2010, Commissioner Matthew Sapolin, Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities and the National Autism Association - New York Metro Chapter commemorated the Autism Awareness Month in the Council Chamber at City Hall.

Christine C. Qinn, Speaker For the Entire Council, issued a Proclamation honoring NAA New York Metro Chapter for providing outstanding support to all indviduals affected by autism.

The National Autism Association New York Metro Chapter honored Kim Stagliano, an extraordinary “autism mom” and the Managing Editor of Age of Autism. See video of the award ceremony on Age of Autism.

Commissioner Matthew Sapolin, who is vision impaired, shared his personal story of coping with disability and promised to join NAA New York Metro in their mission to support families and individuals affected by autism.

Sabeeha Rehman, the President of NAA New York Metro Chapter announced new programs and initiatives to help New York area families affected by autism spectrum disorders:
• An award of at least $4,000 to help families with children on the autism spectrum pay for therapeutic education and/or medical treatments which they otherwise could not afford.
• A collaborative program with Dr. Asma Sadiq, Director of the Division of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics at Beth Israel Medical Center, whereby NAA NY Metro Chapter will offer bi-monthly educational programs to the Beth Israel community.
• Three to four workshops a year on parental training, recreational therapy, and sports & fitness.
• An online resource directory for parents.
• Posting of links to medical articles on the Chapter website.
• Post and link the Chapter and its resources on the website of the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities

Parents Kim Mack Rosenberg, Mary Hernandez, and Lisa Rudley shared their stories of inspiration and hope, recounting their journeys in helping their ASD children improve dramatically. The audience was enthralled to hear Lexi Rudley, a nine year old, talk about being a sibling to a child with autism. The evening ended with NAA’s Chase the Hope video¸ music, and a display by Rosa Martinez, of the work of artists on the spectrum.

Lisa Rudley, Master of Ceremonies, led the evening infused with the spirit of hope and inspiration. The event was attended by representatives from City agencies, United Nations, providers and caregivers, advocates, the media, other non-profit groups, and families affected by autism.

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