Thursday, March 31, 2011

Scott Smith, PA Answers Parents' Questions

On Wednesday, March 23, 2011, attendees at NAA-NY Metro's monthly educational meeting were given a unique opportunity to get answers to specific questions about their own children. Scott Smith, PA, of Full Potential Wellness Center (Edison, NJ), spent over two hours going around the room, answering questions posed to him by the dozens of parents in attendance. Not only were parents given the chance to ask a question about their own child, we also had the opportunity to hear answers about other children that might have relevance to our children. Scott's ability to comprehensively answer questions on a variety of topics - everything from GFCF diet, to mitochondrial issues, to PANDAS - was impressive. He provided strong scientific support for each answer in a way that parents could easily understand and asked followup questions that allowed even more relevant information to each parent.

After several years in practice with Drs. Bradstreet and Rossignol in Florida treating children on the autism spectrum, Scott Smith recently moved north to Edison, NJ and the Full Potential Wellness Center, where he is affiliated with Dr. James Neubrander.

(pictured: NAA-NY Metro President Kim Mack Rosenberg, Scott Smith, PA and Peggy Becker, NAA-NY Metro Vice President/Treasurer)

Our Second Annual Bowlathon on March 21st Was A Success!!

What a great time everyone had at the Bowlathon on March 21st! It is so great to be able to bring your ASD child to an event where you don't have to worry about anything - we all fit right in - what a warm, accepting, supportive and wonderful bunch of people - all there raising money for a great cause. Thank you to everyone who made it possible! We raised, after expenses, $51,000 and we are thankful and honored to have received donations from so many! That is enough to keep our Summer Program going and to continue and expand our Helping Hand grants, as well as help support all our other activities. A huge shout out to our sponsors: Platinum Plus Level: Transperfect, Watch Me Grow - A Children's Sensory Gym & Speech-Language Center; Platinum Level:
Lindamood Bell; Gold Level: Elmy's Special Services, Michael S Licitra, CPA CFP, P.C., S.N.A.C.K., Special Needs Family Planning at AXA; Silver Level: Devlin McNiff Real Estate, Glow Gluten Free Cookie, Hopewell Pharmacy, Houston Enzymes, Lee Silsby Compounding Pharmacy, Special Playdate, Udi's, Zico Pure Coconut Water.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Westchester Parent Roundtable on "Wows and Not So Wows on the ASD Journey"

On Monday evening March 21, 2010 approximately 20 parents came together at the Washington Engine Fire Company. The topic for the evening was “Wows and Not so Wows on the ASD Journey”. Parents were greeted by the two NAA NY Metro Westchester sub-chapter’s leaders, Lisa Rudley and Tricia Zarro. Lisa and Tricia asked parents to add topics and questions on the “Topic Board.” Various topics discussed included: detoxification protocols, supplementation, sibling relationships, lyme disease testing and treatment, diet options, neurofeedback, homeopathy, vision therapy, listening therapies and social skill classes. The evening was facilitated in such a way that a parent asked a question or brought up a treatment option. Discussion then proceeded by each attendee sharing their experiences and information about that topic.

Parents shared information and made contacts that will provide them guidance as they travel along their individual ASD treatment journey. The sentiment of the evening could be summed up by one of the facilitators:

“We are each traveling this journey without a road map or GPS. The only way that we can navigate our way through, is to look to each other to share experiences, offer help and give the support that is needed so that our children can reach their full potential.”

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Monthly Support Group Meeting

Moderator: Lauren Tobing-Puente
Location: Watch Me Grow 361 East 19th Street (between First and Second Avenues)

Lauren Tobing-Puente, Ph.D has generously volunteered her time to moderate our support group. She is a licensed psychologist and has extensive experience working with children with ASD and their families. Dr. Tobing-Puente is currently the Clinical Coordinator at the Rebecca School and also maintains a private practice in NYC where she provides Floortime, play therapy, consultation, services, and evaluations. Since space is limited for the support group sessions, Please RSVP to: You will receive a confirmation email. We send out a monthly reminder. Please remember to RSVP each month. Meetings generally take place on the first Thursday of each month, from 7:15pm to 8:45 pm at Watch Me Grow. While we make every effort to adhere to this schedule, please understand that there may be times when the moderator needs to reschedule a meeting. If this occurs, we will post any changes to our website and notify directly (by email) those who have already sent us an RSVP for that meeting. If you would like more information, please visit our website at: For information on Dr. Tobing-Puente's services, please visit her website

The MERIT Approach: Integrating ABA with Developmental Models for Treatment of Children on the Autistic Spectrum

Speaker: Jenifer Clark
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Time:6:00 pm: Social Hour/Networking
6:30 pm: Lecture Location: Rebecca School, 40 East 30 Street, 5th Floor
event directions

Jenifer Clark received her master's in psychology from NYU and is completing her Ph.D. in clinical psychology at CUNY. She has worked as an ABA consultant and therapist since 1992. She specializes in working with children with autism and has taught atypical development at Hunter College. Currently she is the director of Boost!, an afterschool program for children with autism focussing on socialization and leisure skills for children on the spectrum, incorporating typically developing children as peers and social models. Ms. Clark is also the co-founder and therapist for SibFun, a support group for siblings of children with special needs. She consults at special needs and typical schools, and continues to consult with children and families.

Ms. Clark's presentation will focus on her hybrid approach to treatment entitled MERIT, which utilizes traditional ABA therapy and incorporates other more developmentally based approaches to address emotional and mental development. Refreshments will be served.

There is no fee for the event.
If you have any topics you would like to see at future educational events or feedback on any previous events, please email your comments to

LENS Neurofeedback and ILS (Integrated Listening System)

Speaker: Kelly Montross
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Time: 6:30-8:30 pm
Location: 39 West 14th Street Suite 307/308, New York

Come learn about Low Energy Neurofeedback. It has many of the same positive benefits of standard neurofeedback without some of the negatives. The main goal of both forms of neurofeedback is to build new neurons or pathways in the brain which is what is referred to as neuroplasticity. LENS neurofeedback uses radio waves at a much smaller frequency than the traditional form. This can alleviate a whole range of unwanted symptoms such as headaches, tics, sleep disturbances, anxiety and behavioral problems. Many parents with children on the spectrum have reported very positive results.

LENS neurofeedback does not require the patient to do anything, so children are able to sit passively and even watch a video during their session. This is especially good for children with attention disorder issues. Another plus is that LENS only needs to be done once a week as opposed to traditional neurofeedback that usually requires several sessions per week for longer durations.

Kelly will also talk about using Integrated Listening System alongside LENS, which she feels compliment each other. ILS sound and movement programs may improve learning, attention and processing abilities.

So whether you are a newcomer to neurofeedback or have tried the standard form and would like to find out more about LENS and ILS ....then Kelly's event is for you.

For more information, including directions to our events, please visit our website at

Neurofeedback Approach to Train the Brain Non-Invasively in ASD and other Disabilities

Speakers: Drs. Mary Jo Sabo and Mala Datta
Monday, April 11, 2011
Time: 7:00 - 9:30 pm
Location: Washington Engine Fire Company, Across from Bldg. #150, 130 White Plains Rd / Rte 119, Tarrytown, NY 10591

Dr. Mary Jo Sabo and Dr. Mala Datta will discuss the history of neurofeedback and assisting children and adults with autism, ADD, ADHD, LD, SPD and other challenges. They will provide ways in which neurofeedback improves on focus, language and mood. Drs. Sabo and Datta will also discuss the uses of neurofeedback with seizures.

Dr. Mary Jo Sabo of Biofeedback Consultants Inc. is a Neurotherapist, Educator, Lecturer with a strong emphasis in the Wellness Health Care field. Dr. Mary Jo Sabo has been in the field of biofeedback/neurofeedback for over 20 years. She was instrumental in bringing Neurofeedback into the public schools of Yonkers, New York and has consulted with many private schools in assisting them to utilize neurofeedback for students. Dr. Sabo has been instrumental in teaching other professionals how to successfully integrate neurofeedback into their private practices. Her work has appeared in the media, both on television (CNN, Good Morning America, Westchester and Manhattan Cable) and in newspapers, magazines and books. She teaches Neurofeedback for an Internationally accredited program (BCIA) and has lectured extensively on Applied Psychophysiology. Dr. Sabo has a private practice in Rockland County, Suffern, NY and is well known in the field of Biofeedback/Neurofeedback. She works with all age groups and most diagnoses.

Biofeedback Consultants Inc. ( has on staff Dr. Mala Datta, a psychologist and certified Neurotherapist who specializes in Psychological and Educational testing and individual and family counseling. Dr. Datta teaches college courses at Dominican College in Orangeburgh, New York. She also teaches for the internationally accredited Neurofeedback program (BCIA). She will be presenting information on Neurofeedback with Dr. Sabo at this lecture.

For more information about the Westchester meetings including directions, please visit our website or contact Tricia Zarro (914) 261-2509 or Lisa Rudley (917) 414-9190

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Dr. Sid Baker author of Detoxification and Healing at Beth Israel

Dr. Sidney Baker author of
Detoxification and Healing: The Key to Optimal Health on "Autism, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's - Treatment Options Under the Autoimmune Umbrella.

Thursday, April 7, 2011 - 6:30 - 8:30 pm

Location: Beth Israel Medical Center
2nd Floor Conference Center
10 Union Square East

More people are afflicted with chronic illness than ever before. Come learn what many of these autoimmune disorders have in common and how to treat them.

Dr. Sid Baker is most well known for his books and treatment of children on the Autism Spectrum. However, he has been treating both children and adults with a vast array of chronic illness for years. He is going to explain how many of these autoimmune diseases actually have some common underlying causes and that many of the treatment options tend to overlap. He plans to go over some of the more common alternative treatment options as well as some of the newer ones. Dr. Baker will cite examples from his own case studies drawn from patients he has treated over the years that have made significant progress with the treatment options he will describe.

This event will be very helpful for those who suffer from a chronic illness and for those wanting to prevent one. Come learn about some exciting healing options under the autoimmune umbrella and walk away armed with some important information that can make a difference in yours or someone you knows life.

Dr Baker received his undergraduate, medical, and specialty training from Yale where he held a faculty position from 1969 to 1989. His medical career included being Peace Corps Volunteer, family practitioner, Director of the Gesell Institute of Human Development in New Haven, and private practice focusing on complex chronic illness in adults and children, now in Sag Harbor, NY.

His books include two co-authored Gesell Institute books on child development. He is the author of Detoxification and Healing and The Circadian Prescription and co-author of Autism: Effective Biomedical Treatments. He is Associate Editor of the Journal of Integrative Medicine.

His research interests include the development of a patented coding system for medical narrative that forms the basis for, a website funded by The Moody's Foundation providing interchange between individual and collective medical experience and "letting the data talk."

Come join us for this FREE informative event. Refreshments will be served
Please RSVP to Stacey Purro, LCSW at 212-844-8431 or email at

Location: Beth Israel Medical Center
10 Union Square East - NY, NY - 2nd Floor Conference Center
6:30 - 8:30 pm

Worldwide Autism Awareness Event in NYC at City Hall

Join us on Tuesday, April 5th from 6 to 7 pm on the steps of City Hall in New York City as we commemorate Worldwide Autism Awareness Month and honor Mary Holland with our annual "Spirit of Hope" award.

Mary Holland is a lawyer with a deep background in human rights. She is a tireless advocate in the fight to recognize the rights of people with autism. In addition to her support of NAA NY Metro, Mary is a co-founder and the director of the Elizabeth Birt Center for Autism Law and Advocacy and a co-founder and board member of the Center for Personal Rights. She is an editor and author of the recently released book Vaccine Epidemic.

Gather with family and friends to raise public awareness. If we don't, who will? Other speakers will include ASD families talking about their challenges and successes.

Wear blue to show your support for autism awareness.

The program will start promptly at 6PM.
There are two entrances to the City Hall steps. You may enter either from is from Broadway at the intersection of Warren Street, or from Park Row (across from Pace University).
Inform the security guard at the gate that you are attending the Autism Event.

For more information, click here.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Thursday, March 10, 2011: Dr. Nancy O’Hara: "Preventing Harm During Pregnancy and Baby's First Years"

While the cause or causes of autism remain elusive, there are steps parents and parents-to-be can take to foster a healthy environment before and during pregnancy and in a child's first years. During a presentation to the NAA NY Metro Chapter in collaboration with Beth Israel Medical Center's Department of Developmental Pediatrics, Nancy O'Hara, M.D., of the Center for Autism and Integrative Health, in Wilton, CT, provided a broad overview of preventing harm and fostering a healthy environment before, during, and after pregnancy.

Dara Berger, Co-Chair of the NAA NY Metro Chapter’s Parent Mentoring Committee, introduced Dr. O’Hara and spoke of the help and guidance she received from Dr. O’Hara on her journey to have a second child after her first child was diagnosed with ASD.

Dr. O’Hara covered a wide range of topics, including oxidative stress, nutrition, vaccination, and interventions. She said that this generation of children is sicker than previous ones and that early intervention, particularly during the first years of life is critical in preventing further harm.

She explained that prevention should begin before a woman decides to get pregnant. Checking the medical history and the physical condition of the mother and first-degree relatives to look for potential risks is a first step in creating a good foundation and addressing potential problems. For instance, a woman with 6 or more amalgam dental fillings should consult with a dentist well trained in removing amalgams and consider replacing her amalgams with less toxic fillings at least 3 months before becoming pregnant.

During pregnancy, it is important to continue the preconception lifestyle changes and address “the needs and physiological changes associated with pregnancy,” Dr. O’Hara said. These include increasing calories, protein, iron, folate, and other changes in diet. Daily intake of calcium and vitamin D are also very important for bone health, enzyme activity, and muscle contraction. A deficiency in the mother may transfer to the child, and Dr. O’Hara cited that an estimated 60-70% of autistic children have deficiency of vitamin D.

It is also crucial to weigh the risks vs. the benefits of using any medication during delivery. Then, post-delivery it is recommended to begin breastfeeding as soon as possible and to further continue the initial changes. Dr. O’Hara recommended breastfeeding for as long as possible and delaying the introduction of solid foods until at least 6 months of age. As an example for one of the best first foods, Dr. O’Hara recommended avocado for its high nutrition content and fatty acids. As the child grows, it is very important to maintain a healthy diet with fresh and varied foods, organic whenever possible.

Dr. O’Hara argued that, in addition to genetic susceptibility from the parents, during pregnancy the developing fetus is exposed to essentially everything the mother is exposed to, which may include maternal toxins, vaccinations, antibiotics, food antigens, and infections. Many of these and similar exposures continue in infancy and early childhood.

After the presentation, Dr. O’Hara answered many questions from the audience, which included parents of ASD children, young couples planning to have children, and medical professionals. For more information and guidance, visit Dr. O’Hara’s website.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Come to BOWL at The NAA NY METRO 2nd Annual Bowlathon this Sunday! RSVP HERE TO JOIN US AT THE BOWLATHON! The food is all gluten free! It is $20 per bowler! Udi's Gluten Free Bagels and Glow Gluten Free Cookies and Zico Coconut Water are donating food!!! GF bagels and bowling--and cookies!!! Pretty good deal for $20 per bowler or $100 for bowling team of 8!

Bowlmor Lanes • 110 University Place • NYC
Sunday, March 20 • 10:00 am - 12:30 pm

This year, the NAA NY Metro Chapter was able to give 11 families $500 Helping Hand Grants to help them with therapy expenses. In addition, we are holding a summer program during the last two weeks of August for 37 children. The total cost of these programs was approximately $20,500 and they would not have been possible without the money raised at last year’s Bowlathon. To continue them, we need to have a successful Bowlathon again this year. So far, we have raised about $29,000, but we have a long way to go to at least reach the $50,000 we raised last year.

Click here to donate to my team -->DONATE TO THE NAA-NY Metro Chapter!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

NAA NY Metro Westchester March 8, 2011 Recap: Darin Ingels ND & Mary Coyle Di. Hom.

On March 8, 2011, Mary Coyle, Di. Hom., and Darin Ingels, ND, presented to the NAA - NY Metro Westchester Sub-Chapter on Reducing Toxins and Neutralizing Allergies Non-Invasively in ASD. They discussed
the impact that toxins have on the body and importance of lowering your toxic load internally and externally. They also discussed was how neutralizing allergies can play a positive role in improving one’s health, which, in turn, can lead to improvements in behavior and cognition. The powerpoints from their informative presentation are below.

NAA Westchester Darin Ingels ND
NAA Westchester 3-8-11MaryCoyle

NAA - NY Metro Westchester February 16, 2011 Recap: Susan Varsames & Nancy Guberti

On February 16, 2011, Susan Varsames, Special Educator, and Nancy Guberti, Certified Nutritionist, presented “Sensory Integration and Nutritional Intervention for Child with ASD” to the Westchester Sub-Chapter of the National Autism Association. They discussed practical techniques parents can implement with their children. They discussed removing foods that negatively impact the body can vastly improve focus, aptitude, behaviors and general well-being. Parents walked away with an understanding of how diet can impact the sensory system. Susan Varsames powerpoint is below.
Sensory Integration Handouts

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Sunday, March 20th at Bowlmor Lanes

110 University Place, NYC

JOIN US! Click here to come bowl, set up a team or make a donation NOW!

Thanks to the generosity of our fundraisers, in 2010 NAA NY Metro expanded its programming to include Helping Hand Grants (grants to families to assist with medical and therapy costs) and a Summer Program in the last two weeks of August for children affected by autism.

This year we hope to further expand both the Helping Hand Grant program and the Summer Program. A donation of $500 pays for one Helping Hand Grant. $325 means one more child may attend our Summer Program. $100 pays for a day of a soccer coach for the Summer Program. Please help us. Our Bowlathon web page is up and ready for registrants. To set up a team or make a donation, click here.

This effort would not be possible without the help of our 2011 sponsors and we are so thankful to them: Platinum Plus: Transperfect, Watch Me Grow; Platinum: Lindamood Bell; Gold: Special Needs Family Planning AXA, Elmy’s Special Services, S.N.A.C.K.; Silver: Glow Gluten Free, Hopewellrx, Houston Enzymes, Lee Silsby, Special Playdate, Udi's Gluten Free Foods, Zico Coconut Water. Visit our website for links to all of our sponsors!

Want to join our efforts?
Just click to DONATE NOW!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Tax Issues For Special Needs Families

On March 2, 2011, Mark L. Berger, CPA and Kim Mack Rosenberg once again presented on tax issues for special needs families. More information will follow on this blog but we wanted to be sure to provide to attendees and others the presentation materials:

03 02 11 PNEM Presentation