Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Reiki with Hilary Mc Cann

Thursday, May 12th
408 East 79th Street, New York

Reiki is a Japanese healing technique that can be used to relax, reduce stress, and ease pain associated with chronic illness. It also promotes healing. In recent years, Reiki has moved into the mainstream use of alternative medicine alongside acupressure, acupuncture and Tai Chi. Reiki is used in many hospitals nationwide in their complimentary care/integrative care departments as well as being used to treat autism spectrum disorders. Reiki can help alleviate some of the symptoms associated with Autism and it may produce an overall calming effect without the use of drugs. It also does not interfere with other conventional and alternative treatments. Reiki can address sleep troubles, stomach pains, headaches, anxieties and fears.

Reiki is administered by laying your hands on certian points of the body and is based on the idea that an unseen "life force energy" flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. It is a simple, natural and safe method of spiritual healing and self-improvement. Reiki can be used to treat specific illness or for general wellness. This powerful energy healing method can be used on yourself or your child.

There is no fee and no registration required.

Please circulate this invitation to family, friends, and colleagues

Please visit our website for more information

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

NAA NY Metro Adovocates for Philosophical Exemption

The NAA NY Metro Chapter’s representative along with other autism advocates and activist had a private meeting with N.Y. State Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, who chairs the Assembly Health Committee. The meeting was held on 4/17/2011 at the district office of the assemblyman. Those joining in this meeting included John Gilmore, Exec. Director of Autism Action Network, Rita Palma of My Kids My Choice, Mary Holland Esq and Robert Krakow Esq of EBCALA. Lisa Rudley and Khalid Rehman represented the NY Metro Chapter.

Assemblyman Gottfried is very sympathetic to our cause. He currently has sponsored two bills, A00592 and A00593. If enacted, the boll A00592 will “provide protections to parents who decline to have their children immunized on the basis of religious beliefs; will allow a parent to submit an affidavit stating that the parent, parents or guardian hold genuine and sincere religious beliefs”. The bill A00593 will “extend the protections of the medical exemption from mandatory immunizations for students to ensure deference to the professional assessments of physicians and nurse practitioners in the care of their individual patients”.

The group asked the assemblyman to go a step further and support an alternative bill that will be broad based and provide exemption based on secular grounds. The data from CDC shows that in 2009, the rate of vaccination in the States that offer religious and philosophical exemption was not lower than other states or the national average. In fact and contrary to what will seem obvious, the rate of vaccination in the States with religious and philosophical exemption was higher than many States without such laws. This was explained by the fact that when parents are allowed to seek such exemptions, they choose to have their children vaccinated against some serious illnesses, whereas without such exemptions, such parents avoid all types of vaccinations. This data was shared with the assemblyman.

The legal issues of personal choice and inability of families to seek remedies and damages due to defective vaccines were discussed by Mary Holland and Robert Krakow. Dr. Khalid Rehman spoke about lack of informed consent and the impact of mandated vaccines on the immune system of vulnerable children. Lisa Rudley and Rita Palma emphasized that we must be allowed to have choices and that mandatory vaccinations alienate such families, force them no avoid vaccinations. This “all or none” attitude is contrary to good public health policy, a goal that the assembly health committee strives to achieve.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Tips for Air Travel with Your ASD Child

A friend asked for some tips on air travel with his ASD child. One of our board members, who travels far and wide with her ASD son, sent this and I thought it was great and really worth sharing!!

Jet Blue allows you to get a bulkhead, extra legroom seat for about $35 per person each way - worth it! Other airlines may have this service as well or, if you let them know your child is disabled, may assign such a seat to you. Bulkhead might be best if you are at all concerned about kicking the seat in front or snapping the tray table up and down (a favorite of my son's for awhile). Also you can board first or last, whatever suits you best (the extra leg room seating entitles you to priority boarding). If you have lots of carry-ons I would say get on first, to secure space but if not, your child might feel better getting on later. I would definitely call the airline in advance and also talk to them at the gate if you have concerns.

If you think your child be agitated, talk to your MD about possible sedatives (and try them out before the trip -- you know how some sedatives have the opposite effect on some people - the last thing you want is him bouncing off the wall, right?) Portable DVD/iPad/iPod or the like are important but, keep in mind that until a cruising altitude is reached they have to be off so if your child is using it before take off, it will have to go off until they announce. If that transition will be hard, then consider not giving it to him or her until you are in the air. Jet Blue also has seat-back TV (incl. Nickolodeon, cartoon network and the like!) which helps (electronics also have to go off during descent and landing).

Might want to check the TSA re screening etc. Some airports have the nasty new screening machines with the radiation concern. I had us screened by hand when we flew back a few weeks ago because we were put on the line for those machines. They had to separate us b/c I needed a female screener. My son always in my sightline but they screened me first. When they screened him I was very close though not in the screening space (which was roped off). You could also inquire about private screening if you are concerned about your child not cooperating. With regard to the regular x-ray - they want children to go thru alone, so you will need to decide if you going before or after works best or talk to TSA at the airport about another way to do it if you are concerned.

I think advance planning is the key for everyone. Does your child do well with social stories? Those might help prepare him or her too because lots of things he or she has never experienced before will happen! Also if concerned about ears popping - take gum if he chews it (my son won't and always has ear issues flying).

Sunday, April 24, 2011

NAA - NY Metro Rings The NASDAQ Opening Bell

On April 18, 2011, NAA NY Metro had the great honor of ringing the opening bell at the NASDAQ Exchange during Autism Awareness Month. A number of NAA Board Members, friends and family gathered for the ceremony. In attendance were: Kim Mack Rosenberg and Henry Rosenberg; Peggy, Rob and Daniel Becker; Stuart and Cameron Flaum; Khalid Rehman; Homeira Kalim; Sujata Setya, Raj Dhanda and Debbie Pieri; Kathleen Reily; and Lisa, Max, Derek, and Lexi Rudley. The broadcast was carried by many media, including CNBC, CNBC India,,, Business News Network (Canada), NDTV (New Delhi), Bloomberg, FOX Business, & KTVU (a FOX Affiliate). We also were broadcast on the 7-story jumbotron in Times Square!

NASDAQ made us feel welcome from the minute we walked in the door. Our logo was everywhere, on all the screens and even projected spinning on the lobby floor! In the Times Square studio there were beverages for all as we did a practice run through the ceremony. When the ceremony began at about 9:15, host Jay Heller spoke about the NAA NY Metro chapter and introduced Kim and Peggy. Kim spoke for a few minutes on autism awareness, difficult issues such as wandering and adult services facing families caring for a loved one with autism, and the work of NAA NY Metro and how we hope to reach families in need. then it was time to push the button to ring the bell and open the market. Everyone gathered onstage for the bell ringing, amid much clapping, waving and cheering. We then went outside for a photoshoot on Times Square with our images projected on the jumbotron - a real kick for the kids and adults alike.

You can watch the ceremony here, just look for the April 18, 2011 opening ceremony, and read more about it here.

A big thank you to all who made this happen - it was truly a special day for NAA NY Metro!

Photos are copyright 2011, The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Westchester: Neurofeedback, A Non-Invasive Brain Training Intervention

On Monday, April 11, 2011, Drs. Mary Jo Sabo and Mala Datta presented "The Neurofeedback Approach to Train the Brain Non-Invasively in ASD and Other Disabilities." This well-attended program was very informative and we present below the materials shared by Mary Jo and Mala, which provide a wealth of information for those interested in learning more about the benefits of neurofeedback. Mary Jo and Mala gave the audience an overview of the history of neurofeedback and the benefits they have been observing in children with autism, ADHD and other developmental challenges. A number of parents in the audience have already been using neurofeedback with positive results in their children.

Drs Sabo and Datta Neurofeedback Presentation 2011
Sabo and Datta Neurofeedback and Autism 2011
Autism and Case Studies Research-1

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Raising A Child On The Spectrum. A Single Parent's Perspective

Speaker: Ken Siri

Date: Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Time: 6:00 pm - Networking. 6:30-8:30 pm - Lecture

Location: Rebecca School. 40 East 30th, 5th Floor. New York, NY 10003

Ken Siri, author, advocate, and entrepeneur, is the single father of a 12-year-old boy with autism in New York City. Ken spent 14 years on Wall Street as a healthcare analyst and is the Founder and Chairman of Consilium Global Research, helping under-covered companies achieve recognition in the investment community. During the past two years, Ken has published Cutting-Edge Therapies for Autism (now in its second edition) and 1,001 Tips for the Parents of Autistic Boys. He is a passionate voice within the autism community speaking at autism related conferences and has been interviewed on local and nationally syndicated radio, print, and television.

Come hear Ken discuss the therapies and treatments that helped (and did not help) his son, and his perspective on how to remain positive and on top of things as a single parent raising a child with special needs. The presentation will include ample time for Q&A and for Ken to autograph copies of his books.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

NAA NY Metro Commemorates Autism Awareness Month: NYC City Hall Autism Awareness Event

On April 5, 2011, in recognition of Autism Awareness Month, NAA NY Metro and its supporters gathered on the steps of City Hall in New York City. The event was MC’d by the co-chair of NAA NY Metro’s Parent Mentoring Committee, Dara Berger, who shared her own family’s journey of helping her son.

NAA NY Metro also was pleased and honored that William Lopez, Assistant Commissioner, Bureau of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities at NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, joined us and addressed our group.

Continuing parents’ personal stories, Dara was followed by Ken Siri, a single dad who shared his son’s story, with frankness and with humor. Following Ken was NAA Board Member Katie Wright, a mom and advocate, who shared powerful words about her own family’s journey.

Next, Kim Mack Rosenberg, NAA NY Metro’s new President, spoke about the importance of awareness and advocacy, and how we can all take little steps in our daily lives to make those around us more aware of what autism is and what impact it has on a family. She also explained that it is important to have our voices heard in local government, in Albany and in Washington DC – and how simple steps like an email, a phone call, fax or letter can make a big difference.

Kim then presented NAA NY Metro’s 2011 Spirit of Hope Award to Mary Holland, in recognition for her tireless advocacy work and her “never give up” attitude that embodies the spirit of hope. In accepting the award, Mary shared some of her own experiences as a mother and an advocate and discussed the importance of the work that we as parents and advocates do. Mary is a research scholar at NYU School of Law, director of the Elizabeth Birt Center for Autism Law & Advocacy, a founding board member of the Center for Personal Rights, and an editor of and contributor to the groundbreaking book, Vaccine Epidemic.

Dara then introduced Mary Coyle, to address “Fighting Back and Winning.” Mary spoke of her own son’s challenges and successes and shared how well he is doing today. Her story was an inspiration to parents who dream that their child with ASD will achieve great success in life. Mary is also a homeopath with extensive training in homotoxicology and through her work, she helps other parents achieve success with their children as well.

Finally, Khalid Rehman, Chair of the Advocacy Committee gave an update on current advocacy efforts and shared a beautiful poem written by Danson Mandela Wambua, a non-verbal young boy with autism, capturing so poignantly that so many of our children are full of insight, intelligence and life but have difficulty communicating and sharing all they know.

While April is Autism Awareness Month, NAA NY Metro strives to make every day one in which autism awareness, education, advocacy and change happen.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Robert MacNeil Returns to PBS Series on Autism beginning April 18

PBS TV stations will air a series on Autism; narrated by Robert MacNeil (of the MacNeil Lehrer News Hour) starting Monday 18 April. Please check your local listing for stations and time. Please forward this information with friends and family and share it as widely as possible.

It is important to increase awareness. Increased awareness brings out the the public support for the policy change that will eventually impacts the lives of our families. It has happened because unfortunately, Robert MacNeil's grandson has developed autism.
Here are two links to this news:

PBS NEWSHOUR: Autism Diagnoses Bring Slew of Costs for Families
Robert MacNeil Returns to Newshour for 'Autism Today' Series

Thank You. Khalid Rehman

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Biomed 101 - Two Part Series

Geri Brewster, RD.MPH, CDN
Speaker: Geri Brewster, RD.MPH, CDN

Wednesday, May 4th, 6:30-8:30 pm (session 1)
Thursday, May 19th, 6:30 - 8:30 pm (session 2)

Location: Beth Israel Medical Center
10 Union Square East
2nd Floor Conference Center
New York, NY 10003

If you have ever wanted to learn about the nuts and bolts of Biomedical Interventions, then this is the event for you.

Geri Brewster plans to pack as much teaching as she can into two evenings. During one session, she will go over all the different dietary interventions including GFCF (Gluten Free Casein Free), SCD (Specific Carbohydrate Diet), Feingold, Allergy Free (soy, yeast, etc). And if that's not too much information for you, she will also go over all the testing that will help you and your practitioner decide which diet and supplements might be best for you or your child. Then during the next session, Geri will walk you through the most common and poplular Biomedical Treatments beginning with some simple supplements such as Vitamin D and B12 continuing down the list to chelation and Hyperbaric Chamber. So no matter what the diagnosis is or isn't, this is an event for everyone.

Come even if you can only make one night. You can get the power point for the other night you miss.

Geri Brewster RD MPH CDN began her clinical career nearly 30 years ago, specializing in pediatric and young-adult developmental disabilities, including metabolic and gastrointestinal disorders; specialized tube feedings; dysphagia; autism; behavioral, attention, sensory and oral-motor integration disorders; and eating disorders. In her current practice, she develops comprehensive individualized lifestyle, nutritional and supplement programs for each client's specific conditions. Ms. Brewster earned her Masters in Public Health Nutrition from New York Medical College in Valhalla, New York . She lectures extensively on nutrition issues and practices in the NYC-Westchester area.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

How Therapeutic Listening Enhances the Social Nervous System

Speaker: Sarah Gayle Shoenbaum, MA, OTR/L

Date: Monday, May 16
Time: 7:00 - 9:30 pm
Location: Washington Engine Fire Company, 130 White Plains Rd / Rte 119, Tarrytown, NY 10591

Sarah Gayle Shoenbaum, MA OTR/L will present how therapeutic listening enhances the social nervous system. Sarah will provide information on the therapeutic program, Solisten®, which is the portable application of the Tomatis® Method. It is a revolutionary sound training program that strengthens the ear and energizes the brain, improving many areas including auditory and sensory processing, stress, speech and balance.

Sarah Gayle Shoenbaum, MA OTR/L has been in the field since 1979. Sarah is an instructor and clinician of occupational therapy, craniosacral therapy, neurodevelopemental treatment (NDT) and sensory intergration.

Multiple Hands Healing: CranioSacral Therapy & Energy Healing, The Dynamic Duo, Multiple Approaches for Calming the Central Nervous System and more...

Speakers: Annie Samojedny, PT, PLLC and Lori Siegel, Reiki Master/Instructor

Date: Saturday, May 7
Time: 7:00 - 9:30 pm
Location: Clubhouse, 1501 Pheasant Woods Road, Briarcliff Manor, NY 10510

Annie Samojedny, PT, PLLC & Lori Siegel, Reiki Master/Instructor, Integrated Energy Therapy Master/Instructor, NYS Certified Teacher will present the benefits of Craniosacral therapy on the Central Nervous system and much more.

Anne Samojedny is a New York State licensed physical therapist with a B.S. in physical therapy from New York University, 1982. She worked for a variety of hospitals and outpatient clinics including Hospital for Special Surgery. Later Anne received her Dance Medicine Certification from the Harkness Center at New York University.

Continuing education has afforded Anne advanced manual therapy skills in many areas. These include spinal and extremity mobilization with Stanley Paris. Courses in Cyriax and McKenzie approaches to spinal treatment. Coursework with the Upledger Institute in CranioSacral therapy I, II and cranial pediatrics. Lymph Drainage Massage I & II, Somatoemotional release I and Visceral Manipulation I. Anne's training at the Barral Institute includes Neuromeningeal Manipulation I, Visceral Manipulation II and Visceral Applications for Pediatrics.

Lori Siegel is a Reiki Master/Instructor certified by the Center for Reiki Training by William Rand, a Reiki Master certified by the John Harvey Gray Center for Reiki Healing, a Karma Release Practitioner certified by Gerda Veneman of the Center for Inner Light and an Integrated Energy Therapy (IET) Master/Instructor certified by Stephen Thayer's Center of Being. She is also a certified New York State teacher with an MS in Early Childhood Education. She is presently training in Gestalt therapy and for a master's degree in Art therapy.

Special Needs Planning Made Simple In A Complex World

Speakers: Michael Sanders, Stuart Flaum, Sheryl Frishman
Date: Tuesday, May 3 Time: 7:00 - 9:30 pm
Location: Washington Engine Fire Company, Opp. Bldg. #150 130 White Plains Rd / Rte 119, Tarrytown, NY 10591

Michael Sanders, President, Clark Dodge Asset Management, Stuart Flaum, Managing Director, AXA and Sheryl Frishman, Esq. will each share the importance of planning and preserving for the future and how families can avoid major pitfalls financially and legally. As President of Clark Dodge Asset Management, Michael Sanders brings more than 19 years of investment management experience to his roles as principal and chief investment officer. Mike is passionate about helping families to plan for their future and has been extremely instrumental in guiding families with special needs through comprehensive planning.
Prior to Clark Dodge, Mr. Sanders was Managing Director and Director of Sales with Gerstein Fisher & Associates where he was responsible for the Client Advisory and Business Development teams. During his tenure from 2004 to 2010, the firm tripled its assets under management and was ranked as one of the leading independent investment advisory firms in New York. Mr. Sanders previously worked for two of the oldest firms on Wall Street. From 1999 to 2004 he was a Vice President at Stein Roe Investment Counsel and from 1992 to 1999 he was Vice President and Investment Officer for J. & W. Seligman & Company. Mr. Sanders earned his BS in Business Administration from the State University of New York at Buffalo and an MBA from Long Island University's CW Post Campus. He is Series 65 licensed. He serves as Treasurer of the Byram Hills Education Foundation in Armonk, NY where he lives with his wife and four children.

Stuart Flaum is the Managing Director of the Special Needs Family Planning Group at AXA Advisors which educates and empowers families in which an individual has a disability through unique long- term health, financial and estate planning strategies. Stuart serves on the board of the following organizations: Parent to Parent of New York State, National Autism Association New York Metro, and The Devereux Glenholme School in Washington, CT. He is on the advisory board of Strokes of Genius, an international exhibition of savants and artists on the spectrum. In addition, Stuart is the Autism Speaks NYC Walk Co-chair and founder of the Disabilities Leadership Council.

Sheryl Frishman, Esq. is of Counsel to the law firm of Littman Krooks LLP. Prior to joining Littman Krooks, Sheryl was a partner in the law offices of Frishman & Faber, P.C. a practice devoted entirely to the advocacy and life planning needs of children and adults with disabilities and their families. Previously, Sheryl was the senior associate attorney at a prominent New York law firm where she managed their Elder Law Department. She has served numerous times as court evaluator, guardian, guardian ad litem, and court appointed counsel for incapacitated persons in New York State Supreme Court and Surrogate's Court.
Currently, she serves as President of the Board of Directors of Westchester Arc the largest agency serving people with developmental disabilities and their families in Westchester County. Sheryl also serves on the Board of Governors and Legal Committee of NYSARC Inc., is on the advisory board for the WIHD Autism Expansion Grant, the fundraising Board of Directors for S.A.I.L. at Ferncliff Manor, and serves on the Family Support Services Council of the Hudson Valley Developmental Disabilities Services Office. Sheryl is an active member of many other organizations in the disability and legal community and has been instrumental in developing and implementing programs in the Hudson Valley for people with disabilities and their families. She speaks regularly and conducts workshops for professional and family organizations in the areas of special education law and life planning in addition to authoring articles on these topics. Sheryl has been the recipient of many awards and honors for her work in the special needs community, including recently being named one of Westchester County's "40 under 40 Rising Stars" by the Business Counsel of Westchester. Sheryl is also a co-host of the Family Network TV show "It's a Matter of Law", a show that covers all legal aspects of having a child with special needs. Sheryl received her B.S. from Union College, and her J.D. from Cardozo Law School of Yeshiva University. Sheryl is the mother of three children, one of whom has Autism.