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Big Apple Oranges: The resource for NYC special needs children and their families
 
 
 

(Big Apple Oranges is NOT an agency, company, or business entity. It IS a resource for families of children with special needs. This resource directs YOU to find out the information to help your child.)

 

Why the name ‘Big Apple Oranges’? Well, Big Apple refers to New York City and this guide is for families with special needs children in the 5 boroughs (although the laws and regulations are state-wide). The orange, like the apple, is a delicious, nutritious, healthy fruit – only different than the ‘big’ apple. So are our children – sentient, loving, unique individuals – only different.

 
When my family first learned that our beautiful son needed special services, we had a million questions and felt really lost. If it wasn’t for the fact that a family friend had connections to an early intervention program, I don’t know how we would have started the arduous, often frustrating task of getting the help, support, and services our son needed – and was entitled to receive.

 

 

 

 

 
 
It’s hard enough hearing the news about your child and getting the diagnosis. It rips you apart and often tears families apart. And organizing your plan of action may be overwhelming if you haven’t addressed the myriad of emotions you are experiencing. But the sooner your child gets help, the better the outcome. Every day is important for our precious children, and they shouldn’t have to wait for the assistance they need and deserve to survive and become (hopefully) contributing members of society.
 
 
We knew many families who went through this before us who helped us navigate these murky waters. And the constancy of love, commitment, and guidance of our son’s teachers, therapists, tutors, baby sitters, care providers, respite workers, and case managers all contribute to giving him the tools he needs to lead a self-reliant, independent life one day. We couldn’t have gone this far without their unrelenting passion and dedication.
 
 
But for those of you just starting this journey, Big Apple Oranges is here to help. You are definitely not alone. The daunting task of getting the help your child needs can be made easier with this guide so you can use your time more effectively to love, nurture, and be with your child rather than trying to figure out the system. This also frees you to take care of yourself and other family members which you should never forget to do. There’s help for you within these pages too. When you go through this site, please log on to the websites provided for a lot more detailed and helpful information.
 
 
This site is also a forum for you. If you have questions, ask them. Someone who went through it will advise you. If you have a teacher, therapist, school, case worker, etc who has bent over backwards for you, or has disappointed and failed you, let us know. Going public with this can make a difference. People take notice. And our hope is to help you help your child and improve the system that they rely on at the same time.
 
 
Much gratitude needs to be expressed to Laurie Yankowitz of Heartshare and Nyla Rock-Vanloo of SKIP of New York for their valuable insight and suggestions. And to Robert Stillerman. For everything.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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