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  • News updates

    6/9/15 Brooklyn Children's Museum's Sensory Room on BRIC Arts BK Media!



    12/9/14 Subway Sleuths

    More about Subway Sleuths:


    What exactly is Subway Sleuths? Subway Sleuths is a 12-week program for kids who love transit, are able to talk to peers about this shared passion, and who can move around with a small group to explore the Transit Museum! Sleuths collaborate to solve transit mysteries, play motivating cooperative games, and learn exciting transit facts. The program uses their shared interests in trains to help them navigate social experiences with their peers. All sessions take place while the Museum is closed to the public, which means that Sleuths have the trains, the buses, and turnstiles all to themselves!

    Sessions are facilitated by a special education teacher, a speech-language pathologist (both trained in ASD support), and a Transit Museum educator. Call Meredith Martin at 718-694-1823 or email meredith.martin@nyct.com with any questions!



    12/5/14 Lincoln Center Announces a New Production — "Up and Away" – written especially for children with autism



    11/25/14 New Program at Winthrop Hospital Helps Children With Special Needs



    11/4/14 Cleaning With Meaning

    Heartshare NYC now offers green cleaning services for your apartment/office by individuals with disabilities. Their missions is "to provide excellent green cleaning services to the community, while  creating a meaningful and legitimate business model that supports individuals with disabilities in developing skills that will enable them to enter and e successful in the workforce." 718-422-5994, info@cwmny.com, www.cwmny.com



    The Autism Society and our nationwide network of affiliates has been a lifeline for individuals on the spectrum and caregivers to understand the complexities of living with an autism diagnosis and to connect them to resources and supports for a better quality of life.

    This October, in honor of National Bullying Prevention Month, the Autism Society is raising awareness about this national epidemic and its impact on individuals on the spectrum and the community. Did you know children with disabilities are two to three times more likely to be bullied than their nondisabled peers? One study found 63 percent of kids with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have been bullied across the country.

    Austin a high school soccer player with ASD from Pennsylvania was duct-taped to a soccer goal post that left him petrified and alone on a late Sunday evening by his teammates. Upon reporting the incident to school officials, Austin was ostracized and ultimately left the team. Austin is one of millions of students forced to endure bullying on a daily basis.

    Let’s stand up for Austin. Let’s stand up for the thousands of individuals on the spectrum who simply want to be treated with respect and dignity and acknowledged as human beings. It’s important for us to help individuals who have been bullied to learn how to deal with bullies and start the healing process.

    How can you help?
    •    Read The 3 R’s for Bullying Prevention, Healing from Bullying for the individual with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Bullying the Brain and Bullying, Then and Now for insight into the implications of bullying and its impact on victims and their families.
    •    Join the movement – wear orange on October 22, 2014 for PACER's National Bullying Prevention Center’s #UnityDay2014. Make it ORANGE and make it end! Unite against bullying!
    •    Call our trained professionals available at or info@autism-society.org seven days a week from 9am to 9 pm eastern time to offer support and referrals to those facing bullying or other issues related to ASD.
    •    Make a contribution to the Autism Society to help us stop bullying and support a comprehensive anti-bullying program for individuals on the spectrum.

    With your generous support, the Autism Society will continue to be the critical link for individuals across the country that faces bullying every day. We depend on your financial support to bring awareness to important issues like bullying and implement comprehensive safety programs for individuals with ASD. Help us keep individuals on the spectrum Safe & Sound® –each of us has a role in creating a safe and caring environment that fosters learning and positive social-emotional relationships for all children. It is not enough just to recognize; we have to eliminate bullying now. Seize the moment and consider a gift today!





    Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed an executive order to establish the Employment First Commission, tasked with creating an Employment First policy for New York, which makes competitive, integrated employment the first option when considering supports and services for people with disabilities. The initiative aims to increase the employment rate, and decrease the poverty rate, for New Yorkers who are receiving services from the State, as well as register 100 businesses as having formal policies to hire people with disabilities as part of their workforce strategy.

    “Equality and inclusiveness play a central role in the history of New York State, and today we are continuing that legacy by standing up for the employment needs of people with disabilities,” Governor Cuomo said. “This Executive Order relays what we stand for as New Yorkers—it will help provide fair opportunities to all people, and I am proud to move our state forward by signing it.”

    The Employment First policy is part of a national movement to support the employment of people with disabilities. The employment rate for a New Yorker with a disability (aged 18-64) is 31.2% compared to 72% for a person without a disability, resulting in a gap of 40.8 percentage points. In addition, the poverty rate for New Yorkers with disabilities aged 18-64 living in the community is 28.6%, which is more than twice that of people in New York State without disabilities (12.3%). The Governor has set a tentative goal of a 5% increase in the employment rate and a 5% decrease in the poverty rate among this population.

    The Executive Order can be viewed HERE.





    NEW YORK, NY 10007




    CONTACTpressoffice@cityhall.nyc.gov(212) 788-2958

    No. 306





    Package of administrative changes will reduce litigation, streamline paperwork, and ensure parents have a responsive and efficient process to meet their child’s special education needs


    NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver today announced a package of administrative changes that make the process easier and less contentious for parents who are entitled to reimbursement of tuition for their child’s special education program. The changes will affect parents whose children attend special education programs outside of public schools in order to receive necessary services.


    The special education placement process has been fraught with contention and litigation in recent years. The changes announced today will simplify and expedite the process for families with valid claims. The Department of Education is committing to render decisions about whether to settle cases within 15 days, to expedite reimbursements to parents, and to limit the paperwork they are required to submit. The changes were developed in consultation with Speaker Silver and the New York State Assembly.


    “Every child in this city deserves a quality education. But for years, parents of children with special needs have had to wait for the City to settle legitimate claims for tuition reimbursement. Today, we are turning the page, making changes that will ease the burden on these parents. We are cutting red tape, speeding up the process, and reaching outcomes that do right by families,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.


    “Each and every child in this state is entitled to a sound, basic education. Unfortunately, our public school system is not always able to accommodate children with special education needs, and many parents must turn to non-public schools. For too long, parents of special needs children had to engage in a lengthy fight to get their children placed in a private school. Parents have had to sue the City for reimbursement of tuition, placing an undue financial burden on these families. Worse yet, parents have to fight this battle year after year. On behalf of the Assembly Majority, I thank Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein, who has led the way on this issue for many years, Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan, our Education Committee Chair, and Mayor Bill de Blasio, for his commitment to New York City’s children. This is a great victory for our special needs children and their hardworking families,” said Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.


    “The Department of Education is committed to ensuring that all students with disabilities receive the programs and services they need to thrive academically, socially and emotionally,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “This agreement will make the settlement process more efficient and help reduce the uncertainty and waiting for payment, which can be a strain for families with valid claims for tuition reimbursement.”


    The action plan announced today will implement the following changes by September 1, 2014:


    • Expedite Decisions: Where settlement is appropriate, DOE will seek settlement within 15 days of receiving notice of parent intent to unilaterally place their child in a school.


    • Reduce Extended Legal Battles: The DOE will refrain from re-litigating settled or decided cases, unless there is a change in the IEP placement recommendation. The DOE will avoid unnecessary litigation in cases where the agency is unable to offer a placement, or when a child is about to enter the final grade of a school.


    • Reduce Paperwork: Instead of requiring parents to submit full documentation every year, the DOE will only require that paperwork every three years, allowing for income eligibility updates to be made each year, as needed.


    • Expedite Payments: DOE will make tuition payments on a monthly basis when required by a program, and it will provide a payment schedule to parents following any settlement. Once parents win a claim for tuition reimbursement, the DOE will pay the tuition while the DOE appeals that decision to a higher level of review.




    3/21/14 BCM Sensory Room on News 12: http://brooklyn.news12.com/news/brooklyn-children-s-museum-celebrates-all-developmental-levels-with-sensory-room-1.7464630


    3/11/14 New York State Autism Insurance Reform Laws

    Nov. 1, 2012, the NY autism insurance law took effect. Many insurance companies now provide medically necessary coverage for the screening, diagnosis, and treatment of ASD.


    PDF for Special Needs Summer Camp from RCSN: http://resourcesnyc.org/images/uploads/content/2013RCSNSpecialCampGuide_0.pdf



    Hello All:


    Earlier this month I moderated a panel with specialists from the Autism community for Heart of Brooklyn. HOB made an excellent 9 minute clip that captures the essence of our 90 minute conversation on serving children and adults with developmental or learning disabilities, as well as autism spectrum disorder, and their families. Three of the panelists (Geoffrey DeBery, Aaron Feinstein, and Elaine Stillerman) are on our Access Advisory Committee and Wéma was able to attend!                




    This panel is part of a research initiative within the 6 HOB institutions called Building Strong Community Networks. We have been listening to different communities to see how we may better serve Brooklyn though collaborative projects.  So far there have been research sessions with Teens, Communities with Cognitive Special Needs, and we are preparing to engage with ESL/ELL Communities. If you have any questions, please let me know and I’d be happy to fill you in on the process of how BSCN works.




    Marcos Stafne, Ph.D.

    Director of Education


    Brooklyn Children's Museum

    145 Brooklyn Avenue

    Brooklyn, NY 11213

    718.735.4400 ext. 108




    11/1/12  Autism Cares offers grants to families with children with ASD who have suffered natural diasters: http://www.autismcares.org/site/c.mqLOIYOBKlF/b.4745901/k.BD21/Home.htm

































    EXTERNAL SENDER. Do not click on links if sender is unknown and never provide user ID or password.































































































































    The first story about the new Sensory Room at BCM!!!!


    7/26/12 TSA sets up a special hotline for passengers with disabilites.

    http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/disabilityandmedicalneeds/index.shtm or call, toll free- 855-787-2227.


    6/21/12  Guggenheim Museum opens a new, sequential program series to serve students with ASD!

    The Guggenheim For All is a program especially catered to the specific needs of the group, and includes two classroom visits by a museum educator and two museum visits, one for the class and one for the families. To schedule, call 212-423-3637 or email spospiech@guggenheim.org.


    4/26/12  People First 1115 Waiver online! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hi23yvAlmBE










     Due to a pending ELIMINATION of an NEW YORK STATE POLICY DIRECTIVE (SPOUSAL / PARENTAL REFUSAL 89 ADM-47) parents would no longer be able to have their income Waived for the purposes of obtaining Medicaid for their disabled child under the age of 18 to 2yrs, they would have to provide full disclosure of income which would be calculated towards the Medicaid Spendown process. The same process would be disallowed for seniors in the community who need Medicaid for a spouse who needs to be institutionalized, they would practicly have to impovish themselves before being eligible, some unfortunately have even divorced to be eligible.

     Ex: A family of three (1 adult 2 children or 2 adults 1child) earning $36,000 gross income per year, would have to pay approximately $946 per month Spendown to get Medicaid


    The same family earning $45,000 per yr. gross income would pay approximately $2119 per month Spendown.


    A family of four earning $36,000 per yr. (2 adults 2 children) would pay

      approximately $522 per month to get Medicaid.   


    The same family earning $45,000 per yr. gross income would pay approximately

     $1696 per month Spendown.


    ( A  Spendown is the amount of your income that is over the NYS eligibility level that you must pay in advance to NYS monthly to receive any services.)


    This negatively impacts seniors and children with disabilities who are seeking Medicaid services via the NYS Waiver, OWPDD, Respite or Homecare services. The Spousal/Parental Refusal policy initiatives which have been in effect since 1989 are utilized by thousands of New York families. Recently in the Governors effort to reduce state Medicaid cost, the Medicaid Recommendation Team made these recommendations to eliminate this directive from the next year’s fiscal budget (2012-13) at the peril of thousands of seniors and disabled children.

    Please help us STOP this essential policy form being eliminated, we have called upon many State Assembly and State Senators to hold off this measure and Champion our efforts and will be holding a formal media announcement within the next few days. But today we must immediately call Governors office at 518 -474-8390 and send the attached letters to our Governor and your Assembly/Senate.

    Please call: Charlie Hope -Chair Disability Advisory Council for Queens Borough President

     for any questions 718-380-3000 x 201



    2/15/12 Top Middle Schools Must Take Special Ed Students






    Comprehensive $5 Million Autistic Center to Open in Howard Beach 


    Andrew Baumann (left), the head of New York Familes for Autistic Children, and his autistic son Anthony, 18, in the Howard Beach building that is to become one of the largest comprehensive Autism centers in Queens.
    Andrew Baumann (left), the head of New York Familes for Autistic Children, and his autistic son Anthony, 18, in the Howard Beach building that is to become one of the largest comprehensive Autism centers in Queens. Nicholas Fevelo for New York Daily News


     By Clare Trapasso / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS


    A Queens group plans to transform a Howard Beach Chinese restaurant into a $5 million comprehensive center for autistic children and adults.


    The New York Families for Autistic Children facility is expected to be one of the largest of its kind in the borough, said President and Chief Executive Officer Andrew Baumann.


    Renovations on the building are slated to begin next week. The center is to open June 1.



    Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/queens/comprehensive-5-million-autistic-center-open-howard-beach-article-1.1011068#ixzz1kgzryNZo

























    New York Families for Autistic Children





    2012 New Definition of Autism Will Exclude Many, Study Suggests By BENEDICT CAREY Changes to the way autism is diagnosed may make it harder for many people who would no longer meet the criteria to get health, educational and social services, researchers say.



























    1/13/12 Govo Cuomo to cut back Medicaid Services

    Starting in April, New York City Medicaid recipients with community-based home care must switch to managed-care plans run by private insurers with money-saving motives


    Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/governor-cuomo-plan-reduce-york-rising-medicaid-costs-send-state-poor-elderly-nursing-homes-article-1.1005524#ixzz1jLttS0gR

    AT AGE 84, Willie Mae White needs a wheelchair to get around, isn’t able to cook her own meals, endures dialysis three days a week and needs help performing daily personal tasks.

    But thanks to a Medicaid program that provides her a live-in home care aide, White still enjoys a dignified life in her own apartment in Jamaica, Queens.

    This is all changing for White and thousands of other disabled and elderly poor in our city.

    Under a plan Gov. Cuomo enacted last year to rein in spiraling Medicaid costs, the state will begin in April to require New York City Medicaid recipients who receive community-based home care to enroll instead in managed-care plans run by private insurers.

    Public health advocates warn that since those insurers will receive a flat monthly rate per client, they will seek to reduce services and will shunt enrollees with the most expensive conditions into nursing homes.

    Two weeks ago, more than two dozen advocacy groups for the disabled formally complained to the federal Department of Health and Human Services that the state is rushing to implement a “monumental change” for at least 85,000 people “without sufficient safeguards to ensure that enrollees will receive the services they need in the community to avoid institutionalization.”

    The groups urged the federal agency to deny the state permission to launch mandatory managed care unless major changes are made to protect patient rights.

    Cuomo’s Medicaid director, Jason Helgerson, insists the state will phase in the transition over several years.

    The main reason for the new policy, Helgerson said, was “out of control utilization — the same people getting ever more hours of care.”

    The taxpayers were were simply “paying way too much and the quality of care received by clients was poor,” he said.

    “Managed long-term care plans have a financial incentive to keep people healthy and out of nursing homes,” Helgerson added.

    The disability advocates counter that only a small percentage of patients receive the most expensive care, with most assigned an aide for a few hours per day.

    “These are chronically ill people, and if they don’t get that level of care at home, they’ll end up in the hospital or in a nursing home,” one advocate said. “Which does the state prefer?”

    Last year, for example, Willie Mae White tried to walk on her own, but “she fell and fractured her shoulder,” her daughter Nola Brooker said.

    Brooker and her siblings all work during the day and can’t be around to care for their mother or take her to dialysis.

    A few weeks ago, they were informed that their mother was being reassigned to a private insurer starting Jan. 1.

    The family was assured the same two live-in aides who have shared caring for White for nearly two years would continue to be assigned to her.

    But when White was released from the hospital this week after a bout of pneumonia, the new private insurer — without any notice or explanation — had suddenly assigned three new aides to take turns staying at her house.

    The insurer also assigned a new social worker, new therapist and new nurse.

    Six total strangers are now in charge of White’s care.

    No wonder the advocates worry that, come April, the lives of thousands of disabled Medicaid recipients could be turned upside down.


    Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/governor-cuomo-plan-reduce-york-rising-medicaid-costs-send-state-poor-elderly-nursing-homes-article-1.1005524#ixzz1jLu9MHi8






















































    12/7/11 Techworks to go!

    UCP of NYC mobile techworks center is a fully accessible vehicle customized to transport and demonstrate assistive technology devices. No age limit, all levels of ability, all 5 boroughs. 1-877-UCP CONNECT  projectconnect@upcnyc.org

    11/22/11 SSI to increase. http://www.disabilityscoop.com/2011/10/19/social-payments-increase/14268/


    11/22/11 Saving for People With Disabilities may soon be Tax Free!:  http://www.disabilityscoop.com/2011/11/15/saving-tax-free/14448/


           2012 Kindergarten Enrollment for Families of Students with Disabilities

           Arabic  |  Bengali   |  Chinese  |  French  |  Haitian Creole  |  Korean  |  Russian  |  Spanish <http://schools.nyc.gov/NR/rdonlyres/F0DAEBAE-793A-452D-859C-1DD8ADF6D4E1/0/Spanish_all.pdf>   | Urdu

           Kindergarten Application Period
           January 9, 2012 – March 2, 2012

           Families Notified about Assignment Offers
           March 19, 2012 – March 23, 2012

           Offer Acceptance Period
           March 26, 2012 – April 13, 2012

           As your child moves from preschool to Kindergarten, you may have questions about the types of special education services available to school-age students, the transition process, and what steps you need to take to obtain a Kindergarten placement for your child. To be eligible for admission to Kindergarten in September 2012, a student must turn 5 by December 31, 2012 and be a resident of New York City. In keeping with ongoing reforms in special education <http://schools.nyc.gov/NR/ all students entering Kindergarten in September 2012, including students with disabilities, should participate in the Kindergarten Admissions Process <http://schools.nyc.gov/ ChoicesEnrollment/ElementaryYour child will likely attend the school that accepts him/her through this process.

           Your first step is to complete an application at your zoned school (or a barrier-free school <http://schools.nyc.gov/NR/ if appropriate) and any other schools of interest. We also invite you to attend an Orientation Meeting in your borough (please scroll down for a complete schedule) and to read our Kindergarten Orientation Guide <http://schools.nyc.gov/NR/ for Families of Students with Disabilities. (Translations at top of page.)




    Molecular mechanisms: Fragile X drugs could treat autism


    E-mail Print Share This




























    Jessica Wright

    1 November 2011

    Telling tissue: The brains of individuals with autism have protein expression patterns that resemble those of individuals with fragile X syndrome.

    Postmortem brains from adults with autism have lower-than-normal levels of the fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP), which is missing in fragile X syndrome, according to a study published in October in The Anatomical Record1. Brains from both children and adults with autism also have abnormal levels of other molecules whose activity overlaps with that of FMRP, the study found.

    The results suggest that the many promising drug treatments being developed for fragile X syndrome could also treat autism, the researchers say.

    Individuals with fragile X syndrome lack FMRP, which regulates the translation of several genes. A study published in July shows that many of these genes, such as SHANK3 and PTEN, are also important in autism.

    In the new study, researchers looked at postmortem brains from nine adults and seven children with autism compared with control brains from five adults and six children. The brains from adults with autism have about 75 percent less FMRP compared with adult control brains, the study found. Brains from children with autism have slightly less FMRP than control brains do, but this result is not statistically significant.

    The researchers also looked at the amount of mGluR5, a signaling molecule that activates a number of genes, including some needed at synapses, the junctions between neurons. Because mGluR5 is known to activate many of the same genes that FMRP represses, inhibitors of mGluR5 are being investigated as treatments for fragile X syndrome. The brains from children, but not adults, with autism have about 200 percent more mGluR5 than do those from controls, the study found.

    The study also found that the levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid beta 3, or GABARB3, a component of a receptor that represses brain signals, are 37 percent lower in the brains from adults with autism than in control brains.

    Several studies have associated defects in GABA with autism, and a 2009 study shows that the brains of individuals with autism have lower levels of GABRB3 and other subunits of the GABA receptor compared with controls2.


    1: Fatemi S.H. et al. Anat. Rec. (Hoboken) 294, 1635-1645 (2011) PubMed

    2: Fatemi S.H. et al. J Autism Dev. Disord39, 223-230 (2009) PubMed
























































    11/10/11  NAA NY Metro Chapter Announces Its 2011-12 Helping Hand Grant Program The NAA NY Metro Chapter is pleased to announce that it once again will
    be awarding  "Helping Hand Grants" of up to $500 each to families in need.    This year we will be awarding TEN grants.  A Helping Hand
    Grant provides your family with financial assistance to obtain necessary biomedical treatments, supplements and therapy services for
    your child with autism.  Grants will be paid directly to your child's medical professional or therapist.


     If you are interested in applying for a one-time grant, please visit our  website and download the instructions and grant application, complete the application and return
    it to NAA NY Metro &nbsp; by January 31, 2012, with supporting documentation.  Grant decisions will be completed by March 1, 2012. 
    Only approved grant recipients will be contacted.   To be considered, applications must be completed legibly, signed and you must include all
    supporting documentation requested. 


     PLEASE NOTE:   Applications must be postmarked by   January 31, 2012 to be considered. Please do not
    apply for this grant if:(1) Your child was awarded an NAA NY Metro Helping Hand Grant in a prior year; or  (2)  You are seeking funds for
    respite care, fencing, backyard play equipment, vacations, or other non-medical/therapeutic requests   We encourage you to share this
    announcement with others who may  qualify for a Helping Hand Grant  If you would like more information about us, please visit our website.

       NAA NY Metro Chapter
     60 East 96th St., Ste. 5CD
    New York, New York 10128 


    11/1/11 Gov. Cuomo to sign Autism Insurance Bill.

    Gov. Cuomo to Sign Autism Health Insurance BillMore&nbsp;Info <http://capwiz.com/a-champ/utr/1/IQNQQSDJIS/HGOVQSDJVU/7529843596>
    Tomorrow in Albany

    Good news! Governor Andrew Cuomo will be signing the autism health insurance reform bill tomorrow in Albany. It has been a long struggle and this bill moves us a good distance to where we need to be. It will cover ABA and other behavioral therapy, assistive technologies, and prohibits discrimination against people with an autism diagnosis in providing occupational, physcial and speech therapies. On the no-so-good side, it has a $45,000 annual cap and does not expand access to necessary therapies.

    This is the result of years of work by thousands of people across the state.  So be sure that those calls, letters, emails, office visits and work eventually can pay off.  One lesson that must not be ignored from this experience is that when the autism community works together in good faith we can make significant strides forward. Hopefully, we can apply that lesson in the many struggles we still face.

    Please share this email with family and friends and post to Facebook and other social networks. And if you support the efforts of the AUtism Action Network please consider making a donation at www.autismactionnetwork.org/ <http://capwiz.com/a-champ/





    Dear parents of New York City preschoolers,
    Have you heard of the NYC Imagination Library of the NYC Department of Education?
    The NYC Imagination Library is a program that provides every child under five years old who resides in the five boroughs of New York City with a free children’s book sent to the home every single month regardless of your income.
    Did I say free? Yes I did.
    Did I say books sent to your child every month? Yes I did!
    Did I say regardless of your income level? Yes I did!!
    Also, there will be additional literacy tools such as books in native languages and reading incentive programs.
    Beginning with the classic, The Little Engine That Could, your child will experience the joy of finding a book in the mailbox every single month.
    The application for this too good to be true (but it is true!) program can be found at the following website. Complete the form and allow six to eight weeks for delivery. If you have any questions, you can call the NYC Imagination Library at
    (718) 642-5791
    Please share this information with your family and friends. But don’t delay. Your child could be reading today!

    Visit www.nyc.gov/hhc

    10/25/11 Brooklyn Children's Museum to open a Sensory Room for children on the autistic spectrum in Spring 2012!!!

    I am proud to announce that a grant has been given to the BCM for a sensory room for children on the autistic spectrum. After my son, who has Fragile X,  was turned away from their toddler room in April, 2010 for being too old, I ranted and raved, wrote letters, made phone calls, and finally found a sympathetic ear in the form of their passionate President and CEO, Georgina Ngozi. It took nearly 1 1/2 years to get a grant, but The Joseph LeRoy and Ann C. Warner Fund recognized the need for such a space and wrote a sizable check.


    The BCM is the country's oldest children's museum and recently completed an extensive renovation. But come Spring, 2012, this will also include a sensory room filled with all sorts of sensory tools, toys, exhibits, and games and staffed with specially trained museum personnel. Construction is scheduled to take 6-9 months.



    For Immediate Release

    Contact: Gary Shulman, 212-677-4650 ext. 20
    Presented by Resources for Children with Special Needs, Inc.
    212-677-4650 ext. 20 www.resourcesnyc.org
    Parents and caregivers of children and teens with disabilities can plan ahead for summer with the wealth of information offered at the 27th annual free Special Camp Fair on Saturday, January 28, 2012 from 11 AM to 3 PM. at the Church of St. Paul the Apostle, (Entrance to Fair on Columbus Ave. near W. 60th St.) NYC . The Fair is presented by Resources for Children with Special Needs, Inc., (212) 677-4650 ext. 20 www.resourcesnyc.org
    Representatives from 70 New York City day camps and sleepaway camps in the northeast will be on hand to help parents and professionals plan productive summer experiences for children with disabilities. The Fair will also feature information on travel programs, remedial education programs, volunteer and job opportunities and early childhood programs. Spanish and sign language interpreters will be available.
    Visitors to the Fair will receive a free copy of the Camps 2011-12 Directory.

    10/25/11 NY Times article – Parents push for more special ed afterschool programs



    10/24/11 Save on summer camps.

    These are a few handy tips to save money on summer camps:

    1. Start looking early. Some camps offer 'early bird specials'. Searching early helps you budget and save for summer activities. To check the schedule for American Camp Association, NY and NJ fall fairs, go to www.aca-nynj.org/events. Or call 212-391-5208.

    2. Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit – The IRS allows an income tax credit of up to $6000 of dependent care expenses if you have 2 or more dependents (up to $3000 for one dependent). The amount of the credit is based on your adjusted gross income and applies only to your federal taxes. This applies to qualifying day camps as well. Go to www.irs.gv for more info about the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit.

    3. A Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account allows parents to be reimbursed on a pre-tax basis for child care or adult dependent care expenses that are necessary to allow the parent to work, look for work, or attend school full time. See the FSA Feds website for more info at: www.fsafeds.com.

    4. Contact the camp director and see what possible arrangements can be made. Some camps offer sibling discounts, early bird registration discounts, or payment plans.

    10/14/11 Updated list of ipad apps for Special Education: http://xa.yimg.com/kq/groups/161612/1618702790/name/iPhone%20and%20iPad%20Apps%20for%20Special%20Education%2Epdf

    10/4/11 Read the New York Times Arts blog about the special, autism-friendly performance of Disney's The Lion King!:



    9/30/11 President Obama Signs Landmark Combating Autism Bill

    We are thrilled to announce that President Obama has signed legislation renewing the landmark Combating Autism Act for another three years, assuring continued federal support for critical autism research, services and treatment. Autism Speaks Co-founders Suzanne and Bob Wright, and Board Member Billy Mann, today joined the President at the White House for an official ceremony that sends a message of hope to the millions of families and individuals affected by autism.

    The Combating Autism Reauthorization Act (CARA) — sponsored by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Rep. Mike Doyle (D-PA) in the House of Representatives and Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY) in the Senate — would not have passed without the tireless efforts of advocates throughout the autism community. Across the nation, countless families and individuals united in a single voice and petitioned Washington to pass this vital legislation. Thanks to their efforts, the message was heard loud and clear: CARA passed unanimously in both the House and Senate despite an uncertain fiscal environment.

    The new law continues the federal government’s commitment to autism research, services and treatment at current levels, authorizing $693 million over the next three years. The original act provided nearly $945 million over five years. Since its passage in 2006, significant advances have been made in determining potential causes for autism as well as promising new early intervention behavioral treatments. By signing CARA into law, President Obama has ensured the federal government’s commitment to autism so that crucial research can continue unimpeded for the next three years.

    Autism Speaks salutes our lawmakers for listening, and responding, to the 1.5 million families across the nation who live with autism every day. To learn more about CARA, visit www.autismvotes.org/cara. To thank President Obama and your member of Congress and Senators for their support, please visit www.autismvotes.org/ThankPresidentObama.


    9/22/11 http://news.yahoo.com/startup-company-succeeds-hiring-autistic-adults-162558148.html

    Start-up company hires autistic adults! Read the story….



    The last few weeks have seen a flurry of activity in the Fragile X field!  Fragile X research is drawing national attention as featured in the two video links below:

    Moonshot to the Mind and Fragile X on BioCentury This Week

    50 years after the U.S. set out to put a man on the moon, former congressman Patrick Kennedy has kicked off Moonshot to the Mind – a public-private initiative which aims to deliver new treatments for brain disorders. He calls it a “superhighway of brain science.”

    The television program BioCentury This Week aired a program with Dr. Tom Insel, Director of the National Institute of Mental Health, Dr. Paul Wang of Seaside Therapeutics, and Patrick Kennedy. Their discussion highlights Fragile X research as the model for Kennedy’s Moonshot initiative.

    As Dr. Insel notes, ”The time is right to do this. Now it is time to understand the diseases and how they come about.”  He calls Fragile X research “tremendously exciting … the prototype” for how to proceed.

    Seaside’s Dr. Paul Wang: “We’re building the rocket. We’re on the cusp of taking those research breakthroughs into treatments.”

    FRAXA’s game plan has been precisely this!  We first funded basic science to understand Fragile X and then supported the most promising leads, all the way to clinical trials. Fragile X research is leading the way toward treatments for brain disorders from autism to Alzheimer's.

    You can view the program at http://www.biocenturytv.com


    5/30/11 A website to help parents of fussy eaters:

    Don't let the name fool you. This charming website makes nutritious food appealing to boys and girls: www.littleladieswholunch.com


    5/30/11 Free Summer Sports Programs!

    The City Parks Foundation runs free tennis, golf, and track & field in all 5 boroughs. 718-760-6999 or http://www.cittyparksfoundation.org


    The NYJTL offers free tennis programs in all 5 boroughs for children 6-18. 347-417-8156, http://www.nyjtl.org/play-tennis-now/community-tennis-program.html

    The Urban Park Rangers offer free outdoor programs that include hiking, canoeing, birding, and fishing activities for families. 212-360-2776, http://www.nycgovparks.org/sub_about/parks_divisions/urban_park_rangers/pd_ur.html

    The R.H. Macy's Fishing contest runs from July 13- 17, 10am-4pm and is open to children 15 and younger. Equipment is provided, or bring your own. All fish must be returned to the lake alive. http://www.prospectpark.org/calendar/event/fishingcontest

    Big Apple Games, sponsored by the Public Schools Athletic League, runs Monday, 7/11-Thursday 8/11, Monday-Thurs, 1:00pm- 5:00pm and 6:00pm – 9:00pm. Open to students in the 9th to 12th grades. 718-707-4226. http://www.psal.org/psalsports/games/AppleGames.asp?menu=bigapple


    6/1/11 Social stories – over 200 for free



    Reprinted with permission of One Place for Special Needs. www.oneplaceforspecialneeds.com


    6/10/11 OPWDD Commissioner's Statement on Putting People First

    To read the Commissioner's statement, go to: https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=gmail&attid=0.1&thid=1306b12a45cd8f9b&mt=application/pdf&url=https://mail.google.com/mail/?ui%3D2%26ik%3D799e09e9e8%26view%3Datt%26th%3D1306b12a45cd8f9b%26attid%3D0.1%26disp%3Dsafe%26zw&sig=AHIEtbTmQjDAaldOaNN14ca2_qz-QLtMoQ&pli=1


    6/27/11 UCP Project Connect

    United Cerebral Palsy, 1-877-UCP CONNECT, projectconnect@ucp.org, www,ucpnyc.org, offers numerous services for qualified individuals: medical services in all 5 boroughs, rehabilitation and specialty services for adults, residential services in all boroughs except Queens, housing assistance in all 5 boroughs, access to home (up to $21,000 for home modification), home assessments, family reimbursement, after-school programs in Brooklyn and Manhattan, and many other services.



    National parks passes for people with disabilities


    There's still some time left this summer to enjoy the great outdoors!  People with disabilities can enjoy many federal recreation sites for free. 


    When you visit a federal recreation site, just present some documentation of disability status and ask for the free Access Pass.  Documentation includes a physician's statement, or a document issued by a State or Federal agency like the Veteran's Administration, Social Security Disability Income, Supplemental Security Income, or a vocational rehabilitation agency.  This pass gives you and three adults free admission to federal recreation sites around the country, and it's good for life!


    For more details about the passes, visit http://store.usgs.gov/pass/access.html .  To find a recreation site, visit http://www.nps.gov/findapark/index.htm .  (Not all recreation sites issue the passes.  Please call first.)  If clicking the links does not work, copy and paste the links into your browser's address bar. 


    Have fun out there!
    6/30/11 Top Ten Brooklyn Resources (powerpoint)


    8/11/11 The Proposed 1115 Waiver – People First Initiative

    For the latest information on this proposal, go to: http://www.opwdd.ny.gov/2011_waiver/waiver_NASDDDS_news_brief.jsp

    For a copy of the brochure explaining the new waiver: http://www.opwdd.ny.gov/2011_waiver/images/waiver_brochure.pdf

    For a list of the proposed changes to the waiver: http://www.health.state.ny.us/health_care/medicaid/redesign/docs/2011-02-09_meeting_handout_-_redesign_proposals.pdf

    Future Profilz Text….



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