Wednesday, September 14, 2005

September Meeting Report

Our longtime meeting place, Tribakery, is closed for renovations for several months and may not be suitable for us when it re-opens. So September's meeting brought 6 of us to Lynn's house around the corner. Welcome to Etta, who came for the first time.

We need to find a new meeting location at least until spring, and possibly beyond. Proximity to lots of different transit options, quiet enough for conversation, and flexibility for seating a group that fluctuates between 5 and 20 people are our criteria. Please contact Lynn with nominations.

Many of us have started new schools this month, and we talked quite a bit about the transitions to these new arrangements, including lots about the often anxious topic of busing, plus respite, afterschool, camps and school holiday programs. The consensus of those present, and of all who replied via e-mail, was to extend an invitation to Dr. Hamerman of the Lamm Institute to address us, and that will tentatively be in November.

There is a new school opening fall 2006, with the same Executive Director as the Aaron School, Michael Koffler. It will offer a Greenspan/DIR approach, and Stanley Greenspan is on the advisory board. If your spectrum kid does not require behavioral instruction, this may be worth looking into. Applications are being accepted starting Fall 2005 (now), request a brochure or application at The planned school size is an impressive 200, serving kids 4 to 14. No indication whether it is a "state approved non-public", charter, or "Carter proceeding" school, but probably safe to assume it is similar to Aaron.

Our topic for October is Schools. Please come prepared to describe your school, others you have visited, etc.

Hurricane Help: Major autism organizations are delivering ASD family focused relief through the site For a comprehensive list of disability and prematurity targeted gulf coast contacts, see

When you can think for a moment about the very real possibility of a hurricane in New York City, check your home's evacuation zone at This site lets you see the areas predicted to be affected by storm surge for varying classes of storms, plus details on evacuation routes.

Beyond that, there's the issue of what else needs to be in the ditch bag of a family with an ASD child. This would include prescriptions, copies of the IEP and evaluations, GFCF snacks, and more.

In spite of the Bush Administration's overall hostility to the ADA and IDEA, the Department of Homeland Security has a reasonable page on Emergency Preparedness and Disabilities at It covers practical preparedness for families with a disabled member, plus suggestions on dealing with the social and emotional fallout from disaster with developmentally disabled kids.