Friday, October 31, 2008

College for Students with Disabilities

Resources for Children with Special Needs, Inc.
Invites Educators, Advocates and Parents to a Panel Discussion

College for Students with Disabilities:
Perspectives for Parents and Students on Preparing for College, the Selection and Application Process, and Maximizing the College Experience

Thursday, December 11, 2008 from 5 - 7:30 p.m.
5:00 Coffee Reception with Panelists • 5:30 Panel
Credit Suisse, 11 Madison Avenue at 24th Street,
Auditorium Level 2B

Advance Registration $35 ● At the Door $40 (Space Permitting)

Dr. Jack Gentul, Dean of Students at New Jersey Institute of Technology, was the first Coordinator for Students with Disabilities at Rutgers University from 1976-1979. Dr. Gentul was the Director of the Moses Center for Students with Disabilities at NYU from 1983-1999, which served the largest population of students with disabilities in private higher education. He has also served on the Mountain Lakes, NJ K-12 Board of Education and was the Dean of Students at Pace University in Pleasantville.
Owen Parker, recent graduate of Goucher College, currently employed at Rockefeller University.
Jim Rein, nationally recognized lecturer on post-secondary options for learning disabled students, was the Dean of the Vocational Independence Program at the New York Institute of Technology for 20 years. Prior to that he was the Executive Director of the Little Red School House/Elizabeth Irwin High School and Assistant Director of the Churchill School. For the past 2 years he was the head of guidance for the Churchill School, coordinating their college placements.
Moderator: Dr. Elizabeth Sharpless, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist, is currently the Director of the Saul and Gladys Gwirtzman Learning Center of the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services. She is a member of the faculty of the Derner Institute at Adelphi University and also at the Institute of Child, Adolescent and Family Therapy. Dr. Sharpless is the chair of the Board of Advisors of Resources for Children with Special Needs, Inc.

To register: Mail or fax the form below with your registration fee to:
Panel, Resources for Children with Special Needs
116 East 16th Street, 5th Floor, NY, NY 10003
(212) 677-4650 ● FAX (212) 254-4070

December 11th Panel Registration Form

Company_____________________________________ ____________________________________________
Daytime phone_____________________email_________________________________________________

Number of people attending_____
□ Check made out to Resources for Children enclosed $_____________
□ Credit Card
□ Visa □ MasterCard □ American Express □ Diners Club
Card account number____________________________________________________________________
Expiration date_________________________ Card Code________________
Charge amount $_________________

Resources for Children with Special Needs is a citywide information, referral, advocacy and training center serving children birth-26, their parents, and the professionals who work on their behalf. Visit us at Visit our searchable Database on the Web™ at

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Conference Season #5: Michelle Garcia Winner at NYU Child Study Center

Michelle Garcia Winner, M.A., CCC-SLP
Looking Into the Mind of Autism Spectrum Disorders and Like Disabilities: How Assessment, Mental Health & Transition Issues Link to Practical Program Development
October 29, 2008, 8 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Alumni Hall B, NYU Langone Medical Center
550 First Avenue, New York, NY 10016
RSVP by visiting the Calendar of Events on
The autism spectrum and related disabilities represent a very heterogeneous population across a broad range of functioning. The core social challenges experienced by this population are complex and are based on the dynamic and synergistic process of the development of communication and social cognition.
To be presented:
• Videos of various-aged students across three levels of perspective taking
• Information on informal assessment, related treatment approaches and integrating students into mainstream settings
• Handouts that discuss different types of treatment while recognizing that there is no single treatment for people on the autism spectrum
• Strategies to help prepare for successful transition to adulthood along with specific methods for working with older students and adults
This presentation is intended for both professionals who work with children on the autism spectrum and parents who want to have a broader understanding of the development of social cognition.
Registration form available at:

NYU Child Study Center Asperger Institute • 145 East 32 Street, 5th Floor • New York, NY 10016
T: 212 2652 1961 • F: 212 652 1950 •

8 - 8:30 a.m.
Register and use appropriate social skills to chat
8:30 - 10:30 a.m.
Introduction to the Concept of Perspective Taking Model - 3 Levels of Perspective Taking Deficits
10:30 - 10:40 a.m.
10:40 - 12:00 p.m.
Exploring how Perspective Taking Applies to Kids in School
12 - 1 p.m.
Lunch on your own
1 - 2:20 p.m.
4 Step Treatment Model of Communication
Exploring Functional Treatment Activities
2:20 - 2:30 p.m.
2:30 - 3:30 p.m.
Effective Interventions for Social Skill Development:
Being a Knowledgeable Consumer
Discussant: Lynda Geller, Ph.D.
Michelle Garcia Winner is a speech and language pathologist who specializes in working with students with social cognitive deficits. Michelle’s goal is to help educators and parents appreciate how social thinking and social skills are integral parts of academic, vocational and community success. She was honored with a “Congressional Special Recognition Award” in 2008.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Conference Season #4: Birch Family Services, 11/6

Birch Family Services 11th Annual Autism Conference: Addressing the Challenges of Autism: Getting the Social Stuff Right

At this year’s conference, you’ll hear the challenges — and triumphs — of helping those with ASD understand and manage social interactions with others. Not only will you further your knowledge on this issue, but you’ll come away with practical strategies that will enhance your daily interactions with individuals with ASD. You’ll also receive a unique perspective on the subject from Michael John Carley, who was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome in 2000 (along with his then 4-year-old son).

November 6, 2008
Alfred Lerner Hall, Columbia University

Brenda Smith Myles, PhD, Keynote Speaker University of Kansas — Dept. of Special Education Author of The Hidden Curriculum: Teaching What is Meaningful; Asperger Syndrome and Difficult Moments: Practical Solutions for Tantrums, Rage and Meltdowns (with Southwick); and, Asperger Syndrome and Adolescence: Practical Solutions for School Success (with Adreon). Brenda has made over 500 presentations all over the world and written more than 150 articles and books on autism and Asperger Syndrome.

Nancy Reichle, PhD University of North Carolina — Division TEACCH Director of Division TEACCH’s Carolina Living and Learning Center (CLLC), a residential and vocational treatment program for adults with autism. Coauthor of the following: Effects of a Model Treatment Approach on Adults with Autism (in press) in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disabilities; Residential Treatment for Individuals with Autism in Handbook of Autism, 2nd Edition; and, The Environmental Rating Scale (ERS): A Measure of the Residential Environment for Adults with Autism in Research in Developmental Disabilities, Vol. 19, No. 5, 1998.

Elisa Gagnon, MS. Ed University of Kansas — Asperger Syndrome Project Coordinator of the Asperger Syndrome Project at the University of Kansas Medical Center. Author of Power Cards: Using Special Interests to Motivate Children and Youth with Asperger Syndrome and Autism, and Coauthor of This is Asperger Syndrome.

Michael John Carley and members of G.R.A.S.P. [Global and Regional Asperger Syndrome Project] Panel Presentation
Michael John Carley is Founder and Executive Director of G.R.A.S.P., the largest organization comprised of adults on the autism spectrum. He has appeared in the media widely, most notably in The New York Times, Washington Post, New York Newsday, The London Times, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, the Chronicle of Higher Education, Newsweek OnAir, Psychology Today, and on radio on Terry Gross’ Fresh Air as well as The Infinite Mind.

For more information or to register please log on to

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

2008 DD Council Family Resource Fairs

Each borough's Develomental Disability Council holds a family resource fair, with expo tables for agencies and trainings for parents and professionals. If you aren't plugged into needed services, this is a great place to start. If you are entering a new phase of services, this is a good place to get a sense of what is out there.

Friday, November 7th -- 8:30 a.m. -3:00 p.m.
Queens Family Support Conference and Resource Fair
Sheraton La Guardia East Hotel 135-20 39th Avenue, Flushing
More info:

Thursday, November 20th -- 10 AM to 2 PM
Manhattan Family Support Conference and Resource Fair
St. Paul the Apostle, Amsterdam Avenue between 59th & 60th Streets

Workshops, 10:30 - 11:45:
Community Resources for Children Gary Shulman, Program Director, Resources for Children with Special Needs
Becoming an Effective Self-Advocate! A Session for People with Developmental Disabilities Cathy James, Co-Director, Life Coaching Project, Job Path, & members of Life Coaching Project
Autism: What's New in the Field Charles Cartwright, MD, Director, YAI Autism Center
Medicaid Waivers: What They’re All About Larry Domenech, Development Representative, OMRDD; Jane Salchli, Director of Programs, SKIP of NY
Residential Services: What Parents Need to Know Howard Wasserman, Development Representative, OMRDD; parent to be announced

Workshops, 12:30 - 1:45
12 Tips for Successful Educational Advocacy Christopher Treiber, Director of Advocacy Services, AHRC NYC; Yesenia Estrella, Educational Advocate, Sinergia; Miguel Salazar, Program Director for Public Education, Resources for Children with Special Needs
Future Planning: Guardianship, Wills, Health Care Proxies, Special Needs Trusts Randi Rosenstein, Esq., Director of Legal Services, AHRC NYC
Technology: New Developments for People with Developmental Disabilities Darinka Vlahek, Director of Community Services; Andrija Sekulic, Director of Technology; Justin Russo, Director of Travel Training; Lorraine Cohen, Director of Augmentative Communication; AHRC NYC
Preparing for Puberty & Beyond: Addressing Physical Changes and Sexuality Issues Kristi Hickey-Vigilante, LMSW, YAI Center for Specialty Therapy; Juliet Hawkins, MA, YAI Clinical and Family Services

For more information about the Manhattan Family Support Fair:
AMY BITTINGER at 212-979-9700, EXT. 707/708 or JENNIFER SHAOUL at 212-273-6289

These events are free to families, and some offer a cash raffle or gift bag. A great place to find out about residences, day programs, waiver and non-waiver recreation, respite, and family reimbursement services. Medicaid Service Coordinators can get training credits.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Senator Golden's 2nd Annual Special Education Forum

Are You the Parent of a Child with Special Needs?

Do You Wonder About Higher Education Opportunities for Your Special Needs Child?

Do you have Questions about Services Offered by Advocacy Organizations?

Saturday, November 3, 2007

10 AM to 2 PM


KingsboroughCommunity College

2001 Oriental Boulevard,Brooklyn, NY11235

Contact Senator Martin Golden

Room 946 LOB • Albany, New York12247• (518) 455-2730

7403 5th Avenue• Brooklyn, New York11209• (718) 238-6044

Invited Speakers include:

Linda Wernikoff, Executive Director

Office of Special Education Initiatives

Yolanda Cacciolo, Director

New YorkUniversity, CRC Counseling

Students with Chronic Illnesses & Psychological Disabilities

Information Tables:

Local Advocacy Organizations

Resources in the Community

State & City Agencies Devoted to

Special Education

Senator Martin Golden’s

2nd Annual Special Education Forum


Owen H. R. Johnson, Legislative Analyst

Hon. Martin J. Golden

New YorkStateSenate, 22nd District

7408 Fifth Avenue

Brooklyn, NY11209

Tel 718.238.6044

Fax 718.238.6170

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Conference Season #3: Emphasis on Speech

Teaching Children with Developmental Disabilities To Speak:
Current Research and Best Practice

November 13-14, 2008 ~ New York City (Queens), NY


Martha Burns, PhD, CCC-SLP
Nancy Kaufman, MA, CCC-SLP
Tamara Kasper, MS, CCC-SLP, BCBA
Sara Rosenfeld-Johnson, MS, CCC-SLP


Professionals: $290 each
Parent: $150 each...or, $200 total for both parents (or 2nd family member)

More information and color brochure here:

Sponsor / Contact:
Northern Speech ~ 888.337.3866 ~ ~

Monday, September 22, 2008

Conference Season #2: Mark Durand at Hunter CARD 11/15

Regional Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders at Hunter College
in collaboration with
Resources for Children with Special Needs, Inc.
and the Early Childhood Direction Center/Manhattan at New York- Presbyterian Hospital

Presents a Conference on Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders for Families and Professionals

V. Mark Durand, Ph.D. Professor, University of South Florida

Optimistic Parenting: Hope and Help for the Challenging Child & Helping Children Sleep Better

Saturday, November 15, 2008, 9:00 AM– 1:00 PM Hunter College, Room 714 West (SW corner of E. 68th Street and Lexington Avenue)

CONFERENCE PRE-REGISTRATION –email: or mail to: Regional Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders, Hunter College, Special Education 9th Fl West, 695 Park Ave. NY, NY 10065 Please submit a separate form for each registrant (except parents).

Confirmations sent by email or phone only
For Parents

Name__________________________________________________ Address ______________________________________________
City ___________________State_____ Zip___________________
Phone Contact ______________________________________
EMAIL ________________________________________________

For Professionals
Name _______________________________________________________ Discipline____________________________________________________ School/Agency ______________________________________________ Address_______________________________________________________ City______________________________St________________Zip______________ Phone______________________________________________________

Childcare will not be available

Conference Season #1: Growing Up and Thriving Series

Foundation for Educating Children with Autism (Westchester) presents:

Growing Up and Thriving on the Autism Spectrum (Three Friday mornings)

Friday, October 17, 2008 • 9am-12pm: Early Intervention and How to Navigate Through the Forms and
Services Available at the Preschool / Early Intervention Level

Friday, November 21, 2008 • 9am-12pm: Pharmacological Approaches to Autism

Friday, January 16, 2009 • 9am - 12 pm: Preparing Students with Autism for Post-Secondary Employment:
Making a Transition from School to Work

Program and registration form available as PDF at:

Thursday, July 10, 2008

EI Family Training Initiative

As I understand it, this program is geared toward preparing parents of EI kids to be advocates their kids and the programs which serve them. I can't speak to the quality of this program, but I'll certainly say that understanding the regulatory, funding, and political environment surrounding EI will benefit parents both for that short time and down the road.

This is one of my little policy hobby horses, that families who benefited from good EI services should remain advocates for the program, even and especially after they are no longer in the program -- it is a wonderful gift you can give to the next cohort of EI families, who are scrambling to deal with the challenges and urgent opportunities of a newly diagnosed young child.

But this training program is for parents of kids still getting EI services. So, if you know a parent of a newly diagnosed child, this should go on their list of competing priorities.

-- Lynn Decker

Responses should go to Margaret Sampson, Coordinator of the program. Here is her information:

Margaret Sampson
Family Initiative Coordinator:
Phone: 1-877-205-0502 (toll-free)

The NYS Department of Health's Bureau of Early Intervention and the Family Initiative Coordination Services Project at the Just Kids Foundation are sponsoring an Early Intervention Partners Training Project in New York City this fall.

The Early Intervention Partners Training Project is for parents of infants and toddlers with disabilities
currently receiving early intervention services in the five boroughs of New York City.
The Early Intervention Partners Training Project helps parents of young children with disabilities become involved in Early Intervention Program leadership activities. The training sessions provide information, resources, and skill-building activities designed to increase parent advocacy and leadership skills. Parents
are encouraged to form working partnerships with early intervention professionals and policymakers.

We are inviting you to apply to participate in this training program. We will select parents from the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Staten Island to attend. The training program is free of charge,
and all meals, training materials, and overnight accommodations are provided at no cost. A limited amount of funding is available to assist parents in need of support for child care and travel expenses. Prior approval by the Family Initiative Coordinator is required for those needing assistance.

A series of three sessions will be held at the Crowne Plaza JFK Airport, 151-20 Baisley Blvd., Jamaica, Queens, on the following dates:
Session Day Date Time Meals
Session I: Saturday September 27, 2008 9:00 A.M.-3:00 P.M. Lunch
Session II: Friday October 24, 2008 4:00 P.M.-9:00 P.M. Dinner
Saturday October 25, 2008 9:00 A.M.-3:00 P.M. Breakfast/Lunch
Session III: Friday November 21, 2008 4:00 P.M.-9:00 P.M. Dinner
Saturday November 22, 2008 9:00 A.M.-3:00 P.M. Breakfast/Lunch

Session I meets for one day.
Sessions II and III meet for two 2-day sessions and include an optional overnight stay.

Applicants must commit to attend Session I and both days of Sessions II and III. This commitment is a requirement for acceptance to the Early Intervention Partners Training Project. In addition, parents who wish to attend with a partner or another family member must submit a joint application.
Space is limited. If you are interested in attending, you must complete and return the enclosed application. You can also download extra copies, or complete the application online at:

Applications are due by Friday, August 15, 2008.
Notification of acceptance will be mailed on Monday, August 18, 2008.
These training sessions will help parents of infants and toddlers with disabilities gain a better understanding of the Early Intervention Program. Parents who are accepted to attend will receive information about early intervention laws and regulations, Individualized Family Service Plan development, family assessment,
natural environments, transition, funding, record keeping and confidentiality, clinical practice guidelines, and parent rights.

In addition, parents who are accepted to attend will also learn more about opportunities for parent involvement within New York State's Early Intervention Program.

If you have questions or need more information, please contact
Margaret Sampson, Family
Initiative Coordinator:
Phone: 1-877-205-0502 (toll-free)
We thank you for your interest and commitment to this project, and for your cooperation by responding in a timely manner.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

My Time Inc. Parent Empowerment Series

A special place to be
1312 East 84 Street
Brooklyn NY 11236
718 251 0527


Date Time Presenter(s) Topic
July 9thth 10 am – 12 pm Peter Kalin, CSNA
Financial Advisor, Certified Special Needs Advisor
KM Group, Merrill Lynch
Dennis Mc Intrye, Financial Advisor, Certified Special Needs Advisor
How can I financially prepare for my child with special needs future?
Special Needs Planning
What does it mean ?

July16th 10 am – 12 pm Carol Greenberg Parent Advocate
Steps in advocating for your child: Planning ahead

July 23th 10 am – 12 pm Cheryl Kinch Understanding guardianship

July 30th 10 am – 12 pm Mitch Weisbrot, CLU Andrew Cohen, Esq.
Mitch and Andrew are fathers of special needs children.
Their personal experience and professional expertise enable them to help other parents navigate the confusing and emotional aspects of estate planning to best serve the interests of each special needs child.

Topics of Discussion:

• Protecting wealth without disqualifying eligibility for government benefits
• Special needs trusts – how they work and why they’re useful
• Estate planning and wills
• Strategies for funding trusts and accumulating assets
• Establishing guardianship


Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Settlement Offers Vouchers For Children Denied Services

I'm posting this a day late for it to be useful news -- you had to file by 6/30/08. Qualifying families went to hearing and got an order for services that weren't ever or weren't timely delivered. Nice work from Advocates for Children all the same.

NY Law Journal - 6/24/08 - p. 1
Settlement Offers Vouchers For Children Denied Services
By Daniel Wise
June 24, 2008

To settle a class action lawsuit, New York City has agreed to compensate the parents of New York City public school children with disabilities for services that were required by an administrative order but never provided.

The settlement, which provides for the issuance of vouchers for as much as $15,000, was announced yesterday by Advocates for Children of New York, the group that filed the class action in 2003.

Kim Sweet, the executive director of Advocates for Children, said that a "significant" portion of 9,000 administrative orders from December 2000 to January of this year directing that specified services be provided to disabled students had not been complied with.

Even with the monitoring required by the agreement, Ms. Sweet pointed out, the Department of Education is only required to comply with 75 percent of the administrative orders issued from this month through the end of November.

Jeffrey S. Dantowitz, a senior counsel at the city Law Department, said the fact that only 250 parents to date have filed claims indicates that his client, the Department of Education, "has done a far better job than the plaintiffs asserted in the lawsuit."

The deadline for parents to file forms requesting compensation is June 30. Southern District Judge Richard J. Holwell preliminarily approved the settlement in L.V. v. New York City Department of Education, 03-9917, in December and signed off on it on April 10 following a fairness hearing.

Claims forms were mailed to the class members in February along with notice of the April fairness hearing.

Under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 USC §1400 et seq., local school districts are required to furnish disabled students with services needed to enable them to acquire an education on a par with their abilities. The law provides that when parents feel that a school district has not provided required services, they can request an administrative hearing that comports with due process.

In the L.V. case, the class consisted of parents who have sought or will seek hearings from administrative officers at the Department of Education on claims that the department had not provided services to their disabled children. In September 2005, Judge Holwell certified the case as a class action (NYLJ, Sept. 27, 2005) with the result that more than 8,000 parents have now been notified that they may be eligible for financial relief.

The types of services that disabled children may be entitled to under the law include, depending upon their disability, speech therapy, occupational therapy, vocational training and electronic devices that can enhance the learning process.

Unless an administrative order specifies otherwise, services must be implemented within 35 days.

The settlement, which is enforceable as a court order, provides for both prospective and retroactive relief. It also provides that the city will pay the class' attorney's fees but the amount of those fees has yet to be determined.

The lawsuit was brought by attorneys on the staff of Advocates for Children and from Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, which worked on the case pro bono. Advocates for Children was formed in 1983 to improve public school education in New York City.

Parents who won administrative orders that were either never, or belatedly, implemented are entitled to one of two types of relief, depending upon the circumstances.

Those who paid for the ordered services are entitled to reimbursement for the sums they laid out.

Vouchers are to be issued to the parents of children who never received the services. The vouchers can be used to purchase services to make up for those that were never received, Ms. Sweet said.

It is anticipated that vouchers will usually be issued in the amount of $8,000 with amounts greater or less, depending upon the circumstances, with the maximum amount being $15,000, Ms. Sweet said.

Monitoring Required

Prospectively, the settlement provides that the Department of Education is to reach "benchmarks" in terms of complying with administrative orders. During the first six months that the settlement is in effect, from June 1 to next Dec. 1, the department is required to timely implement 75 percent of all orders issued.

The compliance rate required will climb to 91.5 percent for the two-year period from June 1, 2009 to May 31, 2011.

Pursuant to the agreement, the firm of Daylight Forensic & Advisory, based in New York City, has been hired to monitor the department's compliance with the performance levels set forth in the pact.

If the department fails to meet the compliance levels, it will be required to develop a remedial plan. Should compliance still fall short, the parents can return to court to request further relief.

In monitoring the department's implementation of individual orders, Daylight Forensic will determine whether any parent has not received full compliance with an administrative order, and letters to that effect will be issued to the parent.

To enforce compliance with an order, however, Ms. Sweet said, the parent must begin a new lawsuit in either federal or state court. In such a lawsuit, she added, a letter from Daylight Forensic will be sufficient to establish a lapse in enforcement, but the Department of Education will be permitted to rebut that conclusion.

The parent class was represented by Shawn Morehead, of Advocates for Children, and Douglas Henkin, a partner at Milbank Tweed.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Resources for Children 2008-09 Training Series

What’s Out There and How to Get It
2008-2009 Free Training Series
For Families and Professionals Needing Programs and Services for Children with Disabilities

Gary Shulman, MS.Ed.:212-677-4650


Jewish Child Care Association 555 Bergen Ave. Bronx 10455

November 5, 2008 Transition from School to Adult Life 10 AM-1 PM
December 3, 2008 Advocacy Skills for Parents 10 AM-1 PM
January 8, 2009 Getting Appropriate Educational Services 10 AM-1 PM
February 4, 2009 Turning 5: Transition to School Age 10AM-1PM
March 4, 2009 Transition from School to Adult Life 10 AM-1 PM
April 1, 2009 Community Resources 10 AM-12 Noon
May 6, 2009 Early Childhood Services: Birth to 5 10 AM-1 PM
June 3, 2009 Getting Appropriate Educational Services 10 AM-1 PM

Bronx Family Center of the Children’s Aid Society 1515 Southern Blvd. Bronx 10460

November 7, 2008 Getting Appropriate Educational Services 10AM-1PM
January 23, 2009 Transition from School to Adult Life 10AM-1PM
March 13, 2009 Turning 5: Transition to School Age 10AM-1PM
May 8, 2009 Getting Appropriate Educational Services 10AM-1PM
June 12, 2009 Early Childhood Services: Birth to 5 10AM-1PM


Brooklyn Heights Library 280 Cadman Plaza West Bklyn. 11201

October 24, 2008 Transition from School to Adult Life 10 AM-1 PM
October 29, 2008 Early Childhood Services: Birth to 5 10 AM-1 PM
November 5, 2008 Advocacy Skills for Parents 10 AM-1 PM
December 10, 2008 Community Resources 10 AM-12 Noon
December 19, 2008 Turning 5: Transition to School Age 10 AM-1 PM
Jan, 16, 2009 Getting Appropriate Educational Services 10AM-1PM

Central Library Grand Army Plaza Flatbush Ave. and Eastern Parkway 11238

October 23, 2008 Getting Appropriate Educational Services 10AM-1 PM
November 12, 2008 Early Childhood Services: Birth to 5 10AM-1PM
December 17, 2008 Transition from School to Adult Life 10AM-1PM
January 22, 2009 Turning 5: Transition to School Age 10AM-1PM

February 12, 2009 Getting Appropriate Educational Services 10AM-1PM
March 10, 2009 Transition from School to Adult Life 10 AM-1 PM
April 22, 2009 Early Childhood Services: Birth to 5 10AM-1PM


Andrew Heiskell Braille & Talking Book Library 40 W. 20th St. NYC 10011

November 14, 2008 Getting Appropriate Educational Services
10:00 AM- 1 PM
November 20, 2008 Transition from School to Adult Life 10 AM- 1 PM
November 25, 2008 Advocacy Skills for Parents 10 AM-1 PM
December 2, 2008 Early Childhood Services: Birth to 5 10 AM-1 PM
December 16, 2008 Community Resources 10 AM-12 PM
January 15, 2009 Turning 5: Transition to School Age 10AM-1PM

West Harlem Head Start 121 W. 128th Street, NYC 10027

March 12, 2009 Getting Appropriate Educational Services 10 AM-1 PM
March, 19 2009 Community Resources 10 AM-12 PM
March 26, 2009 Turning 5:Transition to School Age 10 AM-1 PM

Resources for Children with Special Needs, Inc. 116 E. 16th St. 5th Floor NY, NY 10003

November 18, 2008 Early Childhood Services: Birth to 5 10 AM-1 PM
January 28, 2009 Transition from School to Adult Life 10 AM-1 PM
February 26, 2009 Getting Appropriate Educational Services 10 AM-1 PM
March 31, 2009 Early Childhood Services: Birth to 5 10 AM-1 PM
April 6, 2009 Early Childhood Services: Birth to 5 6 PM-8 PM
April 28, 2009 Community Resources 6 PM-8 PM


Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning 161-04 Jamaica Ave. Jamaica NY 11432

January 7, 2009 Community Resources 10 AM-12 Noon
January 13, 2009 Transition to Adult Life 10 AM-1 PM
January 29, 2009 Getting Appropriate Education Services 10 AM-1 PM
February 11, 2009 Early Childhood Services: Birth to 5 10 AM-1 PM
February 25, 2009 Advocacy Skills for Parents 10 AM-1 PM

Staten Island

Joan and Alan Bernikow Jewish Community Center of Staten Island
1466 Manor Road, Staten Island NY 10314

Dec. 4, 2008 Getting Appropriate Educational Services 10 AM-1 PM
Jan. 6, 2009 Early Childhood Services: Birth to 5 10 AM-1 PM
Feb. 5, 2009 Transition from School to Adult Life 10 AM-1 PM
March 18, 2009 Advocacy Skills for Parents 10 AM-1 PM
April 7, 2009 Community Resources 10 AM-12 Noon

Saturday, June 21, 2008

QSAC Manhattan Parent Support Group

An agency moderated support group that meets in the evening.


July 8 & 22
August 5
September 9 & 23
October 7 & 21
November 18
December 2 & 16

6:30* pm -- 8 pm
(building entrance doors locked at 7:15 pm)

253 West 35th Street, 16th Floor New York, NY 10001

REFRESHMENTS will be served

For more information please contact: Annie Washington at 718-728-8476, x 1219

To reserve in-home respite conatct: Kiesha Cannon at 718-728-8476, x 1322

Thursday, June 12, 2008

New York Magazine on High Functioning Autism

Though few in the downtown support group have adult children, and among our children only some appear to have a likely future where getting eligible for supportive services will be a problem, the news media has caught on to an angle that uses autism as a lens to talk about what is normal and what is a disabling condition.

Now that I work in the field of developmental disabilities services, I see adults on locations of the spectrum that I had previously thought of only as imaginary, unoccupied spaces.

In many respects I admire the people in this article for their thoughtfulness, but overall I worry that the message I need to be out there strongly, that people with autism can live in the community successfully with adequate and appropriate supports will get diluted with this more abstract discussion. And this is important, because I need that message not merely to validate my goals for my kids, but because reaching those goals is going to require substantial pubic support for significant public expenditures.

Anywhow, here's what New York Magazine has to say about them.

The Autism Gap

This week's Gotham Gazette tells of  "The Autism Gap", and it doesn't really tell you anything you don't already know if you have a school-aged child on the spectrum in New York City. But you can share it with your friends as a demonstration of just what has you frustrated about placements, or quality, or just the DoE in general.

David Kirby on Vaccines & Autism at NYU




David Kirby, the New York based investigative journalist and author of the NY Times Bestseller, “Evidence of Harm,” will speak and take questions from the public during a free event at New York University School of Law.

Thursday, June 26, 2008
NYU School of Law, 40 Washington Square South,
Vanderbilt Hall, Room 204
6:30 – 9:00 PM


Among the subjects Kirby will address and take questions on:

1) A recent case in the US Vaccine Court in which the government conceded that vaccines induced autism in one little girl, and updates on other cases.
2) Growing evidence of a link between mitochondrial dysfunction and autistic regression, and case studies of several ASD children with mitochondrial issues.
3) State-of-the-art research underway at top universities on the connection between environmental toxins, mitochondrial function, oxidative stress, glutathione depletion, neuro-inflammation and autistic encephalopathy.
4) Declarations by US Presidential candidates that autism is epidemic and calling for more research into vaccines and mercury as possible causes.
5) Recent studies linking ASD with heavy metals and contaminants in air pollution.

Kirby is a former contributor to The New York Times and a regular writer for the The Huffington Post. Mary Holland, Director of the NYU Graduate Legal Skills Program, will host the event. This event is made possible by Generation Rescue, Autism Research Institute, National Autism Association, SAFE MINDS, and Talk About Curing Autism. Information on Evidence of Harm is at Kirby’s Huffington Post essays may be viewed at

Friday, May 30, 2008

Governor of NY announces Autism Platform

Governor David A. Paterson Announces Autism Platform to include Inter-agency Task Force and Statewide Autism Research Consortium

May 28, 2008, 10:30 a.m., State Capitol Blue Room

Governor Paterson will announce the formation of an inter-agency Task Force on Autism that will ensure that New York State government is united as it takes the necessary steps to respond to the increasing incidence of autism and autism spectrum disorders and the challenges these disabilities bring to thousands of New York's families. The Task Force is a key component of a full platform of initiatives underway in New York State's Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities (OMRDD). OMRDD and the State Education Department will co-chair the Task Force, ensuring that the state agencies involved in supporting individuals with autism and autism spectrum disorders work together to improve our understanding of these disabilities, our services and treatment options, our educational programs, and our ability to help families and individuals pursue their richest lives. The Task Force will also include New York State's Office of Mental Health, Office of Children and Family Services, Department of Health, Commission on Quality of Care and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities, Developmental Disabilities Planning Council, and Council on Children and Family Services.

Another key component of OMRDD's Autism Platform is the formation of the New York State Autism Spectrum Disorders Consortium. Governor Patterson tasked OMRDD with creating this multi-party research consortium that will unite New York's most prestigious institutions and most accomplished scientists, doctors, researchers, educators and service providers in a common mission: advancing our ability to understand and respond to ASD. The New York State Autism Spectrum Disorders Research Consortium will establish New York as a leader in both basic and applied research and training related to autism and ASD. It will position New York to pursue and execute large scale research studies in areas ranging from the causes of autism and early detection to studies of its occurrence throughout the state and development of "lab schools" that support focused study of individual responses to treatment in natural settings. Investing in this kind of large scale research and training infrastructure will maximize New York's ability to address the needs of those with autism and ASD. It will ensure that state-of-the-art understanding, prevention, detection and intervention is available across the state through each service system that supports individuals or families facing the challenges of autism.

OMRDD's Commissioner Diana Jones Ritter will also introduce OMRDD's larger Autism Platform, a multi-faceted, system-wide plan for addressing the needs of those with autism and ASD through research, improved services, improved collaboration and coordination among state service systems, and improved information for families, service providers and others. OMRDD's mission is to help people with developmental disabilities lead richer lives, to help them enjoy meaningful relationships, experience personal health and growth, live in homes of their choice, and fully participate in their communities. The Autism Platform, along with the Research Consortium and the inter-agency Task Force, will move New York forward to fulfill that mission for the growing number of people with autism or ASD.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

11/15 Mark Durand at Hunter College

Regional Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders at Hunter College
Information, Inspiration, and Best Practice

Fall Conference for Families and Professionals

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Mark Durand

Optimistic Parenting and Optimistic Teaching:
Hope and Help for Challenging Children

Watch for conference registration after September 15, 2008

Thursday, May 22, 2008

NYS OMR Forums: Attend or Send Comments

Input from these forums will drive the agency's direction of services for the coming five years. Attend and request to make comments or submit them in writing. Long Island forum is June 4, NYC is June 26 (two sessions, afternoon and evening)


State of New York
Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities
Announces a series of Public Forums for the
Five Year Comprehensive Plan: 2008 – 2012

“We help people with developmental disabilities live richer lives.”

The New York State Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities (OMRDD) is pleased to announce that it will be holding a series of Public Forums on its new Five Year Comprehensive Plan for Services for the Period 2008 through 2012.

A schedule of the Public Forum dates and times is listed below.

Please register by calling the contact number listed below.

Video presentation of forums can be viewed online at following the events.

OMRDD intends to utilize the ideas, suggestions, and comments received through the public forums to develop a Draft Comprehensive Plan. OMRDD urges self-advocates, parents of people with developmental disabilities, other family members, non-profit providers, professionals, advocates, and other interested parties to participate. OMRDD is particularly interested in hearing about the following themes, but commentary is not limited solely to these themes.

1. OMRDD Vision Statement
People with developmental disabilities enjoy meaningful relationships with friends, family and others in their lives, experience personal health and growth, live in the home of their choice, and fully participate in their communities.

What issues most impact on OMRDD’s ability to deliver the Vision Statement outcomes for the people we serve?

How can OMRDD and its partners (self-advocates, families, providers and other agencies) improve services to deliver these outcomes for the people we serve?

2. Quality of Services and Customer Satisfaction
How can we better involve self-advocates and families as productive partners?

What are the key indicators of quality for the people we serve?

What are the national and local best and promising practices New York State should consider implementing or replicating?

3. Building Community
How can we promote full community participation and contribution?

How can we encourage communities to become more responsive and inclusive?

4. Equity and Access to Services
How can OMRDD as a system better support people to truly make informed choices about their supports and services?

How do we ensure all individuals, including those with autism spectrum disorders, the aging, people with medical frailties, children, and others, are provided fair and equitable access to person centered services?

How do we better facilitate access to supports and services across service systems for people with multiple disability needs?

5. Workforce Capacity into the Future
How do we sustain quality and stability in both direct support and clinical workforce areas in an era of changing workforce demographics?

How do we develop the next generation of leaders throughout the system to meet the challenges of tomorrow?

Speakers will be asked to register in advance of the forum, limit their comments to five (5) minutes, and bring three (3) copies of the testimony. Written testimony can also be submitted to
Cynthia Redshaw at OMRDD, 44 Holland Avenue , Albany , NY 12229 .

For general information about the Public Forums, please contact OMRDD’s Bureau of Planning:
Phone: (518) 474-4904 Fax: (518) 473-0054 E-mail:


2008 – 2012 Comprehensive Plan: Public Forum Schedule

(To register, obtain more information or directions to the hearing location, or to arrange for a special accommodation, please call the contact person for that forum at the number listed below.)

Long Island: Wednesday, June 4, 2008 – 4 pm to 7 pm
Encore Room at the Sheraton Long Island Hotel on Motor Parkway , Hauppauge , NY
(Contact: Dr. Richard Evangelista (631) 434-6111)

New York City: Thursday, June 26, 2008 – 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm and 6 pm to 8:30 pm
75 Morton St., Manhattan , NY
(Contact: Yvonne Anglero (212) 229-3081)

Friday, March 14, 2008

March is Disability Awareness Month

March is disabilities awareness month. It is a time to raise awareness that people with disabilities want the same things that everyone else wants. Those “things” are friends, peace of mind (including freedom from abuse), to be valued through employment and service to their community and to have enough money to be able to live a quality life.

It is a month set aside to recognize the great strides in the care and treatment of people with disabilities moving from an understaffed institutional ward to independent and supported living.

During this month of March, be a friend to a person with a disability, consider hiring a person with a disability in your place of employment (there are supports available to train and coach) and recognize that people with disabilities are often the kindest and most compassionate people you will ever know. Including a person with a disability at any meeting changes the dynamics and changes the environment in positive ways. Welcome people with disabilities in to your business, your restaurant and your place of worship.

During this month of March, consider a career that includes working with people with developmental disabilities. There are opportunities in many fields and the gratification at the end of the day knowing you made a difference is tremendous.

During this month of March, there is one huge request. Help end the disrespect and cruelty targeted at people with disabilities by not tolerating the use of the word “retard” in any conversation you are a part of. Do not tolerate the derogatory use of the word “retard” by your children.

-Janice Fitzgerald, Executive Director Parent to Parent of NYS

Spring '08 Conferences: DAN, Working Together, Carr at CARD

The biannual DAN! Conference will be a short drive away this year in Cherry Hill, NJ from April 3-7. Details and program at

This is the premier conference for biomedical approaches -- you walk away either overwhelmed or inspired that this is the thing for your child (or possibly turned off entirely). For the biomedical curious and the dedicated practitioner alike.

The Working Together Collaborative Conference at the New York Academy of Medicine brings together staff from the leading behavioral instruction programs in the wider Metro area: Connecticut Child Development Center, Alpine, Eden2, and Nassau-Suffolk Services for Autism. It is a great conference for professionals in the field, for parents of kids who require behavioral instruction or behavior management approaches, and a good conference for parents of kids with social cognition weakness, which is to say all spectrum kids. Full conference program available at

And, for those with less flexibility around days off work and less money to spend on conferences, the Queens College Regional Center for Autism and Related Disorders is bringing Ted Carr of SUNY StonyBrook to speak about Positive Behavior Supports.

Program and response form below.

Queens College Center on Autism and Related Disabilities (QC-CARD)


MAY 3, 2008, 9:30 – 1:00

KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Dr. Edward Carr, Leading Professor, Stony Brook University

“Repairing and Enhancing Quality of Life: Achievable and Hopeful”

LOCATION: Queens College, Rosenthal Library, Room 230
(Go to main gate on Kissena Blvd. for parking instructions)

9:30 – 10:10 Registration and refreshments
10:15 – 11:15 Keynote: Dr. Edward Carr
11:30 – 1:00 Breakout sessions: choose one

1. Thinking in PBS: Approaching Problem Behavior Through the Lens of PBS Presenter: Christopher Oliva, Ph.D.
This training will focus on understanding and addressing problem behavior of children with autism in educational settings from the perspective of positive behavior support. General PBS strategies, as well as formal assessment based strategies, will be explored. Case examples will be used to demonstrate effective interventions.

2. Guidelines for a PBS Classroom: Lessons from the Field Presenter: Angela Mouzakitis, MsEd, BCBA
The purpose of this workshop is to share classroom guidelines identified as necessary to create a "positive behavior supports" classroom. These guidelines have been identified through hands-on work, observation and consultation with classrooms that serve children with autism. Goals of the workshop are to provide guidelines for a PBS classroom, discuss and provide examples of the guidelines in action, and to provide professionals with a system for managing and monitoring guidelines, providing feedback to teacher, in order to improve classroom practice.

3. Parent Strategies for Supporting Language and Positive Behavior in Daily Family Routines Presenter: Peishi Wang, Ph.D., BCBA
This session will explore a variety of parent-implemented interventions appropriate in natural environments with young children with ASD. Focus will be on teaching communication skills and increasing participation in family activities.

4. Friendships and Beyond: Developing Social Skills in Students with ASD Presenter: Nicole Weidenbaum, MsEd., SAS
Success within home, school, and community settings, weighs heavily on the development of social skills. This presentation will focus on the social skills needed for students to be successful in an inclusive school setting, as well as teaching techniques that are applicable across a broad range of skill levels and settings.

5. Make It Fun and I’ll Show Up: Moving towards naturally occurring reinforcement Presenter: Randy Horowitz, MsEd, SAS
This presentation will describe ways in which parents and teachers can establish (and maintain) themselves as reinforcing stimuli in the education of individuals diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. The use of antecedent based strategies to prevent problem behavior will be described in the context of designing effective behavior support plans.

6. “We’re all working really hard – but these PBS strategies are not working!” Presenter: Sara Woolf, M.A
Does this sound too familiar? If so, come to this session to learn about team process strategies and skills that have been identified as critical in establishing successful home-school partnerships -- and developing lasting PBS outcomes. The session will focus on ways to apply “team best practices” as discussed by select school-family teams and in current literature from the fields of Special Education, Educational Leadership, and PBS/ABA.



Name Job Title/Role



City State Zip Code

Phone Email


___ 1: Thinking in PBS ___ 4: Friendships and Beyond

___ 2: Lessons from the Field ___ 5: Make it Fun

___ 3: Family Routines ___ 6: We’re All Working Hard…!


This conference is funded through a grant from the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities, University at Albany, and the NYS Education Department, Office of Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities.

The registration fee is $10.00. Payment must accompany registration.

Please return registration form and payment (made out to QC-CARD) to:

Dr. Fredda Brown, Project Director
Educational and Community Programs
Queens College
63-50 Kissena Blvd.
Flushing, NY 11367

Thursday, February 28, 2008

6th Annual Working Together Conference, NY Academy of Medicine

Working Together: Systems and Strategies for Improving Outcomes for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders

New York Academy of Medicine, 1216 Fifth Avenue, NYC
March 28th and 29th, 2008

Full program can be seen at

This is always a very good conference, with a nationally recognized speaker in the morning, and local practitioners talking about aspects of behavioral programs for parents and professionals. NYAM is also a great location that is actually condusive to learning and networking.

This year's AM presenter is Robert Schwartz, a neuroscientist from Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, who is conducting MRI studies of ASD and controls while performing social tasks, as well as a treatment study.

Some parents I know have found this program too technical in past years, but overall I think it is of consistently very good quality and a mix of stuff I can use with stuff I can merely think about.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Child School/Legacy High School

The Child School/Legacy High School has changed dramatically during the last 4 years!

Our new website,, provides a tremendous amount of material explaining our philosophy. We focus on awakening children to the fact that learning is a wondrous, enjoyable activity, and that the unfamiliar presents an exciting frontier. We see disabilities not as a limitation but as a challenge capable of being overcome. Using Dr. Mel Levine, each teacher discovers the way each child learns and accommodates that child's learning style in a nurturing environment.

Just a few new changes we're excited about:

--Classes that support socialization and creativity through innovative, intracurricular programming such as Robotics, Dreamweaver, Pre-Architecture Modeling, Radio Broadcasting, Bridge Building, Cooking and Organic Gardening.

--Being one of the few Special Needs schools to integrate Dr. Marvin Marshall's research into our counseling.

--Ongoing development of an environmentally friendly curriculum to supplement classes in Science and Technology.

Parents are excited, too. According to our recent Parent Survey, 76.1% of respondents are Satisfied/Extremely Satisfied with the education their child is receiving.
see more results by visiting and clicking the
Parent Survey Link in the right column

Save the Date
We will be hosting our 6th Annual Open House for Professionals on April 2nd at 9:00am. We also have multiple tours for Parents scheduled every year from December through May. Please contact us if you have a referral.

At The Child School/Legacy High School, the development of appropriate learning behaviors, improved comprehension and socialization is a goal in every lesson, grades K-12. Our aim is to further develop critical thinking skills, allowing students to navigate obstacles and feel secure in the understanding that help is available. The ultimate educational goal for every student is to become an independent, active, contributing member of society, to a level commensurate with their potential. Make sure to visit for a glimpse into daily life and the breadth of educational opportunities offered.

We look forward to strengthening our relationship with you in the future. We are eager for you to learn more about us so we hope you'll be in touch.


Leanne Bloom
Development Dept.

Sheila Steiner
Admissions Dept.

Town Hall on Early Intervention and Conference for Professionals

The irony here is just too, too rich. The conference is families as partners, but the language makes clear that the evening town hall is for families, the daytime conferencing with networking and lunch is for providers. Love it!

Families as Partners II: Challenges and Strategies
Tuesday, March 4, 2008, 6:00-8:00p.m.

Opening Remarks
Mary Brabeck, Ph.D, Dean of NYU Steinhardt

Julian Woods, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Chair and Professor, Department of Communication Disorders, Florida State University; and others
Research from the field of early intervention and special education services has long acknowledged the primacy of the parent in working with the child during the early years. To affect maximum growth and development, services are most effective when embedded in the child’s natural routines. With the implementation of the “Families as Partners” model by the NYC Early Intervention Program in 2006, professionals, practitioners, and parents are now working to effectively implement this model.

Conference and Workshops:
Families as Partners II: Challenges and Strategies
Wednesday, March 5, 2008, 9:00am - 4:00pm
For more information:

contact the Office of Special Programs: 212 992 9380;

For registration information:

See the announcement at

And the conference:

Families as Partners II: Critical Issues in our Work with Families
Wednesday March 5, 2008, 9:00a.m.-4:00p.m.
Keynote Address:
Critical Issues in our Work with Families-Research and Practice. Julian Woods, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Chair and Professor, Department of Communication Disorders, Florida State University.
Research from the field of early intervention and special education services has long acknowledged the primacy of the parent in working with the child during the early years. To affect maximum growth and development, services are most effective when embedded in the child’s natural routines. With the implementation of the “Families as Partners” model by the NYC Early
Intervention Program in 2006, professionals, practitioners, and parents are now working to effectively implement this model.
Sessions will provide participants the opportunity to improve their skills including:
• Using Play to Support Relationships and Attachment
• Supporting Families and their Young Children in Communication
• Facilitating Multicultural Competency
• Working with the Immigrant Family
• Reciprocal Relationships and Positive Communication
• Families as Partners: The Research and the Planning Behind the Model
CEU’s and documentation of attendance for professional available upon request.
Networking luncheons: Leaders and practitioners network with the NYC Early Intervention Program
Location: Kimmel Center, 60 Washington Square South, New York, NY 10003
For more informationcontact the Office of Special Programs:
212 992 9380; email:

Registration Deadline: February 25, 2008. To register go to:

Special Opportunity for Parents and Professionals:
Town Hall Meeting: Tuesday, March 4, 2008, 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Co-sponsored with NYU Steinhardt’s Department of Teaching and Learning

Get the flyer at:

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Manhattan DD Council Legislative Breakfast





8:00-10:00 a.m.

For information, please call 212-677-4650

This annual event is a great place to get up to date on the legislative business affecting individuals with disabilities and the agencies that provide services for them throughout New York City. City and state legislators attend, and the OMRDD Commissioner usually provides a summary of the budget outlook for that agency. This is a time efficient and affordable way to put some faces with the names of people you see in advocacy e-mails you might get from our listserv.

With city and state budget cuts projected, this is a really good way to get informed, and see if you may want to put a trip to Albany on your spring calendar.