Archive for September, 2008

About Thursday’s Coffee Morning get together

September 30, 2008

I haven’t heard from anyone who is planning to attend. I need to take my turn visiting my father who is in the ICU of a Manhattan hospital–going on three weeks now. If people plan to get together and share ideas, that’s wonderful. Please email them to me at fedsped “at” and I will post them. Thank you all for understanding.


New Parent Training announced

September 30, 2008

Parent Workshop

Autism: Using Visual Supports

 in the Home

Presented by:  District 75: Office of Autism

Topics will include:

Ø Using schedules at home

Ø Visual supports for the community

Ø How to make visual supports at home!

Date: October 8, 2008

Time: 10:00 am– 1:00 pm

Location: District Office

400 First Avenue

New York, NY


Please RSVP contacting your parent coordinator or Thomasina Howe:



Save the date: Legislative Forum, Friday, Nov. 7

September 28, 2008

The SIFederation of PTAs is holding its annual Legislative Forum on Friday, November 7 from 9:30 am–12:00 in the Conference Center, Bldg “C” of the Petrides Educational Complex, 715 Ocean Terrace, Staten Island. All local elected officials have been invited. This event is free and open to the public. Invitations will be going out shortly to all schools and PTAs. Please spread the word to all parents.

We are hoping to prepare some questions in advance for the legislators. This year we are focusing on two major issues: Extension (or not) of mayoral control of the schools, when this provision ends next year, and the serious overcrowding of many of our schools. Please email Kathleen at fedsped “at” with your suggestions. Thanks!

“Educating our Students with Disabilities”

September 28, 2008

presented by AnneMarie Caminiti, Program Director, Parent to Parent NY, Inc.

**Educational Support Services

**Determining What’s Appropriate

**Determining Eligibility

**Developing the IEP

The workshop will be held Friday, October 17 from 10:00 to 12:00 at the Institute for Basic Research, 1050 Forest Hill Rd, Staten Island. Refreshments will be served and childcare is provided with prior registration. Please call 718-494-4872 to register or for further information.

Parent to Parent October support groups

September 28, 2008

Friday, October 3–Sibling Support Group, 5:00 pm. RSVP required494-4872

Tuesday, October 7–Mothers Support Group, 10 am, IBR

Wednesday, October 8–Asperger Support Group, 10 am, IBR

Wednesday, October 15–Mothers Support Group, 10 am, IBR

Wednesday, October 15–Fathers Support Group, 7:00 pm, **PAGE PLAZA DINER, 75 Page Ave, Tottenville

Friday, October 17–10 am, Workshop on IEPs with AnneMarie Caminiti

Wednesday, October 22–Asperger Support Group, 10:00 am, IBR

Friday, October 24–Sibling Support Group, 5:00 pm, IBR

Refreshments are served at all events and childcare is available for daytime events with prior registration. Parent to Parent is located at the Institute for Basic Research (“IBR”), 1050 Forest Hill Road, tel. no. 718-494-4872.

Looking ahead to adulthood!

September 25, 2008

Here is some very interesting info from Michael John Carley of GRASP. Many of our kids would probably benefit from something like this in the future. It is good to know what is out there.




Residential Life Skills Training Program

For Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders


Birch Family Services is submitting a proposal to the New York State Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities (OMRDD) to develop a program designed to prepare individuals with Autism, and similar needs, to live in a “supported living arrangement.”  We are inviting individuals and their families, who are interested in such a program, to contact us as soon as possible.


What is a Residential Life Skills Training Program?


Living “on one’s own,” whether alone or with roommates, is a big step for anyone.  However, we believe that people with autism and related disabilities can live successfully “on their own” if they are given the help to do so.  We define “help” as intensive training and real-life practice in the many areas that must be mastered to live successfully in the community:  cooking, cleaning, nutrition/menu planning, food purchasing and storage, food preparation, banking community access, traveling, safety, health, sexuality, self-administration of medication, planning and participating in recreational activities, and mastering the social issues and problems that come with this big step.  All of these aspects of independent living will be addressed in our Residential Life Skills Training Program.


When will the training program take place and how long will it take to complete?


The group training program will be offered year ‘round, during evenings and weekends, at Birch’s training centers.  The short-term, out-of-home “practice” visits will take place in an apartment with 24-hour staff supervision.  These practice visits will be offered to each participant throughout the year, for varying lengths of time.  The length of time an individual participates in the training program will vary from person to person, based on their readiness for out-of-home placement.  However, we are estimating that the average length of time will be approximately 2 years.


What is a supported living arrangement?


The goal of the program is to enable individuals to live, with staff support, in an apartment in the community.  Depending on each person’s abilities, needs, and wishes, the amount of staff support, and the number of individuals living together, will vary.  However, the amount of support will be less than 24 hours per day.  It is expected that most of the apartments acquired for this project will be leased or owned by Birch Family Services.  However, in some cases, the individual may be able to lease his or her apartment directly.  For persons who participate in the training program, but ultimately require more support than is provided by this program, Birch Family Services will assist the individuals to find suitable 24-hour supervised living arrangements in the OMRDD service delivery system.


Who will pay for these services?


The funding to operate the program, for persons who are eligible for OMRDD services, will be provided by a combination of reimbursement from OMRDD and the individual’s entitlements (e.g., SSA, SSI) and earnings.


How can I obtain more information about this program and applying for it?


By calling Melinda Caldwell at (347) 543-61

Update from the Lavelle School

September 24, 2008

Ken Byalin sends the following. Hope the link works:


Special ed support in real life

September 22, 2008

People who are wiser than I and have been in this racket longer have told me not to forget or underestimate the value of real-life, face-to-face support for parents of kids with special needs. They are absolutely right. So we are trying something new. A Brainstorming/Coffee morning will be held on Thursday, October 3 at 10 am at the Coffee & Tea Mart Cafe, 422 Forest Ave. in West Brighton (down the block from Key Food). Everyone is welcome to come, hang out with your beverage of choice and chat about issues and ideas that are important to you. Spread the word. Hope to see you there.

Special Needs Soccer starts Saturday!

September 22, 2008

This is a great activity  for kids of all ages. For details, visit

h/t: Andrea

Back in business

September 21, 2008

After a busy summer and a whole month without the internet, I am back and ready to post. I apologize to all who were not able to contact me. We have moved into a new computer and I hope to be able to make this a much more usable blog.  Please note, the first SI Federation of PTAs Delegate Assembly is tomorrow, Monday, September 22 from 10 to noon at the Petrides Complex, building C conference center. Come early for sign in and refreshments.

Hope to see many of you there!