NSSA Gets Crafty for the 4th of July

i Jun 28th 2 Comments by

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Lily Polishuk from Individualized Family Care returned to NSSA last week to lead both adult clients and Barell students in creative projects.

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Adult Service clients created a red white and blue wreath out of clothespins just in time to decorate their homes for the 4th of July.

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Clients painted and glued clothespins, sorted by color, and attached them to a metal frame.

Thanks, Lilly!

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I’ll Tumble for Ya!

i Jun 23rd 2 Comments by

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On Tuesday, June 21, Martin C. Barell’s Classroom 1 (and a buddy!), graduated from their 12-week class at Farmingdale Gymnastics Academy.

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They demonstrated all their exercises for family and friends – balance beam, tumbling, obstacle course, zipline, and trapeze.

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There were dazzling smiles everywhere as the boys flew, swung, and fell into the foam pit.

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Friendships were made…

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Everyone grouped around to be congratulated for their efforts and progress.

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Each gymnast received an award for their special strength:

Best Trampoline

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Best Flyer

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Best Somersault

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Best Trapeze

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Best Balance Beam

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And Honorary Team Member J. received the award for Best Buddy!

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We’d like to thank Farmingdale Gymnastics Academy and especially coaches Serena and Lisa for their teaching skills and wonderful ways with our students.

Hats Off to NSSA’s 2016 Graduates!

i Jun 16th No Comments by

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June 14, 2016 was a proud day here at NSSA. We had three fine young men graduate from the Martin C. Barell school program…in preparation of their entrance into NSSA’s Adult Services program.

Teachers, families, and district personnel have all done a great job in preparing the graduates for their next step at NSSA. Through job sampling or training, the Adult Services program works to ensure that the adults we serve are able to grow and develop to their maximum potential. Our primary concern for the adults we serve is that they continue to grow to their greatest level of independence through employment and skills required of daily living.

Families were beaming with pride as students accepted their certificates from teachers and school district personnel.

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After the ceremony there was time for family photos, refreshments and cake.

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We wish the graduates every success in this new phase of their lives.

Congratulations, graduates!

NSSA Teams up for Bike to the Beach

i Jun 13th No Comments by

It was a perfect day for cycling: cool temps, no humidity, and a strong wind blowing in just the right direction. Bike to the Beach NY 2016 was underway by 5am this past Friday morning, June 10. And for the first time NSSA had not one, but two teams participating in the 100-mile ride to raise awareness and funds for autism.

The wind helped push the riders along at a faster pace than ever before, and the first rider pulled into Rest Stop 6 at Corey Beach in Blue Point, NY a little before 10am. We don’t normally see anyone til close to 11:30!

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Soon many riders were coasting into the stop, having ridden 75 miles over the past 5+ hours…and ready for a little break in the shade, some water, energy bars, and iced tea.

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NSSA had a table at Rest Stop 6, decorated for National Iced Tea…until those helpful winds blew away all the decorations!

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Many riders struggled with flat tires, but Bike to the Beach had us well stocked with bicycle pumps, tubes and tools, and riders were soon on their way.

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There was even a tandem bicycle this year – a father and son team.

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Samantha Grassle was the first NSSA team rider to appear – Yay, Sam!

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The rest of Team NSSA followed closely behind. Shoulder rubs were gratefully received.

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NSSA’s Velocipedalers, led by Barell teacher Stacey Leo, were right on Team NSSA’s tail

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Team NSSA with their fans and supporters and a proud Mom.

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And both NSSA teams – we couldn’t be more proud of them – for doing this ride and for raising money for NSSA.

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You can still make donations to the teams by going here, typing NSSA into the search box, and selecting one of the teams to donate to.

We thank Bike to the Beach for letting us be part of this wonderful event once again.

Why Not Come Dancing

i Jun 9th 2 Comments by

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The wonderful students and staff of Smithtown High School East once again hosted a fun evening for NSSA students and clients on April 1, 2016.

They decorated the space and dressed according to a Luau theme and everyone had a great time dancing, snacking and limbo-ing.

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The event is geared for students and clients aged 14 and up. Smithtown students encourage dancing and socializing. NSSA staff attends as well.

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DJ Matt Figuccio keeps the party lively playing favorite tunes.

Thanks again to Smithtown High School East for being such gracious hosts, we look forward to seeing you again soon!

A Special Night For Our Special Kids: Spring 2016

i Jun 6th No Comments by

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As part of its outreach to the greater autism community, NSSA hosts A Special Night for Our Special Kids twice yearly at Adventureland in Farmingdale. NSSA tries to hold the spring and autumn events during program breaks to give our guests with autism and their families something to look forward to when there are few structured activities available.

In spite of challenging weather, we welcomed families into the park this past April 25 for an evening of fun.

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Many families with a child with autism find the prospect of attending an amusement park on a typical evening extremely daunting. Long lines and crowds can be especially challenging for these families. During NSSA’s events, Adventureland is closed to the general public and made available to people with autism and their friends and families. On these special evenings, the amusement park is at reduced capacity. The shorter waiting times for rides make it much easier for our friends with autism and more manageable for their families. Since the park is filled with people who understand autism, the atmosphere is very relaxed and caring. We hear over and over again that it is only during the NSSA events that many of these families would even consider going to an amusement park as a family.

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Our next Special Night for Our Special Kids at Adventureland will take place Friday, Sept. 16, 2016, 6:30-9:30pm. (Rain Date: Thursday, Sept. 22
6:30-9:30). We hope to see you there!

NSSA’s Quality of Services Depends on the Quality of Our Staff

i Jun 3rd No Comments by

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NSSA Human Resources team members along with some of our management team were excited to be a part of the Health & Wellness Career Fair at the Suffolk Y JCC on June 1. At NSSA we believe that the quality of our services depends on the quality of our staff. That is why NSSA will continually be hosting and participating in community recruitment events to connect with individuals who would like to be a part of an organization that is devoted to helping individuals with autism reach their full potential.

NSSA offers a range of positions in both a full and part-time capacity throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties. We are currently accepting resumes for Certified Teachers, Direct Support Professionals, Respite Staff & Certified Special Education Teachers.

If you are interested in positions with NSSA we would like to hear from you! Please email your resume to HumanResources@nssa.net

Commack High School Tennis Team Aces Autism Awareness

i Jun 2nd 2 Comments by

Wednesday, June 1, 2016 was a perfect day for Commack High School’s 5th Annual Student/Teacher Doubles Tournament fundraiser “Tennis for Autism”  to raise awareness of autism and NSSA.

Proceeds from the fundraiser were generously donated to NSSA.

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Shane Helfner, President of the Suffolk County Tennis Coach’s Association, spearheads this event each year – we’re so fortunate to have such good friends and supporters in the community.

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Family and friends, staff and students came out to support the event and players. There was such a genuine feeling of camaraderie among the tennis team and faculty players.

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Raffle prizes were announced near the end of the event and there were many happy winners.

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Everyone who participated received a medal and the top four places in the tournament received trophies. But everyone involved in the event – from students and faculty, to Shane and parents – are winners as far as we’re concerned.

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Thank you Commack HS Boys Varsity Tennis Team, Commack High School faculty, and Shane Helfner for helping to raise awareness of autism and Nassau Suffolk Services for Autism.