NSSA’s Beaded Bracelet Business is Booming

i Dec 14th No Comments by

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Participants in NSSA’s Adult Services Program have been busy making bracelets to sell to staff, families and at a local holiday fair. They started with Chakra bracelets, but they have branched out to other decorative beads and colors.

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They work as a team, sorting and stringing the beads and packaging them according to size. Barell parent Liza Hein, has generously assisted the endeavor by sourcing and donating materials for the bracelets, as well as sharing her industry expertise.

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On November 25, some of the adult program participants took their handmade bracelets and body scrubs, as well as knitted items donated by a staff member’s parent, to a local Holiday Fair. The Creating Keys Inclusive Holiday Fair was an ideal location for the clients to sell their items to the public.

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Alyssa was an excellent salesperson, engaging with potential customers and upselling bracelet quantities. She was even interviewed by News12 (video below).

These handmade bracelets aren’t just beautiful to wear. They have provided an engaging project that contributes to the learning, growth and skill development of our adult program participants. We can’t wait to see where this project takes them next!

The Best Things in Life are Sweet

i Dec 6th No Comments by

 

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For the past few months NSSA Adult Clients have been experiencing new activities thanks to a grant received from The Jack Fanning Memorial Foundation. NSSA has been offering more opportunities for enriching instruction in areas such as music, yoga, bowling, cooking, painting, horseback riding and more. Activities such as these help broaden the interests and skill development for our clients and help them to lead fulfilling lives.

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On October 22, several groups of adult clients went to Bake Me a Cake Boutique for a step-by-step cake decorating class. They each had their own personal-sized cakes to decorate. They cut and shaped their cakes, rolled out fondant, cut out different shapes, and applied all the pieces to turn their plain cake into a whimsical rainbow fish. Tiny bites of sweet fondant may or may not have been taken throughout the class! At the end, the cakes were placed carefully into bakery boxes to be taken home to their families.

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We can’t wait to see where NSSA adults go next!

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NSSA Adult Clients Broaden their Horizons: Handpainting Decorative Signs

i Nov 30th No Comments by

Many individuals with autism do not know how to pursue leisure interests on their own or have extremely limited areas of interest. Due to a generous grant received from The Jack Fanning Memorial Foundation, NSSA is able to offer more opportunities for enriching instruction than ever before, in areas such as music, yoga, bowling, cooking, painting, horseback riding and more. Activities such as these help broaden the interests and skill development for our clients and help them to lead fulfilling lives of dignity and purpose.

In recent weeks, adult clients have been expanding their experience horizons with cake decorating, decorative sign painting, and horseback riding, all of which were a big hit!

On October 24, a group of clients went to LumberJax in Commack to make decorative signs. Family names and design choices were sent in ahead of the paint session and the LumberJax staff had stencils prepared for when the clients arrived. The use of layered stencils made it possible for clients to create unique and beautiful hand-painted signs for their home or family.

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Decorative sign-painting was such a success, other groups from NSSA’s Adult Services have already returned to LumberJax for more creativity. What do you think of their artwork?

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Thanks to the instruction and help from LumberJax. I’m sure we’ll be back!

NSSA’s Green Team Celebrates #AmericaRecyclesDay!

i Nov 15th No Comments by

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Launched in 2010 with a grant from Autism Speaks, the NSSA Green Team helps individuals with autism learn new skills and prepare them for the workforce while simultaneously serving the community in a meaningful way by promoting environmental sustainability.

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Every week, the Green Team collects refundable and nonrefundable plastic, aluminum and glass containers, as well as paper from local businesses and residences. Paper is shredded and other materials are cleaned and sorted to prepare for recycling. Nonrefundable containers, cardboard and shredded paper are delivered to local recycling centers. Refundable materials are exchanged at local grocery stores and money is reinvested in the program.

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November 15, 2018 is #AmericaRecyclesDay. In support of the day, The Green Team kicked off a recycling drive with families of NSSA students and clients. To date, the NSSA Green Team has recycled over 1,000 pounds of shredded paper and cardboard, keeping it out of landfills. They have earned over $500 in the past few years by returning bottles and cans for deposit.

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The Green Team partners with several Long Island companies and agencies, such as Geico, Suffolk Y-JCC and Elija Farm, in making recycling pick-ups and drop-offs. They continue to seek community partners that will allow us to place recycling containers at their locations. Containers will be maintained and emptied by Green Team participants on a weekly basis. For more information about partnering with The Green Team, contact Mark Kennedy, Participant Enrichment Program Lead, at (631) 462-0386 or mkennedy@nssa.net

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For more information about recycling, visit https://americarecyclesday.org/

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We’re so proud of NSSA’s Green Team and the difference they’re making in the world.

NSSA Flying High with Blue Horizons

i Nov 5th No Comments by

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Air travel can be stressful for even the most seasoned travelers, but for those who have autism and experience difficulty waiting, hypersensitivity to crowds and noise, anxiety and communication challenges, it can be even more difficult. As a result, flying is simply not an option for many families in the autism community.

On Sunday, October 28th, Autism Speaks and JetBlue hosted families at JFK’s JetBlue Terminal to participate in their Blue Horizons Event. Families were given an opportunity to navigate the air travel experience in a realistic and controlled environment, surrounded and supported by caring volunteers, Jet Blue employees, members of the TSA and NSSA’s experienced clinical team, as well as other families in the autism community. They checked in, received boarding passes, went through security, waited to be called for boarding and sat through an in-flight safety training. Once everyone was on board, the plane taxied around the runway for 15 minutes giving everyone the feel of an actual flight.

A team of NSSA’s behavior analysts was on-hand to provide support to families, helping to reduce anxiety, stress and behavioral challenges.

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Thanks JetBlue and Autism Speaks for including NSSA once again in this important event.

Eat, Drink & Be Scary: Halloween Party at NSSA!

i Nov 2nd No Comments by

Crisp autumn air and colorful fall foliage mean one thing – it’s time for NSSA’s Annual Halloween Party for students, clients and staff! The day began with bears, pigs, a dinosaur, The Back Street Boys and more entering the building in full costume.

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Students went trick-or-treating from room to room asking for treats, waiting their turn and showing off their costumes.

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But Halloween is not just about costumes and candy. The gym was turned into Halloween Hall for the annual party. Adult clients manned stations where students took turns making pumpkin slime, cheez-doodle jack-o-lanterns, q-tip skeletons and more.

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At least one teacher got mummified by her students with toilet paper!

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The grand finale of the party was the pinata where everyone took a swing or two at the hanging pumpkin. There were a few tentative swipes and then one decisive swing brought the pinata crashing to the floor!

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Teachers, Direct Support Professionals and other administrative staff showed off their creativity in the costume contest–and while everyone is a winner–The Banana Splits got the most votes. Congratulations, Classroom 4!

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anks to the hard work of Principal Deb Kennedy and all the teachers and staff for creating such a fun day for students and staff!

NSSA Week in Review: August 13-17

i Aug 17th No Comments by

It was Spirit Week here at NSSA! The last week before program breaks we like to have a little fun and dress in a different theme for each day.

Monday was Character Day, where students, clients and staff dress wear a logo tee representing a favorite character.

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Everyone’s favorite, Tie Dye Day, was Tuesday.

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Some recreation time at Adult Services.

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S. using the postage meter to finish the Adventureland flyer mailing. Are you coming? It’s Friday, September 28, from 6:30-9:30pm.

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Through a grant awarded by Autism Speaks, NSSA was able to host a two-day workshop entitled Applied Behavior Analysis and Autism Spectrum Disorders for School District personnel from Long Island school districts.

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R. washing veggies for the Salad Shoppe.

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Adults do a yoga class for some relaxation.

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Classroom 1 went to an end-of-year party at a classmate’s house!

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And a last day of summer program field trip to Adventureland for some adult clients.

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We had a great, active summer here at NSSA and now it’s time for a program break. Hope everyone enjoys their time off…and we’ll see you back here in September!

 

 

We Are Family

i Aug 14th No Comments by

Every year NSSA holds a special “Sibling Day,” when families and friends are invited to spend a fun day with students, clients and staff. Siblings have a chance to interact with their own brothers and sisters, and to meet up with other siblings and family members like themselves.

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It was another scorcher last week for this year’s Sibling Day, but students, clients and families made the best of it by playing on the giant bouncy waterslide, splashing in the pool and lunching in the shade.

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The playground was put to good use, as well.

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The NSSA Parent Association treated students and clients to a delicious lunch from the Eat Me, Drink Me food truck, while staff enjoyed a hero and accompanying sides.

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Everyone loved the prize wheel and photo area.

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Families and friends mingled and enjoyed watching the children (even the adult ones!) having a fun day.

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The ice cream truck rounded out the day with ice cream for all.

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We love all the excitement and happy faces on Sibling Day – we hope you do, too!

NSSA Week in Review: July 16-20

i Jul 20th No Comments by

We started the week with a visit from Ginny Green from Autism Speaks who delivered a plaque regarding a grant they awarded NSSA for Building the Field and Scope of Educators Supporting Children with Autism. Thanks, Autism Speaks!

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The week started out hot so some of the adult clients came over to cool off in our pool…

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…and later to indoor air-conditioned glow-in-the-dark mini golf.

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Students did more tie-dying in preparation for Brew-B-Q.

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Adult clients were given the job of weeding this raised bed at the Elija Farm. Look at the great job they did! Great teamwork, everyone!

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J from NSSA’s Green Team came to pick up the shredding and recyclables from the Martin C. Barell building. You can learn more about The Green Team in an upcoming blog post.

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The Running Club had a second meeting on Friday morning.

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And students enjoyed the weekly summer visit from Mr. Softee after lunch!

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And so ends another week of NSSA’s summer session. Check back next week to see what we’re up to!

NSSA Week in Review: July 9-13

i Jul 13th No Comments by

Welcome back! After a 2-week program break, students, clients and staff returned to NSSA this week for the start of the new year.

Students settled back into familiar classroom routines.

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Adult clients started a new pilot program this week called “Life Long Learning Series” that will run two days a week over the six-week summer program and then throughout the rest of the year with more students and perhaps an additional day. You’ll be reading more about this in a future post but for now we wanted to share some pictures of clients getting right into the program this week.

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A new group of enthusiastic summer interns started.

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Adult clients made new friends at the Elija Farm.

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The NSSA Cafe began serving morning coffee again to happy customers.

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Classroom Four’s Salad Shoppe resumed business.

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And they picked up again with their new Yogurt-Fruit Parfait product that staff can order for Friday mornings. Learn more about this in an upcoming blog post.

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NSSA’s school-based running club started this week. Randy Horowitz, NSSA’s Associate Executive Director of Program Development, and Barell parent Jennifer Prince led the students through some warm-up exercises, an individual run, a couple laps around the playground track with their teachers and a brief cool-down at the end. You’ll be hearing more about the running club soon!

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Jen and Tori from NSSA’s Development Team led adult clients in tie-dying tee shirts for July 28′s Brew-B-Q (are you going?).

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And the week ended up with a visit from Mr. Softee!

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It looks like our summer session is off to a great (and busy!) start. Thanks for sharing it with us and we’ll see you again soon!