Someone’s in the Kitchen with NSSA

i Jul 14th No Comments by

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 ELIJA Farm extended an invitation to NSSA’s Adult Services clients to attend a Cooking Demo with natural foods chef  and food activist Bhavani Jaroff. Currently Bhavani is running a program called iEatGreen which is helping to facilitate change in our communities, home, schools and workplaces.

On July 12 she visited the ELIJA Farm to speak to our clients about healthy cooking and eating.

The demo was beneficial for our clients so they could learn how to prepare healthy food choices. They were also practicing attending to a speaker while in a group. And the most fun part, they got to try new healthy foods.

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A. is enjoying the demonstration.

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B. & J. eagerly await their sample meals…

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…and relish the new dishes when they arrive!

Bhavani shared some recipes for healthy cooking:

Wilted Kale Salad with Pepitas, Pomegranate Seeds & Lemon Dressing

  • 2 bunches of kale, red, green or dinosaur
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 carrots grated
  • 1/4 cup raw pepita seeds
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsely
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 tbsp stone ground mustard
  • pomegranate seeds
  • coarse salt

Remove the stems of the kale and discard in compost. Chop the leaves into small pieces and put into large bowl. Squeeze 1/2 lemon onto the kale, drizzle 2 tbsp of olive oil and sprinle 1/2 tsp of salt over. Massage the kale leaves for 3 minutes, until softened. Add the grated carrots, parsely, pomegranate seeds and pepita seeds. Make a salad dressing with the remaining olive oil and lemon juice, and mustard. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with avocado right before serving.

Watermelon, Mint and Feta Salad

  • 1 medium seedless watermelon, cut into 1″ cubes
  • 1/3 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 lb feta cheese, cute into small cubes
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • a medium bunch of mint, chopped

Drain 1″ watermelon cubes for 1/2 hour with a bowl underneath (this way you can drink the juice!). Whisk together the white balsamic vinegar, oilive oil and lemon juice in a bowl. Mix the drained watermelon, feta, onion and mint in a large bowl. Chill in refrigerator. Drizzle with dressing, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, and toss right before serving.

 

A-Camping We Will Go!

i Jul 11th No Comments by

Over 30 young people with autism spent the last week of June swimming, swinging, sliding, bouncing, crafting and relaxing at NSSA’s summer day camp.

The one-week camp helps provide structure and recreation opportunities for children with autism at a time when there are typically no summer school sessions available.

Every day is filled with activities and field trips. The playground gets plenty of use. A bouncy house with water slide is a big favorite.

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The ice cream man pays a visit bringing the kids icy treats.

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Pump It Up in Plainview is a great place for letting off some steam…or relaxing!

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Kazam in Farmingdale encourages campers to climb, shoot foam balls through tubes, and get rained on by cascades of soft balls falling from above.

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Craft projects allow kids to take home a personalized souvenir from their fun-filled week.

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Kids splash safely in the enclosed pool under the watchful eye of the lifeguard.

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The final day is a little bittersweet as we say goodbye to new friends…but we always have next year to look forward to!

Happy Father’s Day from NSSA!

i Jun 19th No Comments by

Last week was a flurry of activity and craft projects, with both Barell and Adult Services classrooms working on Father’s Day gifts!

Tori put together an “I Spy Aquarium” shaker jar, with colorful sensory beads, glitter and miniature sea animals. Students selected their animals of choice, counted out how many beads they wanted, and selected blue or green glitter to fill their jars with. The sensory beads were a big hit with students and staff alike!

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The Adult Services classes made homemade barbecue sauce for Dad.  Clients measured out and mixed the ingredients and then bottled them in jars with a sauce brush and label.

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We hope all the dads out there had a great day…and enjoyed their handmade Father’s Day gifts!

Congratulations, Graduates!

i Jun 15th No Comments by

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June 12, 2017 was Graduation Day here at NSSA. We had two fine young men graduate from the Martin C. Barell school program…in preparation of their entrance into NSSA’s Adult Services program.

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Teachers, families and district personnel have all done a great job in preparing the graduates for their next step at NSSA.

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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.

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

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

Congratulations, graduates!

NSSA’s Special Olympians

i May 31st No Comments by

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On May 20, 2017, Bethpage High School hosted the Special Olympics Spring Games North.

The Special Olympics is an international organization that provides sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-style sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them opportunities to develop physical fitness and participate with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.

NSSA is proud to have a Barell student as well as an Adult Services client participate in the event.

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N., a student in the Martin C. Barell School, took the bronze medal in the 50 meter run and the gold in the softball throw! Way to go!

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J., one of NSSA’s Adult Services clients, also won two medals – bronze and silver – in the 50-yard-dash and softball toss. Congratulations, J!

Exercise is important for all people, regardless of age or ability. We’re so pleased to see our students and clients participating in events like the Special Olympics, as well as horseback riding, kayaking, badminton, running and more.

I’m Happy Just to Dance With You

i May 22nd No Comments by

The students and faculty of Smithtown High School East, once again, hosted an evening of dancing, food and fun at their Hollywood-themed event for NSSA adult clients, consultation students and Barell students aged 14 and up.

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Attendees arrived by walking up a red carpet and into a gym filled with high school students dressed up and ready to dance with our students and clients.

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It’s so great to see our students and clients having a great time with the Smithtown East students and one another.

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The high school also served a fun pizza dinner that was thoroughly enjoyed by all.

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Many thanks to Stacey Agosta for helping to set this up, DJ Matt Figuccio for the dance music, NSSA teachers for accompanying their students and Smithtown High School East for their graciousness and hospitality in putting this event on for us once again.

For A Run-Derful Cause! 11th Annual Jack’s 5K Run for Autism

i May 12th No Comments by

The spirit of our loyal supporters prevailed on May 6, 2017, as the day of the 11th Annual Jack’s Run began with drizzly grey skies and whipping winds…and still we had a full turnout of racers and walkers and volunteers!

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Volunteers arrived at the venue hours ahead of race time to mark the course, set-up the post-race breakfast, organize registration and prepare the water stations. We were happy to see so many enthusiastic registrants show up in spite of the gloomy weather and run the 5k in support of NSSA and autism awareness.

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Members of the football team of the US Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, NY were there along with their coach to run in support as well.

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The Nesquik Bunny was on hand for photo opps and to give out prizes at the Nesquik booth.

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Many NSSA and Barell families and staff showed up to participate and join in the race day fun!

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The winner of the race was cheered to victory in a time of 17:32. Congratulations to Tim Cote!

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The woman’s winner was Julia Savacool with a time of 22:33.

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We are so grateful to everyone who participated in the day.

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At this year’s Jack’s Run, NSSA presented a plaque to Ondine Slone and Mike Miranda in recognition of their ongoing generosity and dedication to this event and to NSSA.

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Thank you to everyone involved who helped the 11th Annual Jack’s Run run as smoothly as it did – volunteers, runners, family members and staff. And of course our generous sponsors and donors.

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And special thanks to Trophy Depot of New Hyde Park for the many medals we awarded to all our wonderful race winners!

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Thanks everyone, see you next year!

 

 

Drumroll, Please!

i Apr 28th No Comments by

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Jack Licitra of South Bay Arts is passionate about music. NSSA was fortunate to be introduced to Jack by a staff member and now he’s bringing his love of music to our students and clients.

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Jack came to the Martin C. Barell School in April with enough bongos in tow for each class to have a 15-minute trial session. From this brief trial, NSSA staff were able to determine which students and clients would enjoy and benefit from ongoing drum classes at Jack’s studio.

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Some clients and students have enjoyed music classes in the past and they have been used as reinforcers for skill acquisition and appropriate behavior. It’s also a good group activity and practice for following group directions and remaining on task. Music classes are also an excellent way to teach and develop new leisure interests and skills that our students and clients can enjoy during their down time.

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The happy faces and enthusiastic drumming indicated that this exercise was a beneficial one and some of our students and clients will be attending and enjoying future drum classes at South Bay Arts in Bayport.

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Friends & Family Celebrate NSSA’s 25th Annual Dinner For Our Children

i Apr 19th No Comments by

Our April 1 Dinner Dance was no joke, as over 400 guests attended the annual fundraising event. Old and new friends helped celebrate the event’s 25th anniversary at Leonard’s Palazzo in Great Neck, NY.

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There was dancing….

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Games of chance with wonderful prizes.

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We celebrated two graduations from The Martin C. Barell School program into NSSA’s Adult Services program.

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Executive Director Nicole Weidenbaum and Event Chairperson Paul Raguso inspired generosity in the crowd and we were able to raise more money than ever before. Thank you to everyone!

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Overall, people just had a wonderful time celebrating NSSA and helping to support our programs and services.

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Thank you to all the amazing, hardworking people who brought this event to life, as well as our generous sponsors:

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If you would like to receive an invitation to next year’s Dinner For Our Children, or any of our events, email dinnerdance@nssa.net.

Dancing the Night Away with NSSA

i Jan 13th No Comments by

Smithtown High School East once again hosted a Winter Dance for NSSA students and clients who were over 14 years old.

The cafeteria was decorated with a winter theme, refreshments were served by Smithtown High School students, DJ Matt Figuccio kept the dance floor jumping…and there were smiles everywhere.

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Thank you to Smithtown High School East with providing our students and clients with another evening of fun and friends!