They Could Have Danced All Night….

i Dec 19th No Comments by

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A fun time was had by all at NSSA’s 4th Annual Holiday Dance.KD&BM collage

NSSA students, clients, and consultation students, Genesis clients, and Smithtown High School East students joined up on Friday, December 13th at Smithtown HS East for an evening of dancing, live music, and home-cooked food provided by a Smithtown HS parent.

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Thanks to NSSA’s Stacey Agosta for arranging everything!

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Music and light show provided by NSSA’s own DJ Matt Figuccio (G’n’A Entertainment).

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Thanks also to Debbie Bristol of Smithtown HS East for her valuable help in getting us this wonderful location.

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holiday dance 11sean h dance moves collageAnd who could fail to appreciate the dance stylings of Classroom Five’s Sean H?

NSSA Winter Olympics Part I

i Dec 17th No Comments by

Physical and occupational therapists Jeannie, Amy, and Kate organized a Winter Olympics event
for Classrooms 2 and 4 last week. Students participated in Dolly Races, Hurdle-and-Toss Relays, arts and crafts, and the ever popular Shaving Cream Skating.


WWI collage 1Ready….set….




Intense concentration against a backdrop of mayhem…he shoots, he scores!


Teachers model good techniques for the students


Showing good sportsmanship by cheering classmates on


A little quiet time with some more artistic endeavors…and then…

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Shaving Cream Skating! Things started out a little cautiously
with small steps and curiosity…and ended up with Big Smiles!

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And everyone was a winner.

Stay tuned for Part II – Classroom 2.

It’s a Mitzvah

i Dec 12th No Comments by

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In 2014, Martin C. Barell student Sam will be Bar Mitzvahed. In preparation, he’s doing a “Mitzvah Project,” (mitzvah means “good deed”) by hosting a Bake Sale on Fridays at the school to raise money for Families of Spinal Muscular Atrophy (LI chapter). This is a cause that is near to the family’s heart because Sam’s older brother Michael has SMA. Sam has already raised over $50 and the sale will continue through the end of February 2014.

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Sam and his brother Michael

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Barell families are taking turns donating wonderful cakes, cookies and muffins they’ve baked at home themselves. Classmate Tyler specifically wanted to do something to help his friend Sam, so last week he and his mom baked a lemon cheesecake. It was a big hit!

tyler p mitzvah cheesecake 12.9.13Students and staff look forward to the Mitzvah Bake Sale. Some students use their assistive technology devices to make their selection….

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…and some just go for it!

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Sam handles the financial transactions on his own with prompts from his teacher Jen.

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We’re all happy to be a part of Sam’s Mitzvah!

A Snowy Day at NSSA

i Dec 10th No Comments by


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It’s a Winter Wonderland out on the playground today and
some of the kids (and teachers!) couldn’t wait to get out there!

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“There is nothing like a dream to create the future.”

i Dec 5th 1 Comment by

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And NSSA’s own Shelley Ourian has fulfilled a dream of her own by performing in Star Playhouse’s recent production of Les Miserables at the Suffolk Y JCC in Commack. As part of the show’s chorus, Shelley portrayed multiple roles as a Factory Worker, Citizen of Paris, and a Student Girlfriend.


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A teacher’s assistant at the Martin C. Barell School, Shelley can often be heard singing as she walks through the halls of the school, and she has dreamed of doing theater for as long as she can remember. Now she is living her dream of “diving into Long Island theater,” after past successes in high school and college drama productions. She feels theater has become like her second home.

More than just the actual performing, Shelley felt the best part of the experience was bonding with castmates – making new friends who have common interests and a shared love of performing. Through her new friends and local websites, Shelley hopes to find more opportunities on the stage in the future. One of those opportunities is with a group called GLEE, a singing group comprised of self-advocates. As an adult living with Autism, Shelley has performed at legislative breakfasts and spoken about living with autism at congressional hearings.

Currently, Shelley is working with some of the older students at NSSA to “create a musical aspect” to their education and school day. Shelley’s dream is certainly creating a musical future. Break a leg, Shell!

(Photos courtesy of Gene Indenbaum, Star Playhouse Producer. All rights reserved.)