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’s Salad Shoppe Success Leads to Expansion

i Jul 17th No Comments by

Last fall we shared the story about Classroom 4’s Salad Shoppe program (read full story here). The program was such a resounding success they decided to expand their product line and delivery days. The teachers were able to replicate the program they created for salads and apply it to a new product with the same outcome and success. Now, in addition to Salad Thursdays, Classroom 4 is offering staff Fruit-Yogurt Parfaits on Fridays.

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Each Wednesday staff members get a parfait order form delivered to their desks where they can choose yogurt type, up to 3 mix-in fruits, such as blueberries, honeydew melon, grapes, etc., and whether or not they want granola. When the forms are submitted on Thursday, the Classroom 4 team takes inventory of what is needed to fill the orders and goes shopping for all the ingredients. They keep track of the money and budget so they can make all the necessary purchases.

Friday mornings are spent rinsing, chopping and melon-balling.

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Afterwards a production line is set-up on long tables in the classroom and everyone has a specific job to do: layering yogurt in cups, measuring and dropping in berries, filling separate cups with granola and writing customer names on labels. Students are assigned jobs based on their IEP goals and they are also learning to work as part of a team.

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As with the salad production, health and safety are of paramount importance. The students use special tools for chopping, everyone handling food and containers wears gloves and students are closely monitored during the entire preparation process.

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Everyone’s happy to see the delivery team arrive at their door with their Friday morning fruit parfait.

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Classroom Four’s Salad Shoppe and Fruit-Yogurt Parfait delivery is an excellent illustration of the creativity and ingenuity of our teachers, who are tasked not only with teaching academics but also (and perhaps more importantly) teaching vital skills necessary to navigate and progress through everyday life. With careful assessment of each student’s needs and goals, our teachers created a new and exciting endeavor that combines their students’ academic goals with daily living objectives while generalizing and building upon skills that have already been mastered.

Congratulations on your success, Classroom 4!

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!

NSSA Week in Review: June 18-23

i Jun 22nd No Comments by

The last week of the school year was jam-packed with activities here at NSSA!

It was Spirit Week, so there were fun themed dress-up days. Like Hawaiian Day…

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…and Tie Dye Day.

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Classroom 1 wore their tie dye looks to the Riverhead Aquarium that day.

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Some adult clients visited Ralph’s Italian Ices to cool off on the hottest day.

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Adult clients worked on painting projects this week at the Elija Farm. We have some budding artists in Adult Services!

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It was a good year, everybody! We’ll see you all again in summer session!

Just Poolin’ Around!

i Jun 18th No Comments by

NSSA’s Executive Director, Nicole Weidenbaum, hosted an end-of-school year pool party for her young sons and their friends last Friday. Her sons asked if their friends from Classrooms 1 & 2 at the Martin C. Barell School could come to the party, too.

It was a pleasure to see children be so inclusive of their peers with autism. Our students were respectfully and happily welcomed and enjoyed a great day with their new friends.

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The kids played in the pool, went down the water slide, played soccer, and had pizza and treats from the ice cream truck. And basically just hung out together.

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Classroom teachers stayed close by at all times to supervise the fun and make sure everyone had a safe time.

Thank you to Nicole’s kind-hearted boys for welcoming our students into their home and hearts.

End-of-Year Pool Party

NSSA Week in Review: June 11-15

i Jun 15th No Comments by


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Spirit Week tie-dying

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Some adult clients going to the movies!

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The NSSA Salad Shoppe has expanded to include yogurt parfaits! More about that next week…

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And to end the week, a sneak peek of an end-of-year pool party…you can look forward to more pictures next week!

Have a great weekend!

A Visit from Carley of Carley’s Kicks for Cure

i Jun 12th No Comments by

Carley Schor (read more about Carley here) came to NSSA to visit her friend T, a Barell student, and donate more iPads to the school, purchased with money from sales of her handpainted sneakers at Carley’s Kicks for Cure. Carley has just graduated from high school and is preparing to leave for her first year of college at The George Washington University in Washington, DC this fall.

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Carley donated three more iPads to NSSA, bringing the total to over 17 iPads for students and a large screen tv for the school!

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Students from the youngest classroom help open all the packages.

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In appreciation of all Carley has done for NSSA over the years we presented her with an engraved plaque and a going-away gift for college.

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J. uses his iPad to say “thank you” to Carley.

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At college, Carley will be in the Human Services & Social Justice Program, preparing to serve people and communities in need. We’re sure Carley will be a success at whatever she does and make a great difference in the world. She has certainly made a generous impact on NSSA!

Thank you for your caring, donations and friendship, Carley!


NSSA Week in Review: June 4-8, 2018

i Jun 8th No Comments by

Here’s a quick look back at what went on at NSSA this week…


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Art projects.

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Snacks after a lap around the track for Global Running Day.

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Amazing prize for NSSA employee who brings the most guests to Brew-B-Q on July 28!

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Salad Shoppe delivery.

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Carley Schor from Carley’s Kicks for Cure stopped by to donate more ipads (thank you!) and visit with her friends (more about that next week!)

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Friends who Star Wars together, stay together!


NSSA sent a couple volunteers to man a Bike to the Beach rest stop, a hundred mile bike ride to raise money for autism and autism awareness.

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Hope you have a nice weekend and we’ll see you again next Friday!

Global Running Day at NSSA

i Jun 6th No Comments by

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Global Running Day is a worldwide celebration of running that encourages everyone to get moving. It doesn’t matter how fast or how far you run—what’s important is that you take part, and how you do it is up to you. Run a lap around the block, take your dog for a walk, or meet your friends for a jog along the beach. The important thing is that you have fun being active—and you inspire others to join you.

Thanks to the enthusiasm of Randy Horowitz, NSSA’s new Associate Executive Director of Program Development, NSSA students, clients and staff celebrated Global Running Day by running or walking a couple laps around our playground track. Students and clients made signs in honor of the day, and medals were awarded to all who participated. Everyone had fun at this impromptu break!

And they’re off!!!

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Everyone’s a winner!

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NSSA Ends 2017 with a Flurry of Holiday Activities

i Dec 28th No Comments by

Note: You can now subscribe to the blog and get updates sent to your email. There is a Subscribe form at the bottom of this post.

Each December The NSSA Parent Association hosts a holiday party complete with pizza, dessert and live music.

Teachers and direct support professionals enjoy the festive atmosphere while students and clients enjoy lunch and dancing.

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Some of the adult clients have been practicing for weeks to put on a Holiday Singalong, led by teacher assistant Shelley.

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Teachers got in the act, too.

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And everyone else came to watch and sing along!

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As if that wasn’t enough, on Friday, SANTA surprised the boys in Classroom 1 by showing up with gifts for everyone in the room!

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It was quite the way to end 2017…and now classrooms are empty and quiet waiting to be filled again after New Year’s with happy excited voices and activity.

Here’s a little video for you…have a Happy New Year.