Running for Autism Awareness: NSSA’s 12th Annual Jack’s Run

i May 16th No Comments by

In spite of threatening skies, Mother Nature graciously held the rain off til just after the last award was handed out, and NSSA’s 12th Annual Jack’s Run for Autism Awareness went off without a hitch.

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Over 150 runners came out to run and support NSSA.

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Staff, families and even clients participated in the run…

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As well as behind the scenes…

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Jack himself had a great time running!

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There were enthusiastic runners of all ages.

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Congratulations to Overall Winner: 12-year-old Alex Addison and and Top Overall Female: 13-year-old Ishil Kirkhan
JR 2018 1 blogsizedThis gentleman has run Jack’s Run every one of its 12 years – thanks for your support!

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We are grateful to the Miranda and Slone families for starting Jack’s Run 12 years ago in support of their nephew and NSSA.

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We are so appreciative of everyone who helped make this event a success: runners, volunteers, donors, staff and sponsors.

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Thanks to everyone who participated – we look forward to seeing you at future events!

Dancing in a Winter Wonderland

i Mar 9th No Comments by

On February 9, 2018, the students of Smithtown High School East once again turned their cafeteria into a winter wonderland for the students and clients of NSSA.

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Snowflakes and Valentine’s hearts lined the walls and hung from the ceiling.

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High school students danced and socialized with NSSA teens and adults. NSSA staff volunteered their time to be sure all went well.

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Pizza, snacks and beverages were shared at dining tables.

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NSSA’s own DJ Matt Figuccio spun records and kept the dance floor lively.

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A fun time was had by all.

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Thank you, Smithtown High School East, for welcoming NSSA into your school and into your hearts year after year.

NSSA Ends 2017 with a Flurry of Holiday Activities

i Dec 28th No Comments by

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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.

NSSA’s Halloween Party was a Skele-fun Time!

i Nov 1st No Comments by

Everyone looks forward to Halloween at NSSA. Students, clients and staff have fun dressing in costume for the day’s activities.

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The Halloween party is a big success with games, activities and treats. Adult clients do a great job running the different stations. And this year some of the younger classrooms went trick-or-treating in the administrative offices.

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Students kept busy with games and activities.

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long island autism school nassau suffolk services for autism halloween 10.31.17 8 blogsizedAnd as always, everyone enjoyed the Costume Contest contestants’ efforts.
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A Job Well Done at Old Navy

i Aug 8th No Comments by

NSSA Adult Services clients recently spent a day at Commack Old Navy experiencing what it’s like to be an employee at a retail clothing store.

General Manager Doug Wadsworth and Business Operations Manager Lisa Simonelli invited five adult clients to be a part of the on-the-job experience.

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 Clients first watched a training video on safety and then went out onto the sales floor split up into groups: cashier, fitting room, clothes folding and sweeping. Each client got to take a turn and experience each area.

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They got right to work!

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Happy faces at the register.

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They had lunch in the break room and then returned to their duties in the store.

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It was a wonderful day for everyone and we appreciate Old Navy allowing our clients this opportunity to experience a day in the life of an Old Navy employee.

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.

 

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.

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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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!

Down on the Farm with Nassau Suffolk Services for Autism

i Nov 21st No Comments by

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NSSA Adult Clients were fortunate to spend a crisp autumn morning last week at ELIJA CSA, a ten-acre farm on the beautiful North Shore of Long Island. The farm is a sustainable, non-profit farm committed to using environmentally responsible practices to raise high quality, organically grown produce.

The ELIJA CSA is dedicated to enriching the health and wellness of our community by providing an innovative community supported agriculture (CSA) program that offers dynamic learning opportunities to its diverse membership. On this particular day, NSSA and Elija Adult clients were planting garlic. Rows were tilled in advance by hand, then clients were instructed how to plant the garlic bulbs (pointy end up!) without stepping onto the freshly turned soil.

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Clients took a break when needed and just enjoyed the fresh air.

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There was even a mascot!

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And everyone seemed to enjoy their work in the beautiful sunshine.

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We can’t wait to visit the ELIJA CSA farm again soon!