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.

 

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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Wrapping Up the Holidays at NSSA

i Jan 11th No Comments by

2016 ended at NSSA with a flurry of holiday activity.

From the end-of-year luncheon hosted by the Parent Association, complete with pizza, live music by Fish and dancing for staff, students and clients…

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Who doesn’t love pizza?

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Singer Fish entertained us with classic favorites and dance tunes

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“May I have this dance??”

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And a child shall lead them…onto the dance floor.

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Thank you, NSSA Parent Association, for this fun luncheon!

To a holiday craft led by Tori Ardito…

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Tori explained the process to teachers who in turn helped students select and color pictures.

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Students chose their favorite picture to color.

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And got right to work coloring.

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Candles decorated with the students’ artwork was wrapped up and sent home as holiday gifts.

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The finished product.

Thank you to Tori for leading the students in this fun craft project!

And…there was even a surprise visitor…

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Thanks for stopping by, Santa!!!

It was a busy but fun and festive end to the year…and we look forward to more good times in the year ahead!

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!

nssa-nassau-suffolk-services-for-autism-fox-hollow-farm-11-10-16-22-resizedelija-farm-11-11-16-2After planting, the next team of clients covered the newly-planted bulbs with straw to help protect them from the cold temperatures ahead.

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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!

Starry, Starry Night

i Apr 22nd No Comments by

NSSA’s Adult Services clients let their inner artists out when a painting teacher visited them earlier this week. Lilly Polishuk from Individualized Family Care  led the group in a rendition of Van Gogh’s Starry Night.

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The clients, aided by staff, followed the instructor-led step-by-step instructions to create individualized works of art.

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Clients practiced direction following and imitation while exercising their self-expression.

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A finished product…and a proud client.

Let’s Dance!

i Jan 14th No Comments by

nassau suffolk services for autism, nssa, martin c barell school, autism, peer modeling, smithtown high school east, winter dance

As has become an annual tradition, the staff and students of Smithtown High School East hosted a winter dance for the 14+-year-old students and clients of NSSA and The Martin C. Barell School. On January 9, 2016, students decorated a cafeteria with giant paper snowflakes, twinkle lights and glittery branches, turning the lunchroom into a winter wonderland. Pizza and snacks were provided, as well as a yummy dessert buffet. DJ Matt Figuccio rocked the house with favorite tunes and colored light show. Smithtown High School East students mingled and danced with our students and staff, including a rousing conga line! When parents came at the end of the evening, they had some tired but happy kids to take home. Thank you Smithown High School East for inviting our kids once again to a super fun evening and for being great peer models for our students and clients!

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nassau suffolk services for autism, nssa, martin c barell school, autism, peer modeling, smithtown high school east, winter dance

NSSA Puts the Fun in Family Fun Night

i Dec 24th No Comments by

Every December NSSA hosts Family Fun Night – an opportunity for families and staff to socialize, share a meal, and enjoy watching students, clients and siblings do craft projects and play in the classrooms.

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Any craft that involves frosting – always a favorite.

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There’s some serious artwork going on here…by clients, siblings and staff kids alike.

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So fun when staff bring their young children in – their eyes light up at a classroom filled with toys!

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There’s time for jumping…and relaxing.

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And it’s a perfect time to welcome new members into the NSSA family!

Happy Holidays and see you next year!

A Walk in the Park for NSSA’s Adult Services Clients

i Aug 11th No Comments by

On a beautiful summer day some of NSSA’s Adult Services clients visited nearby Blydenburgh Park for a day of boating, hiking, and just enjoying nature.

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Safely outfitted in life vests, clients and staff took turns in row boats on the serene headwaters of the Nissequogue River.

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Groups took turns hiking along shaded paths.

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Some clients were just joyful being out in nature!

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Welcome to the Farm

i Jul 15th No Comments by

NSSA’s Adult Service program has a number of different job sites they visit weekly. One of their jobs is at Manor Farm, a local farm managed by Starflower Experiences.

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At the farm, the clients do vocational agriculture jobs such as weed, deadhead, rake, paint fences, and do general cleanup.

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The farm is about 5 acres and very charming, with a historic house and several outbuildings.

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This week they were working on weeding one of the raised beds that held mint, tomatoes, lavender and sage.

Once this and another raised bed are cleaned out, they can plant whatever they choose in there.farm college 1

When the trash can is full of weeds, the clients take turns dumping the can.

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A job well done, guys!

Let Summer Begin!

i Jul 6th No Comments by

Today, the first day of NSSA/The Martin C. Barell School’s 6-week summer session, brought real summer temperatures and students and clients back out onto the playground for some fresh air and exercise.

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Who doesn’t love swinging with their eyes closed and pretending they’re flying??

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He shoots…He scores!!!

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Le Tour de Barell

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Court is in session.

We look forward to an active summer ahead!