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!

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!

This Thanksgiving NSSA is Grateful to Tyler Fazzari & All Our Generous Supporters

i Nov 23rd No Comments by

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Several years ago we made the acquaintance of a darling young man named Tyler Fazzari. Tyler arrived at NSSA, shortly after celebrating his 10th birthday, to donate almost $1000 that he had raised for us through his organization BirthdayBack. BirthdayBack is dedicated to inspiring people to use their birthdays as an opportunity to give back. It started with Tyler’s desire to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy and has since developed into something much greater. Since starting the organization, Tyler and BirthdayBack have raised over $50,000 for various local organizations!

In recognition of his generous achievements, we nominated him for the “Leader of Tomorrow” honor at Long Island’s Association for Fundraising Professional’s Annual Philanthropy Day. We were so pleased and proud to hear that he would be the recipient of the award!

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We would like to share Tyler’s good news and to say THANK YOU again for all that he has done for NSSA, and for so many others. We are deeply grateful for Tyler’s friendship.

At this time of year, we remember all the people and organizations that have been a friend to us by making a donation, raising money on our behalf, volunteering at an event, or spreading the word about NSSA and autism awareness. We are so thankful and grateful for the wonderful people who support our organization and mission.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our 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!

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!

A Fun Family Visit at Nassau Suffolk Services for Autism

i Nov 9th No Comments by

Classrooms 1 & 2 had a surprise visit this week from a Barell parent and brother who came in to read a story to the classes…

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…and brought cupcakes to decorate and eat.

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Some students enjoyed decorating…

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…while others preferred eating!

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But everyone participated and had a good time!

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Hope you enjoyed being a guest at our little impromptu party!

Sip Sip Hooray! NSSA’s 18th Annual Wine Tasting & Auction a Huge Success!

i Nov 8th No Comments by

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November 5, 2016 was the night of NSSA’s 18th Annual Wine Tasting at the elegant Garden City Country Club.

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We had a wonderful turnout of friends old and new. Families, staff, volunteers, local residents – everyone added to the party atmosphere.

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Guests were greeted by our friendly and helpful staff. A new system made check-in and bidding much easier for guests.

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Games of chance were manned by enthusiastic volunteers.

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There were plenty of wonderful prizes to be won.

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We thank Fidele Miranda & Empire Merchants for the wonderful selection and delicious wines.

We are so deeply grateful to everyone present at this year’s Wine Tasting & Auction. Thanks to your incredible generosity, we have reached our goal and will be able to purchase two new vans. This will make a significant difference in the lives of our students and clients. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

Thanks to everyone who attended, sponsored, donated, and worked so hard to make this year’s Wine Tasting a success….and a special Thank You to Champagne Event Sponsors Mary Beth and Pat Miranda for another fabulous event!

NSSA is Creepin’ It Real!

i Nov 2nd No Comments by

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When black cats prowl and pumpkins gleam, at NSSA it’s Halloween!

The annual Halloween party was a smashing success…

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Hope everyone had as much fun as we did on Halloween!