NSSA closed out its summer session with the 5th Annual Sibling Day on Thursday, August 18, 2016. Invitations were made to students’ and clients’ families to join us for an afternoon of fun, food and friends.There were indoor and outdoor activities, a waterfall slide bouncy house, wonderful Grill Boys food truck lunch courtesy of NSSA’s Parent Association, and a prize wheel and photo booth (thanks to the artistic stylings of Tori). And kids everywhere! Sliding, swimming, scootering, prize-wheel spinning, swinging and just plain having fun. It was a wonderful way to end the Summer of 2016. See you all in the fall!!!
Jason Harris, long-time NSSA consultation student, made a touching presentation today at The Martin C. Barell School when he presented his new video “Jason Harris-Transitioning from High School” and officially ended his time with NSSA and announced his newest venture as a student at Vaughn College of Aeronautic Engineering, Aviation and Technology.
Jason’s friend Chris, an NSSA Adult Service client, began the presentation with a talk about some of his own experiences at NSSA.
NSSA’s Transition Coordinator Jacquie Frangoulis introduced Jason and congratulated him on all his hard work at achieving his goals.
After the video presentation Jason removed his NSSA ID card and replaced it with his new Vaughn College ID.
Students and staff congratulate Jason on his exciting new future.
Morgan Kauffman, who has known and worked with Jason for many years, was on-hand to celebrate with him as well.
Everyone at NSSA is so proud of Jason and excited to watch him take the next steps into his future – Congratulations, Jason!
And here is Jason’s story…..
NSSA’s 18th Annual Golf Classic was held July 25, 2016 at Sands Point Golf Club. The day was hot but the event was extremely well-attended thanks to the efforts of Event Chair and parent Joe Longo (photo right) and NSSA Board member and parent, Joe Winters (photo left).
The day started bright and early with breakfast and the first round of golfers.
A putting contest was held.
Amazing volunteers manned the money booth and games of chance.
Golfers stayed in good spirits in spite of the heat and humidity.
Prizes were perused.
A wonderful dinner was served.
People were happy to win prizes!
Afternoon round winners…First Place
Neil Bergin, Hank Mayerhofer and Brandon Gamblin
and Second Place
Chris Fitzharris, Bill Brennan, Joe Winters, Pat Winters
Thanks to Sands Point Golf Club for another wonderful event.
Thank you to everyone involved in supporting this event and helping to raise money for NSSA.
Cake batter was mixed with frosting and coloring….
Hand-rolled into balls…
Stuck onto lollipop sticks with melted chocolate…
And iced, decorated, and placed in cellophane bags to be sent home.
There were definitely smiles all around with tubs of smooshed-up cake on the table! Hope some of the cake-pops made it home that day!
Adult Service clients created a red white and blue wreath out of clothespins just in time to decorate their homes for the 4th of July.
Clients painted and glued clothespins, sorted by color, and attached them to a metal frame.
On Tuesday, June 21, Martin C. Barell’s Classroom 1 (and a buddy!), graduated from their 12-week class at Farmingdale Gymnastics Academy.
They demonstrated all their exercises for family and friends – balance beam, tumbling, obstacle course, zipline, and trapeze.
There were dazzling smiles everywhere as the boys flew, swung, and fell into the foam pit.
Friendships were made…
Everyone grouped around to be congratulated for their efforts and progress.
Each gymnast received an award for their special strength:
Best Balance Beam
And Honorary Team Member J. received the award for Best Buddy!
We’d like to thank Farmingdale Gymnastics Academy and especially coaches Serena and Lisa for their teaching skills and wonderful ways with our students.
June 14, 2016 was a proud day here at NSSA. We had three fine young men graduate from the Martin C. Barell school program…in preparation of their entrance into NSSA’s Adult Services program.
Teachers, families, and district personnel have all done a great job in preparing the graduates for their next step at NSSA. Through job sampling or training, the Adult Services program works to ensure that the adults we serve are able to grow and develop to their maximum potential. Our primary concern for the adults we serve is that they continue to grow to their greatest level of independence through employment and skills required of daily living.
Families were beaming with pride as students accepted their certificates from teachers and school district personnel.
After the ceremony there was time for family photos, refreshments and cake.
We wish the graduates every success in this new phase of their lives.
It was a perfect day for cycling: cool temps, no humidity, and a strong wind blowing in just the right direction. Bike to the Beach NY 2016 was underway by 5am this past Friday morning, June 10. And for the first time NSSA had not one, but two teams participating in the 100-mile ride to raise awareness and funds for autism.
The wind helped push the riders along at a faster pace than ever before, and the first rider pulled into Rest Stop 6 at Corey Beach in Blue Point, NY a little before 10am. We don’t normally see anyone til close to 11:30!
Soon many riders were coasting into the stop, having ridden 75 miles over the past 5+ hours…and ready for a little break in the shade, some water, energy bars, and iced tea.
NSSA had a table at Rest Stop 6, decorated for National Iced Tea…until those helpful winds blew away all the decorations!
Many riders struggled with flat tires, but Bike to the Beach had us well stocked with bicycle pumps, tubes and tools, and riders were soon on their way.
There was even a tandem bicycle this year – a father and son team.
Samantha Grassle was the first NSSA team rider to appear – Yay, Sam!
The rest of Team NSSA followed closely behind. Shoulder rubs were gratefully received.
NSSA’s Velocipedalers, led by Barell teacher Stacey Leo, were right on Team NSSA’s tail
Team NSSA with their fans and supporters and a proud Mom.
And both NSSA teams – we couldn’t be more proud of them – for doing this ride and for raising money for NSSA.
You can still make donations to the teams by going here, typing NSSA into the search box, and selecting one of the teams to donate to.
We thank Bike to the Beach for letting us be part of this wonderful event once again.
The wonderful students and staff of Smithtown High School East once again hosted a fun evening for NSSA students and clients on April 1, 2016.
They decorated the space and dressed according to a Luau theme and everyone had a great time dancing, snacking and limbo-ing.
The event is geared for students and clients aged 14 and up. Smithtown students encourage dancing and socializing. NSSA staff attends as well.
DJ Matt Figuccio keeps the party lively playing favorite tunes.
Thanks again to Smithtown High School East for being such gracious hosts, we look forward to seeing you again soon!
As part of its outreach to the greater autism community, NSSA hosts A Special Night for Our Special Kids twice yearly at Adventureland in Farmingdale. NSSA tries to hold the spring and autumn events during program breaks to give our guests with autism and their families something to look forward to when there are few structured activities available.
In spite of challenging weather, we welcomed families into the park this past April 25 for an evening of fun.
Many families with a child with autism find the prospect of attending an amusement park on a typical evening extremely daunting. Long lines and crowds can be especially challenging for these families. During NSSA’s events, Adventureland is closed to the general public and made available to people with autism and their friends and families. On these special evenings, the amusement park is at reduced capacity. The shorter waiting times for rides make it much easier for our friends with autism and more manageable for their families. Since the park is filled with people who understand autism, the atmosphere is very relaxed and caring. We hear over and over again that it is only during the NSSA events that many of these families would even consider going to an amusement park as a family.
Our next Special Night for Our Special Kids at Adventureland will take place Friday, Sept. 16, 2016, 6:30-9:30pm. (Rain Date: Thursday, Sept. 22
6:30-9:30). We hope to see you there!