Sibling Day at NSSA!

i Aug 19th No Comments by

Once a year we invite siblings and families to join students at the Martin C. Barell School for a day of fun and activities. This year was a packed house! The big bouncy house and slide in the backyard was a hit, the playground was bustling with kids of all ages, and the classrooms were set up for arts & crafts when a little quiet time was needed. It was also Luau Day, which made for an even more festive atmosphere!

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Brothers A & D slide together.

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Beautiful sisters.

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Proud big brother.

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Luau Twins and Sister.

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Look how sweet J is helping her big brother do his craft.

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Cousins are the new siblings.

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Could these brothers be any cuter?

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Love it when everyone gets into the “spirit” of Spirit Week!


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!

Sibling Day at Nassau Suffolk Services for Autism

i Sep 3rd No Comments by

Once a year, on a summer day, NSSA opens its doors to brothers and sisters of students and clients for Sibling Day.

Special activities are planned – craft projects, bouncy houses, and opportunities for students to demonstrate newly-learned skills to their families.

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But really, it’s just a whole lot of bonding and fun that takes place! Over the years, it has sort of become “Family” day, and parents have come to stay for the festivities, which makes it all the nicer.

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And I don’t know about you, but I’m kinda thinking the dads are having more fun than the kids!!!

The New Playground is Here! The New Playground is Here!

i Jul 17th 3 Comments by

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After a week’s vacation and a week of the backyard being off-limits, you can only imagine the students’ joy at being allowed out back to The New NSSA Playground! Not only did the playground get a total makeover with a rubber surface system (very cushy on the feet and much more forgiving if a child takes a spill), there are also two new features – a “zipline” swing and a “cozy cocoon” (that spins!)!

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Of course, there are still all the old favorites – swings, slide, basketball, etc., but the children seem pleased at some new variety.

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The playground rebuild was an important project for NSSA as we have found the old engineered wood shred surface to be very challenging for use with children with autism – shred getting into students’ eyes and creating intolerable discomfort in the summer when shred would get caught in sandals and toes. It also required a lot of upkeep keeping it mushroom-free and level. The new surface is much safer, ensuring that our playground continues to provide a natural instructional environment where leisure and play skills can be taught.

The NSSA playground also plays a vital role in the academic and behavioral success of our students. Because it is so well-loved by our students, the playground serves as a powerful reinforcer. To motivate students to positive behavior and skill acquisition, instructors offer each student a choice from a variety of potential rewards in advance of instruction. The student receives the selected reinforcer only if he is successful at the lesson being taught. At NSSA’s programs we increasingly see time on the playground selected as a reinforcer for successful skill acquisition and/or appropriate behavior.

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We’d like to thank the following funders for making this wonderful (and fun!) project possible:

The Andy Foundation
Ronald McDonald House Charities of the NY Tri-State Area
Ronald McDonald House Charities Global
The Kohnen Family Foundation
Schulz Charitable Foundation
The Jack Fanning Memorial Foundation “Angels for Autism”

Spring Has Sprung at NSSA

i May 9th No Comments by

We had a guest blogger earlier this week…Chris C.

Springtime has finally arisen with beautiful sunshine and the jolly good cheer of the students making Mothers Day cards with such enthusiasm.

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The kids and teachers are kindred spirits in a joyful mood playing outside.

Staff members posing with students in the cafeteria convey a warm sense of camaraderie with smiles on their faces.

Teachers are enjoying positive relationships with students with an incredible playfulness while working on the goals that need to be accomplished.

That is what goes on at Nassau Suffolk Services For Autism when the sunshine has finally come up with all smiles on everybody’s faces. If you have any more questions please feel free to contact myself regarding the blog.