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QSAC Community Spotlight
Dylan, Student at Whitestone Day School

Dylan is a 9-year-old boy who joined our program at Whitestone Day School in October 2018. He is a happy and playful young boy that enjoys playing with toys, such as cars and trucks. Dylan loves interacting with others, especially with his instructors and enjoys receiving social praise.

Although he has only been a part of the QSAC family for less than a year, he has shown tremendous progress during his first school year. He has shown growth in social/emotional skills, such as self-managing his emotions when upset, and sharing preferred toys with peers. Dylan enjoys going to music club and continues to be the "life of the party!"

We are so proud of Dylan, and wish him continued success at the Whitestone Day School!

About QSAC Community Spotlight
Each month, we highlight one of our individuals and shine a light on their accomplishments—big and small—and celebrate their success. Our mission, here at QSAC, is to support children and adults with autism, together with their families, in achieving greater independence, realizing their future potential, and contributing to their communities in a meaningful way by offering person-centered services. Let’s celebrate our mission in action!

 

 


 

QSAC Announces the Opening of Mission Market
A retail shop operated by individuals with autism




QSAC is thrilled to announce the opening of our new storefront—Mission Market—a retail shop operated by individuals in our adult and school vocational programs. Located in Floral Park and online, Mission Market is an innovative learning environment which supports individuals as they develop vocational skills in a community-based setting.

The market exclusively features items handmade by adults and students with autism enrolled in QSAC’s day habilitation programs and schools. As part of their vocational skills training, students and day habilitation participants learn how to make greeting cards, soap, candles, and other craft products—showcasing their talents and skills. There are nearly one hundred individuals from QSAC’s day habilitation and school programs that contribute to Mission Market’s business operations from product production to point of sale. Through this program, individuals learn to develop and utilize their skills in communication, conceptualization, product production, quality assurance, money management, sales, and overall business operations.

In celebration of the launch of our unique storefront and online store, the new staff at Mission Market gathered with QSAC administration, students, and parents, as well some local elected officials, for a ribbon cutting ceremony on April 30, in Floral Park (watch the FIOS1 News segment covering the event).

Over the years, QSAC has worked with many partners to provide the individuals we serve with access to workplace learning opportunities. While these opportunities are beneficial to the skills training we hope to achieve, many are often limited in both the time our individuals can participate and the quality of the accommodations and supports that these sites are able to offer. It’s with this understanding that the concept of Mission Market was founded. By launching our own retail store, we were able to to create a truly person-centered work environment under the guidance of QSAC's clinical and program teams. In this more adaptable environment, we can create, implement, and assess individual vocational and prevocational training plans through an array of task analyses, visual cues, and other aids.

We encourage you to stop by the store, or visit us online at www.shopmissionmarket.com to see this incredible program in action. Please note that our store hours will be limited initially as we work on training the individuals we serve. Please check Mission Market's website for the most up-to-date store hours.

Thank you in advance for your support of this new initiative. We look forward to seeing you at Mission Market or receiving your online orders!

 


 

Did you know QSAC offers ACCES-VR services for students?

As you may know, QSAC now offers ACCES-VR services. Through this program, we support individuals with autism in developing the soft skills need to succeed in the workplace and assist with job placement and supported employment. In addition to these services, we also offer services that are specially designed for transition-age students.

Services for transition-age students (16 and older) include the following:

  • Post-Secondary Counseling for Students: To provide students with counseling related to education options after high school
  • Job Exploration Counseling for Students: To provide students with counseling related to careers options after high school
  • Self-Advocacy for Students: To develop self-advocacy skills
  • Work Readiness for Students: To enhance career exploration and develop soft skills;
  • Work-Based Learning Development for Students: To develop an internship, work try-out or work-based learning experience. Work-
  • Based Learning Development may be used as a stand-alone service
  • Work-Based Learning Experience for Students: To assist with paid work experience in instances where the employer is unable to place the student on his/her payroll
  • Work-Based Coaching Supports for Students (for employment): To provide coaching for supports youth engaged in paid work experiences

To learn more about any of these services or to discuss a potential referral for ACCES-VR services, please contact Joseph Amodeo at jamodeo@qsac.com or (212) 244-5560, ext. 2016.

 


 

 


 

Questions About Care Management?
Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) Has Answers!




The Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) now has a place on its homepage where you can quickly access information about care management and Care Coordination Organizations (CCOs). Visit www.opwdd.ny.gov and click on the box titled Questions About Care Management?

Each CCO has a Customer Service Liaison who can help you with problems or questions you have about care management. Those liaisons are listed on the OPWDD web page. Click here to view.

If you or someone you care for receives care management services and is having trouble getting assistance from a Care Manager, OPWDD’s regional Care Coordination Support Liaisons can also help. These liaisons are listed on OPWDD’s website. Click here to view.

 

 


 

Plant-a-Palooza at Whitestone Day School
In Celebration of Autism Awareness Month

 

On Tuesday, April 2nd, the Whitestone Day School hosted its 2nd annual Plant-a-Palooza in celebration of Autism Awareness month. Students, parents, and staff gathered to plant vegetables, herbs, and flowers. Students helped to dig holes in the soil, arrange the plants in the planters, place the plants within the soil, and water them once they were planted.

After last year's gardening event, students harvested the herbs and vegetables to be used as part of our vocational meal preparation program and they are hoping to do the same this year.

Thank you to all of the parents, staff, and students who made Plant-a-Palooza such a great success!

 


 

Butterflies Raised and Released at Bronx School




Students in Class 14 at the Bronx School enjoyed raising and releasing butterflies this spring. The butterflies arrived as caterpillars, they built cocoons, and they emerged as butterflies 3 weeks later. For two weeks after their metamorphosis the students fed them fruit nectar, and then released them outside of the school on March 1.

 


 

Social Skills Group Creates Their Own Style of Music
at the 5th Avenue Apple Store
 



On Saturday, April 6, the Manhattan Social Skills Group was invited to the 5th Ave Apple Store to participate in the Garage Band workshop. Each student was asked to create their own unique music piece using a quote that inspired them. After recording themselves reciting the quote, they used the different Garage Band application features, other clips, and their own creativity to create their own style of music. The students really enjoyed this activity and they were able to spend time with one another outside of normal program hours, which is pivotal in social skills training.

 


 

QSAC's Janice Silber Memorial Bowl-A-Thon
Raised Over $56,000 and counting!

 


 
Donna and Bret Silber pose at the, newly named,
Janice Silber Memorial Bowl-a-thon on April 13th.

Thank you to all the sponsors, supporters, bowlers, QSAC families, and staff that joined us on Saturday, April 13th for QSAC's annual Janice Silber Memorial Bowl-A-Thon. With your support and efforts we raised over $56,000 to benefit QSAC’s programs serving more than 2,400 children and adults with autism across New York City and Long Island!

This year we renamed the event the Janice Silber Memorial Bowl-A-Thon, in honor of QSAC's long-time board member who sadly passed away last year. Janice was a lifelong advocate for children with autism and their families. She single-handedly organized the Bowl-a-Thon for many years and helped to cultivate this event into the great success it is today. The Bowl-A-Thon will serve as a lasting reminder of Janice's hard work on behalf the autism community and her legacy will continue to inspire us as we work to ensure that all children and adults with autism reach their full potential.

Thank you again to our supporters for making this event such a success.

 

 

 


 

QSAC Featured on Univision’s 6 O’Clock News
 



On Wednesday, April 3, Univision’s Berenice Gartner featured QSAC in her story about programs and services for individuals with autism on the 6 o’clock news. Ms. Gartner interviewed QSAC’s own Rocio Chavez, Assistant Director of After School Programs, along with one of our Bronx School parents, Aida Valderrama, to discuss the resources available to Spanish-speaking individuals with autism and their families in New York City.

Watch the full the clip here! (In Spanish)

 


 

QSAC and Grace Malfah Smith Presented with City Council Citations




On April 8, QSAC’s Grace Malfah Smith (top right) and QSAC’s Bronx II Day Habilitation were presented with City Council Citations from Council Member Gjonaj's office for their work. Lilyanna Pekic (top left), from Council Member Gjonaj's office presented the citations and toured our facilities. Our Day Hab participants showed her how they make handmade soaps and candles and put together a basket for Council Member Gjonaj. Congratulations Grace Malfah Smith and Bronx II Day Habilitation!

 


 

 


 

Family Connect Summit 2019 - Friday, May 3
Hosted by The Adapt Community Network Family Connect Center

 



The Adapt Community Network Family Connect Center is hosting a free conference for all professionals, self-advocates, care givers, family members and individuals who are interested in the special needs population and its ever changing and challenging support services. There will be morning and afternoon sessions with eight informative workshops to choose from.

MetroCards provided for family members and snack bag will be provided for all. Advanced registration is required. Adults 18 years old and up. No children please. Event details and registration information are listed below:

Family Connect Summit
Friday, May 3
The New York Academy of Medicine
1216 Fifth Ave (at 103rd Street)
New York, NY 10029
9:30 am – 2:00 pm


To register and view the full list of workshops available, click here.

For additional information on the Summit, call 718-436-7979 ext. 704 or email familyconnect@adaptcommunitynetwork.org

 


 

 


 

NYPD Patrol Borough Queens North
5K Run/Walk for Wellness

 

The Patrol Borough Queens North invites you to join them for their 3rd annual 5K run/walk for wellness on Saturday, June 22 at 9:00 am. The event is free and open to all and will have raffles, giveaways, and free entertainment for kids. For more information, follow @NYPDQueensNorth on twitter.

Learn-to-Ride Special Needs
 

Bike New York is offering free group lessons for individuals with autism, down syndrome, and other learning disabilities, ages 8 and older. Bike and helmets will be provided at no additional cost. Please see below for details and registration information.

Sundays: April 28, May 19, and June 23
Flushing Meadows-Corona Park Aquatic Center
131-04 Meridian Road (outside on the southeast corner)
11:00 am – 1:00 pm

To register please Click Here and be sure to register under your child's name.

For additional information, questions, or concerns, email joellelemond@gmail.com or click here to visit the website.

TDF Presents an Autism-Friendly Theatre Performance of Disney’s Frozen Sunday, June 23

Tickets go on sale May 1st for a special sensory-friendly performance of Disney’s Frozen. This is a special performance for individuals on the autism spectrum, as well as people with other developmental or cognitive disabilities who may benefit—this is not for the general public.

Frozen is the timeless tale of two sisters, pulled apart by a mysterious secret. As one young woman struggles to find her voice and harness her powers within, the other embarks on an epic adventure to bring her family together once and for all. Both are searching for love. They just don't know where to find it.

Autism-Friendly Theatre Performance of Disney’s Frozen
Sunday, June 23, at 1:00 pm
St. James Theatre (246 West 44th Street, New York, NY 10036)

For more information click here.

How to buy tickets:
1. Starting at noon (EST), May 1, go to: tdf.org/frozen
2. Click the BUY TICKETS link. The link will appear at noon (EST) on the right-hand side of the webpage. Clicking the button will direct you to a password-protected webpage.
3. Enter the password: TDFANNA
4. Enter the number of tickets you need in your desired section of the theatre, or click the seat map to select your own seats. The option to select your own seats is NOT available on mobile devices.
*TIP: Click on the seats you want when you see them. Seat availability is shown in real-time, and tickets will sell fast. You will be given 15 minutes to complete the checkout process.
5. After you check out, you will receive a confirmation email. If you do not, contact autism@tdf.org to confirm your purchase.

 


 

Internet Safety Resources


Did you know that only 39% of parents report using parental controls for blocking, filtering, or monitoring their teen’s online activities, according to a study by Pew Research Center in January 2016. In this digital age, the risks that we are exposed to on the internet are ever-evolving. It important to teach our children about internet safety and keep up with the most up-to-date information available. Here are a few resources to learn more about online safety risks, and how to protect your children online:

National Online Safety Parent Guides
Common Sense Media Ultimate Guides for Parents
SafeKids.Com Bulling and Cyberbulling Resources

Support QSAC While You Shop


QSAC is registered with both Amazon Smile and KidCents through RiteAid to receive donations through purchases when you designate QSAC as your charity of choice. You have to register in order to activate this service, please click the links below to find out more about these programs.

Amazon Smile
KidCents through RiteAid

 


 

QSAC Featured on Univision’s 6 O’Clock News
 



On Wednesday, April 3, Univision’s Berenice Gartner featured QSAC in her story about programs and services for individuals with autism on the 6 o’clock news. Ms. Gartner interviewed QSAC’s own Rocio Chavez, Assistant Director of After School Programs, along with one of our Bronx School parents, Aida Valderrama, to discuss the resources available to Spanish-speaking individuals with autism and their families in New York City.

Watch the full the clip here! (In Spanish)

 


 

 


 

FREE PSYCHOLOGICAL EVALUATIONS

QSAC offers FREE psychological evaluations and psychosocial assessments for individuals living in Queens with their families who do not have Medicaid.

To make a referral or schedule an appointment, please contact Rhodie Volpe, our Early Childhood Administrator, by phone at (718) 728-8476 ext. 1512 or by email at RVolpe@QSAC.com

PENN STATE SURVEY

Morgan Zymnis & Kara Durgin from Penn State University research team are conducting a project to determine what treatments for people with autism parents find effective.

The research would require you to complete an online survey (https://pennstate.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_0J65uCQMwSu5Hwx) examining what autism treatments you have seen implemented, what treatments you find effective, and your thoughts about the treatment effectiveness. The number of questions will depend upon your experience with different autism treatments.

QSAC SCHOOLS IN
THE BRONX & QUEENS

The QSAC School age program in the Bronx & Queens has openings. The Bronx site is at 3200 Jerome Ave. Bronx, NY 10468. The Queens site is located at 12-10 150th St., Whitestone, NY 11357.

QSAC's Day School program provides children 5 to 21 years of age with an appropriate education implemented in the least restrictive environment. We have classes of 6:1:3, 8:1:2, and 10:1:2 student to staff ratios in the Bronx and 6:1:3 and 8:1:3 in Queens.

For questions, please contact:
Larisa Muratov, M.Ed., M.S.Ed.
IEP Coordinator
(718) 728-8476 ext. 1513 or lmuratov@qsac.com.

Upcoming Parent Training & Support Groups

QSAC has many options available to aid parents and guardians who are caring for someone diagnosed with autism. Parent Support Groups (offered in English and Spanish) provide a forum for sharing the successes, disappointments, and anxieties that arise from caring for a child with autism.

In addition, our Parent Training program seeks to provide caregivers with the tools necessary to improve the independence and quality of life of their loved ones with autism or other developmental disorders. Upcoming meeting dates, times, and location sites can be found on the flyers here.                         

SIBS Club - A Queens College Program

Children with ASD often have social and communication impairments that affect their interactions with peers and siblings. SIBS Club is designed to enhance these relationships and interactions between children with autism and their siblings through group activities and inclusive recreation.