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Parent News

QSAC Whitestone Day School Graduation

(clockwise from bottom left: Clarissa, James, Kyle, David, Chiara, and Quentin)

On June 27th, the QSAC Whitestone Day School celebrated its 2018-2019 graduation. We had nine graduates this year, which made it our biggest graduation class to date.

Students participated in the graduation ceremony by giving speeches, reciting poems, and by singing and playing musical instruments in a rendition of Rocket Man by Elton John. Following the ceremony, students attended a graduation party at the school.

The Whitestone Day School wishes our 2018-2019 graduates much success and happiness in their new adventures!



IRA 20 visits Bethany Beach

Participants from our IRA 20/Jamaica Estates Group Home vacationed at Bethany Beach, DE. With the assistance from our IRA 20 Supervisors and Habilitation Specialists, our individuals were able to plan and execute meaningful recreation activities of their choice including paddle boating, crabbing, boat ride, golfing, and fine dining. As conveyed by individual Christopher, "this is the best vacation ever".

We would like to thank the team at IRA 20 for making this vacation a special and memorable one for our individuals.



2019 Pineridge Dude Ranch

In June, the Family Services Department - Respite Program took participants on a trip to Pineridge Dude Ranch in upstate NY. They spent the weekend swimming, horseback riding, feeding horses, having a BBQ, making s'mores, face painting, rock climbing and going on hay rides. They loved the bouncy mat, their faces lit up with excitement as they jumped up and down. It was amazing to watch our guys really open up and bellow out tunes signing karaoke - they even got requests for an encore!

There was a heartfelt announcement when staff congratulated Tousif Khan and Daiquan Cummings who graduated from High School this year! We are all so proud of them and wish them all the best.

Needless to say everyone who attended had a great time and it was all thanks to our amazing staff who worked together to coordinate activities, encourage socialization and kept everyone safe.



QSAC Self-Advocates and Staff March in the Disability Pride Parade

Members of QSAC's Self Advocacy Group and staff marched in the Disability Pride Parade on July 14th. The group came out in full-force to showcase their pride and celebrate individuals with disabilities. The parade's theme this year was creativity and featured the creative talents of the disability community with floats, costumes, t-shirts, and much more. The Self-Advocates joined more than 3,000 participants to promote inclusion, awareness, and visibility of people with disabilities.

In addition to marching for QSAC, the group also represented the Queens Council on Developmental Disabilities (QCDD) at the parade. Chaired by QSAC CEO Lisa Veglia, QCDD's mission is to advise, inform, pioneer, identify needs and problems, and work toward their resolution. This mission is in line with that of the Self Advocacy Group, which empowers adults with I/DD to know their rights and develop skills for independent living.



2019 Batter Up Recap

On Friday, July 19th QSAC played against the Long Island Laborers Local 66 in the 8th Annual BatterUp! Softball Game at Bethpage Ballpark in Central Islip. Despite a cool breeze off the ocean it was still hot and humid, but that didn’t stop the bats from heating up the field! A total of 34 runs were scored with a combined 44 hits, but QSAC came out victorious by one run with a final score of 18-17. The game also raised $18,000 from various sponsors, including Local 66. In addition, players for both teams wore shirts made by QSAC’s Mission Market.

Thank you to all of the players, supporters, and the Mission Market team for making the event a huge success!



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 or (212) 244-5560, ext. 2016.

Clothing and Linen Drive
Support QSAC’s Day Habilitation Programs


QSAC has partnered with ACLD (Adults and Children with Learning and Developmental Disabilities, Inc.) to collect gently used (or new) clean clothing, towels, and bedding. The collected clothing will be sold to a company that recycles used clothing and QSAC’s portion of the proceeds will be used to support our day habilitation programs.

Large recycling bins have been set up at the following sites to collect donations:

Queens Center - 25-09 Broadway, Astoria, NY 11106
Jamaica 2 - Day Habilitation and Family Services - 150-30 132nd Avenue, Jamaica, NY 11434
Jamaica 1 - Transportation Office - 156-15 146 Avenue, Jamaica, NY 11435
Preschool & Early Childhood Center - 245-37 60th Avenue, Douglaston, NY 11362
Whitestone Day School - 12-10 150th Street, Whitestone, NY 11357

The Bronx
Bronx II Day Habilitation Center - 1930 Eastchester Road, Bronx, NY 10461
Bronx Day School and Preschool - 3200 Jerome Avenue, Bronx, NY 10468

Long Island
Nassau Center - Floral Park - 110 Jericho Tpke., Ste. 220, Floral Park, NY 11001
Suffolk Center - Melville - 320 South Service Road, Suite 103, Melville, NY 11747

Please help us support both QSAC and the ACLD!



Family Support Services Program
In-Home Behavior Management/Parent Training in Manhattan

The Program
This is a short-term parent training program that provides support to families of individuals with communication, social and behavioral difficulties. Families must live in Manhattan, have OPWDD eligibility and the child must live at home.

The parent trainer will provide families with a parent and individual intake, then the individual’s behavior will be assessed through observation and parental report.

The parent trainer will then conduct, as needed, a functional behavior assessment, behavior intervention planning, teaching of data collection, intervention strategies and model behavior change techniques and positive procedures. Follow-up visits, interviews and satisfaction surveys are used to continually monitor the effectiveness of the program and to make adjustments in the delivery of services when needed.

Service Hours
• Flexible hours are individually coordinated between parent and trainer.
• Typically weekdays and evenings by appointment.
• Training sessions are usually held in the family home.

• OPWDD eligibility required.
• Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnosis.
• Must live in Manhattan and individual must live at home.
• No Medicaid needed.

Click here for the flyer



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 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.






Availability at Wagon Road Camp - Overnight Respite Program
August 16–21

Wagon Road Camp provides overnight respite programs for developmentally delayed children & youth aged 7-17. Offered eight times each year, their program combines 24-hour childcare with a camp setting, allowing participants to experience outdoor activities during all the seasons of the year, while their families get a little break.

The Overnight Respite program is a Medicaid Waiver Service authorized by the New York State Office of People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) and serves families living in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Westchester. Children can experience camp and participate in enriching, fun-filled activities in a safe, accepting, and supervised environment. Learning opportunities are weaved into all programming, and encourage children to engage, interact, and participate as fully as possible, all while providing parents and caregivers a little bit of time to rest and rejuvenate. Transportation to camp is available via coach bus from New York City.

For more information please visit or contact, Gabriela Naranjo, Respite Program Director at or 914-238-4761.





Mission Market is Officially Open!
Selling Great Gifts and Custom T-Shirts
While Developing Vocational Skills

Our Mission Market storefront is officially open. We encourage you, your family, and friends to spread the word, stop by the store, or visit us online at to see this incredible program in action. Our Floral Park storefront is open Monday–Friday, from 10:00am–2:00pm.

In addition, we are thrilled to announce that Mission Market can now produce custom t-shirts! Let Mission Market create personalized t-shirts for your next event—birthday, graduation, or reunion. If you provide us with a design or idea, we can produce the t-shirts!

Mission Market is a supportive work environment for individuals with developmental disabilities to develop and utilize their skills in communication, conceptualization, product production, quality assurance, money management, sales, and overall business operations. Each order helps our individuals hone their vocational skills and prepare them for employment outside the market.

Orders for most gifts can be placed online at To place an order for custom t-shirts, please email

Thank you in advance for your support of this new initiative.



Learn-to-Ride Special Needs

Bike New York is offering free group lessons for individuals with autism, down syndrome, and other learning disabilities.

Bike and helmets will be provided at no additional cost. Please see below for details and registration information.

August 11th (for ages 8+)
Location: McCarren Park in
Williamsburg Brooklyn
776 Lorimer St,
Brooklyn, NY 11222

August 25th (for ages 5+)
Location: Victory Field at Forest Park
Woodhaven, NY 11421

Additionally, if any individual or family has any questions regarding these classes, please reach out to Joelle Galatan at or visit for more information.



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 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


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 ( 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.


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

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.