One in 68 Children has Autism

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Learning Websites for Children with Autism

March 20, 2009 6:30 pm Published by

The following websites are wonderful resources for your children, especially the ZACbrowser, the first web browser developed specifically for children with autism.
Special thanks to Suzanne Prestigiacomo, a parent who helped me put list this together. – ZAC is the first web browser developed specifically for children with autism, and autism spectrum disorders such as Asperger syndrome, pervasive developmental disorders (PDD), and PDD-NOS. We have made this browser for the children – for their enjoyment, enrichment, and freedom. Children touch it, use it, play it, interact with it, and experience independence through ZAC. – Interactive place learning that is fun, stimulating, relevant, appropriate and responsive. – Perfect for parents and caregivers of autistic children as it allows you to create your own playlist from available youtube videos that launches from your own webpage supplied by them – adfree webpage! Then you can simply click on the link on the left and the video plays. – Many free printables including number and alphabet posters and cards. Handwriting sheets, color flash cards, vocabulary builder flash cards, printable books. – Games, songs, communication cards, print visuals, Make a schedule, activities and more resources. – Games for children with special needs, but can be enjoyed for children of all ages. – Where children have fun learing to read. ABC, picture stories, fun reading learning games. – Games and video. – Games, math, reading, playground, web books, comics, videos. – visual pictures. – PECS PLACE is a game, it is meant to be fun and rewarding, and yet at the same time… can be used by parents, habilitators, and therapists alike, to be another tool to help teach your child! – Beyond Autism Pecs Pictures, – Fun animated online exercises to help kids with autism. – Fun educaltional games that help develop
early reading skills. – Visual Aids for Learning has created downloadable visuals to help people learn everyday activities. The images are ideal for children, particularly those with learning difficulties. Where appropriate, the images are gender specific. – Pics4Learning collection consists of thousands of images that have been donated by students, teachers, and amateur photographers. – Visual images and visual boards for everyday. Demonstration videos to explain how to use the images with the boards. – ABC, tell time, learning numbers and more. – Educational childrens games. – The site that swims with learning fun. -These learning games and songs are fun, teach important skills for preschool and elementary school kids and they’re free. Want educational games that help build skills? You’ve come to the right place!

Functional Analysis of Problem Behavior

March 20, 2009 3:25 pm Published by

Doug, 10, is enrolled at the QSAC Day School. He has a variety of independent skills. Doug used to engage in frequent and repetitive object-tapping (banging two items together). Due to his persistence tapping, it was difficult to return him to classroom activities and ongoing instruction. He seemed to engage in this behavior to escape or delay academic instruction. Some instructors felt the reason was to get attention because he typically laughed or struggled with them when they attempted to take the items away. Also, because tapping occurred so frequently, some felt that he engaged in this behavior because of the sensory stimulation that it provided.

It was decided to conduct a functional analysis (FA). As described in our previous newsletter, a functional analysis involves the systematic exposure of the behavior to different “tests” to see how the behavior is affected.

The results showed that tapping behavior was highest during the attention and alone conditions, demonstrating that tapping served to gain attention from others and was automatically reinforced. Additionally, the results showed that tapping did not function to escape or avoid tasks, or to gain other types of tangibles in the environment. Tapping, because of the multiple functions that it served, was considered a multiply-maintained behavior for Doug. Multiply-maintained behavior can be particularly difficult to address because an intervention would have to be effective in addressing both reasons or be comprised of different components that could address each one separately. Treatment conducted at the QSAC Day School will follow in a future newsletter.

by Ronald Lee, Ph.D., BCBA, Director of QSAC Day School

Single-Dose Measles, Mumps Rubella Vaccines May Be Discontinued by Merck

March 13, 2009 4:22 pm Published by

Merck & Co. has been producing monovalent (independent, single-dose) measles and rubella vaccines and was scheduled to make an individual mumps vaccine available this spring.

Last December, Merck notified the CDC that it is no longer producing or taking orders for monovalent measles, mumps and rubella vaccines. The company has not announced whether or not it will make the single-dose versions available for sale again in the future. Since there is great concern by many parents and professionals in the autism community regarding the safety of the trivalent measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine, there is much support for the availability of monovalent vaccines until there is adequate unbiased research to properly evaluate the safety and efficacy of the trivalent MMR vaccine.

Merck & Co. is the only provider of monovalent versions of these vaccines. Parents, caregivers and providers are encouraged to contact a Merck representative at (800)672-6372 to voice their opinions on this important issue.

Kick Off Gift for the Halvatzis Celebration

March 13, 2009 2:22 pm Published by

March 3, 2009 – Astoria, NY – The Astoria LIC Kiwanis Club donated $1,000 to QSAC as a kick-off gift to QSAC 2009 Dinner Dance on May 15 at Astoria World Manor. Held under the auspices of H.E. the Ambassador of Greece Alexandros Mallias and co-chaired by William Dionisio (Atomic Fuel Company), Al Gentile (Astoria Federal Savings), Evan Metalios, Esq. (Re/Max Team) and Tony Siano (Quinn Funeral Home), the event will honor local business owners, Paul Halvatzis and Anita Halvatzis for their relentless advocacy for the autism community.

Paul Halvatzis has been a board member of the Astoria Civic Association for over 20 years, a member and past president of the Astoria-Long Island Kiwanis Club for 25 years, and is a board member of The 30th Avenue Merchants Association. As one of the very first successful women business owners in Queens, Anita Halvatzis has been an inspiration to many and has shared her knowledge and offered her guidance to family, neighbors, colleagues and peers. Together, Paul and Anita have played a critical role in expanding autism awareness and QSAC’s visibility. Their generosity, compassion, and endless and selfless efforts have made a real difference in the lives of many children and families in our community.

“As a parent of a child on the autism spectrum, Paul’s expertise is invaluable as QSAC develops and implements programs to suit the needs of the autism population,” said Gary A. Maffei, executive director of QSAC. “He brings a unique understanding of all issues related to caring for an individual with autism. He and his mother Anita have been a driving force of QSAC’s mission for the past 10 years when Paul first joined the board. We are delighted to bestow the 2009 QSAC Humanitarian Awards to these two extraordinary individuals.”

QSAC is one of the largest agencies dedicated specifically to autism and provides comprehensive services and programs to individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and their families in New York City and Long Island. QSAC has received the Mental Hygiene Services Award for Excellence from New York City and recognition from the Queens Borough President and the Town of Hempstead for contributions to individuals with autism and their families. Over 2,000 people benefit yearly from QSAC programs, including 880 individuals who receive direct services. Many of QSAC’s participants represent challenging cases referred to QSAC by the Boards of Education and New York State Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities.

Pictured from left to right, Paul Vallone, President of the Astoria LIC Kiwanis Club, Paul Halvatzis, honoree, Danièle Favre-Panayotatos, QSAC Director of Development and Tony Siano, event co-chair.


QSAC is a New York City and Long Island based nonprofit that supports 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.

QSAC pursues this mission through direct services that provide a supportive and individualized setting for children and adults with autism to improve their communication, socialization, academic, and functional skills.