One in 68 Children has Autism

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First Autism-Friendly Screening Showcasing People on the Autism Spectrum

May 19, 2014 11:24 am Published by

sprout film festival

On Saturday, May 31st in NYC, the Sprout Film Festival will be presenting an autism-friendly screening of 7 short films featuring people on the autism spectrum.

The program, ON THE SPECTRUM, will take place at 2:00pm on Saturday, May 31st at the SVA Theatre, located at 333 West 23rd Street in NYC.

The following are trailers of some of the films in this program:

Stephen Wiltshire:

For the Love of Dogs

Tommy! The Dreams I Keep Inside Me

For the complete schedule of films and programs in the festival please visit:

In Honor of Mother’s Day…

May 14, 2014 10:33 am Published by

As a clinician who works every day with parents of children with autism, I see and hear how hard it is for parents to deal with the stress of raising a child with autism. When it is hard for their son or daughter to start something new, learn a social interaction, or communicate an emotion effectively, they are there through it all. Through all the trials and tribulations, what I see and hear most, is that their child is their biggest pride and joy. Even on the hardest of days, they smile because of them.

Parents of children with autism support each other, especially the moms, who are often the primary caretakers. They are a community of many mothers coming together as one. They discuss many aspects of their lives, drawing from their common experience as mothers, those caring for children on the autism spectrum.

To all the moms who have children with autism, you inspire me!  Your resilience and coping skills, your love, devotion and commitment to your child’s progress is truly something to be admired.

Below is a picture from our Long Island Sibling Support Group. They created cards and candy to share with their moms and had a great time doing so.

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Happy Mother’s Day!


May 5, 2014 10:59 am Published by

Danielle LazzaraWhen I was younger all of my behaviors were due to the stress around me. Today when I don’t manage things effectively I become stressed out and confused. My environment then becomes an issue which can be both good and bad. During those times it’s as if my mind goes blank and I have difficulty concentrating. This is why structure is an important factor in my life. I work best when my schedule is planned out and I manage to abide by it. Having a place to relax and just sit and think can be helpful. There are some things that I do that can relieve my stress and could help you relieve yours too.

Having a sense of humor is important because it enables one to laugh at things instead of being sad about them. Noticing your breathing is also quite important. Writing your feelings down can be a way to get things off of your chest instead of holding them inside. Listening to music allows you to escape from your reality. Getting your rest is essential. Taking breaks and naps can be a way for your body to relax.

Our seven senses and sensory overload

It is important to be aware of all of your senses.  It is also important to know when your senses are being overloaded and how this affects your body. We are all born with seven senses: Sight, sound, touch, taste, smell, balance ( vestibular), and body awareness (proprioception). People with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can be over-sensitive as well as under-sensitive in all of these areas. There are some ways that can really help an individual experiencing this. The three points to remember are :

1. be aware: look at the environment to see if it is creating difficulties for people with an ASD. Can you change anything?

2. be creative: think of some positive sensory experiences

3. be prepared: tell people with an ASD about possible sensory stimuli they may experience in different environments.

Researching is also important so that you can be aware of new treatments for sensory overload and stress. Watching videos on Youtube showcasing other people who also have ASD has been very helpful. It shows that you are not alone in your experiences and that if we share our experiences, we will be able to help each other more effectively.

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Danielle Lazzara
serves as the Development Assistant in QSAC’s Development Department. In her role, she makes calls to parents and supporters about upcoming QSAC events. In addition, Ms. Lazzara works closely with QSAC’s special events team on soliciting items for our annual silent auction. As a woman on the autism spectrum, she is an active self-advocate for the autism community having presented at an array of community-based events including QSAC’s Bridges to Transition on April 2, 2014.


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.