One in 68 Children has Autism

QSAC's blog – self advocacy » self advocacy

$300,000 in Grants will Support Expanded Programs for Autism Community

December 3, 2014 9:32 pm Published by

Quality Services for the Autism Community (QSAC), a nonprofit serving New York City and Long Island, has received more than $300,000 in grants in support of its training programs to support children and adults with autism.

A $130,000 grant from The New York Community Trust (NYCT) will support the expansion of QSAC’s teacher training program in New York City public schools. The program will provide participating schools with a series of workshops regarding autism and the implementation of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) in the classroom. The expanded initiative seeks to increase the capacity of educators to support students with autism in mainstream learning environments. Participating schools will receive 14 hours worth of in-person trainings as well as 6 hours worth of in-classroom feedback. Schools interested in learning more about the training program or applying to be a partner school can visit www.qsac.com/autismedu.

Regarding the grant from NYCT, Lisa A. Veglia, QSAC’s Deputy Executive Director said, “The expanded in-person training program, made possible by the generous support of The New York Community Trust, will help us to reach hundreds of teachers and other educators over the next two years while also providing them with a more comprehensive curriculum. We’re particularly excited about expanding our program to New York City community schools.”

The Heckscher Foundation for Children awarded QSAC a $132,200 grant that will support the development and launch of a new online training platform for educators supporting students with autism. The project will ensure that teaching professionals have access to valuable training information regardless of their geography or their ability to access in-person trainings. The trainings will also be made available to parents and other support professionals working with the autism community. A $15,000 grant from the Frederick S. Upton Foundation will also support the buildout of the online learning platform and the videotaping of the trainings being funded by NYCT.

A $25,000 grant from the Long Island Unitarian Universalist Fund (LIUU Fund) has provided the funds needed to launch a new self-advocacy training program on Long Island for young adults with autism. The program will support the development of the skills participants need to effectively advocate for their rights in meetings with elected officials and community leaders. The project is unique in that it seeks to support the program participants in the development of their own policy agenda that they will present in meetings with local and state officials.

QSAC’s Executive Director, Gary A. Maffei said, “We are truly grateful for the generous support of The New York Community Trust, Heckscher Foundation for Children, Long Island Unitarian Universalist Fund, and the Frederick S. Upton Foundation. Their support will enable us to enhance and expand programs that will help to meet the needs of children and adults with autism and their families. By expanding our teacher training program in New York City, and with the rollout of a new online platform, we’ll be able to reach even more educators supporting learners with autism. In addition, the self-advocacy program will help train participants in valuable skills that will empower them to advocate for their rights. These grants will help us further live out our mission of helping children and adults with autism achieve greater independence and realize their full potential.”

EFFECTIVELY GETTING YOUR POINT ACROSS

September 24, 2014 2:16 pm Published by

When I was younger I would throw temper tantrums and rebel when things would not go my way. I also had a number of anxieties and overcoming them was difficult for me. These were some of the ways I communicated to people as well my peers. Whenever I felt a certain emotion I had a challenging time expressing them, because of those things I was envious of my peers.

Often if I contacted someone and they would not return my call I would worry excessively and contact them over and over until I would hear back from them. Also when I would do something wrong by acting impulsively I would lie or mislead people to try to get myself out of trouble. At this stage in my life I need prompting to remember to do things. Routines have become very important for me.

Having mentors and other peers in my life that set great examples have been beneficial to my growth. If I could advise anyone, I would say to effectively communicate with people,  learning self-awareness is key.  Self awareness is important for setting boundaries and making your needs known.  Setting boundaries also allowed me to see that I needed patience in all situations.

 

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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.

ABOUT US

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.