Watch Previous Meetings

First Responders/Community Organization

Presented by: Jane Mullin, LCSW-R and Kristin Kiggins, M.S, Jon Ginsburg, Incident Manager

Audience: Community Organizations & Parents

Community Organization will outline and describe resources for a variety of first responders and community-based organizations who may encounter individuals in crisis or need of redirection and/or optimum referral resources. First Responders & Autism will focus on educating emergency service professionals on how to work effectively with individuals with Autism. Proactive interventions, both from emergency service professionals and families will help facilitate a better relationship with the individuals they serve in the community.

Partnering With Your School District to Support Your Child’s Needs & Advocacy and Entitlements

Presented by: Dr. Heidi McCarthy & Jane Mullin, LCSW-R

Audience: Adults

Partnering With Your School District to Best Support Your Child. Laws and Regulations that provide for support and services for students with disabilities IDEA. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Advocating for your child to receive appropriate services to meet his/her needs. Helpful tips to prepare for meetings. Working with your child’s teachers/therapists to support your child’s growth and development.
Advocacy and Entitlements. This presentation will outline and describe entitlements and resources available to individuals and families, including age-appropriate opportunities and guidance on advocating for and accessing benefits, services, and entitlements. Resources and referral contacts will be provided.

Rehab and Recovery for Behavioral Changes

Presented by: Dr. Joseph Zweig/Peers

Audience: Adults

ASD is not a static state for those on the spectrum. Change and growth is a realistic and achievable goal and as the only PROS (Personalized Recovery Oriented Service) Program in New York State that is authorized to provide these recovery services to those whose primary challenge is ASD, Jawonio PROmiSe has been involved in this innovation for several years. Our staff and participants will describe how a recovery-oriented program can contribute to the achievement of life goals identified by our members.

Understanding the Diagnosis

Presented by: Dr. Arnie Cabasso and Kristin Kiggins, M.S Supervisor of Behavior Specialist

Audience: Community Organizations

Understanding the Diagnosis will go in-depth on understanding intellectual disabilities, more specifically autism spectrum disorder. Identifying what might we expect will assist us in how to support individuals with behaviors and work towards establishing a better quality of life.

Health & Wellness for Individuals with Autism

Presented by: Sharon O’Dowd, RN, and Tobi Makinde, M.S Senior Behavior Specialist

In our presentation, we will discuss the benefits and the impact a healthy lifestyle can produce in the lives of individuals with Autism. We will touch on topics such as nutrition, the impact of food on the body, the benefits of routines and rules, and finally how physical activity and exercise can develop and enhance your child’s life not only physically but socially.

Behavior Planning

Presented by: Dr. Arnie Cabasso and Chuck Mastro

We discuss when a behavioral intervention is called for, the A*B*C Chart, target behaviors, the functional analysis, contextual factors, pro-active strategies, teaching alternative behaviors, re-active strategies, reinforcers, de-escalation techniques, and data collection.

Future Planning

Presented by: Sara Trowers, Carol St. John, Stacey Kantrowitz, and Mitch Spiegel

Overview of Day Habilitation Services:
Day Habilitation Without Walls, Positive Adult Community Experience (PACE) Program, Seniors Program, Sunrise Court, Nyack Studio Arts, Lifelong Experiences and Academic Program (LEAP), After the Day Respite Services, Pre-Vocational Work Program, and all related eligibility.  Overview of recreational activities

Success Story:  Anthony Mundy

Overview of Community Living Services:

Emphasis on Rustic and how it is geared towards ASD individuals, and all related eligibility.

Success Story: The Masons

Overview of Community Employment Services:  
Vocational Assessments, Job Exploration Counseling, Work Readiness Training, Self-Advocacy, Community-Based Assessments, Work-Based Learning Experience, Counseling on Post-Secondary Educational Options, Wage- Reimbursed Internships, Employment Training Program, Job Development Services, Long-Term Supported Employment Services, Educational Coaching, Tutoring, Travel Training, Benefits, Advisement, Communication Coaching Supports (Pragmatic Language Therapy), and all related eligibility.
Success Story: Thomas Nordstrom

Overview of Article 16 Clinic Services:  
Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Social Work, and all related eligibility.

Recent Advance in Diagnosis and Treatment

Presented By: Dr. Russell Tobe

Dr. Tobe is a board-certified adult and child and adolescent psychiatrist. He is Director of the Clinical Evaluation Center at the Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research where he works with a multidisciplinary team of psychologists, social workers, psychiatric nurses, clinical evaluators, and research support assistants to study brain development and autism spectrum disorders. Dr. Tobe will discuss advances in the diagnosis of and treatments for autism spectrum disorders. Specifically, Dr. Tobe will review efforts to better detect symptom response in clinical trials while presenting novel medication approaches currently under investigation that modulate ‘social’ hormones, the gut microbiome, and the endocannabinoid system.

Communication for Non-Verbal People

Presented By: Stacey Kantrowitz

Overview and contrast of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (ACC) Systems, including the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) and American Sign Language (ASL). ACC Systems help: Develop intentional communication. Reduce negative or challenging behaviors caused by frustration. Increase opportunities for interaction and learning. Develop social skills and the ability to build meaningful relationships. Improve spoken language skills.

Estate Planning/Guardianship

Presented By: Lauren Eisen, Esq

Your Child’s Planning:

  • What to think about before your child turns 18.
  • Is guardianship appropriate?
  • If not, what documents should your adult child have after turning 18?
  • Is he/she applying for ssi?
  • If working, should he/she use an able account?
  • What is an able account?

Your Planning:

  • How can you provide for your child when you are gone and make sure they maintain all their government benefits?
  • Discuss basics of special needs trust and benefit of a standalone trust instead of testamentary and using life insurance to fund.
  • Back up trustees and guardians, how to choose their importance, and corporate trustees familiar with snt’s.
  • Letter of Intent.

Benefits Advisement

Presented By: Scott Barber-Weiser

This presentation will give a better understanding of the process of applying for SSI SSDI Medicaid and Medicare as well as how benefits are affected by work income and other resources.

Sexual Capacity Assessment + Social Skills and Development

Presented By: Dr. Arnie Cabasso & Tobi Makinde, MS Behavior Specialist

Sexual Capacity Assessment: All people are entitled to sexual expression, including those with developmental disabilities, like ASD. But we need to assess whether an individual can stay safe from disease, pregnancy, or exploitation. We review, in a standardized format, anatomy, intimacy, pregnancy, disease, birth control, infant and baby care, and appropriate boundaries.

Social Skills and Development: We will cover a variety of social skills training that will include public vs private, boundaries, sexual development, consent, and social media. The purpose is to introduce you to effective appropriate interpersonal skills.

Autism Friendly Travel

Presented By: Dawn M. Barclay, Family Travel / Special Needs Travel Contributing Editor

Author Dawn Barclay will explore how to improve travel and vacation preparation with individuals with Autism. This presentation will focus on creating a child-centric vacation, evaluating Autism friendly destinations & venues, Certified Autism Travel Professional designation, vacation suggestions. Dawn offers tips to families and caregivers on how to utilize social stories and predictability to prepare for travel experiences.

Pragmatic Language

Presented By: Jamila Astwood

Overview of how communication coaching supports to assist individuals in their understanding of implicit versus explicit rules, perspective-taking and turn-taking in speaking, the use of small-talk, conventional gestures, and emotional expression. Communication coaching employs techniques to compensate for inflexible thinking, slower-working memory, and impulse control, as well as how to build meaningful relationships.

For questions about the programs please contact:

Kristin Kiggins, Supervisor of Behavior Specialists
845-708-2000 x8334