Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark Producing Autism-Friendly Show


Spiderman 3

Spiderman 3 (Photo credit: Oscar J Baeza)



Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark is that Broadway musical version of Spider-Man
that was plagued by accidents and legal problems.

Now that things are running much smoother for the production, they have
announced they will be performing a first-ever autism-friendly production!

The show is going to seriously cut down on things like strobe lights and
loud, harsh sounds that could really bother an autistic person.

There will also be autism experts staffing quiet areas inside the theater.
They’ll have bean bag chairs and coloring books for anyone who is
overwhelmed by the show and needs a break.

The director of the Theatre Development Fund, a nonprofit that provides
access to live theater, said:

“We’re grateful to the show’s producers, management and creative staff
and crew for accommodating the Autism Theatre Initiative and uniting with us
to make the show an unforgettable experience for all.”

The nonprofit bought every single matinee ticket there was for the April
27th show at Foxwoods Theatre and will offer them at a discount to autistic
kids and adults.

Tickets will range in price from $35-$80, so if you have an autistic family
member, friend or have autism yourself, grab a ticket and go see one heck of
a play!

GRACE Foundation Weekly Update – Information for Families w/Children with Autism

  • CLUB L.I.F.E. (Learning, Independence, Fun, Empower) Location: 264 Watchogue Road Friday Nights 6:00pm-9:00pm This is a socialization program for teens and young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Participants will plan a weekly schedule of activities under the supervision of trained staff. Activities include but are not limited to social interaction with peers, on site movies, video games, seasonal activities, community service and daily living skills.
  • MEDICAID SERVICE COORDINATION The Grace Foundation provides Medicaid Service Coordination. Medicaid Service Coordination is a Medicaid State Plan service provided by the Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities (OMRDD) which assists persons with developmental disabilities and mental retardation in gaining access to necessary services and supports appropriate to the needs of the individual. For assistance and further information please contact Lina Suarez at 718-983-3800.
  • PARENT SUPPORT GROUPSREGISTRATION IS REQUIRED. Support groups meet the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month. Meetings are held at 264 Watchogue Road. Please contact Dolores Ragazzo at the Grace Office 718-983-3800 to register.
  • RECREATION PROGRAMS: For additional information or to register for any of the recreation programs, please call Dawn Beacham at the GRACE office 718-983-3800.
  • BOWLING AT SHOWPLACE located at 141 East Service Road -off Victory Blvd. Sundays, 10:00am – 11:30am.GYM PROGRAM – Saturdays Saturdays. P.S. 55, 54 Osborn Street, Staten Island. Please call the GRACE office at 718-983-3800 for further information. Session 1 – 9:15am-11:15pm Session 2 – 11:30am- 1:30pm
  • LITTLE LEAGUESundays Great Kills Little League, Greaves Avenue 10:00am-12:00pm
  • SWIMMING – Saturdays Elizabeth Connelly Center Therapeutic Pool 930 Willowbrook Road
Medical form is required from the Elizabeth Connelly Center pool.
Please call the GRACE office at 718-983-3800 for further information.
  • Mother’s Night Out – Wednesday, February 6th, 2013 at 7:30 p.m. – Jimmy Max Restaurant, 280 Watchogue Road – $25.00 per person R.S.V.P. GRACE office: 718-983-3800 

Autism Speaks Walk in Staten Island Staten Island, NY on October 28th 2012

Autism Speaks is holding its first walk in Staten Island, on October 28th 2012 at the Midland Beach Boardwalk (starting at the Turtle fountain).

They would like all agencies and providers to have a table along the walk route.
They would love if each agency/ school / families could organize a walk team!!! Please consider joining the walk to support Autism awareness.

The next Autism Speaks meeting is  Wednesday, July 25th  7:30pm at Holy Family.
They will be meeting at the Msgr. Glynn Comminity Center on 366 Watchogue Road.  Feel free to invite anyone who is interested.

The Kick Off Party has officially been confirmed for August 15th at the Staaten.  It will begin at 7:00PM.  Invitations will go out shortly.  Contact Maeve MacKenzie, Metro NY Walk/Events Manager maeve.mackenzie@autismspeaks.org

Staten Island Walk Kick Off
Date: Wednesday, August 15th
Time: 7:00PM
Location: Li Greci’s Staaten- 697 Forest Ave, Staten Island, NY 10310
RSVP: If you would like to attend, please RSVP by clicking here.  You can also email statenisland@autismspeaks.org or call 646-843-6665 to RSVP.  Kindly reply by August 10th.

YAI Summer 2012 Calendar: Workshops for Parents of Children on the Spectrum


Link Here For Flyer:autism-family-support-series

MONDAY JULY 16TH 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM
“Carrots, Squash and Spinach, Oh My!” Bring Your Recipes for Healthy
Eating and Leave with New Ones
Tracy Mazza, LMSW, Project Manager and Whitney Cottle, LMSW, Intake Specialist,
THURSDAY JULY 26TH 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Anger Management and Autism
Grazyna Kusmierska, PhD, Psychotherapist, Premier HealthCare Article 16 Clinic
MONDAY AUGUST 6TH 12:00PM – 2:00 PM (pizza lunch provided!)
Walking the Tightrope: Balancing Your Young Adult’s Need for Support
with his/her Need for Independence
Valerie Gaus, PhD, Clinical Psychologist and Author of Living Well on the Spectrum and
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Adult Asperger Syndrome
How Sensory Processing Impacts Social Skills
Becky Lewin, MS, OTR/L, The Parkside School
THURSDAY AUGUST 23RD 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Sexuality Education: Why it Matters and Where to Start
Catherine Jones, LCSW, Assistant Coordinator and Valencia Small, BSW, Assistant
Applied Behavioral Science Specialist, YAI Network
THURSDAY AUGUST 30TH 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Yoga and Relaxation
Laura Mitchell, LMSW, LMT, Supervisor, YAI LINK, Certified Kripalu Yoga Instructor
What To Do If You’re Just Getting Started – Accessing Services in the
Developmental Disability Service System
Jennifer Shaoul, MPA, Senior Coordinator, YAI LINK
MONDAY OCTOBER 1ST 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Upcoming Changes in Funding and Program Design for People with
Developmental Disabilities
Marco Damiani, MA, Senior Director, YAI Clinical and Family Services
TUESDAY OCTOBER 16TH 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM
DSM-5: An Update on the Changing Definition of Autism and its
Peter DellaBella, MD, Medical Director, Premier HealthCare
TUESDAY OCTOBER 23RD 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Understanding Psychological Evaluations
Glenn Ellenbogen, PhD, Supervisor of Psychological Assessments, YAI Center





For Young Children with Autism, Directing Attention Boosts Language


Thursday, June 21, 2012

For young children with autism, directing attention boosts language

NIH-supported study confirms that pointing, gestures to focus attention improve later language

An intervention in which adults actively engaged the attention of preschool children with autism by pointing to toys and using other gestures to focus their attention results in a long term increase in language skills, according to researchers supported by the National Institutes of Health.

At age 8, children with autism who received therapy centered on sharing attention and play when they were 3 or 4 years old had stronger vocabularies and more advanced language skills than did children who received standard therapy. All of the children in the study attended preschool for 30 hours each week.

“Some studies have indicated that such pre-verbal interactions provide the foundation for building later language skills,” said Alice Kau, Ph.D., of the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Branch of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), the NIH institute that supported the study. “This study confirms that intensive therapy to engage the attention of young children with autism helps them acquire language faster and build lasting language skills.”

First author Connie Kasari, Ph.D., of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), conducted the research with colleagues Amanda Gulsrud, Ph.D., Stephanny Freeman, Ph.D., Tanya Paparella, Ph.D., and Gerhard Hellemann, Ph.D.

UCLA is one of 11 institutions that receive support from the NIH through the Autism Centers of Excellence Program.

The study findings appear in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

The 40 children who participated in the study were 8 and 9 years old. Five years earlier, they had been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder and received the intensive therapy program or standard intervention, as part of a separate study.

The researchers assessed the children’s vocabulary, language, and other cognitive skills. They then compared the results of these assessments to those taken when the children were 3 and 4 years old. The earlier and later assessments also included measures of the child’s ability to initiate interactions with adults, the variety of the child’s play, and the quality of interactions with a parent.

The researchers found that children who started the attention-focusing therapy earlier had more advanced linguistic skills at age 8. Those who learned to point or direct an adult’s attention to an object of interest at age 3 and 4 also developed more advanced language skills when they were 8. And children who showed greater flexibility in playing with objects at age 3 or 4 demonstrated better memory and other cognitive skills at age 8.

“Our findings show that therapy focused on such basic skills as pointing, sharing, and engaging in play can have considerable long-term effects as children with autism spectrum disorders grow and learn to express themselves with words,” said Dr. Kasari.


About the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD): The NICHD sponsors research on development, before and after birth; maternal, child, and family health; reproductive biology and population issues; and medical rehabilitation. For more information, visit the Institute’s website at http://www.nichd.nih.gov/.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation’s medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit http://www.nih.gov.