OneStep4Autism

What's New

March 30, 2017- As April 2nd; World Autism Awareness Day approaches, now is the time to reflect on the past and think about the future. Looking at our website, I was always reluctant to change it. This is because our experiences have become amazing memories, a time capsule capturing moments that we never will forget. It is a history book we love to read. I'm sure many of you understand what I mean and can articulate it better than I can. But the future has so many opportunities. There is much work to do, not only raising awareness but fighting for what we know is right for families. We need to advocate for those who cannot and support those who do. People's perception of autism varies and in our current environment, there is uncertainty for many families. I can tell you that I have been blessed by autism. It has changed me as a father, husband and a man.


Our website will be revised and updated and be completed during this summer. We will be active in social media (twitter, Facebook) and will continue to write and contribute to the autism community. Thank you Autism Parenting Magazine for always providing me the opportunity to express myself and share with you all.


Please continue to visit the site during the transition and see some of the wonderful memories we've shared. I still love looking at the homepage and watching Nicholas sing the beautiful song Clouds by Zach Sobiech and my wonderful friends at Westchester Exceptional Children's School. Thank you for letting me be part of your school. There are articles, blogs and wonderful artwork that we've shared these past years. 


We are truly inspired by all of our friends and family and your continued support these past years has also given us financial resources to become more effective in getting our message out. Love you all and hope you like the changes and see you this summer......



October 8, 2016- Please see the October issue of Autism Parenting Magazine. Nicholas and I team up to recap his journey through the College Experience Program. Thank you Living Resources, The College of St. Rose and Autism Parenting Magazine.

http://www.autismparentingmagazine.com/issue-53-working-toward-future/


June 13, 2016 - We congratulate Nicholas on his amazing achievements this past month. First, he is now a college graduate. Nicholas attended the College of St. Rose through Living Resources and their College Experience Program and is a proud member of the Class of 2016. And just a couple of weeks later, Nicholas passed his road test and has his NYS driver's license. On July 23rd, Nicholas completes the trifecta and turns 21!! It's been quite time for Nicholas. Congratulations !!!! You worked for it!!!! Please see Nicholas' new blog entry. Just click on the Nick Z blog tab...

April 11, 2016 - Again, a Very Special Thank You to Hannaford Supermarkets for helping OneStep4Autism. This month, we are again the beneficiary of the Hannaford Helps Reusable Bag program. For each $2.29 purchase of the specially designed blue Good Karma reusable bags, we will receive a $2 direct donation. If you are in the Kingston NY area, please help us by shopping at the Hannaford store located at 1261 Ulster Ave. Kingston NY...


April 1, 2016 - Celebrate Each Other !!!


February 16, 2016 -  We want to wish our son Louis a Very,Very Happy 17th Birthday today!!!! Please see Louis's page for his fantastic new drawing. He calls it his "Blues Clues Tigger" !!!! 

February 1, 2016 - Special thanks to Hannaford Supermarkets for helping OneStep4Autism. For the month of Februarywe are the beneficiary of the Hannaford Helps Reusable Bag program. For each $2.29 purchase of the specially designed blue Good Karma reusable bags, we will receive a $1 direct donation. If you are in the Kingston NY area, please help us by shopping at the Hannaford store located at 1261 Ulster Ave. Kingston NY...


December 22, 2015 - Let me start by saying, I do not need to watch “ A Charlie Brown Christmas” to  find out what Christmas is all about.  I live with Louis. This amazing 16 year old boy has shown me Christmas past, present and Christmas yet to come all in one fell swoop. His innocence, naivety and pure joy truly brings to mind  Dickens’s Christmas Carol; Louis keeps Christmas in his heart all year round.  During the holidays it is amazing to watch him as he watches films like Home Alone, Elf  or Christmas Vacation. He has seen these movies hundreds of times yet he watches them each time as if it’s the first time he’s ever seen them. He laughs at the same jokes, sings the same songs and replays the same scenes over and over . That is truly a special  gift.
    When  it comes to gifts, Louis hasn’t been tainted by the commercial onslaught  and hours of brainwashing by manufacturers as they try and drain the wallets of parents. No, if you could only watch Louis during our trip to NYC last week. He spent a generous amount of time in the Disney store looking at the possibilities. And what did he settle on? A thorough investigation of  a $10.00 toy stuffed animal dinosaur  from the movie “The Good Dinosaur.” Don’t get me wrong, Louis likes some big ticket items as well but it is not what you think. Many times he just wants the picture on the box. The hundred dollars worth of toys inside can go untouched for months. And this year at Macy’s Louis sat NEXT to Santa since he’s bigger and taller than him. You see,  Louis gets it. Christmas is a time to appreciate what we have, celebrate with loved ones, put up the tree and decorate the house; and see the holidays through the eyes of child. Thank you Louis, for always making this the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

October 4, 2015 - In the Articles Section of our website is a revision of an article published last month in Autism Parenting Magazine. The article is the result of an interview conducted with Dr. Chad Larson, NMD,DC,CCN,CSCS in June of this year. Dr. Larson is also and Advisor and Consultant to the Clinical Consulting Team for Cyrex Laboratories. His insight and advice on how nutrition affects ASD children is invaluable to all parents. Thank you to Dr. Larson for his time and Autism Parenting Magazine for the opportunity.  

 

June 20, 2015 - Thank you to the MBIA Foundation, Inc. for their generous donation to OneStep4Autism. We are extremely grateful and appreciate your kindness. Thank you again!!

June 2, 2015 - I want to acknowledge and thank Maryann and Keith Foley for their extremely generous donation to OneStep4Autism. I have known Keith since the late 70's when we played in a band together (Tom Swift). For a look back check out www.facebook.com/tomswiftband. There was nothing like the Long Island club scene in late 70's. The music was great!
Keith will also be involved in a fundraiser/music show being worked on which we are calling Spectrum-Jam™ . It will take a lot of work, but we will get it done. Again, Thank You both for your kindness and generosity. It is greatly appreciated!!!!

March 29, 2015 - Winter is over (almost) here in the northeast and the awakening from hibernation has begun. It’s been awhile since we talked and so much has happened. We have updated the “Meet the Family” link to keep you up to date with everyone and their busy schedules. But the best news is we’ve moved to our new home and now have found the ideal spot for us to pursue our dream, building an alternative residence which will be home to all of us, including our “extended“ family! The opportunities are endless. We have the pool, the greenhouse, a huge yard and a music room for starters. Yet there’s so much to do and it begins with fundraising. We will be seeking help; utilizing social media as well as meeting those in the community. We have irons in the fire so to speak, programs ready to go such as a music program, OneSong4Autism™  which is for students in special education who have no music available due to funding cuts. In addition, we will be working with friends both old and new to put together an event in New York City called Spectrum-Jam™ , which will be a day of great music! Anyway, hope I’ve got your attention and please stay tuned!!!

August 23, 2014...As summer comes to a close, it's time to think about the change of seasons, school, football, and even Halloween. It's hard to believe how fast things seem to be going. The family is going through so many individual changes with new and exciting opportunities and the same seems to be true for OneStep4Autism. We have updated our site to include the initial programs we are working on now and towards the future. There is so much more to do, and
so much more to share with you and we will in the coming days and weeks. Thank you all for being part of our "extended family" and to those who have contributed we can't thank you enough.

July 28, 2014...Our friend, Jesse A. Saperstein's new book "Getting a Life with Asperger's" arrives August 5. Please go to Jesse's website below to get a copy and to also get information on his Nationwide Book Tour. Hope to see all of you at Barnes and Noble in Poughkeepsie on August 5th!
JESSESAPERSTEIN.COM

July 25, 2014…GREAT NEWS! OneStep4Autism, Inc. is now a tax exempt 501c3 nonprofit corporation (effective to the date of incorporation, January 23, 2014). We have sent our registration forms to the NYS Office of the Attorney General Charities Bureau and when we are on the public registry, our website will be updated. It is now time to go to work! In the coming days and weeks we will publish our initial programs, and begin the process of funding them.

            This corporation began as a dream to work together with families with autism. Our goals are to raise and improve awareness, as well as advocate for those who cannot do so, or those who seek help. And finally, we will provide an opportunity for transitioning adults to live as independently as possible in our home; as a part of our family. We will be there on site, if and when you need assistance.

            We began this project by surrounding ourselves with some amazing people. The professionals we hired delivered more than we could have ever imagined. Our initial small circle of friends and family gave us their ideas, their encouragement and most of all they gave of themselves. We thank all of you so much as we cannot do this alone. We need your help. Social media has enabled us to network and interact with so many individuals, families and professionals. We will be using social media as well as the internet to research and explore fundraising avenues, will apply for grants wherever possible, and will also seek corporate and private sponsorship. We feel this gives us the best opportunity to raise funds to implement, maintain and evaluate programs. It also will provide us a means to develop future programs as well. This is exciting as we are a clean slate right now, so to speak, and look to interact with all of you. Please share your thoughts, ideas, creativity and communicate with us. Thank you to everyone who has supported us and we look forward to making OneStep4Autism, Inc. an effective and viable organization.



June 5, 2014...June is Here! And while we look forward to the summer, we also celebrate Father's Day, a birthday, anniversaries and a special Graduation. Is everyone's June schedule packed with events? What a busy time. It's just as well as we are anxiously awaiting to hear from the IRS regarding our 501c3 tax-exempt status. We will be outlining our programs in the near future and look forward to finally getting to work. In addition to raising awareness and consulting with families, our vision of an alternative residential option for transitioning young adults with autism that builds independence and responsibility while focusing on family is moving forward. And it is very exciting!


May 8, 2014...Mother's Day is this Sunday but in our house every day seems like Mother's Day! It's very clear how much Nicholas and Louis love their Mom. They show it with their words, their actions and the affection they share. Nick wrote an essay about his Mom during his application process to the College Experience program and while that paper reflected his private thoughts, what better way to celebrate Mother's Day than to share that essay along with some of my own thoughts on how Mom has impacted the lives of these two amazing children; better yet, make that two amazing young men. Please click on Nick M's blog page and Nick Z's blog page on this site... And Happy Mother's Day! 


April 28, 2014...Saturday was an amazing day at West Point. The Special Olympics are the best day of the year and what was even more incredible was the weather. The rain seemed to stop around 9 am and then the sun was out for the rest of the day till the events were over. Then the clouds rolled in and around 5 pm the rain started again. Coincidence??? I don't think so. Go to our Facebook and Twitter pages for some great photos. Congratulations to Nick, Louis, the Wallkill Panthers team and the rest of the athletes who competed. You are all champions!!!!


April 8, 2014... The absolute best way to celebrate Autism Awareness Month is to attend the Special Olympics. As my wife says, It's the best day of the year. Time Trials this weekend and Saturday, April 26th at West Point are our regional games!!! If you've never been to the Games; come spend the day and be both amazed and inspired. It will change you forever!


April 1, 2014.. Celebrate Autism Awareness Month and World Autism Awareness Day April 2nd, 2014...


March 14, 2014...
Go to Magnusmode and see what Magnus Cards are all about. This is a remarkable tool to support people with autism and special needs as they strive to improve life skills, social skills and communication. Below is a YouTube link demonstrating how Magnus Cards help an individual grocery shopping in the supermarket.
Please join the campaign and support this project.
Nadia Hamilton@Magnusmode.



March 4, 2014...

Why does a small start up non-profit corporation need to publish their core values and vision statement while its process is unfolding and programs are still in the planning and developing stages? To me, the answer is fairly obvious. Just as our mission statement explains why our corporation exists, our values are our identity; defining who we are. We look at these words and understand that these values guide us in our work and essentially in everything we do. We will face many challenges and obstacles; as working under the Human Services umbrella has become synonymous with change; but our values will remain a constant.

            OneStep4Autism, Inc. is about relationships; with our community, our donors and funders, our advisers, friends and families, and most important, our consumers. Our values reflect not only what is important to a sound, ethical business model but go further and focus on interpersonal and psychological aspects that we see as essential to our consumers.  

Values

Integrity - Living life and making decisions guided by one’s strong ethical and moral character. Aspiring to a sense of self that is honest and whole; in mind, body and spirit.

 

Empathy - Working towards improving the ability to recognize, understand and experience each others feelings and motivations. Developing insight and appreciation furthers mutual respect.

 

Encouragement - Identifying strengths and offering support to inspire and stimulate acts of confidence and courage. Reassurance builds trust and creates an atmosphere of hope and optimism.

Creativity - Using imagination to transcend traditional ideas, rules and patterns, thus creating meaningful, original and progressive new ideas and methods.

 

Harmony - Illustrated in music and in life, harmony is the consistent, orderly, and gratifying arrangements of parts; congruency creating an atmosphere of cooperation and unity.



February 12, 2014... Everyone knows the importance of early intervention. Here is a new book and great resource from the editor of Autism Parenting Magazine. Early Signs of Autism...

January 27, 2014...
Please see NickM Blog, Comments and thoughts on Autism  Speaks
Time for Autism Speaks to Listen?

January 22, 2014
...

It’s that time of year again. Letters are being mailed or sent home with your children notifying parents of either a scheduled IEP meeting or the pre-planning conference. This is the time to set clear goals and decide what the next school year will look like and also set up your summer programs. As I’ve stated many times, one of my first and fondest memories when Marian and I got together was watching her prepare for and attend an IEP meeting. It was then I realized what an incredible mom she is, and also how much you have to fight for your children! Last year I asked Marian to jot down some tips for families and since many of you commented on how helpful they were, I am posting them here on our site. But before we get started, first things first. Make sure the meeting is scheduled on a day or time that is convenient for you and whoever else is attending. We learned that schools (at least in our area) will send home the notice and just take for granted that you will be there or they will proceed without you and decide what’s best for your child. You can change the day and time of the meeting; you just need to speak up and be firm. This is your child’s meeting so don’t’ be pushed into a meeting you are not ready for. Many families may be attending their first meeting and are looking for some support so we hope these tips help and if anyone has other questions or suggestions please contact us…

 

1. My number one tip – bring a photo of your child.  I bring an 8x10, and prop it up in the middle of the table after I make sure everyone has seen it.  These IEP’s are generally scheduled every 15-20 minutes, and children tend to become names on paper. I like to bring them “back to life”

so they see who we are talking about.

 

2. You have the right to receive a draft of your IEP before the scheduled meeting.  Pour over it, highlight portions that you would like clarification with, what you do not agree with or what needs correction. Make sure that you understand it before you leave. 

 

3. Do not sign, or finalize IEP until you completely understand and approve it.

 

4. You have the right to have every single teacher that interacts with your child day-to-day present.  This includes, but not limited to, special education teacher, OT, PT, speech, psychologist, even the school nurse if your child has nursing needs.  It may feel intimidating to have all of these people around the table, but you’ll want to hear what they have to say, and be able to ask them questions.


5. Do not let them bully you in a “time crunch.”  Take the time you need.  These decisions will affect your child for the school year. As stated earlier, if you cannot make the scheduled IEP meeting, you have the right to reschedule. Do not accept “this is the only time we have.”


6. You have the right to bring anyone to the meeting that you wish and this is important. Bring an advocate, a social worker, or someone of your choosing for support.


7. Remember, what happens at the IEP meeting is not set in stone.  If you agree at the IEP on a course of action, and find during the middle of the year that it does not work, you can request another meeting to correct it.

 

                               YOU are your child’s strongest advocate!!!


January 14, 2014...

family.toHere it is January 14, 2014 and this is my first written piece of the year. As the saying goes we’ve been “getting our house in order” and working behind the scenes on the administrative level. We ended the year in an optimistic and encouraging way and this year is already bringing some changes for our family. The exciting news we can share is that we’ve begun the process to incorporate OneStep4Autism and apply for 501c3 status. Our journey began with baby steps as a small “create your-own” website and a desire to help families seeking support and now our bags are packed, we’re loading up the van and hitting the road hard. And we’re not looking back!

            Our vision is getting clearer; coming into focus. It’s easy to be inspired when you are surrounded by extremely supportive people; a community who is committed to speak for those who have no voice and to help others find their voice and be heard. This is the passion that drives us.

            In the coming weeks we will talk about our mission and our programs as well as address the issues that are important to you such as the boycott of Autism Speaks, insurance reform and autism treatments as well as other issues affecting all of us.

            Many heartfelt thanks to those family members and friends and all the wonderful people who have both encouraged and supported us. Furthermore, we thank the people who have given us the opportunity to get our message out and our new community of friends that social media has enabled us to meet, interact with and learn from. We are very fortunate to have you all in our corner.



December 27, 2013...For those who celebrate Christmas, I hope your day was filled with good food, great company and much love. It's hard not to turn into a wide-eyed child during the holidays as we look at great decorations, listen to wonderful music, and watch such great shows and movies like "A Charlie Brown Christmas" and "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation!" We also think back to our childhood and the wonderful memories we've kept through the years. It is a special time. As the New Year approaches, we look to the future and new achievements and goals. We have faith that 2014 will bring about many positive changes for our family, which includes obtaining 501c3 status for OneStep4Autism. In addition, we will be looking at properties for Our Home, a unique and alternative housing opportunity for adults with ASD. We're working hard towards these goals and we thank all of you who have been there for us and supported our efforts. We'll make it happen in 2014. All you got to do is Believe!!! http://nickmonestep4autism.blogspot.com/


December 3, 2013... What a great Holiday weekend. Wednesday's show at Westchester Exceptional Children's School was wonderful. I was honored to accompany the students on 3 songs; Home by Phillip Phillips, My Own Two Hands by Ben Harper and Jack Johnson and a song I wrote for the school,W.E.C. Family. We have included a You Tube link to the song so you can hear how amazing their performance was (To respect the privacy of the students, they were not recorded on video). On Thanksgiving morning we attended the football game at Sheehan High School in Ct. (where Nick coaches) as the Titans played their cross-town rival. Sheehan won 54-7, setting the festive tone for the holiday followed by a great dinner. This really is the most wonderful time of the year isn't it? To all my Jewish friends and family, Happy Hanukkah!!!   Now we get ready for Santa's arrival!


ThisNovember 25, 2013...As we move into the Holiday season, it is truly a time to reflect and give thanks. This week is special as we have a Thanksgiving show at Louis' school that I am fortunate enough to be part of on Wednesday. And then we will spend Thanksgiving Day in Ct. watching my son's football team in the morning followed by dinner at his house with all the kids. Let's also give thanks to those who work on holidays so others may celebrate. Yes, nurses are very special people who always give of themselves and get far less in return for their dedication and compassion.  We hope everyone has the chance to spend some time this holiday season with family and friends. Have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving...


ThisNovember 13, 2013... This Looks Interesting...New article posted discussing insurance reform legislation, The Affordable Care Act and Autism..


royalNovember 5, 2013...This has been an interesting week for the gang. Nicholas voted today for the first time! How amazing is that. Everyone was shaking his hand and congratulating him. He was thrilled. Marian made sure everyone knew this was his first vote and they gave Nick the royal treatment.

goalTheIYou can read about it as we added two blogs to the site. Nicholas is writing his own and sharing his life experiences on the spectrum and he talks about voting today. I am also contributing a blog page and hopefully we will be interacting with all of you in the community. The goal is to get Emily, Marian and Nick (after football season) on board as well.

And finally, aAutism Parenting Magazine published one of my articles and I couldn't be more thrilled. It's been a dream of mine to write and to be able to contribute to this great resource for parents is exciting. There is a link to the magazine on our Home page for you to subscribe. The article will be posted here on the site.


October 21, 2013..... On Saturday October 19th, I had the honor to present at the SUNY-Empire State College Student Academic Conference in NY. The presentation was based on a paper I had written for a class and was an overview of the Gluten-Free,Casein-Free Diet and it's positive effects on children with autism. I will attach the paper for everyone to review.
Thanks for all the support, Nick


October 17, 2013.....for those of you who have been following the latest issue with Louis on our Facebook page, thanks for the kind and encouraging words. We are at a loss and are struggling to get to the bottom of what it was about the short video he watched that affected him so much.. As we work through this we will keep everyone informed. Just another day in the life...


October 7, 2013..... Now that school's under way we hope everyone is getting adjusted to the new schedule. If you are in the Mid-Hudson Valley area and are interested in being part of our family support group please e-mail us or contact us on our Facebook page. Meetings are in Poughkeepsie and New Paltz. For additional information ..please email

July 2013......Weworking10, 2013......We hope you are enjoying your summer and at this time we are working on our site...We are in the process of updating www.onestep4autism. to include an interactive blog, You Tube channelsf, stories and pictures from the kids, and links to other andsites and information. Before you know it, Septembbeer will be here and it will be "back to school" .We will be ready to go at that time so enjoy the sun, go to the beach, have a picnic and spend time with family and friends. See you soon..




May 17, 2013

Here is a link discussing stay-at-home dads and how our society is dealing with this changing dynamic. We did not originally plan to change our situation; it just happened. My wife had gone back to school to pursue her dream of becoming a nurse and when she did, it coincided with the loss of my position as well as a medical issue. So......She suggested I do the same and go back, finish my degree, stay home to care for the boys and run the house while she breadwinner.take the role of breadwinner. And all that anxiety and stress turned into an opportunity that I only wish I had doneohdon't, oh I don't know, say twenty-five years ago! Regardless of the critics (you know who you are) , it works for us and has led to me completing my degree, this webpage, a future business opportunity and a new career. Furthermore, it has motivated and provided us with a confidence and peace of mind that moving forward, we can do whatever we need to and want to do for our entire family.......

http://www.npr.org/2013/05/15/180300236/stay-at-home-dads-breadwinner-moms-and-making-it-all-work




April 30, 2013
As Autism Awareness month comes to a close, what better way to celebrate than joining the athletes competing in the Hudson Valley Regional-West Spring Games, Saturday May 410 @ 10 am. The games are held at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, NY and will include athletes from Dutchess, Orange, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester Counties!!





March 30, 2013

http://www.autism-society.org/news/after-the-sequester-the.html

The above link has an interesting take on the sequester from the Autism Society....One area of concern discussed is the process of obtaining services when relocating to another state. Quoting the article, "
a person receiving Social Security Community Supported programs in one state who then moves to another has to undergo almost a complete re-application process for receiving such services in his or her new state of residency....ctoan’t we change that process to allow accepting the person’s prior state’s documentation of need and not have to reassess that same need? 



March 20, 2013....

"Raformstes of all forms of autism in the U.S. may be substantially higher than previously estimated, according to a new government report that found that 1 out of every 50 school-age children – roughly one on every school bus – has the condition."

Below is the link to the USA today article and the link to the CDC study...

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/03/20/children-autism-frequency/2000131/

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr065.pdf


March 11, 2013...

It's that time of year again. In 10 days, practices begin for the Special Olympics Spring games. The team goes through a series of workouts to get ready to compete. If
you have never been part the games or have never seen the games, I highly recommend you do so as you will never forget it. Our games take place May 4, 2013 at West Point and they do a great job with the event. Each athlete is teamed with a cadet for the day to assist them in getting to and from the events. This gives parents and family time to relax and enjoy the games and cheer everyone on. The opening ceremonies and parade of athletes start around 9will:30 but we will will update those times as more information is given. Either way, get there early and stay to watch the track and field relay race. I have attached the link from the Special Olympics webpage. See you there and Go Panthers!!!!



February 27, 2013..
Here is a link for an interesting article relating ttheo the "autism shuffle" and some parents who took a stand in Philadelphia.
......

http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2013/02/20/class-action-ruling-gives-philadelphia-parents-of-autistic-kids-a-say-in-school-placement.


FebruaryFebruary 5, 2013
What’s New? Everything!!! As we publish this site it begins the next chapter in our lives which is a commitment for advocacy in the autism community. It is an opportunity for you, our new friends and family to engage in conversation about the issues, both good and bad, that affect our day to day life.   

We are working on so much more to make this site more user friendly and interactive with various social media outlets. We will be adding blogs, a Facebook page, Twitter, You Tube links and informational links. There will even be a page to meet us formally!
 
We are also working on a unique logo that will be easily identified with OneStep4Autism. To our friends and family, thanks for the ideas and support. To our new friends…. Welcome to OneStep4Autism.com