News and Updates
Dear Members and Friends,  

As our summer winds down many of us are gearing up for the new school year, jobs, college and the transitions and challenges that may pose along with the excitement of new beginnings and learning opportunities. 

AHA's  board meeting was held on August 2nd. Board Treasurer, Joe Kraker, presented the financial statements and our budget to date. Our meeting's discussions also included our upcoming Fall events as we gear up for our conference at Adelphi and our annual fundraiser, ROCK 'N' BOWL for Autism.  All members are welcome to any board meeting. They are listed on the calendar which can be found on our website. We welcome your involvement and attendance. 

Save the Date for our fall conference: Education and Lifelong Learning for Students on the Autism Spectrum on Saturday, October 28 at Adelphi University with keynotes Brenda Smith Myles, Kate Cody, Rebecca Sachs and our yearly FUNdraiser ROCK 'N' BOWL for Autism on Sunday, November 19th. 

As we plan for events into the fall we will post them on eNews. Please be reminded all support groups will resume in September. Our plans include two new groups for individuals and family members identifying as both on the ASD and LGBTQ spectrum. Keep in the loop and keep checking in.  All the best!


Pat Schissel, LMSW
Executive Director
AHA Association  
  This month's content 
  • Steps to Resilience: Social Anxiety and Social Skills Groups for Young and Older Adults
  • Usual Care for Autism Surtvey Seeks Participants in Long Island Area
  • New York LIberty Special Needs and Autism Awareness Night
  • Message from the Acting Commissioner of the New York State Ofice for People with Developmental Disabilities
  • Autsm-Friendly Performance of The Lion King
  • Autism-Friendly Movie Showing of The Emoji Movie
  • Articles
  • Media
  • Research
  • Spectrum Services
  • AFSS
Steps to Resilience: Social Anxiety and Social Skills Groups for Young and Older Adults

Participants practice cognitive techniques to reduce anxiety and behavioral strategies to improve social skills. Interactive and supportive, the groups use role plays, projects, discussion and improv to enhance both professional and personal relationships. Initial consultation (no fee) required.

Young Adults: Tuesdays, 5:30pm-6:45pm
Older Adults: Tuesdays, 7:00pm-8:15pm

Contact: Juliet Melamid, LMFT,, 717-983-8855
Location: Spectrum Services, 303 Fifth Avenue, NY, NY 10016

More info  here .   
Usual Care for Autism Survey Seeks Participants in Long Island Area

Stony Brook announces a new study exploring strategies used to help youth with ASD. Providers (i.e., Psychologist, BCBA, MD, RN, NP, OT, PT, SLP, MFT, LSW, Teacher, Aide) working with youth (ages 7 - 22) with ASD are eligible. We are recruiting in the Long Island area.  Participation is voluntary, the study is online. Eligible participants receive a $40 gift card.

More info here

New York Liberty Special Needs and Autism Awareness Night

Join us Sunday, August 13th at Madison Square Garden as the New York Liberty take on the LA Sparks. Doors will open early with a designated sensory friendly security entrance before the game. Cozy Corner with sensory kits, bean bags, arts and crafts, etc. will be available.

For tickets and more info click here

Message from the Acting Commissioner of the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities

Among the most important recommendations issued by the Transformation Panel is the need to expand the ability to communicate with the people they serve and their families about the future of our service system.  These are important times for the OPWDD community – the needs of the people they serve and their families are changing; and their system of services and supports is evolving.  They must build their e-mail list significantly and quickly.  To make it as easy as possible, they have set up a clickable Join the Conversation spot on the OPWDD homepage.  Those who sign up for the Join the Conversation community will receive newsletters, bulletins as well as messages from OPWDD leaders. Join the conversation today! Click here.
Autism-Friendly Performance of The Lion King

TDF Autism Theatre Initiative is sponsoring an autism friendly showing of The Lion King on Sunday, October 1, 2017 at 2PM. Tickets go on sale Monday, August 14th 2017 at 12PM (EST) exclusively at

More info here.
Autism-friendly showings of The Emoji Movie

Regal Cinemas is showing a sensory friendly movie experience of The Emoji Movie (see link for select locations) on August 12th at 10:30AM. Regal's My Way Matinee offers a safe place where the lights are turned up and the sound is turned down, so everyone can sing, cry, dance, and shout while enjoying Hollywood's latest films! For more info and locations click here.

Developmentally Disabled, and Going to College
NY Times

Work-readiness programs for the intellectually challenged aim to prepare students for a dream job. Less than half will find one. Fifty years ago, young people with intellectual disabilities were often institutionalized or kept home, out of the public eye. Thanks to the 1975 Individuals With Disabilities Act, more than 90 percent of them now go to public schools with mainstream students and that, experts say, has altered expectations around what they ought to achieve. 

Read full article here.
Do College Students Need the Campus Health Plan?
NY Times

If you’re packing a child off to college this summer, the extra-long sheets and shower caddies can wait. Health insurance should be at the top of your to-do list. Many private colleges and public universities require full-time residential students to have health insurance, and some aggressively market their own plans, automatically enrolling incoming students in their insurance plan and adding the premium — which can be several thousand dollars a year — to the tuition bill. If you don’t need it and want to get the charge removed, you must meet the college’s early and often rather arbitrary deadline for proving your child is adequately insured and obtaining a waiver. (This is not a one-and-done, by the way. You must obtain the waiver every year.) Policies vary by school. 

Read full article here.
Why Are There So Few Women With Autism On TV?

Netflix's new show, Atypical, is getting a lot of attention due to its subject matter: a young man with autism spectrum disorder and his search for love. This is, unfortunately a fairly uncommon topic for television to cover —  but despite the fact that it does break ground in its plot, the show's representation doesn't. 

Read more here

Spectrumly Speaking

Spectrumly Speaking is a podcast dedicated to women on the autism spectrum, produced by Different Brains®. Join hosts Becca Lory, CAS, BCCS (a Life Coach, Certified Autism Specialist, and Autism advocate that is herself on the spectrum) and Katherine Cody, Psy.D. (a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in people on the autism spectrum at Spectrum Services in New York City) as they discuss topics and news stories, share personal stories, and interview some of the most fascinating voices from the autism community.

More info here

This primer will get you up-to-speed on gene editing
Philly Voice

WASHINGTON — Gene editing is getting fresh attention thanks to a successful lab experiment with human embryos. But for all the angst over possibly altering reproduction years from now, this technology already is used by scientists every day in fields ranging from agriculture to drug development. 

Read more here

Spectrum Services in Midtown Manhattan offers specialized therapy services for clients with Asperger's, autism, anxiety, trauma, and multigenerational family and couples needs. A diverse collection of groups are available.

A list of groups currently available here.
Over two dozen experts in Asperger's and related conditions here.
Articles by these professionals here.

303 5th Ave, Suite 1003, within two blocks of Penn Station
Aspies For Social Success, AFSS is a peer-run organization that provides support and social groups, as well as cultural events, to adults 18 and over who have either been diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome or an Autism Spectrum Disorder or have difficulty with social communication, sensory processing, or excutive functioning. 

A list of groups currently available here  

AFSS, 800 Avenue of Americas, Suite 10H, New York, NY 10001
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