MAY 2022
We Stand Together for Mental Health
Every May, in recognition of National Mental Health Awareness Month, we come together to raise awareness about mental health and increase support and nurture acceptance for the millions of Americans living with a mental illness. At Potential, we are continually striving to educate the public about mental health, particularly how it impacts those with autism spectrum disorder. We actively advocate for policies that increase resources and access to all mental health care and services.

Access to care is more important now than ever. We are in the midst of a mental health crisis in this country that is especially pronounced in young people. Wait times for mental health care are staggering. Yet, access to timely care is key to successful treatment. This has become a significant barrier for those seeking care. It’s a problem for which we are all too aware in the autism community.

In this issue of our newsletter, we share a few highlights from the panel discussion following the screening of the documentary film “In A Different Key: The Story of Autism,” invite you to participate in the 6th Annual Car Show for Autism, and tell you about some of the people who inspire us every day at Potential. In our blog, we tackle the difficult topic of suicide. I was compelled to share my insights after attending a valuable training session on suicide awareness and prevention last month.

One key takeaway? If you see somebody who is struggling, don’t ignore the signs or dismiss your concerns. Ask them directly if they have ever thought about harming themselves. It might feel a little awkward, but it could save a life.

Kristine Quinby
President and CEO
A Three-Digit Suicide Prevention Hotline

Beginning July 16, you will be able to access a trained suicide counselor by dialing 988. This free and confidential lifeline number will not replace the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number, 800-273-8255, which will remain in effect alongside 988. 

More than 2.1 million callers dialed 800-273-8255 in 2020. Calls to the suicide hotline rose dramatically during the pandemic.

A “Super Powerful” Film Screening and Panel Discussion

On April 27, Potential was honored to host an exclusive screening of "In A Different Key: The Story of Autism,” at Bucks County Community College. The film, which will be broadcast nationally on PBS and the Smithsonian Channel, was followed by an inspiring and informative panel discussion moderated by Clinical Manager Karen Yosmanovich.
Among those on the panel was Ben Hartranft, a national motivational speaker and autism advocate. He kicked off the discussion by describing autism as “a superpower.” He noted, “Having autism isn’t a bad thing; it does not characterize who we are. Everyone is unique and special.”

Ben was joined by several other panelists, including Amy S.F. Lutz, author and founding board member of the National Council on Severe Autism, who was featured in the film alongside her son Jonah. She spoke about the importance of community and empathy. “If you see a family in the grocery store with a kid who is having a meltdown, ask if they need help. If you see a family struggling because they have a family member with autism or a person in distress, please let them cut in front of you. It makes all the difference in that family’s day,” she explained.
“Please join me in thanking all of our panelists as well as our sponsors and audience for making this evening so meaningful,” adds Kristine Quinby, President and CEO of Potential. “I look forward to hosting more community events that bring a greater understanding of what autism is and how we can all help support families who have a loved one with autism. We encourage you to be a friend, to share in future events so that we can all embrace the values of acceptance and respect we hold so dear at Potential.”
The 6th Annual Car Show for Autism Returns This Fall
Join the Fun. Support Our Community.
Saturday, September 24, 1-5 pm
Calling all car, bike and truck enthusiasts: Potential’s 6th Annual Car Show for Autism is returning to Bucks County Community College. The Car Show for Autism is one of Bucks County’s most highly anticipated car shows and one of Potential’s most important fundraisers.

Potential is gearing up for another day of music and live performances; food trucks; 100+ cars, trucks and bikes, including police cars and fire trucks; plus games, prizes, raffles, contests and more. It’s a great day out for the whole family. Better yet, it’s a great way to support Potential in its efforts to end the wait list for quality autism services in our region.

We are looking for volunteers as well as car owners/clubs, businesses, organizations, vendors, entertainers and sponsors to ensure the success of this event.

There are several ways in which you can help, including registering your vehicle, becoming an event sponsor or trophy sponsor, participating as a vendor, or donating your time and talent to our nonprofit organization.

Mark your calendar now. And be sure to tell your friends, neighbors and colleagues. This is an event you won’t want to miss.

Questions may be sent to [email protected]
Suicide in Children & Teens:
A Public Health Crisis

Three people jumped from the Newport (Rhode Island) Pell Bridge in less than three months. More than 200 sailors were moved off an aircraft carrier after multiple colleagues killed themselves — three in one week in April. A star college athlete took her life on April 13. Country and western legend Naomi Judd died by suicide on April 30, after a long battle with depression.

Not making headlines are the millions of individual children and teens across the country struggling every day with a myriad of mental health issues, from anxiety and eating disorders to depression and ADHD. The statistics are alarming. The lack of accessible mental health care is deeply concerning. This puts an increasing number of young people at risk of suicide, now the second leading cause of death among youth ages 15 to 24.
Behavior Technician Faith Dydak Finds Her Passion
Join us in congratulating Behavior Technician Faith Dydak, who will be graduating this May with a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Holy Family University, a full-time job doing what she loves, and a clear career path forward thanks to her work at Potential. When she first came to Potential in July 2021, it was as a part-time intern, looking to fulfill a requirement for school. What she found was a passion in life.

“I ended up staying at Potential because I really liked what I was doing,” she says. “I enjoy working with such a close-knit group of people. There is always someone available to answer your questions and to help you learn.

“I don’t have a lot of experience yet, so the fact that everyone is willing to help is really important to me. I also really enjoy seeing all the kids reach their goals and sometimes go further; it’s really nice to see and watch them excel,” she explains. 

Faith will be going on to graduate school in August to become a BCBA. She will work full-time at Potential while going to school online. “I didn’t know I would like working at an ABA as much as I do. No two days are alike. That is one of the most interesting things about my job. You need to come in every day with a good attitude and be open to whatever happens. I have a lot more respect for all people because of my experience working at Potential. You never know what is going on in someone’s life. I bring that with me wherever I go.”
Catch Up with More People of Potential on Social Media
We’ll be featuring new members of our community and staff who are making an impact on the lives of people with autism. Look for #PeopleofPotentialInc on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn on Wednesdays.
No experience necessary. Tremendous growth potential.

We are looking for energetic, flexible and, above all else, compassionate individuals who enjoy working with children and want to make a difference in the community. As a behavior technician at Potential, you will work in a warm, supportive environment where you feel appreciated and respected, and are given the resources and training you need to learn and grow in your career. 

Not sure what to expect? Read about a “Day in the Life of a Registered Behavior Technician” on our blog. Or contact us for more information. 
A Career at Potential
We strive to provide a stable, nurturing, and fun environment that allows our staff to grow personally and professionally through training, supervision, and support, while earning a good living.
Ava Leonard
Springtime School Paraprofessional

Catherine Sabatini
Registered Behavior Technician

Diane Kupinewicz
HR Coordinator

Olivia Sullivan
Program Coordinator 
Tanya Houghzz
BCBA, Adult Program Coordinator

Grace Alarcon
Lead Behavior Technician

Courtney Domanico
BCBA, Lead Program Coordinator 
Our Birthdays This Month
​We wish these team members a very happy birthday this May. Here’s to another year of health and happiness!
Courtney Domanico
Zach Mozart
Janeen Levine
Dayna Scavo
Max Berrios-Torres
Ava Leonard
Krista Donahue 
Mary Fratangelli
Catherine Sabatini
Sophia Heck
Savanna Hersh
Allyssa Peters
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is the fastest-growing developmental disability in the U.S., affecting 1 in 54 children. Caring for a child with autism is a struggle for hundreds of families in our community. Yet, we know that with effective treatment, children can learn the skills they need to enjoy day-to-day activities, easing the burden on their loved ones. 

When you make a donation to Potential, you are not only changing someone’s life, but also investing in our community as a whole. So that people like Liam (see below) can live fuller, more independent lives.
Liam’s Story

Liam’s treatment with Potential started at his home because he rarely left his room and even less so his house. Staff met him each day in his room, where he laid in bed. 

His mother, Kristen, recalls, “He was like a vampire. He’d only come out of his room when no one else was around. When we did catch him awake, we’d ask him for a couple simple things, but they never got done without a fight.” 

Liam has come a long way since then. 

During his six years of support from Potential, Liam began going to the park to play Frisbee, walking into his local town for coffee and ultimately getting a full-time job and moving out. “Potential was a godsend for us,” shares Kristen. “I never thought I would see Liam driving to Wawa to pick up lunch, let alone living on his own and taking care of himself.” 

While Liam still receives services from Potential, they are significantly less intensive than when he started. His current goal is managing his benefits, full-time job and health while living on his own. Potential is there to be a part of his transition to natural supports and will be there to lend a helping hand.
Your support changes lives
At Potential, our vision is to create a world where every person with autism can live a successful life of value. Achieving that goal doesn’t happen easily or overnight. Helping adults and children with autism gain the skills they need to learn and succeed requires hard work, evidence-based treatments, and a committed support network. Since our founding in 2006, Potential has set itself apart by providing all these things and more.

Potential has almost 200 children on its waitlist. With your support, we can hire the staff we need to provide the services and personalized programs that help children and adults with autism realize their full potential.
Help us end the waitlist.