A tribute to our employees and community.
Spring is Here
See what we have in store for you this season.
Keep Your Eyes Open
Here's what happened in 2014 and will be happening in the year to come
Celebrating Familiar Faces
ASI enters 2014 celebrating anniversaries and announcing new and exciting events
Recognizing Community Partnerships
ASI honours the many organizations in the Western New York community that have opened their doors to ASI
In this issue of IN TOUCH, ASI cuts the ribbon of a new school!
Run for Autism
In this issue of IN TOUCH, ASI announces the second annual Run the 'Burg for Autism. Don't miss it!
Making Their Mark
For this issue of IN TOUCH, ASI acknowledges over two dozen employees who have reached career milestones with the agency.
ASI Introduces the Ziggurat Model
Continuing our mission to provide services that focus on the needs of the individual, Autistic Services has recently adopted The Ziggurat Model...
2010 Year End Review
Last year we vowed to build on past successes and set our sights even higher. This year, with your help, the Arts Work Program has accomplished this goal, and more.
Bringing Autism Into the Homes
To help families face the challenge of finding the right environment for their child, Autistic Services has partnered with Coldwell Banker Chubb to assess prospective homes as being Sensory Safe for people with Autism.
The True Colors of Autism
From the beginning the autistic child sees and experiences the world in a way we do not. A fixation with sights, patterns, textures etc. lends itself to the language of the arts. Artists at ASI take up their brushes at an early age.
Walking on Sunshine
Clifford & Kathy Kepner have transformes 45 acres of land into an outdoor sensorium named "Sunshine Garden". For 3 years they have welcomed the people from ASI to drop in and commune with nature.
My Trip To See Barack Obama
Of the nearly 304 million citizens of this country, only 1.5 million of them were lucky enough to attend the inauguration. Mariam was one of those lucky people. This is her story about her trip to see Obama.
"It's All About Me."
Introducing Elizabeth Harzewski... A Poet. Writer. River Scientist. And Solver of Mysteries. There's no such thing as boring with Liz.
The Neil Sanders Show
For this issue we place the spotlight on Neil Anthony Sanders, and his new adventures in radio podcasting.
Autism Awareness Month
Tell your friends that April is booked solid. Better yet, tell them that their month is booked too. Because this issue we are going to show you why April will be A Month to Remember...
Support is the Lifeline of Service
In this Winter 2007 issue, we acknowledge the ongoing support and contributions from members of our community.
|Two weeks after the inauguration of Barack Obama, Mariam strolled into the Autistic Services’ Lending Library. With her are Angela and Liz, Mariam’s teacher and one-to-one aide, respectively. Mariam stands out with the fashion sensibilities of a typical kid her age: she has two headbands that crown a long lock of brunette hair. Her clothing is a regal crimson red. Around her neck is a blue scarf with a fuzzy texture that begs to be touched. When asked to feel her scarf, Mariam, as if to tease, smiles and says softly, “No.” She looks as if she’s only kidding, but she’s not. This scarf is hers and only hers.However, she is willing to share her story about her recent trip to the inauguration of Barack Obama. Of the nearly 304 million citizens of this country, only 1.5 million of them were lucky enough to attend the inauguration. That is less than a half percent. Mariam is special and, the way she smiles, it would seem that she knows it. After all, unlike the four people huddled around her, she was there. Even better, six days before the inauguration, Mariam turned twelve. That is a pretty eventful birthday present.
Though many people with Autism avoid eye contact, Mariam does a good job of maintaining hers. This is despite her endearing bashfulness. When asked if she has been interviewed before, she whispers underneath her kiddish smile, “This is my first time.” From there, she answers with “yes” and “no” to most of the questions, each time smiling, or even laughing. Maybe she is enjoying the attention. Or maybe she wants to relieve the stress of the attention. Or maybe it is just our silly questions that has her giggling.
“Were there other kids at the inauguration?” Silly question. No doubt, Mariam is thinking, I just traveled 460 miles to Washington and you’re asking me about The Other Kids? Fortunately, Mariam’s good nature helps her laugh it off. Although, she is probably laughing at us, not with us, since we are all leaning forward as if our question was for the President himself. She laughs one more time and replies, “Yes.” She is definitely laughing at us. Just the same, our questions may be silly, but at least they are sincere. There really is a certain mystique about someone who was there. We offer no apologies and continue with our silly questions: “Did you have fun?” She pauses. Smiles. Her head leans inward. Her right leg is doing what we have all seen many people do; it pivots in small semi-circles, back and forth. After a few seconds she replies. “Yes.”
Now for the really silly question: “Did it take a long time to get there?” “Yes.” “How long?” someone asks. Children are notorious for their skewed sense of time. But we are talking about a child with Autism, and people on the Spectrum do a better job than some clocks with keeping the correct time. After a very brief pause, Mariam gives up the answer. “Ten hours.” This time she is not smiling, as if any of us would smile about a ten-hour drive. Mariam remained with her mom and her younger brother Zack in D.C. for four days. That would be long enough to recover from the long drive and to accumulate photographic proof of having attended the event. Mariam now presents us with the photos we were waiting to see, and quickly points to the Capitol and says, “This is Congress.” Her eagerness is heartwarming. On the photos, you can see that the landmarks have all been labeled by her mom. You can easily imagine Mariam reviewing the photos with her, committing it all to memory.
The interview now takes a political turn when Mariam is asked,” Are you happy that Obama is President?” Right away we hear, “Yes.” Someone then follows up with, “Was he your choice for President?” Again, she doesn’t miss a beat: “Yes.” For the most part, this is to be a politically neutral newsletter so questions about George W. are deferred. But the silliest question yet cannot wait any longer: “Are you happy to be back?” She pauses and thinks about it. After a reassuring smile, she offers a definitive, “Yes.”
Join us for Wine, Chocolate,
Friday, March 13th, 2009 // 6-9pm
Tickets will be available at the door by contacting
We are very lucky. For one, a student of ours – Mariam – spent four days in Washington, D.C. and was able to bring back photos and a few words about her trip to the inauguration. As far as newsletters go, this is a dream. So we decided to put out the spring edition of In Touch a month or two early.
The other reason we feel lucky, is because amidst reports of a continuing economic recession, our agency continues to move forward in providing support and services for the Autism community. This support has recently expanded with the opening of two new facilities, which includes our first day facility in the Buffalo area.
We are naming these facilities ArtsWork for Autistic Services, since the hallmark of our agency has been the incredible art, music and live performances created and conducted by our community of artisans. Truly we are lucky to have so many painters, poets, writers, thinkers and other talents under our roof. And for us, the Arts do, in fact, Work. People are continuing to reach out to us, inviting us to hang our exhibits on their walls.
This interest has triggered yet another outreach idea. This year we will launch our Lending Art Collection, an initiative that will make the strongest works in our collection available to local businesses who want to create artistic displays in their office space while also spreading the word about Autism and Autistic Services. As of this writing, four venues have expressed interest in this program.
To celebrate this auspicious beginning of the New Year, we are holding an Open House Fundraiser for our new locations. This event, which takes place on Friday, March 13th from 6-9pm, will happen at our Buffalo location on 699 Hertel Ave. in the Hertel Commerce Plaza. We invite all who read this to come. We will have wine, chocolate and olive oil tasting, as well as hors d’oeuvres for you to enjoy. Most importantly, the popular work by our community of artists will be on display throughout the building.
Please join us. More information about this exciting news and event is available on our website, www.friendsofasi.org, or call Frank Andzik at 631-5777 ext. 304.