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.
On October 26th, Autism Services, Inc. staff celebrated the opening of a fourth facility with a ceremonial ribbon cutting at the new Education Program site at 124 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo. Executive Director Veronica Federiconi stood alongside students Elijah Mayfield and Cameron Bateau, speaking on behalf of the agency to express her gratitude to parents, staff, program participants and New York State Senator Michael Ranzenhofer, who was present for the ceremony. The new facility had formerly been occupied by the Elmwood Village Charter School. EVCS Principal John Sheffield attended the ribbon cutting and was also acknowledged for his help and support.
The new Elmwood location is an expansion of ASI’s existing Educational Program located in Williamsville. At the new site, the agency is now providing specialized educational services to an additional 30 students.
Thirty may seem like a modest number, but ASI has an ever-growing waiting list of parents hoping to enroll their children into its programs. The needs of the autism population require a much smaller student-to-teacher ratio than that of conventional schools. Until a space opens up, a child is often placed, by default, into a traditional educational environment. While some parents prefer or even advocate for their child to receive the same education as typical children, other parents prefer programs where the staff are specially trained to work with people with autism, where the environment is tailored to the inherent sensory demands of autism, and where the curriculum is tailored to each child’s individually assessed strengths and interests. Among the many New York State schools serving students with special needs, Autism Services, Inc. recently received an honorable distinction from TheBestSchools.org, who called ASI one of “the best schools in New York State for children with autism.”
Autism Services, Inc. has been through the expansion process before. In 2009, the invaluable efforts of concerned parent Lisa Kowal and retiring New York State Senator Mary Lou Rath led ASI to expand the Education Program at its formerly sole location in Williamsville, resulting in the creation of two additional adult program facilities, one in Buffalo. The expansion procedure is a long one, beginning with the submission of an encyclopedic-length application that requires weeks to complete. Facilities and locations have to be scouted, chosen, inspected, and if necessary, refurbished – a process that adds months to the timetable. When all this and more has been completed, the most difficult task begins: waiting.
Opening a new program site serving people with challenges is no small task and the waiting period for approval can seem interminable. If and when authorization arrives, it usually warrants a celebration. In late August approval from New York State to open a new education site for children with autism had finally arrived, but since only a few weeks remained before the September school season, the much-deserved celebration would have to wait. Staff needed to hustle to make sure the building and all aspects of the program were ready in time for the arrival of the new students. Classrooms, a multi-sensory environment, a specialized physical education room, clinical services spaces, and art and music rooms – an extension of ASI’s 10-year Arts Work program – were successfully installed in the new facility. ASI recruited new staff, educators and administrators. Most importantly, thirty students, who had previously waited for registration and enrollment, have transitioned into ASI’s individualized learning environment. Autism Services, Inc. now operates four facilities in the Western New York area.
Cameron and Elijah had the honor of cutting the ribbon.
Cindy Fura (2011)
Joseph Gramza (2012)
Jennifer Jakubowicz (2011)
Amanda O’Brien (2011)
Stephanie Shantz (2011)
Donna Shelton (2011)
Deborah Woodring (2011)
Todd Lesmeister (2012)
Donna Martiny (2012)
Laura Murphy (2012)
Donald Romanello (2012)
Latoya Banks (2011)
Angela Bocchino (2011)
Corinne Brady (2011)
Kathryn Rosche Dominiak (2011)
Kathleen Fortunato (2011)
Gabrielle Galletta (2011)
Maureen Kane (2011)
Nicole Lampke (2011)
Christine Lowther (2011)
Maria Maisonet (2011)
Giseline Michel (2011)
Rory O’Boyle (2011)
Sierra Quick (2011)
Michael Samulski (2011)
William Whitefield, Jr. (2011)
Emilia Wirth (2011)
Jeffrey Zelakiewicz (2011)
Gabriel Agosto (2012)
Timothy Arnts (2012)
Brandon Burton (2012)
Jesse Cutler (2012)
Roxanne Diebold (2012)
Lindsey Kapoor (2012)
Colin McCarthy (2012)
Miriam Minkoff (2012)
Dana Ranke (2012)
Neil Sanders (2012)
Heather Stanek (2012)
Lillie Vinson (2012)
The end of every year is a time for looking back and reflecting on prior goals and achievements. It’s also a time for looking forward. Neil Sanders, one of our program participants at the Hertel Day Program, has anxiously anticipated the end of the year 2012. Initially, he worried that it would mark the end of the world, but lately he has referred to it as the start of a new cycle. This year has certainly been the end of an old cycle and a new beginning for our agency. This was the year of our 30th anniversary as an incorporated organization and the 10th anniversary of our Arts Work program. It was also the last year that we would go by the name of Autistic Services, Inc. By the close of the summer we completed our name change to Autism Services, Inc., marking a new beginning.
“Present” by the artists of Day Hab 4
On the heels of our name change was a new education program facility, located at 124 Elmwood Ave., which we heralded with a ribbon cutting on October 27th, 2012. This is our fourth facility serving Western New York’s autism population. It is also a symbol of expansion and evolution for the coming years. In the past we made “Autism Awareness” our primary mission, and while raising awareness will always be part of what we do, we are redefining our mission to be “Autism Acceptance.” The topic of autism appears more frequently in local and national news, raising the collective public’s awareness about this population. This means that our focus must be redirected to encouraging a broader public acceptance, especially as autism incidences continue to increase and we continue to expand into our communities with new schools and programs.
As we enter the new year with our new name and mission, I want to express my sincere gratitude to our parents, employees and supporters who have been with us during these changes. I wish all of you a safe and rewarding New Year.