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.
“It’s ideal for our population,” Says Veronica Federiconi the Executive Director at Autistic Services, “because they can move around freely without much worry about wandering off. And there are so many things here that can engage them. You could call it an Outdoor Multi-Sensory Environment.”
As Cliff gives a tour of the garden, he points out plants that have exotic tactile surfaces, making them ideal for people with Autism. For instance, Lamb’s Ears are so soft that a single touch easily becomes addicting. “Pete really likes the flowers. He doesn’t engage too much, but if you give him the flowers – the Lamb’s flowers – he really responds to them.” Pete is a relatively new arrival to Sunshine Garden. His withdrawal from socializing is characteristic of many people with Autism. A commune with nature works better for him since it allows him to maintain personal space while still having the quiet company and stimulation offered by nature.
Cliff and Kathy are adept at turning nature’s resources into fun sensorial activities. Vegetables that were grown and planted as a group are later used for cooking activities that Kathy has prepared. To protect their vegetables from animals, the group has created a scarecrow named Lumpy Bumpy. Lumpy could have easily been named Lazy, since he prefers to carry out his oversight duties from a chair. With a Groucho Marx nose affixed to his face, Lumpy elicits more smiles then scares.
Cliff has also given himself a number of large scale projects for turning his forty-five acres into an outdoor multi-sensory environment. Currently, he is putting the finishing touches on a hand built water feature. Cliff has learned that water is a natural attraction for some people on the spectrum. “Susie really likes the water features. She really likes touching the water and will hang around it for awhile, so it works well.” Cliff is now building a second water feature. Stretching past the two Features are nature trails that encircle the flower beds.Along the way is a small bridge crossing over a pond, another example of Cliff’s handiwork. Besides the aesthetic appeal, the bridge allows the guys to get a closer look at the fish and frogs that populate the water.
Cliff and Kathy have also migrated their ambitious projects indoors. An old stable for farm animals has been cleared out, cleaned up and customized into a space with few obstructions for those who enjoy pacing the room, rocking their bodies or swinging their arms. Those who don’t need quite so much space can wander into a nearby room, where they’ll find a model train set that extends across the perimeter of the walls. The train’s horn is a favorite for audio stimulation. Cliff says “They love blowing the horn. They’ll stand here and push the button all day.” However, if trains and trails still don’t cut it, there’s always the option of just sitting down and chilling out. Autistic or not, nature is the best remedy for sensory overload.
On cue, as Cliff and Kathy wrap up the tour, the Autistic Services van arrives. The doors open and a small class emerges. Sunshine Garden is a perfect fit for the often humorous and unique qualities of a person with Autism. To paraphrase Ralph Waldo Emerson; the Earth laughs with flowers.
Photos from the 2009 Mary Poppins Play Performance
Dates are a popular topic for someone on the Autism spectrum, and Neil Sanders, who is a friend of mine as well as a program participant with Autistic Services, never misses a chance to remind me (or anyone) that “this summer will be the last summer of the decade.” Through the eyes of Neil, this newsletter will be our last summer newsletter…for this decade. Thinking of it that way makes this issue special.
There are a lot of things we will need to celebrate before the decade is over. For instance, in June we held our 7th annual play performance at Depew High School. We thought we were kicking off the summer with our rendition of Mary Poppins, but as it turns out this was our last play performance of the decade. In fact, there are plenty of events that will be our last for this decade. Our June/July Exhibition at the Burchfield Penny Art Center was our first and last for the decade.
Also, our August art exhibitions at ArtSpace, Brodo restaurant and Langston Hughes Institute will also be our last for the decade. And I suppose that means that, yes, our Annual Arts Work Auction will be the last one that this decade will see. Throughout the year we have had plenty of art exhibitions that neither you nor I will ever see again. At least, not in this decade. “But not to worry”, as Neil would say, you can be sure that new exhibitions and events will take place at our regular venues in the coming decade.
Because Neil may read this, we will close this out by saying goodbye to the Summer of 2009. A bit rainy, yes, but a rainy summer is better than no summer, especially if it is going to be our last one for the decade. Neil and the rest of us will look forward to the summer of 2010 when we usher in our first play performance, summer newsletter and any other summer events we plan to do in the new decade.