Wantagh SEPTA invites you to attend a special showing: “Autism: Coming of Age” on Thursday, December 22nd at 7:30 pm in the WMS IMC


Wantagh SEPTA invites you to attend a special showing: “Autism: Coming of Age” on Thursday, December 22nd at 7:30 pm in the WMS IMC (located at–3303 Beltagh Avenue Wantagh, NY 11793)

This hour-long documentary provides an inside look at the lives of three young adults with Autism and their families. The documentary focuses

attention on what happens as they move from school age children into adulthood and the issues they and their families face. The making of this

documentary was motivated by the December 2008 “Easter Seals Living with Autism” study that examined the hopes, fears and challenges of

parents raising children with autism. Key areas that will be explored in the documentary include:

Independence and Quality of Life

Financial well-being


Employment and Housing Needs


This will be an enriching and interactive event and will provide answers to many questions that you have, as well as important information on things

that you may not have considered.

The program will be presented by Janice Smith from The Island Financial Group, a general agency of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (Mass Mutual). MassMutual’s exclusive SpecialCareSM program, is an innovative outreach initiative providing access to information, specialists and financial products and services that can help improve the quality of life for people with disabilities and other special needs and their families and caregivers.

Please RSVP to: wantaghsepta@yahoo.com if you plan to attend.

Meet Me At The Gym


Hello Parents,

Power Pals is teaming up with Manhasset SEPTA to bring a unique fitness program–Meet Me at the Gym! Meet me at the gym, is a fitness program for tweens and teens. The details of the program are below. The important thing to note is that the program is completely funded by Manhasset SEPTA for 6 full weeks. Therefore, the program is free! And, you don’t have to live in the Manhasset school district to sign-up and receive it for free. Spots are limited, so sign up by emailing Manhasset SEPTA directly (information below).

Manhasset SEPTA proudly presents


Adaptive Workout/Training Program

NEW Program for Tweens and Teens!


Held in the Manhasset High School Training Room

SATURDAYS AT 1:30-2:30pm Starting JAN 2012

Dates are 1/7, 1/14, 1/28, 2/4, 2/18, 3/3

Adaptive Trainer Coach Chris of Power Pals creates full gym
workout program including:

Aerobic and Strength Training
How to use gym equipment
Building Muscles and Confidence
Increasing Strength for All Sports
Training with a Workout Partner

Big Buddies and Peer Helper with a high teacher-student ratio!
Maximum of 15 participants

Program is free but registration is required

Sign up at ManhassetSEPTA@gmail.com today!

Respecting Autism…


When I first started my blog I posted a segment on the Developmental,Individual Difference, Relationship-based (DIR®/Floortime) model. I recall being mystified but intrigued by theresults I had viewed during an on-line course given by Dr. Greenspan. Following completion of that course and to this day, I utilize the model with my own son diagnosed PDD-NOS.

When I recently heard that the Rebecca School was putting out a casebook on DIR floortime—I had to get my hands on it. As I know you are aware that the Rebecca School is one of the only schools to embrace this model throughout all of their teaching methods. After owning the book just four short days….I’ve finished it! So, here is where I’m at—I landed between “Neurotic New York Mom” Knows Best, and “I love you, now go away.” That’s right…once you read it; you will find yourself relating to so many of the cases. The personal stories in the book are like none other written before. And, those of you that know me well…I can open my own Barnes and Noble-Autism Books ONLY lol. The heartfelt and detailed cases have me wanting to meet the children highlighted in the book. As well as, wanting to learn and implement more DIR with my own son! The practicality of the treatment plans implementedat the Rebecca School had me nodding “yes” throughout the book, and envious at the same time that my son doesn’t attend the school. Lastly, the brilliant excerpts from the late Dr. Greenspan made me feel like I was so lucky to be under his tutelage.

As I mentioned earlier, I was intrigued when I first learned about DIR. After reading this book and feeling so connected with the children highlighted in the cases and hearing the parents’ personal experiences, it now has me—Respecting DIR!

You should pick this book up…you won’tput it down!

ADHD Workshop/Taste-Testing Event


Join Us For Our Workshop & Taste-testing Event:

Retraining the ADHD Brain Holistically Through
Neurofeedback, Activation & Diet

Monday November 7, 2011
Naturally Free Food Smithtown, NY

Join us to learn how to optimize your child’s attention & performance this school year — without ADHD medication!


Monday November 7, 2011

Naturally Free Food

9 Singer Lane
Smithtown, NY 11787

Naturally Free Map

Certain foods and additives can trigger or exacerbate ADHD/ADD symptoms.

Learn how a gluten-free/casein-free, “naturally free” diet can help your child.

Attendees will sample tasty “kid friendly” GF/CF foods prepared by
Naturally Free Food pro- prietor Christine Mitchell.

Join us to learn how to overcome your child’s attention issues, impulsivity, or learning disabilities… and help make this your child’s best school year ever!

Is your child having difficulties in school or at home?

Do you suspect he/she may have an attention issue or learning disorder? Has your child has been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)?

Are you looking for alternatives to prescription medications to manage attention, impulsivity or performance issues?

Recent advancements in neurofeedback technology have been found to be highly effective in rewiring the ADHD/ADD brain to alleviate associated symptoms. When combined with proper diet and activation, neurofeedback therapy can help your child to control his/her brainwave patterns to bring balance, harmony and regulation to the brain — without drugs or invasive procedures.

Please join me for an informative lecture and taste-testing event on Monday, November 7 to:
• Discover how BrainCore neurofeedback therapy can rewire the brain to transform an unhealthy brainwave pattern into a healthy one.
• See a demonstration of audio and visual stimulation that is used during biofeedback sessions.
• Learn about the effects of food allergies and improper diet on the brain and gastrointestinal tract and how proper diet can alleviate symptoms and improve brain function.
• Sample child friendly, gluten-free and dairy-free foods made by Christine Mitchell, proprietor of Naturally Free Food, Smithtown’s newest gluten-free specialty store.

Neurofeedback therapy can have a significant, long-lasting impact on you child’s life. Studies have shown that for many patients, neurofeedback has successfully reduced or eliminated ADHD symptoms by reversing abnormal brainwave patterns.

We hope to see you on Monday, November 7. Please register early as we are limiting the size of this lecture to provide a more intimate environment for learning and sharing.

Yours in health,

Dr. Keri Chiappino
Board-certified Chiropractic Neurologist
Defeat Autism Now! Practitioner
Certified BrainCore Therapy Practitioner
New Life Chiropractic


Place: Naturally Free Food 9 Singer Lane, Smithtown, NY
Date: Monday, November 7, 2011
Time: 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Fee: $10
RSVP: 631.265.1223

Seating is very limited. Call to make you reservation today!

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New Life Chiropractic | 323 Middle Country Rd. | Smithtown | NY | 11787

E-Special Match


Just wanted to share this website www.especialmatch.com A friend of mine told me about it…it’s essentially match.com for the special needs community. The creator of the site came to our SEPTA and provided an overview on the website–very cool. Check it out and join, it’s Free!

This is some info from the site: eSpecialMatch.com is a free social network for individuals and families of children with special needs and disabilities including Autism, Asperger’s, and Down’s Syndrome, as well as neurological, physical, sensory, and emotional issues. Their goal is to connect them with resources, information and support. Our community is also a place where organizations and professionals can share their information, services, events, and expertise.

Power Pals Summer Camp


Dear Parent,

As summer is upon us, we know

many of the children will be heading off to summer camp or school. We also know that many of those programs don’t begin until after the 4th and end early before school begins in September. So, during those off days/weeks….why don’t you send your child to fitness camp! We have flexible hours and days to fit your schedule.

Create a schedule that works for you!
5 Day Program = $ 500 Weekly Rate
3 Day Program= $300 Weekly Rate
2 Day Program= $200 Weekly Rate
Hours: 9:00-1:00
* Deposit of $100 Dollars is Required at Registration

Getting a word in


Dr. Shana Nichols is currently writing a companion book for pre-teen and teen girls themselves to read titled A Girl’s Guide to Growing Up on the Autism Spectrum. My co-author, Brigid Rankowski, is a college student with AS. This book is under contract with Jessica Kingsley Publishers, and at this time we are looking for short contributions from girls and women.

If you (as an adult on the spectrum), or your daughter would be interested in sharing an experience, or advice related to growing up as a female with an ASD, I would love to hear from you. We are looking for 50-200 word narratives about any topic related to growing up. Some examples include:

– What it’s like being a girl/woman with an ASD

– Puberty

– Having your period; gynecological exams

– Getting a first bra

– Friendships and mean girls; bullying; fitting in

– Eating issues

– Self-esteem and feeling good about yourself

– Being true to who you are

– Mood and anxiety

– Sexuality

– Relationships and dating

– Media, popularity

– Life goals and pursuing your dreams

– Special interests

We are also interested in poetry and possibly art work.

As before, contributions can be anonymous (e.g., “a 16-year-old girl with Aspergers”), or can be attributed by name.

Please contact me at drshananichols@gmail.com for more information or to submit a narrative. A short release of information form from the publishers will need to be signed.

Thank you again for fostering understanding of the experiences of girls and women with ASDs!

I look forward to hearing from you,

Dr. Shana Nichols

Shana Nichols, Ph.D.
Owner, Director, Researcher
ASPIRE Center for Learning and Development
63 Old East Neck Road
Melville, NY 11747

Email: aspirecenterforlearning@gmail.com
Website: http://www.aspirecenterforlearning.com

631-923-0924 (fax)


Our Book on Girls with ASDs:


Shana Nichols, Ph.D.
Owner, Director, Researcher
ASPIRE Center for Learning and Development
63 Old East Neck Road
Melville, NY 11747

Email: aspirecenterforlearning@gmail.com
Website: http://www.aspirecenterforlearning.com

631-923-0924 (fax)


Our Book on Girls with ASDs:


The 411 and the DL on Haley Moss’ New Book—Middle School: The Stuff Nobody Tells You About!


Whether your child has Autism or Not, this is a must read for all girls entering middle school. Growing up in the 80’s there weren’t books that provided this type of information and especially not from the perspective of a young girl actually going thru it. Haley is not only a talented artist she is also a girl who’s been there. Haley was diagnosed at the young age of 3 with high-functioning autism. She takes you through her experiences and will teach your child many important lessons along the way.—Everything from how to work a combination lock, using tweezers, and getting a period. She even provides an entire section of references for slang to help someone that struggles socially (I learned 411 means information and DL means the Down Low—Thanks Haley). She gives advice on saying no to drugs, sex, and cheating. These are lessons as parents we try to teach our children early on. There is nothing better than hearing from a peer first hand and her survival methods to these tricky social pitfalls that every child will be sure to encounter at least once during their school years. But, my favorite section of the book is when Haley discusses the important role of a mother (or a female adult) and how to connect and keep the relationship going. As she concludes the book she tells all that “Different is Cool” and how middle school it is very much about “fitting in” but by the time they enter high school individualism is the new trend! She tries to instill confidence in your child and demonstrate that it is ok to be yourself and that one day soon they will find their groove.
I hope you check out Haley’s new book and purchase it for your child entering middle school as their survival guide.


The Goldilocks Find!


I wanted to write about this recent find…her name is Dr. Keri Chiappino and she is a DAN Dr. located in Smithtown, NY. As many of you know by reading my blog, I have been to several DAN doctors as well as received some homeopathic advice. And, although each of them has helped my son, I have yet to find the right fit for us.
We have been to physicians that either only provide all inclusive programs that may not specifically fit the needs of my child or they spend too much time and many dollars later working on a few supplements without getting to the next level. And, although I do know there is no silver bullet for this diagnosis, I don’t want to be wasting time not trying to help my son with other strategies.
The right fit for us would be someone that could:
Utilize existing (if the test are relatively recent) blood and urine test results without adding stress/anxiety for my son and extra costs for running new panels
Focus on new areas of therapy without continuing programs that have been completed already—for example, not have to participate in visual training if a child has recently completed several months of visual therapy….just because it is part of an all inclusive program. I do understand that at times a child needs to repeat a type of therapy but all too often I have been told that the program put together for my son is unique to his needs…however, he has to take part in all of the therapies provided at the particular center.
• Provide guidance on supplements and special diets (if necessary for the child). Sometimes parents are given multiple supplements and sent on their way with minimal follow-up. And or parents are handed the physician’s recommended products but not given alternatives if the child won’t swallow pills, or is bothered by the taste of a particular product. I have even experienced being asked to remove a product because it was not the “best” on the market. When my child wouldn’t take the new one…I was left with no where to go—I can’t imagine what I was doing before was worse than nothing at all. This can be very frustrating.

So, I decided to take a different approach this time. Instead of just going to another DAN doctor I decided to do what I did before Tyler was born. Now, you may laugh but this is very common in NYC….I decided to interview doctors before I showed up at yet another office with another bill for blood and urine panels. After 3 other interviews, I finally found her….Dr. Keri Chiappino. I asked her some basic questions on how she handles new patients and she had all the right answers. She was exactly what we were looking for…Basically, it’s the story of Goldilocks and the 3 bears, and she is “just right.” Not too fast providing an all or nothing program, and not too slow…getting your child to the next level. She will work with you and your child and REALLY provide unique strategies to address the underlying causes. She is planning to come out and talk to the group about Special Diets and Biomedical/Supplement Strategies this summer. I hope you all come out and hear her speak. To contact her for more information about her practice you can call She also has an office in NYC!
323 Middle Country Rd.
Smithtown, NY 11787

So many activities…So Little Time!


This summer has been a whirl wind. I have clearly signed my kids (especially Tyler) up for too many activities. We are doing baseball, horseback riding, swimming, training at Power Pals, Another sports program at Sport Time along with his feeding and audiology therapy. The good news is, he is really enjoying all the activities…thank goodness. I will be sharing all the goods these upcoming weeks, and I hope some more friends join us. If you are interested in any of these activities contact me at rosiemom2@ymail.com