DDI held its annual Rockin’ for Autism concert.  Over 500 Long Islanders packed Mulcahy’s Pub and Music Hall in Wantagh to raise over $30,000 for DDI.


“It is truly remarkable and heartwarming to see so many people come together to help those challenged with a disability,” statedJim Cronin, Chairman of the event and a member of the DDI Foundation Board.  “This wonderful event is crucial in supporting the vital programs that DDI has to benefit Long Islanders with autism and other developmental disabilities.”


For a $30.00 donation guests enjoyed the sounds of live music with an all-star lineup of legendary Long Island bands including 1 Step Ahead, The Cold Spring Harbor Band, 3, and Generations.  Legendary Saturday Night Live Band Leader GE Smith made a surprise appearance and performance. Gift baskets, raffles, food and live music were enjoyed by all into the late evening.


“Every year this event lends itself to being a great day,” commented Event Music Director, Steve Alliano.  “I want to give a special thanks to the talented musicians who donated their services and talents to make the day a true success.”


New Study Reveals 1 in 68 Children are Diagnosed with Autism


A report released on Thursday from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found that the number of U.S. children with autism has surgedto one in 68, a 30% increase from 1 in 88 two years ago.  The report comes as Autism Awareness Month begins April 1st.  According to the new report, the CDC estimates 1 in 42 boys has autism, 4.5 times as many as girls (1 in 189).


One thing that hasn't changed over the years is that children are still being diagnosed late. According to the report, the average age of diagnosis is still over age 4, even though autism can be diagnosed by age 2. 


Read more from the startling report.

Lake Avenue Music RoomDevelopmental Disabilities Institute dedicated the Matthew Stansky Memorial Music Room Friday, March 21st.Family, friends and staff joined together for a dedication ceremony in Matthew's honor.


“Matthew had an immense love for music,” commented mother Millie Stansky.  It didn’t matter if he was listening to his transistor radio or a fellow peer playing the piano. Mathew would lose himself listening to music for hours on end. It only seems fitting to dedicate a newly refurbished music room in his honor so that music can live on with his fellow peers in his name.”Millie, Danielle and Joe Stansky



Matthew Stansky is a former student of DDI who sadly passed away last year after fighting a long illness at the age of 23.  The Music Room is located at DDI’s Lake Avenue Adult Day Program.  The program, located in Nesconset, provides numerous services for over 70 adults with autism and other developmental disabilities.  The vibrant room received all new musical instruments, along with a state of the art sound system and display. Some of the items included are a new smart tv, wireless microphones, piano, acoustic guitars, a new drum set, music stools, benches and numerous other instruments.  A plaque hangs on the wall that reads, “A song may end but its melody lingers on forever.”  The renovations to the music room were made possible by the Mathew Stansky Memorial Fund.


 “During his short life with us, Matthew became a source of inspiration to all who knew him and provided care to him,” commented John Lessard, DDI’s Executive Director. “With the generosity of his family and friends, we will be able to preserve his memory here at DDI. I cannot thank them enough.”



St. Johns University Students & Alum Walk to Benefit Services provided by DDI for Children & Adults with Autism and other Developmental Disabilities



Nathan Holmes, John Kenny, Liam Kenny, Morgan Zajkowski, Rita Rausch, Ellen McBurney, and Peter Barker, will be back at it again, walking from the Brooklyn Bridge to Montauk Point Lighthouse from May 25th - 31st. 



The Walk will raise funds to support the renovation and expansion of DDI’s Little Plains School, which provides educational programs for over 300 children with developmental disabilities and their typically developing peers."These students and alumni are embarking on a noble journey to better the lives of others.  It's really wonderful to see the dedication and generosity that Nathan, John and the students have shown.  We are truly honored that they have chosen to support DDI, and to also bring about greater awareness of disability," stated John Lessard, Executive Director of DDI.

DDI Blood DriveThank you so much to our Blood Drive Captains, volunteers and everyone who came down to Meadow Glen in Smithtown to support DDI’s Blood Drive yesterday.  We had a very successful drive. 

32 unitsof blood were donated from DDI.  28 units came from Whole Blood donations and 4 units came from our ALYX donors.  Each pint of blood can save three lives. That works out to 96 livesthat will be saved from our donations. 

The staff of New York Blood Services was very appreciative of our donors and worked very hard for our drive.  They were very pleased with the amount of donations which again exceeded our original goal.  They can’t wait to see how our next drive will be.

Those who donated will receive a pair of Mets tickets for a future game this spring.  In addition, everyone who donated is eligible to win a pair of tickets to the upcoming Super Bowl at Met Life Stadium. 

To all those who presented to donate, you should be very proud.  You have made a difference.  There is an urgent need for your blood donation now.  Whole blood donors may donate every 56 days. For more information or to schedule a blood donation at NYBS Centers, please call 1-800-933-BLOOD (2566) or visit the website www.nybloodcenter.org.

Again, many thanks!  Please look out for our next blood drive to be held in the summer of 2014!