A recent article in The Washington Times pointed out that Autism rates in British children appear to have plateaued while U.S. data shows that the disorder is still rising in this country.
The authors of the new study in BMJ Open, an “open-access” medical journal put out by an arm of the British Medical Association, said that it was possible that increased public awareness and expanded diagnoses for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) led to increased diagnoses in the 1990s that are now leveling off.
Data showed that while the British autism rate rose significantly in the 1990s, it “reached a plateau shortly after 2000 and has remained steady through 2010,” the researchers wrote. The U.S. autism prevalence rate rose 78 percent between 2004 and 2008, the CDC said, even as British rates apparently remained flat.
DDI hosted its “Walk, Run & Ride for Autism,” on September 29th at the Holtsville Ecology Center. DDI raised over $47,000 to help fund the vital programs and services DDI provides to over 5,000 families served by their educational and residential programs, adult day training and medical services.
“This event is all about coming together as a community and helping those who cannot help themselves,” said Co-Chairman of the event Brian Brunjes. “This year we not only met our financial goal, but we exceeded it. It is inspiring to see the generosity of a community come together and lend themselves to help benefit thousands of families who need services for their loved ones.”
Hundreds of Long Islanders came out for the fun filled day. The day kicked off with the Matthew Stansky Memorial Run followed by a scenic 5K Walk through Suffolk County’s Holtsville Ecology Park that featured activities for the entire family along the way. For the second year in a row, the event included a Motorcycle and classic car run sponsored by Hansen Home Designs.The day was capped off with a festival in the park complete with picnic lunch, music, games, a petting zoo and more.
This years event Grand Marshals are six recent St. John’s University graduates who spent one week walking 128-miles in the blistering heat this past May from the Brooklyn Bridge to the Montauk Lighthouse in order to benefit DDI. Raising over $22,000, Nathan Holmes, John Kenny, Morgan Zajkowski, Michael Cunniff, Liam Kenny and Michael Sardone have proved to be worthy honorees.
“We would not be able to help the over 5,000 families that DDI services if it wasn’t for our tremendous sponsors,” commented Co-Chairman Charley Hudson. “While the list of supporters is long, there are a few people whose efforts cannot go unmentioned including our Grand Marshals. These are six amazing and talented young individuals who deserve to be applauded.”
This years sponsors include The Matt Stansky Memorial Fund; A Friend of DDI; Hansen Home Designs; Tobay Printing; Gallagher Benefit Services; Amagansett Super Saver; Vested Business Brokers; DGM Construction Management; the Kiridly family, Lawrence Worden, Rainis & Bard, P.C.; Apple & Eve LLC; the Crane family; Driscoll Foods; the Prestia family; Yorkshire Foods; Ginny and Bill Kacin; Shore Pharmaceutical; Coca-Cola Refreshments of Hauppauge; Bozzuto’s; Creekstone Farms Premium Angus Beef; Florence Building Supply; Kravet Inc.; Rich Dodge Photography; Magic Vinnie; Family Melody; Panera Bread of Hicksville; Got DJ; S&D Distributors; Broadway Dairy; On the Border Mexican Grill & Cantina; Christ Church-Georgetown; the Escaldi family; National Waste Services; Kaufman Enterprises – McDonalds; John Willis Inc.; the Spiegel family; the Brunjes family; and the Hudson family.
DDI, the leading service provider for children and adults with Autism on Long Island, Starting Early Program will be hosting yoga for preschoolers. The “hands-on” interactive workshop will be full of resources and activities specifically designed for the preschool population. The conference will be held on Tuesday, November 5th from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at DDI’s Starting Early Preschool located at 25 Little Plains Road in Huntington.
“Numerous studies have documented the significant positive effects in children’s physical, educational and behavioral growth through the practice of yoga and mindfulness,” commented DDI’s Director of Starting Early Linda Whitaker, Ed.D. “Professionals working with children are noticing the overwhelming increase in stress, attention, behavioral, and sensory related disorders affecting the development of our students. Yoga and mindfulness provide creative and potentially effective methods to address these needs.”
The course is designed for anyone who works with preschool aged children (no yoga experience necessary). It is focused on empowering teachers, therapists, or caregivers to identify their role as an agent of change, balance, and support for their students. Participants will learn effective, creative, and easy-to-use tools to immediately implement into the classroom, home or therapy.
The workshop will be conducted by Allison Morgan, MA, OTR, who has been working with children of all abilities for over 2 decades in hospital, school and home settings. Allison is the founder of Zensational Kids, LLC, a NY/NJ based company integrating yoga into therapeutic services to address student goals and incorporating yoga into preK-8 classrooms. In addition, Allison is a consultant to the International Association for School Yoga and Mind- fulness. She is a facilitator for the Radiant Child Yoga Teacher Training Program training directly with its founder, Shakta Kaur. Allison teaches throughout the country and internationally on various yoga, mindful- ness, and therapy topics.
For further information or to register online visit www.ddiny.org/yoga. Registration will be $120 for all participants. Participants should dress comfortably and bring a towel or yoga mat for lab sections of the course.
Special thanks go to the Captains and all the amazing people who came down to the Hollywood Drive Gym in Smithtown to support DDI’s Super Community Blood Drive on Thursday, August 15, 2013. The drive was a tremendous success.
In total, 52 units were donated from DDI. 40 units came from Whole Blood donations and 12 units came from ALYX donors. Each pint of blood can save three lives. That works out to 156 lives that were saved.
The staff at New York Blood Services was very professional, caring and accommodating. They worked very diligently for DDI’s drive, loved the donors and were very pleased with the amount of donations which far exceeded our goal. They have encouraged DDI to host more blood drives in the future.
Those that presented for a donation received a “Super Community Blood Drive” tee shirt for this drive and a chance to win 2 tickets to the upcoming Super Bowl to be held in February 2014 at Met Life Stadium.
According to the New York Blood Center, there is an urgent need for your blood donation now. At present, there is less than a one day’s supply of O-Negative blood to local area hospitals. O-negative blood is the “universal donor” blood and on average, 45% of the population is Type O. In addition, B-negative and A-negative are also very low. Whole blood donors may donate every 56 days. For more information or to schedule a blood donation, call 1-800-933-BLOOD (2566) or visit the website www.nybloodcenter.org.
In September, communities across our country are pausing to honor a vital segment of our national workforce. The United States Senate has declared the week of September 8-14, 2013 as National Direct Support Professional Recognition Week. On behalf of DDI’s Board of Directors and its Administrative and Management staff, I also use this special time of year to formally recognize the dedication and expertise of all of our DSPs and their support of the hundreds of adults and children who are in the care of DDI.
Skilled employees are our most valuable resource and every DSP is vital to the Mission of this organization. As a result of your dedication, skill and commitment, children and adults with developmental disabilities receive the services, support and encouragement they need to lead more meaningful and fulfilling lives. The efforts of our DSPs continue to give people with developmental disabilities in our community the ability to enjoy things that others take for granted like pursuing an education, working, recreating, and socializing.
Out of our respect for the work you perform, and for your dedication to our students, consumers and your profession, we congratulate you for the immeasurable difference you make each day in the lives of individuals in our care.
All of us at DDI, students, consumers, families and community members, say “thank you” for the wonderful work and dedication of our direct support professionals.