Posts Tagged ‘YAI NYC’

YAI NYC: Autism and Other Special Needs Services for Families

November 8, 2012 Leave a comment

Click HERE for my latest review on Mommy Poppins about one of my favorite organizations in NYC.

YAI Family Support Series, Summer Program Highlights

YAI Network (think Central Park Challenge) has an excellent Family Support Series for caregivers of people on the autism spectrum (PDD, Autism, Aspergers, etc.). I just received their summer meeting calendar – it is copied below and includes info on how to register for each of the free meetings.

Taken from

The Family Support Series is supported in part by grants from New York State OPWDD and The New York City Council’s Autism Awareness Initiative.

Download Schedules:
English / Spanish | Mandarin

  • en español
  • Pre-registration is required by calling YAI LINK at 212-273-6182.
  • Parents and caregivers only! No children please.
  • Location: 460 West 34th Street, 11th floor, New York, NY 10001
  • Structure: 1st half (Presentation), 2nd half (Support)
  • Fee: None!

Date / Time



June 16th
10:00 AM – 12:30 PM
 Hands On Sensory Tools and Techniques for Everyday Jennifer Chang, MS, OTR/L, C/NDT
Occupational Therapy Supervisor, YAI Center for Specialty Therapy
June 22nd
10:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Sleep Matters! The Importance of Sleep for Children on the Spectrum and their Families Diane Liu, MD
Pediatrician, Premier HealthCare
July 22nd
10:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Fostering Friendships between Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Typically Developing Peers Jill Krata, PhD
YAI Autism Center & Premier HealthCare Autism Research
July 27th
10:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Discussing Diagnosis with your Child Jenny A Frank, LCSW, JCCA
Compass Project
August 3rd
10:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Autism and Allergies: Is there a Link? Jessica Petros, MD,
Premier HealthCare
August 8th
10:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Stand, Stretch, Breathe: A Yoga Class for Parents with Take Home Tips for Your Child Laura Mitchell, LMSW, LMT
YAI LINK, Certified Kripalu Yoga Instructor
Kami Evans,
Special Needs and Children Certified Yoga Instructor, Elahi Yoga
August 15th
10:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Behavior Management 101: How to Use Prompting and Fading Lana Small, MSW,
Coordinator, YAI Project Assist
Mary Downing, BA
Senior Supervisor, YAI Project Assist
September 12th
10:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Bullying Ruth DiRoma, Outreach and Information Specialist,
Brooklyn Parent Center, Brooklyn
Center for Independence of the Disabled, Inc. BCID
September 16th
10:00 AM – 12:30 PM
“I Just Don’t Understand!” Bring all your questions about the service system for people with developmental disabilities to an interactive Q&A session Panel of YAI LINK Staff

Central Park Challenge Recap and Photos

So here is one of my first posts with photos (took long enough, right?), all of them borrowed from the YAI website so far. I want to make sure to share as much of the experience with you as possible – it was that good!

To the left are James and his friend Will – they were standing along the finish line to cheer on our team members in the 5K run. And James is shamelessly posing with our team sign. We had to write our sign by hand for the second year in a row because they “corrected” our premade one to say “The Force,” with only 1 “o.” Well I never….

As usual it was an amazingly fun time (despite some trouble getting coffee in the wee hours). Our runners went first and all did well. My little brother beat his big brother’s record from last year, and one of our runners placed first in her division – go Kim!

As you can see from the pictures, we really did take anyone onto our team (our team’s dog was not the only one in a walk shirt, either) .

We knew better what to expect this year, including how slowly the walk would move with such a huge crowd participating, so I was less impatient this time around (and less pregnant). And, the weather was really perfect for the occasion – mid-70s and sunnyish – so we weren’t moving slowly and cooking like last year.

After the walk was the Jr. American Races. My 2- year old showed up late (the walk really does move slowly) so she raced in the 4 yr old division but since everyone got a medal she was thrilled anyway.

We had a lovely BBQ picnic at a nearby playground afterward (lovely except for the giant raccoon casually sauntering up to people) and said our goodbyes. All of that fun and it was only 1 o’clock!


Yep, you should have been there. Maybe next year! The Foorce raised $1100 this year, which was only a drop in the bucket of the $1.6 million raised overall! We almost doubled our team size from last year, a trend I would very much like to see continued. For more details about the Central Park Challenge on June 4th and a lot more pictures from the big day, click here.

We’ll definitely be back for third helpings next June. There is nothing in the world that makes me feel less alone and more inspired than watching thousands of runners, walkers, men, women and children (and dogs) get together and pay tribute to a common cause, especially one so close to my heart. It really helps me keep things in perspective when I see how many people are going through the same thing we are in one way or another. Yet we were all able to be there and we were all there to celebrate – amazing! Regardless of our abilities, we had a lot in common and a lot to be proud of on Saturday.

Go Team Foorce! (still looking for a team photo to insert here, hint hint)

%d bloggers like this: