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School Transition

Updated: Otto Specht Spring Farm Faire - Saturday April 13th, 2019

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Updated: Otto Specht Spring Farm Faire - Saturday April 13th, 2019

Here are some updated pictures from today’s Otto Specht Faire, and Thursday’s setup. It was a great day(s), great place, and great people at Otto Specht.


Original Post from March 2019

Get to work Dusty!!

Get to work Dusty!!

I am on the Board of the Otto Specht School in Rockland County, NY, and it is a very unique and special place. Otto Specht is on the campus of the 200 acre Threefold Community, and we are at the beginning stages of building out:

  • Otto Specht 18+ Summer Camp for Commuters;

  • Otto Specht 18+ Young Adult Commuter Program; and

  • Otto Specht 21+ Residential Program (three homes have been purchased by Otto Specht families).

The Spring Faire is a casual opportunity to see the campus and potentially meet some of the staff, students, and the surrounding community. It is a really unique and special place and I will be there along with Dustin Sweeney on April 13th, so come check it out and see my previous writeup on Otto Specht/Threefold for additional background:

https://www.ottospechtschool.org/farm-faire-1



Music is a daily event at Otto Specht/Threefold.

Music is a daily event at Otto Specht/Threefold.

27 Miles to Otto Specht from Sweeney’s NYC Apartment

 

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Podcast with Journey Skills: "Possibilities with Mike Sweeney of Carousel 51"

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Podcast with Journey Skills: "Possibilities with Mike Sweeney of Carousel 51"

I met Debra Caldow of Journey Skills via Alison Berkley of Invictus Enterprises, and Alison did a Podcast with Debra here.

Debra is based on the Southeast coast of England in Kent, and they position their Podcast and Blog as:

“We have a vision for our daughter, and we want to provide a central hub for like-minded parents and carers – a place to find resources that will help develop skills around purpose, relationships and daily living skills. Young people with additional needs can achieve many great things, and we want to help them on their path to greater independence.  We aim to provide practical resources to parents and carers to make the journey a bit easier.”

It’s interesting to hear the comparisons and contrast of USA and England for Autism services, and here is my first Podcast (22 minutes):

Podcast Episode 52. Rather than waiting until we have to act the better option is to start exploring what is already out there and start actively working towards creating solutions. This is exactly what this week’s podcast guest Mike Sweeney is doing.

Mike talks about the various projects that he has become involved in as he looks towards finding a community for his son Dustin to live in when he is ready for independent living.

Mike talks about how he has moved from thinking of housing as being the most important focus of his efforts to the realization that work would as he puts it “changes peoples perspective”.

He also discusses how the system in the USA is changing towards young people with additional needs being given more control over their own futures through what is known as self-direction. Mike also reminds us how important integration is in terms of ensuring that our young person with additional needs can have an independent future even when we are no longer around.

Although Mike’s journey is not a unique one, there is much to learn from the way he is navigating his way through the challenges. Listening to Mike’s story will help you as you plan ahead for your own son or daughter’s future independence.
— Debra Caldow of Journey Skills - Kent, England

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The Center for Discovery: "Brain, Body and the Age of Complexity" - NYC Conference

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The Center for Discovery: "Brain, Body and the Age of Complexity" - NYC Conference

Last week I was able to attend The Center for Discovery’s Brain, Body and the Age of Complexity conference in NYC. The focus of the event was on The Center’s new “Children’s Specialty Hospital”, which will provide “short-term, clinical assessment program with the goal of better diagnosing underlying problems that affect behavior and learning. Improved understanding of underlying physiological, medical and mental health problems will lead to more targeted treatments and interventions, all with the goal of enabling children and adolescents to stay at home, in school, and integrated in the community.

The Children’s Specialty Hospital will conduct comprehensive medical and clinical assessments over a maximum of six months. Staff will engage parents, caregivers, and school district personnel as partners in the process. The hospital, scheduled to open in 2020, is expected to save New York State millions of dollars each year, with the goal of replicating this model throughout the state and the nation.”


Follow up from Dr Terry Hamlin:

On behalf of The Center for Discovery, thank you for attending our 3rd annual research conference, “Brain, Body and the Age of Complexity,” at the Hearst Tower last Friday.

We were thrilled to engage with such a dynamic group of researchers, stakeholders, government officials, and community leaders about pressing issues related to complexity and brain health. The groundbreaking ideas that we discussed have implications far beyond our community at The Center for Discovery. We are at the forefront of uncovering life-changing information that will lead to better understanding, more targeted treatments, and new technologies for a great number of chronic, complex conditions—including Autism Spectrum Disorders, Alzheimer’s, dementia, and more.

This conference was just the first step in propelling us even further to being able to help millions of individuals worldwide. We look forward to continued conversations and collaboration with you as we develop our Children’s Specialty Hospital and Research Institute. We welcome your support to advance this important work as well as your feedback.
— Dr. Terry Hamlin - The Center for Discovery

Update October 30, 2018

center for discovery opening.jpg

The Center For Discovery cut the ribbon on their new Children’s Specialty Hospital, Research Institute and Education Academy. Held inside the glass atrium of the old Frontier Insurance building, the event was attended by several elected officials who helped get to this exciting moment in our history at The Center.

  1. The first floor of the building will be converted into an Education Academy, an expansion of TCFD’s existing school program. The academy will allow TCFD to serve at least 42 additional students with complex disabilities from the surrounding communities, including Orange, Rockland, and Westchester counties.  The school expansion will also feature classrooms and a gymnasium, athletic fields, and paved walking and biking paths.

  2. The building’s second floor will house a new Children’s Specialty Hospital, which will be at the forefront of connecting research and innovation. Currently, there are no short-term inpatient assessment programs in NYS for children with complex developmental disabilities. Improved understanding of underlying physiological, medical and mental health problems will lead to more targeted treatments and interventions, all with the goal of enabling children and adolescents to stay at home, in school, and integrated in the community. This sub-acute, short-term hospital is a new model of care that is expected to save the state millions of dollars each year.

  3. The third floor of the building will be converted into a state-of-the-art Research Institute for Brain and Body Health. In partnership with leading national and international physicians, research scientists, academic colleagues, and philanthropic partners, the Research Institute will significantly expand TCFD’s already robust research program.

 If you would like more information on the Children’s Specialty Hospital, Research Institute or Education Academy please go to www.thecenterfordiscovery.org or contact Vice President of Development Bill Evans at bevans@tcfd.org.

 

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Podcast with Journey Skills: Allison Berkley of Invictus Enterprises on Jobs Training

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Podcast with Journey Skills: Allison Berkley of Invictus Enterprises on Jobs Training

October 29, 2018 - I was able to listen today, and this is a great interview. Coming from the U.K. host, it is great to hear the trans-atlantic collaboration.

Dustin Sweeney has done very well with his Job Training skills at Invictus Enterprises on weekends. Allison Berkley of Invictus was recently featured on the Journey Skills Podcast, and you can listen here:


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Museum Access Consortium (MAC) - Two Events - Friday April 6 and Saturday April 7, 2018

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Museum Access Consortium (MAC) - Two Events - Friday April 6 and Saturday April 7, 2018

MOMA

MOMA

Friday, April 6, 2018
9am-5pm
The Museum of Modern Art

Register (Click Here)

Emily Batsford, Katie Sweeney, Mike Sweeney, and Arielle Lever discussing our favorite CO/LAB Theater Group Actor - Dustin Sweeney

Emily Batsford, Katie Sweeney, Mike Sweeney, and Arielle Lever discussing our favorite CO/LAB Theater Group Actor - Dustin Sweeney

Join the Museum Access Consortium for a day of learning and progress for welcoming and engaging adults with autism and developmental disabilities. Developed for professionals from cultural organizations, this symposium will offer professional development related to all aspects of engaging this population from building community and welcoming audiences and visitors to building more inclusive staffs through internships and employment opportunities. Learn from individuals with developmental disabilities, cultural organizations who have pioneered work in this area, funders, and service organizations. This symposium is part of the Supporting Transitions project, funded by the FAR Fund.  

Katie Sweeney will be a speaker at the 9:30 AM session on "Welcome and Panel: Building Community". Katie sits on the Board of CO/LAB Theater Group, and they will be on the 10:30 AM panel "Best Practices for Welcoming Adults Developmental Disabilities". 

I will be attending this event with Katie Sweeney. - Mike Sweeney.


The Met

The Met

Supporting Transitions Symposium
for Adults with Developmental Disabilities

Saturday, April 7, 2018
10am-1:30pm
The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Register (Click Here)

 

Join the Museum Access Consortium for a day of learning. This workshop, designed for adults (ages 18+) with autism and other developmental disabilities, will introduce individuals to various opportunities for getting involved in New York City’s cultural organizations. Those new to attending cultural organizations can sample the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Discoveries Program, an interactive recreation program where attendees have the chance to explore the museum and make art in a hands-on, guided program. Attendees interested in future career opportunities can attend the workshops focused on internships and employment. Those interested in becoming artists and performers can experience an audition workshop or portfolio workshop. This symposium is part of the Supporting Transitions project, funded by the FAR Fund.  

I will not be attending this event - Mike Sweeney. 

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