We are in the process of transitioning Dustin to his 21+ life, so I am on a sabbatical from posting these days. I will circle back in the fall. For now, here is Dustin learning to caddy on the way to SNACK, hanging on Governors Island, and shopping at Wegman’s on his way home from the Otto Specht Farm:
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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
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:
27 Miles to Otto Specht from Sweeney’s NYC Apartment
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):
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:
Update October 30, 2018
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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:
Friday, April 6, 2018
The Museum of Modern Art
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.
Saturday, April 7, 2018
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
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.
Someone asked me this week if there was any updates in progress on our Staten Island project at St Teresa's Parish, or any other projects?
The answer is yes, and the biggest complexities are NOT the real estate, but rather the community, short-term and long term. Thus, I will be back soon when we have more well thought out information to report. Keep the faith...