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Spring 2011

Field Experts Provide Unique Perspectives at “Autism Tomorrow” On March 11, 2011, over 475 people, from professionals to parents,

Dr. Brown and Dr. Magyar discussed the research they each are

students to doctors, listened intently to field experts in autism

conducting and how their research can impact and assist the

spectrum disorders at Anderson Center’s first conference, “Autism

broader community. Mr. Mulhern focused on the development

Tomorrow”. Audience members were fully engaged with the dynamic

of school and community relations through parent involvement

presentations, listening to the wide variety of information offered.

programs. William Stillman closed the conference with an insightful dialogue of his personal experience with autism, offering anecdotes for building authentic relationships. We are proud to have offered the caliber of expertise and breadth of topics to our community. We received overwhelmingly positive feedback, many comments with an eye to future conferences and related topics of interest. We are planning the 2012 conference and will let you know when, where and who soon.

We welcomed to our stage Honorable Kirsten Gillibrand, United States Senator for New York; Mark Roithmayr, Autism Speaks; Dr. John Brown, Hunter College/CUNY and Hunter College Autism Center; Dr. Caroline Magyar, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry; Frank Mulhern, Beacon City School District; and William Stillman, author, consultant and presenter. Presenters offered their unique perspectives of autism today, as well as the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for people living on the spectrum. Senator Gillibrand discussed the role politics and legislation take in the research and services provision, as well as how insurance and federal funding impact people and families challenged by autism. Mr. Roithmayr discussed autism advocacy on a national level, stressing the impact adult services will experience going into the future.

What’s Inside

Executive Director’s Message............... 2

Family Corner....................................... 4

Fundraising Highlights......................... 3

Notes and Notables........................... 5-7

Boards of Trustees


Anderson Center for Autism operates under the guidance of our exceptional Boards of Trustees. We appreciate the contributions that all of these talented and generous individuals make towards the achievement of our goals.

Thoughts from the desk of Neil J. Pollack, Executive Director/CEO

Anderson Center for Autism* David W. Melby, Chair Francis M. Synan, 1st Vice Chair Sarah E. Sholes, 2nd Vice Chair Justin L. Cole, Treasurer Elizabeth P. Corcoran, Secretary Neeraj Alimchandani, Trustee Elinor B. E. Arnold, Trustee Pompey H. Delafield, Trustee Eric D. Gorman, Trustee Joe Lepore, Trustee Richard Lewis, Trustee Peter M. Olympia, Jr., Trustee Jeanne R. Raichle, Trustee John A. Scileppi, Trustee *Trustees for Anderson Center for Autism are also trustees for Anderson Center Services, Inc.

Unsung Heroes Families raising children with autism spectrum disorders are truly unsung heroes who deserve a standing ovation every day. I was reminded of this at a recent presentation I made to a trade association entitled “Thriving in the Face of Adversity” detailing the tough road I faced leading Anderson in 2001 from the point of nearly insurmountable adversity. Humbled to receive a standing ovation, it occurred that in discussing adversity, I have the unique opportunity to act as a voice for families who do not receive this well-earned recognition. Building a family in today’s world is certainly complex. Raising a child who is challenged by the various forms of autism spectrum disorders is an extraordinary undertaking distinguished by some common characteristics or qualities. My heart goes out to our Anderson families who bravely face challenges nearly

Anderson Foundation for Autism, Inc. Margaret Cusumano, Chair John Maserjian, Vice Chair Robert Shoemaker, Treasurer Susan Angeles, Trustee Ellen L. Baker, Trustee Barry R. Feirstein, Trustee Vance A. Gage, Trustee Joseph T. Kirchhoff, Trustee Tondra Lynford, Trustee Harold L. Mangold, Trustee William F. Melcher, Trustee Marisa Perez-Rogers, Trustee Maryann R. Pilon, Trustee Rebecca A. Valk, Trustee

every moment of every day. Few understand the dedication required to sustain endurance in this labor of love. The closest comparison I can make to the journey of our families is having the responsibility for 650 Anderson employees serving 257 individuals (children and adults). Even with around-the-clock vigilance and daily watchfulness, it does not compare to the realities our families will encounter for a lifetime. In these economic times when government is seeking cuts, it must not lose sight of the most frail among us. We cannot allow policy makers to forget families who humbly accept the heavy responsibility of caring for people with special needs. Our entire community must share that responsibility by carrying through on our social pledge with various programs such as Medicaid, Medicare and a free and appropriate education. Our society has chosen the path of creating social programs versus creating insurance programs to cover the risk of lives born with disabilities. This is a century old pact. Why should we, therefore, abandon the social responsibilities we have created offering no viable substitute?

Lifetime Honorary Trustees

Join me in a standing ovation, recognizing our families raising children with

Ellen L. Baker Michael McNaughton Jaime Rodriguez-Tellez Wilfred Rohde Fritz Sonnenschmidt

special needs. While standing, let’s call to Albany and Washington and tell them


- don’t cut our programs, don’t take away our support, don’t harm our children.


Very special thanks to John Coppola for hosting another

The New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants

“Autism Awareness Day” in April at his Coppola’s restaurant

(NYSSCPA) Mid-Hudson Chapter Young CPA Committee

in Hyde Park, NY. A portion of the proceeds were donated to

and the Hudson Valley Young Professionals hosted a season

Anderson Center to support the children and adults we serve.

mixer on April 28, 2011, at Torches on the Hudson. During this networking event, they raised money through a 50/50 raffle,

On April 28, 2011, the Hyde Park, Red Hood and Rhinebeck Chambers of Commerce hosted their monthly breakfast at Anderson Center in support of Autism Awareness month. Our good friends Assemblyman Marcus Molinaro and Christy Molinaro shared their personal story with the group. Thanks Marc and Christy for all you do!

which was donated to Anderson Center in honor of Autism Awareness month. Michael Swensen, of Levitan, Yegidis & Associates LLP, & current Mid-Hudson Chapter President of NYSSCPA, was the winner of the raffle and donated his prize money to Anderson Center. Stacey Trapani-Barber, Clinical Coordinator, and Amanda Coons, Behavior Specialist, were present to accept this donation. Also in attendance was Phillip E. Goldstein, Managing Partner for Goldstein Lieberman and

Anderson Center and the Dutchess County Regional Chamber

Company, LLC, who pledged to quadruple the amount through

of Commerce hosted our 5th Annual Policy Breakfast on April

the Goldstein Lieberman Cares Program.

29, 2011. We showcased a parent panel, including Tondra Lynford, John MacEnroe and Susan Angeles, who shared their

In May, Stacey and Amanda met Phillip and his associates at

personal experiences about life with children on the spectrum.

their firm in Mahwah, NJ (see photo). Special thanks to the

We closed with Jesse Saperstein, author of the book, Atypical,

Young Professionals committee for organizing this networking

who spoke about how autism has affected his life being a

event, choosing Anderson Center as their charitable recipient

person on the spectrum. It was an enlightening experience

and supporting autism awareness; and to Rebecca Hasbrouck,

for all who attended. Heartfelt thanks to all of our speakers.

Supervisor for Vanacore, DeBenedictus, DiGovanni & Weddell, LLP, for helping making this all possible. The Goldstein Lieberman & Company Cares Program awards a substantial donation to a different not-for-profit organization each month. “We know that community not-for-profit organizations need our support and we understand that many businesses reduced their donations as they have downsized,” said Mr. Goldstein.

For more information on ways you can help support ACA, please contact Noel Crotone at (845) 889-9208 or All donations should be made payable to Anderson Foundation for Autism.

Photo (from left to right): Amanda Coons, Behavior Specialist; John Boykas, Partner; Phillip E. Goldstein, Managing Partner; Stacey Trapani-Barber, Clinical Coordinator; Bruce Margulies, Partner; Benjamin Mills, Partner; and Josue Coicou, Senior Manager. 3


Congratulations from the Anderson Center Congratulations to Erin Malleolo and Kelly Silkworth who both

Congratulations to Stacey Trapani-Barber, Clinical Coordinator,

passed their Board Certification exams in Behavior Analysis! Erin

who passed her Mental Health Counseling Licensing Exam on

and Kelly are now BCaBA’s.

May 12, 2011! Stacey has been working towards this goal for many

Great work and congratulations!!!!

years while providing exemplary service to the students and adults at ACA. Way to go, Stacey!!


A Daughter’s Development Abounds Three years ago, Chrissy Cihi lived at home with her family when their coordinator suggested the Anderson Center as an ideal place for her to grow. Chrissy moved into the Old Mill IRA in March 2008 and the Cihis immediately saw the potential for positive change. “The whole way they approached Chrissy was great, they had Chrissy meet some other girls and do crafts,” said Chrissy’s mother Gretchen, “It was a great transitioning opportunity.” Over time, the Anderson Center helped Chrissy develop her social skills. With support from behavioral specialists, Chrissy improved and soon began exploring new endeavors. Chrissy always enjoyed the hands-on aspect of working in a cooking position. When the Anderson Center offered volunteer services at the Culinary Institute of America, she loved the experience. With Anderson Center’s assistance and Ulster-Greene ARC, Chrissy eventually landed a job in the Bakery Department at Hannaford supermarket. She works every Monday and Friday and still volunteers at the Culinary Institute once a week. She gets along very well with staff at both jobs. Chrissy is also a painter. When her parents realized how much she

In April, the Cihis watched Chrissy win gold in the 25m freestyle swim competition in the Special Olympics at West Point. The whole family got to cheer on Chrissy’s housemates as well, who competed in some of the Track and Field events. Gretchen says despite her daughter’s many successes, the strides she has made socially are her greatest achievement.

enjoyed painting, they encouraged her wholeheartedly. This past

“The staff at Anderson Center is great and they know how to handle

fall, Chrissy displayed several pieces at the art show in New York

all of their girls to treat their individual issues,” she said, “Chrissy

City. Her talents were not overlooked, as a number of paintings were

is much more sociable now and enjoys spending time with family





B-Ball Skills Special Olympics On March 9, 2011, we had 15 of our athletes go to the Taconic DDSO in Wassaic to compete in the first Basketball Skills Special Olympics event of the year and we did awesome!! Some of our guys are familiar with the events and they continue to do well. This time, we brought a few students who were new to basketball and the whole experience and they too did great. They all did such a good job representing Anderson Center. They are ready to go to the regional event for the Hudson Valley at Marist on March 27, 2011. We had a good group of staff with the athletes making sure that all went well. Thanks to everyone who came and helped out. Much appreciated!!

Brandon S. – Gold

Chipper – Gold

Chris V. – Gold

Felicia N. – Gold

Richard A. – Gold

William H. – Gold

Chris D. – Silver

James P. – Silver

Jare R. – Silver

Max K. – Silver

Michael R. – Silver

Assad M. – Bronze

Jacob L. – Bronze

Justin C. – Bronze

Tracy F. – Bronze

Program Initiatives – The Art Program Site & Equipment The Art Program provides enjoyment, fulfillment and opportunities

The long-range goal of the program is to secure a community site

for our individuals to express themselves through art.


to be used as an art studio. Equipment needed would include two

participating artists would be exposed to several types of mediums.

pottery wheels, clay tools, clay, drying racks, and kiln for firing of

There are opportunities for individual art pieces as well as

ceramic pieces. Other equipment needed would be easels, canvases

collaborative pieces. Artwork will be displayed as part of a local

and paint supplies.

community exhibit, as well as other exhibits not in the immediate area. It also creates learning opportunities to develop social skills, leisure skills and opportunities to improve self esteem and to meet other artists and develop meaningful relationships.

The amount requested would be $3,000 to start the basic program for two years; the amount requested to include a community site and additional equipment would be $12,000 annually.

Yoga Workshop: Relaxing with Simple Techniques On March 24, 2011, Danielle Torelli, Certified Occupational

techniques. Participants thoroughly enjoyed a moment to relax in

Therapist Assistant, presented a Yoga Workshop for individuals

a comfortable, supported session lead by our very own Danielle.

with developmental disabilities at the Expressions Conference held

On behalf of the Mid-Hudson Training Consortium and Anderson

at the Hudson Hotel & Conference Center in Fishkill, NY. In two

Center for Autism … KUDOS on a job well done!

separate sessions, she shared simple stretches, poses and breathing



1st Annual March Madness B-Ball Skills Shootout On March 26, 2011, we had a good turnout for what we hope will

Thank you to everyone (Frank Allen, Brendan Conniff, Tony Glenn,

become an Anderson Center tradition. This was our first time

Anna LaFerriere, Patrick Mahoney, Jarmar Richardson, Jarmar

doing anything like this and, of course, there were a few hiccups

Richardson, Jr., Sharon Scafe, Rose Seise, and Brian Stickle) who

along the way. With cooperation from all of the staff volunteers on

came out bright and early to make this happen. All of your help was

different levels, we were able to adjust and tweak things to work

very much appreciated!

for everyone’s skill set. The 1st Annual March Madness B-Ball Skills Shootout turned out awesome! It was really cool to see all the athletes who took part and how well they did. Compared to the most recent

All of the students were separated into different heats and their results are as follows:

practice, the improvements were very apparent.

Beechwood Birch






Felicia N. – 1st Sean D. – 1st Lance H. – 1st st nd Kelsey A. – 1 Jesse P. – 2 Teddy R. – 2nd nd Ashley B. – 2 Dimitri H. – 3rd nd Heather H. – 2 Tracy F. – 2nd Katherine M. – 3rd

Doug O. – 1st Frank A. – 1st Brandon S. – 2nd Chan. – 2nd Nic B. – 2nd

Billy H. – 1st Chris V. – 1st st Dupree B. – 1 Clifford V. – 1st st Johnny R. – 1 Karl K. – 2nd nd Brian C. – 2 Michael W. – 2nd nd David P. – 2 Andre W. – 3rd nd Gary L. – 2 Jacob L. – 3rd nd John S. – 2 Andrew R. – 3rd



Upper Davis Willow

Lower Davis Pine

Aamil B. – 1st Jare R. – 1st Charles S. – 1st Jarret R. – 1st nd st st Joey M. – 2 John M. – 1 Sasha – 1 Danny M. – 2nd rd nd Andrew T. – 3 Max K. – 2 Mark L. – 3rd nd Michael A. – 2 Bradford S. – 3rd Chris D. – 3rd


Jeanie B. – 1st Chipper – 1st st Justin C. – 1 Imani B. – 1st st Kyle F. – 1 Danny M. – 2nd st Lindsey A. – 1 Kyle G. – 2nd nd Joel M. – 2 Chris O. – 3rd nd Vonya M. – 2 Rich A. – 3rd rd Alissa S. – 3 Matthew Y. – 3rd

Assad M. – 1st James P. – 2nd

Nic L. – 1st Patrick M. – 1st Philip S. – 1st Andrew D. – 2nd Matthew Z. – 2nd Sean N. – 2nd Joel M. – 3rd Steven D. – 3rd

Congratulations to everyone!

Regional Basketball Skills

a great job competing and representing our school. All the hard work paid off as you can see from the results listed below. Thank you to all of the staff that came with the athletes and also to the coaches who trained them. As always, your help is appreciated! This wraps up the basketball season. Up next … Track and Field.

Billy H. – 1st Jarret R. – 1st

Chipper – 1st

Imani B. – 1st

Kyle G. – 1st

Tracy F. – 1st

On March 27, 2011, 17 of our athletes went to Marist to compete in

Felicia N. – 2nd

Michael R. – 2nd

James P. – 3rd

the regional basketball skills piece of the Special Olympics. Other

Max K. – 3rd

Chris V. – 4th

Richard A. – 4th

athletes competed in aquatics, power lifting and basketball. By far, of

Jacob L. – 5th

Jare R. – 6th

Brandon S. – 6th

the several hundred athletes that were there, most were for the skills

Justin C. – 6th

Assad M. – Honorable Mention

section. Needless to say, the competition was tough!! Our group did



Brian Court Opening On April 14, 2011, the Adult Services Program proudly opened the fourteenth IRA in LaGrange, NY. Brian Court IRA is home for six young men, all campus graduates. After months of hard work and dedication, the house is finally a “HOME”. Congratulations to the team, residents and entire program. A special thank you goes out to our Brian Court families.

Student’s Hard Work Pays Off in West Point Track & Field Events On April 30, 2011, 21 Anderson Center athletes competed against others

Thank you to all of our coaches (Frank Allen, Brendan Conniff, Tony

in track and field events at West Point. This is the biggest Special

Glenn, Anna Laferriere, Brian Muse, Jarmar Richardson, and Sharon

Olympics event that our students participate in. There were hundreds

Scafe) who have been working with the students to get them ready;

of athletes in attendance from dozens of agencies and individual

your help is appreciated.

training clubs. Needless to say, the competition was intense and our

Thank you to all of the staff who accompanied the group ensuring

group did amazing!! All the hard work put in through trainings over

everyone got to their events on time. Staff were great cheerleaders

the last several weeks really paid off. All of the athletes that attended

throughout the day!! Thanks!

are listed below and their places for each event they competed in.

SLJ = Standing Long Jump

When you see them in the school or on campus, congratulate them;

W = Walking Event

they deserve it.

Beechwood Chestnut Dogwood Dellinwood Elm Holly Lower Davis Pine Upper Davis Willow

SBT = Softball Toss

Felicia N. Tracy F. William H. Chris V. Jacob L. Michael W. Daniel M. Philip H. Brandon S. James P. Tyler S. Jare R. Jason M. Max K. Justin C. Chipper Chris O. Imani B. Kyle G. Joel M. Patrick M.

50m 50m 50m 50m 50m 25w 25w 25w 50m 50m 50m 50m 50m 50m 50m 50m 50m 50m 50m 50m SBT

3rd 5th 3rd 4th 4th P 1st 2nd 6th 4th 4th 2nd 4th 1st 2nd 1st 3rd 6th 3rd P 2nd


TJ = Turbo Jav

P = Participant Ribbon

1st 100m 3rd 3rd 100m 1st 4th 100m 4th 100m 3rd 1st 100m 2nd 3rd 50w P 4th 5th 3rd 2nd 100m 4th 4th 1st SBT 1st th 4 100m 4th st 1 100m 1st 4th 100m 2nd 1st 100m 3rd nd 2 100m 5th th 4 100m 2nd rd 3 100m 1st rd 3 100m 3rd nd 2 7

4885 Route 9 • P.O. Box 367 Staatsburg, NY 12580-0367 Ph: 845-889-4034

UPCOMING EVENTS Anderson Center and the Hudson Valley Renegades host the

3rd Annual Autism Awareness Day July 2, 2011, with special guest Darryl Strawberry. Tickets are available to purchase by visiting and entering the password andersoncenter.

10th Annual Gala October 1, 2011, at The Grandview in Poughkeepsie, NY We are pleased to announce our 2011 V.V. Anderson Award Recipients: Mr. & Mrs. Jeffrey and Tondra Lynford The Good Dog Foundation Please join us as we honor them. For details, participation and sponsorship information, or to register, please contact Noel Crotone at 845-889-9208.

Save the Date! 8

Spring 2011 Newsletter - Anderson Center for Autism  

The Anderson School for Autism Spring 2011 Newsletter

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