Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Day Hab Celebrates Women’s Suffrage

In March, the Day Hab women’s group recognized Women’s History Month and learned about a lot of influential women through the ages.  Following right after February’s Black History Month, this time of year it is always good to remember that women and people of color did not always have the right to vote and struggled to be recognized as eligible citizens.  To practice this right, we made sure that everyone in the program (men and women!) had the opportunity to register to vote.  We completed the paper forms and mailed them in, but there are several ways to register.  See to find out how to get registered today.

To celebrate Women’s History, print out these coloring pages (great for both adults and children) that we created in Day Hab:

Portrait of Etta James

Votes For Women Poster
 We Can Do It Poster

Day Hab Celebrates Volunteers

On Friday, March 23, the Day Habilitation program had a ceremony to recognize the participants who have been working hard all year at their volunteer jobs in the community.  This has been an exciting year for our volunteers, as we have three new volunteer sites: the Glass Garden at NYU’s Rusk Institute for Rehabilitation Medicine, the 125th Street Branch of the New York Public Library, and the soup kitchen at St. Paul and Andrews Church.  These new opportunities have been great learning experiences for our groups, who also continue to volunteer at Encore City Meals on Wheels twice a week.  Jeanie Cameron, Encore’s Volunteer Coordinator, came and shared some words at the ceremony and recognized our program for its long-standing dedication to volunteering.  Each of our volunteers received an award for their hard work and a few of them shared their inspirations with the audience.  See our photo album on Facebook. Congratulations to the following volunteers:

Corey A.
Carlos B.
Trish B.
Terri B.
Vanessa D.
James F.
Kenneth F.
Jose F.
Jose H.
Ivan L.
Joseph N.
Lee P.
Armando P.
Emmanuel S.
Tyrone T.
Barbara V.
William V.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Spotlight on Sinergia's Autism Initiative

April is National Autism Awareness Month but for Sinergia's Autism Spectrum Disorder Initiative it's a year round process. The program began in 2008 with funding from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH). Its aim is to provide outreach to underserved families of children with autism, particularly Latino parents who are not proficient in English. The project provides outreach, information dissemination, workshops and support groups.

Autism is a complex brain disorder that inhibits a person's ability to communicate and develop social relationships, and is often accompanied by extreme behavioral challenges. Autism spectrum disorders affect four times as many boys as girls. The diagnosis of autism has increased tenfold in the last decade. On March 29, 2012 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that the prevalence of children in the United States with autism has increased. The newly-released statistics suggest one in 88 children have an Autism Spectrum Disorder, up from one in 110 in 2009. The CDC has called autism a national public health crisis whose cause and cure remain unknown.

Zachary Warren, Ph.D., director of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center’s Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders at Vanderbilt University, stresses the need for effective, early identification and treatment of autism. “The new CDC data is the best evidence we have to date that autism is a very common disorder. While recent estimates have varied, we have always known the individual, familial, educational and societal costs that go along with autism are tremendous,” Warren said. “We are now seeing autism in more than 1 percent of the population, which highlights how challenging it will be for systems of care to meet service needs.”

For more information on Sinergia's Autism Initiative contact Gina Pena-Campodonico at 212-643-2840 ext. 305. 

Additional reading:
USA Today: As Autism becomes more common, doctors say check early
Fox: Autism Rates Higher Among Latino Children, CDC Finds
CNN: Searching for the why behind rising autism rate