Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Surf For All

On June 23, 2014 Sinergia took seventeen children with disabilities and families and several adults from our Day Program surfing at Long Beach, Long Island.  The event was hosted by a non- profit organization, Surf For All that promotes surfing for children and adults with developmental disabilities. It is truly inspiring to see how the children and adults benefit from this activity.

The instructors were led by Cliff Skudin. All the surfing instructors  are first rate and lovingly took out people on the surf boards, including one child who uses a wheel chair and an individual who is blind with  intellectual disabilities.

Thanks also to  lifeguard chief Paul Gallespi and Bryant Brattish.  The trust that the participants  exhibited as they faced and felt the waves is remarkable and a tribute to the fine instructors of Surf For All.  The participants all received caps, sweatshirts and wrist bands.

The citizens of Long Beach have opened their a
rms and hearts to Sinergia. After the surfing, the group was led to Gino's Pizza by police escort and patrolwomen Kelly Graham presented toy police badges, coloring books and crayons to the children.

We thank Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg, Len Torres, all the instructors and the police Department of Long Beach for making this a memorable occasion.

There will be two more surfing events in July 21 and August 18.  If your family is interested in attending either date, please contact Godfrey Rivera, 212-643-2840.  First come first served.

Autism Arts Program

The Autism Initiative Program operated a special project that   offered workshops, resources and a support group to parents of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) Paola Jordan, the coordinator established a collaboration with the Healing Arts Initiative (HAI) that provides arts programming  to schools and  non-profit organizations.  The 12-week program met weekly from March 11 through June 3, 2014.
The art program enabled children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and their parents, opportunities to engage in an afterschool art project with the children designing and making their own puppets. Eight parents and their children participated in this art program; one mother stated "this will be the first time that I will participate in a therapeutic activity with my son rather than waiting next door while the therapist does her work".  The participation of the parents was a major component of the art program which reinforced the social and communication skills taught and which they could then put in practice in their homes.

The parents were encouraged to engage in the promotion and development of language and socials skills of
their children. A professional puppeteer created a variety of activities that lent themselves to these goals including storytelling, singing and other interactive activities. The parents enjoyed the opportunity to be engaged with their children as they worked together to create their puppets.
A video was produced of this program that will give you a good idea of the project and its intended outcomes.

Here is a link to the video on YouTube:

Sinergia's Autism Art program

A Day at the Beach

A day at the beach is always an uplifting and enjoyable experience. This trip to Orchard Beach is no exception. Pictured is the first outing that the Residential consumers had for the 2014 summer season. Blue skies, salty air and good friends were ingredients that made the day perfect for all who participated.

The residential program at Sinergia encourages individuals to take the opportunity to enjoy  natural and cultural experiences in order to lift their spirits and enrich their lives. The day was especially helpful in bringing consumers together so they could become more acquainted with one another. Everyday life keeps us all moving in different directions and the consumers also have a full day of programs, meetings and, doctor's appointments. An experience of nature and of community is the perfect remedy for the busy pace of life that the consumers can slip into while they grow toward their personal goals. Sinergia offers regular programs and experiences like this one
to enrich the lives of
participating consumers.

A Palace For One

The joy was contagious as the individual moved into this new apartment sponsored and operated by Sinergia. "The highest standard of dignity" would be the phrase to describe the norm for all of our residences. Most people say they would like to move into this palace-for-one when they see the pictures. While in his residence, the indivdual receives the best of supervised living care. Residential Habilitation Specialists provide hands on support for the consumer as well as implement the care plans that are carefully constructed by many specialists who are part of the Sinergia team.

Day Hab Volunteer Ceremony

On May 2nd, the Sinergia Day Habilitation program honored its dedicated volunteers.  Awards were presented to participants who regularly volunteer with our groups helping to prepare meals for the elderly at the St. Paul and Andrew's kitchen and with City Meals on Wheels.  One individual was also recognized for volunteering her assistance in the Sinergia office.  The Day Habilitation program is proud of the accomplishments of our Volunteers!  Each of them works hard to help others in need and simultaneously learns skills that help them move towards their personal goals of finding employment or finding new ways to be involved in their communities.

Common Sense Parenting

In May, the Metropolitan Parent Center had a special series of workshops that concerned parenting skills. The series was called Common Sense Parenting provided by the organization known as Boys Town NY. Common Sense Parenting is a practical, skill-based parenting program that focuses on strategies and easy-to-learn techniques that address issues of communication, discipline, decision making, relationships, and self-control and school success. The workshops were very interactive and allowed parents to learn, practice and demonstrate new parenting skills. Workshops included instruction by a professional parent trainer, watching and discussing video scenarios of parent and child communication and behaviors. Parents also had the opportunity to practice techniques and strategies by engaging in role playing to help parents understand and how to use the tools that were being offered. There were two sessions offered, one was held on Thursday evenings for English speaking parents and the other session was conducted on Friday mornings for Spanish-speaking parents.

The trainer, Ms. Gonzalez was very competent and engaging, she displayed a good sense of humor and conveyed the workshop content fluently in both languages.  In addition, materials (including a book and a workbook on parenting and food) were provided free of charge to the parents. The program was considered highly successful as indicated by parent feedback and program evaluations. Some parents were practicing some of the techniques they learned and stated that they were seeing positive changes in communicating with their children. The Metropolitan Parent Center will discuss with Boys Town the opportunity to offer this parent training program again during the upcoming school year. Please visit our Facebook page or the Sinergia calendar in the Fall to learn about the next scheduled parent training workshops.