Autism Awareness MonthApril 1

April is World Autism Awareness Month, which is recognized and celebrated by countries around the world by people with autism, as well as their family, friends, and advocates, in addition to healthcare workers and organizations who support the wellbeing of those with autism. Throughout the month, people come together to host events, talks, and activities about autism and the strengths and challenges of being neurodivergent in a neurotypical world. Autism, and the autism spectrum, affect the ways in which children and adults learn, communicate, and behave. Because autism presents itself differently in each child, from nonverbal communication to sensory issues and problem solving skills, it takes time and patience to understand the needs of a child with autism and to develop supports for them. Early intervention is often key to a child’s lifelong development, which is where programs like the Tom Golisano Center for Autism at The School at Springbrook can make a positive difference in a child’s life.

You can show your support for a friend or family member through the month of April by wearing the color blue or the Autism Awareness Puzzle Ribbon!

April 2Autism Awareness Month

World Autism Awareness Day celebrates the strength of those affected by autism and supports the causes that promote awareness of autism. Children in schools around the world are educated about autism and encouraged to be understanding and accepting.

Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), is a vast range of conditions characterized by challenges with repetitive behaviors, social skills, speech, and nonverbal communication. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), autism affects an estimated 1 in 44 American children today.

Autism awareness is near and dear to our hearts at Springbrook. We are dedicated to providing opportunities for students and all people who choose our services to build the skills they need to foster meaningful connections with their families and the world around them. We do this in many ways but we want to highlight two of our programs that offer unique services for those with autism: The Golisano Center for Autism and Self-Directed Services.

Self-Direction gives people the opportunity to choose their own services. When people self-direct their services with Springbrook, they have the flexibility to choose the right support, the staff they want to work with, and a schedule that works best. Self-Direction gives people more control over how they want to run their own life. Springbrook is New York State’s leading SDS provider with over 15 years of experience helping individuals and their families to build the life they want.

For more information about Springbrook Self-Directed Services click here!

The Golisano Center for Autism is New York’s premier program for young people with a primary diagnosis of autism. The highly specialized Applied Behavior Analysis program bridges home and school to enable students to become as independent as possible using a data-driven approach to behavioral change. Our behavior specialists and Board Certified Behavior Analysts are embedded into the daily operations of the program, guiding staff members and ensuring that students safe and effective programming. We focus on helping students communicate their needs in appropriate, individualized, and effective ways. Our team approach to teaching ensures that each student in our program experiences triumphs and achieves educational and personal goals. We work to give our students the skills they need to foster meaningful connections with their families and the world around them.

For more information about the Tom Golisano Center for Autism click here.

For more information about World Autism Awareness Day click here

April 5

National Public Health WeekDuring the first full week of April each year, communities come together from all across the United States to observe National Public Health Week. #NPHW is a time to recognize the contributions of public health and highlight issues that are important to improving our nation. In celebration of National Public Health Week, we would like to highlight the importance of Direct Support Professionals and the benefits of passing the Recognizing the Role of Direct Support Professionals Act. This bill recognizes the unique role DSPs play in supporting people with disabilities and raises awareness about critical workforce shortages. Using our one-click platform linked below, please take action and reach out to your New York State Congressman or Woman to demand that they sign on to the Recognizing the Role of Direct Support Professionals Act. Public health care starts with healthcare workers, so please help us advocate for DSPs across New York State!

Click this link for more information on the Recognizing the Role of Direct Support Professionals Act:…/house-bill/4779/cosponsors…

Click this link to send a message to our legislatures:

April 6

Autism Awareness Month Since 1992, Stress Awareness Month happens each April. Stress can be debilitating and is so powerful that it can cause other health conditions. Nobody is immune to stress. This is why, as part of Autism Awareness month and #WellnessWednesday, Springbrook is highlighting stress. Stress can affect people across all communities, including those with intellectual and developmental disabilities such as autism, who may be more vulnerable to stressful situations. According to an article cited in the National Library of Medicine, “Mounting evidence for stress and trauma as a risk factor for comorbidity and the worsening of core [autism spectrum disorder] ASD symptoms may intimate a shift in the way clinical practitioners conceptualize and approach work with this population to include trauma-focused assessment strategies and clinical interventions.” Many people with autism stim, although stimming varies a lot among individuals. Stimming is a repetitive or unusual body movement or noise that a person with autism uses to cope with various emotions like excitement, anxiety, anger, fear, AND stress.

Effecting not only residents and students, DSPs deal with stressful situations on a daily basis. We also realize you feel stress, whether it is work, family issues, or just daily life. We all experience stress in very different ways. Because of this, there is no definitive definition for stress, but the American Institute of Stress states it is a “physical, mental, or emotional strain or tension.”

Here are some tips that come via the CDC that may help you cope with stress:

  • Stay healthy – eat healthy foods, exercise in some form daily, get plenty of rest, and take a break if you feel overwhelmed.
  • Discuss your problems with someone you trust.
  • Do not turn to drugs and alcohol.
  • Try to recognize when you need professional help from a psychologist, counselor or social worker.

Springbrook is dedicated to creating a healthy and happy community in its service area and beyond. We also provide a wide variety of support programs, such as The School at Springbrook’s Tom Golisano Center for Autism. The Golisano Program employs behavior specialists and Board Certified Behavior Analysts that are embedded into the daily operations of the program, guiding staff members and ensuring that children receive safe and effective support.

April 9

Autism Spectrum Disorders Advisory Board MeetingThis #SituationSaturday we are sharing a meeting reminder from the Office of People With Developmental Disabilities. The next Autism Spectrum Disorders Advisory Board Meeting is on Tuesday, April 12, 2022, from 3 pm to 5 pm via WebEx.

If you are interested in attending the meeting please use this WebEx link here.

The Autism Spectrum Disorders Advisory Board was created in November of 2016 to help provide guidance and information to New York policymakers, individuals with an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis (ASD), and families seeking reliable information regarding available services and supports. The Members of the Board are tasked with several important duties including: studying and reviewing the effectiveness of supports and services currently being provided to people diagnosed with Autism Spectrum disorders; identifying legislative and regulatory activity which may be required to improve existing service systems that support people diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders; identifying methods for improving interagency coordination of services and maximizing the impact and effectiveness of services and agency functions; and, other matters as deemed appropriate by the Board.

For a full schedule of public meetings from the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities please visit this link here.

April 12

Take A Look Tuesday Autism Awareness MonthDuring Autism Awareness month we are highlighting students from The School at Springbrook’s Tom Golisano Center for Autism who are curating friendships, working hard to achieve their dreams, and living life to the fullest! Today we are recognizing Ryan, who is currently working on a variety of skills to aid him in becoming as independent as possible. Each morning, Ryan collects the attendance for The School at Springbrook. Starting with his classroom, Ryan will travel to all three levels of the school to retrieve the attendance of his peers. On the side of each classroom door, a teacher will leave the attendance count for the day. Some teachers even pop their heads out to say “Hello” to Ryan as he walks by. Once the attendance is collected for each classroom, Ryan will swiftly make copies for the nursing department and the school cafeteria. He then emails copies to the necessary school staff. Ryan finishes his task by hand delivering the hard copies to the cafeteria and the nursing department. Next year, Ryan hopes to be working in the community.

Ryan’s dream is to work outside of Springbrook doing tasks such as breaking down boxes, shipping items, collecting carts, or being a greeter at a local store! With his growing skills and determination Ryan is on track to accomplish his goals! We are looking forward to seeing what Ryan will accomplish next!

April 16

Today we acknowledge National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD), which “exists to inspire, educate and empower the public and providers about the importance of advance care planning”. NHDD was created to encourage patients to express their desires by advocating for their rights regarding healthcare and for providers and healthcare facilities to respect those desires, whatever they may be. One key way that a person can guarantee their wishes will be respected, and that their healthcare needs will be met when they need it most, is by completing a health care proxy and advance directive. It is important to start a conversation about your health care needs and wishes with yourself and your loved ones. One place that you can get started is at The Conversation Project (

Springbrook is a leading advocate for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities and this means upholding the rights of every person who receives our services in making decisions about their health care now through the end of their life and beyond.

Please watch this video and learn about what rights, including the right to make healthcare decisions, are GUARANTEED!

April 19

William Dancing 1April is Autism Awareness month and is a perfect time to introduce you to William. William Hein is a new student of The Golisano Center for Autism. Since William joined his classroom he has helped introduce weekly yoga routines, daily dance breaks, and has developed friendships with students outside of his classroom. Developing new relationships is challenging for many people. For William, who has autism, this potential challenge became a great opportunity.

At the request of his mother, William was reassessed and moved from Springbrook’s GEMS Program to the Golisano program, where his academic progress and peer relations have improved. He now speaks beyond a whisper, is getting along well with his peers, and has forged a strong bond with Joseph, a student from another Golisano classroom. Gaining and maintaining this friendship has been equally important to William’s communication and skill-building, as much as his academic abilities. Every day—and sometimes multiple times a day—William and Joseph meet in Williams’s classroom during their break time to dance. When Joseph knocks at the door, it signals a break for everyone; a teacher then brings out the music. Joseph picks a song. Then, dancing erupts. William and Joseph dance together and students and teachers alike join the party. Not only has this friendship between William and Joseph fostered comradery between the two, but it brings joy to everyone in the classroom.

Please visit the below blog and learn about Autism Awareness and then head over to the Tom Golisano Center for Autism webpage and learn how they work with students to help them reach their full potential. #Autism #WAAM #WorldAutismAwarenessMonth #SpringbrookNY

April 26

Autism Awareness Month Walker SPCADuring Autism Awareness month we are highlighting students from the School at Springbrook’s Tom Golisano Center for Autism who are curating friendships, working hard to achieve their dreams, and living life to the fullest! Today we are recognizing Walker, who is currently volunteering at the Susquehanna Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA). Walker has been volunteering at the Susquehanna SPCA since September 2021. He is working on becoming more comfortable with animals specifically dogs and cats. Walker’s mother is in the process of opening an animal kennel and hopes that Walker will be able to work with her after he graduates from The School at Springbrook in four years. Walker helps the Susquehanna SPCA by cleaning windows and doors, sweeping the facility, and socializing with dogs and cats that are waiting for adoption. Walker was afraid of the animals before coming to the shelter. Now, he is more comfortable with the animals and enjoys petting the dogs and playing with the cats and kittens. This opportunity is not only great for Walker, but also for the animals with whom he interacts. The more time the animals get to play and socialize the better it is for them. We are excited to see Walker continue to grow more comfortable with the animals he interacts with, and to see all of his amazing future accomplishments!

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