Wings for Autism Takes Flight

wWaving on plane

Oftentimes, visiting the airport can be unpleasant to say the least. For children with autism, the long lines, constant noise, and other stimuli can be completely overwhelming and make travel impossible. To help combat this, on April 18 AHRC New York City took part in the Arc of the United States’ Wings for Autism program at LaGuardia Airport.

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Wings for Autism is an airport “rehearsal” specially designed for individuals with autism spectrum disorders, their families, and airline professionals. The program is intended to reduce some of the stress that families who have a child with autism experience when traveling by air. Families from AHRC NYC’s school age programs arrived at LaGuardia at noon, and proceeded to get their own boarding passes, go through security, and even get on an airplane!

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This was very exciting!Andrew Winfrey, Principal of AHRC NYC’s Middle High School, said. “And it’s been really helpful to a lot of the parents. The airport staff was very helpful and made us feel welcome. We helped a lot of families be able to travel and have trips.

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Taking Nicholas out in public, it’s always questionable how he’ll behave,Ray Ferrigno, Third Vice President of AHRC NYC’s Board of Directors, said. “So to go into a novel setting like this and have it run so smoothly is wonderful. I really want to thank Homeland Security and Delta for treating us so well.

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AHRC NYC thanks the following for their efforts in organizing and facilitating this rehearsal, for all of the support that they have provided to families: Joanne Feltman of LaGuardia Airport, Guy Lainis and Veda Simmons of the Transportation and Security Administration, the staff of Delta Airlines, The Arc of the United States, and the staff of AHRC NYC’s Educational Services.

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(photos above: Families – AHRC NYC Staff – LaGuardia Airport Staff)

cbs SHOT

Additionally, CBS2 News came and documented the day’s events! You can view the video below:

Grab Your Passports! BBF Students Learn about Countries Around the World

On Tuesday, December 16, 2014, the students of Brooklyn Blue Feather Elementary School‘s Class 216 took a trip around the world! During this quarter of the school year, in Collaborative Speech class, teachers, Jennifer DeLorenzoBehavior Trainer, and Erin Goldfarb,Speech Therapist, focused on the social studies unit: Geography and Early Peoples of the Western Hemisphere. Students were introduced to the topic by learning about the long geologic history that created the environment as it exists today, (including plate tectonics,) which led to learning about the various countries and regions that call the western hemisphere home.


Each of the eight students chose one country or region to research, for a project that would culminate in a presentation to school staff and classmates.  The students used a variety of resources to look up information: encyclopedia, books, the internet, and personal interviews.

Students then completed an assignment in which they wrote down all the information they had learned, and they each created a poster board to about their chosen country/region to use during their presentations. As the students made their presentations to their peers, each received a pleasing applause! To conclude the unit, students each made a passport, complete with their photos, and traveled around the world – to each of their peers poster boards, to learn about other countries from their classmates. Each student collected three facts that they had learned about each country, and upon presenting those facts to their teacher, they received a stamp of approval on their passport, allowing them to continue their travels to the next country!

October Reminders: Brooklyn Blue Feather Elementary

Here are a few quick reminders for parents of students attending Brooklyn Blue Feather Elementary School, (BBF):

  • October 13  – school is closed
  • October 16 – PTO meeting.  AHRC New York City’s Director of Advocacy ServicesPaul Hutchinson will be discussing advocacy with parents of BBF students.  Please call (718) 834-0597 for more information about this event.
  • October 23 – half day of school – early dismissal
  • During the week of October 6th – BBF will invite a fireman to visit the school to teach students about fire safety measures, in celebration of Fire Prevention Week.
  • October 31 – BBF’s Halloween celebration