Family Support Workshops and Services

Additional services and supports offered by AHRC that may be of help to you and your family member with a developmental delay are:

Respite Services

For family members of an individual with a developmental disability such as autism, accomplishing many day-to-day activities and responsibilities – going to the doctor, seeing the dentist, making trips to the market, and simply doing some relaxing – present a serious challenge.  The dilemma: who will take care of my family member with a disability when I need to attend to my necessary chores or when I to take a break?  Who can be trusted to undertake this job?

And, for the individual, what is there to do after school, extracurricular programs, on weekends, and during vacations?  Are there activities that persons with disabilities can engage in that will make life more fulfilling and enjoyable?

To help address these important quality-of-life questions, AHRC NYC offers a variety of respite services to families of individuals with disabilities such as ASD.  Our respite services give caregivers a much-deserved break while enriching the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities who engage in meaningful and enjoyable activities.  The following are the respite services provided by AHRC NYC:

AHRC Summer Sleep-Away Camps

Camp is a wonderful opportunity for individuals with developmental disabilities to have an enjoyable summer vacation away from the city while also providing a chance for families of the individuals to take a break from the responsibilities of caregiving.

Educational Advocacy

To assist you in obtaining the education services to which your child is entitled, AHRC provides free consultations from an experienced team of advocates who understand the sometimes complex decisions in special education.  AHRC’s team of advocates can help with service provision, student placement, IEP development, and many other challenging and sometimes contentious decisions that have to be made by parents of children with developmental disabilities and ASD.

Home Care Services

To assist families of children with developmental disabilities such as autism with health related issues, AHRC NYC offers a wide range of home-based services.

Sibling Services

The brothers and sisters of persons with disabilities such as autism can often benefit from professional guidance and peer support.  Sometimes we fail to recognize the challenges that siblings face within families of individuals with developmental disabilities.  AHRC wants to ensure that they receive the attention they need to lead happy, fulfilling lives while they concurrently offer exceptional support to their family member with a disability.  The following services are offered by AHRC:

  • Sibshops: these are activity-based events for brothers and sisters ages 5-13 which provide professionally guided opportunities for peer support and education
  • Adult Sibling Support Group: the group meets at the AHRC NYC main office on Maiden Lane once a month—call the main office to learn the exact timing
  • Adult Sibling Book Discussion Group: for siblings 18 and up, this group meets for monthly brunches to discuss books related to sibling and disability issues and experiences – the group is run by adult siblings of individuals with disabilities
  • AHRC Sibling Network: this monthly update keeps members informed of group discussions and upcoming events, meetings, and programs
  • Counseling and Consultation Services: these services include individual, couple, group, and family counseling regarding sibling-related issues
  • Resources for Siblings: made available is a variety of information related to sibling needs including bibliographies for children and adults, articles, curriculum guides and information for parents
  • SIB: the Sibling Information Bulletin (SIB) is a publication of the Sibling Committee of the AHRC Board of Directors that is periodically published and provides in depth information on issues of interest to adult siblings of individuals with disabilities

Sibling Services are offered at sites throughout the five NYC boroughs, although most are provided only at the lower Manhattan AHRC main office at 83 Maiden Lane—please call for details.  The services can be made available to brothers and sisters of individuals with developmental disabilities regardless of whether their family member with a disability receives services through AHRC NYC.  Children must be registered in advance for Sibshops while adult siblings can obtain information about upcoming events and scheduled meetings by placing their names on the mailing list.  To register or to obtain information about Sibling Services, call the Sibling Services Coordinator at 212-780-2592.

Family Education Services

AHRC runs family education sessions on a variety of topics of great interest to families of individuals with developmental disabilities from September through June. Topics range from information on how to obtain Waiver services to stress management for caretakers.