NYC Nonprofit Supports Those with ASD
By Katelin Walling

NYC Nonprofit Supports Those with ASD

Autism  


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Atlas Foundation for Autism offers services, advocacy, support, and educational programs for children with autism spectrum disorder in New York City.

Formerly Emerge & See, Atlas Foundation for Autism is a nonprofit organization that offers programs, services, support, and advocacy for children with autism and their parents. Along with its new name and nonprofit status, Atlas Foundation for Autism moved to a larger location that will accommodate its new school.

“We were thinking with the name about the mythological element of carrying the world on our backs, and we wanted to be able to help people hold their own world up,” says Amanda Friedman, M.S.Ed., SBL, co-founder and director of student affairs. “We work really hard so our families get to rest easy, and we are open whenever the board of education is closed.”

Atlas offers speech and occupational therapies, educational enrichment, and open play programs for children. The educational enrichment programs are custom packages, in-home or at the center, that focus on academics, socialization, daily-living activities, and vocational skills for older clients. “We really believe in a very open-door policy. Families and caregivers are welcome to come in to observe, to participate throughout the day,” Friedman says.

Twice a month, Atlas hosts Open Play, when families can come with children on the spectrum to socialize in a sensory-safe environment where “autism is the norm,” Friedman says.

Atlas aims to open its private, nonprofit school in September, serving children ages 7-21 who are on the spectrum. The school will use a multi-strategic approach and individualized programs for each student. From 9am-4pm, students will participate in speech, occupational, and music therapy; a dramatic play program to encourage social skills; vocational practice; and a social connection period for students to initiate activities with each other.

Parents who are interested in enrolling their children at Atlas School should call to set up a meeting.


Above photo: Atlas Foundation for Autism encourages children with autism to connect with each other during social periods to form friendships.