On Wednesday, February 5, the College of Education and Human Services student organizations Kappa Delta Pi National Honor Society (KDP) and the School Psychology Leadership Association of Seton Hall (SPLASH) co-sponsored a presentation on autism titled: "Changing Lives of Children with Autism in Urban Communities." The guest presenter was Nadine Wright-Arbubakrr, the proud mother of a young man with autism. The presentation began with an introduction by Ms. Caroline Gartley, M.A., BCBA, treasurer of KDP, and what followed was a deeply moving account of Nadine's struggles fighting for special education services for her son, Nassan. She quickly realized that if she was having problems securing resources others must be experiencing the same hardships.
Nadine understood that educating and making the public aware of the lack of programs for children with Autism in inner city communities was the first step in fighting for funding and resources. Nadine explained that the creation of Nassan's Place was a labor of love providing low cost services for this group of youngsters and their families. Nadine shared with her audience that New Jersey has the highest rate of autism in the country (1 child out of 34) and that more children will be diagnosed with autism this year than AIDS, diabetes and cancer combined.
She also talked about the many outreach programs Nassan's Place is involved in including the holiday toy drive, the 5-K walk, sensory friendly movie days, and the $5 challenge, to name a few. The presentation concluded with a heartfelt thank you to the future teachers, school psychology counselors, school psychologists, and ABA professionals for their continued journey in aiding the students with Autism and other disabilities. She encouraged those interested to become involved either through volunteering or donations to help Nassan's Place continue its mission of providing low cost services to children and their families affected by Autism.