The Oswego County Autism Task Force consists of a special group of people who have come together with the sole purpose of helping the residents of Oswego County who are touched by Autism Spectrum Disorder by making it easier to find necessary information and by increasing autism awareness.  The task force came about in 2005 when a small group of caring parents and professionals recognized a need for information and awareness directly related to autism.  The core group reached out to others until the Board consisted of a balanced representative collection of people; these members were parents of autistic children, school psychologists, teachers, social service providers, therapists, a psychologist to name a few.  The goal is to keep the board diverse in it’s make-up in an attempt to look at the whole picture of autism from multiple view points.

The Task Force at once started brain storming and creating a web site where parents, autistic individuals, physicians and other professionals could go to find information and resources directly related to autism as well as readily available to Oswego County residents.  It was obvious that there were numerous avenues of services and therapies but they do our local residents little good if they are not available in our region.  This website, still under construction, is the second for the Oswego County Autism Task Force.  Our first website was up and running for about 2 years; this “new and improved” website  will make it even easier to access the information you are looking for and therefore make one thing a bit easier in your life!  For instance, did you know that there is a dentist in Liverpool that works a great deal with the autistic community or perhaps your child is on a gluten free diet and you don’t know where to buy the ingredients for their favorite food.  We hope that we can make life a little easier by helping you find the information that you need.

The Autism Task Force is also very proud to host the Annual Autism Awareness Walk every April.  It has grown from a small walk of a couple hundred people inside the armory gym to hundreds and hundreds walking and cheering along the high school track.  We have games and crafts and entertainers and more.  It is a happy day where people come out to show their support for autism and where families can meet and bond.  It’s quite a fun day and many friendships have developed year after year.  We hope to see you there too!  Watch the website for dates and times as we come closer to April.

Like most organizations the composition of the membership evolves and is ever-changing.  For that simple fact of life we are saddened to report that several members of our task force have recently left our group.  Reasons vary; life changes, jobs change, responsibilities change.  No matter the reason we with them good luck and good fortune in all that they do.  Their dedication and enthusiasm toward bettering the lives of those affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder is Oswego county is unparalleled.  We would like to wish the best to Julie Chetney, Lisa Petrocci-Clay, Cathyrn R. O’Brien and Darci Powers. Thanks to Julie Chetney for volunteering to remain in capacity of committee chair for our annual autism awareness walk and family fun day.  No one could do it better!!  Salute!

In keeping with the boards core tenet of diversity amongst our members we ask that each individual leaving make an effort to suggest a replacement that comes from similar perspective toward ASD.  For instance if a parent leaves we ask they recommend another parent to take their place, the same for the educators and the service providers.  If there is no one that they feel comfortable recommending then the board as a group will seek out an individual that would fit the same criteria.  If you would be interested in being on our waiting list for a future board position please let us know by e-mailing us at oswegoautism@yahoo.com

At this time we are very excited to introduce some of our new board members….

THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE OSWEGO COUNTY AUTISM TASK FORCE

Sabine Ingerson is the Director of ARISE, a Center for Independent Living, in Oswego County. She has worked for this agency for 12 years.  Sabine earned her Master’s Degree  in Nutrition and Food Sciences in Germany. As a parent of a child with a disability she has been interested in increasing the options for families in this county.  Along with other services she has developed support groups for children with disabilities as well as their siblings, social skills trainings, and parent groups. Presently she is a member of the Oswego County DD Subcommittee, Oswego County Multiple Disabilities Committee, Steering Committee of the Literacy Coalition, COACH, Bridges Coalition, Fair Housing Council,  Vision Network and the Transportation Coalition.  She is a member of Rotary Internatonal and Zonta. Sabine and her husband reside in Oswego.  They have three grown children.

 

 

 

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Denise McDougall is the Program Director at Little Lukes Childcare Center. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Literature and Writing and Pre-K through 6 Teacher Certification at SUNY Potsdam. She brings to the Task Force nine years of experience teaching at the early childhood and elementary levels and five years experience at Little Lukes working in an integrated preschool setting having a substantial population of children with autism. McDougall, her husband and their son are residents of Oswego County.

 


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Tammy Thompson

Tammy Thompson is the Director of Programs for children with Special  Needs at the Oswego County Health Department.  She earned a Bachelor  Degree from South Dakota State University.  Thompson is in several organizations supporting children and families.  She serves on the Youth Bureau Board of  Directors as Vice Chair Person, Past Vice President of Parents of Special Children, Head  Start Special Services Advisory Committee, OCO’s Youth and Family Services Advisory  Committee, Early Childhood Direction Center Advisory Committee, Rural  Health Network Advisory Committee, Chair of the Curriculum Committee  for Leadership Oswego County and the Child Care Council Advisory  Committee.  She serves on the Oswego County Autism Task Force as Co- Chair, member of the website subcommittee and community outreach sub committee. She brings to the Task Force her experience as  Administrator of the Early Intervention Program of Oswego County, 3-5  Preschool Special Education Program for the county, and the provider  of advocacy, information and referral for Children with Special Health  Care Needs Program.  Thompson, her husband, and their two children are residents of Oswego County.

 

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Theresa Familo

Theresa Familo is a parent of a son on the autism spectrum.  She currently is the Administrative Assistant, Educational Advocate and Family Resource Specialist at Parents of Special Children, Inc.  Familo earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Marketing from LeMoyne College.  She is an active member of the Hannibal community as well as the autism community as evidenced by her involvement in the Oswego County Autism Task Force, the Autism Society of America, OAR – Organization for Autism Research, previous Girl Scout Troop Leader for the Girl Scouts of Central New York, Religious Education Instructor and previous Home and School Association President in Hannibal.  Familo’s experience in the autism spectrum not only includes  parenting but also active involvement in her son’s educational experience by helping to bring in speakers to her school district, advocating for her son and other children with autism  and attending numerous training and educational workshops related to the disorder.  She has also been instrumental in the development of the Autism Connections Group in which she facilitates family members in a supportive workshop/interactive atmosphere.  She is proud of the gains that her son has made in science, history, music and communication.  She is equally proud of her daughter for becoming a young advocate for those who are less abled and being active in the formation of a support group for siblings of children with Autism.   Familo and her husband along with their two children reside in the Hannibal school district area.

 

 

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Karen Atutis

Karen Atutis is the Program Director at Pemberton Associates.  She is a graduate of Ithaca College and serves on the Oswego County Autism Task Force.  Atutis brings with her over 20 years of pediatric experience as a Physical Therapist.  She has received advanced training and is certified in Therapeutic Listening and the READY Approach.  She is also SIPT Certified.  Atutis and her husband are the proud parents of two children and reside in Oswego County.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Karen Delaney

Karen Delaney is the mother of teenage twins; one of which is autistic.  She has an BA in Sociology from SUNY Oswego and an AAS in Nursing from Cayuga Community.  Both degrees have served her well.  Delaney worked for 23 years at Oswego Hospital in various capacities such as Nursing Supervisor, Operating Room Nurse and Pediatric Senior RN. In more recent years Delaney has worked as a Reading First Aide with the Oswego City School District; her concentration is assisting children that are struggling with early reading concepts and skills.  Mrs. Delaney’s son has made great gains over the years due to a comprehensive educational experience, a structured life style and multiple exposures to services such as hippo therapy, sensory integration clinic, music therapy, medication and bio-medical interventions to name a few.  The Delaney’s are pleased at their children’s recent successful integration into the high school setting and are preparing for the journey into adulthood with their two very individual children.  Mrs. Delaney, her husband and two children live in Oswego.

 

 

 

 

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Pictures pending for:

Dr. Beth Jordan,OTD, MSOTR/L

Sue Squires, Early Intervention Educator

Linda Stummer, Special Programs Teacher Consultant

Susan Obleman, parent representative

and Rebecca Warren –

Rebecca Warren is a Medicaid Service Coordinator for ARC of Oswego County serving children ages 3-21 with special needs and their families in the areas of advocacy, linkage and referral. She earned her Bachelors Degree from SUNY Empire State College in Child and Family Services subsequent to earning an Associates Degree from Onondaga Community College in Early Childhood Education. She serves on the Task Force on the Publicity Committee. Rebecca and her husband are residents of Oswego County and had their first child October 2012.