AMI CNY: Autism & Mental Health Initiative in Central New York

In 2018, Samantha and Christina, two moms of children on the autism spectrum with mental health challenges, joined forces to give voice to a need in our community.  When children on the spectrum need a child psychiatrist, the choices are slim in Central New York.  There are not nearly enough of these specialists in outpatient settings, and local parents are resorting to several options when seeking medication management for their children.  Medicating our children is not a decision we take lightly.  We believe that trained professionals in the field of psychiatry should be the ones prescribing and managing those medications.  However, not all child psychiatrists have expertise in understanding treatment for those on the autism spectrum.  Some children use limited verbal communication or are nonverbal.  Some primary care physicians are prescribing in a pinch when our children are seen in emergency room settings and have prescriptions going forward.  Some developmental pediatricians are prescribing because they are familiar with our children’s challenges, but again, they are not psychiatrists.

Access For All: Autism Mental Health Initiative

Access For All: Autism Mental Health Initiative

When our children have a psychiatric emergency, the options are even more limited if an inpatient hospital stay is needed.  There are currently no inpatient hospital programs in our state which adequately serve children with a developmental disability plus a mental health diagnosis.  So, one of two things happens: an emergency room keeps the child until they are transferred to an appropriate hospital (often out of state), or the family goes home to weather the storm and get on a wait list of a proper inpatient program.  Neither of these options is acceptable.

The Autism Mental Health Initiative of Central New York, AMI of CNY, is committed to the improvement of both the outpatient and inpatient settings of child psychiatry services for children in Central New York.  We are listening to our local legislators, and asking them to look to us.  We have a Facebook group where parents of dually diagnosed children and young adults can share information and find comfort in each other’s daily victories and challenges.  If this is an issue close to your heart, please reach out and take part in this local effort with us!

Creativity Expo 2019

Creativity Expo 2019

We’re celebrating autistic people during the month of April with our first Creativity Expo. In partnership with ArtSurge, a program of ARC of Onondaga, we’ve created a fun family and disability friendly event for our community. Families and individuals are invited to take part in hands on activities including dance lessons, painting, and music.

Caregivers are invited to relax and take part in the self-care workshops that will be offered alongside day’s activities. We want everyone to have a great time while highlighting autism acceptance and cultivating the creative talents of autistic people. Registration and volunteer information is available at Creativity Expo.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

9:00AM-10:00AM Check-in

10:00AM-2:00PM Workshops

1342 Lancaster Ave

Syracuse, NY 13210

Resilient CNY Awarded "What If..." Grant

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Sanchia A Callender, Inc is excited to announce that we’ve been awarded a “What It…” mini-grant by the Gifford Foundation! The grant supports the Resilient CNY program and our work with the Syracuse City School District’s Parent University.

Throughout the 2018-2019 school year we are providing monthly workshops engaging the community in recognizing and addressing the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences. This work is vital to equipping our community to be one that is vibrant and thriving.

We are grateful to the Gifford Foundation and our Resilient CNY partners for investing in the health and well being of our community through organization.

See the full schedule of workshops and events linked below.

Why ACEs, Trauma, & Resilience?

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) cause trauma that affects health and education. Trauma shows up as behavior in and out of the classroom. By using ACEs to identify sources of trauma we build resilient students and families leading to academic success.

Resilient CNY and Parent University Support Families and Students

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Resilience: The Biology of Stress and The Science of Hope chronicles the birth of a new movement among pediatricians, therapists, educators and communities, who are using cutting-edge brain science to disrupt cycles of violence, addiction and disease.

Join us for the free screening of this film Tuesday, November 13, 2018 5:30pm at Syracuse Stage. A panel of education, health, mental health, social services, law enforcement, and community leaders will discuss the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) in their fields and what steps the Syracuse, NY community can take to address these issues.


The film screening is only the beginning. Each month during the school year, December to June, Resilient CNY is offering family engagement workshops and discussions through Syracuse City School District’s Parent University.

Why ACEs, Trauma, and Resilience? Adverse Childhood Experiences cause trauma that affects health and education. This trauma shows up as behavior in and out of the classroom. By using ACEs to identify and address sources of trauma we build resilient students and families leading to academic success.

Community Crafting Debut

Starting this November! We provide a fun relaxed environment for families living with autism and related conditions to explore their creativity together. Arts and crafts are a favorite pass time for many. We created this opportunity so families can share the fun together.

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The Women’s Information Center at 601 Allen St, Syracuse, NY 13210 are our hosts every second Saturday of the month starting November 10, 2018. Join us for the debut of our Community Crafting program from to 2:00pm-4:00pm. Let us know you’re coming so we can be ready!

Volunteers who donate their time and resources make our work possible.

Donate

Compassion and integrity combat abuse and neglect

People with developmental disabilities are abused, neglected, and die at alarming rates in residential care. This is illustrated by WNYC reporter Audrey Quinn’s radio report that aired August 4, 2018, Trapped: Abuse and neglect in private care. Incidents such as these are why Sanchia.org values service delivered with compassion and integrity.

People with developmental disabilities deserve to be treated with respect and compassion in every circumstance. Staff tasked with caring for people with developmental disabilities deserve to be trained and supported at high ethical and professional standards in recognition of the value of their service. Families, individuals, and the staff who support them deserve a system that operates with integrity that is ever diligent in rooting out abuse, neglect, and holding perpetrators accountable.

The lives of vulnerable people housed in group homes and other residential settings are worth more than the government dollars attached to them. Their lives are worth the commitment to delivering service with compassion and integrity. At Sanchia.org we are committed to helping families and individuals understand their rights while advocating for systems that value compassion and integrity in delivering high quality service to people with developmental disabilities.

Autism and Mental Health Work Group

Had our first policy work group today discussing bringing families, individuals, and advocacy groups together to raise awareness of the needs of people who live with autism and mental health challenges. We'll be reaching out to more families and local advocacy groups in the coming months to create a unified focus on the needs of the dual diagnosed community.