PIONEERING THE FUTURE OF ADULT SERVICES Businesses created with Autism in mind

Written by Nicole Sugrue  |  15. June 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE PIONEERING THE FUTURE OF ADULT SERVICES Businesses created with Autism in mind Manhasset NY- June 15th 2011 It was a bright night for Autism as over 150 guests clad in white attire enjoyed 'A Night in White Summer Soiree'- an evening of fashion, food, and live entertainment to support Autism awareness and promote the desperate need for adult services. On Friday June 10th 2011 at Shelter Rock Tennis Club over $27,000 was raised to benefit Spectrum Designs Foundation Ltd, one of the innovative programs supported by the Nicholas Center for Autism. Spectrum Designs, is a recently founded non-for profit organization that creates custom made decorated apparel and features a full line of special event favors. A groundbreaking venture which fully engages individuals with Autism and related conditions in all aspects of production, while offering them a place that strives to enhance their well-being, autonomy, and general quality of life. It was fitting then, that the night included an exclusive fashion show organized by THEORY Manhasset and models sponsored by the Americana. Guests experienced the ambience created by live music, excellent cuisine, and high fashion- topped off by an overriding sense of hope and purpose. Recent figures report that Autism is now diagnosed every 1 in 110 births, meaning 1 in 110 adults with Autism will be among the general population, many of which needing life-long support. "With the lack of funding and resources being cut back for adult services, we need to react not only with urgency, but also with innovation." Said Nicole Sugrue, who is one of the Co-Founders of Spectrum Designs and also serves as Director of Development. This unique business was developed to accommodate the needs of the growing group of individuals aging out of school into adulthood. A structured and supportive work environment aims to ensure each individual's success. "Rather than attempting to force them into a 'work-world' mold that may be unrealistic and unproductive, Spectrum Designs is a cast created for them," explained Patrick Bardsley, one of the Co-Founders and Program Director of Spectrum Designs. As guests bid farewell they were presented with wonderful gift bags produced by Spectrum Designs filled with kind donations from Pirate Brands, Woodbury Magazine and Great Restaurants of Long Island. Guests went home with more than party favors as the thoughts and words of CEO and Co-Founder Stella Spanakos struck an important cord with many: "Once my son Nicholas was diagnosed my ultimate goal in life became clear- get him to a level and a place where he is safe, has a feeling of inherent worth, and most importantly, he's happy", said Stella Spanakos, Co-Founder and CEO of Spectrum Designs and the Nicholas Center for Autism. "I believe Spectrum Designs achieves this, and so we want to involve as many individuals as possible." What makes the goals of the Nicholas Center For Autism unique is that there is a focus on developing innovative programs that will have an element of self sufficiency. Although Spectrum Designs greatly benefits from fundraising events, it is not solely reliant on outside resources, generating its own income by providing a product to the community, while teaching a trade and offering meaningful employment in a supportive environment. "Truly and simply, the more work we have to do, the more individuals we can reach," summed Bardsley. To support the efforts of Spectrum Designs you can visit their website at www.spectrumdesigns.org # # # For more information on this topic or to schedule an interview please contact Nicole Sugrue at 516.644.8657 or email her at nicole@spectrumdesigns.org

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