NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- Stuart and Adina Gross came to the City School District of New Rochelle's 13th Transition Fair on Monday with their son, Daniel, to begin looking for answers. Daniel's parents are developing a plan for him for after graduation in 2018. Daniel has autism spectrum disorder and dyslexia, among other things, and struggles with executive skills.
"We wanted to see ... to figure things out," Stuart Gross said. "It's overwhelming right now figuring out what direction to go in. We want him (Daniel) to be autonomous and independent, rather than just living with us through adulthood."
"We're seeing what avenues and options are out there," Stuart Gross said. "We'll apply to certain state agencies and see what he is eligible for at this point."
The event, held at New Rochelle High School's House 4 Cafeteria, was for students with Individualized Education Programs or 504 plans and parents interested in learning more about transitioning from school. It was hosted by the New Rochelle Department of Special and Alternative Education and New Rochelle SEPTA. More than 40 schools, support programs and agencies from throughout Westchester and beyond were on hand to provide answers to questions.
Parents and students packed the Linda Kelly Theater to listen to an inspirational speech from Steve Serio, a co-captain of the U.S. men's Paralympic basketball team and member of the New York Rolling Knicks. Before the Rolling Knicks, he played for five seasons with the German club team RSV Lahn-Dill.
"When tough times present themselves, these students will be OK because of the love and support that you have all given them throughout their entire lives," Serio said. He said he was successful because his parents allowed him to take risks and they didn't protect him from the real world. And, he said he had plenty of mentors and positive role models in his life, like his parents and coaches who lifted him up when times were tough.
"We are so pleased at the success of this year's Transition Fair," Yvette Goorevitch, the director of special and alternative education for the school district. "This event is a valuable piece of the puzzle for helping parents and students adjust to life after high school and we are thankful that so many people came out to experience it this year."