Pheffer Amato Invites Constituents to Workshop This Saturday for Families with Special Needs Children

July 11, 2017

Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato (D-Rockaway Beach) will be hosting a community workshop this Saturday, July 15th, from 1:30PM to 3:30PM in her office, at 95-16 Rockaway Beach Boulevard in Rockaway Beach, for families with special-needs children. The workshop will be run by a new community organization, Perfect Piece of the Puzzle, founded by Rockaway resident Trisha Bermudez. Bermudez is being assisted by a grant from the Citizens’ Committee of New York City. Her goal is to help fellow parents of special-needs children navigate the paltry, poorly-advertised services available to parents dealing with the intense issues faced by families like hers.

“I just can’t say enough good about what Trisha is doing,” said Pheffer Amato, “and I think it exemplifies the spirit of the Rockaway Peninsula. We often aren’t given the resources we need, but that doesn’t stop us from going out, organizing, and fixing the situation ourselves. I’ve gotten dozens of calls from parents of special-needs children in my office. From Access-a-Ride to maintenance of city streets and education funding, it’s clear that our City and State bureaucracies fail to give basic accommodations to special needs families. That’s why I’ve made hosting this workshop a priority, and I encourage all interested constituents, especially those who know and love kids with special needs, to attend. We’re going to hear from you, the community, about where we need to go from here, and I’ll do everything in my power to turn those needs into action.”

"We really appreciate Assemblywoman Pheffer Amato for hosting this crucial conversation," said Trisha Bermudez, Founder and CEO of Perfect Piece of the Puzzle, Inc. "My son, Matthew, has a rare chromosome deletion. He started receiving services from the time he was a month old. But even with early intervention, I found it difficult to navigate the system. Getting basic supports was never an easy task. Matthew is now four years old, and as he grows, there are always new challenges. Too often, information and services seem to be nonexistent, or you need to really know someone to find out. I don't want other parents to have to go through what I went through, which is why I founded PPoP.

“This is our first workshop,” continued Bermudez. “We want to start by hearing from the community. I'm one mom. I have my own needs. But when we advocate, I want it to be with the heart of the community in mind. PPoP appreciates the grant we received from the Citizens' Committee of NYC to make this vision a reality, and we appreciate Stacey's office for making our first event happen!"