Senator Nozzolio Visits Local Student as Part of Autism Awareness Month

Michael F. Nozzolio

April 15, 2011

Ontario County Autism Center Senator Nozzolio Fought to Establish Will Open April 16th


In recognition of the hundreds of individuals who have been diagnosed with autism, as well as their families and the dedicated professionals who work with them, State Senator Mike Nozzolio is helping to recognize April as Autism Awareness Month. Senator Nozzolio commemorated this special month by visiting 5-year-old Jack Davis, a child whose life has been positively impacted by improved care and early treatment of autism.

Jack Davis is a student at Frank Knight Elementary School in Seneca Falls. Because Jack and his family went to the Happiness House Autism Evaluation Center in Geneva, he was able to be diagnosed early in his life and receive critical early intervention therapy. Senator Nozzolio helped to establish the Happiness House Autism Evaluation Center in order to provide families with comprehensive diagnosis and treatment options right here in our Finger Lakes region so children like Jack can receive services locally. Senator Nozzolio visited Jack at Frank Knight Elementary, where Jack presented the Senator with a special framed picture he made to thank the Senator for his work on behalf of autism.

“There are literally hundreds of families like the Davis family right here in the Finger Lakes region who have been affected by autism,” said Senator Nozzolio. “I admire Jack's mother for her efforts to raise awareness of autism.  Kathy was determined, as were his teachers at the Frank Knight school, to provide every possible opportunity for him. Autism Awareness Month presents an important opportunity to learn more about the particular challenges families like Jack’s face and to gain a better understanding of the services and programs that are available to them.”

On April 16th, Senator Nozzolio will participate in the formal opening of the new Autism Center at the Ontario County ARC in Canandaigua. The Autism Center will serve as a centralized, comprehensive resource for information sharing, referral and care services that will be easily accessible to local families.  The opening ceremony will feature keynote speaker Dr. Robert Naseef, a nationally-recognized psychologist and advocate for people with autism. The event will begin with a presentation to the community at 10 a.m. and continue with an official ribbon cutting ceremony at 1 p.m. The Ontario County ARC is located at 3071 County Complex Drive in Canandaigua.

“Families coping with a diagnosis of autism deserve all the help, support and assistance that we can provide. I am pleased that this year, we are commemorating Autism Awareness Month by opening this critically important new facility that will provide additional services and support to our local families,” said Senator Nozzolio. “As State Senator, I will continue fighting to support programs that help children diagnosed with autism and I remain committed to helping in whatever way I can to support these individuals and their families.

From left to right in photo: Senator Nozzolio; Jack Davis; Emily Carpenter, Jack's kindergarten teacher; Kate Davis, Jack's mom, and Janet Clendenen, Frank Knight Elementary Principal.