C Tann-Starr's Outside Blog


We need your help at the NYC Autism-Asperger's Conference on October 11th and 12th 2008


Stephen Isaiah Starr, Noah Ezekiel Starr and Kathy Passarette in Port Jefferson

My two year old Stephen suffers from PDD-NOS and my six year old Noah is Autistic.

I have a soft spot for organizations who are looking to educate the public on these issues and/or find special needs children a cure. I devote a lot of my recreational reading trying to understand what my boys are going through and I spend a lot of time and effort finding the little ones challenging things to do to keep their minds focused on positive tasks so they don't self stimulate themselves in negative ways (which can be a very neat trick at times). Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, and when it doesn't they can be very destructive and exhausting. I never know what I am going to get or what they are going to do until they decide to "unleash their multiple personalities" on me (LOL). They have a game face for every situation so as a special needs parent I have to be prepared. Thank God Stephen has a "tell" but Noah is a bit more sophisticated and it really is a bit more difficult to figure out where he's going with anything...

Life with the little minions is rarely ever boring. I am very lucky and thankful that my kids have a zest for exploration and are very curious about life. They do not always respond in socially acceptable ways, but at least they have the capacity to respond. There are parents out there who have children that do not function as highly and the fact of the matter is we all need your help and support. I am fortunate to have wonderful friends and family members who will take the time to get to know them and help them understand what will and wont be tolerated as they float through life in a society that may not be as forgiving or understanding of their quirks. For a lot of people it is difficult to get past a first perception or impression. Special needs children with learning disabilities need our help.

There is an "Early Bird Registration" in progress that ends on September 26th. The "Regular Registration" will begin on the 27th for the New York City Autism/Asperger’s Conference “Educating and Healing Children With Autism.” This event falls on Saturday & Sunday, October 11-12, 2008 at the Stephen Gaynor School, 148 West 90th Street, New York, N.Y. 10024

Saturday: Educating Children with Autism/Asperger's

Sunday: Healing Children and Adults with Autism

This event will be appropriate for both parents and professionals.

You can download the conference brochure here:


You can register on-line here:


Exhibits & Advertisements:

If you provide a product or service to children with ASD and their families or know someone who does and would be interested in exhibiting at the conference or advertising in the conference syllabus, please contact the following individuals for further details:

Kim Mack Rosenberg: kmackrosenberg@hotmail.com

Khalid Rehman: klrehman@yahoo.com

Volunteers Needed: There are a number of opportunities for volunteers to be involved in planning the conference and helping out during the conference. If you are interested in joining our efforts, please contact: Sabeeha Rehman: sabeeha.naa.ny@gmail.com or Peggy Becker: peggybecker1@nyc.rr.com

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post. Enjoy your day. Regards, Carolyn.

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Comment balloon 27 commentsC Tann-Starr • September 20 2008 10:43AM


Carolyn, Your picture is lovely and I know how prevalent Autisim is...my neighbor's daughter has it as well and we have always tried to help her family.  I wasn't aware of this event but if I'm not working I will try to volunteer.  It's a wonderful cause.

Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) about 12 years ago

Carolyn,  Special needs children have a place in my heart.  Here is a link to a great school for girls that a child in our family attended www.newleafacademy.com with good results.  I don't know of such a school for boys but it is probably out there.  I will click on your links.

Posted by Shirley Parks, Broker, 210-414-0966, San Antonio TX Real Estate (Sands Realty 210-414-0966) about 12 years ago

I am glad to see your post!  People cannot help if they are unaware.

Posted by Melody Botting, You Deserve The Best (Broker Associate PenFed Realty) about 12 years ago

Thank you, Carole. It is a wonderful cause and I'm hoping to help them spread the news and do what ever I can to assist them.

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) about 12 years ago

Thank you, Shirley. I appreciate you sharing that information with me and anyone who reads this. It may prove very helpful to a family looking for answers or a place for their daughter to attend. Regards, C.

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) about 12 years ago

Mel, that is very true. We have a bit of time before the event so we hope to let as many people as possible know. They have an excellent line up and I am looking forward to attending. :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) about 12 years ago

My 5yo son is autistic, and you are right, life is never boring!  I am glad my son functions and responds, though it puts him in this neat crack of not being disabled in the "right" ways for assistance, but being disabled in the "wrong" ways that makes it hell for him at school.  More education needs to be done, and more health professionals need to be involved.  We have 1, yes 1, pediatric developmental person in the entire SE region of our state.  Her waiting list is 2 years for an evaluation appointment.  We've been waiting 14 months so far.

Posted by Joel Weihe, Helping you to use your VA home loan benefits (Realty World Alliance) about 12 years ago

Carolyn, that sounds like a great two day event to be around others in similar circumstances and to learn to work best with special needs children. Glad you found it and made the announcement on your blog.

Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) about 12 years ago

My 10 yo son is mildly autistic too and life is never dull.  I am lucky that he is in a school system that helps him grow and learn in a way that is appropriate for him.  I am also lucky that he does function somewhat within a normal realm some of the time.  Thanks for posting.

Posted by June Piper-Brandon, Piecing Dreams One Home at a Time (Houwzer Inc) about 12 years ago

Hi C ... It's wonderful that with all you have on your plate, you reach out to become involved and help others. 

Posted by Marie Meyer, Orange County New York Realtor (Keller Williams Realty) about 12 years ago

Way to Blog for a Cause!  Did you know that there is a Blog for a Cause Group here at AR?  I started it late last year. 

I'm not sure how you do it all, but I am amazed by it!  You are a hero and your boys are cutie patooties.

Posted by Amanda Evans, Real Estate Broker - Fort Worth Texas (DFW Living) about 12 years ago

Carolyn I will forward to several friends.  Thanks. 

Posted by Paddy (Patricia) Pizappi, Real Estate Associate Broker Hudson Valley NY (Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty) about 12 years ago

Sheree, that is unimaginable to me. Just one? How on earth do they expect families to cope? A two year waiting list? Oh my word... I don't know what to say... I am so sorry to hear this.

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) about 12 years ago

Thank you, Gary. My girlfriend Tia is on the board of one of the non-profit that deals with these issues and sponsors such events. I'm trying to get more involved in committee work. I can not always attend their meetings but they do email a lot of information, so I stay up to date on a lot of outstanding activities. I am going to have to check out Amanda's group because I most certainly would love to blog for a cause in this respect.

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) about 12 years ago

June, thank you so much for sharing about your son. No one knows what anyone's life is truly like and it is always comforting to know one is not alone in dealing with a health issue, disability, or any other problem. I'm very happy to hear your son is doing well in his learning environment. I know of so many children who are not thriving. I think that's why I sometimes find my kids amazing. They have interesting quirks as well. Their learning disabilities allow them to take two step forward, ten steps back, then jump ahead forty (LOL). Noah is speech delayed and suffers from Echolalia. He can not answer simple questions but he can repeat what he hears regardless of the language being spoken. Noah can sing entire songs accurately in five languages but doesn't always remember my first name. He can even correct you if you sing a song that he likes wrong. How whacked is that? Very strange, but it can be quite entertaining sometimes... :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) about 12 years ago

Thank you, Marie. Thank you, Amanda. Your kind words are very much appreciated. I will check out your group and join today. Love, C. :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) about 12 years ago

Carolyn my heart will be with you during this special event. Keep the faith sister, all will be well.

Posted by Fred Chamberlin, Oak Harbor/Whidbeynulls, #1 Experienced FHA Mortgage Consultant (Guild Mortgage Co - Oak Harbor WA) about 12 years ago

Thank you, Fred. I have a lot of faith in a lot of good people. The boys are improving little by little yet they are so far behind in terms of where they need to be. There are so many kids fighting to deal with this and we have to fight for every single one of them to have a chance to receive medical help and what they need to make a difference. A lot of good people need help. I appreciate your kindness and well wishes. <3 C. :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) about 12 years ago

Carolyn:  You keep on championing your cause, girl!  I have a couple of close friends who have children with Autism.  It is extremely challenging and my heart goes out to every family with a special needs member.  My dad suffers from Delusional Paranoid Schizophrenia - and he can be completely relentless sometimes.  Sounds like you have a great outlook on life with your boys.  Good luck with the conference - I hope lots of folks show up to support it!

Posted by Celina Gleason (AgentOwned Realty) about 12 years ago

Thank you, Celina. Very much appreciated. DPS is no joke. Your Dad must make life very interesting for everyone. May God bless you and your family because I do understand what happens when someone becomes relentless... wow! As my boys grow older and stronger I find myself wondering which traits will magnify or dominate their personalities. Stephen is pretty obsessive and gives stubborn a whole new meaning for such a tiny little thing. Noah has his moments, but does not appear to be as severe in his thinking and emotions. His tantrums are mild compared with Step's total melt downs. The worse thing is when they both decide to flip out at the same time. Oh my word...

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) about 12 years ago

You are amazing C!  You have the fullest plate of anyone I know.  You must not sleep!  Way to blog for a cause and keep on keepin' on!  My heart goes out to you and your very worthy cause!

Posted by Cristal Drake, Realtor - Fullerton Real Estate (Prudential California Realty) about 12 years ago

Carolyn.. Thank you for posting this blog.  Making people aware of these needs is very important.  Your two sons are adorable.  If no one has told you recently, you are a GREAT mom.  You are doing a wonderful job.

valerie osterhoudt

Posted by Valerie Osterhoudt, ABR, Cromwell, CT Real Estate ~ 860.883.8889 (Johnson Real Estate, Inc.) about 12 years ago

Thank you Cristal and Val, your kind words mean a lot to me. We are working very hard to get the word out.

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) about 12 years ago

Wow Carolyn....well if anyone is up to the challenges that these dear boys of yours bring with all their special gifts.....its you!  Thank God for all the resources - and the internet!  Its a different world then it used to be ....you are not alone!  :-)

Posted by Liz Moras Migic, Chilliwack, British Columbia - Realtor about 12 years ago

Liz, thank you. You are so right about it being a different world. Thank God for the Internet, indeed. I've been able to discover so many facts and theoretical treatments that have actually made small, measurable and  positive differences in their lives. :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) about 12 years ago

Carolyn - I learned of Aspergers about 5 years ago when my friend's daughter was diagnosed...  I knew very little about it or Autism for that matter.  There seems to be more and more children every day who are being diagnosed... I noticed that Jenny McCarthy was on Oprah today talking about it.   Thank you for sharing this information, we all need to become more aware!

Posted by Debbie Summers (Charles Rutenberg Realty ) about 12 years ago

Debbie, you are very welcome. The conference looks like it will be able to help a lot of people. I'm looking forward to it. I have Jenny McCarthy's book about her son. Awesome! :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) about 12 years ago

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