• February News

    CIDA's Latest Updates & Events !

    From the CIDA Newsdesk



    Even though February is the shortest month of the year, CIDA has a long list of exciting news to share! We would like to share some critical updates from the New York State Education Department and the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD).

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    Policy Update

    New York’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

    States Department of Education (USDE) approved NYS's ESSA

    On January 17, State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia announced that the United States Department of Education (USDE) approved New York’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plan. The English version of the ESSA parent information is available here: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/accountability/essa.html. New York State has not published the ESSA materials in the Korean language at the moment. CIDA will hold a special parent session in April to go over the critical shifts in ESSA

    Service Alert

    Big Changes in OPWDD Services

    Transition to CCO/HH

    OPWDD is changing the way Medicaid Service Coordination (MSC) is delivered and reimbursed. These changes will also impact individuals who receive Plan of Care Support Services (PCSS). Beginning July 2018, MSC will become “Health Home Care Management” and PCSS will become “HCBS Care Management.” Both types of care management services will be delivered by a new type of organization, called a Care Coordination Organization/Health Home(CCO/HH). Service agencies have been advised that the transition will not impact any other OPWDD funded services, such as day habilitation, respite, supported employment services, and so forth. Those parents who have questions regarding these changes are welcome to join us at our Transition Workshop in March.

    You can find additional information on the OPWDD Care Coordination Site: https://opwdd.ny.gov/opwdd_services_supports/care_coordination_organizations


    What's Up at CIDA

    Add A Voice of Asian-American Parents

    NYS Advisory Council on Postsecondary Education For Students with Disabilities

    Dr. Bae, our Executive Director, has joined the Advisory Council on Postsecondary Education For Students with Disabilities, New York State Education Department. The Advisory Council was established to advise the NYS Education Department on policies and practices to improve the transition of students with disabilities to postsecondary education and training, fiscal resource needs and disability-related accommodations and supports that will assist a student with college success. Dr. Bae will serve under the Legislative/Regulation Committee subcommittee.

    CIDA Collaborates with Two Korean-American Churches

    CIDA is happy to announce two community collaborations for parent training. All events are part of the Community Parent Resource Center Project funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs.

    The Korean Church of Queens

    The Church has graciously agreed to collaborate with CIDA for parent training, support groups and outreach. The Korean Church of Queens is located at 8900 23rd Ave, East Elmhurst, NY 11369.

    Arumdaun Presbyterian Church

    CIDA will hold a parent conference in collaboration with Beautiful Church (Arumdaun Church) on Long Island on April 18. Training sessions start at 9:30 am. Fifteen agencies will be invited to the vendor session to present various community based services, programs or classes available to the community. Arumdaun Presbyterian Church is located at 1 Arumdaun St, Bethpage, NY 11714.Add paragraph text here.

    Youth Programs on the Rise

    Self Determination Academy

    CIDA’s Self-determination academy that began in January with Group 1 -Young Adults (under the age of 26) is well under way. Self-determination is a combination of skills, knowledge, and beliefs that enable a person to engage in goal-directed, self-regulated, autonomous behavior. It is crucial for our children to learn their strengths and limitations together with a belief in themselves as capable and competent individuals. When acting by these skills and attitudes, individuals have a greater ability to take control of their lives and assume the role of successful adults in our society.

    Group 2 - (High School Students) sessions of our Self Determination Academy will begin in June. Additional details will be announced soon.

    New York State Transition Partner Project

    CIDA has received a $2,300 mini grant from the New York State Transition Partners for a video project with a focus on reaching out to youths and young adults with disabilities. The content will be developed and focused on Self-Determination and informed decision-making during transition processes. Our youths/young adults with disabilities and their families who complete CIDA’s Self-Determination Academy will be involved in each phase of this project. CIDA will disseminate the videos and the booklets through social media, community organizations and local media.


  • Announcements

    CIDA's Free Workshops, Support Groups and Community Events

    Bimonthly Parent Support Group

    February 13 - 11 AM @ CIDA

    Bi-monthly Parent Support Group. Meet and talk with other parents/family members that are raising children with disabilities. We will also be having a Yoga demonstration. Learn a relaxing way to meditate, exercise and center yourself.


    CIDA goes to Lunar New Year Parade

    February 16 - 6 PM & February 17 - 11 AM

    CIDA has been invited to participate in the 2018 Lunar New Year Parade on February 17. CIDA will also join the parade preparation night at the KumGangSan Restaurant starting 6 pm on February 16. March with CIDA and then join us for Duk Gook and K-pop entertainment. If you are interested in volunteering or marching in the parade please call CIDA office at 718-224-8197.

    Preparing Transitions Through K-12

    March 4, 2:00 pm @ the Korean Church of Queens

    CIDA will provide a parent workshop on transition issues during K-12 and adulthood. The Korean Church of Queens will be collaborating with CIDA for space and registration. For RSVP, call 718-224-8197.

    Midwinter Vacation

    February 16 -23

    CIDA offices will be operating on limited hours during the mid-winter break. No meetings will be held during the break. We hope everyone enjoys their vacation.

    More Events

    For more event news and announcement, please check "Events" on the drop-down menu on top of this page.

  • Community Bulletin

    Community Resource

    Free psychological and psycho-social evaluations

    General Human Outreach (GHO)

    General Human Outreach provides free psychological and psychosocial evaluations for Queens residents. The evaluation aids in determining eligibility to obtain the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) services. All applicants must not be eligible for Medicaid. For more information about applying for Free Psychological and Psychosocial evaluations, please call Insil Choi, a Korean Outreach Coordinator, at 718.307.6570.

  • Meet the Family

    Inspired and Empowered

    Joo Hee Lee & Mrs. Jung Sook Lee.​

    CIDA would like to initiate a community discussion related to the issues and unique needs of girls and women with disabilities. As our first effort, we proudly introduce Joo Hee Lee and her mother Mrs. Jung Sook Lee.

    Joo Hee is a 16 year old girl with Down syndrome and a two times winner of CIDA’s Very Special Art Festival in 2016 and 2017. Joo Hee not only likes to paint but she also loves to speak, sing and dance.

    However, since she was going through puberty, the whole family has experienced tough times. She suddenly stopped speaking and just wanted to be left alone. The Lee Family has moved her to a different school, had Joo Hee undergo a variety of clinical tests and do everything they can do to find out what was wrong. Then, Joo Hee started to receive art therapy together with clinical consultation. She now asks her family to take a look at her art and has shown some improvements. Mrs. Lee says that the positive changes began after the two times winning at the CIDA’s art festival. It seemed the attention from many people gave her the opportunity to feel proud and confident about herself. Also, after enjoying the hip hop dance competition at CIDA’s New Year Party, she recently joined a dance school. The family is now focusing on figuring out what Joo Hee likes to do, and assisting growing her talent for her future.

    As a parent of a girl with a disability who is growing into a woman, Mrs. Lee realizes her limits to help her daughter’s future, and it is the most challenging thing that she has endured. Although Joo Hee is safe under the family’s care at the moment, Mrs. Lee continually worries for Joo Hee’s well-being as a woman, and whether or not her talents are acknowledged in the community.
    Despite all her worries, Mrs. Lee says that Joo Hee still loves to draw and express her feelings through art, and her family will do everything they can help her live an independent life in the community. Finally, she added that she wishes the whole community give more attention to young women with disabilities and help them live independent and safe lives.

    CIDA gives a big cheer to Joo Hee and the Lee family, and wishes all the best!

  • Valentine's Day Special

    I Love You This Much!

    Here is an easy craft to do with your kids. It is a creative and fun way for your kids to tell someone special how much they love them. A book that you can read with this craft is Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney.



    • Construction Paper (any color your child wishes), 
    • Scissors
    • Glue
    • Markers.
    1. Trace each of your child's hand.Then cut out the hands. Make sure your hands match up.
    2. On one hand write “ I love you”. You can write your child’s name or whoever they are giving the craft to on the other hand.
    3. Cut out a long strip of paper. It is up to you and your child how long you want to make it…..(remember this is how much you love them).
    4. On that long piece of paper write “This Much” and decorate if you would like.
    5. Then fold the paper accordion style.
    6. Glue one end of the paper to the inside of one hand and the other side of the long strip to the other hand.
    7. Let dry and you are set!
  • January 2018 News

    CIDA's Latest Updates & Events !

    Happy New Year!


    Happy New Year everyone!!


    We are starting 2018 with many great news and updates. When we cut the tape as a new 501c3 organization last year, everyone at CIDA was nervous and afraid. Months later, and we are now prepared and ready to sprint towards a great year. The Community Parent Resource Center Project funded by the US Department of Education, Office of Special Education will continue to serve Korean-American parents who have children with disabilities between the ages of 0 and 26 years of age. We have parents workshops, One-on-One Assistance, and support group meetings that are scheduled every month. We are also excited to announce that CIDA’s workforce development program, Korean-American Network for Employment & Community Training (KANECT) is launching this year. Even though we are starting on a small scale, we anticipate that this program will grow and provide a resolution for the unemployment issues of individuals with disabilities in the near future.


    Please read more of our exciting news below! We hope to see you soon at one of our upcoming events.


    May 2018 will bring laughter, health and prosperity to all our families and to our community!


    Young Seh Bae, Ph.D., Executive Director

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    What's Up at CIDA

    Holiday Party

    Celebrated New Year at the Reception House

    On December 28, CIDA held its annual Holiday Party at the Reception House. With over 80 people in attendance, our families were prepared to have a lively and entertaining day. The event was brimming with music, hip hop performances, special piano performances by some of our CIDA kids, games and food.


    Our Executive Director Dr. Bae welcomed and reiterated CIDA’s commitment in helping families with disabilities and continuing to expand our outreach to the Korean American community. The families were excited to be able to have fun and to have a social outlet for their children during the winter break.


    CIDA families were honored with performances from professional Hip Hop dancers Jean Bae, Allison Bedell & Charnele Crick. Families were also able to listen to the musical talents of some of our CIDA young adults. Wilfree Kim & Young K Song dazzled us with their drum and guitar performance and the final performances of the day were the piano stylings of John Park & William Choe. Thank you to all our performers.


    You can read and hear about the K-Radio coverage on our event: http://www.am1660.com/kradio/board.php?bo_table=loca&wr_id=6002&sca=Local+News


    We did it again!

    CIDA was awarded the Nanum Foundation Grant

    CIDA was awarded the Nanum Foundation, U.S.A Grant in the amount of $12,500 for the 2018 fiscal year. The grant will be used to initiate the Korean-American Network for Employment & Community Training (KANECT) in January. The goal of KANECT is to develop effective community partnerships in which individuals with disabilities will be able to find employment opportunities while the needs of local employers are understood and met. During the 2018 fiscal year, CIDA will focus on developing a community partnership by reaching out to local businesses and employers with an ADA workshop. CIDA will also make referrals and provide State employment training resources to young adults with disabilities who are seeking employment opportunities.


    Photo: From the left, Dr. Young Seh Bae (Executive Director, CIDA), Dr. Anna Lee (Executive Director, Nanum Foundation), Mr. Henry Lee (Budget Committee Chair, CIDA) & Dr. Samuel Cho (Board Chair, CIDA)

  • Meet the Family

    Inspired and Empowered

    William Choe and Mrs. In Yoon Lee

    Our CIDA family of the month is William Choe and his mother, Ms. In Yoon Lee. William graced us with a wonderful performance at the CIDA holiday party, showing off his talented piano skills. William is a 19 year old young adult with a disability, and has been playing the piano for about 5 years. William likes to write in his journal, play on his computer or iPad and practice on his piano daily.

    William's mother, Ms. Lee, says that it wasn’t easy finding something William enjoyed doing. They tried many things from swimming to Tae Kwon Do, but none of these things interested him. She eventually had William try the piano and he finally found something he loved. Ms. Lee says that sometimes it is challenging for families with disabilities to figure out their children's real interests or help them develop their talents because of the limited community resources. However, it is very important for children to keep trying to find something they love and that parents should always never give up.

  • Announcements

    CIDA's Free Workshops, Support Groups and Community Events

    Overview of Early Intervention Services and IFSP

    January 16, 2018, 9:00 am- 11:00 am

    This workshop will focus on the procedures of Early Intervention (EI), the services in New York State, and the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP). Participants will also learn about the preschool transition processes and the basics of special education services under IDEA Part B. Speaker: Mi-Young Choi, Program Director, All About Development. Mi Young Choi has more than 15 years of experiences in EI. For more info, call 718-224-8197, or click here to register: https://goo.gl/forms/yb7S0z59VuxgdsAn


    Self-Determination Academy for Young Adults Group First Meeting

    January 18, 10:00 am

    CIDA’s Self Determination Academy (SDA) is starting in January! SDA has two groups of participants: Group 1 is for young adults (ages 19- 26) and Group 2 is for youths (ages 14- 18). During this 10-session program, participants will learn important soft-skills that are key to developing self-determination through enjoyable activities, including planning, self-awareness and self-assessment skills. Participants will also learn how to lead IEP meetings or ISP meetings of their own. The initial meeting with young adults (Group 1) and their parents will take place on January 18 to discuss the meeting times and activity schedule.

    IEP Goals and Assessments

    January 23, 10:00 am

    This workshop will discuss how to read and understand the standardized assessment results on your child’s IEP, developing observable and measurable IEP goals and the importance of aligning the State Standards and IEP goals. We highly recommend this workshop to those parents who participated in the Federal Laws and IEP workshop (12/5/2017) last year. This is an opportunity to deepen your knowledge about developing IEP goals for your child. Speaker: Executive Director, Dr. Young Seh Bae.

    For more info, call 718-224-8197, or click here to register: https://goo.gl/forms/BfM2jyd7gkmkp3oh1​

    January Support Group

    Postponed to February

    Due to schedule conflicts, the January Support Group Meeting is postponed to Tuesday, February 13 at 11am

    More Events

    For more event news and announcement, please check "Events" on the drop-down menu on top of this page.

  • Parent Stress Management

    Calming Down Quickly with Mindfulness

    No one can deny that parents are under stress. When you have a child with a disability that stress can sometimes be even greater. It is important that parents take care of themselves as well as their children. One way to help with stress is Mindfulness. Mindfulness is when you calm your mind in the present moment. (?) One way is through breathing techniques.


    Breathing Exercise


    Open or close your eyes. Start focusing on your breathing. Take a deep breath through your nose and let it out through your mouth. Focus on how you are breathing in and out and just focus on the motion of breathing. While being focused on the breathing for a minute your mind will start to wander. If it does, try and refocus on your breathing. By clearing your mind of all other thoughts and just focusing on the motion of breathing you will be able to clear your mind for a few minutes. Hopefully this will help you relax and become re-centered.


    You can also use this technique while lying down on the floor or sitting in the chair. Focus on the moment of breathing and allow your body to relax and just focus in that moment of breathing.

    There are many other ways to help you to relax. You can take a walk around the block, go for a cup of coffee, or go to your room and just sit for 5 minutes. In fact, it is impossible to completely clear your mind. The key is not to focus on stressful events in your life but focus on you. Remember, It’s important for parents to take a few minutes to take care of themselves.


    Here is another example relieving stress (video):

  • December News

    CIDA's Latest Updates & Events !

    Season Greetings!

    We have less than a month left until the end of 2017!

    It has been an unforgettable year for myself and the CIDA staff members.

    We are very thankful for the many incredible opportunities given to CIDA. For the 2018 year, our staff members are determined to work even harder, and are committed to achieving our goals of giving our children a better future and the inclusion of every person with disabilities in our community!


    We wish everyone a Happy Holidays and a healthy New Year!


    Young Seh Bae, Ph.D., Executive Director

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    What's Up at CIDA

    Parent Leadership Training!

    Federal Laws & IEP Workshop

    The Federal Laws & IEP workshop conducted on December 5 was a huge success! Over the course of the year, CIDA hosts a series of workshops on various topics. As recognition of our hard working parents that attend our workshops, CIDA would like to give a certificate of completion to those who attend ten or more seminars during the year. We would also like to invite those individuals to come with us to community events to represent CIDA as a parent leader and share your experiences. Please check back for more updated on CIDA events.

    CIDA goes to U.N.

    International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) at U.N.

    December 3 is the annual observance of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD), proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly resolution in 1992. This year, the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) organized the 2017 IDPD celebration on December 1, 2017, at the UN Headquarters in NYC. Six CIDA staff members, a parent and two young individuals with disabilities participated all main events of the day. During the opening ceremony, H.E Miroslav Lajčák, President of the UN General Assembly delivered the U.N.’s commitments to empower individuals with disabilities. Ambassadors from many countries presented their current projects to support individuals with disabilities and their families. CIDA was also able to listen to the musical talent of young adults with disabilities from South Korea. Our members even were moved by the touching testimony given by Boum Jun Bae, a young adult with an intellectual disability. You can read more stories about Boum Jun and his family below.

    CIDA's Workforce Development Programs

    Korean-American Network for Employment & Community Training (KANECT)

    CIDA is starting a new employment project for young adults with disabilities, Korean-American Network for Employment & Community Training (KANECT) in January. The goal of KANECT is to develop effective community partnerships in which individuals with disabilities find employment opportunities and the needs of local employers are understood and met. This partnership will focus on skill training and shift the community culture. CIDA will announce the details of the program and community collaboration shortly.

  • Announcements

    CIDA's Free Workshops, Support Groups and Community Events

    U.S. Citizenship Application for Individuals with Disabilities

    December 14, 10;00 am-12:00 pm

    CIDA invites Minkwon Center to learn their expertise on the current immigration issues and what you need to know when you apply for citizenship for individuals with disabilities (for those who have a green card). Call 718-224-8197 for RSVP.

    Are you ready for the Party? ​

    New Year’s Party, 12:00 pm – 2:30 pm, Reception House

    Come and celebrate the New Year with us on December 28. The Reception House is located at 167-17 Northern Boulevard, Flushing, 11358. Hip-Pop dance by the special guests, music performance by two CIDA families. Lots of fun and music! Please RSVP by December 23 to 718-224-8197 or cidaofny@gmail.com.

    Overview of Early Intervention Services and IFSP

    January 16, 2018, 9:00 am- 11:00 am

    The procedures of Early Intervention (EI), the services in New York State, and Individualize Family Service Plan (IFSP) will be presented. Speaker: Mi-Young Choi, Program Director, All About Development. Mi Young Choi has more than 15years of experiences in EI and is a member of the CIDA Professional Advisory Committee. For more info, call 718-224-8197, or click here to register: https://goo.gl/forms/yb7S0z59VuxgdsAn2

    Self-Determination Academy – Initial Meeting for Young Adults

    January 18, 2018 (Time TBA)

    Youth & Young Adult Programs are coming back! Self Determination Academy Registration will be available in 2 groups; a young adult group (age 19- 26) & a youth group (age 14- 18). Participants will learn essential soft skills, such as planning, self-awareness and self-regulation skills that are key to developing self-determination. We also will have fun social activities! Please contact Dr. Bae at 917-715-5516 for more information.

    January Support Group

    January 30, Tuesday 11:00 am - 12:30 pm

    CIDA Parent Support Group Meetings are held every other month on the last Tuesday of that month. January meeting discusses seasonal mood disorders and how to deal with parental stress. This is an excellent opportunity to meet other parents. By finding other parents who encounter the same issues, many parents feel better able to navigate a path they never envisioned. Please email or call us at 718-228-8197 for RSVP.

    More Events

    For more event news and announcement, please check "Events" on the drop-down menu on top of this page.

  • Community Bulletin

    Community Resource

    Healing Camp

    Esther Ha Foundation

    Date/ Time: 12/26-12/28/17, 9:30am – 5:00pm
    *social skill, personal stress, academic pressures, depression Etc.

    Mental Health Awareness and Support Talk Camp

    Free registration: For more information call: 917-993-2377

  • Meet the Family

    Inspired and Empowered

    Mr. Beom Joon Bae and his Family


    This month’s family spotlight is on Mr. Beom Joon Bae and his mother, Mrs. Tae Young Kim. Boum Jun Bae is a 20-year-old person with a disability. Boum Joon and his mother arrived from South Korea to be a part of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) on December 1 at the United Nations.


    Beom Jun is a talented cellist who has played numerous venues and concerts and his music has touched many hearts around the world. Beom Jun had dreamed of speaking at the United Nations since he was young, and he accomplished his dream on December 1, 2017. Boum Jun is the first person with intellectual disability spoke at the U.N IDPD Convention. Boum Jun delivered a passionate speech about the rights of persons with disabilities and his hope for being included in the society. Here is a small excerpt from his speech:


    Here, I have something to say.

    People with intellectual disabilities are not babies.
    People with intellectual disabilities are not toys.
    People with intellectual disabilities are not disposable products that are used and discarded when needed.

    I have an intellectual disability, but I am a person before I am one of "them."

    During their visit, Beom Joon and his mother Mrs. Kim gave a few interviews with the local media outlets arranged by CIDA. During his meetings with K-Radio, KRB, and TKC Channel, Mrs. Kim mentioned how they are determined and passionate about delivering a message of hope and strength to everyone living with a disability. Even though they had a very tight schedule while visiting NYC, Boum Jun and his mother had time to visit the CIDA office and to meet with some of the CIDA families. Boum Jun and his family inspired many Korean-American families. We thank Boun Jun and his family for delivering a fantastic message of hope, courage, and self-determination to the world and our community.


    Media Resource: Click here to see and hear Boum Jun's interview with K-Radio

  • Winter Break Project

    Winter is defiantly here! Here is a fun idea for something to do at home with your children!

    How To Make 3-Ingredient Slime

    Makes 2 cups



    • 2 - (4-oz) bottles washable school glue, such as Elmer's
    • 1 to 2 drops liquid food coloring (optional)
    • 1/4 cup glitter (optional)
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 2 to 3 tablespoons saline solution (contact lens solution), divided


    • Measuring spoons
    • Glass or plastic mixing bowl
    • Mixing Spoon
    • Airtight container for storage


    1. Color the glue (optional): Pour the glue into a medium bowl. Stir in the food coloring and glitter, if desired. Use colors your child like and add glitter to make it sparkle.Remember the food coloring and glitter is optional!
    2. Add the baking soda: Add the baking soda to the glue mixture and stir until smooth.
    3. Add the contact lens solution: Pour in 2 tablespoons of the contact lens solution and stir slowly. The mixture should begin to harden, becoming stringy. Do not let it become too hard.
    4. Mix until ball forms: Continue mixing slowly until a ball of slime forms.
    5. Knead by hand: Pick up the slime and work between your two hands, until smooth. If the slime is particularly slimy, add another 1/2 tablespoon of contact lens solution as needed.
    6. Time to play! Once mixed, you can play with the slime immediately or store for future play in an airtight container. 

    Some extra ideas to add fun!

    • Hidden Figures: Fold small figures or cars into the slime and ask your children to find them.
    • Cut-and-Measure Slime: Provide your kids with a metal or plastic ruler and kid-safe scissors. See who can stretch their slime the furthest. Alternatively, practice counting and cut the slime into 10-inch pieces.
  • November News

    Fall is Here!

    Greeting from the Executive Director

    Dear CIDA Families and Friends,


    I cannot believe it is November and we are in the middle of autumn. As we announced through media and various channels, CIDA has started to work as a federally funded Community Parent Resource Center (CPRC). CIDA is currently preparing a variety of informative programs, including parent workshops, support groups, one-on-one assistance, youth self-determination programs and newsletters. Additionally, in January 2018, we will resume the Workforce Development/Worker Cooperative Project ( a CIDA Board Funded Project), which had been temporarily stopped due to preparation for the CPRC project. Please check our website and Newsletter for updated information!


    CIDA is committed to strengthening the capacity of Korean-American students with disabilities and their families to lead in the inclusion of people with disabilities in the community through a more rigorous approach with the support from the U.S. Department of Education, OSEP.


    There is a long road ahead of us. However, I have no doubt that, we as parents and the community work together, we can reach our goals much faster. One of our main goals for our children is for them to live an independent life and be valuable members of society in an integrated world.


    I hope you enjoy the beautiful fall weather and I will see you at the support meeting on 28th at 11:30 am.


    Young Seh Bae, Ph.D. Executive Director

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  • Meet the Family

    CIDA is proud to introduce our family of the month

    Charles Lee & Mrs. Mija Lee


    Every month CIDA will feature one of our special families. This month we are shining our spotlight on Charles Lee and his mother Mija Lee. Charles Lee is a student with Autism who is currently a fifth grader in the Great Neck School District. Charles was our first place winner of the 2017 CIDA Very Special Art Festival. Charles was awarded a trophy and scholarship for his talented work. Charles's award-winning work was a picture of the opening ceremony which took place earlier in the day in front of the St. John’s University Student Center. Charles's picture captured the moment when everyone in attendance released balloons which were filled with wishes written made by everyone in attendance.

    We were happy to be able to ask Charles and his mother a few questions.


    What does Charles like?

    Charles likes drawing and writing. Charles's writing is better than adults.


    Can you share some of your ideas or tips that you use that helps Charles?

    We often make Charles practice how to say “hello” first to other people. It helps him socialize with other people. If possible, teach your child to say both the person’s name and his/her title during the introduction (ex: Mr. XXX, Mrs. XXX). Make sure the other person responds and says the child's name when they respond. Remembering each other's names makes it much friendlier and easier to start a conversation.


    How has “CIDA” helped the Lee family?

    CIDA helped us to learn and figure out what direction to take for Charles's special education when we just immigrated to the US and had no idea where to start. We hope CIDA will continue to help us and other families to improve their knowledge on our rights and help us to solve problems together.


    Is there anything you would like to say to the community?

    It is important for Korean families to claim their right to services. I hope that we should all mutually be appreciating partners with our schools and government as we fulfill our responsibilities as a parent.


  • Announcements

    Please don't forget to check our events, training and support meetings

    November Support Group

    Tuesday, November 28 at 11:30 am-1:00 pm.

    CIDA Monthly Parent Support Group Meetings are held every other month on the last Tuesday of that month. This is a great opportunity to meet other parents. By finding other parents who are facing, or have faced, the same issues, many parents feel better able to navigate a path they never envisioned. Please email or call us at 718-228-8197 for RSVP.

    Parent Workshop

    Federal Laws & IEP Workshop: December 5, 10:00 am - 1:00 pm

    This intense workshop will be broken down into 3 categories: Federal Education Law, Individualized Education Program (IEP) and Parent Procedural Guards. Please email or call us at 718-228-8197 for RSVP.

    Free Stress Management Sessions

    Take care of your stress

    CIDA is preparing a series of parental stress management events, such as yoga, skin care and meditation. Please check our event page for upcoming class information.

    More events

    For more event news and announcement, please check "Events" on the drop-down menu on top of this page.

  • Holiday Special

    Holidays are coming!

    Here are helpful advice and tips from other parents

    How to survive holidays with your child

    While most families look forward to Thanksgiving, some families of children with special needs find these times stressful. Preparation is the best way to eliminate or prevent the stresses that the holiday season can bring upon your child. Preparing yourself ahead of time can lighten your workload this Thanksgiving, and getting your entire family on board can make the transition into the holidays much easier. These tips can be used during the entire holiday season!


    Sensory overload for your child on the holiday can be a bit overwhelming. Reduce the stress on both your child and yourself. Scheduling specific times that are set aside for quiet time or creating quiet zones in your house can lower stress levels.


    Friends and family want to help, but when it comes to children with spe- cial needs they often don’t know what to do. Make a list of how family mem- bers can help you. If there is a family member that isn’t supportive it’s okay to walk away.


    Food for your child. Remember if your child only likes certain foods or certain textures remember to pack a separate container of food for them.

    Holidays may not be the best time to introduce new foods to your child.


    Include your child by giving your child a job can help distract them and gives them the feeling of being included during the holiday chaos. Simple tasks such as taking people’s coats, answering the door, or passing out drinks or food can help them reduce the stress of what is going on by focusing on one given task. Check out an easy recipe below to try with your child.


    Schedules are important. Try to stay to your child’s schedule or create a special one for the holidays. Creating a schedule that marks when they can expect changes is also a great way for special needs children to understand what to expect. Help them even more by making notes to prepare them for what may go on that day.


    Special Time is important. Getting overwhelmed with all you have to do for the holy days can leave your child craving attention. Set aside 5-10 minutes where you commit to focusing solely on your child and tuning into what they are feeling and doing while you are busy getting everything ready.


    Prepare a Bag of Activities if you find yourself traveling to another family member’s house, fill a backpack with your child’s favorite toys to help calm them. If you notice that they are getting overwhelmed, find a quiet corner and give them some of the things in their bag.


    Social Stories can be a great help. Show pictures of what happened the year before to spark your child’s memory and keep them from being overwhelmed.


    Most important, enjoy your time with your child, and remember, we can’t control everything.


    Cooking Recipe from Heaven

    Creamy Chive Potatoes

    Try this super simple recipe with your child during this holiday!

    • ½ cup Milk
    • 3 lbs of White potatoes, peeled, boiled, and mashed
    • 1 8-oz block of Cream Cheese cut into pieces
    • 2 Tbsp snipped chives
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    1. Heat milk to a simmer on stove top. Add milk and cream cheese to potatoes, and mash until combined. Stir in chives.
    2. Season with salt and pepper.