Democrat and Chronicle from Rochester, New York on October 20, 2015 · Page A8
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Democrat and Chronicle from Rochester, New York · Page A8

Rochester, New York
Issue Date:
Tuesday, October 20, 2015
Page A8
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Page8A Tuesday,October20,2015 E2 DemocratandChronicle. com The Battistis said they decided to build the home after becoming increasingly frustrated trying to find options for Anthony. “It was very frustrat- i ng, New York state has c ut back on funding for g roup homes and services, and it’s really put the burden on parents to do it, to get homes built and services provided,” Michael Battisti said. “It’s been difficult for me and I’m in the building industry — I can just imagine how frustrating it would b e for other parents who h ave no idea about the c onstruction and building i ndustry.” The closure of subpar state institutions in the past couple of decades — in an effort to raise the quality of life for people with developmental disabilities — has created a vacuum of services for a specific group of people with the most intense needs. In response to the closings, the strategy of the O ffice for People With Developmental Disabilities has been to reassess the needs of the people it assists and match them with one of the 6,500 residential programs it oversees through a network of 700 nonprofit agencies. I n the 17-county region that makes up the western p ortion of the OPWDD, earlier this year, there were about 1,000 individuals still waiting for resi- d ential support; nearly 300 had requested placement immediately. They are families who are considered “in urgent need” o f placement for their l oved ones with autism, Down syndrome and other categories of intellectual developmental disability, said Pat Muir, c hair of Family Advo- c ates United. Muir, an advocate for families of children with autism, said a lack of options for the most severe- l y autistic is a growing c oncern — and many families wait years for placement. Family Advocates United is a collaborative group of organizations t hat includes AutismUp and Managing Autism Together Today, whose mission is to advocate for appropriate funding for residential services for indi- v iduals with intellectual and developmental dis- abilities. “ Right now, services are only going to families in the most serious need —those who have been d eemed to be in crisis,” Muir said. “OPWDD is in the process of now trying to gather the data of how many p eople need resources. I t’s been difficult for them to gather it because they’ve never done it before,” Muir said. Asurvey letter sent in J uly to families who have r egistered with OPWDD asks numerous questions about conditions in the home, the level of assistance and the urgency of n eed. “ But the resources still aren’t there,” Muir said. The Battistis said they learned the hard way how few options they had, but a nticipate their son will do well in the new 24-hour care setting. “He does so well at school with his schedule, he enjoys the scheduling p art,” Sherry Battisti said. “That’s how they run the homes, so I don’t think i t will be hard for him to fit into that home setting. He likes going places and they will do outings on the w eekends. I think it will be a really good thing for him to be around people his own age and do things together. I think he’ll ad- j ust really well within the f irst month or two.” As Anthony has grown older — and bigger and stronger — it’s become more difficult for his pare nts to adequately meet t heir son’s needs, said Sherry Battisti. Anthony was diagnosed early on in life with aregressive autism, his m other said. “ He had language when he was younger and he kept losing it and now he is nonverbal,” she said. “He does understand eve rything, but he just can’t get the words out to express himself.” Anthony also has epilepsy, and small seizures when he was young be- c ame grand mal seizures as he passed through pu- b erty. “I’d say taking care of him is sort of like taking care of a 4-year-old,” Sherry Battisti said. “He runs around a lot, he likes playing in the pool. He understands what you are saying, but his impulse con- t rol is not very good. “He can’t focus a lot a nd just sit down.” Their decision to find Anthony a home was in part made for him, but a lso for the rest of the family. “It is a really hard decision to make,” Sherry Battisti said. “We have four o lder daughters and three g randkids, so one of the things I didn’t want to do was leave that decision to my daughters some day. And as we get older, it gets h arder and harder to take c are of him. “But yeah, it’s going to be a really hard thing to do.” Michael Battisti said h e is grateful that he can u se his livelihood to help his growing son. “It does make me feel good that I’m able to help not only my son but other y oung adults who are in the same predicament,” he said. The Battistis acquired the land on Hinchey Road in early July thanks to a d onation from a family member. I t will be a six-bedroom ranch house, roughly 3,500 square feet with an office and walk-in pantry, laundry room and other features. Construction is scheduled to begin later this year or in January. “There is an empty lot n ext to it that we are looking at for the future. It’s a n older neighborhood, and there’s no real close neighbors nearby,” said Sherry Battisti, who has b een a nurse at Mary Cariola Children’s Center at the Elmwood campus for about nine years. She is one of five nurses who w ork as a team taking c are of the 400 kids there. Ernie Hayward, vice president of residential supports and services at Lifetime Assistance, de- c lined comment regard- i ng his agency’s involvement, saying discussions were in early stages. Lifetime Assistance provides residential services to m ore than 500 children a nd adults with developmental disabilities in a variety of settings and neighborhoods throughout the greater Rochester a rea, according to its web- site. The cost of the new home typically would be in the range of about $800,000 to $900,000, S herry Battisti said, but she believes the cost c ould be significantly lower thanks to the generosity of local contractors. The goal at their gofundme.comsite is $500,000. “There are quite a few companies who said they would do the roofing and s iding, the masonry work, (Michael’s) landscaper is g oing to do that when the time comes,” Sherry Battisti said. “A lot of them have known my husband f or 40 years, they know he’s a really hard worker, he’s always donated to other people and helped them, so I think it’s nice t hat they want to give b ack to him now.” Plus, she said, people are realizing that autism and other developmental disabilities are a growing p roblem. “ People know there are alot more kids with these issues than there ever used to be,” she said. Jon Hand is the Demo- c rat & Chronicle’s prob- l em solver. If you have a p roblem that needs solving — whether it’s consumer-based or otherwise —call him at (585) 2582 395 or email at LAUREN PETRACCA/@LAURENPETRACCA/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER This plot of land on Hinchey Road in Gates is where the Battistis plan to build a house for young adults with autism. Autistic Continued from Page 1A To help Sherry and Michael Battisti are trying to raise $500,000 to help build a group home for their son and five others. To make a donation, go to www.gofundme.comand search for “House for Autism.” Everywhere else in the world the game will be a vailable only via Yahoo!. E ven “NFL Ticket” subscribers on DirecTV will be shut out. T he deal between Yahoo! and the NFL was announced in June.They’re p romoting it as the first free, live global webcast of a regular-season NFL g ame. But the game not being t elevised locally is sure to irk many fans. “We’ve already taken c alls from frustrated viewers about this who come to expect the major- i ty of Bills games to be on our air,” John Kucko, the s ports director at Roches- ter’s CBS affiliate WROC- T V, said Monday from London. “It’s only my guess, but I think it’s obviously important for the NFL to see how this web- streaming goes.” Essentially, the NFL is u sing the Bills (3-3) and J aguars (1-5) in an experiment to gauge its digital audience for the game. I t’ll be the only one on this Sunday at 9:30 a.m. ET, which is about 3½ hours b efore the usual early games on the usual Sunday schedule. “ Lifelong Bills fans in Rochester getting the s haft again,” said Duane Schepler, 60, of Hilton. Some Bills fans west of R ochester in Genesee County may still be able to watch the Bills’ game on T V because they get Buffalo’s CBS affiliate WIVB- T V as part of their cable television service, but t hat’s not the case in Monroe and other surrounding counties such as Livingston, Wayne and Ontario. There are still several ways to get the Yahoo! stream onto a television s et. F ans can connect HDMI cables from their computers to their TVs. F ans who own smart televisions can also watch the game via the Yahoo! app. T here are also several devices, including Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire T V stick, Apple TV, Xbox 360 and Roku, that offer f ree apps that will allow you to view Yahoo!’s content on your TV. T hat’s how local restaurants and bars may still offer the game. At l east one is advertising that it’s opening early, so f ans can have breakfast and watch the Bills. Of course, liquor laws do not allow the sale of alcohol p rior to noon. The Retreat, 512 Long Pond Road in Greece, is offering a l imited breakfast menu from 9 a.m. to noon. T he NFL didn’t return an email seeking comment for this story. Schepler is the audiovisual manager at Finger Lakes Gaming and Racetrack in Farmington, Ont ario County, and its “Remedy Bar” and “Sevens Bar” will carry the game via the stream, he said. But he’s annoyed the NFL is doing this because he said most restaurants and bars aren’t wired to s tream video on their TVs. He wasn’t aware of the s tream-only setup locally for this Bills’ game until l ast week when he was alerted by a “sports bar” contact. “Good enough to suck our ticket and merchandise dollars, hold pre-season camp (here at St. John F isher College), keep us in the blackout market for 40 years,” he said, “but not good enough to have an away game on free broadcast TV or available on the DirecTV Sunday Ticket, which the public and supporting sports bars dump millions into each year just to make sure they get all the games.” W hen the NFL used to black out games if a Bills g ame didn’t sell out — a practice they ended before this season — Roche ster was part of the b lackout. Last year, when aNovember snowstorm f orced the Bills-Jets game t o be moved from Orchard Park to Detroit, Rochester was one of the m arkets where the game was televised on a Monday night. B ut Bills fans will have to watch a different way t his Sunday. “Something like this reminds you that every- o ne isn’t wired” with cable and Internet access, Kucko said. “You just ass ume everyone has (that) and there are people out t here who don’t.” In a statement released earlier this year, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said this stream-only experiment is “another important step in” media i nnovation and that the league will “closely monitor the rapidly evolving digital media landscape.” The fear for fans: The NFL will take games off free TV and charge for them online. “We’ve known about this for months, but what adisservice,” wrote 25- year-old Hilton resident T yler Diedrich on Twitter. “I for one hope this is a m iserable failure for the @NFL.” JDIVERON@Demo- c JAMIE GERMANO/@JGERMANO1/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Bills tight end Charles Clay looking for yards after a catch in Sunday's home loss to Cincinnati. Opening early? If you’re a local restaurant or bar that’s opening early S unday specifically to show the Buffalo Bills’ 9:30 a.m. game in London vs. Jacksonville via Yahoo!’s live stream, let us know by e-mailing r eporter, Jeff DiVeronica at . TV Continued from Page 1A BID ONLINE! Material Handling To Include: Linde H30T Forklift Hyster H60FT Forklift & Much More! Location: Rochester, NY Bid Dates: Oct 19th-21st. Bid Online at: Search For: 21800 Call: 480-367-1300 RETIRED ELECTRICIAN Small Jobs My Specialty!! • Reasonable Rates • Licensed ** Call Bruno 585-750-1680 ** VW KARMANNECIA CONV ’71 61k mi’s, no winters, showroom cond. Asking $12,000. 585-624-4732 OrderaClassifiedad ONLNE 24-hours-a-day! Formore listings, visit SLIDINGPATIODOORS WINDOWS SIDING•DOORS 654-7000

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