For The Kelberman Center

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Mayor Robert Palmieri and his wife, Susan, today announced the 2018 Mayor’s Benefit Gala raised over $42,000 for the Kelberman Center.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 1 in 6 children in the United States have a developmental disability. This ratio equates to 2,300 children in Utica with an additional 200 babies each year.


Research has continually proven that high-quality, early intervention makes a significant impact in changing and improving a child’s trajectory and quality of life.


Despite this fact, there is a major gap in the availability of appropriate and timely screening as autism can be diagnosed around age 2, yet the average age of diagnosis nationally doesn’t occur until years later.


With funding support from the Mayor’s Gala, The Kelberman Center is launching a bold, early intervention screening initiative led by a clinical licensed psychologist through the Kelberman Center Clinic.


The program aims to help families with children up to 8 years of age by catching early warning signs and then assisting them in accessing appropriate services and resources.


The initiative is available for all children and families, but targets those in poverty who otherwise would not have access to these life changing services.  The screening program is easily accessible and mobile and can be brought into schools, community organizations or even someone’s home.


Effective early intervention services such as applied behavior analysis (ABA), speech therapy, occupational therapy, counseling and social skills support not only improves an individual’s learning and life skills, but can also greatly reduce the need for intense support later in life.

Mayor Robert & Susan Palmieri stated, The 2018 Gala was once again a huge success and we thank our generous sponsors and community partners for their continued support.  It was a true pleasure working with the Kelberman Center to help raise funds for this important initiative that has the potential to benefit so many families in our community.”

 “The Kelberman Center is honored to have been chosen by Mayor Palmieri and the Gala Committee as this year’s beneficiary, and we are truly humbled by the outpouring of support from the amazing people and businesses of Utica,” said Dr. Robert Myers, Executive Director. “We’d like to express our deep gratitude for an outstanding evening and most importantly for raising the critical funds that will allow us to expand autism screening services and support for the area’s next generation.”