This past Saturday, July 15th, Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato (D-Rockaway Beach) hosted a community workshop for families with special-needs children. The workshop was run by a new community organization, Perfect Piece of the Puzzle, founded by Rockaway resident Trishia Bermudez. Bermudez is being assisted by a grant from the Citizens’ Committee of New York City. Her goal is to help fellow parents of special-needs children navigate the minimal, often poorly-advertised services available to help with the often-intense issues they face.
“I just can’t say enough good about what Trisha is doing,” said Pheffer Amato, “and I think it exemplifies the spirit of the Rockaway Peninsula. We often aren’t given the resources we need, but that doesn’t stop us from going out, organizing, and fixing the situation ourselves. I’ve gotten dozens of calls from parents of special-needs children in my office. From transportation to maintenance of city streets and education funding, it’s clear that our City and State bureaucracies fail to give basic accommodations to special needs families. We were able to make real headway identifying issues with transportation, recreation and more – it was a fantastic workshop. Now that we’ve identified issues, I’m excited to work with Trishia and all the other great families of PPoP to do everything we can to turn those needs into action.”
“We really appreciate Assemblywoman Pheffer Amato for hosting this crucial conversation,” said Trisha Bermudez, Founder and CEO of Perfect Piece of the Puzzle, Inc. “My son, Matthew, has a rare chromosome deletion. He started receiving services from the time he was a month old. But even with early intervention, I found it difficult to navigate the system. Getting basic supports was never an easy task. Matthew is now four years old, and as he grows, there are always new challenges. Too often, information and services seem to be nonexistent, or you need to really know someone to find out. I don’t want other parents to have to go through what I went through, which is why I founded PPoP. With such a great turnout at our first workshop, we’re confident the need is there and that our work will eventually lead to real change to our families. We’re very gratified to Stacey and all the attendees for starting that process.”