​Family Story


The Front Door is the way that OPWDD provides you with the services you need. The planning process begins when you enter and takes your desires into consideration. Every IDD family needs to get into OPWDD for the services they require. However, to many it is a long and arduous process. One of the services we provide is to help get into OPWDD for intellectually or developmentally disabled (IDD) individuals. Even if you are a parent, you will not be able to make decisions for your 18-year old child without guardianship even in times of medical emergency.
Our organization and volunteers are proceeding with families as ally and support in this process. So when Shayaan’s family reached out, we were more than happy to help. 

Shayaan Aman was diagnosed with Autism at the tender age of two. We are proud of his parents for being aware and responsible for providing him with speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, as well as applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy. He has since shown great improvement and continues to inspire many just like him.

Shayaan aspires to become an actor and is using his superpower to fly towards his goals. Along with his parents and two younger siblings, he can be an inspiration to many. He sets the example of how to embrace and accept autism and not let it become a hurdle in his journey.

He documents his life wonderfully in his YouTube channel called “shayaanZquest” (linked below)
We would love if you subscribe and keep pushing him forward to become his true self! 

April 2 might be World Autism Awareness day but we want everyone to come forward and make each day to be autism awareness and acceptance day!

আমরা চাই তোমরা আসো!

Zebec’s Story

Shavinder is a single mom. Her son Zebec was only 5 years old when he was diagnosed with autism in Bangladesh. In 2014, Shavinder came to New York City to start a new life after her difficult divorce. In 2015, she was shopping at a local grocery store and found a flyer with an open invitation for parents to attend a Music Event at ASHO’s center in Jamaica. Shavinder brought Zebec to the event and spent the evening with many parents who were going through similar circumstances of cultural acclimation and caring for children with developmental disabilities. She smiled as her son took part in the concert without being judged or blamed for acting out at inappropriate moments. For the first time since arriving in the City, Shavinder felt some sense of community and hope.

Towards the end of the event, Shavinder approached Executive Director, Rubaiya Rahman, to discuss her growing concerns and fears about her son. Rubaiya assured Shavinder that ASHO would help her navigate the complex care system for children with autism. Shavinder came to ASHO’s support office with her son, where she received a general overview of American life and a thorough explanation of the help ASHO could provide in terms of intervention, advocacy, support and referral.

Three days after the office visit, Rubaiya received a phone call very early in the morning. On the other end of the line was a panicked Shavinder who explained that her son became very violent over night and that she was finding it impossible to calm him down. Rubaiya advised her to call 911 and to go to Long Island Jewish Hospital, which was closest to her home. Zebec was taken to the emergency room where Rubaiya talked with the attending physician and helped arrange interpreter services in order to ensure details were not being missed in the treatment. ASHO consistently worked with Shavinder, as educator and advocate, throughout Zebec’s two week in-patient hospital stay.

After being released from the hospital, Rubaiya assisted Shavinder in obtaining multiple members of Zebec’s caregiver team, including a primary care physician (for his official diagnosis), psychologist and psycho-social evaluator. Having an official diagnosis in hand, ASHO is now assisting Shavinder in her application for NY State benefit programs. Shavinder’s most recent report indicated that Zebec is more calm at home and starting to transition nicely to his special needs school. Shavinder and Zebec are finally starting to live a more stable and meaningful American life.