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If you’re a parent or a caregiver of a special needs child or adult your days are filled with frustrations and challenges many do not understand. Some days you’re filled with joy and promise and other days you wonder how you can cope.

We can empathize with you and are here for you. You are not alone!

Since the senseless death of Alejandro Ripley, we have been inundated with calls and comments from concerned individuals, everywhere. Many have told us they often times feel alone and helpless caring for a child with special needs.

As advocates for individuals with autism and other developmental challenges, we believe it is our duty to help families and offer them a lifeline.

In the days and weeks ahead, we will be launching a South Florida initiative, The Lifeline Project, offering support to parents and families who need to know that someone’s in their corner. 



Our initial and immediate response, and a precursor to the aforementioned The LifeLine Project, is as follows:

3 question plan in loving memory of Alejandro and in an urgent immediate effort to prevent the death of another child in our South Florida Community.  

While it may be very uncomfortable, please ask your spouse, your family member or your friend who has a child with special needs these questions.

If you don’t know how to start the conversation, just say, “This is really hard for me but I received this email and because I love you and in light of the death of the child with autism in Miami, I have to ask you these three questions: 

1) “Are you feeling overwhelmed?” (If they say yes ask them the following question): 

2) “Do you now or at any time in the past have any thoughts of hurting yourself?” 

3) “Do you now or any time in the past have thoughts of hurting your child?” 

If they say yes to question 2 or 3, ask the following question 

4) Do you have a plan to hurt yourself or your child?”

If the answer to Question 4 is yes, immediately connect them today to with any of the numbers below you feel most comfortable with (or you can place the call yourself):  

  • 2-1-1 First Call For Help

  • Rabbi Yossi Harlig | 786.326.5368

  • Nechama Harlig | 305.609.4269

If your family member or friend has no thoughts of self-harm but would like to learn more about services and programs in the community, please offer them the 2-1-1 number or our non-emergency number which is 305.234.5654.



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 We will be holding a virtual Town Hall Meeting on Wednesday, May 27th at 8:00 pm

Please join us to provide each other with comfort, support and ensure such tragedies never again occur.


Please register @