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SNSC is very pleased to announce the hiring of a new STAR Coordinator. Dr. Lou Lafasciano begins work in August 2011. Leah Abrahamsen resigned to take a full time position as the social worker at Newton School in South Strafford VT. Leah has served for three years as Coordinator since the program came under the SNSC umbrella and done a great job handling the transition. We wish her well in her future career work.

Lou, or Dr. Lou as he is often called, has special and unique qualifications for this position. His (now adult) daughter was one of the first STAR participants when the program started at DHMC in the last 1990s. Lou is a retired school administrator with many contacts in regional schools as well as many in the DHMC and other area health facilities. In addition, Lou's energy and his commitment to the STAR mission will mean a great bonus in his new position. Below is more information on his background. Welcome Lou!!

Dr. Lafasciano is a veteran public school educator with over 30 years experience in serving the needs of youth in both New Hampshire and Vermont. He makes the Upper Valley his home now, living in the community of Strafford VT where he previously served as Principal of the Newton School. He earned his doctorate in public policy in 2003 from the University of Vermont and holds advanced degrees in educational leadership from both Plymouth State University and University of New Hampshire. His professional mission has been and will continue to be: "To improve the way of life for community youth and their families." He has both a professional and personal interest in particularly supporting the needs of chronically medically challenged youth and their families.

Please feel free to contact him by email at Dr.Lou@snsc-uv.org, or the STAR office number 603-448-2688, or his cell phone 603-667-8554.

STAR is currently recruiting new teens and their families for participation in this upcoming year's activities.


To promote healthy psychological and social development for adolescents with chronic physical health conditions through mentoring, education, and peer and family support programs.

STAR gave me a whole new outlook on how to live my life and to continue to believe in myself, strive for goals and never ever give up.

Just being able to talk out loud to people who understand you and what you deal with everyday of your life helps.

STAR has helped me accept my illness, and has given me confidence in living my day-to-day life.

STAR is unique program that strives to help make adolescence a rich and positive experience for teens living with chronic physical health conditions, and to help them successfully transition into adulthood. This is done through peer-based support groups for teens and their parents, education, and mentoring from Dartmouth College students who are also living with chronic health conditions.

STAR is a program of the Special Needs Support Center (SNSC). SNSC has been supporting parents of children with special needs since 1979 and has five other categories of services for families including Parent to Parent of New Hampshire ; Respite Child Care; Kids On the Block educational programs; Family Support Services (including Educational workshops; Information and referral; Educational Advocacy; Nathan Hall Library; and Family Support Groups); and Community Partners Programs [including Connections, a Big Brother/Big Sister program with Tucker Foundation at Dartmouth; DEAF (Deaf/Hard of Hearing Empowerment and Advocacy for Families in the Upper Valley); Happenings; Sibshop; Art Group; Social skills groups; and educational classes through Lebanon College].

For more information about any of SNSCís programs, please take a look at our newsletter or contact us for details.


Your Support can help keep this program available for teens and parents!

My Extraordinary Universe
By Carmen

just think
in a world so extraordinary
my whole universe
can revolve around something
a thing so seemingly small
an event with so much impact
that has brought distress of mind
and yet so much maturity
has tagged along by its side
and through all of this
I've made a great personal achievement
a circumstance I'm sure never to forget
though it may fade slightly over years to come
it will never disappear from me completely
for I have too much pride in my sorrow
I've known to much pain to ignore
soon will be my private glory
my turn to smile and silently leave

STAR (Steps Toward Adult Responsibility)
A Program of the Special Needs Support Center (SNSC)
12 Flynn St. Lebanon, NH 03766
603-448-1268 tel