Helping Hands Art and More was created by three women with over 40 years combined experience in special education.  The idea was borne from seeing one of our graduating students struggle to find meaning and a purpose in his life after high school.  He had been a graduate for months and still had not found a replacement that he enjoyed as much as his high school experience.  This heightened our awareness to the very limited opportunities for the 21 and above population. As cooperating instructors in a high school autism program,  we had heard this repeatedly in the many workshops we have attended, but it did not truly resonate until we saw it happen to one of our own.  Our students shift from a full seven to nine hour day filled with art, exercise, socialization, structure, and meaning in school, to one which lacks everything that has become such an important piece of who they are.  With Helping Hands Art and Exercise, we have created a meaningful opportunity for young adults transitioning to full-time life in the community and for adults who would simply like to try something new.


team of Instructors

Howell PAL

our Partner

The Howell PAL has been in existence for over thirty years providing recreational and educational programs to the youth of Howell and the surrounding communities and  is excited to include programing for special needs individuals.

We Love What We Do

Our team is highly skilled and has years of experience.  We approach each class with passion and enthusiasm.  You can feel confident leaving your unique needs teen or adult the hands of trained, caring professionals.

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Sue Spreen, B.A. 

Sue Spreen has a life-long passion for nutrition and fitness and has experience as both a certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor.   Her compassion coupled with her extensive experience working with individuals with  autism has made her the perfect addition to the Helping Hands Art and Exercise program.   An extensive traveller to many different countries, Sue also worked with autistic students while living in Arizona and then locally in NJ for residential agencies with individual and group therapies and has extensive experience in behavioral support and respite care.   Receiving her degrees in Elementary Education and English at The College of New Jersey and Hunter College of NY, Sue’s special education training includes crisis management, verbal intervention and medication training. Sue currently works at a local high school with autistic students. At Helping Hands Art & Exercise Sue has been developing her vision for  a brand new yoga program where she hopes to instill not only confidence, but a sense of peace and balance in our unique needs individuals. 

Contact us:


Howell PAL/Southard School, Howell, NJ


"We’re committed to promoting good health and well-being."

Colleen Hordichuk has worked in a Philadelphia hospital program for young adults, providing art therapy and life skills training. After taking time off to raise her children, she reentered the work force and joined the staff of a local high school, where she designed and implemented an art component for a new autism program. Due to an overwhelming response from the students, the program has grown over the last ten years to include art gallery shows and award ceremonies. In 2011, one of her art students was honored with the prestigious Governor’s Award in Art. Ms. Hordichuk earned degrees in Psychology and Art Therapy from The College of New Jersey. She is the founder of Helping Hands Art, where her passion for art has enabled her to reach the inner artist in both her verbal and non-verbal students.
​Colleen and Lori have co-authored several articles published in Autism Parenting magazine. Colleen has also  authored guest blogs with "Autism Speaks" and "Art of Autism".

​Colleen Hordichuk, B.A.

We're passionate about our work  with people with Unique Needs.  Teens and particularly people over 21 are often an under-serviced population.  We want to change that and offer unique  opportunities.

Our goal for this program is multifaceted: to learn, to explore, to meet new people, and to promote overall good health and well-being. We incorporate job training into all components of the program. Additionally,  we hope to raise awareness for our Helping Hands artists with autism and developmental disabilities.  We envision a world in which each human being is respected and embraced for their unique and special gifts and celebrated for their ability to perceive the world with a different yet remarkable eye.

Lori Alexander has been a teacher in a public high school for the past 22 years. For the past ten years she has been teaching in a self- contained autism program. She became passionate about autism education when her son was diagnosed on the spectrum twelve years ago, at age two. She shifted her career from teaching honors English to teaching people with autism. Ms. Alexander is a co-founder and teacher of the Helping Hands Art and Exercise program. She has a Bachelors degree in English from UC Berkeley and a Masters of Arts in English Education from Rutgers University. Ms. Alexander enjoys exercising, and choreographed the  DVD Move WIth Us.

Lori and Colleen have co-authored several articles in Autism Parenting Magazine.

Christine Baier-Kenduck has been a special education teacher for over 20 years, having taught in a self-contained autism program for the past seven years. She has written curriculums, created and implemented trainings for paraprofessionals, and trained staff in verbal de-escalation and passive restraint techniques. Ms. Baier-Kenduck has a BA in Psychology from Rutgers College and an MA in Teaching from The College of New Jersey. She is a co-founder of the Helping Hands Art and Exercise program, where she helps students and adults with disabilities attain their full potential, in the classroom and out in the community. Her three very active children have grown up watching her complete a variety of exercise DVDs, often joining in with their mom. ​

“At Howell PAL we believe in inclusion not exclusion.”

Lori Alexander, M. Ed.

Christine Baier-Kenduck,M.A.T.