Tuesday, September 28, 2010

EARLI Autism Pregnancy Study

The Early Autism Risk Longitudinal Investigation (EARLI Study) is a national research study recruiting mothers who have a biological child on the autism spectrum and who are newly pregnant or are considering getting pregnant. EARLI will explore possible genetic and environmental links to autism, beginning in pregnancy continuing through the baby's early development.


The observational study is minimally invasive; researchers simply want to collect data on these pregnancies and babies. Some of the samples researchers seek are blood, hair and dust from the home. The babies born during the study will be clinically assessed through the study until age 3, giving parents a chance to seek early intervention if a developmental delay is suspected. Families also will be compensated for their cooperation, up to a total $605 over four years.

EARLI, which will be recruiting through at least 2014, will follow each family for approximately four years Here in Maryland, women who live in Baltimore city and the counties of Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Cecil, Harford, Howard, Montgomery and Prince George's are eligible. To find out more about EARLI, including how to enroll, please see www.earlistudy.org. You do not need to be currently pregnant to enroll.

Posted by request from the outreach coordinator for this study at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. This post does not constitute an endorsement by AutMont of the study. Please research opportunities such as this prior to enrolling.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Event Summary for the Week of September 27, 2010

Check out the AutMont Calendar to see all of the activities for this week as well as those coming up!

Monday, September 27:



Tuesday, September 28:


Wednesday, September 29:


Saturday, October 2:


*****

Do you know of another event? Leave details in the comments!

Special Needs Planning Workshops

M&L Special Needs Planning offers many valuable workshops over the course of the year. Following is a list of upcoming workshops with definite dates and times.


October 14, 7:30-9:30 p.m.: Navigating the Financial World of the Special Needs Family (MCTransitions meeting) At the Arc of Montgomery County (11600 Nebel Street) in Rockville. RSVP to Reda.Sheinberg@mctransitions.org or 301-385-5889.

October 19, 7-8:30 p.m.: Covering the Basics to Ensure the Quality of Life for the Special Needs Family At Katherine Thomas School (9975 Medical Center Drive) in Rockville. Register online.

November 16, 7-8:30 p.m.: Estate Planning for the Special Needs Family At Katherine Thomas School (9975 Medical Center Drive) in Rockville. Register online.

December 7, 7-8:30 p.m.: Creating a Letter of Intent At Katherine Thomas School (9975 Medical Center Drive) in Rockville. Register online. $65 fee

January 5, 6-8 p.m.: Navigating the World of the Special Needs Family—Presentation for the Exceptional Family Member Program At Ft. Meade Community Readiness Center (830 Chisholm Avenue). For more information or to register, call 301-677-4122 or email caraline.someck@conus.army.mil.

January 11, 7-8:30 p.m.: Roadmap for Transitioning Planning and a Discussion of Post Secondary Options At Katherine Thomas School (9975 Medical Center Drive) in Rockville. Register online.

February 8, 7-8:30 p.m.: Navigating the Financial World of the Special Needs FamilyAt Katherine Thomas School (9975 Medical Center Drive) in Rockville. Register online.

March 8, 7-8:30 p.m.: Understanding SSI/Medicaid and SSDI/Medicare At Katherine Thomas School (9975 Medical Center Drive) in Rockville. Register online.

April 12, 7-8:30 p.m.: Estate Planning for the Special Needs Family At Katherine Thomas School (9975 Medical Center Drive) in Rockville. Register online.

May 10, 7-8:30 p.m.: Creating a Letter of Intent At Katherine Thomas School (9975 Medical Center Drive) in Rockville. Register online. $65 fee

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Road to Adult Services

The Montgomery County Government Community Support Network and the Collaborative Outreach and Training Committee will host a meeting on October 6 about the Road to Adult Services for Individuals with Disabilities.

Shawn Lattanzio for DHHS and Jamell White from JSSA will present information regarding programs and services for children and teens with developmental disabilities. Learn when what, and where to apply for services.

The meeting will take place from 6:45-8:45 p.m. in the second floor meeting room of the Rockville Library (21 Maryland Avenue). RSVP by October 5 to 240-777-1216.

MCCPTA Special Education Committee Kick-Off Meeting

The MCCPTA Special Education Committee will hold its kick off meeting for the year on October 4 at 7:30 p.m.

At this meeting, you can meet the special education directors as well as area advocacy groups. All are welcome to attend.

The meeting will be held at the Carver Educational Services Center cafeteria (850 Hungerford Road) in Rockville.

For more information, contact Jeanne Taylor at FRTJMT@aol.com.

Wrightslaw Conference in Fredericksburg, VA

Wrightslaw will hold a Special Education Law and Advocacy Conference featuring Pete Wright on October 14 in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

The conference, which runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., focuses on special education law, rights, and responsibilities; tests and measurements to measure progress and regression; SMART IEPs; and an introduction to tactics and strategies for effective advocacy.

Register online for the conference. If you pay on or before September 30, the cost is $100 for an individual or $150 for a couple. After that, it is $125 per individual or $175 per couple. Each registration fee includes breakfast, lunch, and a set of three Wrightslaw books.

The program will be held at the Jepson Alumni Executive Center (1119 Hanover Street) a the University of Mary Washington.

Candidate Forum for Board of Education

There will be a forum on October 17 during which the Board of Education candidates will answer questions about special education.

The forum will take place from 3-5:30 p.m. at Rock Creek Church (19100 Muncaster Road) in Derwood.

The format will be: candidates' statements, candidates panel, questions from the floor, and closing statements.

The focus of the forum will be candidates' written responses to the questionnaire that follows:

"As a candidate for the MC BOE:

A. In preparation for the October 17 Candidates Forum, would you state your ideas for specific implementation (both short-term and long-term) of whatever parts of the Expectations for Special Education you deem most important?

B. Should you be elected to the BOE, what measures would you propose to ensure educational equity and address the continuing patterns of disproportionality as reflected in identification, placement and suspension data for African American students with disabilities? If elected to the Board of Education. What would you do to address this issue of over-representation and the lack of achievement on the HAS's, without cutting programs and services for students with special needs?

C. How do you assess the current Board's performance in providing oversight of the school system? What would you change to improve the Board's ability to provide meaningful and effective oversight?

D. Should you be elected to the BOE and be named a member of the search committee to recommend to the BOE the new superintendent, what questions would you ask a candidate for superintendent concerning special education re: their experience with and knowledge of children/youth that have learning disabilities? How would you determine the candidate's past experience with, and commitment to, special education?

E. Should you not be on the search committee for the new superintendent, what inquiry will you do re: special education when the search committee makes its recommendation to the BOE?

F. Please submit any additional written statement you wish to make to this audience whose commitment is to a broad continuum of care for all children and youth who have special needs."

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Event Summary for the Week of September 20, 2010

Check out the AutMont Calendar to see all of the activities for this week as well as those coming up!

Monday, September 20:



Assistive Technology Showcase

George Mason University's Assistive Technology Initiative will host a Technology Showcase on October 12-13 at the GMU Fairfax Campus.

This free event will feature more than 40 presenters and exhibitors discussing accessibility at home, in school, and in the workplace.

Showcase hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, with many sessions to choose from on each day.

Register online for the event, which will be held in Dewberry Hall (Johnson Center). For more information, email ati@gmu.edu.

Symposium: Collaborative Problem Solving

The Training Institute at JSSA will present an all-day professional symposium "Collaborative Problem Solving: Teaching, Treating, and Parenting Challenging Children and Adolescents" on October 21 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

The symposium will be presented by Ross Greene, Ph.D., author and originator of the Collaborative Problem Solving approach. Participants will learn how different explanations for and interpretations of challenging behavior in children can lead to different approaches to intervention, and why conventional reward and punishment procedures may not be effective for many challenging children. You can download the brochure online.

You can register online for the symposium, which will be held at the National 4-H Center (7100 Connecticut Avenue) in Chevy Chase. The registration fee is $155 before October 8 and $165 after. For more information, call 301-610-8384 or email symposium@jssa.org.

Workshop: Making Learning Sensational

The Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) at Kennedy Krieger will present an all-day workshop called "Making Learning Sensational" on November 10 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.


The workshop is intended for family members, teachers, therapists, social workers, paraprofessionals, and more.

You can register online for the workshop. The $150 fee includes breakfast and lunch. It will be held in the 3rd Floor Conference Room of the Creamer Building at 3901 Greenspring Avenue in Baltimore.

Inclusion Classes at Imagination Stage

Imagination Stage will offer several classes this fall for students with disabilities. In addition to the classes listed below, thereis one for K-2 students with Down Syndrome.

You can register online for these classes. For more information, contact Elizabeth Broder-Oldach at 301-280-1627 or atebroder-oldach@imaginationstage.org.

Creative Drama Across the Spectrum (Class #8261): For students grades 2-5. Class is held Sundays October 3-December 12 from 10:30-11:30 a.m. This class is designed specifically for students with autism and autism spectrum related disorders. This class uses drama, music, movement, and art to help students explore new and familiar stories using their body, voice, mind, and imaginations. Tuition is $250.

Access the Actor's Tools (Class #8262): For students grades 5-7. Class is held Sundays October 31-December 12 from noon to 1 p.m. Designed for students with autism and autism spectrum related disorders, this class will introduce students to techniques for creating sustainable and believable characters on stage through the use of the actors' tools of body, voice, mind, and imagination. Tuition is $150.

Access Shakespeare! (Class #8263): For students ages 14-21. Class is held Mondays October 18-December 6 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. This workshop is designed for teens with cognitive or developmental disabilities. Students will work on body awareness, movement, projection, breath control, and diction through theater games and as they explore the stories and portions of text from various Shakespeare plays. Tuition is $250.

Kennedy Krieger's Festival of Trees 2010

Kennedy Krieger's annual Festival of Trees will be held Thanksgiving Weekend, November 26-28.

The Festival of Trees is a three-day event featuring fairyland forests, gingerbread towns, and toy train gardens. More than 100 craft boutiques will be exhibiting along with holiday goodies and activities for kids of all ages. There will be entertainers performing throughout the weekend.

Admission is $10 per adult and $5 for seniors and kids ages 5-12. Children 4 and under are free. Tickets are available at the door or online. Coupons are available online.

The festival will be open on Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. On Sunday, the festival will be open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. It will be held at the Maryland State Fairgrounds (2200 York Road) in Timonium. For more information, call 443-923-7300 or email events@kennedykrieger.org.

Across Life's Spectrum Workshop

The Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia will hold "Across Life's Spectrum," a full-day of programs, workshops, and exhibitions designed to meet the needs of those touched by spectrum disorders, on October 10.

This workshop, held in Fairfax, will feature Judith Warner as keynote speaker and will include workshops on sensory integration, technology, finance and insurance, advocacy, and more.

You can download the registration form online. Registration (including lunch) for JCCNV members is $22 and $25 for nonmembers before October 6. After the 6th, lunch is not included and registration is $36.

The workshop will be held at the Northern Virginia Jewish Community Center (8900 Little River Turnpike) in Fairfax. For more information, call 703-323-0880.

Walk Now for Autism Speaks

Autism Speaks' annual fundraising walk, Walk Now For Autism Speaks, will take place on the National Mall in Washington, DC on November 6.

The three-mile walk begins at 10 a.m., although registration and a resource fair will open at 8:30 a.m. Opening ceremonies will begin at 9:30.

You can register online for the walk with a minimum donation of $20.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Webinar: Legal Requirements for Appropriate Transition Planning

The Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA) will present a webinar on transition planning on September 23 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Eastern time.

Catherine Merino Reisman and Josh Kershenbaum will present "Legal Requirements for Appropriate Transition Planning." This session will provide an overview of IDEA's transition requirements and the difference between "outcome-oriented" and "results-oriented" processes. Using case studies, they will also cover how to develop appropriate transition content for the IEP.

Parent University Lectures

Parent University will offer several workshops over the course of the next few months. Each workshop will be held at Har Shalom ECEC (11510 Falls Road) in Potomac from 7:15-8:30 p.m.

Register online for any of the workshops. Cost for each workshop is $30 ($35 at the door). Register for 3 workshops for $80 or $120 for the complete workshop series. For more information, email info@parentuniv.org.

October 4, Practical Strategies for Everyday Behavior Problems (Dr. Dan Shapiro, Developmental Pediatrician): By understanding the source of your child's behavior problems, parents can individualize an effective strategy. After a quick review of guiding principles and techniques, attendees will be asked to present problem situations for discussion.

November 9, Everyday Mindfulness: A Guide for Parents in All Stages (Dr. Julie Bindeman, Psychologist): Learn easy to remember mindfulness techniques that can assist in keeping you in the present moment, centering yourself, or just giving you that "5 minute" time out that you might need. Go home with tools and tricks you can use immediately.

January 12, Asperger's Syndrome and Nonverbal Learning Disorder: Strategies for School, Home, and Social Situations (Janet Price and Jennifer Engel Fisher, M.Ed., Educational Consultants): What are the similarities and differences between Asperger's Syndrome and Nonverbal Learning Disorder? What kinds of strategies work? Learn ways your child or teen can use the strengths associated with these disorders to help overcome their challenges.

March 16, Medications: When Does it Make Sense to Consider a Trial? (Dr. Chuck Conlon, Neurodevelopmental Pediatrician): When is the right time to consider a trial as part of a multi-modal treatment plan? What are the target symptoms (attention, anxiety, etc.) that could indicate that a medication could be helpful? Who will respond and how do you predict this? How do you know that the medication is effective? What are some of the more common medications used and what are the side effects that need to be monitored? After an overview addressing these and other issues, participants can present problems and concerns that they have about medication use.

May 9, First Impressions Count (Cynthia Lett, Certified Etiquette Professional, founder and executive director of the International Society of Protocol & Etiquette Professionals): Learn how good manners can help your child navigate their social world and be more comfortable in social settings. Participation in this workshop will enhance your working knowledge of important etiquette focused skills and suggestions about how to reinforce them in your child. Specific strategies for children with special needs will be provided.

Inside the Emotional Life of a Young Child

The Treatment and Learning Centers will host a presentation by Dr. Serena Wieder, Ph.D. about How Childhood Symbols Shed Light on Emotional Development and Learning Differences on October 6 from 7 to 9 p.m.

Dr. Wieder, who is a clinical psychologist, will speak about childhood symbols, what they mean, how they reflect a child's emotional development, and how understanding this can help you understand his or her feelings. The presentation will provide insight into a young child's emotional life and some ideas about how to support this aspect of development.

This presentation is intended for parents, caregivers, and professionals working with children. A post-talk question and answer session will follow.

Register online for the presentation, which will take place at the Katherine Thomas School (9975 Medical Center Drive) in Rockville. For more information, contact Bonnie Lawhorn at 301-424-5200 ext. 138 or blawhorn@ttlc.org.

SEAC Meeting

This month's meeting of MCPS' Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) will be September 23 from 7 to 9 p.m. This month's topics include AYP (annual yearly progress) information about the schools as well as changes at Edison High School.

These meetings, usually held on the 4th Thursday of the month, include a period of public comments, Department of Special Education updates, and a speaker or discussion.

Meetings are held at the Carver Educational Services Center (850 Hungerford Drive, Room 127) in Rockville. All are welcome.

Anyone wishing to give public comments must bring five copies of your testimony and contact one of the co-chairs prior to the meeting. Co-chairs are Joan Sabaka (valntine20@aol.com), Anne Turner (adturn88@verizon.net), and Laura Swerdlin (lauraswerdlin@verizon.net).

Ivymount's Fall Lecture Series

The Model Asperger Program at Ivymount School will present three lectures this fall and winter. Each free lecture begins at 7 p.m. and ends at 9. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. for networking and refreshments.

Register online or by calling 301-469-0223. The Ivymount School is located at 11614 Seven Locks Road in Rockville.

October 19—Peers and Playgrounds: Social Skills Interventions for Children with Asperger Syndrome; Speaker is Connie Kasari, Ph.D., UCLA Center for Autism Research and Treatment. Dr. Kasari's current research focuses on developing targeted interventions for early social communication development in at-risk infants, toddlers, and preschoolers with autism and peer relationships for school-aged children with autism.

November 17—Asperger Syndrome and Visual Processing: Perspectives from Neuropsychology and Education; Speaker is Taruna Ahluvalia, Ph.D., Pediatric Neuropsychologist. Dr. Ahluvalia has worked with children on the spectrum for more than ten years.

December 9—Neuropsychology of Motivation: What Research Teaches Us About Motivating Children and Adolescents with Asperger Syndrome; Speaker is William R. Stixrud, Ph.D., Clinical Neuropsychologist. Dr. Stixrud's expertise includes neuropsychological assessment, learning and executive disorders, brain development, brain-based learning, motivation, and the effects of stress and sleep deprivation on the brain.

Dance Classes for Individuals with Disabilities

Montgomery County and Sue Green are offering three dance classes this fall for individuals with disabilities.

Fun, Rhythm, and Roll (Course #286125): Engage in playful rhythmic movement for fitness and coordination. Designed especially for people with developmental disabilities; movements are also adapted for individuals who use wheelchairs. For ages 15 and up. Starts Saturday, September 25 and consists of ten 45-minute sessions from 10-10:45 a.m. At Holiday Park Senior Center (3950 Ferrara Drive) in Wheaton. Cost is $75.

E-Z Hip Hop (Course #286122): Introduction to fresh and exciting dance moves to the beat of hip hop music. Designed especially for people with developmental disabilities; movements are also adapted for individuals who use wheelchairs. For ages 15 and up. Starts Saturday, September 25 and consists of ten 45-minute sessions from 11-11:45 a.m. At Holiday Park Senior Center (3950 Ferrara Drive) in Wheaton. Cost is $75.

E-Z Hip Hop (Course #286121): Introduction to fresh and exciting dance moves to the beat of hip hop music. Designed especially for people with developmental disabilities; movements are also adapted for individuals who use wheelchairs. For ages 18 and up. Starts Friday October 8 and consists of eight 45-minute sessions from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. At Wheaton Community Center (11711 Georgia Avenue) in Wheaton. Cost is $60. (No class 10/15, 11/12, and 11/26.)

Concert: Music for Autism

Music for Autism and the Ivymount School will present an interactive concert, Making Music with Friends, with The Kennedy String Quartet on October 17 at 1 p.m.

The concert will take place in the all-purpose room at Ivymount (11614 Seven Locks Road) in Rockville.

The concert is free, but registration is required. You can register online or by calling 877-863-7473.

You can download a social story with photos from previous concerts for your child or a guide for parents.

Section 504 Technical Assistance Conference

The U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights will host a Technical Assistance Conference on Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 on September 24 from 4 to 7:30 p.m.

The conference is intended for parents of students with 504 plans from several school districts, including Montgomery County Public Schools.

Topics will include your rights and obligations under the laws OCR enforces as well as navigating section 504 and educational services for students. There will be time for questions and answers.

The conference will take place at Faulkner Ridge Center (10598 Marble Faun Lane) in Columbia. Light refreshments will be served and registration will take place through out the conference.

The schedule is as follows:
4-4:10: Welcome
4:10-5:40: OCR 101
5:40-5:55: Break
6-7:20: Navigating Section 504 and Educational Services for Students
7:20-7:30: Closing and Final Remarks

Kennedy Krieger's 10th Annual Autism Conference

The Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) at Kennedy Krieger Institute will present their 10th Annual Autism Conference: Innovative Advancements in Autism Spectrum Disorders on October 28 and 29 in Baltimore.

This year's conference will focus on topics regarding medical issues in children with autism spectrum disorder, early diagnosis of ASD, and intervention strategies and issues for school aged children with ASD. You can find the full agenda online.

You can register online for the conference, which will be held at The Conference Center at Sheppard Pratt (6501 N Charles Street) in Baltimore. One- or two-day registrations are available. For more information, contact Joy Johnson at johnsonjoy@kennedykrieger.org.

IDEA: Fall Kick-Off

The Parents' Place of Maryland will offer a three-workshop series this fall to help parents sharpen their skills as their child's best advocate. The workshops are intended to help you become a more informed member of your child's IEP team.

September 27: S.M.A.R.T. IEPs—writing effective goals and objectives.

October 25: Letting Go: A Focus on Transition—planning for your son or daughter after high school.

November 22: Discipline and Behavior in IDEA—effective behavior plans.

Meetings will take place from 5-8:30 p.m. at the Cork Gallery (302 East Federal Street, 4th Floor) in Baltimore.

For more information, contact Charvette Barfield at 410-768-9100 ext. 106 or charvette@ppmd.org.

Funville Parent Resource Fair

Washington Parent will sponsor a parent resource fair, Funville, on September 25 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at White Flint Mall in North Bethesda.

Attendees can check out parent resources available in the community, including activities, arts, camp, childcare, learning and more.

In addition to information, there will also be hands-on activities, giveaways, contents, live performances, demonstrations and interactive stations focused on education, health, the arts, parties, and more.

For more information, contact alicia@washingtonparent.net. White Flint Mall is located at 11301 Rockville Pike.

Understanding Your Out of Control Child

The Montgomery Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health will hold its family-to-family support group on September 23 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

This group is for parents and caregivers of children and youth with emotional, behavioral, or mental health challenges. The meeting offers participants the opportunity to address concerns, exchange ideas, share new information and learn effective coping strategies.

Dinner is provided and registration is required. The meeting will be held on the Terrace Level, Suite B, at 13321 New Hampshire Avenue in Silver Spring.

For more information or to register, contact Michele Banks at 301-879-5200 ext. 31 or MBanks@mcfof.org.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Free Information Session About Social Thinking

Parent University will hold a free parent information session on Think Social groups, which are forming soon.

These groups, which teach kids to learn the thinking behind social skills, are based on Michelle Garcia Winner's philosophy.

These social cognitive learning programs are designed for children and teens with ADHD, PDD-NOS, Asperger's Syndrome, and other social challenges. They will focus on perspective taking, being part of a group, compliments, conversation, interpreting social cues, and establishing and maintaining friendships.

For more information and to RSVP for the information session, which takes place on September 14 at 7:15 p.m. at the offices of Early Intervention Therapists (6208 Montrose Road) in Rockville, call 301-468-9343 or info@parentuniv.org.

Using Technology to Increase Independence and Achievements

SEEC (Seeking Equality, Empowerment, and Community for People with Developmental Disabilities) will present a meeting on Using Technology to Increase Independence and Achievements at Home, in the Workplace, and in the Community.

SEEC Director of Information and Assistive Technology, Mike Mullenix, will present at the meeting, to be held September 28 from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

This open meeting for SEEC families and all interested community members will be held in the third floor conference room at SEEC Headquarters (8905 Fairview Road) in Silver Spring. To ensure that enough materials are on hand for everyone, please RSVP to Wendy at wbaumert@seeconline.org.

The meeting will consist of a multi-media presentation of how SEEC uses technology to maximize effective communication; a hands-on demonstration of the equipment SEEC uses; a discussion of new technologies focusing on the iTouch, iPad, and iPhone; a question and answer session, and light refreshments.

LDAMC Parent Connection Support Groups

The Learning Disabilities Association of Montgomery County (LDAMC) is sponsoring The Parent Connection, a guided peer support group for parents of students with learning disabilities.

Meetings will be held September 22, October 20, and November 10 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Flower Valley Elementary School (4615 Sunflower Drive) in Rockville. They are free and open to the community. RSVPs are requested at 301-933-1076 or ldamcpc@yahoo.com.

Join other parents to discuss issues specific to parents of children with learning disabilities, including understanding your child's strengths and challenges; learning about accomodations and modifications that fit your child's needs; working with schools so that they understand your child's individual learning profile; supporting your child outside of school; and sharing successful resources, tips, and strategies.

Sensory Friendly Film: Legend of the Guardians

Enjoy a screening of Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole in a sensory friendly environment on October 2 at 10 a.m.

AMC Entertainment and the Autism Society have teamed up to provide a mellower setting for families affected by autism and other disabilities. The movie auditorium will have its lights brought up and the sound turned down, families can bring in their own GFCF snacks, and no previews or ads will be shown before the movies. Audience members are also welcome to get up and move or vocalize. (Unless the safety of the audience is questioned.)

Tickets cost between $4 and $6 depending on the theater. The AMC Rio Cinemas 18 in Gaithersburg (9811 Washingtonian Blvd.) is one of the theaters that participates.

Lecture Series at the Lab School

The Lab School of Washington will present a lecture series for parents and professionals over the course of the school year on a variety of topics.

Each session begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Lab School and is followed by questions and discussion. The presentation concludes by 9 p.m. You can register online for the lectures. Single lectures are $15; the complete series is $100.

Topics and dates are listed below. For full descriptions, download the full schedule. For more information contact Carrie Hurd at 202-454-2343 or carrie.hurd@labschool.org. The main campus of the Lab School is located at 4759 Reservoir Road, NW, Washington, DC.

September 15—The Road Trip without a Map: Parenting and Teaching Disorganized Students: Clinical psychologist Laurie C. Dietzel will speak.

October 6—Worried Kids: How to Help Our Children with Anxiety: Psychologist Bonnie Zucker will speak.

October 20—21st Century Learning: Integrating Assistive Technology with Reading and Writing in all Academic Areas: Jennifer Sherman and Dan Hartman, Lab School instructors will speak.

November 3—The Successful Journey of an Adult Dyslexic: A Well Told Story that Will Make You Laugh, Cry, and Give You all the Hope You Need: Pritchard Garrett will speak.

December 1—Helping Children Learn: A New Way of Thinking about Intelligence: Professor of psychology Jack Naglieri will speak.

January 19—When Asking Nicely Isn't Enough: The Art & Science of Getting Teens to Listen: Clinical psychologist Steven M. Harner will speak.

February 16—Growing Up Online: Helping Teens with Learning Disabilities Navigate Emotions, Behavior, and Relationships in the Digital Age: Lab School personnel Doug Fagen and Nancy Rowland will speak.

March 9—The Role of Brain Imaging in Understanding Reading and Its Disorders: Guinevere Eden will speak.

March 30—Ready for Take-off: Getting your Teen with ADHD or LD Off to College: Developmental pediatrician Patricia Quinn will speak.

April 13—Adult Lab School Students Share Their Life, Work and Learning Experiences: Peg O'Donnell will speak.

Research Study Seeks Caregivers of Individuals with ASD

Danya International is looking for participants to take part in a research study to evaluate Caring for Caregivers, a support group program to help caregivers of individuals with autism spectrum disorders.

The program is funded by the National Institute on Mental Health and will offer participants the opportunity to interact with other caregivers, to watch video clips of real-life caregivers discussing their experiences, and to brainstorm ideas for reducing stress.

The research study will be made up of two groups. The experimental group will attend three 90-minute group sessions (over three weeks) and complete questionnaires. These participants will receive $150 for their participation. The control group will only complete questionnaires and will receive $75 for participating. Volunteers will be assigned randomly to groups.

For more information or to enroll in the program, email cfcinfo@danya.com or call the Caring for Caregivers Research Assistant at 301-960-2941.


AutismOnline.com to Launch with Event at AFI

Danya International will launch AutismOnline.com with an event on September 20 from 4-5:30 p.m. at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center (8633 Colesville Road) in Silver Spring.

The site has a mission of providing research-based, effective, high-quality resources, products, and information on autism spectrum disorders across the lifespan.

The website is targeted at individuals with ASD, caregivers, advocates, teachers, and professionals.


Families Together September Workshops

Families Together will be presenting several webinars this month on several different topics. Each $50 webinar fee is per site; there is no limit to the number of people who can participate in the webinar at each site.

September 17, 1-4 p.m.—Children Who Challenge: This workshop gives professionals and parents strategies for creating environments that help children who are at risk due to behavior problems.

September 20, 1-4 p.m.—Functional Behavior Analysis: This workshop offers a new way of looking at Functional Behavior Analysis and is a great follow-up for those who have taken the Children Who Challenge course.

September 27, 1-4 p.m.—ABC's of Homework: This webinar will teach parents and teachers practical and useful tips that can help children be successful with school work.

September 28, 6-8 p.m.—Teaching Organization to Children with ADD/ADHD

For more information, call 866-326-4868 or email sherry@familiestogether.org or visit the organization's Upcoming Webinar page.

MCTrans Meeting: Navigating the Financial World of the Special Needs Family

MCTransitions will hold its next meeting on October 14 from 7:30 to 9 p.m.

Maedi Tanham Carney, from M&L Special Needs Planning, will lead a discussion on Navigating the Financial World of the Special Needs Family.

This workshop will examine the process of providing and planning for the special needs family. It is a detailed overview of what it means to be a special needs family, the journey, and how completing a comprehensive special needs financial life plan will enable the family to be proactive in planning for the entire family's financial future.

The workshop will be held at The Arc of Montgomery County (11600 Nebel Street) in Rockville. For more information or to RSVP, please contact Reda at reda.sheinberg@mctransitions.org.

Transition Times 2010-2011 Meetings

Transitions Times, a joint project of Potomac Community Resources (PCR) and The Arc of Montgomery County will be holding monthly meetings from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. on the following dates:

September 15, 2010
October 20, 2010
November 17, 2010
January 19, 2011
February 16, 2011
March 16, 2011
April 20, 2011
May 18, 2011

These meetings are for families of individuals with developmental differences who are transitioning to adult life. Participants in the meetings will be informed about the full range of issues facing transitioning youth and their families, learn how other families have faced challenges or solved a problem, network and find out what opportunities are in the community, find support, and gain social connections.

Meetings will be held at The Arc of Montgomery County (11600 Nebel Street) in Rockville. All are welcome.

For more information, contact Haydee at The Arc by calling 301-984-5777, ext. 1275 or emailing haydeed@arcmontmd.org; or contact Abby at PCR by calling 301-365-0561 or emailing abby@pcr-inc.org.

Transitioning Youth Resource Fair

The Transition Work Group will host this year's Transitioning Youth Resource Fair on October 16 from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

This free fair for young people with disabilities, as well as families and professionals, will feature workshops and exhibits. The fair will be held in the physical education building at Montgomery College (51 Manakee Street) in Rockville.

For more information, call 240-777-1140 or email transitionworkgroup@yahoo.com.

Fall 2010 Parent Academy Workshops

The MCPS Parent Academy's fall schedule is out, full of workshops with topics ranging from computer skills to cafeteria food. You can register online (or by mail or fax) for any of these free workshops.

I've attended several of these workshops and have learned from them. I encourage you to check the full schedule to see if any of the workshops interest you. Especially good is the four-part special education series (attend any or all of them) held October 20, October 27, November 3, and November 10. Listed below are the other workshops related (in some cases, very loosely related) to special education.

October 5, 7-8:30 p.m.—Can We Talk? Speaking Up for Your Children to Help Them Succeed: Developed for parents by the Parent Advisory Council, this workshop offers information on how to talk effectively with teachers and principals and advocate for your children. Presented in English and Spanish. Held at Gaithersburg Elementary School (35 North Summit Avenue) in Gaithersburg.

October 8, 8-11 a.m.—Ask MCPS: Drop In for Coffee and Conversation: Drop by and talk with MCPS staff. Bring your questions, find out about programs and services in the school system, pick up resources, and take home tips on how to help your children succeed in school. Held in room 50 at Carver Educational Services (850 Hungerford Drive) in Rockville.

October 11, 7-8:30 p.m.—Communicate Successfully with School Staff: Find out how to talk effectively with teachers and principals and advocate for your child. Share tips with other parents and take home helpful resources. Held at Wheaton Seventh Day Adventist Church (3132 Bel Pre Road) in Silver Spring.

October 20, 7-8:30 p.m.—Straight Talk: Helping Your Child Make Good Decisions: Students today face many complicated issues, including peer pressure, bullying, and impulsive decision making. This session, presented by former MCPS principal Wayne Whigham, will include role play and discussion to help students solve problems and avoid disciplinary actions. Held at Sligo Middle School (1401 Dennis Avenue) in Silver Spring.

October 20, 6:30-8:30 p.m.—Special Education: Parents as Advocates and the Family-School Partnership (part 1 of 4): Learn about the special education process and share tips on how to advocate effectively for your child. This is first in a series of four workshops facilitated by the Montgomery County Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health. Held at Forest Oak Middle School (651 Saybrooke Oaks Boulevard) in Gaithersburg.

October 24, 9:30-10:30 a.m.—Can We Talk? Speaking Up for Your Children to Help Them Succeed: Developed for parents by the Parent Advisory Council, this workshop offers information on how to talk effectively with teachers and principals and advocate for your children. Presented in English and Spanish. Held at Mount Calvary Baptist Church (605 North Horners Lane) in Rockville.

October 27, 6:30-8:30 p.m.—Special Education: The IEP Process and Special Education (part 2 of 4): Learn about the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and how parents can prepare for the Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting. Components of the IEP will be discussed. Held at Forest Oak Middle School (651 Saybrooke Oaks Boulevard) in Gaithersburg.

November 3, 6:30-8:30 p.m.—Special Education: The School System and Resolving Disputes (part 3 of 4): Learn effective strategies for working in partnership with staff to discuss and resolve issues. Held at Forest Oak Middle School (651 Saybrooke Oaks Boulevard) in Gaithersburg.

November 6, 10 a.m.-noon—Ask MCPS: Drop by and talk with MCPS staff. Bring your questions, find out about programs and services in the school system, pick up resources, and take home tips on how to help your children succeed in school. Held at Walmart (20912 Frederick Road) in Germantown.

November 10, 6:30-8:30 p.m.—Special Education: Monitoring Your Child's Progress and Finding Support (part 4 of 4): Being prepared for IEP meetings requires organization. Learn some tried-and-true ways to organize your child’s records and papers, and find out about community resources and supports. Held at Forest Oak Middle School (651 Saybrooke Oaks Boulevard) in Gaithersburg.

December 8, 7-8:30 p.m.—Understanding Mental Illness: Learn how to recognize and understand the early warning signs of mental illness in children and adolescents, and find out about links to community mental health services. Presented by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Montgomery County. Held at Tilden Middle School (11211 Old Georgetown Road) in Rockville.

December 8, 7-8:30 p.m.—Let's Get Organized! Assignments, projects, schedules, papers, activities, and more—good organizational skills are important for learning. Help your child develop organizational skills that will increase academic success. Presented by Peer2Peer Tutors. Held in the auditorium at Carver Educational Services Center (850 Hungerford Drive) in Rockville.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Sports Plus Fall Registration is Open

Sports Plus' fall registrations are now on their website at www.playsportsplus.org. Sports Plus is a non-profit organization that offers co-ed sports and swimming programs for children with mild to moderate autism spectrum disorders, ADD/ADHD, and other developmental disabilities.

Scroll down the front page and you will see registrations for soccer, track and field, and swimming programs . To register, complete the form and send in your registration with a check. Classes fill up quickly, so sign up as soon as possible.

The swim program will be held on Saturdays at two locations—Georgetown Prep and Quince Orchard Swim and Tennis Club. The soccer program will be held on Sundays at the Montgomery County, Maryland Soccer Plex. The track and field program will be held on Sundays at the Montgomery County Maryland Soccer Plex.

Howard County programs take place on Saturdays and registration forms can also be found on the Sports Plus website. All coaches are ready and trained to work with your children to help them realize potential and have fun at the same time!

Event Summary for the Week of September 6, 2010

Check out the AutMont Calendar to see all of the activities for this week as well as those coming up!

Wednesday, September 8:


Saturday, September 11:


Up for Discussion on AutMont:


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Do you know of another event? Leave details in the comments!

Adult Issues Workshop Series

Pathfinders for Autism and the Howard County Autism Society will present a workshop series this fall and winter focused on issues affecting adults with autism.

Each free workshop will include two sessions: one for adults on the autism spectrum and one for parents who care for individuals with autism. The workshops, which will be held at The Bain Center (5470 Ruth Keeton Way) in Columbia, will each be held from 8:30 a.m. to 12: 30 p.m., with the following schedule:

8:30-9 a.m.—Registration, networking, and breakfast
9-10:30 a.m.—Session 1 (for adults on the spectrum)
10:30-11 a.m.—Break and networking
11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.—Session 2 (for parents of individuals with autism)

Registration is required for these workshops. You can register online.

The sessions are as follows:

September 11—Employment: William Stillman will speak at session 1. He is an author, speaker, and consultant and will offer advice for success in vocational opportunities. Author Sherry Moyer will speak at session 2. This session will focus on the art and science of creating a successful job match and employment experience for individuals with ASD.

October 30—Housing: Joe Wykowski, founder of Community Vision, and Diane Dressler, a statewide training coordinator and housing specialist, will speak about housing issues for people on the spectrum.

November 13—Finance: Mary Turos, founder of Confident Student, will speak at session 1. She will review bill organization and timely payment strategies, budgeting, managing credit/debt, and long term investment issues. Diann Jones, a special needs financial planner for Nationwide, will speak at session 2 about issues such as Medicaid, SSI, and other government programs.

January 22—Relationships: Peter Gerhardt, president and chair of OAR Scientific Council, and Zosia Zaks, an author and advocate, will speak.