Sunday, February 28, 2010

Event Summary for the Week of March 1, 2010

Hands-On Adaptive Technology Session

Attend a Montgomery County Public Library Adaptive Technology Session for people with learning disabilities on March 6 from 1-3 p.m. This session will be a hands-on demonstration of what is available at the Rockville Computer Lab for people with learning disabilities.

The session is intended for parents and adults and students (elementary through high school) with disabilities.

Due to limited seating, registration is required. Call 240-777-0959 to register. The session will take place at the Rockville Library Computer Lab (21 Maryland Avenue) in Rockville.

Montgomery College's College Access Program

Attend an information session about Montgomery College's College Access Program (CAP) on either March 6 or March 11. Both sessions take place from 7-9 p.m.

High school juniors and seniors with documented learning disabilities and parents are invited to attend this meeting. Topics to be covered include the application process, documentation requirements, appropriate course placement, expectations of college students, and the types of services provided by CAP. Students who are currently enrolled in the program will also be there to talk about their experiences.

CAP is designed to develop the academic skills of students with learning disabilities. This program is offered by Montgomery College's Disability Support Services. For more information, call 240-567-5058.

Both information sessions will take place in the Technical Center Building, Room 136 (51 Mannakee Street) in Rockville.

Post High School Options

Attend a seminar on the programs that are available for young adults with disabilities after they leave high school. The Collaborative Outreach and Training Committee will be holding a workshop on March 3 from 6:45-8:45 p.m.

This workshop will take place at the Rockville Library (21 Maryland Avenue) in Rockville. Call 240-777-1216 to register.

Webinar on Understanding Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

Curious about Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)? Learn about it by logging on to the Ivymount School's free webinar on Understanding ABA on March 4 from 12:15-12:45 p.m.

The web seminar will provide an overview of the history of ABA, a definition of the key aspects of ABA, and a review of how this methodology has been applied to help individuals with autism and related disorders.

Tamara Marder, Ph.D., BCBA-D, director of the Ivymount Autism Outreach and Consultation Services, will be the speaker for this program.

Workshop on Maryland Assessments

If your child will be taking the MSAs, come learn about these Maryland Assessments at a workshop on March 10th from 7-9 p.m. The workshop is sponsored by the Maryland Coalition for Inclusive Education.

Special Education Supervisor Philip Lynch and Instructional Specialist Myra Byrom, both of MCPS, will be discussing the Alt-MSA, Mod-MSA, and MSA and how they affect your children.

The workshop will take place at The Arc of Montgomery Country (11600 Nebel Street) in Rockville.

MCTrans Meeting: Integration into the Community

The next MCTransitions meeting will take place on March 11 from 7:30- 9 p.m.

Beth Albaneze will be speaking about Integration into the Community.

For more information, or to RSVP, email The meeting takes place at The Arc of Montgomery County (11600 Nebel Street) in Rockville.

Free Family Day at VisArts

VisArts Center in Rockville is offering a free All Kids Can Create Family Day open to all families and especially devoted to children with disabilities and their families on March 21 from noon to 4 p.m.

The free event will include entertainment, face painting, screen printing, family portraits, mixed media projects, and gallery tours.

VisArts is located at 155 Gibbs Street in Rockville. For more information, call 301-315-8200.

Camp, Recreation and Social Opportunities Seminar

Looking for recreational opportunities for your child or adult with disabilities? Attend the Camp, Recreation and Social Opportunities Seminar on March 8 from 6:45-8:45 p.m.

Pam Yerg from Special Olympics, Beth Wenger from KEEN Greater DC, and Charlie Butler, a recreation specialist with the Montgomery County Recreation Department, will be presenting.

The presenters will speak on social and recreational programs and options available in Montgomery County for children and adults with disabilities. They include sports, art, dance, and theatre. Information about scholarships and other funding resources will be available.

Registration is required for all attendees. To register, call 240-777-1216. You will need to leave your name, phone number, and the title of the seminar you would like to attend.

The seminar is being held at the Tan Conference Room at 401 Hungerford Drive in Rockville.

Navigating the Financial World of the Special Needs Family

M&L Special Needs Planning will be holding a workshop on Navigating the Financial World of the Special Needs Family on March 23rd from 7-8:30 p.m.

The workshop, held at Katherine Thomas School (9975 Medical Center Drive) in Rockville, provides a detailed overview of financial and life planning for the special needs family.

Topics covered will include understanding SSI/Medicaid and SSDI/Medicare as well as estate planning.

College Fair for Students with Disabilities

Howard Community College's Project Access will be presenting a free College Fair for Students with Disabilities on March 6 from noon to 3 p.m.

About 30 post-secondary institutions, including career schools and two- and four-year colleges will be represented by disability support service personnel and/or admissions representatives.

Representatives will also attend from the Division of Rehabilitation Services and the Howard Community College Office of Financial Aid. An assistive technology demonstration will be offered. In the Career Corner, individuals in different career areas will share the strategies they have used to achieve their professional goals.

There will also be workshops on topics including Project Access, federal legislation affecting post-secondary education, financial aid, post-secondary disability support service programs, career development, and strategies for academic success.

All are welcome to attend the fair, which will be held in the Burrill Galleria, Science and Technology Building at Howard Community College (10901 Little Patuxent Parkway) in Columbia.

For more information, contact Dr. Linda Schnapp at 410-772-4625 or

Sensory Friendly Film: Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Enjoy a screening of Diary of a Wimpy Kid in a sensory friendly environment on March 20 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.

Understanding the Parents' Role in the IEP Process

Do you ever feel as if you're not part of the IEP team? You are. Learn some information about the parents' role in the IEP process at a program sponsored by The Parent's Place of Maryland.

The program, which takes place on March 4 from 7-9 p.m., will cover basic information on the importance of parent participation in a child's education, Individual Education Programs (IEPs), keeping special education records, and becoming an effective advocate for your child.

The program will take place at The Arc of Montgomery County (11600 Nebel Street) in Rockville. For more information, contact Haydee de Paula at 301-984-5777 x265.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Let Ike Leggett Know That MPAC Is Important To You

If you live in Montgomery County and are concerned about special needs children, you have probably heard about MCPS' decision to eliminate funding for MPAC and transfer those children to a yet to be proven or planned public school option. Mark Miller has done an excellent job writing about this issue on his blog, Special Needs Truth '08.

If this is an issue you are concerned about, try to take some time today to email Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett at You can write whatever you want to express, but following is some language that might be helpful. You may also be interested in joining Mark Miller's Facebook page concerning area special needs preschoolers.

Mr. Leggett, when the Board of Education voted to approve the FY11 budget to shift resources from the proven MPAC preschool program, it jeopardized the future well-being of our youngest and most vulnerable children.

Parents and special education advocates unanimously and vocally opposed this plan, particularly those who have seen the benefits of MPAC firsthand. The superintendent claims this is not a plan to save money, and he doesn't question the quality of MPAC. But his actions will close this program and deny needed services to children with disabilities.

I know this is not your typical role, but as County Executive, we count on you to make sure that services are provided to our families. And no services are more critical than caring for children with special needs.

Until a plan can be developed with input from MPAC, the Arc of Montgomery County, parents, and special education advocates, please overturn the decision to displace children who rely on MPAC's proven, 35-year success.
Thank you, Mark, for your hard work on this subject.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Event Summary for the Week of February 22, 2010

Check out all of the amazing events on the AutMont Calendar for this week!

Tuesday, February 23:

Sibshops for Siblings of Kids with Special Needs

The Arc of Montgomery County and Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital will be offering Sibshops in Montgomery County for siblings of children with special needs.

This program is specifically designed for kids ages 8-13 who have a brother or sister with special health or developmental needs. It gives them a place to meet other kids, celebrate their contributions to their families, and talk about both the good and not-so-good parts of having a sibling with special needs.

This 3-session program costs $30 and includes a snack. There are a limited number of scholarships available. These Sunday from 1-5 p.m. sessions take place at The Arc of Montgomery County (11600 Nebel Street) in Rockville.

The next Sibshops will take place on March 14, April 11, and May 2. The last day to register for the Sibshop is Friday March 5. For more information or to register, call 410-578-5169.

Workshop on Social Security Disability Insurance and Benefits

Social Security Public Affairs Specialist Gerry Levere will be leading a workshop on social security disability insurance and SSI disability benefits on March 4 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Attendees will learn the eligibility requirements for the SSDI and SSI programs. In addition, they will gain an understanding of the definition of "disability" as defined by the Social Security Administration, learn about updates on changes in the SSI and SSDI process, learn how to apply, find out which health care program goes with each benefit, discover how the medical determination process works, and receive handouts and training materials. Participants will also be able to ask questions.

The workshop will take place at Maryland Works (10270 Old Columbia Road, Suite 100) in Columbia. The cost ranges from $65-80. To register, please call Jay Stewart at 410-381-8660 or email him at You can also download a printable registration form by clicking this link.

Join the Conversation About Special Needs Kids

Gwen Mason, the director of special education for MCPS, and Vivian Boyd, the director of counseling services at the University of Maryland, will be speaking at a February 27 seminar on special needs kids.

The seminar, which takes place from 10 a.m. to noon, is intended to promote a dialogue among educators and parents/guardians of children with special needs. Topics will include planning and directing your child's learning style and environment, seeking appropriate resources, maximizing your child's potential, and finding spiritual and legal guidance.

This seminar is sponsored by the National Council of Negro Women Potomac Valley Section (NCNW PVS) Education Committee. It will take place at the People's Community Baptist Church (31 Norwood Road) in Silver Spring. For more information, contact Wanda Brown at 301-460-7291 or email

Low Intensity Support Services (LISS) Informational Meeting

A representative of the Maryland Community Connection will share information about the newly created Low Intensity Support Services program for individuals with developmental disabilities.

The February 24 meeting will cover what services are available and how to access them. It will take place at the Gaithersburg Public Library (18330 Montgomery Village Avenue) from 6-8 p.m.

For more information, call 301-583-8880.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Transition Times: Respite Options & LISS

Attend a Transition Times lecture this Wednesday, February 17, about respite options and low intensity support services (LISS).

Karen Patterson, Respite Services of Montgomery County, will speak about the variety of respite options available through her program, including in-home respite care for various amounts of time. Karen can address how to select an individual respite care provider, how to get funding for respite care, levels of care, and different models of care to meet different needs.

Karen will also present the new DDA funding program, Low Intensity Support Services (LISS), that is just starting.

The lecture will take place at The Arc of Montgomery County (11600 Nebel Street) in Rockville from 7:30-9 p.m. For more information, contact The Arc at 301-984-5792 or Potomac Community Resources at 301-365-0561.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Event Summary for the Week of February 15, 2010

Check out all of the amazing events on the AutMont Calendar for this week!

Tuesday, February 16:

Hans Asperger Memorial Dinner

Join the Asperger Adults of Greater Washington for its 5th annual Hans Asperger Memorial Dinner on February 20 at 6 p.m.

The dinner marks the 104th anniversary of the birth of Dr. Hans Asperger, who first recognized Asperger's Syndrome.

The dinner will take place in the Mezzanine Section of the America Restaurant in Union Station (50 Massachusetts Avenue) in DC.

The Asperger Adults of Greater Washington is a support, social, and advocacy organization serving Asperger and High Functioning Autistic adults in DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia.

If you are interested in attending the dinner, please email All are welcome.

MCASA General Meeting

The Autism Society Montgomery County will hold its general meeting on Thursday, February 25 at 7 p.m.

Ellen A. Gallegary, Esq. will be speaking at the meeting about Guardianship and Health Decision for Adults with Disabilities. Participants will learn about when it may be appropriate to pursue guardianship for their adult child as well as the legal requirements that must be met for a court to grant a guardianship, plus much more.

The meeting will take place in the Bachman Room of The Arc of Montgomery County (11600 Nebel Street) in Rockville.

Disability Awareness Shabbat

Join B'nai Shalom of Olney for their Disability Awareness Shabbat the weekend of February 19 and 20. The weekend includes Friday night, Saturday services, and Kiddush Conversation with Dr. Dan Gottlieb.

Dr. Dan is a Philadelphia-area psychologist who became paralyzed after a near-fatal car accident as a young child. He hosts "Voices in the Family," a show on mental health, and has written several books.

Friday night begins at 7:30 p.m. with the topic of "Special Needs: Nu, Whose Needs Are Not Special?" Saturday services at 9 a.m. and a 12:15 p.m. Kiddush Conversation will cover disability.

All events take place at B'nai Shalom of Olney (18401 Burtfield Drive, Olney). For more information, contact Reda Sheinberg at

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Event Summary for the Week of February 8, 2010

Please note: Due to weather conditions, please check to make sure that the events listed here are still happening. It is extremely likely that several of these events will be canceled.

Check out all of the amazing events on the AutMont Calendar for this week!

Monday, February 8:

Tuesday, February 9:

McTrans Meeting: After the School Bus Stops Coming

Sari Hornstein, author of the "After the School Bus Stops Coming" series, will be speaking at the next McTransitions meeting on February 11 from 7:30 to 9 p.m.

She will be speaking about the transition process for her son, how she envisions his future, the kinds of jobs she entertains on his behalf, and the ways she tries to go about developing those jobs and opportunities for him.

The meeting will take place at The Arc of Montgomery County (11600 Nebel Street) in Rockville.

Webinar: Ins and Outs of Compensatory Education

The Advocate Academy will be presenting a webinar focused on the Ins and Outs of Compensatory Education for Students with Disabilities on February 10 from 2-3:30 p.m. ET.

Presenters Jennifer Lowman, Esq., and Maura McInerney, Esq., will provide an overview of current case law governing compensatory education and will explore statute of limitation issues. They will also discuss the availability of compensatory education for young children and more. Time will also be provided for questions.

The cost for this webinar is $50 and includes unlimited access to the webinar archive. You can register online for this event.

Conference on Faith, Deafness and Disabilities

The Archdiocese of Washington presents its second annual Conference on Faith, Deafness and Disabilities: Creating Communities Where All Are Welcome.

There will be both community workshops and parish workshops at this conference focused on disability opportunities. The conference takes place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on March 27 (postponed from February 13).

You can register online for the conference, which costs $15. Call Peg Kolm at 301-853-4560 with questions.

The conference will take place at the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament (6001 Western Ave, NW) in DC.

Webinar: Effective Strategies for Addressing Challenging Behavior

Ivymount Outreach Programs is offering an educational web seminar outlining Effective Strategies for Addressing Challenging Behavior in a Home Setting, specifically designed to help families who are dealing with problem behaviors at home.

This webinar will take place on February 17 (rescheduled from February 10) from 12:15-1:45 p.m. and costs $75. Space is limited.

Tamara Marder, PhD, BCBA-D, director of the IvyMount Autism Outreach and Consultation Services will be speaking during the webinar. There will be a Q & A session at the end of the seminar.

Navigating College Admissions for Students with Disabilities

James Hubert Blake High School PTSA presents a workshop on Navigating College Admissions for Students with Disabilities on February 24 from 7-8:30 p.m.

This free workshop will help your student with disabilities learn what to expect in college, how colleges evaluate applicants, what students need to know about accommodations, and more.

Eliot Applestein, M.A. M.S.W., president of Best Four Years, will be speaking. The workshop takes place in the Blake Amphitheater (300 Norwood Road) in Silver Spring.

Roadmap for Transitioning Planning

M&L Special Needs Planning is offering a workshop called "Roadmap for Transitioning Planning and a Discussion of Post Secondary Options."

This workshop, which will take place on February 23 from 7-8:30 p.m., will be an overview of what transitioning planning is and how to navigate this time in your child's life. A Katherine Thomas School transitional specialist will be part of the presentation to answer questions.

The workshop will take place at the Katherine Thomas School (9975 Medical Center Drive) in Rockville. Register for the workshop online.

Camp, Recreation and Social Opportunities Seminar

The Collaborative Outreach and Training Committee presents a free educational seminar on Camp, Recreation, and Social Opportunities on February 10 from 6:45-8:45 p.m. at Rockville Library (21 Maryland Avenue in Rockville).

Pam Yerg from Special Olympics; Beata Okulska from Keen Greater DC; and Charlie Butler, a recreation specialist with Montgomery County Recreation Department will speak on social and recreational programs and options available in the county for children and adults with disabilities.

Please call 240-777-1216 to register for this free seminar.

Diamonds in the Rough Conference

The Weinfeld Education Group will be presenting Diamonds in the Rough: Smart Kids Who Learn Differently, a national conference for educators, mental health providers, parents and students, and all who appreciate the unique strengths and needs of bright kids who learn differently.

This conference, which offers a tremendous diversity of speakers, topics, and networking opportunities, will take place March 11-13 at the University of Maryland, Shady Grove (9630 Gudelsky Drive) in Rockville.

AutMont will be there as an attendee to see such speakers as Carol Kranowitz, John Elder Robison, and more. The conference schedule is now available online, as is registration.

Attendees can sign up to attend any or all of the three days. The cost for the first day is $75 for a half-day workshop and $150 for the full-day workshop. March 12 costs $150. March 13 registration is $125 for educators, $95 for parents, and $45 for for students under 21.

Registration for the entire conference is $360 for professionals and $335 for parents. CE credit is available for psychologists and social workers.

Parent University Offers Classes for Parents

The Parent University offers a lecture series taught by experts in the field of advocacy, anxiety, early intervention, and more.

The classes take place at the Har Shalom Early Childhood Education Center (11510 Falls Road) in Potomac. They are co-sponsored by Early Intervention Specialists/Susan Abrams M.A. CCC-SLP and Har Shalom ECEC.

The first three lectures in the series have already occurred, but there are two upcoming classes. Each costs $30 ($35 at the door) and you can register online.

March 16, 7:15-8:30 p.m.: Food Allergies Everywhere! So What Am I To Feed My Child? Dr. James Mattey, a pediatrician and allergist, will explore current trends of food allergy in children and review recent research. The changing recommendations of what to feed your child and when to introduce foods will be discussed.

May 11, 7:15-8:30 p.m.: Assessing and Treating Childhood Anxiety Disorders Psychologist Bonnie Zucker, PhD, author of Anxiety-Free Kids: An Interactive Guide for Parents and Children, will discuss how anxiety can affect your child at home and at school. Strategies to help your child learn to cope will be presented.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Parent to Parent Mentoring Open House

SEEC is offering an open house for parents to learn more about their Parent to Parent mentoring program (P2P). This program is a free and confidential service that connects parents and caregivers of children with special needs with volunteer mentors who have experience raising children with disabilities. Find more information about P2P in AutMont's post about the program.

At the open house, held on February 24, you will meet the program coordinator, Wendy Baumert, and members of the P2P advisory committee. You can network with parent mentors and other families who share your experiences and learn about resources you can use.

Two open house sessions are available, the first from 1-3 p.m., the second from 5-7 p.m. Both open houses will take place on February 24 at SEEC (8905 Fairview Road #300) in Silver Spring.

SEEC (Seeking Equality, Empowerment and Community for People with Developmental Disabilities) is a nonprofit agency. For more information, contact Wendy Baumert at 301-538-7056.

Potty Training for Kids With ASD

Potty training is never fun, but there can be added challenges when you are trying to potty train your child with autism.

The Shafer Center for Early Intervention is holding a lecture offering special tips to help with the potty training process for children on the autism spectrum.

The lecture will be held at 132 Business Center Drive in Reisterstown on February 4 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Call 410-517-1113 for more information.

Video Screening: Ennis' Gift: A Film About Learning Disabilities

The February 1 meeting of the MCCPTA's Special Education Committee will feature a video screening of "Ennis' Gift: A Film About Learning Disabilities."

The film is inspired by the legacy of Ennis William Cosby, a young man with learning differences who became a passionate educator.

The meeting and screening will take place at the Carver Educational Services Center (850 Hungerford Drive) in Rockville at 7:30 p.m.

The meeting and screening are free and open to everyone. No registration required.

Choosing, Making and Keeping Friends

The YMCA is offering a free parenting workshop on helping your child with friendships.

At the workshop, parents will learn how to help their child assess social situations, strategize ways to have more positive interactions, recognize and read social cues and feel better about him or herself.

This workshop takes place February 1 from 7-9 p.m. at the Potomac Library (10101 Glenolden Drive in Potomac).

For more information, contact the YMCA at 301-2291347 or

Next Steps: Independent Living

The final school-to-adult living workshop offered in MCPS' Transition Services Next Steps series will take place on February 18 from 7-9 p.m.

This workshop will cover transportation, independent living options, recreation, leisure programs, and continuing and adult education programs. Also discussed will be resources available to enhance the ability of individuals with disabilities to live and participate in their communities.

The target audience for this workshop will be families of students with IEPs aged 14-21. It will take place at Earle B. Wood Middle School (14615 Bauer Drive in Rockville).