Monday, March 28, 2011

LDAMC Parent Connection Support Meeting April 2011

The Learning Disabilities Association of Montgomery County will hold its next Parent Connection support meeting on April 20 from 7-8:30 p.m.

The April meeting will focus on IEPs and 504 plans. Attendees are welcome to bring copies of their child's IEP or proposed goals for discussion and feedback.

The meeting will take place at Flower Valley Elementary School (4615 Sunflower Drive) in Rockville. This particular meeting is being limited to 10 participants. For more information or to RSVP, call 301-933-1076 or email

MCASA Fundraiser at Austin Grill

The Autism Society of Montgomery County Maryland will hold a fundraiser at Austin Grill in Rockville on April 12.

A portion of money spent at the restaurant from 5 to 9 p.m. will go to MCASA. The restaurant is located at 36 Maryland Avenue.

There will be a raffle drawn at the fundraiser (you don't have to be present to win). Cost is $1 a ticket of 6 tickets for $5. Checks can be made out to MCASA and sent to 4125 Queen Mary Drive, Olney, MD 20832. Make sure to include a way for them to contact you in case you win!

Therapeutic Riding Center Open House

Great and Small, a therapeutic riding center, will present an open house Afternoon of Barn Time for families with children on the autism spectrum on April 30 from 1 to 4 p.m.

At this event, Great and Small will demonstrate their new program that incorporates Floor Time concepts into therapeutic riding. The open house will take place rain or shine.

Activities will include petting and grooming a pony, watching riding demonstrations, creating an art project, riding the vaulting barrels and hobby horses, and learning about Barn Time.

Great and Small is located at the Rickman Farm Horse Park (17320 Moore Road) in Boyds, Maryland. For more information, call 301-349-0075.

Music for Autism at Ivymount

Music for Autism, a group that brings autism-friendly, interactive concerts to people with autism and their families, will be presenting several concerts at Ivymount School in the coming months.

A list of DC-area concerts is available on the Music for Autism website.

Kari Paludan (soprano) and Wes McCune (piano) will perform on May 1 at 1 p.m. RSVP online.

The Wright Touch Jazz Trio will perform on October 16 at 1 p.m. RSVP online.

Brass of Peace will perform February 12, 2012 at 1 p.m. RSVP online.

These concerts are fully subsidized for those with autism and their families, so RSVPs are essential. You can download a social story to prepare your children for the concert. Ivymount School is located at 11614 Seven Locks Road in Rockville.

Council for Exceptional Children Convention & Expo

The Council for Exceptional Children will hold their 2011 Convention and Expo at National Harbor from April 25-28.

This convention is the largest professional gathering of the special education community and offers more than 800 sessions to choose from.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Social Thinking Workshop

Michelle Garcia Winner will present a two-day Social Thinking workshop on April 26 & 27 in Hunt Valley, Maryland.

At this workshop, participants will learn the latest social thinking strategies for teaching and treating students with autism, Asperger's, ADHD and similar challenges.

Activities on the first day will focus on Social Thinking Across the Home and School Day: The ILAUGH Model of Social Cognition. The second day will focus on Thinking About YOU, Thinking About ME. More detailed information is available online.

Programming each day will start with a continental breakfast at 8:30 a.m. and workshops from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The workshop will be held at the Baltimore Marriott Hunt Valley (245 Shawan Road) in Hunt Valley.

Cost for the workshops vary, but include one- or two-day options, professional vs. nonprofessional attendance, and early bird registration before April 11. Check online for your cost and to register.

TLC's Professional Workshop Series

The Treatment and Learning Centers will offer a series of Professional Workshops this spring covering a variety of topics.

Each workshop is $30 if registered for in advance and $35 at the door. Fees include materials, refreshments and a discussion period to address specific concerns of participants.

All workshops are held in Suite 110 at TLC (2301 Research Boulevard) in Rockville. For more information, call Julie Bobrow at 301-424-5200, ext. 147.

March 29, 6:30-8:30 p.m.—Helping Young Children with Special Mental Health Needs: Professionals will learn some basic facts about mental illness in young children, as well as some general and specific strategies they can use to help with the special needs of the children in their care. Register online.

April 5, 6:30-8:30 p.m.—Red Flags in Fine Motor Skills Development (FULL)

April 13, 6:30-8:30 p.m.—Working with Phonics: Strategies and Games: Professionals at the preschool-elementary level will learn ways to work with phonics to help children who are having difficulty learning to read. Ideas for games to help children practice and reinforce their phonetic sounds will also be presented. Register online.

April 26, 6:30-8:30 p.m.—Teaching Tolerance: Professionals at the preschool-elementary level will be given information to help children in the classroom understand and appreciate the uniqueness of children. Register online.

May 3, 6:30-8:30 p.m.—Supporting Friendship Development in Young Children: Participants will receive an overview of how and why children make friends, and the important role that friendship plays in a child's development. Strategies for encouraging social interactions will be reviewed. Register online.

May 4, 6-8 p.m.—Red Flags in Fine Motor Skills Development: This workshop will feature a discussion of typical fine-motor skill development and motor milestones for preschoolers. Common fine-motor problems in preschoolers and their common causes will be identified. Practical strategies and activities to improve fine-motor skills within the classroom will be addressed. Register online.

May 10, 6-8 p.m.—Language Processing Disorders: This workshop will help teachers profile the different types of language processing problems that may be presented in the school age population and why types of intervention might be most helpful. Register online.

May 12, 6:15-8:15 p.m.—Helping and Coping With Bullies in the Classroom: This workshop is designed to help parents and individuals who work with children better understand why some children become bullies, how to help these children decrease their bullying behavior and how to help other children deal with bullying behavior. Register online.

Event Summary for the Week of March 28, 2011

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

Monday, March 28:

Tuesday, March 29:

Parent Academy 2011 Spring Workshop Schedule

MCPS' Parent Academy has published its spring 2011 schedule. Please check the full schedule to find free workshops that you might like to attend. This spring's offering cover a wide range of topics.

There are several workshops specifically for children with disabilities, which are listed below. You can register online for the workshops.

April 13, 7-8:30 p.m.—Understanding ADHD and How to Help Your Child: Explore strategies to manage behaviors related to ADHD that may interfere with academic and social success. Definitions of ADHD—inattentive type and hyperactive-impulsive type—will be discussed, and questions from participants will be addressed. At William H. Farquhar Middle School (16915 Batchellors Forest Road) in Olney.

April 14, 7-8:30 p.m.—Bright Futures for Students with Learning Disabilities and Significant Disabilities: How can families and the school work together to prepare students with intellectual, emotional and other significant disabilities to fulfill their dreams? Learn about high school choices to help students succeed. At Benjamin Banneker Middle School (14800 Perrywood Drive) in Burtonsville.

April 27, 7-8:30 p.m.—Bright Futures for Students with Learning Disabilities and Significant Disabilities: How can families and the school work together to prepare students with intellectual, emotional and other significant disabilities to fulfill their dreams? Learn about high school choices to help students succeed. At Sligo Middle School (1401 Dennis Avenue) in Silver Spring.

May 5, 7-8:30 p.m.—Bright Futures for Students with Learning Disabilities and Significant Disabilities: How can families and the school work together to prepare students with intellectual, emotional and other significant disabilities to fulfill their dreams? Learn about high school choices to help students succeed. At Cabin John Middle School (6300 Tilden Lane) in Rockville.

May 25, 7-8:30 p.m.—Autism: Overview and Supports: At this workshop you will learn ways to help your children and find out about supports available to them. At Robert Frost Middle School (9210 Scott Drive) in Rockville.

June 10, 6-8 p.m.—Ask MCPS: Night on the Town: Join MCPS and staff in downtown Silver Spring for a night of information and family fun. 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 in school. Facilitated by the MCPS Department of Family and Community Partnerships. Entertainment provided by Washington Talent Agency. At 900 Ellsworth Drive in downtown Silver Spring.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Tell the Montgomery County Council About Your MCPS Autism Experiences TONIGHT!

At tonight's SEAC meeting:

The Montgomery County Council wants to hear from parents with students on the autism spectrum about your experiences in educating your child with autism in Montgomery County Public Schools.

WHEN: This Thursday, March 24th; 7–9 p.m.
WHERE: Carver Educational Services Center, 850 Hungerford Drive, Rockville

Staff members from the Office of Legislative Oversight (OLO) of the Montgomery County Council will attend the meeting of the Special Education Advisory Committee to hear directly from parents about your experiences, both positive and negative, in educating your child with autism in Montgomery County Public Schools.

This dialogue with parents is an essential part of an important study currently being conducted by the OLO. A report will be released by the County Council this spring.

Your attendance is crucial in order to provide the County Council with an accurate understanding of your experiences in MCPS.

Registration is not required. If you need on-site child care, contact the Department of Special Education at 301-279-3135.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Graphic Novels for Kids with Autism

Jack, my son with autism, is a very good reader, but incredibly resistant to reading chapter books. I think that long pages of nothing but text are difficult for him. As a second grader, he still prefers picture books, comics and graphic novels.

With this in mind, I recently asked my networks to offer graphic novel suggestions for an almost-eight-year-old with autism. Suggestions poured in. Most of these we haven't had a chance to read yet, but we have a lot to choose from now. I hope these suggestions might help some of you as well.

Note: AutMont is not responsible for any echolalia/scripting that results from your children reading these books. AutMont is also not responsible if, after reading Calvin & Hobbes, your child tells you he wants to show you something outside, no a little bit farther outside, and then locks you out of your house. Not that that happened or anything. Ahem.

Bone by Jeff Smith: This is a nine-volume series about three "blobby creatures who have stumbled into a valley full of monsters, magic, farmers, an exiled princes and a huge, cynical dragon." (From Publishers Weekly)

Meanwhile by Jason Shiga: This is a pick any path story with 3,856 possibilities stemming from an initial decision of whether the main character wants chocolate or vanilla ice cream. I remember reading "choose your own adventure" books when I was a kid and they drove me crazy, but I can definitely see the appeal.

Geronimo Stilton series: This extensive series seems to be made up of more than 40 novels about mice having adventures. On a personal note, if you know my family, you probably know that I plan on purchasing these immediately. Check out the "Look Inside" feature for these books on Amazon. They look ideal for drawing a child into chapter books.

The Boxcar Children Graphic Novels by Shannon Eric Denton, Gertrude Chandler Warner and Mike Dubisch: I loved the Boxcar Children when I was a child and my oldest is madly in love with the series now. These graphic novels might be a fantastic compromise for Jack.

Akiko by Mark Crilley: This is a series starring a ten-year-old girl who sets off on interplanetary adventures featuring aliens and a quest to save a kidnapped prince.

Missile Mouse by Jake Parker: Another sci-fi series, this one starring a mouse. According to Booklist, Missile Mouse is "a gruff loner ideal for deep-space adventuring."

Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson or Garfield by Jim Davis: Fair warning: although Jack adores both of these series, the characters are sassier than you might remember. While they make for some hilarious "scripting" incidents, some of those incidents are not well received at, say, school.

Classics Illustrated: If you want to be really sneaky and expose your child to literary classics, check out this series, which features books from Great Expectations to Treasure Island to The Count of Monte Cristo and The Invisible Man.

Star Wars Graphic Novels: There are a plethora of these available, from Clone Wars books to books of the movies to The Force Unleashed. Just search for "Star Wars Graphic Novels" on Amazon and you will find something for your little Jedi.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney: Not technically graphic novels, but easy to read books, with cartoon drawings on most pages, this series is a good transition for kids moving from picture to chapter books.

DC Super Pets: Another series, this one featuring superheroes, but in pet form. Think Ace the Bat-Hound instead of Batman and Krypto the Super-Dog instead of Superman.

Wuv Bunnies from Outers Pace by David Elliott and Ethan Long: Recommended by a friend and written by a friend of said friend (follow that?), this book looks like a fun tale of fuzzy space aliens and word play.

Amazing Greek Myths of Wonder and Blunders by Michael Townsend: For kids into Greek myths (like my oldest son), this looks like a fun way to learn about the stories, the morals and the history of the myths, using contemporary language and jokes.

Rapunzel's Revenge and Calamity Jack by Dean, Shannon and Nathan Hale: These are graphic novels that put a fresh twist on fairy tales.

Amulet by Kazu Kibuishi: This is a series of graphic novels focused on two children trying to save their mother. Based on the descriptions I found, this looks like it has some dark themes, so check it out before giving it to sensitive children.

Super Chicken Nugget Boy by Josh Lewis and Douglas Holgate: Proving that there is a book about everything, this series is about two elementary school kids who invent an imaginary crime fighter named Super Chicken Nugget Boy. In the first book, the kids' school is attacked by a giant French fry. I might have to check this book out just out of sheer curiosity.

The Legend of Zelda by Akira Himekawa: Fans of the Zelda video games will surely love these books featuring Link, the hero.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick: Described as "a novel with words and pictures," this book has traditional pages of text interspersed with intricate drawings that do not just illustrate the story, but help to tell it, according to the author. At 550 pages, this book will either make your kid feel awesome for reading it or will be overwhelming. I think it looks fascinating.

Copper by Kazu Kibuishi: This collection of comic shorts, taking up only a few pages each, about a kid and his talking dog could be perfect for children who don't have the attention span for an entire cohesive book. By the author of the Amulet series.

Owly by Andy Runton: This series is the nearly wordless story of Owly and Wormy and their black-and-white adventures. This might be great for pre-readers as well.

Hikaru No Go by Yumi Hotta and Takeshi Obata: Another series, this one follows a sixth grader in Japan whose consciousness becomes fused with an ancient master of the game Go. Having not read this book, I'm curious as to how the authors make it work. If I were to buy it though, I would also buy a Go set and start teaching my kid about the strategic game.

Bad Kitty by Nick Bruel: Yet another series, this one about a bad cat, who really seems like pretty much every other cat in the world. I liked the hairball puking on the pages I saw. It reminded me of my lame cats. I think my kids would laugh hysterically while reading these.

Stone Rabbit by Erik Craddock: For slightly younger readers (ages 4-8), this series is about a bored rabbit who goes on zany adventures through time and space.

Asterix by Rene Goscinny and Albert Uderzo: There is a lot of dense writing in this comic book for kids, so make sure your child can handle all the words on the page. There seem to be dozens in this series, so if your child likes them, you are in luck!

Tintin by Herge: These stories featuring Tintin and his dog, Snowy, span historical and political events, fantasy and science-fiction adventures and mysteries.

PS238: A comic book series about young costumed heroes and villains.

Babymouse by Jennifer and Matthew Holm: There sure are a lot of mice in graphic novels. This series, which is decidedly pink, if that matters to your child, is about a mouse who uses her vivid imagination to take her on incredible journeys.

Lions, Tigers and Bears by Mike Bullock and Jack Lawrence: This is a story of stuffed animals charged with protecting their children from the monsters in the closet.

Amelia Rules by Jimmy Gownley: A series comic about Amelia, a young girl who has to move to a small town after her parents divorce. This is a coming of age series for girls.

Big Nate by Lincoln Peirce: A series about a middle schooler convinced that he is destined for great things.

If your child loves these graphic novels and comics and wants to try to create his or her own, check out Cartoon Cool, Cartooning: The Ultimate Character Design Book or one of any number of other books to help your child learn how to hone the craft.

If you haven't found what you're looking for here, you can always stop by your local comic shop to get their personal recommendation based on your child's age and interests.

Thanks to everyone who gave me suggestions. There were a couple of suggestions I got that I wasn't able to find online, so I might be missing some fantastic ideas. I think this is a good list to get started with though! Please let me know in the comments if you other great suggestions for graphic novels for young children.

Forum on the Mental Health Budget

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), the MC Federation of Families and other partners will be hosting a forum to save mental health services in Montgomery County on March 23 from 7-9 p.m.

According to the hosts:

• Mental health services are in serious trouble nationally and locally.

• In the past three years, state and local funding has decreased for mental health services.

• We need to let our elected officials and the public know how people with mental illnesses have been affected by budget cuts.

• We need to let them know what harm additional cuts will cause.

• Your presence can help to save mental health services in Montgomery County.

The forum will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Church (10309 New Hampshire Avenue) in Silver Spring. Overflow parking will be accommodated at 10501 New Hampshire Avenue. For more information, call 301-879-5200.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Event Summary for the Week of March 24, 2011

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

Wednesday, March 23:

Thursday, March 24:

Saturday, March 26:

Up for Discussion on AutMont:


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

Special Needs-Sensitive Easter Bunny Visits!

Do you think your kids might like to visit the Easter Bunny in a mall, but are pretty sure that it will be a disaster? Never fear, the Howard County Autism Society and The Mall in Columbia are hosting a special visit time for sensitive kids to meet the Easter Bunny.

The special session will be held April 10 at 10:30 a.m., before the mall opens. Instead of maintaining a line, they will hand out numbers. There will be no crowds, no loud noises, no water fountains or escalators running.

The Mall in Columbia is located at 10300 Little Patuxent Parkway in Columbia.

If you need more information, call 410-290-3466 or email

Inclusion Workshop by Paula Kluth

The Maryland Coalition for Inclusive Education will present a workshop on Creating Inclusive Classrooms that Promote Literacy, Learning and Belonging for Students with Autism, presented by Paula Kluth on April 8 in Frederick, Maryland.

This program is intended for general and special educators, parents, related service providers and others interested in inclusion of children with autism spectrum disorders. Paula Kluth, Ph.D., author of eight books, including You're Going to Love This Kid: Teaching Students with Autism in Inclusive Classrooms, will explain how to design literacy activities that are challenging and meaningful for all learners, including those who have often been assumed to be unable to benefit from the academic curriculum.

You can register online for this workshop or download the registration form by clicking this link. On April 8, registration begins at 8:30 a.m., with the workshop running from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Cost for the workshop is $125 for educators and service providors and $100 for parents of children with a disability. Breakfast and lunch are provided. Please register by April 1.

The workshop will be held at the Ceresville Mansion (8529 Liberty Road) in Frederick.

For more information, call 410-859-5400

Fitness For Health's "B" Social Camp

Fitness for Health will offer their "B" Social Mini Camp three times this August.

The program integrates social cognitive thinking with motor activities. Concepts will be introduced in a fun and motivating way encouraging participants to explore and improve their social thinking skills and motor development. The camp is coordinated by a speech language pathologist and Fitness for health staff.

Each one-week session (Monday-Friday) from 9 a.m. to noon costs $650. There are camps for ages 4-6 and 7-11. Camps will be offered the weeks of August 8-12, August 15-19 and August 22-26. Extended day programming from noon to 3 p.m. will be offered each week.

For more information about the program, call 301-231-7138 or email

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Statewide Forum for Students with Learning Disabilities

Prince George's Community College will host a Statewide Forum for Students with Learning Disabilities on March 19 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

This event is intended for students with learning disabilities in grades 11 and 12 who are planning to attend community college as well as those already enrolled in college with a learning disability. This forum is intended for all students, not just those in PG county.

Students and parents will have an opportunity to hear from successful college graduates with learning disabilities and receive information about supports and services, including what documentation is needed when requesting accommodations, what kinds of support services students may be eligible to receive, and students' rights and responsibilities at college.

Register online for the forum, which includes continental breakfast and a boxed lunch. Please register by March 17. For more information, call Adrienne Thomas at 301-322-0123.

The forum will be held in room 109 of the Chesapeake Hall at Prince George's Community College (301 Largo Road) in Largo.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Event Summary for the Week of March 14, 2011

Project Access Conference 2011

Howard Community College's Project Access will hold its Ninth Annual Conference for Parents and Professionals on April 8 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Registration from 8-9 a.m.)

Cost for the conference if registering prior to March 19 is $110. Registrations received between March 19 and April 2 cost $130. On-site registrations and those received after April 2 are $140.

Art Show Seeks ASD Artists and Performers

Addison Landers, who organized an art exhibit last July that featured the art of local artists with autism, is planning another exhibit to take place in Silver Spring on May 21.

The May exhibit will feature art from local artists on the autism spectrum. All profits from art sales will go directly to the artists. Donations will be taken to support autism organizations that sponsor the event.

Landers is looking for artists (any medium) and performers (music or otherwise) on the autism spectrum as well as funding for costs such as refreshments and printing. Last year's exhibit welcomed more than 600 patrons over two weekends and sold all of the artwork.

For more information or to get involved, contact Addison Landers at

Approaches to Recreation and Social Activities for Adults with Autism

Autism NOW will present a webinar on Approaches to Recreation and Social Activities for Adults with Autism on March 17 from 2-3 p.m. (Eastern).

Dr. Lisa Crabtree, Director of the Center for Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Towson University, will present.

Space is limited. Register online.

Kennedy Krieger's ROAR for Autism

Every year the Kennedy Krieger Institute holds ROAR for Autism, a bike ride, nature walk, and festival organized to raise funds for their autism research and treatment programs.

There are many ways to support this event, which will take place on May 1 this year. If you're a bicyclist, you can opt for a 5-, 10-, 25-, or 50-mile bike ride through Baltimore County. There is also a low-mileage ride for kids. There is also a walking course on nature trails in Oregon Ridge Park (13401 Beaver Dam Road) in Cockeysville. All rides start and end at the park.

The Family Fun Festival takes place during the entire day at the park. Registration begins at 7 a.m. The festival closes at noon. It will feature music and children's entertainment, including face painting, a balloon artist, and many children's activities such as a coloring station, bean-bag toss, playdough station and playgrounds.

You can even support the event by sleeping in through their Snore for ROAR program.

You must register for the event and can then begin fundraising and preparing for the bike or walk (or snore). Advance registration (by April 26) is $25 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. On-site registration is $30 for adults and $10 for children 12 and under. Children 4 and under are free.

For more information, check the ROAR FAQ page, call 443-923-7300, or email ROAR for Autism is also on Facebook.

Wretches & Jabberers Showings

AMC Theatres has partnered with the Autism Society and Area 23a to present a nationwide theatrical run of the feature documentary Wretches & Jabberers this April.

Wretches & Jabberers is a documentary that follows Tracy Thresher and Larry Bissonnette, two men with autism, who embark on a global quest to change attitudes about disability, intelligence and communication.

Local showings will take place on April 2 at noon at the AMC Loews Georgetown 14 (3111 K Street, NW) in DC and on April 23 at noon at the AMC Loews Rio Cinemas 18 (9811 Washington Boulevard) in Gaithersburg.

You can pre-purchase tickets for online for the DC showing and also for the Gaithersburg showing. Both of these showings will take place in sensory-friendly environments.

Sensory Friendly Movie: Hop

Enjoy a screening of Hop in a sensory friendly environment on April 9 at 10 a.m.

NOTE: While Hop is scheduled as the sensory-friendly movie on April 2 in most markets, theaters in Washington, DC will show Hop on April 9.

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.

School-Community Partnerships for Transition Planning

Take part in a free webinar on March 30 from 3-4 p.m. (Eastern) on Developing School-Community Partnerships for Enhanced Transition Planning and Assessment.

Join this online conversation to explore some strategies for developing school-community partnerships, while establishing opportunities for transitioning youth with disabilities.

Register online for the webinar.

Sports Plus Soccer and Track Programs

Sports Plus has opened registrations for the Montgomery County spring soccer program and the spring track and field program that will begin April 10.

Space is limited, so sign up quickly.

Seminar: Outcome-Based IEP Goals

Behavioral Directions LLC and the Organization for Autism Research (OAR) will present a seminar on outcome-based IEP goals on April 26 from 6:30-9 p.m.

This workshop will provide a brief overview of the IEP process, address the importance of and provide guidance on writing goals that are measurable and will offer an interactive writing exercise. (You can bring a sample IEP with you.)

This seminar is designed for educational staff, parents and professionals. Dinner will be served.

Cost for the seminar is $15 in advance and $25 at the door. You can register online. It will take place in suite 202 at George Mason University (10340 Democracy Lane) in Fairfax, Virginia.

Where is My Child's Self-Control? ADHD & Executive Functioning

Alvord, Baker & Associates, LLC will present a lecture by internationally recognized ADHD authority Russell Barkley, PhD, titled Where is My Child's Self-Control? Understanding the Relationship of ADHD to Executive Functioning on September 22 from 7:30-9 p.m.

The presentation will provide an overview for parents concerning the nature and life course of ADHD along with its associated risks.

Cost for the lecture is $40 prior to August 31 and $55 after. Register online.

This event will take place at the Universities at Shady Grove (9630 Gudelsky Drive) in Rockville.

Barkley will also speak September 23 from 7:30 a.m. to noon about ADHD, Self-Regulation and Executive Functioning: Implications for Management and Life Course Outcomes. This presentation is intended for psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, physicians, educators and other professionals. Parents are welcome to attend, but should be aware that the content of the workshop is aimed at professionals. Register online.

Enhancing Resilience and Stress Management in Parents and Children

Mary Alvord will speak about Enhancing Resilience and Stress Management in Parents and Children on May 12 from 7:30-9 p.m.

Alvord, a psychologist with more than 30 years of clinical experience working with children, adolescents and families, will discuss resilience—the ability to adapt and cope well with life's stressors and adversities.

This lecture is intended for parents, educators and others who have interest.

You can register online for the lecture. Cost is $25 before April 28 and $35 after. The lecture will take place at The Universities at Shady Grove (9630 Gudelsky Drive) in Rockville.

Finding Your Way Through the IEP and 504 Maze

Rich Weinfeld and Jennifer Engel Fisher of the Weinfeld Education Group will present a lecture on Finding Your Way through the IEP and 504 Maze on April 14 from 7:30-9 p.m.

Learn about the special education process and how to advocate for your child. Topics include IDEA, IEPs, 504 plans, resolving conflicts with schools, community resources, and support. Learn, network and share tips with other parents. Many advocates of the Weinfeld Education Group will be on hand to answer individual questions.

This lecture costs $25 before March 31 and $35 after. For more information, contact Dr. Mary Alvord at 301-593-6554 x14 or Register online. The lecture will take place at The Universities at Shady Grove (9630 Gudelsky Drive) in Rockville.

Free Carnival for Special Needs Children

The Project Change Service Club at Good Counsel High School will hold its 2nd Annual Carnival for Children with Special Needs on April 9 from 1-4 p.m.

This free carnival for preschool and elementary age children and their families will feature arts and crafts, music, moonbounces, snacks and more.

The carnival will take place at Our Lady of Good Counsel High School (17301 Old Vic Boulevard) in Olney.

Navigating College Admissions for Students with IEPs and 504s

Best Four Years will host a free workshop on Navigating College Admissions for Students with IEPs and 504s.

At the workshops, Eliot Appelstein will present on how to take advantage of college services available to students with learning disabilities. Learn what to expect, how to get accommodations, whether to take the SAT or ACT, and what are the best colleges for LD students.

The workshop will be held twice on consecutive evenings:

March 28, 7-8:30 p.m. Room 190 at Walter Johnson High School (6400 Rock Spring Drive) in Bethesda
March 29, 7-8:30 p.m. Room C-124 at Walt Whitman High School (7100 Whittier Boulevard) in Bethesda.

ARCHway Community Housing Meeting

The Foundation for Autism Support and Training will sponsor an ARCHway (Autism Reoriented Community Housing) meeting on March 19 from 12:30-2 p.m.

Meeting topics will include community housing models and supports for people with autism and other intellectual disabilities and funding trends for the state Developmental Disabilities Administration. Full information about the meeting can be found on the MCTransitions website.

The meeting will be held at the RE/MAX Realty Centre's Buffington Community Room (3300 Olney-Sandy Spring Road) in Olney. Enter on the lower left side of the building.

RSVP for the meeting on the M&L Special Needs Planning website. For more information, contact

xMinds Educational Placements Forum

The Partnership for Extraordinary Minds will hold their free Educational Placements Forum on March 31 from 6:30-9 p.m.

At this forum, administrators from MCPS will talk about how diploma-bound students on the autism spectrum are educated in Montgomery County. Attendees will learn about services and placements and how to prepare for their child's annual IEP meeting.

There will an introduction to autism services from 6:30-7 p.m., followed by breakout sessions from 7-9 p.m.

The breakout sessions listed below will be held in separate rooms:
• Special education and the IEP process
• Preschool services and placements
• Elementary school services and placements
• Secondary school services and placements
• Transition services

The forum will take place at Julius West Middle School (651 Great Falls Road) in Rockville. Register online.

Why Your Smart Kid Isn't Doing Well in School

The GT/LD Network will host a meeting on March 17 from 6:30-9 p.m. on Why Your Smart Kid Isn't Doing Well in School and What You Can Do About It.

Sue Jeweler, Linda Barnes-Robinson and Diane Cline will present a program about the unique educational needs of GTLD students, what parents can do to help their children and what services are available for these students.

There will be a bring-your-own dinner and networking session from 6:30-7:30, with the speakers from 7:30 to 9 p.m.

This program will take place at Walter Johnson High School (6400 Rock Spring Drive) in Bethesda.

Roadmap for Transitioning Planning

M&L Special Needs Planning will hold a workshop on Roadmap for Transitioning Planning & a Discussion of Post Secondary Options on March 16 from 7-8:30 p.m.

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

For more information, call 202-841-8362.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Event Summary for the Week of March 7, 2011

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

Tuesday, March 8:

Imagination Stage Spring Access Classes

Imagination Stage offers classes each session specifically for individuals with developmental disabilities. These classes are listed below.

Staff will work with students and their families to identify and provide the most successful experience for each student. For more information, contact Elizabeth Broder-Oldach, Access Coordinator at or 301-280-1627.

Access Improvisation, Mondays March 14-May 9, 5-6:30 p.m.: Taught by Matt Ripa for students ages 14-21 (students ages 18-21 must be enrolled in high school or high school equivalency program). This workshop designed for teens with cognitive or developmental disabilities will introduce students to a style of acting that encourages spontaneous character and situation choices. Students will use the actor's tools of body, voice, mind and imagination while working in theatre games and short scenes to develop important skills of listening, clarity, confidence, timing and team work. Cost is $250.

Access Musical Theatre Workshop, Wednesdays March 16-May 11, 5-6:30 p.m.: Taught by Melani Drummer and Al Hart for students ages 14-21 (students ages 18-21 must be enrolled in high school or high school equivalency program). This workshop is designed for teens with cognitive or developmental disabilities. Students will work with musical theatre professionals to develop musicianship skills that are applies to basic scene and song work. Students will increase their self-awareness, creativity and self-esteem as they further develop their fundamental skills of acting, voice and movement and wrk to clearly communicate a story to their audience. Cost is $250.

Haven Universe Hosts Special Needs Events

Haven Universe, a non-profit religious group including individuals of all ages, disabilities and faith backgrounds, will host several recreational events for individuals with disabilities in the coming months.

Saturday Night Alive is a family night featuring games, music, pizza and simple bible teaching. All are welcome at these events, taking place March 26, April 9 and May 14 from 5-7 p.m. The cost is $5, and they take place at Cabin John Middle School (6300 Tilden Lane) in Rockville. For more information on registering, contact Lynn Poznanski at or 301-841-7412.

Good News Event for special needs families and friends takes place May 1 from 2-5 p.m. at the Mt. Airy Fairgrounds (1008 Twin Arch Drive) in Mt. Airy. This event is sponsored by the Damascus Road Community Church and the Haven Ministry. It will feature pizza and ice cream, games and prizes, moon bounces, water play, pony and hay rides and live music. This event is free. For more information, call 301-253-5276.

Preschool "B" Social Fitness & Social Thinking Sessions

Fitness for Health will offer a "B" Social afternoon preschool session on Fridays from March 18-May 20, integrating social cognitive thinking with motor activities in small groups of 6-8 children.

Concepts such as perspective taking, taking turns, being part of a group, emotions, visual spatial awareness, object control, motor planning and more will be introduced in a fun and motivating way.

The class is for children ages 3-5 and will take place on Fridays from 1-1:50 p.m. (No classes April 22 and April 29.)

This class is taught in collaboration with Early Intervention Therapists and costs $120 per session or $960 for an 8-week program. The enrollment deadline is March 11. For more information, call Fitness for Health at 301-231-7138.

Think Social: Social Cognitive Learning Groups Now Forming

Think Social groups are currently forming to help children and teens with ADHD, PDD-NOS, Asperger Syndrome and other social challenges. These groups use social cognitive thinking concepts based on the social thinking philosophy of Michelle Garcia Winner.

Susan Abrams and Randi Rosenblatt, both MA, CCC-SLP, are creating the groups, which target skills such as perspective taking, being part of a group, compliments, conversation, interpreting social cues and establishing and maintaining friendships.

Examples of groups include:

Storytime for preschool children: A 10-week course exploring social thinking through stories, art, drama and pretend play.

Mad Science for preschool through kindergarten-aged children: A 10-week structured group integrating social cognitive thinking into weekly experiments.

Social Thinking 101 for grades K-5: A school year-long group that aims to build a social thinking vocabulary and an opportunity to build real friendships.

Superflex for grades 3-5: Participants will meet the superhero "Superflex" and learn his strategies to beat the "team of unthinkables" and become more flexible.

Literacy and social thinking for grades 3-4: A 12-week course to learn to apply social thinking strategies to literature to improve reading comprehension skills.

Abrams and Rosenblatt also offer parent coaching and groups for middle and high schoolers. For more information, or to register for these Rockville-based groups, call 301-468-9343 ext 2.

Empower Children with Technology

Speech therapists Joan Green and Susan Abrams will present a workshop on empowering children with technology on April 6 from 10-11:30 a.m.

Green, of Innovative Speech Therapy, and Abrams, of Early Intervention Therapists and Parent University, will present on how to make learning fun through exploring apps, affordable software and other technology tools. Internet access will be available and participants are encouraged to bring laptops, iPads or iTouches.

Cost for the workshop is $30 before March 9 and $40 starting on March 10. Register online. The workshop will be held at Summerville (11215 Seven Locks Road) in Potomac.

For more information, contact Joan Green at or 301-602-2899 or Susan Abrams at or 301-468-9343 ext. 2.