Saturday, October 15, 2011

A Brief Hiatus, Then AutMont Will Return

Thank you to everyone who commented and emailed with your suggestions and encouragement for AutMont. Some of you had great ideas and I will follow up with a couple of you.

I need to take a couple of weeks off to take care of some stuff with my house and to rebuild my master calendar of AutMont events that I lost when my hard drive crashed. (Big sad face there.) I hate to do that because there are so many really good events happening this month, but I think I have to. I apologize.

I was touched to know that some of you appreciate this site so much. Thank you. I intend to be back on track here by November 1.

Monday, October 10, 2011

AutMont Is at a Fork in the Road. Let Me Know Your Thoughts.

Hi, friends. I am really sad to say that I am having computer problems, rendering my master calendar of events to add to AutMont temporarily unavailable. I am especially sad because I know there is a bunch of great stuff coming up this week.

I've been re-evaluating my thoughts about AutMont a little bit as well. It takes a tremendous amount of time to keep it up in the way I want to, which I am happy to do if people find it worthwhile—and if I can fit it into my schedule.

But! Are you able to get the same information from different sources? Is my "sometimes posting, sometimes not" approach that I am having to take at this point in my life more troublesome than not being here at all? Have you found me too hit and miss over the past few months to be reliable? Let me know in the comments. I can take it.

I'm doing some thinking about what to do here. How valuable is the calendar? How valuable are the posts about events? How valuable are the resource pages/library/links? If you could tell me what to do, what would YOU tell me to do? I'd love to hear your opinions.

As far as autism-related events this week, this is what I remember from my currently unavailable calendar: There is an Extraordinary Parents night, an MCTransitions meeting, and I think some sort of transition fair, in addition to other stuff. Often times this stuff goes up on MC Needs (and if you're here, you're probably there too), so make sure to check there for coming events.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Conference on Fragile X (Virginia)

Fragile X Families of Northern Virginia will present a conference on Helpful Interventions for Children with Fragile X Syndrome, Autism, and Other Neurodevelopmental Disorders on October 7 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The conference is intended for parents, families, teachers, therapists, and other providers who care for and work with children and adults with Fragile X, autism, or other neurodevelopmental disorders.

The conference costs $70 per person. Pre-registration is required. For more information, contact

Webinar: Bullying: What Parents Can Do

The National Center for Learning Disabilities will hold a webinar called Bullying: What Parents Can Do To Protect and Support Their Child on October 6 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. ET.

Jonathan Cohen, co-founder and president of the national School Climate Center will present.

For more information, please visit the webinar webpage at

The Power of Words: The Impact of Labels

The Universities at Shady Grove Committee on Collaboration, Interprofessional and Interdisciplinary Education Strategies (CIPES) will present a panel discussion called The Power of Words: The Impact of Labels on October 5 from 4:30-6 p.m.

The panel will discuss the power of everyday language to remove barriers for those with disabilities and will discuss "Rosa's Law," which replaced the term "mental retardation" from health, education, and labor policy and replaced it with "intellectual disability." The panel will also discuss "person first" language.

The panel and reception following the panel will take place in Building I of the Universities at Shady Grove (9640 Gudelsky Drive) in Rockville. For more information, contact Joann Mirgon at 301-738-6118 or RSVPs are encouraged by not required at

Event Summary for the Week of October 3, 2011

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

Monday, October 3:

Tuesday, October 4:

Friday, October 7:


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

Howard County Special Education Transition Fair

The Howard County Public School System Special Education Department will hold a Special Education Transition Fair on October 5 from 6-8:30 p.m.

Attendees will learn about options that may be available to young adults receiving special education services as they graduate/exit high school. The fair will feature two breakout sessions focusing on services offered through the Division of Rehabilitation Services (DORS) and the Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA).

Information will also be available in the following areas: adult agencies, day programs, self/supported employment, funding sources, HCPSS special education (work) programs, leisure and recreation opportunities, postsecondary education/training options, residential options, Social Security, and transportation.

All are invited and registration is not required. For more information, call 410-313-5640. The fair will be held at Wilde Lake High School (5460 Trumpeter Road) in Columbia.

World of Possibilities Expo

The World of Possibilities Expo will take place October 5 and 6 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

This expo offers information on the latest products services, technology, and resources for those with disabilities.

The expo will be held at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium. For more information, contact Caring Communities at 866-227-4644 or

Employment, Volunteer and Other Vocational Options for Adults with Disabilities

JSSA will offer a community seminar on Employment, Volunteer and Other Vocational Options for Adults with Disabilities on October 4 from 7-9 p.m.

Speakers from the Maryland Division of Rehabilitation Services (DORS) and JSSA's Employment and Career Services will discuss vocational careers and job information for individuals with disabilities.

The cost of the workshop is $10. Pre-registration is required by calling 301-610-8414. Space is limited. The seminar will be held at JSSA (200 Wood Hill Road) in Rockville.

COPAA Webinars on Legal Issues in Special Education

COPAA will hold a series of webinars this fall concerning legal issues in special education.

Registrants are welcome to participate in one or the entire series of sessions. The cost of participating varies depending on the number of webinars you will participate in and whether you are a COPAA member as well as other variables. Please see their fees page for details.

Following are the webinar dates and topics:

October 4, 2-3:30 p.m. ET: 2010 Annual Case Law Review presented by Judith Gran, Esq.

October 11, 2-3:30 p.m. ET: Legal Claims for Bullying and Harassment presented by Catherine Merino Reisman, Esq., and Amy Carolla, Esq.

October 18, 2-3:30 p.m. ET: Litigating Claims for Unlawful Retaliation and Interference with Rights presented by Judith Gran, Esq., Catherine Merino Reisman, Esq., and Selene A. Almazan, Esq.

November 1, 2-3:30 p.m. ET: Social Emotional Assessment: Meeting IDEA Requirements presented by Ann E. Simun, PsyD

November 15, 2-3:30 p.m. ET: Expanding Your Arsenal with Section 504 presented by Mandy Favaloro, Esq. and Carolina Watts

MCCPTA Special Education Committee Kick-Off Meeting

The MCCPTA's Special Education Committee will hold their first meeting of the school year on October 3 at 7:30 p.m.

Meet other advocacy groups and MCPS special education directors. Board of Education Special Population Committee members are invited to attend.

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

For more information, contact Jeanne Taylor at

BounceU Sensory Bounce Times

Starting October 3, BounceU in Rockville and Clarksburg will be offering a Sensory Rebound Bounce time the first Monday of every month from 6-7:30 p.m.

At these special bounce times, there will be no loud music as well as limited attendance in a supportive environment.

Reservations are required to prevent overbooking. Please call the Rockville location at 301-340-1311 and the Clarksburg location at 301-515-5665.

The Rockville location is at 1632 East Gude Drive. The Clarksburg location is at 22530 Gateway Center Drive.

Support Group for Parents of Children Across the Autism Spectrum

JSSA will hold a free support group for parents of children across the autism spectrum on October 3, November 7, and December 5 and January 9. They take place from 7-8:15 p.m.

Groups will share coping strategies and community resources, help with developing networks, and provide mutual support.

Participants must register for each session by calling Jamell White at 301-61-8361. The groups are held at JSSA (200 Wood Hill Road) in Rockville.

BOE Community Forums

The Montgomery County Board of Education will be holding two forums this month to hear from the community about what matters to you in our school system. If you want to make your voice heard, plan to attend one of the two following events.

The first forum will be held October 12 from 7-9 p.m. at Northwood High School (919 University Boulevard) in Silver Spring.

The second will take place October 27 from 7-9 p.m. at Watkins Mill High School (10301 Apple Ridge Road) in Gaithersburg.

Registration for both events will begin at 6:30 so that events will start promptly at 7. For more information about the forums, please visit To register to participate, call 301-279-3617 or email by the Friday before the event.

Pediatric Anxiety Seminar

The National Institute of Mental Health will present a Pediatric Anxiety Seminar on October 20 from 7-8:30 p.m.m

Erin D. Berman, Ph.D., and clinical psychologist at NIMH, will present the seminar. Topics will include common signs and symptoms of anxiety in youth, what parents can do to help a child struggling with anxiety, understanding treatment options, and current research in pediatric anxiety conducted at NIMH.

The seminar will take place at Johns Hopkins University's Montgomery County Campus, A&R Building, Room 106/8/10 (9601 Medical Center Drive) in Rockville. Enter the campus via Broschart Road.

Seating is limited, so please register by October 14 by calling 301-402-8225 or emailing

Parent University 2011-2012 Workshops

Parent University has several workshops scheduled over the next several months. Each workshop takes place from 7:15-8:30 p.m. at the Har Shalom Early Childhood Education Center (11510 Falls Road) in Potomac.

The cost for one workshop is $30, two workshops is $60, three workshops is $85, and four workshops is $105. You can register online for the workshops.

November 1—Proven Strategies for Raising an Academically Successful Student: Ann Dolin, educational consultant and author of the book Homework Made Simple: Tips, Tools and Solutions for Stress-Free Homework, will teach parents how to implement five methods to raise an academically successful student. In this workshop you will learn how to create afterschool structure and built-in routines, how to teach your child essential study skills, as well as choosing and implementing effective rewards and consequences. In addition, parents will learn how to find the balance between helping their child too much and not enough.

January 18—Help Your Child to Start Thinking Organized: Rhona Gordon, author of the book Thinking Organized for Parents and Children, presents this workshop to teach parents to learn how to help children improve executive functioning skills to better organize and manage schoolwork, homework and daily activities. This workshop will help parents understand how to help their disorganized thinkers break down common difficulties into six different areas and then create a step-by-step approach to establish new and effective strategies.

March 5—The Healthy Use of Technology: Setting Limits on the Virtual World: Edward Spector will discuss the healthy use of technology, including video games, the internet, and smart phones. Also to be discussed: warning signs of the compulsive use of these technologies, factors that might make one vulnerable to using technology in a compulsive way, and how to help people of all ages become savvy, educated consumers of electronic media and technology.

May 7—Social Thinking and Social Perception in Autism Spectrum Disorder: David Black will help you explore how children with autism spectrum disorders perceive, think, and interact with the social world. As parents and professionals, we will discuss how we apply the knowledge we acquire from research to better facilitate the development of social cognition in the everyday lives of our children.

Developmental Disabilities Needs Assessment Forum

The Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities (MCDD) will hold a Needs Assessment Forum on October 6 in Baltimore City. They will be gathering information on "Creating a Roadmap: What do people with developmental disabilities need and how do we get there?"

The forum is open to consumers, family and friends, service providers, schools, resource coordinators, local health departments, local social service departments, clinicians, early learning professionals, and other interested persons.

Regardless of whether you can attend, you are invited to feel out an online needs assessment survey at

Attendance at the forum is free. Registration is not required. There will be two sessions, the first from 1-3 p.m. and the second from 6-8 p.m. It will be held in the Talon Center, Room 218 A&B at Coppin State University (2500 North Avenue) in Baltimore. Free parking is available in Lot G.

For more information or for accommodations, contact Aisha Mason at 443-923-9555 or by email at