Saturday, March 31, 2012

1st Annual Cheetah-Thon Fundraiser

This one is near and dear to my heart. My son's special hockey team for kids with developmental disabilities, the Montgomery Cheetahs, will hold their 1st annual Cheetah-Thon fundraiser on May 12 from 5-7 p.m. to raise money for the more than $20,000 in ice time expenses they have each year.

Please watch this video about the Cheetahs and consider donating on the team's donation site and attending the event. If you would prefer to donate by check, please email me at and I can give you an address to which you can send a check.

The Cheetah-Thon will take place at the Rockville Ice Arena (50 Southlawn Court) in Rockville.

Please support this amazing team. I would be so grateful.

Germantown 5-Miler for Sports Plus

The Germantown 5-Miler will take place on May 19. This family-friendly event is presented by Montgomery County Road Runners and benefits Sports Plus.

Awetism Awareness Day with Sports Plus and Spagnvola Chocolatier

Celebrate Awetism Awareness Day with Sports Plus and Spagnvola Chocolatier on April 28 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Admission is free for this event, featuring chocolate treat making, factory tours, chocolate tasting, and live music and fun.

For more information, or to register, contact Sports Plus at 301-452-3781 or

The event will take place at Spagnvola Chocolatier (360 Main Street) in Gaithersburg.

Anxiety Disorders and Depression in Children and Adolescents

NAMI Montgomery County will hold a meeting on Anxiety Disorders and Depression in Children and Adolescents on April 10 at 7 p.m.

Dr. Daniel Pine will review aspects of clinical presentation for pediatric anxiety and related disorders, including aspects of their diagnosis and long-term outcome. He will also discuss current data on the treatment of anxiety and related disorders. The presentation will end with discussion on the ways in which research on neuroscience can generate novel ideas about treatment.

For more information, contact Jennifer Contreras at The lecture will take place at the NAMI MC office (11718 Parklawn Drive) in Rockville.

How Will I Know If My Child Is Making Progress?

The Arc Montgomery County, the Autism Society Montgomery County Maryland, and the Down Syndrome Network of Montgomery County will hold a presentation and discussion called "How Will I Know If My Child Is Making Progress?" on May 2 from 7-9 p.m.

Josie Thomas, Executive Director of the Parents' Place of Maryland, will present at the meeting. This workshop will help parents answer this question as they learn how to gather information from special education and general education sources. Parents learn how to use this information to help their child.

This free presentation will take place at the Arc Montgomery County (11600 Nebel Street) in Rockville. Call or email to register: 301-984-5792 or; 301-924-2211 or; or

The IEP Process

The Arc Montgomery County, the Autism Society Montgomery County Maryland, and the Down Syndrome Network of Montgomery County will hold a presentation and discussion of the IEP Process on April 11 from 7-9 p.m.

Josie Thomas, Executive Director of the Parents' Place of Maryland, will present at the meetings. Parents will have an opportunity to ask questions. The presentation will include the following topics:

• How to request an IEP meeting and evaluations
• Practical work on writing goals and objectives
• An explanation of what a facilitated IEP meeting is and how to request one
• Who are the team members?
• What to do when something goes wrong?

This free presentation will take place at the Arc Montgomery County (11600 Nebel Street) in Rockville. Call or email to register: 301-984-5792 or; 301-924-2211 or; or

SEEC's Dance Party Fundraiser

SEEC will hold its annual fundraiser on April 28 from 7-11 p.m. This year's dance party will be "Dancin' Thru the Decades."

Proceeds from this event directly benefit children and adults with developmental disabilities who rely on SEEC's programs.

Tickets are $125 per person prior to April 15th and $150 after. Buy tickets online.

The event takes place at the Bethesda Marriott at Pools Hill (5151 Pooks Hill Road) in Bethesda. For more information, please check the SEEC website.

LAPS for Autism

Towson University's Center for Adults with Autism will host their second annual LAPS for Autism on April 29 from 4-6 p.m.

LAPS for Autism is a fundraiser at Towson University's Unitas Stadium. Run, walk, or skip laps alone or on a team. Check the website for information on registration and fundraising.

The money raised benefits educational programs for adults on the spectrum, funds Towson student-mentor training programs on autism, supports faculty research, and provides educational support for students on the spectrum enrolled at Towson University.

Autism NOW Webinars on Autism

Autism NOW will host two webinars in the first week of April.

April 3, 2-3 p.m. Eastern—Autism Awareness vs. Autism Acceptance: How Self-Advocate Groups are Challenging the Tragedy Model of Disability: Andee Joyce, chapter leader for Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN), will present this webinar focused on autism acceptance. Register online.

April 5, 2-3 p.m. Eastern—Autism 101: Amy Goodman, co-director of Autism NOW, will present this webinar about the definition of autism and the common characteristics found in individuals of different age groups. She will also provide an overview of the possible causes and risk factors associated with autism. Register online.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Alvord & Weinfeld Speaker Series

Alvord, Baker & Associates, LLC and the Weinfeld Education Group will present a series of lectures and workshops over the next few months.

Each event will take place at the Universities at Shady Grove (9630 Gudelsky Drive) in Rockville. For more information on any of the events, contact Mary Alvord at 301-593-6554 x14 or

Details on each event are as follows:

April 17, 7:30-9 p.m.—Current Thinking About Anxiety: The State of the Science: Daniel Pine, MD, will present the latest medical research about anxiety. He will review the symptoms of anxiety that parents and teachers are likely to see and will discuss the long term outcomes of children with anxiety. He will also discuss what the science knows about the underlying biology of anxiety. Cost is $25 through April 9; $35 after April 9. Register online.

May 17, 7:30-9 p.m.—The Out-of-Sync Child: Sensory Challenges and Sensory Solutions: Carol Kranowitz, M.A., will discuss Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) and how it causes inefficient processing of sensory messages. She will present strategies and fun and functional sensory-motor experiences that can help children regulate sensory stimuli and improve their learning and behavior. Cost is $25 through May 9; $35 after May 9. Register online.

September 20, 7:30-9 p.m.—Evidence-Based Practice and Transitioning for Adolescents and Adults with ASD: Implications for Quality of Life: Peter Gerhardt, Ed.D., will provide a brief overview of some of the more relevant challenges to effective intervention with older individuals and offer recommendations toward improving outcomes utilizing interventions based upon the principals of applied behavior analysis. Cost is $30 through September 3; $50 after September 3; for CE, add $15. Register online.

September 21, 8:45 a.m.-noon—Sexuality and Sexuality Education for Individuals with ASD: Peter Gerhardt, Ed.D., will speak at this CE workshop. He will provide an overview of issues associated with sexuality education and the role behavior analysis can play in this complex important area. Cost is $95 through June 30; $105 from July 1 to September 3; $120 from September 4-20; and $125 at the door. Register online.

Image credit: Svilen Miley

Haven Universe Good News Event

Haven Universe will hold its annual "Good News" event for special needs families and friends on May 6 from 1-4 p.m.

The free event will feature pizza and ice cream, games and prizes, moon bounces, water play, pony rides, music, and hayrides.

All are welcome at this event, which will be held rain or shine at the Mt. Airy Fairgrounds (1008 Twin Arch Drive) in Mt. Airy.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Saturday Night Alive Spring 2012

Haven Universe, a religious non-profit organization, will offer several Saturday Night Alive sessions this spring.

These events offer individuals with special needs an opportunity to socialize and have fun with peers.

Each of these events takes place from 5-7 p.m. and costs $7.

Events for special needs individuals ages 16 years and older take place April 14 and May 19. Events for individuals 15 years and younger take place March 24, April 28, and May 19.

The events take place at Julius West Middle School (651 Great Falls Road) in Rockville. For more information, contact Lynn Poznanski at or 301-841-7412.

Free Carnival for Special Needs Kids

Project Change will host a free carnival for preschool and elementary aged children with special needs on March 24 from 1-4 p.m.

The event will feature art and crafts, music, moon bounce, snacks, and more. The event will be held indoors, rain or shine.

Contact for more information. The carnival will take place at Our Lady of Good Counsel High School (17301 Old Vic Blvd) in Olney. Register online.

Transition Times for Parents of Young Adults Leaving High School

Transition Times will hold a meeting for parents of young adults leaving high school on March 21 from 7:30-9 p.m.

This meeting's topic is Transition Services for Students Earning a Certificate of Program Completion: What Happens Between 18 and 21 Years Old?

Transition Times meetings are a joint program of Potomac Community Resources, Inc and the Arc of Montgomery County. No registrations or RSVP are required. For more information, contact

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

Top Chef: A Taste of CLE (College Living Experience)

College Living Experience will host Top Chef: A Taste of CLE on March 27 from 5-7 p.m.

Attendees will enjoy student-prepared desserts while having an opportunity to meet staff, tour the CLE center, and learn about how CLE supports students in their transition to adult life.

CLE offers specialized support for special needs students pursuing higher education. These supports include 1:1 academic coaching, executive functioning help, self advocacy, career readiness, independent living skills instruction, and social development.

For more information call 800-486-5058. Please RSVP by emailing Ric Kienzle at CLE is located at 401 North Washington Street, Suite 420, in Rockville.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Educational Leadership for Parents Workshops

The Weinfeld Education Group will present a series of workshops on a variety of topics this spring.

Workshops will take place on Sundays from 1-2:30 p.m. at Expressive Therapy Center (14808 Physicians Lane, Suite 111) in Rockville.

The cost for an individual is $39 per workshop or $150 for all four. Couples (spouses, friends, family members) can register for $65 per workshop or $250 for all four. Space is limited. Register online.

Following are the workshop topics:

April 22, Educational Awareness—History, Changes, and Future of Education: Participants will learn about current trends and direction in education along with education laws, rights, and responsibilities, including laws on special education for both the recipient and his/her general education peer.

May 6, Making the Right School Choice—Education Models and Learning Sciences: This workshop will identify and explain all alternative education models, including charter, homeschooling, regligious, Montessori, Reggio Emelia, arts, prep/IB, and more.

May 20, Leadership Skills for Parents: This workshop will expose participants to leadership skills to help them effectively establish and manage their children's education.

June 3, Education Planning for Parents: This workshop is intended to help participants create and navigate an education plan for their children's lifelong education experience.

Navigating College Admissions for Students with IEPs and 504s

Best Four Years, a college admissions counseling service, will present two free workshops on navigating college admissions for students with IEPs and 504s.

The first will take place on March 21 from 7-8:30 p.m. in room C-124 at Walt Whitman High School (7100 Whittier Boulevard) in Bethesda. Space is limited. Please register by emailing

The second workshop will take place on March 28 from 7-8:30 p.m. in Chorus Room E006 at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School (4301 East-West Highway) in Bethesda. Registration for this event is not necessary.

ROAR for Autism 2012

Kennedy Krieger Institute will hold its annual ROAR for Autism event on April 29 to raise funds for autism research.

ROAR for Autism features bike rides, including 50- and 25-mile rides for cycling enthusiasts, a 10-mile ride for recreational riders, a 5-mile ride for beginners, and a youth fun ride. Attendees can also take a scenic walk on Oregon Ridge Park's trails. After the rides and walks, the Family Fun Festival featuring music, entertainment, snacks, and games, begins at 10 a.m.

Participants can go online to register and fundraise. Advance registration before April 27 for adults is $25; for children age 12 and under is $10. On-site registration is $30 for adults and $15 for children. The event takes place in Cockeysville, Maryland.

For more information, go online to the ROAR for Autism website or visit the event's Facebook page.

Webinar: Involving Siblings in the Transition Process

Autism NOW will present a free webinar on Involving Siblings in the Transition Process for Young Adults with Disabilities on March 13 from 2-3 p.m. Eastern.

Tom Fish and Sarah Hall of the Sibling Leadership Network will discuss the important role that siblings can play in helping their brothers and sisters be successful during the transition process from school to adult life. Learn tips on how siblings can provide support and guidance in the areas of community living, employment, decision making and advocacy.

Silver Spring Social Club for Young Adults on the Spectrum

The first meeting of the Silver Spring Social Club for young adults on the spectrum will take place on March 14 from 7:15-8:30 p.m.

Young adults on the autism spectrum and their family members are welcome to attend. This will be a planning meeting, so bring your ideas.

The meeting will be held in the Colesville conference room of the Silver Spring Civic Building (One Veterans Place) in downtown Silver Spring. (The Civic Building is across from the Regal Majestic movie theater. Public parking is available on Ellsworth Drive.)

RSVP to Victoria Baldassano at