Saturday, April 21, 2012

XMinds: College and Post-secondary Education Planning for Students with ASDs

The Partnership for Extraordinary Minds will hold their Extraordinary Parents Night on May 16 from 7-9 p.m. The topic will be College and Post-secondary Education Planning for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Judith Bass, of Bass Educational Services, will present a step-by-step process for high school planning and transition to post-secondary education; finding the best fit for your child's unique learning needs; examining whether a "gap year," two-year, or four-year college is appropriate; and improving student self-knowledge and self-advocacy skills.

The meeting will take place at Rockville Memorial Library (21 Maryland Avenue) in Rockville. For more information, call 301-444-5225.

April 2012 SEAC Meeting

This month's meeting of MCPS' Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) will be April 26 from 7 to 9 p.m. This month's topic will be psychological assessments.

Brian Bartels, Director of Psychological Services, will discuss psychological assessments. Parents will have an opportunity to ask questions.

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

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

Anyone wishing to give public comments must bring five copies of your testimony and contact one of the co-chairs prior to the meeting. Co-chairs are Joan Sabaka (, Anne Turner (, and Amuthan Kannan (

Sensory Friendly Film: Pirates! Band of Misfits

Enjoy a screening of Pirates! Band of Misfits in a sensory friendly environment on May 5 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.

Music for Autism: Capitol Woodwind Quintet

Music for Autism will present a free concert by the Capitol Woodwind Quintet at the Ivymount School on May 6 at 1 p.m.

This interactive concert is fully subsidized for those with autism and their families. Go online to find a social story with photos from previous concerts. There is also a guide for caregivers.

Attendees must RSVP for the concert.

Ivymount will also feature their Annual Ivymount Art Show, which will be open to the public from 2-4:30 p.m. after the concert. This artwork, much of which is available for purchase, has been created by Ivymount students.

Both the concert and the art show will take place at Ivymount (11614 Seven Locks Road) in Rockville.

Webinar on Autism and Neurodiversity

Autism NOW will present a webinar, Autism and Neurodiversity: A Study of Views and Influence of a Rising Movement, on May 1 from 2-3 p.m. Eastern.

The neurodiversity movement celebrates autism as an inseparable part of a person's identity. This movement seeks to change the perception that autism is a "condition, disease, or disorder" that needs to cured; instead, it emphasizes that autism is a natural difference that does not impact the person's ability to live a fulfilling life. Register for this webinar to learn about the results of a recent survey conducted on autism and neurodiversity, which will soon appear in the journal Developmental Psychology.

Register online.

Perspective is Everything: Theory of Mind and Social Skills

The Treatment and Learning Centers will present a lecture, Perspective is Everything: Understanding the Connection Between Theory of Mind Development and Social Skills, on May 7 from 6-8 p.m.

Cathleen Burgess, Director of TLC's Katherine Thomas Lower/Middle School, will speak about special needs kids and how delays in social skills can impact their ability to develop friendships with peers. Developing these social skills is also important for school and extra-curricular activities and promote success later in life. This workshop will explore theory of mind (perspective taking) and its impact on social skills development in children. A hierarchy of skills necessary for building friendships will be discussed. A post-talk Q and A will follow.

The cost of the workshop is $10 in advance or $15 at the door. Register online.

The lecture will take place at TLC (2092 Gaither Road, Suite 100) in Rockville. For more information, contact Bonnie Lawhorn at or 301-424-5200 x138.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Fundamentals of Organization for those Supporting Adult Children with Disabilities

MC Transitions will host a meeting about Fundamentals of Organization for those Supporting Adult Children with Disabilities on April 12 from 7-9 p.m.

Helping adult children with significant disabilities requires organizing various forms of paperwork for each support service the children might need, as well as preparing for meetings with many different public and private agencies. Coco Palomeque will be talking about ways to overcome emotions that get in the way of performing tasks, designing organizational systems that work, and prioritizing and building motivation and follow through skills to help parents move ahead.

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

Autism NOW April Webinars

Autism NOW hosts webinars each Tuesday afternoon. All webinars take place from 2-3 p.m. Eastern time. The schedule for the remaining April webinars is below.

April 17: From Numbers to Action: Understanding the New Autism Prevalence Estimates—The CDC recently reported that 1 in 88 children in the US has an autism spectrum disorder. This webinar will feature speakers from the CDC who will discuss the new numbers. Register online.

April 24: Overview of Disability Services—This webinar will cover the services and programs that are available to individuals with ASDs and other developmental disabilities; programs as Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security Income (SSI), and Social Security Disability Income (SSDI); and how to acquire these services. Register online.

LDAMC: Parents: Where Do You Start?

The Learning Disabilities Association of Montgomery County will present a program called Parents: Where Do You Start? on April 26 from 7-8:30 p.m.

The program is intended to help parents who are concerned about their children's academic, emotional, and social success. The panel will include Judy Bass, CEP, educational consultant; Donna Henderson, neuropsychologist; Julie Bulitt, LCSW-C, individual and family therapist; and Bonnie Massimino, M.Ed., BCET, educational therapist.

RSVP at or 301-933-1076 to reserve your seat. The program will take place at Flower Valley Elementary School (4615 Sunflower Drive) in Rockville.

Parent Academy Spring 2012 Workshops

The MCPS Parent Academy has published their spring schedule and is offering several workshops applicable to special needs parenting. Check the Parent Academy schedule for a full list of workshop offerings. Selected information is below.

Find registration information for all workshops online.

April 11, 7-8:30 p.m.—Bright Futures for Students with an IEP: How can families and schools work together to help students with IEPs make a successful transition to high school and beyond? Come and learn about high school choices that will help your student transition to employment and independence. Held at Sligo Middle School (1401 Dennis Avenue) in Silver Spring.

April 12, 7-8:30 p.m.—Social Bullies: Dealing with Exclusion and Cliques: People traditionally think of bullies as the big kid on the playground taking your lunch money. Today's students are using exclusion, rumors, and teasing to bully others. Come and explore these behaviors and discuss strategies for helping bullies, victims and bystanders. Facilitated by YMCA Youth & Family Services. Held at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School (4301 East-West Highway) in Bethesda.

May 9, 7-8:30 p.m.—Bright Futures for Students with an IEP: See program description above. Held at Col. E. Brooke Lee Middle School (11800 Monticello Avenue) in Silver Spring.

May 14, 7-8:30 p.m.—Autism 101: This presentation will provide an overview of the definition of ASD and identify the characteristics by reviewing student profiles. The specific learning style for students diagnosed with ASD will be discussed, as well as an overview of strategies to support students with ASD in their least restrictive environment in MCPS. Held at Robert Frost Middle School (9201 Scott Drive) in Rockville.

May 17, 7-8:30 p.m.—Anxiety in Children and Adolescents: Do your children or adolescents suffer from anxiety? An NIH psychologist will take you through the biology behind both normal and excessive anxiety and discuss interventions that can be used at home and in school. Held at Woodfield Elementary School (24200 Woodfield Road) in Gaithersburg.

May 23, 7-8:30 p.m.—Breaking the Bullying Cycle: Learn how to recognize the signs and effects of bullying along with tips and strategies to help your child. Presented by the Mental Health Association of Montgomery County. Held at Gaithersburg Middle School (2 Teachers Way) in Gaithersburg.

CSAAC's 4th Annual Happy Hour for Autism

Community Services for Autistic Adults and Children (CSAAC) and hostess Jesse Garchik will hold the 4th Annual Happy Hour for Autism on April 19 from 6-9 p.m.

The event is intended to raise awareness of autism. A $25 donation at the door includes a dinner buffet and drink specials from the cash bar. There will be a silent auction and a raffle for an iPad2.

Tickets are not available in advance and only cash or credit cards are available at the door. Maximum capacity is 100 guests, so be sure to arrive on time! The event will take place in the upstairs lounge of Caddies on Cordell (4922 Cordell Avenue) in Bethesda.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Event Summary for the Week of April 9, 2012

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

Tuesday, April 10:

Wednesday, April 11:

Thursday, April 12:

Saturday, April 14:

Sunday, April 15:

Up for Discussion on AutMont:

As it was for many of you, this past week was spring break for my kids. Therefore, I didn't get a whole lot of new events put on the calendar. There are some fantastic things going on this week. I truly hope to get them listed by Tuesday, so check back.


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