Spring into action! Learn how in this month's xMindsWire.

xMindsWire April 2019

Memo from the Board

Did the xMinds in MCPS Forum last week inspire you to get more involved? Have you ever wondered how xMinds is run and how we set our priorities?

Perhaps you would be interested in joining our Board of Directors or serving on one of our Board Committees. We are looking to expand our community of passionate parent-volunteers, and as we enter the final year of our three-year strategic plan, the members of our Board will be the ones who set its direction and priorities for the next three years.

If you have ideas about what needs to change for autistic students in Montgomery County, and if you are willing to put time into making that change a reality, join us! Please contact Monica Martinez at mmartinez@xminds.org.

xMinds News

xMinds Welcomes Maria Ott to our Board of Directors
xMinds is pleased to announce that Maria Ott has accepted our invitation to join our Board of Directors. Maria is an attorney with a JD from the Catholic University of America. She also earned her MSEd from the University of Pennsylvania specializing in Intercultural Communications. After her daughter was diagnosed with ASD, Maria has represented pro bono clients in special education in the District of Columbia and has become involved in seeking best practices in educating children who are non- or minimally verbal.

xMinds in MCPS Forum Slides Available
Slide presentations from the April 2, 2019 xMinds in MCPS Forum are now available online. Also, if you did not complete your feedback surveys at the Forum, you can find them online, too. The Autism Services Survey (the green form) is available here, while the gray survey about the specific breakout sessions you attended can be found here. We hope to have answers to the questions parents posed during the breakout sessions posted to our website next month.

Summer is Around the Corner; Are you Ready?
Did you know that the Transition Services Unit of MCPS recently published a Summer Camps brochure? Some other great resources for finding summer camps for kids on the spectrum include the xMinds Summer Camp Guide and the Summer Camp Discussion Thread in the xMinds members-only discussion group at the xMinds website.

Bike to the Beach Training Has Begun
Participating in the Bike to the Beach ride is a great way to get in shape and to form relationships with other xMinds parents. Our team will be participating in both the 100 and 50 mile ride to Dewey Beach, Delaware on Friday, August 2, 2019. Team members do not have to be xMinds members! If you have friends who are really into biking, please invite them to join the team. Our fundraising goal this year is $10,000!  With your support, we can easily reach this goal. Please join the team at https://my.biketothebeach.org/teampage.asp?fundid=5920. Contact team captain, Rick Gordon, for more information.

Upcoming xMinds Events

Wednesday, May 8; 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Ask an #ActuallyAutistic Adult
See details and register here.

Pictured Right: Monica Martinez, Executive Director; Susan Keisler, Treasurer; Laura Gordon, President; Carolina Harp, Spanish Language Committee Chair and Board Member; Melissa Egan, Vice President

Events for Children, Teens, and Young Adults

Spring and Summer 2019
Be Social Kids
Center for Communication and Learning

Location: 6208 Montrose Road, Rockville, MD 20852
Cost: Contact Sue Abrams at info@ccl-md.com or call 301 468-9343 ext 2 for pricing information. These services may be covered by your insurance company. LISS funding is applicable for our social learning programs.
Registration: Registration is required. Complete the Interest Form to start the registration process.
The Center for Communication and Learning has developed unique programs that focus on helping children understand the “why” behind social skills. These groups are for children from preschool through elementary school who exhibit social challenges. Based on the frameworks of social thinking, we help children to navigate their social world by providing concepts and strategies that allow them to understand social expectations, to explore thoughts and feelings, and to learn how to form connections with their peers. More information is available online.

Mondays, Spring 2019; 5:30 - 7:00 p.m.
Secret Agent Society
Alliance Pediatrics
: 9711 Washingtonian Blvd. Gaithersburg, MD 20878
Cost: Please contact Alliance pediatrics at sas@alliancepediatrics.com for complete information.
Registration: Please complete the online intake form.
The Secret Agent Society is a revolutionary social program for children ages 8-12. Enrolled "cadets" experience engaging espionage-themed activities that teach emotion regulation and social interaction skills. Additional information is available online.

Saturday, April 13; 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Autism Support Group
University of Maryland, College Park
: McKeldin Library, Room 2111, UMD, College Park Campus
Cost: Free
Registration: Registration is not required.
This month’s topic is the presentation of autism in women and non-binary people. Not limited to University of Maryland College Park Students.

Tuesday, April 23; 11:30 a.m. - 1:45 p.m.
Blue Horizons for Autism
Autism Speaks
: Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport
Cost: Free
Registration: Registration is required and limited to 100 people. Register online.
Blue Horizons for Autism provides an opportunity for families and individuals with autism to navigate the air travel experience in a realistic, relaxed environment, along with other families from the autism community. The families begin their experience by checking-in at the airport's ticket counter, continue through TSA security and arrive at their gate for aircraft viewing, and other fun activities. Please note, we will NOT be boarding the aircraft. Staff and Volunteers will be onsite to assist participants throughout the event, so come and join us for a fun and exciting event.

Wednesday April 24 or Thursday, April 25; 4:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Governors Transitioning Youth Initiative
Developmental Disabilities Administration
: SMRO-DDA, 312 Marshall Ave., #700, Laurel, MD 20707
Cost: Free
Registration: Registration is required. Register online for April 24 or April 25.
Transition planning is when a student with a disability, along with family members, the school system, and service providers, begin to officially plan for life after high school. Transition planning should begin when you are 14 (if not earlier!). This may sound very early, but if you plan to apply for services you may need to get your applications in before you graduate so your supports are ready for you when you leave school. This training is appropriate for both self-advocates and family members/allies.

This training will cover the following topics:

  • Importance of Planning
  • Eligibility
  • Transition Programs & Services
  • Employment First
  • DDA Waivers

Sunday, April 28; 5:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Teen B Social Summer Program Open House
Fitness for Health
: Fitness for Health, 11140 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852
Cost: Free
Registration: Registration is required. Register online.
Parents and potential B Social summer program attendees can come learn more about our program. We will have staff members for your children to try things out. They will have a blast! Staff will discuss our program and answer questions for parents.

Saturday, May 11; 2:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Sensory Friendly Storytime
Montgomery County Public Libraries
: Little Falls Branch, 5501 Massachusetts Ave., Bethesda, MD 20816
Cost: Free
Registration: Registration is required. Contact the Little Falls library at 240-773-9520 or by email at leslie.jarvis@montgomerycountymd.gov to register.
Sensory friendly storytime is designed for children of all ages who prefer smaller groups due to sensory processing disorders. Storytime will be followed by social playtime with educational toys and an opportunity for parents to socialize. Participants are encouraged to bring their own noise reduction earmuffs and weighted items.

Summer Camp Information

Secret Agent Society
Alliance Pediatrics
June 17 - July 12 (no session on 7/4); M-Th; 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.;
F 9:00 a.m. -- 12:00 p.m. (aftercare available)
July 22 - August 16; M-Th; 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.; F 9:00 a.m. -- 12:00 p.m. (aftercare available)
: Charles E Smith Jewish Day School, 1901 E Jefferson St, Rockville, MD 20852
Cost: Session 1: $2975; Session 2: $3,145; Both Sessions: $6,120
Registration: All interested families will need to complete an interest form and an application. Once the clinicians review the documents, the administration will contact the family to schedule an intake if applicable. An informal 25-minute intake is required for all new Summer Program cadets. The intake fee is $75. Complete the intake form online.
The Secret Agent Academy Summer Program was designed from the curriculum of the Secret Agent Society (SAS) Small Group. SAS is an evidence-based intervention for children ages 8-12 with social-emotional challenges. Each 4-week session will include the SAS emotion regulation and social skills interventions that have been rigorously evaluated. Complete details are available online.

The Treatment and Learning Centers
Friends Interacting Group (Ages 2 ½ - 5)
Weekly Sessions: Monday-Friday, June 24 - August 9; 2.5 hours (Call TLC for times)
: 2092 Gaither Road, Suite 100, Rockville, MD 20850
Cost: Call 301-424-5200 x6923
Registration: Registration is required. Contact Lisa Torvik at 301-424-5200 x6923 or ltorvik@ttlc.org for registration information.
Complete description available online.

Friends Together Camp (Ages 5 - 7)
Weekly Sessions: Monday-Friday, June 24 - August 9; 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. AND/OR 12:30 - 3:30 p.m.
: The Katherine Thomas School (KTS), 9975 Medical Center Drive, Rockville, MD 20850
Cost: $675/week ($540 for week of July 1)
Registration: Registration is required. Contact Lisa Torvik at 301-424-5200 x6923 or ltorvik@ttlc.org for registration information.
Complete description available online.

Little Friends Language and Learning Camp (Ages 3 - 5)
Weekly Sessions: Monday-Friday, June 24 - August 9; 12:30 - 3:30 p.m.
: The Katherine Thomas School (KTS), 9975 Medical Center Drive, Rockville, MD 20850
Cost: $650/week ($520 for week of July 1)
Registration: Registration is required. Contact Lisa Torvik at 301-424-5200 x6923 or ltorvik@ttlc.org for registration information.
Complete description available online.

OT Option: Morning Movers (Ages 3 - 5)
Weekly Sessions: Tues., Wed., & Thurs., June 24 - August 9; 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
12:00 -12:30 p.m. Campers bring a lunch and join the Lunch Bunch
Location: The Katherine Thomas School (KTS), 9975 Medical Center Drive, Rockville, MD 20850
Cost: $120/week ($80 for week of July 1)
Registration: Registration is required. Contact Lisa Torvik at 301-424-5200 x6923 or ltorvik@ttlc.org for registration information.
Complete description available online.

Riding Together Camp
Session 1: Monday - Friday, August 12-16; 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Session 2: Monday - Friday, August 19 - 23; 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
: Great and Small, 17320 Moore Rd., Boyds, MD 20841
Cost: $750/week
Registration: Registration is required. Contact Lisa Torvik at 301-424-5200 ext. 306 or ltorvik@ttlc.org to register.
Social skills development led by an experienced TLC Speech - Language Pathologist in an interactive and dynamic group environment. Campers engage with horses along side the qualified and caring Great and Small staff to foster self - confidence, communication, and social skills. Target age group is 7 through 12 grade.

Events for Parents and Caregivers

Saturdays, April 13 and May 18; 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Pre-Guiding the Journey Workshop
Parents’ Place of Maryland
: Hussman Institute, 5521 Research Park Drive, Catonsville, MD 21228
Cost: Free
Registration: Registration is required. Register online.
A pre-transition workshop for parents of children ages 10-13 to get ready for the transition process. The transition from school to adulthood for children with disabilities and special healthcare needs can be challenging. This FREE two-day training, which includes the use of Lifecourse Tools, will help parents get ready to navigate this process and to develop a unique Transition Action Plan for and with their child.

Wednesday, April 17; 7:30 - 9:00 p.m.
Transition Times: Parent Resource Exchange
Arc Montgomery County
: 11600 Nebel Street, Rockville, MD 20852
Cost: Free
Registration: Registration is required. Register online.

Thursday, April 18; 6:00 - 7:15 p.m. and 7:15 - 8:30 p.m. (meets monthly)
Parents Together
Starobin Counseling, LLC
: 3413 Olandwood Court, Suite 104, Olney, MD 20832
Cost: $45/session
Registration: Registration is required. Please email caron@starobincounseling.com or call Caron Starobin at 301-524-4450 for a brief phone screening and to receive registration materials.
Parents Together offers parents of children and adolescents with autism and parents of young adults with autism opportunities to enhance coping skills and gain insight and understanding of the emotional impact of ASD on the family system. It also offers parents time and tools to develop supportive relationships, share resources, and aims to strengthen the capacity of families to navigate the emotional and practical challenges of raising children on the spectrum. The group has been going since Summer 2017, has both moms and dads participating, and offers a regular, real-time connection for families!

Monday, April 22; 7:30 p.m.
Book Club: Behave! by Robert Sapolsky
Guiding Exceptional Parents
: Better Together Family Therapy, 3720 Farragut Ave. Suite 301, Kensington MD 20895
Cost: Pay What You Can ($10-20 is suggested)
Registration: Registration is required. Register online.
Our quarterly book clubs give parents a chance to connect (and reconnect) while exploring a range of topics related to raising children. Come to the book club ready to discuss what you learned while reading the book selected for that session – what you liked, what was useful, and what didn’t make sense. The meetings are highly interactive with lots of discussion.

This quarter's book is Behave! By Robert Sapolsky, which explores why do we do the things we do. More than a decade in the making, this game-changing book is Robert Sapolsky’s genre-shattering attempt to answer that question as fully as perhaps only he could, looking at it from every angle. Using a storytelling paradigm, he starts by looking at the factors that bear on a person’s reaction in the precise moment a behavior occurs and then hops back in time from there in stages, ultimately ending up at the deep history of our species and its evolutionary legacy. (Summary from Amazon)

Thursday, April 25; 7:00 p.m.
April Parent Workshop: How to Work on and Maintain Fine Motor Skills During the Summer
The Treatment and Learning Centers
: The Katherine Thomas School, 9975 Medical Center Drive Rockville, MD 20850
Cost: Free
Registration: Registration is required. RSVP to Shelley McGinness at ktsworkshops@ttlc.org by April 22.
Does your child have some difficulty with handwriting and using small classroom tools? Don't let your child's fine motor skills suffer from the "summer slide!" Therapists from the KTS OT and PT Departments will provide creative ideas to use with your child this summer. We will focus on fine motor skills and the self-regulation skills that are needed to work on them. Come join us and get a jump start on summer planning!

Thursday, April 25; 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Special Education Advisory Committee
Montgomery County Public Schools
: Carver Educational Services Center, Cafeteria, 850 Hungerford Drive, Rockville, MD 20850
Cost: Free
Registration: Registration is not required.
Questions and public comments on any topic are welcome at SEAC meetings. Please come prepared with six copies of your written comments to share with the SEAC Co-Chairs, Phil Lynch, Director of the Department of Special Education Services, and Kevin Lowndes, Associate Superintendent for the Office of Special Education and Student Services. Public Comment participants will have 3 minutes. Child care and Spanish interpretation is available. For other interpreting services, please call 301-279-3135.

Saturday, April 27; 8:15 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
2019 Special Education Summit
Montgomery County Public Schools
: Quince Orchard High School, 15800 Quince Orchard Rd., Gaithersburg, MD 20878
Cost: Free
Registration: Registration is recommended. Register online.
Childcare for children ages 3 and older is available.
This year’s keynote speaker will be Dr. Lisa A Dieker, Pegasus Professor and Lockheed Martin Eminent Scholar Chair, University of Central Florida. The keynote address, “A Parent’s Perspective,” will be followed by breakout sessions on a wide variety of parenting topics.

Wednesday, May 1; 7:30 - 9:00 p.m.
Tools for School: The IEP Process
Arc Montgomery County
: 11600 Nebel Street, Rockville, MD 20852
Cost: Free
Registration: Registration is required. Register online.

Events for Parents/Caregivers and Educators

Friday, April 12 and Saturday, April 13
Diamonds in the Rough
Weinfeld Education Group
: Johns Hopkins University, Montgomery County Campus, 9601 Medical Center Dr., Rockville, MD 20850
Cost: $90 - $180, depending on registration type.
Registration: Registration is required. Register online.
The 9th Annual Diamonds in the Rough Conference is a two day conference consisting of a half-day CE Workshop on Friday, April 12th and a full day general conference on Saturday, April 13th featuring renowned speakers with a focus on learning disabilities and Autism. A complete list of presenters and topics is available online.

Monday, April 29 - Friday, May 3
Social Thinking Conference
: Marriott Baltimore Hunt Valley, 245 Shawan Road, Hunt Valley, MD 21031
Cost: $202.49 - 879.99, depending on registration type. Eligible for xMinds Educator Grant funding!
Registration: Registration is required. Register online.
Enrich play and story time to improve kids’ social competencies, and learn how to differentiate your teaching approach based on a child’s performance on the Group Collaboration, Play & Problem Solving Scale. Discover strategies for organizational skills, motivation, and getting work done—competencies critical for success across our lives, plus learn more than 20 unique Social Thinking concepts and vocabulary for teaching social competencies to age 5-young adult. Complete descriptions available online.
Topics include:

  • Teaching Social Thinking to Early Learners through Stories and Play-Based Activities
  • What Does Play Have to Do with Classroom Learning?
  • Executive Functioning: Tackle Homework and Classwork with these Helpful Strategies
  • Implementing Social Thinking Concepts and Vocabulary: A Day to Develop Team Creativity

Saturday, June 1 - Sunday, June 2
Neurodiversity Course
College of William and Mary
: 1779 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Suite 705, Washington DC 20036
Cost: Ranges from $175 - $1,235; see website for details
Registration: Registration before May 24 is required. Register online.
This course will focus on issues related to understanding how brain differences contribute to diversity in cognitive processing and social interactions. Autism will be used as the primary example to illustrate these issues, although other topics, such as co-occurrences with emotional problems, will be discussed. The course will address related topics of advocacy and climate on college campuses related to autism. This conference is chaired by John Elder Robison.

Save the Date: Saturday, October 19
6th Annual Innovators in Education Conference
Center for Communication and Learning
: The Universities of Shady Grove, University of Maryland
Cost: TBD
This year’s keynote speaker will be Carol Stock Kranowitz, M.A., author of The Out-of-Sync Child, the bestseller that demystifies sensory integration. Ms. Kranowitz will be followed by Dr. Sharon Saline and Kathleen McClaskey, both distinguished speakers in their field. For more information, contact info@innovatersineducation.net.

Spotlight on Professional Members

As a benefit to both our families and professional members, xMinds publishes information about our professional member service providers here in the xMindsWire as well as in a Professional Member Services Directory on our website. Inclusion in the directory is voluntary and does not constitute our endorsement. This month, xMinds is happy to welcome the following new and renewing members:

Matthew Bogin
5454 Wisconsin Ave., Ste. 760, Chevy Chase, MD 20815
301-656-1755; www.boginlaw.com
Contact: Matthew Bogin; matthew.bogin@boginlaw.com
Services: Financial/trust management

Exceptional Educational Solutions
701 Hyde Rd, Silver Spring, MD 20902
724-320-9026; https://ExceptionalEducationalSolutions.com
Contact: Stephanie Frumkin; Stephanie@exceptionaleducationalsolutions.com
Services: Educational consulting
Educational consulting services for families with out-of-the-box learners. Support, Consultation, Advocacy, Traditional and Alternative Learning Environments, Supporting Neurodiversity

Fitness for Health
11140 Rockville Pike, Ste. 303, Rockville, MD 20852
301-231-7138; www.fitnessforhealth.org
Contact: William Sickel; willie@fitnessforhealth.org
Services: Occupational therapy; Physical therapy; Social skills therapy; Athletics/recreational support

Jean Hickey, M.Ed.
Contact: 240-460-5306; jeh217@aol.com
Services: Individual educational therapy, educational consulting, parent training and support

The Treatment and Learning Centers
2092 Gaither Rd., Ste. 100, Rockville, MD 20850
301-424-5200; www.ttlc.org
Contact: Michelle Lyons; mlyons@ttlc.org
Services: Private school; Psychological counseling; Occupational therapy; Speech/language therapy; Social skills therapy; Educational testing; Neuropsychological testing; Academic tutoring/coaching

Jamell White
6288 Montrose Rd., Rockville, MD 20850
Contact: Dr. Jamell White; drjamellwhite@gmail.com
Services: Psychological counseling; Social skills therapy; Behavioral support

Did you receive this from a friend? Subscribe Now

Facebook   Twitter   Yahoo

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to read about current news stories and opportunities for advocacy. Participate in discussions on our Yahoo! list serve.

Become a Member
xMinds is run entirely by parents, and all membership fees are used to further our mission. Visit our website to learn about memberships for families, educators and college students, and professionals.

Partnership for Extraordinary Minds is a 501(c)3 based in Montgomery County Maryland working to improve the educational experiences and outcomes of students on the autism spectrum. For more information or to volunteer, call 301-444-5225, email info@xMinds.org or visit xMinds.org.


Support xMinds when you Shop with Amazon Smile