Join us on Saturday, April 24, to get an overview of Special Education Advocacy – in English and Spanish

xMindsWire April 2021

Introduction to Navigating Special Education in Maryland

On Saturday, April 24, xMinds will present an overview of federal special education law and a practical introduction for parents on how to successfully navigate special education in Maryland. 

xMinds will host special education advocate Monica Martinez for the English version at 10:00 AM. 

For the Spanish language version xMinds is partnering with Parents' Place of Maryland to host parent educators Rosa Lily and Gicel Martinez at 11:30 AM.

Both sessions will be recorded and posted on our website and the new xMinds YouTube channel

Join us, whether you are new to special education or just need a refresher on how to be your child's best advocate. Each presentation will be followed by a question and answer session – so bring your questions for some good free advice.

County Council Proclaims Autism Acceptance Month 


This morning, the Montgomery County Council proclaimed April as Autism Acceptance Month! This is a meaningful wording change from the conventional Autism Awareness Month, and xMinds is all for it! We’re past the days when the goal was awareness that autistic people exist. We are working toward a society that accepts autistic individuals as they are, understanding their differences as part of what makes each of us unique in a neurodiverse society. 

The Council also recognized several nonprofits, including xMinds, for our work supporting the local autism community. xMinds is honored to be recognized for our contribution.  

xMinds Website Now Available in Multiple Languages


Did you always want to read the great resources on the xMinds website in Spanish or Amharic? Well now you can! 

We've just added an easy-to-use button in the upper right corner of each webpage that can translate the content into over 100 different languages. Kind of amazing! If you know any non-English speakers who could benefit from xMinds resources, please tell them about this new feature.

Introducing the New xMinds YouTube Channel

You can still find our video recordings on our website on our Past Events page, but now you can also find our webinars on YouTube. We started recording these webinars in April 2020, and the collection grows every month. Check it out!

Reminder of Important Resources on the xMinds Website 


Summer Camp Guide – New summer programs are being added to this page every week. Make sure to check back. 

Free Special Education Advocacy Help – xMinds, Parents' Place of Maryland, and Disability Rights Maryland all offer free special education advocacy help to parents. Find out how to get your questions answered. 

Ivymount's Resource Guide – In place of its annual Resource Fair, Ivymount has published this listing of local organizations that provide important services to the autistic community.

Bike to the Beach First Training Ride Sunday, April 11!


Participating in the Bike to the Beach ride is a great way to get in shape and to build friendships with other xMinds parents while raising money to support xMinds. Bike to the Beach is a nonprofit that organizes bike rides around the country to help local autism organizations like xMinds raise money. The local ride is July 30, with 25-, 50- and 100-mile options.

If you're not sure you want to commit to the ride on July 30, join us for a training ride and see how it goes!  

We're kicking off our first training ride on Sunday April 11 at 1:00 PM. We'll cover 14 miles with no hills – a great low-key way to start the season!  We'll meet at Ken-Gar Palisades Local Park. If the weather is iffy, we'll email you by noon to say if we're going forward with it. Please email Monica Martinez ( if you have questions or you're interested in joining the April 11 ride. 

The second ride will be Sunday, April 18, at 9:00 AM. Find the details here

If you have friends who like to bike, please invite them to join the team or join just for practice rides. Everyone's welcome, and the more riders the better! 

Our fundraising goal this year is $20,000!  With your support, we can reach this goal. If you want to support this fundraiser with a donation rather than biking, we absolutely welcome that too! You can make a donation here

How can I find out more?  Go to the xMinds website.  

Upcoming xMinds Events

Sunday, April 11 @ 1:00 PM and April 18 @ 9:00 AM

Bike to the Beach Training Rides with Team xMinds

Contact Monica Martinez for 4/11/21

Contact Patrick Quigley for 4/18/21

Saturday, April 24, 10 AM – 11:30 AM

Navigating Special Education for Autistic Students in Maryland

(Online) Register here

Saturday, April 24, 11:30AM – 1:30 PM

Navegando Educación Especial para Estudiantes Autistas en Maryland 

(Online) Register here.

Wednesday, May 19, 7 PM – 8:30 PM 

Self-Advocates Panel Discussion

(Online) See details here.

Community Events 

The xMinds April calendar is FULL of great offerings! Check out the programs and many free events listed on our Events Calendar.

Plan Ahead

Our Events Calendar shows events on their start date, but some programs require you to apply before the start date, so please look ahead!  

Missed the March Webinar "Understanding Behavior: What Are Autistic Children Communicating?"

A video recording of the presentation is available on our website and on our new YouTube channel, both in English and Spanish.

Sarah Wayland and Kimberly Clairy (pictured with husband William Miller) presented at our March 10 webinar. 

Professional Member Spotlight

This month, xMinds would like to highlight the following new and renewing Professional Members:

Geneva Presbyterian Church Disability Mission Team 

11931 Seven Locks Road, Potomac, MD 20854


Contact: Allyson McElwaine;

Services: Neurodiverse Social Events

This new ministry team has formed at Geneva to explore ways they can partner with disabled or special needs individuals and find a role in the disability support community. The Geneva Presbyterian Church in Potomac is known as "the little church with the big heart." Their event is April 10 – check the xMinds calendar here.

Jean Hickey, M.Ed. 

Silver Spring, MD

Contact: 240-460-5306;

Services: Individual educational therapy; academic tutoring/coaching; educational consulting; parent training and support

Jean Hickey has worked with children and adolescents with significant learning needs for more than 25 years. She works with children ages 3–21 and her experience covers the range of academic skills in addition to community, vocational, and life skills instruction. Jean has experience working with children on the autism spectrum as well as with children with Fragile X, Down syndrome, myotonic dystrophy, Kabuki syndrome, Williams syndrome, and significant learning delays. 

Naomi Rubinstein, LLC

14202 Silent Wood Way, North Potomac, MD 20878


Contact: Naomi Rubinstein;

Services: Social skills support; Educational consulting; Academic tutoring/coaching; Behavioral support; language support

Naomi Rubinstein, M.Ed. is a social learning specialist and family educator. She works to empower families through direct support services to children, parent coaching, case management, and educational advocacy. Her services focus on social learning, executive functioning, play, language, academics, and behavior. Naomi partners with parents and meets them where they are on their journey. Her work with families focuses on the whole child, and strives to use each child's and family's unique strengths to support challenges.

The Treatment and Learning Centers

2092 Gaither Rd., Ste. 100, Rockville, MD 20850


Contact: Michelle Lyons;

Services: Private school; Psychological counseling; Occupational therapy; Speech/language therapy; Social skills therapy; Educational testing; Neuropsychological testing; Academic tutoring/coaching

TLC annually serves nearly 2,000 children and adults with a wide range of special needs. TLC's mission is to improve the lives of and to expand possibilities for these individuals through offering a family of services within one organization. TLC offers speech-language and occupational therapy, evaluations and summer programs for children. It also offers comprehensive psychological and educational testing, tutoring and counseling for students with learning challenges.

The Katherine Thomas School is a private school for students with moderate to severe language and learning disabilities and/or autism, preschool through twelfth grade. Summer programs and intensive educational programs are available.

The Outcomes Service helps individuals with special needs find and keep jobs and live independently in our community.

The Family Hearing Center conducts hearing testing and provides counseling, evaluations and hearing aid fittings for all ages.

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