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xMindsWire December 2021

Support xMinds’ Extraordinary Work


As we close out 2021, xMinds is grateful for all the donors, volunteers, and professional members who have supported our work.

We offer all our resources — presentations, online information, and support groups — free of charge. If you found our programming and resources useful, we encourage you to give back at this time of year. You can donate online or by mailing a check to xMinds at P.O. Box 231, Kensington, MD 20895.

These are some highlights of what your support made possible in 2021:

  • xMinds awarded $10,000 in small grants to over 90 MoCo educators to stock their classrooms with materials geared toward autistic students, like bouncy chairs and noise-canceling headphones.
  • We launched a program to fund professional educational advocates for autistic students in foster care.
  • We extended our outreach to the Spanish-speaking community by hiring a Spanish interpreter for all our speaker events, translating our newsletters into Spanish, and devoting a section of our website to Spanish resources.

We couldn’t do this extraordinary work without your help! Please donate today!

Donate Today

Join Us January 19 for “Disability Is Not a Dirty Word”


Autism is a disability. It is okay to be disabled. It’s also okay to say you’re disabled, rather than to say you’re a person with a disability. Please join us on Wednesday, January 19, at 7:00 PM, when we have the honor of hosting Julia Bascom, executive director of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, speaking on the topic of disabilities. Her webinar is titled “Disability Is Not a Dirty Word.”

Julia's insightful perspective is sure to change the way you think about disabilities. She will be presenting live over Zoom and will take questions.

Julia Bascom

Looking at autism by focusing on strengths and differences—as well as challenges—can reshape the way we see our autistic children. Learn how self-determination and effective decision-making will help your autistic student live the life they want—and how you can help them do that!

Julia is an exceptional speaker with true insights into self-advocacy, understanding disability, and taking ownership of that disability. Don't miss this!

Register Here

Be in the Know: Sign Up to Get the Info You Want


Is your email box cluttered with too many messages? Are you missing the xMinds emails that are especially relevant to your needs? xMinds is developing targeted email distribution lists to ensure our members are getting the information they need. Fill out our Google Form to let us know the types of email messages you would like to receive.

Support xMinds With Your Online Holiday Shopping


'Tis the season for online gift shopping! Did you know that Amazon will donate to xMinds every time you place an order? Simply log onto AmazonSmile to designate xMinds as your charity of choice. When you shop with AmazonSmile, you’ll find the same prices and selections as on Amazon, with the added benefit that AmazonSmile will donate 0.5% of eligible sales to xMinds.

Attention High School Students:


As part of our commitment to helping autistic students, this fall xMinds launched a communications internship open to high-school students in Montgomery County.

Our deepest gratitude goes out to our first intern in this program, Grant Abbott, who has worked as part of the xMinds team since the beginning of October. Grant is a senior in the Aspergers Program at Walter Johnson High School, and also studies graphic design at Thomas Edison High School of Technology.

Grant Abbott

Grant does a great job maintaining the xMinds online calendar and applies his graphic design skills to create event flyers. Grant will be leaving us at the end of the semester so we are inviting applications for Semester 2.

Do you know a high school student looking to gain some workplace experience? xMinds is looking for a communications intern to work with us February through May. Autistic students are encouraged to apply. This is a great opportunity to develop some professional skills and get a behind-the-scenes look at the operations at a nonprofit organization. Interns under age 16 will earn SSL hours; interns 16 or older will have a choice of SSL hours or a stipend. Interested students should apply online

Did You Miss Our Webinar on Trauma-Informed Practices?

Our November webinar featured a panel of mental health professionals discussing "trauma-informed" educational practices. Panelists included Eric Rossen, director of professional development and standards for the National Association of School Psychologists; Alondra Anderson, MCPS School Psychologist with Services for Students with the Autism Spectrum Disorders program; and Maxwell Schneider, an autistic self-advocate and therapist who uses trauma-informed practices in their work with neurodivergent youth.

View the recording on YouTube; a Spanish translation is also available. Remember, all our recent webinars are posted on the xMinds YouTube channel. Subscribe today!

Eric Rossen, Ph.D., NCSP

Alondra Anderson, Ed.S., NCSP 


Maxwell Schneider, MHC–LP

Upcoming xMinds Events

Wednesday, Dec. 15, 7:00 – 7:45 PM

Let's Talk Transitions

Online discussion group for MoCo parents/guardians of an autistic child in middle or high school. Register here.

Sunday, Dec. 19, 7:00 – 7:45 PM

People of the Global Majority 

Online discussion group for MoCo parents/guardians of an autistic BIPOC child. Register here

Wednesday, Jan. 5, 7:00 – 7:45 PM

Hablemos Educación Especial

Online discussion group for Spanish-speaking MoCo parents/guardians of an autistic child. Register here.

Wednesday, Jan. 19, 7:00 – 8:30 PM

Webinar: Disability Is Not a Dirty Word

Julia Bascom, executive director of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, will share her perspective. Register here.

Community Calendar

The December calendar is FULL of great offerings. Check out the programs and many free events posted on our Events Calendar

Interested in social skills groups this winter?  We've posted information about upcoming groups on the December 13 calendar entry.

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

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