Check out our 2022 Camp Guide now online!

xMindsWire February 2022

Transition to Adulthood — New Online Resource


xMinds is excited to announce a new online resource we’ve developed for parents of middle and high school students who are planning for the transition at the end of high school. The move from high school to young adulthood can be overwhelming for anyone. For autistic individuals and their families, this transition can be especially challenging and anxiety-provoking. To help guide you through the process, we’ve launched our new Transition to Adulthood resource.

You’ll find a “transition timeline” that takes you from age 14 – when transition planning becomes part of a student’s IEP – to age 21. You’ll also find information on how to prepare for the work world, find housing, develop life skills, obtain government assistance, and search for postsecondary opportunities and support. Be sure to check out this new resource!

Our Transition to Adulthood webpage is only one part of xMinds’ efforts to prepare students for the next life stage. We also host Let’s Talk Transitions, a monthly online discussion group for MoCo parents of autistic middle school and high school students, organized by the xMinds Committee on Student Transitions to Adulthood. Offered the fourth Wednesday of each month at 7:00 PM, Let’s Talk Transitions provides a wonderful opportunity to share information, discuss concerns, and celebrate successes. Please join us!

Educators: What’s on Your Classroom Wish List?


xMinds is thrilled to support autistic students with our Winter Wish List initiative. Do you know a MoCo educator who could use assistance purchasing classroom materials for autistic students? We’re offering grants of up to $100 to purchase needed materials, such as noise-canceling headphones, weighted vests, fidgets, beanbag chairs, social stories, executive-function planners, and other useful materials identified by educators.

Educators are invited to apply online for a grant. Funding is limited, so act quickly!

Now Available — xMinds Summer Camp Guide


It's been a long winter, but summer is around the corner! Camps and programs are getting organized and gearing up, so it's time to start planning. To help you find the right fit, xMinds has put together a guide to summer camps and programs that autistic kids have enjoyed in past years. Check out our guide to find some summer fun for your child! We’ll continue to update the information as camp details are finalized and more offerings are announced. Check back throughout the winter and spring!

Upcoming Webinar on Inclusion of Nonspeakers

Join xMinds on Tuesday, March 15, 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM, for "What Successful Inclusion of Nonspeakers Looks Like: Two Real Life Examples." This exciting online panel discussion will explore the experiences of two autistic nonspeakers who were fully included in their schools through 12th grade. Panelists will discuss the obstacles they met and overcame, as well as how this inclusion led to successful college experiences. Save the date!

Register Here

Celebrating Black History Month

February is Black History Month, making it a fitting time to reflect on xMinds’ year-round commitment to diversity. Launched just over a year ago, our Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) Outreach Committee has quickly become an important resource and avenue for friendships. Check out our BIPOC resources webpage.

The committee hosts a monthly online discussion group, offering MoCo parents of BIPOC autistic children an opportunity to connect and share information. Feel free to drop in when you can for the People of the Global Majority discussion group, held the fourth Sunday of every month at 7:00 PM. Our deepest gratitude goes out to Bonita Williams, who headed the BIPOC Outreach Committee during its first year. We welcome Daria Hall, the new chair, and look forward to the committee’s continued growth.

Daria Hall

Did You Miss "Disability Is Not a Dirty Word"?

Julia Bascom

Our January webinar featured Julia Bascom, executive director of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, speaking on disabilities. In her webinar entitled “Disability is Not a Dirty Word,” Julia shared her insights on self-advocacy, understanding disability, and taking ownership of one's disability. Julia is an exceptional speaker, and her talk may forever change the way you think about disabilities.

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

Upcoming xMinds Events

xMinds events, resources, and memberships are always FREE

Wednesday, Feb. 23, 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, Feb. 27, 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, March 2, 7:00 – 7:45 PM

Hablemos Educación Especial

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

Tuesday, March 15, 7:00 – 8:30 PM

What Successful Inclusion of Nonspeakers Looks Like: Two Real Life Examples

Online panel discussion exploring the experiences of two autistic nonspeakers. Register here.

Community Calendar

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

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!

Professional Member Spotlight

As a benefit to both our families and professional members, xMinds publishes information about our professional members here in the xMindsWire as well as on our website. Inclusion in this list does not constitute our endorsement. This month, xMinds would like to highlight the following new and renewing Professional Members:

Suzanne Keith Blattner and Associates

10605 Concord St., Ste. 102, Kensington, MD 20895
Contact: Suzanne Keith Blattner;
Services: Educational consulting; Advocacy; Academic tutoring/coaching

Ms. Blattner and her associates are highly skilled and experienced professionals who have provided supports to families of students with special learning needs for over 30 years. They offer a range of supports including tailored consulting, advocacy, specialized tutoring and academic coaching. A complete description and details of the services offered through this practice are outlined on the website. Ms. Blattner offers a free 1/2 hour consultation to families to learn about their needs and to point them in the right direction to get started.

Center for Communication & Learning
6208 Montrose Rd., Rockville, MD 20852

301-468-9343 x2;
Contact: Susan Abrams;
Services: Speech/language therapy; Social skills therapy; Parent education

The Center for Communication and Learning is a comprehensive pediatric speech and language private practice that provides evaluations and therapy to children diagnosed with communication challenges secondary to autism, social pragmatic language disorders, speech and language delays, apraxia, and oral motor/feeding difficulties. Staff collaborate with educators and therapists in order to provide an integrated approach to services for your child. Family participation is welcomed. The dynamic Be Social Kids programs assist children in developing social thinking skills to enhance their ability to navigate the social world at school and at home.

Reach Every Voice 

11900 Parklawn Drive, Suite 110, Rockville, MD 20852


Contact: Lisa Mihalich Quinn;

Services: Augmentative & Alternative Communication (AAC) Services; Rapid Prompting Method (RPM) provider; Communication/educational consultant; Academic tutoring/coaching

Reach Every Voice (REV) is a multifaceted practice created and staffed by experienced teachers. REV provides communication instruction to nonspeaking or unreliably speaking individuals, hosts in-person group programs that build communication practice and provide opportunities for socialization, offers online courses for nonspeakers, and provides consultation, training, and coaching for families and schools working to improve their communication practices. REV is a nonprofit organization.

SpeechKids, LLC

DC, MD, and VA


Contact: Gabriele Nicolet;

Services: Speech-language therapy; Educational consulting; Coaching

SpeechKids provides holistic, developmental, attachment-based pediatric speech therapy serving DC, Maryland, and Virginia. Raising Orchids is the parent-education division of SpeechKids that offers parent education and parent support groups for parents of neurodiverse children (global, online), along with a monthly subscription service that past participants can opt into.

The Stixrud Group, LLC 

8720 Georgia Ave., Suite 606, Silver Spring, MD 20910


Contact: Dr. Salya Namazi;

Services: Educational testing; Neuropsychological testing; Educational consulting

The Stixrud Group is a group of neuropsychologists and clinical psychologists who specialize in the evaluation of children, adolescents, and adults with learning, attention, social, or emotional difficulties. We are committed to the alleviation of suffering for our clients and their families by removing any blocks to their experiencing happiness and fulfillment in life. We believe this is accomplished by helping our clients understand themselves. Our goal is to use our professional knowledge and skills to help people achieve educational and professional success, emotional healing, and interpersonal harmony in their relationships.

Did you receive this from a friend?
Subscribe Now

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to read about current news stories and upcoming events. Participate in discussions in our Google Group. Subscribe to our YouTube Channel. Support us by shopping with Amazon Smile

For more information, call 301-444-5225, email or visit