Join us on Wednesday, January 19 for "Disability is Not a Dirty Word"

xMindsWire January 2022

Join Us for “Disability is Not a Dirty Word”


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.”

The presentation will be live over Zoom, followed by Q&A. It will be recorded for anyone who can't attend.

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!

Autism is a disability. It's okay to be disabled. If that message makes you uncomfortable, please join us to hear Julia's perspective.

Julia is an exceptional speaker with important insights into self-advocacy, understanding disability, and taking ownership of that disability. Her perspective may forever change the way you think about disabilities. Don't miss this!

Register Here

xMinds Wins $9,150 Grant for Wish List Campaign


xMinds is thrilled to announce that we are the recipient of a $9,150 grant from Women Who Care Alliance of Lower Montgomery County. With this new funding, xMinds is launching our Winter Wish List Campaign to provide educators with funding to purchase classroom materials that support autistic students. We’re offering grants of up to $100. Educators are invited to apply online for a grant. Funding is limited, so act quickly!

The Winter Wishlist campaign is a follow-up to our popular Cash for Classrooms campaign offered at the start of the school year. xMinds awarded $10,000 in small grants to over 90 MoCo educators, who used the funds to purchase bean bag chairs, noise-canceling headphones, weighted vests, fidgets, social stories, executive-function planners, and more.

Women Who Care Alliance is a giving circle of 80 MoCo women who pool their resources so they can deliver a grant that will have a significant impact on the local charity of their choice. Participants vote quarterly for the charity that they think is most deserving. We are deeply honored to be selected, and we know that these funds will enable many autistic students to receive the support they need in school. Educators: Apply today for a grant!

Join Our Monthly Parent Discussion Groups


Start the new year by connecting with other families who have similar interests and concerns. Our monthly online discussion groups offer the perfect opportunity to chat, share experiences, and exchange ideas.

We’re currently running three groups:

People of the Global Majority. Discussion group for MoCo parents/guardians of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) students. Hosted the fourth Sunday of each month, 7:00 – 7:45 PM by the xMinds BIPOC Outreach Committee. Next meeting date is January 23. Register here.

Let’s Talk Transitions. Discussion group for MoCo parents/guardians of an autistic child in middle or high school, approaching the transition to adulthood. Hosted the fourth Wednesday of each month, 7:00 – 7:45 PM by the xMinds Student Transitions Committee. Next meeting date will be January 26. Register here.

Hablemos Educación Especial. Discussion group for Spanish-speaking MoCo parents/guardians of an autistic child. Hosted the first Wednesday of each month, 7:00  7:45 PM by the xMinds Spanish-Language Outreach Committee. Next meeting date will be February 2. Register here.

Be in the Know in 2022 


Let xMinds help you keep your email inbox tidy this year by telling us what information you want. We’re 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.

xMinds Welcomes New Board Members

xMinds is excited to welcome two new board members: Melanie Carlos and Daria Hall. Melanie is a TV executive and documentarian, who was a founding board member of xMinds and has remained an active advocate on behalf of her son, who is in the MCPS Aspergers Program. Daria brings over 20 years of experience as a communications professional as well as the know-how of navigating the special education system as the mom of an autistic middle-schooler. You can see their impressive bios on our Leadership page.

This month, we also say goodbye and good luck to one of our treasured board members. With gratitude and appreciation, the board bids adieu to Gayle Day. Gayle joined the board in February 2021 and led the Committee on Student Transitions to Adulthood.

Melanie Carlos

Daria Hall

Gayle Day

Upcoming xMinds Events

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.

Sunday, Jan. 23, 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. 26, 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.

Wednesday, Feb. 2, 7:00 – 7:45 PM

Hablemos Educación Especial

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

Community Calendar

The January 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!

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