Whether your child’s autism diagnosis is still startlingly new or you are already planning for your child’s future, this month we have an event you’ll find helpful.

xMindsWire November 2019

This Month's xMinds Event: Note We have TWO This Month!

Whether autism has been part of your family’s life for years and you’re starting to look toward the future, or your child received an autism diagnosis just recently, this month we have an event to address some of your concerns.

Overwhelmed by a new autism diagnosis?
Please join us on Saturday, November 9 for our Workshop for Parents of Newly Diagnosed Children or Adolescents.
Come share coffee and facilitated discussion with other parents of a child or adolescent new to a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This small-group workshop, led by Caron Starobin, LCSW-C will provide parents with information, resources, and emotional support. Find workshop details and registration here.

Concerned about the future for your autistic family member?
Please join us on Tuesday, November 19 to learn how you can provide lifelong financial support to your family member with autism.
Providing financial security for a child with autism can be a huge source of stress for families, but by planning ahead you can ensure your child has a secure future. Join us to hear from Merrill Lynch wealth management advisors Mark Friese and Chase Phillips and attorney Matthew Bogin, as they discuss their Special Needs Workbook that walks through tools and resources important in financial and estate planning. They will cover Maryland ABLE accounts, special needs trusts, and letters of intent, among other topics. Whether you are well versed on these issues or need baby steps to help you get started, this event will help you make progress toward a secure future for your family member. Find event details and registration here.

xMinds News

New xMinds Google Group Launched
By now you’ve heard that Yahoo! Groups is ending the majority of its functionality by the end of the year. Fortunately, xMinds has proactively established a Google Group to fill in the void that the demise of Yahoo! Groups will leave. To join the xMinds Google group, send an email to xminds_autism+subscribe@googlegroups.com. The more people who join, the better the discussion, so we encourage you to sign up!

Exciting New Resources Available at the xMinds Website
xMinds is proud to announce the release of two exciting new resources on its website. The first is an interactive map of Pre-K and Elementary School special education programs in MCPS. You can use the drop down menu filters to find all the locations for a specific program or use the search bar to locate a specific school.

Our second featured resource is a new page devoted to identifying resources to help implement and support inclusive education. You are encouraged to share these resources with your child's school team, especially if your child is mainstreamed in the Home School Model.

Update on Restraint and Seclusion Practices in MCPS
On October 10, 2019, Sue Keisler, xMinds Executive Director, and Monica Martinez, Co-Chair of the Communications Committee, attended a meeting of the MCPS Board of Education's Committee on Special Populations at which Associate Superintendent for Special Education, Kevin Lowndes, and Jodi Chesman of the Resolution and Compliance Unit presented an update on how restraint and seclusion are practiced in MCPS. You can find the xMinds notes on this meeting here. The presentation given by Mr. Lowndes and Ms. Chesman is available here.

Updated xMindsWire Format
In order to make the xMindsWire more readable (and shorter!) we can now find all professional member and relevant MCPS and free events on the consolidated events calendar. These are the events that you previously found in this newsletter. We hope that you will find this approach more user-friendly.

Upcoming xMinds Events

Saturday, Nov. 9; 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Workshop for Parents of Newly Diagnosed Children or Adolescents
See details and register here.

Tuesday, Nov. 19; 7 - 9 p.m.
Providing Lifelong Financial Support to Your Family Member with Autism
See details and register here.

Tuesday, Dec. 17; 7 - 9 p.m.
Plugged-in Parents: Keeping Kids Safe, Happy, and Healthy in the Digital Age
See details and register here.

xMinds Educator Grant Winners from Brook Grove ES at the Innovators in Education Conference

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 renewing members:

Family Legal Advocacy Group (FLAG)
7120 Minstrel Way, Ste. 202, Columbia, MD 21045
(410) 884-0400; flagfamilylaw.com
Contact: Katherine Thomas; katherine@flagfamilylaw.com
Services: Special education law

Monica Martinez
10605 Concord Street, Suite 102, Kensington, MD 20895
(301) 758-4275; https://www.suzannekeithblattner.com
Contact: Monica Martinez; mmartinez@martinezadvocacy.com
Services: Special Education Advocate

Notes from Our Professional Members

MoCo PEERS is recruiting for Spring 2020 Group
MoCo PEERS is already accepting applications for their Spring PEERS group, which will begin in March 2020. Learn more at our events calendar.

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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 education students, and other professionals who work with autistic students.

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.


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