Don't get spooked by your kid's next IEP meeting!  Join us on October 26th for our annual IEP Clinic.  We promise it will be a treat!

xMindsWire October 2019

This Month's xMinds Event: Our Annual xMinds IEP Clinic

How do your child’s IEP goals measure up? Find out on October 26!
Goals are that portion of your child’s Individualized Educational Program (IEP) by which their progress is measured four times a year. That is to say, IEP goals are very important for understanding whether your child is making progress at school or not. But not all goals are created equally. It’s critically important that the goals on your child’s IEP be measurable, otherwise there’s no way of really knowing whether special education is working for him or her.

At the xMinds IEP Clinic on Saturday, October 26, special education advocate, Monica Martinez will explore what makes an IEP goal measurable and how you can know whether the goals in your child’s IEP are, indeed, measuring up! After the keynote presentation, parents who have pre-registered will have the opportunity to meet with a consultant or attorney to discuss the most pressing issue their child is facing in special education. Please be sure to bring a copy of your child’s IEP if you will be referencing a specific IEP-related question.

xMinds News

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.

xMinds Now Providing Free Special Education Advocacy Assistance
Six parent volunteers stepped forward a year ago to receive xMinds training in special education advocacy. Having completed that training, this team of advocates is now ready to help you tackle your special education issues! Our team will provide advice, support, and can connect you with resources, including professional educational consultant and lawyers, if needed. (They do not, however, provide legal advice.)

If you’re an xMinds member and you want help navigating the IEP process or just have a question about some aspect of your child’s special education program, please contact us. This free advice and assistance is one of the many benefits of becoming a member of xMinds!

Scholarships for Wrightslaw Special Education Advocacy Training
xMinds has partnered with Parents’ Place of Maryland (PPMD) to offer five parents the opportunity to attend for free the day-long training in Special Education Law and Advocacy taught by special education attorney Pete Wright of Wrightslaw. PPMD sponsors this Wrightslaw training every year and has generously supported five of our parents attending in each of the last two years. If you’re interested in getting this valuable training, its not too late to register. If you want to be considered for a scholarship to next year’s training, email xMinds to let us know. You may be able to receive an xMinds or PPMD scholarship next year. See this event on Oct 24 in our new events calendar.

Innovators in Education Scholarships Awarded
xMinds is proud to announce that it has awarded 20 half-tuition scholarships to educators, speech language pathologists, occupational therapists, counselors, and administrators to attend the 6th annual Innovators in Education Conference. Our awardees include the entire Learning Center staff from Brook Grove Elementary school! We have also been fortunate to award free half-day tickets to 10 xMinds parents. Scholarships and discounted tickets for parents are still available. Learn more at our events calendar.

New xMinds Google Group Launched
Did you know that xMinds has had a Yahoo group discussion list for the last 9 years? If you didn’t, you’re not alone. Discussion on the xMinds Yahoo group is very inconsistent, but our members have consistently indicated that they are looking to make connections with other parents, educators and allies of autistic children. This month, xMinds launched a new Google group to reinvigorate discussion among members and stakeholders during those long weeks between xMinds events and newsletters. To join the group, send an email to If you already subscribe to the Yahoo group, xMinds will send you an invitation to join the new group.

Upcoming xMinds Events

Saturday, Oct. 26; 12:30 - 3:30 p.m.
IEP Clinic
See details and register here.

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.

A meeting of extraordinary minds during the xMinds social event at
Waredaca Brewery.

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:

Guiding Exceptional Parents, LLC
4711 Sheridan St., Riverdale Park, MD 20737
Contact: Sarah Wayland,
Services: Social skills therapy; Behavioral therapy; Educational consulting

The Ivymount School & Programs
11614 Seven Locks Rd., Rockville, MD 20854
Contact: Carolyn Leskowitz Woodham;
Services: Private school; Nonprofit organization; Occupational therapy; Speech/language therapy; Social skills therapy; Behavioral therapy; Educational consulting; Athletics/recreational support

Professional Member Notes

Limited Space Still Available in Be Social Kids
The Center for Communication and Learning has limited spots available. Complete the Interest Form to start the registration process.

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.

Research Opportunities

UMD Brain Study
Developmental Social Cognitive Neuroscience Lab, University of Maryland
Our study explores the development of children who have autism, particularly during social interaction. Participating in these studies may help advance autism research, treatment, and intervention. Kids that have participated in the past have found our studies to be interesting, educational and fun! The study would require four visits, each of which will last about two hours. You will receive up to $40 for each session, for a potential total of $160, and your child will receive a toy prize for participation after each session.

If you are interested in participating, the next step would be to schedule a time to talk over the phone and go over some screening materials to make sure your child is eligible. You can contact us at the Maryland Brain Student group by email at or by phone at 301-405-7612.

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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 or visit


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