See the Highlights of xMinds Programming for the ’20–’21 School Year

xMindsWire June 2021

Highlights of the Program Year


As we come to the end of this unprecedented school year, xMinds is proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish and grateful for the support of our resilient community of volunteers, donors, and professional members who have made it possible. 

Adjusting to the online environment this year, xMinds found exciting new ways to support families and educators of autistic students, providing online resources, speaker events, and special education advocacy guidance for free to more families than ever before.

Here are just a few highlights of what xMinds accomplished this year:

  • Eliminated all family memberships and event fees -- everything is free.
  • Hosted 11 online speaker events centering autistic voices.
  • Initiated the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) Outreach Committee, which hosted events and created a new BIPOC resource webpage.
  • Provided Spanish interpretation for speaker events.
  • Focused attention on the untapped potential of nonspeaking autistic students with five nonspeaking autistic presenters and a new Nonspeaking Autistic Student resource webpage.
  • Added an xMinds YouTube channel to expand access to our recorded speaker events -- Spanish and English.
  • Awarded grants to 14 motivated paraeducators, teachers and occupational therapists who sought trainings or curricular materials to improve their support for autistic students.

And there’s so much more! Check out the full list of this year's achievements!

Please consider donating to our Bike to the Beach fundraiser to help us continue to provide vital resources to families and educators.  This is the only fundraiser we have all year -- please show your support!

View Our Video Tribute to MoCo Teachers and Staff


A big thank you to all the Montgomery County teachers, occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, paraeducators, counselors, and other faculty and staff who supported autistic students during this unprecedented year. Whether over Zoom or in person, they went the distance to make a difference.

As a show of our gratitude, xMinds produced a special video highlighting MoCo autistic students expressing their appreciation. Thank you to all the families that participated in our video project. This online tribute is sure to leave you smiling—and you just might recognize a face or two! Feel free to share the appreciation video on social media or to send it to your favorite teachers and staff members to let them know how special they are. 

New Resource: BIPOC Webpage


xMinds is excited to announce that we’ve launched a webpage dedicated to supporting the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) community. The page highlights some of the unique issues in the BIPOC autism community, including under-identification, delayed diagnosis, and disparities in how schools discipline students. 

The webpage includes links to local organizations, targeted social media, advocacy information, and other resources. This new tool was developed thanks to the xMinds BIPOC Committee. Check out this one-stop resource! 

Reminder: Check out the xMinds Camp Guide


Check out the xMinds Summer Camp Guide. The guide has been updated with new offerings for in-person or virtual summer fun. Summer is almost here!

Team xMinds Is Training and Raising Funds


Our fundraising goal this year is $20,000! With your support, we can reach this goal. PLEASE support this fundraiser with a donation or by riding with Team xMinds on July 30! You can make a donation or join the team HERE

Participating in the Bike to the Beach ride is a great way to build friendships with other xMinds parents while raising money to support xMinds. The ride is organized by Bike to the Beach, a nonprofit that organizes bike rides around the country to help local autism organizations like xMinds raise money.

The local ride this year will be on July 30, with 25-, 50-, and 100-mile options. The full route goes from Union Station in DC to Dewey Beach, Delaware, but most of our team is jumping in at the halfway point in Denton, Maryland.

Our next training ride is scheduled for this Saturday, June 12, at Hains Point. We'll cover 40-ish miles. Find the details for all the training rides here. Join us!

How can I find out more?  Go to the xMinds website.


Team xMinds on a 34-mile training ride on May 30. We're building up our stamina!

Did you miss our annual Autistic Self-Advocates Panel, discussing What We Want Parents and Educators to Understand?

A video recording of the May 19 presentation is available on our website and on our new YouTube channel, both in English and Spanish.

Presenters: Ben McGann, Zosia Zaks, and Allie Sayre shown above

Tiffany Modeste and moderator Scott Robertson, PhD. not pictured

Upcoming xMinds Events

Bike to the Beach Training Rides with Team xMinds

Sat, June 12, 9am, 40-ish miles

Sun, June 27, 9am, 40-ish miles

Sat, July 10, 9am, 40-ish miles

Bike to the Beach Fundraising Ride

Fri, July 30 

Team Captain Patrick Quigley

Find more details here

Support or join our team here

Community Events 

The xMinds June and July calendar is FULL of summer fun! Check out the programs and free events listed on ouEvents Calendar and our Summer Camp Guide.

Plan Ahead

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

xMinds Leadership Changes 


The board is excited to welcome our new colleague Natalia Ahn, and we look forward to benefiting from her considerable talents and knowledge as the former general counsel of MCPS and mother of four MCPS students. You can see her impressive bio on our Leadership page.

With deepest gratitude and appreciation, the board bids farewell to Kim Pinckney-Lewis who is leaving the board. We will miss her keen insights, intelligence, energy and her important contributions to xMinds programming, especially as Chair of the Educator Support Committee. Fortunately, Kim will not be leaving xMinds entirely, as she will continue as a member of our Advisory Council.

Kim Pinckney-Lewis

Natalia Ahn

Professional Member Spotlight

This month, xMinds would like to highlight the following new and renewing Professional Members:

Alliance Pediatrics

10810 Darnestown Rd., Ste 201, North Potomac, MD 20878


Contact: Linda Quinones:

Services: Psychological, educational, and neuropsychological testing; social skills therapy; behavioral therapy; psychological counseling; behavioral support; academic tutoring; and summer program

Alliance Pediatrics offers a fun and engaging summer program that teaches vital social and emotional skills, the Secret Agent Academy Summer Program. Through the spy-themed program, children ages 8-12 are taught ways to identify anxiety and anger and how these present in their own lives. Participants are exposed to a variety of coping strategies and emotion regulation techniques through games and exciting activities! The program educates children on a variety of social skills, some of which include: entering and maintaining conversations, playing with others, building friendships, and navigating teasing and bullying. The motto of the program is to Give Children What They Want...FUN, While We Give Them What They NEED!

SCI Educational Consultants, Inc.

8800 Quiet Stream Ct., Potomac, MD 20854; 301-996-4124

Contact: Dr. Sheila Iseman;

Services: Special education consulting, ages Pre-K through elementary, secondary and transition years to age 21

Dr. Iseman, with 50 years' experience in the area of special needs, provides services to students and their parents to achieve appropriate educational programming and/or placement in public and private schools. Consulting services include case management, IEP development, support at all meetings, and referrals for evaluations and community services.

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