Join us for Camp Read-a-Lot in July! 

xMindsWire June 2020

Watch the short book review Stuart did for Camp Read-a-Lot!

xMinds Camp Read-a-Lot Starts July 1!


xMinds is hosting Camp Read-a-Lot, a read-a-thon fundraiser for the entire month of July. Throughout the fundraiser, we'll be posting book reviews from Camp Read-a-Lot readers; and at the conclusion on July 31, we will award fun prizes to our top three readers!  

Make reading a part of your child’s daily routine this summer. If your student is a pre-reader, being read to by someone else counts too! It's a great opportunity to ask friends and family members to participate virtually by reading to your child. This is for readers of any level, so any reading material will do: online books, environmental signage, magazines, song lyrics, cereal boxes – it all counts!

Camp Read-a-Lot raises funds by asking readers to procure pledges from friends and family (flat donations are okay, too!). Pledges are counted either per minute or per page of reading, and reading is tracked for the duration of the read-a-thon. For example, if Grandma Pat pledges to give Stuart ten cents per minute of reading, and Stuart ends up reading twenty minutes per day for 30 days, the total donation would end up being $60. 

Mark your calendar for June 30 at 5pm, when xMinds will host an online Kick-off Event with special guests and readings from some of your child’s favorite books! As you prepare for Camp Read-a-Lot, take a look at the 30-second book review (above) from avid reader, Stuart Gordon. We hope your student will want to submit a book review, too! Keep an eye out for more info from xMinds about Camp Read-a-Lot!

Reading gives us somewhere to go when we have to stay where we are.

-Mason Cooley

How Should MCPS Re-Open this Fall?


It seems like everyone has an opinion. If you want your concerns and preferences known to MCPS, here is your chance!  xMinds is meeting regularly with MCPS special education administrators who want to know parents’ views as they formulate a plan for a gradual re-opening next fall. Please register your opinion by taking the xMinds survey today. We want to hear from as many special education parents as possible!

xMinds Asked Autistics    


Attendees of our May 27 self-advocates panel were delighted to hear from four autistic young adults navigating life after high school. We heard from Lisa, who, as a sophomore in high school, finally found her voice by learning to use Rapid Prompt Communication; it ultimately resulted in her moving from a certificate to a diploma path, and she’s now starting her third year of college. Nick recounted the challenge of getting to his job on public transportation, and Ben told us about how he discovered his love of computer science. Alanna told us of her plans to move to Florida where she will pursue her medical degree. All of our panelists expressed gratitude toward their families for the support and encouragement they received throughout the years, and it was exciting to see the different paths each individual chose for themselves. See the panel for yourself!


You can still find all MCPS communication updates in one place on our website, and we're maintaining distance learning resources on our ALO Students at Home and Diploma Bound Students at Home pages. xMinds also has a page dedicated to Parent Guidance on Special Education Advocacy During COVID-19 where you can find useful information from the Maryland State Department of Education, Disability Rights Maryland and Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates. Also find our new page of Summer Camp Guide 2020.

Upcoming xMinds Virtual Events

Tuesday, June 30, 5pm
Camp Read-a-Lot Read-a-thon Kick Off
See details and register here

Virtual Community Events 

Summer is here!
Check out offerings for summer classes, camps and activities on our Summer Camp Guide 2020 web page.


Camp Read-a-Lot kicks off on June 30.
Join us for a summer of reading!

All xMinds events, professional member events, and other autism-related free community events (including MCPS workshops) are published in the xMinds calendar. Since many events require advance registration please look ahead on the calendar.

Spotlight on Professional Members

This month, xMinds would like to acknowledge the following new or renewing professional members

Jean Hickey, Educational Therapist
(240) 460-5306,
Jean Hickey has worked with children and adolescents with significant learning needs for more than 25 years. She works with children ages 3-21 and covers the range of academic skills, in addition to community, vocational and life skills instruction. Jean has experience working with children with autism, among other diagnoses. Jean develops a hands-on, fun and invidualized approach for each student and provides parents with information and skills to support their child. Jean has been a featured presenter for a number of xMinds events. 

Dr. Webbink & Associates, PA
(301) 229-8000,, 
Dr. Patricia Webbink is a licensed psychologist in private practice who has worked with children with autism and Aspergers for over fifty years. She began her work with autistic children at Duke University, where she received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, working with pioneers in the field of childhood autism. Dr. Webbink has developed summer programs for autistic children and has published several books, including The Power of the Eyes, a book about behavioral tendencies in autistic children. 

Liz Stoff, Educational Consultant
(301) 294-7319,

Liz offers educational consulting, advocacy for children with special learning needs, and assistance with identification of services and placements, parent training and support. She has training in special and general education and more than thirty years as a parent advocate and consultant on behalf of families in need of specialized instruction and services in educational settings.

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.

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


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