Upcoming Webinar: Options for Decision-Making When My Child Turns 18 

xMindsWire November 2020

Options for Decision-Making When My Child Turns 18


Reaching the age of 18 can be an exciting time for autistic youth and their families. It's also a time when many questions arise around legal responsibilities and the need for continuing support. Join us to learn about a range of strategies to provide decision-making support for your young adult with disabilities. You'll find out about alternatives to guardianship that will allow your child to exercise more control over his or her own life as an adult -- and why that is so important. 

Our speakers will be Morgan Whitlatch, Legal Director of the nonprofit Quality Trust for Individuals with Disabilities, and Adam Hoffman, an autistic adult, 32, who is living independently and making decisions for himself with help from his parents and other members of his support team. Adam's father Howard Hoffman will also speak about his experience supporting Adam. Question and answers will follow the speakers' presentations. 

Ask an Autistic


In this 2020-21 program year, for the first time, xMinds has made a commitment to include autistic voices in every speaker event we offer. While we have hosted self-advocate speakers annually for many years, this new stronger commitment stems from our belief that the first step to improving education for students on the autism spectrum is to listen to those autistic students. Further, we are committed to including individuals throughout the array of the autism spectrum. Nonspeaking autistics and others who require many supports are an important part of the community for who we will be providing a platform. We believe that our programming this year, and in the future, will be greatly enriched by the voices of these autistic self-advocates.

We invite you to explore the vibrant autistic self-advocate community through these websites: 

Autistic Self Advocacy Network: ASAN is a nonprofit run by and for autistic people, and was created to serve as a national grassroots disability rights organization for the autistic community. They operate under the principle of "Nothing About Us, Without Us!"

I CAN Network: Australia’s largest autistic-led organization has helped thousands of autistic young people develop a stronger sense of self-acceptance, confidence, optimism and belonging.

Autistic Mama: An autistic mother of six neurodiverse children helps parents become the best parent, advocate, and autism ally they can be.

Kristy Forbes: An Australian based autism and neurodiversity support specialist works with clients around the world. Her work is informed by her extensive professional experience, but her most valuable insights come from lived experience as an autistic individual and mother to four autistic children. 

Check Out our New Website Resource! 

xMinds is proud to present our new interactive maps of MCPS middle and high school special education programs. If you want to find all the locations for a specific program, you can search for that program and see them on the map and also is a list below. If you want to see what programs exist at a specific school, search for that school and all that information will pop up. This will be a helpful tool for parents who want to know all their options in MCPS! Check them out!  

xMinds Grant Recipients 

xMinds was pleased to award grants to 11 paraeducators and 1 occupational therapist to attend the annual Innovators in Education Conference on October 17.  Excellent presentations on friendships, positive psychology, social cognition, anxiety, and students' motivation provided our grantees with new understanding and insights that they will apply when supporting their autistic students.

Upcoming xMinds Virtual Events

Wednesday, November 18, 7pm

Options for Decision-Making When My Child on the Spectrum Turns 18

See details and register here.

Wednesday, December 16, 7pm

Understanding Anxiety as a Major Part of Autism 

Mark your calendar

Adam and Howard Hoffman will share their experiences using supported-decision making at our November 18 Online Speaker Event

Plan Ahead

Our xMinds calendar shows events on their start date, but some programs require you to apply before the start date. 
Here are some of the offerings that require you plan ahead:

Starobin Counseling and Jamell White are accepting applications for their 2021 MoCo PEERS® program for young adults, which starts March 1, 2021.

Community Events 

Fall is Full of Events!
You can find many programs offered by our professional members on the xMinds calendar.

Spotlight on Professional Members

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

Brian K. Gruber, Esq.; brian.gruber@bkgpc.com; 301-657-3777

6110 Executive Blvd, Ste 220, Rockville, MD. 20852 


Services: Special education law including consultation, representation at IEP meetings, conflict resolution, mediation and due process hearings; educational consulting; Financial/trust management

The Law Offices of Brian K. Gruber, P.C. represents students and their parents in matters related to special education, access to appropriate accommodations under section 504, and students who are facing long-term suspension or expulsion. By developing and maintaining strong relationships with public school agencies in Maryland and DC, the office is often able to help achieve a positive outcome for clients without the need for litigation. Our staff of attorneys have handled hundreds of due process hearings and mediations across Maryland and the District of Columbia.  

Monica Martinez; mmartinez@martinezadvocacy.com; 202-255-7842

10605 Concord Street, Kensington, MD 20895      
Services: Special education advocate  

Monica Martinez is a special education advocate working with families in Montgomery County, MD. Through her seven plus years of involvement in Partnership for Extraordinary Minds (xMinds), Monica developed an in depth understanding of how Montgomery County Public Schools educate students on the autism spectrum and how to navigate the district’s special education system.

Monica’s areas of expertise are services and accommodations for students on the autism spectrum, as well as those with ADHD and/or co-morbid mental health issues. Monica also works to help parents and guardians understand the educational rights of their children. Monica has attended Wrightslaw Special Education Law and Advocacy Training and completed the yearlong Special Education Advocate Training (SEAT) 2.0 through the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA).

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 info@xMinds.org or visit xMinds.org.