Parent Weekly Update: January 29, 2021

Weekly Update
Today is a great, hope-filled day at Cotting School and HOPEhouse! Some frontline staff members and young adults are able to receive their first Covid-19 vaccination, on campus, administered by our own school nurses! Though it may be small on the global scale, we
could not be more proud to be a part of the solution to the largest health crisis this world
has seen in a century. Special thanks to the medical and administrative teams at Cotting
for their skillful navigation of processes to make these initial vaccine offerings possible!
For more updates from this week, visit our Facebook page or follow us on Instagram.
Information From Cotting School
REMINDER! Winter Wonderland Dance is tonight!
Our very own Ryan M. is a twin, an artist, a Cotting student and an optimist. Now you
can own a piece of Ryan’s beautiful artwork while supporting Cotting School’s Capital Campaign!
Ordering Deadline: January 29, 2021 (Today!)
Please tally your order and pay via Venmo or check (Details and Order Form Here).
Contactless Pickup (BONUS: Meet the artist!): February 6, 2021 from 2-4pm.
Delivery & shipping available upon request.
Coming up on Monday!
Please join us for a lunch-and-learn “Virtual Parent Field Trip” to explore Adult Services at American Training!
Monday, February 1, 2020 at 12:30 pm
Meeting ID: 859 4211 6682
Cotting School Winter Supplemental Services start Monday!
Take a look below at the brochure below, filled with terrific after school virtual activities for students scheduled to start on Monday, February 1! There is truly something for everyone – horticulture, music, yoga, art, games, music and dance, and, of course, more Circle of Friends.
Contact Pam Varrin at if financial aid is needed to participate.
Please reach out to Dave Largenton or Marcie Garon with any questions or
Resources and Events
In the Community
The Great Bike Giveaway is Back!
The Great Bike Giveaway is an annual event that gives participants in Canada and the United States the opportunity to get a Freedom Concepts adaptive bike! Bikes are awarded through votes, raffles and fundraising.
If you have been waiting to get an adaptive bike, this is the perfect opportunity. Or, if you know someone who should enter the Great Bike Giveaway, feel free to share this with them!
Registration and voting begin on February 10, 2021. For more information and contest rules, check out the website here:
Autism Insurance: Advocacy & Beyond
February 3, 2021, with UMass Lowell. Free and open to the public.
The UMass Lowell Center for Autism Research and Education (CARE) Online Expert Speaker Event will feature “Autism Insurance: Advocacy and Beyond.”
* The speaker will be Amy K. Weinstock. Amy is Director of the Autism Insurance Resource Center at the University of Massachusetts Medical School’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center; Instructor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Massachusetts Medical School.
Amy is the parent of a child who has autism; she decided to merge her personal passions and professional experience.
* Amy Weinstock will discuss how grassroots advocacy efforts changed the system of care for people with autism. The presentation will also include current information on insurance coverage for autism, and advice for families and providers.
* This event is co-sponsored by UMass Lowell’s Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis and Autism Studies and the UMass Lowell Interdisciplinary Minor in Disability Studies.
For the Zoom link, contact Ashleigh Hillier, Ph.D. Professor, Department of Psychology, to register and receive the link.
Caregiving Around the Clock: A Little Negativity Goes a Long Way
Webinar, February 4th, 2021, 12 noon, with The Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services and The Arc of Massachusetts. Caregiving Around the Clock is designed to recognize and honor family caregivers a time to celebrate their contributions and provide them with tools that they need.
 * February 4th, 2021 – Caregiver Power Hour. Join Dr. Melissa Winchell, a professor of education and caregiver to a child with ID and ASD, for an interactive workshop with unusual, research-based strategies for staying resilient during the pandemic.
* This series will extend through March 2021.
* Many sessions will also be recorded and made available on demand via YouTube if you are unable to attend.
New training opportunity from the Massachusetts Partnership for Transition to Employment: Raising Expectations for Better Futures
Do you envision employment as part of your loved one’s future? Do you find it hard to imagine what employment might look like? Learn more about
the possibilities, including real-life examples from parents in Massachusetts who started from a young age preparing their children with disabilities for adult success. Join us to learn more about how to envision and support a successful future.
Offered for free via Zoom, this five-session series starts February 9.
Public Benefits for Children with Special Medical Needs
Webinar, February 11, 2021, 7:00 p.m., hosted by the CASE Collaborative of Concord, MA. Representatives from the Department of Public Health and United Cerebral Palsy will present information and resources about Public Benefits, how to apply, and answer any questions parents may have.
Learn more about:
  • Accessing Masshealth Commonhealth (as a primary or secondary insurance),
  • What the Premium Assistance Program is (how the state can help pay for your primary commercial insurance premiums),
  • What services are covered for children with disabilities and how to access the Personal Care Attendant program (how families with Masshealth can get state assistance to pay caregivers who assist their children with disabilities with activities of daily living).
Zoom Link will be sent out to registrants one hour prior to the workshop.
To register or for more information contact the CASE Collaborative
From Waypoint Adventure
You’re invited to a special screening of Kupenda!
Our partners at La Vida Outdoor Center are having their 50th Anniversary and they’re using documentary, Kupenda, as their main event! The adventure of three Kenyan teens with disabilities taking on Africa’s tallest peak, Kilimanjaro, was coordinated and co-led by Waypoint Adventure’s very own Julia Spruance in partnership with Kupenda for the Children! You’re invited to this very special screening and panel discussion afterwards!
See details below.
In some parts of the world, the stigma around disability can be deadly. Three teens from Kenya, Fumo, Hassan, and Mercyline, are among a population that continues to be subject to abuse, neglect, and even elimination due to their disability. Yet, by being given the opportunity to show their ability in 2016 they were able to prove their worth to their community.
Movie Screening: Once you register for this free event, you’ll receive a code to watch the documentary anytime between Sat, February 13th and Sat, February 20th, 2021. Register by 2/12 and share with friends!
Panel Discussion: Hosted by La Vida, hear directly from Waypoint Adventure, Kupenda for the Children, and the three teenage Kenyan climbers on Saturday, February 20th, 10am-11:30am EST. Details for joining panel discussion also in Film Registration link.
Special Needs Arts Programs, Inc. provides people with disabilities opportunities that celebrate each person’s unique abilities while cultivating creative expression, building peer relationships, and fostering self-esteem through life-enhancing activities in the arts.
Sing Along Chorus brings together individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities to learn about singing and music at weekly rehersals, as well as socialize and make friends. Our programs run from September-January and February-June. Sing Along Chorus meets in two groups on Mondays from 7-8pm or on Wednesdays from 7-8pm.  Both groups practice the same songs and get together for concerts. Rehearsals are located at the Lexington Community Center – 39 Marrett Road, Lexington. Due to COVID-19, SNAP programs are currently being held over Zoom. Chorus promotes fun and friendship and has performances and special parties each session. Cost is $250 per session. Limited scholarship funds are available.
Special Artists brings together individuals with developmental disabilities to work on art projects. Participants work at their own pace in a supportive and fun environment, emphasizing creativity and friendship. Special Artists work on different projects each session and activities can include watercolor/acrylic painting, fabric painting, wood projects, and multi-media art. The program meets for a Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer sessions. We also offer Ceramics and Crafts classes throughout the year. Classes take place at the Lexington Community Center- 39 Marrett Road, Lexington. Due to COVID-19, SNAP programs are currently being held over Zoom. Special exhibits are planned to showcase the talent and achievements of our artists. Cost is $140 per 8 session and $70 per 4 week session. Limited scholarship funds are available. Spring Special Artists 2021 session runs on 8 Saturdays, 10am class and an 11:30am class beginning on April 17th. Spring Crafts 2020 will run on 4 Tuesday evenings from 6:30-7:30pm beginning on March 16th.
Stay in touch!
Please share your own resources and suggestions! Send them to
Be well and Cotting on!
A Few Helpful Cotting Community Resource Links:
We’ll share photos and updates throughout the year on our Social Media pages! If you don’t already, please consider following us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Quick links to our social media pages can be found below.
Do you know someone who would like to learn more about Cotting School? Please share the information at the links below with someone you know. Cotting School parents are our best ambassadors and our team is available to connect with families that may have questions about Cotting School at this time!
Let’s keep in touch!

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