Parent Weekly Update: March 12, 2021

Weekly Update
Zachary and Anna in Ms. Kostell’s class enjoyed the beautiful spring weather this week!
For more updates from this week, visit our Facebook page or follow us on Instagram.
Information From Cotting School
Follow-up to Cotting’s Annual Transition Fair!
Thanks to all who attended our Transition Fair kick-off event on March 10. Slides from guest speaker, Kerry’s Mahoney’s talk are available, here and at
Additional upcoming Transition Fair events for Cotting Families are as follows:
March 24th, 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm: Cotting Alumni Parent Panel: Housing
March 31st, 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm: Cotting Alumni Parent Panel: Adult Day Programs
Links to register for these panel discussions will be sent directly to Cotting families!
Please email Director of Post-Secondary Pathways, Sejal Costa,, at or Director of Transition Services, Mike Teuber, at with any questions or for more information.
Turning 22 During COVID-19
Wednesday, March 17 @ 12:00PM
***Please note – this is the presentation Kerry Mahoney referenced in her presentation at the opening of Cotting’s Transition Fair this week.
Transition Coordinators from the Department of Developmental Services will present their roles and responsibilities in the Transition process. Also discussed will be the impact of COVID-19 on the Transition process, and we will take a look across Massachusetts and hear how people are handling transition. Register.
Sibling Groups at Cotting School:
There are still openings!
Saturday, March 20, 2021 on Zoom
10:00- 11:00 am Elementary-age group: Age range 7-9 years old
12:00 – 1:00 pm Teen group: Age range 12-15 years old
For more information contact Pam Varrin at
The Cotting PTO is bringing Omnium to the Cotting Community!
Mark your calendars an online “dinner and a show” event!
Friday, March 26, 2012 on zoom
6:00 pm   Circus performance
7:30 pm    Open Q&A with Jen Bricker Bauer, a person with a disability born without legs and an accomplished acrobat and aerialist with Omnium.
“Omnium: A Bold New Circus will transport you into a world of wonder, inspiring all with extraordinary feats of human accomplishment and the astounding potential of the human spirit. Experience the stars of international circus, from all four corners of the globe as they perform jaw-dropping spectacles. With full inclusion, both in and out of the rings, we celebrate our diversity and create joy, laughter and inspiration. We enrich empathy among all people and inspire healthier communities through shared positive experiences.”
A link for registering for the performance will be sent out via email to all families and staff at Cotting School. Many thanks to the Cotting PTO for arranging and funding this experience.
Resources and Events
In the Community
“Understanding and Navigating Employment Supports in Massachusetts”
Disability Employment Training for Families
Virtual Training, through March 16th, 2021, with the Institute for Community Inclusion at UMass. Free. 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.
  •  Learn more about how to envision and support a successful future.
  • Follow up Coaching Session – discuss what you’ve learned and think about next steps, with guidance from ICI trainers. 3/16 | 9-10:00am – Parents, Guardians, other family members, advocates, and professionals who support people with intellectual or developmental disabilities, are welcome to join in this training launch.
Follow up to:
  • Work is For Everyone
  • Setting Goals and Taking Action
  • Essential Skills for Employment Success: What Families Can Do At Home
  • Understanding and Navigating Employment Supports in Massachusetts
To Register for any session visit our website or for more information or to request accommodations contact (617) 287-4356
What is Supported Decision-Making & Why is it Important?
Webinar, March 18th, 2021, with the Arc of Greater Haverhill – Newburyport, MA. Learn about alternatives to guardianship such as Supported Decision-Making (SDM) and why it is so important.
  • Hear about how SDM empowers young people to keep their rights and be respected for their decisions.
  • You will have an opportunity to share your own experiences with this topic and ask questions.
About the speaker: Emily Berheide, OTR/L, M.Ed. is a Talent Discovery Specialist and Transition Consultant. Currently she is working with the Center for Public Representation on a grant funded project to increase awareness for children and families in the area of special education through the Federation for Children with Special Needs.
RSVP for the Zoom link or contact Andrea Morris or (978) 373-0552 x211
“Moving Images” Virtual Disability Film Festival
NORMIE – When Annemarie looks in the mirror, she sees Down syndrome. She hates it. To her, the diagnosis is a giant barricade keeping her from the independence and intimacy she desperately desires. She embarks on a journey of self-discovery as she tries to understand what it means to be normal.
  • Followed by a panel discussion featuring:
  • Star from NORMIE Annemarie Carrigan
  • Star from NORMIE and Annemarie’s father Pat Carrigan, CFA
  • Principal at Crawford Consulting and Communications, LLC and former Chair of Vinfen’s Family Advisory Council Kathleen Crawford, MBA
  • Board-certified medical geneticist, Emma Campbell Endowed Chair on Down Syndrome at Massachusetts General Hospital, and Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress Medical and Science Advisory Council Chair Brian G. Skotko, MD, MPP
BEDLAM – Through intimate stories of patients, families, and medical providers, BEDLAM immerses us in the national crisis surrounding care of the severely mentally ill.
  • Filmed over five years, it brings us inside one of America’s busiest psychiatric emergency rooms, into jails where psychiatric patients are warehoused, and to the homes – and homeless encampments – of mentally ill members of our communities, where silence and shame often compound personal suffering.
  • Followed by a panel discussion featuring:
  • Addiction Psychiatrist and director, producer, and writer of BEDLAM Kenneth Paul Rosenberg, MD
  • Star from BEDLAM Johanna Marie Swartz
  • Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and star from BEDLAM Julea Leshar McGhee, MD, MPH
Ernie & Joe: Crisis Cops – Part of the San Antonio Police Department’s ten-person mental health unit, Ernie Stevens and Joe Smarro are putting compassionate policing practices into action. Ernie & Joe chronicles their daily encounters with people in crisis, showing how their innovative approach to policing – which takes mental health into account – is having a dramatic effect on the way police respond to these challenges.
  • Followed by a panel discussion featuring:
  • San Antonio Department Police Officer and star from Ernie & Joe Ernie Stevens
For more information visit   or contact 617-441-1800 or
Estate Planning for Special Needs
Webinar, March 23rd, 2021, 10 a.m., with a Massachusetts’ based special-needs law firm. Free.
Learn why some wills do not work, even when drafted correctly, the necessary steps to protect your home from future nursing home expenses, and how to reduce estate death taxes. Topics include:
  • How to protect your property, and reduce estate taxes
  • Why up-to-date health care proxies and powers of attorney are now crucial
  • How the new SECURE Act (of December 2019) can impact your estate planning
  • Why a HIPAA release is essential in obtaining medical information
  • How to keep your family out of probate
  • How to obtain a free virtual estate planning meeting
Once you register, you will receive an email with simple instructions for connecting to the webinar.
* The speaker will be Tax Attorney Michael T. Lahti.
To RSVP or for more information visit or contact 508-459-8000
March 25th, 7:00pm EST *this event will be held virtually
CEUs available for nurses, social workers and case managers
FREE – donation suggested
Caregiver puts a human face to the toll — physical, emotional, & financial — that afflicts most family members who care for their dying loved ones at home. In 24 minutes, Bambi Fass and her husband Rick take us through the joys, and the unexpected sorrows, that can accompany a family’s journey through the end of life.
Family-Friendly Hot Wheels Drive-Thru in Foxboro
March 29th – April 18th, 2021, Gillette Stadium in Foxboro.
The Hot Wheels Ultimate Drive-Thru is a kid-focused event where families have a chance to to enjoy the larger-than-life showcase of Hot Wheels Monster Trucks and legendary vehicles from the comfort and safety of their own vehicles.
  • View over 50 life-size vehicles, including Hot Wheels favorites Tiger Shark™, Demo Derby, V8 Bomber™ and Bone Shaker®, plus the original monster truck BIGFOOT®, and the world’s tallest monster truck, BIGFOOT#5.
  • Also featured in the lineup will be the Hot Wheels Twin Mill®, Rip Rod®, Loop Coupe® and the original Bone Shaker®.
  • The visit will be paired with an online audio companion.
  • COVID-19 Protocols: Hot Wheels Ultimate Drive-Thru and Gillette Stadium staff will be on-hand to ensure all proper social distancing guidelines are being followed.
  • Please refer to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ website for COVID-19 travel restrictions and guidelines.
For tickets or more information visit our website or contact
Insurance Options for Adults
Free Parent/Guardian Webinar
This webinar will focus on insurance options available for adults in Massachusetts with autism, ID/DD and other disabilities. A review of both public (MassHealth) and private (BCBS, Cigna, etc.) options will be included. An overview of Medicare, SSDI and SSI will also be addressed as well as provision of resources for you to access.
Terri Farrell is the Project Director of the Autism Insurance Resource Center of Massachusetts (AIRC).
The AIRC provides technical assistance to families, providers, and agencies in need of information related to both public (MassHealth) and private insurance. Terri was appointed the chair of AFAM’s (Advocates for Autism of Massachusetts) Government Affairs Committee in 2013. AFAM is the leading Massachusetts autism advocacy non-profit promoting budgetary and legislative initiatives at the state level.
Terri has presented at local conferences focusing on autism insurance, transition and issues affecting homeless youth with ASD as well as SPEDPACS throughout the Commonwealth on the ARICA law and how to access ABA coverage through MassHealth. She has an MBA from Northeastern University and completed a LEND (Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disability) Fellowship in 2015 to build on her expertise in the field of autism insurance.
Please join us for this informative evening.
Date: Wednesday, March 31, 2021
Time: 6:30-8:00 PM
Format: Webinar
(Zoom link will follow registration)
To register for this workshop, R.S.V.P. by Monday, March 29th to
Please include your phone number and e-mail when registering.
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!

Categorized in: