Parent Weekly Update: April 30, 2021

Weekly Update
Our Best Buddies connections remain strong! Cotting’s Capstone Chapter recently connected with their Best Buddies from Lasell to hang out and talk about friendship and inclusion. Together they created some fun posters and listened to a playlist of songs about friendship!
For more updates from this week, visit our Facebook page or follow us on Instagram.
Information From Cotting School
Virtual Grandparents’/Grandfriends’ Day is Thursday, May 6, 2021 from 10:30-12:00!
Contact Abby Farquharson at 781-862-7323 ext. 174 or afarquharson@cotting.org with questions.
Opportunities at Cotting for 18-22 year olds
May 12, 2021 from 6-7pm
Join us to learn more about the various opportunities Cotting School provides for young adults ages 18-22. You will have the opportunity to hear from two families and two teachers about their experience at Cotting’s Day Program and Residential Program (HOPEhouse) as well as the collaboration with transition services and vocational opportunities provided by Cotting School.
Register here for this meeting which is open for all to attend!
Save the Date!
Wednesday, May 19, 2021 from 5:30-6:30 p.m.
We hope you will be able to join Bridget Irish and Dave Manzo for a virtual “families only” hard hat tour of the new Campus Center!
Look for an electronic invitation next week!
Yearbook (2020-2021) order forms went home in backpacks this week and are due back by Friday, May 21, 2021. An electronic form was emailed to families of remote students. The cost is $25 per book and they will be distributed to classrooms (or mailed home to remote students) in June. Please note that seniors are provided one yearbook free of charge!
If you need another copy of the Yearbook Order Form it can be found here.
If you have any questions at all, please reach out to Abby Farquharson at afarquharson@cotting.org.
We are pleased to partner with Boston’s ReelAbilities Film Festival taking place May 6-13! Register for free to join us for the film fest. Here at Cotting we’ll be watching the film “Wildflower” and are proud to host a live Q&A session on Sunday, May 9, at 5 pm EST. Watch the “Wildflower” trailer!
Register and learn more at: https://reelabilities.org/boston/
The Talk2U 2021 program will be virtual this year.  We will host 4 online sessions (each 45-60 minutes depending on the interest of the group members) during the week of August 9-13, 2021.
 Virtual sessions are scheduled as follows:
  • Monday, August 9: 9-9:45 AM
  • Tuesday, August 10: 6:15-7:00 PM
  • Wednesday, August 11: 9-9:45 AM
  • Thursday, August 12: 6:15-7:00 PM
Sessions will be held using Zoom. Participants can join all 4 sessions or drop-in to individual sessions as your schedule allows.
The cost of the program is $35 per participant. Each registered participant will receive a t-shirt and materials packet, mailed in advance of the program. Planned activities will make use of the items sent, common household items, and creativity.
Participants can expect:
  • conversation and fun with other people who use AAC
  • short challenges to complete with a partner (either online or someone at home with you)
  • an opportunity to share a joke or a story
  • a mini-mystery to solve together
Please feel free to share with students and friends. We are building our 2021 group now. Talk2U provides AAC enrichment opportunities for teens and tweens. Join us this summer on Zoom!
Contact Melissa Mulvey with questions at 781-862-7323 x257 or mmulvey@cotting.org.
Cotting’s Transition Fair events are a great resource. If you missed any events and would like to learn more you can find all of the resources at cotting.org/transition
Cotting educators have led some incredibly helpful discussions related to special education. We’ve recorded them all & you can find them at cotting.org/conversations
Resources and Events
In the Community
Survey participants needed
Help increase understanding of how the Covid-19 pandemic is affecting the behavioral health of individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (I/DD) by responding to a short survey here.
This study is being conducted by Jessica Solomon Sanders, MD Neurodevelopmental Disabilities
Send any questions to jessica.e.s.sanders@gmail.com
What is Health Care Transition?
Health care transition, or HCT, is the process of moving from a child/family-centered model of health care to an adult/patient-centered model of health care, with or without transferring to a new clinician. It involves planning, transfer, and integration into adult-centered health care.
Learn more and download the toolkit here.
DDS Self-Directed Supports Workshop from Thrive Supports and Advocacy
May 04, 2021
6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Free
Presented by Pamela Hickey, DDS Central/West Regional Self-Direction Manager, join us virtually for a discussion about expanding choices and control in your life through Self-Directed Supports. This is an opportunity to hear how participants and their families use DDS Self-Directed Services to design individualized services to meet their needs through Participant Direct Programs or Agency with Choice. This informational workshop is geared to participants and their families. Pre-registration is required. A Zoom meeting link will be sent prior to the workshop.
Disability Benefits in Massachusetts & Transition Age Youth
Webinar May 5th, 2021. Hosted by the Massachusetts’ Department of Developmental Disability Services, the Institute for Community Inclusion of Boston, and Work Without Limits at UMass.
For Educators, family members, DDS staff and providers. The session is open to anyone engaged with transition aged youth including school personnel, family members, state agency personnel and providers.
This training provides information related to the significant benefit changes that young adults with disabilities need to understand as they approach adulthood including them, including:
  • mandatory Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Age 18 redetermination process
  • how adult benefits differ from childhood-related benefits under both Social Security programs
  • SSI and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
  • how changes to public health insurance can occur
There is a special emphasis on young adult-related programs and work incentives such as:
  • Section 301 (Continued Payment under a Vocational Rehabilitation Program or Similar Program)
  • the Student Earned Income Exclusion (SEIE) for individuals 21 and younger on SSI
  • how a PASS Plan can help young adults leverage financial resources to fund education that may give them a head start on their career goals.
For more information call 617-287-4293 or email miwa.tanabe@umb.edu or Berenise.albino@umb.edu.
Planning for 2 Generations Workshop
Webinar, May 12, 2021, with the Autism Alliance of Natick, MA. Many children with a disability must be supported their entire lives, even long after their parents have died. Go beyond the limited boundaries of Wills and Trusts and hear about a road map to address your own family’s Special Needs.
  • Planning for Two Generations covers the host’s Special Needs Planning Timeline™.
  • The timeline highlights the various planning pressure points where parents should be aware of changes relating to their child’s benefits, legal and financial issues.
  • The primary focus is to help parents avoid common mistakes and pitfalls in their own planning.
  • In addition, hear about the new ABLE account and its potential role in planning for your child.
About the Speaker:  Alex Nadworney is a Special Needs Financial Planning Specialist. She works with client families to educate and advise the next generation of family members. Alex is also a sister and future guardian of James, giving her an understanding of all of the roles and responsibilities that may need to be filled one day. Knowing that no one can replace a parent, Alex created a program called A Team to Carry On; a succession plan for parents of adult children with a disability. The plan focuses on the time when parents are no longer able to do all they do for their loved one and provides guidance and encouragement to outline a team of family, friends, community and professionals to step in. Alex is also the former President and current Vice President of the Massachusetts Guardianship Association, on the board of the Department of Developmental Services local Citizens Advisory Board, and is area liaison to the Massachusetts statewide Advisory Council.
Guardianship & Alternatives for Special-Needs Families
Webinar, May 13th, 2021, with Thrive Advocacy of Marlborough, MA. For parents and family members of persons with an intellectual or developmental disability, this seminar provides an overview of the legal consequences of reaching the age of emancipation at 18.
  • Discussion will include a description of the range of decision making options.
  • Discuss Guardianship, the powers and duties of a guardian, the procedure of initiating a guardianship, and substituted judgement.
Hear about how Supported Decision Making is used as an alternative to Guardianship, along with basic concepts such as:
  • Legal Emancipation
  • Presumption of Competence
  • Least Restrictive Alternative
  • Prioritization of the areas requiring decision making
About the speaker: Attorney Meredith H. Greene practices in Trust & Estate special-needs planning, estate planning, guardianship, conservatorship, adult services advocacy, and government benefits advocacy. Ms. Greene was trained as a parent advocate representing children and families in the area of special education through the Federation for Children with Special Needs.
Stay in touch!
Please share your own resources and suggestions! Send them to pvarrin@cotting.org.
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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