Parent Weekly Update: May 7, 2021

Weekly Update
We were so happy to welcome Challenger Baseball back to Cotting for the spring season! The teams had a blast!
For more updates from this week, visit our Facebook page or follow us on Instagram.
Information From Cotting School
Challenger Baseball
In the case of inclement weather, challenger baseball games may be cancelled. Games that are rained out cannot be moved indoors (this season) and won’t be rescheduled. Coaches will reach out via email if a rain cancellation is necessary. Thank you to all of the parent volunteers taking photos to share!
Check out Cotting Alumnus Jeff Ashe on his YouTube show, “In The Life Of Jeff” with special guest Dave Manzo!
Dave Manzo made his first appearance on The InTheLifeOfJeff Show! Jeff graduated from Cotting in 2006. Jeff and Dave talked about all sorts of topics including, the pandemic, Cotting history, favorite memories and more.
Past Cotting Mental Health Intern and Cotting Sibling Groups Leader Emaline Surgenor is recruiting participants for her doctoral project on siblings!
Siblings (ages eight and above) of an individual who has been diagnosed with ASD (aged 4-18) and have received at least 6 months of in-home ABA treatment in the last two years are invited to share their experiences. Participating siblings must have lived at home during their sibling’s ABA therapy treatment. In addition, participating siblings must not be diagnosed with autism and must be aware of their sibling’s diagnosis.
Participation includes a 30-45-minute interview with each participant. Each participant will receive a $20 gift card to Amazon as a token of gratitude for their participation.
If interested, kindly email
Emaline Surgenor, MA
Fourth Year PsyD Candidate, William James College
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 Boarding 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!
Check your email for an electronic invitation on Tuesday!
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
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:
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
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
Recreation, the ADA & Inclusive Programs – Let’s Have Fun
Webinar, May 11th, 2021, with The New England ADA Center. Summer is approaching. Let’s get outside and have fun.
The speakers will be Kathy Gips, Director of Training, New England ADA Center, and Laila Soleimani, Outreach Coordinator, Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, Universal Design Program.
Discuss ADA requirements and accessibility recommendations as they apply to:
  • recreation programs & summer camps
  • state and municipal parks & recreation trails
  • COVID and mask policies,
  • safety policies
  • reasonable accommodations in programs
  • ensuring effective communication (such as providing sign language interpreters)
  • service animals, miniature horses and more
  • Special guest Laila Soleimani, the Outreach Coordinator for the Universal Access Program at the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, will discuss integrated and adaptive recreation programs and opportunities .
Registration is required or to request accommodations such as closed captioning, contact Kathy Gips at or 617-695-0085.
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.
Department of Developmental Services 101: Training for Families
Webinar, May 13th, 2021, with the CASE Collaborative of Concord, MA. CASE is an educational collaborative agency made up of 11 regional and municipal districts serving the Greater Boston metropolitan area.
The guest speaker will be the Massachusetts’ Department of Developmental Services Deputy Assistant Commissioner Victor Hernandez. Parents, Caregivers, and Professionals Welcome to Attend.
Topics discussed will include:
  • DDS Children & Turning 22 Services
  • What is the Role of the DDS Area office?
  • What can Family Support Centers provide to my Family?
  • What Types of Traditional and Specialized Family Support Programs are Available?
  • What Support is Available to my Family Member with Autism?
  • What if my Family Member has Autism without an Intellectual Disability?
  • Adult Services Eligibility and Funding Availability – Adult Services and Special Education Entitlement are not the Same!
  • What are Self-Directed Services? How do they Differ from Traditional Services?
  • DDS COVID-19 Update
Please register via email to:
Zoom Link will be emailed to registered participants one hour before presentation begins.
“Guardianship 102” Virtual Transition Support Group for Parents
Online Groups, May 13th & 27th, or the second and fourth Thursday of each month, with the with the Lurie Center for Autism in Lexington, MA.
  • Completing all of the court-required paperwork can be overwhelming.
  • This workshop is a hands-on group tutorial that includes the review of checklists for each attendee and required documentation.
  • It also provides guidance with probate court processes and referrals to legal resources.
  • This workshop can also be provided as a private individual family meeting, by appointment only, at a cost of $100/family.
Click here to register or for more information and scroll down to “workshops/events” or contact 781-860-1700
Improving Your Child’s Sleep… and Your Own!
Webinar, May 19th, 2021, with the Lurie Center for Autism in Lexington. Sleep is a common challenge for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Presenters Ann Neumeyer, MD, and Rachel Goldin, PhD, will host an open discussion around understanding sleep, medical considerations, and addressing underlying issues and behavioral strategies to improve sleep.
About the speakers
  • AnnElise Wulff, MEd, MGH Aspire Works. Elise emphasizes that there is a mutual accountability of neurodiverse individuals and their environments (schools, communities, workplaces) to create safe, inclusive spaces that enhance the potential for success for all involved. She has specific expertise in inclusive practices, program design, social-emotional curriculum, tools to build independence, and strategies for building Executive Functioning.
  • Laura Sears is a trained mental health counselor with a background in developmental disabilities and serious mental illness and has master’s degree with a specialization in providing counseling services to individuals with developmental disabilities. She has also worked as a crisis clinician and mental health counselor for adults with serious mental illness
Registration is required, scroll down to your desired event, or contact or call: 781-860-1700. Event link will be emailed by 1:00pm on September 23rd.
Understanding Government Benefits Workshop
The Collaborative Parent Leadership Action Network (CPLAN) and the Social Security Administration (SSA) invite you to join us May 25 from 5:30 – 7:30 PM on Zoom to learn about SSI, SSDI, Auxiliary Benefits for Children, MassHealth, Medicare, and more!
Please contact Ivelisse Caraballo, with questions at
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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