Parent Weekly Update: September 10, 2021

Weekly Update
HOPEhouse at Cotting School was buzzing with excitement on move-in day!
Welcome Back To a New School Year!
Dear Cotting Community,
I am looking forward to being in touch with all of you throughout this new year. Please feel free to contact me at any time at or 781-862-7323 x130 with questions, suggestions and helpful information. Submissions for the Weekly Update are always welcome!
Cotting Fall Family BBQ: Hawaiian Luau
Join us for
 on Sunday, September 19th, 2021 from 12 noon-3:00 pm
rain or shine on the Cotting grounds
Pick up your reserved tickets at the door on the day of the event!
Want to pitch in and help with an activity? Sign up to volunteer!
Do you have a teenager at home who needs community service hours?
They can fulfill those hours while having fun volunteering at the BBQ!
Thank you!! See you at the BBQ!
Questions? Contact Pam Varrin at Cotting School 781-862-7323 x130
Community Resources & Events
Notes from the Arc
National Disability Voter Registration Week: What You Need To Know
September 13-20 is REV Up! Campaign’s National Disability Voter Registration Week and The Arc of Massachusetts is hosting a discussion on Wednesday, September 15 at 12:00pm about the political power of people with disabilities and the importance of their vote.
Please join The Arc’s Director of Public Policy, Ellen Taverna, and disability advocate, Scott Lentine, talk about the rules and dates for the upcoming elections in Massachusetts, personal stories on why we vote, and how our disability community can encourage voter registration and getting out the vote in local, state and national elections. Register at
Assistive Technology Training & Expo for Massachusetts Families
Virtual Event, September 17th, 2021, with Easterseals Massachusetts, the Mass Rehabilitation Commission and MassMATCH. Free. For people with disabilities of all ages, their family members, professionals working with such individuals with disabilities and anyone interested in learning about assistive technology.
Training Sessions: Workshop formats will consist of hour long training sessions exploring Assistive Technology devices and services for people with a wide range of disabilities.
  • The focus will be on AT for employment, education and community living. See complete session schedule in the agenda section.
AT Expo – The Expo component of the event will highlight approximately 20 vendors/providers of assistive technology products and services in the areas of hearing, learning, motor and visual impairments. Registration is required or contact
Sensory-Friendly Days with Mass Audubon: Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary
Lincoln, MA, September 13th, 2021, 4 – 6:00 pm. Free.  In order to continue making nature accessible to all, the Mass Audubon Society has launched a series of Sensory Friendly Days at sanctuaries throughout Massachusetts for Summer 2021.
  • During these times, you can visit when properties are closed to the general public or tend to be relatively quiet.
  • Some sites will have special hikes with nature guides available to recommend appropriate trails and guide your experience, while others provide self-lead opportunities.
  • You can also find All Persons Trails at many of these sanctuaries. These trails feature wide, flat, ADA-accessible paths connecting parking areas to the wilds of nature.
Xtra Mile Walking & Running Clubs across Massachusetts through the fall:
Wakefield, Worcester, Hanover, Hopkinton, Carver, Marlborough, Wellesley, Leominster, Weymouth
Come out and join the Xtra Mile Community where opportunities to get out and be active should not be limited by anyone’s ability.
  • Going the Xtra Mile means doing a little more than you did yesterday.
  • Whether you are walking, rolling, biking, snowshoeing or running, you are doing more than if you chose to stay home – you are going the Xtra Mile.
  • Discover new levels of strength, endurance, and performance as a member of this supportive Community.
  • Special Olympics Xtra Mile Walking Clubs bring together local athletes, volunteers, supporters and partners to share in the joy of exercise. Enjoy the fall weather with Special Olympics Massachusetts (SOMA), meet some new friends and get active.
  • COVID-19 Protocols: Please visit the weblink for the most updated information.
Please ask the host about appropriate ages for this event.
For more information visit and scroll down to the desired date, or contact 508-485-0986 ext. 228 or
Ask the Advocate: A Panel Discussion with Experienced Advocates
Webinar, September 21, 2021, with the Special Needs Advocacy Network of Massachusetts. Sandra Fitzpatrick and Carol Silva will ask prepared questions for leading Advocates, such as:
  • What do you wish you knew when you started
  • Lessons learned; unexpected occurrence at team meetings
To register or for more information visit or contact 508-655-7999
“A Long Walk Down a Winding Road” Author to Speak
Peabody, MA, September 22nd, 2021. Hosted by the Autism Resource Center of the Northeast Arc. A conversation with author, blogger, coach, and autistic adult, Sam Farmer. Sam is a resident Massachusetts, who obtained a late diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome.
  • Sam Farmer’s first book, A Long Walk Down a Winding Road – Small Steps, Challenges, & Triumphs Through an Autistic Lens, and his blogs, videos and public presentations, comprise what he calls his “paying it forward mission”, inspired by his deceased parents. When his mother passed away, he could no longer pay her back for all she had done to help him move forward, so he decided instead to “pay it forward” to others who might benefit from his ideas and insights, and to do so in her memory.
  • Sam Farmer wears many hats, among these, father, husband, musician, computer consultant, and autism spectrum community contributor. He writes blogs and articles, records coaching videos, and presents at conferences, sharing what he has learned with the intent of helping others help themselves.
  • Proof of COVID 19 vaccination is required for this event. Mask wearing will be enforced for attendees in common areas.
REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED. Contact the event host or 978-762-4878
Back to School, Mental Health & Behavioral Needs
Webinar, September 22nd, 2021, with Mass Advocates for Children and the Federation for Children with Special Needs in Massachusetts.
About the Speakers
  • Liza Hirsch, Esq. is a Senior Attorney at Massachusetts Advocates for Children who represents families in school discipline and special education matters. She specializes in advocacy on behalf of children with autism and emotional/behavioral disabilities and has expertise in inclusion and poverty-related barriers to education.
  • Eileen Sandberg, PhD. coordinates the Pathways for Parents program at FCSN, and is a Recruitment, Training and Support specialist for Special Education Surrogate Parents. The Pathways program provides support on special education issues to programs funded by the Department of Children and Families, including the 27 Massachusetts Family Resource Centers, Grandparents Raising Grandchildren, and the Family Advisory Committee to DCF. Eileen has five young adult children, all of whom had IEPs in their school years.
Registration is required here or contact 617-399-8342 or
Helpful Links
AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support Cotting School every time you shop, at no cost to you. Just select “Cotting School, Inc.” as your charitable organization and remember to shop at! Amazon will then donate a portion of your order’s purchase price to Cotting School!
Spread the Word!
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 would like to learn more!
Follow us on social media for more photos, videos & updates!

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