Family Weekly Update: October 8, 2021

Weekly Update
We were thrilled to invite families back to campus for Forward to School Night!
Information From Cotting School
What is MAAPS?
MAAPS is your community of out-of-district, approved special education schools — all of which offer a vital service to both public school districts and privately placed students. By working together through MAAPS, this community of schools can provide more effective advocacy for the needs of students and families at schools like Cotting. Your voice and perspective matter in this advocacy, and we encourage you to join the MAAPS Action Network to stay up-to-date on legislative and other issues to help provide the highest quality education to students with special needs. Find out more at https://maaps.org/join/
AAC Awareness Month App Sales
Three popular communication apps are being offered at a discount in recognition of AAC Awareness month:
Proloquo2Go, a popular communication app
LAMP & TouchChat, also currently on sale
GoTalk Now:
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Picture Day is Coming Soon!
Picture Day is October 19th!
More information and instructions can be found here.
In Person Information Sessions Are Back!
If you know someone who would like to visit our campus, talk to Cotting School professionals and learn more about our programs, please share this with them. Our next information session at the School will be on Friday, October 29, 2021 from 9:30-11:00 am.
To RSVP, please contact Elizabeth Russell, Director of Admissions, at erussell@cotting.org or 781-862-7323 x114.
Community Resources & Events
Are you or someone you know caring for a loved one with an intellectual or developmental disability at home?
Caregivers in the MetroWest area can receive up to $500 to use for anything that will help make caregiving a little easier. Therapeutic horseback riding classes, sensory items, respite care, and home improvement projects are among previously funded awards.
Apply now (Español Português) through October 27, and please encourage caregivers you know to apply.
Questions? Contact FamilyServices@Advocates.org or call (508) 628-6801
National Disability Employment Awareness Month & Turning 22
October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. This year’s theme is “America’s Recovery: Powered by Inclusion.”
In 1945, Congress enacted a law declaring the first week in October each year “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.” In 1962, the word “physically” was removed to acknowledge the employment needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities. National Disability Employment Awareness Month was declared in 1988, as Congress expanded the week to a month.
You can make that goal a reality by approaching a business in your community and asking them to consider employing persons with disabilities. Continue reading.
Autism Eats Dinner & Magic Show:
  • Northboro, MA, October 18th, 2021
  • Billerica, MA, October 25th, 2021
  • Pembroke, MA, October 27th, 2021
An entire local family restaurant will be only for Autism Eats families during designated times. Enjoy burgers, chicken tenders, fries, soft drinks and dessert. Other items available upon request. Plus, surprise entertainment.
  • Autism Eats provides autism-friendly, non-judgmental family dinners at restaurants
  • Autism families, teachers, caregivers, friends and supporters are welcome to attend
  • Everyone in the room “gets it” so no need to feel self-conscious or concerned about any behaviors. Just come and enjoy dinner out
Reservations are required, fees apply. Children are free but must be registered.
For more information visit www.autismeats.org  or contact Lenard Zohn 617-680-0593.
Special Needs Trust, Guardianship & Legal Concerns Workshop
October 19th, 2021, with the MassFamilies Special-Needs Planning webinar series. The speaker will be Annette M. Hines, the founding partner of Special Needs Law Group of Massachusetts.
  • Annette Hines will explore Special Needs Trust, Guardianship & Legal Concerns for families with special needs.
Threshold Program Virtual Open House for Diverse Learners
Virtual Information Session, October 23rd, 2021, with Lesley University Threshold Program in Cambridge, MA. This virtual open house will offer young adults with diverse learning differences and their caregivers and families a chance to get firsthand information about the Threshold Program from faculty, the admissions team, and directly from alumni.
Learn about:
  • Concentrations and Curriculum
  • Independent Living Skills Training
  • Social and Psychological Development
  • Ask questions of the staff
From the comfort and safety of your own home, you may also:
  • Watch a welcome video from the director, take a tour of the residence halls, and meet students and alumni.
  • Browse the virtual open house presentation (PDF), where you’ll learn everything you need to know about Threshold.
  • Scroll down on the Open House page for a list the most Frequently Asked Questions, and even ask your own questions.
  • You can browse the collection of welcome videos, Threshold alumni stories, and student spotlights on YouTube.
Click here for the Zoom link or for more information contact threshold@lesley.edu or visit https://lesley.edu/threshold-program.
Accessible Martial Arts Virtual Classes with Easter Seals Worcester
In person and Online, with Easter Seals Massachusetts and YWCA Central Mass/ Worcester, October 25th, 2021. The Accessible Martial Arts Program is for people with and without disabilities who want to learn and practice self-defense, stretching, exercise, and relaxation techniques.
  • This recreation program is supported by Easter Seals Massachusetts, YWCA Central Massachusetts, Center for Living & Working, Bay State Wheelers and the REDD Group.
  • You will be required to fill out a waiver and release in order to participate in the class
  • This program is on a first come first serve basis. You may be placed on a wait list if this session is full.
College & Career Transition Fair for Students with Learning Disabilities & Mental Health Challenges
Virtual Event, October 26th – 30th, 2021, with School for Children in Winchester, MA. Free. Different Choices 2021, will include presentations, workshops, a college showcase, and a vocational, technical and apprenticeship program expo.
  • This college and career transition fair is for students with learning disabilities and mental health challenges.
  • The Fair’s program focuses on opportunities for students who are approaching the transition to college and young adulthood with a history of IEPs, 504 plans or therapeutic supports.
  • The Fair will provide attendees with information that can assist them in postsecondary transition planning and fill a much-needed gap in transition services.
  • Different Choices 2021 is free to attendees and will include opportunities for students and parents to engage directly with colleges that support students with learning challenges and disabilities, receive expert advice on subjects from financing higher education to self-advocacy, and meet one-on-one with college, career and life skills representatives.
  • A free series of expert talks and panels will provide additional guidance and perspective for students and their parents as well as help educators, guidance counselors, therapists and others in students’ support systems better assist in the transition process.
  • Other workshops will be available for a small fee to help students and families identify their specific needs, acquire new skills and perspectives, and enhance the transition experience.
  • The host is expecting approximately 60+ virtual college and vocational exhibitor booths.
Please share your own resources and suggestions with Pam at pvarrin@cotting.org
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 smile.amazon.com! 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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