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Family Weekly Update: October 15, 2021

Weekly Update
It’s AAC Awareness Month and we are celebrating by showcasing some of our awesome students who use AAC!
Information From Cotting School
In-Person events at Cotting are starting up again!
Information Sessions
Cotting Parents! Do you have friends, acquaintances or folks in your community who would be interested in learning more about whether Cotting would be a good fit for their child? You can help keep our admissions strong by spreading the word about our monthly information sessions, now in-person! Visitors can tour our campus, visit our classrooms, talk to Cotting School professionals and learn about:
  • Cotting School - Day program for ages 3-22
  • HOPEhouse - Transition-focused boarding program for young adults ages 17-22
  • Extended-Year Academic Programs and Summer Enrichment Options
  • Cotting Consulting – Providing technology solutions for students in their school environments
  • All the new initiatives at Cotting School
When is the next information session?
Friday, October 29
Time: 9:30 am – 11:00 am
Place: Cotting School, 453 Concord Avenue, Lexington, MA
Cotting Conversations – SAVE THE DATE!
Learn about the Cotting School Summer Learning Institute, its focus on social and emotional learning and how the curriculum on behavior supports benefits our students and teaching staff. This event is open to the public, so please feel free to share this information, and will be followed by a short tour (including the new campus center).
When will this event take place?
Friday, November 19
Time: 9:30 am – 10:30 am (followed by an optional half-hour tour)
Place: Cotting School, 453 Concord Avenue, Lexington, MA
Check the events tab on the Cotting website home page for upcoming event informatio. Walk-ins are always welcome. Those who wish to RSVP or set up a private tour can contact Director of Admissions Elizabeth Russell at erussell@cotting.org or 781-862-7323 ext. 114
Picture Day is Tuesday!
Picture Day is Tuesday, October 19th!
More information and instructions can be found here.
Check Out Cotting’s Newly Relaunched Blog!
Gain insight on the Cotting community! From a parent’s perspective to classroom happenings to information to help you prepare for your child’s future, you’ll get an inside peek at all things Cotting. Watch for new posts published every other Wednesday!
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
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.
A two-day virtual event for the entire autism community: adults with Asperger/autism profiles, family, friends, and professionals!
This two-day virtual conference event will include keynote presentations from Morénike Giwa Onaiwu and Kyle Hill, nine breakout sessions, and a variety of topic-based virtual discussion groups, providing an opportunity for adults with Asperger/autism profiles, parents, and professionals to work together, learn, and connect.
Breakout sessions topics include:
  • Anxiety management
  • Authentic living
  • Autism and women
  • Gender diversity and autism
  • Historical overview of inclusion, de-stigmatization, and neurodiversity
  • Intimacy and relationships
  • Navigating adolescence on the spectrum
  • OCD and autism
  • Sensory processing on the spectrum
WHEN: October 22 & 23, 2021
TIME: 10:00 AM – 3:30 PM ET on both October 22 and October 23
WHERE: Online via Zoom
COST: $40 for AANE Members, $50 for non-AANE Members, $75 for professionals seeking CEUs
AANE provides discounted and free admission upon request. Contact events@aane.org to inquire further.
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.
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.
Screening online — Thursday, October 28, 2021 @ 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Cost: Free
Register at: https://www.xminds.org
xMinds will be a screening a brand new 1-hour documentary about a remarkable young woman, Jordyn Zimmerman, who opens up her life to reveal what she experienced growing up as a nonspeaking autistic child.
The documentary follows a childhood where professionals misunderstood Jordyn and pushed her in ways that created more and more distress. She was moved from school to school by educators who couldn’t handle her behavior. Finally, at age 18, she given a communication device that changed her life. Jordyn had never had access to the regular curriculum before but graduated from high school in one year. She has since graduated from Ohio University and is pursuing her Master’s in Education at Boston College. She aims to be a catalyst for education reform.
The documentary will be followed by a half-hour interview with Jordyn, who communicates independently using an AAC voice-generating device.
Find out more about this important documentary here. This event will be recorded.
Simultaneous interpretation in Spanish will be available.
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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