Family Weekly Update: October 22, 2021

Weekly Update
Our lower school students have been having so much fun in the new gym!
Information From Cotting School
Jake’s Good Good Good Walk is underway in October
Many of you may remember Jake, a beloved student whose time at Cotting was cut short by his death two years ago. Jake’s Good Good Good Walk celebrates Jake’s life and supports Cotting School at the same time. The “Walk” is an opportunity to just have fun during Jake’s favorite time of the year by walking, rolling, or jogging 3.22. miles or dancing for 3.22 minutes. Participants are invited to be creative! Last year’s “Walk” included people hiking, riding on horseback, and snorkeling! Please visit the website for more information about the walk and to learn more about Jake and his family and how to make a donatio.
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 will information sessions take place?
Friday, October 29 and Friday, December 3
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
More information can be found here.
Check the events tab on the Cotting website home page for upcoming event information. 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
Cozy at Cotting Flannel Friday on October 29th
This fall, we expanded our focus on social and emotional learning with an updated curriculum and new classes. Taking take care of ourselves and others is part of that learning. We will celebrate and practice both of those skills on Friday, October 29th, with a Cozy at Cotting Flannel Friday by wearing our coziest flannel wear and gathering items needed by those in our extended community. From October 29th to November 12th, we will be collecting new and gently used hats, scarves and mittens for Cradles to Crayons and/or Catie’s Closet. During vocational programming, students will work to ensure these organizations receive the items that are most useful for their clients.
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. Previously funded awards include therapeutic horseback riding classes, sensory items, respite care and home improvement projects.
Apply now (Español Português) through October 27th, and please encourage caregivers you know to apply.
Questions? Contact FamilyServices@Advocates.org or call (508) 628-6801
Adaptive Indoor Climbing for All Ages
Somerville, October 24th, 2021. Adaptive Climbing Sessions includes youth participants. Everyone is encouraged to come climb – accommodations and equipment will help climbers with any disability get on the climbing wall. ACG will provide a safe, fun and supportive environment for people with disabilities to discover and enjoy the sport of climbing.
  • ACG volunteers will be on hand to help fit gear, guide new climbers and belay the ropes.
  • CLIMBERS: Cost (admission, gear, and climbing support) for participants is $11.
  • Payment can be made at the front desk of the facility on the day of the session.
  • GUESTS/ FAMILY MEMBERS: Guests and family members can join the session and must fill forms again with their information so the gym has a record of all attendees.
  • If you are climbing, the cost will be $11.
  • Please inquire about updated COVID-19 protocols.
College & Career Transition Fair for Students with Learning Disabilities & Mental Health Challenges
FREE Virtual Event, October 26th – 30th, 2021, with School for Children in Winchester, MA. 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 attend 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 to 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.
Massachusetts Office on Disability (MOD) LevelUP to Equality Pathways to Employment Equality Quarterly Webinar
Webinar, October 27, 2021, with the Massachusetts Office on Disability (MOD).
Learning Objectives for the Massachusetts Office on Disability (MOD) for their LevelUP to Equality Pathways to Employment Equality Quarterly Webinar of 2021.
  • In celebration of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, this one hour webinar over Zoom will highlight apprenticeships as a unique path to employment for individuals with disabilities.
  • The Division of Apprentice Standards will explore expansion industry apprenticeships in the Commonwealth and encourage employers to sponsor apprenticeships as means to train and hire talent.
  • Hear the story of an individual with a disability who took a nontraditional road to employment.
Registration is required. For assistance with registration and for other inquiries about this event, please contact the Massachusetts Office on Disability at mod-events@mass.gov or call MOD’s event line at 617-979-7318 with your name, phone number and email address.
  • They can help you register, and a confirmation email will be sent to your email address.
  • Please address any non-related event questions to their office at 617-727-7440.
  • Accessibility: American Sign Language interpreters and Communication Access Real Time Transcription (CART) have been requested for this event.
  • If you would like to request a reasonable accommodation, please submit your request by October 20, 2021 to Julia O’Leary, General Counsel, by email at Julia.E.OLeary@mass.gov or by phone at 617-979-7324.
  • Requests made after October 20, 2021 will be considered, but may not be possible to fill.
Online screening: Thursday, October 28, 2021 from 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Cost: Free
Register at: https://www.xminds.org
xMinds will be 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 was 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.
Attainable Savings Accounts (ABLE) Workshop for Massachusetts Families
Webinar, November 3rd, 2021, with Communitas of Wakefield. ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) Accounts allow individuals with disabilities to save and pay for qualified disability expenses. With an Attainable Savings Plan, individuals with disabilities and their families can save for these expenses while keeping benefits such as Supplemental Security Income and Medicaid.
  • This webinar will discuss the basics of an ABLE account, as well as share some of the tax advantages that these accounts provide.
  • Live transcription will be available.
  • MEFA is the state sponsor for the Attainable Savings Plan (ABLE Accounts) in Massachusetts.
Register here or call (781) 587-2200 or email socialnet@communitasma.org  to register.
Arc of Massachusetts Disability Transition Conference
Virtual Conference, November 4 – 18, 2021, with the Arc of Massachusetts. For families of teens and adults ages 13-26 with special needs.The Arc of Massachusetts Disability Transition Conference webinar series will demonstrate how LifeCourse Frameworks and Tools can help you create seamless, successful transitions into the adult world for your loved ones.
This two-week virtual program will begin with:
  • A welcome from Leo Sarkissian, Executive Director of The Arc of Massachusetts
  • Kickoff with special guest Corey Ferguson from the Department of Developmental Disabilities in Ohio
This event offers 16 webinars reflecting the six domains of Charting the LifeCourse:
  • Meaningful Day and Employment
  • Safety and Security
  • Community Living
  • Social and Spirituality
  • Healthy Living
  • Advocacy and Engagement
About the Speaker:  Corey F. Ferguson, MHA, works at the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities, where he focuses on supporting, educating, engaging and empowering Ohioans with developmental disabilities, and their families, in pursuing their vision of a good life. He facilitates an Ohio Community of Practice for Supporting and Empowering Families and is a Charting the LifeCourse Ambassador. His passion for his work in Ohio, and as an Ambassador, derives from his lived experience as a father of a child with significant disabilities.
Fees apply – Scholarship available
Registration is required or contact Kerry Mahoney at 781-8916270 x109 or mahoney@arcmass.org
Bounce Out The Stigma Basketball Clinic For Children With SPECIAL NEEDS
This clinic is geared toward children with Autism, ADHD, Epilepsy and Neurological/Emotional challenges. Kids with learning disabilities and slow motor skill development, along with social interaction issues, will do well in our nurturing clinic environment. This clinic is non-competitive and centers on motor skill development, self confidence building, peer interaction and having fun!
November 7, 2021 12pm – 3pm
Location: Winchester High School Gymnasium, 80 Skillings Rd, Winchester, MA
Clinic Cost: $60 per child, Ages: 8 – 21; Clinic is Co–Ed
Other Info: FREE T–Shirt and Basketball provided -Snacks and Water Provided -Camp is Limited to First 30 Campers Who Register
For more information, visit bounceoutthestigma.org or call 855.997.3900, ext. 803
“Limits Don’t Define Me… My Will Defines My Limits!” – Mighty Mike (Bounce Out The Stigma Founder)
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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