Weekly Update: March 11, 2022

Weekly Update
Thanks to the PTO & its volunteers, students enjoyed the Scholastic Book Fair!
Information From Cotting School
Join us tomorrow for the last basketball games of the season
Cotting School Spirit Week is finally here! Each year, we look forward to seeing students, staff and faculty dressed to impress. Keep an eye on social media for photos!
Scholastic Book Fair: Shop Online Until March 18th
A big thank you to the Cotting community for supporting the book fair this year. You can continue to shop online until March 18th and earn rewards for Cotting School. Just go to scholastic.com/fair, enter “Cotting School” and select.
Sibling Groups at Cotting This Spring
Saturday, March 26, 2022
10:00 am – 12:00 pm:
Group for participants ages 12-14 years old
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm:
Group participants ages 8-10 years old
We are very pleased at the response to our sibling support groups for the brothers and sisters of our students this year! As you can see from the information above, we have enough participants to be able to plan two groups for two different age ranges.
There is room in both groups for several more participants. If your child is interested in joining a group and is in (or close to) these age ranges, we would love to include them. Just email Pam Varrin at pvarrin@cotting.org with your child’s name and age.
We are also offering a parent/guardian group, facilitated by Family Support Coordinator Pam Varrin, which will run at the same time as the sibling groups.  Even if your child is not attending a sibling group, you are welcome to attend the parent group. Email Pam Varrin at pvarrin@cotting.org to attend one of these groups.
Save the Date for Cotting School Movie Night
We hope you’ll join us for a special movie screening of Best Summer Ever (PG13), a feature film by Zeno Mountain Farm, on Friday, April 8 at 6 p.m. Directors and Cotting alumni who are in the film will offer a Q&A following the film! Click HERE to learn more. If you plan on attending, please RSVP to Abby Farquharson at afarquharson@cotting.org.
Community Resources & Events
DDS 101 Disability Transition-to-Adult Workshop
Webinar, March 14th, 2022, with the Massachusetts’ Department of Developmental Services. Free. The Transition Years: A Miniseries DDS 101 Training.
* This workshop will provide need-to-know information about the Department of Developmental Services as the transition from high school to life after high school approaches.
This workshop will focus on the following topics:
  • ELIGIBILITY: How do I become eligible for DDS Services?
  • AREA OFFICE: What is the role of the DDS Area office?
  • FAMILY SUPPORT: What can Family Support provide to my family, and what are the limitations?
  • SELF-DIRECTION: What are Self-Directed Services? How do they differ from Traditional Services?
  • AUTISM SERVICES: What support is available to my family member with autism, and how do we access it?
To register or for more information click here or contact Becky Morrissey, DDS Southeast Learning and Development
Driving With Autism
Webinar, March 17th, 2022, with a Disability Family Support Center in Peabody, MA.
Driving With Autism – A presentation by Andrew Arboe.
  • This introduction to the Autism Driving Series presents a roadmap for how a new driver can get their license, from obtaining a learner’s permit to taking the road test.
  • Review why transportation is important and the barriers that can prevent someone from driving.
  • Speaker Andrew Arboe will present on the program he founded that will help answer many questions leading up to getting a learners permit.
  • About the speaker: Andrew Arboe is the Director of Community Outreach of Planning Across the Spectrum in Farmington, CT. This outreach includes virtual consultations for autistics learning how to drive in all 50 states. Andrew helped inspire the first driving program in Connecticut for the autism community.
  • Andrew found his path to community outreach because of his experiences as an autistic adult. He graduated from Manchester Community College with an associate degree as a Disability Specialist.
  • Zoom link will be sent 24 hours prior to presentation
Fees apply, registration is required or contact 781.593.1088
“Visions of Community” Special-Needs Conference
Virtual Conference, March 19th, 2022, with The Federation for Children with Special Needs of Massachusetts. Visions of Community is the Federation’s annual conference for parents and professionals caring for children with special needs.
  • The conference includes workshops on topics such as, IEPs and other special education issues, impact of trauma, self-care, health services and benefits, and transition planning.
  • Workshops are offered in English, Chinese, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, Somali, Spanish, and Vietnamese.
  • There will also be Virtual Exhibitors sharing information about their services that support families.
To register or for more information click here.
Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress 2022 Virtual Conference
March 26th & 27th, 2022
  • The 2022 Key-Note Speaker will be Sujeet Desai. Sujeet is a Musician, Motivational Speaker, First Individual with Down Syndrome to Play at Carnegie Hall. Sujeet has mastered more than 7 musical instruments – b-flat and bass clarinets, alto saxophone, violin, trumpet, piano and drums – and has received numerous awards for his musical accomplishments.
  • In addition to the keynote address, Sujeet will give an exclusive musical performance during the live launch ceremony.
  • The 2022 conference also features a broad array of live interactive workshops, specialty workshops, and a self-advocate track.
  • The conference also features dozens of sessions for people with Down syndrome, their family members, health care professionals and educators.
  • These sessions will feature the latest research findings and timely information from national and local experts on a range of topics related to Down syndrome.
Fees apply, registration is required to the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress https://mdscconference.org/ or contact 781-221-0024.
Family Dynamics: Who Will Be There to Worry When I’m Not?
From the Mass Sibling Support Network
Tuesday, March 22nd
7:00 – 8:15 pm
Special needs planning is an emotional process — and we tend to put it off. Every family is unique; therefore, planning for who will be there next to take care of your child requires important conversations.
  • Have you had discussions with family members?
  • Have you considered who would be a future guardian if you are not here?
  • Have you created an important contacts list of everything you do for your child so you will make it easier on others who need on these responsibilities?
We can move forward on this journey by listening and learning from others who have been there. In this workshop, Patric Barbieri, adult sibling of a person with a disability, Co-Director of ForeverParent, and retired Executive Director of LABBB Collaborative, will talk about his family experience and share what he has learned along the way, both personally and professionally.
Autism and Sibling Relationships(including related disabilities)
Free Parent/Guardian Training
Please join us for this evening of essential information and discussion.
Sue Loring, RN, former Director of HMEA’s Autism Resource Central, will be speaking about the impact on a family of having a child with autism and other related disabilities, and in particular, how that affects the siblings. With her experience both as a professional and the mother of a child on the spectrum, Sue brings her expertise and a great sense of humor to her interactions. She will share with us what she has learned in supporting the many people with whom she has worked and also draw from her own family experiences as she helps us to understand how positive relationships can be fostered. Additionally, Sue will touch on what neurotypical adult siblings need to know when parents are no longer able to provide care.
Date: Wednesday, March 23, 2022
Time: 6:30-8:00
via Webinar
(We will send you the Zoom link following registration)
To register for this workshop, R.S.V.P. by Monday, March 21st to
Please include your phone number and e-mail when registering.
“Moving Images” Virtual Disability Film Festival
Virtual Event, March 26th, 2022, with Vinfen of Cambridge, MA. Free and open to the public. When a Whisper Becomes a Roar: The Power of You.
  • Each year, Vinfen uses the power of film to raise awareness, foster important dialogues, and fight again the prejudice and discrimination often faced by people with mental health conditions and disabilities.
  • This year they will explore how one significant person or event can make a world of impact. When a whisper becomes a roar, a person’s passion to make a difference takes hold. Be the change you have always dreamed of – this is the power of you.
2022 Movies presented include:
  • Wake Up
  • The Definition of Insanity
  • Autism – The Sequel
To register or for more information visit https://vinfen.org/events/   or contact 617-441-1800 or info@vinfen.org
Self-Directed Services for Adults With Disabilities
Webinar, March 28th, 2022, with the Seven Hills Support Centers of Central Massachusetts. Pam Hickey, DDS Regional Self-direction Manager, will explain the concept and answers questions that you may have.
  • Self-Directed Services for Adults with Disabilities – A growing number of individuals who live and receive services in the community are choosing to self-direct their services.
  • The purpose of Self-direction is to expand individual choice and control over services and supports that they need to live in the community.
RSVPs are required or contact Pam Hickey, Regional Self-Direction Manager, 413.205.0871 or pamela.hickey@state.ma.us
“In A Different Key” Film Screening & Panel Discussion
Lexington High School, Lexington, MA, March 31st, 2022. The Lexington Special Education Parents (LexSEPTA / LexSEPAC), will present a film screening and panel Discussion of the film “In A Different Key”.
“In A Different Key” was a finalist for the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction. The story is a narrative history of autism, the story of parents fighting for their children ’s civil rights, doctors working to define autism, self-advocacy, and societal change.
  • In the 1940s, Donald Triplett of Forest, Mississippi, became the first child diagnosed with autism. Beginning with his family’s odyssey, In a Different Key tells the story of this often misunderstood condition, and of the civil rights battles waged by the families of those who have it.
  • Unfolding over decades, the film is a history of liberation from dank institutions, campaigning for rights to attend school, challenging expert opinion on what it means to have autism, and persuading society to accept those who are different.
  • The film also highlights the stories of the journeys of parents, physicians, lawyers, scientists, and individuals with autism who advocated for themselves and others.
For more information visit the Lexington Special Education Parents Advisory Council https://lexsepta.org/ and scroll down to events or contact presidents@lexsepta.org
Stay in touch!
Please share your own resources and suggestions! Send them to 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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