Weekly Update: April 15, 2022

Weekly Update
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Students recently worked on functional money skills in Capstone.

Information From Cotting School

April is Sibling Month!

Each spring, Sibling Groups at Cotting School provides an opportunity for the brothers and sisters of our students to feel understood, find support by connecting with others who share their experiences and help them to feel more of a part of our community.

This year’s event was led by our mental health interns, Sofia DiPace and Rachel Moreno, on March 26. We provided a tour of Cotting, games and snacks, age-appropriate activities and an opportunity for participants to share their experiences and feelings about growing up with a sibling with special needs. For example, during the Three Wishes activity, group members shared wishes for themselves, their siblings and their families.

The following Three Wishes quotes show the depth and range of the sibling experience.

For myself: “To be successful and see as much of the world as possible”, “To play soccer”, “To be popular at school”

For my sibling: “Not to be so annoying”, “To be happy”, “To get better – but not too much”

For my family: “To continue to embrace my sibling’s needs and not let them get in the way of our needs”, “That everyone is healthy”, “To live their best lives”


For more information and resources for siblings and families, visit the Massachusetts Sibling Support Network at https://www.masiblingsupport.org/

The Todd Rossetti Memorial Fund

Todd Rossetti is remembered for his admiration of Boston sports teams, love of chocolate cake and, most of all, his adoration of his family. Todd did not speak, but he communicated and connected with all around him. His social nature and exuberant smile were on full display whenever he spent time with his siblings in the community.

This memorial fund is designed to support siblings with and without disabilities of any age to engage in a social or recreational activity in the community together, just like Todd and his siblings did. Examples include going out to eat, to an arcade, sports games, carnivals, the zoo and more!

Beneficiaries of the award are chosen on a rolling, quarterly basis. Apply Today!

Watch Cotting’s Performance of “Frozen” on YouTube!

Click here to see our Musical Theater Club’s fantastic recent production of Frozen, featuring Cotting students and staff members on the cast and crew.

Camp Season Is Coming!

Looking for camp experiences that take place before or after Cotting School’s extended summer session? If your child has had a great summer camp experience (day or overnight) that you can recommend to other Cotting parents, please send the name of the camp and a few words describing why it was great to Pam Varrin at pvarrin@cotting.org.

For general reference, here are some links to information about camps serving children and young adults with disabilities this summer:

Cotting School Family Support Information Session:
A Team to Carry On
Tuesday, May 3, 2022
6:00 pm on Zoom
Presented by: Alexandria Nadworny
Who will take your place when you can no longer do all that you do for your child? While no one can replace a parent, it helps to begin the process of building a Team to Carry On™ throughout every stage of the timeline.
To receive the Zoom meeting link, please RSVP to Pam Varrin at pvarrin@cotting.org.
NEW Info Sessions
Know someone who’d like to learn more about sending their child to Cotting School? We’ll be holding in-person info sessions (including a brief tour) from 9:30-11:00am on:
Please feel free to share this information! RSVP to Elizabeth Russell, 781-862-7323 ext. 114 or erussell@cotting.org.

Cotting Conversations

Puberty: Changes, Challenges and Opportunities

Monday, May 16, 9:30 am – 10:30 am in the Campus Center (an optional tour of Cotting campus will take place after the event)

Our panelists Include:

  • Dr. Pam Varrin, Family Support Coordinator at Cotting School (Discussion Moderator)
  • Rachel Vorkink, School Psychologist at Cotting School
  • Dr. Julia Berg, Development-Behavioral Pediatrics Fellow at Boston Children’s Hospital and Medical Fellow at Cotting School

Please RSVP to Amanda Balagur, Director of Marketing & Communications, at abalagur@cotting.org or 781-862-7323 ext. 205.

Community Resources & Events
Challenger Baseball 2022


The Norwood Area Challenger Baseball League welcomes children with disabilities ages seven and up from all over the region. No experience necessary. No limitations too great.

Children with intellectual, physical, emotional and behavioral challenges can all enjoy being part of a team in this relaxed and supportive environment. Coaching is provided by parents and volunteers. We welcome volunteers to assist the children on the field.

We are in desperate need of volunteers for Thursday evening practices.

Our volunteer corps is made up of siblings, family, friends and students seeking community service opportunities.

This is not a drop-off event. A parent/caregiver must stay with each player for the duration of the game/practice.

Cost is $50.00 (scholarships available)


To register or for more information, contact paula.bouchard@gmail.com

Sensory-Friendly Open Barnyard in Hingham

Hingham, MA, April 16th, 2022. This program offers a dedicated hour for families with disabilities, providing a reduced number of guests and quieter sensory friendly environment. Any family that would benefit from a limited capacity visit is welcome.

  • During the Weir River Farm Sensory-Friendly Open Barnyard series, meet ponies, llama, and potbellied pig. Interact with goats, sheep, chickens. and black and white belted Galloway cattle. On your way down to the barnyard, enjoy the StoryWalk™.
  • During this program, the barnyard is closed to the general public and headcount is limited. Pre-registration is required. Children 2 and under are free.
  • Resources available to prepare for your visit include Story Guide available online.
  • A special sensory kit and visual story guide are available in the barnyard.
  • Limited number of sensory kits and headphones available.

For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit https://thetrustees.org/event/74522/  or contact 781-740-7233 or weirriverfarm@thetrustees.org

Attainable Savings Accounts (ABLE) Workshop for Massachusetts Families

Webinar, April 21st, 2022, with Communitas of Wakefield.  ABLE Accounts (Achieving a Better Life Experience) are accounts individuals with disabilities can use to save and pay for qualified disability expenses.

  • Did you know you can save money for qualified disability expenses without jeopardizing your benefits? Attainable Savings Plans help people with disabilities open savings accounts without impacting their SSI or Medicaid benefits.
  • With an Attainable Savings Plan, individuals with disabilities and their families can save for qualified disability expenses while keeping benefits such as Supplemental Security Income and Medicaid.
  • Featuring Julie Shields-Rutyna from MEFA, Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority. MEFA is the state sponsor for the Attainable Savings Plan (ABLE Accounts) in Massachusetts.

To register contact Becky Mann at 781-587-2300 or by email at bmann@communitasma.org for the Zoom link

Transition Training for Families With Special Needs

Webinar, April 25th, 2022, with Seven Hill Family Support Center of Worcester. Join in as Rebecca Davis, Transition Projects Manager of the Federation for Children with Special Needs discusses these topics.

Transition Training for Families with Special Needs

  • This information session will provide an overview of the transition planning process for students ages 14 to 22 years.
  • Parents and professionals will learn strategies that can help students receive important transition services mandated by special education laws, needed to prepare youth for employment, independent living, and further education.
  • The training will also highlight that transition planning occur both in and out of school, and in the community.

To register or for more information click here or www.sevenhills.org or contact 508-796-1850

Massachusetts Commission for the Blind Virtual Town Hall

Webinar, April 27th, 2022, with the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB). Join the MCB’s Virtual Town Hall, focusing on “What’s New in Orientation & Mobility?” They will share information on our partnerships with the Department of Development Services (DDS) and The Carroll Center for the Blind.

Presentations from MCB program experts and consumers will address topics such as:

  • Navigation tools
  • Technology
  • Transportation
  • Street Crossing
  • ASL Interpreters and CART have been requested for this event.

To register or for more information click here. If you require an ADA accommodation, contact miracle.jones@mass.gov or 617-210-5054 at least 2 weeks prior to the event.

For any questions, email MCBinfo@mass.gov or call 1-800-392-6450

Deaf & Hard of Hearing Awareness Night Sith the WooSox

Worcester, MA, April 29th, 2022. The WooSox is hosting Deaf and Hard of Hearing Awareness Night at Polar Park. The players will wear specialty jersey with the team name in sign language.

  • The Worcester Red Sox will welcome the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community on Friday, April 29, 2022 at Polar Park with a special Deaf & Hard of Hearing Night game presentation.
  • The WooSox will have ASL interpreters live on the left and right field video boards during pregame and in between innings, closed captioning available through CaptionCast, Deaf and HoH T-Shirts, and more.
  • Purchased tickets package includes a Field Box seat, $2 of ballpark credit, and a Deaf and Hard of Hearing T-Shirt.
  • Ballpark credit is money that can be redeemed by scanning your ticket’s barcode at the register of any concession stand or in the main WooSox Team Store located next to Gate D on Madison St.
  • There will also be fireworks after the final out.

To purchase tickets or for more information click here or contact Ryan Nesbit at rnesbit@woosox.com.

Insurance Coverage for Behavioral Health: Insurance Options Through the Lifespan

Webinar, May 5th, 2022, with the Insurance Resource Center for Autism and Behavioral Health, UMASS Chan Medical School – Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center. Free – Lunch and Learn” Via Zoom, 2nd & 4th Thursdays of Each Month. 12:00 PM – 12:30 PM

May 5th – Insurance Options Through the LifespanFree to attend. Registration required.

  • Spanish translation available.
  • All presentations will be recorded and posted on the the Insurance Resource Center for Autism and Behavioral Health website.

Upcoming webinars

  • May 5th: Insurance Options Through the Lifespan
  • May 19th: Keeping Disabled Adults on a Parent’s Policy Past Age 26

To register or for more information click here or contact 800-764-0200.

Dating on the Spectrum

Webinar, May 18th, 2022, with the Lurie Center for Autism in Lexington

About the speakers:

  • Dr. Brett Mulder, Director of Teen and Adult Services at Aspire and Clinical Instructor at Harvard Medical School, is a clinical psychologist with experience directing programs and working with teens and adults on the autism spectrum. Also, Dr. Mulder holds appointments as Psychologist in the Department of Psychiatry and as Assistant in Pediatrics in the Department of Pediatrics at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Mulder is the principal investigator on three longitudinal studies evaluating program outcomes for teen and adult programs at Aspire.
  • Dr. Alyssa Milot Travers, PhD is a licensed psychologist at the Lurie Center and clinical instructor at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Milot joined the Lurie Center in September 2015, after completing a postdoctoral fellowship in neuropsychological and psychological assessment at the Learning and Emotional Assessment Program at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Milot provides neuropsychological evaluations and therapeutic services for children, adolescents, and adults with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental and learning disabilities.

Registration is required, scroll down to page to your desired event, or contact LurieCenter@partners.org or call: 781-860-1700

We wish you all a happy and healthy April vacation!

Stay in touch!

Please share your own resources and suggestions! Send them to pvarrin@cotting.org.

Helpful Links
Family Resources Dashboard
2021-2022 School Year Calendar
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!
Cotting’s Viewbook: Cotting Forward!
Cotting Admissions Information
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