Weekly Update: May 13, 2022

Weekly Update

Ms. Girard’s students had a great time on their community trip

to Mahoney’s Garden Center!

Information From Cotting School
A Message from the Cotting PTO

It’s that time of year, for the

Annual Cotting Staff Appreciation Celebration!

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

1:30 pm in the Cotting Dining Room


Join the Cotting PTO for a special day of appreciation to recognize the 100+ dedicated, caring staff at Cotting who work hard to make a better future for our children. Each year, a Wednesday afternoon is set aside for Cotting staff to gather in the dining room, relax and be served delicious food sent in and served by parents, and enjoy messages of thanks from Cotting families.



Look at the list below and choose one or more!



  1. Sign up to write a personal thank you note to one or more Cotting staff member so that EVERY STAFF MEMBER RECEIVES A NOTE! These notes are displayed on the bulletin boards in the dining room and are the highlight of the event.
  2.  Sign up to send in food for the celebration on May 25.
  3.  Volunteer to come to Cotting to set up the buffet, serve food to staff or clean up.

Thank you – let’s make this celebration the best ever!

Transition Fair graphic.png

Transition Fair 2022

We are excited to share a wealth of information with you at our virtual Transition Fair 2022, including some great conversations caught on video. Our focus this year is on the various types of transitions that happen at–and beyond–Cotting School. You’ll hear from experts you know, including key members of Cotting’s staff, and several alumni family members. You’ll also find numerous resources from specific adult programs, state agencies and other types of supports.

Stay tuned for an announcement and link to Transition Fair 2022 coming soon to your inbox!

Yearbooks Now On Sale

The last day of school is just five weeks away, which means it’s school yearbook time! If you would like to purchase a 2021-2022 yearbook ($30), please complete this form and return it to Cotting (Attention: Carly Churchill). Payment by cash, check or Venmo (@cotting-school) is accepted. Please note that seniors (class of 2022) receive one yearbook free of charge.

Formulario de pedido del anuario 2021-2022

Prom is May 20th!

Information for families whose students are attending this year and an introduction to this Cotting tradition for all families.


Cotting’s prom is a formal, elegant evening for students in Upper School, Capstone and at HOPEhouse. The evening is filled with socializing, dancing and having fun while we are all dressed in formal attire.

This year’s theme is “A Night Under the Stars.” The prom committee will be transforming our dining room, along with a tent on the patio, into an elegant dance hall. Beverages (fruit and herb infused water, sparkling water and plain water) will be served throughout the evening. We will not be serving any food items. Each student will have a professional prom photo taken as they arrive (the digital proof will be sent to you the following week), and there will also be a fun photo booth with props for them to enjoy!

The prom will begin at 7pm. We kindly ask that parents drop students off with the faculty greeter and do not enter the prom. There will be a specified area available nearby if you would like to take a picture of your child before they go to the prom entrance area. Specific information about short term parking and dropping off will be shared closer to the time of the event. Parents are welcome to come pick up students as early as 9:00 pm, but no later than 9:30 pm. Parents are welcome to spend a few minutes at the venue during pick up.

If you have any questions, please direct them to Senior Class Advisors Mike Teuber (mteuber@cotting.org) and Marcie Garon (mgaron@cotting.org) or to Director of Post-Secondary Pathways Sejal Costa (scosta@cotting.org).

A New Addition to the Cotting Prom Tradition: The Parent/Guardian Social Gathering

We invite you to join us for an informal gathering the night of the Cotting prom. Enjoy light refreshments, lawn games and the chance to connect.

Please RSVP by Tuesday 5/17 if you plan to attend. Click HERE to RSVP.

Friday, May 20, 2022

7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Campus Center Lower Level

This event is open to all Cotting parents and guardians, regardless of their student’s age and whether or not they plan to attend the prom.

Click HERE for more info.

It’s Cotting Graduation Season!

Each spring, we celebrate the upcoming senior class in a number of ways!

Seniors have a big hand in planning the senior trip, gearing up for prom and attending a senior luncheon with President Irish, culminating in the opportunity to reflect on a busy year and educational career at Cotting School. This year, the seniors are going on a three-day, two-night trip to Cape Cod to relax, enjoy the scenery and share good times! These events help to prepare our seniors for their graduation on June 4.

NEW Info Session

Our next in-person info session (including a brief tour) will be Friday, 5/20 from 9:30-11 a.m.

Please feel free to share this information!

RSVP to Elizabeth Russell, 781-862-7323 ext. 114 or erussell@cotting.org.

Friday May 20 930-11 a.m.png

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

If you would like to attend virtually, you can watch our YouTube livestream HERE!

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

Community Resources & Events
From the Arc of the United States:

Tell Congress to Pass the SSI Savings Penalty Elimination Act!


The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program provides critical support for millions of people with disabilities and their families to be able to afford necessities like food and rent. But SSI has many rules that make it hard for people to save money and get out of poverty.


In fact, SSI has asset limits that have not been updated since 1989. Assets include money in bank accounts, property, and savings. Right now, people who get SSI can only have $2,000 in assets, and married couples can only have $3,000.


These asset limits make it impossible for people to save money for emergencies and force too many people with disabilities into poverty—but a new bill introduced in Congress could help change that!

Please contact your U.S. Senators and ask them to support people with disabilities and their families by co-sponsoring the bipartisan SSI Savings Penalty Elimination Act, which would raise SSI asset limits for the first time in over 30 years and significantly improve the lives of people with disabilities who receive SSI.

“My Disability Roadmap”

14 years ago, Including Samuel was released.

Now Samuel is ready to tell his story to the world in our new film!

See the film in theaters May 13-22:

Register for a free webinar screening, featuring a Q&A with Dan and Samuel!

Thursday, May 26, 3pm ET,  co-sponsored by the Maryland Coalition for Inclusive Education and WIHD

Wednesday, June 1, Noon ET, sponsored by the Westchester Institute for Human Development

Learn more about the film, the team, and our funders


2022 Summer Youth Leadership Programs

We are excited to announce that two upcoming summer youth leadership programs are accepting applications. Partners for Youth with Disabilities (PYD) will host both the 2022 Youth Leadership Forum (a virtual week-long conference) and Young Leaders Rising Program (a leadership series consisting of 4 modules).

YLF is a multi-day conference for youth and young adults with disabilities. Participants build leadership skills and leave better prepared for future employment, higher education and independent living. During the conference, YLF participants have the chance to engage in discussions and workshops on topics such as: self-advocacy, disability pride, assistive technology, independent living, employment skills, career exploration, higher education, legislative advocacy, the Disability Rights Movement and community participation.

YLF 2022 will take place ONLINE from June 25 -June 30, 2022. Note that this year, Peer Leaders will receive a small stipend for their work.

Additional details about each role and the YLF application are at: Youth Leadership Forum – Partners for Youth with Disabilities (pyd.org)

Information about Young Leaders Rising can be found here.

Special Needs Arts Program: Sing Along Chorus Spring Concert

Join us on Sunday, May 15th, at 3pm in Cary Hall in Lexington for the SNAP Spring concert, A Brighter Day! This event will feature a performance by the SNAP Sing Along Chorus. With special musical guest Cambridge Common Voices.


Cary Hall is located at 1605 Mass Ave in Lexington. The concert is free and open to the public. Donations are welcome. Click here more information.

Adult Family Care Program for Families with Special Needs

Webinar, May 16th, 2022, 2021, with Advocates of Framingham, MA. Join a live event to learn about Advocates Adult Family Care (AFC) program!

  • Hosted by Beth Gutierrez, LICSW, AFC Program Director, and Valerie Spain, AFC Community Outreach Manager.
  • This session will provide answers to frequently asked questions on topics such as supports offered, eligibility, the referral process, and more.
  • Viewers will also have the opportunity to ask questions.
  • ASL Interpreters have been requested.

Click here for more information or contact VSpain@Advocates.org

Minute Man ARC: Paving the Way to Age 22

To Whom Do I Turn (And When)?

Free Parent/Guardian Training

Please join us for this evening of essential information and discussion.


Presenters from the Department of Developmental Services will address the Chapter 688 referral process and its essential function in the transition from school to adult supports for those who have IDD and/or Autism. As part of the evening, they will speak about timelines, eligibility requirements, necessary paperwork, the transition plan, the role of the 688 coordinator and the ever-changing regulations. They will also cover the different adult service agencies and how they may interrelate.


Additionally, they will discuss the extra challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic as it has pertained to these transitions.


Please bring your questions to this informative evening.


Michelle Algeri has worked for the Department of Developmental services for over 22 years and served as Transition Coordinator for Central Middlesex for over half of that time. She loves working with transition ages students and families during this challenging and often stressful time when they are leaving the school system.


Danielle M Terrell recently joined DDS as a Transition Coordinator in the Central Middlesex area. Her professional experiences have served diverse age groups across settings from early intervention to geriatric care.


Date: Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Time: 6:30-7:30 p.m.

via Webinar

(We will send you the Zoom link following registration)


To register for this workshop, R.S.V.P. by Monday, May 16th to


Please include your phone number and e-mail when registering.

Dating on the Spectrum

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

Join a Discussion with presenters Brett Mulder, PsyD and Alyssa Travers, PhD

Dating on the Spectrum.

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.
  • Dr. Alyssa Milot Travers is a licensed psychologist at the Lurie Center and clinical instructor at Harvard Medical School.

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

Massachusetts Sibling Support Network Open House

Virtual Event, May 18, 2022, with the Massachusetts Sibling Support Network. For siblings 12 & Under and Caregivers. Help the MSSN design programming for young siblings by providing your feedback and ideas.

Young Siblings of People with Disabilities:

  • How would you like to get to know other siblings?
  • What topics are helpful to talk about?
  • How do you want to be supported?


  • What are your ideas on program logistics?
  • What is the best way for us to engage or support your child who has a sibling with a disability?
  • Stop by (virtually) between 5pm and 7pm on 5/16 to share your ideas.
  • You can stay for as long as you’d like.
  • Siblings and caregivers encouraged to attend.
  • Mary and Emily of the MSSN will be there to welcome you and hear your thoughts.

Register here or contact 617-807-0558

Insurance Coverage for Behavioral Health: Keeping Disabled Adults on a Parent’s Policy Past Age 26

Webinar, May 19th, 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 19th – Keeping Disabled Adults on a Parent’s Policy Past Age 26 – Free 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.

Click here to register or for more information or contact (800) 764-0200.

Demystifying Insurance Coverage for Youth with Autism & Behavioral Health Needs in Massachusetts

Webinar, May 24th, 2021, with Arc of Greater Haverhill-Newburyport. Are you a parent looking for treatment for your child with a behavioral health challenge, but are confused about where to start? Or maybe you are a case manager, family partner, or other helping professional who is assisting a family who is seeking in-home behavioral health care for their child, but aren’t sure if these services are covered by commercial insurance?


  • Overview of the new Behavioral Health for Children & Adolescents (BHCA) Services
  • How to determine eligibility and coverage
  • MassHealth and how it can help people with private insurance
  • The effect of BHCA on CBHI, Educational Services, etc.
  • Frequently asked questions & resources

About the Speaker: Amy Weinstock is the Director of the Autism Insurance Resource Center at the University of Massachusetts Medical School’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center, and an instructor in the medical school’s Department of Psychiatry.

To register for the webinar or for more information click here or contact Andrea Morris, Director of Family Supports, amorris@thearcofghn.org or 978-373-0552 x211.

AANE Webinar: Special Needs Trusts – Planning for Your Future

June 14, 2022, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm, Free


Register now and watch this webinar live or later on-demand here.

DESCRIPTION: PLAN of MA & RI is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that offers Special Needs Trusts to people of any age with any disability, helping to preserve their assets, protect their access to public benefits, and to live well. This presentation on Special Needs Trusts will explain what a Special Needs Trust is, why opening one is beneficial to you and your family, the different types of trusts that PLAN offers and how an ABLE account can be used with a Special Needs Trust.


  • Joan McGrath, Executive Director, PLAN of MA & RI,
  • Kathy Vitello, Director of Operations, PLAN of MA & RI
AANE Webinar: Driving with Autism – Five Things Your Driving School Won’t Teach You

June 21, 2022, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm – Fee $25

Register now and watch this webinar live or later on-demand here.

DESCRIPTION: Driving schools cover a wide range of topics, such as traffic laws, road signs and traffic signals, road safety rules and more. Driving lessons may start out in a parking lot, progress to local roads, then highways, and crowded city streets. Not a lot of research has been done on what’s the best way for autistic individuals to learn how to drive or to cope with some of the ongoing challenges of driving. In this webinar, we take more of a “grassroots” approach. We know what helps autistic individuals learn to drive and be successful at it, because we are those individuals.


Andrew Arboe: Founder of  Driving with Autism

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
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Cotting’s Viewbook: Cotting Forward!
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