Weekly Update: October 27, 2023

Weekly Update

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Mr. Teuber’s Capstone class had a great time exploring the

Charles River Braille Trail and sensory garden in Watertown!

Information From Cotting School
Trunk or Treat Cancelled
Unfortunately, due to the predicted weather for Sunday, the PTO has made the difficult decision to cancel Trunk or Treat. Thank you for your understanding!

Mark Your Calendar for Our Next PTO Meeting

Friday, November 3, 2023, 8:30-10 a.m.

In person in the Board Room and on Zoom.

A draft agenda and link for joining online will be sent by email prior to the meeting.

Please mark your calendars for upcoming PTO meetings, all on Friday mornings at 8:30 a.m.

  • November 3
  • December 1
  • January 5
  • February 2
  • March 1
  • April 5
  • May 3
  • June 7

Holiday Marketplace

Mark your calendars! The Holiday Marketplace is coming to Cotting School on December 4, 2023 and December 5, 2023! Cotting School’s PTO Holiday Marketplace is an opportunity for students to shop independently for holiday gifts for their families during the school day so they can bring home wrapped gifts for their loved ones (back by popular demand, including pet gifts, too!). Keep an eye out for volunteer opportunities coming soon.

Community Resources & Events

Planning a Life (PAL)

November 3, 2023 (virtual) and November 4, 2023 (Charlestown)

Planning a Life (PAL) is a two-day transition conference for parents, caregivers and professionals. Learn useful skills and information to help young people prepare for full, productive lives during and after high school. Topics include the transition planning process, transition goals on the IEP and encouraging independence and self-advocacy.

Learn more and Register for Planning a Life

Wings for Autism

Date: November 4, 2023

Where: Boston Logan Airport, Terminal E

Time: 9 a.m.


A free event!

Travel is stressful in general, but can be particularly stressful for families who have a child with special needs. Come take a “test run”. Gain the familiarity and confidence necessary to take future trips.


Your child will experience:

  • Entering the airport
  • The check-in process and checking bags
  • Security screening
  • Boarding the plane
  • Preparing for take-off
  • Exiting the plane

Registration is required.

Questions? Please contact wingsforautism@charlesrivercenter.org.

Tell Congress to Pass the Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Relief Act!

Exciting news! Congress introduced a new bill that would increase desperately needed funding for people with disabilities to live in their communities.

The HCBS Relief Act of 2023 was introduced in Congress by Senator Bob Casey (D-PA). The bill would provide two years of additional Medicaid funds to:

  • Improve access to HCBS by increasing direct care worker pay and benefits
  • Decrease the number of people on waiting lists for HCBS (there are currently over 650,000!)
  • Pay for assistive technologies, staffing and other costs that facilitate community integration

Take action now to support this important bill, which could help address the workforce crisis and decrease waiting lists for HCBS.

Why is the HCBS Relief Act needed?

Many people with disabilities are eligible for Medicaid long-term services and supports to help with everyday needs, such as eating, bathing, dressing and traveling to work, school or appointments. Most people want to receive these services in their own homes.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, states received extra funding for home and community-based services.

This helped providers retain workers and allowed states to provide HCBS to more people. This additional funding is ending, which means many people will lose access to HCBS. Families who need home care will need to make hard choices to care for their loved ones at home.

Send a message to your members of Congress in a few easy steps, and ask them to once again provide states with extra HCBS funding to help people with disabilities thrive in their own homes and communities!

Introduction to Paralympic Sports

Tufts University, Medford, November 5, 2023. Join Adaptive Sports New England and other adaptive sports organizations from throughout New England for a day full of fun, games and new experiences.

  • This day is designed to introduce Paralympic sports and skills to participants with a mobility or visual impairment.
  • Feel free to stop by at any time from 9 a.m. to noon and check out the sports that interest you..
  • There is no fee or age requirement.
  • Try these sports: curling, tennis, skiing, wheelchair lacrosse, wheelchair basketball, sled hockey, rowing, beep baseball, running, volt hockey, boccia and soccer.
  • Partner organizations: Spaulding Adaptive Sports Centers, Northeast Passage, Community Rowing Inc., Franciscan Children’s, South Coast Wheelchair Tennis Foundation, New England Disabled Sports, Boston Self Help Center, CP Soccer New England, Achilles International and Boston Fencing Club.

Registration is required  or contact Joe Walsh, Adaptive Sports New England, 617.690.9103 or joe.walsh@adaptivesportsne.org

Rock Climbing with Waypoint

Join Waypoint for a rock climbing skill-building series, where participants climb each Tuesday for one hour. The structure is a little different than other group programs–it is more of a one-on-one lesson with a volunteer instructor.



  • November 7, 2023
  • November 14, 2023
  • November 21, 2023


The rock climbing gym at Arsenal Yards in Watertown


Links to register and more information can be found here:

Friendsgiving with Autism Eats

Join us for an autism-friendly Friendsgiving Dinner:

  • November 14, 2023, 6-8 p.m. at the Mount Vernon Restaurant, 14 Broadway, Somerville
  • November 17, 2023, 6-8 p.m. at Michael’s Harborside, 1 Tournament Wharf, Newburyport

All behaviors are welcome.


Reservations are required

EPIC Youth Nights


EPIC is excited to announce the return of EPIC Youth Nights!


  • Third Thursday of every month
  • ​Time: 5-6:30 p.m.
  • Monthly sessions alternate between in-person and virtual. See schedule below.
  • Open to ALL youth with disabilities ages 14-26, current and past Service Warriors, as well as youth new to EPIC.

Youth Night themes change every month and are picked by the attendees. Previous themes have included: Game Night, Self-Advocacy Training, Karaoke Night and Social Media 101.


Click the link below to RSVP



Nov 16, 2023 – In-Person

Dec 21, 2023 – NO YOUTH NIGHT

Jan 18, 2024 – Virtual

Feb 15, 2024 – In-Person

March 15, 2024 – Virtual

April 18, 2024 – In-Person

May 16, 2024 – Virtual


In-Person Locations:

Boston – 89 South Street, Boston, MA 02111

Worcester – 203 Pakachoag Street, Auburn, MA 01501


Virtual Sessions will be on Zoom.

Zoom links will be sent after receiving your RSVP.

Webinars: Help With Problem Solving the Transition Process

The ARC of Massachusetts is offering webinars to help problem solve the transition process.

Virtual Navigation Help with ARC staff:

  • Have issues navigating services?
  • Want tips on Turning 22?
  • Where do you start?

12-1 p.m.

  • Nov 15
  • Dec 20

Registration is required.

Especially for Me Free Events

All-Access Evenings

Saturday, November 18, 2023, 5-8 p.m. Registration not yet open*

Evenings for Families with Deaf, Hard of Hearing and KODA Children

Saturday, December 2, 2023, 5-8 p.m.

Register Now

Sensory-Friendly Afternoons

Sensory-Friendly Afternoons are all about inclusion. During these events, the Discovery Museum is open to the general public, but group visits and birthday parties are not scheduled to avoid crowding and support access to exhibits. Try a fun hands-on activity and use your sense of touch to explore a variety of textures.

Bounce Out the Stigma

This camp is geared for children with autism, ADHD, epilepsy and emotional needs. Kids with learning disabilities and slow motor skill development along with social interaction issues will do well in our nurturing camp environment.

Three-Hour Basketball Clinic

Ages: 8-21 coed

Date: November 19, 2023

Time: 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Location: Winchester High School Gym

80 Skillings Road, Winchester, MA

Camp Fee: $75.00 per attendee. Each attendee receives a camp basketball and tee shirt.

Pre Registration is Required

2023-2024 School Vacation Programs

They’re back and registration is open!

December 26, 27 and 28, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

February 20, 21 and 22, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

April 16, 17 and 18, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

Multi-age program for ages 5-12. A great alternative for families who live a distance!

Reserve your spot(s) here! No deposit required.

Tuition: $400/week cash discount or $425/week by check/Venmo.

Drop-in available $140/morning.

SourceAmerica Employment Resource

SourceAmerica believes every person with a disability should have the opportunity to obtain employment. We work toward that goal every day when we team with the nonprofits in our network who employ people with disabilities.

SourceAmerica is an online resource for connecting disabled individuals with jobs. They see themselves as a connector between people with disabilities and employers looking to hire neurodivergent people. They have some great resources which some of our transition-aged students and their families may benefit from.

Have a great weekend!


Please share your own resources and questions with Pam Varrin at pvarrin@cotting.org.

Helpful Links
Family Resources Dashboard
2023-2024 School Year Calendar
Cotting Admissions Information
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: Reaching New Heights!
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