Massachusetts Special Needs Workshops   Autism  Asperger Mental Health issues Children & Teens
Autism Spectrum
Camps & Camp Fairs
Support Groups/SEPACs
Mental Health
Learning Disabilities
Assistive Technology
Financial/ Legal
Recreation for Autism Aspergers and Disabilities in Boston and Massachusetts
Western Mass

Parents of Children with Chronic or Complex Medical Needs - We Need Your Feedback
Guest blogger - Carol Nash of Franciscan Hospital for Children

Do you…

Feel challenged trying to manage your child’s care?
Spend hours coordinating care and insurance issues?
Feel stressed or isolated?

Then your voice is needed in our Franciscan Helps Families Connect Parent Project free online survey.

All participants will have six opportunities to win a $100 Amazon gift card – when you enroll and each time you complete a survey! Go to www.franciscanhospital.org/FHFC to enroll or visit the Support and SEPACs page for more information.

Your anonymous answers to five simple, online surveys over the next 15 months will direct the initiatives to  find solutions to  these healthcare challenges.

Help us help you make a difference!

Carol Nash is the Director of Research Operations, for our sponsor Franciscan Hospital for Children, Brighton, MA

New Year New Boss

   Our new governor Charlie Baker has barely stepped into his position and monetary challenges already await. He says a $765 million budget deficit must be dealt with very soon.
  Governor Baker has already stated there is an immediate hiring freeze for state employees. Those of us who have traveled down this
road before know what’s coming next. It will be chopping block time, and that often means social programs and services go first.
  I’m asking Governor Baker to not eviscerate programs such as DDS and DMH. They have already taken hard cuts over the past years, and it was just recently that funds to help the disabled have been brought back to previous levels.
  Keep these programs funded at their current levels. The people they help very lives depend on it.
Sharon Marie

Is your school obeying the law?
The Massachusetts DOE’s website has a page called “Program Quality Assurance Services.”
   This lists which public school districts are up for review to see who is or is not in compliance with education requirements – including Special Education laws.
  For example, in 2015 a few of the school districts up for review include:

 West Springfield 
  Find out when your school district was reviewed, or when their next scheduled review will take place, on the DOE’s Coordinate Program Review Page at http://bit.ly/1rLhyyX 
  I hope this page is a useful tool to help ensure that your child is receiving the best special education supports available in your school district.  

Sharon Marie


More Blogs

Massachusetts' Disability Events 

 Special Needs Camp Fairs - February 2015:  More programs will be added in the next few weeks. Meanwhile, visit our Camps Page 2015   
 Special Needs Recreation for all ages and abilities in Greater Massachusetts can be found on our Recreation Page. Visit our Event Submission page to learn if your event is suitable.

 "Promises to Keep, Miles to Go" Disability Legislative Reception: March 9, 2015, State House, Boston. People with disabilities, family members, advocates, state agencies and legislators may join The Arc of Massachusetts and the MDDC to meet about legislative priorities. There will be local disability exhibitors, speakers, awards, “call-to-action", and visits with your legislators (appointments are required). To register visit the Arc of Massachusetts event page or contact 781-891-6270 x101 rutledge@arcmass.org

 Families with a Chronic Complex Medical Condition: Share your voice and concerns about Care Coordination Challenges, Home Healthcare Issues, Insurance Obstacles, Caregiver Burnout and more with the Franciscan Helps Families Connect Parent Project. This family survey includes gift certificates and more. Please visit the Franciscan sponsor link to see if your family qualifies.

 "Visions of Community” Special-Needs Conference: March 7, 2015, Boston. Workshops will cover early childhood, special education, transition to adult life, special healthcare needs, challenging behaviors, mental health, inclusion, autism, friendships, assistive technology, stress management, etc. There will be a vendor expo with local organizations and resources. For more information visit the Visions of Community Conference 2015 page or contact 617-236-7210, ext 198 or email to voc2015@fcsn.org


 "Focus” on Vision Impairment & Blindness Conference: March 11, 2015, Norwood. “Meeting the Needs of Individuals with Intellectual Disability & Vision Loss”. Keynote address will be  “Seeing Autism Clearly”, with Dr. Susan L. Connors of MGH and Mass General Hospital for Children and the MGH Lurie Center in Lexington. For workshops topics and signup information, visit the State of Massachusetts Training and Resources page or contact Lisa.DiBonaventura@state.ma.us or 508-384-5539

 "The World is Ours!" Down Syndrome Conference: March 28th, 2015, Worcester. For people with Down syndrome, family members, health care professionals and educators. Workshops cover topics for families with young children, through adulthood, complex medical needs, and autism. Information is also for educators, medical professionals, and siblings. For more information visit The Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress's conference page or contact 781- 221-0024

 Special Education Surrogate Parent Training 2015: Amherst, Boston, Marshfield, Northhampton, Wareham:  Federation for Children with Special Needs is recruiting Special Education Surrogate Parents (SESP) for a child in your area who needs a voice in the classroom.
SESPs make special education decisions for students in Massachusetts whose parents are unknown or unavailable. This training helps potential volunteers learn more about what is involved in becoming an SESP, about the students eligible for SESPs,  and the impact of trauma on their lives. For more cities, dates or information, visit the FCSN Events Page or contact hstallkamp@fcsn.org at 671-399-8342

 Inclusive Camps & Activities in Massachusetts for 2015:  From Ayer to Boston to Plymouth, Sturbridge, Worcester and more, camps and programs to help your special child stay busy, engaged and included by enjoying movies, sports, recreation, outings and social activities. See the Camp Page for listings. 

 Boston Museum of Science Disability Prototype Testers: The Boston Museum of Science is seeking visitors with all disabilities to test new exhibit prototypes, explore the museum, and give feedback to help improve their accessibility.
  Testing includes free admission to exhibit halls for the day and free parking in the Museum's garage. To participate and give the Museum feedback fill out their Boston Museum of Science on line form or contact 617-589-4438 or siacovelli@mos.org

Sensory Friendly Films are now on the Recreation Page.

 Find more Massachusetts Recreation on our Recreation Page

SPED Child and Teen is not responsible for any listed events' contents, or changes in content, times, dates, fees, or speakers. Please check with event host to verify details.

SPED Child and Teen does not endorse any event, listing or product on this site, and all content is for information purposes only.
Teens and Young Adults 

 Winchester & Medford Special Education Transition Fair. Free, March 12th, 2015, 6 - 8 p.m. Medford High Library. Organizations include:
Boston Center for Independent Living (BCIL)
BU Project Team, Easter Seals of Massachusetts
• Autism Housing Pathways, Mass DDS/MRC, more
Contact the Winchester Transition Fair Event page or jcarr@winchesterps.org 781-721-7020 x4126

 Transition & Adult Services Resource Fair: April 10, 2015, 12 p.m. - 4 p.m., Franciscan Hospital for Children's Kennedy Day School, Brighton. Families with children with special needs will find resources and agencies that provide transitional services  and support. For more information contact kbigelow@fhfc.org or 617-254-3000 ext 1581.

 Transition Resource Fair: March 25th, 2015, Northhampton is on the Western Massachusetts page.

 Skills Training Class for Ages 22+: Through April 7, 2015, Wakefield. Class topics include:
Eating healthy, Money management skills
Social in the community, Make plans with friends
Decision making, Travel training, Safety skills
For a
dults with Intellectual Disabilities who live at home with their family in the greater Wakefield area and in the DDS. Fees apply, scholarships available. To register contact 781-587-2316 or pthompson@theeemarc.org

 Planning A Life - Making the Most Out of High School: February 27th & 28th, 2015, Seven Hills, Worcester. For parents of students with disabilities aged 14 to 21, educators and professionals. Topics: VISION Development, Self Advocacy, Self Determination  • Employment, Housing and Postsecondary Options  • Transition Planning Form and Assessments  • Community Connections and more.
  Fees apply. For more conference information contact tmclaugh@fcsn.org 617.236.7210 - ext 336 or registration info at 800-331-0688 or wmorton@fcsn.org or visit www.fcsn.org.

  "Transition Talks" Parent Groups: February 19th, Fitchburg, Seven Hills Family Support Center. Free and open to the public. Transition Specialist Robin Foley will discuss the special needs journey and transition for ages 14-22. Topics include student visions, post secondary opportunities, etc. For the Fitchburg Support Center contact ssnow@sevenhills.org or 978-602-8696. For the Sturbridge Seven Hills Center's times and dates call 508-796-1954.

 EPIC Service Warriors Community Service & Education for Youth with Disabilities:  A community service and education program for youth with disabilities between the ages of 16-23 where members complete monthly community service projects as a team in the City of Boston and surrounding areas. Includes a minimum of 11 community service and 5 leadership development workshops.  Fees apply, a limited number of scholarships available. For more information contact The Epic Service Warriors or 781-388-4340 info@epicleaders.org

 Self Advocacy Documentary Looking for Massachusetts Youth ages 14 - 22: In collaboration with Emerson College, The Spotlight Program has an opportunity for teens and young adults ages 14-22 to participate in a self-advocacy documentary project at a reduced rate. They are currently enrolling for the Winter semester beginning January 10th. For more information visit The Spotlight Program or Families can also visit www.spotlightprogram.com  for more information or contact 978-624-2310

 ImprovBoston Disability Scholarship: The No Limits Media and ImprovBoston scholarship is to help a person with disabilities learn improvisational comedy. People with disabilities will perform alongside improvisers of every type. Eligibility requirements must be met:
• You must be at least eighteen 18 years old
• You must be able to engage productively in collaboration with others
• Only complete applications will be considered.
For more information contact eguadette@fcsn.org or visit ImproveBoston Disability Scholarship page.

 Planning A Life 2015- Making the Most Out of High School: Boston, Holyoke  and Worcester. For parents of students with disabilities aged 14 to 21, educators and other professionals. Topics:
 VISION Development, Self Advocacy/Self Determination
•  Employment, Housing and Postsecondary Options
•  Transition Planning Form, Transition Assessments
•  Community Connections and more…

•  Boston TBA

 February 27/28, 2015 Seven Hills, Worcester
 March 27/28, 2015 Holyoke
Fees apply. Families scholarships available through the Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council (MDDC) at 617-770-7676 . For more conference information contact tmclaugh@fcsn.org 617.236.7210 - ext 336 or registration info at 800-331-0688 or wmorton@fcsn.org or visit www.fcsn.org

 NEXT STEP: College Success & Independent Living program: Boston. For students, grades 9-12, who present with a social language deficit, Aspergers Syndrome, NLF, or related learning differences, and are serious about attending college after high school.
NEXT STEP gives students a chance to hone executive functioning, problem solving, and self-advocacy skills that are necessary for living with other students on a college campus. For more information, contact
nextstep@jbcc.harvard.edu or 617-278-4119

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