Local resources outside of the public schools, which families may not otherwise know about.

The Bridgewater-Raynham Special Education Parents Advisory Council (BR-SEPAC) will be holding a presentation for the 2016-2017 school year on Tuesday, April 11th at 6:00 pm titled, Learning About Communication and Social Strengths and Challenges in Autism Spectrum Disorders.  Kate Dansereau from Community Autism Resources will detail those challenges and strengths associated with communication and social issues affecting the lives of persons with Autism Spectrum Disorders (A.S.D.).  A variety of practical strategies will be discussed for supporting individuals in home, school and community settings. Please visit The Bridge Center website to register for child care. Registration ends Monday, April 3, 2017. ALL ARE WELCOME!!. The meeting will be held at The Bridge Center located at 470 Pine St., Bridgewater, MA.   Please register online in advance for free childcare at: http://www.thebridgectr.org

- - - -

Please join us for a very informative presentation by the Housing Consumer Education Center  

The Housing Consumer Education Center (HCEC) is the “front door” to Housing Solutions’ range of housing services. They serve nearly 1,000 area residents per month. These include tenants, homeless families, landlords, homebuyers, homeowners and other residents with housing related questions.  Their knowledgeable and experienced staff can assess a household’s situation and connect them to the appropriate resources and assistance, either within Housing Solutions or with another organization.  

Kathy will speak about searching for and securing affordable housing. She will cover the different types of  affordable housing - including section 8 and subsidized housing, the lengthy wait list process, the importance of communication regarding change of information or status, and clarification of the logistical process. She will also provide information on the documentation housing seekers are required to submit; how to address housing barriers; credit and financial information; maintaining a housing log; Fair Housing and the Massachusetts Lead Law.  

Presentation by Kathleen Facchini, Manager of the Housing Consumer Education Center Housing Solutions of Southeastern Massachusetts  

Wednesday, April 26, 8:30 am, Conference Center, North River School – 525 Beech St., Rockland 
SPACE IS LIMITED: Please RSVP by April 13 to ccady@nrcollab.org  
For questions please contact Carol Cady, 781 727-0686

- - - -

Anxiety flyer

- - - -

ADHD flyer

- - - -

vison impairment and blindness flyer

- - - -

Massachusetts Families Organizing For Change Workshops

A Full Life Ahead is a series of workshops designed for parents and caregivers as they plan for the future of their loved one with a disability. 

Many workshop topics are offered, including friendships, transition, employment, housing and financial planning. 

The workshops and resources provided will help lead to interdependent, full lives in the community for people with disabilities.

The series takes place in the five regions of MFOFC. Workshops may be presented in one of more of the MFOFC Regions: Central, Metro Boston, Northeast, Southeast and West. You are welcome to attend any workshop at any of these locations. 

Below is a listing of workshop topics for the current series. Click to each region's page for details on locations, dates and directions. 

New workshops and locations are being planned. To receive update notices on this series and other MFOFC events, please join our mailing list.

- - - -

Epilepsy Foundation New England (EFNE) leads the fight to overcome the challenges of living with epilepsy and to accelerate therapies to stop seizures, find cures, and save lives in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island.

- - - -

Sibshops Conference

We are so happy to announce that we are again hosting Don Meyer from Seattle, for a 2-day Sibshops Conference on Thursday/Friday, May 4/5, 2017, from 8-4pm at the JCC in Newton.  

Presented by Don Meyer, Director, Sibling Support Project, Seattle, WA

Sibshops reflect a belief that our communities need to acknowledge the difficulties faced by brothers and sisters of children with special needs, of all kinds, (medical, developmental, mental, physical) and provide them with opportunities to connect with each other in the same way that many parents of children with special needs have benefited from sharing their experiences with each other.

Open to interested participants across New England including adult siblings, parents, grandparents, and family members of children/teens as well as professionals, organizational staff who wish to facilitate a Sibshop in their local community, and social workers who work with families that have siblings as part of the family.  It is open to anyone who wants to learn more about the fascinating and important role of the sibling in a family dynamic.

Register here for the May 4/5, 2017 Sibshops Conference through eventbrite: http://bit.ly/JFCSSibshops2017

Offered by Jewish Family & Children's Service (JF&CS) in collaboration with the Massachusetts Sibling Support Network and thanks to generous funding from the Ruderman Family Foundation.

Lunch will be served on both days, onsite parking is available. This location is not T-accessible.  This location is MBTA RIDE accessible.  If you have a group from out of town who needs a ride from local station, please ask for our assistance to shuttle you.

Register here for the May 2017 Sibshops Conference through eventbrite: http://bit.ly/JFCSSibshops2017

The primary goal of this workshop is to train new Sibshops facilitators and administrators as well as adult siblings, service providers, and parents. During the two days of the Sibshop training, these participants will learn about sibs’ lifelong concerns, find out how to organize a local Sibshop, and experience what a Sibshop is as they join Don and local young brothers and sisters for a four-hour demonstration sibshop. Trainees who would like to become a Sibshops facilitator must attend both days of the Sibshops training. Upon completion of the two-day training, they may (upon registration) start their own local Sibshop.

The secondary goal of this workshop is to educate parents, service providers, and others about sibs’ ever-changing issues across the lifespan. This is an audience interested in sibling issues but not necessarily interested in how to run a Sibshop. This audience attends the first day of the two-day training.

Some tuition scholarships are available, please inquire.

Please watch this amazing YouTube video that gives a great overview of Sibshops, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ve-yGz5KzYs&feature=player_embedded

Register here for the May 2017 Sibshops Conference through eventbrite: http://bit.ly/JFCSSibshops2017

Questions, Comments, Feedback, contact: Doreen Cummings, JF&CS - dcummings@jfcsboston.org

- - - -

Walk In My Shoes - 27 Inspiring Stories From The USH Community. Edited by Charlotte J. DeWitt, and published by Merrimack Media on December 12, 2016.

Stoughton High School Speech Therapist, Karen Duke, wrote two chapters of this disability from her perspective as a parent of a child with Usher syndrome

- - - -

The Arc of the South Shore Cordially Invites You to Attend:

Social Security – Disability Programs

Presented By: Kristen Alberino, Metropolitan Public Affairs Specialist Social Security Administration

WHEN: Thursday February 9, 2017 WHERE: Thayer Public Library, Braintree, 3rd floor Auditorium
TIME: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm 

During the presentation Kristen will discuss the different Disability Programs Social Security administers. These include SSI, SSDI and Social Security benefits for disabled adult children. How to qualify for benefits and what Social Security offers for online services will also be discussed.

There will also be time for a question and answer session.

Please RSVP by Monday, February 6, 2017 to Katie Hanley atkhanley@arcsouthshore.org or 781.335.3023 ext. 2227.

- - - -

The Pilgrim Area Collaborative is pleased to host a community screening of the highly acclaimed documentary SCREENAGERS: Growing Up in the Digital Age.  Promoted by PBS, Dr. Oz, Good Morning America, Education Week and the New York Times,  SCREENAGERS probes into the vulnerable corners of family life, including the director's own, and depicts messy struggles, over social media, video games, academics and internet addiction. Through surprising insights from authors and brain scientists solutions emerge on how we can empower kids to best navigate the digital world.

Please join us for this “must see” event!  Purchase tickets by clicking here: https://impactflow.com/event/889

Or for more information visit our website at www.pilgrimac.org

- - - -

Hello The Bridge Center Families! Please join us and the Bridgewater Raynham Special Education Parents Advisory Council on January 24, 2017!

Presentation Topic: Meeting the Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Needs of Our Students
Presenter: Ryan Powers
Time: 6:00PM
Location: The Bridge Center
470 Pine Street
Bridgewater, MA 02324

Please visit The Bridge Center's website to register for free child care!
Registration for child care will end on Friday January 13, 2017!

Please do not hesitate to call with any questions!

Thank you and Happy New Year!

- - - -

Connecting Parents' Program Winter 2017 Newsletter
WEEKLY SUPPORT GROUPS FOR PARENTS: Connecting Parent’s support groups offer parents and caregivers a safe place to find the support, education, and resources necessary to manage the challenges and rewards of raising children with mental health concerns. Meetings are facilitated by professionals who have personal experience as a caregiver of a child with mental health concerns. These groups are funded by the Department of Mental Health, and are free and open to the public.

- - - -

LOOKING FOR SOMETHING TO DO AFTER SCHOOL? Join Us For Drums Alive® Ability Beats (All Ages, All Abilities). Drums Alive® is the original research based, unique fitness/wellness program that captures the essence of movement and rhythm and combines it with fun! Drums Alive® is full of powerful and motivating music and drumming rhythms that get feet stomping and bodies moving. The original whole brain and whole body program allows ALL individuals to participate without ever having picked up drum sticks before! See the flyer for specific program locations and details!

- - - -

May Institute and Bass Pro Shops are pleased to partner together to bring the autism community and those with other sensory disorders a fun and memorable holiday experience.

Sensitive Santa events are free, but advanced registration is required.

By attending, your family will:

Enjoy one of childhood’s favorite traditions in Bass Pro Shops’ annual Winter Wonderland before the store is open to the public. Wonderland will be partially modified to decrease the likelihood that a child will feel overwhelmed or overstimulated.

Register for a specific time to see Santa, so you do not have to worry about a long wait in line.

Be greeted by a patient Santa, who has experience with children and young adults with special needs.

Participate in sensory-friendly crafts and activities.

Leave with a complimentary photo of your child with Santa.

Sensitive Santa events will be held, weather permitting, on:
Saturday, December 10, 2016 from 8 am - 9 am
Saturday, December 17, 2016 from 8 am - 9 am
All children and young adults must be accompanied by an adult.

Click here to Register!

- - - -

The Bridge Center

Winter 2017 Programs are open for registration on our website, along with December Vacation Camps!  

December Vacation Recreation & Horse Camp Dates: December 27, 28, 29 & 30th only!!
Winter Recreation Session Dates: January 9 - March 26, 2017
Winter Equine Session Dates: January 3 - April 22, 2017

Be sure when registering for programs that you are in the year 2017!

December Vacation Camps do fill up fast!  We do anticipate taking campers off of the wait list, so we do encourage that you apply regardless!  

Questions regarding Registration and CampMinder, please call Laurie Kalivas, 508-697-7557 ext.17. Questions regarding Programs and Camps, please call Jackie Ross, 508-697-7557 ext. 12.

- - - -

House of Possibilities Fall 2016 Newsletter

- - - -

Preparing Your High School Student - 
It's Never Too Early to Start

Join presenters Jane Thierfeld Brown, Ed.D. and Lorraine Wolf, Ph.D. as they discuss the key steps needed for success after high school for students with Asperger Syndrome and related profiles.

Topics include:

Assessing readiness for post-secondary education.

Working with your teen/young adult to develop skills needed for success in collge and beyond, including independence, self-regulation, and organizational skills.

How to decide which college environments might be a good match for your teen.

The insider's view of the accommodations process in college: laws, strategies parents and teens need to know, and how to work with college personnel to foster success.

Saturday, November 5, 2016
AANE Office, 51 Water Street, Suite 206, Watertown, MA
9:00am - 2:00pm
$75 for first registrant
$60 Spouse/Partner/Teen*/Other
*Teens must be accompanied by a registered parent

The registration fee includes morning coffee/pastry and a light deli lunch (sorry, we cannot accommodate dietary restrictions). 

More information

- - - -

Massachusetts Families Organizing for Change has many opportunities including conferences, a leadership series, workshops and more.

- - - -

Santa will be at South Shore Plaza in Braintree on Sunday, December 4, 2016. Caring Santa registration is FREE.

Caring Santa provides a subdued and welcoming environment for children with special needs and their families.  This event fills up FAST. The Braintree Mall allows for 5 families during each 15 minute time slot. The event starts at 8:30am and ends at 10:30am, so it is outside the mall hours which helps to reduce the noise and activity in the mall that may bother your child.  

This is a great way to get a family picture with Santa that you will have forever! Please register here:


- - - -

A Social Skills Program in Brockton For Children ages 5 to 9

This is a program designed to promote social interactions, communication skills and emotional intelligence while helping children learn skills related to playing games and interacting with others with the use of drama and play therapy. It is geared to the needs of children with attention challenges or mild developmental concern, who might benefit from a smaller class size.

Meets from 11:30 to 12:15
Dates:  9/18, 9/25, 10/9, 10/16, 10/23, 10/30, 11/6, 11/13, 11/20, 12/4, 12/11
Cost: $275 Scholarships available to those in need!
Location:  801 Pleasant Street, Brockton, MA

For information about this program or to register please contact Janis Robbins at 617-558-6507 or jrobbins@jccgb.org

- - - -

CIRCLE-T (for typical sibs)

This exciting, unique program on the South Shore supports children whose siblings have a significant special need. 

And it’s FREE!

WHO: Children, six to fourteen years, come with their parent, enjoy a pizza supper, and maybe, for the first time, join other ‘typical sibs’ who face similar joys and challenges of living with a sibling with special needs.

WHEN:  (meets every other week for 8 weeks, October-Jan)

WHERE: House of Prayer, Hingham (Rte 228)

HOW: It’s easy to refer a student and his/her parent to CIRCLE-T.  You, your SEPAC president OR the interested parent can simply sends an email to: info@joannasplace.org 

For more details or questions, feel free to call me at 617.921.4008.

Space is limited so please, forward this to your SEPAC president and interested families today! You will have helped a child develop and master coping skills that will serve him/her for a lifetime!  Thank you!

Maria Trozzi, Executive Director, Joanna’s Place
Co-founder and former Director, Good Grief Program
Boston Medical Center
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, emeritus, 
B.U. School of Medicine
Author, Talking with Children About Loss

- - - -

The Brockton Area Arc is excited to announce the return of Kidz Planet Gym. Children with special needs ages 4 to 12 are invited to a fun filled hour of exercise. Children will tumble, jump, climb, and burn off some energy. The gym has trampolines, a foam pit, a rock climbing wall, and much more. The Arc will have a staff member on site during the class. The class will run for four weeks on Tuesday nightsfrom 5:00 to 6:00 p.m.  For this program to run, children need to be committed to attending the four weeks. The full program fee will be due on the first day of class. The total program cost is $40 per child.

Where: Kidz Planet Gym in Easton
(58 Norfolk Avenue, South Easton, MA 02375)
When: Tuesdays, September 20th, 27th, October 4th & 11th 
Time: 5:00-6:00 p.m.
Cost: $40 for the program

To register or for more information contact:
Christina Grande
508-583-8030 EXT 209

- - - -

Sensory Friendly movies, including Star Wars, for Guests & Families Living with Autism or Other Special Needs. AMC is proud to partner with the Autism Society to bring you unique movie showings where you can feel free to be you! We turn the lights up, and turn the sound down, so you can get up, dance, walk, shout or sing!