Girls Social Group for ages 7-9 to begin

The Groden Center, Inc.
610 Manton Avenue
Providence, RI 02909
401-274-6310 FAX 401-421-1977

(or similar social needs)

Group will follow Michelle Garcia Winner’s “Superflex Superhero” social thinking curriculum, to address common
challenges, such as:

Ø Getting stuck on ideas
Ø Being competitive
Ø Being easily distracted
Ø Thinking of others
Ø Personal space

Group Leader: Kristen Petrella
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
WHEN: Tuesdays 4:00-5:30pm, 4/6/10 – 6/29/10 (12 sessions)
*No group 4/20/10 for April school vacation
WHERE: Community Support Services, 610 Manton Ave., Providence
FEES: $35.00 per session – Medicaid ONLY accepted.

To find out more or make a referral: Contact the CSS Referral and Service Coordinator, Maggie Powers, at 401-274-6310, ext. 1242. Space is limited.

WGBH announces a 10-part series on special education in Massachusetts

December 28, 2009 (updated 1/5/10)

Press Contact:
Karen Frascona

WGBH Radio announces 10-part series on special education in Massachusetts
Beginning Monday, January 11, reports air weekdays at 7:35am on 89.7 WGBH, Boston’s NPR Station for News and Culture and WCAI 90.1, 91.1 and 94.3 for the Cape and Islands

WGBH Radio announced today a 10-part special report Educating Everyone: The Struggles and Costs of Special Education in Massachusetts, airing weekdays beginning Monday, January 11 at 7:35am on 89.7 WGBH, Boston’s NPR Station for News and Culture, and WCAI 90.1, 91.1 and 94.3 for the Cape and Islands. A complete archive of each report will be available online at
Educating Everyone examines the challenges presented in educating special-needs children, following 10 different families in 10 different communities in Massachusetts as they tell their unique stories. Produced by 89.7 interim news director Steve Young, the series is an in-depth examination of the myriad of struggles faced by towns, school districts, parents, and most of all, the disabled children at the center of the issue.
The series is rooted in the passage of a federal law 35 years ago, designed to “mainstream” children with disabilities and “educate everyone.” While the law pledged funding for 40 percent of special education costs, that share has never reached higher than 18 percent. Viewed as one of the largest unfunded mandates in United States history, the mandate has become a burden on every school district in the country. In Massachusetts, individual towns bear nearly the full expense of Special Education, with costs rising to over $100,000 per child in some cases.
Increased needs and shrinking budgets compound the issue across the state. Over the past 20 years, behavioral and developmental disorders like Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and dyslexia have risen significantly. Autism, a rare disease in the 1970s, has seen a dramatic increase; cases of autism have surged from 1 in 10,000 20 years ago to 1 in 150 today. Coupled with a deepening recession that has deceased tax revenues, towns are unable to meet the needs of their communities.
Descriptions of each report follow:

“Starting Out”
Monday, January 11; Reporter: Sean Corcoran
The Johnsons of Marston Mills have a son with developmental disabilities. When he reached school age, they were unaware as to what to expect from the system. They soon got an education.

“Early Intervention”
Tuesday, January 12; Reporter: Cathy Corman
The Amarals of Dartmouth wondered why their infant son was slow to reach significant developmental milestones. Early intervention prior to attending school helped him to exceed expectations.

“New School”
Wednesday, January 13; Reporter: Sean Corcoran
Susan Danton couldn’t get the therapies and help she says her autistic son needed from the school system. So she started her own school, hiring staff and consultants and garnering the proper approvals. Now school is open, and her son is the first student.

“To Advocate or Not?”
Thursday, January 14; Reporter: Cathy Corman
Sometimes things can become heated when parents and school administrators sit down to formulate a plan for a special education student. Is requesting assistance from an educational advocate or a lawyer the right answer? What’s available for parents who need help advocating for their children?

“Endless Battle”
Friday, January 15; Reporter: Sean Corcoran
Jennifer is an assistant Special Education teacher in Harwich; however, despite being a part of the system, she can’t find help for her own child.

“Among the Elite”
Monday, January 18; Reporter: Cathy Corman
Public schools stretch to meet the needs of exceptionally bright students, while also going to great lengths to educate their most severely disabled students. What happens when a student is both exceptionally bright and severely disabled? One Roxbury family experienced this unique challenge.

“Appeals Court”
Tuesday, January 19: Reporter: Sean Corcoran
When parents and school districts find themselves in conflict over what services a child needs and deserves under the law, there is a process available to help reach agreement. The process can go all the way to a state hearing, though most often things are settled before then. In this report, a parent discusses the appeals process.

“Lost in Translation”
Wednesday, January 20: Reporter: Cathy Corman
Families seeking help for children with special educational needs often face significant obstacles. Those obstacles may become insurmountable when families don’t speak English and schools don’t have appropriate interpreting services. Parents originally from China and Puerto Rico describe their feelings of frustration and helplessness in this report.

Thursday, January 21: Reporter: Cathy Corman
The 3400 children born with Down Syndrome each year in the United States are different physically, socially, and intellectually. A generation ago, these children were routinely institutionalized. A family in Westford made sure their daughter was included in a mainstream school since kindergarten.

“Our Children, Our Challenge”
Friday, January 22: Reporter: Sean Corcoran
While parents face challenges compelling school districts to do what’s required of them under the law, districts struggle to fund special education. And that struggle has become more pronounced over the past two years as the state and local budget crises have deepened. School districts talk about the challenges they face as the try to do what’s right by children.


About WGBH
WGBH Boston is America’s preeminent public broadcaster, producing such award-winning PBS series as Masterpiece, Antiques Roadshow, Frontline, Nova, American Experience, Arthur, Curious George, and more than a dozen other prime-time, lifestyle, and children’s series. WGBH’s television channels include WGBH 2/HD and 44, and digital channels World and Create. Local TV productions that focus on the region’s diverse community include Greater Boston, Basic Black, and María Hinojosa: One-on-One. WGBH Radio serves listeners from Cape Cod to New Hampshire with WGBH 89.7, Boston’s NPR Station for News and Culture; 99.5 All Classical; WCAI for the Cape and Islands; WNCK on Nantucket; and the All-Classical WGBH HD channel. WGBH also produces the national radio news program The World. WGBH is a leading producer of online content and a pioneer in developing educational multimedia and new technologies that make media accessible for people with disabilities. Find more information at

Parent Survey = A $20 gift card = Helping others = Priceless


We need your feedback on.

A New Survey of Children’s Participation in Everyday Life

As a parent, you are the expert on your child’s health and development.
This is why we need your feedback about a new parent survey we have

For the past two years, we have been talking to parents and their children
with and without disabilities to understand the types of challenges and
supports they experience while supporting their child’s participation in the
home, school and community. We have used this information to design a short
survey to help researchers understand a child’s participation in everyday
life from the parent’s perspective.

We need your feedback about this survey to know if we are on the right

If I join this project, what will I do?
. Fill out a 15-20 minute survey that will be mailed to you.
. Complete a 60-minute interview (by phone or in-person) and give us your
feedback about the survey.

Do I qualify for this study?
. Yes, if you have a child/ children between 6 and 12 years old.
. We are looking for parents who have a child/ children with or without

What will I get if I join this study?
. A 20.00 Visa Gift Card will be mailed to you.

For more information, please contact:
Mary Khetani, MA, OTR/L & Ellen Kao, MA, OTR
Boston University, Participation & Environment Project (PEP)
Telephone: (617) 353-7492 / E-mail:

Upcoming Social Skills Group in Dartmouth

The Schwartz Center for Children will soon be launching the Winter semester of our Family University program, which aims to educate and support all of the members of families with children with special needs. One of the programs in Family University is a social skills group for elementary school children on the autism spectrum.

Social Skills 101 is an 8 week program, with twice weekly 2 hour long evening sessions held at the Schwartz Center for Children in Dartmouth. The sessions focus on teaching age appropriate social skills such as turn taking, peer awareness and sharing in a fun setting. The program is led by Schwartz Center staff and is comprised of a special education professional supervisor, speech language pathologist and special education classroom staff. Additional information can be found on our website:

The program will begin in late January, specific date still to be determined, but we are currently scheduling assessments for families that are interested in enrolling children in the group. Assessments will be a meeting with the child and family to determine appropriateness for the program. Please contact Kim Wilmot to schedule,, 508-996-3391 x248.

Please feel free to pass along this email to any families that might be interested in enrolling their child in a social skills group. Thank you kindly.

Best Regards,

Lauren Moreau
Special Projects Manager
Schwartz Center for Children
1 Posa Place
Dartmouth, MA 02747
508-996-3391 ext. 427

Bullying of Children with ASD from the MA Advocates for Children

Massachusetts Advocates for Children (MAC) is interested in learning more about the extent of bullying of children on the autism spectrum in Massachusetts. This information will help support the ASD anti-bullying bill, H. 3804 (An Act Addressing Bullying of Children with ASD). We are hoping you will respond to the questions below to help demonstrate the extent of the problem. The information and examples provided from families will be compiled and provided to legislators and other policy makers, supporting efforts to begin to address bullying of children with ASD through the IEP process in conjunction with school wide bullying prevention programs. For more information on the bill go to our website, or contact Johanne at

To access the Anti-Bully survey, please go to the following link

You can also fill out the attached survey and send it to Johanne Pino, Massachusetts Advocates for Children, 25 Kingston St. 2nd floor Boston MA 02111

New Emotions DVD for Kids with Autism & Asperger’s

Model Me Faces & Emotions?
New Release! Model Me Faces & Emotions™
Music Therapy Meets Video Modeling

The Model Me Faces & Emotions™ DVD demonstrates a variety of emotions and facial expressions through peer modeling. Geared toward children with Autism, Asperger Syndrome, NLD, and developmental delays, the video is narrated with songs by music therapist Rachel Rambach.
A visual teaching tool for parents, teachers, and therapists.
Run Time: Approx. 27 min.
Includes DVD plus free photo CD and lyrics.
Watch video samples

Topics Include:
– Happy
– Sad
– Afraid
– Tired
– Angry
– Excited
– Surprised
– Bored
– Calm
– Proud
– Love
– Shy


Model Me KidsAlso recently released:
Model Me Confidence ™
Models skills for building self-esteem including self-advocacy, choosing friends, positive self-talk, and more. Bonus DVD on bullying geared toward parents, schools, and therapists, featuring Asperger’s guru Nick Dubin.
*Featured in the Examiner
Watch video samples

Learn more about studies on the effectiveness of video modeling in teaching social skills to children with autism spectrum disorders.

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Social skills group to be offered in Attleboro 7-17 yrs.

Janet McTarnaghan from Community Autism Resources (CAR) will be holding an eight week session of the social skills group, Social-Lites, at The Arc of NBC’s Attleboro office. The group will be for  children between the ages of 7-17 years-old. Groups are generally kept to no more than six participants, age and gender are considered before formulating a group. Groups are formed by age and  compatibility of the children. If your child’s age group is selected, you will be contacted to set up a brief screening to insure compatibility of participants.  If you have any questions, or to request an application, please call Janet McTarnaghan at 508-379-0371 extension 12, or e-mail her at

Jan Randall
Resource Specialist, Community Autism Resources
~ Melissa @