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Autism in Connecticut

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Summer 2007 Postings!

Welcome to the Autism in Connecticut Blog!

Due to the enormous growth in listings for the Autism in Connecticut Blog, we've made some changes that we hope will make this resource more helpful and easier to navigate. The blog is now broken down into THREE sections. The first section, Autism Announcements, continues to be a listing of annoucements of research projects, multi-date classes and workshops and other items of interest. The second section is a listing of support groups (both specifically for autism spectrum disorders and those that are cross disability). Rather than a separate posting of each date that the group meets on the calendar of events, this section of the blog will provide a listing for ongoing groups that meet regularly (i.e. the first Monday, the third Thursday, etc) each month. Individual meetings dates that are events or speakers will continue to be listed in addition on the calendar of events. The third section will remain the Calendar of Events with programs, workshops, legislative hearings, speakers, conferences, etc. So feel free to scroll down to the listing section that is of interest to you. Check out the links to other resources here in Connecticut. Remember, the Autism in Connecticut blog is a resource for parents and professionals to find out what is happening around the state with relevance to autism spectrum disorders and a place to post your information.

Send your information to autismblogger@sbcglobal.net.

Sponsored by the Autism Society of Connecticut.
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New Entries in Green
Please send all information to autismblogger@sbcglobal.net
Include contact information

New links! Check out the links on the sidebar to the CT Topic Brief on Extended School Year Services (ESY) and a letter from a former bureau chief from 2002 discussing qualifications for ESY. Also added, a link to the 2007 Directory of Summer Programs and Camps for Children with Exceptional Disabilities.

Summer Social Skills Programs. Offered by SuperKids in Ridgefield, Norwalk and Orange. Limited openings. Two day and Four day a week programs. 1-1/2 hours from June 25 until July 26 for children 5-14. Call SuperKids at 203-431-9250, e-mail superkids1@sbcglobal.net or visit the website at www.superkids-socialskills.com.

Friendship Skill Groups for Students:
Summer program meets twice weekly, early evenings. July 5 - August 17th. For kids between 8-18 with developed language skills. Young adult groups for ages 18-29. Call Catherine Hogam, MSW, LCSW at 203-877-8449, 203-605-8727 or e-mail hoganca@mac.com for more information and registration.

New School Opening. Winston Preparatory School,
a private school for students with various learning disabilities, grades 6-12, is pleased to announce its September 2007 opening at 57 West Rocks Road, Norwalk. Upcoming open house sessions to be held on June 12, 20, July 11 and 25 from 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Please RSVP to Monica Shah at 646-638-2705x642 or mshah@winstonprep.edu. (Adults/parents only, please!)

Bureau Blogs:
Have you checked out the Bureau Blog from the State Department of Education? Go to http://www.sde.ct.gov/sde/cwp/view.asp?a=2678&Q=320730#Blogs or use the sidebar link. In the May blog, there is an update on the revisions to the state special education regulations, information about a parent survey for specific towns, information on the state performance plan and lots more.

Interactive Autism Network launched.
The Kennedy Krieger Institute recently launched the first national online autism registry. The Interactive Autism Network (IAN) is desgined to promoste autism research by linking researchers and families. Anyone impacted by an Autism Spectrum Disorder can join IAN's online community to stay informed about autism research, provide feedback, share information and become part of an important National research effrt. For more information go to www.ianproject.org.

CT-KASA is an organization for youth, run by youth.
We help kids with disabilities, their siblings and peers, learn how to be self advocates through information and support. Anyone between the ages of 13 and 24 is welcome. For more information, go to www.ctkasa.org or call 860-297-4316.

announces more summer programming! Including Social Skills Groups (ages 7-10); Sibshops (ages 7-12); Social Skills Playgroups (ages 2-4); Talk to the Animals (ages 3-6); Dance and Movement (ages 4-8). Ongoing programs include Learn, Listen and Lunch, a noon-time lecture series, Parent Chat, a parent/caretaker group and Mom's Night Out and Parent Coaching (private one hour sessions). All held at KIDSTEPS Family and Children's Center, 51 Boston Post Rd., Madison. Call 203-218-3692 for registration and more information.

Summer Groups at Therapy Works: Social Skills Groups, Handwriting Groups, Yoga. Old Lyme, 19 Halls Road, Suite 201. For more information call Shelley at 860-434-5524.

Preschool Social Skills Training: Ages 3-6. Ongoing morning and afternoon sessions. At Center Congregational Church, 11 Center Streret, Manchester. Offered by Autism & Behavior Consulting, Inc., Marguerite Widdoes. Data collction by session provided for targeted play and social interaction, quarterly progress reports, evidenced based intervention utilized to teach play scripts and social skills, sessions designed by a BCBA, Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Call 860-331-1689, e-mail marguertinewiddoes@hotmail.com for further information and registration.

Puzzled Sibs: a support group for brothers and sisters of siblings with autism. Meet monthly to discuss feelings, know we are not alone and have a good time. Open to ages 6-12. 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. at the South Windsor Community Center, 150 Nevers Road, South Windsor (across from South Windsor High School). Meeting dates are as follows: Thurs, May 31, June 28, July 26, Aug 30, Sept 27, Oct 25, Nov 29 and Dec. 27. Contact Information: Melissa Dumont at 860-214-2903 or puzzled_sibs@cox.net.

Research Project: Does your son/daughter have autism or an autism spectrum disorders? Was your child diagnosed within the last two years? Would you be willing to share your experiences? Research project looking at parent's experiences throughout the process leading to diagnosis and experiences in getting services. Interviews will be held at your convenience. Contact Dr. Dumont-Mathieu at 860-545-8944 for information and to sign up.

Research Project: Looking for Families Coping with Autism. Do you have a child with autism aged 6-12? Study being conducted looking at how families with a school aged child with autism cope. Survey will be sent in the mail. $10 payment after survey is returnerd. Particular interest in recruiting families who will provide ethnic, racial, economic and religious diversity to the study. Affiliated with the Clinical Graduate Program of the Psychology Department at UMASS, Boston. For more information or to participate, contact Meg Manning at margaret.manning001@umb.edu or call 617-287-6318.

Sibling Support Group starting! For brothers and sisters of children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorders. Will meet monthly on the third Friday from 4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m., at Coastal Counseling Associates, LLC, 149 Durham Road, Suite 31, Madison. Contact Laura Kasparow, LCSW, Facilitator at 203-245-1956 for registration, fees and more information.

Valley Shore YMCA announces Girls Being Girls for girls aged 9-13 with an ASD. The program is designed as a social group that will allow the girls an opportunity to socialize with others who have similar challenges, form friendships, learn and model appropriate social behavior and discuss issues related to health and welleness and the onset of puberty in a safe and nurturing environment. Starts in April. Sponsored by the Valley Shore YMCA and Westbrook Youth and Family Services. Contact Richard Ward, Program Development Director at 860-399-9622.

DMR Pilot Program. Applications still being accepted. New towns being added. Contact Kathryn Reddington, DMR Autism Coordinator at 860-418-6026 or go to www.dmr.state.ct.us/AutismPilot/index.htm for more information.

Please send all information on ongoing groups to autismblogger@sbcglobal.net
Include contact information

Can't find a group near you? Interested in starting a group? Send a posting with your inquiry to autismblogger@sbcglobal.netand include contact information. Looking for a group? Check the inquiries and see if someone near you is interested in starting a group and contact them directly. If you need help in starting a group,contact the Autism Society of Connecticut at asconn@sbcglobal.net.

Many groups do not meet over the summer months. Please call ahead of time to check on summer dates.


New Group! Families United for Children's Mental Health presents a support group kick-off in Colchester. For families of children with behavioral, emotional or mental health needs. Wed. June 27, 2007 at Families United for Children's Mental Health, 32 Norwich Ave., Colchester. 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Dinner provided. For more information or to RSVP, call Rachel Smolenski at 860-434-4890 x311.

Social connection wanted. Looking for families/children in the Walllingford/Durham area. My son and I would like to make some friends who "get it". He is 11 and interests include NY Yankees (and baseball generally), Harry Potter and NASCAR. E-mail landscape27@comcast.net.

Ongoing Groups:

First Sunday of the month: Rhythms of Grace: monthly church services for children with special needs and their families/caregivers. Trinity Episcopal Church, Torrington from 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. All are welcome. Contact Rev. Audrey Scanlan at ascanlan01@yahoo.com for more information.

First Monday of the month: Wilton Parent Advocacy Team (WPAT) 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon. For Wilton parents only. Forum for parents of children with special needs in Wilton who advocate to improve pograms within the school and community. At the Greens at Canondale, 435 Danbury Road, Wilton, RSVP to wiltonspedgroup@aol.com.

First Monday of the month: Fairfield County Autism Support Group. 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Frenchtown Elementary School, 30 Frenchtown Road, Trumbull. Sponsored by ASRC. Call Lois Rosenwald at 203-265-7717 for more information.

Every Tuesday morning: Parent Chat: A shoreline support group for families with special needs children birth - eight. 9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. Kidsteps - SARAH, Inc., 51 Boston Post Road, Unit 9, Madison. Children invited! Call Marian Roy, Family Support coordinator - Group Facilitator for registration information at 203-318-3682.

First Tuesday of the month: Pizza moms in Darien! 7:30 p.m. Post Corner Pizza in Darien. www.geocities.com/nanette618/pizzemoms.html. Pizza moms is a group of moms who have children with special needs in the Fairfield County arae. We get together informally and have pizza, salad and beer in Darien. Everyone is welcome. This is a place where moms can talk with other moms who are having similar experiences. If you are interested, contact Nanette Jordan at nanette618@yhoo.com.

Every Wednesday, Parent/Child Playgroup for ages 2-4, 9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m., sponsored by Kidsteps, 51 Boston Post Road, Unit 9, Madison. Parent and child will have an opportunity to be involved in a variety of activities to increase large and small motor skills, experiment with a variety of materials and increase positive peer interactions. Parents share ideas and support activities. Facilitated by a special education teacher and counselor. Call Kidsteps at 203-318-3692 for more information.

First Thursday of the month: Families united Network - Northeast. A family support and advocacy group. 9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. United Services, Wauregan. Call Families United at 860-537-6125 and ask for Lorna.

First Thursday of the month: Family Support and Networking Group for Parents Raising Children who have Disabilities. Sponsored by the Southwest Family Support Network and the Family Center at St. Vincent's Special Needs Services. 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. at St Vincent's Special Needs Services Family Center, 95 Merritt Blvd., Trumbull. Pizza, conversation and networking. Contact Lisa Sheppard, lnshep@aol.com, 203-556-7317, SW Regional Coordinator, CT Family Support Network, or Donna Kennedy, dkennedy@stvincents.org, 203-386-2790.

Second Monday of the month: Parent Support Group for parents, grandparents and caregivers of children with autism spectrum disorders. 7:00 p .m. Manchester Memorial Hospital. Sponsored by the East of the River Region of the Autism Society of Connecticut. Call Carolyn Schwartz at 860-644-0524 or www.autismsocietyofct.org for more information.

Second Monday of the month: Parent Support Group. West Haven City Hall. 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. For parents of special needs children. More information call Karen Muro at 203-937-3565 or e-mail KarenMMuro@aol.com.

Second Tuesday of the month: Wilton Parent Advocacy Team (WPAT). For Wilton parents only. 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Forum for parents of children with special needs in Wilton who advocate to improve the programs within the schools and community. RSVP to wiltonspedgroup@aol.com.

Second Wednesday and Fourth Wednesday of the month: Parent Support Group for children diagnosed with an ASD. 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. At Westbrook Youth and Family Services. 1163 Boston Post Road, Westbrook. Call 860-399-9239 for more information.

Second Wednesday of the month: Parent Support Group. 7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. For parents and caregivers of children with an ASD. Walnut Hill Commuity Church, Bethel. Sponsored by ASRC. Parent facilitator: Shannon Vanderheiden, 203-770-8669 (returns calls after 8:00 p.m.). Call Lois Rosenwald at 203-265-7717 for more information.

Second Thursday of the month: Families United Network, Thompson, A family support and advocacy group for families of children with behavioral, emotional or mental health challenges. 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., Thompson Public Library. For more information, call Lorna at Families United for Children's Mental Health at 860-537-6125 or lornagrivois@sbcglobal.net, or Suzannet Witkowski at TEEG, 860-928-1569 or ARCHES@teegonline.org.

Second Friday of the month: Adult Asperger's Support Group. For Adults on the Spectrum. 6:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Meets at the CT Autism Spectrum Resource Center at 101 North Industrial Road, Wallingford. Call Dave Tipping at 203-484-2937 or e-mail NZ1J@juno.com for more information.

Second Saturday and Fourth Saturday of the month: Play for All! A playgroup for children of all abilities. Special needs play group giving parents an opportunity to talk, support and encourage each other, while allowing their children time to play and socialize. 10:30 a.m. 12:00 noon. Children's Programming Room, Lucy Robbins Wells Library, Newington. Sponsored by the Library and Newington UNICO. Call the library at 860-665-8720 for more information.

Third Monday of the month: Buiding Blocks Support Group. 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m . Multi-Purpose Room, Colchester Elementary School. A support group for parents or caregivers of children with social or emotional challenges aged birth - five. For more information contact: Dana at 860-434-4890x349 or Rachel at x311. Sponsored by Families United for Children's Mental Health and Building Blocks Social Emotional Wellness for Young Children.

Third Tuesday of the month: Parent Support Group for parents, grandparents and caregivers of children with an ASD. 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Groton Public Library. Call Danielle Greene at 860-445-9765 for more information.

Third Tuesday of the month: Tamale Tuesday. 8:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. SPED*NET, Special Education Network of New Canaan, Ltd., invites all parents and guardians of students who receive special education services in the New Canaan Public Schools to the Tequila Mockingbird restaurant on 6 Forest St., New Canaan. Please join us to share strategies on negotiating the special education maze. RSVP to Judi Anders at 203-801-0784 or e-mail judianders@sbcglobal.net.

Third Tuesday of the month: Autism Support Group. Enfield. New Group! 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m., Pearl Street Library Community Room. Call Kate Flaherty at 860-253-5144 or Jessica Houle at 860-272-0148 for more information.

Third Tuesday of the month: Manchester IEPs. A group of parents who meet monthly to discuss the ways to help and support our children to get the services they need to become successful in school and in life. For more information contact manchesterieps@cox.net.

Third Wednesday of the month: Pizza Moms, Greenwich! Held at Bella Nonna's in Cos Cob, 371 East Putnam Ave. www.geocities.com/nenette618/pizzamomsg.html for more information. Pizza moms is a support group for moms who have children with special needs in the Fairfield County area. 7:00 p.m. We get together informally for food, drink and networking. Everyone is welcome. Please contact Philippa Orszulak at 203-531-6471 or angelmanmom@aol.com.

Third Thursday of the month: Parent Support Group for parents and caregivers of a child with ASD. Preston Public Library. 6:30 p.m. Contact Joan Bachelder at aabddjm@aol.com for more information.

Fourth Sunday of the month: Rhythms of Grace: monthly church services for children with special needs and their families/caregivers. Church of Our Saviour, Plainville. From 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. All are welcome. Contact Rev. Audrey Scanlan at ascanlan01@yahoo.com for more information.

Fourth Monday of the month: Parent Support Group for parents and caregivers of a child with ASD. 7:00 p.m. Sterling House Community Center, Main St., Stratford. Sponsored by the Stratford Region of the Autism Society of Connecticut. Contact Kim Wardlow at bischon03@yahoo.com for more information.

Last Tuesday of the month: Autism Parents Club. A group of parents (dad's too!) of children on the autism spectrum. Open to parents from all over CT. 7:30 p.m. at Francesco's Restaurant, Rte 7 in Wilton. For more information, contact Patti Sylvia at 203-761-0248 .

Last Tuesday of the month: Farmington Valley Asperger's Network. Parent support group for parents or extended family members or professionals working with a child with an ASD. Discussions and networking meetings. Lending Library. Farmington Senior/Community Center, 321 New Britain Ave, Unionville. FAVAN. Call Lee McFadden at 860-589-0097 or www.favan.org.

Last Wednesday of the month: Families United Network - Plainfield. A family support and advocacy group. For families of children with behavioral, emotional or mental health challenges. 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Holiday Inn Express, Plainfield. Exit 87 of I-395. For more information contact Lorna at Families United for Children's Mental Health at 860-537-6125 or lornagrivois@sbcglobal.net.

Last Wednesday of the month: New London Autism Parent Support Group. 6:30 p.m. at the Bennie Dover Jackson Middle School Library, New London. For more information call Kathryn at 860-444-3199 or Reginia at 860-271-3649.

Last Thursday of the month: Parent Support group for parents and caregivers of children with an ASD. 7:00 p.m. Unitarian Universalist Society, Boston Post Rd., Madison. Sponsored by the Shoreline Region of the Autism Society of Connecticut. Call 888-453-4975 or asconn@sbcglobal.net for more information.

New Entries in Green
e-mail to autismblogger@sbcglobal.net

Sat. June 9, 2007: Youth ADAPT Chapter for CT
: Discussion regarding starting up an ADAPT chapter here in Connecticut. 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. at Bridgeport Central High School (lunch provided). Sponsored by the Disability Resource Network in collaboration with the CT Council on Developmental Disabilities. Please RSVP to Angela Spino at 860-418-8709. Check out information on ADAPT at www.adapt.org.

Sun. June 10, 2007:
Autism Orientation for Faith Based Communities, 2:00 p.m. - 3.30 p.m., Christ Church Greenwich, 254 East Putnam Ave, Greenwich. Come learn about autism spectrum disorders and how faith communities can help include families and persons living with ASD in spiritual living. Interfaith. Open to the public, registration required. RSVP 888-453-4975. Sponsored by the Autism Society of Connecticut.

Tues. June 12, 2007: Nuts and Bolts of Special Education.
10:00 a.m. - 12:oo noon. At Central Park: Kids Play Gym, 74 Centeral Ave, Waterbury. Family Support Network, Northwest Region presents this workshop by CPAC. Parents of children with disabilities will learn how to become more active participants in their children's education. Including information on evaluations, record keeping, Planning and Placement Team (PPT) meetings, Individualized Educational Programs (IEP), Section 504 and dispute resolution. For more information or to register, call Alice Buttwell at 860-350-6025 or e-mail alicemmbb@aol.com.

Wed. June 13, 2007: An Evening at the Children's Museum of Southeastern Connecticut. 5:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. at the museum, 409 Main Street, Niantic. The museum will be open to explore while making connections with other ASD families. Bring the siblings! $5 per person. Evening is limited to 50 guests, please call 860-691-1111 for reservations. Sponsored by the Southeastern Connecticut Autism Spectrum Association (SECASA).

Wed. June 13, 2007: Northwest CT Disability Advocacy Collaborative.
Are you a person concerned about the quality of your life? Are you a family membmer, parent, friend or advocate interested in working on issues such as accessible public transportation, afforadable housing, employment, health care and other important issues? Come join the next meeting at 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., LARC Conference Room, 314 Main St., Torrington. Presentation by Cathy Ludlum regarding the Medicaid Infratructure Grant. Please contact Bill Knight, Northwest Regional Lead Organizer at 860-489-6494 or lackerman01@snet.net.

Sat. June 16, 2007: Family Play Date.
10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m., at the East Lyme Community Center. "Move and Groove" with Erin Stanley. Erin's passion for performing is contagious as she leads us in a movement exploration workshop. Dance! Sing! Play! Families join together to explore movement through time and space. This hour long workshop focuses on development of motor skills, social skills and self esteem through a variety of activities appropriate for all ages. $10 per family. For more information and registration, call Janis Tangney at 860-739-2400 or J_tangney@sbcglobal.net.

Sat. June 16, 2007: Hike With Family and Friends at Kent Falls State Park, Kent.
2:00 p.m. - sunset. Bring your own beverages, snack, sunscreen, blankets and hiking gear. Parking fee $7. Sponsored by LACASA (Litchfield County Autism Spectrum Association, Inc.). Look for John Hudson in the parking lot when you arrive!

Sat. June 16, 2007: Managing Escalating Behavior - Course for Parents.
9:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. at Staff Development Training Center, Southbury Training School, Southbury. Course topics include prevention strategies; de-escalation techniques; verbal diffusion; personal safety; escorts and physical assists. By PMT Associates in association with the DMR West Region. No fee, but registration is required.

Fri. June 22, 2007: Playing it Safe: Emergency Planning for People with Disabilities, Children and Seniors.
At Norwalk Community College, West Campus, 188 Richards Road, Norwalk from 9:45 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Sponsored by the State Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities and the University of Connecnticut Center for Excellence in Disabilities in collaboration with the CT Council on Developmental Disabilities and the Yale Center for Children with Special Health Care Needs and Department of Social Services. No fee, but registration is required, please contact Elanah Sherman at 860-297-4322 or elanah.sherman@po.state.ct.us.

Mon. June 25, 2007: Phoebe Tucker to speak on Assistive Tech Learning Styles and Autism.
7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Christ Church Parish House, 260 East Putnam Ave, Greenwich. Free. Sponsored by FAP (Friends of Autistic People). Call Brita Darany at 203-661-8510.

Sun. July 1, 2007: Annual Hartford Region of the Autism Society of Connecticut Picnic. 12:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Weather permitting. At the home of the Widems at 15 Winterset Lane, West Hartford. Bring your own sunscreen, towel and bathing suit as the water slide will make a repeat appearance! (wading pool for the little ones and timid parents). $10.00 to cover costs of Subway sandwiches. Bring side dish, salad, dessert, beverage or paper goods to share. Call Bath Katten to RSVP at 860-236-8374 or bethkatten@yahoo.com.

Thurs. July 12, 2007: Helping Children who are Bullied and Teased - a parent workshop
; 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m., at KIDSTEPS Family and Children's Center, 51 Boston Post Road, Madison. With Marian Roy, M.S., Counselor. Research indicates that children with disabilities and special needs may be at an increased risk of being bullied by their peers. Bullying can have consequences that affect children's self-esteem and school success. This workshop will give parents the tools to help support their child if bullying or harrassment occurs. $10 fee. Call 203-218-3692 to register.

Tues. July 17, 2007: Estate Planning for Families of Individuals with Disabilities.
6:30 p.m. at UCP of Eastern CT, Quaker Hill. Anthony Recck of MetDesk will be presenting the workshop sponsored by UCP of Eastern CT and the ARC of New London County. Call Cheryl at 860-443-3800 x11 for information and to register.

Sat. July 21, 2007: Autism Awareness at the Rock Cats!
7:05 p.m. Come join us at New Britain Stadium as the Rock Cats (Minnesota Twins AA) take on the Trenton Thunder (Yankee AA) for an evening of baseball and autism awareness. A very special evening sponsored by Alex Putterman as part of his Bar Mitzvah project. Proceeds to benefit the Autism Society of Connecticut. Call 860-808-6228 or e-mail asputt@comcast.net to purchase your tickets.