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Autism in Connecticut

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Listings Oct - Dec, 2007 (Updated Again!)

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.

Please include contact information!

Sponsored by the Autism Society of Connecticut.
Made possible by donations from YOU, our friends.

New Entries in Green
Please send all information to autismblogger@sbcglobal.net
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Check out the link to SERC, the State Education and Resource Center, listed on the sidebar. New listings for programs and topics on IDEA and Early Childhood and well as the Focus on Autism Initiative are now available. Many of these programs are open to families as well as professionals. Consider going with your child's teachers as a team.

New England Assistive Technology Center (NEAT) has announced its 2007-2008 series of workshops, seminar, product demonstrations and events. Open to anyone interested in the latest assistive technology devices and services. Course descriptions are available on the NEAT website at http://www.neatmarketplace.org/. Located at 120 Holcomb St, Hartford. Call 860-243-2869 for more information. NEAT also has a satellige office at the Disability Resource Center in Fairfield County in Stratford at 80 Ferry Boulevard. Contact 203-378-3248.

State Advisory Council for Special Education (SAC).
Check out the website at www.ctsac.org/dev/request.cfm. The mission of SAC is to investigate needs/concerns and making recommendations regarding the UNMET needs of school aged children eligible for special education services. Without input from YOU, the SAC has only limited knowledge of those unmet needs. They have developed a simple form which has been designed to help interested parties organize and focus their concerns/requests so that the SAC can gather information about potential unmet needs and perform the necessary follow up.

Social Skills Group Scholarship.
The Autism Society of Connecticut announces a new scholarship program for girls ages 10-18 to participate in social skills groups and programming. Girls must be between 10-18 years of age and have a diagnosis of Asperger's or High Functioning Autism/PDD. The program must take place in one of the shoreline towns. Funds are also available to support the creation of such programs. Contact ASCONN at 888-453-4975 or asconn@sbcglobal.net for information and application materials.

The CT Autism Spectrum Resource Center announces a VIP Respite Program
for children with ASD ages 5-11. held at ASRC in Wallingford every other Saturday from 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. Take a break and leave your child in good hands. Space is limited, must be a member of ASRC to participate, fee. Contact Pat Coppola at 203-265-7717 or Jessie at jessica.bradshaw@yale.edu for information and registration.

The Autism Project (part of the Kennedy Center), Trumbull announces an Education Advocacy Training workshop series for parents. Six session workshop series for parents of school aged children. Begins Oct. 22 and runs Monday mornings from 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. through Dec. 3 at the Kennedey Center, 2440 Reservoir Ave., Trumbull. Fee. Call Stacy Hultgren at 203-332-4535 x247 for more information and registration materials.

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: Oct 25, Nov 29 and Dec. 27. Contact Information: Melissa Dumont at 860-214-2903 or puzzled_sibs@cox.net.

Positive Parenting Announces Fall 2007 Training Schedule. Please call to confirm availability, dates, times and fees. Positive parenting teaches adults to interact with children in ways that invite more cooperation, stronger connections and greater success. Tuesday evenings starting Sept 18 in Putnam, Thursday evenings starting September 20 in Brooklyn, Wednesday evenings starting Sept. 26 in Granby, Tuesday mornings starting October 2 in Plainfield, Monday evenings starting November 5 in Tolland, Wednesday evenings starting November 7 in Manchester, Thursday evenings starting November 8 in Granby and Wednesday evenings starting November 14 in Wethersfield. Contact Ruth Ettenberg Freeman, LCSW, Trainer and Consultant at 860-429-4477 or e-mail PositiveParent@earthlink.net.

Understanding Autism: A series of six workshops on Autism: A Way of Being. A collaborative effort of LEARN, Three Rivers Community College, CT Parent Advocacy Center, Norwich Public Schools, Norwich and New London School Readiness. Nov 13: "Exploring the Autism Spectrum: Strategies and Intevention"; Jan 8: Working with Young Children on the Spectrum in Inclusive Settings"; Feb. 12: "Parents as Parents: Home/School Connections"; Mar. 11: Quality Assessment to Determine Progress for Children with ASD: How to Capture and Communicate Growth and Barriers"; Apr. 8: "Impact on Autism Spectrum Disorder: Addressing the Social and Emotional Needs of Young Children". All programs are free. You do not need to attend all 6. To register visit http://www.learn.k12.ct.us/ or call LEARN at 860-434-4800. All programs are held from 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. at Rose Senior Center in Norwich.

Sibling Support Group: For Girls and Boys with siblings on the spectrum, Sponsored by CT-ASRC. Saturday mornings from 9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. at ASRC, 101 North Plains Industrial Road, Wallingford. Age ranges to be determined by interest. Contact ASRC at 203-265-7717 for more information.

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:
Project at SUNY Purchase. Looking for 36-60 month old children on the autism spectrum to participate in a study which examines abilities in executive functioning and theory of mind as well as social ability. The tasks are presented as game-like (finding objects in containers/watching puppets/a version of "Simon Says"), and the children should find them fun. Experience in working with children of various ages and severities on the spectrum. Will travel so children do not have to come to Purchase. Contact Marcia Daly at 631-678-3227 or marcia.daly@Purchase.edu.

Family First is a non-profit early intervention program in lower Fairfield County which provides training to families of children 15 months to 5 years wo are experiencing delays in relating, communicating, sensory processing and play. Systematic interactive play techniques, using Dr. Stanley Greenspan's DIR/Floortime approach are taught to families using a home-based coaching model, as well as facilitated play groups and support services. Contact: Audrey Spellman at 203-956-5868 or familyplay@optonline.net.

Connect-Ability: A new initiative aimed at opening employment opportunities for people weith disabilites. Connects employers and able employees who have disabilities through a statewide education and media campaign, comprehenstive online resources at http://www.connect-ability.com/ and community based initiatives. For more information on the program and to use the services, go to http://www.connect-ability.com/ or call 1-866-844-1903.

Research Project: Parents of children (under the age of 8) with a diagnosis of autism are invited to share their perspectives on the diagnostic process. This study is looking at the earliest signs of autism seen by parents in hopes of allowing for earlier diagnosis. Participation involves a one-hour long interview with the researchers and follow up if necessary. To participate and to learn more contact Rhiannon Edwards at 401-636-0161 or Rhiannon_e@hotmail.com.

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.

Research Project: Simons Baby-Sibs Project of Social Neuroscience in Infancy. Purpose is to examine the early development of basic social skills in infants, targeting children that are developing typically as well as children who are experiencing various developmental delays and autism spectrum disorders. Criteria: newborns with older siblings diagnosed with an ASD; or newborns with significant complications of pregnancy or birth; or newborns without significant complications during pregnancy or birth. For complete project information visit http://info.med.yale.edu/chldstdy/autism/babysibs or contact Daniela Blum at 203-785-6237 or daniela.blum@yale.edu.

Research Project: Early Social Cognition in Typically Developing Children and in Children with Autism and Related Disorders. Purpose is to examine the early development of basic social skills in young children. We will observe how children with various developmental delays and typical development look at people and perceive speech. Criteria: 10-24 month old children with developmental delays, including ASD; or 10-24 month old typically developing children. For complete project information visit http://info.med.yale.edu/chldstdy/autism/socialcognition/html or contact Suzanne Macari at 203-764-9178 or suzanne.macari@yale.edu.

Research Project:
Yale Child Study Center are conducting a research project for children with ASD who are between 3-6 years of age and not yet talking. We will be contrasting two different treatment programs, one that uses very structured discrete trial methods and one that is more naturalistic. In order to study these treatments effectively, the children with be assigned randomly. Both treatments will be delivered individualls for 12 weeks with three 45 minute sessions per week by a specially trained SLP. Parent training will also be provided and is required. Children will be reassessed 6 months after treatment to see whether effects have lasted. Contact Elizabeth Schoen, M.S., CCC-SLP at 203-737-1276 or elizabeth.schoen@yale.edu or Moira Lewis, M.S., CCC-SLP, at 203-737-7490 or moira.lewis@yale.edu for information and registration for the study.

Research Project: Deborah, Fein, PhD in the UCONN Department of Psychology, in conjunction with Yale Child Study, is following a number of children who have lost their ASD diagnosis and have reached an excellent outcome. If you know of such a child, we would love to hear about him or her, and perhaps have them participate in out study. The children will be told that we are studying children who talked early vs. those who talked late, so they needn't hear any details of their own history that they may not know. We are also interested in testing a number of high functioning children with autism in order to study the differences between individuals who go on to lose their diagnoses and those who do not. Participation involves two sessions of neuropsychological testing, which can be done in your home and an optional MRI. Children must be between 8-15 years old. Families will be compensated for their time and will receive a report detailing the resuts of the testing. For further information, contact Molly Helt at molly.helt@uconn.edu or 860-456-2077.

Research Project.
The University of North Carolina Autism Research Program, under the direction of Joseph Priven, M.D. is conducting a research project to look at the genetics of autism in a new way. We are looking at extended families, not just the mother, father and children. We are looking at families that have individuals with autism in more than one branch of the family. This way we can trace the genes in the family to see if there are any similarities among family members. Also looking at language and personality styles, two very important parts of how we related to others, to see if these traits are similar among family membmers. Hoping to establish pataterns among extended families that will increase knowledge about the genes contributing to autism. Looking for extended families who have a diagnosis of autism, Asperger's or PDD in three or more nuclear families. In other words, these are families in which autistm or autistic traits seem to "run in the family" or in which both parents have autism or autistic traits in their family of origin. To learn more, contact us at www.ndrc.unc.edu/familystudy or call 1-800-793-5717 and ask about the "Extended Pedigree Study".

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.net and 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.

While every attempt is made to keep the list up to date, group meeting dates and times may vary. Please call ahead of time to check.


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.

New Group Forming! Coventry area. For families and friends of children with special needs. First meeting, Wed. Sept. 26, 2007 at Camp Creaser, 150 Case Road, Coventry. 5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Open house format, come when you can! Bring your own picnic supper. To RSVP or for more information, contact Eileen Schopper at 860-742-9602, eschopper1@sbcglobal.net or Beth Reel at 860-742-8410, bethreel@sbcglobal.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 asclanan01@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.

New Group! First Monday of the month: Greater New Milford Area Parent Support/Resource Group for parents and caregivers raising children with special health care needs. 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m., The United Methodist Church, 68 Danbury Road, New Milford. Contact Alice Buttwell at 860-355-6025 or alicemmbb@aol.com or Monika Nugent, 860-355-1179, monikan@sbcglobal.net. Sponsored by the CT Family Support Network - Northwest Region.

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/pizzamoms.html. Pizza moms is a group of moms who have children with special needs in the Fairfield County area. 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@yahoo.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.

First Thursday of the month: Families United for Children's Mental Health. Support rup, share support, education, advocacy and refresments. Faith Christian Assembly, 46 Grandview Dr. Middletown. A monthly support group for families of children with emotional, behavioral or mental health needs and challenges. Sponsored by Families United, a statewide support, education and advocacy group, run by and for families of children and youth with emotional, behavioral or mental health challenges. For more information contact Lorna at Families United at 860-537-6125 x101 or lgrivois@familiesunited.org.

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 http://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 Tuesday of the month: Parent Support Group for parents of children on the autism spectrum. 7:00 p.m. Small group with parents of children of all ages. Sponsored by Jewish Family Services, West Hartford. Contact Steven Broyde, PhD., LCSW, Child Clinic Director, JFC for more information at 860-236-1927 x16 or sbroyde@jfshartford.org.

Second Tuesday of the month: Helping Hands Support Group for Parents of Children with Mental Health Needs. Offering education, coping strategies, networking, support and resources. 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. South United Methodist Church (Education Wing), 1226 Main St (corner Main and Hartford), Manchester. Affiliated with NAMI-CT, East of the River Community Collaborative and Route 2 Community Collaborative. Contact Karen at 860-882-7354 or Cheryl at 860-882-7353 for more information. Childcare available with prior registration.

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 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: Building 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: 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 Tuesday of the month: NOTE THE NEW DATE: 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.

Third Wednesday of the month: Pizza Moms, Greenwich! Held at Bella Nonna's in Cos Cob, 371 East Putnam Ave. html://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 Wednesday of the month: Parent Support Group. 6:15 p.m. - 7:15 p.m. (parents of children 0-12) and 7:30 p.m . - 8:30 p.m. (parents of children 13+). Family Resource Center Annex, 110 High Street, Enfield. Contact Kate Faherty at mailto:KFaherty@enfield.org for more information. NOTE: Meeting 11/14 and 12/5 due to holidays. Contact Kate for information and location changes!

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 abddjm@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.

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 http://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.

Last Thursday of the month: Kinship Coffee Chats. 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Guilford Youth and Family Services, Guilford, CT. Are you a grandparent or other relative caregiver caring for kin children? Program open to all towns. Kinship care refers to temporary or permanent arragement in which a relative (such as a grandparent, aunt or uncle) or any non-relative adult who has a relationship or bond with a child is caring for that child in place of its parents. Kinship care includes relationships established through an informal arragement, legal custody or guardianship o rder, foster care placement or kinship adoption. Call Guilford Youth and Family Services for more information at 203-453-8047.

Additional groups in Danbury, Glastonbury, Southbury/Middlebury, Watertown, Cheshire and Wallingford. Sponsored by CT Autism Spectrum Resource Center. Contact Lois Rosenwald at 203-265-7717 for information, membership requirements, dates and times of meetings.

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

Mon. Oct. 22, 2007: Stand Up To Bullying! Office of the Child Advocate and the CT Commission on Children sponsor a forum in Room 2-C Legislative Office Building, 300 Capitol Ave., Hartford. 8:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. The forum will include a keynote address by Ken Rigby, PhD., an internationally acclaimed expert on bullying prevention. For more information and registration, go to www.cga.ct.gov/coc/bully_registration.htm.

Tues. Oct. 23, 2007: ASD Unplugged! FOCUS Alternative Learnaing Center presents their panel of experts. Join a panel of young adults who will share their journey with ASD's. 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Henry Carter Hill Library, Clinton. Sponsored by Clinton SEPTA. Free, but seating is limited, register by calling Lisa Heslin at 203-654-0354.

Tues. Oct. 23, 2007: What Every Parent Needs to Know About Transitioning Special Needs Students from High School to College. With Attorney, Lawrence Berliner, Attorney Howard Klebenoff, Social Worker, Claire Friedlander, and CPA Stephen Ehrens. At the JCC, Woodbridge. For registration and more information, contact Susan Skalka, Jewish Federation of New Haven at 203-287-2424. Also to be held on the shoreline on November 15.

Tues. Oct. 23, 2007: Effective Communication. 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. At Madison Seniors in Action Center, 51 Boston Post Road, Madison. Sponsored by SARAH. Presentation by CT Parent Advocacy Center. Improved communication skills can help parents gain confidence whenever they are working with professionals who are helping their child. This training will help parents and professionals identify their communication strengths and weaknesses and will offer strategies to help if obstacles arise. For more information, contact Marion Roy at 203-318-3692 or mroy@sarah-inc.org.

Tues. Oct. 23, 2007: Sibling Support Group for children with a sibling with special needs. For ages 10-12. At Jewish Family Services, 333 Bloomfield Ave., West Hartford. For more information call 860-236-1927.

Tues. Oct. 23, 2007: Get a Job! Transition Specialists and Job Coaches Teaming Together to Help Students Find and Keep Paid Employment. 9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Holiday Inn, North Haven. Sponsored by SERC. We know students with disabilities can work, yet statistics continue to show that graduates with disabilities are unemployed or underemployed at a much greater rate than their non-disabled peers. At the same time, research shows that the greatest indicator of successful employment of youth with disabilities after graduation is paid, competitive employment while they are still in school. This training will emphasize learning strategies for engaging employers, developing jobs for all students, even those with severe disabilities who would not e able to perform all the duties in a regular job description - and then helping students KEEP those jobs. Participatns will learn how to get their goot in the door of all types of businesses; offer basic customer service strategies and engage employers in a variety of career activities for youth. The challenges of time restraints, staffing limitations and bureaucratic and family issues will be discussed. For more informatiaon contact SERC at 860-632-1485 x 245.

Tues. Oct. 23, 2007: What to do When you Disagree. Workshop presented by CPAC. 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. at the Thompson Public LIbrary, Thompson. Sponsored by ARCHES. The focus of this training is on positive communication and the continuum of conflict resolution options. Participants will learn several strategies for promoting positive communiation within the PPT. Participants will also identify ways to resolve special education disputes including Mediation, Due Process and Complaints. For more information or to RSVP, contact Suzanne Witkowski at 860-923-3459 or arches@TEEGonline.org.

Wed. Oct. 24, 2007: Superkids. Come learn about the Superkids programs for children and teens with social skills issues. Sponsored by the Westport SEPTA. Coleytown Middle School Cafeterial, 225 North Ave., Westport. 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Contact Janis Fox, Programming Chair at 203-22-8485 or info@westportsepta.org.

Wed. Oct. 24, 2007: Mock IEP. 9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Drama unfolds in this interactive event, as we re-enact an IEP meeting for a student with special needs. Tips for a successful IEP meeting will be discussed. Key areas of IDEA 2004 will be highlighte. This presentation is entertaining, dramatic and educational. Faciliated by Atty Anne Eason. Held at the Community Center, Ridgefield. Sponsored by brainstorming, LLC. e-mail Ruthann at Shortstp557@aol.com for more info. Co-sponsored by SPED*NOR, the special education network of Ridgefield.

Wed. Oct. 24, 2007: Fall Family Forum, Sponsored by the Department of Developmental Services (formerly DMR) in cooperation with the CT. Family Support Network. 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Police Depatment, Middletown. Learn about vocational support options, adult day programs, residential support options, including placement, rights and choices when selecting service providers and supports, self-determination and hiring your own staff, http://www.rewardingwork.org/, the job bank of caregivers . Free. For further information call 203-294-5053 or www.state.ct.us/dmr.

Wed. Oct. 24, 2007: Know Your Rights under IDEA 2004: An Overview of IDEA 2004. 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. At Margaret Egan Center, Matthews St., Milford. Presentation by Nora A. Belanger, Esq. and Piper A. Paul, Esq. Sponsored by SEPTA - Milford. Information on FAPE, Procedural Rights, Manifestation/Suspension Hearings, Behavior Intervention Plans. Q&A. For Parent Confidentiality 7:00 - 8:00. open door session open to the public; Parent Support Meeting - Parent Only 8:00 - 9:00. For more information contact Susan St. Pierre, President SEPTA Network at 203-878-5435.

Thurs. Oct. 25, 2007: Neuropsychology for the parent consumer. With Michael Cohen, PhD, from Neuropsychological & Diagnostic Services, Westport. 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon. Workshop will focus on the techniques of neuropsychological assessment including the new NEPSY-II to promote awareness of the children who may benefit from such assessments. Also focusing on the role of such assessments in diagnosis. Waveny House, Waveny Park, New Canaan, CT. Sponsored by SPED*NET New Canaan. RSVP Victoria Munoz at 203-972-1163.

Thurs. Oct. 25, 2007: Next STEPS Parent Training. Beginning on Thurs. Oct 25 and continuing for two consecutive Thursdays (Nov 1 and Nov. 8). 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. At the War Memorial, Danbury, CT. Sponsored by WeCahr and presented by the CT Parent Advocacy Center. Next STEPS is a free training series that prepares parents of children with special needs to enable them to advocate more effectively for appropriate educational services for their children. This training will provide you with information on Special Education laws, Planning an appropriate Educational program and the parent's role in educating children with disabilities. Free but registration is limited to 30 participants. Contact CPAC at 800-445-2722 or w-mail cpac@cpacinc.org.

Sun. Oct. 28, 2007: Dragon's Wing Entertainment presents a "battle of the bands" to benefit the Autism Society of Connecticut. 3:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m. at Up or On the Rocks, corner Allyn Street and Union Street, Hartford. Rock/HardRock. Sponsored by Steve and Christina Mutch of Dragon's Wing Entertainment. Tickets $10 at the door. 21 and over. More information soon!

Mon. Oct. 29, 2007: The Whole Person: Understanding Alternative Therapies and How to Restore Balance so the Body Heals Itself with regard to your Child or Friend with an Intellectual Disability and Autism. With Susan Varsames, M.A., Ed. Founder of The Holistic Learnaing Center. 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Christ Church Parish House, 240 Putnam Ave., Greenwich. Sponsored by FAP. Contact Brita Daranyi for more information at 203-661-8510.

Mon. Oct. 29, 2007: Connecticut Commission on Children Summit on the Early Years. 9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., Room 2-C, Legislative Office Building, Hartford. CT is the first to hold a state conversation modeled on the 2007 Congressional Summit on America's Children. The goal is to bring the most current national research to the Connecticut public and policymakers. National experts will address the science of brain development, the impact of loving connections and how children develop language. Experts will report on how birth weight impacts life chances, the rold of neighborhood and economic assets to children's decision making and the relation between nurturing and lifelong learning. Participants inclucde pediatricians, economists, teachers, parents and neighborhood and family leaders. This is a civic event and open to the public with opportunity for questions and discussion. Register at www.cga.ct.gov/coc.

Tues. Oct. 30, 2007: An Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorders. For Grades Pre-K through Grade 8. With Linda Grimm, Director, Benhaven Learning Network. 9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., Crowne Plaza, Cromwell. Sponsored by SERC. Fee. Contact Karyn Champion for registration information at 860-632-1485X225.

Tues. Oct. 30, 2007: Ten Things Every Parent Should Know to Effectively Advocate for Their Child with Special Needs. Presented by Julie Swanson, Educational Advocate. 7:00 p.m. Farmington Community Center, 321 New Britain Ave, Unionville. Sponsored by the Farmington Valley Asperger's Network. For more information see http://www.favan.org/.

Thurs. Nov. 1, 2007: Language, Learning & Literacy: What Your Child's Language Can Tell Us About Learning Problems. 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Presented by Smart Kids with LD. Speaker is Lydia H. Soifer, PhD., Director, the Soifer Center for Learning and Child Development. Westport Public Library, Westport. More information check http://www.smartkidswithld.org/.

Thurs. Nov. 1, 2007: Anxiety Disorders and OCD in Children: Recent Advances in Clinical Care. 7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Presented by the Yale Child Study Center and Greenwich Hospital. Dr. Robert King, Professor of Child Psychiatry and Medical Director of the Tourette Syndrome, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Anxiety Clinics, Yale Child Study Center will speak and review current knowledge about childhood anxiety disorders including latest advances in treatment. Recent developments in psychosocial approaches such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy as well as benefits and hazards of various pyschopharmacological agents will be discussed. Nobel Conference room Greenwich Hospital. To attend, register online at http://www.greenhosp.org/ or call 203-863-3627.

Fri. Nov. 2, 2007: The Comprehensive Autism Planning System (CAPS). With Shawn Henry and Brenda Smith Myles. For PreK - Grade 12. 9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Marriott Courtyard, Cromwell. Sponsored by SERC. Fee. Contact Karyn Champion at 860-632-1485 x225 for more information.

Fri. Nov. 2 and Sat. Nov. 3, 2007: A Road to the Future: Effective Supports and Collaborative Interventions. Presented by the NonVerbal Learning Disorders Association. Sheraton Stamford Hotel, Stamford. Speakers include Dr. Paul B. Yellin and Jonathan Mooney. Fee. For more information and registration materials contact NLDA online at http://www.nlda.org/.

Sat. Nov. 3, 2007: People First Conference. 8:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Bristol Clarion Hotel, 42 Century Dr., Bristol. Contact Robin Wood 203-806-8770 or Robin.Wood@po.state.ct. People First is a statewide self advocacy organization that believes that all people, with and without disabilities, should be treated equally and respected for their abilities. We work together to make positive changes for people with disabilites. We encourage and advocate for choice, independence, freedom, respect and dignity for everyone.

Sat. Nov. 3, 2007: Third Annual Autism Resource Fair. 12:00 noon - 4:00 p.m. Southern CT State University, 11 Wintergreen Ave, New Haven. Free. For more information contact ASRC at 203-265-7717.

Mon. Nov. 5, 2007: Get Creative About Respite. 6:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. With Joy Liebeskind, Statewide Coordinator, CT Lifepsan Coalition. United Methodist Church, 68 Danbury Road, New Milford. Sponsored by the CT Family Support Network - Northwest Region. To register or for more information, contact Alice Buttwell at alicemmbb@aol.com, 860-350-6025 or Monika Nugent at monika.n@sbcglobal.net, 860-355-1179.

Wed. Nov. 7, 2007: Advocacy 101. With Noreen O'Mahoney, S.D.A., C.S.W., Collaborative Advocacy Associates. 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. In-depth presentation which details and explains the entire cycle of special education from pre-referral to monitoring and transition planning and what you must know about special education advocacy for your child's sake. American Legion Hall, 60 County Street, Norwalk. Sponsored by NorwalkSEEKS.org. Contact info@norwalkseeks.org or call 203-846-2501.

Wed. Nov. 7, 2007: Navigating Your Child's Path through Special Education Law. 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Presented by Attorney Philip J. Cohn. Plumb Memorial Library, 65 Wooster St., Shelton. For information and reservations e-mail phillip@mychildsrights.com.

Wed. Nov. 7, 2007: What Every Parent Needs to Know about Bullying and Autism Spectrum Disorders. With Julie Swanson, Special Ed Advocate and Disability Specialist. 7:00 p.mm. - 9:00 p.m., HARC, 900 Asylum Ave., Hartford. A meeting of the Hartford Region of the Autism Society of Connecticut. Child Care available. Contact Beth Katten at 860-236-8374 or bethkatten@yahoo.com to RSVP.

Wed. Nov. 7, 2007: Maverick Minds. 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Eliot Middle School Library, Clinton. A presentation by Ruthann Short, MSW. LCSW. A cognitive perspective on understanding ADD/ADHD kids. Sponsored by Clinton SEPTA. For more information contact Leslie Parent at 860-664-3944.

Thurs. Nov. 8, 2007: Disability Labels and Disclosure - When to tell? Who to tell? A workshop for Parents. 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. The Kennedy Center, 2440 Reservoir Ave., Trumbull. Many parents are concerned abot the effects and stigmas of "labels" for their children with disabilities. This session will consist of a frank discussion about the purposes behind "labels" including discrimination protection, access to special education, and other advantages as well as disadvantages. It will ocus on what the realities are - who needs to know, who doesn't and why. Sponsored by the Autism Project. Call Stacy Hultgren at 203-332-4535 x247 or e-mail shultgren@kennedyctr.org for more information and to register.

Thurs. Nov. 8, 2007: Estate Planning and Special Needs Trusts. 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. With Dr. Michael Mason whoh works within the Northwestern Mutual Financial Network. His area of expertise is around special needs planning. He has a PhD from NYU and an MA and Ed.M. from Columbia in counseling pyschology and rehabilitation. Sponsored by the CT Family Support Network - Northseat Region. John Dempsey Regional Center, 375 Pomfret St., Putnam. Contact Mona Tremblay at 860-928-6514 or monatremblay@sbcglobal.net to RSVP.

Fri. Nov. 9, 2007: Papillion: Multi Cultural Music Festival. Fun for the Whole Family. 6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Prendergrast School, 59 Finney St., Ansonia. Sponsored by North Star Parent Support Group, LNV System of Care Collaborative and Ansonia School Readiness. RSVP didente_dunleavy@yahoo.com.

Fri. Nov. 9, 2007: Disability and Medical Decision Making: Ethical Issues in Policy and Practice. 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Four Points by Sheraton, Meriden. Keynote speaker: Judith Heumann. A panel of responders which includes clergy, a physician, individuals with disabilities, parents and an attorney will share their thoughts after Ms. Heumann's presentation. Sponsored by the Developmental Disabilities Network. To register or if you need accomodations call 860-679-1500 or toll free at 866-623-1315.

Sat. Nov. 10, 2007: National Disability Ministry, Joni and Friends sponsors a "Through the Roof Workshop" focusing on Autism and the Church. Keynote presentation: Autism Orientation Workshop for Faith Based Communities, presented by the Autism Society of Connecticut. First Church of Christ, Wethersfield. For more information contact the church at 860-529-1575 or e-mail GreaterBoston@joniandfriends.org.

Sat. Nov. 10, 2007: Sibshops. 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Sponsored by Building Blocks and Families United. For siblings of children with disabilities aged 8-13. Regional Multicultural Magnet School, New London. At a sibshop, brothers and sisters will: meet other brothers and sisters of children with special needs; have fun; talk about their brothers and sisters with others who really know what it's like to have a sibling with a disability; make new friends; learn more about disabilities and the services people with disabilites receive. Fee. For more information and registration contact Rachel Smolenski at 860-431-4890 x311.

Mon. Nov. 12, 2007: Navigating Your Child's Path through Special Education Law. 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Presented by Attorney Philip J. Cohn. Ferguson Library, Third Floor Auditorium, One Public Library Plaza, Stamford. For information and reservations e-mail phillip@mychildsrights.com

Wed. Nov. 14, 2007: Understanding Autism. 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Presentation by CPAC at Colchester Elementary School, Colchester. Sponsored by Today's Child Care Association. For more information or to register contact Deb Pothier at 860-267-6778 or Kim Pallis at 860-657-4129.

Wed. Nov. 14, 2007: From Challenge to Joy: A Positive Approach to Everyday Difficulties. 6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. KIDSTEPS Family and Children's Center, 51 Boston Post Road, Unit 9, Madison. Presented by Andrew L. Miser, PhD, couples coach and counselor and Susan E. Rosano, M.A., expressive arts specialist. Parents with children who have developmental disabilities or behavioral issues have in common a number of family dilemmas that they deal with on a daily basis. This workshop focuses on these family dilemmas and suggests ideas for dealing with them. To register or for more information, contact Marion Roy, Coordinator, KIDSTEPS Family and Children's Center at 203-318-3692.

Wed. Nov. 14, 2007: Autism Forum. 6:30 p.m. at the New Britain Public Library. With Kim Newgass, President, Autism Society of Connecticut, opening remarks by The Honorable Donald J. DeFronzo. Panel presentation from: Nancy Taylor, Educational Liaison for DDS; Jacqueline Kelleher, PhD., Education Consultant, Dept of Education, Bureau of Special Education; Tabor Napiello, Systems of Care; Ruth Carvalho, DDS, Bureau of Rehab Services; Eileen McMurrer, CT Birth to 3; Dr. Ann Milanese, Medical Advisor/Diagnositican, Birth to 3. Sponsored by the VNA of Central Connecticut in collaboration with the New Britain Public Library. Free and open to the public.

Wed. Nov. 14, 2007: Sensory Integration Techniques for Home and School. 7:30 p.m. IDEA Training Center, 20 Washington Ave., North Haven. Presentation by Dr. Randy Schulman, M.S., OD, FCOVD; Stafanie Saad Seanor, OTR/L; and Maybette Waldron, M.S., CCC-SLP. Presentation will teach parents and school staff a variety of therapeutic techniques and ideas, using sensory integration principles, that support age appropriate social, visual processing, gross and fine motor skills, attention and coordination. These techniques and activities can be incorporated within the home and school environment. Sponsored by the South Central Region of the Autism Society of Connecticut. To RSVP and for more information, contact Sally Brockett at 203-234-7401.

Thurs. Nov. 15, 2007: Navigating the Transition from High School to College: What Every Parent Needs to Know About the Road Ahead. 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. James Blackstone Memorial Library, 758 Main St., Branford. Featuring Attorney Howard Klebenoff, Attorney Lawrence Berliner, Special Education Law, Klebenoff and Alfano, P.C.; Claire Friedlander, College Consultant, Jewish Family Services; Stephen Ehrens, CPA and Financial Representative, Northwestern Mutual Financial Network. Presented by the Jewish Federation of New Haven and Learning House, Guilford. For more information and reservations contact Rich Walter at 203-387-2424 x 300 or Susan Santora at 203-453-3691.

Thurs. Nov. 15, 2007: 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon. Statewide Breakfast Conference on Positive Behavioral Supports - Individual and Whole School Approaches. With Sue Izeman, PhD and Todd Kellogg, M.A. Norwalk Inn, Norwalk. Participants will learn about key comonents of positive behavior supports; what IDEA says that IEP teams much do when a child's behavior "impedes the child's learning or the learning of other children"; what a good functional behavioral assessment includes; antecedents, behavior and consequences; and how parents and schools can work together to support both individual and school-wide approaches to PBS. Co-Sponsored by SPED*NET New Canann, ARC (Greenwich) and New Canaan Public Schools. CEU's available. For more information email Beth Lurie at lurie@optonline.net.

Thurs. Nov. 15, 2007: Promoting First Relationships: Applying Attachment Theory in Practice Settings. 8:15 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. CT Association for Infant Mental Health Fall 2007 Conference. With Dr. Jean Kelly another leading practitioners in CT. Woodbridge County Club, 50 Woodfield Road, Woodbridge, CT. Fee. Contact Nancy Canata, MSW, Treasurer, CT-AIMH at 860-509-3780.

Fri. Nov. 16, 2007: Community Provider Fair. 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon. Willimantic DCF Office, 322 Main St., 1st Floor, Willimantic. Sponsored by Willimantic Department of Children and Families, Communities Raising Children, Northeast Advisory Council and United Community & Famiy Services. RSVP to Edie Madore at edna.madore@ct.gov or 860-456-6613.

Sat. Nov. 17, 2007: Holiday Fair! 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. At the River Street School, Windsor, CT. 2nd Annual Holiday Fair sponsored by CT FEAT, LACASA and the River Street Autism Program. Laura McClam of Ladybug Melodies will perform starting at 11:00 a.m. Computer and other media stations for parents to sample parent-recommended computer and video games and educational toys from Discovery Toys will be on display. Child friendly! For more information www.ctfeat.org or call 860-571-3888.

Sun. Nov. 18, 2007: Panel Discussion on Autism. With Chris Murphy, Congressman; Kathy Reddington, DDS - State Pilot Program Coordinator; Lois Rosenwald, CT Autism Spectrum Resource Center; Kevin Lembo, Managed Care Ombudsman, State of CT; Dr. Marianne Barton, UCONN. 12:00 noon - 2:00 p.m. Slade Middle School, New Britain.

Mon. Nov. 26, 2007: Transition from School to Adult Life. 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Waterbury ARC, 1929 East Main St., Waterbury. Providing information on transition planning; how parents can become more active participants in the process; legal requirements of IDEA; availability of adult services agencies; options for after high school. Sponsored by the CT Family Support Network Northwest and the CT Parent Advocacy Center. Contact CPAC at 800-445-2722 or cpac@cpacinc.org to register and for more information.

Tues. Nov. 27, 2007: Is Your Child Getting Appropriate Help Learning to Read, Write and Spell - and What You Can Do About It. 9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. With Sheryl Knapp, Literacy Consultant and Advocate and Kathy Whitbread, PhD, Associate Professor of Education, St Joseph's College and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, UCONN Health Center. At the McManus Room, Westport Library, 20 Jessup Rd., Westport. Sponsored by Smart Kids with LD. For information and reservations check http://www.smartkidswithld.org/.

Wed. Nov. 28, 2007: Navigating the Transition for Special Needs Students from High School to College and Beyond: Empowering Parents for the Road Ahead. 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Westport Public Library. With Attorney Howard Klebenoff and Attorney Lawrence Berliner, special education law and advocacy, Attorney Greta Solomon, SEPTA Treasurer and Partner, Estates & Trusts, Cohen & Wolf, Stephen Ehrens, CPA - College Funding & Special Needs Trusts Workshops, Claire Friedlander, College Counselor, Jewish Family Services, Stamford and Westport. Sponsored by the Westport SEPTA. For more information contact Janice Fox, Programming Chair at 203-222-8485 or info@westportsepta.org.

Wed. Nov. 28, 2007: NorthStar Parent Support Group with speaker, Angela Spino, of the CT Council on Developmental Disabilities. 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m., First Congregational Church, 137 Derby Ave., Derby. Information about advocating for your child, how to ask for services and supports, Medicaid Title 19, Title 5 - Children with Special Health Care Needs, your rights as parents, your child's rights, educational consultants, PPT's, IEP's. Please RSVP to Cathy Adamczyk at 860-869-6021, or 203-735-6098 or cathya@ntplx.net.

Thurs. Nov. 29, 2007: Positive Behavior Strategies for School and Home. 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Presented by Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities. Speaker is Anne Farrell, PhD. Fairfield Public Library, Fairfield. For more information check http://www.smartkidswithld.org/.

Sat. Dec. 1, 2007: Inclusion for Kids with ASD: Then When's. How's and Why's". With Ruth Eren, Ed.D. and Barbara Cook, MS-SLP. 9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Fairfield Woods Branch Library, 1147 Fairfield Woods Road, Fairfield. Sponsored by the CT Autism Spectrum Resource Center. Fee. Call to get registration information at 203-264-7717 or http://www.ct-asrc.org/.

Tues. Dec. 4, 2007: Clinton SEPTA: Parent Support Group meeting. A chance for parents to get together, relax and share challenges and joys of parenting a special needs child. 6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Henry Carter Hull Library, Clinton. Contact Leslie Parent for more information at 860-664-3944.

Wed. Dec. 5, 2007: Know Your Rights Under IDEA 2004: A Discussion of Failure to Progress, FAPE, and other pertinent topics. 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Presented by Nora Belanger, Esq. In reading, only 16% of Norwalk special ed 4th graders performed at proficient level on the CMT's in 05-06, the 5 year average was 17%. How many students receiving special ed services in CT are "failing to progress" under IDEA 2004? What are their rights and what can you do about it? American Legion Hall, 60 County St., Norwalk (across from Norwalk High School). Co-sponsored by NorwalkSEEKS.org and CACLD. For more information see http://www.norwalkseeks.org/ or info@NorwalkSEEKS.org or call 203-846-2501.

Thurs. Dec. 6, 2007: Expanding Horizons Conference on Educating Students with Disabilities in General Education Classrooms. Crowne Plaza, Cromwell. Sponsored by SERC in collaboration with the CT State Department of Education. The conference is dedicated to improving the education of students with disabilities in general education classrooms. The conference, now in its tenth year, promotes increased understanding of responsible inclusive practices, provides an opportunity for the sharing of ideas, stories of success and learning from colleagues. http://www.ctserc.org/ for more information.

Thurs. Dec. 6, 2007: PLAN - Who Will Advocate for your Child After You? 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Total Learning and Therapy Center, Trumbull. Presented by Peggy Embarado of the Planned Lifetime Assistance Network of CT, Inc. The mission of PLAN is to assist families in planning for the future of their disabled family member and to provide continuity of services after the principal advocates/caregivers are unable to continue. PLAN was formed by families to reduce the life long amount of time and energy required of guardians and other family members to ensure appropriate care for their special family member. Learn about a typical plan of care that might include the monitoring of state services, arranging for transportation, arranging a vacation, and personal needs. Call 203-286-8852 or http://www.tltc.org/ to RSVP.

Thurs. Dec. 6, 2007: Family and Friends Night at Total Learning and Therapy Center. Come and learn strategies and techniques to use with your child or student at home and school. 8:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m., Total Learning and Therapy Center, Trumbull. Randy Schulman, M.D.OD, FCOVD, Stefanie Saad Seanor, OTR/L and Maybette Z Waldrom, M.S., CCC-SLP will share therapuetic ideas, techniques and materials using sensory integration principles that support age appropriate social visual processing, gross and fine motor skills, attention and coordination. Call 203-268-8852 or http://www.tltc.org/ to RSVP.

Tues. Dec. 11, 2007: Addressing the Social Skills Needs of Middle and High School Students with Autism. 9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., Crowne Plaza, Cromwell. With Peter Gerhardt, Ed.D, President and Chair, Scientific Council Organization for Autism Research, Arlington, VA. For grades 6-12 CEU's available. Sponsored by SERC. Fee. Registration required. Contact Karyn Champion, Educational Services Specialist at 860-632-1485 x225.

Tues. Dec. 11, 2007: Asperger's Disorder and Autism: Advances in Understanding and Interventions. A one-day seminar for educators, SLPs, psychologists, social workers, counselors, physicians, children's service providers and family members. Presented by the New England Educational Institute. Fee. With Celine Saulnier, PhD, Yale Child Study Center. CE credits. Go to http://www.neei.org/ for information and registration.

Tues. Dec. 11, 2007: CT Families for Effective Autism Treatment Parent Resource Meeting. 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m., Rocky Hill Congregational Church, Rocky Hill. Speaker will be James Loomis, PhD from the Center for Children with Special Needs. His discussion will focus on how to create an individual toilet training program for children with ASD. For more information and registration call 860-571-3888 or www.ctfeat.org.