Special Education Resources and Events

All these opportunities are FREE unless noted.  
In most cases you must register if registration information is provided.
When other events become available they will be posted at:


Support Groups for Youth

Support Group for Middle School Students with ADHD  meets the 1st Sunday of each month 2:00 – 3:00 pm 4031 Univ. Dr. Fairfax,  Enter on South St.  No parents!  Call 703-403-3335 to enter building.  Contact:  coach@BrainRelief.org  or call 703- 641-8940
Community of Solutions  Helping Teens Cope with Life Stress   www.facebook.com/cosdcmetro/

Support Group for Parents

Alpha Moms  This support group for adoptive parents meets monthly in McLean.  Contact:  robin4brady@gmail.com
Autism Dads meets one evening monthly in Falls Church.  Contact:  George Buzby at 571-419-1257 or gbuzby@aol.com
CHADD: Children & Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
Alexandria CHADD Parent Support Group  4th Mon. of each month at 6:30 pm.  Contact:  Jenny  ADHDParentMountVernon@gmail.com  or call 703-472-4678.
West Fairfax CHADD Parent Support Group   1st & 3rd Thu. of each month at 7:30 pm Contact:  Sharon  clintob@aol.com  or call 703-716-4646.
Louden County Parents of Teens with ADHD last Wed. of the month at Cascades Library in Potomac Falls.  Contact:  Bonnie Little  571-306-2932
CSB Family Support Group at Gatlan Center  2nd and 4th Wed. of each month 6-8 pm in Alexandria Contact:  Samar.Chwairy@fairfaxcounty.gov or call 703-799-2882.
D.A.D.S.  Dads Appreciating Down Syndrome 3rd Thur. each month, 7-9 pm in Alexandria.  Contact:  George gbuzby@aol.com or call 703-545-6089.
Fairfax Juvenile Court Parent Support Group for problems including runaway behavior, truancy, alcohol/drug abuse, and serious behavioral problems at home, at school, or in the community. 7:30 pm every Tues. Room 201.1 Fairfax County Courthouse – call 703-246-2495.
NAMI:  National Alliance on Mental Illness builds better lives for affected families. Arlington Family Support Group meets two Sundays a month at 7:00-8:30 pm.  Contact:  Michelle Best at mczero@yahoo.com
OCD Family Support Group   1st Mon. of each month, 7:30 pm.  Contact:  familygroupocd@verizon.net   or  call 202-215-5859.
POAC: Parents of Autistic Children of Northern Virginia.  Bimonthly Support Group  Contact:  Nicole Zupan at nicizupan@gmail.com
Padres de hoy — Support group in Spanish.  Wednesdays, 6:30 – 8 pm Brookside FACE Ctr. 601 Four Mile Run Trail, Alexandria.  Call 703-824-6865 to register.  Free childcare.
Northern Virginia Tourette Support Group meets the 2nd Sunday of each month at noon at the Chantilly Public Library.  Contact:  mark.bramer@gmail.com
Parents of Autistic Children (POAC) meeting times and location posted at: https://poac-nova.org/events/


November 2018 Events

An Overview of Section 504 Plans — Plan Ahead
Mon. Nov. 5, 10:00-11:30 am, TCW HS Rm 134,  3801 W. Braddock Rd. Alexandria
The goal of this workshop is to help parents understand how a Section 504 Plan can support students with learning differences.
Register by Oct. 31: email  janet.reese@acps.k12.va.us or phone 703-824-0129 
The Subtle Presentation of Autism   $40
Fri. Nov. 2, 9 am-noon ASHA 2200 Research Blvd, Rockville, MD
Learn about core features of autism, gender differences, motivational and self-regulatory challenges, and the importance of developing autonomy.
Introduction to Special Education
Fri. Nov. 2, 10 am-noon, Dunn Loring Ctr. 2334 Gallows Rd. Door 1, Dunn Loring 
This is an orientation for parents who are new to special Education, and it will also include resources that are available for parents.
Register:  https://www.fcps.edu/node/28019/  or 703-204-3941
Circle of Support Conference   $ Varies
Sat. Nov. 3, 8:00 am – 3:30 pm, Hylton HS 14051 Spriggs Rd. Woodbridge
This is a full special needs conference with a keynote, three workshop sessions, an exhibit hall, paid child care, and sessions for disabled individuals.
Exceptional Schools Fair
Sun. Nov. 4, 11 am-2 pm, Katzen Arts Ctr. Mass. Ave & Neb. Ave, Wash. DC
These private schools can educate students with disabilities ranging from mild language-based learning differences to more severe cognitive impairments.
Autism Parenting Summit — Virtual Conference
Mon.- Sat. Nov 5-10, 9 am-10 pm
This week-long online conference will include over 30 autism and parenting experts to help you help your child navigate school, work, and life.
Consumer Directed Attendant Panel — With Webinar Option
Mon. Nov. 5, noon–2 pm, The Arc 2755 Hartland Rd. Ste. 200, Falls Church
This panel will discuss strategies for finding, hiring, training, and maintaining the best consumer directed attendants for Medicaid Waiver and private pay.                                       Register:  https://thearcofnova.org/programs/info-referral/ds-ls-workshops/
The Atypical Learner: Biology, Behavior, and Optimizing Outcome
Wed. Nov. 7, 7:30-9:00 pm The Lab School 4759 Reservoir Rd, NW, Wash. DC
Learn how a neurodevelopmentalist can use a child’s behavior, learning, and brain function to develop treatment that will optimize the child’s future development. 
Critical Decision Points for Families of Children with Disabilities
Thu. Nov. 8, 10 am-2 pm, Holiday Inn, 10424 Balls Ford Rd. Manassas
Learn about critical decision points regarding your child’s education path and when these decisions should be made.
Fairfax County SEPTA  Inclusion Night
Wed. Nov. 7, 7 pm, Robinson SS, Recital Hall, 5035 Sideburn Rd. Fairfax
Learn about several inclusive programs currently happening in Fairfax County Public Schools and ideas for Inclusive Schools Week this month.
Parenting in the Digital Age  
Thu. Nov. 8, 11:45 am-1:45 pm  The Study Pro 6849 Old Dominion Dr. #200, McLean
Learn how to reduce the expectation of screen time, get your child to listen when it is time to unplug, and reduce the damage to self-esteem due to social media.
Girls with ADHD:  Strategies for Supporting and Advocating for Our Daughters
Nov. 8, 6:15-8:00 pm,  4031 University Drive, Fairfax   Enter on South St.
The session will address unique characteristics that impact identification, delivery of services, and parenting of girls with ADHD.  Includes time for Q&A.
Collaborative IEP Meetings:  Parents as Partners
Fri. Nov. 9, 10 am-noon, Dunn Loring Ctr. 2334 Gallows Rd. Door 1, Dunn Loring
Learn about the IEP process and its components, parent’s role in the IEP meeting, responsibilities of the IEP team members, and planning for the meetings. 
Register:  https://www.fcps.edu/node/28019/  or 703-204-3941
Application Window for Individual and Family Support Program — Plan Ahead
Apply by Nov. 10
Individuals on the DD Waiver Wait List are eligible to apply online for up to $1,000 worth of supports and services via the Individual and Family Support Program (IFSP).
Autism Education Workshop:  Social Skills
Sat. Nov. 10, 10 am-noon, ASNV 10467 White Granite Dr. Oakton
Learn how to identify the steps for social problem-solving and how to help your children make responsible independent decisions in various social situations.
Welcoming Inclusion Network (WIN) Meeting 
Tue. Nov. 13, 6:30-8:00 pm Herrity Bldg. Rm. 106, 12055 Govt. Ctr. Pkwy. Fairfax
Connect with others in Fairfax County who are working to create a more integrated community for people with developmental disabilities. 
Getting Past Procrastination: How to Get Your Kids Organized, Motivated and Focused…Without Being the Bad Guy
Tue. Nov. 13, 7:00-8:30 pm Westfields HS 4700 Stonecroft Blvd. Chantilly, VA
No Registration.
Parent Discussion on Understanding the Opioid Epidemic 
Wed. Nov. 14, 6:00-7:30 pm  Vienna Community Ctr. 120 Cherry St. SE, Vienna
Parents can learn about opioids, how they work in the brain, risk factors, how to spot signs of use, and how to talk to your teen about drug use. 
Register:  viennav.gov/registration using Activity # 222302A1
A Parent’s Guide to Evidence-Based Treatment
Wed. Nov. 14, 6-8 pm, Govt. Ctr. Rm. 120-C, 12000 Govt. Ctr. Pkwy. Fairfax
Learn about various mental health treatments, how to choose the best treatment for a condition, and how to find credentialed providers in the area.
MPower Me Tech Workshop — For Parents and Students
Wed. Nov. 14, 6-8 pm, The Arc of Nova, 2755 Hartland Ave. Ste. 200, Falls Church
Parents and students will learn about and practice using this technology to plan complex tasks using smaller steps, set goals, and track their progress toward them.
Life After High School: A Look at Post-Graduation Options and Opportunities 
Wed. Nov. 14, 7:00-8:30 pm Auburn Sch. 3800 Concorde Pkwy. Ste. 500, Chantilly
Learn from a panel about options, supports, and timelines for students with ASD, ADHD and related disorders to continue their education following high school graduation.  Register:  https://www.theauburnschool.org/page/153
The 10 Most Important Things to Know about IEPs
Wed. Nov.14, 7:00-8:30 pm, The Arc of GPW 13505 Hillendale Rd. Woodbridge
Hear about what to expect in an IEP meeting, how things should go, and what to do when you feel the team is not acting in the best interest of your child.
Register:  email Jan Russell jrussell@arcgpw.org or 703-730-3124
Special Screening of Written Off with Post Film Discussion
Thu. Nov. 15, 6:15-8:30 pm,  Chantilly Library 4000 Stringfellow Rd. Chantilly
This first-person account of a substance use disorder will be followed by a community conversation about substance use disorders and resources in our area. 
Special Needs Housing Workshop
Thu. Nov. 15,  7-9 pm JCCNV 8900 Little River Tnpk. Fairfax
Using working housing models, learn ways to include housing in family legal papers, and ideas and supports for those with special needs.  Includes exhibit fair.
RSVP to Carey at:  calford@financialguide.com or 703-865-6502
Jack’s Brain, Jill’s Brain: Gender Differences and Why They Matter
Fri. Nov. 16, 10 am-noon, Dunn Loring Ctr. 2334 Gallows Rd. Door 1, Dunn Loring 
Learn how the brains of girls and boys are developmentally, structurally and functionally different, along with appropriate behavioral and emotional interventions. 
Register:  https://www.fcps.edu/node/28019/  or 703-204-3941
Apprenticeships and Skilled Workforce Career Fair 
Fri. Nov. 16, 11 am-1:30 pm, Edison HS Auxiliary Gym 5801 Franconia Rd. Alexandria
Students, recent graduates, and their parents can meet industry leaders  who offer skilled workforce employment, education, training, and apprenticeship programs. 
Building Bridges:  Strengthening Connections in Adoption
Sat. Nov. 17, Church of St. Andrew 15300 New Hampshire Ave. Silver Spring
Conference for adoptees (grades 1-12) and their parents
Executive Functioning Workshop
Mon. Nov. 26, 7:30-8:45 pm, First Christian Ch. 6165 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church
Presented by Adam Berman, a peer presenter for the Autism Society of Northern Virginia.
Dyslexia Open House
Thu. Nov. 29, 10 am-noon, Dunn Loring Ctr. 2334 Gallows Rd. Door 1, Dunn Loring
Talk with an FCPS dyslexia specialist, browse exhibit tables, and learn about next steps for students with dyslexia. 
Register:  https://www.fcps.edu/node/28019/  or 703-204-3941
The IEP Transition Plan: Postsecondary Planning in Middle and High School
Fri. Nov. 30, 10 am-noon, VA Hills Adm. Ctr. 6520 Diana Ln, Alexandria
Talk with Career and Transition Services staff about questions to ask the school team, questions to ask your child, and the role an IEP plays in increasing self-advocacy.
Register:  https://www.fcps.edu/node/28019/  or 703-204-3941
Portrait of an ADHD Graduate: Harnessing ADHD Superpowers
Fri. Nov. 30, 10 am-noon, Dunn Loring Ctr. 2334 Gallows Rd. Door 1, Dunn Loring
Learn about the strengths and challenges of students with ADHD and the benefits of parenting as a consultant. Ideas for parents of children of all ages.
Register:  https://www.fcps.edu/node/28019/  or 703-204-3941
How to Rock School: 5 Disciplines Kids Need to Succeed
Fri. Nov 30, 8:45 am  Churchill Road ES 7100 Churchill Rd. McLean

October 2018 Events

NAMI In Our Own Voice
Tue. October 2, 7-8 pm Barrett Library, 717 Queen Street, Alexandria
Two speakers will share personal, inspiring stories about living with a mental health condition and their journeys towards wellness. Q & A included.
Enjoy Your Strong-Willed Child: 10 Secrets to Stop the Power Struggles
Thu. Oct. 4, 7:00-8:30 pm, Dunn Loring Ctr. 2334 Gallows Rd. Door 1, Dunn Loring
Fri. Oct 5, 10 am – noon, Dunn Loring Ctr. 2334 Gallows Rd. Door 1, Dunn Loring
Learn specific strategies to stop yelling, lecturing, and nagging; motivate without power struggles;  and understand and enjoy your strong-willed child.
Register:  https://www.fcps.edu/node/28279  or 703-204-3941
Get Rid of the Myths! 
Wed.-Thu. Oct. 10 – 11, 9 am – 5 pm,  MVLE inc.  7410 Fullerton Rd. Springfield
Learn about SSI/SSDI and work incentives including the myriad of rules governing Medicaid, waivers, and Medicare for individuals with disabilities.  Cost varies. Scholarships available.
Specialized Reading Instruction 
Wed. Oct. 10, 9-11 am & Tue. Oct. 16, 6-8 pm LCPS Adm. Bldg 21000 Education Ct, Ashburn
This session will allow parents to experience specialized reading instruction through active participation, including elementary and secondary strategies. 
Register:  https://www.lcps.org/Page/179754  or 571-252-6540techniques 
Waivers and EPSDT — Webinar
Thu., Oct. 11. 11:30 am-1:00 pm The Arc of NoVa, 2755 Hartland Rd Ste. 200, Falls Church 
This updated webinar will cover the Medicaid Waivers since the 2016 redesign, the intersection of CCC Plus Managed Care with Waivers, and mandates  to use EPSDT for some services.
Navigating the Path to Student WellnessLCPS Mental Health and Wellness Conference
Sat. Oct. 13, 8 am – 1 pm   Briarwoods High School, Ashburn
This conference will include a keynote on Anxiety and Our Youth, over 25 concurrent break out sessions, and a Loudoun County resource fair.
Getting Past Procrastination:  How to Get Your Kids Focused, and Motivated Without Being the Bad Guy
Tue. Oct 16, 7:30-9:00 pm, Oakwood Sch. 7210 Braddock Rd. Annandale
Learn practical ways and research based strategies to make the process of homework happen more smoothly.
My Teen with ADHD/Learning Disabilities . . . and Me! — 5 class series  $200
Thu. Oct. 18-Nov. 15, 6:30-8:00 pm Bridges Therapy 11166 Fairfax Blvd. #207, Fairfax
Gain insights, strategies, and practical solutions to guide you and your teen.
2018 Maryland State Conference on Gifted and Talented Education  $75
Fri. Oct. 19, 7:15 am -1:45 pm, New Town HS 4931 New Town Blvd. Owings Mills, MD 
Procedural Safeguards and Parental Rights
Fri. Oct. 19, 10 am – noon, Dunn Loring Ctr. 2334 Gallows Rd. Door 1, Dunn Loring
Learn about parental rights, independent evaluations, dispute resolution, and procedures when disciplining children with disabilities.
Register:  https://www.fcps.edu/node/28279  or 703-204-3941
Are You Really Ready? An Emergency Preparedness Workshop for Individuals with Disabilities and Their Families— with Webinar Option
Fri, Oct. 19, 10 am – noon, Arc of NOVA  2755 Hartland Rd Ste. 200, Falls Church
Learn how families of individuals with disabilities can become prepared for various types of emergencies.  A wide variety of agencies will participate on a panel.  Q & A included.
Building a System of Support – Regional ADHD Resource Fair
Sat. Oct 20, 8 am – 1 pm  BASIS Sch. 8000 Jones Branch Dr, McLean
Learn from local professionals, school representatives, and nonprofit organization members who provide for individuals with  ADHD.
Legal, Financial & Tax Considerations for Special Needs Families
Wed. Oct. 24,  9:00 am  Auburn Sch. 3800 Concorde Pkwy. Ste. 500, Chantilly
This workshop will provide a financial and legal overview, and will include tax considerations and  the integration of employer and government benefits. 
Executive Functioning Skills: What’s the Big Deal? 
Wed. Oct. 24, 9-11 am & Tue. Oct. 30, 6-8 pm LCPS Adm. Bldg 21000 Education Court, Ashburn
Executive Functioning (EF) skills impact every aspect of life. Learn to recognize EF challenges, strategies for learning EF skills, and ways to compensate for EF deficits.
Register:  https://www.lcps.org/Page/179754  or 571-252-6540
Navigating the Complex and Emotional World of Social Power:  Helping Your Kids Be Assertive and Gain Confidence
Wed. Oct. 24, 7:30-9:00 pm Lab Sch. 4759 Reservoir Rd, NW, Wash. DC
The talk will focus on social power in childhood relationships and guiding parents on how to help their kids learn to be assertive.
We Need to Talk About This:  Disability and Trauma Prevention, Identification, and Treatment
Thu, Oct. 25, 11:30 am – 1:00 pm The Arc of NoVa, 2755 Hartland Rd Ste. 200, Falls Church
A panel of social workers, therapists, and social skills coaches will share how to prevent abuse and trauma, how to identify trauma, and how to recover from traumatic experiences.
Bullying Behavior & Cyberbullying 
Thu. Oct. 25,  6:30-8:30 pm LCPS Admin. Bldg. 2100 Education Ct. Ashburn 
Learn about K-12 bullying and cyberbullying prevention, services, and resources that are provided by school counselors and law enforcement.  
Register:  https://www.lcps.org/Page/179754  or 571-252-6540
2 Days of 2e  — Virtual Conference
October 26 & 27
This online conference focusing on gifted learners with disabilities will include speakers, discussion forums, and a virtual exhibit hall.
FallFest 2018
Sun. Oct. 28, 1:00-3:30 pm Frying Pan Farm Park 2739 West Ox Rd. Herndon
Young adults, teens, and families — Free lunch, cider, a wagon ride, and conversations about mental health led by young adult leaders.
You Can Help Prevent Bullying:  Strategies for Parents
Tue. Oct. 30, 6:30-8:00 pm, Dunn Loring Ctr. 2334 Gallows Rd. Door 1, Dunn Loring
Become prepared to prevent bullying, both on line and in life, by learning what to watch for, ways to prevent it, and supports to minimize its impact.
Register:  https://www.fcps.edu/node/28279  or 703-204-3941