Special Education Resources and Events


The Fairfax County Special Education PTA (SEPTA), https://fairfaxcountysepta.org, is dedicated to supporting the unique needs of special education, special needs and disabled students and families.  They have an excellent set of resources on their website which include information on the following (plus much more!):

The SEPTA website also has a list of other FCPS resources under their Resources tab. Some (but not all!) of the listed resources are:

The FCPS Parent Resource Center is open and continues to provide direct assistance to families, educators, and community members.  The staff there can help you find answers and solve problems.  prc@fcps.edu   703-204-3941 

FCPS school counselors, psychologists and social workers are available – Any FCPS parent may schedule a 30-minute phone consultation for themselves or their middle or high school student.  Consultations will provide support and strategies to students who may be experiencing difficulties with anxiety, mood, behavior, or peer or family interactions.Register:  https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeFLnv14CZ1Pga7QpeDpxXpKNVM4U8YvJdS08XL9yKEk7fJtA/viewform?utm_name= 

 FCPS Ombudsman: Another valuable resource, Armando Peri  https://www.fcps.edu/department/office-family-student-ombudsm

FCPS Return to School Supports for Students with Disabilities is a webpage that outlines FCPS’s approach to the return to school and provides links to many resources.

Support Groups

All these support groups are open to newcomers, most are online, and they are free, except where noted.  No diagnosis is required to participate. Participants are typically given the opportunity to share their story, experience support, and glean guidance (as desired) from group members regarding both community and school resources.  Confidentiality is respected.
Alpha Moms  This support group for adoptive parents meets monthly in McLean.  Contact:  robin4brady@gmail.com

Autism Dads meets one evening monthly typically in the past in Falls Church.  Contact:  George Buzby at 571-419-1257 or gbuzby@aol.com

Autism Society of Northern Virginia Virtual Support Group 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month,1:00-2:30 pm via Zoom.  Meeting ID:  83085728013 

Business Networking Event for Special Needs ParentsAlternate Fridays, May 29 and following, 9:00-10:30 am Via Zoom.  Connect with fellow special needs parents and business owners, build your referral network, and share best practices.  Contact:  https://thearcofloudoun.org/networking/

CHADD: Children & Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

  • Alexandria CHADD Parent Support Group  4th Mon. of each month at 6:30 pm.  Contact:  Alyssa  ADHDParentMountVernon@gmail.com  or call 303-903-9972.
  • Loudoun County CHADD Parent Support 3rd Tue. morning of the month in Sterling.  Contact:  Bonnie Little  571-306-2932 or on Facebook @loudounahdhsupport
  • West Fairfax/Burke CHADD Parent Support Group  1st & 3rd Thur. of each month at 8 pm Contact:  Cathy,  ocgreulich@aol.com  

CSB Family Support Group at Gatlan Center  2nd and 4th Wed. of each month 6-7:30 pm via Zoom Contact:  Samar.Chwairy@fairfaxcounty.gov or call 703-799-2882.

D.A.D.S.  Dads Appreciating Down Syndrome 3rd Tue. each month, 7-9 pm via Zoom.  Contact:  George gbuzby@aol.com or call 703- 545-6089.

Dr. Dan’s Support Group for Parents Raising Challenging Children meets via Zoom on Mondays, 1-2 pm, Register:  http://survey.constantcontact.com/survey/a07eh2rnzqrk9vdghmb/a0179kbgrhnj1/questions

Epilepsy Parent Support Group & Discussion Series meets monthly on the 4th Thursday, 7:00-8:30 pm.  Register:  https://epilepsywdc.org/events/epilepsy-parent-support-group-discussion-series-virtual/

Fairfax Juvenile Court Parent Support for problems including runaway behavior, truancy, alcohol/drug abuse, and serious behavioral problems at home, at school, or in the community. Sign up for a phone consultation at https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0a44abab29abf85-juvenile

Grupo de Chat para Padres:  Unete a nuestro nuevo GRUPO DE CHAT mediante la aplicación de WhatsApp y podras mantenerte al tanto de todo lo que PEATC Latino esta haciendo. Entra al GRUPO: https://bit.ly/2VoU2vw   (Chat Group for Latino Parents: Join our new CHAT GROUP through the WhatsApp application and you will be able to keep up to date with everything that PEATC Latino is doing.)

NAMI:  National Alliance on Mental Illness builds better lives for affected families.  Arlington Parent Support Group meets two Sundays a month at 7:00-8:30 pm.  Contact:  Michelle Best mczero@yahoo.com

Parent Café (for all Fairfax County parents and guardians) meets via Zoom in English on Mon. 7:45-9:15 pm,for African Americans on Thu. at 6:00-7:30 and en español, miércoles, 7:00-8:30 pm.  Register at least 24 hours in advance by email: BuildingStrongerFamilies@fairfaxcounty.gov or 703-324-7720

Parents in a Pandemic is for families of children or young adults with developmental and/or behavioral challenges.  They meet twice monthly, 5:00-6:00 pm on Tuesdays.  Contact Diane Manning dmonnig@thearcofnova.org .

Parents of Autistic Children (POAC-NOVA) Parent Support Group meets on Saturdays occasionally.  Contact:  Brianne Russel-Morris administrator@poac-nova.org .

Parents of Autistic Teens meets some Sat. of each month.  Contact:  Maria Dubuc 703-970-3676 or Admin@ASNV.org


All these opportunities are FREE unless noted.  In most cases you must register if registration information is provided.

Ongoing and On Demand events and courses follow this monthly list of events.When other events become available they will be posted at:https://fairfaxcountysepta.org/upcoming-community-events/

The FCPS Parent Resource Center Library now has a contact free procedure for lending their materials.   prc@fcps.edu  703-204-3941

Connecting the Dots: Accessible Instructional Materials Thu. Oct 1, 10 amLearn about accessible instructional materials (AIM) for students with difficulty using print materials, including who qualifies, and how to access them. Register:  https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_u7kx3PbKQQi8vucTjgKXbA

Helping Students Gain Perspective on Their EmotionsThu. Oct. 1, noon-3:30 pm With replay access  $35Emotions are central to social competencies, executive functions, and self-regulation.  Gain activities to help students learn about their emotions.Register:  https://www.socialthinking.com/online-training/livestream-event?

Children’s Mental Health Symposium: Navigating the Adolescent and Young Adult Years Fri., Oct. 2, 8:00 am-4:45 pmTracks include cultural competency, substance use disorder, clinical topics, and transition to adulthood. Register:  https://www.accelevents.com/e/CHoRMentalHealth20

How to Get Your Child/Adolescent to Open Up to You Fri. Oct. 2, 10:00-11:30 amLearn strategies that you can use to open lines of communication with your children and increase productive interactions.Register:  https://www.fcps.edu/resources/family-engagement/parent-resource-center/register-free-workshops-parent-resource-center

Strong Minds, Healthy Lives: Strategies to Empower People Affected by ADHD4 Tuesdays, Oct. 6, 13, 20, & 27, 7:00–8:30 pmThis year’s local CHADD Resource Fair includes four speakers with powerful ideas to help parents of children with ADHD.Register:  https://www.chadd.net/chapter-events/115

We’ve Got This: Adjusting our Perspective to Help Kids Manage ADHD During the PandemicOctober 6, 7:00–8:30 pm, Via ZoomDr. Catherine McCarthy will discuss how the circumstances of the pandemic affect the treatment needs of kids with ADHD. Register:  https://www.chadd.net/chapter-events/115

Strengthening Families

— 8 week courseMon. & Wed. Oct. 7 to Dec. 7, 5:00-6:30 pm, Via ZoomParents and youth (ages 10-14) can strengthen family bonds through discussion, games, roleplaying, and family projects. Raffles included.Register:  Kristy Ferrufino 703-672-1410 or email kferrufino@scanva.org
Fortalecimiento de Familias — taller de 8 semanas en españolLunes y miércoles, 7 de octubre a 7 de diciembre, 5-6:30 pm, a través de ZoomÚnase con otros padres y jóvenes, edades 10 a 14, y fortalece el enlace familiar con discusiones, juegos, proyectos familiares. Registrarse:  Kristy Ferrufino 703-672-1410 o emial kferrufino@scanva.org

Fall 2020 Transition University Virtual Training Sun. Oct. 11 to Mon. Nov. 23, 5 Week Online CourseThis self-paced course for parents of school aged children with IEPs includes the major topics needed to plan now for your child’s future adult life. Register: https://bit.ly/2ztNrbN

Dyslexic Edge 2020: Pathways to STEM Excellence       $35Mon. Oct 12, Recorded content released; Sat. Oct. 17, 9 am-2 pm Live Speakers, an exhibit hall, and live expert chat, will focus on on dyslexia, perseverance, and distance learning with assistive technology. Register:  https://www.thedyslexicedge.org/agenda

Teen Stress and Self-Care:  Strategies For Teens and ParentsMon. Oct. 12, 7-8 pmLearn how to recognize stress-based behavior and how to reduce stress moving forward. Register:  http://bridgestherapyandwellness.com/events/

Impact vs. Intention: The Importance of Collaboration When Dismantling Structural Racism    Mon. Oct 12, 7:00-8:30 pm,  $15The individual and organizational challenges of racial healing and collaborative decision-making will be discussed in view of the current structural racism in the US.Register:  https://thesycamoreschoolva.org/upcoming-events/

How to Prevent Opioid Use in Your Community Tue. Oct. 13, noon-1 pmLearn how you can take action to prevent opioid use, misuse and addiction in your community. Register:  https://attendee.gototraining.com/r/3386773300129243650

Navigating the Teen & Tween Years — 7 week courseTues. Oct. 13 to Dec. 1, 5-7 pm, Via ZoomJoin other parents of 10-16 yr. olds to address how to set routines, manage conflict and navigate exposure to drugs and tobacco.Register:  Kristy Ferrufino 703-672-1410 or email kferrufino@scanva.org

Navegación de la adolescencia — taller de 7 semanas en españolEl martes, 13 de octubre a 1 de diciembre, 5-7 pm, a través de ZoomSe centra en crear un ambiente para apoyar cambios de comportamiento positivos con familias de niños mayores de 10 años.Registrarse:  Kristy Ferrufino 703-672-1410 o emial kferrufino@scanva.org

The Secret Power of a Growth Mindset in Children and Adults with ADHDTue, Oct. 13, 7:00–8:30 pm, Via ZoomMary Cay Ricci will focus on ways a growth mindset can improve psychosocial skills, goal setting, and strategies for getting “unstuck.”Register:  https://www.chadd.net/chapter-events/115

What Parents Need to Know About Teenagers and AutismThu. Oct. 15, 11 am-noon, Register at: https://asnv.nonprofiteasy.net/PublicPages/Event/Details.aspx?eid=34466&sid=241247

How Stress and Trauma Affect ADHD in Children of All Colors — and How to Heal the Wounds Thu. Oct. 15, 1-2 pm, Webinar with Replay LinkLearn about the similarity in symptoms of trauma and ADHD, how the two can interact, the role of racial trauma, and resources for healing.Register: https://www.additudemag.com/webinar/adhd-and-trauma/?

Five Strategies for Parents Who Support Children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum DisorderThu. Oct. 15, 1:00-2:30 pm,  With 30 day extended access    $15-$0 Register:  https://adoptionsupport.myabsorb.com/#/catalog/cb4d4e40-39d8-42ec-9d71-3e3bbdb5a716

Alcohol, Drugs, and Vaping: What Every Parent Needs to KnowFri. Oct 16, 10:00-11:30 amLearn about current trends in substance use and what to watch out for in order to keep your kids healthy and safe.Register:  https://www.fcps.edu/resources/family-engagement/parent-resource-center/register-free-workshops-parent-resource-center

Emotions Count:  From Research to Practice   $25-$105Sat. Oct. 17, 9 am-5 pm, Virtual, On Demand & Scholarship OptionsLearn the science and strategies to help students gain motivation and skills that will serve them well at school, at home and in the community.Register:  http://www.ccl-md.com/education-conference/

Dyslexic Edge 2020: Pathways to STEM Excellence       $35Sat. Oct 17, 9 am-2 pm, Speakers, a student panel, and a parent panel, will focus on on dyslexia, perseverance, and distance learning with assistive technology.Register:  https://www.thedyslexicedge.org/agenda

Falling Into Place:  Celebrating Family Resilience Sat. Oct 17, 9 am-noonFoster, adoptive, and kinship families attend sessions for children and youth as well as real time learning for parents, caregivers and professionals.Register:  https://formedfamiliesforward.org/event/spring-forward-foster-adoptive-and-kinship-family-fun-day-2020/

Parenting ADHD SummitMon. Oct. 19 to Fri. Oct. 23,  36 hr access free; forever access $87 Hear 30 ADHD experts on decoding and improving behavior, addressing common challenges,  nutrition, social struggles, and creating room for joy day-to-day. Register:  https://thebehaviorrevolution.com/parenting-summits/parenting-adhd-summit-2020-conference-experts/

Parenting Autism SummitMon. Oct. 19 to Fri. Oct. 23,  36 hr access free; forever access $87 Hear 30 autism experts on decoding and improving behavior, addressing common challenges,  nutrition, social struggles, and creating room for joy day-to-day. Register:  https://thebehaviorrevolution.com/parenting-summits/parenting-autism-summit-2020-conference-experts/

Why Autonomy is So Important for Kids with ADHD (And for Everybody Else)Tue, Oct. 20, 7:00–8:30 pm, Via ZoomDr. William Stixrud will focus on tools parents and educators can use to help students with ADHD develop a strong sense of autonomy and why that’s important.Register:  https://www.chadd.net/chapter-events/115

Trauma and Resilience-Oriented Care at Home and in the ClassroomWed. Oct. 21, noon-1:30 pm, WebinarLearn about skill development for children who have experienced complex trauma and how to help caregivers experiencing compassion fatigue.Register: https://cvent.me/BN1qEb

Parenting Children of Color with Dr. Jamell White Wed. Oct. 21, 7-8 pm, via Zoom     $20Join him and other parents to discuss the unique issues in raising children of color with special needs and the impact of recent race-related events on children. Register: https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/eventReg?oeidk=a07eh7nbz60a02987cf&oseq=&c=&ch=

The Fire This Time:  Building an Equitable and Inclusive CommunityWed. Oct. 21, 7:30-9:00 pmAfter a look at systemic racism in education, we will focus on the need for equity and inclusion in building new systems to mold civic-minded individuals. Register: https://www.labschool.org/community-and-resources/lecture-series

Challenging Behaviors:  Prevention Strategies and Teaching Self-ControlThu. Oct. 22, 10:00-11:30 am OR 6:30-8:00 pmLearn specific strategies to encourage positive behavior at home by preventing challenging situations.Register:  https://www.fcps.edu/resources/family-engagement/parent-resource-center/register-free-workshops-parent-resource-center

Calming the Chaos:  Productivity and Peace of MindTue, Oct. 27, 7:00–8:30 pm, Via ZoomJackie Woodside will discuss how Calming the Chaos can help teens and parents move from “crazy busy” to meaningfully productive and less stressed. Register:  https://www.chadd.net/chapter-events/115

Better School Behavior:  How to Design and implement a Positive and Effective Behavior PlanThu. Oct 29, 1 pm, With replay linkLearn how a behavior support plan can use prevention, skill-building, and redesigning of the environment to aid struggling students. Register:  https://www.additudemag.com/tag/webinar/

The Voice of Families: Pathways to Integrated Employment for Individuals with IDDThu. Oct 29, 2:00-2:45Gain insights and recommendations for strengthening the pathways to the world of work, from families who have pursued that for a family member.   Register:  https://vcurrtc.org/training/webcasts/

Launching Your Adolescent into AdulthoodFri. Oct. 30, 10:00-11:30 am, Learn ways to help your young adult gain independence by your teaching money management, self-advocacy, and other “soft” skills.Register:  https://www.fcps.edu/resources/family-engagement/parent-resource-center/register-free-workshops-parent-resource-center