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:  https://fairfaxcountysepta.org/upcoming-community-events/

Resources for Special Education

The Fairfax County Special Education PTA has an excellent set of resources on their website: https://fairfaxcountysepta.org
In the Resources section you will find information on each of the following:
  • Acronyms
  • FCPS Behavior Intervention Services
  • FCPS Guidelines on the Use of Physical Restraint & Seclusion
  • FCPS Special Education Resource List
  • Organizations
  • Ongoing Support Groups for Youth and Parents
 FCPS Ombudsman is another valuable resource:  Armando Peri  https://www.fcps.edu/department/office-family-student-ombudsman


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/

‘Meraki’ Teen Drop-In Group Thursdays 6:00-7:30 pm, at 1st Floor Lobby of Merrifield Center, 8221 Willow Oaks Corporate Drive, Fairfax  Contact: 703-207-7893 Peer Recovery Support Staff.

Youth and Young Adults: Stronger Together
Alternate Tuesdays, Jan. 8 through May 2019,  6:15-8:00 pm  in Fairfax.  This peer-to-peer support group is for youth ages 14 – 22.   Parents, caregivers and guardians meet at the same time.  Light dinner included.  Register:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2018-2019-stronger-together-peer-support-groups-tickets-48128410371

Support Group for High School Students with ADHD  meets the 1st Sunday of each month 3:30 – 5:00 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.

People First for Young Adults
2nd Tue. monthly, 6:30 – 8:00 pm  The Arc , 2755 Hartland Rd Suite 200, Falls Church.  Youth with disabilities age 14-26 practice public speaking skills, plan social outings, learn from guests on topics of life skills and advocacy, and do projects to enhance social skills.  Information:  Call Diane Monnig  at 703-208-1119 x 118.

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.
Burke CHADD Parent Support Group  last Thu. of each month at 7:30 pm. Contact:  Kim kimberlyrgriffin@yahoo.com
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
Northern Virginia Tourette Support Group meets the 2nd Sunday of each month at noon at the Chantilly Public Library.  Contact:  mark.bramer@gmail.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.
Parents of Autistic Children (POAC) meeting times and location posted at: https://poac-nova.org/events/


Ongoing and Plan Ahead Events

Accommodations for Recreational Classes and Camps with Fairfax County Parks 
Accommodations include physical accessibility, ASL interpreters, assistive devices, sensitivity training for classmates, and staff training.  To request accommodations, email gary.logue@fairfaxcounty.gov or 703 324-8563

Fairfax County Parks – Adapted Recreation for Kids
Swimming, gymnastics, ice skating, fitness, park explorers.
Fairfax County Therapeutic Recreation
Scholarships for Classes with Fairfax County Parks
Children of families that receive public assistance (medicaid, free school lunch, SNAP, TANF) are eligible to take one set of classes per quarter for a $15 registration fee.
Post-Adoptive Recreation Program for Youth 10-15 with Special Needs
A once-monthly Saturday recreation and respite program open to Fairfax County residents who have adopted via public or private agencies.
Contact: Formed Families Forward info@formedfamiliesforward.org
Give an Hour Healthy Minds Fairfax
A new program will provide no-cost mental health services to income eligible children and youth ages 5-21.  Information:  https://giveanhour.org/initiatives-and-programs/healthy-minds-fairfax/
On Demand – Dyslexia & the IEP: How to Make Sure the IEP is in Tip-Top Shape
Webinar On demand, available 24/7.
*Please Note: FCPS (Fairfax County Public Schools) and ACPS (Alexandria City Public Schools) can often provide translation services for their events into Spanish, Arabic, or other languages if you contact them well in advance.

November 2019 Events

The Arc of NOVA Fall 2019 Transition Series  $25-$50
Nov. 9, 8:30 am-3:00 pm, Rowley Hall, 2807 N. Glebe Road, Arlington
This 2-day event educates families for when a student transitions from school-based to community-based services for adults with developmental disabilities.  https://thearcofnova.org/programs/transition-series/

October 2019 Events

Strengthening Families — 8 week course
Tue. Oct. 1-Nov.19, 6:00-8:30 pm, Hammond ES 4646 Seminary Rd. Alexandria
Parents and youth (ages 10-14) can strengthen family bonds through discussion, games, roleplaying, and family projects. Free dinner & Childcare (for ages 2-9).
Register:  Aurea Galvan Palacios agalvanpalacios@scanva.org  703-820-9001×105
FCPS Mental Health and Wellness Conference
Sat. Oct. 5, 8 am-4 pm, Fairfax HS 3501 Rebel Run, Fairfax
This conference for parents, with a separate agenda for teens, will focus on social and emotional learning, and addiction prevention and treatment.
ADHD and Mental Health Resource Fair
Sat. Oct.12, 8 am-1pm, ASCE HQ Bechtel Conf. Ctr. 1801 Alexander Bell Dr, Reston
This conference, sponsored by CHADD and NAMI, will include a keynote, exhibitors, and two workshop sessions with a choice of 8 topics.
Real Assistive Technology for Everyone (RATE) Conference
Sat. Oct. 19, 8:30 am -1:00 pm, Rachel Carson MS 13618 McLearen Rd, Herndon
Keynote followed by two sessions
Future Quest 2019:  College and Career Forum
Oct. 26, 8 am-3:00, Johnson Ctr. GMU, 4400 University Dr. Fairfax
This conference for middle school and high school students and their families helps students with disabilities plan for after high school.
Register:  futurequestgmu.org 

September 2019 Events

Strengthening Families — 8 week course
Wed. Sep. 11-Oct. 30, 6:00-8:30 pm, Coates ES 2480 River Birch Rd. Herndon 
Parents and youth (ages 10-14) can strengthen family bonds through discussion, games, roleplaying, and family projects. Free dinners & Childcare (for ages 2-9).
Register:  Solangie McPherson  svmcpherson@fcps.edu or 703-713-3232
Community Recovery Resource Fair 
Sat. Sep. 14, 9:00 am-3:30 pm, New Hope Church 8905 Ox Road, Lorton
Learn about public, local, and regional resources available to help families navigating substance use disorders. “Chasing the Dragon” film will be shown.
Autism and Puberty:  A Frank Look into the Future
Sat. Sep. 14, 10 am,  Autism Society of NOVA 10467 White Granite Dr. #324, Oakton 
Learn about the unique challenges autistics face during puberty and how parents may help their children navigate this life phase in a non-embarrassing fashion.
The ADA:  An Overview of the Civil Rights Law with a Focus on People with Developmental Disabilities — With Webinar Option 
Wed. Sep. 18, noon –1:00 pm, The Arc of Nova, 2755 Hartland Ave. #200, Falls Church
Learn how this law most significantly impacts people with developmental disabilities in employment, school, post-secondary education, and the community.
Gender Differences in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Wed. Sep. 18, 6-8 pm Stone Hill MS 23415 Evergreen Ridge Dr. Ashburn
Learn about the how the differences in ADHD symptoms between boys and girls commonly affect diagnosis and treatment of this condition.
Register:  https://www.lcps.org/parentresourceservices  or 571-252-6540
2019 Autism Research Symposium
Fri. Sep. 20, 7:30 am–1:30 pm, Marriott 3111 Fairview Park Dr. Falls Church
Learn about autism research from biomedical, imaging, technology, education, and clinical translational fields. Tour the VT Mobile Autism Clinic. Meals included
RSVP by phone at (571) 378-0245 or calford@financialguide.com 
Strategies to Help Children with ADHD Thrive Academically and Socially — Webinar
Thu. Sep. 19, time TBD — extended access available
WIN — Welcoming Inclusion Network Meeting
Mon. Sep. 23, 6:30-8:00 pm, Fairfax Govt. Ctr. Rm 9 Govt. Ctr. Pkwy, Fairfax
The meeting will include an inclusive panel and discussion with experts and employers who practice inclusive hiring, along with an update on WIN initiatives.
Social Security:  Applications and Disability Determinations — With Webinar Option
Tue. Sep. 24, 11:00 am–12:30 pm, Arc of NOVA 2755 Hartland Rd. # 200 Falls Church
Learn about applying for Social Security:  who is eligible, and how the Virginia Office of Disability Determination decides if someone has a disability that qualifies for benefits.
Building Trust and Resolving Conflict in the Special Ed Team — For Parents and Staff
Tue. Sep. 24, 7-9 pm, Gatehouse Adm, Ctr. Cafe, 8115, Gatehouse Rd. Falls Church
Hear how to address issues in ways that lead to problem-solving and compromise.  Strategies will be included on how to turn around a negative interaction. 
The Message of Behavior
Wed. Sep. 25, 9-11 am, LCPS Admin. Bldg. 21000 Education Ct. Ashburn 
Learn ways to understand what your child is communicating though his or her behavior so as to find the most effective strategies for interventions.
Register:  https://www.lcps.org/parentresourceservices  or 571-252-6540
Johnathan Mooney — Neuro-Diverse Writer and Advocate
Wed. Sep. 25, 7:30-9:00 pm, Lab Sch. 4759 Reservoir Rd, NW, Wash. DC
When Anxiety Affects Education
Thu. Sep. 26,  11:45 am-1:15 pm The StudyPro 6849 Old Dominion Dr. #200, McLean
Learn strategies that parents can use at home to address school-based anxiety, including how to work with the school and how to support without enabling avoidance.

May 2019 Events

Kinship Café:  Dinner and Discussion for Kinship Caregivers
Wed. May 8, 6-8 pm,  Mott Community Center 12111 Braddock Rd. Fairfax
Share a family meal and conversation about raising children for relatives or friends.  Includes separate games and activities for children and teens.
Register by Wed. May 1:  email  kfi@fairfaxcounty.gov or 703 246-4653
Ending the Silence:  Raising Awareness and Changing Perceptions About Mental Health Conditions
Wed. May 1, 7:00-8:30 pm, Arc of GPW 13505 Hillendale Dr. Woodbridge
This presentation includes warning signs of a possible mental health condition and how to get help. Early recognition and prevention are key to positive outcomes. 
Plan Ahead — Parenting Wisely — 5 week class
Tue. May 21-Jun. 18, 6:30-8:00 pm, Sherwood CC 3740 Old Lee Hwy. Fairfax
Using realistic videos, facilitators take parents through common issues such as sibling conflict, doing chores, managing schoolwork, finding drugs, and curfews.
Sibling Leadership Network (SLN) Survey 
Help SLN learn about the experiences of siblings of individuals with disabilities so as to develop more supports for them. Survey:  http://bit.ly/adultsiblingsurvey
Questions? Contact Meghan Burke at meghanbm@illinois.edu  217-300-1226
Family Power and Engagement
Thu. May 2, 6:30-8:30 pm, LCPS Admin. Bldg. 21000 Education Ct. Ashburn 
Learn how to use restorative discipline at home to help resolve conflict, improve communication, and develop empathy and self awareness within your family.
Register:  https://www.lcps.org/parentresourceservices  or 571-252-6540
High School Prep: A Strategic Transition from Middle School to High School
Thu. May 2, 10 am-noon, PRC, 2334 Gallows Rd. Door 1, Dunn Loring
Help your child to transition from guided to independent learning and to learn time management to balance academics, family time, sports, and a social life.
Register:  https://www.fcps.edu/node/28019/  or 703-204-3941 
Plan Ahead — Understanding the Eligibility and IEP Process
Mon. May 6, 10:00-11:30 am, TCW, Rm. 134, 3801 W. Braddock St. Alexandria
This workshop is designed to give parents new to ACPS Special Education a basic understanding of the Individualized Education Program (IEP) process. 
Register by May 2:  email  janet.reese@acps.k12.va.us or phone 703-824-0129 
Building Soft Skills for Employment for Students with Disabilities
Wed. May 8, 6:30-8:00 pm, TCW HS 3330 King St. Alexandria
Learn how to strengthen your child’s interpersonal skills, which are important in the workplace but may be difficult for students with disabilities to master.  
Register by May 3 email  janet.reese@acps.k12.va.us or phone 703-824-0129
The Ambiguous Losses of Raising a Child with a Developmental Disability
Sat. May 4, 10:00 am-noon, MBC 10002 Battleview Pkwy. Manasass
Strategies for managing ambiguous loss that have been adapted specifically for parents of children with a developmental disability will be presented. 
Parents as Partners: Building Bridges Between Home, School and Community 
Sat. May 4, noon-4 pm, Hampton MS 14800 Darbydale Ave. Woodbridge
Learn about special education, behavior intervention, mental health supports, home-school communication and school transitions.
Parent Caregivers Connect
Tue. May 7, 10:00-11:30 am, 8136 Old Keene Mill Rd # B-102, Springfield, VA
Connect with other parents who are caring for children with brain injuries. 
Understanding the Eligibility, 504, and Special Education Processes
Tue. May 7, 6-8 pm, LCPS Admin. Bldg. 21000 Education Ct. Ashburn 
Learn about the special education process from child study to the implementation of an IEP or a 504 plan.
Register:  https://www.lcps.org/parentresourceservices  or 571-252-6540
Supporting Your Child at School – Parent to Parent: Family Training on ADHD
Wed. May 8, noon–1:30 pm — Webinar   $49
Family members will learn about how ADHD affects learning and how to request support for your child at school to help ensure their success.
MPower Me Tech Workshop — For Parents and Students
Wed. May 8, 6-8 pm, The Arc of Nova, 2755 Hartland Ave. # 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 progress toward them.
Assistive Technology (AT) and Your Child: A Recipe for Success
Wed. May 8, 6:30-8:00 pm, Kellar Library GMU 4400 University Dr. Fairfax
Learn about your child’s right to AT, strategies for advocating for appropriate AT for your child during IEP meetings, and how to choose the right devices.
Breaking Down Barriers & Creating Community for Parents of Children with Disabilities — 3 Webinar Series
Part One:  Defining Your Community of Support 
Thu. May 9, noon-1 pm.  Learn how to grow a community of support tailored to your needs.
Children’s Mental Health Awareness Open House
Thu. May 9, 3:30-6:30 pm, Merrifield Ctr. 8221 Willow Oaks Corp. Dr. Fairfax  
Learn about local new programs being offered to address children’s mental health challenges. Includes speakers, events for children, professionals, and adults. 
Augmentative and Alternative Communication:  AAC Partner Training Strategies
May 15, 6:30-8:00 pm, TCW, Rm. 175, 3801 W. Braddock Rd. Alexandria
Learn about AAC tools and how to use them to enhance a child’s ability to communicate at home, at school, and in the community.  
Register by May 9:  email  janet.reese@acps.k12.va.us or phone 703-824-0129 
Screening of Intelligent Lives
Fri, May 10, time TBA, Rolling Valley ES 6703 Barnack Dr, West Springfield
This film points to a future in which people of all abilities can participate in higher education, meaningful employment, and intimate relationships.
Digital Citizenship:  Tips for Parents
Fri. May 10, 10 am-noon, PRC, 2334 Gallows Rd. Door 1, Dunn Loring
Learn how to provide a safe online space in which your children can learn healthy, ethical, and responsible technology use at home and in school.
Register:  https://www.fcps.edu/node/28019/  or 703-204-3941 
Emergency Preparedness & Safety Autism Education Workshop
Sat. May 11, 10 am-noon, ASNV 10467 White Granite Dr. Oakton
Learn about emergency preparedness for families with ASD, including safety guidelines, risk management and prevention, and community resources. 
Ford’s Theatre Sensory-Friendly Performance: Into the Woods
Sat. May 11, 2 pm, Ford’s Theatre 511 10th St NW, Washington, DC
This performance of Sondheim’s musical fairy tale with a twist is recommended for ages 12 and older.
Tickets:  202-347-4833, option 7    $25-$30 
Fairfax Disability Employment Summit
Mon. May 13, 4:30-6:30 pm, Fairfax Govt. Ctr. 12000 Govt. Center Blvd. Fairfax
Discuss ways to improve collaboration between government, non-profits, and companies to expand hiring. retention, and promotion of people with disabilities.    
Contact:   Michael Beattie  michaelbeattie@yahoo.com 703-994-8619.
Project First Responder
Tue. May 14, 6-8 pm, LCPS Admin. Bldg. 21000 Education Ct. Ashburn 
Learn about a program that helps first responders to assist individuals with developmental disabilities and their families to manage emergency situations.
Register:  https://www.lcps.org/parentresourceservices  or 571-252-6540
Kinship Family Focus Group: Suggestions for Fairfax
Tue, May 14, 6:15-7:15 pm, Formed Families Forward 4031 Univ. Dr. #100 Fairfax
Kinship families —Share your experiences, needs, and wishes for kinship family supports in our area  Child care available
Developing Independence in Teens and Children with ADHD
Tue. May 14, 7:00-8:30 pm, Filnt Hill Sch. 3320 Jermantown Rd. Oakton
This presentation will focus on skills all children need to develop in order to be independent, and how parents can foster this learning.
Waivers, Managed Care, and EPSDT — Webinar with hard copy option
Wed. May 15, 10:00-11:30 am 
Hear the basics of Medicaid Waivers including the move to CCC Plus Managed Care and the EPSDT program.  
Is Your Child a Target of Bullying?
Wed. May 15, 7:00-8:30 pm, Arc of GPW MH Ctr.13505 Hillendale Dr. Woodbridge
Learn how to talk with your child about bullying, how to prevent bullying from occurring, and how to develop responses to it if it occurs. 
How to Talk to Your Kids About Anxiety
Thu. May 16, 11:45 am-1:15 pm, StudyPro, 6849 Old Dominion Dr. #200, McLean
Learn how to use anxiety as a force for good, how to leverage it to motivate yourself, and how to help your children do the same.
Special Needs Legal & Financial Planning Workshop
Thu. May 16, 7-9 pm, NVJCC 8900 Little river Tnpk. Fairfax
This will be an overview of financial and legal planning as it relates to life stages, transitioning issues, legal issues and government programs.
Register:  Contact Carey 571-378-0245 or calford@financialguide.com
Suicide Prevention:  What Every Parent Needs to Know
Thu. May 16, LCPS Admin. Bldg. 21000 Education Ct. Ashburn 
Come to learn about risk factors, warning signs, protective factors, and strategies to reduce the likelihood of a child developing thoughts of suicide.
Register:  https://www.lcps.org/parentresourceservices  or 571-252-6540
Emergency Preparedness for Parents of Students with Disabilities
Fri. May 17, 10 am-noon, PRC, 2334 Gallows Rd. Door 1, Dunn Loring
Join the Office of Emergency Management to learn about emergency plans in Fairfax County for evacuation and sheltering of families of children with disabilities.
Register:  https://www.fcps.edu/node/28019/  or 703-204-3941 
Sat. May 18, 1-3 pm, Jackson MS, 3020 Gallows Rd. Falls Church
Families of children with atypical abilities are invited for interactive activities and exhibits involving science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics.
ACSD Meet and Greet
Thu. May 22, 7-9 pm. Jackson MS 3020 Gallows Rd, Falls Church
Learn about the Advisory Committee for Students with Disabilities (ACSD) and the services that are provided by the Parent Resource Center.
Breaking Down Barriers & Creating Community for Parents of Children with Disabilities — 3 Webinar Series
Part Two:  Getting Started:  Creating and Launching Your Community 
Thu. May 23, noon-1 pm.   Register:  https://bit.ly/2GrmiGj
Understanding Processing Speed — Webinar
Thu. May 23, noon
Learn why some students struggle to keep up in class and take longer to respond to questions or finish homework.