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Special Education

This section is dedicated to providing our special education families with information, resources and a forum for responding to and supporting your journey advocating on behalf of your teen. Feel free to contact Jane Winant, PTSA Special Education Liaison, with any comments, questions, content recommendations or suggestions on how we can improve.


Jane Winant

PTSA Special Education Liaison


Thinking Outside the Box: CREATIVE Postsecondary Employment Ideas, NOV 29th

For parents of students with disabilities:  This workshop for parents of students with disabilities will provide an overview of customized employment and will include information on the Self-Directed Services program offered by the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board (CSB). Additional information will be provided on the skills a parent would need to coordinate services and potential funding sources. A parent panel will share their experiences with customized employment and self-directed services for their graduates.
Thinking Outside the Box will be presented by FCPS Career and Transition Services, The Arc of Northern Virginia and the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board.  Information flyer here.

AHS Family Support Group

The Family Support Group is going into its fifth year. This group provides support and information for parents who have a student in the Cat B Program at Annandale High School. The meetings are moderated by Dan Campbell, LCSW. Light refreshments are served by the Culinary Arts students. This is a school-enabled event paid for by donations from the PTSA. Groups are held on Friday mornings in the Learning Center from 8:00 to 9:30 AM on October 27, January 19, March 16 and May 18. If you have a student in the Cat B Program and would like more information please contact Anne Brosnan at 703-642-4207."
I know the new 8:00 am Friday timing is challenging for many. Please attend if you can, and if you would like to attend but cannot, please let me know by email at thewinants@yahoo.com or by calling or texting to 401-637-2097 with information about your preferred times and days for family meetings.

Cameron’s Coffee & Chocolates

Cameron's Coffee & Chocolates is the first business enterprise of the non-profit foundation, Every1 Can Work. 9639 Fairfax Blvd. (a gem hidden in the Fairfax Center strip mall).

Save the Date  

AHS Cat B Resource Nights 2017-18
Resource Nights have not yet been scheduled, and suggestions from parents and caregivers are very welcome! For the first resource night, the tentative plan is to assemble a panel of parents whose Cat B students have graduated from AHS to take questions and talk about what life is like on the other side and what we should know before we get there.
Important Community Training & Information Events this Fall
Some great free workshops and resource fairs are coming this fall with special relevance for Cat B families. There is so much for all of us to learn as we realize that one day our students will age out of FCPS, whether this year or a few years from now.
December 2nd: Future Quest
Held every other year at George Mason University, more information to follow (Click for Flyer)

AHS Cat B Family Newsletter

October 2017


June 2017


April 2017


February 2017


December 2016

Calling Parents of Cat B Graduates!

A few of you are on this email list, and current Cat B parents could benefit from your experience. Would you be willing to sit on a parent panel to talk informally about your lives after high school and answer questions from current Cat B parents? We would love to hear from you if you are able and willing to share. Thanks for your consideration, and just email me if you are interested! Jane

A note from Cat B teacher Ms. Reap:  we really need plastic bags.  If anyone has their groceries/other retail purchases bagged in plastic bags, instead of recycling the bags or throwing them out, please send them in with their son/daughter to school. Thank you!

Parent Information Relating to Special Education

All these opportunities are FREE unless noted.  
In most cases you must register if registration information is provided.
The FCPS Parent Resource Center (PRC) helps parents of students with disabilities.  It sponsors workshops, has a lending library, and has Parent Liaisons to help parents solve problems. 2334 Gallows Rd. Rm 105, Dunn Loring    English:  703 204-3941  Espanol: 703 204-3955  
Fairfax County Family Parenting Classes
Mondays Sept. 18 - Dec.18 5:30 - 8:00 pm Locations in Fairfax, Alexandria, and Reston. These caring, comprehensive classes for parents and their chidden help them learn ways to work together as a family.  Dinner and child care included. Information:  http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dfs/childrenyouth/nurturingparenting.htm#children

Parent Information Relating to Special Education

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


NAMI  Basics -- 6 Week Class

6 Thur. Oct. 5 - Nov. 9, 7-9 pm.  Location in Herndon will be shared when you register. This course is for parents and caregivers of youth under age 18 who have a behavioral, emotional, or mental health condition.  Childcare available with registration. To register, send email to Cheryl  cherstinane@gmail.com with the best phone number to reach you. A facilitator will contact you regarding course registration.


Morning at the Museum -- National Zoological Park
Sat. Nov. 4, 8:00 - 9:30 am, National Zoo, 3001 Connecticut Ave. Washington, DC 
Families with students with cognitive or sensory processing disabilities may come for sensory-friendly activities at the Zoo. For parking: enter from Beech Dr. NW.   
Commonwealth Coordinated Care Plus (CCC+) Town Hall Meeting 
Thurs. Nov. 16, 1 - 3 pm, Fairfax County Govt. Ctr. 12000 Govt. Ctr Pkwy. Fairfax
Learn about CCC+, the Medicaid managed care program for Virginia residents who have a disability, are receiving waiver benefits, and/or are Medicaid eligible.
Family Movie Night:  Bernie Mac, Kinship and Me
Nov. 17  6:00-8:30 pm   Formed Families Forward 4031 University Drive, Fairfax, VA 22030 
Join other kinship caregivers for a family movie night, with clips from The Bernie Mac Show. Children enjoy a G-rated movie next door. Light dinner served at 6 pm. 
Commonwealth Coordinated Care Plus (CCC+) - Weekly Conference Calls
Tuesdays until Dec. 19, noon -12:30 pm
Get your questions answered on the new CCC+ program.
Giving a Fish a Bath:  The Untold Story of the Adolescent Mind
Fri. Nov. 17, 10 am - noon, Dunn Loring Center Door 1, 2334 Gallows Rd. Dunn Loring
Hear about recent neurological discoveries about how adolescent brains work to better understand and interact with the teens in your life.
Circle of Support: A Conference for Families of Children with Special Needs 
Sat. Nov. 18, 8:00 am - 3:30 pm, Hylton HS, 14051 Spriggs Rd. Woodbridge, VA 
This conference focuses on the needs of children with intellectual disabilities.
Prices vary; scholarships are available.  Limited childcare available for $15.
Adoption and the College Admissions Process Workshop
Sat. Nov. 18, 1 pm - 3pm C.A.S.E., 4000 Blackburn Ln. Burtonsville, MD
High school freshman, sophomores, juniors and their families will learn how adoption might or could be part of the admissions process. Cost: $35 per family
Henderson Hall Exceptional Family Member Program Social and Pot Luck
Sat, Nov. 18, 1 – 3 pm USO Warrior Center, 5940 9th Street, Fort Belvoir
Open to active, reserve, and retired service members and their families from all branches of service.  Bring a list of the ingredients (for those with allergies).
Depression in Children and Teens: What You Need to Know
Fri. Dec. 1, 10 am - noon, Dunn Loring Center Door 1, 2334 Gallows Rd. Dunn Loring
Learn about the symptoms of childhood depression, important warning signs, and treatment options. Friday, December 1, 2017
Register:  https://www.fcps.edu/node/28279  or 703 204-3941
Social Security: The Application and Appeal Process for SSI and SSDI
Fri, Dec. 1, 10 am – noon The Arc of NOVA, 2755 Hartland Rd., Ste 200, Falls Church
Learn how and when to apply for adult disability for a child (SSI and/or SSDI), what to do if you have to appeal a denial of benefits, and how to leverage the benefits.
Future Quest 2018
Sat. Dec. 2, 8 am - 3 pm, GMU Johnson Center, 4400 University Dr., Fairfax
This college and career event is for all middle school and high school students with disabilities and their parents. It includes over 70 sessions and exhibits.
Adolescent Anxiety: What It Looks Like and How to Support It
Dec. 6, 7:30 - 9:00 pm, Lab School, 4759 Reservoir Rd. NW, Washington, DC 
Learn how to recognize excessive worry in teens and gain strategies to help them reduce their stress in healthy ways.

Support Groups for Youth

Youth and Young Adults: Stronger Together 
Alternate Tuesdays, Oct. 10 through May 2018,  6:30-8:00 pm  in Fairfax.
This peer-to-peer support group for youth ages 14 - 22  meets twice a month through May.   Parents, caregivers and guardians meet at the same time.  Light dinner included.
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  703- 641-8940
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  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:  Diane Monnig  703 208-1119 x 118
Community of Solutions  Helping Teens Cope with Life Stress   www.facebook.com/cosdcmetro/

Local Support Groups for Parents 

Alpha Moms  This support group for adoptive parents meets monthly in McLean.  

CHADD: Children & Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder  
Alexandria CHADD Parent Support Group  4th Mon. of each month at 6:30 pm
West Fairfax CHADD Parent Support Group   1st & 3rd Tues. of each month at 7:30 pm Contact:  Sharon  clintob@aol.com  703 716-4646 
CSB Family Support Group at Gatlan Center  2nd and 4th Wed. of each month 6-8 pm in Alexandria Contact:  Samar.Chwairy@fairfaxcounty.gov 703-799-2882
D.A.D.S.  Dads Appreciating Down Syndrome 3rd Thur. each month, 7-9 pm in Alexandria; and last Wed. of each month in Tysons at 7-9 pm  Contact:  rich_westhoff@hotmail.com   571-490-1268
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  703-246-2495
JCCNV Special Needs Parent Support Group  1st Wed. each month, 7:00–8:30 pm  
Contact:  Melissa at MelissaH@jccnv.org Cost: $15 per meeting. 
NAMI:  National Alliance on Mental Illness builds better lives for those affected by mental illness.
Fairfax Family Support Group meets on the 2nd Thur. of each month  7:30-9:00 pm
Contact:  Heather   daviesva@gmail.com  or  703-362-4985
Springfield Family Support Group  meets the 4th Thur. of each month 7:00-8:30 pm
Contact:  Heather    daviesva@gmail.com  or  703-362-4985
OCD Family Support Group   1st Mon. of each month, 7:30 pm  
POAC: Parents of Autistic Children of Northern Virginia  
Bimonthly Support Group  Contact:  Nicole Zupan at nicizupan@gmail.com    
Support Group for Parents of Struggling to Launch Young Adults
3rd Thursday of every month, 6:00 - 7:30pm
The Thrive Center offices, 6310 Stevens Forest Road, Suite #100, Columbia MD  20146  
RSVP to Sara Love at 410.740.3240