Concord Special Education Parent Advisory Committee

(Concord SPED PAC)

Calendar of Events 2008 - 2009

September / October / November / December / January / February / March / AprilMay / June

(If underlined click-on for more detail.)
(If underlined click-on for directions.)
School is back in session

1st SPED PAC Parent Meeting
TBA 7:00-9:00 pm

On October 16, there are 3 presentations to choose from:

October 16,  Thursday Transition to Work for Young People with Asperger’s Syndrome,
Executive Functioning Disorder, AD/HD, NVLD, Bipolar, Tourette Syndrome, etc.
This workshop provides practical strategies that parents can use to help their adolescents succeed in the critical first work experiences, thus laying the ground work for future career success. You’ll learn how to evaluate realistic jobs and work environments by “reading between the lines” of job descriptions and get ideas for using internships, volunteering and apprenticing as strategies for positive experiences. The pros and cons of disclosure will also be discussed. Worksheets and informational handouts are included.
This workshop is free and open to the public.
Presented by Barbara Bissonnette, Principal of Forward Motion Coaching

Alcott School
93 Laurel Street
Concord, MA 01742

7:00-9:00 pm
October 16,  Thursday College Planning for those with Attention or Learning Differences etc.
Applying to college can be a stressful and demanding process for both students and parents. Students with ADD and learning disabilities must begin the process earlier to achieve positive results. This workshop will outline the necessary steps and focus on encouraging self-advocacy and student involvement.
Sponsored by: Sudbury SEPAC.  This workshop is free and open to the public.
Presented by Renee Goldberg, Ed.D., Certified Educational Planner and
Marvin Goldberg, MSW, Educational Options, LLC
Lincoln Sudbury Regional High School
Conf. Rm. B
390 Lincoln  Rd Sudbury, MA 01776
7:00-9:00 pm
October 16,  Thursday Basic Rights: Denied
[This workshop is being offered in various locations through the year, so there are plenty of opportunities to attend this workshop on another date, and location.]

Parents will learn how to handle the most common obstacles that face at each stage of the special education process: referral, initial evaluation, eligibility determination, IEP development, placement, and reevaluation.
Attendees will also learn how to file a Massachusetts Department of Education complaint. Come learn the strategies used by the instructor during her long career as a successful special education advocate. The material, presented in a straightforward easy-to-understand format, is powerful and empowering.

    The workshop is suitable for those whose children already receive special education services, & for those who feel a child may have been inappropriately denied services.
Presented by Ellen Chambers, president of SPEDWatch
    Fee for the workshop is $35.00 per person, SPEDWatch members $25.00 per person. Registration is required contact Ellen:
978-433-5983 or email:
Minute Man Arc for Human Services (MMAHS)
130C Baker Ave Ext.
Concord, MA

6:00-9:00 pm

October 22,
Understanding your Basic Rights Workshop
  This workshop provides families with an introduction to their rights and responsibilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Massachusetts Special Education Law and No Child Left Behind (NCLB).  It is designed to help parents learn how to be effective partners with the school, to decide the child’s eligibility for special education, to plan, make decisions and to monitor the educational progress of their child.
Presenter Federation for Children with Special Needs Trainer.
This workshop is free and open to the public.
Co-sponsored by 4 PAC's: Acton/Boxborough (ABSpedPAC), Concord/Carlisle (CCSEPAC), Sudbury/Lincoln (SSEAC) and Minuteman Tech High School (MSEPAC).

Register with the Federation for Children with Special Needs for the workshop.
Ripley Building
Concord, MA 01742
7:00-9:00 pm

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November 6,
Executive Function
Does your child or student have issues that involve:
  • Organization in the classroom, with homework and long-term assignments?
  • Planning and Decision-Making?
  • Impulsivity and regulating behavioral responses?
  • Starting tasks?
  • Stopping and moving on to new tasks?
  • Pacing themselves within a given time frame?
                ...Then Your Child Needs to Learn the Art of Self Management.
Presenter Sara Ward, M.S., CCC/SLP of Center for Speech and Language Pathology
Co-sponsored by: Andover SEPAC and Andover Parent to Parent
Pike School
34 Sunset Rock Road
Andover, MA 01810
7:00-9:00 pm
6th, 7th & 8th

Learning Disabilities Worldwide (LDW) Conference
17th Annual World Congress on LD
Keynote Speakers:
Margo A. Mastropieri, Ph.D., George Mason University, Evidence-based Practices for Maximizing Learning

Thomas E. Scruggs, Ph.D., George Mason University, Teaching Roles and Responsibilities in Today's Schools: Strategies and Setting

Anthony Colarossi, Ph.D. , Kingsborough Community College at CUNY and
Alpana Bhattacharya, Ph.D, Queens College at CUNY; It's a family Affair: Adolescents, Learning Disabilities, Self Advocacy
Marriott Hotel
Burlington, MA
7:00 am - 3:45 pm

On November 13, there are 2 presentations to choose from:


Estate planning for families and children with special needs
Special needs trusts (also known as "supplemental needs" trusts) allow a disabled beneficiary to receive gifts, settlements, or other funds and yet not lose his or her eligibility for certain government programs. Such trusts are drafted so that the funds will not be considered to belong to the beneficiary in determining eligibility for public benefits. This presentation will review the rationale for the creation of special needs trusts, describe the legal process behind establishing such a trust, and help participants consider options for younger and older children.
Presenter Attorney David Feakes is a certified Personal Family Lawyer – only one of four attorneys certified in Massachusetts.  His law practice is focused on estate planning, primarily for families with young children.
Alcott School Auditorium
93 Laurel Street

Concord, MA 01742

7:00-9:00 pm
November 13,
Parenting Strategies For Children With Weak Executive Functioning
Dr. Ann Helmus, Pediatric Neuropsychologist, Neuropsychological and Educational Services for Children and Adolescents (NESCA), Newton, MA.
This presentation will provides practical strategies that parents can use to help their student with executive functioning skills.  Executive functioning refers to skills associated with goal setting, carrying out organized steps, and modifying plans to complete a task successfully. Issues with attention, memory, impulse control,
organization, planning, and hierarchical thinking fall under this umbrella.
Co-sponsored by Westford SEPAC and Westford Parent Connection.
Stony Brook Middle School
9 Farmer Way Westford, MA 01886
7:00-9:00 pm

December        Happy Holidays


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January 8,
Building the Eight Pillars of Capable Young Minds
Presenter Dr. Adam Cox, Psychologist will discuss the 8 Pillars of Executive Control:
Initiating Action, Flexible Thinking, Sustaining Attention, Organization, Planning, Working Memory, Self Awareness and Managing Emotions.  We will learn how to tell if a child is having trouble with Executive Control and strategies for intervening.  He will emphasizes some of the global social and emotional impacts of executive functioning difficulties as they manifest across diagnoses.

Co-sponsored with Lexington SPEDPAC and Minuteman Tech High School SEPAC
Presenter Adam Cox, Ph.D.
Minuteman Regional High School
758 Marrett Rd. Lexington, MA

Meeting in Professioanl Developement Center
and Presentation in IRC
(both on the Mezzanine Level)

6:00-7:30 pm
Minuteman SEPAC dinner meeting

7:30-9:30 pm

January 28,
2nd SPED PAC Parent Meeting
Topics of disscussion
. Looking for topics of interest for SEPAC presentations (2009-2010 school year)?
. Our SEPAC library (located in Jessica office), are members using it?
. Team Meeting Survey, how are your meeting working?
. Activities of Daily Living (ADL) teaching space update
. Looking for parent feedback on the Lightspeed: Soundfield Classroom  Amplification Systems Infrared Amplification Systems in our schools.
. Need volunteers for board positions of President, Vice President.
. Need volunteers for liaisons for Sanborn middle school, Early
Intervention, and Preschool.
. Have you visited our school district updated website?
Our Sped dept now has it's
own webpage, and they have a link to our SEPAC website.
La Provence
105 Thoreau St.
Concord, MA 01742
10:00 am - noon

IEP Clinic
Presented by Educational Advocates, Barbara Rich and Liz Hopkinson

The IEP is the most powerful tool parents have to create a successful learning environment for their child. In this presentation, you will learn about the different parts of the IEP, their purpose and function within the IEP, and how they can be developed to create a document that drives a successful program for your child. At the conclusion of the program, the presenters will discuss with the attendees general questions about individual IEP issues. The presenters will give suggestions about possible next steps that the parents and school system might take to create a useful and well-written IEP.
For more information or to register for this workshop, please contact
Sarah Gallo, Director of Family Services,
The Family Services Program at Minute Man Arc, 978-287-7922 or
Minute Man Arc for Human Services (MMAHS)
130C Baker Ave Ext.
Concord, MA
7:00-9:00 pm

March 3,
Success with ADHD: How to Turn Any Person with ADHD into a Total Winner
Dr. Hallowell will present new material from his book published in Jan.
'09 called Superparenting for ADD: An Innovative Approach to Raising
Your Distracted Child. He will discuss a range of interventions as well
as a new way of conceptualizing ADD and explaining it to others. He will
also give tips on how to work with schools (for children) and workplace
and marriage (for adults).
Co-sponsored by The Lincoln-Sudbury Education Advisory Council (LS-SEAC), The Sudbury Special Education Advisory Council (SSEAC) and Children and Adults with
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in Metrowest Boston (CHADD)

Lincoln Sudbury Regional High School
390 Lincoln Road Sudbury, MA 01776
7:00-8:30 PM
March 4,

All Things Considered... A Healthy Outlook Connecting With Your Child
A talk by therapist and researcher Irene Janis, MA, will discuss how to use Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) to help you become a better parent. DBT contains four basic modules: mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, emotion regulation, and distress tolerance. 
DBT is used in various forms for parents, adults, and adolescents who are living the "normal" life, but could use some skills to help them along. DBT is essentially skills coaching, with interactive and easy to remember tips, skills, and suggestions on how to make it through certain interpersonal conflicts, difficult situations, or just generally feeling down. CCHS students may attend a student-focused DBT presentation as a part of Health Week on Tuesday March 3. In a recent survey, 49% of students stated that they feel stressed to perform well at school always  or most of the time. This stress can transfer into risky behaviors and stress at home. This Parent presentation will teach you how to support, validate and connect with your child as you both learn to better tolerate and survive the stressors of everyday life.
Concord Carlisle Regional High School
7:30-9:30 pm
March 6,
Advocating for an Asperger's Syndrome Child in Public Schools
Presenter: Jean Stern, MS,
Director of Children’s Services at AANE, has been an educational consultant in MA for over 20 years.

This workshop is designed to help empower advocates/educators and parents of AS children as advocates in the IEP process. We must learn about the IEP process for AS children, which services are needed in school, and MA laws that apply. But how does it all fit together? How do we document, prepare and build collaboration? This workshop answers these questions and more about how to work within the MA educational system. It also has special focus on addressing the non-academic skills
such as: social, self-advocacy, independent living, generalization and socially invisible organization. Everyone will leave with a worksheet for IEP planning that can be used each year. Discussion/questions follow and individualized phone support is available following the workshop if needed.
Pre-registration is recommended to ensure sufficient space and materials are available. Register online at
Paparazzi Restaurant
16 Washington St. Wellesley, MA
Networking 9:30-10 am
Presentation 10 am-noon
March 18,
Understanding Testing : Psychological, Neuropsychological &
Educational Evaluation for your Child
Dr. Joseph Moldover, pediatric neuropsychologist at Integrated Center for
Child Development specializing in learning disabilities, ADHD, autism
spectrum, brain injury and psychiatric disorders, will explain to parents
and teachers the types of evaluations available, what is done during the
evaluation process, and how to interpret a report.
Burlington High School
School Committee Room
123 Cambridge Street
Burlington, MA

7:00-9:00 pm
March 24, Thursday
Shut Up About Your Perfect Kid
  Gina and Patty, the “shut up sisters” and authors of Shut Up About Your Perfect Kid are coming to talk at Milestones. Gina and Patty are inspiring as they use their comedic wit to tell stories and share experiences about what it’s like raising children with special needs. Their stories will have you laughing, crying, and inspire you with courage to go back out there in our ‘perfect world’ with renewed hope! Their book and presentation is straight from a parent's heart: brave, honest and real, a support group in a book! This movement of imperfection is long overdue. What they have so wonderfully done is wake us up and remind us to love our children unconditionally, appreciate who they are, learn from them, laugh with them. If laughter is the best medicine, their talk and book is Prozac for those of us raising children with challenges!” 
Free for ALL | Space is limited ‐ Register here:
Visit the Shut Up Sisters’ website:
Light refreshments will be served.
460 Totten Pond Road, Suite 300, Waltham, MA 02451
7:00-9:00 pm

April 2,
Wrightslaw Special Education Law and Advocacy Conference
This is a Wrightslaw training program featuring attoney Pete Wright, Esq.
One-day special education law and advocacy programs focus on four areas:
    • special education law, rights and responsibilities
    • tests and measurements to measure progress & regression
    • SMART IEPs
    • introduction to tactics & strategies for effective advocacy
Wrightslaw programs are designed to meet the needs of parents, educators, health care providers, advocates and attorneys who represent children with disabilities regarding special education. The program is not disability specific.
Sponsored by The Autism Resource Center of Central Massachusetts.  Cost $100. per person, or $150. couple, for other discounts see their website.
The Manor
42 West Boylston Street
West Boylston, MA 01583

Registration and Breakfast

9 am-4:30 pm Presentation

April 11,

Dyslexia and the Reading Brain: Challenges and Unusual Gifts
Dr. Maryanne Wolf, Renowned author, researcher and professor, will present an evolutionary view of the reading brain that helps us reconceptualize dyslexia and our intervention. Individuals with dyslexia may possess a somewhat different organization of the brain that predisposes them to both challenges and unusual gifts. A book-signing of Dr. Wolf's "Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain" will follow the presentation.
Free for ALL | Space is limited ‐ Register
Questions?  Irena Sinclair at 978-927-1456 or

Landmark High School
Dining Room


9:00am Presentation

April 25, Saturday
What Parents Need to Know About Language-Based Learning Disabilities
Erin Broudo, Faculty, Landmark High School
The term "LBLD" is being used increasingly by educators and evaluators in conversations, meetings, and evaluations. Based on Landmark's focus on LBLD for over 37 years, this workshop will provide parents with a better understanding of LBLD, related "catch-phrases," and myths that should be dispelled. Practical strategies used at Landmark to help students learn will also be discussed.
Free for ALL | Space is limited ‐
Landmark School
Administration Building

April 30, Thursday Understanding Autism and How Research Can Help:
An Overview of a Whole-Body Approach to Autism

Dr. Martha Herbert, M.D., Ph.D., Pediatric Neurologist, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School and Director of the TRANSCEND Research Program.  Presentation will address A whole-body approach to autism, Applying a whole-body approach to treatment and research linking brain, body and behavior to other autism features such as:
Seizures, Sensory Problems, Sleep Problems, GI and Immune Issues, and Studying a whole-body approach to autism development starting from infancy.
Alcott School Auditorium
7:00pm-8:30pm Presentation

8:30pm-9:00pm PANEL DISCUSSION
3rd SPED PAC Parent Meeting
TBA 7:00-9:00 pm

May 9,

Landmark's Approach to Developing Phonemic Awareness
Emily Meloon, Assistant Early Literacy Department Head, Landmark High School
This workshop will focus on an explanation of the Lindamood-Bell LiPS Program, who it is appropriate for, and how it can impact the decoding and written expression skills of students. We will discuss strategies to help your LiPS students at home and there will be ample opportunities for questions.
Free for ALL | Space is limited ‐ Register

Landmark Elementary-Middle School 9:00-11:00am
Out-of-district Parent Social
Join us for our 3nd out of district parent social
An evening of dessert, coffee and conversation. 
Come and mingle and talk with other out-of-district parents. This is wonderful opportunity to visit with old friends and meet new ones.
Out-of-towner are welcome.


4th/End of the year SPED PAC Parent Meeting
Voting for PAC offices
10:00 am - noon

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Our PAC events have a slate blue background.  Events that are co-sponsored with more then 2 local PAC/group
have a light yellow background, and events we are combining effects with other PAC/group, have a bright yellow background.  Presentations by other local PAC's and other organizations have a white background.)

Special thanks to Maria Broderick, our SPED PAC Presentation Development coordinator, for pulling together our 2008-2009 SPED PAC calendar.

If you would like to view the History of our Educational Presentations, click here

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This webpage was created October 10, 2007, by Melody Orfei
Webpage last modified on April 29, 2009 - V26, by Melody Orfei