Look what SPED*NET New Canaan has done in previous years!!!


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2014 – 2015

All Out for Autism- 6th Annual 5k Walk/Run – Friday, August 22 2014

New Balance New Canaan, SPED*Net New Canaan, and the New Canaan YMCA present the 6th Annual All Out for Autism Run/Walk. The event takes place on Friday, August 22, 2014. At 6:15 pm the kids race begins; at 6:30 pm the open race begins.

Join us to help raise awareness and support Autism in our community. Proceeds benefit programs and events for individuals with special needs, especially at the New Canaan YMCA. Proceeds from past races have supported the New Canaan YMCA. In addition, past proceeds built the fitness path which was especially designed for the needs of individuals with Autism.

Registration: Online at www.alloutforautism.org, register at the New Balance Store on 128 Main Street in New Canaan, CT or at the race.

For more info, contact Ron Rosenfeld, manager of New Balance, at 203-801-0050 or tafstamford@aol.com.

Fee: $25 prior to Race Day / $30 Race Day

Sponsors include the following New Canaan CT business: New Balance,New Canaan YMCA, SPED*NET New Canaan,  Rosies, Healthfare, Walter Stewarts Market, Oxygen Fitness, Karl Chevrolet, C&H Auto, Joe’s Pizza, Weed and Duryea, and Chicken Joes.

Oxygen Fitness is organizing the warm up for all racers. Food for the runners is provided by Walter Stewarts and Joe’s Pizza.

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Help – My Child is a Picky Eater!  – Introduction to Eating Issues: Getting your Child on Track to Be a Better Eater.

Children with special needs are often “picky eaters” with limited, unhealthy diets. Todd Kellogg, LMFT, BCBA, a licensed marriage and family therapist and a board certified behavior analyst, will offer strategies for addressing – and conquering – your child’s eating-related issues.

To learn more about Todd Kellogg, check out http://www.positivefamilybehavior.com/todd-kellogg-lmft-bcba.html

Sponsored by SPED*NET New Canaan.

December 4, 2014, Thursday, 10am to 12 noon. Coffee and bagels served. Held at the Waveny House in Waveny Park, 677 South Avenue, New Canaan, CT

For driving directions, check out http://www.newcanaan.info/content/9492/9224/675/1531.aspx

RSVP to Judi Anders at judianders@sbcglobal.net

This talk is also offered by SPED*NET Wilton on December 1 at 7pm at West Rocks Middle School auditorium in Norwalk, CT.

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Best tips and strategies from two special education advocates – Gerri Fleming and Sonali Sarma. 

Sponsored by SPED*NET New Canaan.

February 5, 2015, Thursday, 10am to 12 noon. Coffee and bagels served.

Held at the Waveny House in Waveny Park, 677 South Avenue, New Canaan, CT

For driving directions, check out http://www.newcanaan.info/content/9492/9224/675/1531.aspx

RSVP to Judi Anders at judianders@sbcglobal.net

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SPED*NET New Canaan also sponsored several family parties at the New Canaan YMCA!

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2013 – 2014

August 23, 2013: New Balance New Canaan, SPED*Net New Canaan, and the New Canaan YMCA present the 5th Annual All Out For Autism 5k Run/Walk. Event takes place on Friday, August 23 Kids Fun Run/Walk (About 1/4 mile): 6:15 PM Open Race/Walk (5k through downtown New Canaan): 6:30 PM. Registration: Online at www.alloutforautism.org or register in person at New Balance New Canaan between 8/19-8/23. Cost: Prior to 8/19: $20;     8/20-8/22: $25; Race day: $30. All proceeds will benefit programs and events at the New Canaan YMCA for individuals with special needs.

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September 9, 2013: Using ABA to Address Picky Eating in Children with Autism.  TACA and SPED*NET invite you to join us as Melissa Olive addresses picky eating in kids with ASD.

10:00 AM – 12:00 PM at the Waveny House, 677 South Avenue, New Canaan, CT 06840

Melissa L. Olive, Ph.D., BCBA-D, from Applied Behavioral Strategies, will present: Using ABA to Address Picky Eating in Children with Autism. Many children with autism spectrum disorders develop food selectivity or what is also called “picky eating”. This session will focus on strategies that have been demonstrated to be successful in helping children with autism learn to eat new foods. Participants will also learn what assessments should be completed before starting feeding therapy. Time will be available for questions and answers immediately following the presentation. Learn more about Dr. Olive at www.appliedbehavioralstrategies.com. Hosted by: Michelle Moor, Judi Anders, and Gabriella True. Cosponsored by Sped*Net New Canaan and TACA. To learn more about TACA (Talk About Curing Autism), check out http://www.tacanow.org/

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October 8, 2013: Nutrition and Children with ASD. TACA and SPED*NET New Canaan invite you to join us on Tuesday October 8, 2013. Vicki Kobliner is speaking about nutrition. Vicki Kobliner MS RDN is from Holcare Nutrition. They provide functional nutrition services for children and adults seeking an integrative approach to health. 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM at Waveny House 677 South Avenue New Canaan, CT  06840. Refreshments Served. Hosted by: Michelle Moor, Judi Anders, and Gabriella True. Cosponsored by Sped*Net New Canaan  www.spednet.org and TACA. To learn more about TACA (Talk About Curing Autism), check out http://www.tacanow.org/ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

October 24, 2013: Moms Nite Out for New Canaan moms who have children with disabilities. Meet us at the Elm Restaurant.  73 Elm St  New Canaan, CT 06840 HAPPIEST HOUR! Thursday from 7:00 – 9:00pm Enjoy $5.00 wine & our signature “73″ cocktail, $3.00 beer, as well as complimentary snacks, and a delicious bar menu. RSPV Judi Anders at judianders@sbcglobal.net.

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January 23, 2014: Sensory Processing and its impact on learning and behavior. Speaker is Melody Cohen, Occupational Therapist. Melody has extensive professional training in sensory integration/processing, DIR, Floortime, neuro-development treatments, brain gym, neuro- kinesthetic approach to handwriting, fine/visual motor skills and designing sensory diets. Held at the Waveny House in the Waveny Park in New Canaaan. 10am to noon. Bagels and coffee served. Sponsored by SPED*NET New Canaan. RSPV Judi Anders at judianders@sbcglobal.net.

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February 26, 2014: DDS Eligibility, Supports, and Services. DDS will be speaking on topics of: How to apply for DDS eligibility; DDS/Helpline and supports and services offered by Individual and Family Support Division; Entitlements at the age of 18; and Transition from school to adult services. Presenters: Lorraine Gendron, DDS Program Manager, Individual and Family Support Brian Smith, DDS Program Manager, Individual and Family Support Sheila McGuiness, DDS Helpline Case Manager, Individual and Family Support Cindy Stevenson, DDS Transition Advisor, Individual and Family Support Sponsored by SPED*NET New Canaan. Bagels and Coffee served. Waveny House from 10am to noon. RSPV Judi Anders at judianders@sbcglobal.net.

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SPED*NET New Canaan also sponsored several family parties at the New Canaan YMCA!

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2012 – 2013

January 13, 2013: New Canaan YMCA to Host Winter Dance Party for Children with Special Needs and their Families

On Sunday, January 13, the New Canaan YMCA will stay open late for a special group of families to come together and party.  The Y is inviting all children and adults with special needs and their families to attend a special winter dance party from 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM.  Attendees will have the Y to themselves for the event and will enjoy dancing and contests with a DJ, photo booth fun, bingo with prizes, pizza and snacks, and more.  Bouncing Bears will also be available to participants ages 18 and under.

The event is funded by proceeds from the 2012 All Out For Autism 5k event, which raised a total of $13,000 for special needs programs and events at the Y and was sponsored by New Balance New Canaan, SPED*NET, and the New Canaan YMCA.

Carolynn Kaufman, Director of Special Needs Programming at the Y commented, “Our winter dance party is designed specifically for individuals of all ages with special needs and their families.  We will have peer buddy volunteers available to accompany families, as well as a special sensory station for those who need a break from the larger activities.  Our goal is to provide a comfortable and welcoming environment for these amazing families to come together and have a blast with each other.”

Judi Anders of SPED*NET New Canaan added, “The dance party will be a great opportunity for the kids to make new friends, hang out and have fun-and for the families to feel relaxed and supported by each other.”

Those interested in serving as a peer buddy volunteer for the event, should contact Nicole Jezairian at 203-966-4528, ext. 157 or njezairian@newcanaanymca.org.  Peer buddies will serve as a friend and participate in activities with attendees and their families.

Event is free and open to all families of the special needs community.  Attendees must rsvp no later than Thursday, January 10 and may do so at the New Canaan YMCA Front Desk, by calling 203-966-4528, or online at www.newcanaanymca.org/membership/onlineregistration.

The New Canaan YMCA currently serves approximately 100 individuals with special needs and their families through both inclusive and specialized programs.  To learn more about special needs programming at the Y, visit www.newcanaanymca.org/programs/specialneeds or contact Carolynn Kaufman at 203-966-4528, ext. 156 or ckaufman@newcanaanymca.org.

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February 12, 2013: 10am to noon, Tuesday. PANDAS/PANS – Transforming a Devasting Chronic Illness into a Treatable Disorder – Dr. Nancy O’Hara.

Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders associated with Streptococcal Infections, or PANDAS, is a common autoimmune disorder with far-reaching movement, behavioral, and cognitive consequences. PANDAS is a devastating autoimmune disorder in children that highlights another link between chronic and recurrent infection and neuropsychiatric and behavioral problems. Ongoing clinical experience and emerging research reveals the depth and scope of problems stemming from PANDAS is much more far-reaching than previously thought. While OCD and tics are still common, other issues like anxiety, bedtime fears, inability to control urination, aggression, and deficits in learning, attention, and social interaction are among the many manifestations that result from PANDAS and impair the daily functioning and cognitive progress for many children. Heightened clinical suspicion and more appropriate and comprehensive treatment with antibiotics and immune-modulating therapy will transform PANDAS from a devastating chronic illness with episodic flares into a treatable disorder. Dr. Nancy O’Hara, MD is a board-certified pediatrician. Prior to her medical career she taught children with autism. Dr. O’Hara graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and earned a Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Pittsburgh. She entered general private practice in 1993, and in 1998 began her consultative, integrative practice solely for children with special needs. She is a leader in the training of clinicians, both in the US and abroad. Her practice is located in Wilton, CT. Nancy O’Hara, MD Center for Integrative Health, LLC 3 Hollyhock Lane Wilton, CT 06897. Tel: 203-834-2813 Fax: 203-834-2831 nhohara@ihealthnow.orghttp://www.ihealthnow.org/

     Held at the Waveny House, Waveny Park, New Canaan, CT. Refreshments served. Sponsored by SPED*NET, Special Education Network of New Canaan. RSVP to Judi Anders at judianders@sbcglobal.net or 203-801-0794. For more info on SPED*NET New Canaan, check www.spednet.org. For directions to the Waveny House, go to http://www.newcanaan.info/content/9492/9224/675/default.aspx. If New Canaan Public Schools are closed, the talk will be rescheduled.

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 March 19, 2013: The Facts of Life…. And More: Meaningful Sexuality Education for Individuals with Special Educational Needs. Seminar with National Speaker and Author, Leslie Walker-Hirsch,  I. M. Ed. FAAIDD, Social Development and Sexuality Consultant. Tuesday, 9:15am to 2:15pm, held at Norwalk City Hall in the Community Room. Who Should Attend:  Parents, Educators, Physicians, Service Providers and Case Managers who Support Pre-teens, Teenagers and Young Adults with Special Education Needs; and Young Adult Self-Advocates. Register at http://www.spednet.org/sexuality-conference/. $35 per person, includes lunch. No charge for self-advocates. Sponsored by: SPED*NET, Special Education Network of New Canaan, Ltd.; New Canaan Public Schools; STAR, Inc, Lighting the Way…; Norwalk Hospital Pediatric Development & Therapy Center. To learn more about Leslie Walker-Hirsch, check out www.lesliewalker-hirsch.com.

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March 20, 2012: Wednesday, 10am to 12noon.  Speaker is Beth Lambert, co-author of the book, “A Compromised Generation.” Beth will speak about the epidemic of chronic illness affecting our youth. The book helps find solutions for healing our children. Co-author is registered dietician, Vicki Kobliner.

Beth Lambert  is a former healthcare consultant and teacher, and is currently the Executive Director of PEACE: Parents Ending America’s Childhood Epidemic, a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to education the public about the epidemic of chronic illness affecting our youth.

’A Compromised Generation’ is a thorough and gripping account of the new reality for millions of children and their families. Beth Lambert – a clever, dedicated and courageous parent armed with maternal instincts and persuasive scientific facts – shows us why “mothers know best.” She explains how environmental insults have compromised the health and future of an entire generation and also provides well-researched strategies aimed at prevention. ‘A Compromised Generation’ is a must read for protecting our children.” — Deirdre Imus, president of the Deirdre Imus Environmental Center for Pediatric Oncology.

Held at the Waveny House, Waveny Park, New Canaan, CT. Refreshments served. Sponsored by SPED*NET, Special Education Network of New Canaan. RSVP to Judi Anders at judianders@sbcglobal.net or 203-801-0794. For more info on SPED*NET New Canaan, check www.spednet.org. For directions to the Waveny House, go to http://www.newcanaan.info/content/9492/9224/675/default.aspx.

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March 23 & April 6, 2013: FAPE University is offered to parents, advocates, and educators who want to be empowered with information on special education and other disability laws.  The training is on two Saturdays, March 23 and April 6, 2013, 9:00 to 4:00pm, and participants are required to attend on both days. This training offers both basic information for “new” parents and in-depth cutting-edge information for seasoned participants.  Extensive material will be provided to participants. There will be suggested readings prior to each class. Only 40 participants will be accepted. Event held at the University of Connecticut –  Stamford Campus (One University Place, Stamford, CT 06901)

The purpose of this training is to provide a state-of-the-art, comprehensive instructional course designed to supply parents of children with disabilities and educational professionals with the skills they need to negotiate the special education system.  FAPE University will be the creation of a training infrastructure that will provide an ongoing training system for parents and education professionals.

The two lead presenters are Attorney Anne Treimanis and Attorney Nora Belanger. Both attorneys have presented locally, nationally, and internationally. Attorney Treimanis and Attorney Belanger have facilitated 12 hour special education “boot camps.” The course is designed to be interactive and will use multi-sensory strategies.

Tuition is $125. This includes all materials, as well as breakfast, lunch, and afternoon snack each day.

FAPE University will arm each participant with the resources they need to make a major impact in the lives of people with disabilities.  FAPE University is a 2 day course, 7 hours a day, with extensive and comprehensive materials. It is the intention of Attorney Treimanis and Attorney Belanger to teach this class at various universities across the United States.

FAPE University is being co-sponsored by Abilis and also SPED*NET New Canaan. The workshop is being made possible by support from the Abilis Community Foundation. Please register at http://www.spednet.org/fape-university/.

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April 9, 2013: Tuesday, 10am – noon. Developing an Appropriate IEP. Speaker Attorney Nora Belanger. This presentation will focus on how to navigate the special education process when advocating for your child, including a discussion on your right to a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) under the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA). Included in this discussion will include tips on how to resolve decisions about eligibility, evaluations, services and placements.

Nora Belanger, Esq. is a special education and disability rights attorney in Norwalk, Connecticut.  She has been in practice for over eleven years and has successfully represented hundreds of children with disabilities.  Having been a special education teacher in a prior career, Attorney Belanger brings this invaluable experience to her legal expertise.  Attorney Belanger has been a speaker at numerous parent groups on the subject of special education law and parent’s rights. Meet Nora at http://norabelangerlaw.com.

    Held at the Waveny House, Waveny Park, New Canaan, CT.  Refreshments served. Sponsored by SPED*NET, Special Education Network of New Canaan. RSVP to Judi Anders at judianders@sbcglobal.net or 203-801-0794. For more info on SPED*NET New Canaan, check www.spednet.org. For directions to the Waveny House, go to http://www.newcanaan.info/content/9492/9224/675/default.aspx. If New Canaan Public Schools are closed, the talk will be rescheduled.

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August 23, 2013: New Balance New Canaan, SPED*Net New Canaan, and the New Canaan YMCA present the 5th Annual All Out For Autism 5k Run/Walk. Event takes place on Friday, August 23 Kids Fun Run/Walk (About 1/4 mile): 6:15 PM Open Race/Walk (5k through downtown New Canaan): 6:30 PM. Registration: Online at www.alloutforautism.org or register in person at New Balance New Canaan between 8/19-8/23. Cost: Prior to 8/19: $20;     8/20-8/22: $25; Race day: $30. All proceeds will benefit programs and events at the New Canaan YMCA for individuals with special needs.

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2011 – 2012

September 10, 2011: Hair Cut-a-thon for Autism. Please consider getting your hair cut and/or styled at Lisa’s Classic Cuts, 16 Cross Street, New Canaan. Proceeds go to SPED*NET New Canaan to raise money for a sensory friendly fitness path at Waveny Park in New Canaan. Construction begins this fall! Call Lisa at 203-966-3799 for an appointment. Noon to 6pm.

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October 8, 2011: Hair Cut-a-thon for Autism. Please consider getting your hair cut and/or styled at Lisa’s Classic Cuts, 16 Cross Street, New Canaan. Proceeds go to SPED*NET New Canaan to raise money for a sensory friendly fitness path at Waveny Park in New Canaan. Construction taking place this fall! Call Lisa at 203-966-3799 for an appointment. Noon to 6pm.

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October 15, 2011: Saturday, 9:00am. SPED*NET New Canaan and New Balance Fitness Area Dedication and Ribbon Cutting ceremony. Location: Waveny Park New Canaan across from the mansion. This is a sensory friendly fitness path built for everyone in the entire community, designed with the needs of individuals with Autism in mind. Celebrate our project that is finally completed after three years of hard work, dedication and commitment. The fitness area is perfect for individuals with Autism 12 years or older. The area is available to the entire community including seniors and athletes

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October 19, 2011: Wednesday, 7 – 8:30pm. Wine Tasting event, portion of proceeds donated to SPED*NET New Canaan. New Canaan Wine Merchants, 36 PIne Street, New Canaan. RSPVP to info@newcanaanwine.com or 203-972-0100. Enjoy an evening with Luca Sanjust, proprietor of Petrolo featuring Galatrona.

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October 26, 2011: It’s time for a Girl’s Night Out! Wednesday, 7:30-9:30pm. Becky Duplock have invited you and a friend to a Silpada Multi-hostess Jewelry Party! Held at 139 Southwood Drive, New Canaan, CT. RSVP: Becky at 203 594-1431 or duplock007@mac.com. NO PRESSURE, NO PRESENTATION! Just friends and fun “dressing Up” with Silpada Jewelry! Wine & Appetizers served! Proceeds to SPED*NET New Canaan.

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October 27, 2011: 10 to noon, Thursday. Creating Fluent Readers. Many struggling readers acquire the phonetic skills required to sound out unfamiliar words long before they possess the requisite fluency to comprehend fully what they are reading. This presentation will explore the concept — and critical importance — of fluency, as well as effective means of measuring and remediating difficulties in this arena. Speaker is Sheryl Knapp, M.Ed., A/AOGPE, Founder, Literacy Advocates. For more info on Sheryl Knapp, check http://literacyadvocates.com. Held at the Waveny House, Waveny Park, New Canaan, CT. Refreshments served. Sponsored by SPED*NET, Special Education Network of New Canaan. RSVP to Anne Treimanis at attorneytreimanis@gmail.com. For more info on SPED*NET New Canaan, check www.spednet.org.

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November 29, 2011: 10 to noon, Tuesday. Stress Management for Parents of Special Needs Children: Understand and Manage stress to make life better for you and your loved ones. Dr Leonaura Rhodes from the Neurofeedback Coach, offers a unique perspective on Stress and the Special Needs Family. Held at the Waveny House, Waveny Park, New Canaan, CT. Refreshments served. Sponsored by SPED*NET, Special Education Network of New Canaan.  This talk will include understanding the origins of stress and how it affects the mind, brain and body and how to effectively manage stress to help you be calmer, more content parent and a great role model for your family and will finish with teaching you a fast effective technique to manage your stress.  Dr Leonaura Rhodes, a Developmental Pediatrician from the UK now specializes in Neurofeedback and Coaching for Special Needs Children and their families. For more info on Dr. Rhodes, check  www.theneurofeedbackcoach.com. Please RSVP to Becky Duplock at duplock007@mac.com. For more info on SPED*NET New Canaan, check www.spednet.org.

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December 15, 2011: Thursday  from 10-12 noon.  SPED*NET New Canaan is hosting a presentation by the CT Dept. of Developmental Services (DDS) on what services are available to children with disabilities that have “aged out” of the system.  Those in attendance can learn about new and existing services offered through the DDS for children with disabilities during and after transition from school to life after school. Participants will be able to learn about the DDS five year plan that is being proposed by the new commissioner Dr. Macy. Representatives from the DDS help line and transition services will give the presentation and will be available to answer questions. Held at the Waveny Mansion in Waveny Park, New Canaan, CT. Coffee and bagels. Please RSVP Victoria Muñoz at victoriamunoz@optonline.net. For more info, check www.spednet.org.

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 January 17, 2012: Tuesday, from 10-12 noon. SPED*NET New Canaan is hosting a presentation What is Biofeedback and Neurofeedback? Dr Leonaura Rhodes from the Neurofeedback Coach presents an introductory talk on Biofeedback and Neurofeedback. Held at the Waveny Mansion in Waveny Park, New Canaan, CT. Coffee and bagels. Please RSVP Becky Duplock at duplock007@mac.com. For more info, check www.spednet.org. Biofeedback and Neurofeedback are State of the Art training methods to teach body and brain self regulation in order to improve health, function and wellbeing in a wide variety of people including Special Needs Children and children with chronic health problems, adults with chronic health issues, stress management and Peak Perforance (education, sports, music and the Arts). The talk will cover the history, science and uses of Biofeedback and Neurofeedback and will end with a live demonstration of these training methods. Dr Rhodes is a medical doctor from the UK runs The Neurofeedback Coach LLC in New Canaan and her practice combines Biofeedback, Neurofeedback and Coaching, visit www.theneurofeedbackcoach.com.

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March 22, 2012: Thursday, from 10-12 noon. SPED*NET New Canaan is hosting a presentation with Todd Kellogg, LMFT, BCBA on adolescent behaviors. Mr. Kellogg is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. To learn more about Todd, check www.positivefamilybehavior.com. Held at the Waveny Mansion in Waveny Park, New Canaan, CT. Coffee and bagels. Please RSVP Judi Anders at judianders@sbcglobal.net. For more info, check www.spednet.org.

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April 24, 2012: Tuesday, from 10-12 noon. SPED*NET New Canaan is hosting a presentation: An Introduction to Sensory Processing Disorder; Creating Effective Sensory Diets for your Child, with seasoned Pediatric Occupational Therapist, Rae Suba OTR/L, Owner of Child’s Play Clinic, LLC in Westport CT. Held at the Waveny Mansion in Waveny Park, New Canaan, CT. Coffee and bagels. Please RSVP Wendy Davis at Wkwdavis@aol.com. For more info, check www.spednet.org.To learn more about Rae, check http://www.childsplayot.com.  You will learn the basics about Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) and how to begin to create an effective “Sensory Diet” at home to help your child stay organized and optimize their overall motor development and learning. Rae will provide a framework to understand how to pick the most beneficial Sensory Diet activities to match your child’s particular sensory profile. These activities and strategies work with children of all ages and abilities, nourishing their potential for achievement in motor, social, emotional and cognitive development. Rae will enthusiastically present a sampling of real activities that she has found to be particularly effective in her work with children of all ages for the past 16 years. You will leave this lecture with tools to begin organizing your Sensory Diet and actual activity ideas that you can begin immediately with your child!

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May 24, 2012: 10 to noon, Thursday. Strategies to Help your Child Transition and Prepare for New Summer Schedules and Routines. Speaker is Francine Baffa, PhD, BCBA-D. Integrated Behavioral and Educational Services and Training (IBEST). www.FrancineBaffaPhD.com.   Sponsored by SPED*NET New Canaan. Held at the Waveny House in Waveny Park New Canaan. Bagels and coffee served. Please RSVP to Meghan Cioffi at meghan@cioffi5.com. For directions, check http://www.newcanaan.info/content/9492/9224/675/1531.aspx. Many children have extreme difficulties with transitions. This can be a simple transition such as moving from one activity to another or a more significant transition like school letting out for the summer. When parents plan ahead and schedule summer activities for their child, the transition out of school and into the less structured summer time can be easier for all involved. Dr. Francine Baffa will discuss how to plan for this with your child and help them transition more smoothly. She will address the use of schedules and other strategies, including the use of daily routines and ways to add structure to blocks of open time in functional ways. Additionally she will speak to how to prepare for the end of summer and return to school. Dr. Francine Baffa, BCBA-D has been specializing in autism spectrum disorders for over 15 years, helping children, families and educators realize their maximum potential.

August 24, 2012: Run for Autism: Friday at 6:00pm. Location: New Balance / 128 Main Street / New Canaan, CT 06840. Course: Through downtown New Canaan. All proceeds benefit programs and events for children with disabilities at the New Canaan YMCA. Events: 6:00 PM Kids Race & Zumba 6:30 PM: 5k race for everyone (1k walk also available). Awards to follow. Registration: Held at the New Balance store / 128 Main Street / New Canaan, CT.Check www.alloutforautism.org for more info.

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2010 – 2011 meetings

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August 19, 2010: All Out for Autism! Kick-off dinner. Last year’s race was a huge success with over 350 runners and raised $10K towards the cost of the fitness path.  This year’s fundraising will include a silent auction at the Roger Sherman Inn in New Canaan on August 19, 6-8:30.  Drinks and appetizers will be served.  Entry is open to the public and costs $25. RSVP to Densie Buckenheimer at denise@spednet.org.
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August 27, 2010: Run for Autism. Sponsored by New Balance in New Canaan, CT. New Balance of New Canaan presents the second Annual 5k walk/Run for Autism. Starts at New Balance / 128 Main Street / New Canaan, CT 06840. Course: Through downtown New Canaan. Proceeds: Go to building a fitness path especially designed for the needs of individuals with Autism. Register at www.raceit.com. For more information about the evnt, contact Ron Rosenfeld at New Balance 203-801-0050 or tafstamford@aol.com or visit www.spednet.org/newbalance.
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October 21, 2010: Thursday. SPED*NET New Canaan presents Maverick Minds, Ruthann N. Short, MSW, LCSW on Disorganized Kids: A Strategic Parent Coaching Workshop. 10 to noon. Held at the Waveny House in Waveny Park New Canaan. This Strategic Parent Coaching Workshop will provide practical strategies on executive function skills for disorganized kids. The workshop will address executive functions, dual diagnosis, strategy development, and self-regulation. Parents will leave with practical information, resources, specific and proven strategies, and a better understanding of the struggles disorganized kids face daily.  The goal of the Strategic Parent Coaching Workshop is to help parents build their children’s executive and self-management skills to compensate.  It takes knowledge, patience, and practice to build and support the development of children’s executive skills. RSVP to Anne Eason at attorneyeason@gmail.com. For more info, check www.spednet.org. Bagels and coffee served.
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November 15, 2010: 10am to noon. Life Coaching for Parents of Children with Special Needs or Chronic Health Problems. Presented by Dr Leonaura Rhodes. Dr Rhodes is a Life Coach and Neurofeedback trainer in New Canaan. In the UK she worked as a Developmental (Community) Pediatrician. She is a parent of a child with Special Needs and has also worked as a Life Coach working with  parents of children with Special Needs. A Life Coach is a trained professional who works with an individual or group to help them improve their life faster and more efficiently than they can do on their own. This unique workshop draws on her varied background both as a parent and professional. The aim of the workshop is to firstly acknowledge the huge impact on a parent of having a child with special needs, then to provide you with a taste of Life Coaching and to try out some Life Coaching techniques which can get you started on making the first steps towards making a better life for yourself. Sponsored by SPED*NET New Canaan. Held at the Waveny House in Waveny Park New Canaan. Bagels and coffee served. Please RSVP to Becky Duplock at duplock007@mac.com. For directions, check http://www.newcanaan.info/content/9492/9224/675/1531.aspx.
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January 25, 2011: HIGH RISK TO HIGH POTENTIAL: Transition Issues For High School and College Students with ADHD. 10 – noon, Tuesday. Speaker is Attorney Bob Tudisco. Sponsored by SPED*NET New Canaan. Held at the Waveny House in Waveny Park New Canaan. Bagels and coffee served. Please RSVP to Anne Treimanis (Eason) at attorneytreimanis@gmail.com.

About the speaker:

Robert M. Tudisco is a practicing attorney, freelance writer and an adult diagnosed with AD/HD. He is currently the Executive Director of the Edge Foundation and is a past member of the National Board of Directors of Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder (CHADD). He is a current member, and immediate past chair of CHADD’s Public Policy Committee. Robert is also a former Vice President of the Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA). Since his diagnosis, he has researched and written extensively on the subject of practical coping mechanisms and systems for adults with AD/HD. He is a frequent resource for the media about AD/HD and disability advocacy and the over representation of individuals with AD/HD and co-occurring conditions in the juvenile/criminal justice systems compared to that in the general population. He has been published in ATTENTION!® Magazine and regularly contributes as a columnist on adult, parenting and legal issues in addition to sitting on its Editorial Advisory Board. He is also the expert legal columnist for ADDitude Magazine. Robert received his Juris Doctor at the Fordham University School of Law in 1989. He subsequently served four years as an Assistant District Attorney in Bronx County. For the last twenty years he has practiced criminal and civil litigation as a practicing attorney in New York. Since his diagnosis, he has dedicated a growing portion of his practice as an advocate for special needs children, adolescents and adults in the area of legal, administrative and educational issues. He also lectures at conferences throughout the country and speaks at special education PTA meetings. He also accepts engagements as a keynote and motivational speaker for parenting and student groups. Robert is an avid runner and six time marathon finisher. He lives with his wife and young son in Eastchester, New York. He welcomes comments and questions at rtudisco@edgefoundation.org.

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March 24, 2011: 10 to noon, Thursday. “I Can”: Teaching  Self-Advocacy to Increase Students Integration in School and Community. Speaker is Francine Baffa, PhD, BCBA-D. Integrated Behavioral and Educational Services and Training (IBEST). www.FrancineBaffaPhD.com.  By beginning training in self-advocacy and self-determination at an early age, we give children with disabilities a head start on an enhanced quality of life, improved post school outcomes and increased participation in their current academic and social programs.  Dr. Baffa will address how these skills can be strengthened and provide step by step examples of procedures and their implementation. Sponsored by SPED*NET New Canaan. Held at the Waveny House in Waveny Park New Canaan. Bagels and coffee served. Please RSVP to Anne Treimanis (Eason) at attorneytreimanis@gmail.com. For directions, check http://www.newcanaan.info/content/9492/9224/675/1531.aspx.

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August 26, 2011: 6:00 pm. All Out for Autism. Third annual walk run to benefit individuals with autism. Sponsored by New Balance of New Canaan and www.spednet.org. Location: New Balance / 128 Main Street / New Canaan, CT 06840. Course: 5K through downtown New Canaan. 1k walk available. Ends at the parking lot across from the store with awards, prizes, and live broadcasting and entertainment provided by 95.9 THE FOX. Proceeds go to building a fitness path for the entire community, especially designed for individuals with Autism, as a safe, sensory friendly place to build fitness and health. Registration will be held at the New Balance store in New Canaan.  To register online, visit www.raceit.com. For more info contact Ron Rosenfeld at New Balance: 203-801-0050 or visit www.spednet.org/newbalance.

2009 – 2010 meetings

August 28, 2009: New Balance of New Canaan presents First Annual 5k walk/run for Autism.
Starts at New Balance / 128 Main Street / New Canaan, CT 06840. Course: Through downtown New Canaan. Proceeds: Go to building a fitness path especially designed for the needs of individuals with Autism.
Events: 6:15 PM 5k race for everyone (1k walk also available), 7 PM Awards. Registration: Held at the New Balance store / 128 Main Street / New Canaan, CT. To Register Online: www.clubct.org. Pre-registration: before 8/25/09 – $15.00, Post registration: after 8/25/09 – $20.00, Day of race: $25.00 up till 5:45 PM
Awards: New Balance shoes for top three overall 5k winners male & female. Gift certificates for top three in age categories male & female. For more information: Contact Ron Rosenfeld, manager of New Balance, at 203-801-0050 or tafstamford@aol.com. A special THANK YOU to New Canaan Public Schools, Department of Special Education, for their tremendous support on this project! The Director of Special Education, Darlene Pianka, and special education coordinators, Carole Pakkala and Maryann DeFelice, are giving their whole-hearted support for this endeavor.

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October 21, 2009: Wednesday. 6:30 to 8:30pm. Declarative language: the way to stimulate: conversation, thinking and responsibility! Declarative language is a teaching tool that can be used with individuals with language disabilities, from toddlers to high schoolers! Learn how to formulate language within daily life so your child practices problems solve and conversing throughout the day. Presenter: Nancy Schwartz, Ph.D. Held at Saxe School, 468 South Avenue, New Canaan, CT. Refreshments served, no admission fees. Sponsored by SPED*NET, Special Education Network of New Canaan, Ltd. RSVP to Denise Buckenheimer at Denise@spednet.org.

Dr. Schwartz has 30 years of experience working with children with language problems and in particular, with children who are on the Autism Spectrum and/or have Speech Apraxia. She holds a Ph.D. in Speech, and a Masters in Communicative Disorder. She has been certified by the American Speech and Hearing Association and in Relationship Development Intervention®. Dr. Schwartz has taught at multiple universities on both the undergraduate and graduate levels in California, Connecticut and New York. She was the director of the Scottish Rite Institute for Childhood Aphasia in Los Angeles. She is currently the clinical director of The Communication Clinic of Connecticut, which services children with speech and language difficulties between the ages of one year and 21 years. For more info on the clinic, go to http://www.cc-of-ct.com.
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January 27, 2010: Wednesday, 10 to noon at the Waveny House in Waveny Park. Gobbledygook and Double-Speak in Your Child’s IEP: Recognizing, Removing, and Replacing It. Even the most well-intended jargon in an IEP can lead to unnecessary misunderstanding and conflict. Learn to avoid these traps with wording that gives a clear picture of expectations and agreements. Gerri Fleming and Linda Talbert, former teachers and each a parent of a child with a disability, are special education advocates with separate offices in Norwalk. They help parents in Connecticut become full participants in the educational programs of their children ages 3-21. Sponsored by SPED*NET, Special Education Network of New Canaan, Ltd. Coffee and bagels. RSVP to Denise Buckenheimer at Denise@spednet.org.
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February 24, 2010:
Wednesday, 10 to noon at the Waveny House in Waveny Park, New Canaan. How Students with Intellectual Disabilities can become Proficient Readers. The current generation of students with ID have educational opportunities that those preceding them did not.  However, outdated misconceptions regarding reading potential are still rampant on the part of both parents and educators.   Norwalk-based Literacy Consultant Sheryl Knapp will explore the relationship between intellectual ability and reading ability, identifying those facets of reading which are impacted by the ID diagnosis – and, equally as importantly, those which are not.  Also discussed will be those programs which create “functional readers” as opposed to research-based methodologies which systematically teach critical literacy skills. Coffee and bagels. Sponsored by SPED*NET, Special Education Network of New Canaan, Ltd. RSVP to Anne Eason at anne@spednet.org.
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March 23, 2010: Tuesday, 10 to noon at the Waveny House in Waveny Park in New Canaan. GETTING AND KEEPING AN APPROPRIATE EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM IN CHALLENGING ECONOMIC TIMES. The economic environment has created an even larger gap between what parents feel is an appropriate education and what school districts are willing to provide.  Even when there is a reasonable IEP, there are often concerns about implementation, progress reporting, staff training and program supervision.  We will discuss easy steps to managing the parent/ school district relationship to optimize the chances of your child receiving the appropriate program to which he is entitled.
Nora Belanger, Esq. is a special education and disability rights attorney in Norwalk, CT. She represents parents in IEP meetings, mediation, due process hearings and federal court. Attorney Belanger holds a Bachelor of Science in Special Education, a Masters in Business Administration, and a Juris Doctor Degree.  She has been a certified special education teacher in the past; is a a sought-out and popular presenter; and has been practicing special education law in Connecticut for nearly a decade. To learn more about Attorney Belanger, check www.norabelanger.com.
Coffee and bagels. Sponsored by SPED*NET, Special Education Network of New Canaan, Ltd. RSVP to Anne Eason at anne@spednet.org.
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April 14, 2010: Dyslexia & Creativity:  Two Sides of the Same Coin. An Evening with Sally Shaywitz . Dr. Shaywitz will be speaking at Saxe Middle School, 468 South Avenue, New Canaan, CT. 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm. She is the author of Overcoming Dyslexia: A New and Complete Science-Based Program for Reading Problems at Any Level.  Free. Refreshments served.

     Extraordinary progress in understanding the nature of reading and dyslexia, including their neural underpinnings, have direct implications for the earlier and more accurate identification and more effective treatment of dyslexia.  This presentation focuses on these discoveries and their translation into clinical practices for Overcoming Dyslexia and for appreciating the Sea of Strengths associated with dyslexia.

     Sponsored by SPED*NET, Special Education Network of New Canaan, CT.  Co-sponsored by New Canaan Public Schools, Department of Special Education, Darlene Pianka – Director. Check www.spednet.org for more info. RSVP to Denise Buckenheimer at Denise@spednet.org for more info.

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August 27, 2010:

New Balance of New Canaan presents First Annual 5k walk/run for Autism.
Starts at New Balance / 128 Main Street / New Canaan, CT 06840. Course: Through downtown New Canaan. Proceeds: Go to building a fitness path especially designed for the needs of individuals with Autism. Check http://www.spednet.org/newbalance/ for more info.

 

Women's winner Hope Kraus (left, in blue) and men's winner George Buchanan (right, in yellow jersey) lead the pack out of the gate.

 

Credit Mike Harrington.  Check out http://newcanaan.patch.com/articles/autism-run-a-drenched-success to read about last year’s race.

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2008 – 2009 meetings

Maryann – Carole – Darlene

September 17, 2008: Wednesday, 9:30 to 11 am. Meet the Special Education Administration Brunch. Sponsored by the New Canaan Public Schools, Department of Special Education. Cosponsored with PAC (Parent Advisory Committee to Darlene Pianka), and SPED*NET, Special Education Network of New Canaan. Brunch served. Held at the East School Cafeteria in New Canaan, CT. Come meet Darlene Pianka, Director of Special Education, and the Special Education Coordinators, Maryann DeFelice and Carole Pakkala. Find out what’s happening in the district and what their vision is for the upcoming year. RSVP Judi Anders (203) 801-0794.

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Ruth Ann Short
Ruth Ann Short

September 24, 2008: 10 am – noon. Maverick Minds, A Cognitive Perspective on Understanding ADD/ADHD Kids: An educational program from a cognitive perspective to understand children with ADD/ADHD, executive function and self-regulation. Speaker is Ruthann N. Short, MSW, LCSW. Held at the Waveny House in Waveny Park in New Canaan. For directions to the Waveny House, check http://www.newcanaan.info/content/293/323/675/1531.aspx. Coffee and bagels served. Sponsored by SPED*NET New Canaan. For more info on SPED*NET, check www.spednet.org/new_canaan. RSVP to Judi Anders at (203) 801-0794.

It takes knowledge of the process to obtain an appropriate educational/treatment program for ADD/ADHD kids. This educational program will provide information from identification to intervention with evidence based practices for parents and educators from a strength based perspective. It will address educational/behavioral management strategies to improve academic/behavioral performance. Treatment interventions from a cognitive-behavioral approach will be presented to understand ADD/ADHD, dual diagnosis, executive function and self-regulation processes. Participants’ knowledge on ADD/ADHD will increase with evidence-based research practices, interventions, strategies and resources.

An appropriate program provides an opportunity to develop compensatory strategies and adaptive skills for children with ADD/ADHD to reach their potential and succeed. It takes knowledge to design, implement and monitor the progress of an educational/treatment program. It’s like having a Ph.D. in educational psychology on ADD/ADHD. Speaker is Ruthann N. Short, MSW, LCSW.

More on Ruthann Short:

Maverick Minds, LLC
Ruthann N. Short, MSW, LCSW
Clinical & Educational Consultant
383 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT 06877
203-431-3234
maverickmindsllc@aol.com

Maverick Minds, LLC is Ruthann N. Short’s private practice in clinical /educational social work provides academic/behavioral consultation/coaching to parents on attentional and learning challenges related to ADD/ADHD. Clinical service provides cognitive-behavioral therapy for children and their families.

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Todd Kellogg
Todd Kellogg

October 30, 2008: 10 am – noon. The Use Of Positive Behavior Supports Within In The Community. How to build up to having a successful trip to the store or restaurant.

Held at the Waveny House in Waveny Park in New Canaan. Speaker is Todd T. Kellogg, MA, MA, LMFT. Coffee and bagels served. Sponsored by SPED*NET New Canaan. For more info on SPED*NET, check www.spednet.org/new_canaan. RSVP to Judi Anders at (203) 801-0794.

Whether you need to make a quick errand, or treat yourself to a cup of coffee you may hesitate or even dread this day-to-day scenario because your child may engage in challenging behavior. For children with special needs, there may be an extra set of difficulties in trying to explain to him/her what the expectations are once you are in the community. Parenting Strategies based on Positive Behavior Supports can help resolve these difficult situations by using a variety of teaching and reinforcement techniques. Many of these techniques are easy to implement and will assist the Parent in developing a history of positive experiences for their child and family within the community.

More on Todd Kellogg:

Mr. Kellogg is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who has worked in the field of disabilities since 1994 and in December 2001, established a private practice that is currently based in Trumbull, CT. Mr. Kellogg specializes in providing Structural Family & Behavior Therapy to resolve challenging behaviors in children both at home and in school, to build a partnership between home and school, to increase parenting skills, and to work on relationship issues within families that have members with special needs. The focus of treatment is often the development and implementation of a Positive Behavior and Parenting Plan (PBPP) to address difficult behaviors while teaching new skills and promoting alternative behaviors. The therapy process can include Functional Assessments, School Consultations, Family Therapy, Individual Therapy, and Parent Coaching (instruction and modeling of parenting strategies during peak times of difficult behavior). Mr. Kellogg’s practice includes a number of qualified therapists where a team approach is used to best meet the needs of the client.

Todd Kellogg, MA , MA , LMFT
Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist
Individual & Family Behavior Therapy
6515 Main St. (Rt. 111); Suite LL1
Trumbull , CT 06611
203-268-9088
Cell: 203-543-2043
Email: ToddKellogg@positivefamilybehavior.com
www.PositiveFamilyBehavior.com

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January 24, 2009: SPED*NET New Canaan fundraiser at Lisa’s Classic Cuts. 16 Cross Street, New Canaan. 10 am to 5 pm, Saturday. Money raised from hair services goes to SPED*NET New Canaan. Funds will be used to purchase disability-related DVDs for the New Canaan Public Library. Lisa’s has a history of being accommodating to individuals with disabilities. Call Lisa at 203-966-3799 for an appointment or more information. www.lisasclassiccuts.com.

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January 29, 2009: 10 am – noon. Using Everyday Technology to Help a Student Succeed at School and Homework. Held at the Waveny House in Waveny Park in New Canaan. Speaker is Shelley Lacey-Castelot, ATACP, MS. Shelley is the founder and director of The Literacy Solutions and reading and language arts consultant, specializing in weaving together the right combination of diagnostic teaching approaches with a focus on reading, writing and assistive technology. Check www.writeandread.com for more info on her practice. Coffee and bagels served. Sponsored by SPED*NET New Canaan. For more info on SPED*NET, check www.spednet.org/new_canaan. RSVP to Judi Anders at (203) 801-0794.

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March 25, 2009:
10 am – noon. Neuropychologist Dr. Michael Cohen speaks on Ethical Considerations in Assessing Students with Disabilities. Held at the Waveny House in Waveny Park in New Canaan.  Check www.michaelcohenphd.com for more info on her practice. Coffee and bagels served. Sponsored by SPED*NET New Canaan. For more info on SPED*NET, check www.spednet.org/new_canaan. RSVP to Judi Anders at (203) 801-0794.

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April 29, 2009: How Your Marriage Can Survive – presentation regarding how to make your marriage survive, even thrive, when you have children with disabiities. Discussion includes ways to support each other through the parenting process and to find time for each other. 10 am – noon. Held at the Waveny House in Waveny Park in New Canaan. For directions to the Waveny House, check http://www.newcanaan.info/content/293/323/675/1531.aspx. Speaker is Paula Levy, MA, LMFT, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, Mediator & Life Coach. Paula Levy has a Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy from Fairfield University and is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She is a mother of special needs children and has worked in her private practice with families of children with special needs for over 10 years. She has lectured and led groups on issues relevant to families. Paula Levy, 40 Cross St, Norwalk, CT. www.centerforchangellc.com. 203-761-9587. Coffee and bagels served. Sponsored by SPED*NET New Canaan. For more info on SPED*NET, check www.spednet.org/new_canaan. RSVP to Judi Anders at (203) 801-0794.

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May 2009: SPED*NET New Canaan donates 5 cartons of disability related books to New Canaan Public Schools!

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June 2009: SPED*NET New Canaan donates over 100 disability related DVDs to the New Canaan Public Library!

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2007 – 2008

September 19, 2007: Wednesday, 9:30 to 11 am. Meet the Special Education Administration Brunch. Sponsored by the New Canaan Public Schools, Department of Special Education. Cosponsored with PAC (Parent Advisory Committee to Darlene Pianka), and SPED*NET, Special Education Network of New Canaan. Brunch served. Held at the East School Cafeteria in New Canaan, CT. Come meet Darlene Pianka, Director of Special Education, and the Special Education Coordinators, Maryann DeFelice and Carole Pakkala. Find out what’s happening in the district and what their vision is for the upcoming year. RSVP Judi Anders at 801-0794.

October 23, 2007: Tamale Tuesday. 8 to 10 pm. SPED*NET, Special Education Network of New Canaan, Ltd.,  invites all parents and guardians of students who receive special education services in New Canaan Public Schools to the Tequila Mockingbird restaurant on 6 Forest Street in New Canaan. Join us to share strategies on negotiating the special education maze. Please RSVP Judi Anders at 801-0794 or email her at judianders@sbcglobal.net. Drinks and appetizers can be ordered.

October 25, 2007: Thursday, 10 am to noon. Neuropsychology for the parent consumer.  Seminar by Michael Cohen, Ph.D., from Neuropsychological & Diagnostic Services in Westport, CT. This workshop will focus on techniques of neuropsychological assessment including the new NEPSY-II to promote awareness of the children who may benefit from neuropsychological examinations.  In addition, this workshop will focus on the role of neuropsychological assessments to diagnose children with disabilities and to direct therapeutic and special education programming for students with ADHD, Learning Disabilities, Language & Auditory Processing Disorders, Medical Disorders of the Central Nervous System (Cancer, Seizure Disorders, TBI) and children who have Autism Spectrum/Pervasive Developmental Disorders.    Dr. Cohen’s practice is located in Westport, CT (203.381.9396) and he maintains a small practice in Southampton, NY (631.294.7827).  More information about Dr. Cohen can be found at www.michaelcohenphd.com.

Held at the Waveny House in Waveny Park, New Canaan. For directions to Waveny Park, check http://www.newcanaan.info/content/293/323/675/1531.aspx.  Coffee and bagels served. Sponsored by SPED*NET New Canaan. For more info on SPED*NET, check www.spednet.org. RSVP Victoria Muñoz at 972-1163.

Dr. CohenMore on Michael Cohen…

Michael S. Cohen, Ph.D.

Neuropsychological & Diagnostic Services

7 Whitney Street Extension, Westport, CT 06880 • (203) 381-9396/Office & Fax

Michael S. Cohen, Ph.D. is a Connecticut and New York licensed psychologist with a professional practice in neuropsychological & diagnostic services for children with ADHD, communication and auditory processing disorders, learning disorders, developmental and medical disorders of the central nervous system (Cancer, Seizure Disorders, TBI), and children on the Autism Spectrum.

Dr. Cohen received his master’s from Harvard University and his doctorate is from the University of California at Berkeley.  Dr. Cohen is a consultant to school districts, physicians, and a forensic consultant to attorneys.  In addition to being a practicing psychologist, Dr. Cohen is a visiting assistant professor in the Psychology Department at Connecticut College and he has participated in grand rounds at Stamford Hospital. Dr. Cohen’s primary office is located in Westport, CT (203.381.9396) and he maintains a small practice in Southampton, NY (631.294.7827).  More information about Dr. Cohen and his practice can be found at www.michaelcohenphd.com.

Michael and his wife Hannah are the proud parents of three young girls.

November 15: Thursday, 8 am to noon. State-wide breakfast conference. Sue Izeman, PhD., and Todd Kellogg, MA, will presenton Positive Behavior Supports – Individual and Whole School Approaches. Held at the Norwalk Inn. Participants will learn about key components of positive behavior supports: what IDEA says that IEP teams must do when a child’s behavior “impedes the child’s learning or the learning of other children;” what a good functional behavior assessment includes; Antecedents, Behavior, and Consequences; and how parents and schools can work with together to support both individual and school-wide approaches to PBS.  Specific questions will be addressed during the question and answer session.  Co-sponsored by SPED*NET New Canaan, ARC (Greenwich, CT), and New Canaan Public Schools. Supported by the CT State Department of Education. CEUs granted. Registration and continental breakfast from 8 to 9. Presentation from 9 to noon. For more info, email Beth Lurie at lurie@optonline.net or check Conferences.

November 20, 2007: Wednesday. New Canaan Mom’s morning out. 10 am to 12 noon. SPED*NET, Special Education Network of New Canaan, Ltd.,  invites all parents and guardians of students who receive special education services in New Canaan Public Schools to breakfast at Judi’s house. Join us to share strategies on negotiating the special education maze. Please RSVP Judi at 801-0794 or email her at judianders@sbcglobal.net.

November 30, 2007: Sensory Integration in the Classroom and Home / Focus on Middle and HS Students.

Speaker: Rae Suba, OTR/L

Sponsored by: New Canaan Public Schools, Department of Special Education & SPED*NET, Special Education Network of New Canaan, Ltd. Seminar for NCPS staff and New Canaan families only. 10 – 11:30am, Friday morning. Doors open at 9:30, presentation starts promptly at 10, questions from 11 to 11:30. Held at New Canaan High School, Multi-purpose room.

This discussion will introduce Sensory Processing Disorder (previously referred to as Sensory Integration Dysfunction) to promote teacher and parent awareness, understanding and application of philosophy for those who have children with these difficulties.  Sensory compliments, including therapeutic strategies, activities, and the design of the home/learning environments, will also be discussed.

Rae Suba OTR/L is a certified occupational therapist, who has specialized in Sensory Processing Disorders, Dyspraxia and Developmental Disorders such as the Autistic Spectrum for over 12 years.  She is director and owner of Child’s Play Clinic in Westport CT, where she offers Sensory Processing Assessments, Custom Sensory Diets, Advanced Therapeutic Listening, Home Programs and Parent Trainings.  Rae has served as an adjunct professor of Pediatric Occupational therapy at Quinnipiac University, has contributed her professional expertise to Parents Magazine and the National Head Start Publication and lectures extensively regarding development, play, handwriting and Sensory Processing.  She can be reached at the clinic at 203-226-9961 or online at www.ChildsPlayOT.com.

Questions? Call Judi Anders at (203) 801-0794

NCPS staff, please RSVP to Darlene Pianka, Director of Special Education

203-594-4020, Darlene.Pianka@newcanaan.k12.ct.us

Handouts will be available and refreshments will be served.

Julie SwansonJanuary 31, 2008: 10 am to noon. The 10 Essential Things that Every Parent Should Know About Effective Advocacy.

Speaker is Julie Swanson, a special education advocate, disability specialist and the mother of a child who has autism.  She is a founding board member of CTFEAT (Connecticut Families for Effective Autism Treatment).  In her private practice, All About Your Special Child Education Advocacy Services, she helps parents throughout Connecticut navigate the process of securing appropriate special education services.  Swanson speaks to parent groups throughout the state and appears regularly on Connecticut affiliate news stations regarding disability-related topics.  Swanson recently appeared on NBC affiliate WVIT, Channel 30 talking about what parents of kids with disabilities must know before they head back to school about bullying and kids with disabilities.  See the segment on her website at www.yourspecialchild.com . Held at the Waveny House in Waveny Park, New Canaan. For directions to Waveny Park, check http://www.newcanaan.info/content/293/323/675/1531.aspx.  Coffee and bagels served. Sponsored by SPED*NET New Canaan. For more info on SPED*NET, check www.spednet.org. RSVP Denise Buckenheimer at  (203) 972-5871.

Families as Partners Training – Understanding Special Education. Tuesdays, March 4, 11, 18, & 25, 2008. 2:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Held at New Canaan High School, 11 Farm Road, New Canaan, CT 06840. all purpose room for first 3 meetings, location for March 25, HS room TBA.

New Canaan Public Schools and SPED*NET New Canaan is pleased to offer the Families as Partners Training workshop.  Topics include family/school collaboration, understanding the changes in the reauthorized special education law – known as IDEA 2004, appropriate evaluations, FAPE, LRE, providing related services across general education settings, inclusion, curriculum modifications, effective advocacy, people first language, person-centered planning, and how to write a useful and legally correct IEP (Individual Education Plan).  This workshop is offered free of charge to educators, administrators, parents, and advocates who want to be empowered with information on special education. Prizes, fun, food, and abundant materials. Participants are required to attend all 4 afternoons. Lunch served at 2:30. You must pre-register. CEUs will be granted. Email anne@spednet.org or Vivian.Birdsall@newcanaan.k12.ct.us for more info, or call Anne Eason at 966-9709 or contact Vivian Birdsall at Saxe.

The training will offer both basic information and in-depth cutting-edge information for seasoned participants.  Extensive materials will be shared with participants free of charge. The trainers are Vivian Birdsall & Anne Eason. Guest speakers include NCPS special education administrators Darlene Pianka, Carole Pakkala, and Maryann DeFelice; also special education attorney Nora Belanger. Additional speakers may be scheduled. Sponsored by: SPED*NET, Special Education Network of New Canaan, Ltd; and New Canaan Public Schools, Dept of Special Education – Darlene Pianka, Director; Supported by UConn, A.J. Pappanikou Center for Developmental Disabilities; Funded by: State of Connecticut, Children’s Trust Fund.

March 27, 2008: 10 am to noon. Person Centered Planning. Speakers are Linda Spenard, Vice-Principal at Saxe Middle School and Kathleen Hoefer, reading teacher at Saxe Middle School. Person-centered planning is a planning process that focuses on realizing the visions of individuals with disabilities and their families through collaborative partnerships among the individual, family members, friends, professionals, and community members.  There are many different ways to conduct person centered planning. These include MAPS, Circles of Friends, and PATH. Linda and Kathleen have successfully facilitated Person Centered Planning for complex students in New Canaan Public Schools. Held at the Waveny House in Waveny Park, New Canaan.  Coffee and bagels served. Sponsored by SPED*NET New Canaan. For more info on SPED*NET, check www.spednet.org. RSVP Victoria Muñoz at 972-1163.

April 7, 8 & 9, 2008: Kathie Snow is coming to Connecticut! Co-sponsored by STAR, Lighting the Way…, www.starinc-lightingtheway.org and SPED*NET New Canaan. Supported by the CT Down Syndrome Congress and New Canaan Public Schools. Endorsed by WE BELONG.   For more info on Kathie Snow, check www.disabilityisnatural.com.

April 7, 2008: Evening at Saxe Middle School, 468 South Avenue, New Canaan, CT, 06840. $10 covers light refreshments and materials. Walk-ins are $15. Disability is Natural and Other Revolutionary Common Sense. Kathie’s “signature” presentation—new attitudes and perceptions, including the importance of People First Language and focusing on people’s strengths, gifts, and abilities.

6 to 7, registration, refreshments, book sales, and networking. 7 to 9, presentation. 9 – 9:30, book sales and refreshments.

April 8 & 9, 2008: Full day at Chatham Manor, 493 Connecticut Avenue, Norwalk, CT 06854, (203) 838-8598, www.chatham-manor.com.  Choose one day only, each presentation covers the same material. $75 includes breakfast, lunch, coffee breaks, and all materials. Walk-ins are $100. Please register ahead of time due to extensive materials, comfortable seating planning, and keeping the chef sane!

Registration and breakfast:: 8 to 9. Presentation: 9 to 3.

Disability is Natural and Other Revolutionary Common Sense. Morning session.
Yes, like gender, ethnicity, and other traits, disability is one of many natural characteristics of being human! What can happen when we deconstruct disability, use People First Language, and focus on people’s strengths and abilities? Awesome change is possible when we think differently and talk differently!

Best Hopes; Worst Fears. Afternoon session.
What does it take to ensure children and adults with disabilities are living real lives, included in all environments? Let’s examine our best hopes and worst fears, explore barriers, and brainstorm solutions. Let’s follow the wisdom of Gandhi, and “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Together we can do it!

This workshop is for:

General education and special education teachers, administrators, therapists, related services, families, and direct service providers that work with individuals with developmental disabilities.  Anyone who cares about someone with a disability will benefit from this conference.

May 3, 2008: Fundraiser – Magic Show. Future Stars of Magic 20th Anniversary Magic Show! Saturday, 6:30 pm. Saxe School, 468 South Avenue, New Canaan, CT. Doors open at 6:00 pm. Close-up magic starts at 6:30. Stage show starts at 7:00 pm. Ticket Prices: $20 adults, $12 seniors, $12 for kids 18 and younger. Limited seating – buy now. Be amazed! Be entertained! Close-up magic right before your eyes! Stage illusions! Daring straight jacket escape! The Bill Andrews SYM Assembly #42 of The Society of Young Magicians.

Thank you to LindaMood Bell of Darien for buying tickets for kids at the Villa Maria Educational Center in Stamford!

May 31, 2008: Saturday: Free one-day crash course, intensive interactive training in Understanding Special Education!  8:00 am to 6 pm at New Canaan High School, 11 Farm Road, New Canaan, CT 06840. CEU’s provided! Curriculum is Families as Partners from UConn. Sponsored by New Canaan Public Schools, Dept of Special Education – Darlene Pianka, Director; and SPED*NET, Special Education Network of New Canaan, Ltd; Funded by: State of Connecticut, Children’s Trust Fund.

Topics include family/school collaboration, understanding the changes in the reauthorized special education law – known as IDEA 2004, appropriate evaluations, FAPE, LRE, providing related services across general education settings, inclusion, curriculum modifications, effective advocacy, people first language, and how to write a useful and legally correct IEP (Individual Education Plan).  This workshop is offered free of charge to educators, administrators, parents, and advocates who want to be empowered with information on special education. Prizes, fun, and abundant materials. Meals included. You must pre-register. CEUs will be granted. There is about 2 hours of preparation required for the class which is provided upon registration.

The training will offer both basic information and in-depth cutting-edge information for seasoned participants.  Extensive materials will be shared with participants free of charge. The trainers are Saxe teacher Vivian Birdsall & SPED*NET director, Anne Eason, Esq., plus guest speakers. Questions? Contact Anne Eason at 966-9709 or anne@spednet.org or Vivian Birdsall at Saxe or Vivian.Birdsall@newcanaan.k12.ct.us. More info on www.spednet.org and the NCPS website.

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2006 – 2007

 

September 19, 2006: Tamale Tuesdays. 8 to 10 pm. SPED*NET, Special Education Network of New Canaan, Ltd.,  invites all parents and guardians of students who receive special education services in New Canaan Public Schools to the Tequila Mockingbird restaurant on 6 Forest Street in New Canaan. Join us to share strategies on negotiating the special education maze. Please RSVP Judi Anders at 801-0794 or email her at judianders@sbcglobal.net. Drinks and appetizers can be ordered.

October 23, 2006: Monday, 10:00 am – 12 noon, WIRED differently ADHD Kids. An educational workshop for parents and teachers to understand children with Attention Deficit Disorder from a strength-based perspective focusing on management strategies, compensatory skills, educational accommodations and their potential.  Speaker is Ruthann Short, MSW, LCSW, Director of brainstorming, LLC in Ridgefield, CT. Held at the Waveny House in Waveny Park, New Canaan, CT. Sponsored by SPED*NET New Canaan. Please RSVP Beth Lurie at (203) 966-2982 or email her at lurie@optonline.net. For directions to Waveny Park, check http://www.newcanaan.info/content/293/323/675/1531.aspx.

About the speaker:

Ruthann N. Short, MSW, LCSW

Clinical & Educational Consultant

383 Main Street, Ridgefield, CT

203-431-3234

brainstorming, LLC is the educational component of Ruthann N. Short, MSW, LCSW, Clinical Practice, which specializing in children with ADHD and learning/school related concerns.  She received her masters degree from the University of Connecticut, Graduate School of Social Work, practicing 23 years.  Ruthann’s clinical training took place at the Milford Mental Health Center under Yale Child Study supervision, Mid-Fairfield Child Guidance Clinic, and Family and Children’s Services. Her practice is focused on clinical and educational social work, specializing in children with learning, behavioral and school related concerns. Her clinic is solution focused using a strength based philosophy. She uses a therapeutic approach known as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. She regularly presents on WIRED differently ADHD Kids; Healthy Families: Strengths and Stressors; and Social Politics and Friendship.

October 24, 2006:Tamale Tuesdays. 8 to 10 pm. SPED*NET, Special Education Network of New Canaan, Ltd.,  invites all parents and guardians of students who receive special education services in New Canaan Public Schools to the Tequila Mockingbird restaurant on 6 Forest Street in New Canaan. Join us to share strategies on negotiating the special education maze. Please RSVP Judi Anders at 801-0794 or email her at judianders@sbcglobal.net. Drinks and appetizers can be ordered.

October 25, 2006: Wednesday, 9:30 to 11 am. Meet the Special Education Administration Brunch. Cosponsored with PAC (Parent Advisory Committee to Darlene Pianka), and the New Canaan Public Schools, Department of Special Education. Brunch served. Held at the East School Cafeteria in New Canaan, CT.

Please meet and greet our special education administration.  Find out who they are and what they do.  Darlene Pianka is our special education director. She will explain what the special education administrative structure looks like. Mary Ann DeFelice is the special education coordinator for grades pre-school through 4, Extended School Year, and the Connections Program.  Carole Pakkala is the coordinator for grades 5 through 12.  Darlene, Mary Ann and Carole are eager to share their vision for our schools and want to learn how they can be more helpful and accessible to the parents.

November 16, 2006: Thursday. Effective Reading Instruction: The Latest Information on Research-Based Reading Programs & How Reading Should Be Taught. Presentation by Evelyn Russo, Ph.D.  8 – 8:45 am, registration & breakfast. 8:45 to 12 noon, presentation. $30 registration, includes a continental breakfast; $40 at the door.  Held at the Norwalk Inn and Conference Center, 99 East Ave, Norwalk, CT 06851. Cosponsored by Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities and SPED*NET New Canaan, and in cooperation with the New Canaan Public Schools, Department of Special Education, Darlene Pianka, Director.  Dr. Russo is from Haskins Laboratories. The Haskins Laboratories is a private, non-profit research institute with a primary focus on speech, language and reading, and their biological basis. CEU’s will be available. For more information, contact Beth Lurie at (203) 966-2982 or lurie@optonline.net, or check Successful High School Inclusion.

About the program:

This program will provide an overview of what teachers and parents need to know about effective reading instruction – including a review of the basic components of reading, and a look at the latest research on evidence-based instruction: Why it’s important; what the research says; and how reading can be taught so that all children can learn.

Dr. Russo will also discuss the latest findings of the Mastering Reading Instruction program currently under way at Haskins Laboratories including the critical importance of oral language. She will talk about translating the research findings into practice, including concrete examples of what works – as well as how reading skills develop, and how to assess each component.

The program will include:

•  why so many children struggle with reading – 40% score below basic proficiency in national statistics

•  a quick review of what is involved in the process of learning to read and the basic components of an evidence-based reading program

•  advances in our understanding of what teachers need to know

•  updating the National Reading Panel Report issued in 2000:

what was missed in the initial report

critical elements that need to be included in teaching reading

•  why literacy is more than just learning to read.

About the speaker:

Dr. Evelyn Russo is an expert on literacy and reading instruction, who taught for 12 years in inner-city schools in New Haven before receiving her Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction from the University of Connecticut.

Dr. Russo is currently an instructor and research investigator in two major programs at the Haskins Laboratories, an independent research facility affiliated with Yale University that focuses on language and reading issues. She trains pre-K to 3rd grade teachers as a mentor-teacher with Haskins’ The Science of Teaching Reading Initiative to help all children learn to read — including those who struggle with reading; and works with the Mastering Reading Instruction program – one of just three federally-funded programs furthering the research on literacy published in the 2000 National Reading Panel Report. She was also a mentor-teacher with Early Reading Success, an earlier federally funded project. Dr. Russo has a Masters degree in Bilingual Studies, and both teaches and presents in English and in Spanish.

November 21, 2006: Tamale Tuesdays. 8 to 10 pm. SPED*NET, Special Education Network of New Canaan, Ltd.,  invites all parents and guardians of students who receive special education services in New Canaan Public Schools to the Tequila Mockingbird restaurant on 6 Forest Street in New Canaan. Join us to share strategies on negotiating the special education maze. Please RSVP Judi Anders at 801-0794 or email her at judianders@sbcglobal.net. Drinks and appetizers can be ordered.

December 5, 2006: Tamale Tuesdays. 8 to 10 pm. SPED*NET, Special Education Network of New Canaan, Ltd.,  invites all parents and guardians of students who receive special education services in New Canaan Public Schools to the Tequila Mockingbird restaurant on 6 Forest Street in New Canaan. Join us to share strategies on negotiating the special education maze. Please RSVP Judi Anders at 801-0794 or email her at judianders@sbcglobal.net. Drinks and appetizers can be ordered.

December 13, 2006: 10:00 to 11:30 am, Wednesday. Understanding the Changes In IDEA 2004: Focus on New Canaan. Presented by: Darlene M. Pianka, NCPS Director of Special Education, together with Attorneys Nora Belanger and Anne Eason. The six principles of IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) are free appropriate public education (FAPE), appropriate evaluation, individualized education program, least restrictive environment (LRE), parent and student participation in decision making and procedural safeguards.  It is the federal law that governs special education.  Come hear about the changes in IDEA 2004 and how New Canaan Public Schools is implementing those changes. Held at the East School Cafeteria – Coffee & Bagels.  All Welcome! This event is sponsored by the New Canaan Public Schools, Department of Special Education. Co-sponsored by the Parent Advisory Committee to Darlene Pianka (PAC) and SPED*NET, Special Education Network of New Canaan, Ltd. RSVP Judi Anders at (203) 801-0794. www.spednet.org.

January 23, 2007: Tamale Tuesdays. 8 to 10 pm. SPED*NET, Special Education Network of New Canaan, Ltd.,  invites all parents and guardians of students who receive special education services in New Canaan Public Schools to the Tequila Mockingbird restaurant on 6 Forest Street in New Canaan. Join us to share strategies on negotiating the special education maze. Please RSVP Judi Anders at 801-0794 or email her at judianders@sbcglobal.net. Drinks and appetizers can be ordered.

January 31, 2007: Wednesday, 10:00 am to noon.  Understanding Your Adolescent with ADHD: School-Based Needs and Supports. Dr. Christine Siegel, Assistant Professor of School Psychology from Fairfield University’s Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions, will speak about the changing needs of adolescents, ages 12 to 19, with ADD/ADHD within the middle school, high school, and college setting.  As part of the workshop, parents will have the option of participating in research about parenting by completing a brief, confidential questionnaire about themselves and their adolescent. Held at the Waveny House in Waveny Park, New Canaan, CT.  Please RSVP Beth Lurie at (203) 966-2982 or email her at lurie@optonline.net. Bagels and coffee served. For directions to Waveny Park, check http://www.newcanaan.info/content/293/323/675/1531.aspx. Prior to the workshop, parents will have the option of participating in research about parenting by completing a brief, confidential questionnaire about themselves and their adolescent. If you are interested in participating in the research, please arrive at 9:30 am.

February 20, 2007: Tamale Tuesdays. 8 to 10 pm. SPED*NET, Special Education Network of New Canaan, Ltd.,  invites all parents and guardians of students who receive special education services in New Canaan Public Schools to the Tequila Mockingbird restaurant on 6 Forest Street in New Canaan. Join us to share strategies on negotiating the special education maze. Please RSVP Judi Anders at 801-0794 or email her at judianders@sbcglobal.net. Drinks and appetizers can be ordered.

February 27, 2007: Transition Services: Everything a Parent Should Know About How They are Provided in the New Canaan Public Schools. 9:30 to 11 am at East Elementary School in New Canaan. Seminar will address transition service requirements for students receiving special education services and how the process  is addressed in our schools. The speakers will also discuss postsecondary education and employment issues.  Panelists consist of NCPS staff. It will include Darlene Pianka, Director of Special Education, Carole Pakkala, special education coordinator, HS guidance counselors, and a HS social worker.  Please RSVP Judi Anders at 203-801-0794. This event is cosponsored by PAC, the Parent Advisory Council for Darlene Pianka. Coffee and refreshments served.

February 28, 2007: Wednesday, 10:00 am – 12 noon, Speaker Rae Suba, OTR/L, from The Child’s Play Clinic in Westport, CT. Sensory Integration. Held at the Waveny House in Waveny Park, New Canaan, CT. Please RSVP Judi Anders at 801-0794 or email her at judianders@sbcglobal.net. For directions to Waveny Park, check http://www.newcanaan.info/content/293/323/675/1531.aspx.

This discussion will introduce Sensory Processing Disorder (previously referred to as Sensory Integration Dysfunction) to promote parent awareness, understanding and application of philosophy for those who have children with these difficulties.  Sensory compliments, including therapeutic strategies, activities, and the design of the home/learning environments, will also be discussed.

Rae Suba OTR/L is a certified occupational therapist, who has specialized in Sensory Processing Disorders, Dyspraxia and Developmental Disorders such as the Autistic Spectrum for over 12 years.  She is director and owner of Child’s Play Clinic in Westport CT, where she offers Sensory Processing Assessments, Custom Sensory Diets, Advanced Therapeutic Listening, Home Programs and Parent Trainings.  Rae has served as an adjunct professor of Pediatric Occupational therapy at Quinnipiac University, has contributed her professional expertise to Parents Magazine and the National Head Start Publication and lectures extensively regarding development, play, handwriting and Sensory Processing.  She can be reached at the clinic at 203-226-9961 or online at www.ChildsPlayOT.com.

March 20, 2007: Tamale Tuesdays. 8 to 10 pm. SPED*NET, Special Education Network of New Canaan, Ltd.,  invites all parents and guardians of students who receive special education services in New Canaan Public Schools to the Tequila Mockingbird restaurant on 6 Forest Street in New Canaan. Join us to share strategies on negotiating the special education maze. Please RSVP Judi Anders at 801-0794 or email her at judianders@sbcglobal.net. Drinks and appetizers can be ordered.

March 28, 2007: Successful HS Inclusion. Breakfast conference. Speaker is Kathleen Whitbread, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, and Associate Director of the UConn Center on Disabilities. This seminar is designed to help parents and professionals design educational programs that enable students with disabilities to be successfully educated in their neighborhood high schools. The session will include resources and hands-on activities to enable participants to practice techniques and strategies for providing access to the general education curriculum for students of all abilities.  8 – 8:45 am, registration. 8:45 to 12 noon, presentation. $30 registration, includes a continental breakfast; $40 at the door.  Held at the Norwalk Inn and Conference Center, 99 East Ave, Norwalk, CT 06851. Cosponsored by STAR, Lighting the Way… and The Connecticut Down Syndrome Congress, and in cooperation with the New Canaan Public Schools, Department of Special Education, Darlene Pianka, Director.  CEU’s will be available. For more information, please contact Anne Eason at eason55@aol.com. For more info, check Successful High School Inclusion.

April 17, 2007: Tamale Tuesdays. 8 to 10 pm. SPED*NET, Special Education Network of New Canaan, Ltd.,  invites all parents and guardians of students who receive special education services in New Canaan Public Schools to the Tequila Mockingbird restaurant on 6 Forest Street in New Canaan. Join us to share strategies on negotiating the special education maze. Please RSVP Judi Anders at 801-0794 or email her at judianders@sbcglobal.net. Drinks and appetizers can be ordered.

April 27, 2007: Friday, Mock IEP. Drama unfolds in this interactive event, as we re-enact an Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting for a student with special needs. Tips for a successful IEP meeting will be discussed. Key areas of IDEA 2004 will be highlighted. The presentation is entertaining, dramatic, and educational. Participants will become empowered with knowledge to serve as more effective advocates.  Facilitated by Attorney Anne Eason, and led by a cast of educators, consultants, attorneys, and advocates. Panelists include attorneys Eve Kessler and Annmarie Briones, Literacy Advocate Sheryl Knapp; Reading specialist Tara Clancy; New Canaan Public School Math teacher and union president, Vivian Birdsall;  Social Worker Ruthann Short; Linda Snell from STAR, Lighting the Way...; and Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge. Co-sponsored with SPED*NET New Canaan. Held at the Greens at Cannondale, 435 Danbury Road, Wilton. 10 am – noon. Sponsored by SPED*NET Wilton. RSVP to Eve Kessler at 203-761-0680.  Refreshments served. The book IEP and Inclusion Tips by Anne Eason, Esq. and Kathleen Whitbread, Ph.D, published in 2006 by the Attainment Company, will be available for sale for only $12, with proceeds going to SPED*NET Wilton. Hard copies of the new Web Guide to the Special Services Partnership, published by SPED*NET Wilton, will be available for $20, the cost of printing. Funding for this program comes from the Families as Partners grant.

April 29, 2007: Sunday. 3 to 6 pm. Free Art Exhibit and Wine & Cheese Reception at Lisa’s Classic Cuts, 16 Cross Street, New Canaan, CT. Artist Gita Treimanis, also works by Susan Lapis. Strolling magicians, The Great Karlini and also P.J. Larson, both from New Canaan. A portion of the proceeds from any sales will be donated to SPED*NET, Special Education Network of New Canaan. Check www.LisasClassicCuts.com for more details.

May 29, 2007: Tamale Tuesdays. 8 to 10 pm. SPED*NET, Special Education Network of New Canaan, Ltd.,  invites all parents and guardians of students who receive special education services in New Canaan Public Schools to the Tequila Mockingbird restaurant on 6 Forest Street in New Canaan. Join us to share strategies on negotiating the special education maze. Please RSVP Judi Anders at 801-0794 or email her at judianders@sbcglobal.net. Drinks and appetizers can be ordered.

Lisa’s Classic Cuts in New Canaan, CT is donating all profits for one day to raise money for SPED*NET New Canaan. Proceeds will be used to give EVERY SINGLE FAMILY in New Canaan that has a child receiving special education services a book called Parents Guide To Special Education Services in Connecticut. The remaining monies will be used to fund books, posters, and DVDs on disabilities for use by school staff.

Lisa is a long-time friend to SPED*NET. She has several clients with disabilities. When needed, she provides whatever accommodations are necessary for a successful haircut. Lisa takes her cues from the parents on how their child can have a positive experience. This might include respecting sensory issues, playing music, or getting haircuts outside of regular business hours.

Darlene Pianka, Special Education Director, New Canaan Public Schools, has offered, free of charge, to distribute the Parent Guide To Special Education Services in Connecticut to the eligible families.  She has also secured access to a copying facility, who will reproduce the Parent Guide at a discounted price.

DandyTales bookstore has offered to supply the additional staff materials, books on Autism, differentiated instruction, Learning Disabilities, etc, at a generous discount. DandyTales is located at 13 South Avenue in New Canaan. They carry of full line of disability related books, as well as high interest lower reading level books.

Check www.LisasClassicCuts.com for more info. Lisa can be reached at 966-3799. Lisa’s is located on 16 Cross Street in New Canaan. Candy and lemonade will be available all day for the fundraiser.

June 5, 2007: Tamale Tuesdays. 8 to 10 pm. SPED*NET, Special Education Network of New Canaan, Ltd.,  invites all parents and guardians of students who receive special education services in New Canaan Public Schools to the Tequila Mockingbird restaurant on 6 Forest Street in New Canaan. Join us to share strategies on negotiating the special education maze. Please RSVP Judi Anders at 801-0794 or email her at judianders@sbcglobal.net. Drinks and appetizers can be ordered.

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2005 – 2006 Meetings

September 27, 2005: Tuesday. SPED*NET meeting. 10:00 AM to noon. Meet the Special Education Administration Brunch. Cosponsored with PAC (Parent Advisory Committee to Dr. Candy Lombardo), and the New Canaan Public Schools, Department of Special Education. Brunch served. Held at the Waveny House in Waveny Park in New Canaan, CT.

Please meet and greet our special education administration.  Find out who they are and what they do.  Dr. Barbara Lombardo (Candy) was our special education director for 9 years. She now is our interim Director of Special Education.  She will explain what the special education administrative structure looks like and answer any questions about her interim position.  Mrs. Mary Ann DeFelice is the special education coordinator for grades pre-school through 4, Extended School Year, SWIS, and the Connections Program.  Mrs. Carole Pakkala is the newly appointed coordinator for grades 5 through 12.  Candy, Mary Ann and Carole are eager to share their vision for our schools and want to learn how they can be more helpful and accessible to the parents.

October 25, 2005: Tuesday. 10:00 AM to noon. Understanding IDEA 2004. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 makes important changes to the current federal special education law. IDEA 2004 changes the development and content of the IEP document, the discipline rules for special education students, and several due process rights. There is discussion of when prevailing school districts can recover attorneys fees from parents. It adopts pieces of the No Child Left Behind Act. Make sure you understand these new legal changes! Attorneys Nora Belanger, Anne Eason and Eve Kessler will provide you with an overview of many of the new requirements. . Held at the Waveny House in Waveny Park in New Canaan, CT.

November 17, 2005: Thursday. Reading Myths and Realities: What we know about reading and what the research has to say. Presentation by Marjorie B. Gillis, Ed.D.  8 – 9 am, registration. 9 to 12 noon, presentation. $25 registration, includes a continental breakfast; $35 at the door.

Held at the Norwalk Inn and Conference Center, 99 East Ave, Norwalk, CT 06851. Cosponsored by SmartKids with Learning Disabilities and SPED*NET New Canaan, and in cooperation with the New Canaan Public Schools, Department of Special Education, Dr. Candy Lombardo, Director.  Dr. Gillis is a Language Therapist & Director, Early Reading Success Program, Haskins Laboratories. The Haskins Laboratories is a private, non-profit research institute with a primary focus on speech, language and reading, and their biological basis. CEU’s will be available. For more information, call Jane Ross at (203) 226-6831 or email her at JRossSMARTKIDS@aol.com. For more info or to register online, Click here!

About Dr. Gillis:

Dr. Marjorie Gillis, Vice President of Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities, answers questions on reading and language-learning disabilities (dyslexia) and on how they affect reading, writing, spelling, math, learning a foreign language and virtually every other subject children are taught in school. Dr. Gillis has been a reading and language disabilities specialist for more than 25 years. She has taught and trained teachers in school districts across the country, has a private practice as a language therapist and educational consultant, and currently holds a Haskins Laboratories Early Reading Success Fellowship, developing methods training teachers in how to help all children become successful readers. Dr. Gillis is also an expert in the development of pre-literacy skills among preschool children.

November 29, 2005: Tuesday. 10:00 AM to noon. The Implementation of AT in the classroom: How to find what it right for you. Speaker Adriana Carpio is an AT Consultant/Trainer in English and Spanish with Assistive Learning Consulting LLC, a company based in Norwalk that gives evaluations, training on AT and provides adaptive equipment for people who are visually impaired or have learning disabilities. AT can assist students in better accessing the general education curriculum to increase participate in the classroom, gain skills for completing in-class tasks and also HW assignments at home effectively and independently. Held at the Waveny House in Waveny Park in New Canaan, CT. Refreshments served. Please RSVP Beth Lurie at (203) 966-2982 or email her at lurie@optonline.net.

January 31, 2006: 10:00 AM to noon. Tuesday. How High School students with Disabilities can be Successfully Included in General Education Classes and After-school programs. Speaker Kathleen Whitbread, Ph.D. Dr. Whitbread will describe best practices in HS inclusion, roles of both general and special education teachers, discuss the role of related services, transition plans, assistive technology, and debunk many popular myths! Held at the Waveny House in Waveny Park in New Canaan, CT. Cosponsored by STAR, Inc., Lighting the Way. Please RSVP Beth Lurie at (203) 966-2982 or email her at lurie@optonline.net. Supported by a grant from the State Department of Education. For directions to Waveny Park, check http://www.newcanaan.info/recdept_facilities_wavenydriving.html.

About Kathy Whitbread:

Kathleen Whitbread is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Associate Director of Programs for the University of Connecticut A.J. Pappanikou Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Service. Dr. Whitbread has over 25 years of experience in designing and managing programs in the fields of education and human services. As a former director of school and community services for a private, not-for-profit agency, she provided consultation and services to families, schools, and agencies on educational and behavioral supports for children with disabilities in typical settings. Dr. Whitbread has more than 15 years of experience as an educational consultant for children with disabilities being educated in inclusive classrooms. She has collaborated with educators in Russia, the Netherlands, Italy, and the United States to increase compliance with educational laws and improve the quality of education for children with disabilities in this country and abroad. Dr. Whitbread is the editor of The Inclusion Notebook, an award winning, internationally distributed publication of best practices in inclusive education. She is also coauthor, together with Anne Eason, Esq., of the book IEP and Inclusion Tips, She is currently conducting research in the area of early literacy for children with intellectual disabilities and conducts preservice and inservice training in inclusive education, positive behavioral supports, and parent-professional partnerships.

February 28, 2006: Tuesday. People’s Court. 10:00 AM to noon. Hosted by Judi Anders, 184 Canoe Hill Road, New Canaan. This meeting is for New Canaan parents only. Participants may bring an issue they are facing in connection with their child with a disability and the school district. Using a method known as Solution Circles, the other participants will help find a solution. Please RSVP Judi at (203) 801-0794or Victoria Muñoz at (203) 972-1163 or email Judi at judianders@sbcglobal.net . For more info on Solution Circles, check GETTING UNSTUCK: SOLUTION CIRCLES.

March 1, 8, 15, & 22, 2006: Families as Partners. Comprehensive 4 part seminar on Understanding Special Education, with an emphasis on family/school collaboration. Sponsored by New Canaan Public Schools, Department of Special Education, Darlene Pianka, Director; PAC – Parent Advisory Committee to Darlene Pianka; SPED*NET, Special Education Network of New Canaan, Ltd.; STAR, and Lighting the Way. Supported by UConn  A.J. Pappanikou Center for Developmental Disabilities. Dates are Wednesdays, March 1, 8, 15, and 22, from 6:30 pm to 9 pm. If any of the dates are snow days, the last session will be held on Tuesday, March 28. Dinner served. Held at Saxe Middle School, 468 South Avenue, New Canaan. You must pre-register. Educators are especially encouraged to attend. CEUs will be granted. Extensive materials provided, along with fun and prizes. Call Anne Eason at 966-9709 for more information or email Darlene at Darlene.Pianka@newcanaan.k12.ct.us. Free, thanks to a generous grant by the CT State Department of Education.

The trainers include Darlene Pianka, Director of Special Education in New Canaan; Maryann DeFelice and Carole Pakkala, special education coordinators for New Canaan Public Schools; Linda Spenard — assistant principal for Saxe Middle School in New Canaan; Rossella Fanelli, New Canaan High School psychologist; Linda Snell from STAR, Lighting the Way; Anne Eason and Beth Lurie, parents; and others.

March 28, 2006: Tuesday.10am – noon.  Robert and Martha Perske book signing event! Held at DandyTales Bookstore, 13 South Avenue in New Canaan, CT. ROBERT AND MARTHA PERSKE are a unique and unrepeatable team that dedicated most of their efforts in changing attitudes toward persons with intellectual disabilities. Robert tracks, works with and writes about persons with intellectual disabilities who were coerced into confessing to murders they did not commit as well as those on death row.   Martha works as a book illustrator and as a caring editor of Robert’s work. They turned out 16 books as well as hundreds of articles and drawings during the past 34 years.  They did everything they could to give wings to the words of those crying out for a full life in their own neighborhoods.  Click here to read more about Robert and Martha Perske.

About DandyTales:

DandyTales is this area’s most comprehensive resource for families who have children with disabilities. They carry learning materials, such as high interest, low level readers, inclusive stories, and kinesthetic manipulatives. These are tools to help children support their learning outside the classroom and help them on their journey to becoming independent learners. Parenting resources for a broad spectrum of challenges are also available, also teacher and classroom guides to support inclusion.

DandyTales invites the community to come for a literary experience. DandyTales promises quality children’s books and engaging activities to inspire children’s curiosity and imagination. A hands-on, interactive bookstore for children ages birth through young adult. Contact owner Carolyn White at Carolyn@DandyTales.com or (203) 966-7713 for more information.

April 4, 2006: 7:00 pm, Tuesday. Nancy Schwartz, Ph.D., speech and language pathologist with extensive experience working with children and teens on the autism spectrum, will discuss Relationship Development Intervention (RDI): TheStages and How to Get There. RDI is an approach to intervention for children on the autism spectrum that confronts the core deficits of autism, i.e., the establishment of a dynamic system of information processing. It is a developmental and systematic approach through which children develop relationships with other people by learning emotional referencing, social coordination, declarative language, flexible thinking, relational information processing, foresight and hindsight. 7:00 refreshments and networking. 7:30 presentation. Held at Saxe Middle School, 468 South Avenue, New Canaan, CT. Please RSVP Judi Anders at (203) 801-0794, judianders@sbcglobal.net or Victoria Muñoz at (203)  972-1163,  victoriamunoz@optonline.net

April 25, 2006: Tuesday.  10:00 AM to noon. Speaker, Linda Rammler, M.Ed., Ph.D. How Can Jason Take Algebra When he Can’t Add? Meaningful modifications to content courses at the secondary level. Some teachers and parents wonder how — and question why,  learners who have difficulty demonstrating mastery of basic skills could and should take courses on U.S. History, Chemistry, British Literature, and Algebra. Since inclusion means raising the academic bar for all students from HS and beyond, individualized approaches are needed to enable all students, regardless of individual skill level or needs, to have meaningful access to the general education curriculum across ALL content areas. This session will overview those approaches, using Algebra as an example, with specific application at the secondary level in mind.  Held at the Waveny House in Waveny Park in New Canaan, CT. Cosponsored by STAR, Inc., Lighting the Way and SPED*NET New Canaan. SPED*NET is a monthly forum for discussing ideas and developing strategies for special education and §504 issues. Please RSVP Beth Lurie at (203) 966-2982 or email her at lurie@optonline.net. Supported by a grant from the State Department of Education. For directions to Waveny Park, check http://www.newcanaan.info/recdept_facilities_wavenydriving.html.

June 6, 2006: Tuesday. 10 am to 11:30. Informal coffee hosted by Beth Lurie at 192 Heather Drive. At that meeting, SPED*NET New Canaan’s successful year will be reviewed, and ideas for next year will be solicited.

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ROBERT AND MARTHA PERSKE are a unique and unrepeatable team that dedicated most of their efforts in changing attitudes toward persons with intellectual disabilities.  Robert served as a professional who worked with and wrote about these persons with disabilities.  Martha worked as a book illustrator and as a caring editor of Robert’s work.  Career high points follow.

In 1968, after ten years as a chaplain in a Kansas institution, Robert received the Rosemary F. Dybwad International Award for travel and study of mental retardation programs in Sweden and Denmark.  That experience influenced many of the later directions of the Perske’s lives.

Robert traveled the country, writing case vignettes for the 1976Report to President Nixon, Mental Retardation: Century of Decision (President’s Committee on Mental Retardation).  Martha drew the faces of the persons who were interviewed as illustrations for the report.

Once again, including national traveling, Robert and Martha authored and illustrated the 1978 Report to President Carter, Mental Retardation: The Leading Edge – Service Programs that Work (President’s Committee on Mental Retardation).

In 1981, Martha designed the International Year of Disabled Persons Commemorative Stamp bearing the statement, “Disabled doesn’t mean unable.”  Doing so, she became the 20th woman in U. S. history to design a postage stamp.

In 1987, Martha served as one of the illustrators for Marlo Thomas’ best seller, Free to Be . . . A Family (Bantam).

Robert and  Martha received The Healing Community Arts and Letters Award for their work in the developmental disability field, at the United Nations (May 19, 1987).

In 1989, a montage drawing of children with and without disabilities together was presented to Her Royal Highness, Princess Diana.  Since Martha did not care for transoceanic flying, Robert made the presentation in her name.

In 1999, The National Historic Preservation Trust on Mental Retardation honored Robert and Martha as two of the 35 persons who made major contributions in the field of mental retardation in the 20th Century.

Today, Robert tracks, works with and writes about persons with intellectual disabilities who were coerced into confessing to murders they did not commit as well as those on death row.  He has directly or indirectly followed over 100 of these cases.  During this mission, he served with citizens and professionals who helped Missouri Governor Mel Carnahan pardon Johnny Lee Wilson.

He founded The Friends of Richard Lapointe that was described in the 60 Minutes presentation, “Did He Do It?” (CBS/TV, 6-30-96), the Emmy-winning documentary, “A Passion for Justice” (PBS, WEDH Hartford, 11-29-94), and “Defending the Mentally Disabled” (All Things Considered, National Public Radio, 6-26-04.  The NPR broadcast can be heard by going to http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1978705 on The Internet.

Robert was the first non-lawyer to receive the American Bar Association’s Paul Hearne Award for Service to Persons with Intellectual Disabilities, Washington, DC, August 12, 2002.

Eight of the Perske’s16 books remain in print and continue to sell well.  They are:

Hope for the Families, New Life in the Neighborhood, Show Me No Mercy, Don’t Stop the Music, Circles of Friends, Unequal Justice, Deadly Innocence, Perske: Pencil Portraits 1971-1990

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2005 – 2006 events at the Library

September 27, 2005: 7:30 pm. Tuesday. Evidence of Harm: Mercury in Vaccines and the Autism Epidemic: A Medical Controversy. Book talk by author David Kirby. Held at the New Canaan Public Library

October 6, 2005: 7:30 pm. Thursday. Making Peace with Autism. Book talk by author Susan Senator. Held at the  New Canaan Public Library.

December 8, 2005: 7:30 pm. Thursday. The Science of Reading: Overcoming Dyslexia. Book talk by authors Bennett & Sally Shaywitz. Held at the New Canaan Public Library, 151 Main Street, New Canaan, CT  06840.

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2004 – 2005 Meetings

September 28, 2004: Meet the New Canaan Special Education Administration. 10 am-12 pm.  Sponsored by SPED*NET New Canaan, PAC (Parent Advisory Committee to Dr. Candy Lombardo), and the New Canaan Public Schools, Department of Special Education. Brunch served. Held at Waveny House in Waveny Park, New Canaan.  Meet and greet Dr. Candy Lombardo, SPED Director, and SPED Coordinators Wayne Holland and Mary Ann DeFelice.

October 2, 2004:  Inclusive Education: Promising Practices. 8:00 am to 3:45 pm.  2nd annual statewide conference. Jointly sponsored by New Canaan Public Schools, Department of Special Education, Dr. Barbara (Candy) Lombardo, Director and SPED*NET, Special Education Network of New Canaan, Ltd. Held at Saxe Middle School, New Canaan, CT. Keynote speaker Dr. Rich Villa, 20 seminars, and extensive vendor/exhibitor area. Keynote and selected seminars will be translated into Spanish.

November 23, 2004: Understanding the Testing Instruments. 10 am-12 pm. Dr. Mary Campbell, NCPS school psychologist, will speak about the various testing instruments commonly used in school districts.  Held at Waveny House in Waveny Park, New Canaan. Bagels and coffee.

January 25, 2005: Understanding the IEP Form. 10 am –  12 pm.  Presented by Nora Belanger, Esq. and Anne Eason, Esq., special education attorneys. Hosted by Victoria Munoz, 23 Braeburn Drive, New Canaan, CT.  Brunch served.  Everyone welcome.

March 30, 2005: Extended School Year in New Canaan. Wednesday, 10am –noon.  Held at the Teen Outback Center in New Canaan.  Presented by Dr. Barbara (Candy) Lombardo, Director of Special Education; Carole Pakkala, Special Ed teacher at NCHS; and Mary Ann DeFelice, Special Ed Coordinator. Come here our current thinking on this year’s plans. Sponsored by NCPS, SPED*NET New Canaan, and the Parent Advisory Committee to Candy Lombardo. Brunch served.

April 4, 2005: Social Communication for the Non-Verbal Child. Monday, 11:30am – 1:00pm. Held at the Saxe Middle School Library. Presented by Landria Seals M.A. CCC-SLP and Lisa Cohen M.S. CCC-SLP. Introduction by Wayne Holland, NCPS Special Education Coordinator.  This presentation will capture the components involved in improving and targeting social communication in children who are non-verbal.  Participants will learn and understand American Speech, Language, Hearing Association (ASHA) guidelines and the New Canaan philosophy toward social communication for non-verbal students.  The process of speech-language evaluation and therapy will be reviewed.  The generalization of functional communication as it relates to social communication will be discussed.  Participants will learn how individualized goals for students are developed, and understand how they can become involved in their child’s program within a trandisciplinary model. Sponsored by New Canaan Public Schools. Co-sponsored by SPED*NET New Canaan and the Parent Advisory Committee to Dr. Candy Lombardo.  Light snack served.

April 7, 2005: The Facts of Life….and More: six key components for a meaningful sexuality education for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Thursday evening, 6 – 7 pm light dinner, registration, and book sales, 7 – 9 pm seminar.  Presented by national authority and author, Leslie Walker-Hirsch, M. Ed.  Held at Saxe Middle School, 468 South Avenue, New Canaan, CT.  This discussion will help parents and other caregivers to expand their view of sexuality education and to understand how important this education is for self protection and for a high quality of life.  Making social development and sexuality education meaningful takes some creative teaching methods.  The CIRCLES curriculum will be discussed with a video clip to illustrate the approach to learning.

Sponsored by SPED*NET New Canaan; New Canaan Public Schools, Department of Special Education, Dr. Barbara Lombardo – Director; STAR…Lighting the Way, www.starinc-lightingtheway.org; the Connecticut Down Syndrome Congress, Inc., www.ctdownsyndrome.org, and Greenwich ARC www.arcgreenwich.org.

Please register early so we can plan for dinner and for handouts. Send $10 registration fee to:

Carmela Giuliani, STAR, PO Box 470, Norwalk, CT 06852-0470.  Book sales will be sponsored by DandyTales of New Canaan.

April 21, 2005: Special Siblings with Mary McHugh. Talk and book signing at DandyTales Bookstore, 13 South Avenue in New Canaan.  Thursday, 10am – noon. Sponsored by SPED*NET New Canaan.

Mary McHugh is the author of seven books, the most recent of which is “Special Siblings:  Growing Up With Someone With a Disability,” a memoir about growing up with her brother Jack who has cerebral palsy and mental retardation. Mary worked for The New York Times for eight years as a writer, researcher and copy editor. She was an articles editor at several national magazines and a contributing editor to Cosmopolitan.

May 10, 2005: SPED*NET New Canaan networking brunch. Tuesday, 10 am – noon.  Hosted by Victoria Muñoz, 23 Braeburn Drive, New Canaan, CT. Please come and meet other parents who have children receiving special education services in New Canaan. We will share our joys and concerns, and advise the SPED*NET board what services and presentations are needed.

May 24, 2005: Tuesday. Parent Farewell Party for Dr. Candy Lombardo. Please join us to personally thank our Director of Special Education, Dr. Candy Lombardo and to wish her well as she begins a new chapter in her life. Informal Indian buffet with a cash bar at Thali’s Restaurant on 87 Main Street in New Canaan. $15 per person, please pay in advance to SPED*NET, PO Box 1612, New Canaan. We are inviting all parents who have children receiving special education services now or have received services in earlier years in the New Canaan School District to attend. 4:00 to 6:00 pm.  For more info or to RSVP please contact Anne Eason at 966-9709, Beth Lurie 966-2982,or email info@spednet.org.

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2003 – 2004 Meetings

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon
Tuesdays at Waveny House in Waveny ParkSeptember 30, 2003: No Child Left Behind. Kimberly Pisinski, Esq., special ed attorney, assistant professor at UConn, explains impact of this important law on students with disabilities.

October 25, 2003: Inclusive Education: Promising Practices. Conference focused on inclusive education and best educational practices for students with developmental disabilities.  Sponsored by the New Canaan Public Schools, Department of Special Education, Dr. Candy Lombardo, Director, and SPED*NET, Special Education Network of New Canaan, Ltd. Administrative support is being provided by STAR, Inc., Lighting the way… 26 speakers, 40 vendors. Keynote speaker is Dr. Mary Falvey, professor in special education at California State University, Los Angeles and has authored three books within her field of expertise, including  “Inclusive & Heterogeneous Education: Assessment, Curriculum, and Instruction.”  She is currently writing a new book on Celebrating Abilities in Disabilities.  In addition, she has co-authored over 17 book chapters and numerous journal articles, and has made over 250 presentations at local, state, national, and international conferences. She serves as a consultant on inclusive education for several school districts and state departments of education.  Dr. Falvey  is also a former Director of TASH, an international association of persons fighting for a society in which inclusion of all people in all aspects of society is the norm.

November 25, 2003: The ABC’s of Developing an Effective IEPs. Noreen O’Mahoney, C.S.W., S.D.A., advocate.  Focus on writing meaning goals.

January 27, 2004: Music Therapy for Sensory Integration.   Dorita Berger, author, therapist, will discuss the positive power of music therapy and its ability to bring comfort and balance. Book signing available. Cosponsored by SPED*NET Wilton.

February 24, 2004: How Do Kids Learn to Read? Kathleen Whitbread, Ph.D., assistant professor at UConn, and Michele Schneider, MS, Educational Consultant, discuss how to teach students with disabilities to become capable readers.

March 30, 2004: Transition planning:  Expanded opportunities for inclusion in secondary
education.
Margaret  Kardos, OTR/L, ATP.  UConn. Learn ways to achieve functional outcomes through inclusion opportunities in academic, social, and extra-curricular activities.

April 27, 2004:  Visual supports at home and school for learning across the curriculum.  Walk away with simple, concrete strategies to facilitate your child’s daily routines by tapping into their strong visual learning skills.  Lynne Guilmette, Clinical Supervisor, Behavioral Pediatrics and Family Development, LLC.

May 25, 2004: Mock IEP. Cosponsored by ARC Greenwich.

All meetings held at the historic Waveny Mansion in Waveny Park on South Avenue (route 124) in New Canaan, CT, just north of the Merritt Parkway.

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2002 – 2003

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon at Waveny House in Waveny Park. Please RSVP Anne at (203) 966-9709 or Beth at (203) 966-2982. Bagels and coffee.  All are welcome.

September 20, 2002:  Mock IEP, held at the Wilton Library, Old Ridgefield Road, Wilton, CT.  Co-sponsored by SPED*NET Wilton.

October 10, 2002: “My Role as a Special Education Director.” Dr. Candy Lombardo, Director of Special Education for the New Canaan Public Schools. This seminar is geared towards New Canaan residents but all are welcome.  Meeting will be hosted by Jennifer Frazer, 114 Llewellyn Drive, New Canaan.

November 7, 2002: “Navigating the Special Education Maze.” Noreen J. O’Mahoney, C.S.W., S.D.A.  Parent, Founder and Director of Collaborative Advocacy Associates in Wilton, CT.  Understanding collaborative advocacy between the school and home.

January 16, 2003: “Curriculum Modifications.” Michele Schneider, MS, in Special Education, is the Founder and Director of the Pound Ridge Learning Center in   Pound Ridge, NY and is a Special Education Advocate and Learning Consultant. How to modify and adapt curriculum and homework so all students can succeed.

February 6. 2003: “Extended School Year.” Jose Centeno,  State of Connecticut, Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities.  Seminar will focus on extended school year services.  Also, the role of P & A will be explained, with their mission of citizenship, justice, and belonging.

March 6, 2003: “Sexuality and Individuals with Disabilities.” Jeanne Torre, Educational Consultant with Planned Parenthood of Connecticut.

April 24, 2003: “Understanding the Testing Instruments.” Dr. Mary Campbell, school psychologist, New Canaan Public Schools.  Seminar will focus on the various tests the school district uses to assist & evaluate students.

May 22, 2003: “Life Planning: a Primer for Special Families.” Michael Beloff, a financial advisor and father of a special needs son.  This seminar will inform parents of the importance of having a special needs trust and a letter of intent for their child with a disability.

2003 – 2004 meetings held at the historic Waveny Mansion in Waveny Park on South Avenue (route 124) in New Canaan, CT, just north of the Merritt Parkway, except for the Mock IEP and “My Role as Special Education Director.”