Autism Welcoming Initiative
Autism Alliance's Autism Welcoming initiative is teaching businesses how to accommodate individuals and families with special needs. In John Laidler's article in The Boston Globe, we learn, "The Alliance’s co-directors, Allison Daigle and Pamela McKillop, said they created the initiative to help relieve the stress families face visiting a public place with an autistic child." The article profiles a family that has benefited from Autism Welcoming businesses and describes some of the locations that have received training. TO READ FULL STORY
Family Special Event
Autism Alliance 30th Anniversary Celebration "Teddy
Bear Picnic" Family Event
Saturday April 22
6:00pm to 8:00pm
Discovery Museum Acton
Autism Alliance families are invited to join us for our 30th Anniversary Celebration at the Discovery Museum in Acton. Bring your favorite teddy bear or stuffed animal, a brown-bag dinner and enjoy a picnic with your family and we will do the rest. This is an Autism Alliance EXCLUSIVE sensory-friendly event, and we will have the entire museum to explore including discovery woods. We have some fun surprises including FREE raffles, special goodies and much more. Let's celebrate 30 years of creating our beautiful autism community together!! Must register.
Neurodiverse Storytime | Framingham McAuliffe Library
Saturday April 15
In partnership with the McAuliffe Library, the Autism Alliance presents STORYTIME for neurodiverse children - Autism Specialist Katie Casavant will be onsite to help support parents and children at this fun FREE sensory-friendly program. Registration is required by calling 508-532-5636 X4. Hope to see you there!!
BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND
Jam Time EXCLUSIVE PRIVATE Sensory Play
Tuesday April 18
8:30am - 10:30am
Ages 12 and under
We will have the entire indoor play center just for us, for an unforgettable fun-filled party! Kids can explore, jump, play, stim and have a wonderful time being themselves. We will have healthy snacks for your little ones.
RESCHEDULED FROM FEBRUARY
LUSH In-store PRIVATE PARTY– EXCLUSIVE TEENS ONLY
Thursday April 20
9:30am - 11:00am
Natick Mall | Suite 11
Join us for our very first LUSH Party.
Celebrate in store with exclusive party favors and products handmade by you. What happens when you mix good times, great people, and gorgeous one-of-a-kind goodies? You get one spectacular day! Everyone will learn how to make-your-own bubble bar or bath bomb. This party will include a product making kit and exclusive party goodies. We have a limited number of slots, and you will be notified directly if you receive a slot. No drop-offs, please. An adult caregiver must stay with our teen guests.
NEW Vacation Program for ages 3-10
"Going to a Restaurant"
NEW Autism Welcoming Skill Building Series
Wednesday April 19th
The Autism Alliance and our Autism Welcoming Partners Burtons Grill & Bar Shrewsbury are partnering together for our VERY FIRST "Going to a Restaurant" Skill Building Series. This will be a fun, sensory-friendly lunch for you and your little one with autism. The program was created so that you can introduce your child to some of the skills they can practice when they go to a restaurant. Kids will practice greetings as they enter the restaurant, ordering from a menu, waiting for the food to arrive and of course enjoying delicious dessert. Menus will be provided ahead of time. Slots are limited. You will be notified if you receive a slot. This program does not include siblings. It is FREE thanks to a generous grant for the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism.
April Parent Clinic and Workshops
Kids, Overeating, and Obesity Prevention - Talk and Q&A with Pediatric Weight Specialist Dr. Reich
Wednesday April 12 | Virtual
6:30pm - 7:30pm
Please join us for a drop in Zoom presentation and Q&A with Pediatric Obesity specialist Dr. Sarah H. Reich. Dr. Reich will provide an overview of eating, overeating, challenges with weight and psychiatric medications and ideas on weight gain/obesity prevention. The latest views and treatments will also be discussed. Not to be missed! Be sure to calendar this today. For more information click on zoom link.
Autism Alliance Brain Chat featuring Coach Allison Marean
Tuesday April 25 | Virtual
Our virtual, monthly Brain Chat is for parents and caregivers who want more strategies and an opportunity to ask specific questions to expert Coach Allison H. Marean, M.Ed., CLY. from Successfully Social New England. This is a virtual community call that meets once a month for an hour is FREE and sponsored by the Autism Alliance. It is an opportunity to ask questions, be a part of our community and/or just listen and learn from others. After you sign up, a few days before the group you will receive the Zoom link.
Applying for Housing
Tuesday April 25 | Virtual
This FREE workshop, presented by Cathy Boyle of Autism Housing Pathways, will walk families through the range of affordable and subsidized housing options available to people with disabilities in Massachusetts. A strategy for completing a basic set of applications and tracking them over time is presented.
Autism Alliance support groups are for families who have children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Our groups are a safe and relaxed space for parent and caregivers to feel more confident and less isolated. Click below for Zoom links.
NEW "Let's Build a Village" Self-Care group for MetroWest moms.
"Let's Build a Village" MetroWest Moms Self-care Group
12pm-1pm | Virtual
Thursday, May 18, June 15, and July 20
Our virtual, monthly "Let's Build a Village" program is for MetroWest moms who would like to grow their "village" by connecting with other moms. This program is fun, fabulous, and free and is sponsored by the Autism Alliance. It is an opportunity for moms of children with autism within the MetroWest area to bond with other moms by sharing laughs while lifting each other up. Moms, this is self-care at its very best and is just for YOU!! Our hope is that we can build our village and eventually meet as a group, in person.
After School Club | ALL AGES & ABILITIES
Autism Alliance After School Club ~
Tuesday April 4,11, 25 and May 2
4:00pm - 4:30pm | Virtual
All ages and siblings
Each week we meet virtually and will learn about some fantastic zoo critters and follow up with brainstorming and voting on what we would include in our own perfect zoo. Endless possibilities for all of us to use our imaginations and connect through our common interest in animals. All ages, levels, and siblings are invited to participate. We would like to thank the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for sponsoring this program.
Technology, Employment, Benefits & More
Technology Strategies for Communication and Behavior Support
Tuesday, April 18
9:00am - 10:30am EDT
FREE to register Online.
Presenters: Jill Eastman and Kelly Wanzer from the Institute for Community Inclusion at UMass Boston
Communication challenges can be a significant barrier in obtaining and maintaining employment for individuals with disabilities. Similarly, unwanted behaviors in the workplace can interfere with an individual’s at-work success. However, identifying strategies to increase effective communication can facilitate both communicative and behavioral growth. But where should employment professionals start, and how can technology help? This session includes information on the relationship between communication and behavior, tech-based strategies to increase communication and behavioral success at work, tips for identifying replacement behaviors, and maintaining a person-centered approach while working with unwanted behaviors.
Disability Benefits and Transition Age Youth
Thursday May 4
3:00pm - 5:00pm | Training will be online.
FREE to register Online.
Who should attend:
If you work with or support a young person with a disability who is approaching the transition from school to adult life this training is for you. Family members, educators, adult service providers and service coordinators are all encouraged to attend.
This training provides information related to the significant benefit changes that young adults with disabilities need to understand as they approach adulthood including the mandatory Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Age 18 redetermination process, how adult benefits differ from childhood-related benefits under both Social Security programs, SSI and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), and how changes to public health insurance can occur. There is a special emphasis on young adult-related programs and work incentives such as Section 301 (Continued Payment under a Vocational Rehabilitation Program or Similar Program), the Student Earned Income Exclusion (SEIE) for individuals 21 and younger on SSI, and how a PASS Plan can help young adults leverage financial resources to fund education that may give them a head start on their career goals.
Assistive Technology Fair - Metro Region
Monday May 8
1:00pm - 5:00pm
Boston Marriott Newton
2345 Commonwealth Ave., Newton, MA 02466
Join us for an afternoon of visiting with Assistive Technology vendors in the ballroom, participating in demonstrations, attending presentations, and learning about new technology to support independence. Our goal is to provide resources, education, and technology to community members, including individuals with disabilities, family members, provider agency staff, state agency staff, and teachers.
AFAM's 18th Annual Autism Advocacy Day:
"Services and Supports Can't Wait-Systemic Change Now!"
Monday, May 8th
10:00 am - 11:00 am
The Great Hall | Massachusetts State House
New Direction Spelling Center
New Direction Spelling Center is thrilled to announce a private screening of SPELLERS the movie, inspired by the book Underestimated. SPELLERS is a transformational documentary detailing autistic non-Speakers and what happens once they are able to freely communicate. Come see for yourself the power of communication in opening the world of non-Speakers! Scan the QR Code to register for a free ticket on Friday, April 28, at 6:30 pm, or Saturday, April 29, at 1 pm. Bring your family and stay for a brief Q&A after the showing.
Link for Friday's showing - https://kinema.com/events/spellers-kidbzy
Link for Saturday's showing - https://kinema.com/events/spellers-bxww94
MassHealth Members! Due to the COVID-19 emergency, MassHealth has been maintaining your health coverage, but soon we will be returning to normal eligibility renewal processes. This means we must renew all members to make sure they still qualify for their current MassHealth coverage. Make sure to check all mail from MassHealth. You may need to take action to get the best benefit you qualify for. Here’s what you can do now to make your renewal process easier.
SafetyNet Federal Grants Available
The Framingham Police Dept. has received a federal grant for SafetyNet and will support any family in Framingham with a child at risk on the SafetyNet program at no cost. Other towns may also apply for grant. Click on the link to learn more.
Did you miss seeing one of our featured guest speakers? If so, click on the link and you will see the recordings on the Autism Alliance of MetroWest YouTube Channel.
Please submit requests for accommodations, including ASL interpreters, at least
2 weeks prior to the event date to AutismAlliance@advocates.org or call (508) 652-9900
www.AutismAlliance.org | (508) 652-9900 | AutismAlliance@Advocates.org
1881 Worcester Road, Suite 100A, Framingham, MA 01701
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