Parent Information Relating to Special Education

All these opportunities are FREE unless noted.  
In most cases you must register if registration information is provided.
Research Study — African American Parents' Views on Parenting a Child with Autism
This survey is for Black or African American parents of a child, age 17 or younger, with ASD. $20 Amazon gift card for a completed survey.
Contact:  Ms. Ware at for questions
Wait! Help Your Child with ADHD to Be Less Impulsive
Wed. Dec. 1, 2 pm
Learn what treatments can help, how to increase positive interactions, help your child to be more aware, and practice alternative behaviors.
Your Voice Matters
Wed. Dec. 1, 6-7 pm 
Parents will explore the value of their gifts, expertise, and contributions, and will learn effective approaches to advocating for their child.  
The Power of Family Engagement: How Involved Parents Can Foster a Child’s Self-Advocacy Skills
Thu. Dec. 2, 1 pm, with replay link
How engaging with your child outside of the classroom leads to increased chances of attending college, developing a career, and life preparedness
Preparing for the Unexpected:  Challenges of the Military Family
Fri. Dec. 3, 10:00-11:30 am
How to prepare for an off-cycle move and other common challenges, along with resources for storms, deployments, separations, and loss.
Understanding the Application and Appeals Process for SSI & SSDI
Fri. Dec, 3, 10:00-11:30 am
Learn about these two government benefit programs, their purposes, and how to qualify for coverage, as well as when and how to apply or appeal.
Mount Vernon Sensory Friendly Holiday Family Day
Sat. Dec. 4, 9-11 am  Regular programming 10 am-3 pm.  
Discover how the holiday season was commemorated in the 18th century through family-friendly activities including take-home crafts.
Growth Mindset for Writing — for 4th & 5th Graders
Sat. Dec. 4, 1:30-3:00 pm, 6849 Old Dominion Dr. #200 McLean
Students can learn math strategies to work through challenging problems and reduce anxiety when they get stuck.
Access to Spy
Sun. Dec. 5, 8-10 am
The International Spy Museum has set private hours so families with autistic members can visit with less noise, fewer people, and designated quiet rooms.
Integrated Care for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Wed. Dec. 8, Fri. Dec. 10, OR Tue. Dec.14, 1-4 pm
The White House Director of Disability Policy will explore the challenges & opportunities of building an optimal, integrated care system for people with ID/DD.
The Intersection of Learning Differences and Racial Identity
Wed. Dec. 8, 7 pm
Ways for parents and school professionals to best support children of color with developmental or learning challenges will be addressed.
Prevention of Abuse in Youth Serving Organizations
Wed. Dec. 9, noon-1:30 pm
Learn eight research based prevention goals for child safety, and how to assess risk, identify organizational vulnerabilities, and institute mitigating practices.
Advanced Training in Collaborative & Proactive Solutions
Thu. & Fri. Dec. 9 & 10, 9:00 am-4:30 pm,    $395
Participants will learn how to use the Assessment of Lagging Skill and Unsolved Problems (ALSUP), and how to solve problems collaboratively.
Buying A New Electronic Device for your Child? What Every Parent Needs to Know
Fri. Dec. 10, 10:00-11:30 am
Learn about developmental factors to consider, how to proactively prepare and establish boundaries with your child, and how to respond to difficulties.
Holiday Family Game Night Celebration
Fri. Dec. 10, 6:30-7:30 pm,
This kid-friendly, holiday-themed event for foster, adoptive, and kinship families will include a sweater decorating contest and online games.
Let's Talk About Sex: Sexual Health and Wellness — for Parents of Students with Disabilities
Mon. Dec. 13, 6:00-8:30 pm
It may be uncomfortable to talk with your child about sexuality and puberty, but doing so is critical for your child’s health and safety. These tips can help.
Good Enough Parenting with Tweens
Mon. Dec.13, 8:15-9:15 pm
Topics such as healthy screen use, emotional development, self esteem, limit setting, peer relationships etc. will be addressed via Q & A.
How to Speak so that Schools Will Listen (and Listen so that Schools Will Speak) in Spanish
Cómo hablar para que las escuelas escuchen (y escuchar para que las escuelas hablen)
Lun. el 13 Dic. 7:00 pm
Aprenda a reconocer y prevenir las barreras a la comunicación y a establecer acuerdos sobre problemas difíciles.
Optimizing Executive Functions in Children and Adults with ADHD
Tue. Dec. 14, 2 pm, with replay link
Learn more about activities that foster the development of executive functions and situations that impair limit their use.
Future Financial Planning for People with Disabilities: A National Study on What’s Working and What’s Not
Tue. Dec.14, 2 pm, with replay link 
Future financial planning can be overwhelming. This webinar will discuss challenges as well as solutions to help with planning efforts.
Navigating the Holidays with Your Special Needs Child
Tue. Dec. 14, 6-8 pm, Fortnightly Library, 768 Center St. Herndon
This discussion and Q & A group allows parents to learn from other families and gain practical tools to help your child.
No Registration
Talk Saves Lives
Wed. Dec. 15, 7-8 pm
Suicide can be prevented. Learn how by recognizing common risk factors and warning signs, and by learning appropriate responses. 
Special Needs Trusts 
Fri. Dec. 17, 10:00-11:30 am
Learn about the role of a Special Needs Trust in maintaining government benefits while ensuring your (adult) child’s future needs are met.
Caregiver Night Out
Thu. Dec. 30, 6:30-9:00 pm   $$
Respite care for children with ID/DD will be provided by ABA providers.
Register:  703-857-2157 x 501 or
Ongoing and On Demand
The Arc@School Advocacy Curriculum    $99 for 6 months
Build up your special education knowledge, know the law, and learn to advocate for the services and supports your child needs at school.
Family Coaching — 8-12 week program
Work weekly one-on-one with a coach to identify individualized goals and create a targeted family plan.
Fairfax County’s Pre-Notification 9-1-1 Program 
Enroll now in this new public safety program for individuals with disabilities. 
Special Education During a Pandemic
Learn what the laws specify that schools should provide, and how you can best support your child. 
Dyslexia & the IEP: How to Make Sure the IEP Is in Tip-Top Shape
Webinar, available 24/7
Accommodations for Recreational Classes and Camps with Fairfax County Parks
Accommodations include physical accessibility, ASL interpreters, assistive devices, sensitivity training for classmates, and staff training.
To request accommodations, email or 703 324-8563
Scholarships for Classes with Fairfax County Parks
Children of families that receive public assistance (medicaid, free school lunch, SNAP, TANF) are eligible to take one set of classes per quarter for a $15 registration fee.
NAMI Basics
This 6-session course is for adults who provide care for youth (ages 22 and younger) who are experiencing mental health symptoms (including ADHD and ASD).
Wrightslaw Special Education Law and Advocacy Training
Learn about special education law, rights and responsibilities; tests to measure progress and regression; SMART IEPs; and strategies for effective advocacy.
The Parent Playbook — 9 Module Online Course on Autism
From the VCU Autism Center for Excellence. An introduction on Autism Spectrum Disorder for families, including tips for caregivers, characteristics, interventions and recommended programs and services.
Ongoing Community Support Groups 
for Parents
All these support groups are open to newcomers, and they are free, except where noted.  No diagnosis is required to participate.  Participants are typically given the opportunity to share their story, experience support, and glean guidance (as desired) from group members regarding both community and school resources. Confidentiality is to be respected.
AAC Parent Group meets occasionally on Saturdays.  Contact: Amanda or 703-941-7757 ext. 316
African American Culturally Focused Virtual Parent Café meets Thursdays, 6:00-7:30 pm.  Register at least 24 hours in advance by email or 703-324-7720 
Alpha Moms  This support group for adoptive parents meets monthly in McLean. Contact:
Arlington Epilepsy Support Group, a list-serve, can be accessed at
Autism Dads meets one evening monthly.  Contact:  George Buzby at 571-419-1257 or
Autism Society of NoVA Support Group meets on the 2nd Saturday of the month, 1:00-2:30 pm via Zoom.; Meeting ID: 946 600 1682; One tap mobile (301) 715-8592


Business Networking Event for Special Needs Parents
Alternate Fridays, 9:00-10:30 am Via Zoom.  Connect with fellow special needs parents and business owners, build your referral network, and share best practices.  Contact: 
Cafés Virtuales Para Padres:  Miércoles de 7:00-8:30 pm.  Regístrese con al menos 24 horas de anticipación: o 703-324-7720 
CHADD: Children & Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Alexandria CHADD Parent Support Group  4th Mon. of each month at 6:30 pm.  Contact:  Susan,  or call 303-903-9972.
  • Loudoun County CHADD Parent Support 3rd Wed. evening of the month.  Contact:  Bonnie Little  571-306-2932 or on Facebook @loudounahdhsupport
  • West Fairfax/Burke CHADD Parent Support Group  1st & 3rd Thur. of each month at 8:00 pm Contact:  Cathy,  
CSB Family Support Group at Gatlan Center  2nd and 4th Wed. of each month 6:00-7:30 pm via Zoom Contact: or call 703-799-2882.
D.A.D.S.  Dads Appreciating Down Syndrome 3rd Tue. each month, 7-9 pm via Zoom.  Contact:  George or call 703- 545-6089.
Dr. Dan’s Support Group for Parents Raising Challenging Children meets via Zoom on Mondays, 1-2 pm, Register:
Fairfax Juvenile Court Parent Support for problems including runaway behavior, truancy, alcohol/drug abuse, and serious behavioral problems at home, at school, or in the community. Sign up for a phone consultation at
Family F.I.R.S.T. Fridays Autism Support Group meets on the 1st Friday monthly, noon-12:45 at Gum Spring Library 24600 Millstream Dr. Stone Ridge
Formed Families Together consists of monthly peer support groups for adoptive, kinship, and foster caregivers and parents. Register:
Virtual support group meets the 1st Sunday evening monthly.
In-Person support group meets the 3rd Wednesday evening monthly.
Grupo de Chat para Padres mediante la aplicación de WhatsApp. Podras mantenerte al tanto de todo lo que PEATC Latino esta haciendo. Entra al group:   (Chat Group for Latino Parents: Join our new CHAT GROUP through the WhatsApp application and you will be able to keep up to date with everything that PEATC Latino is doing.)
Grupo de Educación y Apoyo a Padres en Española se reúne el cuarto sábado de cada mes, 10-11 am en Zoom en ID de reunión: 946 600 1682
Kinship Café meets online 6:30-8:00 pm the 2nd Wednesday of the month for those raising the children of relatives and friends. To attend, call 703-324-7720 or email .
NAMI:  National Alliance on Mental Illness builds better lives for affected families. Arlington Parent Support Group meets two Sundays a month at 7:00-8:30 pm. Contact:  Michelle Best
NAMI Family Support Group meets on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays on Zoom for parents of children living with mental health challenges including ADHD, ASD, etc.  
OCD Family Support Group meets the 1st Mon. of each month at 7:30 pm. Contact:   or  call 202-215-5859
Parent Café (for all Fairfax County parents and guardians) meets via Zoom in English on Mon., 7:45-9:15 pm, and en español, miércoles, 7:00-8:30 pm. Register at least 24 hours in advance by email or 703-324-7720  
Parents in a Pandemic is for families of children or young adults with developmental and/or behavioral challenges.  They meet twice monthly, 5:30-6:30 pm on Tuesdays.  Register:
Parents of Autistic Children (POAC-NOVA) Parent Support Group meets on Saturdays occasionally.  Contact:  Brianne Russel-Morris .
REACH Parent Support Group meets monthly to support parents of individuals with developmental disabilities who also have mental health or behavioral issues. Contact:  Dr. Pourmand

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