So Many Opportunities for Parents!

Upcoming Opportunities for Parents Relating to Special Education

**All these opportunities are FREE unless noted.**

In most cases you must register if registration information is provided.

When other events are announced they will be posted with these at:


*Two 9-1-1 Pre-Notification Programs Are Now Available

Both allow prior registration so that first responders will be aware of the special needs of individuals at the scene.

*Fairfax County Emergency Health Profiles

Ongoing medical and behavioral health conditions can be included, along with emergency contact information.

*Fairfax County Community Connect

The special needs of individuals, and information about pets and your residence can be included with emergency contacts.


*6-Month Parent Support for Raising Children with FASD (fetal alcohol spectrum disorders) meets monthly on the 3rd Monday, Oct. 17 through Mar. 20, 1-2 pm.  Register:  Email Carey Tompkins, [email protected]  your name and a brief explanation of your interest in the group.

*Transition University — Self-Paced Course of 5 Sessions

Mon. Oct. 10 to Tue. Nov. 29, with access 24/7

Learn about the many options to maximize your child’s independence and quality of life when they age out of school.



*IEP University (IEPU) — Self-Paced Course

Sun. Oct. 30 to Sun. Nov. 20, with access 24/7.  Get accurate and useful information about IEP development and meetings, including many practical strategies.



*REVIVE! Training 

Multiple dates & times

Be prepared for an overdose! Learn how to administer naloxone, and what to do afterwards.  Get supplies.



*Helping Lonely Teenagers with ADHD:  Parent-Teacher Strategies for Combating Peer Rejection

Tue. Nov. 1, 1 pm, with replay link

Gain strategies to help your kids to improve their behavior and reputation, and ways to enlist teachers to provide similar help.



*Transition Lunch & Learn

Wed. Nov. 2, noon-1:30 pm

Plan for the transition to adult services by learning about supports for employment, transportation, recreation, and day services.



*Ins and Outs of IEP Meetings

Wed. Nov.  2, 6:30 pm

Learn what to expect at an IEP meeting, how to prepare for it, and how to work together afterwards to support your student.



*Nontraditional Families:  Fostering Resilience and Inclusivity While Welcoming and Affirming All Families

Thu. Nov. 3,  6:30-8:00 pm

Learn about the strengths and challenges of these families, effective communication practices, and strategies for supports.



*DMV Connect

Fri. Nov. 4, 9:30 am-3:30 pm, 601 Catoctin Cir. NE Leesburg

Make an appointment to transact DMV business at the Ally Advocacy Center in Leesburg.



*Where to Start: Supporting Children When Someone They Love Has Cancer

Fri. Nov. 4, 10:00-1:30 am

Information and guidance on how to support your children throughout a cancer journey.



*Real Estate in a Special Needs Trust

Fri. Nov. 4, 10:00-11:30 am
Learn how real estate can be handled in a Special Needs Trust to increase housing opportunities for individuals with disabilities.



*Circle of Support Conference

Sat. Nov. 5, 10 am-noon

Gain a sense of how multiple entities can work together to support and encourage special needs individuals.



*How to Get Unstuck And Write:  Start to Finish for HS Students

Sat. Nov. 5, 1:00-2:30 pm, 6849 Old Dominion Dr. # 200, McLean

Students will learn how for every writing roadblock there is a strategy they can choose to help them plow through it.



*Sensory-Friendly Hours at the U.S. Botanic Garden 

Sun. Nov. 6, 8:30-10:00 am, 245 First St. Washington, DC

Families with students with cognitive or sensory disabilities may explore the exhibits and sensory-friendly activities.

Register:  email [email protected] with your family name and the number of individuals that will be visiting


*Considerations for Autism Evaluations in the Public Schools
Wed. Nov, 8, 3:30-4:30 pm

The definition of autism in medical and legal settings will be compared and contrasted with its educational identification.



*Mindfulness:  Your Resource for Achieving Control and Calm at Any Age

Wed. Nov. 8,  7:00-8:30 pm

Learn about the science supporting mindfulness and strategies to help families to experience its benefits.



*Ways to Adulthood — in Spanish

WAZE a la Adultez

Mier. 9 de novembre, 6:00-7:30 pm

Este taller compartirá información sobre las cosas que deben tenerse en cuenta cuando su ser querido cumpla 18 años.



*My Teen with ADHD Lacks All Motivation! How to Build Executive Function Skills and Drive

Wed. Nov. 9, 1 pm

Learn how ADHD impacts motivation and executive functioning in teens and how to compensate for these challenges.



*Everything You Need to Know About Opioids

Thu. Nov. 10, 10:00-11:30 am

Learn: how teens are getting drugs; opioid risk and misuse; withdrawal and overdose symptoms; naloxone and how it works.



*Unpacking Inclusion:  If it is right for us, how will it work?

Thu. Nov. 10, 1:30 pm

Consider the challenges and benefits of inclusion so that you can figure out what is best for your child’s unique needs.  With Q&A



*Moving On to Life in the Community:  Resource Fair

Thu. Nov. 10, 6:30-8:30 pm, 8270 Willow Oaks Corporate Dr. #1000, Fairfax

A presentation and resource fair will help parents of students with significant disabilities think concretely about after graduation.



*Mindful Parenting

Thu. Nov 10, 7:00-8:30 pm,  4600 N. Fairfax Dr. # 300 Arlington

Put mindfulness to work when you show up for your child to help them thrive.    $10



*Transition Lunch & Learn

Wed. Nov. 16, noon-1:30 pm

Plan for the transition to adult services by learning about the Arc’s Tech for Independent Living program.



*Dispute Resolution Options in Virginia

Wed. Nov. 16, 6:30 pm

Learn about the various dispute resolution options, how they work, and when it may be best to use a specific one.



*When to Worry:  Pediatric Emotional Problems in a Time of Stress

Wed. Nov. 16, 7:00-8:30 pm

A review of the major symptoms of pediatric emotional disorders and therapies will be followed by when to seek help.



*Youth Mental Health First Aid Course for Adults

Thu. Nov. 17, 9:00 am-3:30 pm,  $25

Learn the risk factors and warning signs of mental health challenges in youth, their potential impact, and how to respond.



*Twenty-Two Cents an Hour: Disability Rights and the Fight to End Subminimum Wages

Thu. Nov,.17, 2:00-2:45pm

Consider the past and present of disability employment, the disability industrial complex, and a current bill in congress (HR 2373).



*Bullying Prevention

Fri. Nov. 18, 10:30 am-noon

Consider how FCPS defines and handles the various types of  bullying and related behaviors, and how to prevent them.



*Talk Saves Lives:  An Introduction to Suicide Prevention

Sun. Nov. 20, 4-5 pm

Suicide can be prevented. Learn how by recognizing common risk factors and warning signs, and learn how to  respond.



*More Than Sad:  Parent Education

Sun. Nov. 21, 4-6 pm,

This program teaches caring adults about depression, demystifies treatment, and encourages those in need to seek help.



*REVIVE! Training — in Spanish

¡REANIMAR! Capacitación

Martes, 29 de nov. 1 pm

Aprenda qué hacer en una situación de sobredosis, cómo administrar naloxona y qué hacer después. Se pueden proporcionar suministros.



*Building a Resilient Relationship with Your Teen

Wed. Nov. 30, 6:30-8:00 pm, 21000 Education Ct. Ashburn

Learn the practical parts of adolescent development to guide your nurturing and limit setting for your teen.




*Ongoing and On Demand

*Gun Violence Prevention Resources


Back-to-School ADHD Master Class — Self-Guided Course

This 10-part multimedia course has modules on accommodations, executive functions, behavior challenges,  learning differences, etc.



Advanced Training in Collaborative & Proactive Solutions   

Participants will learn how to use the ALSUP assessment and how to solve problems collaboratively.   $149



The Arc@School Advocacy Curriculum    $99 for 6 months

Build your special education knowledge, know the law, and learn to advocate for the services your child needs.  Scholarship:



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 [email protected] 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.

Info:   $50-$90


Get Ready for College:  A Resource for Teens with Disabilities

Online, Self-Paced 8 Class Course from VCU

This course for high school students with disabilities focuses on preparation for college, selection of a college for best fit, and the disability services process.



Access to SuccessOnline Self-Paced 8-class Course for Students with Disabilities

High school and college students can learn about their disability rights and how to obtain accommodations in college. Use the mp3 files for audio.



The Parent Playbook9 Module Online Course on Autism

From the VCU Autism Center for Excellence & Virginia Autism Council. An introduction on Autism Spectrum Disorder for families, including tips for caregivers, characteristics, interventions and recommended programs and services.



Community Support Groups for Youth & 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.


Support Groups for Youth


ASNV Autism Social Group for high school students and young adults meets on the 1st Saturday monthly noon-1 pm.  Contact Nicci Dowd at [email protected]. Join meeting at; Meeting ID: 872 0468 1036; Passcode: 276691


ASNV Teen Time for youth, age 13-19 with ASD, meets virtually Tuesdays, 6-7 pm.  Contact:  [email protected] Meeting:  Meeting ID: 946 600 1682; One tap mobile at (301) 715-8592


Escape Room Book Club (with hybrid-media) for neurodiverse teens, ages 12-18, to connect with their peers, meets monthly on the 4th Thu. At 4:30 pm at Brambleton Library, Brambleton.  Contact:  [email protected] for current books 571-258-3998


Heads Up and Talk It Out Teen and Parent Recovery Groups

These are concurrent virtual groups for teens (ages 14-17) who are working through emotional, mental health or substance use challenges and their parents every Thursday 6-7 pm.  Info:


People First for Young Adults is a social and self-advocacy group for youth with disabilities ages 14-26.  It meets monthly on the 2nd Tuesday, 6:30-8:00 pm.  Contact:  email [email protected]


S.L.A.M. (Share, Learn, Aspire, Mentor) for ages 16-24, meets the 3rd Thursday monthly, 6-8 pm.  Contact:  Melvin [email protected]


Youth MOVE, for ages 14-29, meets the 2nd & 4th Thursday monthly at 6:30 pm. This facilitated group is for teens with mental health concerns.  Register:


Youth Empowerment Transition Council, for youth with disabilities ages 14-22, meets on the 2nd Monday of the month to advise PEATC and build advocacy and leadership skills.  Contact:  [email protected]


Support Groups for Parents


AAC Parent Group meets occasionally on Saturdays.  Contact:  Amanda [email protected] 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 [email protected] or 703-324-7720


Alpha Moms  This support group for adoptive parents meets monthly in McLean.  Contact:  [email protected]


Arlington Epilepsy Support Group, a list-serve, can be accessed at [email protected]


Autism Dads meets one evening monthly.  Contact:  George Buzby at 571-419-1257 or [email protected]


Autism Society of NoVA Parents and Caregivers meets on the 2nd Thursday of the month, 6-7 pm via Zoom. Meeting ID: 946 600 1682; One tap mobile (301) 715-8592


Business Networking Event for Special Needs Parents

Alternate Fridays, May 29 and following, 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:   [email protected] 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,  [email protected]  or call 303-903-9972.
  • West Fairfax/Burke CHADD Parent Support Group  1st & 3rd Thur. of each month at 8:00 pm Contact:  Cathy,  [email protected]

CSB Family Support Group at Gatlan Center  2nd and 4th Wed. of each month 6:00-7:30 pm via Zoom Contact:  [email protected] or call 703-799-2882.


D.A.D.S.  Dads Appreciating Down Syndrome 3rd Tue. each month, 7-9 pm via Zoom.  Contact:  George [email protected] or call 703- 545-6089.


Dr. Dan’s Support Group for Parents Raising Challenging Children meets via Zoom on Mondays, 1-2 pm, Register:


Embark in the DC Metro Parent Support Group is for parents of children and youth with mental health challenges.  It meets virtually on alternate Thursdays, noon-1 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


Family Recovery & Support Group meets weekly via Zoom on Mondays 6:30-7:30 pm for family and friends of those receiving CSB services for addictions.  Contact:  [email protected]


Formed Families Together hosts monthly peer support groups for adoptive, kinship, and foster caregivers and parents. Virtual support group meets the 1st Sunday evening monthly. In-Person support group meets the 3rd Wednesday evening monthly. Register:


Foster the Family Support Group for foster and adoptive moms meets the 3rd Monday of each month, 6:30-8:00 pm in Falls Church. Childcare is provided. Register:


Grupo de Chat para Padres:  Unete a nuestro nuevo GRUPO DE CHAT mediante la aplicación de WhatsApp y podras mantenerte al tanto de todo lo que PEATC Latino esta haciendo. Entra al GRUPO:


Grupo de Educación y Apoyo a Padres en Española se reúne el cuarto sábado de cada mes, de 10 a 11 am en Zoom en ID de reunión: 946 600 1682


Hablemos educación especial es un grupo de discusión de padres de habla hispana y de un estudiante autista. Se reúnen virtualmente el primer miércoles de cada mes de 7:00-7:45 pm



Heads Up and Talk It Out Teen and Parent Recovery Groups

These are concurrent virtual groups for teens (ages 14-17) who are working through emotional, mental health or substance use challenges and their parents every Thursday 6-7 pm.  Info:


Kinship Café meets online 6:30-8:00 pm the 1st Wednesday of the month for those raising the children of relatives and friends. To attend, call 703-324-7720 or email [email protected] .


Let’s Talk Transitions meets monthly on the 4th Wednesday at 7 pm to discuss their autistic teen’s post-high school plans.



Military Families Support Group meets the 1st Tuesday monthly at 7-8 pm for military families of all disabled dependents.  Access: OR Email [email protected] for details


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 [email protected]

NAMI Connection Support Group for Young Adults (18-36) meets on the 3rd Tuesday monthly, 7:30-9:00 pm.  Register:   email [email protected]

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.

NAMI Parent & Caregiver Support Group meets on the 4th Thursday monthly. Email or call 804-285-1749


NOVA Adopt Friends Parent Peer Support Group for adoptive parents meets on the 3rd Thursdays monthly 6:00-7:30 pm. Zoom:


OCD Family Support Group meets the 1st Mon. of each month, 7:30 pm.  Contact:  [email protected]   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 [email protected] or 703-324-7720


Parent Support for Raising Children with FASD (fetal alcohol spectrum disorders) meets monthly on the 3rd Monday, Oct. 17 through Mar. 20, 1-2 pm.  Register:  Email Carey Tompkins, [email protected]  your name and a brief explanation of your interest in the group.


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 Wednesdays.  Register:


Parents of Autistic Children (POAC-NOVA) Parent Support Group meets on Saturdays occasionally.  Contact:  Brianne Russel-Morris [email protected]


Parents of Autistic Teens meets some Sat. of each month.  Contact:  Maria Dubuc 703-970-3676 or [email protected]

People of the Global Majority is a discussion group for BIPOC parents of children with autism.  They meet virtually on the 1st Monday monthly at 7:00-7:45 pm.  Register:

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  [email protected] health

Virginia Family Network Book Club for parents and caregivers of children living with mental health challenges meets on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays at 7 pm. Contact Nicole Anjum at [email protected] .

Virginia Family Network Parent Meetup is on the 1st and 3rd Fridays at 8 pm for parents/caregivers of children with mental health challenges. Contact Nicole Anjum at [email protected] .

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