Monday, December 29, 2008

Dear Special Parents,

SPEC invites you to a presentation on Saturday January 10 from 1 to 3 pm at the Chestnut Hill Library, 8711 Germantown Ave., Philadelphia. Herb Hinkle, attorney, will discuss Estate Planning and Guardianship for families of people with special needs. His talk will include Special Needs Trusts and other vehicles for planning for your child's future.

Hope to see you there -- Jean

Monday, December 22, 2008

PNG: James Coplan Jan 27

Informal Meeting for Parents to Meet and Share Information.
All parents or caregivers of children with special needs are welcome to attend .
There is no charge for this event.
Guest Speaker: Dr. James Coplan, MD
“Choosing the right services for the child
with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)”
Dr. Coplan is board certified in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities and Development-Behavioral Pediatrics. From 1997 to 2004, he served as Director of Leadership Education in Neurodevelopemental Disabilities at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Dr. Coplan left Children’s Hospital in June of 2004 to form his own practice, Neurodevelopmental Pediatrics of the Main Line, located in Rosemont, PA.
Dr. Coplan’s forthcoming book Off the beaten path; The parents’ guide to Autistic Spectrum Disorders
© 2009 Random House
Tuesday, January 27th at 7:30pm
Child Growth & Development Center, Inc®
RSVP is preferred, but not necessary
(email: or call 610-275-KIDS)
(Please, no children)
100 West Germantown Pike
East Norriton, PA 19401
Comcast SportsNet recognized Little Wonders as"MVP" for their sports program (April 2008)

Friday, December 5, 2008

webcast about autism

Easter Seals' Living with Autism Study
Made Possible by MassMutual Financial Group
National Results Launch and Press Event : an Online Presentation
Tuesday, December 16, 2008 / 9:30-10:30 AM EST

Please click here and look for the registration button if interested.

Also, Joe Scullin will visit the monthly SPEC meeting this coming SAT at 10:30 am in the Chestnut Hill Library, hope to see you all then.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Dec 6: Joe Scullin

from Jean McCoubrey, SPEC chair (for lack of a better title) ...

Dear Parents,

Just a reminder about the Special Parents of Exceptional Children meeting next Saturday December 6 at 10:30 am at the Chestnut Hill Library, 8711 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia. (Note the change from our regular time!)

Joe Scullin, Director of Community Social Services at UCP, will speak and answer your questions about services for your child.

For more information, directions, etc., please reply to this email or call Jean at 215-913-9027.

Hope to see you!
Jean McCoubrey

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Adult Autism Medicaid Waiver Announced

Good news, forwarded by Jean McCoubrey, below for families coping with the issues associated with children who have autism and the "age issue." :-)
The Department of Public Welfare, Bureau of Autism Services is pleased to announce the approval of the Adult Autism Medicaid Waiver to serve individuals ages 21 and older.

Please share the archived handouts (.zip of pdf files, 420 K) with anyone who may be interested (i.e., potential consumers and/or providers). These handouts are also available online at

Please note that the “Provider Packets” mentioned in the “Provider FAQ” document will become available on June 16, 2008. Please email or call 1-866-539-7689 on or after this date for a copy. The Provider Packet will include handouts entitled, “Autism Waiver Service Descriptions” and “BAS Adult Autism Waiver Provider Qualification Requirements,” as well as additional provider information.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

May 31: Behavior and Development ...

We hope to see you this Saturday, May 31 at 1:00 at the Chestnut Hill Library (8511 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia) for a presentation by Eileen Quinn, a behavioral specialist with Quinn Developmental Services in Ambler, PA. Are you concerned about your child's ...
  • challenging behaviors?
  • Social skills?
  • Toilet training?
  • Summer programs and school-year services?
Bring your questions. You are welcome to arrive at 12:30 for a light lunch and to meet other families before the presentation.

Quinn Developmental Service
46 E Butler Ave, Ambler, PA 19002 | (215) 654-7577

Friday, May 16, 2008

Rep. Vereb May 21 in East Norriton


Mike Vereb

speaking at

Little Wonders

Child Growth & Development Center,Inc.®

Wednesday, May 21st at 7:30pm

Mike Vereb (left in photo right) works closely with Speaker of the House, Dennis O’Brien (center in photo right) dealing with issues regarding Autism.

Mike also serves on the House Insurance Committee and will be discussing budget issues in the next few weeks.

Representative Vereb want to hear from you…


Here’s your chance to be heard…

Have a question about Healthcare Coverage for your child with special needs? Or, any other questions that Representative Vereb can answer or bring to the House of Representatives and fight for you and your child?

RSVP Preferred: #610-275-KIDS

or email:

May 21st at 7:30pm

(Please, no children)

Hillcrest Plaza Shopping Center

100 West Germantown Pike East Norriton, Pa 19401

(Intersection of Germantown Pike & Swede Rd.)

Monday, April 21, 2008

Information Fair, Andorra section of Philly May 3 2008


WHEN: May 3, 2008; 12:00- 2:00


Father Sullivan Hall (Right behind I.H.M. School)
819 Cathedral Road
Philadelphia, PA 19128

(about 10 minute drive from the SPEC meeting place in Chestnut Hill | directions)


-United Cerebral Palsy Social Services

-Vision for Equality

-Liberty Resources

-Autism Sharing and Parenting

-Temple University Institute on Disabilities

-Law Office of Joseph Romano

-Philadelphia Mental Health / Mental Retardation Office

-Philadelphia Corporation for Ageing

-Office of Pastoral Care for Persons with Disabilities

-Speaking for Ourselves

-State Senator Shirley Kitchen’s Office

-Philadelphia ARC

-Catholic Cares Options for the Elderly

-Marion Bolger Recreational Program

-Roxborough YMCA

-Department of Public Welfare


Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Therapy of Art ...

From my friend Jean McCoubrey:

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

Special Parents of Exceptional Children (SPEC), a support and information group for those who care for children with special needs, will hold its next meeting on Saturday, April 26 at the Chestnut Hill Library, 8711 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia. Come at 12:30 for a sandwich, and the presentation will start at 1:00 (ending by 2:30). A speaker from Kardon Institute of Arts Therapy will tell us about movement and music therapies for children with special needs.

Jean McCoubrey

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Autism Advocacy in PA: state and family

Hello from my son Quinn's music class (they provide free wireless while I watch from the "parent room" outside the studio) -- and Quinn really enjoys the class, interaction with specific guides.

My wife forwarded a note about advocacy for HB1150, providing insurance for children with autism -- I recognize my friend from HS Tom Murt as a sponsoring PA Representative, and I am working to contact my Representative Greg Vitali (or ask that Tom give him a message, as if I had that kind of access :-).

On April 1, 2008 at 10 AM, Capitol Building Complex (Harrisburg), Hearing Room 1 of the North Office Building, the Pennsylvania Senate Banking & Insurance Committee will conduct a public hearing regarding the merits of HB 1150 -- there seems to be a balanced panel of advocates, including David Gates of the Pennsylvania Health Law Project -- I was initially surprised see Rachel Brooks, Miss Pennsylvania 2007, listed as an advocate due to her brother with autism -- from my quick read it seems not like another "throw money at it" approach, but a directed investment in helping kids with autism in an early (and thus efficient) way -- more and up-to-the-minute information is available here.

Footnote: I had the pleasure of sharing lunch with Rachel and her mother Julia last Thursday as Rachel addressed my Rotary club about autism awareness (and concluded with a wonderful rendition of Gershwin's Summertime)

My wife also pointed me to the Autism Mini-Grants for 2008, $500 that can help fill in the gaps, if it fits, consider applying by April 18, 2008.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Local Conference April 4-5

Putting the Pieces Together
Empowering Children with Complex Medical & Educational Needs

April 4-5, 2008 at the Cira Centre (next to 30th St. Station)
There is a now bigger discount for parents of children with disabilities -- $70 for both days, $50 for Friday only, $25 for Saturday
  • Click here for a brochure, with full schedule (PDF)
Contact: Suzanne S. Zimmermann
Development Officer, HMS School for Children with Cerebral Palsy
4400 Baltimore Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19104
215-222-2566 x120 |

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Autism Awareness Day




Sunday, April 27, 2008

11:00 am-4:00 pm

Rain or Shine in Peacock Pavilion

Zoo Admission tickets are $10.00 per person (Adults & Children 2 and above)
Free Admission for Philadelphia Zoo Members
(Zoo Parking is $10 in addition to admission price)
1. Avoid lines by purchasing your tickets online
Tickets can now be ordered online and printed at home
Just log on to: and enter promo code AUTISM
2. Tickets available day of event at the Zoo
Purchase tickets at the North Gate ticket window. Look for Autism Ribbon.
Tickets must be used by April 30, 2008.
For more information: log onto or contact:
Questions: Anna Filmyer, or 215-884-0844 OR
Carol Rosser:

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Two Meetings on Autism ...

The information below is posted on behalf of Autism Sharing and Parenting (ASP), thanks to Jean McCoubrey for the message -- she also provided the ASCEND calendar link under "Resources" to the right.

AUTISM SHARING AND PARENTING: TWO Meetings to choose from!

Saturday, February 16, 2008
Northern Home for Children
5301 Ridge Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19128
Lunch Provided

Visual Work Tasks for Learners on the Autism Spectrum

Presented by Renee Henderson

Discussion and hands on examples of reading, math, and writing tasks for your child to be used in the home. Tasks can assist in teaching your child communication skills or supporting your child academic IEP goals.

* Free drawing! A limited number of "How Do I Teach This Kid" books by Kimberly Henry will be given away !!

Interactive book kits made by the presenter will also be available to take home!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

8th & Market, 7th floor
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(Please sign in at the front desk)
Light Meal Provided

Recreation & Day Camp Options!
Facilitated by Gail Stein

Trying to decide what this summer will look like for a child on the spectrum?

Come hear about some of the new and not so new programs available, procedure for admittance, and grant opportunities.

PA Mentor will also join us to discuss their summer camps for children on the spectrum.

About the Presenters:

Renee Henderson, is parent to a nine-year-old girl on the spectrum with severe language delays. Renee has supplemented her daughter's public education and therapy with "home schooling" since her diagnosis. She has nurtured her natural gift with seminars, workshops and conferences covering all areas of behavioral therapy and education for children on the spectrum

Gail Stein, L.C. S.W., is Director of the Variety Club for Children Family Autism Resource Center. She has been key in orchestrating countless autism community events including the Variety Sesame Place Day for children on the spectrum and Variety Club Fun Days and Summer Camp

What is ASP?

ASP is a volunteer run, Community-based, support group with the following goals
  • To provide a support system for children with a diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Disorder and their families
  • To educate the under-informed and culturally diverse populations of Philadelphia and Montgomery counties
  • To advocate for Children with ASD and their families
  • To increase awareness of Autism and autism issues in Philadelphia & Montgomery counties and PA
HAVE QUESTIONS? Or to RSVP Email: or call 215-413-710

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Working the Web ...

... this week, yours truly will be bring a laptop and hope to start (perhaps incite?) a discussion about how a computer and an Internet connection can be used to make life with our kids "better", a term we all define differently. Besides this Blog, I hope to show people the benefits of search, social networks and communities, and other IT tools than can help; but as I tell my students, the computer is dumb, people need to be able to ask the right questions, process/filter the information, and know the limits.

The presentation will be brief, and is dependent on the technology available at the CH Library, as well as the interests and patience of those in attendance -- no need to bring a computer, but you can, and certainly bring your questions as I learn most from trying to find the answers!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Ruth Landsman this SAT ...

This month we welcome Ruth Landsman, director and founding member of the Parents Exchange, an information, referral and advocacy organization. Ruth has been tirelessly advocating for the rights of children to special education for nearly two decades.

Ruth has immeasurable experience in the legal and practical issues parents face in seeking appropriate services for their children. As a mother of a young adult who has special needs, Ruth also brings her perspective as a parent.

The discussion will focus on Transitioning, particularly from preschool to kindergarten, and from school years to ESY -- bring your questions!

Congratulations to Ruth Landsman who was selected as one of the seven finalists in the Diet Rite No Boundaries Woman Contest!