Concord/Concord-Carlilse SEPAC October 2019


  • Co-President's Comment
  • Our Favorite...
  • Inclusion Parent Forum Update

Co-President's Comments

Welcome back to fall and back to school! We've all had a chance to attend back to school nights and meet our children's teachers. Kids are settling into new school-year routines. As the days become more routine and bumps get settled we find many families begin searching for guidance on how best to support their children as students. In response, this month we wanted to share with you some of our board's favorite resources. The books, movies, websites, local and national organizations that we turn to again and again because of their great content. Happy Reading!

- Carol Yelle and Shaina Brito SEPAC Co-Presidents

Our Favorite...


  • Asperger/Autism Network (AANE) - Watertown, MA. AANE works with "individuals, families, and professionals to help people with Asperger Syndrome or similar autism spectrum profiles build meaningful, connected lives. We do this by providing information, education, community, support, and advocacy--all in an atmosphere of validation and respect."
  • The Federation for Children with Special Needs- Boston, MA. The Federation "offers information, support, and assistance to families and professionals who support children with disabilities." This site has many useful links including: Training and Development, a Call Center for parent questions, a newsletter, and many other resources. We'd like to highlight their Parent Consultant Training Institute (PCTI) which is an intensive training program designed to provide parents and professionals with a solid foundation in special education laws, procedures, and related subjects.
  • Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE)- This is a great resource to learn about Massachusetts student education and Massachusetts Special Education Law. We'd like to highlight the Council Empowerment Fund Program which "reimburses up to $250 of your expenses to attend relevant conferences or other events held in Massachusetts" and "empowers people with developmental disabilities and their families to learn and grow."
  • Mass Advocates for Children-Boston, MA. Massachusetts Advocates for Children’s mission is to "remove barriers to educational and life opportunities for children and youth." The SEPAC would like to highlight on this website Bill Crane's blog on special education. Bill has now stopped writing but the archives are available and fantastic.
  • Research Institute for Learning and Development- Lexington, MA. "The mission of the Research Institute for Learning and Development is to: Empower students to understand their own learning profile so they can develop the persistence and resilience they need to succeed in school and in life." They help students develop strong executive function strategies and teach them how to learn which provides students with a strong foundation and in turn promotes academic and life success.



Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • ASD Nest Support Project at NYU provides training and support for educators working with students with ASD. They have links to amazing parent workshop videos. They also have links to fantastic publications and resource blogs that contain strategies for supporting students with ASD and creating inclusive schools.
  • "My Life with Asperger's; Thoughts on Neurodiversity and Life on the Autism Spectrum" is a blog written by bestselling author, photographer, educator, neurodiversity advocate John Elder Robison
  • Autistic Self Advocacy Network is a "501(c)(3) nonprofit organization run by and for autistic people. ASAN was created to serve as a national grassroots disability rights organization for the autistic community, advocating for systems change and ensuring that the voices of autistic people are heard in policy debates and the halls of power."


  • Decoding Dyslexia MA aims to "raise awareness, to empower students with dyslexia and their families, and to inform policy makers on best practices to identify, remediate, and support students with dyslexia in Massachusetts public schools and institutions of higher learning." Don't forget to visit their Facebook page.
  • Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity - is the "preeminent source of cutting-edge research, informed advocacy and trustworthy resources to help those with dyslexia reach their full potential. The Center’s tools and resources are used widely by parents, educators and those with dyslexia to advocate for greater recognition and support for dyslexic children and adults."
  • International Dyslexia Association is a "501(c)(3) non-profit, scientific, and educational organization dedicated to the study and treatment of the learning disability, dyslexia as well as related language-based learning differences."


  • CHADD- "Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD) is in the forefront in creating and implementing programs and services in response to the needs of adults and families affected by ADHD through collaborative partnerships and advocacy, including training for parents and K-12 teachers, hosting educational webinars and workshops, being an informative clearinghouse for the latest evidence-based ADHD information, and providing information specialists to support the ADHD community." MetroWest CHADD is an affiliate of CHADD. They offer a monthly support group for parents of ADHD kids, teens, and young adults.
  • ADDItude Magazine- is a "leading source of important news, expert advice, and judgment-free understanding for families and adults living with attention deficit disorder, ADDitude is your voice and your advocate."

AND these, too!

  • maaps- "Founded in 1978, maaps is a statewide association of approved private special education schools dedicated to providing educational programs and services to students with special needs. maaps members are approved by the Mass. Dept. of Elementary and Secondary Education under the state’s special education law, Chapter 766."
  • Understood.org - "15 nonprofit organizations have joined forces to support parents of the one in five children with learning and attention issues throughout their journey." We love Understood for it's great information and it's easy to navigate and readable website.
  • Wrights Law- "Parents, educators, advocates, and attorneys come to Wrightslaw for accurate, reliable information about special education law, education law, and advocacy for children with disabilities."
  • Lives in the Balance "The mission of Lives in the Balance is to provide vital, accessible resources and programs to caregivers of behaviorally challenging kids; to bring the plight of these kids into the public consciousness; to address the systemic issues that cause many of these kids to slip through the cracks; and to promote parenting and disciplinary practices that foster the better side of human nature in all children."


  • Parents Have the Power to Make Special Education Work by Judith and Carson Graves
  • From Emotions to Advocacy by Peter and Pam Wright
  • The Dyslexia Empowerment Plan by Ben Foss
  • Overcoming dyslexia by Sally Shaywitz
  • NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity by Steve Silberman
  • Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's by John Elder Robison
  • Engaging Autism by Serena Wieder and Stanley Greenspan
  • Bright Kids Who Can't Keep Up: Help Your Child Overcome Slow Processing Speed and Succeed in a Fast-Paced World by Ellen Braaten PHD and Brian Willoughby PHD



"I LOVE Omar’s World of Comics (store) in Lexington. We go there once a week (to buy comics) and it is an amazing store that creates opportunities for connection for a range of kids, as well as employment. Love it!" - SEPAC Board Member

Do you have a resource or recommendation you want to share? Email us at concordsepac@gmail.com and we'll share it on our Facebook Page or in our next newsletter!

Inclusion Parent Forum Update

Thank you to the many parents, faculty, administrators and school committee members who attended the September forum on inclusion and the valuing of all learners. SEPAC was pleased to co-host this powerful and collaborative event with Superintendent Dr. Laurie Hunter.

The forum asked parents to envision what our schools look like five years in the future with a culture of meaningful inclusion and support for students on IEPs and 504 plans. This was contrasted with areas of success or with room for improvement in the present and lastly with a request for input on how we reach our vision for the future. The SEPAC board and administration value the honest input and ideas parents shared.

The information gathered is being reviewed in the context of the district strategic plan. The districts and schools will be creating goals related to ensuring all students feel welcome and valued in our schools. A follow-up public forum will be held this winter (details to come) to share plans for the development and implementation of these goals.

Created By
Concord SEPAC


Created with images by castleguard - "heart sweetheart leaf" • Alexas_Fotos - "stickies post-it list" • Tumisu - "digital marketing search" • Denise Jans - "untitled image" • Sarah Noltner - "untitled image"