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Announcement

VTCC is an approved practicum site for the Florida Institute of Technology (F.I.T.) ABA Program. VTCC is one of the few sites approved in the State of Virginia.

Resources

Legal Resources for Special Needs Keeping Disabled Persons Safe While Remodeling Creating a Home Where Your Disabled Child can Thrive Teacher Resources for Special Needs Disaster Preparedness for Special Needs Home Accommodations for Special Needs Disability Resources from the Department of Labor Tips for Disabled Persons to Declutter and Organize their Home Financial Planning for […]

CSB Funds Teen Mental Health Projects

The Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board (CSB) has awarded eight mini-grants for youth-led projects that aim to reduce the stigma associated with mental health issues among teens. All projects will be implemented by September 30, 2017. Funding for the CSB’s mini-grant program for youth-led projects is provided as part of a regional suicide prevention grant […]

Fairfax County CSB Now offers same day mental health/substance abuse services for area youth

The Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board (CSB) is now offering same day, in-person screening for mental health/and or substance use concerns to youth. The official launch date is February 1, 2017. Individuals of any age seeking help for a mental health and/or substance use concern, may walk in, without appointment, to the CSB’s Merrifield Center […]

With no options for their adult son with autism, this couple builds a community

“For the growing number of individuals like Jon with significant special needs who are quickly aging out of the school system, the need for support and learning does not just end when they hit a magic birthday. Caudy and Heighten looked at communities around the country that support adults with special needs such as Bittersweet […]

#spotlightwednesday On Being Autistic and Successful: a Profile on Jonathan Andrews

Jonathan Andrews, a UK based award-winning campaigner, who also happens to be autistic “… was once advised to hide his autism from prospective employers. Instead, he is making his name by doing just the opposite.” https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/jan/31/autism-employment-campaigner-jonathan-andrews

Great Advice on Resources for ASD Children

Please check out this awesome discussion of resources available to caregivers of ASD children who are very interested in numbers and/or letters. The response is written by psychologist Terry Katz, who works in the department of developmental pediatrics at Children’s Hospital Colorado and the University of Colorado School of Medicine. https://www.autismspeaks.org/blog/2016/12/13/advice-needed-child-autism-obsessed-letters-and-numbers?utm_source=email&utm_medium=text-link&utm_campaign=espeaks

Letter to my parents—a Beautiful Letter by Kerry Magro

Here is a remarkable post by Autism Speaks staffer Kerry Magro, a motivational speaker and best-selling author who’s on the autism spectrum. In this post, Kerry addresses a letter to her parents: “Because if you fight for me right now and never give up, not only will I be that speaker, but I’ll have the opportunity to write an Amazon […]

Valuable lessons taught by a nonverbal little girl

“But living with a nonverbal brother with complex needs taught her something that changed her entire class of children without her saying a word: it doesn’t need words to help people. I still worry. But I know that in all she lives with she is somehow managing to turn ashes to beauty. And I could […]

Focus on Community Initiatives: Together We Bake

Together We Bake’s mission is to provide a comprehensive workforce training and personal development program to help women gain self-confidence, transferable workforce skills, and invaluable hands-on experience which will allow them to find sustainable employment and move toward self-sufficiency. http://wtop.com/food/2016/05/virginia-bakery-gives-women-a-second-chance-at-life-and-career/slide/1/

Santa’s special gift to children with autism

A UK Christmas tradition, visiting “Santa’s Grotto” ( a popular version of the US Mall Santa), was recently made more accessible to children with autism. This news clip sheds light on one mother’s success with developing and popularizing an autism-friendly Santa Grotto: http://www.itv.com/news/meridian/update/2016-11-25/santas-special-gift-to-children-with-autism/

Opinion: Standard tests Can underestimate nonverbal children with autism

“Nonverbal doesn’t mean incapable. A pilot study of children with autism who have low or no verbal skills suggests that the right intelligence tests can reveal their hidden potential.” https://spectrumnews.org/opinion/standard-tests-underestimate-nonverbal-children-with-autism/

Study highlights need to assist children with autism during transition to adulthood

“The challenges of living independently, gaining employment, attaining postsecondary education and building social relationships are greater for adolescents and young adults with autism,” said Nancy Cheak-Zamora, assistant professor of health sciences in the MU School of Health Professions. “It is vital that professionals are prepared to assist with the transition, and that they have insight […]

A Target store offers ‘quiet hours’ for its autistic customers

“What does autism feel like? “It feels awful,” says Lori Sealy, who suffers from the disorder and writes about it. “Sight, sound, smell, taste and touch (the five senses that all of the experiences of life must pass through) can be absolutely harrowing and horrifying to a person with autism. Everything that enters the (Autism […]

Whose Line Is It Really?: How Improv Benefits Children With Autism

“Over the course of the seven-week class, Magin is gathering feedback on how children, like Shaw, interpret these things, the modes of communication that are not words. “Children with autism just are not able to read those cues as well,” Magin says. For children with autism, those cues can be like a foreign language. “And […]

Getting Students With Autism Through High School, To College And Beyond

“A key underlying philosophy of the program is that education — the classroom — provides the most effective treatment for autism. The program, run jointly by the city’s Department of Education and NYU Nest Support Project, places students with autism who are capable of doing grade-level work in classrooms with their non-disabled peers.” For the […]

Airline provides travel visual guides to assist children and individuals with autism or cognitive disabilities

Check out the useful guides developed by Aer Lingus airline! They partnered with the Kinney Center for Autism Education and Support to assist individuals with autism to better understand the process of travel including navigating the airport, boarding, in-flight and arrival. Access these guides here: https://www.aerlingus.com/travel-information/travelling-with-children/travelling-with-an-asd-child/

#FeelGood Story, Dec 2016 edition: Texas Woman Misses Flight to Help Man with Autism Through AirPort

“A Texas woman is being celebrated online after posting about a recent encounter with an autistic man while flying through Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.” Read the full story below: http://www.foxnews.com/travel/2016/12/20/texas-woman-misses-flight-to-help-man-with-autism-through-airport.html

#ResearchMonday Role of Vitamin D in Children with ASD (study published November 21, 2016)

A study recently published in PubMed.Gov (the US National Library of Medicine, managed by the National Institutes of Health) discusses the outcomes of clinical trials where Vitamin D as an oral supplement provided to trial participants appeared to lead to positive outcomes after 4 months of Vitamin administration. While such studies are to be carefully […]

JASA, Inc. would like to invite you to our 2016 Christmas Party

RSVP here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe1IAGFqLq76DROVld_9vzwV9Y2v75ZkcfgAUwniKo56rKTKw/viewform?c=0&w=1

Looking to the Future, take 2: “Along the Autism Spectrum, a Path through Campus Life”

Here is a fascinating profile on the successes and challenges faced by the first generation of college students with an autism diagnosis who live on campus at Western Kentucky University http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/20/health/autism-spectrum-college.html?_r=0

Looking to the Future, take 1: Cybersecurity jobs and the Autism Community

Via The Atlantic—“ The common prejudice is that people with ASD have limited skills and are difficult to work with. To the extent that’s true, it’s a measure of our failure as a society. Almost half of those diagnosed with ASD are of average or above-average intellectual ability. And we have clear evidence that job-focused […]

Family Activities this Winter

Now that the cold weather is here, it is important to still stay active as a family outside the school and home. Below is a list of family-friendly activities that can be enjoyed even with younger children. Happy Holidays! Winter Walk of lights at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna, Virginia | The Winter Walk of […]

Recognizing and Preventing Domestic Abuse—Guest post via Open Educators*

Although domestic abuse has seen a decline in recent years, there are still millions — millions — of Americans who endure it each year. Not only is it a terrible way to live — domestic violence victims never deserve to be abused, period — it’s behavior that should never be tolerated. To show our support for […]

Save the Date! 12/4/2016: Holiday Market to Benefit Women

On 12/4/2016 (this Sunday), the Friends of the Alexandria Commission for Women will sponsor its 19th Annual Holiday Art Market at the Charles Houston Center, 901 Wythe St, from 1PM to 5PM. Each year, this event raises money to support programs critical to women in Alexandria City, such as those dealing with domestic violence and […]

#goodnews via WCVB US: Master of music born with autism uses talent to benefit children

In a troubled world and in tough times, it’s important for all of us to partake in #goodnews—This month’s installment is brought to you by an ABC news affiliate, and covers the story of Tony DeBlois, a native of Randolph, MA who brings autism outreach through music and education to communities around the world. Tony […]

Resources for the Holidays

Arlington County: Arlington County Community Service Board (CSB) has provided the following human services resource list https://departments.arlingtonva.us/dhs/ City of Alexandria: Here is the full list of services provided to City of Alexandria residents: https://www.alexandriava.gov/hub.aspx?id=89005 Fairfax County: Please access the Human Services Resource Guide (HSRG) maintained by Fairfax County http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/hsrg/ Loudoun County: Here is a list […]

For families and parents of toddlers: What is Early Intervention? How can it help my child?

For most parents who are anxious about their child’s development, seeking help can be the hardest thing to do. The Early Intervention Program offered by Prince William County Community Services Board (CSB) is built specifically to help mothers, fathers, guardians, and/or extended families with supporting and nurturing each individual toddler. Early Intervention is provided in […]

STUDY: Improved Outcomes for Children with Autism whose Parents Participate in Early Intervention

In a ground-breaking UK-based study published by the Lancet on October 25, 2016, significant findings were shared that are related to the positive outcomes of a form of early intervention programming called Preschool Autism Communication Trial (PACT). For more information regarding PACT, please visit http://research.bmh.manchester.ac.uk/pact According to the Lancet article, “PACT is designed to work […]

Work With Us!

Committed to working in the community? Come work with us! VTCC is currently hiring Behavior Technicians to work closely with children and their parents in homes and communities throughout Northern Virginia, providing ABA therapy. If you are interested in learning more about positions available at VTCC, please contact us at info@vtccmail.com or call us at […]

Election Season: combating anxiety with action!

Election Season: combating anxiety with action! Much has already been published and discussed regarding the effect that the 2016 Election Season is having on the collective mental health of visitors, residents, and citizens of the United States. Gail Sheehy, writing for POLITICO magazine, points to the effort being taken by the mental health community to […]

VTCC at PEATC’s Resource Night/Noche de Los Recursos:

In this video, Angela West, Director of the ABA Program at VTCC, introduces herself and speaks about the importance given to proper supervision at our agency. She reiterates the level of support and guidance that parents and behavior technicians of VTCC clients receive from VTCC Clinical Staff. Leticia Basauri then provides the translated version of […]

VTCC at PEATC’s Resource Night/ Noche de Los Recursos

VTCC had a wonderful opportunity to engage with community members and organizers at PEATC’s Resource Night. A bilingual presentation on VTCC’s ABA program was provided by VTCC Clinical Director Leticia Basauri, and ABA Program Director, Angela West (BCBA, LBA). Scroll below for pictures from the event! October 12, 2016, Springfield VA—VTCC had a wonderful opportunity […]

July is Multicultural Mental Health Awareness Month

July is nationally recognized now as Multicultural Mental Health Awareness Month, in order to highlight some of the barriers that people who speak languages other than English often encounter. In Virginia, the Community Services Board (CSB) of each county can help connect people who need mental health services with appropriate supports and services. The National […]

5 More Tips for Managing Technology

Here are 5 great tips on improving concentration, avoiding distractions, and getting through your to-do list without getting lost in technology! http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2016/07/24/adult-adhd-5-more-tips-for-managing-technology/

Millions Of Adult Women Have ADHD. So Why Does It Feel So Lonely?

“ADHD is not just a childhood condition, and 60 percent of kids do not outgrow it. Though prevalence figures are controversial, estimates seem to show that roughly 4 percent of adults in the U.S. have the disorder, or some 8 million people. Nearly half of them are women. Young women are also the fastest-growing group […]

ADHD is now classified as a specific disability under federal civil rights law

“The U.S. Department of Education has issued guidelines aimed at preventing schools from discriminating against the growing numbers of students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. In a letter to school districts and a “know your rights” document that can be accessed here (http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/dcl-know-rights-201607-504.pdf), the department said schools must obey existing civil rights law to identify […]

The Unexpected Effect ‘Pokémon Go’ Had On A Boy With Autism

“For Ralphie Koppelman, a 6-year-old who was diagnosed with autism, socializing can be uncomfortable. He has difficulty making eye contact and engaging in conversation. But the day he started playing Pokémon Go, the boy began opening up to other kids, making new connections, and finding common ground with his peers as a result of the […]

First responders trained on how to interact with people with autism

After the terrible news out of Miami, FL regarding the wrongful shooting involving a behavior therapist, the autistic teenager he cared for, and a police officer, here is one small step towards righting the wrong: first responders are being shown training videos developed by the Autism Society of Central Texas that use real parents and […]

Too Much Information: what autism feels like

Produced by the National Autistic Society based in the UK, this video is a gripping reminder to neurotypical individuals regarding the everyday experience of children on the spectrum when they go out into public spaces. For more information regarding the TMI campaign, please visit www.autism.org.uk/TMI  

The Effects of Skill Training on Preference for Children with Severe Intellectual and Physical Disabilities

#RESEARCHTHURSDAY Shout-out to VTCC Alumni Maliha Zaman, who was a co-author on this 2014 research paper that was published in the Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities in October 2014. The authors discuss helpful approaches to identifying preferred items for individuals with severe intellectual and physical disabilities (SIPD), which is great information for parents, therapists, […]

The bridge between suicide and life

‘“For many years Sergeant Kevin Briggs had a dark, unusual, at times strangely rewarding job: He patrolled the southern end of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, a popular site for suicide attempts. In a sobering, deeply personal talk Briggs shares stories from those he’s spoken — and listened — to standing on the edge of […]

Glendale Unified’s pilot program for students with autism gets high marks

“A pilot program launched a year ago to better motivate and engage autistic students who attend Glendale schools is meeting with success, teachers and administrators involved with the initiative told the school board this week… During the just-completed school year, five teachers were each trained to use one evidence-based practice under a California initiative called […]

Boosting Social Skills in Autistic Kids with Drama

“A set of subtle and complicated social skills is embedded into the entire school experience, from the lunchroom to the classroom. While most children naturally learn how to take turns talking with their friends and stay on topic during classroom discussions, these skills do not come easily to kids on the autism spectrum. Social and […]

VTCC is Hiring!

Are you, or do you know of a qualified mental health therapist looking for a new opportunity? As one of the longest running mental health service providers in the Northern Virginia region, our agency is once again actively hiring qualified therapists. Please see the job listings below! ABA therapist job listing: http://www.indeed.com/viewjob?t=aba+qualified+mental+health+professional+qmhp&jk=eea74eb3d66c7052&_ga=1.156183099.1046813922.1435264115 Home Based therapist […]

Federal Panel Seeks Input on Autism – Deadline is July 29, 2016!

“In a notice published this month in the Federal Register, the IACC said it’s looking for comments from people with autism, family members, service providers, advocates and other interested parties as it gears up for its 2016 update. Comments should be related to the seven key topics that the panel traditionally addresses — screening and […]

Google Glass App Helps Kids with Autism ‘See’ Emotions

“Like many children with autism, Julian Brown has trouble reading emotions in people’s faces, one of the biggest challenges for people with the neurological disorder. Now the 10-year-old San Jose boy is getting help from “autism glass” – an experimental device that records and analyzes faces in real time and alerts him to the emotions […]

Radford University to offer rare mental health nursing program

“Radford University leaders are hoping this new program can help address what they believe is a growing mental health problem in Southwest Virginia. The program is happening thanks to a $750,000 grant from the Department of Health and Human Services.” http://wsls.com/2016/06/15/radford-university-to-offer-rare-mental-health-nursing-program/

I thought I knew everything about Autism – until it hit my own son

Lynn Adams writes about quirks of child development, including autism spectrum disorders, both online and in print. In this essay, she describes her own challenges as a child psychologist and a mother in choosing to focus on developing her son’s strengths versus focusing on the limitations of an official diagnosis. I Thought I Knew Everything […]

Homes Without Dads — The Hurt That Will Not Heal

‘“The absenteeism when it comes to the father figure has a major impact on a child,” says Ma’at. “It impacts them emotionally and it impacts the way they engage in relationships, whether it be with their peers or the people of the opposite sex. So they consciously and also unconsciously make a decision to detach […]

Trastorno de Déficit de Atención e Hiperactividad/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Tiene su hijo problemas para prestar atención? ¿Él o ella habla sin parar o no puede quedarse quieto/a? ¿Le es difícil a su hijo controlar su comportamiento? Para algunos niños, estos pueden ser síntomas de trastorno de déficit de atención e hiperactividad o TDAH. Does your child have trouble paying attention? Does he or she […]

TDAH – A colorful world/ Um mundo colorido (Aquarela – Toquinho)

A lovely animated song in Portuguese about the positive experiences of the ADHD brain Una canción preciosa animada en portugués sobre las experiencias positivas del cerebro TDAH

ADHD sucks, but not really | Salif Mahamane | TEDxUSU

What an amazing discussion of the strengths of the ADHD mind, and the challenges faced by people with this neuro-cognitive profile! “In current society, people with ADHD tend to struggle if not suffer. Despite this, rather than a disorder, ADHD should be thought of as a particular neuro-cognitive profile; that is, a characteristic brain format […]

Can ADHD Appear for the First Time in Adulthood?

‘“The main take-home message is that adult patients experiencing significant and lasting symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity or impulsivity that cause impairment should seek evaluation, even if they began recently by their perception or if family members deny their existence in childhood,” senior study author Dr. Luis Augusto Rohde, a psychiatry researcher at Federal University of […]

CDC Report Points to Missed Opportunity in ADHD Care

The CDC encourages the use of behavior therapy as “an important and recommended first step for young children with ADHD” that “can work as well as medicine” minus “the risk of side effects”: “Rather than leveraging the opportunity to teach young children how to control their own behavior — which has been shown to have […]

How to survive a dual diagnosis

“Because having more than one diagnosis may make educational and medical planning more complicated, parents should keep in mind they are the best expert on their child and they should feel confident this is true.” This is why follow-up appointments with physicians and specialists are crucial to re-address issues that may have been missed initially, […]

Online Autism Training Shows Promise For Families

“Kids in both groups showed improvement in social communication skills after their parents participated in the online training. Moms and dads also displayed less stress and greater competence in dealing with their children after participating.” VTCC therapists provide parent training and care coordination on a case by case basis. YouTube and Vimeo are often great […]

Risks of harm from spanking confirmed by analysis of 5 decades of research: Science Daily #researchthursday

The more children are spanked, the more likely they are to defy their parents and to experience increased anti-social behavior, aggression, mental health problems and cognitive difficulties, according to a new meta-analysis of 50 years of research on spanking. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160425143106.htm

Choosing the Right Therapist

An insightful guide by Jonathan Shedler, PhD. From the article: “The early sessions should focus on developing a shared understanding of what is really the matter—an understanding that makes sense to both of you. “What is really the matter” is not your depression or anxiety or eating disorder. It is what is going on psychologically […]

Anatomy of a stressful event: from stress to the immune system

An article by Fabio Sinibaldi and Sara Achilli, for Real Way of Life, on the link between trauma and our physical, mental, and emotional well-being under stress, and the need for a coordinated care response.   http://www.realwayoflife.com/en/2016/04/06/anatomy-of-a-stressful-event-from-stress-to-the-immune-system-the-scientific-basis-of-psychosomatic/   Anatomy of a stressful event: from stress to the immune system – the scientific basis of psychosomatic

Los 4 tipos de autoestima: ¿te valoras a ti mismo?

Un artículo sobre características básicas de las diferentes formas de autoestima, de Jonathan García Allen, Psicólogo y entrenador personal, y Director de comunicación de Psicología y Mente. https://psicologiaymente.net/psicologia/4-tipos-de-autoestima#!

For parents and care givers: Using Polite Words (with Sign Language)

Learn about using polite words in this WonderGrove Kids animation featuring sign language from Signing Savvy

“Intro to Trauma-Informed Practices in Education” #researchthursday

The first of a ten-module series about trauma-informed practices for educators. It provides information about trauma, prevalence, effects of trauma on behavior and learning, and how to support students in the general education setting. Target audience is teachers, administrators, student services staff, aides, and other who work in the schools.

Community event: Celebrate Fairfax, June 10-12, 2016

Celebrate Fairfax!, Northern Virginia’s largest community-wide celebration, will take place June 10-12, 2016 at the Fairfax County Government Center. Presented by Celebrate Fairfax, Inc, the annual festival hosts tens of thousands of visitors over three days. For more information on any of the festival’s programs, or to become a part of the festival as a […]

Stand United Against Violent Crime — National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW) April 10-April 16.

Every year, the Office of Victims of Crime (OVC) that is a part of the US Office of Justice recognizes National Crime Victims’ Rights Week from April 10 – April 16. This year’s theme is—“Serving Victims. Building Trust. Restoring Hope.” This theme underscores the importance of early intervention and victim services in establishing trust with […]

VTCC at the 15th Annual Northern Virginia CSA Symposium and Provider Expo!

VTCC Staff attended the 15th Annual NOVA CSA Symposium and Provider Expo on March 8, 2016 at George Mason University (GMU) in Fairfax, VA. The event was co-sponsored by Northern Virginia Coalition of Private Provider Associations for Children and Families (NOVACO) in partnership with GMU’s Psychology department. While social workers affiliated with the various counties […]

Helping Children & Adolescents in Northern Virginia Get and Stay Healthy

In 2014, Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) conducted an anonymous, voluntary survey of the behaviors, experiences, risks, and protective factors of 46, 855 FCPS students, belonging to grades 6, 8, 10, and 12, representing 87% of all enrolled students. The main finding of the survey is that among these FCPS students, “just having three assets […]