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Special Needs Happenings in Howard County: March 2014 -- Part 2

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Are you a special needs parent? Here's a roundup of happenings in Howard County for parents of children with special needs.

Playgroup for Families and Children with Down Syndrome
Playgroup for Families and Children with Down Syndrome Source: Family Support and Resource Center

Playgroup for Families and Children with Down Syndrome

On Wednesday, March 5th, 2014, at 9:30am, there will be a playgroup for families and children with Down Syndrome. The playgroup will be held at Town Center Community Association, Oakland Mansion, 5430 Vantage Point Rd., Columbia, MD. The Family Support and Resource Center is pleased to announce a playgroup for parents and their children with Down syndrome, ages birth through preschool. Come join us for an informal morning of play and actual adult conversation! We'll meet at 9:30am the first Wednesday of each month. The location is Oakland Mansion, the room is located in the lower level. Please park on the right side of the building and use the stairs leading to the lower level. Siblings are welcome. Call the Family Support and Resource Center at 410 313-7161 with questions.

What Is ESY?
What Is ESY? Source: Howard County Public Schools

What Is ESY?

On Wednesday, March 5, 2014, from noon to 1 p.m. for a Teleconference on ESY. Parents can join for the first phone workshop in the 2014 Lunch and Learn workshop series. Do you have questions about Extended School Year Services? Now is the time to learn the who, what, and why of ESY eligibility and the options for your child. Please visit for more information or to register. Call Rochelle Howell at 410-768-9100 with questions.

Addressing Problem Behavior
Addressing Problem Behavior Source: Howard County Autism Society

Addressing Problem Behavior

An event called "Problem Behavior: Addressing Problem Behavior in School and Home Settings" will be held on Friday, March 7, 2014, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and on Saturday, March 8, 2014, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The event will be held at Owen Brown Interfaith - Hall A, 7246 Cradlerock Way
Columbia, MD. This workshop presented by Tom Caffrey, M.Ed., BCBA, will provide teachers and parents with reinforcement-based approaches for addressing problem behavior. Mr. Caffrey will focus on the assessment and treatment of problem behavior maintained by the two most common functions: social negative reinforcement (to get out of demands), and social positive reinforcement (to get tangible items, activities, attention). At the conclusion of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Define Motivating Operation (MO) and explain its importance in assessing and treating problem behavior
  • List the four basic functions of behavior
  • Provide examples of curricular revisions that can improve the effectiveness of instruction and lower the value of escape-motivated behavior
  • Explain how alternative communication choice may impact behavior for persons with language delays, including autism
  • Identify the controlling variables (operant four-term contingency) responsible for the maintenance of self-injury, aggression, stereotypy, and destructive behavior
  • Describe the purpose of conducting a functional assessment of problem behavior
  • Identify the defining features of indirect, descriptive, and functional analysis approaches to assessment
  • Describe the strengths and limitations for each general approach to assessment
  • List three reinforcement-based methods for reducing problem behavior and discuss reasons for using each
  • Develop a treatment strategy for replacing maladaptive demands that you are prepared to honor with alternative, appropriate demands
  • Develop a treatment strategy for replacing maladaptive demands that you are NOT prepared to honor with accepting no
  • Develop a treatment strategy for replacing non-compliance with cooperation during transitions from preferred to less preferred activities

Registration: $50 per person; 100 seats available. Contact or 410 290-3466 for registration information. Hosted by Howard County Autism Society, RISE for Autism, and the Howard County Public School System.

ADHD Medications 101
ADHD Medications 101 Source: CHADD

ADHD Medications 101

On Tuesday, March 18, 2014 , at 7 p.m., there will be a presentation: ADHD Medications 101. The event will be held at Ellicott City Senior Center, 9401 Frederick Road, Ellicott City, MD 21042. The speaker, Dr. Brett Greenberger, M.D., will discuss effective treatment of ADHD in families, different types of medications and typical side effects to expect. Sponsored by CHADD, for more information please visit

iPad Apps for Children with Special Needs
iPad Apps for Children with Special Needs Source: Howard County Autism Society

iPad Apps for Children with Special Needs

On Thursday March 13, 2014, from 6 to 7:30 p.m., there will be a presentation on iPad applications for children with special needs. The event will be held at System Source, 338 Clubhouse Road, Hunt Valley, MD. Parents, bring your iPad, your questions and what you've learned about iPad apps that help your child with special needs learn and grow. Meet with V-LINC staff and other parents of children with special needs to share resources, what has worked for your child and what has not. We'll provide snacks and will have a couple of extra iPads. RSVP Required - Call 410-554-9134 or email with your name and e-mail address.



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