Parent Resource Center Weekly Message: 4.13.21

April 13, 2021

Greetings from the Parent Resource Center. We are looking forward to welcoming Dr. Jamell White from the National Institute of Mental Health this evening at 7pm. Dr. White will share information on Irritability in Children and Youth.  As we celebrate Autism Awareness and Acceptance Month, we are pleased that our wonderful colleague, Deborah Hammer, will join us to present Autism 101 on Thursday evening at 7pm.

Do you have a prospective college student? Sign up to attend the NOVA Vision Conference!
Looking ahead to next week, we encourage prospective college-bound students and their parents to join us for the NOVA Vision Conference on Tuesday, April 20th at 7pm. Whether your child is headed to NOVA or another college or university, this session will provide invaluable information that will support success in college, including learning about accommodations and disability services in college, a student panel and a parent Q&A session. Parents/Guardians can register here  and Students can register here.

Medicaid Letters
Many families have recently received letters from the Office of Special Education regarding the Medicaid program. Arlington Public Schools (APS) has the opportunity to bill the state Medicaid program for partial reimbursement for health-related services provided to students with disabilities. It is beneficial to your child’s educational program for the district to access these funds, as the monies received from Medicaid are used to offset the costs associated with classroom staff, related services staff, and materials used in the provision of health-related services. Your written consent to bill the state Medicaid program is required one time. Since 2016, when APS began participating in the Medicaid program, many parents have provided their consent. If you recently received this letter, APS does not have a record of your response granting or denying consent. Whether you choose to provide consent or not, you are asked to read, sign and return the form enclosed in the pre-paid postage envelope, within 10 days. For confidentiality purposes, the consent forms will be maintained by the Medicaid Coordinator at the central office, separate from your child’s educational records at his or her school. Your decision about providing consent does not influence the services listed on the student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP). Services will be provided based on your child’s specific needs as determined by the IEP team. Although a Frequently Asked Questions sheet from the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services was included in the mailing, if you have further questions about the reimbursement purpose or process, or wish to change your Medicaid consent status in the future, we strongly encourage you to contact our colleague, Ms. Catina Claytor-Frye, Medicaid Coordinator at (703) 228-6065. Ms. Claytor-Frye is very open and amenable to talking with families, and welcomes your questions.

New resources logo

April is Stress Awareness Month and NAMI Virginia is taking the opportunity to highlight the impact of stress on mental health, and some practical ways we can reduce our stress.
What Is Stress?
Stress is an automatic, instinctual response by the body and brain to help you respond to any demand, commonly called a stressor. The brain is triggered to release hormones that increase some bodily systems (circulatory) and repress others (immune, digestion) to enhance your ability to respond successfully. Stress is a normal and affects everyone. Not all stress is bad, but long-term stress has a harmful impact on your physical and mental health.
How Can We Reduce Stress?
As the old adage goes, “if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail”, and this is especially true if you’re trying to avoid stress and resulting anxiety! Watch this video and learn more!

Find additional resources here.

Upcoming Events image

Irritability in Children and YouthTuesday, April 13th: 7-8:30pmRegister hereJoin us as we welcome Dr. Jamell White from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) who will address irritability in children and adolescents, including:

  • Defining what irritability is
  • Discussing common themes in irritability
  • Identifying irritability and co-morbid disorders
  • Discussing why it is important to study irritability and how it’s studied at NIMH
  • Identifying new treatment for irritability; and
  • Sharing strategies parents can use to respond to irritability.

Dr. Jamell White is a staff clinician for the Neuroscience and Novel Therapeutics Unit (NNT) in the Emotion and Development Branch at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Dr. White received her Ph.D. from the University of Maryland in Human Development and Quantitative Methodology. She also has master’s degrees in social work (Catholic University of America) and special education (Johns Hopkins University). Prior to coming to the NIMH, much of Dr. White’s clinical work specialized in working with children, adolescents and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder and related disorders.View event flier

April is Autism Awareness and Acceptance Month!
Autism 101
Thursday, April 15th: 7pm – 8:30pm
Register here
Presenter: Deborah Hammer, APS Autism and Low Incidence Disability Specialist
This session will provide parents and guardians with an overview of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), including an explanation of how ASD impacts social and communication skills, executive functioning, and sensory processing. Strategies for success will also be introduced.
View English.Spanish Autism 101 Flier

NOVA Vision Conference 2021
Tuesday, April 20th: 7-9pm
Arlington Public Schools and Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) are offering an opportunity for students with disabilities (students with IEPs or 504 Plans) to learn about accommodations in college. The virtual conference will include a presentation from NOVA Disability Services, a student panel, and a parent Question/Answer session.If you require accommodations in order to participate in this event, send your request at least one week in advance to: Tracy Bell
Registration is required. Please submit an individual registration form for each participant, and please note that there is a separate form for student registration.
Parents/Guardians: Register here
Students: Register here

Conferencia NOVA Vision
Martes Abril 20: 7-9pm
Sesión virtualAPS y NOVA están ofreciendo una oportunidad para que los estudiantes con discapacidades (estudiantes con IEP y planes 504) aprendan sobre adaptaciones en la universidad. La conferencia incluirá una presentación de los Servicios para Discapacitados de NOVA, un panel de estudiantes y una sesión de Preguntas / Respuestas para los padres.Si necesita adaptaciones para poder participar, envíe su solicitud con al menos una semana de anticipación a:Tracy Bell
Parents/Guardians: Registrarse aqui
Students: Registrarse aqui

Arlington Special Education Advisory Committee (ASEAC) Meeting
Tuesday, April 27th: 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Virtual Meeting –  via Zoom
Registration coming soon
The Zoom meeting link will be sent to those registered prior to the meeting. Please note that the business portion of this meeting will be recorded through Zoom.At the beginning of each meeting, ASEAC welcomes comments from the public regarding the needs of students with disabilities in APS. See the ASEAC Public Comment Guidelines at for information about submitting public comments. Any person who would like an interpreter and/or any person with a disability who needs accommodation to access the meeting should contact the Parent Resource Center at 703.228.7239 or as soon as possible to request assistance. There is also an option to request services in the registration form.

Understanding Transition Services: Building Interdependence with Our Students—Part 2
Wednesday, April 28: 7:00pm-9:00pm
Register here
Arlington Public Schools Transition Services, Parent Resource Center and Program for Employment Preparedness (PEP) continue to sponsor a monthly Transition Series. As students and children grow into adulthood, we often strive to support them in obtaining independence. What often gets left out is teaching them interdependence. Humans have the capacity for meaningful relationships with one another that are mutually beneficial. This is interdependence. Teaching interdependence to people with disabilities demonstrates that they are valued by society and shows how building connections with others can support and enrich their lives.Join Deborah Hammer, Autism and Low-Incidence Disability Specialist; Christina Eagle and Karen Shimkus, Transition Team Members; and  Kelly Mountain, PRC Coordinator, to continue to explore the importance of interdependence, and learn strategies for how to build this critical lifelong skill.
For additional information, contact Kelly Mountain at 703-228-2136 or

For additional events, please visit our EVENTS PAGE.