The LABBB Collaborative
  November 2015
Not only do our students experence mind-body practices in the classroom, our staff participated in a workshop on Mindfulness and Yoga during our Professional day.  

Pictured with Vanessa Weiner, Founder and Executive Director of Resilient Kids
In This Issue
Message from the Executive Director
Patric Barbieri
Pictured with Brian Guay in the middle and Ann Guay on the right
2015 Ruderman Inclusion Summit

Dear LABBB Community: 

On Monday, November 2, the LABBB-Middlesex Community College Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment Initiative (ICEI) panel presented at the 2015 Ruderman Inclusion Summit at the Seaport World Trade Center. This event brought in people from around the world. I was honored to be on a panel that included: Brian Guay, LABBB/Middlesex Community College student; Ann Guay, Brian's mother; Glenn Gabbard, State ICEI Coordinator and Dawn Gross, ICEI Coordinator from Middlesex Community College. We had a great turnout for our presentation and received many insightful questions regarding the planning and building of the ICEI program and outcomes for students. 
During the lunch break I was speaking to Jerry Shultz, a clinical neuropsychologist who has worked with LABBB in the past. Jerry also wrote the book, Nowhere to Hide: Why Kids with ADHD and LD Hate School and What We Can Do About it. We were talking quite a bit about the anxiety epidemic facing kids of all ages in our society when we were interrupted by an announcement for the next keynote speaker. Jerry said to me, "Have you seen Justice Richard Bernstein speak before?" "No," I said. And he said, "You do not want to miss it!" 

As I entered the large room, it was standing room only. Richard Bernstein, Michigan Supreme Court Justice, had just started his talk, and I was drawn in immediately. The audience was captivated by his talk about life, hope, dreams, celebrations, challenges, and setbacks. I have never seen a speaker deliver such an important message so passionately. I noticed many people wiping their eyes, clearly moved by his message and life story. He was incredibly inspiring.

I also had the opportunity to introduce myself and speak with Dr. Brian Skotko, who is the director of the Down's Syndrome Program at Mass General Hospital. Brian and his team visited LABBB a few years ago. He had heard about the LABBB program from many of his clients and reached out to ask if he could tour some of our programs. Dr. Skotko was also presenting at this summit. 
The Rudermans had a very clear purpose for this summit and that was to promote inclusion. This was the reason our ICEI program was invited to speak. It was also quite evident that the message went even further. The message from many of the participants was that networking and connecting is how we are going to make a difference in our community, and that we need to create more work opportunities for students with disabilities. This was the Rudermans' mission. 
This summit was extremely well-organized and had many influential people supporting the Rudermans' message. I felt at home and supported at this summit because this is LABBB's philosophy. It is our mission, and inclusion for our students is what we will continue to promote within all our programs, work sites, and our entire community. 

Happy Thanksgiving,

Burlington High School Adapted Physical Education
By: APE Staff

This fall, during physical education class, our Burlington High School students were provided choices to use the fitness center, the outdoor track, or play soccer. If a student chose the fitness center, he/she had the opportunity to use treadmills, elliptical, bikes, dumbbells, jump ropes, and participate in stretching exercises. Students who chose the outdoor track, walked a mile and worked on dynamic stretching. Lastly, students who opted to play soccer, worked on skill development and games. It has been a great start to the year for Burlington High in physical education.

Brios & Pals
Connections being made @ BHS
By: Becky & Carol
On September 23rd, we kicked off our first PALS assembly with the Burlington High School students; the energy in the room was   amazing ! Sahar, the Brio Interactive Theater coordinator, was on hand to introduce the students to this year's production. We also got a taste of what  Brio is all about, which is students coming together, socializing, and having fun interacting with each other through various activities.  

Sahar started off by leading the students and staff in a musical introduction activity. While listening to music, students introduced themselves and performed a traditional African Circle Dance.  To watch this was truly inspirational, as every LABBB and Burlington High School student joined in dancing, laughing, and getting to know each other.

Another activity included a repeat dance, where one person would make up a dance move and the rest of the circle would repeat it, going around the circle until everyone participated; again, many laughs were had.

Both LABBB students and Burlington High School students were eager to participate and volunteer for the next dance...two students faced each other and had to mirror each other's moves to different types of music.

We finished up with a free dance to some Spanish music. You could see old friendships from last year rekindle, and new connections being made. What a great end to the day!

ClassDojo - Helps LABBB Teachers & Parents!
By: Tom Riley
ClassDojo is a management program that brings teachers, students and parents closer together  using a communication platform that encourages students and parents to get engagedClassDojo makes it easy to keep students alert and on-task, improve student behavior and engagement by awarding and recording real-time feedback. ClassDojo is an app that comes with a list of behaviors, or teachers can create their own lists, homework, contests  etc. ClassDojo can be used with an interactive whiteboard, laptops, desktops, or smart phones. Students get immediate feedback about their behavior by the distinctive sound made when their avatar is clicked!

ClassDojo automatically keeps track of the behaviors by tracking the behaviors that were clicked. The teacher can set it up to create reports that are emailed to the parents. Parents can connect through printed or emailed invites. Once they connect, they receive an email every Friday reminding them to view their child's reports. Parents can set the range, daily or weekly, that they want to view. The information is provided in a donut that shows the percentage of clicked behaviors and underneath a written version of the data for each day. This data can then be accumulated into end-of-year report. Students also have access to their data, which a teacher and parents can go over with them. They can customize their avatars, and keep track of their dojo points even when they're not in school! ClassDojo is another way that LABBB teachers continue to use technology to enhance student learning and parent communication!

Happy Halloween
By: Victoria Dennis 
Arlington High School's room 214 teamed up with the artistic master-mind Joel Moulton, to decorate the OT Gym for Halloween!  Michelle Collins' class, from Wellington Elementary School, came to "trick-or-treat" and participate in fun sensory-motor activities with support from our high school class!  Room 214 students worked hard to create decorations for the event.  Students hand-cut streamers, designed cards and decorations, carved pumpkins, and gave out candy to the elementary school students.  Joel put an extra special touch on the event with spooky lighting and scary masks! 


Goals and Objectives / Targets!
By: Joel Moulton COTA / L

My Goal for the Friday OT gym gathering was as follows: Without displaying signs of anxiety, Joel will maintain focus enough to problem solve and set up a festive party atmosphere in the Arlington High School OT gym before his elementary school OT group arrives. (Ms. Dennis's classroom decorations would not be arriving until after lunch and I didn't realize this until that morning. That is why the anxiety component was added to my goal.)

Obj. 1: Joel will independently set up a parachute ceiling display over the fine motor area when given a weighted spoon to use as a tether cord attachment for tossing each chute cord over raised ceiling pipes. (A new use for the weighted spoon.)
Obj. 2: Using construction paper, lamination and empty water bottles, Joel will devise and set up items to be used as part of a target toss game for students to use during their OT gym visit.
Goal for students attending the Friday OT gym group are as follows:
Goal: Given sensory input as needed, students will participate in task activities that are graded / adjusted to properly challenge each student, when given verbal - light touch assistance as required.
Obj. 1: Each student will stop at the STOP sign and wait at the PLEASE WAIT HERE sign until it is their turn to perform the presented activity. (See Picture)
Obj. 2: To receive calming and organizing proprioceptive sensory input, each student will push the "gate chair" (See picture / the STOP sign chair is the gate chair) to then enter the activity area.
Obj. 3: To receive calming and organizing proprioceptive sensory input, each student will take 2 weighted items from a chair seat (on the left), carry them for 5-feet and place them into a raised target container (on the right).
Obj. 4: To improve or practice bilateral hand skills, each student will unscrew a 4" lid while stabilizing a plastic jar in order to obtain at least one target toss ball.
Obj. 5: To improve or practice eye-hand coordination, each student will toss balls during a target toss activity.
Obj. 6: For students unable to toss a ball at the time of the activity, a lighted saber will be given to use as tool to tap target items.
Obj. 7: For students that display a desire for an alternate activity, they will be given the option to work the activity by using a collection pail to retrieve tossed balls.
Note: Although it isn't written as an objective, having fun is paramount in making the learning experience purposeful and meaningful to each and every student. Thanks to our amazing LABBB staff, our students always have a blast while learning. 

Clinical Corner - How to Make Transitions Easier
By: Lisa Gurdin

For many of our students, ending one activity and starting another is very difficult. Students especially struggle when transitioning from a highly preferred activity (ex., computer) to a less preferred activity (ex., math). In response to being told an activity is "all done," students often exhibit noncompliance in the form of verbal protests, swearing, or even property destruction or aggression.  This can be true at school, job, home, and/or community.  

There are several strategies that can help reduce the aversiveness of these transitions, promote compliance, and result in decreased problem behaviors.
  • Natural Endings: Find a natural ending to the first activity. This may be the end of a game, reading to the page with a stop sign, end of the video clip, end of the song, etc. You can even ask the student, "where/when is a good place for you to end the activity?". You may need to wait a few more minutes for the student to reach this natural end, but it will be worth the wait to have an easy transition without protest behaviors.
  • Previewing: Preview transitions ahead of time. Say, "when you finish coloring that page, clean up and put your science workbook on your desk" or "when you finish watching that video, come to the kitchen for dinner."
  • Visual Schedules: Visual schedules with pictures or words can help with transitions. This can function like an agenda. Before starting the first activity and when previewing the next activity, show the student what is coming next on the visual schedule. You can also use a whiteboard to communicate first/then activities.
  • Transition Activities: Pre-planning transition activities can help ease the change from a highly preferred to less-preferred activity. These activities should be brief, moderately preferred, close-ended, and keep the student busy during longer, less structured transitions.  Here are a few examples for school and home:
    •  Classroom - put your paper in your backpack, sharpen pencils, pass out papers, get a drink of water, get out materials for the next activity, other classroom job.
    • Home - help with meal preparation, clean-up, do a brief puzzle or maze, set the table, have a wait box with a few fidget toys.
For more ideas, check out the book, The Behavior Code, by Jessica Minahan and Nancy Rappaport.
Butler Classroom Enjoys the Fall Weather
By: Sandy Manzella
The Butler K-2 crew has been enjoying the beautiful fall weather this October. Throughout the month, we have been working on our five senses unit. In this unit we learned to identify each of our senses, and how we use them everyday. We read how each of our senses gives us information about the things around us. Throughout this unit, we did a lot of fun and exciting activities that let us practice using and identifying each of our senses. 
In addition to reading books about our five senses, we created a classroom book in which each student demonstrated how he or she uses one of the senses. We also did fun group activities where we had to use each of our senses to discover a hidden object or food, and then we tallied and graphed our favorites from each challenge. On one beautiful fall day, the class went on a nature walk outside and had to search for each item on a list. Once we found the items we had to decide which senses we used to recognize the object. In order to practice our new knowledge about our five senses, we also played trivia and sorting games using file folders and our new Smart Board. This unit was a fun way to learn about ourselves and to really enjoy the beauty that comes with the fall season.                        
The Zones of Regulation at Chenery Middle School
By: Lori Parent, OT

The students in room 111 have been learning all about the Zones of Regulation.  This program is teaching students sensory integration and regulation and helping them learn to manage the sensory input they receive from their environment.  This allows them to process and respond in ways in which they are expected to function. The four Zones include the Blue Zone, Green Zone, Yellow Zone, and the Red Zone. One of the ways in which the students are learning about the different zones and emotions or sensory states within each zone is by playing games like Zones Bingo. This game has been modified to use picture symbols to allow the students to differentiate between subtle emotions.  When a card is called, the students are asked to identify which zone the feeling or state belongs in while they mark the respective on their bingo card.

The students really enjoy playing this game, and it allows each student to be actively engaged in the learning process.  It also helps them learn to identify facial or body expressions associated with each feeling or state.  The game is a good way to teach real-life examples of times when they might be in each zone and when being in each zone is expected.  It also allows teaching of some simple tools to use when they are in a zone that is unexpected for a given situation or environment.

Recreation News and Events
By: Paula Rizzo, Integration and Recreation Coordinator
We have a lot going on both in LABBB and outside of LABBB during the month of November. 

SNAPS has their programs up and running and always welcome newcomers. 

Belmont Sport is another resource for families looking for more activities for their children on weekends and evenings. 

Emarc has a new Recreation Director, Joe Desjardins.  They provide services to people from Burlington, Reading, Danvers and few other towns in those areas.  Check it out and email Joe at:

N.E. Arc has a new Director and also has a newer Recreation Director,  Adam Quinn. They provide services to people from the Glouster area.  I had the opportunity to meet both Joe and Adam at an Access Recreation Boston conference.  LABBB and ARC will  be doing some joint activities during this school year.  Joe and some clients form EMARC will be joining LABBB for the November 20th dance at Lexington Community Center.
There is a wings for autism event at Logan airport coming up on November 7th. The  website has all the details. This resource might be useful for some of our LABBB students and parents, especially the students going on the Disney Trip in 2016. 
The Best Buddies match parties have all happened and all our LABBB buddies should have their friendships starting up.  If for some reason things are not going as you might have planned, or if you have anything you would like to discuss regarding your student's buddy, please email  We want a good relationship to develop over the year, so please communicate with your student's buddy and pass any helpful information regarding your student. 
The  LABBB/Best Buddies Halloween Dance at the new Lexington Community Center was a huge success.  The space is great, and we had plenty of parking for parents when they arrived to pick up their student.  We had over 130 people attend this Halloween dance, the most ever at a Halloween dance. 

If you have new ideas to offer, please email them to We are always looking for new ideas and opportunities our students will enjoy!
Parent Resources and Events
School Cancellation:  All LABBB programs follow the school cancellations in their respective towns.


At the LABBB PAC meeting on October 30, 2015, the following positions of the Board were filled. Candidates won by  unanimous vote:

Co-Chairs:  Audrey DeSisto and Trish Orlovsky
Recording:  Jane MacArthur
Finances: Vacant
Communication and Contacts Links
About Us
LABBB Collaborative Central Office
36 Middlesex Turnpike
Bedford, Massachusetts 01730
(339) 222-5615