Spring Newsletter
April, May and June 2017

Registration required for all programs: lmatthews@jri.org
Parent & Child Event: Little Pig Joins The Band Author Visit
David Hyde Costello will join us to read his book with the message that everyone has something to contribute to a group endeavor - especially when the endeavor is making music.  He will then demonstrate the musical instruments he has made with materials that are either very inexpensive or found in a typical recycling bin using a bit of engineering and invention, resulting in a lot of entertainment! Children can then make their own instrument (with parental assistance) to join our band! Appropriate for children who can sit and listen for a 45-minute program. The first 40 families will receive a copy of David's book.
Saturday, April 8, 10:30 a.m. at Sargent Memorial Library, Boxborough
This program is supported in part by a grant from the Acton-Boxborough Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

Parent and Child Event: Down by the River with Animal Adventures

Parents and their children are invited to learn about animals who live in or along rivers in different parts of the world. Animal Adventures will present a variety of animals that could live in the Assabet River as well as a river in South America or Madagascar. Learn about their habitats, diet, and other interesting facts. Families will also be able to visit the hands-on learning center at the refuge and see a Blandings turtle, regarded as threatened, which the refuge is actively involved in repopulating. Families can choose a book about a river-dwelling animal to take home with them after the program. Appropriate for ages 2 and up who are able to sit for an hour. Space limited to 80 individuals

Saturday, April 29, 10:30-11:30, Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge, Sudbury   This program is supported in part by grants from the Sudbury and Maynard Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Mass. Cultural Council, a state agency. 

Putting Parental Self-Care Into Practice
Parenting is hard work! We often forget to take care of ourselves because we are busy taking care of everyone else. However, if we do this for too long and forget to put ourselves first every once in a while we run the risk of feeling exhausted, overwhelmed, or even resentful. Communicating and negotiating our needs with a partner is a skill everyone can learn. Advocating for ourselves - even if we are the stay-at-home or work-at-home parent - is essential to being a healthy role model to your children. In this workshop you will identify your needs as a parent, make an individualized and realistic plan for how to meet your needs and take care of yourself, and learn ways to become a successful communicator and self-advocate! This workshop is an ideal follow-up to "Redefining Self-Care.," however it can also be taken as a stand-alone. Facilitated by Heather O'Brien, LICSW  
Tuesday, May 23, 7:00-8:30 p.m. at Maynard Public Library 
Typical Speech & Language Development, and Red Flags for Parents to Be Aware Of 
presented by Lannon Twomey, MS, CCC-SLP
Speech and Language Pathologist Lannon Twomey has a private practice and works with young children in a local school system. She will be presenting the typical speech and language development patterns of growth in young children and will then answer any individual questions you may have. Childcare will be provided by First Connections staff in our playroom during the presentation, and infants are welcome to stay with parents. Please indicate if you will need childcare when you register (lmatthews@jri.org).
Friday, May 19, 11:00 a.m. at First Connections in Acton
NEW PARENT PROGRAMS:

First-time Moms Group
6-Week group includes a different topic each week such as: Adjusting to your new role, Changes in relationships, Work/family life balance, Sleeping, feeding, crying and infant development. Emerson Sports Rehab & Specialty Services provides our motor development guest speaker, Mary  Evans, DTP, MA, who is a pediatric and neurological specialist. Held in Acton. Facilitated by Mary Beilman, who is certified in lactation support. Please register for this program: lmatthews@jri.org or 978-429-8284.  
Meets on Tuesdays, 10-11:30, beginning on April 11 or May 23

New Moms Group
Any mother with a pre-crawling baby is welcome to attend this ongoing weekly support group facilitated by Emerson Hospital and First Connections. This open discussion group is a forum for you to share experiences and resources, connect with other new mothers, and seek guidance about any concerns you might have. Facilitators are certified in lactation support. Held at Emerson Health & Wellness Center. No registration required. Directions can be emailed ( lmatthews@jri.org).
Every Wednesday, 1:30-3:00 p.m. in the Yoga Studio at 310 Baker Ave. Ext., Concord

Emotional Well-being After Baby Group
Emotional challenges are the most common complication of pregnancy and childbirth, yet mothers often feel isolated and ashamed if they are struggling. Mothers experiencing anxiety or depression or who are feeling overwhelmed in the postpartum year can come together for this supportive, nonjudgmental, confidential group to share stories and learn from each other. While this is an ongoing, weekly group, before attending for the first time please contact the facilitator, Heather O'Brien, LICSW, at hobrien @jri.org or 978-429-8284, ext. 219. Childcare provided for older siblings with advance notice.
Every Thursday, 10-11:30 a.m., at First Connections, Acton
 
New Dads Group
Our new dads group meets monthly to allow dads to make connections with other fathers, ask questions, exchange tips, and share their experiences of parenthood. There are many adjustments when a new baby enters your home which can affect relationships with family, friends, and partners. A brief topic will be presented each month in addition to checking in with those who wish to participate in a discussion. Fathers are welcome to attend with or without babies. Facilitated by Heather O'Brien, LICSW, and at least one guest "veteran" father. If you'd like to be added to the monthly email reminder list which will announce the topic prior to each group, email hobrien@jri.org  
Tuesdays, 7:00-8:30 p.m., April 11, May 9, June 13

Do you Live in Acton or Boxborough and Have a New Baby?

 

If you have welcomed a child into your lives since May of 2016, are welcoming a new child in the coming months, or were unable to attend last spring's event, please join Acton-Boxborough Family Network for their New Baby Event! Enjoy a free music and movement class as well as admission to a beautiful indoor play space. The whole family is invited with siblings up to age 6 welcome to join the fun. Snacks will be provided along with information on community resources for families with infants. Prospective ABFN members may attend as space allows, so please email newbaby@abfamily.org for more information.

Sunday, May 21, 2:00-3:30 p.m., Jam Time, 86 Powder Mill Road, Maynard

 

Do You Live in Concord and Have a New Baby?

Having a new baby is an exciting time but it can also be challenging during that first year to meet other families and find activities. Concord Family Network invites all Concord families with babies born since May 2016 to attend the annual New Baby Brunch to meet new friends and learn about local resources and activities for families with young children. This event is open to all families who have welcomed a new baby whether it is your first or fifth! Siblings are welcome. Raffle prizes and plenty of food! RSVP Elizabeth.Robbat@gmail.com

Saturday, May 6, 10-11:30 a.m. at Concord Children's Center, 1300 Main Street 

 

Also, please join CFN for a New Baby Resource Gallery and Sip & Shop free event at Fritz & Gigi. Expectant and new parents can meet other families and local support networks. Food and beverage provided, children and babies welcome.

Sunday, March 19, 79 Main Street, Concord, 10:00 a.m.

 

Sudbury Family Network Tag Sale

SFN's Kids' Stuff Tag Sale includes great deals on gently used children's clothing, toys and equipment! With over 25 sellers, this sale is not to be missed! Admission is $1. If you are interested in being a seller ($30/space) please email sfn.tagsale@gmail.com. For more information, visit www.sudburyfamilynetwork.org

Saturday, June 3, 9:00-12:00 at Curtis Middle School, 22 Pratt's Mill Rd, Sudbury

 

  Do You Live in Boxborough?
"Bettering Boxborough Together" is a new effort focused on making your town a better, healthier place to live. As a kickoff to the community feedback phase of the Healthy Communities Planning Grant process, you are invited to a forum to hear the results of the initial strengths and challenges survey. Your input at the forum will help determine the highest priority areas of need. Refreshments will be served. RSVPs are appreciated but not required to Community Services and Grant Coordinator Lauren Abraham: labraham@boxborough-ma.gov  
Tuesday, April 3, 7:00-9:00 p.m., Sargent Memorial Library

Do you Live in Carlisle?
Carlisle's Community Health Needs Assessment Survey ends on March 31st. To provide feedback to your town fill out the form at:  www.surveymonkey.com/r/Caring4Carlisle  
TODDLER & PRESCHOOLER PLAYGROUPS:
Play is a child's work. Play creates pathways in a child's developing brain that are critical for receiving information and learning. Our spring programs provide quality play time that can actually alter and enhance the brains of children who participate in a positive, permanent way. Groups will run from April 10 to June 22. Registration is required by emailing lmatthews@jri.org or calling 978-429-8284. Playgroups are free of charge and require an adult participant - MOMS, DADS, GRANDPARENTS, CAREGIVERS. Your child should be registered for a playgroup that includes his/her age on the day the group begins.  Families may sign up for one weekly group per child. If you are unable to register for a playgroup due to space limitations, and have a group of friends who are looking for a space to meet on your own, our playroom is available at regular times during the week for use.

3-9 Month Baby Playgroup
This group includes developmental discussions and handouts, playtime, circle time with finger plays, rhymes and songs.
Meets Tuesdays, 10-11:00, at Fowler Library in West Concord 

10-17 Month Older Baby Playgroup
This group is for babies who are just about to be toddlers and toddlers who have just stopped being babies. There will be free play time at the beginning, and stories and songs at the end. The facilitator will be available to talk to and answer questions, but we won't have the same structured adult talking time as in baby playgroup because the children are starting to move around, and sitting still for more than a few minutes is too much to ask!
Meets Wednesdays, 12:00-1:00, at First Parish Church in Bedford

Walking Toddlers Playgroups
This group is for confidently walking toddlers and will include free play in a preschool classroom with time to work on social skills such as sharing and waiting for a turn, some art and sensory activities, and a circle time with story.
Meets Fridays at Village Nursery School in Harvard
12-18 months and walking independently meets 9:30-10:30
18-24 months meets 11:00-12:00

18-23 Month Large Motor Playgroup
Children in this group should be able to run for some of the activities. The group will combine a story and song circle time with gross motor activities in a preschool gym. Activities include balancing, jumping, throwing and kicking balls. We will also work on literacy and social skill building. Not safe for infant siblings.
Meets Mondays, 10:00-11:00 at Woods Edge Children's Center in Sudbury

Multilingual Raising a Reader Playgroup for Ages 1 1/2 thru 5
This group is for children who speak a language other than English at home or are bilingual. In addition to circle time, free play, and snack time, each family will bring home a different bag of books to read each week. We encourage families to share customs and stories from their home countries during this group if desired. Please let us know of any anaphylactic allergies so we can alert other families.
Meets Thursdays, 9:30-11:00 at First Connections, Acton
 
Preparing for Preschool Playgroup for 2 Year Olds (babies in carriers welcome)
This playgroup will have free play time and some art and STEM activities. We will also focus on your child's social and emotional development with books and activities for the children as well as information for caregivers. We will have snack time, so please let us know of any anaphylactic food allergies. Peanuts/tree nuts not allowed in classroom.
Meets Tuesdays, 2:00-3:30 at The Community School, Maynard Center
 
Outdoor Explorations Group for Ages 3 thru 5*
With winter behind us we're heading outside again to explore nature trails in our area.  We'll learn about what is happening in the ponds, fields and woods around us. We'll read a different book each week and allow the children to talk about what they may have discovered in their own back yards during the week. *The places we will be walking are not stroller-friendly. Babies are welcome if they are worn in a carrier/sling/backpack; siblings younger than 2 1/2 may not be able to keep up. 
Meets Mondays, 2-3:00, for 5 weeks in Lincoln and 4 weeks in Boxborough 
 
Sing and Play in Spanish Group for Ages 1-5
This playgroup is for parents and children who already speak or understand Spanish as all songs, stories and conversation will be in Spanish. Led by our super volunteer, Ibeliza Jaffe, a Venezuelan Spanish Montessori Teacher. Families who are currently in this group should confirm they are continuing so we know how many openings there are for new participants. Does not meet weekly, so can be combined with another group.
Meets Fridays, 1:30-3:00, at Reuben Hoar Library in Littleton
April 28, May 12 and June 16
  
The Commission on the Status of Grandparents Raising Grandchildren will be presenting 3-hour workshops for grandparents free of charge throughout the state. In addition to topic presenters, there will be representatives from DCF, DTA, MassHealth, and Elder Services to provide resources. Breakfast pastries and beverages will be served. Register by contacting:
Colleen Pritoni, 617-748-2454 or colleen.pritoni@state.ma.us
All programs take place from 9:30-12:30
 
Tuesday, March 22, Worcester, "Internet Safety" with the District Attorney's Office
Friday, March 31, Lawrence, "Special Education Services" with The Federation for Children with Special Needs
Tuesday, April 4, Boston, "Legal Issues" with Lynn Girton and Ilene Mitchell
Wednesday, April 12, Brockton, "The Disease of Addiction" with AdCare
Wednesday, April 26, Northampton, "Take Care of the Caregiver" with Deb Dowd-Foley
Thursday, May 4, Hyannis, "The Impact of Trauma" with Ruth Bodian
 
2017 Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Conference
This year's information-filled conference will be held at the Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel in Marlboro on June 7. For more information, visit www.massgrg.com

 

Do You Know Grandparents Providing Childcare?

First Connections' programs are always open to grandparents who care for their grandchildren. We continually have some grandparents enrolled in our playgroups with their grandchildren, however they do not often meet each other due to our groups being separated by children's ages. We are exploring the possibility of running a mixed-age playgroup for grandparents who are providing childcare on weekdays OR a monthly support/developmental education group with childcare provided by our staff. If you are a grandparent who would be interested in either of these options, or if your parent is providing childcare for you and they would be interested in either of these programs please let us know so we can include this programming in our renewal grant application budget for 2017-18, which we will be working on in April. Send comments, suggestions, availability information to lmatthews@jri.org. Thanks!
Preschool Fair
Saturday, March 18, 10:00-1:00
The Thoreau Center
275 Forest Ridge Rd,  Concord
Thinking about preschool for your child? Come meet local school directors and learn about all the options! A fair is a great way to collect information about and get your questions answered by area schools all at once. Preschools in Acton, Boxboro, Concord, Maynard and Sudbury have all been invited.  Free - Please register at:
This is a joint Acton-Boxborough and Sudbury Family Network Event. 
No strollers, please.
PTO Summer Camp Fair
Tuesday, March 28
6:30-8:30 pm
Carlisle Public Schools Dining Hall
83 School Street
At least 24 summer camps and activities will be present to answer your questions and learn about opportunities for your children this summer. Come and see what might be a good match for your child - from traditional to technology, theater to music. Raffles and prizes every 15 minutes too!
See the list of camps attending at: www.carlislemapto.org
  

PUBLIC SCHOOL KINDERGARTEN NEWS


Concord Public Schools
Kindergarten Registration Dates
If you haven't received a registration packet, please call your school
Alcott: April 25 or May 2, 1-3:00 p.m. 
978-318-9544
Thoreau: March 28, 1-3:00 p.m. 
978-318-1300
Willard: April 25 or 27, 1-3:00 p.m. 
978-318-1340
 
Bedford Kindergarten Screenings
March 20, 21, 23, 24, 27
If your child will be 5 by 8/31/17 and you have not registered for kindergarten, forms are on the website: www.bedford.k12.ma
Parent Information Session: 
March 14, 6:30 pm
 

Sudbury's Kindergarten Orientation Day is June 6, 2017

Please confirm the exact time:

Loring School: 978-443-0870

Nixon School: 978-443-1080

Haynes School: 978-443-1093

Noyes School: 978-443-1085

If your child will be 5 by 10/1/17 and you have not registered, contact michele_horan@sudbury.k12.ma.us 

 

Carlisle Public Schools Kindergarten Information Night for Parents

May 4, 2017

Held in the school auditorium at 7:00 pm.  

Kindergarten Screenings will take place on May 22 by appointment. For more information call 978-369-6550 x4101.  

 

Lincoln Public Schools

Parents of incoming Kindergarten students should fill out the Parent Input Form located at:

www.lincnet.org/Page/468

Parents of children age 2.9-5 who have concerns about their child's development should call 781-259-9403 to schedule a screening appointment.

Acton-Boxboro Family Network
Popsicles and Playground Kindergarten Social
Sunday,  3:00-5:00 pm
June 11, 2017  
Goward Playground at Acton Library
RSVP required including your name and # of family members attending: kindysocial@abfamily.org Have popsicles and find your classmates with color-coded name tags for kids and parents. Free and open to all Acton & Boxboro families with a 2017 Kindergarten student.
 
Hildreth Elem. School, Harvard 
Parent Information Night
May 18, 2017,  6:00-7:00 p.m.
Children who will be 5 by 8/31/17 and have not received a mailing from the school should contact creale@psharvard.org. 

Maynard's Green Meadow School  Kindergarten Screenings
April 27 & 28, 2017
Kindergarten screenings are for children who will be 5 before September 1, 2017 and have registered for kindergarten. 
Questions? 978-897-8246

Westford Kindergarten Information Nights for Parents
Nabnasset: May 11 , 6:30 p.m.
Miller: May 3, 6:30 p.m.
Robinson: 978-692-5586
Kindergarten screenings take place in May

Littleton Public Schools Kindergarten Screenings
March 27, 28, 29, 9:00-2:30
Contact Shaker Lane School if your child will be 5 by 9/1/16 and you have not registered for kindergarten yet:  978-486-3959.  www.littletonps.org 
 
PARENT-CHILD ACTIVITIES

brain building  

Drawbridge Puppet Theater visits Acton!

The Three Little Pigs and Chicken Little will be presented at Villageworks, 525 Mass. Ave, West Acton on Sunday, March 19

3:30-4:30 p.m.

$8/person or $4/person if ABFN Members

wavillageworks.com/events

 

New Resource

Baby-friendly Movie Screenings in Maynard

The Fine Arts Theatre in Maynard center is now holding special screenings on the 1st & 3rd Tuesday of every month where babies are welcome in a complete judgment-free zone!

fineartstheatreplace.com
 978-298-5626

 

Babies 'n' Books

For Ages 0-24 mos

Saturday, April 1

10:00-11:00 a.m.

Concord Children's Center, 1300 Main St.

Story Time, coffee, snacks, friends.

Free. RSVP ceccarr07@gmail.com

 

Carlisle PTO Book Fair & Storytime

The book fair will be held April 10-14. On April 11 at 6:30 pm there will be a storytime, with shopping until 8:00

www.carlislemapto.org 


CFN Spring Egg Hunt

Saturday, April 8

3 separate egg hunts:

Ages 5-8 at 3:30, Ages 3-4 at 3:45, and Ages 0-2 at 4:00. Games, crafts, refreshments and socializing. Limited to 150 participants: register at

www.concordfamilynetwork.org

Non-member fee $3/child or max of $10/family

Reg. deadline March 28!

Bring your own basket.

Food donations accepted for Open Table food pantry. If rain, check website.

 

 "Especially for Me" Free Admission

 Programs at Acton

 Discovery Museums

5:00-8:30 p.m. 

If you have a child with special needs this museum has special times for you to visit. Registration required.

www.discoverymuseums.
org/EspeciallyForMe

Visually Impaired: Apr. 22 Autism: April 8 & May 6

Deaf, hard of hearing, or child of deaf parents:

May 20

 

Free First Friday Nights for All

4:30-8:30 pm at

Acton Discovery Museums, 177 Main St, Acton

April 7, May 5, June 2


 
Star Wars Day at Worcester Art Museum

Saturday, April 15

Come dressed as your favorite character, mingle with reenactors, learn to wield a light saber and more. 10-5:00

Activities free with museum admission. Free admission with library pass.


Celebrate  Earth Day with Musketaquid Arts & Environment

Sunday April 9 & 16

1:00-5:00 p.m.

Make puppets, costumes, musical instruments, banners & floats for the parade. $10/family.

Saturday, April 22

9:30-2:00

Join the parade and activities in Concord. Free!

http://theumbrellaarts.org

(click arts & environment)

 

Family Fun Day

CBE Early Learning Center

May 7, 3:00-5:00 p.m.

Children's activities, face-painting, Jenny the Juggler, wash a fire truck, bounce houses, and see the new Jodi Barron Playhouse. Free and open to the public. 

133 Prospect St., Acton

 

Family Puppet Show at The Taylor School

Sunday, March 19, 1-3 pm

"Auntie Goose" stories featuring Charlotte Dore of Rosalita's Puppets, crafts, refreshments, playscape, school tours. Tickets are free, however you must reserve them at:

www.thetaylorschool.net

8 Hill Rd., Boxborough

 

New Resource

Wolbach Farm Storybook Trail

Wolbach Farm is home to a permanent Storybook Trail thanks to two local girl scouts! The book changes seasonally. There is also a Nature Nook interactive learning space and a Bee Hotel! Visit at 18 Wolbach Rd, Sudbury.

www.svtweb.org/propertie
s/wolbach-farm 

 

HealthyActon.org

Free Guided Nature Walks

Cathy Fochtman, current Acton Recreation Director and former President of Friends of the Acton Arboretum, will be offering free nature walks through this relatively new initiative. To participate and for more details, email Sheryl Ball at Acton Health Department:

sball@acton-ma.gov

 

Free Tinkergarten Class

Are you trying to get outdoors more with your family? Join a trial class in Acton in April where kids explore, tinker and work together outdoors. It's not only healthy for kids, but for parents too: register at

https://tinkergarten.com/class


 

 

Sudbury COMMUNITY LEARNING EVENTS:
 
New Resources

Support Group for Families Living with Addiction
meets every other Tuesday in Concord, 7-8:00 p.m. Learn new strategies, coping skills and about the importance of self-care. jcohancounseling@gmail.com or 617-308-3555. 

Support Group for Parents of Children with Any Special Need meets at Pediatrics West, 133 Littleton Rd, 3rd Floor Conference Room, Westford from 7-8:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 6, Tuesday, May 9, and Thursday, June 1. For more information contact Alison, 978-577-0414. Free. www.pediatricswest.com

"Inspire" 6-Week Group for Parents of Children Age 4-9 with Special Needs
Facilitated by Patty Marquis, LICSW, this group brings together 12 parents who can offer immediate empathy for the unique challenges they face on a daily basis and over the long haul. Full description at
www.centerforparentsandteachers.org. Groups will be held in Concord on Monday mornings beginning April 24 or Wednesday evenings beginning March 29. Call 978-202-1143 or email cpt@concordps.org for more info.
 
MOMIDARITY is a virtual support group for busy moms. Started by a mom who missed the connectedness of daytime moms groups when she returned to work. Sign up online for a 4-week session and rediscover the support and camaraderie at a day and time that works with your schedule: www.momidarity.com/sign-up

Known Resources-Upcoming Presentations

"Understanding PANS/PANDAS in the Diagnosis of OCD in Children
"
presented by Daniel Geller, MD, at U.Mass Worcester Medical School Lecture Series on April 13,  6-7:00 pm. PANDAS is an autoimmune response trigger involved in some cases of sudden-onset OCD in children. Optional support group follows, 7-8:30. For more information: 
  www.ocdmassachusetts.org

The Benefits and Challenges of Open Adoption Panel Discussion
Hear from adoptive families who have helped their children maintain relationships with their birth parents, siblings, and other relatives. Refreshments will be served. Parking available in a lot. Families at any point in the adoption process are welcome. RSVP to MARE at dianet@mareinc.org. Held Saturday, March 25, 10:00-12:00, 50 Redfield Street, #301, Dorchester
 
"Love That Boy - What 2 Presidents, 8 Road Trips, and My Son Taught Me About a Parent's Expectations"
Author and political commentator Ron Fournier will speak on the causes and costs of parental expectations in 21st century America and the two poles of parenthood: what we want for our children (popularity, normalcy, achievement, genius) and what they truly need (grit, empathy, character)! Full description/ registration at www.discoverymuseums.org
Free. Wednesday, April 19, 7-9:00 p.m. at Villageworks, 525 Mass. Ave., West Acton
 
"OCD Treatment for Kids & Teens"
presented at the OCD & Related Disorders Lecture Series at McLean Hospital, Belmont on May 2, 7-8:00 pm. Optional support group for parents of people with OCD takes place from 6-7:00. For more information, contact Carla, 781-775-1127. 

"Many Kinds of Smart! Understanding the Theory of Multiple Intelligences" presented by Lisa Murphy, M.Ed. This workshop will share powerful new information with parents that will open their understanding of different learning styles, and share what can be done if your child's style differs from that taken in the classroom. March 16, 7:00 pm at Alcott School, Concord. Free. Please register at:
 
Adoptive Families Together Support Group
meets April 4, May 2, and June 6, 7:30-9:00 p.m. at Maynard Public Library in the Cullen Conference Room, 77 Nason Street. Contact kristy.bouley@gmail.com for more information. 

"Tourette & Tic Disorders: Diagnosis & Treatment"
Families will hear from 3 experts from Mass. General on topics including an overview , diagnosis, and appropriate treatments for this disorder. RSVP required. Held in Boston. Saturday, March 25, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon.

"Social and Emotional Life of Young Boys"
presented by Dr. Anthony Rao on May 31, 7-8:30 pm at RJ Grey Middle School Auditorium in Acton. Dr. Rao is the author of "The Way of Boys: Promoting the Social and Emotional Development of Young Boys." Free.

"Take Charge of Treatment for Your Child with Asperger's"  This seminar combines personal examples, professional guidance, and practical tools to help solve typical challenges that parents of children with ASD face. Learn how to become an effective case manager for your child's care. Dr. Scott McLeod from MGH's Aspire Program and parent Cornelia Pelzer Elwood, who has a certificate in ASD, are the speakers. Held at Autism Alliance of Metrowest, 1881 Worcester Rd., Framingham on March 16, 7-9:00 p.m. Off Rte. 9 West. RSVP/Questions:  PMcKillop@Advocates.org  

"Who Cares About Kelsey?" Screening and Discussion
Award-winning film documents the lives of students with emotional/behavioral challenges and shows innovative educational approaches that help these students succeed while improving the overall school culture and climate.
May 17, 6-8:00 p.m., Groton-Dunstable H.S. Library

Mass. Down Syndrome Congress Conference
Yearly program sharing the latest research and important information from national and local experts. Held in Worcester on March 25, 9:00-4:00. Register:
 
New Family Social at Mass. Down Syndrome Congress  in Burlington will be held on Saturday, April 1, 10-12:00. This program is for parents and children age 3 and younger or expectant parents. Informal get-together with refreshments. Learn from other families and hear what MDSC can help you with. Grandparents, babies and siblings welcome. https://www.facebook.com/events/1178713365538057/  

Soon to be Grandparents Class
July 13, 7:00-9:00 p.m. will be the next presentation of this class which covers "back to sleep", tummy time, car seat inspections and all the new ideas and new "rules" that barely existed 30 years ago; as well as how to support the new parents and accept their decisions. Presented by a nurse who is also a grandmother. Held at Emerson Hospital. $30/couple. Register: 978-287-3777 or www.emersonwellness.org
 
"Infant CPR Anytime" at Emerson Hospital
Information and practice of skills needed to perform infant CPR and relieve choking. $50 includes at-home practice kit and 2 class participants. Taught by a respiratory therapist. 6:30-8:00 p.m. on April 11, May 9 or June 13.
Register: www.emersonwellness.org or call 978-287-3777

Sibling Preparation Classes for Ages 2 1/2 thru 6
Separate classes for ages 2 1/2-3 1/2 from 9-10:30, or ages 4-6 from 10:45-12:15 at Emerson Hospital. Register at www.emersonwellness.org or call 978-287-3777. Classes will be held on April 1 or June 3, $25/1 child, $50/2 or more children. 

Summer is Coming - Train Your Babysitter!
Several opportunities are offered in the area for parents to send a potential babysitter to a training program so you have confidence in leaving your children for a well-deserved break!
Acton Recreation Dept. on March 26, $30
Emerson Hospital on April 29, May 27, June 17, $50
Concord-Carlisle Community Ed, May 2-23, $75
 
INTERFACE Mental Health Free Referral Service
is available to assist families in the following towns with the process of finding a mental health service provider that matches their needs and insurance: Acton, Ayer, Ashby, Boxboro,Chelmsford, Concord, Carlisle, Dunstable, Groton, Leominster, Lincoln, Littleton, Pepperell, Shirley, Sudbury, Townsend, Waltham and Westford, among other towns not near our catchment area. This is a free service staffed by trained clinicians, paid for by your town. www.interface.williamjames.edu or 1-888-244-6843 x1411