December 2019

A LABBB Collaborative        Newsletter
   Sharing best practices for promoting inclusive opportunities         for  students with special needs 
LABBB in New York City
In This Issue
Message from the Executive Director
Patric Barbieri

Let's Talk About Overnight Summer Camps!

I t doesn't seem like the season to be talking about summer camps, but this subject came up at our last parent meeting and if you are going to consider an overnight camp for your son or daughter it will be important to start planning soon. Many of these camps have already started booking. 

As requested, we are also going to schedule one of our parent nights to talk specifically about overnight camps. We have had many parents communicate that they are interested in sending their son or daughter and express interest in learning more about the options. Parents at our last meeting shared some great resources. 

The key word here is "Overnight." Going to a camp can have many benefits and can help your child learn independence. We have been recommending overnight camps for many years. Click on the links to the camps below to check out their offerings for students with special needs. Many of our current LABBB students and alumni have attend these camps every summer.
4. Echo BridgeNewton Parks and Recs has a day  camp  during the  summer  for school aged kids called  Camp  Echo Bridge. They have a mix of disabled and neurotypical kids.   They have a one week, sleep away  camp  in August, called  Camp  Winadu. 

Have Wonderful Holiday and a Happy New Year

Transition Department
By: Tim Callahan
One of the main objectives of the Transition Department is to help students discover their strengths and interests. Students' strengths may include the ability to work in a group, follow directions, demonstrate enthusiasm, or take initiative. Interests can vastly vary, but nothing lends itself to discovery, like experience.  
Interests are discovered by offering opportunities for students to explore meaningful activities within the community, experiment in a field of interest, and learn what it means to give back to their communities.
One particular interest of many of our students is clerical work.   Clerical work serves individuals in many capacities. It can be an introduction to vocational opportunities, it is working hands-on, it creates a product, it can be repetitive or constantly changing, it is using computers and machines, it is accessible, it can be fun, and it is always needed!  
Since our participation at the clerical lab at Minuteman High School came to an end, many students have requested these tasks, the clerical environment, and our clerical expert, Christine Newton. This school year, Grace Chapel in Lexington graciously offered some incredible office space for our LABBB clerical crew!!  
If that's not enough, for the past two years Grace Chapel has generously shared their space each day in support of LABBB's TRAC (Transitional Readiness Activities in the Community) Program. The space at Grace Chapel has become something of a headquarters for this community based program. We are grateful, and extremely excited, to be adding a clerical "office space" to use as our LABBB Clerical work experience.
Within the new "LABBB Clerical Office" we have the opportunity to perform clerical duties such as binding books, collating packets, making photocopies, laminating, producing mailings, as well as alphabetizing, and filing documents. Our current customers include, local non-profit agencies, LABBB staff, and Grace Chapel's business office.
Mike Fitzgerald, Grace's Facility Manager, explained, "This is a win-win situation for all of us. LABBB gets the space they need, and we get to contribute to a program we really believe in. We love seeing the students every day!" We (LABBB) are extremely grateful for this partnership!
Many of our students gravitate towards LABBB's Clerical Office at Grace. It may be in part due to the predictability of work, the satisfaction of a finished product, or working on fun machines... However, the other hidden gem is Community Instructor, Christine Newton. Christine connects with students in a way that makes them feel excited about going to work. Christine is keen at providing on-the-spot accommodations, so that all students have access to work. Christine encourages students to try new things, and supports them to work as independently as possible. By removing barriers, Christine creates a work environment that is conducive to all.  
Thank you to LABBB Clerical students, Grace Chapel, and Christine Newton!
Clinical Corner: Self-Care During the Holiday Season
By: Kelly Sexton
Many people feel the holidays are the most wonderful and special time of the year. Unfortunately, the holidays can also lead to increased feelings of stress. As a result, the holidays are an especially important time to be mindful of your physical and mental health. This holiday season, you may hear about the term "self-care", which is one of the most recent buzzwords in the wellness community. But what is self-care and why is it so important? 

The Oxford Dictionary describes self-care as "the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one's own health."  I was curious how our LABBB community defined self-care, so I asked some of our staff and students what came to mind when I mentioned these words. The terms I heard over and over included wellness, yoga, breathing, and nutrition. At LABBB, our staff and students are well versed in self-care due a wellness initiative across LABBB, which has included wellness days for staff and mindfulness practice in our classrooms.  

What does self-care mean to you during this holiday season? Self-care means different things to different people. While participating in yoga classes might be self-care for one person, for another it may be setting better boundaries with their use of technology or releasing the guilt they feel when they make time for themselves.

Over the holiday season, there are many ways to engage in self-care and take care of our overall well-being. Some of them include:
  • Prioritize yourself! This may mean setting limits and boundaries about what you can and cannot do and releasing the guilt that often comes with prioritizing our own needs. 
  • Find your tribe! Spend time with a community where you feel supported and inspired. Ask for and accept help from your tribe when you need it. 
  • Get outside! Even though it is cold and snowy, spending time in nature contributes to overall feelings of calm and wellness. 
What is one thing that you can do to better care for yourself over the holiday season?

  The LABBB Clinical Department wishes you a wonderful holiday season full of health, happiness, and at least a little self-care!
Buddy Dog Fundraiser
By: Mr. Allen's Advanced ILS Group
Hello we are the advanced ILS group from Mr. Allen's class. Most of what we do is fundraising for different foundations. We each will pick a charity and help fundraise for them this school year. Recently we raised money for the Buddy Dog Humane Society.

Buddy Dog is a shelter for dogs and cats. When we went there we were able to bring a bunch of dog beds, some towels, clay cat litter, and wet and dry food for both the cats and the dogs. It was really nice being there because we got to go into the community and hang out with dogs and cats.

The skills we worked on during the fundraiser were talking to people we don't really know, using measurement when cooking, budgeting our money, and asking for help when we needed it. It felt weird at first to use a timer to keep us on schedule, but it helped us be on time. It was helpful to the teachers for us to email them if we had anything that conflicted with the ILS schedule.

Donating to Buddy Dog made us feel apart of the community. It made us feel good to see the dogs and cats jump with excitement. When the students and teachers gave us donations we were thankful for their support.

Some of our favorite parts included: baking for the fundraiser, going out to eat in the community, being successful with time management, and getting to see the animals. The parts we found challenging included planning for baking and working together as a group. 

We would like to thank everyone who donated and made contributions. Thanks everyone!
Recreation News and Events
By: Paula Rizzo, Integration and Recreation Coordinator
This past November, LABBB had one of our best trips to New York City. As usual, we had a great group of students join us. We walked about 10 miles per day which enabled us to see so much of the wonderful city, including 2 shows: Mean Girls and The Rockettes Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall. We were treated to a personalized tour of the Intrepid where we got to go on a helicopter and tanks that the general public do not get to go on. We walked a section of the High Line walkway and saw some gorgeous views of the Hudson River and the New York City skyline. We saw Rockefeller Center, the ice rink and how the Christmas tree gets positioned and decorated each year. Other highlights included windows decorated for the holidays on every corner of the city, St. Patrick's Cathedral, Times Square, Battery Park, the 911 Memorial, walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, Madison Avenue, 5th Avenue, The Vessel, Empire State Building, ABC studios, New York Public Library and the Statue of Liberty. We went from downtown, to midtown, to uptown. What an adventure! See some of the photos below of our trip.

Our four LABBB Basketball teams have been busy getting ready for their season. We have 30 students across the four teams.
December 5th is the first game for Team Blue.
December 5th is the first game for Team Gold.
December 14th is the first game for Team White.
January 9th is the first game for Team Yellow.
Good luck to the 2019/2020 teams.
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year from @LABBBREC

Lexington High School Unified Basketball Team
By: Tom Brincklow
Last year, Lexington High School piloted a Unified Basketball program sponsored by the Special Olympics of Massachusetts. Due to its success, a full season kicked off this fall, with LABBB's participation. The team of 4 Lexington High School students and 5 LABBB students has been competing against other area high schools very successfully. We look forward to another successful season next year.

Lexington LABBB Unified Basketball members are: 

Matt D, Emily A, Christian R, Malachi E, Rayan T           

Bedford also had a Unified team 
Bedford LABBB Unified members are:

Jefferson A, Rachel S, Julian J, Alex G, Elias o    

2019-2020 Parent Meetings

LABBB Evening Parent Meetings
During our LABBB parent meetings we discuss various topics related to programming, special needs planning, recreation, transition, post 22 planning, SSI, financial planning among many other topics.
Time: 7:00pm-8:15pm
Location: Lexington Community Center, 39 Marrett Rd., Lexington Ma.
*All parent meetings are the same evening as our monthly dances so you can drop of your son or daughter and attend the parent meeting.
October 24
November 21
January 16
February 27
March 26
April 30
May 28

Executive Director Chats
Executive Director chats are an extension of our evening parent meetings and for parents who cannot attend in the evenings.

Time: 10:00am-11:15am
Location: LABBB Central Office, 123 Cambridge Street, Burlington (Burlington High School)
September 26
October 31
December 5
February 6
March 19
May 7
LABBB Parent Alumni Meetings

Our parent alumni meetings are a great resource for parents who want to continue to be connected to the LABBB community. Many of our parents share their experiences and learn about future opportunities for housing, recreation and keeping their son or daughter socially engaged with peers.

Time: 10:00am-11:15pm
Location: LABBB Central Office, 123 Cambridge Street, Burlington (Burlington High School)
September 13
October 18
December 13
February 7
March 27
May 8
2019-2020 Recreation Brochure! 
Woodland Guest House Updates


A LABBB Podcast

In this episode we talk to Camille Grimes, AFC Manager, from Opportunities for Inclusion to learn about an under utilized resource for parents. Adult family Care (AFC) is a MassHealth funded program for individuals, 16 years-old and over, eligible for MassHelath Standard or MassHealth CommonHealth, who have a medical or mental condition and require daily cueing and supervision or physical asistance with at least one activity of daily living skill (ADL) such as bathing, dressing, eating, ambulating or toileting from adn AFC caregiver. In addition to providing personal care, an AFC caregiver must live with the individual and provide or arrange for meals, transportation, companionship and oridnary housework. The caregiver also manages medical appointments nd medications, if needed. Caregivers receive a tax-free stipend for the care they provide, which ranges from $9,000-$18,000 annually, depending on the level of care necessary. They also recieve on-going support form a registered nurse and a care manager. The caregive many e a friend parent or other relative, but may not be the spouse or legal guardian. To learn more about this program Contact: Barbara Dunker, RN, AFC Program Director, 781-899-1344 x4710

Episode #15: Dyslexia and Working Your Strengths with Kathy Murphy 

Student Recreation Sports, Music & Art Resources

Bina Farm Center

LABBB Contacts and Social Media

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