Ocotober 2019

          A LABBB Collaborative        Newsletter
   Sharing best practices for promoting inclusive opportunities         for  students with special needs 
2019 LABBB Reunion!
In This Issue
Message from the Executive Director
Patric Barbieri


At this time of year many parents are visiting their children at college and it is also homecoming weekend for many schools. This fall we will see students eager to come back to go to their high school football games and connect with their high school friends, it is a feeling of coming home after being away from their home town, their family and friends. We know that coming home feels good. We connect with our school community and the friends we spent so many years with.

For LABBB students, we want them to have that same feeling of homecoming and we have been holding our reunion dance for over 20 years! We can't forget that inside, our students want to have this same connection. Every September we know how much our graduates look forward to this. We get phone calls asking for the date of the reunion dance, we see alumni reaching out to eachother, we have graduates show up at the last minute to attend.

This is also a connection for our parents. They know that this is a chance to bring their adult children to an event that they are familiar with and has a social connection. It is their community, they have been part of it for so long. In the near future, LABBB will be hosting more alumni events!

We will also be having 'LABBB Prom 2020' in the spring at the Burlington Marriott. Stay tuned for more information from Prom Coordinator, Jeanne Bono. Our last prom was just amazing!

2019 LABBB Reunion Dance Video
At LABBB, we talk quite a bit about community! We feel strongly that building community is essential for our students and families in the future. After our students graduate we want them to continue to have social connections, a community that they connect with and they know is there for them.  Our reunion dances offer this to our students no matter if they graduated last year or in the 80's. You will see these connections in this video and how much our graduates look forward to coming back and seeing each other!  Just watch as they get on the dance floor at the end of the video!

2019 LABBB Reunion Dance (Burlington Marriott)
2019 LABBB Reunion Dance (Burlington Marriott)

Gardening at Ottoson
By: Peggy Sheehan
The Ottoson classrooms have been spending some time working in the community garden since the spring.  We did planted some cucumbers from seeds indoors and moved those outside once we had seedlings.  We also planted some tomato plants.  The students worked over the summer weeding, cutting the grass, watering and thinning the plants.   We were able to pick and eat wild raspberries, lettuce and carrots.  There are also lots of herbs growing that we could pick to smell and taste.  This month we finally got a cucumber and some tomatoes to pick and eat.   We're looking forward to getting the Ottoson garden plot ready for next spring! 

Bedford High LABBB Helping the Elderly at COA
By: Meaghan Henneberry
Bedford LABBB students love to help anyone and anyhow. A huge impact that Bedford students make everyday in the community is helping to prepare and bag meals for elderly at Council on Aging (COA). "I really like making the lunches for people," says Emily McAdams.
What is working at COA all about? A typical morning will first consist of students washing their hands, and reporting to the designated areas to perform their tasks, which they are so proud to do. These tasks may include: unloading the delivered coolers of milk, fruit and prepared meals, organizing them into groups, counting the milks and fruit to be packaged in the 5 black Route delivery coolers. Other tasks include the preparation and bagging of sliced bread, and scooping fruit or desserts into styrofoam cups. "I like to scoop the fruit," says both Mason Murray and Evan Brasil. 
While students accomplish these wonderful acts of service, they learn about themselves. Students learn about time management, accuracy, staying on task, organizational skills, math skills of proportion, division and counting, all while building confidence. COA also teaches students emotional awareness of being patient with him/herself and peers, self advocacy and interpersonal skills using appropriate greetings and conversation with COA staff.
Bedford LABBB truly loves working at COA. It is an experience they look forward to every morning. COA serves as a motivator for our students to become comfortably involved in the community, while feeling like they are valued and making a difference. "I like helping people," says Rachel Santos-Steeves.
Additionally, COA is a great introductory segue into becoming familiar with the responsibilities and demands of the real adult work environment. In the end, one of the many goals at LABBB is to become an independent working adult. Jefferson Aweh-Kisob helps sum up the importance of student involvement by sharing that, "COA helps me to become a better worker at my job at Multiplan."

Success in her Community
By: Amanda O'Leary
Suzy is a friendly, charismatic, energetic, easy going and caring young woman who is part of the LABBB program at Lexington High School. She started her LABBB career in 2013 and will graduate this November. A wish for Suzy was to be able to find a job in her own community, and with her hard work and perseverance, her wish has come true!
Suzy started her career with the Transition Department (formerly the Vocational Department) in 2014 and has not stopped since! She has been an active participant in many of our LABBB supported community experiences over the years, including volunteer opportunities at Brightview in Woburn and Community Servings in Jamaica Plain, as well as unpaid internships at Whole Foods, the Belmont School Store and the Minuteman Technical High School kitchen. Throughout these experiences, a focus for Suzy has been on exploring a variety of possible job opportunities, while increasing her independence by learning how to manage her time, be flexible, advocate for her needs and wants in the workplace, and work well with other members of a team.
In recent years, Suzy narrowed down her experiences, focusing on the service industry, both in a retail setting and a corporate kitchen setting. She began participating in LABBB supported community experiences at CVS, Corporate Chefs, and Marshalls. In all three of these settings, she was a valued member of her work team and showed success across most focus areas. Fast forward to the winter of 2019 and an opportunity arose at Whitson's Cafe, in Lexington High School. Suzy participated in an iWork experience at Whitson's through LABBB for eight weeks. During an iWork experience, students participate in an internship experience, but are paid by LABBB, not the community partner. The hope is that if the student is successful in the placement, that the community partner will hire them to be part of their team.
With occasional support and check ins from LABBB staff, Suzy was successful, applied for a job over the summer with Whitson's and was hired. She started working in the Lexington High School cafe this September as a paid member of the Whitson's team. She currently works four days per week and will continue to work at Whitson's after she graduates. Suzy shows up each morning, ready to work, and provides service with an infectious smile!

Clinical Corner: October is ADHD Awareness Month
By: Kelly Sexton
ADHD, also known as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, makes it difficult for a person to regulate their attention. There are three different presentations of ADHD.
ADHD, Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Presentation
Students with this presentation demonstrate hyperactive and impulsive behavior. They also struggle to sit still.
ADHD, Predominantly Inattentive Presentation
Students with this presentation have difficulty paying attention, but usually do not struggle with impulsivity or hyperactivity. They tend to daydream and have very creative imaginations. 
ADHD, Combined Presentation
Students with this presentation struggle with inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity. Their hyperactivity symptoms tend to improve as they get older. 
One of the biggest misconceptions about ADHD is that it causes an inability to pay attention. In fact, students with ADHD can pay attention, but struggle to regulate their attention appropriately. When engaged in a preferred activity, students with ADHD can pay such close attention that they become absorbed in a task and appear unaware of the world around them. This is also called hyperfocus. 
School Counselors can support students in regulating their attention in a variety of ways including:
  • Helping students increase self-awareness and understand their learning profile.
  • Supporting staff in understanding ADHD and how it may present in different students.
  • Consulting with BCBAs on developing positive behavioral support plans which focus on improving self-awareness and increasing self-regulation skills. 
For more information on ADHD, please click on this link: Understood For Learning and Attention Issues
Planning A Life: Transition Considerations for Your Child's Future
Please RSVP to Dianne Busa via email, dbusa@labbb.net if you plan to attend. 

Karen Mariscal, Esq. is a special needs estate planner and guardianship attorney, and the parent of Billy, a former LABBB student who is now 27.  She is an expert on guardianship and supported decision-making, as well as government benefits and special needs trusts. Her website is  www.kmariscallaw.com.
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
Parents of Extraordinary Children Monthly Peer-Support Group
Dear LABBB Parents: 

We thought it would be worthwhile to share this resource with you, please take a few minutes to look at their website.  C lick here or on the image below to view the website.

Recreation News and Events
By: Paula Rizzo, Integration and Recreation Coordinator
The school year began with the LABBB Reunion Dance. Two hundred alumni were in attendance from just about every year from 1986 through 2019. They travelled as far away as New Jersey to attend this year in order to talk to and catch up with other alumni and dance the night away. This event is always popular and alumni look forward to the next year the moment they step out the door from the current event. 

Because of the need and want of our LABBB alumni to stay connected, they are asking for LABBB to do more. We have two new alumni dinner/dances coming in 2020: March 5, 2020 and June 4, 2020 at St. Brigid's Hall in Lexington. This will be for our LABBB alumni only.
For our current LABBB athletes, LABBB has been invited to join both Bedford High and Lexington High on their Unified Basketball Programs. Each team will play other local towns (Newton North, Newton South, Melrose, Westwood and each other) after school through the month of November. There will be a Jamboree at the end of the season. 

Bedford High Unified Team
Lexington High Unified Team

As always please follow on Twitter @LABBBREC

2019-2020 Recreation Brochure! 
Woodland Guest House Updates
Dear LABBB Community,

The LABBB-TILL Woodland Guest house has been up and running! We are excited to hear all the wonderful feedback from parents who have sent their son or daughter for an overnight weekend! It is a busy weekend from Friday evening beginning at 5:00 until Sunday evening at 5:00pm!

If you are interested in getting more information about this or signing up for a weekend  click here and it will take you the LABBB website to sign up through TILL. 



A LABBB Podcast

In Part 2 of this series I talk about three topics related to planning for the future. 1. "The Master Spreadsheet," I created for my sister which has all of her important information. 2. Group home discussion: "The next 10 Years." 3. Get feedback and learn from the real experts. These are the parents and guardians of an adult with special needs who graduated 5, 10, 15 20...years ago. What would they have done differently that they can share with you now? Will their experiences change the course you are taking in the present

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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LABBB Health Office