September 2018

          A LABBB Collaborative        Newsletter

   Sharing best practices for promoting inclusive opportunities         for  students with special needs 
LABBB Reunion Dance 2018
Burlington Marriott
In This Issue
Message from the Executive Director
Patric Barbieri
"The Futu re 
     is The Beginning"

How are you all doing?!

Your son or daughter has started a new school year. For some parents and students this is their last year, for others this is their first year. Some things have changed and some things are the same. Doesn't this happen every year as we experience a new future? 

We want our kids to be safe, we want them to reach their full potential, we want them to be independent, and we want them to have friends. We facilitate, we advocate, and we fight for the best outcomes for our children. 

We solve problems together, we work as a team, we plan for the future, we have expectations, we have fears and goals.

Every day, every year, we enter the future, a future that has been on our minds for 1...2...3 or maybe 10 years. The big number, "22", looms above our heads, but what does this really mean? For many parents they believe they have reached the end of something and they are exiting the safe zone; for others, it is the beginning of a new future they have been preparing for and are ready to experience. 

Nothing "happens" when your child turns 22. You are just faced with a new beginning, you reached the future and beginning a new journey in unfamiliar territory. For many parents, I believe that they are resisting the future and taking it on independently. I can completely understand this. I feel the same way with my sister, but it doesn't have to be this way. 

What I realize is that my job is to constantly find opportunities, create opportunities, and connect with people that are part of my community. 

For example, my sister couldn't get into an art class in her community because it was full. I can complain or find a solution. My solution...create an art class with LABBB Alumni. Sure, I can do this because I have a way to find resources, but anyone could do this, I have seen it. 

In 1986, when there wasn't a camp for students with special needs in Lexington, my mother started one with a group of parents. They built the future. Why not, someone has to. I can't tell you how many students that I know who attended and benefited from this camp. 

Be part of building the future, do not wait for it to come to you. Find a network of parents to start talking about a group home or recreational activities post 22. If something doesn't exist, I would love to help you build it. 

Everything we do benefits the LABBB community and builds a better future for our children. As you will see in the articles below, our students are part of a community, they are connected. We can do more with the opportunity we are given. 

LABBB Alumni Stay Connected: Reunion Dance 2018!
Over 200 LABBB graduates attend our reunion dance every year! On Friday, September 15, we held our reunion dance at the Burlington Marriott. Watch the video and you will see why LABBB has such a vibrant community beyond age 22! It's all about staying connected.  

2018 LABBB Reunion Dance
The LABBB Transition Department
By: Stephen Goodwin
The LABBB Transition Department would like to welcome everyone back for the 2018-2019 school year.  My name is Stephen Goodwin, and I am the new LABBB Transition Coordinator.  I recently started in this role after taking over for the sublime Kristin Dailey who relocated to California this past summer.  This is my fifth year back at LABBB after having been a Principal for 13 years in Carlisle, Winchester and Wellesley.  I very much look forward to working with my LABBB Transition Department colleagues and the LABBB families to help our students have a wonderful school year.  
As we start the school year, we would like to thank our twenty five plus community partners that provide a myriad vocational opportunities for our LABBB High School students.  We could not accomplish LABBB's mission (i.e., "We design and deliver special education services that provide academic, social and career independence in the most inclusive settings possible.") without their support. 
I am pleased to announce that LABBB has recently begun two new community partnerships with the Massachusetts State Archives and Harvard University.  At the Massachusetts State Archives, located near the John F. Kennedy Presidential Museum at Columbia Point, our LABBB students will be digitizing numerous state records that have only previously been paper based.  At the same time, the students working at the State Archives will be using the MBTA bus and subway system to get to/from this site thus concurrently gaining valuable travel training skills.  Huge (!!) thanks to former LABBB parent Veronica Martzhal who collaborated with us to get this site established!  
Secondly, as some may know, LABBB has had a long standing vocational training opportunity at Harvard University as part of their campus wide recycling efforts.  We still continue to work at Harvard Recycling and are now beginning a new relationship with the Harvard Information Technology (IT) Department.  Our students will be performing the following functions as part of their Harvard IT experience:  receiving and sorting a variety of materials to be used by the department; packaging HDMI cables in bundles that are then installed around the campus; and preparing wireless routers for campus use.  
Finally, the LABBB Transition Counselors and their respective caseloads for the 2018-2019 school are as follows:  
Tim Callahan - LABBB Burlington High School (Mr. Dooks's classroom); LABBB Lexington High School (Mr. Bernard and Ms. Doherty's classrooms)
Tori Dennis - LABBB Arlington High School (all classrooms), LABBB Lexington High School (Mr. Allen's classroom) 
Alicia Hertz - LABBB Bedford High School (all classrooms); LABBB Lexington High School (Ms. Eggers's classroom)
Theresa Leblanc - LABBB Belmont High School (Mr. Procko's classroom); LABBB Lexington High Schools (Ms. Cronin/Ms. Dickson's classroom)
Amanda O'Leary - LABBB Lexington High School (Mr. Asklund; Ms. Farley; Ms. Langone/Mr. Goguen's classrooms). 
Brian Walsh - LABBB Burlington High School (Ms. Chaisson/Ms. Niman's classroom); LABBB Career Directions at Minuteman High School (Mr. Jackson's classroom).  
If you have transition and/or vocational questions that arise during the 2018-2019 school year, don't hesitate to contact your child's respective Transition Counselor and/or me.  
Again, I wish you all a wonderful 2018-2019 school year.  
Clinical Corner: Reviewing and Revising Routines
By Kaitlin Taylor, M.S., BCBA, LABA
The beginning of the school year often comes with the need to review and/or revise old routines. Teachers, classmates, before and after school routines, or entire school placements may have changed over the summer months.

This time of transition is a great time to go over your old routines and see what needs to be tweaked.
Maybe you need to reestablish a bedtime routine to make sure everyone gets enough rest and wakes up on time for school. Perhaps your school starts earlier this year, or you are starting to buy lunch at school instead of bring lunch from home. Make sure to add "check the lunch calendar" in the place you would usually put "pack your lunch" to your daily visual schedule.
If your family is having a tricky time transitioning into the new school year, try using one or a few of the strategies below:
  • Make a schedule
  • Preview the day
  • Review the day
  • Communicate with your school team
  • Balance less preferred activities with higher preferred activities
LABBB Annual Craft Fair
Saturday, December 1

LABBB Alumni Crafts Class
Starting Saturday, October 13
Our mission is to keep the LABBB alumni connected. We will be bringing more Alumni activities to our community. Stay tuned!

Recreation News and Events
By:  Paula Rizzo, Integration and Recreation Coordinator
Recreation Updates:

Welcome back to an exciting 2018/2019 school year and the LABBB Recreation Activities.

A lot is going on in the LABBB Recreation Department.  We have new programs and some tried and true programs.  Over 40 students signed up for Tuesday and Thursday bowling classes, for example.  Most of our programs are busting with student participation.  We do have a few openings in our Around Town Dining, Playbill evenings, and Monday Movie Nights.

In addition to recreation activities at LABBB, we often receive information regarding recreational activities that are going on in other communities.  Check out the LABBB website for links to these opportunities.

Our Best Buddies and PALS programs have been meeting to organize match parties in order to get the groups up and running.  Lexington High will be the first match party on September 20th, others will quickly follow. 

We'd like to thank parents for getting the sign ups in by the due dates.  It makes the organizational process easier and faster by allowing us to get student lists made, checks cashed and emails out to parents prior to the start of each activity. 

Up Coming Event

Spin Class: Fun Event for LABBB families and Staff 18 and over
Location: Cycle 3, Burlington 
Date: TBD November

We are looking forward to a great year. If you have any LABBB Recreation or Adapted Physical Education questions please feel free to email


A LABBB Podcast

Special Olympics is celebrating its 50th year (1968-2018) and we had the opportunity to interview Mary Beth McMahon, President and CEO of the Special Olympics Massachusetts. We discuss the past, present, and future of the Special Olympics and how this organization is continuing to grow and evolve. LABBB has been involved with the Special Olympics since the late 1970's and we have a long history of bringing the games to our student athletes in collaboration with the Best Buddies organization. Paula Rizzo, LABBB Recreation and Integration Coordinator, joins us for this episode and she talks about her involvement with Special Olympics since she was in high school as a student leader. We were on location at Special Olympics Headquarters in Marlborough, MA for this episode, so tune in and learn more about the future of Special Olympics. Please visit the Special Olympics website for more information:

More Episodes:

Student Recreation Sports, Music & Art Resources

Recreation Links
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