September 2017  

          A LABBB Collaborative  Newsletter

    Sharing best practices for promoting inclusive opportunities       for  students with special needs 
In This Issue
Message from the Executive Director
Patric Barbieri
The 2017 Tribal Reunion
Our student and family connections will go beyond 22 and the relationships you build now are contributing and building your future community. The value of this investment cannot be stressed enough. Think Community! 

We talk about our community, we talk about our tribe, but where and when does it really exist? Everyone has different resources and if you want to keep your child connected, there are many opportunities and many resources. 

On September 22, you have the opportunity to observe and experience everything we speak about regarding community. Our annual reunion dance attracts hundreds of LABBB graduates as far back as the late 80's. Why do the they come every year? The graduates obviously feel connected to our community. We also keep in touch with many parents who tell us how their son or daughter looks forward to this reunion every year. LABBB graduates who live together in group homes all come to this event together. Our students are social beings who crave connections. It is what feeds their spirit and has the most influence on their future happiness. 

When we speak of transition, independence, building lifelong social connections, meaningful work, the opportunities to talk with our graduates at the reunion and learn about what they are doing in their lives is the highlight. This is not a conceptual discussion that we are having at an IEP meeting, this is reality, these are the real outcomes. What communities are they living in? Where are they working? What do they do for social/recreation? These are the most important questions to ask. Our reunion dance is just one more connection they have in their lives. 

From age 3-22, we give our students as much training as we possibly can to be prepared for life after LABBB. When you talk with a student at the LABBB reunion and they tell you that they are living on their own, they have a job, and they still keep in touch with their friends, this is the ultimate goal, this is the outcome we hope for. 

Unfortunately, this is not always what you hear from many of our students, so our work is never done, our community needs to grow to get more students connected. We need to continue to find was expand these connections. 

You will see and notice the work LABBB is doing to grow our community. We believe in LABBB for Life and we want to be a resource for you long after graduation. We have some new and exciting ideas and initiatives we are exploring to keep the LABBB community connected. We are building this resource for you and your child, come and participate and get connected.

To a successful 2017-2018 school year!

T he LABBB Annual Reunion dance is right around the corner. Every year we get approximately 250 LABBB graduates who attend this event. All current LABBB students are also welcome to attend.
Clinical Corner - Transitions Are Tricky
By: Kaitlin Taylor, BCBA Department Head
The beginning of the school year is often a signal that big changes and transitions are occurring. Teachers, classmates, before and after school routines, or entire school placements may change as your student moves from elementary to middle to high school and beyond. During this time of transition, students may have trouble transitioning smoothly. It is important for parents and school staff to support them during these tricky times by presenting tools and practicing the use of those tools throughout the school year. If your student is having a tricky time transitioning try using one or a few of the strategies below:
  • Make a schedule
    • This can be broken down as a morning and evening schedule, a whole day schedule, a weekly schedule, or a monthly schedule. Use visuals and keep it simple if you can!
  • Preview the day
    • Take a few minutes at the beginning of the day to talk to your student about what they are doing that day. Maybe you have a doctor's appointment or a visit with a friend planned for after school. Make sure they know what to expect!
  • Review the day
    • Take a few minutes after school or before bedtime to talk the day. Ask them about three things they liked and three things they could work on tomorrow.
  • Communicate with your school team
    • Keep school staff up to date on changes in your home life. Maybe you have a new babysitter starting or your student just started horseback riding lessons. The more information is shared between home and school the more we can all do to best help your student.
  • Balance less preferred activities with higher preferred activities
  • Remember to have fun!
For more information about how transitions may effect your student based on their diagnosis check out the Why Do Kids Have Trouble with Transitions by
The Power of Giving!
By: Kristin Spinosa, Transition Department Head
While visiting our Community Site at Harvard University earlier this week, I was hit with an overwhelming feeling of the importance of 'giving.' Not 'giving' a present when attending a birthday party, or 'giving' a housewarming gift when arriving at a friend's new home, but 'giving' to people in need - whenever you can, however you can.
Our students have the opportunity to participate in a Supported Employment experience within the Recycling and Waste Services Department at Harvard University. They work extremely hard sorting through clothes, shoes, furniture, etc. - all items that could potentially go to waste, as they're left in dorm rooms throughout the school year. Our students help transform the Harvard warehouse (seen in the picture) into an organized dream! They give these items a new purpose.
The Recycling and Waste Services Department at Harvard University 'gives' a large portion of the items described above to people in need, whenever they can, however they can. And our students get to help the amazing cause!
Don't hesitate to 'give!'
2017-2018 LABBB Recreation Brochure
Hot off the presses! The 2017-2018 LABBB Recreation Brochure is here! LABBB Recreation Brochures will be sent in the mail by the end of next week. 

Click on the image below to view the digital version of the brochure and sign up for LABBB recreational events!

LABBB WCVB Eye Opener 
During the summer, LABBB classrooms attending our Paulapalooza Event at Lexington High School, shot a quick video for the WCVB eye opener. This video is posted on the WCVB website. 

Click on the image below to view the video.

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

Recreation Updates

The LABBB Recreation Department would like to thank Todd Paris for working with us to create three sessions of  Lucky Punch Boxing at LABBB. We started out with one session and found it so popular that we added two more sessions. The third session just concluded at the end of April. We are bringing Todd back in September for another ten week session. 

LABBB Reunion Dance, September 22, 2017.  Look for invitations to come out in August. 

Tuesday and Thursday Bowling groups have started again along with Wednesday Recreation.
We have 2 new collaborations, one with Waypoint Adventures and one with TILL:
  • Waypoint Adventures took LABBB students Rock Climbing and will be doing a kayaking trip in June with more rock climbing groups in October. 
  • We also have a joint trip with TILL, as we travel to Ireland together in June. 
Stay tuned for more updates.

LABBB Podcast: The Reality and Brutally Honest Truth About Special Needs Planning

In episode #7 we are joined by Assistive Technology Specialist Rachel Kuberry. We have known and worked with Rachel for many years in LABBB. Tune in to listen to Rachel talk about her approach to assistive technology for students with special needs. Rachel adds a fresh perspective on AT and gives us some insight into how she collaborates with students, parents and teachers. Rachel has a unique style of communication to talk about the brutally honest truth about AT. She brings a blend of personal experience, humor, research and data which makes conversation with Rachel fun and engaging. We have met many professionals who have built a rapport with Rachel and everyone has been inspired by her knowledge and passion of AT. In the end, these professionals have been more successful at 'implementation' which is the ultimate goal of using assistive technology tools.
Save the Date: 2017 LABBB Best Buddies Craft Fair

Parent Resources
  • LABBB School Cancellation Policy: 
    All LABBB programs follow the school cancellations in their respective towns.
Recreation Links  

(FNFC) Friday Night Fun Club, Bedford, Ann Seamans: or 781-275-8381
(MMArc) Minute Man Arc Afternoon Recreation Afternoon Recreation & Friday Nights (16+yrs), Darcie Heller: or C:978-201-2481/W: 978-287-7936 

(TILL) Toward Independent Living & Learning Travel:  Springboard Club, Dedham, high independence, Dale Belcher: or 781-302-4619 (RARA) Recreational Adult Resource Association, Lowell Contact: or 978-453-5598 
Riverside Community Care: DDS Family Support Center, Woburn Kaley Stoner: or 781-686-6073  Lifelinks - DDS Family Support Center, Chelmsford, Rachel Ward Sullivan: or 978-349-3040  *verify current + open to public 

Greater Marlborough Programs Inc - Social & Recreation (DDS Family Support), Marlborough Jim Karami: or 508-485-4227 ext. 1006 
Echo Enrichment, Burlington, Mary Ann Perreira, or 781-640-9351 
Trips R Us, Framingham, Mike Graham: or 508-405-0999 

Alternative Leisure (ALCS), Bedford, Drew Bilillies: or 781-275-0023 
Music Makes Me Happy Chorus, Lexington, Marsha Martin: 
Concord Recreation, Anna Wood: awood@concordma.

Sudbury Therapeutic Recreation, Amber Forbes: or 978-639-3257 

Belmont (SPORT) Special Programs Heidi Barbiero:  or 617-993-2760 

(SNAP) Special Needs Arts Program Chorus & Art, Lexington Contact: or 781-325-8025

(GWArc) Greater Waltham Arc Recreation/Plus: Mike Mullins: or 781-899-1344 x4120  Newton Therapeutic Recreation w/ Newton Athletes Unlimited, NewtonMark Kelly: or 617-796-1527 
Kids in Disability Sports (K.I.D.S.), Lowell, Info: or 866-712-7799 
Access Sport America, Acton, BettyMiller:
Burlington Therapeutic Recreation, Burlington, Laurel Rossiter:, 781-270-1937

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