Westchester Independent Living Center

Putnam Independent Living Services

December 2022

Happy Holidays From WILC & PILS

It’s that time of year again when your life is full of to-do lists, and your inbox is full of sales, advertising, and discount codes. Fortunately, this is not one of those newsletters! Instead, we are here to wish you great love and peace this holiday season. The following content is shared with the intent of bringing you joy, and we look forward to helping you again in 2023! 

John McFall Becomes First Parastronaut

History has been made; John McFall has recently become the first person living with a disability to take on the role of an astronaut. His appointment has also sparked conversations within NASA about the creation of assistive technology. To learn more, visit https://www.nytimes.com/2022/11/24/world/europe/uk-disabled-astronaut-esa.html

Photo credit: Associated Press

Advocate’s Corner - Three Holiday Tips for Parents of Children with Special Needs

1) Take stock - the holidays are a good time to take stock and see if your child’s IEP is working. Take a look at his/her schoolwork and make a copy of anything that can be used as evidence of progress or lack thereof, read through the progress reports and make sure your child is on track to meet his/her targets, talk to your child about how the services and accommodations are working.

2) Document regression for ESY eligibility - if your child’s teacher has a formal way of documenting regression, some testing should take place in the week before the holidays start. Your child will then be tested again, after the holidays to see how much regression has occurred. It’s worth asking about this. You can also document regression at home by making a note of any behavioral challenges that arise when your child returns to school. How much longer does it take for him/her to get back into a routine, for example?

3) Be in the moment - the holidays are fraught with over-excitement and expectation but when your child is older he/she will forget most of those longed for gifts, what they will remember is the rituals and, most importantly, how you made them feel. So, if you can, take some time each day to sit down and talk to them about their favorite hobbies, or cook together, or craft something or watch that beloved movie yet again. None of this stuff has to be picture postcard perfect, it’s being in the moment that matters.

Upcoming Webinars

Family Empowerment Advocacy Series 

Parents & family members are invited to join us for this FREE IN-DEPTH TRAINING to learn about your child’s rights, the special education process, and how to effectively advocate for your child and other children.


Topics include Advocacy Skills, Advocate Q&A session, AIS & 504s, Banging your Head Against a Brick Wall, Educational Records Binder, Evaluations, IEP Case Studies, NYS Rules & Regulations, your choice of Transition workshop, Understanding the CSE Process & and much, much more 



Renee Falanga-Brenner, Resource Center for Accessible Living 

Alison Morris, Esq., Cuddy Law Firm PLLC 

Jennifer O'Neill, Taconic Resources for Independence, inc.  

Sandi Rosenbaum, Littman Krooks LLP 

Diane Troeller, My Independent Living Inc 

Marion Walsh, Esq., Littman Krooks LLP  

Denise Green, Parent Training Information Coordinator 

Fiona Rattray, Parent Training & Information Specialist 


January 11, 2023 

January 18, 2023 

January 25, 2023 

February 1, 2023 

February 8, 2023 

February 15, 2023 


Each week you can attend either:  

Morning session 9:30am-12:30pm 


Evening session 6:00pm-9:00pm 

Click HERE to register. 

If you have difficulty registering, please email dgreen@putnamils.org  

or call (845) 228-7457.

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Westchester Independent Living Center

10 County Center Road 2nd floor

White Plains, NY 10607

(914) 682-3926 (Voice)

(914) 259-8036 (VP)

(914) 682-8518 (FAX)


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Putnam Independent Living Services

1441 Route 22, Suite 204

(Tompkins Mahopac Bank building)

Brewster, New York 10509

(845) 228-7457 (Voice)

(914) 259-8036 (VP)

(845) 228-7460 (Fax)