Parent Special Education Programs

All these opportunities are FREE unless noted.  
In most cases you must register if registration information is provided.
When other events become available they will be posted at:
Prepare Ahead — DMV Connect Comes to The Arc of Northern Virginia
Fri. Mar. 13, 9 am-2 pm, The Arc of Nova, 2755 Hartland Ave. #200 Falls Church
Plan now to get your documents in order to use DMV Connect to apply for drivers’ licenses; ID cards and other documents for adults, children, and veterans.
Information:  Allie Shelby at 703-208-1119 ext. 101
I Can Bike After-School Program
Various weeks in March-May at some middle schools in Fairfax County
This program uses adapted bicycles, a special instructional program, and trained staff for weeklong trainings for children with disabilities.
Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST)
Mar. 4 & 5, 8:30 am-4:30 pm, McLean Govt. Ctr. 1437 Balls Hill Rd. McLean
ASIST teaches participants to recognize when someone may have thoughts of suicide and how to help them create a plan to support their immediate safety.
Mental Health 101:  Navigating Mental Health Services for Your Child or Adolescent
Thu. Mar. 5, 7-9 pm, Ross Center 1595 Spring Hill Rd. Vienna
Learn about assessment and treatment options for therapy, how to choose a therapist or psychiatrist, and when to consider medication or testing.
Special Education: Understanding the Process 
Fri. Mar. 6, 10 am-noon, Parent Resource Ctr. 2334 Gallows Rd. # 1, Dunn Loring
Find out about special education, how children qualify for it, and the roles of various individuals in developing special education plans.
Register:  or 703-204-3941
Achieving Independence Through Technology — With Webinar Option
Fri. Mar. 6, 10 am-noon, The Arc of Nova, 2755 Hartland Ave. #200 Falls Church
Learn about applications that allow people with disabilities to work and travel more independently, including TravelMate and EmployMate.
Fairfax County Teen Job Fairs and Resume Building Workshops
All four Saturdays in March at various FCPS High Schools
Teens can find out about after-school, seasonal, and full time jobs as well as volunteer and internship opportunities with local businesses.  
Become a Public Speaking Pro! — For Parents and Students
Sat. Mar. 7, 1:30-2:30 pm, StudyPro, 6849 Old Dominion Dr. #200, McLean
Learn what it takes to become an effective public speaker in an academic or work environment and also in daily life. Fun tips and practice included.
REVIVE Trainings
Tue. Mar. 10, 11:30 am-1:00 pm, Merrifield Ctr. 8221 Willow Oaks Corp. Dr. Fairfax
Wed. Mar. 15, 3:00-4:30 pm, A New Beginning Gym, 4213 Walney Rd. Chantilly
Learn what to do  in an overdose situation, how to administer naloxone, and what to do afterwards.  Supplies are provided for use when needed.
Language, Routines, Rewards, and Consequences to Support Your Child with ADHD at Home
Tue. Mar. 10, 7:00-8:30 pm, Flint Hill Sch. 3320 Jermantown Rd. Oakton
Learn language and strategies you can use at home to create positive structures that support your school-age children even during homework time.
The ABCs of Applying to College: Timeline, Tips and other Tidbits
Tue. Mar. 10, 7:00-8:30 pm, Sycamore Sch. 4600 North Fairfax Dr. #300 Arlington
Learn about the steps involved in applying to college, what needs to be done when, and how best to do it.  For students and parents.
Managing Stress in Children
Wed. Mar. 11, 7:00-8:30 pm, Auburn Sch. 3800 Concorde Pkwy. #500, Chantilly
Learn about the signs and symptoms of stress in children and how to avoid stressful conditions for your child. 
The Good News About Bad Behavior
Thu. Mar. 12, 12:45-1:15 pm, StudyPro, 6849 Old Dominion Dr. #200, McLean
Learn why kids are having difficulty with self-control, and both why and how to give up control so that they can learn to control themselves.
Supported Decision Making in Education and Vocational Rehabilitation — with Webinar and Recorded Options 
Thu. Mar. 12, noon–1 pm, The Arc of Nova, 2755 Hartland Ave. #200 Falls Church
Learn how to put supported decision making into action at all levels of schooling, as well as in pursuing employment supports. 
DMV Connect Comes to The Arc of Northern Virginia
Fri. Mar. 13, 9 am-2 pm, The Arc of Nova, 2755 Hartland Ave. #200, Falls Church
Get your documents in order to use DMV Connect to apply for drivers’ licenses; ID cards and other documents for adults, children, and veterans.
Information:  Allie Shelby at 703-208-1119 ext. 101
The ADA:  A Recap in Plain Language — with Webinar & Recorded Options
Mon. Mar. 16, noon–1 pm, The Arc of Nova, 2755 Hartland Ave. #200 Falls Church
Learn how the Americans with Disabilities Act offers protections for people with developmental disabilities.  Clear, simple language and pictures will be used.
Planning Ahead for Transitions:  PreK – ES – MS – HS – Beyond!
Mon. Mar. 16. 7-9 pm, Robinson SS Recital Hall, Fairfax
Following a short Special Ed PTA meeting, learn from fellow parents on how to prepare now for your child’s transition to a new grade or school next year.
Drugs, Alcohol, and Vaping, What Every Parent Needs to Know
Fri. Mar. 20, 10 am-noon, Parent Resource Ctr. 2334 Gallows Rd. # 1, Dunn Loring
Learn about trends in substance use, how students are impacted, paraphernalia to watch for, and how to talk with your kids.
Register:  or 703-204-3941
Screening:  It’s Real: College Students and Mental Health
Sun. Mar. 22, 4:00-5:30 pm, 4010 University Drive #104  Fairfax, VA
Learn about  mental health issues experienced by students, and how these can be managed with specific treatments and interventions.  Know when to seek help.
Launching Your Adolescent into Adulthood
Fri. Mar. 27, 10 am-noon, Parent Resource Ctr. 2334 Gallows Rd. #1, Dunn Loring
Gain tips to launch your young adult successfully into adulthood and strategies to teach your child “soft” employment, and communication/self-advocacy skills.
Register:  or 703-204-3941
Plan Ahead — Organization for Autism Research 2020 Scholarship Program
Applications due by May 4
Apply for $3,000 scholarships for students across the autism spectrum for pursuing undergraduate education or vocation-technical training.
Save the Date — FCPS Special Education Conference
Sat. Apr. 18,   Hayfield SS 7630 Telegraph Rd. Alexandria
This large conference for parents and teachers will also include a student strand for youth ages 14-22.
Support Groups
All these support groups are open to newcomers, and they are free, except where noted.  No diagnosis is required to participate.  Participants are typically given the opportunity to share their story, experience support, and glean guidance (as desired) from group members regarding both community and school resources.  Confidentiality is respected.
Support Groups for Youth
Youth and Young Adults: Stronger Together
Alternate Tuesdays, Oct. 1 through May 2020,  6:30-8:00 pm in Fairfax City.  This peer support group is for youth ages 14 – 22.   Parents, caregivers, and guardians meet elsewhere at the same time, and both groups are facilitated by professionals.  Light dinner included.  Register:
People First for Young Adults
2nd Tue. monthly, 6:30 – 8:30 pm  The Arc , 2755 Hartland Rd Suite 200, Falls Church.  Youth with disabilities age 14-26 practice public speaking skills, plan social outings, learn from guests on topics of life skills and advocacy, and do projects to enhance social skills.  Information:  Call Diane Monnig  at 703-208-1119 x 118.
Heads Up and Talk It Out Teen and Parent Recovery Groups
These are concurrent drop-in groups for teens (ages 14-17) and their parents every Thursday 6:00-7:30 pm at the Merrifield Center.
Support Groups for Parents
Alpha Moms  This support group for adoptive parents meets monthly in McLean.  Contact:
Autism Dads meets one evening monthly in Falls Church.  Contact:  George Buzby at 571-419-1257 or
CHADD: Children & Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Alexandria CHADD Parent Support Group  4th Mon. of each month at 6:30 pm.  Contact:  Jenny  or call 703-472-4678.
  • Burke CHADD Support Group for Parents, Caregivers and Family Members Last Thursday of the month at 7:00 pm.  Contact Kim Griffin:
  • West Fairfax CHADD Evening Parent Support Group  3rd Thur. of each month at 7:30 pm Contact:  Sharon  or 703-716-4646.
  • West Fairfax CHADD Morning Parent Support Group  1st Tues. of each month at 10:30 am Contact:  Sharon  or 703-716-4646.
CSB Family Support Group at Gatlan Center  2nd and 4th Wed. of each month 6-8 pm in Alexandria Contact: or call 703-799-2882.
D.A.D.S.  Dads Appreciating Down Syndrome 3rd Tue. each month, 7-9 pm in Alexandria.  Contact:  George or call 703- 545-6089.
Fairfax Juvenile Court Parent Support Group for problems including runaway behavior, truancy, alcohol/drug abuse, and serious behavioral problems at home, at school, or in the community. 7:30 pm every Tues. Room 201.1 Fairfax County Courthouse – call 703-246-2495.
Kinship Caregivers Support Group  2nd & 4th Thur. monthly, 6:30-8:00 pm, South County Gov. Ctr. Rm. 220, 8350 Richmond Hgwy, Alexandria.   Free dinner and resources. Register 1 week ahead: or 703-246-4653
Kinship Café  – meets monthly on the 2nd Wed. in Fairfax.  Free dinner.  Activities for children and discussion for adults.  Register 1 week ahead  by calling 703-246-4653 or online at
NAMI:  National Alliance on Mental Illness builds better lives for affected families.  Arlington Parent Support Group meets two Sundays a month at 7:00-8:30 pm.  Contact:  Naomi 703-862-9588
Northern Virginia Tourette Support Group meets the 2nd Sunday of each month at noon at the Chantilly Public Library.  Contact:
OCD Family Support Group 1st Monday of each month 7:30 pm. Contact: or call 202-215-5859
Parents of Autistic Children (POAC) meeting times and location posted at:    
Parents of Autistic Teens meets the 2nd Sat. of each month in Oakton.  Contact:  Maria Dubuc 703-970-3676 or