Abilis is hosting an informational seminar titled “Navigating the Special Needs Journey” on Saturday, May 12, 2018 9am – 1pm at the UCONN Stamford Campus, GEN RE Auditorium, located at One University Place in Stamford, CT.

This free seminar is designed to aid parents, caregivers, and professionals of special needs children to help prepare for and successfully navigate key transitions from birth into adulthood. The seminar includes workshops on the special education process, behavioral techniques, available community resources, employment and residential opportunities, and legal and financial planning across all disabilities. Workshop tracks will address younger vs. older children topics.

Keynote Speaker Susan Senator will share stories of parents of children with autism and her own personal journey. Michael Beloff, Financial Advisor at Barnum Financial Group will provide legal and financial insights to help families prepare for the future of their special needs child.

This seminar is open to the public. Registration is required.

Please register online


8:30am – 9am
UCONN Stamford Campus, GEN RE Auditorium
One University Place, Stamford, CT

9am – 10am
Presenter: Dennis Perry, CEO/President Abilis

Keynote Speaker: Journey into autism adulthood: insights and creative strategies
Presenter: Susan Senator, Author

10am – 10:15am
Light Refreshments Served

10:15am – 11:45am:  
Workshop Track 1 – Younger Families
Navigating and Advocating: Special Education 101
Abilis Presenters: Karen Feder, (M.S. CCC/SLP) Director of Therapeutic Services and Monica Schlessinger Smyth

This workshop is designed to teach parents how to best advocate for your child as they enter or transition through the Special Education system.  This overview will give a basic understanding of the process, rights, laws and terminology in special education to help guide you through this journey.

Fostering positive behaviors to enhance socialization across family, friends and community
Abilis Presenters: Gina Gasparrini, M.Ed,BCBA and Meaghan Nagurney, M.Ed,BCBA

All parents struggle with behavioral challenges from their child such as refusal or tantrums. Luckily, there are many ways you can help your child more easily cope with these challenges before they happen. Come learn specific, proactive strategies that encourage behaviors of a happy and well-regulated child.

10:15am – 11:45am
Workshop Track 2 – Older Families
Abilis Presenters: Amy Montimurro, LMSW, Director of Life Services and Luis Velazquez, Senior Director of Day Supports

A major concern for families of a person with a disability is how the person they care for will be supported in the future when they are no longer able to provide the love, support and care themselves.

Join us in a discussion of preparing individuals and families for Residential, Employment Opportunities, Activities and Community Involvement for the future. There is no “one size fits all” as each person will have their own hopes, dreams and wishes but we can help them create a plan that aims towards fulfilling lives.   

11:45am – noon

Noon – 12:45pm
Legal & Financial Planning For Your Child’s Future:  10 Basic Steps for Special Needs Caregivers and Government Benefits
This workshop will discuss 10 basic steps to help caregivers get started in preparing for the financial future of their dependent with special needs. As a caregiver of a dependent with special needs the single most important issue on your mind, regardless of the age of the dependent, is what will happen to my dependent after I’m gone. There are some needs that will always be present and they must be carefully considered and planned for appropriately.  

We will address topics that include critical issues such as:
•    Applying for government benefits for Social Security and Medicaid
•    Creating a Special Needs Trusts
•    The importance of a Will and considering a Letter of Intent

Taking these 10 basic steps now can help insure the type of care and quality of life for a loved one’s well-being today and tomorrow.

12:45pm – 1pm
Wrap Up

Please register online