Parents of students with special educational needs may want to join Fairfax County’s Special Education PTA (SEPTA). They provide a lot of great materials and events. We share some of those resources here as well.

Check out the FCPS Parent Resource Center YouTube for the videos

Parent Information Relating to Special Education

All these opportunities are FREE unless noted.  

In most cases you must register if registration information is provided.

When other events are announced they will be posted with these at:

Plan Ahead —Virginia DMV Comes to The Arc of NOVA

Mon. Oct. 3, 9:30 am-3:30 pm, 2755 Hartland Rd. #200, Falls Church

Make an appointment to transact DMV business at our office.  Bring original documents.

Email:  Ask for DMV Connect appt. 

Plan Ahead — Parent Child Journey for Parents of Challenging Teens and Young Adults

Wednesdays Oct.12 to Dec. 21, 8-9 pm    $50-$350

Includes video course with > 10 hours of content in 3-5 min. videos 

This course helps parents to identify the source of their child’s challenging behavior and learn what to do about it.


Plan Ahead — Broad Futures Internship Program

Nov. 15  Application Deadline for Summer 2023

This is a post-secondary, paid internship program for neurodiverse students who plan on college.  $$ scholarships available.


Plan Ahead— Wrightslaw Education Law and Advocacy Conference          Simultaneous interpretation in ASL

Wed. & Thu. Nov. 16 &17,  with Q&A on Mon. Nov. 21   

Learn about special education law, rights, tests and measurements, SMART IEPs, and advocacy.    $165-$210 


Planifique con anticipación — Wrightslaw  conferencia sobre derecho y defensa de la educación — Interpretación simultánea al español    $165-$210 

Mier. y juev. 16 & 17 de noviembre

Aprenda sobre la ley de educación especial, los derechos, las pruebas y medidas, los IEP SMART y la defensa. 


REVIVE! Training 

Multiple dates & times

Be prepared for an overdose! Learn how to administer naloxone, and what to do afterwards.  Get supplies.


Sensory-Friendly Hours at the U.S. Botanic Garden 

Sun. Oct. 2, 5:30-7:00 pm, 245 First St. Wash. DC

Families with students with cognitive or sensory disabilities may come to explore the exhibits and for sensory-friendly activities. 

Register:  email  with your family name and the number of individuals that will be visiting

DMV Connect

Mon. Oct. 3, 9:30 am-3:30 pm, 2756 Heartland Rd #200, Falls Church

Make an appointment to transact DMV business at the the Arc of NOVA.  Documents must be originals.

Register:  email:  Ask for DMV appt. 

Navigating Social Security and Department of Social Services Benefits

Tue. Oct. 4, 11 am

Learn how to apply for disability benefits, who’s eligible for the  benefits, and how to work while maintaining benefit eligibility.


Why Is Time So Slippery? Understanding Time Blindness in People with ADHD

Tue. Oct. 4, 1 pm, with replay link

Learn how ADHD impacts the way individuals see time, plus strategies to manage time more effectively.


Family Engagement:  Your Voice Matters

Tue. Oct. 4, 6-7 pm

Learn the importance of ensuring that your family’s voice is heard in collaborations with schools.


Transition Lunch & Learn

Wed. Oct. 5, noon-1:30 pm

Plan for the transition to adult services by learning about supports for employment, transportation, recreation, and day services.  


Youth Mental Health First Aid — Course for Adults

Wed. & Thu. Oct. 5 & 6, 1:00-4:30 pm,  $25

Learn the risk factors and warning signs of mental health challenges in youth, their potential impact, and how to respond.


Special Education:  Anatomy of an IEP

Wed. Oct. 5, 6:30-8:00 pm

Learn about the individual parts of an IEP, and how they are used to develop a customized education plan.


Healthy Relationships Plus  for high school students
7 Thu. Oct. 6-Nov. 17, 6:00-7:30 pm, 3740 Old Lee Hwy. Fairfax

Young adult facilitators lead enthusiastic discussions on peer pressure, media literacy, and healthy and unhealthy relationships.


Dads:  Stop The Power Struggles & Get The Respect You Want

Thu. Oct. 6, 6:30-8:00 pm

Learn strategies to stop common power struggles, get your kids to listen to you, stop their disrespect, and handle chaos at home.


Social Emotional Learning Screener:  What Every Family Needs to Know

Fri. Oct. 7, 10:00-11:30 am

Social and emotional abilitiess lead to success in school and beyond. Learn more about SEL in FCPS, the role of the Screener, and SEL at home.


Estate Planning and Legal Authority

Fri. Oct. 7, 10:00-11:30 am

Legal authority refers to who may act on your behalf. Learn how to secure your financial future and that of your child.


Practice Police and First Responder Interactions 

Sat. Oct. 8, 2-5 pm Kenmore MS 200 S. Carlin Spr. Rd. Arlington

Drivers or passengers with a disability can practice interacting with police or first responders.  BYO vehicle.

Transition University  Self-Paced 5 Session Course 

Mon. Oct. 10 to Tue. Nov. 29,  7.5 hours of material

Parents of K-12 students with disabilities can gain helpful information for long term educational planning.


Preventing Abuse for Kids with Disabilities

Tue. Oct. 11, 3:30-4:30 pm 

Explore practical strategies to prevent abuse and foster healthy relationships for all children, especially those with disabilities. 


Family Engagement:  ABCs of Collaboration

Tue. Oct. 11, 6-7 pm

Learn the importance of ensuring that all stakeholder’s voices are heard in collaborations with schools.


Effective Collaborating:  Parent, Teacher, Student

Tue. Oct. 11, 7:30-9:00 pm

For both parents and teachers, this session will focus on how to provide the information that the other needs to benefit the child.    


Collaboration:  Building Successful Home and School Support Teams

Wed. Oct. 12, 10:00-11:30 am OR 7:00-8:30 pm

This event is part of the monthly ABA Parent Training.


Planning for Transitions:  Between Grades and Out of School

Wed. Oct. 12, 1 pm

Learn the steps that parents can take both in and apart from IEP meetings to improve transition experiences for their children. 


Anatomy of an IEP

Wed. Oct. 12, 6-8 pm

Explore the sequence and contents of the sections of an Individualized  Educational Plan, so that you can participate fully in shaping it.


A Healthy Mind and Body:  The Modern Interplay of Psychotropic Medications, Medical Foods, and Physical Wellness

Wed. Oct. 12, 7:00-8:30 pm

Gain an overview of how using medical foods, supplements, a healthy lifestyle, and diet can augment children’s standard mental health care.


Stop Banging Your Head Against the Wall:  Options for Dispute Resolution in Special Education

Wed. Oct. 12, 7-8 pm

We will examine the rights of foster, adoptive, and kinship caregivers regarding dispute resolution, various options, and pros and cons of each. 


Getting Ready to Launch:  Setting up Middle and High School Students for Success and Independence

Thu. Oct. 13, 1pm, with replay link

Learn strategies to support teens with ADHD as they make transitions while their executive functions are under developed.


Promoting Digital Wellness

Fri. Oct. 14, 10:00-11:30 am

Understand how the online world makes technology irresistible, and how to  build the skills kids need to safely navigate life online.


Loudoun Job Fair for People with Disabilities

Sat. Oct. 15, 10 am-1 pm, 24950 Riding Center Dr. South Riding

Consider full-time, part-time and seasonal positions, attend educational workshops, and explore programs and resources from providers.


ADHD Resource Fair

Sat. Oct. 15, 9:00 am-12:30 pm, Vienna CC, 120 Cherry St. SE, Vienna

Meet businesses and organizations, and learn how their services can support you or a family member with ADHD.


Family Engagement:  Strengthening Trust in Partnerships

Tue. Oct. 18, 6-7 pm

Learn the importance of ensuring that all stakeholder’s voices are heard in collaborations with schools.


Understanding Your Options:  Diagnosis and Treatment for ADHD

Tue. Oct. 18, 7:30-9:00 pm

Learn about ADHD diagnosis, treatments proven to be beneficial, and how to choose the right clinician for medication management.


REVIVE! Training — in Spanish

¡REANIMAR! Capacitación

Miér. 19 de octobre, 11 am-12 pm

Aprenda qué hacer en una situación de sobredosis, cómo administrar naloxona y qué hacer después. Se pueden proporcionar suministros.


Transition Lunch & Learn

Wed. Oct. 19. noon-1:30 pm

Plan for the transition to adult services by learning about the supportive decision making process.


When ADHD Triggers Emotional Outbursts:  Scripts for Your Flashpoints

Wed. Oct. 19, 1 pm

Learn how to identify triggers and develop awareness and language tools to intervene with flooding, rejection sensitivity, and frustration.


Measurable IEP Goals

Wed. Oct. 19, 6:30-8:00 pm

Learn how to participate in developing IEP goals that will effectively guide instruction to help your child.


Developing Social & Emotional Skills:  A Proven Route to Success

Wed. Oct. 19, 7:30-8:45 pm  $10

Parents can help children develop skills to manage feelings and control their behavior, through everyday routines and family interactions.


The Power of the Parent in Conflict and Bullying

Thu. Oct. 20, 1:00-2:30, with extended access;  Code:  CONFLICT

Learn how bullying relationships form, effective solutions to end bullying, and how to handle youth conflict with school staff.


More Than Sad:  Parent Education

Sun. Nov. 21, 4-6 pm, 

This program teaches caring adults about depression, demystifies treatment, and encourages those in need to seek help.


Self-Employment and Benefits

Tue. Oct. 25, 2:00-2:45 pm

Learn about SSI and SSDI benefits as well as how to help those who receive disability benefits to reduce their reliance on them.


It’s Complicated: When ADHD comes with Anxiety

Tue. Oct, 25, 7:30-9:00 pm

Explore the interplay between ADHD and an anxiety disorder, and gain strategies to more effectively manage symptoms.


ADHD Is a Whole-Life, Whole Body Experience

Wed. Oct. 26, 1 pm, with replay link

Increase your understanding of how ADHD affects all areas of the body and how accepting (not rejecting) ADHD can yield positive effects.


Managing Stress  — in Spanish

Manejar los momentos estresantes de la vida  

Miér. 28 de oct.10 am

Hablaremos sobre el estrés, qué es, cómo afecta a los adultos, y cómo afecta al rendimiento escolar de los niños.


Ongoing and On Demand

Gun Violence Prevention Resources

Back-to-School ADHD Master Class — Self-Guided Course

This 10-part multimedia course has modules on accommodations, executive functions, behavior challenges,  learning differences, etc.


Advanced Training in Collaborative & Proactive Solutions   

Participants will learn how to use the ALSUP assessment and how to solve problems collaboratively.   $149


The Arc@School Advocacy Curriculum    $99 for 6 months

Build your special education knowledge, know the law, and learn to advocate for the services your child needs.  Scholarship:


Fairfax County’s Pre-Notification 9-1-1 Program 

Enroll now in this new public safety program for individuals with disabilities. 

Details & Registration: 

Dyslexia & the IEP: How to Make Sure the IEP Is in Tip-Top Shape

Webinar, available 24/7


Accommodations for Recreational Classes and Camps with Fairfax County Parks

Accommodations include physical accessibility, ASL interpreters, assistive devices, sensitivity training for classmates, and staff training.

To request accommodations, email or 703 324-8563

Scholarships for Classes with Fairfax County Parks

Children of families that receive public assistance (medicaid, free school lunch, SNAP, TANF) are eligible to take one set of classes per quarter for a $15 registration fee.


NAMI Basics

This 6-session course is for adults who provide care for youth (ages 22 and younger) who are experiencing mental health symptoms (including ADHD and ASD).


Wrightslaw Special Education Law and Advocacy Training

Learn about special education law, rights and responsibilities; tests to measure progress and regression; SMART IEPs; and strategies for effective advocacy.

Info:   $50-$90

Get Ready for College:  A Resource for Teens with Disabilities

Online, Self-Paced 8 Class Course from VCU

This course for high school students with disabilities focuses on preparation for college, selection of a college for best fit, and the disability services process.


Access to Success — Online Self-Paced 8-class Course for Students with Disabilities

High school and college students can learn about their disability rights and how to obtain accommodations in college. Use the mp3 files for audio.


The Parent Playbook — 9 Module Online Course on Autism

From the VCU Autism Center for Excellence & Virginia Autism Council. An introduction on Autism Spectrum Disorder for families, including tips for caregivers, characteristics, interventions and recommended programs and services.


Ongoing Community Support Groups for Youth & Parents

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 to be respected.

Support Groups for Youth

ASNV Autism Social Group for high school students and young adults meets on the 1st Saturday monthly noon-1 pm.  Contact Nicci Dowd at Join meeting at; Meeting ID: 872 0468 1036; Passcode: 276691

ASNV Teen Time for youth, age 13-19 with ASD, meets virtually Saturdays, 11 am to noon.  Contact: Meeting:; Meeting ID: 946 600 1682; One tap mobile at (301) 715-8592

Escape Room Book Club (with hybrid-media) for neurodiverse teens, ages 12-18, to connect with their peers, meets monthly on the 4th Thu. At 4:30 pm at Brambleton Library, Brambleton.  Contact: for current books 571-258-3998

Heads Up and Talk It Out — Teen and Parent Recovery Groups

These are concurrent virtual groups for teens (ages 14-17) who are working through emotional, mental health or substance use challenges and their parents every Thursday 6-7 pm.  Info:

People First for Young Adults is a social and self-advocacy group for youth with disabilities ages 14-26.  It meets monthly on the 2nd Tuesday, 6:30-8:00 pm.  Contact:  email

S.L.A.M. (Share, Learn, Aspire, Mentor) for ages 16-24, meets the 3rd Thursday monthly, 6-8 pm.  Contact:  Melvin

Youth MOVE, for ages 14-29, meets the 2nd & 4th Thursday monthly at 6:30 pm. This facilitated group is for teens with mental health concerns.  Register:

Youth Empowerment Transition Council, for youth with disabilities ages 14-22, meets on the 2nd Monday of the month to advise PEATC and build advocacy and leadership skills.  Contact:

Support Groups for Parents

AAC Parent Group meets occasionally on Saturdays.  Contact:  Amanda or 703-941-7757 ext. 316

African American Culturally Focused Virtual Parent Café meets Thursdays, 6:00-7:30 pm.  Register at least 24 hours in advance by email or 703-324-7720 

Alpha Moms  This support group for adoptive parents meets monthly in McLean.  Contact:

Arlington Epilepsy Support Group, a list-serve, can be accessed at

Autism Dads meets one evening monthly.  Contact:  George Buzby at 571-419-1257 or

Autism Society of NoVA Parents and Caregivers meets on the 2nd Thursday of the month, 6-7 pm via Zoom. Meeting ID: 946 600 1682; One tap mobile (301) 715-8592

Business Networking Event for Special Needs Parents

Alternate Fridays, April 24 and following, 9:00-10:30 am Via Zoom.  Connect with fellow special needs parents and business owners, build your referral network, and share best practices.  Contact: 

Cafés Virtuales Para Padres:  Miércoles de 7:00-8:30 pm.  Regístrese con al menos 24 horas de anticipación: o 703-324-7720 

CHADD: Children & Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

  • Alexandria CHADD Parent Support Group  4th Mon. of each month at 6:30 pm.  Contact:  Susan,  or call 303-903-9972.
  • West Fairfax/Burke CHADD Parent Support Group  1st & 3rd Thur. of each month at 8:00 pm Contact:  Cathy,  

CSB Family Support Group at Gatlan Center  2nd and 4th Wed. of each month 6:00-7:30 pm via Zoom Contact: or call 703-799-2882.

D.A.D.S.  Dads Appreciating Down Syndrome 3rd Tue. each month, 7-9 pm via Zoom.  Contact:  George or call 703- 545-6089.

Dr. Dan’s Support Group for Parents Raising Challenging Children meets via Zoom on Mondays, 1-2 pm, Register:

Fairfax Juvenile Court Parent Support for problems including runaway behavior, truancy, alcohol/drug abuse, and serious behavioral problems at home, at school, or in the community. Sign up for a phone consultation at

Family F.I.R.S.T. Fridays Autism Support Group meets on the 1st Friday monthly, noon-12:45 at Gum Spring Library 24600 Millstream Dr. Stone Ridge

Family Recovery & Support Group meets weekly via Zoom on Mondays 6:30-7:30 pm for family and friends of those receiving CSB services for addictions.  Contact:

Formed Families Together consists of monthly peer support groups for adoptive, kinship, and foster caregivers and parents. Virtual support group meets the 1st Sunday evening monthly. In-Person support group meets the 3rd Wednesday evening monthly. Register:

Foster the Family Support Group for foster and adoptive moms meets the 3rd Monday of each month, 6:30-8:00 pm in Falls Church. Childcare is provided. Register:

Grupo de Chat para Padres:  Unete mediante la aplicación de WhatsApp y podras mantenerte al tanto de todo lo que PEATC Latino esta haciendo. Entra al GRUPO:   (Chat Group for Latino Parents: Join through the WhatsApp application and you will be able to keep up to date with everything that PEATC Latino is doing.)

Grupo de educación y apoyo a padres en española se reúne el cuarto sábado de cada mes, de 10 a 11 am en Zoom en ID de reunión: 946 600 1682

Hablemos education especial es un grupo de discusión de padres de habla hispana y de un estudiante autista. Se reúnen virtualmente el primer miércoles de cada mes de 7:00-7:45 pm  Registrarse:

Heads Up and Talk It Out — Teen and Parent Recovery Groups

These are concurrent virtual groups for teens (ages 14-17) who are working through emotional, mental health or substance use challenges and their parents every Thursday 6-7 pm.  Info:

Kinship Café meets online 6:30-8:00 pm the 2nd Wednesday of the month for those raising the children of relatives and friends. To attend, call 703-324-7720 or email 

Let’s Talk Transitions meets monthly on the 4th Wednesday at 7 pm to discuss their autistic teen’s post-high school plans.


Military Families Support Group meets the 1st Tuesday monthly at 7-8 pm for military families of all disabled dependents.  Access: OR Email for details

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:  Michelle Best

NAMI Family Support Group meets on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays on Zoom for parents of children living with mental health challenges including ADHD, ASD, etc. 

NAMI Parent & Caregiver Support Group meets on the 4th Thursday monthly. Email or call 804-285-1749 

NOVA Adopt Friends Parent Peer Support Group for adoptive parents meets on the 3rd Thursdays monthly 6:00-7:30 pm. Zoom:  

OCD Family Support Group meets the 1st Mon. of each month, 7:30 pm.  Contact:   or  call 202-215-5859

Parent Café (for all Fairfax County parents and guardians) meets via Zoom in English on Mon., 7:45-9:15 pm, and en español, miércoles, 7:00-8:30 pm.  Register at least 24 hours in advance by email or 703-324-7720

Parents in a Pandemic is for families of children or young adults with developmental and/or behavioral challenges.  They meet twice monthly, 5:30-6:30 pm on Wednesdays.  Register:

Parents of Autistic Children (POAC-NOVA) Parent Support Group meets on Saturdays occasionally.  Contact:  Brianne Russel-Morris .

Parents of Autistic Teens meets some Sat. of each month.  Contact:  Maria Dubuc 703-970-3676 or

People of the Global Majority is a discussion group for BIPOC parents of children with autism.  They meet virtually on the 1st Monday monthly at 7:00-7:45 pm.  Register:

REACH Parent Support Group meets monthly to support parents of individuals with developmental disabilities who also have mental health or behavioral issues.  Contact:  Dr. Pourmand 

Small Steps Together is a discussion group for parents of preschool and elementary children with autism.  They meet virtually on the 4th Monday monthly at 7:00-7:45 pm.  Register:

Virginia Family Network Book Club for parents and caregivers of children living with mental health challenges meets on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays at 7 pm. Contact Nicole Anjum at .

Virginia Family Network Parent Meetup is on the 1st and 3rd Fridays at 8 pm for parents/caregivers of children with mental health challenges. Contact Nicole Anjum at .