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NOVEMBER 2010

baystateparent Massachusetts’ Premier Magazine For Families

VERY SPECIAL FAMILIES THAT: • BUILD AUTISTIC KINGDOMS • COACH ORGANIZED SPORTS • PARENT WITH A DISABILITY

Shore Bets ON KEEPING THEM WARM AND STYLIN’ THIS WINTER

LET’S ROLL TO MASSACHUSETTS’ MOST SCENIC WINERY

Voted Best Parenting Publication in North America 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2008


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Isn’t it time to send your child to Cornerstone Academy? Where there’s no waiting to learn. Educating all learners in grades K-6 • Small classes, individual attention. • Strong academic foundation complemented by art, spanish, music and physical fitness. • A faculty trained to adapt the curriculum to all levels of learning

Open House • November 7th 1 to 4 p.m. www.cornerstoneacademy.org ,DOUHDG\NQRZ KRZWRGRWKLV ,ҋOOMXVWKDYHWRVLW KHUHDQGZDLWIRU HYHU\RQHHOVH

After school activities include tutoring, enrichment programs, knitting club & chess club

5 Oak Avenue • Northboro, MA 01532 508 351-9976 BAYSTATEPARENT 3


Online schooling from America’s leader: K12 K12 makes learning come alive— and stick—through a rich mix of online interactive content, textbooks, hands-on activities, and expert teachers. It’s so effective, we get a 95% satisfaction rating from parents. Our options: · Full-time, tuition-free online public schools in over half the states and D.C. · An accredited online private school available in all states and around the world · 210+ courses available by direct purchase—including AP®, world languages, and electives K12 is the leader in online education for grades K–12, with over 2 million courses delivered. Find out why the parents of hundreds of thousands of children have chosen K12. Visit us at K12.com.

Are you looking for another school option? Get to know this full-time, tuition-free online public school option Massachusetts Virtual Academy at Greenfield gives Massachusetts students in grades K–8 from across the state (and students in grades 9–12 who reside near Greenfield School District) a chance to learn in the ways that are right for them without having to attend a school facility. A tuition-free online public school of the Greenfield School District, and the first diploma-granting virtual school in Massachusetts, Massachusetts Virtual Academy at Greenfield offers: . . . . . . .

An alternative approach for students in need of a different education option Massachusetts-licensed teachers An individualized approach to learning An innovative and effective curriculum developed by K12 An active and unique school community An opportunity for parents to be directly involved in their children’s education A virtual, “hybrid” instructional model in the Greenfield area*

*The hybrid model provides students who reside within driving distance of Greenfield the ability to participate in a blend of online and face-to-face, site-based instruction.

K12.com m WE’RE STILL ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS! For complete enrollment information and a listing of upcoming events, visit K12.COM/MA or call 866.467.0846.

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Charles River School Small School. Big Difference.

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Children thrive in an educational environment with:

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Open House Sunday, November 14 ~ 2-4 pm Program: 2:15 2:30 2:45

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Welcome, Head of School Tours begin (continue all day) Curriculum Presentations - optional Reading & Writing Science Mathematics Thematic Education

For directions go to www.charlesriverschool.org Contact Admissions Director Mimi Earley ~ 508-785-8213

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BAYSTATEPARENT 5


Auburn Mall Santa Arrival and Celebration Friday, November 12 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

Greendale Mall Meet Buzz Light Year and Watch Toy Story Movie! Saturday, November 13 Noon - 3 pm Big Lots! Court

Solomon Pond Mall Santa Arrival and Celebration Saturday, November 13 9:30 am - 11 am

Accepting enrollment for children 2.9-5 years Open 8:30 to 3:30

©2009 Nintendo

2 days is $90/week, 3 days is 120/week and 5 days is $175/week

Visit our multi-sensory room! • This room will provide an outlet for children to explore their environments with all of their senses.

AUBURN MALL

Exit 9 off I-290 or Exit 10 off I-90. Shopping Line® 508.832.6000.

GREENDALE MALL

Exit 19 off 2-90/1-90 Shopping Line® 508.856.9400

SOLOMON POND MALL

Exit 25B off I-495 or I-290 in Marlborough. Shopping Line® 508.303.6255.

6 NOVEMBER2010

• It will allow their bodies the opportunity to experience multifaceted activities that will encourage body in space and spatial awareness. • By providing a safe and respectful outlet for sensory processing we help create an atmosphere of acceptance and overall developmental support. 222 Turnpike Road, Intersection of Rt. 9 and 135, Westborough, MA

508-366-0300 • www.positivelypreschool.com


our special guest Mirabela Wells,age 12, Arlington captured by Allison Cottrill Photography, Carlisle www.allisoncottrillphotography.com Mirabelaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s clothing provided by Kgirl, Wellesley kenziekids.com

12

Hair and Makeup by Toni & GuyÂŽ Hairdressing Academy, Worcester www.toniguy.com

table

the of the home

WESTPORT RIVERS

26

Westport Rivers Vineyard and Winery in Southeastern Massachusetts is the place to be the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Their annual Holiday Open House features hayrides, animals, cookie decorating, a tree lighting and caroling.

44

SHORE BETS

bsp goes coastal! Six young beachgoers joined us on the North Shore, bundling up in a wave of winter fashions. Meet our princes and princesses of tides and see how to keep your children warm and stylinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; this season.

AUTISTIC KINGDOM

In â&#x20AC;&#x153;Creatures of Comfort,â&#x20AC;? meet Jon Weintraub and his mother, Linda, who dream of a big future for their one-of-a-kind animal creations. Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve built an Autistic Kingdom filled with art, stories and creations that they hope will inspire other families living with autism.

NOVEMBER 2010 â&#x20AC;˘ VOLUME 15 â&#x20AC;˘ NUMBER 7

in every issue 8

WELCOME

9

GUESTBOOK

10

JUNKDRAWERS

12

FINALLY, FOREVER: Are Any of Our Children, Biological or Adopted, Really Our Own?

13

NOVEMBERâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S CHILD

13

CIRCLE OF FRIENDS ADOPTION EVENTS

16 24

OH, THE PLACES YOUâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;LL GO: Calendar of Events

27

TAKE GOOD CARE: Sugar Substitutes: Shifty or Safe?

36 61

FAMILY MUSIC AND THEATRE

LETS ROLL: Westport Vineyard and Winery UNDER MY ROOF: Lice

very special families 38 ON MY PLATE: Outing Howie 40 WHEN AUTISM ISNâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;T INVITED: Playdates and Birthday Parties with the Special Needs Child

42 MOMS ROCK: Tanya Bernard of Framingham

44

CREATURES OF COMFORT: Autistic Kingdom

46 WHOâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S COACHING OUR KIDS: Leo Rotman of the Special Olympics, Sudbury

52 BE THERE FOR THEM 56 WHEN MOMMY OR DADDY HAS SPECIAL NEEDS

Voted Best Parenting Publication in North America 2004, 2006, 2007, and 2008

Moms Rock, On My Plate and Who's Coaching our Kids will be featured in our Very Special Families section this month.

something special 14 ANN-MADE SODA TAB JEWELRY

30

SHORE BETS: Winter Fashions

58 WHEN RALPH MASIELLO COMES TO SCHOOL 68 CAPTURED: Sleepyheads

advertising directories 28 64 65 70

OPEN HOUSE LISTINGS BULLETIN BOARD PARTY PLANNER ADVERTISING INDEX

sneak peek DECEMBER JANUARY

THE HOLIDAYS THE HOME

FT<PZT:XSbB\X[T Our warm and kid-friendly office and reception rooms are designed to be welcoming, fun and special for the whole family. Pediatric Dentistry

Orthodontics

Bruce Stuart Fieldman, D.M.D., P.C. and Associates

Reema Dhingra, D.M.D.

&Drilless Dentistry

& Orthodontics for children and adults

for the fearful & special needs child

(Moms and $ADSWEARBRACESTOO

&We also provide Hospital Dentistry

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e m o c l e W My girls asked why the triplets at the park had two dads. So, of course, I explained how every family is unique, that some children live with grandparents. Some live with one mom, and some even have two dads. “But how did they get here?” they persisted, “You know, without a mom?” That was easy to answer: adoption. But then came the comment I didn’t expect. “But they don’t look adopted.” Great question. What does adoption look like to a child (or even to an adult)?

So we had one of those conversations that I think made a difference, a conversation that made me feel good. I think of that conversation this month as our November cover model, Mirabela, is one of the faces of adoption. Could you tell? How would you? She tells us that this Thanksgiving she’s grateful for her home and loving family but can’t help but think of all the waiting children who still need a home. There are approximately 3,000 children living in Massachusetts foster care who are available for adoption. Two hundred of them will have happy endings on Friday, November 19th, where hundreds of children, parents, judges, lawyers, adoption professionals and child advocates will celebrate National Adoption Day in six courthouses across the state. In addition to baystateparent’s regular look at adoption, we focus on other very special families this month, families who face the unique challenges of parenting children with special needs. We also met with three parents, each with personal disabilities, to understand more about what it means for families when mom or dad has the special need. Like adoption, the face of special needs isn’t always visible. The mother who just can’t get it together is really suffering from severe dyslexia (page 40). The child throwing a fit at the birthday party (page 34)? It’s autism acting up, not really the child. Our November issue resonated with our advertisers who share dozens and dozens of resources and support with Massachusetts parents in this issue.

We are heartened that many of you may find something new and helpful in our special needs’ advertising pages. We also took some time to play this month at Good Harbor Beach in Gloucester. Sound chilly? It was, but our six Massachusetts beachgoers were snug by the sea, modeling fur, fleece and more winter fashions (page 26). Have you been to Gloucester recently? We discovered an eclectic mix of shops and restaurants (beyond fish and chips and souvenir shops) and can’t wait to go back. Finally, in honor of Veteran’s Day, baystateparent salutes military families sacrificing family time this Thanksgiving as their loved ones are deployed. Just like the faces of adoption and special needs that we can’t always see, you never know who walks around us with a heavy heart. She’s the woman standing next to you in the grocery line. He’s the guy at preschool pickup. To all of you, thank you for our family’s freedom and safety. For this, there is no greater Thanksgiving. Warmly, Carrie Wattu, editor To learn more about National Adoption Day in Massachusetts, or more about completing your family through adoption, contact the Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange, MARE, at mareinc.org.

Meet Our Cover Model

promotions JENNIFER ANTKOWIAK 508-269-1728 jemsa2@charter.net

graphic designer STEPHANIE RENAUD 508-865-7070 srenaud@holdenlandmark.com

sales & business development manager STEPHANIE PEARL 774-364-0296 stephaniep@baystateparent.com account executive STACI LaTURNO 774-364-5073 stacil@baystateparent.com account executive EMILY RETTIG 774-364-4178 emilyr@baystateparent.com

ING COM ON SO

ays Holid • The Home 0 .707 • The .865 Rates 508 Call ising dvert A r o F

account executive JORDAN FOWLER 508-423-3749 jordanf@baystateparent.com contributing writers AMY BENOIT CHRISTINE F. DELLA MONACA JULIA DERKOVITZ LYNN JOLICOEUR JIM KEOGH

TRISH RESKE LAURA RICHARDS AMANDA ROBERGE KATE SCARLATA ANDREA VIJ

photographers ALLIE COTTRILL STEVEN KING Illustrators HANNAH GREGUS LIZ BELL

508-865-7070

baystateparent Inc. is published monthly with a main office at 117 Elm Street, Millbury, 01527 508-865-7070 Fax 508-865-7979 It is distributed free of charge throughout Massachusetts. www.baystateparent.com • info@baystateparent.com

4. The story behind my name: I am from Romania and was named Elena Mirabela after my birth mother (Her name was Elena too). When I was adopted, my mom and dad named me Courtney Maelina Mirabela Wells because they loved the named Mirabela too, so they kept this as part of my name. Mirabela means 'beautiful Mary.'

Distribution Agency: Insight Distribution Management 978-728-7785/603-661-8370 • Insightdm@yahoo.com

14 Parenting Publications of America Awards, 2009 4 New England Press Association Awards, 2009

'hi' to all of my friends at home, at school, at church and all around the world.

www.baystateparent.com 8 NOVEMBER2010

creative director PAULA MONETTE ETHIER 508-865-7070 baystateparent@holdenlandmark.com

www.baystateparent.com campguide.baystateparent.com www.massfieldtrips.com

a family. Some children don't have food, water, clothes or a home.

5. More about me: I love Justin Bieber! I hope to meet him one day. I am a very outgoing person. I love candy! I go to church and have really great friends there. I want to say

editor CARRIE WATTU 413-265-1202 editor@baystateparent.com

117 Elm St., Millbury, MA 01527

allison cottrill

3. November is National Adoption Month, and adoption means "happiness" to me. I think it's cool that my brother and I were adopted. I think it's important that people adopt because it shows you care about somebody. There are a lot of children that still need a home and

publisher GARETH CHARTER 508-749-3166 x153 gcharter@holdenlandmark.com

baystatestateparent

of Arlington, age 12

2. My Thanksgiving break will hopefully include modeling some more and hanging with friends.

baystateparent

presidents KIRK and LAURIE DAVIS

Mirabela Wells 1. Thanksgiving is for being thankful that I'm here, that I have good friends, that I have a good family. We usually get together at our home and eat turkey, sweet potatoes, salad and lots more.

Massachusetts’ Premier Magazine For Families

6 Suburban Newspapers of America Awards, 2009 Including 1st Place in Community Service Voted Best Parenting Publication in North America 2004, 2006, 2007 & 2008 Suburban Newspapers of America


GUESTBOOK Editorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Note: Thanks for letting us know Jocelyn. If you have a great idea for our monthly daytrip column, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Roll,â&#x20AC;? please e-mail editor@baystateparent. com.

WINNERS! baysateparent giveaways are announced at baystateparent.com under â&#x20AC;&#x153;giveawaysâ&#x20AC;? as well as on our Facebook page (Join our page today by searching â&#x20AC;&#x153;baystateparent Magazine.â&#x20AC;? Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re a friendly and resourceful group of 1,350 parents and growing strong).

A rounded education. A grounded experience.

iParty Honorable Mention The breast cancer stories [Oct. 2010 issue] were amazing. I had a double mastectomy two years ago because I am BRCA2+. I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to wait to get breast cancer, so I am trying to prevent it. My mom is a breast cancer survivor and to see other women that strong and fight for their families is amazing. Carrie Guyan, Millbury

Special thanks to Jennifer Rose Hewes of Jennifer Rose Photography, Chicopee, for sharing a great iParty find with bsp: iParty has a pirate ship cake pan that my daughters plan on using to make a Mayflower replica for our Thanksgiving feast. The pan we found has a skull on it, but we plan on improvising and putting Pilgrim figurines over it!

Michelle Jones of Grafton finds theatre-themed products at iParty to make family movie night extra special (see page 67).

I love reading all of your articles especially about your cover models. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m curious how you go about finding your cover models. My 12-year-old daughter is interested. Thanks! AnnMarie Triber, Douglas

Leslie Diamandis, Medway Helen Tourigny, Webster

Editorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Note: We receive a lot of inquires regarding our covers, which is a great testament to our awardwinning photographers as well as our creative director. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re flattered that you like them! Our covers are very competitive, but we recommend reading bsp every month to stay abreast of modeling opportunities (we did a cover contest with Portrait Simple this fall. The winner will be announced soon). Also acquaint yourself with the photographers featured in our magazine as well as local modeling agencies, keeping in mind that personality and disposition are two of the most important factors. We really like the travel/day trip ideas from readers. Even though my kids are well past the stroller stage, we visited the places on the [Boston] stroller walk [July 2010 issue] and really enjoyed it. Jocelyn Polk, Hudson

110 Shore Drive Worcester, MA 01605 508.853.2640 www.bancroftschool.org

iParty $75 Gift Card Winner

Thanks so much for including the allergy-friendly Web site for restaurants in the area [allergyeats.com] -very useful. Sarah Kosiavelon, Tewksbury

Bancroft students in Lower School explore the world in a safe, exciting, and nurturing environment. They retain their curiosity and expressive nature as they learn by imagining, questioning, and creating.

Beauty and the Beast DVD

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LOWER, MIDDLE, & UPPER SCHOOLS

King Richardâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Faire Family Four-Packs Natasha N. Bracken, Bellingham Judy Proteau, Marlborough Melinda Ellis, Northbridge Swee Ng, Shrewsbury



Mt. Wachusett KidsFest Angela Busker, Blackstone Pamela Audette, Groton Nancy Rotatori, North Grafton M. Kronenberg, Westborough

 

 

 





Thoughts on our November issue? Ideas for our 2011 editions? Email your comments and suggestions to editor@baystateparent.com. All letters will be edited for clarity and length. Please include your full name and town for publication.

             

      

Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not just supervision...

Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s SUPER-vision! At Gymboree, instructors are involved, motivated, committed and qualified to work with your children.

Gymboree: Instructors parents want Come see why weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re the global leader in classes for kids.

www.gymboreeclasses.com

 Visit our UPDATED Westboro location 76 Otis Street (Rt 9 Eastbound), Westboro 508-366-1495 BAYSTATEPARENT 9


A LITTLE OF THIS, A LITTLE OF THAT

LICE Happens Your very own Lice Auntie can help Wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t it be nice to have your very own lice fairy come to your house, wave her magic wand and just make it all go away? Julie Blumenthal of Newton and her team of â&#x20AC;&#x153;lice auntiesâ&#x20AC;? do just that in one visit. But what would inspire Julie, an artist and a MBA, to develop her own lice removal business? Several family infestations, thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what. It first started when Julieâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 6-year-old daughter was sent home from school with lice the day Julieâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s husband walked out of the hospital after breaking his neck in a bike accident. Her husband ended up recovering and of course, so did her daughter, but after her husbandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s broken neck, Julie couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t let something like lice send her over the edge. However, Julie does understand that lice infestations can be really stressful, but they can be overcome.

Julie launched Lice AuntiesÂŽ in 2008 and has been nitpicking ever since. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Believe it or not, we enjoy removing lice and eggs (nits) from your heads!â&#x20AC;? says Julie, â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are patient, calm, thorough, and like working with peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;especially kids." Julie learned her technique from one of the most famous nitpickers in New York, â&#x20AC;&#x153;a master nitpickerâ&#x20AC;? and spent a lot of time commuting to Brooklyn to get her lice and nit removal technique down. Sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s now added the FDA cleared LouseBusterâ&#x201E;˘ device to her practice, a carefully controlled heated air treatment process that kills all stages of lice and eggs and an intensive comb out that removes all stages of lice and their eggs. All treatments are chemical-free. Julieâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Lice Auntie colleagues are all moms with a lot of lice (and public school lice lady) experience. For more information, call 617-901-0620 or 617-448-8617 and visit liceaunties.com.

SHOUT Outs for SPECIAL NEEDS

Homemakers, Working Men and Women,

Leave the Housework to Us.

This monthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s baystateparent shines the light on parents and children who have special needs. We provide an amazing amount of resources through our advertisersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; ads in this issue. A few more noteworthy mentions for families dealing with autism and beyond include: HMEA, Inc. Franklin, offers training, events and comprehensive family support to over 2,400 autistic adults and children in more than 110 Massachusettsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; communities. For more information, visit HMEA.org. RelatetoAutism.com, a Cambridge-based Web site is dedicated to helping families and practitioners

W IFESAVERS -&564)&-1

Is your first grader making her own lunch? Is your 11-year-old doing the laundry? They can! And they can do it without pay or praise. Wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t you like to retire from being house servant all of the time? Based on her 25 years as a mother of four children, a parenting skills workshop leader for eight years and a journalist for five years, Susan Tordella of Ayer has written an easy-to-read book, Raising Able to teach us how to cultivate capable confident young people... through chores. Susan is passionate about involving the family in household tasks; one of her main goals is to prevent

   t    t     Wifesavers is a residential and commercial cleaning service you can trust, at rates you can easily afford. t#POEFEt'VMMZ*OTVSFE t4BUJTGBDUJPOHVBSBOUFFE t8FHJWFGSFFFTUJNBUFT

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there's so much more!). Comedy Night featuring James Dorsey and Company. Yes, every family needs a break. Why not laugh? The Central MA Special Education Collaborative invites you to their fundraiser at the Manor on Route 12 in West Boylston on Sunday, November 6, 7:30 p.m. For $25 advance tickets, e-mail jsivazlian@ cmsec.org ($35 at the door). Bring a new, unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots and be entered into the eveningâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s grand raffle.

ARE you RAISING Able?

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communicate with each other and keep track of the myriad things they need to care for a child with special needs. Support includes helping you keep a daily log of your childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s activities, sessions, medications, supplements, diet and more; generate reports on everything from the physical effects of changes in diet to progress in social development so you can more easily see what's working; bring your entire support team on board with home pages for each team member; build a secure online vault of your child's treatment and developmental history to bring new team members up to speed quickly (and

entitlement. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s impossible for a youngster to feel entitled when she or he scoops the dog poop, cleans toilets and takes out the trash,â&#x20AC;? says Susan. Plus she believes moms should have more time for themselves and time to enjoy their spouses and children without being constantly overburdened by chores and errands. To order your own copy of Raising Able (Black Eyed Susan Publications, 2010, $14.95) and/or to inquire about speaking engagements, visit raisingable. com. Readers note: Raising Able would make a good selection for your book club, and Susan may even attend!

JUST in Time for THANKSGIVING DINING Room CHAIR Covers â&#x20AC;&#x153;We brought the pumpkin pie, the turnips and ...the chair covers!â&#x20AC;? Two years ago, Newton mom Becky Rabson bought her first really beautiful dining set that fit well into her home just not so much with her two young boys. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I needed something to protect my chairs when my boys, who are extremely messy, joined us for a nice

meal together as a family,â&#x20AC;? says Becky. Clear vinyl covers that tie to the backs of chairs seemed to be her only option, which didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t look, fit or feel right. It took some time, but Becky created an attractive, waterproof, stain resistant, machine washable cover that you can easily put on and take off of upholstered dining room chairs.

Beckyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s SmartSeatÂŽ Chair Protector are made from soft-to-the-touch polyester knit fabric that is toxin-free and kid-friendly and can be used over and over again. She is now selling her product, just in time for holiday company, at smartseatdiningchaircovers.com.

Junkdrawers strives to highlight the products, people and places of Massachusetts. Have an idea? E-mail editor@baystateparent.com

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FINALLYFOREVER

ARE ANY OF OUR CHILDREN, BIOLOGICAL OR ADOPTED, REALLY OUR OWN? BY

andrea vij

I’m sure my new ophthalmologist didn’t mean anything by what she said. After all, she seemed nice enough, and genuinely supportive. We had been discussing the fact that I’d let a few things go lately—like taking my vitamins, drinking enough water, getting enough sleep, using my eye drops—and when I noticed her peering inquisitively at me from behind her clipboard, I felt the need to explain. “My husband and I adopted a little boy four months ago,” I said. “I guess I’ve been so focused on his well-being that I haven’t thought much about my own.” “Oh, that’s wonderful!” she said, smiling widely. “Congratulations— and I totally understand how overwhelming it must be.” A moment later she dimmed the lights for my exam and the questions began. Did we adopt in the US or somewhere else? How long did it take? Did we use an agency? How many times did we travel to Russia? Did we ask for a boy? Did we get to see pictures of him before we went? “I’m just curious, you know,” she said. “My husband and I want to have kids, and we might decide to adopt if we can’t have one of our own.” Now, the more zealous and politically correct adoption advocates might expect me to have confronted her on her choice of terminology. To refer to a biological child as “one of our own” implies that adopted children rightly belong to their birth parents instead of to the people who have made a lifelong, legally-binding commitment to them. It implies that adoptive parents are only borrowing their children, that adoption is somehow second-best, that an adopted child

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might be loved less. I had heard this unfortunate choice of words plenty of times before—from my own mother, in fact, and once from a family friend who, on hearing of our plans to adopt a Russian baby, gleefully said, “Our neighbors adopted two beautiful kids from Russia! Of course, they had one of their own first.” Still, I knew exactly what my ophthalmologist meant. To her, “one of our own” meant a child that might look like her or have her husband’s nose, a child that could huddle safely in her womb for nine months while she prepared the nursery, a child she could know viscerally from the moment its cells began to divide. I couldn’t blame her for feeling this way, because I had felt the same way when my husband and I started fertility treatment, long before we gave up on injections and blood tests and decided to adopt. And even though I had fully accepted the fact that I would never have a biological child, I remembered very clearly what it felt like to want one. So, even as I felt the sting of my doctor’s words, I chose not to pounce. “I’m really glad we adopted,” I said. “But you have to be ready for anything. It can get very stressful.” She nodded, smiled, and then asked me to lean forward and place my chin in the plastic cup for my glaucoma test. So much for my teachable moment. I had let the opportunity slip away without informing the good doctor that my son is very much my own, even if he didn’t come from my body. It’s easy, I suppose, to get caught up in words when reality is so much more complicated. The feelings surrounding adoption can be difficult to define, regardless of the circumstances. For

me, after coming to terms with failed fertility treatment and then getting excited about becoming an adoptive parent, it surprised me that once I had gotten to know my son, I fervently wished that I could have given birth to him. I still wish I could have had the honor of bringing such a beautiful creature into the world. Every now and then, when I notice the perfect roundness of his chin, or the tiny dimples on his shoulders, it eats me up inside that I can’t take any of the credit. Sure, he’s my own, but he didn’t actually come from my body. And part of me may never accept the idea that the child I love so deeply, the child I firmly believe was always meant to be my son, was first—if only fleetingly— another woman’s child. Maybe it’s selfishness on my part, or vanity, but either way, I find it difficult to take offense when someone like my mother or my wellmeaning ophthalmologist says the “wrong” thing, because I get where they’re coming from. Besides, their words have given me a chance to think about the degree to which our kids are ever fully our own, whether they’re adopted or not. A mother’s connection to her child is one of the strongest bonds ever known, but our kids are still separate people. We can’t control them or possess them, as much as we might want to. In this, I’m no different from any other mother. We all have to make peace with the fact that our children, regardless of how they came into our lives, can never really be our own. Andrea Vij is a freelance writer and blogger living in Waltham with her husband and son.


NOVEMBER’SCHILD Do you feel called to make a difference in the life of a child? Then charming, funny Veronica might be the child for you. She is an engaging, talkative girl of Hispanic descent who will be turning 11 in December and would love to have a family to help celebrate with her. Veronica loves to play dress up, do arts and crafts, color, play with dolls and watch SpongeBob. At the end of her day she is excited to talk about her day with the staff at her residential program. Although almost 11 years old, emotionally, Veronica is closer

to the 6-to-7-year-old level. She can become easily frustrated and, subsequently, cry and tantrum. The staff feels that talking through her frustration best helps Veronica to process it. She sometimes needs a little time alone before being ready to talk about it. Veronica lives at a residential school where she is in the fifth grade. She has an extensive IEP as she has mild global delays . She is slower to process things and needs extra time to understand concepts. She enjoys school and is well liked by the staff there. Veronica needs a family who can be a strong educational advocate. She will probably need some type of supportive structure during her life. Her case manager

feels that with a consistent, loving family Veronica could make great gains and reach her full potential. Due to her traumatic history, Veronica is in therapy and will need to be the only child in the home or the youngest in a home with much older children. Veronica thrives on one-on-one attention. A two parent family would be ideal to meet her needs. Veronica is legally free to be adopted and has two biological siblings with whom she would like to remain in contact. For more information on Veronica or general information about the adoption process, please contact Barbara Ford at the Department of Children and Families at 508-929-2143.

Veronica, Age 10

CIRCLEOFFRIENDS

Highlights of November’s Adoption-Related Events

FREE Korean Adoption Circle Playgroup

Thursdays, Nov. 4 & 18: For families who have adopted from Korea. Meets on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of each month from 10 a.m. to Noon at the Korean Presbyterian Church, 2 Main St., Hopkinton. Seasonal family outings, mom’s nights out, and book club. Contact Jill at jillfelicio@yahoo.com.

Baby Care for Pre-Adoptive First-Time Parents

Sat., Nov. 6: Adoption Community of New England, Inc. (ACONE), 45 Lyman St., #2, Westborough. 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. Learn all the basics of feeding, bathing, clothing and nurturing your new adopted child. Instruction includes hands-on practice with lifelike dolls. $75NM. 508-366-6812, AdoptionCommunityofNE.org.

FREE Adoption Information Meetings

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Thurs., Nov. 11: Wide Horizons For Children, MA Office, 38 Edge Hill Rd., Waltham. 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Explore the exciting and rewarding opportunity of building a family through adoption. Advance registration is required at whfc.org/onlinereg/ AdoptionInfo.htm or by contacting Jessica Ellison at 781-644-2353 or e-mailing jellison@whfc.org.

A Look at Adoption

Sat., Nov. 13: Adoption Community of New England, Inc. (ACONE), 45 Lyman Street, #2, Westborough. 2 – 5:30 p.m. This comprehensive seminar for pre-adoptive parents covers all of the beginning information you need to make educated decisions about adoption. Learn about the types of adoption available in the U.S. and around the world. $30NM. 508-366-6812, AdoptionCommunityofNE.org.

FREE Triad Support Group

Sat., Nov. 13: Adoption Community of New England, Inc. (ACONE), 45 Lyman Street, #2, Westborough. 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. Meet with other adult members of the adoption triad who are not in your immediate triad. Come share your experience and receive support as an adoptive parent, adopted person, birth parent or other family member. 508-366-6812, AdoptionCommunityofNE.org. Please submit December’s adoption-related events by Friday, November 5 at 6 p.m. at baystateparent.com (Click “Calendar”). baystateparent Magazine is the proud recipient of the 2009 Suburban Newspapers of America Community Service Award for our commitment to adoption issues every month.

g n i t r a t ry S Call Katie Desrochers at 508.373.9507, or email Katie.Desrochers@becker.edu. s nua For more information about Becker College’s Bachelor of Arts Degree e s Ja in Liberal Arts – Elementary Education Concentration leading to s initial teacher licensure, visit www.becker.edu. Cla in BAYSTATEPARENT 13


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Oh, Those Beautiful S BY

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carrie wattu

ave you noticed a wave of unique jewelry and accessories inspired by zippers, bottle caps and other recycled materials? Not only are they clever, but some are downright beautiful. baystateparent was especially drawn to jewelry we found popping up in stores all over New England, pieces made from the humble soda tab. Special education art teacher, Ann Skydell Harmon of Ann-Made Art, is the kind-hearted and talented entrepreneur behind the jewelry. While she’s Sunshine-State based now with her husband, Bob, and daughters, Lyndsay, 20, and Jessica, 22, as well as a team of six work-at-home women, you can find her jewelry online at annmadeart.com as well as at Massachusetts’ retailers (see end of article). Like Ann, you and your children can experiment with turning recycled items into jewelry (magazine beads, 14 NOVEMBER2010

gum wrapper necklaces, bottle cap pins, etc.), in time for holiday gift giving and beyond. As we focus on the season of Thanksgiving, being good to one another as well as stewards of the earth, this is a time to recycle and give from the heart (or buy from a company with a conscience).

About Ann-Made Soda Tab Jewelry The Tabs: Ann has opted to pay significantly more for the tabs in her pieces as she purchases them from a local non-profit, the Ronald McDonald House. “This way, as much as possible goes to the charities that we support,” says Ann. The Beads: “We find our beads and stones in many places,” says Ann, “Of course, we sometimes purchase them


Ann goes to the printers (a tip she learned from her late father) and uses the clean, unprinted newsprint from the endrolls of newspaper printers. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s free and environmentally friendly. Helping: Ann says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;If you have any old jewelry lying around, why not drop it off to your local thrift shop. Many artists scrounge these shops for inspiration and to find unusual items. Your forgotten pieces will find new uses, will benefit the charitable thrift shop and youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll have cleaned out your drawers.â&#x20AC;? Women and Careers: â&#x20AC;&#x153;You donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to choose a career for your entire life,â&#x20AC;?

says Ann, â&#x20AC;&#x153;You can do many things in your life and do them thoroughly and not just flit from one to another. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve done that and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve loved each thing as I am doing it. As a woman, you are not limited.â&#x20AC;? Final Thoughts: â&#x20AC;&#x153;A lot can be done in my small little corner of the world,â&#x20AC;? says Ann, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I am tired when I go to bed, but I am happy with who I am and what I am doing and how I treat people.â&#x20AC;? To view Annâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s selection of bracelets, earrings and pendants, visit ann madeart.com (honored by the Green America Seal of Approval/all jewelry handcrafted in America).

Find Ann-Made at these Locations: Dunia Ecostore 43 Nason Street, Maynard, MA 01754 978-897-8850 www.dunia-ecostore.com Mary Annâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Dance and More Dance Apparel & More! 56 Cottage Street Route 141, Easthampton, MA 413-282-0054 â&#x20AC;&#x153;SATELLITEâ&#x20AC;? LOCATION: (inside Normaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Notions),

14A Lawrence Plain, Route 47 Hadley, MA 01035 www.MaryAnnsDanceandMore.com

Your family can share in the holiday magic of

THE NUTCRACKER presented by dancers of

l Soda Tabs! from jewelry distributors, but we also find them in the local thrift stores. Repurposing beads is a wonderful way to inject new life into some beautiful and unusual beads. Not only is it environmentally sound but some of my most beautiful bracelets are made using these great finds.â&#x20AC;?

A

unique performance created especially for children and the young at heart. An afternoon of magic and imagination with the Nutcracker Prince, Clara, The Sugar Plum Fairy and a cast of over 100 dancers.

The Tab King: In addition to helping with business decisions, Annâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s husband, Bob, who has a MBA, washes, polishes and sorts through pounds of tabs to find the nicest ones, a job which can take up to 15 hours per week.â&#x20AC;&#x153;We call him the Tab King,â&#x20AC;? says Ann, who explains that only a quarter of the purchased tabs will make their way into the jewelry. The Wrap: When Ann was thinking of how to ship her jewelry to stores, she did not want to add to environmental problems by using bubble wrap. Instead,

SPARETIME RECREATION ATI AT TION

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The Sugar Plum Fairy by Sarah, Grade 1

Saturday, December 4th â&#x20AC;˘ 2:00 p.m. Sunday, December 5th â&#x20AC;˘ 2:00 p.m. Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical High School, Fitchburg, MA

Special Guest appearances by Ilya Burov and Ian Matysiak - Festival Ballet Providence Parents bring a camera and take a photo of your Sugar Plums with our Sugar Plum Fairy, 1/2 hour prior to each performance.

Children & Seniors $10 - Adults $15 Ticket sales from these performances help to fund our free public performances for 2,000 local school children each year. The Nutcracker Prince

For ticket information call

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OH, THE

PLACES YOU’LL photo courtesy of madison square garden entertainment

GO

Congratulations! Today is your day. You’re off to Great Places! You’re off and away! - dr. seuss

GO SUPERCALIFRAGILISTIC! The Regent Theatre in Arlington offers a return engagement Thanksgiving weekend of Sing-A-Long Mary Poppins with on-screen lyrics, props and costume parade. theregenttheatre.com. 16 NOVEMBER2010

GO PLIMOTH! Visit plimoth.org for festive November events including a parade on the 20th and breakfast with Santa on the 28th. plimoth.org.

photo courtesy of boston lyric opera

photo courtesy of the regent theatre

photo courtesy of massachusetts travel and tourism

GO ROCKETTES! The Radio City Christmas Spectacular kicks it Dec. 3-29 at the Citi Performing Arts Center Wang Theatre. Reader FYI: bsp advertiser, Elite Academy of Dance in Shrewsbury, will perform as the Opening Act on Dec 18th!

GO OPERA! What’s it like to be a conductor? Find out at the Boston Lyric Opera’s FREE Open House at the Shubert Theatre, Boston, Sun., Nov. 6. This FREE event is for all ages. blog.org.


OH,THEPLACESYOU’LLGO MELTDOWN WARNING: Before you pack up the mini-van, please confirm your destination. Although we’ve done our best to assure accuracy at press time, things can and do change… A Adult C Child Y Youth M Member NM Non-Member PP Per Person

1MONDAY Concord Festival of Authors. Concord and Lowell. Ends Nov. 7. Features over 40 participating authors with programs nearly every day or evening. From a discussion of Hoaxes, Frauds, and Forgeries, to a Flash Fiction Panel, to Custer’s Last Stand, the 2010 Concord Festival of Authors presents over two weeks of entertaining and informative events and famous authors. See concordfestivalofauthors. com for details. Newton Mother’s Forum Mother’s Night Out: Dr. Edward M. Hallowell. Longwood Country Club, 564 Hammond St., Newton. 7 – 9 p.m. The Newton Mother’s Forum is an organization created to help mothers in Newton and surrounding areas meet each other, share ideas and information and build a community for their families. At the monthly Mother’s Night Out, moms meet for wine, dinner and an interesting lecture. Dr. Edward M. Hallowell, author, clinical psychologist, and father of three will discuss what makes children feel good about themselves and the world they live in. A$30 NM. newtonmoms.com. FREE Drop-in Playtime for Babies. Mothers and Company, West Boylston. 3 – 4:30 p.m. This is an unstructured, non-facilitated time to chat with other parents. mothersandcompany.com. FREE New Moms Support Group. Jewish Family and Children’s Service. Temple Shir Tikvah, 34 Vine St., Winchester. 10-11:30 a.m. Open to new parents and babies (birth to one year old) of all faiths and races. Registration is NOT required. Facilitated by trained and supervised leaders. 781-693-5652, jfcsboston.org/ MomsGroups.

2TUESDAY Election Day Open Gym. Gymnastic Academy of Boston, 12 Keefe Rd., Acton. 11:45 a.m. - 1 p.m. Open to the public, with moonwalks, trampolines and more. C$12, $30 family. 978-369-9034, gymnasticacademyofboston.com. Sea Squirts: Programs for Toddlers and Preschoolers. New England Aquarium, Central Wharf, Boston. Tuesdays: Nov. 2, 9, 16 & 30; & Fridays: November 5, 12 19 & Dec. 3. 9:30 & 11 a.m.Classes will incorporate a visit to the Aquarium or a live animal encounter when appropriate to the topic. Call for fees. 617-973-5206, neaq.org. Day of the Dead/Día de los Muertos Family Program. Peabody Museum, Harvard University, 11 Divinity Ave., Cambridge. Sugar Skull Workshop, 3 - 5 p.m. $5 per skull. Tickets required: 617-496-1027, peabody.harvard.edu. Concord Festival of Authors. Concord and Lowell. See Nov. 1 listing for details. Ends Nov. 7. FREE New Moms Group. Mothers and Company, 140 Worcester St., West Boylston. 12 – 1:30 p.m. All moms of all babies welcome. Drop in from week to week as this group is ongoing. Feel free to bring your lunch - why eat alone? Can’t come on Tuesdays? There’s a group on Fridays! Or come to both! mothersandcompany.com.

It’s quintessential fall fun with lots of surprises at Brigham Hill Farm in North Grafton, Sun., Nov. 7, Noon - 4 p.m. community-harvest.org.

3WEDNESDAY Concord Festival of Authors. Concord and Lowell. See Nov. 1 listing for details. Ends Nov. 7. FREE Mothers Group. Heywood Hospital, 242 Greene St., Gardner. The first Wed. of each month from 10 – 11 a.m. For moms with kids of any age. Meet once a month and let your kids play while the moms chat about any and all topics. A lactation consultant/RN is available at most meetings. The group also hosts guest speakers from time to time. heywood.org. Simple Science. Children’s Museum in Easton, 9 Sullivan Ave., North Easton. Drop by on Wednesdays, 10 – 10:45 a.m. Fuel your preschooler’s natural curiosity, roll up your sleeves and make new discoveries through hands-on experiments each week. $6pp. 508-230-3789, childrensmuseumineaston.org/DropInDays.asp. FOR PARENTS Step-Parenting: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly. Parenting Solutions, 6 Colonial Dr., Suite 2, Westborough. 7:30 – 9 p.m. A workshop for couples who are parenting in stepfamilies led by Glenn Smith, LICSW. A Parenting That Works! program. $30 for one parent; $45 for both parents. 508-366-7557, parentingsolutionsprograms.com. CastleKids Story Hour. Higgins Armory Museum, 100 Barber Ave., Worcester. 1 - 2 p.m. From damsels in distress to mighty dragons, share tales of adventure, from well-known fairy tales to modern picture books in the setting of our medieval Great Hall. Geared for preschoolers. A/C pair $12, $5 each additional child. 508-853-6015, higgins.org.

4THURSDAY Concord Festival of Authors. Concord and Lowell. See Nov. 1 listing for details. Ends Nov. 7. Native Americans Toddler Thursdays. Fruitlands Museum, 102 Prospect Hill Rd., Harvard. 9 – 10 a.m. each session. Also Nov. 11 (Turkeys) and 18 (Thanksgiving). New themes each week! Take hikes and explore nature on Fruitlands Museum grounds. Shakers, Native Americans, and a famous local Artist will be among your adventures while you discover each weekly theme.$10 drop-in fee. 978-456-3924 x292, fruitlands.org.

FOR PARENTS A Look at Gender Identity in Early Childhood. COMPASS for kids, Whitney Place, 3 Vision Dr. (Route 9 West), Natick. 7 – 9 p.m. In this training, examine how boys and girls are socialized and common stereotypic behavior. Understand young children’s behavior as it relates to gender identity development. A$25. 781-862-4446, compassforkids.org. Natural Curiosity for Preschoolers and parents/ grandparents. Mass Audubon’s Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary, 280 Eliot St. (Rt.16), Natick. Also Nov. 5, 18 and 19. 10 – 11 a.m. Ages 3 to 5. Explore different habitats while learning how plants and animals prepare for the winter. $10NMpp. For questions or to register call 508-655-2296, massaudubon.org. FOR PARENTS Working with Children at RISK. COMPASS for kids, Cole-Harrington Children’s Center and Family Childcare System, 37 Industrial Park Rd., Plymouth. 6:30 – 9 p.m. In this two-part training series, learn about the types of events that contribute to trauma in children and how it is imprinted on the body, mind and spirit, resulting in many symptoms that need healing. Participate in interactive experiences to gain insight into children’s resiliency and discover tools to help you overcome and prevent trauma in children. Call for fees. 781-862-4446, compassforkids.org. Mommy Power Yoga BYOB. Mothers and Company, West Boylston. 10 – 11 a.m. Drop-ins available for $16 per class and yes, bring your own baby to class. Call 508-835-6666.

5FRIDAY FREE Toddler Playgroup. Drop-in ages 0 – 1. Isis Maternity, Boston. 4 – 5 p.m. $5. isisparenting.com. School Readiness Friday. Boston Children’s Museum, Boston. 6 – 8 p.m. Countdown to Kindergarten with activities to help you practice school readiness skills. A$12, C (1 – 15) $12, C (0 – 12 months) free. bostonkids.org. 24th Annual Christmas Festival. Seaport World Trade Center, Boston. Nov. 5 – 7: Fri., Noon – 7 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.; Sun., 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. Features the work of more than 350 American master craftsmen, and will highlight the 17th annual Gingerbread House Competition. Many of the region’s star chefs will compete as they showcase a handcrafted gingerbread house creation. The houses will then be auctioned off to benefit Share Our Strength – a national non-profit dedicated to ending

childhood hunger in America. 100% of the proceeds from the houses will benefit the charity. Parking is nearby as well as across the street in the Seaport Garage. Costs range from $9 to $19. Tickets:A$12, Sr. $10, C under 14 Free. 617-3855000, BostonChristmasFestival.com. Family Literacy Month Celebration. Boston Children’s Museum, Boston. 6 – 8:30 p.m. Storytellers, read alouds, characters from favorite books. A$12, C (1 – 15) $12, C (0 – 12 months) free. bostonkids.org. Concord Festival of Authors. Concord and Lowell. See Nov. 1 listing for details. Ends Nov. 7. FREE Family Night. Children’s Museum of New Hampshire. 6 Washington St., Dover, NH. 5:30 – 8 p.m. Thanks to support from TD Charitable Foundation, the Children’s Museum of NH will be open at no charge for a Free Family Night. The museum will be open to all families as a special opportunity for parents or grandparents to spend time playing and learning with the children in their lives. 603-742-2002, childrens-museum.org. American Girl Fashion Show. Old Sturbridge Village, Sturbridge. Nov. 5 – 7. Features fashion shows paired with delicious breakfasts, elegant afternoon teas and dinner events. Enter to win door prizes and purchase raffle tickets. Special American Girl gift bags will be available to all children who attend the event. You can also visit American Girl Marketplace and Hair Salon before or after the show! Prices generally: A$44, C$35. Call for details: 800-SEE-1830, osv.org. Meet the Doulas & Midwives. Mothers and Company, West Boylston. 7 – 9 p.m. $15 per expectant mother. Birth partners are encouraged to come. Register: mothersandcompany.com.

6SATURDAY Berlin First Saturday Contra Dance. 1870 Town Hall. 12 Woodward St., Berlin. 8 – 11 p.m.Contra steps are learned and rehearsed before each dance. Beginners are welcome for a warm, laugh-filled evening of fun and dance. $5 pp, $12 per family. 508-485-9398, charter.net/brlncountryorch. Roots and Shoots Saturdays and PhUn (Physiology Understanding) Day. Boston Children’s Museum, Boston. 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Learn about tree diversity plus explore you and all your parts. A$12, C (1 – 15) $12, C (0 – 12 months) free. bostonkids.org. 24th Annual Christmas Festival. Seaport World Trade Center, Boston. Nov. 5 – 7. See Nov. 5 listing for information. BAYSTATEPARENT 17


The American Girl Fashion Show. Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel, Boston. Nov. 6 & 7. Girls and their mothers, aunts, and sisters, will work the runways showcasing the latest American Girl fashion collection. A$50, C$40. jlboston.org. Comedian Stephen Donovan, Dinner and Dancing. The Tyler Foundation Fundraising Dinner and Silent Auction for Epilepsy. Tyler Foundation, Inc., Devens Common Center, 31 Andrews Parkway, Devens. 6 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 11 p.m. 100% of the proceeds from this event will go towards creating a fund at UMass Memorial Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Medical Center for helping families with epilepsy. Music performed by Larissa Dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Andrea during the cocktail hour and silent auction. Comedian Stephen Donovan from 104.5 WXLO will be providing some comic entertainment during dinner. $75pp; $550 table of eight. 978-732-0077 or tylerfoundation.org.

7SUNDAY The Dragon King Puppet Show. The Regent Theatre, Arlington. Presented by Tanglewood Marionettes. 1 p.m. A $10, C$8. regenttheatre.com. 24th Annual Christmas Festival. Seaport World Trade Center, Boston. Nov. 5 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 7. See Nov. 5 listing for information.

8MONDAY Harry Potter Event and Scavenger Hunt: All Month! Harvard Museum of Natural History, 26 Oxford St., Cambridge. 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Ends Nov. 28. Muggles, witches, and wizards of all ages can embark on the Harry Potter Scavenger Hunt and uncover the science behind the magic. Pick up your own HMNH â&#x20AC;&#x153;Marauderâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Map,â&#x20AC;? journey through the museum galleries to explore thousands of real

Lilâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Kids Club Play Group. Boys and Girls Club of Woburn, 1 Charles Gardner Lane Woburn. 9:30 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 11:30 a.m. A drop-in age appropriate play group for Tot/PreK children age 5 and under. Held inside the gym and activities include blocks, slides, trampolines, ride-on toys & much more. $2 per child. 781-935-3777, bgcwoburn.org. FOR PARENTS Whoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s In Control? Parenting Solutions, 6 Colonial Dr., Suite 2, Westborough. 7:30 - 9 p.m. $30(second parent 1/2 price!). 508-366-7557, parentingsolutionsprograms.com.

FREE Holiday Open House. Grafton Country Store, 2 Grafton Common, Grafton. 9:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. The entire store is transformed into a holiday experience: music, raffles and all around fun. graftoncountrystore.net.

American Girl Fashion Show. Old Sturbridge Village, Sturbridge. Nov. 5 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 7. See Nov. 5 for more details and call: 800-SEE-1830, osv.org. FREE â&#x20AC;&#x153;De-Stress Your Holidaysâ&#x20AC;? Health Fair. Intrinsic Healing Center, 2 Narrows Rd., Westminster. 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Seminars, workshops and demonstrations on topics such as why what you eat matters, guided meditations, massage for relaxation, mind-body therapy and decreasing headaches with cranial therapy. 978-874-1180, YourIntrinsicHealth.com.

OH,THEPLACES YOUâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;LLGO

FREE La Leche League Meeting. Blessed Sacrament Church, Phelan Center, 551 Pleasant St., Worcester. 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Get information and support to help you breastfeed. Babies and children are welcome. Gently used maternity clothes on sale for $1 a piece. 508-523-5720, llleus.org/web/WorcesterMA.html.

New Momma Again. Mothers and Company, West Boylston. 1 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 2:30 p.m. Held on the second Wednesday of each month. mothersandcompany.com.

FOR PARENTS The Gratitude Gala. Highfields Golf and Country Club, 42 Magill Dr., Grafton. 6:30 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 10:30 p.m. All are welcome to an evening of song, laughter, dance and artistic expressions of gratitude. A$20, C$10. Net proceeds from this event benefit families served by Apple Tree Arts and The Community Harvest Project, Inc. Contact Sarah at 508439-2896. Tickets online online: thegratitudegala.com.

Church Fair. Mt. Olivet Lutheran Church, 34 Prospect St., Shrewsbury. 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. Crafts, baked goods, wrapped gift baskets, collectibles, decorations and cookie walk. 508842-2731, mtolivetlutheran.org.

FREE Breastfeeding Support Group. Mothers and Company, West Boylston. 10:30 a.m. - 12 p.m. mothersandcompany.com.

10WEDNESDAY

Toe Jam Puppet Band. Amazing Things Art Center. 160 Hollis St., Framingham. 2 p.m. The performance is very active, encouraging kids and parents to sing and dance along with the band as the band entertains with a unique combination of original songs, masterful shadow puppetry, storytelling and just plain old good fun. A/C$10 NM. 508405-2787, amazingthings.org.

FREE Fall Leaves Mobile. Lakeshore Learning Stores, Newton and Saugus. 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Ages 3+. lakeshorelearning.com.

relationships. Pre-register: $20NM; $25 at the door. 617-650-0874, parenttalk.info.

Build your own place space at the Providence Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Museum, Sat. and Sun., Nov. 13 & 14. childrenmuseum.org. Kâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;NEX: Building Thrill Rides. Museum of Science, Boston. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Through Jan. 17. Create your own heart-stopping theme park ride using Kâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;NEX construction kits. Included with Exhibit Halls Admission. Admission info: 617589-0417, mos.org. Concord Festival of Authors. Concord and Lowell. See Nov. 1 listing for details. Ends Nov. 7. FREE First Sunday Drop into Art. Danforth Museum of Art, 123 Union Ave.,Framingham. 2 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 4 p.m. Participate in family gallery activities and tours throughout the Museum and create exciting works of art. Perfect for children ages 5-10 with parents! 508-620-0050, DanforthMuseum.org. FREE Toddler Playgroup. Drop-in ages 0 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 1. Isis Maternity, Needham. 1:30 - 2:30 p.m. $5. isisparenting.com. American Girl Fashion Show. Old Sturbridge Village, Sturbridge. Nov. 5 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 7. See Nov. 5 listing and call for more details: 800-SEE-1830, osv.org. FREE For Parents Intro to Yoga class. Central Mass Yoga and Wellness, 45 Sterling Street #28, West Boylston. 11 a.m. 508-835-1176, centralmassyoga.com.

specimens from wolves to wolfsbane and test the depth of your knowledge about Harryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s world. A$9, Sr$7, C$6. 617-495-3045, hmnh.harvard.edu. FREE Drop-in Playtime for Babies. Mothers and Company, West Boylston. 3 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 4:30 p.m. An unstructured, non-facilitated time to chat with other parents. mothersandcompany.com.

9TUESDAY

11THURSDAY THANK YOU VETERANS. Veteranâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Day Open Gym. Gymnastic Academy of Boston, 12 Keefe Rd., Acton. 11:35 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. Open to the public, with moonwalks, trampolines, & more. C $12, $30/family. 978-369-9034, gymnasticacademyofboston.com. The Nutcracker Boston Ballet Day. Boston Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Museum, Boston. 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Boston Ballet brings a sampling of music, dance, costumes, and hands-on, behind-the-scenes activities to the Museum for this daylong event. A$12, C (1 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 15) $12, C (0 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 12 months) free. bostonkids.org. FREE Open Play for Mobile Babies. Isis Maternity, Boston. 4:30 - 5:30 p.m. isisparenting.com.

FOR PARENTS Raising Children of Character in an Indulgent Age. Dr. Dan Kindlon Lecture. Parent Talk at Newman Elementary School, 1155 Central Ave., Needham. 7 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 9:30 p.m. Learn how to promote emotional maturity with psychologist and author, Dr. Dan Kindlon. His lecture will tackle the unique challenges of our affluent age and community to identify symptoms and causes of overindulgence. He will also provide practical strategies to help children develop a moral compass, take responsibility for their actions and have meaningful, fulfilling

FREE 8-Week First-Time Moms Group. First Connections Family Resource Center, 111 ORNAC, Suite 1009, Concord. 1 to 2:30 p.m. This group helps moms adjust to their new role, addresses changes in relationships, making the return-to-work or at-home-mom decision, and infant care concerns. Facilitated by Laura Gerson, LICSW. Babies up to 6 mos. welcome. 978-287-0221, firstconnections.org.

DIVORCE MEDIATION If you canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t save your marriage, you can save your divorce. Divorce can be expensive â&#x20AC;Ś Mediation allows you to save, time and emotional energy. Protect your rights while preserving your familyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s resources. /THER!VAILABLE3ERVICES s&LAT&EESs%XPEDITEDWEEKENDNIGHTAPPOINTMENTSs,IMITED)SSUES-EDIATION Since 1975 James F. Connors SUPER LAWYER

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C$20 NM, C$17.50. 413-443-7171, berkshiremuseum.org.

OH,THEPLACESYOU’LLGO Turkeys Toddler Thursdays. Fruitlands Museum, 102 Prospect Hill Rd., Harvard. 9 – 10 a.m. each session. Also Nov. 18 (Thanksgiving). New themes each week! Take hikes and explore nature on Fruitlands Museum grounds. Shakers, Native Americans, and a famous local Artist will be among your adventures while you discover each weekly theme. $10 drop-in fee. 978-456-3924 x292, fruitlands.org.

13SATURDAY Destination Imagination Day. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Bring your Destination Imagination team to the Science Discovery Museum. Explore hands-on exhibits, learn concepts, and practice your teamwork skills. All visitors can participate in a workshop lead by a DI team. Don’t know about Destination Imagination? Check them out at idodi.org. A $9.50, C $10.50. 978-264-4200, discoverymuseums.org.

Caretaker for a Day. Mass Audubon’s Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, 208 South Great Rd., Lincoln. 9:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. Ages 10 – 13. Have you ever been the souschef for a bit? If you are interested in animals and their care, come for a day of behind-the-scenes chores. Bring a lunch and snack. $50NM. Pre-register: 781-259-2206, massaudubon.org/drumlin. FOR PARENTS Share Our Strength: A Taste of the Holidays. Clarke’s Ultimate Kitchen Resource Center and Share Our Strength. Clarke, 393 Fortune Blvd., Milford. 6:30-9:30 p.m. Designed to raise funds to help assure that no child in America goes hungry. Showcases the talents of eight chefs from Boston, Worcester and Metrowest, including Andy Husbands of Boston’s Tremont 647. A great way to kick off your holiday season! All advance tickets $85 pp and include tasting food, wine and beer from all restaurants and chefs. $100 at the door. 800-842-5275 x 206, clarkeculinarycenter.com. Exploring Music. Children’s Museum in Easton. Old Fire House, 9 Sullivan Ave, North Easton. 10 – 10:45 a.m. A fun-filled program will include singing, rhythm-making, dramatic interpretation, listening, and learning about many different forms and styles of music and lots of movement. $6pp. 508-230-3789, childrensmuseumineaston.org. Animal Happenings. The Children’s Museum in Easton, 9 Sullivan Ave., North Easton. 10 -10:45 a.m. An informal petting zoo that gives children and the whole family a chance to interact and learn about a new animal each week. $6pp. 508-230-3789, childrensmuseumineaston.org/ DropInDays.asp. Stories Alive. Providence Children’s Museum. 100 South St., Providence. 1 & 2 p.m. Kids enjoy performances of folktales from around the world and craft puppets from an array of recycled materials so they can share their own stories. Ages 5 – 11. $8.50pp, C under 12 months free. 401-273-5437, childrenmuseum.org. Old Sturbridge Village Celebrates the Nation’s Veterans. Special activities celebrate the nation’s military history. Visitors can march with the militia, “meet the soldiers” in a military timeline, and hear a musical treatment of “A Day in the Life of a Soldier.” There will be musket firing demonstrations, and guests can tour the museum’s Firearms of Freedom exhibit. Members of the colorful Sturbridge Militia will drill 1830s style, meet with visitors, and invite them to take part in the drilling exercises. Fifes and drums will take the visitor through a day in the life of a soldier from sun-up to sun-down, with demonstrations of how military orders were given musically. Veterans and active duty service members, including those

Nocturnal Night! Animal Adventures, 336 Sugar Rd., Bolton. 7 - 8:30 p.m. Kinkajous, alligators, sloth, Canadian Lynx, Asian bearcat, snakes, skunks and more. Learn about the night-time world of the animals - and experience an exciting night feeding. $10pp. AnimalAdventures.net.

FREE Explore the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston including the new Art of the Americas wing, Nov. 20 & 24. Yes, it’s free all day, both days! mfa.org. serving in the National Guard, receive half-off admission. osv.org. Tanglewood Marionettes Perform Sleeping Beauty. Sudbury Cooperative Preschool, Ephraim Curtis Middle School, 22 Pratts Mill Rd., Sudbury. 10 – 11 a.m. A classic tale which appeals to children of all ages. Following the performance, crafts and nut-free refreshments will be available. $10pp. sudburycoop.org. Children under two sitting on an adult lap admitted free. Tickets are available in advance at sudburycoop.org and at Sudbury Farms in Sudbury. All proceeds benefit the Sudbury Cooperative Preschool. Arming a Gothic Knight and a Modern Day Soldier. Higgins Armory Museum, 100 Barber Ave., Worcester. 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Knights in movies were often clumsy but did you know fighters in full armor can do cartwheels, leap up from the ground, and even sprint? Discover how armor of the past compares with what American soldiers wear today in this family-friendly Veteran’s Day event. On Veterans Day the Higgins offers Free Admission for US Military (Active and Veterans) and their families. A $10, C$7. 508-8536015, higgins.org.

12FRIDAY Christmas Festival of Lights Opens. Edaville USA, Carver. Nov. 12-14; Nov. 19-21; Nov. 26-Jan 3. Weekdays 4 – 9 p.m.; weekends 2 – 9 p.m. This New

England tradition features millions of lights and displays in a spectacular holiday celebration. Visitors can meet Santa, listen to carols and ride the train past an explosion of holiday lights and decorations. In addition, on Friday nights in December there will be firework shows. A$18, C$16, C under 2 Free. 508-866-8190, edaville.com. FREE Friday Morning Book Group. Northborough Free Library, 34 Main St., Northborough. 10 – 11:30 a.m. Free book discussion of “The Picture of Dorian Gray” by Oscar Wilde. Newcomers welcome to the group. Event is free and open to the public. 508-393-5025, northboroughlibrary.org. Around the World: India. The Children’s Museum in Easton. The Old Fire Station 9 Sullivan Ave., North Easton. 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Jet off to India and enjoy native music and dance. Kids will also create a craft based on this colorful culture and play games that are unique to India. Take home a souvenir that you have made having to do with your time spent in India! $6pp, C under 1 free. 508230-3789, childrensmuseumineaston.org. Festival of Trees Preview Party. Berkshire Museum. 39 South St., Pittsfield. 5:30 p.m. A muchloved community tradition kicks off this year with a family-friendly party featuring festive, holiday-styled entertainment, delicious refreshments, and a strong dose of holiday cheer. Be the first to explore this year’s Storybook Forest of trees, decorated by scores of organizations and individuals throughout the community in the theme of their favorite books. A$40 NM, A$35,

Kitchen Science: Tongue Twisting and Japanese Storytelling. Boston Children’s Museum, Boston. 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. you can explore those little bumps that cover your tongue. Also at 11 a.m. and 12 & 1 p.m. find out who is a groom at a mouse’s wedding with Kamishibai, Japanese Storytelling. A$12, C (1 – 15) $12, C (0 – 12 months) free. bostonkids.org. Rick Goldin Concert. Learning Circle Preschool, 3 Blue Hill River Rd., Canton. 11 a.m. Lively, interactive and humorous children’s songs have made Goldin a popular children’s entertainers in New England and the winner of the Parents’ Choice Recommended Award. $8 pp/ family max $25. C under 2 free. 781-828-4800, learningcirclepreschool.org. History of Tea. Historic Deerfield. 80 Old Main St., Deerfield. 2 – 4 p.m. Enjoy a beautiful array of freshly baked scones with clotted cream, finger sandwiches, cakes, sherry, cookies and more with your nice cup of tea. Learn about the many ways people have enjoyed tea over time and visit some of Historic Deerfield’s tea-related collections. A $30, C (age 12 and younger) $15. Information and tickets: 413-774-5587. Ben Rudnick and Friends. Amazing Things Arts Center. 160 Hollis St., Framingham. 2 p.m. Upbeat, bluegrassy music for kids of all ages, including parents and grandparents. A/C$10 NM. 508-405-2787, amazingthings.org. Horsin’ Around in the Barn. Mass Audubon’s Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, 208 South Great Rd., Lincoln. 8 – 10 a.m. Ages 5+. Come and help with morning chores in the red barn. After the work is done, make a farm snack. $21NMpp. Preregistration required: 781-259-2206, massaudubon.org/drumlin. Busy Beavers. Mass Audubon’s Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary, 280 Eliot St. (Rt.16), Natick. 3:30 – 5 p.m. Visit different beaver sites, discover what life is like as a beaver and how to recognize signs that a beaver has been in the

BAYSTATEPARENT 19


OH,THEPLACESYOU’LLGO area. As sunset approaches, watch for our resident beavers on their evening explorations. Ages 8+. Pre-registration required: A$12NM, C$8 NM. For questions or to register, call 508-655-2296. Owl Prowl Adventure for All Ages. Mass Audubon’s Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary. 280 Eliot St. (Rt.16), Natick. 7 – 8:30 p.m. Come with the whole family to learn about owl calls, behavior and habitat and search for our frequent evening owl visitors, the screech owl and great horned owl. Pre-registration required. A$12 NM, C$8 NM. 508-655-2296, massaudubon.org.

15MONDAY Harry Potter Event and Scavenger Hunt. Harvard Museum of Natural History, 26 Oxford St., Cambridge. See Nov. 8 listing. Drop In Thanksgiving Story Time. Charlton Public Library, 40 Main St., Charlton. Ages 3+. 10:30 – 11 a.m. . charltonlibrary.org. Also on Tues., Nov. 30th. FREE Drop-in Playtime for Babies. Mothers and Company, West Boylston. 3 – 4:30 p.m. mothersandcompany.com.

milestones of children from birth to age three. Learn and share strategies and tools to effectively observe and record development. A$25. 781-862-4446, compassforkids.org. Greater Worcester Mothers of Twins Meeting. Event location TBD. 7 p.m. The Greater Worcester Mothers of Twins Club (GWMOTC) is dedicated to supporting parents and families of multiple birth children throughout Central Worcester County. worcester-motc.com.

OH,THEPLACES YOU’LLGO

Wayne From Maine. Firehouse Center for the Arts. Market Square, Newburyport. 11 a.m. An interactive adventure through various musical styles for the young and the young at heart. A$11, C$9. 978-462-7336, firehouse.org.

FREE Open Play for Mobile Babies. Isis Maternity, Boston. 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. isisparenting.com.

An Evening of Illumination. Old Sturbridge Village, Sturbridge. Step into the past and experience the quiet charms of evening as early New Englanders did. Enjoy a special guided tour of select buildings around the Village common, with shops and homes lit by the soft glow of candles, oil lamps and firelight. Light refreshments, mulled cider, and a cash bar await at the Bullard Tavern to make the night complete. Please RSVP your time as the event is by guided tour and lantern tours leave the Visitor Center every 10 minutes: $35 pp. 800-SEE-1830, osv.org.

Thanksiving-Themed Toddler Thursdays. Fruitlands Museum, 102 Prospect Hill Rd., Harvard. 9 – 10 a.m. each session. New themes each week! Take hikes and explore nature on Fruitlands Museum grounds. Shakers, Native Americans, and a famous local Artist will be among your adventures while you discover each weekly theme. $10 drop-in fee. 978-456-3924 x292, fruitlands.org. Cloth Diaper Workshop. Mothers and Company, West Boylston. 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. mothersandcompany.com. FREE Babytime! Children’s Room - Main Library, 3 Salem Square, Worcester. 9:30 – 10:15 a.m. Weekly drop-in series on Thursdays for babies through 16 months. Rhymes, songs and pictures followed by a playtime with the library’s toys and music. Each baby must be accompanied by an adult, and siblings are not allowed to sit in. 508-799-1671.

FREE Founder’s Day. Higgins Armory Museum, 100 Barber Ave., Worcester. A full day of knights awaits you as you celebrate 79 years of the Higgins Armory Museum. Mingle with knights and see how they put on all that armor, learn about the different types of armor, what it was like to be a knight, and even make your own shield! ($5 per shield). higgins.org.

Explore Collections and Meeting the Artists. Boston Children’s Museum, Boston. Explore hidden treasures from 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. and then meet the artists with demonstrations and a Q & A featuring the Heavy Metal show in the Gallery. A$12, C (1 – 15) $12, C (0 – 12 months) free. bostonkids.org. Craftopia Holiday Show. Hope Artiste Village, 1005 Main St., Pawtucket, RI. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Presenting the unique work of 65 established and emerging artists and indie crafters, Craftopia is a day-long event filled with gorgeous handmade clothing, jewelry, handbags, paper arts, housewares, and the unexpected and humorous around every turn. While the DJ is kicking out the tunes, food vendors will offer tasty snacks. $1. rhodycraft100.com.

FREE Tea with MDs – Alternative Medicine/ Treatments. Worcester Public Library. 3 Salem Sq., Worcester. 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Dr. Jean Frazier, Vice Chair of the Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Division at UMASS Medical School/UMASS Memorial Health Care will present information about Alternative Medicine and Treatments for children & adolescents with mental health challenges. Time for Q&A. 508-856-8569, ChildResearch@umassmed.edu.

18THURSDAY

FREE Turkey Table Topper Craft. Lakeshore Learning Stores, Newton and Saugus. 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Ages 3+. lakeshorelearning.com.

14SUNDAY

Exploring Music. The Children’s Museum in Easton, The Old Fire Station 9 Sullivan Ave., North Easton. 10 – 10:45 a.m. A fun-filled program includes singing, rhythm-making, dramatic interpretation, listening and learning about many different forms and styles of music and lots of movement. $6pp. 508-230-3789, childrensmuseumineaston.org.

19FRIDAY Over 350 crafters and an impressive gingerbread house competition: ‘Tis the season at Boston’s 24th Annual Christmas Festival, Nov. 5 - 7. BostonChristmasFestival.com.

16TUESDAY

17WEDNESDAY

Adventure at Dusk. Mass Audubon’s Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, Lincoln. 3:30 – 5 p.m. Ages 6 – 9. Bring your flashlights! $12NMpp. 781-259-2206, massaudubon.org/drumlin.

FREE Working Moms Group. Isis Maternity, Arlington. 7:30 – 8:30 p.m. Bringing working moms together for support and friendship .isisparenting.com. Also Nov. 18 in Needham.

FOR PARENTS Red Flags for Infants and Toddlers. COMPASS for kids. The Cottage Children’s Center, 197 Union St., Marlborough. 7 -9 p.m. In this training, identify behaviors or characteristics that might indicate “red flags” for development and examine typical developmental

FREE Morning Storytimes. Dover Town Library, 56 Dedham St., Dover. 10:30 – 11 a.m. Hear some great stories and make some cool crafts. All ages are welcome. 508-785-8117, dovertownlibrary.org.

Music and Movement with Miss Carolyn. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. 10 a.m. Move, make music, listen, learn, and get a multi-sensory workout. C$10.50, A$9.50. 978-264-4200, discoverymuseums.org. Five Friends from Japan- Ken’s Shodo Calligraphy. Boston Children’s Museum, Boston. 6 – 8 p.m. Try writing in Japanese! A$12, C (1 – 15) $12, C (0 – 12 months) free. bostonkids.org. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Watertown Children’s Theatre, Arsenal Center for the Arts, 321 Arsenal St., Watertown. Nov., 19 at 7 p.m.; Nov. 20, 2 and 7 p.m. and Nov. 21 at 2 p.m. Actors in grades 1-5 bring this timeless tale to life on stage, directed by Erica Berman. $12pp. 617-926-2787, watertownchildrenstheatre.org.

As Featured on “Chronicle”

www.BayStateSkatingSchool.org 20 NOVEMBER2010

Brookline/Larz Anderson Brookline/Cleveland Circle Cambridge Everett Hyde Park/Dedham Medford Newton/Brighton Peabody Quincy Somerville South Boston Waltham West Roxbury Weymouth


OH,THEPLACESYOU’LLGO

desk. A$9, C$6. 617-496-1027, peabody.harvard.edu

FREE New Moms Group. Mothers and Company, West Boylston. 12 – 1:30 p.m. Drop in from week to week, this group is on-going. Feel free to bring your lunch - why eat alone? Can’t come Fridays? There are groups on Tuesdays, too! mothersandcompany.com.

The Elves and the Shoemaker & The Gingerbread Man. Amazing Things Arts Center 160 Hollis St., Framingham. 2 p.m. Lots of humor, audience participation and live music. Great for ages 3 - 8 and family audiences. $10pp. 508-405-2787, amazingthings.org

OverKnight Sleepover. Higgins Armory Museum, Worcester. 5:30 p.m. - 9 a.m. Have you ever wanted to spend the night in our castle? Now is your chance! Learn about chivalry, heraldry and the history of the knight in shining armor. For children in grades 1 through 6. $45 pp (includes dinner and breakfast). Pre-register: 508-8536015, x20, higgins.org.

Animal Footprints and Signs. Mass Audubon’s Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary. 280 Eliot St. (Rt.16), Natick. 1 – 2:30 p.m. Wondered what animal made those tracks? Who is traveling on the trails or through your yard? Come find out how to solve these mysteries! Pre-registration required. A$12 NM, C$8 NM. 508-655-2296, massaudubon.org.

20SATURDAY FREE Grand Opening of Art of the Americas Wing. Museum of Fine Arts Boston. 465 Huntington Ave., Boston. 10 a.m. - 4:45 p.m. The MFA will unveil the new Art of the Americas Wing during an all day, FREE open house. This will be the first opportunity for the public to see all of the 53 new galleries dedicated to the Art of the Americas in addition to the brand new Ruth and Carl J. Shapiro Family Courtyard. 617267-9300, mfa.org. Critter Day: Jungle Encounters. Boston Children’s Museum, Boston.11:15 a.m. and 12:15 and 1:15 p.m. Monkeys and hedgehogs and more. A$12, C (1 – 15) $12, C (0 – 12 months) free. bostonkids.org. Family Fun Saturday. Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, 11 Divinity Ave., Cambridge. Noon to 4 p.m. What do anthropologists and archaeologists study? Head into the galleries to explore the Maya. Learn about their glyphs and murals, their use of chocolate, jade and more. In the Discovery Room, enjoy hands-on artifacts from around the world and make your own take-home project. Don’t forget to check out the schedule of story times, available at the front

Full Moon Owl Prowl for All Ages. Mass Audubon’s Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary, 280 Eliot St. (Rt.16), Natick. 7 – 8:30 p.m. Come with the whole family under the moon to learn about owl calls, behavior and habitat and search for this frequent evening owl visitors, the screech owl and great horned owl. Pre-registration required. $12NM. 508-6552296, massaudubon.org. FREE Thanksgiving Placemat. Lakeshore Learning Stores, Newton and Saugus. 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Ages 3+. lakeshorelearning.com. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Watertown Children’s Theatre, Arsenal Center for the Arts, 321 Arsenal St., Watertown. 2 and 7 p.m. Also on Nov. 21 at 2 p.m. Actors in grades 1-5 bring this timeless tale to life on stage, directed by Erica Berman. $12pp. 617-926-2787, watertownchildrenstheatre.org. MassHort Festival of Trees. The Gardens at Elm Bank, 900 Washington St., Wellesley. Weekends and the day after Thanksgiving: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Other days: 4 to 8 p.m. Kickoff the holiday season in a special way and see spectacularly decorated holiday trees in a festive environment. Tree themes are intended to appeal to all ages. All trees are raffled off, with proceeds going to help maintain the gardens at Elm Bank. A$8, SR$8, Children under 12 free. 617-9334995, masshortfestivaloftrees.org.

Food Drive Cut-a-Thon. Toni&Guy Hairdressing Academy, 6 Park Ave., Worcester. 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Bring a canned food item and mention that you saw this listing in baystateparent’s November issue and you’ll receive make-up, cuts and style outs for $10 each. Music provided by DJ “Q”. 508-756-6060.

21SUNDAY Christmas Ornament Workshop. Top Fun Aviation Toy Museum, 21 Prichard St., Fitchburg. 2 p.m. A variety of ornaments available for a variety of skill levels. $2 per ornament fee plus museum admission: A$5 with one child free. 978-342-2809. Full Moon Night Hike, Garden in the Woods, Framingham. 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Venture out into the dark forest to enjoy the nighttime sights, smells and sounds. Who is still awake? What stars or planets can we spot? What tricks can we use to find our way? After a walk, enjoy hot cocoa and make a booklet of full-moon activities for months of full moons to come. C (w/adult) $11NM. Pre-register: 508-877-7630, x 3303. Also make holiday nature crafts on Wed., Dec. 1 from 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. (pre-registeration is required). Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Watertown Children’s Theatre, Arsenal Center for the Arts, 321 Arsenal St., Watertown. 2 p.m. Actors in grades 1-5 bring this timeless tale to life on stage, directed by Erica Berman. $12pp. 617-926-2787, watertownchildrenstheatre.org. FREE Mama Doni Goes Wild with Chanukah Fever. Worcester Jewish Community Center. 633 Salisbury St., Worcester. 3:00 p.m. High-energy, interactive family rock concert filled with catchy pop songs that break the mold of traditional Jewish music. Mama Doni promises plenty of surprises throughout her band’s concert, including giveaways of chocolate gelt, dreidels, CDs and t-shirts, and opportunities for kids to boogie like a dreidel

or air guitar with the band. Chanukah will never be the same! 508-756-7109, worcesterjcc.org.

22MONDAY FREE Breastfeeding Support Group. Mothers and Company, 140 Worcester St., 1st Floor, West Boylston. 1 – 2:30 p.m. Facilitated by a breastfeeding counselor who will elicit questions and solutions from the group as well as share her knowledge. Meet other moms. No need to register. Just drop in. mothersandcompany.com.

23TUESDAY Evening Storytimes. Dover Town Library 56 Dedham St., Dover. 6 – 6:30 p.m. All ages welcome. Also on Dec. 7th. 508-785-8117, dovertownlibrary.org. FREE New Moms Group. Mothers and Company. 140 Worcester St., West Boylston. 12 – 1:30 p.m. All moms of all babies welcome. Drop in from week to week, this group is on-going. Feel free to bring your lunch why eat alone? Can’t come on Tuesdays? There’s a group on Fridays! Or come to both! mothersandcompany.com.

24WEDNESDAY FREE Community Day at the MFA. Museum of Fine Arts Boston. 465 Huntington Ave., Boston. 10:00 a.m. - 4:45 p.m. Explore the Museum of Fine Arts including the new Art of the Americas wing during a free community day sponsored by the State Street Corporation. With tons of activities and new galleries, there is no shortage of things to see and do during this entirely free day! 617-267-9300, mfa.org.

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Creative Art Classes for all ages Birthday Parties Adult Classes Community Outreach Programs phone: [508] 450-0664 34 Main Street, Unit #2A, Hopkinton, MA e-mail: sparksartstudio@gmail.com BAYSTATEPARENT 21


25THURSDAY HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

26FRIDAY Sing-A-Long Mary Poppins. The Regent Theatre, Arlington. 10:30 a.m. and 2 & 7 p .m. Most shows are A$10, C$8. regenttheatre.com. Also Sat., Nov. 27 and Sun., Nov. 28th. Last Chance: Harry Potter Event and Scavenger Hunt. Harvard Museum of Natural History, 26 Oxford St., Cambridge. 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Ends Nov. 28. Muggles, witches, and wizards of all ages cn embark on the Harry Potter Scavenger Hunt and uncover the science behind the magic. Pick up your own HMNH “Marauder’s Map,” journey through the museum galleries to explore thousands of real specimens from wolves to wolfsbane and test the depth of your knowledge about Harry’s world. A$9, Sr$7, C$6. 617-495-3045, hmnh. harvard.edu. Parade of the Big Balloons. Main St., Downtown Springfield. 11 a.m. spiritofspringfield.org.

27SATURDAY Sing-A-Long Mary Poppins. The Regent Theatre, Arlington. 10:30 a.m. and 2 p .m. Most shows are A$10, C$8. regenttheatre. com. Also Sun., Nov. 28th.

22 NOVEMBER2010

Green Apple Kids Band. Amazing Things Arts Center, 160 Hollis St., Framingham. 2 p.m. Steve, Jackie and Rob perform their eco-flavored tunes about nature, animals and recycling in a fun, engaging and highly interactive presentation. Ages 2 – 8. $10pp. 508-405-2787, amazingthings.org.

10:30 – 11 a.m. Features Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans. charltonlibrary.org. Also on Tues., Nov. 30th.

30TUESDAY

Wizard of Oz. Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, 14 Castle St., Great Barrington. 1 & 4 p.m. A Mahaiwe tradition continues! Dorothy Gale is swept away to a magical land in a tornado and embarks on a quest to see the Wizard who can help her return home. $6pp. General admission. 413-5280100, mahaiwe.org

FREE Family Playroom. Worcester Family Community Partnership Playroom, 130 Leeds St., Worcester. Weekdays, 9:30 – 11 a.m. 508-799-3136 or email info@earlychildhoodcentral.org.

FREE Autumn Tree Craft Craft. Lakeshore Learning Stores, Newton and Saugus. 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Ages 3+. lakeshorelearning.com.

Please fill out our form at baystateparent.com. Keep in mind, our deadline for December is Friday, November 5 at 6 p.m. E-mail calendar@baystateparent.com.

Sing-A-Long Mary Poppins. The Regent Theatre, Arlington. 2 p.m. Most shows are A$10, C$8. regenttheatre.com.

28SUNDAY The Stagecoach is Here! Old Sturbridge Village, Sturbridge. Weekends in Nov. New England travel aboard the reproduction Concord coach, then stop into the Bullard Tavern to learn about the ins and outs of getting from here to there in early New England. $3pp plus admission. osv.org.

29MONDAY Drop In Story Time. Charlton Public Library, 40 Main St., Charlton. Ages 3+.

Submit an Event

It’s FREE.

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Family Annie. Wheelock Family Theatre. 200 The Riverway, Boston. On the campus of Wheelock College in the historic Fenway neighborhood! Through Nov. 21 (Fri. & Sat. nights at 7:30; Sat. & Sun. matinees at 3 p.m.) $15 - $30. Pajama Parties: Children in their pajamas are only $15 at evening performances and will be sat with adults purchasing tickets at regular prices. Call ahead to reserve! 617-879-2300, WheelockFamilyTheatre.org. Final weekend performances (Friday November 19 at 7:30; Sunday November 21 at 3:00) are interpreted in American Sign Language for Deaf patrons and audio-described live for Blind patrons. Urban Nutcracker. Wheelock Family Theatre, Boston. Dec. 3-19. BalletRoxâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s production combines ballet, swing, hip-hop, step and urban tap with the classical score and the beat of Duke Ellington. wheelockfamilytheatre.org. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s A Wonderful Life the Musical. North Shore Players Community Theater. Hogan Regional Auditorium, 6 Hathorne Circle, Danvers. Dec 4, 10, 11 at 7:30 p.m.; Dec 5 and 12 at 2 p.m. A musical production based on the family holiday classic film by Frank Capra. The production is staged with a cast of adult and youth performers from across the North Shore of Massachusetts. A$15, C$12. 978-590-7290, northshoreplayers.org. The Nutcracker. Dance Prism. Nov. 28, Fall River; Dec. 11, Littleton; Dec. 12, Worcester; Dec. 18, 19, Andover. Kids, meet Clara and Nutcracker Prince after each performance. A$22, C$16. 978-371-1038, danceprism.com. Jekyll & Hyde: The Musical. Falmouth Theatre Guild. Highfield Theater, 58 Highfield Drv., Falmouth. Nov. 5 â&#x20AC;&#x201C;

& Theatre Musical Performances

21. Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. A true musical theatre phenomenon, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Jekyll & Hydeâ&#x20AC;? attracted legions of loyal fans even before the show began its smash-hit Broadway run. $16pp. falmouththeatreguild.org.

reception in the main lobby of The Firehouse at 6 p.m. on Nov. 27 prior to the 7 p.m. show. Evening performances, all seats $22; Matinee performances, all seats $20. 978-4627336, firehouse.org.

Nutcracker Theme Workshop with Kira Seamon. Dancing Arts Center, 9 Whitney St., Holliston. Sun., Dec. 5: 1-3 p.m. for 3-4 year-olds and 3:30-5:30 p.m. for 5-8-year olds. Experience the fantastic music of the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Party Sceneâ&#x20AC;?, participate in the funniest â&#x20AC;&#x153;Battle between the Toy Soldiers and the Mouse Kingâ&#x20AC;?, and revel in the timeless elegance of the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Sugar Plum Fairy Variationâ&#x20AC;?. All dance choreography is age-appropiate and appealing to children. $15 per child. 508-429-7577, dancingartscenter.com.

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. Stoneham Theater, 395 Main St., Stoneham. Nov. 26 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Dec. 23. This familyfriendly romp about a small-town Christmas Pageant that gets hijacked by the roughest, loudest, rowdiest kids in town. And just when the Pageant seems beyond all repair, the true spirit of Christmas is discovered in the most unexpected of ways. Average ticket: $38. 781-279-2200, stonehamtheater.org.

The Nutcracker. MetroWest Ballet. Sun., Nov. 28 at Lincoln-Sudbury High School, 2 p.m. A$15, Sr. $12, Under 12 $10. Limited backstage passes available to meet Clara at the Palace of the Sweets. Get a photo with her and take home a special treat. Claraâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s guests will also enjoy reserved seating. Visit with Clara: $5 plus the cost of a ticket. Plus A Nutcracker Tea on Sat., Dec. 11th at 11 a.m. Parker Damon Building, Acton. Enjoy a festive performance and share yummy treats and tea with all the dancers after the show.metrowestballet.com. The Nutcracker. Firehouse Center for the Arts, Market Square Newburyport. Sat., Nov 27 at 3 & 7 p.m. and Sun., Nov 28 at 3 p.m. Methuen Ballet Ensemble performs stunning visual-effects and custom-designed costumes by a wellknown Canadian designer. All performances include a giant growing Christmas tree, a heavenly mist and an abundance of snowfall. Come share in the magic. Join the cast for a gala

CLARAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S DREAM

The Nutcracker. Ballet Arts Worcester. The Hanover Theatre For The Performing Arts, 20 Southbridge St., Worcester. Fri.- Sun., Nov. 26 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 28. Special Cookies and Tea with Clara event on Sun., Nov. 7. $10pp. balletartsworcester, thehanovertheatre.org. Claraâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Dream - A Nutcracker Story. The Hanover Theatre For The Performing Arts, 20 Southbridge St., Worcester. Sat., Dec. 4, 7:30 p.m. Presented by The Hybrid Movement Company of New York City and Dance It Up! of North Grafton, MA, Claraâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Dream - A Nutcracker Story features youth aerial dance performances for the 1st time in the history of American theatrical production. A new 21st century experience of The Nutcracker told in a â&#x20AC;&#x153;hybridâ&#x20AC;? of performance arts and multimedia with a youth cast of over 100. It is a visual delight where fairies fly and Clara drifts through the air into a land of snowflakes and follows her prince to a kingdom of sweets. $25 - $30. 508-839-1648, thehanovertheatre.org.

Theatre for All Art should be available to everyone, and not just audiences of privilege. This is one of the Wheelock Family Theatre's missions. The Boston venue, WFT, serves and supports families, of all kinds, including those who are historically underserved: people of color, people with disabilities and low-income families. Their productions, which range from Annie to The Secret Garden to Aladdin in 2010/11, offer complete access through their play selection, casting policy, affordable ticket prices, education programs and access provisions for people with disabilities. Also commendable are their theatre classes, which are accessible in every sense of the word: welcoming and celebrating differences, adapting to various learning styles and challenging veterans and newcomers alike. Plus, WFT offers an after-school theatre training program for deaf teenagers: PAH! Deaf Youth Theatre. For more information on WFT, now celebrating its 30 anniversary, visit wheelockfamilytheatre.org.

BOSTON CHILDRENâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S THEATRE presents

A Nutcracker Story

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Spellbinding!â&#x20AC;? -Theatre Mirror Nov. 27 - Dec. 19 at the YMCA Greater Boston, 316 Huntington Ave. The Classic Christmas Gift.

Presented by The Hybrid Movement Company and Dance It Up! Saturday December 4th 2010, 7:30pm at The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts 2 Southbridge Street, Worcester, MA 01608 Claraâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Dream, A Nutcracker Story features youth aerial dance performances for the ďŹ rst time in the history of American theatrical production. Join The Hybrid Movement Company and Dance It Up! along with a youth

cast of over 100 this holiday season for a new 21st century experience of The Nutcracker. Told in a Hybrid of performance arts and multimedia, Claraâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Dream, A Nutcracker Story is a visual delight, for young and old alike, where fairies

ďŹ&#x201A;y and Clara drifts through the air into a land of snowďŹ&#x201A;akes and follows her prince to a kingdom of sweets Tickets are now on sale through The Hanover Theatre website, thehanovertheatre.org.

creative team the hybrid movement company; Joanna Duncan, Scott Duncan, Brandon Grimm, Jillian st.germain, ronnie thomas, françoise voranger

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Occupational and Speech Therapy We are a Sensory Based Clinic that offers a full range of Occupational and Speech Therapy programs that address developmental problems in children, including those with Sensory Processing Dysfunction, ADHD, Nonverbal Learning Disability, Autism and Aspergerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Syndrome. We offer a Client Centered Approach that works directly with families.

Our Programs Include: UĂ&#x160;Â&#x2DC;`Â&#x2C6;Ă&#x203A;Â&#x2C6;`Ă&#x2022;>Â?Ă&#x160;"VVĂ&#x2022;ÂŤ>Ă&#x152;Â&#x2C6;Â&#x153;Â&#x2DC;>Â?Ă&#x160;>Â&#x2DC;`Ă&#x160;-ÂŤiiVÂ&#x2026;Ă&#x160;/Â&#x2026;iĂ&#x20AC;>ÂŤĂ&#x17E;Ă&#x160; UĂ&#x160;*Ă&#x20AC;>}Â&#x201C;>Ă&#x152;Â&#x2C6;VĂ&#x160;>Â&#x2DC;}Ă&#x2022;>}iĂ&#x160;>Â&#x2DC;`Ă&#x160;-Â&#x153;VÂ&#x2C6;>Â?Ă&#x160;Ă&#x20AC;Â&#x153;Ă&#x2022;ÂŤĂ&#x192;Ă&#x160; UĂ&#x160;>Â&#x2DC;`Ă&#x153;Ă&#x20AC;Â&#x2C6;Ă&#x152;Â&#x2C6;Â&#x2DC;}Ă&#x160;7Â&#x2C6;Ă&#x152;Â&#x2026;Â&#x153;Ă&#x2022;Ă&#x152;Ă&#x160;/i>Ă&#x20AC;Ă&#x192;Ă&#x160; UĂ&#x160;/Â&#x2026;iĂ&#x20AC;>ÂŤiĂ&#x2022;Ă&#x152;Â&#x2C6;VĂ&#x160;Â&#x2C6;Ă&#x192;Ă&#x152;iÂ&#x2DC;Â&#x2C6;Â&#x2DC;}Ă&#x160; UĂ&#x160;*>Ă&#x20AC;iÂ&#x2DC;Ă&#x152;Ă&#x160;>Â&#x2DC;`Ă&#x160; `Ă&#x2022;V>Ă&#x152;Â&#x153;Ă&#x20AC;Ă&#x160;7Â&#x153;Ă&#x20AC;Â&#x17D;Ă&#x192;Â&#x2026;Â&#x153;ÂŤĂ&#x192;Ă&#x160; UĂ&#x160; Ă&#x20AC;>Â&#x2DC;Â&#x2C6;>Â?Ă&#x160;->VĂ&#x20AC;>Â?Ă&#x160;>Ă&#x192;Ă&#x192;>}iĂ&#x160; UĂ&#x160;-Ă&#x152;Ă&#x20AC;iÂ&#x2DC;}Ă&#x152;Â&#x2026;Ă&#x160; >Ă&#x192;i`Ă&#x160;Ă&#x192;Ă&#x192;iĂ&#x192;Ă&#x192;Â&#x201C;iÂ&#x2DC;Ă&#x152;Ă&#x192;Ă&#x160; UĂ&#x160; Â&#x153;}Â&#x2DC;Â&#x2C6;Ă&#x152;Â&#x2C6;Ă&#x203A;iĂ&#x160;Ă&#x192;Ă&#x192;iĂ&#x192;Ă&#x192;Â&#x201C;iÂ&#x2DC;Ă&#x152;Ă&#x192;Ă&#x160; UĂ&#x160;"Ă&#x20AC;Ă&#x152;Â&#x153;Â&#x2DC;Ă&#x160;Â&#x2C6;Â?Â?Â&#x2C6;Â&#x2DC;}Â&#x2026;>Â&#x201C;Ă&#x160;,i>`Â&#x2C6;Â&#x2DC;}Ă&#x160;*Ă&#x20AC;Â&#x153;}Ă&#x20AC;>Â&#x201C; We are in-network providers for many major insurance carriers.

Ă&#x2021;Ă&#x2C6;Ă&#x160;"Ă&#x152;Â&#x2C6;Ă&#x192;Ă&#x160;-Ă&#x152;Ă&#x20AC;iiĂ&#x152;Ă&#x160;Â&#x203A;Ă&#x2021;Ă&#x160;UĂ&#x160;7iĂ&#x192;Ă&#x152;LÂ&#x153;Ă&#x20AC;Â&#x153;Ă&#x2022;}Â&#x2026;]Ă&#x160;Ă&#x160;ä£x{x xänÂ&#x2021;nÂ&#x2122;nÂ&#x2021;Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x2C6;nnĂ&#x160;­ŽĂ&#x160;UĂ&#x160;xänÂ&#x2021;Ă&#x17D;ÂŁÂ&#x2122;Â&#x2021;Ă&#x17D;Ă&#x201C;ääĂ&#x160;­vÂŽĂ&#x160;UĂ&#x160;Ă&#x153;Ă&#x153;Ă&#x153;°L>Ă&#x20AC;Ă&#x20AC;iĂ&#x152;Ă&#x152;v>Â&#x201C;Â&#x2C6;Â?Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x153;iÂ?Â?Â&#x2DC;iĂ&#x192;Ă&#x192;°VÂ&#x153;Â&#x201C; 26 NOVEMBER2010


steven king

SUGAR SUBSTITUTES-

SHIFTY OR SAFE? BY

kate scarlata, rd, ldn

A

merica’s futile attempt at keeping a trim waistline seems to keep the market for products sweetened with sugar substitutes afloat. Ironically, since fake sweeteners infiltrated our food supply, America’s belt size has regrettably gone up a notch. If the goal is weight management, well, maybe it’s time we took a look at the facts. Studies show consumption of diet soda is actually linked to an increased risk of metabolic syndrome, a precursor to abdominal obesity, heart disease and diabetes. And animal studies show that rats fed

artificially sweetened chocolate and real chocolate, ate more of the fake stuff. When it comes right down to it, why do people consume these potentially harmful ingredients anyway? As a registered dietitian with a sweet tooth, I would prefer having small amounts of the “real thing” than globs of the artificially sweetened anything. Perhaps, indulging in a small (yes, small) creamy, homemade ice cream cone once or twice a month rather than a nightly fix of the sugar-free low fat tasteless kind would be a better option for all of us. Although studies have failed to show obvious and consistent potential problems with

sugar substitutes, my concern is the lack of long-term studies and overuse of these sugar substitutes, particularly in our growing children. Manufacturers are adding them to everything, even seemingly healthy foods, such as granola bars, breads, yogurt and more recently orange juice! Do your kids really deserve ingredients concocted in a lab? Tropicana orange juice recently launched a product called Trop 50, an orange juice with 50 percent less sugar sweetened with stevia extracts. Why do we need to sweeten an already sweet product? So our children can consume more of it? Plus, teaching children that juice (or any sweet treat) should be enjoyed in smaller portions is a healthy life lesson, and these types of products confuse the health message.

THE WORLD OF SUGAR SUBSTITUTES: Let me get started by saying, I am a believer in real foods, so many of the sugar substitutes make me cringe. There are many out on the market, however, so allow me to introduce them to you. Sugar alcohols are naturally found in some foods such as apples and pears, but are often used as a sugar substitute as they have fewer calories than sugar. Big sources are sugar-free products such as: gum, mints, candy and cough drops. AKA: isomalt, maltitol, mannitol, sorbitol, and xylitol. Safety: Sugar alcohols are often not absorbed well by the intestine and consuming too much can lead to diarrhea.

• SUCROLOSE AKA: Splenda What is it? Sucralose is made by chlorinating sugar molecules. The body does not absorb Sucralose, so

it does not provide any calories or carbohydrates. Safety: Seems to have the best track record and best safety studies.

• ASPARTAME AKA: Equal, NutraSweet What is it? Two amino acids (building blocks of protein) combined unnaturally to create a sweet taste. Safety: May be linked with headaches. Cannot be used safely in those with phenylketonuria (PKU), a rare genetic disorder.

• STEVIA AKA: products made from the stevia leaf, primarily Rebaudioside A, a purified form of stevia, include: Good&Sweet, Sun Crystals, Truvia, PureVia Safety: Concern for overuse in beverages and products. The Coca-Cola Company, the world’s largest beverage distribution system serving up 1.5 billion servings of their product daily, uses truvia in some of their low calorie beverages. Past studies showed issues with reproductive health, but more recent studies have suggested this is not an issue.

• SACCHARIN AKA: Sweet n low. Safety: Questions concerning bladder cancer risk. Is a little sugar substitute toxic to the body? Probably not, but I bet you are consuming more of it than you realize as many food manufacturers regularly sneak some into your favorite cereal box, sandwich bread and many more of your family favorite foods. Just take note and remember, less is more when it comes to these fake sweeteners. Kate Scarlata, RD, LDN is a Boston-based private practice dietitian and mom of three children. Her latest book, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Eating Well with IBS, Alpha 2010, details the most up-to-date science on Irritable Bowel Syndrome and dietary symptom management with over 160 delicious IBS friendly recipes. Follow Kate on twitter @beegood or katescarlata.com.

Early Education and Care Since 1913

www.guildofstagnes.org All of our centers are NAEYC accredited vEnrolling children from 4 weeks to 12 years vCenter Hours: 7:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. v Breakfast, Lunch and Snack Provided

Now Enrolling! 888.798.4567

Center Locations Include Granite St., Green St. and Grove St. in Worcester Charlton, Devens, Fitchburg and Gardner Family Care Offices In Devens, Leicester, Whitinsville and Worcester

New funding for preschool children to parents who are eligible for state subisdy or sliding scale.

BAYSTATEPARENT 27


Go

with creativity...

Hand painted and personalized gifts

Scribble It

OPEN HOUSE LISTINGS

50 Winchester Street Newton, MA 02461 617-964-9897 • www.scribbleitnewton.com Monday - Friday 9:30-6 Saturday 10-5

Fayerweather Street School

Woodside Montessori Academy

Create. Enrich. Inspire. Ê}iÃÊUʏÊ˜ÃÌÀՓi˜Ìà *ÀˆÛ>ÌiÊ>˜`Ê}ÀœÕ«ÊiÃܘÃ]ÊV>ÃÃiÃÊ>˜`Êi˜Ãi“Lià -«>ViÃÊÃ̈Ê>Û>ˆ>Li ,i}ˆÃÌiÀÊ œÜt

Worcester Academy of Music ££ÊÀۈ˜}Ê-Ì°]Ê7œÀViÃÌiÀÊxän‡ÈÎx‡È™ää worcesteracademyofmusic.com

)HDVW<RXU(\HVRQD %ULJKW+HDOWK\6PLOH MELVIN A. EHRLICH, D.D.S., P.C. DrMelChildrensDentist.com Individualized Preventive Dental and Orthodontic Care for Toddlers, Children through Adolescence, and those with Special Needs Melvin A. “Dr. Mel” Ehrlich, Pediatric Dentist Diana Pardo, Orthodontist for Children and Adults

223 Walnut Street, Framingham, MA 01702

(508) 875-KIDS (5437) Call for details about our FREE WeeCare Infant Oral Health Program WeeCareAtDrMels.com

November 7 from 1:30pm – 3:30pm Primary (PreK and K) & Middle School Campus: 350 Village Street, Millis, MA 02054 Elementary (Grades 1-6) Campus: 64 Exchange Street, Millis, MA 02054 508-376-5320

Nashoba Montessori School

November 3 from 12:30pm – 1:30pm Children ages 2.9 – 6 years old 94 Main Street, Lancaster, MA 01523 Contact Donna Bernier 978-368-3555 www.nashobamontessori.com

Dedham Country Day School

November 7 from 1:30pm – 4pm 765 Concord Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138 Contact Cynthia Bohrer, Director of Admission 617-876-4746 www.fayerweather.org

Cornerstone Academy

November 7 from 1pm – 4pm 5 Oak Avenue, Northborough, MA 01532 Contact Karen McQuade 508-351-9976 www.cornerstoneacademy.org

A Place To Grow

November 13 from 10am – 12pm 40 Strawberry Hill Road, Concord, MA 01742 Contact Suzanne Foley 978-369-2699 www.aplacetogrowchildcare.com

A Place To Grow

November 1 from 5:30pm – 7:30pm; November 16 from 8:30am – 10am 90 Sandy Valley Road, Dedham, MA 02026 Contact Ellen Tretter 781-329-0850 www.dedhamcountryday.org

November 13 from 10am – 12pm 402 Concord Road, Bedford, MA 01730 Contact Heather Drummond 781-271-9847 www.aplacetogrowchildcare.com

Venerini Academy

November 14 from 1pm – 4pm 130 Pleasant Street, Lexington, MA 02421 Contact Carolyn DiNatale 781-862-8571 x1101 www.lexmontessori.org

November 11 from 9am – 11am 27 Edward Street, Worcester, MA 01605 Contact Paul M. Jourcin 508-753-3210 www.veneriniacademy.us

Skribbles Learning Center, LLC

November 6 from 9am – 1pm 172 Otis Street, Northborough, MA 01532 Contact Lisa Bourque 508-393-0798 www.skribbles.com

Charles River School

November 14 from 2pm – 4pm 6 Old Meadow Road, Dover, MA 02030 Contact Marion Earley 508-785-8213 www.charlesriverschool.org

Lexington Montessori School

Cambridge Friends School

November 6 from 1pm – 3pm 5 Cadbury Road, Cambridge, MA 02140 Contact Sarah Turner, Director of Admission and Financial Aid, or Virginia Jokisch, Associate Director of Admission 617-354-3880 or cfsadmission@cfsmass.org www.cfsmass.org To add your Open House listing to baystateparent Magazine, contact Stephanie Pearl at StephanieP@baystateparent.com

An independent congregation serving the diverse needs of the MetroWest Jewish community

Tot Shabbat! - Nov 5

Celebrating Shabbat with Rabbi Sonia Saltzman and other area families in a child-friendly, informal environment. Friday, Nov 5 at 6:30 pm. Programs geared for children ages 2-6 and their families. Check the website for more upcoming dates and times. Held at our new location: 162 W Union Ashland, Ashland Community Center

Chanukah Party! - Dec 5

Metro-West area families are welcome to join in the Chanukah festivities. Sunday, Dec 5 from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm. Games, songs and snacks are sure to delight! Bring your Menorah and light the candles together. Held at the Ashland Middle School. There is no charge for these events. For more info: info@shaareishalom.org • www.shaareishalom.org • 508.231.4700 28 NOVEMBER2010


We are Panera. We are bakers of bread. We are fresh from the oven. We are a symbol of warmth and welcome. We are a simple pleasure, honest and genuine. We are a life story told over dinner. We are a long lunch with an old friend. We are your weekday morning ritual. We are the kindest gesture of neighbors. We are home. We are family. We are friends. For locations, visit us at www.panera-boston.com or ďŹ nd us on Facebook: Panera Bread of Greater Boston.

BAYSTATEPARENT 29


30 NOVEMBER2010


bsp goes coastal! SNUG BY THE SEA Six young beachgoers joined baystateparent on the North Shore, bundling up in a wave of winter fashions. The tides are bringing in a lot of fur (for girls and boys) as well as classic staple items that New England families depend on and love.

"It's like swinter...summer and winter put together, my two favorite seasons." Maggie, 7, Carlisle

Trading in his surfboard for a sled: Karlos is looking sharp in his green Lands' End Expedition Parka (trimmed in fur, of course) with a Lands' End sweater scarf and microfleece hat. His classic khakis are by Rugged Bear, leather workboots by Lands' End. Seashell secrets: The real secret of Maggie's Catimini Framboose jacket is that it is completely furlined. "It's like wearing a blanket!" Maggie says (see the gorgeous detail on its back on page 30. Maggie's also wearing 3 Pearls jeggings, which are leggings styled to look like tight denim jeans and all over the place this season! All fashions are available at Kenzie Kids in Wellesley. Boots provided by Kids Barn, Newton. Warm and fuzzy: Little Miss Leslie is just as cuddly as can be in styles from a gorgeous French line, Lili Gaufrette: super soft brown Leontine jacket over ribbed leggings topped with a pink Leberet. All styles are available at Wellesley's Kenzie Kids. Leslie's furtrimmed boots are by Kohl's. Bundled by the beach: Leslie's big sister, Meredith, "rocks" a purple and grey Luann suede coat with fur cuffs and a super cozy fur interior (just look inside the hood!). Meredith's knee-high shiny black boots provided by Kids Barn, Newton. The Team Paula Monette Ethier, Creative Director Carrie Wattu, Editor Allison Cottrill, Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Fashion Photographer Toni&GuyÂŽ Hairdressing Academy, Hair and Makeup Photographed on location at Good Harbor Beach, Gloucester BAYSTATEPARENT 31


Under the boardwalk: Seashell collector, 4-year-old Avi, is on the hunt in toasty traditionals: a fleece toggle jacket, sweater and jeans, all from Massachusettsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; own, Rugged Bear.

Cozy at the coast: Twelve-year-old Mirabela rocks KGirl styles from Kenzie Kids in Wellesley including this ultra-soft and warm gray fur vest with matching ear muffs as well as an Essential Girls sweater dress. Mirabelaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Uggs are from the Kids Barn in Newton.

32 NOVEMBER2010


Down by the Sea with bsp We knew we'd luck out on the shore of beautiful Good Harbor Beach in Gloucester as the locale of baystateparent's winter fashion shoot (and we did!). However, while we thought we had a feel for this city, one of America's oldest seaports (great for whale watching, deep sea fishing and schooner tours), we really had no idea how vibrant Gloucester's Main Street was. Downtown Gloucester is home to unique shops and galleries to be browsed via brick sidewalks and old-fashioned street lights as you are greeted by eclectic storefronts, window boxes and flowers. Sure, Gloucester and summer go hand in hand, but If you visit during the Christmas season, it's a great place to get some fresh air and browse for cool gifts and to grab a nice lunch or dinner at a surprising array of pizza parlors, bistros, pubs and more. Be sure to stop by the police station on Main Street and visit the Lobster Trap tree, a Christmas tree constructed out of lobster traps & bouys!

Where we stayed: about two minutes from Good Harbor Beach at the Sea Lion Motel. Owner Ramona Faherty was introduced to us as "the happy blonde woman with the big smile." The accommodations were equally friendly: good prices and clean, comfortable amenities including family-friendly suites and cottages equipped with kitchens as well as complimentary continental breakfast. Shaws and Stop & Shop are both located about one minute away, making it convenient and affordable for families to eat. In the summer, families can grill and eat on picnic tables by the heated pool. sealionmotel.com. Where we ate: Alchemy Tapas & Bistro, a suburbanchic restaurant in the heart of downtown Gloucester, adjacent to the fun shops. This was one of the highlights of our stay. Alchemy provides upscale casual dining, an adventurous menu and a cool, comfortable vibe. The food was fresh, presented beautifully and absolutely delicious (We loved the chopped salad and side dishes, which came ready to share). Worth a drive! alchemybistro.com.

Straighteners, Seashells and Starfish In addition to the styling tools pictured here, baystateparent’s Tony&Guy® stylists imaginatively incorporated seashells and starfish into the tresses of our models. Stylists from Tony&Guy® Hairdressing Academy: Kelsey Hanlan, Millbury, student; Rahsann Gomes, Director of Education, Providence, RI; Lauren Molnar, Sterling, student; Francesa Matisoo, Worcester, student; Marlene Johnson, Worcester, student. Giving Back: A Food Drive Cut-a-Thon will be held at Toni&Guy on Sat., Nov. 20, 9 a.m. - 3 p .m. at their hairdressing academy on 6 Park Ave., in Worcester. With a food donation and a mention that you saw Toni&Guy in baystateparent, you’ll receive make-up, cuts and style outs for just $10 each. Music provided by DJ Q. toniguy.com. BAYSTATEPARENT 33


Shore Bets ON KEEPING THEM WARM AND STYLINâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; THIS WINTER

Meet our Princes and Princesses of Tides

Karlos, age 9, Arlington

Maggie, age 7, Carlisle 34 NOVEMBER2010

Mirabela, age 12, Arlington

Leslie, age 4, and Meredith, age 5, Franklin

Avi, age 4, Waltham


EXPERIENCEthe joy of

great family entertainment!

December 29-January 2

Photo by Peter Cooke

Photo by Liza Voll

THE NUTCRACKER November 26-28

TM/Š2010 Sesame Workshop. All Rights Reserved.

SESAME STREET LIVE â&#x20AC;&#x153;1-2-3 Imagine! with Elmo & Friendsâ&#x20AC;?

A CHRISTMAS CAROL December 17-23 5IF)BOPWFS5IFBUSFPSHt4)08 (7469) 2 Southbridge Street t Worcester, MA 01608 Discounts available for members, groups, kids, students, and WOO card holders Worcester Center Center for thefor Performing Arts,Arts, a registered not-for-profit organization, owns operates The Hanover for the Performing Arts. Worcester the Performing a registered not-for-profit501(c)(3) 501(c)3 organization, owns andand operates The Hanover TheatreTheatre for the Performing Arts.

BAYSTATEPARENT 35


Slowly cruising down the long driveway covered with crushed seashells, the beautiful scenery of one of New Englandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest vineyard, the renowned Westport Rivers, envelops me. Rolling fields of grape vines, a huge barn and a quaint bungalow make the trip down Westportâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s drab Route 88 in Southeastern Massachusetts a distant memory. As I get out of my car, the salty smell of ocean air hits me, and I wonder how this coastal environment affects the wine-making process. Bill Russell, one of two brothers who own and operate Westport Rivers Vineyard and Winery, greets me in knee-high rain boots. On this early October day, the torrential downpours will not let up. He leads me into the barn that houses the wine-making equipment, where water is soon gushing out of massive tanks and down floor drains. Russell comments that â&#x20AC;&#x153;80 percent of the job is cleaning.â&#x20AC;? So the work isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t glamorous. But the end result is a product some consider world class, and I quickly determine a visit here should be nothing short of relaxing and rejuvenating. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There are few farming vistas as beautiful and romantic as this â&#x20AC;&#x201C; looking out on acres and acres of grapes, the sun setting in the distance,â&#x20AC;? Bill remarks.

Free Tours No sunshine on this day, but the heavy rain means Bill and his brother, Rob Russell, are not out harvesting grapes. So Rob can give me a tour like the free public ones on Saturdays (minus a stroll through the vineyard, since itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s being deluged). I start by asking

about the climate and recent weather. Rob explains that the South Coast of Massachusetts got enough rain over the summer. But two weeks of steady rain in early fall could threaten some grapes. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Heavy rain dilutes the juice in the berries,â&#x20AC;? Rob explains, adding that it can also ruin their skins. But the marine climate is typically ideal for wine making, with the ocean stabilizing air temperatures. The tour starts with the press where the grapes go after harvest. Their juice cools and clarifies in steel tanks, then ferments after the addition of yeast. Rob then leads me to the room full of large oak barrels stacked four-high in racks. This is where the wine will sit for nine months so the tannins can mellow and more flavors can develop. Next is my introduction to the art of making sparkling wine, which comprises half of Westport Riversâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; 7,000-case annual output. Rob educates me in tirage â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the process of re-fermenting the wine with sugar and more yeast to create the bubbles, the way the French do it. The bottles rest for three to twelve years before the final step. I watch as a winery worker freezes bottle necks, upside down in food-grade antifreeze. He then puts each bottle in a machine that pops off the soda cap â&#x20AC;&#x201C; expelling a little ice chunk that holds the yeast. Another machine corks the bottle. The best part of the tour comes last â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the wine tasting. Rob walks me out through the vine-covered arbor and into the retail store, where an upbeat employee, Yvonne Rogers, is my host at the bar. She pours a small sample of the 2000 Blanc de Blancs sparkling wine.

LETâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;SROLL

The Place to Be after Thanksgiving: Westport Rive Riv The Weston Friendly Society Presents

5V]LTILY +LJLTILY >LZ[VU;V^U/HSS;OLH[YL -VY[PJRL[ZHUKPUMVYTH[PVUWSLHZLNV[V

^^^^LZ[VUMYPLUKS`VYN 36 NOVEMBER2010


â&#x20AC;&#x153;It produces the nice pinpoint bubble and a nice yeasty taste with a hint of pear,â&#x20AC;? Rogers says. Typically more of a still wine fan, I am pleasantly surprised. At the first sip, I know why Westport Rivers has made a name for itself in the world of bubbly. I learn the RJR Brut, which is not currently in stock, has won taste tests against the world-famous Veuve Clicquot. Small tastes of the Blanc de Noirs, Riesling, Rkatsiteli and Pineau de Pinot dessert wine and award-winning Chardonnay (which The New York Times once called â&#x20AC;&#x153;virtually flawlessâ&#x20AC;?) go down just as smoothly. They should grace wine lists at all area restaurants. In the Boston/Cambridge area, about 15 currently sell them. Westport Rivers even has one exclusive label at Lâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Espalier. Despite the sophistication of the wines, the folks who sell and make them say the winery is anything but upper crust. Rogers describes the atmosphere as â&#x20AC;&#x153;just really festive and friendlyâ&#x20AC;Ś and unpretentious.â&#x20AC;?

Children in Tow Thirty-nine-year-old Lisa Henderson, who recently moved within walking distance of the vineyard, says she has â&#x20AC;&#x153;fallen in loveâ&#x20AC;? with it. She comes here routinely with friends â&#x20AC;&#x201C; both those who are single like her, and those toting their children. Calling the sparkling wines â&#x20AC;&#x153;scrumptious,â&#x20AC;? Henderson describes time at Westport Rivers as an escape. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Just going up there for an event, or just to sit there for the afternoonâ&#x20AC;Ś itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s gorgeous,â&#x20AC;? she says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pretty laid back,â&#x20AC;? says Rob Russell, who has five children. â&#x20AC;&#x153;A lot of people come and have picnics on the weekends. Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll do a tasting on the lawn, then hang out and have a picnic with their kids, play Frisbee.â&#x20AC;?

The biggest event happens the Saturday after Thanksgiving â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Westport Riversâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; annual Holiday Open House, with such features as hayrides, animals, cookie decorating, a tree lighting and caroling. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We love kids. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re a family business. We want to make the place as family-friendly as possible,â&#x20AC;? Bill Russell explains. All summer the winery hosts its Sunset Music Series on Friday nights. A local theater group does Shakespeare on the Lawn. And itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s right down the street from Horseneck Beach. I make a mental note to combine the two for a day trip next summer. I complete my visit with a stroll through Russell Art Gallery, on the second floor over the cozy store. The gallery hosts shows by regional artists all year. On this day itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an eclectic collection of paper mache masks, mirrors and jewelry by Jim Kay. As they support local artists, The Russells hope area residents support local farmers. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Local wineries really are local farms,â&#x20AC;? Rob says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;As people become more familiar themselves about the world of wine, they are more willing to try wines from different areas, including their own back yard.â&#x20AC;? Two bottles made their way home with me, and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll certainly seek out Westport Rivers on restaurant wine lists, while looking forward to my next visit to this wine country by the coast. For information on the family-oriented November Holiday Open House and more, visit westportrivers.com. Lynn Jolicoeur is an award-winning journalist and the mother of kindergarten twins. Sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s worked extensively as a television reporter â&#x20AC;&#x201C; most recently in Boston. She makes her home in Shrewsbury.

t Rivers Vineyard and Winery BY

lynn jolicoeur, michelle carr photography

(YHU\GD\PRPHQWV ( EHUHDG\LQVW\OH

Mon. - Sat., 9-6, Thurs. 9-7, Sun. 10-5

www.everythingcutie.com Johnny Appleseed Plaza, 1021 Central St., Leominster â&#x20AC;˘ 978-534-6604 BAYSTATEPARENT 37


VERY

special FAMILIES

31 on my plate 32 who’s coaching our kids? 34 when autism isn’t invited 40 parenting with special needs 42 mom that rocks 44 creatures of comfort

ONMY

Plate OUTING Howie BY

alysia krasnow butler

I’m a pretty private person. I know that seems weird to say, considering I write a blog now, but in the non-virtual world I’m pretty good at keeping things about me to myself, only sharing with close family and a few select friends. This need for privacy is certainly something I learned from my parents, and especially my father. Despite his very public political life, our family life was kept behind closed doors. Nothing illustrated this more than when he got sick with pancreatic cancer. Inside our house, we were a mess, scrambling to get him whatever help we could while attempting to understand what his absence would mean. Outside our house, however, we all circled the wagons at my father’s insistence. When asked how he was doing, our family mantra became “Yup, yup, we’re doing ok.” But we weren’t doing ok. By denying this fact to the rest of the world – specifically our friends and 38 NOVEMBER2010

neighbors – we were denying ourselves the ability to get outside help and support. We closed ourselves off from the shoulders to cry on, the hands to hold when things were rough, or the understanding voice on the other end of the phone saying that they had been there too. Fast forward to last year when we started to notice that things were a little different with our youngest son, Howie. When he started preschool, we could really see that he needed help. My privacy instincts kicked in immediately, and while we were waiting to get him evaluated, I kept our whole story to myself, with the exception again of a few family members and close friends. Living in a small town, it would be easy for one person to innocently share with one friend what we were going through, and then that friend would tell another, until the game of “telephone” had been played to the point that Howie’s story would become something not even close to the truth. I was already uncomfortable enough with

the accommodations we had made to his schedule (increasing his school time from three to five mornings, having him enter school before the other kids, picking him up at a different door) – I didn’t need everyone in town questioning why we were getting seemingly special treatment. Once we got Howie’s PDD-NOS diagnosis (an autism spectrum disorder), however, I knew in my heart it was time to let it out. Educationally, we didn’t really have a choice. His autism diagnosis led us to a full-day/full-year preschool program and the need for an IEP. We were now entering the school through a different door and picking up at a different time – clearly something noticed by all the parents with whom we had previously waited before school started. I first let down my guard with three other mothers who were dropping off their kids for the full-day special program. Introducing myself to them was not easy for me, but they were so warm and welcoming and understanding it was hard not to think that I should share more. Howie and I attended a gymnastics class in town just for kids on the spectrum and I wrote an essay about it for Autism Speaks. When it was published on their Web site, our story was out. Following that post, my husband and I spent a lot of time talking about how I had “outed” Howie to the world as being on the spectrum, without him having a say in it at all. We came to realize that this is who he is, and his behavior or quirks or whatever we may call it are explained by his autism. We didn’t label him for life with something that wasn’t him. But for me, it was more than just that. Sharing his story was the only way for me to get the help and support I needed to get through the day. It was the only way

I could feel that I was not alone. Sharing led me to three new wonderful friends, to starting a local support group, and of course, to writing a blog. I am still figuring out when to break through that wall of privacy around me. I have a constant debate in my head when we meet new people about how much to share with them. Do I tell the mom at the park when she’s staring at Howie when he’s making his noises? The neighbor who calls to ask about a playdate? The swim instructor who can’t understand why Howie won’t put his feet down on the dock? Considering the stigma that is still attached to the word “autism,” I don’t want him shunned from playgroups or activities, yet I want others to know why he behaves the way he does. When asked by casual acquaintances and extended family members how things are going, I still find myself answering “yup, yup, we’re doing ok,” even when we’re not. But I’m getting there. Because I know that the more I share what’s going on in our house, the more others will understand Howie and spectrum disorders in general. And because I know I need those shoulders to cry on and those understanding voices telling me that I’m not alone. Blogger Alysia Krasnow Butler is a Hopedale mom of three. To read more about the challenges of raising three boys, including one with Autism Spectrum Disorder, visit her Blog at trydefyinggravity.wordpress.com. On My Plate features essays from parents in Massachusetts. If you have an experience or viewpoint that you’d like to share, please submit your essay to editor@baystateparent.com.


What We Offer. . .

Who we are. . .

Neurodevelopmental Evaluation

Neuropsychologists

A comprehensive assessment of a child’s capabilities in many domains, including communications, visual-spatial ability, problem-solving, memory, attention, social skills and emotional status, that also considers behavior and whether or not it is developmentally age-appropriate or symptomatic of disorder or delay. One of its most important aspects is the integration of all of the information we gather into a useful, jargon-free profile that recognizably describes “Your Whole Child.”

Ann A. Helmus, Ph.D., DIRECTOR

Nancy Roosa, Psy.D., CLINICAL DIRECTOR, THE DEVELOPMENTAL COLLABORATIVE AT NESCA

Jason McCormick, Psy.D. S. Monaghan-Blout, Psy.D. Elizabeth Gatti, Psy.D. Alissa Talamo, Ph.D. Robyn Glover, Ph.D. Amy Allgair, Ph.D. Eun Yeop Lee, Ph.D. Kelly Lowery, M.S. Reva Tankle, Ph.D. Our seasoned specialists have the training, experience, clinical judgment and professional standing not only to perform thorough and accurate evaluations, but also to make persuasive, useful recommendations and monitor their effective implementation. Allied Staff Hannah Gould, M.Ed., SOCIAL SKILLS GROUPS & YOGA THERAPY

Neuropsychological Evaluation A detailed description of a child’s learning style based on careful consideration of test data, observations by parents, teachers and clinicians, and developmental history. We address the underlying reasons that a child may be struggling academically, socially or emotionally, and offer parents and teachers a set of tools for supporting that child’s development, long-term. Clinicians may also evaluate proposed educational programs, participate in team meetings or observe the child at school to ensure that their individualized recommendations are implemented effectively.

Psychodiagnostic Assessment Focused on social-emotional development and functioning, these are helpful in understanding why the child may be experiencing emotional distress or exhibiting changes in behavior.

Transitional Planning & Support Social Worker and LEND Fellow Sandy Storer, M.S.W. provides transitional support services to adolescents coping with the challenges of adulthood, as they move into post-secondary education and eventually, the workplace. Ms. Storer is the author of Supported Transition: A Bridge to Adulthood for Students with Asperger’s Syndrome. She has many years of experience working with adolescents with Asperger’s Syndrome, in public and private schools and in colleges.

Mind-Body Integration Therapy Yoga-based, mind-body integration therapy helps children by increasing their self-awareness, equipping them to effectively manage difficult emotions, modulate their physiological state and calm themselves when anxious or overwhelmed. Conducted by Hannah Gould, M.Ed., a certified special education teacher and yoga instructor extensively experienced in working with children with nonverbal learning disability and autism spectrum disorders, including Asperger’s Syndrome.

Sandy Storer, M.S.W., TRANSITIONAL SPECIALIST

Teresa Kohlenberg, M.D. PSYCHIATRIC CONSULTATION

Neuropsychology & Education Services for Children & Adolescents ™äÊ Àˆ`}iÊ-ÌÀiiÌÊUÊ iÜ̜˜]ÊÊäÓ{xnÊUÊȣLJÈxn‡™nääÊUÊÜÜÜ°˜iÃV>‡˜iÜ̜˜°Vœ“

We Are Moving! NESCA will soon be relocating to a larger suite of offices within the Chapel Bridge Park Vœ“«iÝ]ʍÕÃÌÊÃÌi«ÃÊvÀœ“Ê܅iÀiÊÜiÊ>ÀiʘœÜ°ÊÃʜvÊ iVi“LiÀÊ£]ÊÓä£äʜÕÀÊ>``ÀiÃÃÊ܈ÊLiÊxxÊ

…>«iÊ-ÌÀiiÌ]ÊӘ`ʏœœÀ]Ê iÜ̜˜]ÊÊäÓ{xn°Ê"ÕÀʓ>ˆ˜ÊÌii«…œ˜iʘՓLiÀÊ>˜`ʈ˜`ˆÛˆ`Õ>Ê email addresses will remain the same. You will enter from Chapel Street, one block east of Bridge Street, and follow the lobby signs to an elevator that opens directly into our reception area. There is a parking lot opposite the building entrance, where NESCA has plenty of reserved, free spaces.

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When Autism Isn’t Invited Playdates and Birthday Parties with the Special Needs Child BY

christine f. della monaca with sue loring of the autism resource center of central massachusetts, liz bell, illustrator

F

or most of us parents, our social lives revolve around our children when they are young. We connect to other parents of children the same age through playdates, team sports and activities. But social connections pose a challenge for families that include a child with special needs. One of my best friends has a 5-year-old son who has high-functioning autism spectrum disorder (ASD), as well as another son who is 4. At a group playdate with her last year, her older son acted up for awhile, clearly having a hard time in a new environment, and finally decided to play by himself in the basement playroom. My girlfriend sat down with a sigh and said, “This is why I don’t have any friends.” She told me later she cried all the way home. As a fellow mom with a young child of my own, I felt for her. Playdates, birthday parties and other social events are important for all kids – and their parents. Sue Loring, director of the Autism Resource Center of Central Massachusetts in West Boylston, has special insight into the topic as she’s been there. Her son with ASD is now 25 years old. In her own words, Loring’s suggestions for parents facing social situations with a special needs child follow:

by other challenges frequently experienced by individuals with ASD, such as difficulty processing sensory input, anxiety disorders and restricted interests. Expecting a child with this disorder to be successful without advance training and active support during the event is setting the child up for failure, which becomes self-perpetuating. For many children with ASD, it is best to initially host all the playdates. Children with autism have great difficulty with and may experience anxiety in novel situations, such as someone else’s home. Social interplay does not come easily to these children; they need to be taught how to play and be supported by an adult familiar with the disorder and child. They do best when a playdate is highly structured, with set expectations, and is organized around a preferred activity for the child with the disability. Preparing the child for the activity through tools like the use of a set schedule and keeping initial playdates short will increase the odds of success. Parents need to be prepared to work hard to see progress.

Invitations: How to Handle Them

With the increase of numbers of children with ASD and heightened awareness, most adults are somewhat aware of what autism is and often may have a member of their extended family who is affected. (Note: The most recent statistics, published in the October 2009 issue of Pediatrics, say 1 in 91 children has ASD.) However, each child with ASD is unique, so it is, in my opinion, best to be direct about how ASD impacts your child so the hosts can be prepared. Parents can explain that their child has difficulty in social situations and would like to attend but may need to leave early or arrive late. If your child has difficulty in large groups, don’t be afraid to ask how many people

It’s important for parents to recognize that their child’s needs come first. While we perceive invitations to childhood events as an indication of our child’s acceptance and popularity, for our children these events are often difficult, painful affairs to be endured rather than enjoyed. Parents need to make the decision based on their child’s readiness and needs, not their own. First, remember that the core deficits of the disorder for a child with autism lie in social interaction, communication and play skills. These core deficits are compounded 40 NOVEMBER2010

Playdate and Party Pointers

will be at the event. If it is going to be a mob scene, it may be better to decline the invitation. Also, don’t be afraid to ask about the plan for the party and choose for your child to attend only part of it, if it will help him or her be successful. Many parents welcome an extra set of hands, so ask if you can stay and help out. However, make it clear you may need to leave early if your child becomes overwhelmed. For playdates, it is again helpful for parents to attend an initial playdate at someone else’s house. This way, your child has the advantage of a familiar person. Also, you can intervene if things don’t go well, and you get to network with the playmate’s parents. After a few supported playdates, parents may be able to fade the supports. However, for some individuals, the need for support in social situations may extend into the teen years and beyond. In that event, it is probably desirable to have the 1:1 support become a respite worker closer in age to the teen peers. This is less stigmatizing for the individual needing support, and the 1:1 often becomes a lifelong friend. My own son was supported for several years as a teen by a college student. After graduation, he continued to be a part of my son’s life, and my son was a

member of his wedding party. To be invited to others’ parties, it is important to reciprocate invitations. For most children with ASD, the demands of being the birthday boy places undue stress upon them for social interactions. Many parents find it easier to plan a party that involves an activity, such as swimming, skating or bowling, in which all participants perform individually. This activity, followed by cake, ice cream and goody bags, makes for a successful day. The child can verbally thank friends for coming. Children with ASD often inadvertently offend others: “I already have one of these,” “I don’t like Batman” or “This is stupid” are comments I have heard over the years. Therefore, some think it’s wiser to open gifts at home after the party, where the child’s reactions won’t be a social gaffe. Again, each child is unique, and with advance preparation children can be taught to respond with a rote phrase, such as “thank you very much,” to every gift. However, this lesson may not be remembered by a child stressed by the party.


hostess to call their parents, explaining they aren’t feeling well and need to leave. Making a polite exit increases the chances of a return engagement. Finally, we have to remember that our children’s abilities to behave appropriately in social situations vary and can be impacted by a number of factors. Health issues can negatively impact a child‘s capabilities. The environment may be too overwhelming for their sensory system and produce maladaptive behaviors. Novel situations create anxiety for the child with ASD and impact their ability to perform to the best of their abilities. Even when you do everything right, things can quickly go wrong, and we must be swift to intercede. When this happens, it is not anyone’s fault; it is the nature of the disability. But just like riding a bike, we need to get up, brush ourselves off and try again. Progress may be slow, but over time our children do learn. If we cease allowing them to have opportunities for growth because of our own discomfort, we deny them access to a full life. Wise words, Sue. As for my friend? Her son just entered kindergarten. As it is for most kids, it’s been an adjustment. But with the new friends school brings, hopefully playdates, birthday parties and other social events will become easier over time. Christine F. Della Monaca lives in Leominster with her husband and 2-year-old son. The playdate mentioned here inspired her to write this story. Contact Christine at christine@dellamonaca.com

Recommended Reading BY

The Children’s Center for Communication Beverly School for the Deaf

sue loring

• The Autism Acceptance Book: Being a Friend to Someone with Autism by Ellen Sabin is a useful tool for explaining autism to peers. • Play and Imagination in Children with Autism and Peer Play and The Autism Spectrum by Pamela Wolfberg offers parents and professionals insights into the impact of autism on play and techniques to structure and facilitate play groups. • Carol Grey’s Social Stories and Comic Book Conversations gives parents and professionals tools to assist a child in understanding social interactions, the expectations of others in those situations and a script for being successful. These short, five to six sentence stories are positive tools that allow a child to rehearse for social interactions. • Stanley Greespan’s work with children with ASD utilizing floortime techniques can be very effective in shaping behaviors to be more socially interactive for children with ASD. His books The Child with Special Needs and Engaging Autism, coauthored with Serena Wieder, offer parents techniques to interact with their child with ASD that build the foundation for later success with peers.

ADULT AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE (ASL) CLASSES 6:30 PM-8:30PM Toddler Sign Playgroup For 2 and 3 year olds 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM Baby Sign Playground For infants and 1 year olds 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM All classes will be taught on campus at The Children’s Center for Communication Beverly School for the Deaf 6 Echo Avenue Beverly, MA 01915 For more information Contact Jessica Fox JessicaFox@beverlyschoolforthedeaf.org 978-927-7070 x317

Resources for Parents and Peers

When Things Go Wrong Parents generally know the signs of impending meltdown. Again, we have to put our needs to see our children succeed aside and listen to what they are telling us through their behavior. Leaving graciously when the signs of meltdown first appear beats leaving with a child in full meltdown mode. Sometimes simply retreating to a quiet space can allow a child who is feeling overwhelmed time to decompress, and they can return after collecting themselves. We ask schools to modify curricula to meet the needs of our child’s disability, so we should also be prepared to ask others to modify a social event so our child can enjoy it. It’s awkward at first, but as time goes on, it becomes second nature. Keep in mind that our children do not place as high a premium on the social aspects of an event and are more likely to enjoy the activity versus the interaction with others. We need to monitor closely for overload and assist our children in learning to advocate for themselves in these situations. Children need to be taught to be polite when overwhelmed and ask a

Peers need concrete information about autism and how it impacts their playmate so that they aren’t angered or scared by their behavior. The Autism Resource Center of Central Massachusetts has been going into classrooms for years to explain this disability to neurotypical peers. Parents may want to sit down with playmates and explain how autism makes certain activities difficult for their friend. There are many resources available to parents on the Internet. In addition, the Autism Resource Center has 1,000 books and DVDs on autism, Asperger Syndrome and related topics parents may borrow. And the Autism Resource Center offers classes on floortime for parents in collaboration with the Astra Foundation. Many children with disabilities that impact their social functioning may benefit from participating in a Social Skills Group facilitated by a trained professional. These groups vary in cost and number of weeks they meet but allow children to focus on developing appropriate social skills in a supported environment. The Resource Center has a list of area providers. For more information on the Autism Resource Center of Central Mass., visit autismresourcecentral.org.

Online Parent Tools Helping Parents: • Track your child’s response to treatments • Organize and securely store medical and education records • Coordinate and collaborate among professionals relate to autism offers the most comprehensive and powerful set of online tools currently available to parents on the web. Every parent of a child with autism is already acting as lead therapist, head teacher, primary caregiver, chief medical officer and “general contractor” for their child’s treatment. relate to autism provides the tools you need to take on that role, no matter what your unique your treatment approach is.

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MOMS ROCK!

Tanya Bernard OF FRAMINGHAM BY

laura richards, steven king photographer

Age: 34 Occupation: Wife, mom and owner of Pampered Mama Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Boutique Mom of: Amy, 11; Justin, 2 Spouse: Mark

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anya Bernardâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s day is pretty typical of most busy moms of two. She grabs a cup of coffee, spends some time in prayer then checks her e-mail and home business Web site. By 6:30 a.m. the rest of her family is up. She nurses her son while finishing up at the computer then gets her husband off to work and middle school daughter to school. She does laundry, makes lunch and works while her son naps. Then she plans for dinner. But one difference between your day and Tanyaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s is that Tanya is legally blind. Tanya was born with normal vision, but looking back, Tanya realizes that she had problems with her night vision starting in her mid teens. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It was a gradual thing, but it was normal to me. It never occurred to me then that other people didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t see the same.â&#x20AC;? In her 20s, things got slowly but progressively worse. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I was running into more and more things, and at one point, I realized I could not see the barriers in parking lots or stars in the sky- even on a great stargazing night.â&#x20AC;? Tanya spent a number of years visiting doctors, trying to figure out what was wrong, but was written off as being too young to have the symptoms she was experiencing. She was told that it was just stress, that it was all in her head and was given a referral to a psychologist. Through researching her symptoms on the Internet, Tanya came across some information on Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), and went to see a retinal specialist who ran tests and confirmed what Tanyaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s own research and suspicions told her. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I had just (finally!) gotten my driverâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

license- had only had it about a year or so, and had to give it up immediately. By the time I was diagnosed [at age 27], I was already legally blind, and should probably never started driving.â&#x20AC;? Tanya hopes and prays that despite her progressive eye condition that she will be able to retain some form of usable vision as she gets older. In the seven years since her diagnosis, she has lost about half of her remaining sight. Considering the limits of her disability, which include not being able to drive or to to see what her children are doing unless they are directly in front of her, it has not hindered Tanya from doing many things, including starting a successful home-based business called Pampered Mama. â&#x20AC;&#x153;My mom was a seamstress, and I always wanted to make things to sell,â&#x20AC;? says Tanya. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Last Christmas I came up with an idea for a blanket and decided to put it out there. I ended up only selling a couple of them but it was a jumping-off point. I saw a post on a Web site asking if anyone made hospital gowns so I contacted them and ended up making a custom hospital gown with openings in the front for breastfeeding. I started marketing them and have been selling them since March. I have since started making birthing and maternity skirts, cloth/ reusable menstrual pads and a few other things. I love it because itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s purely for me and I enjoy it.â&#x20AC;? Asked if sewing is difficult due to her visual struggles, Tanya says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Since I have no peripheral vision, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s more difficult to work on larger projects that need me to see

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42 NOVEMBER2010

Freelance writer Laura Richards first met Tanya through a womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Bible Study class they attended together in church. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll never forget that the room we met in had blinding glare due to the morning sun. Tanya immediately

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the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;bigger picture.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; I am starting to have a little difficulty with fine detailed work. I can see it, but it strains my eyes so I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t do it for more than a few minutes at a time. I also must have really good but indirect lighting.â&#x20AC;? Tanya has made it a point to not let her disability prevent her from duties as mom and in her home either. Keeping track of an active toddler is a challenge for any mom, but as you can imagine, for Tanya the challenge is greater. She has had to get creative, finding a company that sells toddler shoes with removable â&#x20AC;&#x153;squeakersâ&#x20AC;? that fit into the soles of the shoes. This way she can hear 2-year-old Justin squeaking as he walks so that she always knows where he is. Tanya says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;The squeaky shoes are probably my biggest â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;must haveâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; item!â&#x20AC;? Meal preparation is especially difficult because when she sets things down, she often canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t find them. To help with cleaning, Tanya recently hired a housekeeper to come every couple of weeks to clean what she misses. Through it all, Tanya works hard to see her disability as a gift. She believes that whether you are a mom facing a disability or health challenge, or not, â&#x20AC;&#x153;We donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;do it all;â&#x20AC;&#x2122; we just have to do our best. Our kids love us even if they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get to do everything their friends do. When a difficult situation comes up, remember that tomorrow is a new day, with new opportunities.â&#x20AC;?

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volunteered to sew custom curtains to remedy the issue. Not only did it fix the problem of the glare, but they looked great too. I was blown away that a woman with such limited vision could whip up some very professionallooking curtains like it was no big deal!” Tanya has been a continual inspiration to Laura for her positive, can-do attitude. One of Laura’s three sons is legally blind, and Tanya has shown Laura how independent someone can be with this disability and for that, Laura is eternally grateful.

Take 10 with Tanya

so hard for us all week. I have my groceries delivered, and anything I can order online, I do. I do use the ‘The Ride’ [a MBTA transportation system for disabled people, available in 62 Massachusetts cities and towns and range from regular cars to handicapped accessible vans and small buses] for doctor’s appointments, but otherwise, I try to minimize trips out because it means toting a toddler, stroller, diaper bag, cane and any shopping bags on the bus. If I take a taxi or ‘The Ride,’ I have to take Justin’s car seat as well, haul it all around while we shop and then haul it all back plus anything we bought. I hate asking people to take me places. I will accept a ride but only if it’s someplace someone’s already going.

my vision as a gift and not a hindrance. As a mom, letting myself accept help at least when it comes to getting the kids out to do things.

How have you explained your situation to your children, namely your daughter? I was diagnosed when Amy was only 3 ½ so she has grown up with me being disabled as will Justin. I never really sat down and explained things to her but I answer questions when she asks.

Tanya’s business can be found on a collaborative Web site for other work-at-home moms. Just scroll down on the left to find Pampered Mama. http://hyenacart.com/envy/

Do you use a cane or other adaptive technologies? I use a cane especially in crowded or new places. I also use electronic books and large type on the computer. Tell us what you wish people knew about your situation: Having vision problems is not the end of the world. I don’t need people to apologize to me for it, but don’t take it personally if I don’t shake your hand when you reach it out. I just didn’t see it!

Three words to describe your family: Serious, always-try-our-best (is there a single word for that?), fun-loving Why raising a family in Massachusetts is great: Being able to experience the history instead of just reading about it in a book. Walking in places where history actually happened. I love how the seasons change and there are different things to do with each one. Where does your family love going? Garden in the Woods, The Museum of Science, the beach and Gerard Turkey Farm in Framingham for lunch. We also like to walk the Battle Road. What makes you a better mom? Relying on God, prayer and remembering that even on my most frustrating days I can wake up in the morning with a fresh start. The old saying ‘This, too, shall pass.’ How has your vision impacted your role as a mother? I get frustrated more easily now. My kids know that as long as they are not directly in front of me, I can’t see them or what they’re doing. It’s amazing how fast and how quiet a toddler can get into things! I always wanted to be that stereotypical ‘soccer mom.’ I still wish I could be out driving my kids to all the activities they want to do, lessons, games, etc. Because of my disability, Amy only gets to participate in things if we can get a ride for her or if it’s within walking distance. She misses out on a lot of things, and I hate that. Amy has to be my eyes a lot of times too especially when Justin is getting into things. What supports do you have in place and what do you need the most help with if anything? Transportation is my biggest issue. I can’t drive, and I don’t like making Mark play chauffeur all weekend when he’s been working

What are the greatest challenges you face because of your vision both personally and as a mom? Personally, my biggest challenge is myself and remembering to use

Every month, “Moms Rock” sees the good in what moms do. If you know a mom who just rocks, email editor@baystateparent.com.

The Children’s Center for Communication Beverly School for the Deaf of 2 uni acad 8,000 que em sq hea ly de ic & th uare f ring sign era eet los ed f peut s an or ic d s child spac pec e r ial en w nee ith ds Accepting referrals for Deaf and Hearing Students with and without special needs

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For more information contact President/CEO Mark Carlson (978) 927-7070 ext. 202 markcarlson@beverlyschoolforthedeaf.org - www.thechildrenscenterforcommunication.org Where Communication Comes First - Since 1876 BAYSTATEPARENT 43


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CREATURES OF COMFORT An autistic man and his mother dream of a big future for their one-of-a-kind animal creations BY

T

he animals live in Jon Weintraub’s mind. Much more than fabric and stuffing, or his drawings in a notebook, they are his friends. Alberto the Albatross, Ralph the Paradise Kingfisher, Zak the Zebra. Jon rattles off their names as his mother, Linda Weintraub, displays on the kitchen table the vividly colored stuffed animals he designed and she sewed together. “These are who?” Linda asks. “The Chameleon Brothers Mexicana – Scaly, Greenie and George,” 24-year-old Jon, who has autism, answers. It all started with Professor Harry Opossumigan in the year 2000. And today the 75 animals that pack three long shelves in Jon’s bedroom at his family’s Marlborough home are the spark for his life’s dream. “It is my greatest and most official accomplishment of my life to help my mother, Linda Weintraub, keep her home… and stay in Marlborough with me forever,” Jon says. This is the statement the endearing young man makes continually – one of the repetitive actions that have been a hallmark of his autism since early childhood. Though he moved into a group home in town two years ago, and his mother has a steady job and income, he believes making his animals will help his family stay in the home they’ve lived in since he was four. And that family now includes all of his stuffed creatures. “My animal creations have nowhere else to go. This is their home,” Jon states firmly. This is where they belong. This is where they stay.”

Their own kingdom What started as a simple project has taken on a life of its own. Jon and Linda’s goal is to start a production company where people with disabilities can work, making the animals for retail sale. The mom-andson team has put together a hardcover book called Autistic Kingdom, chronicling their journey with the animals and their business aspirations. Linda believes such a company and the 44 NOVEMBER2010

lynn jolicoeur steven king photographer

animals it produces will give other families with disabled children hope “that anything is possible.” “Any talent that they have, any creativity they have, can be used to create something that can help them,”

she says. With each animal Jon designs, after reading about real animals in nature books, he also writes a story – which will go hand-in-hand with the animal if produced for sale. Take the one about

Pinky the Flamingo, featured in Autism Kingdom: “Once upon a time, deep in the heart of the Serengeti Plains of Africa, there lived Pinky. Pinky was a flamingo, like all members of his kind, he waded in the


waterhole, feeding on shrimp. One day, Pinky and the other flamingos, migrated from Africa to Boynton Beach, Florida in the USA, to visit their cousins who lived thereâ&#x20AC;Śâ&#x20AC;? It ends like every story Jon writes: â&#x20AC;Ś â&#x20AC;&#x153;and they lived happily ever after.â&#x20AC;? Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the same wish he has for his family.

Making his world come alive All of this comes from the brain of a young man who didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t start speaking until he was 5. His mother recalls that throughout his childhood, she longed to know how autism would affect him as an adult. Through intensive one-on-one behavioral therapy and unconditional love, she says, he progressed socially and intellectually, graduating from Cardinal Cushing School in Hanover in 2008. Ten years ago during a trip to Florida, Jon pointed out mansions, saying one day he would live in one and be richer than Bill Gates. His mother says she told him he would have to create a business, like Gates did, in order to live in a house like that. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s when he decided he wanted to make a product to sell and started drawing animals from all over the world. Now that mansion no longer seems important â&#x20AC;&#x201C; heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s perfectly happy with the familyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s spacious, but not palatial, colonial. Linda, who is divorced from Jonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s father, also saw the creative outlet as a way to reduce her sonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s perseverative behaviors. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It was really joining him in his world, trying to make something come alive,â&#x20AC;? Linda says. When Jon starts pacing the floor or shaking his hands in the air, his mother tells him to go write or draw. She then translates the drawing to fabric, cutting out pieces for the body. After she stitches them together â&#x20AC;&#x201C; some by machine, some by hand â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Jon helps her stuff them. Working as a data manager for Marlborough Public Schools during the week, Linda says she has to limit the number of animals Jon can create â&#x20AC;&#x201C; otherwise sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d spend all her free time sewing. â&#x20AC;&#x153;His mind is so creative,â&#x20AC;? Linda says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I am totally amazed. If it wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t for him, this wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t exist. I certainly wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have created stuffed animals or written stories.â&#x20AC;? He alone has come up with names like Batly Koda the Second, Ock and

Rock Okiba, Hector McShrew and Jak Springfoot. He modeled The Toucan Brothers â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Ozzie, Jose, Pedro and Ziggy, complete with their mop-like yarn hair â&#x20AC;&#x201C; after The Beatles. He proudly talks about the animals as he removes them from the shelves to pack them in plastic bags for their baystateparent photo shoot. Several times he asks his mother if they will all come back home, and she reassures him they will. â&#x20AC;&#x153;My animal creations stick together, learn the importance of friendship and teamwork, and they all grow up under my care, generation upon generation,â&#x20AC;? Jon writes in the closing of his book. Though he couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t communicate as a young child, the right messages got through to him. His mother stresses to him that despite the importance of his love for his animals, the people in his life have to come first. â&#x20AC;&#x153;He has more compassion and understanding of people and feelings than some people without disabilities in life,â&#x20AC;? Linda says.

An oath to himself and a pledge from his mother Tall, strong and welcoming, Jon also makes clear he likes himself just the way he is, matter-of-factly stating, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I like being autistic. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s who I really am.â&#x20AC;? Then from memory, he recites a poem he wrote called Autistic Oath: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Autistic is great, perfect, pleasant, and kind, with many gracious thoughts in an autistic mind. Autistic is so wonderful, so keen, so sweet. Now say this together, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m wonderfully neat,â&#x20AC;? Jon says in a clear, animated voice, tossing in a British accent and big hand gestures for theatrical effect. A big smile comes across his face as he continues, â&#x20AC;&#x153;My brain is twisting, my mind is ticking. My condition will not be normal, not even realistic â&#x20AC;&#x201C; not now or ever, because Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m autistic. I am autistic. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m autistic!â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no doubt that is his disability,â&#x20AC;? Linda says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;But his ability outweighs his disability.â&#x20AC;? She has pledged to do everything possible to make his wishes come true. When he again begins making his proclamation about helping her stay in her home, she reminds him he already said it today. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I know you love it here, and I love it too,â&#x20AC;? Linda says to her son. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a deal?â&#x20AC;? she asks him. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Deal,â&#x20AC;? Jon answers.

Not knowing how to secure financial backing and marketing to start the production company, Linda says, for now it canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t go beyond her living room and kitchen â&#x20AC;&#x201C; except when she and Jon are traveling in the area and one of the animal projects goes with them. Those four or five hours it takes to make a stuffed animal have become part of their routine. So has perpetuating hope. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Never stop working with your child,â&#x20AC;? Linda urges. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Never stop hoping thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s something in life they can do that is productive and that will be a dream come true for them.â&#x20AC;? When asked what role he wants to play if his vision of an Autistic Kingdom production company becomes a reality, Jon is once again emphatic. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Owner.â&#x20AC;?

When Jon starts pacing the floor or shaking his hands in the air, his mother tells him to go write or draw. She then translates the drawing to fabric, cutting out pieces for the body.

Lynn Jolicoeur is an award-winning journalist and the mother of kindergarten twins. Sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s worked extensively as a television reporter â&#x20AC;&#x201C; most recently in Boston. She makes her home in Shrewsbury.

Autism Research Study Goals: We are studying the possible causes of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

We depend on the participation of families like yours to better understand ASD, hopefully leading to earlier diagnosis and improved treatment. Who we are: A team of doctors and scientists at Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Hospital Boston. What we do: We collect behavioral and genetic information

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VERYSPECIALFAMILIES

WHO’S COACHING OUR

KIDS n a m t o R Leo

Age: 39, Hometown: Sudbury, Coach of: Metro West United Sports (formally Sudbury United Sports), a Special Olympics affiliate Dad of: Jakob, 10, and Noah, 7,Occupation: Financial Adviser My Athlete: About four years ago, when Jakob was 6, a boy in my town was putting together his own “Challenger Basketball” program [for special needs children] as part of his community service bar mitzvah project. At that time, Jakob, who is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, hadn’t participated in any sports so the idea of him playing a sport and getting some activity was really exciting. He loved it and really bonded with the boy that was assigned to help and encourage him during each practice. I Have to Do It: After the program, I thought to myself that it would be great to have a similar sports program available all year round. At the challenger program, I met someone from the Special Olympics who suggested that I start one. My initial reaction was to come up with a variety of excuses why I couldn’t get involved, but after some more thought and encouragement from friends, I realized that in order to help my son, I have to do it.

A Thrilling Experience: All of my programs are based on the idea of unified sports, which means that children with disabilities (called athletes) play together with typically developing children (called partners) as one team. We run soccer in the fall/spring and basketball in the winter and have recently added ice skating. At each sport, we pair up an athlete with a specific partner that they will be with the entire time. At the end of each program, we pass out trophies or medals to the athletes, which is a thrilling experience for them.

the satisfaction in kids’ faces when they get a basket or a goal, or the pure pride parents experience watching their kids play. For many of our athletes, this is the first time they have ever played organized sports.

Cost to Families: My policy is never to charge any kind of participation fee. All of the funds to pay for equipment, field/court/ ice time, uniforms, trophies... have come from many generous donors.

On Special Needs Children and Sports: Overall, just getting a child with any type of special needs to participate in organized sports can be a challenge. A lot of children get anxious, discouraged and frustrated. This can be a very stressful experience for parents so many unfortunately and understandably give up. The result is that in general, children with special needs are lacking in the physical activity that any child needs to stay healthy. Special Olympics does a great job focusing on the fun and overall health benefits of

Fitting Volunteer Work In: It really comes down to taking a look at what’s important and making priorities. Although initially the motivation was to have a sports outlet for Jakob, and that’s still important, I soon realized how happy it made me to watch

Because I love Camp Allen. Discovering abilities since 1931.

Special Olympic Sign-ups: Go to our Web site, metrowestunited.org. Once you register on the site, you will automatically be on our email list and will receive notices about all of the programs. Programs are coed for children ages 6 – 18.

participating in organized sports. Advice (to a new parent of a child with special needs): For me, what started off as a terrible shock has grown into a part of my life that I now embrace. Obviously, it’s not easy and there are many pitfalls and disappointments but having a child with special needs really awakened a side of myself I never knew I had. Along this journey, I have met many wonderful people that have benefited me and my family. There are a lot of good people and programs out there so take advantage of the resources that are available and try to provide your child with as many experiences as possible. Don’t give up! Your child may not always want to go and you may not always want to argue, but in the end it will be a worthwhile experience that I’m sure all of you will grow to enjoy. If you know a coach for baystateparent to profile, please email editor@baystateparent.com.

We see your child’s potential… not his/her disability.

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6)0=32%2-28)62%8-32%00=6)'3+2->)(0)%()6-28,)*-)0( Our approach to neurofeedback relies on scientific research and hard data. We gather data prior to beginning neurofeedback using scientifically-proven instruments. We use this data to guide the training over time and to measure treatment effectiveness. To learn more about the research and our treatment outcomes, please join us for a presentation at 7PM on the first Wednesday of every month in our Cambridge office or on the second Wednesday in our Providence facility. RSVP at 401-351-7779 or to klegenza@neurodevelopmentcenter.com.



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DE c b A 123

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helly Greene’s professional career has encompassed more than twenty-five years and includes a wide range of experiences assisting parents and children maximize learning differences in a variety of settings. She holds a B.A. in Psychology and a M.Ed. in Counseling Psychology. She currently maintains a private practice as an independent consultant serving as educational advocate, parent and teacher trainer, and learning strategy instructor for individual learners. As an advocate, Shelly assists parents in navigating the school system and in working collaboratively with school district staff. She has assisted more than five hundred families in more than one hundred communities throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island during the past thirteen years. She works with families of children with a wide range of challenges in areas of social, behavioral, emotional, developmental, cognitive, neurological, and physical development. She has assisted in writing hundreds of IEPs and in developing learning strategies and curricular interventions for different types of learners.

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VERYSPECIALFAMILIES

Exceptional Children

Shelly Greene, M.Ed.,


BE THERE FOR THEM VERYSPECIALFAMILIES

offering comfort to the parent of a special needs child BY

julia garstecki

A screaming child in a grocery store. An anxiety-ridden child refusing to speak to other kids at the park. Spending too much money for a ticket to a children’s show only to have them scream when the lights go down. For most of us, these moments (Thank God) are rare. For some families, however, these “moments” are daily struggles as a result of raising a child with special needs. In conjunction with physical and/ or behavioral issues, some families of children with disabilities also know the challenge of well-meaning (and not-so well-meaning) people offering advice. As most people truly want to help, here are some tips that we parents of children with disabilities would like to pass along:

Just Ask A fellow mom who is also parenting a child with special needs shared an experience of being in a store when a woman came up to her and yelled, “Oh my God! Your child

Social Skills Groups

has Down Syndrome!” Guess what? She already knew! Another father shuddered at the memory of a complete stranger telling him his son looked autistic. The best thing to do if you are curious is to ask. My son has Apraxia, a motor planning disorder that focuses on the inability to carry out purposeful voluntary movements. He lacks the coordination to make purposeful speech movements or purposeful motor movements which can confuse people. When polite strangers ask, usually in a round-about way (He’s so cute! Is he a shy guy?), I relish the opportunity to share information about his diagnosis. This usually leads to the stranger bending down to my son and complimenting his smile. My son will beam and start laughing, and we all walk away from a positive experience.

What to Say Telling me you could straighten my child out is not helpful. Neither

Vocational Skills

is telling me my child needs a good spanking, or that I am spoiling him. Equally off-putting are questions such as: What’s wrong with him? Why does he look that way? Have you contacted a lawyer? Isn’t autism just the correct term for poor parenting? Just saying ‘What a great smile’ or ‘He has your eyes’ would be a brief comfort. Laura Shumaker, author of A Regular Guy: Growing Up with Autism, shared a moment when her son was struggling in church, and she managed to quiet him. “A woman behind me tapped me on the shoulder and said, ‘I admire you so much.’ I’ll never forget it.”

Reach Out (Even though I May Not Ask) “One of the hardest aspects I believe is that of isolation,” says father of three Michael J. Carrasco. “The feeling that you are the only one who is facing this because others just don’t understand.”

Carrasco’s oldest has autism. “I am always concerned about giving attention to all the priorities in my life - my wife, my job, my community, my children, my friends and myself - without becoming emotional and physically spent, which has happened to me on occasion.” Like most parents of special needs children, Carrasco faces an exhausting array of therapies, insurance companies and the extra cost of having a child with a disability. If you have a family member or close friend dealing with this issue, the answer is easy. Patience. Understand therapy sessions might be rearranged at the last moment, money might be tight or the child might be having an off day. Keep calling though, because even the invitation makes parents of special needs children feel included. Another way to reach out is by offering meals and free child care for siblings. Parents of children with disabilities may spend hours or days in hospitals,

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run around crazy with therapy and/or exist on minimal sleep. After spending another scary night in the hospital with her child, one mom came home to a basket of muffins and fruit on her porch. The love and support she felt from such a simple gesture was immeasurable.

isn’t talking to you directly, she is still enjoying your company. A play date as short as 15 minutes can have a lasting positive effect. Often times, strong friendships form as a result of minimal effort. When you get right down to it, it’s about seeing everybody as an individual. While some children might have a disability in one area or another, it’s not their definition. My son has Apraxia; he is not my Apraxic son, and yes, there is a difference!

Teach Your Children Award-winning special needs author Mary Calhoun Brown is a parent of a child with Asperger’s Syndrome. She says that the three hardest things about being the parent of a special needs child are: 1. Accepting the diagnosis; 2. Accepting the disability as part of your child; 3. Dealing with the thoughtless, hurtful behavior of others. Brown’s son has dealt with bullying issues, as many children do. While all parents love to believe their child isn’t the bullying kind, think again. Many parents had heartbreaking examples of very nice children giving in to peer pressure and teasing “different” children. If your “typical” child wets the bed, or trips in front of a group of strangers, this is the perfect time to discuss empathy. Leilani Haywood, the mother of a daughter with Down Syndrome, echoes a sentiment many parents share. “I wish, wish, wish, parents of typical kids taught their kids how to deal with children that are different or disabled. I think learning these skills would take them far in life with all types of people.” Haywood’s daughter has not been invited to parties and/or play dates, which is a common issue children with disabilities face. Many parents of special needs children will happily explain why their child may not be able to play basketball, but they can play video games, or tell you that even though she

Mary Calhoun Brown is an awardwinning author of There Are No Words and has a series of Youtube videos designed for educators and parents of children with special needs. For more information, visit marycalhounbrown. com. Julia Garstecki is the mom of two, an educator and freelance writer. She lives in upstate New York, but tell us that if work situations changed, she and her husband agree that Massachusetts is one of the few places they both would like to live. Julie also visits her college roommate in Worcester as often as she can.

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WHEN MOMMY OR DADDY HAS

Special Needs BY

trish reske

We may be blinded by our own perceived flaws, but those who love us have clearer vision. - Sarah Ban Breathnach

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hat makes a person a good parent? Is it staying up-todate on the latest parenting advice from the experts? Spending more time with your kids? Volunteering at school? baystateparent recently interviewed two Massachusetts parents to better understand their unique perspectives on parenting. Here are their stories: 56 NOVEMBER2010

“I am not defined by what I cannot do.” Laura Fritz, 34, Newton mom Laura Fritz is an intelligent, compassionate adoptive mom of 2-year-old Mayleah (pronounced “Myla”) McKenny. Mayleah

was born 16 weeks premature, weighing just 1 lb 6 oz, her birth mother a drug addict. At 13 months, Mayleah was placed into foster care with Laura and her husband Jared. “We got a phone call about a foster-to-adopt situation for a special needs baby,” recalls Laura. With a background in special needs and two degrees – Bachelors in Intensive Special Education and Masters in Early Childhood Education, Laura was an obvious choice for a baby like Mayleah. Yet Laura’s biggest concern is that other people – including her newlyadopted child – will think she’s dumb. “I’m afraid that someday she’ll learn the word ‘stupid.’ And she’ll associate it with Mommy,” Laura says. Laura has dyslexia, a lifelong learning disability that challenges her in spelling, handwriting, organization, time management, concentration and focusing on complex tasks. When she was a child, Laura recalls how some teachers called her “dumb” and “stupid.” Ironically, it was these labels that Laura credits with inspiring her to “always want to do better,” she says. Because her disability is not immediately obvious, Laura says, people can make wrong assumptions about her competency, including being a good mom. Everyday parenting tasks normally taken for granted are monumental challenges for Laura. “Writing notes to school or filling out a form is huge,” she says. “They can’t read my writing.” Getting Mayleah ready for preschool — dressing her, braiding her hair and fixing a lunch is daunting. “It can take me six hours to make a lunch,” she says. Laura admits that she tends to overcompensate to hide her disability from others. “I work harder to make lunch look nice, because I don’t want people to realize that I have this disability,” she says. Laura prefers that others don’t know about her dyslexia, and relies mainly on her husband and father for support. “I don’t want people to know that I’m dyslexic,” she says. “When people find out, they offer sympathy. I’m not looking for sympathy. I’m just looking for an equal playing field.” Laura is uniquely aware of the challenges that her daughter will face, as Mayleah receives help for her own developmental difficulties. “She has physical therapy to help her with walking. She has some hearing issues. She gets occupational therapy to help her with fine motor skills. She had musical therapy. She has early intervention,” Laura says. Yet Laura also describes Mayleah as “just your normal 2-year-old,” dressing up dolls and saying every toddler’s favorite word, “no.” Becoming a parent, especially of a special needs child, says Laura, has

increased her motivation to overcome her own disability. “It makes me want to be better. It makes me want to change and work on my issues more,” she says. Being a mom with disabilities is challenging for Laura. But it has also been life changing. “In my child’s eyes, she sees me as I wish I could see myself,” says Laura. “In her eyes I am perfect. She does not care that I cannot spell, or that sometimes it takes me longer to do things. She just knows love. I love her and she loves me. And in the end that’s what matters.”

“I had concerns about keeping up with my children.” Mark Paharik, 45, Worcester dad With a Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology and over twenty years of professional counseling covering drug addiction, child abuse, troubled teens and families in crisis, and most currently, adults with learning disabilities, Mark Paharik has seen it all. “But that doesn’t mean I know it all,” he emphasizes. “Even though I have a Master’s degree, some days as a dad, I’m scratching my head. Kids save all their best stuff for their parents,” he quips. Head-scratching is one thing Mark can do easily without assistance. Spastic Cerebral Palsy at birth left Mark with both legs and his left arm severely impaired. Mark walks slowly with crutches, with knees bent and body hunched over. He drives a car with special hand controls, and uses a motorized scooter for longer excursions. He works hard to keep pace with his two young children, Daniel (7) and Carlie (4). Mark is married to Emily, also a counselor, who practices part-time. “We met at Bally’s Total Fitness in the pool. She had a water aerobics class next to my lane, so as she was crossing my lane I stopped, pulled up my goggles, and said, ‘Hello my name is Mark, would you like to share my lane?’ That was my pick-up line. Real smooth, huh?” They married twelve years ago, bought a modest house in Worcester and eventually decided to start a family. “When you haven’t yet been a parent, you don’t understand the full implications and gravity of what you’re doing,” Mark says. “We knew I wasn’t going to be able to pick up and carry the children. We knew I wasn’t going to be doing any heavy lifting, but until you go through it, you don’t know all the ways you are going to be challenged.”


Mark credits his wife with unselfish dedication and carrying “much more than half” the load of parenting. “We don’t exist in traditional roles. Emily does all the yard work, heavy lifting, shopping, laundry, and has assumed the primary daily responsibility for the care of our children. She encourages me, challenges me, worries about me and prays for me in my role as a parent.” Two nights a week, Mark assumes full responsibility for parenting while Emily is at work. Keeping up with his two young children takes “an incredible amount of energy,” he says. His children have had questions and concerns about their dad’s disability. “When Daniel was 5, he thought that he would get cerebral palsy too. It was an identification issue. He thought, ‘I’m a guy, Daddy’s a guy. Am I going to have a problem with my legs?’” Mark recalls. “Daniel has also worried about what others might say about him or me because I am his father. He has wished I could walk and be able to do physical activities with him,” Mark says. Despite these concerns, “My children accept me and tell me frequently that they love me,” says Mark. Mark says that being a dad has taught him, “what it’s really like to truly love children and be responsible for their growth as human beings.” “As parents, we all have our own disabilities, but how we choose to live despite our disabilities makes a significant lasting impression on our children in their lives,” he says.

Support for Parents with Disabilities Over the past few decades, individuals with physical and cognitive disabilities have increasingly become more mainstreamed in their communities. Many of these individuals form significant relationships and become parents. The key to successful parenting for these individuals is to have the longterm, relevant support systems in place, says Susan Jones, Coordinator of The Positive Parenting Resource Center of The United Arc of Franklin and Hampshire Counties in Massachusetts. “All of us, whether we are labeled as having a disability or not, do better when we have a support system, — friends, families, neighbors, that we can rely on,” says Leslie Kinney, Associate Director. The Positive Parenting Resource Center provides a variety of specialized services for parents with intellectual or learning disabilities, including in-home education, support groups, mentoring, parenting workshops, advocacy and housing. Last year, the center serviced 101 families in Western Massachusetts. Still, parents with disabilities are often subject to assumptions regarding their ability to be a good parent. “The major two misconceptions people have is that if somebody has an intellectual disability, they can’t parent,” says Leslie. “And the other is that they can’t learn. Everybody is a lifelong learner. Research supports that parents with disabilities can learn new skills.”

Both Laura and Mark hope their personal disabilities are an inspiration rather than a hindrance to their children’s emotional growth. “When Mayleah gets a bit older and asks questions, I’m going to tell her is that everyone’s different. There’s no right. Everyone is different and that’s OK,” says Laura. Mark has already seen his son Daniel reach out to kids who are difficult or maybe not as popular. “He’s more likely to befriend a kid who has challenges, although those

challenges may not be as obvious as someone who’s on crutches,” he says. “I’m extremely proud of that.” For more information on the Positive Parenting Resource Center, The United Arc of Franklin and Hampshire Counties, visit unitedarc.org.

“In my child’s eyes, she see me as I wish I could see myself.” Laura Fritz

Trish Reske is an award-winning writer and mom of four from Westborough. You can read more of Trish’s writing at trishreske.com.

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If you have a school-aged child, you may be familiar with award-winning illustrator Ralph Masiello as he visits more than 2,400 schools nationwide. Masiello is the author of the popular How To Draw collection, The Flag We Love and The Alphabet Book series, including the one that started it all -- The Icky Bug Alphabet Book.

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When Ralph Masiello comes to school, students, teachers and parents always learn something new, laugh themselves silly and instantly like the man. It’s his talent but also his big smile and teddy bear persona that lure them in. Though Masiello claims to have been a quiet and shy child, in adulthood he is anything but -- especially during school visits. He has kids giggling within the first few minutes. “I usually start out with funny mispronunciations of my last name,” he says, referring to himself as Ralph Marshmallow, Messy Jello or Mellow Yellow. Typical presentations include sharing stories about his childhood and school experiences, followed by an explanation of the bookmaking process. His step by step, on-site drawings of scarab beetles, ladybugs and obelisks often have audience members begging for signed copies. “I love to share my experiences with the kids I meet,” Masiello says. “It makes the very long hours in my studio seem worth every second when I hold up one of my paintings and a kid says, ‘Awesome painting, dude!’”

CHILDREN’S DENTISTS of Worcester

Team Masiello Brockway: Ralph Masiello is especially proud of his upcoming book (written by his wife Stephanie Brockway), Beasts, which is part of a series, Mystic Phyles, mixing science, art and mythology.

Blank Canvas Growing up in Boylston, Masiello enjoyed the typical rites of passage -- riding bikes, playing baseball and spending time with family. He fondly recalls listening as his mother read Robert Louis Stevenson’s A Child’s Garden of Verses. “My mom would make sandwiches, set a candlelit table in my room and read verses to me as I ate very, very slowly,” he said. Other favorites included, Where the Wild Things Are, The Phantom Tollbooth and Treasure Island. “But it had to be the edition illustrated by N.C. Wyeth,” he says of the latter. Creativity was lovingly nurtured by parents, Ralph and Grace. “Mom loved cooking and was always concocting some unusual dessert or dinner experience,” he says. “Dad, who worked in the construction business, would relieve work-related stress by building intricate Clipper ship models and amazing ships in bottles.” While he always liked to draw in elementary school, Masiello aspired

to be a doctor. “My teachers told me I would be an artist when I was older,” he says, “but I never believed them.” At 16, he discovered a love of the ocean and SCUBA diving, which sparked a new dream of becoming a marine biologist. During science classes at the University of Tampa, as other students took written notes, Masiello used his ability to draw what was being presented. Classmates and professors praised his sea life illustrations and basically turned him over to the art department. The rest, they say, is history! Masiello attended the renowned Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), graduated in 1985, and partnered with author Jerry Pallotta to create the Icky Bug Alphabet Book in 1986. This successful collaboration resulted in the The Yucky Reptile Alphabet Book the following year.

Mix, Stir, Blend! Today, Masiello lives in West Brookfield with his wife Stephanie Brockway and four children (two daughters and

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two stepsons). He balances, rather precariously at times, life, family and career on very little sleep and a lot of coffee. “I really have no typical day,” he says. “If I get into a good groove of painting, I won’t really stop…and most nights I work until 2 a.m.” Among the hundreds of pens, pencils and tubes of paint, Masiello shares his studio with an eclectic collection of memorabilia, among his favorites, an Evel Knievel stunt cycle and a Daisy Red Ryder BB gun. When boredom rears its ugly head, toy knights and mechanical retro robots are at the ready. “My studio is filled with all my little items that make it my own space,” he says. “It’s basically a mess, but it’s my mess!”

rough dirt track filled with jumps and bumps.” Aside from motocross and building motorcycles, he enjoys reading and listening to a variety of music, ranging from Metallica to The Who to classic Neil Diamond. Masiello’s motto for fun is very much the same for life: Work Hard, Play Hard! For more information on school visits or any of Masiello’s books, visit Ickybugman.net.

Amy Benoit, a freelance writer and self-proclaimed non artist, looks to Ralph Masiello and his work for drawing inspiration. *Rett Syndrome, a rare neurological and developmental disorder, characterized by a short period of normal development, predominantly affects girls. Impairment can be significant depending on the severity of symptoms.

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Artists in Residence The husband and wife team of Masiello and Brockway are a perfect match, literally, meeting in an online dating site. “After typing in all of my data, my list of matches came up,” said Brockway. “He was first on my list.” The couple married in 2005, blending children from previous marriages, “two short of a Brady Bunch,” Masiello says. Yet again, fate is pairing the two as they collaborate (she as author, he as illustrator) on a six-part visual journal series entitled MYSTIC PHYLES. “It can get whacky at times when Ralph and I are working on deadline, but it’s fun to always have something creative to talk about at the dinner table,” Brockway says. With a 2011 publication date, the first book Beasts introduces fictional heroine Abigail Thaddeus, who sets out to discover mythological creatures such as the Ahool and the Bonnacon. “Most of the time, I still feel like a teenager,” she says “So it wasn’t too far of a stretch to create the voice of my main character.” Creating quite a buzz already, the series cleverly mixes science, art and mythology. “I am so proud of this book, not just because it’s my wife’s, but because the book is unlike anything I’ve seen out there,” says Masiello. “Each page is a piece of art -- from the hand-painted details to the writing itself. She’s even gone so far as to contact crypto zoologists and museum experts in England to get all the facts.” Three creative teens add flare and frenzy to their busy household. Talia, Daddy’s little girl, loves fashion and friends. Ben and Sam are both extremely good students. “Ben is level-headed and into technology, while Sam draws like crazy and has a great sense of humor,” says their step-dad. Twenty- year-old Alexa Masiello is, according to her father, “perhaps the happiest child.” Diagnosed with Rett Syndrome*, Alexa is nonvebral and diapered. “She has her own way of making her needs known and is a loving, sweet and smiling girl who brings joy to our family,” Masiello says. While the family definitely has a full palette, Ralph says, “Nothing removes stress like intense play. I love racing motocross or at least practicing on a

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Y M R E UND ROOF Head Games BY

jim keogh

Remember a few years ago when it seemed every TV news station determined at the exact same moment that the typical hotel room is a pulsating bacteria pool? An “investigative” reporter would be dispatched to reserve a room then film it under special infrared lighting to reveal copious stains on bedspreads, carpets, even the ceilings, caused by, well, I won’t bore you with the repulsive details, other than to say … oh … my … God. The spot patterns were like a Rorschach test illuminating your very worst fear that the last people to occupy your room were unhygienic, uninhibited and quite possibly under your bed. If the goal of these reports was to tempt you to wrap your entire body in cellophane before crawling between hotel bedcovers, then mission accomplished. Obviously it’s easy to get frenzied by a perceived threat to our precious selves, especially one that boasts such a high yech factor. So imagine our children as the target of a contagion, and you know the reaction will be nothing less than

nuclear parental meltdown. Hello, head lice. Yep, the little scalp invaders are ready to start a new school year in style. In fact I know of at least one Central Mass. town where they’ve already gone to the head of the class, so to speak. There’s been some finger pointing and teeth gnashing, though not much more than at a typical youth soccer game. I believe I know why head lice cause such hysteria: it’s because they’re tiny. And small things, to put it bluntly, creep us out. Chihuahuas, the planet Pluto, the Lollipop Guild — all small, all very unsettling. When I was asked by the baystateparent editor to address the topic of lice in this column, I started surfing the web for more information about the little buggers and by the end of my online sojourn I found myself raking my fingernails across my skin. Just looking at the pictures made my epidermis crawl. How ugly are lice? I’d wager that even in the insect world — whose denizens are known to skitter on

spindly hairy legs, have dozens of eyes, and regurgitate their food before devouring it — lice have a hard time finding a prom date. Now, before I get hate mail from all the hard-core entomologists who read baystateparent, let it be known that I accept the fact that good bugs do exist. Earthworms add nutrients to the soil, bumblebees fertilize our flowers, and a world without butterflies is unthinkable. But the nastiest insects get all the press, and hence all our fear and loathing. If you live in the Worcester area, you’ve watched the Asian longhorned beetle ravage the landscape. Even trees the beetle didn’t infest were cut down to prevent their spread. If these marauding wood chewers haven’t hit your town yet, just wait. They’re coming. Bedbugs are the latest rage. These microscopic houseguests lie in wait in your linens and literally feed on your blood while you sleep, which is not only disgusting but exceedingly rude. News crews, of course, are providing breathless coverage of the bugs’ resurgence. It’s what they do. If you receive the dreaded flyer from school informing you that a student in your child’s class has contracted head lice, don’t panic. Think of it this way: in the great circle of life, the lice are simply looking for a nice home with some scalpfront property. The good news is that, as the landlord, you’ve always got the power to evict. Jim Keogh is an award-winning editor. He lives in Worcester with his family.

Cootie Catching: It’s Not Cheap BY

amanda roberge

I would be lying if I said I had lice the first time I met my future mother-in-law, although that certainly would make the story funnier. The truth is that the first time I met her – in a seedy Newport bar where my boyfriend (her son) was playing out as the drummer in a seven-piece rock n roll band – I’d had about eight vodka tonics and reeked of cigarette smoke. I had lice the second time I met her. And as I type these words, I am starting to understand some of the reasons why I have been so hard for her to love. Between underage drunkenness and a highly contagious scalp infestation, I suppose she probably wanted something higher class for her oldest son from the get-go.

I did have ultimate control over my rampant partying at that dark, low-rent bar – admitting now to myself that perhaps I should have slowed it down on the night I was meeting an important person. But the lice? Totally not my fault! When my boyfriend invited me to his parents’ Jersey Shore beach house that first summer we were dating, I eagerly accepted. I was a nanny for two boys at the time and was planning to hit the road as soon as my Friday childcare duties came to a close. As I was stuffing a backpack of tank tops and bathing suits, ready for my big weekend, the phone rang. It was the mother of the kids I watched. They had head lice. Meh, I thought, who cares? And off I sailed, high on life, road-trip fever flaring which made my toes tingles and….my scalp itch. By the time I hit Connecticut, I was in full hysteria, still trying to convince myself that I was imagining the insatiable itch. I threw big words like “paranoia” and “psycho-somatic” around, hoping to think my way to a non-itchy head. But by the time I merged onto the Garden State Parkway, I knew the deal. This was before cell phones, so I just had to wait until I got to the house. I needed both hands anyways – one to drive and one to scratch my head. This was the house, incidentally, where my mother-in-law stood on the porch, opening her arms to me for a welcometo-the-beach hug. That was a hug I had to decline, keeping my distance and instead offering an apologetic, “I have lice.” I watched her face go from forced acceptance to a more natural expression of complete disgust. I can’t say I blamed her – lice makes you feel like a leper, even though experts insist that lice like clean hair. Looking back on the entire experience, I cringe when I contemplate the fact that my kids might bring a case of lice home from school – not because of the stigma but because of the expense. For me, as a single lady, it took two weeks and close to $200 to beat the bugs. I can’t even imagine what that would entail today, with three kids and a not-entirely-reliable washing machine. So when I hear a buzz around town that lice is on my beat, I do have a tendency to get hysterical (and not because I think it’s gross or unclean). Ultimately, I am cheap and relatively broke; I simply can’t afford it. Even with all the effort, getting rid of the lice was much easier than winning the approval of my mother-in-law – but in time she has grown to love me, cooties and all. Amanda Roberge is a Leominster-based freelance writer and mother who has a firm grasp on why lice was included in the Old Testament as one of the seven plagues of Egypt. Each month in “Under my Roof,” two parents, writers Jim Keogh and Amanda Roberge, explore one family topic from their different perspectives (and families).

BAYSTATEPARENT 61


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Look What We Found At baystateparent wants to know:

What’s your great iParty find? Every month, iParty will award a $75 iParty gift certificate to a baystateparent reader for sharing an unexpected find at our favorite party supply store. To be considered, send the name and description of your great iParty find to editor@baystateparent.com. Please include your name, address, phone and email.

November Winner: Michelle Jones of Grafton was inspired at iParty to make her family’s movie night pop!

Join the Birthday Club! Are you part of the iParty Birthday Club? Well, what are you waiting for?! Sign up today and start receiving iParty exclusive in-store savings and discounts, contest information, FUN party and project ideas along with so much more! Just go to www.iparty.com, complete the form and join the FUN today! BAYSTATEPARENT 67


CAPTURED

“sleepy heads”

After a tantrum, Michelle Quattrin’s normally well-behaved son is sent to his room. After 30 minutes, the Boylston mom finds him asleep on his “treasure chest” (toy box). “No wonder he was throwing such a tantrum; he was tired!” says Michele (who also just happens to be a photographer).

Tristan Charles Cibeira, age 22 months, of Leominster doesn’t want to leave his new train table at the end of Christmas Day.

Tyler Jones of Grafton at age 3 (right) sleeping on Daddy at a Monster Truck show (His friend thinks it's a great idea too!).

Cameron Graffeo of Millbury at age 3 finds the local baseball game to be quite a snore.

Yes, she’s sleeping! Two-year-old Kara of Central MA takes a sunny snooze...on a snowbank

Peyton Grebinar, 23 months, of Sterling falls asleep helping Daddy mow the lawn.

Have you captured a special photo of your child? bsp is looking for photos of children on Christmas morning and kids who "dressed themselves." More themes to come! Email editor@baystateparent.com. 68 NOVEMBER2010


Stop by Your Neighborhood Honey Farms Today and Pick Up Your Coffee Club Card

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ADVERTISERS’DIRECTORY ADVERTISERS’ DIRECTORY

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Family Works ......................................................... 5 Fayerweather St School........................................... 12 Fidelity .................................................................. 71 Finagle A Bagel ...................................................... 54 Forge Works Farm .................................................. 53 Friends for Tomorrow .............................................. 51 Guild Of St. Agnes Daycare ...................................... 27 Gymboree.............................................................. 9 Health Alliance ....................................................... 54 Home Staff ............................................................ 11 Honey Farms ......................................................... 69 In Sync Sterling ...................................................... 53 Inn at East Hill Farm ............................................... 20 International Dyslexia Association.............................. 51 Iparty Retail Stores Corp. ......................................... 67 K12 ...................................................................... 5 Kids Strong ............................................................ 5 Lakeshore Learning Materials ................................... 2 Lexington Montessori .............................................. 62 Lice Aunties ........................................................... 60 Loving Care Agency ................................................. 11 McDonald’s ............................................................ 63 Mercy Center ......................................................... 46 Metro West Ballet ................................................... 9 Michelle Carr Photography ....................................... 37 Milestones, Inc. ...................................................... 57 Mothers and Company ............................................ 60 Mount Alvernia High School ..................................... 25 Nashoba Montessori School...................................... 25 NESCA, P.C. ........................................................... 39 Neurocare Center for Research .................................. 48 Next Generation/Sudbury ........................................ 11 Next Level Fitness................................................... 63 OshKosh ................................................................ 23 Panera .................................................................. 29 Parenting Solutions ................................................. 10

MOM’S OASIS

Paula Meola .......................................................... 15 Paula Swift Photography.......................................... 27 Plimoth Plantation .................................................. 23 Positively Preschool ................................................. 6 Radius Healthcare Center at Plymouth ....................... 53 Record Player World ................................................ 59 Relate to Autism ..................................................... 41 Room to Bloom ...................................................... 42 Scribble It .............................................................. 28 Sensory Learning Center .......................................... 53 Seven Hills Foundation ............................................ 49 Sha’arei Shalom..................................................... 28 Shelly Greene, M. Ed. ............................................. 51 Simon Malls........................................................... 6 Skribbles Learning Center......................................... 69 Sparetime.............................................................. 15 Sparks Art Studio.................................................... 21 Spina Bifida Association of Massachusetts .................. 54 The Bridge Center ................................................... 52 The Fay School....................................................... 23 The Gymnastics Place-Uxbridge ................................. 14 The Hanover Theatre ............................................... 35 The Neuro Development Center................................. 50 The New England Center for Children ......................... 54 The Weston Friendly Society..................................... 36 Toni & Guy ............................................................ 22 Venerini Academy ................................................... 26 Volo Farm.............................................................. 12 Wheelock Family Theatre......................................... 48 Wifesaver .............................................................. 10 Wild Hearts Therapeutic Equestrian Program ............... 45 Women’s Health ..................................................... 60 Worcester Academy of Music .................................... 28 WXLO ................................................................... 19

✤✣✤✣

Now It’s Moms Turn To Dance With or Without her kids

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✤ COLLEGE/ADULT DANCE CLASSES

Toss the Thanksgiving Pants!

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fuse hypnotic Latin rhythms and easy-to-follow moves to create a one-of-a-kind fitness program that will blow you away.

✤ BABY AND ME

UPCOMING CAMPS December 6 January 3

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www.AdventureBootCampLLC.com Your Life! Your Body! Your Adventure! 70 NOVEMBER2010

are ages 1 and under, its a way for mom and baby to bond and exercise and stretch together at the same time.

✤ MOMMY AND ME

is 2 yrs and it is an introduction to creative movement and dance but mommy is learning and exploring with the dancers because at that age we find a lot of separation anxiety.

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SHREWSBURY, MA

Massachusetts Premier Dance Studio


Today: Play dates Tomorrow: Study breaks

College will be here before you know it. We can help you prepare. Consider the MEFA® U.Fund® College Investing Plan, the Massachusetts 529 plan managed by Fidelity. You’ll get the guidance you need to help get the most out of your college savings, plus: UÊ Ê˜ÞÊi>À˜ˆ˜}ÃÊ}ÀœÜÊÌ>ÝÊ`iviÀÀi` UÊ 9 Ê œÕ½Ê«>ÞʘœÊvi`iÀ>ÊœÀÊ>ÃÃ>V…ÕÃiÌÌÃÊÃÌ>ÌiÊ ˆ˜Vœ“iÊÌ>ÝiÃʜ˜ÊµÕ>ˆwÊi`Ê܈̅`À>Ü>Ã UÊ Ê9œÕÊV>˜ÊÃ>ÛiÊvœÀÊ>ÃʏˆÌ̏iÊ>ÃÊf£xÊ«iÀʓœ˜Ì… UÊ

Ê …œœÃiÊvÀœ“Ê«ÀœviÃȜ˜>Þʓ>˜>}i`Ê«œÀÌvœˆœÃÊ ÜˆÌ…Ê>ÊÀ>˜}iʜvʏœÜ‡VœÃÌʈ˜ÛiÃ̈˜}ʜ«Ìˆœ˜Ã] ˆ˜VÕ`ˆ˜}ʜÕÀʘiÜÊ >˜ŽÊ i«œÃˆÌÊ*œÀÌvœˆœI UÊ Ê i˜iwÊÌÊvÀœ“Ê ½ÃÊVœi}iÊwʘ>˜Vˆ˜}ÊiÝ«iÀˆi˜ViÊ >˜`ʈ`iˆÌÞ½Ãʓœ˜iÞʓ>˜>}i“i˜ÌÊiÝ«iÀ̈Ãi

œ˜Ì>VÌʈ`iˆÌÞÊ̜`>ÞÊ̜ÊÌ>ŽiÊ>`Û>˜Ì>}iʜvÊ̅iÊVœi}iÊ Ã>ۈ˜}ÃÊLi˜iwÊÌÃÊޜÕÊV>˜Ê}iÌÊ܈̅Ê>ÊxәÊ>VVœÕ˜Ì°

Call 800.654.0956 Click Fidelity.com/529MA Please carefully consider the Plan’s investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses before investing. For this and other information on any 529 college savings plan managed by Fidelity, call or write to Fidelity for a free Fact Kit, or view one online. Read it carefully before you invest or send money. *Although the underlying deposits are eligible for FDIC insurance, subject to applicable federal deposit insurance limits, the Units of the Bank Deposit Portfolio are not insured or guaranteed by the FDIC or any other government agency. You are responsible for monitoring the total amount of your assets on deposit at the depository bank, including amounts held directly at the depository bank. All such deposits held in the same ownership capacity at the depository bank are subject to aggregation and to the current FDIC insurance coverage limitation of $250,000. Please see a 529 Fact Kit for more details. MEFA is a not-for-profit self-financing state authority that works to make higher education more accessible and affordable for students and families in Massachusetts through community education programs, college savings plans, and low-cost financing options.

The U.Fund® College Investing Plan is offered by MEFA and managed by Fidelity Investments. If you or the designated beneficiary is not a Massachusetts resident, you may want to consider, before investing, whether your state or the beneficiary’s home state offers its residents a plan with alternate state tax advantages or other benefits. Units of the portfolios are municipal securities and may be subject to market volatility and fluctuation. Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC, Member NYSE, SIPC, 900 Salem Street, Smithfield, RI 02917

544556.3.0

BAYSTATEPARENT 71


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72 NOVEMBER2010

November 2010 Baystate Parent Magazine  

November 2010 edition of Baystate Parent Magazine