Reources to Benefit Parents, Teachers and/or Teens

We are committed to providing and sharing programs and information to help parents, teachers and students navigate high school and beyond. The wide range of issues include but are not limited to: coping with stress; parenting advice, homework resources; suicide prevention; drug use, addition and overdose; and underage drinking. Information may be found by exploring the following resources:

Introducing Healthy Minds, a New Mental Health and Wellness Blog
Healthy Minds is an online series of articles targeted to parents, educators, and community-based providers who are interested in supporting student mental health and wellness. Healthy Minds articles will include tips and strategies for increasing wellness and resiliency, as well as fostering success at home, at school, and in the community. Information about special events and other relevant news updates will be shared, too. New content will be posted weekly.
Interested individuals can SUBSCRIBE to Healthy Minds via News You Choose (enter your email when prompted to automatically be subscribed; “blog” is one of the subscription topic options listed). You will receive a monthly digest that includes highlights and links to our most recent articles. There may be additional emails from time to time to alert you on critical mental health and wellness information as well. Visit Healthy Minds.

Workshops, Training, Online Resources, and Support Groups
(Listings are Updated Monthly)

All these opportunities are FREE unless noted.
In most cases, you must register if registration information is provided.

The FCPS Parent Resource Center (PRC) helps parents of students with disabilities. It sponsors workshops, has a lending library, and has Parent Liaisons to help parents solve problems.  
2334 Gallows Rd. Rm 105, Dunn Loring  English: 703 204-3941 Espanol: 703 204-3955

Plan Ahead -- Cecily's Advocacy Workshop: Unlocking Strategies for Success 
Sat. March 3, 8 am-2;30 pm McLean Sch. 8224 Lochinver Ln. Potomac, MD
Choose four topics from among more than a dozen including the fundamental skill of sensing time and the relationship between motivation and executive control.
Early registration (before Feb 9) $50 includes lunch & continental breakfast

Plan Ahead -- 2018 Diamonds in the Rough Conference
Finding Common Ground:  Strategies that Work for all Students
Sat. Mar. 10, Johns Hopkins University, Rockville, MD
Early Registration:  before Jan 15 -- $65 

Plan Ahead --Youth Leadership Academy 2018 -- Developing Young Leaders
July 9-12, Virginia State University
Application Deadline:  March 16
Information & Application: 

Plan Ahead -- 2018 Cecily's Advocacy Workshop
Unlocking Potential: Strategies for Success
Sat. Mar. 3, 8:00 am - 2:30 pm, McLean Sch. 8224 Lochinver Ln. Potomac, MD  
Early registration:  before Feb 9 -- $50  includes breakfast & lunch 

Plan Ahead -- Family and Youth Leadership Summit
Sat. Apr. 14, 9:00 am-3:30 pm 1021 Koger Center Blvd, Richmond, VA This event is to develop youth voice for mental health through knowledge, skills, and networking. Separate tracks for parents, MS students and HS students.
Register by April 6: @ Stipends available.

Plan Ahead -- 2018 Youth & Parent Summit Application due March 9, 2018
Event: June 13-15 James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA
This conference for youth (ages 13-21) and their parents focuses on self-determination skills and issues of importance to youth and young adults with disabilities. Information:

Plan Ahead -- Virginia System of Care Slogan and Logo Contest
Entries due March 1
The Virginia System of Care needs a new slogan and a new logo. Youth contest winners get $500 towards their education. 

Plan Ahead -- Wrightslaw Special Education Law and Advocacy Conference 
Thu.-Fri May 3-4, 4:30 pm to 4:30 pm, Comfort Inn Hotel, 4500 Crain Hwy. Bowie, MD 
Learn about special education law, rights, and responsibilities; tests to measure progress; SMART IEPs; and tactics and strategies for effective advocacy. Information:
Register: $180 includes meal & books

The Motivation Meltdown: When Parents Care and Kids Don't -- Webinar
Wed. Feb. 28, 12:15-1:00 pm 

 IEPs: Knowing Student’s Rights and How To Achieve Them (Part II)
Wed. Feb. 28, 7:00-8:30pm. Auburn Sch. 3800 Concorde Pkwy., Ste 500, Chantilly
Learn more about IEP review meetings and student’s rights in the IEP process.  Register: or 703-793-9353

The Motivation Meltdown: When Parents Care and Kids Don't -- Webinar
Mar. 1, 12:15 pm - 1:00 pm

Free Technology Tools to Support Students with Dyslexia and Reading Difficulties
Fri. Mar. 2, 10 am-noon, Dunn Loring Ctr. 2334 Gallows Rd. Door 1, Dunn Loring Explore free strategies and resources to support students with reading difficulties in the digital classroom and at home.

Finances Within a Special Needs Trust: Disbursements, Budgets and Actuaries
Fri. Mar. 2, 10am-noon, The Arc of NoVa, 2755 Hartland Rd Suite 200, Falls Church In this presentation, learn more about the Trust’s disbursement process and how to budget money within the Trust using actuaries.

Cecily's Advocacy Workshop: Unlocking Strategies for Success
Sat. Mar. 3, 8 am-2;30 pm McLean Sch. 8224 Lochinver Ln. Potomac, MD Choose four from over a dozen presentations including the fundamental skill of sensing time and the relationship between motivation and executive control.
Register: $65 w/ meals

Community Conversation: Strengthening Youth Resilience
Mon. Mar. 5, 1-4 pm, FCPS Virginia Hills Center, 6500 Diana Lane, Alexandria This forum will include information on childhood anxiety, psychological readiness for learning, youth mental wellness, and teen resilience.

Neurofeedback: How Strengthening Brains Can Help Conquer Challenging Thoughts and Behaviors -- Webinar
Mon. March 5, 7 pm Learn about neurofeedback and its applications with children and youth who struggle with learning, attention, and emotional regulation.

Creating an ADHD-Friendly Home Environment - Online Course
Wed. Mar. 7 and Wed. Mar. 14, 7-8:30 pm This two-course series will tackle “Obstacles to Creating an ADHD-Friendly Home Environment” and “Strategies for Creating an ADHD-Friendly Home Environment”.
Registration: Fee: $49

Deej - Movie Screening
Thu. Mar. 8, 7 pm, Kenmore M.S. Auditorium, 200 S Carlin Springs Rd, Arlington Please join us for a showing and discussion of Deej, a movie about a nonspeaking young man who dreams of autistic civil rights and goes to college. No registration required.

Introduction to Special Education
Fri. Mar. 9, 10 am-noon, Dunn Loring Ctr. 2334 Gallows Rd. Door 1, Dunn Loring This orientation is for parents new to special education. Learn about the special education process and available resources.

Finding Common Ground: Strategies that Work for All Students
Sat. Mar. 10, JHU Montgomery Cnty Campus, 9601 Medical Center Dr, Rockville, MD During this all-day conference, hear from speakers on executive functioning, learning disabilities, autism and ADHD across the age span from pre-school to young adults.
Registration: Fee: $95

Ivymount Special Needs Resource Fair
Sun. Mar. 11, noon-3 pm, Ivymount School, 11614 Seven Locks Road, Rockville, MD. Learn about services and activities for individuals with special needs, including autism. Includes exhibitors and info sessions throughout the afternoon.

An Overview of Section 504 Plans
Mon. Mar. 12, 10:00-11:30 am Room 134, 3801 Braddock Rd. Alexandria, The goal of this workshop is to help parents understand how a Section 504 Plan can support students with learning differences.

The Self-Driven Child
Wed. Mar. 14, 7:30-9 pm, Lab School, 4759 Reservoir Rd, NW, Washington, DC Learn how to foster a strong sense of autonomy or agency in children in order to lower stress and build self-motivation.

Understanding Discipline Policies for Individuals with Disabilities
Wed. Mar. 14, 6:30-8 pm, Lyles Crouch Academy, 530 S. St. Asaph St. Alexandria In this workshop, parents will gain an increased understanding of terminology and discipline policies that impact students with disabilities.
Registration: Contact Janet Reese, or call 703-824-0129

What You Need to Know About Students with ADHD and Anxiety - Webinar
Thu. Mar. 15, 3 pm ADHD and executive function deficits can lead to increased anxiety in school. In this webinar, you will learn strategies you can use across grade levels.

Screamfree Parenting: Keeping Your Cool Means Creating Your Space
Fri. Mar. 16, 10 am-12:30 pm, Dunn Loring Ctr. 2334 Gallows Rd. Door 1, Dunn Loring Join us for an interactive workshop to learn strategies to become the cool, calm, connected parent your child really needs.

Wings for All Airport Practice
Sat. Mar. 17, 8 am, Dulles International Airport Families who have a child with a disability have the opportunity to practice entering the airport, obtaining boarding passes, going through security, and boarding a plane.

Project First Responder
Tue. Mar. 20, 6:30 pm, LCPS Admin. Building, 21000 Education Ct. Ashburn This program assists first responders, individuals with autism and other developmental delays, and their families to learn how to successfully manage emergency situations.
Registration: or 571-252-6540

Morning at the Museum -- US Botanic Garden
Sunday, March 25, 8:30-!0:00 am 100 Maryland Ave. SW Washington DC Early entrance to the annual orchid show and special activities for families with students with cognitive or sensory processing disabilities.
Register: email names of attendees to or 202-226-1047

Register Now -- FCPS Special Education Conference
Sat. April 21, 8 am - 3 pm Hayfield Secondary School This conference for parents and teachers includes three breakout sessions, a keynote speaker, and exhibit hall. Choose from over 60 presentations.

Register -- Wrightslaw Special Education Law and Advocacy Conference
Thu. May 3, 4:30-8:30 pm & Fri. May 4, 9 am-4:30 pm, Bowie, MD Learn about special education law, rights and responsibilities; tests to measure progress and regression; SMART IEPs; and tactics and strategies for effective advocacy.
Registration: $180 includes meal and books

Support Groups for Youth

Youth and Young Adults: Stronger Together
Alternate Tuesdays, Oct. 10 through May 2018, 6:30-8:00 pm in Fairfax. This peer-to-peer support group for youth ages 14 - 22 meets twice a month through May. Parents, caregivers and guardians meet at the same time. Light dinner included. Register: or 703 539-2904

Support Group for Middle School Students with ADHD meets the 1st Sunday of each month 2:00 - 3:00 pm 4031 Univ. Dr Fairfax, VA enter on South St. No parents! Call 703-403-3335 to enter building. Contact: 703- 641-8940

Support Group for High School Students with ADHD  meets the 1st Sunday of each month 3:30 - 5:00 pm 4031 Univ. Dr. Fairfax,  Enter on South St.  No parents!
Call 703-403-3335 to enter building.  Contact:  703- 641-8940

People First for Young Adults
2nd Tue. monthly, 6:30 - 8:00 pm  The Arc, 2755 Hartland Rd Suite 200, Falls Church
Youth with disabilities age 14-26 practice public speaking skills, plan social outings, learn from guests on topics of life skills and advocacy, and do projects to enhance social skills. Information:  Diane Monnig  703 208-1119 x 118

Community of Solutions Helping Teens Cope with Life Stress

Support Groups for Parents

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

CHADD: Children & Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
Alexandria CHADD Parent Support Group 4th Mon. of each month at 6:30 pm
Contact: Jenny 703 472-4678
West Fairfax CHADD Parent Support Group 1st & 3rd Tues. of each month at 7:30 pm
Contact: Sharon 703 716-4646

CSB Family Support Group at Gatlan Center 2nd and 4th Wed. of each month 6-8 pm in Alexandria Contact: 703-799-2882
D.A.D.S. Dads Appreciating Down Syndrome 3rd Thur. each month, 7-9 pm in Alexandria; and last Wed. of each month in Tysons at 7-9 pm Contact: 571-490-1268

Fairfax Juvenile Court Parent Support Group for problems including runaway behavior, truancy, alcohol/drug abuse, and serious behavioral problems at home, at school, or in the community. 7:30 pm every Tues. Room 201.1 Fairfax County Courthouse 703-246-2495

D.A.D.S. Dads Appreciating Down Syndrome 3rd Thur. each month, 7-9 pm in Alexandria; and last Wed. of each month in Tysons at 7-9 pm Contact: 571-490-1268

JCCNV Special Needs Parent Support Group 1st Wed. of each month, 7:00–8:30 pm
Contact: Melissa at Cost: $15 per meeting.

NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness builds better lives for those affected by mental illness.
Fairfax Family Support Group meets on the 2nd Thur. of each month 7:30-9:00 pm
Contact: or ?703-362-4985
Springfield Family Support Group meets on the 4th Thur. of each month 7:00-8:30 pm
Contact: or ?703-362-4985

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

POAC: Parents of Autistic Children of Northern Virginia
Bimonthly Support Group

Support Group for Parents of Struggling to Launch Young Adults
3rd Thursday of every month, 6:00 - 7:30pm
The Thrive Center offices, 6310 Stevens Forest Road, Suite #100, Columbia MD 20146
RSVP to Sara Love at 410.740.3240

Northern Virginia Tourette Support Group meets the 2nd Sunday of each month at noon at the Chantilly Public Library. Contact:

Padres de hoy -- Support group in Spanish
Wednesdays, 6:30 - 8 pm Brookside FACE Ctr. 601 Four Mile Run Trail, Alexandria
Call 703-824-6865 to register. Free childcare.


Woodson PTSO: Family / Student / Teacher Enrichment Program Series

Coordinator: Elena Teobold

As part of the PTSO mission one of our objectives is to continue to offer programs to empower families, students, teachers and staff with useful, practical skills and resources to build and strengthen communication skills, resilience and reduce stressors at school and in the home. The PTSO, in collaboration with the Woodson Admin, has developed an Enrichment Series which consists of guest speakers, author visits, parent support groups, topic panels, and much more. Please let us know what topics you’d like to hear about that will best support your family.
Previous Family Enrichment Programs are available for your review:

Presented February 2015: “Authentic Success- Parenting for the Long Run” by Dr. Heather Tedesco for Woodson High School. CLICK HERE TO VIEW SLIDES

 As a parent, what does success mean to you? What does it look like for your child now and what will it look like at the age of 30? Character, resilience, true grit, self-control, responsibility and independence. How can parents support and grow those traits in our kids?

Presented November 17 & 18, 2014: “Assessing Your Child’s ‘Readiness to Launch’” by Dr. Heather Tedesco for Woodson High School. CLICK HERE TO VIEW SLIDES

Parent Talks with Psychologist, Dr. Heather Tedesco were well received by parents and staff at Woodson at the Monday & Tuesday events. Preparing kids to be responsible and productive adults beyond just high school is a full time effort. Whatever path they decide to take, we want them to be equipped with family values, coping skills and oh yes, at least know how to do their own laundry!
A few nuggets to ponder:

  1. Competence breeds Confidence and builds Self-Esteem
  2. What are your top three family values?
  3. Do you know your child’s coping mechanisms?

Woodson PTSO Staff Self-Care (in partnership with Heart & Soul Yoga and The Community of Solutions

Coordinator: Mary Beth Quick

The Community of Solutions and Heart & Soul Yoga began an initiative in 2015-2016 to provide Staff Self-Care Days to Woodson Teachers and Staff 4- 6 times each school year. During the lunch period, 11:20am-1:20pm, we invite a variety of wellness practitioners, offer a few minutes of yoga, mindfulness, chair massage, therapy dogs, healthy tips, “tastes” and tea, all with the intention of providing just a few minutes of “nourishment” for the WTW staff.  This brief escape is one way that we support Woodson’s Cav Culture of being: Proactive / Accountable / Empathetic / Respectful / Connected.

We need volunteers to help set up (minimal), guide staff to the various offerings and help with clean up (minimal). This is a great way to volunteer with a minimal time commitment. For more information or to volunteer, contact: Coordinator: Mary Beth Quick at


Special Education and Frost-Woodson Special Services

Coordinator: Joanne Ladino

The Woodson PTSO Special Education Services Committee partners with Woodson Admin to provide supplemental support for parents, teachers, and students to achieve the best outcomes for all students with learning differences

Special education services comprise a range of supports, most typically delivered via an individualized education program (IEP) or Section 504 (accommodations) plan. As students progress through secondary education, and when planning for the transition to postsecondary life, the group provides essential assistance in helping identify resources and information.

The goal is to support all persons involved in special education by providing opportunities for networking, trainings and informative programming, as well as a place for parents, students, teachers, and other IEP or 504 team members to come together and achieve stronger relationships. We start this process with liaison services from Frost Middle School into Woodson through the Frost-Woodson Special Services program.

In the past, Frost-Woodson Special Services has consisted of a parent-student-teacher interest group, affiliated with both the Woodson PTSO and the Frost PTA, whose goal is to provide information and support to students receiving special education services and their families via a Yahoo listserv.

If you are interested in helping to identify programming opportunities or participating in any aspect of information sharing, please contact Joanne Ladino at


Community of Solutions,
Helping Teens Cope with Life Stress

Heather Davies
Valerie Flowe
Mary Beth Quick

CoS is a volunteer group of parents, teens, school administration, mental health professionals and other concerned citizens from Fairfax County who share a common interest: helping our teens live happy, healthy lives.

Here are some of the actions CoS is currently focusing on:

  • Building Resilience – incorporating mindfulness into the classroom, after-school yoga for students
  • Student/Teacher Forum – initiated by a Woodson high school student in an effort to build bridges of communication between students and school staff
  • Host Staff Self-Care Days – for stress-relief and to show appreciation for teachers and administration
  • Self-Advocacy – focus on strategies for communicating this valuable life-skill to students
  • Education – that focuses on teen wellness, mental illness and reducing stigma
  • Positive approaches to Homework and AP Classes – examines the academic research, stress factors and solutions implemented throughout Fairfax County
  • Promote Positive Messaging – to teens via social media and other visual means
  • Advocacy – working at the school, county and state level to support improved teen mental health services

Other CoS Impact/Actions/Solutions:

  • Advocated for the implementation of a crisis line app
  • Encouraged students and teachers to become certified in Mental Health First Aid
  • Host a monthly National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) support group at Woodson HS
  • Facilitated eliminating homework during school holidays.
  • Created mental health and wellness resource magnets for student lockers

Learn More. Get Involved. Make a Difference.
Join our FaceBook page to hear about upcoming meetings and to participate in the discussions. Sign up for our mailing list to receive email notifications about upcoming meetings and related community events.





FCPS Parent Resource Center

The Parent Resource Center of the Fairfax County Public Schools promotes parent awareness of the services provided by the Fairfax County Public Schools for children with learning challenges, special needs, and disabilities and their families. The Center encourages parent participation in the educational decision-making process and provides seminars, training programs, and information to foster the parent/professional partnership.


George Mason Center for Psychological Services

Woodson POC: Heather Davies



Woodson Coordinator: Heather Davies

NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness)builds better lives for those affected by mental illness. There are two Fairfax County NAMI NOVa meetings that specific for family of youth:
    Location: Woodson High School (Library), 9525 Main St., Fairfax, VA
    (focus: parents of youth)
    Meets: 2nd Thursday of each month, 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
    Contact: Heather at
    703-978-0248 or

    Location: Prince of Peach Lutheran Church, Room #24, 8304 Old Keene Mill Road, Springfield, VA
    (focus: parents of youth)
    Meets: 4th Thursday of each month, 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
    Contact: Heather at 703-978-0248 or

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