Tuesday, December 6, 2016

First Tee Program partnering with GUTs gym for 3 Week Golf Program

The First Tee of Detroit has partnered with GUTS gym in Ferndale to have a golf clinic for youth/young adults  between the ages 8-26 with any type of special needs.

They will be utilizing SNAG golf equipment which includes oversized, plastic golf clubs, tennis balls and velcro targets.

The cost for the entire 3 lesson series is only $15. But space is limited to the first 12 that register, so don’t delay!

Saturday, January 14th from 2:30pm-3:30pm
Saturday, January 28th from 2:30pm-3:30pm
Saturday, February 4th from 2:30pm-3:30pm

GUTS Training Center
1008 Orchard Ave
Ferndale, MI 48220

Online registration is available at:

If you have any questions, please contact Lisa Woodcox, Program Director at lisa@thefirstteegreaterdetroit.org or 313-820-3362.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Perspective Seminar Dec. 13th with Friendship Circle and MORC

Perspective Seminars
Please join us for the first seminar in the Perspective Seminar Series.  PERSPECTIVE is a partnership between Friendship Circle and MORC, Inc. to provide inspiration and guidance to those who need it most, the parents and caregivers of individuals with special needs. This series of six seminars will provide the perspectives of six nationally renowned experts on a variety of special needs topics.

Mom get off the runway, I'm cleared for take-off!
From the moment their kids are diagnosed with differences, parents and caregivers all do the same thing, obsess with questions about their children's future.
  • Will they finish high school?
  • Find love?
  • Drive a car?
  • Live alone?
  • Have someone to care for them when their caregivers are gone? 
In their newest presentation, best-selling authors and imperfect sisters, Patricia Terrasi and Gina Gallagher, chronicle their journey of raising their children with disabilities to adulthood. Through their humorous anecdotes and personal and professional experiences, the authors will share their successes and failures, and provide tips to prepare you and your child for that mysterious journey ahead.

The Details

Tuesday, December 13, 2016
7 p.m.

Friendship Circle's Farber Center
5586 Drake Road, West Bloomfield, MI 48322

Cost is $15 per person; $25 for two; or $25 for CEU ticket

This seminar has been approved by the Michigan Social Work Continuing Education Collaborative.  Course approval #: B112216-05

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

OU Cares Winter Programs 2017

OU Cares is a program run by Oakland University to support students with Autism and their families. They offer a wide variety of programs, support groups, social skills and employment training.  Check out this link to explore their winter options:  OU Cares Programs

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

ABLE Act in Michigan - Achieving a Better Life Experience Program now available in Michigan

The ABLE Act program is now available in Michigan.  Here are two links that provide information on how to set up an account.  The purpose of the account is to assist individuals with disabilities and their families in saving money to support their future needs related to independent living, health care and other qualified expenses.  The money will "supplement but not supplant" benefits provided by private insurance, SSI and Medicaid.  A person is eligible if they have been diagnosed or become disabled prior to the age of 26 and is either receives SSI/SSDI or has a disability certification. That means that even if the person is under the age of 18 and is not yet receiving SSI, the account can still be set up.

Please check out these links for more information on this opportunity!

https://www.miable.org/  - You can learn more about the MiABLE accounts and even open an account from this website.

State of Michigan ABLE account information  - Sign up for email updates, sign up for an account and learn more about eligibility information.

Video of Community Mental Health presentation on MiABLE - This is a video of the presentation at Oakland Community Mental Health by the State of Michigan Department of Treasury

If you have any questions, let me know.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Perspective Seminars at Friendship Circle

Perspective Seminars at the Friendship Circle

The Frienship Circle and MORC  are hosting a series of seminars for families and caregivers. Below is a description taken from their website.  There is a cost for each seminar and you do need to preregister.  Click on the link above for more information.  Topics for seminars are:

"Mom get off the runway, I’m cleared for takeoff!" - Dec. 13th at 7pm 

The Benefits of Self-Care for the Selfless Caregiver - Jan. 17th at 7pm 

The Benefits of Being Different - February 28th at 7pm 

How to keep my child with special needs safe and happy - March 21st at 7pm 

The Life-Changing Lessons I Learned from Riding The Bus With My Sister - April 4th at 7pm 

Planning for the Future - May 2nd at 7pm.  

Perspective Parenting Seminars

PERSPECTIVE is a partnership between Friendship Circle and MORC inc, to provide inspiration and guidance to those who need it most, the parents and caregivers of individuals with special needs. This series of six seminars will provide the perspectives of six nationally renowned experts on a variety of special needs topics.
Our goal at PERSPECTIVE seminars is to provide access to some of the most respected thought leaders in their respective fields and provide you with the insight, guidance, and inspiration to continue your important work. On behalf of the teams at Friendship Circle and MORC we hope you will join us for these important seminars.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Ron Sandison, Author to Present at Living and Learning in Northville

From the Living and Learning Staff:

"We are excited to announce that we will Ron Sandison, Author at Living and Learning, LLC as a guest speaker.  He will be here on October 15, 2016 at 7 pm.
Please come to meet him and purchase his book.  He has a lot to offer and we are honored  to have him here.
Please look at the link below or review him online for more information.
Thank you and have a great day."


Living and Learning is located at 150 Mary Alexander Court  Northville, MI   Phone 248-308-3592
Website:  livingandlearningllc.com

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Community Input Meeting

The Arc of Oakland County and The Arc of Macomb County are co-hosting a local "Affinity Group" meeting to discuss the "Section 298 Initiative," that is, the potential for privatization of community mental health services.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is asking people with mental illness, emotional disorder, developmental or intellectual disability, or substance use disorder, and their family members, what supports and services they need or want.
This is a follow-up to Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley's workgroup on the Section 298 boilerplate that was in the Governor Rick Snyder's budget recommending privatizing behavioral health services. The boilerplate was changed, but the MDHHS needs to write a report to legislators about suggestions for improving the service system.
To collect information, a survey was developed.  The MDHHS is asking concerned agencies to host group meetings to ask people the survey questions.  The Oakland-Macomb meeting is scheduled for:
October 17, 2016
7pm - 9pm
The Troy Community Center
Rooms 304 & 305
3179 Livernois
Troy, Michigan 48083
Map to the Troy Community Center:
If you are unable to attend, please send your comments to:
For more detailed information:

Monday, September 12, 2016

Financial Aid Information Night 9/16/16

Novi High School will be hosting a Financial Aid Information Night on Sept. 16, 2016 at 6pm in the Novi Middle School Auditorium.  The presentation will last about 2 hours.  Please click on Financial Aid Flyer for more information.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

PAC Meeting - ABLE Act, Life Planning for Special Needs Students

The first PAC Meeting of the year will be on Wednesday October 5 from 6:30 to 8:30pm at Novi Woods Elementary Media Center.  Topics for this meeting will discuss life planning for students with special needs including wills, trusts, estate planning and the ABLE Act.  Click on the this link for the flyer:  PAC Flyer

MORC Town Hall Meetings

Make Your Voice Heard!!!

Mental Health Town Hall Meetings
Oakland County 
Thursday, September 22, 2016
7:00 PM
Beaumont Hospital
Administration Auditorium
3601 13 Mile Road
Royal Oak, MI 48073
Open at 6:30 PM
Macomb County
Wednesday, September 28, 2016
7:00 PM
Intermediate School District
44001 Garfield
Clinton Township, MI 48038
Open at 6:30 PM
Wayne County
Saturday,October 15, 2016
10:00 AM
UAW Region 1A
9650 Telegraph Road
Taylor, MI 48180
Open at 9:30 AM
Each county town hall meeting will have a panel of state legislators of that county to hear from advocates, community mental health leaders and concerned citizens regarding their concerns to be addressed by mental health reform.
  • To express to policy makers your personal concerns that we properly fund more and better mental health services, and
  • To oppose Lansing efforts to shift Medicaid funding for mental health services to private HMOs (privatization)
Persons wishing to share their stories are encouraged to bring written statements which will be collected and shared with other policy makers following the event. Public comments will be limited to 5 minutes each to enable many people to express their concerns. If you choose not to speak or you can't attend, you may e-mail your comments to fred.a.cummins@gmail.com
Everybody is welcome!  You can attend any one of the town hall meetings regardless of your county of residence.
- Alliance for the Mentally Ill of Oakland County
- Mental Health Association in Michigan
- UAW Region 1A
- UAW Region 1A, Retiree chapter
- Mich. AFSCME Council 25
- Parents Alliance of Metro Detroit
For more information, call 248-203-1998.
Keep your message brief, friendly, and to the point.
Use the image as a link, or add a call-to-action link here.
Add a Link

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

On My Own Open House

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 29, 2016 AT 6:30 PM

If you are looking for an organization committed to helping your adult child or sibling with an intellectual developmental disability (IDD) reach their potential, consider attending the OPEN HOUSE at On My Own of Michigan.
At this open house, you will hear directly from families and members of On My Own about their journeys to independent living, gainful employment, active social opportunities and giving back to the community by volunteering.
Light refreshments will be served starting at 6:30 pm and the evening will conclude by 8:30 pm. On My Own is located in Suite 300 of 1250 Kirts Boulevard in the  Kirts Office Park West.
To register for the open house, please email Lesley Scharfenberg, Special Events and Fundraising Manager, at lesley@onmyownofmi.org or call 248.649.3739, extension 221.

Mission Statement:
On My Own of Michigan, Inc. assists adults with mild intellectual developmental disabilities (IDD) to become independent, social and contributing members of the community. We believe individuals living with intellectual developmental disabilities have the right to choose where they work, live, play and worship.  And, when given the opportunity, experience and appropriate supports, On My Own believes they can become active members of the community.

Brief History:
On My Own of Michigan was established in 1997 as a private, nonprofit organization to serve adults with mild to moderate intellectual developmental disabilities (IDD) including Down Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Cerebral Palsy, Epilepsy, Seizure Disorders and Learning Disabilities.  In its 19 year history, On My Own has established a track record as an organization known for the provision of high quality services to its members and their families, solid board governance and oversight, professional staffing and fiscal responsibility.  

Friday, June 3, 2016

Update on the ABLE Act

There has been much discussion as of late on the ABLE Act.  There was recent information from the newsletter Disability Scoop -ABLE Accounts Make Debut

The following update is from Tom Kendziorski from The ARC:

"Bottom line:  no one can open an account in Michigan … yet.  This “may” occur by the end of the year.  The state is having difficulties finding a financial institution(s) to operate  or participate in the program.

My PowerPoint presentation on the subject is on our website at:    http://thearcoakland.org/wp-content/uploads/ABLE-Act-2016-Presentation-APRIL-2016.pdf

I wrote extensively about the ABLE Act in our January-February 2016 newsletter, PROFILES.

I read today that Ohio went active with its ABLE Act accounts.  They are open to non-Ohio residents (See:http://stableaccount.com/)

Finally, I will be presenting my ABLE Act seminar at our Annual Membership Meeting on June 7, 2016 at 7pm at the Wing Lake Center in Bloomfield Hills."

Best Regards,


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      Thomas F. Kendziorski, Esq., Executive Director
      The Arc of Oakland County, Inc.
      1641 W. Big Beaver Rd., Troy, MI 48084-3501
      Phone: 248-816-1900, ext. #226
      Fax: 248-816-1906
      Website: www.thearcoakland.org

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Article on the impact of Educating Police about Autism

This article was shared with Oakland County Transition Coordinators.  It is an excellent example of the power of education and awareness. If you have a child/young adult with Autism that may have behavioral needs or special needs in the community, contact your local police department and help make them aware of your son or daughter.  


Summer Art Classes at Living and Learning in Northville

Living and Learning in Northville is a support agency that teaches social skills to children, teens and adults who have disabilities in these areas including Anxiety, ADHD, Asperger's and Autism.  

Two Sessions offered:
SESSION 1:  Fridays June 17 - July 22
 For K-5 grades12:30 - 2:00 pm $120
 For 6-12 grades2:30 - 4:00 pm $120

SESSION 2:Fridays July 29 - August 26
For K-5 grades12:30 - 2:00 pm $120
For 6-12 grades2:30 - 4:00 pm $120

Contact Living and Learning at:


Email:  livingandlearning@gmail.com

150 Mary Alexander Court
Northville, MI  48167

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Summer Camp in Fenton, MI for students with Autism

I received this information about a Summer Camp in Fenton.  Please check out the website or contact Sylvia Van Meerten for more information (contact info at the bottom of post).  There is a program for older teens and adults as well.  

Camp Tall Tree is an overnight camp for kids with autism and their families (http://www.camptalltree.com/).  Last year we added two cool programs — siblings and Explorers— and I want to make sure we are getting information out into the community about them. 

2016 Session: August 22-27th, in Fenton MI.

Main Camp:
Main camp is our autism program for kids 7-14. We have lots of great activities, experienced staff, and enough structure for kids to access all the fun of summer camp (horses, swimming, ropes course, archery, campfires etc!). Kids do not have be verbal, and we are used to lots of unusual behaviors or social awkwardness. However, campers must be potty trained and we have a 1:2 or 1:3 adult to camper ratio.

Being the sibling of a person with special needs is a unique position in life, and it can be nice to hang with other people who get it, and have engaging counselors whose whole job is to make things fun.  Siblings can be the siblings of anyone with special needs — not just autism and not just our campers.  

This is our teen program for people 13-25.  Explorers learn specific skills like self-advocacy and self-organization,  cooking, cleaning, and teamwork.  They job shadow many of the jobs at camp (everything from property maintenance to lifeguarding to cooking to the front office).  It’s a chance for our counselors to make some serious points about adulthood in a safe and structured environment, but Explorers also get to ride horses, go swimming, have campfires and do other fun camp stuff!

Will you help me spread the word about these programs at Camp Tall Tree?  People can read more and register here: http://www.camptalltree.com/our-programs/

I love to talk about camp, so people can call me anytime!


Sylvia van Meerten
Owner & Director
Camp Tall Tree

Thursday, April 28, 2016

MORC Town Hall Meeting

Town Hall for Families with New Chief Executive Officer Dennis Bott

Thursday, May 26, 2016
6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
MORC Auburn Hills Office
1270 Doris Road
Auburn Hills, MI 48326
This Town Hall is for families and individuals served by MORC as well as other interested community stakeholders. During the Town Hall, you will: 
  •  Meet our new CEO
  •  Get an organizational update and  information on key issues
  •  Hear about some of the organization's future plans
  •  Have the chance to ask questions on a variety of issues
  •  Hear about opportunities to get more connected with the organization.  
Light Refreshments with be served!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Novi PAC Meeting on Wednesday May 4

The Novi Special Education Parent Advisory Committee is hosting 
Michigan Alliance for Families Presentation on 

Understanding the Content of the IEP

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Novi Woods Media Center

Registration is required online at 

Video Modeling and Peer Mediated Intervention offered by Living and Learning in Northville

Living and Learning Enrichment Center in Northville is offering a Video Modeling and Peer Mediated Intervention program  for students with ASD.  If you are interested in learning more about this program, please contact the staff at Living and Learning.

150 Mary Alexander Court
Northville, MI 48167

Special Needs Prom in Lake Orion

Monday, March 28, 2016

Transition to College Presentation in Troy April 21st

The Troy PAC is hosting a presentation on transitioning to college for students with disabilities.

Dale Rohrbach, PhD
ACCESS Coodinator
Oakland Community College

When:  April 21, 2016
             6:30 to 8:30

Where:  Troy Services Building Board Room
              4420 Livernois
              Troy - 48098

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Spring and Summer Classes at Autism Ask!

Think spring at Autism ASK!  
For the full spring and summer 2016 schedule, go to www.autism-ask.com

All classes require an intake and slots WILL fill up fast!

Some of your favorites are still around: Minecraft, History Club, Cooking, Military History Club, monthly Teen and 18+ parties and Summer Short Blast!

NEW are Video Game Design, LEGO Robotics, Stop Action Animation with Star Wars LEGO and Open Tech Club where members can interact twice a month with drones, sumo robotics, Minecraft circuitry and 3D printers.  Autism ASK is partnering with Game Crazy to bring quality STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) to an inclusive classroom where students ages 8 to 18 with and without autism join together in the name of fun (and science!). See what the Christian Science Monitor has to say:http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Education/2016/0209/How-special-needs-students-can-benefit-from-STEM-education?cmpid=gigya-fb

NEW is tabletop gaming taught by a professional game demo instructor. Scott will introduce new indie games that provide a structured leisure and social opportunity for those 16+. Meeting twice a month is frequent enough to foster social connections. Check out the other benefits in this article! http://www.thebodhanagroup.org/#!skill-sets/l6dsd  

NEW is Cinema Therapy led by professional Sherry Putz. Films can provide new perspectives and can open our
eyes to new ways of thinking, feeling and pursuing our lives. Emphasis on building social understanding and perspective taking and flexible thinking. Small groups aid in joining others in a safe environment.

NEW is a field trip to join others across metro Detroit in Ferndale as we get our improv on! Join together to spectate at a comedy club then participate in an after-show question and answer and improv activity.  We hope to find enough fans to start our own improv club hosted by professionals!

Any questions? Just ASK!
4345 Meigs Ave., Suite A, Waterford, MI 48329

Monday, February 22, 2016

Parent Meeting in Rochester

 Aiming for Adult Employment and Independence.  One Family's Story.

Rochester Administration Building Harrison Room

Lisa Kowalski will share insights on the path that their family has taken to prepare their child an independent life.

Learn More at: http://www.rochester.k12.mi.us/pages/49199/special-education-pac

Novi PAC Meeting March 23rd, 2016

Friday, February 5, 2016

OU Cares presents information on the ABLE Act

Please join us for the FREE OUCARES Evening Enrichment Presentation:

Achieving a Better Life Experience - The ABLE Act: 
A Tax Exempt Savings Account for Long-Term Needs of Individuals with a Disability.   Presented by R. Scott de Varona MBA, Michigan Dept of Treasury

Presentation will include:
- ABLE Act History and its creation
- Current Status of ABLE Act in Michigan
- Michigan ABLE Act features and benefits
- Opening an ABLE account for your loved one

When: Thursday, February 25, 2016
Time: 6:00pm-7:30pm,
Location: Oakland University, Oakland Center Bldg, Gold Rooms

There is no cost to attend.  However, space is limited. Please RSVP to oucares@oakland.edu

Miracle League Baseball Registration for Summer

Link to Miracle League:  Miracle League Baseball