PEATC’s Parent and Youth Empowerment Summit


On September 18 &19, PEATC will host it’s very first Parent and Youth Empowerment Summit.  With over 140 registered guest, we are looking forward to an event filled with presenters and vendors coming together to empower families!

If you are not joining us in person, please join in the conversation on social media by using the hashtag #PYE2015.  And stop by the blog next week for an update on how the event went!

Below is a copy of the press release that went out to local media outlets.

We are very exited for a successful event!



Contact:  Suzanne Bowers

Tel: 703-923-0010



PEATC, Virginia’s Parent Training and Information Center, is excited to announce our “Parent and Youth Empowerment Summit”! The theme for this year’s summit is “Your Future Called… IT NEEDS YOU, SAY YES”. The summit will be held at the beautiful Hyatt in Fairfax, VA on Saturday, September 19, 2015.  Invited guest include Virginia’s own, Ms. Wheelchair, Ms. Amazing and Fairfax Supervisor John Cook. Confirmed Speaker’s include staff from the Virginia Department of Education and several professionals around the Virginia area.  The day will be filled with various informative breakout sessions specifically designed for self-advocate youth while parents can attend sessions geared toward empowering parents of children with disabilities.

For more information about PEATC and our services, please visit our website or call 800-869-6782.


Dear Teacher!

From our PEATC Youth Blog!!! A great message straight from the students!

PEATC Youth Empowerment

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With a new school year starting, over 60 Brain Highways kids collaborated to write a “Dear Teacher” letter—which they then turned into a short (under two minutes) “Dear Teacher” video. School does greatly influence how kids are viewed by others and how they view themselves. So, while it may take years to change laws or how health care addresses mental health issues, these kids hope their message will be shared with as many educators as possible—knowing that teachers can truly make a huge difference, starting TODAY.

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#OnePerfectDay for a family living with Autism


By Heather Arbeen; PEATC, Senior Information Specialist & Training Coordinator

If someone had told me 5 years ago that my favorite day of the year would be spent with 200+ children and youth on the Autism Spectrum, I don’t think I would have believed them. I think anyone who has spent countless hours in therapists’ waiting rooms may have their doubts.

But Surfers Healing is a truly joyful, uplifting experience.  The Surfers Healing Foundation’s hashtag, “#OnePerfectDay”, sums it up perfectly.

#OnePerfectDay you spend in the beauty of the outdoors, in sand and salt water.

#OnePerfectDay you spend watching your child receiving the “rock star” treatment from an army of volunteers, including the Foundation’s professional and professional level surfers.

#OnePerfectDay you spend watching your child riding the waves and surfing!

#OnePerfectDay you spend with your Autism ohana (Hawaiian for ‘family’).

#OnePerfectDay you don’t worry about getting “The Look” from people who don’t have Autism in their daily lives.

#OnePerfectDay you spend saying Mahalo (Hawaiian for ‘thank you’) to Israel “Izzy” Paskowitz for co-founding Surfers Healing with his wife, Danielle.

#OnePerfectDay basking in the smile of your child.

As a parent to a child with Autism, I sometimes have to take a breather and find refuge in my “Happy Place” … which is not so much an physical location as it is a feeling provided by the memories of the joyful experience of #OnePerfectDay a.k.a. Surfers Healing Virginia Beach camp!

At Surfers Healing, our family is able to re-connect to old friends, meet new ones, and best of all, witness Jake having an amazing surf experience!

So … “why surfing”, you might ask?

To quote Izzy and Danielle, “Here at Surfers Healing, our mission is to enrich the lives of people living with autism by exposing them to the unique experience of surfing … even though we had 4,500+ participants at our surf camps last year – and even though autism now affects 1 in 68 US children – we don’t think in thousands. We think in ones, because that’s where we can effect change. One child. One family. One day at the beach.”

Surfers Healing has also been a wonderful outreach opportunity for PEATC to share information about Special Education and interact with all the ‎Virginia families in attendance and to also provide information for non-Virginia families to locate their states’ Parent Centers.

For more information about Surfers Healing, please visit their website and Facebook pages.

#OnePerfectDay Photo Album

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