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TLC News
October 2013

Pat RitterFrom the Executive Director
Dr. Patricia Ritter

This month, I celebrate my 23rd anniversary with TLC. As I told our guests at the Fall Luncheon, our stories are what have kept me here  and why I continue to be energized coming to work every day. I am endlessly inspired by the people we serve and the staff who support them.


Recently, a woman named Karen contacted me to tell me her son Stephen's TLC story. I hope her letter inspires you as much as it did me:  


"We just want to share a success story with you, as we were once (1989) parents with a child in your fabulous facility wondering what the future would hold. Well, Stephen learned many techniques to compensate for his auditory processing deficit. He graduated from Marquette in Biomedical Science, then was accepted into 5 pharmacy programs, ultimately choosing the University of Washington.  Last month, we proudly witnessed as he was awarded his Doctorate in Pharmacy, even giving a presentation to honor a staff member! Amazing!  These kids have so much potential and your staff found that seed in Stephen and started the growing process. For that, we will be forever grateful.  Please let other disheartened parents know that there is certainly hope and to never give up on or judge these beautiful children!"


Karen's heartfelt letter is what drives me and our staff to work hard each and every day to help more people like Stephen be successful and fulfill their dreams. Thank you for your commitment to TLC which allows us to create memorable stories every day.  


Cathleen Burgess, M.Ed. CCC-SLP
Director of The Katherine Thomas School Lower and Middle School Programs 


In the perspective of every person lies a lens through which we may better understand ourselves, our friends, our families and the world. Through this lens we learn how to determine, predict and expect the thoughts, feelings and actions of others. We develop a belief system of how the world works so that we know how to participate in the experiences we negotiate through life. We also learn how to navigate these experiences in socially appropriate ways through our body language, facial expressions, emotions and words. These skills are also referred to as pragmatics, social cognition, social-emotional intelligence, and social awareness. 


"Mirror Neurons" in the brain reflect back an action that we observe in someone else, making us mimic that action or have an impulse to do so. This creates a reaction -- I see you smile, so I smile. By the age of 3, typically developing children have a clear understanding of others emotions. By 6 years, children gain a deeper comprehension of mental processes and begin to understand individuals' unique viewpoint. 


Research suggests that mirror systems are not as active for children on the autism spectrum. 

Link to the full article to learn more.

Hear firsthand from our families

Two of our families recently shared their stories at TLC special events. Jessica - HOH At a recent luncheon hosted by TLC, Jessica G. spoke candidly about being bullied, doing poorly in school, and how getting hearing aids from our Help Others Hear program changed her life. She spoke to a group of generous donors who helped us celebrate reaching our goal of raising $30,000 for Help Others Hear in the last fiscal year. We were especially grateful to have The Trawick Foundation and the Evans Family join the celebration, as they generously provided matching gift funds to help reach this significant goal. Since this program began in 2008, donors have given more than $100,000, providing 57 hearing aids to 42 individuals who could not afford them. 
Chana Raichik spoke about her son Moshe's experiences at KTS over the past seven years at our Second Annual Fall Luncheon on October 15th. She shared that before he started at KTS in kindergarten, she spent three hours a day helping Moshe in the bathroom and another three hours each day helping him go to sleep. Knowing that she did all of this while raising her 7 other children was mind boggling. Please take a few minutes to
You may also link here to see photos from the Fall Luncheon. Thank you to all of our guests and sponsors including:
  • Leader SponsorsATHENA Consulting, Karen and Peter Beveridge, Debra and Michael Lindsay, James F. and Mary M. Rill, Richard and Laura Ward
Register by 10/31 and save $5!

TLC's 9th Annual King of the Road 5K/1 Mile Fun Run presented by King Automotive Group will be held on Sunday, November 17th at 9am. All participants will receive a FREE long sleeve technical shirt. Register by 10/31 for $35 or $40 after 10/31. Enjoy our post-race sponsor expo with plenty of free food, drinks and fun giveaways from our generous sponsors: 

Title Sponsor - King Automotive Group
TLC's Opportunity to Thank Employers

Outcomes hosted their first Employer Appreciation Breakfast in honor of National Disability Employment Awareness Month and it was a terrific event. Local businesses that have been excellent employers to our consumers were recognized for their commitment to the employment of people with disabilities. Some employers have worked with us for many years, while others just a few months. This great event allowed employers to see the breadth of the services provided by TLC, and to establish stronger ties to us. Eight community businesses were represented by twelve people. 

If you know employers who are interested in learning more about hiring top notch employees through The Outcomes Service, please contact Stephanie Tice, 301.424.5200 x6901.
TLC's New Parent Workshop Series
We know that a diagnosis of autism is overwhelming for parents, both in terms of the emotional impact as well as learning "the language of autism." To help parents of children who are newly diagnosed with autism, TLC has created a new workshop series to help parents understand the complex journey ahead of them. Each workshop will be led by a TLC mental health professional, occupational therapist or speech-language pathologist as well as a TLC mom whose son has autism and can share her unique perspective. Parents will support each other with small group discussion. Link here for more information, schedules and registration.
from The Katherine Thomas School
At KTS, we understand the opportunity for engagement is important for the development and success of our students. We are developing new programs and continuing old favorites:
Wendy Epstein's KTS Fall Running Club is open to students, staff and friends in grades 2 - 12 at KTS.  Wendy and her group train for TLC's King of the Road 5k Run/1 Mile Fun Run!  To learn more contact Wendy Epstein or register for King of The Road 5k.
Therapeutic Yoga has endless benefits for everyone, and Occupational Therapist Katherine Overman's Young Yogis creates a non-competitive environment for kids ages 5 - 12 to enjoy the advantages of OT in a new and different way.
TLC's partnership with ArtStream continues for our third session - Creative Arts Improv this fall. For the first time we are at capacity and happy to have a great crowd!  Look out for the spring session. This fun, inclusive drama group held at KTS fills up fast!
In addition to Homework Club throughout the school year, our high school students participate in other clubs run in 8 week sessions including Board Game Club, Soccer Club, Cooking Club and Teen Club. Activities for Teen Club include a trip to Brookside Gardens, bowling, pottery, and painting. All KTHS activities promote fun and socialization. For more information, contact After School Club Coordinator Peleg Tal.

Our middle and high school students are enjoying a KTS Girl Scout troop that includes students from other schools. 
Never a Dull Moment! 
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This photo is a courtesy of Matt Martin Media,, HD Crew-DC, Md, Va, 202.744.4676
Outcomes consumer, David and Outcomes staff Marta Bohorquez and Amanda Chamoun attended the Montgomery Hispanic Gala and had an opportunity to meet County Executive Isiah Leggett.
Kumar Barve, Maryland State Delegate visited KTS  on Thursday. We were able to showcase our school, educating him on the value of nonpublic schools in the community.  

Congratulations to Aysar (Ace) Barbari who received the Community Staff Award at InterACC Community Builders event. He was honored by TLC/Outcomes along with a community leader, S
ara Milner, CEO of Sunflower Bakery. Ace was honored for his long time commitment to our consumers and families as well as his engagement with the community on behalf of those he serves. Ace opens doors through his ability to develop relationships and tell our story. 
Outcomes DDA Team Coordinator Nick Heynen presented Training to over 100 GMMB staff. GMMB has employed an Outcomes consumer for over 7 years. Nick provided staff with information about communicating, resolving conflict, and demonstrating patience with an individual with disabilities. Among the post session feedback was a staff member that let Nick know, "This information applies to working better with everyone!"

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Bruce Hunter, President, Community Volunteer
Bill McDonald, Vice President, GEICO
James LaGrone, Treasurer, Wintergreen Financial Services, Inc.
Betty Anne Aschenbach, Secretary, Community Volunteer
Raymond Baldwin, General Counsel, Seyfarth Shaw LLP
Patricia A. Ritter, Ph.D.

Harinder Bawa, Think Tank, Inc.
John Bogasky, Strategic Growth Partners LLC
Michael R. Cogan, Rubenstein and Cogan
Charles Dickerson, PEPCO
Peter Greif, Community Volunteer
David L. Katz, The Advisory Board Company
Stephen Orens, Miles & Stockbridge
Melissa Pappas, ATHENA Consulting, LLC
Joseph Parlanti, Combined Technology Solutions
Geoffrey S. Platnick, Shulman Rogers
Mary M. Rill, Community Volunteer
Froma Roth, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)
J. Richard Ward, Rockville Fuel and Feed
Ryan Wibberley, CIC Wealth Management Group

Thomas Nordlinger, Community Volunteer
Barry Scher, Policy Solutions, LLC

TLC News is a publication of TLC-The Treatment and Learning Centers.
Produced by Bonnie Lawhorn, Director of Marketing and Communications and Debbie Ezrin, Director of Development