Dear Help Group Friends & Families, 

As October comes to an end, we want to recognize and support two national observances. In October, we acknowledge National Bullying Prevention Month and National Disability Employment Awareness Month. 

In this edition of our newsletter, we’ve included a blog post that highlights National Disability Employment Awareness Month and The Help Group’s Vocational Services. We’re also excited to introduce the second episode of our new video series, “Breaking Barriers.” This episode highlights Alex, a current student at The Help Group, and his inspiring journey to overcome school attendance challenges through vocational training.

In observance of National Bullying Prevention Month, we hosted a webcast earlier this month entitled “Strategies to Identify Bullying of Neurodiverse Students.” The positive response to this recording has been overwhelming, so be sure to watch the recording below. Mark your calendars for our next webcast on November 15th and reserve your spot in advance. You don’t want to miss it!

Lastly, we’re excited to announce that Dr. Susan Berman, Co-Founder and Executive Director of The Help Group, has been appointed President and CEO, following the retirement of our Founder, Dr. Barabara Firestone, now CEO Emerita. For more than 40 years, Dr. Berman has been an integral part of The Help Group’s history. Under Dr. Berman’s leadership, The Help Group will continue to be that beacon of hope that it has been since its founding – a place where young people can feel recognized for their potential and celebrated for what they can achieve – a place where differences are considered strengths and a place where brighter futures are created. We extend our warmest congratulations to Dr. Berman and wish her every success in this new role!

Do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions that you may have at Here’s to a fantastic Fall! 

Pamela Clark, M.Ed
Head of Schools 

“Breaking Barriers” – Episode 2


“Breaking Barriers”: From Chronic Absence to Vocational Success

We are pleased to announce the release of the second episode of our heartwarming video series, “Breaking Barriers,” which shines a light on the remarkable stories of young people of The Help Group.

In episode two of “Breaking Barriers,” we follow a Help Group student, Alex, on his journey to improve his school attendance, all thanks to his newfound passion for working on-campus at The Help Group’s resale clothing boutique, Silverlining.



Every October, we celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) to acknowledge the contributions and skills of workers with disabilities. This month serves as a reminder of the importance of a supportive and diverse workforce.

Organizations like The Help Group play a pivotal role in fostering a more supportive society by offering vocational services that empower individuals with disabilities to thrive in the workforce. In this blog post, we’ll explore NDEAM and the impact The Help Group’s vocational services have on individuals with disabilities.




The Help Group Appoints Dr. Susan Berman as President & CEO “My goal is to ensure that The Help Group meets with compassion the ever-pressing needs of those in our community who seek our services. I see windows not walls in the face of challenges, and fervently believe that together we can make a difference.” 



We are constantly working to improve our offerings so that we can be the best resource. One way for us to effectively serve our community is to receive feedback from you! Please take a moment to complete this anonymous survey that asks your opinion about our conferences. We appreciate you taking the time to do so!




What To Do When The Sticker Chart Doesn’t Work:
Using The Brain to Manage Problem Behaviors

November 15 | 10 – 11am PT

The sticker chart/reward system is a classic positive reinforcement tool for shaping a child’s positive behaviors at home, in the classroom, and the therapist’s office. However, these can be less effective in managing the oppositional or explosive behaviors that can be triggered by requests, directions, and demands. This webcast will offer parents, teachers, and therapists a template based on brain function and behavior to use to better manage upsets after one is backed into the corner of “this chart is making things worse!” 



ICYMI: Strategies to Identify & Address Bullying of Neurodiverse Students

October is National Bullying Prevention Month and earlier this month we held a webcast that delved into the crucial topic of bullying and its profound effects on neurodiverse students, and what you can do as a parent or educator. We discussed – What bullying is and what it is not, the potential signs of bullying in children, and what can be done at home and school to help. Click below to watch the recording and share it with your friends and colleagues. 


Upcoming Events


New Parent Group Forming

Starting this Fall, we will be offering a new therapeutic Parent Education Group for parents of LGBTQ+ and autistic teens. This clinically focused parent group is a 6-week series facilitated by Kaleidoscope psychologist Jess Furrer. Email us to set up an intake.



Parents Like Me

Parent Support Group
Wed., Nov 1 & 15 | 6-7pm

Parents Like Me Parent Support Groups are for parents and caregivers of neurodivergent kids and teens 17 years of age or younger. These are free online sessions that provide a safe space for parents and caregivers to share, connect, and provide support for one another.



ALA Parent-to-Parent Support Group

Thurs., Nov 2 & 16 | 6-7pm

Free online sessions for parents of young adults 18+ to connect, share stories & learn from one another. Parents select topics and group leaders facilitate discussions and offer guidance. Meetings take place the first and third Thursday of each month. 



The Help Group believes that “Dignity, Hope, Opportunity and Love” are the birthrights of all children. Our mission is to recognize, cultivate, and celebrate the individual gifts of young people with special needs related to autism, learning differences, ADHD, developmental delays, and emotional challenges. We offer innovative educational, therapeutic, residential, community mental health, and vocational programs, and we engage in cutting-edge research, professional training, outreach, and public policy advocacy. The Help Group’s fourteen nonpublic special education day schools serve children, youth, and young adults from two-and-a-half years old to 22 years old. Our schools are spread across four campuses in Culver City, Sherman Oaks, Valley Glen, and Van Nuys and educate students with a wide range of cognitive, social, emotional, and learning issues.