Family Support Resource Center
Parents, Educators and Community in Partnership for Children with Special Needs
Public Forum on Common Core State Standards
Dr. Lillian Lowery, state superintendent of schools, and Ray Leone, Maryland PTA president, are leading a series of public forums to discuss the Common Core State Standards. The Western Maryland forum will be held at South Hagerstown High School on Monday, September 16, 2013, from 7 - 8:30 p.m.
Child Care Survey for Families
The Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council wants to hear from you. Do you have a child with a disability, tried to access child care and are you willing to share your experiences to help bring about positive change? Take a child care survey HERE. It takes 15 minutes and it is anonymous. Share the link with other families. The survey is available in alternative formats upon request. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 410-767-3670.
Keep an eye out for the date, time and location of the monthly meetings of the Special Education Citizens Advisory Committee (SECAC), or email email@example.com for more information.
Upcoming workshops and webinars...Download Successful Times, our newsletter:
Successful Times, the Family Support Resource Center's newsletter, contains Information about upcoming workshops, along with a registration form that you can complete and return to the Family Support Resource Center. Download the newsletter HERE (8 page PDF). When workshops are offered, free childcare is available. Pre-registration is required at 301-766-8221.
Do You Want Answers?
- How do I know if my child needs special education or related services? How do I have my child evaluated?
- What are IEP, LRE and due process?
- What do all the special education terms really mean?
- What are my legal rights in relation to my child?
- How do I get the school to understand my child's needs?
- How can I become an advocate for my child at school?
- How can I encourage and motivate my child at home?
- What programs and services are available to help my child when schooling is complete?
- Are there discussion groups where I can meet other parents of children with special needs?
Our staff works to provide answers to your questions about special education and your child.
Study on ADHD
A study is being conducted to learn what matters most to caregivers about treatment for their child's ADHD. The study is open to the parent or primary caregiver of a child (ages 4 - 14) who is receiving care for ADHD. For additional information, contact Dr. Susan dosReis, principal investigator, at University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmaceutical Health Services Research: 410-706-0807 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Around the World of Special Education - In 1 Day (Sponsored by the Parents' Place of Maryland and The Maryland Coalition of Families)
- What: Eighth Annual AWSE Regional Conference
- When: November 23: 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
- Where: Otterbein United Methodist Church, 15 East Franklin Street, Hagerstown, MD
- Registration and Information: Debbie DiPaolo - 301-689-3113; email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Workshops: Least Restrictive Environment & Dispute Resolution...What MSDE Thinks You Should Know; How to Be an Informed Essential Parent (IEP) Team Member; Empowering with Organization, A Document Management System; IEP's or 504's, Why the Difference Matters; The Affordable Care Act
Life Development Classes Presented by Valor Ministries
- What: Life development classes on topics like jobs, self-improvement,credit, boundaries, networking, conflict
- Where: Westview Business Center, 223 N. Prospect Street, Suite 403, Hagerstown; Additional classes at Hagerstown Church of the Brethren, 15 S. Mulberry Street, Hagerstown
- Details: Classes are open to anyone age 16 and older; registration preferred
- Contact: 240-329-9387; email@example.com
1st Thursdays - The Mental Health Center
- Where: The Mental Health Center, 1180 Professional Court, Hagerstown
- Time & Dates: 6 - 7:30 p.m.
- September 5 - Eating Disorders
- Details: Free educational programs focused on wellness
- Registration/Contact: 301-791-3045 to reserve a seat
- Advocating for Your Child in the Special Education Process (for families with children 5 - 21)
- You Are Not Alone (for families with children birth to 5)
- Reading Rockets - Empowering Parents - A PBS show for parents of beginning readers
- Parenting Your Special Needs Child
- Friendship Building Strategies
- Disability Awareness
- Special Needs Trust & Letter of Intent
- Other workshop opportunities:
Continuing Education Opportunities at Brook Lane
For online registration and Continuing Education Seminar Calendar at Brook Lane: http://events.constantcontact.com/calendar/monthview?llr=7ou45aeab&eso=001sOrjvVEqpsp9ij3Ncc-DhQ==
Respite Child Care
- Who: Parents and caregivers with children with special needs
- What: Individually designed respite child care programs
- Contact: Nakita at 301-739-7169 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Autism Support & Activities
- Full Spectrum Newsletter - March 2013 (4 page PDF)
- NEW! Pathfinders for Autism - Find out more at pathfindersfor autism.org, including the new MyAutismTeam, with over 50,000 members who are parents of children of all ages diagnosed with ASD. Parents post updates, share daily trials and triumphs of parenting, provide support to each other, answer and ask questions, and exchange information on valuable local services and providers.
- Research Opportunity at the Center for Autism and Related Disorders at Kennedy Kreiger Institute
- Eligibility: A child may qualify if has or may have Autism Spectrum Disorder and is between 24 and 42 months old.
- Study: Researchers are investigating the effectiveness of treatments aimed at social skills.
- Contact: 877-850-3372 or email: email@example.com
- Study About Children with ASD and Education and Information about Sexuality, Sexual Health and Development and Related Topics
- Eligibility: Children between 10 and 18 with an ASD diagnosis. A parent must participate, too.
- Details: 12 week activity involving toolkit and website
- Contact: 301-765-5425 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
C.H.I.P.S (Childcare Helpers In-Home Service Providers) - Resources for Special Needs Children
Opening in January 2013, Childcare Helpers In-Home Services is committed to branching out to our special needs community with a unique and specialized child care service provided right in the comfort of your home. C.H.I.P.S. wants to deliver a tailored service to meet your child’s special needs in your home. This service will provide you as the parent/caregiver the customized, flexible and supportive assistance you need to alleviate the typical hassles of finding that special care for your child. For more information, call 301-739-7169, email email@example.com or write to C.H.I.P.S, P.O. Box 4816, Hagerstown, MD 21742.
Low Density Support Services (LISS) Survey
The Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council (DDC) is undertaking a review of DDA Low Intensity Support Services (LISS), in collaboration with the Developmental Disabilities Administration. The Council has contracted with the Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities to conduct a study, including this survey, to gather input from an array of stakeholders throughout Maryland. This includes people with developmental disabilities and their families, LISS providers, services providers, DDA staff, resource coordination agencies, advocates and others.
In order for the information we gather to be useful, we encourage you to share your perspective about what is working and not working well with LISS, in addition to ideas and recommendations you may have. All responses to the survey will be completely confidential. No identifying information will be included in the analysis and reporting of the study results.
Please click on the link below to complete this brief survey:
This information gathering process and review will be done through the end of August so that it is useful to DDA and stakeholders as decisions are made about LISS, the development of a new supports waiver and related issues.
Study of Toddler Language Development
Researchers at the National Institute of Mental Health are seeking toddlers 12 or 18 months of age with language delays (i.e., no words at 18 months, limited vocalizations at 12 months) or typical development to participate in a study examining communication development. Most children with language delays do not develop autism, but it is hoped that this study will help inform researchers about the risk factors.
This study will involve both outpatient and inpatient (overnight) visits and will be conducted at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Following an initial screening evaluation, eligible participants will complete an overnight sleep study/EEG and an MRI scan. Follow-up visits that include behavioral assessment will occur every 6-12 months. The final study visit will occur at 36 months of age and will involve behavioral assessment, sleep/EEG study, and MRI.
Compensation will be provided. If you are interested please call 301-435-7962 (TTY: 1-866-411-1010) or e-mail NIMH-ASD@mail.nih.gov.
More Information (1 page PDF)
Summer Programs and Activities
When school is out for the summer, finding good summer activities for children with special needs takes careful planning.
For children who struggle in school the last school bell for the year is often welcomed. Parents and teachers, however, have different concerns. They know that over the summer many children will forget information taught during the school year. This is especially true for children with special needs.
Parents want to make certain children retain what has been learned. They also want children to have fun. More and more we are learning how important play is to children. It develops social skills, imagination, and abstract thinking. Children with special needs often can show their strengths in games or non-school related activities. And, parents need to find summer programs that meet real world work schedules. How can parents accomplish everything the school did each day. Parents must work.
Parents also must deal with issues of letting go. When a child has a disability this can sometimes be more difficult. "Can my child make friends in a new situation without me to help each day?" It is hard to navigate between protection and separation. Yet, as children learn they can be successful away from the parent they also achieve positive self-esteem.
Deciding on the best summer program for children with special needs requires planning. Many options exist. A child's strengths are important parts of the decision process. This is a time when children can build self-esteem. Before you begin, plan to talk with your children. Know their interests. Involve them, if at all possible, in the decision making process.
A bill was introduced in the Maryland House of Delegates, entitled Public Safety - Autism Awareness Training Program. Click HERE for a 4 page PDF that contains the contents of House Bill 361.
Lending Library Publications and videos on a variety of topics are available for loan.
- NEW: PowerUp What Works website - Supported by the Maryland State Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs, to provide educators resources in the development of common core lessons for students with disabilities.
- NEW: PPOD (Parents & Pediatricians Optimizing Development) - Website for parents of children birth to 36 months
- Weight Management Program at Kennedy Krieger Institute (1 page PDF) - A program dedicated to the management of patients with disabilities who are overweight or obese; open to patients older than two.
- Big & Little Bits - February 2013 newsletter from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Washington County (8 page PDF)
- Project Employment - A work skills development program for young adults with autism spectrum disorders and/or chronic mental illness, providing assistance to gain employment in their home communities. Download the 2 page PDF: Project Employment
- Washington County Disability Advisory Committee: 240-313-2077 - The committee meets on the second Wednesday each month from 3 - 4:30 p.m. at 100 W. Washington Street, Hagerstown, in the 2nd floor meeting room. New members are always welcome. For more information, a one page PDF describing the Disability Advisory Committee is available for download, or visit the DAC website: www.washco-md.net/public_info/dac.shtm
- New website for families choosing child care: www.checkccmd.org offers details of compliance findings from child care licensing inspections and links to various sources of information about early care and education in Maryland.
- Children's Resource Hotline: 800-638-8864 - Help for parents/caregivers in finding resources for children with special health care needs
- New website for travelers with disabilities: TSA Cares, through the Transportation Security Administration. The TSA Contact Center is also available at 866-289-9673 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Community Life Institute (2 page PDF) - 1028 Salem Avenue, Hagerstown: 240-347-6237
- Baltimore's Child website: Filled with news and resources for families, including the monthly newsletter.
- Phone "Hot-Line:" The Family Support Resource Center staff is available if you need someone to talk to or answer your questions at 301-766-8221.
- "Successful Times:" A free newsletter for parents and educators.
- "Impact:" Published by the Institute on Community Integration & Research and Training Center on Community Living (40 page PDF)
- Assistive Technology Tools newsletter - November 2012 (2 pge PDF)
- Services: A listing of community agencies/organizations serving individuals with special needs is available.
- Discussion Groups: A time to talk with others about the concerns, and joys of raising children with special needs.
- School/Community Needs: The Family Support Resource Center staff will travel to schools or community/civic groups to provide information, insight or workshops for people interested in learning more about children with special needs.
Toni Nelson: Family Support Coordinator
Marlene Powell: Family Support Coordinator
Since 1988 parents and professionals have turned to the Washington County Family Support Resource Center for information and training.
The Family Support Resource Center is a resource, referral, and training center established to assist parents of children and young adults with special needs. The center serves as a link between family, school and community.
The Family Support Resource Center, in collaboration with Family Support Network offers a full range of support for families of children with special needs, from birth to 21 years.
The Family Support Resource Center is sponsored by Washington County Public Schools, in collaboration with Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE).