Thursday, May 2, 2013

Resources for you


Each month, Family Voices Indiana provides the families we serve with a summary of our hottest Facebook posts. If you missed us on Facebook, here is the latest!

Awareness:
April is Autism Awareness month. Chances are, you know someone who is affected by autism. For more information, check out http://www.autismspeaks.org/ and http://www.handsinautism.org.  We also encourage you to read the many featured posts and blogs on our Facebook page written by individuals affected by autism.

National Child Abuse Prevention Month, a time to recognize that we each play a part in promoting the social and emotional well-being of children and families in communities. Learn more here: http://www.childwelfare.gov/preventing/preventionmonth/.

Donate Life Month, dedicated to people who have given so many a second chance at life and encouraging others to sign up as organ, eye and tissue donors. Learn more at: www.organdonor.gov.

Occupational Therapy Month. Many families want to provide sensory activities for their children, so here's a DIY article: http://reclaimingthehome.typepad.com/home/2009/01/building-an-autism-sensory-room-on-the-cheap-tactile.html. We also have a sensory activities board on Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/fvindiana/sensory-items-and-activities/.

National Minority Health Month. Everyone should have the chance to live a healthy life, regardless of who they are and where they live. If you need help connecting to resources, please let us know.

To honor their unique sacrifices and contributions, April is also month of the military child. You can find resources here: http://www.operationmilitarykids.org/, or feel free to contact us since several of our specialists are, or have been, military families.
Volunteer Month, and we appreciate ours! Thank you, Aura Roblero, and all the members of our board, especially our director Rylin Rodgers and president Steve Viehweg.

April 10, National Siblings Day. If you need resources for sibling support, you may wish to read more here: http://www.siblingsupport.org/sibshops.

April 15, Week of the Young Child. Find out more about how you can monitor your child's developmental milestones with the free, online Ages and Stages Questionnaires: http://makethefirstfivecount.org/asq. There are additional resources here: http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/actearly/index.html.

April 27, National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day provides a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposal. Many pharmacies and police departments offer safe disposal of leftover or expired drugs throughout the year. Check this list for disposal tips and drop-off locations throughout Indiana.
April 30, El Día de Los Niños/El Día de Los Libros focuses on providing children with books in many languages and making reading an integral part of their lives. Be sure to check out all of the great Dia resources available at http://dia.ala.org/


Family Voices:
Check out our Family Voices Staff Spotlights! This month’s page featured specialists Cyndi Johnson and Ofelia Jimenez, and pictures of our amazing staff kids, Rebecca Johnson, Grace Akers,  Maison and Makenna Kurmay, and Nataly Jimenez.
Facebook fans liked our many inspirational quotes. Be sure to check out our page for a pick-me-up.
"There's only so much you can give before you will feel mentally, emotionally, and physically drained. That's why it's a necessity — not a luxury — to spend some time taking care of yourself so that you can recharge and feel empowered to continue to support and care for your child" Find tips for taking care of YOU here: http://kidshealth.org/parent/system/ill/caregivers.html.
Sometimes it's hard to explain what being a mom of a child with special needs is like…you might consider sharing this with others if you find it hard to find the right words.
"You are Your Kid's Voice,” and, as such, we want you to feel empowered. Read about one mom’s journey and growing confidence here: http://articles.complexchild.com/jan2012/00359.html.
Just because a person can’t speak, doesn’t mean they don’t have something to say. 23 ways you can communicate with a non-verbal child: http://www.friendshipcircle.org/blog/2013/04/16/23-ways-to-communicate-with-a-non-verbal-child/.
“Having a child with a disability can be difficult. There are moments you wonder if anyone will ever understand or get what it is like to walk in your shoes. You parent a child with special needs and sometimes you feel alone and invisible. But you are not. Today, I want to tell you that I see you." Read the entire post here: http://www.ellenstumbo.com/special-needs-parents-i-see-you/.
As a family led organization, we think it's important to include the voices of those who have special health care needs and/or disabilities. Here's info on Autism Acceptance month from the Autistic Self Advocacy Network: http://www.autismacceptancemonth.com/about/.

Training and Learning Opportunities:
Family Voices works to fulfill our mission of empowering families by providing you with educational opportunities and resources. Check our website frequently for learning resources by visiting: http://www.fvindiana.org/trainingThis month, we shared the following on Facebook.
It's never too early to start planning for transition. The purpose of this resource guide is to provide students, parents, and other stakeholders (educators, physicians, therapists, community-based providers, business owners, etc.) with a list of relevant, high-quality, and current resources on transitions for individuals with autism spectrum disorders.

One of the most important jobs you have as a parent is keeping your child safe when riding in a vehicle. Each year thousands of young children are killed or injured in car crashes. Proper use of car seats helps keep children safe. But with so many different car seats on the market, it’s no wonder many parents find this overwhelming. You can find more info from the 
AAP Pediatrics here: http://www.healthychildren.org/english/safety-prevention/on-the-go/pages/car-safety-seats-information-for-families.aspx.
National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth has developed a series of Youth in Action! Tip Sheets aimed at helping youth learn and think about important transition issues including: Becoming a Stronger Self-Advocate; Leading Your Transition Planning; Learning Disability History; Getting Involved in Volunteering; Serving on Decision-Making Boards; and Participating in Internships and Work-Based Experiences. You can find them here: http://www.ncwd-youth.info/youth-development
If you are still in “IEP season,” this is a good read. Remember to read your child’s IEP carefully. “As with any contract, only with eyes wide open and clear understanding can you trust that the IEP is delivering meaningful educational benefit and a free appropriate public education. Your child deserves no less, and so much more."
Students with intellectual disabilities want to attend college for the same reasons as their peers: to expand their knowledge, build their resumes, develop lifelong friendships, enhance their skills, increase their earning potential, and learn how to be more independent. Learn more about efforts in our state at Indiana Postsecondary Education Coalition and nationally at Think College.
Newsworthy:
We've created a FB page for our Latino families who prefer information in Spanish and/or would like to connect with other families. Check it out: https://www.facebook.com/VocesDeFamiliaDeIndiana.
Did you know free summer meals (breakfast, lunch, or snacks) will be served to children in low-income areas this summer at sites such as neighborhood parks, libraries, schools, places of worship, mobile buses, and recreation centers? To find where free summer meals are being served near you or someone you know, call the toll-free National Hunger Hotline (1-866-3-HUNGRY or 1-877-8-Hambre) or visit www.whyhunger.org/findfood.
Did you know you may be eligible for insurance subsidies made available by the Affordable Care Act? These subsidies reach into the middle class. For more information, we encourage you to read this article: http://money.cnn.com/2013/04/23/news/economy/obamacare-subsidies/index.html.
49% of children with autism wander/elope from safe settings. Help keep your child safe by downloading the "Big Red Safety Toolkit." Also, many local law enforcement agencies have programs available to assist families whose children are at risk for wandering.
Did you know Parents magazine featured children with special needs on their cover and in their magazine? In case you missed it, follow this link to the article!
Requests for Collaboration:
Family Voices always encourages followers to use their voice to affect positive change to our systems, public and private policies. Here’s how you can use your voice.
All parents of Indiana students receiving special education services should have received a paper survey sometime during the second week of April. This confidential survey will take five minutes to complete and measures parent satisfaction with their experience in working with education staff at their children’s school and the special education services their children receive. Parents with more than one child receiving special education services should complete one survey per child. If you haven’t completed or never received a survey, parents with Internet access are encouraged to complete the survey on-line by going to https://survey.wested.org/s3/inps. Additional paper surveys are available to parents from their children’s school.

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