Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Resources for You

Each month, Family Voices Indiana provides the families we serve with a summary of the month’s hottest items. If you missed us on Facebook in January, here is the latest!

Family Voices:
Check out our Family Voices Staff Spotlights! This month’s page featured specialists Cristy James, Heather Dane, and Elizabeth Ramirez-Mireles.
Facebook fans liked our many inspirational quotes. Be sure to check out our page for a pick-me-up. Also, we encourage you to share our page with friends using the share or invite features!
"A grandchild with special needs will change your life — but it’s up to you to determine if it will be a negative change or a positive one." Read the article here: We also have a guide for grandparents raising children with a disability:
"Although most often the mother is the primary caregiver of the child, we can’t forget about the dads. A dad is just as important in the family status as the mother despite what society may claim. Because of the lack of attention and help that Dads receive when their child receives their diagnosis, I want to address some coping strategies I believe many Dads will find beneficial." Read the article here: For Dads of children with Down Syndrome, be sure to visit: Down Syndrome Indiana is a good connector for local DADS groups.
"You are your kids’ parent first. Advocate, teacher, and therapist are important roles, but they aren’t what you ARE. Enjoy it." Read the list of things this mom wishes she had done as a special needs parent from the beginning:
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: This month, we shared the following on Facebook:
Use this online resource from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to find mental health treatment facilities and programs near you. Help is available for people with limited resources who can’t afford to pay for services.
Having a child with challenging behavior can affect the entire family, and family members often find the need for more information and guidance in this difficult area. The resources listed below are intended to connect families with resources and support. The list isn’t intended to be exhaustive of the behavior resources available, but it will certainly get you started and lead you to yet more information and resources.
"Keeping warm over the winter months can help prevent colds, flu or more serious health conditions such as heart attacks, strokes, pneumonia and depression. If someone you are caring for has special needs, they may be more vulnerable to cold-related illnesses, so it’s really important to keep them wrapped up." Read more here:
Families with children with special health care needs have additional things to consider when purchasing Marketplace plans. Families will want to make sure that a local hospital, for example, is in the network before they select a plan on the Marketplace. They will want to check which physicians or other healthcare providers participate. Read more here.         
Many individuals have been targeted for the Family Supports waiver. However, many people have questions about this new leg of the journey. We can help! As parents ourselves, many of us have children with the waiver. We have a guide to help with both parts of the journey: how to apply, and what happens once you're targeted. You can find our guide here: and
Have you recently learned your child has autism? Hands in Autism offers FREE Next Steps trainings around the state to help parents and caregivers learn more about resources for your child. Find more information here:
"Your child isn’t born with a guide book (that would be too easy) and when your child is diagnosed with autism – there isn’t a go-to book that will tell you exactly what you need to do. But there are many books that will help. Here are a few that have helped me in the past, that are helping me now and preparing me for the future. Most importantly, they will help your child gain confidence and as much independence as possible." Read the list here:
Many churches are working to better include children with special needs. Whether or not a church has taken steps to welcome children with learning differences or disabilities, parents can proactively prepare the children’s ministry team for their child’s successful inclusion. Read the article here:
Families who prefer information in Spanish and/or would like to connect with other Latino families are invited to check out our Spanish Facebook page:
Check out our Pinterest boards at
Did you know that we also have a Youtube Channel? It houses our four training webinars about resources for children with special health care needs. We also have playlists of other videos that might be of interest to families. Check it out here:
You can now sign up to receive updates (no more than 1/wk) via text message! This new Family Voices Indiana service provides families and professionals with specific information from Family Voices Indiana programs including notices of upcoming trainings, reminders, action alerts, and newly released Family Voices Indiana resources. Your plan’s text messaging rates will apply. Simply text "FVIndiana" to 313131 for English or "FVIndianaEs" to 313131 for Spanish.
As the state affiliate for Family Voices, we are a grassroots advocacy organization that seeks to share opportunities and updated information on issues that impact Indiana families of children with disabilities or special needs. During the legislative session, we will be sharing information via our blog and twitter. Be sure to follow us if you'd like up to date information.

Family Voices encourages you to use your voice to influence care, public and private policy, and educate others. In that vein, we strive to share with you opportunities to collaborate with others to improve the systems we engage. Here are some upcoming opportunities:
We're hoping we can learn from each other with our Tuesday Tips. We know you have a lot of ideas for adapting items, saving time and money, organizing and more. We'll start the conversation with some ideas, and we hope you'll add to the list. Let's try to make things easier for all of us! Join the discussion or simply browse the tips on our Facebook page.        

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