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Keeping You Informed
November 30, 2016

In This Issue...

Toy Guide Cover
Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids
From Toys "R" Us and Lekotek

For more than 20 years, Toys"R"Us, Inc. has offered the  Toys"R"Us Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids , a one-of-a-kind resource that offers toy recommendations based on research from the National Lekotek Center, a nonprofit organization that evaluates all toys in the Toy Guide

For years, the Toy  Guide  has provided parents and caregivers with toys that aid in the development of children who have physical, cognitive or development disabilities. 

Explore the 2016 Toy Guide at .
Rhodes Scholar Thrives With Service Dog's Help
From Disability Scoop

The University of South Carolina's first Rhodes Scholar in 16 years did not plan for the new friends and extracurricular activities typical of college life.  Jory Fleming, 22, has autism, which makes social interaction difficult. "I didn't really expect to do much of anything," he said.  He could not have been more wrong. 

Fleming recently won one of academia's most prestigious awards, the $68,000-a-year Rhodes Scholarship, for students who succeed inside and outside of the classroom. With the help of a service dog named Daisy, the Columbia resident has thrived at USC.  Now, Fleming is preparing for his next adventure, two years studying at Oxford University in England, starting next October.

Trafficking of Persons With Disabilities in the United States

A fact sheet was released by the Human Trafficking Pro Bono Legal Center regarding the vulnerability of individuals with disabilities to human trafficking, especially girls. In addition to being forced into labor, individuals with disabilities may also be victims of the theft of their Social Security and other disability benefits. Listed below are links to additional resources on this topic:
Benefits of Early Care & Education for Children in the Child Welfare System
From the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation

A new brief, Benefits of Early Care and Education for Children in the Child Welfare System , explores emerging evidence from social science research on the value of early care and education services to the Child Welfare System's goals of: (1) child safety, (2) permanency, and (3) well being. It finds that the vast majority of young children in the Child Welfare System are not utilizing early care and education services despite the apparent benefits. It concludes with a discussion about organizational practices that can be used to increase the enrollment of child welfare system-supervised-children in early care and education programs. View the PDF  here: ldwelfare
Click the image for additional holiday tips from
Holiday Stressors for Kids With Disabilities 

Holidays can be a time to make memories and spend time with family. They can also be a time of  stress  for kids with learning and attention issues. has a helpful list of 10 holiday stressors to look out for, and ways to help.


Variety of Education Credit Options Available at Upcoming Behavior Seminar
Only two weeks until this exciting event!

"Creating a Climate of Success for All in Your School and Community"
presented by Dr. Laura Riffel
Monday, December 12
8:00 am-3:30 pm
Ramada Tropics Conference Center
5000 Merle Hay Rd, Des Moines, IA 50233

Dr.  Riffel will provide practical lessons to help everyone involved in addressing the challenging behavior of children and in communicating and partnering with each other effectively and successfully.  Her seminar has been approved to offer continuing education and training credits for:
  • Nurses
  • Social Workers
  • Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Mental Health Counselors
  • Alcohol & Drug Counselors
  • Graduate Students
  • Foster Parents
The cost to register is $65 for parents/family members and $85 for professionals; each attendee will receive a copy of Dr. Riffel's workbook, continental breakfast, and lunch. Register now to reserve your spot! Detailed CE information, full agenda, and much more available at
Wapello and Oskaloosa RESPECT Workshops
Learn how to address conflict at this free workshop

RESPECT is a four-day workshop focused on conflict resolution and relationship building by recognizing each other's strengths through peace-building, empathizing, communicating, and trust-building. The skills and strategies taught at this training can be applied universally when addressing professional and personal conflict. These workshops are offered at no cost, but registration is required.

Wapello RESPECT     Only 5 spots left!
Thursdays: December 15, 2016, January 5, January 26 & February 16, 2017
Oskaloosa RESPECT
Wednesdays: February 22, March 8, March 29 & April 12, 2017

Sensitive Santa & Special Santa Events
A sensory-friendly Santa experience

Sensitive Santa, Sioux City
Sunday, December 4
9:00 - 11:00 am
Southern Hills Mall,  4400 Sergeant Rd,  Sioux City

Special Santa, Urbandale
Saturday, December 10
1:00 - 3:00 pm
Journey Church,  4409 121st St, Urbandale
Register here:
Bidwell Riverside Center Holiday Toy Pantry
For children 12 and under living in Polk County

Dates & Times:   Sunday, December 11, 2:00-4:00 pm
                            Wednesday, December 14, 6:30-8:30 pm
                            Saturday, December 17, 2:00-4:00 pm

Location:              Bidwell Riverside Center, 1203 Hartford Ave, Des Moines, IA 50315

Toys will be available on a first come, first served basis for children ages 12 and under living in Polk County. Parent/legal guardian must have a photo ID and a form of ID showing each child's birth date (ie. birth certificate, medical card, etc.)

UNI Seeks Parents for Research Study on IEPs and Mental Health
Participants will be eligible to win a $50 gift card

Parents are invited to participate in a research survey that asks for opinions and feedback on how well their child's IEP addresses the mental health needs of their child. Eligible participants must have a child who has an IEP with a behavior or adaptive behavior goal and who struggles with mental health difficulties such as depression, anxiety, attention deficit, anger, etc. 

Researchers will use the information to discuss mental health services in special education with district and AEA personnel, and professionals on the state and national levels. Those interested in participating can do so by clicking the following link: 
Iowa Family Looking to Connect With Other Families
For parents of children who require daily nursing services

Are you the parent of a child, 3-21, who requires daily nursing services? ASK has received a request from a family who would like to connect with other families to share lived experience, ideas, and challenges. 

If you or someone you know is interested in participating, please send an email to with the subject line "Medical", and include your name, phone number, and your child(ren)'s age and diagnosis.
Speech-Language Pathology Student Recruiting Parents for Survey
For parents of children who use speech-generating devices

A graduate student studying Speech-Language Pathology at the University of Kansas is seeking parents of children (ages 3-21) who use a speech-generating device to communicate. The information gathered from the survey will assist speech-language pathologists gain a better understanding of what supports parents need in order to decrease device abandonment in the school system. 

Those interested in participating can do so by clicking the following link:
ASK Awarded Grant from Wells Fargo Foundation
Funds will be used to support ASK's programs

ASK Resource Center is pleased to announce it has received a grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation. The funds will be used to support the products and services that ASK provides to families of children with disabilities and special health needs across the state of Iowa.
Copyright © ASK Resource Center, 2016. All rights reserved.
You're among 4,740 others who received this email because you wanted us to keep you informed of the latest disability-related news, educational opportunities, events, and more from in and around the state of Iowa.

The contents of this listserv blast were partially funded under grants from the US Department of Education, #H328M140017, Project Officer, David Emenhesier, and a grant from the US Department of Health & Human Services, #H84MC24065, Project Officer, LaQuanta Smalley. The contents of this listserv blast do  not necessarily represent the policy of those Departments, and the reader should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government. ASK's Family to Family Iowa Project serves as Iowa's Family
Voic es State Affiliate Organization. ASK is also Iowa's Parent to Parent USA Alliance Member.