Exceptional Times is a monthly electronic newsletter produced by
 Families Helping Families of Jefferson and 
Louisiana Parent Training & Information Center
a project of FHF of Jefferson.

Exceptional Times 
August 2017
Ready or Not - Here We Come!
By:  Mary Jacob, Executive Director
It's that bittersweet time of year when parents are struggling with confused thoughts in their head.   Confusion begins with dueling thoughts in your brain.  The thought of the summer ending and the school beginning is always tough for many parents.  When my girls were still in school, this is the time of the year I loved and dreaded at the same time.  I loved their excitement of what a new school year would bring.  The possibility of new friends, new teachers, and even a new school could be intoxicating.  Even the idea of purchasing new school supplies and uniforms brought a certain excitement you just don't get when you run out of paper and have to buy a few more notebooks in the middle of the year.  

For me, Summer was relaxing and no pressures.  No homework.  No IEP meetings.  No teacher notes.  No phone calls.  No nothings.  This peaceful time of the year ending was more depressing to me than the girls.  I knew once school started, so would the late night projects, the endless crying from everyone because nobody understands the new math,  and constant worrying about everything that could go wrong during the school day.   To be fair to educators - they are probably worrying about the same things.  As a mom with two kids on IEP's, I learned a lot over the years and what I realized was many of the challenges I experienced could have been prevented if I was more proactive in my approach to the beginning  of each school year.  So with that, I share with you  my Top 5 Back to School tips for the upcoming school year:
  1. A lot of kids with special needs don't always transition well from year to year or from school to school.  Therefore, you will want to make it as stress-free as possible.  Start driving by the school as frequently as possible before school officially starts.  If it's a new school, start talking about the school and what to anticipate.  Make an appointment to meet the secretary and office staff.  If you know who the teacher is going to be, try to see her, if possible.  Want to make a few extra brownie points?  Make some brownies or cookies or stop and pick up a dozen donuts to bring for your visit.  Make sure to share these with the secretaries and others working in the office.  
  2. Do you have an "I hate tags" kind of kid?  By the end of the school year, uniforms and clothes are comfy and predictable.  If you purchase new ones - they might not be so comfy or predictable.  The shirt tag might itch, the socks don't feel right on the toes, the pants are too stiff, and the new shoes just don't feel right.  These type of things drive kids with no sensory issues a little crazy.  But imagine if your child has sensory issues.   Go ahead and start washing those clothes,  get rid of those tags now,  and try those socks on and make sure they are ok. I don't have enough fingers and toes to count the number of times we had complete meltdowns over socks and tags. Try all that stuff on well before the first day and wash it all every day to make it feel softer and more familiar.  The last thing you need is a major meltdown on day one of school because of uniform malfunction. 
  3. Let's officially introduce your child to their new teacher.  This is especially important for children that have communication deficits.  I'm a firm believer that most negative behavior occurs because of communication issues.  Children that are nonverbal or have limited speech still need the people around them to understand their needs and know why they do certain things.  We've done you a  favor and created the perfect document to use.  The new "All About Me!" is for students between Pre-K - 5th grade. The all new "My Portfolio" has the same purpose as "All About Me!" with a more mature style, and is for pre-teens and young adults. Parents can use "My Portfolio" to assist their child in the transition from elementary to middle and/or middle to high. "My Portfolio" empowers students, parents, and teachers to prepare earlier for the transition from school to the adult world.  Both documents are available in Microsoft Publisher and Adobe "Acrobat" XI Pro.  To edit the document in Adobe "Acrobat" XI Pro, you must have the program.  If you wish to use Microsoft Publisher, please contact us and we will e-mail you a copy.  There is an easy to use Getting started with Adobe "Acrobat" XI Pro guide for "All About Me" and "My Portfolio" to assist you in entering text and inserting pictures. If you don't have access to a computer, printer, or would just like assistance, call our office and we'll be happy to schedule time for you to come in the office and help you create what you need.
  4. One of the things that drove me nuts when my girls were in middle and high school was finding out on open house night that half of their teachers had no idea they had an IEP.   I could feel the blood draining from my face and thinking to myself, what the..........!  They've now been in school a few weeks and received no accommodations.  How could this happen?   What I learned to do was give the special education teacher a break and take care of it myself.  Remember tip 3?  I'd make sure a copy of the IEP was included in that packet, so I knew the teacher knew without a doubt that they need special accommodations to be successful in school.   Was it my job to do that?  No.  But if I'm going to get into a battle over something so early on at the beginning of the school year, it will be over something much bigger than a copy of an IEP.
  5. Pick your battles.  This might have been the hardest lesson I learned.  I could think back to when I was more worried if every "t" was crossed on the IEP form versus how were they going to determine if progress is being made.  I can remember thinking, how can this teacher not know the Individuals with Disabilities Act Law (IDEA), before realizing, I need the teacher to be a curriculum expert, not an IDEA expert.    I tell parents to make a list of their concerns and then prioritize that list. Dictionary.com defines priority as highest or higher of importance.  As a parent, everything was a priority to me - but some things were truly higher of importance than other things on my list.   If everything is truly a top priority, then everything needs to be addressed.  If not, let's start with the most important things.  
Those are my top 5 back to school tips, but that doesn't mean I don't have additional tips.  Our job is to empower you as parents by giving you the tools and knowledge you need to be the best advocate you can be for your child.   One of the most important things you need to do as a parent is to learn your rights and become the advocate your child needs you to be.  In the long run, YOU are the only person your child can count on.   YOU know your child the best and NOBODY will  ever advocate as hard for your child as YOU will.  This special education stuff isn't a sprint - it's a marathon and children that have the most success in school are those with parents that are great advocates.  We are excited that we will be giving parents a lot of new opportunities to gain knowledge this school year.  You'll find more online trainings, more webinars, and even Facebook Live events.  Check out all of our upcoming events on our website's calendar of events

I am excited about what the new school year brings for all of our families and educators.  I hope everyone has a great year learning new things and finding much success.  Most importantly, don't forget what Helen Keller said, "Alone we can do so little:  Together we can do so much."   
We Are Searching For a Few New Team Members!  

Families Helping Families of Jefferson is excited to announce we have a few opening for positions on newly acquired contracts.  If you are looking for an exciting and very rewarding career in the field of Parent to Parent Support - you might be the perfect person for one of these new positions at Families Helping Families.  

Do you:
  • Believe in inclusion and that individuals with disabilities are valued members of society and has every right to attend school, work, live, and play in their communities with typical peers?
  • Have an unwavering belief that individuals with disabilities should live in their own home, with their family, or in the community and not in institutions? 
If you can answer yes to both questions above, then you just might be the perfect candidate for FHF.

We are  looking for dynamic individuals that want to join our team. The perfect candidates will have a good base of knowledge of special education laws and bulletins, belief in inclusion, home and community-based services and ideally a parent of a child receiving special education services.  Minimum requirements include Excellent Microsoft Office skills; great written and verbal communication skills, highly organized, reliable transportation with minimum state insurance requirements, pass a drug test, and ability to work some nights and weekends, as needed.   

Our team is very hard working but finds time to have some occasional fun. If you are interested in these new opportunities, email your resume and cover letter to Laura S. Nata at lsnata@fhfjefferson.org.  Tell her why you are the perfect person to join our team. 
Upcoming Trainings 

- Introducing Facebook Live Mini Trainings -

We are thrilled to introduce Facebook Live Mini Trainings to you.  These short interactive trainings give you the information you need to know now.  Our August trainings will be all about the new school year.  You won't want to miss them.  No registration is required.  You just need to sign onto Facebook and go to our Facebook Page .  

"Keeping Good Records: How to Create a Paper Trail" - Tuesday, August 8, 2017, 10:30 am: There are lots of reasons to keep your child's records. Having access to detailed information can help you partner with your child's teachers. Copies of official documents can also be useful if you ever have a dispute with the school about whether it's giving your child enough services or placing her in the most appropriate setting.  This training will provide various options of record keeping along with a useful checklist.

After School Care - Friday, August 11, 2017, 11:30 am: Meeting the needs of individual children is something child care providers understand. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal law, enacted in 1990, that provides child care professionals with an exciting opportunity to serve children with special needs or disabilities. The ADA gives the opportunity for child care providers to include children with disabilities in care.  Participants will gain an understanding of reasonable modifications in policies, practices, and procedures  to accommodate individuals with disabilities.

All About Me - Tuesday, August 15, 2017, 1:30 pm: The "All About Me" Guide for Children and Students with disABILITIES is a guide to share important information about your child with their teacher beyond what is found in their IEP.  Join me live to learn what information to include in your child's information guide. Start off the new school year on a positive note by presenting this information in a fun, creative and informative way.

Making My Voice Heard - Wednesday, August 23, 2017, 11:00 am: You can make your voice heard by using self-advocacy. So why is this important to you?  Because it gives you the power to speak up for yourself by making your own decisions about your own life including education, healthcare, and learning how and where to get information so that you can make better decisions that interest you.  This live training will give you basic self-advocating tips so that your voice is heard.

What To do If School Calls You To Pick Up Your Child - Wednesday, August 30, 2017, 12:30 pm: This live training is an overview of what to do when the school calls you to pick up your child.  If your child is not sick or being suspended, the school should not call you to pick up your child because they are having a bad day.  This training will give you tips on how you should respond if you get the call to come pick up your child.

- FHF August Workshops -

The ABC's of ABLE: Accounts that Build Capacity - Friday, August 25, 2017, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm, East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie, LA 70001: In this two-hour workshop, attendees will learn about Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Accounts, which allow individuals with disabilities and their families to save for the future and build financial independence. Newly offered in Louisiana, ABLE accounts offer flexibility, tax benefits, and most importantly do not interfere with an individual's eligibility for disability benefits such as SSI.
Audience:  Parents, Caregivers, and Professionals of School-Aged Children/Students.

To register, please call: 504-888-9111 or toll-free 1-800-766-7736

Louisiana Department of Education's Options for Resolution of Special Education Disputes - Tuesday, August 29, 2017, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm, East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie, LA 70001: This presentation will examine the dispute resolution options for children with exceptionalities, and identify some of the most common/frequent dispute issues. Participants should be able to navigate through the dispute process better, specifically by using some of the less adversarial dispute resolution options. These options lead to better outcomes and relationships between parents and educators, save time, are more cost effective, and require fewer human resources than a due process hearing and/or litigation.
Audience: Parents, Caregivers, and Professionals of School-Aged Children/Students.

To register, please call: 504-888-9111 or toll-free 1-800-766-7736

- FHF August Webinars

Basic Rights in Special Education - Friday, August 4, 2017, 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm: 
Whether you're new to special education or have been involved for a while, this workshop is for you. This presentation provides families with an introduction to their rights and responsibilities as parents of children with special needs under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).  Parents begin to identify dreams and goals for their children, understand laws and learn advocacy strategies that will help them help their children reach those goals. 
Audience: Parents, Caregivers, and Professionals of School-Aged Children/Students.

The Big Step: Transitioning Into Preschool - Tuesday, August 15, 2017, 10:30 am - 11:30 pm:  This webinar is to give insight on the importance of successful transitions from Early Intervention services to preschool. It touches on the importance of the roles of the parents, service coordinators, and educators. Participants will learn the positive and negative effects of transitions. We will also focus on what to look for in a preschool program.
Audience: Parents, Caregivers, and Professionals of School-Aged Children/Students.

IEP vs Section 504 Plans:  Which Is Right for My Child? - Wednesday, August 16, 2017, 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm: Children with disabilities who qualify for special education under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) receive services under an IEP plan. However, some children with disabilities do not receive services under an IEP but  instead served under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504). Participants will learn the similarities as well as differences between the IDEA and Section 504.
Audience: Parents, Caregivers, and Professionals of School-Aged Children/Students.

Know your rights: IDEA - Thursday, August 17,  2017, 10:00 am - 11:00 am: An overview of the federal and state laws that protect students who have (or should have) IEPs.
Audience: Parents, Caregivers, and Professionals of School-Aged Children/Students.

Understanding the Evaluation Process in Special Education - Thursday, August 17, 2017, 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm:  You've noticed your child is not keeping up with the rest of the class and you suspect your child may have a learning disability. If you feel your child's needs aren't being met in the general education setting, he or she may be eligible to receive special education services. In this presentation, you will learn about the evaluation process in special education.  Questions like, "When can I ask for an Evaluation?," "What is the process?," and "What are my child's rights?" and more will be answered. Join us and learn all you need to know about getting the evaluation process started for your child.
Audience: Parents, Caregivers, and Professionals of School-Aged Children/Students.

Know your rights: Section 504 - Friday, August 18, 2017, 10:00 am - 11:00 am:  An overview of how Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 protects all students with disabilities, whether they have IEPs, 504 Plans, IAPs, IHPs, BIPs, or no plan at all!
Audience: Parents, Caregivers, and Professionals of School-Aged Children/Students.

Related Services: How Do Special Education Services Relate to Your Child? - Tuesday, August 22, 2017, 11:00 am - 12:00 pm:  Every child is entitled to FAPE, a Free and Appropriate Public Education in the least restrictive environment. Related Services make FAPE possible, and for your child to learn alongside their peers. Related services are designed and implemented through the IEP process to meet the unique learning needs of your child. In this training, you'll learn what services are available, whether or not your child qualifies, and how to get started! 
Audience: Parents, Caregivers, and Professionals of School-Aged Children/Students.
Click here to register

Understanding the Evaluation Process in Special Education - Wednesday, August 23, 2017, 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm:  You've noticed your child is not keeping up with the rest of the class and you suspect your child may have a learning disability. If you feel your child's needs aren't being met in the general education setting, he or she may be eligible to receive special education services. In this presentation, you will learn about the evaluation process in special education. Questions like, "When can I ask for an Evaluation?," "What is the process?," and "What are my child's rights?" and more will be answered. Join us and learn all you need to know about getting the evaluation process started for your child.
Audience: Parents, Caregivers, and Professionals of School-Aged Children/Students.

Accommodations vs. Modifications - Thursday, August 24, 2017, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm:  Meeting after meeting, parents and teachers use the words "accommodation" and "modification" almost interchangeably when discussing IEPs and student needs. If understood and used correctly, these words can greatly impact the success of a child's educational program. Get answers to these questions and more:  How can accommodations and modifications help my child in the general education classroom? How is it included in IEP and which accommodations are provided for state testing?
Audience: Parents, Caregivers, and Professionals of School-Aged Children/Students.

Section 504 and Transition - The Bridge from High School to Postsecondary Services - Tuesday, August 29, 2017, 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm:  In this workshop, we will assist you to understand the ITP process as it pertains to postsecondary education and other related services. We will also provide an overview of programs and resources available to your child entering postsecondary education or employment. 
Audience: Parents, Caregivers, and Professionals of School-Aged Children/Students.
Click here to register

View our full calendar of events here. 

FHF e-Learning Mini Modules

e-Learning Mini Modules are formatted for all devices so even if you are at a ball game, dance practice or waiting for your dinner to arrive in a restaurant, you can log onto our website and watch one of our e-Learning Mini Modules in approximately 10 minutes. That's right - you only need about 10 minutes!  The following e-Learning Mini Modules are currently available:

  • What do you do when the school calls to pick up your child?  
  • What transportation services are available to my child with a disability?
  • How can I prepare for my child's Individualized Education Plan (IEP) meeting?Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Basics
  • What is Least Restricted Environment (LRE)?
We hope these are useful to you and happy to be able to add additional ways for families to learn relevant information they need in to get their child the most appropriate education they deserve.     Click here  to go to our website and learn more about the e-Learning  Modules!

Trainings & Webinars provided by others

Bring on the Sunshine! Shining Light on ASD and Essential Supports, Thursday,  August 10, 2017, 2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.: This webinar is geared toward educators that may be new to teaching students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), family members seeking more information about supports, or seasoned educators looking to refine their skills.  Live online via Adobe Connect. 

CONNECTIONS 2017 Conference - LA Deafblind Project for Children and Youth & Collaborative for Students with Unique Communication Needs, Friday, August 25 and Saturday, August 26, 2017:  This two-day conference is being sponsored by LSUHSC - Human Development Center for parents and professionals working with children and youth with unique communication needs.  
This is YOUR section of the Newsletter!  

This section will feature trainings and resources specific to youth between the ages of 16 - 26 years old.  

- FHF August Youth Webinars - 

Let's Talk: Shopping and Healthy Foods - Monday,  August 14, 2017, 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm: Do you love eating? We love eating too - but in order to be healthy, we need to eat healthy. In order to eat healthy, you need to know how to make smart choices and read labels. This webinar will focus on how to shop for healthy foods that are affordable so you don't run out of money. We will also give you some alternative ideas of where you can purchase healthy foods other than a traditional grocery store and our list of healthy fast food items.

- Youth Featured Resources - 

Mental Health Infographics - NAMI offers several infographics designed to help young people address their mental health concerns.  Share this 1-page Student Guide to Mental Health with families and youth.  There's also Want to Know How to Help a Friend?  that is meant for young people who are concerned about a friend's mental health.  

Partners in Policymaking
Recruitment for 2018 Applicants

The Louisiana Developmental Disabilities Council is now recruiting motivated individuals with developmental disabilities and parents of young children with developmental disabilities to apply for the 2018 Partners in Policymaking Leadership Training.  
  • Do you have a young child with a developmental disability or do you have a developmental disability?
  • Are you interested in learning about the latest disability issues and how to shape policies that impact people with disabilities?
  • Will you commit to attending six-weekend training sessions, one each month from January - June 2018 to learn from national experts on the following dates?
    • January 19-20, 2018
    • February 16-17, 2018
    • March 16-17, 2018
    • April 13-14, 2018
    • May 11-12, 2018
    • June 8-9, 2018 
If you answered yes to these questions, please click here to apply for the 2018 Partners in Policymaking class in Louisiana.  

There is no cost to participate.  Space is limited.  

For more information or assistance with applying contact Rodney Anthony via email at rodney.anthony@la.gov or call 1.800.450.8108 or 225.342.6804. You may also call Families Helping Families of Jefferson for assistance at 1.800.766.7736 or 504.888.9111.   Additional information can also be found here

Deadline to apply is September 30, 2018.

Don't miss out on this Life Changing opportunity!

Just off the Press - Hot Items

IDEA Public Input Requested
The Department of Education has published a Federal Register notice to provide the public with the opportunity to submit comments concerning regulations and policy guidance they would recommend that the Department repeal, replace, or modify.  This includes regulations under Title 34 Code of Federal Regulations (Education), ED's significant guidance documents (such as Dear Colleague Letters and policy letters), and the newly redesigned IDEA site.  This request is in response to President Trump's Executive Order 13777 (February 2017), which requires an evaluation of existing regulations.  Public comment is due by August 21, 2017.  Read more here about the Executive Order and what it covers.  Submit your comments here

The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) released its State Determination Letters for 2017. Find out if Louisiana meets requirements for implementing Parts B and C of IDEA, needs assistance, or needs intervention.
   See what Louisiana is up to, what has already been proposed, and what's next.

Are early learning initiatives on your priority list? Find out the many contact people for your state's initiatives and plans for early learning programs from birth to the 3rd grade-Part C, Title 1, home visiting, and more. From Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes (CEELO). 
Check State Plans
Have a look at these analyses identifying best practices in 17 state accountability plans submitted in April and May 2017 to the U.S. Department of Education. CheckStatePlans.org provides in-depth information on how these plans advance educational opportunities in innovative ways for all students, and where some fall short. 

On June 30, 2017, the Department published final regulations under Parts B and C of IDEA. These final regulations make conforming changes needed to implement amendments made to IDEA by ESSA. Want to know what's been changed? Have a look at   OSEP's summary chart.

ESSA Consolidated State Plan FAQs
ESSA provides states with flexibility in how it will implement the law. Each state must submit a consolidated state plan, which the Department then reviews; this process is underway. This FAQ (released June 16th) explains the review process, who is involved, and what the Department's responsibilities are concerning providing states with feedback and suggestions and making determinations as to whether a state's plan has met ESSA requirements. 
Links You Want To Check Out

If you've ever done an internet search on a topic, you know first-hand how difficult it is to sort through the thousands of links that come up with the search. Below is a list of some of our favorite links for the month that others have shared with us. We hope you find them as informative as we did.

What are ABLE Accounts - This link leads to a website that was made to educate families on the ABLE Act. It is written in easy to understand language and has videos explaining what an ABLE Act is. They also provide free webinars for anyone to join on the website, as well as additional resources and information by state. It is a great resource for anyone looking into getting an ABLE account for themselves or a loved one.

Helping Your Child Cope with Back-to-School AnxietyAnxious feelings are normal and expected during times of transition or change. This is especially true for children and teens going back to school, or for first-timers starting kindergarten. This transition can be stressful and disruptive for the entire family!  Before the first day of school, your anxious child may cling, cry, have temper tantrums, complain of headaches or stomach pains, withdraw, and become sullen or irritable. 

IEP FAQs Pop-Up: Resolving Parent School DisputesParents want the "best" education for their children. Schools are only required to provide "appropriate" services for children with disabilities. The conflict between parents and schools is normal and inevitable. Learn:  Strategies to resolve disagreements;  Steps to take if you disagree with the school;  Options you have if unable to resolve disputes. 

Promote the importance of immunizations - This toolkit was created to promote the importance of immunizations during National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM), which occurs every August. We encourage you to use the valuable resources in this toolkit throughout the year. The 2016 edition of the toolkit contains key messages, vaccine information, sample news releases and articles

Traveling with Disabilities: Tips and Helpful Resources -  Travel by people with disabilities, also known as "disabled travel" or "accessible travel," is on the rise. The travel industry is waking up to disabled travelers' special needs by providing more services and greater accommodation.

What's an IEP?Kids with delayed skills or other disabilities might be eligible for special services that provide individualized education programs in public schools, free of charge to families. Understanding how to access these services can help parents be effective advocates for their kids. 

Extensive Lending Library

Families Helping Families has an extensive lending library. Books, dvds and more are here, free of charge, for families and professionals to check out. You are welcome to come and browse our library during office hours, Monday through Friday, 9 am to 4 pm. If you cannot make it into our office, you can see a complete list of our inventory and any item can be mailed to you. Just  click here to see a complete list of items in our lending library. 

Before you buy it - check to see if we have it!
Changing Lives. Every Day. 
Success Story of the Month

Every day we hear wonderful things about the work we do for individuals in the community. One of the things that keep us going daily are the success stories we hear.

Jolene & Drew Spell's Success Story - I called Families Helping Families of Jefferson  after numerous attempts of trying to get a new  diagnosis added to my son's IEP. I knew the  urgency of updating the school with my son's new
medical information and that it may bring on  some changes on his IEP.


This section will give you information on events FHF of Jefferson will be attending, waiver waiting list info, other community events you might be interested in attending and anything else that doesn't fit in one of the above sections.

Explore Our Services - Saturday, August 5, 2017, Oakwood Center, 197 Westbank Expressway, Gretna, La., 10:00 am - 3:00 pm: The Jefferson Parish Public School System staff will be  the mall to speak with parents and community members about back to school topics, as well as the many resources and benefits offered to students and families. Adult education, child services, compliance and registration, gifted and talented, health services, pre-k, and human resources are just some of the departments planning to attend.

Inclusion Art Contest -  To bring greater awareness of the importance of inclusion in today's society, the Governor's Office of Disability Affairs (GODA) encourages you to participate in the 2017 Inclusive Art Contest. GODA will be accepting entries that illustrate or describe ideas related to this year's theme and accompanying definitions of inclusion of persons with disabilities. This year's theme is "Together We Succeed." Award medals and special recognition from Governor John Bel Edwards will be presented to the artists who submit winning artwork. The Inclusive Art Contest is open to all residents of Louisiana. Contestants are encouraged to use art as a means to share their vision, experiences, and talents to demonstrate this year's theme.  Winning entries will be publicly displayed. All entries must be submitted by September 1st, 2017. For the registration form, click here . Please call (225) 219-7550 or email Jolan.Jolivette@la.gov should you have any questions.

Gold Awards Nominations OpenNominations are being accepted for the Governor's Outstanding Leadership in Disabilities (GOLD) Awards. Submissions for nominations are due by Monday, October 2, 2017. The Governor's Office of Disability Affairs will host the GOLD Award ceremony on November 15, 2017, at the Old State Capital in Baton Rouge. More information can be found here.

The Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities provides supports and services through a variety of locations throughout the state to support the dignity, quality of life and security in the everyday lives of people with developmental disabilities and their families, acting as the Single Point of Entry.

Waiver Registry Dates - As of July 31, 2017, the following dates have been reached on the waiver registry, a.k.a. The waiting list. 
New Opportunities Waiver (NOW) - 8/18/2004
Children's Choice Waiver - 6/20/2006
Supports Waiver - 12/31/2014
Not sure where you are on the registry? Call 1.800.364.7828

LaCAN (Louisiana Council's Advocacy Network).  LaCAN advocates for service systems that support children and adults with disabilities to live in their own homes and be fully-included and participating members of their local schools and communities.    Click here to join!  
FHF Team

Click here for a list of  Staff  or  Board Members

Families Helping Families of Jefferson is your one stop shop for disability information. We are the only family resource center for individuals with all disabilities, all ages and their families in Jefferson Parish. We offer services across the lifespan.

Families Helping Families of Jefferson is proud to celebrate our 25th year providing support to families throughout the State of Louisiana!  
 Louisiana Parent Training and Information Center (LaPTIC) is a program  of Families Helping Families of Jefferson and a grant from the US Department of Education; Office of Special Education (OSEP) as Louisiana's official and only statewide federally funded Parent Training   and Information Center. 
The Mission of Families Helping Families is to educate and 
connect children and adults with disabilities and their families to resources, services & supports to attend school, work and thrive 
in their communities

FHF of Jefferson 
201 Evans Road, Bldg. 1, Suite 100
Harahan, LA  70123
800.766.7736 (toll free)