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 
September 2017
Bully-Proofing Your Child and Your School
By:  Mary Jacob, Executive Director

I have lots of ideas on what makes a school year perfect.  Great teachers, well behaved children, caring office staff and wonderful, delicious, nutritionist lunches.  In my opinion, you can't have the above unless the school campus is a bully free zone.  Some may disagree about the lunches - but I'll defend that by saying, some children don't get these because of bullies taking their lunch money, their food, or just creating so much internal turmoil they can't stomach lunch and just want to escape. 

Children of all ages need to feel school is a safe place.  This is especially true for children that live in places or homes that aren't safe and nurturing.  School staff need to realize they might be the one person that gives that child hope, and change their otherwise rotten day into one of promise.  Be that child's hero for the day.  Be the one that makes the difference.  

Over the summer I had the great privledge to be blessed with a summer MSW intern from Tulane University - School of Social Work named Jamie Frantz.  Jamie wanted to do something relevant for FHF that would leave a lasting impression.  She wanted to create something that would be valued and used by many and something that would be beneficial to our community.  Doing some previous work around bullying prevention at an elementary school, she decided the perfect project would be to create some one page fact sheets around bullying prevention.  We wanted something that would be beneficial to families and teachers - something that would be easy to use and implement.

So it's my pleasure to bring to you the following new resources:
So if I had one ounce of pixie dust left in my container, I'd sprinkle it over all of you and ask that you share this with parents, teachers, colleagues and others that want to STOP BULLYING!   

I hope everyone embraces a bully-free school zone this year!  
We Are Searching For a Few New Team Members!  

Families Helping Families of Jefferson is excited to announce we have a few openings 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.    You won't want to miss them. Topics will be on hot subjects at the moment, interactive, and maybe even a little added fun thrown in there occasionally. No registration is required.  You just need to sign onto Facebook and go to our Facebook Page .  So like us on Facebook and we'll share our LIVE sessions with you!

- FHF September Workshops -

Navigating the Juvenile Justice System, Wednesday, September 27, 2017, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm, East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie, La. 70001: Youth with disabilities are at a higher risk for involvement in the juvenile justice system. Numerous studies show that special education students and those with emotional or behavioral disorders or learning disabilities are arrested and incarcerated at a higher rate than their nondisabled peers.

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

- FHF September Webinars

Accommocations vs Modifications - Tuesday, September 5, 2017, 10:00 am - 11:00 am:  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.

Related Services - Thursday, September 7, 2017, 11:30 am - 12:30 pm:  Children with disabilities are entitled to special education and related services. The IEP must contain a statement of the special education, related services and supplementary aids and services to be provided to the child. Participants will learn several critical elements used to determine what related services a student needs.
Audience: Parents, Caregivers, and Professionals of School-Aged Children/Students.

Tools for Developing a Communication Plan: Assuring communication access for students with unique needs - Friday, September 8, 2017, 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm: We will learn why and how to use this new tool for developing a communication plan to assure communication access. If you're working with students who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Deaf Blind, limited or no verbal skills, significant impairment in receptive and/ or expressive language including but not limited to impairment in the area of Apraxia, articulation, phonology, fluency, pragmatics, or Auditory processing, you don't want to miss this training. 
Audience: Parents, Caregivers, and Professionals of School-Aged Children/Students.
Click here to register

Anatomy of an IEP - Tuesday, September 12, 2017, 10:00 am - 11:00 am:  Like a biology student, this presentation will dissect the parts of the IEP document and examine their functions individually, learning their meanings and application. It will provide constructive and practical tips to help create an IEP that supports all of the student's needs. We will explore the parent's role in the IEP process and learn the basics of their child's right to special education services, the process of developing special education plans, and the parent's role.
Audience: Parents, Caregivers, and Professionals of School-Aged Children/Students.

Procedural Safeguards - Thursday, September 14, 2017, 11:00 am - 12:00 pm: 
Since the first federal law dealing with the education of students with disabilities in public schools was passed, legal rights for parents has been an important part of the law. These legal rights for parents are generally referred to as "procedural safeguards". The purpose of this webinar is to let parents know that they have legal rights and to help them understand what these rights are.
Audience: Parents, Caregivers, and Professionals of School-Aged Children/Students.

Planning Tranistion from High School to Adulthood this School Year - Friday, September 15, 2017, 11:30 am - 12:30 pm: This webinar will provide an overview of transition from school to the community. Participants will learn about the opportunities, services, and supports that are available. The session will also include some local and national examples of successful transitions. 
Audience: Parents, Caregivers, and Professionals of School-Aged Children/Students. 

"Ask Karen" All Things Medicaid - Tuesday, September 19, 2017, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm: Karen will take your questions about Medicaid services and programs. Bring your questions regarding applying for Medicaid, Medicaid denials, Health Louisiana plans, Waiver Services, support coordination, self-direction in waiver services, writing effective plans of care and emergency plans for people with special health care needs, services through Office of Citizens with Developmental Disabilities or Aging and Adult Services and more! You won't want to miss this informative discussion. Email your questions in advance so Karen can do any research that might be needed ahead of time. kcscallan@gmail.com 
Audience: Parents, Caregivers, and Professionals of School-Aged Children/Students. 

IEP Tips and Pointers - Wednesday, September 20, 2017, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm: 
Tried and true tips on how to positively advocate for your children, strengthen the relationships between parents and service agencies, and help create the appropriate IEP program.
Audience: Parents, Caregivers, and Professionals of School-Aged Children/Students.

Addressing Challenging Behavior - Thursday, September 21, 2017, 10:00 am - 11:00 am: Parenting is a full-time job with many daily challenges. As parents, we teach our children what is the right thing to do and what they should not do.  
The purpose of this training is to help parents recognize the early signs of conflict and implement strategies that can manage the conflict in a proactive way and prevent the conflict from turning into a full-blown storm.
Audience: Parents, Caregivers, and Professionals of School-Aged Children/Students.

ADA and Childcare - Tuesday, September 26, 2017, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm:  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. Providers, children and parents all benefit when children can learn and play together. Including both children with and without disabilities in child care reflects our larger community where people with and without disabilities live, work, and play together. Participants will gain an understanding of reasonable modifications in policies, practices, and procedures in order to accommodate individuals with disabilities.
Audience: Parents, Caregivers, and Professionals of School-Aged Children/Students.

IDEA: What Parents Need to Know - Friday, September 29, 2017, 10:00 am - 11:00 am:  Learn your rights, responsibilities and role as a parent of a child in special education. Discover how a student is evaluated and found eligible to receive special education services. Understand the procedural safeguards parents have in the special education process.
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

2017 AAUDD-LA Annual Meeting and Conference - Wednesday, September 20 - Friday, September 22, 2017, Best Western Inn & Suites and Conference Center of Alexandria:   The theme of the conference is People - Purpose - Passion.  Day one offers a pre-conference training and welcome reception.  On day 2 you'll have a great selection of breakout sessions to attend and Dr. Rebekah Gee will address the participants over lunch and the night will end with AAUDD-LA's awards dinner with entertainment.  Day 3 offers more breakout sessions and ends with Mark Thomas and brunch.  CEU's are available. For additional information, click here
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 September Youth Webinars - 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017, 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm: Looking for a job? First thing you might need is a resume.  A resume is where you list information about yourself and your experiences.  This webinar will guide you through the process of creating a resume and some tips about what you want and don't want to include on a resume. 

- Youth Featured Resources - 

Louisiana Independent Living Centers:
These centers are federally funded and they help people with disabilities live as independently as possible. Their mission is to provide the supports and services needed for people with disabilities to be able to live in their own homes and communities. Here are links to our Louisiana Independent Living Centers:
National Council on Independent Living
The National Council on Independent Living is the longest-running national cross-disability, grassroots organization run by and for people with disabilities. Founded in 1982, NCIL represents thousands of organizations and individuals including: Centers for Independent Living (CILs), Statewide Independent Living Councils (SILCs), individuals with disabilities, and other organizations that advocate for the human and civil rights of people with disabilities throughout the United States. 

NCIL was founded to embody the values of disability culture and Independent Living philosophy, which creates a new social paradigm and emphasizes that people with disabilities are the best experts on their own needs, that they have crucial and valuable perspective to contribute to society, and are deserving of equal opportunity to decide how to live, work, and take part in their communities.
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

Extension of Comment Period on Education Regulations
On June 22, 2017, the Federal Register published a request for input on regulations that may be appropriate for repeal, replacement, or modification. That request established a 60-day comment period beginning on June 22, 2017, and closing on August 21, 2017.  To ensure that all interested parties are provided ample time and opportunity to submit comments, the Department has published a Federal Register notice on August 11, 2017, extending the public comment period for 30 days, until September 20, 2017. To  make a comment, please   Click here.
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.

LDonline is a website for educators but families can learn a lot on it as well. It is designed to help educators understand learning disabilities so that they can better serve students who have them. It also provides additional resources and materials that parents and educators can use at home. 
Commonly asked questions about child care centers and the Americans with Disabilities Act:  Privately-run child care centers - like other public accommodations such as private schools, recreation centers, restaurants, hotels, movie theaters, and banks must comply with title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Child care services provided by State and local government agencies, such as Head Start, summer programs, and extended school day programs, must comply with title II of the ADA. Both titles apply to a child care center's interactions with the children, parents, guardians, and potential customers that it serves.

Assistivetech.net is a database of over 22,000 products/medical devices for persons with disabilities. Products can be searched by the individual's functional area/disability, activities and by vendors. 

Organization and Time Management:  Getting and staying organized is a real challenge for individuals diagnosed with ADHD. Many adults may have difficulties with clutter in both the home and the office and feel overwhelmed or stuck. Getting organized can help you in many ways.    

Key Facts About Influenza (Flu): The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu  vaccine   each year.

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.

In February of this year, I felt I was in a low place and
desperate for some help. I just wanted someone to
hear me out. Although I understand English well, I
cannot speak it, and this made me feel isolated. I had
a lot of questions about my son, he had been
previously diagnosed with ADHD, but I always
suspected he had something else due to his behaviors.


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.

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 August 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 - 02/09/2015
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)