Family Connections Newsletter
Eileen Hawkins, Parent Mentor
March, 2019
Save the date text in a creative way over dark background.

Benefits Available
from The Cuyahoga Board of Developmental Disabilities For Those Individuals Ages 3 thru Adult
Cuyahoga Heights Schools is pleased to welcome the management staff from The Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities. The staff from the County Board will provide a comprehensive overview about all of the services and benefits available to those who qualify for their various and vast resources. 

EVERYONE is welcome to attend this public meeting, especially ALL parents, guardians, teachers, counselors, school psych., intervention specialists, etc. Please forward this email to those who may benefit from this information.

Topics include; Family Resources, Camps, Supplies, Transportation Training, Transition Planning, Job Training, Behavior Plans and much more. All are welcome to attend this FREE event. Please pre-register by March 15, 2019. Childcare is available for those who pre-register by March 15, 2019.

When : Tuesday, March, 19, 2019

Time:   6:30 pm till 8:00 pm

Place:  The City of Independence Civic Center, 6363 Selig Drive, Independence OH 44131, Willow Room. Child care is in the Craft Room.

Cost: Free

Child Care Provided in the Craft Room at No Cost to families if you Pre-Register by March 15, 2019. For the safety of our children, we cannot accept children who do not pre-register.

PRE- REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED. Please click the Register Now button below. Registration deadline is March 15, 2019.


When:  March 15, 2019 from 11:30-1:00 PM

Westlake Porter Public Library, 27333 Center Ridge Rd.

FREE of Charge

What is the best way to equip your child to stay in control of his or her emotions and behaviors through the ups and downs of daily life? Are you interested in finding ways to coach your child rather than having to referee an outburst?

Join Meghan Barlow, PhD, of Meghan Barlow and Associates, and Christine Chambers, OTR/L, MEd, of Abilities First, LLC, as they provide practical tips that families can implement immediately to help children successfully navigate through their daily activities. Learn ‘pregame’ sensory strategies and activities for waking up and getting ready, handling unexpected situations, staying calm at social gatherings, completing work, and learning to play and have fun in a variety of environments.

This program is for typically developing children as well as children with developmental delays.

Need child care? Click  here  to register (Currently a waitlist for child care for this meeting. Register for the waitlist.

Does your child struggle with impulsive behaviors?

Does he or she act without thinking? Do impulsivity& hyperactivity negatively impact your child’s relationships and academics?

Join Dr.Kimberly Burkhart of Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital to learn five behavior management strategies you can use tomodify your child’s behaviors at home. She will also teach you strategies that your child can use to manage his or her own behaviors.

In addition, Dr. Burkhart will identify five classroom strategies that you can request to help minimize the impact of ADHD on academic performance. There will be time at the end of the program for questions so families can ask about their specific situations.

This program is co-sponsored by  National Alliance on Mental Illness Greater Cleveland  (NAMI GC).

April 2, 2019
6:30 PM - 8:00 PM

Westlake Porter Public Library, 27333 Center Ridge Rd .

 Connecting for Kids

Empower Epilepsy Events

Thursday, March 21, 2019
4:00 - 10:00 p.m
RollHouse Entertainment - Solon
2 hour Bowling Times include:
4:00 - 6:00 p.m., 6:00 - 8:00 p.m., and 8:00 - 10:00 p.m.

Sunday, March 24, 2019
2:00 - 8:00 p.m.
AMF Riviera Lanes - Fairlawn
20 S. Miller Road Fairlawn, OH 44333
2 Hour Bowling times include:
2:00 - 4:00 p.m., 4:00 - 6:00 p.m., and 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Inaugural Event!!!
Sunday, March 31, 2019
2:00 - 6:00 p.m.
RollHouse Entertainment - Parma
2 Hour Bowling Times include:
2:00 - 4:00 and 4:00 - 6:00 p.m.

Questions or to Register:
Epilepsy 2019 Seminar Series SCHEDULE AND TOPICS

Click Here to Register for an upcoming seminar
About the Seminar Series Program: - The Seminar Series is a set of consumer-focused educational meetings that address timely issues affecting those with epilepsy and their families. These seminars feature presentations by neurologists and other professionals on relevant epilepsy related topics.

Seminars are held throughout the year and are about 90 minutes in length, which includes a Q&A session with the speaker.

The cost is $5 per seminar and lunch is included.

Topic: Transitioning from Pediatric to Adult Epilepsy Care
Thursday, May 16, 2019 
Jennifer Waldron, DO
University Hospitals 

Topic: Social and Cognitive Effects of Epilepsy 
Wednesday, August 7, 2019 
Elia Pestana Knight, MD
Cleveland Clinic 

Topic: Epilepsy and Psychiatric Disorders
Thursday, October 10, 2019 
Howard Hall, PhD, PsyD
University Hospitals  
Sensory Friendly Sunday

Keep Calm & Parent On: Positive Parenting Strategies to Manage Challenging Behaviors and Strengthen the Parent-Child Relationship
Haley Dunn, Milestones Autism Resources, March 12, 2019
The workshop will provide an overview of building resiliency and positive parenting strategies. Evidence-based strategies, conscious discipline techniques and activities will be taught to parents, including an overview and application for parents who have children with developmental disabilities and ASD.
Join Haley Dunn from  Milestones Autism Resources  as she presents guidance that will help parents add strategies into their daily routines that build resilience in themselves and their children, staying calm and managing challenging behaviors. 

Please note that Social Skills and Childcare will not be available at this meeting.
Game Night for all Individuals (High School through Adult): 
Please bring a game and a snack or drink to share. Please pre-register by using the registration link below. If you do not pre-register, you cannot attend the Game Night.
When : Tuesday, March 12, 2019
Time : 6:30 - 8:00 PM
Where : Independence Civic Center, 6363 Selig Blvd, Independence, OH 44131
Registration Required :   Click Here


Sensory Friendly Films at AMC Theaters

April is Autism Awareness Month, and AMC is proud to partner with the Autism Society to offer unique movie showings. Not only this month but every month, they screen the latest releases in a sensory-friendly environment that’s a little quieter and a little brighter. Getting up to dance, walk, shout and sing is all part of the experience.
President and CEO of the Autism Society of America Scott Badesch said, “AMC is a very strong and cherished partner of the Autism Society. We value the partnership, because AMC is enabling hundreds of thousands of families impacted by autism to enjoy the movie-going experience, as well as allowing the over 1.5 million people who are autistic to attend a movie without being impacted by the far too often sensory-related noise and lights that are part of a movie showing.”

Sensory Friendly Films started in 2008 and has expanded to more than 200 AMC theatres across the U.S. Since the beginning, Director of Special Content at AMC Scott Landes has been a champion of the program, which hits close to home as his son is on the autism spectrum. “All of the sudden, we could go [to the movies] as a family,” he said of the program.

That’s the ultimate goal for both AMC and the Autism Society: to enable families to spend time together, enjoying the time-honored wonders of seeing a film at a theatre.

“At the end of the day, Sensory Friendly is about inclusivity,” Landes said. “All we’re trying to do is give people who wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to enjoy movies in a theatre an environment that’s conducive to them.”
By providing a tailored environment, AMC hopes to help our guests with autism better relate to the world around them and bring them into more conversations with friends and peers about the latest releases.

Every second and fourth Saturday, little movie lovers can watch new family-friendly films; on Tuesday evenings, we cater to teens and young adults.

Check out our sensory-friendly showings at:
Scholarship Deadline 3-31-19

Rec2Connect Foundation is committed to providing scholarships to families of children with special needs for recreation programming in northeast Ohio.   Scholarships are provided to individuals with special needs of all ages and ability levels. 

Examples of programming that will be covered: Horseback riding, dance classes, camps, sports classes, adapted aquatics, aquatic therapy, and recreation therapy programming. 


Special Needs Planning

Social Security and Medicaid Disability

Date: March 12, 2019

Time: 6:30-8:30

Place : Educational Service Center of Cuyahoga County (ESC) 6393 Oak Tree Blvd., Independence OH 44131

Cost: Free

Presented by David Banas, Attorney, this estate planning forum will cover a variety of important topics that can help you plan for the future. Topics will include special needs trusts, discretionary trusts, delegated decision-making, an overview of Medicaid and Social Security eligibility and strategies to maximize benefits.

There is no cost to attend, but registration is required. Register by calling 216-736-2690.

2019 Summer and Beyond Directory Summer Camps & More...

The 2019 Summer and Beyond Directory offers educators, families and those who support children and youth with disabilities an opportunity to view all agencies and organizations who offer academic, social-emotional, therapeutic and recreational supports year round in order to assist in developing independence, enhance growth and development, and prepare for post secondary options for students with disabilities in one booklet. Special thanks to Terry McIntee and the staff at the Educational Service Center of Northeast Ohio for putting together such a wonderful resource.



Independence Community Adapted Network
ICAN - Social Activities for those Ages 10 thru Adult!

ICAN is a network of parents, residents, and city employees working together to provide adapted athletic, fitness, recreational, and social activities to individuals 10 years and older with physical, sensory, or developmental disabilities. Any individual under the age of 18 or individuals in need of constant guidance are required to have an aide, parent, or caregiver present for one-on-one assistance at all times.

For additional information, contact Jim Wotowiec at 216-524-3262, Ext. 2559 or


ICAN Dinner at Harry's Steak House
5664 Brecksville Rd. Independence OH 44131
February 19th
6 - 7:30 PM
Bring your own money for dinner

Come out and socialize while enjoying dinner with friends. Bring your own money and provide your own transportation.

Register @ 216-524-3262

ICAN Bowling Seven Hills Lanes
February 16th & 23rd Noon - 2 PM
$14 per Person, per Session

Price includes Bowling, Shoes, Pizza, chips, and Pop. Sign up weekly or by the weeks you are attending.

Register @ 216-524-3262

ICAN Adaptive Fitness
Independence Civic Center, 6363 Selig Drive, Independence OH 44131,Aerobics Room

Saturdays March 9th, 16th, 23rd & 30th
11:30 AM - 12:30 PM

City of Independence Resident: $20 per Session
Non-Resident: $25 per Session

Beat the winter blues and exercise with ICAN. Meet with Jayme and stay healthy. Emphasis on stretching and flexibility. 

Register @216-524-3262
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ICAN Walkers Club & Basketball
City of Independence Recreation Building, 6200 Elmwood Dr., (Pete Wisnieski Dr.) Independence, OH 44131 (Brick Building next to Pond within Park Complex)

March 8th, 22nd & 29th 7 - 8:30 PM

Stay healthy and active during the winter months while having fun!


Registration @216-524-3262

ICAN Movie Night
Friday, April 5, 2019
City of Independence Civic Center Willow Room, 6363 Selig Dr., Independence, OH 44131

Spend a Friday night enjoying a movie and snack with friends.

Register@ 216-524-3262

ICAN Karaoke Night
Tuesday March 26, 2019
6-8 pm
$10.00 (includes dinner)

City of Independence Civic Center, 6363 Selig Drive, Independence, OH 44131.

Come out and help sign the night away as you show off your talent at the first ICAN Karaoke Night.

Register@ 216-524-3262


 ICAN Talent Show
Friday, March 29th
7-8:30 PM

City of Independence Recreation Building, 6200 Elmwood Dr., (Pete Wisnieski Dr.) Independence, OH 44131 (Brick Building next to Pond within Park Complex)

Show off your talent at ICAN's First Talent Show.

Register @216-524-3262


ICAN Game Night
Tuesday, March 12, 2019
6:30-8:00 PM
Bring a Snack or Soft-Drink to share.
(Ages 14 plus)

City of Independence Civic Center, 6363 Selig Drive, Independence, OH 44131

Hosted by the ASGC

RSVP @ 216-524-3262
Join the Cuyahoga County Public Library for a program geared for children and pre-teens developmentally at the preschool level and specifically designed for children with special needs and their families. The program incorporates a schedule board, double visuals, and sensory opportunities for participants.

Adapted Storytimes Registration : A half-hour of socialization time follows the programs at the following branches this spring: Middleburg Hts., North Royalton, Parma and Solon.

Sibling Expressions Art Therapy Group

March 30, 2019
April 27, 2019
May 18, 2019
Sibling Expressions is offered to siblings of children who've been affected by medical or mental illness, or a diagnosis that is life changing.

This art therapy group accommodates children ages 6 to 12 years old. 

During sessions, siblings explore various art materials to promote self-expression and foster healthy coping skills.

Free of charge, space is limited. Please RSVP one week prior to scheduled session to  or 216-448-6265.

Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital for Rehabilitation
2801 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr.
Cleveland, OH 44104
Katie Zaller

Nathaniel's Hope Buddy Break

 Nathaniel’s Hope Buddy Break is a free kids program where kids with special needs (VIP kids) make new friends, have fun playing games, hear and see great children’s stories, videos, music and more! Siblings have fun too! Meanwhile, their parents/caregivers get a break from their ongoing care-giving responsibilities for three hours.
Buddy Break is a growing outreach to the VIP community done in partnership with churches across the nation. Royal Redeemer Lutheran Church is one of those partners and provides “Buddies” who are screened and trained, then paired one-on-one with a VIP child during Buddy Break.

Every third Sunday of the month ,  Child care will be provided for the kids after opening songs and greeting followed by Buddy Break Respite Program hours: 1:00 – 4:00 PM (parents/caregivers day out – respite). 
(No April Buddy Break due to Easter.)

Royal Redeemer Lutheran Church
11680 Royalton Road
North Royalton, OH 44133
Lynn Ebner, Special Needs Ministry Coordinator

Milestones National Autism Conference June 11-12 at
The IX Center.

Since its inception in 2003, Milestones’ Annual Autism Conference has strived to be a forum that would best serve the needs of professionals, families, and individuals with ASD, serving the autism community.

Over the years, the conference has grown from 400 to 1,000+ attendees, with more than 90 workshops and 50 exhibitors! Don't miss this event! Save the date for June 11-12 at The IX Center. 

Questions or Registration information at  (216) 464-7600

Try-It Saturday: March 16, 2019

Rec2Connect Foundation is proud to team up with  Empower Sports  and  Solon Blue Ribbon  to offer boxing and basketball for individuals ages 5+ with special needs.

The structured program has the participant going to different stations to try aspects of boxing and basketball in a fun, upbeat, positive environment.

All abilities are welcome. Please register by 3/9/19

Eileen Hawkins, Parent Mentor

Confidential Help Available for help with IEP's, 504 Plans, Resources, Support and more. Services provided free of charge by
the district.

Call  216-524-0424  for more information or
Please read...

This newsletter is a resource. Cuyahoga Heights Schools do not endorse or recommend any providers, methodologies or services from any of the groups or companies listed. 

We urge you to make independent judgment when selecting a pr ofessional to assist you.