Family Connections Newsletter
Eileen Hawkins, Parent Mentor
November, 2018
Summer & Beyond Fair 2019
Be a part of the 21st Annual Summer & Beyond Fair for Children and Young Adults with Disabilities. Every year, districts, families and students look forward to this event! This fair has vendors for Summer Camps, Therapies, O.T., P.T., Speech, Social Skills, Dance, Karate, Counseling, etc., all in one place. It is a great resource and time saving event for Parents and Caregivers.

Sat. February 16, 2019, 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Woodside Event Center at St. Michaels
5025 Mill Rd. Broadview Hts., OH 44147 


Disabilities, and low-incidence disabilities across their lifespan
OCALI Conference Nov. 14-16

Be part of the 12th annual face-to-face gathering of state and national leaders, educators, parents, service providers, self-advocates, scholars, and policy makers as we collectively focus on common concerns and share proven solutions that address issues and challenges experienced by individuals with autism, sensory disabilities, and low-incidence disabilities across their Be part of the 12th annual face-to-face gathering of state and national leaders, educators, parents, service providers, self-advocates, scholars, and policy makers as they collectively focus on common concerns and share proven solutions that address issues and challenges experienced by individuals with autism.

Collectively focus on common concerns and share proven solutions that address issues and challenges experienced by individuals with autism, sensory.

New! Community Resource & Transportation Guide

The Cuyahoga County Board of DD has created a new resource to help you learn about the many places to explore in our community and different types of transportation options available. This Guide was recently mailed to all individuals served by CCBDD and is now available on their website or click on the link below to view.

The County Board encourage everyone to spend time in the community, enjoying new experiences and meeting new people.


Preventing Cyber Bullying: Tips For Parents And Kids
Courtesy of LLA Therapy

In the generation of technology, parents and
guardians should be hyper-aware of their children’s use of social media. With the increase
of social media, we have discovered a new way of bullying. There are ways we can help to prevent
social media bullying and teach our children
ways to be safe online. 

Tips For Parents

1. Create Cyber Rules With Your Children
This should include how much time can be spent
online, where computers and laptops can be used in the house, and what sites or social media
your child uses. By including your child in this process, they feel a sense of ownership and are
more likely to follow these rules.

2.Be Aware Of The Sites Your Child Is On. 
Learn how to use the sites and become familiar
with how they work.

3. Ask To “Friend” Or "Follow" Your Child On
Social Media. 
This may cause some backlash, but discuss with
your child that this is to make sure they are being safe on the internet. 

4. Teach Your Children How To Be Safe Online.
Explain to them what should be shared online and
with who. Many online accounts can be made private so only your “friends” can see what you
post. Accounts left set up as “public” can be viewed by anyone online. Explain to your child
that once something is posted online, it is
online forever. Even if something is deleted, it may still be found online somewhere.

5. Tell Your Child Not To Respond and Not To
Delete Anything.
If your child is being cyber bullied, they need
to know to not delete any evidence. Tell them to keep everything that is sent to them so you can
prove that the bullying is occurring. Your child should also not retaliate to the bullying for this could make it worse.

6. Don’t Blame Your Child.
If your child is being bullied, make sure to be
supportive. Your child will need to be reassured that this is not their fault and that you will be there
to help them. 

7. Be Available For Your Child To Talk To And Encourage Them To Talk To You Immediately
If They Or Someone They Know Is Being Cyber Bullied.
Make sure your child is aware that they can come
to you to discuss things that happen online. Your child should be confident in coming to you if
there is a problem. Let them know that they will not get in trouble for bringing a problem to you if they need help.

Tips For Kids

1. If You Are Being Cyber Bullied, Immediately Tell An Adult.
An adult you trust will help you with the situation. Do not ignore what is happening. What they are doing is wrong and they could be bullying others as well.

2. Keep Any Evidence.
Keep any messages, comments, or texts a cyber
bully sends. You can screenshot these and print them out for evidence to prove that cyber bullying
is happening.

3. Don’t Respond To Cyber Bullies.
Show an adult what is happening and be open to
talk about it. Do not try to solve the problem on your own as this could make the problem bigger.
the problem bigger.

4. Be A Friend. 
Don’t forward any messages that could be hurtful
to someone else. If you see something, tell an adult. The best way to prevent cyber bullying is
stopping it when you see it happening.
Save the date text in a creative way over dark background.
Cuyahoga Heights District Meeting On Monday December 3, 2018 at 6:00 PM
For Parents and Caregivers of Students' on an IEP or a 504 Plan or any one who may benefit from this information. Details to follow soon. Any questions, please call Eileen at 216-524-0424.
ReelAbilities Film Festival: On Beauty and Design-Ability

Join The Museum of Contemporary Art in Cleveland as they celebrate the last film of 2018, ReelAbilities Film Festival: Cleveland. The evening will feature 2 short films touching on Diversity, Inclusion, and Art. No prior registration and parking is FREE.

The night begins with registration and light snacks at the Museum of Contemporary Art at 6:00pm with the option to participate in an artistic craft. The featured films will begin around 6:30pm followed by an engaging discussion to wrap up the evening .
MOCA will be opening their doors at 5:00pm allowing ReelAbilities film goers to explore the museum prior to the start of the screening. Please see the front desk upon entering for more information.

Museum of Contemporary Art
11400 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44106

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.

Beginning Sunday, September 16, 2018 and every third Sunday of the month thereafter. 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

Game Night for all those High School through Adult:  
Please bring a game and a snack or pop 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, November 13, 2018
Time: 6:30 - 8:15 PM (Held during Autism Society Meeting)
Independence Civic Center
6363 Selig Drive, Independence, OH

Organization Station

Are chores a challenge in your house? Does your child start a task and never finish it? Therapists from Galvin Therapy can help. Join them
for an interactive session where children can learn and practice organizational skills. Children will do “chores” at stations set up to represent rooms of a home including the kitchen and bedroom. Each station will feature activities to complete together and strategies that can be used at home.

Solon Branch of Cuyahoga County Public Library, 34125 Portz Pkwy., Solon, OH

Saturday, November 10, Sessions begin at 1:00 pm and 2:30 pm

Positive Play with Preschoolers 

Join Rec2Connect as they discuss common challenges with preschoolers (both typically
developing children and those with special needs).

They will provide simple strategies to encourage children to develop social and cooperative play skills and stop behaviors such as hitting, being a sore loser when
playing games and whining. This program is co- sponsored by the Lakewood Family Room .
Lakewood Public Library Main Library, 15425 Detroit Ave.
Tuesday, November 13, 6:30 pm

Register :

Sit With Us: An App To Combat Bullying
Courtesy of LLA Therapy
Lunch can be the best time at school for some, while other students may dread going to lunch. Lunch time for these students can be stressful and overwhelming especially if they have no one to sit with. The new app “Sit With Us” was created by a 16 year old student, Natalie Hampton, to help students find others to eat lunch with. The app is available on the iTunes App Store and can be used on an iPhone or iPad.

How It Started
The app was created when Natalie decided to combat bullying that she had experienced. The idea came from previous bullying experiences and having to sit alone at lunch. When she moved to a new school, she had the idea to create something that would make sure that no kids felt like they had nowhere to go, no where to sit, and no one to eat with.

Who It’s For
This app can be used by any student that has either an iPhone or iPad (it is not currently available for Android devices).

How It Works
Once the app is downloaded, you are prompted to create an account with an email or you can log in using a Facebook account. Next you can personalize your account by adding a photo and listing hobbies and interests, and list the school that you are attending/eating lunch at.

Users can add friends and make a “favorites” list, search for lunches that are happening nearby, and create a lunch time and invite friends to join. You can also become a Sit With Us Ambassador, where you can host open lunches that anyone can attend. The app also features a calendar with reminders for events, a message center for chatting with friends, and a group chat feature.

Quick Info
Check out the app in the iTunes App Store or find more information on the app’s  website . This app can be helpful for any and every student that eats lunch at school. Encourage children and teens you know to download and use the app.
Help to create a better community environment in schools and possibly make new friendships!

 ICAN  is a Network of parents, residents, and City of Independence employees working together to provide adapted athletic, fitness, recreational, and social activities to individuals ages 10 years and older with physical, sensory or developmental disabilities.

Any individual under the age of 18 or individuals in need of constant guidance or physical patterning 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

EMPOWER Sports Basketball - Independence Field House, 6354 Selig Blvd, Independence, OH 44131 On Tuesdays from November 13 thru December 29 from 6-9 pm. An adaptive basketball program where each participants' are appreciated.

Registration: or 216-400-9598

ICAN Winter Greenery Project & Walkers Club- Elmwood Recreation Center, 6200 Elmwood Dr., Independence, OH 44131
Friday, November 30, 2018, 7:00-8:30 PM, $5.00 Fee for supplies. RSVP By November 23, 2018.
Each participant will have a green piece to take home for the holidays.

ICAN Formal Dance - Elmwood Recreation Center, 6200 Elmwood Dr. Independence OH 44131
Saturday, December 1, 2018. 6-9 PM
$15 fee Includes Dinner, Dancing & DJ
Register: 216-524-3262

ICAN Christmas Bowling Party Seven Hills Lane 7279 Broadview Rd, Seven Hills, OH 44131

Saturday, December 15th Noon-2:00 PM
$15 fee Includes Pizza, Chips, Drink & Bowling
Register : 216-524-3262
Northeast Ohio Family Engagement Series Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities

Unlock Your Strength
The Family Engagement Series is designed to unlock your strength, build a foundation, and learn skills and strategies to manage family stressors. These hands-on sessions will teach you practical ways to manage pressure, patience, and learn creative ways to modify your existing methods of coping and caring for those you love. We must care for ourselves first in order to care for others in our family. 

The Family Engagement Series will be an opportunity for families to get personal and work together to solve common — and uncommon — family stressors. Moderators will work with each group’s real-life obstacles to find solutions that work for your entire family.

Your presence is important because they cannot have these conversations without you.

When registering for the Family Engagement Series you must commit to attending four (4) sessions. More than one family member is welcome to attend the series, but they should be registered and committed to attending the same sessions.

5512 Youngstown-Poland Rd., Youngstown, OH 44514
Session Dates and Times
Day 1: February 26, 2019, 9 AM to 12 PM or 6 PM to 9 PM
Day 2: February 27, 2019, 9 AM to 12 PM or 6 PM to 9 PM
Day 3: April 2, 2019, 9 AM to 12 PM or 6 PM to 9 PM
Day 4: April 3, 2019, 9 AM to 12 PM or 6 PM to 9 PM
When registering, please select one session from each day (Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4).

If you have any questions about the series or the registration process, please contact Steve Beha at  or 614-466-4085.

Sarah Buffie of Soul Bird Consulting and Claudia López of Profluence will lead the Family Engagement Series in partnership with the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities.

Have questions about Northeast Ohio Family Engagement Series?  Contact Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities
Increasing Communication Among "Non-Verbal" or "Emerging Verbal" Children with Autism
November 13, 2018 6:30-8:15 pm

Join the Autism Society on November 13 as Donna Rowan Culley, a Speech & Language Pathologist and owner of a private practice, will be addressing strategies to increase communication among children who are considered “nonverbal” or “emerging verbal” communicators. Included in this talk will be methods used to elicit nonverbal and verbal communication, levels of prompting and when to use these prompts to increase spontaneous communication, and types of visual supports as well as low and high tech augmentative and alternative communication tools that will help increase rather than inhibit verbal communication.  
Independence Civic Center, 6363 Selig Dr. Independence OH 4413 1

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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.