The Ally: Thankful ... Even When Things Are Hard

This has been a busy week with lots to think about. Probably many of you have Thanksgiving on your mind. We do at Families as Allies. Thanksgiving can be such a sweet holiday. It can also, like any holiday with a child who has a disability, be challenging and trying. We want to support you and are just one phone call away.

We know this time of year can also be challenging with school. We have seen a sharp rise in the number of families calling with school issues, including threats of suspensions for children with IEPs.  We've included a helpful article about this in our resource section. We also encourage you to attend our Drop in hour to share IEP and other school questions on Thursday, November 18 at noon.  Mississippi Parent and Training and Information Center has a training about your education rights Wednesday, November 17 at noon. This blog post, US Department of Education Issues Return To School Roadmaps about Child Find and Early Intervention, offers additional support and information.  We will be discussing how these and other issues relate to parent peer support in our monthly Supportive Coaching for Parents Supporting Other Parents on Wednesday, November 17 at noon. 

As challenging as education issues are, I am thankful that we can face them together. I am glad that together, we can be thankful even when things are hard. I thought a lot about being thankful even when things are hard this week. The Interagency Coordinating Council for Children and Youth met on Tuesday of this week. Good things happened. There is also a lot to get done and look at. I am thankful that we can move forward together, even when things are hard.  I am looking forward to thinking more about how we can move things forward together at the Joint Planning Council Meeting on November 23rd at 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. CST. I hope you can be there too. 

Families as Allies recently produced a vaccine hesitancy video through a grant with the National Federation of Families. I thought about how hard Covid has been as I reviewed the video. As hard as Covid has been, it has been a little bit easier because we have each other. For that I am thankful.  

I am thankful for all of you and the ways you are involved with Families as Allies. I hope we can continue to stand together and support each other and be thankful together, even when things are hard. And I also treasure the many joyful and happy times we share when things are not hard.

- Joy

In this video funded by the National Federation of Families, some of the Families as Allies' staff members discuss their initial hesitancy about the COVID-19 vaccination and their eventual decisions to move forward with it.

The U.S. Department of Education has issued Return to School Roadmaps about Child Find and Early Intervention to help parents.

The Mississippi's Interagency Coordinating Council for Children and Youth Meeting was held on November 16, 2021.

Learn how procedural safeguards can help protect children and enable parents to be an equal participant in their child's education.
This webinar will provide information and tools to support the next steps in developing a Family Resource Center Network.
Join other parents for a monthly meeting and online gathering to coach and support other parents in any system.

The Mississippi Board of Mental Health Meeting will be held on Nov. 18 at 9 AM. on Lamar St. in downtown Jackson.

This hour is open for any family member to drop in for all or some of the time to ask questions or get feedback about IEP issues.
Join the U.S. Department of Education for an informational webinar following the approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech age 5-11 vaccine.

We have come a long way in developing care systems for our most medically complex and disabled children and adults. But it wasnt always that way. Even now, many have not had the opportunities that help Becca. Too many are still on years-long waiting lists for HCBS.

Dr. Anisa Ibrahim, a pediatrician at Harborview Medical Center, answers this question in a video.

Students with IEPs and 504 plans have special school discipline protections. But what if a suspension is unofficial? Read what an attorney has to say.
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