UPDATES TO THE ODDS Expanded Family Support Program

This is a follow up to information we shared about temporary policy changes the Office of Developmental Disabilities Services (ODDS) has made to support children receiving DD services. These changes aim to assist families in accessing resources, services and supports during this time of uncertainty, recognizing the stress of having children out of school and having to stay home. Lilia Teninty, Director of ODDS shared, “every family is different-we encourage families to reach out to their child’s Services Coordinator to explore together flexible and responsive ways to meet the child’s unique support needs during this crisis.”

We are all navigating uncharted waters and it can be overwhelming. Your child’s support needs might be different or intensified right now. These changes were made quickly to expedite and ease access to supports. Some things remain the same – the Individual Support Plan (ISP) is individualized and unique to your child. What might meet a need for your child is not necessarily what would work for another. Your child’s Services Coordinator is still your “go-to” contact to discuss how your family is doing, what’s changed, and help identify resources and support that could assist you during this difficult time .

Depending on the needs of your child, the temporary policy changes help Services Coordinators be responsive to your child’s unique needs. This might include helping you secure necessary support providers. It could be the ability to meet with your child’s behavior professional virtually, using video conferencing. There is also increased flexibility for purchasing items that meet your child’s unique needs. Caitlin Shockley, Person Centered Practices & Service Equity Coordinator at ODDS, shared that it could be helpful to keep the ISP process in mind when thinking about supports: what are your child’s strengths, gifts, and needs? What helped meet those needs, on a typical day before this pandemic? What has changed about your child’s needs, or about how those needs are met, now that we are living through this pandemic? A child receiving DD services whose life has been impacted by COVID-19 may need different or new supports temporarily:

  • A child depends on a Personal Support Worker at home, to assist with activities of daily living (ADLs), like feeding, toileting and transferring. The provider is now unable to work due to COVID-19 risks. {The child’s Services Coordinator can assist the family in locating available providers through the ODDS Staffing Support Team}
  • A child’s behavior support needs have escalated, and their positive behavior support plan needs to be updated and parents need new tools in their toolbox.{The child’s Services Coordinator can assist the family with accessing the behavior professional using telehealth/video-conferencing, and can help explore if additional behavior supports are needed.}
  • A child is stressed, unregulated, full of pent-up energy, and struggling to stay safe throughout the day. {The child’s Services Coordinator could work with the family to explore items that might help, such as a weighted blanket, scheduling app, indoor trampoline, or calming sound machine}

Temporary Oregon Administrative Rules (OARs) for these changes have been developed. We encourage you to connect with your Services Coordinator with questions. You can also visit our website to see our Family Support Program – Ideas to Get You Thinking infographic and reach out to a FACT Oregon Family Support Specialist if you would like to talk with another parent about what this could mean for your family.
FACT Oregon's mission is to empower Oregon families experiencing disability in their pursuit of a whole life by expanding awareness, growing community, and equipping families.