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Build Expanded Core Curriculum Skills Using 12 Days of Christmas

I think using the 12 days of Christmas is a cool way to incorporate some of the ECC into your child’s life. Take advantage of that unstructured time over the holidays and keep your children busy. All your children will benefit. Remember to make it fun! http://www.familyconnect.org/info/education/expanded-core-curriculum/a-holiday-approach-to-the-ecc/independent-living-skills-for-the-holidays/2345
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9th Annual Texas Chargers Retreat

Mark your calendars!  The 9th Annual Texas Chargers Retreat is just around the corner, October 31st-November 2nd, 2014.  We will meet once again, at beautiful Camp Allen in Navasota, TX for a weekend of encouragement, inspiration and FUN!  This year is EXTRA special since it falls on Halloween.  Pack your costumes for a trunk or treat held Friday evening.  This retreat is for the whole family and includes activities for all kids.  The keynote speakers are Judi Brookshire and Tina Prochaska.  They have decades of experience working with people who are deaf and specialize in diverse family dynamics.  For more information and to register visit www.texaschargers.org.  Hope to see you there!
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Medicare Waiver Program

Medicaid Waiver Programs are the best long-term help for children and adults with disabilities in Texas!  Call NOW to get on the years-long waiting lists!! Medicaid Waiver Programs – General information Medicaid Waiver Programs have 10+ years waiting lists! Eligibility based on child’s income (not the parents) Purpose: to keep a person with disabilities living in the community instead of a nursing home or institution. Services may include nursing care, attendant care, respite, therapies, adaptive aids, medical equipment, home modifications, service coordination, pre-vocational services, community living supports, supported employment, assistive technology and more. Family MUST keep their contact information current; call waiting list numbers More information: http://www.dads.state.tx.us/news_info/faqs_fact/index.html CLASS (Community Living Assistance Support Services) Serves individuals with physical disabilities and related conditions occurring before the age of 21. Individuals with intellectual disabilities may be eligible but not when the primary diagnosis is ID  (877) 438-5658 for information and to get on the...
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Useful Websites for Families

Happy New Year, Wonderful Families! As you begin 2014, we thought you might enjoy checking out a couple of websites. Building Confidence and Building a Better IEP, Matrix:  This wonderful e-learning course is available on the California Parent Training Information Center for the San Francisco area.  It is developed with all parents who have kiddos in special education so it keeps the information general.  Don't worry about it coming from another state - there's only one time they use a title that is Californian and the philosophy is spot on for Texas!  Quick literally means quick.  Grab a cup of hot cocoa (or tea) and be ready to spend less than 30 minutes participating in a fun and informative training. Parent Coordination Network: A Resource for Parents of Children with Special Needs: this new website that was developed by the Parent Coordination Network, which is a leadership function of the Texas Education Agency.  The...
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Early Childhood Brain Development Presentation Aids

Early Childhood Brain Development – Presentation Aids  ReadyNation, a business-early childhood partnerships, and the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University collaborated to develop a range of tools to help non-scientists present information on early brain development and the importance of investing in early childhood programs. The Brain Science of Early Childhood tools include annotated PowerPoint, videos, and one-page information briefs.
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Hand-Under-Hand Videos

If you are trying to explain hand-under-hand to teacher or families, try showing these video examples from Washington Sensory Disabilities Services (WSDS) . There are a variety of examples and one of them is probably similar to a student you work with.  They can be found on the video section of their website. Ann Rash VI Educational Consultant Outreach Program
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Parent Training "Pay it Forward"

Are you a seasoned parent that has been in the trenches for a few years? If so, you are probably frustrated with at least one of the systems that provide services for your child and family. These services are based on policies developed by politicians and administrators that have little if any experience raising a child with a disability. You may want to challenge some policies and procedures and advocate for changes that would benefit your child as well as others with disabilities but don’t know where to start.   Participants in the Texas Advanced Leadership and Advocacy Conference (TALAC) learn where to start, how to advocate successfully and have the chance to practice these skills with policymakers. You will become confident and competent in your ability to make a difference in your community and statewide. If you are regularly giving support and information to others new to disability, then I encourage you...
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"Sign with Your Child" Video Series

Parents and extended families of children with deafblindness often ask where they can go to learn sign language. There are many options, which begin with their school district, regional day school program for the deaf, community colleges and churches.  Recently I learned of this on-line resource that can be very helpful with basic sign language.   Challenge Discovery Projects, a Virginia-based 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, provides school-based and community programs for youth that address bullying, violence, substance abuse and emotional health. In addition, Challenge Discovery Projects offers emotional health and substance abuse counseling to the deaf and hard of hearing.  The Parent Child Advocate Program (PCA), part of Challenge Discovery Projects, addresses the multiple needs of families with children who are deaf or hard of hearing by offering sign language skill development, providing psychosocial education and facilitating access to community resources. The PCA program advocates early intervention in teaching social and communication...
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Top 15 Reasons To Be Part of the DBMAT and Texas Chargers Family Retreats This Year!

Texans are fond of saying that it ain’t bragging if it’s true!  Well, Texas claims the right to do some serious bragging that we have four strong, ever growing, and active family organizations.  Not only should we be proud that we have so many, but thankful that they lead our community in making services, supports, and connections the best they can be for individuals who are visually impaired and deafblind.    These four organizations are the Texas Association for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments (TAPVI), Texas Parents of Blind Children (TPOBC), Deaf-Blind Multihandicapped Association of Texas (DBMAT), and Texas Chargers. In this blog, I want to highlight the two organizations that are part of the deafblind community – DBMAT and Texas Chargers, Inc. – and their family conferences.    If you haven’t had the opportunity to participate in one of these annual events, this is your year! The 39th Annual DBMAT Family...
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