Summer Activity Panel
DATE: Wednesday, May 16, 2012
TIME: 6:30-8:30 pm
TOPIC: Summer Activity Panel
LOCATION: Everett High School/Special Dining Room, 3900 Stabler Street, Lansing, MI
(Please use main entrance on the east side on Stabler Street)
The Lansing School District is happy to host an evening of small presentations and interaction with several local recreation groups. Each presenter will provide information regarding summer programs that are available for students with disabilities.
Presentations will be made by the following:
-St. Francis Camps of Ann Arbor
-No More Sidelines of Mt. Pleasant
-Lansing Parks and Recreation
-Miracle League Baseball
-Ebersole Environmental Center
-YMCA of Lansing
Please RSVP to Leanne at 517.244.1298 or firstname.lastname@example.org by May 10th if you plan to attend the May 16th PAC meeting.
March Parent Advisory Committee(PAC)/Special Education Directors’ Dinner Meeting: March 21
TOPIC: Estate Planning for Families with Children with Special Needs
TIME: 6:30-8:30 pm
LOCATION: Ingham ISD, Thorburn Education Center
2630 W. Howell Rd., Mason, MI
Please RSVP to email@example.com or 517.244.1298 by March 15
For more information please see the PAC Newsletter,
FOCUS on Special Education Winter 2012 (download)
MAP: Please click on the link below to direct you to Google Maps
In addition, we will be learning about Miracle League of Mid-Michigan. If you are unable to make it on March 21, then please plan on attending the PAC meeting at Dansville High School on April 18, 2012 starting at 5pm. On April 18th dinner will be provided. We will also have a training about Surrogate Parenting.
Miracle League of Mid-Michigan
The Miracle League of Mid-Michigan is a newly founded (2012) non-profit organization committed to providing children and young adults with special needs the opportunity to play baseball in an inclusive, safe and fun environment, regardless of their abilities. CASE Cares and DeWitt Township have worked together to provide the funds and a building site for a cushioned synthetic turf field that allows children in wheelchairs or with walkers, crutches and/or braces to glide unrestricted to their positions without fear of injury.
In addition, through the “buddy” program, youth athletes and community volunteers are paired with Miracle League of Mid-Michigan athletes to provide assistance and encouragement at bat and on the field. This partnership benefits both sides, as they share the great American pastime of baseball to find common ground and, most importantly, friendship.
The CASE Cares Miracle Field located at Valley Farms Park in DeWitt Township is scheduled for completion this spring, and an opening day ceremony is planned for May 14, 2012. In June of this year, the Miracle League of Mid-Michigan hopes to begin it’s inaugural spring season with leagues in two age groups: 5-11 and 12-20 years. We can’t do this without players, buddies, and coaches. We are looking to recruit at least 100 players and 100 volunteer buddies for this season. Also, we will need at least 8 to 10 coaches and an additional 8 to 10 assistant coaches.
The Miracle League of Mid-Michigan is not just about baseball. It’s about hundreds of dedicated athletes, parents, buddies and coaches coming together to support, encourage and inspire each other in an inclusive environment that embraces diversity. We hope you will give serious consideration to joining us as a Miracle League of Mid-Michigan athlete, volunteer buddy, or coach.
Please feel free to contact Vicki Caine, League Director, at (517.410.4496) or (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions you may have.
What Special Educators Would Like Parents to Know
Our Goals Are Shared:
As educators, we too want what is best for your child. We want to work with you to maximize achievement academically, socially ad behaviorally. As a parent, your child(ren) is your number one concern. As educators, many children become our number one concern. It may seem that we don’t always put your child first, however, we do the very best for all the students under our direction and care. Always know that the 2 environments (home and school)are different and that we have many parents to form partnerships with in order to best meet the needs of all of our students with special needs.
I Want to Make the Difference:
I chose special education because I want to move your child from point A to point B in all areas of his/her development. I am patient but also very committed to achieving the goals stated in the IEP. I have the firm belief that from the time a child is born, our goals are to help with independence while maximizing learning opportunities. I also realize that as the parent, you know your child best and I want to know about any concerns or suggestions you may have. I took additional qualifications to become a special educator and believe I have the essential qualities to serve my students well.
Meaningful Parental Involvement is Important to Me:
Research exists to link parent involvement in their children’s education with greater student achievement in terms of grades, student attitudes and behavior. To this end, I believe you should be involved in planning, problem solving, decision making and IEP input. Sometimes, emotions run high in parent/teacher relationships, let’s remove the barriers together and use a solution focused approach. Together we can unlock your child’s potential.
I Believe Strongly in Promoting Self-Confidence and Self-Esteem:
I am well aware that many children with special needs suffer from a lower self esteem. I work hard to promote their self esteem and to improve their confidence levels. I alone cannot achieve this and will always rely on your support and the support of all of those working with your child.
It’s Important to Me That We Work Together:
I believe that maximum success begins with both of us working together to achieve the goals that are in the best interests of your child. I believe that our routines should be similar to provide your child with a consistent set of expectations focused on growth in academic, social or behavioral areas. Conversations aren’t always possible but agendas or communication books that are treated very seriously can be a great means for daily communication. In many cases, daily communication through the agenda/communication book is essential. Let’s keep the 2-way communication going.
As an educator, I am a lifelong learner and will always strive to become informed about the special needs of my learners. I also encourage you to become informed about special education in the educational district. Depending upon which educational jurisdiction you are in, there are many great resources and parental guides to help you understand what special education is al about. Special educators tend to use a lot of acronyms, whenever you want clarification be sure to check the wealth of resources available to you. The internet is also a great vehicle to learn about policy and procedures in special education.
Communication between us is extremely important to me. When preparing for a meeting or phone conversation, I would encourage you to make a list of any questions, concerns, thoughts and information you might have. Time isn’t always our friend, and the more we can prepare for conferences, interviews or phone calls, the quicker we will be able to find solutions. If possible, be sure to ask get input from your child as well. We’ll talk about the great things that are happening, the strengths we’re seeing and the areas of concern or need while maintaining a positive tone.
In summary, I come back to my number one point. Always remember that our goals are shared. Believe in me and believe that I too share your goals, I want what is truly best for your child.
This is an article from http://specialed.about.com/od/idea/p/Parent_Support.htm
By Marie Hartwell-Walker, Ed.D.
Here come the holidays. For many parents with special needs kids, here comes more stress. No matter how many times you have tried to explain the special needs of your special child, the extended family, especially those who only see you a few times a year, often just doesn’t get it. They mean well. They do love you. They want to include everyone who they think should be around the holiday table. They may even try to make adjustments to their idea of the perfect celebration. But people who haven’t been part of managing day to day are often taken aback by just what parents of kids with special needs take as a matter of course. Consequently, they often have unrealistic expectations for your child’s behavior and unreasonable ideas about what you can do about it.
If that weren’t enough, our kids aren’t even their usual unusual selves when thrown into an environment that is over-stimulating for them and stressful for their parents. Disruptions in routine and unfamiliar faces, sounds, food, you name it, can make them less than stellar guests. The stress of trying to keep everyone happy can make us irritable and on edge.
So why on earth do we put ourselves through it? It’s important to remember that there really are lots of good reasons: Because we do love these people. Because it’s a chance to visit with relatives we don’t often get to see. Because we have fond memories of holiday events from when we were kids and don’t want our kids to miss out. Because we want our relatives to know and accept and love our child. Because we want our children, all our children, to feel part of a larger support network called family. Right? Right.
But it’s still stressful. How can we keep ourselves sane and included and capture moments of joy at these family holiday events? The pros (and by this I mean the experienced parents of special kids) are almost unanimous in their advice: Plan. Plan. Plan.
Making a Plan
1. Plan to have help
If at all possible, don’t go it alone: If you do have a spouse or partner, plan together so you can operate as a team. If you don’t, enlist the relative who is the most supportive or recruit a friend who doesn’t have their own family plans to go along. You’ll have help and difficult family members are likely to be on better behavior when you have a clear ally. A partner can tag team with you when the going gets rough with your child and you need a few minutes break, can divert Auntie’s intrusive questions by engaging her in conversation, and can be that extra pair of hands helping out with the festivities when you are busy with your child.
2. Plan to capture at least one important moment
Identify what is bottom line the most important thing you want out of the day. Many special needs kids are on their best behavior for the first part of a visit. If there is someone you want to be sure to talk to, that’s the time to make sure it happens. If you absolutely have to have a piece of Grandma’s pumpkin pie, ask for a piece before dinner, give her that hug, and tell her how wonderful it is. If you have to leave suddenly, at least you will have had the one moment that means the most to you.
3. Plan for unwelcome family dynamics
Unless this is your first time out, it is not new information who in the family will be critical, who will be inappropriate, and who will use the one time you see them a year to try to corner you into a painful conversation. Think about the likely scenarios and develop a few key lines to divert these probably well-meaning but unhelpful folks. Someone has advice? Tell them just how much you appreciate it but could they please email you so you can give it proper attention? Someone is critical? Let them know that you appreciate their concern and you will certainly think about what they’ve said. Someone chooses the middle of dinner to tell you that they have a friend of a friend who is in exactly the same situation and they’re handling it better? Suggest that they give you that person’s phone number and pass the potatoes, please. It is never helpful to debate, argue, or try to introduce new information when at a family event. Just find a way to acknowledge the offer and move on. You can decide later whether you want to answer the email, take the advice, or make the phone call.
4. Plan for your child’s inevitable melt-down
Any change in routine can drive special needs kids over the edge. No matter how well you plan or how hard you try, the day is going to be difficult at times. Talk with the host family ahead of time about whether there can be a room where you and your child can take a time out if you need to. Bring along whatever soothes your child (special toys, special blanket, CD) and simply excuse you both for a while. (Remember that partner? This is a time when you can tag-team so that each of you can get some dinner or so that one can withdraw while the other engages the group.) If the event is at your house, it’s a good idea to make your child’s room off-limits so at least that space can stay familiar and friendly for your child.
5. Plan the food
Special kids don’t care if the holiday meal is gourmet. Most of them get upset when the food is unfamiliar or when they are pressured to “try” something. Bypass the argument and the anxiety by bringing a couple of favorites and asking the other guests to please not make an issue of it. One of my kids only wanted puffed rice cereal when upset. Granted, “puffas puffas” aren’t a traditional Thanksgiving Day treat but having a bowl next to her plate meant she was happily occupied while the rest of us ate turkey.
6. Plan an escape
The best plans don’t always work. Sometimes a time-out to calm down is enough for a child (and us) to regroup. Sometimes it’s simply not. Like most of us, you’ve probably already made the mistake of trying to tough it out so I don’t need to tell you that it just isn’t worth it for anyone. Let the hosting family know ahead of time that you may have to opt out of dessert (or even dinner) but that it’s better to go before things reach crisis proportions. Ask for their support in diverting other people’s well-meaning “do you have to’s”. If you’re with a partner, one of you collects whatever stuff needs to be collected and the other deals with the child. Alone? Leave the stuff and just get out of there while everyone is still smiling. Tell everyone how much you have enjoyed seeing them and how much you appreciate their understanding and go. If you had to travel far to be part of the festivities, it’s trickier. If you can afford it, it’s a good idea to get a motel room so you have a place to retreat to. If that isn’t an option and you are staying with family, you can plan to go for a walk or a drive if that soothes your child or turn a time out into a more lengthy withdrawal.
Don’t apologize for yourself or your child.
Whatever happens, your child is probably doing the very best he or she can. So are you. There is no need to apologize for your child’s limited ability to manage the chaos of a big family get together. It comes with the territory of being who he or she is. Equally important, there is no need to apologize if you need to take time outs or keep the visit brief in order to keep your child stable and happy. The people who love us and our children the most will understand that that’s our first priority and will give us support. For that, we can indeed give thanks
Discovering the Possibilities with Visual Strategies:
Meeting the Communication, Behavior and Social Skill Challenges in Autism Spectrum Disorders and Related Learning Challenges
November 1 with Linda Hodgdon, M.ED.,CCC-SLP at Okemos Conference Center. Please contact the Autism Foundation of Ingham County at 896-3292 for more infomation.
What is the Parent Advisory Committee?
Michigan law requires that each Intermediate School District (ISD) have a special education Parent Advisory Committee (PAC). This committee consists of a parent representative from each of the twelve local school districts and the public school academies in Ingham County. Download the Parent Advisory Committee for Special Education Brochure.
The committee’s role is advisory to the Intermediate School District special education administration and parent representatives serve as liaisons between other parents they represent and the local special education administrator in their resident district. The PAC meets monthly at the Ingham ISD. Meetings are open to all parents and other persons interested in special education within Ingham County.
Members of the Ingham ISD Parent Advisory Committee (PAC) are parents of students with disabilities. Their top priority is to inform and communicate with other parents of students with disabilities in their district or academy. Contact your PAC representative if you have questions or concerns about special education programs, services and/or student issues in your district, academy or school.
Dansville Schools PAC Representative: Lori Swan, Co-Chair 896-3292
- FOCUS on Special Education October 2011 (download)
- 2011-2012 PAC Brochure (download)
- Please LIKE us on Facebook
The following are some important documents that you may find useful while navigating the world of Special Education. Should you need a hard copy of the document please contact your local school district or Ingham ISD.
- Guide to Special Education (download)
- Ingham ISD State Plan (download)
- Michigan Administrative Rules for SE
- Ingham ISD Condensed Procedural Safeguards
- Procedural Safeguards Notice (full version)
- Special Education Forms
- State Complaint Procedures
Webberville and Stockbridge Community Schools, Departments of Special Education present: SECONDARY TRANSITION NIGHT, FALL 2011
DATE: October 20, 2011
TIME: 5:00-7:30 PM
LOCATION: Webberville Spartan Center, 309 E. Grand River, Webberville, MI
PLEASE CLICK ON THE ICON BELOW FOR FULL DETAILS:
Invitation: Secondary Transition Night, Fall 2011
please join us at any PAC meeting
|September 21, 2011||LINKS/Transition||Webberville H. S.
Spartan Conference Rm
(enter at back of H.S.)
|October 19, 2011||Instructional and Assistive
|HOLT Administration Building/Board Room|
|November 16, 2011||Personal Curriculum and
Certificate of Completion
|HASLETT Administration Building/Board Room|
|January 18, 2012||Capital Area Career
|February 15, 2012||Project-Based Curriculum||STOCKBRIDGE|
|March 21, 2012||PAC/SE Directors’ Dinner
|Ingham ISD, Thorburn Education Center, Rooms ABC|
|April 18, 2012||No More Sidelines-Miracle
|May 16, 2012||Summer Activity Panel||LANSING|