Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Family to Family September Digest

September Digest of Events and Resources

Sept. 3rd, 7 - 9 p.m. “Music Therapy to Engage the Child with a Disability”: Presented by Side by Side at the Johnny Arolfo Center, 400 W. Walker, League City (by the League City Pool and Police Station). Catherine M. Alexander, a board-certified Neurologic Music Therapy Fellow, will be speaking. To view her website, go to: http://harmonylanestudios.com/music/index.html. For more information on the meeting or to RSVP, contact Renee’ at 281-332-9270 or bennett4@prodigy.net.

Sept. 4th - 7th, US Autism & Asperger Assoc. 2008 International Conference: Held at the Hilton Austin Airport Hotel in Austin. For more information, go to
http://usautism.org/2008_conference_austin/2008_usaaa_conference_overview2.htm. For scholarship information, go to http://usautism.org/2008_conference_austin/2008_usaaa_conference_partial_scholarship_program.htm.

Sept. 4th, 7 - 9 p.m. NW Houston Chapter of the Autism Society of America monthly meeting: Held at Graceview Baptist Church, 25510 Tomball Pkwy., Tomball, 77375, North Campus. For more information, contact
NorthwestHoustonChapterASA@yahoo.com or 281-686-0103, or go to www.Autism-Society.org/Chapter1006.

Sept. 5th - 7th, Coalition for Texans with Disabilities 30th Annual Convention: To be held at the Holiday Inn El Tropicano Riverwalk Hotel in San Antonio. Stipends available. For more information, go to

Sept. 5th, 6:30 - 10:30 p.m. Houston Area Respite Center (HARC) Parents Night Out: Our second Parent's Night Out location in the Down Syndrome Resource Center at Hwy. 290 and Tidwell will open on Friday, September 5th from 6:30-10:30pm. If you are interested in volunteering at either location, please contact Charlotte at 281-639-2788. We are looking for paid caregivers in addition to volunteers. Parents - Please help HARC by making reservations each week for Parents' Night Out. Reservations are needed by 5:00 p.m. on Thursday so that we can insure proper staffing. Reservations can be made by e mailing
harc@harc-hou.org or calling 713-271-6001.

Sept. 8th, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. “How to Write Meaningful IEP Goals”: Presented by The Arc of Greater Houston at MHMRA”s Conference Center, 7033 SW Frwy., Houston, 77074. Training is free. RSVP is required. For more information, contact
ksnead@thearcofgreaterhouston.com or 713-957-1600 ext. 15.

Sept. 10th, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. “Special Education 101”: Presented by The Arc of Greater Houston at 3737 Dacoma, Suite E., Houston, 77092. Special Education 101 is an overview of federal and state law governing public school special education procedures. Child and parent rights are discussed along with referral processes and practical tips for securing an appropriate education in the least restrictive environment. Cost is $25 and includes handouts, resource guide and It’s A New Idea manual. (Some individuals may qualify for 50% scholarship.) RSVP required 3 days in advance. For more information, contact
ksnead@thearcofgreaterhouston.com or 713-957-1600 ext. 15.

Sept. 12th, 12:30 - 2:30 p.m. “Tests, Measurements & the Bell Curve”: Presented by The Arc of Fort Bend at the Albert George Library, 9230 Gene St., Needville, 77461. For parents, educators, agency representatives and the general public. Become an informed parent and better advocate for children with special needs! PowerPoint presentation lasts approx. 2 hours, with individualized Q & A following the presentation. For more information or to RSVP, contact Cheryl Sewell at 281-494-5924 or

Sept. 13th, 10 a.m. - noon Autism Playgroup of Fort Bend County: For children ages 1-12. To be held at Lost Creek Park, 3703 Lost Creek Blvd., Sugar Land. RSVP is required. Contact Susan Garczynski at
susanbgar@earthlink.net or 281-726-2665.

Sept. 13th - Nov. 22nd Fall Classes at The River Performing and Visual Arts Center: The mission of The River Performing and Visual Arts Center, a 501c (3) non-profit organization, is to provide an accessible, affordable fine arts education for special children, ages 2 – 19 years of age, who have disabilities, chronic illnesses or are economically disadvantaged. Siblings are welcome. Registration is open for Saturday arts and enrichment classes in dance, drama, music and visual arts. Located at 1475 West Gray, Houston, 77019. For more program and registration information, go to:

Sept. 13th, 2008 Baytown Special Rodeo: The Baytown Special Rodeo Association is a 501C3 Non-Profit organization, and the event will once again be hosted by our friends at Eastside Honda. For more information, registration forms, and pictures from last year’s rodeo, go to:
Sept. 16th, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. ARD Clinic: “Understanding the Autism Supplement”: The Family to Family Network team will be on hand to answer your specific questions so that you can be well prepared for your child’s ARD meetings. Bring you questions, your child’s educational paperwork and a lunch. Held at the Family to Family Network Office, 13150 FM 529, Suite 106, Houston, 77041. The clinic is free of charge, but space is limited. Please RSVP as soon as possible to 713-466-6304 or f2fleslie@sbcglobal.net.

Sept. 16th, 7 - 9 p.m. Katy Autism Support Group monthly meeting: Held at St. Peters United Methodist Church – Asbury Hall. Please join our group online at
KatyAutismSupport-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. For more information, contact group coordinator, Karen Jaggers, at kkinkaty@comcast.net.

Sept. 16th, 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. 9th Annual Region 4 ESC Dyslexia Conference: Held at the Region 4 Education Service Center, 7145 W. Tidwell Rd., Houston, 77092. For more information, contact Carol McManus at 713-744-6360,
cmcmanus@esc4.net or Jennifer Brock at 713-744-6355, jbrock@esc4.net. Or go to: http://www.esc4.net/default.aspx?name=rla.conf.upcoming.

Sept. 18th, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. 2nd Annual Housing & Employment Resources Expo for People with Disabilities: Held at the George R. Brown Convention Center, Exhibit Hall E, 1001 Avenida de las Americas. This unique event will provide an opportunity for individuals with disabilities to meet with prospective employers, as well as representatives from various housing-related entities and other resource agencies. For more information, call 713-837-9097 or go to

Sept. 19th, 9 a.m. - noon “Building Lifelong Reading Comprehension Skills”: Presented by Neuhaus at 4433 Bissonnet, Bellaire, TX. Mary French, M.A., CALT, will present activities and strategies that promote engaged reading and build vocabulary for grades 3-12. Price is $75 (includes a $40 manual). Scholarships are available for tuition only. For more information or to register, go to
www.neuhaus.org or call 713-664-7676.

Sept. 19th, 12:30 - 2:30 p.m. “Tests, Measurements & the Bell Curve”: Presented by The Arc of Fort Bend at the Stimley-Blueridge Library, 7007 West Fuqua, Missouri City, 77489. For parents, educators, agency representatives and the general public. Become an informed parent and better advocate for children with special needs! PowerPoint presentation lasts approx. 2 hours, with individualized Q & A following the presentation. For more information or to RSVP, contact Cheryl Sewell at 281-494-5924 or

Sept. 20th, 10 a.m. “Destination Dignity 2008”: Presented by The Arc of Greater Houston at the MHMRA Conference Center, 7033 SW Frwy., Houston, 77074. Destination Dignity 2008 will consist of a fun walk, which is a public event aimed at combating societal stigma faced by individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The fun walk will be a non-competitive activity, followed by an educational program. This event will highlight the many abilities of those diagnosed with IDDs, educate about person-first language, and provide information on available community resources. For more information or to pre-order stigma-busting t-shirts or water bottles, contact Judy Kantorczyk at 713-957-1600 or visit
www.mhmraharris.org and click “Mental Retardation & Autism Services”.

Sept. 23rd, 7 p.m. “The Sibling Support Project”: Presented by Family to Family Network - Katy at Kingsland Baptist Church in Katy. Understand the underlying stresses, anxieties and pressures associated with having a sibling with a disability. Practical cognitive-behavioral interventions and pro-active sibling support will be explored as an integral component of family health. Siblings ages 7 and up are encouraged to attend this interactive session. Erin Webb, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, will be presenting. For more information, contact Family to Family Network at 713-466-6304 or

Sept. 24th, 10 a.m. - noon Brown Bag Webinar: “Realistic Ways to Build Collaboration in IEP Meetings”: Hosted by Family to Family Network at 13150 FM 529, Suite 106, Houston, 77041. Presented by Kathy Wilan, MPA. Brown Bag Webinars are internet based presentations by experts in their topics, hosted and archived by The Advocacy Institute. Feel free to bring your lunch. The training is free of charge, but space is limited. Please RSVP as soon as possible to 713-466-6304 or

Sept. 25th, 6 - 8 p.m. Parents Supporting Parents 1 Year Anniversary Party: Held at the South Regional library in the Woodlands. Come celebrate us being one year strong. Contact Barbara Knighton for directions 832-364-6992.
Sept. 27th, 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. “Successfully Managing Strong Willed and Defiant Children and Teens”: Presented by ADDA-SR at United Methodist Church, Memorial Dr., Houston, 77079. Kelly Smith, MS, will be speaking. $40 pre-registration at
www.adda-sr.org or 281-894-6883. Registration deadline is Sept. 23rd. $45 walk-in.

Sept. 30th, 7 p.m. “Legislative Listening Forum”: Hosted by The Arc of Fort Bend County and Texana Center at the Marriott Hotel, Sugar Land Town Square, 16090 City Walk, Sugar Land, 77479. The Arc of Fort Bend and Texana Center have collaborated to form a focused, grass-roots level legislative impact campaign. Our objective is to inform legislators of the issues surrounding services for individuals with disabilities. We have invited local State Representatives, Senators, County Commissioners, the Sheriff, the County Judge and registered opponents to participate as panelists. We need persons with disabilities and family members to attend and support the families who are sharing their stories.

Oct. 3rd - 4th, Autism/Disability Resource Fair & Conference: Presented by the NW Houston Chapter of the Autism Society of America at Graceview Baptist Church, 25510 Tomball Parkway, Tomball, TX. For more information, contact
NorthwestHoustonChapterASA@yahoo.com, or go to http://www.autism-society.org/chapter1006, "View Documents" and "October 3-4, 2008". Early registration deadline (reduced fee) is Sept. 26th.

Oct. 17th - 19th, 2008 Arc of Texas Annual Conference: To be held at Camp For All in Burton, TX. Registration deadline is Sept. 15th. Space is limited. For more details and the conference family registration and stipend form, go to:

Texas Project FIRST Special Education Updates: Texas Project FIRST is a website created by parents for parents of students receiving special education services. The website, a project of the Texas Education Agency and Family to Family Network, is committed to providing accurate and consistent information to families of students with disabilities. Go to
www.texasprojectfirst.org and click on “Register for Updates” to receive monthly email updates as new information is added to the site.

Hurricane Katrina Survivor Study: Researchers at the Center for Disability and Development at Texas A&M University are conducting a study on the long-term recovery of survivors from Hurricane Katrina who have intellectual disabilities (mental retardation). If selected, individuals will participate in either an interview, telephone survey, or a focus group and be eligible for up to $50 in compensation. Interested individuals or their guardians (if applicable) should contact the Texas A&M project using their toll free number at 1-866-578-4366. All calls will be confidential and consent procedures will be carefully followed with all potential participants.
The Heart of Sailing Foundation: The Heart of Sailing Foundation is a non-profit charitable 501(c)(3) organization which provides recreational therapy and education in the form of a sailing experience to children and young adults with developmental and/or physical disabilities. This is a FREE service. Our Greater Houston chapter was formed in May of 2007. For more information, go to
www.heartofsailing.org or contact Captain Dave McCabe, davemccabe@heartofsailing.org 281-507-1867(m) ; 281-488-1780.
Disabled Parent Connection Website: Come visit our website,
www.disabledparentconnection.org, to upload your pictures of equipment and items that your child is no longer using, or share your child’s story with other parents of children with disabilities. We encourage families to donate equipment, old books, adapted toys or large ticket items like hospital beds or lifting mechanisms. Help us spread the word about the website by telling your friends, family and service providers. You can also contact anita@disabledparentconnection.org to become one of our sponsors, or log onto the website to make a contribution.

New Resource for Families Searching for Waiver Providers: The Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) has unveiled a new on-line resource that provides information to families that are seeking to find qualified local providers of Medicaid Waiver services including HCS, CLASS and Texas Home Living services. The information can be found at the following web address:

The Arc of Fort Bend County’s Youth Group: The Arc of Fort Bend is excited to again offer families with teens and young adults with MR, intellectual and/or related pervasive developmental disabilities an opportunity to participate in our youth group! The group was developed so that students with disabilities, aged 12-21, and their peers without disabilities can participate together in fun, social and recreational activities. At least one activity is scheduled per month. For more information, call Cheryl Sewell at 281-494-5924.

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