Shine a light on Autism! World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD), celebrated on April 2 annually, was adopted by the United Nations in 2007 to shine a bright light on autism as a growing global health crisis. WAAD activities increase and develop world knowledge of the autism crisis and impart information regarding the importance of early diagnosis and early intervention. Additionally, WAAD celebrates the unique talents and skills of persons with autism and is a day when individuals with autism are warmly welcomed and embraced in community events around the globe. Autism is one of only three health issues to be recognized by the United Nations with its own day. Go here for more information: http://liub.autismspeaks.org/welcome
The Developmental Disability Council gives out awards for Student of the Year and Teacher of the Year. Do you know someone you think is deserving? Please view the PDF files below to find out details, the perks, and the nomination packet.
NWA Community Parent Resource Center gets this question a LOT and the answer is almost always YES! In the unlikely event that we don't have any information on what you're looking for, we will either do research and obtain that information or push you in the right direction in order to find it. We have information on all sorts of subjects pertaining to our families and their children that have all sorts of special needs stashed all around our office. Here are the main places we keep our information:
1. OUR WEBSITE - we have a lot of information through the "Parent Resources" link on our website, divided into categories to make it easy to find what you're looking for. www.nwacprc.org
2. PINTEREST - recently we have begun a pinterest board to collect all of the information we come across in a visually appealing way - if you don't like searching down through long lines of text to find resources on what you need, this might be a good option for you because you can easily scan pictures on boards set up into different categories to find lots of useful information. We started this less than a month ago, though, so we're steadily but surely collecting more information. www.pinterest.com/nwacprc
3. LIBRARY - Did you know we have a library with thousands of books located in the JTL shop, a building very close to the Jones Center? The Library is open Monday through Friday at 614 E. Emma, suite 131 in Springdale, AR. You can browse Tuesday through Thursday from 12 to 5pm or request an appointment to go in with us at any other time during the week. The instructions on checking out a book are simple to fill out and are hung up next to our office inside the Library (Suite 127). Most materials can be checked out for a month. We have books, binders, dvds, brochures, tapes, and cds on specific disabilities, special education law, inclusion, special education, assistive technology, parenting, activities, and much more. We also have an entire section devoted to materials in Spanish as well as a kid's section where they can go play and sit down while you're browsing!
4. ON SITE DATABASE - we have a server in our office where we collect all of the loose pieces of information we get by email, conference, or trainings. This includes scans of documents, PDFs, Power Point files, Word documents, videos, and a lot of other media. All of those loose pieces of information are separated into categories and are filed under their own specific folders in our server. If you don't find what you need on our website, library, or our pinterest page, please contact us in our office because we more than likely have something for you. You can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call (479)927-3283.
5. OUR TRAININGS or WORKSHOPS - we have many trainings or workshops that cover all sorts of subjects of highly requested items in English as well as Spanish throughout the year. Contact us or visit the calendar section of our website to find out what's coming up next.
6. OUR STAFF - We have an experienced and knowledgeable staff that have a lot of information and are more than happy to guide you - some of their knowledge you can find in books, but a lot of it is practical experience that you would not be able to find elsewhere. Always feel free to call, to set up an appointment with one of them, or to e-mail us.
You can e-mail email@example.com or call (479)927-3283.
Hopefully this sheds some light on the multitude of information we have to offer here at the NWA Community Parent Resource Center. So, if you're wondering "Do you have information on..." the answer is most likely "YES!" and we would be glad to help you!
- Staci Bell, Technology Specialist / Librarian
NWA Community Parent Resource Center
What is Arkansas Support Network's Encore Kids? Find out more at the link to the video below and help support the workbridge program!
The worry of a child wandering is great enough on it's own -- but when that child has special needs the stakes are even higher. The online journal, Pediatrics, published a survey results from over 1200 families containing children with autism. It revealed that 49 percent of those children wandered off at least once after the age of four. Of that 49 percent, nearly half of the children who disappeared for a period of time, were away long enough to be labeled as “missing.”
The response to this needs to be diffusing this fear with information and knowledge so that parents are prepared and preventative. We have several resources that touch on what wandering can look like with kids that have special needs, ways to have them prepared if it ever happens to them, and several different resources that can help make sure that none of these situations turn dire. There are resources at the links below, and an inforgraphic with a rundown of information below that.
Packet on Missing Children with Special Needs
Autism Wandering and Elopement Initiative
Big Red Safety Toolkit
Why do Children with Autism Wander?
(Featured in Marshallese on Youtube "Naan, Kejbarok am konaan ienwotemjej einwot ke "naan" ekajoor im ekkan jen jajje", go to this link to view the video in that language: http://youtu.be/umleZNHDaZ4)
The Following are Examples of the Do's and Don'ts of People First Language.
Once again, put the person first when writing or speaking about individuals with disabilities! Stay away from labelsl ike the blind, the deaf, or the disabled. They do not reflect the individuality, equality, or dignity of individuals with disabilities. So, with this in mind, when referring to an individual with a disability...
Say or write this... instead of this!
PRESS RELEASE: July 22, 2013
Arkansas Support Network is pleased to announce the hire of Jellesen Rubon-Chutaro as Outreach Coordinator for Marshallese families. We’re excited about the strong connection Jellesen has with the Marshallese community, both in terms of her ability to communicate fluently in English and Marshallese, and her connection to the islands through her college and past work experiences.
Arkansas Support Network has a federal grant from the Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, to provide information and training to families who have children who receive special education services and those whose children are eligible for these services. One of the areas of focus for this grant is immigrant families, particularly Hispanic and Marshallese.
Candia Nicholas, Director of the Family Support Program for ASN, says “we are pleased to have Jellesen’s experience and knowledge, as we strive to reach Marshallese families who have children with disabilities“. Jellesen works in the Family Support Program/Community Parent Resource Center office of Arkansas Support Network (ASN) in the Jones Family Resource Center on Emma St. in Springdale. Jellesen can be contacted by calling 479-927-4100 or by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may be wondering why we ask you fill out surveys throughout the year. We know as much as you that we get bombarded with surveys -- surveys from retailers, medical offices, restaurants, and a whole slew of other places. This can get overwhelming and eventually become white noise that you hardly notice anymore.
Our surveys are each different, but they are all used to gauge our progress on how we are doing on serving you and your families. We value all the responses we get, however some surveys are more important than others. As a non-profit, these surveys are certainly not used to increase profit margins or figure out how we can market things to you -- they are a gateway to keeping our doors, resources, and advocates open to you for years to come.
Our MOST important surveys are our parent and workshop surveys that we do every year starting in the summer. They are surveys that are required by the Office of Special Education Programs / Department of Special Ed (where we get our funding). These surveys are collected by PACER - a big parent center up in Minnesota by the end of each grant year (end of September). They use these surveys as a way to gauge our progress as a parent center as well as collectively for parent centers across the board. They are extremely important to the survival of our center. Want to help us out by filling out this years surveys? The deadline is coming up quick! By filling out one of these quick surveys you also enter yourself to win one of two $25 gift cards to the restaurant of your choice :) Find out more information here:
Another type of survey we send out each year is the Family Support Program Survey. This survey only goes out to people in our Family Support Program. When we receive results from our parents, we report our findings to our board and devise ways that can make the program more convenient and useful to you.
Our last type of surveys we send out involve your preferences on things - the types of trainings you'd like us to offer, the types of resources you would like to check out from our library, how you like to be contacted, and whether you prefer trainings online or in person. All of this information helps us create a better all in one local resource for you, the parent, so that you can better advocate for your child.
We hope this helped clear up why we ask for your opinions and thoughts through this format so often. We hope that the next time you see one of our surveys come through your inbox or pop up on facebook, you'll consider taking just a couple of minutes to help us.
- Arkansas Support Network FSP/CPRC Staff
The FAQ Friday for this week is up! It covers the Ozark Education Inc and their Summer Program. The first session is already going on, but the second session is still open! The registration form, scholarship application, and info about the program are uploaded as pdf files below the video.
Staff of the Northwest Arkansas Community Parent Resource Center (including original content as well as curated links to various authors around the web.)