Friday officially ends Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month! With the beginning of Spring, St. Patrick’s Day, and the beginning of Lent it might be hard to remember that March is also Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month. But did you know that many of this winter’s competitor’s in the Winter Paralympics have Cerebral Palsy? Or that one child every hour is diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy? In honor of Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month Firefly posted one fact about Cerebral Palsy every day during the month of March. Please take a few minutes to look over their list of 31 Facts for Each Day of Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month https://themighty.com/2016/03/facts-for-each-of-the-31-days-of-cerebral-palsy-awareness-month/.
P.S. Don’t forget about World Cerebral Palsy day which is celebrated every year on the first Wednesday in October!
“This decision is a victory for students on the autism spectrum. It reaffirms that all publicly funded schools have an obligation to provide all students the supports they need to help them achieve in the classroom. The decision renews our public commitment to help everyone work to reach their potential.”
In Endrew, the Court grapples with what level of services are due students with special needs. Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), all students must have access to a free, appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment – usually taken to mean they should be as integrated as possible with their peers who do not have special needs. The underlying expectation and educational philosophy is that they should be able to access the general curriculum to the greatest extent possible and make meaningful progress.
The analysis becomes more difficult when the needs of a given student are severe enough that he or she cannot realistically be integrated and/or access that curriculum. The question the Court sought to answer in Endrew is what level of progress should be the goal of the supports the schools are required to provide these students – and by extension all students with special needs. The Court held that, “to meet its substantive obligation under the IDEA, a school must offer an IEP reasonably calculated to enable a child to make progress appropriate in light of the child’s circumstances.” In so doing, the Court rejected the idea that students with special needs – including those with the greatest needs – are only entitled to services designed to help them achieve the bare minimum amount of progress.
News article share from: https://www.autismspeaks.org/advocacy/advocacy-news/autism-speaks-applauds-endrew-f-v-douglas-scotus-ruling
As part of our program here at Great Prospects, we go out into the community every day. We have made many friends at the places we go regularly. Because of these friendship, we have been given an amazing opportunity to join the Autism Improvised (formerly Shenanigans) classes at the East Roswell Library. The focus of these classes is to use theater and improv techniques to address social challenges faced by those on the Autism spectrum. While not everyone in our group is on the spectrum, learning new ways to face social situations is an important skill for all of us. We are so excited to start these classes and look forward to sharing many pictures and stories with everyone who supports Great Prospects. A big thank you to Ms. Griffin at the East Roswell Library for thinking of us and inviting us into this group. For more information about Autism Improvised, you can visit their website at http://autismimprovised.org/.
Given that the NOW Waiver is extremely vital to many of the families here at Great Prospects, I wanted to share this email I received from the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities.
NOW WAIVER PUBLIC FORUMS
The New Options Waiver Program (NOW) which serves people with intellectual and developmental disabilities is scheduled for renewal in September 2017 via application to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The Department of Community Health and the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities seek comments from the public on how to enhance this program to meet the changing needs of families and individuals.
A series of five public forums will be held to collect comments and suggestions for the New Options Waiver Program (NOW) renewal application. We need input from families, self-advocates, providers, and the general public.
Don't miss this opportunity to make a positive difference in the direction of services for Georgians with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.
• Participate in a focused discussion with other advocates and record your suggestions for improvements or additions to the NOW service array
• Network with other stakeholders who share your experiences and concerns
• Contribute to community efforts that will positively impact services provided in Georgia Speakers to include:
• Catherine Ivy, Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, Division of Developmental Disabilities
• Marcey Alter, Deputy Director Medicaid Services, Department of Community Health
• Brian Dowd, Director of Waiver Programs, Department of Community Health Dates/Locations:
• March 1 - 1:00 to 3:00pm at University of Georgia Tifton Campus Conference Center, Tifton
• March 6 - 7:00 to 8:00pm (Virtual Forum)
• March 8 - 1:00 to 3:00pm at Clarence Brown Conference Center, Cartersville
• March 9 - 11:00am to Noon (Virtual Forum)
• March 13 - 1:00 to 3:00pm at Gwinnett Tech/Busbee Center, LawrencevilleRegister by clicking the Eventbrite link below:
Venue address will listed on the registration ticket.
Details for the online virtual forums will be sent upon registration.
Transition planning can be scary. As your child prepares to leave high school, where they will go and what will they do? How is the school system supposed to help you take this tremendous leap? Last month, The United States Department of Education released an updated “A Transition Guide to Postsecondary Education and Employment for Students and Youth with Disabilities”. The guide is extensive and complex. Here, Rachael Wurthman, provides an easy to understand overview of the guide. If you have a special needs child transitioning from high school this is a must read.
As a mom with a five year old and a new born (2 months old already! Time flies!) I find myself needing a little pick me up some days. I stumbled across this article “40 Inspirational Quotes for Special Needs Parents” and thought I would share. If you need a little encouragement, take a look: http://www.singingthroughtherain.net/2016/02/inspirational-quotes-for-parents.html#_a5y_p=5303873. These little reminders that we can make it through the day, that everything is going to work out, that we are stronger than we think can give us that little extra jolt we need to get through the worst days and keep us moving forward!
Your Weekly News & Updates
Here at Great Prospects we stay busy!
Please read this newsletter carefully and mark your calendar.
There will be many February and March additions!
February calendar coming soon.
2/14 Happy Valentine's Day!
2/14 We are making something special at Whole foods with Sarah for the women in our lives.
2/17 Great Prospects Dance. See you there!
Mark your calendar!
We will be visiting the Center for Puppetry Arts for the first time on Friday, March 3rd at 10 a.m. to see the The Adventures of Mighty Bug! It will be a fun day! Tickets will be $20.50. We will be purchasing advance tickets so please send in money as soon as possible. Lunch will be provided this day! After lunch we will tour the museum.
The adventures of Mighty Bug
We will be attending Shenanigans classes on Wednesdays at East Roswell Branch library beginning in March! It will be a 6 week session starting on March 15, 22, 29, April 12, 19, and 26th. The classes will be in the afternoon, 1:30-2:30 pm.
Everyone who attends Great Prospects on
Wednesdays will be included in the classes.
I would like to introduce everyone to the wonderful music therapists who work with us each month at Great Prospects. Shanna and Jordan join us twice each month from The George Center for Music Therapy to work with our group on their gross and fine motor skills, cooperation, communication, following directions, cognitive skills and social interaction. Each session is different and varies in its content but our group loves trying out the new skills! They have a great enthusiasm for playing the guitar, beating the drums, shaking the shakers and singing the songs. Our group really enjoyed singing along to Elvis this week!
The George Center for Music Therapy is made up of a wonderful group of music therapists whose mission is to improve access to music therapy in the Atlanta area. They are member of the North Fulton Wellness Alliance and they value a holistic approach to working with their clients. Please check out their website at thegeorgecenter.com and take a look here http://www.thegeorgecenter.com/2016/06/03/spotlight-shine-a-light-on-great-prospects/ at the blog they wrote spotlighting Great Prospects!