Exceptional Times
November 2014

  Exceptional Times is a monthly electronic newsletter produced by Families Helping Families and Louisiana Parent Training & 
Information Center

Fall Time - Election Time
by:  Mary Jacob, Executive Director

After a long, hot, humid summer, Fall always comes with open arms in just about every household in Louisiana. The cool breezes, school fairs, and holidays are all part of the season. Another part of the season is the Fall elections. As a disability advocate, I cannot stress enough the importance of educating yourself on candidates and constitutional amendments and their impact. Remember, you cannot believe everything you hear on tv - you must do your own research. Deep pocket special interest groups will always have more money to spend on advertising and will spin anything to meet the needs of their contributors. Don't be fooled by what you hear on tv, radio or print media. Do your homework and remember - YOU can make a difference!

Below are some links to information on the November 4th election. Please take the time to read them:

In addition, we have these great articles we want to share with you:

Learning Opportunities provided by FHF
Educating and Training

FHF has a lot of opportunities to learn for the month of November. Webinars include,  Let's prepare for the La. State Assessment, join us as we share practical tips to coordinate with school staff and prepare your child for LEAP testing; In SSI: Eligibility Criteria, How to Apply, The Disability Decision Process & What Happens Next, you will learn about Supplemental Security Income (SSI) eligibility and how it differs from Social Security Disability; When should you request an evaluation for special education services for your child? you will learn about your parental rights and much more; "Ask Karen", in this session we will note any new information there may be in Managed Care and Long-Term Supports and Services; Supports, Modifications, and Accommodations for Students, we will explore and discuss various options and examples of support available to help your child become successful; Crisis Planning for and with Families this Holiday Season, will depict ways to plan beforehand with a goal of reducing the chances of a serious mental health crisis during the holidays; Section 504: The OTHER Service Option, understanding the provisions of this important law can help parents be effective partners in working with schools to meet the educational needs of their student with disabilities; Building a Better IEP, please join this webinar to learn more about special education evaluations (and re-evaluations), qualifying for an IEP, and developing a strong IEP; Seizure Recognition and First Aid, is designed to teach the general public basic information about epilepsy. Attendees will learn how to identify seizures and provide appropriate seizure first aid. 

In addition, for the month of November we are offering these in person trainings: For an overview of services provided by Jefferson Parish Human Services Authority (JPHSA) please attend, JPHSA Services - How can they help me?; In Understanding the IEP we will address development, process and your critically important role on the IEP TEAM.

View our full calendar of events here.  

Learning Opportunities Provided by Others
Education and Training

FHF thinks it is important for individuals to be armed with enough information to either assist or make decisions around disability issues that impact your life or that of a family member.  Therefore, we are happy to share the following training opportunities others are doing around the state.  Please note we do not handle registration for these opportunities.  

Lending Library

Families Helping Families has an extensive lending library. Books, dvds and more are here, free of charge for families and professionals to check out.  You are welcome to come and browse our library during our office hours, Monday through Friday, 9 am to 4 pm.  If you cannot make it into our office, you can see a complete list of our inventory and an item can be mailed to you.  Just click here  to see a complete list of items in our lending library.   

Veolia Hawkins and son Glenn
Changing Lives. Every Day.
Success Story of the month.

Every day we hear wonderful things about the work we 
do for individuals in the community. One of the things 
that keep us going daily are the success stories we hear. 

One mother's determination for her son with autism to attend college came to fruition due to the support she received from FHF and other community organizations. 
Click here to read about the Hawkins Family. 

Developmental Disabilities Services Directory



The Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities provides supports and services through a variety of locations throughout the state to support the dignity, quality of life and security in the everyday lives of people with developmental disabilities and their families, acting as the Single Point of Entry.


OCDD Central Office

Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals
Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities
628 North 4th Street
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70802


PO Box 3117, Bin #21
Baton Rouge, LA 70821-3117


Phone: 1.225.342.0095
Toll-Free: 1.866.783.5553
Fax: 1.225.342.8823

Waiver Registry Dates

As of October 29, 2014 the following dates have been reached on the waiver registry, a.k.a the waiting list.  

New Opportunities Waiver (NOW) -  8/18/2004

Children's Choice Waiver -  7/5/2005

Supports Waiver - 2/29/2012

Not sure where you are on the registry?  Call 1.800.364.7828.

We can't exist without your help
Supporting All Disabilities

FHF is a 501 (c) 3 not for profit organization.  In addition to our grants and contracts we depend on the generosity of individuals like you.  All donations are tax deductible.  In addition to cash donations, there are many other ways you can show your support for people with disabilities. Click here to learn more about how you can help FHF.

Financial Assistance to Attend Training

FHF has limited funds to offer stipends to individuals with developmental disabilities and their family members to attend and/or participate in conferences and training events to enhance their knowledge of community-based supports and resources for persons with developmental disabilities.  If you live in Jefferson Parish and want to request a stipend, please click here for a stipend application.  If you live in other parishes, please contact the FHF office in your region.  

OTHER places to find us:
Visit the Families Helping Families Booth at the following events:

CADA Carnivale - November 7, 2014 - City Park Amusement Area

Special Needs Day at the Zoo - November 8, 2014 - Audubon Zoo

First Zion Baptiste Church Health Fair - November 12, 2014, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., 1221 S. Causeway Blvd., Jefferson, LA

A Little Lagniappe:
A Little of this and a little of that - more stuff that might interest you.

Jefferson Parish Regional Advisory Committee for Developmental Disabilities has a vacancy for a parent of a child with a developmental disability or an individual with a developmental disability.  If you are interested in learning more about the Jefferson Parish RAC, please call Mary Jacob at 504.888.9111 or email at [email protected]

Families Helping Families will be closed on 
November 11, 2014 for Veterans Day and  
November 27 & 28, 2014 for Thanksgiving.  

Laura, Shanida & Bebe at InclusionMATTERS 2014!

Our Team

Click here for a list of Staff or Board Members.

The Mission of Families Helping Families is to educate and connect children and adults with disabilities and their families to resources, services & supports to attend school, work and thrive in their communities.

Families Helping Families
800.766.7736 (toll free)
[email protected]

The Mission of Families Helping Families is to educate and connect children and adults with disabilities and their families to resources, services & supports to attend school, work and thrive in their communities.

Give us a call today!
Changing Lives.  Every Day.

Two Groups You Want to JOIN!
Louisiana Citizens for Action Now

LaCAN is a statewide grassroots network of individuals, families and advocates who have worked together since 1988 advocating for a service system that supports individuals with disabilities to live in their own homes rather than having to be segregated from their communities in a facility to receive support.  Specifically, they have advocated for implementation of Louisiana's Community and Family Support System Plan.  To join or learn more about LaCAN, 

Louisiana Together Educating All Children

LaTEACH (Louisiana Together Educating ALL Children) is a statewide grassroots advocacy network created for the purpose of effecting systems change.  LaTEACH promotes appropriate, inclusive education for all students. LaTEACH works to make parents, educators, the general public, and state leadership informed and supportive of research-based and effective practices used appropriately for each student.  To join or learn more about LaTEACH, 


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