Exceptional Times
May 2015

  Exceptional Times is a monthly electronic newsletter produced by Families Helping Families of Jefferson and Louisiana Parent Training & 
Information Center, a project of FHF of Jefferson.

Spend Cinco de Mayo with
Families Helping Families
by:  Mary Jacob, Executive Director

Cinco de Mayo - or the fifth of May-commemorates the Mexican army's 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War (1861-1867). A relatively minor holiday in Mexico, in the United States Cinco de Mayo has evolved into a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage, particularly in areas with large Mexican-American populations. Cinco de Mayo traditions include parades, mariachi music performances and street festivals in cities and towns across Mexico and the United States. This year FHF is adding to the traditions by holding their Open House on May 5th in conjunction with GiveNOLA Day, coordinated by the Greater New Orleans Foundation.  

What better way to celebrate than to have a fiesta of food, fun and friendship with those we've supported and those that have supported us.  We've tried our best to create a day that works for everyone.  Below is our schedule of events:

12 - 1 pm - Lunch  
This is the perfect time for the business person or busy parent that wants to stop by for a quick bite to eat, network and learn a little more about FHF. 

2 pm - Presentation on FHF  
Come hear what FHF accomplished last year and our goals for the current year, while enjoying a little Mexican treat.


4 pm - LaCAN & LaTEACH Legislative Update  

 Come hear about the important legislative items for people with disabilities.


5 - 6:30 pm - Family Fun


Bring your family to FHF to enjoy some Mexican food and fun.  


Thanks to the generosity of the following donors:


Aetna Insurance     Nacho Mama's     Chipotle Mexican Grill 
2 Amigos     Caretta's Grill     Lolli's Chocolate     
Haydel's Bakery     Chez Ru Rene     laMadeleine     
Sam's Wholesale Club




I hope you find this month's selection of articles to be informative: 


Common Misconceptions about Self - Direction 


Nurse - Family Partnership


Nurse - Family Partnership (Spanish)


Developmental Milestones 


My Favorite Time of the Year is Here!


Pet Peeves


NFB Bell Program - Braille Enrichment for Literacy and Learning


Positioning and Transferring Students in Wheelchairs


2015 Guide to Summer Fun



Learning Opportunities by FHF
Educating and Training
- May In-Person Trainings -

Wednesday, May 13, 2015, 10 am - 12 pm at Metairie Road Library - Managing Your Child's Medical Records: Parents are their child's first line health care provider and when a child has special or complex health care needs or disabilities, that job becomes even more complicated. Learn how to build a Medical Record book for your child. Click here for more information!
To register, call 504-888-9111 or toll free 1-800-766-7736 or 
Click here  to register online

Tuesday, May 19, 2015, 10 am - 12 pm at East Bank Regional Library - Transferring & Positioning: This training will provide you with information on wheelchair safety and various types of transferring and positioning techniques that can be used to move someone from one place to another when carrying is not necessary. Click here for more information!
To register, call 504-888-9111 or toll free 1-800-766-7736 or 
Click here to register online


- May Webinars -

Early Family Rights, Opportunities and Responsibilities (ROR): This webinar has been designed to help EarlySteps families to understand their rights, roles, opportunities and responsibilities while participating in the program.

Preparing for the IEP: This is a workshop to help parents feel more comfortable and knowledgeable in the Individualized Education Plan process. Goals, short-term objectives and benchmarks will be discussed, as well as parent's rights in the process and strategies to become effective partners with your child's providers/teachers.

What's in Your Toolbox: Preparing for your child's IEP Annual Review. Do you have a school age child with special needs? Does your child have an Individualized Education Program (IEP)? Do you sometimes feel uncertain or overwhelmed as you try to "navigate" the IEP process? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, please join this webinar to learn more about: Special Education evaluations (and re-evaluations), Qualifying for an IEP, Developing a strong IEP...it's a process, not a single event!, Parents as equal partners, and where to get more information and help. 

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.
Monday, May 11, 2015 - Assisting Individuals with Autism Transition into the Workplace: This webinar will provide educators with knowledge of how to help their students overcome the barriers that commonly impede individuals with austism from gaining and retaining employment. Click here for more information!


Saturday, May 16, 2015 - The American Lung Association will be conducting an asthma workshop in New Orleans. Click here for more information!


Monday, May 18, 2015 - From Evil Glares to Throwing Chairs: An Introduction to Functional Behavioral Assessments: This presentation is an overview of the theory, procedures, and outcomes of a Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA). Click here for more information!


Learning Links
Education and Training

If you've ever done an internet search on a topic, you know first-hand how difficult it is to sort through the thousands of links that come up with the search. Below is a list of some of our favorite links for the month that others have shared with us. We hope you find them as informative as we did.


Human Development Center 

is pleased to sponsor an opportunity for you to meet and hear from 

Dr. Melody Musgrove

Director of OSEP


May 22, 2015

10 am to 12 Noon

Human Development Center

411 S. Prieur Street, New Orleans, LA



Dr. Musgrove will address the audience concerning Results Driven Accountability (RDA) and the design to improve outcomes in special education.  Dr. Musgrove has been Director of OSEP since 2010 and has spearheaded the effort to shift accountability from a single focus on item compliance to a balance of compliance and results for students with disabilities and their families. Known as RDA, this approach to accountability shifts the emphasis in planning program improvement towards student outcomes. Dr. Musgrove will explain the rationale for RDA and engage the audience in a dialogue about how to participate in the improvement of results for children with disabilities.



To ensure adequate space, please register at the following link:


What is GiveNOLA Day? 
* It's a community wide event led by the Greater New Orleans Foundation to raise as much money as possible for our area nonprofits organizations through online fundraising. 
* It's Tuesday, May 5th - one day we come together as one to support our local nonprofits in the Greater New Orleans area. 
* It's a way to celebrate giving and raise awareness for our local nonprofits. 
* Every donation on GiveNOLA Day will receive a proportional amount of lagniappe funds.  This means we will receive extra dollars from the many generous sponsors of GiveNOLA Day.

FHF is excited to participate in GiveNOLA Day again this year. 

Click here to donate to 
Families Helping Families of Jefferson

As an added bonus, The New Orleans Zephyrs has generously offered to give each donor of $10 or more 2 tickets for an upcoming game.   

To celebrate GiveNOLA Day, stop by our office for some Cinco de Mayo fun with great food and friendship at our Open House.  

5K and Fun Run Against Bullying

Saturday, October 3,  2015 is the date for the 1st Annual 5K and Fun Run Against Bullying.

Support the First Annual 5K and Fun Run Against Bullying. Did you know:
  • 160,000 US Students miss school every day due to bullying
  • 90% of 4th through 8th graders report being victims of bullying
  • 71% of all students report bullying as a problem at their school
  • Children with disabilities are bullied 3 - 4 times more often than others

Lending Library Information

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 any item can be mailed to you.  Just click here  to see a complete list of items in our lending library.

Before you buy it - check to see if we have it!
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.

As a single parent, Ms. Osbey felt alone and ignored when seeking supports and services for her son until she was referred to Families Helping Families. 


Click here to read her story! 

Gulf Coast Bank & Trust Contest

Thanks to everyone that voted for Families Helping Families in the Gulf Coast Bank & Trust On-line Contest.  We did not win any money, but did get a lot of exposure and look forward to trying again next year. 

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 April 30, 2015 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 -  3/31/2006

Supports Waiver - 11/3/2012

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

Invest in the future of FAMILIES HELPING FAMILIES of JEFFERSON.   

Become  a stakeholder by supporting ALL disabilities of ALL ages, by making a one time gift, or monthly contributions. You will be making a difference to large outcomes!

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. Click here to learn more about how you can help. With your support, we will have the strength and resources to help Louisiana residents improve their lives. 

What's stopping you from applying to be a board or committee member?

Board of Directors
FHF of Jefferson currently has openings on our Board of Directors for the following:
  • Parent of a child between the ages of 0 - 23 years old with a disability.
  • Adult with a disability.   
The ideal candidates are:
  • Passionate about FHF and the services we provide to the community.
  • Interested in the long term sustainability of our organization.
  • Willingness to support FHF in community.
  • Believers of Home and Community Based Services.
  • Understand the importance of inclusion in all facets of life.
  • Believe individuals with disabilities deserve a meaningful lives.
  • Individuals that bring their own personal experiences and expertise to share.
  • Willing to participate in fundraising.
  • Can commit at least 5 hours a month to organization.
Candidates must:
  • Reside in the State of Louisiana.  
  • Be able to attend bi-monthly board meetings (4th Monday of the Month from 6 - 8 pm) and monthly committee meetings (If you live outside the GNO area, some meetings can be attended via conference call.)
  • Attend an annual board retreat. (Saturday event)
  • Participate in board giving. 

Fund Development Committee Members
FHF of Jefferson's Fund Development Committee is searching for talented individuals with a passion for raising funds.  This committee is responsible for identifying new funding opportunities, fundraising ideas and opportunities, donor cultivation and promotion of FHF of Jefferson in the community.  

Currently the Fund Development Committee meets once a month on the 4th Monday of the month from 5 - 6 pm.   

Individuals with and without experience are encouraged to apply.  

5K and Fun Run Against Bullying Committee Members
Committee members are needed for FHF of Jefferson's 1st Annual  5K and Fun Run Against Bullying which will be held on Saturday, October 3, 2015 at LaSalle Park in Metairie.  Meetings will be held monthly until September when meetings may be held more frequently.  

Individuals with and without experience are encouraged to apply.  

We strive for diversity on our board.  For additional information or to schedule a meeting to discuss board or committee membership further, please contact Mary Jacob, Executive Director at 504.888.9111 or [email protected]


Call us to help you with Financial
Assistance to Attend Trainings

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 stipendplease 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: 
  • Jefferson Parish Head Start Program - Health and Job Fairs will be held Monday, May 4, 2015 from 9:30 am - 1:30 pm at Kings Grant Playground, 3805 -15th Street, Harvey, La. and Tuesday, May 5, 2015 from 9:30 am - 1:30 pm at Oakdale Playground, 650 Wall Blvd., Gretna, La.


A Little Lagniappe:
A little of this and a little of that - more stuff that might interest you.  
  • Jefferson Parish Human Services Authority - Regional Advisory Committee for Development Disabilities currently has openings for self advocates or parents of individuals with developmental disabilities.  If you are interested in becoming a member of the JPHSA RAC, please contact Mary Jacob at [email protected]
  • Jon R. Webb, Ph.D. and Clinical Psychologist at East Tennessee State University, and also the parent of a child with Down syndrome is doing a national survey of parents of children with special needs. 

    Specifically, he is interested in learning more about the experiences of parents of children with special needs, how they cope with daily life stressors, and what the effects of care-giving might have on their physical and emotional health.

    Past research on families with children having special needs has largely been focused on dysfunction, or the negative impact of a special-needs family member.  However, I am taking a different approach, focusing instead on positive psychological functioning such as resiliency, coping strategies and the strengths that emerge in such families. This area has been overlooked in the literature.

    Participants who volunteer will complete a group of online surveys asking about their emotional and physical health, coping techniques, and the quality of their life. Completing the surveys should take between 30-45 minutes, and all responses are both confidential and anonymous; all responses will be grouped together for analysis, no individual answers will be examined.

     Click here to participate in the survey. 

  • Free Infant Massage Classes - Massaging your baby is a beautiful and loving way to begin a lifelong relationship. This FREE class is offered the 2nd Saturday of every month at 10:00 am. - 11:30 am at the East Jefferson Public Library. Click here for more information!

  • Tulane Lakeside offers FREE inspections and educates families on the proper use of car seats. Free inspections are available regularly each month, and by appointment at Tulane Lakeside Hospital for Women and Children. Click here for more information! 


Mary, Liz, Laura,
Bebe & Shanida
Our Team

Click here for a list of Staff or Board Members

Families Helping Families of Jefferson is your one stop shop for disability information. We are the only family resource center for individuals with all disabilities, all ages and their families in Jefferson Parish. We offer services across the lifespan.


Louisiana Parent Training and Information Center (LaPTIC) is a program of Families Helping Families of Jefferson and a grant from the US Department of Education; Office of Special Education (OSEP) as Louisiana's official and only statewide federally funded Parent Training and Information Center. 


Two Groups You Want to JOIN!

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,      

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,    

FHF of Jefferson
201 Evans Road, Bldg. 1, #100
Harahan, LA  70123
800.766.7736 (toll free)

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.