Exceptional Times
June 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.

How to Prevent Summertime Regression

by:  Mary Jacob, Executive Director

Your child worked very hard this past school year to learn new skills.  Don't let them lose these valuable skills over the summertime.  Many children lose skills during prolonged breaks - which include summertime.  Sustaining skill does not have to be painful.  Parents may not realize that educational skills can be nurtured and retained through enjoyable family activities.  The goal of summer activities is not necessarily to teach new skills, but to prevent the previously learned ones from being weakened or lost.  


Some of the best ways to help your child avoid regression is to go places - real or imagined, physically or virtually; play games; do and make things; read to them and with them; and use math every day.  


Go places - Rather it's a real trip or an imagined trip down the rabbit hole, enjoy these adventures and allow your child to explore, fantasize and create their own challenges.  If you aren't taking an actual trip, use the computer to go to places virtually.  Even if you can't afford a summer vacation to Washington DC, you can certainly go on line and do it virtually.  


Google free things to do in  your area.  You'll be amazed at the free or very low cost museums, parks, walking trails and other things you will find that will offer lots of fun learning.  


Play games - It doesn't have to be your basic board game - but it also can be.  If your child worked on alphabet recognition this year - take a walk in the neighborhood and have them look for things that start with specific letters. Again, the internet if full of fun game ideas.  Just search for a skill and add game and you'll be amazed at all the ideas that come up.


Do & Make things - Make that trip to the grocery store educational; let the kids help you prepare meals; walk the neighborhood to identify plant species or anything else that might be of interest to your child.  Do an arts and craft project out of recyclable materials you already use everyday.  Grow some fresh produce - nothing like getting a child to try new foods they grow themselves.  The possibilities are endless and the internet will be your best friend. 


Read - Most public libraries offer a summer reading program and many now offer things like story time and other activities.  Get your child a library card and introduce them to the wonderful world of FREE reading.  If you want to purchase books, try places like garage sales for very inexpensive used books.  You can also check with your friends for book swaps and then create a book club to discuss books. 


Math - Rather you realize it or not - most of us use math every day and don't even realize it.  Math doesn't need to be repetitive addition, subtraction, multiplication and division problems.  Give your child a love for math by showing them how to use it.  Fun ideas include measuring items when cooking, using a tape measure to measure everything in your house and more, discussing distance while walking or driving in a car.  Use a timer to explain time and how long it will take to do things.  Calendars can be used to count down days and reinforce days of the week.  It's endless and again - the internet is your best friend.  


Remember the most important thing of summertime - having fun.  


Check out these other great articles we've provided for you this month:


'Tis the Season for Graduation


Youth Summer Employment


Summer Camps for Children with Special Health Needs


The Summer Break and its Effect on Students with Disabilities




Thinking About Doing College Online


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

Friday, June 5, 2015 - ABA for Teachers & Other Professionals - FHF and Butterfly Effects will host a workshop specifically designed for teachers and other professionals such as Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists, and Speech Language Pathologists. During the workshop participants will learn about the principles of ABA and how to implement these interventions in their classrooms and their sessions. Click here for more information!
To register, call:  504-888-9111 or toll free 1-800-766-7736

Friday, June 19, 2015 - All Hazards Emergency Preparedness for People with Special Needs and Disabilities - This presentation will provide information and resources and help you think about developing a true ALL-Hazards Preparedness plan to protect yourself and your loved ones.   Click here for more information!
To register, call: 504-888-9111 or toll free 1-800-766-7736

Friday, June 26, 2015 - ABA for parents & Caregivers - FHF and Butterfly Effects will host a workshop specifically designed for parents and caregivers. Board Certified Behavior Analysts will teach families the basics of ABA, communication, and how to minimize problematic behavior. Click here for more information!
To register, call: 504-888-9111 or toll free 1-800-766-7736 

- June Webinars -

Parents Rights in the Special Education Process -

Participants will gain an understanding functional knowledge of parents' rights under IDEA 2004. The six components of FAPE will be discussed and explained. Timelines under IDEA, as well as, the evaluation, referral and testing process will be covered. Participants also will learn and obtain an understanding of mediation, ODE complaint procedures, resolution meetings and due process procedures.


Section 504 - Participants will gain an understanding and functional knowledge of parents rights under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and how it can assist children with disabilities in the educational environment. Participants will review the history behind Section 504, learn the requirements of writing a 504 Accommodation Plan, and learn the differences between an IEP and a 504 Accommodation Plan. 


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.
  • Tuesday, June 2, 2015, 9:30 am - 11:30 am, Environmental Modification Training, Jefferson Parish Public Library, 4747 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie, La.   Click here for more information!
  • Tuesday, June 2, 2015, 2:00 pm - 4:30 pm, Employment Round Table, East Jefferson Public Library, 4747 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie, La. Click here for more information!
  • Friday, June 13, 2015, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm, X-pert Advice: Living the Fragile X Way for Home, School, Work and Play, Tulane Universtity School of Law, 6329 Freret Street, New Orleans, La.  Click here for more information!
  • Tuesday, June 30, 2015, 7:30 am - 4:30 pm  - Children's Behavioral Health Summit 2015 -  "The Well Child: An Integrated Approach" - Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Baton Rouge, La.  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.

SSI Child Disability Starter Kit (for children under age 18) 

Preparing for College - The transition from high school to college is a big step for everyone. Students with disabilities have even more things to think about than their non-disabled peers. Preparing for your post-secondary education should begin while in high school. 

10 Ways to Prevent the Summer Slide - Children can lose up to 3 months of academic progress over the summer, and nobody wants that! Here are 10 things families can do to help their child avoid the summer slide. 

Airplane Travel with your Children with Special Needs - Don't let air travel stop you from taking a great vacation. 

When (and How) Should You Tell Kids They have Aspergers - This resource gives parents tips on ways to talk about the diagnosis to help their child process this important information in the most empowering way. 

Managing Your Child's Behavior at Home - A guide to give you confident and consistent ways to address behavior challenges at home. 

Pack the Park
Sponsored by:

The great folks at Gulf Coast Bank & Trust have bought out Zephyrs Field and donated the tickets to non profit agencies to sell.  FHF gets to keep 100% of all ticket sales for the tickets we sell.  

Saturday, June 6, 2015
Game time is 6 pm
Fireworks to Follow

New Orleans Zephyrs vs. Nashville Sounds

To purchase tickets, call Liz at 504.888.9111.  

Low ticket prices.  Only $10 a pair!

Thanks to everyone that attended our Cinco de Mayo Open House 
on GiveNOLA Day. 

A huge thanks to our individual donors:

Alesha Lataxes, Alice Holloway, Angela Anthony, Bernadette Bode, Brenda Singelmann, Brooke Jacob, Carmen James, Carol Calix, Carolyn Barras, Charlsey Wolff, Cindy Locicero, Colleen Boudreaux, Courtney Randolph, Cynthia Swan, Darcie Olexia, David Koscielniak, Dora Saybe, Duff Friend, Elizabeth Dumas, Elliette Vorhoff, Gail Thomas, Gina Santopadre, Greg Brenan, Jay Bordelon, Jill Stephens, Jo Ann LoRusso, John Tujague, Johnie Salvaggio, Judith Otto, Karen Noonan, Kathie & Kevin Walker, Kathy Kilgore, Kimberly Thompson, Koggie Hakenjos, Kristine Kolbia, Laura S. Nata, Martha Livas, Mary Jacob, Maxine Robertson, Mike Szush, Milton and Sheila Brown, Muriel Glancey, Nora Ellertsen, Paula LaCour, Rickii Ainey, Robert Miller, Rose Gilbert, Sam Broussard, Sean Anderson, Shanida Mathieu, Shannon Seyler, Sherri Peppo, Stephanie Campo, Steven Fisher, Steven Nguyen, Terry & Denise Sweatman, Thuy Nguyen, Tim and Kathy Russell, Todd Bruno, Tricia Bush and Wendy Berniard. 

A very special thanks to all of the business that donated food and gift certificates to make our event extra special:

2 Amigo's Restaurant, Aetna Insurance, Angelos' Bakery, Carritta's Mexican Grill, Chez Ru Rene Bakery, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Haydel's Bakery, la Madeliene's Cafe, Lolli's Chocolates, Nacho Mama's Restaurant, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Sam's Wholesale Club, and Wal-Mart. 

Finally, a HUGE thanks to The Greater New Orleans Foundation for all the work they do to create this great giving event that raised over $4 million dollars for local non profit organizations!  We couldn't do it without you!

Auctions in August

FHF will once again participate in Gulf Coast Bank and Trust Auctions in August event.  During the month of August, auction items will be displayed throughout the lobbies at the bank branches.  Some items will also be available on-line for bidding.  

We are now soliciting donations for this event.  Items must be new.  If you'd like to make a tax deductible donation to this event, please contact Mary Jacob at 504.888.9111 or [email protected] 

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
Brave Sponsors: 

Sponsorship Opportunities are still available. 

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.

Read how a parent, Jennifer Huber, turned to FHF looking for help with options for schools in Jefferson Parish and was provided with so much more!


 Click here to read her story! 

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 May 29, 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. 

Federal Employees Can Now Invest in FHF 
Through Payroll Deductions

Families Helping Families of Jefferson has been approved for inclusion in the 2015 Combined Federal Campaign (CFC). Any federal employee anywhere in the United States and overseas can designate their tax deductible donation to Families Helping Families of Jefferson.  

Our CFC code to designate donations to FHF is 85990

Which seat will 
be yours? 


Potential Board of Directors Meet & Greet

Tuesday, June 16, 2015 - 6:00 - 7:30 pm

201 Evans Road, Bldg. 1, Suite 100, Harahan, LA  70123


Please RSVP with Liz Dumas - [email protected] or 504.888.9111.



Families Helping Families of Jefferson is currently looking for a few talented and conscientious volunteer board members to lead and strengthen our programs for people with disabilities and their families.  If you can contribute your time, thoughtfulness, and leadership, and interested in exploring this opportunity, please contact Mary Jacob at 504-888-9111 or [email protected]  


We have a diverse staff, serving diverse families and need diverse board members.   


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.   

Previous board members are welcomed.  

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.

Previous board members are welcomed.

Individuals with and without experience are encouraged to apply.  

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
Last Chance for Stipends

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.  Funding for stipends has been eliminated effective September 30, 2015.  

Thanks to the Louisiana Developmental Disabilities Council for the many years of stipends to Louisiana families.  

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]
  • 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! 
  • OCDD Conducting National Core Indicators Survey


    OCDD needs your help. It is again time for the annual National Core Indicators (NCI) survey that gives people with developmental disabilities and their families a direct voice to express their feelings about the services they receive from OCDD. Individuals who were selected to be part of the NCI Consumer Survey have already been contacted and many of them have already been interviewed.  Also, mail surveys have been sent to a random sample of the families who are asked about the services and their satisfaction with the services that their family member receives. The mail-out survey does not identify the people who complete them, unless they chose to identify themselves.


    NCI survey results help Louisiana to evaluate how well the services people with intellectual/developmental disabilities receive are meeting their needs. It also helps Louisiana compare family outcomes and satisfaction with similar information collected from other states. NCI results for all the states that participate in the surveys also influences national policy decisions about services for people with intellectual/developmental disabilities.


    If your family has received a survey, please complete it and mail it back to OCDD in the postage paid envelope. If you are a provider, support coordinator or advocate, please encourage people to participate so OCDD can use the information obtained to continue to improve services.

  • Save the Date!  Saturday, November 7, 2015 - Autism Society Conference 2015 "Lassoing for Autism" - McNeese State University, Lake Charles, La. Keynote: Dennis Debbaudt   Click here for more details!

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. 



Staff of Families Helping Families of Jefferson wishes all the "Daddys" "Pops" or plain ole "Dad" a very  special day! 



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.