Exceptional Times
May 2016

  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.
New e-Learning
Mini Modules
Perfect for the busy person!

By:  Mary Jacob

Over the years we've been hearing how much more demanding life is for parents of children with disabilities.  As we see our in person training participant count go down and our webinar number increase, we recognize that getting out for a training can sometimes be impossible.  Even with the numerous webinar opportunities you have, we still know we are missing a lot of families that need good information and training.  As one solution to this never ending problem, we've created 5 new e-Learning Mini Modules that are perfect for the busy parent  or anyone seeking to increase their knowledge on a specific topic. 

These e-Learning Mini Modules are formatted for all devices so even if you are at a ball game, dance practice or waiting for your dinner to arrive in a restaurant, you can log onto our website and watch one of our e-Learning Mini Modules in approximately 10 minutes.  That's right - you only need about 10 minutes!  The following e-Learning Mini Modules are currently available:
  • What do you do when the school calls to pick up your child?  
  • What transportation services are available to my child with a disability?
  • How can I prepare for my child's Individualized Education Plan (IEP) meeting?
  • Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Basics
  • What is Least Restricted Environment (LRE)?
The first 5 topics were chosen because of the frequency of times we get asked these questions.

We hope these are useful to you and happy to be able to add additional ways for families to learn relevant information they need in order to get their child the most appropriate education they deserve.  

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

Learning Opportunities by FHF
Educating and Training
- May Workshops -

Transition MISSION Exploring Avenues - Friday, May 6, 2016, 9:00 am - 1:00 pm, East Bank Regional Library, 4747 West Napoleon Ave., Metairie, La 70003: Please join us on our "Transition MISSION" by exploring avenues in transitioning from education to adulthood. Presenters will discuss ways to think outside the norm when approaching employment, soft skills that help youth succeed not only in employment but also in postsecondary education/training and social situations, and how college life is possible. You will learn that transitioning from education into adulthood does not have to look the same for everyone with a disability. Carve your own future!  Free Lunch included!
To register, call: 504-888-9111 or toll free 1-800-766-7736.  Click here to register online!

- May Webinars -

Extended School Year: Who, What, and Why - Tuesday, May 3, 2016, 11:00 am - 12:00 pm: Participants will learn what makes children eligible for ESYP IEP services in summer whom have unmet IEP goals. All categories and criteria of ESYP eligibility will be discussed. Many students could benefit from ESYP although they are denied services due to insufficient data or tracking. Join us and learn what the regulations for IDEA say about Extended School Year services; all the ways a student might be eligible and what your child's IEP goals have to do with it.

ACT Test Accommodations for Students with Disabilities - Wednesday, May 4, 2016, 1:00 p. - 2:00 pm:  ACT Test Accommodations staff will provide information about the accommodations request process for the ACT, including policies for supporting documentation, types of available accommodations and application procedures.

Summer Camps and the Americans with Disabilities Act - Thursday, May 5, 2016, 10:00 am - 11:00 am:  With school almost out, it's time to begin thinking about camp and other arrangements for the summer.  Children with disabilities require and need recreation the same as other children.  Under the Americans with Disabilities Act ("A.D.A."), a child is entitled to attend any camp or activity that non-disabled children attend, with modifications, and with a few exceptions.  This training will provide an overview of who is protected by the A.D.A, the modifications required under the law, and how to prevent discrimination.

Seizure Recognition and First Aid - Friday, May 6, 2016, 10:30 am 11:30 am:  Seizure Recognition and First Aid is designed to teach the general public basic information about epilepsy. The program identifies and describes the most common types of seizures and dispels many common myths associated with epilepsy. Attendees will learn how to identify seizures and provide appropriate seizure first aid.

Making Friends with the  IEP - Wednesday, May 11, 2016, 11:30 am - 12:30 pm:
IEP meetings, IEP Teams, the IEP, timeframes, notices, and evaluations can be confusing and overwhelming.  Join us as we follow the IEP process and review common terms and definitions.  This webinar is designed for parents, foster parents, or anyone who has, or works with, a child between the ages of 2 and 20 years old who has an IEP or 504 Plan.

Dealing with Denials of Care - Friday, May 13, 2016, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm: Do you know what to do when a Bayou Health plan denies your medicine at the pharmacy? Durable medical equipment? Physician, hospital or therapy services? Learn what information you will need to gather when you are told your service, medication or equipment are being denied.  Learn about different types of denials, what they mean and how to navigate getting your care and getting assistance.

Louisiana's Communication Plan - Wednesday, May 18, 2016, 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm:  This webinar will provide an overview of the recommended Communication Plan submitted to and approved by the Louisiana Department of Education.  Federal and state laws requires that communication needs be considered for all students who are deaf, deaf-blind or hard of hearing prior to IEP development.  Act 250 passed in Louisiana in 2015 requires public schools include a communication plan as part of the IEP for every student identified as deaf, deaf-blind or hard of hearing.  This tool is an excellent resource for districts to determine the communication needs of students including students who have communication concerns but who are not deaf.

Tips to Improve your Child's Handwriting - Thursday, May 19, 2016, 10:00am - 11:00 am: We will discuss strategies to improve your child's handwriting using the Handwriting Without Tears curriculum, as well as fine motor skill activities to improve your child's coordination and strength.

Summer Camps and the Americans with Disabilities Act - Friday, May 20, 2016, 11:00 am - 12:00 pm With school almost out, it's time to begin thinking about camp and other arrangements for the summer.  Children with disabilities require and need recreation the same as other children.  Under the Americans with Disabilities Act ("A.D.A."), a child is entitled to attend any camp or activity that non-disabled children attend, with modifications, and with a few exceptions.  This training will provide an overview of who is protected by the A.D.A, the modifications required under the law, and how to prevent discrimination.

Best Practices for Social and Communication IEP Goals for Students with ASD - Wednesday, May 25, 2016, 10:00 am - 11:00 am:  Social interaction and communication are crucial areas to be addressed in schools for students with ASD.  We will review best practices surrounding assessing, creating, and monitoring social interaction and communication IEP goals.  Collaborative strategies and relevant resources will also be shared.

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.

ADA in Focus Webinar Series: Frequently Asked Questions about the ADA and Alternate Forms of Transportation - Wednesday, May 4, 2016, 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm: Have you ever wondered what your rights are as a person with a disability using a Transportation Network Company (TNC)? Or how much assistance a taxicab operator is required to provide to people with disabilities? Or the requirements under the ADA on level rail boarding? Click here for more information!

47th Annual Autism Society National Conference and Exposition in New Orleans, LA  
The Autism Society believes our conference should be a welcoming place for the varied insights and contributions of people who are advancing our understanding of autism.  We will soon announce our complete lineup of conference sessions which will include world-renowned speakers, individuals on the spectrum, educators, families, service providers and autism thought leaders from communities across the country and around the world. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter and stay tuned to our website for updates. Register today!  For questions, please contact: [email protected]

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.

Social Security Administration Urged to Revamp Representative Payee Approach - A new report suggests that many adults with disabilities receiving Social Security benefits need someone else to assist them in handling their money, but oftentimes are left on their own.

4 Myths about Individuals with Disabilities in the Workforce - DEBUNKED!  Children with disabilities have dreams at a young age like any other child does. Some want to be teachers, others want to be doctors and others want to be firemen. When they are ready to enter the workforce, they might get disappointed if there are employers who don't want to hire them because they have disabilities.

Autism Wandering Bill Gets New LookThe federal legislation has been trying to address the needs of kids with autism as well as other disabilities who have a tendency to wander. This bill was originally proposed two years ago to establish federal resources related to kids with disabilities and wandering. They have finally come to an agreement to get this legislation off the ground. Under this bill, the Justice Department would provide grants to states and local law enforcement agencies t pay for the proper training, tracking devices and other efforts to help keep individuals with disabilities safe.

Media Guidelines for Kids of All AgesTips for making sure your children's screen time is healthy. 
Our Journey to Success: Early Education for Children in Indigenous Migrant Families - Head Start and Seasonal Head Start programs recognize, affirm, and build on family and cultural strengths as a pathway to school readiness.  Also in  Spanish 

Speaking Up for Yourself and Other Youth - Speaking Up for Yourself and Other Youth is a resource page of the American Academy of Child Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), part of its Youth Resources collection. The page briefly defines what advocacy is in youth-friendly language, and identifies several other AACAP resources that youth might wish to consult, including Taking Charge of Your Treatment. The resource page also connects youth with several state and national youth organizations. 

With the passage of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), Congress reauthorized the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA), including the Rehabilitation Act, through 2020. What does this 300-page legislation mean for people with disabilities, especially youth in transition from secondary school to adult life? This brief from the Institute for Community Inclusion discusses the major highlights.

Discover Camp - Discover Camp is a resource for parents of children with disabilities selecting a camp for their child for the first time. 

The Camp Resource for Families - Our comprehensive summer camp resource for families - offering expert advice from camp professionals on camp selection, readiness, child and youth development, and issues of importance to families. ACA helps you find the right camp for every child. 

Allergy Kids - The goal of the AllergyKids Foundation is to protect American families from the additives found in our food supply. We build community and provide information for people who want to protect the health of their loved ones, especially the 1 in 3 American children with allergies, ADHD, autism and asthma. 

Communication Development: A Parent's Guide - Provides current information about topics related to children's speech, language, and communication development that may be helpful to parents.  Spanish     Chinese

Physical Education for Students with DisabilitiesJust updated page from Wrightslaw! If your child has a disability and an IEP, the school must provide physical education as part of your child's special education program. This includes providing accommodations and modifications (as needed), or it may mean providing adapted physical education. 

Checklist: What to Ask the School Before Choosing a Tool or DeviceThis checklist includes multiple questions that parents might ask the school about assistive technology (AT) options for their child with a disability. The questions are organized into three sections: (1) AT and Your Child's Needs; (2) Assessment of Assistive Technology; and (3) Assistive Technology Settings and Situations.

Options and Planning for College: For FamiliesDo you serve families who want to learn more about the possibilities for their sons or daughters with intellectual disabilities to attend college? This self-paced module from Think College! describes college options, identifies how college is different from high school, discusses the changing role of families once students are in college, and offers strategies for families and students on how they may navigate those differences.

Access to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education has been the focus of recent efforts at the Department, including a Dear Colleague Letter released this month by the Offices of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE), Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE), Innovation and Improvement (OII), and OSERS. The letter intends to help SEAs, LEAs, and their partners understand how to support innovative Pre-K-12 STEM education strategies using Federal funds. 

OSERS Hosts Hangout to #RethinkDiscipline OSERS Assistant Secretary  Michael Yudin talks about school resource officers and discipline on this YouTube Video. 

Come Join the Wonderful & Wacky Staff of FHF 
On May 3rd for GiveNOLA Day Lunch or Happy Hour!

2 Times the Fun for You! 

Lunch Bunch
12:00 pm to 1:30 pm
Stop by and join the FHF staff for lunch, while it lasts and hear what's going on in the disability community.  
Donations are greatly appreciated!

Happy Hour
5:00 pm to 6:30 pm
Drop in after a long day to wet your whistle with free beer, pizza and snacks, while they last.  Donations are greatly appreciated. 

Thanks to our wonderful food donors:
2 Amigos, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Chez Ru Rene, 
City Wholesale Liquor, Coca Cola, Fox & Hound, Happy Italian
Pizzeria, Kim Anh Noodle House, Langensteins, Nacho Mamas, 
Nothing Bundt Cakes, Papa John's Pizza, Roly Poly's, Theo's Pizza
Zoe's Kitchen and Wal-Mart Neighborood Marketplace

GiveNOLA Day is the community's one-day, online giving event to inspire people to give generously to the nonprofit organizations that are making our region stronger, creating a thriving community for all.

It's our day to come together as one! Every dollar donated from midnight to midnight on May 3rd will be increased with additional "lagniappe" dollars provided by the Greater New Orleans Foundation and our generous GiveNOLA Day sponsors. 

Built on successful models from other cities, GiveNOLA Day raises money for the community, brings new donors and awareness to local nonprofits, and helps make our region a more vibrant place to live. GiveNOLA Day is tied to a national event called Give Local America where community foundations across America are asking their communities to give back on May 3, 2016. 

Families Helping Families of Jefferson is thrilled to participate in this event again this year.  We would greatly appreciate your vote of confidence in us by donating on May 3, 2016! 

Can't  make it but want to donate.  Just click here!

great events 
you won't want 
to miss. 

Saturday, June 25, 2016

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Clearview Mall  
Sears Rear Parking Lot
 4436 Veterans Blvd, Metairie,  LA  

Bring your kids out for a fun time.  Lots of different vehicles on wheels will be on display for kids to explore, pretend drive, pretend ride and discover.  Fun for the whole family.


Pick-up Truck Level
Motorcycle Level

Tim Walker - Chief of Police 
Harahan Police Department

2nd Annual 
5k & 1 Mile Fun Run/Walk Against Bullying

Time to dust off those superhero capes and save Saturday, October 1, 2016 for the 2nd Annul 5k and 1 mile Fun Run/Walk Against Bullying.  
Save the date and don't miss out on this day of fun! 

Live Music   Great Food   Beer   Kid Activities   Awards

Prizes for Fundraising Teams
Prizes for Fundraising Individuals
Prizes for Schools with 50 or More Participants

New Location:    
Lafreniere Park

Be a Superhero Against Bullying!

Brave Sponsorship Level

United Sponsorship Level


Sponsorship opportunities are now available.  

Participant Registration and Vendor Registration Information Coming Soon. 

Extensive 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 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.

A Strong Support System Is Important! 
My name is Sophia Rosamano. My mom and I are grateful for all of the support and knowledge Families Helping Families has given us throughout the years. We started our journey with Families Helping Families when my mom inquired about information on Early Intervention services, because of my diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy.

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 22, 2016 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 -  6/20/2006

Supports Waiver - 12/31/2014

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

OTHER places to find FHF of Jefferson:
Visit the Families Helping Familes Booth at the following events:

CSHS Resource Fair - Healthcare Transition: It's More than Transfer of Services - Tuesday, May 24, 2016, 11:00 am - 2:30 pm, Children's Hospital Auditorium, 200 Henry Clay Avenue, New Orleans, La.  Click here for more information!

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

The Louisiana Rehabilitation Council was established in compliance with federal regulations governing the Rehabilitation Act (P.L. 102-569). The LRC works with Louisiana Rehabilitation Services (LRS) to ensure the involvement of individuals with disabilities in the development and delivery of vocational rehabilitation services to Louisianans with disabilities. The Louisiana Rehabilitation Council Meetings are held quarterly in different areas of the State. Please take note all meetings are open public forum. The 2016 meetings scheduled are: 
July 28-29, 2016 - Embassy Suites Hotel, 4914 Constitution Avenue, Baton Rouge, La
October 27-28, 2016 - Baton Rouge 
If you would like to be considered for membership on the Council or would like more information about the LRC, you can contact Paige Kelly (225) 219-2947 or toll free at 1-800-737-2958. E-mail:[email protected]. 

Louisiana Disability Legal Resources - The ADA & Access to Justice for Individuals with an Intellectual Disability:  This site is a joint effort of The Arc of Louisiana and the ILRU (Independent Living Research Utilization) project to connect legal professionals, human service professionals, advocates, Louisianans with disabilities and their families. The Arc of Louisiana recognized the need for an online resource to share current and accurate information on legal and disability issues, terminology and available resources between the criminal justice and human service systems. 

Behavioral Health Day in Baton Rouge, Tuesday, May 3, 2016, 10:30 am on the Capitol steps: Wear white and join advocates, family members, and people living with mental illness from all across the state to show the legislature how important it is that they protect funding and support bills that advance mental healthcare in Louisiana. NAMI New Orleans can help you secure a personal meeting with your legislators as well. Register for your free spot on our bus to and from the event! Contact Shannon at 504-896-2345 or [email protected] for more information.

JPPSS Summer Arts Camp Registration Open Until May 16, 2016: The Jefferson Parish Public School System and Title I offer a unique, three-week summer program for students in grades 2-7. Registration for the Summer Arts Camp is available now through Monday, May 16. The Summer Arts Camp will be available on both sides of the river from June 6-24. The Eastbank campus is Riverdale Middle School. The Westbank campus is Truman Middle School. The camp offers classes in visual and performing arts, writing, pottery, woodworking, and more. Classes are taught by professional artists. Students from private and parochial schools are welcome to register. 
Click here to view a video and photos from the 2015 Summer Arts Camp. Registration forms can be downloaded below. For more information, contact Jeannine Prejean at (504) 349-8594 or[email protected].

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.