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.

Exceptional Times 
October 2016
October is Bullying Prevention Month

By:  Mary Jacob

I recently had a conversation with another professional about bullying prevention.  She seemed surprised to find out children with disabilities are bullied at a higher rate than those without disabilities.  She even questioned my definition of bullying to make sure we were talking about the same thing.  At the end, I invited her to research it for herself - but the data I've read from the National Bullying Prevention Site and StopBullying.gov indicated this wasn't an assumption - but a fact.  Bullying has become such a problem among students with disabilities that the federal government issued a Dear Colleague Letter providing guidance to local school systems on how bullying can violate the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.  Most states, including Louisiana now have anti-bullying legislation.
Bullying is alive and unfortunately thriving in our community.  I read about it on social media, blogs, and articles.  I see it on the news. I hear about it from friends.  It's the one thing that doesn't require a single penny to stop and yet it's growing like wildfire.   Some might say it's even the gateway to more serious things if it's not stopped. 
Defining bullying actions can be a difficult task.  Is there really a fine line between being assertive and being a bully?   Does age matter?  Is a 3 year old capable of being a bully?  Does it happen more frequently with males? 
I believe like many other things, bullying prevention starts at home.  From the earliest ages we need to teach children how to play nice.  A young child acting out because they don't understand or want to share is not necessarily bullying.  However, not addressing that behavior early on could in fact result in a subliminal message that starts the bullying mentality in a child. 
Some things parents can do to help:
  • Be a positive role model.  Moral development is getting mixed messages if you expect your child to act one way and you act another.  Your words MUST line up with your actions.  This is not only true for parents  - but for any adult that has an impact on children. (I.e. teachers, coaches, other school personnel, recreational staff, relatives, etc.)
  • Teach your children pleasant ways to ask others to join in or for themselves to join in on activities. 
  • Practice caring and helpfulness with your children.  Kindness is learned and with daily practice children will grow up to be caring adults. 
  • Teach your children there are consequences for certain behaviors.  Use age-appropriate consequences. 
  • Help children manage destructive feelings.  Children need to know that anger, shame, and envy are normal emotions that can hinder the ability to be kind and empathetic. 
  • Praise your children when they are being good friends and behaving appropriately.
  • Encourage conversation with your children where they feel safe to tell you when something is wrong.
  • Set clear rules and monitor your children's interactions. 
On October 1, 2016, Families Helping Families of Jefferson will host our 2nd Annual 5k and 1 Mile Fun Run against Bullying.  You can be a Superhero against Bullying on this day and every day.  Race day registrations start at 7 am by the Concert Meadow at Lafreniere Park in Metairie. 
The after race party will begin around 9 am and will include lots of great food, live music by Mia Kiley Band, Craft Beer, Activities for kids and more.   Food tickets can be purchased for $1 each the day of the race. 
Join us in being Superhero's against Bullying!  

Upcoming Trainings 

- FHF October Workshops -

Money Management - Tuesday, October 25, 2016, 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm, East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie, LA 70001: Families Helping Families of Jefferson is partnering with People Helping People to provide this important training on money management. This training is designed for young adults with disabilities between the ages of 16-26.  Click here for more information! 

To register, please call: 504-888-9111 or toll free 1-800-766-7736 

- FHF October Webinars

Section 504 & IDEA: What's the Difference Thursday, October 6, 2016, 10:00 am - 11:00 am: Have you ever wondered which law applies to your child-the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act? Would you like a clearer understanding about the differences and similarities between the two laws? This workshop provides participants with a brief overview of both laws, focusing on the purposes and eligibility requirements for each.
Building a Diverse Workforce through an Untapped Labor Pool - Thursday, October 6, 2016, 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm: There are many benefits to employing people with disabilities and this event focused on highlighting those benefits and how our Supported Employment works. 

Making Progress - Thursday, October 6, 2016, 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm: Parents of children with disabilities often ask, "How will I know my child is learning and making progress?" Parents can answer that question by looking at a variety of data, including information from special education and general education sources and information from outside the school. Parents will learn how to use this information to help their child. 

Setting up a Communication Plan for Emergencies - Friday, October 7, 2016, 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm: Karen Scallan will discuss how you can set up your emergency communication plan to help you evacuate, contact providers and get the help you need.  She will also discuss alternative communication methods used in the recent 2016 Flood in Louisiana which helped people access resources for rescue, medications, dialysis, durable medical equipment and much more.

Navigating the Internet Safely - Monday, October 10, 2016, 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm: Nowadays, everyone is connected using the internet whether it is through your smart phone, laptop, desktop, or tablet. Even though there is plenty of good information out there, if you're not careful, it could lead you down a dangerous path.  Some of the most predominate dangers are cyberbullying, predators, and identity theft. Through this training, we hope to promote good online habits and teach youth with disabilities about the potential dangers that are out there. This training is designed especially for youth with disabilities between the ages of 16-26. 

Age 18 Redetermination - Wednesday, October 12, 2016, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm: This webinar will provide a description and an overview of the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Age 18 Redetermination process. When Beneficiaries of SSI turn 18, their eligibility for SSI is re-determined. We will cover what to expect during this process and how to prepare for it.

ABLE Act - Friday, October 14, 2016, 11:00 am - 12:00 pm:  This presentation will provide a detailed examination of the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act and ABLE Accounts and will incorporate the latest information available. It will provide an overview, a detailed summary of certain provisions and an update on the status of ABLE accounts nationally and here in Louisiana.

Overwhelmed by choosing your Louisiana plan?  - Friday, October 14, 2016, 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm: Not sure how to make your choice?  Karen  Scallen will help you learn how to choose plan.  So you can keep your current providers.

Understanding Section 504 - Tuesday, October 18, 2016, 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm: Learn what a 504 plan is, how to request it, and the difference between a 504 plan and an IEP (Individualized Education Program). This training will explain how to become eligible for a 504 plan, how this plan can be used, what is included, parent and student rights, and the options available if a disagreement arises.

Making Progress - Wednesday, October 19, 2016, 11:30 am - 12:30 pm: Parents of children with disabilities often ask, "How will I know my child is learning and making progress?" Parents can answer that question by looking at a variety of data, including information from special education and general education sources and information from outside the school. Parents will learn how to use this information to help their child. 

Your Child as an Adult: True Stories of Legal Adulthood versus Legally Limiting Adult Rights - Friday, October 21, 2016, 10:00 am - 11:00 am: Learn what every parent of a child with a disability and each adult with a disability should know about what it means to be a legal adult in Louisiana. The impact of Adult Legal Status on the everyday lives of Louisiana adults with disabilities will be shared through the lens of their real life experiences. This webinar will include a brief review of Adult Legal Status laws, and the rights of people legally recognized as adults. 
Join us, too, for greater insight into the ways that laws and rights apply to Louisiana citizens with disabilities receiving Home and Community Based Services through Medicaid Waivers. The Advocacy Center's Supported Independent Living Advocacy Program provided legal advocacy to those whose experiences we will share, while protecting their confidentiality.

Bullying Prevention: What Parents Need to Know - Thursday, October 27, 2016, 11:00 am - 12:00 pm: Bullying can be an isolating experience, not just for the kids involved, but for their parents, too. Fortunately, there is help. This webinar will offer a comprehensive overview for parents to learn what they can do to address and prevent bullying. Topics include definition and roles, laws and policy, ways to help your child, working with the school, students with disabilities and online safety.

View our full calendar of events here. 

FHF e-Learning Mini Modules

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)?
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.   Click here to go to our website and learn more about the e-Learning  Modules!

Trainings & Webinars provided by others

JPPSS Adult Education Program - Work Ready U Adult Education Program is offering free day and night classes. Registration will take place on October 3rd and 4th. Classes begin on October 17, 2016. Classes are offered in a variety of skills, including Adult Basic Education, English as a Second Language, English Literacy, Family Literacy, High School Equivalency, Career Pathway, Transitional Skills, Life Skills, Online - Distance Learning Classes, Skills Assessment, Digital Literacy, Financial Literacy, and Career Awareness. For more information on registration click one of the links below!      
English          Spanish          Arabic         Vietnamese

KinderTEK: Research and evidence-based technology for Early Math Instruction, Wednesday, October 5, 2016, 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EDT: Teaching math concepts to kindergarten children requires much more than workbooks or worksheets. Children need to have math experiences that incorporate their senses, that require them to experiment and make observations, and that allow them time to investigate a topic further. In this webinar, Dr. Strand Cary will present KinderTEK - a technology-based intervention system that provides engaging and individualized instruction to support all students struggling with math concepts. KinderTEK is a complete Math support system with embedded reporting tools and student management, individualized instruction for exploration and sequencing modes. Participants will have full access to KinderTEK app as an independent beta test or study participant. RSVP for the webinar

Modern Parents Magazine U. S. Department of Education - PARENT POWER Forum:  Saturday, October 8, 2016   9:00 am - 2:00 pm, Southern University at New Orleans,   6400 Press Drive,  New Orleans, LA 70126: The PARENT POWER Forum is a day of workshops presented by national speakers and experts, as well as state and local experts. Workshops will address parenting, education, physical & mental health, nutrition, classroom management, milestones and learning styles.

LSU-HSC Child and Family Counseling Clinic - "Assessment and Interventions for Child and Adolescent Depression" (3.0 CEUs) on October 7, 2016 from 9 am to 12:15 pm. This workshop will provide participants strategies for addressing children and adolescents suspected of having a depressive disorder. This training activity will utilize a multi-trait, multi-method approach to the assessment of depression, consistent with current best practices. Additionally, developmentally appropriate interventions will be explored as a pre-medication strategy for both children and adolescents. Finally, assessment procedures discussed will be consistent with DSM-5 diagnostic criteria and eligibility for Louisiana regulations for special education eligibility. Cost of registration is $50 and must be received by 10/07/16. Please contact the clinic at (504) 556-3451 (or email [email protected]) to reserve your seat.

International Dyslexia Association presents a free webinar How IDA Standards Can Improve Reading Instruction for All Students, Wednesday, October 12, 2016, 11:00 am Eastern Time - The IDA Knowledge and Practice Standards for Teachers of Reading define what all teachers of reading (classroom educators and dyslexia specialists) need to know and be able to do to teach all students to read proficiently. Professionals looking to increase their knowledge and skills and parents eager to better understand the components of effective reading instruction will all want to attend this free 60-minute webinar. Click here for more information!

TOGETHER WE CAN CONFERENCE - Making a Difference for Abused & Neglected Children! October 24 - 26, 2016, Doubletree Hotel, 1521 W. Pinhook Rd., Lafayette, LA: The conference for professionals and volunteers who are working together to make a difference for abused and neglected children. We strive to be a multi-disciplinary event with sessions that will address the educational needs of social workers, attorneys, judges, educational leaders, CASA staff and volunteers, Child Advocacy Center staff, Multi-Disciplinary Teams (MDT), law enforcement, foster parents, counselors, faith-based leaders and more! Click here for more information!

Hot Topics

U. S. Department of Education Releases Guidance on English Learners - The U.S. Department of Education released non-regulatory guidance to help states, districts and schools provide effective services to improve the English language proficiency and academic achievement of English learners (ELs) through Title III of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The guidance is an effort to ensure that students who are English learners receive the high-quality services they need to be college and career ready.
Links You Want To Check Out

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.

My Advice On Job Hunting For People With Disabilities - Being gainfully employed is akin to finding that elusive needle in the haystack for everyone these days, regardless of disability. 

Building a Resume: Tips for Youth with Disabilities - Tips for young people with disabilities and their families on effective strategies for building the first resume.

Child Rescue Network is changing the way parents protect their children from sexual predators. Our "Empowerment Not Fear" Program shares the need to get away from the scare tactics of Stranger Danger and instead educate parents and children about how to recognize potentially dangerous situations, give specific action plans when possible. The program stresses the importance of empowering kids with confidence, an understanding of personal boundaries along with creating and maintaining open lines of communication.

Safer Car - Parent's Central - At NHTSA, we work to save lives on our Nation's roadways. That includes doing everything we can to keep your children safe on the road. We're leading the effort, but you're the key to protecting your family. In this section, you'll find information and resources to keep your children safe on the road. Whether you're buying your child's first car seat, deciding whether to let your kids walk to school or take a bus, handing the car keys to your teenager, or wondering how safe your car is, we're here to answer your questions.

2 More Opportunities for Sensory Friendly Activities at Audubon Zoo! Audubon Zoo welcomes those families with children with Special Needs to enjoy special sensory activities and animal encounters at the education area of the Zoo. Families will then be welcome to enter the zoo if they wish at 10am after the sensory event. Each month is focused on a different theme. There is no fee for this event. Registration is not needed, participants will be asked to sign-in and give feedback.

Apple Adding Accessibility Features - Apple is introducing new features designed to help people with disabilities be more physically active.

Americans with Disabilities Act now 26 years old: Facts and Figures about disabled Americans - The act prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, transportation, public accommodations, commercial facilities, telecommunications, and state and local government services.

Smooth Moves YHT is health information site created to help teens navigate their transition into adulthood. It is designed especially for teenagers between 14-17 years of age with and without disabilities. 

ON TRAC is a fun and interactive youth transition website with building activities for self-advocacy skills and making social connections. It is designed to be used specifically for youth going through healthcare transition. 
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 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.

Youth Workshops Focused on Independence = Joel's SUCCESS - Families Helping Families has been doing a lot of great youth-centered workshops and training. The workshops are centered around topics that a focus group, of young adults with disabilities, expressed they needed. One topic was about eating healthy. The Healthy Choices workshops were done as a series of six different events and was presented by LSU AgCenter.


This section will give you information on events FHF will be attending, waiver waiting list info, other community events you  might be interested in attending and anything else that doesn't fit in one of the above sections.

Louisiana Mission of Mercy - Free Dental Clinic - September 30 and October 1, 2016, doors open at 6 am, Alario Center, 2000 Segnette Blvd., Westwego, La 70094:  First Come, First Served Basis! No advance registration, eligibility, or income requirements. Adults and children are welcome. You must pass a simple medical screening before receiving dental care. We ask that you take all medications as prescribed and bring your medications with you.   Click here for more information!

The Parenting Center School Fair - Monday, October 17, 2016 - 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm, Children's Hospital Auditorium, 200 Henry Clay Ave., New Orleans, LA: Thinking about kindergarten choices? Come to the School Fair, an open house for parents with over 25 schools and support services. Free and open to the public, no registration is required! For more information call 504-896-9591 or visit www.theparentingcenter.net

Children's Special Health Services and Families Helping Families is hosting an Information and Resource Health Fair - Wednesday, October 19, 2016, 10:00 am - 2:30 pm, Ramada Conference Center, 2915 Hwy. 14, New Iberia, La 70560: Agencies from throughout the state will be coming together to share information, display durable medical equipment and inform families of what resources are available in the community. Click here for more information!

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 developemental disabilities and their families, acting as the Single Point of Entry.

Waiver Registry Dates - As of September 29, 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
SPOKES (Support for Parents Of Kids with Epilepsy and Seizures) is a support group and activity program for parents of children with epilepsy. Here parents can connect and find common ground on the successes and challenges they face in raising a child with seizures. Healthcare professionals are also encouraged to attend. This program is only available in Louisiana. For more information about our monthly support groups throughout the state, please visit our website www.epilepsylouisiana.org  or call our office 225.298.5499 and ask to be added to the SPOKES email list. Epilepsy and Seizures 24/7 Help line: 1.800.332.1000

Greater New Orleans Association of the Deaf (GNOAD) - Greater New Orleans Association of the Deaf (G.N.O.A.D) was founded in July 7, 1961 and is still strong with a loyal membership. To provide membership facilities for meetings of various activities of the deaf, social gatherings for mutual pleasure, interest and welfare of the Deaf community, and to provide social, athletic and intellectual activities.

Family Voices - Family Voices aims to achieve family-centered care for all children and youth with special health care needs and/or disabilities. Throughout our national grassroots network, we provide families resources and support to make informed decisions, advocate for improved public and private policies, build partnerships among families and professionals, and serve as a trusted resource on health care

La. Developmental Disabilities Council's grassroots advocacy networks, LaCAN (Louisiana Citizens for Action Now) and LaTEACH (Louisiana Together Educating All Children), are merging to become the brand new LaCAN (Louisiana Council's Advocacy Network).  Starting October 2016, LaCAN will now keep you informed about opportunities to advocate for systems change in home and community-based services, employment, and education.   Click here to join!

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

Saturday, October 1, 2016 
Lafreniere Park - Meadow Area
3000 Downs Blvd. 
Metairie, LA 70003

8:00 am - 1 Mile Fun Run/Walk/Roll
8:30 - 5K

Race Day Registrations start at 7 am.

Registration Fee: $25 - under 18 and $35 - 18 +
Use the discount code FHF to get a $10 discount.

Free after party!  Come out and cheer on your favorite runner and enjoy some great music and food afterwards.

Food and Drink tickets are only $1!  

Great Entertainment & Activities

  • Mia Kiley Band
  • Face Painting
  • Alex Sosa
  • Leather Craft
  • The Arc
  • Playworks
  • Vendors

Lots of Great Food

Jambalaya by Guillory's Deli & Krewe of Centurians/King Kookers
Pastalya by Patrick Bode
Shrimp Pasta by Chateau Country Club
Hot Dogs by Olister's Napoleon Room
Red Beans by Blue Runner
Breakfast Burrito's by Aurora Catering
Cookies by McAlister's
Chee Wee's by Elmers
Ice Tea by McAlisters and Raising Canes
Lemonade by Raising Canes
Banana's by AJ's Produce Company
Beer by Louisiana Craft Beer
Water by Louisiana Craft Beer and Wal-Mart

NOT racing?  NO problem!  Food and Drink tickets will be available for sale the day of the race.  Only $1 per ticket and 1 ticket will get you all food items with the exception of beer. 

Lots of Great Awards & Prizes

  • 1st and 2nd Place Awards for each age group of racers in 5K.
  • All kids finishing the 1 Mile Fun Run/Walk/Roll will get a Raising Canes Kid Meal Deal Certificate.
  • Anyone raising $50 by October 31, 2016 will receive a free pass to Laser Tag.
  • Anyone raising $150 by October 31, 2016 will receive a free family pizza night.
  • Anyone raising $250 by October 31, 2016 will receive 2 free tickets to a NBA New Orleans Pelican game.
  • Anyone raising $500 by October 31, 2016 will receive a free electronic tablet.
  • Anyone raising $1000 by October 31, 2016 will receive all of the above prizes. 
Schools with 50 or more registrants will receive a custom banner announcing their school Superhero's against Bullying. 

The School, Business and Individual/Family that raises the most money by October 31, 2016 will be featured on our 2017 Race Poster! 

Honorary Co-Chairs

Newell Normand, Sheriff
Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office

Isaac Joseph, Superintendent
Jefferson Parish Public
School System


Brave Sponsorship Level

United Sponsorship Level

Equality Sponsorship Level 

Metairie Bank
Karl Benson - Sunbelt Conference
Gulf Coast Bank
J. Everett Eaves
Performance Rehabilitation Services LLC
Carr, Riggs & Ingram, LLC
Coastal Gulf & International, Inc. 

Friend Sponsorship Level
Kipper Communications
The Jefferson Chamber of Commerce
Eagle Capital Management
Performance Chiropractic - Dr. Jim McCue
Lake Vista Pediatrics
National Polyfab Co., Inc.
Rusty's Stump Grinding
Tim Walker - Harahan Police Chief
Magnolia Physical Therapy

Sponsorship opportunities are now available. 

If you'd like to be a vendor at this event, 
please contact Mary Jacob at 504-888-9111.

For additional race information, please click here
FHF 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. 
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

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