Sunday, February 28, 2010
The deadline for Partners in Policymaking applications for the 2010 class has been
extended to April 1, 2010.
Click here http://www.fddc.org/news/pip-application-form for an application.
· Partners in Policymaking is a leadership and advocacy training program that
teaches self-advocates and family members to be community leaders and how to obtain the best available services for themselves and others.
· Based on a national model, the overall goal of Partners is to develop productive partnerships between people who need and use services and those in a position to make policy and law.
For more information about Partners in Policymaking visit http://www.fddc.org/
The dates for the 2010 Partners in Policymaking program are as follows:
*Friday and Saturday, June 11 and 12 in Orlando
* Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, July 16, 17, and 18 in Orlando
* Friday and Saturday, August 13 and 14 in Orlando
* Friday and Saturday, September 10 and 11 in Orlando
* Tuesday and Wednesday, October 12 and 13 in Tallahassee
* Friday and Saturday, November 12 and 13 in Orlando
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
View our new trip schedule at http://www.exceptional-vacations.com/.
An expanded schedule will give providers and travelers the opportunity to save towards a vacation in the future. We offer flexible payment plans, and often customize them to work as a budgeting goal for travelers (i.e. sending monthly statements, etc). Many travelers have learned valuable lessons from the process, with the end reward of going on a great vacation!
If you are not already on our mailing list please click here to sign up: www.exceptional-vacations.com/Contact_Us.htm .
We would also like to announce that Exceptional Vacations is now a division of Exceptional Services Group, L.L.C. We have expanded our services to include counseling, behavior analysis, speech therapy and other therapeutic services for individuals with special needs in the South Florida area. To visit our new website click: www.exceptionalservices.net .
If you have any questions, would like to order additional brochures, or would like to make a reservation please call our office at (954) 972-3667 or toll-free at (866) 748-TRIP. Our friendly staff will be happy to assist you.
Justin Vassi, MSW, LCSW
Exceptional Vacations - Director
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
- Temple Grandin
Last night, I finally watched the HBO movie Temple Grandin. The movie fabulously portrayed the life of Temple Grandin – an inventor, a scientist, and a remarkable individual with autism. Temple’s writings, her presentations, and now her movie have greatly added to the public’s understanding of autism. Temple is a testament to the remarkable strengths and potential of individuals with autism. I highly encourage you to see the movie and allow yourself to see the world through the eyes of Temple Grandin. http://www.hbo.com/movies/temple-grandin/index.html
Mae Barker, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Center for Autism and Related Disabilities
UF College of Medicine - Jacksonville
· Rising Stars Baseball: Registration Now Open. Practice begins February 27th and games start on March 13th. The Rising Stars Baseball Division of Ponte Vedra Athletic Association is created to give girls and boys 8-15 from the Jacksonville area who are unable to "SHINE" in our traditional little league an outlet to have fun with baseball, build self confidence, teamwork skills, lasting memories and friendships. By creating ability-specific levels and a high coach to child ratio, RISING STARS BASEBALL is able to support a range of abilities: from mild coordination concerns to moderate gross motor planning challenges. For kids that have been apprehensive about baseball or didn't feel they were skilled enough, RISING STARS is also a great way to start playing the game. After two instructional practices the kids will be playing baseball in a "sandlot" format. The cost to participate in RISING STARS is FREE due to league support and contributions of our sponsors; Microsoft, HEAL, and the Greenwood School and many individual supporters. For more information go to www.risingstarsbaseball.org.
· Third Annual Ride with Me for Autism: On Saturday, March 6, 2010, the third annual Ride with me for Autism Bike Tour begins and ends along the Jacksonville-Baldwin Rail Trail in Jacksonville, Florida. This event raises funds and awareness for the Jessica Green Foundation for autism support. The ride has choices of 10-mile, 29-mile, and 100k/62-mile bicycling routes, as well as shorter fun rides, so the entire family can come out and participate. A healthy breakfast is served for all riders. There will be vendors, food, music, and ToeKnee the clown. www.ridewithmeforautism.org
· “Inclusive Education for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders” - April 19, 2010: Plot a Course, Set Sail, Have a Guide, Keep Learning,” Presented by Dr. Dennis Mozingo, BCBA-D. Dr. Mozingo is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics in the Community Consultation Program of the Strong Center for Developmental Disabilities, Division of Neurodevelopmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, University of Rochester Medical Center. During this workshop, participants will learn how to plan for the inclusion of students with ASD in general education settings, prepare students for inclusion in ESE settings, support students with ASD in the general education setting, and monitor student performance. . All events listed run from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, and are provided at no cost to participants. The First Coast Association for Behavior Analysis will be partnering with CARD to offer CEU’s for two upcoming workshops. You will need to preregister (registration is free) online. CEU’s can be purchased at the event.
· “Using Video Based Interventions to Support Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders” - May 14, 2010: Presented by Dr. Linda LeBlanc, BCBA-D. Dr. Le Blanc is an Associate Professor in Psychology for the University of Auburn. Video modeling is an instructional technique that can be used to teach social skills, academic skills, and daily living skills and play skills to children with autism. This workshop will review the important components of effective video models, examine the research support for use of video models, and demonstrate ways to incorporate video when using other instructional procedures. . All events listed run from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, and are provided at no cost to participants. The First Coast Association for Behavior Analysis will be partnering with CARD to offer CEU’s for two upcoming workshops. You will need to preregister (registration is free) online. CEU’s can be purchased at the event.
· Survey for Parents of Students with an Individual Educational Plan (IEP) in Exceptional Student Education (ESE). Beginning Feb 01 and ending July 01, 2010, the Florida Department of Education will be collecting parent surveys on “How well is your school supporting your involvement in your child’s education?” Follow this link to complete the survey: www.ESEsurvey.com. Results, which are reported directly to the United States Department of Education, will contribute to Florida’s Annual Performance Report and will be posted for the public at www.fldoe.org/ese.
Flyers for these events can be accessed online @ http://www.hscj.ufl.edu/pediatrics/autism/calendar_events.asp
Ongoing Clinics & Programs:
Ø CARD Toy Bank Program: UF-Jacksonville CARD would like to build a Toy Bank where families in need can get toys and educational materials for use with their child. Please consider donating any of your slightly or unused toys, books, educational items, folder games, visual supports, or other materials to our center to support other families. To donate, please drop your materials to the front office at: UF-Jacksonville CARD, 6271-1 St. Augustine Rd., Jacksonville, FL 32207, For more information please call 633-0760
Ø Social Skills and Support Groups: Dr. Maria Tapia, Licensed Psychologist with the UF/Jacksonville's CARD program, runs several groups for adolescents and adults with Asperger Syndrome, as well as, for their siblings and mothers. If you are interested in joining any of these groups or gathering additional information, such as date, time and ages, please contact Dr. Tapia at email@example.com or 633-0760.
Ø Dr. Barker has developed a parent training program to address the topic of, “Learning to play with your child with autism.” Log onto http://card-usf.fmhi.usf.edu/online_training.asp and click on the PowerPoint presentation entitled: “Learning to play with your child with autism”. Be sure you have reviewed the appropriate directions which are attached to this update. If you are a parent or caregiver, download play training directions and if you are a professional or trainer, download play training professional letter. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or concerns.
Ø “Promoting Positive Behavior Change”: This clinic will be replacing the Positive Parenting series that was previously being run Dr. Mae Barker. This clinic is an overview of Pivotal Response, using reinforcement, addressing challenging behaviors and setting up the home environment. This would be great for families of children who have been recently diagnosed on the autism spectrum or parents of older children who simply need a refresher on the basics. Contact Dr. Barker at email@example.com.
Ø “Behavioral Detective” Social Skills Camp: This clinic offered by Katrina Ressa, B.S., BCaBA, & Anthony Rhodes, M.S., CARD Educational Coordinators, is a 7-week long camp for children diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome or HFA ages 6-12. This camp targets skills such as conversational skills, anger management, accepting making mistakes, being more flexible and more. For more information on signing up for our spring camp, please contact Katrina at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ø Pre-K Social Skills Clinic: This clinic, offered by Elise Bowers, M.A., CARD Educational Coordinator is offered in two sessions: emergent-language and verbal. Parents will learn strategies for engaging their child, promoting communication and conversation, turn-taking, developing joint attention and other social skills. Parents will also learn how to practice, prompt and reinforce their child’s socialization. For more information, please contact Elise at email@example.com.
Ø Two Feet Forward: This clinic, offered by Anne Wilson, MST, BCaBA, CARD Educational Coordinator, is for parents of a student in transition. During the meetings parents will learn about transition issues including IEPs & Transition IEPs, Self-Determination & Self-Advocacy, Portfolios, Interest Inventories & Assessments, Post-Secondary Options, Government Benefits, Service Providers & Changes in Services , Barriers, Work Related Issues, and much more! For more information, please contact Anne at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ø Discovering Capabilities: This clinic will be offered by Anne Wilson, MST, BCaBA, CARD Educational Coordinator. This is a student and parent support group. Students discover who they are, what their strengths and talents are, what they want to do in the future, how will they get where they want to be, and who will provide their supports. Discovery provides direction for future career development. Information gathered is placed in a Student Profile for the purpose of sharing the information for job development. The information guides the selection or creation of future jobs in the community. Discovery is for students: between the ages 16 – 19, in transition, planning their future or need guidance planning their future, developing a future plan, identifying individual strengths, needs, etc., writing goals, and identifying supports. For more information, please contact Anne at email@example.com.
As always, please don’t hesitate to contact us should you have any questions.
Monday, February 22, 2010
Volunteer Florida is pleased to announce the availability of four grants of up to $5000 to support the 6 Days 6 Ramps Community Service Project.
6 Days 6 Ramps is a multi-site collaborative service project between the Governor's Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service, Volunteer Florida; not-for-profit organizations; organizations that serve persons with disabilities; volunteer enters;
faith-based organizations; AmeriCorps and National Service programs and the business community.
6 Days 6 Ramps seeks to achieve the following goals:
Exemplify and expand the role of persons with disabilities in improving their community through participation in national service programs and volunteering.
Bring attention to the need for barrier removal so that persons with disabilities
can remain independent and a part of their communities.
Help strengthen existing volunteer efforts to remove barriers that prevent persons with disabilities from participating in their community by building wheelchair ramps for local residents with disabilities whose income will not support the cost of building a ramp.
Volunteer Florida Reaches out to Veterans with Disabilities
This year Volunteer Florida, through our 6 Days 6 Ramps sites, will focus on including veterans with disabilities to be ramp recipients and to help build ramps in their community.
For further information and to download and application go to http://www.6days6ramps.org. If you have any questions please contact Paul Martell at 850-414-0093 or Erin Pantoja at 850-414-0095. You may also inquire by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com].
Friday, February 19, 2010
Please keep in mind the following:
The family member with Autism must actually participate in the ride to qualify.
Advanced reservations are required. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with "Autism Family for Ride With Me" on the subject line. Include the name of all the family members participating, contact telephone numbers and email address.
Family members are limited to parents, siblings and the child with Autism.
Barbeque lunch and a drink is $10.00 per person.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
I sought a site I could feed from where uplifting and inspirational quotes would make a nice thought for the day for my readers. I was truly disappointed by the quote that appeared today. The link has been permanently removed from my blog. My personal perspective is that freedom of speech is a privilege in our society, however, decorum and respect for my readers comes first.
Please accept my sincerest apology.
Monday, February 15, 2010
Ride with Me for Autism
March 6, 2010
Benefiting Families and Individuals with Autism
On Saturday, March 6, 2010, join us for the third annual Ride with me for Autism Bike Tour. This beautiful bike ride begins and ends in along the Jacksonville-Baldwin Rail Trail in Jacksonville, Florida. This event raises funds and awareness for the Jessica Green Foundation for autism support. The ride has choices of 10-mile, 29-mile, and 100k/62-mile bicycling routes, as well as shorter fun rides, so the entire family can come out and participate. A healthy breakfast is served for all riders. Following the rides, come and join us for good food and music. There will be vendors and ToeKnee the clown will be there to send the fun riders on their way. A great ride for a great cause!
Or Email: email@example.com or call June at 904-771-6707
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Friday, February 12, 2010
· What do you or your family need to improve your quality of life?
· Are there current services and supports you receive that are effective?
· What has kept you from getting the services you need?
· What do you think should be done to improve access to services?
· Do have questions or concerns that you want the Council to hear about?
Then come to the Focus Group session scheduled for Monday, March 15, 2010, in Tallahassee.
Where: Homewood Suites, 2987 Apalachee Parkway, Tallahassee, Florida 32301
Time: 5:00 - 6:15pm
The Council will take comments and questions from self-advocacy organizations, individuals with disabilities, their family members and caregivers.
Please contact Allison Chase at: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com]
Idelio Valdes Leadership Award
Idelio Valdes was a self-advocate who had a tremendous impact on the people around him and the community in which he lived and worked. His life's journey included many ups and downs but he always stayed the course to self realization, commitment to service and dedication to the things that were of most value to him. His demonstrated advocacy activities, his belief in building partnerships, his initiative in challenging the status quo and his enthusiasm for life and its possibilities endeared him to all who were fortunate enough to know him. This award is dedicated to his memory.
Please go to the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council website at http://www.fddc.org/news/
to learn more about this award and to download a nomination form.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
FEMA RELEASES DRAFT OF NATIONAL DISASTER RECOVERY FRAMEWORK
COMMENTS DUE 2/26/10
The Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in coordination with the interagency Long Term Disaster Recovery Working
Group, has issued a draft of the National Disaster Recovery Framework. The Recovery Framework is designed for all who are or might be involved in disaster recovery, and input from individuals withdisabilities, their families, and others is vitally important.
To read the Framework and to provide comments, go to
and click on the text of the proposed rule to read the text. On the right side of the page you can provide your comments by clicking on "Submit Comment". When you click on it, you'll see on the right side a portion for up to 2000 characters for comments. Below it, you'll see a box where you can attach objects.
You may want to compile your comments in a document, then attach it before sending, either in the 2000 character box or the "attachment" box. Further details about the National Disaster Recovery Framework can be found at http://www.fema.gov/
If you have any questions, please contact FEMA's Legislative Affairs Division at (202) 646-4500.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Friday, April 9th - 7:45 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Lynn University | 3601 N. Military Trail | Boca Raton, FL 33431
Cost: Individual: $40 | Groups of 3 or more: $35 each | Students are free.
Registration - Register online at www.lynn.edu/tickets. Program schedule, accommodations and driving directions www.lynn.edu/transitions
(Courtesy of Greenwood School Newsletter)
- Doctors and Dentists
- Agency News
- Please Patronize
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Health Care & Prevention Program Manager
The Florida Developmental Disabilities Council (FDDC) is seeking a full-time Health Care/Prevention Program Manager based in Tallahassee, to plan, manage and implement initiatives for the Council's goals in Health Care & Prevention. Candidates with experiences in working with individuals with developmental disabilities in the Health Care & Prevention arena and knowledgeable about the DD system are preferred.
If you would like to be considered for this position you must submit both a resume and a statement describing the skills you would bring to the position. For additional information please go to our website: http://www.fddc.org/employment [http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?et=
You may submit your resume and statement to: Allison Cruz-Mitchell, via fax (850) 922-6702; via email firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com], or postal mail - 124 Marriot Drive, Suite 203 Tallahassee, Fl 32301.
The deadline to submit your resume and statement is Friday, February 19, 2010
Monday, February 8, 2010
WHEN: Saturday, February 27,2010 * 9:00 A.M. - NOON * Free parking
WHERE: University of Central Florida * Teaching Academy (Building 93) * 4000 Central Florida
Blvd. *Orlando, Florida 32816 *Room TA 117
FAAST, Inc. is pleased to present a comprehensive training on the individualized education plan (IEP) process; also focusing on transition services and assistive technology and support services. The trainer sponsored by FAAST will be Ms. Constance Serafin. The workshop with training materials will be offered to parents of children with disabilities and other interested parties and will be hosted by the UCF Toni
Jennings Exceptional Education Institute.
Although there is no charge for this training opportunity, we do ask that participants RSVP to pre-register as spacewill be limited. Individuals needing reasonable accommodations to participate in the training should
contact Mr. SteveHowells or Ms. Connie Serafin in advance and if possible no later than five days before the February 20, 2010 trainings. You can reach Mr. Howells at 1-888-788-9216, ext. 102 or email at: showeIls@faast.org [mailto:showeIls@faast.org]or Ms. Serafin at 352-942-1169 or e-mail at:firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:connieserafin@yahoo.
and for more information on the work of the Toni Jennings Exceptional Education Institute, go to: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Your family can satisfy their sweet tooth in sugar-land or create a valentine for your child's classmate or friend in the adoration station. Your child will also have the opportunity to search for valentines in the candy gram scavenger hunt.
Professionals and service providers will be on site to answer questions and share information about their product and services.
Please contact Marlena Jenkins at email@example.com or call 904-633-0750 for additional information.
Address is: 6271 St. Augustine Rd, Suite 1, Jacksonville, FL 32217
Please remember to bring your camera!
Sunday, February 7, 2010
As you take a virtual trip across the pond (via Googling), you will see many ideas of how the quality of life for our beautiful people can improve as children and as they grow into adults.
Like it or not, it is THEIR world and we are living in it.
Saturdays: May 22 & 29 and June 5, 12, and 19, 2010
The class is for the beginner and the experienced researcher looking for a refresher course. Subjects include: Back to Basics; Research Documentation; Sources-What are they?; Dates, Places & Relationships; Use of Vital, Court, and Church Records; Record Keeping; and much more. Certificates of Completion will be given to those persons who attend at least four of the five class dates.
Free parking is available at the library. Register online at http://jaxgen.home.comcast.net.
Friday, February 5, 2010
About three years ago, I took my son off of all of his medications because of toxic side-effects. Not the best idea and he suffered greatly for about three weeks from withdrawals. One day, he had what I called "the mother of all meltdowns", I thought a warm bath would sooth him. As he thrashed and screamed, I only found a tiny amount of bubble bath in the hopes that it may calm him. While I desperately searched for the bubble bath I came across a long forgotten container of epsom salt that was about 1/2 full. I said to myself as I dumped it in the bath water, that it couldn't hurt.
What happened 40 minutes later was nothing short of a miracle. My son, who was hyperactive beyond belief (his "normal" self), was calm and still. Looking back, I would say without exaggeration that he was serene. I helped him dry off, change into pajamas. He came to the living room, pulled out a book, came to the couch and sat next to me, and for the first time ever, he read a book...out loud...to me something I never knew he could do! Indeed it was a miracle and I will sing the praises of epsom salts as a therapy that worked for my son to anyone who will listen. After a few days, his grandparents noticed a remarkable change. After a couple of weeks, his teachers noticed a definite change. He had an epsom salt bath every day.
If you think epsom salt baths may be therapeutic and you wish to give it a try, check with your doctor first. This article is my personal testimony and in no way is to be substituted for medical advice. However, that said, I encourage you to approach your doctor who knows your child's specific case (or your own if you are an adult with autism or ADHD).
Now, you parents and caregivers who give all you have for your children with autism, take a tip from me...enjoy your own epsom salt bath (2 cups) and follow up the last 5 minutes of your bath with a couple of drops of olive oil to avoid itchy skin. Don't rinse off. You more than deserve that little bit of pampering to keep you going!
Premieres on HBO on Saturday, February 6th at 8:00pm. Visit HBO for more fascinating information about Autism and to preview the movie.
For kids, Barnes and Noble and HBO have partnered for this production and for a limited time, you can download a coloring book called "My Life In Pictures" about Temple Grandin's life.
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
The deadline for provider enrollment applications to Medicaid to provide this service is March 1, 2010. Local Medicaid area offices and local APD area offices are working together to ensure all current waiver providers of personal care services have an opportunity to enroll as Medicaid State Plan providers.
In order for agencies and groups to receive reimbursement for services, employees must become enrolled in the Medicaid program as an individual personal care provider, with their individual Medicaid identification number linked to the group's Medicaid provider number on the application.
Your local Medicaid area office is available to assist you with the enrollment process. Contact your local Medicaid area office for help with the enrollment process to ensure your application package is complete prior to submission. Incomplete application packages will be sent back to the applicant requesting additional documentation, prolonging the enrollment process. Visit http://ahca.myflorida.com/Medicaid/Areas/index.shmtl to obtain contact information for Medicaid area offices throughout Florida.