2012 Information and Resource Conference
Saturday, March 3, 2012
A FREE conference for families of children with disabilities, the professionals who work with them, and the community at large.
John O'Connell High School,
2355 Folsom Street, San Francisco
Save the Date and Spread the Word!
Kaiser Permanente Half Marathon and 5K Fun Run: benefits Support for Families!
Sunday, February 5th, 2012, Golden Gate Park. More information
At the Wine + Design 2011 Auction and Gala on October 14, SFCD Executive Director Juno Duenas presented the Support for Families annual award to Dr. David Alexander, representing the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health.
The event featured music by cabaret star Wesla Whitfield and guest Masters of Ceremony Eric Thomas of ABC7 TV News and Peter Finch of KFOG Radio
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Early Screening—An Opportunity to Build Parent-Professional Partnerships
The Fall 2011 issue of the SFCD newsletter included an article on the importance of early screening as a first step in identifying if a child might be at risk for or have a developmental disability. This article looks at the Ages and Stages Questionnaires®, Third Edition (ASQ-3™), a screening tool that is widely used by early care and education programs in San Francisco with children from 2 months to 5 years old.
The ASQ-3 is a set of questionnaires to check a child's development in the areas of communication, large and fine motor, problem-solving, and self-help skills. Based on the belief that parents are their child's first teacher and know their child the best, the ASQ-3 was designed to be answered by parents. Parents' answers to the questions will show a child's strengths and any areas where the child may benefit from more opportunities to practice and learn new skills.
Parent involvement is at the heart of the ASQ-3 screening. And if parents aren't sure about completing the ASQ-3 by themselves, they can ask the person administering the screening to assist them.
The screening results will help parents learn whether their child is developing like other children of the same age or might need some additional help. When reviewing the screening results together, parents and program staff should consider the following:
• Opportunity. Did the child have opportunities to try the items or practice skills? If not, provide opportunities to learn and practice skills.
• Health/biological factors. Does the child have a health condition that may have affected the screening? If so, a referral to the health care provider may be needed.
• Cultural factors. Are there cultural reasons that may have influenced the child's performance?
• Environmental factors. Are there environmental factors that may have affected the child's performance, such as a recent stressful event?
If follow-up is needed, the program staff can provide learning activities to support the child's development. If the screening results indicate that further assessment is suggested, remember that screening only indicates the need for a more in-depth evaluation of the child's development and does not diagnose a child. Parents should have an opportunity to share their perceptions of their child and their concerns. Program staff should be ready to provide information about resources and referral options that are available in the community, help parents think about the next steps, support parents in building on their own skills and resources in taking those next steps, and facilitate the process
Screening is an opportunity for parents and professionals to develop partnerships that will benefit the growth and development of children. Screening can provide families with positive, collaborative experiences with their child's program in addition to information about their child's development. Screening can help professionals learn more about the families and communities of the children in their program.
This article was adapted from several ASQ-3 Tip Sheets developed by the High Risk Infant Interagency Council (HRIIC). For free copies of the tip sheets, please contact HRIIC at firstname.lastname@example.org or 415/206-7743.
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Parent Mentor Program (PMP)
Parent Mentor Training – Special Education Series The Parent Mentor Program (PMP) is now in its 5th year of providing this training to current and upcoming Parent Mentors under the PMP. The current series started on September 20th for the English speaking families and on September 21st for the Spanish speaking families.
The Special Education Series covers various areas including basic rights and responsibilities, evaluations and assessments, how to prepare for an IEP, Least Restrictive Environment, and more. Materials and handouts are used to help our Mentors get a better understanding of the special education arena.
Parent-to-Parent Training The Special Education Series takes a break in December. At that time we have our Parent to Parent (P2P) portion of our training. The P2P will be held on Saturday, December 3 for English speaking mentors and Wednesdays, December 7 and December 14 for Spanish speaking mentors. During this training we will talk about communication skills, active listening and what it means to be a Support for Families Parent Mentor. New Parent Mentors are invited to attend, as well as the current group of recently trained mentors.
If you are interested in becoming a Parent Mentor,
please contact us for more information:
Joan E. Selby, Parent Mentor Program Coordinator (English)
Sonia Valenzuela, Parent Mentor Program Coordinator (Spanish)
JoAnna Van Brusselen, Parent Mentor Program Coordinator (Spanish)
or call us at 415-282-7494
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Prevention Resources and Referral Services (PRRS)
Beginning July 1, 2011, the Family Resource Centers Network of California (FRCNCA) and Support for Families of Children with Disabilities (SFCD) have contracted with the State of California's Department of Developmental Services to coordinate a new statewide Prevention Resources and Referral Services (PRRS) program operating through the 47 local Early Start Family Resource Centers (ESFRCs) throughout the State. The goal of the PRRS program is to provide outreach, information and referral services to parents and caregivers that have a child who may be at-risk for special needs services, and is between birth and three years.
The PRRS program helps families traverse the joys and challenges of raising a child. Through the collaboration of local ESFRCs, Regional Centers and the PRRS program, families will be provided with information, resources and support services that will assist them in identifying and meeting their child's unique strengths and needs.
• Early Start eligibility is determined by the regional centers for all children with developmental concerns including those at-risk.
• If the child is not eligible for Early Start, the regional centers determine if a referral to PRRS is appropriate based on the child's risk factors.
• If appropriate for PRRS, and with parental consent, the regional center refers the family to the local ESFRC.
• ESFRCs will provide information, resources, referrals and follow-up to parents and caregivers of referred at-risk babies, birth to 36 months.
To contact the Early Start Family Resource Center in San Francisco is Support for Families of Children with Disabilities, please call Support for Families at our warmline at 415-920-4050 for more information.
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What is Inclusion?
There is a lot of conversation these days about inclusive services. Because inclusion can mean different things to different people, we believe it is important to have a shared definition of inclusive practices as we undertake efforts to improve the quality of programming for all children.
Several San Francisco citywide entities, including the Early Education Department of SFUSD, are using the definition that was developed by the Division for Early Childhood (DEC) and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). The version that follows was adopted by the San Francisco Child Care Planning and Advisory Committee (CPAC) and is a part of their newly developed Citywide Child Care Plan.
Inclusion embodies the values, policies, and practices that support the right of every child and his or her family, regardless of ability, to participate in a broad range of activities and contexts as full members of families, communities, and society. The desired results of inclusive experiences for children with and without disabilities and their families include a sense of belonging and membership, positive social relationships and friendships, and development and learning to reach their full potential. The defining features of inclusion that can be used to identify high quality programs and services are access, participation, and supports.
What is meant by Access, Participation, and Supports?
Access – means providing a wide range of activities and environments for every child by removing physical barriers and offering multiple ways to promote learning and development.
Participation – means using a range of instructional approaches to promote engagement in play and learning activities, and a sense of belonging for every child.
Supports – refer to broader aspects of the system such as professional development, incentives for inclusion, and opportunities for communication and collaboration among families and professionals to assure high quality inclusion.
Learn More about Inclusion
The upcoming Inclusive Schools Week (December 5-12, 2011) offers an opportunity to celebrate inclusive practices and inclusive schools. The website http://inclusiveschools.org/inclusive-schools-week/ provides information on how you can participate at your school. The website also has an excellent resource section designed to highlight practical strategies and advice that teachers, school administrators, students, and family members can use to create more inclusive homes, school, and communities. Support for Families will be offering a Parent-Professional Workshop on Inclusion on December 10th as a part of Inclusive Schools Week.
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Inclusion: Looking Back and Looking Ahead
By Katy Franklin, Chair
SFUSD Community Advisory Committee for Special Education
In 2011, for the first time ever in San Francisco Unified School District history, students with "inclusion" designations on their IEPs in transitional grades, (Kindergarten, 6th grade and High School) were allowed to apply to every public school in the district. San Miguel Early Education School (PreK) also began to offer full inclusion of children with disabilities this year; Presidio Child Development Center used to be the only fully inclusive PreK site available. This civil rights victory for children with disabilities should have been widely celebrated, but the message of hope and progress for school communities was overshadowed by apprehension, reluctance and panic from many school district employees.
This panic was hard to understand, inclusion was not new to SFUSD, about 35% of school sites included students with disabilities in regular education classrooms prior to this change. Ann Halvorsen, a Special Education Professor at CSU East Bay (Hayward), relates some of the history of inclusive education in SFUSD: "Inclusion initiated in 1993 in response to the request of a small group of parents and the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) principles. It grew from 50 students in 10 schools to 470 students in 47 schools in 5 years. For many years, SFUSD had the largest proportion of inclusive schools in an urban center in the United States."
Sadly, even here, in progressive, diverse San Francisco, full inclusion is still regarded as more of a privilege than a right. (IDEA), the Federal law which guides special education, mandates that all children have the right to a free, appropriate public education, regardless of disabilities.
"To the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities... should be educated with children who are not disabled, and... special classes, separate schooling, or other removal of children with disabilities from the regular educational environment should occur only when the nature or severity of the disability is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily. 20 U.S.C. 1412(a)(5)(B)"
Until this year, and despite what the law said, 65% of SFUSD schools did not include children with disabilities in their general education classrooms. "Our school does not have an inclusion program," is the polite way the school administrators put it. To parents seeking an inclusive education for their children, it was the same as being told: "We don't enroll their kind here."
We still have a long way to go. Successful inclusion programs involve more than mere physical presence in the classroom. Successful inclusion takes careful attention and commitment to ensure that all children are treated as active members and participants of the school community. It takes strong leadership to bring together teachers, students, parents and administrators, and guide them in the development of a caring community where diversity is the norm.
December 5-9, 2011 – is National Inclusive Schools Week, we hope SFUSD schools will celebrate inclusive practices and honor the commitment teachers, administrators, students, and parents have for making their schools welcoming to all children.
- Building Inclusive Schools: Tools and Strategies for Success (2nd Edition) by Ann T. Halvorsen and Thomas Neary
- You're Going to Love This Kid! Teaching Students with Autism in the Inclusive Classroom by Paula Kluth
- Kids Together, Inc. - http://kidstogether.org
- Inclusive Schools Network - http://inclusiveschools.org/
-"Our School Doesn't Offer Inclusion" and Other Legal Blunders by Paula Kluth, Richard A. Villa and Jacqueline S. Thousand http://www.kidstogether.org/noinclusion.htm
- What is Inclusion? by Colleen F. Tomko
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By Kathleen Schlier, Special Events Manager
What's more fun than going to the movies with your friends or family? For families of children with disabilities, this can be harder than people realize. Sometimes it's hard for kids to sit still for the length of the movie, or find it too dark or loud. By hosting movie nights, Support for Families has created an event where kids with disabilities and their families can have a successful experience being in the audience, and have fun together once a month on a Friday evening!
The Junior League SF helped us lay the groundwork last spring, and we are happy to continue hosting these family friendly events in our offices this winter and spring on the following dates:
Jan. 27 – "How to Train your Dragon" / Feb. 24 – "Tangled" / March 23 – "Happy Feet Two"
There will also be Movie Nights scheduled on April 27 and May 18 (Movies TBD). Mark your calendars now for these fun family events! The playroom will be open to children who want to play, and popcorn, pizza and refreshments will be served to the families. Come and relax, network with other families and watch a movie! Families should call to register up to one month in advance of each Movie Night. Call the warm-line: 415-920-5040.
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Our dedicated PG&E Volunteer, Lisa Moniz, receives the "Mielke Award" for her volunteer service.
By Kathleen Schlier, Special Event Manager
Lisa Moniz, Finance Performance Systems, at PG&E, has coordinated the work of more than 100 company volunteers, who have assisted Support for Families at events including the holiday Ice-Skating Party and Access to Adventure. In recognition of her extraordinary volunteer service, Lisa was selected as one of five PG&E employees to receive the annual Mielke Award.
The award honors former PG&E Chairman of the Board and CEO Frederick W. Mielke, Jr for his personal commitment to civic and charitable endeavors and recognizes PG&E employees whose volunteer efforts have made a significant impact on the communities and people they serve. Support for Families will also receive a $5,000 grant as a part of this award.
Videos about the work of each award recipient are shown to PG&E employees who then "vote" for their favorite volunteer story. If they choose Lisa's story as the most inspiring and compelling one, she will go on to represent SFCD at the prestigious Jefferson Awards in Washington DC.
We congratulate Lisa and thank her for choosing Support for Families for her volunteer service!
Kathleen Schlier, Lisa Moniz and Juno Duenas
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Reviews from the Joan Cassel Memorial Library
Relationship-Centered Practices in Early Childhood, Working with Families, Infants and Young Children At Risk
by Gail Ensher & David Clark
The target audience for this book consists of college students, physicians, educators and other professionals who work with infants and young children at risk. I feel that another audience is the family. The book is well organized and written without jargon. It is written to help professionals understand and commit to building a strong relationship with the child and the whole family. The authors have done an excellent job of describing the need to strengthen the family for necessary transitions. They also address working with families of other cultures, other socioeconomic groups and beliefs. Prematurity and death of the child are considered in developing the relationship. Each chapter of this book has a title, chapter highlights, questions for discussion and references. There is also an epilogue and index. All these features made it easy to read and to return to a specific passage.
Developmentally Appropriate Play, Guiding Young Children to a Higher Level
by Gaye Gronlund
The toy library is again being utilized and to help understand the role of play in a young child’s life the next books discuss that subject. The author states that her book is written for teachers of preschool through age 8 children. I feel students and parents would equally benefit from reading this resource. The reader learns that there are three levels of play: chaotic or out of control, simplistic and repetitive, and purposeful, complex play that engages the children’s full attention. NAEYC is quoted as, “Play is an important vehicle for developing self-regulation as well as for promoting language, cognition, and social competence.”Parents can use the book to set up creative spaces at home with appropriate toys or materials. They can also learn techniques to help them interact with their children at play.
Play The Pathway from Theory to Practice
by Sandra Heidemann and Deborah Hewitt
This is a new edition of a book published in 1992. The first book resulted from the development of a play checklist. The book targets teachers and child caregivers but; again parents can learn a lot about the importance of play skills and how to optimize their development. Much has changed since the first book was written and these changes have been incorporated into this new book. The changes have been the addition of inclusion of children with special needs, the emphasis on academic readiness skills, brain development, social skills and assessment. Users of this book will be taught how to set-up and observe play situations and how to use the play checklist. Additional help is found through the goals (in the case studies), the glossary, references and the index.
Seeing Ezra, A Mother’s Story of Autism, Unconditional Love, and the Meaning of Normal
by Kerry Cohen
We leave the area of play and enter a family raising a son with Autism. The reader meets the main character, Ezra through the words of his mother. She is a beautiful writer and the book often reads like poetry. It is Ezra, Griffin, Michael and mom taking on a world filled with jargon, theories, treatments and difficult relationships. Ezra is 2 years old when we meet him and 7 at the book’s end. There are Readers questions as a finale. This would make an excellent Book Club Selection.
Be different Adventures of a Free-Range Aspergian
by John Elder Robison
This is definitely a memoir very different from the one above. The author was undiagnosed until the age of 40. This book tells us how he developed coping strategies in his childhood , adolescence and as a young adult. He is a very funny writer. I can picture the people he describes. He has sensory issues with clothing labels and he names that chapter, “Underwear with Teeth.” His story could be depressing but it isn’t. The book is written in 5 parts. My favorite parts are the stories in the “Getting along with Others” and “Finding Your Gifts.”
GLBT, The Survival Guide for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Questioning Teens
by Kelly Huegel
Here is another type of “survival guide”. It is a handbook written for teens and young adults. We have the second edition so this is one of the early resources in this area. It does a good job of answering questions and dispelling myths and stereotypes. True stories by teens address many concerns the reader may have or fear. It is easy to read, well indexed and has many boxed areas titled, ”Been There”.
Reviews by Elaine Butler, Librarian
Support for Families maintains the Joan Cassel Memorial Library which is a lending library for families and professionals, comprised of multi-lingual books, reference materials and media related to children with disabilities and special health care needs. The library is open during regular business hours.
Visist our library online at: http://www.supportforfamilies.org/library.html
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Spring Baseball for Kids with Disabilities
By Lori McEnnerney
An Opening Day motorcade with 100 other SF Little League teams and a photo with the World Series Trophy is how the San Francisco Giants Challenger Team began its 2011 season.
On Sunday afternoons, from March to June, Challenger Baseball gives kids over six with physical or cognitive disabilities the chance to play "the Great American Pastime." They learn the basics of the game in a supportive and non-competitive environment where no one is out and no one keeps score. Every player bats each inning, always makes it to base, and always crosses home plate to a cheering crowd!
Our son Brian has played Challenger Little League since he was 5 years old. For the last 3 seasons, he has proudly worn the orange and black uniform of the Giants. Brian has cerebral palsy and is now 12 years old. His interest in baseball started when he was little, and he would always try just a little bit harder in therapy when he could throw a ball or pretend to round the bases in his wheelchair. Seeing that sports were a big motivator for him and something that he enjoyed, we decided to have Brian try.
This past season, Brian's dad and I were given the chance to co-coach a second SF Challenger team, the Orange Giants. Peter Straus has spent many years creating a supportive and enjoyable program in San Francisco, and that effort led to having 2 teams, "Black" and "Orange" Giants teams, in 2011. Co-coaching gave us a unique opportunity to get to know families a little better, and celebrate their children's unique accomplishments. I encourage you to give Challenger Little League a try. There is no pressure on your child; they can participate at a level that is comfortable for them. We will encourage them to enjoy the experience with as much or as little assistance as they need, from you, one of our coaches, or a buddy.
Challenger Little League. Nothing could prepare us for the smile on his face when he was sitting in the dugout with the other players, the squeals of delight when his wheelchair tagged the base, the outstretched arm ready to receive a "high 5" as he crossed home plate, or the sense of pride he had being part of a team. It didn't matter that he held his glove differently or that he couldn't throw as far, what was important was the accomplishment. He and his friends were a team and home games are played either on Treasure Island or at the small field at China Basin Park, just across "McCovey Cove" from AT&T Park. Away games are played on the home fields of the Mill Valley and Peninsula teams we play.
Little League is an all-volunteer non-profit organization supporting over 25,000 Challenger players coast to coast. While a registration fee is requested, fee waivers are available so that no one is turned away.
Registration for Spring 2012 is currently underway through the San Francisco Little League website, www.SFLL.org. For additional information, to volunteer, or for contacts for other Bay Area Challenger teams, please contact Peter Straus at 415-864-2939, or pstrausSF@prodigy.net.
Donations received July 20, 2011 through October 20, 2011 Support for Families gratefully acknowledges gifts from the following individuals, groups and businesses. We apologize for any omissions or misspellings. Please contact us so we can correct our records.
Jane LaPides and Murray Cahen
Dr. Suzanne and Lou Giraudo,
in honor of Jane LaPides and Murray Cahen
Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health
Lynn Fuller and Bill Bivins
Bruce Deming and Jeff Byrne
in memory of Gloria & Irving Schlossberg
Sally Spencer and Phil
Nersi Boussina, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney
Emily Chen and Christopher J. Carrera
Timothy Chuter, M.D.
Lucy Crain,M.D. and William Crain, M.D.
Catherine and Christian Dauer
Diana Tang and Sonja
Huie, M.D., Inc.
Judy C. Chen and Michael V. Gamboa, DDS
Todd Gemmer, Morgan
Stanley Smith Barney.
Drs. Daniel Kelly, Barry Rostek and William Solomon
in memory of Walter
Paragon Real Estate Group
Physicians Reimbursement Fund, Inc.
Irma & Ralph Thaler,
in honor of Valerie
Transportation Agent Grid
The Brody Family
in appreciation of Jane LaPides and Murray Cahen
Andrea and Chris Dehner
Juno and Robert Duenas
Farallone Pacific Insurance Services
Karen Kerner and Joshua Goodman
Nea Hanscomb with Feda Almaliti and Sally
Brammell: Advocates for Autism Insurance
Roz and Steve Itelson
Laura and Gene Lanzone
Yasaman and Young Lee
Renee Arst and Brian Lewis
Barbara and Garry Marshall
San Francisco Millwork
Antje and Richard Shadoan
Sharp Business Systems
Tuesday Night Support Group
Jan and Jim Watson
Zephyr Real Estate
Kevin & Michelle Donaldson
Cameron & Kathleen Farah
Karen & Todd Gemmer
Patricia & James Hargarten
Maggie & Greg Holmes
Jane Lapides & Murray Cahen
Norma & Albert Moisio
Nancy & Chuck Murphy
Pamela & John Raymond
LuLu Carpenter & Rony Rolnizky
Lanelle & Michael Santimauro
Joan & Bryan Selby
Angie & George Toy
ZFA Structural Engineeers
wine+ design inkind
Alpha Omega Winery
American Conservatory Theater
Anna Biggs Designs
Aquarium of the Bay
Asian Art Museum
Brannan Street Florists
Brian Recktenwald (BAR Photography)
Theater (Cal Shakes)
Cartoon Art Museum
Christopher and Andrea Dehner
City Arts and Lectures
Da Capo Wines
Diablo Theatre Company
Drs. Lucy and William Crain
Emily M. Murase
Eric Thomas ABC7 News
Fine Arts Museums San Francisco
Foreign Cinema Restaurant
Hotel Nikko SF
Iwerks Turbo Ride
J. Lohr Vineyards and Wines
Jennifer & Marc Crayton
Kimpton Hotel and
Linden Murphy Design
Lovejoy's Tea Room
Mayor Edwin M. Lee
Meadowood Napa Valley
Michael V. Gamboa
Mozzarella di Bufala Pizzeria
Niner Wine Estates
Players Sports Grill and Arcade
Players, Iwerks and Aquarium of the Bay
Recess Urban Recreation
San Francisco Ballet
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Sheriff Mike Hennessey
Silk Hands & Feet Spa
Sloat Garden Center
Squat & Gobble Cafe
St. George Spirits
St. Helena Road Winery
Tante Marie's Cooking School
In addition, Support for Families thanks the many people who bought raffle tickets and/or items at our Wine + Design silent, live, and online auctions. These purchases also help support our programs and services!
Jane Lapides and Murray Cahen
Mr. & Mrs. Christian Kimball
Soledad Garcia and
Matching Gift Program
William Crain, MD
Aidell's Sausage Company
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