SAVE THE DATE!
2013 Information & Resource Conference
Saturday, March 23, 2013
8:30am - 3:30pm
John O'Connell High School
2355 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA 94103
At the Wine + Design 2012 Auction & Gala on September 28, guests raise their bidder paddles to support SFCD with the encouragement of auctioneer Chad Carvey.
Visit our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/supportforfamiliessf/photos) for more photos of the event!
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Use Positive Strategies to Protect Your Child with Disabilities from Bullying
Jane has a severe learning disability and delayed social skills. Taking advantage of this, a group of popular girls invited her to join them on “clash day,” when they said they would all wear outlandish clothes. On “clash day,” Jane was the only one to dress in this manner. The stares, laughter, and name calling from classmates humiliated her.
School staff thought Jane was deliberately disrupting classes and suspended her for the day. She was too embarrassed and hurt to explain. After this experience, Jane never raised her hand in class, did not attend extracurricular activities, and her grades plummeted.
While any child can be a target of bullying, children with disabilities like Jane can be especially vulnerable. Although few studies exist concerning children with disabilities and bullying in the United States, the studies available indicate an increased risk for children with special needs.
Like other children, a child with disabilities who is bullied may grow angry, resentful, frightened, or apathetic at school, and is at risk for low self-esteem, school avoidance, depression, lower grades, and increased violence.
Parents can help protect their children with disabilities from bullying and its devastating effects if they promote effective strategies such as PACER’s Peer Advocacy Program, use the Individualized Education Program (IEP) as a tool, work with the school, and know their child’s rights under the law.
Promote Peer Advocacy
Before Julie Hertzog became the director of PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center, she was a concerned parent. Because her son David was born with Down syndrome, was nonverbal, and had a Pacemaker and a feeding tube, she was worried that he would be vulnerable to bullying.
As she advocated for her son with school staff, she realized how much student interaction happens outside the view of adults. Recognizing that David’s classmates could be powerful allies for her son in bullying situations, Hertzog worked with the school to create a unique support for him while he was in sixth grade.
A group of his classmates received training on how to prevent bullying and speak out on David’s behalf. They called these students peer advocates. If they see bullying they intervene, ask the bully to stop, or report the situation to an adult.
The idea worked for David. Now what started with four children in sixth grade has evolved to a schoolwide project. More than 40 students volunteer to become peer advocates so they can help David and other students who are different. It’s a strategy that any parent can explore and discuss with school staff.
For more information about the peer advocacy program or how to start one, visit PACER.org/bullying/resources/peer-advocacy.asp.
Use the IEP
Students with disabilities who are eligible for special education under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) will have an IEP. The IEP can be a helpful tool in a bullying prevention plan. Every child receiving special education is entitled to a free, appropriate public education (FAPE), and bullying can sometimes become an obstacle to receiving that education.
The IEP team, which includes the parent, can identify strategies that can be written into the IEP to help stop the bullying. It may be helpful to involve the child, when appropriate, in the decision-making process. Such strategies include:
Identifying an adult in the school whom the child can report to or go to for assistance
- Determining how school staff will document and report incidents
- Allowing the child to leave class early to avoid hallway incidents
- Holding separate in-services for school staff and classroom peers to help them understand a child’s disability
- Educating peers about school district policies on bullying behavior
- Reassurance from the school staff to the student that he or she has a right to be safe and that the bullying is not his or her fault
- Shadowing by school staff of the student who has been bullied; shadowing can be done in hallways, classrooms, and playgrounds
Work with the School
It’s important for parents to believe their child if he or she tells them about a bullying situation. Parents should communicate support to their child, explain that being bullied is not his or her fault, and that no one deserves to be treated this way.
Once parents have reassured their child in this way, they can meet with the principal and share what they know, explain how the situation is affecting their child, and ask the principal what the school can do to keep their child safe at school and on the bus. It’s also a good idea to ask if the school has a written policy on bullying and harassment. If it does, request a written copy. Keep a written record of what happened at this meeting, including names and dates.
If a bullying situation is not resolved after meeting with the principal, parents should send a brief, factual letter or e-mail to the district superintendent requesting a meeting to discuss the situation. Copies of this letter can also be sent to the principal, special education director, and chair of the school board. Parents should make sure to keep a copy. A sample letter pertaining to children with disabilities is available at PACER.org/bullying.
Families may also wish to contact a parent center or advocacy organization for assistance. To find a local one, visit ParentCenterNetwork.org or call 888-248-0822. [SFCD Note: please contact our Warmline at 415-920-5040 if you would like assistance in this kind of situation!]
“Remember, you are your child’s best advocate,” says Julie Hertzog, Director of PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center. “If your child does not feel safe, you may decide to change schools. Your child’s safety and well-being are of the utmost importance.”
Know the Law
If bullying is based on a child’s disability, it may violate that child’s federal legal rights under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
In a Letter to Colleagues issued on October 26, 2010, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) informed all U.S. public schools that bullying and harassment, including harassment of one student by another, can be a form of prohibited discrimination.
Federal law prohibits discrimination, including harassment, in education programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, gender, or disability. Read the OCR letter at PACER.org/link/ocr-letter-oct-2010.asp.
According to the OCR and Department of Justice, however, not all bullying constitutes “harassment,” and the specific conduct must be examined to determine if civil rights were violated. Read the definition of “disability harassment” as stated by the OCR and the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services at: PACER.org/link/ocr-letter-july-2010.asp.
Although children with disabilities face a higher risk of being bullied, parents can take proactive steps to ensure their child’s safety. Promoting innovative ideas such as PACER’s Peer Advocacy Program, using the IEP as a bullying prevention tool, working with the school, and knowing the law can help parents protect children with disabilities from bullying. Learn more at PACER.org/bullying.
Reprinted with permission from PACER Center, Minneapolis, MN, (952) 838-9000. www.pacer.org. All rights reserved.
More Bullying Resources
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Parent Mentor Training - Special Education Series
By Joanna Van Brusselen, Parent Mentor Coordinator
Starting in September 2007, the Special Education series has provided our Parent Mentors information and resources to support mentees, as well as themselves, regarding areas of Special Education. The Parent Mentor Program (PMP) Special Education Series is now in its 5th year of providing this special training to current and upcoming Parent Mentors under the PMP. The current series started on September 18th for the English speaking families and on September 19th 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.
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 1st for English speaking mentors and Wednesday, December 12th and Wednesday, December 19th 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.
Our volunteer Parent Mentors are an integral part of our organization and participate in various activities that include Parent Panels at universities and colleges, community outreach at city and organization events, and sharing their stories with college interns or the media. This training will also help Mentors to strengthen their conversation skills when representing their own children. New Parent Mentors are invited to attend, as well as the current group of recently trained mentors.
Interested in becoming a Parent Mentor?
If you are interested in becoming a Support for Families’ volunteer Parent Mentor, please contact us. For information or to register, please contact a PMP Coordinator, as follows:
Joan E. Selby (English)
Phone: (415) 282-7494, x113
JoAnna Van Brusselen (Spanish)
Phone: (415) 282-7494, x141
Note: Registration with Joan Selby or JoAnna Van Brusselen is required. Thank you.
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Helpful Resources: Tips from Families and Providers
"I am a parent of a child with an IEP and recently found this tool, which I think would be a great asset to the district and to families to use." Kristin, SFCD Parent
Goalbook brings a student's team around their individual learning plan. Schools use the software to successfully implement IEPs, SSTs, and Intervention plans.
AT 101, National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY)
Get to know how assistive technology can help students with disabilities participate more fully in learning, communicating, playing, and working. It's a great introduction to share with your IEP team!
Communication Development: A Parent's Guide
SFSU & SFCD
Developed by graduate students in the Communication Disorders Program at SFSU in partnership with Support for Families after feedback from the parent focus groups, the purpose of this guide is to provide current information about topics related children's speech, language, and communication development that may be helpful to parents. The students also translated the websites into Spanish and Chinese.
Learning Disabilities Kit, National Center for Learning Disabilities
Katy Franklin, SFCD Parent
Learning the essential skills to become your child's advocate and ensure your child receives an appropriate education does not require lots of money or even years of schooling. All it requires is learning five basic skills and consistently implementing them within the school community.
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What's Spring without Challenger Baseball for Kids with Disabilities?
By Michael Gamboa
The cheer of the crowd, the feel of hitting a ball and running the bases, fielding a ball and crossing home plate, and a high five from fellow teammates for your achievements. This is SF Giants Challenger League. The rules are simple: have fun at your own pace. You will be encouraged to enjoy the experience with as much or as little assistance as you need, from one of our coaches or a buddy.
Sunday afternoon from March through June means baseball at our house, particularly Challenger baseball. There is no better day than game day. On Sunday, our son Jake becomes a baseball player. Jake will be starting his third season with the SF Giants Challenger League, a supportive and non-competitive league where no one is out and no one keeps score. Every player bats each inning, makes it around the bases and always crosses home plate. Participation in the SF Giants Challenger League has given Jake a connection to the game, an opportunity to meet many friends and learn to be part of a team.
I have been so impressed with the Challenger League that I became an assistant coach for Jake’s second season. All coaches and assistants are volunteers, many with children playing on the teams. Coaching has given me an opportunity to know both players and families. As a coach and father, I have found great joy in seeing Jake’s involvement and appreciation for the game. When Jake started, he hit from a tee. He later progressed to coach pitch with Dad’s help. He now tells me “I want to do it by myself.” To a passing person, the field must look like a bunch of kids and adults chasing a multitude of balls, but to a coach it looks like a seamless play.
Challenger baseball welcomes both boys and girls over six with physical or cognitive disabilities. Games are played on Sunday afternoons. 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 Marin County 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.
Register for Spring 2013 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.
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wine+design 2012 is SFCD's Most Successful Fundraiser Ever
The Wine+Design 2012 Auction and Gala on September 28 was SFCD’s most successful fundraiser to date, netting more than $135,000 to support our programs and services!
The event honored the UCSF Department of Pediatrics for its collaborative work with families. Entertainment included Loong Mah Sing See Wui Lion Dancers, Misa Malone from Steve Silver’s Beach Blanket Babylon, and special cabaret performances from local singers and musicians.
Dr. Michael Cabana and Cewan Chao of UCSF
Beach Blanket Babylon’s Misa Malone sings “San Francisco”
Eric Thomas of ABC7 TV News ably served as the evening’s Master of Ceremony
Thank You wine+design Volunteers!
Junior League San Francisco
SFUSD Bus Drivers UTU Local 1741
National Student Speech-Language Hearing Association, San Francisco State University (NSSLHA)
Brenda Marie Munnell
For more photos of the event, visit our Facebook page! www.facebook.com/supportforfamiliessf/photos
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Reviews from the Joan Cassel Memorial Library
22 Accessible Road Trips: Driving Vacations for Wheelers and Slow Walkers
by Candy B. Harrington
Sometimes we review a book that has accessible recreation as the main theme. This is about taking road trips to places filled with accessible and interesting attractions that the wheeler or slow walker can get up close to and enjoy. They are grouped by area of the country so sometimes you can try more than one on a vacation. It includes all the information needed. The reader learns when travel is best, what you can see along the way, alternative routes, fly drive options, places to eat, places to stay and what to see. There are several accessible trips listed for California. Checkout the book and start exploring.
Ants in Their Pants: Teaching Children Who Must Move to Learn
by Aerial Cross
Many of us are familiar with the type of children highlighted in the title. This is a valuable resource for parents and professionals. The author is a grown up version of the extra busy kinesthetic child. She relates that you don’t outgrow it and need acceptance and consistency, attention, rules and routines. She also advises parents to form a connection with the school and teachers so routines may be duplicated at home. The format of the book is helpful – loaded with sensory integration activities. Directions and a materials list is given for each activity. She also helps parents by addressing eating and sleeping activities and transitions from one task or event to another. The Content’s Page will direct the reader to the activities for various situations. I have already used some of the author’s suggestions and they work very well.
Making Sense of Your Senses: A Workbook for Children with Sensory Processing Disorder
by Christopher Auer & Michelle Auer
The audience for this workbook is parents and kids, with particular focus on the elementary school child. Parents and children can work together doing the activities in the workbook. The activities encourage behaviors that help children with sensory processing disorders, ADHD and autism. The chapter titles on the Content’s page list the expected result of the activity. This does make it easy to locate the appropriate tasks that result in the desired behavior.
Molly the Pony: A True Story
by Pam Kaster
Hurricane Katrina affected the lives of many animals besides the toll on people. Children will love meeting Molly, a pony and a two time survivor. First she was abandoned in a barn and was rescued after Katrina. She finds a new home and is injured by a stray dog. The result is a prosthetic front leg. Now Molly greets children with physical, emotional and developmental disabilities. The vocabulary is for ages 4-8. The book is illustrated by photos of the pony before and now. Her story was widely covered by the media a few years ago. It deserves being repeated today.
We’re All Different, But We’re All Kitty Kats: First Day of School
by Peter J. Goodman
Molly was a real pony who was different. Now we have cartoon cats learning about bullying and differences. The reader learns that everyone has talents to share. The cat characters in this book are part of a series of Kat stories to encourage caring behavior. The words are large and easy for a child to read. The Kats are large, colorful and appear on each page. The overall theme is we are each unique and have something special to offer the group. It will be interesting to follow the social issues addressed here as the series continues.
Reviews by Elaine Butler, Librarian
Each of these books has been personally researched and requested for review purposes by me for introduction to you, the reader.
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.
If you have the title or author of a book you’d like to read, please go to our website and do a search. Go to this link and enter the title or author or subject and click search. If we have the item, call us and the librarian will hold the item for you until you can come to the office to pick it up. Try the online catalog or come and browse the shelves by category, new items added weekly.
Visist our library online at: http://www.supportforfamilies.org/library.html
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Reprint from Summer 2012 Newsletter: Special Education Services - Assignments and Contact Information
Download PDF Version [pdf]
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Support for Families gratefully acknowledges gifts from the following individuals, groups and businesses, received Aug 1, 2012 through Oct 31, 2012. We apologize for any omissions or misspellings; please contact us so we can correct our records.
Companies, Businesses, Groups, Individuals:
Baking for Good
Karen & Todd Gemmer, in honor of Jake Gamboa
Mary & Thomas Giles
Cindi Stephan, in honor of Diego Valderrama’s birthday
Chevron Humankind Matching Gift Program, matching the gift of Angela Wong
Franklin Templeton Investments Matching Program, matching the gift of Diego Valderrama
2012 Halloween Party
SFSU National Student Speech-Language Hearing Association
Wine + Design 2012
Jane LaPides & Murray Cahen
Timothy Chuter, MD
Dr. Suzanne & Lou Giraudo
Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health
Eileen Nersi & Michael Boussina
Morgan Stanley Smith Barney
UCSF Department of Pediatrics
Lynn Fuller & William Bivins
Emily Chen & Christopher J. Carrera
Chris & Andrea Dehner
Delagnes, Linder & Duey, LLP
Bruce Deming & Jeff Byrne
Judy C. Chen & Michael V. Gamboa, DDS
Erica & Jeff Harrell
Diana Tang-Duffy, MD & Sonja Huie, MD, Inc.
Judy Janec, in memory of Gloria & Irving Schlossberg
Allene & Jerome LaPides Foundation
Bill Lewandowski, in memory of Walter Lewandowski
Ann & Jim Misenheimer
Myers Urbatsch, P.C.
Physicians Reimbursement Fund Inc.
Penny Bellamy & Mark Simon
Skyline Construction Inc.
Irma & Ralph Thaler, in honor of Valerie deChadenedes
Dave, Chris, & Bill: Brody, Walsh & Brody
Bubble Real Estate
Nancy & Antonio Corbelletta
Drs. Lucy & William Crain
Juno & Robert Duenas
Alida & Scott Fisher
Alison C. Fuller
Karen & Todd Gemmer
Dr. William Gonda
Karen Kerner & Joshua Goodman
Lindsay & Peter Joost
Sheila Doyle Kiernan
Laura & Eugene Lanzone
Amy Bomse & Peter Limbrick
Barbara & Garry Marshall
Jane C. Matthews
San Francisco Millwork
Pacific Pediatrics: Drs. Daniel Kelly, Barry Rostek & William Solomon
Antje & Richard Shadoan
Laurel Koomok & Ned Smith
Annalisa & Todd Temple
Afra Afsharipour & Diego Valderrama
Jan & Jim Watson
Vonceil & Scott Yara
raise your paddle donations
Lynn Fuller & Bill Bivins
Leonard & Karen Caetano
Cewin Chao & Dr. Michael Cabana
Christopher & Andrea Dehner
Judy C. Chen & Michael
Todd & Karen Gemmer
Stephen & Cheryl Kent
Yin Hing Lai
A Sello Leighton
Renee Arst & Brian Lewis
Patrick & Donna McAllister
Kelli McLaughlin & Dan Robinson
Chuck & Nancy Murphy
Troy & Jennifer Otillio
John & Pamela Raymond
Robert & Catherine Sarlatte
David & Shoshana Shemtov
George & Angie Toy
Russell & Audrey Vernick
other wine+design donations
Victor & Carmen Bacigalupi
Ronald & Camilla Bixler
John and Georganne Boerger
Matthew & Mary Brennan
S. Kent Chatterji
Ron & Kristina Cho
Alberto & Anna Cipollina
Jeff and Mildred Crear
Audrey de Chadenedes
Henry & Viola Falchetti
Thomas & Mary Giles
James & Patricia Hargarten
Jason & Jill Kimbrough
James and Annette Lee
Wilson & Hae-Won Liao
Neal & Julie Maeyama
Joseph & Clara Marotto
Thomas & Patricia McRae
Albert & Norma Moisio
M. & G. Sosnick
wine+design auction & inkind donations
Adaptations by Adrian
Alpha Omega Winery
American Airport Connection
Aquarium of the Bay
Asian Art Museum
B.R. Cohn Winery
California Academy of Sciences
California Shakespeare Theater (Cal Shakes)
Cass Hicks Acupuncture
Christopher and Andrea
City Arts and Lectures
Congresswoman Jackie Speier
Contemporary Jewish Museum
Da Capo Wines
Divisadero Touchless Car Wash
Emily M. Murase
Estate of Kathi Kamen Goldmark
Farm Fresh to You
Fine Arts Museums San Francisco
Gluten Free Grocery
Howard and Judith Fish
Izzy's Steaks & Chops
Jan & Jim Watson
Kids Development Studio
Kimpton Hotel and
KRAV MAGA - Self Defense & Fitness
Linden Murphy Design
Lovejoy's Tea Room
Mark Bernsteiin, MD
Meadowood Napa Valley
Michael Merrill Design Studio
Ned Smith, Ceramic Artist
Presidio Heights Salon
San Francisco Giants
San Francisco Linens
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
San Francisco Symphony
San Francisco Zoo
Senator Mark Leno
Silk Hands & Feet Spa
St. Helena Road Winery
Strength and Movement Pilates with Purpose
Tante Marie's Cooking School
The Resort at Squaw Creek
The Westin San Francisco Market Street
Third Street Boxing Gym
Tin Barn Vineyards
Tom Ammiano, Assemblymember
Topher Delaney - Seam Studio garden design
Turley Wine Cellars
Twenty Five Lusk
U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein
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