Save the Date!
2015 Information and Resource Conference
Saturday, March 21, 2015
8:30am - 3:30pm
John O'Connell High School
Registration opens Monday, February 9 online and by phone
A FREE conference for families of children with disabilities, concerns, or special health care needs, the professionals who work with them, and members of the community.
2015 IRC Flyer (English, Chinese, Spanish) [pdf]
2015 IRC Exhibitor Information and Registration Form [pdf]
2015 IRC Sponsorship and Advertising Opportunities [pdf]
FAMILY SPECIAL EVENTS THIS WINTER!
First Movie Night of 2015:
Friday, January 30th, 2015
Support for Families, 1663 Mission St., San Francisco 94103
Our popular Movie Nights is coming back in Winter 2015! Families and children are invited to watch a movie, munch on yummy snacks, and enjoy the playroom here at our main office. Movie Nights are held monthly on Fridays in January to June 2015 from 5:30pm-7:30pm. Please check back on our upcoming events page or call 415-920-5040 for upcoming dates and movie titles.
FAMILY ACCESS DAY at the Contemporary Jewish Museum
Photo Credit: Gary Sexton
Sunday, Feb 22nd, 10:00am-12:30pm
The Contemporary Jewish Museum, 736 Mission St., San Francisco, CA 94103
FREE with advance registration
This fun-filled day will provide a range of multisensory experiences for children and youth of all abilities and backgrounds to explore the Museum! Activities will include a guided tour of J. Otto Seibold and Mr. Lunch; a Puppy Dog Tales reading room with canine companions; and a family art studio. In partnership with Support for Families of Children with Disabilities, Rosh Pina, and the INCLUDE program at Jewish Learning Works.
REMINDER: HOLIDAY ICE SKATING PARTY [FULL]
For children with disabilities and their families
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 20, 2014 │6:00pm-8:00 pm
Yerba Buena Ice Skating Center
750 Folsom Street (on the rooftop of the Moscone Center)
Come enjoy an evening of ice skating, refreshments, and fun with your family and friends! Say hi to Santa and pick up a free book! Event is free for families of children with disabilities, with suggested donation of $10/person (includes entrance fee, skates, book and treats for each child). Due to limited space, this event is only for families of children with disabilities or special health care needs who have pre-registered.
To get on the waitlist or cancel your registration, call 415-920-5040
FALL EVENT RECAPS
Haunted Aquarium Halloween Party at Aquarium of the Bay
Click here to see photos on Facebook
(you don't need a Facebook account to see the photos!)
Thank you to everyone who attended our annual Haunted Aquarium Halloween Party on Saturday, October 25th! Families had a great time making art and craft activities, exploring the aquarium, and enjoying delicious treats. Special thanks to our volunteers, Support for Families staff, and friends at Aquarium of the Bay and for helping to make this a frighteningly fun event!
Wine + Design 2014
Click here to see photos courtesy of Mark & Tracy Photography
Click here to see our list of sponsors and supporters
The Wine+Design 2014 Auction and Gala on October 10 was Support for Families’ most successful fundraiser to date, grossing more than $255,000 to support our programs and services!
The event honored employees of Morgan Stanley for their volunteerism and philanthropy. The first annual Bill Lewandowski Memorial Award was presented to Mission Neighborhood Health Center. Board member Jim Riley gave an extraordinary presentation about his journey as a parent.
Ama Daetz of ABC7 News served as MC and Anita Lee, San Francisco’s First Lady, presented a commendation to the agency. Guests danced to the music of the John Brothers Piano Company.
Thank you to everyone who helped make Wine+Design 2014 a success!
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Steps to Success: Communication with Your Child's School
If you have a child who is receiving special education services, you're more than likely to be very involved with your child's school and teachers - including planning, reviewing, and assessing your child's educational program. Over time, you will learn a lot about the special education process and how to communicate and negotiate on your child's behalf.
While your knowledge, skill, and confidence will naturally increase, there are some specific communication skills that can help you be most successful in developing and maintaining a strong partnership with your child's school. We hope these "Steps to Success" will be particularly helpful to parents who are new to the special education process.
Your role as a parent is unique. No one knows and loves your child the way that you do. You are the expert on your child. And, while you may not have all the answers, you want your child to be successful in school and in life. Your passion as a parent can help you communicate brilliantly, and sometimes, it can overtake you.
Step 1. Be mindful of your emotional pressure gauge as you work with your child's school.
If you expect to have difficulty when meeting with school personnel, your mind and body will be primed for battle. How can you communicate successfully if you are on the verge of overflowing in anguish and outrage? Don't let your mind go there. Keep thoughts of past (or present) problems at school, worst fears, and other negatives from creeping into your mind. Focus positively on your goals and the view that the school wants to do their best for your child. Keep telling yourself that you and your child will succeed.
Step 2. Prioritize and Plan.
What's the most important thing that needs to be accomplished for your child? Make a list of the issues, questions and possible solutions. Rank them. Decide if there are any you can pass on and which one(s) must be addressed. Map out what you need to say and practice, if that helps: "What's most important for Jordan right now is..." Referring to these few notes, with key phrases jotted down, can help keep you and the meeting on track.
Step 3. Actively listen to understand the other person's perspective.
If you don't understand what someone is saying, tell him or her. Be direct: "I just don't understand what you are saying. Can you explain it in a different way or give me some examples?" Keep asking and wait for responses until you do fully understand. Resist any temptation to answer your own questions or put words into someone else's mouth.
Step 4. Clarify your statements if you see a confused expression on someone's face and ask for clarification. Paraphrase or restate so that you and others are clear in your understanding.
In order to be understood say something like: "I must not be explaining this clearly, what I'm trying to say is..." To make sure you are understanding say something like: "If I understand you correctly, you're saying ... Is that right?" Often, the process of clarifying one's understanding provides an opportunity to clear up a misconception or correct misinformation that could be critical to finding a satisfactory solution for your child.
Step 5. Have options in mind and offer them for discussion, as needed.
As a parent, you're in a good position to present alternative solutions that might not occur to those who work for the school system. For example, "Let's do some brainstorming on possibilities and see what we can come up with. How about..?" or "Let's try this for 8 weeks and see how it goes."
Step 6. You're only human.
If, by chance, you make a mistake, or cause offense, say you're sorry. Making an apology says that you're only human and helps to humanize what is often a formal process and sends the message that you can be forgiving of others' mistakes. "Please and thank you" also go a long way in keeping conversations civil, and not surprisingly, helps everyone say "yes."
In the end, Ask for the YES.
As you communicate and negotiate, you will uncover areas where you and the school are in agreement. You may agree on the issue that must be addressed, but not be in full agreement on how to address it. This is when it can be especially helpful to restate and discuss options in a problem solving way. This means asking some direct, yet polite questions such as "I'm still puzzled. Why isn't this an option?" Additionally, words that recognize the desires and the difficulties for schools to meet every child's needs, while refocusing on your child, can lead to a greater willingness to put forth extra effort and think more creatively about ways to say "yes" to and for your child: "I know that there's a way for us to work this out, together, so that Janey gets the services she needs. How are we going to do this?"
Talking the talk.
To summarize, when talking with staff and administrators at your child's school, you're likely to be successful if you can:
- Keep your cool.
- Focus on the positives.
- Be clear about your goals.
- Listen. Ask questions. Clarify.
- Keep the focus on meeting your child's needs.
- Present options in a collaborative way; for example, say, "we can" instead of "you should." Say, "yes, and..." instead of "yes, but..."
- Ask for the "yes."
Adapted from the brochure “Steps to Success: Communicating with Your Child's School" by National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY) and The National Center on Dispute Resolution in Special Education (CADRE). Used with permission.
For more examples of each step, refer to the original article online or in our resource area at our offices.
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Children with Special Health Care Needs: Lost at School?
An estimated 1.4 million California children have special health care needs, and the majority of them attend public schools. Many of these children predictably require health care services during the school day, and many more are at risk for unanticipated events that might require access to urgent or emergency care. Their special health care need also puts them at higher risk than their peers for missing school and repeating a grade. Yet in many cases, schools are not aware of the child’s condition.
The first step in assuring that children with special health care needs (CSHCN) receive appropriate care at all times is to make sure that school personnel know who these children are and have easy access to information about their health status and needs. This is more easily said than done.
Issues in Identifying Children with Special Health Care Needs at School
Several federal laws address the education of children with disabilities, including children with special health care needs.
The Individual with Disabilities Improvement Education Act of 2004 (IDEA) requires that each child who qualifies for special education have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) but only about one third of children with special health care needs qualify for special education. The law requires that states report annually on the number of children with IEPs.
The Rehabilitation Act (1973) and the American with Disabilities Act (1990) require accommodations for students who may not qualify for special education but have a special health care need.
Despite these requirements, schools’ access to student health information is often limited.
- Schools are not required to identify children’s health needs unless the child has an IEP. Children with special needs who do not qualify for an IEP, about two-thirds of CSHCN, may go unidentified by the school.
- The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) regulates access to school health records, and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulates access to other health information. Misinterpretation of these laws can create communication barriers between school and community health providers, and hamper schools’ ability to identify children who need school health services.
- Only at entry to first grade are schools required to collect evidence of a child’s health assessment. Changes in a child’s health status over the course of his or her education may not be called to the attention of school personnel.
- Schools are not required to report health emergencies or adverse events to the state, or to collect general health data on students.
- Parents often are reluctant to share health information and/or are not asked for it by the school.
- Only 56% of school nurses reported that they knew how many children had been identified as having special health care needs in the schools they served.
- School nurses typically conduct some form of health assessment to determine the special health care needs of students in their schools. Since a majority of school districts in the state (57%) do not employ a school nurse, the process by which children are identified in these districts is unknown.
- In most school districts there are no standard procedures to transmit health information from school to school as children transition from elementary to middle to high school.
- Require systematic mechanisms for school districts to identify and serve children with special health care needs.
- Enact regulations to require health assessments prior to entry to 7th grade similar to the first grade health assessment requirement. Focus the assessment on identification of children with special health care needs.
- Require schools to track attendance and educational outcomes of children with special health care needs, and require reporting and monitoring of services.
- Strengthen mechanisms for school partnerships with community health providers to identify children with special needs including professional development as to how information can be shared under current federal laws.
Written by Dian Baker, PhD, RN, Associate Professor of Nursing, California State University, Sacramento; Linda Davis-Alldritt, RN, MA, PHN, Executive Director, California School Nurses Organization; Kathleen Hebbeler, PhD, Program Manager, Center for Education and Human Services, SRI International. Research funded by the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health. Reprinted with permission.
Family Voices of California (FVCA) is a statewide collaborative of locally-based parent run centers working to ensure quality health care for children and youth with special health care needs. Support for Families is one of those parent centers as well as the coordinating agency. For more information visit www.familyvoicesofca.org.
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Challenger Baseball for Our Kids!
by Lori McEnnerney
“SAFE!!!” That’s how Officer Rockwell greeted my son Brian and his buddy at home plate. It’s how all players were greeted that afternoon. And every smile was just as bright.
On Sunday afternoons from March to June, Challenger Baseball gives kids over five with physical or cognitive disabilities the chance to play "the Great American Pastime." They learn game basics 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 is 16 and his passion for playing baseball has grown each year. He looks forward to seeing the friends he has made, goofing off in the dugout, and yes, attempting to steal a base now and again. Challenger Baseball has given him far more than learning how to catch a ball; it has given him confidence, and he has learned the importance of being part of a team, of cheering and being cheered.
We are very lucky to have a large group of buddies who come out to help our players every Sunday. Players from other San Francisco Little League (SFLL) teams, high school students, and our great friends, the officers from the SFPD. We are very lucky to have the support of Chief Suhr and his Captains, who occasionally send uniformed officers to our home games to help out. As a coach, I love hearing players ask, “Who’s my buddy today?” Buddies help our players bat, run the bases, field the balls, and most importantly, they have fun with our kids on the field and in the dugout.
Our home games are played either on Treasure Island or 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.
Registration for Spring 2015 is currently underway through the SFLL website, www.SFLL.org. For additional information, to volunteer, or for information on other Bay Area Challenger teams, please contact Peter Straus at 415-864-2939 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more recreational options for children with disabilities, visit our resource guide or call our Warmline (415-920-5040).
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SFCD is Seeking New Board Members!
The Support for Families Board of Directors is looking for energetic people who want to ensure that San Francisco families of children with disabilities have the support and information they need to enhance their children’s well being and development.
Although we are specifically seeking board members who have expertise in Media/Public Relations and/or Fundraising, we are very open to hearing from other well-qualified candidates.
To be considered, please contact email@example.com for more details.
Support for Families values diversity and we strongly encourage family members, professionals, people with disabilities, language and ethnic distinct communities, and other traditionally underserved communities to apply.
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I Have Been in Your Shoes: Preemie Parent Support Group
by Emelyn Lacayo, Family Health Liaison, Support for Families
Emelyn Lacayo, SFCD Family Health Liaison and facilitator of the Preemie Parent Support Group, explains her motivation for leading the group:
As a first-time parent, I fantasized about having a “normal” baby, and looked forward to becoming a mother. The fantasy of having a perfect birthing experience came to a halt when I was rushed into the operating room for an emergency C-section. I did not know what to expect nor did I fully comprehend what was “wrong” with my baby. Although my daughter’s life was saved by the fast-acting medical doctors, I never thought her prematurity would cause us to spend her first 100 days of life in the NICU.
I am mother to a beautiful little girl named “Mia” who is now 6 years old. I have been in your shoes. I have struggled to comprehend my new caregiving role, and at times I still feel lost. Come join me in a safe place to express your concerns, network with other parents traveling your same journey, and exchange resources.
The group covers topics like:
- life after the NICU
- Relationships and a preemie baby
- developmental milestones
- Feeding problems
- advocacy opportunities,
- and more.
This group meets every 3rd Thursday of the month from 7pm - 8pm. For more information or to register, call our Warmline! 415-920-5040.
Reviews from the Joan Cassel Memorial Library
The reviews column is taking a holiday this newsletter, but we will be back in the spring with more book reviews from our library!
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Support for Families gratefully acknowledges gifts from the following individuals, groups and businesses, received August 1, 2014 through October 31, 2014. We apologize for any omissions or misspellings; please contact us so we can correct our records.
Jane LaPides & Murray Cahen
Gliffy Charitable Fund
Dr. Suzanne & Lou Giraudo, in honor
of Jane LaPides & Murray Cahen
The Allene and Jerome LaPides
Eileen & Nersi Boussina
Bruce Deming & Jeff Byrne
Chris & Andrea Dehner
The Ronda Gruber Charitable
Itani Dental San Francisco
Ann & Jim Meisenheimer
Blue Inquito & Helen Smolinski
Afra Afsharipour & Diego Valderrama
Bryan Cave, LLP
Emily Chen & Christopher Carrera
Jennifer & Marc Crayton, AIG
Delagnes, Linder & Duey, LLP
Diana Tang, MD & Sonja Huie, MD, Inc.
Juno & Robert Duenas
First Republic Bank, Gaurav Kapur
Galine, Frye & Fitting, Attorneys at
GCI General Contractors
Karen & Todd Gemmer
Judy Janec, in memory of Irving &
Matt Connors & Nancy Nazmi
Myers Urbatsch P.C. - Special Needs
Planning and Conservatorships
Physicians Reimbursement Fund, Inc.
Mary & John Raitt
Penny Bellamy & Mark Simon
Wendy Storch, Paragon Real Estate
The Tax Pros
Jill Brody, in memory of Evelyn Abrams
Nestor Bazalar, Sharp Electronics
Nancy & Tony Corbelletta
Drs. Lucy & William Crain
Droubi Team, Coldwell Banker
Anne & David Diamond
Judy C. Chen & Michael V. Gamboa,
Karen Kerner & Joshua Goodman
Yasaman & Young Lee
James D. Riley Designs
Lindsay & Peter Joost
Laura & Eugene Lanzone
Goli Mahdavi & Thomas Lee
Carolyn & James Marchetti
Pacific Pediatrics Medical Group, Inc.
Lulu Carpenter & Rony Rolnizky
San Francisco Millwork
Albert Lou & Carrie Shi
The Thaler/deChadenedes Family
Audrey & Russell Vernick
Jan & Jim Watson
98.1 KISS FM
raise your paddle donations
Janet Green Babb
Ben Del Vento
Kai Yee Lee
other wine+design donations
Carmen & Victor Bacigalupi
Alan Broussard & Maurice Belote
Dr. Sigrid Van Bladel & Stephen Brotzman
Spencer Brush Family Foundation
Costello Risk Services
Rose & Bob Dehner
Pamela Edrington, Edrington, Schirmer & Murphy LLP
Jackie & Alan Fox
Christopher Grounds, Morgan Stanley
John Seemann & Robert Hines
Dr. Randolph & Charlyn Johnson
Jonathan & Nicole Lawson
Julie & Neal Maeyama
Arlene & Robert Mathias
Patricia & Thomas McRae
Hae-Won Min Liao
Lynn & Robert Myers
Julee & Brian Rauschhuber
Remarkable Journeys LLC
Linda Boghrati & Ken Schnoll
Goldie & Martin Sosnick
Margaret & William Stewart
Marilyn & William Sugar
Victoria & James Sutton
Kathy & Peter Ventura
Audrey & Russell Vernick
wine+design auction & inkind donations
Alpha Omega Winery
American Conservatory Theater
April in Paris
Aqua Terra Physical Therapy
Asian Art Museum
Bay Area Discovery Musuem
Beach Blanket Babylon
Benefit Cosmetics - Fillmore Street
Broadway By the Bay
Cabot Creamery Cooperative
California Academy of Sciences
California Parlor Car Tours
California Shakespeare Theater (Cal Shakes)
Carla Martino Skin Care at Noe Valley
Cartoon Art Museum
Cass Hicks Acupuncture
Cavallo Point Lodge
Charles and Nancy Murphy
Children's Creativity Museum
City Arts and Lectures
Claire Devaney Personal Training
Cliche Noe Gifts + Home
Contemporary Jewish Museum
Convaid Products Inc
Delfina Restaurant Group
Divisadero Touchless Car Wash
Dog Gone Good!
Dr. Lee Strawn
Duckhorn Wine Company
Farm Fresh to You
Fine Arts Museums San Francisco
Fort Ross Vineyard and Winery
Four Barrel Coffee
Gallery of Jewels
Golden State Warriors
Hotel Nikko SF
Jay Jones Photography
Jewish Community Center of San Francisco
Just for Fun
Kabuki Springs & Spa
Kathleen M. Welsh, M.D.
Kimpton Hotel and Restaurant Group
Little Vineyards Family Winery
Lovejoy's Tea Room
Mary Small Photography
Meadowood Napa Valley
One Market Restaurant
San Francisco Ballet
San Francisco Linens
San Francisco Symphony
San Francisco Zoo
SF Giants - Shana Daum
Standard 5 &10 Ace
Strength and Movement, Pilates with
The Bar Method San Francisco -
The Girl & The Fig
The Laser Center of Marin
The Westin San Francisco Market Street
Tin Barn Vineyards
Turley Wine Cellars
U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein
Wayne Wichern Millinery
Junior League of San Francisco
National Student Speech-Language & Hearing Association at SFSU
One Brick Bay Area
SMART Local 1741
Travis Air Force Base Passenger Terminal
HALLOWEEN PARTY THANK YOU
Jane Lapides and Murray Cahen
Alpha Phi Omega, Alpha Epsilon Nu at USF
Archbishop Riordan High School
GiveAbility at American High School
National Student Speech Language Hearing Association at SFSU
Volunteer Photographer: ChengCheng Huang
Businesses and Groups
AIG Matching Grants Program
The Ann and Barry Haskell Charitable
Another way to help:
Contact us about donating your vehicle! 415-282-7494, firstname.lastname@example.org
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