Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Ice Cream Social

Ice Cream Social

This Saturday! 3/28/15

1-3 p.m.

Burch Creek Mercantile

3920 Washington Blvd.
Support, connect, & make a friend!

A parent advocate will be there for IEP/504 questions.


Friday, March 13, 2015

Respite Provides Relief for Families of Children with Disabilities

Article by Jeanette Pascoe
-Mother of a child with Autism, Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, and an unconquerable spirit

Many Utah families who have children with disabilities are struggling, barely surviving their day-to-day routines. Their children require much different care than "typical" children. It commands more time, more energy, more money, and more emotion.

Some examples of special needs within families can be g-tube feedings, bathing, dressing, lifting, medications, difficult behaviors, sleep disorders, shunts, specialized diets, sensory processing issues, visual impairments, learning delays, brittle bones, bleeding disorders, attention deficit, seizures, breathing disorders, muscle disorders, and difficulty with fine motor or gross motor skills. There are many other disorders and difficulties families face. Often, families cope with multiple special needs and on a minute to minute basis.

As families of children with special needs, we love our children. We would do anything to help them get better. They are a part of us. They belong to us. They are precious.


There are times when we are exhausted, when we haven't slept, we are sad, we are angry, we have spent all our money, and we just don't know if we can keep going.

Reality hits. Real questions must be confronted. Am I capable of doing this day and night every day with little or no breaks? Will my marriage survive? Will my other children have what they need? If I get help, will it break our budget?

There is HOPE.

Take five to ten minutes to call DSPD if you are a parent or guardian of a child with special needs in Utah. That is what I did eleven years ago. That call has elevated my marriage, helped my children live normal lives, facilitated me coming out from survival mode, removed a major financial strain, empowered me to give back to my community, and ultimately, helped my child with special needs live a healthier, higher quality life.

Applying for Utah Disability Services and Respite

Division of Services for People with Disabilities (DSPD)

To apply, call 1.877.568.0084

What is DSPD Respite Care?
"Respite care is care provided by a trained person that temporarily relieves parents or caregivers from the day-to-day care they provide to the individual with disabilities. It can be provided in the family’s home, in the home of the respite provider or in a specialized facility, depending on the needs and preferences of the family or individual."
-DSPD Webpage on Services

Once you call DSPD, your child's case will be assigned to an intake worker. This person will work with you, guide you through the process, and answer your questions.

You will be asked to provide a needs assessment, a little about the child's social history, and a release of information.

Collect the following for your child's Needs Assessment:
  • Documentation: birth certificate, social security card, and guardianship papers (if they are relevant).
  • For ages 6 and under, obtain and provide a developmental assessment.
  • For ages 7 and above, obtain and provide a psychological evaluation. This evaluation must have been completed within the last five years by a licensed psychologist.
  • Any medical records which are relevant to the disability.
  • Diagnosis. If the diagnosis is related or medical, obtain and provide an ICD9 code from your child's doctor. (For example, if the diagnosis is "Autistic Spectrum Disorder," the code would be 299.0.)
Once a child's application and intake process is complete, eligibility is determined. If the child qualifies, they are placed on the DSPD waiting list. This list is considered based on need, not on the order of intake.

Are you wondering if you should apply?

If you are considering reaching out for help, you should call DSPD. You should especially call if your child's special needs are difficult to manage and if they are taking a toll on your family. I wasn't sure if I should apply, too. I thought, "I can do this. I'm strong. I'm capable." Even though those thoughts are true, you will have to consider the long lasting special needs and how they will effect your child, you, and your family. I even thought that there are others who have circumstances more difficult than mine. That may be true as well, however, there are services that my child truly needed. The eligibility process helped us to determine what level of services she would need.

Some parents may be concerned that receiving government service, such as respite, make their child ineligible to serve in the military. In most cases, a child with any disability in their records will disqualify them from serving in the military, not just the reception of respite or other government services. It is better to obtain a diagnosis and services for your child early, so that he or she has a higher chance of developing, progressing, and living a higher qualify of life.

While on the Waiting List

The waiting list is based on need. You should call again if needs have changed with your child, if your contact information has changed, or if you would like to check on your child's waiting list status. Be sure to include accurate information. Remember to include all of your child's special needs.

Each year, the amount of funding for DSPD services is granted by the Utah State Legislature. Many families of children with special needs lobby at the Capitol each year to propel forward the understanding of special needs and funding. With these efforts, it would be an incredible accomplishment for the state to serve more families. In turn, these families would have burdens eased and would be able to contribute to their communities as well as to the economy. The state would be wise to increase funding for DSPD services in order to avoid some of the higher costs of state care facilities.

Once My Child is Approved to Receive Respite

This is an amazing day. The hours and types of service your child can receive will be determined. Your child will be assigned a case manager who will help with any questions about respite and how to manage your child's services. Typically, you will be given the option of using a state contracted company who could send individuals to your home to help with your child's needs. You may also be given the option of using a state contracted financial service to cover the cost of you hiring your own workers. They would require a background check. Some families choose to have a combination of the two. Other services may be offered depending on eligibility, such as daycares or summer programs.

As you bring individuals into your home, your family may need to adjust to someone being there. Set clear expectations for those working with your child. Train and retrain on every important detail of your child's care. It is beneficial to have a plan for what you will do with your time, such as getting to the grocery store without needing to take your child, getting some sleep if you are sleep deprived, spending time with other family members who do not always get one-on-one attention, or doing something for yourself that you would not normally be able to do.

Receiving assistance in caring for your child may bring feelings of loss or even of guilt. Remember that these feelings are normal and will hopefully subside as you adjust to someone else providing some of the care your child needs. Remember that it is for the benefit of your child, you, and your family.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

IEP and 504 Q&A: Online Facebook Discussion

Put the "I" in IEP.

Online Facebook Discussion on IEP's and 504's

Monday, March 9th, 10-11 a.m.
Discussion comments at www.facebook.com/familiesofsuperkids
The more families we have, the better! Come ask your questions on our Facebook page this Monday. Kim Schneider, Parent IEP Coach at Utah Parent Center will be participating and answering questions.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

IEP and 504 Discussion Cancelled

Our event on IEP's and 504's originally today at 1 p.m. is being rescheduled due to our presenter having a family emergency.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Hogle Zoo Offers Classes for Children with Special Needs

Kids classes for children with special needs (autism and visual impairment, to be specific) at Hogle Zoo are being offered this year. The classes need to be successful in order for the zoo to feel the need to do more than just a pilot run. Below is a link for the program brochure highlighting all available activities at the zoo, as well as the class registration page. In the brochure, you'll want to focus in on page two (right after the cover page) for the details on these special needs classes, which are under the "Zoo Just for You" section.


Monday, February 23, 2015

Innovation in Our Community

This is an inspiring story about how some classmates helped one of their peers who is not able to speak. The classmates were innovative in how they came up with a way for their friend to access communication technology, but even more importantly, they saw the need and rose to the challenge. It took the collaboration and caring hearts of a teacher, technological support staff, and friends. Watch what happens.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Utah Special Needs Families and Tax Deductions

Here are some great resources to check out when you have a child with a disability or with special needs.

Utah TC-40D

After determining if your child has an eligible disability, use this form on your 2014 taxes. Your family deserves it and you may very well need it to offset some of your costs in caring for your child.

If your child is two years old or younger, take your form to the Utah Department of Health for them to verify that your child is eligible and to sign. For children 21 years old or younger, take the TC-40D form to your child's principal or Local Education Agency (LEA). For those with a child over eighteen years of age, take your form to the Utah Division of Services for People with Disabilities for a support coordinator to sign, to your child's primary care physician, or to a licensed psychologist familiar with your child.

Even though some of these years overlap, more detail regarding Parts 1, 2, and 3 on the TC-40D and eligibility requirements can be found on the form itself.

5 Additional Tax Deductions Which May Apply

Did you know that medical expenses, therapies, specialized diets, and legal fees may be considered eligible tax deductions? In addition, be sure to check if your family qualifies for the Child and Dependent Care Credit or the Earned Income Credit.

Information in this post is strictly as a reference to resources. The author, organization, and blog waive all liability pertaining to taxes and how any individuals interpret or use this information. We hope this is beneficial as information only. Individuals should ensure that they meet the specified requirements by the IRS and/or the state tax commission.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

ADHD Seminar at Davis High School

CHADD of Utah in collaboration with Davis School District

Pre-registration Is Strongly Recommended

DATE: Thursday, January 22, 2015 TIME: 7:00-9:00 P.M.

Invites Parents and Educators to attend...
"Death of a Superhero"

LOCATION: Davis High School Auditorium, 325 South Main Street, Kaysville, Utah

Presented by Mark Patey

(Minimum $5.00 donation request for CHADD of Utah Parent 2 Parent Scholarship Fund is appreciated)

The fastest way to destroy an AD/HD superhero is to get him/her to believe he/she is not one.

All Interested in Attending Please Register by Email with Stacey Stamper lilstac65@hotmail.com OR Kathy Romney kathyromney@comcast.net

What if you were a gifted sprinter, but were told that because of a condition found in a very small percentage of the population, your legs run too quickly and you’d have to learn to live without them.

For many children and adults with AD/HD that scenario is all too real. The world at large often asks them to limit the power of their sprinting or ‘hyperactive’ brains, when perhaps all they need is a bigger track to run on.

Provide your name, email address, school and school district.

**Educators can earn 2 Relicensure Points for attending. A certificate of attendance will be provided.
This entertaining and informative seminar will investigate how we can "Free the Superhero Within" by learning 5 ways to unleash the strength of an AD/HD brain.
Questions: Contact CHADD of Utah at www.chaddofutah.com

Born in Salem, Oregon, in 1972, Mark started life as a high-energy, curious child. In the fifth grade, Mark was diagnosed as having AD/HD and put in a special education class with the slower learners and school "trouble makers," yet went on in life to build multiple successful companies, starting the first at the age of 15 and employing hundreds by the age of 21.

Mark is currently the owner of Prodigy Engineering, BlueStep Technologies, 4Care Pharmacies, and Growth Climate Relationship Education and Therapy Centers. Past achievements have included building several other successful businesses, both large and small. He was the host of his own motorsports show on ESPN, and is consistently rated as one of the top presenters and trainers in the country.

Most recently, Mark received global recognition for breaking the Transcontinental World Speed Record once held by Howard Hughes. Flying a self-built airplane across the United States, Mark bested the previous record by an astonishing 48 minutes and 11 seconds.

Mark enjoys collecting, building, and flying airplanes, and donates his time and personal helicopter to the Utah County Search and Rescue. In 2010, the state of Utah awarded Mark with The Citizen Lifesaving Award.

Mark is the author of Addicts and Millionaires: The Gift and Curse of ADHD, and is also the host of the number one-rated podcast on AD/HD, "Distracted! with Mark Patey." Mark is an identical twin and lives in Spanish Fork, Utah, with his wife and four sons.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Upcoming Autumn Events

Wednesday, October 8                               6:30-8:30 p.m.
Vista Education Center, Rooms 1525 & 1535
97 South 200 East, Farmington, 84025
Online Registration: http://conta.cc/1uXbYYS 
From NO Where to KNOW Where: Transition to Adult Life
Families of youth and young adults with disabilities have learned many things, but most admit that they have much more to learn. The transition to adult life can leave parents feeling they are "NO Where"- totally lost! Get to "KNOW Where" by learning about transition planning and related issues. We will also discuss how to prepare your teen to participate in the transition planning process
as well.

Tuesday, October 14            6:30-8:30 PM 
Vista Education Center, Rooms 1525 & 1535
97 South 200 East, Farmington, 84025
Online Registration: http://conta.cc/1qPd3xM 

Plan for the Future:  Employment and Higher Education 

How can vocational rehabilitation be a partner in your child's IEP or Section 504 process?  Does your young adult have a plan for
 the future? How can your young adult prepare for employment, training and attending college? This workshop helps families to:  look at how vocational rehabilitation can be involved in the students current IEP as you plan for the future and employment goals; Better understand vocational rehabilitation programs and services; Better understand services for students with disabilities in higher education.                               
Wednesday, October 22    6:30-8:30 PM
Vista Education Center, Rooms 1525 & 1535
97 South 200 East, Farmington, 84025
Online Registration:  http://conta.cc/10g0N4s 

Pro Se Guardianship Training 
In a guardianship proceeding family petitioners can save money by choosing to represent themselves in the court process.  This is called Pro Se Representation. Guardianship Associates of Utah has over 12 years of experience teaching families how to represent themselves and is offering a free Pro Se training class for families who would like to act Pro Se as they seek guardianship of a family member. Families will be given all required court documents on a CD. During the training, families will be taught how to fill out these documents correctly. Families will learn how to file the documents with the court and how to represent themselves at the hearing. The CD will also contain detailed written instructions. This class takes two hours. It is recommended that you attend Basics of Guardianship before attending this class. 
Wednesday, October 29    6:30-8:30 PM
Vista Education Center, Rooms 1525 & 1535
97 South 200 East, Farmington, 84025
Online Registration: http://conta.cc/1qbN5Es 

Parents as Partners in the IEP Process 

 Parents are important members of the IEP team. They can and want to be effective partners with other members of the team in developing and delivering special education programs for their student with disabilities. However, they often lack information. This workshop will help parents understand their role, rights and responsibilities in the IEP process. Parents will also learn how to effectively prepare for, participate in and follow-up on IEP meetings held on behalf of their student.  
Wednesday, November 5                      6:30-8:30 PM
Vista Education Center, Rooms 1525 & 1535
97 South 200 East, Farmington, 84025
Online Registration: http://conta.cc/10g1BWQ   

Assistive Technology at Home and School 
What's out there and how can it help?
What apps work?
Guest Presenter:  Erek Engar:  Davis District Specialist
Thursday, November 6        6:30-8:30 PM
Vista Education Center, Rooms 1525 & 1535
97 South 200 East, Farmington, 84025
Online Registration: http://conta.cc/1qPe0pY 

October 15th 7:15pm
Surviving the Holidays
by Utah Easy to Love
The holidays can be one of the most stressful times of the year for families raising
children with special needs. Join us to share ideas & suggestions so you can
survive and still have fun!
Davis County
1246 Flint Meadows #102