Special Services Parent Newsletter

December 2020

Big picture

Pancakes! Pancakes!

Pancakes! Pancakes!

Deer Creek students in Mrs. Price's class started off their day whipping up some pancakes inspired by Eric Carle's book, Pancakes! Pancakes! ...with fresh eggs from Jesus's own chickens! ...and their virtual student even participated by making pancakes at home!


Reunión para Padres de Educación Especial

Lunes, 7 de deciembre 130 a 2:30 pm

Aquí tiene la oportunidad de conversar en español con otros padres: ¿Qué ha funcionado mejor para su familia? ¿Le gustaría escuchar y compartir algunos consejos sobre cómo enfrentar un desafío que esté ocurriendo? Esta reunión es un foro informal para apoyarse y animarse unos a otros. Venga a compartir su sabiduría, obtenga consejos útiles y simplemente disfrute un poco de tiempo con otros adultos en estos tiempos desafiantes. Regístrese aquí para asegurarse de recibir la invitación de zoom.


Monday, December 7 online at 6:30 pm

Do you have a typically developing child, age 8-14, who would like to get to know other kids who have a brother or sister with a disability? SIBSHOP is just for them! Playing games, talking, and having fun with others who 'get it' - who understand the good...and not so good...things about having a sibling with special needs. This Sibshop is virtual. Please register here.

Tech Support for Parents & Caregivers

Tuesday, December 15 online at 10:00 am

Michelle Bothel, CISD Digital Learning Specialist and parent of a special needs child, presents tips and tools for helping your child learn using their Chromebook, laptop, or phone. This is an interactive meeting with time for questions and answers. RSVP now and we'll send you a reminder with the Zoom link the day before the meeting.


Big picture

Positively ECSE

by Elisa Nudleman, Early Childhood Special Education Instructional Specialist

Over the last 20 years our programs for 3 to 5 year olds with IEPs have expanded to meet the needs of our youngest learners in Crowley ISD. Formerly named Preschool Program for Children with Disabilities (PPCD), these programs are now called Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE). We provide a variety of settings, each offering the level of specialized instruction needed to ensure our children will have the opportunity to access, participate and make progress in the academic setting.

Our programs are lead by special education teachers and the most awesome and amazing para educators. Each team walks into school (or this year, logs onto their computers) with a smile on their face and a heart bursting with excitement to provide differentiated instruction to meet the needs of each of their children. Our programs are also supported by related services experts including speech therapists, occupational therapists, physical therapists and music therapists.

Our goal is to provide a variety of rich learning opportunities for all with a specialized focus on the individualized goals which have been determined for each child.

Our continuum of services for our early learners includes 2 classes for 3-year-old students with IEPs, 2 classes for 4-year-old students with IEPs, and 2 classes for 5-year-old students with IEPs. We also have 2 PreK classes and 2 kindergarten classes where students with IEPs are included within general education classes. On each of these campuses we are supported by amazing administrators and school staff who also understand the specialized needs of our little ones.

For many of our students this is their very first time in school. Our classrooms are happy, colorful, well designed environments that offer a variety of learning experiences. Walking into any of our classes you will see routines and clearly defined expectations, children involved in activities to build their language, social and academic concepts and skills and smiling faces! We do love to play but let me share what we are learning when we play. Our students are exploring new toys/activities and problem solving as they interact together. They are working on developing their fine and gross motor skills. They are learning to share and compromise and exploring conflict resolution. Our dramatic play areas and learning centers nurture their creativity and imagination and support the development of positive self-esteem.

Our teachers lead with an open heart. They have SUPERPOWERS! They are adaptable, brave, attentive, empathetic, patient, resilient and love to have FUN!

One of our teachers shared her vision for her students with this phrase: ”Every child is gifted. They just unwrap their packages at different times”.

Another ECSE teacher said this when reflecting on our year: “This year has come with many challenges, but the saving grace has been that our children are happy, loved & learning.” A classroom motto shared is “Together We Can!” We are #crowleyprideunified.

Bed, Bath and Beyond

Tell us what you found helpful or interesting in this month's newsletter and receive a little something from Bed, Bath & Beyond. Email donna.heim@crowley.k12.tx.us

Surviving the Holidays During the Pandemic

Holidays can be challenging for families with a child who has special needs. Add to that a pandemic and the potential for anxiety and stress can skyrocket. We've found some great articles that offer encouragement, advice, and creative ideas to find joy this season. Click on the Titles below to read more.

Holidays During the Pandemic

Tips for reducing stress, helping kids cope, and making new traditions from Child Mind Institute.

7 Tips to Surviving the Holidays with your Special Needs Child

Pediatric Therapies offer tips to navigate the season with a little more joy.

How to Help Kids Grieve Loss and Find Joy in an Unusual Holiday Season

Whether your holiday festivities are minimally changed or completely upended, it may be especially difficult for kids to cope with a loss of normality — especially after months of disrupted schooling. As your family approaches this unusual holiday season, consider these suggestions from experts and parents on how to prepare for these challenges and help your kids cope.

Mood-Boosting Tips for Families During the COVID-19 Pandemic

From HealthyChildren.org: Feeling connected to the people and world around us is a key part of good mental health. After months of physical or social distancing for COVID-19, families are still spending less time with others to help keep the virus from spreading. If spirits are sagging in your home, here are some simple steps that may help lift everyone's moods.

It's December!

Community Based Vocational Instruction (CBVI) is a program that prepares high school students for independence after high school. On December 1, DJ walked into his CBVI room and went straight to the calendar (which was still on November). He then proceeded to change the month and the days using his phone calendar as a reference.

Congratulations, Darius Johnson!

Big picture


Autism Resources for Parents Webinar

Tuesday, December 8 online at 12:15 (English) and 1:45 (Spanish)

This free webinar takes you on a tour of the Texas Statewide Leadership for Autism Training (TSLAT) website. Learn about their resources for interventions, communication, transition, online courses, video gallery and more. During the webinar you will also hear from two special guest presenters who are experts in the field of autism. Register here. Tambien en Español.

Stress Management for Parents

Tuesday, December 8 online at 12:00 pm

This workshop helps parents understand the importance of managing their stress and building their resiliency to stress. We will teach parents how to identify stressors and the main sources of their stress. We will discuss ways to deal with stress and improve resiliency, and then will teach parents some relaxation techniques that they can use to reduce their stress levels. Register here

Straight Talk from Parents

Caregivers of children with disabilities often receive grim outlooks for their child’s future. This straight from the heart series of short videos was created to provide a positive, empowering forum for families to share what they have learned on their journey. The messages include advice on bullying, planning for your child's future, and understanding behavior. Click here to view videos Tambien en Español.

Ability Play

Watching kids play and participate in recreational activities freely or watching parents play a fun game of catch with their child is something that many take for granted. Kids with disabilities don’t always have the skills or opportunities to engage in physical activities. Additionally, parents may not know how to include their child in activities that promote their physical wellbeing. Ability Play provides opportunities for both parents and kids to play based on their ability level. Services are provided to individuals with intellectual, physical or social disabilities that have mild, moderate or severe motor delays. Learn more or schedule free consultation at abilityplay19@gmail.com or call 682.999.8401

A Social Story about Germs, Getting Sick, and Staying Healthy

A helpful social story provided by Autism Speaks can be downloaded here for free. Using simple words and pictures, this 17 - page story addresses germs, getting sick, and good hygiene.
Big picture
Big picture