Special Education Scoop

February 2022

In This Issue

Destination Life Regional Transition Fair and Conference

Speech Spot

Early Childhood Corner

Elks Children Services - Summer Camp Opportunity

STAR Free Home Resources

Medicaid Waiver

Transition Information - Myth Busting

National Autism Resource - Free App


Important Dates

Destination Life Regional Transition Fair and Conference

The Destination Life event will be held on March 5, 2022. The event is virtual this year.

Here is a link to the website for more information: https://sites.google.com/leanderisd.org/destinationlifetransitionfair/home

Speech Corner

Myth: Children are confused by learning two language, and learning two languages can cause a language delay.

Fact: Bilingual children reach their developmental milestones at the same time as monolingual (single language) children. If a child has a speech or language delay, it will be present in both languages. Mixing two languages does not imply a child is confused.

Myth: Parents of children with language delays or disorders should only speak to a child in one language.

Fact: Children with language delays or disorders can learn to communicate in two languages. Parents are encouraged to speak to their children in any and all languages in which they are comfortable.

Myth: A child should learn one language fully before s/he can learn a second language.

Fact: Learning both languages can occur at the same time.

Bilingualism may help increase access to wider range of communication partners, including some of the most important people in one’s lives: family. Please take some time to read this perspective on The Cultural Benefits of Bilingualism.

Early Childhood Corner

All of our Early Childhood Special Education classrooms are implementing Dr. Becky Bailey's Conscious Discipline. Conscious Discipline is an evidence-based, comprehensive, multidisciplinary self-regulation program. It addresses the emotional intelligence of adults first and children second. The three core components of Conscious Discipline are safety, connection, and problem solving.

1. SAFETY, through self-regulation, enhances adults' and children's ability to recognize and manage emotional upset.

2. CONNECTION, builds relationships to change adult and child perceptions, increase cooperation, and increase the willingness to learn and practice new skills.

3. PROBLEM SOLVING, through changing our response to conflict, boosts adults' and children's ability to adapt to changing situations (resiliency).

One way we work toward the three components is understanding brain state. We have three different brain states, and depending on where the adult or child is at, is how we respond. Watch the video below to learn more about different brain states and Conscious Discipline.

For more information and free resources, visit the website below.


Resource: Parent Education Curriculum, Conscious Discipline, Dr. Becky Bailey, pg 2.

The Conscious Discipline Brain Model Demonstration with Dr. Becky Bailey

Texas Elks Children's Services, Inc. Summer Camp Opportunity

Texas Elks Camp is a FREE therapeutic and recreational camp that offers, fun-filled experiences to children with special needs that include field trips to amusement parks, arts and crafts, weekly dances, cookouts, archery, hiking, fishing and a variety of outdoor games and activities. Our ratio of counselors to campers is 1:2. To provide the best possible camp experience we have designated each camp session to a specific age group.

Any child with a qualifying special needs or in foster care who is a Texas resident between the ages of 7 through 17 may apply. Eligibility criteria can be found in the enclosed brochure.

Texas Elks Camp is accredited by the American Camping Association and licensed by the Texas Department of Health. Our program is a non-profit funded by Elks Lodges in the state of Texas.

Texas Elks Camp is located approximately 10 miles north of Gonzales on US Highway 183, next to Palmetto State Park in Ottine, Texas. Texas Elks Camp offers six, one-week sessions beginning Sunday afternoon to Friday at 5:00 p.m. Each camper is eligible to attend one week during any summer.

Please review the attached brochure for more information. To apply, visit www.texaselkscamp.com. Online registration is now available. Texas Elks Camp accepts children on a first come, first served basis. Travel funds are available to families who may not have the resources to bring their children to camp.

STAR Online Family Resources

STAR (Strategies for Teaching based on Autism Research) provides family with free online resources. The resources can be found at: https://starautismsupport.com/ Select Covid 19 Free Support.
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Medicaid Waiver

What is a Medicaid Waiver? A Medicaid waiver allows the state to assist individuals and provide some long-term services to those with disabilities. Most of these waivers assist after adulthood, however please look at slide deck to see what waiver can provide and what are the age ranges. If an individual meets eligibility requirements, they can receive services they need in their own homes or other community settings, instead of having to go into a nursing facility or institution. You may apply and/or qualify for both Medicaid benefits, as well as Medicaid Waiver programs.

In Texas, there are several different waiver programs that offer a broad range of home and community-based services to people with disabilities and elderly citizens. There are different rules and funding amounts for each of the different waivers.

You do not need to be on Medicaid to be placed on the interest list. Most of the interest lists take years until a person is able to be considered for services. It is important to get on the interest list as early as possible.

Medicaid Waiver Presentation for Caregivers

Medicaid Waiver for Caregivers Video

Transition Information - Myth Busting

Myth Busting: I shouldn’t work because my family and I will lose benefits.

Since 2009, I have had the opportunity to work with our transition program in PFISD. In that time I have seen many students secure paid employment opportunities just to turn them down because of misinformation about employment and retaining benefits such as Medicaid and Social Security. Through “Ticket to Work,” Texas values employment first. Through programs like the Able’s Law, employees with disabilities are able to save their money by placing it in a trust for many types of qualified purchases to live and work. Money that goes into the trust will decrease the employee's income so that he/she still qualifies for Social Security and Medicaid benefits. For example, earning minimum wage in a part-time job would allow employees to have actual spending money, keep their health insurance, and have money for living expenses. Please read the article at this link for more detailed information. Choose Work Please contact me to ask or pose any questions about transition and vocation. Christopher.visness@pfisd.net

National Autism Resource - Free App

The staff at National Autism Resources started to notice a trend that more and more hospital staff were calling for supports to help individuals with autism. This experience matched what hospitals were reporting, an increase in the number of individuals with autism visiting emergency departments.

The iTalkDoc app was created to help simplify communication for individuals with autism. We designed it to be simple because too many choices can be visually over stimulating and make communication more difficult. Our goal is to create a starting point for communication.

You can learn more, and download the app, at the this link: https://nationalautismresources.com/italkdoc/

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Important Dates

January 5 - March 10, 2022 - 3rd Nine Weeks Grading Period

February 21, 2022 - Student/Staff Holiday

March 11, 2022 - Student Holiday

March 14-18, 2022 - Spring Break

March 21 - May 26, 2022 - 4th Nine Weeks Grading Period

April 15, 2022 - Staff and Student Holiday/Bad Weather Make-Up Day

April 18, 2022 - Student Holiday

May 26, 2022 - Early Release/Last Day of School