Special Education Parent Newsletter
Volume 1: September 2022
A Message From The Director
Hello Parents and Guardians,
We are off to a great start to the 2022-23 school year! I want to welcome all of our new DSISD special education families and welcome back our returning families. This year, we will continue with the Special Education Parent Newsletter which connects our families to information and resources that we hope will be helpful in navigating the school year. Our newsletters will be distributed quarterly. If you have any suggestions for future newsletters or suggestions for ways that we can continue to support our students and families, please feel free to use the SUGGESTION BOX tab at the bottom of this newsletter. We are looking forward to a great year and getting to see your students succeed.
Special Education Parent Newsletter Information
We are so excited about this opportunity to share information from our parent group, district events, important information, and more! The newsletter will be published on the following dates:
Volume 1: September 22, 2022
Volume 2: October 22, 2022
Volume 3: January 23, 2023
Volume 4: March 23, 2023
PARENT INFORMATION AND RESOURCES
Website information & Meeting dates
Our SE-PLC now has its own place on our DSISD Website. You can click below to access that page or you can access it from the main website by selecting:
Departments from the top bar on the District website
Special Services from the drop-down
Special Education tab on the left
Special Education Parent Leadership Committee under the Special Education section
The Special Education Parent Leadership Committee (SE PLC) will meet from 5:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. at Central Office (510 W. Mercer Street) on the dates shown below:
- September 6, 2022
- October 4, 2022
- November 1, 2022
- December 6, 2022
- January 10, 2023
- February 7, 2023
- March 7, 2023
- April 4, 2023
- May 2, 2023
Search by zip code for resources!
Use findhelp.org to search and connect to support. You can find resources for financial assistance, food pantries, medical care, and other free or reduced-cost help. Click below to get started!
The Back to School Parent Fair was a success!
Parent Fair Resources
Check out some of the awesome resources we were able to share in August!
The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) has been restructured to sharpen our focus on public health. Our job is to promote and protect the health of people, and the communities where they live, learn, work, worship, and play. We understand no single entity working by itself can improve the health of all across Texas. We must all work together to create a better system that includes prevention, intervention, and effective partnerships.
Hill Country Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities (MHDD) Center
At Hill Country MHDD Centers our purpose is to help people have positive control over the life they desire and find satisfying, and are recognized and valued for their contributions to their communities. Through our adult and child behavioral health, intellectual and developmental disabilities, substance abuse, crisis care, and justice involved services programs, we promote hope, independence, community integration and recovery.
Hill Country Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities (MHDD) - Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) Services
Hill Country MHDD Centers is a Local Intellectual and Developmental Disability Authority (LIDDA). LIDDA services include determining a person’s eligibility for services, enrolling a person into programs, and coordinating and monitoring on-going services for a person by assigning them a Service Coordinator. Other important responsibilities include placing individuals on the Home and Community-Based Services (HCS) and Texas Home Living Interest Lists, helping students transition from school services to community-based services, and aiding families who are seeking residential services for children and adults.
Our Service Coordinators are trained in Person Centered Thinking and Person-Centered Plan Facilitation – which means they have learned skills to better support individuals to achieve their goals at home, school, work and in the community. The Service Coordination team coordinates and manages the vast array of services for people diagnosed with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Provider Services support individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to achieve an interdependent life and live to their fullest potential by providing individualized specialized services. These services may include in-home, community, and work supports; transportation; behavioral supports, respite, and day habilitation.
The Texas Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs) are highly visible and trusted places where people of all ages, incomes and disabilities can go to get information and one-on-one counseling on the full range of long-term services and supports available in Texas. The ADRCs provide:
a person-centered, community-based environment that promotes independence and dignity for individuals;
easy access to information and one-on-one options counseling to assist consumers in exploring a full range of long-term services and supports to meet their needs and/or situations; and
resources and services that support the needs of family caregivers.
Caregiver Respite Fund Resources
Aging and Disability Resource Group (ADRG): Funds available to provide short-term respite care for caregivers through the Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) at the Capital Area Council of Governments
WHO: Unpaid family caregivers (biological-adoptive-foster parent/grandparent/spouse/sibling/adult child caring for parent…) who are:
Unable to access respite care
Waitlist for state or federally-funded services
Care recipient can be of any age with special needs, disability and/or chronic condition
WHAT: Funding to pay for short-term respite care in a variety of formats. The caregiver can stay in the home, leave the home, or even travel to a vacation during the respite care period(s).
In-home , either from a personal provider or an agency
Agency (such as adult day care or a nursing facility)
Summer camps for persons with special needs
The caregiver is responsible to choose a provider, determine wage and schedule, and submit all required documents. Assistance is time-sensitive, consumer-specific and valid for a short period (10-20 days).
WHERE: Bastrop/Blanco/Burnet/Caldwell/Fayette/Hays/Lee/Llano/Travis and Williamson Counties.
WHEN: Funds are currently available!
WHY: Caregiving is tough! This program helps support family caregivers with limited or no access to other sources of respite care, in both rural and urban areas of the Capital area.
HOW: Contact the Aging and Disability Resource Center staff. You can contact John Blackard, program point of contact, by writing firstname.lastname@example.org or the ADRC toll-free at: 855-937-2372.
Supplemental Special Education Services (SSES): Must use providers from the approved TEA list
Supplemental Special Education Services (SSES)- Medically Fragile
Camps and Activities
Click below to offer feedback for our 2023-2024 Parent Fair!
Free Parent Training Opportunity
The Center on Disability and Development at Texas A&M University would like to offer training at no cost to Texas parents and caregivers of children up to age 22 with core features of autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
This project is intended for parents/guardians who have a child up to age 22 with ASD or
similar characteristics, needing instruction in communication skills. If you and your child
decide to participate in this project, you will participate in a 1-hour webinar, with the
opportunity to move into individual parent training sessions to learn to implement a
communication intervention with your child. Your child will receive
communication/behavioral assessments and a communication intervention which will be
implemented by you. The recommended individual parent training sessions will consist
of approximately 10, 1-hour sessions over the course of 12 to 16 weeks. Shorter coaching
sessions are also available, if more suited to your needs.
If you are interested in participating in this project, visit autism.tamu.edu for enrollment
information, or contact the project coordinator, Sanikan Wattanawongwan at
Special Olympics information
DSISD is excited to be participating in Special Olympics Texas (SOTX) again! Our team will be competing in bowling this fall, a basketball event or season, and track & field in the spring.
In order to participate in Special Olympics, prospective athletes must complete all required waivers and forms and follow the protocols of Special Olympics Texas. We have weekly practices and compete in a scrimmage prior to the Area Meet. At the end of the year, we celebrate our athletes and partners with a party!
Bowling practice typically begins in September, depending on the date for the Area Meet (November this year).
Basketball will probably be an event in the early months of the year (January, February or March).
Track and Field practice starts in February with the Area Meet in April or May.
Our schedule is determined by the Special Olympics Texas schedule of events, and we have an email list for those who are interested in participating or learning more. Please reach out to be added to the email list!
At the high school, we are also involved in Unified Champions. Students can participate in Unified PE or Unified Dance as an athlete or partner. Partners and athletes team up to help plan activities and lesson plans. We love to get more people included with Special Olympics and are always looking for partners!
Special Olympics Coach
Special Olympics Head of Delegation
Become an Athlete:
Become a Volunteer:
Special Education Acronyms
Explore some of the many Special Education acronyms ! This list was created just for parents!
PARENT VIDEO SERIES
Check out the first installments of our new Parent Video Series. These are informational videos intended to help learn about common topics families and guardians may encounter. The first part is Special Education Defined, broken into two segments. The first part deals with Child Find and what to do if you believe your child may need special education services. The second part breaks down the initial referral process and what happens after an evaluation is completed.
Back to School Information for Families
Information from U.S. Department of Education
Reach out to your kids' teachers Attend meet-the teacher night, orientation, or other welcome events, but don't stop there. Make a point of introducing yourself and learning about class activities and expectations for the year. Find out how each teacher prefers to communicate.
Many use e-mail as the main form of contact, but phone calls and conferences (make an appointment first) are usually welcome, too. For more advice on building a parent-teacher relationship that will last the entire year, as well as links to all the websites featured in this guide, go to parenting.com/success.
Get in the groove Establish healthy at-home routines for school days, such as consistent waking times and getting-ready patterns. Decide on a regular homework time, and create a comfortable, quiet work space. Set bedtimes that allow elementary-age kids to get 10 to 12 hours of sleep; teens should get 8½ to 9½ hours.
Time things right Stay on top of everyone's school, activity, and work schedules with a free online calendar or a smartphone app.
Pack smart Make sure your child's backpack never weighs more than 10 to 20 percent of his body weight; heavy packs can strain developing muscles and joints. Encourage your child to use both straps, and tighten them so the pack hangs close to the body, about two inches above your child's waist.
Commit to volunteering With help from parents like you, your school can offer many more programs and services for your kids. Join your school's PTA and ask about volunteer opportunities in the school community and your children's classrooms.