Parent Coordination SHOUT OUT!

May 2018

Parent Coordination Network

The Parent Coordination Network is committed to ensuring that parents of students with disabilities receive accurate and timely information to assist in making informed choices in their children's education.

TEA Submits Special Education Strategic Plan

Following an extensive statewide outreach effort that included more than 100 meetings statewide, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) has posted a final strategic action plan for special education. The plan incorporates valuable input from parents, students, teachers and education stakeholders received over the past several months regarding the delivery of special education services in school districts statewide. Significant actions that are part of the final plan include:

  • TEA will roll out a large scale statewide special education professional development system, including multiple opportunities for follow-up support for all educators (general education, special education, and others).
  • TEA will create a suite of resources intended to be shared with the parents of children suspected of having a disability to help fully inform them of their rights to a free and appropriate public education and accompany those resources with a large outreach effort.
  • For students who are found to have needed services that did not receive them, the school system is responsible for providing compensatory TEA has identified $65 million to assist school systems in the effective delivery of services.
  • TEA will further strengthen its staffing and resources devoted to special education, allowing for greater oversight as well as additional on-site support to local school districts.

The Legal Framework

The Legal Framework is a statewide leadership project partnering the Texas Education Agency and Region 18 Education Service Center. The project is a compilation of state and federal requirements for special education organized by topic in a user-friendly format.

This site includes frameworks, publications, and resources helpful in the special education process. There is a glossary of terms and acronyms, links to laws, rules and guidance, and a search feature.

Texas Assistive Technology Network Statewide Conference

The Texas Assistive Technology Network Statewide Conference will be held June 12-13, 2018 at Region 4 Education Service Center in Houston, TX. The conference is a joint initiative of the Texas Education Agency and the Texas Assistive Technology Network.

Presentations from national, regional, and local Assistive Technology practitioners are featured to help educators and parents better enable students with disabilities to access the curriculum, increase independence, and participate actively in education and life activities. An exhibit hall will also be featured.

Learn more about the conference by clicking here.

Texas Parent to Parent Statewide Conference

Each year Texas Parent to Parent offers an extensive 2-day conference to help Texas parents learn how to deal with the unique issues and challenges they face on a daily basis in caring for their children. The two-day conference offers approximately 60 different sessions within several tracks including: advocacy, parenting and sibling issues, special education law, medical issues, behavior, mental health, parent leadership, resources and services, self-advocacy, and transition. Several sessions are provided in Spanish with interpreters available for other sessions. Through seminars and face-to-face networking, attendees learn from each other and renew their energy and passion.

To view the conference packet, click here.

Visit the Texas Parent to Parent website.

Texas Autism Conference

The Texas Autism Conference will be held August 2-3, 2018 at the San Marcos Convention Center in San Marcos, TX. It is sponsored by the Texas Education Agency and coordinated by Region 2 Education Service Center.

The goal of the conference is to provide parents, educators, and campus leadership with strategies, resources, tools, and evidence-based practices in the education and service of students with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Information about the conference may be accessed via this link. The website includes registration and hotel information, conference agenda, session descriptions, and presenter information.

Five tips to help you make the most of reading to your child

The Conversation by Merga, Gardner, Roni, and Ledger

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

1. Give it all your attention

2. Engage with the story

3. There's no age limit

4. Pick a book you both enjoy

5. Don't worry about your style

Seven Research-Based Ways That Families Promote Early Literacy

Global Family Research Project has recently published this research-to-practice review, laying out early literacy as a high-leverage area for family engagement. Results have determined that positive early literacy experiences set children on a pathway to become confident readers by the time they reach third grade, which is an important milestone on the pathway toward high school graduation. Click here to access the practice brief and download the infographic. Or, learn more at

FREE Applied Behavior Analysis online training program

The Texas Center for Disability Studies at The University of Texas at Austin is currently recruiting parents of children with autism (ages 3-22) to participate in a free training on ABA basic principles and practices. This training is completely free to parents and is 100% online, allowing parents to participate at times that are convenient for them.

The purpose of the program is to help parents gain confidence and skills to address their child's educational and behavioral concerns. The program is structured around the RethinkEd training platform, which includes a library of on-demand learning modules, along with online discussions facilitated by project staff with behavioral expertise. The training begins in May 2018 and runs through spring 2019.

For more information, email project staff:, or to register, click here.

Texans Recovering Together: Crisis Counseling Program

In conjunction with Region 2 Education Service Center, Texans Recovering Together provides short-term stress management and crisis counseling to individuals and groups experiencing stress and other expected physical and emotional responses to large-scale, presidentially-declared disasters.

Services are free, confidential, do not involve making diagnoses or prescriptions, and are provided in the home or community. No appointments are needed, and crisis counselors travel to the individual or group to provide assistance.

Services include brief interventions, referrals, and crisis counseling to help survivors:

  • Understand their current situation and reactions,
  • Learn how to reduce and manage stress,
  • Learn and practice healthy coping strategies, and
  • Access disaster-relief resources and resources promoting recovery to pre-disaster functioning.

For more information, call (361) 561-8438 or email or

The Parent and Family Engagement Connection

As prepared by Region 16's Title I Statewide School Support and Family & Community Engagement Initiative

The April 2018 issue includes articles about summer learning and working, being involved in educational reform through the decision-making process, emergency care procedures, healthy snacking, and being a role model. Read it here or tab through the multitude of resources on the Statewide Parent and Family Engagement Initiative website.

Partners Resource Network

Partners Resource Network is a non-profit agency that operates the federally funded Texas Parent Training and Information Centers - PATH, PEN & TEAM. All of the projects share the common purpose of empowering parents of children and youth with disabilities in their roles as parents, decision makers, and advocates for their children.

Facilitated IEP Meetings

ARD/IEP meetings benefit from skilled and capable facilitators who can assist the team in crafting agreements that lead to better educational programs for students with disabilities. Facilitation makes the meeting process easier and helps team members communicate and solve problems more effectively. Every team member, parent, and school personnel can use facilitation to improve the process and outcome.

Click here to utilize specialized resources from Region 13 ESC on facilitated meetings. Don't miss the 14 specialized resource pages to assist at each phase of this process. Looking for even more information, check out this LiveBinder on IEP Facilitation.

Digital Tools to Support Home-School Partnerships

As part of a series from the International Literacy Association, Aileen Hower outlines a few tools to help students stay organized and to facilitate communication between home and school. Read them here!

Summer Activities for Families with Special Needs

Take a look at these blogs to get ideas for keeping students engaged in learning during the summer months! Tzvi Schectman with Friendship Circle has scoured the web to provide this comprehensive list of 212 Summer Activities for your child with Special Needs.


Check out this web listing of statewide parent organizations!