December 2019 WVPTI Newsletter

Holiday Season 2019

News for the Holiday Season!

December 2019 Newsletter

Resources and News at WVPTI!

Our Mission

Our mission is to inspire, educate and empower parents through information, training and support to become informed, effective partners and advocates in planning appropriate educational, transitional and medical healthcare outcomes for their children and youth.

As a result of our assistance to parents, families, and professionals, children and youth with disabilities will lead rich, active lives and participate as full members of their schools, communities, post­secondary career choices and independent living.

                                 Holiday Greetings from Director!
It is the holiday season, which we all look forward to every year. This time of year, we can take time out of busy schedules to spend time with our families and friends. Reflecting upon the year's activities, we are thankful and appreciate our employees, volunteers, the WVPTI Board, and you, our WVPTI friends and families. For WVPTI, this past year has been hectic with lots of changes, challenges, and exciting opportunities. To all who have been a partner or attendee with our events and trainings, WVPTI, and I wish you a merry holiday! 

Have a wonderful holiday season,
Brenda Lamkin,
Executive Director

Read More about WVPTI

    Holiday Tips for Families

    Holiday times can bring many different situations. One of them might be talking with your special needs child about Santa. Here is an excellent podcast about how to have this conversation. It is from Parent: Special Needs Magazine.
   There will be a variety of food around the holidays. What do you do when your child might have food sensitivities? There are some suggestions at Understood.org.  
Here is a list of ways to help your child to cope with different tastes. Also, there may be times when our childhood traditions may not work for our special needs children. You might create new memories and newly define what holidays look like for your family. This article will be useful to explore from the Understood Team about ways to reinventing an older tradition with some assistance from your children. Letting the children participate in helping with the holidays will make them feel proud and enjoy the time. Have fun with your special needs child, and your family is the goal of the season! 
A video to watch with your special need child to explain how to meet Santa. 
Call our family engagement specialists if you need a workshop or presentation training, we have regional trainers. 
Region 1:  Cara Price  [email protected]  Phone: 1-304-613-0139
Region 2: Kelly Miller   
[email protected]   Phone: 1-304-972-1873
Region 3: Julie Dial     
[email protected]     Phone: 1-304-972-8101
Region 4: Tammy Taylor-Lane   [email protected]                            Phone: 1-304-880-8764

Mark Schultz (RSA Commissioner) and
Brenda Lamkin (WVPTI Executive Director)
Our Executive Director, Brenda Lamkin, has been attending a conference in Anaheim, California and had the opportunity to meet Mark Schultz who is the new commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) and Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Special Education (OSERS). Mr. Schultz has a background in this field by having served as the deputy commissioner of the Nebraska Deputy of Education. He stated, "I'm excited to work with the RSA staff and our state and federal partners to maximize the opportunities for individuals with disabilities to be successfully employed and to live independently in their communities." Mr. Schultz's inspiration for his career connection to vocational rehabilitation stems from the experience of having a family member with mental and physical health issues resulting in a disability. "This experience has taught me the importance of one's self-worth and self-esteem and provides a personal motivation for wanting to make a difference," Schultz stated. WVPTI's Executive Director, Brenda Lamkin was happy to connect with Mr. Schultz and hear about his plans. 
Cara Price, New Family Engagement Specialist, Region 1
 Region 1, Cara Price, has joined the WVPTI team to help with training, information, and technical assistance. She will be in Upshur, Lewis, Doddridge, Harrison, Marion, Monongalia, Wetzel, Marshall, Ohio, Brooke, Hancock, Barbour, Taylor, Tyler, and parts of Preston. Cara is making connections in the area. If you need advice or assistance, please email [email protected]. WVPTI welcomes Cara!
   Introducing Tammy Taylor-Lane,
New Family Engagement Specialist
 Region 4
Region 4 has a new face in the area. Tammy-Taylor Lane is our new Family Engagement Specialist for Pocahontas, Nicholas, Hampshire, Webster, Randolph, Grant, Mineral, Hardy, Pendleton, Morgan, Tucker, Berkeley, and Jefferson.  She is making new connections every day. If you would like to schedule training in Region 4, please connect with [email protected]. WVPTI welcomes Tammy to our group!                     
Self Care: Parents, 12 Ways to Better Care of Yourself!

Holiday season stressing you? This resource from Psychology Today will have you starting some ME-time. There are 12 suggestions to practice some self-care and why it matters. It is som important to make sure you take good care of your body, mind, and soul every day, not just when you are sick.  Learning how to eat right, reduce stress, exercise regularly, and take a time-out when you need it will keep you healthy, fit, and resilient. 
Do you want greater well-being? Quiz
Need information? Questions? 
We are here to help you.
Call 1-304-472-5697
or [email protected]
Hope to hear from you soon!

Autism Night Before Christmas

                                    A Poem By Cindy Waeltermann 2008
Twas the Night Before Christmas
And all through the house
The creatures were stirring
Yes, even the mouse

We tried melatonin
And gave a hot bath
But the holiday jitters
They always distract

The children were finally 
All nestled in bed
When nightmares of terror
Ran through my OWN head

Did I get the right gift
The right color
And style
Would there be a tantrum
Or even, maybe, a smile?

Our relatives come
But they don't always understand
The pleasure he gets 
Just from flapping his hands.

We know what it's like
To live with the spectrum
The struggles and triumphs
Achievements, regressions...

But what they don't know
And what they don't see
Is the joy that we feel
Over simplicity

He said, "Hello!"
He ate something green.
He told his first lie!
He did not cause a scene!

Others don't realize
Just how we can cope
How we bravely hang on 
At the end of our rope

But what they don't see
Is the joy we can't hide
When our children with autism
Make the tiniest stride

They work even harder
Than you or I
To achieve something small
To reach a star in the sky

So to those who don't get it
Or can't get a clue
Talk a walk in my shoes
And I'll assure you

You will realize
What it is I go through
Then you won't say a thing
You will be quiet and learn,
Like the years that I did
When the tables were turned.

Happy Holidays to all,
To all, a good night. 
Smart Holiday Shopping for Special Needs Children 
Use these tips to connect with joyful gifts, which include some that build social skills for your child and others with developmental challenges this season. Read more...
    Toys for Children with Special Needs 
    21 Best Special Needs Toys for Children
    Toys and Games- Adapted
Here are 17 tips for enjoying the holidays with your special needs child from Very Well Family. Read more by clicking the tab below. 
17 Tips for Enjoying the Holidays with your Special Needs Child
Here is an active link to register for Julie Dial's webinar:

Registration URL

Webinar ID    886-967-907

I hope you will join us for this online event!

WVPTI wishes everyone a great holiday season! In the new year, remember, we are here if you would like to connect with us about questions or concerns. There are informational meetings with topics such as IEP, 504, Leadership, Self-Advocacy, Leading by Convening, Overview of Special Education, ADHD, ESSA-It’s the Law! and many others. If you would like to schedule or attend one, please call and connect with us. Phone: 1-304-472-5697. We are here to help you with your questions. Happy Holidays!
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99 Edminston Way Buckhannon, WV, 26201 

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West Virginia Parent Training & Information, Inc. · 99 Edmiston Way Ste 101-102 · Buckhannon, WV 26201-8916 · USA

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