March 2020 Newsletter

March 2020 Newsletter

Find out what's happening 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.

                                  News from the Director!
Welcome to our special edition of e-news from West Virginia PTI.  WVPTI is taking COVID-19 seriously, and we wanted to let you know how we are handling the situation to keep families and staff safe. WVPTI is committed to doing its part to protect our community. Our staff and Parent Engagement Specialists are available by phone, email, or texts if you need assistance. We can provide you with timely information and resources. This electronic newsletter is one of the ways that we hope to serve you. You might want to check out our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/West-Virginia-Parent-Training-and-Information-100700473332309/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel   
We will continue to monitor the coronavirus situation closely. Please watch your email, WVPTI social media, and our website for updates with the latest information on the status of WVPTI programs and services during the upcoming weeks. 

Keep well and contact us if we may help you!
We will get through this together. 

Brenda Lamkin, Executive Director of WVPTI
Read More

  Are you talking with children about Coronavirus Disease 2019?

    As the public and parents are talking about Coronavirus and children are not in school due to this disease, the students may worry about themselves, their family, and friends becoming ill with COVID-19. It is a time for parents, family members, and other trusted adults to play an essential role in helping children with special needs to make sense of what they hear in a way that is honest and accurate. Your critical role model can minimize anxiety or fear. WVPTI would like to share some CDC guidelines to help adults to have these conversations and you can avoid getting and spreading the disease. 

General Guidelines for Talking to Children
1. Remain calm and reassuring. 
          Children will react to both what you say and how you say it. 
 2. Make yourself available to listen and to talk. 
            Take time to assure children that they can come to you with their questions. 
3. Avoid language that might blame others
             Remember that viruses can make anyone sick. 
4. Pay attention to what children see or hear on television, radio, or online. 
             Too much information on one topic can lead to anxiety.
5. Provide information that is honest and accurate. 
              Give children information that is appropriate for their age and developmental level of the child. 
6. Teach children everyday actions to reduce the spread of germs. 
                 Remind children to stay away from people who are coughing or sneezing (sick). 
                 Remind them to cough or sneeze in a tissue or their elbow.
                 Get children into a handwashing habit such as washing their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer. 
                                  Source: CDC.gov/coronavirus/2019.

Call our Family Engagement Specialists if you need information, we have regional trainers. 
Region 1: Cara Price  [email protected]  Phone: 304-613-0139 
Region 2: Hazel Manns   [email protected]   Phone: 304-807-0143

Region 4:  Tammy Taylor-Lane  [email protected]   Phone: 304-880-8764
Start STRONG, Stay STRONG for Your Child
"As a parent of an ADHD and mentally challenged child, your world- by being turned upside down by coronavirus and school closures and pandemic fear- just got infinitely more difficult. Therefore, tremendous amounts of grace are granted.  In short, managing your home and your children with rules that are 'good enough' is good enough." Parent: Tracia Arthur

We got this. If there's anything I've learned during the past 14 years, it's that parents who have a disabled child are among some of the most resilient and strong people I've ever met. We've sat through difficult diagnoses and health crises with our kids. We've dealt with bullying and social problems. We've even been bullied and belittled ourselves, In other words, we got this. It's stressful, it's unknown, but many of us have been through much worse, and we'll get through this too." Lisa Lightner, a parent blogger. 

Tips for Managing your Worries about COVID-19 Coronavirus:

1. Stick to medical professionals when it comes to information.
2. Keep it in perspective. There are 8 billion people on the planet. There are approximately 100 children with the coronavirus in the US but no one in West Virginia has been diagnosed as of the time of this news writing. 
3. Know your child and go with your gut feeling. As a parent, you know when there is something wrong with your child. Keep pushing if you think your child is ill and your concern is being dismissed. 
4. Be alert for subtle signs of illness. Everyone knows you're sick if you have a fever or diarrhea or vomiting. When a child is non-verbal, detecting illness isn't always easy. Refusing to eat, eating less, or other subtle signs of behavior changes may indicate illness, too. That's not to say that means your child has COVID-19, but you want to stay on top of any developing sickness. 
5. Know the warning signs. Yes, this information has been in the news quite often. The signs of COVID-19 are basically the same as anything else. Coughing, runny nose, fever. Just keep a close eye on your child.
6. Turn off the TV for a while. Fear sells. Repeat, fear sells. That's why TV people do tell us what is happening but our world today has news 24/7. Take a break and find a calmness to handle all the informational news. 
7. Be proactive with your child. Now the children are home for a while, make a plan. It doesn't have to be entirely up to you. Include the children in making plans for the morning, early afternoon, and late afternoon. Boardgame marathon?  House scavenger hunt? Play-Doh creativity? Reading session? Afternoon room time? In-home movie and popcorn? Friendship-bracelet-making?  Mandatory bundle-up and go-outside time? Individual free time? Jigsaw puzzles? If you have more than one child, it is hard to get a consensus but let each of them have a turn in making the plan. However, remember, be lax. If the schedule breaks, down, it breaks down. It is having a plan which will lessen the anxiety and start the day off with a positive note. 
Enjoy this time with your children! 
Need information? Questions? 
We are here to help you.
Call 1-304-472-5697
or [email protected]
Hope to hear from you soon!

Social Stories to Help

   At this time, you might use social stories to help explain the social situation around the Coronavirus pandemic to children with special needs and help them to learn about what is happening in our world today. These stories are an excellent way to help your child to feel comfortable and confident. Social stories are a tool to help you as you talk with your child dependent upon the child's age and developmental level.

Here are some weblinks to help you:


Another one is https://harborschool.com/2020/03/13/the-autism-educator-coronavirus-social-story-amanda-mcguinness/  where you may download a free copy of Coronavirus Social Story for children. 

Not sure what to say when the children ask questions. Here is a link about how to hold the conversation about the pandemic:

Remember, we will get through this situation together! 
As special needs parents and teachers, we don't have the power to make life "fair," but we do have the power to make life joyful. Have a joyful spring! Stay Healthy!
Letter from Our Director: 

Greeting Friends,
     WVPTI is taking COVID-19 seriously, and we wanted to let you know how we are handling the situation to keep families and staff safe. Many of the families we are privileged to serve have medically fragile children, and WVPTI is committed to doing its part to protect our community.
WVPTI staff will be working remotely from their phones and computers. You may reach one of our Family Engagement Specialists by their email address or calling their phones.  WVPTI management is closely monitoring the situation.  We will be updating weekly or as we are updated by USDE on our website and e-newsletters of additional news.
For families and partners:
During this period of teleworking, we ask families and partners to note the following things:
  • During this time, WVPTI staff will be able to best and most quickly respond to you via e-mail. If you have access to e-mail, please use this as your method of communication with us, if possible.
  • Staff will be regularly checking their voicemail and text. You may call our main office number (304-472-5697) if you need assistance or information.
WVPTI, Inc. has decided to cancel, effective immediately (March 16, 2020) until further notice, the following:
  • ALL in-person visits and meetings (including family and professional).
  • ALL in-person workshops and training opportunities.
We will continue to monitor the coronavirus situation closely. Please contact us by email.  WVPTI social media and our website are the places for updates with the latest information on the status of WVPTI programs and services.
Be well, and we will get through this together,
Brenda Lamkin, Executive Director of WVPTI, Inc.
Copyright © 2018* *WVPTI, Inc.*, All rights reserved.

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99 Edminston Way Buckhannon, WV  26201 

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