4/6/2020

April 2020 Updates!

    Families Working Together 

News During the Cornonaviris Crisis

       Information You Need

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.

                                             Message from Director!
       

Greetings Friends of West Virginia Parent Training and Information, Inc.,

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.

Please watch your e-mail,  WVPTI social media accounts, and our website for updates with the latest information on the status of WVPTI programs and services. Also, contact us at our main number, 304-472-5697, if you need services or information.

Be well, and we will get through this together.

Brenda Lamkin,
Executive Director

 

 
WVPTI Website

    Together Time for Families

   
Rather than being confined to our homes in an effort to flatten the COVID-19 curve, how many of us wish we were in another time, in our car on our way to a dream vacation? Can't you hear the child in the back of the car asking? “When are we going to be there?” Unfortunately, we are not on that dream vacation, but we can still use what the preparations are for a long trip and how to be ready in order to take care of our family and ourselves  during the pandemic.
 
As family and primary caregivers for our children with special needs, we are given (a lot of) advice and expected to comply. We are really good at the following advice and implementing orders for our children. However, we, also, need to think of taking care of ourselves. 
 
Tip 1:  Start communication with your special needs child.
           Your children may be of an age to be puzzled about what is happening to the outside world. They may have questions to ask.
             Find out what your child already knows is the first step. Ask questions geared to your child's age level. For older children, you might as "Are your friends on Facebook talking about the coronavirus? What are they saying?" For younger children, you could say, "Have you heard us or grownups talking about a new sickness that is going around?" This gives you a chance to learn how much the children know and find out if they are hearing the wrong information. 
Here is a link to help you with tips on talking with your children:
https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/coronavirus-how-talk-child.html

Tip 2: Make the preparation to have fun for your child. 
      All children struggle with change after the structure of school to now home, and special needs children are not excepted from this transition. You might consider making a "transition" book to help kids adapt more easily to the new change with family and people. An online option is a book created with My Storybook (https://www.mystorybook.com/books/new/).
You might consider sharing social stories. Here is a link to several resources:
https://youtu.be/_iTvANmTprE
https://youtu.be/zTOSWXkdSv0  (no sound, just pictures, and images) 

Tip 3:  Help your children to feel in control. 
         Your children want to feel some control over this crisis. Teach them to positive steps such as learning how to properly wash their hands. Then, if soap and water are not available, show them how to use hand sanitizer.

Tip 4: Keep everyone on a schedule.
           It's important that routine that the children have now they are home every day. Join with your children to make a structured plan for their schoolwork and day's activities. Even though school is out, waking up and go to sleep at the same time as usual. Either a written or visual schedule is important to be posted in a high traffic area of your home. You need to have a structured learning time, playtime, and a "downtime" (where everyone goes to their room/space to do what they want whether it is watching TV or playing IPad with apps for special needs children. You and your family need consistency with the changing world. This may reduce anxiety and give a sense of stability.   

Tip 5: Stay up-to-date on special education news during the COVID-19 crisis.
        WVPTI sends current newsletters to help parents be more knowledgeable about your child's IEP and their disability during this time.  These newsletters can help you with tips and advice for special needs children.  The World Health Organization suggests for your mental health to watch the news about twice a day. 

Tip 6: Empowering yourself to make a self-care plan.
            First of all, you need to take of yourself in order to help your child and family. Here is a link to ways to ensure you do:       https://www.verywellmind.com/self-care-strategies-overall-stress-reduction-3144729
Call our family engagement specialists if you need information or need resources, we have regional trainers. 
Region 1:  Cara Price, 1-304-613-0139
Region 2: 

Region 3: Hazel Manns, 1-304-807-0143
Region 4: Tammy Taylor-Lane, 1-304-880-8764
Talking with Your Child about COVID 19





 
             
https://www.kcra.com/article/video-parents-explain-covid19-coronavirus-kids/31707838 is another video for children.
Here is the latest news from the West Virginia Department of Education which we are attaching to this news blast.
Please click on the pages below for important information which they are provided about timelines and people to contact.

Timelines:
.https://mcusercontent.com/3c36ac673ffed80d99968fd3a/files/3cdb3c47-abbc-4fc6-bd95-7f2b82ac1296/WVDE_Supporting_Student_with_Disabilities.pdf

 People:
 https://mcusercontent.com/3c36ac673ffed80d99968fd3a/files/960ea772-c6e5-4f72-bbc9-d2e7c00f0694/WVDE_Virtual_School_Counseling_Resources.pdf

Remember, we will all get through this together. Keep in the perspective of what you can control.

Need information? Questions? 
We are here to help you.
Call 1-304-472-5697
or wvpti@aol.com
Hope to hear from you soon!
      
WVPTI wishes everyone good health, calmness, and peace as we grapple with this crisis. If you would like information or resources, please call and connect with us. Phone: 1-304-472-5697. We are here to help you with your questions. 
 
https://www.facebook.com/WVParentTrainingandInformationCenter/
https://twitter.com/wvpti?lang=en
Link
http://www.wvpti-inc.org/
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