Upcoming Events

16th Annual Conference 

Registration Now OPEN!!
Stipends available for families

https://f2fn.org/events

Most of the events below are virtual. Some are in person!

Please verify for any that are noted at a specific location!!

November 18 – January 1, Holiday Lights Sugar Land, Constellation Field, 1 Stadium Drive, Sugar Land, 77498

Purchase Tickets Using code F2FN22

 

December 22nd –  Are you a current or emerging leader who wants to improve the quality of life of Texans with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD)? Do you want to support positive systems change for people with IDD, their families, and communities across the state? Looking to become a steward of the disability rights movement while building your network of connections? Then the Partners in Disability Leadership (PDL) program is for you! PDL is an advanced leadership development training program created for professionals who are interested in being stewards of the disability rights movement and leaders within their agencies and organizations. The deadline to apply for the 2023 class is January 6, 2023. Sessions and events will be held in person and online.

December 26th, 9:00 – 10:00 am “Early Childhood Intervention Groups”. Located at 9401 Southwest Freeway, Houston, TX 77074. For parents of children 28-36 months old to preparing children for transition to the classroom and facilitate articulation strategies to encourage overall speech and language development, school readiness skills, and peer interaction. Email rhonda.mcdonald@theharriscenter.org for more information.

December 27th, 8:30 – 9:30 am “Adaptive Trail Troopers”. Get outside and enjoy some physical fitness! Meet up at a different City park each month for a group stretch and then stroll through the trail. One-time registration required for meeting updates. 

December 27th – 30th, 9:00 am – 3:00 pm “Transitions All Year Winter Break Week 2″. Located at 4131 S Braeswood Blvd, Houston, TX 77025. Transitions All Year is available to students who have a cognitive disability aged 14 – 22. Students will get hands on experience in vocational skills including assembly, retail and culinary vocations. Students will also be exposed to and experience life skills, social skills, and advocacy training in a safe and friendly environment. Each week students will be treated to a fun outing such as bowling, museums and/or arcades. Students will get a chance to explore and interact with several different art media including photography, painting, and glass fusing! Register here. Maximum capacity of 10 students each week. Fee is $65/day or $240 for the entire Winter Week 2. Need based scholarships are available. For more information, please get in touch with Clinton Hedges, Transitions Coordinator at CHedges@jfshouston.org or (713) 986-7855. 

January 3rd – 6th, 9:00 am – 3:00 pm “Transitions All Year Winter Break Week 3″. Located at 4131 S Braeswood Blvd, Houston, TX 77025. Transitions All Year is available to students who have a cognitive disability aged 14 – 22. Students will get hands on experience in vocational skills including assembly, retail and culinary vocations. Students will also be exposed to and experience life skills, social skills, and advocacy training in a safe and friendly environment. Each week students will be treated to a fun outing such as bowling, museums and/or arcades. Students will get a chance to explore and interact with several different art media including photography, painting, and glass fusing! Register here. Maximum capacity of 10 students each week. Fee is $65/day or $240 for the entire Winter Week 3. Need based scholarships are available. For more information, please get in touch with Clinton Hedges, Transitions Coordinator at CHedges@jfshouston.org or (713) 986-7855. 

January 3rd, 6:30 – 8:00 pm “Nite Owls: Nite Owls Re-Launch Party”. Located at 4131 S Braeswood Blvd, Houston, TX 77025. A weekly program for adults (18+) who have a disability. Most meetings will take place at Celebration Company unless otherwise noted. Activities include (but are not limited to) holiday celebrations, art, cooking, trivia and game nights, community outings, birthday celebrations, and so much more! Register here. Fee is $36/month, regardless of how many events that you attend. For more information, please call or email at niteowls@jfshouston.org or (713) 667-9336. 

January 10th, 12:00 – 1:30 pm “Why Do We Need to Know the Functions of Behavior“. Explanation of why understanding the reason for behavior helps to develop effective interventions. FREE Online Zoom Training for Parents, Teachers, Caregivers, and so forth. Zoom link will be emailed after registration. To reserve your spot, please email Erika.AguilarMedrano@texanacenter.com.

January 10th, 6:30 – 8:00 pm “Nite Owls: Tie Dye the Nite Away. Located at 4131 S Braeswood Blvd, Houston, TX 77025. A weekly program for adults (18+) who have a disability. Most meetings will take place at Celebration Company unless otherwise noted. Activities include (but are not limited to) holiday celebrations, art, cooking, trivia and game nights, community outings, birthday celebrations, and so much more! Register here. Fee is $36/month, regardless of how many events that you attend. For more information, please call or email at niteowls@jfshouston.org or (713) 667-9336. 

January 11th, 11:00 am “Educational Options in Texas”. The intent of this workshop is to help inform parents about some of the different educational options available in Texas for their children and how these different educational options provide special education services to students with disabilities. First, we will discuss the four main educational options in Texas along with a brief look at some alternative schooling options. Then we will identify some key terminology parents need to know when discussing the provision of special education among the different options and how students with disabilities are served in these different educational options. Register here.

11 de enero, 1:00 pm “Opciones Educativas en Texas”. Este taller ayudará a informar a los padres sobre algunas de las diferentes opciones educativas disponibles para sus hijos en Texas, y cómo estas opciones brindan servicios de educación especial a los estudiantes con discapacidades. Durante esta capacitación, discutiremos las cuatro opciones educativas principales en el estado, identificaremos la terminología clave que los padres necesitan saber para discutir la provisión de educación especial de acuerdo a las diferentes opciones, y compararemos varios aspectos de los servicios de educación especial disponibles y cómo estos servicios son provistos a los estudiantes. Registrarse aquí.

January 13th, 9:00 am – Noon, “Gateway Academy Transition Fair”, 50 Waugh Drive, Houston, 77007. Register online: https://www.thegatewayacademy.org/transition Visit with Family to Family Network!

January 13th, 6:00 – 8:30 pm “All Abilities Family Game Night”. Located at Plymouth United Church, UCC, 5927 Louetta Rd, Spring, TX 77379. They have one Dungeon Master who is able to take up to 5 more players of Developmental Age 8 and up for Dungeons & Dragons (D&D). They have a large selection of additional board and card games for families, No limit on these games. Social Emotional and Therapeutic games such as Connect 4, Scrabble, Go Fish, and more! Adult must remain in attendance and participate with children, we do not accept drop-offs.$10 per family. $5 for Pizza & Beverage (Gluten-free & Dairy-Free available). Ok to bring dinner/snacks in with you too. No religious programming or judgement (never BTW) on game-night, just family fun with other understanding and compassionate families.

January 17th, 6:30 – 8:00 pm “Nite Owls: MLK Nite of Service. Located at 4131 S Braeswood Blvd, Houston, TX 77025. A weekly program for adults (18+) who have a disability. Most meetings will take place at Celebration Company unless otherwise noted. Activities include (but are not limited to) holiday celebrations, art, cooking, trivia and game nights, community outings, birthday celebrations, and so much more! Register here. Fee is $36/month, regardless of how many events that you attend. For more information, please call or email at niteowls@jfshouston.org or (713) 667-9336. 

January 21st, 2:00 pm “O&M for Young Children with Visual Impairment”. Located at Louscan Library, 2510 Willowick Rd, Houston, TX 77027. Chris Tabb, O&M Specialist, will discuss O&M qualification criteria for young children and activities parents can do with their young children who do not currently receive O&M services. https://fb.me/e/4kP7k7Dt6

January 24th, 6:30 – 8:00 pm “Nite Owls: Intro to Self Defense“. Location TBA. A weekly program for adults (18+) who have a disability. Most meetings will take place at Celebration Company unless otherwise noted. Activities include (but are not limited to) holiday celebrations, art, cooking, trivia and game nights, community outings, birthday celebrations, and so much more! Register here. Fee is $36/month, regardless of how many events that you attend. For more information, please call or email at niteowls@jfshouston.org or (713) 667-9336. 

January 24th, 11:00 am “Assistive Technology in the IEP”. This webinar will provide participants with an introduction to the Assistive Technology consideration process that must occur for all students with disabilities in accordance with IDEA 2004, and can be used by staff developers and educators to train those involved in the development of IEPs. This includes teachers, parents, related services providers, administrators and, when appropriate, students. They will learn how to consider possible AT needs during the development of the IEP. Register here.

24 de enero, 1:00 pm “Tecnología de Asistencia en el IEP”. Este taller proveerá a los participantes una introducción del proceso de consideración de AT que debe ocurrir para todos los estudiantes con discapacidades de acuerdo con IDEA 2004, y que puede ser utilizado por directores de personal y educadores para capacitar a los involucrados en el desarrollo del IEP. Esto incluye a maestros, padres, proveedores de servicios relacionados, administradores y, cuando sea apropiado, estudiantes. Los asistentes aprenderán a considerar las posibles necesidades de AT durante el desarrollo del IEP. Registrarse aquí.

January 28th, 9:30 am “Resource Fair by Raising Awesome Awareness”. Located at Dayton Community Center, 801 S Cleveland St, Dayton, TX 77535. https://fb.me/e/1Y9Fsdyfi

January 30th, 6:30 – 8:00 pm “Nite Owls: Birthday and BINGO. Located at 4131 S Braeswood Blvd, Houston, TX 77025. A weekly program for adults (18+) who have a disability. Most meetings will take place at Celebration Company unless otherwise noted. Activities include (but are not limited to) holiday celebrations, art, cooking, trivia and game nights, community outings, birthday celebrations, and so much more! Register here. Fee is $36/month, regardless of how many events that you attend. For more information, please call or email at niteowls@jfshouston.org or (713) 667-9336. 

Upcoming Conferences 

January 21st 2023, Family to Family Network Conference, HCC- Katy bit.ly/F2FCon2023

February 15-17, 2023, Texas Transition Conference, Denton, TX
https://ttc.tamu.edu/  

February 23-25, Texas DeafBlind Symposium, Round Rock, TX
https://txtsbvi.escworks.net/catalog/conference.aspx?conference_id=40635

Miscellaneous

!!!IMPORTANT DEADLINE FOR ABLE ACCOUNTS!!! As a reminder, an ABLE account is organized under the IRS guidelines 529A.  An ABLE account is a place where your loved one with a disability can have money above and beyond the limits for Medicaid. The money in an ABLE account will not be counted against them for SSI or Medicaid purposes. The money in the account grows tax free and has tax free distributions as long as the distribution is used to “achieve a better life for an individual with a disability.” The deadline for your 2022 contribution to your child’s ABLE account is 12/31/22.

The Center on Disability and Development at Texas A&M University is offering training at no cost to parents and caregivers of children up to age 22 with core features of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This service is provided by a grant project entitled “Coach to Communicate (C2C),” sponsored by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. The training includes a 1-hour self-paced webinar that teaches behavioral strategies to increase communication use in children with ASD. 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. Once complete, there is also the option to be paired with a coach for more intensive 12-week training specific to their child’s communication needs (again, at no cost to parents). Coaching is offered in English and Spanish. If you are interested in participating in this project, complete the online application form at autism.tamu.edu or contact the project coordinator, Valeria Yllades at TAMUAuParent@tamu.edu.

How is Medicaid working for those in need? The Arc of Texas is collecting stories to learn how Medicaid is working (or not!) for people with disabilities, so we can work together to educate and advocate for changes. If you, or anyone you know, has a story to tell concerning challenges and barriers to accessing and using Medicaid please get in touch with Spencer Miller-Payne at smillerpayne@thearcoftexas.org.

Researchers at the University of Houston are evaluating whether use of a weighted blanket improves sleep among children adopted from foster care. Your child may be eligible if they are between 7 and 15 years of age, sometimes experience problems with sleep, and have never used a weighted blanket. No travel required. Participating families will receive a gift card and free weighted blanket to keep ($150+ value). For more information, email weightedblanketstudy@gmail.com or call 713-743-3400.

Baylor University is recruiting children and their parents for a Caregiver Coaching Program. This study will be evaluating parent coaching in evidence-based practices using videoconferencing technology (similar to Skype or FaceTime). They work with families for 6 to 8 weeks, with 1 to 2 visits per week. They meet with parents and caregivers and teach them to implement individualized interventions, related to goals that they’ve selected. Sessions occur in the family’s home, with coaches at Baylor University providing coaching over video. Families do not need to visit Baylor to participate. If needed, they can provide access to all necessary technology. There is no charge for this program. Families who live in Texas, have a child who is 17 years or younger and diagnosed with autism or any other autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and would like to learn more about the study, can contact Stephanie Gerow, Ph.D., BCBA-D and the Baylor University research team at caregivercoaching@baylor.edu or 254-447-8463.

The Margaret H. Ley Adult Literacy Program offers evening continuing education classes for adults 18* and older in the spring and the fall at Neuhaus Education Center. Our goal is to maximize the reading, spelling, and comprehension skills of our enrolled students by providing evidence-based reading instruction to the adult learner in alphabetics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension/composition. For more information, email AdultLiteracy@Neuhaus.org or call 713-664-7676.

Are you a caregiver of a child with autism? Did your child attend kindergarten between 2017-2022? A doctoral candidate in the school psychology program at the University of Houston’s searching for either English-speaking or Spanish-speaking caregivers of children with autism to fill out a survey about their experiences when their child with autism transitioned or entered into kindergarten. Eligibile participants will take a 10-minute survey by way of Qualtrics. Upon completion, participants will have the option to be entered in a raffle for one of 30 Walmart gift cards worth $20. For more information, please get in touch with the research team at ejellinek@uh.edu, mkmargulis@uh.edu, ssmire@uh.edu, or (713) 743-9378.

¿Eres cuidador de un niño con autismo? ¿Su hijo asistió al jardín de infantes entre 2017-2022? Un candidato a doctorado en el programa de psicología escolar de la Universidad de Houston está buscando cuidadores de niños con autismo que hablen inglés o español para completar una encuesta sobre sus experiencias cuando su hijo con autismo hizo la transición o ingresó al jardín de infantes. Los participantes elegibles realizarán una encuesta de 10 minutos a través de Qualtrics. Al finalizar, los participantes tendrán la opción de participar en una rifa de una de las 30 tarjetas de regalo de Walmart con un valor de $20. Para obtener más información, comuníquese con el equipo de investigación en ejellinek@uh.edu, mkmargulis@uh.edu, ssmire@uh.edu o (713) 743-9378.

University of Houston’s Cognitive Development Lab currently has studies available for children under 6 years old who exhibit autism spectrum disorder symptoms (regardless if they have been diagnosed or not). Children of all language and cognitive abilities are welcome. These studies take between 2 to 4 hours depending on the child’s age and consist of a parent-child play session, the ADOS-2 (a gold-standard autism diagnostic test), and an IQ (cognitive test). Children 30 months and older will also complete two vocabulary tests. Families have the option of completing all parts in one visit or splitting the study across multiple visits. This is completely free and families participating in this study will receive a full summary of their child’s results with the option of meeting with our team to discuss any questions or concerns. Families will also receive a $20 gift card, two family passes to the Children’s Museum of Houston, and a small gift bundle (may include toys, books, stuffed animals, T-shirts, etc) for each visit. For more information, please email at uhcogdevheadcam@gmail.com or email Elizabeth Perkovich at esperkovich@uh.edu

Baylor College of Medicine is conducting a research study that provides free treatment for anxiety designed to fit the needs of children aged 7-15 in Texas who have Autism Spectrum Disorder and anxiety symptoms (fear and worries). This study would provide a treatment known as parent-led cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Free internet-based CBT is delivered free through a website over the course of 12 weeks. No in-person visits are required, but participants must be located in Texas. Parents also will be asked to complete two virtual assessments, which will be compensated with a $40 giftcard (a total of $80). There is no cost to take part . If you are interested in participating, please contact Amanda Perozo or Minjee Kook at anxietyandASD@bcm.edu or (713) 798-8563.

Are you a biological/adoptive parent or primary caretaker of a school-age (4-17 years old) child with autism spectrum disorder (or PDD-NOS or Asperger’s Syndrome)? If so, please consider taking a brief online survey. The purpose of the survey is to gather information on parent perspectives about what is important when choosing ASD treatments so that an instrument to measure this can be developed for use by treatment providers. This kind of tool may help professionals better address individual family needs. To say thank you, any parents who submit a completed survey can enter to win a $50 Amazon gift card.

The Learning Lab for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln is currently recruiting middle and high school students (ages 13-21 years) with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) to participate in a research project titled Project Pathways. The purpose of this study is to assess the reading and writing profiles of students with IDD. Participants will complete a series of standardized reading, writing, and cognitive tasks that assess their literacy and learning skills. Participation is conducted entirely via Zoom and will take approximately two hours. Participation can be spread over multiple days if needed. Participants receive a $20 gift card for completing the study. Interested individuals can contact Emma Phillips at (402) 472-3243 or learninglab@unl.edu

A study at Queen’s University is seeking girls aged 9 to 18 diagnosed with ASD looking at how autistic youth differ by gender when estimating their own academic ability. Participants will complete several questionnaires and a math and verbal task. Participants will also be compensated for their time. If you are interested in participating please email 11eb31@queensu.ca for more information.

The Notre Dame SPARC Project is a program designed to support effective communication and strengthen relationships in families that include a child with an intellectual or developmental disability (IDD). In particular, the SPARC project is geared toward supporting parents and typically developing adolescent siblings of individuals with IDD by promoting effective communication and conflict resolution between couples and also between parents and their typically developing children. The goal of the study is to evaluate how best to support parents and typically developing siblings of individuals with IDD by improving communication and strengthening family relationships. The Notre Dame SPARC Project is actively recruiting participants nationwide. Eligible participants are families that include fathers and mothers who are married or living together in the same home with a typically developing child between the ages of 10 and 18 years old, and a child of any age who has been diagnosed with any type of intellectual or developmental disability. Participating families will engage in several check-ins on Zoom over the course of the first month, as well as follow-ups at six months and twelve months. Families could earn up to $370 for their participation over the course of one year. Interested families can call at 260-226-6363 or email them at ndsparc@nd.edu for more information, or fill out the screener for the project to find out if you are eligible to participate.

The Sailing Angels Foundation offers free sailing excursions on a daily basis for education, respite and recreational therapy. Originally serving individuals with cognitive challenges, physical challenges and life threatening illnesses, we have since expanded our reach to include “at risk” children, military veterans, first responders, families of the incarcerated, bereaved families and those recovering from domestic violence. Families and caretakers are always welcome on these trips. Sailing Angels aims to create fun, educational and therapeutic opportunities for children with developmental disabilities. Register here. For more information, please contact Captain Dave McCabe at (281)507- 1867, or email Dave at DaveMcCabe@SailingAngels.org .

Be Well, Be Connected offers access to mental health care for youth ages 9-17. Eligible youth include students from five Houston area school districts as well as youth who are referred from the community. School-based screenings, referrals, and home and community-based services are provided. Direct services are offered to youth who are experiencing disruption and interference in their lives from serious emotional disturbances (SED), including first episode psychosis and bipolar disorder. The services include family support that is offered in their homes and communities. Students can get connected by calling 713-798-256 or emailing them at BeWellBeConnected@bcm.edu directly. Students and parents can also ask their pediatrician, primary care, or other doctor to make a referral. Teachers, counselors, school administrators, and coaches can also call to make a referral after obtaining consent from a parent to speak with our team.

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