Family/Parenting

Transition – Who does what and when?

  

Family, High School, CLBC & MCFD –  Who does what & when?

 

Timeline for Parents & Caregivers:

Community Living BC’s Basic Transition Guide:

Roles and Tasks of Team Members:

Transition Planning Framework – Cross Ministry Policy:

 

Burnaby SD#41 and Inclusive Education

Contact Information 2013/14:

 

MCFD:

Into Adulthood, Guidelines and Best Practices:

 

CLBC – Eligibility & Basic Information:

Transition Planning Process:  http://www.communitylivingbc.ca/individuals-families/youth-in-transition/

Information for families, also available in different languages:  http://www.communitylivingbc.ca/policies-publications/publications/fact-sheets/

Eligibility Policy and Assessor Report:  http://www.communitylivingbc.ca/policies-publications/policies/eligibility-for-clbc-february-2009/

 

Post Secondary Links:

Douglas College, Adult Special Education:  http://www.douglas.bc.ca/programs/basic-occupational-education.html

Vancouver Community College, Adult Special Education:  http://www.vcc.ca/programs-courses/detail.cfm?div_id=4&prog_id=148

  • Contact:  Maureen Mills:  604.443.8451 or Kathy O’Donnell:  604.443.8434 or  kodonnell@vcc.c

Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Access Programs for People with Disabilities:  http://www.kwantlen.ca/aca/appd.html

Capilano University, Accces to work program:   http://www2.capilanou.ca/programs/access.html

Steps Forward - BC Initiative for Inclusive Post-Secondary Education:  http://www.steps-forward.org/

 

Need some support at school this year?

  

Seek advice from people with experience.

Other parents can provide ideas that could help guide you through the school system, even if their child’s issues are different than yours. Community and government organizations can provide contacts to parents and information about support services and educational policies. Some organizations you may wish to contact include:

  • BC Federation of Parent Advisory Councils 604-687-4433 www.bccpac.bc.ca   A non-profit organization that advocates for the best possible education for all children in BC, through the active involvement of parents.
  • Learning Disabilities Association 604-873-8139  www.ldabc.ca/
    Provides programs and services including tutoring, advocacy, and education about learning disabilities.
  • Family Support Institute 604-540-8374 www.familysupportbc.com
    Provides parent-to-parent support and advocacy for families of people with disabilities, as well as resources, information, and workshops.
  • BC Association for Community Living 604-777-9100 www.bcacl.org  For all individuals with developmental disabilities. Some nice resources and links to Transitions and Inclusive Education.
  • Community Living BC 604-664-0101 www.communitylivingbc.ca
    Delivers support and services to ELIGIBLE individuals with developmental disabilties and their families. This includes transition planning to adult service in partnership with the Ministry of Children and Family Development. Good FAQs on eligibility and programs and services for adults with developmental disabilities.
  • Ministry of Children and Family Development 250-952-6044 www.gov.bc.ca/mcf/
    Services include a range of child, youth, and family focused support programs and interventions to help promote.  All are eligibility tested.
  • Federation of Independent School Associations 604-684-6023 www.fisabc.ca
    An umbrella organization for independent schools in BC. Acts as a liaison between the schools, government, and other educational institutions.

SMART IEP links

  

The best type of IEP goals are SMART or:

S  Specific

M Measurable

A  Action words are used

R  Realistic and Relevant

T  Time limited

Some links to how to write effective Individual Education Plan goals:

Comprehensive overview of SMART IEPs: http://www.wrightslaw.com/bks/feta/ch12.ieps.pdf

Ideas for SMART goals:

http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/specialed/docs/iepssn.pdf

You should also connect with the local, national and international organizations that represent your child’s special need.  These organizations will have disability-specific hints and tips for you, your child and your family.

Summer Camps, Summer Activities

  

BACI Summer Teen Program

The Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion runs a Summer Teen Program. Email info@gobaci.com for more details.

The Summer Teen Program offers cool, full-day adventures for youth with disabilities. The program is a Ministry of Children and Family Development funded service for Teens aged 13 to 18 who live in Burnaby and New Westminster.  Please see THE FLYER from 2012 for more information.

Day Camps:

The first place to look is your local Parks and Recreation department.  Every City and Municipality in the lower mainland has both segregated and inclusive programs for children with special needs.  Don’t forget that you can choose to have your child
included in typical summer programs with either paid or volunteer support people.  Including your child in a typical program will give you much more flexibility than restricting yourself to only segregated or specialized programs.  If your child is already happy in an arts, sports or recreation program in your community check out the summer camp options for that program as soon as possible.  Summer camps fill up fast!

Think about using a camp near where you work rather than where you live.  It might be easier to drop off and pick up en-route to your workplace.  Cities and Municipalities have their recreation programs on-line so it is much easier to research your options.

Burnaby:   Visit the CHILDREN’S CAMPS page for information on policies for  support and accessibility as well as the Activity Guide.  Also see the  Leisure Guide for all spring/summer programs.

Vancouver:    Visit the ACCESS PROGRAMS page for policies and programs.  This page also links to children/youth and adult programs – see links on left side of page

Tri-Cities & New Westminster:  Summer recreation program information and support options will be available in late May.

Overnight Camps: 

The big daddy of overnight camps is EASTER SEALS CAMPSThey have been around a long time and are well resourced with well-trained staff.  There are only a few weeks available since each “week” is specialized in age and disability.  You can request that your child shares a room with the friends they made the year before and many children make life-long friends at summer camp.  The big draw for Easter Seals is that it is FREE.

ZAJAC RANCH
is a high quality overnight camp.  Weeks are sponsored by organizations
or there are weeks targeting specific disabilities.  This camp can be
expensive but don’t forget that many disability organizations have
campership programs to help finance your child’s camp experience.

HINT:  Make
sure you join the organization that represents your child’s disability
in British Columbia.  You may find that they sponsor disability-specific
camps or offer camperships to families to help finance a camp
experience.

Links to some Resource sites:

 The BC Camping Association (BCCCA):  This is a site for accredited summer day and overnight camps with a good search engine.  BC CAMPING ASSOCIATION

 Autism Community Training (ACT):  Some good camp listings for both typical children and children with special needs, see   SUMMER CAMP RESOURCES  

 Vancouver Parks and Recreation:  Access Services RESOURCES AND LINKS

Post Secondary bursaries and scholarships

  

I have found many good leads for funding at this site: disabilityawards.ca

Don’t forget to follow up with the disability organization that supports your child in your province as well. For example, here in BC the Cerebral Palsy Association has bursaries for post-secondary students who have Cerebral Palsy.

Check out STEPS Forward as well, they have some great ideas: steps-forward.org

Finally, dont’ forget to take all the tax breaks you can to help fund your student’s education.

 

What do medication expiry dates mean?

  

This research was done in the US, but we know that most of Canada’s medical regulations follow the US model.  The article is reprinted at Medscape, a reliable US medical website but the original location of the post (redflagsdaily.com) is no longer available.

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/460159

 

By Richard Altschuler

Does the expiration date on a bottle of a medication mean anything? If a bottle of Tylenol, for example, says something like “Do not use after June 1998,” and it is August 2002, should you take the Tylenol? Should you discard it? Can you get hurt if you take it? Will it simply have lost its potency and do you no good?

In other words, are drug manufacturers being honest with us when they put an expiration date on their medications, or is the practice of dating just another drug industry scam, to get us to buy new medications when the old ones that purportedly have “expired” are still perfectly good?

These are the pressing questions I investigated after my mother-in-law recently said to me, “It doesn’t mean anything,” when I pointed out that the Tylenol she was about to take had “expired” 4 years and a few months ago. I was a bit mocking in my pronouncement — feeling superior that I had noticed the chemical corpse in her cabinet — but she was equally adamant in her reply, and is generally very sage about medical issues.

So I gave her a glass of water with the purportedly “dead” drug, of which she took 2 capsules for a pain in the upper back. About a half hour later she reported the pain seemed to have eased up a bit. I said “You could be having a placebo effect,” not wanting to simply concede she was right about the drug, and also not actually knowing what I was talking about. I was just happy to hear that her pain had eased, even before we had our evening cocktails and hot tub dip (we were in “Leisure World,” near  Laguna Beach ,  California , where the hot tub is bigger than most  Manhattan apartments, and “Heaven,” as generally portrayed, would be raucous by comparison).

Upon my return to NYC and high-speed connection, I immediately scoured the medical databases and general literature for the answer to my question about drug expiration labeling. And voila, no sooner than I could say “Screwed again by the pharmaceutical industry,” I had my answer. Here are the simple facts:

First, the expiration date, required by law in the United States, beginning in 1979, specifies only the date the manufacturer guarantees the full potency and safety of the drug — it does not mean how long the drug is actually “good” or safe to use.
Second, medical authorities uniformly say it is safe to take drugs past their expiration date — no matter how “expired” the drugs purportedly are. Except for possibly the rarest of exceptions, you won’t get hurt and you certainly won’t get killed.
Studies show that expired drugs may lose some of their potency over time, from as little as 5% or less to 50% or more (though usually much less than the latter). Even 10 years after the “expiration date,” most drugs have a good deal of their original potency. So wisdom dictates that if your life does depend on an expired drug, and you must have 100% or so of its original strength, you should probably toss it and get a refill.  If your life does not depend on an expired drug — such as that for headache, hay fever, or menstrual cramps — take it and see what happens.

One of the largest studies ever conducted that supports the above points about “expired drug” labeling was done by the US military 15 years ago, according to a feature story in the Wall Street Journal (March 29, 2000), reported by Laurie P. Cohen. The military was sitting on a $1 billion stockpile of drugs and facing the daunting process of destroying and replacing its supply every 2 to 3 years, so it began a testing program to see if it could extend the life of its inventory. The testing, conducted by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), ultimately covered more than 100 drugs, prescription and over-the-counter. The results showed that about 90% of them were safe and effective as far as 15 years past their original expiration date.
In light of these results, a former director of the testing program, Francis Flaherty, said he concluded that expiration dates put on by manufacturers typically have no bearing on whether a drug is usable for longer. Mr. Flaherty noted that a drug maker is required to prove only that a drug is still good on whatever expiration date the company chooses to set. The expiration date doesn’t mean, or even suggest, that the drug will stop being effective after that, nor that it will become harmful. “Manufacturers put expiration dates on for marketing, rather than scientific, reasons,” said Mr. Flaherty, a pharmacist at the FDA until his retirement in 1999. “It’s not profitable for them to have products on a shelf for 10 years. They want turnover.”

The FDA cautioned there isn’t enough evidence from the program, which is weighted toward drugs used during combat, to conclude most drugs in consumers’ medicine cabinets are potent beyond the expiration date. Joel Davis, however, a former FDA expiration-date compliance chief, said that with a handful of exceptions — notably nitroglycerin, insulin, and some liquid antibiotics — most drugs are probably as durable as those the agency has tested for the military. “Most drugs degrade very slowly,” he said. “In all likelihood, you can take a product you have at home and keep it for many years. ” Consider aspirin. Bayer AG puts 2-year or 3-year dates on aspirin and says that it should be discarded after that. However, Chris Allen, a vice president at the Bayer unit that makes aspirin, said the dating is “pretty conservative” ; when Bayer has tested 4-year-old aspirin, it remained 100% effective, he said. So why doesn’t Bayer set a 4-year expiration date? Because the company often changes packaging, and it undertakes “continuous improvement programs,” Mr. Allen said. Each change triggers a need for more expiration-date testing, and testing each time for a 4-year life would be impractical. Bayer has never tested aspirin beyond 4 years, Mr. Allen said. But Jens Carstensen has. Dr. Carstensen, professor emeritus at the  University of  Wisconsin ‘s pharmacy school, who wrote what is considered the main text on drug stability, said, “I did a study of different aspirins, and after 5 years, Bayer was still excellent. Aspirin, if made correctly, is very stable.

Okay, I concede. My mother-in-law was right, once again. And I was wrong, once again, and with a wiseacre attitude to boot. Sorry mom.

Now I think I’ll take a swig of the 10-year dead package of Alka Seltzer in my medicine chest — to ease the nausea I’m feeling from calculating how many billions of dollars the pharmaceutical industry bilks out of unknowing consumers every year who discard perfectly good drugs and buy new ones because they trust the industry’s “expiration date labeling.”

Who will be the holder of your son/daughter’s RDSP in the future?

  

None of us know what the future holds.  The wisdom of families who have gone before is the mantra that "good planning sews the seeds of peace of mind".

If you live in BC, you can easily plan ahead for future holders of RDSPs with a Representation Agreement.

Click here for the full post:  http://rdspresource.ca/index.php/2011/11/account-holders-and-representation-agreements/

 

This year, get organized!

  

Wondering if getting organized is worth your time? Here are a few fun statistics to help you decide:

  • Getting rid of clutter eliminates 40 per cent of housework in an average home.
  • 23% of adults say they pay bills late (and thus incur fees) because they lose them.
  • Eighty per cent of the clutter in homes is a result of disorganization, not lack of space.

(Survey results from Ikea and the National Association of Professional Organizers)

 

PLUS, as the parent of a child with a disability, you will feel very powerful when you can put your hands on critical information and documents when you need them!  If you have a child with a disability the paperless society is still a long way off, you will accumulate paper, paper and more paper.    Attending a meeting? You might be asked to bring a document that you last saw on your kitchen table 3 months ago.  Where is it now?

First, pick an organization system you are comfortable with.  If you don’t like punching holes in paper don’t use a binder system just because your friend does it that way. 

Try experimenting with ideas you find on-line or that other parents have used and see what works for you.  At home I use a simple system of a few active files which I keep handy in an open file holder. Once or twice a year I file older items but I always keep current documents like IEP’s or assessments on hand.  Get a filing cabinet or a storage box and use it for old documents that you may need again but be ruthless and  THROW OUT outdated information. 

Some people have been successful with accordian-style paper holders.   You can buy these with many or only a few sections, it depends on your family’s needs.

Try Googling "Organization systems", "Get organized now" or "personal organization".  There must be a million ways to get organized and I think they are all on the internet! Look for good hints and tips, you don’t need to spend money for a fancy system.

A  few places to start:

Binder system (make your own):

Find lots of examples and links to sites for templates:

http://www.medicalhomeinfo.org/for_families/care_notebook/

Vermont Family Network Care Notebook:  "Parents can purchase the
necessary components of a Care Notebook themselves at any office supply store",  and this site includes downloadable templates.

http://www.vermontfamilynetwork.org/i-need-help-with/health/care-notebook/ 

Start the school year out right and get organized early.

IEPs… What do I need to know?

  

*updated 2012*

The IEP (Individual Education Plan)is an important way to get input into your child’s education. The important thing to know is that as a parent have a right to participate in the IEP process.

An IEP has three stages:

  1. developing and writing the plan
  2. implementing and evaluating the plan
  3. reporting on student progress toward the goals in the plan

This is an evolving process: as the student’s needs change, the IEP should change.  

Your school district will most likely have a "template" for the IEP that they would prefer to use.  Remember, these are just guides to make the process easier.  Ask for a change if you do not like the template that is offerred.

 

Learn about Student Support Services in your district:
Student support services could include: learning assistance, counseling, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, or speech-language services. However, these may or may not be applicable to your child.

Different school districts may name or deliver their support services in slightly different ways. For information on school district services start by looking at your district website:

http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/schools/bcmap.htm

 

The Basics of the IEP:

The British Columbia Ministry of Education provides some basic information about IEPs that you can reference to get started.  There is also a Ministy resource page that has some disability specific suggestions and guidelines. Make sure you understand the difference between adaptations and modifications.

Some good basic guides:

BC Association for Community Living Parent’s Handbook on Inclusive Education.

BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils: Individual
Education Plans A Guide for Parents

BC Ministry of Education: A Resource Guide for Teachers

Making the IEP work:

The core of the IEP is the goals. Once there is an IEP in place, you also need to think about what your child needs to support the outcomes in the IEP in terms of support: Education Assistant (EA), speech therapy, augmentative communication resources or behaviour and communication support.

Go to the IEP meeting prepared by knowing what you want and be prepared to ask for it. You may have to request a formal meeting to resolve differences.

 


Local Parks & Rec Links

  

Your local parks and recreation department will have many opportunities for children with special needs to experience inclusive recreational activities as well as some specialized programs. You might be surprised! Make sure to check out YOUR local parks and rec web-site.

Burnaby:   Please visit  the BURNABY LEISURE GUIDE, Fall Winter 2011/12 pages 8 & 9 for a listing of all the adapted programs.


Vancouver:  Please see THE VANCOUVER PARKS WEBSITE adapted programs for all ages.

New Westminster:  New West does not have segregated programs.  Please contact the program or site directly if you have a special access request.  Please see the GENERAL SITE.