Health Insurance and Natural Disasters

 

In this open enrollment season, with hurricane season still going and winter around the corner, would you know what to do about your health insurance in the wake of a natural disaster? The recent hurricanes on the East Coast and wildfires in California have many families of children and youth with special health care needs/disabilities wondering what we would do if we were in any of the disaster zones and in need of life saving medications or medical equipment that required health insurance coverage.

Georgetown University Health Policy Institute’s blog: The Center on Health Insurance Reforms (CHIR) offers suggestions in answer to questions families might have regarding their marketplace health insurance. We have tweaked the information to make it specific to Connecticut and following will also apply to families who have private health insurance (health insurance purchased outside of the marketplace or provided by employer)

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Discovering Dyslexia

by Marni McNiff

Dyslexia, an impairment in the brain’s ability to translate images received from the eyes and ears into understandable language, is one of the most common learning disabilities in the United States. The National Institutes of Health reports that 60–80% of people with learning disabilities have problems with reading and language skills.

The exact causes of dyslexia are still not known. The International Dyslexia Association’s website states, “the anatomical and brain imagery studies show differences in the way the brain of a dyslexic person develops and functions. Moreover, most people with dyslexia have been found to have problems with identifying the separate speech sounds within a word and/or learning how letters represent those sounds, a key factor in their reading difficulties. Dyslexia is not due to either lack of intelligence or desire to learn; with appropriate teaching methods, dyslexics can learn successfully.”

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Overcoming Challenging Behaviors

By Carol Averbeck, Specialist
All parents find their child’s behavior challenging or confusing from time to time. For those of us with children who happen to have special health needs, this can be especially true. Communication differences, medications and their side effects, sensory differences or developmental delays can make understanding and managing challenging behaviors even more difficult.

Additionally, whether right or wrong, a parent can feel that their child’s behavior is a reflection on them as a parent. When our child is acting negatively, we may question our parenting skills or worry that our friends and family are judging us and our kids.  This adds even more stress to an already stressful situation.

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PATH’s Fourth Annual Online Auction

PATH is gearing up for our fourth annual online auction, which will take place at the end of November, just in time to do your holiday shopping! We are actively seeking donations for the auction including gift baskets, gift certificates, products, or services.

Don’t have a business and still want to help? We’d gladly accept a gift basket donation of any kind for the auction. Popular baskets from last year include a pasta basket, a doggy basket, and a basket of homemade jams/jellies.

This auction is PATH’s main yearly fundraiser and we need your support. The money raised by this auction goes directly to the many programs of parent support, advocacy, and training offered by PATH to families of children with special needs. With major budget cuts in Connecticut, we need your help now more than ever.

If you have a something you’d like to donate to the auction, please contact Auction Coordinator Marni McNiff for details at mmcniff@pathct.org.

 

 

Preventing the Summer Reading Slide

Every summer I worry that my daughter will lose the academic skills it took her all year to attain. If you have a child diagnosed with dyslexia, another specific learning disability, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), I’m sure this “summer slide” has crossed your mind, too. So what’s the best way to help our children hold on to what they have learned?
Two words: summer reading. According to James S. Kim, Ed.D., assistant professor of education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, kids who read during t he summer tend to be better prepared academically – and need less review – for to prepare for back-to-school in the fall. Your child’s school website will usually have a summer reading list. Here is also a great list from The Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity as well as a comprehensive list from ADDitude Magazine.

Social Skills

By: Carol Crawn, Health Information Specialist

Social skills are important for every individual to achieve success.  We use social skills at home, at work, in the community, and in our relationships.  All too often children with special needs have difficulty with social skills.  Luckily, any child or adult can learn appropriate social skills when given the chance.

Where to begin?
Complete a checklist of social skills appropriate to your child’s age and abilities. You can obtain a social skill checklist through your doctor, school, or by doing a simple google search. Speech therapists are also able to provide resources and exercises that may be useful to determining appropriate skills and developing them.  Once you have determined the area of need for your child, prioritize which social skills are most important for your child to learn. Choose one skill to work on at a time.

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Press Release: 2nd Annual Building a Great Life Summit

 

For Immediate Release: May 18, 2017

Over 80 youth ATTEND 2nd annual building a great life summit, created by and for youth WITH DISBLILITIES.

 

Bloomfield, CT

On Saturday May 13th more than 80 youth, between the ages of 13-26 attended the 2nd Annual Building a Great Life Summit designed by CT KASA (Kids as Self Advocates).  The summit created by and for youth, tackled some tough topics; How to attain and maintain gainful employment, becoming an entrepreneur and the super-hot issue of healthcare. “Healthcare is a paramount concern to everyone today” says Nanfi Lubogo, Co-Director, PATH Parent to Parent/Family Voices of CT (PATH/FVCT), “particularly for our youth-especially those with disabilities. Whether it be; physical, cognitive or emotional disabilities, the obstacles exist and we must provide them as many tools as possible to help them attain the healthcare they need today and in the future.”

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Press Release: May 5, 2017

 

Contact Nanfi Lubogo      Telephone 203-234-9554    Cell 860-759-9599

Email nlubogo@pathct.org     Website www.pathct.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 5, 2017

BUILDING A GREAT LIFE; A YOUTH SUMMIT CREATED BY YOUTH
WITH DISABILITIES FOR ALL YOUTH, AGES 13-26.

COVERS: HEALTHCARE, EMPLOYMENT & ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Bloomfield, Ct

On Saturday, May 13, 2017 from 10:00am – 4:00pm, youth from all over Connecticut will be gathering on the beautiful campus of St. Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield CT to participate in a summit designed by the youth themselves. The topics to be covered will be; how to get and maintain gainful employment, how to become a young entrepreneur and how to navigate the ever more complex world of healthcare.

This is the second youth summit being presented by CT KASA (Kids as Self Advocates) and as their name indicates this is one day when the kids will run the show. “CT KASA models leadership and the power of self-advocacy ” says Nanfi Lubogo, Co-Director, PATH Parent to Parent/Family Voices of CT. “These young people learn not only to advocate for themselves but for their peers.” “We know that youth with disabilities have some unique challenges when transitioning into the adult world.” Says Carmina Cirioli, Co-Director, PATH Parent to Parent/Family Voices of CT “And that is why it is so important to hear from their community directly without any adult filters applied.”

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Transition Bill of Rights for Parents of Students Receiving Special Education Services

A student with an individualized education program (IEP) has certain rights under both federal and state laws. This Transition Bill of Rights for parents of students receiving special education will help parents and students understand a student’s rights related to getting an education and other important issues regarding the transition to life after high school.
School districts will provide this document annually at a planning and placement team (PPT) meeting to all parents, guardians, and surrogate parents of students who are receiving special education services in Grades 6-12 as well as to students who are 18 years of age or older.
Students, parents, guardians, and surrogate parents are important members of the PPT. Parents, guardians, surrogate parents, and students 18 years of age or older have the right to receive a copy of Procedural Safeguards in Special Education which explains the rights and responsibilities in the federal law called the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
These procedural safeguards are provided at least annually at a PPT meeting by each school district. This publication describes a student’s right to a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment (LRE) through specialized instruction and related services in a student’s IEP.
Read More from the State Department of Education

Overcoming Challenging Behaviors

All parents find their child’s behavior challenging or confusing from time to time. For those of us with children who happen to have special health needs, this can be especially true. Communication differences, medications and their side effects, sensory differences or developmental delays can make understanding and managing challenging behaviors even more difficult.

Additionally, whether right or wrong, a parent can feel that their child’s behavior is a reflection on them as a parent. When our child is acting negatively, we may question our parenting skills or worry that our friends and family are judging us and our kids.  This adds even more stress to an already stressful situation.

My son just entered high school and for us, managing behavior has been a journey. We tend to go in cycles; things go along smoothly for a while and then, boom, a new challenging behavior comes along. Fortunately for us, we have a good team of friends, family members, and therapists/doctors to help us figure things out. Eventually, my son and I, with help from his team, are able to figure out a plan for dealing with the behavior.

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