Lexington's Rock the Spectrum Autism Family Fun Day is set for Saturday, March 24 from 1-4! This awesome event features Autism Movement Therapy, Music, Sensory Activities, a Bounce House and more! See the flyer below for more information!
Our Vanderbilt Parent Stress Intervention Program is back! The next session begins on March 8! For more information, see the flyer below or call Family Services at (518) 773-2014!
Our Splash the Spectrum Program is back! We hope you can join us!
The March Family Connections calendar is here! We hope you can join us for one or more of these exciting events!
Lexington, Chapter of The Arc New York, will hold its 23rd Annual Family Services Conference on Tuesday, November 14, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 465 N. Perry Street, Johnstown.
This conference is an opportunity for individuals with disabilities, their parents and families, and professionals who support individuals with disabilities to meet and share stories, strategies and resources for supporting young people with disabilities. This year’s theme is “Dream Big.”
The conference will feature several guest speakers presenting on a variety of topics about parenting and supporting young people with differences. It will begin with opening remarks from Assemblyman Marc Butler of New York State’s 113th District. After that, Shaun Evans, DPT, will give the keynote presentation, titled “Dream BIG … ANYTHING is Possible.” Evans is the Vice President of Education at Ainsley’s Angels of America Foundation. He will share his family’s story of extreme persistence, love and togetherness as they supported his oldest son’s dream of running across the USA, 3,200 miles in 60 days, despite being born with cerebral palsy.
Concurrent breakout sessions will follow the keynote presentation. Tina Beauparlant of Parent to Parent of NYS will present “Planning for a Successful Transition from High School to Achieve Your Child’s Dream.” She will share a parent’s perspective on how to help your child have a successful transition from high school while supporting their dreams.
Joy Stockwell, who has worked for OPWDD for 30 years as a direct support professional, Self-Direction professional and Self-Direction liaison for the Capital District, will present “Exploring Self-Direction.” Her presentation will offer insight on the OPWDD Self-Direction program, which offers people who are eligible for OPWDD services the flexibility to choose the mix of supports and services that are right for them and let them live the life they want.
After lunch, Keith McCauley, Region III Deputy Director of OPWDD, will give a keynote address, in which he will provide updates from the past year at OPWDD. Two more concurrent breakout sessions will follow.
Renee Carr will present “Mental Health and Wellness.” Carr is the Coordinator of Education and Information-Referral Services as well as a certified mental health first aid instructor at the Mental Health Association in Fulton and Montgomery Counties. Her presentation will provide an overview of mental health-related diagnoses. It will incorporate tools to help manage some of the symptoms related to mental illness and provide a better understanding of their impact on one’s wellness.
Dr. Kristin Knapp-Ines, a licensed clinical psychologist and board-certified behavior analyst (BCBA-D) who regularly conducts trainings, presentations and workshops at the Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD), will present “Supporting Individuals with ASD to Meet Their Full Potential in Meaningful Employment.” This training will briefly describe the definition, characteristics and misconceptions that are common to individuals with ASD, some of the challenges they may face in the workplace due to social deficits, and suggestions and tips for working with individuals with ASD in the workplace so that they may reach their full potential.
Attending any two sessions will qualify an attendee for one FET annual required training, which allows people to maintain their status in the Home and Community Based Medicaid Waiver Service.
There is no cost to attend for individuals with disabilities or their parents and families. For professionals, the cost is $75. For more information, to register or to arrange for transportation and respite/childcare, please call Lexington Family Services at (518) 773-2014. Attendees may pay at the door or mail registration and payment to Lexington Family Services at 43 Harrison Street, Gloversville, NY 12078.
Lexington - Fulton County Chapter, NYSARC, Inc., will hold its 22nd Annual Family Services Conference on Thursday, November 10. This conference is an opportunity for parents and families of individuals with disabilities, professionals who support individuals with disabilities and individuals with disabilities themselves to meet and share stories, strategies and resources for supporting young people with disabilities.
The conference will feature nine guest speakers presenting on a variety of topics about parenting, teaching and supporting individuals with differences. First, presenting both the keynote presentation, “The Movement of Imperfection,” and a breakout session, “Voices of Imperfection,” are Gina (Terrasi) Gallagher and Patricia Terrasi. The sisters are the co-authors of “Shut Up About Your Perfect Kid: A Survival Guide for Ordinary Parents of Special Children,” a book about the frustrations, sadness and stigmas they face as parents of children with disabilities. The book provides advice on all aspects of parenting children with special needs, such as finding support groups and fighting for in-school supports.
The conference will also welcome Bethany Youngs, LCSW, and Joy Stockwell, Self-Direction specialist for OPWDD, as they present “Exploring Self-Direction.” Youngs has more than 10 years of experience in non-profit agencies and has been with the OPWDD Self-Direction unit since September 2016. Stockwell has been with OPWDD for 29 years, serving as a direct support professional and a Self-Direction liaison for the Capital District. Both women are dedicated to helping individuals live the lives they want through the Self-Direction program, which lets them to choose the supports they want and which staff and organizations provide them.
Tina Beauparlant will present “Future Planning from a Parent and Advocate’s Perspective.” Beauparlant is a regional program manager, education specialist, program assistant and educational advocacy specialist with the Capital District of Parent to Parent of NYS. Her presentation will focus on preparing for your child’s future and making sure their needs are met.
Another keynote address will be presented by Megan O’Connor, OPWDD’s Deputy Commissioner of the Division of Service Delivery – Regional Offices. O’Connor began her career as a direct support professional at an OPWDD provider agency and worked her way up to leadership. She has been with OPWDD since 2012, when she accepted the position of Deputy Commissioner for the Division of Quality Improvement, and in her current role she oversees and manages OPWDD Regional Office Operations.
Steve Szalowski, LCSW-R, will present “Social Physics: The Paradox of Behavior.” Szalowski helps individuals develop strategies to develop functional independence in an ever-changing world of social, academic, professional and familial expectations. He has coordinated and co-facilitated more than 100 groups for school-aged individuals on the autism spectrum in grades 3 through 12. His presentation will cover how to adjust behavior to the social physics of the moment for more success with homework, social situations, participation in home activities and more.
Jordan Jankus will present “Tech for Life: Apps for Empowerment, Learning and Fun!” Jankus is a technologist at the Arc of Westchester and the father of a daughter with developmental disabilities. In searching for ways to empower her, he became involved in assistive technology and now supports individuals with person-centered technology solutions. His presentation will explore apps available for smart phones and tablets that help people achieve increased independence and greater access to the community.
Julia Kelly, assistant coordinator of Statewide Special Employment Programs for OPWDD will present “Pathway to Employment.” Kelly served as co-chairperson of the NYS APSE’s Legislative Committee for more than 15 years and was a member of ACCES-VR’s Statewide Policy and Procedure Committee. Her presentation will provide information on how Pathway to Employment, a new OPWDD service, comprehensively plans and prepares for an individual’s employment to achieve successful job matches in the community.
The conference will begin with registration at 8 a.m. and will continue until 4 p.m. To register and arrange for transportation and respite/childcare, please call Lexington Family Services at (518) 773-2014. The cost is $75 for professionals and free for parents, families and individuals with disabilities. Attendees may pay at the door or mail registration and payment to Lexington Family Services at 43 Harrison Street, Gloversville, NY 12078.
Transitions, a supportive apprenticeship program for young adults with learning differences who want to attend college, get a job or live independently, is excited to announce a 3-part webcast series regarding the transition of youth and young adults with autism spectrum disorders from high school to postsecondary education and the community. In these free webcasts, hosted by Virginia Commonwealth University Center on Transition Innovation, Shaloni Winston and Nancy DeSando will discuss their practices and efforts with youth and young adults with autism spectrum disorders. College opportunities for people with autism and learning disabilities will be included in the discussion.
On Aug. 12 at 3 p.m., the public can view “Transition to Postsecondary Education for Students with ASD: What Families and Students Need to Know.” This webcast will highlight efforts in upstate New York to promote the transition process to postsecondary education for students with ASD. Suggestions for parents and students will be provided.
On Aug. 27 at 3 p.m., the public can view “What Works: Person Centered Planning for the Transition Process to Postsecondary Education.” This webcast will focus on how Lexington, the Fulton County chapter of NYSARC, Inc., uses a person-centered planning process for youth with ASD as they transition to postsecondary education and training.
Finally, on Sept. 9 at 3 p.m., the public can view “Transition to Independent Living Settings for Youth with ASD.” Staff from the Transitions will provide tips based on their work with young adults as they make the transition to independent living.
The sessions are prerecorded, but viewers who have questions can email them to the presenters. The webcasts will also be archived on the Center on Transition Innovation’s website. For more information and to register for the series, visit www.centerontransition.org/training/upcoming.cfm.
What: Transitions to Postsecondary Education webcast series presented by Shaloni Winston and Nancy DeSando, hosted by Virginia Commonwealth University Center on Transition Innovation
When: WEDNESDAY, AUG. 12, 2015 3 P.M.
THURSDAY, AUG. 27, 2015 3 P.M.
WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 9, 2015 3 P.M.
Where: Hosted online at www.centerontransition.org
Cost : FREE
Contact and Pre-Registration info: www.centerontransition.org/training/upcoming.cfm
About VCU Center on Transition Innovation
The VCU Center on Transition Innovation is a portal of information for the transition of youth with disabilities out of supportive environments into competitive employment and higher education. It provides resources, research, fact sheets, demonstration, emerging practices, online courses, videos, webcasts and more to educators, parents, professionals and others with an interest in supporting young adults with learning differences to lead independent lives. Visit www.centerontransition.org for more information.
Transitions is a supportive apprenticeship for young men and women with autism spectrum disorders including Asperger’s syndrome, ADHD, dyslexia, nonverbal learning disabilities, visual or hearing impairments, medical conditions and other learning differences who want to attend college and/or prepare for a career, but may require academic, social, medical and/or emotional support. The Transitions program’s curriculum focuses on building academic, employment, life and general independence skills. Both full-year College and Career Apprenticeship programs are offered, as well as a three-week Summer Immersion Experience. Visit www.transitionsusa.org for more information.
Join us this summer for these exciting events!
Please consider joining us for our popular "Ask the Advocate" session, Autism Society meeting and Sensory Fun Day!
Please join us for these Family Connections events in June.
Please join us for these Family Connections events in April!
Please join us for any or all of these exciting events and educational opportunities!
We hope you'll be able to join us for any or all of these exciting events!
We hope you'll be able to join us for any or all of these exciting events!
Yesterday was Lexington's 21st Annual Family Services Conference and it was a terrific day full of information-packed presentations by top-notch speakers. Session topics included Managed Care, Living Well with Epilepsy and Seizure First Aid, What Defines Wellness, Autism Movement Therapy, Supporting Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Schools and Transitioning from High School to the Adult World After Graduation. Attendees were also treated to a terrific concert by FLAME.
Lexington Family Services sincerely thanks all of the wonderful speakers, performers and attendees for making our conference such a success!