January E-News from
Connecticut Parent 
Advocacy Center
Boy in winter hat

Happy New Year!  We hope that 2011 is off to a great start!  
This month, we'd like to highlight some guidance from the federal and state government and, as always, offer you some helpful resources, articles and information on upcoming special education events in CT.  We encourage you to contact us if you have any questions about the information in this e-news and of course, if you have questions about your child's education.

New Memo from the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP)
The U.S. Department of Education, has just released a memo clarifying that districts may not use RTI (SRBI in CT) to deny or delay an evaluation of a student suspected of having a disability.  You can view the memo by visiting www.cpacinc.org and looking under What's New.  

Join the Colorado Department of Education team on Wednesday, February 9th at 1pm during their live online RTI Talk as they answer your questions about developing family-school partnerships based on shared responsibility and shared ownership of student challenges and successes. They will also offer tips and examples of materials they developed to nurture the collaborative process through information sharing, problem solving, and the celebration of student successes.
Submit your questions in advance or join the chat live on February 9th

Update on Guidelines for In-School and Out-of-School Suspensions

On July,1, 2010, Section 10-233c of the Connecticut General Statutes, as amended by Public Act 10-1111 Suspension of Pupils, went into effect requiring all suspensions to be in-school suspensions except under specific circumstances.  Mark K. McQuillan, former Commissioner of Education, issued a circular letter to discuss this requirement:  Updated "Guidelines for In-School and Out-of-School Suspensions" have also been published to reflect the changes.

Thinking About Valentine's Day?

Check out Roses for Autism.  They provide a wide range of jobs to prepare individuals on the autism spectrum to work competitively in other agricultural and traditional businesses and they have a wide selection of beautiful roses for your Valentine.

For more information about employment for people with disabilities,
Connect-Ability's website: www.connect-ability.com.

Stress and Change

The unusual winter weather has affected us all and caused many changes to normal routines and schedules.  This can be especially difficult for children and families with disabilities who may rely on routines for structure and calmness.  The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services offers some tips for families on dealing with stress and change on their website: www.bblocks.samhsa.gov/family/talkingListening/changestress.aspx.

De-stress by thinking about summer!  The Connecticut Camping Association has just released the 2011 Connecticut Summer Youth Camps Directory.  The directory includes a listing of camps throughout Connecticut as well as some tips on how to choose the right camp for your child.

Coming Soon - The IEP: A Basic Overview Video
The snow days may have slowed us down a little, but we are still hard at work on a step-by-step walk through video of the Individualized Education Program (IEP).  The video will explain each section of the twelve page document.  Check our website soon for the completed video!

Upcoming Events

Featured CPAC Events:
(Please contact CPAC to register for any of the following workshops.)

Understanding Challenging Behavior in Young Children
Wednesday, February 16th
6pm to 8pm
East Lyme

Transition from School to Adult Life
 Monday, February 14, 2011
7pm to 9pm
West Haven

My Child Was Diagnosed with ADHD: 
What Does That Mean?

An introduction and facilitated discussion about ADHD and school.

Tuesday, March 1st
8pm to 9pm
Click to Register Now

Helpful Resources and News

"High-Tech Help" NY Times article by Lisa Guernsy on the use of assistive technology

Recording of the Colin McEnroe Show: Dan Malloy, Dyslexia & Neuroscience A look at reading disorders on the eve of Dannel Malloy's Inauguration as CT's new Governor.

Visit CPAC's Parent Support Groups page for a listing of groups in CT.  Belong to a support group that isn't listed?  Let us know about it so we can share it with others!

Looking for information and resources about inclusion?  Check out the helpful resources on the Inclusion page of our website.  There are resources listed for many age groups including the Head Start Center for Inclusion which focuses on the inclusion of young children with disabilities in Head Start programs.

Connecticut Parent Advocacy Center, Inc.,
(860) 739-3089
338 Main Street, Niantic, CT


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