By Kodey Toney
The way you do the things you do
I spent Friday in Oklahoma City with the Oklahoma Developmental Disabilities Council working on the upcoming state plan and going over budgets, among other things. This made me think about a few things. They asked me to fill out a biography for an upcoming change to their website. As I was working on this I started thinking about some things that we have done over the past couple years with the Pervasive Parenting Center. I would like to share some of these things in case many of you were unaware of what we have to offer in this area.
I think much of what we have done started with parent support group meetings. This is something that we started to help families share information, stories, resources, and just have a place to feel like they were “normal”. We try to hold these monthly, and began last year rotating them from each county. During these meetings we do anything from just talking things out and sharing our problems to trainings. In the past we have trained on subjects including care/communication notebooks, autism basics, IEP basics, and people first language.
In March we are working with Developmental Wings, which is another great organization in our area, to provide services for the children with autism during our regular meeting. This will be held in Roland this time, and plan to move around as well. Developmental Wings helps with therapies including art, music, and equestrian for children with disabilities. Check out their website at www.developmentawings.com.
Each month we also hold Sibshops. This is for the siblings of children with autism. This helps them have their day to feel like they are important, which of course they are. They usually have to be drug around to the meetings, therapies, and other assorted appointments. They have to grow up faster than they should. This is a way for them to have a fun day just for them.
We have been working with Special Olympics, and hope to continue that work in the next year. They are a wonderful group of people working with kids to help them become good athletes and great people. It’s an awesome program for kids like Konner who were shunned from playing school sports from the school coaches, but he has people who believe he has potential with the Special Olympics. You can contact Tanna or Randy Weaver on facebook for more information.
We work to provide conferences and trainings in this area including inclusion in the classroom, autism training, and people first language for any school, business, organization, or individual that is willing to listen. These are free. Just contact me for information.
If families are having issues with an IEP, we will work to help advocate for the child. This is anything from just looking at it to see if you are getting things you need, to making sure that the goals are productive for your child. We can also advocate in the IEP meeting if necessary, but try to give you the tools to advocate in the meeting for yourself first.
More than anything we are just here to help give families a place to find what they need. If you need resources we will find them if we don’t already know them. If you need someone to ask for advice we are here. If you just need to talk, we are here too.
I always tell people, I’m just here to help. I’m trying to provide a service I wish I would have had a few years ago when we first found out about Konner’s diagnosis.
You can check our facebook pages and website for dates and times, or just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.