Opportunities for Parents/Families of Special Needs Children

Fun Events!

1.      Family Hope Foundation is hosting a private movie showing of Epic on Saturday, May 25 at 10:00am at Celebration! Cinema North.  Lower sound, brighter lights and an audience of those who understand your family make this an enjoyable experience for everyone!  All tickets are $5.  Please see the attached flyer for details.   You can also view the trailer at http://www.epicthemovie.com/.


2.      Glow in the Park Run, benefitting Family Hope Foundation!  Saturday, July 6, 2013 at Millennium Park in Grand Rapids.  Starts at dusk – most fun race of the summer – you won’t want to miss being a part of this!!  Sign up to run the 5K, including glow foam, glow spray, glow sticks, live DJ and more! www.glowintheparkrun.com, enter “coupon code” FHF13.  Or sign up to volunteer at the event, helping to raise funds for our therapy scholarship program and family fun events – email lara.kitts@thefamilyhopefoundation.org to get involved!  Flyer attached.


3.      Spa Night for Mothers of Kids with Special Needs, hosted by speech pathologist Shannon Mulder.  Tuesday, May 14, 2013, 6:30-8:30pm at Covenant Life Church, 101 Columbus, Grand Haven, MI 49417.  You take care of others now come and pamper yourself!  All mothers of kids with special needs are invited for an evening of relaxation. Free massage, manicures, eye brow wax, facials and more. There will be delicious deserts, fun crafts and conversation. RSVP required!  616-844-1322.


4.      Bike Riding Clinic with Cody’s Ride!  Cody’s Ride is a cycling program for persons with disabilities. They offer active, safe and adaptive cycling with benefits such as therapy, exercise and quality of life. On May 18th at Millennium Park, in Walker, Cody’s Ride and Mary Free Bed will be hosting a ride clinic. The start time will be at 8:30am to 12pm. We have several 1/2 hour time slots for you to choose from. To learn more about this fun event go to: codysride.org and click on the events page. You will find a link to the event where you can sign up. Therapists and trained volunteers will be on hand to meet your needs.


5.      Kenowa AMBUCS Memorial Day Race, Parade and Party!  Race: 8am on 5/27/13, registration tents are between Family Fare and Chemical Bank near the corner of 20th & Baldwin in sunny Jenison, MI!  Registration at https://www.signmeup.com/site/online-event-registration/90092 and Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Jenison5K.  Parade:  Parade starts one block west of the intersection of 20th & Baldwin, proceeds eastward starting at 10:00 AM to the corner of Baldwin & Cottonwood.   Party:  This year, after the parade, we are having a big party in the parking lot at Culver’s at the end of the parade!


6.      FREE concert with Grammy Nominated Red Grammer:  Hosted by Indian Trails CampTHIS Saturday at 4pm!   Flyer attached.


7.      Indian Trails Camp Build a Playground Day!  ITC needs volunteers to help construct a barrier-free playground on June 14.  Recruitment form attached.


Classes & Camps for Spring and Summer:

8.      Autism Asperger Associates of Michigan is offering Spring/Summer Classes.  Social Skills classes for elementary, middle school and teens – dates: May 1st-June 5th and June 26th-August 7th – Fee: $175.00.  Super Hero Adventure Camp – June 17-20, Cost;  $185.  See attached flyer for all the details and registration information.


9.      Social Skills groups, Feeding Groups & Dance Classes and Summer Safari Speech, OT & PT camps at Generation Care!  See attached flyer for all the great information!


10.  Summer camps at Horizons Developmental Resource Center:  Check out all the details for a variety of Friendship & Fun camps and the Collaborate & Create Camp athttp://www.horizonsdrc.com/programs-services/summer-camps.


11.  Therapy and Fun summer clinic through the Comprehensive Therapy Center is now enrolling children.  Fill your child’s summer with speech-language, sensory and motor therapy!  Brochure is attached which describes all the great therapies provided during the eight weeks of the program.  Check out their website: www.therapycenter.org for enrollment forms and even more details!


12.  Summer Groups at the Center for Childhood Development 616-667-9551 (flyer for all is attached):

  • ·         Friday Fun Group:  gross and fine motor with sensory integration for ages 4-10.
  • ·         Friends and Fun:  targets social skills, emotional awareness & regulation, and sensory processing in the small group setting for ages 4-6.
  • ·         Lunch Buddies:  for children ages 3-7 years old who:  Are described as “picky” eaters, Limit themselves to only certain foods (even down to the brand of food), Demonstrate choking, gagging or coughing while eating, Have poor weight gain due to picky eating, Have difficulty transitioning from baby food purees to solids, Demonstrate an aversion or avoidance to foods in a specific texture or food group, Want to fight or battle during meals, Have a food range of less than 20 foods
  • ·         Preschool Playgroups: therapeutic play groups for pre-school to kindergarten-aged children who demonstrate challenges in social, developmental, language, and/or sensory processing skills.
  • ·         Social Smarts:  for ages 6-9.  Foundational social thinking skills using concepts taught from Superflex…A Superhero Social Thinking Curriculum and from Think Social – A Social Thinking Curriculum, by Michelle Garcia Winner. In this group, the children will work on increasing their knowledge of social expectations, their awareness of their own social behavior and how to modify their behaviors.
  • ·         Superflexible Thinkers:  ages 9-12.  Use concepts from Michelle Winner Garcia’s Think Social – A Social Thinking Curriculum to teach developmentally appropriate social expectations, awareness of their own social behaviors and problem solving skills in modifying their behaviors. The group will provide opportunities for better understanding unwritten social rules that are needed in interacting with the social world we live in.
13.  Artists Creating Together (formerly VSA) Adult Art Classes:  Attached and at thiswebsite you’ll find the schedule of classes and registration form for all Spring 2013 activities for people 16+.  You’ll find information about our Monday and Tuesday evening Art Classes, and our Choir! If you have any questions about these classes, dates, or anything else, please call or email Katie at #885-5866 or program@artistscreatingtogether.org.  Sign up today using the attached registration form to ensure your spot in these classes. Thank you and if you have any questions please call or e-mail Program Director, Katie Timmermans at 885-5866 or program@artistscreatingtogtether.org.


14.  Eric ‘RicStar’ Winter Music Therapy Camp 2013:  June 10-12, 9:30am-2:30pm (children/adolescent campers) and June 13-15, 9am-3pm (adult campers) on the campus of Michigan State University.  A camp that provides life-changing opportunities for campers, volunteers, BuddyUp’s, and staff through musical expression, movement, performance and social musicing.  A camp for ALL people with special needs and their siblings in a welcoming summer camp setting focused on ability and inclusion.
http://www.judywinter.com/camp.html for full camp information.  Volunteers needed too!  Contact Jaime Merritt at merrit33@msu.edu for more information.


15.  Indian Trails Camp is now taking enrollment for their summer overnight and day camps, including their new “Happy Trails” camp specifically for children and young adults on the autism spectrum.  Check out their website for all the details. http://indiantrailscamp.org/summer_camps


Trainings & Workshops:

16.  FREE Parent Education Speaker Series:  Generation Care is hosting a 2013 series for parents (and educators).  Each is held at their Grand Haven location.  Pre-registration required:  616-935-3300.  July 15 6:00-7:00pm is Sensory Strategies for Home; and October 14 6:00-7:00pm is Facilitating Infant Development: Birth Through Age Two.  Flyer attached.


17.  Coffee Break: iPad Apps and Tech for Supporting Reading and Writing:  Specialized Language Development (SLD) Center is hosting Kindy Segovia, Assistive Technology Director for Kent Intermediate School District on Tuesday, May 14 from 10:30-11:30am at 2650 Horizons Dr, SE, Ste 230 in Grand Rapids.  Seating is limited, please RSVP to Amy Barto at616-361-1182 or abarto@sldcenter.org.


18.  The Brain and Reading:  Engage Their Brains!  FREE – presented by the Specialized Language Development Center!  Wednesday, May 15, 2013 from 6:00 to 8:00pm at MOISD Resource Center in Big Rapids.  For anyone working with struggling readers.  They will share information on identifying and incorporating learning styles, what happens in the brain when you read, and some fun and inexpensive ways to support developing and/or struggling readers at home.  Contact Amy Barto at 616-361-1182 or abarto@sldcenter.org to register or for more information.


13.  GrandRounds Speaker Series at Hope Network – primarily oriented to professionals, from a wide range of disciplines (psychology, speech, ABA, OT, social work, nursing, education, and administration are frequently present), but parents are always welcome.     June 7, 2013, 12-1pm: Michael Ghareeb of Kent Intermediate School District will be talking about Autism IEP and special education service planning and July 12, 2013, 12-1pm: Dr. Jennifer Cochran of BRAINS will be talking about nonverbal learning disorders.  Held at Hope Network’s Education Center, 755 36th St SE (the third entrance on the right side of the road heading west from Eastern Ave).  Refreshments are provided. Optional RSVP to this address (cfarounds@hopenetwork.org) is always appreciated, and all are welcome.


14.  FamilyRounds Speaker Series at Hope Network – primarily oriented to parents of adolescents and young adults with autism, with extra time for longer Q&A and for networking.   May 22, 2013, 6:30-8pm: Dr. Mohan Krishnan of Hope Network’s Center for Autism on the emotional wellbeing for the whole Autism family.  June 26, 2013, 6:30-8pm: Pastor Ron Vredeveld will be speaking about autism and sexuality.  July 24, 2013, 6:30-8pm: Hope Network’s Lara Snider will talk about her experience as a peer specialist, bridging the language and culture gap between people who provide mental health services and people who receive them, based on her own experience as a consumer.  Held at Hope Network’s Education Center, 755 36th St SE (the third entrance on the right side of the road heading west from Eastern Ave).  Refreshments are provided. Optional RSVP to this address (cfarounds@hopenetwork.org) is always appreciated, and all are welcome.


15.  The Autism Insurance Benefit: FREE Parent and Provider Workshop – Autism Support of Kent (ASK) is hosting this important workshop.  Wednesday, May 22, 2013 – 7:00 p.m. – KISD – Educational Service Building, 2930 Knapp St. NE, Grand Rapids.  Please RSVP to ASK by May 20 at (616) 752-8577, leaving your name and the number of persons attending.  Parents and providers…. Please make plans to attend this important workshop which will discuss insurance and Medicaid coverage for autism treatments (including ABA), how to find qualified providers, and how to work with employers and insurers to access benefits.   WHO IS PRESENTING?  • Colleen Allen, PhD, President & CEO, Autism Alliance of MI Chair, MI Autism Council  • Stacie Rulison, MS, M.Ed., BCBA Candidate; Operations Director, Autism Alliance of MI; Appointed, MI Autism Council  TOPICS EXPLORED:  • Autism legislation bills and what they mean  • Treatments covered by the legislation  • Evidence-based practice treatments defined  • Overview of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)  • Explanation of state-regulated and self-funded insurance coverage  • Medicaid coverage for treatments  • How to find a qualified provider  • Access issues with the benefit, and working with your employer and insurer  • Resources for help in this process.   CHECK OUT THE AAOM AUTISM INSURANCE PORTAL FOR THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE, UP-TO-DATE INFORMATION AT: https://sites.google.com/site/aaominscollaborative/


16.  FREE Emergency Planning Webinar for people with disabilities, caregivers and family members – sponsored by Wayne State University, the Developmental Disabilities Institute and The Arc Kent County:  Thursday, May 30, 2013 from 10:00-11:30am.  You will: learn about the definition of an emergency or disaster, complete an emergency plan, watch a DVD that gives you information about surviving an emergency situation, address your needs in an evacuation (helper animals, assistive technology, etc).  Contact Elizabeth Janks with questions, 248-990-6467.  Register online at:  https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5706235900091309824.  Contact Anita atab4773@wayne.edu or 313-577-2654 by May 20, 2013 with your name, email address, phone number and address to obtain a copy of the “SAFE PLACE” emergency planning kit which will be discussed at the webinar.


17.  Awareness Through Movement Feldenkrais Workshop:  June 1st, 1-5pm – verbally guided movement experiences from the work of Moshe Feldenkrais done in group sessions.  Movement can become effortless, posture balanced spontaneously, pain reduced, mobility improved, the whole body calmed, stress reduced.  This seminar will be focused on ROLLING and how it requires use of the spine and extremities in an organized in a way.  Rolling is used to get up from the floor but also can be a valuable tool that is useful if falling.  Practice in rolling strategies help in the integration of the trunk, arms and legs.  Register by email joewittept@gmail.com with you name and email address.  $60 payable at joewitte.com or 616-334-2615 for questions and more information.  Location:  Armentality,  Dance & Yoga Education, 233 E. Fulton St, Ste 620, Grand Rapids.


Awesome Opportunities!

18.  2013 Legacy Trust Award Collection – Registration Open Through Wednesday, May 15: The Legacy Trust Award Collection is a mini-art competition aimed at removing barriers for participation for adult artists in ArtPrize.  Three winners, chosen by public vote, receive a cash prize of $500.00 and a sponsorship in ArtPrize.  Registration is now open!  Michigan artists with disabilities who are age 18 and older are invited to submit their best paintings, sculptures, photographs, drawings, collages and other works of art.  Artwork and registration must be submitted by May 15th.  For more information or to download a registration form, click here to visit the website of the Legacy Trust Award Collection.


19.  Accreditation Received!  Time to Celebrate!!  Last fall local photographer Christine Gribble of Christine Wedding & Portrait Design asked for our help. She wanted to find children with special needs that she could photograph to complete her accreditation process through Special Kids Photography of America.  We put out the word and you responded.  And now–a few months, 18 sessions and lots of fun/wonderful images later–Christine would like to celebrate receiving her accreditation by again offering complimentary sessions!  (A $100 value.)  So, if you or someone you know has a child with special needs and you’d like to have professional images created, please call Christine at 616.336.0935 or visit her website at www.gribblephotography.com where you can view a gallery of the images she took for her accreditation as well as send her a note via her contact page  .Sessions will be schedule for late April and early May.  A signed model release will be required so that images may be posted to Facebook or used in other forms of display and/or advertising.  Additionally, Christine will provide one complimentary 5×7 print from each session.  For additional information please visit www.gribblephotography.com/info.


20.  Michigan State University is proud to present an exciting college transition program for high school students with disabilities. The Venture program invites students ages 16-18 to join us for a unique on-campus pre-college experience. Venture offers students the chance to “try on” university life through an interactive experience at MSU. This experience will benefit all students, regardless of whether they are planning on attending a 2 or 4 year college.  Students will:  -Talk directly with current MSU students with disabilities who have “been there” and understand the journey
Consult with university disability specialists to learn skills for college  -Experience firsthand the latest assistive technology through breakout sessions during the program  -Attend a college class, stay two nights in an accessible residence hall, and build connections with other high school students with disabilities  -Become aware of self-advocacy skills and resources for a successful transition  -Develop a long-range goal that includes a vision of higher education.  For more information and/or to apply, check out the website https://www.rcpd.msu.edu/programs/project-venture


Family Hope Foundation invests in children with special needs through family support, engaging community experts, advocacy through collaboration and financial assistance to provide access to therapies.


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