Families Together, Inc.



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Families Together, Inc.


Assisting Kansas Parents and their sons and daughters with disabilities for more than 27 years. 

Educating, Assisting, Supporting, and Informing through this newsletter... A newsletter for and by parents with sons & daughters with disabilities and education advocates.


September 2009




Involve Parents' Rights


New regulations of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) became effective Dec. 31, 2008. IDEA provides a free, appropriate public education for children with disabilities.
Two changes of particular importance to parents of children with disabilities involve:

  • a parent's right to revoke consent for special education and related services, and
  • representation of parents and schools by non-attorneys in due process hearings.

Since the passage of the first special education laws in 1975, parents have had the right to withdraw consent for special education services. However, school districts also had the right to contest the parent's decision.
The new regulations allow a parent to revoke his or her consent for special education and related services and require the school district to comply with the parent's request for the student's removal from special education. Consequently, schools will not be able to challenge a parent's decision through mediation or due process hearing.
Parents, however, must provide written consent to discontinue special education and related services. Schools must provide the parents with prior written notice detailing the changes in educational placement and services before the services are actually discontinued. Parents should be aware that once the child is removed from special education services, the school is not required to remove references to special education in a child's records. Parents can still request amendments to anything in the records that might be inaccurate or misleading.





Teaching Tools For Children

with Intellectual Disabilities

"Teaching Tools For Children with Intellectual Disabilities" is an educational workshop sponsored by the Down Syndrome Society of Wichita (DSSW).  The workshop will provide an overview of the specific learning needs characteristic of children with Down syndrome and other developmental delays and define their academic impact.  The workshop seeks to provide all educators with the skills to recognize and implement curricular programs that incorporate essential design elements targeting known learning needs.  The workshops goal is to provide all attendees practical information and the tools to help children experiencing developmental delays become successful in inclusive settings in the school and community.  




Transitioning from Infant Toddler Services to Early Childhood Special Education


As a child's third birthday approaches, it signals a change in how services will be provided.  Parents have become familiar with the family oriented services provided by the Infant Toddler program (Part C) within the child's natural environment.  The shift in services to Early Childhood Special Education (Part B) will become more child focused and may be conducted within a preschool or Headstart setting.




Family Story 


Our only living son lost part of his arm in a farming accident in 2003.  We were so thankful for all of the inspiring people we met who had disabilities and inspired him to not let this tragic accident affect his dreams.  It was this experience that led us to becoming foster parents for children with special needs.  We want to be able to help these wonderful children to reach far and beyond their dreams.
We have already had several children that we have been able to help but we were never interested in adoption.  We just wanted to be able to help children to get on their feet, show them how much others can love them, and let them enjoy our farm with its therapeutic animals, ranging from our pet llama to a guinea pig.




H1N1 Flu Virus 


What is this new virus and what steps should you take to keep your children and youth with special health care needs safe?  As with each flu season, the Center for Disease Control makes recommendations about what viruses are expected to be present and a vaccine is developed to protect the general population.  In addition to the "seasonal" flu, we are now faced with the H1N1 virus.  This virus, other flu viruses, and the common cold virus all cause the same symptoms: fever greater than 100 degrees, body aches, coughing, sore throat, respiratory congestion and in some cases, diarrhea and vomiting.  Because H1N1 is a new virus and affects age groups differently, it is important that families get accurate and correct information.  Updated information and more details about what is known about the H1N1 virus can be found on the KDHE website or by calling the toll free H1N1 hotline (1-877-427-7317).




Education Advocate Update 


July 1, 2009 brought about some changes in the foster care system.  TFI, Inc. took over the foster care contract for Region 3 which was formerly held by Kaw Valley Center.  Region 3 is comprised of many northeastern counties such as Shawnee, Saline, Atchison, Riley, and Geary.
United Methodist Youthville and TFI, Inc have taken over foster care case management from DCCCA for children in counties such as Sedgwick, Labette, and other southern counties and KVC, in Region 1, has secured the foster care case management contract for children formerly served by DCCCA in Wyandotte, Douglas and Johnson counties.


Our Calendar of Events


Sept 19, '09


Oct. 6, '09


Oct. 10, '09


Oct. 22, '09


Oct. 23-24, '09


Nov. 14, '09



Nov. 21, '09 


Dec. 5, '09



Feb. 20-21, '10



Feb. 27, '10


March 19-20, '10


April 23-24, '10





Volume 82





A Note From The Director's Desk...

Parents and Education Advocates:
School has started and I hope that the student you represent has gotten off to a great start.  New school years can be scary or exciting, and sometimes both!
Currently, I serve as an appointed Education Advocate for two students and I know how rewarding it can be to help a struggling student make a good start to a school year.  When my daughter was in school, I was the anxious one at the beginning of the year - she did fine! 
All summer, the Families Together, Inc. staff has been working to put a great schedule of conferences together for YOU!  Look over the dates and locations and find ones that will help you to be a better partner with your school, service provider, or health care professionals on behalf of your child or the student you represent.
The theme of the Parent Networking Conferences and the Family Enrichment Weekends will be "A Passport to Your Child's Future".
SAVE THE DATES FOR the statewide conferences in Wichita and Topeka (see page 5).  We've scheduled great speakers on a variety of topics.  These conferences are for parents AND professionals.  If  you are a parent, bring your child's teacher or para; if you are a professional, bring the parents of a child or young adult that you serve!  Watch for further information in your mail box, your inbox or your child's backpack!
Have a wonderful school year and call a Parent Information Specialist in the Center nearest you if you need help.  We are as close as your phone.




(316) 945-7747

(888) 815-6364 


(785) 233-4777

(800) 264-6343 


(888) 820-6364

(620) 276-6364


(913) 287-1970

(877) 499-5369


(316) 945-7747

(888) 815-6364 


Parent Line

(800) 499-9443




  KU Autism Conference for Families and Practitioners Set for November 
  Autism Across the Life Span, the first statewide conference of the new University of Kansas Autism Research and Training Center (K-CART), is scheduled for November 6-7, 2009 at the Hilton Wichita Airport Executive Conference Center. .  





Special Education Advisory Council (SEAC)
The purpose of the Kansas State Special Education Advisory Council is to provide policy guidance to the State Board of Education with respect to special education and related services for children with disabilities in the state. The Council meets regularly and membership is made up of stakeholders throughout the state including individuals with disabilities and parents of children with disabilities. SEAC encourages and welcomes your input. 




Families Together, Inc. will not share, sell or rent your personal information to third parties.