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Partners Resource Network PEN Project is one of three Texas Parent Training and Information Centers (PTIs) funded through the Department of Education. We provide free information, technical assistance and ARD support to parents of children with special needs. 
Our mission is to empower youth with disabilities and parents of children with disabilities to be effective advocates for their children and to promote positive parent/professional partnership.

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Becoming Agents of Change
Conference & Disability Resource Fair

Sponsored by Glitz Hair Salon & Superior Health Plan

Join us to learn about Inclusion, Special Education Law, Texas Health Steps, an awesome Youth Self-Advocacy Panel
and much more!


Registration for parents, family members, professionals and exhibitors is open! For more information: Lacye Martinez, 432.530.4382, lmartinezpen@gmail.com
Click to Register
Statewide Webinars

Statewide Webinar:

Life After the Yellow Bus
Tuesday, March 24 | 12:15 p.m. CT

Guest Presenter: Brad Thompson, The HALI Project

What do you see for your child after high school is over? Join us for our next statewide webinar on Tuesday, March 24 @ 12:15 p.m. CT, as Brad Thompson, The HALI Project, discusses the importance of dreaming big dreams for your child, setting tangible goals, and building a team to help your child reach their highest potential.

Click HERE to register!

Join the Conversation About Vocational Rehabilitation Services for Texans with Disabilities
 
The Rehabilitation Council of Texas (RCT) & Texas Workforce Solutions Vocational Rehabilitation Services will host a Town Hall Series.

What are the challenges facing Texans with disabilities who are seeking employment? Your input will help shape the future of vocational rehabilitation services provided by the State of Texas.

Can’t attend? No Problem! A Virtual Town Hall Meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 19th from 5:30 - 7 PM CST.  For more information, please visit: https://twc.texas.gov/jobseekers/vocational-rehabilitation-services
Questions? Call 1-512-936-4321 or email vr.CSNA@twc.state.tx.us
PEN Project Regional Coordinators
Regions 14 & 15
Abilene & San Angelo Areas


Jamie Thomas
325.450.2774
jthomaspen@gmail.com
Region 18
Midland/Odessa Areas



Lacye Martinez
432.530.4382
lmartinezpen@gmail.com
Regions 16 & 17
Amarillo & Lubbock Areas

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PEN Project
915.259.8717
penprntx@gmail.com
Region 19
El Paso/Hudspeth Counties

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PEN Project
915.259.8717
penprntx@gmail.com
We are looking for dedicated and passionate Regional Coordinators to serve the following areas:
  • Regions 16 & 17 - Amarillo/Lubbock and surrounding areas: 30 hrs/week
To apply: Submit your Cover Letter and Resume to penprojectjobs@gmail.com 
I want to hear from YOU!

I value and appreciate your compliments, suggestions, complaints and feedback in order to improve our services and the way we communicate with you.
Whether or not you are satisfied with the service you have received from us please let us know ❣
You may share your thought HERE by answering our survey questions. You may also call me or email me!



Bonnie Perez Ramirez, Project Director
915.259.8717 
bperezpen@sbcglobal.net
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Free Online Learning
Q&A with Chuck Noe – 
Facebook Live

Join Chuck Noe, Education Specialist for Partners Resource Network, for his bi-weekly Q&A via Facebook Live. Chuck will discuss a range of topics and answer your questions. 
https://www.facebook.com/PRNTexas/
Partners Resource Network is always looking for new ways to help parents and caregivers on their way to becoming advocates for their children. We believe the best way to meet this goal is to empower parents and caregivers through education.
You can register for our online courses by clicking
HERE.
Useful Articles
11 Things to Know about Cerebral Palsy
 
Cerebral palsy (CP) is the most common motor disability in childhood, and children with CP and their families need support. Learn more about CP and what signs to look for in young children.
  1. Cerebral palsy (CP) is a group of disorders that affect a person’s ability to move and maintain balance and posture.
  2. CP is the most common motor disability of childhood. About 1 in 323 children has been identified with CP according to estimates from CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network.
>>>Read Article
What Is Executive Function?

Executive function is a set of mental skills that include working memory, flexible thinking, and self-control. We use these skills every day to learn, work, and manage daily life. Trouble with executive function can make it hard to focus, follow directions, and handle emotions, among other things.

>>> Read Article
5 Ways Executive Functioning Issues Can Impact Reading

Executive function plays a big part in different aspects of learning to read. It’s key to mastering the alphabet and understanding what words mean. So when kids have weak executive functioning skills it can create certain difficulties with reading. Here are five ways executive functioning issues can affect reading.

>>> Read Article
ONE QUESTION
DIRECTED BY ANTHONY DI SALVO

35 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities answer the same one question: If you could change one thing about yourself, what would you change?

The production crew for this film included eight people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The film was shot over 5 days as part of Sprout’s Make-A-Movie Program.

>>> Visit Website

 

Can the School Terminate My Child's Eligibility for Special Ed? Evaluations, IQ Scores, and Grades

Before the school determined that your child was eligible for special education, they were required to do a comprehensive evaluation and assess all areas of suspected disability.

Before the school can determine that she is not eligible for special education, they are required to do a comprehensive evaluation and assess all areas of suspected disability.

The Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) describes how this evaluation must be conducted and what it must include.

>>> Read Article

How Are Evaluation Timelines Calculated When They Include School Breaks?

Under 34 CFR § 300.301(c)(1), the initial evaluation must be conducted within 60 days after receiving parental consent for the evaluation or, if the State establishes a timeframe within which the evaluation must be conducted, within that timeframe. Pursuant to 34 CFR § 300.301(d), the timeframe does not apply if: (1) the parent of a child repeatedly fails or refuses to produce the child for evaluation; or (2) a child enrolls in a school of another public agency after the relevant timeframe in 34 CFR § 300.301(c)(1) has begun, and prior to a determination by the child’s previous public agency as to whether the child is a child with a disability under 34 CFR § 300.8. In the regulations, a day is a calendar day unless otherwise indicated as a business day or school day. 34 CFR § 300.11. As contemplated in the regulation, a State is permitted to establish a timeframe that is different from the 60-day timeframe. State-established timeframes generally also incorporates the exceptions in 34 CFR § 300.301(d), as described above. There is no exception in 34 CFR § 300.301(d) that would permit the applicable initial evaluation timeline to be suspended because of a school break.

>>>Visit Website

STAAR Accessibility Enhancements

Beginning in spring 2019, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) will be offering three additional accessibility enhancements as the personal needs and preferences (PNP) options available in the STAAR Online Testing Platform (SOTP).

First, an online basic calculator will be available to students who are eligible for the designated support of Calculation Aid and take STAAR online at grades 3–7 mathematics or grade 5 science, including STAAR Spanish online at grades 3–5 mathematics or grade 5 science.

Students who are eligible for a braille administration of STAAR will be able to use a screen reader software application that will enable the use of refreshable braille display devices. This PNP option will be available for online administrations of STAAR grades 3–8 reading (English only), grades 4 (English only) and 7 writing, grade 8 social studies, English I, English II, and U.S. History. For more information about setup and administration for this PNP option, contact the Texas Assessment Support Center at 855-333-7770.

>>>Visit Website

NAMI Blog: Mental Illness Should Not Be A Secret

Secrets and lies.            
That’s how I would describe the beginning of my decades-long battle with mental illness. The year was 1996, I was 17 years old, and my life came to a stand-still because of depression, anxiety and an eating disorder. I had no community to call upon, few friends that knew of my struggles. 

Everyone knew something was wrong. I couldn’t keep my outward appearance or drastic personality changes to myself. But mental illness wasn’t something you talked about. Why had I lost so much weight? Why was I in and out of the hospital? Mono was going around our school; that must have been it. Why did I drop out of high school with my straight-A grades and high ACT score? It couldn't be that. I must have graduated early.
 
>>> Read Article

 

NAMI Blog: Coming Out With Bipolar Disorder

I am a psychiatric nurse. I work with patients every day who are in the hospital with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, borderline personality disorder, among other conditions. I do my best to help them put the pieces back together, so they can go home to their families and attempt to function in their lives again. I can relate as I’ve been there myself. 
 
I have been managing my own bipolar disorder for years now, which is what allows me to successfully hold my job, have a family and go after what I want in life. However, that management has not been without setbacks, hardship, sacrifice and determination. I have certain limitations I’ve come to accept and there have been times the veil between me and my patients has been thin. 
>>> Read Article

Special Needs Trusts FAQ's

A trust is created when property (real estate, finances, tangible items) is managed by a person for another person's benefit. The person managing the property is called the "trustee." The person whose benefit it is for is called the "beneficiary". The trust lasts as long as it is needed. This usually means the trust will go on until the beneficiary's death or until the funds are expunged.

Special needs trusts are made specifically for the benefit of those with physical and/or mental disabilities, including those with mental disabilities who lack the capacity to manage their own finances. The trust is created with the specific needs, lifestyle, and future of the beneficiary in mind. Often times these special needs trusts are used to ensure that the beneficiaries don't lose government benefits they are receiving. The trustees of special needs trusts can be family members or, if an appropriate and trustworthy family member is unavailable, a third party will be appointed by the court. Choosing the right trustee must be done very carefully, especially for special needs trusts that are used for the benefit of a younger person.

>>>Visit Website

Youth Workshops & Trainings
The intent of these workshops and trainings is to teach youth (14 - 26 years) with disabilities how to self-advocate. 

Self-Advocacy is learning how to speak up for yourself, making your own decisions about your own life, learning how to get information so that you can understand things that are of interest to you, finding out who will support you in your journey, knowing your rights and responsibilities, reaching out to others when you need help and friendship, and learning about self-determination. 


You can click HERE to sign up to receive information on upcoming events for Youth in your area!

Do you think you're practicing good self-care?


Choose the answer based on how often you do each of the following statements. Make sure to check the boxes to record your responses. At the end, you’ll find out how to score your answers.

>>>Visit Website

Teen Dating Violence Awareness

TDVAM is a month-long campaign dedicated to raising awareness about teen dating abuse. Every February, people across the United States join together for a national effort to bring awareness to teen dating violence. Teen dating violence is more common than people think. One in three teens in the U.S. will experience physical, sexual, or emotional abuse by someone they are in a relationship with before they become adults.* Nearly half (43%) of college women report experiencing violent and abusive dating behaviors.*

>>>Visit Website

Taking Care of Your Body During Puberty


You may be more aware of this as your body goes through puberty—the changes that happen when your body goes from a child to a young adult. These changes include increased hormone production, body oil secretion and body hair growth. It’s these changes that can cause a person to smell more than they used to or to experience things, like acne. Watch the full video to learn more!

 

Dude, Where’s My Transition Plan?

We are happy to share our newest resource booklet, Dude, Where’s My Transition Plan?  with you!

Speaking directly to youth with disabilities, this booklet includes multiple transition planning worksheets, several checklists, and discussions of self-advocacy.

The booklet is available in English and Spanish:

Who is PEN Project & How Can We Help YOU?
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You are receiving this email because you have requested information from PRN or the PTI Projects.
 
The contents of this newsletter were developed under a grant from the US Department of Education, #H328M150023  However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the US Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.  

Our mailing address is:
3 Butterfield Trail, Suite 128A
El Paso, TX 79906
Office: 915.259.8717
Toll free: 1.833.843.2686
penprntx@gmail.com

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