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.

View this email in your browser
2nd Annual Camp Ability was a success! Thank you, Amerigroup!

PEN Project, in partnership with the Children’s Disabilities Information Coalition (CDIC), hosted its 2nd Annual Camp Ability for youth with disabilities ages 14-22 years old.

The objective of this week-long Summer Camp is to increase the knowledge of youth with disabilities by providing them with information and training that will increase their capacity to become effective self-advocates. 

Thank you, Amerigroup, for your continued partnership and support of our kids and young adults with disabilities! 

Click here to check out our pictures and videos!
Camp Ability 2019 Talent Show practice!
Special Ability at Work
The Hospitals of Providence
Upcoming Webinars / Facebook Live!

Join us on Wednesday, July 17 @ 12:15 p.m. CDT, as Steven Aleman, Disability Rights Texas, gives an update on the 86th Legislative Session. Learn which special education issues were considered during the legislative session and how this may affect your child’s education.

  • Closed caption will be provided by VITAC.

Register for this webinar at

If you have questions about our statewide or collaborative webinar series, please contact Meagan Sanders at

Related Services 
presented by Jamie Thomas
July 18th 11:00 am, CST

Speech, occupational therapy and psychological services are only a few of the Related Services that may be needed by students with disabilities. This workshop will teach parents how students become eligible for Related Services, as well as how those services are delivered and coordinated. An overview of all Related Services under IDEA will be provided.
Contact Jamie Thomas: 325.450.2774 

Is Your Child a Target of Bullying?
presented by Stephanie McLoughlin
July 24th 12:30 pm, CST

This workshop will provide participants with a practical understanding of what bullying is and the impact it can have on children with disabilities. We will learn about the different types of bullying, intervention strategies and the role that adults can play in the prevention of bullying.
Contact Stephanie McLoughlin: 806.281.3495

“If you cannot see where you are going,
ask someone who has been there before.”
~J Loren Norris
Regions 14 & 15
Serves Abilene & San Angelo Areas
Jamie Thomas
Region 18
Serves Midland/Odessa Areas
Lacye Martinez
Regions 16 & 17
Serves Amarillo & Lubbock Areas
Stephanie McLoughlin
Region 19
Serves El Paso & Surrounding areas
Sonia Barrozo
Click here to view PEN Project's Events Calendar
Reach for the Stars! Conference & Disability Resource Fair 2019
For more information: Sonia Barrozo  915.494.3925
For more information: Stephanie McLoughlin  806.281.3495
Learning on the Go!
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.

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 going to:
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 in your area!

Useful Articles
4th of July Strategies for Special Needs Kids

The 4th of July is an exciting holiday, but for special needs kids it can all be a bit too much. Think about it: fireworks are basically EXPLOSIONS! Things blowing up can be challenging for someone who is sensitive to loud noises. Also, fireworks can’t happen until nightfall, which may mean staying up late.

>>> Read Article
42 Fun Activities for Kids at Home

There are many dangers to too much screen time. Too much screen time limits creativity and is a detriment to developing social skills and imagination.

Instead of turning on the television or letting the kids play computer games try some of these creative, fun activities.

>>> Read Article
Summer and Beyond: How to Get Your Special Needs Child To Read

Many schools have started assigning Summer Reading to keep kids in good habits and also to avoid the dreaded summer brain drain, where they lose some of the skills learned during the academic year due to lack of practice. Sometimes the reading assignment can be fun, like a competition to see who reads the most pages or books or minutes. 

>>> Read Article
Summer Success Kit for Kids With ADHD

School's out, but children still need structure and support to thrive during the break
Summer vacation is an exciting time of year, but for kids with ADHD — and their parents — the long days, new activities and lack of structure can turn excitement into disaster. Here are some suggestions to help kids with ADHD (and mom and dad, too) have a fun, safe, relaxing break.

>>> Read Article
Summer and Sensory Processing Issues

How to help kids stay comfortable in what can be overstimulating outdoor activities

For many kids, summer vacation holds the promise of months of school-free fun. But for children with sensory processing issues, summer can be a challenging time.

>>> Read Article
Ready To Learn Television: Creating Educational Television and Digital Media for Young Children

To support children’s early learning and school readiness, ED’s Ready To Learn Television grant has funded the development of educational television and digital media targeted at preschool and early elementary school children and their families, especially those who live in low-income communities. As part of their grant, 

>>> Read Article

Playlist - LIFESKILLS Radio

Life Skills Radio explores the world of Life Skills education in our schools, communities, and daily lives.

We’ll meet with experts in their field, real teachers, both old and new, and all sorts of other specialists you’ll meet throughout your education journey. They’ll share their stories, strategies, and experience related to all sorts of educational topics as we journey through this amazing world we call life skills.

All episodes drop Friday June 14th.

>>> Visit website
Podcast: Employment Success for People with Disabilities

Jim Fruchterman discusses Benetech’s research on expanding employment success for people with disabilities, and how inclusive hiring and accessible technology intersect with Silicon Valley’s push to drive innovation.

This podcast is developed in partnership with as part of PEAT's Future of Work series, which works to start conversations around how emerging workplace technology trends are impacting people with disabilities.​

>>> Visit website
Helpful Tips

2-Minute Tutorial: How to Teach Kids With Motor Skills Issues to Button Clothes


Image: Green background with the words--how to find free money for college.Get Creative When Funding College or Career School

Are you an active volunteer? Do you play a school sport? Do you have a high GPA? If so, you may qualify for a number of different scholarships (a.k.a. free money).  Find out what scholarships are available.
Practical Strategies for Helping Parents in Conflict: Assisting
Divorced or Estranged Parents Through the IEP Process

Administrators and teachers often do not know the best way of ensuring that each parent is respected and that their opinions are valued.  Parents may feel confident in advocating for their child but may be very uncomfortable sitting at the IEP meeting with a former partner. This webinar assists all IEP team members in learning strategies that enable the focus of the meeting to be where it should be: on the needs of the child.
View this and other CADRE resources:
14 Ways to Help Older Kids Build Motor Skills

Kids develop gross and fine motor skills at different rates. And while there are many activities to help younger kids work on fine and gross motor skills, they’re not generally aimed at older kids who struggle with these skills.
There are certain learning and attention issues that can affect motor skills. These include dyspraxia, visual processing issues and sensory processing issues. Tweens and teens with these issues may still need to work on strengthening their motor skills.

>>> Read Article
  Transition Planning Checklists

Transition services must be included in the IEP that is in effect when your child turns 16 - but the IEP team can plan earlier if appropriate. Some states require earlier planning.
Your child's IEP transition plan should be based on his individual needs, interests, and choices - with goals that address what he is doing now and what he wants to do when high school is over.

The Rules of Dating (and Breaking Up) with ADHD

Dating with ADHD requires knowing how your symptoms color a relationship, and making an organized effort to treat the other person fairly and honestly.

Toolkits & Downloads

In the Best Interests of the Child: Individualized Education
Program (IEP) Meetings When Parents Are In Conflict


Download: Tools to Help With Handwriting

Routines for Morning and Night

19 Ways to Meet Deadlines and Get Things Done
We Want to Hear From You
We value and appreciate your compliments, suggestions or complaints in order to improve our services and the way we communicate. If you are satisfied with the service you have received from us, please let us know ❣
Find Your PTI
There are nearly 100 Parent Training and Information Centers (PTIs) and Community Parent Resource Centers (CPRCs) in the US and Territories
Click here to find your PTI
Who is PEN Project & How Do We Help?
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

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.