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Partners Resource Network - PEN Project is one of four Texas Parent Training and Information Centers (PTIs) funded through the U.S. Department of Education. We provide free information, technical assistance and ARD support to parents of children with special needs.

Our mission is to empower and support Texas families and individuals impacted by disabilities or special health care needs.

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Partners Resource Network - PEN Project is looking for a dynamic and knowledgeable part-time Regional Coordinator to serve families of individuals with disabilities, youth self-advocates and professionals in El Paso, TX.

Please submit your Letter of Interest and Resume to penprntx@gmail.com. 

For more information, contact PEN Project Director, Bonnie Perez Ramirez, at penprntx@gmail.com or 915.471.0093.

Transitioning to Special Education After Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) Services End
Tuesday, January 12th @ 12:15 p.m. CT

Join us as Leslie Alvarez, Disability Rights Texas, discusses the transition process from ECI to special education. Attendees will also get an overview of special education and what to expect from their local school once their child has been identified by the school. Helpful advocacy tips and special education rights will also be covered. 

Special Guest Presenter: Leslie Alvarez, Staff Attorney at Disability Rights Texas, Equal Justice Works Fellow sponsored by the Texas Access to Justice Foundation 

REGISTER
 


Positive Behavior Interventions with Valarie Estrada-Region 12
January 12 at 2:00 p.m. CST

This workshop will help families understand the reason for behavioral assessments and positive interventions with a focus on behaviors that serve a specific purpose for a student. We will discuss using positive consequences versus punishment to change behavior, as well as what IDEA 2004 says concerning positive behavior interventions.

For more information: Valarie Estrada | 254.275.1362 | region12prn@gmail.com



PEN Teen Group - Pet Show & Tell!

January 12 at 7:00 p.m. CST

Join us and show off your pets!
Registration is required.*

For more information: 

Melissa Morphis | 806.281.3495 | regions16.17prn@gmail.com 
Lacye Martinez | 432.530.4382 | lmartinezpen@gmail.com



Texas Autism Supplement with Valarie Estrada - Region 12

January 19 at 2:00 p.m. CST

This workshop will introduce the eleven strategies that must be considered for educational programming for students with autism in Texas public schools. Participants will be provided with tools & tables for individualized development of these eleven strategies. 

Registration is required.*

For more information: Valarie Estrada | 254.275.1362 | region12prn@gmail.com



Transition Services with Texas Workforce Commission
January 20 at 12:00 p.m. CST

Join Melissa Morphis and Brenda Rossnagel to learn about the services available to young persons with disabilities and how to access them with the agency.

Registration is required.*

For more information: Melissa Morphis | 806.281.3495 | regions16.17prn@gmail.com
 


Section 504 with Darrell Ryan-Region 9
January 21 at 10:00 a.m. CST

This workshop will provide an overview of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.  Participants will learn that schools have an obligation to prevent discrimination based on disability, to provide equal opportunity to all students, and to provide FAPE (Free Appropriate Public Education) to each qualified student with a disability.  The definition of disability will be explained and the identification process for the 504 Plan will be explored.

REGISTER
For more information: Darrell Ryan | 940.435.1222 | region9prn@gmail.com


Evite el Divorcio por la Discapacidad 
22 de Enero a 10:00 a.m. MST

Es importante para los padres entender que los padres de un niño con discapacidad enfrentan más retos para mantener una relación saludable más que los padres de familias sin niños con discapacidades. En este taller se discutirán algunas maneras en las cuales estas relaciones varían en comparación con otras familias, cómo abordar estos retos únicos, y compartiremos algunas tácticas para mantener y fortalecer las relaciones, tanto con su pareja como con su familia, para proveerle a los padres una mano amiga para evitar el divorcio por causa de la discapacidad.

REGISTRARSE

Para obtener más información, llame o envíe un correo electrónico a:

Bonnie Perez Ramirez | 915.259.8717 | bperezpen@sbcglobal.net


Youth Leadership Training - Day 1
January 22 at 6:00 p.m. CST

The intent of this workshop is to teach youth (age 8th grade to 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.

REGISTER

For more information: 
Jamie Thomas | 325.452.2774 | jthomaspen@gmail.com  
Lacye Martinez | 432.530.4382 | lmartinezpen@gmail.com


Youth Leadership Training - Day 2
January 23 at 1:00 p.m. CST

The intent of this workshop is to teach youth (age 8th grade to 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.

REGISTER

For more information: 
Jamie Thomas | 325.452.2774 | jthomaspen@gmail.com  
Lacye Martinez | 432.530.4382 | lmartinezpen@gmail.com


Embrace Differences Support Group 
January 26 at 12:00 p.m. CST and 7:30 p.m. CST

This is a support group for families of children with different abilities. We will meet monthly for a time of conversation and to learn about local resources in the community. 
"Where acceptance and support abound."

12:00 p.m. - REGISTER
 7:30 p.m. - REGISTER

For more information: 
Melissa Morphis: 806.281.3495 regions16.17prn@gmail.com
Deadra Carver: 806-474-9554 deadra.carver@superiorhealthplan.com

 


Stress Management and Resiliency
January 28 at 10:00 a.m. CST

This workshop helps parents understand the importance of managing their stress and building their resiliency to stress.  We will teach parents how to identify stressors and the main sources of their stress.  We will discuss ways to deal with stress and improve resiliency, and then will teach parents some relaxation techniques that they can use to reduce their stress levels.

REGISTER

For more information: Darrell Ryan | 940.435.1222 | region9prn@gmail.com

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What is an IEP Clinic?

An IEP Clinic is a designated 1 HOUR appointment time to meet with your PEN Project Regional Coordinator. There are different ways your Regional Coordinator may assist you at an IEP Clinic. Some ways are: 

  • To learn what the ARD process is like, 
  • To review your child’s IEP, 
  • Help you determine what you want for your child and how to achieve it, 
  • Help you understand what your rights are under IDEA.

Call, text or email your Regional Coordinator to schedule your appointment!

****************************************************************************************************************

IEP Clinic with Jamie Thomas - Regions 14 & 15
January 5 starting at 10:00 a.m. CST
Jamie Thomas | 325.450.2774 | email jthomaspen@gmail.com

IEP Clinic with Lacye Martinez - Region 18
January 5 starting at 10:00 a.m. CST
Lacye Martinez | 432.530.4382 | lmartinezpen@gmail.com


IEP Clinic with Darrell Ryan - Region 9
January 12 starting at 10:00 a.m. CST
Darrell Ryan | 940.435.1222 | region9prn@gmail.com


IEP Clinic with Valarie Estrada - Region 12
January 19 starting at 3:00 p.m. CST
Valarie Estrada | 254.275.1362 | region12prn@gmail.com


IEP Clinic with Melissa Morphis - Regions 16 & 17
January 19 starting at 10:00 a.m. CST
Melissa Morphis | 806.281.3495 | regions16.17prn@gmail.com

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Support for Parents of Kids With Special Needs 

When most parents think of the juggling act involved in raising a family, they think of coordinating soccer games with ballet practice and grocery shopping.

But if you're a parent of a child who is sick or has special needs, your schedule likely involves doctor's visits, therapy sessions, and waiting for doctors and insurance companies to return your phone calls. And then there's the exhaustion and endless worry.

READ ARTICLE


Considerations for Youth With Disabilities 

Although efforts have been taken to help improve employment opportunities for people with disabilities, research continues to suggest that youth with disabilities are less likely than their nondisabled peers to graduate from high school, attend and complete four-year colleges and universities, and be employed.

CONTINUE READING
Closing the Gap: Transition to Work Programs Empower Youth with Disabilities

Most Americans recognize work as an important part of a person’s ability to contribute to the community. Yet, people with disabilities face remarkably high unemployment rates. According to recent statistics released by the U.S. Department of Labor, while 64 percent of the adult non-disabled population is currently employed, only 17 percent of the adult population with disabilities currently holds a job. One of the reasons for this gap is that few people with intellectual and developmental disabilities transition from school to competitive integrated employment. At the Administration for Community Living (ACL), we are working to change that by funding transition programs that provide mentoring, training, and hiring opportunities so more young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities can thrive in the workplace.
 
CONTINUE READING
Kids With Autism See IQs Rise With Age, Study Finds 

IQ is generally expected to remain stable over time, but new research suggests that the measure increases significantly for those with autism during adolescence and early adulthood.

In a long-term study of 126 people on the spectrum, IQ scores increased by an average of 7.48 points between the ages of 12 and 23. During the same period, autism symptoms in those studied remained unchanged.

READ ARTICLE


How The Pandemic Has Altered The Lives Of Children With Disabilities 

Over the summer, Sherri Brady sent out messages to fellow parents of children with disabilities asking for help getting the word out about a virtual picnic she was organizing.
The answers she received back made it clear the families needed more than an online get-together.

READ ARTICLE


Navy Hires Special Education Attorneys As Part Of Pilot Program For Families

The Navy has hired two special education lawyers as part of a three-year pilot program to expand support for service members enrolled in the Exceptional Family Member Program.

The two civilian attorneys, who have a background in special education law, began in November to assist families trying to get services for children with special needs through federal laws put into practice differently in school districts across the country, said Lt. Cmdr. Nick Stampfli, legal assistance department head at the Legal Services Office for Mid-Atlantic Region. Navy families can find themselves at a disadvantage when it comes to special education because frequent moves mean they are regularly entering new school districts with different rules and resources.

READ ARTICLE

 

Teenagers and ADHD ...
IT'S COMPLICATED
Avoiding Power Struggles

Facebook Live Q&A with Chuck Noe, Education Specialists.

Join Chuck live every other Monday on Facebook.

We value and appreciate your feedback in order to improve our services, as well as the way we serve and communicate with you. Whether or not you are satisfied with the service you have received from us please let me know ❣  Please take a moment to answer a few questions and share your thoughts with us. You may also call, text, or email me!

CLICK HERE TO TAKE OUR SHORT SURVEY

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The contents of this newsletter were developed under a grant from the US Department of Education, #H328M200042. 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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