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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Reach for the Stars, El Paso!
Conference & Disability Resource Fair
August 31, 2019

*Exhibitor opportunities available!
Reach for the Stars, Lubbock!
Conference & Disability Resource Fair
September 14, 2019

*Exhibitor opportunities available!
El Poder del Saber: La Educacion Especial y Mas

Este evento es para padres y profesionales que quieran aprendar mas sobre la Educacion Especial y sus derechos bajo IDEA.

Partners Resource Network presenta:

El Poder del Saber: La Educacion Especial y Mas 
Conferencia y Feria de Recursos

Esta conferencia se llevara acabo el 28 de Septiembre del 2019, en las instalaciones de ESC 13 en Austin, TX.

Esta conferencia sera especialmente para nuestros padres y profesionales del habla hispana. Tendremos oradores de TEA, Disability Rights, el Dr. Licon de Sensory Ranch y mas.

Registrate haciendo clic en este enlace:

Tendremos becas disponibles para familias con niños con discapacidades. Informacion sobre estas becas sera dada en los proximas dias. Sigue visitando nuestra pagina para obtener mas informacion.

Para mas información, favor de contactar a
Alejandra Barger al 832-720-2127
Celia Ulloa al 832-720-2369.

*Sponsorship Opportunities Available!
*Exhibitor registration:

Upcoming Webinars
Start Smart! Strategies for Conquering Back-to-School Anxiety
Tuesday, August 13 @ 12:15 p.m. CT

Special Guest Presenter: Wes Dotson, Ph.D., BCBA, Burkhart Center for Autism Education and Research at Texas Tech University

Join us for our next statewide webinar on Tuesday, August 13 @ 12:15 p.m. CT, as Dr. Wes Dotson, Director of the Burkhart Center for Autism Education and Research at Texas Tech University, shares strategies to help your child deal with anxiety and build his/her confidence in the classroom.

Register at: 

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

Anxiety Disorders in Children
Tuesday, August 27 @ 12:15 p.m. CT
Special Guest Presenter: Grace Psychological Services

Join us on Tuesday, August 27 @ 12:15 p.m. CT as Grace Psychological Services discusses anxiety disorders in children, including the different types and identifiers that parents can look for, along with a focus on anxiety in children with dyslexia and other specific learning disabilities.

Register at:

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

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/Hudspeth Counties
Sonia Barrozo
Click HERE to view PEN Project's Events Calendar
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.

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
Back to School Anxiety: How to help kids manage worries and have a successful start to the school year

The start of the new school year is exciting for most kids. But it also prompts a spike in anxiety: Even kids who are usually pretty easy-going get butterflies, and kids prone to anxiety get clingier and more nervous than usual. Parents feel the pain, too: Leaving a crying child at preschool isn’t anyone’s idea of fun. And having to talk a panicked first grader onto the bus or out of the car at school can be a real test of your diplomatic skills.

Kids who normally have a little trouble separating from mom and dadwill see their anxiety peak during times of stress or transition, notes Rachel Busman, clinical psychologist at the Child Mind Institute. The start of school may be especially challenging for kids who are entering a transition year, she adds — going into kindergarten, into middle school, to a new school. It can also be stressful if there’s a change in your child’s social support system — maybe a good friend has moved, or has a different teacher this year.

For most kids the new-school-year worries will fade and the anxious behaviors will be transient, Dr. Busman adds. The goal for parents is to be supportive without exacerbating your child’s worries. Here are tips for helping nervous kids have a successful transition back to school.

Help! My ARD Committee Cannot Agree, Now What?

Disagreement in an ARD committee meeting is stressful for everyone, but there is a way to get help!  Did you know that the state of Texas offers independent facilitators to help ARD committees work through disagreements?  The Texas Education Agency (TEA) can provide the ARD committee with a neutral, third-party facilitator to help the parents and the school work through disagreements and develop an IEP that the whole team can agree on.   This process is called IEP Facilitation, and it is completely free of charge to families and schools.

>>> Read Article
How to Request a Free IEP Facilitation From TEA

The process to request a facilitator for your ARD committee meeting is simple, but there are specific guidelines to follow.  It is important to follow the steps and the timeline.  You may request facilitation after you have had an ARD committee meeting that was recessed due to disagreement.  Participation in an IEP facilitation is voluntary and must be agreed on by both the parent and the school.  Neither party can force the other to participate in facilitation.  For more information, visit the IEP Facilitation webpage at the following link,

>>> Read Article
Tips for Calming First-Day Jitters in Different Grades

No matter what grade they’re in, kids may get nervous about starting the new school year. And for kids with learning and attention issues, it can be especially scary. Get tips on how to help your child calm those first-day jitters and start school with a positive attitude.

>>> Read Article
Back to School Tips for Parents

Model confidence, create structure, and get to know the new teacher. Every child faces challenges when heading back to school. But back-to-school time can be exceptionally difficult for the 20 percent of children who suffer from a mental health or learning disorder.

>>> Read Article
Free and Appropriate Public Education

All school-age children with disabilities who are eligible for a 504 or an Individualized Education Program (IEP) are entitled to a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). FAPE requires students with disabilities receive the services they need to benefit from their education.

FAPE is required under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act but the details of each are different.

>>> Read Article
Six Principles of IDEA: The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a federal law that created rules and guidelines for special education. The law gives eligible children with disabilities rights to the specially designed instruction and individualized services and supports they need to benefit from public education. The IDEA has six foundational principles, which are outlined below.

>>> Read Article

Helping Children Cope After a Traumatic Event

In the wake of a traumatic event, your comfort, support and reassurance can make children feel safe, help them manage their fears, guide them through their grief, and help them recover in a healthy way. This guide was assembled by psychiatrists, psychologists and mental health experts who specialize in crisis situations. It offers simple tips on what to expect, what to do and what to look out for. If you or your children require assistance from a mental health professional, do not hesitate to ask a doctor or other health care provider for a recommendation.

>>> Visit website
ADHD Back-to-School Prep: 10 Talks to Have for a Great School Year

Set the tone for a successful school year for your student by having conversations with your child, his teachers, doctors, and the other important people in his life. Find out what to discuss here.

The beginning of the school year is a great time to sit down and have conversations with your child and the other important people in his life to make sure you’re all on the same page when it comes to managing his attention deficit disorder (ADHD or ADD) symptoms.

>>> Visit website
Helpful Tips

Why Some Kids Fall Apart When
They Get Home From School

Picture this scenario: You send your child off to school happy and ready to start the day. Then after school, your child comes home grouchy and touchy—and falls apart. You reach out to the teacher to see if your child seemed on edge at school, too. But you find out your child was fine all day.

You wonder, why does this happen? What happened between the seemingly good day at school and what you’re seeing at home? What’s up with this daily bad mood? You may even wonder if it’s something about you that makes your child come home from school so angry or upset.

Find out why kids may come home from an ordinary day at school and fall apart as soon as they walk in the door.

8 Apps to Help Kids Manage Back-to-School Challenges
Starting a new school year can be a difficult time for many kids. Technology like apps can help—not just with reading, writing, and math, but also with organization and social skills. Here are eight apps that can help kids manage back-to-school challenges.
>>> Visit website
Don’t Wait for the Parent-Teacher Conference! 11 Year-Round Cooperation Rules

Your child’s teacher spends five to six hours with him each day. She doesn’t know him like you do, but she sees things you can’t — or won’t. Here’s advice from real parents and teachers who found ways to work together that really benefited everyone.

>>> Read Article
Back-to-School Introduction Letters
For parents of children with disabilities, writing a back-to-school introduction letter to their child’s teacher can help get the school year off to a good start. It’s also a great way to start building a positive relationship. Parents can use this model letter from to share important facts about their son or daughter and strategies that have worked in the past. It’s also a good idea for parents to identify any accommodations or modifications the child will need, as well as specific aspects of the child’s IEP that the teacher should know about.
>>> Visit website
Creating Autism-Friendly Events A Provider Guide

As part of the Sesame Street and Autism initiative, this guide was developed to help you in your work with all children and their families. Imagine you’re planning a trip to another country, especially one with a different language and dramatically different culture. Without knowing what to expect, or what you were going to do when you landed, you might feel pretty anxious! Similarly, a crowded room is often like a foreign country to people with autism, full of chaos and unpredictability. This guide will help you create calmer, happier transitions that will go a long way in making everyone, particularly children with autism, feel comfortable.

>>> Read Article
Advocacy in Action: A Guide to Local Special Education Parent Advisory Councils
The CPIR is proud to present: “Advocacy in Action: A Guide to Local Special Education Parent Advisory Councils.” This comprehensive document is a road map to help bring stakeholders together, suggest strategies to help them engage in dialogue, and discuss best practices to help them work together to benefit the local community. It draws on experience and practice from states in which local SEPACs have been in operation for decades.
>>> Visit website
Strengthening Native American Communities & Economies

First Nations is the most highly-rated American Indian nonprofit in the nation. Indeed, for the eighth year in a row, First Nations has received the top 4-Star rating from Charity Navigator — only 4% of the nonprofits it rates achieve this highest distinction for eight consecutive years.

Founded in 1980, First Nations began its national grantmaking program in 1993. Through mid-year 2019, we have successfully managed 1,648 grants totaling more than $34.9 million to Native American projects and organizations in 40 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. Territory American Samoa.

>>> Read Article
Talk to Kids About Body Safety & Boundaries
As a caregiver, you can and should talk openly about our bodies and healthy boundaries with your kids. This helps build a strong bond that will make you the "go-to-person" when they have questions or if a situation arises. 

So, how do you get this conversation started? If you're feeling unsure, take a deep breath. We promise you feel more uncomfortable than they do! The most important thing is to make sure your kids understand that no matter what happens, they can share with you without fear of being blamed and that you will protect them.
>>> Visit website
How to Help Your Child Get Motivated in School

Strategies you can use to help kids work up to their potential.

If you have a child who is struggling in school and doesn’t seem to be motivated to make an effort, the first thing you want to do is explore whether there is some obstacle getting in his way. Learning issues, social challenges, attention or emotional problems can all cause kids to disengage academically.

>>> Read Article
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 ❣
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

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