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Monday, September 20, 2010

Resources for Families who have Children with Special Needs

Bridgewater Library Youth Services in the News:

Check out the pictures from our end-of-summer Library Carnival and last Saturday's program Super Silly Songs with Kurt Gallagher as posted on http://bridgewater.patch.com
(If you are new to our blog, be sure to check out our previous columns -- including "All the World's a Stage" which includes a listing of area Children's Theater Series and Reader's Theater resources on the web.)

@ The Library: Programs  -- check out our calendar to get more details & register online.

Do you have a child with special needs in your family or classroom? Bridgewater Library offers a series of programs titled "Advocating for your Child With Special Needs" (continuing education credit is available)

  • Getting the Most from Your School for Your Child with Special Needs Thursday Sept. 23 from 7-8:30 p.m. (Registration Required)   Presented by parent coaches and advocates Dr. Richard & Jane Horowitz, this workshop provides participants with the 10 essential components of an IEP, the most effective ways to manage an IEP meeting and the best methods for communicating with schol personnel about your child's progress.
  • Legal and Financial Issues for the Family with Children with Special Needs  Thursday Oct. 7 from 7-8:30 (Registration Required)  Taxation-specialist and Special-Needs advocate Herbert Hinkle, Esq. will introduce issues involved with planning for the future of a child with special needs.  Learn about guardianship, letters of intent, wills, special needs trusts, financial planning/funding strategies and other important, but often neglected, topics.
  • Transition to Preschool Thursday Oct. 28 from 7-8:30 (Registration Required)  Shakira Linzey and Amy Piano from Mid-Jersey CARES will outline the joint responsibilities of families, school districts and child study teams when transitioning out of early intervention. 
In addition, we also have these upcoming programs:
  • Weekly Storytimes for ages 2-6 (Tuesdays at 10 or 1:30), Toddler Times for 18 mo - 3 year olds (Wednesday at 10 & 11 and Thursdays at 10:30), and infant lap-sits for birth-18 months (Thursdays at 9:30) -- no registration is required.  This series runs through October 21st. 
  • Wednesday, Oct. 6 from 7-8 p.m.  Make Your Own Drum & Play It for grades 5-7 (registration required) Explore the world of percussion instruments from different traditions around the world! Make your own instrument and learn simple rhythms to play. All materials provided.
  • Saturday, Oct. 9 from 10-noon. Really Big Rigs for families with children of all ages. (no registration required) Come have an up close and personal experience with a “really big rig”! Visit the vehicles our community uses to fix our roads, maintain our streets, keep us safe and manage our emergencies.
  • Don't forget the Bridgewater Library booksale this week.  There will be an enormous quantity of children's and adult books, videos, cds, and dvds available.  Hours are 9:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday Sept. 30, 9:30-4:30 Friday & Saturday, Oct.1-2, and a bag sale Sunday Oct. 3 from 1:30-4:30.   Wednesday Sept. 29 from 4:30-8:30 there is a pre-sale (admission charged for the pre-sale only.) 

 @ the Library:  Materials & Displays

Do you have a child or student who is struggling with learning disabilities?  Noted LD educator and advocate Richard Lavoie How difficult can this be? understanding learning disabilities and Beyond F.A.T. (Frustration, Anxiety, Tension) city : a look back, a look ahead provide an incredible sense of what children with LDs experience as well as concrete suggestions on how to help.  In addition, his DVDs Last one picked, first one picked on and It's so much work to be your friend : helping the learning disabled child find social success  provide valuable suggestions for helping these children in school and social situations.

The Bridgewater Library has an extensive collection of materials on children with special needs (as well as many other subjects) for parents and teachers in our Parent-Teacher Collection.  Materials from this collection are on continuous display between the two halves of our Early Reader section with the full collection located at the beginning of our Juvenile fiction area.   Don't hesitate to ask a librarian to help you find materials specific to your situation.

Additional displays this month:

  • "All the Worlds a Stage" -- Books, DVDs, and Videos relating to Reader's Theater and the Performing Arts (see last week's blog for an extensive list of performing arts venues for kids in our community and links to Reader's Theater websites)
  • "Keep on Trucking" -- Books on trucks and other big rigs (in conjunction with our "Big Rigs" program on Oct. 9th)

Out & About -- Around the Community:

We are sometimes asked about recreational options for children with special needs in our area.  Some suggestions were recently posted on the Somerset County Neighborhood listserv. Please note, these listings are for information only.  The library has not investigated and does not endorse any of the listings.
  • Somerset County Park Commission Therapeutic Recreation (TR) Department provides year round recreation and leisure opportunities for people with developmental disabilities.
  • Somerset Hills YMCA on Mt Airy Road in Basking Ridge (2mins from Rte 287 and about 15 mins from the Bridgewater Mall) has several programs for special needs kids and adults. One of the families connected with the Y is  building a separate building that will house a special needs theater arts program.
  • DC Gymnastics School in Hillsborough 
  • Rogers Dance Academy in Flemington
  • Chez Renee in Middlesex (no website) has special needs dance classes for children & adults. Call 732 356-1818 for more information.
  • Villagers Theater in Somerset offers "My Name is Matthew" -- an outreach program. Children with special needs are invited to their own special performance of their holiday show free of charge.  Call 732 873 2710 for details.
  • Princeton Public Library hosted a "Special Needs Resource Fair" last May which included information about nutritional, occupational, vision therapies, legal and financial resources, and support groups. E-mail asdnutrition@aol.com for more information.  

Let Your Fingers Do (More) Walking:

  • Somerset County Medical Center is hosting Kids in the Syndrome on Oct. 19th from 7-8:30 p.m. (Registration Required) Dr. Martin Kutscher MD, author of "Kids in the Syndrome Mix" will present a discussion focusing on executive function difficulties (such as disorganization, over-reactions, brakeless behaviors, and "future blindness") as key difficulties in ADHD. Many people with ADHD also have other parts of a syndrome mix of Autistic Spectrum Disorders, learning disabilities, anxieties, OCD, tics, depression, bipolar depression, sensory integration disorder, or central auditory processing. Dr. Kutscher empathically summarizes how to identify and sort out these issues and describes the best home, school and medical treatments. 
  • Mid Jersey CARES Early Intervention  The Mid-Jersey CARES (Collaboration, Advocacy, Resources, Education and Services) for Special Children Collaborative is a Regional Early Intervention Collaborative (REIC) whose goal is to help strengthen and improve early intervention services for children with special needs, ages birth to three years, and their families. 
  • In addition, the Somerset County Library Catalog has an online Community Information File which has listings for many organizations serving people with special needs and their families.
Comments, suggestions, queries:

Know of a program or resource we've overlooked?  Have a comment, question or suggestion for a future column?  You can leave a comment at the bottom of this blog or email us at bwljuv@sclsnj.org. 

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