Learning opportunities & family fun events

Check out these opportunities for learning & training in the coming weeks:

Estate & Financial Planning For Children with Special Needs
September 27 OR October 18, 5:30pm to 7:30pm
MetroPoint I Building, 4600 S. Ulster St., Blue Spruce, First Floor, Denver, CO 80237
Call (303) 300-4341

The National Forum on Disability Issues
The forum will focus on the disability positions of the 2012 Presidential candidates
Friday, September 28, 10:30 am – 1:30pm Mountain Time
Held in Columbus, Ohio; Live webcast available

Down Syndrome-Autism Connection Fall Conference
Saturday, September 29, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
Children’s Hospital Colorado

Peak Parent Center IEP Lunchtime Webinar Series
Part 3 Implementation and follow up of the IEP
Wednesday, October 3, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Being the Voice for Your Child with Special Healthcare Needs
Tuesday, October 9, 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Children’s Hospital Colorado, Conference Center

And if you’re looking for some family fun:

AMC Sensory Friendly Films
The program provides a special opportunity for families affected by autism to enjoy their favorite films in a safe and accepting environment. The auditoriums dedicated to the program have their lights up, the sound turned down and audience members are invited to get up and dance, walk, shout or sing!

October 13 – FRANKENWEENIE
November 10 – WRECK-IT RALPH
December 8 – RISE OF THE GUARDIANS

The following theaters in Colorado (Denver area) are participating:

  • AMC Flatiron 14
  • AMC Highlands Ranch 24
  • AMC Southlands 16
  • AMC Westminster 24

All shows are at 10:00 am local time. Dates and films are subject to change.

National Family Voices announces the Bright Futures Family Pocket Guide

Excerpts from National Family Voices press release; read the full story here.

This 164-page book was developed for families by families, in partnership with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and other professionals, and based on the AAP’s Bright Futures: Guidelines for the Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents (3rd ed.). Bright Futures was recognized as the gold standard of pediatric care in the Affordable Care Act.

“The Bright Futures Family Pocket Guide puts highly relevant health promotion material in an easy to use, accessible format. The guide facilitates communication between families and providers and strengthens parent-provider relationships.”

Judith S Palfrey, MD
Mother of three children
Co-author, Bright Futures Editions 1 and 2
Former President, American Academy of Pediatrics
Former Executive Director of Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” Initiative

National Family Voices Executive Director Lynn Pedraza commented:

“Our work is all about families helping other families and professionals get the most useful information to best serve children with special health care needs and disabilities, and all children. The Pocket Guide is a great support in that effort: any family can use it to help their children be healthy and well at all stages of development. So, we hope to get this little book into the hands of as many families as possible to promote health and wellness for children everywhere. We have plans for translation, so stay tuned!”

Developed for families by families, the Pocket Guide provides families with:

  • Information and encouragement for the roles families play every day in the health and well-being of their children
  • Information about the importance of well child visits for all children, including children and youth with special health care needs
  • Encouragement to speak up to take active roles in their children’s care
  • Encouragement to form partnerships with other families and with professionals to improve policies, care, services, and support for all children and families
  • An overall framework for children’s good health and insight into all those who contribute to it
  • Current, comprehensive, succinct information about child development
  • Links to resources and further sources of information for children’s good health

Health care professionals as well as parents are finding the Pocket Guide to be a valuable reference:

“I believe this is the standard for how we need to be promoting health and wellness, as health professionals and as families. The Pocket Guide makes a family’s questions the #1 priority at each visit with a physician – and this is such a helpful approach for both the physician and the family. And it has the kind of resources at the back that physicians and families both tell me they need, very comprehensive, and right at their fingertips. All in all, it is fabulous little book with fantastic information.”

Dennis Kuo, MD
Father of two children, including one with juvenile arthritis
Pediatrician at Arkansas Children’s Hospital and Faculty at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Steering Committee Member, Arkansas Disability Coalition

For more information and to order copies of the Pocket Guide, go to http://bit.ly/BrightFuturesFamilyPocketGuideorders, or call Family Voices Colorado at 800-881-8272 and we will order copies for you.

Lend your voice to support Family to Family Health Information Centers

Family Voices Colorado is the Family to Family Health Information Center (F2F HICFamily to Family Health Information Center) for our state, funded by a federal grant from the Maternal Child Health Bureau within the US Department of Health and Human Services.  Funding for the F2F HIC program will expire at the end of Fiscal Year 2012 if new legislation is not passed to continue it. The bills proposing renewal of funding are S. 2123, sponsored by Sen. Robert Menendez, and H.R. 4083, sponsored by Rep. Frank Pallone.

If we hope to get the F2Fs re-funded, Members of Congress will need to hear from families about how important F2F services have been in their lives. If you have benefited from information, training, system navigation, or advocacy support from Family Voices Colorado, would you take a moment to contact your Members of Congress and ask them to co-sponsor the relevant bill?

You can call them through the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121.  (Find the names of your Members of Congress here.)  When you speak to the receptionist, state that you are a constituent and ask to speak to the staff person who handles health issues.  If that person is not available to talk, you can leave a BRIEF message identifying yourself as a constituent who has a child with special health care needs (if applicable) and asking that the Representative/Senator cosponsor a bill that would extend funding for Family-to-Family Health Information Centers.  Refer to the appropriate bill number and sponsor – in the Senate, S. 2123, sponsored by Senator Menendez; in the House, H.R. 4083, sponsored by Rep. Pallone.  Leave your home phone number and email address.

If you’re asked for more information on our work or the importance of the F2Fs, check out our F2F Key Talking Points for Colorado 9-17-12.

You can also write to your Representative (even if you call) via the “Advocacy” section of the Family Voices website, where you will find a pre-written letter that you fill in with your personal information.  (You do not need to know the name of your Representative.)  Please ask other families you know, professionals you have worked with, friends, and relatives to write their Representatives through the Family Voices website also.  At this time, the website is not configured to automatically send the letter to Senators, but simple instructions about how to contact your Senators, and text to copy and paste, can also be found on that page.  (You do not need to know the names of your Senators.)

Thank you for lending your voice to support Family Voices Colorado!

Making Colorado a better place for children and youth with special health care needs