In this issue:
Introducing the Educational Support Program
Are you tackling transition goals at your next IEP? Think employment! Vocational Rehabilitation and their Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) has a lot to offer for students who are eligible. Invite vocational rehabilitation services to an IEP meeting, find out what they have to offer and/or schedule a time with the vocational rehabilitation office near you. Application for vocational rehabilitation services should be easy. The Work Innovation and Opportunities Act WIOA is opening doors and streamlining the process! Visit their site here.
Augmentative and Alternative Communication
Does your child struggle to communicate? Are they a "late talker"? Have you ever heard the term "non-verbal" or "minimally verbal"? Your child may benefit from Augmentative/Alternative Communication or AAC.
From ASHA (American Speech & Hearing Association):
Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) includes all forms of communication (other than oral speech) that is used to express thoughts, needs, wants, and ideas. We all use AAC when we make facial expressions or gestures, use symbols or pictures, or write.
People with severe speech or language problems rely on AAC to supplement existing speech or replace speech that is not functional. Special augmentative aids, such as picture and symbol communication boards and electronic devices, are available to help people express themselves. This may increase social interaction, school performance, and feelings of self-worth.
AAC users should not stop using speech if they are able to do so. The AAC aids and devices are used to enhance their communication.
Here are a couple of fabulous resources that describe AAC and its implementation.
#TalkingAAC Conference is November 1-3, 2017 (co-founded by our own Robin Pegg): www.talkingaac.org
Chris and Brad Lawson’s daughter Allyson is 25 years old. Shortly after she was diagnosed with Williams syndrome, the Lawsons became members of our association, and when Allyson was just four years old, they hosted their first golf tournament to support the WSA. Twenty-one years later, they are still getting together with family and friends each summer to play a little golf, have a lot of fun, and raise funds for the Williams Syndrome Association. The event, called the “Scramble for Success,” has been very successful – in fact, the Lawsons and their friends have contributed more than $100,000 to the WSA.
The WSA lost a dear friend and wonderful volunteer earlier this month. Angela Cook McCarragher of Sharpsburg, GA, mother to Chase (21, with WS) and Devin (18) and wife to Pat, was a huge support to families of children with Williams syndrome in the Atlanta area and beyond. Angela volunteered for the WSA for many years. Whether she was hosting gatherings for local families, volunteering at the national convention, providing support and information to newly diagnosed families or comforting the family of a child who was ill, she found a way to make things better. A memorial scholarship will be established in Angela’s name to preserve her memory. We will all miss her tremendously, and our thoughts and prayers are with her family.
PLEASE JOIN US IN BALTIMORE!
WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING YOU IN JULY!
For more information on the 2018 national convention, visit our convention page.