Buzz from the Hub | April 2015

close-up photo of fresh jonquil flowers, for spring

Best of spring to everyone!

Welcome to the April 2015 edition of Buzz from the Hub, the newsletter of the Center for Parent Information and Resources—the CPIR.

See other issues of the Buzz 

Welcoming the Branch!

The Military PTAC, also known as the Branch, has officially launched its website, opened its doors for business, and joins the bustle of the Parent Center network. The Branch is available to help Parent Centers increase their visibility with, and support for, military families within their communities. Its website includes a map with links to military installations in the United States and territories.

The Branch has designated staff who will serve as primary contacts for Parent Centers seeking technical assistance and information on addressing the needs of military families of children with disabilities in the area. Resources in the Branch’s library include one-pagers organized by topic areas, such as military courtesies, the Exceptional Family Member Program, TRICARE (military insurance), and much more. The Branch plans a quarterly e-newsletter that will include information from Parent Centers, military subject matter experts, and resources.

Visit the Branch and find out which staff serves as your Center’s primary contact.

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New Resources in the Hub

What’s new in the resource library?Here are 3 resources we’ve recently added.

Free, on-demand accessible TV programs for students who are blind, visually impaired, deaf, or hard of hearing.
Dozens of children’s and family TV episodes may now be viewed online featuring closed captioning and descriptions through the Department of Education’s Accessible Television Portal.

Quick guide to dispute resolution for parents in Spanish!
New from CADRE is this comparison chart in Spanish of the dispute resolution approaches that parents have available to them, such as mediation, state complaint, and due process. What are the benefits of each, when would a parent choose one approach versus another, who initiates a given process, who pays? All this info in a handy chart! Now available in Spanish as well as English.

State seclusion and restraint laws and policies.
How Safe Is The Schoolhouse? An Analysis of State Seclusion and Restraint Laws and Policies has been updated for 2015. You can use the guide to find out what your state’s current policies and practices are with respect to seclusion and restraint.

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Spotlight on … Spanish and Easy-to-Read Resources

Parent Centers serve many, many families who need materials and information inSpanish or at lower reading levels. Not always the easiest materials to find! But here are a few you and your families may find helpful.

Special education, Spanish, easy-to-read.
A collaborative endeavor from Wisconsin—including WI FACETS—-this comprehensive guide to special education is written in plain language and is easy to read online. It’s available in English and Spanish. Way to go, WI FACETS!

Mental health issues in Spanish.
The Child Mind Institute offers many resources in Spanish that address mental health issues in children. Take a look at the long list of what’s available, which includes topics such as: anxiety, divorce, parenting, eating disorders, autism, disruptive behavior, AD/HD, Tourette syndrome, and processing disorders.

Mental health disorders, Spanish, easy-to-read.
NIMH (the National Institute of Mental Health) offers three types of publications on mental health disorders and other conditions: booklets (which are detailed), brochures (easy-to-read), and fact sheets. Many are also available in Spanish. The link above will take you to the list of what’s available, which includes: anxiety disorders, autism, bipolar disorder, OCD, PSTD, and more.

Kidney and urologic diseases, Spanish, easy-to-read.
Courtesy of the National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NKUDIC), connect families with easy-to-read or Spanish publications on kidney and urologic diseases, including dictionaries of medical terms.

Diabetes, Spanish, easy-to-read.
Connect families with easy-to-read or Spanish publications on diabetes, including a dictionary, how to count carbs, and what you need to know about medications, eating, and physical activity.

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Resources You Can Share with Families

This section of the newsletter identifies useful resources you might share with families or mention in your own news bulletins.

Eight 1-minute anxiety relief tools for kids big and small.
Here are eight research-based ideas parents can try with their kids when they’re feeling stressed or anxious.

For military families.
In honor of the Month of the Military Child (this month, April), we’re pleased to share two resources for military families:

Child Mind offers this guide to information about the challenges of raising kids in a military family, including access to mental health care, advice on dealing with the strain of deployment and return, and the particular mental health risks for kids and parents in this community.

We’ve updated Resources Especially for Military Families (a NICHCY legacy resource) on the Hub. It now reflects the role that Parent Centers play in providing information and training to military families of children with disabilities.

ADHD by the numbers: Facts, statistics, and you.
This infographic on Healthline presents ADHD statistics and numbers in a visual guide, showcasing the high cost of ADHD and which states have the highest prevalence of children with ADHD.

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Resources Just for Parent Centers

This section of the CPIR’s newsletter focuses on the many priority areas that Parent Centers have, with a special emphasis on the 14 topics that OSEP has identified as important for Parent Centers and the CPIR to address.

This month, we continue our focus on effective educational practices for improving student outcomes. This will undoubtedly be a large part of the work to be done in states as they write and implement their SSIPs.

Improving graduation rates of students with disabilities.
Students with disabilities have lower graduation rates than students without disabilities, and many states are taking steps to address this gap. The Southeast Comprehensive Center recently completed two Information Requests on different states’ approaches to improving high school graduation rates of students with disabilities. One publication examines approaches in California, Florida, North Carolina, and Texas. The other publication reviews strategies in Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, and Tennessee.

Early literacy website.
Newly launched by the U.S. Department of Education, the Early Literacy website provides basic information about the importance of effective reading instruction in the early grades, and focuses on the steps schools might take to ensure that kindergarten and first-grade students receive the supports they need to read on grade level by third grade.

Video | Promoting successful transitions for youth with serious mental health conditions.
This 1-hour webinar from SRI International is now available on YouTube. Learn about new findings from the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 (NLTS2) on factors that improve educational and employment outcomes of youth with emotional disturbance.

What about reauthorizing ESEA?
ESEA is the nation’s general education law, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. It was last reauthorized under the Bush administration as the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) and is currently the subject of much discussion and debate. Parent Centers are naturally interested in what reauthorization will mean for students in general and for those with disabilities. Here are three resources on the subject.

The ESEA page at the Department of Education

27 civil rights groups and education advocates release principles for ESEA reauthorization

ESEA reauthorization: How we can build upon No Child Left Behind’s progress for students with disabilities in a reauthorized ESEA

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May 7th Webinar: Creating Infographics

Save the webinar date—Thursday, May 7th.
Continuing in our every-other-month schedule for webinars, CPIR is pleased to focus its upcoming May webinar on creating and using infographics. We’ll take a look at:

  • why infographics are all the rage,
  • different ways that you can use infographics in your Parent Center work, and
  • free online software to get you started.

Want an example? Have a look at the infographic CPIR created to showcase the results of the 2013-14 Data Collection, which makes it amazingly clear how much work Parent Centers do and how many lives they touch.

We’ll be sending you a reminder soon, with all the contact information you need to join us on May 7th. Stay tuned!

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Logo of the Center for Center for Parent Information and ResourcesThe CPIR hopes that you’ve found useful and relevant resources listed in this month’s Buzz from the Hub. Please feel free to write to the editor, Lisa Küpper, at to suggest the types of resources you’d like to see in the future. CPIR’s listening! Your input is extremely valuable to helping us to craft newsletters that support your work with families.

Our very best to you,

Debra, Indira, Lisa, and Myriam
The CPIR Team


This eNewsletter from the CPIR is copyright-free.
We encourage you to share it with others.

Center for Parent Information and Resources
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Publication of this eNewsletter is made possible through Cooperative Agreement H328R130014 between OSEP and the Statewide Parent Advocacy Network (SPAN). The contents do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of Education, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government or by the Center for Parent Information and Resources.

Understanding Behavioral Symptoms in Tourette Syndrome: TS is More than Tics

Tourette Syndrome and its related disorders can manifest as behaviors that often appear to be purposefully disruptive, attention seeking or manipulative. It is therefore not unusual to misinterpret symptoms of the disorder as behavioral problems rather than the neurobiological symptoms that they are. This document will give you a better understanding of the symptoms of TS and what educators can do FOR the child.

Find the document at

Red Flags (Tourette Syndrome)

There are red flags to look for that can help to determine what supports will be most effective for students with Tourette Syndrome (TS). However because symptoms of TS are frequently misunderstood, these ‘red flags’ are often thought of as being “purposeful behaviors” and not related to the disability. This document gives a partial list of some of the more common red flags for TS.

Read the document at

Classroom Strategies and Techniques for Students with Tourette Syndrome

Knowledge and understanding are key elements to creating an accepting and supportive educational environment. When everyone, from teachers, administrators, classmates, bus drivers and substitutes to Cafeteria personnel all have information about Tourette Syndrome, students are provided greater opportunities for success. This brochure, while not all–‐inclusive, provides evidence–‐based strategies that will assist in developing compassionate and effective supports.

View the brochure at

Promising Practices and Unfinished Business: Fostering Equity and Excellence for Black and Latino Males

Disparities in educational access, opportunity, and achievement between Black and Latino males and their peers have been the focus of education reform initiatives for decades. The Annenberg Institute for School Reform’s latest research report summarizes the findings and recommendations from the second phase of a groundbreaking study examining factors impacting low academic performance for Black and Latino males in Boston public schools.

Find the report at:

Quick Guide to Special Education Dispute Resolution Processes for Parents

From CADRE, this chart makes it easy for parents to compare the different approaches to dispute resolution that are available to them: IEP facilitation, mediation, resolution meeting, written state complaint, due process complaint/hearing request, and expedited hearing request & resolution meeting. These options are compared across many different dimensions, including but not limited to:

  • how the dispute options differ;
  • when to use one versus another;
  • who initiates each process;
  • outcomes or desired results of each;
  • benefits and considerations;
  • who pays for the process; and
  • many other dimensions.

The chart is available in both English and Spanish, and black-and-white version is also available. Find all at:


Accessible Television Portal

In March 2015, the U.S. Department of Education announced the availability of free, video-on-demand children’s television programming for thousands of students who are blind, visually impaired, deaf, or hard of hearing.

Dozens of children’s and family TV episodes may now be viewed online featuring closed captioning and descriptions through the Education Department’s Accessible Television Portal project. Among the shows: “Ocean Mysteries,” “Magic School Bus,” “Bill Nye the Science Guy,” “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” “Expedition Wild” and “Peg + Cat.”

To view the content | Teachers and school personnel, parents, and other professionals working with qualified students can visit and apply for access to the portal. Once approved, accessible content can be used with, and by, students in the classroom and at home via the Web, mobile phones and tablets, mobile apps, and set-top boxes. The portal itself is fully accessible to those with sensory impairments. Children with disabilities can locate any featured program without difficulty.

More information about this program is available in the Department’s press release.

Kick-Off Event for Generation Indigenous

Adapted from the original announcement | Time limited to April 23, 2015

Native Youth, you are invited to attend a kickoff event for Generation Indigenous! The Gen-I Initiative focuses on improving the lives of Native youth by removing the barriers that stand between Native youth and their opportunity to succeed. This initiative takes a comprehensive, culturally appropriate approach to ensure all young Native people can reach their full potential.

Representatives from The White House, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Administration for Native Americans, and the Gathering of Nations Pow Wow will be gathering for this exciting kickoff event! Native youth in Grades 9-12 are eligible to attend on Thursday, April 23rd, to learn about Gen-I and to take the Gen-I Challenge to make a positive impact in your community!

When: Thursday, April 23rd
Time: 11:30 AM – 4:00 PM  [Registration will open at 11:30 AM, the event will begin promptly at 1 PM MDT]
Where: Albuquerque Convention Center.
Lunch will be provided.

For more information about the Gen-I Native Youth Challenge: See the related Hub item, at:

Interested in attending?
Registration is on a first come, first serve basis and will be capped at 300 participants.
Register at: