Advocates for Special Kids - ASK
September 2001 Newsletter
Volume 1, Issue 1
"For families with children receiving special education in
Manhattan Beach & the South Bay"
Can you believe itís that
time of year? Not only do we have to worry about school clothes, making
lunches on a daily basis and [gasp!] HOMEWORK, but as parents of
children with special needs, weíre entering that inevitable cycle of
countless sessions of physical/occupational therapy, DIS counseling,
speech and language, and too many IEPís to fit into our already too
busy schedules! Here to try and make you feel like youíre not the only
one, is our inaugural "first edition" of what we hope will be
a regular, quarterly ASK newsletter with monthly meeting notices in
between. [Hope does spring eternal, right?]
This issue is filled with lots of
information, not only about ASK and every single meeting we could
possibly schedule in a yearís time, but a calendar of upcoming events,
a full page of useful contact information regarding our elected
representatives, and some items of interest, as well as ways for you to
take action and be involved.
We hope you have the time to read
this and [hopefully!] future issues. We want to use this newsletter to
bring our community, and by that we mean ALL our community, closer
together. There are plenty of ways you can be involved with ASK and its
efforts toward building a more inclusive educational system and
community, including our Snapple booth at the Hometown Fair on October
6th and 7th. [Itís FUN! It really is!] We also commit to bringing you
about as much education and enlightenment as any parent could possibly
stand! If you have questions or comments [please donít ask me to be
more concise, as Iíve tried and I simply CANíT!!], weíd love to
hear from you!
- Deborah Blair Porter -
Hometown Fair -
Saturday, October 6 and Sunday, October 7, 2001
ASK Snapple Booth - Help ASK Raise
Money and Awareness!
Volunteer! Volunteer! * *
We need YOU
at our Hometown Fair booth! We need donations of $$$$ and Snapple!
We need volunteers
and would like two volunteers who each can take responsibility for
Saturday or Sunday and help coordinate shifts!
We need help
with delivering inventory! We need ice chests! We need chairs!
We need able-bodied parents and kids who want to practice making change!!
Booth shifts both
days are 9:30-12:00, 11:30-2:00, 1:30-4:00 and 3:30-6:00
Advocates for Special Kids -
Parents Networking Together
|Advocates for Special Kids (ASK)
was formed in May 1997 by Manhattan Beach parents whose children
received special education services in the district. These parents had
become aware of the need to understand all placement options that were
supposed to be available to their children, as well as services to
support their children in their least restrictive environment [LRE]
pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.
Since then, many more families
have become involved with ASK and benefit from the support and education
they gain from attending our regularly scheduled meetings. These
meetings provide information about services within the district,
resources in the community, upcoming trainings and workshops, as well as
the most current updates on special education law and pending
legislation affecting their childís education.
ASK Meetings 2001-2002 School
ASK meetings are 7 PM
the last Monday of each month. Our schedule this year is:
September 24, 2001
October 29, 2001
November 26, 2001
No December Meeting
January 28, 2002
February 25, 2002
March 25, 2002
April 29, 2002
May 20, 2002
June 24, 2002
1403 Pacific Ave, M.B.
ASK E Group
ASK recently established an
E-group through Yahoo! which allows subscribers to communicate with
other ASK members in an effective, efficient manner.
To join this e-mail group contact
the moderator [Marilyn Barraza] by emailing ASK_groupfirstname.lastname@example.org.
She will let you know how to get started.
ASKís Board of Directors &
Advisory Board consists of
the following individuals who meet monthly to plan ASKís activities:
[President], Dona Wright [Vice-President], Deborah Blair Porter
[Secretary], Karen Mohan [Treasurer], Eunice Kramer, Alicia Delgado.
Shari Chang, Becky
Grossman, Mary Anne Fontana, Rebecca Schulman, Susan Viker, Alyse
ASK Board Mtgs.
Scheduled for the first Thursday
of each month, upcoming meetings are as follows:
October 4, 2001
November 1, 2001
December 6, 2001
January 10, 2002
February 7, 2002
March 7, 2002
April 4, 2002
May 2, 2002
June 6, 2002
Location subject to
Call Marilyn Barraza
at (310) 545-5855
is to promote the principle that ALL CHILDREN can learn together; the
acceptance of diversity; family awareness of rights and options for
receiving special education services for their child; children being
taught in their least restrictive environment [LRE]; district
collaboration and community awareness of the importance of educating all
students together to reach their individual potential. ASK supports
family choice and advocates for the full continuum of special education
services for ALL CHILDREN.
Items of Interest!
Items for Action!
Elections set for November 6th in Manhattan Beach
Candidates for MBUSD school
board include incumbents Peter Alfvin, Mary Rogers and Lynette Campbell
and new candidates Craig Brown, Joseph Loverich and John Cross. As a
501(c)(3) organization, ASK cannot endorse or campaign for any
particular candidate. However, we will provide all candidates with a
package of information, including the "Summary and
Recommendations" we submitted to MBUSD in 12/99, so that our
concerns will be considered. ASK encourages parents to become informed,
to participate in candidates forums and to ask the important questions:
"What have you done to ensure an equitable education for special ed
children?" and "What do you plan to do?" Donít forget
to VOTE November 6th!
MBUSD School Board
MBUSD School Board typically meets
at 6:30 PM the first and third Wednesday of each month in Manhattan
Beachís City Council chambers [time subject to change]. Open to the
public, these meetings include opportunities for parents and citizens to
express their opinions regarding district programs, services, policies
and procedures. ASK members regularly attend and participate in these
meetings to ensure the Board considers the needs and perspective of our
children with special needs. If you canít attend, meetings are carried
live on Channel 8 (Adelphia). The first meeting of the school year was
September 5. Meetings through the end of the calendar year are:
09/19/01, 10/03/01, 10/17/01, 11/07/01, 12/05/01. Join us!!
TASH Conference - November 14-17, 2001
Anaheim Convention Center
ASK Manhattan Beach is a proud
co-sponsor of the upcoming TASH Conference "Imaging the
Future," November 14-17, 2001 at the Marriott Anaheim and Anaheim
Convention Center. [TASH originally stood for The Association for the
Severely Handicapped. The name was changed in 1983 to The Association
for Persons with Severe Handicaps, but the acronym TASH is still used].
Featuring TASH Tech Workshops (in-depth informational sessions), as well
as Full Day Institutes, the conference will also feature breakout
sessions, exhibits and roundtable luncheon discussions. A copy of the
Conference Registration form is reproduced at page 5 of this newsletter.
For more information about TASH, visit their website at www.tash.org.
Caucus on Autism
On February 13, 2001, U.S. Reps
Mike Doyle (D-PA) and Christopher Smith (R-NJ) announced the formation
of the Congressional Caucus on Autism, as well as the Coalition for
Autism Research and Education (C.A.R.E.). For the first time in 50
years, autism is being recognized as a serious public health concern in
need of a national response. Reps. Doyle and Smith first learned about
autism through families whose children had autism. Through the years
they have recognized the growing prevalence of autism nationwide and
formed the Caucus, which any member of Congress can join. Jane Harman is
the 36th Congressional Districtís representative, but to our
knowledge, currently is not a Caucus member. California has documented
one of the highest increases in autism in the nation. ASK encourages
families to contact Congresswoman Harman and let her know how important
it is for her to join the Congressional Caucus on Autism. Contact
information for Congresswoman Harman, as well as other elected
officials, is included as an insert to this newsletter.
Calendar of Upcoming Events
09/24/01 - 7 PM: ASK Meeting:
Lisa Brownfield [CARD] re: applied behavioral analysis [ABA], discrete
trial training [DTT]; Sharon Lowery [SmartStart] re: Floortime and
Greenspan. Pacific Christian Center, 1403 Pacific Avenue, Manhattan
10/12-14/01 - HELP Groupís Fifth Annual Symposium
re: Learning Disabilities, High-Functioning Autism, Aspergerís
Syndrome. Culver City/UCLA. Contact Deborah Porter or
Dona Wright for a copy of the registration application.
10/29/01 - 7 PM: ASK Meeting:
Lynn Smithey [MBUSD] will discuss Curriculum Modification as it relates
to Issues of Literacy. Pacific Christian Center.
11/14 - 17/01 - TASH Conference,
Marriott Anaheim/Anaheim Convention Center. See Registration form in
this newsletter. For info see www.tash.org.
11/26/01 - 7PM: ASK Meeting:
Dr. Bill Frea [Autism Spectrum Therapies] re: behavioral assessment,
behavior plans and how to make sure itís reflected in your childís
IEP. Pacific Christian Center.
ASK is a non-profit
organization dedicated to helping parents with issues related
to special education. To contact ASK, call Marilyn Barraza, Dona Wright
or Deborah Blair
Porter. ASK does not accept payment for
assistance provided to families, rather raises money in
furtherance of our efforts through fundraising and accepting
donations. If you would like to donate to ASK, please contact
Marilyn, Dona or Deborah or speak to any ASK Board member. We
will also be accepting sponsorships of our newsletter, which
entails covering the typical costs associated with printing
and mailing the newsletter. Your sponsorship will be
gratefully acknowledged on the newsletter cover. To sponsor an
issue, please contact Marilyn or Deborah.
Advocates for Special Kids - September
2001, Volume 1, Issue 1
[Sponsored by John and Deborah Blair
Porter and Family]
Advocates for Special Kids
c/o 3109 Walnut Avenue
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
"For families with children receiving special
in Manhattan Beach & the South Bay"
Inclusion is not JUST
It's about our COMMUNITY!