Cobb’s Special Education Parent Mentors enhance communication between parents and educators, ultimately leading to greater success for students with disabilities. The goal of the Parent Mentors is to help parents understand their role in their children’s education and to provide guidance and resources to help them navigate the Special Education process.
As parents of students with disabilities, Cobb’s Special Education Parent Mentors provide resources to families of children with special needs while helping them navigate Special Education. As mentors, they are part of the broader Georgia Parent Mentor Partnership, whose mission is: “Building collaboration and communication between families and educators ultimately leads to greater success for children with disabilities.”
CCSD’s Special Education Parent Mentors draw on their personal experience to offer assistance and resources to parents.
On February 12th, Transition Services presented their second Transition Talk of the year.
In February of this year students enjoyed the Special Education Dance, sponsored by the special education Adapted PE staff.
New Teacher Academy
Families of students with disabilities benefit from programs, resources
Aviation/Pilot Collaboration Lesson
CCSD’s Special Education Parent Mentors host the 3rd Annual Evening of Inspiration on March 26, followed by three parent...
Community Heroes Visit Preschool
Dancers, gymnasts, cheerleaders, and drummers “wowed” audience members at the 3rd Annual Evening of Inspiration, an event featuring students...
The theme for this year’s Special Education dance was “Under the Big Top .”
Special Education Parent Mentors hosted the 3rd annual fair featuring extracurricular opportunities for CCSD’s students with disabilities.
Rachel Simmons, along with Amanda Stafford, CCSD AT Specialist, presented at the Georgia Assistive Technology in Education conference at...
The Kennesaw Mountain High School Transition Academy is Making New Friends!
Cobb County School District hosts the Metro Transition Consortium three times a year.
Cobb Special Education Team Greets New Teachers!
Preschool Impact Grant Atlanta Braves Foundation Impact Grant
Cobb County Schools’ Assistive Technology department works with individual students to meet their needs for accessing the curriculum.
3rd Annual Community Connections Resource Fair
Extracurricular Opportunities for Students with Disabilities
Thank you to all of our families who attended our 3rd Annual Community Connections Resource Fair! We are very appreciative of our vendors who participated to share their programming and accessibility options with you all. Please find below our 2019 Vendor Resource List, which provides contact information for each of the participating vendors. We hope you enjoy all that Cobb and the Atlanta area has to offer our families of children with disabilities!
Defined as: “the act or process of supporting a cause” by Merriam-Webster Dictionary, advocacy is an important skill for all parents to possess. Below are some resources to help you find your voice in advocating for your student.
FAMILY ADVOCACY TIPS
The Arc of Georgia advocates for the rights and full participation of all children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. www.thearcofgeorgia.org/index.html
The Autism Society of America – Greater Georgia provides current information about autism, the organization, and the autism community. www.asaga.com/
Bobby Dodd Institute (BDI has merged with AADD.org) provides support services to families living with developmental disabilities. bobbydodd.org
The Epilepsy Foundation offers support services for those with epilepsy. www.epilepsyga.org/
Georgia Advocacy Office (GAO) is an independent, federally mandated protection and advocacy system for people with disabilities in Georgia. www.thegao.org/
The Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities is a federally funded, independent state agency that serves as a leading catalyst for systems change for individuals and families living with developmental disabilities. www.gcdd.org
The Learning Disabilities Association of Georgia (LDAG) is one of 50 volunteer state organizations which comprise the Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA). The mission is to enhance the quality of life for individuals of all ages with Learning Disabilities and/or Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorders. www.ldaamerica.org/lda-chapters/georgia
Spina Bifida Association of GA works to support and encourage families and individuals with Spina Bifida throughout the state by providing information and education. www.spinabifida.net/spina-bifida-georgia/
Statewide Independent Living Council of Georgia, Inc. (The SILC) is a private non-profit corporation governed by people with all types of disabilities from across the state; its goal is to identify societal barriers to independent living and to collaborate with Centers for Independent Living, Rehabilitation Services and other related entities to remove barriers and to increase the supports and services needed to create independent living opportunities. www.silcga.org
Tools for Life, Georgia’s Assistive Technology Act Program, works to increase access to and acquisition of assistive technology (AT) devices and services for Georgians of all ages and disabilities so they can live, learn, work, and play independently in communities of their choice. www.gatfl.org/
Unlock the Waiting Lists provides information and advocacy for Medicaid waivers. www.unlockthewaitinglists.com
SELF-ADVOCACY FOR KIDS
Kids as Self-Advocates (KASA) is a national, grassroots project created by youth with disabilities designed to help them advocate for themselves. www.fvkasa.org
Through ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience), families now have a tax-deferred savings vehicle to save for the care of people with disabilities. www.autismspeaks.org/news/news-item/10-things-know-about-able-act
Special needs planning resources:
Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine “Planning for your Disabled Child”
MEDICAL EXPENSE ASSISTANCE
Champions for Children provides support services for Georgia’s medically fragile and special needs children and their families who do not qualify for TEFRA/Katie Beckett Medicaid Program. www.championsforchildrenga.org/
DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITY HEALTH PROGRAMS
The Department of Community Health (DCH) provides Medicaid benefits to eligible children through the TEFRA/Katie Beckett Medicaid program under §134 of the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act (TEFRA) of 1982 (P.L. 97-248). The following links provide information on these benefits.
New Options Waiver (NOW) and the Comprehensive Supports Waiver Program (COMP) offer home- and community-based services for people with a developmental or intellectual disability who qualify. The links below provide more information:
SPECIAL NEEDS SCHOLARSHIP
Below is information and rules for the Special Needs Scholarship Program:
Special Needs Alliance
This organization helps individuals with disabilities, their families and the professionals who serve them.
Upon getting a diagnosis:
If your child is UNDER 3 years old and you’ve just received a diagnosis, learn more about the Babies Can’t Wait Program at: www.cobbanddouglaspublichealth.com/services/child-health-services/babies-cant-wait/
If your child is 3 years old or older and you’ve just received a diagnosis, call the CCSD Special Education Department: Pre-K: 770-426-3331 or K-12: 770-426-3328
General Overview of Special Education Services
Check the Georgia Department of Education website for current information.
This video will cover any questions you may have about parent rights; it is also available in Spanish.www.gadoe.org/Curriculum-Instruction-and-Assessment/Special-Education-Services/Pages/Parents-Rights-Videos.aspx
The Georgia Department of Education provides information on IEPs and related resources. www.gadoe.org/Curriculum-Instruction-and-Assessment/Special-Education-Services/Pages/IEP-Resources.aspx
Preparing for a Behavior-Related Meeting
Tips for a Successful School Year
Set the stage for success as your child begins a new school year and/or transitions to a new school.
Improving School Communication
CCSD Family Resources
Cobb County School District has an electronic resource database with close to 1,000 agencies and resources available to school staff, parents and the community at large instantly. The database has a Cobb County focus but it does list out-of-district resources. www.cobbk12.org/familyresources
Georgia Chapter of Autism Society of America
An affiliate of the Autism Society of America, this organization is a leading voice and resource of the Georgia Autism Community in education, advocacy, services, information and referral, and support. www.autismsocietyga.org
Autism Speaks Resource Guide for GA
Autism Speaks sponsors autism research and conducts awareness and outreach activities aimed at families, governments, and the public. www.autismspeaks.org
Organization for Autism Research
Organization for Autism Research provides informational books in English & Spanish that can be ordered free of charge or downloaded. Their guide to transition can be applied to any disability. www.researchautism.org/resources/reading/index.asp
Parent to Parent of Georgia
Parent to Parent of Georgia offers services to families with disabilities or special healthcare needs. www.p2pga.org/
All Georgia Camps
Has listing of many day camps that make accommodations for children with Special Needs within a specific radius.www.allgacamps.org
Provides links to day camps and overnight camps for children with special needs. www.atlantaparent.com/directory/
Spectrum (Gwinnett County)
Beyond Limits Therapeutic Riding
Beyond Limits offer 3 weeks of life-changing summer day camps to the Special Needs community and their families. . www.beyondlimitsriding.org
BlazeSports America provides camps for program participants and others to learn more about adaptive sports and recreation. www.blazesports.org/what-we-do/camps/
Since 1996, Camp Dream has provided a traditional summer camp experience for children and young adults with moderate to severe disabilities. No child has ever been turned away due to the severity of their condition or their financial capabilities. www.campdreamga.org
Camp Twin Lakes
For 25 years, Camp Twin Lakes has delivered fully adaptive, medically supportive, and deeply impactful camp experiences to more than 10,000 of Georgia’s children and young adults, helping each camper grow in their confidence and experience the joys of childhood. www.camptwinlakes.org
Horizon Sports League
The Horizon League provides children and young adults with developmental and physical disabilities the opportunity to participate in athletic events, develop lasting relationships among their peers, coaches and parents and demonstrate to them that they are an important part of their community by creating an environment of inclusion for both the participants and their families. Summer activities include a kickball league. acworthspecialneeds.com
Lekotek provides a unique summer experience for children with disabilities, their siblings and/or friends. Using diverse software and input devices, children benefit from independent and group participation. www.lekotekga.org
Campers will enjoy a wide variety of activities including art time, outdoor adventure on our forest and sensory trails, exciting group team-building games, and horse related activities with our therapy horses. www.mckennafarms.org
Next Step Ministries
Next Step offers Camps during week-long & summer school breaks. Each week is based around a theme and includes related crafts, cooking, music, stories and more! Typical campers are middle-schoolers through young adults and have a wide range of ability levels. Our Camps provide a safe place for campers to have fun and bond with their peers during their time off! www.nextstepministries.net
Our objective is to develop better social relating, self-advocacy, and social communication skills through real life scenarios. Our goal is for our young adults to experience personal fulfillment in the workplace, community, and in relationships through a better understanding of the nuances of everyday interactions. autismimprovised.org
Embrace Special Needs Camp
Powder Springs. A place for special needs children ages 3 years-11 years to continue socializing and learning over their summer break. www.veryspecialcamps.com/summer-camps/Embrace-special-needs-camp-2385.html
The legacy organization of the 1996 Paralympic Games, we offer a variety of sports and activities throughout the year such as wheelchair basketball, swimming, track and field, climbing and watersports. www.blazesports.org/what-we-do/programs/
Frontier Baseball League
Frontier is a low stress, fun baseball program for kids with ADHD, ADD, Apraxia, Speech Delays, Dyslexia, Auditory Processing Disorder and other executive or sensory challenges. All areas of Atlanta are welcome! Frontier has three age groups. Frontier I: 6-9 year olds. Frontier II: 10-12 year olds. Frontier III: 13-16 year olds. No experience necessary. http://www.murpheycandler.org/frontier
GOALSoccer (Formally known as: Georgia Outreach Advancing the Lives of those with Special Needs) is a philanthropy organization at Georgia Tech that is partnered with Special Olympics Georgia to give children with special needs in the Atlanta area the opportunity to experience the value of team sports through the game of soccer. http://www.goalsoccer.org/
Special Olympics is an international sports program for Athletes, age 8 and up with developmental disabilities. Special Olympics is a year around program that offers 15 different sports opportunities that includes track and field, basketball, bowling, golf, swimming, tennis, volleyball, equestrian, table tennis, gymnastics, ice skating, roller skating, alpine skiing, bocce and power lifting. www.specialolympicsga.org
Beyond Limits Therapeutic Riding
Therapeutic Horseback Riding Provided by PATH Certified Instructor. Horse Show Competitions, Special Needs Summer Camps, Sibling Summer Camps. www.beyondlimitsriding.org
McCleskey East Cobb YMCA/ Special Needs Soccer
Special Needs Soccer is a free soccer program designed for children with special needs. The program will focus on inclusion, fun and developing a love of the game. Program will enable them to play and progress at their own level. Although, there will be some competitive aspects, readying the participants for team competition will not be the emphasis. www.ystrikersoccer.com
Horizon Sports League
The Horizon League provides children and young adults with developmental and physical disabilities the opportunity to participate in athletic events, develop lasting relationships among their peers, coaches and parents and demonstrate to them that they are an important part of their community by creating an environment of inclusion for both the participants and their families. Fall and Spring activities include a baseball league. acworthspecialneeds.com
Clubs and Classes
Lekotek’s mission is to include children with disabilities into their families, schools, and communities. For children with physical, cognitive and/or sensory disabilities, it’s a chance to play and learn using specialized toys and computer equipment. Lekotek helps all children experience success. Offers a variety of programs for children from birth through teens. www.lekotekga.org
Our objective is to develop better social relating, self-advocacy, and social communication skills through real life scenarios. Our goal is for our young adults to experience personal fulfillment in the workplace, community, and in relationships through a better understanding of the nuances of everyday interactions. Yearlong classes available. www.autismimprovised.com
Beyond Limit Riding
Therapeutic Horseback Riding Provided by PATH Certified Instructor. Therapeutic riding classes available throughout the year. www.beyondlimitsriding.org
McKenna Farms Therapy
Therapeutic Riding Classes and social skills classes available throughout the year. www.mckennafarms.org
Cobb Therapeutic Recreation
Cobb Therapeutic Recreation offers many types of programs. www.cobbcountyga.gov and click Therapeutic Recreation under the Directory tab.
FOCUS + Fragile Kids
FOCUS offers comfort, hope, and fun to children/teens who are medically fragile or have physical and/or significant developmental disabilities. Offers different club options for various age groups. www.focus-ga.org/
Details about what will be available at each venue and for each production can be found on the website. If you have any questions about accessibility needs, please call the Woodruff Arts Center Box Office at 404.733.5000.
Atlanta Braves Exceptional Fans
The Atlanta Braves are excited to offer information and resources for families to ensure attending games is a comfortable and fun experience for everyone! We have a Social Storybook that illustrates what to expect when you come to a Braves game at SunTrust Park, a sensory map, dedicated Accessible Seating Specialists on staff and more.
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
All programs of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra are accessible to people with special needs. Persons requiring assistance are requested to phone the Woodruff Box Office at (404) 733-5000 in advance.
Center for Puppetry Arts
The Center for Puppetry Arts is proud to announce the next slate of sensory-friendly programming to occur during its 2018-19 season. These modifications of the Center’s regular programming will allow guests with Autism Spectrum Disorder to experience sensory-friendly Family Series performances, Film series, and Create-A-Puppet Workshops™. Guests will be welcomed by staff members who have been trained in interactions with patrons with ASD.
Children’s Museum of Atlanta
The Children’s Museum of Atlanta provides programs, exhibits and spaces that are accessible to all visitors. Our staff members continuously receive training on accessibility and inclusion to better assist visitors and are always happy to answer questions or provide assistance.
College Football Hall of Fame
The Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame has partnered with KultureCity to improve our ability to assist and accommodate guests with sensory processing needs. Our objective is to provide an inclusive and seamless experience for all guests including those with sensory processing needs.
The Fox Theatre
The Fox Theatre is dedicated to providing a comfortable and enjoyable theatre experience for all individuals in need of special accommodation.
Georgia Aquarium is the first aquarium to be designated as a Certified Autism Center (CAC). The aquarium provides expedited entrances, sensory bags, and designated quiet zones.
The Georgia Symphony Orchestra, in collaboration with Autism Speaks! is proud to present the third annual Sensory Friendly Concert. This event is designed especially for persons with autism and their families. As a component of the GSO’s educational and outreach programs, this concert will present audience members the ability to experience the greatness of orchestral music without any of the constraints of a standard performance.
High Museum of Art
The High Museum of Art seeks to unite people with art by creating a platform for multiple perspectives and removing barriers to access. The Museum is committed to providing a welcoming and accessible space for all patrons, regardless of age, gender, race, or disability.
LEGOLAND Discovery Center Atlanta
LEGOLAND Discovery Center Atlanta welcomes families with children on the autism spectrum, or children with sensory processing disorders, to enter the center early at 9 AM the last Saturday of every month.
Six Flags Over Georgia
Six Flags’ Attraction Access Program is designed to accommodate guests with disabilities or certain other qualifying impairments so they may participate in the enjoyment of our Parks.
Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History
Join us on the last Tuesday of each month for a Sensory Friendly Afternoon! From 2:00 pm- 5:00 pm, the museum will be transformed into a sensory-friendly environment. We welcome visitors with Autism Spectrum Disorder, sensory processing issues, or special needs to explore the Museum at their own pace.
Tellus Science Museum
Quiet Mornings at Tellus is an exclusive event for individuals with different sensory processing skills and their families to have a fun, enjoyable and interactive learning experience in a comfortable and accepting environment. Lighting is normalized, and our various monitors are not turned on. This sensory-friendly event will offer a conscious effort to eliminate extra stimuli.
Zoo Atlanta has partnered with KultureCity to improve our ability to assist and accommodate guests with sensory needs. Our objective is to provide an exclusive and seamless experience for all guests. We strive to raise awareness of the needs and challenges faced by individuals with sensory processing disorders by supplying our team members with continuous training and by offering the resources and accommodations below.
We encourage you to attend support groups. Some are for a specific diagnosis while others are larger or are tied to agencies that bring in speakers to address your concerns. Contact the group directly for additional information.
Parent 2 Parent of Georgia
Families of Children Under Stress (FOCUS)
Parent and sibling support groups.
Atlanta Parent Magazine Just Kids
Links to support groups for every disability
Stacy Greene is the parent of an ASD student who began his education in Cobb’s Special Needs Preschool Program, graduated in May 2017 from North Cobb High School, and now attends Georgia Highlands College. She saw her son through several transitions within Cobb schools and looks forward to assisting other parents with their student’s journey through Special Education. Stacy began serving as a Special Education Parent Mentor in February 2016 and is excited to serve as a resource for families of children with special needs.
Antoinette Nichols is the parent of a son with ASD who began his journey in education with the Cobb Special Needs Preschool Program in January 2010. Currently, her son is a student at Lewis Elementary in the MID classroom. Antoinette has been a stay-at-home mom who has been involved heavily with her school’s PTA board for both the local school unit and the council level. She is looking forward to helping to navigate the process and provide resources for families with special needs children.
Understanding the IEP Process
PU Understanding the IEP Process 10-9-19
PU Understanding the IEP Process 10-9-19 – Spanish
10/09/19 – 9:30 – 11:00 am
10/21/19 – 6:30 – 8:30pm
Cobb Safety Village
Q & A with Special Education Leadership
11/13/19 – 9:30 – 11:00am
11/18/19 – 6:30 – 8:30pm
Smitha Middle School
Transitioning from ES to MS to HS and Beyond
1/15/20 – 9:30 – 11:00am
Community Connections Resource Fair
1/27/20 – 6:30 – 8:30pm
Wheeler High School
2/10/20 – 6:30 – 8:30pm
Durham Middle School
2/12/20 – 9:30 – 11:00am
Evening of Inspiration
March 2020 – 6:30 – 8:30pm
Fostering Communication & Social Regulation
3/12/20 – 9:30 – 11:00am
Looking Toward School Year 2020-21
4/15/20 – 9:30 – 11:00am
Looking Toward School Year 2020-21
4/20/20 – 6:30 – 8:30pm
East Cobb Middle School
Center for Puppetry Arts
12-5pm: Museum exhibits
1pm & 3pm: Performance
12-5pm: Create-A-Puppet Workshops™
Oct 13: SPACE!
Nov 17: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Feb 16, 2020: Stellaluna
Mar 15, 2020: Milo the Magnificent
May 10, 2020: Pete the Cat
Children’s Museum of Atlanta
Sensory-Friendly Saturdays / 1st Saturday of every month
Fernbank Museum of Natural History
Museum Early Access – 9am
Giant Screen Movie – 10am
December 7: To Be Announced
The Georgia Ballet
Sept. 19 – Sleepy Hollow
Dec. 5 – The Nutcracker
Mar. 19 – Coppelia
Georgia Symphony Orchestra
Marietta Performing Arts Center
The GSO’s annual sensory friendly concert is a great opportunity for those with special needs to enjoy a great concert.
Mar. 7, 2020
Legoland Discovery Center
Sensory-Friendly Saturdays / Last Saturday of every month
9:00 – 10:00am
Acworth and Marietta
10/19/19: Maleficent: Mistress of Evil
12/07/19: Frozen II
Studio Movie Grill
Duluth, Marietta, and Roswell
08/24/19: Angry Birds 2
10/19/19: Addams Family
10/26/19: Maleficent: Mistress of Evil