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.”

CLICK ON ANY STORY TO READ MORE ABOUT THE EXCITING THINGS HAPPENING IN SPECIAL EDUCATION

Family Resources

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.

ADVOCACY TIPS

www.wrightslaw.com/advocacy.htm
www.fetaweb.com/02/mistakes.parents.crabtree.htm

 

ADVOCACY GROUPS

All About Developmental Disabilities (AADD) provides support services to families living with developmental disabilities. www.aadd.org

 

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/

 

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

 

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

Disability Information

Visit Georgia Department of Education (Ga DOE) Special Education Services and Supports for more information regarding services provided in our schools.

Financial Information

ABLE Accounts
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

 

FINANCIAL PLANNING

Special needs planning resources:
www.kidshealth.org/en/parents/needs-planning.html

Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine “Planning for your Disabled Child”
www.kiplinger.com/magazine/archives/2007/08/disabled.html?kipad_id=7?kipad_id=7?kipad_id=7?kipad_id=7

 

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

Medicaid

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.

www.dch.georgia.gov/medicaid

www.roadmap.p2pga.org/images/stories/healthcare/katie%20beckett%20snapshot.pdf

www.roadmap.p2pga.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=681:how-to-apply-kb-waiver&catid=111&Itemid=59

 

NOW/COMP WAIVERS

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:

www.dch.georgia.gov/waivers
www.dch.georgia.gov/sites/dch.georgia.gov/files/NOW_COMP_FY14_Final_1.pdf

 

SPECIAL NEEDS SCHOLARSHIP

Below is information and rules for the Special Needs Scholarship Program:
www.gadoe.org/External-Affairs-and-Policy/Policy/Pages/Special-Needs-Scholarship-Program.aspx

Special Needs Alliance
This organization helps individuals with disabilities, their families and the professionals who serve them.
www.specialneedsalliance.org

Parent Education

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.
http://www.gadoe.org/curriculum-instruction-and-assessment/special-education-services/Pages/default.aspx

Parent Rights
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

IEP Information
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
www.pacer.org/parent/php/php-C144.pdf

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.
www.njkidsonline.com/special-needs/-beginning-a-new-school-year-supporting-a-child-with-special-needs
www.wrightslaw.com/howey/10tips.sch.yr.htm

Improving School Communication
www.cpacinc.org/materials-publications/communication/the-abcs-of-staying-in-touch-with-your-school

Parent Resources

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
www.autismspeaks.org/community/fsdb/state.php?sid=13

Autism Speaks
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/

Community Connections

Camps

 

All Georgia Camps
Has listing of many day camps that make accommodations for children with Special Needs within a specific radius.www.allgacamps.org

Atlanta Parent
Provides links to day camps and overnight camps for children with special needs. www.atlantaparent.com/directory/

Spectrum (Gwinnett County)
www.atl-spectrum.com

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
BlazeSports America provides camps for program participants and others to learn more about adaptive sports and recreation.  www.blazesports.org/what-we-do/camps/

Camp Dream
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
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

McKenna Farms 
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

Autism Improvised
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

 

Sports

BlazeSports
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
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
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
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

Autism Improvised
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/

Support Groups

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
http://www.p2pga.org/

Online Support
http://www.childrensdisabilities.info/speclists.html

Families of Children Under Stress (FOCUS)
http://www.focus-ga.org

Lekotek
Parent and sibling support groups.
www.lekotekga.org

Atlanta Parent Magazine Just Kids
Links to support groups for every disability
www.atlantaparent.com/article/detail/just_kids_resource_guide

Stacy Greene
Special Education Parent Mentor
Email

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

Special Education Parent Mentor
Email

Office Phone:  770-529-0046

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.

Cobb Special Education Parent Mentors

Parent University:  Understanding the IEP Process
08/20/2018  –  6:30 – 8:30pm
Durham Middle School
PU FLYER — IEP PROCESS 2018
PU FLYER — IEP PROCESS 2018 Spanish

VIP Parent Workshop:  Understanding the IEP Process
08/27/2018  –  9:30 – 11:00am
Hawthorne Center – Smyrna
PU FLYER — IEP PROCESS 2018
PU FLYER — IEP PROCESS 2018 Spanish

VIP Parent Workshop:  Fostering Communication
09/11/2018  –  9:30 – 11:00am
Hawthorne Center – Smyrna

VIP Parent Workshop:  Challenging Behaviors
10/09/2018  –  9:30 – 11:00am
Hawthorne Center – Smyrna

Parent University:  Safety First
10/22/2018  –  6:30 – 8:30pm
Cobb County Safety Village

VIP Parent Workshop:  Roadmap:  Navigating Your Student’s Path
11/13/2018  –  9:30 – 11:00am
Hawthorne Center – Smyrna

VIP Parent Workshop: Parent Advocacy
12/11/2018  –  9:30 – 11:00am
Hawthorne Center – Smyrna

VIP Parent Workshop:  Fostering Independence:  At Home
01/15/2019  –  9:30 – 11:00am
Hawthorne Center – Smyrna

Parent University:  Community Connections Resource Fair
01/28/2019  –  6:30 – 8:30pm
Location TBD

VIP Parent Workshop:  Fostering Independence:  At School
02/13/2019  –  9:30 – 11:00am
Hawthorne Center – Smyrna

VIP Parent Workshop:  Screen Time & Technology
03/12/2019  –  9:30 – 11:00am
Hawthorne Center – Smyrna

VIP Parent Workshop:   Social/Emotional Regulation
04/16/2019  –  9:30 – 11:00am
Hawthorne Center – Smyrna 

Center for Puppetry Arts
12-1pm: Museum exhibits
1pm: Performance
1:45-2:30pm: Create-A-Puppet Workshops™
October 7 – Peter Pan
January 6 – Squirrel Stole My Underpants
February 3 – Paul Bunyan and the Tall Tale Medicine Show
March 24 – Galapagos George, the Little Tortoise That Could
April 14 – Harold and the Purple Crayon

Children’s Museum of Atlanta
Sensory-Friendly Saturdays / 1st Saturday of every month
August 4
September 1
October 6
November 3
December 1

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.
March 9, 2019

NCG Theaters 
10:00am
August 11:  Christopher Robin

Studio Movie Grill
Duluth, Marietta, and Roswell
11:00am
August 11:  Christopher Robin
September 29:  The House With a Clock in its Walls
October 6:  Small Foot
October 20:  Goosebumps 2:  Haunted Halloween
November 10:  The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

©2018 Cobb County School District, Academic Division

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