Expand your toolbox

Photo courtesy of FIRST Parent Center

As Janet Price-Ferrell, executive director of FIRST Parent Center, points out, “What works one day doesn’t always work the next for our children.” Parents and teachers know this fact all too well, and working with children with disabilities can present a wider, perhaps more complicated range of challenges. Sharing new and useful parenting and teaching strategies for families of children with disabilities is the impetus behind a series of workshops titled “Expand Your Toolbox.” FIRST Parent Center, a nonprofit that provides training and support for families of children with disabilities, hosts the series, which begins Friday, Feb. 14, and runs through May.

“The goal is that they’ll get some really good strategies,” says Price-Ferrell, who expects to see a good mix of parents and educators at the series. The first workshop on Feb. 14. is titled “Communicating: Beyond Words” and will teach attendees to utilize InterAct Speech Therapy techniques. Subsequent topics range from addressing disruptive behavior to understanding sensory integration dysfunction. Presenters include Higher Ground Pediatric Therapy and clinical psychologist Dr. David Meichenbaum, among others.

“There’s a lot of information that’s out there and [parents] need to hear what works and what is best practice. They also need to be able to hear that face to face — not just read it and perhaps not understand it,” says Price-Ferrell. “We get bombarded with a lot of information, and having resources that are research-based and tried and true are very valuable.”

Expand Your Toolbox full schedule:

• Feb. 14: Communicating: Beyond Words InterAct Speech Therapy 9-11 a.m.

• Mar. 14: Sensory Integration Dysfunction: what it is and how you can help Higher Ground Pediatric Therapy, 9-11 a.m.

• Apr. 11: Engaging the Spectrum FIRST P.L.A.Y. Project Home Consultants, 9-11 a.m.

• May 9: Strategies for Addressing Disruptive Behavior and Social Skills  Dr. David Meichenbaum, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Workshops take place at the Dr. West Grant Southside Center, 285 Livingston St. in Asheville. $15 each for Feb., Mar. and Apr. workshops/$25 for May workshop (lunch included)/$50 for all dates. Call FIRST at 277-1315 for more information. Register at surveymonkey.com/s/ExpandYourToolbox. Learn more about FIRST Parent Center at firstwnc.org.


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About Lea McLellan
Lea McLellan is a freelance writer who likes to write stories about music, art, food, wellness and interesting locals doing interesting things.

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