Read our monthly calendar to stay informed about special needs events, classes, parent training opportunities and support group meetings taking place in Houston and surrounding communities.
These listings are emailed to Mikey's Place by various organizations in the Greater Houston area which we are happy to share with you.  These organizations and Mikey's Place do not necessarily endorse the following listings; they are provided to you for informational purposes only. 

November/December 2017

November 15th - 16th, 8:30 am - 3:30 pm "Using Technology Tools to Support Struggling Students & Access in Hand: From Print to Expression". Located at Region 4 ESC - MCC 105 (AT Lab), 7145 West Tidwell, Houston, 77092. Explore a variety of apps, extensions, and tools for students who struggle with reading or writing, including text-to-speech, highlighting tools that can extract and save information, tools to cite sources, and online notebooks to save information on November 15th. Then, on November 16th, learn strategies that promote student independence with access-to-print or electronic content using on-the-fly, text-to-speech with scan and read apps, language translation that reduces text complexity, and more. Registration fee: $70. Register here.

November 16th, "Picky Eaters and Getting Your Child to Try New Foods. Located at The Westview School, 1830 Kersten Dr, Houston, 77043. Discussions will be relevant to parents and caregivers of children of all ages with autism spectrum disorder. There is no cost to attend. If you have any questions, please email aharris@westviewschool.org.

November 16th, 9:00 am "Medical Care Advisory Committee Meeting". The Medical Care Advisory Committee provides input to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) about health and medical care services, developing and maintaining the Medicaid program, and the eligibility determination process. Items that will be covered during the meeting include: cost reporting process changes for Home and Community-based Services (HCS), Texas Home Living (TxHmL), and Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with an Intellectual Disability or Related Conditions (ICF/IID) providers; School Health and Related Services (SHARS) funding and Medicaid reimbursement for school districts; and nursing facility Life Safety Code amendments. There will be an opportunity for public comment. This meeting will be webcast. For more information, go to https://hhs.texas.gov/about-hhs/communications-events/meetings-events/2017/11/16/medical-care-advisory-committee-mcac-0 ..

November 17th, 10:00 am "Policy Council for Children and Families Meeting". The Policy Council for Children and Families works to improve the coordination, quality, efficiency, and outcomes of services provided to children with disabilities and their families through the state's health, education, and human services systems. During the meeting, the council will discuss its council's recommendations to HHSC regarding the implementation and improvement of STAR Kids. The council will also breakout into workgroups to discuss the following: access to healthcare services, including STAR Kids and Medicaid managed care; access to support services, including Promoting Independence and transition to adulthood services; and special education services and schools. There will be an opportunity for public comment. This meeting will be webcast. Fore more information, go to https://hhs.texas.gov/about-hhs/communications-events/meetings-events/2017/11/17/policy-council-children-families. Questions regarding agenda items, content, or meeting arrangements should be directed to Jimmy Blanton, Director, Health Quality Institute, Health and Human Services Commission, 512-380-4372, jimmy.blanton@hhsc.state.tx.us. 
November 18th, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm "Teaching and Increasing Communication Skills". Located at 130 Industrial Blvd, Suite 200, Sugar Land, TX 77478 (entrance located at back of building). Identifying the best mode of communication, a brief review of sign language, Picture Exchange communication System (PECS) and vocal verbal methods of communication and learning how to create an environment to increase functional communication skills. To attend this free training, please RSVP by phone or e-mail to: Danielle Russell at 281-239-1478 or danielle.russell@texanacenter.com by November 16th before the scheduled trainings. In order for the trainings to occur we need a minimum of two attendees. Therefore, please bring a friend if possible. If the number of RSVP is less than two, then the training will be rescheduled. Child care will not be provided during the training. TEA CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION (CPE) CREDITS AVAILABLE FREE FOR TEACHERS!


November 18th, 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. "Finding Friends: A Guide to Teaching Social Initiations". Located at UHCL, Bayou Building, Room 1510 (Garden Room) 2700 Bay Area Blvd., 77058. Parking is in Student Parking, Lot D. Cost: Free. REGISTER: https://apps.uhcl.edu/ORS/CADD Reservations required. You may register for some or all of the lectures. Space for each lecture is limited to the first 150 people who register. CEUs are available for educators.

November 20th - 22nd, 9:00 am - 3:00 pm "Celebrating Transitions". Located at Jewish Family Service, 4131 S Braeswood Blvd, Houston, TX 77025. Maximum capacity of 10 students each week. Available to high school students who have a cognitive disability. Students will blend into the day to day schedule of Celebration Company. They will be exposed to vocational skills including assembly, retail and culinary. Each week the students will be treated to a fun outing such as the movies, museums, zoo, etc. Students will also experience and take part in art and photography. Fees: $60/day or $180/all 3 days.

November 22nd, 11:00 am - 1:30 pm "Understanding How to Interpret Formal School and Medical Evaluations: Tests and Measurement 101". Located at The Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD, Room 104, 9401 Southwest Freeway, Houston, TX 77074. RSVP TBA.

November 22nd, 11:00 am - 1:00 pm "Section 504 and IDEA Services: Their 
Similarities and Differences Matter when Serving Students with Disabilities". Located at The Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD, Room 104, 9401 Southwest Freeway, Houston, TX 77074. This training is for parents of children with disabilities in public schools as well as those community professionals wanting to know more about how to advocate for effective autism services in school. Learn about History/Purpose of Section 504 and IDEA, definition of disability, educational expectations compared with peers, service types and logic for which is appropriate, rights and procedural safeguards, and case examples. RSVP here.

November 28th, 6:30pm-8:30pm. "Ft. Bend Chapter of ADDA-SR Meeting". Located at Lakeside Building, River Pointe Church, 5000 Ransom Rd, Richmond, TX. Dr. Joshua Thomas will present on medications for ADD/ADHD. Sign up through Sign Up Genius. While RSVP's are recommended, walk-ins are always welcome! If you have questions you can email: ftbendaddasr@gmail.com or call 713-360-9155.

November 28th, 7:00 - 9:00 pm "Family and Friends 4 Hour Seminar". Located at St. Peter's United Methodist Church, 20775 Kingsland Boulevard, Katy, TX 77450. This is a FREE 4-hour seminar for family and friends that have loved ones living with the signs and/or symptoms of a mental health condition. Please call 713-970-4435 or email at register@namigreaterhouston.org to sign up for one of the seminars today. The sessions are no cost to you but registration is required to prepare materials and provide refreshments. In addition to the presentation, we will a participants manual and crisis folder with local resources for each registrant.

November 28th, 6:00 - 10:00 pm "Zoo Lights: Sensory Friendly Night". Located at Houston Zoo, 6200 Hermann Park Dr, Houston, TX 77030. Join us for a special sensory-friendly night for guests with sensory sensitivities and their family. On this night, guests can expect a smaller crowd, quieter music, limited flashing lights, and two designated quiet areas. Discounted tickets are available with the following code: ZLANGELS. For more information, email group.reservations@houstonzoo.org or call at 713-533-6500

November 30th 11:30 am – 1:00 pm– Placement at Family to Family Network, 13150 FM 529 #106, Houston, 77041 You have developed your IEP goals and objectives, talked about accommodations and testing – now let's look at how to determine placement. There IS a continuum – not just two choices! Bring your IEP! RSVP: https://fall2017ieptraining.eventbrite.com

November 30th, 7:00 - 9:00 pm "Family and Friends 4 Hour Seminar". Located at St. Peter's United Methodist Church, 20775 Kingsland Boulevard, Katy, TX 77450. This is a FREE 4-hour seminar for family and friends that have loved ones living with the signs and/or symptoms of a mental health condition. Please call 713-970-4435 or email at register@namigreaterhouston.org to sign up for one of the seminars today. The sessions are no cost to you but registration is required to prepare materials and provide refreshments. In addition to the presentation, we will a participants manual and crisis folder with local resources for each registrant.
December 1st, 3:00 - 6:00 pm "Pictures with Santa Claus!". Located at Including Kids, 18401 Timber Forest Dr., Humble, TX 77346. Come sit on Santa's lap & get your picture taken for free! No rush! No long lines! Just in time to include in your holiday cards! RSVP is required and space is limited! Register here. Email outreach@includingkids.org if all spots are full and you are interested in being on the waitlist! 

December 2nd, 10:00am - 12:00pm "Autism Playgroup: Meet Santa & Mrs Claus". Located at Duhacsek Park House, 17034 Old Richmond Rd, Sugar Land. The Autism Playgroup of Fort Bend County is for children with Autism ages 1-12 years including their parents and siblings. RSVP Required: Contact Susan Garczynski at susan@susangar.com or cell 281-726-2665.

December 7th, 9:00am- 12:00pm "2017 Houston Area Rehabilitation Association (HARA) Annual Training Workshop". Located at Houston Community College Southwest Campus, Auditorium 101,5601 West Loop South, Houston, Texas, 77081. The training will discuss ways to better serve and improve the outcomes of justice when involving young adults with disabilities. Speakers will elaborate on how mental health impairments as well as how young adults with disabilities are being addressed and the various interventions available when working with young adults with disabilities. Please RSVP to Iric Saldivar at iric1656@gmail.com by December 4th.

December 12th, 5:00 - 6:30 pm "CONNECT".  Located at Walter P. Jett Continuing Education Center, 601 West Lewis Street, Conroe, TX 77301. Join other parents, caregivers, and guardians of a student with a disability with open minds to nurture, network and empower each other for an hour. CONNECT and share your stories, thoughts, resources, concerns and tips in a confidential environment. Please RSVP at 936-709-8166.

December 12th-13th, 8:30 am - 3:30 pm "Reading and the Brain Including Implications for Dyslexia & How the Special Needs Brain Learns Including the Effects of Trauma on Learning". Located at Region 4 ESC-MCC 100ABCDEF, 7145 West Tidwell, Houston, 77092. Dr. Sousa is an international consultant in educational neuroscience and author of 15 books that suggest ways that educators and parents can translate current brain research into strategies to improve learning. Please join us for these two exciting sessions by a cutting-edge leader in educational neuroscience. Registration fee: $70. Register here.

December 13th, 11:00 am - 1:00 pm "Special Education 101". Located at The Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD, Room 104, 9401 Southwest Freeway, Houston, TX 77074. Free parking in the outside lot. If full, try the garage - have to use speaker phone to have someone open the gate. A training that will help families and professionals understand the most important aspects of special education rights for students with special needs in public schools. Topics covered: The education planning process, referral, evaluations, laws governing student rights, family rights, educational goals, available services and progress monitoring. Cost: $25.00 (full scholarship available if needed). RSVP here.

December 16th, 9:30AM – 1:30PM "Families & Divorce". Located at George Memorial Library, 1001 Golfview Dr, Richmond, TX 77469. A 4-hour workshop that discusses the impact of divorce on children and beginning a co-parenting relationship with divorcing partner. Parents in the process of divorce or divorced shouldn't attend the same program. Certificates of completion accepted by the family courts! Clients must arrive on time and attend all sessions to receive a certificate of completion. Courses are FREE but clients must call ESCAPE to register at 713-942-9500.

December 16th, 2:00 - 4:00 pm "Let Them Drum". Located at Texas Autism Academy, 1009 Pruitt Road, The Woodlands, TX 77380. Dance Christmas Party & Toy Drive (bring an unwrapped toy to share). Come bang a drum, bust a move, and make new friends! For more information, call 281-771-5348.

December 16th, 9:00 am - 1:00 pm "Family and Friends 4 Hour Seminar". Located at Lone Star College–CyFair, 9191 Barker Cypress Rd, Cypress, TX 77433. This is a FREE 4-hour seminar for family and friends that have loved ones living with the signs and/or symptoms of a mental health condition. Please call 713-970-4435 or email at register@namigreaterhouston.org to sign up for one of the seminars today. The sessions are no cost to you but registration is required to prepare materials and provide refreshments. In addition to the presentation, we will a participants manual and crisis folder with local resources for each registrant.

December 18th - 22nd, 9:00 am - 3:00 pm "Celebrating Transitions". Located at Jewish Family Service, 4131 S Braeswood Blvd, Houston, TX 77025. Maximum capacity of 10 students each week. Available to high school students who have a cognitive disability. Students will blend into the day to day schedule of Celebration Company. They will be exposed to vocational skills including assembly, retail and culinary. Each week the students will be treated to a fun outing such as the movies, museums, zoo, etc. Students will also experience and take part in art and photography. Fees: $60/day or $300/all 5 days.

December 26th - 29th, 9:00 am - 3:00 pm "Celebrating Transitions". Located at Jewish Family Service, 4131 S Braeswood Blvd, Houston, TX 77025. Maximum capacity of 10 students each week. Available to high school students who have a cognitive disability. Students will blend into the day to day schedule of Celebration Company. They will be exposed to vocational skills including assembly, retail and culinary. Each week the students will be treated to a fun outing such as the movies, museums, zoo, etc. Students will also experience and take part in art and photography. Fees: $60/day or $240/all 4 days.