Peer Mentoring Helps Reduce Caregiver Stress

Caregivers of children with developmental disabilities often experience greater stress than parents of typically-developing kids. A new study published online last week in the journal Pediatrics demonstrates that more attention needs to be paid to the needs of parents of children with developmental disabilities.

The study randomly assigned 243 mothers of children with disabilities to one of two interventions led by well-trained, supervised peer mentors who received four months of training on the curriculums.  The peer mentors were other mothers of children with disabilities who led 6 weeks of group treatments in 1.5-hour weekly sessions.

For the two treatment groups some parents were assigned to a mindfulness based stress reduction program others to a positive psychology based program. Results showed that mothers in both groups benefitted from the peer-led treatment programs. The researchers conclude more attention ought to be paid to address the unmet mental health needs of parents of children with developmental disabilities.

To read more about this study see the article published by the New York Times, “When the Caregivers Need Healing”.

Supporting Siblings When a Brother or Sister is Receiving Residential Interventions

A Building Bridges Initiative Tip Sheet

Supporting Siblings When a Brother or Sister is Receiving Residential Interventions:
Key Issues and Tips for Providers and Families

This document was developed by the Building Bridges Initiative Youth and Family Work Group and
was written by Dr. Lauren Polvere. The tips provided were developed based on feedback and
guidance from providers, family members and youth.

This new tip sheet describes the importance of sibling support and provides helpful strategies that
can be used by providers, leaders in residential and community programs, and families and advocates.

BBI values and principles reflect the need to create partnerships to support youth and families, and
this new tip sheet identifies the importance of supporting siblings as a key component of
strengthening families and communities.

The document can be downloaded at:

3rd Annual Family Resilience Conference

Save the Date Card - Front Final

On Saturday, October 18, 2014 Devereux will present its 3rd annual family resilience conference. This year’s theme will be, “Accepting and Supporting Our Children’s Differences: Building Resilient Families”.  Each year, Devereux gives families the opportunity to learn ways to help support their loved ones with special needs, challenges, or differences by sponsoring a family resilience conference. This annual event is open to the public and all families are welcome to attend. Space will be limited and registration will be required.

The conference includes interactive workshops led by leaders in their fields, a parent panel, resource tables packed with valuable information on a wide range of subjects, and exhibitor tables staffed by representatives from local providers. Kicking off this year’s conference is Andrew Solomon, New York Times best-selling author of Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity. For more information on Andrew, please click here.

This year’s conference will be held on the campus of Saint Joseph’s University thanks to a partnership with the Kinney Center for Autism Education and Support at Saint Joseph’s University. Complimentary childcare for youth of all abilities is available onsite, though space is limited. Childcare registration is required. Childcare will be located within the Kinney Center for Autism Education and Support on the campus of saint Joseph’s University.

For more information visit our new conference website at:

“Life in a Special-Needs World”

Parents Magazine Study Reveals One In Four Moms Wonder Whether A Special Needs Evaluation Is Needed For Their Child (via PR Newswire)

“Life in a Special-Needs World” Exclusive Report Explores Health and Happiness of Children of All Abilities NEW YORK, March 11, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Parents magazine today revealed exclusive results from a study of moms of children with special needs…

Read the rest of this entry »

Support for ABLE Act Continues to Grow

Support continues to grow for the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE Act – S. 313/H.R. 647), introduced by U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Richard Burr (R-NC). The ABLE Act would help parents save for their children’s long term care and ease financial strains faced by families of individuals with disabilities by making tax-free savings accounts available to cover qualified expenses such as education, housing, medical, and transportation. The New York Times Editorial Board has weighed in on this important issue. Read their endorsement of the ABLE Act here.

Special Needs Registry for Individuals in Southeastern, PA

Special Needs Registry

A new registry jointly developed by Bucks, Chester and Montgomery Counties to allow citizens with special needs and their associates to voluntarily provide information to assist emergency response agencies.

The Registry is a planning tool to allow individuals with special needs the opportunity to provide information to emergency response agencies, so emergency responders can better plan to serve them in a disaster or other emergencies. The Registry is a cooperative effort between Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery Counties, brought to you by the South-eastern Pennsylvania Regional Task Force.

You can read more about this registry or sign up at:

Free Community Seminar

Trust Planning for your Loved Ones with Special Needs

Abington Township Library
1030 Old York Road
Abington, PA 19001

Date: Thursday, February 27, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Joseph M. Masiuk, Esq. Flood & Masiuk, LLC
Kelly Clarke, MSW, Executive Director Plan of PA
Patrick Bergmaier, CFP® Independence Wealth Strategies, an office of MetLife

To Register
Call 215.322.6330


Note: The material on this site is provided for informational purposes only, and is not intended to imply and should not be construed as an endorsement of any product or service.

2nd Family Resilience Conference

Mr. Taylor & Dr. NaseefDr. Naseef 2Dr. Naseef 1Mr. LeBuffe & Dr. NaseefMr. Bud TaylorDr. Benoit & Mr. Kreider
Vernick SmithLunch AudienceAttendees at Info TableMr. Kreider & the FotisKids at Snack TimePumpkin Painting
Sib ShopA Capella Pops Performing 1A Capella Pops Performing 2

2nd Family Resilience Conference, a set on Flickr.

Posted a few photos to Flickr from our conference last month.

Homework Tips for Parents

NCLD_logoDo you find it difficult getting your child to do his homework? The National Center for Learning Disabilities has “Homework Tips for Parents” that you might find helpful. 

October is Learning Disabilities Awareness Month

October is Learning Disabilities Awareness Month. In recognition of this we are asked to teach one person something new about learning disabilities.

Two great websites to visit for more information on Learning Disabilities are LD OnLine and Reading Rockets

Also this month the National Center for Learning Disabilities is sponsoring a contest for parents.  To enter the contest parent’s are asked to share a 6-Word Parent Story.

NCLD will select the best submission on October 22 and the winner will receive an LD prize pack. NCLD Prize Pack


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