February 2011 TelAbility/WATCH Newsletter
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The Wake Area 
Telehealth Collaborative
Helping Children with Special Needs

Feb 5th, 2011


Community Partnerships, Inc. 2011 Inclusion Symposium
The Inclusion Symposium is a one day training event that aligns with our vision of creating communities in which all children and youth have equal access to the full range of educational and recreational opportunities available.
STAY TUNED! Registration available in January.  For more information, please click here.

Feb 5th, 2011


Does Only Mean Lonely
Let's discuss the myths and truths about only children.  This "Parents on the Go" coffee forum is hosted by NC Parent Consultants, and is open to parents with children of all ages.
Cost:  $10.00 per person (at the door)
4904 Waters Edge Drive, Ste 151, Raleigh, NC 27606
How to Enroll:
Call 919-336-5407, or click here to be directed to NC Parent Consultants' website to enroll now.

Feb 5th, 2011


Triangle Down Syndrome Network's New Member Social
Location:  Pleasant Grove United Methodist Church, Raleigh.  Please click here for more information.

Feb 5th, 2011


Valentine's Day Dance 
For ages 14 and up.  The dance is run by Specialized Recreation Services (Raleigh Parks & Rec).  Participants needing 1:1 are welcome but must provide their own assistance.  No pre-registration required. 
Cost is $5.00 at the door. 
Parents, workers and chaperones enter free.
For more information, please contact Specialized Recreation Services at (919) 831-6640

Feb 8th, 2011


LICC Montly Meeting
at Project Enlightenment
Join us at our monthly meeting to stay connected with other professionals and parents interested in issues pertaining to Early Intervention and the children and familes it serves.  Visit the LICC webpage to find out more.

Feb 8th, 2011


2011 RWR
Kick-Off Meeting
The event will take place at the Lochmere Swim and Tennis Club, 200 Loch Highlands Dr., in Cary.  Please see article on right for compete details.

Feb 8th, 2011


TDSN's Mom's Night Out in North Raleigh
The meal is potluck, just bring an appetizer, side dish or dessert to share.  Please contact Lana Calloway at (919) 844-0005, or visit the Triangle Down Syndrome Network's website here to RSVP or get directions.
Babies are always welcome!

Feb 9th, 2011


The Coffee Connection
Hosted by the Family Support Network of Wake County
Enjoy coffee, tea, and connections the 2nd Wednesday of every month between the hours of 9am and 11am at Starbucks, 3800 Lake Boone Trail, Raleigh.  For more information, please click here

Feb 11th, 2011


Insights into Autism Conference
Held at the VIrgina Beach Resort Hotel & Conference Center, this conference is designed for pediatricians, Neurologists, psychiatrists, OT, SLP, Art Therapists, Special Education Teachers and other interested allied health professionals.
For more information:

Feb 16th, 2011


Triangle Down Syndrome Network's "Not just Tulips" Parent Gathering
An informal meeting for families of children who have a dual diagnosis of Down Syndrome and autism.  Please click here for full details.

Feb 17th, 2011


Planning for the Future
How early is too early to start planning for your special needs child's future?

Feb 18th, 2011


(free)TelAbility Multipoint Video Training: 
Autism Roundtable
An interactive discussion by providers on Autism.  Open to professionals and parents.  Nora Roehm, M.Ed., Project Coordinator TelAbility will be sharing information gained from an autism conference she attended.
Please see the main article to the right for more information.

Feb 19th, 2011


Discipline Tips For Young Children
Hosted by NC Parent Consultants, this Saturday Morning Coffee Forum is open to parents with children ages 3-7 and teaches how to respond to misbehavior and increase your child's cooperation.
Cost:  $10.00
4904 Waters Edge Dr., Ste 151, Raleigh, NC 27606
How to Enroll;
Call 919-336-5407, or click here to be directed to NC Parent Consultants website to enroll now.

Feb 25th, 2011


(Free) TelAbility Multipoint Training:
Sign Language
Jessica Kelly will present on the benefits of using sign language with young children to enhance all areas of development.  More information regarding host locations to be advised through TelAbility's Listserv.
This is open to Professionals and parents.

Feb 25th, 2011


Juice & Jazz
Benefitting Easter Seals UCP North Carolina & Virginia, Inc.
There will be live jazz, unique wine tastings and delicious hors d'oeuvres taking place at the Museum of Natural Sciences, 11 West Jones St., Raleigh.
Tickets are $40.00 each and can be purchased by calling (919) 865-8840, or online at Easter Seals UCP

Feb 26th, 2011


The Arc of Wake County's 43rd Annual Gala
Marbles Kids Museum; 201 E Hargett St., Raleigh.
A night of dinner, live and silent auctions all supporting the Arc of Wake County's programs and services for children and adults with developmental disabilities. 
The Tune Swingers Orchestra and DJ Kate Britain are returning. 
For more information, or to purchase tickets, please visit http://www.arcwake.org

March 18-19th, 2011

The Autism Society of North Carolina's 2011 Annual Conference
The Hilton University Place in Charlotte, NC.
Individuals and families affected by autism, and professionals in the autism field will explore topics relevant throughout the lifespan, gain insights from internationally renouned expoerts, connect with Chapters and local support groups, network with fellow professionals and shop with a variety of autism vendors.
Please visit Autism Society of NC's website for details.
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February 2011





We are excited to announce that the 3rd Annual Run, Walk & Roll will take place on May 14, 2011 at the beautiful Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary. 

This years event is rapidly shaping up to be the biggest and best yet, as we race forward with the 5k run, 1 mile walk and roll, resource fair, music, food, and tons of fun for the entire family!

Join us for our kick-off meeting (details below), or visit our website 2011 RWR where you can create your own team webpage and begin a team, join or support a team, register, donate, or spread the word!



We are very pleased to announce our 2011 Run, Walk & Roll Kick Off Meeting will take place on Tuesday, February 8 at 6pm at the Lochmere Swim and Tennis Club, 200 Loch Highlands Drive in Cary.


This meeting is for anyone and everyone interested in helping with our 2011 event.  Parents, grandparents, friends, family, providers, therapists, schools etc.  The more the merrier!


At that meeting, our agenda will cover the following:


·         What is TelAbility?
·         What is the Run, Walk & Roll?  Who does this
           Fundraising Event support and how can we help?
·         2011 Run, Walk & Roll Goals and Objectives
·         Committees and Responsibilities
·         Idea sharing


Please RSVP directly to our Event Planner, Leslie Nelson at:  lnelson@thenelsongroupnc.com or 919-259-2399 by Friday, February 4 if you plan to attend.




TelAbility's Collaboration with The Erikson Institute

by Nora Roehm, Program Coordinator TelAbility/WATCH


Last month, TelAbility had the wonderful opportunity of collaborating once again with the Erikson Institute graduate school for child development (www.erikson.edu) in Chicago.

On Saturday January 15th we hosted the Influence of Sensory Processing on Child Development & Behavior training.  Six North Carolina therapists met at Community Partnerships, Inc. and participated in an interactive class with Dr. Jennifer Rosinia who presented from Chicago.  We discussed the theoretical basis behind sensory integration & sensory processing. Dr. Rosinia outlined 8 different sensory systems as well as the structures in the brain that are involved in processing sensory information.  We discussed how sensory information is received through the brain and used to produce a behavioral outcome.

Dr. Rosinia's lively & humorous personality kept the pace of the session moving and enjoyable.  We were able to ask questions & engage in discussion not only with Dr. Rosinia but also the more than 30 attendees in the classroom at Erikson.

Feedback from the Raleigh therapists was overwhelmingly  positive

  • "I loved the level of learning from this training."
  • "This workshop was amazing and would be completely unaffordable without it being a videoconference."
  • "Having access to high quality professional development opportunities with others around the country is so helpful." 

    Thanks to thank Community Partnerships, Inc. for opening up their doors on a Saturday to host this training.  We could not have done it without them!

    WATCH Listserv Etiquette...

    by Stephanie Hoyer   

    Let me preface this by admitting that I have been guilty of this mistake, but as a courtesy to all WATCH members, please remember that clicking "reply" to a WATCH email will send your response to the entire listserv.

    Instead, please respond directly to the person writing the email (by deleting the WATCH address and copying/pasting the senders email address in to the send box), unless otherwise noted in the email to avoid inundating inboxes with non-pertinant mail.

    Thank you for your understanding in this matter - and I promise to check myself before responding in the future :)

    TelAbility/WATCH Upcoming Free Multipoint Training...

    Roundtable Discussion on Autism 

    February 18th, 2011 1:00-2:30pm  

    This session will be a discussion among participants on their experience working, or caring for a child with autism.  Topics addressed will include early signs of autism, characteristics of the children we are seeing, therapies/techniques that are being used, successes, strategies that parents are trying, and sharing books/studies/articles. 

    Nora Roehm will be attending the "Insights into Autism" Conference in Virginia Beach the week prior, and will share information from that presentation.


    This presentation is open to both professionals and parents. If you are interested in attending this session at either of our host sites; Abilitations:  11030 Raven Ridge Rd., Ste. 101, Raleigh, or the Raleigh CDSA:  319 Chapanoake Rd., Raleigh, please email sorourke@med.unc.edu including your host site preference.

    Agency Profile...

    Developmental Therapy Associates

    Changing Lives Through Everyday Successes since 1982


    by Linda King-Thomas, Director, Developmental Therapy Associates, Inc., and Nora Roehm, Project Coordinator, TelAbility/WATCH

    Developmental Therapy Associates has been serving children & families for the past 29 years.  Co-founded and currently owned by Linda King-Thomas MHS, OTR/L, DTA provides occupational and, more recently, speech therapy.  Linda studied with Dr. A. Jean Ayers in 1977 and thus her interest in the sensory system was born.   Her vision for the company is to be recognized as a distinguished private practice providing exceptional therapeutic services.
      She has outlined some core values that include honoring and valuing the abilities of each person, being committed to excellence and integrity in the services they provide and in all that they do, supporting the collaborative aspect of service delivery in all environments, adapting to an ever changing world & maintaining a sound fiscal base to ensure continued service to the community.  

    Developmental Therapy Associates provides occupational and speech/language services primarily to children but they have worked with a few adults with developmental disabilities and autism.  They have a Spanish speaking speech therapist on staff as well.  Their staff have a combined level of over 200 years of pediatric experience.   They keep up to date on the latest theories & techniques in the field so they can be on the cutting edge of new practices.  DTA therapists use a variety of intervention approaches but have expertise in the sensory integrative framework.

    In addition to the therapy services they provide, they also participate in outreach services by educating & training staff, parents and other professionals in the community.  They routinely collaborate with local universities to provide fieldwork experience for students in occupational & speech/language therapy programs.

    Programs offered include:

    • Free Speech Screenings
    • Astronaut Training
    • Auditory Integration Training (Genuine Berard AIT)
    • Therapeutic Listening
    • Craniosacral Therapy
    • Bike Riding
    • Interactive Metronome
    • Handwriting clinic
    • Handwriting Intensive
    • Social Skills Groups
    • Treatment Intensive

     DTA occupational therapists and speech/language pathologists have extensive training in many areas and use sensory based, play based and relationship based intervention strategies. DTA therapists have training and/or certification in areas such as:

             Alternative Augmentative Communication

             Brain Gym

             Cranial Sacral Therapy (CST)

             DIR/floor time training

             Handwriting Without Tears (HWT)

             Interactive Metronome (IM)

             Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)


             Sensory Integration and Praxis Test (SIPT)

             Yoga for Kids

    ...and much more.


    Developmental Therapy Associates has an office in Durham and one in Cary to serve children & families.  They have recently moved their Cary office to a new location:


    Durham clinic:                         Cary clinic:  NEW ADDRESS                      

    3514 University Drive #8           875 Walnut Street, Suite 100

    Durham, NC 27702                   Cary, NC   27511 

    919-493-7002                         919-465-3966 




    Noteworthy Arcticle...

    Cerebral Palsy No Limit For Champion Speller

    By Carol Savazos, CBS 11 News 

    RICHARDSON, TX (CBSDFW.COM) - Cerebral palsy took Tanu Shivaswamy's ability to speak, but it didn't take away her ability to compete.

    Tanu is a 5th grader at Canyon Creek Elementary in the Richardson Independent School District and uses sign language to spell all her words. That's how she became her school's spelling bee champ.

    Wednesday, the girl her father describes as very determined faced competition from the district.

    "She puts her mind to it, she will go after it," Kiran Shivaswamy said.

    Her interpreter is her voice. Kim Spiegel has known Tanu since the little girl was in the first grade. Ask Tanu if she receives A's in spelling, and Kim Spiegel responds, "Yes. Yes. As a matter of fact almost every week, it's 100 on the spelling test."

    Tanu learned how to spell as a toddler when other toddlers were just learning how to speak.

    "We were trying to understand what she was spelling and then inevitably correct her," Shivaswamy said.

    Tanu has spelled thousands of words but never the word "phalanx," which is a group or body in close formation. It's the word that took her out of the district competition in the fourth round.

    She said she'll remember that word forever. And she's already made up her mind to come back next year. Because that's the kind of champion she is.

    District winners advance to competitions at the county, state and then national level - held in June.

    Parent Resources...

    The listings below are intended for informational purposes only.  TelAbility does not endorse any agency or organization.



    Jogging Strollers recalled for amputation risk

    Reuters article 

    Please spread the word at your site and to the families you serve that some jogging strollers imported by phil&teds USA, have just been recalled because of a danger of fingertip amputation when folding/unfolding the stroller.


    Camp Royall Announces:  Registration Open!

    Camp Royall Summer camp registration is now open on-line.  The summer camp lottery registration period is from Friday, January 14 until Monday, February 21.  You must go to Autism Society of NC website to register for camp during this time.  If you are new to camp, or have questions about the registration process, please visit The Autism Society of NC's website for more indepth information.


    We've Gotcha Covered!  North Raleigh Babysitters

    Let "We've Gotcha Covered" take the stress out of looking for a babysitter, by finding one for you.  Our babysitters are Red Cross certified, and specialize in watching kids with disabilities.  For more information, please email Kayla McMillan at kg4me@bellsouth.net, visit our website, or call (919)518-2829.


    Abilitations Children's Therapy & Wellness Center: 

    Abilities Indoor Soccer League!

    A soccer league for children with special needs (no limitation on physical or developmental level) 2011 Spring Co-Ed soccer league for ages 5-12. 

    Location:  MVP Sports Center at The Factory MVP Sports Center, 1839-360 S. Main Street, Wake Forest, 27587.

    Registration fee is $75.00 per player, and teams meet once per week for practice and games.  MVP requires all players to have shin guards and flat soled shoes.

    For more information please contact Jennifer Moc or T.R. Goins at (919) 844-6611.


    Capitol City Speech Therapy


    Mom's Morning Out

    Need to get some grocery shopping done?  Capitol City Speech Therapy is here to help!

    Capitol City Speech Therapy will be offering a Mom's Morning Out on Fridays from 9:00 - 11:00.  Bring your kids between the ages of 18 months and five years to our office on 141 Main Street, Fuquay Varina ready for two hours of crafts, story times, games and tons of fun.  Be sure to pack any diapers or a change of clothes that your child may need.  A charge of $20.00 per child will be accepted upon arrival with discounts available for multiple children ($15.00 for the second child, $10.00 for the third child, etc). 

    Space is limited to eight children per Friday so please call ahead for reservations!

    For more information, please click here.  


    Exceptional Children's Assistance Center


    ECAC is a private non-profit parent organization committed to improving the lives and education of ALL children through a special emphasis on children with disabilities.


    ECAC is all about Parent Education! Since the beginning in 1983 ECAC has been committed to "improving the lives and education of children" by providing parents with the knowledge and skills to become their child's best advocate. ECAC's parent education programs are designed to meet the needs of parents and families, young children and students, educators and other professionals. 

    Parent Education Programs include:

    The NC Parent Training and Information (PTI)

    The NC Parent Information and Resource Center (PIRC)

    The NC Family-to-Family Health Information Center (HIC)

    NC State Improvement Project

    Behavior and Reading Improvement Center (BRIC)

    Bridging the Gap

    For more information, pleaes visit ECAC's website at the link above.


    Dynamic Therapy for Kids 


    Kindergarten Readiness Class  

    This group class will introduce school readiness activities to young children of all ability levels using music, movement, building, coloring, and multisensory activities.  Classes will be taught by Melanie Lee, MS, OTR/L; Occupational Therapist and Handwriting Without Tears Certified Handwriting Specialist.

    This class is being offered on Fridays from 10:30am-12:00pm and runs for 12 weeks.  Please click below for more information

    Kindergarten Readiness


    Yoga for Movement 

    Helps children get a "jump start" and begin their school day with a clear, focused mind.  Class is offered to kindergarten through 5th graders and will emphasize building strength and flexibility with fun movement activities.  Classes will be taught by Jennifer Credle, LPT.  Please click below for more information

    Yoga for Movement  

    Book Review...

    Book Review by Nora Roehm*:

    *This reveiw is the opinion of Nora Roehm and not an official endorsement of this or any other product.


    Sensory Integration: A Guide for Preschool Teachers 

    by Christy Isbell & Rebecca Isbell

    Gryphon House Publishers 2007   $19.95



    Although the title of this book references preschool teachers as the intended audience, it is also very helpful for parents and therapists.  The book is clearly structured into 6 chapters that outline what Sensory Processing is, what sensory disorders looks like in the preschool child, how to design the environment to meet the sensory needs of all children, activities to help with different processing issues, suggestions for daily routines & how to make low cost props to use when working on certain activities.  What I liked about this book was how the authors broke down & listed all the different sensory systems and described what "avoiders", "seekers" & "under-responders" look like in language that a teacher or parent would recognize.  They use vignettes to describe the various conditions such as "Visual Seeker", Vestibular Under-Responder" or "Proprioceptive Avoider".  They describe what "this type" of child does and red flags to look for in determining what kind of sensory issue may be exhibited.  These descriptions can help therapists explain a specific sensory disorder to parents and teachers in a way that makes sense to them.  It can also help early intervention providers (developmental therapist, psychologists, pediatricians, etc.) understand how the sensory system affects behaviors they may contribute to other causes. 


    This book only gives general suggestions for activities to help children who experience sensory difficulties.  The overall repeated message is that children who exhibit significant sensory issues need to see a professional trained in sensory processing techniques (such as a pediatric occupational therapist).  There is a small section that addresses how to observe children, how to talk to parents about concerns and when & how to refer children for services.  These sections could be more substantial, in my opinion, but the fact that this is supposed to be a source of guidance to teachers and not a comprehensive primer on working with families, I understand their need to be brief. As one of many tools used in the treatment of children in the early intervention system, this book provides good information and a way to start a conversation about possible sensory processing differences.

    Giving to TelAbility...

    telability logoAs we begin this New Year, you can recognize a child you serve, or a professional you admire by making a donation to TelAbility/WATCH on their behalf.

    Send your gift, along with a few words about the child or professional to:


    1101 Weaver Dairy Road, Suite 202

    Chapel Hill, NC 27514

    Checks can be made out to the UNC Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.  Include "TelAbility" in the memo line.

    Thank you!