Quick Takes: Video Shorts about School-Based Services
PAVE provides information and resources to families on various social media platforms, including Instagram. Find half-minute videos, called Instareels, by following PAVE_Empowers. These quick takeaways will help you learn basic special education vocabulary and student/family rights. We help you know what you need to know and where to go for more information and help.
Anxiety around bedtime is a struggle for many people of all ages. Whether the challenge is to fall asleep or stay asleep, worry doesn’t make getting enough zees any easier. Here is a strategy for calming that uses a body scanning strategy combined with breath awareness.
Parents might share this practice out loud to help a child go to sleep. The child also might learn to use all or parts of the technique on their own. Once you understand the basic strategy you can adapt the wording to meet your own needs or the needs of the person you are sharing this with. Some might even fall asleep before you get through the whole practice!
If you or another person experiencing this practice do not have all of their body parts you can ask whether it feels good to imagine those body parts while doing the body scan or whether it feels better to include only body parts that are present. For a person who is deaf or hard of hearing or for people who respond well to sensory touch, there is the option to gently touch parts of the body while moving through the practice. Once learned, the practice can be silent, internal, and personalized. Be creative about how to make it workable and useful for any person who might benefit.
To help with sleep, body sensing starts with the feet…
Please make yourself comfortable in bed or another space where you can relax and listen to the 10-minute meditation provided in this video.
When you are finished listening, if you are not yet ready for sleep, you may wish to begin again with the body sensing, always starting with your feet and traveling awareness up through the body, noticing the breath throughout your own journey into rest.
The Meditation Script
If you prefer to read this script aloud to someone else or to yourself, here are the words from the video:
Notice that you have two feet. On your feet there are toes, big toes, second toes, middle toes, fourth toes, and baby toes. Notice your feet and toes. Notice what your feet and toes are touching. Is it soft or hard? Cool or warm? Are your toes and feet relaxed? Notice that you have ankles. Your legs have a lower part. You have two knees. Your legs have an upper part. You have hips. Notice what your hips, legs and feet are resting on. Is there anything you could change to be even just a little bit more comfortable?
Notice your tummy. Notice that as you breathe in your tummy goes up. As you breathe out your tummy goes down. Notice what it feels like to breathe in and out of your tummy. As you breathe in, you are noticing that your tummy is filling up. As you breathe out, you are noticing that your tummy is getting empty. What does breathing feel like? Just notice.
Notice that behind your tummy is your back. You have a lower back, a middle back, and an upper back. Inside your back there are ribs, and your ribs have a back part, two sides, and a front part. Your front ribs meet at your chest.
Notice that when you breathe in, your tummy fills up and so does your chest. Your ribs get a little wider. When you breathe out your chest goes down and so does your tummy. Your ribs settle in. See if you can notice what it feels like when your tummy and chest fill up with breath and when they empty of breath. Notice how long it takes for a breath to come all the way in and to go all the way back out again. Your body knows how to breathe all by itself and does this all day long. Notice how it feels to pay attention to your body breathing.
Notice that your chest is in between your shoulders. Your shoulders are connected to your arms. Your arms have an upper part. You have elbows. Your arms have a lower part, and you have two wrists. Notice your hands. You have fingers. Each hand has a thumb, first finger, second finger, third finger and a baby finger. Your hands have a back part and a palm. Notice what your shoulders, arms and hands are resting on. Is it soft or hard? Cool or warm? Are your arms, hands, and fingers relaxed? Is there anything you could change to be even just a tiny bit more comfortable?
Notice that your heart is beating inside your chest. You are breathing, and your heart is beating. Your body is taking care of its basic needs to be healthy and alive. Notice that right now you are safe. Notice the room you are in and whether there is lightness or darkness or some of both. Notice any sounds that are near or far. Notice that your body is breathing. Your chest and belly fill up each time you breathe in and empty each time you breathe out. Make any little changes that you need to be slightly more comfortable.
Notice that you have a neck and a head. Notice what the back of your head is resting on. Your head has a top part and two sides. You have eyebrows and two eyes. Your eyes can close so that your top eyelashes and your bottom eyelashes touch each other. Imagine that there is a color behind your closed eyes that is a soft dark blue. Notice how you feel when you peer into this deep blue space behind your eyes. Notice if there are any edges to the dark blue or if it seems to stretch forever, like the night sky.
Notice that you have a mouth. Inside your mouth there is a tongue, and you have teeth. Your mouth has a right side and a left side. Your mouth is resting.
Notice that you have a nose with two nostrils. Air comes into your nostrils and goes out through your nostrils. Notice that air traveling into your nostrils moves down into your chest and tummy. After the air empties from your tummy and chest it leaves through your nostrils. Notice the long journey that your breath takes through the body, from the nostrils to the chest and belly. Out from the belly, the chest, and the nostrils. What does it feel like to watch your body breathing?
Notice the shape of your whole body and what your body is resting on. You have feet and legs. You have a tummy and a back. Your arms and hands are resting. Your whole body is comfortable and resting. You are breathing with your nose, your chest and your belly. Your eyes are closed, and there’s a dark blue color behind your eyelids. We’re breathing in and breathing out through our noses. We are safe and resting. We are noticing what it feels like to rest.
PAVE provided a virtual parent training in collaboration with the Washington State School for the Blind, posted to YouTube May 24, 2021. This Talk o Tuesday presentation includes an overview of student rights, IEP trouble-shooting tips for family advocates, and key information about the process of an Individualized Education Program (IEP). A few tips are specific to students with visual impairment, and most of the information is relevant to any family whose student has special education needs.
This year the waves of information have been high at times, often, and the content can shift or change. And here comes the much anticipated COVID Vaccines. This video was created to address some of the most common questions that may rise to the surface and where to go to find how the vaccine is rolling out in Washington State. Visit the Department of Health for the most up-to-date vaccine distribution plans.
Learn about the new ways in which you can testify in a committee hearing of the Washington State Legislature. Due to COVID, advocacy or testimony with the Washington State Legislature this year will have to be done remotely, through zoom, which means there are new rules.
When testifying over zoom, there are some special things to remember:
Maintain proper committee protocol which includes waiting to be acknowledged by the Committee Chair before speaking.
Testifiers may include the name of their organization in a zoom background but zoom backgrounds that include a slogan or any other material will not be permitted.
Every person’s story has the potential to impact how others think or act. Disability rights have been legislated because of individuals who spoke up and sparked change. This video introduces a strategy for telling a potent story in two or fewer minutes, using your own hand to guide the process. Think of this as a hand model for an inspirational elevator speech to improve or inspire:
A meeting with public officials
Legislative forums or candidate meetings
The Arc of Washington State provides pathways for people to participate in legislative advocacy. The Arc serves people with intellectual and developmental disabilities of all ages and their families.
Some staff members at PAVE are certified to teach Telling your Story with a Purpose, a training created by the state’s Department of Health and Seattle Children’s Hospital. For support to create your story, fill out a PAVE Helpline request, and a trained staff member will contact you.
Questions to consider first:
What is the challenge or problem that you, your child or your family faces? Think of a problem that also affects other people and families. Consider writing one sentence about people in general and one sentence about your own story, child, or family.
How does this challenge affect others?
How might this challenge affect others if nothing changes?
What needs to change?
What can be done to improve the situation?
Who has the power to make a change?
Key information for your story:
Who are you? Be sure to say your name and the district, city, or town you live in.
If you want to include information about other people be sure you have permission before sharing anything confidential, such as names, ages, or health information.
Clearly and simply describe the problem or challenge.
Explain why this is important.
Include a short story (4-5 sentences) about how this issue has affected you and your family. If possible, use a positive example – a situation where things went well and why you want others to have a similar experience.
What do you want your listener to do? State your request in one sentence with 30 or fewer words. Avoid a general request for “support.” Provide a clear action:
“I ask you to vote for…”
“I want you to change this policy in order to…”
“I want you to fund a program that…”
Stop and check: Consider if your comments might make the listener feel criticized or attacked. Focus on the solution. Make sure you’ve included statements about how others in the community can benefit.
End by restating your request and saying thank you. When possible, thank the listener for something they have done in the past that you appreciate–voting for a bill, serving on a committee, funding a program.
It’s true, we have been finding our way since we closed our main office since March 23rd. Each day, we are adjusting our life-work balance while many are supporting their children with their education and medical needs at home. All of our staff bring their lived experience as parents, family members, siblings, and community allies with them and it’s exactly that combination of experience and expertise that connects them with the work, our mission, and vision for the world we want to see. A community that is inclusive and values the unique abilities, cultures, voices, contributions, and potential in each of us. We can all be Hope Dealers across WA. A donation, if you can and forwarding this email to ask others to help PAVE will be appreciated! Help us make it possible “for us to support children and their families so they are not isolated or removed from their best opportunities” as stated by Mr. Davis. You can watch this short video now.
Last month, PAVE partnered with Clark County to start the Family Training Series for families and educators supporting individuals with disabilities. It is offered by the Clark County Developmental Disabilities Program, the Clark County Parent Coalition, the Vancouver, Camas, and Evergreen School Districts, PAVE, and ESD 112. While the information in the sessions are targeted for families and educators, it is valuable information for any county you find yourself in! Below is this training in Spanish.
Additional ideas and information are provided by ReadyWA.org, a coalition of state education agencies, associations, and advocacy organizations focused on student success beyond graduation. The agency provides an article: High School and Beyond Planning: What’s New for 2020-21. The article includes a section about aligning general education future planning with the IEP transition planning process and includes links to key documents in English and Spanish.
Video en español
El mes pasado, PAVE se asoció con el Condado de Clark para iniciar la Serie de Capacitaciones para familias y educadores que apoyan a las personas con discapacidades. Este entrenamiento fue ofrecido por el Programa del condado de Clark para discapacidades del desarrollo, la Coalición de Padres del Condado de Clark, los Distritos Escolares Vancouver, Camas y Evergreen, así como organizaciones como PAVE y ESD 112. ¡Aunque que la información de las sesiones está dirigidas a familias y educadores, es información valiosa para cualquier condado en el que usted se encuentre! Este video está en español para el apoyo de familias latinas.
Usted puede encontrar sugerencias e información en ReadyWA.org, que es una coalición de agencias estatales de educación, asociaciones y organizaciones que tienen como propósito ayudar a los padres de familia a defender a los derechos de sus hijos. También les ayuda a enfocarse en el éxito estudiantil que va más allá de la graduación de secundaria. Esta misma, proporciona un reportaje llamado: High School and Beyond Planning: What’s New para 2020-21. Este reportaje incluye una sección que prepara a las familias en como planificar el proceso de transición del IEP e incluye enlaces o links claves proporcionados en inglés y español.