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Mining Resources

By Mike Snyder

Last week I decided to get out and about to finally check out the Fairfax County Parent Resource Center in Dunn Loring, Va., which promotes parental awareness of the services provided by the Fairfax County Public Schools for children with special needs and their families.

I'm embarrassed to write that it's taken me this long to get around to visiting the center. It's been on my back burner since the summer. That's monumental procrastination. Better late than never, though I wish I'd made the trip months ago.

While the Web is such a fantastic resource and communications tool, and the PRC has a robust home page that's definitely worth checking out, I'm really an in-person people person. The staff at the Dunn Loring center was friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. I was given handouts and tutored in how to use the facility and check out materials. It works like any public library, but the specialized materials delve into every disability, special need or behavior issue imaginable. Some a lot more general than you might think. (You can search materials online ahead of time.)

I checked out a "1-2-3 Magic" video aimed at managing difficult behavior, a "Model Me Kids': Time for School" DVD, a book on "Managing the Morning Rush" and picked up the latest edition of the "Fairfax County Special Education Handbook for Parents" (downloads available in English, Spanish, Arabic and Chinese).

I also signed up for a free workshop on coping with learning disabilities and not just because refreshments will be served. The workshop coordinators say that space is limited, but they usually don't max out and they keep hoping for greater participation. I told them I'd put the word out for them.

While I was there, two moms with ADHD third-graders were getting help in preparing for their sons' Individual Education Plans. Part of the PRC's mission is to "encourage parent participation in the educational decision-making process" for which it provides seminars and training programs. Having gone through the IEP process as a fairly uneducated parent, I could clearly recognize the program's benefits as I watched the tutorial.

I should mention that there are two other PRC's in Fairfax County, at Haymarket Elementary in Alexandria and at Aldrin Elementary in Reston. I realize that Fairfax County has decent resources for education, and that not all districts in the Washington area or around the nation (or world) are as fortunate.

With that in mind, share what public resources and facilities are available near you and how they've been helpful. Are there general parenting classes you've taken that you'd recommend to others?

By Mike Snyder |  January 15, 2008; 7:20 AM ET  | Category:  Child Development
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Comments


Another big bag of B.S. from the peanut galley!

"With that in mind, share what public resources and facilities are available near you and how they've been helpful. Are there general parenting classes you've taken that you'd recommend to others?
"

Less than zero!!What a nitwit!!! You and your mate can't figure out how to raise a child???!! Duh!!! Huh?? Did you and your mate think of any of these things before you and she started popping out the babies????

Posted by: chittybangbang | January 15, 2008 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Another big bag of B.S. from the peanut galley!

"With that in mind, share what public resources and facilities are available near you and how they've been helpful. Are there general parenting classes you've taken that you'd recommend to others?
"

Less than zero!!What a nitwit!!! You and your mate can't figure out how to raise a child???!! Duh!!! Huh?? Did you and your mate think of any of these things before you and she started popping out the babies????

Posted by: chittybangbang | January 15, 2008 08:28 AM

Wow. Have you read all the previous posts on this subject? You need serious help if this is how you act in public, too.

Is there a way to ban this person from hijacking the parenting blogs?

Side note: I don't even have kids, but I read the blogs and sometimes post based on the fact that A. I once was a kid and B. Most of my friends have kids.

Posted by: WDC 21113 | January 15, 2008 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Chitty reads this blog not for parenting advice but for actual parenting. Its just best to ignore.
Wonderful that fairfax county has these resources available. My brother grew a hyperactive kid long before ADHD diagnoses were available. I don't know if my parents would have ever used resources like this to help him but it certainly might have helped if the teachers had been aware of the problem and possible solutions. A little more understanding attitude, at least from his teachers, might have helped him avoid some of the acting out that plagued his teens and twenties.

Posted by: rumicat | January 15, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

We used the parent resource center in 1993 to get information about deafness. It lead us to a program that specialized in deafness and developmental disabilities. It took me one afternoon and I brought my child with me. There was talk about closing this avenue for parents. I am glad that did not happen. It was a great resource then and it sounds like it is even better now.

Posted by: older mom | January 15, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

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