Maintain good records
Maintaining good records is very important. There could be numerous times throughout your life where you might need to produce an important record. Personal records that should be maintained are social security card, birth certificate, medical records, and all evaluations (from schools, specialist, doctors, and other agencies).
The use of the Guiding People through Systems (GPS) tool is offered as a public service to assist families organize their children’s important medical and school records into one convenient, online location. The Stark County Board of Developmental Disabilities makes no warranties, either expressed or implied, concerning the privacy of the medical or personal information shared with this service.
- Where Do I Start and How Do DD Services Work?
Attend, plan, and encourage your child to participate in their Individualized Education Plan (IEP)
An Individual Education Plan (IEP) is the legal document that defines a child’s special education plan. An IEP includes the disability under which the child qualifies for special education services, the services the team has determined the school will provide, the child’s yearly goals and objectives and any accommodations that must be made to assist their learning. These accommodations can include Occupational Therapy (OT), Speech Therapy (SLP), and assistive technology.
Contact your Local School District
Encourage and promote independent living skills at home
It’s never too soon to seek out social opportunities for your child and begin teaching general safety awareness.
Speak to your child’s teachers/school staff; local safety personnel; depending on the level of your child’s abilities and what you are looking for.
Ask your doctor if they produce anything like that or create your own.
Knowing and making connections
To access all available benefits and services you and your child are eligible for. Check into Special Needs Trusts to see if this applies to your child. As appropriate, investigate and apply for Social Security, Medicaid, Job and Family Services, Bureau for Children With Medical Handicaps. Consider Estate Planning.
The Stark County Board of DD Service and Support Administration Intake dept 330-479-3582. Stark DD has a family information series every other month. This is for families and has speakers on emerging trends important to you. Ask your SSA when the next one is.
- Community integration
- Explore Advocacy/Self-Advocacy
Know your options
Families should have an understanding of educational options. This could include classroom structure or drop-in educational services. Families can also attend Community Resource Fairs which are events where many agencies and community partners come together under one roof to showcase what services they offer to students and families.
Contact Help Me Grow, Your Teacher/Intervention Specialist, or your Special Education Director.
Stark County Board of DD
Prior to starting Kindergarten or before age 6 parent must request for Stark County DD Board to conduct COEDI (Children’s Ohio Eligibility Determination Instrument) to determine if an individual is eligible to (continue to) receive County Board services.
Call the Service and Support Administration at 330-479-3582.
- Ensure your child takes the required state tests or alternative assessments, with appropriate accommodations
Introduce the concept of work and responsibility into everyday activities at home
Make your child a productive part of the household by introducing chores.
Have child open a savings account to begin teaching financial independence and responsibility
It’s important to save for your child’s future, while you ensure your assets are in compliance with any governmental funds or programs your child participates in.
Talk to your local banking establishment for guidance on accounts or check with Social Security representatives for rules. Know that SSI (Supplemental Security Income) and SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) are different, have different rules and different staff working cases at Social Security.
Ensure you are up to date with all medical appointments and services
It is very important to have a primary care physician, eye doctor, dentist, and any other specialists you may need. Staying on top of your health is essential!
Contact your physician or specialist.
If eligible for Stark County DD Services services, investigate Family Support Services (FSS) funding
Two of the services that families can access are Family Support Services and Service and Support Administration (SSA). Family Support Services provide assistance to families to support loved ones/children in the family home through funding items such as medical supplies, camps, recreation, counseling or respite, etc. Service and Support Administration can advocate and connect families to community resources.