Transitioning from Preschool... where do I start?
School Age Services are available to students beginning at age 6.
For children with IEPs, transition meetings will be scheduled in the spring of the year a child will be eligible for kindergarten that next fall. The meeting will include the parents, teacher(s), a Stark DD Administrator and a District Representative, which is often the Director of Special Education.
Possible placement options will be discussed, along with the activities that will take place in order to make the transition to kindergarten as smooth as possible for your family and child.
Locations include classrooms at Rebecca Stallman Southgate School, a public separate educational facility, and a satellite classroom embedded at Avondale Elementary through Plain Local Schools.
Southgate is located at 3057 Cleveland Avenue SW in Canton behind the Southgate Shopping Center.
Avondale Elementary is located at 3933 Eaton Dr. NW in Canton.
These programs meet all standards as specified by the Ohio Department of Education. All students receiving services will progress through Ohio’s Academic Content Standards at their individualized pace.
Where do I start if my child has never received services from Stark DD before?
Students ages 6-22 must have evaluation data provided by the school district of residence.
All county boards of DD in Ohio establish eligibility through the results of the Children’s Ohio Eligibility Determination Instrument or COEDI.
If your child has never had an eligibility assessment completed through the Stark County Board of Developmental Disabilities, this can help you prepare:
You can also contact Stark DD at 330-477-5200 for assistance on where to start.
What is an SSA?
SSAs, or Service and Support Administrators, assist children and adults with disabilities, and their families, with identifying and acquiring appropriate services and supports.
The Service and Support Administration provides advocacy to safeguard rights, and protect the interests and choices of people with disabilities.
SSAs also monitor and work closely with agencies and organizations that provide services to people with disabilities.
To assist with navigating the options available through Stark DD, you can call the Stark DD Service and Support Administration at 330-479-3582.
What is an 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.
Encourage your child to participate as much as they are able, or even lead their IEP. You can also ask that your student becomes involved with taking interest surveys to help clarify their strongest interests.
Check out the “Contacts and Resources” tab for valuable resources to help guide you through the IEP process, and what you can expect.
Find your Local School District here.
Encourage and Promote Independent Living and Safety Skills at Home
Independent Living Skills can include household chores, washing dishes, laundry, grocery shopping, sweeping/mopping, and taking out the trash. These activities are important to do around the house, can help to promote and encourage responsibility, while also building skills for the future. Routines that are established at home, become learned over time and can also help promote independence.
Building safety skills and knowing what to do in the event of an emergency are a top priority. Check out some of the resources provided in the “Resources” tab, including checklists for emergencies, disasters, and more.
Checklists for fire safety and prevention, natural disaster checklist, and a wandering prevention checklist: https://www.september26.org/home#checklist
Knowing and Making Connections with Available Resources
Resources and benefits are available to offer assistance to children and families of children with DD.
As appropriate, you may want to consider investigating and applying for Social Security, Medicaid, Job and Family Services, Bureau for Children With Medical Handicaps, and even Estate Planning.
The Stark DD Service and Support Administration can help you navigate through the various systems. Call the SSA Intake Department at 330-479-3582 for more information on how to get an SSA.
Community Integration... what is it and why is it important?
The definition of Community Integration is a term encompassing the full participation and inclusion of all people in community life.
Being a part of the community doesn’t have to be all work and no play. Finding enjoyable activities and events to attend is meaningful in addition to home life and schoolwork. Your Teacher/Intervention Specialist or your Special Education Director can help point you in the direction of available opportunities.
Children can participate in various activities through Stark Parks and the YMCA of Central Stark County, as well as other organizations in your community, where they will have the opportunity to participate in activities with other children with DD, as well as their typically-developing peers.
Explore Self Determination and Self-Advocacy
Self-Determination refers to the ability and opportunity for students to make decisions for themselves. Self-Advocacy is the ability and opportunity to speak on behalf of one’s self.
To assist your child with navigating through the educational system, explore how to be an advocate for your child, and how you can help your child strengthen their own self-advocacy skills.
Check out the “Resources” tab in this section for useful information on Self Advocacy and Self Determination.
Become Familiar with the Educational Options for Your Child, and Person Centered Planning
Families should have an understanding of educational options, which could include classroom structure, or drop-in educational services.
When it comes to testing, research and become familiar with the options to ensure your child takes the required state tests or alternative assessments with appropriate accommodations.
Person Centered Planning is an essential part of individuals with developmental disabilities receiving services that help them live the life they want to live. Ohio Self-Determination Association holds training for those interested.
Resources: Finding a Doctor for your Child
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 for a healthy future!
Contact your physician or specialist to ensure your child is up-to-date with all annual appointments and preventive visits.
If you're eligible for Stark County DD Services, investigate Family Support Services (FSS) funding.
Two of the services that families can access through Stark DD 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.
The Service and Support Administration can advocate and connect families to community resources.