Parent to Parent Newsletter

We publish newsletters, including Parent to Parent of Lewis County . Following is the online edition of this comprehensive newsletter published by the Family Support Network of Lewis County. This newsletter reflects the comprehensive information and resources available about services and policy issues for people with developmental disabilities and those who support them. Revised and Updated with Child Find schedule, additional Community Education classes, community events, Autism awareness, and more!


  • Parent to Parent of Lewis County November-December.  Happy thanksgiving notes from thankful families.  Teen & Parent Transition Work group-parents will learn about services and strategies for helping their child through the high school transition process.  Teens will have fun socializing and participating in activities during the work group.  Autumn SPLASH BASH at Thorbeckes.  Participate in a special sensory friendly movie time and see “Inside Out”.  Coffee and conversation continues to share resources and support at Fiddlers.  Come to our fun annual Holiday Party for pictures with Santa.  And more great information is available by clicking on the link above.
  • Parent to Parent of Lewis County September-October.  It’s our fall edition!  This newsletter is FULL of opportunities throughout September and October for your family to get out and be involved in our community.  Swimming, pumpkins, costumes, classes, coffee, conferences, and more, await you and your loved ones in these next two months.  And MEN, you are invited to the 2016 Washington State Fathers Network Conference on October 8th, with keynote speaker Dr. Joel Domingo.  For more information go to and to register.
  • Parent to Parent of Lewis County July.  Sun, Fun and Safety!  In the car, at the water, and more.  Check out great information regarding vision resources for children.  SPARC is offering a Summer Sports Camp for children and adults with special needs.  Participants will have an opportunity to learn basic sports skills in a safe, positive environment.  JUMP continues at Chehalis Thorbecke’s on Mondays and Thursdays.  Sibshops are happening!  Registration is now open to families for this year’s Camp Prime Time.  Craft Corner has a fun 4th of July theme.
  • Parent to Parent of Lewis County June.  In this issue-In Their Own Words.  Coffee and Conversation Meet Up-learn about what services are available through DDA and how to access them.  Sib Shop Registration.  Camp Prime Time.  Sensory Friendly Story Time-enjoy stories, songs, and movement games in a safe, non-judgemental environment.  Children with Special Health Care Needs.  Special Ed Boot Camp Conference.  Councils, Coalitions and Groups-get involved!  Family Support Network-who is eligible.  DDA and Transition Services.
  • Parent to Parent of Lewis County March-April.  “GKSN” Grandparents of Kids with Special Needs, this issue is for you!  There are resources enclosed, along with a support group on Facebook.  Check inside to find support tailored especially for you.  Lewis County Special Olympics is happening now.  Contact Meja Handlen for more information at (360) 740-1418
  • Parent to Parent of Lewis County January-February.  What’s the upside of growing up with a sibling with special health or developmental needs?  Learn about the Guardianship process, the category, scope, and reasons to seek Guardianship.  ALERT! FROZEN PARTY with special guests Elsa and Anna!  This very fun event is intended for individuals who are involved with Parent to Parent & Birth to Three programs, In-Tot Growing Together.  Call Sara at 360-520-9299 for more info.


  • Parent to Parent of Lewis County November-December.  Getting Started after a Diagnosis-How will I?  What is my role?  Where do I start?  How will I change?  Find the supportive information you need.  Learn how to use People First language which represents a more respectful, accurate way of communicating.  People with disabilities are not their disability, they are people first!  The Hands On Children’s Museum in Olympia now has “Special Nights of Play” for families of children with Autism or other special needs that provide a private, less-stimulating time to experience the museum with other families who may share the same life experience.  Lewis County Parent to Parent continues to host a social group and open house-see inside the newsletter for more info. and the “Kids Calendar”.
  • Parent to Parent of Lewis County September-October.  As we upgraded our computer systems, thank you all for your patience in awaiting this issue!  Which contains more Resources for You and Your Teenagers regarding self-determination.  Self-determination helps all youth, including those with disabilities, achieve positive adult outcomes.  **The October 2015 Autism Conference information here!  The Hands On Children’s Museum of Olympia offers Special Nights of Play for families of children with Special Needs.  The Parent to Parent Pumpkin Patch is scheduled for October 21st.  Check out this issue for more fun events!
  • Parent to Parent of Lewis County July-August.  Lot’s of tips for playground safety in this issue.  Including Resources for you AND your Teenagers.  Find out if you, or someone you know is eligible for Family Support Network Services.  FSN works directly with families who are navigating education, medical and transition services.  We offer assistance to families who need coordination of services and provide information about local, state, and federal resources.  At our Early Learner Support-Play Group, meet other Moms & Dads who understand the joys and challenges of raising a young child with Autism.  Inside this newsletter are many opportunities for volunteering your time and talents to make a positive difference in your community.  A Parent to Parent Movie in the Park is scheduled in August.  Save the date for the Autism Conference on October 16.  Have a great summer!
  • Parent to Parent of Lewis County May-June.  This is a great time of year to be thinking about Summer Safety and “Fun in the Sun”.  Find tips to keep your child safe from too much sun, and age appropriate sun protection.  Important thoughts are about Lawn Care equipment, weed killers, window falls, and water safety.  Kids want to have friends.  Learn of resources to help develop friendships and successful play dates.  It’s the time of year for Transition Planning during your child’s educational years and “Person Centered Planning”.  AUTISM CONFERENCE is planned in October!  Volunteer Opportunities are abundant as are the Conference Calendar and the give input on creating a P2P support group that works for you.  Free Community Education classes are available May 13 and June 10.  Check out the link above to go directly to the newsletter.
  • Parent to Parent of Lewis County March-April.  In this issue, find information on “Your Baby’s Emotional Health”, “Motivating Teens to be Active”, “How to Create a Chore Chart for a Special Needs Child”, the 2015 Conference Calendar.  Family Fun Fest will be held on April 17 from 10:00AM to 1:00PM at Centralia College.  Parent Volunteer Opportunities that Make a Difference!  Ongoing support groups, FREE Community Education Classes.  Our Kids Craft project is “How to Make Love Bugs” and “Fly Swatter Art”.  The Chehalis Timberland Library is having March Madness of fun activities for children. Find info on participation in Lewis County Special Olympics, SPARC and People First, and Popes Kids Place.
  • Parent to Parent of Lewis County January-FebruaryOur Mission:  Parent to Parent offers support and provides information about disabilities and community resources to parents who are just learning about or seeking new information on their child’s disability, illness, or special health care needs.  The program utilizes veteran families of loved ones with disabilities or special health care needs called “Helping Parents” who understand the emotions behind the diagnosis.  In this first newsletter of 2015, parents of preschoolers learn how to avoid eight common mistakes and smart fixes.  Scheduled on January 14th and February 11th, there is a FREE Special Needs Presentation now held in a new location in the Walton Science Center room 111 first floor, with wheelchair access.  In Wrightslaw Yellow Pages for Kids, you can find educational consultants, psychologists, educational diagnosticians, health care providers, academic therapists, tutors, speech language therapists, occupational therapists, coaches, advocates, and attorneys for children with disabilities on the Yellow Pages for Kids for your state.


  • Parent to Parent of Lewis County November-December.  Food allergies affect up to 15 million people in the United States.  More information on symptoms and severity can be found in this newsletter.   The next Free Special Needs Presentation is scheduled for November 12.  The topics are Anaphylactic Shock, First Aid, and Allergies.  In-Tot has a new location at the Sports Complex behind the Centralia Middle School.  Get Involved!  This newsletter contains many opportunities for parents to Make a Difference in your community!  There is a new East Lewis County Parent to Parent Support Group meeting at the Salkum Timberland Library on November 25th at 11AM to 1PM.  On November 15 there is a Parent/Map Special Event “Living a Glee-ful Life:  Possibilities and Potential for Families and Young People Growing Up with Special Needs” in Bellevue.  The Celebrity keynote presenter is Lauren Potter, AKA “Becky Jackson” from the TV show “Glee”.  Find more info at  The Lewis County Parent to Parent Christmas Party has been scheduled!  New to the party this year is a Kid ID program offered by Crime Stoppers.  See the newsletter for more information about this fun event.
  • Parent to Parent of Lewis County September-October.  Learn about the importance of early intervention services and talking with health care providers.  Free Special Needs Presentations are scheduled in the upcoming months.  In September the Topic is Bullying.  See the newsletter and the Lewis County Parent to Parent Facebook Page for more information.  New Members are welcome to People First!  People First is a great group of advocates interested in educating the community about disabilities.  NEW East County Parent to Parent Support Groups will be meeting in Salkum in September & November and in Randle in October.  COMING SOON!! East Lewis County Youth Outreach is for teen students (14-21) with a disability that are receiving special education services  in East LC School Districts.  The PAVE PTI SW Region Coordinator, Dot Workman, is offering Youth Outreach Support meetings for students and their families in the Onalaska, Mossyrock, Morton, Randle, and Packwood Communities.
  • Parent to Parent of Lewis County July-August.  This newsletter is packed full of fun summer activities!  Check out Michaels In-Store Summer Crafting Fun 3x week and the ongoing Home Depot Kids Clinic for fun craft projects.  The Lewis County Parent to Parent Annual Summer Picnic is August 6th at the Chehalis Playground Spray Park.  Save the date for the Autism Conference on October 10th at Bethel Church.  More information can be found on the front page of this website, at, the Lewis County Parent to Parent Facebook page, or by contacting April Kelley 30-740-1284  Come learn and play with you child at In-Tot!  Do you like making a difference?  Do you want to give back or help?  More Helping Parents are needed.  Attend a Helping Parent Training.  It’s rewarding and healing to help others.  Please note:  There are no Support Group Meetings in July and August.  Check out even more opportunities for family fun in this newsletter.
  • Parent to Parent of Lewis County May-June.  Schools out for summer!  However, routine and structure remain critical for children’s growth and development.  By encouraging mental stimulation throughout summer, parents can help children maintain math, reading, and spelling skills, according to Mollie Grow, MD, MPH, a pediatrician at Seattle Children’s Hospital.  Promote daily learning and educational “field trips” with the family, like nature walks or trips to museums.  “Kids tend to thrive and do best on routines.  While it’s important to have breaks, fun and unstructured play time, routines let kids have something to rely on,” says Grow.  This newsletter includes simple ideas for keeping structure during summer months.  Take note:  There will be no support group meetings in May and June.  Lewis County Helping Parent needs more Helping Parents.  If you would like to become a Helping Parent, take the Helping Parent Training.  This is a great opportunity to help others with the knowledge you have gained through your experiences.
  • Parent to Parent of Lewis County March-April.  As the end of the school year is approaching, learn about Individual Education Plans (IEP) and tips toward this process.  A large number of educational jurisdictions use SMART goals.  Using SMART goals makes a lot of sense when writing your IEP goals.  Learn what they are and how to write your goals.  Included in this newsletter are 7 Steps to Being Your Child’s Best Advocate-Remain Positive and Think Positive!  Lewis County Special Olympics is looking for New Athletes-come out and join us!  Lewis County Special Olympics offers a variety of sports, individual and team, for individuals with an intellectual disability who are eight years and older.  No experiences is necessary to participate; we work with athletes at whatever their skill level.  There is no fee for the athlete to participate.
  • Parent to Parent of Lewis County, January-February.  In this issue are some great tips to help parents on a journey with their special needs or medically fragile child.  See us on Facebook at Lewis County Parent to Parent.  And learn about the Freezer Club-what a fantastic idea to help busy families!  Free Special Needs Presentations are scheduled in January and February.  “Learning with Infants and Toddlers” is scheduled on Wednesdays at the college hosted by In-Tot.  Inside this issue are many opportunities for Parents to Make a Difference by attending meetings, joining support group, trainings, conferences, classes, and road trips.  Lewis County Helping Parent Training is available as more “Helping” parents are needed.  Another great Special Sensory Movie is scheduled.  This newsletter is full of opportunities!


  • Parent to Parent of Lewis County, November-December.  Emergency Preparedness.  Emergencies can happen at a moment’s notice.  Mobility problems and hearing, learning, or seeing disabilities can add complications.  It’s important to plan ahead.  Inside this month’s newsletters are links to a booklet, Preparing for Disaster for People with Disabilities and other Special Needs.  There is another link to tips co-authored by the American Red Cross and FEMA.  Rember to include all family members in your plan, including your pets.  This month’s newsletter also contains a free Special Needs Presentation regarding (IEP), Individualized Education Program.  Just in time for the holidays’ there’s also a fun recipie to make a Salt Dough Hand Ornament, in addition to a schedule of events and support groups.
  • Parent to Parent of Lewis County, September-October.  These months we are focused on great Back to School Tips for Parents and Children with Special Needs.  We have two free Special Needs Presentations in September and October.  The Baby Bank at In-Tot has been gathering gently used infant and toddler clothes.  We have a listing of many Opportunities for Parents to get involved and make a difference in our community!  Due to an increase in families needing support, the Autism Support Group will now meet every other month.  The 2013 Conference Calendar is now posted.  There is a daycare with ABA therapy provided for children with Autism.  Check out the newsletter for all the information above and how to Organize Your Children’s Art and Schoolwork, and the Kids Calendar for September and October.
  • Parent to Parent of Lewis County, July-August 2013.  Learn about poisonous plants that may be surprising to you how common they are in our gardens and households.  In this newsletter, find out more about the 3rd Annual Autism Confernece, the Mommy and Me Play Group, Child Health Notes, Kids Crafts, Support Groups, Annual Parent to Parent Summer Picnic, and other interesting, fun, and affordable family events.  There is a new Baby Bank at In Tot, which has been gathering gently used infant and toddler clothes.  Check out the Newsletter for more information!
  • Parent to Parent of Lewis County, May-June 2013.  Allergies.  When we got the diagnosis of food allergies, I never realized how much this would change our world.  Our son’s reaction is getting worse with each accident.  We have no control of what others bring for their children, so we have to constantly watch.  Simple fun holiday events have become much more stressful.  There are so many wonderful people out there trying to help, but accidents happen.  Here are some resources to help you….
  • Parent to Parent of Lewis County, March-April 2013.  Breathe Easier.  If anyone has allergies or asthma, pay extra attention to reducing allergy triggers such as dust, molds, pet dander, and household products with strong odors.  Here is a copy of an online brochure with very helpful information.  See the rest of our newsletter by clicking on the Parent to Parent Link above.
  • Parent to Parent of Lewis County, January-February 2013.   Falling Out of Routine with Children is our “New Normal”.  I never realized how much I was in survival mode when we became parents.  I would talk to other parents, just a normal conversation, which never lasted long once you have a child.  “oh, I’d better go and get her down for a nap.  She always goes to sleep at 11:45”.  Our routine is so different.  It consisted of medications, breathing treatments, eating, propping up-I never felt I could get a routine in place for our children.


  • Parent to Parent of Lewis County, November-December 2012.  Winter is here.  Are you ready for it?  We have had some memorable years, and lost power for long periods of time.  Here are some helpful Emergency Preparedness ideas for Special Needs Children…..
  • Parent to Parent of Lewis County, September-October 2012.  Social Workers are there to help families.  Yes, they are Child Protective Services as well, but this is also to help and protect your child.  We have to travel over 101 miles one way for appointments and surgery.  They can assist in arranging places to stay at discounted rates.  They work together with families on a behavior plan, making it fun for children to visit the hospital.  They can help arrange experiences for children, making it hospital visits “fun”.  See more information about how Social Worker’s can help families by clicking the link above.
  • Parent to Parent of Lewis County, July-August 2012.  Summer Time! Children playing outside, family get togethers, and vacation helpful hints.  Fun in the Sun…Protect your children from too much sun especially between 10AM-4PM.  Use sunscreen with a SPF 15-30.  Apply sunscreen 30 min. before going outside.  Re-apply every 60-90 min. after being in water.  Keep children under one year of age out of the sun, always cover their heads and safely apply sunscreen.  Bites and Stings…..see more great summer info and events by clicking the link above.
  • Parent to Parent of Lewis County, May-June 2012.  Importance of Reducing Stress.  Stress, we live in a fast paced, busy world. Work, family, bills, school, or just called life. Add special needs, medically fragile, or child with behavior issues, one gets the added stress of doctors, teachers, and increased medical bills. Others become a part of the upbringing of your child. One may feel overwhelmed having so many people to answer to, along with taking care of the children and the house. Where is the time for you?…..
  • Parent to Parent of Lewis County, March-April 2012. Spring cleaning!  It’s the time of year when as everything starts to blossom and grow again many of us feel the urge to also tidy up. As a parent, the thought of cleaning may be far down on the list. The first priorities are your baby or toddler, and of course you. Those two things can take up much of the day!….
  • Parent to Parent of Lewis County, January-February 2012.    Fever and Pain Medicines: Major Change Parents Need to Know: Parents need to be aware of a major change in children’s liquid acetaminophen products (such as Tylenol) available on store shelves. Since Summer 2011, manufacturers have changed the amount of acetaminophen in these medicines to one standard amount. Infant drops, which contain 3 times more medicine than the children’s liquid, will be phased out and no longer available. However during this transition . . .


  • Parent to Parent of Lewis County, November-December 2011.  Our son was born with 22 q 11.2 deletion but we didn’t find this out until he was two, after his heart surgery….I’ve now begun connecting with parents of children with a developmental delay or different diagnoses, I’ve realized….
  • Parent to Parent of Lewis County, September-October 2011.  Many parents, educators and mental health professionals find the 1-2-3 Magic program can be especially useful for parents of special needs children. As long as the children who are being disciplined and motivated have a mental age of two years, 1-2-3 Magic can provide useful direction for parents of children with learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, hearing impairment, visual impairment and autistic disorders….
  • Parent to Parent of Lewis County, July-August 2011.  Bonding with your baby is probably one of the most pleasurable aspects of infant care. You can begin by cradling your baby and gently stroking him or her in different patterns. If you and your partner both hold and touch your infant frequently, your little one will soon come to know the difference between your touches. Each of you should also take the opportunity to be “skin to skin”….
  • Parent to Parent of Lewis County, May-June 2011.  Many parents go through the hard battle of raising and disciplining children. Each child is different, and they have different temperaments, family structure, or outside influences….
  • Parent to Parent of Lewis County, March-April 2011.  Do we know everyone and everything about our community? Probably not, but it is good to know resources out there that can benefit you, a family member, or friend. There is probably much more out there than we realize….
  • Parent to Parent of Lewis County, January-February 2011.  In the past, fathers were the only ones to work outside the home. The mom was busy working hard to raise the children, cook, clean, and take care of the house. Times have changed and a majority of families have two working parents…