City of Alexandria Resources
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City of Alexandria Support Groups
An informal parent support group meets regularly on Thursday mornings at the Panera on Duke Street in Alexandria.
An Autism Support Group is facilitated by the City of Alexandria Public Schools held on the last Tuesday of each month, alternating morning and evening hours (10-noon or 7-9 p.m.) at TC Williams – Minnie Howard Campus, 3801 W. Braddock Road, Alexandria, Virginia 22302, Room 134. Please note that these meetings are attended by autism specialists in the school system. For more information, call Janet Reese at the Family Resources Center at 703-824-0129 or email her at email@example.com.
Parents of Autistic Children of Northern Virginia is a chapter of the national POAC organization. It operates a list serve and offers parent support meetings (check their calendar for details). While the focus of educational information is on Fairfax County, the list serve is an excellent resource for information exchange and referrals to specialists. The website is particularly helpful for learning about free training events related to autism spectrum disorders. POAC-Nova maintains an extensive calendar of events throughout the metro area that relate to autism spectrum disorders. http://www.poac-nova.org. To sign up for the email list and to join the support group, contact Nicole Zupan at firstname.lastname@example.org or President@Poac-NoVa.org. Support group meetings are typically held on Saturdays in the library at Abiding Presence Lutheran Church, 6304 Lee Chapel Rd., Burke, VA 22015.
Parents of Autistic Children of Northern Virginia holds regular meetings and has office space, a website and an email list. The group focuses primarily on issues in Fairfax County Public Schools but is open to all families in Northern Virginia. They hold educational sessions on special education and other issues twice annually. POAC-NoVA maintains an extensive listing of events in the DC Metro area, which includes many free seminars and lectures offered by public and private schools. www.poac-nova.org A POAC-NoVA Parents Support Group Meeting is usually held on the first Saturday of every month from 10am to noon at the Abiding Presence Lutheran Church, 6304 Lee Chapel Road, Burke, VA. It is free and open to the public. For more information about the support group, contact Nicole Zupan at email@example.com. POAC-NoVA maintains a very active email list which is open to parent and non-parent members. Visit the website to become a member of the organization.
CHADD of Northern Virginia (CHADD-NOVA) is a chapter of the national CHADD organization (Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder http://www.chadd.org). CHADD-NOVA holds periodic meetings with presentations from professionals in the region and also keeps a calendar for support group meetings. For more information see http://www.meetup.com/novachadd or contact Ann Roberts at 703-641-8940.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness-Northern Virginia (NAMI-NOVA) is a chapter of the national NAMI organization. NAMI-NOVA operates a website, a list serve and offers parent support meetings. http://www.nami.org/MSTemplate.cfm?MicrositeID=197. To subscribe to the NAMI-NOVA list, contact Arlington parent Naomi Verdugo at firstname.lastname@example.org. The national organization also has a help line for those in crisis: 1-888-486-8264.
Mental Health Support
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has a website with science-based information on mental health designed to educate the public on mental health issues. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/educational-resources/index.shtml
Down Syndrome Support
The Down Syndrome Association of Northern Virginia operates a list serve and has an extensive website. Visit the website at www.dsanv.org or contact Heather Trammel for additional information at 703-621-7129. To subscribe to the email list send a message to DSANVemail@example.com
Alexandria City Public Schools Resources
Located at T.C. Williams, Minnie Howard Campus, Room 134, 3801 West Braddock Road, the Alexandria City Public Schools Special Education Parent Resource Center (PRC) is an important resource for parents. Programming information is posted on the ACPS website at http://www.acps.k12.va.us/curriculum/special-education/prc/ Parent Resource Centers are mandated by federal law for every school district in the country. For more information call 703-824-6750.
The ACPS Special Education Advisory Committee for Students with Disabilities (SEAC) is a group of volunteers who are appointed by the Alexandria City School Board to serve in an advisory capacity to the School Board. Membership of SEAC is composed of persons with disabilities or parents of children with disabilities. Local Advisory Committees are mandated by state law for every school district in Virginia. More information, including the list of members, is available on the ACPS website at http://www.acps.k12.va.us/board/advisory/sped.php.
The Alexandria City School Board
The Alexandria City School Board is composed of 9 members, with 3 members representing each voting district. Information about the School Board schedule, agendas, and meeting minutes is available online at http://www.acps.k12.va.us/board/meetings. School Board policies affecting students, including special education related procedures are posted online at http://www.acps.k12.va.us/board/manual/section-j.php.
City Government Resources
The City of Alexandria offers many services to those with disabilities.
One of the major services is screening to determine if children qualify for a Medicaid Waiver. Medicaid Waivers permit families to qualify for important government resources for their disabled children (for example respite care, placement in day services or residential services, job training and behavior support may be available.). Obtaining a Medicaid waiver can be critical to access support for the disabled across the life span.
For information on Medicaid Waivers contact the Alexandria Community Services Board (CSB) at 704-746-3400 and ask for the Children and Youth ID Case Management Unit in regard to waivers for children with disabilities. Additional information about services available through the City of Alexandria is available on their website at http://alexandriava.gov/dchs/childrenfamily/default.aspx?id=50518
Crisis Intervention Support in the City of Alexandria: If someone in your family is experiencing an emergency mental health crisis 703-746-3401. If you are in a crisis and need to talk to someone, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness crisis support help-line at 1-888-486-8264. In the case of a life threatening emergency, call 911.
The City of Alexandria operates a therapeutic recreation program for children and adults with disabilities. More information is available by calling 703-746-5422 or visiting their website at http://alexandriava.gov/recreation/info/default.aspx?id=45758.