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Fairfax County Support Groups
The Fairfax Special Education PTA is a county wide parent teacher association that was formed in 2016 with the goal of educating, uniting and and strengthening community networks. More information is available on the website at Fairfax Special Education PTA website. Parents and teachers can join the PTA via its membership webpage. The PTA is very active and advocates to the Fairfax County School Board on issues of importance to the membership.
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 POAC-NoVa 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. 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.
The Fairfax Autism Network meets the 4 th Friday of every month at 10 a.m. at St. Raymond’s Church in Springfield, Virginia. For more information, contact Teresa Champion, 703-440-8843, email@example.com , June Adlesberger at firstname.lastname@example.org , or Jen Tucker at email@example.com
Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Support
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 the CHADD calendar or contact Ann Roberts at 703-641-8940.
Mental Health Support
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. 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.
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.
Down Syndrome Support
The Down Syndrome Association of Northern Virginia operates a list serve and has an extensive website. Visit the Down Syndrome Association of Northern Virginia website or contact Heather Trammel for additional information at 703-621-7129. To subscribe to the email list send a message to DSANVemail@example.com
Fairfax County Public Schools
As the 11 th largest school district in the United States, filtering information about Fairfax County Public Schools can be labor intensive. The web resources for the Special Education Instruction is vast. Office of Special Education Instruction is part of the Department of Special Services. Many of the senior personnel important to the special education process are listed on the Virginia Department of Education webpage under “special services.” Each school also has an assigned procedural support liaison responsible for attending meetings regarding special education services. The procedural support liaisons are divided by school pyramid, so it is important to know the pyramid to which your household is assigned. Contact information for each procedural support liaison is listed by pyramid and the FCPS PSL contact page. An important resource when seeking additional services and support is the Office of PreK-12 Adapted Curriculum . FCPS offers special educational programming and services for children with autism and related disorders through Applied Behavior Analysis Program.
Located at Dunn Loring Center for Parent Services, 2334 Gallows Road, Room 105, Dunn Loring, Virginia 22027, the Fairfax County Public Schools Special Education Parent Resource Center (PRC) is an important resource for parents. It is a good clearinghouse for information about special education services. The PRC coordinates much of the programming offered by the Department of Special Services. These programs can vary tremendously by topic and address a number of different issues. Programming information is posted on the FCPS website. Parent Resource Centers are mandated by federal law for every school district in the country. For more information call 703-204-3941 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
The FCPS Advisory Committee for Students with Disabilities (ACSD) includes members representing school board members, student representatives, and members nominated by community organizations and programs. ACSD members are appointed to serve in an advisory capacity to the School Board. Local Advisory Committees are mandated by state law for every school district in the country. More information, including the list of members, is available on the FCPS website.
The Fairfax County School Board – The Fairfax County School Board is composed of 12 members, 9 of which represent the 9 magisterial districts in the county and 3 of whom serve at-large. A non-voting student representative participates in School Board meetings. Information about upcoming meetings and minutes is posted on the Fairfax County School Board webpage.
Fairfax County Government Resources
Fairfax County offers a number of supports for families of children with disabilities who are residents of Fairfax. Additional information on who to contact for various supports is listed on the the Fairfax Community Services website. 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 for individuals with disabilities, call the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board (CSB) and ask to speak with a support coordinator in regard to waivers. You can also visit the Fairfax county webpage. For information on Medicaid Waivers for those with developmental disabilities (including autism spectrum disorders), contact the Arc of Northern Virginia at or 703-532-3214.
Crisis Intervention Supports Through the Fairfax-Falls Church CSB
If someone in your family is experiencing a psychiatric crisis that may require hospitalization, you may call CSB Emergency Services at 703-573-5679. When child who is engaging in behaviors of serious concern in the school setting, a parent may request a Family Resource Meeting, a service available under the Comprehensive Services Act (CSA) that brings a multidisciplinary team together to address the situation. Often a Family Resource Meeting is convened at the request of a school social worker or a Community Services Board case manager. For more information on Family Resource Meetings, contact the social worker at your child’s school or call the Fairfax-Falls Church CSA Program at 703-324-7938. 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.
The Fairfax County Department of Parks and Recreation has a Therapeutic Recreation Office which provides inclusion support, adapted programming, and maintains a good list of community resources on the Fairfax County Therapeutic Recreation Office webpage. For additional information call 703-324-5532.