Pathfinder Journeys - The Pathfinder Newsletter
News & Resources for North Dakota Parents & Professionals | About Us
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Notes from the Director

Hello, I am happy to report that the past few months have been very busy for Pathfinder Services of North Dakota. We have developed a few new partnerships which will allow us to provide trainings throughout the state of North Dakota. I am very excited to be partnering with the PEAK Parent Center out of Colorado to provide a Transitional Training followed up by four workshops. The locations for these trainings have yet to be determined, but we are looking forward to providing these trainings for 16-26 year olds and their parents.

We are also partnering with the PACER organization and providing workshops on Bullying and on The Ten Steps of the Special Education Process.

Pathfinder is now overseeing the Experienced Parents Program for the State of North Dakota and we are looking forward to providing the best assistance to Parents and their children throughout the state.

Tim Starks
Executive Director

Pathfinder presents Experienced Parent Program
Experienced Parent Program

Pathfinder Services of ND is proud to announce the acceptance of the Experienced Parents Program contract awarded by NDDHS Developmental Disabilities Division.

At Pathfinder Services of ND we firmly believe that parent to parent emotional and informational support plays a vital role in the successful outcomes for children and families receiving Early Intervention Services. We are laying a strong foundation to provide consistent and comprehensive supports to North Dakota families receiving Early Intervention Services while working in collaboration with Early Intervention professionals.

If you have an interest in becoming an Experienced Parent, please refer to our website where you will find information on becoming an Experienced Parent in your region.
North Dakota Workshops
New Workshops Coming to Fargo (October 9) and Grand Forks (October 10)

Pathfinder Services of ND is partnering with the PACER Center to bring a pair of new workshops to Fargo and Grand Forks. These workshops are free for parents of children with disabilities, as well as professionals.

Ten Steps of the Special Education Process will provide participants with a summary of the history of the Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and an overview of the basic steps in the special education process from referral to IEP review.

Bullying Prevention - Everyone's Responsibility will offer a comprehensive overview for parents to learn what they can do to address and prevent bullying.

Both workshops will be offered in each city on the dates noted, but you will need to register for each workshop separately. For more information, including locations and how to register, visit our website.
News from North Dakota State Agencies
North Dakota Department of Public Instruction
2017 Secondary Transition Interagency Conference

November 8 and 9, 2017
Ramkota Hotel and Conference Center
Bismarck, ND

North Dakota is 'BLAZING A TRAIL' towards successful transitions for students with disabilities. The ND Department of Public Instruction along with the ND Transition Community of Practice on Transition is excited to announce the 2017 Interagency Transition Conference which will allow an outstanding opportunity to interact with National and State leaders regarding transition issues/activities across ND. It is an opportunity you will not want to miss!

Additional details, including registation, are online at:

In This Issue
Quick Links
Library Spotlight
Helping Children Cope with Frightening Events
Helping Children Cope with Frightening Events
DVD (24 minutes)

Fear and stress, whether caused by natural disasters or violent events, have a profound effect on young children. This DVD demonstrates activities and steps educators can take to help children cope with the trauma of the event.
North Dakota Happenings
4th Annual ND Autism Spectrum Disorders Conference
October 18-20, 2017
(Delta Hotel, Fargo)

The Anne Carlsen Center is hosting the 4th Annual Autism Spectrum Disorder Conference. This is an amazing educational opportunity with sessions for parents, therapists, teachers, medical professionals, and first responders to learn more about autism. Space is limited so register today!

Raising Elementary Students - Back to School Special
Jack-o-lantern candy buckets
Tips for a Sensory Friendly Halloween

Halloween is a favorite holiday for many children. However, for kids with sensory processing challenges and/or special needs, it can be a night filled with anxiety and fear. The changes in routines, loud sounds, flashing lights, and uncomfortable clothing can be more than some kids can tolerate. Here are some tips that may be helpful in making Halloween a more enjoyable experience.

1. Use a Social Story. Using a Halloween specific social story to help explain what to expect can be very helpful. Some children are concrete thinkers and need information on what steps come next. The following link is helpful in developing a Halloween specific social story: Halloween Social Story

2. Help your child pick a costume. Instead of going to a busy costume store, try printing a few pictures of costumes and asking your child to select one. Try to avoid itchy or rough fabrics, face paint, or mask if your child has difficulty tolerating these items.

3. Create a picture schedule for the day/week. Halloween night/week will likely be different from your regular routines. Your child may attend a character parade at school, a community event, or Halloween party in addition to Trick or Treating. You may prefer to stay home and enjoy the show of children and adults dressed in their favorite costumes as they come to your door step. Whatever your family chooses to do, it will be different. Picture schedules are a helpful way to avoid meltdowns, anxiety, and other challenging behaviors.

4. Print Halloween cards. For Nonverbal children or children who are feeling anxious or shy may find using pre-printed Halloween cards helpful. Pre-printed cards help ease the anxiety of not being able to speak. It also helps to raise awareness within your community. Community members may or may not know your child has a disability. The following link has free printable Halloween cards: Halloween Cards

5. Take small steps. If it's your first time going trick or treating, stick to your neighborhood first. Children are more comfortable in familiar settings. If after a few houses or the first one, your child wants to go home, try not to feel discouraged. All things take practice and time. Participating in community activities is no exception to this. Remember that having fun can mean different things to different people. Maybe this year your child will prefer to enjoy watching others all dressed up from a distance, or maybe he or she just wants to hand out candy to other trick or treaters. However you choose to celebrate, Halloween can be a wonderful experience for your entire family.
Life With Teens
Carter Duncan
Understanding Teachers Make "All the Difference" for a High School Student with Dyslexia

Carter Grace Duncan is a freshman in a Northern Virginia public high school. She is a youth advocate for Decoding Dyslexia Virginia who enjoys sharing her knowledge with students with disabilities about how accommodations in school can help create a pathway to academic success in this post from the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services Blog.

Disability Spotlight
October on calendar
Learning Disabilities/Dyslexia/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Awareness Month

October is Learning Disabilities/Dyslexia/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Awareness Month, which means it is time to recognize children, adolescents, and adults with learning disabilities -- and the educators who serve them. The month is celebrated to bring attention to individuals that have disabilities like dyslexia, dyscalculia, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Reading Rockets has a Learning Disabilities (LD) Awareness Month site with general information on learning disabilities, children's books on the topic, information on children's authors and illustrators with dyslexia and ADHD, inspirational stories, and more.

Learning Disabilities (LD) Fact Sheet from CPIR

International Dyslexia Association's Dyslexia Awareness Month Page

White House Press Release on National Dyslexia Awareness Month

North Dakota Today News Piece: Dyslexia Awareness Month

ADHD Awareness Month

ADHD Fact Sheet from CPIR

Down Syndrome Awareness Month

October is also Down Syndrome Awareness Month, a chance to spread awareness.  During the month of October, we celebrate people with Down syndrome and make people aware of our abilities and accomplishments.  It's not about celebrating disabilities, it's about celebrating abilities. 

White House Press Release on Down Syndrome Awareness Month

Down Syndrome Fact Sheet from CPIR

Training Opportunities & Upcoming Events

Ten Steps of the Special Education Process (Parent Workshop)October 9
1:00 pm to 2:30 pm
Clubhouse Hotel & Suites
4400 15th Ave S
Fargo, ND 58103
FreeMore Info
Bullying Prevention - Everyone's Responsibility (Parent Workshop)October 9
6:30 pm to 8:30 pm
Clubhouse Hotel & Suites
4400 15th Ave S
Fargo, ND 58103
FreeMore Info
Ten Steps of the Special Education Process (Parent Workshop)
October 10
1:00 pm to 2:30 pm
La Quinta Inn & Suites
4051 Garden View Dr.
Grand Forks, ND 58201

More Info
Bullying Prevention - Everyone's Responsibility (Parent Workshop)
October 10
6:30 pm to 8:30 pm
La Quinta Inn & Suites
4051 Garden View Dr.
Grand Forks, ND 58201

FreeMore Info
2017 North Dakota Fall Educators Conference
October 11-13
Bismarck Event Center
315 S 5th St
Bismarck, ND 58504
VariesMore Info
4th Annual ND Autism Spectrum Disorders Conference
October 18-20
Delta Hotel
1635 42nd St S
Fargo, ND 58103

VariesMore Info
2017 Secondary Transition Interagency Conference
November 8 & 9
Ramkota Hotel & Conference Center
800 S 3rd St
Bismarck, ND 58504
VariesMore Info

All listed times are in Central Time.
Pathfinder Services of ND | 701-837-7500 | |
Town & Country Center, 1015 S. Broadway, Suite 42
Minot, ND 58701