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An October newsletter brought to you by Rhonda Davis, OSB Parent Liaison
A view of OSB's central tower, seen through trees in the cloister garden. A stack of small stones is seen in the foreground, as a symbol of "mindfulness". Mindfulness helps us appreciate the present moment, and can reduce stress.

~We Hope to See You on Parents Day~

 
During this busy time of getting the new school year underway, we are so looking forward to pausing to spend a morning with you, the parents and guardians of our fantastic students. It is a special time to meet your child's teacher again or for the first time, and to get a good sense of what goes on in your child's classroom.  As a bonus, you may meet some of the other children in your child's class and their parents, too.

This year we are lucky to have Josh Gansky, from the Center for Self-Care, spend some time with us in the auditorium after your classroom visits. Josh has presented workshops, classes, and keynote addresses to parents, educators, and students around the region focusing on self-care through "mindfulness." The concepts he will share with us are truly a gift that will keep on giving.

We look forward to seeing you at Parent's day on Friday, October 12, beginning at 8:00 am with a "meet and greet" in the cafeteria.  In the meantime, as promised last month, here is another "Mindful Minute" tip  from  Pocket Mindfulness:

 

Mindful Observation

This exercise is designed to connect us with the beauty of the natural environment, something that is easily missed when we are busy raising our families, working, and keeping it all together!

  1. Choose a natural object from within your immediate environment and focus on watching it for a minute or two. This could be a flower or an insect, or even the clouds or the moon.
  2. Don’t do anything except notice the thing you are looking at. Simply relax into watching for as long as your concentration allows.
  3. Look at this object as if you are seeing it for the first time.
  4. Visually explore every aspect of its formation, and allow yourself to be consumed by its presence.
  5. Allow yourself to connect with its energy and its purpose within the natural world.

 

~~Family Spotlight~~

A smiling portrait of Joey P. a 13 year old boy with short blond hair.
                    
~~Welcome to~~ Family Spotlight, a feature of the newsletter where we will learn about a different family each month to help us get to know each other. Please let me know if your family would like to join in the fun!

Introducing Joe P. and his family! Many thanks to his parents for sharing, and to his mother, who is OSB's PERC Home and School Association's current President. Be sure to come to Parent's Day to meet her in person!  

~~~Ready, set, gooooo!  Here is Joe!!! Joseph Pilkauskas, in the Middle School Program, has been at Overbrook School for the Blind since 2008. He has had and currently has the most AMAZING teachers and aides to assist him in becoming the intelligent young man he is today!  Joe has very caring, loving and supportive parents, Tina Pilkauskas and Eric Pilkauskas. He also has other amazing family members, including an older half-sister, Rebeka, who loves him very much.  So one thing is sure, Joe is surrounded by continuous love!

One of the family values we share in our dynamic is that Joe's best interests are always at heart!  No matter what the obstacle is or how hard it gets, we always make sure that Joe is content, safe, happy and most of all, at peace with his surroundings.  We have learned how to make sure Joe is comfortable in any situation.  For example, when traveling to Florida every summer to visit his Nana, Joe is in his special needs wheelchair/stroller with his DVD players and toys so that when it gets loud for him he feels safe and will not have a meltdown.  We have a system when traveling just about anywhere that enables Joe to feel secure and not in harm's way.  

We enjoy having Joe experience life as it's presented to him. I was always told by my late Grandma Grace, "Tina, don't  NOT do anything because Joe is special needs.  You need to have him explore life just like everyone else."  So with that being said, I always try and have Joe experience different activities and/or functions and we just make adjustments to always make sure he is okay. I do believe in my heart, Joe does learn and pick up on certain things.  So that makes a happy mommy!

Joe is extremely smart! He loves to spend time with his portable DVD players and watch Elmo, or his iPad watching either music videos (which he loves) or more Elmo.  Joe has this amazing ability to see a DVD of Elmo's World and know exactly where he wants it to be. He will fast-forward to the exact spot he wants to watch.  And to see him maneuver the iPad is so exciting!  I know Joe gets it! 

One of the things I'm most proud of about Joe is he has had 11 embolizations (brain surgeries) and he has always bounced back quickly, for the most part.  With all his trials and tribulations, Joe always has a smile on his face and is constantly laughing and is amazingly lovable!  He melts my heart all the time.  

As a parent of a special needs child, and the only one in my family, I've had to learn to adapt to a different world.  There may be days when it's so hard, you feel like giving up and throwing in the towel. But that's when you take the positive in with the negative and look at your amazing child. Know that they are here with you and you've been educated on a "special" kind of love that is so remarkable, it takes away the hardship and fills your heart with love and joy! Always remember that you are not alone, other people are here to help you get through your tough times.~~~

...Thank you so much, Tina P., for reminding us we have each other! 
Workshops@Woodbine House


Self Care for Caregivers: Creating an Action Plan, a Group Discussion    Thursday, October 18,  10:00am to 1:00pm.

Our families benefit when we are well rested and healthy, but we often put ourselves last when caring for children with special needs. 

Lets explore how we can take care of ourselves while caring for others, then create a step by step action plan to help us get there!

This workshop if for parents of children at all ages and stages of life!
Lunch provided 

A collection of Post It notes which read, "Slow Down," "Keep Calm," "Be Positive," "Take it Easy," "Unplug," "Enjoy Life," "Have Fun," "Breath," "Relax," "Go Outside," smiley face, and "Meditate."
Call 215-877-0313 x305 or email rhonda.davis@obs.org to reserve your spot!

     
Welcome!
 
Woodbine House is located at 6398 Woodbine Ave, corner of Woodbine and N. 64th St., around the corner from OSB's main entrance. (No need to check in at the main entrance, go directly to 6398 Woodbine Ave. There is plenty of street parking!)


NEXT Workshop@Woodbine House dates:   

Thursday, November 15, 10-1

Thursday, January 17, 10-1  

Thursday, February 21, 10-1

Thursday, March 21, 10-1

Thursday, May 16, 10-1

  Please Join Us!  Fall Walk 'n Roll at Lormer Park  
 
 
DATE CHANGE: The Fall Walk 'n Roll will be held on Saturday, November 3, 2018 from 11:00 am to 2:00 PM   We'll provide the picnic, you bring your sneakers and/or wheels!  Lorimer Park, near the Philadelphia border in Abington Township, has an accessible, multi-use trail and a short bumpier trail, that meanders along woods and a creek. After lunch, those of us who feel like it can hit the trails. Or, stay at the picnic site to visit with others if you prefer. There is a fireplace in the pavilion, and we'll have cider warming in a crock pot!  We hope to see you there. 
 
A trails sign for Lorimer Park in Montgomery, County, just north of the Philly border. 
Call 215-877-0313 x305 or email rhonda.davis@obs.org to RSVP, or look out for flyer in your child's backpack.

FUTURE OSB events are as follows:
 
Friday, January 25, 5:30-8:30 pm:  Funky Friday Family Game Night- Dinner, bowling and games with other OSB families in the OSB field house. 

Saturday, April 27, 11-2 pm:  Spring Walk n' Roll in the Woods- A picnic and a short hike at Ridley Creek State Park.

Friday, May 31, 5:30-8:30 pm:  Funky Friday Family BBQ and Swim- Burgers, dogs and a dunk in the Kappen Aquatic Center! 

Students and families "get funky" at the first Funky Friday Family Game night, in January 2018.   Students and families enjoy a picnic and short hike and the first "Spring Walk n' Roll in the Woods" in April, 2018.  Students and families enjoy a BBQ at Funky Friday Family BBQ and Swim, May 2018.   Students and families enjoy swimming at Funky Friday Family BBQ and Swim, May 2018.
Here we are having some fun! At the January 2018 Funky Friday Family Game night, at Ridley Creek State Park in spring, 2018 and at the May 2018 Funky Friday Family  BBQ and Swim.       Hope to see you at this year's activities!
PERC Corner
Where you'll get the latest from your PERC representatives!
 
PERC is excited to be back, and we are ready to start a great new school year!
We are eager to share some changes that took place over the summer.  Although our logo has always served us well, we have decided to go in a fresh new direction, one that is more in line with Overbrook.  PERC is thrilled to reveal our new logo and name PERC Home & School Association

Wawa is back too!  Once again, we have available Wawa Shorti Hoagie Coupons
-  To place an order, please complete form and email us at OSBPERC@gmail.com or send it in with your child in an envelope marked Rhonda Davis.  Preferred payment is cash or PayPal (paypal.me/OSBPERC); however, checks can be made out to: Overbrook PERC.   

Staying in Touch
Come join our Facebook Page at Overbrook School for the Blind P.E.R.C.  (@OSBPERC) – tag us too!!

Join Remind - download the free app or you can log on online too   https://www.remind.com/join/osbperc  and follow us at @osbperc.  This will give you real-time updates on meetings, events, etc. as we post them
 
Lastly, our next PERC meeting is October 22nd, 7PM on campus in the Nevil Conference Center.  Park in the bus turnaround, and enter through the Nevil Center doors. Hope to see you there!

Happy October from the PERC Board, Tina Pilkauskas, President, Medea McGlynn, Vice President, Leighann Stone, Secretary, and Rob McGlynn, Treasurer. Please consider attending some meetings,  and running for office for the 2019-2020 school year! For more information, email us at OSBPERC@gmail.com.

~Mark Your Calendars~ 

 
Adaptive Dance Workshop for Children Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired
Please join us for our first adaptive dance class for individuals who are blind or visually impaired. This class, taught by Samantha Ambrico Custer, a legally blind Teaching Artist, will create an adaptive, explorative environment in which students can freely express themselves through dance. We will explore different elements of locomotion, rhythm, and expression through movement.

Saturday, October 20, 2018, 2:00-3:00 pm
$20 per student  
at Twirl
3544 West Chester Pike
Newtown Square, PA 19355
 
Please email sam@twirlperformingarts.com to reserve a spot in this workshop. Space is limited. https://twirlperformingarts.com/
 

Disability Rights Pennsylvania's Work Incentives Planning and Assistance Program - WIPA -  October 25, 2018 in Norristown, Pa.  This is a meeting to discuss SSI/SSDI work incentives, guidelines, and responsibilities. Come and learn about WIPA services and other community employment resources that are available. Let’s talk about how we can work together to help people receiving Social Security benefits reach their employment goals.

WHEN: Thursday, October 25, 2018
TIME: 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM
WHERE: Community Room, Human Services Center 1430 Dekalb Street, Norristown, PA 19401
Location Contact: Terri C. Jones - tjones@montcopa.org / 610-278-2609 / 610-278-5950

PLEASE RSVP by calling or texting (215) 980-7730 or e-mail us at nrealpe@disabilityrightspa.org by October 12, 2018. If you need any environmental or language accommodations, please also let us know by October 12, 2018.

Flyer    www.disabilityrightspa.org
 
 ~Resources~ 
 
First a little fun! Check out Blindfold Games- Audio games for the visually impaired community.
What is the Medical Assistance Transportation Program?
The Medical Assistance Transportation Program, also known as MATP, provides transportation to medical appointments for Medical Assistance recipients who do not have transportation available to them. The individual’s county of residence will provide the type of transportation that is the least expensive while still meeting their needs.”
 
Where appropriate, the county MATP may reimburse consumers who have access to private vehicles (their own or another individual’s) but cannot meet their own transportation needs. This reimbursement will be at a specified rate per mile for travel expenses plus parking and tolls. The rate of reimbursement is $.12 per mile.
 
Enrollment Phone Numbers By County:  http://matp.pa.gov/CountyContact.aspx

 
Children under age 5 who have Medical Assistance are eligible for WIC regardless of income!
This can be a great help when income is lost to care for a child with disabilities.  Children under age 5 who receive MA are eligible, and this includes foster children. Parental or foster parent income is not considered. WIC does not require proof of citizenship or alien status.” - PA WIC Fact Sheet
 
https://www.pawic.com/documents/PA%20WIC%20Fact%20Sheet.pdf
 
Elwyn's "A List" of Philadelphia Special Needs  Resources!
Another comprehensive listing of local resources. Always good to bookmark for future needs.

Elwyn's "A List"

 
~Previously Shared Resources~ 
 
A one-stop resource shop all Philly parents should be aware of is CAP4Kids, developed by Dr. Daniel Taylor of St. Christopher's Hospital for Children. If you need something, you can find it there! Consider downloading Cap4Kids on your mobile device. It’s mobile friendly, so you can access help from anywhere. You can also sign up for Dr. Taylor's weekly emails which highlight different resources each week.

A recent email from Dr. Taylor describes hardships suffered by some Philadelphia families due to financial concerns. There are some neighborhoods where 70% of residents live below the poverty line. Many have housing issues that come from tenant/owner disputes, with tenants usually getting no representation.

On the www.cap4kids.org/philadelphia website, under the Housing/Utilities tab, there is a whole section for Tenant Rights,  http://cap4kids.org/philadelphia/parent-handouts/housing-utilities/tenant-rights/ including the newly developed Tenant Legal Aid Resource Hotline and the amazing Philly Tenant Resource Guide.

This is just one example of the many wonderful resources you will find at CAP4Kids. Do download the app today!
Copyright © 2018 OSB, All rights reserved.

Rhonda Davis OSB Parent Liaison Contact Info:
215-877-0301x305
rhonda.davis@obs.org

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Overbrook School for the Blind · 6333 Malvern Ave. · Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19151 · USA

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