Since 1949
Volume 64, Issue 5
May 2014
Expanding opportunities for people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities to participate actively in the community.
2014 Board of Directors
The Arc of Greater Tarrant County wishes all of our mothers a
very special Mother’s Day ! You are probably not thanked enough
for all the love, support and hard work you provide your children
and family each and every day of the year. But please know that
you’re very much appreciated.
In your honor, we are publishing some poems and literature to
highlight what you mean to us.
MY MOM DOES by Leslie Waltke, SPT
Arc of GTC
Board of Directors
May 20th
5:30pm - 6:30pm
Arc of GTC Conference Room
5765 Westcreek Drive
Fort Worth, Texas 76133
How many mothers know how it feels to care for an eternally young child?
My Mom Does.
How many have sent their child to a school for 21 years, knowing they’ll never
read? My Mom Has.
How many mothers have cried for their child’s unrealizable potentials on her
sweet 16’th birthday, knowing she will never drive, date, or even “grow up”?
My Mom Has.
How many know of the impossible struggle with absence of reason and the pain
of seemingly endless frustration? My Mom Does.
Who struggles with the pressures, embarrassments, and internal problems that
no one else can understand? My Mom Does.
What mother has laughed with joy at her child’s simple accomplishments that
so many others can take for granted? My Mom Has.
What mother unselfishly gives so much devotion and love to a child who cannot understand her sacrifice? My Mom Does.
What mother has 2 other daughters that love and appreciate her more than she’ll
ever know. Two daughters who can only pray that they’ll be able to face the
challenges of life as strongly as she has? My Mom Does
The Special Mother
Pg 2
Special Education
Pg 3
Celebrating Mother’s Day
Pg 4
Las Familias
Pg 5
Calendar of Events
Pg 6
United Advocate News
Pg 7
Blessed are you who take the time to listen to difficult speech, for you help me
to know that if I persevere, I can be understood.
Blessed are you who never bid me to “hurry up” or take my tasks and do them
for me, for often I need time rather than help.
Blessed are you who stand beside me as I enter new and untried ventures, for
my failures will be outweighed by the times I surprise myself and you.
Blessed are you who asked for my help, for my greatest need is to be needed.
Blessed are you who understand that it is difficult for me to put my thoughts
into words.
Blessed are you who with a smile encourage me to try once more.
Blessed are you who never remind me that I asked the same question twice.
Blessed are you who respect me and love me as I am, just as I am, and not as
you wish I were.
May 2014
Page 2
In honor of Mother’s Day, here are some things we learned from our moms:
Mother taught us to appreciate a job well done: “If you’re going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished
Mother taught us religion: “You better pray that will come out of the carpet.”
Mother taught us about time travel: “If you don’t straighten up, I’m going to knock you into next week.”
Mother taught us logic: “Because I said so, that’s why.”
Mother taught us more logic: “If you fall from the swing & break your arm, you’re not going to the store with me.”
Mother taught us foresight: “Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you’re in an accident.”
Mother taught us irony: “Keep crying and I will give you something to cry about.”
Mother taught us about the science of osmosis: “Shut your mouth and eat your supper.”
Mother taught us about contortionism: “Will you look at that dirt on the back of your neck.”
Mother taught us about stamina: “You’ll sit there until all that spinach is gone.”
Mother taught us about weather: “This room of yours looks like a tornado went through it.”
Mother taught us about hypocrisy: “If I told you once, I’ve told you a million times. Don’t exaggerate.”
Mother taught us the circle of life: “I brought you into this world, and I can take you out of it.”
Mother taught us about behavior modification: “Stop acting like your father.”
Mother taught us about envy: “There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don’t have wonderful
parents like you do.”
Mother taught us about anticipation: “Just wait until we get home.”
Mother taught us about receiving: “You’re going to get it when we get home.”
Mother taught us about medical science: “If you keep crossing your eyes, they are going to get stuck.”
Mother taught us ESP: “Put your sweater on. Don’t you think I know when you are cold.”
Mother taught us humor: “When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don’t come running to me.”
Mother taught us how to become an adult: “If you don’t eat your vegetables, you’ll never grow up.”
Mother taught us about our roots: “Shut that door behind you. Do you think you were born in a barn?”
Mother taught us wisdom: “When you get to be my age, you’ll understand.”
Mother taught us about justice: “One day you’ll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you.”
The Special Mother
Most women become mothers by accident, some by choice, a few by social pressures, and a couple by habit. This year,
nearly 100,000 women will become mothers of handicapped children. Did you ever wonder how mothers of handicapped children are chosen? Somehow I visualize God hovering over Earth selecting his instruments for propagation
with great care and deliberation. As He observes, He instructs his angels to make notes in a great ledger.
“Armstrong, Beth; son; patron saint, Matthew.”...Forrest, Marjorie; daughter; patron saint, Cecilia.”… “Rutledge,
Carrie; twins; patron saint...give her Gerard. He’s used to profanity.”…
Finally, He passes a name to an angel and smiles, Give her a handicapped child.” The angel is curious. “Why this
one, God? She’s so happy.” “Exactly,” smiles God. “Could I give a handicapped child a mother who does not know
laughter? That would be cruel.”
“But has she patience?” asks the angel. “I don’t want her to have too much patience or she will drown in a sea of self
-pity and despair. Once the shock and resentment wears off, she’ll handle it. I watched her today. She has that feeling of
self and independence that is so rare and so necessary in a mother. You see, the child I’m going to give her has his own
world. She has to make it live in her world and that’s not going to be easy.”
“But Lord, I don’t think she even believes in you.” God smiles. “No matter. I can fix that. This one is perfect. She
has just enough selfishness.”
The angel gasps. “Selfishness? Is that a virtue? God nods. “If she can’t separate herself from the child occasionally,
she’ll never survive. Yes, there is a woman whom I will bless with a child less than perfect. She doesn’t realize it yet,
but she is to be envied. She will never take for granted a ‘spoken word’. She will never consider a ’step’ ordinary.
When her child says ’Momma’ for the first time, she’ll be present at a miracle and know it! When she describes a tree
or a sunset to her blind child, she’ll see it as few people ever see my creations.”
“ I will permit her to see clearly the things I see—-ignorance, cruelty, prejudice—-and allow her to rise above them.
She will never be alone. I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life because she is doing my work as
surely as she is here by my side.”
“And what about a patron saint?” asks the angel. His pen poised in midair. God smiles. “ A mirror will suffice.”
Erma Bombeck 1980
May 2014
Page 3
Special Education
May is generally the month of the year when parents and families are preoccupied with
ARD meetings, planning their child’s IEP for the following school year, and dealing with all of
the issues and all of the paperwork related to their kids’ special education program. Last
month we held 2 fantastic workshops to discuss these topics. If you were unable to attend,
you missed a very informative meeting. Ms. Rona Statman, an attorney with The Arc of Texas,
led our two parent support groups in a presentation of recent changes to special education
rules and guidelines. We were also able to hand out updated editions of IDEA, The Manual for
Parents and Students About Special Education Services in Texas.
In this month’s edition of our newsletter, we decided to publish a list of resources for parents needing guidance and support in their efforts to secure the best possible special education program for their child.
• IDEA Manual Available on-line at www.DisabilityRightsTx.org or www.TheArcofTexas.org.
Hard copies can also be found at The Arc of GTC office.
• PATH Project Ms. Shannon Rosson: [email protected] or (817)988-7717. A federally
funded agency for educating, training and helping families facing special education issues.
• Appelbaum Training Institute www.atiseminars.org or 1-800-23-CHILD . A treasure of publications and resources for special education information.
• You’re Welcome An excellent book with 30 Innovative Ideas for an Inclusive Classroom. It
is authored by Paula Kluth and Patrick Schwarz.
• Wright’s Law [email protected]; This organization provides parents a weekly
newsletter containing very useful and timely suggestions on how to be the best advocate
for your child in special education. Contact them to get on their mailing list. It’s a free resource.
• Disability Rights of North Texas A federally funded advocacy organization that can advise and represent folks with disability rights issues, including special education (214) 6300916 or www.disabilityrightstexas.org .
• Collaborate, Communicate& Differentiate! Another great book that parents may find
very helpful in efforts to improve their children’s special education. It is authored by Wendy Murawski and Sally Spencer
We plan on having another Special Education workshop sometime in the Fall. Stay
tuned for more details and for that date.
( Since 1960 )
Many of you already know that since January of 2010, Spencer Air Conditioning has been a corporate
sponsor for The Arc of GTC. They have always been supportive of our mission and the folks we serve.
And now, thanks to their generosity, we are able to continue reaching out to people in Tarrant County
and surrounding areas with the services we offer and by sending them The Arc Message each and every month. We encourage all of our members and friends to call on Spencer A/C & Heating for your service needs and to share their name with your friends and neighbors. This may be the best way to show
our appreciation for Spencer’s support of The Arc of GTC. They have also informed us that they are
offering all the members and friends of the Arc of GTC a 10% discount on all purchases and services.
When you contact them be sure to tell them you are with The Arc of Greater Tarrant County. This is an
A/C service provider you can trust.
Call : (972) 253-4131
Our Special Children
May 2014
Page 4
Families Helping Families
Education and support groups for people parenting or caring for a person with a developmental disability.
Information concerning children and youth.
Deneesa Rasmussen (361) 389-5126
[email protected]
Philip Bell (817) 877-1474
[email protected]
Saturday, May 10th, 2014
9:30AM till 12PM
5765 Westcreek Drive
Fort Worth, Texas 76133
Celebrating Mother’s Day
Ms. Susan Garnett
What was it like to find out your child had a disability ? Did you have a spouse who understood and cared ?
What kind of support did you get from your spouse, your family, your friends ? How did you cope with all the
emotions? Did you ever feel like your child’s disabilities were your fault? Do you often dream of a life without
a special needs kid? How do you deal with the public’s reaction to your child ? Do you sometimes feel like you
are all alone? Are you the mother, advocate, friend, nurse, teacher, pastor, case manager for your son or daughter? Do you ever wonder what will happen to your special needs child when you are no longer able to care for
him or her? What kind of a mother are you? Are there other mothers whom you admire or who have been good
role models to you ? Have you ever wondered how other mothers handle the stresses and difficulties of raising
a child with disabilities ? What is the easiest and the hardest part of parenting ? These are some of the questions
and topics we plan to cover at the May meeting of Our Special Children.
Since May 11th is Mother’s Day, we wanted to recognize the work and dedication of all moms, especially
the ones with special needs children. Therefore, we have invited Ms. Susan Garnett to lead us in a discussion of
this subject and share some of her insight as an experienced mother and a professional in this field. She’s a long
time friend and supporter of Our Special Children. Susan Garnett is the CEO of MHMR of Tarrant County and
has a Master’s Degree in Social Work. Please make plans on attending this meeting. You’ll be glad you participated in this Mother’s Day celebration !!!
We will also be hearing from Mr. Nick Gonzalez at the May meeting. Nick is the manager of Spencer Air
Conditioning Service, one of our corporate sponsors at The Arc of GTC. He will be spending a few minutes to
inform us of the benefits of regular home maintenance, the importance of changing air filters and of installing
carbon monoxide alarms, and lots of other ideas and suggestions for a better home environment. He will have
literature and business cards to share and will gladly answer your questions and concerns about air conditioning
and heating. We encourage you to consider Spencer Air Conditioning for your service needs, especially since
they support our organization so generously. You can find contact information on page 3 of this newsletter.
Our Special Children’s Annual Pool Parties
We are planning on having our traditional summer pool parties again this year. They have been scheduled for
late June, July and August. The exact dates and times have not been yet decided, so we urge you to be at the
parent support meetings during those months so you can sign-up if you plan to bring your children to a very fun
& exciting event. The parties are always well attended but space is limited. See you at the summer meetings!!!
Parents on call ar e volunteer par ents who pr ovide suppor t and infor
mation to other parents of children with special needs or disabilities.
Deneesa Rasmussen 361-389-5126
Denise Gasmire 817-481-9700
Free Childcare Available for
Saturday Meetings
Reservations Required!
Call 817-877-1474
Las Familias
May 2014
Page 5
El Grupo de padres de familias que hablan Español.
Manuela Ramirez (817) 366-7798
Emma Ramirez-Bell (817) 265-6009
Philip Bell (817) 877-1474
Las Familias
Sábado, 10 de Mayo de 2014
12:00 - 2:00PM
5765 Westcreek Drive
Fort Worth, Texas 76133
Celebrando el Dia de las Madres
Señora Susan Garnett
Les invitamos a nuestra próxima reunión, el segundo Sabado de Mayo, para celebrar y festejar el Dia de
las Madres. Sabemos que en países latinos el dia de las madres es celebrado en el dia diez de Mayo y aqui
en los Estados Unidos lo celebramos en el segundo domingo de Mayo. Ni modo, el dia 11 de Mayo es una
buena fecha para juntarnos y platicar de nuestras mamás y honrar todas las madres que se sacrifican para
criar niñas y niños con buena salud, bien educados, y con las mejores oportunidades para ser miembros
productivos de nuestra comunidad. Las mamás de niños especiales tienen el desafio de educar y criar niños
descapacitados con todos los problemas y obstáculos relacionados con personas con desabilidades.
Decidimos invitar a la Señora Susan Garnett para liderar las pláticas acerca de nuestras mamás, el amor
que ellas demonstran, las emociones que ellas sienten, el apoyo que as veces reciben ( sabendo que muchas
veces no reciben el apoyo que merecen ), las alegrias y tristezas que tienen, y el orgullo de criar y educar a
niños. La Señora Garnett es una madre de un hombre adulto con descapacidades (incluindo Autismo). Ella
tambien es una licensiada con degrade de Master’s en Trabajo Social y es la mera Directora de la agencia de
MHMR de Tarrant County. Ella es una de las madres que ayudó con el desarrollo del grupo Our Special
Children y Las Familias.
Vengan participar en la reunión y traigan sus ideas y sugestiones de como celebrar el Dia de las Madres.
En esta junta tambien vamos ollir del Señor Nick Gonzalez, el gerente da la compania Spencer Air Conditioning. Esta firma contribue dinero a nuestra agencia todos los meses. El Señor Gonzalez explicará los
benefícios de mantener nuestras casas límpias de aire suzio, de cambiar los filtros de aire, de tener alarmas
de carbon monóxio, de mantener nuestro aparato de aire condicionado en buena forma u muchas otras cosas
que podemos hacer para economizar nuestras finanzas. Si ustedes tienen preguntas acerca de su aire condicionado, aprovechen y vengan a esta junta para conocer Nick Gonzalez.
Reunión de Madres y Padres
La Señora Maria Cecilia Ramirez tendrá una junta de madres y padres de niños especiales en su casa. La
fecha es el jueves, 29 de Mayo, de las 9:30am hasta las 12:30pm. Es necesario comunicarse con la Señora
Ramirez para hacer reservaciones. Todas las Mamás y los Papás del grupo Las Familias están invitados. Por
favor llamen a la Señora Ramirez en el numero (817) 847-7443 para le avisar que bocadillos pueden traer.
Es una oportunidad para todos se conocer mejor y ayudar otros padres y madres con apoyo y información
acerca de las desabilidades de sus niños. Agradecemos a todos que participan en estas juntas.
Recuerda que se necesita hacer
reservaciones para la guarderia de
Niños 817-877-1474
y si tiene mas preguntas llamen a
Manuela Ramirez
Emma Ramirez Bell 817-265-6009
Asistencia en Espanol…
Comuniquese a nuestras oficinas con Philip Bell o deje su mensaje en
el sistema telefonico 817-877-1474.
May 2014
Page 6
Schedule of Events
“Advocacy is the voice that continues even in the face of deafness and silence.” Unknown
May 2014
8:30 A.M.
IDD Needs
Council Mtg.
10:00 - 11:30
Computer Class
12:30 - 1:30
Reading Class
1:30 - 2:30
Math Class
2:00 - 3:00
Computer Class
10:00 Spanish Class
11:00 Reading/
12:30 Life Skills
1:45 Crafts
2:15 Exercise
Men’s Support Group
12:30 - 2:30
10:00 - 11:30
Computer Class
12:30 - 1:30
Reading Class
1:30 - 2:30
Math Class
2:00 - 3:00
Computer Class
10:00 Spanish Class
11:00 Reading/
12:30 Life Skills
1:45 Crafts
2:15 Exercise
5:00 Tennis
Life Skills
GR Class
10:00 - 11:30
Computer Class
12:30 - 1:30
Reading Class
1:30 - 2:30
Math Class
2:00 - 3:00
Computer Class
5:30 Board Mtg
10:00 Spanish Class
11:00 Reading/
12:30 Life Skills
1:45 Crafts
2:15 Exercise
Life Skills
GR Class
10:00 - 11:30
Computer Class
12:30 - 1:30
Reading Class
1:30 - 2:30
Math Class
2:00 - 3:00
Computer Class
10:00 Spanish Class
11:00 Reading/
12:30 Life Skills
1:45 Crafts
2:15 Exercise
5:00 Tennis
12:00 - 2:00
Ladies Friendship
(Call 817-569-5459)
Life Skills
GR Class
10 9:30 - 12:00
6:30 - 8:30P.M.
Friday Night
Live program for
Young Adults
(Call 817-926-6214)
Life Skills
GR Class
Our Special
12:00 - 2:00P.M.
Las Familias
10:00 - 12:00P.M.
Please call
Yvonne Bare at
7:00 - 9:00
Mentor Program:
For information about advocate classes and activities call Kathy Doty
The Arc of Greater Tarrant County
5765 Westcreek Dr
Ft. Worth, Texas 76133
Phone: 817-877-1474
Fax: 817-877-1477
E-mail: [email protected]
May 2014
Page 7
Hi! How are all my self-advocate friends doing out there? I hope
hope you are all doing well. On Wednesday, April 16’th we had
two Police Officers come and teach us how to be safe in the community and also in
are own homes. We had two of our self-advocates that come on Wednesdays
take turns role playing on how to call 911.Beverly Black and Debbie Odom did an
awesome job pretending to call 911 with an emergency. You only call 911 when you
really, really have an emergency. Calling 911 is not something to play with. If you call
and tell them you have emergency and they come out and there wasn't one then you
are keeping the Fire Department, Paramedics and Police Officers from helping people that really do need their help. I really do like having a speaker come every month
to the Arc for the Life Skills class .The speakers are very informative and fun at the
same time. If anyone knows of any speakers that would be good for our Life Skills
class let us know here at the Arc. I like the writing classes because we are practicing
cursive writing. I don't do cursive that well but the more I practice, the better I will get.
If there is something you are not too good at that's ok because the more you practice
and practice the better you will get. I want to thank the Police Department for sending
two very nice Police Officers to the Arc to teach us safety. They did an awesome job.
There was a lot of information. So thanks to the Police for coming to the Arc. I hope
they come back.
Kathy Doty,
President Of United Advocates
Locations for Events
See the calendar for new classes forming and call to reserve a spot!
Arc Classes: Computer, Crafts, Exercise, GR Class, Life Skills, Math, Reading/Writing, Spanish, - The Arc of
GTC, 5765 Westcreek Drive, Fort Worth, TX 76133 (817-877-1474)
*Community Meetings, Activities & Events:
Board Meetings: The Arc of GTC, 5765 Westcreek Drive, Fort Worth, TX 76133
Bowling: Brunswick Westcreek Lanes, 3025 Alta Mesa Blvd., Ft. Worth 76133 (817) 294-0501
Community Connection Dance: The Resource Connection, 2300 Circle Drive, Ft. Worth 76119
Friday Night Live: Greenbriar Community Center, 5200 Hemphill St., Fort Worth, 76115 817-926-6214
NOTE: Bring a snack; $5 yearly fee; supervised activities; bring assistant if needed.
IDD Needs Council Meeting: Easter Seals 1424 Hemphill 76104 (817) 332-7171
Men’s Support Group: The Resource Connection, 2300 Circle Drive, Ft. Worth 76119 817-569-5665
Our Special Children/Las Familias Parent Support Monthly Meetings on the 2nd Saturday of each month
The Arc of GTC, 5765 Westcreek Drive, Fort Worth, TX 76133
Tennis: TCU Tennis Courts 3609 Bellaire Drive North Fort Worth, Texas 76109 817-257-7960
United Advocates Officer Meeting: The Arc of GTC, 5765 Westcreek Drive, Fort Worth, TX 76133
United Advocates General Meeting: The Arc of GTC, 5765 Westcreek Drive, Fort Worth, TX 76133
*Please call your Advocate Member Kathy Bales for Social Activities, Event Dates and Times!
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We hope you love our newsletter, and want you to receive it in the most efficient way possible. If you have an
address change, or prefer an e-newsletter over a paper copy, or want your name removed from our mailing
list, please notify us. Contact The Arc, 817-877-1474, or e-mail, [email protected]
5765 Westcreek Dr
Fort Worth, TX 76133-7613
Phone: 817-877-1474
Fax: 817-877-1477
Email: [email protected]