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Connie B. Fanselow
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My role:
Friend, Advocate, Professional
My Age Range:
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About Myself:
I am a life-long Iowan. I grew up on a farm in the north central part of the state, graduated from Iowa State University, and have lived in Des Moines for a little more than 30 years. I have worked as a paralegal and advocate in the areas of special education, disability rights, and mental health and disability public policy for about 17 years. Currently in addition to my work with ASK, I am a program coordinator for the Center for Disabilities and Development (CDD) at the University of Iowa. On a day-to-day basis, my CDD duties are carried out within the Mental Health and Disability Services Division of the Iowa Department of Human Services in Des Moines.
About My Family:
I don't have kids of my own, but I have seven nieces who are grown now, that have been a very important part of my life and I take inordinate credit for my small part in their upbringing. Three of them are parents now and I have a new generation of little people to teach, learn from, and enjoy.
I'm here because...
I primarily worked with families of children accessing special education services for over ten years, and have an almost equal amount of experience in mental health and disability services policy, mostly focused on increasing community integration and opportunities for children and adults.

Connie B. Fanselow's Blog

April 15 is Coming! - Tax Tips for Living and Working with Disabilities

Posted on March 13, 2014 at 9:30am 0 Comments

It’s that time of year again – we all have to think about gathering the paperwork, and figuring out what we owe Uncle Sam or what he owes us.  If you haven't yet filed your 2013 income tax return, you will be doing so in the next several weeks.  There are a significant number of special deductions, exclusions, and credits available to you if you have a disability, are the parent of the child with a disability, or hire a person with a disability that may mean more tax dollars stay in your…


New Autism Support Program to Start April 1

Posted on March 9, 2014 at 9:30pm 0 Comments

Magellan Health Services has announced a new program starting April 1 that will provide funding for ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) services to children under the age of nine who are not otherwise eligible for such services through Medicaid (the Iowa Plan) or private health insurers. 

To qualify for the program, the child must…


Is there a form of special education for babies & toddlers?

Posted on November 27, 2013 at 12:30am 0 Comments

Yes, in fact, there is.  It may be referred to in several different ways – early intervention services, IDEA Part C, early childhood special education, or, here in Iowa, Early ACCESS.  It is a program design to help families with little ones from birth to age three who have disabilities or developmental delays by providing them with services and supports for growth, learning, and development.

You may know that the IDEA (Individuals with…


Bullying Solutions: What Kids Say Works for Them

Posted on October 31, 2013 at 11:05pm 0 Comments

Here’s a novel idea – ask kids who have experienced bullying what strategies they have found useful in addressing the problem - and what doesn’t work. 

The Youth Voice Project is a research study conducted with over 13,000 students in 31 school districts around the U.S. during 2009 and 2010.  The results of the study are being published this month and here are some of the highlights. 

Most effective strategies for youth who have been mistreated:

  • Telling…

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