I understand more folks on FIND want to know about the ASK Resource Center, Inc. team behind this website. I am Karen Thompson. I am the Director or ASK. The picture above is the ASK staff team having dinner after a long day of learning at the Tri-State Special Education Law Conference in Omaha, Nebraska last month. Let me tell you a bit more about ASK and FIND...
ASK is the organization overseeing the development of FIND. ASK stands for Access for Special Kids. We are a Community Based Organization that mostly serves Iowa; although a couple of our products and resources are growing beyond Iowa's borders. FIND is one of them. We have visitors on FIND from lots of places. Feel free to learn more about ASK and FIND on our organization's main website. You can find resources, a staff directory, a board directory, and many upcoming events specific to our projects and products.
FIND is a collaborative effort currently funded by the Iowa Parent Training and Information Center, the Iowa Council for Developmental Disabilities, the Iowa Department of Education, and private donations.
While there are LOTS of resources available at ASK and at various programs and projects of the other funders; one thing that didn't exist was a place for families and professionals to get together to network and share ideas themselves. Facebook is one option, but is not dedicated to the arena of disabilities. FIND was our answer. We sure hope you FIND some answers on FIND yourself!
I am so passionate and dedicated to this site and the ASK organization! I was diagnosed with Dyslexia when I was 7. My prognosis was pretty bleak. It was the high expectations, networking and determination of my family that lead to my success. My parents led the charge, but there were other family members, friends, and many professionals involved. Today, I have two children who are also blessed with an ability to learn differently. They both have ADHD, and they are both very unique and different in their strengths and in what supports they need. They will succeed in life. That truly takes a village, and that's what FIND is!
The staff and board of ASK are all family members of kids with disabilities. Many of us also have disabilities ourselves. It is SO IMPORTANT that we remain front and center in the lives and empowerment of our kids! The professionals that we come in contact with in our journey to success for our kids are invaluable, and it is important to partner and network with those professionals every chance we get. HOWEVER, we families often underestimate our own importance and relevance at the table. These are our children 24/7, 365 days a year. We are their first teachers, their first nurses, their first law makers and we MUST be at the table with valued and included input in all aspects of our kids' lives.
Hopefully, ASK and FIND are helping families and others involved in our kids' lives be the most effective advocates possible for our kids. Let me know your thoughts!
Now, a little fun...
The video below is specific to MOMs, but I'd like you to consider it applying to ALL family members. We all need to pat ourselves on the back and slow down to dance and sing a little. Kid President shows us how. Enjoy!