Tag Archives: families

PCLG Coffee & Conversation with CANA

coffee-conversation

  • Saturday, November 11, 2017
  • 10:00am – 12:00pm
  • Creekview Recreation Center, Multipurpose Room
  • 5001 Humboldt Avenue North, Minneapolis

Are you raising a child who faces mental health challenges? We want to hear from you! Join the Center for Africans Now in America (CANA) and Parent Catalyst Leadership Group (PCLG)  for a chance to connect and converse over coffee and refreshments. All are welcome!

We will talk about interacting with your child’s school, working with health providers, and accessing services through the county.  What are the special challenges facing families new to our region?  

  • Free, but we ask you to RSVP.
  • Interpreter will be provided.
  • Children are welcome, but please let us know how many and what ages.

For more information, contact:

 

Secondary Trauma and Self Care

Raising children is challenging enough when everything is in place, but if a child has emotional, behavioral, or developmental disabilities, our lives can be very complicated.  We love our kids and delight in their strength areas, but outbursts or other difficulties might also frame our lives and those of our other children. Families may struggle from the effects of secondary trauma and stress, and balancing the needs of all of our children while still taking care of ourselves is a challenge.

carol-siegel Dr. Carol Siegel, PhD, LP, is a licensed clinical psychologist who sees both adults and children in her practice.  Her primary clinical focus is parenting. Her diverse experience includes expressive arts, autism, neuropsychological assessment, and child neuropsychology.  She focuses on how parents navigate the developmental challenges of childhood and how parents’ experiences affect the development of their children.

  • April 5, 2017
  • 6:30 -7:45 pm  Workshop & Discussion
  • Hosmer Library, Meeting Room
  • 347 East 36th Street
  • Minneapolis, MN

This event is free, but please register online or email us at hcpclg@yahoo.com.

Parenting Challenges: Taking Care of Yourself

 

Register Today!        November 2, 2016 – 6:30 pm

PCLG is sponsoring a free workshop for parents and caregivers this fall.   Join us for light refreshments and a chance to meet other parents while learning about how to take care of yourself! 

Parenting a child with emotional, behavioral, or developmental disabilities can be challenging.  Parents and caregivers often report exhaustion, financial strain, and feelings of isolation. The perception of stigma can increase the sense of burden and isolation that our families feel as well.

Dr. Elizabeth Reeve will share her unique insight into the effects that stress caElizabeth 2n have on parents and ways that we can learn to reduce its impact on us. Participants will learn:

  • What is stress?
  • The effects of chronic stress
  • Unique stressors for parents
  • Ways to reduce stress

 

  • Woodlake Nature Center
  • 6710 Lake Shore Drive
  • Richfield, MN

This event is FREE, but please register!

Cabin Fever? Some Free Activities for Families

 

Lake Harriet Kite Festival

And just for fun on a winter day… the Lake Harriet Kite Festival       Saturday, January 16, Noon to 4 pm

Let’s face it.  Kids need to get out of the house and explore their world, but it isn’t always easy to navigate an activity when you have a child who struggles with behavior or sensory issues.  I know I didn’t have the money to plunk down admission to a “family friendly” activity, only to find 15 minutes later that it was too overstimulating for my son and we had to leave because he was on the verge of a meltdown.

As a survival mechanism, I kept lists of free and “my family friendly” activities.  Below, I’ve listed some great opportunities here in Hennepin County that range from interactive Library storytimes to informal, kid friendly free classical music family concerts.  And even though this is January in Minnesota, there are plenty of great outdoor activities at the parks, many of which have great indoor nature centers where you can warm up, check out a salamander and touch some rabbit fur. You never know what might spark your child’s interest.

Hennepin County Libraries will be offering some “Act Out” interactive theater classes for kids and teens with Guthrie artists.

  • Tuesday, Jan 12, 4 – 5:30 pm, Storytelling
  • Webber Park Library, 4400 Dupont Ave N
  • Saturday, Jan 16, 2 – 3:30 pm, Playmaking
  • North Regional Library, 1315 Lowry Ave N
  • Saturday, Jan 23, 1 – 2:30 Creative Movement
  • Minnetonka Library, 17524 Excelsior Blvd
  • Saturday, Jan 23, 2 – 3:30 pm Storytelling
  • Roosevelt Library, 4026 28th Ave S
  • Monday, Jan 25, 6 -7:30 pm Storytelling
  • Edina Library, 5280 Grandview Square
  • Tuesday, Jan 26, 4-5:30 pm
  • Act Out for Teens: Costume Design Basics
  • Hosmer Library
  • Saturday, Jan 30, 10:30 – Noon
  • Act Out for Kids: Storytelling
  • Ridgedale Library
  • Saturday, Jan 30, 1 – 2:30 pm
  • Act Out for Teens: Intro to Physical Comedy
  • Excelsior Library

 Family Music ConcertsCheck out these free kid-friendly classical music concerts in informal settings.

 Free Days at Area Museums

  • Minneapolis Institute of Arts (always free
  • Bell Museum of Natural History (free on Sundays) dioramas and hands on activities
  • Minnesota Children’s Museum (free on 3rd Sunday of each month)

Parks and Nature Centers around Town:

 

PCLG ONLINE SUPPORT FOR PARENTS

Ever wished you could get support from other parents right from home when you most need it?facebook-vs-google-advertising

PCLG has launched a new private online support group via Facebook.  The Hennepin County PCLG Support Group is open to parents and caregivers of children and young adults with mental health challenges.  It’s a great place to ask questions, exchange tips and make connections with other parents!

To register: fbook4hcparents@gmail.com

Outside the Box: Summer Activities for All Kinds of Kids and Teens

Summer can be a great time for kids to take a break from the pressures of school, explore their strengths and interests, or just have fun with friends.  Finding things for kids to do over the summer is a challenge for every family, but it is Summer Fall 2011 Etc 322particularly difficult for our families.  Sensory issues, anxiety, attention problems, fine and gross motor problems, or the potential for outbursts can be barriers for our children’s participation in many activities.

 But don’t give up!  It’s so important for our kids to be involved in their community. We are listing below lots of ideas to help you get started.  In this issue, we have low cost activities for families, fun and affordable ideas for kids, special swim lessons, and opportunities for teens.

A few fun and affordable ideas for kids:

IDEAS FOR TEENS

Internships and Volunteer Opportunities

Minneapolis Parks & Recreation

Programs for Teens

  •  Youthline Outreach Mentorship
  • Youthline engages youth ages 12-16 in positive leadership experiences and recreational activities while connecting them to adult mentors in the parks.
  • Teen Teamworks
  • Teen Teamworks is a summer employment and educational program for youth ages 14-18.
  • Nite Owlz
  • Nite Owlz provides extended teen programming at various recreation centers from 8-11 pm on Friday and Saturday nights. Activities may include open gym, cooking, computer labs and more. Contact a neighborhood recreation center for details.
  • IDEAWERKS
  • IDEAWERKS is for youth ages 12-18 to learn multimedia production; record audio and video information on a digital media workstation; study music basics and computer software to create music tracks and videos; and produce and record individual multimedia projects.

How Do Other A-Typical Families Survive the Holidays?

holiday imageTips for Surviving the Holidays for Non-Typical Families

Holidays can be insidious for our families.  School breaks and cold weather keep our kids inside and boredom can become an issue. Kids like ours often don’t have lots of friends they can visit with or activities that can divert them.  Parents can get overwhelmed with the needs of their kids along with all the expectations, events, financial stresses, and additional chores that the holidays can bring.

Remember, it is defminitely OK to say “No”.  Don’t overschedule yourself or your children. It’s ok to turn down invitations to certain parties or events and do something less stressful like watching a movie at home or playing a board game. It’s really ok for kids to spend some time in a quiet space away from all the relatives and chatter.  Remember, relatives are often very supportive of any approach that will minimize having their holidays disrupted by tantrums and outbursts!

While you’re freeing yourself of too many engagements, keep in mind that you don’t have to be a Slave to Tradition. Maybe kids of other people’s families enjoy getting their picture taken on the lap of a stranger dressed like Santa, but not mine. Many of our kids can only keep it together in public for a little while, so make sure you are not overtaxing them or asking something of them that is just too overwhelming or distressing.

Lower Expectations: Don’t expect your holiday season or your children to be perfect.  I don’t know about you and yours, but my kids don’t smile or say all the right things on demand. For kids with a mental health issue or developmental disability, social niceties just don’t happen spontaneously.  For my son with autism, being around a lot of people at the holidays was very stressful. He did not enjoy opening gifts for a number of years.  Even now, he sometimes disappoints a relative by not showing the type of response to a gift that might be typical.  There could be hurt feelings .  On top of this, some relatives might make negative comments or judgments about the type of parents we were.  This is why it’s extremely important to develop a THICK SKIN.  You need to be able let some of these comments or observations just roll off your back.  They don’t live in your shoes and have no idea what works or doesn’t work with your kids.  You know best what your kids need to feel loved and supported.

Ultimately, the best way to survive the holidays is to take care of yourself and your family.  The rest will fall into place.

The Power of Story

Can your story change the world?  Change minds? Move others to action? Or do you find your audience looking bored and surreptitiously checking their phones?

If we want to do our part in raising awareness and reducing the stigma regarding mental illness in children, we need to be effective storytellers.  And if we want to advocate for our children , we need be able to communicate effectively with the professionals who work with them. If you just need to practice your “elevator speech,” or if you want to learn more about parent advocacy, join us for:

Parent Advocacy Workshop – “Telling Your Story So Others Will Listen”

  • DATE:             September 13, 2014   
  • TIME:              9:00 am – 12:00 pm
  • LOCATION:     Oak Grove Middle School
  • Educational Services Building, Door C
  • 1300 West 106th Street, Kim KangBloomington, MN

Longtime disability advocate and legislative expert Kim Kang will be presenting. 

  • The power of story
  • How to tell your personal story
  • Effective communication
  • Meeting strategies
  • Organizing for change

Hosted by the Parent Catalyst Leadership Group (PCLG) of the Hennepin County Children’s Mental Health Collaborative, the Autism Society of Minnesota (AUSM), and Bloomington Public SchoolsThis event is free, but please register through PCLG at hcpclg@yahoo.com or online through  AUSM at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/telling-your-story-so-others-will-listen-tickets-12296726841

How to Handle a Mental Health Crisis

When Should I Go to the ER with My Child?

When confronted with a child’s mental health crisis, some parents may feel the best thing to do is to take their child to the ER.  What they don’t know is that the ER is not always the best answer.  For one thing, there is only one psychiatric ER in Hennepin County for children (Fairview Riverside), and even if you take your child there, you may wait over 8 hours and your child still may not be admitted at the end of that wait.  If you don’t know what to do, call Child Crisis at 612-348-2233 (www.childcrisisresponsemn.org).  They can help guide you.  If you know your child is emotionally unstable, but can be safe while you wait for responders, Child Crisis can beImage a good first step.

 

What Parents Wish For

ImageWe’ve been listening to stories from parents about the process of discovering and treating their child’s mental illness.  It’s inspiring to hear and see how so many parents are able to progress from feeling lost and overwhelmed to finding services and solutions for their kids, but the journey is never easy.  When we asked what could have made that process better, here are some things we heard:

Single Point of Entry – Once parents know they need to get some help, they have no idea where to turn.  Many report having made multiple phone calls with many dead ends. They are also surprised by how many applications and assessments they have to complete before their child can start getting help.  Parents say they wish there were one phone number to call and also some sort of guide to help them understand eligibility and other rules.

School Based Mental Health – Symptoms of mental illness often show up in the school setting where our kids spend a lot of their day.  Having a licensed, trained clinician on site at a school can make a big difference in the diagnosis and ongoing treatment of kids.  Parents don’t have to take time off work or take their kids out of school in order to drive to a therapy session.  Kids whose parents don’t have cars have much better access to services.  Moreover, these “in-house” clinicians can play a vital role in educating teachers and staff about techniques that work for each individual.

Hospital Services – When their child is in crisis, parents wish they could find appropriate emergency help that is close to home.  Due to the scarcity of hospital beds for mental health emergencies, children and youth can be sent to facilities that are hours away from home. Sometimes, young children can be sent to teen wards or teens to adult wards.  Moreover, there are often no facilities for families to stay nearby.

Stigma and Judgment – Parents often wish that they had learned more and acted sooner to get help for their child.  They wish that others had spoken out to encourage them to seek help, and not tried to “make them feel better” by minimizing their child’s symptoms. When they did seek help, parents wish that professionals would not immediately assume that they are bad parents or they are at fault. They wish to be listened to respectfully.