Introducing Our All-New Website EP-MAGAZINE.COM

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This April, Exceptional Parent Magazine is proud to announce the launch of – our all new website which coincides with our expanding role as a leader in the field of special needs publishing and communications. now features a bold new design and intuitive site-wide navigation system with improved menu functionality that directs you to the information most relevant to you.

It is also fully responsive with mobile devices, making it easy to navigate on a wide range of web browsers and portable devices. We've introduced a range of new content to the website, including In This Issue that highlights selected content from our latest ssue, and From Our Contributors, which features the most recent offerings from regulars such as Genetic Alliance and the AADMD.

Our eNewsletter is the latest innovation in our digital strategy, enabling you to sign up for updates right on the homepage, and access the articles that matter to you each and every week. We also plan to continue adding more video content and product information to provide you with all of the resources you need to care and plan for your loved one with special needs. We're really proud of the new website and feel it will create the experience you're looking for when you pay us a visit. Check it out here: •

PLEASE NOtE that our previous web address,, is no longer associated with Exceptional Parent Magazine.

Promote Positive Mental Health Development in Your Child with 8 Tips from ECC

Learning shapes, numbers and letters, are an important part of preparing a child for school. But supporting positive mental health development is also an important part of school readiness.

"This year's national observance focuses on the importance of an integrated health approach to supporting children, youth, and young adults with serious emotional disturbance who have experienced trauma.," said Dodd White, executive director of ECC. "Society often isolates children with challenges, but we believe every child can achieve and succeed."

The Episcopal Center for Children offers the following tips for parents to assist their child's positive mental health development as part of National Children's Mental Health Day, which was observed nationwide in early May.

tip #1: Help instill responsibility in your child. Create age-appropriate learning and experiential opportunities that help your child demonstrate responsibility. This can be achieved by assigning chores, providing examples of cause and effect, and establishing routines.

tip #2: Provide boundaries for your child's behavior. Set consistent limits and follow through with reasonable consequences.

tip #3: Listen to your child. Create a safe environment within your family where your child can express thoughts and feelings.

tip #4: Foster independence in your child. Praise your child's efforts and encourage positive risk taking and decision-making.

tip #6: Provide security. Stress, moves, and change can be disruptive to family life and individuals. Routines, traditions, and time together can help limit the effects stress has on your child and your family. Children who take on responsibilities because the adults in their lives are stressed, may hide their feelings or vulnerabilities. Let your child know that support is always available and you will always take care of him or her.

tip #7: Build strength. Offer positive feedback and encouragement for your child. Express your confidence in their abilities to manage different situations. Appreciate and acknowledge any help and support they give to you and to others in the family or community.

tip #8: Seek special services early if your child needs them. If your child is excessively distracted, has frequent angry outbursts, or is unable to concentrate in the classroom, she or he may benefit from evaluations for special services. These evaluations may include psycho-educational, speech and language, and occupational therapy assessments. Early intervention can prevent problems from magnifying over time and assist your child in healthy development.

Parents must identify, address and balance their child's emotional and mental health needs alongside their educational requirements and development. Children contending with emotional challenges may be withdrawn, over-active, disruptive and challenging to manage behaviorally. They often require additional resources and services to aide them in their educational progress and emotional development. If your child is emotionally challenged and needs help, contact special education services at your local school or within your local school district.

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ABOUT THE EPISCOPAL CENTER FOR CHILDREN: The Episcopal Center for Children is a nonprofit, nondenominational school and treatment program for children contending with emotional challenges from the greater Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Accredited by the Joint Commission, the Center serves children who are 5-14 years old in grades K-8. The goal of the Center's treatment, therapeutic milieu, and individualized special education program is to empower each child to function productively within his or her family and community. Building on strengths within children, the Center partners with families in treatment and focuses on enabling its students to access and become their best possible selves. More information is available at and on Twitter and Facebook @ECCofDC #EveryChildCan


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GREEN THUMBS: Horticulture is one the four main categories of classes at Daymark Summer Semester, all geared toward supporting students in their quest to gain meaningful employment and foster independence. Fine arts, culinary, and health and wellness will be offered as well.

Daymark Living is launching Texas' first Summer Camp program that simulates and fosters independent living for individuals with intellectual and developmental delays (IDD) aged 16 years and older.

Daymark Living, a residential community dedicated to helping adults age 18+ with IDD live, learn and thrive, is currently pre-leasing for their grand-opening later this summer.

This summer will also kick off the start of Daymark Summer Semester, a day camp where participants will attend a variety of classes, all geared toward supporting students in their quest to gain meaningful employment and foster independence. Sessions are available on a weekly basis, from July 9 through August 17. Courses fall into four main categories: horticulture, fine arts, culinary, and health and wellness. Day camp runs from 8:30 am until 4:00 pm and includes lunch in the community's dining hall. Each weekly session costs $500 to attend.

Daymark Summer Semester will culminate in a two-day celebration at the end of the program on August 16-17. On Thursday, August 16, attendees will participate in a talent show. On Friday, August 17, there will be a luncheon where campers can connect with potential employers and show off the skills they learned over the summer. "Daymark Living's main mission is to help each of our participants become more independent. We believe in their abilities, have top experts that know how to best reach and teach them, and are excited to help each individual maximize his or her fullest potential," said John Poston, founder and president.

Daymark Living is designed with every aspect of the community intended to foster independence and facilitate friendships in a supportive and supervised environment. Part of the program includes education courses, connections and scheduled transportation to and from employment opportunities.

Daymark is situated just 30 minutes south of downtown Dallas, well-located in an area where adults with IDD face a lack of adequate independent housing options. Presently, just 400 quality beds exist in Texas to service roughly 574,000 adults with IDD in the three major markets (Dallas, Houston and Austin/San Antonio), according to a Texas Workforce Investment Council report - less than one percent of the identified population.

To tackle social integration and interpersonal Fun and focused daily activities designed to increase independent living and employment skills on a brand new campus! skills - another big issue facing adults with IDD - Daymark Living has started the Daymark Social Club which hosts at least two events each month throughout DFW for individuals aged 15+. These events offer attendees the opportunity to form friendships and learn new skills. Daymark Living is a community that was conceived, designed and built for people with intellectual and developmental delays (IDD). It provides housing, recreational, learning and employment opportunities in a 40-acre community in Waxahachie, Texas. Currently under construction and slated to open later this summer, 28 resort-style cottages with 202 beds are designed to facilitate friendships and foster independence in a supportive, safe and supervised environment. Please visit or call 972-646-2162 to learn more. For more information about Daymark Summer Semester, please visit: •


Fun and focused daily activities designed to increase independent living and employment skills on a brand new campus!