Xavier and Children's Hospital offer symposium for parents of children with special needs

| February 18, 2011

Raising children with special needs is a tough job. But it can also be very rewarding. A symposium co-sponsored by the Center for Infants and Children with Special Needs at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and Xavier University’s College of Social Sciences, Health, and Education focuses on helping parents who have special needs children.

The symposium takes place on Friday, April 8, from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. in the Cintas Center. It offers local parents  information, resources and networking opportunities in an effort to build family resiliency and learn to not only survive—but to thrive—as they raise their special needs children. Plenty of free parking is available. Registration is $25, including lunch, and can be completed online.

The keynote address is being given by Dr. Michael Sorter, director of psychiatry at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Workshop presentions include:

• Planning for Your Child's Financial Future, Northwest Mutual Insurance and Scott Silver of Paragon Financial.
• Kathy Winterman of Xavier’s Department of Secondary and Special Educatiion.
* Sarah Melcher, chair of Xavier’s Department of Theology, on Biblical Perspectives on Disability
* Gary Tonks, director of The Arc of Southwest Ohio, on waivers.
• Tim Vogt, director of Starfire Council and What’s Next, a support and networking group empowering individuals and families with disabilities.
• Joe Link and Sharon Merrill of Xavier’s Department of Education, about the XUX Initiative for college-bound children with special needs.
• Ava Fried about Cincinnati Children’s Hospital's Special Needs Resource Directory.
• John Romer, director of Hamilton County Developmental Disabilities Services, about the Adult Advocacy Group.
• Sandy Keiser, of Cincinnati Catholic Charities, on When the Child of Your Dreams has a Disability.
• Joan Hoxsey, CEO Relationship Resources, on Appreciative Parenting - from Surviving to Thriving, Appreciative Inquiry and Resilience.
• Debi Smith, director of Youth Services for Easter Seals.
• Sue Bitsko of the Hamilton County Educational Service Center, on Issues in Special Education.

A resource fair features 30-40 service agencies, community agencies, companies and professionals specializing in medical support, recreation, community programs and services, home health and financial planning among others. The event is completely accessible. To register or to get more details, visit the symposium website or contact Tom Knestrict at 745-3703 or by email at knestrictt@xavier.edu.