Friday, August 29, 2014

"The Specials" on September 7

Oprah Winfrey Network announced today the television debut of “The Specials.”  The groundbreaking docu-series shares the funny, honest story of five housemates with intellectual disabilities living the classic student lifestyle in England.  All 13 episodes will air back-to-back on Sunday, September 7 from 2:30 – 9 p.m.

For a sneak peek, please visit:

Filmed over four years and narrated by housemates Sam, Hilly, Lucy, Lewis and Megan, all between the ages of 19-23 and close friends since childhood, “The Specials” shares the ups and downs of their daily lives from first love to heartbreak, from leaving college to finding a job, as well as the day-to-day interactions and complications of sharing a house together. The housemates live life to the max – they enjoy everything from surfing and karaoke to even competing in the Special Olympics.  One of the friends has Williams syndrome, while the other four have Down syndrome.

The Webby Award-winning series was originally produced as short form,10-minute webisodes in England. OWN will televise fresh, newly adapted episodes following housemates as they continue to support each other through major changes in their lives -- everything from breakups, to a parents' divorce and finally an engagement.  The series truly highlights that we are all more alike than different.

Legislative "Listening Tour"

 The road to the capitol starts with a conversation.
Please join us for the
2014 Listening Tour
Who should attend? Folks with disabilities and all those who care about them.
Why? Share what's on your mind with our public policy team & help shape our legislative advocacy. If you want to see change, we want to see you there!
Below is the next stop on the 2014 Tour!  We will send further announcements when we have other stops on our tour confirmed.
When: Thursday, September 4, 6 - 8 PM
Where: The Oaks @ The Lanier Charter Career Academy
            2719 Tumbling Creek Rd., Gainesville, GA 30504
RSVP: Click here to sign up to attend one of the tour stops
(or copy and paste this link into your browser to sign up:

Bring your favorite potluck dish to share!
Any questions: 404-657-2126 or 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Actor reflects on his career

Chris Burke, the actor who played "Corky" on the 90's television series "Life Goes On", appeared on an episode of "Oprah's Where Are They Now" last night, August 24.  Burke was the first actor with Down syndrome to play a part on a prime-time television series.  "It really shows we all have different talents, and stick at what you're good at", he said.  Chris Burke continued to have acting roles on television, and currently lives in New York and is a Goodwill Ambassador for the National Down Syndrome Society.  See a portion of his interview here

Monday, August 18, 2014

"Recreation Resources" Workshop

Oconee County Schools, Special Student Services is hosting a series of learning opportunities for parents that we are calling "Weeknight Workshops".  Our first session is on "Recreation Resources for Kids with Special Needs", and will be at the Oconee County Civic Center on Monday, August 25, from 6:30 - 8:00 pm.  Come learn about recreation options in our area, and hear from guest speakers from Extra Special People, the University of Georgia, and Butterfly Dreams Farm!  Any questions?  Email Amy McCollum at

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Great website

The National Center for Learning Disabilities has lots of great information on its website; this article has a video that gives a good definition of the differences between Asperger's syndrome and Nonverbal Learning Disabilities.  They're similar, but not the same - check it out:
There are other links for parents as well, so visit the site to learn more.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Back To School Tips

Still working on making a smooth transition from summer to school?  If your child has special needs, the transition can be even trickier.  The following article has some good suggestions for helping your student with special needs get back into the groove!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Autism Seminar

On Saturday, August 23, there will be an Autism Seminar and Resource Fair sponsored by New Directions Adult Autism Program.  This one-day seminar will offer sessions for families of children and young adults with autism; topics include guardianship, recreation and fitness, waivers, supported employment, and more.  There will also be a resource fair with lots of vendors and information.  The event will be at Shadowbrook Baptist Church (4187 Suwanee Dam Road, Suwanee 30024), from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm; registration is $55 and includes all seminar sessions and lunch.  For more information, click this link: Autism Seminar