Parent Resource Center Monday Message: 9.13.21

September 13, 2021

Good morning! We hope that all of our families are settling back into school routines, and are looking forward to the 3rd week of school. As classes resume, parent meetings are also beginning to take place. Please see our Events section for information about tomorrow evening’s Special Education Advisory Committee Meeting, our session on Executive Functioning with Ann Dolan, the Virginia Department of Education’s co-sponsored session on Cortical Vision Impairment and other upcoming events.

The month of September is Suicide Prevention Month. Although thinking about and talking about suicide may feel uncomfortable and overwhelming, we know that talking about suicide is one of the keys to prevention. Below are some helpful resources, along with an invitation to all of us to #BeThe1To:  Ask. Keep Them Safe. Be There. Help Them Connect. Follow Up.


September is Suicide Prevention Month
If you or someone you know is suicidal, get help immediately via 911, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK or the Crisis Text Line (text “HOME” to 741741).

Virginia Department of Health: Everyone struggles with emotional pain at some point in their lives. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to know when someone is suffering and needs help.  Some people struggling may find it too difficult to talk or ask for help. People who are suffering in silence often have feelings of shame, isolation and hopelessness.  This can lead to thoughts about suicide. Most people thinking about suicide show some signs that they need help. When you learn to recognize the signs and how to start a conversation you can be there when it matters most. Suicide is preventable! Recognize. Talk. Act. is a social marketing campaign aimed preventing suicide in Virginia. To learn more, click here.

National Association of School Psychologists: Suicide is the leading cause of death among school age youth. However, suicide is preventable. Youth who are contemplating suicide frequently give warning signs of their distress. Parents, teachers, and friends are in a key position to pick up on these signs and get help. Most important is to never take these warning signs lightly or promise to keep them secret. When all adults and students in the school community are committed to making suicide prevention a priority-and are empowered to take the correct actions-we can help youth before they engage in behavior with irreversible consequences.

In CrisisArlington Public Schools has a number of extremely helpful resources and local crisis links for parents on our In Crisis/Need Help Now? and Mental Health Resources webpages.

NAMI Arlington
We are fortunate in Arlington to have NAMI Support Groups that meet regularly for families. Just as we want children and youth to know they are not alone, there is a place for parents to connect with others to share experiences and get support. For a number of years, parent leaders Miichelle Best, Alisa Cowen and Naomi Verdugo have provided invaluable supports to families living with children and youth with mental health concerns. Here is an excerpt from a recent message from Michelle:

Our NAMI Parent Support Group is just that, a support group. We are a group of parents gathering to support one another through it all. If you are parenting a student who is experiencing symptoms of mental illness, we welcome you to join us. No diagnosis needed. Some parents have children/teens experiencing hospitalizations. Other parents are seeing an increase in their child’s risk factors. Don’t not come because your child’s experience is too severe. And don’t not come because you don’t think it is severe enough. Our goal is to support parents (you) as you strive to keep your children emotionally healthy. Come once, come once in a while, come every time we meet. Our group is not a commitment. It is a support. Our next meeting is Sunday, September 26h from 7-8:30pm

The NAMI group meeting dates are listed below and on the PRC’s Events page as well. To register and learn more, contact Michelle at

Additional Resources:

DADD Awards
The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) Division on Autism and Developmental Disabilities (DADD) is accepting nominations for DADD Awards. They encourage anyone to nominate someone they believe should be recognized for their work, service, research, and/or leadership in the field of developmental disabilities and autism spectrum disorders. Nominations are due by 10/18/21 at midnight. Submit your nomination here. For additional information on the DADD awards, please visit the award information site.

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Calm Parents, Healthy Kids
Playing the role of the parent, learn how to manage the behavior of your 2-5-year-old child during common stressful situations. Early childhood is a critical developmental period during which strong parent-child bonds can have a major impact on lifelong health and well-being. Yet parenting at this time can be incredibly challenging—young children are still learning to follow directions, be patient and wait their turn, manage their emotions, and understand the adults in their lives. It takes practice to develop the patience and calm to manage stressful parenting situations, which is key to healthy social and emotional development in childhood. In this simulation, you will play the role of the parent and learn how to be responsive to your child in a calm and loving way during a series of common situations for parents of 2– to 5– year olds. These scenarios include managing your child’s behavior on the playground, in the supermarket, while you’re on the phone, and when you need to leave home on time. Try out the simulations here.


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Visit the Parent Resource Center’s EVENTS page for information and registration links for school and community events.