Bitesize Discussions


bitesize discussion header 




ASGA recognizes that every day we live with COVID-19 brings new challenges. That is why we launched a series of  “Bitesize (20-Minute) Discussions” to share ideas, coping skills, and support.  Email us if you have a topic you would like to see covered.


BITE #1:  Navigating Challenges Daily:  I Think I Can!

Jessica Campagna, Behavior Specialist at Summit Educational Service Center discusses how to create, maintain, and alter routines, manage work completion or participation in activities (both educational and recreational), increase and utilize reinforcement and motivation and implementing self-care during this ever-changing time.



BITE #2:  COVID-19 & Disabilities:  Reducing Anxiety with Facts!

Dr. Nevada Reed from KidsLink Neurobehavioral Center discusses tips for living with a person with a disability during COVID-19, how to be prepared for an emergency trip to the hospital, how treatment is prioritized and tips for staying healthy.




BITE #3:  The Wonderful World of Waivers - I don't think we are in Kansas anymore!

Gary Tonks, CEO at The Arc of Ohio discusses the fundamentals of Ohio Medicaid and the current whirlwind of changes going on with Waivers during this pandemic.



BITE #4:  Handling Stressors During the Stay-at-Home Order

Leslie Powlette Stoyer, JD, Co-Executive Director at NAMI Summit County (National Alliance on Mental Illness) discusses how to stay informed, take action, maintain healthy social connections and find resources for support during the stay-at-home order.  She reminds us during these virtual times to look out for ourselves, but also check on family, friends and neighbors.

NAMI SLIDES Handling Stressors During the Stay at Home Order
NAMI COVID 19 Resource and Information Guide



BITE #5:  Social Security Disability and SSI - Top 10 Things You Need to Know

COVID or not, many of us are still dealing with disability issues.  Attorney Debra Shifrin will provide tips for filing for benefits, eligibility for benefits, and whether someone who is disabled can receive stimulus monies.  



BITE #6:  Parenting children with exceptional needs through a pandemic: The good, the challenging, and the uncertain!

Dr. Jessica Emick, Clinical Psychologist and School Psychologist at Total Education Solutions discusses proactive, positive, and actionable family-care strategies to successfully adapt to disruption. The presentation covers common experiences and ways families can successfully adapt in these trying times with real life examples and strategies.  



WEBINAR #7:  STABLE Accounts: What you need to know!

Living with a disability can mean extra and significant expenses not covered by insurance, Medicaid or Medicare. Nicholas Hancart from Ohio Treasurer of State explains the benefits of STABLE accounts, who is eligible, how to enroll, what expenses are considered "qualified", STABLE Account vs. Special Needs Trusts, and implications for SSI recipients.  Below are some helpful documents:

STABLE 2020 Flyer   |    STABLE 2020 Frequently Asked Questions   |    STABLE Account Stimulus



WEBINAR #8:  Special Education During the Pandemic

Kerry Agins, Special Education Attorney with Agins & Gilman LLC answers questions about special education requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic. She covers what we know now, what we can expect next year to look like, how we try to ensure that students with disabilities are provided appropriate services in the meantime and much more.




WEBINAR #9:  Have a Successful Summer:  Helping your smart but scattered child learn how to set and accomplish goals!

Can play video games for hours, but can't concentrate on homework or chores. Loses train of thought as well as cell phone, shoes, and homework. Freezes up when asked to do something or has trouble remembering directions repeated several times. Sound like your child? They could have trouble with executive functioning skills.  Sarah Groves, M.Ed. from Akron Children's Hospital explains executive functioning deficits, why they can make it difficult to start tasks and accomplish goals, and gives strategies to foster executive functioning during the summer.  

Our apologies, but the storms of Mother Nature interfered with the recording of this presentation and it could not be recovered.



WEBINAR #10:  Heading Back to School: Special Education Update During the Pandemic

In the second part of our three-part Summer series, special education attorney Kerry Agins provided an update on COVID-19 educational considerations and the reopening of schools in the fall. She offered insight into what the guidance documents from the Ohio Department of Education and Ohio Department of Health require for schools to reopen, the different models of education that are being announced from our area schools, suggestions on specific questions for parents to ask of their school district as we plan to return to in-person instruction and for students planning to stay on remote instruction.  DOWNLOAD PRESENTATION SLIDES

STAY UP-TO-DATE:  Ohio Department of Education has a section on Restart & Reset Guidelines for Schools. There you can find information on the Reset and Restart Education Planning Guide for Ohio Schools and Districts, the COVID-19 Health and Prevention Guidance for Ohio K-12 Schools, information on Early Learning & School Readiness, and at the bottom of the page – look for the Guidance for Students with Disabilities.

ASSESSING THE RISK/BENEFITS:  As Ohio reopened back in June, the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities provided guidance with this Risk/Benefit Discussion Guide. Although it was designed for use in person-centered planning for Vocational and Day Programs, it might be helpful for your family when weighing the risk/benefit of participating in activities at school or away from home.  Guidance information originally posted HERE.



WEBINAR #11:  Transitioning to the New Normal: Let's Talk School, Family & Health

Chiara Simeone, MA, BCBA, Behavioral Analyst at Cleveland Clinic Children’s discusses how families can get ready to transition back to school in person and virtually, including how to work with the school and prepare your student; strategies to address the anxiety and fears families face while living in an ever changing climate; and steps families can take to maintain balance and consistency in their daily lives while caring for an individual with special needs.




WEBINAR #12:  It's Time:  Final Update on Special Education During the Pandemic

Kerry Agins, Special Education Attorney from Agins & Gilman LLC reviews the Ohio Dept. of Education’s recent guidance to schools on servicing students with disabilities. She talks about recovery services for students with disabilities that may have experienced regression or lack of progress during COVID-19 closures, and answers questions about local reopening plans and their impact on students with disabilities.




About the Autism Society of Greater Akron

The Autism Society of Greater Akron (ASGA) is part of a nationwide network of affiliates with the Autism Society of America, the nation’s largest and oldest grassroots autism organization. ASGA serves Summit, Stark, Wayne, Portage and Medina counties (OH) and works locally to achieve its mission --to improve the lives of all affected by autism.

ASGA is also a proud member of the Ohio Family Network (OFN), connecting people with disabilities and their families to local information and resources within their communities.  OFN provides opportunities to share ideas, find solutions to common challenges and inspire and strengthen others.