ParentingNH December 2018

Page 1

december • 2018


Meet NH’s Top


Guide to Special Needs Resources in NH

12 things to do before Christmas

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Contents 20

features 8 Meet this year’s Top Teacher winners

12 things to do before Christmas

december departments 3 From the editor’s desk 4 The short list 6 I want that


26 My turn

Guide to special needs resources in NH

39 Raising teens & tweens

16 What you need to know about AFM

38 Dad on board 40 House calls 42 Out & about 44 Time out

keep in touch

On the cover: Meet New Hampshire’s Top Teachers for 2019. Clockwise from top: Holly Lubelczyk, Kathleen Pappalardo, Matt Bryant, Lena Madden and Srilakshmi Sankar. Photos taken by Kendal J. Bush ( at McLean Communications in Manchester on Nov. 14, 2018.

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©2018 McLean Communications, LLc ParentingNH® is published by McLean Communications, 150 Dow St., Manchester, NH 03101, (603) 624-1442. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without the written permission of the publisher is prohibited. The publisher assumes no responsibility for any mistakes in advertisements or editorial. Statements/opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect or represent those of this publication or its officers. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, McLean Communications, LLC.: ParentingNH disclaims all responsibility for omission and errors.

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Option F

from the editor’s desk Lessons learned through a Christmas tree (or how I learned to embrace disorder and chaos) My family had a traditional Christmas tree for most of my childhood. It was wrapped in garland and colored beads, lit by multi-colored large bulbs, and decorated with Christmas balls and an assorted mix of old and new ornaments – handmade and store-bought – in all colors, shapes and sizes. For as long as I can remember I have compulsively applied order to everything, so I did not understand the hodgepodge of holiday decor and why everything couldn’t look like it went together. I vowed when I grew up (“Wait until you have your own Christmas tree and you can do what you want with it,” I’m sure I was told) my tree would be like the ones I saw in the magazines – color-coordinated with the living room, adorned with small, delicate white lights and ribbon, and topped with a gold star. And I had that tree. It looked exactly as I imagined. The ornaments I had from my childhood remained in the box they were packed in when I left home. A few years later, now living in a new place and itching for a new start, I added personality to the place by putting up a tree that looked similar to the white aluminum trees popular in the 1960s. Adorned in red and white lights and red, shiny ornaments, it became a conversation piece among my friends. I loved how it looked, but something was missing. Getting ready to move yet again, I rediscovered that box of ornaments I had tucked away. I took each one out to examine them – the angel on the sleigh with my name on it, and almost as old as I was; the beaded candy cane I made in Girl Scouts, the glass ornament my best friend covered in gold glitter and filled with tinsel.

Each reminded me of a special person, place or time. They were more than just objects you hang up in December; the ornaments were meaningful symbols that represented parts of my life. I displayed them on a tabletop tree, but later I invested in a green, six-foot version. I needed to make room for the lobster ornament from Maine, and a variety of Boston Red Sox items. Also, the gold one inscribed with an Irish blessing purchased in County Cork. I hadn’t set out to put together an ornament collection, but now I had one. I add a few ornaments each year from my travels, or they are given to me, or something catches my eye, like a silver typewriter this year. Opening my container of memories has become one of the activities I look forward to most during the season. My tree is now fully covered in mismatched décor and green and red lights and beads, and topped with a New England Patriots Santa hat. In fact, I am struck by how much my tree now looks like the one from my childhood. Funny how the thing that once gave me anxiety now gives me comfort. One of the lessons I had to learn is that not everything has an order to it. It doesn’t always have to go together perfectly to make sense and that sometimes joy and meaning can be found within the chaos and the imperfections. And it’s a good thing I’ve embraced this new way of thinking because that aptly describes the holiday season, and it is here. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year,

Melanie Hitchcock, Editor

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the short list

compiled by melanie Hitchcock

This month on

Celebrate the season Parades, strolls and festivals are taking place throughout the Granite State through December. Check out these links to PNH’s onlineexclusive content. Looking for more? Go to to help you make a list of places to take your family to this month — and don’t forget to check it twice. • Festival of Trees celebrations in NH: festivaloftrees • Holiday strolls and parades: • Christmas cookies and holiday recipes: holidaycookies • Free and low-cost things to do: • Cut down your own Christmas tree:

for even more fun

4 | december 2018

St. Francis of Assisi School named to the Catholic Education Honor Roll St. Francis of Assisi School in Litchfield has been recognized as a Catholic Education Honor Roll School. The national Honor Roll program is directed by the Cardinal Newman Society and recognizes high-performing Catholic schools nationwide. St. Francis of Assisi School is one of just 44 schools on the current list and it is the first New Hampshire Diocesan school to have received this recognition. St. Francis of Assisi School’s principal, Mr. Mark Schwerdt, said, “It is great affirmation for our school to be recognized by the Catholic Education Honor Roll. This distinction confirms our commitment to the mission of Catholic education. Congratulations to the students, parents, teachers, and staff for their hard work in assuring a strong Catholic identity permeates all that we do.”

PNH cover teen featured in Marvel comic

A new children’s book is straight from the horse’s mouth Portsmouth author Diane Robbins Jones chronicles the first year with her handsome chestnut thoroughbred Rudy in her first children’s book, “Rudy – A Big Horse with a Big Heart.” In the story written from the horse’s point of view, Rudy spotlights the highs and lows as he and Jones begin to work together, learn to trust each other, and eventually develop a deep bond. After three years with Rudy, who makes his home at Independence Farm in Rye, Jones is sharing her story (and Rudy’s) to teach children what goes into horse ownership – responsibility, hard work, dedication and unconditional love. The book also includes a glossary of horse terms re-

lating to riding, care and anatomy, as well as 20 fun horse facts. The book features illustrations by local artist Karen Busch Holman who has illustrated 14 books, including “G is for Granite: A New Hampshire Alphabet.” The book will be available on Amazon for $24.95.

Meet the author and illustrator On Saturday, Dec. 1, from 1- 3 p.m. Diane Robbins Jones and Karen Busch Holman will be signing copies of “Rudy – A Big Horse With a Big Heart” at the Christmas Dove in Barrington.

CMC, NH Food Bank launch the Preventative Food Pantry In the fall, Catholic Medical Center – in partnership with the New Hampshire Food Bank, a program of Catholic Charities NH, and the Parish of the Transfiguration Food Pantry – launched a transformative, first-in-the-state program. The Preventative Food Pantry helps patients with chronic medical conditions get healthy foods and nutrition counseling in an effort to improve their overall health. CMC social workers and nutritionists will identify patients who have conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, and obesity, and who are food insecure. Those patients will receive a prescription for the Food Pantry that they can visit twice a month to collect a box of healthful food that complies with

their diet restrictions. Patients will also check in with volunteer nurses. “Imagine knowing what’s in front of you isn’t healthy, but it’s all you have to eat,” said Eileen Liponis, executive director of the New Hampshire Food Bank. She said one in nine New Hampshire residents, including 11 percent of children, is food insecure. “We hope this is the first of many programs like it across the state.” The New Hampshire Food Bank will supply food to the Food Pantry, which will receive the prescription for each patient directly from CMC. A grant from the Bishop’s Charitable Assistance Fund helped get the program going, funding the purchase of a new, commercial-grade refrigerator and freezer to store vitamin-rich, fresh foods.

Julie Seven Sage, 14, of Nashua is featured in Marvel’s newly released comic, “Unstoppable Wasp.” The comic is about Nadia Van Dyne, Hank Pym’s daughter with his first wife who was kidnapped by the red room, Maria Trovya, who was then raised in the red room and eventually escaped by creating a suit like her father’s. She then moved to America, where she formed a group with other teenage girl scientists called the Agents of G.I.R.L., (Girls In Action Research Labs). Together, they fight crime and help people. In the back of every issue, the comic features at least one real-life female scientist. Julie Seven Sage has sent experiments into space, designed an award-winning invention, worked with MIT Media Lab on building a CubeSat, and runs her own YouTube channel that includes a science news show she’s been producing for two years. If you missed ParentingNH’s cover feature on Julie Seven Sage, look for it online at www.parentingnh. com in the August 2018 issue.

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I want that • holiday edition

compiled by melanie Hitchcock

The dog The Kena is Up Dog Toy’s modern update on the squeaker toy. The punctureresistant squeaker is wrapped in a geometric canvas shell. Understated for your home but addicting for your dog. Available at www.; $145

The traditionalist

The young musicphile The BuddyPhone WAVE is the firstever wireless and waterproof volume-limiting headphone designed for kids. Choose from four designs: Unicorn, Robot, Monkey and Bee and connect via Bluetooth with more than 24-hour battery life. Available at www.buddyphones. com; $89.99 $49.95

k is the The Kit-Cat Kloc that’s same classy cat e to been bringing tim ing life with its wagg and tail, rolling eyes, since contagious smile look has 1932. Its unique ce the survived intact sin w tie top paws and bo e were added in th 1950s. w.kitAvailable at ww 9 9.9 $4 , om t.c ca

The fun friend Pair the Banana Phone with your smartphone via Bluetooth and receive or initiate calls via Siri or OK Google. The Banana Phone is not only hilarious, but it also supports a great cause. Banana Phone donates 2 percent of all revenue to support gorilla conservation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda. Available at bananaphone. io; $39.99

6 | december 2018

The coffee lover

The commuter

The cat The Laptop Cat Scratching Pad is made to look just like a computer. The cardboard contraption features a claw-ready keyboard for cats to scratch and an “operating system” that can be upgraded by printing out a new desktop image and sliding it in the monitor. Available at www.; $35

Stay charged on the road without having to plug in your phone. These wireless car mounts are Qi-certified to work with all the newest phones from Apple and Samsung. Airbase Wireless attaches to your dashboard or windshield; Airframe Wireless clips to the car’s air vent.

Streamline the coffee-making process with the cold brew coffee maker from Asobu that combines a brewer and storage container in one system. The double-walled, copper-insulated carafe is detachable, so you can take your joe to go — or store it and keep it cold for up to 24 hours. Available at www.; $49.95

Available at; both are $59.95

The wine drinker Mom Langria’s Bamboo Bathtub Caddy is made of high-quality natural eco-friendly bamboo, and won’t rust or warp. Features removable tray, mug holder, slide-in wine glass holder and the metal frame is designed to enable mom to read books or watch videos while she soaks and unwinds. Available at; $34.99

If you aren’t sure of what your favorite wine connoisseur drinks, give them a wine-by-the-glass subscription from VineBox — a personalized wine flight delivered to their door. Or gift them with a wine advent calendar,12 wines hand-curated for the holiday season. Available at www.getvinebox. com; subscription prices vary, $128 for the holiday box

The traveler

Herschel Supply Co.’s Standard Issue Amenity Kit includes ear plugs, a sleeping mask, slippers and an inflatable neck pillow for maximum in-flight comfort, and it all comes with a convenient storage pouch. Available in two color options. Available at

www.herschel. com; $29.99

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Top Teachers e are pleased to introduce New Hampshire’s Top Teachers for 2018. Once again we received many thoughtful submissions from our readers telling us about a teacher that has made a difference in their school and community.

We selected five Granite State educators to feature in ParentingNH’s second-annual Top Teacher issue. The nominators described them as being caring, inspiring and exceptional — and we think you should know more about them. The nomination essays written about these talented people are included here along with a short profile about each teacher. We look forward to honoring the Top Teachers in an on-the-field ceremony held before a New Hampshire Fisher Cats game in the spring (look for details in a future issue of ParentingNH). Note: Some essays may have been shortened for print, but the full version of the nominating essays will be sent to the teachers for them to read. — Melanie Hitchcock, Editor of Parenting NH

Meet New Hampshire’s Top Teachers for 2019. From left to right (sitting): Kathleen Pappalardo and Holly Lubelczyk; from left to right (standing): Lena Madden, Srilakshmi Sankar and Matt Bryant. Photos by Kendal J. Bush

8 | december 2018

2018 Kathleen Pappalardo

Dr. Lewis F. Soule Elementary School, Salem Grade 4

Kathleen Pappalardo graduated with her master’s degree in education from the University of MassachusettsLowell and began her teaching career at Dr. Lewis F. Soule Elementary School, where she has taught for 25 years. Kathleen Pappalardo says: As a busy mom of three active boys, I enjoy juggling the duties of motherhood and my responsibilities as a fourth-grade teacher. Along with my teaching duties, I am an active participant in afterschool activities such as promoting community involvement within the town of Salem, establishing a school-run post office and leading the Soule LEGO First Club. I feel that the combination of the afterschool activities and my academic responsibilities have resulted in a most rewarding career. Nominator: Nancy Russell, co-worker of nominee

Kathleen Pappalardo has been a Soule School teacher for over 25 years. As an elementary teacher, she is responsible for teaching all subjects to her students. She brings a smile, a positive attitude, and great enthusiasm to each and every student in her classroom. She is known for her humor and takes an active interest in each of her students. She is a warm, caring, and inspiring educator and is well loved by the staff and students alike. In addition to her teaching duties she choreographs the annual school musical, began a school radio station, organizes the annual school talent show, and this year began an afternoon LEGO club. Kathleen is absolutely an amazing teacher and would be most deserving of this honor.



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Matt Bryant

Windham High School Sophomore biology; anatomy/ physiology for juniors and seniors

Matt Bryant has taught at Windham High School since it opened in 2009 and this is his 18th year teaching overall. In addition to biology and anatomy/physiology, he has taught chemistry, integrated science and a “mythbusters” class focused on engineering design. Matt Bryant says: Everything I do as a

teacher and coach is about relationships. My number one job is making sure students come into my classroom feeling safe, valued, and willing to take risks to get better. I know I’ve done my job when I help put kind, generous, hard-working people out into the world. The hardest and most rewarding part of teaching is finding ways to do that through the things we do in our classroom every day. Nominator: Donna Indelicato, parent of student at nominee’s school

Windham High School teacher Matt Bryant deserves to be recognized as a top teacher in NH. In addition to caring about the success of each and every science student that has the good fortune to be in one of his classes, Mr. Bryant is a terrific instructor and mentor for all of the students, a valuable resource for the entire school culture, and a champion for young women in particular. Part of the founding staff of this relatively new high school, Mr. Bryant has been integral to science course academics and inspirational to school athletics. He has played a big role in the paradigm of community service that makes kindness and giving truly woven into the school’s identity. In addition to teaching a full load of courses at WHS,

10 | DECEMBER 2018

he is the girls’ soccer coach, building a varsity girls program that is one of the top in the state. His coaching includes really being there for the young women on his team, helping them build self-confidence, resiliency, social and life skills needed to navigate high school and beyond. Perhaps more importantly, he constantly strives to help the high school community engage in charitable work and develop authentic empathy. Together with his co-advisors, Matt launched the SMILES Club, which stands for Spreading Meaningful Irreplaceable Experiences Selflessly. This community service club serves several purposes. It helps many students, mostly young women, develop leadership skills by way of managing community service projects. For the past nine years, under Matt’s advising, WHS SMILES Club has produced a large, multi-faceted fashion show event, Styles and SMILES, that engages the WHS and Windham communities and has raised about $30,000 to help those dealing with breast cancer. He is among the first to help other staff in his professional learning communities, and is often found chatting with students before and after school for academic help or just to help them navigate the stresses and excitements of teenage life. This teacher is “all in” as an educator, friend, and motivator for the school as a whole, and for any individual students that may need a helping hand. Teaching isn’t just what he does, it’s who he is, and Windham High School is fortunate to have him.



Previous ParentingNH Top Teacher winners • Kathy Litch, World Academy, Nashua • Gail Boucher Lewis, Auburn Village School • Lauren Asmega, Strafford School • Mary Guidoboni, World Academy • Lindsay Bliznik, Moultonborough Academy • Shauna Webber, Smyth Road Elementary, Manchester • Marilyn Byron, St. Joseph Regional Catholic School, Salem • Patricia Silvia, Strong Foundations Charter School, Pembroke

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Holly Lubelczyk

Srilakshmi Sankar

Grade 1

Grade 6-8, math; assistant principal, K-8

James Mastricola Elementary School, Merrimack Holly Lubelczyk, who has been teaching for 16 years, says: The elementary school classroom is my happy place, the place I feel most myself. I strive to make the right decisions and provide just what each student needs to reach their next goal. I am thankful for supportive families and a network of colleagues who inspire and challenge me. I am proud to be a public school teacher, and I truly love what I do. Nominator: Amy Reczko, parent of a former student

Mrs. Lubelczyk has been a wonderful teacher to my children over the past few years. My son was her student over three years ago and she knew exactly what he needed when it came to his sensory issues. She was able to tell when he needed a little squeeze on the shoulders when he was getting antsy and couldn’t sit still. She accommodated him in every way possible without even being told to; this was a huge comfort to him and to me as his mother. My daughter had her for first grade last year and once again, Holly knew just what to do to boost her confidence when she had a difficult time reading. Holly advocated for Megan to get reading assistance immediately and keep me in the loop about it all. Holly is one of those teachers that you remember the rest of your life. My son, who is now in fourth grade, still goes by to give her a hug. She is the teacher you want your first grader to have so they love going to school.

12 | DECEMBER 2018

World Academy, Nashua

Math teacher and coach, Sri Sankar, taught for a year in 2006. After a break to have her children, she returned in 2009 and has been teaching since. Sankar was honored by the Mathematical Association of America in August 2018 with the Edyth May Sliffe Award for distinguished math teaching at the middle and high school levels. Srilakshmi Sankar says:

I bring to the classroom, not only the international experience that I have, but also the dedication and passion for teaching through content knowledge and practical applications with a focus on 21st-century skills along with strategies to teach culturally diverse students. I believe in the need to have a positive relationship with students, their families and my colleagues. From Anna Vyskoubenko, parent of current student:

Mrs. Sankar supports an individual approach to each kid’s needs, which allows students to learn math at their own pace. Her students graduate middle school completing Algebra I, Algebra II and Geometry, which are the high school courses. Mrs. Sankar prepares her students and provides accontinued


Why Attend St. Christopher School? 5 Great Reasons: Families come from 15 different communities and are of 12 different faiths. Character development begins in PreKindergarten. Faith matters at St. Christopher School. Teachers are not constrained by Common Core requirements. Buddy Program connects students and develops leadership.

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cess to many math competitions in the region, and her students are at the top of the winner list. She fosters creative and independent thinking, encourages non-standard solutions; she is always open to dialog with her students. Her classes are well structured and help her students learn self-organization. I believe that all the above describes an exemplary math teacher, and Mrs. Sankar should be commended for her enthusiasm and dedication to teaching math.

From Amy Dobski, parent of current student:

Her breadth of knowledge is amazing. That she choose to use this knowledge to broaden the minds of these young adults at World Academy is admirable. Her rapport with their students is inspiring. She has excellent communication and organizational skills with parents.

From Devlin Pena, parent of current student:

My son is a new student to the school. Mrs. Sankar has made his transition into this new environment and curriculum smooth and easier. She takes her time explaining her lessons and my son comes home confident he’s mastering the subject due to her attention to detail and patience with each child. She is an amazing teacher who deserves this award.

14 | DECEMBER 2018

Michelina (Lena) Madden New Durham Elementary School Grade 3

Lena Madden has taught for nearly 32 years, the last two at New Durham Elementary School. She was nominated twice for Massachusetts Teacher of the Year during her 30-year tenure in Topsfield. Lena and her husband moved to New Hampshire to be closer to their five grandchildren. She spends free time at the hockey rink watching them play and enjoys designing colorful quilts. Lena Madden says:

I am a third grade teacher this year, but had the privilege of having Stefanie’s son Timothy [student of nominator] last year in second grade and in third grade this year. Our class mantra is, “It’s not a race but a journey.” We focus on the process of how we learn and making connections to the real world. Nominator: Stefanie King, parent of current student

I speak for all of the students, parents of students and colleagues of Mrs. Madden when I write that she is the best of the best. As a retired master teacher from Massachusetts, Mrs. Madden had been substitute teaching in our district when adminis-

tration took notice of her exceptional skill and pulled her out of retirement to educate the largest and most challenging class New Durham had. Tenaciously, Mrs. Madden held the academic and behavioral bar high for all of her second-graders while attending to their unique differences and inspiring them with genuine love. Whenever I dropped by her classroom, students were engaged in their learning, and colleagues would whisper ‘she’s amazing’ as they walked past. Regardless of what her students’ needs were, it was evident that Mrs. Madden responded to all of them attentively, personalized learning, nurtured their emotional growth, and cultivated curiosity, creativity and good citizenship. Regardless of who you ask in our little town, they will tell you that Mrs. Madden has a gift; she has made a profound difference here. On a personal note, she has impacted our family immeasurably. When my husband passed away suddenly this past spring, Mrs. Madden wrapped our older son with unconditional support as he grieved. Our son had a long history of recalcitrant behavior, but Mrs. Madden, along with her whole class of students, lovingly walked him through the darkest and most challenging part of his young life. Mrs. Madden went above and beyond the call of duty. She corresponded with me constantly by phone and email, she cooked him his favorite meal and she sent him letters throughout the summer so he was excited to go back to school. He is lucky to have been placed in her class again as a third grader, and he is positively thriving — academically, behaviorally, socially and emotionally — under Mrs. Madden’s ongoing love and guidance. As a widow, I simply cannot convey the gratitude I feel for Mrs. Madden. In the wake of our loss, to see our son who had struggled for years confidently succeeding is an ineffably priceless gift. To see all of her students succeeding is a boon to our entire community. New Durham is privileged to have a whole faculty of incredible educators and staff who never cease to rally for the children of our community. Among that cluster of blindingly bright and beautiful stars, Mrs. Madden shines as one of New Hampshire’s Top Teachers.


July and August

October 12th - 21st

November 9th - 18th

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Congratulations to our own Sri Sankar for being named “Top Teacher” by ParentingNH!

| december 2018 15

Q+A: What you need The mysterious disease, acute flaccid myelitis, By Melanie hitchcock


neurologic disease, acute flaccid myelitis, has grabbed headlines across the country because not much is known about the serious disorder that strikes children. Dr. Jan B. Wollack of Children’s Hospital at DartmouthHitchcock answered questions about AFM — what it is, the symptoms, and what to do if your child is presenting with those symptoms and more — in November 2018 for readers of ParentingNH.

16 | december 2018

to know about AFM has parents talking — should you be worried?

Question: Parents have been hearing a lot about acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) in the news lately. What exactly is acute flaccid myelitis and why is it garnering so much attention now?

Answer: AFM is a polio-like neurologic disease characterized by weakness in one or more limbs. It is frequently preceded by a febrile (fever) or respiratory illness. In addition to weakness, there is loss of muscle tone and deep tendon reflexes in the affected limb(s). There may also be facial weakness, difficulties swallowing, difficulties speaking and limitation of eye movements. It first came to attention in 2012 with the report of a number of cases in California, although probably occurred before then. Further attention was drawn to it following a series of cases in Colorado in 2014, at the time of a national outbreak of respiratory illness associated with enterovirus D68. Eventually 120 confirmed cases were reported from 34 different states that year. After that outbreak, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) began a program to monitor it. The number of confirmed cases was only 22 in 2015, but then in 2016

there were 149 cases seen, spread over 39 states. After only 33 cases in 2017, we now seem to be in another year of increased activity, with 80 cases so far, involving 25 states. This increase in activity, along with the intense efforts of the CDC to collect data on these cases in the hopes of finding better treatment, have brought the increased attention.

Q: Do we know what causes AFM? A: AFM is caused by inflammation of part of the spinal cord.

According to the CDC, the cause of this inflammation remains unknown. Possible causes include the direct effect of viruses, or a “parainfectious” inflammation of the spinal cord in response to a virus. The virus most suspected is enterovirus D68, but enterovirus 70, enterovirus 71 and West Nile Virus have also been occasionally found. There are also many cases where no virus can be identified. The exact cause of AFM remains a subject of ongoing investigation.

Q: Who is must susceptible to developing AFM?

Can adults get it?

A: Most cases occur in children, but young adults can occasionally get it as well. In one study, 15 percent of the patients were over 21. Q: What are the symptoms of AFM? A: As stated, AFM is a polio-like neurologic disease charac-

terized by weakness in one or more limbs. It is frequently preceded by a febrile (fever) or respiratory illness. In addition to weakness, there is loss

| december 2018 17

of muscle tone and deep tendon reflexes in the affected limb(s). There may also be facial weakness, difficulties swallowing, difficulties speaking and limitation of eye movements. Imaging with MRI reveals inflammation in the gray matter region of the spine near the affected limb(s). If a spinal tap is done, inflammatory cells are usually found in the cerebrospinal fluid.

Q: If a child is showing these

symptoms, what should a parent do? Can they wait to see a doctor or should they take their child to the emergency room?

A: The faster the medical evaluation, the better, so most of the time going to the emergency room is the best option. AFM is not the only cause of sudden onset of limb weakness. Stroke and Guillain-Barre syndrome are other important causes, which need to be investigated and that may need emergency intervention. The ER is usually the place where MRI and other investigations can be done fastest. Q: How is AFM treated? A: Given that the exact cause of AFM

18 | DECEMBER 2018

is yet to be determined, there is no specific therapy for AFM, and management is therefore “supportive,” i.e., directed at minimizing symptoms. Attempts at using either antiviral agents, or drugs to treat the inflammation in the spine, such as steroids, intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) or plasma exchange have shown no evidence of effectiveness. For the longer term, physical and occupational therapy can help the patient to regain strength.

Q: Have there been any cases of

AFM diagnosed in New Hampshire?

A: Since 2014, there have only been four confirmed cases in New Hampshire. There is only one suspected (not yet confirmed) case so far this year. Q: How concerned should New

Hampshire parents be about AFM?

A: AFM is very rare. Between August 2014 and October 2018, only 404 confirmed cases were found in the United States. The CDC estimates that it only affects one person in a million. So while it is a serious condition, the odds of getting it are quite small.

Q: Is there anything a parent can do to prevent their child from contracting AFM?

A: General health hygiene can help. Washing one’s hands, or using hand sanitizer, can help prevent catching viruses. Since West Nile Virus can occasionally cause this disorder, the CDC recommends protecting again mosquito bites. They also recommend staying up to date with your vaccinations; while poliovirus has been eliminated from this country, it was the original cause of acute myelitis and can still be found in some parts of the world. Q:

Is there anything else parents should know about AFM?

A: The CDC is actively investigating AFM and its potential causes. You can get the latest information from them at www. Jan B. Wollack, MD, PhD, is Section Chief, Division of Pediatric Neurology at Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock and Associate Professor of Neurology at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. Melanie Hitchcock is the Editor of ParentingNH and has been a journalist for almost 20 years.

| december 2018 19

12 things to do befo There are so many fun things to do in the Granite State throughout the holiday season. Here are 12 family-friendly events you don’t want to miss. compiled By Melanie hitchcock

Portsmouth Christmas Tree Lighting and Illuminated Parade Saturday, Dec. 1; tree lighting at 5:30 p.m., parade at 6 Experience this magical event. Excitement builds as the community counts down to the lighting of the Christmas tree and the festive fun continues with a dazzling illuminated holiday parade down Islington Street and through Market Square. Downtown Portsmouth; www.vintagechristmasnh. org

20 | DECember 2018

Midnight Merriment

Christmas at Canterbury

Friday, Dec. 7; 5 p.m. to midnight

Saturdays, Dec. 8 and 15; 3 to 8 p.m.

Shop ’til you drop with thousands of your neighbors, friends and community members. Enjoy shopping, carolers, the s’mores station, a beard contest and more. This is an event for all ages, and it’s free.

Christmas at Canterbury is a chance to experience the delights of Christmas in a simpler era. Go inside the historic Shaker buildings to watch an oldtime 19th-century magic show, meet Father Christmas, make Christmas-inspired crafts, admire a toy train display or listen to fiddlers. Enjoy hot cider and sing Christmas carols as the Village Christmas tree is lit.

Downtown Concord;

Canterbury Shaker Village, 288 Shaker Road, Canterbury;

o re

Homestead Christmas

Santa Shuffle

Saturday, Dec. 1; 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 1; 3 p.m.

Welcome the holidays by stepping back in time. Celebrate this most magical of seasons at the historic Remick Country Doctor Museum & Farm. Take a tour of the festively decorated Captain Enoch Remick House, sample holiday treats including fresh-baked cookies made in the wood stove and seasonal beverages. Take a wintertide wagon ride, explore season-based exhibits, try your hand at a handcraft, engage with the farm animals, watch cooking demonstrations at the open hearth and farm kitchen wood stove, and more.

Get festive and kick off the holiday season in your very own Santa suit with 2,500 others as you race down Elm Street. The three-mile out-andback course starts and finishes at Veteran’s Park. Manchester’s Christmas Parade follows the Santa Shuffle. Also, at 2:30 p.m. there will also be Lil’ Elf Runs. Downtown Manchester;

Remick Country Doctor Museum & Farm, 58 Cleveland Hill Road, Tamworth;

Wolfeboro Festival of Trees Dec. 8, 9, 12, 15, 16 — visit website for hours The 20th annual Wolfeboro Festival of Trees is a charity benefit featuring more than 65 trees, uniquely decorated by businesses and organizations, and displayed on two levels at the Wright Museum. In addition to the trees, the exhibit features continuous entertainment and light refreshments. Wright Museum, 77 Center St., Wolfeboro; www. wolfeboro festivalof

Jingle Bell Express

Winter Solstice Celebration

Saturday, Dec. 8 and 15; 10:30-11:30 a.m., noon -1 p.m., 1:30-2:30 p.m. or 3-4 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 15; 3 to 5 p.m.

Take a magical wintry journey to the Cochecho Country Club in the C&J double-decker bus to hear a reading of the classic children’s holiday story, The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg. Enjoy refreshments and a visit from a very special guest, and receive a keepsake gift. Pajamas are welcome! Ticket includes keepsake family photo, time to explore the Museum and a make-and-take holiday craft. This event sells out; reserve your seat early.

Celebrate the upcoming winter solstice — the shortest day of the year — with fun activities to welcome back the light at the Prescott Farm. Events include sledding (fingers crossed for snow), warm beverages around a bonfire and lighting of the lanterns at dusk. Prescott Farm Environmental Education Center, 928 White Oaks Road, Laconia; www.prescottfarm. org

Children’s Museum of New Hampshire, 6 Washington St., Dover; www. childrens-museum. org

| december 2018 21

12 things to do before

It’s a Wonderful Life Thursday, Dec. 20 at 7 p.m., and Friday, Dec. 21 at 1 p.m.


Holiday Pops Concert Sunday, Dec. 16; 7 p.m. Ring in the season with the annual Strafford Wind Symphony Holiday Pops concert, featuring favorite tunes, both old and new, a special narrated piece, and the famous gift basket raffle. Rochester Opera House, 31 Wakefield St., Rochester;

Frank Capra’s beloved holiday classic is on screen at The Music Hall. After George Bailey (James Stewart) wishes he had never been born, an angel (Henry Travers) is sent to earth to make George’s wish come true. George starts to realize how many lives he has changed and impacted, and how they would be different if he was never there. 28 Chestnut St., Portsmouth; www.themusic

Christmas on Broadway Thursday, Dec. 20 to Sunday, Dec. 23 — visit website for show times An original family-oriented musical revue, Christmas on Broadway is inspired by the time-honored holiday favorites of the Great White Way and the all-star heart-warming episodic song and dance revue. Christmas on Broadway is a new celebration of the seasonal music featured in Broadway’s most enduring and endearing shows. The all-star cast features unforgettable and special performances from Peacock Players students, alumni, family and friends – even a visit from Santa Claus himself.

Gift of Lights Through Dec. 31 — visit website for times It’s that time when New Hampshire Motor Speedway trades in the checkered flags for two million twinkly lights. The Gift of Lights, celebrating its eighth year, has become a family tradition. The 2.5mile drive-thru light show features a s’mores pit, pictures with Santa Claus, and you can even meet Milo. New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Loudon;

14 Court St., Nashua; www.peacockplayers. org

For more events, go to www.

22 | DECember 2018

Santa’s Holiday Express

Santa is on board with his mischievous elves who have hot chocolate and cookies for everyone!

Nov 23-25, Dec 1 & 2, 8 & 9, and 15-23 Departures at 11:30am & 1:30pm

Christmas Vacation Trains! We are running trains daily Dec 26 - 31 Departures at 11:30am & 1:30pm • (603)356-5251 • North Conway Village




membership join fee with a 5-piece perishable food donation from Dec. 10 through Jan. 12

YMCA of Greater Nashua Merrimack branch 6 Henry Clay Drive, Merrimack P: 603.881.7778

Nashua branch 24 Stadium Drive, Nashua P: 603.882.2011

Book Your Birthday Party with Us. Mon-Fri 9:30 am - 5:00 pm Sat 10:00 am - 6:00 pm Sun 10:00 am - 5:00 pm OPEN TO THE PUBLIC WE HAVE A FULL KITCHEN WITH HEALTHY CHOICES

746 D.W. Highway | Merrimack, NH 603-429-2200

| december 2018 23




May your holiday season be merry and bright!

24 | DECEMBER 2018


strawbery banke Museum

History Happened Here

2675 White Mountain Hwy. in the Heart of North Conway Village REN











Shop the best country store in New England for an endless array of stocking stuffers. Choose from largest selection of New England made specialty foods in the world, grab a gift basket, or just have fun in a store that offers over 8,000 items and has a reputation as THE place to shop in Mt. Washington Valley.

VISIT December store hours: 9am–8pm weekdays, and 9am–9pm weekends

Experience daily life across four centuries in NH’s oldest waterfront neighborhood. EXPLORE THE HISTORIC HOMES AND BUILDINGS. STROLL THE LANES AND LANDSCAPES. SEE HISTORY FOR 39th YOURSELF AT AN AMERICANStroll CELEBRATION JULY 4. Annual Candlelight MEET THE PEOPLEDecember INCLUDING CIVIL WAR RE-ENACTORS AUG 20-21. 1-2, 8-9, 15-16 and 22 Open daily 10am-5pm 1 - October 31. Saturdays 5-9 pm,May Sundays 4-8 pm Nov 1 Labrie - Dec 30, open for guided tours andDock special events. Family Skate at Puddle Pond Please visit our website for more information. December - March

Shop online for any of our unique gift baskets or customize your own by calling the store:


14 Hancock Street Portsmouth, NH 03801 Call 603.433.1100 for more info

Winter2017.indd 1

11/7/2018 12:34:51 PM


150 Bridge St Pelham, NH 03076

| DECEMBER 2018 25

My Turn is a new, occasional feature debuting this month in ParentingNH. If you are a reader interested in sharing your parenting journey, please email editor@ The views of those expressed by the writers of My Turn do not necessarily reflect the views of ParentingNH.

The struggle to In the end you are the best advocate for your child By Rob Levey


y journey began years ago when my oldest son entered kindergarten. He is now 18, which means this all started in 2005, but the journey to which I refer began in earnest when he was probably about 7 or 8.

It started when we got a call from his teacher. My son was acting “odd,” saying “weird” things, making “inappropriate” jokes. He would steal, too, and it was so obvious he was guilty, but then he would lie about it in a way that actually made the consequent punishment much worse. In essence, he was disruptive in class, and so we began therapy outside of school. At this same time, my ex-wife — much to her credit — began to inquire about support for him. He was clearly struggling, had few friends, and did not seem to recognize his role in any of the issues that constantly swirled around him. Honestly, I did not pay a lot of attention to this aspect and instead focused on the therapy, which was ineffectual largely because my son refused to talk about “the problem.” Well, this “problem” escalated over the years, and school suspensions

26 | DECEMBER 2018

began to occur sometime in seventh grade. He was struggling academically, and his own analysis of what might be happening just seemed off. We began to have him tested, and psychologists were coming back with some interesting and somewhat disturbing analyses. He appeared to have anxiety, might be depressed, and seemed to be at risk for Conduct disorder (Editor’s note: Conduct disorder refers to a group of repetitive and persistent behavioral and emotional problems in youngsters). He scored low on various aspects of tests, especially as they related to analysis of his surroundings and reading social cues. In fact, one expert thought he was on the Autism spectrum. By the age of 15, he began to abuse drugs and drink, and his issues quickly careened out of control. Soon thereafter, the administration wanted to expel him for trying to sell drugs on school grounds. This was his third school at this

help my son

| december 2018 27

If you need help, assistance or information The following are just a few of the organizations and resources New Hampshire parents can reach out to for help and information. For more resources, go to the state Department of Health and Human Resources website at www.dhhs. You can also find additional local and statewide organizations listed at Click on the digital edition of the Family Resource Guide or scroll down the page and select “Resources and Support.”

• New Hampshire Statewide Addiction Crisis Line: 1-844-711-HELP (4357)

• Psychiatric Emergency & Crisis Services: Services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to any person in New Hampshire who may be experiencing psychiatric distress. If you are dealing with an immediate crisis, call 911, or call the statewide suicide hotline at 1-800-273-talk (1-800-273-8255), or visit the emergency room at your local hospital, or contact your local community mental health center.

• 2-1-1 NH is the connection for New Hampshire residents to the most up-to-date resources they need from specially trained information and referral specialists. 2-1-1 NH is available 24 hours, 365 days a year. Multilingual assistance and TDD access is also available. Dial 2-1-1 or go to

• Child and Family Services: The family/parent support and preservation programs offered by Child and Family Services of New Hampshire provide a wide array of support services to families throughout the state. These programs offer emotional support and practical solutions in managing family life, work with families who struggle with employment barriers and offer assistance to those who need in home assistance with parenting and household management. 1-800-640-6486;

point, and this latest administration contended that his choices “to be bad” were just that – choices. He had the ability to choose to do different, they said, which meant he did not qualify for an Individualized Education Plan. His expulsion hearing was scheduled, and I thought, “Wow, we are in trouble.” It was at this point that I talked to a child advocate, a remarkable woman who looked at the mountain of paperwork related to him supplied to me by my ex-wife. Her reaction was surreal. “You and your son have been done a great disservice,” she said to me. “He is clearly in need of support.” Leveraging my background in mental health, I began to dig into research and developed a letter that used specific language that this child advocate suggested I use. I emailed this letter, and within 15 minutes the school wanted “to talk.” It was surreal, but that one email began a chain of events in which he eventually qualified for an Individualized Education Plan and supports, but it was too little, too late. The scope of this reflection does not allow me to comment on all else that transpired, but it entailed numerous arrests, drug overdoses, hospitalization and temporary placement in the state’s care. It has been a very long and complicated journey. What I learned from this journey, though, is that school staff, administrators — and yes, even experts — can be wrong. I should not have deferred so easily to their respective judgment and I regret not fighting harder or with my knowledge as to my rights as a parent. I do not mean to suggest that anyone with whom we worked did not care. Rather, I think we live in a state with very few resources allocated for education when you compare it with that of other states. “Live Free or Die” is a wonderful, catchy state motto, but it also explains the state’s de facto view on anyone in need of additional support, especially in complex cases like ours. If you suspect there is an issue with your child, or you are at odds with the school regarding his or her care, seek outside support. There are resources in the state that are free — and in some cases, you may need to spend a little money to advocate for your child. It is worth it even if it seems scary. In the end, I tried my best as a parent, and I am proud to be my son’s father. Like many parents, however, I wonder, “What if I…”

• Family Resource Centers: Go to where you will find a list of Family Resource Centers across the state. Family Resource Centers are open to all families and can be especially supportive of families struggling with challenging issues, limited financial resources and/or troubled family dynamics.

28 | DECEMBER 2018

Rob Levey is a longtime contributor to ParentingNH and the board president of The Chase Home for Children, which works to meet the needs of New Hampshire’s at-risk youth and their families through residential and home-based services.

Granite State aba Services, LLC. Shaping Behavior Together Expertise And Experience In: ▲ Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) ▲ Autism & Intellectual Disabilities ▲ Mental Health Disabilities ▲ Challenging Behaviors ▲ Language-Based Disabilities

Serving Ages 2-99 in Coos, Grafton Carroll, Belknap Merrimack & Sullivan Counties

▲ Educational Consultation ▲ Including Special Education & Early Intervention.

16 Norcross Place North Conway, NH 03860 11 Pleasant Street New London, NH 03257 For More Info Call Us at 603-387-3092 Or Visit Our Webstite.

Professional Development

Community Based Programs

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Unlimited possibilities for students with special needs

Ready Set Connect ABA for Children with Autism

Ready Set Connect provides clinic-based therapy for young children with autism, offering an environment of fun and learning and a path to a bright future!


Locations in Concord, Manchester, and Greenfield, NH!

| december 2018 29

New Hampshire Council on Developmental

CONTENTS I. Information and Referral Services, Guidebooks and Online Resources II. Information and Resources on Specific Disabilities or Topics • Advocacy and Self-Advocacy • Assistive Technology • Autism • Blind Resources • Brain Injury • Bullying • Children with Disabilities or Significant Medical Needs • Deaf and Hard of Hearing • Dental Services • Developmental Disabilities and Acquired Brain Disorders • Employment • GED/Adult Education • Government Benefits and Agencies • Housing • Independent Living — Adults with Physical Disabilities • Legal Assistance • Mental Health and Suicide Prevention • Research and Training • Transition • Transportation

30 | december 2018


he New Hampshire Council on Developmental Disabilities has compiled this listing to help people with disabilities and their families find the information, services, and support they need. A complete version of the resource guide is available at or may be obtained by calling (603) 271-7038.


Resource Guide Information and Referral Services, Guidebooks and Online Resources Maneuvering Through the Maze Publications.html A comprehensive resource guide of state health and human services agencies, educational resources, private associations and organizations that serve people in New Hampshire with physical, developmental, mental health and chronic illnesses and their families, from birth to adulthood. Produced by NH Family Voices.

NH Family Voices

(603) 271-4525, (800) 852-3345 ext. 4525 (in NH only) A “Family to Family Health and Education Center” assisting families of children and young adults with chronic health, physical, developmental and mental health challenges. Provides one-to-one phone assistance, educational materials, online resources, a lending library and quarterly newsletter. Funded by state and federal grants, as well as donations from community partners and supporters.

Parent Information Center on Special Education (PIC)

54 Old Suncook Road, Concord (603) 224-7005, (800) 947-7005 Telephone/email support to families with questions about early supports and services, special education, and other disability-related concerns, interactive workshops for parents, volunteer advocate training and informational materials (online and printed). Funded in part or whole by the U.S. Department of Education.

Disability Rights Center – NH (DRC)

(603) 228-0432, (800) 834-1721 (v/tty) Information, referral, advice, and legal representation and advocacy to individuals with disabilities on a wide range of disability-related issues. Online resources and materials available on many disability-related topics. Federally funded Protection and Advocacy Center.

ServiceLink Aging & Disability Resource Centers

(866) 634-9412 From local offices throughout the state, helps individuals access long-term services, supports and resources, access family caregiver information, explore options and understand and access Medicare and Medicaid. After-hours appointments are available as needed. Callers are automatically connected to the ServiceLink office in their area. Funded by the State of New Hampshire and federal government. Online ServiceLink Community Services and Supports Resource Directory:

Brain Injury Association of New Hampshire List of resources compiled by the Brain Injury Association of New Hampshire.

Governor’s Commission on Disability

121 South Fruit Street, Suite 101, Concord (800) 852-3405, (603) 271-2773 Provides information on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and accessibility issues, including accessible parking spaces, housing, voting and transportation. Online list of state and federal government benefit programs for people with disabilities. benefitsforpeople.htm

NH Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC)

121 South Fruit Street, Concord (800) 852-3405, (603) 271-0476 Provides a monthly resource newsletter, archives of past issues and online “tip sheets” on benefits, housing and health care, based on an independent living philosophy. A federally funded, independent, cross-disability council.

NH Family Ties (Formerly Parent to Parent of NH)

Ashlee Fye, Statewide Coordinator (800) 499-4153 ext. 241 Provides parent matches between experienced parents, who have “been there,” with new or referred parents of children with special needs just beginning to meet the challenges of a disability or chronic health condition. Available through the area agency network as part of their family support services. NH Family Ties provides information and referral to community resources, services, support groups, state support programs, and others.

| december 2018 31

resource guide 2-1-1 New Hampshire Information and referral for general human services including help with food, emergency housing, employment, health care and counseling is available by dialing 211 in NH or (866) 444-4211 from out of state. Operated by United Ways of New Hampshire.


(866) 634-9412 Designed as New Hampshire’s “front door” to quickly connect individuals of all ages, abilities and income levels to a full range of community services and supports, including housing, transportation, financial assistance, Medicaid, veterans’ services, mental health, drug and alcohol services. Operated by the NH Department of Health and Human Services. A federal inter-agency web portal providing access to comprehensive information about disability-related programs and services. The site contains thousands of trusted resources, updated daily, from the federal government, educational institutions, non-profit organizations and state and local governments.

NH DHHS Division of Family Assistance 129 Pleasant St., Concord (800) 852-3345 ext. 9700, (603) 271-9700

Information and Resources on Specific Disabilities or Topics Advocacy and Self-Advocacy ABLE NH

(603) 271-7042 ABLE (Advocates Building Lasting Equality) advocates for the human and civil rights of all children and adults with disabilities and promotes full participation by improving systems of supports, connecting families, inspiring communities and influencing public policy.

New Hampshire Council on Developmental Disabilities

2 ½ Beacon Street, Suite 10, Concord (603) 271-3236 Federally funded agency that sup-

ports public policies and initiatives to remove barriers and promote opportunities in all areas of life. Its mission includes “dignity, full rights of citizenship, equal opportunities, and full participation for all New Hampshire citizens with developmental disabilities.” Members are appointed by the Governor and represent people with developmental disabilities, parents, guardians and agencies that serve people with disabilities.

New Hampshire Leadership Series

(603) 228-2084, (800) 238-2048 Intensive 7-session leadership training provides parents and people with disabilities with information and strategies to effectively impact local and state organizations regarding issues related to individuals with disabilities and their families.

People First of New Hampshire

NH Council on Developmental Disabilities 2 ½ Beacon Street, Suite 10, Concord (603) 271-3236 Statewide self-advocacy organization and umbrella for 17 self-advocacy groups for people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities. Provides resources, training and support. Call for the chapter in your area or how to start one.

Assistive Technology Crotched Mountain ATECH Services

57 Regional Drive, Suite #7, Concord (800) 932-5837, (603) 226-2900 programs-and-services/assistivetechnology/ Formerly NH-ATEC, this highly specialized clinical program provides evaluation and consultation services in the area of assistive technology. Services include augmentative and alternative communications (AAC), seating and wheeled mobility, access and independent living and computer access.

Autism NH Virtual Autism Center

Maintained by NH Council on Autism Spectrum Disorders 2 ½ Beacon Street, Suite 10, Concord Provides a single point of entry to a comprehensive body of information about NH services for those who experience autism spectrum disorders. Also offers best practices guidelines.

Autism Resource Center

Crotched Mountain ATECH Services 57 Regional Drive, Concord

32 | DECEMBER 2018

(603) 226-2900, ext. 29, (800) 932-5837 autismresources@crotched Programs-and-Services/ABATreatment-for-Young-Children-withAutism/Autism-Resource-Center/ Provides services at no cost, functioning as a single point of contact for support, information and services for autism-related disorders. Helps families navigate the developmental service system, explore treatment options, identify funding options and advocate for their child.

Department of Applied Psychology

Antioch University New England 40 Avon Street, Keene (800) 552-8380 Offers practice-oriented, values-based graduate study. Master degrees in education, environmental studies, management, and psychology; doctoral degrees in environmental studies and psychology. Also offering an Autism Spectrum Disorders Certificate program — a program for teachers, counselors, speech-language pathologists, psychologists, advocates, occupational therapists and others.

Asperger’s Association of New England

(617) 393-3824, (866) 597-AANE The Asperger’s Association of New England (AANE)’s mission is to foster awareness, respect, acceptance, and support for individuals with AS and related conditions and their families.

Blind Services Future In Sight

25 Walker St., Concord (603) 224-4039, (800) 464-3075 A nonprofit organization dedicated to transforming the lives of those who are blind or visually impaired and their families. Provides a range of services in education, rehabilitation, and social services for infants and toddlers, children (3-21), adults and seniors.

NH Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired

21 South Fruit Street, Suite 20, Concord (603) 271-3537, (603) 271-3471 (v/tty), (800) 581-6881 career/vocational/blind_visu.htm Provides those services necessary to help people with visual loss to enter, re-enter, or maintain employment. Most services are provided without charge to the referred individual. Ser-

vices for Blind and Visually Impaired Program is supported by state and federal tax dollars.

Brain Injury Brain Injury Association of NH

52 Pleasant St., Concord (800) 773-8400, (603) 225-8400 (NH only Information & Resources) (800) 444-6443 (National toll-free Brain Injury Resource Line) Helps people with brain injury-related disabilities live in their own homes and communities. Chartered state affiliate of the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA; http://www. Comprehensive online resource directory at http://www.

Bullying Come Together NH A collaboration of the NH Council on Developmental Disabilities, Bully Free NH and other community members committed to building respectful, inclusive communities in New Hampshire. Bringing awareness, intervention, and prevention of peer abuse/bullying to NH schools and communities.

NH Department of Education

Bullying and Cyber Bulling Resources integrated/title_iv_cyber_bully.htm

Disability Rights Center – NH Information about the legal rights of students with disabilities experiencing bullying in school. A federal website that provides information from various government agencies about what bullying is, what cyberbullying is, who is at risk, and how to prevent and respond to bullying.

Children with Disabilities or Significant Medical Needs YOUR Pediatrician

Provides the gateway to proper assessment, diagnosis, and initial treatment, services, and supports.

Your Local School District

If you have a child with a disability who is eligible for special education services, your child may receive services from ages 3-21. Contact your school district before your child turns three — the age at which the school district becomes responsible for your child’s education.


NH Medicaid for Children

Coverage for children up to age 19 and “Katie Beckett” option 129 Pleasant Street, Concord (877) 464-2447 Children’s Medicaid Unit medical/children.htm Provides comprehensive health and dental insurance to NH children ages 0-19 for families without access to insurance or for whom it is unaffordable (formerly NH Healthy Kids). Also, Home Care for Children with Severe Disabilities (HCCSD), commonly known as the “Katie Beckett” option, is available for severely disabled children up to age 19, whose medical disability is so severe that they qualify for institutional care but are being cared for at home. Only the income and resources of the disabled child are counted towards eligibility for this program.

In-Home Support (IHS) Waiver for Children with Severe Disabilities

NH DHHS Bureau of Developmental Services 105 Pleasant St., Concord (800) 852-3345, ext. 5034 Provides assistance for children with the most significant medical and behavioral challenges requiring long-term supports and services, who live at home with their families, are Medicaid eligible, and meet the ICF/ MR level of care and other qualifications of the program. The goal of the IHS waiver is to provide services which are necessary to allow the individual to remain at home with his/ her care-giving family. Services are provided through the Developmental Disabilities Area Agencies.

Family Centered Early Supports and Services (FCESS)

NH Bureau of Developmental Services 105 Pleasant Street Concord (603) 271-5034, (800) 852-3345, ext. 5034 bds/earlysupport/index.htm A program designed for children birth through age two who have a diagnosed, established condition with a high probability of delay, are experiencing developmental delays, or are at risk for substantial developmental delays if supports and services are not provided. FCESS are delivered in the family’s home by designated non-profit and specialized service agencies located throughout the state.

Special Medical Services

NH Department of Health and Human Services 129 Pleasant St., Concord (800) 852-3345 ext 4488, (603) 2714488 sms/specialcare.htm

The NH Title V Program for Children with Special Health Care Needs. Administers health programs and services for children ages birth to 21 years, who have, or are at risk for a chronic medical condition, disability or special health care need. Works together with families and their health care providers, community agencies and schools to obtain access to needed health care and related services. Provides care coordination services; support for child development and neuromotor clinics; nutritional and feeding/swallowing consultation; psychological and physical therapy services.

NH Partners in Health

129 Pleasant St., Concord (800) 656-3333, (800) 735-2964 (TDD) sms/pih/ Helps families of children with a chronic health condition that significantly impacts daily life. Partners in Health’s role is to advocate, access resources, navigate systems and build capacity to manage the chronic health condition of their child. Locations throughout the state. No income requirements. NH Partners in Health Regional Sites and Towns Served: http://www.dhhs.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Northeast Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services Inc.

56 Old Suncook Rd., Suite 6 Concord (603) 224-1850, (603) 224-0691 (TTY) Video Phone (VP): 968-5889 New Hampshire’s “one-stop” resource for services specific to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community and for information about hearing loss.

Dental Services Donated Dental Services

Dental Lifeline Network (800) 292-1531 A statewide program that provides comprehensive treatment by volunteer dentists to elderly, disabled and medically challenged individuals.

Easter Seals Oral Health Center, Manchester (603) 621-3482 our-programs/oral-health-center/

Staff evaluates, monitors, and responds to patients with a wide range of disabilities and special medical needs. Medicaid accepted.

The Importance of Special Education Options By Colleen Sliva MSEd, Spaulding School Principal & Special Education Director


t Spaulding Youth Center, we offer an educational option for children who demonstrate behavioral difficulties that could be compounded or intensified by other disabilities. Due to these challenges, our students are significantly behind their contemporaries and require creative approaches to quickly improve and begin gaining confidence and success in the classroom. Although our school mirrors a public-school setting, our campus provides specialized instruction which leverages flexible and creative approaches to match each student’s unique needs. On the Spaulding Youth Center campus, certified teachers and professionals provide day-long integrated instruction with modification and accommodation as outlined by each student’s individual education plans (IEPs). To support students’ IEPs, Spaulding Youth Center offers on-site related services, such as occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech and language therapy. In addition, all of our staff are trained in positive behavior management to emphasize skill development to correct behavioral issues. To address specific academic deficits, a number of teachers have completed specialized training, such as the Orton-Gillingham approach for reading and the Vertical Acceleration approach for math through the Center for Teaching/Learning of Mathematics. Our well-trained speech therapists help the children build critical communication skills which are often closely tied to their behavioral problems. Spaulding Youth Center is proud to provide all of these services on campus maximizing the amount of time and therapy available and enhancing the integration of these therapists with the classroom educational resources. This complement of program and services support our collective goal to help students learn how to successfully modify their behavior and transfer newly acquired skills back to their sending public school. If your child’s needs may require a different education option, contact your local special education director to discuss scheduling a visit to the Spaulding Youth Center campus located in Northfield, New Hampshire.

72 Spaulding Road Northfield, NH 03276 (603) 286-8901 SPAULDING YOUTH CENTER is a leading provider of services for children and youth with neurological, emotional, behavioral, learning and/or developmental challenges, including Autism Spectrum Disorder and those who have experienced significant trauma, abuse or neglect.

| december 2018 33

resource guide Helping people live meaningful lives through Advocacy, Innovation & Collaboration Developmental Disabilities and Acquired Brain Disorders NH DHHS Bureau of Developmental Services

Serving Carroll, Coos and Upper Grafton Counties

Visit our website:

105 Pleasant St., Concord (800) 852-3345 ext. 5034 index.htm The NH developmental services system offers individuals with developmental disabilities and acquired brain disorders a wide range of supports and services within their own communities through 10 designated non-profit area agencies that serve specific geographic regions. Supports include: • Service coordination • Day and vocational services • Personal care services • Community support services • Early Supports and Services and Early Intervention • Assistive technology services • Specialty services and family supports (including respite services and environmental modifications) • In-Home Support (IHS) Waiver for Children with Severe Disabilities For area agencies and communities served: agencies.htm

Employment Work Incentive Resource Center New Hampshire’s online destination for information about benefits, planning and work incentives for individuals with disabilities.

New Hampshire Vocational Rehabilitation Guide career/vocational/cust_guide.htm A description of the vocational rehabilitation process and overview of the NHVR process, from application to post-employment services.

Vocational Rehabilitation

Services offered include: • Individualized Home and Community Supports • Employment Services, including skills training and on-the-job support • Residential Services • Adult Education and Socialization Classes

The PLUS Company 19 Chestnut St. Nashua, NH 603.889.0652

The PLUS Company’s mission is to empower individuals with disabilities to maximize their independence. Our goal is to provide a supportive, innovative, and creative environment that assists individuals with disabilities to develop useful skills, increase self-reliance, and become vital, productive members of their communities. What makes us unique is that our services allow individuals to explore Home and Life skills, along with Educational/Social and Work Skills all in ONE agency. Programs are created with the vision that all people with disabilities have the confidence, dignity, and skills needed to lead quality lives.

34 | DECEMBER 2018

NH Department of Education Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation 21 South Fruit St., Suite #20, Concord (800) 299-1647 career/vocational/ Helps people with disabilities of all ages get jobs. Regional Offices: Berlin .........................(603) 752-2271 Concord ...................(603) 271-2327 Keene .......................(603) 357-0266 Manchester ..............(603) 669-8733 Nashua .....................(603) 889-6844 Portsmouth ...............(603) 436-8884


(603) 271-7275 Information center for job seekers and employers. Lists current job openings, NH economic and labor market information, education and training programs, employment laws, small business resources, and local Works Centers locations. Work Centers provide technical assistance to prepare resumes and cover letters, job search workshops, employment counseling, aptitude and skills testing, and career exploration tools. Sponsored by the NH Workforce Opportunity Council.

GED/Adult Education NH Bureau of Adult Education

GED & Adult Education Information 21 South Fruit St., Suite 20, Concord (603) 271-6698 Supports educational services to adults who have not received a high school diploma or GED certificate or who do not read, write, or speak English. Grants to school districts and not-for-profit organizations make it possible for local adult education programs to serve adult learners whose skills range from very basic to high school level.

Partnership in Employment: Supporting Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in their Communities resources/pie_adults_Nov2014_ families.pdf A project of the Institute for Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts Boston, and the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services. Overview of day and employment services for people with developmental disabilities and guidance for those assisting them to become employed and part of the community.

Government Benefits/ Agencies Apply Online for Benefits with NH EASY New Hampshire’s Electronic Application System (NH EASY) offers NH residents a fast and easy way to apply online for cash, medical, child care, Medicare savings program and food stamp benefits.

NH Department of Health and Human Services

129 Pleasant St., Concord (800) 852-3345 Provides services for individuals, children, families and seniors, and

administers programs and services for mental health, developmental disabilities, substance abuse and public health. The DHHS website contains a description of programs and services administered by the department and information about how to apply.

DHHS District Offices districtoffices.htm Local offices to apply for Medicaid, financial assistance, food stamps and other benefits.

Social Security

70 Commercial St., Suite 100, Concord (800) 772-1213, (800) 325-0778 (TTY) (603) 228-5206 (FAX) Applicants for SSDI and SSI can file for benefits online at website, by phone or by visiting a local Social Security Office.

Special Education

NH Department of Education Bureau of Special Education 101 Pleasant St., Concord (603) 271-6693 instruction/special_ed/index.htm Online reports, data and regulations relative to special education.

NH Circuit Court — Probate Division

1 Granite Place, Suite N400, Concord (855) 212-1234 probate/index.htm The Circuit Court Probate Division has jurisdiction over all matters related to wills, trusts and estates, guardianships and involuntary commitment proceedings, adoptions, name changes and partition of real estate. Probate judges preside over these cases from courthouses located in each of the 10 counties in NH.

Housing NH Housing Finance Authority

32 Constitution Dr., Bedford (800) 640-7239, (603) 472-8623 (603) 472-2089 (TDD) A self-supporting public benefit corporation. The Authority administers a broad range of programs designed to assist low- and moderate-income people and families to obtain decent, safe and affordable housing. Home ownership programs, multi-family housing programs and rental assistance programs.

Local Public Housing Authorities contacts/states/nh.cfm Provides housing for low-income people and families in local communities.

Brain Injury Association of New Hampshire Housing Assistance Guide Housing.pdf Lists housing assistance resources compiled by the Brain Injury Association.’s Guide to Housing disability-govs-guide-housing Information about government agencies and organizations that help individuals and families find affordable places to live. Additional information about rental assistance programs, assisted living facilities and modifying a home to make it accessible.

Granite State Independent Living’s Home Access Modification -based-disability-supports/homeaccess-modification Trained staff assess accessibility needs and provide referrals to licensed vendors throughout NH. May also assist in establishing a plan and identifying funding sources for accessibility projects.

USDA Rural Development in Vermont/New Hampshire

(802) 828-6080 Works to improve the quality of life in rural areas. Provides technical assistance to communities, and funding and resources for home purchase, apartment rental and repairs.

New Hampshire Community Loan Fund

7 Wall St., Concord (603) 224-6699 Collaborates with a wide range of donors and lenders, and with business, nonprofit and government partners. Provides financing and support to people with low and moderate incomes for affordable housing.

US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

New Hampshire Programs and Services (603) 666-7510 HUD?src=/states/new_hampshire Assistance with home ownership, subsidized apartments, public housing, foreclosure assistance, homeless resources and discrimination. Counseling and other services available.

State of NH Foreclosure Prevention Initiative

For immediate assistance dial 211 (in NH) Website with important tips on alternatives to foreclosure as well as other valuable resources. There is also a list of qualified housing counselors who can offer specific suggestions.

Independent Living — Adults with Physical Disabilities Granite State Independent Living

21 Chenell Dr., Concord (800) 826-3700, (603) 228-9680 New Hampshire’s only Independent Living Center. Provides information, specialized services, and peer support for people with disabilities following the principles of personal choice and direction. Provides home care services, personal care, community-based disability supports and employment services including benefit counseling.

Legal Assistance

Gateways Autism Center in Nashua is an ABA program. We provide high quality skills training and behavior intervention for the promotion of independence and autonomy.

Visit our website at: GATEWAYS COMMUNITY SERVICES Nashua, NH

Guide to New Hampshire Legal Services Programs brochure.pdf Produced by the NH Judicial Branch

NH Legal Aid

(800) 639-5290 A cooperative effort of the legal services agencies serving New Hampshire’s low- income population to provide legal information, referrals, and pro se assistance. Online application for legal assistance. Website provides links and contact information to a number of non-profit agencies that provide a range of services across the state. Includes online self-help guides.

NH Judicial Branch Self-Help Center selfhelp/index.htm Basic, practical information about the New Hampshire court system, how it works, and what the procedures are for bringing a case to court.

NH Bar Association Pro Bono Referral Program

(800) 639-5290, (603) 224-3333 Connects low-income individuals with volunteer attorneys who provide free legal services in family law, bankruptcy, consumer, housing and senior citizen matters.

regardless of ability, can live a life of their choosing.

All abilities. Limitless possibilities.

| december 2018 35

resource guide New Hampshire Legal Assistance

(800) 562-3174 Provides free legal advice and representation to low–income people and older adults in civil matters involving basic needs, including food, shelter, income, medical care and public benefits. Local Offices: Berlin .........................(800) 698-8969 Claremont ................(800) 562-3994 Concord ...................(800) 921-1115 Manchester ..............(800) 562-3174 Portsmouth ...............(800) 334-3135 Foreclosure Relief Project.......................(877) 399-9995 Senior Citizens Law Project .......................(888) 353-9944 ...................................or (603) 624-6000

The “Law Line” — NH Bar Association

(800) 868-1212 Talk to a lawyer free of charge on the 2nd Wednesday of the month, from 6 - 8 p.m.

University of New Hampshire School of Law Civil Practice Clinic

(603) 225-3350 Assists low-income clients with a variety of issues from consumer protection, collection and foreclosure defense (including Chapter 13 bankruptcy), predatory lending and auto fraud. Will take cases from Merrimack, Belknap, Sullivan and Hillsborough counties.

Mental Health and Suicide Prevention SAMHSA Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator and Treatment Referral Helpline

(800) 662-HELP (4357) (800) 487-4889 (TDD) Use the Locator to find alcohol and drug abuse treatment or mental health treatment facilities and programs around the country. Or call the SAMHSA Treatment Referral Helpline. Free, confidential information in English

and Spanish for individuals and family members facing substance abuse and mental health issues. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)


85 North State St., Concord (800) 242-6264, (603) 225-5359 A statewide network of affiliate chapter support groups, staff and volunteers that provide information, education and support to all families and communities affected by mental illness.

Community Mental Health Centers

NH DHHS Bureau of Behavioral Health (800) 852-3345, ext. 5000, (603) 271-5000 centers.htm Regional agencies provide publicly funded mental health services to individuals and families who meet certain criteria for services. Services include 24-hour emergency services, assessment and evaluation, individual and group therapy, case management, rehabilitation, psychiatric services and specialized programs for older adults, children, and families as well as short-term counseling and support.

Mental Health Peer Support

NH DHHS Bureau of Behavioral Health (800) 852-3345 ext.5000, (603) 271-5000 peer.htm Local Peer Support Agencies provide services to adults with mental illness who self-identify as a recipient, former recipient, or at significant risk of becoming a recipient of publicly funded mental health services. Provided by and for people with a mental illness. Includes face-to-face and telephone peer support, outreach, monthly educational events, activities that promote self-advocacy, wellness training, after-hours warm line and crisis respite.

Disaster Distress Helpline

(800) 985-5990, (800) 846-8517 (TTY) Website and helpline for those affected by a disaster and in need of immediate assistance, information, support, and counseling. Callers are connected to the nearest crisis center.’s Emergency Preparedness Resources disability.htm

Suicide Prevention Lifeline

(800) 273-TALK (8255)

New Hampshire Suicide Prevention and General Resources (603) 225-5359, (800) 242-6264 (These are NOT crisis response numbers)

Research and Training UNH Institute on Disability

(603) 228-2084 (TTY) (800) 238-2048 (TTY) Provides a university-based focus for the improvement of knowledge, policies, and practices related to the lives of people living with disabilities and their families. Offers seminars and workshops, webinars, interdisciplinary evaluation and consultation, leadership training, and customized, on-site support in schools.

Transition NH Parent Information Center’s Life After High School Toolkit Strategies, tools and resources for families of youth with disabilities to assist in creating successful transition plans.

Next Steps NH: Options for Life After High School Transition and career development resources for special educators, students, parents and others interested in increasing transition and career development opportunities for youth with and without disabilities.

National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center’s Age Appropriate transition assessments toolkit toolkit-resources Designed to help with the selection of assessments for students in regards to transition planning.’s Guide to Student Transition Planning pdf/2013ODEPHealthyReport.pdf Link to Healthy Transitions: A pathway to employment for youth with chronic health conditions and other disabilities.

Transportation NHCarePath’s transportation webpage

NH Department of Transportation — Public Transportation Information

(603) 271-3734 aerorailtransit/railandtransit/transit. htm Information about public transportation in New Hampshire, including links to regional transit providers.

National Rehabilitation Information Center — Guide to Finding Transportation Services where-can-i-find-transportationservices Information about finding transportation services.

Call for a FREE phone consult with a Certified Speech Language Pathologist Today! • Treating Children and Adults of all ages • Most insurances accepted

80 Nashua Rd., Building B, Londonderry, NH • 603-548-2188 •

36 | DECEMBER 2018

Granite State Music Therapy provides music therapy services, traditional and adaptive music lessons and enrichment classes throughout New Hampshire.We travel to you to serve in schools, homes, rehabilitation hospitals and more. Contact Elizabeth at

Pediatric Rehabilitation Evaluation, treatment, and education in a supportive environment. Exeter Hospital’s Pediatric Rehabilitation Program offers physical, occupational and speech therapy to address neurological, developmental, musculoskeletal and orthopedic difficulties in young people under the age of 21. Our trained pediatric therapists provide comprehensive and collaborative services to promote the highest quality of life for children and their families. Epping: 212 Calef Highway 603-777-1885

– Speech and language therapy – Feeding and swallowing services – Fine motor/handwriting skills – Sensory processing

– Developmental/gross motor skills – Lite Gait® to promote walking skills

– Interactive Metronome® to improve coordination – Aquatic therapy

– Infant massage classes – Exercise classes

Newmarket: 207 South Main Street 603-292-7285

Plaistow: 24 Plaistow Road, Unit 4 603-257-3333

Like us on Facebook for news, healthy tips & medical information.

| december 2018 37

NH School of Ballet • Dance Center Performing Opportunities include: The Nutcracker Evening of Dance Holiday Special Competition Teams also available

Winter Session Starts January 2 Modern • Tap Ballet • Pointe Lyrical • Tumbling Jazz • Hip Hop 3 years through advanced

Concord Nutcracker December 21 Palace Theatre Nutcracker December 27 Jennifer Beauvais Rienert, Owner Director, DMA Certified

Hooksett, NH • 668-5330 • Family Owned & Operated for Over 50 Years Inspiring the next generation of writers!

Enter Today! All entries must be postmarked by March 1, 2019

38 | DECEMBER 2018

dad on board Excuse me – how much? Stunned and stupefied at my daughter’s first college fair BY BILL BURKE

I recently took my 16-year-old daughter to her first college fair so please excuse me if I seem a little bewildered. And by bewildered, I mean whatever the word is for “missing money we haven’t even made yet.” Did you know that college is very expensive? Of course you did, because unlike me, you are not a big dummy. I‘d heard the cautionary tales about the cost of higher education for more than a few years, but I thought my typical approach of “ignore it and it will go away” would serve me well yet again. Turns out it didn’t in this situation. I probably should’ve gone with something more like “plan ahead” or “save more money” or “be wealthy.” Since I had none of those things tucked into the back pocket of my rich guy pants, I went in with visions of ivy-covered brick buildings dancing in my head and not much else. I only knew that I was determined to get her through college without incurring the kind of debt that’ll have her paying until she’s my age — by which time schools will be accepting spacebucks. She’s still a junior in high school, so we thought we’d get a bit of a jump on research and campus visits. It started with the college fair, which ended up being like a science fiction movie where people appear completely normal, but must be body snatchers because they speak a slightly unfamiliar language and say unsettling things, like: “expected family contribution.” I’m sure it roughly translates to “stop going to Disney and buying guitars.” (And I couldn’t quite get the dialect, but I’m also sure it also included the phrase, “you big dummy.”) We stopped at a table to talk to a representative from an upstate New York school with gorgeous imagery and some great programs. The room was a little loud and it was difficult to hear, so when she answered my first question — “How much?” — I was a little surprised at how reasonable it seemed. That misconception was quickly cleared up. “Oh, I didn’t say $16,000 a year — I said $68,000 a year.” We laughed and laughed. Oh, how we laughed. Only she was serious, so we stopped laughing. When my daughter and I started walking up and down the lines of tables, I was a youthful man, full of hopes and dreams for my whip smart child. By the time I asked “how much?” to the 15th young college representative, I had aged — my shock of dark, auburn hair now white, my eyes hollow and hopeless. And while I may have held on to my vigor, I dropped my vim back by the UNH table and never bothered to pick it back up. Stafford loans, Direct PLUS loans, subsidized/unsubsidized loans, scholarships, grants, interest rates — I was told there would be no math. Actually, no one told me that at all. I was just hoping it would be a little easier. Bill Burke is the guy hitchhiking down the road wearing a barrel and carrying a hobo’s bindle. He lives in southern New Hampshire with his wife and daughter and is also the managing editor of custom publications for McLean Communications.

raising teens & tweens

n ew

h a m ps

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BY Tracey Tucker For many parents, just the idea of talking about sex or intimacy with their children is frightening. But no topic is more important to talk about given the information available to your kids through peers, media and the internet. The internet in particular exposes kids to content that might be beyond their understanding developmentally and includes scenarios that are unhealthy and detrimental to a child’s understanding or view of intimate relationships. Our kids are constantly being inundated with content regarding sex. There are higher rates of alcohol consumption and mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression, as well as higher rates of social isolation. Conversations are a must for every parent with a teenager or soon-to-be teenager. They can strengthen the bond between parent and child throughout adolescence and adulthood. To help facilitate these conversations, here are a few must do’s: • Normalize conversations around body image, sex and gender roles—encourage your children to talk to you about what they heard from their friends so you can correct misinformation. • Encourage your children to talk about what they see on TV and social media. These are teachable moments and allow for in-depth conversations around what they are exposed to and what they think of it. • Let your child talk about the “school drama” without instant criticism, advice or correction. One of the worst things parents can do when kids begin to talk about their experiences is to tell them what to do, how to do it, why they are wrong or minimize their experience. Kids are experiencing these scenarios for the first time and they need to be involved in solving the problem to gain skills for their future. • Talk about your morals and values with your kids. Let them know what your expectations are as the parent. Let them know they can talk to you when dilemmas arise. • Educate! Whether you talk to your kids about abstinence or safe sex, educate them on all aspects of a safe, healthy intimate experience. We do not want them to feel ashamed about sex and intimacy; we want them to feel empowered about their choices. • Finally, listen when they talk. Parents are often pained when their pre-teen or teen stops talking to them. If parents stop to listen without judgment or minimizing words when their child does talk, kids will continue to open the door.



. - 5:30p.m. 0a.m 7:0 n e Op

Your gu to life a ide high sc fter hool

Let’s talk about sex Tips on how to talk to your child about sex, intimacy and relationships


h ir e

explor e career options

nh jobs outlook

A speci of Parenalty publication tingN H

how to pay fo r college

year ’rou nd

NH NEXT: Your Guide to Life after High School

workf orce trainin g

Can’t find a copy? Go to www.


Namaste Montessori School PRESCHOOL • KINDERGARTEN E L E M E N TA R Y

ANNUAL OPEN HOUSE January 26 • 9 am 535 Mast Rd Goffstown, NH

“In times like these in our world, I have never been more thankful to have my child in a school setting where peace, love and kindness are the foundations from which they do all else.”

Tracey Tucker is Executive Director of New Heights: Adventures for Teens and a licensed mental health counselor at Tradeport Counseling Associates in Portsmouth. This column was originally published in the June 2017 issue of ParentingNH.

| december 2018 39

Country Village


Season’s Greetings

house calls Reach Out and Read health care providers help promote early literacy skills BY Darcy Emerson, Wendy Murphy, RN, and Catherine D. Shubkin, MD

2 Overlook Drive • Amherst, NH • (603) 672-3882 Preschool through 6th Grade • AMS full member

october • 2018


Halloween fun for everyone

Pick up your free copy of this awardwinning publication at 500+ locations in New Hampshire.

Special Healthy Families issue — Fall edition Breast cancer prevention tips

Also available online at

Providing today’s students with the skills for the workforce of tomorrow. NHVR focuses on transition, with a goal of preparing students with disabilities for the workforce – providing specific transition services in schools and in the community. These services are available to ALL students with disabilities, not only NHVR customers. Working together with our community partners, we provide students with the necessary skills and experiences to successfully pursue their career goals.

Contact one of our regional offices today to find out how students can participate in these services. Berlin 888-300-9550 • Concord 800-299-1647 • Keene 800-620-7688 Manchester 800-627-9304 • Nashua 800-635-9614 • Portsmouth 800-882-2744 Services for Blind and Visual Impairment 800-581-6881

Looking at books, talking about colors and shapes, and making up stories with the youngest of children fosters language between parents, kids and even their health care providers. We know that early literacy experiences with books are the foundation to early learning. Through a national program called “Reach Out and Read,” health care providers have the opportunity to distribute books to patients and families to help promote early literacy, assess developmental milestones and demonstrate engagement techniques with your child. Started in 1989 at Boston City Hospital (today’s Boston Medical Center), the Reach Out and Read nonprofit organization has expanded to 5,800 program sites across 50 states providing a total of 6.9 million books annually. The Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock (CHaD) is celebrating our 20th year participating in this program and we distribute approximately 6,000 books each year during well-child visits. Through this program we are trying to ingrain the practice of using early literacy and assessments of developmental stages in the next generation of pediatricians, while having parents understand the power of words and books — and how they influence family life and health. And the results of this program are proven. According to Reach Out and Read’s research findings, “Parents are 2.5 times more likely to read to their children; families are 2.5 times more likely to enjoy reading together or have books in the home; and children’s pre-school language development is improved by 3 to 6 months.” Here are a few tips for reading with your child: How to make reading fun for you and your child • Select subjects that interest them: dinosaurs, mermaids, princesses, trucks, etc. — or let them choose the book • Sit with your child in your lap • Let your child turn the pages • Make it interactive so it’s exciting • Engage with your child — ask questions about the pictures and story • Be animated and entertaining – use different voices and be “in character” • Remember that kids like to hear the same book repeatedly • Make bedtime reading a habit For infants • Use board books to avoid ripping and biting of pages • Select picture books with few words (babies love pictures of other babies!) • Read books featuring songs and rhymes • Let your baby move around while you read For more information about Reach out and Read at CHaD, contact Darcy Emerson at Darcy Emerson is the family center assistant at the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth -Hitchcock; Wendy Murphy, RN, is the Regularly Scheduled Series Accreditation Manager in the Center for Learning and Professional Development’s Continuing Medical Education Office at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center; and Catherine D. Shubkin, MD, is a pediatrician at the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock and the medical director for Reach Out and Read at Dartmouth-Hitchcock. Sponsored BY

40 | DECEMBER 2018

Health Care Has A Calling. We know local matters when considering your health options. With more than 100 years of service to the community, there’s a reason St. Joseph Hospital Nashua, a member of Covenant Health, is one of the top hospitals in New Hampshire. And it’s why patients trust our doctors, nurses, and care teams. k/0


172 Kinsley Street 603.882.3000

Together, we’re making health possible because we love what we do.

Nashua NH 03060

| december 2018 41

out & about

compiled by melanie Hitchcock

courtest photo


Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical Annie

4 TuesdaY CONCORD – Capitol Center for the Arts, 44 South Main St. The beloved TV classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer soars off the screen and onto the stage this holiday season. Come see all of your favorite characters from the special, including Santa and Mrs. Claus, Hermey the Elf, the Abominable Snow Monster, Clarice, Yukon Cornelius and, of course, Rudolph. It’s an adventure that teaches us that what makes you different can be what makes you special. Tickets: $35-$85. 6:30 p.m. 225-1111;

Ring in the Season

A Christmas Carol

30 November – 3 December

30 November – 23 December

EXETER – Various locations. Four days of holiday celebrations in Exeter features numerous events and activities including the Gingerbread House Contest, art show, open houses, holiday trolley, live music, performances, a visit from Santa, annual parade, pancake breakfast, house tours, candlelight stroll and caroling. Go to www.ringintheseason. info for complete schedule and additional information.

MANCHESTER – Palace Theatre, 80 Hanover St. A Christmas Carol tells the tale of grouchy old Ebenezer Scrooge, who in the midst of the holiday season learns the value of giving and what it means to be kind to the less fortunate. Filled with lively song and dance, special effects, a live orchestra, and holiday music, this full-scale professional production is a must this holiday season. Go to website for show times. 6685588;

42 | DECEMBER 2018

1-23 december PORTSMOUTH – Seacoast Repertory Theatre, 125 Bow St. The family classic hits the Seacoast Rep stage. Annie is the story of the hopeful little red-headed orphan who goes from rags to riches. Tickets: $20-$38. 433-4472;

It’s a Wonderful Life: The Musical 7 Friday – 9 Sunday DERRY – Derry Opera House, 29 West Broadway. Majestic Theatre presents “It’s a Wonderful Life: The Musical.” Based on the beloved 1946 film, this musical follows George Bailey’s life from his childhood dreams to

his midlife disappointments and beyond, as we all take a journey to discover whether his life has mattered at all. Cinematically scored and theatrically staged, this adaptation breathes musical life into a familiar story, while retaining the warmth, humor and pathos of the original. Tickets: $12-$20. Show times: Friday, 7 p.m.; Saturday, 2 and 7 p.m.; Sunday, 2 p.m. www.

Rockapella 14 Friday DERRY – Stockbridge Theatre at Pinkerton Academy. Be a part of an annual holiday tradition. Returning to the Stockbridge for their 16th performance, Rockapella has become one of the world’s most sophisticated, last-

courtest photo

CHaD Storybook Ball

Family New Year’s Eve Celebration

1 Saturday

ing, and imitated vocal groups around. Since they first achieved national television fame on PBS’s “Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego?” they’ve toured the globe and provided a funky powerful soundtrack to several generations of vocal music fans, while keeping it all fresh along the way. Tickets: $15-$35. 7 p.m. 437-5210;

MANCHESTER – Stan Spirou Field House at SNHU, 2500 North River Road. Take a stroll through a marvelous winter wonderland at the CHaD Storybook Ball. Dozens of designers will transform the Field House into a magical winter landscape to celebrate and raise funds for Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock. The Storybook Ball features 35 tables uniquely inspired by a children’s storybook, in this case a book themed on the elements of winter, be it snow, mythical creatures, or the holidays. Limited number of tickets available: $250. 6 p.m. courtest photo

Noon Year’s Eve Party

31 MONDAY DOVER – Children’s Museum of New Hampshire, 6 Washington St. Head to the museum for a family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebration and ring in the New Year before bedtime. Enjoy “countdowns to midnight” at 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. The glittery disco ball will be lowered, confetti will fly, and wish blimps made by visitors will gently fall to the ground. It’s always a festive and fun environment reminiscent of Times Square. Visitors can make sparkly recycled paper hats and take a picture in the photo booth. Activities included in regular museum admission. Admission: Adults and children 1 and older, $10; 65-plus, $9; free for museum members and children under 1. 742-2002;

31 Monday MANCHESTER – Currier Museum of Art, 140 Ash St. Ring in 2019 a few hours early at the Currier Museum of Art’s annual Noon Year’s Eve party for the young and young at heart. Wrap up a day of celebration with bubble-wrap fireworks and a huge balloon drop. Enjoy art-making activities, face painting, a dance

party, and live entertainment from the kid-friendly juggling act by Peter Panic. Dress in your party best and celebrate the New Year at the Currier. Go to website for cost and tickets. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. 669-6144;

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time out End the year with a laugh The 10th annual Live Free or Die Laughing New Year’s Eve event is sure to make you laugh, and help end the year on a happy note. The headliner is Jimmy Dunn of “The McCarthy’s” fame, also Mike Whitman and Abhishek Shah. Choose from the early show (8:30 p.m.) or the late show (10:30 p.m.), which will include a champagne toast at midnight. Tickets: $28-$38. Sheraton Harborside Hotel Portsmouth

Have a (masquerade) ball

Six ways to ring in the New Year

If you are in the mood for a little mystery, head to the Grappone Center for a New Year’s Eve masquerade ball. Evening includes cash bar, farm-to-table dinner and dessert and music by the Club Soda Band. Bring your own or pick up a complimentary mask at the door. Tickets start at $75. 7 p.m. to 1 a.m.

by melanie hitchcock


hether you want to dress up and party or just want to kick back and relax with your partner or a group of friends, there are several 21-plus events happening across the Granite State to choose from to ring in the New Year. Here are six events happening way after the kids go to bed we think you will enjoy.

Dinner and dancing Get ready to dance the night away. Murphy’s Taproom’s New Year’s Eve party will feature live music by Last Kid Picked, a dinner buffet, dancing and a champagne toast at midnight. Tickets: $80. 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Murphy’s Taproom & Carriage House Bedford • 488-5975

Go country Cask & Vine is marking the end of its sixth year with a special menu, stories and laughs. This year’s theme is “I Love This Bar” — wear your best cowboy/cowgirl boots, jeans and hats for a laid-back country evening. Cost: Non-refundable $50 deposit applied to your bill. 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Cask & Vine Derry • 965-3454

44 | DECEMBER 2018

Grappone Conference Center Concord; 225-0303

Be part of the show

Romance by the fire

The Dueling Pianos of NH are putting on a fun, interactive dueling piano show at Hobbs Tavern and Brewing Co. Ticket price includes admission to the show, three-course meal and champagne toast. Tickets: $50. 7 to 10 p.m.

Sugar Hill Inn wants you to ring in the New Year in comfortable country inn style. Enjoy special fireside dining and a special menu. The celebration includes a New Year’s Eve welcome party with complimentary hors d’oeuvres, four-course dinner, midnight champagne toast and live music. Tickets: $138.

Hobbs Tavern and Brewing West Ossipee • 539-2000

Sugar Hill Inn Sugar Hill; 1-800-548-4748

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Grab the kids and go!

Free Kahuna Laguna Water Park passes when you stay mid-week at Red Jacket Resorts North Conway. Available Sunday through Thursday during select dates through June 27, 2019. Some restrictions apply, and this offer is not valid during holidays and school vacation periods.


800-RJACKET (800-752-2538)

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