Shelby Hills Preschool:
New Year, Same Dedication
There may be fewer students “on the hill” (Shelby Hills main campus) than in years past, but most things will stay the same for Shelby Hills Preschool. When asked something that the community should know about Shelby Hills, Preschool Director Kathie Lammers said, “People should know we still provide preschool.” Lammers noted that Shelby Hills still partners with 7 of the 8 districts in Shelby County responsible for providing special education to preschoolers. Shelby Hills has served many of these students in their home districts for years. These “satellite classrooms” can be found in the districts of Anna, Fort Loramie, Houston and Jackson Center. All Shelby Hills classrooms have a maximum enrollment of 16 children and include typically developing peers.

Staff are planning on events that have historically made Shelby Hills a great place to attend. Lammers stated, “We’re moving Fall Fun Day to a Friday this year so all the satellite classes can be involved.” Families will be invited to participate in the events as in years past.

Shelby Hills Preschool has a current enrollment of 182, with an anticipation that this number will grow during the 2019-2020 school year. Children from 3-5 can be identified as benefiting from special education services at any point during the year. No matter how many students Shelby Hills serves, our community will see the same practices and dedication that makes Shelby Hills a top-rated preschool.
Shelby County Bicentennial: People Over Politics
Amanda loves to be active, especially when it comes to meeting new people. That’s why Shelby County’s Bicentennial Kickoff Celebration earlier this year was the perfect venue for Amanda. When asked why she decided to attend this event, Amanda said, “I don’t like to be bored at home. I like to be out with Jessica.” Amanda was referring to Shelby County Board of DD staff Jessica Guillozet, who’s role is finding opportunities for people in their communities.
Amanda said that she really liked talking to the Governor of Ohio and brought up the topics of “politics and money” during their conversation. Amanda clarified that she was talking about the money the Shelby County Aktion Club has been able to raise. The Aktion Club is a passion of Amanda’s and she has been involved in many service projects with this Kiwanis offshoot.
In addition to Governor Dewine, Amanda found photo-ops with other local celebrities such as the County Commissioners and Sheriff Lenhart. Though she admits she is rarely in the company of so many elected officials, Amanda said she was “never” nervous. Besides attending We Can Too (a vocational training center in St. Marys), Amanda stated that she liked to just, “Hang out with friends and family and home manager.”
The conversation skills Amanda has honed over the years were on full display the night of this Bicentennial Celebration. It appeared that Amanda left quite an impression on those she met as well. Amanda did not shy away from discussing her favorite that night; Representative Nino Vitalie. Amanda exclaimed, “He’s the coolest!” Though answers like that won’t get her far in politics, Amanda’s care for others is an asset to all that know her.   
Amanda and Governor Dewine
Amanda with Rep. Nino Vitalie
Commissioner Ehemann and Sheriff Lenhart
FAN’s (Friends, Allies, Neighbors) is a network of people who sign up to help people who are eligible for services through the Shelby County Boards of DD. How do they help? In every way imaginable! Some in the FAN’s network have provided hands-on tips of how to build a raised garden or repair a wheelchair ramp. Others have provided transportation or tickets to a baseball game.

For one recent request, an athlete needed a size 16 shoe to participate in Special Olympics. The request for assistance was emailed to the FAN’s group and one person replied that they would buy new shoes for the athlete. Since size 16 shoes aren’t available just anywhere, the athlete went to Ron & Nita’s in Sidney. The athlete picked out his size 16 shoes and asked them to be held so the kind member of the FAN’s network could come in and purchase the shoes. When Juanita (owner of Ron & Nita’s) heard about this, she purchased the size 16 shoes for the athlete. Even good intentions made a big difference!

To join the FAN’s network of Shelby County, click here . Requests for the FAN’s are emailed and if something comes up that a FAN is interested in, they just reply to the email. There over 200 members already. Sign up and make a difference today! 

Early Intervention: Fun with People
When it comes to working with kids, Early Intervention (EI) staff through the Shelby County Board of DD (SCBDD) just wants to PLAY. The PLAY Project is a program that was designed for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) by Dr. Richard Solomon from research that began in 2001. Since 2013, SCBDD has utilized Karen Simpson as a certified PLAY Consultant. PLAY Consultants go through 18 months of focused training learning evidence-based techniques. Simpson described her role as, “…The coach for the parents.”
           Since most children with ASD prefer interacting with toys and objects over people, PLAY is designed to get the child more interested in their caregiver. Simpson stated, “The first principle of PLAY is fun with people.” Simpson talked about the change in mindset for parents who are raising their children using PLAY methods and techniques. These techniques are not used for getting the child to do what the caregiver or therapist wants, but instead, are used to join the child in what they’re doing. This creates a naturally rewarding experience that encourages children with ASD to prefer ‘people over things’ with the added goal of children with ASD eventually becoming more compliant to a caregiver’s wishes.
           While there are some consultants who use this philosophy for children into adulthood, Simpson works with Developmental Specialists in EI to serve children birth to 3 years old. In some counties, PLAY Consulting continues past the third birthday. Simpson reminded, “Dr. Solomon’s research stopped with 6-year-olds.” Because of this, SCBDD has chosen to provide PLAY services until the child turns 6 and/or transitions into elementary school programs.
            Karen Simpson is wrapping up her last year working with children for SCBDD. She will be retiring this September and Jessica Baird has been hired as the new PLAY Consultant for SCBDD. Simpson will be greatly missed by her coworkers and the families with whom she currently works. As she retires to help others in different ways, there is a generation of kids that have been helped through her efforts and work with the PLAY Project.
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Shelby County Board of Developmental Disabilities
1200 S. Children's Home Rd.
Sidney, Ohio 45365
937-497-8155 (Main)