Juvenile Arthritis Family Network

For 2016, the JA Family Network will offer three events that will include education, networking and fun kid-focused activities.

The schedule includes: 

Saturday, March 12, 2016 - JA Advocacy - Objectives include - 1. Learning about the 3 branches of government and how citizens interact with them. 2. Through discussion, will assist the young people attending in understanding and articulating the four JA issues that impact them. 3. Brainstorm how teens and children can tell their arthritis story to make a difference. 4. Create a take-away project that tells legislators about the impact of arthritis and how young people and children would like them to help. This event will be hosted at the Outdoor Campus and will include an interactive activity "Outdoor Cooking: Indoors" offering the children and their families the opportunity to participate in preparing fun food like they were camping which will they will eat at the end of the activity.

Saturday, July 16, 2016 - Understanding Amplified Musculoskeletal Pain Syndrome (AMPS) - AMPS is a very commonly occurring syndrome associated with juvenile arthritis. Children may have a wide variety of amplified musculoskeletal pain syndromes. Hallmarks of the diagnosis include increasing pain over time. Psychological distress within the child or family is apparent in most, but not all. A number of therapies work together to reset the abnormal pain sensitivity. Physical activity, particularly aerobic exercise, is very important in normalizing the pain threshold. Therapeutic massage can desensitize the nervous system and help the patient feel touch and movement as normal and not painful. Developing a regular, restful sleep schedule is important. Finally, psychological therapy is often a critical aspect of the therapeutic program. This therapy is focused on stress management and coping techniques.   This event will include family time visiting the exhibits of the Delbridge Great Plains Zoo and Museum and a light lunch. Dr. Allison Alvine will be the presenter.

Saturday, November 5, 2016 - Washington Pavilion Kirby Science Discovery Center - Communicating With Your Child’s School by Letter - Understanding Your Child's Educational Rights and Creating School Solutions - Parent Program. Objectives include - 1. Sharpen your letter-writing skills with these valuable tips and sound advice on creating formal school correspondence. Good   communication is essential to success in evaluations, development and ongoing monitoring of Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and Section 504 Plans. 2. Benefits of written communication. 3.What should I say in my letter? Keys to writing effective letters and advocating in the best interest of your school-age children. Children will be engaged in the science center while parents share valuable information. A light lunch will be provided.

To stay up to date on local happenings contact Allie Alvine at allisonalvine@msn.com or your local Arthritis Foundation Contact, Darci Hustrulid at dhustrulid@arthritis.org