Ag for Autism Grant

There are 210,000 students with disabilities in public schools in Arkansas.  More than 10,500 of those students attend school in the Northeast region. The Center for Exceptional Families received a $10,000 grant to fund a parent mentor position in the Northeast Arkansas region to provide services to those students and their families.  

Parent Centers promote the effective education of children with disabilities by strengthening the role and responsibility of parents and ensuring that families of children with disabilities have meaningful opportunities to participate in the education of their children at school, at home and in their community. Parents in Northeast Arkansas need additional support to obtain the resources needed to build on and improve their children’s educational outcomes.  TCFEF supports families in Northeast Arkansas by providing best practice models that treat families with dignity and respect, are individualized, flexible and responsive to each family’s unique circumstances.  

As the federally funded parent center for Arkansas, the Center for Exceptional Families provides families of children with disabilities the impartial, objective information and training needed to continue to raise expectations and improve outcomes. TCFEF has successfully provided high-quality, accurate, and impartial information to families of children with disabilities on the range of educational options that are available in Arkansas and has equipped families with the tools necessary to make informed decisions for their family.  

TCFEF is grateful for the continued investment of Ag for Autism in the families served by our organization.  

The duties of the NEA parent Mentor, under the Ag for Autism grant, are outlined as follows: 

  • Act as NEA point person on the Rapid Response Project, to locate, identify and distribute technology systems to families in need and work with them to learn how to use those products.  
  • Conduct 12 workshops in the 2020-2021 school year in Northeast Arkansas on autism specific topics.  
  • Conduct monthly exhibits at county commodity distribution sites across the region served by Ag for Autism and TCFEF. 
  • Assist families of children with disabilities via telephone and Zoom meetings to provide advocacy assistance, including preparation of and participation in IEP meetings. 

Teresa Hendrix

Teresa is a newly retired special educator. She spent the last 35 years in education as both a special education teacher and administrator. Teresa has a passion for special education that began as a small child visiting a Lions’ Club nursery school for the blind in Memphis, TN. Having a close family member with a visual disability has allowed Teresa to see the unique challenges facing families and students with disabilities.  

Teresa has worn many hats over her years in public school teaching general education, special education and acting as special education supervisor for the Trumann School District and Jonesboro Public Schools. Teresa is also well-versed in high school transition, having worked for Arkansas Transition Services for several years.

Her years in special education allowed her the opportunity to provide many different services. Teresa loved her students and enjoyed developing lasting relationships with families.

Teresa can be reached at toll-free (888) 360-9654, direct line 870-897-5254 or email at teresa.hendrix@tcfef.org