Maryland’s Parent Training and Information Center (PTI)
The Parents’ Place (PPMD) is the only organization in Maryland charged by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, to serve as the state’s Parent Training and Information (PTI) Center. PPMD is one of over 100 PTIs nationwide, providing training and information to parents of infants, toddlers, children, and youth with all disabilities – physical, cognitive, emotional and learning.
As a PTI, the Parents’ Place provides information and support for families who have children and youth with disabilities or special needs, beginning at birth through age 26. Our Parent Educators and PTI staff are available to help you understand and navigate the special education system and provide you with the information and tools you need to be an informed and active participant in your child’s education. All services are provided to parents and families at no cost!
Families as Faculty
The Families as Faculty Program is a training experience that offers pediatric residents, medical students, public health students and other related allied professional trainees an opportunity to learn from families. In the comfort and relaxed atmosphere of their homes, families can tell their story, talk candidly about the special challenges they face and reflect openly and honestly on their experiences with health care professionals.
Family-to-Family Health Information Center
The Parents’ Place Family-to-Family Health Information Center (F2F HIC) provides a central source for families of children and young adults with disabilities and special health care needs to obtain support, advocacy, and information about health care. We have a strong commitment to promoting and supporting the needs of families from racially, culturally, and linguistically diverse communities.
As Maryland’s federally-funded Parent Training and Information Center for over 25 years, we recognize that being a military family brings unique challenges when you are the parent of a child with a disability. Students whose parent(s) are active duty military members will, on average, move six to nine times during their school years (K-12). In addition to experiencing moves three times more often than their civilian peers, these moves can include moving to different states and, even, countries. There can be gaps in or loss of services when a student transitions to a new school; and this is especially apparent for students with special education services.
When students have a disability and/or special health care need, it is critical that military families have access to flexible support to prepare them to advocate to address their child’s needs – no matter where they might move. In addition to the myriad of ways we support families, we offer workshops and provide resources that address the unique needs of military connected families.
The Parents’ Place offers LEADers, a parent leader program to develop leadership skills among parents of children with disabilities and special health care needs. This program appeals to various adult learning styles, including: traditional workshops, webinars, experiential learning, coaching, mentoring, and independent study. It is designed to help parents broaden their role within their communities as a resource, support group leader, trainer, advocate and so much more! Find out how you can become part of this program to become a community leader for parents of children with disabilities and special health care needs.
At The Parents’ Place of Maryland, we recognize that parents know their children best. Our Parent Partners provide support and information on caring for a child with special healthcare needs (without all the medical jargon!) to help parents advocate for the best quality of life and medical care. Currently, The Parents’ Place of Maryland has Parent Partners onsite at University of Maryland NICU, Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics (DBP) Clinic and Mount Washington Pediatrics Hospital. A Parent Partner provides assistance to parents of children with special healthcare needs or disabilities. The Parent Partner teaches parents skills to effectively work with their child’s healthcare team. We assist parents with navigating medical information, while empowering parents to advocate for themselves and their child. Parent Partners are themselves parents of a child with complex medical need or disabilities, and combined with the formal training they receive at The Parents’ Place of Maryland, they provide other parents with emotional support, information, and referrals to community and parent support services.
The Parents’ Place facilitates the Community of Care Consortium (COC). The COC is a working group of diverse stakeholders, including families, providers, advocates, consumers, administrators, and professionals from the public and private health care service systems. The COC is dedicated to improving systems of care for children and their families in the state of Maryland. Using the national agenda for children with special health care needs and core outcomes as a starting point, the COC works to create systems of care that promote optimal health, functioning, and quality of life for Maryland CSHCN and their families.