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Matrix Training Videos and Materials Now Available on our Website!

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What is Matrix?

In 1983 there was no place for families of children with special needs to find others like them, so 3 mothers gathered around a kitchen table to make a network of parents to educate, support, and encourage families who faced the same challenges they had.

Matrix Parent Network was formed as a parent-driven, parent-run non-profit to serve families of children with special needs in the North Bay.

Our mission is “Empowering Families of Children with Special Needs to successfully Understand and Access the systems that serve them.


Qué es Matrix?

En 1983 no había lugar para que familias de niños con necesidades especiales encontraran a otros como ellos, por lo que 3 madres se reunieron alrededor de la mesa de la cocina para formar una red de padres para educar, apoyar y animar a las familias que enfrentaban los mismos desafíos que ellos.

Matrix Parent Network se formó como una organización sin fines de lucro dirigida por padres y dirigida por padres para servir a las familias de niños con necesidades especiales en North Bay.

Nuestra misión es “Empoderar a las familias de niños con necesidades especiales para que comprendan y accedan con éxito a los sistemas que les sirven.


Transition to Adulthood Resource Guide Tour

This is a tour of the Matrix Transition to Adulthood Resource Guide for families of children and young adults with special needs. To help you navigate this path, we’ve created a one-stop shop for parents and young adults, with all the resources you’ll need. Matrix has developed this site with lots of love and care. Don’t feel like you have to look at everything at once. It’s meant to be taken in steps to prevent information overload.

Click to download an interactive roadmap to resources (PDF)


Tour de la Guía de Recursos para la Transición a la Vida Adulta

Esto es un tour de la Guía de Recursos para la Transición a la Vida Adulta para familias de niños y jóvenes adultos.


Understanding Behavior Intervention Plans

What are the key points of a BIP? How can you, as the parent, be involved in its creation? Come learn how Behavior Intervention Plans (BIPs) are developed, evaluated, and maintained.


Positive Behavior Supports and Behavior Intervention Plans


Understanding IEP Goals

Do you know what makes an IEP goal SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-limited)? Do you know how to identify strengths and weaknesses of an IEP goal and the baseline for the goal? Please join us to improve your understanding of the elements of well-written IEP (Individualized Education Program) baselines and goals.

Training Materials (PDF format):


Preventing Behavior Problems through Positive Parenting: Practical Tips for Supporting Healthy Social-Emotional Development

This training is presented by Matrix and the Family Resource Centers Network of California, Early Start Plus. Have you heard the term “positive parenting,” but aren’t sure exactly what that means? Would you like some support with dealing with some of your children’s bothersome behaviors? Do you know how you would like your children to behave, but just aren’t sure how to communicate that to them? Matrix staff presents childhood social-emotional development expert Linda Brault’s training on how to prevent problem behaviors through positive parenting.

Click to download training materials (PDFs):


Understanding Assessments

Struggling to understand your child’s most current assessment report? Want to understand more about what constitutes a strong assessment, as well as how to interpret scores? This training will give you the basic understanding of special education assessment, as well as how to interpret scores and determine eligibility for special education.

Click to download training materials (PDFs):


Comprensión de la Transición a Preescolar

La transición de Early Start y el Plan de Servicio Familiar Individual (IFSP) a Preescolar de Educación Especial y el primer Programa de Educación Individualizada (IEP) de su hijo puede ser abrumadora y emocionante al mismo tiempo. Comprender el proceso puede facilitarle la transición.

Haga clic aquí para descargar los materiales de entrenamiento (PDF)


El Formulario del IEP: Una Página a la Vez

Dé un paseo por el formulario de IEP (Plan de Educación Individual). Las páginas del formulario del IEP están en un orden específico y se debe encontrar información específica en cada sección. Saber lo que debe estar en cada página del IEP de su hijo le permite ser un miembro efectivo del IEP de su hijo.

Haga clic aquí para descargar los materiales de entrenamiento (PDF)


Fundamentos Básicos del IEP

Educación Especial un par de veces, este entrenamiento introducirá o reforzará los conceptos básicos necesarios para entender el IEP de tu hijo.

Haga clic aquí para descargar los materiales de entrenamiento (PDFs):


Comprensión de la Transición a Kindergarten

Fue ayer cuando dejé a mi hijo pequeño en el preescolar.

¿Qué va a ser diferente?
¿Qué necesito saber?
¿Cómo puedo preparar a mi pequeño para la escuela de “niño grande”?

Venga a aprender qué esperar, junto con consejos útiles para facilitar la transición de su hijo (y su) al jardín de infants

Haga clic aquí para descargar los materiales de entrenamiento (PDF)


Special Education Remedies: Procedural Safeguards Part 2

Come take a walk through Procedural Safeguards. What are they? You know the information packet you receive at every IEP (Individualized Education Plan) and file away. It contains your and your child’s Special Education rights and protections. We’ll go through the packet one page at a time to help you better understand those rights.

This is Part 2 of a two-part training. It will focus on potential remedies – such as Alternative Dispute Resolution and Due Process – which are available to you if you can’t reach an agreement with your district.

Understanding your rights empowers you to be an effective member of your child’s IEP team.

Click to download training materials (PDFs):


Special Education Rights: Procedural Safeguards Part 1

Training materials (PDFs):


Flipping the Script: Prioritizing the Autistic Voice

Training materials (PDFs):

Matrix welcomes back Dr. Colleen Arnold to discuss the results of her doctoral research on how scripting (or delayed echolalia) is beneficial to autistic* individuals, specifically in the area of communication. Dr. Colleen Arnold will be presenting the results of her original research, which looked to understand how scripting (or delayed echolalia) is beneficial to autistic* individuals, specifically in the area of communication.
* Dr. Arnold uses identity-first language throughout her work in an effort to respect the autism community based on the arguments presented by Brown, 2015.


Understanding Transition to Kindergarten

Kindergarten already! Where does the time go? It was just yesterday I dropped my toddler off at preschool. What’s going to be different? What do I need to know? How can I prepare my little one for “big kid” school? Come learn what to expect, along with helpful tips to ease your child’s (and your) transition to kindergarten.

Download training materials (PDF format):

Understanding Tailored Day Services (TDS)

Click here to download training materials
(PDF)Matrix welcomes back Michael Pinkerton, Associate Marriage and Family Therapist and Living Skills Director at Integrated Community Services, for the next installment of our Cultivating Independence series. Michael will discuss Tailored Day Services (TDS), explain how TDS works, who is eligible, and the ways in which this unique program can help qualifying individuals with disabilities become as independent as they can be. TDS can support individuals in volunteering, taking courses at local community colleges, work preparation skills, and job development (and a few other areas as well). If you don’t know about TDS – or even if you do – please join us to learn more about an alternative to the traditional day program.


Understanding Conservatorship

Click here to download training materials (PDF)

Will Conservatorship be Part of Transition to Adulthood for Your Young Adult? Join us as we welcome attorney Alexis Lynch. Conservatorship is an important step for families of a special needs child transitioning into adulthood.  In order to maintain the legal rights to make important decisions concerning your child’s care, such as place of residence, medical treatment, and educational placement after age 18, you need to be appointed conservator by a judge.  This workshop will provide an overview of what conservatorship entails and the steps necessary for being appointed a conservator through the local courts.


Understanding Transition to Preschool

Transitioning from Early Start and the Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP) to special education preschool and your child’s first Individualized Education Program (IEP) can be overwhelming and exciting at the same time. Watch this video to learn about:
– Transition to Preschool timeline
– What to look for in a preschool
– The differences between an IFSP and an IEP

Download training materials (PDF format):


¿Qué Son los ILS (Servicios de la Vida Independiente)? Presentado por Disability Rights CA y Matrix Parent Network

La Transición a la edad adulta puede ser abrumador, pero también emocionante para su joven adulto (y usted). Venga a prender acerca de los Servicios de la Vida Independiente, incluyendo cómo puede obtener ILS en su hogar con servicios culturalmente apropiados y un IPP (Plan de Programa Individual) en su idioma.

Haga clic aquí para descargar (PDFs):


The IEP Form: One Page at a Time

Take a walk through the IEP (Individualized Education Program) form. The pages of the IEP form are in a specific order and specific information should be found in each section. Knowing what should be on each page of your child’s IEP empowers you to be an effective member of your child’s IEP team.

Training materials (PDFs):


Get to know the California Autism Professional Training and Information Network – CAPTAIN

Matrix CAPTAIN Handout – PDF (6.7 MB file size)

In this video, Matrix welcomes Ann England, Project Coordinator, SELPA Content Lead-ASD, Marin County SELPA & CAPTAIN. CAPTAIN is a multiagency network developed to support the understanding and use of Evidence Based Practices for individuals affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder across the California. (http://www.captain.ca.gov/) If you’re interested in evidenced based practices and loads of valuable resources, this training is for you – even if your child has a disability other than autism.


IEP Basics

If you’re new to the world of IEPs (Individualized Education Programs) or if you’ve been around the Special Education block a couple of times, this training will introduce or reinforce basic concepts necessary for understanding your child’s IEP

Download training materials (PDF format):


Defensa Efectiva: Trabajar con el Equipo de IEP de su Hijo cuando la Escuela Reabre

Haga clic aquí para descargar:
Los materiales de entrenamiento (PDF)
Defendiendo a su Hijo con Necesidades Especiales (PDF)

Como padres de niños con necesidades especiales, a menudo necesitamos abogar para ayudar a nuestros niños a recibir su educación adecuada y los servicios relacionados. ¡Ahora que nunca esto puede se más cierto! Únase a nosotros para actualizar sus habilidades efectivas de defensa de padres a medida que las escuelas vuelvan a abrir este otoño. Es posible que su hijo regrese tiempo completo a la escuela o todavía aprendizaje a distancia en casa, o una combinación de ambos. Cualquiera sea el aspecto del programa, probablemente tenga preguntas. Exploremos cómo trabajar eficazmente con el equipo de IEP de su hijo a medida que se reabre la escuela.


Effective Advocacy: Working with Your Child’s IEP Team as School Reopens

Click below to download training materials:
Advocating for Your Child with Special Needs Packet (PDF)
Effective Advocacy: Working with Your Child’s IEP Team (PDF)

As parents of children with special needs, we often need to advocate to help our children receive their appropriate education and related services. This may be more true now than ever before! Please join us to refresh your effective parent advocacy skills as schools reopen this fall. Your child may be going back to school full time, or still distance learning at home – or a combination of both. Whatever the program looks like, you probably have questions. Let’s explore how to work effectively with your child’s IEP team as school reopens.


Cultivating Independence for Young Adults

Click here to download training materials
Michael Pinkerton will discuss the role of the parent(s) in cultivating independence for young adults with disabilities before they move out of the family home. Geared specifically towards parents of children with developmental disabilities, all parents may find this training helpful as Michael provides tips on developing and implementing plans, and describes some of the struggles that families face in taking on this task. This is a practical and informative training for parents who are considering their young adult’s emerging independence.


The 3 Selfs: Self-Advocacy, Self-Determination and Self-Compassion

Self Advocacy and Empowerment, presented by Dr. Maggie Benedict-Montgomery and Dr. Colleen Arnold of PEP (Professionals Empowering Parents)

Click here to download training materials
Knowing when and how to advocate for yourself is a powerful tool for everyone – even more so for people with special needs. In this video Dr. Maggie Benedict-Montgomery and Dr. Colleen Arnold discuss how you can help your students find their voices as they move toward success in school and in life.


Understanding Transition to Preschool

Click here to download the training materials
Transitioning from Early Start and the Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP) to special education preschool and your child’s first Individualized Education Program (IEP) can be overwhelming and exciting at the same time. Watch this video to learn more about the Transition to Preschool timeline, what to look for in a preschool, and the differences between an IFSP and an IEP.


Preparing for the Future: Understanding Supported Living Options

Click here to download the training materials
Michael Pinkerton, Independent Living Services Director at Integrated Community Services, will discuss Supported Living Programs as he presents “Ways to Increase Independence: Supported Living”. Come learn about Supported Living Programs:

  • how they work
  • how to evaluate them
  • what are their potential up and down sides