Specific Family Services




A Parents’ Guide to Special Education in North Carolina

2018-01-30 10:51:11 admin


A Parents’ Guide to Special Education in North Carolina explains the special education law in clear terms so that parents can learn the vocabulary, navigate the special education system, and become an effective advocate for their children. The Guide is especially geared to assist North Carolina parents.


Posted in: CommunityEducational ResourcesOther UpdatesTagged in: Autism Spectrum DisordersDevelopmental DisabilitiesFeatureSpecial needs Read more... 0 comments

SPARK for Autism

2017-09-27 13:15:29 sherrisiegel

Families are invited to take part in a nationwide research project by SPARK for Autism. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is involved as a clinical site partner.  The website also has links to existing research that provides new insights to a autism diagnosis. https://sparkforautism.org/portal/page/spark-igniting-autism-research-improving-lives/


Posted in: Educational ResourcesTagged in: AutismAutism Spectrum DisordersSpecial needs Read more... 0 comments

Dr. Yen Nguyen discusses your infant and child's eye health.

2017-05-16 13:11:18 admin

As an eye doctor, I often get asked, “When should my son/daughter have an eye exam?”  This can sometimes be a very difficult question to answer, because much like getting physical/health exams, it may depend on a number of different factors.  A good resource for general guidelines is the American Optometric Association, http://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/caring-for-your-vision/comprehensive-eye-and-vision-examination/recommended-examination-frequency-for-pediatric-patients-and-adults?sso=y .  Below is an overview of those recommendations:

Age of Child Risk Free Child’s Exam Schedule At Risk Child’s Exam Schedule
Birth to 24 months At 6 months of age By at least 6 months of age (may need to be done sooner based on other factors, like prematurity; follow recommendations as set forth by patient’s optometrist ophthalmologist and/or pediatrician)
2 to 5 years of age At 3 years of age At 3 years of age (follow recommendations as set forth by patient’s optometrist, ophthalmologist and/or pediatrician)
6 to 18 years of age Before beginning 1st grade and every 2 years thereafter


*I typically recommend annually due to patient’s prescription likely changing as child ages

Annually (follow recommendations as set forth by patient’s optometrist, ophthalmologist and/or pediatricia

Children considered to be at risk for visual impairment and/or ocular disease may have any of the following risk factors:

  • Prematurity, low birth weight, oxygen therapy at birth, Grade III or Grade IV interventricular hemorrhage
  • Family history of retinoblastoma (retinal tumor), congenital cataracts, metabolic disease or genetic disease
  • Infection of mother during pregnancy of any of the following:
    • Rubella (Measles)
    • Toxoplasmosis (Infection caused by a common parasite)
    • Venereal Disease (STD)
    • Herpes
    • Cytomegalovirus (virus related to chickenpox virus, herpes virus and mononucleosis)
    • AIDS
  • Difficulty or assisted labor that may be associated with fetal distress or low Apgar scores
  • High refractive error (nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism)
  • Anisometropia (nearsighted in one eye and farsighted in the other eye)
  • Eye turn (strabismus; often referred to as “a lazy eye”)
  • Diagnosis of or suspected central nervous system (CNS) dysfunction that includes:
    • Developmental delay
    • Cerebral palsy
    • Dysmorphic features (Atypical facial or body features)
    • Seizures or
    • Hydrocephalus

If you have questions, contact your child’s pediatrician, optometrist and/or ophthalmologist.  If you need assistance with medical and community resources and/or wish to be paired with a support parent that may be able to share their experiences as they relate your child’s needs, please do not hesitate to visit the Family Support Network of Eastern NC (FSN_ENC) at http://www.fsnenc.org/peer-to-peer-support/ or contact FSN by phone 252-847-5120.  “The Family Support Network of Eastern North Carolina, Inc, provides emotional support and resource information for families who have a child with a disability, chronic illness, premature birth and for families who have experienced the death of a child.”

Yen Nguyen, OD


Posted in: Educational ResourcesTagged in: BabiesChildrendoctorexameyesInfantsNICUPediatric Read more... 0 comments

Making Pitts Babies Fit Maternity Fair

2017-04-05 12:07:10 admin

Making Pitts Babies Fit Maternity Fair 2017

FSN-ENC was at the Maternity Fair again this year! We enjoyed seeing babies we have worked with in the past as well as meeting new moms and giving them resources and information about what we do. We were also able to make new connections with resources to further our database so that when a family seeks information we can provide those referrals.

The Wee Bundles went again this year. New moms were able to hold and compare the dolls and several expressed appreciation at being able to do this as they had no idea what  the various gestational sizes were.

This was just one half of the convention center floor. There were so many vendors, agencies and services there for the families!

Here is the article from Reflector.com.

Making Babies Fit: 25th annual maternity fair provides resources


Monday, April 3, 2017

Pitt County health officials on Sunday held a fair to provide information to help expecting families prevent infant mortality and to share resources and services with parents.

The Pitt County Health Department and Pitt Infant Mortality Prevention Advisory Council (PIMPAC) coordinated the 25th annual Making Pitt’s Babies Fit Maternity Fair, held at the Greenville Convention Center. The fair is among several events being held to celebrate National Public Health week and to commemorate the department’s 100th anniversary.

Event sponsors included Pitt Infant Mortality Prevention Advisory Council, Pitt County Health Department, Vidant Medical Center Community Health Programs, Triple P-Positive Parenting Program, Lowe’s Home Improvement, Winterville, Greenville Convention Center, Target, Greenville and Minges Bottling Company.

More than 80 vendors presented information about pregnancy planning, prenatal care, child health services and products designed for families of childbearing age. The fair also featured a fashion show where people modeled maternity clothes and a “Fitness for 2” exercise demo.

Originally, the fair was implemented due to feedback from focus groups among women who were enrolled in prenatal care in Pitt County or who at the time recently used the local healthcare system. Information shared by the women revealed they were not aware of resources to help with healthy pregnancies and babies. The fair was created to raise awareness of local services and to help families maintain healthy pregnancies, prevent unintended pregnancies and obtain child health service for children, according to a PIMPAC document that details the fair’s history.

Jennifer Hardee, coordinator of Women’s and Children’s Health Education Programs for Pitt County Health Department was pleased with the turnout on Sunday

Pediatricians, OBGYN offices, programs for newborn screening and resources offered by the health department were all available at the fair, Hardee said.

“Well what we want to do with the Maternity fair is raise awareness of the resources that in Pitt County that we have because we are such a resource, rich community with services and products aimed towards infants and pregnant women,” she said.  “I think that we’ve done a great job with getting a large group of those together.”

At the time of the fair’s inception, Hardee said preconception health was a focus. Now it’s resurfacing as a subject to make sure people keep in mind.

“It’s kind of come back into play with taking care of yourself before you get pregnant in order to have a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby,” Hardee said. “That’s one of our big areas with infant mortality reduction, taking care of yourself so you are healthy and ready to have another baby, even if you’re not planning.

While Hardee said many pregnancies might not be unwanted, many are often unintended so focusing on holistic health and healthy habits are key before, during and after the pregnancy.

There were 7.1 infant mortalities per 1,000 births in North Carolina in 2014, compared to 7.3 in 2015, Hardee said. Pitt County in 2015 had 9.7 infant mortalities which was a decrease from 2014 when there were 13.2, Hardee said.

“The lower the better, because we do know the loss of any baby is a tragedy,” Hardee said. “The thing about it is when you have a child in high school who dies the whole community pours into the family, because they have friends and they have people that have gotten to know them over the years. If you have a baby that’s 2 and 3 months old, they don’t have that because they don’t have that connection with people yet. Basically we are trying to put a face on infant mortality to know that those babies matter.”

The main causes of infant mortality in Pitt County are birth defects and prematurity, Hardee said. Smoking is definitely a big contributor, she added.

Efforts to raise awareness and promote preconception health and mothers taking care of their own health is a top priority because it helps combat chances of birth defects and pre-term births, Hardee said.

Focusing on good nutrition, physical activity, monitoring blood pressure and other vitals and going to the doctor’s for the right prenatal care are healthy practices, Hardee said.

Natasha Thorne, a Pitt County resident attended the event on Sunday where other parents and families stopped and visited tables with brochures and asked professionals and advocates about resources and information.

A stop at the Three Ps table provided Thorne with valuable resources, she said. Thorne attended the fair with her 1-year-old daughter, Navadiah.

Receiving recommendations for child care and support and finding out more information how to deal with children made the trip worthwhile for Thorne.  Based on her own experience, Thorne said she would encourage others to come to the fair.

“Even though I have a child I still need more information and resources,” Thorne said.

Contact Sharieka Botex at 252-329-9567 and sbotex@reflector.com. Follow her on Twitter @ShariekaB.


2014-Family Support Network of Eastern NC at the Pitt County Maternity Fair, providing information about our services. Staff also utilized the “Wee Bundle” Babies to show the different gestational sizes of an infant as it grows during the pregnancy.

Wee Bundle Babies

Family Support Network display at Pitt County Maternity FairFamily Support Network storyboard display

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Epsilon Sigma Alpha Regional Meeting

2014-04-01 12:08:57 admin

The Epsilon Sigma Alpha.Regional Meeting was held in Greenville NC and Family Support Network of Eastern NC as the guest speaker. Donna Harrell, Parent Coordinator, shared how providing resource information and Peer-to-Peer Support helped parents learn about community services that are available to help their child with special needs. The Epsilon Sigma Alpha. Chapter in Greenville has been a long time sponsor and decorator for the Family Support Network of Eastern NC’s annual Festival of Trees.

Epsilon Sigma Alpha meeting Greenville NC

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