Lending a Helping Hand Achievement Award

Achievement Awards

We are pleased to announce our achievement award winners this month for Lending a Helping Hand.

With outstanding volunteerism and the motivation to always help, even when no one asks.

With great pleasure we announce that:

Willy R.

Jacob L.

Will S.

have achieved something great!

Lending a Helping Hand Achievement Award

Lending a Helping Hand Achievement Award

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Inclement Weather

Inclement Weather

In the event of inclement weather, JCCOA Jefferson Center will operate under the Jefferson County School System for closings and delays due to winter road conditions.  This does not include any other closings of delays, only those delay that are caused by hazardous driving conditions due to winter precipitation.


If Jefferson County Schools are operating on a one or two hour delay due to winter road conditions, JCCOA Jefferson Center will be operating on the same delay.


If Jefferson County Schools are under early dismissal or closed due to winter road conditions, JCCOA Jefferson Center will do the same.


If your transportation services are provided through JCCOA, you will need to make different transportation arrangements for days with delays and early dismals.  The JCCOA will not pick up clients on a one/two hour delay but will drop them off in the afternoon.  On days of early dismissal due to winter road conditions guardians are responsible for picking up clients.  If your transportation services are provided through JCCOA, you will need to pick up the client at the JCCOA Jefferson Center.


If the JCCOA Jefferson Center will be operation on a delayed schedule or closed, the voice message on 304.728.1076 will be updated to include this information.  For early dismissal guardians will be notified by phone to pick up the client.  You can also listen to your local news/radio station to learn of delays and closures for Jefferson County Schools.


Please be sure to be proactive during this time of year, if they are calling for a storm and you use JCCOA transportation services please be sure you can make arrangement for early pick up in case of early dismissal.


Closures outside of the Jefferson County School year

In case of a closure outside of the Jefferson County School year due to weather/power outage, the JCCOA Jefferson Center voice message on 304.728.1076 will be updated to include this information.  When possible guardians will also receive a phone call to inform them of closures when outside of the Jefferson County School year.

Thank You,

Haley Laird

JCCOA Jefferson Center Director





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New Staff: David Bynane

The JCCOA Jefferson Center would like to welcome our new staff, David Bynane. David, a single father of two, joined us at the end of November and arrived just in time to help us celebrate the holidays. He is a busy man and also works in our In Home Health Department, though he always makes time for family and friends. He has a great sense of humor and keeps us laughing and happy all day long.

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In the news this month we are gearing up for Halloween We will be going to the Senior Center to watch a SCARY MOVIE.  We are  going to Wilson’s Wild Animal Park to see & feed the animals and we will be going on a hay ride and picking a pumpkin as well.We also will be going to the Senior Center for a Halloween party / Costume party and to hear the Precious Memories Band. We are ready to get are scare on for the month of October.

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Jefferson County Fair


Please come out and support us at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds from 8/20/17 until 8/26/17.  We will be selling raffle tickets for a chance to win a charcoal grill filled with grilling goodies.  The winner will also receive a cooler that has extras in it also.  The tickets are 1 for $1 and 6 tickets for $5.

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Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorders

Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are a group of neurodevelopmental disorders with symptoms presenting in early childhood and persisting throughout the lifespan. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5 ASDs are characterized by “repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities,” and “persistent deficits in social communication and interaction.”

Symptoms of ASD are categorized by severity in 3 levels ranging from Level 1- requiring support to Level 3- requiring very substantial support. In the past diagnoses of Asperger Syndrome, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified were considered separate disorders, however these diagnoses are now classified as Autism Spectrum Disorders.

ASD is also commonly diagnosed in conjunction with other disorders or illnesses including but not limited to: ADD, ADHD, anxiety, bi-polar, seizure disorder, sensory processing problems, OCD, depression, and intellectual disability.

Treatment for ASD comes in many forms and is most commonly tailored for each individual and may include medication and engagement in social services as well as behavioral and cognitive training and supports.

It is important to remember that no two people with ASD are alike and that symptoms vary across individuals. ASD is a lifelong diagnosis for which there is no cure. However, with treatment and training some symptoms may lessen. Depending on the severity of symptoms, and with the appropriate supports and treatments in place, individuals with ASD can live independently and work in the community. For more information, see the references section below.







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Seizure Awareness

According to the Mayo Clinic, approximately 10% of people may experience an unprovoked seizure in their lifetime. Just one seizure alone does not indicate epilepsy or seizure disorder; however, 1 in 26 people in the US will develop a seizure disorder. About 80% of those individuals can manage their symptoms with medicine, but there is no known cure for seizure disorder. As you can see, seizures and seizure disorder are not rare, so what exactly is a seizure? Though there are many types and classifications of seizures, they are characterized by sudden excessive and abnormal brain activity affecting how a person may appear or behave for a short period of time.

Types of Seizures:


  1. Absence seizures. Also known as petit mal seizures, absence seizures are characterized by staring into space and subtle body movements like eye blinking. They may occur in clusters and cause a brief loss of awareness.
  2. Tonic seizures. These seizures are characterized by a stiffening of the muscles and often times result in a fall to the ground.
  3. Atonic seizures. Similar to tonic seizures, atonic seizures cause a loss of muscle control and may cause you to drop to the ground, hence, their characterization as a “drop” seizure.
  4. Clonic seizures. These seizures are associated with repeated, rhythmic, and jerking muscle movements.
  5. Myoclonic seizures. Similar to clonic seizures, these seizures appear as sudden, brief jerks of the arms and/or legs.
  6. Tonic-clonic seizures. Also known as grand mal seizures, can cause loss of consciousness and are characterized by body stiffening and shaking. These are often the scary to witness.


  1. Simple partial seizures. These seizures may alter a person’s emotions and/or perceptions and may result in involuntary jerking and spontaneous sensory symptoms.
  2. Complex partial seizures. Individuals experiencing this form of seizure will often lose consciousness or awareness, will not respond normally to their environment, and may perform repetitive movements such as hand rubbing, chewing, swallowing, or walking in circles.


  1. Febrile seizures. These seizures are most commonly experience by infants and children and are triggered by infection and high fever.

First Aid Tips and Seizure Facts

  1. You can NOT swallow you tongue during a seizure, so NEVER put something in the mouth of an individual experiencing seizure activity.
  1. Make the individual experiencing the seizure comfortable and help them to the ground if possible, but NEVER restrain them or attempt to hold them down.
  1. Call 911 for prolonged seizure activity in those diagnosed with seizure disorder or epilepsy or immediately in individuals who have never experienced seizures.
  1. Most individuals with seizure disorder can do the same things that people without seizure disorder can do; however, those with more severe symptoms or with frequent seizure activity may be restricted from working or driving and may also experience other problems in day to day life.


*All information was collected from the following sites:




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Highlight on Down Sydrome



The JCCOA Jefferson Center provides services to many extraordinary individuals that have been diagnosed with a wide range of developmental and intellectual disabilities. To name them all we would need to write a book, but for today we would like to highlight Down Syndrome.

Otherwise known as Trisomy 21, Down Syndrome is a genetic disorder caused by the presence of a full or partial third copy of the 21st chromosome. Generally associated with mild to moderate intellectual disability, Down Syndrome is characterized by distinct facial features, growth delays, and weak muscle tone.  Additionally, almost 50% of all individuals diagnosed with Down Syndrome are born with a heart defect. Down Syndrome is one of the most common chromosomal abnormalities in humans occurring in approximately 1 in 1000 babies born each year.

Some children with Down Syndrome are educated in typical school classes, while others require more specialized education. Some of these individuals even graduate from high school and attend post-secondary education. In adulthood an estimated 20% of individuals diagnosed with Down Syndrome in the United States engage in paid work in some capacity with some individuals attending training centers just like ours here at the Jefferson Center.

These individuals, though they may seem different, are just like you and I. They read books, they watch TV, they listen to music, they participate in social media, and they surf the internet. They go on trips to faraway places and think and plan for the future. They dream about who they will marry, and they fall in love. They even get in trouble when they don’t follow the rules. If you get the chance to meet a person diagnosed with Down Syndrome consider yourself lucky! They are some of the most loving, strong willed, and energetic people you will have the pleasure of meeting. Please remember that BEING DIFFERENT IS NO DIFFERENT!

For more information you can visit the following pages:





Today we would like to share an original poem by Becky Kline:


Spiders in the stomach,

Spiders on my head,

Spiders in the under arms,

Spiders on my bed!

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Jefferson Center Client Spotlight



dscf7300                       Our star client this month is Erin Watson, and after a presidential election at the center she is also our vice president.  Erin has been a part of The Jefferson Center since 2010 and has many friends.  She is adored and is always willing to assist someone in need.  Erin enjoys time with her family such as going on family vacations or relaxing at home watching Wheel of Fortune or Dancing with the Stars.  Erin is always up for an adventure.  Her adventures include going to the movies, bowling, attending church, and participating in the annual Relay for Life.


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Jefferson Center Highlight

The Jefferson Center accommodates clients of all ages.  Our youngest client is 22 and our oldest is 62, which proves that learning has no age limit.








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