In This Issue:
National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day is May 6, 2019
May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month
Physical Activity for Students with Special Needs
National Stuttering Awareness Week May 6-12 - A Father's Advice 
Recipe: Mediterranean Turkey Skillet
May Family Fun Activities

Happy mothers Day
From Everyone at The NBN Group!

National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day 
is May 6, 2019

National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day shines a national spotlight on the importance of caring for every child's mental health and reinforces that positive mental health is essential to a child's healthy development.

About National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration(SAMHSA) created National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day (Awareness Day) more than a decade ago to shine a national spotlight on the importance of caring for every child's mental health and to reinforce the message that positive mental health is essential to a child's healthy development.

The purpose of Awareness Day is to increase public awareness about the needs of children with serious mental illness (SMI) and severe emotional disturbance (SED) and their families, provide information on evidence-based practices, and encourage those who need help to seek treatment.

More than 1,100 communities and 170 national collaborating organizations and federal programs across the country participate in community events, youth educational programs, health fairs, art exhibits, and social networking campaigns in observance of Awareness Day. Each year, SAMHSA hosts an event in Washington, DC, to complements these local activities.

In 2005, SAMHSA hosted the first Awareness Day event in Washington, DC, in response to requests by systems of care grantees that indicated that a national observance would amplify and support the work they were doing at the community level. Awareness Day began as a grassroots effort among SAMHSA-funded systems of care and has expanded to include other federal programs and national organizations.

Since its inception, Awareness Day has served as SAMHSA's key strategy to:
  • Raise awareness of the efficacy of community-based mental health and substance use services for children, youth, young adults, and their families;
  • Demonstrate how children's mental health initiatives promote positive youth development, recovery, and resilience; and
  • Show how children, youth, and young adults with mental and/or substance use disorders can flourish in their communities.
Over the years, Awareness Day has grown in scope, visibility, and support. The event in Washington, DC, connects cross-disciplinary organizations in their efforts to promote awareness of children's mental and substance use disorders not just on a single day, but year-round. As a result of Awareness Day, organizations at the national level and in communities have developed relationships that have led to new collaborations and strengthened existing ones, creating greater opportunities for the long-term sustainability of their programs.

SAMHSA will continue to support community involvement in Awareness Day in 2019. Community-level Awareness Day observances are opportunities for children, youth, young adults, families, child-serving agencies, faith-based organizations, community leaders, and others to come together to focus on relevant topics related to children's mental health.
Visit us for everything you need to know about signing up for camp!


Physical Activity for Students with Special Needs
by Jake Weiner

Keeping students mentally engaged in the classroom can be a challenging task. With so many distractions, even the most focused of students can become overwhelmed and consumed by their surroundings.

Students with special needs often enter the classroom and become overloaded with sensory input. These distractions inherent in every classroom generate a multitude of sensory stimuli for students to absorb and process. Teachers face many challenges in the classroom, especially in those classrooms where students require more individualized attention. The challenge for educators is to look for alternatives to traditional teaching methods and ways of engaging their students. To keep students with special needs more engaged and focused, physical activity can be the key.

I am inviting and challenging educators to step outside of their comfort zones by creating an environment that engages the students with movement. Teachers can benefit from incorporating at least 30 minutes a day of some form of physical activity. Sports specific activities, exercise and fitness related routines, and other forms of movement can improve the health of your students, increase cognitive performance, encourage socialization, and can sometimes decrease self-stimulatory behaviors often referred to as "stimming." These repetitive body movements or movement of objects are very common in individuals with special needs and help them to regulate their bodies. Exercise and movement can have a calming effect on these students.

Some teachers are unsure about how to incorporate physical fitness or athletic programs into their classrooms. Frustration, fears and/or anxiety are often related to time constraints, required curriculum, lack of knowledge and challenging students. Being open to taking small steps towards a more physically active classroom can reduce and possibly eliminate these barriers. The following are several tips for teachers to utilize in their classrooms.

Set a length of time for each activity. This will give students an idea of how long each activity will take. Write the time on a whiteboard for all to see. Start off with shorter time periods and space them throughout the day; 5-10 minutes of stretching in the morning followed by 20 minutes of exercise in the afternoon. This clear-cut timing will allow students to adjust to changes in their schedules. You can work up to longer periods of time throughout the year.

Creating an outline of what you want your students to do allows them to anticipate each activity and prepare themselves for each activity. Make sure to assign a given number of repetitions for each exercise. Ambiguity in the instructions leads to upset, making it more difficult for a student with special needs to process the information. Use a pattern to encourage the student to create the mind-body connection and keep them focused on the given physical activity. For example: 10 jumping jacks, 9 chair squats, 8 bear crawls, 7 high knees, 6 skip jumps, etc.

A main goal of any educator working with children with special needs is to teach social skills, encouraging peer-to-peer interactions. Physical activity of any kind can be a great tool to develop an organic social interaction between students. Students should be encouraged to interact with each other in a fun and nonintrusive way. Simple group sports, games or movement related activities naturally create social opportunities among students.

Have students get into a large circle in the classroom or outdoors. Tell your students to pass an object, weighted or not, to a person across the circle. Depending on the ability of the student, the pass can be in the form of a throw or a roll on the ground. Instruct them to make eye contact and say the name of the person they are passing the object to before they pass; give verbal prompts of "eye contact," "say their name," and "throw or roll the ball." Repeat this exercise several times to help create a familiar activity that can be done every day.

Another great way to encourage social interaction is for students to pair up for different activities. Pairs can play on the same team for a sports day or to help count the amount of jumping jacks they can perform in 30 seconds. Depending on your students and their level of interest, pairs can be changed daily, weekly or biweekly. This will allow students to work with one another, demonstrating the importance of teamwork and accountability.

It is very hard to compete with iPhones, video games, TV, and relaxation on the couch. The classroom setting gives teachers a unique opportunity to engage with their students for a large chunk of time every day without these influences. Teachers strive to keep content educational and relevant, as well as fun. Physical activity should be no different. When sweating, competing and interacting with others is made a fun experience, students are more likely going to continue those activities outside the classroom. 

Physical activity can be fun when exercise routines are mastered, sports are understood, and friendships are formed. This can be accomplished with repetition, progression and regression of a given activity. Implement a workout schedule that can be followed daily or weekly to achieve best results.

All of these tips can and should be utilized in every classroom or school program. Students are often reluctant to try something new or learn a new task. Starting your students on an easy and simple routine can help them understand the importance of physical activity for both the body and mind. Physical activity is not a magic wand to solve all problems, and some students may not connect with or enjoy these activities. However, it is important to incorporate different modalities of teaching. Do not underestimate the power of movement and its ability to create a mind-body connection that may help to improve the health of your students, decrease typical "stimming" behaviors seen in students with disabilities, increase cognitive performance, and encourage socialization. Have fun and get moving!


A Father's Advice
Blog by Rick Arenas
Feb. 6, 2019

As parents, we want the best for our children. We hope and pray that things will go well for them in all areas of their life. This deep desire for our children's well-being often results in parents feeling guilt, confusion and inadequacy regarding how to handle things that we deem potentially harmful or unpleasant. For many parents, stuttering falls in this category. As a person who stutters with a child who stutters, I fully understand why it is often viewed in this way.

For many years, my stuttering (or at least my reaction to stuttering) had a negative impact on my quality of life. It was the dominate theme that influenced my decisions and how I viewed myself. Like many in my generation, stuttering was not talked about in my family; I was left to come up with my own explanations and ways of viewing it. When stuttering is not discussed openly, children tend to internalize that it is something so bad and taboo that it should be avoided at all costs (at least, this was my experience).

My perspective about stuttering slowly began to change almost twenty years ago when I decided to go back to school to study speech pathology, specializing in the area of stuttering. My evolving views had much less to do with my growing academic knowledge of stuttering and more to do with getting to know other people who stutter, observing how they have learned to thrive. Several years ago when my own children began to stutter, I experienced strong feelings of guilt and worry. This made it clear that my views of stuttering and parenting required much more of an evolution. 

I kept thinking about the challenges that I had with stuttering growing up; I did not want my children to have to deal with those same issues. Over time and after much reflection, I concluded that the best thing I can do as a parent is to provide support and foster a healthy view of stuttering.  I know I cannot take away the painful parts of my child's life. Pain is inevitable: eventually we all experience health issues, rejection, death of loved ones. In the case of people who stutter, they will stutter at times when they strongly desire to express themselves fluently. 

The suffering we experience from painful events is directly related to how we view and relate to those events. Parents have an enormous amount of influence on the development of a child's world view. If we want the best for our children, it's perhaps wise to focus less on trying to eliminate the pain they may experience and focus more on equipping them to effectively deal with the inevitable challenges.

It was from this lens that I wrote down nine pieces of advice for my son when he earnestly asked me what he can do about stuttering (after a particularly challenging day with his fluency at school). I tried to convey the things that have helped me the most and that I wish I would have heard when I was his age. When I gave it to him it was quite an emotional moment for both of us. It's not that we hadn't talked about stuttering before that moment, but the explicit nature of the list allowed us to more easily discuss how and in what ways stuttering was impacting him. I talked more than I had before about how stuttering has helped me to grow. The degree of openness and connection that we had in that moment is something I will never forget and will always cherish. 

This advice is certainly not all encompassing, I'm sure there are several more nuggets of wisdom that could be added. Also, it is not original. Most of it is rather universal and could be easily adapted to apply to any type of challenging difference or impairment. My hope is that this article and the list of advice may serve to foster open and honest communication between parents and their children who stutter. I am convinced that talking about stuttering is the single most important thing that a parent can do for their child.
1. Stuttering is ok.  There is nothing wrong with stuttering and there is nothing wrong with you. Everybody is different and we all have our own unique challenges. Some people just have a hard time with forward flowing speech.

2. Do not let stuttering stop you from what you want to do. Stuttering is likely to happen more in some situations, but don't avoid situations because stuttering may occur more often. Avoiding situations, or not saying what you want to say, because of stuttering is not a good way to live your life.

3. You may not have control over when stuttering occurs, but you do have control over how you respond to it. There are ways that you can make stuttering easier. Struggling, tensing and pushing out words is not as helpful as easily and gently moving forward through a moment of stuttering. You can learn and practice tools for making speech easier. But, it's up to you whether you want to use them and it's important to not get too frustrated when they are not as effective in some situations.

4. Be open and honest about stuttering with other people. It is best to let people know that you occasionally stutter.  By being open and ok with stuttering will make other people understand and they will be ok with it as well.

5. Never apologize for stuttering. If you're having a bit of a hard time saying what you want to say and it's taking longer than you would like, you don't have to apologize to other people. Instead, simply say "I stutter so you need to be patient while I finish saying what I'm saying".
6. Accept that stuttering is highly variable. Don't beat yourself up when some situations are harder than others. It's good to be aware of the variability of stuttering so that you can maybe use some types of strategies if you want to communicate more easily in tougher situations. But, don't get mad at yourself and feel guilty about it because that is just the nature of stuttering.

7. Stuttering has nothing to do with you as a person, your intelligence or your character. Stuttering is a neurological issue with speech production. It's not a psychological issue and it's not your fault. 

8. Know that you are not alone. There are millions of people who stutter and many of them have been extremely successful across a wide variety of professions, many of which require a great deal of speaking. Connecting with other people who stutter through support groups is a very helpful way to see how successful people who stutter can be in all areas of their life.

9. Speaking is about communication, not about fluency. Communication involves sharing your thoughts, feelings and beliefs. You can be a great communicator even if your speech does not always flow in an easy way. What you have to say is very important; it should be expressed no matter how fluently it comes out.
Rick Arenas is an assistant professor at the University of New Mexico. He is passionate about teaching future clinicians about stuttering and conducting research about the contextual variability of stuttering.
From the Winter 2019 Magazine


Mediterranean Turkey Skillet
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 package (20 ounces) lean ground turkey
  • 2 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 banana peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. 
  • Add turkey, zucchini, onion, peppers, garlic and oregano; cook 10-12 minutes or until turkey is no longer pink and vegetables are tender, breaking up turkey into crumbles; 
  • drain. 
  • Stir in remaining ingredients; heat through, stirring occasionally.
Editor's Note
Wear disposable gloves when cutting hot peppers; the oils can burn skin. Avoid touching your face.

Nutrition Facts
1 cup: 259 calories, 10g fat (2g saturated fat), 65mg cholesterol, 504mg sodium, 20g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 6g fiber), 24g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 1 vegetable, 1/2 starch, 1/2 fat.
Originally published as Mediterranean Turkey Skillet in Healthy Cooking Annual Recipes 2015


May Fun Family Activities 

Tyke's Tuesdays and Thursday's
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
ISC Cherry Hill
650 Kresson Road
Cherry Hill 08034
AGE RANGE: Preschoolers
CALL: 856-428-8588
Thursday (Begins September 20, 2018 and runs through May 30, 2019. Closed for Thanksgiving)Tyke's Thursday's 10:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M. $8 Per Child Includes: Fun and energetic soccer lesson, time in our FunZone, snack and juice. Ages 6 and under

M is for Monster
10:00 - 11:15 AM
Sugarplum Studio - South Jersey's Place for Edible Art
Doors open at 10:00AM with complimentary hot beverages for the grownups, juice for the kids, and sweet treats for everyone. Instructional activity begins promptly at 10:30AM and lasts approximately 45 minutes.
This week will feature the letter M for Monster.
$9.95 per 1 adult/1 child pair and $4.95 for each additional child, plus tax.
Recommended Age: For preschool aged children 2 though 5 with parent/guardian participation
Parent/Guardian is expected to stay and participate for the workshop.
Homeschooled children of any age and ability are welcome to participate in this workshop as well.
211 Haddonfield-Berlin Rd, Cherry Hill, NJ

Sustainable South Jersey Earth Festival Day
Family Fun Bike Ride
8:00 AM
Croft Farm
100 Bortons Mill Road
Cherry Hill, NJ
9:30 - 10:30 AM
Weekend Toddler Time at the Garden State Discovery Museum
Ages 4 and under
$10.00 per child, adults are free
2040 Springdale Road
Cherry Hill, NJ

Time: 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Building Speedwell
Spend the day as a preservation specialist, and use your problem solving skills to build and move a model building. Learn about the initiatives used to build the Historic Speedwell we know today and the technology needed to move historic buildings.
Historic Speedwell, 333 Speedwell Ave., Morristown.
Cost: $5 per adult, $4 per senior, $3 per child age 4 - 16, FREE per child under age 4.
Contact: 973.285.6550
Autism Day at Six Flags Great Adventure
Six Flags Great Adventure, Jackson Township, NJ, USA
Phone (631) 760-7982
Weekend Toddler Time at the Garden State Discovery Museum
9:30 - 10:30 AM
Ages 4 and under
$10.00 per child, adults are free
2040 Springdale Road
Cherry Hill, NJ
Time: 1 p.m. - 2 p.m. & 2 p.m. - 3 p.m.
Bring the family to Fosterfields! Meet the piglets born this spring, and help the farmers round them up for weighing. Guess which piglet weighs the heaviest - be careful, they are wiggly!
Fosterfields Living Historical Farm, 73 Kahdena Road, Morris Township.
Cost: $6 per adult, $5 per senior, $4 per child age 4-16, $2 per child age 2 & 3,
FREE per child under age 2.
Contact: 973.326.7645.
Time: 12 noon - 4 p.m.
Mother's Day at Willowwood Arboretum
Tour of beautiful gardens at Willowwood Arboretum. Enjoy light refreshments courtesy of the Willowwood Foundation, and purchase lilac seedlings to plant at home or give to Mom.
Willowwood Arboretum, 300 Longview Road, Chester Township.
Cost: $5 per car.
Contact: 973.326.7601
Little Red Riding Hood
The Ritz Theatre Co.
915 White Horse Pike (Route 30) in Haddon Township, New Jersey
An adventurous young girl, clad in a distinct red riding hood, strays from the forest path on the way to Granny's house and encounters a big, bad wolf who has dinner on his mind. Will Little Red get the better of her hungry foe and enjoy cookies and cake with Granny? Find out in our May "Ritz Kidz" show, sure to be tons of fun for the entire family!

Miller Farms -Horseback Trail Rides & Lessons in Camden County!
Come enjoy the beautiful scenery at the only horseback/trail riding available in Camden County. Trail riding is offered Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 4pm year round (Weather permitting). Children must be at least 7 years old to trail ride. Cost is $30/person for approximately an hour-long trail ride. Hand-led rides are also available for those younger than 7 and cost $5.
Reservations are strongly suggested.
We offer a great place for family fun, birthday parties, girl scouts and youth groups. Summer horse camp, riding lessons, and horse drawn wagon rides are also available.
1 Hour Trail Rides are $30 Per Person | Call for reservations | Trail Rides Sat and Sun Only | Open Year round
Miller Farms
134 N. Grove Street, Berlin, NJ 08009

ISC - ISC (International Sport, Skating & Fun Centre) Cherry Hill
650 Kresson Rd.
Cherry Hill, NJ 08034
Classes: Sports
Camps: All, Sports
HOURS: Our offices are open 9 AM - 5 PM daily. Give us a buzz for more information!
CALL: 856-428-8588  
MORE DETAILS: ISC (International Sport, Skating & Fun Centre) Cherry Hill is any family's destination for fun!
Located off of Kresson Road (behind the 7Eleven) in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, we offer skating, a FunZone & Inflatable (10 & Under), and an arcade. Our facility also includes a cafè with pizza, hot dogs, popcorn, nachos, drinks and more!
ISC Cherry Hill offers activities for all ages, no matter the season.
Our youth & adult sports leagues run year round and include:
  • Soccer
  • Lacrosse
  • Field Hockey
  • Volleyball
  • Roller Hockey
ISC Cherry Hill also offers School & Summer Camp programs for ages 3 ½ through Grade 8. Call for more information!

Jellybean Jungle
Crispin Square Shopping Center  
230 North Maple Ave
Marlton, NJ 08053
Open Play Hours:
Monday - Wednesday 9:30 - 5:00  
Thursday 9:30 - 6:00  
Friday  9:30 - 8:00  
 Saturday  9:30 - 2:30  
Sunday - Closed for Private Parties  
Jellybean Jungle is a play and learn adventure that is exclusively for  children 5 and under. Our facility is a bright and stimulating environment  created just for your little ones.
Jellybean Jungle was designed by a New Jersey Early Childhood certified  teacher. Safe, age appropriate equipment has been selected for your  children's enjoyment. We offer a large variety of imaginative and  developmentally appropriate activities that will lead your child on an adventure  of social exploration! As your child plays, you will gain insight into their  development, as well as enjoy a great time of bonding.

We Rock The Spectrum 
Open All Year
3111 Route 38, Ste. 14 Mount Laurel, NJ 08054 
856-242-9354 Call or email in advance to make sure facility is not booked for a party. Open 7 days a week We Rock the Spectrum Kid's Gym is the first of its kind in New Jersey,  offering fitness and play space for children of all abilities, including those  with sensory issues. Our Gym Includes: Suspended equipment with swings - for balance and vestibular treatment Crash mats and crash pillows - for fun, motor planning, and strength Zip line - for stress release and joint and body relaxation Trampoline - for building leg and core strength Indoor play structure - for climbing and increasing playground skills Sensory-based toys - for improved auditory processing and fine motor skills
Fine Motor and Arts and Crafts Area - for improved hand-eye coordination

Adventure Aquarium 
Mon. - Sun.: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
CALL:  (856) 365-3300  
1 Riverside Drive Camden, NJ 08103 PH: 844-474-FISH (3474)
Adventure Aquarium is just minutes from downtown Philadelphia on the  Camden Waterfront and features one-of-a-kind exhibits with more than 8,500 aquatic species throughout two million gallons of water. The Aquarium is home to the largest collection of sharks on the East Coast, including the only great hammerhead shark on exhibit in the United States, the only 
aquarium in the world to exhibit hippos, one of only six facilities in the US to have Little Blue penguins as permanent residents and exhibits the longest Shark Bridge in the world, a unique V-shaped rope suspension bridge just inches over Shark Realm. Adventure Aquarium is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), and is held to the absolute highest standards in animal care and exhibition.

Sensory Friendly Movies at AMC
AMC is proud to partner with the Autism Society to offer unique movie  showings where we turn the lights up, and turn the sound down, so you can get up, dance, walk, shout or sing! Our Sensory Friendly Film program is available on the second and fourth Saturday (family-friendly) and Tuesday evenings (mature audiences) of every month. Please check your local theater listings for specific show times, and don't forget to share your family fun with #AMCSensoryFriendly.

Battleship New Jersey 
62 Battleship Pl, Camden, NJ 08103-3302
Located on the Camden Waterfront, NJ, across the Delaware River  from Center City Philadelphia the Battleship New Jersey Museum and  Memorial offers guided and self-guided tours. Climb inside the 16" gun  turrets, learn explore the captain's cabins and crew's quarters and  discover what life was like for a Battleship sailor. Group packages and  educational programs are available for school. You can rent space  aboard the Battleship for meetings and social events. Families and  youth groups can spend the night aboard the Battleship as part of the  overnight program. 

Would you like to make a difference in your community or an individual's life? 
Apply to New Behavioral Network today! 

We are now hiring . . .


Licensed Mobile Therapists

Behavior Interventionists

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We offer competitive pay, flexible schedules, and a supportive work environment.

NBN Group
2 Pin Oak Lane
Cherry Hill, NJ 08003
(856) 874-1616