SPAN The Bridge Newsletter pictorial graphic.  Your weekly access to SPAN news, resources and events.

April 5, 2023 | Issue 72 (View newsletter as webpage) Para leer este boletín en Español, haga clic aquí

Important News

Autism Acceptance Month photo

April is Autism Acceptance Month

"Acceptance comes from a place of understanding...Understanding takes work. To accept us, people first need to acknowledge us as individuals..."

"Acceptance vs Awareness" blog post - Autism Self Advocacy Network (ASAN)

Read the thought-provoking blog post here

The Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network released two new reports. Findings indicate:

  • New patterns in prevalence by race/ethnicity
  • Dramatic impacts of COVID-19 on early evaluation and identification.

The latest autism prevalence estimate is 1 in 36 8-year-old children. For the first time, the percentage of 8-year-old Asian or Pacific Islander, Hispanic and Black children identified with autism was higher than among White Children.

Read the study about prevalence here

Read the study about early identification here

OCALI features information and resources that span the spectrum - from early childhood to school-age to adulthood.

Check out the #SpanningTheSpectrum resources from OCALI here


Addressing Mass Incidents at Schools

Sharing some information and resources to help parents/caregivers and teachers as the need to discuss school shootings arises.

A few key items of information include:

  • Parents should reassure schoolchildren that adults try to keep kids safe.
  • Keep routines as normal as possible.
  • Listen to kid's fears and concerns
  • Rebuild and reaffirm attachments and relationships

The following resources may be helpful:

"How Parents Can Help Kids Cope With School Shootings" - Psychology Today - Concerned adults are desperate for ways to ease children's distress.

Talking to Kids about Tragedies (such as shootings and terror attacks in the News - A guide from the National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement.

School Shooting Resources - National Child Traumatic Stress Network - includes Fact Sheets, Tip Sheets, e-courses and videos.

Helping Students After a School Shooting - American School Counselor Association.

This booklet "After a Loved One Dies" reviews how children grieve and how caring adults can help them adjust. It is available in nine languages.

Women Embracing Equality

Photo of Kasey Dudley

Bloomfield, New Jersey council members gave a well-deserved shout-out for International Women's Day. The Bloomfield Women to Watch awards is an annual event to recognize women who have made "significant contributions to the community and have demonstrated leadership, innovation and impact in their personal and professional lives."

SPAN's own Kasey Dudley was recognized for her work as an Education Advocate. Kasey is the Vice president of the Bloomfield Board of Education. Kasey helped Berkeley Elementary School to receive important grants to :

  • Support the local bilingual community
  • Build self-esteem and social-emotional wellness for elementary school girls.

Kasey also sits on the Bloomfield Civil Rights Commission and the Bloomfield Juneteenth Advisory Committee and continuously looks for ways to embrace diversity in the community.

Kasey also received a recognition from Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill for her commitment to her community.

Learn more about Kasey's work leading the Parents As Champions for Healthy Schools project at SPAN

Upcoming Events

SPAN offers a variety of learning opportunities for families and the professionals who work with them.

Highlighted Event This Week

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Effective School & Family Partnerships: Communication Strategies for an Inclusive Education

This workshop will provide strategies and tips for having more effective conversations around inclusive education in IEP meetings.

We will discuss the barriers to communication and provide strategies that encourage collaboration, mutual understanding, and meaningful engagement about inclusion.

Guest Presenters:

Melanie J. Reese and Manny Guendulay from CADRE, the National Center on Dispute Resolution in Special Education

Let’s work together to improve inclusive education for ALL students!

The workshop will be presented in both English and Spanish.

El taller se presentará en inglés y español.

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

at 7:00 PM via Zoom.

Register Here

See all of SPAN's upcoming events with details and registration links here 

Para recibir la edición en Español de este boletín semanalmente en su correo electrónico 

haga clic aquí para suscribirse

SPAN Youth Hub image

Dealing with Sickness

Read our latest blog post, "Dealing With Sickness," and learn about some essential tips to recover when you are sick and prevent common illnesses in the future.

Click here to read the blog

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