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

November 8, 2023 | Issue 104 (View newsletter as webpage) Para leer este boletín en Español, haga clic aquí

Important News

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App Aids Early Screening for Autism

Signs of Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) typically appear in the first two years of life. Early diagnosis and intervention can improve outcomes for people on the autism spectrum, But ASD can be difficult to diagnose.

Children are often screened for ASD at an early age during well-child medical visits. Standard screening is based on a caregiver questionnaire. But this method has proven less accurate in real-world health care settings than in research studies. So scientists have been working to develop accurate, easy-to-use screening tools to improve early detection.

Two years ago, a research team at Duke University reported promising results from a prototype mobile app that could detect distinctive eye gaze patterns in toddlers who were later diagnosed with ASD. For their latest study, the researchers developed and tested a new tablet-based app called SenseToKnow. This experimental app collects data not only on the child’s eye gaze but also on facial expressions, attention, head movements, and other behaviors related to ASD.

For more from the NIH on this very promising app, click here.


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OSEP Releases New Fast Facts on Children Identified with Intellectual Disability

A recent Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) blog released a new Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) Fast Facts: Children Identified with Intellectual Disability, which explores their Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Section 618 data. This Fast Fact takes a closer look at their data on children whose primary disability is intellectual disability. 

Just a couple data highlights for School Year (SY) 2021-2022 include:

  • The percentage of students with disabilities identified with intellectual disability was 6.02%. States reported a range from 2.29% to 14.82% of students with disabilities identified with intellectual disability.
  • Students identified with intellectual disability were more likely to be served inside a regular class less than 40% of the day than all students with disabilities (13% and 47%). 

There's much more data included. To access the full blog, click here.

What Now? A Parent’s Guide to Tantrums and Meltdowns logo

From comes the What Now? A Parent’s Guide to Tantrums and Meltdowns podcast. Over eight short episodes, you can learn practical strategies to help you respond more effectively to your child’s outbursts — and manage your own stress along the way.

Host Dr. Andrew Kahn is a licensed psychologist who has been working with kids, teens, and adults for more than 20 years. In this how-to podcast, he offers tips you can use in the moment and skill-building exercises you can practice ahead of time. 

For more information, to access a podcast trailer, or to listen, click here

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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Transition Fair

Thursday, Nov. 16, 6:00-8:00 PM

Paramus High School

Attend the New Jersey Special Education Administrators Associations (NJSEAA) transition fair! You can attend as a young adult with a disability, an individual with a disability, a parent/caregiver, or as a disabilities professional. 

Obtain information like: 

  • Transitioning to adult services
  • College programs for adults with disabilities
  • Social/Recreational programs for adults with disabilities
  • Support Coordination Organizations
  • Transportation Vendors

To express interest in attending, click 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
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Accommodations at Work:

What Do I Need to Know?

Read about Transitions to Adulthood Center for Research's "Accommodations at Work: What Do I Need to Know?" on the SPAN Youth Hub. The tip sheet helps young adults figure out what to ask for and how to succeed in their jobs.

To access the post, click here.

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