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April 20, 2023

Lighting The Way Autism Conference


This year's conference is just around the corner and we have been highlighting the informative sessions planned along with spotlights of our generous sponsors on our Facebook page. Click the link to catch up and stay updated as we share more information.


The schedule for the two jam packed days will be similar to previous years. We have invited national and local Keynote speakers to start each of the days, there will be time to network with others at the conference, and dedicated time to visit with vendors to learn more about available resources. Each time slot will have various sessions to choose from based on your interest.


Registration is limited so don't wait!

Testing Anxiety


Testing season is coming up for many students across the state. Schools will be engaging in state standard assessment at various grade levels.  They will also start wrapping up their last semester with mid-terms and final exams.  Understood offers tips to help students who may suffer from test anxiety in their article Tips for High School Test Anxiety.

Bye For Now...


We had a wonderful time honoring Barb Avery-Sterud, the end of March with a tea party fit for a queen. Barb has decided to pursue some life-long dreams and we wish her the very best as she begins this next chapter of her adventure!


With her departure, we would like to announce that Jennifer Wentzel will take over as the Navigator Program Coordinator. Jennifer has worked closely with Barb for the past year and is excited to move into this role at South Dakota Parent Connection.


The Navigator Program provides individualized guidance to parents who suspect or have a child with a disability, and school professionals, at no cost. The program is a partnership between the South Dakota Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs and South Dakota Parent Connection. To learn more about the Navigator Program, visit our website.

Upcoming Opportunities

Here are some educational opportunities offered by South Dakota Parent Connection and by other organization's that can help support South Dakota families. A complete list of events can be found on our website at ww.sdparent.org or Facebook page.


April 21, 2023 - Sibshop: This free event provides siblings of children with special health. mental health, and developmental needs an opportunity for peer support in a relaxed, recreational setting. During this time we will enjoy games, information activities, food, and swimming!


April 26, 2023 - ADHD Grandfamilies: Grandparents Raising Neurodivergent Grandkids Webinar: In this webinar, grandparents will learn about the three presentations of ADHD, evidence-based behavior management strategies, how to address everyday struggles, and avoid common pitfalls.


June 7 - 8, 2023 - 15th Annual Lighting The Way Autism Conference: The Augustana University Sharon Lust School of Education will host its 15th annual Lighting the Way Autism Conference at Memorial Middle School on Wednesday, June 7, and Thursday, June 8. The keynote speaker for June 7 will be Dr. Christine Reeve, a nationally recognized clinical psychologist, special education consultant and expert on autism, and on June 8, the keynote speech will be delivered by Franne Sippel, Ed.D., and Becky Kuch, NCC, LPC-MH, the co-creators of Shrink Rap the Podcast. Find more information on our Facebook page.

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This e-publication was developed under grants from the U.S. Department of Education Project Grant H328M2000666 and Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Grant H328M140021, Family to Family Health Information Center, $93,175; and approximately 5% financed with non-governmental resources. The contents should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by US Department of Education, HRSA, HHS or the Federal Government.