Welcome to the LSHSA website!
Since the LSHSA was formed in 2005, we have raised and given back to the special needs community over $20,000 in scholarships, teachers' wish lists and staff recognition gifts. We wanted to thank the Ridgewood Community for making this possible through HSA dues and fundraisers!
We hope you find lots of useful information here on our website. Below is our latest news and upcoming events. Visit our other pages for more information.
Marble Jam Kids
MarbleJam Kids is a NJ DDD authorized service provider of creative arts therapies and therapeutically supported after school enrichment programs for children through adults with autism spectrum disorders, related developmental disabilities, and special needs. The programs are social skills based and focus on providing an atmosphere of support and success. They provide small group classes and therapy sessions as well as customized programming, and private therapeutic interventions at their center located in Tenafly, NJ.
To see their upcoming programs, visit their website.
Sharing the Arts Programs
Sharing the Arts is a non-profit performing arts conservatory for individuals with mild to moderate developmental delays, including chromosomal abnormalities, Asperger's, genetic anomalies and other developmental delays. Their mission is to enhance the lives of individuals with special needs through the performing arts. Classes are led by professional performing artists and qualified teachers with support staff to provide redirection and assistance. Pre-teen through college-age volunteers serve as assistants, demonstrators, mentors as well as friends in the class. Presentation and performance opportunities exist for some classes.
To see their upcoming programs, visit their website..
A new Spanish glossary of educational terms related to the implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is now available online. The glossary is the result of the collective and collaborative efforts of 18 Parent Centers funded by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). It was developed to ensure that IDEA terms used in documents for parents are translated in a uniform and comprehensible way across states, geographical regions, and communities of Spanish speakers. The OSEP Spanish Glossary is available online here.
The The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation presents Autism, Epilepsy & Seizures: How to Recognize the Signs and Basic First Aid When You Do, an informational brochure offering general information on Autism and Epilepsy and the co-condition as well as the types of seizures and basic first aid recommended by the Epilepsy Foundation. Download a copy here. If you wish to reproduce this brochure, click here to download a high-resolution, press-ready PDF.
No Child Left Behind
Leaders of both parties in the House of Representatives say they will be starting an effort to re-write the No Child Left Behind law. In his budget for fiscal year 2011, President Obama proposed changes to NCLB. These changes include eliminating the requirement that 100% of students pass the state tests by 2014, an impossible goal; changing the funding formula so that it is driven by academic progress rather than the number of students in a district; evaluating school success on broader criteria than being able to make AYP; and to have a new goal of having all students leave high school college or career ready. The first hearing is scheduled for February 24th and will focus on expanding access to quality charter schools.
On August 13, 2009, Governor Jon S. Corzine enacted landmark legislation that, for the first time, requires New Jersey health insurers to provide coverage for screening for autism and other developmental disabilities as well as evidence-based behavioral interventions and any medically-necessary occupational, physical and speech therapy. Hosted by Children's Specialized Hospital in New Brunswick, the event represented the culmination of months of advocacy spearheaded by Autism New Jersey and families across the Garden State.
In attendance were more than 100 families and individuals whose lives have been touched by autism.
The legislation, S1650/A2238, requires insurance companies to provide coverage of evidence-based, medically necessary autism therapies. The new law covers up to $36,000 annually for a child with autism who is 21 years of age or younger. Coverage includes Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy, which is recognized as an effective, evidence-based treatment for children with autism.
The bill was championed by New Jersey Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts, Jr. (Primary Sponsor). Also providing critical leadership were Senate Health and Human Services Committee Chairman and primary sponsor Joseph Vitale, Assemblyman Vincent Prieto (Primary Sponsor), Assemblywoman Joan Voss (Primary Sponsor), Assemblyman Peter Biondi (Co-Sponsor), Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula (Co-Sponsor), Assemblyman Patrick Diegnan (Co-Sponsor), and Senator Loretta Weinberg (Co-Sponsor).
Speakers at the event included Autism New Jersey's Board Vice-Chair James Paone, who spoke of his son Tim. "When you pay your insurance premium, you expect that your child will get the health care they specifically need," Paone said. "Now, that will be the law of this State when it comes to children like Tim, and families like ours."
"We have made the diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorders a top priority in New Jersey," Governor Corzine said. "The legislation I am signing today recognizes there must be appropriate resources to treat and care for individuals with autism, and provide their families the support they need. By doing so, we enable those affected with autism to function as independent, productive, and empowered individuals, and ease the burden of their loved ones."
"Many New Jersey families already are being stretched to their financial edge -- but without health coverage for their loved ones, countless families are bankrupting themselves just to give their child the potential for a bright future," said Speaker Roberts Jr. "This measure offers real and meaningful hope that they will not battle alone."
"This law is about giving access to proven therapies and treatments which can work miracles in the lives of children and allow them to achieve their fullest potential," said Senator Vitale.
The Model Me Kids® video series demonstrates social skills by modeling peer behavior at school, on a playdate, at a birthday party, on the playground, at a library, restaurant, and more. Real children model and narrate each skill. Designed as a teaching tool for children, adolescents, and teenagers with Autism, Asperger Syndrome, PDD-NOS, and Nonverbal Learning Disorder, the videos are used by parents, teachers, and therapists.
Parents are encouraged to read this interesting and informative article at the Education Law Center website: Census-based Special Ed Funding: Hype or Real Reform? Potential Pitfalls for New Jersey Documented in Pennsylvania Study.
HR 821 (bill on Special Education Funding) was introduced and is in the House of Representatives' Committee of Education and Labor. You can send an e-mail to the committee chair, George Miller, through his web site.
The following is example text (feel free to copy and paste it):
Dear Congressman Miller:
Special Education costs have been underfunded for too long. Please discuss bill HR 821, "Everyone Deserves Unconditional Access to Education Act" and send it out of committee to the House of Representatives for a vote. This bill would guarantee funding for students needing special education services. It is time for Congress to fulfill its promise to fund forty percent of the costs for special education.
Name and Address
Webmaster: Linda Willk
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