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Last Updated: 01/24/2016

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Bridges4Kids - Helping parents and professionals with Michigan's most comprehensive source of information on education news and resources for special needs and at-risk children from birth to transition to adult life.

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Welcome to Bridges4Kids!  We are a non-profit organization providing an internet-based system of information and referral for parents and professionals seeking help for children from birth through transition to adult life.

Breaking News

starWhat's New on our Website? You Can Find Out

starLooking for Goals & Objectives for an Upcoming IEP? Click

starBridges4kids Featured Resource: Batec Mobilitystar

Totally cool biker wheels that attach to a wheelchair and turn them into really cool motor scooters. Watch the YouTube videos!

starMI MSEMP Offers Free Mediation Servicesstar

Free services to help schools & parents communicate before battle lines are drawn. Call (800) 873-7658.

starMI Michigan Unveils Badges And ID Cards For Service Animals (MIRS 1/13/16)star
Michigan Department of Civil Rights officials, Lt. Gov. Brian CALLEY and lawmakers involved with the subject today rolled out specific details of a program dedicated to making it easier for owners of service animals to access public spaces and businesses without misunderstanding or trouble. Calley joined Sens. David KNEZEK (D-Dearborn Heights) Margaret O'BRIEN (R-Portage) and Rep. Tom BARRETT (R-Potterville) to unveil special badges that can be placed on service animals registered to the state by their owners. Once registered, the owner of a service animal will also be given an identification card to present to those who may question the presence of their service animal. Qualified animals include dogs and miniature ponies. The policy was spurred by a package of bills that were drafted in response to reports of those with service animals, including veterans, being turned away from businesses because of the animals. SB 0298, sponsored by Knezek, makes it a crime to refuse entry to a person using a service animal or to assault a service animal. SB 0299, sponsored by O'Brien, exempts service animals from licensing fees if they are a service animal to someone with a disability or a veteran with a service-related disability.

starMI Michigan Legislators form Bipartisan Disabilities Awareness Caucus (MIRS 1/13/16)star
Rep. Frank Liberati (D-Allen Park) and Sen. Rick Jones (R-Grand Ledge) today announced the formation of a new Disabilities Awareness Caucus. "I serve as a board member of the Special Olympics of Michigan,” said Jones. “Many concerns of special needs children and adults have been brought to my attention over the years, and I hope to work on some of these concerns with this caucus.” Liberati said the caucus brings "together a great group of legislators who will bring disability issues to the forefront of policy discussions in Lansing." Lt. Gov. Calley applauded the move. "People with disabilities deserve a chance to live self-determined, independent lives, but are often judged based on what they can't do, instead of what they can," said Calley. "I'm pleased that Senator Jones and Representative Liberati are making opportunities for people with disabilities a priority by forming the caucus." Also named as part of the effort are Sens. Margaret O'BRIEN (R-Portage) and Curtis Hertel (D-Meridian Twp.), and Reps. Hank Vaupel (R-Handy Twp.) and Christine Grieg (D-Farmington Hills).

starMother Stunned as Santa Delivers Life-Changing One Linerstar
When her boy confided his "secret worries" to Santa at the mall, you won't believe what he uttered when asked about the "naughty list." 21 words that will make your jaw drop...

starBridges4kids Featured Resource: An Overview of Simple Machinesstar

This great new resource was developed by 12-year-old student, Marcus Kirby

starBridges4kids Featured Resource: Cerebral Palsy Guidestar

starPath For Expelled Students to Get Back in School Could Become National Modelstar
For most students, being caught in the fall of their senior year with prescription pills that appeared to be packaged for distribution would dash any hopes of graduating with their class. They likely would face a 180-day expulsion, not to mention charges in juvenile court.
starBridges4kids Featured Resource: The Arya Foundationstar

Mission: Even the smallest actions can impact a life. With this belief in mind, The Arya Foundation was inspired to become what it is today. It motivates us, moves us, and provides the principles for the vision we believe in. Not everyone can afford the medical supplies and equipments that are necessary in a child’s life. Sometimes, sadly, the costs are too high. By giving small financial aid to these families, the costs become lower and easier to afford. The Arya Foundation was created so that more than 95% of the money donated would go to families who need help paying for medical supplies. Providing the financial aid is our way of alleviating some stress from the families we help. It is our way of improving lives. But most importantly, it is our way of bringing a smile to the faces of children who really deserve happiness. ***Applicants must live in St. Louis, Missouri or the surrounding areas.

starHere Are 14 of Attorney John Brower's Latest Special Ed Q&As In One Convenient Spotstar

star10 Things I Thought I'd Never Say...Until I Had Boysstar
Since being a mother to boys has to have some sort of anthropological distinction to it, I've decided to compile my very own list of observations of things I never thought I would say until I had boys.

starThis Story About a Mother's Love Brought an Entire Middle School to Tearsstar
If you know anything about middle school, you know that young teenagers can be hard to motivate and inspire. For former professional wrestler Marc Mero, however, it only took four minutes to bring an auditorium full of middle school students to tears with his personal story about his mother, her passing and his regrets about pushing her away. His speech is a must watch, but be'll need a box of tissues by the end.

starMI Drama Students Meet Real-life Inspirationstar
Chad DeKatch hopes every production he leads as director of the Okemos High School theater department is a learning experience for his students. But for the school's latest play called "The Boys Next Door," DeKatch also wanted the experience to be life-changing.

starBecause...Who is Perfect, Anyways?star

starSix Healthy Habits to Teach Kids Who Worry Too Muchstar

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starMI Standards for the Emergency Use of Seclusion & Restraintstar
The document, Supporting Student Behavior: Standards for the Emergency Use of Seclusion and Restraint is now available on the Office of Special Education Web site. The document summarizes how a positive behavior support approach uses proactive strategies to reduce or eliminate the use of seclusion and restraint; defines the terms "seclusion" and "restraint"; outlines procedures for emergency use of seclusion and restraint; and provides a framework for training.

starSpecial Education Law Questions and Answersstar

starClaims of Abuse are Outside of IDEAstar

and Administrative Remedies Do Not Have To Be Pursued

The district court erred by dismissing plaintiffs' § 1983 and breach of contract claims, which arose from allegations that the defendant-school district's (MCS) aides physically, sexually, and verbally abused the plaintiff-child, because the § 1983 claims did not arise under the IDEA. In an issue of first impression, the court also held that the claim for breach of a settlement agreement need not be exhausted before filing suit.

starFeatured Resource: Math Blasterstar

starFeatured Resource: Special Education Guidestar

starFeatured Resource: Jumpstartstar

Jumpstart offers free grade and subject based worksheets, printables and educational games for kids. Hiccup’s Science Workshop features science experiments, free worksheets with a focus on the scientific method.

starComputer and Software Accessibility for the Disabledstar

starList of 125 Twitter Pages Related to Disabilitiesstar

starCourt Throws Out Mental Retardation: Columnstar

starLooking for Summer Camps? Try Bridge Center in MAstar

star10 Tips for Good Advocatesstar
Wrightslaw's Pat Howey says parents need to understand that the law gives them power to use in educational decisions for their children. Parents should not be afraid to use their power. But, there are better ways to obtain positive results than to roar through IEP meetings in a Mack Truck. Here are Pat's newest tips for effective, successful advocates.

Link to Important Programs, Partnerships, and Websites Related to the Education of Children

Connect For Kids Education News No Child Left Behind Wrightslaw
U.S. Department of Education (DOE) U.S. Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) U.S. Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD)
Families and Advocates Partnership for Education (FAPE) National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) Parent Advocacy Coalition for Educational Rights (PACER)
National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities (NICHCY) National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (NECTAC) National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) National Coalition for Parent Involvement in Education (NCPIE)
Disabled Action Committee for Virginia (DAC4Virginia) AUTCOM: Autism National Committee

Link to Important Programs, Partnerships, and Websites Related to the Education of Children

  Michigan Department of Education (MDE)

Michigan Chapter of the International Dyslexia Association

Michigan Alliance for Families Michigan Public Schools Online
Michigan Special Ed Law Center VSA Arts of Michigan Michigan Developmental Disabilities Council (DDI) Partnership for Learning
Center for Educational Networking (CEN) Michigan Disability Rights Coalition (MDRC) The Education Law Center Michigan PTA
 Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) The Arc Michigan

Michigan 4C Association

Michigan Special Education Mediation Program (MSEMP)


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