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Last Updated: 05/11/2017
 

What's New @ the Bridges4Kids Website?

5/11/17

Breaking News » Little-Noticed Target in the House Health Bill: Special Education - While House Republicans lined up votes Wednesday to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Vickie Glenn, a Medicaid coordinator for Tri-County Special Education, an Illinois cooperative that helps more than 20 school districts deliver special education services to students, was worried about an issue that few in Congress were discussing: how the new American Health Care Act, with its deep cuts to Medicaid, would affect her students.

 

5/4/17

Breaking News » British Royals Talk About Mental Health and Their Own Struggles

 

Breaking News » Online Calculator Shows How A Top College Can Be More Affordable Than You Thought - I'll start with a quick question. How much would you say it costs to attend a top private college like Dartmouth or Pomona for one year? I'm guessing that the first number that pops into your mind is quite large, like $60,000.

 

Breaking News » Heads Together: #OkToSay Films to Encourage Conversation Around Mental Health

 

Breaking News » Sheryl Sandberg: How to Build Resilient Kids, Even After a Loss

 

Breaking News » Adults With Special Needs Put Talents to Work at Soul Studio - Here 60 artists paint, work with fiber and clay, sew, make music, take photographs and use technology to reveal hidden talents. Each of them has special needs, but all are welcome at Soul Studio.

 

Breaking News » Michigan's Federal School Compliance Plan Will 'Negatively Impact' Disabled Students - Michigan Lt. Gov. Brian Calley says a federal compliance plan from the Michigan Department of Education would not "meaningfully account" for students with disabilities and needs additional work before the U.S. Department of Education signs off on it. MDE's plan to comply with the federal Every Student Succeeds Act includes an option for a system that would hold schools accountable for the performance of student subgroups - such as economically disadvantaged students or students with disabilities - if there's 30 or more students in each group.

 

4/18/17

Breaking News and Parenting » How Parenting Styles Shape Our Children - Everybody is familiar with the concept of helicopter parents, so-called because they hover around their toddlers. But what happens when kids get a little older and helping them develop gets more complicated than simply to hover or not to hover?

 

Can Religious Schools Discriminate Against Students With Disabilities? - Michigan Supreme Court looks at decisions at Catholic school.

 

3/15/17

Breaking News » Abused as a Small Boy. Now What? - When the fidgety, anxious, 5-year-old boy came in about a year ago to see pediatrician Tina Hahn, it was soon apparent to her this was a case medication alone would not solve.

 

3/8/17

Breaking News » Boys Get the Same Haircut so Teacher 'Wouldn't be Able to Tell Them Apart.' - A mom named Lydia Stith Rosebush posted a story on Facebook about her 5-year-old son, Jax, who wanted to get the same haircut as his best friend, Reddy, to fool their teacher.

 

Breaking News » MI New Legislation Would Allow Fingerprints/Photos of Kids w/Special Health Care Needs - Michigan Representative Ben Frederick (R-Owosso) has introduced Michigan House Bill 4137 to make it easier to find and identify children with special health care needs who become missing.

 

3/7/17

Breaking News » See The Amazing Moment When A Deaf Person Hears For The First Time (AOL video)

 

3/2/17

Breaking News » MI House Resolution No. 31 - A resolution to declare March 1, 2017 as “Spread The Word To End The Word Day” in the state of Michigan.

 

3/1/17

Breaking News » Service Dog: Wonder, the Goldendoodle, Gets Another Day in Court - US Supreme Court orders review of Michigan service dog case: The U.S. Supreme Court today unanimously ruled that the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals should reconsider whether Ehlena Fry and her family can sue a Jackson County school district for its decision years ago to tell Ehlena, who has cerebral palsy, that she couldn’t bring her service dog to school.

 

Breaking News » National Webinar - Equity in IDEA: Significant Disproportionality Final Rule - A new US Department of Education rule addresses the fact that students of color are more likely to be identified with a disability, be educated in segregated settings, and to face harsher discipline. The webinar is on March 2, 2017 from 3-4 EST. A recording of the webinar and presentation materials will be posted after the webinar at the new SICC/SAP website.

 

Breaking News » MI Michigan's Lt. Gov. Brian Calley Has a Message for Parents - Calley recorded this video on the spur of the moment and posted it on Facebook as the school year started, encouraging parents to talk to their children about making friends with the kids who often get left out.

 

2/14/17

Breaking News » MI Part C of IDEA: Call For Comments - The Michigan Department of Education requests public comment on the state's proposed application for federal funding for Michigan's Part C of IDEA (Early On) program. This is a document submitted every year to assure the federal government that there are policies and procedures in place to support the use of the funds and also shows how the money is being allocated. A link to the draft application and public comment instructions is online at www.michigan.gov/earlyon. Public comment can be made from Feb. 27 through 5 PM on Mar. 29, 2017.

 

Breaking News » Equal Access Initiative: Access to Courts

 

Breaking News » MI SAVE THE DATE: 2017 Early On Conference: Nov 15-16, 2017 in Kalamazoo, MI

 

2/6/17

Autism » Autism Family Network - We are a non-profit organization helping families affected by autism in west Michigan (Grand Rapids, jenison, hudsonville, coopersville, allendale, etc :) We offer monthly parent support meetings, family fun events, e-newsletters, parent seminars, family grants, and family nights out.

 

Breaking News and Lead Poisoning » MI Senate Bill 63 Introduced to Allow Lead in Water to Remain at 10ppb (1/24/17) - Michigan Senators Jim Ananich (D-Flint) and Curtis Hertel (D-East Lansing) today introduced Senate Bill 63 to establish an allowable level of lead in drinking water at 10 ppb and to allow it to remain at 10 ppb (parts per billion) until January 21, 2021, after which it would drop to 5 ppb. In 2016 the CDC lowered the acceptable level of lead in drinking water from 10 ppb to 5 ppb stating: "Experts now use a reference level of 5 micrograms per deciliter to identify children with blood lead levels that are much higher than most children's levels. This new level is based on the U.S. population of children ages 1-5 years who are in the highest 2.5% of children when tested for lead in their blood." The CDC also notes: "No safe blood lead level in children has been identified." You can read the bill language here: http://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/2017-2018/billintroduced/Senate/htm/2017-SIB-0063.htm

 

Breaking News » MI Beyond Suspension or Expulsion, ‘Restorative Practices’ is More Thoughtful Discipline - Bill Sower is president of the Ann Arbor-based Christopher & Virginia Sower Center for Successful Schools, a for-profit licensee of the non-profit International Institute for Restorative Practices. Beginning August 1, a package of new state laws will change the landscape of student disciplinary action in Michigan. Depending on how these laws are implemented in schools, they may either improve or damage the learning climate. The laws require schools to consider certain circumstances like a student’s age and disciplinary history before issuing suspensions or expulsions. In addition, the laws require schools to consider an approach called “restorative practices” (RP) as a disciplinary alternative for serious offenses, and they encourage schools to consider RP for lesser offenses, including bullying. While some school administrators will interpret the word “consider” as just a brief, passing thought – opening themselves to challenges from parents and advocacy groups to show evidence of good faith in their considerations – others will want to embrace the opportunity to improve their school’s culture and climate with a solid implementation of RP.

 

Immunizations » The 1997 FDA Modernization Act required the FDA to compile a list of products that contain mercury. More than 30 vaccines ended up on the list. The FDA then added up the total  mercury exposure to infants from vaccines and found that "a [6]-month-old infant who received vaccines following the recommended CDC vaccine schedule would have received a jaw dropping 187.5 micrograms of mercury."   What the FDA did next is unforgivable. See: http://www.ecowatch.com/cdc-mercury-vaccines-kennedy-2199157054.html and http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2017/01/31/anti-vaccine-shadow-network.aspx

 

1/23/17

Breaking News » Google Doodle Honors Ed Roberts, Activist Leader of the Disability Rights Movement - Today’s Google Doodle pays tribute to Ed Roberts, an early leader of the disability rights movement and co-founder of the World Institute on Disability. After contracting Polio at age 14, the disease left Roberts paralyzed from the neck down. In spite of spending the rest of his life in a wheel chair and unable to breath without a respirator, Roberts fought for his rights – starting in high school when he was told he wouldn’t receive his diploma because he had failed to complete phys-ed and driver’s ed requirements. Roberts petitioned his school and was awarded his diploma. He went on to be the first University of California Berkley student with severe disabilities. The Google Doodle Blog on Roberts shared the following quote from Roberts’ mother, Zona: “I watched Ed as he grew from a sports-loving kid, through bleak days of hopelessness, into self-acceptance of his physical limitations as he learned what was possible for him to accomplish. His years at UCB were great ones as he both enjoyed his college status and got in touch with his leadership qualities. He took great pleasure in watching people with disabilities achieve greater acceptance.” Among his accomplishments as a disabilities rights actives, Roberts created the Physically Disabled Students Program at his University. California Governor Jerry Brown named him Director of the California Department of Vocational Rehabilitation in 1976. Seven years later, Roberts co-founded the World Institute on Disability – a nonprofit focused on disability rights policies, research and consulting. Marking what would have been Roberts’ 78th birthday, the doodle leads to a search for “Ed Roberts activist” and is being displayed on Google’s U.S. homepage.

 

Breaking News » MI Where are the Top-ranked Schools in Michigan? - If you wanted to map the top-ranked schools in Michigan, you'd find a heavy concentration of dots in one area of the state. To find out what color your school received, and what it means, go to www.mischooldata.org, click on "dashboards and accountability scorecard," then "accountability scorecard" near the top of the screen.

 

1/4/17

Navigation structure changed in header of all pages. Old menu was not "clickable" via some smartphones.

 

1/1/17

Breaking News » Vitamin D Deficiency During Pregnancy Raises Your Child’s Risk for Autism - There has been a dramatic and concerning increase in the rates of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) over the last 30 years and experts believe the rates will continue to increase. When I was in medical school more than 35 years ago, the incidence of autism was 1 in 10,000. According to a 2013 report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the CDC, data collected from the 2007 and 2011–2012 National Survey of Children's Health suggested 1 in 50 children between the ages of 6 and 17 had ASD. In April, 2016, the CDC reported an ASD rate of 1 in 68. However, that rate is only based on 8-year-olds in 11 states (Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina, Utah and Wisconsin). Despite that limitation, the 1 in 68 prevalence is the one listed on the CDC's Autism Data and Statistics website, and the one most frequently reported in the news. Meanwhile, a government survey issued in 2015 claims the ASD rate may be as high as 1 in 45 children between the ages of 3 and 17.

 

Breaking News » MI Gov. Rick Snyder Announced Appointments to the Following (MIRS 12/27/16) - Developmental Disabilities Council: Mark McWILLIAMS of Lansing is the director of public policy and media relations for Michigan Protection and Advocacy Service, Inc. Sharon MILBERGER of Farmington Hills is the director of Developmental Disabilities Institute through Wayne State University. Paul PALMER of Lansing is a member of the board of directors for the Community Mental Health Authority of Clinton, Eaton, and Ingham Counties. Deborah ROCK of Pewamo is a regional parent mentor at The Arc of Kent County. She previously served as a teacher paraprofessional at Portland High School. Tammy YEOMANS of Grand Rapids served as a job retention specialist and case aide for the Work First Program at Goodwill Industries of Greater Grand Rapids. Heidi DEVRIES of Grand Rapids served as a personal care attendant for the Family Independence Agency and as a home health aide and companion for the Circle of Care in Grand Rapids. Steven JOHNSON of West Olive previously worked as a financial advisor from Chemical Bank. He is the president and founder of OASIS Communities of West Michigan, LLC. Richard KLINE of Grand Rapids serves as the acting director of the Aging and Adult Services Agency for the state of Michigan, and previously served in the role of executive director of the Beztak Corporation. Lisa GROST of DeWitt serves as the Autism Section Manager for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Janet TIMBS of Mount Morris serves as a special education consultant for the Michigan Department of Education. She holds a bachelor's degree and elementary teaching certificate from Central Michigan University, and both a master's degree and educational specialist degree from Saginaw Valley State University. Lois ARNOLD of Mt. Pleasant is the president and CEO of the Special Olympics Michigan through Central Michigan University. David TAYLOR of Ferndale is a peer mentor and advocate at Community Living Services of Oakland County. He will represent individuals with a developmental disability. Roslynn WILLIAMS of Saginaw is a member of the parent group Saginaw Community Mental Health Authority-Saginaw Max System of Care. Matt BOLGER of Lansing is an inspector and senior executive assistant director in the human resources division of the Michigan State Police. Denise SIMMONS of Oak Park is a unit leader for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. She previously served as a support coordinator from Quality Senior Services. McWilliams, Milberger, Palmer, Rock and Yeomans will serve terms expiring Sept. 30, 2017. DeVries, Johnson, Kline and Grost will serve terms expiring Sept. 30, 2018. Timbs, Arnold, Taylor and Williams will serve terms expiring Sept. 30, 2019. Bolger and Simmons will serve terms ending Sept. 30, 2020.

 

 

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