Fathers Conference 9-17-16 at Montclair State University

SPAN’s Statewide Parent To Parent 4th Annual FATHERS Conference will be held on Saturday, September 17, 2016 from 8:30 A.M. – 3:30 P.M. at Montclair State University. Registration is FREE and encouraged.

“The 4th Annual Conference for Fathers of Children With Special Needs is almost here.

Fathers, Grandfathers, Step Fathers and Male Care Givers this Conference is for YOU! Please join us at:

Montclair State University – University Hall, Montclair NJ

Please CLICK HERE for Further Information & Registration

 

9 Steps To Help Your Student Back on a Healthy Sleep Schedule

Our kids are enjoying some late nights and lazy sleep-in mornings over the Summer.  One of hardest things to do is to get them back on a “normal” sleeping schedule; so they can get to sleep earlier and wake up in the morning without feeling exhausted. (Hopefully these might help you as well.) Here, from Understood.org  are some helpful hints that may help you to get your kids back into the school groove again.

9 Steps for Getting Your Grade-Schooler on a Healthy Sleep Schedule

By Kate Kelly

To excel at school, grade-schoolers need a good night’s sleep—10 to 11 hours. That’sespecially true for kids with learning and attention issues. If summer derailed your child’s sleep schedule, here’s how to get back on track.

1

Plan ahead.

About one week before school begins, start getting your child up earlier. Come up with fun activities so she’s motivated to get out of bed.

2

Take it in stages.

If your child has been sleeping in two hours past school wake-up time, start by getting her up an hour earlier for a few days. Then gradually wake her up earlier and earlier.

3

Make sure your child gets exercise.

Being physically active throughout the day helps your child sleep at night. But try to avoid exercise for three hours before bedtime.

4

Keep your child awake all afternoon.

Run errands, hit the pool, plan playdates. Try not to let her crash during the day, or she may be wide awake at bedtime.

5

Phase out electronics one hour before bedtime.

Computers and video games may prevent your child from winding down. Be fair and create a no-electronics rule for the whole family.

6

Gradually move up bedtime.

Again, adjust your child’s schedule in stages. If she gets up an hour earlier, put her to bed an hour earlier, and so on.

7

Establish a bedtime routine.

Putting on PJs, brushing teeth and reading a story together can be a peaceful and soothing way to end the day.

8

Create a sleep-friendly environment.

Turn off the lights, shut the blinds and keep the temperature cool.

9

If your child has a cell phone, don’t leave it in her room.

The light and noise may keep her awake. And she may be tempted to play on her phone instead of sleeping.

Get tips on how the whole family can get more sleep.

About the Author

Portrait of Kate Kelly

Kate Kelly

Kate Kelly has been writing and editing for more than 20 years, with a focus on parenting.

More by this author

Reminder: Carnival for Special Needs Kids & Their Families, This Saturday, July 30, at Vassar Field, 11 A.M. – 2 P.M.

 

When
Saturday July 30, 2016 from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM EDT

Add to Calendar

Where

Vasser Field (Behind St. Thomas Church and School)
60 Byrd Avenue
Bloomfield, NJ 07003
Driving Directions

Dear Bloomfield SEPAC Parents, Families and Friends,

  This is a reminder for the POAC Carnival on Saturday. The weather looks good, and we are looking forward to a great day! Be prepared for a day of outdoor fun with amusement rides, including a trackless train and a car wash to walk through, DJ, and refreshments.
We hope to see you there!

     

    Sincerely,
    POAC
    POAC Autism Services

    “Summer Vacation and The Special Needs Family”

    The following information for Special Needs Families on Summertime and on financial thoughts regarding SSI and your older child’s financial planning comes to us by the kind courtesy of http://www.navigatingautismnj.com/

    Bloomfield SEPAC presents them for informational purposes only.

    Summer Vacation and The Special Needs Family

    The lazy days of summer are upon us. The unstructured nature of the season can provide growth and insight for us and our children. Take this time to reflect on the achievements of the past school year. How has he/she changed since last summer? Are there activities or outings that are now tolerated that last year were a challenge? … and vice versa. Consider current Individualized Education Program (IEP) goals. What challenges are you seeing that could be added as additional goals? Socially, academically and self-help skills? Be sure to ask for input from camp counselor or your child’s Extended School Year (ESY) placement.

    Documenting and tracking your concerns has never been easier. One of my favorite tracking apps is “Birdhouse for Special Needs.” This app allows you to log and chart everything from meltdown triggers to hours slept. It’s easy quick and helps keep you on track. You can even invite other caretakers to view and log their observations. With several choices available, the key is finding what works best for you and your family. With this clearer view on your child’s progress, the next step may be to consider an updated Individual Educational Evaluation. While there is no set schedule for private evaluations a good rule of thumb is every 1-3 years or when a parent has concerns regarding placement or progress.

    For more information on how to provide your family with direction, advocacy and knowledge please contact Connie Sproul Bonarigo, with Navigating Autism in NJ, LLC atconnie@navigatingautismnj.com or 201-788-6711.

    Finding the Advantage in Supplemental Income (SSI) Benefits

    How to Qualify Your Child for Government Benefits Using Tax Strategies

    If you plan correctly when your special needs child turns 18 (or 21 if a full time student), your child will be able to have access to both Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid. However, if you do not correctly plan, your child may not qualify to receive those benefits when he or she needs them most. The main goal is to make sure your special needs child’s assets stay below the SSI countable resource limit. Currently, the limit for countable resources is $2,000 and $3,000 if the special needs individual is single and married, respectively. Most of these benefits usually are not available to your child until they become adults, because your resources will count as the child’s resources and thereby diqualify them from receving SSI and Medicaid. When your child reaches 18 (or 21), then your resources no longer count as your child’s. What you want to avoid is allowing your child to accumulate too much wealth under their name in the early stages of their life and thereby disqualify them from government benefits that they deserve to benefit from when they become adults. Below are tax strategies you can implement to ensure your child stays below the applicable limit in both the early and later stages of their life.

    Supplemental or Special Needs Trusts

    Establish a supplemental or special needs trust. Any money and earnings in the trust if properly structured will not count towards your child’s countable resource limit. A supplemental or special needs trust provides for the needs of your disabled child that are not covered by government needs-based programs. You would make a gift to the supplemental or special needs trust either while you are living or upon your passing as directed by your will to set up the trust. Then you would appoint a trustee whom you can trust to provide the needs of your special needs child.

    ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) account

    Set up an ABLE account. Up to $100,000 put into the account will not jeopardize your child from receiving SSI Benefits. With an ABLE account, you set up a savings account with a state and designate a beneficiary of the account who is disabled or blind. You can make contributions up to the current annual gift exclusion amount (In 2016, $14,000) to the account. The amounts contributed are tax free. As long as the amounts you withdraw from the account are used to pay only for qualified disability expenses, the distributions are tax free.

    Gifts

    Talk to your loved ones interested in providing for your special needs child about gifting in a way so as not to taint your special needs child’s eligibility for government benefits later on life. For example instead of gifting directly to your child encourage them to gift directly to your child’s special needs trust or to their ABLE account.

    How can I learn more about how to qualify my child for government benefits using tax strategies? Please contact Alyssa Rausch, CPA, MBA at Smolin, Lupin & Co., PA. atarausch@smolin.com or 862-881-4748.

    Alyssa.jpgAlyssa Rausch, CPA, MBA, is a tax manager at Smolin, Lupin & Co., PA. She is a member of the New Jersey Society of CPAs. Contact her atarausch@smolin.com or at 862-881-4748.

    SPECIAL EDUCATION LEADERSHIP ROUNDTABLE TO BE HELD IN BLOOMFIELD! JULY 13TH AT 10:30 A.M.

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    This is a Roundtable Forum conducted by SPAN, with the various SEPAC Groups in Essex County.  It is a chance to collaborate with the other Groups; see what has been successful that we can make use of and learn things to avoid within our Bloomfield SEPAC.

    The Bloomfield Schools District and Bloomfield SEPAC are delighted to be hosting the SPAN Special Education Leadership Roundtable for Essex County, on Wednesday July. 13, 2016 from 10:30 A.M. – 12:30 P.M. at the Bloomfield Schools District Administration Building. Registration is FREE and requested, so we know the number of people to expect.

    “Dear Parents and Educators:

    The START Project, SPAN, invites you to the

    Special Education Parent Leadership Round Tables- Northeast NJ Region-July 2016

     This is an opportunity to meet face to face and exchange ideas around what works to enhance and sustain family engagement in schools to improve outcomes for children with disabilities. Strategies to start and run local special education parent groups/advisory groups will be discussed and shared. Come and network with other parent leaders in your county.

    Essex County
    Date:Wednesday, July 13th 2016
    Time:  10:30am-12:30pm
    Location: 
    Bloomfield Schools District Administration Building                
                      155 Broad Street
                      Bloomfield, NJ 07003
                      Free parking available onsite.
     
    The cross street is Belleville Avenue
    155 Broad Street is approximately 4 blocks off Bloomfield Avenue.
    Bloomfield High School is directly across the street.
     
    For any questions contact Myriam Alizo at malizo@spannj.org or201-960-7159 “

    P.O.A.C. Family Carnival in Bloomfield – 7/30/16 at VASSAR FIELD.

    POAC Autism Family Carnival Bloomfield July 30, 2016

    Calling All Families of Children with Autism!

    Join POAC for a great Autism family carnival: including free refreshments, inflatable rides, DJ, trackless train, mechanical swings, games and activities for the whole family.  This is for all ages- and everything is free.  Bring your pop up tents, chairs and blankets and have a great time with your POAC family. 

    This is another free recreational event brought to you by POAC.  Please be sure to register all who are attending.

    Register Now!

    f60600fc-bc0c-443f-a06d-a53baa2631ec

    When

    Saturday July 30, 2016 from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM EDT
    Add to Calendar

    Where

    Vasser Field (Behind St. Thomas Church and School)
    60 Byrd Avenue
    Bloomfield, NJ 07003


    Driving Directions

    Contact POAC

    POAC Autism Services
    732-785-1099
    info@poac.net

    Ensuring Your Special Needs Student is Approved to Use Their Accommodations on College Board Exams

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    When your child is in High School and will soon be taking Exams for College, such as the SAT, PSAT, AP Exams, you will want to make sure that they will be approved to make use of the accommodations guaranteed in their IEP that they are familiar with. Be sure to check in with your child’s Guidance Counselor to see if the school has applied for approval of these accommodations.

    There is a very helpful website to help familiarize yourself with the requirements for approval. https://www.collegeboard.org/students-with-disabilities