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Giving Tuesday

Today is Giving Tuesday, a day designated to “give back to the community.”  Created in 2012 to contrast with Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it is gaining in popularity!  Last year $47.5 million was donated to a Giving Tuesday cause.

SPAN has joined this movement, and we hope to increase support and recognition of our efforts to empower families to partner with professionals and improve services to and outcomes for children, youth and families.  We are asking for your help to spread the word.  Please –

·         Follow us on twitter and retweet our #Give2SPAN tweets to your networks –


IDEA Celebrates its 40th Birthday thanks to Parent Advocates!

On November 29, 1975, parents and advocates succeeded in securing the education rights of our children with disabilities!  The passage of the Education for All Handicapped Children Act, now known as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), guaranteed access to a free, appropriate, public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment to every child with a disability. Subsequent amendments, as reflected in the IDEA, have led to an increased emphasis on access to the general education curriculum, the provision of services for young children from birth to five, transition

NJ Legislature Increases Funding for Primary Care-Child Psychiatrist Consultation Project!

The NJ Legislature has increased funding for piloting the Primary Care-Child Psychiatrist Consultation Project, providing pediatricians and other primary care doctors with the opportunity to consult with a child and adolescent psychiatrist to help them more effectively treat children with mental health and behavioral challenges in their care.  Read and watch a recent roundtable discussion featuring SPAN, the American Academy of Pediatrics NJ Chapter, primary care providers and psychiatrists, and NJ legislators at 

An Open Letter to Newark Parents!

Dear Newark Parents:

It has come to our attention that many Newark parents of special education students are being pressured to change their children's IEPs without a meeting or consideration of their children's individual needs for services or placement.  We urge Newark parents who are contacted by school professionals to authorize changes in their children's services or placements to do the following:

(a) Do NOT agree to any change of services or placement via phone or in writing.

SPAN is refunded to continue to serve as NJ's Parent Training and Information Center!

The Statewide Parent Advocacy Network has been approved by the US Department of Education to continue to serve New Jersey families of infants, toddlers, children, youth, and young adults with special needs as the Parent Training and Information Center (PTI)!  To read the Congressional notification, go to

What Parents/Caregivers Can Ask & Do to Help Children Thrive at School

The U.S. Department of Education, America Achieves, the National Council of La Raza, the National Parent Teacher Association, and the United Negro College Fund released a parent checklist with questions and resources that parents and caregivers can use to help ensure their children are getting the education they deserve.  “I have never met a parent who doesn’t want the best for their child.  However, it can be hard for families to know how to support their child’s education,” asserted the Secretary.  “Engaging with their educators is a good place to start.

Share your story about struggles with financing your child's health care!

The Catalyst Center is a national center funded by the US Department of Health and Human Services dedicated to improving health care coverage and financing for children and youth with special healthcare needs and disabilities.

Student with Disabilities Placed in Charter by OneNewark Receives No Services

Source:  Education Law Center

The NJ Department of Education (NJDOE) has agreed to investigate whether Newark Prep Charter School failed to provide essential special education services to a student with disabilities for an entire year after the student was placed in the school through former State Superintendent Cami Anderson’s One Newark Enrolls plan.

State Profile Pages for Special Education & Early Intervention

The US Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) has created State Profile pages for  IDEA Part C, early intervention, and Part B, special education.  These State Profile pages were created to be a resource for IDEA-related, State-specific information.

Parent Leaders and SPAN Staff Testify on NJ Maternal and Child Health Block Grant Application

Parent leaders and SPAN staff testified before the NJ Department of Health Assistant Commissioner for Family Health Services, Gloria Rodriguez; Director of Special Child Health and EI Services, Marilyn Gorney-Daley; and Pauline Lisciotto, Family-Centered Care, to support the Maternal and Child Health Block Grant Application's identified priorities around children with special healthcare needs, maternal health/improving pregnancy & birth outcomes (especially Community Health Workers), adolescent health and coordinated school health, and reducing health disparities.