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A Statement From PASSE

Dear Friends and PASSE Members,

We, Alexandra DeRonde and Sue Freivald, owners of Parents Advocating for Special Services in Education (PASSE), a non-profit special education advocacy group, have recently become aware of several rumors about our organization. We want to set the record straight, and to provide each of you with sufficient information to be able to separate fact from rumor.

Special Needs Resource Expo Organizations

Please click on our Resources & Links Tab above to find the contact information for all of the vendors who participated in our 2nd annual Special Needs Resource Expo on March 14, 2013.

Also, please make sure you support our wonderful Sponsors:

UPS Store
184 S LIVINGSTON AVE STE 9
LIVINGSTON, NJ 07039
(973) 992-3339

Dunkin Donuts
581 Northfield Ave.
West Orange, NJ 07052
(973) 243-4990

Whole Foods
235 Prospect Ave
West Orange, NJ 07052
(973) 669-3196

Shop Rite
483 S Livingston Avenue
Livingston, NJ 07039
(973) 740-2004

And to the Following for helping us raise funds for our Scholarship Fund:

American Gold & Diamond Buyers
64 Route 10 West
East Hanover, NJ 07936
(973) 451-1400

PASSE on the Momma911 Podcast!

Esther Miller Dillard of Momma911 recorded Sue and Melissa about PASSE, CPACs, and our upcoming Resource Expo. Check out the podcast and her blog here!

Ms. Dillard's mission is to increase understanding Autism Spectrum Disorders and specifically how autism and Asperger Syndrome affects her son Nicholas. It is her personal account of navigating the maze of information in the areas of diet, education and medical advice. It is her hope that information on this website might help another parents dealing with similar issues.

 

PROTECTING YOUR SPECIAL NEEDS CHILD WITHOUT LOSING GOVERNMENT BENEFITS

date: 
Thu, 02/21/2013 - 7:00pm - 8:00pm

PASSE Presents: Nancy Aleman

PROTECTING YOUR SPECIAL NEEDS CHILD WITHOUT LOSING GOVERNMENT BENEFITS

Presented in Spanish

February 21, 2013 @ 7pm

Washington Elementary School
289 Main St., West Orange, NJ

*Do you find yourself in a situation where you don't know who to turn to or how to financially protect your child when you are no longer here?

*Are you familiar with the easiest way to do this, without the need of a lawyer or extra expenses?

Nancy Aleman is going to provide you with the information on how you can protect the future of your child, without losing any of the benefits you already receive.

Please RSVP to kvaova@yahoo.com or (973)325-6453

Nancy Aleman lived in Venezuela for over 20 years, managing her own Company. She became a member of the Hispanic Team for New York Life Insurance Co. over 3 years ago. Nancy is a Board Member of her local Chamber of Commerce, Board Member of Le Tip (Bergen Cty.). She volunteers for the “Reaching our Dreams” program run by Save Latin America; whose primary purpose is to create positive educational experiences for minority students in New Jersey, thereby enabling them to achieve their maximum academic potential.

PASSE Presenta a Nancy Aleman

PROTEJE LOS DERECHOS DE SU HIJO(S) CON NECESIDADES ESPECIALES SIN PERDER LOS BENEFICIOS QUE EL GOBIERNO LE OFRECE

Presentado en español

21 de febrero 2013 @ 19:00

Washington Elementary School
289 Main St., West Orange, NJ

* ¿Se encuentra en una situación en la que no sabe a quién acudir o cómo proteger financieramente a su hijo(s)(as) cuando ya no se encuentre aquí?

* ¿Está familiarizado en dichas gestiones, sin necesidad de un abogado o de gastos adicionales?

Nancy Alemán va a proporcionarle la información sobre cómo usted puede proteger el futuro de su hijo(s)(as), sin perder ninguno de los beneficios que ya reciben.

Por favor RSVP a kvaova@yahoo.com o 973-325-6453

Nancy Alemán vivió en Venezuela por más de 20 años, con su propia empresa. Fue miembro del equipo hispano de New York Life Insurance Co. por màs de 3 años. Nancy es miembro del Consejo de la Cámara de Comercio de su municipio, Miembro del Consejo de Le Tip (Bergen Cty.). Trabaja como voluntaria en el programa “Reaching our Dreams”/l "Alcanzando nuestros sueños" dirigido por Save Latin America;, cuyo objetivo principal es de crear experiencias positivas de educación para los estudiantes considerados minorías en Nueva Jersey, a fin que estos alcancen su máximo potencial académico.

Resource Expo

date: 
Thu, 03/14/2013 - 7:00pm - 9:00pm

This great Expo has just become more amazing! All parents of Special Needs Children and Young Adults should attend. Over 40 tables to visit; which include:
*Camps
*Advocates
*Apraxia Network
*Fitness and Nutrition
*OT, ST, PT
*Musical Therapy
*Advocates
*Financial Planners
*Transitional and Job Planning
*Special Education Lawyers
*Holistic Therapy
*Chiropractic
*Learning Programs
*Youth Groups
*Housing
*Film and Acting Classes
*Sibling and family Counseling
*Insurance
*Easter Seals
*Karate
*Cooking Program

AND MORE!!

There will be gifts raffled off, worth $$$, just for going to each table and gaining valuable information! Some of the prizes to be won include a free Music Therapy session, an evaluation by Linda-Mood Bell, a huge Make-up basket, Testing by Learning Rx, Nintendo DS, Christine Price purse...

CHILDCARE with Entertainment Provided!! Get a Child ID card made up for each of your children. Massages to relieve stress.

You can sell your Cash for Gold at this event and get paid on the spot!!

You Don't Want To Miss It!

March 14th, 7-9PM at WOHS (Tarnoff Cafeteria)
51 Conforti Ave.
West Orange, NJ 07052

RSVP: Email kvaova@yahoo.com or call (973) 202-0592. Please include number of attendees, how many children need childcare, and if you plan to sell gold.

Navigating the Bureaucracy

PASSE presents Scott Leshin:

Navigating the Bureaucracy

How to get efficient and effective delivery of services for your loved one

HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED HOW TO:

• APPLY FOR STATE AND FEDERAL PROGRAMS: Medicaid, SSI, DDS, DDD, DCF, Catastrophic Illness in Children Relief Fund, Special Child Health Services, Early Intervention, or Medicaid Waivers?

• Truly understand insurance plans, claims submission, letters of medical necessity and the appeals process?

• Write an effective and actionable letter of medical necessity for various topics such as nursing, therapy and durable medical equipment?

THESE ARE JUST A FEW TOPICS TO BE DISCUSSED…DON’T MISS OUT!!

AS A BONUS, Staci J. Greenwald, Esq. FROM Sussan & Greenwald, WILL BE COMING TO DISCUSS IEPs and field any questions you have on what happens after you have exhausted all other available avenues!!

Open to the Public

THURSDAY, February 7th

7PM @ THOMAS A. EDISON CENTRAL SIX SCHOOL
75 William St., West Orange, NJ 07052

In order to have enough information packets, you must RSVP: kvaova@yahoo.com or 973-202-0592

Scott Leshin is the Founder of SJ Personal Healthcare Advocates, an advocacy and consulting firm specializing in the special needs and medically fragile community. Mr. Leshin will share with you, the wealth of information he has accumulated over the past six years navigating the healthcare system on his own.

2011-12 FRIENDS OF PASSE NOMINEES

Parents Advocating for Special Services in Education
Friends of PASSE Award
Nominees for School Year 2011-2012

It is an honor to announce the Nominees for the 2011-2012 school year for the Friends of PASSE Award. All nominations come directly from parents, which is why this award means so much to the parents of the district.

The principals are given the list of nominees to recognize and celebrate all of them within each school, and the nominees as well as all staff are invited to attend our Meet-and-Greet Awards Night on June 18 at 7pm in the Liberty MS cafeteria, when the final recipients of the Friends of PASSE award from each school will be announced. That night we will also be awarding the PASSE Educator of the Year Award and the Betty Maddalena Award, to recognize Betty’s vision of inclusive education.

We received the following nominations, which are grouped by school:

2012-12 FRIENDS OF PASSE NOMINEES

PLEASANTDALE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

ANABELA CONFORTI KINDERGARTEEN TEACHER
JACKIE MILSON AIDE
ERICA FUENTES PRE-K INCLUSION TEACHER
KELLI CARSILLO 2-3 LLD TEACHER
LISA O'KYLE AIDE
THERESA GARRISON OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST
KAREN JOHNSON PRE-K TEACHER
EILEEN McMAHON PRE-K TEACHER
PFAR DONNA AIDE
FRANCHISNO NANCY AIDE
DONNA ZARRO AIDE
LIZ RUBIN COHEN PRE-K TEACHER
JOANNE POLLARA PRINCIPAL
JUDI SANZARI ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT
JOYCE SOTO AIDE
DEBBIE REES MUSIC TEACHER
NIKI SIEBERT ART TEACHER
JOICE MELVIN TEACHER
ALIZA GRUITT TEACHER
KAREN WEINSTEIN AIDE
KYLE DALTON AIDE
DARLENE Sardinsky TEACHER PRIMARY AUTISTIC

MT. PLEASANT ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

MICHAEL SCHIAVO PRINCIPAL
KRISTEN PAVONE TEACHER
MARYANN MOLTADANO AIDE

JOE RUSSOMANO AIDE
CECILIA FERRARA ART TEACHER
NICOLAS GONNELLI AIDE

REDWOOD ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

ALMA SARTEGES KINDERGARTEEN TEACHER
MICHELLE CLAY TEACHER
DARLENE MADDEN AIDE
NANCY HOPKINS AIDE
STACY FORTE 2-3 LLD TEACHER
CHRISTINE AKER LEARNING CONSULTANT
EILEEN LAMBERT 3-5 MILD COGNITIVE TEACHER
KRIS CAVANAUGH GIDANCE COUNSELOR
PAULA LIPKIN TEACHER
KATHIE WALDRON 4-5 GRADE TEACHER
LOIS MENKIN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST

HAZEL AVE. ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

EDDY ACEVEDO PRINCIPAL
STACIE VARANELLI 1ST GRADE TEACHER
NANCY PISCIOTTA 2ND. GRADE TEACHER
CAROLYN RUDERMAN NURSE
ANDREA FERRARA SPED TEACHER
CHRISTINE AKER LEARNING CONSULTANT
CARMEN SANCHEZ SPANISH TEACHER
LEILA TIRADO-SMITH GUIDANCE COUNSELOR
LOIS MENKIN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST
PHYLLIS SIEBERT 3RD. GARADE TEACHER

PATRICIA VALESE 2ND GRADE TEACHER
LINDA GARRELICK SPEECH
ANNEMARIE TORRE TEACHER 1ST GRADE
MARLENE FEINMAN TEACHER 3RD. GRADE

GREGORY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

AMY MILLER AIDE
SUSAN SCARPA SPEECH
EILEEN KIRK AIDE
BONNIE DAUM AIDE
NONA STRAZA LLD TEACHER
LISA RODINO TEACHER/RESOURCE ROOM
CHARMAINE COUSINS AIDE
DANIELLE MARINO 1ST GRADE TEACHER
MICHELLE THOMPSON PRINCIPAL
MS. PATRICIA QUINN RESOURCE ROOM
MARY JO CODEY K-1 BASIC SKILLS
NICOLE SURIANO KINDERGARTEN TEACHER

ST. CLOUD ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

LORI DEROSA 2ND. GRAD TEACHER
LAINE EPITROPAKIS SPED TEACHER
JAIME TORIELLO AIDE
GAIL SCHULMAN LIBRARIAN
MAEGAN SINISI AIDE
JENNIFER MARCHESE RESOURCE ROOM TEACHER

WASHINGTON MIDDLE SCHOOL

BONNIE COHEN-GOODMAN AIDE
SHARI KRAMER CASE MANAGER
AMY DROST PSYCHOLOGIST
MARYANN MACCARINO RESOURCE ROOM TEACHER

THOMAS A. EDISON CENTRAL 6 SCHOOL

JEFFREY LAFOON GUIDANCE COUNSELOR
DANIEL ODEA MUSIC TEACHER
RYAN AZZATO TEACHER PHED
ROBERT BERKE TEACHER PHED
THOMAS PERRONE TEACHER SOCIA STUDIES
MARY BERKE SPED TEACHER
KELLY GAMBUTTI SPED TEACHER
STEVEN DELPONE READING
JOHN PRESCOT AIDE
KRISTEN AZZATO SPED TEACHER
STEVE MELENDEZ ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL
DIANE BUTLER LUNCH AIDE
HELENE CLEMENTE ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

THE ROOSEVELT MIDDLE SCHOOL

CAROL SADDLER GUIDANCE COUNSELOR
ROSALIE DUDKIEWIEZ NURSE
LIONEL HUSH PRINCIPAL

LIBERTY MDDLE SCHOOL

TODD COHEN 7TH GRADE MATH TEACHER
NICK MISTRETTA AIDE
CINDY ROTBAUM SOCIAL WORKER
MARIANNE SOLIMO READING

WEST ORANGE HIGH SCHOOL

ERICA DEPALO ENGLISH TEACHER
ARA BERBERIAN SOCIAL STUDIES TEACHER
SHANNON CORE SPED MATH TEACHER
NANCY DONNELLY FAMILY AND CONSUMER SCIENCE
KAREN PERRY SUPERVISOR LANGUAGE ARTS 9-12/SUPERVISOR HORIZON
JODY GOLDSTEIN TRANSITION COORDINATOR

CHRISTINE O'NEIL SPED MATH TEACHER
LEE COHEN CASE MANAGER
JOE SORIANO ENGLISH TECHER/CROSS COUNTRY COACH
ANTHONY PERCONTI SPED TEACHER
HAYDEN MOORE ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL
MICHELLE CLANCY SPED TEACHER

Alex DeRonde and Sue Freivald
Co-Presidents of PASSE

The Connections between Auditory Processing and Learning Disabilities

PASSE Parents Advocating for Special Services in Education invites you to hear about

The Connection Between Auditory Processing and Learning Disorders

Does your child have difficulty with… *Listening skills?
*Following directions? *Retelling a story? *Recalling words?
*Recalling names? *Sounding out words? *Spelling?
*Reading fluently? *Reading comprehension?
*Explaining ideas in writing or words?
*Working Memory? *Short term Memory?

The root may be in auditory processing skills!

Date & Time: Monday, May 14, 2012 from 7:00-9:00 pm

Place: West Orange High School Library Media Center, 51 Conforti Avenue, West Orange, NJ 07052

Presenter: Janet M. Krebs, M.S., C.C.C.-SLP
Janet M. Krebs is the Director of Communication Therapy Center in Ridgewood, New Jersey. Ms. Krebs has more than 25 years of experience working with children with speech, language, learning, oro-motor and auditory processing disorders; has been in private practice in Bergen County since 1980 and has served as a consultant to many public and private schools in Bergen County for more than 25 years. Ms. Krebs is a provider of Fast ForWord, Earobics, The Listening Program, REI and PROMPT therapy and has several years experience with a group-based social pragmatic language program called “KidsTalk”.

RSVP: Kindly email or call to make sure there are enough materials and seating available. kvaova@yahoo.com or 973-202-0592

In Honor of Autism Awareness Month

I found this online and thought it said volumes. I know parents of kids with all types of disabilities feel at least some of these. To all our members out there, keep your chins up, and know you are doing a great job!

10 Things Parents of Children with Autism Wish Teachers Knew
By aspecialspac | Posted 7 hours ago | West Virginia

1. I’m sorry.
I will say this to you probably weekly if not more. And I really am. I’m sorry.
I’m sorry because I am the reason you have my child in your class. I fought for him to be mainstreamed because all of the doctor’s and specialists told me that being in a least restrictive environment among peer models would be best for my son’s development.
I’m sorry because I know that you aren’t trained for this.
I’m sorry because I know you’ll have 25 kids in your class, all with different academic and social and behavioral abilities and you’re going to have pay special attention to my son.
I’m sorry because you are going to have to deal with his behaviors.
I’m sorry for every day he acts out or hurts another child or melts down in your classroom.
I’m sorry because I don’t have all the answers.

2. I am my child’s advocate.
Before I even knew what autism really was, I was directed to the IDEA and told to fight, fight, fight.
Before I fully comprehended what perseveration was and what stimming was and what near senses were, I was in meetings with the school, huge binder in hand, the IDEA printed and 3-hole punched and highlighted.
And I fought. I got what the experts said my child needed but I got it at the expense of relationships with the school.
And I realized that a collaborative relationship was much more advantageous to me and the school and my son than a contentious one. I still advocate. But my son is going to be in this system for a long time and I want all of us to work together for his best interests. If that fails, I can fight. I’d rather not. I would much rather work with you.

3. IEP Meetings SUCK!
I will be there alone on behalf of my son.
7 or 8 people from the school system will be there on behalf of the school.
You will all go around the table and tell me all the ways that my son is lacking. You will tell me this his motor skills are poor, that his pencil grasp isn’t the proper tripod, that he is impulsive, that he annoys the other kids, that he has a hard time paying attention, that he talks when he’s not supposed to and won’t keep his hands to himself. Everyone will tell me all of the negative things about my child.
That’s the purpose of the IEP Meeting. It is meant to define the areas of deficiency so that a plan can be made to deal with, work with, and accommodate my son.
I will, once again, tell you that “I’m sorry”. I will walk out of that meeting the same way I walk out of every IEP meeting… in tears and feeling defeated. Which is honestly the last thing a parent with a special needs child needs help feeling. We feel defeated and helpless and sad every single day.
Next time you participate in an IEP Meeting, tell the parents the good stuff too. And let them tell you the amazing things about their child. We know about the problems. We really need to hear the victories.

4. I am not excusing his behavior, but there are excuses for his behavior.
I can’t tell you how many times I have heard “You’re such a great mom. We’re so glad you’re not one of those who is always blaming your child’s behavior on his disability”. Do you know what that does to me?
There is a reason that he did what he did. I would like to explain it to you so that you can be aware of the underlying issue and help him avoid it next time. But I can’t, because you will view that as me excusing his behavior. So, “I’m sorry” is what I’ll say. And I’ll say it again tomorrow because you won’t let me tell you how to make sure the behavior doesn’t happen again tomorrow.

5. I don’t know why.
“Your child stabbed another child in the hand with a toothpick on the bus. Why did he do that?”
“Your child started pushing other children in the lobby of the school while waiting to be dismissed to his classroom. Why?”
I don’t know! I need you to tell me more. I need to talk to my child. I will need to ask him the same question in several different ways to make sure he understands what I want to know. I’ll need to probe.
You can do this too, you know. It takes time and I’m sorry because I know you’re busy but together we can figure it out.
Why did my child stab the kid on the bus with a toothpick? Because the kid told him to. I’m sure the other child was kidding. But my child is incredibly literal. He will believe anything you say. And he will take you at your word. His thinking is concrete. He won’t distinguish any social nuances and he will be confused when he gets in trouble because he was just doing what he was told to do.
Why was he being aggressive in the hallway? Because he was in the middle of a huge, loud, sensorily overwhelming group. Let him wait somewhere else and you won’t see these behaviors. So I don’t always know why. But we can figure it out together.

6. I want to communicate with you and I want you to communicate with me.
Often. A lot. As much as possible. This brings us back to #1. I’m sorry. I know you’re busy. But I need to communicate with you. Call me. Email me. Send me notes. Tell me, PLEASE tell me when he has a great day. Tell me why it was great. Tell me when he has a rough day and let’s spend some time talking about it. I think if we can put our heads together we can figure out why it was rough and come up with a simple solution so tomorrow is better.

7. I want to help you.
I want to be your partner. It absolutely does take a village to raise a child and you and I are in the same village. I know how busy you are and how dedicated you to are teaching our children. Let me help make it easier for you by sharing with you simple ways to help my son.

8. I want you to help my son.
There are some really easy ways for you to do that.
Tell him very simply and directly what you want. Then tell him what is going to happen next. Give him time to transition.
He is very literal. When you say "just a minute", he will start counting.
Pay attention to the signs that something is wrong. If he's fidgeting or rocking or hitting himself or acting wired, he is feeling anxious and overwhelmed. Give him time and space to work through that.
Look for sensory issues. Your classroom is a very uncomfortable place for him. The lights and clocks and kids all hurt his ears and his eyes. When these get overwhelming he will act out.
Provide him a quiet space. This will help him calm down when he feels overwhelmed .
Help him transition between activities. Always give him a plan B.
Help him understand the inappropriate behavior in matter-of-fact way and tell him you understand. Help him learn how to handle it better next time by showing him.

9. Love my child and see him as an individual.
Please don’t define him by his diagnosis. Look for his strengths and you will find them. Every child with autism is different. So please see him for the person that he is and help him become the very best he can be.
I place him in your care 5 days a week in an environment that I know is difficult for him. At home I can protect him, care for him, understand him, work with him, support him. I need you to do the same when he is at school. When you really see him, you will realize what a hero he is for simply waking up every day, putting a smile on his face, and walking into your classroom.

10. Believe.
Believe that you can make a difference for my son. Encourage him to be the very best he can be. Help him believe in himself. Help his classmates believe in him too. Believe that he can achieve great things. He has already achieved so much. Believe that he will achieve so much more.

The Connections between Auditory Processing and Learning Disabilities

date: 
Mon, 05/14/2012 - 7:00pm - 9:00pm
The Connections between Auditory Processing and Learning Disabilities
Does your child have difficulty with...