CAN Newsletter – Autism Awareness Month
April 12, 2023
Welcome to our CAN Newsletter! This month we are highlighting Autism Awareness Month! Did you know on April 2nd, the entire world celebrates World Autism Day? This day kicks off Autism & Neurodivergent Awareness Month. This month, we invite folks to join us in building our capacity & increase awareness of how neurodiversity’s many strengths and talents improve society for everybody. Neurodivergent is a non-medical umbrella term that describes people with variations in their mental functions and can include conditions such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or other neurological or developmental conditions such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Learn more.
In Expanded Learning and Out-of-School (OST) Programs we have the opportunity to empower children, youth, and adults on the spectrum. As community educators, we have the privilege and the responsibility to support all learners by braiding inclusive learning environments and high-quality equitable learning opportunities. Below is a list of considerations to raise awareness and acceptance, in alignment with the Quality Standards for Expanded Learning Programs:
- Increasing understanding of neurodivergent learners via professional development (QS 7: Quality Staff)
- Building community amongst core learning day, OST programs, and families to support children and youth with ASD. (QS 9: Collaborative Partnerships)
- Creating a sense of belonging by facilitating equitable and inclusive learning opportunities and environments (QS 1: Safe & Supportive Environment)
- Supporting the unique needs of each young person with compassion, care, and high-quality opportunities (QS 6: Diversity, Access, and Equity)
Additional resources are included in this newsletter. Lastly, we would be remiss to not mention our Equity blog, specifically a blog from October 2021 written by Nat Rosales, our CAN Coordinator in Policy & Outreach, as they document their journey with ASD and list some pretty cool resources. Learn more here.
Join us for our 51st Fireside Chat.
In this chat, Heather Williams from the California AfterSchool Network is joined by Michael Funk and Sterling Williams of the Expanded Learning Division of the California Department of Education (EXLD) and Expanded Learning folks from Siskiyou County including:
April 7th was Lupita’s second CANniversary! Lupita joined the CAN team in 2021 as a Coordinator for the Equity & Quality team. Lupita supports workforce initiatives and the Site Coordinator Network, and was also promoted to Specialist for the Equity & Quality team.
Thank you for all of the amazing work you do, Lupita! We are so lucky to have you on the team!
Join us for our workshop strand at the 2023 BOOST Conference: Create with CAN: Building a Better and Brighter Future for Children and Youth. We will be hosting a variety of workshop with topics including: empowering site coordinators, tools for increasing quality, creating a thriving workforce, how we equity, and more.
The California AfterSchool Network (CAN) in partnership with the CA Dept. of Education (CDE) Expanded Learning Division (EXLD), and other members of the System of Support for Expanded Learning are hosting ELO-P Office Hours!
Select Fridays from 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM:
CAN, the California Department of Education (CDE), Expanded Learning Division (EXLD), and members of the System of Support for Expanded Learning (SSEL), excitedly offered a free 4-day virtual Expanded Learning Opportunities Program (ELO-P) Academy!
Join the CDE Student Achievement and Support Division Integrated Student Support and Programs Office and the Mount Diablo Unified School District for their upcoming webinar on reducing chronic absenteeism for foster youth. Attendees will learn how the district built a multi-tiered system of support for this group of students and the effects it has had on attendance rates in a short period of time.
Check out the latest resources from the Learning in Afterschool and Summer (LIAS) Blog!
The CDE has created a Becoming an Educator web page that contains information and resources to provide pathways and guidance to becoming an educator in California public schools.
April is Autism Acceptance Month and April 2nd was World Autism Day! The goal Autism Acceptance Month is to encourage the acceptance of autistic individuals where they are.
CAN’s Coordinator for Policy & Outreach, Nat Rosales, wrote a blog post for our Equity Evolution on their experience with navigating the professional world as an autistic adult as well as their own journey in unlearning ableism.
Explore these other resources on how you can celebrate Autism Acceptance Month and help create a more accessible and equitable world for students with Autism and other disabilities:
Access the CAN newsletter archives to view past newsletters today! You may be interested in some of our other newsletters as well:
- Get informed on the connections between afterschool and Whole Child Health and Wellness.
- Subscribe today!
- Get informed about the Million Girl Moonshot project and access other STEAM resources.
- Subscribe today!