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Advocating for Your Child’s Education and Wellness

September 5, 2017, 7:00 pm

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Become a better advocate for the social, emotional, educational and behavioral wellness of children and young adults with significant learning challenges, mental health issues and other complexities. The Shaare Emeth Mental Health and Wellness Initiative is hosting a panel discussion for parents and students interested in learning how to better navigate the education system from kindergarten through college. Join us at Congregation Shaare Emeth (enter from Ballas Road due to closure of Ladue Road) on Tuesday, September 5, at 7 p.m. This event is free and open to the community.

Panelists include:

Amy Blumenfeld, Special School District Special Education Administrator and Educator

Blumenfeld began working for Special School District of St. Louis County as a teacher and served in a variety of teaching roles before joining the administrative staff. For the past six years, she had served as a Special Education Administrator (Area Coordinator) in Rockwood at the high school level. When not at SSD, Amy can be found working at Shaare Emeth as a Special Education Liaison, volunteering with Autism Speaks (where she also serves on the Board of Directors) and teaching special education coursework for Central Methodist University.

Danielle Sartori, Sophomore studying graphic design at Webster University

Sartori struggled with anxiety, depression, trichotillomania and language processing throughout her academic career. She is a graduate of Parkway Central High School, although she spent her junior year at Logos dismantling the stressors of school and finding appropriate coping strategies. After her year at Logos, she worked with a tutor to develop further strategies to navigate her anxiety, depression, “trich” and language processing struggles. Now at Webster, she continues to benefit from similar assistance and is enjoying a successful college experience.

Heather Stout, Assistant Director of Disability Resources: Washington University’s Cornerstone Learning Center

Stout is a certified rehabilitation counselor who has worked in higher education disability support services since 1999. She received her graduate degree in rehabilitation counseling from the University of Illinois and in rehabilitation counseling in deafness from Western Oregon University. Stout has collaborated extensively across academic disciplines to expand opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

Amy Worth, Parent

Worth is a parent, educator and activist with a 17-year-old daughter. She lost her son, Michael, to suicide when he was 18. Both children had completely different needs, which taught her a great deal about how to navigate elementary school through college.

The Mental Health and Wellness Initiative is Congregation Shaare Emeth’s response to the mental health crisis in America. We strive to raise awareness, provide resources and erase the stigma associated with mental health issues within the Congregation and larger community.

  • 1 in 5 kids experience a mental health condition; only 20% of them actually get help.*
  • About 50% of students ages 14+ with a mental health condition will drop out of school.*
  • One in three parents (35%) struggle deeply with their attitude toward and ability to cope with their child’s learning and attention issues, including feeling isolated and reporting anxiety generated by multiple sources: the school system, the child, family members.**
  • Another one-third of parents are uncertain about teaching their child how to resolve issues, when to ask for help and when to resolve issues themselves, and are frustrated with school system, child and family pressures.**
  • Suicide is the second-leading cause of death for 14-24 year olds.*
  • The earlier the better: early identification and intervention provides for better outcomes.*

*Ending the Silence: https://www.nami.org/Find-Support/NAMI-Programs/NAMI-Ending-the-Silence

**State of Learning Disabilities (2014): http://ncld.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/2014-State-of-LD.pdf

For additional information, please contact Rabbi Jonah Zinn at [email protected].

 

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