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VT Digger: ‘A real sense of community’: All Brains Belong hosts virtual New Year’s Eve celebration

(Babette Stolk, 12/27/23) The organization, which provides support to neurodivergent individuals, is hosting the event for people who do not feel comfortable in crowded spaces. As 2023 comes to a close and Covid-19 indicators rise, New Year’s Eve parties may lead…

VT Digger: Coalition launches campaign to document harassment and bullying in Vermont schools

Hate incidents, racism and other forms of harassment in Vermont’s pre-K-12 school system have prompted a coalition of 13 organizations to launch a website to collect and document those experiences among students.

Vermont Narratives of Change is “a storytelling campaign against harassment and bullying” that “seeks to raise awareness about the impact of these negative behaviors and advocate for positive change within schools statewide

Vermont Edition: Families with autistic kids are shifting the conversation to inclusion and affirmation

Vermont Public: The conversation around autism is changing. This hour, we’ll learn how many parents of autistic children are embracing their neurodivergence. They are seeking inclusion in the classroom and affirmation from doctors. This episode of Vermont Edition was broadcasted…

VT Digger: Vermont lawmakers consider limiting restraint and seclusion in schools

(Peter D’Auria, 3/15/2023) Vermont lawmakers are considering placing restrictions on restraints and seclusion, controversial practices in which students are physically immobilized or detained in school. On Tuesday, the House Committee on Education heard testimony on H.409, which would prohibit schools from secluding students and limit the use of physical restraints. As written, the bill also would require officials to report and track any instances of restraint and seclusion in schools. Advocates argue that the practices can be dangerous and traumatic and disproportionately affect students with disabilities. “That kind of trauma does stick with students and their families,” Rep. Theresa Wood, D-Waterbury, the bill’s sponsor, told lawmakers Tuesday. “It’s not something that staff and teachers also want to do.” Dr. Melissa Houser, executive director of the neurodivergence advocacy group All Brains Belong VT, testified in favor of the bill Tuesday. “Vermont has made so much effort over the past decade enhancing trauma-informed schools, trauma-informed health care, trauma-informed everything,” she said. “And yet Vermont law currently allows for children to be traumatized by being immobilized by physical force at school.”