Overview

Broward County Public Schools Supports Autism Awareness
  • Suicide Prevention; The Basics

    Posted by Charlene M. Grecsek on 9/10/2019 8:30:00 AM

    September is Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month. Suicide is the third leading cause of death for people age 10-24. Someone dies by suicide in Florida on average every three hours. Suicide crosses all members of society; it does not discriminate. In the most recent Broward County Youth Risk Behavior Survey 7.4% of students (1 out of every 14) reported that they attempted suicide and 17.2% of students (1 out of every 6) seriously considered suicide during the past 12 months.

    Many want to know the answer to several questions like: “What causes suicide? What can I do to prevent it? Are members of my family at risk? Risk factors and warning signs: what’s the difference and why does it matter? Why is it so high now?” These questions are so challenging and unlike a math equation, there is not one correct answer, but there are some areas to understand that may help. First, what can every person do to prevent suicide? Listen, get connected and know where the help is. If there is one major protective factor for suicide, it is connection. Connection, not just at the moment a person is in distress, but before so they know where to go when they are in distress. Every person can do this. In addition, get educated on the risk factors, warning signs, learn where supports are in your community, and never be afraid to ask a person if they are thinking about suicide.

    Risk factors are those events in a young person’s life that impacts them over time. Some examples might be abuse/neglect, domestic violence, traumatic events and many more. Trauma is another large topic, but know that one in four students in a classroom have a trauma background and 23.4% of students who have an individual education plan (IEP) have a trauma history.

    Warning signs are those things that tell us that something may happen in the next hours, minutes or days. Some warning signs are: making statements about how others would be better off without them, statements or actions reflecting a sense that they can’t see a way out of the situations they are in, talking about being a burden to others, not being afraid of dying, giving away something that was very valuable to the person, stopping doing things they loved doing, drastic all of the sudden change in behavior, maybe more happy than ever, seems to be investigating methods of killing oneself, and/or increased risk taking behaviors (extreme all of sudden increase).

    No one thing or set of experiences causes suicide, but the combination of events and past experiences brings a person to that place. If there are some things all people can do, it is to help people have a sense of hope in their lives, decrease the pressure to achieve at all cost, encourage people to take a moment to just be, model to others that “it is ok to not be ok sometimes.” Understand that asking for help is not a weakness, but a strength, and finally help others to know that even if they fail at something, they are still valuable and not a burden. In other words, they have a sense of purpose even when they are not as good as they want to be. All people need to feel connected, have a sense of value, purpose and hope. When those things are lost, we may lose a sense of being.

    Take a moment today to tell a young person you are necessary, you are important, you are valuable… not because of the grades you get or don’t get, or the sports you participate in or don’t participate in, money you make or don’t make, or the classes you are in or the supports you may need. If they say, “I don’t feel valuable” be there to connect them to the resources and support because there is help, there is hope, and there is healing.

    Free Crisis text line 24/7 Text: FL to 741741; Suicide Prevention hotline 1-800-273-TALK; Local 2-1-1

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  • Facts About Deaf Culture to Honor Deaf Awareness Month

    Posted by Naomi Church on 9/10/2019 8:00:00 AM
    1. People who are deaf can drive cars, make music, play sports, and earn a higher education. They can do everything hearing people can do. People who are deaf just do it a little differently.
    2. People who are deaf may also communicate in different ways. Some prefer sign language; while others can speak for themselves and lip read. When in doubt, it's best to just ask.
    3. American Sign Language (ASL) is considered a "foreign" language in the United States (US), even though it was created in the US! ASL is not simply a signed version of English, which is why it is "interpreted" and not "translated." ASL has its own vocabulary, grammar and syntax; and like spoken language, there are even regional dialects!
    4. There are more than 200 signed languages in use around the globe! Anywhere deaf people exist, non-verbal languages develop and evolve. In the US, there are an estimated 48 million people with some degree of hearing loss, and 500,000 individuals who identify ASL as their primary language.

     

    Adapted from https://www.buzzfeed.com/lydiacallis/didyouknow-deaf-culture-cheat-sheet-k8ro

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  • Exceptional Student Learning Support Division at Arthur Ashe Campus

    1701 NW 23rd Avenue

    Ft. Lauderdale, Florida 33311

    Phone: 754-321-3400

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    Phone: 754-321-3440

    Saemone Hollingsworth

    ESLS Executive Director

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