Diversity & Equity Newsletter

November 2021

Big picture

Native American Heritage Month

November is National Native American History Month. On May 13, 1916 the governor of New York declared for his state "American Indian Day." This was a year after Red Fox James, a member of the Niitsitapi (Blackfoot) People, rode on horseback from state to state looking to get approval for a national holiday honoring Native Americans. Red Fox James presented approval from 24 state governments to the White House in 1915.

President George H. W. Bush approved a joint resolution in 1990 proclaiming November “National American Indian Heritage Month." Each year since, the White House has designated November to be a month honoring and celebrating Native American Heritage.

Big picture

Answering Tough Questions from Kids

We all learn by asking questions, but when it comes to hard topics there is often anxiety around how to ask and answer. Since a question can only be answered if it is asked, it is crucial to find ways to ask (and respond to) these inquiries.

When asking a question about a tough topic, you an follow these tips:

  • Ask directly
  • Be respectful
  • Be genuine
  • Accept no as a complete answer
  • Try not to corner or put someone on the spot

When answering a question, you can follow these tips:

  • Assume the person asking is being genuine
  • Be truthful
  • Be kind
  • Don't make up stories or fairytales
  • Admit when you do not know the answer
  • Avoid sweeping generalizations
  • Own up to your mistakes
  • Keep conversations open for more information later
  • If the question was asked "poorly" or with incorrect terminology, you can give an alternate way of asking with corrected wording

When questions come from kids, here are some additional tips to follow:

  • If you need to look up the answer, invite the child to join you in researching
  • Admitting when you don't know the answer but being excited to look it up builds trust in your relationship and the child's desire to learn
  • If the question isn't appropriate for you to answer (ie. a student asks a teacher a body question), let the child know that you can not answer the question but their parent (or somebody else) may be able to
  • Continue the conversation with the child
  • Thank them for asking questions. This will encourage them to keep asking!

Upcoming Events

Big picture

A Step Up Academy's Holiday Market

Saturday, Nov. 13th, 10am-4pm

520 Meetinghouse Road

Jenkintown, PA

Big picture


Tuesday, Nov. 16th, 2-3:30pm

This is an online event.

Workshop developed by Aliki Koumenis.

Presentation by Aliki Koumenis and Robert Schmus.

A conversation about mental health, wellness, and self-care, from

the perspectives of Autistic Self-Advocates and professionals in the mental health field.

Register Here

This button will take you to the registration/information page for the PAN-S Life on the Spectrum Series.

Big picture

Brittingham's Dine & Donate Night!

Thursday, Nov. 18th, 4-9pm

640 Germantown Pike

Lafayette Hill, PA

10% of ALL PROCEEDS from the night will go to A Step Up Academy!

Check Out These Resources!

Diversity Terminology & Language Glossary

Check out the Diversity Terminology & Language Glossary for current terms and language used to talk about diversity topics. This document will be frequently updated to keep on top of the ever-changing conversations about language usage.

Adults on the Spectrum Panels - Interest Survery

The Diversity and Equity Committee will be hosting panel-style workshops featuring adults on the autism spectrum. Please fill out this form so we can see what topics and questions you might like to have covered during these sessions.

Diversity & Equity Suggestion Box

Do you have a topic or issue for the Diversity & Equity Committee to discuss? Have you found a resource, tool, etc you think would be beneficial to our goals? Do you have any questions or suggestions? This form is anonymous.