Bishop McHugh School receives grant for professional development on autism

Bishop McHugh School receives grant for professional development on autism


Teachers at Bishop McHugh Regional Catholic School, in Cape May Court House, will be learning more about improving outcomes of students diagnosed with autism and other special needs, made possible by a $5,000 grant from the Mike’s Seafood Polar Bear Run/Walk for Autism in Sea Isle City.

According to the Mayo Clinic, autism impacts more than 200,000 in the U.S. each year.

The grant will fund professional development workshops and coaching/mentoring coordinated by Dr. Mary Kientz, autism consultant and Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy at Stockton University. Dr. Kientz and other experts will meet with Bishop McHugh faculty and staff over three sessions to provide practical and evidence-based strategies to promote success in the classroom for all children, with special emphasis on effective ways of addressing the needs of children diagnosed with autism.

“Research indicates that targeted professional development promotes teacher and staff skills and affords optimal education outcomes for all students,” said Principal Tom McGuire. “Students diagnosed with autism as well as all students have unique learning needs. This professional development opportunity will permit our teachers and staff to learn more and implement effective strategies in the classroom with benefits for everyone involved.”

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors.

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