The Hope for Inclusion

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Inclusion is defined as the act of including and I found it refreshing to hear about inclusion in a sermon at church last summer.  I have a son with autism spectrum disorder and I know all about the lack of inclusion everywhere.

Even though we are taught that we are all God’s children I find it ironic that many people in church are not accepting at all.  Some of my most stressful encounters have been recently in church.  These are the same people that attend to be closer to God and yet they cannot even tolerate a child that is less than perfect.

The hurtful glares, the whispers to the person next to them, it all comes back to the parent, me, trying to teach my child how important God is to him and yet three feet away is a person yielding so much negativity it causes my blood to boil.

I know this is an issue that is experienced by everyone with a child that is typical or one that is struggling with challenges.  I wish everyone had to take a course in behavior, just as my child is taught how to behave in certain situations clearly these people need to be taught how to not behave in certain situations.

Unfortunately these people exist everywhere, in our communities, churches and even families.  I guess we are supposed to grow stronger and be the better person but it is tough.   Unfortunately many of these people will only see what they want to see.  There is a saying that “Knowledge is power” but there is a more powerful saying that “Ignorance is bliss.”

Tuesday’s Thoughts for 9/16/2014

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Some may wonder why I decided to create this book series.  The idea came to me about a year ago when I was out walking one crisp morning just after I sent my two boys off to school.  I remembered how my boys used to love looking at their board books.  We used to bring them everywhere like in the car and at doctor offices to keep them occupied and of course to help them learn.

So now fast forward many years…technology has greatly improved.  Even though you still may see children with their board books, more than likely you will see children that are toting around tablets to keep them occupied.

So why is this book different and why is it targeted for visual learners?  Visual learners tend to benefit from pictures, graphs and other visually appealing materials.  I am a visual learner.  I used to take notes for everything in school because relying on what I heard wasn’t my best learning style.

There are some children with special needs that use visual cues to help them throughout the day.  My son is on the autism spectrum and when he was young we learned to use picture schedules to help him stay focused and alleviate transitioning between activities.  Being surrounded by so many visual aides gave me the idea to create books that would not only help children learn but not overstimulate with too many illustrations.  The books were created to be simple and fun.

Tuesday’s Thoughts for 5/13/14

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Tuesday’s Thoughts is an opportunity for you to share a great story about your child.  There are so many challenges on a daily basis but there are also great accomplishments.

If you have an inspirational story to share please click  “Contact” and write your story.  Each Tuesday I will select amazing stories to post.

 

I enjoy sharing stories about my two sons especially when they are about them getting along so well.  I recently spoke to my youngest son about some friends that he usually plays with.  He told me he saw a friend in his school walking down the hallway.  This friend is only four so I knew that he wasn’t attending the school yet but I knew he went there for speech therapy.  I told my son that he was in the school for speech therapy and he became very interested in the topic.  My older son who has autism also goes to speech and occupational therapy but we don’t call it that we lovingly call it “swing school.”

I explained to my son that his friend goes to speech therapy just like his brother because they need a little help speaking better.  My son then replied, “I don’t think there is anything wrong with the way Nolan speaks.”  It was such a sweet thing to say about his brother,  and it dawned on me that he is so used to the way his brother speaks that he thinks it is normal.

We haven’t had any discussions on Nolan’s disabilities yet.  I feel that Nolan is not mature enough to understand the pros and cons of it so until then I do not want him to think he has a disadvantage to making goals for his life.  And I do not want his younger brother to think any differently of his brother because of his disability.

Why Are All These Chemicals Allowed?

Shampoo

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Each day I usually get on my computer and read the headlines to decide if the story is worth reading.

It seems like within the past year I have read articles about plastic in bread being served in chain restaurants, flame-retardants in sports drinks and now more recently a study that revealed that anti-bacterial soap has a link to breast cancer.

I don’t understand how hard it is to start regulating these chemicals.  Why doesn’t our country have more stricter requirements for allowing chemicals in our daily food and products.  It seems like things only change when people get sick or die.

Azodicarbonamide was discovered in the bread of many popular chain restaurants.  It is used as a flour bleaching agent but it has been linked to respiratory issues and allergies.  This agent is banned in Europe and Australia so why is it allowed in the United States?  This chemical is also used for the manufacturing of gym mats and yet our sandwiches are made out of it.  Due to the controversy about this chemical, all the restaurants have decided to eliminate azodicarbonamide from its products.

Brominated vegetable oil (BVO) was discovered in popular sports and soda drinks by a fifteen year old.  She filed a petition to have the chemical removed which stirred up a lot of controversy.  BVO is banned in Europe and Japan and is characterized as being a flame-retardant for plastics, furniture and children’s clothing.  Since the petition, most of the companies have agreed to phase out the use of BVO in their products.

A recent study declared that Triclosan, an antibacterial and antifungal agent, has been linked to the growth of breast cancer cells.  Triclosan is found in many commonly used household products such as soaps and toothpaste.   There have been no changes for manufacturers to remove Triclosan from their products.  It is up to you, the consumer to make an educated choice on the products you use.

Even though we have the Envioronmental Protection Agency (EPA), which is supposed to look out for the consumer, it seems like its the consumer that is the one finding the dangers in our food and household products.  Keep reading labels and do your research to find out what exactly your consuming and using in your homes.

May Awareness

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May is a busy month for learning about different disabilities and diseases.  Please check back each Monday for more information on the following awareness campaigns:

Asthma and Allergy

Celiac Disease

Cystic Fibrosis

National Mental Health Month

Neurofibromatosis

Tuesday’s Thoughts for 4/29/14

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Tuesday’s Thoughts is an opportunity for you to share a great story about your child.  There are so many challenges on a daily basis but there are also great accomplishments.

If you have an inspirational story to share please click  “Contact” and write your story.  Each Tuesday I will select amazing stories to post.

Tuesday’s Thoughts for 4/22/14

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Tuesday’s Thoughts is an opportunity for you to share a great story about your child.  There are so many challenges on a daily basis but there are also great accomplishments.

If you have an inspirational story to share please click  “Contact” and write your story.  Each Tuesday I will select amazing stories to post.

 

There are times when progress can slip and seem to disappear.  What you may think are great strides may only be seen as tiny progress by professionals.

We recently had a doctor appointment with a neurobehavior psychologist to see how my son was progressing.  According to the doctor he is still very far behind and will most likely need to be in a group home as an adult.

This news came as a huge surprise to me and my family.  We have seen the accomplishments my son has made and we know what his abilities are so this doctor’s assumption was a shock.

The doctor spent a total of six hours with my son doing a variety of tests.  I knew he would not test well; he has never tested well.  He gets very anxious in new environments and I have been told many times that the results of the tests are a minimum of my son’s abilities.

I still have so much hope for my son.  I will continue to  support and help him become the best person he can be.  I have been told to “dream big” in my life and I will pass that onto him.  His disability is a part of his life but it will be his abilities that will allow him to achieve his dreams.

Tuesday’s Thoughts for 4/8/2014

Tuesday’s Thoughts is an opportunity for you to share a great story about your child.  There are so many challenges on a daily basis but there are also great accomplishments.

If you have an inspirational story to share please click  “Contact” and write your story.  Each Tuesday I will select amazing stories to post.

Toys are More Than Just for Playing

Boy with blocks

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When I decided to homeschool my son, I never realized how toys would become part of our daily routine.  My son was not motivated to do his work and it was a daily struggle to get him to sit and do anything.  I joined a homeschool forum and begged for some ideas and surprisingly great recommendations came pouring in to my desperate plea for help.  They suggested using my son’s favorite toys to motivate him.

I decided to use train tracks because at that time that was his main toy choice.  Every time he did work he would get a piece of track and as he worked his track grew.  I also incorporated a picture schedule of each subject to let him see what he needed to do.

Another toy that can be beneficial is building blocks such as Legos.  My son loves them and plays with them almost every day.  He has fine motor issues and his therapist said that using the building blocks is great for kids with poor fine motor control because it makes them use their fingers and strengthens their muscles.

Besides toys there are other educational products that can help your child.  Phonics was a very difficult area for my son.  He knew his letters but the sounds were very challenging for him.  I discovered that there were children’s videos that taught phonics in a fun way and he loved them.  He watched the videos a couple of times and he learned all the sounds.  He still asks to watch the videos and says that he wants to learn something for that day.  After learning phonics his next progression was reading.  This was another area of difficulty, but with children’s educational technology such as LeapFrog I was able to incorporate their products which helped him learn to read.

There are so many toys and products that your child will love to use and as parents we love that they are helping our kids progress and learn.  For more information on the latest products from Legos and LeapFrog, please click on the links and discover great ways to motivate your children.

Tuesday’s Thoughts for 3/25/14

Tuesday’s Thoughts is an opportunity for you to share a great story about your child.  There are so many challenges on a daily basis but there are also great accomplishments.

If you have an inspirational story to share please click  “Contact” and write your story.  Each Tuesday I will select amazing stories to post.