1459795_10152762316874590_3591794990035733816_n

Comment deadline November 14th


They have heard our calls and seen our emails, now have them see our FACES.

  1. Go To www.regulations.gov

  2. Type in: EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0195-2418

  3. Click on Leave Comment (Blue button on the right)

  4. Upload your photo!


Also please post pic On This Event Page BY Monday November 10 so we can download, print and mail images to the EPA Nov 11.
THANK YOU.

 

 

notoenlist

I just left my comment on the EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0195-2418 at www.regulations.gov, Feel free to copy and paste the comment below for yourself.

NO TO ENLIST!

We are the citizens of America. This is our country.
I join environmental organizations, parents, students and concerned citizens nationwide in protesting the recent approval of herbicide Enlist Duo’s approval in six states and pending approval in 10 more.
“I Say NO to Poison On My Food and Near My Schools. STOP ENLIST Herbicide Approvals.”
“I Say NO to Enlist in my Breast milk.”
“I Say NO to Enlist in My Child.”
“I Say NO to Enlist in my Pet.”
“I Say NO to Enlist in my Body.”

Our First Ever Authentic Total Collaborative IEP TEAM Experience! Score!

10636054_794540863923033_8716647241807343303_n

My husband and I were kicking off our first IEP for our youngest son this year, as he transitioned from Early Intervention into Preschool, and we were overwhelmed with fear. Even though we understand that the only constant in this world is change, we were shaken by changes made within our school district to the education model with which we had grown accustomed to with our first child (also on an IEP).

After taking some deep breaths and staying the course through the emotional processing, we set out to gather clarification.

  • We read the state review of special education to better understand the rationale for the changes in our district.
  • We kept a positive mind-set for the potential of the school to be receptive to our concerns.
  • We took the time to ask specific detailed questions on the new approach and continued to seek clarification from the school.

Thankfully, they are receptive to our transparent, candid, and intense involvement and we are now moving forward in our first ever authentic collaborative TEAM experience.

Collaboration has been such an elusive part of the IEP process, in our experience. Whether it be collaboration between TEAM members, or collaboration  between school and parent/advocate. So many times in the past we have been met with “push back” from TEAM members and refusal to discuss curriculum etc. Collaboration is something that we always strive for and after 5 years of trying to find a method that works towards true collaboration, we have struck what feels like a good place.

217b62e75e035c3db1a963401e3b7dca

I am thankful that my youngest son’s TEAM is willing and receptive to help us understand the recent changes in educational approach, willing to review and revise IEP objectives to fine tune data collection parameters, and continue to reach out in terms of continued conversations on data collection strategies.

This was also the first time that we as parent/advocate did not feel like we had to come to the table with all the IEP Goals and Objectives. Our TEAM hit every target of concern, and it was the first time ever, our review and revision process was simply fine tuning what was provided by the educators and therapists. It gives us hope that it can still improve for my oldest son in the same district.

Beautiful. Let’s keep it rolling!

10ca1fed781a2c3882cb802511f8f601

October is Learning Disabilities Month

DefyFBCover-OCT

“Differentiation doesn’t mean lowering the bar.
It means building the scaffolding —
so that all of our students can reach the bar.”
Utah Roots

My 9 year old, diagnosed on the autism spectrum, has been showing signs of specific learning disabilities. We are now attempting to have the Developmental Pediatrician do a more in depth review of his diagnosis and assess him in the areas of dyslexia, dysgraphia, discalulia, and dyspraxia. It’s a whole new world for us and we begin to familiarize ourselves with what the disorders are and how to better advocate on his behalf.

Learning-Disabilities-infographic

Here is a good jumping point:

Information on learning disabilities

Learning Disabilities: An Overview will tell you what a learning disability is, the different types, and the causes.

Types-Of-Learning-Disabilities-Umbrella

These briefs describe the specific types of learning disabilities:

Please see Reading Rockets for more info:

 

Autism Awareness Moving Closer Towards Acceptance. WoW!

 Autism Awareness Moving Closer Towards Acceptance. WoW!

It’s amazing to see Autism Awareness move towards acceptance. This 8 minute video blew me away. I was so floored by the first and second response. Our first child was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in 2010, and we encountered the actors negative response, not the crowd’s supportive tacceptance.

Please note the video states 1 in 88 children are diagnosed, but the numbers where updated this past year to 1 in 68.

Click here or on the image below to view this amazing Autism Acceptance Video.

what-would-you-do-autism-abc

Sometimes carrying a card that explains your Child’s ASD behavior can help when you need to focus on your child versus explain it to the public.

Check out my Free Autism Awareness Printables if you would like to print some out for yourself.

An Easy Shoe Tying Alternative For Kids Video; Must See!

A Different Way to Tie Your Shoes!!!! If your child or student struggles with shoe tying, please take a very quick look at this video.

A fellow parent from my son’s Early Intervention play group shared this wonderful video that has changed my life. My oldest son struggles with tying his shoes. He has always had challenges with anything that involves crossing the midline, and when those laces cross over each other, he gets so frustrated.

I viewed this simple and quick video and instantly knew it was worth a try. I just love  when I find easy and brilliant resources and just had to share. Please pass it on.

Click here or on the image below to view the video.

mqdefault


 

Don’t look away…Silence is tolerance; SPEAK OUT LOUD TO YOUR CHILDREN AND CONDEMN THE BULLYING & HATE CRIMES

Don’t look away…Silence is tolerance;

This image posted by National Autism Association is particularly troubling. I challenge you to not look away. I challenge you to look, talk out loud to your children, and condemn this behavior. It takes less than 5 minutes. Silence breads tolerance. Don’t tolerate hate.

10658784_10152719605619283_8320319949583641599_o

Bullying has become such an huge reality in our culture today. And unfortunately those diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum are some of the hardest hit.

A Study from the Interactive Autism Network Finds Bullying Causes Significant Short-Term Emotional And Physical Consequences For Children With Autism. Posted on January 29, 2013 by admin

A New Study from the Interactive Autism Network Finds Bullying Causes Significant Short-Term Emotional And Physical Consequences For Children With Autism.

The Interactive Autism Network (IAN) is now sharing results of a national survey on the bullying experiences of children on the autism spectrum. The findings show that children with ASD are bullied at a very high rate, and are also often intentionally “triggered” into meltdowns or aggressive outbursts by ill-intentioned peers. – Click Here to read the report

The study found that a total of 63% of 1,167 children with ASD, ages 6 to 15, had been bullied at some point in their lives.

 

 

bully

Our Experience With Bullying

My son had a few situations in the classroom and the community soccer field with a Bully. Until I actually witnessed the Bully go after my child on the soccer field and sidelines, actually stopping the game with his relentless attacks) for me to move beyond the quiet support of “Use your words and tell him to Stop, leave me alone, or I don’t like that” for my son. These are suggestions that we and his TEAM used for advocacy, but my husband and I realized that this puts all of the responsibility on our son and none on the aggressor. We got active, REAL QUICK.

Even though this particular situation happened outside of the school environment, we contacted the school the next day and explained the situation, named the child, addressed him as the Bully and requested they be watched when around each other. Turns out, that very day, he struck again. As a result, the school was forced to begin a formal process of investigation and the aggressor was formally separated from my son and all support staff placed on point to keep them apart.

In the soccer setting, it was a bit more difficult. The parents were not receptive to talking, the coach tried his best, but couldn’t keep on top of the situation at all times. We witnessed physical fake-out punches and kicks that made our child jump and physically cower in intimidation. It invited more attack from the aggressor, whereupon he would move closer to his ear and relentlessly verbally attack him. I began to stand next to my son on the sidelines, tell the aggressor that we did not want to talk to him and please move away. I told my son to stand up, and explained I would stand 10 feet back if he stood up. If he chose not to stand up, then I would walk away. It was tough but he stood up. From there I was able to increase my distance to about half field.

We just started another season, and the same aggressor is again, on my son’s team. We are choosing to view it as a positive. We are able to be there with eyes on the field at all times to directly monitor and help support our son to advocate for himself.

Thumbs-Up-Thumbs-Down

What Worked For Us:

  • Formal requests to the school upon any and all Bully behavior in the school setting.

  • Keeping the school informed of Bully behavior by the student, even if it occurs away from school setting to be proactive towards potential problems.

  • Requests for Monitors to collect data in specific settings where Bully Behavior takes place.

  • Draft a Bully IEP objective, but don’t place the burden completely on your child if they need more help. Request a buddy or more support staff in your Child’s IEP to facilitate healthy social interaction and assistance if verbal ability is low.Responding to

    Bullying During Recess

    By (date), when bullied by a peer (e.g. physically attacked, intentionally taunted, teased, harassed) during any school setting, within (0-5) minutes, (name) will use (1) self-advocacy strategy (e.g. tell an adult until they listen or request parent contact, walk away, ask the bully to stop, etc.) and will refrain from responding violently, cowering, blaming him/herself, or self-isolating for (3 of 3) bullying incidents.

  • Practice and model self-advocacy (phrases and body language-ACT IT OUT) at home and request it as IEP objective.

  • Generate a signal and ritual (Thumbs up/Thumbs down) to improve communication in order to better deal with recurring Bully situations.

 

A quick, painless, yet effective Anti-Bullying Activity for the classroom or with your child.
486983_378127725606998_1378835366_n

 

Please visit my “Links and Resources” page to get more Bullying Resources.