Have You Heard?

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Big changes are coming to the New York City public schools in September. Rumors have been swirling for months amongst professionals and only recently has the official message been delivered: the Department of Education will be mainstreaming the majority of students with special needs in the public school system.

Now, while this is in accordance with the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) and in line with policies adopted by many districts around the nation, the immediate results leave parents and professionals alike with more concern than comfort.

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From a Mom, to all (potential) Moms

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This post comes to you thanks to my mom, who informed me about a very interesting article in this week’s Newsday.

I come from a very vitamin-oriented family. You heard me right, my parents love their vitamins. My dad’s daily routine consists of stock-piling nearly a dozen pills for himself and my mother into a small bowl the night prior so they can just roll out of bed and get vitamined as soon as possible. My dad travels with vitamins, brings them out to breakfast, and reminds my mother to take her share when she inevitably forgets.

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Some Holiday Cheer For Ya

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Holiday season can be fun and overwhelming. Many of the traditional traditions, though all fine and dandy for typically developing children, can be a nightmare for children with special needs. On this 2011 holiday season, we can all give a big thanks to those who are making the experience a little brighter, merrier, and all around better.

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Love

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The New York Times today published an article entitled Navigating Love and Autism. It is a poignant story about Jack and Kirsten, who met in 2008 in Amherst Massachusetts. Check it out & let us know what you think.

Happy Holidays!

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“A Friend Like John” Explains Autism to Typical Kids

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In November, I had a book table at an event raising funds for brain research. Across the room was another author. Like me, she is a mom who decided to write a book after she became the parent of a child with special needs.

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Hope For The Future: Autism All Grown Up

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This month, www.DifferentDream.com is tackling some heavy issues: grief during the holidays, medical debt, the Easter Seal’s report about the lack of early intervention services in many states. So today we’re taking a break from the doom and gloom to focus on a success story.

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What Happens in an Emergency?

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I just read an article that brought me back to my graduate school days studying to become a speech therapist. In one of my last semesters, I had the opportunity to work in District 75, the special needs district that is dispersed within more than 300 sites in and around the New York City area.

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Hateful to Grateful

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I am a self-proclaimed cynic… a pessimist tried and true. I don’t believe in love at first sight. I think giving a grown woman a teddy bear for Valentines Day is bizarre and when it comes to relying on other people, I had lost all faith in humanity. When my daughter Morgan was diagnosed with autism, the idea that I would have to rely on other people to help redirect her every move and heal her was too much to bear. I have been jaded to believe that people only have their own agendas, and that no one could possibly care about her the way I, as her mother, do.

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A Snip, Snip Here; A Snip, Snip There

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Anybody out there have a kid who freaks out when it’s time for a haircut? Then you need SnipIts, a hair salon franchise designed to make haircuts fun for kids.

What Is SnipIts?
A recent article in the Winston-Salem Journal featured two SnipIts salons in their area owned by Scott and Debora Prince. According to the article, the salons owned by the Princes are part of the SnipIts franchise. The franchise “began in Framingham, Mass.,in 1995 and was created by Joanna Meiseles,a mother who just wanted her kids to get through a haircut.”

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Show and Tell – What It Really Means

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I remember Show and Tell as a kid – the excitement of sharing my favorite thing with the kids in my class, the butterflies in my stomach over standing up in front of the room. I imagine it is a very different (or more intense) set of emotions that children with special needs feel when presented with the same situation.

In a post I wrote earlier this week, I touched upon a few social group ideas that I’ve targeted in class. These groups have been very positive for the kids, but it wasn’t until we did Show and Tell that I realized the impact a social group can have on the educators and therapists as well. Or to be more specific, the impact a group like that can have on me.

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