2011 – Learn, Create, Support, Educate and Breathe

This has been quite a year! So, as usual I will defer to photos instead of words to capture the year – end synopsis. From many traveling opportunities such as to Mac World with The PaperShow, EMS trainings, Parent- Child workshops, to creating educational videos for abcteach.com, products for SIGNING FAMILIES (hence all the kids in photos), and including tons of time working in media and social media and with Education.com, expanding my professional horizons with the  co- creation of 411 VOICES and my joining The Linicomn Agency – LA Division for Exceptional Talent, to time time with family and friends and battling the beast (cancer) only to turn those lemons in to a Twitter-esque lemonade, and much more!… WHEW..


As a psychologist, special educator, and the mom of a working actor (Natasha Sattler), I am always interested in obtaining information to share with other families.  In this particular case, I want to ask these questions – Who exactly are the talent agents, managers and casting directors who work directly with children with disabilities? And, does the entertainment industry understand the intricacies of working with children with specific learning challenges, such as Autism, Deafness, Down Syndrome, or Learning Disabilities?  I want to explore these questions and many more this Fall on my radio program – ARTS, ENTERTAINMENT and the BUSINESS of it ALL- the PARENTING THE TALENT series.

Recently, there has been an upsurge of actors who are “nontraditional” on television.  Several wonderful deaf actors appear on the ABCFamily show,  SWITCHED AT BIRTH and PARENTHOOD has an actor portraying a child with Asperger’s syndrome. The Discovery Health Network dedicated a show about children with physical and learning challenges, including Jaylen Arnold from Jaylens Challenge. Bravo to the entertainment corporate executives who had the vision to show inclusion on television!

Keep in mind that although television is now more inclusive than ever, there exists no clear roadmap for any parent with a child who wishes to become a working actor, let alone a child with special considerations. For many families their child may have exceptional needs and extraordinary talent, yet the course to becoming a working actor often can be bumpy and without any guidance. Therefore, I wish to learn more from industry specialists.  I know how Natasha was able to overcome her learning disabilities, to be able to shine her way through auditions and secure work as an actor, however, what about others? What are their stories? Who can help them? Who are the talent agents, managers and casting directors that work with our friends in the special needs community?  I would love to hear from any or all who can help enlighten!  And if you wish to be a guest on the show – let me know!


 ARTS, ENTERTAINMENT and the BUSINESS OF IT ALL! (including the PARENTING THE TALENT series) is co-hosted by Dara Blaker and Louise Sattler  every Tuesday at 10 a.m. EST on BLOG TALK RADIO. This show is part of the 411 VOICES network.    Both Louise and Dara are available for guest speaking on topics educational and about “parenting the talent”.  Connect with us via PINE MEDIA. Thank you for reading!

Educators Contest- Win Free ASL Products for Students!

 SIGNING FAMILIES™ has a new sign language series of materials ready to roll from our place to you home, school, hospital or organization.  Throughout the next few months we will be announcing contests to give away FREE products to few lucky winners.  Today we announce the EDUCATOR CONTEST- A CLASSROOM SET OF American Sign Language (ASL) Materials…. details are here:

To be eligible simply comment below or on the SIGNING FAMILIES FACEBOOK page by May 1, 2011 (6 pm EST) on why your classroom, your child’s teacher or some educator you know would love to get the ASL classroom set (enough for twenty students). This will include sets of the SIGNING FAMILIES™ new ASL- English and Spanish folder , bookmarks, ASL charts and a free DVD (either Baby, Toddler and Preschool Sign Language or Sign Language for Emergency Situations).  The value of this prize is well over $150.

I also will randomly pick two other educators to win a free set of bookmarks for their class and SIGNING FAMILIES DVD.  

 A few rules:

  • You may submit only one comment per person.  But, if you are really clever, you can have friends, family and co-workers comment on your behalf!
  • You also may comment on the SIGNING FAMILIES Facebook website found here: SIGNING FAMILIES ON FACEBOOK
  • We ship only in the United States and Canada for this contest. Please make sure the educator who is to receive the gift is in the US or Canada.
  • Homeschool educators are eligible and encouraged.
  • Parents may enter on behalf of their children’s teachers (or for themselves if they are educators)
  • Grandparents also may enter
  • Your dog may not enter unless they are donating the prize to their obedience teacher
  • The WINNERS WILL BE ANNOUNCED ON THIS BLOG and THE FACEBOOK PAGE ON MAY 1st and for a few days after. PLEASE CHECK BACK to see if you are a winner!!
If you do not win and wish to learn how you can take advantage of the deep discounts offered for the new product line please go to our website – SIGNING FAMILIES or email me for details.
Check out the photos of some of our SIGNING FAMILIES products (the folder is so new- no image available yet!)  Also, below the photos are some COOL ANNOUNCEMENTS….



WOW- thanks to all who read my last blog about why I think James Durbin should win American Idol!   I know some new readers visited so welcome and thanks!

Thank you to all who voted for SIGNING FAMILIES™ as part of the Start Up Nation 2011 Leading Women in Business Contest.  There are just a few more days of voting, so please if you have a moment- VOTE

I will know next week if I was one of their Winners…. http://www.startupnation.com/leading-moms-in-business/contestant/10186/index.php

I am so excited to have joined 411Voices. The 16 women (and growing) are incredible talents.  All with unique skills.  All experts in their fields.  This week alone we had the following 411Voices get national recognition and I would love to give them a shout out here with hopes that you will follow them and the 411Voices group collectively. (We would love to have you join us on Twitter @411Voices and FACEBOOK)
Meet Jenna Riggs (Mommyonashoestring.com).. She is a finalist in the NBC/Universal Green Creativity contest and we hope she will appear on the TODAY SHOW very soon with her adorable Jump Rope Markers!
Meet Shara Lawrence- Weiss.. here is her great television appearance for her company Personal Child Stories.   I love how she discusses the practical uses of “everyday objects and photographs” as a way to enhance learning with young children.  Watch by clicking the link:
And you will LOVE this video by Liysa Callsen, aka codadiva.  If you do not know what a CODA is I won’t give up the surprise.. just watch and be prepared to LAUGH!


I have been the victim of identity theft.  Not the kind that steals your bank account numbers or my pay pal account, but that which has taken me.. the person.  You see Mr. #$%! Cancer  decided to steal my identity about the same time that I had to divulge having Mr. #$%! Cancer, at all.  From that moment on my identity was not mine, but his.  Now I am the wife/mother/sister/daughter/friend/co-worker/ etc. with cancer. DAMN!

So, I am going to do something about it.  I have decided to now declare that I am DONE being a cancer patient. It is gone.  The beast has been zapped out of me with high doses of radioactive iodine.  Only remnants of this nightmare is an impressive case of laryngitis and a scar.  Oh well… they are my war wounds.  Now please.. permit me to have my identity back and stop staring at my neck.  I really want to revert back to the “old me”.  The one where I get to tell bawdy jokes, shop til I drop, eat lots of chocolate and watch more movies in a weekend than most critics with my family.  I want to walk freely without my scarf and not have to explain each time I pick up the phone who I am and why I sound so “sultry”. And most of all I don’t want to breathe another word about Mr. #$%! Cancer to anyone who doesn’t get paid to hear my woes.. so that means only Top Doc and I will be discussing the identity stealer and everyone else can stop.

WHEW.. that felt good.. Now know that I thank each and everyone of you for letting me rant this week.  And if you ever wonder how you can help others who are fighting the beast here are few tips that I have generated and I also have had received from others who had their identities stolen, too…

1- Help the person who has had their identity stolen by offering services.  Flowers are nice and welcome but also consider giving of your time such as driving the kids home from after school events, grocery shopping or picking up prescriptions.

2. Don’t talk about the person with Mr. #$%! Cancer in front of them as if they aren’t there. And, please don’t talk about all the people you know who have had to deal with Mr. #$%! Cancer or who have died.  Seriously.. everyone I have connected with who has been fighting the beast has said that they are not helped by hearing other war stories.  Especially when the outcomes were not good.

3. Don’t do nothing.  I have been really  lucky that so many people reached out to me and helped me through my process.  Other people, however, tell me of their experiences which are far less “blessed”.  I have heard stories of friends who stop calling because Mr. #$%! Cancer was just too sad for them to deal with and calling  to offer help was too hard. (Well isn’t being a  true friend about taking the good, bad and the ugly?) I advised these people to press the “Delete” button with these so called “friends”.  And that means to delete them on Facebook, too.  Friends who don’t come to help you during troubled times don’t deserve to be privy to your life .. at all.. just saying.

4. Get help.  You can’t do it alone, so reach out to those who can help you and share similar experieces.  I was lucky to have connected with a super organization called Dear Thyroid. They helped me in a way no one else could.  I am indebted to them. Each person with their own situation should reach out.  Your family and friends can only do so much.

5. Lastly, laugh, learn and leave the anger behind.  Keep your eye on the end of the tunnel and don’t get stuck mid-way.  It is sooo easy to get stuck because of feeling the perpetual feeling as if you have been robbed. You can only be a victim if you allow others to treat you as a victim.  I refuse.

Thanks for reading and helping me to get my identity back.  Now go have a groovy week….


Newsworthy: Thank you all for voting for me on StartUpNation as a 2011 Women Owned Business to Watch!

SIGNING FAMILIES has been “on fire” now! But, we need to continue to ask for votes as we are still trying to gain as much attention as possible in order to help families and children who use ASL to communicate.  To vote, simply press on the ICON below. THANK YOU!!


Well, it has been almost exactly three months since my neck was cut open by Top Doc to get rid of thyroid cancer (THYCA).  Since, that time I have managed to keep myself busy by tweeting like a “mad woman” about my Twitter Charity Scarf Campaign, filming PSAs, speaking at MacWorld, filming the Chronicles of EMS, baking loads of cookies for college kids, and much more…..  Alas… it is the time for what I hope is one of the final steps in ridding for “GOOD” this THYCA…the radioactive iodine treatment (RAI).

Now for those of you who don’t speak THYCA– this is a treatment that begins with a funky low-idoine diet and ends with you drinking some radioactive goop which is suppose to kill off any microscopic cancer cells in  my  body that Top Doc might have not seen during surgery.  All in all, it is suppose to be a much easier treatment then enduring chemo, which is not the plan for this type of cancer. (And my heart goes out to those who are undergoing chemo.)

So, I am nearly in week two of the RAI diet.  Which means if it is in a bag, can or restaurant I probably cannot eat it.  I can eat all the fruits and veggies I want.  Black coffee, no problem.  But….nothing chocolate! And.. No  dairy or breads-except for Matzo. And note the irony has not escaped me that this diet will end about the same time frame as Passover begins. This year I bought unsalted matzo- by the six-pack! OY VEY!!  I will say that I discovered some yummy fruit and nut bars by Larabar that are all organic with no other “stuff” –  They tasted so good I called the company twice to make sure I wasn’t cheating on the RAI diet..

After I get my RAI treatment I will be glowing… and in solitary confinement.  Don’t feel sorry for me. I have outfitted my “suite” with tons of kids toys like JENGA, PICK UP STICKS, jigsaw puzzles and added in to the room some fun trashy novels.  I also have every DVD and VHS in the house that was an award winner or has a brat packer in it!  Plus, twenty episodes of NCIS await me on the DVR.

But, here is the one draw back… I may not get to use my laptop or iphone….. If that happens know that I will have groovy hubby checking my “social media stuff” and passing me notes through the door…

Oh well… at least when I get to go back “online” I will be able to order chocolate and ice cream and a pizza and ……….

I conclude with a HUGE thanks to those of you who have been voting for SIGNING FAMILIES on the STARTUPNATION.com competition.  According to the “meter” we are almost HOT!!  Please continue to vote so we can help people to learn ASL and continue to build communication bridges one SIGN at a time!

CLICK  the meter to vote

TWITTER CHARITY CAMPAIGN INFO HERE: http://louisesattler.com/2011/01/20/twitter-charity-scarf/