Category: Special Education

Could you be your child’s teacher? (Dedicated to Underpaid Teachers Everywhere!)

Teaching creates all other professions.  ~Author Unknown

Who dares to teach must never cease to learn.  ~John Cotton Dana

We expect teachers to handle teenage pregnancy, substance abuse, and the failings of the family.  Then we expect them to educate our children.  ~John Sculley

I have had the privilege of working with many excellent and dedicated teachers. Of course, there are some teachers who should have retired long ago, yet I would like this article to be in praise of the motivated, hard working, steadfast teacher. Oh, and for the majority of teachers they also are “the underpaid”.  Yes, I said UNDERPAID.

I have had an opportunity recently to observe up close teachers  functioning in suburban and urban area schools.  Some taught preschoolers while others were in public schools instructing students from the elementary to high school grades. Many were special educators.

Their day all starts pretty much the same. Often well before the clock turns 6a.m. they are in their car for commutes to schools quite a distance from their homes. These days teachers will endure long hours commuting as jobs are scarce. Many times this means sacrificing precious moments with their own families.

Upon arriving at school educators are hoping to get through the day without any “incident”.  Many teachers hope that the school day will be full of promise and “aha” learning moments. This is when light bulbs go off,  synapses are connected at great rates, motivation to be creative is demonstrated and learning flows like the Mississippi River. However, for many their day will start or  be interrupted by behavioral challenges, emotional drama and endless amounts of paperwork delivered under the guise of “needed asap”. Not to mention we are all “racing to the top” in the great national education marathon!

Why do I say that teachers are UNDERPAID? First, how many careers do you know where the employee are expected to do their job and also play the roles of parent, counselor, media specialist, nurse, entertainer (this is the  MTV – i”something”  age) and advocate? I can’t think of too many jobs where disrespect is often delivered on a daily basis by “clients” (or in this case students) and their parents!  I don’t know of too many people that are willing to work an eight hour day for pay and then another five hours for “free”.  In some settings, one would get overtime. Not teachers. They get mugs at holiday time and lunches by the PTO during teacher appreciation week- granted both are appreciated, but neither feed their family.

Please do not tell me that the salary of the teacher is commensurate with their work load and summers off. That is a HUGE fallacy. Summers are NEVER OFF for teachers.  ALL of the teachers I know spend a great portion of their summers catching up on CEU credits and their income on purchasing supplies for the students. Schools are now on austerity budgets and can hardly afford books that are not outdated let alone the simple touches which turn the school classroom from sterile to a warm environment.  Many decorate the classrooms from their own wallets. I know of dozens of teachers who supply their students with clothing and food because kids are often from homes that are poor, thus they arrive in dirty clothes and without any lunch money. Many are too proud to ask for free and reduced lunches or the parents don’t complete the required forms.  Yet, when a teacher sees a student being bullied due to lack of hygiene or go without lunch- they often pitch in both financially and emotionally.

I worked with a teacher who had a classroom of young second graders. They were given the last lunch shift- well after 1p.m. EVERYDAY she fed them granola bars or another healthy snack to keep them concentrating on their school work instead of their growling stomachs! It is no doubt that years later students still name her as one of their favorites. She was an excellent teacher, but even more – she was an exceptional role model and example of how one could display unconditional kindness to another human being.

ALL of the teachers I know have sought  extra coursework to enhance their skills. Some are not given a choice as per school district policy. However, the vast majority of my teacher friends are often students themselves. Many are seeking ways to enhance learning in their class for the child with special needs. Some are taking a foreign language (including sign language) in order to communicate with the growing bilingual population. Others are taking degrees in counseling, not with a goal to leave the classroom, but to understand and perhaps help the ever complicated children that are walking through their doors.

So,  if you think teachers are overpaid then reconsider. If I had my druthers I would double each ones’ salaries and give them a healthy budget to dedicate to classroom materials. Feel free to disagree with me. But, as you are typing the words of your comment remember to take a moment and thank the teacher who taught you language arts.

TEACHER SALARIES:  http://www.teacherportal.com/teacher-salaries-by-state

The Gifted Child

Most people think of special education as children who are performing well below their age and grade peers. However, it may come to surprise many that children with gifted talents can be complicated and in need of special services, as well. Children with giftedness and their parents are often considered low on the special education “food chain”. I have heard people say unkind things about parents of gifted children, questioning whether or not the child really has “issues”.

This is what I do know. Children with exceptional talents (we are talking clinically gifted and not just the really smart kid in the class), often are complex and have interpersonal issues. Why? Because when they are seven and their friends are playing simple board games or involved in basic sports they are calculating baseball averages or reading material well beyond their years. Thus, using concepts that the average second grader wouldn’t have a clue about!  Many times schools will decide that the best “course of action” is to skip them  in school, which presents challenges on so many levels.

Conflict can also arise because the child with “talent” can outplay, outsmart or outwit his age peers just based on his own “being”.  Often he or she isn’t trying to win at a board game – but just does because of the ability to process information or strategize at a level well beyond the opponent.

Long ago I worked in the back hills of western Pennsylvania.  I had a referral from a teacher who was concerned about the well being of a new kindergarten student. We will call her Julie.  The referral said she was “odd” and “very different” from her peers. In addition, she couldn’t relate, seemed bored and was a bit of a “snob”. Julie walked in to my office and presented herself as a petite and cute almost 5 year old (she started school early).  Over the course of time I gave her an IQ test.  She scored in vocabulary to the college level. She finished every question. She knew words that I didn’t know until I learned to give the test.  Her reasoning skills were exceptional and rivaled any teen.

I asked Julie to draw a picture and she opted to make a rainbow. She asked me to hand her crayons one at a time. First red, then orange, followed by yellow, green, and blue. After the blue crayon was handed she looked at me and said, “Next I would like INDIGO.”  I replied, “INDIGO?“.  Julie didn’t bat a lash as she explained that there was an acronym known as ROY-G-BIV, for all the colors in a spectrum and that I was for INDIGO.  Now imagine if she casually explained this to her classmate as calmly as she relayed the information to me?  Julie wasn’t showing off. She wasn’t bragging. She had learned this and much more during talks with her grandfather who was raising her in a small home that still had outdoor plumbing in 1985! She didn’t have television and read everyday since she was two.  She truly registered as gifted with an IQ score well above 150. (85-115 is average)  I have  kept the picture of the rainbow in a frame for more than twenty years as a reminder not to overlook the gifted child in the grand scheme of special education.

Believe me the Julie’s of the world may struggle with making friends and finding their way in life, too.  Fortunately, in the past years we have come to give resources, help and programming to assist the gifted child.  Some may need therapy to help with feelings for not being able to relate to peers or having conflict within the home. Others may need to find guidance for proper programs post high-school. Social skills may need to be taught and practiced much more than for the peers.

I stumbled upon a book by Free Spirit Publishing which was written for the gifted teen versus about the them. I believe it is a great guide to help kids who are book smart but street smart challenged. The GIFTED TEEN SURVIVAL GUIDE, by Galbraith and Delisle,  is a start for tweens and teens to understand what makes them special and how they can learn to feel more comfortable in their “skin”. You can read more about it on the publisher’s website.  FREE SPIRIT PUBLISHING

Post 9/11 – Lessons Learned by First Responders and Myself in Helping Special Populations

It is almost the anniversary of one of the saddest days in American history. A day when time seemed to have stood still. When the morning started as a day so crisp and clear it was almost too good to be true, yet ended full of darkness. And, the day which I asked myself over and over again…How are First Responders helping people who can’t hear, speak English, or are non-verbal -such as in the case of Autism?

Much has been written about 9/11 except for stories of what happened to those who couldn’t easily communicate with First Responders.  A few films were made. Some tangential interviews. Yet, not much was made public about how First Responders communicated ten years ago and how they would, if need be, interact, react and communicate today.  A recent publication  by  SAVEtheCHILDREN.org indicated that many states continue to be without viable plans in place to help special populations, especially children during disasters. I was astonished as from my own personal experience I would have suspected the opposite findings!

Since 2001, I have had the privilege of talking to thousands of First Responder.  Most who were intrigued and accepting of the idea that learning sign language (the fourth most common language in the United States) should be a priority for all EMS, Firefighters and Law Enforcement staff.  Thousands have  now sat in my SIGN LANGUAGE FOR EMERGENCY SITUATIONS workshops to hear about techniques to use during a disaster or medical incident to help a child with Autism, Down Syndrome, or Deafness. The participants have taught me as much as I have shared with them.  So while I believe that there is room for improvement, I am certain that progress has been made throughout many regions in the United States including making September Disaster Preparedness Month.

Perhaps many, including myself, have learned these lessons…

1. Communication is key during a disaster or medical emergency.  The first ten minutes are crucial. No one is asking to replace an interpreter or translator, but during exceptional circumstances, such as those of 9/11 or recent hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes – safety and help is tantamount.  

2.  To facilitate communication and help a child who has learning and/or  developmental challenges, use people in their surrounding area who many be of assistance to help with interaction between the non-verbal / English speaker and yourself.

3. Gestures can come in handy, although be careful, some gestures may be considered obscene by some cultures.

4. Helping children is not the same as helping adults. They will react differently. Children with Autism may drop and rock, scream, lash out (in fear) and/or flee. The latter is the most dangerous as some new information shows that children who flee often will go to water, thus a child may seek out a pool or pond during a disaster.

5. The first ten minutes of any disaster or medical incident is key. Knowing ten  signs (ASL), words in Spanish/ Chinese/ French/ Vietnamese (among others)  can save help to evacuate people to safety, find a child, or save a life.

In order to make safety an inclusive priority I have added some resource links below.  My biggest wish – we never need to use them as that would mean another disaster or medical crisis has occurred.

RESOURCES

FIRST RESPONDERS TV – Deaf and Special Populations Video

EMS Educast-  Helping deaf populations

Inclusion – Help for Disaster Preparedness

Autism Society

FEMA

DEAF Inc. Disaster Videos

Spirit of Autism by Debi Taylor.  Paramedic, mother of a child with Autism

SLINKY- yes, you read it right.  One SLINKY can help to transition a child who is fearful or non-verbal from place to place. Children with significant Autism may become engrossed in the shiny and round aspects of this non-personal object and be more willing to go with a First Responder/

Sign Language for Emergencies Mini-Chart

Summertime Learning for ADULTS!

Today as I am writing this post it is a hot (95 degrees) and humid (90%) day in the greater Washington D.C. area.  Don’t make any mistake in thinking that this is a “dry heat”.  So, I am especially grateful to Willis Haviland Carrier, who purportedly invented the air conditioner.  This little piece of trivia is new to me and I will add it to the list of “things” I learned during 2011.

I was raised in a home where education ruled supreme.  And after watching and reading commentary about   OPRAH‘s tribute to her by the Moorehouse University graduates who she supported, I gather that we were not the only ones.  But, if there is one thing I know for sure- it is that one should never stop learning or you just mentally wilt.    (You can watch Oprah’s surprise here)

So, here is my list of things that I want to learn the Summer of 2011.  (And add yours to the comments below!)

1- Zumba.  Yes, I want to learn more about this form of dance. Would love to hear from others who have tried this dance and exercise form.

2-  Learn about HTML. That is a computer term and program “thing” – for those who may need to brush up on it, like me.

3– Read more.  I want to read about a random topic.  I haven’t picked it out – yet.  That will take a trip to the library. And thank the goodness we still have libraries!

4. Learn how to play Mahjong.

and lastly… 5.  Learn more about how to operate my “fancy” camera.

TAG – YOU’RE IT!  What will you learn this Summer?

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NEWS:

Follow me on TWITTER: [twitter-follow  Louise_ Sattler =’wordpressdotcom’]

Missed my debut radio segment which airs during the 411 Voices- Arts, Entertainment and the Business of it ALL! show?  I was privileged to interview Talent Manager, Susan Ferris from the Bohemia Group.  Here is the audio-  Listen Here

Want to learn American Sign Language later this Summer?  SIGNING FAMILIES will be offering ONLINE COURSES starting August 2011.  Here is what we will be rolling out…

Just for Kids– a basic sign class geared for kids and taught by kids!

Just the Basics- A Sign Class for anyone who wishes to learn, with emphasis on those who are in the hospitality, restaurant, vacation attractions, hotel and business industries.

Adaptive/ Functional Sign Language A course designed to teach children, their families and educators within the special education communities.

Sign language for medical and dental personnel. 

READ SIGNING FAMILIES JUNE NEWSLETTER HERE (ASL Signs and a GIVEAWAY included)

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.
info@SigningFamilies.com
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….

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NEWSWORTHY-

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

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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!


HELP SIGNING FAMILIES™ TO HELP OTHERS LEARN ASL- THROUGH START UP NATION 2011!

SIGNING FAMILIES

START UP NATION 2011 MOM ENTREPRENEUR COMPETITION!

PLEASE VOTE DAILY HEREhttp://bit.ly/eDy1Jg (simply pick daily reminder)

I has been a really long time since I “campaigned” for any competition. I think my last run for an office was in the seventh grade. I lost- badly. This time I am hoping to compete in something a little bit more hefty than my Jr. HS student council race. I am hoping to have my company, SIGNING FAMILIES™ recognized as one of the Start Up Nation 2011 best mom owned businesses. While it would be terrific to win- it would be even more wonderful to receive exposure for American Sign Language as a beneficial mode of communication for not only the deaf community but those who are within perhaps the Autism, Down Syndrome and Speech Impaired communities ( to name a few).

To date SIGNING FAMILIES™ has donated thousands of dollars of product and instructional workshops to people within the special needs community who could not afford to attend ASL classes or purchase materialsfor their classrooms or homes. We also have taught up close and personal- scores of educators, families, medical personnel and First Responders nationwide. Our DVD- Sign Language for Emergency Situations in ASL, English and Spanish has been heralded as a one of a kind DVD to meet the ASL and Spanish communities needs for fast communication during a natural or manmade disaster.

Our BABY, TODDLER and PRESCHOOL Sign Language DVD was designed to meet the needs of people who want to learn how to promote or augment communication with children by using sign language. It recently won the KIDLUTIONS Preferred Product Award and was represented at Mac World for KIDS 2011.

Here is what we are working on now-

Create a large pocket folder with signs for basic communication on the front and emergency/medical signs onthe back. This folder was requested by people within both the medical and educational communities. We heard the requests and are now in production. Available May 2011.

– In order to help promote literacy among deaf children and foster friendships between children who are hearingand those who are deaf we are creating multiple bookmarks. Our first two focus on school words and social-emotional development words with ASL, English and Spanish. The third will substitute Hebrew for Spanish.  (Have an idea- submit to us anytime!)

Also, SIGNING FAMILIES™ proudly teamed with abcteach.com to create downloadable flashcards and movies for their terrific educators website. To date, we have created for videos which help students and teachers learn COLORS, the ALPHABET and NUMBERS and COMMON SCHOOL WORDS in ASL. Next we will be developing a video for WH? question words.

…And if we can find people who know sign language for Japan we will gladly put together for First Responders and the Red Cross a quick chart to use on site to help communicate with the deaf population in Japan. (Please send any info about JSL – Japanese Sign Language to info@SigningFamilies.com)

THANK YOU FOR READING… now please vote.. today and every day until the competition ends in mid- May. It would be so groovy to get more people taking a sign language journey with us!

~Louise

ABC News Now, INC, MSN.com, Entrepreneur.com, BizJournals

p.s. A very special Thank You to Karen Geary, my biz mentor, – without her, I would never have had the courage to pursue SIGNING FAMILIES on an international level!

 

My Child is Deaf- HELP!

As a School Psychologist and the founder and owner of SIGNING FAMILIES™, I often receive queries from parents who are searching for any kind of assistance to help their deaf child.  For most parents, having a deaf child is an unexpected bit of news and quite a shock which leads to many questions such as- “Will my child live a ‘normal’ life- go to college, learn to drive, talk to me” and so forth.  While I don’t have a zillion answers, I do have a lot of information that others have shared with me and now I happily will share with you.

First, know that  9 of every 10 deaf children born in the United States are born to hearing parents. The reasons for deafness vary with some being genetic.  Most parents don’t know anything about deafness, the amazing deaf culture or American Sign Language (ASL). However, some of the misconceptions one may have had in the past are changing (thankfully) due to great public figures such as Marlee Matlin, Deanne Bray and TV shows such as GLEE.

Deafness comes in degrees.  Some children can have a hearing loss and benefit from hearing aids and perhaps speech therapy.  Others will receive zero benefit from amplification.  Just like no two people wearing glasses are the same, neither are those with hearing loss.  I. King Jordan, the past president of Gallaudet University, has been quoted as saying, “Deaf people can do anything- except hear”.  I ditto that sentiment.  You need only to walk the campus of Gallaudet University or see the Who’s Who within the deaf community to know that success is not based on whether you can hear or not.

Now for the What Should We Do?

To start if you have discovered your child is deaf or hard of hearing you may wish to do the following:

1- Contact your public school district Early Intervention Office. The United States has programs that are FREE and available to any child from birth through the age of 21 who qualifies as needing special education, this may include speech therapy for a child with a significant hearing loss and early intervention specialists helping parents with their children’s learning.  Here is a link to help you find your more about the laws which help children with exceptional needs: http://idea.ed.gov/ and here http://www.nectac.org/partc/partc.asp

2- Talk with your pediatrician about referrals to medical teams which specialize with deaf children.  Your pediatrician most likely has not received specific training in audiology and other matters to help your deaf child. This is just the way it is with medical training.

3. Talk with other parents who have deaf children.  There are options from different educational programs, to hearing aids to the cochlear implant.  This is your child, be a well informed “consumer”.

4- Learn American Sign Language (ASL).  Now I know most of you are saying that you were expecting this suggestion given the nature of my business. However, the reality is that ASL is the fourth most common language in the U.S. And a deaf child with or without a cochlear implant, in my opinion, can still benefit from learning ASL.  Plus, sign language for young children , hearing or deaf, has been proven to promote overall language skills, reduce frustration and negative behaviors.  Learning ASL is a win-win, for deaf and hearing populations.  Your child has nothing to lose by being bilingual and bicultural. To learn more about ASL or see many practice sites visit here: ASL

5- Check out these wonderful groups I have listed below who only want to help your deaf or hard of hearing (HOH) child and your family as a whole.

6- There has been a plethora of material written and filmed about the deaf community, mainstreaming of deaf children into hearing schools and the cochlear implant.  Two seminole films are THROUGH DEAF EYES and SOUND and FURY (make sure you watch the first and second films for SOUND and FURY to get the whole story).  Both are available on PBS.org, NETFLIX and online for purchase. Both were required viewing for my ASL college level courses.  Students with preconceived notions about deafness were “blown away” by both films, especially THROUGH DEAF EYES.

If you have any more questions please feel free to post here or go to SIGNING FAMILIES on FACEBOOK. Let us ALL learn from each other.

There is no way possible that I could list ALL the wonderful websites dedicated to helping Deaf/ HOH children and families.  Please feel free to add your favorites in the comment section.  PLEASE visit SIGNING FAMILIES LINKS for a more thorough list, too.

To help with literacy of deaf children and support for families:

ASL INSIDE

PROJECT NADINE
CODA 365
CLERC’s CHILDREN

Gallaudet Clerc Center: http://clerccenter.gallaudet.edu/

DEAF LITERACY ACADEMY

These organizations or businesses help children’s literacy in general, many with a bilingual- bicultural element

EARLY CHILDHOOD NEWS

LANGUAGE CASTLES

abcteach.com

CEDAR VALLEY PUBLISHING

Education.com

MomtoMadre.com

Social -Emotional Development help can be found here:

KIDLUTIONS

MICHELE BORBA

EARLY CHILDHOOD BLOGS were listed in bulk here too by the Guide to Online Schools: http://www.guidetoonlineschools.com/tips-and-tools/early-childhood-blogs

Thanks for reading

~Louise



So You Think You Can Sign?

ASL sign for COMPLAIN. Make this sign with a CLAW handshape and don't forget to scrunch your face!

The I LOVE YOU hand! I don't know how long it took for me to learn that this sign was comprised of three letters of the ASL alphabet.. I, L and Y...

ASL sign for PARTY. Of course, as a college student this was a must learn beginner's sign!

I have been asked on numerous occasions to recite the reasons why I learned American Sign Language (ASL) thirty-something years ago when I was a student at the land of Blue Hens- The University of Delaware.  And I laugh each time.  You see, way back when I met some really groovy gals in my dorm complex who were taking up this “sign language” for fun and to suffice their college language credits. The first word they showed me in sign was COMPLAIN!  Yep, I learned to kvetch in sign before anything else.   I was fascinated of the prospect of using this silent language in addition to the few other spoken languages I knew.  So, I started to take sign classes/ workshops/seminars… and haven’t stopped since.

Now not all of my sign language training was pretty.  I started by learning something called SIGNING EXACT ENGLISH  (SEE).  Nowadays, I admonish any student that uses SEE in my ASL classroom, although I maintain a healthy respect for it’s applications as a teaching tool when it comes to the instruction of  language arts and reading in the elementary years. It should come to no surprise that I have learned to shop ASL, too.  Which explains the countless bookshelves of  my huge collection of sign language dictionaries, signed movies and even a stamping set to make cute little ASL notes.

Which brings me to present day. As fate would have it, I was able to meld together my love of sign language and developmental psychology in to one company- SIGNING FAMILIES.  I would like to think that my little company is one that helps to build communication bridges one SIGN at a time.  It gives me great joy to see people of all ages and abilities learning to use their hands for communication.  Maybe one day it will be you?!

 

Enjoy learning my “first” signs (above) and visit SIGNING FAMILIES on FACEBOOK or the website to learn many, many more!  For more information on sign language, SIGNING FAMILIES  and a whole ton more.. visit SIGNING FAMILIES.. http://www.signingfamilies.com

 

PAY ATTENTION... there is a somewhat important message here....

 

 

AND NOTE:  If you are a mom or dad blogger and wish to preview our new materials for educators, healthcare staff,  rescuers, disaster relief shelter workers and more- please contact me via our website or Facebook page.  THANKS!

GREAT BLOGGERS- SPECIAL EDUCATION / PARENT RESOURCE EDITION

I have written now a few blogs about women who I admire because of their fascinating, inspiring and amusing blogs. Today, I want to feature blogs that are dedicated to our friends within the special education community. As an educator, I admire the people who are in the trenches of special education beyond measure.  These are three of my favorite blogs….maybe they will become yours, too!


Tiffani Lawton is the mom, educator and drive behind one of the best websites for families living with a child with Autism (or on the spectrum).  Tiffani recently described OJTA as follows, “Where professionals and parents meet up…. We bring in the private practice community like OT, PT, ST, Sound Therapy, etc.  We bring in personal perspectives from individuals on the spectrum.  We have mama’s sharing their journey.  We have holistic moms sharing their resources.”

Tiffani is tireless.  She makes my ADHD self seem in slow motion.  Tiffani has added a short-radio program and  teleclasses to her platform.  This is a must visit site!

Bravo to this dynamo and please support her efforts by connecting the following way: http://www.ourjourneythruautism.com

The Spirit of Autism is another site generated by the love of a parent and dedicated to helping others.  What makes this site extraordinary is that the author is also a paramedic!  I have used the amazing materials for First Responders on this website to help others in the medical field understand how to approach a child with autism who during a critical incident or a disaster.  I adore this website and think that Debi’s spirit is contagious.  Although a niche, this site should be considered a “must bookmark”.  Educators take note- there is tons of info here for you , too!

Follow Debi on Twitter as @spiritofautism


The Coffee Klatch is what is RIGHT about social media.  Had it not been for TWITTER (@TheCoffeeKlatch or #TCK) I would never have discovered this amazing group.

This group is a wealth of information for so many!  A group of parents and experts joining together to be a support and resource for each other! Their social media presence is second to none. On Twitter they conduct frequent forums open to anyone with the hashtag #TCK.  Topics range from information about different disorders,  to educational assessment, to behavioral strategies recommended by parents and professionals-  and much more!  Also, they have a presence of FACEBOOK and BLOG TALK RADIO. Note- If you want to know the pulse of what parents are asking or need – look no further than this organization!


Please feel free to add your favorite special education blogs in the comment section!

ALSO… I am proud to announce the launch of  LouiseSattler.com.  See my video describing this site in voice and ASL here: http://louisesattler.com/about

ALSO…. read a ton of my favorite women bloggers on the *NEW* HerInsight website: http://www.herinsight-voices.com


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