Tag: autism

Aside

Little child crying with tear on face

Too close to home. San Bernardino is too close to home.  

As a psychologist and the owner of an educational company that focuses on matters of communication and safety, I have trained First Responders on how to engage and communicate with those who have unique circumstances – such as Autism or Deafness. I have trained thousands of emergency responders how to help evacuate people who don’t communicate verbally, use sign language or don’t speak English as their first language. Most of the practice scenarios were in case of an earthquake. tornado or vehicular accident.

But yesterday it wasn’t a practice scenario. It wasn’t a workshop video.

Yesterday it was REAL LIFE.

 Real people. Real suffering. Real blood. Real tears. 

Yet unreal.  Surreal.

 While my eyes were affixed on CNN and the reporters – I couldn’t help but notice the people in the background. The First Responders I trained were there. On TV.  Helping so many of the helpless who had been shot by two or more assailants. There they – my students –  evacuating those with functional needs and their caretakers. WOW!

Everything seemed to be going according to protocol.  I was so impressed!

But then I realized that there was a question gnawing at me.

WHY did the First Responders have to practice what they learned at all?

Oh wait… let me answer my own question…

First – We don’t address mental health needs in this country. We often have programs in place that are less than effective. We don’t staff mental health centers with enough service providers. We often don’t use multi-modal treatment plans. We don’t have enough resources to help those who need help. Ask anyone who works in public mental health if they have enough of what they need to help their clients and I bet they say. “no”.

Secondly – We have easy access to guns and copious amounts of ammunition. Please don’t quote me the right to bear arms stuff. I know all of that. Any 8th grader who has taken an exam on the US history knows that. What I am asking is WHY do we need to have as many guns in homes as we have cars? Why don’t we have stricter laws about guns? Why can’t we find a solution vs. spinning our proverbial wheels about guns?

and…

Lastly – We don’t teach people in life that disappointment is part of LIFE and not a reason TO TAKE A LIFE.
So a HUGE thank you to ALL First Responders who risk their lives everyday. And to their families who know that when the alarm sounds their loved one is going towards the disaster vs. away.

Now folks- let’s stop talking and start doing! Demand constructive changes that SAVE LIVES.  Let San Bernardino not be another example of the “new normal”.

Enough is enough!

 

Qubits – a unique and creative toy for children and adults! #STEM

As a School Psychologist who has worked years within the realm of special education, I asked the creators if they wouldn’t mind sending to me a set of Qubits for closer inspection and review. So, thank you to the Burgingers for satiating my curiosity and sending to me a lovely pack of Qubits who has made “snap happy” for several days!

The first thing that struck me about Qubits was its’ many educational applications. For example, the toy itself could help with the development of visual motor planning, organizational and processing skills. Advocates of STEM will love that this toy incorporates fundamental concepts necessary for the foundations needed for careers such as engineering or architecture.

First week of the ASL Challenge

Have you joined the SIGNING FAMILIES 31 DAYS ASL CHALLENGE?! Each day during October 2014 I am uploading sign language videos for easy learning.

Here are this weeks signs and a video of #5 – FAMILY

Will you accept the ASL CHALLENGE?

Starting tomorrow, October 1st, I will be hosting a 31 days, 31 ASL CHALLENGE on YouTube. It is my goal to teach people FREE how to communicate using basic sign language. The signs will be geared for daily living and school terminology with a sprinkle of signs in the event of a disaster or medical emergency. Sign language has traditionally been considered only used within the Deaf community. However, more and more children and adults with Autism and Down Syndrome are now learning sign for communication, too! Starting tomorrow, October 1st, I will be hosting a 31 days, 31 ASL CHALLENGE on YouTube. It is my goal to teach people FREE how to communicate using basic sign language. The signs will be geared for daily living and school terminology with a sprinkle of signs in the event of a disaster or medical emergency. Sign language has traditionally been considered only used within the Deaf community. However, more and more children and adults with Autism and Down Syndrome are now learning sign for communication, too! Starting tomorrow, October 1st, I will be hosting a 31 days, 31 ASL CHALLENGE on YouTube. It is my goal to teach people FREE how to communicate using basic sign language. The signs will be geared for daily living and school terminology with a sprinkle of signs in the event of a disaster or medical emergency. Sign language has traditionally been considered only used within the Deaf community. However, more and more children and adults with Autism and Down Syndrome are now learning sign for communication, too!

A Face. A Social Story. Helping children with Autism to express feelings

I have worked many years within the Autism community and one theme that continually comes up when a person on the spectrum misses or misreads social and emotional cues. This can lead to difficult, awkward and at times, comical situations. Many therapists, psychologists, educators and parents work diligently to try and bring social awareness and correct communication (including semantics) to those who have challenges in these areas.
That is why I decided that some of the scores of photos I have amassed can be put to good use to help others. Feel free to download and share this slideshow.

December Newsletter: 2013 in Review, ASL Style

Happy December! I know every year has 12 months, yet this year seemed to have gone by in a flash! I use to keep better track of the seasons, and time in general, during the “parenting years” – when I had kids in school. Back then I knew what month it was by what PTA project I volunteered to do. October was the Halloween parade, December was buying teacher holiday gifts, and so on. Now that my kids are grown and my status is that of having a “low occupancy home”, I realized that I must now resort to keeping track of the old fashioned way- by the iCal app! Which explains why the alarm on my desktop went off yesterday with a message reading- “WRITE ANNUAL YEAR IN REVIEW BLOG TODAY”.

I know myself too well, the alarm went off again today flashing – “YOU FORGOT TO WRITE YOUR ANNUAL YEAR IN REVIEW BLOG – DO IT NOW!”

So here it goes… Nearly 4800 people have found our SIGNING FAMILIES Facebook page. I used this social media page to help people to learn about sign language (ASL) and the deaf community. I also focused during the year on issues regarding Autism, Down Syndrome and education. Then I sprinkled a hefty dose of humor, inspiration and giveaways!

Happy December! I know every year has 12 months, yet this year seemed to have gone by in a flash! I use to keep better track of the seasons, and time in general, during the “parenting years” – when I had kids in school. Back then I knew what month it was by what PTA project I volunteered to do. October was the Halloween parade, December was buying teacher holiday gifts, and so on. Now that my kids are grown and my status is that of having a “low occupancy home”, I realized that I must now resort to keeping track of the old fashioned way- by the iCal app! Which explains why the alarm on my desktop went off yesterday with a message reading- “WRITE ANNUAL YEAR IN REVIEW BLOG TODAY”.

I know myself too well, the alarm went off again today flashing – “YOU FORGOT TO WRITE YOUR ANNUAL YEAR IN REVIEW BLOG – DO IT NOW!”

So here it goes… Nearly 4800 people have found our SIGNING FAMILIES Facebook page. I used this social media page to help people to learn about sign language (ASL) and the deaf community. I also focused during the year on issues regarding Autism, Down Syndrome and education. Then I sprinkled a hefty dose of humor, inspiration and giveaways!

DRUMROLL PLEASE… Back on the air with “THE LOUISE SATTLER SHOW”

This Sunday, July 7th, marks my first show after a bit of a hiatus from the world of online radio. I am thrilled to be returning to the 411 VOICES radio network with the all new LOUISE SATTLER SHOW.

I consider this new format to be a “potpourri” of topics and guests. Each guest bringing their wisdom (and hopefully humor) to the segment. I must confess, I am a bit nervous starting back in radio… but, I am grateful to the people who said they would tune in live or download. (For live listeners simply go to the online radio show on Sunday evenings at 9pm Eastern / 6pm Pacific)

My first guest is Amy Shojai who I have admired via TWITTER for her work as an animal advocate and behaviorist. You have to LOVE someone who titles here website as follows.. AMY SHOJAI’S BLING, BITCHES and BLOOD – Pet-Centric, Writer-icity & Thrillers with BITE!

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