Monday, September 24, 2012

Sensory Processing Disorder

SPD- Which stands for Sensory Processing Disorder. What is it? Oftentimes children's brains are not properly integrating information coming through their senses which can cause tantrums, screaming, and anxiety. They may even gag from a whiff of a bad smell.  Dr. Randi Hagerman, a developmental-behavioral pediatrician who is medical director of the MIND Institute at the University of California said: Many of the behavioral difficulties that are being labeled today as anxiety or A.D.H.D., for instance, may be due to sensory disorders, and that forces you to rethink the treatments,” as well as diagnoses.

Sensory symptoms are most commonly treated with Occupational Therapy. Sometimes when parents are told about SPD, they may look at their child's behaviors differently, and gives them a different perspective. I recently came upon a great Sensory Processing Disorder Parent Support Group. Since I work with many kids who have SPD, I found this site helpful to buy products, share stories and learn about this disorder.
Check it out here:

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Integration is on the Rise!

It is nice to see more and more actors who have down syndrome on the big screen TV! Did you know this season on Glee, the Cheerleading Coaches baby has Down Syndrome? Jordyn Orr will join the team of Glee, along with Lauren Potter who is currently an inspiration to America!

Picture: courtesy of

Also this year we are seeing integration on other Television shows including: Blue Bloods, and The New Normal to name a few. Do you feel Glee is portraying Down Syndrome properly? Chime in...

Click here to become part of the International Down Syndrome Coalition:

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Back to School time.......

As we head back to school with our kids, we gear up for a new year ahead filled with emotions, challenges and even new territory. Many people have been blogging how their child's first few days have been. I was inspired by a blog I read on Check out this powerful line at the end of her story: My point is simple: Diversity in abilities forces us to define our own “normal” and allows us to choose what we celebrate."
To read the rest of Sonya's milestone:

As a Special Educator, remember to never take any step for granted, and cherish every milestone.Yes, even the little ones; because each one counts! Good luck to all the children going back to school. Tell us how your child's back to school experience has been.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

A Terrifying Way to Discipline Children, NYT, 9.8.12

I never really felt comfortable restraining a child. However, during my ABA training I made sure to get properly trained on when and how to use restraints properly and safely on children. This is going WAY too far; locking a child in a closet! See a few excerpts from a recent NYT article below; and feel free to share your opinions.

A Terrifying Way to Discipline Children

"IN my public school 40 years ago, teachers didn’t lay their hands on students for bad behavior. They sent them to the principal’s office. But in today’s often overcrowded and underfunded schools, where one in eight students receive help for special learning needs, the use of physical restraints and seclusion rooms has become a common way to maintain order.
Ward Zwart
It’s a dangerous development, as I know from my daughter’s experience. At the age of 5, she was kept in a seclusion room for up to an hour at a time over the course of three months, until we discovered what was happening. The trauma was severe.
According to national Department of Education data, most of the nearly 40,000 students who were restrained or isolated in seclusion rooms during the 2009-10 school year had learning, behavioral, physical or developmental needs, even though students with those issues represented just 12 percent of the student population. African-American and Hispanic students were also disproportionately isolated or restrained.
The use of restraints and seclusion has become far more routine than it should be. “They’re the last resort too often being used as the first resort,” said Jessica Butler, a lawyer in Washington who has written about seclusion in public schools.
Meanwhile, Rose is back in public school and has found it within her to forgive those involved in her case. “They weren’t bad people,” she told me. “They just didn’t know about working with children.”

Bill Lichtenstein is an investigative journalist and filmmaker.

To read more on this article, check out the NYT website:

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

School Bullies Prey on Children with Autism

Something we all need to be aware of, and help teach our children. Teaching acceptance and compassion should be number one! Bullying has been around forever, but raising awareness should be our priority.

Autism Research Gets $100 Million Boost

Autism Research Gets $100 Million Boost- Via We need more research and funding to help find the cause for Autism. Read the article on to find out more.