Romance is in the Air

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romance is in the air

It has been quite a lapse between my blog posts as of late. This year has been extremely busy as I’ve published 10 titles over the last year and two collections. It’s has been an extremely productive, prosperous and simply an amazing year form my family. So as part of the Romance is in the Air Blog Hop. I wanted to offer an ebook giveaway of my newest release and first book from a brand new Western Romance Series, The One, along with a $25 Amazon Gift Card.  In order to enter this giveaway simply sign up for my newsletter here. And follow this blog. That’s it. And don’t forget to checkout all the other blogs participating in this hop, by clicking here.

TheOne_CVR_MEDMargaret Gordon was a prominent Seattle surgeon until a slip of her knife left a young boy without a future. After being fired, she returns to her family ranch, the perfect spot to hide out from everyone and lick her wounds, with no one around but her horse.

Margaret has never considered herself a horse person. In truth, though, she understands horses better than people. When Joe Wilde, a widower, drives up one morning with a teenage boy and a horse with a problem, Margaret turns into the klutzy misfit she used to be, and the torch she silently carried for Joe all through school is rekindled. However, when smooth-talking Joe convinces Margaret to work with the temperamental horse, she grows closer to Joe’s son, Ryan, and soon learns the horse’s issues are rooted in problems between the two–especially Ryan’s anxiety over the fact that his father is now dating a woman who’s only interested in the sexy Joe Wilde, not his misfit of a son.
Ryan wants Margaret to be his mother, so he takes matters into his own hands, setting Margaret in his father’s path every chance he gets. Even though sparks fly and sizzle between them, Joe believes Margaret has despised him all his life, and he decides all his rebellious son needs is a mother. When Joe proposes marriage to the wrong woman, his son takes off into the wilderness with only a backpack and a feisty horse.
To Joe’s surprise, it’s Margaret who saddles up her horse and heads off alone with him over a hundred miles of wilderness in a race against time and the elements to find his son. With Ryan’s life in jeopardy, will Margaret be able to put aside her differences with Joe and realize that he’s The One?

Do you ever wonder what parent’s of children with Autism go through with their school districts?

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Do you ever wonder what parents of children with autism go through with their school districts?

Well let me explain it in another way:

Your child was diagnosed with leukemia, but you’re fortunate to get the best care. You were directed to one of the specialists for pediatric cancer at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, the top ranked pediatric cancer specialist in the country. And you were sent there by a group of parents with children on their way to full recovery.

Not only is this hospital and specialist #1, but your child has amazing progress, and responded extremely well to the treatment plan. The quality of care and expertise is top-notch. And there is a reason why this doctor has such a high success rate of patient recovery.

Your child is doing well and everyone is extremely happy because you see the light at the end of the tunnel and the promise of full recovery. Your child has a bright future.

But then, you have to move across the country. But hang on, there’s no reason for panic because your superstar doctor is willing to work with the hospital and local doctor in the county your moving too. He will consult and be part of your team to ensure your child continues to make a full recovery.

Now remember these parents have also done some homework they’ve contacted the local hospital and doctors and on initial consult the local doctors and hospital staff have indicated they’d be willing to work with your specialist who knows way more than them. And considering you’ll be flying out the superstar doctor periodically to meet with them and for your specialist to observe your child’s progress, everyone’s happy.

Except after you’ve moved across the country and your child goes in for their first consult and checkup the local doctor decides to change the treatment plan without any consult to you or the leading pediatric cancer specialist who heads up your team from Cincinnati. In fact they become arrogant in the fact there can’t be other specialists outside their county their district that knows better than them. They’re minds are closed, apparently they never heard a word you said, and you discover they’ve been saying one thing but doing another. They’ve not done their research in fact all the information and research provided to them by your specialist they decided to ignore and shove in a drawer. And then suddenly they’re unwilling to work with you or your specialist.

And for the first time ever you as the parent are not allowed in the room, and you’re kept on the other side of the door wondering what’s going on. And then your child starts to regress, and so you contact your pediatric specialist in Cincinnati, who also voices his concern and in fact makes a trip out to visit this doctor, all on your dime.

When he arrives the local doctor even the hospital welcome the specialist, they even sit and listen. They nod they agree, paying lip service. Then as soon as he leaves they go back to what they were doing. Again not consulting you. Your child becomes ill. The local doctor maybe puts a political spin on what was originally discussed, leaving you doing the “W.T.F.”

So you become one angry assertive parent and start demanding answers, pounding on their door. And your suddenly labelled, “the problem parent” and told to go away.

Confrontations happen, your criticized, maybe told you’re a horrible parent and then your told if you don’t like what they’re doing go somewhere else because , “they” the local specialists are highly skilled and they’re using their own expertise. And then they become silent, ignore your calls, your emails. Even though your treatment plan has a proven track record and your child was well on his/her way to full recovery. What this doctor and local hospital staff did in such a short time, undid all your child’s progress.

So you’ve lost sleep, your stress is through the roof. Maybe your marriage has split up now, and you’re almost out of money. Your insurance won’t cover a trip back to Cincinnati, because the funding cut off has already passed for the year. And this doctor and local hospital are now sitting on the money you need to pay for your child’s medical. Everyone you talk to sympathises with your plight but they really don’t understand because they don’t have a child who is sick. And because your only one voice, your feeling alone and that the door has now closed to you.

This is an extreme comparison and hopefully this helps you understand what is at stake for many autistic children, and their families and the stress that exists with many of the families in dealing with their school districts today. Many autistic children are not even allowed to go to school in the public system. And there are parent groups advocating and doing presentations over and over again to their local school districts. For many parent who are dealing with the “really bad scenario” unfortunately are left with options which may not be viable for them, hire a lawyer, move,  or try to make the best of a really bad situation. The final straw, which many are choosing as of late and for this coming school year are home school. But for the working parent home schooling isn’t an option. And children with autism need the social interaction with typical children under the direction of a skilled private consultant who has a proven track record. This is not an extra cost for school districts because the parent is footing the bill. In theory this should be a win win situation.

What you need to be aware of as you’re coming into another year of school:

  • Funding is different for every district, and generally the cut off is September 30 for the money your school receives to support your autistic child. In some areas this dollar amount is substantial. But you need to check this out yourself because it may differ in your area. *Also word of caution some school professionals may not disclose the correct facts.*Do your own homework, and talk to parents who are running a genuine home program with a qualified consultant.  You need to have decided and enrolled your child, home school, or other program before this cut-off date, or your school district gets the funding allotted for your child. And that money you need for the coming year to pay for a support worker. Also this money is given directly to the school your child is enrolled and it is entirely up to the principal of the school how that money is used. *Again do your homework, as policies may be different in your area.
  • To avoid another lost year for your child. Start meeting with the superintendent or head of your district now, before school starts. If they won’t give your child a guarantee that they’ll work with your consultant and allow your own support worker in the school to work with your child, look at other options. New schools, private school, home…etc.  Don’t wait, because after the funding cut off you’ll have no options for the year, except spending your life savings, adding stress into your family that you don’t need, and watching as your child regresses even more.
  • Make sure your school is willing to integrate the specialized training required from your consultant.
  • It’s really important to be aware that many school districts have assembled their own “team of experts” surprisingly, you should be aware many of the experts are little more than district personnel, teachers, vice principals, psychologists, etc. and they do not have the specialized expertise to plan your child’s program. The plan for your child’s program and the implementation must come under the direction of your own private consultant.

In the short story I wrote A Baby And A Wedding which is the sequel to The Forgotten Child. Trevor the little boy with Autism started school, but it was a new school, a forward thinking school started by the parents in the community, for all children. This private school pulled away from the current public education system and is solely based on teaching in the 21st century. You may notice there are new innovative schools popping up recently that are based on teaching in the 21st century, teaching the whole child, developing personal learning plans, not the one size fits all model.

It’s imperative that parents start coming together to support not just the typical child, but all children and their unique needs. When many voices come together, is when change truly happens.

Qualified workers or Glorified babysitters for Autistic Children: Do you know the difference?

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One of the things I hear all too often from many people is they have worked or are currently working with an autistic child and that they have tons experience, or are highly qualified. And every one of them has then gone on to freely complain about the parents, of what they haven’t done, should have done, are currently doing, and always something that causes some form of irritation to these workers. Not once have I ever heard something positive spoken about parents.

The fact is many parents don’t do any form of therapy for their autistic children, because of all the roadblocks they face. Unfortunately, finding qualified credible therapy is extremely difficult, as is getting qualified credible therapy within your child’s school. Junk science though is easy to find, and has bilked parents of their life savings, their peace of mind, and provided nothing but sleepless nights and additional stress to these already sleep deprived parents.

Junk science is also supported by governments and very popular in most school districts and alive and well in almost every school. Public school districts provide babysitters only so let’s not confuse what school districts say is qualified support workers. Most school districts have a long way to go to getting on board with working with an autistic child, an individual child’s qualified consultant, and the parents to implement a quality program in school that the consultant has developed for the specific needs of that specific autistic child.  Junk science has no validity, no science to back it up and provides no genuine data. What are provided though are testimonials. Steer clear parents, and definitely do not accept anything offered by a school district unless your consultant has first investigated and these people providing the service are working with your consultant and within the program your consultant has created. A genuine program simply put, Autistic children show remarkable progress that can be tracked and proven, and the program is constantly changing and evolving to keep up with the child’s progress. This again is done by your consultant not the school. There are only a small handful of school districts that truly support the individual needs of autistic children.

So let’s go back to these workers you meet who say they’ve worked with autistic children? Well let’s clarify the difference between a glorified babysitter and someone who is qualified to work with Autistic children, because there is a difference:

Qualified includes at least the following:

  • 500 or more hours of experience working in an ABA in-home program
  • experience working with children with autism in an integrated environment
  • experience facilitating peer interactions with typically developing peers
  • experience teaching in an activity-embedded and generalized teaching environment
  • experience working with a child with autism in a variety of integrated settings
  • experience working collaboratively with an outside consultant
  • participate in on-going training and observations related to school and community based programming, under the direction of a qualified consultant (This term I will elaborate at a later date, consult your local parents group for a list of private consultants to avoid the vast array of consultants who practice junk science)

So what does the above mean? Well … simply without the above qualifications the worker, or support worker, EA  who you meet is merely a glorified babysitter and nothing else, and has no business working with your child. And this has nothing to do with caring, many care, their just not qualified to work with these kids.

And remember no matter what. Parents of special needs children deserve your support, respect and not condemnation and criticism, which are far too often what his freely provided. Gossip is poison. It hurts, and it makes it really difficult for parents of autistic children to function in a community. How many of you know of someone with an Autistic child? And can you leave a comment about one good thing of the parent, and their family?

Lorhainne Eckhart is the author of Walk the Right Road Series, Finding Love ~ The Outsider Series both series bestsellers in mystery series, romance series and westerns, and The Forgotten Child, the #1 kindle bestseller in westerns and western romance.

Communication at School

One of the key ingredients for success at school for your special needs child is communication. In the bridge short story, A BABY AND A WEDDING, I introduced a new school model, Forward Thinking.

A Baby And A Wedding is a bridge short story following, THE FORGOTTEN CHILD, and prequels FALLEN HERO. The Forgotten Child introduced you to Trevor, a little boy with autism.  In A Baby And A Wedding, Trevor has made significant progress in many areas including his social skills. The new school Forward Thinking is based on the new teaching model for the 21st Century. What is key to making it work is communication and collaboration, between the teachers, the student, and the parents. In Trevor’s case as would be with most special needs, this would also include your private consultant and the education assistant who is working in the school with your child.

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This is called a team. There are no other professionals involved. One of the biggest mistakes happening in most school districts today is bringing in an army of people, and then calling them an “Autism Team” for example. But this so-called school based team has no in-depth knowledge into your child’s individual program, and sees your child a handful of times throughout the school year, if that. So how is it even possible to implement a unique program for your child’s individual needs? Very few of these teams actually collaborate and communicate with the parents, and work with the outside private consultant. Quite often is the mentality, “we know best.” And in just about every one of these cases the special needs child isn’t making any kind of substantial progress, at all. And roadblocks are what the parent faces. And what about the cost school districts are willing to fork out to create this type of model, especially when the area of special needs is the first area cut in education?

So how does Forward Thinking work? It is based on the individual needs and interests of the child. For a typical child, they become partners and self-directed leaders in their own education. Instead of being told what to learn, and barely skimming the surface, the education model is shifted. The learning for the student is focused on a few and learning is in-depth so the child becomes excited and partners in their education.

How is this different and at the same time ideal for an autistic child. Flexibility, communication and collaboration. The consultant, the teacher, the education assistant and the parents are all working together designing a program that fits the unique needs of the child, the autistic child. And the program is always evolving. Focusing on the skills he or she needs at that time, which include but are not limited to social skills, teaching in an environment that benefits the child, putting the child’s needs to the forefront. How unique, refreshing and it works because this very real model is truly happening in some corners of the country, including public schools.

How does something positive like this begin in your area?

The Bridge Short Story

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A Brand New Website Dedicated to Short Stories

A Brand New Website Dedicated to Short Stories

You find an author you absolutely love. Even better you fall in love with the characters they’ve created in the series. What has become popular, and requested by so many book lovers is “I want another story with my favorite characters. I want to know what happens to them”. For my marquis title THE FORGOTTEN CHILD, I’ve been flooded with emails; everyone wants to know what happens next with Emily and Brad.

Bridge short stories I personally love. They follow on the heel of your favorite novel and prequel the next book in the series. A Baby And A Wedding is a bridge short story picking up where The Forgotten Child left off. Introducing Brad’s brother Jed, and prequels Fallen Hero where Jed meets Diana.

Short stories are also another way to try new authors. Lunch Time Reads is a brand new website dedicated to short stories, featuring bestselling authors all with short stories priced at .99 cents. Stop on over and check it out today.

A Baby And A Wedding, a Friessen Legacy Bridge Short Story

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Getting married and having a baby …  for Emily and Brad everything was perfect, or so they thought until an unexpected surprise threatens to derail their happy day.

Christmas Books!

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I’ve always been a softie for Christmas books at this time of the year.

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It’s all about families. I’m a sucker for romance, and old folks and an even bigger sucker for kids. When you join all those features into one story and add in a heroine you can’t help but love, then the book is my idea of perfect entertainment.

Some of my friends tell me I’m childish and tend to write naive tales about people who just aren’t that way anymore… kind and thoughtful, loving and giving. I beg to differ!! There is a world full of ‘nice’ people out there. Folks who live every day being helpful to others and generous with their families.

There’s one story in particular I’d like to share. My mother-in-law, a tiny, cranky, eighty-eight-year-old woman who has insisted on staying in her little house because she ….well she can. And the reason this is possible is because of her neighbour. A young man, maybe in his forties, has taken her under his w

ing (no pun intended) and goes there every day, looks after all her yard work, takes her grocery shopping and even to church. When she forces money on him, he’s terribly uncomfortable and has tried to tell her he doesn’t expect payment. See what I mean by angels in our midst???

My angel in this Christmas story is an old man called Pi. I created him as close to a real person as possible because I truly believe that we are surrounded by angels in our everyday lives. Ordinary people who behave in extraordinary and loving ways. In many cases, both men and women who come to ones aid without needing to be asked. I have friends like that and I’m sure most of you do also. In fact, you’ve probably acted like that yourself at one time or another. We all have stories to tell of the time that we…!

So this Christmas tale is my present to those of you who are suckers for romance and prickly little boys and loveable seniors. For your holiday pleasure, I’ve wrapped up all these elements up in an

entertaining parcel called “Lovable Christmas Angel”.

 Hint: This would make a perfect gift for someone special on your list who you know is sweet on those special uplifting stories that make the season just that little bit brighter.

Kickass Promotions

If you like to have an extra-special treat December 5th & 6th, Kick Ass Promotions is featuring a lot of boxed-set books in their December event, which is pretty cool – three

books for one. My Vicarage Bench Anthology is available for free so please take advantage and check out the other titles available. Vicarage_BoxSet

 ***Thanks Lorhainne for letting me visit with you on your blog. Always love to see other’s pages and yours is set up so well. Hope to have you visit with me soon.

xo Mimi

Checkout these books which are also free December 5 and 6th:ANNA MARKLAND

One woman. Two men. And a choice that could kill her.

One woman. Two men. And a choice that could kill her.
“A modern day crime with all the right elements Lust, love, lies and trust ” ROMANCE JUNKIES

Confidentiality at school for your special needs child.

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Part II on my blog series back to school for your special needs child.

Confidentiality, sometimes as parents you wonder if the school understands what this means.

When you have a special needs child, the siblings, you the parents and your home come under a microscope of scrutiny. And so does any plan of intervention prepared by your consultant.

Depending on your school district when you have a special needs child, there is a school based team which includes the teachers, case worker from special education department, maybe a school psychologist, and principal, and this team should also include you and your consultant. This is where you as a parent must be pro-active to insist you both remain part of this team, because as the school year progresses and lets face it you’re busy working trying to earn an income, it is really easy for the school based team not to consult you. In fact may schools prefer to keep you out of the loop, as they are not used to working with parents. And many of these professionals believe they know best.

Your child’s records, intervention plan, your other children, information about you as a parent is discussed, recorded and shared with these professionals and employees of the district. When an intervention plan is created for your special needs child it goes into their confidential file with the school and again everyone with the school has access to this. Here’s a word of caution that happens all too often. Your child’s intervention plan is copied and shared with other school district employees and other schools for another child.

Here’s another scenario for you, “a parent with a special needs child reviews their child’s file or a communication file with the school and discovers an intervention plan for someone else’s child that your school has decided to implement for your kid. And they didn’t even bother removing the other child’s name or the name of this other child’s consultant.” What kind of alarm bells are going off for you right now?

An intervention plan is done specifically for one child. There is no such thing as using a program for Child A, and doing the same thing for Child B. And schools need to clearly understand this.

There is a fine line that has to be walked with regards to confidentiality, because for your child’s success other parents and students need to know tons of key information about your son or daughter. From day one of the new school year the kids in class need to understand clearly, what Child A’s diagnosis is, the child’s strengths, how they as a peer can help and include the child. Give them the tools they need to work with your child. And also that its okay to play, and talk and include this child.

One of the worst things that happens in all schools is not divulging information to the class about “child A.” What you don’t want is the kids stepping away because child A does act in a typical fashion, or yells and screams, or doesn’t understand long auditory instructions-any number of scenarios. And when the peers don’t understand, they will move away from the special needs child. And part of the success for a special needs children is working with his/her peers.

Part III – When your special needs child is alienated at school. October 28

Back to school for your special needs child – Is everyone on board?

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What everyone hopes for is an easy transition back to school. New teachers, new professionals, sometimes a new school.

And then comes the task of re-establishing goals, training, teaching and getting all those school professionals, the news ones, on board with what you’re doing for your special needs child. And of course you have your own independent consultant who’s tailoring a program for your child.

School is not a matter of having a free daycare for your child, or the school sitting your child in a corner and ignoring them. Because quite often this is exactly what will happen to any special needs child unless a parent is pro-active. One of the mistakes parents make is relying on their school district, teacher, and principal, to just “take care of things for them.”

It really isn’t up to them. And just so I don’t upset everyone. Many school professionals do care, but they are limited, and can only do what they can do, many have their own ideas of what that child can accomplish, and may disagree with the direction that you and your consultant are taking.

It’s up to you as the parent to be part of the team at the school with a solid credible program put together for the child, which includes academics, social skills, and if there is behavior, and it must be independently tailored for each individual child. It is never okay to take an intervention plan for one child and stick another childs’ name on it, and unfortunately this is done way too often.

Also it is key that the school is working with the parent. Home and school have to be in partnership, working together or your child is the one that will suffer.

Resources are limited in many school districts. But they are still there, unfortunately it is up to the parent to dig and find the resources you need. The finger-pointing that has gone on for so long that schools are not doing enough, won’t solve the problem. Parents must take a leading role, but also in a way where you are “pleasantly persistent” and remember that old saying don’t “burn your bridges”. If you’re angry or irritated at someone from the school, take a breather, and don’t react it won’t get you anywhere except maybe held at an arm’s length distance from school. There is wisdom in taking a day to digest instead of reacting, take up kickboxing, or roll out that punching bag. But don’t lose it at the school, because its impossible to take back something you’ve said in anger. And remember memories are long, and becomes easy to be labeled, “the problem parent.” It’s a balance you have to walk, but any parent with a special needs child is more than up to challenge.

Next Blog Oct 17 – Confidentiality and when your child is alienated at school.

A Child Out of Control

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Preparations are a must for any parent with a special needs child when participating in a school field trip. But even more so when a field trip is overnight.

But in schools unfortunately there are many special needs children who fall in what they call “the gray area” and have never been diagnosed. And worse they have no support.

On a class school trip one of the children who the school district—the principal—the teachers know has a severe challenge and the staff stresses “just no social skills with no diagnosis.” Instead of addressing this issue to obtain the right help for this child, its been ignored, by the parents, teachers, principal and school district.

But what happens on an overnight school field trip out-of-town supervised by volunteer parents, and only one school administrator/teacher. And only the teacher is aware of this child’s difficulties. How many potential problems do think are going to present themselves? What the supervising parents don’t know is this child may have triggers and anyone or a particular situation may inadvertently push one of these buttons.

The children bunk in dorms together with the girls in one building, the boys in another. Parents divide up and supervise in each building. This child is known in the small community he lives and because no one has ever diagnosed or pointed out a problem, the child’s behavior, triggers, lack of coordination, balance, social oddities are ignored, or just put off too, “that’s just the way he is”. And the parents of this child appear to have no idea there’s a problem. This child walks oddly, long uncombed hair, clothes never fit, lack of hygiene, avoids eye contact, and can’t stand to be touched. Uses shoulders—body to move away from others. Always hides and sneaks off into woods away from other children. The other children always irritate him. He is; however, brilliant academically and excels in certain areas.

What happens on this trip escalates and in hindsight any qualified consultant—therapist would have seen the potential problem at day one. The kids in school have seen this over and over and they just avoid the child. Parents aren’t in school and don’t see this child’s behavior, triggers, and how the school personnel are or aren’t dealing with it. But the school personnel everyday see the behavior—the triggers—the social oddities—the physical impairment.

Now after everyone arrives and the belongings unloaded, the children, parents, teacher gather for the facilities orientation. This child ignores instructions from the instructor at the center to where they’re staying for two days. This child continues to talk becoming disruptive and gloms onto one particular child. This other child has become a safety net for this child, apparently has for months at school. Because this child accepts all children for who they are. But a supervising parent has to step in and separate these children because this undiagnosed child keeps talking and won’t listen to the centers counselor and the safety instructions, disturbing everyone. Even after repeated requests, “stop talking, and listen.” The parent doesn’t know what problem they’re stepping into with this undiagnosed child. As the day progresses this child doesn’t follow directions, or does one moment the next does exactly what they’re instructed not to do. It’s as if they remember in one moment—have no idea there was a discussion the next. Or they say they know but can’t apply it. If you pay attention you begin to notice how the other children in class do not want to socialize with this child. Their body language when they are around this child shows their discomfort. This child picks up on their discomfort and continually is caught trying to drag off the one child/friend who accepts them for who they are, alone into the woods after being told for safety they have to stay with the group. And unfortunately, one parent is having to continue to step in and address the issue with this child over and over. The teacher on the field trip knows this child and refers to his struggles as “social skills deficit” and yet she still has done nothing to address the issue or alert the parents to what’s yet to come.

So after a day of outdoor activities this child becomes increasingly anxious. The dinner hour arrives and the kids all line up to enter the cafeteria where many others who are also visiting this center also snag a spot in line to get dinner.

Because the dinner hour is only served during a certain time frame the cafeteria is crowded. Tables are shared and empty spots are snatched up. This child sits with his friend two extra chairs remain at the table and are snatched up by one of the parents and another student. What happens next may not surprise anyone if you were paying attention to the signs. This child has now pulled up his hood over his head and says, “I’m going to sit somewhere else,” but the cafeteria is packed full with no empty seats and the parent says, “sit down there is no where else to sit, eat your dinner.” This child doesn’t he starts crying face turns pink, snatches utensils as if to throw something. The parent sees the meltdown in progress and goes directly to the teacher who is socializing with other parents in a nice private corner, alerts the teacher, and asks them to deal with the situation. The teacher approaches the child who is now holding their tray of food by the stairs rocking back and forth, with her hand extended out in front of her, body and head tilted back as if dealing with a wild animal. She tries to reason with this child and you can see how nervous she is and unable to break through, because this child has already tilted over the edge, weaving back and forth, head darting one way then the other before yanking his hood up higher to completely cover head, then sits on the stairs facing the wall with tray on lap giving the teacher his back. Crowds of other people are having to go around this child as he’s blocking the stairs. This teacher backs away and goes to get one of the male parents to deal with the child. This parent takes one look at the child, tries to talk to him then puts up both hands with a finality and steps back, the parents face resembles irritation with the teacher and you clearly hear this parent say to the teacher over and over “no” then the parent goes back to the table he’s at with other children.

The child at this time tosses his full plate of dinner into one of three gray dish pans outside the kitchen for the dirty dishes and leaves the cafeteria. Going outside where all the children have been warned not to do so alone because of the rural area they are in. But this teacher/principal watches, allows and she walks away. And where is this child now? Outside alone.

When the parents who know this child and the teacher are asked what’s wrong with this child, what’s the diagnosis and what triggers/behaviors does this child have, the response was shockingly, “I don’t know.”

As a school official, as a parent how comfortable are you with how some school districts ignore children in desperate need of help? Inclusion is a must, but it is imperative that all volunteer parents on a school outing are aware and provided necessary information to deal with a special needs child, whether diagnosed or undiagnosed. And of course, this should have come from the parents. Triggers, behaviors must be shared not kept secret. But looking back you can now see the other children’s wariness with this child. As apparently they’ve seen it, many times in school.

How would you respond if you were a supervising parent in a similar situation?

Originally posted on The Choice of Giving:

Do you know the difference between Autism and FAS? It may surprise you that many children who are actually FAS (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome) are diagnosed with Autism.

Why is that you may ask? Well it has to do with labeling. For a child to be diagnosed FAS communities often view Mom as someone who did this to their child, or “that woman drank throughout her pregnancy” and you know what, that is so wrong. FAS researchers in fact will tell you that many women don’t even know their pregnant when the damage is done, as Fetal Alcohol Syndrome happens in the first few weeks and before Mom knows she’s pregnant. In fact there is no safe level of alcohol consumption. Alcohol affects everyone differently everyone metabolizes alcohol at differentl rates. Some women can and have had a glass a wine with no affects, where as another woman had done the…

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