Tuesday, May 24, 2011

'Summer Reading!: Home - SpecialNeedsParentCoach.com

A Picture of a eBookImage via Wikipedia
'Summer Reading!: 
Home - SpecialNeedsParentCoach.com'

Are you concerned about your child loosing interest in reading during the summer break?

I grew up about 3 blocks from a library that is housed in a mansion on St. Charles Ave.  Milton H. Latter Memorial Library was a weekly activity for us.  The grounds take up an entire city block! When we moved, taking the Streetcar to this life-changing house was a treat!
Whenever we’re in New Orleans, I just want to pass by it to relive the wonder-of-reading memories!

I wanted to instill this same love of reading in my son that my Parents had bestowed upon me. 

We bring our soon-to-be six year old to the library during the school year. His elementary school encourages reading, independently and with Parents. His Teachers send home a monthly reading list, a reading log and gives treats for returning the list.  His Principals rewards the Students with a 'Reading Water Fun Day' every Spring for collectively reading a certain number of books. He enjoys the Summer Reading Program that is available at 5 local libraries.

Yes, our kids with special needs can read..., can enjoy reading..., and can become lifetime readers!

Our son really enjoys reading with his Dad.  I think it is because he gets him to be more animated with all of the faces and voice changes.  Each book read is like putting on a mini-play with just 2 cast members! 

We recommend that Parents use a variety of reading tools or choose the one that best suits your child. You may find that depending on what your child is reading will determine the preferred reading modem.  Our son likes cd/books, dvd/books, online reading (Tar Heel Reader)and books from his school and community libraries.  This summer, we want to introduce him to reading with an Amazon Kindle or Nook.  I hope they have our family favorite---Charlotte's Web by E.B. White

Additionally, we have learned about an online Reading resource with blogs, tips and much more!

Prevent summer reading loss!

Get your FREE guide:
"The Ten Essentials of Balanced Living for Parents of Children with Special Needs."

You'll also receive, with my compliments:

1. The Overwhelmed No More! Newsletter- with practical tips and inspiring ideas every month for parents of children with special needs who want a more manageable, balanced, and joyful life.
2. The Special Needs Parent Coach Survival Guide
3. Your Life Balance Quiz - create an Action Plan

Home - SpecialNeedsParentCoach.com

at SpecialNeedsParentCoach.com, you'll find resources for:

  • Parents of children with special needs who are feeling overwhelmed, and want systems and strategies to get life under control and running smoothly
  • Special needs professionals looking for ways to support parents and families
  • Parent coaches who want to gain expertise in working with parents of children with special needs
  • Schools, organizations, and companies wishing to begin or expand their program supporting parents of children with special needs
  • Toolkit for Special Needs Organizations and Businesses
  • E-Books
Thanks Joan!
To contact Founder Joan Celebi,Ed.M.,CLC call 978-263-7567.

So let's read with our kids this summer.  Reading opens up the world to your child.

EnjoyHi!Autism believes 'Life on the Autism Spectrum can be ENJOYable.'
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Friday, May 20, 2011

Enjoying Summer!


'Enjoying Summer!'
Today is the last day of school!
Yes, we enjoyed a productive, fun and informative school year.
Now, is the time of the year when we let our son TAKE CHARGE!
  • sleep late!
  • stay up late!
  • eat candy!
  • go to the movie-theater during the week!
  • sleep-over on a weekday!
Yes, we know, ... still focus on:
  1. Speech/Language
  2. Penmanship
  3. Occupational Therapy techniques
  4. Adaptive Physical Education skills
  5. Sensory Diet
  6. Socialization & Peer Engagement development enhancements
  7. Numbers: Addition & Subtraction
  8. Counting: - Money, coin recognition, amount and spell
Will pick 2 days a week for this, especially since our son is entering the Extended School Year Program in preparation for Kindergarten.

But, on the other 5 days of his Summer weeks,

Here's some of our 'Enjoying Summer!' list of activities:

'Have AUTISM...Still Travel!' 

  1.  Project Independence at Gulf Island WaterPark in Mississippi 
  2. Lynn Meadows Discovery Center Museum(camps, in/outdoors) 
  3. Audubon Zoo animals here we come!
  4.  Audubon Nature Institute: Zoo, Aquarium & Insectarium and other adventure centers
  5. Proud to have served as a Adviser for this community Board: Kids Konnection Playground at Tammany Trace
  6. Explore! Experience! Learn! at The Louisiana Children's Museum in New Orleans
  7. Local libraries for Summer Reading Programs! Also, you can go online for many libraries to learn about kids, teens, family and adult patrons summer fun activities,..., or just to read:  Digital Library-The Online Books Page ; Internet Public Library 
  8.  Ringling Brothers Barnum Bailey Circus 
  9. connecting to love, character and the inner spirit in your heart:  VBS-Vacation Bible School Group; Vacation Bible School - Inside Out & Upside Down on Main Street
  10. Sensory Star Resort  6th Birthday Party during 4th of July holiday!
  11. enjoying summer movies at a Sensory-Friendly Films theater www.autism-society.org/  AMC Theatre

 Let's keep sharing fun activities for our kids to enjoy while they are on Summer break!


'Have AUTISM...Still Travel!' ('EnoyHi5Autism' on TravBuddy.com)
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Thursday, May 19, 2011

White House Disability Call


'White House Disability Call'

The next White House Disability Group  is scheduled for Thursday, May 26, 2011 at 3:00PM Eastern.
Why call-in?
  1. helps keep you more informed
  2. updates you on various disability issues
  3. introduce you to persons who work on disability issues in the Federal government

This month's White House Disability Group Call will include updates on civil rights, health care, and fiscal/budget issues.  

This call is off the record and not for press purposes.

Also, each month the White House Disability Group  Call utilizes FEDERAL RELAY CAPTIONED TEXT with a online support, email contact and a toll free call in number to order the service.

Listen in, ask a question, give a comment....
The White House Disability Group email distribution list requires that you fill out the contact us form in the disabilities section.

White House Disability Group

This month's call will feature:
  • Secretary of Transportation - Ray LaHood
  • Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Department of Education - Russlynn Ali
  • Director of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, Department of Labor -  Patricia Shiu

Conference Call Info.: [U.S. area]

Dial in for Listeners:(800) 230-1085
Title:  White House Disability Call (use instead of code)
Date of Call: May 26, 2011
Start Time:  3:00PM Eastern (dial in 5 minutes early)
Live Captioning - White House Disability Group Call (May, 26, 2011)

I would encourage you to call in about five minutes early due to the large volume of callers.

This White House Disability Group Call  is off the record and not for press purposes (800) 230-1085. 

Again, for live captioning, at the start time of the event, please login by clicking on the link below.  PLEASE ONLY USE THIS FEATURE IF YOU ARE DEAF OR HARD OF HEARING.

Thus far, our favorite section is the Q&A and favorite topic is about Autism, considered a developmental disability.


White House Disability Group

Live Captioning - White House Disability Group Call (May, 26, 2011)


The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington DC 20500

White House Disability Group Call
(800) 230-1085

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Legislation & Parents Resource on Restraints and Seclusion

'Legislation & Parents Resource on Restraints and Seclusion'


May 18, 2011
RE:  [Update:  LA State Senate Passed SB59!]

Thank you to all of our Louisiana State Senators! SB59: 35 Yeas 0 Nays 
Thank you Senator Jack Donahue for authoring SB59 and gaining all of the support of your State Senate Legislators!
 La Teach SB 59 Passes the Senate!!!!!!!!!
19 minutes ago · [Facebook]

 Brenda Lee Cosse’, Parent Advocate

Today, we are sharing excerpts of a letter we emailed to some of state Legislators. We hope that you will be inspired to communicate your views with your leaders,too.  You may choose to call, write a letter, email, text, Twitter, Facebook or use other social media that your Legislator shares on their website. Legislators are elected by the people and they want to know what their constituents think. 

May 17, 2011

To:  Louisiana State Legislators

RE: FYI: TASH: Restraints and Seclusion Parent Guide

Greetings LA State Legislators,

This month, our Senate Education Committee supported LA Senate Bill SB 59 authored by Senator Jack Donahue(R-11) . SB59 which focuses on guidelines for the appropriate use of Restraints and Seclusion in our Louisiana Schools.  Soon, this bill will be voted on by more legislators.  I am hoping to be able to inform the Self-Advocates and Families with Special Needs whom I represent that SB59 - primarily authored by Senator Jack Donahue - has been supported by our Louisiana Legislator.

In light of this hope, I am sharing an online tool that is free and can be downloaded for Parents to understand about the use of Restraints and Seclusion in schools. TASH explains, " Shouldn’t School Be Safe?’ is a free resource developed for parents and written by parents that offers insight and advice to respond to and prevent restraint and seclusion."  TASH -"Offers Free Parent Guide on Restraint and Seclusion . For more info.  about TASH, refer to  TASH- Equity, Opportunity and Inclusion for People with Disabilities .

'Shouldn't School Be Safe?'  is a general publication and not targeted to any particular state, disability, special need, age group, etc...  As a Parent of a 5 year old who has attended school since the age of 3, I am mindful of what, how, when , where, why and who provides services for my son.  I am responsible for ensuring that my son develops, learns, grows, contributes to and enjoys life – even on the Autism Spectrum.  My son enjoys bowling, computers, festivals, nature walks, gymnastics, 2k races, beignets and school.  Yes, he faces challenges:
  •  as a Student with Sensory Processing Integration needs who utilizes his schools Sensory Room as part of his Sensory Diet; 
  • as a Student who desires peer engagement and therefore participates in socialization strategies via after-school school-based P.A.L.S. (Play And Learn Social Skills); and
  • as a Student who learns in a 'uniquely different' way by increasing his communication with P.E.C.S. (Picture Exchange Communication System).
What many Parents like myself are concerned about for our children with special needs is the use of Restraints and Seclusion to address undesirable, inappropriate and dangerous behaviors, for every Student needing this help.  We understand that some measures must be taken to maintain order and safety.  We hope that research-based, proven techniques will appropriately be applied.  Additionally, we ask that you support SB59 to provided guidelines and training for the appropriate use of Restraints and Seclusion in our Louisiana schools.

twitter-icon by silan.tw
Legislators have many means of communicating with constituents, stakeholders, organizations and agencies.  As you are aware, many of your Constituents ‘like’ that our Legislators inform us via email blasts, social networking sites and micro-blog affiliates. Many of your Voting Supporters rely on social media as their preferred conduit of 24/7 news and networking.  These collaborative platforms provide instantaneous connections with hundreds of people –who then share with their networks–and before you know it your bill, proposal, event, fundraiser is supported by people whom you may have never reached through traditional means.
This is exactly how I learned about SB59 – from  LaTEACH Action Alert-'It's Time to Contact Senate Education Committee Members'and LaTEACH 'Action Alert-Next Critical Step for Advocacy. For those who were unable to meet at the LA State Capitol, LaTEACH provided a link to the Senate Education Committee Meeting LIVE via the LaTEACH Facebook page.

I am proud to share SB59 and TASH’s  'Shouldn't School Be Safe?' on my 'EnjoyHi5Autism' global sites. Also, I have shared a poll on Facebook  'Have you reviewed the TASH Parent Guide 'Shouldn't Schools Be Safe?' on Restraints and Seclusion? ' in hopes of sharing this free resource with Louisianans and other interested Parents, agencies and advocacy organizations.  
Here is a link to our original post about TASH's Restraint and Seclusion Parent Guide: 'EnjoyHi5!Autism' shares'Tash-group-offers-advice-to-parents' .

LaTEACH –Louisiana Together Educating All Children
Want some tips on how to be a more effective member of this grassroots movement?  Check out our 10 Tips to get your voice heard this legislative session by clicking HERE

Event Planning & Strategic Training & FUNdraising

Also, 'EnjoyHi5Autism' shares on Google Buzz, Google Reader, Vimeo, and Viddler.
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Yes, We are coming to the close of another school year! But, for Parents of a Student with Special Needs, we must stay active, alert and advocate for our son, even throughout the summer break.
Likewise, although our son is only 5 years old, we are laying a foundation for his future. Now, is the time for us to steer him on a graduation track that will hopefully lead him to a high school diploma, higher education(college/vo-tech), an internship and a career of his choice.

This is why we subscribe to Wrightslaw. They inform us about diploma options and requirements. Yes, we know that the school system does this too. But, Wrightslaw shares on a professional Parent level that we can understand and relate to as Parents of a child receiving a Free and Appropriate Public Education(FAPE)via a Special Education Services with a Local Education Authority (LEA) in a Least Restrictive Environment(LRE) that incorporates Inclusion methods with 'typical peers' in General Education classes that considers his Autism and Sensory Processing Integration(SPI) needs.

Throughout the year, Wrightslaw emails us their newsletter 'Special Ed Advocate'. 'SpED Ad', as we refer to it, keeps us abreast about issues that impact our son's life. Today, we received an email entitled, 'Certificate Program v. Regular Diploma? No Way!'. You must read about this issue and form your opinion. Go to

To subscribe to the Wrightslaw  'Special Ed Advocate', go to  'Special Ed Advocate'. This Wrightslaw newsletter is listed as ISSN: 1538-3202 with 85,030 Subscribers as of May 17, 2011!

Wrightslaw has a publication for kids that you can list your business, organization and special needs services in for others to learn and request your help. We are listed under NEW LEVEL Consultants & Affiliates,LLC as 'Planning Successful Events!", an Events Planning & Strategic Training company that focuses on 'People with Disabilities are ValueABLE!'


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Sunday, May 15, 2011

f2fhic - LA Family to Family Health Information Center

'Autism in My State'  is a new series that will highlight Autism advocacy, info., legislation, viewpoints, services, events and stories from each state.  In May, we are focusing on the state of Louisiana.  
Next month, we will select another state.  If you have interesting info. you want to share, send us a link or email.

SOCIAL SECURITY & Disabilities
[LaDisabilityTalk] How Social Security Decides if you are disabled! (FOA MEDICAID and others too!)


Social Security is not the only program that uses Social Security criteria to
determine disability for qualifying.

The Family Opportunity Act Medicaid Buy-in program and others also use the
Social Security criteria. 

Therefore, it's important for us to know how that works...

THIS IS FOR CHILDREN AND ADULTS alike so families need to be informed.
 Karen Scallan
Program Director
Louisiana Family to Family Health Information Center
A Statewide Program of Bayou Land Families Helping Families
204 East Bayou Road
Thibodaux, Louisiana 70301

Phone: 1-800-331-5570
Fax: 1-985-447-7988
Email: f2fhic@bellsouth.net
WebPage: www.blfhf.org/f2fhic/index

----- Forwarded Message ----
From: Disability.gov <disability.gov@service.govdelivery.com>
To: f2fhic@bellsouth.net
Sent: Tue, May 10, 2011 6:23:30 AM
Subject: Disability.gov Eligibility for Benefits Update: Who Decides if I Am

Explains how the Social Security Administration decides if you are disabled and
the five-step process to determine if you are eligible to receive disability
. Decisions about whether or not a person is considered disabled for
Social Security purposes are made by state Disability Determination Services.
For more information visit