Monday, November 19, 2012

FETA Group - Sacramento: The Informed Advocates Are Here!

FETA Group - Sacramento: The Informed Advocates Are Here!: November 18, 2012  marks the kickoff Meet & Greet of the very first cohort for FETA Group  Sacramento , a new study and support group for p...

Monday, July 30, 2012

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Being an Effective Parent Advocate = Learning and Preparation!

Dear Fellow Parent Advocates,

If you're like me and many of the parents in my circle, you work tirelessly to ensure that your child has what he/she needs to be successful in life... this may include researching, attending workshops, reading, taking notes, organizing health and educational records, meeting with other parents, experts, and school staff, finding the appropriate programs and services, etc.. the list goes on.

Advocacy isn't just about being able to effectively articulate and ask for what your child needs. It's much more than that. It's about learning all you can and planning.

Joining a parent group can help parents learn the ropes of advocacy. For new parents, this can be a daunting process if you are not prepared. In the FETA (From Emotions to Advocacy) Group - Sacramento, parents will study all of the aspects of advocacy including preparation.

The FETA Group - Sacramento will study the Wrightslaw text, "From Emotions to Advocacy" by Pamela Wright and Pete Wright.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Monday, February 20, 2012

Simple Ideas to Improve Fine Motor Skills and Increase Hand Strength

I have to recommend this wonderful page! OT Mom has some great ideas to develop and improve the fine motor skills, hand strength and dexterity of kindergarten and preschool children. These are simple things to do at home.

Visit:  - I will be trying some of OT Mom's ideas for sure!

My husband and I have been doing exercises with our daughter to increase her hand strength, and we just keep working at it. She actually has a lot of fun with it.

Today I sliced a bunch of tangerines for her to squeeze one-by-one and make fresh orange juice. She came to me with a tangerine that she dug a hole into and said, "Mom, I'm gonna make some juice." So we just went with it. She didn't even know she was getting a workout!

Try this!

Another making homemade cards for Valentine's Day. Sure beats store-bought cards. This is something we do each year, and this year she had a special day with her Auntie She She. We had to make 30+ cards, so it wasn't an easy task.

To start, we always print her photo and she cuts them out. For decoration, I bought her some tiny foam Valentine stickers (only $1.00 at Dollar Store) to use. We also used lace doilies (also from Dollar Store) and pastel colored paper cut into hearts. Just a little glue and Ta-Da! Happiness! So in essence she got a workout making these cards, and so did Auntie Sheila.

Try this for Valentine's Day or any day will do!

Keep on working at it!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Disability labels (and any other kinds of labels) do not dictate a child's future

I read a truly inspiring article, "Annette Jenner: Brainiac" by Juliette Weiland on the Smart KIDS with Learning Disabilities website. It's about a woman named Annette Jenner who triumphed over her dyslexia "label" by pursuing higher education and earning a Ph.D. She is now a teacher and brain researcher. Because of having dyslexia she was predestined not to go to the college.
"As a high school freshman with dyslexia, she was told she wouldn't be able to go to college. Instead of college preparatory course work, she was taught how to fill out job applications for McDonald's. Today, she's a brain researcher and professor at Syracuse University. Take a look at her story."

Never let someone tell you that your child's disability or anything else dictates what they are capable of accomplishing in life!

This article reminds me of the importance of setting high standards for our children. It also brings to mind that schools and parents need to explore alternatives for children to help them learn and progress. Within all school systems are obstacles, but obstacles can be broken and alternate paths can be found. The parents have a huge responsibility to seek out what is appropriate for their child.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Coloring inside the lines

Today my daughter is at home sick. I had to cancel her occupational therapy appointment. There were no make-up dates available that were not during school time. To attend during school time, they pull the child out of class. I am opposed to "pull out" because I don't want her to miss out on class time and fall behind. We opt for before-after school appointments. So far this has not been a problem but I can see issues when she starts attending school a full day. Many teachers prefer to hold sessions during the regular school day. I asked the therapist what I can do at home with her this week? She suggested two activities:

One activity..."Practice writing. Her pencil grasp needs work." OK, will do. We do that almost every day anyway.

The other activity..."Practice coloring inside the lines. She colors outside the lines." I found myself thinking a second about that one and felt I needed to blog about it. My daughter loves coloring, but she doesn't understand why she has to color between the lines. Is it to teach her motor control? Or to conform to rules? She doesn't enjoy coloring at all when the method is forced on her. It limits her creativity. If I force her do things too uniformly, I am stifling her creativity. I can see the need for learning to be accurate, but not with art. Art is supposed to be enjoyable, a passion, an outlet for expression.