Goodbye for Now

Due to a workload that has increased in my “day job,” I’m going to have to retire from authoring here.

I’m encouraged by the introductions and relationships forged here.  Please continue to talk to each other, and sharing your resources.  Keep following the blogs of other parents.  It helps in ways you might not know about yet.

If you want to find me, I’ll still be writing at my personal blog, Sparks and Butterflies, or you can email me at sparksfley@gmail.com.  I’ll also be attending BlogHer in July, so if you’re going, you can find me there in person.


Monday Headlines

No parenting break for those with aging disabled children

CEDAR RAPIDS – For some families, parenting is a lifelong task.

“If you had told both of us back when we were first married this would be our life, I would have said ‘No way,'” said Mary DeWees, mother to Brenda
DeWees, a mentally disabled 47-year-old with cerebral palsy, and two other children who live on their own.

Classes First 

I would like to respond to the article discussing how IEPs (individualized education plans) cannot cover sports participation. I am a teacher and coach and have had many athletes who fit this criteria. I will steadfastly support the fact that students who are engaged in school activities are typically more successful in school. However, I do not feel that KSHSAA should allow students who do not meet the academic requirements to participate in competition.

**At first I thought I was going to riled on this one.  Once I read the whole letter – I agreed wholeheartedly.  If the child can’t pass the classes – then the IEP is not doing it’s job.  The child’s work is supposed to be modified.


Free-for-All Friday

It’s a Free-for-All!
Got a rant?
Got a praise?
Good news?
Bad news?
Share in the comments whatever’s pressing on you.


Thursday Tools – Ablephone

Today’s tool is the Ablephone!

From their website:

ABLE-PHONE is a leading manufacturer of Voice Activated Telephones. We have been producing Voice Activated Speakerphones for over 14 years. ABLE-PHONE is the result of the re-directed efforts of a company started in 1960. In 1985 our product developer became acutely aware of the needs of the physically disabled following a diving injury to his stepson resulting in a 4-5-6 incomplete quadriplegic teenager. Our developer noticed the unfortunate lack of functional, affordable equipment available to persons with physical disabilities. Thus, we have dedicated our energies to enhance the quality of life and provide reliability and freedom to persons with physical disabilities.

ABLE-PHONE develops and manufactures Voice Activated Phones and Hands Free Telephones designed to be used by persons with little or no use of their arms and hands such as quadriplegics. All ABLE-PHONE products can be operated without the need to manipulate any type of switch. In order to accomplish this, we developed a proprietary whistle detection circuit that commands the functions of our phones. Our whistle detector circuit will accept a range of frequencies so you do not have to whistle a particular frequency or pitch. ABLE-PHONE offers telephones from the traditional Puff-N-Sip to the state-of-the-art Voice Activated Phone.

WHY DO WE USE WHISTLE CONTROL? Our extensive research and field testing determined that a whistle is sufficiently different from usual sounds to permit selective HANDS FREE telephone operation. Our phones will recognize a whistle tone within a range of frequencies so you don’t have to hit a particular note thereby making operation very easy. In addition, we provide a jack on our ABLE-PHONES so you can connect your favorite adaptive switch if desired.

IS VOICE RECOGNITION RIGHT FOR ME? Voice recognition is convenient and user-friendly but does have some pitfalls and drawbacks—-NOISE. Noise is any sound in the room other than your speech such as a TV, radio, medical equipment, speech from other people in the room, air conditioners, etc. Here’s why: As part of the original setup; you record your custom dialing commands (names) such as “call John”, ” call Hospital”, etc. The voice recognition dialer records your names, and every other sound in the room at the time. When you later command the phone to dial with a name command the dialer is going to look for the exact same sounds that it “digitized” when you first programmed the unit. If there are any significant differences in your voice or background noises, the dialer will not recognize the name command. If your speech changes significantly from morning to night or day to day, speech recognition is probably not for you. Most speech recognition products for computers and industrial equipment require that you wear a headset to minimize outside interference. We utilize a state-of-the-art voice recognition design in order to allow us to provide speakerphone operation without a headset.


Wednesday Definitions – Call for Input

For the month of April I asked you what you wanted defined.  I didn’t get any answers…  So – I’m asking again for your help on Wednesdays for the month of May.  What do you want or need defined.  What gives your trouble… leaves you asking, “What is…?”

Then, for the month of June (if my readers cooperate 🙂 ), I’ll post answers.

This could be therapy terms you’re unfamiliar with, resources needed defining, diagnosis definitions, or just an acronym thrown out there – and you have no clue what it is!

Put your questions in the comments, and then I’ll answer them each Wednesday in June – hopefully. Ask away!


Tuesday Blogger Call Outs

I’m trying to build up my cache of Tuesday Featured Blogger interviews…  If you know of a blogger that hasn’t yet been interviewed here, and has a child with special needs (of any and all sorts) – please point me in the direction of their blog.


Monday Headlines

Disability in History: Aristotle Sucks

How much do you know about Down syndrome in history?

Most of us know that John Langdon Down first described the characteristics of Down syndrome in 1866 and that Jrme Lejeune in 1959 was the first person to identify the presence of the extra twenty first chromosome in people with Down syndrome. Most of us know that that until the seventies it was unheard of to raise a child with Down syndrome at home and that until the parent revolution of the seventies and eighties, it was virtually guaranteed that a child with Down syndrome would be institutionalized. Not that their weren’t exceptions, of course; there were always those renegades who didn’t buy into the prevailing thought easily summed up as “let us shun difference” of the nineteenth and and early twentieth centuries. Those renegades were truly the pioneers of disability advocacy.

Another blog entry I think you need to go read.

Labeled ADHD – Survivor – SUCCESS

Labeled “ADHD”, survivor, exactly what do I mean? Raising my son, who is now 19, I recall the negativity of this diagnosis placed him as a child at the time he was 6 years old. Givng them a label, I was told then by others – one that each year the following teacher was aware of the ADHD child from the teacher who had him the year before. And survivor is what it is for an ADHD child, for they are brilliant children who are only misunderstood.

An Exceptional day

As David Barstow’s daughter boarded the school bus Friday morning, joy gurgled within the proud father and trickled down his cheeks. Barstow was crying because his daughter was just so happy.


Free-for-All Friday

It’s a Free-for-All!
Got a rant?
Got a praise?
Good news?
Bad news?
Share in the comments whatever’s pressing on you.


Thursday Tools – Sensory Interventions

Today’s tool – Sensory Interventions!

From their website:

Sensory Interventions was designed primarily to help parents and therapists to find appropriate sensory integration products for helping children with Sensory Processing Disorders to develop Sensory Integration and achieve their maximum potential. Many of these sensory integration products and developmental toys are also useful as Sensory Toys for Autism and Occupational Therapy Toys for Special Needs Children of all exceptionalities including toys for autistic children.

As a teacher, sibling, and parent of children with special needs, I understand how complicated life can get and how you so often just need a simple and sensible sensory intervention for your child’s needs. Our goal is to provide sensible solutions to sensory processing disorders. Our hope is that we can provide a helpful and convenient source for one stop shopping for sensory integration products and information on sensory processing disorder for parents of children with special needs. We hope to be a helpful companion as you travel down the special path to sensory integration , hand in hand, with that special child.

In our desire to better meet your needs by providing you with a wider diversity and selection of products, we have teamed with Amazon and their extensive inventory so that you can have one-stop shopping and buy with confidence knowing that your order is SAFE and SECURE. That is why when you order from our web site, you will need to use your existing Amazon.com account or create a new Amazon.com account. This will support our site and help us to expand our products and services offered to you. By using Amazon technology at Checkout, your order is also backed by Amazon’s A-to-z Guarantee which guarantees your purchase, the condition of the item you buy and its timely delivery. If you have any questions about your order or the ordering process, please feel free to email us at any time.


Wednesday Definitions – Call for Input

For the month of April I asked you what you wanted defined.  I didn’t get any answers…  So – I’m asking again for your help on Wednesdays for the month of May.  What do you want or need defined.  What gives your trouble… leaves you asking, “What is…?”

Then, for the month of June (if my readers cooperate 🙂 ), I’ll post answers.

This could be therapy terms you’re unfamiliar with, resources needed defining, diagnosis definitions, or just an acronym thrown out there – and you have no clue what it is!

Put your questions in the comments, and then I’ll answer them each Wednesday in June – hopefully. Ask away!


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