My hope for this Thanksgiving

We wish each of you a very happy Thanksgiving! This time of the year everyone asks “what are you thankful for?” and we list the usual..family, friends, health, home etc…. While these are all very important things to be thankful for …..there are Other things we should be thankful for. We live in the greatest country in the world, where I truly believe most people care about others. At times it seems like this isn’t true, but I think the “loud ones” get the attention. No matter what you think about who won the election, what you should be thankful for is the fact we not only have the freedom to vote for who we want, but to voice what we feel. Although, I am disheartened by the slanderous and hateful rhetoric I hear from some. I have seen some say horrible and blatant untruths about people who disagree with them, this is a dangerous slope and cooler heads and HEARTS need to prevail. I don’t want this to be a lecture on politics, but rather my thoughts on common decency. I have seen people say they aren’t welcome at family members’ homes because of who they voted for. This is very troubling and to be honest pathetic… If we as a country can’t have respectful debates, we will fail, and I for one am not willing to sit by and accept that. So while we all celebrate Thanksgiving, let’s make a common vow that we treat one another with respect. I am not asking that we all agree, because as my dad taught me, healthy debate encourages inner reflection and expansion of views. I hope this holiday season is that we treat one another with compassion and respect. When we try to squash the views of those who disagree with us by name calling and bullying, we in a sense are squashing their rights. As I said earlier this is a dangerous slope. I am reminded of a George Washington’s quote ” If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter” My hope for us as a nation is that we heal. So next year when we are asked what we are most thankful for I hope on everyone’s list is “That we have healed as a nation and truly show one another respect” image

Flipping Autism into Awesomism

Last week Mark, Peyton and I had the privilege to meet the awesome people at Flipboard. We love Flipboard in our home and are always spreading the “Awesomeness” of Flipboard to everyone and anyone who will listen. I find most people know of/use Twitter, Facebook, snapchat etc etc…but haven’t heard of Flipboard. This is a shame for so many reasons, but most of all because it truly has the ability to change the world. I know this may seem like an over statement, but let me explain why I say this. image

Mark Twain said “A person who won’t read has no advantage over one who can’t read” Reading is an important tool to learning about so many subjects that we may never otherwise be exposed to. I remember as a kid reading the covers of so many magazines, in stores and having them peak my interest in subjects. I taught my older kids to be inquisitive, and trust me they are..in fact there are times I get frustrated by their questions, and yes they are now adults : ) When Peyton was young I never saw  that desire in him. As I have stated before these were all warning signs to me. I knew I would need to help develop that desire in him to learn. With Flipboard I can teach him more than I can with other similar venues. When he was young he did “magazine therapy” We would sit for hours and I would teach him facial expressions, common words etc…this was a great way for him to recognize not only emotions, but also to build his vocabulary. I truly wish I had Flipboard back then, as I could and would have designed magazines that would have been even more helpful for Peyton. One of the most beautiful things about Flipboard is that I can have pictures, blogs and videos all in a magazine that can and do help Peyton learn. He has his own magazines and they help stir his creativity and promote learning. Not all autistic teens and adults learn to read and that’s where Flipboard can really help. While it is a “reader” it allows for beautiful pictures and videos as well. We all learn at a different rate and in different ways. Flipboard allows for many of those different learning styles” to be used!

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Denied No More

Sunshine is the best disinfectant.

From MySanAntonio.com“The Texas Education Agency finally did the right thing Wednesday – ending a policy penalizing school districts that did not cap special education services” Great news for all those parents desperately seeking help and school districts seeking resources for special needs students.

Credit Brian Rosenthal with bringing this issue to light with some of most relentless investigative journalism I’ve seen in quite a while. You can read all the details of the TEA announcement on the heels of Texas speaker Joe Straus sending a letter to the agency asking to stop the practice. I want us all to recognize Brian. In this time where it seems like each news source has their own agenda and favorites, Brian did some real journalism that makes this state, and this nation a better place. Follow Brian on twitter @BrianRosenthal as well as see other places to find him in his profile, most notably the Houston Chronicle for allowing him pursue this story. Let him know you appreciate his fine work, and your kids really appreciate it. Very Positive news for all!

Thanks Brian!….Mark, Lynne and Peyton

 

Also see: http://www.awesomismmom.com/denied-education/

Denied Followup