As a special needs parent, advocate and blogger, I get overwhelmed just as many other parents. Whenever I feel down or defeated, watching movies of triumph, inspiration, and perseverance offers me a sense of motivation, insight and sometimes creative revelations. A couple of years ago, I wrote a piece about my Top Ten most Inspirational Movies about Disabilities, and it’s still one of my most popular posts to date. Inspired by my reader’s interests and my love of movies that helped me get through some tough times, I thought I might write more often about movies that are disability related and recognized by the academy and other titans of film industry.
My husband loves to grill and I love to cook. Among the many things we share in common, cooking for family gatherings and working together in the kitchen is something we truly enjoy doing. So, when my husband Kirk told me his mum and brother were coming to spend some time with us before returning to Atlanta and then their final destination - the lovely island of Jamaica, we wanted to welcome them with a dinner fit for an island queen and prince.
Your Spring Cleaning tasks could mean Goodwill Career Creations!
It is spring cleaning season! It's the time of year that gets us doing chores that aren't part of our normal cleaning routines. If you're anything like me, it's time to clean the china cabinet, get the oven back to its original shine, and start going through our closets and drawers to fish out all the clothes that we've outgrown or just stopped wearing over six months ago! But what if we could do our spring cleaning and donate to a good cause at the same time?
On board with safety planning.
As a first time grandmother to be, I have been helping my daughter and son-n-law with planning for the arrival of our newest family member. Safety preparation has been a hot topic for our family as my daughter's delivery date nears!
Every 33 seconds a child under 13 is involved in a car crash in the United States. For younger children, car seats can dramatically reduce the risk of fatality or injury – but over half of car seats are either installed or used incorrectly. For older children, buckling up is critical. A full 50% of children age 8-14 who were killed in car crashes from 2011-2015 were not restrained.
If I had a quarter for every time someone said they were sorry after learning I have a son with autism, I would have a small fortune! It’s true that having a child with autism has its challenges, but because of a supportive family, great friends, the expertise and guidance from colleagues, and a team of compassionate and talented educators, Richie is doing great. And all is good because we see the positive side to family life with autism.
Why I'm Going to #LightItUpBlue for Understanding and Acceptance!
Our family has been active members of the autism community since Richie was diagnosed at the age of two - thirteen years ago!
Since April is World Autism Month, our family will #LightItUpBlue with Autism Speaks to increase understanding and awareness of autism. Of course, it should go without mentioning for those of you who visit my blog often, that this is a deeply personal topic for me as a mom of a teen with autism. It's highly likely that you know someone with autism too since the CDC estimates autism's prevalence as 1 in every 68 children in the United States.
Recently, I wrote a post about how the Americans with Disabilities Act has made many life-changing improvements that have successfully increased the participation of individuals with disabilities in their communities. However, there is still much work that needs to be done.
It wasn’t long ago that individuals with disabilities had little control over their personal finances. Any funds and benefits received from federal and government sources prohibited recipients with disabilities the opportunity to save and plan for their future appropriately. In 2014, this very unfair financial stipulation was changed.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): Historic Civil Rights Acts of Triumph with Worldwide Influence
Every year, we celebrate the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The historic law was enacted in 1990, and our country is in a better place because of it – and other nations have taken notice. ADA prohibits the discrimination against people with disabilities. This includes employment, transportation, communication, public accommodations, activities, and government services. It states that “individuals with disabilities must have access to all public activities and places, just as anyone without disabilities.”
My Journey to Improve my Son's Behavior with Positive Behavior Support: Part 7 - Managing the Positive Behavior Support Plan
I can’t tell you how excited I am to reach our final segment of this series. It has been an extraordinary experience for our family. Using the positive behavior support process, we have watched Richie’s transformation from being someone who only knew to express himself with aggressive fits of anger to someone who controls that urge and replaced it with other ways to communicate his frustration.
Managing the positive behavior support plan is a crucial component for it to continue to work successfully. From the beginning, all team members agreed to commit to fulfilling the expectations of the PBS process.
All family gatherings are special. The fall season is upon us and brings with it the Thanksgiving holiday. Families come together to celebrate and be thankful for having one another in each other’s lives. Special needs families prepare to celebrate the season’s festivities. Although our experience is a little different, we are grateful for many things.
The Annual 2016 LATISM Conference Highlights Latino Entrepreneurship & Advocates For Latino Empowerment
I had promised that I would write about my experience at this year’s LATISM (Latinos in Tech and Innovative Social Media) Conference in Orlando, but we (all digital influencers) have been on the move since the event ended a few weeks ago. The LATISM conference offers digital influencers from across the country the opportunity to network, collaborate, and learn new ways of using social media platforms for advancing our individual social causes – and this year's event didn’t disappoint.
November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, and if you’ve ever visited any of Chef Ronaldo Linares website, Twitter, or Facebook pages, you’ll learn in an instant about his passion for improving the dietary lives of individuals living with diabetes. He does this with his absolute love and passion for the culinary arts inspired by the savoring tastes of Cuban cuisine.
October is National Bullying Prevention Month, but Efforts for Strengthening Inclusion and Acceptance Must Be Ongoing
Bullying has been around for far too long to be a passing fad. It’s an infectious direction that tends to spread quickly if the climate allows for it. It’s the end of October, and this is the month for which parents, students, educators, and members of our community work together to raise awareness about bullying and how to prevent it. However, our combined efforts shouldn’t begin and end in the month October, we must all work hard on bullying prevention throughout the year – every year.
Halloween is a fun holiday favorite for many kids, but for kids with sensory issues and special needs, it could be a night filled with discomfort, anxiety and fear. I learned over the years with Richie that it was okay to get him to try new things on Halloween, but I would never push him to go beyond his comfort level. My son has autism and with it comes many sensory related issues. This includes changes in routines, fear of sounds, uncomfortable clothing and more. I found these tips to work well with us, hopefully they’ll work for you too!
From September 15 through October 15, our country celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month. It’s a time for recognizing and appreciating the many Hispanic cultures and customs that have contributed to and influenced our American way of life for years.
The word is out! This year, ABLE United started a program that allows individuals with disabilities and their families to plan for the future by saving money and building assets without losing their benefits. You might remember my previous post highlighting the launch of this beneficial program and how you and your family can start saving like we did!
Many of us have been anxiously waiting for the premier of the pilot episode for “Speechless.” The show debuted last night and I have to write that it didn’t disappoint. In fact, it was on-point! Speechless is about an American family of five that includes a teen with special needs. The story line is centered around their incredibly, resilient and humorous ability to cope with the many challenges faced by special needs families today. As parents of children with disabilities, we can all relate to Minnie Driver’s character, “Maya,” who is a relentless and fierce mother who will stop at nothing to protect her son JJ (played by Micah Fowler).
It’s Back-to-School season and orientation night is on the horizon for many. There will be so much information shared, many forms to be filled out, and many questions you may or may not remember to ask. Please note that there are no stupid questions. If you happen to be a parent that isn't very familiar with all the confusing acronyms or programs, you're not alone. Just know this - being uninformed is not the same as not caring and don’t allow anyone to tell you otherwise. Knowledge is indeed power, but no one is born with it. Parents and educators are equally responsible for academic success. There is no better reason for building collaborative relationships and having a partnership attitude. There are many topics that are covered at the open house meeting or in a school’s handbook rules of conduct, but often times the following questions are not answered:
Learn about the newly launched savings program made possible by ABLE United:
You won't want to miss this important Twitter Chat!
#ABLEUnited Twitter Chat
Author: Christine Goulbourne