Some of us feel a little apprehension about starting a new school year alongside our children. This can especially be difficult for parents of children who struggle with reading, writing, math, staying focused or being organized.
Transition and change for kids of all ages isn’t always easy. Transitioning from a long summer break back into the old school routine is harder yet. For children and older kids with disabilities, the back to school transition can be intensely challenging for the entire family. Here are some tips that helped us get back in gear for school routines!
#ABLEUNITED is Celebrating its First Anniversary as the Savings Difference Makers in the Disability Community
It’s been a year since I opened my ABLE United account for my son Richie and not only has our family been able to save and plan for Richie’s future, we have something we’ve never had before. We have peace of mind.
Happy Father’s Day to all The Special Needs Dads Who Turned Challenging Times into Special Blessings
Raising children with special needs can be as challenging as you might imagine it to be. You’ve seen us from time to time. We’re the ones walking past you with the scratched arms from frustrated pinching. You’ve seen us lifting our child out of the car and gently placing them onto their wheelchair. You’ve seen us leave an entire cart of groceries in the middle of the isle because our child was about to have a major meltdown. You’ve watched us chase our kid down the street after they've masterfully escaped from our home. Maybe, you were the neighbor who brought them home to us when we thought he or she was sleeping soundly in their bed! Perhaps you’ve spotted us sitting in our car alone crying or just taking a moment of nothing eventful to ourselves. You may have wondered, “How do they do it?”
When it comes to ABLE United, great news just keeps on coming! Don’t miss out on your chance to jump-start your savings plan for the future today. ABLE United is offering five eligible Floridians with disabilities a chance to win a $500 contribution to their ABLE United savings account! Enter today and visit daily for extra chances to win – but hurry, this fantastic offer ends June 15, 2017!
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.
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.
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.
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).
If you’re a parent of a child with special needs, then odds are you’re dozing off while trying to read this post! Don’t feel bad, you’re not alone. Raising a child with special needs comes with overwhelming love, but that’s not all. We experience incredibly stressful situations and we are in constant worry mode, which means our mind is always racing even when we’re trying to relax.
#Florida Individuals and Parents of Children with Disabilities Can Now Ensure their Financial Future: #ABLE United is the Answer
Special needs planning for the future has unique challenges
There is one common concern that causes great anxiety and sleepless nights for parents of children with disabilities. It’s the unstoppable future. Who will care for our children? Where will they live? What will their lives be like when we’re no longer around?
Future planning was never easy for members of the disability community. If individuals and parents of children with disabilities want to keep their Medicaid, Social Security benefits or other disability services, they cannot have savings that exceed $2,000 in cash value. Our choices were limited to either giving up our benefits or the opportunity to save and plan for the future.
My Journey to Improving My Son's Challenging Behavior with Positive Behavior Support: Part 6 - Putting the PBS Plan in Place
Putting the Positive Behavior Support Plan in Place
It is very exciting times. We now have a plan of action for preventing, solving, replacing, and managing Richie’s challenging behaviors. What’s even more exciting is that we were also going to teach Richie new skills – skills that had never occurred to us until we started the positive behavior support process.
"My Journey to Improve My Son's Challenging Behavior with Positive Behavior Support: Part 5 - Developing a Positive Behavior Support Plan"
Developing a Positive Behavior Support Plan
In this process, we have taken the important steps needed for the development of a positive behavior support plan. So far in the Positive Behavior Support blog series, we have:
Mother’s day gives us the opportunity to honor all women who care for their children. In most dictionaries, the word “Mother” is defined as a female parent. It’s such a bland definition when you think about what it truly means to us, even if it varies slightly from person to person. This is because the definition only recounts the mere act of giving birth. For many of us, it’s the years following the miracle of birth that captures the essential nature of motherhood.
My Journey to Improve My Son's Challenging Behavior Through Positive Behavior Support: Part 4 - Analyzing Data and Goal Setting
Part 4: Analyzing Data and Goal Setting - What did we learn?
It was time to gather all the information collected from our PBS team members and begin analyzing the data. Some members of our PBS team were diligent about collecting data and information for two consecutive weeks. I gathered information received from Richie’s ESE teacher, PE teacher and myself. I didn’t collect data and information from all members of the PBS team, but remember we mentioned in Part 3 that even if this happened, we can continue to move forward with the PBS process. The information I did have was plenty for us to review and analyze. All of the forms, information and data we collected were going to help us understand Richie’s behavior. We were going to begin taking the next steps towards creating a successful positive behavior support plan that would work at home and at school.
My Journey to Improve My Son's Challenging Behavior Through Positive Behavior Support: Part 3 - Gathering Information and Data Collection.
Gathering Information and Data Collection
In order for us to learn about how we can improve Richie’s challenging behavior, we need to start gathering information and collecting data. This is the most important part of the positive behavior support process, because it’s going to help us to decide on what goals to set, how to avoid certain behaviors from happening, what strategies to use when behaviors happen, what new skills we want to teach, and how we can manage behaviors. This is a crucial part of developing the PBS plan.
My Journey to Improve My Son's Challenging Behavior with Positive Behavior Support: Part 2 -What is PBS and Who Needs to be Involved?
What is PBS and Who Needs to be Involved?
The differences in my parenting style between my two children are paramount. I learned quickly that the strategies and disciplinary actions used with my oldest, Samantha (who has no known disabilities), were useless with Richie. Thinking about it now, the strategies I used with Samantha were useless too. I used things taught to me culturally through my own family (spanking, yelling and punishing), then later I tried new strategies like “time-out.” Some strategies worked, most didn’t. How truly successful were my strategies if Samantha’s behaviors continued?
My Journey to Improving My Son's Challenging Behavior with Positive Behavior Support: Part 1 - Our Relationship with Richie
Being a parent to my son Richie changed my life in ways I never would have imagined. Richie is my fourteen-year-old son and second child. Richie is on the severe side of the autism spectrum. He is very handsome, tall, has a gorgeous smile and a contagious laugh. He loves to laugh and he finds it most amusing when we repeat the many sounds he makes. Richie loves to play tag - but he loves being chased, he won’t chase you back! He loves to be tickled and he’s kind of thrill seeker. He loves quite a few roller-coaster rides – Universal Studios is his favorite theme park to visit. My son is my joy in this world, but having a child on the spectrum does come with its challenges.
Author: Christine Goulbourne