“Another One Bites The Dust”

(And the Joke is on Mom)

Another One Bites The DustYesterday at bedtime my son was doing what he wanted to do.

Not what I wanted him to do.

So, I got out my secret weapon.

I laid the blow dryer on the floor beside John.

Thought I was so sneaky and clever.

John picked it up, started to play with it, plugged it in, and blew air all over his face and body.

Grinning so broadly.  So proudly.

We both started laughing and celebrating.

A former instrument of terror had just bitten the dust.

Of course, I had lost my best secret weapon.

But today, I wrote on his list that he could earn “playing with the blow dryer tonight” as a motivator.

It worked.   Two nights in a row.

I was afraid to say anything last night, but here on Evening #2 is proof.

How could this help you?

Peace be with us,



“I Want To Go Home”

Self Awareness and Emotional Self-Regulation

For 2 long loud days,

John has held together:

Good behavior choices at school, after-school speech, playing at the park with kids,  basketball & Cub Scouts Pinewood Derby celebration.Metacognition

Two nights in a row, John has told Dad, “I want to go home”.

He was able to choose telling Dad instead of having a public melt-down.

(This hasn’t always happened, right?)

This is called “meta-cognition” (“I am thinking about my thinking”).

Let this encourage you to keep working with your kids for their self-awareness.

And then the victory of telling you what they need.

John and I practice this all the time.

Our kids can use this skill for their entire life.

Peace be with us.




Will He Cheat?

Or Will Intrinsic Motivation Kick In? And What About the Joy of the List?

Usually when John reads his (required) 30 minutes a day, Cop Mom hovers.

This morning, I told John he was in charge of the book, his reading, the timer, his breakfast.2016-02-21 21.52.12-1

I went upstairs, “to get clean”.   So we could go to Sunday school.

I admit I did peek from time-to-time, and I saw no cheating.

Instead, he read more loudly so that I could hear it upstairs.

Usually, he sandbags the reading by keeping it all in his head.  I can only assume he is actually reading.

Today, I heard it loud and clear.

He did rebel against 30 minutes on the timer.

Instead, he did 25 + 5.

OK with me.

And he joyfully got in my face to declare his victory.2016-03-18 19.03.52-1

I wonder how it will work for all the tomorrows?

Try this with your kids?

Another bonus has been the sheer joy John has learned—crossing off his things to do from his list.

This photo doesn’t do it justice.  He is excited, so purposefully editing his daily list.

He is becoming goal (checking-it-off-the-list) oriented.

I think that kinda counts, don’t you?

Peace be with us,



Dear Overwhelmed Parent: If Your Child Has An ARD & IEP, What is The Code?

That Code Determines Inclusion or Not. Not is Against the Law.

I just learned that for almost 4 years, I have signed ARDs by our school district putting my son in Code 44.

Section 7, Instructional Arrangement.

Code 44.  >60% in Self-Contained.

John has changed tons in 4 years.   His Code 44 hasn’t.

John isn’t motivated by seclusion.  He is increasingly motivated by his peers.  The Joy of Children.  Codes

Neuro-typical peers whom he can model and maybe even show off for.

So, if you have an ARD and IEP, you have a Code.

Is your child motivated by inclusion?  Or seclusion?

My son is highly motivated TO LEARN because of other kids.  He really could care less about another adult bossing him around.

He’s had 24/7 therapy for almost 8 years.  He’s done with adults.

Here is the link to the new law. 

Here is the YouTube Channel for OSERS (Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services)

OSERS Home page

(and 1 link takes you to another link)

Don’t kick yourself, like I have been doing—-parenting of learning differences is exhausting.

Instead, be knowledgeable of what your school district is doing and why.

Kids change.

So must Codes.

Peace be with us,


Where Are My Remotes?

Good Question!

Up high on the shelf.  That’s where.

And all the electronics are unplugged.

Because John is testing Mom, to see if he can get away with something.2016-02-07 18.27.41

You see, everything was going smoothly, according to (Mom’s) schedule this morning, on target for getting to Sunday school on time.

But then, unexpectedly (although anything is expected, so nothing should be unexpected, right?), John started making bad choices.

So the remotes are up very high, everything opiate is unplugged, and John has learned cheating doesn’t pay when using my phone timer for reading minutes.

Also, he needs to eat his breakfast.

The more I hover, the worse his decisions.

So I left the area, and got myself ready.

After a short time, John tracked me down to tell me good news.

He wanted his remotes back, also.

At my house, sometimes when the audience leaves, the best stuff happens.

Maybe this might work in your world.

Peace be with us,


“I Watched the Movie by Reading the Book”

More Than One Kind of Super Heroes Comic Book

Graphic NovelJohn usually fights required reading.

Today was different.   He picked out the graphic novel (comic book) of “Inside Out”.

Usually he doesn’t share his quality reading with me.  I just get the bad stuff.

Today was different.  He lingered over the pages, talking, inventing, recalling, sharing with me, looking at me.

Not at all in a bad way.

He was in the flow.  Reading a comic book.   About some heroes he loves.

Remember the old Carl the dog storybook series?   Just pictures, you made your own words and story.

Well, if John needs to increase his imagination (AND HE DOES), then what he did today would count toward imaginary play.

Don’t you think?

So, maybe for our kids lagging in expressive language, try a high-quality “comic book” of someone or something they love.

Maybe they will make a movie in their heads.

That’s what John said to me, “I watched the movie by reading the book”.

Bet you find some joy also.

Peace be with us.



Look What We Found in the Park in the Dark

We will take it home. We will call it Clark.

It is a football.   2016-02-17 19.33.48

A kid playing with a football, in the dark, trying to throw it, catch it, kick it.

No big deal, right?

But remember that some kids don’t learn how to play with toys at the right age.

And parents of those kids keep buying toys, hoping that the next toy will be the one that makes play “normal”.

So, for all us parents who dread toys, birthday parties, unwrapping gifts, and childhood play in general,

please be encouraged to keep giving your child the opportunities to grow into them.

Let them see other kids play with stuff.   That is how John learns—–by watching other kids.

This photo isn’t remarkable to most parents.

But to some of us, it is a hope for tomorrow’s toys.

In the park in the dark.

Peace be with us,


“It’s Always Something” (Rosanna Rosanna Danna)

Uncertainty to Fear to Anger to Remorse to Peace to Joy

FearAngerRemorseJoyJohn made a string of decisions that broke Mom’s heart.

The natural consequences of these decisions conjured up Uncertainty of the future.

From Uncertainty, Fear set in.

From Fear to Anger. (Mom got mad on the inside and the outside.)

Then Remorse set in, and we (son & mom) talked about how we were both going to make better choices next time.

By the time dear Rosemary Slade, OTR, arrived, I was still neck-high in Remorse and Sadness.

By the time we had transferred wisdom from Rosie to Gayle, Peace and Joy were trickling back in.

Key points to share with you (in case it helps you):

  1.  If he doesn’t want to yet, he won’t.  (Mom, remember intrinsic motivation?)
  2. If it weren’t this thing, it would be that thing.  There will always be something else.
  3. He is going to go through childhood. So let him.
  4. Hold your boundaries, Mom.  Hold your ground.  With Peace.

(Mom, you are moving too fast through today!)

Maybe this can help you with your daily path toward joy.

Peace be with us,


No Chair for You, Young Man!

No "just standing" either

2016-01-24 11.00.18Every opportunity to cause movement, mid-line crossover, off-balance anything, is worthy.

No Chair for me

So, never a chair if I can avoid it.

Always something that wiggles, rolls, moves, slides around.

I always try to position his body and his stuff so that he has to reach across to the other side.

So, if you have one of these kind of balls, let your child sit on it.

Point legs the opposite way, put cups on the wrong side.

Try this at your house every day.

Also, this balance board is nifty, and we use it for playing Wii and anything else that is just standing.

These balance-building interventions are working in my world.

I hope it will work for your child.

The science is there.

Peace be with us,