LD, Community Connection, Public Schools and the PTA

HELP!

This is the question most asked of me by parents concerning their children with LD and special needs. It is that simple and that complex. I understand. I feel for them and I admire their determination. The love they have for their children is obvious. The hard road they walk to bring these children a better quality of life is often thankless. Often times parents/guardians feel that they are gaining little ground for their efforts.

I do not have all the answers. But, I know where to start. I believe networking can be such an amazing gift, unfortunately word of mouth will not get this in front of these families. We need to make it easy for families to find these resources. We need to bridge the gap between the education system and the resource-filled online disability communities.

If parents/guardians can connect with the amazing communities available and in turn read the outpouring of help and support, they will find assistance with 504/IEP, social connections with similar children, advocates, tutoring, life tips and emotional support for parents/guardians, just to name a few.

So where can this information be broadcast so it might reach these families on a mass level? My suggestion would be individual PTA social pages and directly on official public school and public school district web pages.

Simply paste the links in an easy to locate area designated as resources for children with special needs. Social communities with interactions should be at the users risk

The PTA was organized to better the lives of every child in education. The public school district and individual school web pages are available as a resource for the families of the children being educated. I say post a permanent link to amazing sites like the Decoding Dyslexia relevant for the area. Link the families in your school affected by autism to not just major communities like Autism Society of America and The National Autistic Society | – | autism | Asperger syndrome | but the smaller local sites that can more intimately address their communities needs. Learning Disabilities Association of America is a wonderful resource and accompanied with local resources where people can connect, disabilities become differences and differences can be embraced and explored within helpful communities.

When a parent or caregiver enters their child’s educational journey the tables turn. They go from knowing their child’s needs and meeting them to a completely different ballgame, often feeling overwhelmed by not only the academics but the social aspects as well.

I say give them a road map to success, having schools and PTA‘s provide links where they can make the connections relevant to families individual situations can accomplish this task. Bring the links to the families instead of having the families desperately looking for someone who may help. Your child’s mind is built like an academic scholar but they struggle socially due to the difference in the way their brain works from the average student? There are others out there, they are looking to share personal experiences with you. Your child has severe academic challenges? The tests are timed the environment is anti-productive for their learning style? There are methods that you have yet to learn, there are advocates to point you in the right direction.

Providing these links to the resources already available will stop the two step forwards one step back feeling so many parents/caregivers are drowning in. There are not enough on-site staff members to hold every families hand through this journey we call education. BUT, there are enough hands out there waiting to help, be a sounding board, and give you the knowledge and road miles they have already walked to help you get back to enjoying the amazing child you were blessed to guide to independence

I believe the education system was first designed to educate the masses. Bless all those who had that presumably insurmountable task and have taken societies thus far! Now let’s continue the evolution of our education by bridging the gap between families in need and the resources available, so that the needs of the minority can be met and each child’s potential is within reach. Let us provide links to the vast knowledge available and the kind hearts that have walked the hard miles and are willing to provide others with the help they are asking for.

I would like to see each school’s web page with links to appropriate disability organizations, advocates, local and online tutoring, and social pages for the emotional support of families with similar challenges. No parent/guardian should feel isolated and every child deserves the immense resources and research available.

Contact your child’s principal make a plea to the public school district and work with your local PTA to make these links available to those in need and the parents/guardians of the future.

If you know of a school that provides these links or have thoughts on this idea I would love to hear from you.

All the best,

DyslexicWhisper

Here’s to 2013 a Thank You from me to you

This year was filled with so many kind people, I know I could not have made it through without you!

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Most of the year I was here

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Toothaches, kidneys and near death oh my!

From the local elementary school I caught a cold I thought was the flu

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Until the flu invaded and taught me the error of my assumption.

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You were always there for me though.

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Through the silence of my madness you were the perma-lift supporting my recovery!

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I felt the beauty of your support and thank you all!

The highs and lows of my writing were celebrated and sympathized by all, I thank you for showing me

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There were letters ending in Thank you, Best of luck, Best regards and my favorite Warm regards (not being sarcastic). I completely felt warmly regarded

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and sallied forth with my writing career, eventually pulling a rabbit out of my hat.

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I was ecstatic to add playwright to my resume

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Okay, it wasn’t quite Shakespeare but I felt the love nonetheless!

Thank you DYSPLA,

DYSPLA Festival

Decoding Dyslexia and many others

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for ending the year with a bang!

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There were parties I went to and new people I met.

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There were great e-mails and new friendships made

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You will find us on life’s pier saluting the naysayers Braveheart style

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With the year at an end, I have plenty to look forward to.

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There are several projects on my table, some may cost me my life

Others may only leave me hungry.

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All in all, I am looking forward to 2014 and all mayhem these projects will bring.

Hope to see you there,

 

DyslexicWhisper

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The Difference Between 19.84% and 20% Blood Loss!

What is the difference and why should you care?

I will tell you. The difference is whether you get a transfusion or you are left to grow those little red blood cells yourself. Which is like watching water boil, when you forget to turn on the burner. 

You should care because if you ever find yourself in this predicament (having lost 19.86% of your blood instead of the required 20%) I strongly urge you to punch yourself in the nose. The pain will be worth the long time period of feeling brain dead and being so tired you have to pinch yourself just to know you’re still among the living.

The back story is insane but long story short, I’d been bleeding internally for two months and instead of looking in the mirror and seeing my pale skin as an indication of my health (or linking it to my nearly passing out everywhere I went) I added more foundation till I looked like Tan-Mom and told myself to try harder. Try harder to get the house clean, keep the kids entertained and write on little writer. Never mind my vision going or the numbing of my limbs. I was a trooper and sure it was my hard life making me weary nothing more. I did not know I was half dead. Or would that be 19.86% dead? Not sure but I was a walking, dysfunctional, hot mess! 

In my defense, I didn’t have enough cogs turning in my oxygen deprived brain to figure all this out. Nor did I have money for the insurance co-pay. I was saving for my daughter’s new glasses. She had been without them all summer. It was right before school and I was determined to get them for her. Cha-ching! I almost became a martyr of my own life. 

I tried to keep up my social networking but lost my drive. I stopped reading altogether! My children would point out how tired I look all the time and I would look in the mirror and think, more foundation.

My parents came to see me and in true grandparent form they paid for my daughter’s back-to-school needs. Unbeknownst to them, they saved my life. I had an appointment with a Doctor in less than 24 hours (after speaking with an advise nurse) easily paying the co-pay with my unspoken for cash. The doctor fixed me up with an “easy” outpatient procedure and in two days I was on the mend. “On the mend” being the slowest process in the known world.  

 I watched a million documentaries and stared holes in my walls. I chose one piece of writing and worked through blurry eyes to accomplish my goals.  They diagnosed me with Vertigo from the oxygen deprivation, other than that and being tongue tied all the time I am almost back to my old self. 

Thank you all for your patients and support!

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~DyslexicWhisper Kellee Bishop Farr

Sunshine Award

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What a wonderful way to begin my week! Thank you Melissa Gaines for the nomination.                                                                     Melissa Gaines Twitter link: @melGmow 

The fact that you thought of my blog fills my world with sunshine! Your triumphs in life have helped and inspire me. What a beautiful person you are. I encourage all to check out Melissa’s blog:

Forever Fitting In

After receiving the nomination, the blogger must:

1. Acknowledge the nominating blogger;
2. Share 11 random facts about yourself;
3. Answer 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you;
4. List 11 bloggers. They should be bloggers that you believe deserve some recognition and a little blogging love!
5. Post 11 questions for the bloggers that you nominated to answer; and
6. Let all of the bloggers know that they’ve been nominated. You cannot nominate the blogger that nominated you.

11 Random Facts

  1. I have sixteen siblings. Although I have not lived with all of them they are dear to my heart.
  2. My mother is my idol and my father is my hero!
  3. I have been scalped. lol. I was in a car accident when I was eight-months pregnant. Just before my head went through the windshield it wiped the controls from the ceiling, in return, scalping me. 360 stitches and a reverse mo-hawk later, I was in possession of my scalp again.
  4. The things that make my world worth living: family, sarcasm, documentaries, history and writing.
  5. I love writing classes. Looking forward to this fall!
  6. I studied Maria Montessori in college and accidentally found the keys to my learning style.
  7. My sister, Jeni, is an endless source of pride for me. Her accomplishments and life are awe-inspiring.
  8. Whenever I go to target I open a box of crayons and smell them. Best ever!

     9. I was Prom Queen, Class President and Activities Director at my tiny high school.

    10. One of the best things in life is playing tag with little kids. I use to be a party host at a children’s play center (four years ago). Instead of awkward small talk with the adults I would lead the children in a game of extreme-tag using the giant play structure. I can run up a double slide doing a sharp 180 at the top launching myself back down ending in an impressive four foot double hop at the bottom. All without being caught by 30 maniac 5 year-olds. Now that my friends is living!

     11. I’ve loved wearing hats since I was a toddler.

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11 Questions: (Nominees: Please answer these same questions)

What’s your favorite meal of the day — breakfast, lunch or dinner?

The one that I did not have to make!

 What’s your favorite fruit?

My older sister Sandy. LOLOL

When you were five, what did you want to be when you grew up? 

A stunt woman. My cousin Tony would tie a rope to his bike and race off with me on my skates holding on for dear life. I thought I was headed for stardom. He would also hold on to my hand and foot twirling as quickly as possible, finally launching me into the prickly bushes. He was one year older and five times my size. Best memories EVER! (not being sarcastic)

What quality do you find most attractive in others? 

Humor.

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What’s your favorite sport? 

Extreme exercising with Sandy. (Biking for 7 hours. Full contact brownie grabbing.) She built an air-conditioned, exercise/movie theater room in her backyard. No seats, just cardio-machines and flat screen/surround sound. Downton Abbey Marathon here we come.

What’s your favorite candy? 

The kind I sneak into a theater.

What’s your favorite online shopping website?

Amazon

What’s your pet peeve?

People that never took the time to get to know me but don’t like me.

Winter, spring, summer or fall? 

Fall in California. Smells sooo wonderful!

How many pairs of shoes do you have?

No idea. I don’t wear shoes unless I have to. But I love boots and I have a pair of HEELYS. lol

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The Blogs I Nominate Are:

 You should visit their blogs.  Support the worlds starving bloggers and don’t forget to “like” and share.
~Dyslexicwhisper

I See In 3D

My grandmother-in-law was in the hospital recently. She is 96 and had an infection in one of her legs. What was supposed to be a routine check on her leg turned into a four day nightmare. They admitted her and began intense antibiotics. They gave her sleep aids and pain killers but explained little. She began to feel out of control and fearful. What she thought she was seeing turned out to be (from what I gather) side effects of the medicine. And what I insist as malnourishment from fear of eating and fatigue from adrenaline fueled by fear. She could not sleep. She would not eat.

When she asked that I come stay with her I went with the intention of easing her stay any way I could. I remember a time in life where I wished someone would simply watch over me so I could sleep. She was gifting me with her trust and I was determined not to fail her.

During my time with her the specialist came in pulling at her blanket wanting to examine her. “Remember this woman is 96,” I demanded. She comes from a time where women wore pantyhose at ALL times or were considered indecent. She came from 1916. My history friends will understand that America in this time period was not even the same planet as it is now. Men do NOT bring in groups of training doctors to view 96 year old women in this manner without taking a piece of the woman’s integrity when they leave.

I am not a doctor. I do not even claim that what they were doing was wrong. Maybe they see things that I do not. I only asked that they consider the person as they proceed. What I wanted to give her was peace of mind. I brought my computer and iPod. I showed her that the medical staff and family member (from the lady sharing her room) were not out to get her with their strange handheld electronic devises. They were not in “cahoots”, like she claimed, but were probably on Facebook. Then I opened up my Facebook on my iPod and showed her pictures of her grand-kids and her children and the lives she had no idea were so accessible. In the end she said she would rather be gardening, despite the many hours she could see being consumed looking at everyone’s “grass is greener” photos.

The night was long and I was tired but when the situation would get the better of her I switched from my iPod to my laptop to give her old eyes a better view. The screen was now large enough to engage her in these precious family photos that were taken with the current generation’s iOS devices. Bless her heart, we giggled and awed at some and then looked surprised at the more risqué photos. I got to see the world from 1916. It was beautiful. It deserved respect. She was NOT losing her grip on reality she was simply trying to cope in a world that was developing faster than she could access.

I stayed up all night and only took my eyes off her once (Guests were not allowed to use the bathroom in the room) but I explained this to her and everything else that she heard and saw that she did not understand. From the rolling cart of the late night custodian to vibration of the staffs feet when they had to rush off for a patients emergency she was scared and I knew the mind can be a powerful enemy. She was not convinced by all of my explanations but she grew to trust me that night because I never lied to her or talked down to her. There was never a sensation that was too insignificant for me to explain. And I offered the explanations without her asking.

She was convinced they were holding her against her will. I stayed with her until she was released and when we got outside I asked her if she could smell anything. She looked at me funny and said no. I told her to take a big whiff, because that was the smell of sweet freedom. She laughed and then looked at me seriously. Then she told me something that I hadn’t realized I needed so desperately. She said, “You know kid, I love you.”

This to me is my gift of dyslexia. To see things in 3D. To understand from all directions. I made a friend that day. A friendship that levels me at how genuine it is.

I try to look at everyone with this 3D approach. Every child discovered not labeled. Every elderly person deserves explanation not condemnation and every disability deserves redefining.

Almost 100 years together. Perfection!

Whisper This,

Dyslexicwhisper

Dyslexic Parents I Salute You!

I may not always be organized, remember everything or get to soccer practice on time. These are only some of my weaknesses. We as dyslexic parents can bring something else to the table though, a different approach. 

We can create a boat out of a trampoline and help our children to imagine the carpet as an enchanted lake where they can fish in the living room!

We can create alphabet soup in the swimming pool to help learn the ABC’s.

We can paint the garage door like the American flag to be patriotic!

We can help our children to fly like Up for their birthday!

We can build enchanted two story tree houses out of walk in closets to foster our children’s imaginations. 

And, if we forget your tennis shoes we always remember the butterfly net!

What are some of the memories you have?

Happy dyslexic parenting, and never forget your strengths! 

~Dyslexicwhisper

I Had A Dream: A Thank You From Me To You!

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As the year wraps up and I am fully immersed in the holiday season I want to take a minute to say thank you! Thank you to my readers, friends, family and my internet community!

At first the year started out like this…

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And I was stuck in my metaphorical tower…

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Afraid to put myself out there…

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I decided to try anyways. And most of the first few months felt like this…

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Many moments felt like this…

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But I started to get the hang of things and I figured out what I needed…

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The more time I spent doing this…

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The more people I came to know…

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And the more they came to feel like family…

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A few even became close…

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They helped steer me away from anything suspicious…

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And anyone suspicious…

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I put together my professional image…

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I was able to cling to that illusion even when I felt like this…

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I met a great publisher…

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And they shared their secrets with me…

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They gave me direction…

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I hold dearly the time they have invested in my work…

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This opened up possibilities for me…

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They wanted to know who I was…

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I showed them how I think…

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I found out that underdog was really the definition of superhero…

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This kept me from to much…

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In turn stopping me from going…

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My best friend is my sister. I call her my Samwise because she will walk to the fiery mountain with me. Always standing by my side.

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Oftentimes leading the way, sometimes even carrying me…

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I love her with all my heart and soul…

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I went to some great parties…

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I met interesting people and introduced them to my personality …

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I learned not to take life too seriously…

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And when I look back at all the people I have met and all the milestones I have accomplished I am happy to say I love my life and everyone in it! Oh yeah! Oh yeah!

So thank you and Happy Holidays!

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DYSLEXICWHISPER

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