Compassion in Action: A Beautiful Intervention On Behalf of a Child With Special Needs

Source: http://www.charlotteobserver.com

By Bruce Henderson

groner4She’s a shy Jewish woman from Charlotte. He’s a little boy, apparently African and Muslim, who was screaming aboard a transatlantic flight.

Their July 14 encounter between Brussels and New York made the eight-hour flight go easier for their fellow passengers. The virtually wordless connection – neither spoke the others’ language – also offered a lesson in compassion that has circulated widely online.

By her account, Rochel Groner, 33, is among the least likely people to make a public display. “I’m the type of person who would let somebody step on my foot for like a half- hour before I would say something,” she says.

But about an hour into the flight, a return home after Groner and her husband Bentzion chaperoned teens to Israel, Groner heard sounds of distress behind them. Not cries from a baby. Not a bored teen.

“It was just kind of a shrieking without any words,” Groner says. “I recognized it right away as a child with special needs.”

Read more here.

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Inclusion: When A "Typical" Child’s Parent Made the Smallest Accommodation, What Happened Next?

Source: www.inspiremore.com

By Josh Starling

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Timothy was diagnosed with nonverbal autism when he was only two years old. As a result, every noise, distraction and emotional stimuli is multiplied ten fold. Though the now 7-year-old Timothy is well liked in school, his condition meant he was forced to turn down one too many birthday party invitations.

Recently, however, he got a birthday invite with a special note attached that brought his mom, Tricia, to tears. She took to Facebook to express her disbelief and gratitude.

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What I Wish Your Child Knew About Autism

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com

By Shannon Des Roches Rosa for KnowMore.tv

n-SHANNON-large570 My son Leo is 13. He’s a cheerful, curly-haired, soccer playing, iPad-loving, self-taught swimmer. He’s also autistic — one of those 1 in 68 kids, according to the recent CDC report about increased estimated autism rates.

And you might be surprised to hear this, but that increased rate was a relief to me. It confirmed what the autism research community has been saying for years, and what the CDC’s Dr. Colleen Boyle finally stated outright: "It may be that we’re getting better at identifying autism." It means autistic people have always been here. It’s evidence my son is neither damaged nor broken — he’s an example of human variation, like any kid.

Though, obviously, Leo is not like most kids when it comes to specifics like talking and learning and tolerating crowds. I used to let Leo’s autistic differences upset me: I came from outside the disability community (our society tends to be scared of autism), and I simply didn’t know any better. I’ve since come to understand that my job as Leo’s mother is to accept him for who he is, get him the accommodations he needs (and he needs a lot of them), and fight as hard as I can to make the world a more autism-friendly place, especially now that we have better estimates on how many Leos there are on this planet — Leos of all ages.

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Why You Should Not Welcome My Child With Special Needs Into Your Church

ezra field I realize this may be one of the most controversial posts I have ever written. It has taken me months of writing, stopping, coming back, re-writing and I’m still not positive it’s perfect. But it is my heart. Every fiber of my being burns with passion over this topic. I want to share with you why you should NOT welcome my special needs child to your church.

I write this from what I believe is a unique perspective.  You see, I have worked in ministry for over ten years now. I have been on staff as a youth pastor and a children’s pastor. I have helped to develop a special needs program within a church setting. I have also been a teacher for five years collectively. I have taught classrooms full of children from all kinds of backgrounds, strengths, and weaknesses. Most importantly, I am a mother to two beautiful children, one of whom has Autism. That’s right, I am the parent of a special needs child.  So why on earth would someone with my background write a blog like this? Allow me to share my heart with you.  These are the reasons I believe you should NOT welcome my special needs child to your church.

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I Don’t Expect You To Understand Why I Parent The Way I Do

Source: http://goo.gl/qsWzjb

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Being the parent of children with special needs, our style and means of parenting are quite different than most parents. There are big reasons why we do the things we do, expect the things we expect, and redirect the way we redirect:

My son’s coach meant well. He really did. His fatherly instincts told him to comfort my son and try to remedy the situation by loaning him his gloves. The temperatures at game time were a brisk 30 degrees. The sun was up, but slow to melt the frost that fell in the early morning hours when it was the coldest. My son stood on the sideline shivering, crying, snot running down his upper lip, and looking as if he were close to death.

I stood on the opposite sideline, glaring at him as he played up his sob story, feeling no sympathy.

In fact, through the fumes that clearly radiated from my face I reflected back on the night before, when I was digging out knit caps and gloves in preparation for his game. Because I’m a college-educated person I paid attention to the evening weather report (which a kindergartener could do). I listened when the reporter said, matter-of-factly, that the next morning would be below normal. He even went as far as to say, “If your son or daughter is playing soccer, football or fall baseball, you will want to dress them warm!” Imagine that!

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Father Captures Autistic Son’s Inner World With Incredible Photos

Source: http://shine.yahoo.com/photos/father-capture-s-autistic-son-s-inner-world-with-stunning-photos-1384542156-slideshow/archibald3-photo-1384540814591.html

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Photo: Timothy Archibald

San Francisco-based photographer Timothy Archibald began taking portraits of his autistic son, Eli, when the boy was 5 years old. “At the time, we weren’t doing a project; we were just being parent and son,” he tells Yahoo Shine. The photos were a way to help him understand his child. “Suddenly, when Eli started school, teachers, other parents — everybody — wanted to know more about him; why was he acting that way, why was he different from other students … If I take a picture, maybe I’ll see what everybody is so freaked out about. ” Archibald and his wife had noticed that Eli could fixate on mechanical objects for hours and get swept up into thunderstorm like tantrums, but had never before identified him as being on the autism spectrum.

From the beginning, Eli didn’t settle for being the subject — the project became collaborative and a way for father and son to communicate. “He didn’t want to be photographed; he wanted to share ideas and work with me,” Archibald says. Eventually, Archibald collected the images in a book, called "Echolilia: Sometimes I Wonder," which is available on his blog and refers to his son’s habit of repeating phrases that is typical of children with autism. When the book first came out, in 2010, the photos were controversial, he says. “There is an alarming quality to seeing this frail little boy looking even more frail.” Some people accused Archibald of being exploitative. Over time, attitudes have become more sympathetic, and just in the last couple of weeks, the series have resurfaced and gone viral. What we see is a father exploring the mystery of his son and a son whispering clues to his father.

Sarah B. Weir, Senior Editor, Yahoo Shine

Bus Attendant Accused of Breaking 5-Year-Old Autistic Boy’s Arm – Seriously?!

Source: http://shine.yahoo.com/parenting/bus-attendant-accused-breaking-5-old-autistic-boys-153000123.html

470_2700698 "Children with special needs are inherently more vulnerable to abuse than their typically-developing peers. They may be physically or cognitively less able to defend themselves. They may be less able or unable to communicate that abuse has taken place; they may be in a classroom full of kids who are less able or unable to communicate that abuse has taken place."  This story makes my heart feel as if it were physically crushed.   Have your children witnessed or been victims of abuse or bullies and if so, how did you manage it with the school?

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Watch How a Pro Surfer Inspires Autistic Kids to Smile

Source: news.yahoo.com

Pro Surfer Israel Paskowitz Uses His Unique Expertise to Help Autistic Children

IMG_3134 It was a summer day in 1969 on Tourmaline Canyon Beach in San Diego, when Israel “Izzy” Paskowitz fell in love with surfing. He was 6 when his father, legendary surfer Dorian “Doc” Paskowitz, took him out to ride together on his board. “I will never forget that wave,” says Izzy, “it was my kick off into the tribe.” Considered the first family of surfing, Izzy is the fourth of nine children of Doc and Juliette. They lived a nomadic life in a 24-foot camper and traveled the country for roughly 23 years.

By the time of Izzy’s first surfing experience, Doc, a Stanford graduate and a doctor, had left his career to fulfill his love of travel, family and surfing. Doc believed true wisdom did not come from formal education but from life experience and surfing. The family’s journey is the subject of the acclaimed documentary film, "Surfwise."

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WHAT IS Light It Up Blue?

Join Autism Speaks in celebrating World Autism Awareness Day on April 2 and Light It Up Blue to help shine a light on autism. Whether it’s your front porch or your local city hall, an office party or a banquet, the whole world is going blue to increase awareness about autism.

Light It Up Blue, in its third year, is a unique global initiative to help raise awareness about the growing public health concern that is autism. Iconic landmarks around the world will Light It Up Blue to show their support.

Join us now and help shine a light on autism.

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