Archives

FAPE: Free And Appropriate Public Education

(Walking to public school!) In light of the recent public school teacher strike here in Los Angeles, I felt a renewed sense of gratitude for the resources and support Arizona has received as a student with disabilities. Years ago, as I was trying to navigate and understand how best my child’s educational needs would be met, […]

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World Autism Awareness DAY

(My Heart : Arizona Ray Lovell) Raising Arizona has been both my biggest challenge and joy in this life. But, in navigating through the worry and heartbreak of raising a special needs child, I have found my own true calling : helping other parents find and realize joy and passion in their own lives. And, […]

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Jack & Arizona

(Arizona and her friend Jack) Jack and Arizona have been in school together since they were 2. They met at Step by Step, moved on to Echo Horizon in the Pre-K program and when that didn’t prove to be a good fit for either of them, both ended up attending and graduating from Cheerful Helpers. […]

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“Mommy, do I have AUTISM?”

(My Girl) When Arizona was diagnosed with sensory processing disorder and “autistic-like” behaviors in Spring of 2009, I didn’t quite know how to tell people what was going on with her. Because it wasn’t initially a definitive autism diagnosis (a fact that I felt proud about, to be honest), I had a hard time explaining […]

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Being Flexible

(Like daughter, like mother) One of Arizona’s biggest challenges in life has been her inability to be flexible when plans change or she doesn’t get to do her own idea. She practices “being flexible” in her social skills group and worked on it daily when she was a student at Cheerful Helpers. What I recently […]

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Teal Pumpkin Project

Halloween is Arizona’s favorite holiday, hands down. She loves anything scary – and revels in spiders and skeletons and ghoulish zombies. Aside from the Halloween parade at school today, we will trick or treat in our neighborhood with a few friends this evening. My favorite part of the evening is watching Arizona practice her social […]

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Spotlight : Cheerful Helpers Child & Family Study Center

(At a recent alumni event, Arizona with Head of School, Ellen Pearlman) Cheerful Helpers Child & Family Study Center changed my life. It is the single most important intervention that Arizona has had to date. The program is a DIAMOND in the rough and unfortunately, the best kept secret in Los Angeles. If every child […]

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Tips for a “LOW STRESS” IEP Process

(Happy School Girl!) Last week, I gave a brief introduction about what an IEP is and the basic steps in the process. This week, I want to provide my top 5 tips that will help ground you and get you through the process with as little stress as possible. Here they are : Understand Your […]

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What is an IEP?

(Arizona walking to school, August 2014) As the school year starts to wind down and I’m starting to prepare for Arizona’s upcoming IEP meeting, I thought it would be the perfect time to explain what an IEP is and the various steps in the process. An IEP stands for Individual Education Plan, a document put […]

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