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Self-Regulation & Movement

(Our make-shift obstacle course on the way to school!) In life in general but especially in the autism world, self-regulation is an important practice for adjusting and controlling emotions, behaviors and attention as it relates to change, transition, sensory overload and new and / or unexpected situations. I have learned so much by watching my […]

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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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Giving Back: A Cheerful Helpers Event

  (Cheerful Helpers Alumni Association Presents: A Read-a-Long / Sing-A-Long!) I know I talk about Cheerful Helpers Child & Family Study Center, A LOT. Perhaps it’s because we are still super involved with the school even though Arizona graduated 4 years ago. Maybe it’s because I still feel so supported by the community, and that […]

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Launching in 2019: An Online Course for Special Needs Families

  (Coming soon: 2019!) I am so ecstatic to announce the upcoming launch of my first online course: Life Management for Special Needs Families. This course will take families like mine on a 4-week journey in finding joy and balance in their lives. Even in our life’s work of advocating for and supporting our children […]

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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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ADHD : A Daily Routine

(My Energetic Girl during Jogathon last Spring) Because attention and focus issues are usually fun “side dishes” to children with Autism, it wasn’t too surprising when Arizona received a formal ADHD diagnosis a few years ago at the age of 6. It can be a misnomer, though, this ADHD label. Many people assume my child […]

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A New School Year 2016

(Arizona and her new aide, Ms. Denise) It’s our 3rd year at the public school in our neighborhood and I still pinch myself that my commute is all of 3 minutes (driving) or 10 minutes (walking). It hasn’t been an easy road getting Arizona into a mainstream classroom with all of the support she needs, […]

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A New School Year 2015

(Walking to school!) Today, Arizona starts 2nd grade. It is her second year at a mainstream public school in a general education classroom. For the 2.5 years prior to coming to this school, we crossed town in lots of traffic to get to Cheerful Helpers Child & Family Study Center. And because it was such […]

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IEP : Special Education Advocates

(My happy school girl at Back to School Night this year) This year was the first time in awhile that I haven’t hired an advocate to come along to an IEP meeting. It ended up being the right decision, because it was one of the most agreeable meetings I’ve participated in for Arizona. In fact, […]

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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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