Archives

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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Day Camps in Los Angeles : Summer 2016

(Summer is here!) Summer is here and parents can find themselves scrambling to find the perfect placement for their children with needs. Certainly, as my workload has increased over the past year, I also found myself paying extra attention to finding the summer curriculum that best fits Arizona’s needs and mine. Turns out, I am […]

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Autism & Friendship

(Marley Bleu and Arizona Ray, true blue friends) One of the things they always told me about autism is that Arizona might never have friends. I remember, early on, sitting in IEP meetings and listening to the school psychologists shake their heads and look at me sympathetically when I asked questions about what my daughter’s […]

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everything you ever wanted : a memoir

I recently finished Jillian Lauren’s latest book, everything you ever wanted, a riveting memoir about her journey into motherhood. Initially, I was interested in the book because of her story as it related to mine : she and her husband adopted an Ethiopian child with special needs. But, as I was reading through the pages, […]

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Actors for Autism

(With my friend and fellow special needs mama, Rahsaana) Last week, I had the privilege of attending an event benefitting Actors for Autism a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement, education, and training of people on the autism spectrum in various programs such as arts, film & television, animation, visual effects and video game industries. […]

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Cheerful Helpers Alumni Association : Game Night

(Cookie decorating fun!) When Arizona graduated from Cheerful Helpers 2 years ago, I felt like I was losing a limb. The community of staff, teachers and families carried me through some tumultuous years and not only changed my child’s life but mine as well. I always knew I would stay connected to the school because […]

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The R-Word

(www.r-word.org) I always cringe when I hear the words “retard” or “retarded”, no matter what the context. I am sensitive to the negative connotations of the R-word because of my daughter’s disabilities and want to do my part in raising awareness about ending the use of this highly derogatory word. Today (March 2, 2016) is […]

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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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Spotlight : Swim Instructor Brianna Rhodes

(Lessons with Brianna) I first met Brianna years ago; before either of us were mothers. We became fast friends and continue to enjoy life together, now mostly with our kids in tow! Brianna has been a private swim instructor for over 20 years. She is also a trained behaviorist and has worked in various public […]

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Spotlight : Social Foundations – Summer Camp 2015

(Summer 2015) This summer marks the first time Arizona has had some real time off. For most of her school career, she has attended schools with ESY programs; keeping her occupied through the end of July. But this year, Arizona had a 2+ month stretch of ZERO schedule that we needed to account for, and […]

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