On the Horizon – 05/03/2011

Horizons Developmental Remediation Center
On the Horizon
On the Horizon

Welcome to “On the Horizon”

Issue 147: Promoting Safe and Appropriate Behavior in Public

On the Horizon is an award winning weekly ezine for parents of children with developmental disabilities who want simple, effective strategies to reduce stress, support their child’s development, and improve quality of life for the whole family.

To keep receiving On the Horizon,
please add the email address “nicolebeurkens@horizonsdrc.com” to your safe address list.


In This Issue

A Note from Nicole: End of the School Year Activities

Idea of the Week:  Bird’s Nest Cookies

Feature Article: Promoting Safe and Appropriate Behavior in Public

The Horizons Team Recommends: The Autism Transformation for Family

Upcoming Events: Workshops/Conferences


A Note From Nicole
Nicole Beurkens

Hi Everyone,

I always forget what a busy time of year this is with school concerts, music recitals, sports events, and end-of-the-school-year activities.  My husband and I usually keep our family schedule pretty subdued and slow-paced, but this past week has definitely been the exception.  Two of our sons are playing baseball for the first time, and it’s been fun to watch their team start the season.  We’re looking forward to watching them all progress together over the course of the next couple of months.  I hope you and your kids are finding ways to balance the activities this time of year brings with some time for quiet and relaxation.

My feature article this week is one that may spark some controversy, but I’m publishing it anyway.  There has been lots of talk lately about wandering and autism, as well as safety issues in general.  I take these issues very seriously, and feel that there is a component of the discussion lacking – how we can help kids on the spectrum (and with other neurodevelopmental issues) develop the self-regulation and awareness they need to stay safe.  The article this week addresses one small component of this larger issue, and my article next week will provide some continued discussion and strategies.  Feel free to let me know what you think by responding in the comments section at the end of the article.

Make it a great week!

Looking to the horizon,

Idea of the Week

Allergen Free Recipe – Robin’s Nest Cookies

Robins Nest Cookies(From page 108 of “The Food Allergy News Cookbook,” from Food Allergy News and Members of The Food Allergy Network.)


  • 1 cup milk-free, soy-free margarine, softened
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups flaked coconut
  • 1/2 cup small blueberries


Preheat oven to 300.
Beat margarine and vanilla extract until creamy. Set aside.
In another bowl combine sugar, flour, and cornstarch. Add to margarine mixture; beat well. Chill dough 1 hour.
Shape dough into 1-inch balls; roll in coconut. Place 1 inch apart on cookie sheets; flatten slightly with bottom of glass. Gently press 2 to 3 blueberries into each cookie. Bake 25 minutes or until coconut is golden.

Feature Article

Holding Your Childs HandPromoting Safe and Appropriate Behavior in Public: The Developmental Downside of Using Leashes with Children

By: Nicole Beurkens, PhD

It happened again today while I was at the local shopping mall. I looked across the store to see a child with a long leash attached, and at the other end of the leash was an adult holding on for dear life as the child attempted to race through the store. I encounter this same scene fairly regularly as I’m out and about, and it gives me the same sinking feeling in my stomach every time. As a child development specialist, it is painful to see parents who feel they must resort to this type of approach with their child because they have run out of tools for managing their child’s behavior; and equally painful to see these children who are being denied the experiences and opportunities they desperately need to develop to their fullest potential. Whether the child is typically developing or has some special needs, parents must devote serious thought to the negative implications of using tools such as these.

I am fully aware that there are many reasons parents may feel the need to use leash-type devices with their children. There may have been an occasion when the child was unsafe and came close to being harmed. They may feel that their child doesn’t listen to them, and that they must physically contain him/her in this way in order to make the child obey. Some parents may feel that because their child won’t stay with them in public, a leash is the only way to keep them safe and prevent them from getting lost or hurt. Other parents may resort to these devices to make their lives easier and less stressful while out in public. The child may have some significant special needs, such as autism or cognitive impairment, that create safety issues both in and out of the home; and this may leave parents feeling like it is impossible for the child to learn to be attentive and safe in public.

Read more …

The Horizons Team Recommends

The Autism Transformation for FamiliesThe Autism Transformation for Families

Transform Tough Days With Your Child Into Great Ones: Five Simple Steps to Better Communication, Behavior, and Relationships

In the Autism Transformation for Families Audio Program you will learn five simple but powerful concepts to help you permanently impact your child’s communication, behavior, and relationships for the better. You will learn how to change aspects of yourself and your style of communicating and relating in order to change the way your child responds to you and the world around him/her.

If you are the parent, adult family member, or other primary caregiver of a child of any age who has autism or another neurodevelopmental disorder, then this program is for you.

For more information, click here


Please join us!

  • International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR)
    Nicole will be presenting her research San Diego
    May 12-14
  • Teleseminar
    Self-Care and relaxation strategies for parents (with Jenny Fenig)
    Thursday May 19th at 11am-12pm
  • Simple Solutions Seminar
    Beneath the Surface: The Truth About Friendships and Social Skills
    Thursday May 19th at 7-8:30pm
  • AutismOne Conference
    Nicole will be presenting
    Chicago – May 25-29
  • MAGIC Foundation Children’s Convention
    Nicole will be presenting
    Chicago – July 14-16
On the Horizon
is a weekly ezine for parents of children with developmental disabilities who want simple, effective strategies to reduce stress, support their child¹s development, and improve quality of life for the whole family.

Our mailing address is:

Horizons Developmental Remediation Center

3120 68th Street SE

Caledonia, MI  49316

Our telephone:

(616) 698-0306

Our email address:


Copyright (C) 2010 Horizons DRC All rights reserved.

To unsubscribe, see the links below.


Share this newsletter with a friend.