On the Horizon – 02/16/2011

Horizons Developmental Remediation Center
On the Horizon
On the Horizon

Welcome to “On the Horizon”

Issue 136:  Valuing Others: Reflections on an Incident in a Kindergarten Classroom

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.

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In This Issue

Great Information

A Note from Nicole: Slowing Down, Special Announcement

Idea of the Week:  Wrap Those Coins

Feature Article: Valuing Others: Reflections on an Incident in a Kindergarten Classroom

The Horizons Team Recommends:  Learning As We Grow

Allergen-Free Recipe of the Week: Best Beef Soup Ever

Upcoming Events:
Horizons Events, Teleseminars & Workshops

A Note From Nicole
Nicole Beurkens

Hi Everyone,

We’ve slowed down a bit around our house over the past 5 days, as our daughter had surgery to remove her tonsils last week.  Nothing like a kid on pain meds recovering from a procedure like that to bring normal busy family activity to a halt!  She is doing really well, and will hopefully be healthier overall now that those things are out.

The feature article this week is one I originally wrote back in 2008 when a specific incident with a boy in a Florida kindergarten classroom first occurred.  While the incident that sparked the article is now “old news”, the lessons we can learn from it are just as relevant today.  I did add a brief update at the end that should make us all pause and think.  I’ll look forward to hearing and responding to your thoughts and comments if you post them at the end of the article.

Oh yes, one last thing…I promised you a special announcement this week and I actually have two!  The first is that I am hosting a series of free monthly seminars for parents over the course of 2011.  Check out the information in the calendar section below for details.  The first one, titled “Can You Hear Me Now: Three Strategies to Improve Your Communication With Your Child Immediately”, is happening on February 17 at 7:00 PM.  The second exciting announcement is that we have a new Facebook fan page.  You can check it and click to “like” us at www.facebook.com/autismtransformation

Wishing you a wonderful week!

Looking to the horizon,

Idea of the Week

Wrap Those Coins

Many of us have containers or piles of spare change sitting around waiting to be wrapped and brought to the bank.  This can be a great opportunity to engage your children in a meaningful project!  Here are some ways to include kids of all ages and ability levels in this task:

  • Head to the bank to ask for coin wrappers
  • Figure out what kinds of containers/surface you will use
  • Sort coins into piles by type
  • Count coins into piles according to how many fit in the wrapper
  • Double check the amount in each pile
  • Drop coins into the wrappers
  • Seal the ends of the wrappers
  • Count the grand total once they are all wrapped
  • Return to the bank to cash in the wrapped coins
  • Decide what to do with the money – save, spend, buy something specific, etc.
Feature Article

Valuing Others: Reflections on an Incident in a Kindergarten Classroom

By: Nicole Beurkens, PhD

When we hear about things on the news, read them in the paper, or listen to the latest gossip from friends or colleagues, there is a tendency to jump to conclusions and make assumptions about the people involved.  I try to keep in mind that there are always two sides (at least) to every story, but am not always successful at withholding judgment.  Sometimes, though, things that happen that are just plain wrong—and the other side of the story really doesn’t matter.  Such a situation occurred in a Florida classroom; and as I read the article describing the incident and the people involved, I must admit that I made a snap judgment.

For those of you who may not be aware of the situation to which I am referring, I’ll give you the short version:  A kindergarten teacher had a 5 year old boy in her classroom all year, and there were ongoing instances of disruptive behavior such as humming/singing, pestering classmates, refusing to work, etc.  This child was in the process of being evaluated for special education services, and the professionals evaluating him believed he had an autism spectrum disorder.  One day the boy was told to leave the classroom due to his disruptive behavior.  The teacher then decided to take a class vote to determine whether or not the child should return to the classroom.  She had this little 5 year old boy stand in front of all his classmates, while each one had their turn to state what they didn’t like about him and whether or not he should be allowed to return to the classroom.  He stood there and watched as all the kids said negative things about him, including a child he perceived to be his “best friend.”  The vote was 14-2 in favor of not allowing him to return to the classroom.

Read more …

The Horizons Team Recommends
Learning as we Grow

Learning as
we Grow

You’ve Been
Asking For It – The Resource for Applying Principles of Remediation in
School Settings is Finally Here!

This long-awaited book is written for parents and
professionals who want to be more effective in their work with students
who have neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism.

You will learn how to:

  • Identify the core features of neurodevelopmental disorders
    that create communication, learning, and relationship challenges for
    your students
  • Shift from a mindset of working around deficits
    (compensation) to correcting the root issues that create obstacles for
    your students (remediation)
  • Modify your communication to promote your students’
    communication and thinking abilities
  • Identify the unique strengths and obstacles of each student
    in order to determine appropriate placement and programming
  • Achieve meaningful outcomes for students that allow them to
    reach their greatest potential
For more
information, click here

NEW! Allergen-Free Recipe of the Week

Best Beef Soup Ever

Whether you have just started a special diet with your child or you have been following one for years, it can be difficult to come up with what to serve. We decided to try to make that just a bit easier by providing you with a new allergen free recipe each week.

While it is impossible to meet every person’s unique food sensitivity needs, we hope you will find these recipes helpful and delicious. Please feel free to adapt the recipes to meet your needs and taste buds; we do it all the time.  Enjoy!

MMM  MMM Good!Best Beef Soup Ever
(no gluten, milk, soy, egg, corn, or nuts!)

From: page 206 of “The Kid-Friendly ADHD & Autism Cookbook.” Written by Pamela J. Compart, M.D. and Dana Laake, R.D.H., M.S., L.D.N.

This hearty and yummy winter soup is good any time of the year.


  • 8-10 cups (1.9-2.4 L) water
  • 2 large onions, quartered
  • 5 pounds (2.3 kg) short ribs with bone cut into1-inch (2.5-cm) chunks (results in 2 1/2 pounds or 1.1 kg, beef chunks)
  • 1 tablespoon (18 g) kosher salt

Get the complete recipe…

Upcoming Events

Please join us!

  • Teleseminar
    Fitness and Movement for Individuals with Autism and Other Special Needs Teleseminar – Suzanne Gray from Right-Fit
    (Horizons Families Only)
    February 17th from 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM Eastern
  • Simple Solutions Seminar
    “Can You Hear Me Now?: Three Strategies to Improve Your Communication with Your Child Immediately”
    (Open to Everyone)
    February 17th at Horizons from 7:00 – 8:30 PM
  • Rhythmic Movement Training Levels 3 and 4Hosted by Horizons

    See http://www.rhythmicmovement.com for details

    February 24th – 27th

  • Michigan Council for Exceptional Children annual convention in Grand RapidsNicole and Erin will be presenting

    March 3rd & 4th

  • It’s Your Time Conference at GVSU in Grand RapidsNicole and Erin will be presenting

    March 5th

  • Teleseminar
    Sleep Issues and Strategies with Nicole
    (Horizons Families Only)
    Thursday March 17th 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
  • Simple Solutions Seminar
    “End the Mealtime Madness: Feeding Strategies for Picky Eaters”
    (Open to Everyone)
    March 17th at Horizons from 7:00 – 8:30 PM
  • Mom’s Group
    Friday March 18
  • Bounce Party
    Saturday March 26
  • Autism Society of Wisconsin Annual ConferenceNicole will be presenting

    April 14th – 16th

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:


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