On the Horizon – 05/11/2010

Horizons Developmental Remediation Center

On the Horizon
On the Horizon

Welcome to “On the Horizon”

Issue 107: Homework Headaches

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: Camps and Workshops

Idea of the Week:  ABC Nature Book

Feature Article: Homework Headaches

The Horizons Team Recommends: 2010 Summer Camps and the Extreme Makeover: Autism Education Workshop

NEW! Allergen-Free Recipe of the Week: Macaroni and Cheese-Style Sauce, Dairy Free

NEW! Allergen-Free Product of the Month: Gluten Free Dreams Pancake Mix

Upcoming Events: 
Summer CAMPS; Workshops/Conferences

A Note From Nicole
Nicole Beurkens


A belated Happy Mother’s Day to all of you who are mothers!  I had a wonderful day with my family and I hope you enjoyed your special day as well.  

With summer right around the corner it’s time to begin thinking about activities for the kids.  We’ve got a great line-up of summer camps programs planned for children and teens that your kids won’t want to miss.  Some of you are already planning to come stay in our area for a week or more to attend camp and enjoy time together as a family away from home.  Check out all the summer camp options, but register soon to make sure you get the weeks you want!

Last week I announced the return of the Extreme Makeover: Autism Education Edition Workshop we are hosting August 4-6 in Grand Rapids.  We’ve gotten lots of questions, so I’m going to put together a separate email this week with additional details.  This is the event of the year for professionals and parents who want to redefine education of students with autism and related disorders to achieve greater outcomes with less stress.  We’re going to spend 3 days immersed in content, hands-on activities, small group discussions, and individualized planning designed to support students to reach their optimal potential. 
See all the workshop details >>

Make it a fabulous week!

Looking to the horizon,

Idea of the Week

ABC Nature Book

A fun accompaniment to going outside on a nature hike is to create an ABC Nature Book of what you see with your family. While out hiking or taking a walk around your neighborhood hunt for natural objects for each letter of the alphabet and compile them into your own special nature book.  This can be a great on-going family project for the summer months!

ABC Nature Book

What you need:

 •    2-3 little baggies
•    Glass jar
•    Scissors
•    Yarn
•    Construction paper
•    Hole punch
•    Glue
•    Scotch tape
•    Camera


What to do:

  1. Tell your child that their mission is to find an object for every letter of the alphabet. Ex. a = apple, b= bug etc. If the item fits into your baggie then save it (if it is too big or a living object help your child take a picture of the item).  If you can’t find every letter of the alphabet you can try to find pictures of nature items that will fit into your book.
  2. Once home, organize the items and pictures by letter to place into your book.
  3. Label each construction paper with a capital and lower case letter for each letter of the alphabet. EX. Aa.
  4. For those items that you collect use either tape or glue to attach to the construction paper. Attach pictures using two-sided tape. Then label each item underneath and include a sentence to describe it.
  5. Create a cover page of the book.
  6. Punch three holes down the left side of each page. A three hold puncher is recommended to use, but otherwise make sure the holes line up on each page.
  7. Cut three pieces of yarn, about 6 inches long, to tie the pages of the book together.
Feature Article

Homework Headaches: How to Reduce Stress and Frustration between Parents and Children

By: Courtney Kowalczyk, M.Ed.

For many families, the hustle and bustle of the after-school time can be stressful for both parents and children.  Kids come home, want a snack, and need to get the wiggles and giggles out while we as parents are trying to accomplish those last-minute things that need to be done for the day.  Homework is just another stressor that all too often gets thrown into the mix and can cause anxiety and frustration for everyone involved.  Homework can be useful for many purposes; however, spending great lengths of time working on homework and increasing feelings of frustration are negatives that far outweigh the benefits.  If your child struggles with completing homework assignments and managing anxiety or frustration due to homework or school in general, here are a few strategies that you can use to make the after school hours at home more enjoyable for everyone in the family.

Take time to decompress!  When children or parents arrive home from school or work, it is important for everyone to have some decompression time.  When the kids get off the bus, let them have a snack and do some activities that they enjoy like playing outside or going for a nature walk.  As parents, it is important for us to do the same.  When you get home, sit down in your favorite chair for even a few minutes and relax after your day.  This decompression time allows all of us to relax after our busy day, and helps to reduce built up anxiety or stress that may have occurred during the day so that we can recharge our batteries for the rest of the day.

Read more …

The Horizons Team Recommends

Extreme Makeover

Extreme Makeover: Autism Education Edition Workshop


August 4-6 • 2010 Grand Rapids, MI

Put together the soaring increase in children diagnosed with autism and related impairments, a group of dedicated educators seeking solutions to the challenges they face daily, a team of been-in-the-trenches experts, three days of amazing content and hands-on experience, and what do you

An amazing 3-day
workshop that will transform how you understand and educate students
with autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders.

here for workshop details!

Horizons Summer Camps 2010

Summer Camp

Looking for a place for your child to go this summer? Our summer camps give children a place to engage with other children, try new activities, retain what they have learned over the year and learn life-long skills all while having a great time!

For children ages 4 to 12, weekly sessions start June 28, 2010. Four sessions are available. Select the weeks that best fit your schedule – one, a
few, or all of them depending on your needs and summer plans.

Pre-teens and teens ages 11 to 18 can attend our Collaborate and Create Summer Camp. These campers tackle major real-life projects they can put to use in the future, such as building fences, landscaping and woodworking. Parents can choose from a three-week session beginning June 29, 2010 or a full-week session starting July 26, 2010.

See details about the camp or Register Now!


NEW! Allergen-Free Recipe of the Week

Macaroni and Cheese-Style Sauce, Dairy Free

(From Eating for Autism)

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. In addition to the weekly recipes, we will be highlighting a specific allergen free product of the month. Enjoy!

Macaroni and Cheese-Style Sauce, Dairy Free

Makes approximately 1 1/2 cups

Here is a diary-free, creamy sauce to substitute for traditional cheese sauce. The navy beans add body; the turmeric adds yellow color; the oil adds a creamy mouth-feel, and the nutritional yeast adds a complexity to the flavor.

Get the recipe ...

NEW! Allergy-Free Product of the Month
Allergen Free Products

Gluten Free Dreams Pancake Mix (plain or chocolate chip)

Get this pancake mix and other allergen-free products at CherrybrookKitchen.com.

Upcoming Events

join us!

  • Walk Now for Autism Speaks– Chicago
    May 15, 2010
  • AutismOne & Generation Rescue Conference
    – Chicago
    May 28-30, 2010
  • Summer CAMPS
    – Red, White, & Blue
    (ages 4-7 morning  & ages 8-12 afternoon)
    June 28 – July 1
  • Summer CAMPS – Let’s Make Music
    (ages 4-7 morning  & ages 8-12 afternoon)
    July 12 – 15
  • Summer CAMPS – All About Pets
    (ages 4-7 morning  & ages 8-12 afternoon)
    July 26 – 29
  • Summer CAMPS – Fun in the Sun
    (ages 4-7 morning  & ages 8-12 afternoon)
    August 9 – 12
  • Summer ProgramCollaborate and Create:
    Session 1
    Ages 11-18, 9am-12pm, Tues & Thurs
    June 29, July 1-15
  • Summer ProgramCollaborate and Create:
    Session 2
    Ages 11-18, 9am-12am, Mon-Weds, 9am-1pm Thurs
    July 26 – 29
  • Extreme
    Autism Education Edition
    August 4-6, 2010

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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