On the Horizon – 09/09/2009

Horizons Developmental Remediation Center
On the Horizon
On the Horizon

Welcome to “On the Horizon”

Issue 76: Building Competence through Guided Participation

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

Exciting News

A Note from Nicole: Wonderful Weekend; Comprehensive Resouce for Parents

Idea of the Week:  Make Pizza

Feature Article: Building Competence through Guided Participation

The Horizons Team Recommends: Raising Minds®

Upcoming Events: Sibshop; CORE Approach Parent Teleseminar

A Note From Nicole
Nicole Beurkens

Hi Everyone!

What a beautiful long weekend we had here in West Michigan! It was one of the nicest we have had all summer, and our family took full advantage squeezing in some last-minute summer fun before school started today. This year we have a 4th grader, a 2nd grader, a kindergartner, and a preschooler. It’s very hard to believe that we’re past the phase of having at least one child home all the time. The younger kids are very excited about school starting, and the older ones are excited to see their friends but would be happy to skip the rest of it!

This week I am thrilled to be able to announce the launch of a comprehensive resource for parents and other family members called Raising Minds®. We have designed this new website to be a source of information and support related to remediation of neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism. Many families are unable to work with professionals individually on remediation for their child, but this website provides access to virtually any parent around the world who wants to understand more about remediation and start implementing principles of remediation with their children. My team and I are very excited about the potential for reaching many more families than we can possibly service personally here at our clinic. Our clinic families have had access to the site for the past couple of months, and the feedback has been very positive. I encourage you to check out the site here and let us know what you think!

Enjoy the article about competence and guided participation this week. It’s one of our favorites!

Looking to the horizon,

Nicole Signature

Idea of the Week


Make Pizza

What a fun night when you make individual pizzas for everyone. Make sure you have a crust, sauce and cheese for everyone and then take
everyone’s orders for what additional toppings they want on their own pizza. Make their pizza how they want it and cook them up. When the
pizzas are all ready sit down for a pizza night as a family.

Feature Article

Building Competence through Guided Participation

By: Michelle VanderHeide, BSW

I’ll never forget my first job. I started working at a very small restaurant, about 20 tables, with only one other waitress. The first day on the job I was handed an apron, a pad of paper, and a pen; and told to get to work. I was given no guidance on how to wait tables. The restaurant became immediately busy, and I just started taking orders. Miraculously, I got the drinks out to the right tables; but by the time the food orders were up, I had no idea where to go with the orders. I started walking up to my tables and asking; “Did you order the shrimp basket?” “Please tell me that you ordered the shrimp basket!” “Somebody from this table must have ordered the shrimp basket!!!” As you can imagine, my stress increased as the restaurant got busier and I still had no idea where to bring the food! I failed at my job that day, and was feeing completely incompetent as a waitress; especially when my boss told me how disappointed he was in me!

Developing competence is critical for wanting to reenter situations we have encountered in the past. If that day had gone differently, and my boss had guided me through the process of waiting tables, I would have felt competent as a waitress and returned with excitement to work the next day. Instead, I was stressed and anxious and really did not want to go back! Fortunately, I was resilient and returned to work despite my instinct never to go back. The second day went much better, as the night was slower and another waitress demonstrated some essential concepts to simplifying the process.

So how do you know your child is feeling competent? Coping mechanisms appear differently in every child; but once you know what to look for, you can begin to understand when your child is feeling stressed and know how to respond appropriately. Here are several common coping mechanisms to look for:

  • Running off
  • Crying
  • Uncontrollable giggles or laughing


The Horizons Team Recommends

Raising Minds Membership Site

Discover a Source of Information
and Support for Parents Just Like You!

Imagine for a moment what your life would be like if you knew how to
identify and address the biggest obstacles facing your child. I’m
talking about the core issues that create difficulties for your child,
for you, for your family, and for anyone else involved in your child’s
What would it be like if you could help your child learn to:

  • Attend to the right things at the right time
  • Thoughtfully communicate—not just talk in memorized or mechanical ways
  • Be genuinely interested in the emotions, ideas, and actions of others
  • Take responsibility for actions
  • Flexibly adapt to change
  • Understand the intentions of others
  • Come up with creative ideas and solutions
  • Have meaningful conversations
  • Develop curiosity about other people, events, and things in the environment
  • Be self-aware—know who s/he is as a person and how s/he is being perceived by others

The information available at Raising Minds® will help you understand exactly what deficit areas require treatment and how to accomplish that, while lowering your stress in the process.

Now, just imagine the peace you will bring to yourself and your
family, not to mention the results you’ll create for your child, when
you have 24/7 access to the information, resources, and motivation you
need to understand your child’s needs and powerfully impact his/her

For more information, click here

Upcoming Events

Please join us!

  • CORE Approach Parent Teleseminar:
    Q&A with Michelle & Courtney
    Families Only)
    Monday, Sept. 14 from 1:30-2:30pm EST
  • CORE Approach Parent Teleseminar: Pediatric Vision Specialist  Guest Speaker Dr. Jeff Kenyon (Horizons Families Only) Thursday, Sept. 17 from 11-12pm EST
  • Sibshop
    – Horizons Sibling Network

    Open to everyone!
    Saturday, November 7, 2009, 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM EST

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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