On the Horizon – 09/16/2009

Horizons Developmental Remediation Center
On the Horizon
On the Horizon

Welcome to “On the Horizon”

Issue 77: Learning to Think: Part One – All Students Can Learn to be Mindful

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

Back to School Tools

A Note from Nicole: Is it Summer?; Great Response

Idea of the Week:  Sweep the Garage

Feature Article: Learning to Think: Part One – All Students Can Learn to be Mindful

The Horizons Team Recommends: Raising Minds ®; Flex Your Brain

Upcoming Events: Sibshop; CORE Approach Parent Teleseminar

A Note From Nicole
Nicole Beurkens

Hi Everyone!

We are getting beautiful sunny weather here this week. The big question we have at the office is “Where was this weather all summer long?!” It’s nice to enjoy some warm sunny weather before the cold winter descends on us sooner than later.

Since we launched the Raising Minds® membership site last week we have had a great response! Many of you are emailing to say that this is exactly what you need and have been looking for. If you had any problems viewing the site last week please try again now. We had some browser issues that have now been resolved. Some of you have also asked whether the site is taking the place of this weekly ezine, and the answer is no – we will still be connecting with you through our ezine each week!

Courtney’s article this week focuses on teaching students to be mindful throughout everyday activities at home and in the classroom. It’s a good reminder of what we really need to focus on with students.


Looking to the horizon,

Nicole Signature

Idea of the Week


Sweep the Garage

After a while the garage floor gets quite dirty and could use a good sweeping! Make sure you get the cars out of the garage and anything else that is large and in your way. Get the brooms out – there are many broom options you can use for sweeping. You can use a large push broom, a regular broom, or a dust broom. Decide which one will be best for the area you are sweeping and then sweep that dirt up into one big pile. Once you have a pile, decide how you are going to get the dirt off the ground – you can just sweep it away into the yard, road, or into a dust pan and into the trash. However you sweep the garage, the end result will be a nice clean floor in your garage.

Feature Article
Slow Down!

Learning to Think: Part One – All Students Can Learn to be Mindful

By: Courtney Kowalczyk, M.Ed.

Summer is quickly coming to an end, and school has begun for many children. School buses are busily picking up students and dropping them off during the morning and evening commutes. With the beginning of a new school year, I thought it would be helpful to look into the realm of education and the way our students think and learn.

For most students in the general education population today, the focus of education is on their ability to think and use problem solving skills. We are seeing more and more schools moved towards integrated curricula that teach children math, reading, and writing skills in a more dynamic fashion. A majority of these curricula pose real world problems that students work through and solve as they learn concepts along the way. For many children, this type of curricula proves to be beneficial; for others however, it can be very challenging. For example, children who struggle with reading typically have greater difficulty using curricula formatted in this fashion, since most of it is comprised of written language that needs to be read, dissected, and understood in order to progress through the problem at hand. For these individuals, accommodations to the curricula are usually made to make it easier for the child to understand and process.

When thinking about children with more significant disabilities like cognitive impairments, neurological issues, or Autism, we typically see educators using curricula of a more static nature. These types of curricula tend to be more repetitive. I wonder though: How are these types of materials preparing children for the real world, given that these students typically have the greatest amount of difficulty in the realm of problem solving and creative thinking?


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

Flex Your Brain

Flex Your Brain DVD Program

It’s Here–A Simple Way to Build Flexibility and Thinking Skills in Your Students!

Help your preschool and elementary students learn to: think creatively; flexibly adapt to change; notice similarities and differences; and compare and contrast perspectives

This fun and effective learning tool has two components:

The “It is a _____” component uses colorful inkblot paintings to promote creative and flexible thinking. Spend a few minutes looking at a different inkblot each day, and think about what it could be. This can be done as a great morning warm-up activity, in an individual therapy session, or as a discussion with the whole class.

The “Daily Differences” component provides teachers with simple ideas to incorporate variations into the day. Ideas include:

  • Change the location of items in the classroom
  • Sit in different shape configurations at “circle” time
  • Serve “chilly cookies” from the fridge instead of the cupboard for snack time
  • Take different routes as you travel throughout the building

Note to Parents: These make great gifts for the teachers and therapists in your child’s life!

For more information, click here

Upcoming Events

Please join us!

  • CORE Approach Parent Teleseminar: Pediatric Vision Specialist  Guest Speaker Dr. Jeff Kenyon (Horizons Families Only) Thursday, Sept. 17 from 11-12pm EST
  • CORE Approach Parent Teleseminar: Q&A with Michelle & Courtney
    (Horizons Families Only)
    Monday, Oct. 5 from 1:30-2:30pm 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

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