On the Horizon – 09/21/2010

Horizons Developmental Remediation Center
On the Horizon
On the Horizon

Welcome to “On the Horizon”

Issue 122: 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.

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

In This Issue

Great Information

A Note from Nicole: Sharing My Research; Strategies for Helping Students

Idea of the Week:  You’ve Got Mail!

Feature Article: All Students Can Learn to be Mindful

The Horizons Team Recommends: Learning as we Grow

Allergen-Free Recipe of the Week: Coconut Fried Chicken

Upcoming Events: Horizons Events

A Note From Nicole
Nicole Beurkens

Hi Everyone,

Thanks so much to everyone who sent notes last week to congratulate me on the completion of my PhD.  It’s wonderful to be connected to all of you around the world, even though we may not have met in person yet!  In an upcoming newsletter I will share a summary of my dissertation research with you since many people have asked about it.  There are some really exciting implications for how we understand and treat autism.  Stay tuned!

Courtney’s feature article this week provides some concrete strategies for helping students be mindful learners in school (and at home).  It’s amazing how some simple shifts can make a huge difference in a child’s development and school experience.  If you like what you read in the article make sure to check out our book Learning as We Grow where you can get many more strategies for school and home environments.

A note for those of you who are parents:  Our team here at Horizons has opened a few new spaces on our caseload to offer families who are interested in pursuing treatment with us.  We don’t do this very often due to our schedules and the fact that most of our families stay with us over time due to the great results they experience!  However, some of our consultants are making themselves available to a small number of new families.  If you are curious about what it would be like to work with us, or if you have inquired in the past and we didn’t have available spaces, please contact us now so we can get to know you and determine if what we offer is a good match for your family.  Contact Cathy in our office at 1-800-324-1ASD or cathy@horizonsdrc.com.

Have a fantastic rest of the week!

Looking to the horizon,

Idea of the Week
Who has Mail?

You’ve Got Mail!


  • Steel or Tin mailbox
  • (You can purchase a regular steel mailbox at your local hardware store for around $10.00 or smaller ones are available through Oriental Trading Company.
  • Wood cut out shapes-one for each family member
  • Acrylic paints-Don’t use Tempera paint. It won’t stick to the steel and tin.
  • Mini wood Clothes Pins
    • Glue
  • Paint Brushes
  • Markers and Pencil
  • Individual Family Photo’s (optional)


Begin by having every family member choose a wood cut out shape or frame. After they have chosen, let them decorate them with paint, markers, and photographs. If more than one person has chosen the same shape, be sure to write their names on them. Next, using the pencil, pencil in the design for the mailboxes, making sure to get everyone’s input and thoughts. Once the mailbox design is penciled in, paint over it with the acrylic paints and let dry overnight. After the wood cut outs have completely dried, glue a small wooden clothes pin to the back. Place the mailbox in a central location and begin leaving mail for each other. When leaving mail for a particular person in the family raise the flag and clip on their wood cut out. This gives notice that someone has mail! This is a great and fun way to give the kids’ allowances, your family newsletter, birthday cards, and small surprises. Don’t forget to encourage your kids to use the mailbox when something is troubling them. Kids sometimes have trouble expressing themselves verbally and may more comfortable writing it down.

Feature Article
What Do I Do?

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.

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

Coconut Fried Chicken

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!

Coconut Fried Chicken

Makes 4 servings.

1/3Cup coconut flour
1 Teaspoon paprika
¼ Teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt

Get the complete recipe…

Upcoming Events

Please join us!

  • Mom’s Group
    (for Horizons client families only) Call the office to RSVP
    October 1st from 9:30-11:00 AM
  • Sibshop
    (open to everyone) Call the office to RSVP
    October 9th from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
    a great time for siblings to have fun and learn together
  • Horizons Parent Education Day
    (for Horizons client families only) Call the office to RSVP
    October 23rd from 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
  • Mom’s Group
    (for Horizons client families only) Call the office to RSVP
    November 9th from 9:30-11:00 AM
  • Horizons Family Holiday Party
    (for Horizons client families only) Call the office to RSVP
    December 4th from 2:00-5:00 PM
    bring the whole family to enjoy holiday foods, crafts, activities, and photos with Santa
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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