On the Horizon – 10/09/12

Welcome to "On the Horizon"

Issue 201: Raising Responsible and Respectable Children

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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  • A Note from Nicole: Slow down & Enjoy the Scenery
  • Feature Article:
    Raising Responsible and Respectable Children
  • Ask the Horizons Team
  • Upcoming Events
  • Recommended Resources

Hi Everyone!

It’s a beautiful fall day here with the colors changing on the trees and cool temperatures. We had the opportunity to see some long-time friends this past weekend, and enjoyed the pretty colors on the drive to get to their house. I was reminded of the importance of slowing down to look around and enjoy the scenery, and how that often gets lost in the busyness of life. Somehow the changing of the seasons helps me become more intentional about taking time to look around, breathe, and take in what is around me. How about you?

The feature article this week from Michelle provides helpful tips for raising children who are responsible and have respect for others. Whether or not your child has special needs, this is an important topic for all parents. The Q&A section below provides a helpful resource for those of you who may be working on toilet training with your child/client.

Take some time to slow down and enjoy what’s around you this week!

Looking to the horizon,

Raising Responsible and Respectable Children

By Michelle VanderHeide, LLBSW

If anybody says that parenting is easy, they must not have kids! As a parent of three wonderful children, I have found that each one needs to be parented differently. One child needs to be held often, one needs opportunities to talk, and the other thrives on quality time. One is strong willed, another is a people pleaser, and the other is just busy! I’ve read many books, listened to several books on tape, and watched my fair share of DVD’s about different approaches to parenting; but a few things consistently resurface as important strategies when raising responsible and respectable children. These strategies work, because they’re not about the children, they’re about you – the parent. The first thing to do is write down the areas that you want to work on with your child. Speaking disrespectfully, hitting, potty training, walking off while you are talking, and homework issues are just a few of the problem areas you may be facing. Pick one thing to work on at a time, so as not to overwhelm yourself. I’ll use resistance to come in from outside as an example for this article. Once you’ve picked your battle, put your boxing gloves on and follow the guidelines below.

Click here to read the rest of this article…


I have a 7-year-old son with autism who is not yet toilet trained. My husband and I feel that he is showing signs of readiness to toilet train, but so far it’s been a challenge to catch him at the right times to take him to the bathroom. We have heard that there are toileting alarm-type systems that can help. I looked online and there are so many options that I’m not sure what would be best. Have you used any of these systems with your clients and, if so, do you have any you recommend? Thank you!!

-Rachael in Missoula, MT


Hi Rachael,

Toilet training is an adventure, isn’t it?! If your son is showing signs of readiness (going at somewhat predictable times, letting you know that he is wet, wanting his diaper changed, etc.) then it’s a good time to start learning how to use the bathroom. You are correct that there are many alarm-type systems out there, and I’m sure each has pros and cons. The one that we have used here at our office, and that some of our families have used, is called the Rogers Wireless Bedwetting System. Don’t let the word "bedwetting" turn you off – it can be used for daytime as well! I like this system because it includes cotton underwear that allows the child to feel the wetness next to their skin. It also has the wires hidden in the fabric so even sensitive children can tolerate wearing the system. There are various tones and options to choose from depending on what parents and child prefer. All in all I would say this has been a very good value for the families who have used it. You may find that you only need to use it initially to help your son (and you) become aware of when the wetting is happening. Good luck with the training process and let us know what you think of this system if you use it!

Take Care,

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Upcoming Events


Looking for an opportunity designed for SIBLINGS of children with autism or other developmental disorders?

Siblings of children with autism or other disabilities have their own unique needs and experiences, and we use the renowned Sibshop model designed to provide them with support, education, and fun.

October 13, 2012 from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM Cost is $20 per child – Sibshop is a world-renowned model for providing education and support to siblings of children with special needs. Our Sibshop is held at Horizons in our sensory room. We include a combination of movement and discussion activities, arts and crafts, and games. Children will need to bring a lunch, but snack is provided.

RESERVE YOUR SPOT TODAY by clicking here, emailing our office info@horizonsdrc.com, or by calling us at (616) 698-0306.


Hear Nicole Speak

Upcoming dates and locations where Nicole Beurkens, PhD will be speaking:

Autism and Other Neurodevelopmental Disorders: Practical Strategies to Improve Processing

October 18, 2012 in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania

October 19, 2012 in Cherry Hill, New Jersey


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