On the Horizon: 11/07/12

Welcome to "On the Horizon"

Issue 204: Education: Difficult Choices

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: Celebrating Our Amazing Team
  • Feature Article: Education: Difficult Choices
  • Upcoming Events
  • Recommended Resources

Hi Everyone!

I hope November is starting out well for you! Our team enjoyed a fun party last night as we celebrated the impending arrival of our colleague Alicia’s new baby girl. She is due in December and we are excited for her, and husband Bob, to welcome their first baby. I am constantly reminded of how blessed I am to work with such an amazing team of people. We enjoy working hard and playing hard together!

This week’s feature article is a personal piece by Michelle about decisions she and her husband have made for their daughters’ education. It can be a challenge to find the right learning environment for each child, and sometimes the journey goes down paths we don’t anticipate. Finding the right fit is worth the challenges, even when it means significant changes for all involved. I’m looking forward to update articles from Michelle as they continue down this alternative educational path for their kids!

Make it a great week!

Looking to the horizon,

Education: Difficult Choices

By Michelle VanderHeide, LLBSW

It began last fall when I sat in a conference with my older daughter’s teachers and was told "she has a hard time focusing in school, and is at the help desk all the time." I heard other words like "testing for ADD" and "the other kids already get these concepts" (which were expectations for the end of the school year). I left hurt and angry for several different reasons, but began to understand many of the frustrations that families come to me with every year. I then proceeded on to my younger daughter’s classroom where I heard that "she doesn’t seem to get the concept the first time, math is hard for her." I was shocked; in the evenings she plowed through her math homework in minutes–it was easy for her. If I wasn’t already knocked down by my older daughter’s report, the second put me over the edge. I held on to the fact that this was a substitute teacher, and surely I’d hear a different story with the second conference. The idea of home schooling crossed my mind; but I work, and I couldn’t take my kids away from their friends, still I knew they were more capable than what was being reported to me by the school. I mentioned home schooling to my girls, and they immediately fought the idea. "NO WAY!" What was I going to do? How could I get them the support they needed?

Click here to read the rest of this article…

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Upcoming Events

Hear Nicole Speak

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

Autism and Other Neurodevelopmental Disorders: Practical Strategies to Improve Processing

November 14, 2012 in Winchester, Virginia

November 15, 2012 in Charlottesville Virginia

November 16, 2012 in Richmond, Virginia

February 6, 2013 in Bridgeport, CT

February 7, 2013 in Cromwell, CT

February 8, 2013 in Warwick, RI


Learn as we grow

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.

More Information >>