On the Horizon – 11/8/11

Welcome to “On the Horizon”

Issue 169: Fixer or Facilitator?

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: Cold Weather Setting In
  • Feature Article: Fixer or Facilitator?
  • Ask the Horizons Team
  • Upcoming Events: Simple Solutions Seminar & Sibshop
  • Recommended Resources

I returned to Michigan from Dallas on Sunday and it really feels like the cold weather is setting in.  The trees are just about bare, and the time change makes it feel like the days are so much shorter.  I know the time change is nice for those of you that have to get up and out of the house early in the morning.  At least you have a bit of daylight now!

Our feature article this week by Erin is about the role of an itinerant staff member in school settings.  If you are a speech pathologist, occupational therapist, social worker, or other itinerant staff member then I know you will benefit from what she shares.  Parents, you can also benefit and should pass the article on to itinerant staff working with your children.  Let’s make providing these services about facilitating change, not just fixing problems on the surface!

Here’s a little heads up about an exciting announcement coming next week.  We usually run a Thanksgiving/holiday sale for people to stock up on gifts.  This year will be no exception, but the sale will be more exciting than anything we’ve done before.  Make sure to check next week’s edition for all the details!

Have an excellent week!

Looking to the horizon,

Fixer or Facilitator?

By Erin Roon, MA CCC-SLP

As a former itinerant staff member in a local school district, I can identify with how difficult it is to feel like you are really making an impact.  From the large caseloads to student schedules, to the traveling from building to building, and everything in between, it can be hard to know if you are making a difference.  I lived that life for more than thirteen years, and there were many times when I walked out of school wondering if I had made any impact at all that day.  I saw improvements in my students, which told me that I was doing something right; but I often wondered if there was more, a different way of providing service that could make a bigger impact or have more benefit.

On this path of discovery, I asked myself a few important questions that helped me to make the decision to change the way I was doing things.  The questions I asked were: “Do I just want to fix the holes on the surface, or do I really want to get in there and solidify the structure that will lead to longer lasting and farther reaching results?”  “Do I just want to teach the child to say words, or do I want him or her to communicate meaningfully?”  Once I stopped and thought about the answers to these questions, I knew what I needed to do.  I couldn’t just keep shoring up the house with ‘jacks,’ I had to find a way to firm up the foundation so the house could stand without supports.  I needed to find a way to make communication meaningful, and not just a rote skill of learning words to say.

Click here to read the rest of this article…


Last week your featured article was about gut health and the importance of good nutrition.  I found it very informative, and have been meaning to look at probiotic options for our family.  Do you have any favorite probiotics that you recommend to families?

-Andy in Denver, CO


Hi Andy,

I’m so glad you found Erin’s article helpful!  Healthy bodies are essential for healthy brain development, and we all can benefit from improved physical health and wellness.  There are many excellent probiotic products available in the marketplace.  One brand that we like and recommend is Theralac by Master Supplements.  You can get either the capsule form or a children’s powder form.  These are medical-grade products that we have found to work very well for our clients and our own personal families.  You can find Master Supplements online at http://www.master-supplements.com.  Remember that it is a good idea to rotate probiotics periodically so you get the benefits of multiple strains and amounts of various good bacteria.  We have found the Master Supplements company to provide excellent customer service as well, which is always a bonus.  I hope you find a probiotic product that works well for your family!

Best wishes,

(Oh, and I should also mention that this is not medical advice and I am not a medical doctor.  Any questions you have about your child’s/your own medical needs should be directed to your medical providers.)

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Upcoming Events

Simple Solutions Seminar
November 17, 7-8:30PM via teleseminar
Don’t Forget About Me: Supporting Siblings of Children with Special Needs
Click here for more information.

November 12, 2011 from 10am-2pm
open to everyone
Click here for more information.

Horizons Holiday Party
December 10, 2011, 2pm-5pm
For Horizons families only

January 14, 2012 from 10am-2pm


Autism Transformation for Educators Audio Program

From Frustrated and Overwhelmed to Overwhelming Success: 10 Concepts That Will Transform the Way You Understand and Teach Students with Autism and Other Neurodevelopmental Disorders

More Information >>