Monday, June 7, 2021

Hello Summer and the New Normal...

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How are you doing? It has been a ride hasn't it, especially with the pandemic and all that has gone on up to this point. I am so ready for summer 2021 and all that it has to offer, especially no more zoom meetings(at least for the next few months) in some cases. What are your plans? Are you going to travel and visit family and friends? Staycation? We have some plans to hopefully visit family and friends on the horizon. Also our youngest is turning 15 years old and we cannot believe how fast time flies. We also recently celebrated our 20 year anniversary! and our daughter turned 19. 

I am most thankful that we made it through a pandemic, at least the worst part and we are still watching everything we do, especially with hand sanitizers, masks, temperature checks....you know the drill. This is our new normal so we have to roll with it and continue to take care of each other the best way we know how. Stay safe out there.

Have a fabulous summer 2021 everyone!

~M.

Monday, May 17, 2021

A Tale of Two Types of Learning in the Midst of a Pandemic/ COVID-19 ..

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 VS

                   Remote                                                              Full In-Person-Learning


Once upon a time in a school district not too far away, there was a terrible virus that shut the world down for over a year(we are still fighting this terrible virus:-(. Lots of people lost their lives and the normal that most people came to know and love changed forever. Some people, especially educators, were not sure how they were going to educate all of their students in Kindergarten-12th grade, especially those with special needs. 

Make back to school easy with schedules, fidgets and sitting wedges from NationalAutismResources.com

Some school districts did not know what to do and were faced with how they were going to educate students online and address the needs of those that struggled already academically, emotionally, financially, mentally and/or otherwise. So when mayor opened up the city by phases, then schools conducted a survey to find out who wanted to come back and who wanted to stay in early Spring. The results were overwhelmingly divided, just like our nation. Some families/school districts chose to do a hybrid learning model and others chose to stay at home. Although this worked for some families, depending on their schedules and overall personal circumstances, there was still weekly COVID-19 cases at the elementary, middle, and high schools levels and also there were some schools that did not get one case at all. 

Fast forward to present....Another survey was conducted in a school district not too far away again and this time was different. The school district gave families two weeks to decide on a remote way of learning, in person learning(full day/5 days a week), or To Leave the District altogether. The sad part of this scenario was that special needs students were unfortunately not properly addressed and there are only a few weeks left of school with no answers in site for this dilemma. 



Hopefully in the midst of this tale of two ways of learning and this pandemic there will be answers, not more questions and hopefully that there are no losers. In the end though, someone always does and that is why this tale is so common and not surprising. It happens everyday.


The Moral of this Story: 

Whatever you decide as a family for your student and how they learn, trust that and know that you are doing what works for you, your child and how they learn best. Also trust that school districts are doing what they can to meet your child's needs and services as well. The trick is to find the right balance, so that your child does not fall into a deeper whole with no way out, no services provided, academic support or other supports. The worst case scenario would be for your student, God Forbid, dropping out of school altogether with no future. Follow Your Heart.

~M.

Monday, April 12, 2021

Are You Ready for Summer 2021?




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I cannot believe that summer is about 3 months away!!? Do you have any plans? We have been seriously on staycation since the pandemic hit last year. It has been really challenging, to say the least, to keep it together at times, especially with a hubby, an adult daughter, and a teenaged autistic son. All at home all the time ***SIGH****. But at the end of the day, it is all because we need to be and remain socially distant and safe in this time due to COVID-19. We are also still on a waiting list to get the vaccine, so hopefully sooner than later. I will definitely not get into that, regarding taking the COVID vaccine or not, it just gets too complicated and touchy. 


For Easter, I made baskets for my kiddoes and they are cute, here are some pics: 



They look forward to these every single year. I thought I was done but when I brought it up to my adult daughter about Easter baskets and if she still wanted me to make them, she said "uh, yes, Mom!". So I did and here they are.  


I digress....what are we planning for the summer? Well for right now, it is sort of up in the air because of all that is going on in the world, but I will have to keep you all updated, if our staycation plans change and/or we get moved up from our current phase in our state. 

That's all for now. Have a safe and happy week and practice safe social distancing. 

~Mandu


Monday, March 8, 2021

Is Your Special Needs Student Being Targeted by Their Teacher?





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Photo by nappy from Pexels

I learned today that my oldest had been targeted by a former 1st grade teacher, although she is an adult now, she says that she never forgot the incident because it was so traumatic. But as a parent hearing this for the first time it was very jarring and heartbreaking as well. Thankfully my daughter can look back on this incident and has grown from it but it happened and for me as a parent I cannot imagine what this would have done to my autistic younger teenaged son. He would literally be broken. 

We advocate for both of our children every single day of our lives and whenever they need our help, But imagine if you will for a moment if your child was at school and being targeted or bullied by a person who is their teacher or para-educator, that are supposed to accommodate/support them, in their academics, daily living skills, homework-- just teach them what they need to learn and grow. Instead they are being bullied and/or targeted on a daily, monthly and weekly basis. God forbid If they are special needs they may be non-verbal, have autism, emotionally or physically challenged, etc.  and not able to articulate what is happening to them, which only gives their bully more power; whether that be by another student or teacher. 

As a parent you have every right to ask questions about your child's well being at school or wherever they are, but at school you would think that they are taken care of....after learning about my daughter's traumatic experience it has just emboldened me to keep on advocating for our autistic son and her because there are other bullies out there in this crazy world of ours and I want to be ready. 

Are You?



Saturday, February 27, 2021

5 Ways to Enjoy Peanut Butter

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Today is Peanut Butter Lover's Day! Unfortunately for myself, I am allergic, but for those who can savor the many ways that peanut butter touches their lives, whether that be on apples or in a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Enjoy the many ways to savor the goodness of roasted creamy or crunchy peanut butter. #PeanutButterLoversDay


Here are five creative ways to enjoy peanut butter:


1. Peanut butter and watermelon sandwiches

Don't knock it 'til you've tried it. The crunchy texture of the fruit goes surprisingly well with the smoothness of the peanut butter. Follow the recipe here.

2. Apple, bacon and peanut butter sandwiches

Bacon goes with everything, right? This messy sandwich recipe is the perfect combination of tart, sweet and savory.

3. Peanut butter and jelly smoothie

This smoothie is perfect for amateur chefs! It only requires five ingredients, a blender, and takes less than two minutes. Get the recipe here.

4. Peanut butter and jelly cinnamon rolls

A creative spin on the popular breakfast treat, this 12-serving recipe takes some time to prepare, but it's worth it!

5. Banana and peanut butter dogs

The kid-friendly recipe puts a fun twist on hot dogs, using a bun, peanut butter, jelly and a banana. It's easy to prepare and only requires four ingredients.

Article From

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Life is So Very Hard Sometimes...COVID-19 Sucks!

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"When life throws you a curve, deal with it, cry if you want to and then pick yourself up again and keep going." By Mom Advocate


Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Opening School During a Pandemic with 3 Different Covid-19 Strains

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Is it SAFE for your kids to return to school during a pandemic?


My hubby and I asked each other that same question a few days ago when we received an email about our school district's reopening plan. There are so many things at stake: economy, opening of businesses, children's mental and emotional wellness,   parent's sanity and so much more that is happening in our world right now. 

To top it all off, there is a pandemic that can kill you and your immediate family ***ARGH!!!***. If you are still on the fence about what to decide, in regards to sending your children back to school, the CDC has a great checklist you can check out and make the best decision for your family. 

In our case, our son is autistic as some of you may already know and our concerns will obviously not be the same as your concerns when it comes to having your child return to school. Some questions to ask yourself:

1. Does my child need to be in an environment where he/she has to be inside a brick and mortar classroom to learn?

2. Can he/she still access their assignments virtually vs in person?

3. If they are a student that has school provided services, such as speech therapy, physical therapy or occupational therapy can these services be provided virtually or is better if it is in person?

4. Is your child easily distracted by people, smells and overall sensory challenges? 

This would be especially challenging if the school environment has to be constantly sanitized and cleaned due to COVID-19 Protocols in place to keep our students safe. Unfortunately these same protocols could be very overwhelming and distracting for those students who are more prone to asthma, allergy or all of the above. 

5. And last but certainly not least, can your child withstand a mask covering for over 2 1/2 hours each day for 5 days a week? 

Whatever you decide, only you know what is best for your child and their overall well being. I hope that wherever you reside that your school district is allowing you to make the best decision for your child, whether that be to return to in person learning, a hybrid model or remain remote. 

I wish you a safe and happy day and take time to call your family and/or friends to tell them how much you care about them or at the very least to check in on them from time to time:-). 


Hello Summer and the New Normal...

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