Could Palin be good for Special Needs Children?

3 09 2008

I’m voting for Obama. That’s not up for debate. I think Biden was a great choice for his side kick. I am voting for Obama.  So, nothing I say here should put that in doubt.

Like most Americans I know very little about Sarah Palin. I can’t remember seeing her photo or mention of her name until she was unveiled in a mostly empty auditorium last week. I don’t think that she has put in enough time to take over as leader of the free world if McCain keels over. I don’t think that her decision to carry a child with Downs Syndrome to term qualifies her any more than it qualifies my friend X who did the same thing. I wholeheartedly believe that both women made the right choice but, it doesn’t end there.

I do wonder if having the mother of a child with disabilities as the Nation’s second in command might benefit our children. (Let’s not get into whether or not Autism is a disability. What matters is that our children do need extra help as do children with Downs.)  So, would Palin help us? Is she interested in education? Healthcare? Social Security?  I’m interested to hear what she has to say on this matter.  Would she be an asset for our children or will she take the path that so many Republicans take? Make sure they are born but don’t help them after that.

My Dad says he is pro-all-of-life. He includes quality of life in his explanation– it’s not just about being alive but in having a happy life and being a contribution to society. It includes understanding and having a relationship with God.

So, this woman who obviously is pro-life, is she pro-all-of-life or just Anti-Abortion? I’ll be watching to see what she has to say. (But, I’m still voting for Obama!)


3 Ways to Put Money in Your Pocket– From Home with No Investment

2 09 2008

1. Gather up your books– the ones in good shape– and go to then type in your ISBNs and they’ll tell you how much they’ll give you for them.  You can print out the prepaid shipping label and all you have to do is box it up and drop it off.  They’ll send you a check or deposit the money into your PayPal account. I sold 6 books for $23. They turned down a bunch of books and there were a few that were selling for so little that I figured I’d get more than that in a yardsale and it didn’t seem worth the effort.

*** Check this out*** Brandon sent a comment about comparing book buyers to get you the better deal– check it out! I ran a few of the books that turned down and was able to find buyers. I didn’t go through the whole process so I’m not sure how user friendly it is but at first glance it looks really great.  Please let me know your experiences.

2. Become a Fashion Designer– go to and set up shop with your own designs– no sewing, no shipping, no nothin’. All you have to do is upload the image, select the items you want it on and maybe do a little tweaking.  They sell it, ship it and even do some marketing then send you a commission check.   Many of the designs are fancy fonts and do-able by anyone with MS Office.  (You can have either a simple free shop with one design — or many free shops– or pay about $7.00 for a premium shop with multiple designs.  Check out my shop at we just got a check for $62.

3. PURGE.  Clean out your basement, attic, garage, kid’s room, your closet and have a garage sale or become an Ebay Seller. (Be careful on ebay! Look for tricks of the trade on-line before you post and make sure that you are very clear about what you will or will not do… being too easy to get along with might get you in trouble…) On the plus side– I made $2,000 in three months just by cleaning my house.

Please share your ideas and experiences– Have you tried any of these? others?  How did it work for you? Advice? Words of caution?

More on Changing Schools

2 09 2008
I’ve started putting a binder together for my son’s new educational/therapy team– am including IEPs (to indicate progression) as well as report cards and progress reports, notes home from his teacher… all the things that will make the transition easier for my son– and, more immediately effective for his team.
Start identifying, in list form, the supports that work for your child:
What structure is provided at home and school? 
How does he communicate likes, dislikes, preferences?
Are there certain verbal prompts/cues you use with him at home and/or at school?
Identify his strengths, preferences.  
Does he have a behavior chain…in other words when he starts stressing or getting upset are there subtle cues/behaviors (such as wringing his hands, then pacing, etc).
Does he have a behavioral intervention plan?
What are his triggers? (Too loud, too fast, too… you know your child– what sets him off?)
Having all of this written out will help when you attempt to transition him to another school.
Ask your child’s teacher if you can have the tools that work for him– my son has a behavior wheel– He looses a green piece when he acts out, when all four are gone, it’s on to red… Red days are really bad! (No TV at home, no video games… only books are allowed and early to bed.)
The more proactive you can be the better for him– and, the better the move!

Dr. Dirt and Dr. Death

2 09 2008

I have two brothers: one is a soil scientist the other an infant mortality specialist with the CDC. So, it’s no huge leap that we refer to them- lovingly- as Dr. Dirt and Dr. Death.

They are so different and yet growing up they were best friends… as younger adults they took long motorcycle trips across the country sleeping under the stars and eating spam or tortillias. They are extreemely proud that they have swum across the border to Mexico… they made up songs about needing to have a “butt pad like a baboon” and they really enjoyed eachother’s company.

Then, the women in their lives started interfering in their relationship and now they only speak when there is a reason. They only see eachother when there is a reason. Those women are now gone but the closeness hasn’t returned.

They raise their children very differently. Dr. Dirt is much more like me– “I’m the parent that’s why!” Where as Dr. Death is of the school that allows their children to run the show.  That’s caused problems between them… and child rearing has caused issues with the rest of the family as well.

Dr. Dirt is my friend. He’s the guy I call to chit chat. He’s the one I call for advice on everything from gardening to computers. Dr. Death annoys me– I’ll just leave it at that.

My brothers are good men. They were raised in the same household by the same parents within three years of eachother. They are very different. I love them both.