April 2: Light It Up Blue – National Autism Awareness Month


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Wear “blue”  on April 2 in support of Autism Awareness.

Go to Light it Up Blue for more info.
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Teaching children with autism is an awesome experience!  True, it is challenging and sometimes puzzling (thus the “puzzle piece”), but it is so rewarding to work with these precious children.  Being able to connect with them, to encourage their language development and then see them using language on their own in the classroom and at home without any prompting makes me, those I work with, and their parents want to celebrate.  We are so happy at each milestone, no matter how small.

If you have ever been around children with autism, you will probably notice their lack of communication skills and lack of eye contact.  Usually, that doesn’t mean they don’t want to connect with you.  It just means that you need to learn how to connect with them!  And I fully believe it is worth every effort!

It is estimated that approximately one million U.S. children and teens are affected by autism.   Boys are five times more likely to have autism than girls.   There is a lot of debate about what causes autism, and no one knows for sure.  It is definitely puzzling!  

A few people with autism have shared more than any research has ever revealed.  Temple Grandin has given tremendous insight into autism.  There is a wonderful movie about her life, “Temple Grandin,” which won seven Emmy Awards and gives the viewer a window into the mind of Grandin.  I’ve watched it four times and want to see it again.  Even my husband, our college-age son, and my mother-in-law really liked it.  My husband ranked it as one of the best movies he’s seen.   I highly recommend it!

Also, there is a fairly new book, I Am in Here: The Journey of a Child with Autism Who Cannot Speak but Finds Her Voice, which was released October 2011 and gives great insight into a young girl with autism.  Speaking through poetry she has written, Elizabeth has typed her thoughts which were not sharable by audible words.  These valuable insights are a great blessing!

For more information:

 



Certifications

In the job market today, it takes thinking out of the box sometimes.  Some people who have degrees are having to go back to school and get training in another field.   There are all types of certifications out there that can aid in getting jobs such as strength and conditioning certification, etc.  For a teacher, getting ESL or Gifted & Talented certification might help in the job market.  If that’s what it takes to get a good job then it’s worth getting the certification.

LCU Online Degrees


If you are looking to expand your knowledge in accounting, finance and human resources then you may wish to consider an Organizational Management Degree Online from Lubbock Christian University (LCU).  You will also increase knowledge and skills in professional communication, social responsibility and ethics, research techniques and much more.  Get your degree online from LCU, a Christian-based university that is fully accredited and well trusted since 1957.

Help for the Struggling Learner


When you’re thinking about Christmas gifts this year, think out-of-the-box. What about giving someone you love a gift that will help them with their struggle to learn. If you have a child in your family who is really struggling, do your research and check out Learning Link Technologies. Read their testimonials and see if you think they could help someone you love. Free tests for dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia are on their site.

Note:  I did not receive any compensation for this post.

Teaching Children With Learning Disabilities: Free Dyslexia & Dyscalculia Tests

As a Special Education teacher starting out teaching in the late seventies, our Resource Room focused on auditory and visual problems that interfered with children’s learning.  These were some of the skills we focused on in our Resource Room:

  • Auditory Memory
  • Auditory Sequencing
  • Visual Memory
  • Visual Sequencing

But after two or three years, there was an emphasis placed on teaching the core subjects of reading, math, writing, and English.   The auditory and visual skills were a small part of those objectives, but not to the extent they once were.

Teachers and parents have utilized activities involving these skills such as listening to a story which requires auditory sequencing (“Brown Bear, Brown Bear”).  And there are memory match-up games (Concentration style) that require visual memory.  But for the child who is deficit in any of the above areas, that may not be enough.  Regular classroom teachers do not have the time to address these deficits in detail, and many home-schooling parents don’t know exactly what to do or what works best.

After teaching in the Resource Room for six years, I became a stay-at-home mom with our first baby, Christi.  I went back to teaching school when she was nearly four, but this time in a first grade classroom.  Through the years, I had children with learning disabilities and wished I had the time to work with them like I did in the Resource Room.  But I didn’t, and so I had to do the best I could.  It takes time and concentrated effect to work on auditory and visual skills.

Talking about auditory and visual skills, I have been given the opportunity to review the online Learning Link Educational Therapy Product which deals with brain retraining, and I am excited to be able to do this.  They deal with the auditory and visual skills that are so often passed over quickly. I have been so overwhelmed with all the work at school, though, that I have not had the time to review their product extensively, but over time I hope to get back to you with more information.  For now, I’ll say that I’m impressed with what I’ve seen so far.

Learning Link Technologies offers a free Dyslexia Test and also free Dyscalculia Testing.  You can print these tests and give them to your child if you have concerns about these areas. These tests are absolutely free, there is no commitment, and they can give you insight into your child’s needs. I think that’s too good an offer to pass up!

 

WordWorld DVD “Get Up and Move” Giveaway

Are you familiar with WordWorld? If not, check it out and see if you agree with me that it is one of the best educational TV shows available for children. There are also WordWorld DVDs available, and I’m giving away their new one, “Get Up and Move,” which encourages children to exercise while also teaching them reading skills in a fun way.

WordWorld was the only show that our grandson would watch when he was a year old. As a teacher who has taught many children how to read in first grade, I immediately fell in love with the characters and the influence I knew they must be having on young children learning their alphabet letters and sounds plus teaching them how to read words.

WIN IT:
WordWorld is providing one DVD for giveaway. This contest is open to all U.S. residents. Entries will be accepted until midnight CST Wednesday, May 4, 2011. Please leave a separate comment for each entry:

MANDATORY ENTRY:

Visit WordWorld – “Where Words Come Alive” and leave a comment telling me who is your favorite character.
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BONUS ENTRIES:

Must complete mandatory entry first! Leave a comment if you already follow or subscribe.

  • Blog about this giveaway and link it back here (3 extra entries)
  • “Like” Healthy Home Blog on Facebook (1 extra entry)
  • Click the Facebook “Share” button below this post to share it on your FB wall (2 extra entries)
  • Follow me on Twitter (1 extra entry) (leave a comment if you already follow me)
  • Click the “Tweet” button below this post to share it on your Twitter feed (1 entry per day)
  • Subscribe to Healthy Home Blog’s email updates- see sidebar. (2 entries)
  • Follow me through Google Friend Connect in my sidebar. (1 entry)

* WordWorld is supplying a DVD for this giveaway. I was not compensated monetarily for this article. This is my honest opinion.

WordWorld T-Shirt Giveaway

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How would you like to win one of these adorable T-Shirts for your child? PopFunk is providing a WordWorld T-Shirt, shipping included, to the winner of this giveaway.

Our daughter and s-i-l first introduced us to WordWorld when it was the only show that our grandson would watch when he was around a year old. Forget the other educational shows for babies and toddlers, WordWorld was the one that captured his attention. After watching it, I could see why. As an educator, I immediately fell in love with the characters on WordWorld and the impact I knew they must be having on young children learning their alphabet letters, sounds, and actually learning to sound out words and read.

So with that said, let me get on with the giveaway:
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HOW TO WIN IT:
PopFunk is providing one WordWorld T-Shirt for giveaway. This contest is open to all U.S. residents. Entries will be accepted until midnight CST Monday, April 25, 2011. Please leave a separate comment for each entry:


MANDATORY ENTRY:

Follow “Mr. P,” PopFunk, on Facebook &/or Twitter. (Each one counts as a separate entry.  Remember to leave a separate comment for each.)
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BONUS ENTRIES: Must complete mandatory entry first!  Leave a comment if you already follow or subscribe.

  • Blog about this giveaway and link it back here (3 extra entries)
  • Click the Facebook “Share” button below this post to share it on your FB wall (2 extra entries)
  • Follow me on Twitter (1 extra entry) (leave a comment if you already follow me)
  • Click the “Tweet” button below this post to share it on your Twitter feed  (1 entry per day)
  • Subscribe to my RRS Feed.  (2 entries)
  • Subscribe to Healthy Home Blog’s email updates- see sidebar. (2 entries)

* PopFunk supplied one of their T-Shirts for a giveaway. However, I was not compensated monetarily for this article. This is my honest opinion.

April 2, 2011 is World Autism Awareness Day

I am a special education teacher, and this is dear to my heart.
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April 2nd is the date of the annual celebration of World Autism Awareness Day.  Many events will be going on around the world in the U.S., Canada, Australia, Brazil, Hungary, India, Ireland, Mexico, United Kingdom, and the list goes on and on.  Famous people and celebrities will be in attendance at some events.  Much will be done to educate people on how to communicate with people who are autistic..

 

In the United States, we are using the whole month of April as Autism Awareness Month to educate the public about issues within the autistic community. People are encouraged to contact their local representatives as well as congressional representatives to “Vote 4 Autism.” For more information about this legislation and to take action to support it, visit Vote4autism.org.

LIGHT IT UP BLUE is the theme in Australia as well as other places as the Sydney Opera House and other buildings around the world are lit up in blue lights for World Autism Awareness Day.  They are encouraging people to sign up on the site and light their own blue light bulb.

At my school, many of the faculty wear blue in honor of Autism Awareness Day.  If you have a chance, wear blue on April 2nd.  I definitely plan to be wearing blue on that day.

If you have the chance to watch this, I highly recommend the movie based on the life of  “Temple Grandin,” who has autism.  This movie won seven Emmy Awards, including Best-Made-for-Television Movie.  Here’s a summary of the movie in case you’re interested.  Claire Danes does an excellent job portraying Temple, which Temple herself admits.  Also, Grandin has her own website, Temple Grandin, Ph.D.

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Read here for more info about Autism Awareness & Tips.

Video and Web Conferencing

We live in such a highly technological age.  People in other parts of the world are just a few clicks away on the internet.  Video and web conferencing make conferences available to those scattered across the country.

Dr. Temple Grandin will be doing a webinar on livestock tomorrow which illustrates how anyone, anywhere can tune in and watch this.  Having worked with children who have autism, I would love to meet or at least hear her speak.  Why?  In the 2010 TIME 100,  Dr. Grandin was listed as one of the 100 most influential people in 2010 in the Heroes category.  Why?  Because being autistic herself, Temple Grandin has given more insight into autism than anyone.  She didn’t speak until age three or four (I read three and a half but the movie about her says four), yet now she is a highly sought after public speaker and is a professor at Colorado State University.  What an amazing lady!  If I didn’t have to teach tomorrow then I would definitely want to watch and listen to her on the webinar.

Getting an Online Degree

The value of a degree cannot be underplayed in this economy.  With today’s market, competition is high in the job market, and one must have the skills or degree necessary for the job.  Many are opting for an online degree which can be completed at their convenience and within their schedule.  When one has a family and values the time spent with their family, an online college education provides just the flexibility they need so they can still go to soccer games, open house at school, and all the many things that parents attend.

Not only do online universities provide the convenience and flexibility that is attractive to so many, but they usually provide a savings, some more so than others.   Common to all, though, is the savings in gas money, time that might have to be taken off from work, and babysitting fees for those with children.  No wonder so many are looking at online degrees to complete their college education so they can compete in today’s highly competitive job market.

Note:  This is a sponsored post.