Suggestions

Summer Camp for our Special Children

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All over the country children are bubbling with excitement, for they know summer break is days away or for some has already started.  Many parents are bubbling to; I’m just not sure all of it is excitement as much as a tad bit of stress. For the next 2 months we’re in charge of making an itinerary to keep our children busy and happy for the several hours a day that they were in school.

Summer camps are a great resource for parents. A lot of camps have 8 hour schedules, which allow the children to be somewhere safe where they can interact with other children and learn some cool stuff at the same time. This of course allows for the parents to keep up their work schedule and/or other interests they’re committed to.

The Park Districts in most cities have “Special Recreation” for special needs individuals ranging from the ages of 7- 19. In addition the prices are drastically lower than other camps. However, don’t let that be the determining factor.  We know our children better than anyone so definitely choose the camp that’s a good fit for your child. I highly recommend visiting the park with your child prior to signing them up. Good vibes makes for good experiences for both the parent and child.

I look forward to sharing and reading your summer camp stories very soon.

Big Hug

Bernadette

Run Your Race

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Life can seem like a rollercoaster; you sometimes find yourself feeling like you’re about to crash but just before you hit the ground, you’re thrust to new heights you haven’t reached before. I used to wonder if I was the only person going through ups and downs… that is, until I started hanging out with other ambitious people. Regardless of what walk of life you come from, the more ambitious you are, the more uncomfortable you become with mediocrity.

I’ve recently learned to become my own cheerleader. I’m always on the sidelines cheering for other to have success in whatever they’re working toward. Well now I take the time to cheer for me. I’ve heard that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” well so is success and I’m going to keep running until my race is won!

 

 

 

 

 

Time to Dream

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Time, one of the few things in life that is irreplaceable. You can’t buy it, you can’t produce it and you certainly get a refund for any of it that is wasted. With all of these things being well known facts, it’s important to make note of how we process the huge clock in our lives.

In the time I spend alone with my thoughts I’ve found that I’m always super conscious of how quickly time moves. With that being said, I find myself stressed a lot and often times am unsatisfied with the timeframe in which my goals are accomplished. My childhood dream was to become a journalist. That’s what I earned my degree in and worked as for a few years during and after college. However, life happened and I was forced to put that dream on shelf for what I thought would only be for a little while. Eleven years later I’ve looked up and realize I’m still trying to fulfill that dream.

To be completely honest I’m pursuing it more aggressively in the past couple of weeks then I have in previous years; I just feel like it’s time. My son is eleven now and I’ve been a single parent for that long as his father died eleven years ago. Please… there’s no pity party necessary. Instead I am diligently searching for opportunities to make my dreams a reality. I’ll update you on my progress as it is made. Meanwhile, be mindful of how you spend your time.

Why so few Options?

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The recent events involving the Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Teachers Union(CTU) put some things on my mind as I was left feeling extremely vulnerable within the last 72 hours. The City of Chicago and the CTU announced that they had come to an agreement at 11:55pm last night; 5 minutes before the deadline to avoid a strike. In the event of a strike Chicago Public School teachers would not have gone to work which means students would not have been able to go to school.

This is bothersome on so many levels because for one, Education is one thing that is key to having a prosperous future and therefore should not be looked upon as an option. Secondly, everyone in this country has the right to an education, so having a lapse in what we are owed seems like an infraction upon or rights. However, being faced with the possible scenario of a strike left me wondering where my child would go while I was at work? I found a short list of places that would open their doors to children that attended Chicago Public Schools and, were not able to stay at home due to parent work obligations, but on that list it was only one organization that was properly staffed to work with Special Needs children. The Chicago Park District has a Special Recreation program and staff that work with Special Needs children on a regular basis. However, though I was relieved to know that my son would have a safe place to go; it left me wondering why my options are so few.The parents of the children that are not special needs had several options as to where they could take their children while I only had one.

I am going to make it a point to talk to aldermen and any other necessary city officials to get more resources for special needs families. We should have multiple options as to where we can take our children when they are not in school. Autism, Down Syndrome and other disabilities are not new therefore resources for people touched by them should not be scarce. Please feel free to share your thoughts on this topic.

Cast Your Cares

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He hears you! Sometimes our blessings don’t look the way we imagined, but they’re blessings all the same.

All Accomplishments are HUGE

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Part of the excitement of the year changing is that you get to look back over the previous year and note all of your accomplishments. Over the past year I’ve watched my son aka my little autistic hero grow into a responsible preteen. He helps put the groceries away, makes his own bed and has given himself the job of being responsible for all of the lights in the house. If it sounds like I’m bragging, you’re right, I am. As parents we can’t forget to celebrate all accomplishments, as they land us another step closer to raising happy and responsible adults!

New Year New Goals!

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Happy New Year to my Autism Family! May all of your goals be exceeded!