Autism

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

Proud Mom

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This is the face of a proud mom of an autistic son.

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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.

Politics and Autism

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The upcoming Presidential Election has once again brought the fierce exchange of insult slinging between the two candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Like many Americans, I’ve been following the Presidential Debates and watched the latest of the two which aired on Sunday, October 9th. There was the typical talk of politics and how each of the candidates felt they could do a better job than the other… but then it happened… I heard a little piece that was targeted specifically at me. Hillary Clinton stated that she has worked to make sure special needs children are give the proper resources in schools to lead meaningful lives. My brain immediately hit the refresh button for my body as I immediately became more attentive and focused on what the two candidates were saying.

Hillary Clinton was right to make note of the efforts that she has made to insure that our children have education equality and are given the same opportunities as other children to become productive members of society. NEWS FLASH everyone, WE MATTER. Every single day we take care of our special needs loved ones and our efforts are not in vain. We are preparing great people to do great things, so it is befitting that a Presidential Candidate boast about what she is doing and plans to do for us because WE MATTER. Please feel free to share your thoughts on this topic; I welcome your comments.

Spring break

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Spring break was out of this world.