CHANGE: New Year, New School, New Teachers

(Guest post by Monica McDivitt – Monica blogs at Like a Butterfly)

Have you ever felt this way??

This summer I tried desperately to figure out the best way to introduce Samantha to her new teachers and new school without focusing solely on her disabilities. Samantha is hearing impaired, cognitively delayed, motor delayed and does not have verbal communication skills. Transitions from one environment to another are usually most challenging because, in actuality, one cannot simply sit down and tell Samantha what is going to happen next because she does not understand this level of communication. Samantha is often confused and afraid during transitions and this often leads to resistance and discontent. Consequently, I am often left with a sick feeling – like I have abandoned or mislead her in some way. I also feel as if Samantha is left wondering “What happened?” As her mother, the one thing I can do to make it better for Samantha (and myself) is to help her teachers, paraprofessionals, therapists and other service providers to know and understand who she truly is, what her strengths are and what she enjoys the most. To do this, I needed to figure out a way to provide a substantial amount of information in a comprehensive but concise manner. If you have ever felt this way, then there is something you can do to help ease your mind and heart- make a portfolio about your child.

When I handed a big binder full of information about Sam to her new teacher on Sam’s first day of 6th grade, I was told it was a “teacher’s dream.” When Sam got out of school that day, a substitute teacher greeted me and told me how smart I was and congratulated me on doing such a nice job. I smiled and really appreciated the compliment but I love and care about my Sam and this is why I did it, not because I am “smart” or wish to be “supermom.” Sam is my world and I want people to know her and understand her like John and I do.

Yes, it took some time and effort but she is worth it and your child is too! Hope this helps someone. :)

Things I included:

FAMILY
Our Vision for Samantha.
Samantha Facts
Samantha’s Family
What Makes Samantha Unique?
History of Sam

SOCIAL
I am Sam. Sam I am.
If You Knew Sam Like I Know Sam…

EDUCATION
Early Childhood Intervention, PPCD, Elementary
Evaluation, School Photos & Artwork

MEDICAL
Genetics Report
How 18q- Affects Samantha
18q- Syndrome

HELPFUL HINTS
Sam’s Hearing Aids
Language Skills
Lunch Time with Sam.
More about Sam’s Needs
Contact Information

INSPIRATION
Magazine Articles including Sam
Blogs
Different Iz Good Articles about Sam
People First Language

About Guest Blogger

This post was written by a guest contributor.  Please see their details on our Contributors page.  If you’d like to guest post for Different iz Good check out our Write for DIG page for details about how YOU can share your stories and tips with our community.

A Poem for Special Teachers!

(Guest post by Monica McDivitt – Monica blogs at Like a Butterfly)

Sam and One of Her Awesome Special Ed Teachers

Teacher Appreciation Week is around the corner. Though I believe ALL teachers are invaluable, I am giving extra props to special education teachers. Surprise, surprise! :)

They aren’t just teachers. They are physical therapists, speech therapists, occupational therapists, researchers, nurses, and our children’s cheerleaders! Their patience, creativity, organization, ability to accept and understand the differences in each of our children and their ability to motivate, identify, appreciate and celebrate small victories are what make them different from the rest! Few things are more rewarding than knowing you have made an impact on the lives of children who are struggling to reach their full potential.

Two years ago I wrote this poem for Sam’s LIFE Skills teacher and paraprofessionals, printed it, framed it and gave it to them as a gift. It was written from Samantha’s perspective. I hope you like it:

You greet me every morning with a great big smile
Help me out of the car
Even if it takes a while

I am a little girl who cannot hear or speak
But still you understand me,
Week after week.

I have more challenges than most other people, you know
But you never give up on me
Even if my progress is slow

You help me with my daily life skills
Help me to succeed
Teach me how to sing and play
Adapt it to my special needs

I am strong and happy
I like to giggle and tease
Sometimes I may even drop down on my knees

You work very hard everyday,
Help me learn and grow
You are patient, kind and loving

This I wanted you to know
It takes a special person to be a teacher like you
And my Mommy and Daddy are grateful
For everything you do!

Happy Teacher’s Appreciation Week!

{If you loved this as much as I (Camilla) did and want to share with your Facebook Friends, just go here to do that!! Thanks y’all!}

About Guest Blogger

This post was written by a guest contributor.  Please see their details on our Contributors page.  If you’d like to guest post for Different iz Good check out our Write for DIG page for details about how YOU can share your stories and tips with our community.

Different iz Good Slide Show

We want to include your pictures!  Visit Different iz Good on Facebook to upload a picture to be included in the Different iz Good Facebook Photo Album and upcoming slide show.  Wouldn’t it be great if our Facebook Photo Album was the largest one on Facebook?

We’ve already got the Different iz Good Facebook Photo Album started – Go take a look! And, we are creating a slide show with pictures of those for whom this organization was created.

You can also email your favorite photo to photo @ differentizgood . org.

Thanks y’all and let’s see how BIG we can get this photo album!

Do It Different and Also Help Different iz Good

Want an opportunity to help yourself while at the same time helping the Turning Views Foundation and the Different iz Good cause?  Oh, and for as little as $1 or whatever loose change you have!!!  More is good, too!

Rachel Flower of Senssoma has created a FUN 30 Day Change Challenge Course called Do it Different and has generously offered this course for FREE to anyone who makes a donation to the Turning Views Foundation and the Different iz Good movement in the next two (2) days.  After that, 50% of the course fee will be donated to Turning Views.

The Do it Different Change Course is for those of us who are not getting the results we’d like or fulfillment we’d like.  For those of us experiencing set backs, overwhelm or frustration.  If you are ready to have some fun AND get your Mojo back, sign up for the Do it Different 30 Day Challenge.  After this course your life, your business and your creative expression will definitely be different . . . AND it’s a whole lot of fun! Plus, for the next two (2) days you can get all this for whatever donation you can make to our organization – no matter how small (or how large if you are able)!!

Please take a few minutes to check out the course at the Do it Different site and share this with anyone in your life you think would benefit.  I, Camilla Downs, HIGHLY recommend Rachel.  She is a dear friend and knows her stuff when it comes to overcoming set backs, overwhelm and frustration and I speak from personal experience.

Thank you to everyone who participates and for sharing this post!