Laws and thoughts

While doing my laws in education class I got to read an interesting article about a young man that was diagnosed with autism and anxiety. I was actually surprised to see that beginning at the age of six this child was being secluded for multiple hours for minor offenses. The parents even moved him to a special placement where the teachers were better equipped to work with him. This placement lasted about 3 years before he again was locked in a room and he managed to climb out a window. At this time his parents decided to home school him for a while, but when he missed his classmates too much his parents decided that they would attempt one more time. This of course did not go as planned, he was isolated at least eight more times. More than half the time the parents did not hear this from the school but their son himself. This got me thinking and researching for my knowledge and for my class, how often is this happening? Are there policies in place to stop this? What are the statistics? I had so many questions, I found out how often this is reported. According to a report from NPR, more than 33,000 cases of restraints and seclusion were used in California and Texas alone in the 2007-2008 school year. I found that evidence suggests seclusion and restraint are overly used against children with disabilities and minority children. According to a 2018 report, students with disabilities make up 71 percent of those restrained and 66 percent of those secluded, while African American students make up 27 percent of restrained students and 23 percent of those secluded, even though they make up only 12 and 15 percent of total enrollment, respectively,

Jackie Nowicki, a director at the Government Accountability Office, told National Public Radio in 2019. “Using these methods can create hazardous situations, especially for some of our nation’s most vulnerable children.” How can we prevent this you may ask well, the first step would be understanding the difference between intentional misbehavior and stress responses. If a child is out of control of their emotions or behaviors, it’s often because their nervous system is in fight or flight. At this moment, they need to know they’re not alone and that someone sees their distress. If you’ve resorted to seclusion or restraint, you’ve been missing their calls for help.”

In many cases, seclusion and restraint increase agitated behavior. And most times, it leads to feelings of hopelessness or desperation. If it does appear to decrease agitation, “it’s because the child being secluded or restrained is giving up and losing hope in their fellow human.”

If a student becomes agitated, the best action would be to shift our thinking to” is this child misbehaving, or are they stressed out?” Make sure that you are calm because you need to be capable of providing appropriate support. Then, customize your interactions to whatever will help the child’s nervous system calm down. Try an activity that engages the student’s body, like rocking with the child, putting a gentle hand on their shoulder, or swaying together to calming music. “This isn’t easy, and there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach,” But if you experiment to see what helps their body calm down, eventually you’ll see those agitated behaviors melt away.”


(Department of Education, the office of civil rights, 2017)

https://click.linksynergy.com/deeplink?id=BEwgXolbtB8&mid=35631&murl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.shambhala.com%2Fmeditation-mindfulness

Unexplainable Peace

Today, we are working on unexplainable peace, what is this you may ask, well this could be the peace that you feel in a hectic workplace or situation. Since this summer I am home all day this is the peace I still feel even though parenting a six- year old and a 10 year old is definitely interesting. Not only are these boys and brothers they love and I do mean love getting under each other’s skin. I laugh as I write this because I feel like a wrestling referee all day long. But honestly they are what keeps me going each day, they definitely do not allow depression to creep into my life.  I do use mindfulness and spiritual content to continue to feel calm.

The benefits of mindfulness for parents and their children

Today I am talking about the benefits of mindfulness for parents and their children. Mindfulness has become quite popular in today’s society, with many schools now teaching mindfulness to children and teens across the world. This practice is not only helping them, but it’s also benefiting the teachers as well, who are experiencing great results from this new way of teaching kids. Now you may be wondering exactly what mindfulness is and how can you use it to benefit your life? Read on to find out more about mindfulness and how it can help improve your life too!

Is it good or bad to meditate?

There is no good or bad when it comes to meditation. It is simply a practice that can be beneficial for some people and not so much for others. For parents with children on the autism spectrum, mindfulness can be a helpful tool in managing stress and anxiety. By advocating for education needs, parents can provide their children with the best possible chance to succeed.

A short history of meditation

Meditation is a technique that has been used for centuries to help people focus and calm their minds. In recent years, meditation has become popular as a way to reduce stress and anxiety. For parents of children with autism, meditation can be an important tool for managing stress and promoting calm. Advocates for autism education believe that mindfulness can help children with autism learn to self-regulate their emotions and behaviors.

Benefits of Pranayama/Yoga

I have been an advocate of pranayama/yoga for many years now. I have seen firsthand the positive effects it can have on people’s lives. I believe that education needs to start with the basics of breathing and understanding the body-mind connection. From there, we can learn how to control our thoughts and emotions. This is especially important for parents and their children.

How to learn Pranayama/Yoga?

Parents need to be advocates for their children’s education needs. Mindfulness can help parents become more present in the moment, which can benefit both them and their children. There are many resources available on how to learn pranayama and yoga. Parents can also look into religious education programs for their children. They can also consider starting a group at their local community center or school. 

 This may be surprising to you like it is to me. There are some states that have laws about what types of treatment practices are allowed or not allowed in schools. One example is Massachusetts where therapists have been advocating for children who have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to get services like Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA).  There is controversy on Applied Behavior Analysis because some companies do use practices that are borderline child abuse or are child abuse. Through all my research too I have found that too many companies claim to be ABA providers but are not applying the true science behind the concept. Please do your research before employing a company or allowing any one to use these techniques with your child(ren). 

If anyone has anything to add on this topic or have research for or against ABA please let me know. I would love to hear all your thoughts. 

Wellness

Some people ask me how I manage to be somewhat healthy, honest answer is that I started taking and using the products from Melalueca. When my friend told me how much she loved these products and how it had changed her life for the better I just had to try it. I was slightly skeptical about using all natural products with such bad eczema in my home but I immediately saw the difference in my youngest son’s skin and the laundry detergent lasts me longer than the Tide that I get at the store. The vitamins that they have make me feel alot better and more energetic too. If you want to hear more please visit my website or email me.

http://mymelaleuca.com/victoriaashforth

Little backstory

I have two sons, both of whom have autism. The one I know is most likely caused by a little known disorder called 22q.11.2 microduplication. Wow, is that a mouthful? I know, but there is no shorter name for it. I am told this is a rare disorder, but really it is not often diagnosed. This is because not all doctors know or want to test for genetic conditions that could be causing autistic spectrum disorders. I guess I just got lucky, but really, I am lucky because he does not have any other complications or issues that go with the disorder besides intellectual and behavioral issues. He may be off balance with some hormones too, but no big deal. All this can be managed without having to go two hours away to see specialists. Microduplication 22q11.2 is a recently discovered genomic disorder. So far, targeted research on the cognitive and behavioral characteristics of individuals with this microduplication is limited. Therefore, 11 Flemish children (3–13 years old) with a microduplication of 22q 1.2 were investigated in order to describe their clinical, developmental, and behavioral characteristics. We measured their general intelligence, visual-motor capacities, attention, behavioral problems, and characteristics of autism. In addition, there was an interview with the parents on developmental history, and we reviewed available information from other specialists. The results show that the cognitive and behavioral phenotype of the children with microduplication 22q.11.2 is very broad and heterogeneous. Some of the children have nearly normal cognitive development, whereas others are more severely affected. All children have some degree of developmental delay, and some of them have an intellectual disability. The most common clinical features include congenital malformations such as heart defects and cleft lip; feeding problems; hearing impairment; and facial dysmorphism. The most common non-medical problems are learning difficulties, motor impairment, attention deficits, social problems, and behavioral problems. There is no correlation between the size of the duplication and the phenotype. I will not bore you all with the sciencey talk, but if you have questions, please ask and I will inform you.

References

Campenhout, S & Devriendt, K & Breckpot, Jeroen & Frijns, J-P & Peeters, H & Buggenhout, Griet & Esch, H & Maes, Bea & Swillen, Ann. (2012). A description of the clinical, developmental, and behavioral characteristics during childhood Genetic counseling (Geneva, Switzerland). 23. 135-48. 

Come to Me


Being a parent to a special needs child can be tiring, frustrating, and utterly draining. Some days, you can feel like you just can’t do it anymore. However, it can also be fulfilling, exciting, and beautiful as you see your child grow and develop, despite their struggles. The key in all of it is realizing how much you need God and what His calling is to you in your child’s life. Let me explain.


First of all, allow me to give you some encouragement. Loving and caring for a child, special needs or not, is an amazing calling in itself! The Bible says in Psalm 127:3-5, “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.”


Even though they don’t always feel like it, children are an amazing blessing that God has given to you. Cherish that blessing and appreciate that blessing always. Honor God in that blessing and He will honor you by helping you when times get hard.


See, although kids are a blessing according to Scripture, we also know that taking care of a child with special needs is not easy. Don’t worry, God is there in those moments as well.


Matthew 11:28-29 says, Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”


This beautiful invitation from Jesus holds the key to your lifting up as a special needs parent. Despite the struggle that you face, despite the hard times and the disappointments that come, Jesus is inviting you to come to Him so that He can give you rest.


There is always rest and hope found in the Savior Jesus Christ. It doesn’t matter how hard things get or how much you feel at your breaking point, Jesus understands. He is always standing there with His arms open wide, asking you to come to Him.


No matter how hard you try, you can’t do this on your own. You can’t always rely on your own strength or on your own mental capacity to be able to be a good parent and love your child in the way that you were called. Yet Jesus calls to you to come to Him and learn from Him in the way that you should love others, especially your child.


So, next time you find yourself at a low in your parenting process, remember these verses. Remember that Jesus has called you to His rest. Go to Him, and He will give you rest.