Monday, July 31, 2006

I am finished with CLASS...

It is over....I am so happy and I did learn a lot about assessing children with autism.

So I earned a:

9/10 PLOP (present level of performance)
9/10 G/O (Goals and Objectives) are measureable and observable
5/5 G/O Linked to present level
5/5 Desired participants


I am very proud to say for the class I have a 96/100 which equals an A!

Friday, July 28, 2006

This child is making me go GRAY PREMATURELY

How can a face like this make me so scared like she did this morning. She thought she would get up when I was out of the room talking to Auntie Marie. I came back and she was gone. We were calling her name and searching all over for five minutes. Inside of the house and outside of the house, and still no Aviva.
Finally after what seemed like an eternity went back by the kitchen and who was sitting there laughing underneath the light switch. Yes you guessed right, AVIVA. I got angry with her and she cried. I told her there is no reason to cry, you know what you did. So she cried and cried and finally she stopped and apologized to Marie and I.
What a way to begin my morning which started off with a headache before all this. But then Aviva made us laugh. She asked if I had any money because we are going out to dinner tonight. I said no you will have to wash the dishes, Aviva goes but mommy my tummy will be mumbling. And we laughed. She did not like that. I told her it was cute but she says, mommy I do not want to be cute I want to be beautiful.
Aviva is something. Hard to believe she had such a rough start!!! Posted by Picasa

Thursday, July 27, 2006

A love between AUNTIE and NIECE

On our way to get Auntie Marie at the airport. Aviva was so happy!
Look at the faces of happiness!

Lots of love share!

This my favorite picture..look at how happy Aviva is! Posted by Picasa

Aviva has been tagged by ADAM for a meme....

3 Things that scare me

1. Loud thunder
2. Jumping in the deep end of the pool
3. Homework

3 People that make me laugh

1. My mommy
2. My daddy when he tickles me
3. Spongebob

3 Things that I love

1. Mommy
2. Daddy
3. Anything Disney

3 Things that I hate

1. Vegetables
2. Bread
3. Meat

3 Things that I don’t understand

1. Why can't we go to Disney World every weekend
2. Why we have to go to bed
3. Why my mommy and daddy say No to me

3 Things on my floor

1. Chutes and Ladders
2. Books
3. Auntie Marie's suitcase

3 Things I am doing right now

1. Waiting for Auntie Marie to finish shopping
2. Watching TV
3. Having a snack

3 Things I can do

1. Read
2. Count to over 100
3. Swim

3 Things I can’t do

1. Ride a two-wheeler
2. Swim in the deep end
3. Write my last name, but learning

3 Ways to describe my personality

1. Strong-willed
2. Stubborn
3. Happy

3 Things I think you should listen to

1. My daddy's reggae band
2. When my daddy sings
3. Songs I like on the radio

3 Things that I think you should never listen to

1. My mommy singing
2. Daddy singing my cartoon songs
3. Shakira's Hips Don't Lie (makes me change the station)

3 Absolute favorite foods

1. French Fries
2. Chicken nuggets
3. Pringles

3 Things I liked to learn

1. Reading
2. Swimming
3. Riding my scooter

3 Beverages I drink regularly

1. Juice (sugar free)
2. Whatever mommy is drinking (usually my Diet Coke)
3. Flavored Water

3 Shows I watch

1. Spongebob
2. Little Bear
3. Pinky Dinky Doo

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Today is the day....

Aviva has been counting down for. Her Auntie Marie is coming to visit us from Jamaica before she goes to help Auntie Melody (her sister), who is due in two weeks with a baby girl.

Aviva was so excited when we were going to camp this morning, knowing that after camp we will be on our way to the airport to pick up Auntie Marie. I sure hope she is ready for Aviva who goes nonstop from the time she gets home from camp till she goes to sleep. And her mouth goes even faster!!

This is Auntie Marie and Aviva last year at Melody's wedding. Ain't she pretty?

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

I am in SHOCK.....

and WHY you ask? Because when I wrote my research paper had no clue if I was doing it right. So said to myself, if I get a 15/25 will be happy. is my grade.....
You did a really nice job with your reference list and APA style.
5/5 Appropriate instrument and articles
5/5 10 articles cited appropriately
8/10 Strengths and weaknesses, generalizability
5/5 APA and writing at graduate level
Total 23/25

I am so happy I cannot tell you. I truly was worried. Now just to finish the final which is similar to writing parts of an IEP (individualized educational plan). Wish me luck!!!

Compassion Part Two...Pics of PLACE..and Aviva and her friend

 Posted by Picasa

Teaching COMPASSION......Part One

I believe this is so important for our children. Compassion. How do you teach it? I truly believe Aviva was born with it. Maybe a bit of me has rubbed off with her. Aviva does not see difference in others. She may ask questions, but she wants to know.

A story to explain...Aviva was born preemie and for the the first three years of her life went through early intervention. At 3, she started the PLACE program here in S. Florida. It is a special education preschool and a terrific program. There is also Complex PLACE (CP) for children more involved (like autism). The was a little boy in CP who just loved Aviva. He was non-verbal, globally and developmentally delayed and born preemie too. He fell in love (best way to describe it) and wanted to always be with her. He would hit and push her, and Aviva never hit or pushed him back. He would grab her and Aviva did not grab back. They taught Aviva to tell him, _____ do not push, tap me. Or ______ hitting is not nice. And she did it with him. And it worked. Then one day Aviva had her whole braided and _____ did not recognize her and he acted out all day until his teacher realized why. And showed him that it was still Aviva. Over the summer he had a picture of the two of them during ESY (Aviva was not there). And he carried it around with him all summer long.

Aviva still talks about him and I would explain why he did not talk. And she goes, well that is why I helped him.

Now I never taught her this she did this all on her own. But I truly believe if children were like this what a different kind of world we would live in.

Monday, July 24, 2006

New creations...

I was playing around today (instead of working on my final exam-a paper), and made these two pages. What do you think?

Saturday, July 22, 2006

How SAD & IGNORANT are these people...

Can you imagine if this was your child? And this is what your neighbors do? It is sad people to not understand children or adults with developmental disabilities. I HATE ignorance. And what a horrible example they are for thier children.

Friday, July 21, 2006

So what does it mean when your 5 1/2 year old daughter...(m)

is singing Aviva and Cameron kissing in a tree K I S S I N G. Over and over and over. I am wondering if I should be worried. I asked her what does it mean to be kissing and she showed me, by kissing me on the cheek. Hmmmm...I think daddy better be worried and may never allow her to leave the house till she is 25 LOL!!!!

More information about the NYS regulations for AVERSIVE punishments.......


A new set of "emergency" education regulations have been approved by the Board of Regents concerning the use of corporal punishment, aversives, restraints and time out rooms for children and teens with disabilities in every school and pre-school building in New York State. The new regulations make it acceptable for school districts, BOCES, the NYC DOE's District 75, state-approved private special education schools and the NYS Schools for the Blind (Batavia) and Deaf (Rome) to do things in the name of behavior modification or management which may be physically dangerous for some kids and emotionally traumatic for many others.

There are already at least 23 school districts in NYS currently recommending the use of aversive behavioral interventions for disabled students, and probably many more already using aversive behavioral interventions without documenting what they have been doing to disabled children. These regulations need to be approved again at the Board of Regents meeting scheduled for September 11-12 in Albany. You can read the new regulations online or get them in pdf format from this site. You have an opportunity to respond to these new regulations. See the State's notice on how to provide feedback and deadlines for providing feedback.

As background on the new regulations: the NYS Education Department (NYSED) originally proposed regulations that would have simply barred the use of electric skin shock and other aversive behavioral interventions, such as those used by the Judge Rotenberg Center (JRC) school in Massachusetts. JRC routinely uses painful electric skin shocks and restraints on children to change their behavior. The majority of students at JRC are from NYS, and the majority of those are from New York City schools. Some of these children are diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, autism, Bipolar Disorder, Tourette's Syndrome, and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Many of them are classified under the IDEA classification "Emotionally Disturbed." JRC is a strictly behaviorism-based school, which means that they do not consider the biological or neurological basis of behavior and only focus on consequences. Children who are determined to "need" aversive controls wear shock devices so that JRC staff can deliver shocks by pushing a remote switch. You can read what NYSED observers found when they made an unannounced site visit to JRC in May of this year. JRC has parents who truly believe that their children need and are benefiting from JRC's approach. When NYSED tried to bar the use of these procedures, the parents and JRC began lobbying to overturn the recommendations. Instead of realizing that you don't open Pandora's box for millions of kids to meet the needs of a few kids, NYSED amended its proposed regulations and then amended them again. Ultimately, instead of barring electric shock and other really noxious or aversive techniques, the final regulations now make it possible to do these things to disabled kids in all NYS schools but without the protections that are essential to protect the health and safety and rights of impaired children. As per the new approved regulations: Corporal punishment is barred -- except that a teacher can use restraint and physical force on a child to protect the school's property or to remove the child or stop the child from interfering with a school function - even if the property is a 3-cent crayon and even if what the child is doing is a symptom of their disability (e.g., perseveratively asking questions or repeatedly tapping the crayon on the desk).

Children can be put in time out rooms with no specific requirements as to the staff training required for the person who monitors the child while the child is in the room, no medical assessment to see if time out would be dangerous for the child, no psychological assessment to determine if time out would be traumatic for the child, and no limit on how long a child can be put in time out for. Other "aversive behavioral interventions" that school personnel may now use if they obtain a "waiver" include putting a child out in the cold without adequate clothing, withholding essential hydration or nutrition, using noxious sprays in the child's face or making them inhale noxious scents, depriving them of sleep, and using "deep muscle squeezes." School districts can obtain waivers to use "aversive behavioral interventions" on students by applying to the Commissioner of Education's office, who will send the request to an "expert panel" who will review the records. The panel then advises the Commissioner and the district, but it is up to the child's Committee on Special Education (CSE) or Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) to decide whether to grant itself the waiver. Thus, the very same people who may have failed to order helpful diagnostic evaluations or related services may now approve the use of aversive behavioral interventions on a child. The new regulations do not mandate that any child being recommended for aversive behavioral interventions must have a psychiatric evaluation or a neurological evaluation at public expense before the CSE or CPSE can recommend or implement an aversive behavioral intervention. Note that NYSED is the only NYS government agency which sends kids to the JRC. Other agencies (Office of Mental Health, Office of Mental Retardation & Developmental Disabilities; Office of Children's & Family Services) are not allowed to do so because JRC uses painful aversives such as electric shock to the skin. With the new regulations, NYSED has just opened the door to more children being exposed to potentially ineffective and dangerous treatments at the hands of undertrained and underqualified personnel.

Disabled children and teens require more protections when aversive behavioral interventions are implemented in school settings, not fewer protections. At the very least, NYSED should have incorporated all relevant federal protections. It didn't. At the very least, NYSED should have required medical and independent psychological or psychiatric evaluations of each student being considered for aversive behavioral interventions. It didn't. NYSED didn't even consult with relevant professional organizations within New York. Could it be that they knew that all genuine professional organizations would have told them that these proposals were dangerous and inconsistent with federal protections for disabled youth? Why These Regulations are Dangerous Federal regulations require that the use of any restraints or time out/seclusion rooms for children be medically/physically safe: that physicians or nurses be on site where they are being used and evaluate the children's safety while they are being used, and to check on the kids afterwards. NYSED's regulations require none of these safeguards. Some children are medically or physically fragile: inappropriate use of restraints on them can, unfortunately, kill. Some children are on medications that make them more sensitive to heat. These children might die in hot time out rooms. Why hasn't NYSED written more protections into the regulations?

The US Department of Health's Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration started a campaign to eliminate the use of restraints and time out/seclusion rooms in all institutions, residences and facilities in the US which deal with persons who have mental illness. Why is NYSED going in the opposite direction? In 2003, the President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health issued its final report and stated: "An emerging consensus asserts that the use of seclusion and restraint in mental health treatment settings creates significant risks for adults and children with psychiatric disabilities. These risks include serious injury or death, re-traumatizing people who have a history of trauma, loss of dignity, and other psychological harm. Consequently, it is inappropriate to use seclusion and restraint for the purposes of discipline, coercion, or staff convenience. Seclusion and restraint are safety interventions of last resort; they are not treatment interventions." (emphasis added) Despite federal regulations and the policies of federal commissions and agencies, NYSED's regulations do just the opposite: they approve of the use of seclusion and restraints as planned consequences of behavior and not just for safety emergencies. Similarly, federal regulations state that restraint and seclusion used for safety emergencies must be terminated as soon as the emergency is over. NYSED's regulations not only specifically allow the planned use of restraints, seclusion, and aversives as punishment for behavior or symptoms that are not emergency situations, but they do not require that the restraint or seclusion end as soon as an emergency is over. NYSED's regulations have no time limits: any child, of any age, can be locked into a time out room any number of times per day for any length of time. Or for all day. Federal regulations require that staff who use restraints be thoroughly trained in research-validated methods or programs of behavioral crisis defusing and safe physical restraints. NYSED's regulations allow districts to have staff trained in whatever methods or programs they choose, with no specifications as to amount of training, level of training, or length of training. Nor does NYSED mandate that staff who use restraints be certified by any program as being competent to do so.

In New York State, we have already had cases involving misuse and abuse of time out rooms, despite the fact that NYSED has had time out room guidance policies since 1994. NYSED does not actually inspect and monitor time out rooms to insure that they are large enough, properly equipped, and appropriately air conditioned or heated. As examples of time out room misuse and abuses: A special education student was punished on twenty-two occasions by being place in a small locked room with no supervision. On one occasion, the student was found on the floor of the room after having suffered an apparent seizure. In another case, a child clawed his fingers bloody trying to get out of a time room; In yet another case, a young child with autism "included" in a regular class for part of the day was thrown into a time out room whenever he didn't sit down and do his assigned work quietly; the district had performed no Functional Behavior Assessment, and had no positive behavior supports for the child in the regular education setting. While federal regulations require that each use of restraints and time out rooms be analyzed by staff and discussed with the child soon after the incident is over, to work out ways to avoid the use of restraints and time out rooms in the future, no such "debriefing" is required in NYS schools. These can just be done again, and again, and again. NYSED receives numerous complaints about time out room misuse and abuses, but has done nothing, and we have no reason to believe that they will now monitor or enforce the new regulations on time out rooms. Although the regulations state in one place that informed parental consent is required for the use of aversive behavioral interventions, parents' rights are diminished by another statement in the new regulations that state that parents will be "notified" if time out rooms will be used as part of their child's educational program.

The new regulations allow any regular or special education teacher to order any child with a disability to be restrained, removed from class, and put into a time out room for any "disruptive" behavior at all, including the mild verbal tic of a child with Tourette Syndrome or the hand-flapping of a child with autism. All the teacher has to do is ask the child to stop: if the child does not do so - including when the child cannot do so because the behavior is a symptom of a disability - the teacher can just decide that out the child goes, and that's that. Essentially, this can be used to end real inclusion for any child with a disability who has a mainstream teacher who is irritated by the child's symptoms. NYSED has not mandated that special education staff - school psychologists, special ed. teachers, counselors, special ed administrators - be trained regarding the biological causes of behavior, nor in the research-validated methods for safe, effective behavior modification and management. Nor does NYSED even disseminate information to schools about research-validated methods. In research that they did not make public on their web site, NYSED's attempt to use Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) was a total failure - despite the fact that PBIS has been successful in other states. Rather than working in improving its design and implementation of PBIS, however, NYSED is now going to allow schools to use aversive behavioral interventions. NYSED should get the positive supports done right first.

NY's outcomes for students classified as "emotionally disturbed" are extremely poor. These kids are suspended at a rate 2-1/2 times higher than are all disabled kids as a group. They graduate with any kind of diploma 10% less often than do kids classified as emotionally disturbed nationally. Rigorous, thorough training of NYS education personnel must be mandated before they are allowed to recommend, and use, aversives, restraints and time out rooms. Until the time this is carried out, all of the protections and procedural requirements the federal government requires be provided to kids with mental illness or developmental disabilities in Medicaid-funded facilities should be applied to the same kids when they are in NYS schools. To require less is, simply, to endanger their lives and their emotional well-being. What You Can Do Read the new regulations and then make your voice heard. You can provide oral or written testimony. See the State's notice on how to provide feedback and deadlines for providing feedback. Although oral testimony is helpful, try to write up something that you submit as well: Send a letter to the Regent for your area. A list of Regents and their addresses is provided here. As a suggestion, in your letter: State that you want these regulations withdrawn. If you are part of an organization, try to get an official statement on letterhead that represents your organization's view and send a copy of it to NYSED as well. The mailing address is included in the State's notice on feedback. State that restraint and seclusionary time out rooms should be barred for everything except health and safety emergencies, and that in any future drafts of regulations, you want all federal protections that apply to restraint and seclusion included. The federal protections are described in 42 CFR Ch. IV Subpart G. If your child has suffered because of the inappropriate use of aversives, time out, or restraint, tell the Regent what happened to your child as part of explaining why you want greater protections for health and safety in the regulations. Send a copy of your letter to NYSED. And please send a copy to me by email (see below) as we are beginning to try to compile examples of abuses in schools. State that you want NYSED to disseminate information on research-validated methods to address behavior problems to all schools in NYS. State that you want teachers and school personnel to be provided with more training on the causes of behavior and research-validated methods for managing behavior and symptoms in schools. State that any new regulations concerning the use of restraint must mention specific research-validated methods for crisis defusing and restraint (e.g., SCIP-R) and that it should not be up to school districts to set minimum levels of training and certification in crisis management and restraint. Insist that no new regulations be passed without time for public review and comment before the Regents vote on any issue concerning disabled students.

FINALLY my grades are posted...

On my field experience....which I did at a preschool for young children with autism...I earned a
20 out of 20!!! YIPPEE!!

And on my Implementation of Assessment Instruments which involved a student with autism and a typical child I earned a 20 out of 20!

I am very happy because this research paper due tomorrow is killing me and have a little leeway on what I get on this one. Just not sure I am doing it right and she explained it 3 times. Just having a hard time which is not usual for me. So back to work for me!!

Thursday, July 20, 2006


I am playing with some new programs I got..took some pictures of Aviva this morning before camp so used those. And good news she slept the night in her room..YIPPEE!!!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


with the research paper I am trying to write. Because I am not sure how the professor wants it. So I emailed her and she answered me. It has still left me in a state of confusion. It has not helped that I have been reading 10 research articles on the Childhood Autism Rating Scale. Not the assessment tool itself, but reading 10 quantitative research articles will do that to you. I am enjoying the class, and I believe I did well on my two other papers (one an observation on a pre-k class of children with autism, and then using two assessment tools with a typical child and a child with autism), but she has not posted the grades yet and no clue why. I have chat tonight for this class tonight so will ask about them.

I just wish it was easier and not as complicated as she is making it! Please think of me as I am writing this research paper.....I have till Saturday evening to turn it it. I have one page finished (have a few more with notes), it only has to be 7 to 10 pages. UGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A story of an amazing young man...

He overcame cancer and becoming blind. He has a terrific mother telling him he could do anything. Please read the story it will inspire you.,26334,1212568,00.html

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

I am very DISTURBED to say the least..and I am sure..

you will be too after reading this.

What is NY State thinking? I am truly upset by this. It is very scary to think this will be allowed in the schools children attend. When in life we would not or could not according to the law do this to prisoners or anyone in custody.

I sure hope parents in NY with children get involved and advocate for their children.

I am SAD.

It is very SAD...

for me to watch the news these days (well it almost always is, isn't it). I hate to hear what is going on with Israel and the surrounding areas. I am not sure how they can work things out when dealing with a group like Hezbollah and Hamas. Someone needs to take control but who, who will they listen too. Speaking to a close friend last night, it does not matter what Israel does, they do not want the Jews there. And that is the mentality of the people in the middle east, but not all thankfully. So Israel agrees to a cease fire, they get back their kidnapped soldiers and release some of the prisoners, then what will happen? Do you think there will be peace? Will everyone just get along? I believe there still will be homicide (not suicide) bombers. I truly wish there was an answer to have peace in the middle east. Listening to something now, extremism needs to be met with modernism. The groups bombing Israel are extremists that is the issue, how can they be stopped?

I hate seeing all the innocent people losing their lives on both sides. Do they realize why this happening? I wonder what they see and hear about why this is happening.

But then hearing from friends in Israel not in the area they are going on with life like usual. Going to the pool with the grandparents, going to the zoo and playground. Life has to go on.

I want peace, but I am only one person. I hope this ends quickly and they all can live in peace in the middle east. But knowing how long this has been going on for (basically since the 1920's) I am holding on by a tiny thread that there can peace.

Monday, July 17, 2006


enough said, right!!!

Why are they the way they are? Why do they drive us crazy? I wish there was an easy response to that answer but I know there is not. They are so different from us and do not think logically like we do. We love them (well most of the time) but I know we sometimes wish we can wave the magic wand over their heads and make them see the right way to do things or say the right things. Don't you agree?

Saturday, July 15, 2006

What do you think of this....

Someone from a board I am on, sent me some programs for digital scrapbooking as well as enhancing photographs. So take a look at the before and after and let me know what you think.


I truly wish I had an answer for this question. I have had my syllabus a week before class started, knew exactly when everything was due. But do you think I took advantage of this? If you answered NO you would be correct. I had a paper due by midnight tonight (this is online class on Assessment for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder). So when did I start it but 9:30 pm last night. But I know if I got on a roll I would have it done in no time. This was not a research paper so it was a bit easier. Had one page finished last night with many interruptions. But this morning woke up and cranked out almost 4 more pages. I knew I could do it but why do I is the question.

Tomorrow I will be starting to work on my research paper...I need a lot more time for this paper. But thankfully only has to be 7 to 10 pages long. I think I can I think I can...send me all those good VIBES you can!!

Friday, July 14, 2006

AVIVA can SWIM!!!!

It is hard to believe a month ago, Aviva would not even go into the pool with out her vest. Even wearing the vest she would not let go of the wall. She stayed close to the stairs too. Aviva would not put her face in the water or bob up and down in the water.

Now a month later with swimming lessons Aviva bobs, holds her breath, can do a modified crawl stroke, breathing while swimming, back floats and with a kick, jumps in the deep end and swims across.

I am so proud of my girl. Because we had such a hard time teaching her all these skills. A month with Miss Adele has done wonders. I am ONE PROUD MAMA!!

If you click on the last three links you can see her swimming and jumping in!!!

Friday, July 14, 2006
I can swim!!!!!

Mommy, can we go to Disney World?

Heard this question when I was driving Aviva to camp this morning. I said yes we can, and we are going in November. But Mommy November is far far far away,it will take forever to get here. I said yes Aviva it is, but you were just there in May and June. And do not forget the 7 or 8 times before that. That was not a good answer in her book. She wants to go tomorrow. Again, explaining that we are not going tomorrow and it is expensive so we have to save our money. She then goes Mommy ask Daddy for the money (that is my girl :)!). I said do not think it will work, but maybe if you try it will.

Isn't Epcot gorgeous!

Do not feel bad for Aviva...because in November we have two trips planned. One for 3 days where we going up to Disney to see Grandpa, Grandma and Aunt Ellen and Uncle Ralph. Her cousins will be there also with my step sis and step bil. And then again after Thanksgiving, it is so pretty at that time all decorated for the holidays. Does anyone want to come with us?

The outfit Aviva is wearing was made by my friend Kris!!!!