–by Janyne McConnaughey, PhD I sat on the floor next to her. I understood her fear of abandonment, the trauma she had experienced, and how her mother had been unable to provide any form of comfort. I watched her body shake uncontrollably and offered a blanket. I knew she would not want me to hold her. As we sat, I thought about how this had all started the day she was born. My cognitive understanding
–by Janyne A. McConnaughey, Ph.D. originally published June 21, 2017 on Janyne’s blog I stood in the doorway. I was very small, maybe two. I was sucking on my two middle fingers and watching my mother in the kitchen. I was forbidden from entering. Then I did the unthinkable. I stepped over the imaginary line and asked for a cookie. The response was not a positive one, but what strikes me most is how I felt
–by Julie Beem I read about some interesting research on praise in an educator’s blog that cited a study done by Dr. Carol Dweck of Stanford on praising 5th graders. (These were neurotypical 5th graders, BTW.) The experiment went like this. They gave 400 5th graders a simple puzzle in which everyone did well and was praised. Half the group was praised with “you’re so smart,” and the other half with “you must have worked
by: Gari Lister Most schools in Dallas started Monday, and my Facebook feed is full of happy children getting ready for their first day of school. My own daughter started last week — on Wednesday, of all weird days — and somehow I missed posting her picture (so of course I’m embarrassing her by posting it here). But if I’m honest, maybe it wasn’t a mistake. I know summers are really hard for lots of
by: Craig Peterson All children need a special activity in their lives – something to call their own. And especially those who’ve experienced trauma. Many of these opportunities happen through school. For some it’s team sports. For others it might be music or theater. In the case of my son Andrew, he found his niche through running. Like thousands of children each year – in spite of 25 years of awareness, his birth mother drank
by: Craig Peterson Looking back to my elementary school years, I was lucky. Learning came easy. Fast forward 30 years. My children were struggling at school. When a flyer came home about a school workshop, I jumped at the chance to gain additional knowledge. Several weeks later I encountered a roomful of overwhelmed mothers. Within ten minutes I had an entirely new take on parental frustration. “My daughter’s behind her peers in everything,” said one
by: D. Craig Peterson
My son Andrew recently had a week to shine at the Special Olympics USA Games – a personal success years in the making. And now three gold medals to his name!
I will never forget how far he has come.
In second grade he was the boy often confined to “the post” at recess. Not because he wanted to be bad but because he didn’t understand the rules of many games on the playground – he often accidentally pushed his peers.
By: Gari Lister
Four years ago today — May 17, 2009 – my 17 year old daughter broke my heart and changed my life forever. She packed a bag, told her little sister not to tell us, and ran away from home with a boy she’d met a handful of times – a boy who murdered two people within a few months (literally). I didn’t realize what a pivotal moment it was right away; I thought it was just another episode in a series of Katya crises.
By: Julie Beem
LuLu and I build gingerbread houses. We build them for the annual competition at her virtual school. She’s a serious competitor. Prior to the houses we built for the last competitions, I had absolutely no gingerbread house experience. It has been a trial by fire – and a lot of work! But the interesting thing is that it’s been a fruitful adventure and one that showcases some of her talents.