Sunday, April 8, 2012

Cause for Concern

Since posting this blog I have been contact by Danielle Smith - leader of the Wildrose Party and she informed me that their web summary was incorrect. And that they changed the policy substantially after consultation. The attached link is now to the revised Education Policy summary. I thank them for their prompt response.

To whom it may concern,

I am normally not one to get too involved with politics. I do my research, make my decision and cast my vote. But a recent statement from the Wildrose Party* regarding Special Needs students has just sat so ill in my stomach that I really felt the need to share my story and opinion.

I quote:
"· We will end the practice of forcing special needs students into the same classrooms as regular students, unless it is clearly beneficial.

· High needs students need personalized care and attention. Everybody suffers when a handful of high needs students dominate a teacher’s time and attention while other students go without the instruction they need."

Whether it was your intention or not, the language within this statement reads so negatively. I think it is dangerous to refer to everyone "suffering" due to special needs children being in the classroom. It feels like a huge kick in the gut, and a big step backwards for the parents who have fought long and hard for their child to have the right to learn with and from their peers.

Too often we concentrate on the negatives and do not place enough value on the positives these children bring to the classroom. We cannot devalue the opportunity typical children have to learn compassion, understanding, and acceptance while sharing their class with a special needs child.

I am attaching a link to a blog post written by the Superintendent of Holy Spirit Catholic School Division in Alberta. This preschool is my son's, and the mom he speaks of is me. I hope and dream that every child can feel as accepted in his class and community as mine does. And I would be absolutely crushed if that opportunity was ever taken away from him.


Kareena Zanolli
Taber, AB

*The Wildrose Party is a provincal political party in Alberta. The Alberta Provincal election is set for Monday, April 23. Here is the link the the party's Education policy:

Friday, January 13, 2012

Angry? Disgusted? - Does not BEGIN to describe it...

I can't quite come up with the proper emotion to describe what I feel after reading this story: Brick Walls

I read A LOT of blogs by Special Needs parents. It's a unique club, regardless of each child's diagnosis, we all have each other's back. Because we all face SO MANY battles trying to give our children the best possible life. And that is why I am sharing this story. Because we FIGHT for each other.

And I certainly hope it is not just our little group that finds this story absolutely appalling. Please take a few minutes of your time to read, and try to put yourself in this family's shoes. And if you feel that the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) does NOT have the right to value one life more another, please sign the petition found here:

Friday, January 6, 2012

I don't mean to brag but...

Yesterday I received an e-mail report from my ASD son's Behavioral Therapist after a visit to is Pre-School. It just made my day! He's such an awesome kid, and his growth is amazing!

Re: School Visit
January 5, 2012
"Gavin had an awesome day at school today. He transitioned into all routines and requested activities without prompting. Not having seen Gavin for awhile, it was obvious today how much work is being done both at school and home with this little guy and how proud he is of his own success."
"He definitely is developing a sense of charm by using his smile to get others attention and looking directly at their eyes for that acknowledgement.  It is clear that he understands more then he lets on."  
"Gavin is very talkative (sounds not words...yet!) with his peer that plays with him downstairs. He responded to his peers prompts to follow, touch, find him and looked to his peer and then his aide for help when he needed that little bit of extra support to get on something. He is trying everything he can. Today he crawled under the bridge in the obstacle course, he kicked a ball, he took the action figure his friend handed him and he spread whip cream on a snowflake with a popsicle stick."
"Just watching, you can observe how Gavin's confidence is growing and how proud he is when he tries and finds out that he can actually do it. Even when he touches something, there is a momentary pause and then he just go’s for it. It was great to see how well he is doing."

Daddy & I are so proud of you Gav! You continue to amaze us every day!

Monday, January 2, 2012

A little Autism Holiday!

Really can't explain how excited I am to be attending this conference later this month!

#1 - Two days away from kids, housework, etc...a little holiday for me!
#2 - Get to visit with my cousin, his wife and their two boys. I do not get to see them often enough!
#3 - Maybe a glass of wine or two with some other awesome Autism Mommies!
#4 - Absorbing new and valuable info for our Autism journey with Gavin!
#5 - Last but certainly not least...EUSTACIA CUTLER - author, advocate, and TEMPLE GRANDIN's mother! What an incredible opportunity! Can't wait, can't wait, can't wait!!!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

Wishing all my family, friends, fellow bloggers, and readers Peace, Love and Happiness in the New Year!