Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day 2015

Wishing everyone a beautiful unofficial kickoff to summer and hoping your beach/pool/barbecue days are filled with laughter and joy as they should be--but try to take a moment to remember why we celebrate this day.

Each and every time I hear "Arlington" by Trace Adkins, I cry, such a beautiful song and perfect to bring us to the meaning of the day:

"Arlington"
Writer(s): Jeremy N. Spillman, Dave Turnbull
Copyright: Songs Of The Village, New Sea Gayle Music, Emi April Music Inc., Universal Music Corp. 

I never thought that this is where I'd settle down,
I thought I'd die an old man back in my hometown,
They gave me this plot of land, me and some other men, for a job well done,
There's a big white house sits on a hill just up the road,
The man inside he cried the day they brought me home,
They folded up a flag and told my mom and dad, we're proud of your son

[Chorus:]
And I'm proud to be on this peaceful piece of property,
I'm on sacred ground and I'm in the best of company,
I'm thankful for those thankful for the things I've done,
I can rest in peace, I'm one of the chosen ones, I made it to Arlington

I remember daddy brought me here when I was eight,
We searched all day to find out where my granddad lay,
And when we finally found that cross,
He said, "son this is what it cost to keep us free" Now here I am,
A thousand stones away from him,
He recognized me on the first day I came in,
And it gave me a chill when he clicked his heels, and saluted me.

[Repeat Chorus]

And every time I hear twenty-one guns,
I know they brought another hero home to us

We're thankful for those thankful for the things we've done,
We can rest in peace, 'cause we are the chosen ones,
We made it to Arlington, yea dust to dust,
Don't cry for us, we made it to Arlington



Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Sports Unity Program



Sounds of laughter amidst applause and cheers. Just what you'd expect to hear at a youth sports activity--but not always what you'd expect to find in a special needs sports program. My heart soars with joy each and every week we are here.

We started with the Marlton Sports Unity Program (SUP) for winter basketball. Z didn't really want to try basketball but after finding out some of his Lenape "boys" were basketball players he agreed to at least try. He wouldn't smile at check in and hung back just a bit once inside the gym, but not more than 5 minutes in a couple of the adult buddies had him out on the court and playing.
He stayed involved and interested the whole season and, when he found out they were giving out trophies one night at practice he lamented "why do they have to stop?"



Getting his trophy from the VERY special
and awesome Coach Dave
I found out there would be SUP track in the spring along with soccer (his favorite sport). I told him I'd signed him up and waned him to just give it a try. As much as he didn't want to try basketball was minimal compared to how he felt about track. April brought the beginning of track and he was nervous about starting. His buddy was laid back but welcoming and encouraging and he was off to give it a try. Now not only does he keep trying but he is working hard to excel! This boy, who hated any kind of running now trying each and every activity leaves me speechless. Running is hard for him: he has loose ligaments and very low muscle tone which makes it exhausting and difficult to run, and the jolting of running along with that feeling of speed (noises of even the wind rushing past/losing a feeling of control over his environment ) are menaces to his sensory system. Yet I see him having a blast and enjoying each moment!
Coach Scott getting in on the action to show Z technique,
with buddy Karly right by his side.


Coach Scott giving loads of one on one tips
for the Javelin throw
Z keeps working hard for Coach Scott, and his
awesome buddy Lindsey.

 
  Obstacle course running
High fives after javelin work ;)

The buddies with SUP must attend a training session where they are educated about things they may experience with the special needs kids and how to address many different potential problems (redirect, soothe, comfort, or even disengage WITH their player from the activity, among many others). They are also told they will not have cell phones out, will not be seen inactive or without their player, and WILL not be tolerated if seen laughing at/about a player. The training shows. These kids, each and every one a volunteer, show more compassion, acceptance, and enthusiasm than many paid adults I've experienced in the special needs fields! 

Mark VonBerg began and runs the Marlton Sports Unity Program which includes the activities of soccer, track, basketball, karate, cheerleading, and soon introducing street hockey. Did I mention every program run through Sports Unity Program is FREE? Thanks doesn't begin to cover it but I'll say it anyway,

THANK YOU!!!






Thursday, April 2, 2015

Going Color Blind for Autism Acceptance/Autism Awareness

Each year as World Autism Awareness Day rolls around, a storm begins to brew. This year it seems to have become a behemoth of a storm, with loud rolling thunder and some nasty lightning strikes amongst people that are usually incredibly supportive of each other, sowing judgmental comments and hurt feelings with each click of the mouse.

Aren't we all striving for the same thing? ACCEPTANCE! So let's get to it! Gold for Autism Ausomeness and Acceptance? Puzzle Pieces for Perfect Pervasive Developmental Disorders? Blue for Autism Awareness? And on and on and on....? SURE! All of them are perfect. It's about starting and maintaining conversations to educate, right? Let's stick together and accept each other and realize we are all living this life together.

I like blue. I don't see it as sad as many have said. When a storm clears during the day, what do we look for? Blue sky. See my point? Know what else we look for? A golden sun. And sometimes we even see pieces of a rainbow.

Autism is every day for those of us with kiddos on the spectrum. It's laughter and tears, hugs and meltdowns, milestones and struggles, every single day. We need each other every single day to voice our fears, concerns, and JOYS. Let's come together and stay together and lift each other up.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

FREE $15 CREDIT TO BUY KIDS' CLOTHES!!

Yes, this is real and legitimate! If you click on my link Schoola--Pass the Bag and Support Your School! you will see not only an amazing assortment of clothes, shoes, and accessories for kids from preschool through high school, but also after you load your shopping cart you'll see you will have a $15 "sharing" credit! No minimum to order and just for today, shipping is free on any order!! Yes, lots of exclamation marks cause this is terrific! AND FREE!! 40% of every order goes to a school in the US so this really is an incredible win-win-win. On the site you you can also get details on how to support YOUR school, too!

Happy Shopping and you're welcome. Let me know if you order! I got a pair of jeans for my teen daughter and a nice top for my son for $11, can't wait for them to get here.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Yo Math-U-SEE

Daughter this morning:

"Yo I'll never forget how much a paperclip weighs. Like it's completely in my brain. Like someday there's going to be a trivia contest question asking how much does a paperclip weigh in the metric system and I'm gonna be like, 'yo 1 gram!' and they're gonna be like 'Whoa how'd you know that!' and I'm gonna be like 'yo, Math-U-SEE, REPRESENT!'" 

Okay so yes, math is going well today. Grammar? Not so much lol.