Posts in category "children's advocate"

Bullying: Setting Kids on Fire, Creepy Clowns, Locker Room Talk and Other Hated-Filled Acts

This is not the world I had hoped my eight grandchildren would inherit. I truly thought our country was on track to be more loving, accepting, inclusive, and kind. Instead, during Bullying Prevention Month, folks are talking about a child with special needs in Texas being set on fire with classmates who taunted him accused... Read more »

May is Cystic Fibrosis Month: Advocating for my Grandchild with CF

It’s hard to describe the pain of watching a child you love challenged by a chronic illness. When I learned my 2 ½ -year-old granddaughter had Cystic Fibrosis almost seven years ago, I felt like I had been punched in the gut. My grandchild was not supposed to struggle with a serious condition. That’s not... Read more »

When a Feel Good Story About a Child with Special Needs Feels Bad

A boy with developmental disabilities invited his classmates to his ninth birthday party and no one came. His mother reported that he waited to cut his “K-9” cake, hoping friends would show up, but they didn’t. The Chicago Tribune ran a feel good story about how a Facebook post about the non-party resulted in cards,... Read more »

Gun Safety: A Tale of Two Grandchildren

Yesterday, I waited for my nine-year-old granddaughter after school. When she didn’t show at up our arranged spot for Mondays, I worried that she was confused and looking for me where I usually pick her up the rest of the week. And that was what happened. Never once did it cross my mind that someone... Read more »

Social Impact Bonds: Chicago Plays Pay for Success with Young Kids

I’ll confess that in my capacity as an early childhood director for over twenty years, I often made the argument for the benefits of quality early childhood education. I discussed it at community meetings as a way to level the playing field to give every child a decent start in life. I wrote about it... Read more »

How Blue Cross Blue Shield Hurts Kids with Special Needs

Shame on Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) for making life even harder for parents of kids with special needs. And shame on our country for putting up with a healthcare system that is all about profits and doesn’t give a hoot for providing either health or care. According to Crain’s Chicago Business (note, this is coming... Read more »

Inclusion: A Preschool that Truly Cares About Other People’s Children

Welcoming and including children with special needs has always been part of Cherry Preschool’s mission. But this Evanston preschool community not only talks the talk, it walks the walk. At its annual fundraiser on March 21, parents, teachers, and friends of the school raised their paddles to donate $35,000 to fund next year’s Inclusion Program.... Read more »

Keep Maggie Daley Park a Dog-Free Zone

Dog lovers don’t hate me. Before you get angry and start to write mean comments on this post, I must state that I really, really like dogs. In fact, one of my daughters is a vet, and all of my kids have dogs. But I have to vote “no” when it comes to allowing dogs... Read more »

Common Core Testing for Dogs and Cats

I’m not making this up. In the print version of Scientifics Direct, a very nice catalog of science-related activities for kids, it describes kits for creating interactive pet toys as being “like common core testing.” Among the things these kits claim they can do is teaching obedience commands and training both dogs and cats to... Read more »

To the Parent of the Shy Kindergartener

Since when did shyness in a 5-year-old become something requiring remediation? Apparently, in today’s kindergartens, it does. You see, shy kids generally don’t perform well on standardized tests given at the beginning of kindergarten. And that can be totally normal for a child with a shy or anxious temperament. But under our new approach to... Read more »