Category: children's advocate

Honor Mr. Rogers by Caring for Our Neighbors from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

Fifty years ago today, on February 19, 1968, one of my personal heroes, Fred Rogers, launched his children’s show, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. The PBS program, featuring a kindly man in a cardigan and blue sneakers, introduced millions of young children to the concepts of patience, kindness, acceptance, and caring for their neighbors. When my children... Read more »

Park School Needs a Playground its Students with Disabilities Can Use

They are so close to their goal…make a donation today The school playground is usually empty. The swing frame holds no swings. The wooden climbing structure is decaying, faded and cracked with age. The wood chip surface is thin and unusable for children whose wheelchairs can’t be pushed across it. When the Penny Park, a... Read more »

School Lunch and Recess Woes

Evanston, Illinois supports its public schools. Last spring, we even voted for a referendum to raise our property taxes so our school children would receive good educations. Is it unreasonable to expect our school district to make changes to how lunch and recess are managed so those children we treasure can be joyful, healthy, and... Read more »
Advertisement:

Fidget Spinners: Addictive Stress Relief for Kids Who Need to Move

Fidget spinners have been banned by most schools, and rightfully so. If I were having a hard time staying focused, squeezing a koosh ball or chewing on a pencil might help. But watching a spinner and keeping it in motion would be a total distraction. These spinners are basically toys that delight all kids, but... Read more »

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 »
Advertisement:

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 »
Advertisement:

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 »