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Book Review: The Behavior Code

July 17, 2012 in Book Review by Dennise Goldberg

Robert Langdon has nothing on Jessica Minahan and Nancy Rappaport.  While Robert Langdon was out cracking the DaVinci Code using symbology and being chased by deadly assassins Jessica and Nancy were hard at work in our public schools cracking “The Behavior Code” for our most challenging students.  In their new book, “The Behavior Code: A Practical Guide to Understanding and Teaching the Most Challenging Students,” Jessica and Nancy share their wisdom and experience working with the most misunderstood population in our schools.  This book is a must read for every Teacher in elementary school whether you are in a general education or special education setting.  I also highly recommend that Parents read this book as well to get an understanding of what it takes to change behavior and how important it is to carry these philosophies over to the home environment. Read the rest of this entry →

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by Jess

The Book You Must Read if You Care About Restraint & Seclusion

March 27, 2012 in Book Review by Jess

A Book That Talks About Restraint & Seclusion Through the Eyes of  Children with Special Needs

Mommy, I Wish I Could Tell You What They Did To Me At School Today

Mommy I Wish I Could Tell You What They Did to me at School Today Book ReviewLast year, we found out that restraint &  seclusion can be a personal threat to our own kids; I knew I needed to take a  stand, and since then have worked hard locally and online in advocacy against  restraint and seclusion.

So when I saw the book by Richard S. Stripp, Sr. about Restraint and  Seclusion, I knew I needed to take the time to read it. Mommy, I Wish I  Could Tell You What They Did To Me At School Today is the true story of Mr.  Stripp’s work as an aide in the public school system and respite worker.

And he found a way to tell their story in a way that was both emotional and  heart-rending.

Restraint and Seclusion is the Story of Abuse

I found this book to be a hard read, but important for anyone who cares about  children with special needs. In it, Stripp gives voice to children with special  needs he encountered during his years as an aide in the public school system,  many of whom were nonverbal or mostly unable to give voice to what happened to  them.

Stripp used a literary technique I’ve rarely seen utilized when trying to  tell the story about nonverbal children with special needs – he got into their  heads and became their voice. While we will never know exactly  what these children really were thinking about during these horrific  experiences, Stripp gives us a rare glimpse into their possible reactions to  being mentally, physically, and emotionally abused, either through callous  neglect or outright abuse.

The danger of restraint and seclusion is best left to a post on the subject  itself, but consider for a minute that your child can’t tell you if someone hurt  them. That your child can’t tell you that someone keeps hurting them, in the  name of discipline, class control, and sometimes incompetence.

I firmly believe there are more teachers of children with special needs out  there who are passionate about helping the children in their care, but they are  only human. And humans make mistakes, act in anger, become overwhelmed, and  sometimes take the easy way out instead of doing what is right. Sometimes it  happens. We hear the stories all the time, and in this book, we hear about those  stories from someone who was in the classroom with these children, from someone  who knew and loved these children.

Stripp warned me I might need tissues for this reading adventure, and I’m  proud to say I didn’t. But I couldn’t let go of the images, of the children he  introduced to me as a reader, and the advocate in me roared at the injustice of  it. The thought of that happening to my own child … when I know in fact that  something similar did happen … makes me want to fight all the harder for all the  children out there.

Stripp shares with us stories that should shock and anger us, should  overwhelm us … and hopefully they will inspire us, also, to do what we can to  remember that these children can be difficult to understand, they might not be  able to talk with words … but they do have a voice, and if we look hard enough  we can see what they have to say.

From what could be their own words … the Children of Restraint and  Seclusion:

In brief, I want to share a few quotes from the book, and I hope they will  give you the same goosebumps they give me …

About a little boy named Adam, who hid his shoes because he didn’t want to go  to school. Emotionally and physically abused by those he trusts, his story ends  with this sad note:

“As I get put on the bus, the teacher tells me to do them all a favor and  stay home tomorrow.  Sounds like a great idea. I’ll try, but Mom always finds my  shoes.”

Or the little boy named Tommy, who reminded me of what my own Logan might be  thinking, and what he might have had to deal with strapped in his own rifton  chair at school last year. Tommy, who says …

“I used to love coming to school and running around. They don’t let me do  that too much anymore. Most of the day I’m strapped into this stupid chair. I  hate this chair. When I’m out of the chair, I like to run. I’ll run  anywhere…

When they strap me in the chair, I try to get out. Wouldn’t you? …”

Restraint and Seclusion is a Kind of Dirty Little Secret

But in Mommy, I Wish I Could Tell You What They Did to me at School  Today, Stripp pulls away the veil, and makes us see this as the  horrible injustice it is. I was moved, angered, and horrified at what I read … and that’s why this book MUST be read – because anyone who loves a child with  special needs SHOULD be moved to action against restraint and seclusion.

Do you have your own story of Restraint and Seclusion? Have you read this  book? Have questions about it? Tell us how restraint and seclusion has affected  your world, and join the Cafe in vowing to make a difference.

Learn more about Mommy, I Wish by visiting Stripp’s  site, http://www.mommyiwish.com,  and even tell your own story there, or by visiting the Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/MommyIWish

A Review of Mommy I Wish I Could Tell You What They Did to me at School Today, by Richard Stripps, Sr.

Originally posted at Kat's Cafe - http://katscafe.org/2012/03/24/the-book-you-must-read-if-you-care-about-restraint-seclusion/

Katrina "Kat" Moody is the primary author, editor and creator of Kat's Cafe.  When not playing at the Cafe, Katrina works as a freelance assistant,  copywriter, copyeditor, designer, and a whole lot more.  Kat is a wife and  mother of three pretty amazing guys who all share a myriad of diagnoses, from  Axenfeld Rieger Syndrome, to Epilepsy, Autism, and so much more. My little Moody  gang has inspired my passion to write at the Cafe, so that she can help further  connections in the special needs community.  Kat is more than a wife and mom,  though it tempers most of what she does, and the Cafe reflects this diversity of  interests, with a new Review and Giveaway section of the Cafe (Both for the  special needs community and for general family friendly products) and the  Awareness Gift Shop. Everything at the Cafe is meant to help make special needs  connections, real connections, and embrace/appreciate the life we have been  given. You can find out more about Kat and her Moody men by visiting the "About  Kat" page of the website. If you are looking for more specific information about  the Cafe, are interested in pursuing giveaways, reviews, or a partnership with  the Cafe, please see the "About Kat's Cafe" page of the website.

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Children’s Book Review: Just Like You

February 9, 2012 in Book Review by Dennise Goldberg

The other day I was watching a talk show and one of the guests brought in a book to help promote disability awareness and acceptance. “Just Like You,” is a book about a spider named Boris, who has one bad leg and a field mouse, named Henry who could not hear or speak. They are best friends who play and live by themselves in the forest; the other animals bullied and shunned them because they were different. One hot day, a fire breaks out in the forest, so Boris and Henry utilize their unique ways to communicate and spread the word that a fire was taking over the forest. Once the forest animals escaped danger, they looked past Boris and Henry’s disabilities and looked at them as equals. Read the rest of this entry →

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Book Review: Respecting Autism

January 24, 2012 in Book Review by Dennise Goldberg

I recently read the new book from Stanley I. Greenspan, MD and Gil Tippy, Psy D “Respecting Autism.” It provides a unique and informative perspective on behavior therapy treatment using a combination of the Developmental, Individual Difference, Relationship (DIR) model and Floortime. You get an inside look at DIR/Floortime through the utilization of case studies. These case studies come from the Rebecca School for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders located in New York. Dr. Gil Tippy is the founder and Clinical Director for the school and Dr. Greenspan was the creator of the DIR/Floortime Model. Dr. Greenspan passed away shortly after finishing this book. Read the rest of this entry →

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Book Review: Social Thinking at Work

January 2, 2012 in Book Review, Special Education Advisor Blog by Dennise Goldberg

“Social Thinking at Work: Why Should I Care,” by Michelle Garcia Winner and Pamela Crooke is a game changer. This book provides practical advice to every adult whether you are on the Autism Spectrum, Neurotypical (NT), or somewhere in between on how to navigate the social intricacies involved with the workplace. I have long held the opinion that the ability to socialize and get along with people is as important to creating a successful career as being good at your job. Thus, success very often requires a combination of academic intelligence and social intelligence. Social Thinking at Work creates a roadmap for those individuals with weaknesses in social intelligence to “better understand the expectations of the social mind.” According to Michelle and Pamela, “Our goal is to make information explicit by breaking down and defining how the social mind works, and how it’s linked to social-emotional and behavioral expectations.” Read the rest of this entry →

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