The Dragonfly Forest

They have been given names such as devil’s darning needle, ear sewer, horse stinger, skeeter hawk, and the snake’s servant. Actually, Dragonflies are beneficial, peaceful, and stunning. You are a Dragonfly if you are: ADD/ADHD, dyslexic, dysgraphic, Asperger’s, NLVD, autistic…

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

How to not let the bad in the world control you

Are you heartbroken by all the pain and suffering that is happening in the world?  Some people obviously want this to occur because they are the ones causing the pain and suffering.  We cannot change these people but we can make changes in our own lives! 

I deserve to have a good life and so do you.  We have value and worth and we don't have to settle for all the negative that is occurring around us.  

Sput this quote on your mirror and read it every morning~~  
"I am the narrator of MY life so I choose to see the beauty in the world all around me.  I notice the details of things, appreciate my connections to people, and feel grateful for what I currently have in my life!  I also have the power to disconnect and/or no longer interact with people and events in my life that cause only negative experiences. I create a positive world for myself and those around me.  I will show empathy to others and live my life with integrity!"

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Why we should NOT follow the Golden Rule!

I have been reading and hearing from Trump supporters "What are you so afraid of?  We already had racism, hate, rape...."  Ummm Society is aware that the world was NOT safe but this point of view is very egocentric.   People are afraid not because they fear these things but because the accepted Political Correct etiquette is now gone because Americans have a role model who is NOT Politically Correct.  I have been hearing how refreshing to listen to Trump because he is real and honest with his thought and feelings and people are way to sensitive about "offending" others so they are glad to get rid of this Political Correct etiquette.  What people don't understand is that being PC is actually just being respectful.  By saying "Happy Holidays" instead of Merry Christmas to people is respecting that the other person may not be christian and you are accepting that they might not share your religion.  Being PC means that you don't push your views on another person because the other person has a different experience than you do and you shouldn't assume we all experience life the same way.   I am also hearing people say that they are bringing Christian values back like the Gold Rule.  Well, that isn't the right answer either...

We need to stop teaching our children the Golden Rule.  Yep, that’s right!  We are teaching our children to do unto others as they themselves want done unto.  The concept sounds great.  If we want to be treated with respect we treat others with respects.  But if we actually follow this rule it means to treat others exactly how WE want to be treated.  So, if I like being touched and appreciate being hugged I should touch and hug others.  What if they don’t want to be touched and hugged?  Then what?  If you are the type of person that wants to be left alone when hurting and leave others alone when they are hurting you may lose friends.  Some people may want you to do everything in your power to let them know you care and you are there.  So treat others how THEY want to be treated.  
The Golden Rule is essentially a person being egocentric.  This is actually a type of cognitive bias, false-consensus effect to be exact.  We have a tendency to overestimate how much other people have the same values, opinions, beliefs, and preferences.  Yes, people can have a lot in common but we should NOT assume that we have everything in common.
If we are not teaching our children the Golden Rule, what should we be teaching them?  We need to teach empathy.  Empathy is being able to understand the perspectives of other people.  So instead of treating others how WE want to be treated we need to treat others how THEY want to be treated!  This is referred to as the Platinum Rule.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Post election grief!

The elections are over and America elected Donald Trump as president but not everyone voted for him and those who did not want him to become president are going through serious and real emotions.  

The reason it is difficult to move on is because people have to go through the stages of mourning and grief.

If you are one that is struggling with accepting Donald Trump as president, know that you will experience the five stages of normal grief explained by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross.  Understand, the amount of time you spend in each stage will be different and you may not follow them in the same order.
  • Denial & Isolation:  We often experience this defense mechanism as a reaction to overwhelming emotions, stress, and trauma.  Even if you are the one wanting to move on you can still experience the feelings of denial that it is happening or you may feel bouts of isolation.  Just remember this is temporary and the feelings will change soon.  Although there are times you may wonder if this is some bad dream.
  • Anger: When the denial and isolation feelings start to subside we may have intense feelings of hurt and pain.  This makes us feel vulnerable and scared so we project these feelings as anger. We may direct this anger at strangers, friends, loved ones, or even inanimate objects.  This is why people are out protesting. They are angry and they want to express this anger. I have heard recently that not all the ones causing destruction are actually Trump supporters and they just want to make these protests more negative but I'm not sure if this info is accurate.
  • Bargaining: Eventually people may get to the bargaining stage and try to figure out a way to make the electoral college process change or even ask for a re-count.
  • Depression:  When going through this process there may be many that experience depression.  This may be harder to get over and sometimes people don't realize they are depressed because of the election.  Some may just have an overwhelming depressed feeling.  Depression is real especially for those who did not vote for Donald Trump because they are able to see his hate and anger.  There is real fear that his behavior may appear acceptable to other Americans and more hate and anger will occur.  
  • Acceptance:  For those people in any of the above stages the stage of acceptance appears to be impossible.  Eventually some people may actually get to this acceptance level and accept Donald Trump as president.  
I read an article recently on HOW WE VOTED - BY AGE, EDUCATION, RACE, AND SEXUAL ORIENTATION which was very eye opening as to who the people are that may have to go through these stages of grief.  I have also read a number of Trump supporters write some very negative racist and sexist things.  I believe that Trump resonated with those that voted for him because Trump was willing to say out-loud the exact things these people are thinking.  They think just like him but know that in our current Politically Correct society that they are not free to say these things out-loud and then comes alone a wealthy guy who has the balls to do and say these things.  I also believe that some voted for him because they are white and want white America back.  I have read a number of people support a comment - "White men have not been entitled in the last 8 years so it it time for America to be white again."  - I don't know who originally stated this or if it was just someone I am FB friends with but I have seen it frequently & know this is why minorities are scared.  

I am in the process of acceptance.  I will have to accept what happens and know that all I can do is be the best person that I can be and keep true to my own integrity.  


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Power of Outrospection and Importance of Empathy

I have worked hard to help the world understand Empathy here is a great video that can help you learn more about what I mean every time I stress the importance of Empathy.  We need to teach children how to become more Emphatic.  Every school should have Empathy as a goal for their students! We need to practice empathy on a daily basis!  

Here's the direct link if needed: RSA Animate-The Power of Outrospection 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

What it might be like to have dyslexia

October is Dyslexia Awareness month so this article will help you understand what it might be like to be a person with dyslexia.  I used the words “might be like” because one of the first thing to understand is that dyslexia is different for each person.   Everyone is an individual and the brain is a unique as a person’s fingerprints; no two are alike! 

Let me explain in a simple way how the brain processes language.  

This is the NON-DYSLEXIC brain working.  When the person sees the words on the page they quickly go to the language center of their brain.  In the non-dyslexic language center the information (letters, sounds, numbers, colors...) are all stored in an orderly sequential way so that each piece is easy to retrieve. Having an organized language center makes learning, especially learning to read fairly easy.

The language center of a person with dyslexia is very different.  
Here the person sees the words on the page and goes up to their language center of their brain to find the corresponding letters and sounds.  When they get to their language center, it is not organized.  Depending on how dyslexic they are, their language center can range from having only a few things out of place to major chaos.  If the person also has ADD/ADHD there may be even more difficulties.  A person with dyslexia doesn't often come back quickly with information because they are sorting through all the mess in their language center to find just the right words, letters, sounds, numbers...  This can be seen when a student has low reading fluency and/or difficulties with Rapid Automatic Naming (RAN). Since the language center is disorganized the person often struggles with sounding words out and may read the words incorrectly.  A great deal of time they will just guess a word based on beginning letters and the shape of the word because it is very time consuming searching all over their language center for just the right match.  

Hopefully this gives you an idea of what it might be like for a person with dyslexia.  If you look up on the internet what it is like to be a person with dyslexia you may come across some activities that "simulate" dyslexia.  I'm not a fan of these "simulations" (explained below) but what I hope you get from these is an understanding of the frustration and feelings of learned helplessness (important topic to understand) that comes from being a person with dyslexia

So, why am I not a fan of some of these simulations?  Well, for a few reasons.  As I pointed out before, every person with dyslexia is different and often these "simulations" give the impression that these experiences are universal and they feed into many myths.

The first one I don't like is the one where the people have to read from a paper where the letters are backward, squiggly, or missing parts.  The point is to demonstrate how hard a person with dyslexia has to work in order to read.  The problem with this simulation is the way the letters are presented.  For the most part, people with dyslexia do NOT see things differently.  It is NOT a vision problem.  True, there are some people who also have difficulty with convergence or have eye problems but this is NOT dyslexia.  A better way to present this activity is to try to read something in a foreign language that you do not understand, especially out-loud. These are real words and in order to read them you have to know the phonetic codes that go with each letter and foreign language. Try this:

The other simulation I'm not fond of is the "mirror writing."  Again, this is to show how frustrating it is for the person with dyslexia to share their thoughts on paper but it also adds to the myth that people with dyslexia have difficulty with their vision.  Also, not everyone with dyslexia also has dysgraphia.  Dysgraphia is often common in people with dyslexia but some people with dyslexia are great at writing (penmanship & written expression).  Most people don't even know about dysgraphia which is similar to dyslexia. See, in writing there are also a lot of steps the brain has to go through to process the language and tell the hand how to form the letters, space the letters, spell the words, formulate the sentence, and express thoughts.  Some people may be dysgraphic and not dyslexic - remember everyone is unique.  Doing the mirror activity can be very confusing for people.  A better way to simulate the difficulties with writing for some people with dyslexia is to have people listen to a few sentences in different foreign languages (ones they do not know) and have them write down what they are hearing.  Remember that most adults have learned to adjust to the most non-phonetic language, English so for some people this task may be fairly easy. So to add to the challenge have participants write with their non-dominant hand and go quickly so there is no time to sit around an think.  It is also good to have the sentences to be dictated by someone who fluently speaks that language.

Thanks for still reading this post.  I know it is long and I made it that way on purpose.  People with dyslexia don't like to read because it over works their brain. This is called cognitive overload.  When students are in school all day they will experience cognitive overload.  These students are working 2, 3, and sometimes even 4 times harder than their non-dyslexic peers but it is not often obvious.  So only when a non-dyslexic person (parent or teacher) understands this then changes can be made to the way the person with dyslexia is viewed and treated.  I hope you now have a better understanding of what it might be like to be a person with dyslexia.

Finally, the very best way to know what it is like for a person with dyslexia is to ASK them!  Have them explain what it is like for them in school or work.  They will have the most accurate insight into what it is like to be a person with dyslexia.    

Friday, October 21, 2016

Fox on Friday!

This fox came and visited a girls soccer game last night & I just love how cute this fox is so I'm sharing here...  enjoy!  Happy Friday!


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Must Watch TV show about Dyslexia from 1984

I miss ABC After-school Specials.  The episodes on this series allowed the view to live vicariously through the experiences of the characters.  After-school Specials were educational and entertaining. ABC also did some other things right- they made sure it was multicultural.  Growing up in a very multicultural environment I appreciate seeing people of all races and cultures not just one.   What I don't like is how they make dyslexia look like a visual disorder but I love how Brian (the main character played by River Phoenix) gets others to help him out.  

Here is episode 6 from Season 12 - Backwards: The Riddle of dyslexia.  This episode aired in March 1984 and stars young River Phoenix (RIP my friend)  and his younger brother Joaquin who went by the name as as Leaf back then.  This episode is broken down into 5 short parts so that you can watch is more easily since the whole show is over 45 minutes long.  Enjoy...

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Final Part 5