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…

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Ennis' Gift Documentary on Dyslexia

Bill Cosby's son, Ennis, was dyslexic.  Ennis struggled academically in school and eventually he was diagnosed with dyslexia after attending Morehouse College in 1988.  Bill Cosby's television show, "The Cosby Show" was in it's 6th season.   Bill decided to make his son on the TV show dyslexic.  In 1989 the episode, "Theo's Gift" was aired (see below for this episode).  Ennis worked hard in school and aspired to becoming a special education teacher.  He was working on his doctorate in 1997 when he was murdered.  Later that year Bill and his wife, Camille, founded the "Hello, Friend/Ennis William Cosby Foundation" to assist educating students with learning difficulties.  Bill also made sure that a documentary on dyslexia and learning differences was made and "Ennis' Gift" was released in 2000.  Below is this 51 minute documentary highlighting many famous people with dyslexia and learning differences: Ed Bradley, Ann Bancroft, Danny Glover, Bruce Jenner, James Earl Jones, and many many more!  

Here's the full Cosby Episode - Theo's Gift (don't worry it's in English)


For those of you who don't have time to watch the whole eposide (above) here's just a 2 min. clip (*I don't agree with the seeing backward comment but remember this was the late 1980's we have learned a lot since then):

Let us all continue to keep the spirit of Ennis Cosby alive by spreading the word that dyslexia is real, it exists, and it is a strength not a weakness. Every educator and administrator should should be required to watch this and ALL the other documentaries on Dyslexia.   With understanding we can embrace dyslexia.    

Monday, June 24, 2013

Motivational Monday: Dove video show true beauty

I understand how hard it is to have self-love and accept that we are beautiful.  We live in a society that measures beauty by unrealistic standards.  This is wrong!  

I can see the good and beauty in you, I can openly accept you for who you are; all your strengths & weaknesses!  The key is for you to accept you too!

Dragonflies have no idea they are beautiful!  Check out this video!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Christian Buchanan teaches others the importance of acceptance

Dragonflies are beautiful but not everyone can see that at first.  It takes getting to know one to really appreciate how unique & special they are; gifts to the world.  This video is a great one to teach us this lesson.  So touching!  

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Words from Parents and Dragonflies Wednesday

I have been successful in my life because I know what it feels like to fail so I am not afraid of failure.  People who are afraid to fail are often not successful.

Don't judge my parenting skills based on my child's grades.  Remember that there are some students who receive all A's but their parents are abusive.  

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

12 Angry Men teach us empathy (Must See Movie)

Summer Movie Suggestion:
12 Angry Men (original)

This is a movie that every person should see, so if you and/or your children have not seen this movie then it is a MUST watch this summer.  It is a great way to open discussions on empathy, values, beliefs, prejudice, and doing the right thing. 

Here's a movie trailer:

Now go out there and rent 12 Angry Men 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Cartoon Saturday

Cartoon Saturday *note sorry it is a day late ~ as you know like can be filled with crazy chaos at times so here are two ~~ enjoy!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Learning skills for people with Asperger's, Dyslexia, ADD...

Danny: Good books to read that teach skills

When we feel different or have a child that feels different it makes life challenging. It does not matter what disorder you have, life is challenging.  The key is to accept yourself for who you are and learn skills to function in your daily life.  Here's Danny from Asperger Experts explaining some great books that help build these skills.  

These are not only great for people who have Asperger's but also for any person as they are growing and learning in this world.  Did you know that some kids with ADD and/or Dyslexia may have difficulties with social skills?  Even children without any disorder may be socially awkward during their teen years so this video is good for ANYONE!  

Enjoy this video from our Dragonfly Friend, Danny:

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Words from Parents and Dragonflies Wednesday

So glad it is summer break so I can take a break from trying to keep the school updated and educated on how to educate my child.

Yea, summer break, now I can really be myself and not worry so much about all the things I can't do but enjoy all the things I can do.
**Each Wednesday Quotes from parents and/or Dragonflies are shared. Quotes come from comment made on FB, private messages, emails, coaching/counseling sessions, and from normal chit-chat.  Due to confidentiality and privacy concerns the person making the quote is not identified.  Feel free to message me your quotes if you want (If you want your name attached to the quote I need your permission so state that you want identified otherwise you will not be credited).  

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Shame and why it needs to stop

Stop the shaming – part 2! 

I frequently speak about the importance of moving away from shame and toward empathy but often people do not understand this concept.  For one, they do not understand what shame is and how they contribute to causing shame.  Even the person with the best intentions maybe causing shame.  Secondly, shaming can and should be stopped in homes, schools, sports fields… 

So what is shame?  According to Gershen Kaufman, "Shame is the most disturbing experience individuals ever have about themselves; no other emotion feels more deeply disturbing because in the moment of shame the self feels wounded from within.” 

Shame researcher, Dr. Brené Brown, describes shame as, “The intensely painful feeling that we are unworthy of love and belonging.”  

Here is a video that explains how "Shame is Lethal" by Dr. Brené Brown~~

We need to understand how events are perceived (remember one of my favorite sayings: “A person’s perception IS their reality”).   When events occur a person develops an internal cognitive script about this event.  Let me use an example from a recent posting I did on graduations and ceremonies:Stop the Shaming.  If a students must sit for a period of time watching “academic high achieving” and “socially popular” students honored with awards yet not receive any accolades themselves they may have negative scripts running through their heads – “I’m not smart enough; I stupid; No one likes me; I’ll never achieve; I try so hard but no one sees so maybe I’ll just stop trying…”  This is shame. No one came out and said these things to these students but due to their own experiences and frames of references these were the scripts they said to themselves thus this was their reality.

Some of you think we should put students who fit society standards on a pedestal so those who do not fit these standards can look up to them and strive to be just like them.  I say this is the wrong approach.  It not only shames students who do not fit these standards; it perpetuates the culture of shame.  Here’s a quote from a recent post on Facebook by “Dyslexics Rights” in response to a new article about graduation rates:  “Dropout rates so high! How can high schools seriously celebrate on graduation day when they have left so many behind? Really? How can you pretend like you didn't know those kids who tried but didn't make it?”

Watch here to see another reason why we need to shop shaming: "Why Shame is so prevalent in classrooms." " 

**note: the video above was removed because some teachers felt that it was negative toward teachers- here's Dr. Brené Brown explaining

As I have preached over and over we need to teach EMPATHY!  Not only do we need to teach empathy to all children but also to adults.  We are a society that condones and encourages shame.  There are still teachers and coaches that believe that shame makes a child become more successful and motivated.  Research has proven this to be wrong, yet it is still an acceptable classroom management tool and our schools are set up to reward some students while shaming others. 

We need to teach self-acceptance and honor self-expression over conformity.  Did you know that conformist societies have higher suicide rates?  So have empathy for yourself on a daily basis.  

We need to help students (and ourselves) embrace who we are and accept all of our emotions.  Here is a great blog post  that provides insight into the writer’s experience with overcoming shame.  Aspergers and Me Blog:  “Shame does not make me better.  Rejecting shame does.”  

Finally, remember my Dragonfly Friends you are great just the way you are.  When times get tough and you have this negative script of shame know that I believe in you and will accept you for who you are.  Repeat these phrase to yourself: “I am a valuable person who has great things to offer the world,”  “My mistakes do not define me they only make me wiser and stronger,” and “I make this world a better place because I am an important and unique individual.”   

Monday, June 10, 2013

Motivational Monday: Patricia Polacco Author and Illustrator with a Learning Disability

Don't ever let a learning disability stop you... EVER!  Patricia Polacco did not learn how to read until she was 14 years old but that did not stop her from achieving her dreams.  She is an author and illustrator. Patricia Palacco talks about learning disability Some of her books include: Thank You, Mr. Falker, Thunder Cake, Bully, Just in Time Abraham Lincoln, The Keeping Quilt, and many many more!  

Here is a great video of her talking to elementary students about wishes, friendships, and what it was like being a student with a learning disability.  Very inspiring!!  

Here's her link to her website as well:     

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Failing to have a great career the reason by Larry Smith

Do you know why you have been failing at having a great career?  Larry Smith shares the secret here~~  This is worth 15 minutes of your time.  

Stop giving excuses!!!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Cartoon Saturday

In honor of the end of a school year~ wish we all could have an exciting and fun summer to look forward to ~~~~ enjoy!