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…

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Words from Parents and Dragonflies Wednesday

 I am the parent not the professional, so do not expect me to take care of your emotional needs.  I don’t always know how to word my questions and/or comments correctly.  Do not assume I am judging or criticizing you and become defensive.  I am not trying to work against you; I just don’t know how to phrase things to get my message across.  You are the professional so remember that my underlying emotions are fear, anxiety, and guilt.

* Many parents of Dragonflies would love to be able to say this to the school staff.  Often the school staff becomes defensive or attacking when parents question methods, certifications, and knowledge.  Every parent should have the right to ask these questions without being attacked.  It's amazing how many times parents are attacked because they are just trying to help their child receive an appropriate education.   

Monday, September 23, 2013

Someone you should know: Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger overcoming dyslexia and other challenges!

Someone you should know- Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger.  His inspirational movie came out 20 years ago in 1993!  This movie is on my list of movies that EVERYONE needs to watch, especially if you or your child is a Dragonfly!  Rudy is dyslexic yet has he has tenacity (I also think he has ADD but not sure if he was ever diagnosed)!!!! 

Here’s a great 12 minute video of Rudy being interviewed and speaking about his dyslexia! 

He not only had to endure and survive struggles academically and physically he continued to face adversities over the years.   At one point fellow Notre Dame quarterback, Joe Montana made negative comments about the movie and Rudy’s experiences even saying that when Rudy was carried off the field on the shoulders of the football team it was a joke and not out of respect.  Rudy’s way of addressing comments like these is to just accept that everyone has their own perception and opinions.  Another fellow teammate, Jay Achterhoff stated “Rudy was carried off the field that day… but not as a joke but because he finally got to play.  You’ve never in your life seen a guy who wanted to be on the field more.” 

More recently, Rudy made some poor judgments trusting co-workers and getting himself involved in a “stock scam.”  Again, with the same tenacity he had working to get into Notre Dame academically and athletically, Rudy was able to keep focused on the positive and not dwell on negative pass experiences.  He refers to these past experiences as “lessons learned.” 

The goal here is to see the positive lessons that Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger has to offer.  Take from his stories (real and fictional) as a guide for you to have a better life and more success.  Remember to remain diligent and always go after your dreams! 

Rudy still gives motivational speeches to people of all ages!  So if you are wanting to learn more about Rudy check out his website: Rudy International Website.  

REMEMBER NEVER GIVE UP!  Let Rudy's story be an inspiration to you!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Quotes from Parents and Dragonflies

This quote was one that sticks out in my mind often when I am at meetings because it really breaks my heart.  I wish teachers really understood what they are doing to these kids.

"School is so hard for me but all my teachers think it should be easy so they just think I'm lazy.  It makes me hate myself even more because if school is easy I'm just stupid cause it isn't easy for me.  Most days when I wake up on school mornings I have suicidal thoughts because I'd rather be dead than go to school."  
                                                  ~ A 5th grader with dyslexia and ADHD

Monday, September 9, 2013

Words of wisdom buttons for school meetings

It is time for the school year to really get into swing which means meetings for parents of Dragonflies!  I not only attend meetings as a parent but I also attend hundreds of meetings with parents (via my business Forest Alliance Coaching).  

Many times teachers and school staff really do care about the child being discussed.  Unfortunately, there are some people who attend these meetings that just don't get it~~  They don't understand: the disability, special ed law, how much a parent is fully informed, evidence-based programs, how all the negative experiences are damaging the child's self-esteem, why parents care so much about their child, appropriate education, and so on....

I don't know why I am shocked by what is said in these meetings cause I've heard it all (oh and someday I'll write a book on this subject).  I'm not looking forward to the school meetings for my own children this year because there will be some new staff members attending.  See, I already have an interesting reputation in my school district so I never know what to expect.  

I have made some words of wisdom buttons that can be printed and pinned to the front of your shirt or added to the top of your child's notebook (you really need to have a notebook of all your child's past reports & articles on special ed law/your child's disabilities).  

Here are a few (I'll be posting some to my Forest Alliance Coaching Facebook page every once in a while so like that FB page to check out some new ones when posted- I posted a couple there todayForest Alliance Coaching on Facebook).

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Words from Parents and Dragonflies Wednesday - disability

"My disability does not define who I am."  14 year old Dragonfly with ADHD

"The teacher asked why I was trying to hard to get my kid labeled.  I told her that I was not trying to get him a label I was trying to make sure that he received an appropriate education.  The school is the one trying to label him as lazy and stupid, not me.  Knowing exactly how his brain works by having a diagnosis will open up the world of knowledge to him not limit him. When the school refused my request for the evaluation that was limiting him."  Parent of a Dragonfly with dyslexia and asperger's