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…

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Brain Strength

Brain Strength!  Everyone has their own unique brain; like snowflakes and fingerprints, no two are alike.   Emphasis the things you are good at doing for these are your talents and give you purpose and value! 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Words from Parents & Dragonflies Wednesday

Each Wednesday will be a platform for parents and Dragonflies to share their thoughts, opinions, and experiences they would like others (family, friends, teachers...) to know. 
v Remember, you have my child for only a certain period of time (day, week, month, year) but the child will be with me for life. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Empathy the Antidote to Bullying, Bias & Bigotry

Bullying is widespread and the consequences are life-changing!  Schools often take the anti-bullying approach to solve the problem but this is NOT the solution.  Anti-bullying programs often stress a “zero-tolerance policy.”   This sounds great but in reality it only produces a false sense of security.  Bullying isn’t always overt and out in the open.  People who intend to make another person feel bad are aware that they will get into trouble if others see them blatantly physically or emotionally harm someone.  Therefore, bullying is often done covertly.  When done covertly there is little evidence and a school principal isn’t going to punish a student with little or no evidence.  The bully could even turn things around and make it look like they are the victim.  What is a principal to do?
Think about this, how do adults bully?  Adults know that they will get into trouble if there is evidence that they are bullying someone so they bully stealthily.  So, do we really think that children only bully others out in the open?  Yea, right!  The problem is some people are so good at “stealth bullying” that even with witnesses it goes unnoticed (except to the intended victim).  Moreover, each time a person is bullied it causes emotional pain.  Eventually the bullying can be minor but the pain intense.  Victims of bullying can carry the scars for decades.   
The antidote to bullying is EMPATHY!  Instead of focusing on anti-bullying programs, schools should focus on empathy.   When students (and adults) learn empathy they are learning how to see things from a different perspective.  This isn’t about getting the bullies to see things from the victims’ perspectives, although that is one of the positive outcomes of this program.  The goal is to helping everyone learn to think outside of their own frame of reference (perspective) so they can see the bigger picture.  When victims of bullying can understand points of view outside of their own pain they will eventually be able to let go of that pain.  It does not mean the victims forgive the bullies who target them.  It means the victims can become empowered by understanding their own empathy and seeing the beautiful world around them.  When people are able to get out of their egocentric view (bullies and victims) they are not only kinder to each other but they are also more interested in global concerns.  Let’s teach empathy instead of focusing on bullying. 
If interested in Empathy: The Antidote to Bullying, Bias, and Bigotry workshop please contact- Jill Lam at Forest Alliance Coaching. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Dyslexic Support

There are a few really good reading programs to help students with dyslexia (Orton-Gillingham & Wilson).  Here is another great one - The Barton Reading program.  Check out this link to see how a school is using the Barton to help all their students with dyslexia!  Isn't it great when schools provide students with programs that are conducive to their specific needs!

Program helping students combat dyslexia

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Asperger’s Dragonfly – Danny Raede explains what is Asperger’s.



A great video of a Dragonfly with Asperger’s explaining Asperger’s. So proud of Danny and Hayden (another Dragonfly) for creating a great website Aspergerexperts.com!   

Dyslexic Dragonfly: Piper Otterbein shares her experience!



Piper’s a dyslexic Dragonfly who does a great job sharing her own experience.  Follow your dreams Dragonflies!!! 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Words from Parents & Dragonfly Wednesday

Each Wednesday will be a platform for parents and Dragonflies to share their thoughts, opinions, and experiences they would like others (family, friends, teachers...) to know. 

v My child is not lazy, he really does try.  Due to some past bad experiences and feeling stupid he avoids difficult academic tasks but he is not lazy. 

v I recently learned that my child has a disability so I am experiencing a lot of anxiety.  Please respond to my calls or emails promptly.  Waiting only increases anxiety and sends the message that you do not care.


Monday, January 21, 2013

Celebrating Diversity: A Class Divided lesson on discrimination








Celebrating Diversity:  A Class Divided lesson on discrimination
To celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day Jane Elliott’s class lesson in the late 60’s will be posted.  The full hour version is posted here and in the instant gratification world we live, in an hour is too long for most people to pay attention.  This is such a valuable lesson in the areas of confirmation bias, implicit bias (*explanation of these below), and the impact of discrimination.  Please show your respect today and take the time to watch this video.  The lessons are not just about race but any perceived difference. 
*(Confirmation bias is the process of paying attention to information about a person/topic/issue that confirms (validates) your belief/opinion and ignoring, minimizing, or rationalizing the information that does not support your belief/opinion. Implicit bias is the unconscious attitudes and beliefs that can be expressed overtly or covertly.) 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Parenting Dragonflies - difference between diagnostic testing and school testing

Being a parent of a Dragonfly can be very challenging.  It is mentally and physically exhausting trying to learn everything to help your child.  You can hit a few brick walls trying to get appropriate help and support for your child, especially at school.  

Some parents have been told that they do not need to obtain an outside diagnosis for their child because the school did that already.  What the school knows that a parent may not know is that an official clinical diagnosis requires the school to provide research based interventions conducive to that diagnosis. 

For example, the "diagnosis" from the school may be 'Specific Learning Disability' in Reading Comprehension but this may actually be just part of the child's Asperger's.  The school may not even realize the child has Asperger's or if they do, they may not actually put this down in writing on the report.  Either way, the child's needs will not fully be met.   

Here is a link to an article about the difference between a diagnostic evaluation and a school evaluation to help Dragonfly parents become fully informed.  Every parent of a Dragonfly knows the value of being informed - keep up the good work!!

Forest Alliance Coaching FB notes page
https://www.facebook.com/notes/forest-alliance-coaching/difference-between-a-diagnostic-evaluation-and-a-school-evaluation/414387178639145

Friday, January 18, 2013

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Dragonflies make great entrepreneurs!!!

Entrepreneurs five times more likely to suffer from dyslexia
What makes Sir Richard Branson, Charles Schwab, Walt Disney, and Steven Spielberg (along with many others) special? Research links entrepreneurship and dyslexia.  
Research shows that entrepreneurs are five times more likely to have dyslexia.  The research carried out by Simfonec, a science research center based at Cass Business School, found that 20% of entrepreneurs studied were dyslexic.
The research also found that 70% of dyslexic entrepreneurs who participated in the second, more in depth stage of the research, did not succeed at school. Researcher and Director of Simfonec, Dr. Julie Logan notes that some of the UK's leading entrepreneurs such as Sir Richard Branson, Sir Alan Sugar, Anita Roddick and Sir Norman Foster allegedly suffer from dyslexia and says this research not only links dyslexia and entrepreneurship for the first time but it also has fundamental implications about how entrepreneurship should be fostered.
"I applaud this Government for the initiative they are taking to encourage entrepreneurship through such schemes as National Enterprise week but we need to be very careful about how this is done. My research shows that entrepreneurs have often failed in the school system - it is only through creativity and tenacity that they have been able to succeed in business. Those attempting to teach enterprise through traditional, theoretical methods will fail because the very people who make brilliant entrepreneurs will respond badly in the typical classroom environment." Dr. Julie Logan
So remember dyslexic Dragonfly friends - you can do ANYTHING!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Steven Spielberg - Dyslexia Interview



Dragonflies are EVERYWHERE!!!     Here is a great interview with Steven Spielberg about his experience with dyslexia!  Isn't he just great? 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Cartoon Saturday

This is for all those Dragonflies that are in school!  Hang in there!!!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Dragonflies are Vulnerable

Vulnerability is NOT weakness!  Every Dragonfly knows what it feels like to be vulnerable.    Every day we face challenges, we don’t quite fit in, and we have to take risks.   Vulnerability is actually courage and being authentic.    Others may try to make you believe that being vulnerable is a flaw but this is not true, being vulnerable is what makes us great!  Being vulnerable connects us to others and allows us to live life consciously.   As a Dragonfly when you have the strength to embrace being vulnerable you will be able to achieve great success.  The next time you feel weak, insecure, or inadequate hold your head up and remember that you have been vulnerable many times in your life and overcome these obstacles.       

Monday, January 7, 2013

Why Dragonflies have empathy

Don't Laugh at Me by Peter, Paul, and Mary!
If you are a Dragonfly this video will touch your heart because you know exactly what it feels like to be different!  Have a great day my fellow Dragonflies~~ go make a difference in the world today!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Plan for a great life

Do you want a great life?
You still have time to make life plans for 2013.  What you focus on you attract (bring into your life).  So, if you want a positive, exciting, and wonderful life you need to actually make plans for this to occur.  You wouldn’t go on a trip or vacation without planning on where you are going and how you are going to get there.  You plan and take action.  Live an active life, not a passive one!  Here’s how to plan your pathway to a great year:
1.     Decide on 1 or 2 areas of your life you will be focusing on this year (focusing on too many areas causes cognitive overload, especially for a Dragonfly and will lead to stress).  For example: abundance, love, money, friendships, career, family, fitness, health…  Notice these are just one words and positive.
 
2.     Write down the word on the top of a piece of paper (you will have two papers if you have two areas of focus).  Below the word, write a description of that word.  What does that word mean to you?  Keep this positive.  For example: Abundance – having plenty of the positive things I need in my life.  Love – acceptance of myself and others as they are, for whom they are and/or having others accepting me as I am.  Career - A professional occupation that gives my life meaning and purpose where I am valued and earn a significant amount of money and happiness.
   
3.     Give your year a motto and write it down below your definition – something that you can use in a daily mantra to keep you focused on your end result.  For example, “I have abundance in my life.”  “Loving myself and others.”  “2013 will be a Best-selling year.”

4.     Below your motto make a list of at least 10 things you WILL be doing to bring your focus word into your life.  A few examples for Abundance would be: Be grateful for the things I already have/ keep focused on what I have instead of what I don’t have/ determine if something is a want or a need…

5.     This is your roadmap so read it every day (sometime a few times a day).  Make a copy and put it on the bathroom mirror you use in the morning so you see it first thing every day. 

Life is a journey so make sure you have a plan.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Orlando Bloom a dyslexic Dragonfly


Orlando Bloom gives a great interview for the Child Mind Institute about being dyslexic.  I posted this video so all Dragonflies can see that they need to follow their dreams and seek out cheerleaders to give you support!!  YOU CAN DO IT!

Richard Branson on TED speaking about being dyslexic



Dyslexia can't stop you from being a billionaire!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Welcome Dragonflies!  The Dragonfly Forest LLC was created in 2010 as a support system for all types of Dragonflies.  For over 20 years I have diagnosed, counseled, and coached every type of Dragonfly.  I made Dragonflies my primary focus and started my private practice, Forest Alliance Coaching (www.forestalliancecoaching.com) in 2007.  After a few years I decided to enhance the lives of all Dragonflies by focusing on the positive and The Dragonfly Forest LLC was established.  To help reach out to Dragonflies all over the world; I decided to write a blog and launch it January 1, 2013.  I look forward to meeting other Dragonflies who want to visit the Forest.  So, from one Dragonfly to another… “WELCOME.”