How God spoke to me during my darkest hour.

Looking around the sanctuary five minutes before the end of the service, I realized that my teaching partner was absent. Together we taught scripture stories, distributed snacks and trained a gaggle of three year-olds in toy mediation skills every Sunday. Realizing she wasn’t there on her designated teaching Sunday typically was not a huge deal. […]

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How to Approach Someone with a Disability 101

I have an immediate distrust for people who either say they loved pregnancy or middle school. As for the latter, tweens/teens that age are constantly comparing and contrasting themselves to those around them. Am I better looking or less popular than him? Are my shoes cuter or uglier?  The daily calculating, measuring and assigning worth […]

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Five tips for working with special needs parents (plus a bonus!)

I was asked a few years ago by one of my daughter’s previous teachers for some tips for those who teach and work with our special needs children. Since then, many have shared this with other educators, therapists and administrators. Though this isn’t a typical post at TPIL, I thought it was worth sharing. I’d […]

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Ode to music teachers everywhere

I would make a terrible motivational speaker for the simple fact that they often inspire others with words like “The sky is the limit!” or “No dream is too big!” and I find myself rolling my eyes and muttering “Good luck with that.” Not that my life is perceptibly awful or I feel like a […]

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Middle school: basically Dante’s 7th circle…

Recently, I overheard three teenage girls talking and their entire conversation was comprised of steadily putting down other girls in their peer group. One after another, I heard the negative comments: Her hair is too frizzy. Why doesn’t she stop blow drying it? I can’t stand being around her. She wears the weirdest clothes. I […]

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Who’s the teacher here?

Most days I forget how the world sees my daughter: a cute twelve-year-old who walks with a strange gait, who most-often is drooling and who uses a communication device to speak. I forget that she resembles a broken marionette that has snipped her strings and says so much with a smile. Yes, she is beautiful […]

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Time Machines and Kanye

Time travel is a popular theme in books, movies and television. The plot is frequently this: the protagonist realizes there’s a key problem that needs to be resolved and if they’d only known____ or did____ in the past, it all could have been avoided! Lincoln and Kennedy would be alive a bit longer, the Challenger […]

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Confessions of a Special Needs Mom

In High School, inspirational speakers came to encourage us to avoid the trifecta of stupid teenage mistakes: prison, drugs and pregnancy. One speaker specialized in avoiding the road to prison by handing out plastic spoons, reminding us that in prison you can only use one utensil: the lowly spoon.  While teachers handed us the plastic flatware as […]

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