Friday, July 31, 2009

Joy and enlightenment

I am still attending the Angelman Syndrome Conference here in Orlando. Today I saw 3 sessions. One was on advocacy with Jackie Golden, the resource person for the ASF. Her son Joshua lives in his own house and a microboard has been formed to help him create a full and meaningful life. The second was on creating friendships for people with special needs and the third was on Andreas Yuan a 35 year old man and how he exists socially in this world, done by his Mother, Susan Yuan. The answer to how he does socially in this world is "beautifully". I will have to admit to a few tears during his Mother's presentation, tears of joy.

All 3 of these presentations made me rethink about my role as a teacher. I think I am probably not doing enough for my students and I need to get out of my comfortable rut and push myself to do some more work on myself as a teacher. I need to think more about using literacy in my classroom, using peers with my students and pushing for more inclusion. I do advocate for my students, but not loudly enough.

That's what I love about these conferences. They keep me from getting complacent. And as Susan Yuan reminded us, always "make the least dangerous assumption". I needed to be reminded of that.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

On vacation, working on technology lesson

Yesterday we finally got to Orlando (well Davenport) Florida. It took us two extra hours because I-95 was packed and there was construction. My main reason for coming was to attend the Angelman Syndrome Conference, but since my husband and I have never been to Florida before we decided to add in a vacation as well. So we rented a small house with a small pool for two weeks .

I am looking forward to spending time at the conference both learning new skills from some of the foremost authorities on Angelman Syndrome and meeting with people (parents, children and siblings) I know or know of from the Angleman listserve and lately from Facebook. Since I originally met my husband online, I have a lot of faith in knowing people from the purely verbal aspect as opposed to the physical one. It's nice though, to put a face with the personality!

I am also taking a class this summer on learning and teaching with Web 2.0 tools., which is one of the reasons I got back to this blog. I am taking the class online ( I do a lot online!) which is very convenient since you can work on it when and as you can. The information we are learning is interesting and exciting and it's always helpful to see what your colleagues are doing. My biggest problem is using the material with my students since they don't really have the skills necessary. However, you never know what you and your students can do until you try! It should be interesting :)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Long time, no blog

As stated above, I haven't blogged here for quite a while and probably wouldn't be if not for a class I am taking. :)

It's summertime again and we had an above ground pool put in our backyard. Pure bliss for my 52 year old body particularly after another year of working with my much loved but getting bigger by the day students. We still have the landscaping to do around the pool, but it will be well worth it when it's done.

I just finished a weekend of respite for one of my students. Another opportunity to look at life from another perspective and another opportunity to gain more respect for the parents who do this 24/7. I enjoyed myself, but was exhausted having to always be "one".

In two weeks time I will be leaving for 2 weeks in Florida. I chose Florida this year because I wanted to attend the biennial Angelman Syndrome Conference in Orlando. There looks like there will be some wonderful speakers and I will get to meet and remeet some of the parents I am familiar with on the Angelman Syndrome Listserve. Of all of the listserves I have ever been on they are some of the most active and knowledgeable parents I have ever "met". I look forward to the social aspect as well. We are renting a house near Orlando so that my husband can enjoy some alone time while I go to the conference :)

If you are interested in meeting a really charismatic and knowledgeable person in the field of disabilities and advocacy, check out the blog "Rolling Around in My Head" by Dave Hingsberger. You will be happy you did. I had the honor of attending one of his talks at a TASH conference many years ago and never forgot the impact he made on me.