Saturday, March 9, 2013

Tools from PDE Conference

Where to begin?  I am blessed to have just returned from the 3 day annual state conference put on by the PA Department of Ed - Bureau of Special Education through PaTTAN held in Hershey, PA.  I attended as a staff member of Pennsylvania’s Education for All Coalition, Inc. (PEAC) and helped run our table in the exhibit hall.  I also attended as a parent of a child with a disability.

As is always the case after an event such as this, my brain is in overload and I need time to process the experience.  However, there are a few pieces of this event that I just have to put out there right away.

I have to send everyone I know to visit Barbara Doyle’s website at  Be sure to look under Helpful Handouts for a wealth of free downloads.  Her passion for inclusion and protecting our loved ones with disabilities from abuse make us kindred spirits.

Rick Guidotti was our first keynote presenter and I am now an unabashed groupie.  An artist and award winning fashion photographer, Rick founded Positive Exposure to put his talent to use in a different way.  “Positive Exposure utilizes photography and video to transform public perceptions of people living with genetic, physical and behavioral differences. Our educational and advocacy programs reach around the globe to promote a more inclusive, compassionate world where differences are celebrated.”  Meet Rick:

Hopefully the keynote video will be available online soon, but until then, here is a shorter version of the address he gave on his passion for taking photographs of people with different abilities to highlight the beauty that much of the world does not initially see.  Be sure to check out the gallery of images which does not get covered in the embedded video.

Some of my good friends and I are planning a trip to his studio in NY as he invited us up for a photo shoot of our kids!  Lastly for this post, I highly recommend the children’s book Moody Cow Meditates.

Moody Cow Meditates  

“Peter the Cow is having a bad day. After missing the bus and wiping out on his bike, he loses his temper and gets in trouble. To make matters worse, all the other kids and cows are teasing him, calling him "Moody Cow." Peter's day just seems to get worse until his grandfather comes over. Can Grandpa teach him to settle his mind and let go of his frustration? This vibrant children's book is a fun and funny way to introduce children to the power of meditation. With full-color illustrations by the author, Moody Cow is ideal for parent-child sharing and for repeat reads.”

My kids love it and would recommend it for all young ones.  It is a great way to introduce the ideas that all kids have bad days and that there are ways to feel better when angry thoughts have us melting down.  My kids also love the Mind Jar app and we plan to make each of the kids a jar of their own.  After all, I love projects with glitter.


Anonymous said...

I really want to hear more about Sophie in Kindergarden. I am now gearing up for my first IEP meeting and am fighting for inclusion!


JRS said...

Please send me your email or free to look through my blog. I've been in the inclusion world for a long time.