Monday, March 25, 2013


A very interesting article done by my friends at .

Bullying & Students with Special Needs – Defend the Defenseless
There have been so many horrible stories about bullying in the news lately. It makes me wonder why there was no media coverage when it happened to me and my friends back in the day. I hope it is a sign that our civilization is becoming more aware of the issue.
Individuals with special-needs are especially vulnerable to bullying, according to Starr Taxman of Starr Taxman Children’s Advocacy and Investigative Services. She is also a mother of three, and two of her children have special needs. Starr is also a sought-after speaker on the topic of bullying and interventions that help stop it.
Evidence supports Starr’s position: A 2008 report in the British Journal of Support holds that while 25% of the general student population reported being bullied, the number among students with special needs was 60% – and remember, that is only accounting for what the students reported – or were able to report!
Often people with special needs are unable to communicate traditionally, so they may not be able to explain what is happening. This was the case with Kathy Coleman’s 31-year-old non-verbal son with autism. He was able to communicate that he feared his caregiver, and his observant mom saw bruises on him, so she put hidden cameras in his room at the care facility. She was shocked at what she captured on film, and also at the facility’s reaction – to try to destroy the evidence!  Naturally she is suing, and her son is no longer living there.
Even in paradise, bullying rears its ugly head. Recently at a school in Hawaii a 5-year-old boy with autism was being beaten up by a group of 5th graders. The young boy was reportedly down on the ground in a fetal position! A super-brave 2nd grade girl named Eileen Parkman stepped up and told the boys what they were doing wasn’t right. She was then beaten herself, and also became a target at the school. After several bullying incidents she transferred, but she has won the Maui Autism Center’s bravery award for being a “Defender of the defenseless.” On his Facebook page, Eileen’s father has thanked everyone for their support of Eileen because it helps her to hear that she did the right thing. As if that was ever a question??? What kind of world has this become???
The Bully Project has some great resources, including a special section about students with special needs. Their website includes clips from the award-winning film Bully and there are downloadable materials available. Students with disabilities have legal rights, and many situations go beyond bullying and into the legal area of harassment.
Peer advocacy is a great deterrent to bullying, so be sure to teach all your children – typical and those with special needs – to stand up for themselves and for each other.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Important info

Hi NAPH friends,
There is an important issue right now about cuts in Medicare.  Unless Congress acts before Jan. 1, doctors will again face steep Medicare cuts that will affect seniors and disabled people.  This year it’s a 27.4 percent cut; last year it was a 20 percent cut.  If we can’t get the cuts stopped, we are at risk of having doctors turn away any patients who have Medicare insurance.  Please contact your legislators and ask them to stop the cuts to Medicare.  Thank you!

Brenda Smith

A link for your convenience: 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Wow.... Wise Words.

 The following was sent to me via email...I really liked it and thought I would share. Please comment if you agree.

Longer I live
The more I realize the
impact of attitude on my life.
Attitude to me, is more important than
facts. It is more important than the past, than
education, than money, than circumstances, than failures,
than what other people say or do. It is more important than
appearance, giftedness or skill, it will make or break a company…
a church…a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice
every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day.
We cannot change our past. We cannot change the fact that
people will act in a certain way. We cannot change
 the inevitable. The only thing we can do
is play on the string we have, and that
is our attitude…I am convinced
that life is 10% what happens
to me and 90% how I react
to it. And so it is with you…
We are in charge of
our attitude.

By Charles Swindoll

 Be  a Dream Maker

·        Help others
·        Break the chains, barriers, and walls
·        Don’t follow the crowd
·        Make life count
·        Fight for your future