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Ruthfulness

Ruthfulness the book is available on Amazon. My journey with autism helped me learn how to educate, advocate, access resources, and love in a whole new way. As a family, we have grown through so many experiences. My blog now serves as a way to give to my community so that others know they are not alone on their journey with autism. This is a place to get information and ask questions regarding education for all children in Florida.

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Tampa Bay Morning Blend Interview

I had such a great time meeting and talking with the hosts and staff at the Morning Blend. Huge thanks to the amazing publisher, Tara Richter for everything she has done to help me share my message of hope to others.

Morning Blend Ruthfulness clip

How to collaborate with your child’s school using the ACT Matrix.

Join us as we explore the ACT Matrix and how you can use it to increase psychological flexibility as you collaborate with your child’s school team.

Crowdcast– link

Watch our last crowdcast to learn tips on how to advocate for your child at your next school meeting using my new PULL tips. Think of all the doors and opportunity that will open when you take your advocating to the next level.

Is it working? What a great and powerful question to really focus on when having a meeting with the school. These three words where such a great take away from today’s crowdcast. I am so surprised every time I use and learn more about the ACT matrix; it is such an amazing tool. Check out more from Kathryn at Thrive Consultation and Therapy on how to work through the ACT matrix.

View and review the powerpoint before, during or after the crowdcast!

Check out other Crowdcast topics:

How to increase your psychological flexibility when advocating for your special needs child.

Up Next week:

How to use the ACT Matrix to collaborate with healthcare providers. Follow Thrive Consultation and Therapy for new crowdcasts.

https://www.thriveconsultationandtherapy.com/

Reach out via email or comment below with any questions regarding meeting with your child’s school and advocacy.

Love on the Spectrum

have you seen it?

what I love

the adults and the parents are so happy

they want the same relationships and intamacy as anyone else

they pretend or practice before they go on a 1st date

Photo by J U N E on Pexels.com

what breaks my heart

alone; so many spectrum adults are alone or lonely becasue they cannot find people who have common interests

they experience dating issues also; heartbreak or ghosting

real world struggles in life, family, work, education

why you should watch it

it is funny

it is real and like a real dating story or elatity tv show but with how much support and accomodations that are needed

All the show participates have unique interests or abilities

tears but like those tears of happiness. you will totally feel the love through the television!

When start watching, tag me with who you love the most! or leave your favorite love match in the comments!

find Love on the Spectrum on Netflix

How to increase your psychological flexibility when advocating for your special needs child.

Learn how to advocate for your special needs child using the ACT Matrix!   Gain more psychological flexibility and grow in your ability to support your child’s journey through school, therapies, doctor’s appointments and more!  Join Kathryn Bovino and Ruth Brunson, {Parent, Educator, Author, and Advocate) to sort out advocating for your child.

I had the opportunity to guest speak with Kathryn from Thrive about advocacy and using the ACT matrix. Please enjoy the crowcast links to session 1 and 2 as well as the powerpoint with information on what the ACT matrix is and how to use the matrix to help you on your advocacy journey. This is such an amazing tool.

Contact Kathryn Bovino for support with the ACT matrix. Kathryn at THRIVE Consultation and Therapy

Thrive Consultation and Therapy website

Email: ThriveConsultationandTherapy@gmail.com

Join our Crowdcast session 1 and session 2 to learn more!

https://www.crowdcast.io/e/how-to-advocate-for-your/1

https://www.crowdcast.io/e/how-to-advocate-for-your/2

Be sure to follow Thrive Consultation and Therapy on social media and Crowdcast for more information.

If you are not already follwing Ruthfulness for post updates and information make sure to do that for regular updates.

Leaving Inclusion

leaving an inclusion environment for a more supportive and knowledgeable learning environment.

As parents with children on the spectrum or just parents of children with exceptionalities/differences we have always said that inclusion is best. For years, I pushed and pushed for the best inclusion setting I could get for my son. I believe with a full heart that with the right or correct support all or most children can be supported learners in a classroom. In my heart, this is the best option. However, though my journey we have left inclusion learning. We have also left public school!

The struggle:

No matter how much I talked about autism, nonverbal children and necessary support it was never enough

Safety became a number one priority! I could not sleep at night because I was having dreams of my son running away at school and no one catching him before he ran down the street or worse into the lake in front of the school.

It wasn’t a two way street. I was willing to fund and pay for a private behavior therapist to essentially be his one to one for part of the day because the district would not provide a one on one support. When I proposed the private pay therapist, which can be allowed by a site principal, it was not welcomed as a solution. I was trying to do everything to keep him in an inclusion environment and they did everything possible to block that. Their opinion was that he didn’t belong in an inclusion classroom but in an ESE center.

Our Journey:

  • We left public school for kindergarten at a private therapy center with one on one instruction for my non verbal child.
  • The school closed.
  • We returned to an inclusion classroom at a private school with one on one support.
  • It didn’t work.
  • COVID
  • It started working from home with one on one support with video meetings.
  • Return to school with all the support in the inclusion classroom (at private school).
  • It didn’t work again; behaviors were actually worse!
  • Find an autism school. All students are on the spectrum.
  • Find a new behavior therapy company.
  • Spend almost one month out of school in transition in the middle of the school year!
  • Finish the school year at the autism school; return and complete a full school year at one school!
  • See learning, see growth, see a happy child!

I want my son to be accepted for his differences and welcome with all kids. However, leaving inclusion education and surrounding my son with children like him has been a huge success for us. For the first time on our journey, everyone is on the same page working together to help teach my son. This is how it should be but I feel so happy and fortunate that I have the team I do. The communication and responsiveness to successes or struggles is amazing and so helpful when you have a busy life and multiple kids.

There are so many options and my first choice has and will be inclusion with support. When you can’t get the support and team communication needed to be successful, you have to find the setting that works for your child. Having a happy, healthy child that is successful in learning is the goal.

Need help finding the education setting that works for your child?

Comment or email your questions.

Autism and the Tooth Fairy

I think he could care less….

the tooth fairy and autism; does my child really get it?

After a long dental surgery to remove five teeth and do other repair work to my 8 year olds teeth, I thought he was finally ready for the tooth fiary. Well, it seems like it is not important to him at all. He didn’t seem excited or interested in getting gold coins and money. It’s as if money has no real significance to him at this time. Well, paper money becuase he does understand my bank card. He is going and getting the card out of my wallet and saying he is ready to go to the bank,

I’n not sure if he understands that the card is for money to buy things or if he just wants to go to the bank to get a lolly pop.

So, how do I parent my typical child to include the tooth fairy and then the tooth fairy leave out my son with autism. He doesn’t seem to belive or care about getting rewarded for loosing a tooth. But my typical child is so excited to losse a tooth and get a surprise from the fairy. She even writes notes and makes pictures for the entire event.

What’s a parent to do?

Going to Gardiner

I just found out that we are eligibile for the Gardiner Scholarship. This is something I have thought about but never been in the right place educationally to apply and follow through with changing from the McKay to the Gardiner.

My primary reason for switching is money.

Unfortunely for many people with children with special needs realize that the best therapy, ecuation or medicines are often the most expensive. Many parents do not have insureance that provides for the hours of needed behavioral therapy (ABA) or the expensive developmental pediatriatns in order to get the medical diagnosis to give you that access card. Having the medical diagnosis, austism (ASD) is a huge help in gaining access to much needed help for families.

Commerical health insureance can easiliy have a $4,000 to $7,000 deductible with out of pocket max over $10,000. Today, private school with average an additional $10,000 per year. If public schools do not meet the needs of your special needs child and you need a specialized learning environment for your childr’s success money is the solution.

That’s the power of a special needs scholarhip like Gardiner. Allowing parents the power of choice, the power to think outside the recommendation of a public school IEP team and th power to build a custom learning path is an opportintity unique to Florida.

Still in the process…more to come on how we use this opportunity!

~Ruth

I took the playground back!

Last week I had it out at the playground; I had enough and I don’t care if I came across like a Karen!

I took the playground back!

The neighborhood playground was locked for over two months from Covid-19.  When it opened back up my kids were so excited.  We went a few times when no one was there.  As the weeks went on they were asking all day when they could finally go to the playground to play.  We started going each night for about half an hour during our walks.   That was when the “big kids” started showing up or would already be there before we could get there.

If they were there I didn’t let me kids play.  There were always at least four and up to 6-8 teens; probably around the ages of 12 to 14.

DON’T get me wrong; it is cool to see kids that age outside playing!

However, this is where it started to go downhill.

They showed up every day and would not leave.

They would be there for hours. Like 4 hours!

They started leaving their bikes inside the playground, where you would enter. So, 4 to 8 adult sized bikes just laying down or leaning on the playground equipment.  So, now that equipment is not usable and my kids cannot run over there because your bikes are in the way or they might fall down on them if they get bumped.  Mind you; everyone else parks their bikes and strollers along the fence on the outside!

They would not move or “share”.  So, they would be playing on the main part with all the slides.  Climbing, jumping and chasing each other or just sitting.  If my kids wanted to slide they wouldn’t move unless I asked.

Add to that…

Damage- the one picnic table top was broken and left metal exposed to everyone else.

Litter- trash left on the mulch; mostly water bottles but whatever they bring they leave.  We have at least 2 trash cans but doesn’t seem like they use them.  It also seems like they can bring a bag of water but can’t take the empty water bottles with them.

Language-inappropriate words and inappropriate play language.   So, rough words and play with each other.  Not how I would allow my kids to play.

Attitude-refusing to move, knocking down smaller kids, sitting on playground equipment so others can not use it.

I stood up to a bunch of 12 and 13 year olds.  LOL

I lectured them about what they were doing and how it was affecting the other smaller children.  They were difficult and argumentative.  I just kept working on my point, that smaller children in 1st grade are not going to speak up or stand up to teens that are the size of adults.   I spoke my peace and stood up for all the kids.

We went about a week before we saw any of them again.  Then when three of them came back, they were nice and more respectful.  Now, I know they have been there.  Because they still leave behind their trash.

So, my next move.   I started talking to every parent that came to the playground.

One father who had problems with the same teens because they knocked down his daughter multiple times and he had to speak to them.

I continue to mention the issue to anyone who came by to let them know that we all want to play.  We can all play when we are kind and respectful.

You know that lady that goes crazy for her playground; yeah, I’m that lady.  I took the playground back.  I am happy that I did.

UPDATE:  And just to support all kids playing outside.  Those teens (big kids) they found new activities, riding bikes in the neighborhood, playing soccer and I even saw them running at another park!  Is that a win-win?!

We are going back to school

Hi, from Florida!

Florida has been in the news a lot lately regarding the political decision to force schools to open up brick and mortar.  Let’s be clear; this is public schools and I’m a public school teacher that will be sending my children to school this August. 

 I will be sending my children to school because they attend private school not public schools.  

Just last week we received the reopening plan for my daughter’s school. She’ll be going into 1st grade.  

The plan is extensive and well thought out; as to be expected from her school.

The plan includes

  • Delay start of school by 1 week.

  • Stagger start. K-2 comes first day, next day K-5 and lastly K-8.

  • No before or aftercare

  • Most likely no sports or after school activity

  • Masks for students and staff

  • Social distancing and minimizing all contact between classes and other staff.

  • Temperature checks, health screenings, hand sanitizer stations and professional daily sanitation.

 

Positive Test Plan

If a student or a member of a student household has a positive test then that student will quarantine for 14 days and use a digital learning platform for school.

If the teacher has a positive test the teacher will quarantine for 14 days and anyone in direct contact will also quarantine for 14 days. Distance learning during this time.

If the department of health recommends any additional closures or suggestions all those will be followed.

 

 

I have confidence in my daughter’s school plan to reopen. The school is a private school for grades K to 8 with approximately 350 total students. There are low class size ratio before coronavirus so more space in the class can be accommodated. The grade levels are spaced out in different parts and floors of the building. The school already had professional cleaning and hand washing areas. They have since installed 30 additional sanitizer and hand washing areas in the building and increased the deep cleaning and sanitizing schedule to daily by the professional company.

Selecting the schools my children attend was a significant event in our life.  Our zoned public school doesn’t offer what my children need.    Both of my children are on scholarship at two different private schools.  We love both of the those schools for very different reasons.  At these times, we realized the fight to find them the best educational setting has paid off.  Our confidence that our safely, health and education will be a priority is within the relationship we built with the schools.    

 

My biggest concern

Returning to work as a high school teacher. Our public high schools have about 1600 to 2000 students per school in the district. I do not know how you successfully distance that many students. I have approximately 150 students a day.

We will not know our plan back to school until the 20th of July. My return to work date is August 3rd.

I’m concerned about my family and how I would miss work if one of my children had to quarantine for 14 days.

 

 

What I think is unfair

How do you give parents less than 1 month to make a decision for a semester or a entire school year? 

How we do not have an in person graduation in July but next month plan to open schools? 

How is it fair to make parents decide to work or home school?

How is it acceptable to risk the health of a child because a parent(s) have to go to a job because they can’t work from home? 

How is it fair to have so many at risk and special education students go without numerous services provided by schools?

How is it right that the only way to get free breakfast and lunch is going to be attending school face to face?  

 

There are many more questions and concerns about equity.  

My heart breaks for so many parents who don’t know what to choose.  

My best advice is to advocate for your child’s needs.  

Each of our children will be different and each will have a set of needs.  

Look into your family situation and the needs of your children, go to the schools and fight for those needs. 

No matter your choice, no matter the reason, you are right.  

You are your child’s best advocate.  

Happy Birthday!

to me!

food colorful candy chocolate
Photo by Markus Spiske on Pexels.com

I had a birthday Sunday and I’d love for you to share and follow my blog, social media pages and book as a gift for me!

website: ruthfulness.com

Facebook page: facebook.com/ruthfulness

Instagram account: ruthfulnessblog

Twitter: ruthfulnessblog

Book on Amazon

I am also a contributing writing onThe Real Deal of Parenting; so check out my featured articles there as well.

 

Thanks for all the love!!

 

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