Columns

Working With My Daughter’s School Team to Alleviate Her Stress

Before this school year began, I attended a nonviolent crisis intervention training session, held by the Crisis Prevention Institute, for the school district where I’m teaching adapted physical education. This annual training for educators and staff covers physical intervention, verbal de-escalation, behavior management strategies, trauma-informed care, and restorative…

Two Children, Two Vastly Different Experiences of Middle School

I have two middle schoolers. My oldest daughter, Cammy, is in eighth grade. My younger daughter, Ryan, is in sixth grade. They’re in separate schools because Cammy, who has Rett syndrome, requires more services for her education than our home school provides. Cammy’s condition affects her entire body.

My Dad and I Share the Same Passion for Education

While growing up, I remember my dad mentioning a few times that he always wanted to be a teacher. He was a wonderful electrical engineer, and he also would have made an excellent teacher and coach. He could have taught science or math, but I think his niche would’ve…

Why Summer Vacation Looks Different for Each of My Daughters

As a teacher, I’ve learned that not every child loves summer and holiday breaks. Not every child goes on vacation, enjoys fun, experiential trips to nearby cities, museums, and ball parks, or hangs out with friends. Some children prefer to be in school because that is where they socialize…

My Latest Rett Syndrome Challenge: How to Overcome Decision Fatigue

One of the most draining aspects of our lives as parents and caregivers of someone with Rett syndrome is decision fatigue. The American Medical Association describes decision fatigue as “a state of mental overload that can impede a person’s ability to continue making decisions.” Most parents experience this…

Making Sure Our Daughter Lives Her Life to the Fullest

On Nov. 23, 2010, when my firstborn, Cammy, was 20 months old, a physiatrist clinically diagnosed her with Rett syndrome. I was relieved that someone had finally identified her condition, but equally devastated by what it meant. I’m not sure if the doctor didn’t know how to convey the…