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Let’s follow Ghana’s example!

I do not cease to be amazed by the brilliance and resilience demonstrated in so called (incorrectly) third world countries.

Presently, the country of Ghana has an incredible group of mothers (some fathers) who knock on all doors to guarantee future educators have the opportunity to listen about autism and the needs of their kids – – based on their reality!

This is one novel concept and one such group is the Special Mothers Project in Ghana. I have interacted with Mary Amoah, the incredible and power house mom of Nana Yaa. Nana is now a teen, on the autism spectrum, non-verbal. Their experiences in the last 15 years led Mary to pursue advocacy at its maximum level and share the many lessons learned with the upcoming number of parents raising children on the spectrum.

But, the main goal is to educate future teachers about autism and what their children actually need.

From what I understand, in Ghana (or the United States) there are no University courses educating about the academic and social needs of students on the autism spectrum. This is where Mary and her Special Mothers come in.

These super heroes have surpassed the  boundaries of bureaucracy and nepotism and have convinced academic leaders to open the doors to offer workshops to future and current teachers — yes, parents educating teachers to be about autism and learning how to learn — regardless of behaviors and countless challenges the diagnosis presents.

I mega applaud them. They have succeeded.

University settings in Ghana acknowledge they need to transmit a variety of messages to the future educators of their country. They also realize autism prevalence in their classrooms and the lack of trained educators. They realize they do not know what autism is all about and it is advantageous to work with those surviving it every day.

Say it with me… The PARENTS!!!

Why do I write about this?

I will continue to write to all universities in the USA requesting similar projects become a part of the curriculum of education.

These experiences shall determine how prepared teachers will be when reaching the classroom and realizing that 10+ of 25 students are capable of learning  but need to be taught differently.

Right now, the United States must replicate projects like the Special Mothers Project in Ghana.

What have I done?

Below find the letters sent to the Departments of Education of various universities in Florida.

Only one university responded – UCF.

We have not had the opportunity to meet.

I urge all of you to send similar or completely different emails to these individuals. They need to hear from all of us.

Changes will only take place this way. Books and researchers cannot be the only way future educators shall learn about autism and its realities.

We the parents shall always be a part of this equation.

 

———- Forwarded message ———
From: YADIRA CALDERON <racayadi@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, May 3, 2018, 11:26 PM
Subject: Fwd: My daughter speaks… Teachers in Florida…
To: <Brindley@usf.edu>, <dnull@usf.edu>, <mbrownell@coe.ufl.edu>, <ggood@coe.ufl.edu>, <pamela.carroll@ucf.edu>, <wsecada@miami.edu>, <heithaus@fiu.edu>

 

Greetings

Representatives of Education in Florida

I have a simple request…

Please read this email carefully.

My daughter and I are ready to meet with you to discuss the reality of many in Florida’s schools.

Our basic need…

Better training of future teachers.

What is being taught and highlighted does not reflect what the system is and prioritizes or what the actual needs of the students are.

Particularly, students with a variety of diagnosis who need Multisensory methodology so they can be taught how to learn.

Many parents end up investing in tutors outside of the school system in order to see our children reading, writing at grade level.

Additionally, teachers to be need sensitivity training to avoid situations like the ones described below.

Yes, I am the kind of parent the school system does not like because I give less praise and do more complaints.

My daughter and her needs represent money to the school. These funds are not properly used and federal law is being violated.

But you know this.

I welcome the opportunity to meet.

Thank you for your time.

Yadira Calderon and Thomais Moshopoulos

Palm Harbor FL

Read about us here…

Www.autismhappykingdom.com

I was a featured guest in a WEDU PBS broadcast

Wedu.org/autism

 

A reading to share emotions: The Story of Thomais

NOVEMBER 2017 – Laura Harris from WFTS – The Now Tampa Bay Interviewed Thomais!

Click the picture to watch!

 

Click the link to watch the video:    Fave page from book…

All families – diagnosis or not – are welcomed to join Thomais as she reads favorite pages from her book “The Story of Thomais”.

Thomais recently expressed: “Parents you must also share your emotions with your kids!

In a safe and child friendly environment children and parents will share, using words or drawing, their emotions.

EMOTIONS  – Thomais latest video!

NOTE:  We’ll be collecting items – canned food and/or grocery store gift cards to be given away during The Harbor Dish Thanksgiving celebration —     Details here: https://www.facebook.com/harbordish/

 

Read about her book – The Story of Thomais

Thomais has autism. She is understanding and acknowledging her EMOTIONS. She is also learning it is important to express them and there are many ways to do this…

Thomais was learning 3 languages, reaching milestones like any other child – until December 2010 when she had a massive regression. She stopped talking, lining up toys, behavior crisis began and she was sick every month.

April 2012, what we lived  –   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfcRxgTZVHk

Almost 7 years later, after many interventions, therapies, over doses of love, patience and attention, Thomais is capable of engaging the day to day. She faces many challenges and as time passes they are easier to manage…

 

REFERENCES-

Deborah McNamara, Ph.D.  – Five Things You Might Not Know About Human Emotion

 

Background info – videos showing past experiences/reality and progress!

Sept 2017 – Surviving Hurricane Irma
https://www.facebook.com/yadira.c1/videos/10103269090054464/?permPage=1

Oct 2017 – Song to Fall Asleep – After Hurricane Maria, a family member who lost her home could not sleep… Thomais has sung various versions of this for her… She’s laughed and put her mind in a different place briefly… May it bring peace and laughter to your home as well… #Autism does not stop her from feeling for others!!

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AUTISM REALITIES

We know all about autism awareness.

We want action. Life with autism is 365 days, 24/7…

These are various posts  I shared in social media. They reflect the reality of many families. For many it’s been the same or worse for 10+ years. The media rarely reports on these matters.

Do share!

Continue reading AUTISM REALITIES

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WEDU PBS Autism Broadcast: Yadira Calderon Is A Featured Guest!

I thank everyone who is making these opportunities possible.

Town Hall — my intervention, segments from Autism and Employability parent panel —   min. 23:28 – 29:04 and min. 48:38 – 49:14

Webcast – min. 4:04 – 4:39

 

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The power of a study guide

STUDY GUIDE

This study guide shall enhance the dialogue at home and in the classroom.

Future generations will be positively influenced by the thoughts and ideas presented.

We will share drawings and poems!   Email them to:  autismhappykingdom@gmail.com