I dream and dream and dream and dreammmmmmmm….

I have all these things, ideas, desires in my head… The hard part for me is having the guts to do them…

So far, I have met my dream of having a water birth at home… I finally started the practice model I’d been talking about since grad school…

Now the one thing that I keep coming back to is living by the beach… It’s my lifelong dream to live care free at the beach…

lately it’s been living in Bali and becoming a buddhist who practices yoga…

I want my kids to experience travel, culture, and diversity firsthand… but the other part of me wants the kids to have opportunities for the typical American Dream… college, business, engineering, what ever their heart’s desire…

I’ve moved them to a montessori school which I hope allows the creativity to develop and for them to find their strengths and loves not typically found in the traditional school system…

In Bali, there’s a private school called the green school… It looks absolutely amazing. Shouldn’t we all have the opportunities to send our kids to schools which offer and value life more than the traditional school system developed to educate factory workers… hence the bells that ring throughout the day…

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Hello…

It’s been a little while… I’ve been doing some pretty intense changes in my life and moving towards happiness! It feels great! I feel wonderful, stable, and alive…

So in the past year or so I’ve been reading many many books including spiritual, religious, and self-help books and I’ve come to the realization that I am a practicing Catholic who seems to understand basic Buddhist ideas…
In one of the many books I’ve read by Thich Naht Nahn, Thay (as he is known) states that you shall not abandon your maternal church. He goes on to explain that Christians and Buddhists have many things in common and/or similar beliefs so why not incorporate some of the Buddhist teachings into our spirituality.

It sounded interesting and possible at the time… so then I chose to read “Living Buddha, Living Christ” to understand more about the similarities and differences between Christians and Buddhists.

I was very surprised to see the connection between Christianity and Buddhism.

It actually confirmed my suspicion that many religions have similar ideals or beliefs that are expressed in different ways.

Once again, I felt drawn to Buddhism and felt comfortable with the connections and/or different terminology expressed between Christianity and Buddhism.

In fact I prefer to think of negative energy rather than sin, evil, or the devil… I love the idea of positive energy, the Holy Spirit, enlightenment, Jesus…

After this, we took a family vacation to Thailand… where the majority of the population practice Buddhism. It was fascinating to see how much reverence and honor Buddhist Thais exhibited in their Temples.

I felt at awe and at peace when I encountered Buddhist monks and entered the Buddhist Temples.

It was as if a I felt a positive energy, a love, a newfound peace while paying my respects to Buddha at a Buddhist Temple.

The same positive energy, love, and newfound peace I felt 10 years ago when I visited the Vatican…

The same positive energy, love, and newfound peace I’ve always felt when I’ve entered any Catholic Church to pray for that matter…

I’ve even been able to find it during Savasana after I practice yoga…

So now I am reading a book called “The Art of Happiness” by the Dalai Lama himself… I love the book… I am only in Part 2 of the book and still have to finish reading… but as I finished reading Part 1 it occurred to me…

Can a practicing Catholic practice Buddhism at the same time?

This is the best article I’ve read on the Mommy wars…

http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1193793,00.htm

So true… 🙂

“Mom always tells me to celebrate everyone’s uniqueness. I like the way that sounds.” -Hilary Duff

This has really been bothering me and I thought I would blog about it today…

It seems that a mom poured her heart out to other moms (whom she doesn’t know) through a website and these moms lashed out at her…

They pointed the finger stating that she should be at home with her son in order to solve all their problems. Some were nice about it and some were out right mean.

Some said things like do you really have to work? Maybe you just need to stay home instead of placing your child in daycare…

I found these messages so inappropriate and mean… just so cruel… I mean if the parent does stay home with the child, the problems aren’t going to go away.

I asked myself… how ignorant can a mom be? these moms were just plain ignorant…

they replied and judged her without taking into consideration their knowledge about children with special needs or developmental delays/disorders/ or even the fact that this mom was just so anxious and so out of her element…

I mean these moms didn’t even think for a moment that this mom could be at her wits end… if she wasn’t depressed… they sure pushed her over the edge…

Did these moms even think to put themselves in her shoes? Nobody is the perfect parent and just because your child is considered “normal” doesn’t mean you are doing it right…

If and when the child goes to school, the problems will return and may have escalated or even be more apparent since schools are so strict and rigid. Schools are very demanding in all areas of development… academics, socially, emotionally, etc…

Working mothers do not cause developmental delays, disorders, or differences…

The one thing Stay at home moms never seem to figure out is that the more you hover over your child the less independent they are…

Stay at home moms aren’t always in the know regarding redflags in development… and guess what… your pediatrician isn’t either…

If they are… they don’t spend enough time with them to figure it out and if they aren’t then they don’t know what questions to ask the parents or how to probe the parents to get a better picture of the child’s development…

Development is not just about growth in their bodies and muscles and brains… but it also includes the subjective areas of social-emotional behaviors, speech and language skills and/or communicative behaviors, and of course adaptive behavior…

These subjective behaviors are behaviors that involve analysis and observation… they are not just seen in an xray…

So when your children are always around you and you are always adapting their environment to them… Redflags in development may not be apparent to you… OR… you just might find it normal for your child…

Many moms, regardless if they are working or stay at home, don’t know or understand what redflags to look for to catch developmental delays, disorders, etc before they send their children to school…

So it’s the teachers or the outside people who begin to ask questions and have doubts about the child’s development…

and let me tell you it is not easy to approach any parent and say “I have some concerns with your child’s behavior… I would like to recommend you to explore the idea of having your child evaluated…”

That is one of the hardest things to tell a parent and it’s incredibly stressful because of the uncertainty of how the parent will react…

You are trying to help someone and their family but you are also breaking someone’s heart… and making them feel incompetent…. without even wanting to…

This is where my doubt comes in about supportive moms… I think the only supportive moms you may find are those that have been through some difficult times with their children…

and even then, are they going to judge you about what steps you decide to take for your child’s intervention???

I don’t see other moms as supportive… I see them as critical… as judgmental… as inconsiderate… as uncompassionate… and always looking for one thing to use to put you down as a mother…

Do you cook? do you go to the gym? do you work? how do you discipline? do you follow the standard pediatrician recommendations for feeding, sleep training…. who’s your pediatrician? how do you dress your child? you name it…

It’s like moms are vultures and their waiting and watching and when you least expect it they are going to throw a knife at your heart and make you feel guilty for the decisions you’ve made as a parent with the greatest intentions you can possibly have for the well-being of your children…

Every parent does the best they can in the situation they are in at that moment in time…

That does not mean that parents don’t make mistakes…

That means that parents have strengths and they have weaknesses in their skills for raising their children and many factors play into how you as a parent will react at that moment when your child needs you the most…

I would only spill my guts to moms who are considered safe… and only, you, as a mom can determine if that parent is a safe and supportive person to have as an advocate for you…

So if you feel defensive when you are talking to another mom, that’s not a safe and supportive advocate for YOU!

Don’t forget… many people, friends, neighbors,etc will turn on you in the event of a crisis…

It’s all about people. It’s about networking and being nice to people and not burning any bridges. Your book is going to impress, but in the end it is people that are going to hire you. -Mike Davidson

It is sad to me to think that SLPs in the schools do not defend their professions or behave on a different level than teachers.

I find that difficult to understand. Why is that in schools, SLPs are prohibited from recommending further evaluations from specialists outside the school district? More troubling than that, is why SLPs don’t stick up for their profession.

We are an allied health field… we take courses in the medical sciences… we are not teachers. We are not glorified tutors. We have been trained to analyze, observe, make professional judgments, and determine if our patients require further evaluations by any other kind of therapist and/or medical professional.

We, SLPs, are held responsible for HIPPA Compliance and are considered to be part of the medical field.

It is under our scope of practice to recommend further evaluation from psychologists, neurologists, etc…

So, again, I would believe it would be unethical to evade recommendations for further evaluations from specialists outside the school district if we believed through our professional training that a child would benefit from further evaluations from developmental pediatricians, neurologists, psychologists, OTs, PTs, or any other sort of specialty regardless if they qualify for services under the school service delivery method.

Here’s the thing… Why aren’t we educating doctors, other therapists, and educational staff about our profession? Why aren’t we standing up for ourselves and explaining that our scope of practice involves communication and how it impacts academics and social interactions. Then again, communication overlaps every aspect of one’s life.

We do not tutor… Once communication is functional, then the learning disability or other disability is not covered under our scope of practice… So basically, we work with LD students to organize their language… so that they can functionally understand and express their desires, wants and needs. We do not teach them or tutor them just because they are low academically… We cannot change a learning disability… which means a child has difficulty learning… so basically the child is going to be behind academically which is why there are resource programs and special ed programs which will help move the child along.

We should not be working on social skills with children who are emotionally disturbed… ED must be targeted to improve social skills. Targeting communication will not improve social skills for a child with ED or anxiety since the communication is not negatively impacting his social skills. If ED or anxiety is negatively impacting his social skills, then the emotional disorder should be targeted to improve social skills.

I can understand teachers not being able to recommend evaluations from other medical professionals… They have not been trained in the medical sciences or taken courses in neuroanatomy…

Why is a professional from an allied health field (SLPs) who works in a school district unable to recommend evaluations from other medical professionals outside of school districts? That’s part of the reason we are trained in neuroanatomy and arteriosclerosis, Traumatic Brain Injury, and other neurological language delays/disorders.

Speech Pathologists are not teachers unless they have been dually certified in education…

SLPs are governed by the state licensing board and by ASHA… Teachers are governed by the TEA…

Communication is the SLP’s expertise… Education is the Teacher’s expertise… there is a significant difference, especially in how they are trained and the backbone that each profession is given in order to be successful in their career.

SLPs should always think of themselves as allied healthcare professionals regardless of the setting they work in… this would help get the respect we deserve in the school districts…

SLPs would be able to stand out and demonstrate their expertise in their fields if they do not allow others to treat them as teachers or glorified tutors…

SLPs need to put boundaries in place in order for them to be seen as experts in their fields… They need to put up a tough act and fight for their scope of practice and their rights as allied health professionals.

Ironically, in the medical service delivery method… we do not need a referral from medical doctors to evaluate our patients… In fact, we obtain MD referrals for payment purposes…

So SLPs in medical service delivery method settings are maintaining their independence and have set up a boundary… yet, those in the education fields are just sitting back and watching while others treat them as teachers.