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Like many parents of children with autism, Nicole Brown feared she might never find a dentist willing and able to care for her daughter, Camryn Cunningham, now a lanky 13-year-old who uses words sparingly.
Finishing a basic cleaning was a colossal challenge, because Camryn was bewildered by the lights in her face and the odd noises from instruments like the saliva suctioner — not to mention how utterly unfamiliar everything was to a girl accustomed to routine. Sometimes she’d panic and bolt from the office.
Then in May, Ms. Brown, 45, a juvenile supervision officer, found Dr. Amy Luedemann-Lazar, a pediatric dentist in this suburb of Houston.
Unlike previous dentists, Dr. Luedemann-Lazar didn’t suggest that Camryn would need to be sedated or immobilized. Instead, she suggested weekly visits to help her learn to be cooperative, step by step, with lots of breaks so she wouldn’t be overwhelmed. Bribery helped. If she sat calmly for 10 seconds, her reward was listening to a snippet of a Beyoncé song on her sister’s iPod.
If you're a 12th-grader right now in the Los Angeles schools, that means you probably started kindergarten back in 2001. It also means that, as of this week, you've seen four superintendents come and go.
As we discussed today on Morning Edition, the ouster of John Deasy last week as the head of the nation's second-largest district has renewed a long-running debate about leadership of big-city schools, and particularly the challenges of raising achievement in such a politically charged environment.
Deasy told Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep last week that there's a clock ticking on "reform"-minded superintendents, such as himself, who want to shake things up quickly. "I think there is," he said, calling it a "worrisome trend in America."
But he said that, regardless of that external pressure, he felt personally that there was no time to waste in his efforts to make a difference for students.
One night last fall, I was walking through Chinatown in Washington, D.C., with my friend Terryn. We were not far from a dude who was in his mid-20s — slim, with neat, shoulder-length locks, skinny chinos, loafers and a leather briefcase slung across his torso — standing on the corner, his arm raised skyward. He was trying without luck to hail a cab.
That doesn't mean there weren't cabs around; in fact, there was one a few feet from him, waiting at the light with an empty back seat and its "For Hire" sign turned on. The driver gave the young man a hard, thorough once-over before turning his head away as if he hadn't seen the hail — as if we all hadn't seen him see the hail. The light turned green. The taxi driver pulled off.
Skinny Pants Guy looked at Terryn and me. He pointed to his chinos.
"If I was carrying a gun, where could I even hide it?" he said to us in exasperation. We all chuckled and shook our heads with more than a little shared resignation and recognition. But now, to avoid these curbside dramas, Skinny Pants Guy and a whole lot of other black and brown folks can turn to ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft. A few taps on your phone, and boom — a livery driver or someone in his own car picks you up in a few minutes at your location. These services are touting themselves as providing all the conveniences of a car but none of the headaches, including profiling by race and location. "With 4 in 10 Uber trips starting or ending in neighborhoods underserved by taxis, Uber is ensuring that no rider is rejected because of who they are, where they live or where they want to go," Taylor Bennett, an Uber spokesman, told me on Monday.
Resiliency is a fascinating subject of study pertinent to parenting. Children who are able to rebound from adversities are healthier psychologically and show better outcomes academically and socially, so it’s in their best interest to develop a sense of inner grit.
As a child therapist, I often wonder what sets apart the children who are able to manage and thrive in environments plagued by adversity, abuse and poverty, from those who seem to succumb to it. But, resiliency doesn’t have to mean the ability to bounce back from such extremes. Some children are just more flexible, able to pick themselves up and dust themselves off. Resilience turns out to be a life skill, and research has shown it’s something we can cultivate in our kids. Dr. Kenneth Ginsburg of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia authored a guide in collaboration with the American Academy of Pediatrics focused on building resilience in children and teens. They’ve outlined several qualities that parents can instill in their children.
Understanding and overcoming the effects of a difficult childhood are essential for a healthy adult life, at least according to Dave Lockridge’s research findings.
Lockridge, 61, is the founder and executive director of ACE Overcomers, a local program that focuses on helping people understand the mental, physical and cognitive effects of adverse childhood experiences.
The Atwater resident offers weekly faith-based and community-based classes in Merced County and travels across the country presenting his ACE Overcomers curriculum, a compilation of a decade of research.
Currently, Lockridge’s curriculum, titled “Overcoming a Difficult Childhood,” is being used in a number of states and Canadian provinces, he said.
According to Lockridge, early childhood stressors, such as abuse, neglect or a dysfunctional household, produce emotional and physiological changes in a person that causes them to take on destructive behaviors that cause their early death.
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I can talk about this stuff for days, but what about when I only have 30 seconds with a family member, friend, or someone I meet at my office (aka- the coffee shop)? Please take a moment to share you're most compelling no-fail go-to 30 second or 1 min...
Hi All: In the Media section Val submitted a graphic called ACE-Network__Circlegraphic. On the Right she has a large circle entitled "Whatever you call it". It that circle are multiple terms that potentially could be used by various...
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This community of practice uses trauma-informed, resilience-building practices to prevent Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), and to change systems to stop traumatizing already traumatized people. ACES CONNECTION NETWORK OVERVIEW ACEsTooHigh is a news site for the general public on all things ACEs-, trauma-informed, and resilience-building. ACEsConnection is a social networking site...