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May 9, 2012

Parents hold the Key!

The Late Talker BookA child diagnosed with Oral Apraxia, does not mean they're autistic. A child diagnosed with Sensory Integration Disorder does not mean they're autistic. A child diagnosed with Tactile Defense Disorder does not necessarily mean they are autistic. I think you see where I am going. An autistic child may be diagnosed with multiple disorders but a child diagnosed with multiple disorders may not be autistic. The problem is this: the brain is an incredible machine in our bodies and we, as parents, specialists, teachers, doctors, barely know how the brain functions. Its true that our knowledge of the brain in conjuncture with the body has jumped leaps and bounds in the last century but yet we're still trying to understand these 'disorders.'

Many people, including your child's pediatrician, believe that they are one in the same and that a child who acts 'differently' is autistic or on the autistic spectrum. This may be true, but not in all cases. Quite frankly, I believe testing a child in this gray area before age 7 is pointless because some tests conclude with unclear evidence either way. There is a possibility that your child, and you know your child better than anyone, just has a speech disorder along with other disorders, and that you see how it affects every aspect of your child's' life including their behavior. 

When your child at 24-36 months is diagnosed with Oral Apraxia (speech delay or speech disorder) its usually recommended by whomever tested the child that they begin speech therapy with a Speech Language Pathologist AND occupation therapy with an Occupational Therapist. Your job as a parent is to be PRO-active in researching what this means. I suggest first reading this book: The Late Talker because its written by first experienced parents who went/are going through it already and secondly they are also people who are also specialists in some arena of child development.

What does a typical speech therapy session look like? If private, the parent usually sits in a small room watching their child through a one-way mirror go through various activities. If integrated in a pre-k classroom then the child is usually pulled out for a short 20-30 minutes to work with a SLP that works for the city public schools. If the first, then the parent can see first-hand exactly how their child is handled. If the second, then the parent is left wondering what's going on. Unfortunately, and all to often, the second is more common because most people cannot afford private therapy, or their insurance only covers minimal sessions. Either way, I have three major tips for the parents of kids who are receiving speech therapy.
1.Find out the 5 W's/H of your SLP, meaning:
    • Who is the person and what's there phone number?
    • What technique will they be using on your child, and what training have they received?
    • When can you talk to your child's SLP for regular updates on their progress? ie. once a week
    • Where does your SLP see your child's weaknesses and strengths?
    • Why? Too many questions go along with this one so let's just stick to, "Because God said so"
    • How should your child be receiving speech therapy at home and school and is that enough?
2. Set up personal goals for your child (at home, and at school with your child's SLP and OT)
    • What I mean by this is to write out goals for your child that you believe are the most important. Start small with something like your child being able to say his/her name. Some goals may take an entire academic year to achieve, others might come easier to your child. Track their progress by writing it down. Be realistic!
3. Pray daily. Lay hands on your child before they leave for school or start their school-work at home. Pray that God would give you the wisdom to know how to connect with your child and help them unlock their voice. Lay hands on their head (or wherever they can handle being touched) and ask God for endurance and patience that surpasses what you know you cannot handle. Ask God to do the work in bonding you with your child in an unspoken language. And lastly, ask God to help you have compassion for your children so when you get frustrated it becomes just another bump in the road-along the path of a speech delayed child. 

Finally, I firmly believe that if you are the parent of a special needs child it is because God knows and put something in the dynamic make-up of you that he can use to to make the life of that child unbelievably special. I believe that you (parents) are the key between your child's beautiful mind and the world to know them. Jeremiah 29:11 takes on a whole new meaning once you realize the task ahead of you because your life isn't about you, its about how God will use you in the life of that special little boy or girl.

Grace To You, Jenna

May 1, 2012

Ephesians Study Chapter 1:1-2

Riches, is what Ephesians is about! Paul begins by clarifying that the Ephesians are a people who have all the inheritance of God. In other words they are joint heirs of Jesus BUT they do not understand what riches they have in Christ and that all those blessings are based on Him! His will ch1:5; His grace ch1:6-7; His glory ch1:12,14; His power ch1:19; His love ch2:4; His good pleasure ch1:9; His purpose ch1:11; His calling 1:18; His inheritance 1:18; His workmanship ch2:10. It's all because of Him.

To break it down the first three chapters tell the Ephesians about their blessings. The second three chapters teach how to use those blessings. The first three chapters give as the theology of the body and the last three chapters, the behavior. Its all ours because we are in the body of Christ-a key phrase (which will be discussed later).

  • Ephesians is about a mystery of the body of Christ being revealed and how God reveals things (through Paul to share).

  • Ephesians introduces a new metaphor the body and whereas we previously knew of many Old Testament and New Testament parallels and metaphors.
"Maybe the sum of it all is in chapter 3 ‑ “That you might be filled with all the fullness of God.” It's an incredible thought that literally the believer can be filled with all the fullness of God Himself. That we would know the unsearchable riches of Christ. That we would be able to do exceeding abundantly above all we could ask or think according to the power that works in us.‑ all in the book of Ephesians."

Verse 1. Why does Paul clarify and begin with his own name identifying himself as an Apostle? Because Apostles were a mouthpiece of Jesus Christ and selected as the foundation of the Church.
 1: Paul encountered Jesus on the road to Damascus when he was blinded but he calls himself an Apostle because people want some kind of identification to whom he wrote his letters. He was an appointed apostle by Jesus Christ, he saw Jesus Christ!

2: Because Paul is establishing his authority. He's saying "I'm an Apostle, listen to me!"

3: Because of his relationship to the 12 Apostles. Did they accept him as a brother apostle?

4: Because of his relations to false teachers (Sanhedrin) who constantly persecuted him because he was not one of the original 12. (1 Cor. 4:9)

5. Because of his relation to Christ. He met Christ!

6. To express himself to the readers, his calling was to them (1Cor. 1:9).

7. Because of his relation to God. Paul is an ambassador and agent of God. 'By the will of God" means that he is giving and relaying God's judgement to the Ephesians. 

Who are the Saints? A saint is anyone who is a Christian. When you confess your sins to Jesus, ask for forgiveness, you are made holy. Paul calls them saints because they are made holy through Christ. But there is a second term Paul uses, faithful. This is the part of the person, they (we) exercise faith in the belief that we are made holy. 

Notice now that there is a double authority in the intro, Paul the Apostle (1) and by the will of God (2). Then a double designation term used: the saints (1) and the faithful (2). So why not expect a double blessing Grace (1) and Peace (2). Grace is the New Testament word karis, it means kindness of God toward undeserving people. Its a nice way of reminding us that we are saved by grace NOT works. And the second part is peace. Because I have grace from God I have peace with God. 

Verse 2. "Grace and Peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ" Why both God and Jesus Christ? Again this book is about the FULLNESS of God and Jesus Christ-complete and all encompassing riches. Its not from one part, God, or another part, Jesus Christ. It is both and its a double authority! Paul was appointed as an apostle with the authority of Jesus Christ and by the will of God.

It kinda like God is saying through Paul, 'in case you miss it I'll repeat myself so you can grasp what I'm about to share with you! I don't want you to miss out on my blessing, riches, and peace.' 

Grace to You,

Play! Draw! Create!

Let kids be Creative with this fun learning set about trucks!


Learning pages include Name That Truck page where kiddos can learn the different names of trucks. Then they can find the matching truck magnet for the adjacent page.
 Then a cute coloring page to match the story. They can learn and practice color words then color in the picture as you read through the story.

Then they can imagine and make their own monster truck using the various magnets. The boys loved this and thought it was quite hilarious.
The nice thing about this set is that its all dry erase, so its mess free.
Then some counting practice and search and find pages with handwriting number practice. Seriously this is so cute!
And of course alphabet handwriting practice where the tow truck is hauling and object related to each letter in the alphabet.
After that a drivers license page where the kids can draw their picture and write information about trucks.
I highly recommend this cute Play and Create Toy from Innovative kids! As said before anything that keeps them busy using their imaginations is fine by me!

You can find this and many other great, ECO-friendly toys at their website, or if you have a story nearby at:


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