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Making welcoming churches for families with special needs children

Kelli just wrapped up a workshop at the 2014 Quadrennial Women’s Assembly of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) on how your congregation can be more welcoming to families with special needs children. It was a great group and great conversation. If you would like to view the presentation she used — including the example video and resource handout — visit our Autism and the Church page.

Autism Awareness Photo

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A Backyard Story

So I had the work camera at home this weekend for a video shoot on Sunday afternoon. Since I had the nice camera, I thought I would gets some fun shots of the girls playing the backyard. Some swinging, some chalk art, some playing the dog, some swimming…. just a wonderful time in the comfort of home and enjoying the outdoors. Enjoy!

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Stephen Colbert takes on the “anti-vaccination” movement

I just had to share this one. Stephen Colbert (basically one of my pop heroes) took the anti-vaccination movement to the mattresses. Watch his interview with Paul Offit, Professor of Vaccinology, Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania and Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases, and the Director of the Vaccine Education Center at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Modern medicine: 1; anti-vaccination wackos: 0;

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Filtering out the noise

Noise PoliceI’m a very auditory learner. I’ve always loved to listen and paint images in my head. I’m an avid patron of talk radio and don’t often listen to music in the car, favoring instead the funny story, current news or an interview on “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me.” (If I had a dollar for every “driveway moment” experienced while listening to NPR then I’d be a wealthy man and wouldn’t need you to click the ads on our web site…. *hint* *hint*….)

That being the case, I have noticed an increase in sensitivity to the acoustics within my surroundings. The smallest noises are starting to create anxiety. I recently had the wonderful experience of participating in a production of “Jesus Christ Superstar.” The cast was great, the orchestra was great, the crew was great. But there were several occasions during rehearsals where all the noise – the talking, the instruments, the singing, the choir – would simply get the best of me and the only remedy was to find a quiet spot to calm down. Even tonight, in my own living room, the noise was overwhelming. Between Melanie’s TV show, Michaela reading her homework out loud, Kelli watching something on her computer… it was just too much! I felt like I couldn’t filter it out. I even tried to distract myself with a game on my phone – didn’t work. I finally had retreat to the upstairs and decided to write this post. (more…)

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A word explosion and little Miss Sassy

dictionaryMelanie has recently been experiencing a vast increase in her vocabulary. We like to call it a “word explosion.” For the past month we have been noticing either new words or words she knew becoming more clear. The last month has seen a big increase. It’s very encouraging!

Just the other day, as I was preparing her for nap time, she flat out told me “no pj’s.” Normally I would dismiss such a clearly understandable phrase as coincidental gibberish but given her recent word explosion and the fact she made this pronouncement as I was about to have her put on her PJs I’m pretty certain it was intentional. It somewhat startled me – in a good way, of course! (more…)

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