Nice quote

"The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can." Neil Gaimon

Parenting / Special Needs / Therapists


A good quote:
  • "I don't really look to other mothers for validation on how I'm doing as a parent. I look to my children and my husband. If they are generally happy, relaxed, comfortable and engaged, I feel pretty good about how I'm doing....

    If I see signs of frustration or stress or uneasiness in my family, there are alarm bells going off inside me telling me I need to be kinder, pay extra close attention, have more ideas, and offer more options." ~~Rippy Dusseldorp

Remember to breathe!

"Connection Parenting" by Pam Leo is excellent - I have it on cd, but there is a book version as well.  Links to the book, or mp3 or cd's are on this page:

"Unconditional Parenting" by Alfie Kohn - Available in book or dvd format.  The dvd format was a lecture and the Maine lending library system has it.

"The Parent/Teen Break-through: the relationship approach" by Mira Kirshenbaum and Charles Foster. (For parents of teens and preteens.  Some call this book the Bible of the teen years.)

Pam Laricchia wrote a post on teens about how unschooling parents partner and support their teens instead of set up an authoritarian-based relationship and assume that teens are troublesome, rebellious and need to be controlled.  She also talks about how her role as a parent has changed and shifted as her children have grown older.  Here is a quote from her post: "Instead of seeing themselves as directing their teens with an attitude of 'I always know better,' unschooling parents see themselves as supporting their child along the road that the teen is choosing.  Supporting them means sharing our experiences, knowledge, and thoughts, but not directing their path."  If you would like to read more of the article, please go to this link:

Another good quote: 

  • "Don't focus on the goal being the right answer. What's important for learning is the journey, a journey of exploring and experiencing choices.  There really isn't *A* right answer since today's right choice may not be right next week. We're always growing and changing.  Focus on supporting kids in making choices and that each choice is another step in understanding themselves and the world better." ~~Joyce Fetteroll on Radical Unschooling Information facebook thread 6/2013

Living Joyfully Issue #16 Unschooling Teens - Pam Laricchia talks about relationships between parents and teens in an unschooling home - how wonderful it could be!:

This wonderful speech ("Leaps of Faith") by Dagny Kream at the 2008 Northeast Unschooling Conference not only provides insight on how it feels to be an unschooled teen that is fully trusted by her parents, but it makes one think and is inspiring as well: 

One of Kelly Lovejoy's 2011 Life Is Good Conference Recordings was about tweens and teens and the cocooning stage. Go to the "Unschooling Presentations/Talks/Recordings" page for more information on what the talk was about and how to order it.

"Everyday Blessings" by John and Myla Kabat-Zinn

"Living Joyfully With Children" by Bill and Win Sweet

"The Natural Child: Parenting from the Heart" by Jan Hunt

"How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk" by Faber & Mazlish

"Siblings Without Rivalry" by Faber & Mazlish 

"Slowing Down to the Speed of Life" by Richard Carlson and Joseph Bailey

"Don't Sweat the Small Stuff, and it's all Small Stuff" by Richard Carlson

Here is a link to some of Richard Carlson's books and audios that are available through the Maine library lending system (MINERVA):

"The Five Love Languages" by Gary Chapman
Take a online quiz to see what kinds of things make you feel loved:

"Playful Parenting" by Lawrence J. Cohen, Ph.D.

Excellent Articles to read for any parent! 

Mindful Mothering: The Art of Being Mindful by Danielle Conger

Mothering During a Meltdown by Robyn Coburn

And another good quote: 

  • "If your child is more important than your vision of your child, life becomes easier." - Sandra Dodd 

Parenting Newsletters:

Special Needs: 
Bookshare: Bookshare is an online library of digital books for people with print disabilities.  Members are required to register and provide a Proof of Disability.  Members are able to download books and newspapers, read them using adaptive technology (such as software that reads the book aloud or displays the text on the computer screen, etc).
(Thank you Julie K. for sharing this link!)

National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped: That All May Read
The National Library Service (NLS) is a free braille and talking book library service for people with temporary or permanent low vision, blindness, or a physical disability that prevents them from reading or holding the printed page. Through a national network of cooperating libraries, NLS offers books the way you want them: in braille or audio formats, mailed to your door for free, or instantly downloadable.

Computer Program that converts speech to text - Dragon Naturally Speaks
(There may be other programs, but this is one someone told me about. Thank you Gretchen L! )

"Homeschooling the Child with ADD (or Other Special Needs): Your Complete Guide to Successfully Homeschooling the Child with Learning Differences" by Lenore C. Hayes - I've not read this book, but heard that it was a good resource and also a gentle introduction to unschooling.  

An excerpt I like, "When he was finally out of school, free to pursue his own interests in the real world, he found his niche and now is thriving there. The real world, thank goodness, is very different from school."

Kristine Barnett's son Jacob was diagnosed with autism at age 2.  She tried special education programs and therapies and was told there was no hope.  She then fed his interests and focused on what he could do.  One day he spoke!  The now 15 year old is doing work in theoretical physics and on track to win a Nobel Prize.  (From what I read in the article, I thought her attitude and actions about celebrating who he was and feeding his interests were right on!)  Here is the article: And here is a link to a book she wrote about her son:  I haven't read it, but it's on my to read list.  :)
----Oh gosh!  I have watched Jacob Barnett's TEDx Teen talk which he did when he was 13 years old.  If you'd like to view it, it's here (title of his talk: "Forget What You Know"): 

I want to share the blog of a mom named Heather Nelson who lives in Rockland, Maine and has been writing about autism.  Though her son does go to school and isn't unschooled or homeschooled, I have been moved to tears reading her blog posts.  

My husband sent me this article today (3.27.2014)about the most recent autism rates based on data from 2008-2010 that were just released. 

Heather's blog post has a link to the Autism Action Network.  Please consider sending a note through the Autism Action Network to let the President know of your concerns and to ask him to take action.

"The Out Of Sync Child" by Carol Stock Kranowitz

"The Explosive Child" by Ross W. Greene

"The Highly Sensitive Child: Helping Our Children Thrive When The World Overwhelms Them" by Elaine Aron

"There's A Boy In Here" by Judy Barron and Sean Barron 
(This book is highly recommended by Sarah T. for anyone living with autism.  Thank you Sarah!)

"Secrets of a Buccaneer Scholar" by James Marcus Bach - This book is about how he left school because it was stifling him and his way of learning and how he continues to learn and be successful ever since.  He puts a positive spin on his ADD diagnosis.  He writes about how he DOES learn and how he controls how he does so to make it work for him.  

"Temple Grandin: how the girl who loved cows embraced autism and changed the world" by Sy Montgomery

Temple Grandin - Claire Danes stars as Temple Grandin in a HBO special

There are more Temple Grandin books available through the library that I haven't read yet.  One book which was written by her mom is "A thorn in my pocket: Temple Grandin's Mother Tells The Family Story"  Another book is "Rescued by a Cow and a Squeeze" by Mary Carpenter.

Unschooling and Autism:

Lyla Wolfenstein's handout on Special Needs from the 2012 Life Is Good Conference: (For now, that link is not working.  Please visit Lyla's blog and scroll down to the section on the right under "Articles About 'Atypical Children' and Neurodiversity")  

Unschooling the High Need Child by Danielle Conger: 

Parenting A Spirited Child by Danielle Conger: 

Allowing Your Highly Sensitive Child to Shine with Unschooling by Anne Ohman: 

I Am What I Am by Anne Ohman: 

Ren Allen's contribution to the Unerzogen article on not labeling or seeking a diagnosis: 

Special Needs or Just Special by Mary Gold: 

Doesn't Sound Like ADHD To Me:

Printable Sensory Activity List:

8 Online Stores to Purchase Sensory Friendly Clothing:

Neurotypical film (description from the PBS website listed below):
Neurotypical is a rare film among documentaries about autism. It relates the experiences of this neurological condition from the point of view of autistics themselves. Via the worlds of 4-year-old Violet, teenager Nicholas and middle-aged wife and mother Paula, along with provocative interviews with other autistics, the film recounts the challenges they face living among "normal" people--whom many of them call "neurotypicals." 

"It Takes Two to Talk" - A Hanen program for parents

Special Needs Groups: 
Homeschoolers/Unschoolers on the ASD Spectrum (This is a "closed" facebook group as of June 2013)

Special Needs Homeschooling in Maine (secret facebook group).  
To join, please send a facebook friend request to Patty Knapp Thompson and request an invite to the group.

Meridith Novak posted this link to a speech-language pathology chart:  
She explained that the chart lists the development of common speech sounds (with broad age ranges) and then farther down the page is an explanation of how dental development can broaden those ranges even further.  
- From Radical Unschooling Info facebook group on May 23, 2013: and also alwaysunschooled yahoo group.

Roya, Marji and Michelle are able to counsel via phone, email, skype or in person.

Those and additional therapists (including a speech therapist) are listed on Sandra's site:

Other links or books that might appeal or be helpful to some:
"Loving What Is" by Byron Katie (She also wrote other books.)

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