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Mike Ewart

Mike Ewart

Saturday, 01 November 2014 00:00

It Takes a Village

We all want our children to be liked and accepted by others. We want them to develop lasting friendships with their peers. In order to help children develop and maintain positive relationships it is important that we as parents demonstrate positive examples. This is a challenging time for families. The economy seems to be crumbling before our eyes along with our financial security. We work harder to keep the things we have and because of this we are bringing increased stresses into our homes. This impacts our children in ways that are not always clearly seen. So how does all of this impact the behavior of our children? They may act out inappropriately to get our attention.

As families we need to get back to simple. What are the little things you do with your child/children that brings you together as a family?

My younger child loves to spend time doing anything with myself, my husband and his teenage sister. Sometimes we watch a TV show or movie together. That may only be one time a week but it is nice to sit together and enjoy the show. Sometimes he bakes brownies with his sister.

It would be helpful to all of us if you would take the time to share your thoughts and feelings so that we may learn from your actions and experiences. Maybe you need a safe place to vent and take comfort.

To quote the African Proverb, “It takes a whole village to raise a child”. Let’s make this a communal effort and be there to help each other.

Saturday, 01 November 2014 00:00


Now that school is back in session our days are often filled with responsibilities. The lazy days of summer are gone and our children need to do things on a schedule. To cut down on the arguing that so often occurs I often use an oven timer for starting and finishing different activities. My son will argue about starting homework, getting a bath, and going to bed. I usually say, “I have set the timer for 20 minutes. When the timer goes off you need to come to the table and start your homework”. It does not always go smoothly but it does help to cut down on the back and forth discussion. I have found that using a timer keeps arguments and whining to a minimum. The timer has the final say. Any other ideas or suggestions?

Saturday, 01 November 2014 00:00

TV Time

Have you heard the news about Sponge Bob Square Pants? According to a study, young children who watch the show for more than 9 minutes a day have difficulty focusing and thinking critically. Do you agree? There will always be a TV debate. How much is too much? I remember as a child getting up early on Saturday morning to watch cartoons. Today cartoons are on 24/7. We cannot get away from them. Cartoons back then were pretty standard and lacked the violence and topics of those seen on TV now. When my daughter was between the ages of 2-5 she loved to watch Sprout. I loved that channel because the shows were geared for young children and there were no advertisements. My son is eight years younger than my daughter and it seems that he grew up quicker. He lost interest in Sprout quickly. He loves Cartoon Network, but I think most of it is not appropriate for him. I have to continually monitor the shows he watches because despite the fact that they are cartoons they are not always appropriate. It is a battle. We are all busy working parents. By the time we get home we need to cook dinner, take care of bath-time and then get ready to do it all again tomorrow. While my son is busy with extracurricular activities and homework he loves TV and could watch it all day. There are times that I feel guilty about the amount of TV watching in my house. I need some house TV rules right!? One group suggests that television be only for the weekends. I don’t think I could model that one. What do you think?
Saturday, 01 November 2014 00:00

Dinner Confessions

I have been extra busy this past year and because of that dinner has become somewhat of a disaster. I have found dinner planning to be exhausting because of the picky eaters that I have in my house. I like everything. I like veggies, meats, sauces; you name it I pretty much like it. That is not true for the rest of my family. My youngest is my pickiest eater and I am finding it harder and harder to get him to enjoy the things I cook for dinner. I often find myself cooking frozen things like chicken nuggets. I need to get things back on track. I saw this great idea online and I am going to give it a try. One mom experiencing my same situation got Rachel Ray’s “Cooking Rocks!” cookbook. It features recipes that can be made in 30 or so minutes – by kids. The most important point there is BY KIDS. My plan is to share it with my two children and have them pick out 3 recipes that they would like to “make” for dinner. I have seen her show and her meals appear simple and healthy. I plan to give this a try. I will let you know how it goes. How is dinner at your house?

Saturday, 01 November 2014 00:00

A Recent Question

A parent recently asked "I've found it difficult to help my son to answer HOW and WHY questions, Can you give some suggestions?"

We posed this question to a well respected Speech/Language Pathologist who specializes in the language development of preschool children.

“Wh” questions can be tricky for preschool children, even those without a developmental delay. Try to think of the “wh” questions on a continuum with “what” questions being the easiest, then “where” questions, “who” questions, and “when” questions. The “how” and “why” questions are higher level questions and are more appropriately answered in kindergarten and first grade. All of these questions are very important because when a child is learning to read, these questions deal with their comprehension of the story. Often it’s a question of their understanding what is being asked of them. For example, “who” would be a person and “when” would be a time. Modeling these questions for your child would be helpful such as, asking and then answering the same question. For example, “Where should we go?” “Oh let’s go to Publix.” “When should we go?” “Let’s go after school.” In this way the child will hear the proper use of questions with the appropriate answer. Over time he will integrate this into his repertoire.

Saturday, 01 November 2014 00:00

Therapy Grants

Last week I spoke with a representative from Parent to Parent of Miami, an organization dedicated to helping families who have children with special needs. I learned that there are grants available to help cover the cost for therapies that insurance just does not cover. I know that many families pay a substantial amount of money out of pocket for needed therapies and would benefit from information in this area. Below is a link that may be helpful. I am not familiar with this website or program but I think it merits a closer look. If you fill out the application please let us know about the follow up and whether or not they were helpful. If you have information on this subject please share with the group.

This is a link for grants for therapy for children with special needs

Today I asked a parent if she would like to share any tips she has learned along the way on raising a child with special needs. She lost a daughter at the age of four due to a seizure disorder. After losing her daughter she had another child with a genetic disorder who is now 18 years old. The doctor said these cases where just like, “A shot in the dark.” It could happen to anyone. She shares these tips with you.

Saturday, 01 November 2014 00:00


As parents we are constantly making decisions for our children. We start by looking for the best primary care doctor. Then, if we are lucky enough, we need to decide if both parents will work, or if we need to find a day-care program. When it is time for kindergarten we want them to be in the best possible school, involved in the best possible program. We continue to worry about what they are eating, if they are making friends, and how they are doing in school.

How do we make all these decisions? Well, we talk to other parents, to professionals; we even Google to find the needed information. These decisions are more difficult for parents of children with special needs. Who do they talk to when they need information? What are their rights? What rights do their children have in school, when participating in extracurricular activities in school, and in other activities of choice?

The purpose of this website is to provide families the opportunity to connect with others. As parents we all have knowledge and expertise to share based on the varied experiences we have encountered along the way. I encourage families to use the forum to ask questions, share information, thoughts, experiences, and ideas with each other. Please look at the photo gallery to see some of what we do in class. Take a moment and get to know our friends the letter people. They are real characters. I will also be posting a few of the vocabulary building activities that include our letter people friends so you can discuss them at home with your child.

Saturday, 01 November 2014 00:00

Classroom Stories

These are videos of some of the stories that we are enjoying in class. Please watch them together with your child.

Five Fat Turkeys Are We

Over the River and Through the Woods

Little Miss Muffet

Five Little Speckled Frogs

Mrs. Wishy Washy

Jack and Jill Nursery Rhyme

One Two Buckle My Shoe Nursery Rhyme Song

Saturday, 01 November 2014 00:00

Helpful Videos

Here are some videos that you might find helpful and interesting.

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