peer mediation

Peer Mediation: How It Helps

Peer mediation can help to resolve an issue constructively with others while also being a tool for a preventative measure for anger management. It is used when trained students lead one another through problems to resolutions. Here are some steps for effective peer mediation:

    1. Agree on ground rules
    2. Each individual gets to tell their side/version of the story
    3. Verify stories
    4. Discuss stories
    5. Generate possible solutions
    6. Discuss solutions
    7. Select a solution
    8. Sign a contract

peer mediation

Things to think about if it is working correctly in order to evaluate the process:

  • Are the students working through it?
  • After the meeting, are students staying accountable for their contracts (adult guidance may be needed)
  • After meeting, each party should no longer be discussing issues and matters should be kept private

Peer mediation is a simple process in order to help students help themselves and become more accountable. It is used as a tool in preparing them for adulthood. It is also wisely used at a time when they are more likely to listen to their peers and less interested in what an adult has to say. It is important that they are always supervised however as ultimately they are still children.

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Happy World Autism Awareness Day

Autism is now diagnosed even more readily than it was in the past. With more families being more effected, there is only more reason to feel unified. 1 in 68 children in the U.S. is currently diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, 30% increase, or 1 in 88,  from 2 years. Here is a great is a great chart I found about Autism. Keep in mind it is an ever changing statistic, so some of the numbers on this sheet are wrong, but the information is still generally usefully.

autism information for parents

*Also Asperger syndrome for several years has fallen under the umbrella of ‘high functioning autism’

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intellectual disabilities

End the R Word: Celebrate Individuals

intellectual disabilities the r word

Here is a fabulous article I came across, which sums up why the r word is hurtful and should not be used. Remember the importance of people first language. No one is their disability or should be labeled as such. Instead say a boy with ‘____.’ Fill in the blank or change the name, but people are so much more than any diagnosis. We are all complex individuals who are so much more than anyone word. The best word to describe anyone is their name or at the very least their gender or a complete general, like person.

Also the r word can be hurtful when used in ways that do not apply to an actual person but just as an adjective to describe something negatively.  Don’t make a diagnosis part of a punch line because real people are out there fighting the internal and external battles that go with that punch line. Using such words is just part of adult bullying and really we as individuals should rise to a place above such meanness.

Try reading this well written article about a man who has been fighting the battle of ending the ‘r’ word.

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physical disabilities

Physical Disabilities: Mannequins and Models

Here is a unique video about how all individuals are beautiful. It challenges people to rethink what ‘perfect’ really is and explore redefining our own definitions. An organization took on building mannequins based on real people with physical disabilities. These mannequins represent so much more than just what they are. You can see the individuals they represent in the video seem to find great satisfaction and clarity within their own mannequins. Once the mannequins are in the retail windows, you can see people who both enjoy them and some that become uncomfortable with them. There are some professional models emerging into the markets who also have physical disabilities and some stores are taking on the challenge of using mannequins that represent their wider market shopping base. All in an effort to find the beauty in differences and enjoy each individual’s uniqueness. This is a great example to not only the adults involved but also children who growing up with physical disabilities. It shows that they are appreciated, and they too are a vital part of our society.

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early detection of autism

Early Detection of Autism: A Key to Changing the Future

Early detection of autism may be able to change the path of development of the child and alter the severity of effects from be predisposed to inheriting autism. Now as far as the actual cause of autism there are many beliefs, some of which I discuss in other posts, but early detection means early treatment. This can greatly impact the child’s future. Also  autistic minds are predisposed to be great at things some of us really struggle with…treatment does not mean the child will loose these great strengths.

early detection of autism

A new research article found that there is a quantitative link between how long a baby makes eye contact and the likelihood of being diagnosed with autism down the road. This does not occur directly at birth, but a couple months down the road. Meaning that detection of autism could occur at six months and treatment could begin soon after. So if you are a parent or caregiver and notice your child’s fascination of eye contact decreasing from 2 to 6 months instead of increasing, you might want to talk to your doctor about this. The severity of the change of interest in eye contact may also be related to the severity of autism, so please interact with your child regularly and notice their personal cues to you about how they are taking in their environment. Developmental Pediatrician are trained to know disabilities, and if you feel you want more information after speaking to your pediatrician, they could be of great value to you. Also please note that they are using eye detecting equipment (look at photo above), so if you do not catch this change do not feel guilty.

Early detection of autism comes down to of course more than just eye contact but that is an easier one to measure quantitatively. New head way also needs to be made in the treatment of younger children. Currently treatments are available for those after 18 months, but do not let that deter you from talking to your doctor. Treatment plans can take many months to get in place, so the sooner you head toward treatment the better off your child’s long term trajectory could be.

Find out more on Baby’s Gaze May Signal Autism

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