Finding My Passion for Teaching

Dear Phoenix, There is a certain kind of giddy I get when I think about the students I teach.  Every one of them brings to me a renewed sense of the world around me. When I first started teaching, I worked as an after school music tutor.  After a few sessions, I knew that teaching […]

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Presuming Parental Compentence

Dear Phoenix, I am getting ready to talk about us at a conference in San Diego next month. As I was scanning my past presentations, I realized that the gap between parents and teachers are growing, and neither of them are to blame. A quick scan of therapies for Autism, and articles on special education, […]

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Traveling with Autism is getting harder, not easier. Why?

Dear Phoenix, It is not uncommon to see public spaces with accommodations of various types.  Restaurants have high chairs for little ones who can’t reach the tables quite yet.  Shopping malls have strollers for children and wheelchairs for elderly who find it difficult to walk the entire mall.  Even in states with public smoking restrictions, […]

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Teaching Phoenix to Climb

Dear Phoenix, It has been a few days since I last wrote to you, but something amazing has happened.  I am in Alta, Wyoming attending the wedding of a good friend of mine.  She wanted my shadow songs to accompany her wedding on the top of a mountain facing Grand Teton.  It is beautiful. To […]

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Today I am Proud of my Autistic Son

Dear Phoenix, I have to tell you today about my son, Jacob.  After years of hard work, struggling with people telling him he would fail because of his autism, and many mistakes, he graduated high school.  He will be 17 on Friday. Like it?  I think his ideas for design are fascinating.  You can see […]

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Monday Grievances

Dear Phoenix, I’m filled with so much frustration over the way things are going for me lately that all of my carefully built filters are burning off.  I am finding it more and more difficult to keep quiet about the things others do that hinder progress, or create barriers.  I wanted to write to you […]

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The Story Behind River Oasis

Dear Phoenix, Did I ever tell you about why I wrote the shadow song, River Oasis? I struggle with knowing who my friends are.  People say they are my friends, but I sometimes get confused with the term friends. Everyone seems to have their own definition of what a friend is, so I just really never […]

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The Day I Was Wrong, and it was Fantastic.

Dear Phoenix, Presuming competence is the foundation for effective special education.  We can no longer build models based on repetitive behaviors, rewards, and exclusion.  Our lack of understanding as educators must be the curiosity incubator rather than the cage that causes us to recoil when our foundations and pedagogies are questioned.  We must evolve from […]

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