Friday, December 30, 2016

Call for Chapters

Proposal Submission Deadline: 1st Submission Deadline February 15, 2017                          2nd Submission Deadline March 15, 2017
Equity, Equality and Reform in Contemporary Public Education
A book edited by Marquis C. Grant (Grand Canyon University)

The American pubic education system has predicated upon the idea of equality. The values embedded in our academic institutions, dating back centuries to a time much different than our own. Our focus on EQUALITY instead of EQUITY may have contributed to the marginalization of the very children that we have sought to eradicate. Equality means giving individuals the exact same things. Equity is giving individuals what they need to promote fairness. By focusing on giving our children the SAME opportunities, instead of FAIR opportunities, would this explain:
•              Persistent achievement gaps?
•              Low performing schools?
•              Disproportionality in special education?
•              Low graduation rates?
•              High drop-out rates?

Objective of the Book

Equality and equity are often mischaracterized, albeit erroneously, as interchangeable terms in public education. This may explain why efforts towards reform and restructure are often not met with any real measure of success. This book will offer discussions about equity, including historical and social contexts of equity, rationale (if any) for continued focus on equality, school reform as a form of equity and the how a Eurocentric curriculum prohibits an equitable distribution of resources and opportunities in modern education. 
Target Audience
The target audience of this book will be composed of professionals and researchers working in the field of in various disciplines, e.g. education, sociology, policy and administration, cultural studies, legal theory, education, curriculum & development, race theory, and gender studies. Moreover, Equity, Equality and Reform in Contemporary Public Education will provide insights and support educators and policy makers concerned with improving the current contexts of education and supporting measures of reform that will support student achievement in public education.
Recommended topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
·         Equity & Equality: Race (Brown vs. Board of Education)
·         Equity & Equality: Disability (IDEA, ADA, Section 504)
·         Equity & Equality: Socioeconomics (ESEA, No Child Left Behind)
·         Special Education Funding: Idealism vs. realism in special education programs
·         Achievement gaps and low performing schools
·         The impact of poverty and socioeconomics and student achievement
·         Disproportionality in special education
·         Race-based disciplinary actions
·         Multicultural education/cultural responsiveness
·         School reform and the race towards equity
·         Charter schools and voucher programs
·         Gender biases in education (STEM)
·         Feasibility of a Eurocentric curriculum in a diverse society 
Submission Procedure
Researchers and practitioners are invited to submit on or before February 15, 2017 a chapter proposal of 1,000 to 2,000 words clearly explaining the mission and concerns of his or her proposed chapter. The link for proposal submissions is
Authors will be notified by April 15, 2017 about the status of their proposals and sent chapter guidelines. Full chapters are expected to be submitted by June 30, 2017, and all interested authors must consult the guidelines for manuscript submissions at prior to submission. All submitted chapters will be reviewed on a double-blind review basis. Contributors may also be requested to serve as reviewers for this project.
Note: There are no submission or acceptance fees for manuscripts submitted to this book publication, Trust in Knowledge Management and Systems in Organizations. All manuscripts are accepted based on a double-blind peer review editorial process.
All proposals should be submitted through the E-Editorial DiscoveryTM online submission manager.
This book is scheduled to be published by IGI Global (formerly Idea Group Inc.), an international academic publisher of the “Information Science Reference” (formerly Idea Group Reference), “Medical Information Science Reference,” “Business Science Reference,” and “Engineering Science Reference” imprints. IGI Global specializes in publishing reference books, scholarly journals, and electronic databases featuring academic research on a variety of innovative topic areas including, but not limited to, education, social science, medicine and healthcare, business and management, information science and technology, engineering, public administration, library and information science, media and communication studies, and environmental science. For additional information regarding the publisher, please visit This publication is anticipated to be released in 2018.
Important Dates
February 1, 2017 & March 15, 2017: Proposal Submission Deadline
April 15, 2017: Notification of Acceptance
June 30, 2017: Full Chapter Submission
September 30, 2017: Review Results Returned
October 15, 2017: Final Acceptance Notification
October 30, 2017: Final Chapter Submission
Inquiries can be forwarded to
Dr. Marquis C. Grant
Grand Canyon University


Friday, December 9, 2016

Things I'm Over in 2016

  1. Playing nice
  2. Crying over spilled milk
  3. IEP meetings (personally and professionally)
  4. Being passive
  5. Not taking chances
  6. Fake friendships
  7. Gossip (giving and receiving)
  8. Exes (need I say more?)
  9. Bills (wishful thinking)
  10. Excuses
  11. Stress
  12. Depression
  13. Rude people
  14. Liars
  15. Special education (which isn't so special)
  16. Idealism (which sucks)
  17. Fast food (don't hold me to this one)
  18. Taxes
  19. The Election
  20. The Election (yep, it's here twice)

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

What I Know For Sure

I realized today that there are things in life that are absolute, no exception:
1. Making mistakes is a privilege.
2. Being happy with what you have is easier said than done.
3. You're only as happy as your saddest child.
4. Being right doesn't make you happy...but it does make you smarter. 😌
5. People will remember the bad things you've done because it makes them feel better about themselves.
6. Having 1 good friend that you can depend on is pretty lonely.
7. If life throws you lemons...DUCK!
8. Life and weekends are too short.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Parents as Therapists (Courtesy of My Life My Autism)

Parents as Therapists

With the high costs associated with raising a child with autism, many parents are desperate to find ways in which to support their children with limited financial resources. Many states now allow insurance companies to cover some or all of the costs of services such as speech and ABA therapy. However, there are still some families in need of additional options that will improve the outcomes of their children.
Organizations like Rethink Autism offer cost-efficient alternatives for families who may be in need of additional support or who, for whatever reason, may not be able to cover the cost of therapy. Rethink Autism specifically supports families, caregivers and professionals through guided instruction using targeted "behaviorally-based teaching strategies..." with a "sequence of 7-10 minute training modules model all of the research-based techniques used in our expert-reviewed, video-based lesson curriculum in jargon-free accessible language." 
As with any program, families should do their research before making any final decisions. Questions that should be asked during the decision-making process include:
  1. What do I want for my child?
  2. What am I getting for the money that I will be paying to use the service?
  3. Are the recommended strategies research-based?
  4. Will I be able to chart my child's growth as I am using the program?
  5. How do the programs compare to one another?
  6. Does the program offer support through email or by telephone if I have questions or concerns that I need to be addressed?

Friday, November 11, 2016

Autism...The Next Unsung

Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed that autism has all but vanished from the public consciousness? I remember several years ago the big push to Light It Up Blue and how everyone seem to have some sort of opinion about the hows and whys of autism. Now you will be hard-pressed to find even the slightest mention of autism in the media. So what has happened to change the attention that was given to promoting and supporting autism acceptance? I know a lot of people objected to the whole Light It Up Blue initiative because it was associated with Autism Speaks. But now there are no true initiatives in place to keep autism on the forefront. What will that mean for my children and the children of others? I don't know...

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Rock the Vote

Whomever you are, whatever you do, exercise your right to vote!!!

Monday, October 31, 2016

Bullying Stops Here

Bullying has become a major epidemic in our schools. We have to teach our children, those who are being bullied, to speak up and speak out. Here's what you can do as a parent if you suspect your child is being bullied:
° Look for changes in behavior.
° Encourage your child to talk openly about his or her experiences.
° Report bullying to school administrators
° Be proactive about seeking a solution.
° If your concerns are not being adequately addressed at the school level, file a complaint with central office.
° Use social media to bring awareness.
° Seek counseling for your child if necessary. Bullying can lead to mental and emotional trauma.


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Check Out My Interview Segment w/ Yaya the Diamond

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Animated Lesson Plan on Disability

This year has been incredibly amazing and BUSY!!! One of the projects I have worked on is a disability lesson plan based on characters created by Fairmore  & Friends and animated by @UMBC. The lesson is great for elementary and middle school students, as it teaches them the importance of understanding and accepting differences. Perfect as a resource for teaching character education in school or personal conversations with the kiddos at home. Contact @TheOddballz on Twitter or download the Fairmore & Friends app from the Google Play Store to get a copy of the visual lesson plan!

Friday, October 21, 2016

October Is Down Syndrome Awareness Month

Let's raise awareness about Down Syndrome 365 days a year!

Donate to Chancellor Lee Adams

I remember hearing about Cherica Adams's death over a decade ago and the birth of her son, who has been raised by Cherica's mother Saundra since then. After reading the article about Chancellor and Saundra as Rae Carruth's release date draws near, I couldn't help but get emotional. As the mother of two boys with disabilities, I know all too well the joy and pain that comes with the territory. I realized, too, how truly blessed I am that my children are able to do so many things that other children are not. I count my blessings and, after reading this article, promise to focus more on the positives and less on the negatives.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Blog Life Revisited

I just realized that I stopped blogging. I don't know when it happened or why it happened but it did. Maybe it's the personal drama that seems to be a never ending distraction from the good and useful things we are purposed to do? Or maybe it's the constantly changing social media requirements that keep us on a roller coaster journey--Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat... leaving little time in the day for true reflection. My blog was always my way of expressing myself. Nothing fancy, just real talk. Now instead of talking about my deepest concerns for my children, my life,  my thoughts, I am engrossed in posting the best photo or capturing the best selfie ( with a little Photoshop, of course) that will make me relatable, camera-ready and culturally- in tuned all at once. But no more! I am recommitting myself to my blog. My true self. My passions in life. My jumbled thoughts and never ending least that's what I am telling myself.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Follow Me on the Gram

I'm on Instagram as @dr_marquis_grant. Install the app to follow my photos and videos.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Follow Me on the Gram!!!!

I'm on Instagram as @dr_marquis_grant. Install the app to follow my photos and videos.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy Fourth of July

Have a safe and wonder holiday!  Remember,  many children and adults with special needs may have sensory issues that inhibit their ability to take part in the festivities. With that in mind, please be sensitive when it comes to triggers such as:
1. Fireworks
2. Heat
3. Crowds
4. New, unfamiliar settings
5. Changes in routine
6. Food preferences

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Snapchat...The New Adventures of an Autism Mom

Add me on Snapchat! Username: drmarquisgrant

Thank You for the Rejection

To Whom it may concern, I wanted to take the time to thank you for the rejection letter that you sent regarding a grant for my autism awareness organization. While it may seem strange to have someone thank you for NOT doing something, your denial is my motivation. Yes, initially I was a little bummed out. I mean "rejection" is something I think about in a dating situation. Being rejected by THAT guy. I was even a little perturbed by the go-to statement about the "other" parents with special needs children who cosigned on your rejection. Your determination that there are other organizations out there doing the exact same thing without acknowledging the WAIT LISTS for those organizations. It takes about 6-12 months just to have your application processed or to receive services. In fact, we need more organizations to serve the 3 million plus people who are diagnosed with autism.
But I slowly began to see how this may be a blessing in disguise. I am more determined now than ever to press forward. YOU have lit a fire under me that has given me a new purpose. So, with all sincerity, thank you Pollination Project! I am truly in your debt ( seriously)!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Disability & Bullying

Check out a preview of the video lesson on disabilities and bullying that I wrote for The Entertaining Oddballz @

Saturday, June 18, 2016

The Early Bird Initiative

About a year ago, I decided that I wanted to make a difference. I didn't want to be one of those people who just talked about doing something. I actually wanted 2 be proactive and I knew autism was going to be my platform. I look back over the past year and realize that I've made a lot of positive strides in raising awareness but I know I'm far from where I want to be. So I'm committing myself in this next year to doing great things through advocacy and Outreach. I encourage everyone to find a call to support. It's truly one of the most rewarding experiences you'll ever have.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Support a Cause

I use social media quite a bit for autism awareness. I am committed to the cause and will continue to be proactive about disability support and acceptance. However, I have noticed that people will respond positively to selfies and pictures of random events but remain radio silent when it comes to postings about donating or bringing awareness or promoting acceptance.

I knew when I began this journey as an advocate, I would experience bumps along the way. I get that it's hard for others to identify with disability awareness, especially if it's never affected them personally, but I guess I was just keeping hope alive...

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Autism & Water Safety

It's that time of the year again when families are heading to the pool or flocking to the beach to beat the heat. Having a water safety plan should be as important as your child's swimming gear or sunscreen. Children with autism especially need to be monitored because they oftentimes do not realize signs of danger, which makes them highly susceptible to accidental drownings. Your water safety plan should include:
● A designated person or persons who will be your child's constant companion in the water. This could be another adult or a peer buddy. If a peer buddy is recruited,  make sure an adult is in close proximity at all times.
● Procedure for if one of the companions must leave your child's side for a moment.  Who will he or she notify?
● Floatation devices like the arm, leg or body floaties sold at Dollar Tree or other places for as little as a dollar.
● Cell phone close by in case of an emergency.
●Knowledge of CPR protocol in the event that an accident happens.

Remember, having a plan does not mean that you are EXPECTING something bad to happen. It just means that you want to be proactive about keeping your child's safety first!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Be Aware

I realize that I may have to fight this battle alone, but I'm ready! This is for my children and countless others who have no voice to speak out about what they experience on a daily basis. I am committed to raising awareness about autism...#mylife

Sunday, May 22, 2016

What I Learned from Other Autism Moms

Yesterday I sponsored a panel discussion that was designed to bring awareness to issues related to autism in the home, school & community. Although I was a panelists, I learned so much from listening to the stories of others.
1. I am truly blessed. I have had others tell me this but I understand for the first time what that means. My sons are both verbal and participate in mainstream education. Their autism is not severe, though they do have issues related to sensory overload, stimming and learning challenges. From what I learned, I definitely should count my blessings.
2. Society still doesn't "get" autism & I'm not sure that they even want to. Telling someone that they should leave their kid in the car because he's making noises that are related to his disability is horrible. I was pained to see another mom cry and talk about the cruel experiences she'd had from strangers wanting her to make their lives more comfortable by suggesting she remove her child or telling him to shut up.
3. Mothers of children with autism have greater stress levels than mothers of children with a critical illness. I have heard this before, but it still amazes me. People don't understand what it's like to raise a child with a disability, especially when it prevents you from doing many of the things that were once part of your daily life. Going to the grocery store can be a chore if you have a child prone to meltdowns or who makes random noises. Nobody wants people staring at their kid or making snide comments.
4. There is still much work that needs to be done. Autism Awareness is not at the forefront of what we need to be focusing on as a society...but it needs to be. With over 3 million people living on the spectrum, more dialogue needs to take place as to what needs to be done in order to make sure they are as successful and supported as possible.

This panel was a great experience for me, even if turnout wasn't what I wanted it to be. I know now, more than ever, that my work is not done.
"I cried because I had no shoes, then I saw a man who had no feet..."

Tuesday, May 17, 2016


Check out the new blog site IheartMatka (, created for women who are mommying children with special needs. Have questions, comments or blog ideas? Email them to All moms are special, but mothers of children with special needs ROCK!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Alex Bean, Boy Wonder

Whether he's fighting off scary creatures or flying off to save the day, Alex Bean is a little boy who won't let his disability stand in the way! Available at Alex Bean, Boy Wonder (ISBN 978-1-329-70141-0).

Saturday, May 14, 2016

ReDefining Our Norms

I ran across this picture on Instagram and I was just blown away! First of all, I remember a time when modeling was extremely rigid, often brutal in the way it defined beauty. Second, I was overwhelmed at the prospect of our society's evolution. We are slowly embracing the differences that make us unique.

Our ability to see each other as individuals remains a work in progress, but we are getting there. I didn't read all of the comments posted with the picture because I know that there are many negative people whose sole purpose is to dissent every chance they get; but I was completely in awe of what this picture represents for so many people, particularly those who do not fit into the "molds" or "standards" or "norms" in our society.

Kuddos to those who embrace differences! Let's keep redefining our "normal."

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Checking In

Less than 2 weeks to go for our autism panel! Super excited...I don't care if only 2 people show up (not really but really), I just want to create a forum where people can come together to get information that can support them as they navigate their journey on the spectrum. Will keep you updated as time goes by. This is only the BEGINNING!

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Parent Side

I love "The Parent Side" satirical cartoons!  They say what most of us, as parents, are thinking but do it in a comical way♡. I find myself laughing at the cartoons because I have personally experienced some of the situations even though, at the time, the situation wasn't funny.

ABCs, 123s and IEPs

Countdown to the next IEP meeting. Hoping this one goes better than before. I wish people would remember that parents are PARTNERS in the IEP process not passive attendees. Parents are often criticized for not showing up for meetings but, trust me, I can definitely understand why!

With all the talk about parent participation in IDEA, why are we still fighting to be heard when it comes to our children's academic needs? Smh

Friday, April 29, 2016

Spotlight on Autism : Home, School & Community

Less than a month away before our 1st panel presentation focused on the reality of living on the spectrum. So excited!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Autism Awareness Month???

So April has has been slated as Autism Awareness Month. there is even a big deal made of "Lighting It Up Blue" at major landmarks around the world yet because we going to do. However this year has not seen the same level fanfare from years past. In fact there is little evidence that autism awareness is on anyone's mind these days.

Many people had been opposed to even acknowledging April as autism awareness month because of its association with the controversial organization Autism Speaks. Autism Speaks has been criticized for calling a disease that can be cured ( something that I personally do not believe). But regardless of one's beliefs about an organizations mission statement, the fact still remains that autism had been brought to the forefront in a spectacular way and it was up to us to carry the torch and speak truth into dialogue that would certainly arise about autism and NOT leave it to others to tell our stories or speak our truths!

My fear is that now we are taking steps back instead of moving forward in our efforts to raise awareness and promote acceptance of individuals with autism.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Autism Panel:Spotlight on Autism

We are very excited about our first panel presentation to discuss autism in the home, school, and community. My Life My Autism was created for this very bring autism into the forefront by opening up dialogue about how it impacts the person with the diagnosis as well as their loved ones.

This is only the beginning!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Autism Panel

We are SO excited about our upcoming panel presentation at NC A & T State University! Hopefully this is the start of something that will continue to grow and have a positive impact on the autism community.

Autism Awareness Month

My hope is that one day autism awareness is not just a moment in April that we cast blue lights and wear our best Autism Awareness gear; but that we promote and support awareness all year long through social media, research endeavors, community outreach and open discussions.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Sensory Experiences and Autism

Please check out this video! It shows us the sensory experience from the perspective of a child with autism. While I understood that my son was having sensory issues, especially in public places (even his favorite hang out spots), I never knew what it felt like to him because his expressive language abilities are not well developed. Now I have a better understanding of what life may be like from his point of view.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Early Bird Initiative~365 Days a Year

As April approaches, so does the annual "Light It Up Blue" campaign created by Autism Speaks to raise awareness about autism in communities across the world. I have always maintained (and will continue to do so) that we need more research devoted to the lives of people with autism, not just causes of autism.

With millions of people living with autism,
both directly and indirectly, learning about the causes of autism is not as  relevant as issues like: early diagnosis, interventions, wandering, transition, healthcare, education...and the list goes on.

Those of us who consider ourselves to be advocates/activists should actively use our voices not only during the month of April, but the other 11 months of the year as well.

So let's commit ourselves to raising autism awareness 365 days a year!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Autism Awareness, Acceptance & Support

Check this out on Pinterest. My Life My Autism -

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Seclusion & Restraint: The Reality

I recently got an email from the Autism Society about advocating against unnecessary seclusion and restraint. As a read one of the mother's story about what happened to her child, I had a brief flashback about my own experience.

Seclusion and/or restraint is not as uncommon as people think. I remember taking my son to a new school right before I referred him for special education evaluation. The school had just opened that year and I had taken a position as the sole special education teacher there. It was a complete nightmare as, almost immediately, I was approached about my son's "behavior. " He wasn't able to sit still...he wouldn't take a nap...he cried. I explained that I suspected that he had autism as if my words would somehow make them understand. I quickly found out that people really don't care when something or someone did not fit into their "ideal" way of life.

My son was soon transferred to another classroom. The teacher was initially very supportive, impressed by my son's extensive vocabulary and ability to fluently read. I felt a sense of relief and thought things were going to work out after all.

Then one day, out of the blue, the bottom dropped. He required too much effort. He wasn't able to retain information. I was heartbroken when I saw him sitting behind a whiteboard away from his classmates or outside in the hallway. I lost my appetite and sleep knowing every day that I was delivering my son into the hands of a teacher who had total disdain for him and kept him as far removed from her other well-managed students as possible.

After three weeks, I quit my job and withdrew my son. I was lucky because I knew what was happening to my son but the use of unnecessary seclusion/restraints is sometimes done without parents knowing anything about it. It left a lasting impression on my child, who developed a dislike for school that continues to this day. 

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Know Your Child's Developmental Milestones

Knowing your child's appropriate developmental stages is important. Although many children met their milestones at different times, there is still a window of opportunity in which they should exhibit certain behaviors. For example, if your child is not crawling by the time he or she is 9 -12 months, there may very well be some underlying issues that need to be addressed.

Like many parents, I was initially hesitant about drawing attention to my children's issues. I was adamant that what they were experiencing was the result of not being around other children, not attending a daycare where they could socialize and develop appropriate communication skills as well as social behaviors. I feared what I would hear if I spoke up during our visits to the pediatrician.

Autism does not go away. Ignoring an issue because of fear or a genuine belief that it's "something else" keeps our children from getting the attention that they need the most. Even if your pediatrician determines that there is no need for concern, it's always better to err on the side of caution. While my children are doing fairly well, I truly believe that early diagnosis could have provided them with a stronger foundation,  especially once they entered public school.

Remember, talk candidly with your pediatrician if you have concerns about your child's development. Doing what is in your child's best interest is far greater than being paralyzed your fears.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Early Diagnosis & Autism: The Early Bird Initiative

We need to spread the word. Early diagnosis of autism is critical if we want to ensure the best outcomes for our children. Many families are hesitant to have their children diagnosed for various reasons, mostly out of fear. But a diagnosis is not the end of the world. It is the beginning of a new journey filled with ups and downs, just like anything else. The most important thing is that you teach your child the value of those things that make us different. Teach them that they are DIFFERENT, not LESS!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Every Child Needs a Champion: Rita Pierson

Check out this video by Rita Pearson @
She shares some powerful insights about the classroom that I think are sometimes overlooked when it comes to doing what's best for children. What we know: (1) Children do not rise to low expectations. (2) Children do better when they know teachers care about them. (3) Parents don't send their worst kids to school and leave their best kids at home; they send what they have.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Surviving An IEP Meeting: The Parent Side

So you have an IEP meeting coming up and you're feeling less than thrilled?  Well, the good news is that you are not alone. In fact, I have never heard a parent ever say that they look forward to gathering with a group of strangers to talk about how academically low their child is performing or how much their child is misbehaving in school.

An IEP meeting is very much like a battlefield and parents often feel as though they are gearing up for war when it comes to attending a meeting. Is it really any  wonder why many parents just don't show up?  It's not that they don't love their kid or want what's best, but they see their roles as being adversarial. They view themselves as the enemy, not an ally.

Why can't IEP meetings be a time to celebrate a child's accomplishments too? Maybe the teacher could bring some of the child's best work to the meeting as a way to connect more positively with the parents. It's okay for parents to ask for this to be done since the meeting is supposed to talk about a child's strengths along with his/ her weaknesses.

Parents can also share some of the amazing things their child is doing that may give the teachers a different perspective of a child outside the school setting.

So don't view your next IEP meeting as a preparation for battle. Look at it as a chance to take part in the overall success of your child and offer a deeper insight into who he/she is.

Just food for thought...

Monday, February 29, 2016

The Problem with Special Education

Is "special" education really one big oxymoron? Check out this article:

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Parent Focus: Addressing Disputes in the IEP Process

Unfortunately, there are times as a parent that you may not agree with decisions that are made about your services or you may question the way in which services have been provided to your child in the classroom.

Even if you feel passionate about your right to dispute, there is still a way in which you are to go about it. Simply filing a complaint will not be enough if you have not crossed all your T's and dotted your I's.

  • Make sure that you have followed the correct hierarchy. This means that you (1) Spoke with the regular education and special education teachers about your concerns, (2) You communicated with the school principal or other administrator. (3) You reached out to your local EC program manager/administrator at the central office or district level.
  • Everything should be in writing. Send emails as often as possible to establish a paper trail. Even if you speak to an individual by phone, follow up with an email re-establishing your talking points and the outcomes of the phone conversation. An follow up email would be: Thank you Ms. Madison for talking to me today about Timmy's struggles in math. I'm looking forward to you working with him on his addition and subtraction in a small group environment. Please send me any data that you collect regarding his progress in this area so that I can support him at home.
  • Remain as composed as possible, even if you have developed a total dislike for your child's teachers and the school. Emotions tend to run high whenever parents are angry about their children, especially when it comes to special education. You will be able to accomplish more if you keep a cool head and make decisions based on outcomes from any meetings or conversations that take place.
  • When you prepare to write a complaint, be specific about your concerns/ Instead of saying Ms. Madison is a bad teacher, you should state what she did or did NOT do. Ex: Ms. Madison failed to provide the small group instruction that we discussed in our meeting even though my son continued to receive failing grades in her class. I emailed the special education, asking her to provide strategies for Ms. Madison to use, but never received a response. I emailed the principal asking for him to intervene, at which time he stated that he would get right on it. I asked to see any progress monitoring data that has been collected for Timmy but, to date, none has been supplied.
  • Consult with an advocate or legal expert to make sure that you have covered all possible avenues.

Remember, you are your child's best advocate. If you truly feel that he or she is not getting the appropriate education to meet his or her needs, do not hesitate to take action. The law is very specific about parents' rights and you only want what's in your child's best interest.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Strategies for Children with Attention Deficit Issues

Check out my website for a list of strategies that can be used for children with attention deficits, including those with ADD/ADD and autism spectrum disorders.

Go to and click on the EDITORIAL tab.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Life for Minority Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Check out my white paper which explores the impact later diagnoses have on the lives of minority children with autism spectrum disorders. Go to and click on the Health and Wellness tab.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Special Needs Moms ROCK!

All moms are awesome...but I just wanted to celebrate those of us who parent children with special needs. Our lives are never dull and we have to be ready for whatever whenever, literally changing into super woman ( Autism Mom is my personal alter-ego)at the drop of a dime! So to all moms of children who have special needs, you ROCK!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Understanding Your Child's IEP

Join me February 27 @ 6pm EST on Google Hangouts on Air for the webinar "Understanding Your Child's IEP." This webinar will give an overview of the IEP components and requirements in basic terms. Hope to see you there!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Creating Social Opportunities for Children with Autism

Join me March 19, 2016 at 6pm on Google Hangouts for a webinar on creating social opportunities for children with autism.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Lesson Plan on Disability

Looking for a way to incorporate disability awareness as a mini lesson in the classroom? Is character development part of your school's curriculum? Or maybe you're a parent wanting to explain different abilities to your own children.  I have created a lesson, available through the Entertaining Oddballz that will allow you to engage your children in discussions with a visual presentation and embedded Stop & Think activities.

Let us know how we can get you this FREE lesson plan for your classroom or at home.

Contact: or

My Life My Autism

Check out our video @

Friday, February 12, 2016

New Podcast

I feel like My Life My Autism sounds pretty good, what do you think?

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Speak Up, Speak Out

Sometimes we have to stand up and be a voice for those who can't speak for themselves. It's easy to walk by and pretend you don't see something wrong but the true measure of a person's character comes when he or she takes a stand, even if it means standing alone.

Fighting for our children sometimes means we stand alone against society, against schools,  against whatever it is that's creating a barrier to their success and well being.

Children need to know that we have their backs no matter what. Not only does this teache them loyalty, it teaches them resilience and self-advocacy too.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

My Life My Autism

Check out my updated website at

Project AuSome

Let's start a dialogue about how we can support individuals with autism at home, school, and in the community.

There is a lot of research devoted to the causes of autism,  but we also need to focus on other aspects such as early diagnosis, early interventions, transition into adulthood, financial aid just to name a few.

In my opinion, researching causal factors does little to help the millions of children and adults who are diagnosed with autism.  I personally think some of the funding should be used to create resources that will help cover the cost of daily living expenses like therapy, academic support or job preparation...the list goes on.

It's time we speak up and speak out!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Let's Kick Things Into Shape

I've said it before. We can't just sit back and wait for others to take action. It's up to each and every one of us to push for what is right, what is fair and what is just.
When my children were diagnosed,  I realized the importance of advocacy when I started to question their respective places in our society. Ideas like acceptance and awareness began to take shape and I understood, for the first time in my life, what it truly meant to fight.

So I'm fighting for all children,  all individuals with autism...with different abilities. I'm fighting for a society where the word normal is not used to describe human beings. A society where acceptance is not optional. A society where my children are not outsiders standing on the outside looking in.

Things don't have to be the way they are. We can kick things into shape...

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Follow Me on Twitter!

Check out Dr Marquis Grant (@DrmarquisGrant):

Monday, February 1, 2016

Speak Up For Those Who Cannot Speak for Themselves

When I learned that my children had autism,  I remember feeling very much alone. Sure there were one or two parent support groups around but nothing that I really connected with. I really needed someone to talk to about what I was experiencing and how my role as a mom would change.

What I found was that autism is still relatively misunderstood. I had teachers ask me why my sons did certain things or express downright frustration with having them in the classroom. They have assumed my children couldn't grasp certain concepts rather than taking the time to think that maybe it was the manner in which the concept was taught that caused a breakdown in learning. Trust me, fighting for my children has been an uphill battle!

But I don't just fight for my children,  I fight for ALL children who have differences. I have never second-guessed the importance of advocacy, especially as it relates to children with different abilities. I realized early-on that I had the ability to do something positive through social media, through writing, through conferences and I will continue to do so with passion and commitment.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Disability Acceptance and the "It Crowd"

"To no human charter am I indebted my rights..." This quote really struck a cord with me because there are so many of us in society who are fighting for acceptance.  I am an advocate for autism acceptance in hopes that my children will be given the same opportunities in this world as everyone else...but is acceptance something that we should be fighting for? Is it something that should be earned? The answer is NO!

Acceptance should be automatic...something we have without the interference of others. A foregone conclusion. We are not indebted to others for our rights, yet we're placed in these categories of "normal" and "regular" with a "them" and an "us" mentality.

Our society is and has always been one huge either fit in or you don't. It's like trying to get accepted by the it crowd at school based on their standards, at their discretion of whether you have what it takes to fit in with them.

My children and so many others with disabilities or whatever the situation should not have to fight for acceptance. They should just be allowed to live life! If we are not indebted to others for our rights, why does the need for acceptance even exist?

Friday, January 22, 2016

My Life My Autism

Please check out my website :

I also want to encourage you to use social media as a means of creating awareness and advocating in support of whatever cause that is close to your heart. Start a blog, create a whatever is necessary to bring the important issues into the spotlight. 

Do you...and do it WELL!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Early Diagnosis+ Early Interventions = Better Outcomes ( E+ E = B)

Autism is life changing in so many ways. That's why it's so important to have a diagnosis as early as possible. Your child's pediatrician is instrumental in explaining and helping you understand the various developmental stages.

Not all children reach stages of development at the same time, but find out when you should start to be concern. Trust your instincts as a parent. An affirmative autism diagnosis is not the end of the world. It is the beginning of a new way of life.

Interventions can help improve areas like speech, social behavior,  functional behavior and learning skills. Just like with anything else, children will respond to interventions differently. Rate and level of success is based on the individual.

So remember Early Diagnosis (E) + Early Interventions (E) = Better Outcomes (B).


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Telling Our Stories

It's time for us to start telling our stories...individuals with autism, their families, parents,  significant others need to speak out about our lived experiences in hopes of inspiring others, bringing awareness to autism and taking ownership of how autism is portrayed in the media.

Telling our story inspires someone pushes for better acceptance and greater advocacy for autism. It also gives us a clearer perspective of the world around us by making us reach inward in order to draw out the emotions,  the truths, the realities that we experience every day.

Let's begin to tell our stories...

Early Diagnosis & Early Interventions

Talk to your child's pediatrician or other health care provider about any concerns that you have concerning your child's develop.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Parent 2 Parent

Being the parent of a child with a disability, there are a few things that you should know: No one can do what you do as a parent. No one will ever love your children, defend your children or cry for your children the way that you do.

Even in moments of self-doubt (and there will be plenty!), know that you were CHOSEN to be the parent of an amazing child. Like me, you worry about your children's present as well as their future. You're ready to fight for your children's needs, their happiness at all costs...even if it means you're perceived as "difficult." Trust your instincts when it comes to what is in your child's best interest, even if others around you do not agree.

From one parent 2 another, you are are are my hero!

Friday, January 15, 2016

Single Parenting Children with Special Needs

Please check out my guest blog at in the Health & Wellness section.

New Resource for Parents of Children with Autism

Looking for a great place to connect with other parents of children with autism? I was recently introduced to the My Autism Team community and so far it's been great! I really feel like I have found a place where people like me can discuss our day or experiences without judgment. None of us have all of the answer, which is the epitome of parenthood...but at least we can support each other along the way. I encourage you to check it out,,,sign up is free. There are no sales pitches, solicitations to do research or any of the "extras." Connect at

Also, please check out my website at

Have an AWESOME weekend!
#raisingautismawareness  #supportingautismacceptance

Monday, January 11, 2016

Mommy Confession

I have to admit that I still have bad oldest son was diagnosed with autism over three years ago but there's no "getting use to it." You simply take it one day at a time on little sleep, a whole lot of uncertainty and hope that you have enough energy to make it through the day. I resist the urge to ask "why me?" but, instead ask for the wisdom and insight to be the best mom that I can be.

With that being said, this weekend was particularly rough when, after an eye exam, I was bluntly told that my son was basically blind without glasses.

Thankfully corrective lenses are working for him, otherwise he could be declared legally blind. I really felt like someone had punched me in the stomach and I had a small breakdown that lasted for much of the weekend. The hardest thing in life has got to be the knowledge that you, as a parent, can't always make everything okay. Some things are well beyond your control and you learn to accept your limitations.

But my hope remains the same...that throughout the course of this journey as a mom, that I'm doing something right even when there's so much wrong...

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Cultural Responsive & Special Education

Very proud and excited to be presenting with my friend and colleague, Dr. Sharita Crossen,  at the North Carolina Council of Exceptional Children Conference in Pinehurst,  NC on January 28.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Tantrums vs. Meltdowns

I was totally intrigued when I first learned that tantrums and meltdowns were completely different. Like so many parents of children with autism, I absorb as much as I can about behaviors, strategies, sensory issues and the like. But now when I look at articles stating matter-of-factly the differences between tantrums and meltdowns, the thought came to my mind: Does it really matter?

When my son is screaming at the top of his lungs at Walmart or taking the first available object off the shelf at Target and throwing it onto the floor like a madman, knowing the difference between a tantrum and a meltdown really doesn't mean a whole lot to me. At that very moment,  I just want my kid to be happy again or at least calm enough to all of me to finish my grocery shopping (wishful thinking, of course).

The differences between tantrums and meltdowns are very eye-opening...but this #autismmom just wants to make it through the day! 

#justathought #longday