Special Parents Confidential 48 Colds And The Flu

Colds And The Flu.

It seems like every year the season for colds and the flu gets longer. Whether you’re a parent of a special needs child or not, our kids are coming down with colds and the flu all year round – for that matter, so are we parents. But what exactly are colds and the flu? Did you know that they share some of the same symptoms? How do you tell them apart? What’s the difference between the flu and a 24 hour stomach bug? How do you treat these illnesses and what can you do if you have a special needs child that has sensitivities to medicines or has challenges with standard treatments?

Why Do Colds And The Flu Affect Kids Differently Than Adults?

For this episode of Special Parents Confidential we are joined again by our friend Dr. Patricia Schultz, who has some answers. Including ways that you can help treat kids who have aversions to medicines. She also talks about the warning signs for when your child might have something else going on instead of the cold or the flu, why dehydration is a huge concern for sick kids, and – most importantly – when it’s time to take your child to the hospital.

Always Call Your Doctor First.

You’ll hear great advice about how colds and the flu, as well as Noroviruses and other illnesses can affect babies and infants, toddlers, younger children, teenagers and adults.  As always, though, Dr. Schultz’s advice is merely for informational purposes only. If you have any concerns about your child’s health, be sure to contact your family health provider or pediatrician.

Links Mentioned In This Podcast.

The Oral Rehydration Solution from The World Health Organization

The Common Cold – What Parents Need To Know. From the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The Flu – Healthy Children from The American Academy of Pediatrics. 

Surviving The Stomach Bug – American Academy of Pediatrics. 

Kids Health – Vomiting 

Kids Health – Diarrhea

Support Special Parents Confidential

If you have found this episode, or any episode of Special Parents Confidential to be helpful, please consider contributing to help support this podcast. Just click on the Support Special Parents Confidential link at the top right of the page to get to our special Pay Pal account so you can make your contribution easily and safely. Any amount you can contribute will help. Thanks for your support!

Special Parents Confidential 47 Nurtured Heart Approach

Nurtured Heart Approach.

What is the Nurtured Heart Approach and how can it help? For many kids with special needs the ability to concentrate, even to sit still in class, is challenging. We’ve given lots of names to these issues: Attention Deficit Disorder. Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Difficult Kid, Problem Child. The list goes on… and if you think about it, it’s a very negative outlook on these children.

A Paradigm Shift.

Now there is a relatively new process of working with kids who have these issues that tries to do away with all that negativity. It’s called the Nurtured Heart Approach. It consists of a set of strategies that assists children in developing their self-regulation, and transforming the way children perceive themselves and the world around them. And it has created a huge amount of success by concentrating on positive behaviors instead of all the negative behavior.

For this episode we’re joined by Dr. William Rowell, a retired licensed Psychologist with Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services of Grand Rapids Michigan who has spent the last  years training parents, educators, foster parents, social workers, and law enforcement personnel in the Nurtured Heart Approach. He explains how the Nurtured Heart Approach works, why it’s more successful than other strategies, and how making a paradigm shift in your thinking will make all the difference for your special needs child.

Links Mentioned In This Episode.

The Children’s Success Foundation The website dedicated to the Nurtured Heart Approach and Howard Glasser, creator of NHA.

Children’s Success Foundation Practitioner’s List – Information on NHA certified trainers in America and around the world.

 Dr. William Rowell’s Page at Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services. 

Dr. Rowell’s Email:  william . rowell @ pine rest . org.  – be sure to remove the spaces.

Support Special Parents Confidential.

If you find this episode helpful, and if you have found other episodes on this site to be helpful as well, please consider investing in supporting Special Parents Confidential. We have our very own Pay Pal account linked on our home page on the right side below our logo. Or you can click on the “Support SPC” link on our page directory at the top of the site. Any amount you can contribute to help us continue these podcasts is greatly appreciated!

Thanks for listening.

MSU Announces Study for Kids with Cerebral Palsy in Michigan.

MSU Announces Study for Kids with Cerebral Palsy in Michigan.

A new Conductive Education Evaluation Project (CEEP) study is being conducted by the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics of Michigan State University. They are looking for children in Michigan who have been diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, and are between the ages of 2 and 6.

From the brochure:

“Conductive Education (CE) combines the development of physical, social, and thinking skills in a daily educational program for children with motor disabilities such as CP or spina bifida. It’s goal is to teach children how to make the most use of their muscles and to encourage social interaction and independence. Children learn in a small group setting with attention to individual needs. Many CE activities use rhythm, music, a specially designed exercise equipment.

Conductive Education was developed in Hungary in 1945 and is currently practiced in over 30 countries. Grand Rapids’ private, non-profit Conductive Learning Center was established in 1998. Find more information about CLC’s work at its website: Conductive Learning Center.”

Who Is Eligible To Participate

“We’re recruiting 2-6 year olds who are residents of the State of Michigan, diagnosed with cerebral palsy, offering a free 4-week session at the Grand Rapids, Michigan Conductive Learning Center, whose program we are studying.  Because CEEP is funded by the Michigan Department of Education, children must be state residents to participate.”

What happens when you enroll?

“You and your child will be interviewed by the CLC director for eligibility in the study.

If eligible, your child will be assessed with standardized tests to learn about their movement abilities. These assessments can be enjoyable for children. Assessments will be videotaped with copies available on request.

Parents will be asked to complete several questionnaires about their child’s physical and social skills and activities.

At no cost, your child will receive a four-week Conductive Education session (a total of 60 to 100 hours) at CLC.”

The Conductive Education Evaluation Project (CEEP)

“CEEP is a research project designed at Michigan State University by the Cerbral Palsy Outreach Network (CPON) team. The study will compare the effectiveness of Conductive Education to other cerebral palsy services for children ages 2-6. Families will be asked to participate i a free four week long Conductive Education session that fits their child’s age and abilities.”

How To Enroll:

Download the following CEEP Study Brochure .pdf for more details.

ceep study brochure

Or contact:

Deborah Weiland, MSN,                                                                                                                           CEEP Study Coordinator Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics                                             909 Fee Road, B601                                                                                                                            Michigan State University                                                                                                                        East Lansing, MI 48824                                                                                                                                              Ph: 517-432-7182 / Toll Free 877-417-6824                                                                                       Email: dweiland@epi.msu.edu


Special Parents Confidential 46 Sensory Processing Disorder

Sensory Processing Disorder.

Virtually everyone has heard of sensory overload, and sensory issues. People who have problems with loud noises, large crowded areas, tastes, textures, strong smells, bright lights, the list goes on.

Not A Symptom of Something Else.

For decades sensory issues were simply considered a side-effect of whatever the more prevalent disorder was inhibiting the child, whether Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, Dyslexia, Multiple Sclerosis, and other disorders. However medical research has proven that this is a separate disorder, called Sensory Processing Disorder.  And there is now a push to have it recognized by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – known as DSM – which is the official medical reference for physicians.

SPD Parent Zone.

My guest for this episode has first hand knowledge of Sensory Processing Disorder. Kelly Jurecko is the President and Co-Founder of SPD Parent Zone, a non-profit organization that offers a website that is full of reliable and credible information on Sensory Processing Disorder. She also hosts a blog and a podcast on the site where she posts articles and interviews experts on SPD and keeps people updated on the latest information.

If your child is having any kind of sensory issues, SPD Parent Zone is a website you need to bookmark and search.

Links Mentioned In The Episode.

SPD Parent Zone

SPD Parent Zone Podcast on iTunes

SPD Foundation – The Star Institute For Sensory Processing Disorder

The Sensory Processing Disorder Resource Center

Support Special Parents Confidential.

If you find this episode helpful, and if you have found other episodes on this site to be helpful as well, please consider investing in supporting Special Parents Confidential. We have a Pay Pal account linked on our home page on the right side below our logo. Or you can click on the “Support SPC” link on our page directory at the top of the site. Any amount you can contribute to help us continue these podcasts is greatly appreciated!

Thanks for listening.

Support Special Parents Confidential

Help Support Special Parents Confidential.

Four years ago this month, I began posting episodes of Special Parents Confidential. The idea of the podcast was fairly straightforward: I wanted to create a resource for parents of special needs kids. 

Support groups are a great resource. But not everyone is able to attend support group meetings. These podcast episodes are your support group meetings that you can attend at your own convenience, wherever you are, whenever you want.

Where We Are Now.

My goal is to be able to continue doing these podcasts for many years to come. All this time I have covered the expenses of producing these episodes. The equipment maintenance, the costs of the website hosting, and the costs of promoting the podcast. 

However, I am finding my resources are becoming limited. The fact is, the costs of everything involved with this podcast are increasing. Advertising could help offset many of those expenses, but we don’t have a large enough audience yet to attract the attention of advertisers.

How You Can Help.

I’m looking for financial contributions to help me promote the podcast and pay for some of the expenses. If you would consider investing whatever amount you can – ten, twenty, fifty, one hundred dollars – any contribution will help me to promote this podcast across social media, and keep Special Parents Confidential online.

To make this possible, I’ve set up a PayPayMe account. All you have to do is click on the link on the right side of our logo that says, Help Support Special Parents Confidential. All you have to do is sign in with your PayPal account and you can contribute whatever amount you want. It’s all through PayPal so it’s safe and secure.

Why PayPal Me and not a fundraising site like Go Fund Me or Kick-Starter or Patreon? Those sites require a premium such as tee shirts, books, or artwork, for levels of payment opportunity. That’s great if you’re an artist, or a musician, a writer, or a retailer. Unfortunately, I don’t have any premiums that can be used. However, as a gift to you for your investment, I will email you an Mp3 copy of “Three Blind Mice – The Special Parents Confidential Theme” by Ritsu Katsumata. It’s a beautiful piece of music and I hope you’ll like it.

Please understand, this is NOT a charity or a non-profit. You won’t be able to claim your contribution as a tax write-off. I fully intend to gain advertisers to fund everything at some point so that I won’t have to ask for contributions. But to get to that place, I need your investment.

If you have found any of these interview episodes to be of value, if you believe the information we put together to be useful, please consider investing.

As always, thanks for listening!

John Pellegrini

Special Parents Confidential 45 Soledad O’Brien

Soledad O’Brien Interview.

A few months ago, while in a doctor’s office for a checkup, reading the usual magazines, my wife happened to see an article about Soledad O’Brien. She talked about her son Jackson, who was having issues in school with behavior and not understanding instructions from the teacher. Finally, Jackson was diagnosed with 80% hearing loss and is now receiving special support help in school. The interview detailed much of the work that Soledad does, not only for her own children’s education, but also her charity, The Starfish Foundation, which helps support education for middle to low income girls in school.

The article inspired us to get in contact with Soledad’s production company to ask if she would be willing to talk about some of the work she does and the issues that matter to her most about education and special education in America, and around the world. We’re pleased to say that she graciously agreed and this is episode is the resulting interview.

A Great Advocate For Education

As you listen to hear speak, it’s clear that Soledad O’Brien is not only a great advocate for education, but she stresses the importance of all parents being involved in their children’s education, whether the child is in special education or general ed. She is also passionate about the need for proper funding for public education and special education. As she says in the interview, “…the amount of money that it takes to keep people in prison could pay for them to go to Harvard.”

Links Mentioned In The Podcast

The Interview With Soledad O’Brien In Health Magazine (online at WebMD).

Starfish Media Group – Soledad O’Brien’s Production Company

The Starfish Foundation – The education charity founded by Soledad O’Brien and her husband, Brad Raymond.

Matter of FactNew in-depth interview program produced and hosted by Soledad O’Brien.


Please share Special Parents Confidential with everyone you know to help us continue these podcasts. Use the social media buttons right here on our website.

Thanks for your support!

Special Parents Confidential 44 Alix Generous

Alix Generous.

In 2015, a young woman named Alix Generous gave a Ted Talk speech that has subsequently had over 14 million views. The speech was entitled, “How I learned to communicate my inner life with Aspberger’s”, and in it Alix talks about her amazing life and how she has achieved so much.

Living With Aspberger’s Syndrome

As a child, Alix Generous was misdiagnosed with the wrong disorder and had a  great deal of difficulties. It wasn’t until the age of 11 that she was finally correctly diagnosed with Aspberger’s Syndrome, a high functioning form of Autism. Since then she has made amazing progress.

At 17, she attended the College of Charleston, where she studied Psychology, Molecular Biology, and Neuroscience. When she was 19, she wrote a paper on Coral Reefs and Microbiology that won the 2012 Citizen Science Biodiversity Competition, and she subsequently was invited to speak at the United Nations on her research. Currently, Alix is working as a Neuroscientist, author, and tech consultant, and she gives speeches around the world on issues concerning science, mental health, STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) and women.

Alix Generous joins us on Skype for this episode of Special Parents Confidential to talk about her life and her work, as well as sharing insights into how people with Autism can be helped and supported.

She also discusses how parents, families, and society can benefit through understanding and acceptance of people with Autism and Aspberger’s Syndrome, as well as all people with any physical or developmental disabilities. As she says on the main page of her website:

“This world is in desperate need of creative and intellectual minds to solve complex problems. But before we can do that, we need to build a culture that accepts mental diversity.”

Links For Alix Generous

How I Learned to Communicate My Inner Life With Aspberger’s – Alix Generous’ Ted Talk Speech on the Ted Talk website.

Alix Generous Website 

Facebook Alix Generous Page

Twitter Account for Alix Generous