#kindness

Fighting Autism - Year #2

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Kicking off love month by spreading some LOVE! it’s time to Pay It Forward!! This week's post is a follow up from last year. I have a good friend who’s 7 year old grandson, CJ was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and they are on a crusade to make sure he receives as many resources as possible to help him reach his goals and dreams. Now, I’m sure most of us know someone who has some form of ASD, the spectrum is vast. In CJ’s case, his mom, Janita was on top of it as soon as she saw signs of a developmental delay. CJ has an older sister, Mya, and he wasn’t keeping up with hitting milestones the way she had as a baby. Janita and her husband Chris have been committed to making sure CJ gets all the help he needs when it comes to schooling and advancement. They will jump through any hoop, fight any denial and bust through any road block when it comes to CJ. Quite frankly, every parent I know that has a child with a form of ASD deals with hoops and road blocks every day. It’s exhausting, frustrating and time consuming. It’s a full time job making sure your child is cared for, is learning, thriving and growing without a stigma associated with it. It’s a constant worry when your child isn’t in your line of site, wondering if they’re okay, if they’re making it through the day without incident. It requires medication sometimes. It requires additional teachers and para professionals to help not only your child but the parents to navigate uncharted waters. It takes dedication, it takes money and it takes perseverance. I am in awe of the parents I see in our schools and neighborhoods advocating for their children and their needed resources.

I’m writing today to raise money for CJ and his quest to help others like him get the resources they all need and deserve. Last year, CJ and his family raised $14,000 for this cause!

This year they're at it again raising money for QSAC, a New York City and Long Island based nonprofit that supports children and adults with autism, together with their families, in achieving greater independence, realizing their future potential, and contributing to their communities in a meaningful way by offering person-centered services. Their goal this year is $15,000!!!

QSAC pursues this mission through direct services that provide a supportive and individualized setting for children and adults with autism to improve their communication, socialization, academic, and functional skills.

QSAC offers programs and services for both children and adults with autism. Programs for children include early intervention, preschool, school, after school, and in-home educational and support services. QSAC’s adult programs include supportive living, skill development programs, and in-home services. All of QSAC’s programs provide supportive and trained staff, high-impact services, and a commitment to quality.

In support of its direct service programs, QSAC works to be an innovator in the field of developmental disability providers by implementing new technologies to best support the children and adults in our programs. In addition, QSAC’s clinical and educational leadership teams regularly embark on research projects that seek to further unlock new and innovative strategies and methodologies for best supporting the learning outcomes of the individuals we serve.

To extend its impact, QSAC offers parent and sibling support groups, trainings, an annual conference for parents, and other programs that expand the community’s awareness regarding autism and access to services.

CJ will be bowling for dollars on March 18th and he’s also taking donations now. So what does your donation mean?

  • $25 = Support services for children and adults with autism
  • $50 = Sponsor supplies for one of our classrooms
  • $100 = Sponsor art supplies for one of our classrooms
  • $250 = Sponsor a physical education class for students with autism
  • $500 = Sponsor a tablet for a child or adult with autism
  • $1,000 = Sponsor a recreational activity for adults with autism

Today’s pay it forward is for CJ and all of the other families I know who are living with ASD. Give up today’s latte and give it to CJ and his crusade. Here’s the link  http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/doris-sanchez-1/2017bowling3

Thanks for your generosity and kindness! Happy Friday!!

xo

Pay It Forward Friday - Love Love Love Love!!!

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You guys! It's back after a looonnng hiatus that is 100% my fault for which I will not make excuses. Pay it Forward Friday is something I started a few years ago after Hurricane Sandy and I kept it going inconsistently. Effective now that changes. It's back. Every week. Every Friday. Because this world needs some goodness and if I can provide a tiny bit of it, well then, great and I truly hope you'll join me! For those of you who are new to Pay it Forward Friday, lemme explain. Think of it as a day of kindness. While I expect most of us do nice things every day via our words and our actions, I wanted to highlight projects, causes, charities, movements that are near and dear to your hearts. This is where YOU come in. I need you to tell me what you're passionate about. What's your cause? What do you want to see fixed, changed, made better? Is there something you want to celebrate? Tell me and we can work together to get the message out.

The goal for Pay it Forward Friday is to raise awareness, and spread kindness, love and gratitude all over this big world we live in, because let's face it, right now we can use all the kindness, love and gratitude we can find!!

So...this week I decided to celebrate love, and I know exactly how. My friends Danielle and Bret are getting married in April and instead of going on a fancy-schmancy honeymoon on a tropical island or touring the Amalfi Coast like a lot of us did, they have decided to go to Macedonia with Habitat For Humanity to build houses...like seriously, how freaking cool is that? I think they win the "most unselfish honeymoon" award for sure!! They need to raise some cash for this endeavor so that's where we come in. If you're feeling like you wanna give to a charity and help out some folks who are in need - like they don't have houses and you do kind of need - then make a small donation (think Starbucks latte) and put a smile on your face knowing you just contributed to some worldly good.

For more information, please visit Danielle & Bret's You Caring website https://www.youcaring.com/habitatforhumanity-744097 and wish the happy couple well as they begin the next chapter in their already kick ass life together (with their ridiculously cute dog Banjo - who you should follow on Instagram for your daily dose of cuteness). https://www.instagram.com/thisisbanjo/ 

Mazel Danielle & Bret - have a great time in Macedonia!! And thanks you guys for helping me bring back Pay It Forward Friday!!

Cheers to LOVE!!!

xoxoxo

If you have a mission you believe in and want to submit it to Pay It Forward Friday, send an email to info@whyamiyelling.com and we'll get on it!!

 

How Do We Raise Kind, Compassionate Boys In A Donald Trump World?

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I don’t know about you, but as a mom trying to raise two young boys, I’m pretty appalled by the news headlines lately. My oldest son, who is turning 11 in a few weeks has been interested in the Presidential race for a while now. It’s not unusual for him to ask questions about the candidates or the issues they’re stumping about (he was partial to Bernie). Imagine our delight as parents when his teacher told us that our son was starting discussions in school about politics and policy, creating thought provoking debates among his classmates. So proud!

Now imagine our dismay when the latest headlines hit the news cycles, and he started asking about it. “Mom, Dad, what does it all mean?” Abuse, rape, groping, locker room talk..things we had no intention of discussing with him (yet). Sure, we’ve had conversation about what’s appropriate and what’s not when it comes to iPad usage and YouTube videos, but we haven’t delved into the area of what’s unacceptable when you’re speaking about and interacting with girls in a sexual way. Why? BECAUSE HE’S A KID. We shouldn’t have to (yet)!

Where’s my closet? I just want to go live in it with my babies.

How do you talk to your kid about what’s being said in the news? My husband and I discussed how we would approach this topic with him (his little brother is 4, and is happily entertained by The Floogals, thank goodness), and we decided the best approach is to be honest and direct.

We decided to focus on the good stuff (digging deep here folks!) and remind him that, in fact, most men are not like Trump at all.

First thing’s first, every day as we are on our way to school, I tell my children of a few things: be kind, respectful, happy, and make good choices. We live by these words along with the golden rule: do unto others as you would have done unto you. So you can imagine the frustration we had when approaching this topic - with kid gloves.

We explained to him that women are not objects and the mere idea that this is even an idea is wrong. Women are strong and powerful. They are to be respected and treated as such.

We talked about how hard it has been for women to be seen as equals in our society. Something he’s extremely unfamiliar with, because he sees his own mother working hard to build a business and his father be nothing but supportive of her. He watches his parents compliment and appreciate one another. He lives by the idea that we are all to be treated the same way regardless of gender, color, race, etc. Be respectful.

We discussed the idea of “locker room talk” and we made it clear that talking about a girl (or anyone, for that matter) in a context that is inappropriate is unacceptable, under any circumstances. That touching another person against their will, boy or girl, is wrong. We explained consent. And oh by the way, we told him that blaming it on “locker room talk” is BS.

Men that are honorable, honest and kind hearted do not speak about other human beings the way Trump spoke about those women. Be kind.

We talked about being in the same place as the person who’s saying or doing things they shouldn’t be. About implication. He was cautioned that if he’s ever in a situation where he sees or hears something that’s inappropriate, he has an obligation to speak up. Just because you’re not the one doing the crime, so to speak, does not make you innocent. Make good choices.

We reminded him that each day is a new opportunity to do your best and make the most of it. It’s all a choice. How you act, treat others and treat yourself. Every day is a gift, use it to your advantage. Explore your world, learn new things, make friends. Be happy. In the end, our conversation went off without a hitch. Kids are smart. They want to be informed and acknowledged. It makes having these kinds of discussions easier. Open door policy in our house - ask anything - no judgement, we will always answer. My son is now educated on topics I thought we would have a little more time to keep in the vault. Being prepared and honest is the best way to go