Empathy and Special Education

So, I know its Thursday, but I have stuff on the brain.

Last week and currently, my wife and I are going through some serious helath issues.  All of my family and ‘work family’ have been very supportive and helpful which is totally awesome.

My supervisor’s supervisor/leader dropped of an audio book and said that she thought of me in my current state.   She told me just to listen to the empathy section, and I cheated and listened to a bit more.  The audio book is from Dr. Brene Brown, http://www.brenebrown.com/ .  After crying a bit, I totally have a better personal grasp of how people struggle with empathy and are more sympathetic.  Also, as a professional who has counseled children, I realize professional skills do not always = personal skills.

Empathy is the ability to take the perspective and not judge the individual and be there for them.  It is this skill that will help me with my family through the next year or so.  Thanks to Dr. H

It is this skill that will help me, and the skill that all evaluators and IEP teams should build this skill.  I think this skill would less negative IEP experiences for parents.

Think about it, and until next time ROGUE out!





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Florida Conference and the Dentist Chair

So, last week a team and I went to Florida last week to a conference on challending behavior for babies through Kindergarten.  Below is the view, and I have to tell you the I learned a couple of things from the presenters, so please visit the link above the view.

First, I learned that through our pushing of curriculum and academics that we may have missed an important piece of the learning puzzle.  Dr. Strain stated that social skills has a high prediction of reading skills.  Hmmm…so the ability to get along that embeds natural academics or artificial curriculum predicts reading skills.  Do we teach kids how to make friends (real ones) at school, preschool?

Second, we had 2 presenters from Chicago that asked us to look at who we are or identify ourselves.  Then, we took that lense to make connections with pre-conceived notions that we have about others who are different.  Being multicultural is understanding that lense and not letting it cloud our perceptions when working with others.

Those parts of ther conference were completely awesome.  I wish there was more of that, and I plan to make some changes to my 2013-14 plan based on those 2 premises.

Finally, to be rewarded, I had tooth pain for 3 weeks, so I went to the dentist after getting in trouble with my support work and my wife.  To fix the pain I need 2 wisdom teeth taken out.  I learned that ‘laughing gas’ is good.

Til tomorrow or next week, I ask if you have had that pain or ‘weirdness’ checked out.  Sooner is better than later.

Rogue OUT!


The View

The View

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Teamwork and Autism-Man

Happy Friday!

I am feeling very political today, so I will try not to scortch earth today. I was watch shows on CNN, MSNBC, and Fox news to get a 3 dimensional look at the same topic. And dare I say, they were all right, wrong, and angry with the opposition. With all this anger, it is amazing how people get anything done…The most important thing that I learned is that 152 bullets were fired at Sandy Hook in 5 minutes. That is 1 every 2 seconds. They were bought legally…then I watch senator fight over how to ‘control guns.’ After I watch that, I came to the conclusion, again, that teamwork is better than collaboration. See in that senate committee, they appear to be collaborating. Yet, nothing is getting done for the greater good. I want a team-mate that gets stuff done for the greater good.

Take a look at Autism Man, Michael Hinsely, http://www.esc11.net//Domain/112, his job is to teach service providers and parents how to help student on the spectrum. We are working on a project together, and it will be awesome. That is teamwork. He also showed me a website that he intends to use to create social stories for students on the spectrum. It is awesome, http://www.muvizu.com/. There are probably others, and some will be better, but he is a team-mate, and I prefer that to collaboration.

Lastly, a team of four including me have been working on a grant for early childhood transition for parents of young children. We were a great team, and we wrote a grant that will revolutionize the transition process. We may not get it, but we learned how good we can be, again, with good team work.

So, I leave you this week with a thought/question…with someone else, when was the last time you built something new with a team-mate? I promise it is better than anything else in business that you will ever do!

Rogue OUT!

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Learning Experience can Change Paths

I know that it is Saturday, but I was out, and I am ready for Spring Break work week.

See, a team and I got a chance to write a grant, and it is worth 1 Million dollars. That is right, 1 million. The purpose that we see is to give parents and educators the tools to helps parents of young children the capacity to navigate the Special Education, evaluation, and legal process.

Most of the time SPED personnel have an advantage of back ground knowledge and understanding where to go when there is a question. We learned that most people (not just parents) don’t know of the basic website to helps parents and educators. Try these on http://framework.esc18.net/display/Webforms/LandingPage.aspx (Legal Framework, law) and http://texasprojectfirst.org/ (website for parents).

See, I think the greatest thing that educators can do for parents is to help them with the process. At the same time remembering that when a school personnel says that they have a ‘disability,’ the parents may be going through the grieving process.

That’s what we are going after. Wish us luck!
See ya next week!
Rogue OUT!

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Losing a Colleague to a New Opportunity

So, it is Friday, and I am supposed to be happy as we have a new member to our team-family, it is the end of the week, and I almost finished a great workshop with a great team (see last weeks post). If you want to see that workshop, click here to register


But, I am really sad because the best colleague and potential friend that a person could have is leaving. Not just to a new job but states away. See Dan is a brilliant thinker about career prep and CTE. Because of that brilliance, he is going to Gainesville to expand that sphere of influence to a more national and international perspective. I am really proud of him, and I am glad that for the last 4 years he let us be part of his journey.

We will cross paths again. We will have a beer together again, but his impact on student, teachers, and career training will not be replaced!

Until next week and after a small cry, Rogue OUT!

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Teamwork versus Collaboration

So, yes I know that it is not Friday, but I needed to talk about what I learned from my meeting on Friday that really changed my outlook on two specific words and concepts.

See, we have been going through a changing process in planning which I like for the most part. The issue is that we need to collaborate more to meet the needs of all of our clients. 3rd largest region in Texas. That’s a lot of clients. In essence, we are trying to make sure people are not fighting over clients, and we are complementing out trainings to offer individuals an array of opportunities.

Well, I had the chance to do this with colleague and we were going to bridge 2 important topics, early reading assessment (TPRI, http://www.tpri.org/index.html ) and the evaluation process. The collaboration plan was awesome! See assessment is about know what the question is, determining why, offering help, and then worrying about eligibility. The TPRI helps significantly in all of the areas, and my group needs to know that. Here’s is where the team-work came in. One sold (collaboration) the process, and one made deep connections to the group and improved processes for children (collaboration with teamwork). The team work came in because that one came in without any prep and made connections to my materials and my group that sold the product. She is a great team-mate!

So, why is team-work more important than collaboration because as stated in this article from Forbes — http://www.forbes.com/sites/kareanderson/2013/02/02/what-makes-collaboration-actually-work-in-a-company/2/ — collaboration only works with the willingness to follow through on a committment. That is team-work!

Thanks to my colleague who followed through!
Until next week or this Friday!
Rogue Out!

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Context to Life and Education

So, I know that it is not Friday, but I am completely obsessed with this video.


And please note, that beyond the humor (appropriate or not), the reason why I have lost work hours and sleep thinking about this video relates to context and the idea of what a real tipping point is. See, my good friend Brandon showed me this video, and we laughed and still are laughing. But, then after everyone in my division began to dissect the reason for the funnies, we decided that in that 90 seconds of gold there was a lesson of context and tipping points.

First, we dissected all of the lines and realized that what a great lesson for leaders that based on the context of the enviroment, audience, and other variables messages get confused with upset the balance. Watch the video, think about what he says, and you will get it.

Second, I going to start reading Tipping Point, http://www.gladwell.com/tippingpoint/, again because the fact that this video will make its way to all of our trainings as a point of context, experiments, and cause/effect shows how the little things can make big change in our world.

Have a major training Friday, if you are interested in what is going on this Friday, check out my livebinders of handouts, http://www.livebinders.com/play/play?id=789524.

Until, Friday, focus on the good not what bad people do. It is suffocating to some and re-inforcing to others!
Rogue out!

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