When our children are young, we make all of their decisions for them: what they will eat, what they will wear, how they will spend their time. We sign them up for music class or soccer; we balance their plates with fruits and veggies; we pick their playdates and lace their sneakers.
The purpose of all of this control? To ultimately give it away.
Through the internship program at The Quaker School at Horsham, we are able to partner with various colleges in Philadelphia, Montgomery and Bucks counties, and leverage the diverse skills and talents of their students while providing a unique learning experience. One example is the partnership with Temple University.
It can be easy to take literacy for granted in our daily lives. For many, learning the structure of language happens at a young age, and we forget that reading, spelling, and writing are very complex tasks.
For children with complex challenges, however, literacy can be one of the most significant areas of need and support.
When a student struggles with literacy, it impacts all areas of learning. At The Quaker School at Horsham, this is where a specialized method of literacy instruction comes in.
As neurodiverse characters become more prevalent in mainstream media, we must acknowledge and celebrate the uniqueness within that term, and continue to broaden our understanding of “diversity.”
Here at TQS, neurodiversity is one of the many types of diversity embraced by our community. When teaching and interacting with students with complex challenges, we have to acknowledge every day the truth behind those popular autism quotes – each student is an individual, and a diagnosis doesn’t change that.
Have you ever been to a lecture, TED Talk, or conference where an amazing expert speaks so eloquently that every sentence seems like it could be its own soundbite or pinnable Pinterest quotation?
That’s how I felt when listening to Dr. Robert Brooks provide the keynote lecture at The Quaker School at Horsham’s 6th Annual Conference for Children with Complex Challenges.
A renowned speaker and author on the themes of resilience, motivation, and school climate, Dr. Brooks spoke at the event to an audience of teachers, parents, and practitioners from the Delaware Valley. He discussed using the power of positive emotions to create a motivating environment and described specific strategies that could help reinforce a student’s “islands of competence”; nurture motivation and resilience; and promote problem-solving, responsibility, learning, and caring.
Children with ADHD or autism sometimes have difficulty holding a thought in their minds. This is because of a lack of working memory, or fluid reasoning, which can make it very challenging to follow what may appear to be very simple two-step directions. As parents of children with complex challenges, it’s critical that we take a neurodiverse or disability perspective when our children are having a performance problem
There are big conversations that all parents, at one point or another, have to have with their children. Sometimes uncomfortable, perhaps scary, yet always necessary, these are conversations that help shape our children’s worldviews and demonstrate that we are here as both a sounding board and a source of information.
The fact that these conversations are made more complicated when you’re the parent of a child with complex challenges does not make them less necessary.
After 18+ months of living through the COVID-19 pandemic and its ramifications, it’s no surprise that many adolescents are struggling with negative and depressive feelings—and as parents, it can be difficult to know how to best help our children manage these emotions, especially when we may be dealing with the same challenges.
That’s where long-time friend of The Quaker School at Horsham, Mike Fogel, comes in.