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Hi folks,

It is a beautiful fall day here in the Northeast. We are able to enjoy hanging out with our friends an family outside and masks don’t feel quite so suffocating. School is getting back into swing and lots of families are trying to return to normalcy. At least for a little while.

I am reminded by the soreness in my upper arm that flue season is coming and so I wonder what will happen with COVID and what surprises lie ahead. I can easily get stressed out about the uncertainty of it all.

The thing that I keep returning to in order to keep my anxiety from running amok is the serenity prayer. If you don’t know it, it goes like this:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can 
And the wisdom to know the difference.

If ever there was a time to know the difference between what I can and cannot change, it is now. I am trying to have the wisdom to know the difference, and the courage to address those things in my life that I have control over. Sometimes, though, I feel like I just don’t have any answers. When that happens I say those three lines over and over, in the hopes that they will help me get through the uncertainty and bring back to a place where I can see things with a little more perspective. 

As you head into the fall season and the transitions that lie ahead, I hope you can roll with the changes. If not, perhaps the words above can help you as they have helped me.

As always, I hope you stay safe and healthy!
Sincerely,
Maratea Cantarella
TECA Executive Director
ARTICLES FROM AROUND THE WEB

Government Watchdog Finds Fault With Trump’s School Reopening Push

President Donald Trump and U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos talked out of both sides of their mouths on school reopening, a new government watchdog report finds.

On the one hand, DeVos stressed that plans on how to reopen school buildings during the COVID-19 pandemic were “state and local decisions.” On the other hand, Trump and DeVos suggested schools’ federal funding may be at risk if they don’t allow students to return for in-person learning. Read more at Education Week.

ADVOCACY & RESOURCES
Five Rules for Incredibly Successful IEP Meetings During the COVID-19 Pandemic

When you receive a call, letter, or email inviting you to an IEP meeting, does your mood change? Do you get a knot in your stomach? Anxious? Confused or inadequate (the “I’m just a parent” syndrome)?

Do you have a clear sense of your role in an IEP meeting? Do you have questions about what you should say? Not say?

If you are like many parents, you don’t realize that you have an essential role in developing your child’s IEP. It’s time to give this idea a second look. Read more at Wrightslaw.

ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY

Assistive Technology to Close the Learning Gap

Which technology is best for a student with dysgraphia? Or trouble with algebra? Or issues staying focused? It depends.

The best software or app for your child is the one that addresses his specific learning style (and challenges). Exploring and truly understanding the roots of those challenges is the hard part. But it’s also the most important. That exploration points the way to apps and software that will help your child achieve his full potential.

The right assistive technology, used in conjunction with the right teaching methods, can help your child become a better speaker, listener, reader, writer, planner, organizer, and class participant. How? Read more at ADDitude.

EMPLOYMENT

Why I Chose Self-Employment as a Person With Autism

Finding jobs on the autism spectrum is hard. Imagine going into an interview and telling your potential employer that you have autism. What are they going to think? Will they hire me? Will they reject me because of the word “autism?” Even if they hire me, are they going to treat me the same as all the other employees there?

I get the job and I show up to work every day, always on time, always well dressed, always have good hygiene, and perform to the best of my ability. But because I might not be able to read people as easily and perform tasks more slowly, I’m going to be judged at the workplace no matter what. What if I have to go to the mental hospital one day because my medication is off or something? Read more at The Mighty.

HEALTH/MENTAL HEALTH

Understanding Hypersensitivity in ADHD


If you have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), you may notice that you have strong emotional reactions to things that other people seem to take in stride. Heightened, over-the-top emotions with the disorder are very common, in both positive and negative situations. It is also not unusual for individuals with ADHD to feel physically hypersensitive to touch, sounds, light, even the tags on clothing. Read more at Verywell.com.

What Is Body Dysmorphic Disorder?


Feeling anxious about the way you look is a hallmark of adolescence. Wishing you could change a particular feature, agonizing over pimples, or comparing yourself unfavorably to a movie star or a peer are all fairly typical. But kids with body dysmorphic disorder experience something much more extreme. The words they use to describe themselves are disturbing: I’m monstrous. I’m an eyesore. I’m so ugly it hurts. Read more at Child Mind Institute.

HIGHER EDUCATION

Can Colleges Rely on the CDC?

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, college leaders have looked to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for guidance and have pointed to their adherence to CDC recommendations to assure students and employees they are reopening responsibly. But reports of political interference in the public health agency’s scientific processes over the past month are raising discomforting questions of whether and to what degree colleges can trust the CDC. Read more at Inside Higher Ed.

INDEPENDENT LIVING

7 Steps That Helped My Son on the Autism Spectrum Transition to Adulthood

“I signed the lease for the apartment,” my 23-year-old son told me, “I move in 10 days from now. I also got my occupancy permit and signed up for two college classes.”

This wasn’t shocking for me, because we were all in agreement that it was time and we 100 percent morally supported him in pulling this plan together. When he verbalized all he had pulled together though, for a moment, it really hit home that there was no sign of the little boy who rarely spoke, and was constantly moving as a way of regulating his sensory needs associated with autism spectrum disorder. My role in his life was certainly different back then than it had become in recent times. Read more at The Mighty.

OPINION/PERSPECTIVE

14 Things Gifted Students Want Teachers to Know


Reflecting back on my time as a gifted student and what my daughters are experiencing now, here are some things I wish my teachers (and theirs) knew. Read more at Education Week.

GEEK ZONE
Add This Desitnation to Your 2e Road Trip “Must Visit” List!

AFTER THE TRAGIC DEATH OF a young role-playing enthusiast, the Jeremy Rochman Memorial Park devoted itself to creating a fantasy landscape complete with wizards, orcs, warriors, castles, and even a massive sleeping dragon.

A vocal fan of the role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons, Jeremy “Boo” Rochman was tragically killed in a car accident at the tragically young age of 19. To honor his memory, his father bought a parcel of land across the street from their home in order to build a memorial park. His late son’s passion was for the role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons, so his father decided to turn the park into a fantasy land that his son would have been proud of. Read more at Atlas Obsucra.

Thanks for joining us again this week. We hope you enjoyed this edition of TECA Insights. Please let us know what you think.  If you come across an article or resource that you think our community would benefit from, please share it with us. We look forward to hearing from you!