Caring Author Changes The World One Child At A Time

MoreHeavenbookcover(PCM) When a young, determined special education teacher takes on the impossible task of teaching six so-called “unteachable” children, she not only transforms their lives; she also opens the doors for all future exceptional students who followed.

This is the premise of “More Heaven: Because Every Child Is Special,” the riveting new book, by International Bestselling Author, Dr. Jo Anne White, a noted motivational speaker, TV & radio executive producer and host of “Power Your Life.”

The book, published by Outskirts Press, has won numerous honors, including the Mom’s Choice Award Honoring Excellence and the Best Ever You Books Blue Ribbon Award for Excellence. It’s also an Amazon top 10 International Bestseller in three categories.

In 1975, the federal government mandated that all children, regardless of disability, be given the right to a public education.As a result of this historic mandate, this young pioneering teacher – with heaping doses of pluck and perseverance – stepped into a Philadelphia classroom of exceptional learners and transformed their world.

This “true life” experiment took place when Dr. White was hired by the Philadelphia Board of Education as the first teacher and program coordinator for children who were either expelled or had never entered the hallways or classrooms of a public school.

The cutting-edge program, which initially was not embraced by the typical education teachers, parents or by the administrators,began slowly. Its success paved the way for more special education classes to open in the public arena. “Not only did we persevere,” Dr. White explained, “we conquered skepticism and won victories for these children to live and thrive in society.”

Dr. White says that she fought hard, alongside the children and their tireless parents, “to restore dignity in their lives. This dignity, the birthright of every human being, had been denied them. The time had come to make things right.”

This pioneer has crucial lessons for all of us today: to learn that despite tremendous obstacles, each of us can use our compassion to bring out the best in our children. By using her common sense, imagination,sheer will, and a caring heart, she truly changed the lives of these formerly“unteachable” students in her class.

Dr. White still vividly recalls the first day of school when a little girl named Eva, who had autism, arrived for the new program.“There was great skepticism on the part of the faculty and the administration,of the notion of educating Eva. The girl’s driver echoed those sentiments to the young teacher, ‘Believe me,’ he confides, ‘I wouldn’t want your job for nothin’ in the world.’”

Q: How will your book, “More Heaven: Because Every Child is Special,” positively impact parents, teachers and the greater community?

DR. JO ANNE WHITE: I’d like people to understand how wonderful these children are, instead of seeing them as strange or approaching them with great apprehension. We need to be able to co-exist and embrace our differences when it comes to everything: ethnicity, culture, learning,and neurological differences. So, it has always been very important for me that everyone understand the richness and beauty of each child. That is the way to truly embrace humanity.

Q: Please tell me a little bit about your history as a teacher.

JW: I was planning to go to school for English literature and writing, until I became involved in an inclusive camp program. When this visionary director of the program created a division for children with special needs, it opened my eyes and I changed my plan to study education and special education.

Q: That sounds like a life-changing moment.

JW: Yes. When I walked into that camp program I completely fell in love with the children there.

Q: What do you recall from that experience?

JW: I remember working with one little girl who would bite her arms and bite the insides of her cheeks with sores that wouldn’t heal. She hummed and had ritualistic behavior. I immediately took her under wing, and sang to her, and massaged her cheeks, when no one else wanted to go near her. She blossomed under my care. This was such a beautiful life-altering experience and it shaped my future. I thought to myself ‘this is important.’

Q: Did the text books prepare you for that first special education classroom?

JW: No, not with these children. What I learned in school was important and served me; but I also had to bring something else to these kids. I had to reach them with unconventional methods, by getting into each of their worlds and being extremely resourceful, imaginative and creative.

Q: Please talk about being a young special education teacher, what was that like?

JW: I didn’t know what to expect. There were so many unknowns; and the truth be told, not everybody, including the faculty and many parents, wanted this to happen. It was new territory; people were afraid and misinformed. This was a case of sink or swim; I didn’t know what to expect.These children were labeled as more disabled than some of the previous groups of children I had taught. The first girl, who had autism, came to school in a taxi because it was thought ‘how could she function on a bus or relate to other kids.’

Q: But you say you never considered giving up even on the toughest days. So what about you personally made you stick with it, no matter how overwhelming this was?

JW: Something that has served me well over the course of my life is perseverance. I have patience, perseverance and an understanding that the time has to be right for everything. I also know that in life you need to take chances.

Dr.JoAnneWhiteQ: What is the most important life lesson for each of us who work with and care for children?

JW: My book gives you a front row seat where you get to know these six children up close and personal. It’s important to understand that despite the many challenges and mannerisms each child faces and family,each child has special gifts we need to nurture and celebrate every single day.

Q: How is all of this relevant today – some 40 years later?

JW: There are many reasons. One major reason is about bullying, and the way children with special needs are still judged, as opposed to being accepted by their communities. My book, “Bully Free,” which also won awards, ties into “More Heaven.” It focuses on my interviews with parents about their children with autism and special needs who were victims of bullying at school and in the community, and the deep emotional scars left on these families.

Q: How did you know how to teach these so-called“unteachable” children?

JW: I knew that I had to reach these kids, so I did whatever I could do, as long as it was ethical. With the first child, I used play, movement and dance since she was never still for long. Much of this was not a part of typical classroom lessons. I was literally utilizing whatever I could to make that connection, and for each child it was different. I knew I had to reach them and had to figure out how to enter their different worlds so they would eventually embrace and accept the world of learning and socialization.

Q: What was the result?

JW: Each of my students slowly started to accept their surroundings and felt ‘wow, this is okay. My teacher is not telling me I am crazy or ridiculous.’ I was able to get them to trust me, open up to their individual worlds and join our world.

Q: Why are you so proud of this book?

JW: I am repeatedly told that “More Heaven,” captures people’s hearts. It allows the reader to see what went on back then, and to understand that despite the strides we have made we are not there yet. Many parents at that time were told that their children could never learn or would best be served by an institution.

Q: What are the vital life lessons for all of us?

JW: People need to recognize the struggles, the passion and determination from families who have done so much to create change. We need to say to the world ‘stop putting blinders on and let’s teach these kids and not hide from it or ignore it.’ All these years’ parents have fought and pushed for change, and there are parents today who are continuing to fight for acceptance, inclusion and dignity for their children.

Q: What makes you believe we need to keep pushing for acceptance?

JW: As an example, in 2014 there was a lawsuit in California involving an autistic boy who was considered to be a trouble maker. Neighbors sued and were also worried about their reduced property values. This action eventually drove the family from their home of seven years.

Q: So is your message that history will keep repeating itself if people don’t step up and make the change?

JW: Absolutely. It’s happening on the playgrounds, in the schools and the communities. There was bullying, judgment and disapproval at the time I taught these children. Unfortunately, it still happens a great deal to children who act or appear different in social or educational settings today.

Q: Ultimately, what do you want your book to accomplish?

JW: I’d like professionals to be open to work with these children even if at times the techniques seem unconventional. I wish for all families and parents to learn to accept their children and guide them to express their talents. And I’d like families, neighbors and the general public to see these children in a warmer light after reading my book and interface with the special needs community. I frequently say that ‘this book reaches in from the heart outward to all children – they will be heard!’

For further information, please go to: http://www.drjoannewhite.com/more-heaven/

The post Caring Author Changes The World One Child At A Time also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

Actor Ian Ziering Opens Up About A Childhood Secret And How He Copes With Stressful Summers As A Parent

Ian-Ziering

(PCM) We recently had a chance to catch up with actor Ian Ziering where he opened up to us about his own childhood secret and how he copes with stressful summers as a parent. Ziering revealed to us that he suffered from the issue of bedwetting as a child and currently his own daughter is suffering from the same ordeal. However, thanks to GoodNites and some clever parenting techniques the issue of bedwetting has truly become a non-issue at all! For more information, please visit GoodNites.com.

Ziering also spoke to us about how he balances both his acting career and life as a parent with two young daughters as well as his upcoming role in Sharknado: The 4th Awakens and looking back on the days of 90210 after all these years.

One of the challenges that Ian and thousands of other parents deal with is bedwetting. Ian is a former bed wetter, so he knows how embarrassing or shameful it can feel, and now his children are experiencing nighttime wetting as well. Bedwetting can be hereditary, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Experts say bedwetting is not your child’s fault, and there are ways you can help your child through the problem. Ian is working to break the stigma associated with nighttime wetting, and to help parents and their children rest easy tonight.

The post Actor Ian Ziering Opens Up About A Childhood Secret And How He Copes With Stressful Summers As A Parent also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

FDA Issues New Warning About The Dangers Of Consuming Raw Cookie Dough

cookie-dough

(PCM) Those of us who are big fans of taking a few licks of the spoon when making some delicious chocolate chip cookies may want to think twice as the FDA has issued a new warning about the potential dangers from consuming raw cookie dough.

The FDA claims that in addition to any type of raw cookie dough, you should not consume any type of raw batter at all. This is due to the continued outbreak of illnesses that are linked to a particular strain of E.coli that was discovered to be present in flour that has since been recalled.  The FDA goes on to warn that children should not be given any type of raw dough to play with as well, this goes for certain restaurants as well, that would often give children some raw pizza dough to play with while waiting for their food.

The source of the E.coli was discovered in flour which was recalled by General Mills last month and it affected nearly 10 million packages. The outbreak occurred at General Mills facility in Kansas City, MO and the company says a sample of the recalled flour tested positive for the E. coli strain.

Many people infected by the E.coli bacteria can suffer bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps. Kidney failure is also possible, but not common. At least 10 people have been hospitalized due to the outbreak, however thus far no deaths have been reported. The FDA advises that anyone handling raw dough or flour should immediately wash their hands and anything else the dough or flour may have come in contact. E. coli bacteria can be killed once food is baked, boiled or otherwise heated during preparation.

Prior to the E.coli scare, individuals were warned not to consume raw cookie dough over fear of salmonella poisoning due to the raw eggs present in the batter. It now poses an even more dangerous risk. If you simply must have a taste of raw cookie dough, try ice cream that contains chunks of cookie dough, as those have been made with treated flour and pasteurized eggs.

The post FDA Issues New Warning About The Dangers Of Consuming Raw Cookie Dough also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

Man Died After Eating At A Restaurant And They Respond With A Completely Shameless Apology

Indian-Garden

(PCM) A 38-year old young man by the name of Paul Wilson tragically passed away alone in his home after ordering food from the Indian Garden restaurant located in Easingwold, U.K.. Wilson had specifically requested that his curry dish be nut-free, as he suffered from an incredibly dangerous allergy to nuts.  The restaurant ended up serving him a take-out meal that contained nut powder, which sent Wilson into anaphylactic shock which killed him that very night.

This particular incident occurred back in 2014 and the owner of the restaurant Mohammed Zaman was charged with manslaughter and just recently began serving his six year sentence behind bars. Zaman was allowed to keep his restaurant open despite the horrific incident and it is now being managed by members of his family. However, many feel that the restaurant should not be allowed to remain open and they have been facing some pretty horrible publicity ever since.

Zaman’s son Emraz, who is a legal student (go figure) has now taken it upon himself to draft an email out to all the restaurants customers offering what we assume he intended to be an apology, however it is certainly leaving a bad taste in the mouths of many. The email only apologizes once for the incident and then turns into a completely blatant advertisement for the restaurant at the end. You can read Emraz’s full email below:

“[We] sincerely apologise to all our loyal customers for the recent heavy press surrounding the Easingwold branch and the somewhat disappointing decision for our founding father Mr Zaman. Mistakes have been made and this is no excuse but now is a time to move on as Mr Zaman so wishes. We are now in the process of launching a new dessert menu and have hired an exclusive pastry chef from London to design this. Our philosophy, started by our founder, [Mohammed] Khalique Zaman, was and still is to create real quality Indian cuisine of the highest standard. With exhilarating flavours and subtle aromas…Jaipur Spice will transform your perception of Indian food…You’ll spot the difference the moment the food arrives!!”

In fact, Emraz really doesn’t apologize at all for Wilson’s death, only focusing on the bad press and the decision to lock up his father for manslaughter. Also, a little more digging reveals that Wilson was not the only person to suffer for Indian Garden’s negligence when it come to nut allergies. Just two weeks prior to Wilson’s death, a teen girl was hospitalized after her request for a nut-free meal was also ignored by the restaurant. Luckily she survived.

Definitely makes us rethink where we would be grabbing some Indian food in the U.K., how about you?

The post Man Died After Eating At A Restaurant And They Respond With A Completely Shameless Apology also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

Popular Superfood Is Being Used To Create An Intense Party High

Cacao-powder1

(PCM) There is a new party drug that has been popping up dance clubs and raves all over the world and surprisingly it is a substance that many of us have certainly consumed at one time or another in life. The drug is said to cause a brain-boosting rush, provide the user with tons of energy and keep the party going all night long, and oh, did we mention is is also listed as a common superfood by health experts?

We are referencing cacao, a substance that grows in the tropics, and is quickly on it’s way to becoming a pretty darn “sweet” party drug.  Cacao can be ingested, drunk or even snorted and party-goers are experimenting in just about every way imaginable. It is beginning to take the place of alcohol and other illegal substances at many events, as bar tenders are mixing it into drinks and keeping their bars well stocked with cacao drinks and supplement pills.

They are using the very same raw cacao powder that can be purchased at your local Vitamin Shoppe or other health food store location and it is all completely legal. The raw cacao powder is said to create a surge of endorphin’s in the body which leads to the feeling of euphoria and it also features a high level of magnesium which is responsible for relaxing muscles and de-stressing the body. The cacao is in no way going to create a scenario where someone goes out of their mind, it just amplifies the overall experience of being in a club. User claim the effects of the cacao are subtle and provide a nice, calming effect over time.

Didn’t they always say that chocolate makes everything better?  Looks like they were telling the truth!

The post Popular Superfood Is Being Used To Create An Intense Party High also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

My Journey To Health, The Habits of Hobbits

ahobbitThe first question to answer is “What do the habits of hobbits have to do with getting to good health?”  The answer is simple.  Everything!

Those of you who read this column regularly know that I find great inspiration from fiction.  And there is much that can learned from hobbits if we consider a few facts, expand on them and use a bit of imagination.

What do we know about hobbits off the tops of our heads.  Well, they are a small people.  They enjoy six meals a day and they have very tough and hairy feet which allows them to go shoe-less.  We know they bake as bread is mentioned in The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings.  Seed cake is also mentioned in The Hobbit as Bilbo’s home is invaded by dwarves and Bilbo wonders about the provisions in his larder.  We know they drink both wine and beer.   We know that they enjoy bacon eggs, apples, strawberries and cream and other simple food.  We know that Bilbo liked to walk.  He even had maps of the shire where he had marked his favorite places to stroll.  Bilbo even wrote a walking song.

So what can be inferred from the above facts.  The Hobbit society was agricultural in nature.  We know they kept chickens, pigs and cattle.  We know they grew apples and strawberries raspberries, lettuce, grapes and coffee beans at the very least.  We also know they grew tobacco but it seemed they used it responsibly.  They must have grown grain as there was bread and cake and you need hops to brew beer.

What can be pulled from these facts that can help with our health.  Let’s start with six meals a day.  Eating six times a day is a healthy habit to get into.  These meals should not be meals that are indulgent in fact I would bet indulgent meals of any kind were not a daily experience in The Shire.  The six meals were mostly rustic healthy whole foods.  Breakfast may have been Bacon and eggs, but second breakfast was more like a snack and may have been whole grain bread and butter and maybe some tea.  Eleveses may have been some cheese and fruit,as the hobbits by that time were more than likely in the fields working by then and would be carrying their food with them.

Lunch could have consisted of a sit-down meal or again something carried into the fields or pastures.  Whole grain breads maybe a little meat or a small meat pie.  We know Tolkien loved rural England and lunch was often pies in rural England one savory and one sweet.  So meat and vegetables in one and fruit in the other.

Tea would be taken at home in the latter part of the afternoon.  We know that hobbits liked 6 meals a day but Tolkien stipulated that with “when they could get them.”  Tea may have been tea, bread and butter, small cakes and maybe small sandwiches.  The richer the hobbit family the grander the tea.  Supper we know was a hearty meal that the whole household sat down together to eat.  We find this to be true when Frodo Sam Merry and Pippin all sit down at Farmer Maggot’s table.  We even know the menu, or at least some of it.  There was beer, bacon, mushrooms and other solid farm fair.  There must have been a bit of meat as the dogs “layed by the fire and gnawed rinds (cheese) and cracked bones.

I don’t think that meat played a large part in a hobbit diet.  First hobbits were small and bringing down a cow for beef would have taken a lot of work and many hobbits to do it.  Mutton and lamb?  Possibly but again these animals would be used for other purposes.  The hobbits would need wool for clothing and so killing the animals for food would take a way a continued source of making fabric so my guess is there was a small amount of meat per meal and none at all at some.  Maybe a four ounce portion an many dietitians suggest.

We know that there were vegetables and potatoes and turnips cabbages and carrots too.  We are also aware id the hobbits deep love for mushrooms and the films suggest tomatoes.  Bread was a staple food, as it is in almost all cultures, but not white bread.  These would have been whole grain rustic loaves, loaded with flavor and nutrition.  Apples, for sure, as well as strawberries a hobbits diet was bright and colorful.  Not completely vegetarian but much more so than what we consume with the large amounts of meat we make a habit of eating.

The hobbits exercised because in an agricultural society the exercise was built in to the day.  Planting, weeding and harvesting was all physical work as was milling grain into flour.  Tending sheep and cattle was also physical as the animals would be moved from place to place in order to graze.  Shepherds and herders had much to do.  And there is no doubt that all of the hobbit food was organic, could you imagine Sam using a pesticide?

We know that Bilbo liked to walk.  We also know that ponies were available but not many road and so a hobbits feet were the main source of transportation.  Also feeding ponies takes a lot and what animals hobbits had were probably used more for work that for puling a carriage.

So a hobbit life style was a healthy lifestyle.  A lifestyle that consisted of hard work whole foods and regular exercise.  This type of lifestyle is something we all should aspire to and actually adapt to the best of our ability.

As you know my goal right now is to become vegan.  To eliminate animal products all together and I am working toward that, but in the meantime, living like a hobbit seems a great beginning.  Now if only I could get Mrs. Maggot to invite me to dinner.

The post My Journey To Health, The Habits of Hobbits also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

WordPress theme: Kippis 1.15