Monthly Archives: July 2020

School and COVID-19

Conversations About Autism

School will be starting soon, in some form. I am glad that I do not need to face the decisions that are currently being made by parents, students, and educators. As a retired educator, however, I find myself reading and listening to many sources about just what a teacher or parent can do to make this year as successful as possible. I want to share just a few I found particularly informative.

This week the school districts in my area unfolded their plans for the fall of the 2020-2021 school year. Many of the local superintendents communicated with each other in trying to determine what is right for their own districts and for the metropolitan area.

Each school district has put its own twist on how to begin the 2020-2021 school year. Some seem to include options that include a choice between remote learning or some form of hybrid learning…

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The Power of Story

Conversations About Autism

Have you ever been with a group of people that you thought might have many of the same feelings as you, only to find the conversation drift off in a different direction than you had anticipated?

Maybe it didn’t event drift. Maybe it sprinted down a dangerous, negative slope and left you shaking your head and wondering how this happened. How did we get here? How can these people feel this way?

Let me back up here. Recently, in writing about my discovery of the enneagram, I confessed that “I’m usually not judgmental unless you hit certain key topics about which I have taken time to form a definite strong opinion.” Otherwise, I usually listen to people’s opinions with an open mind.

As an elementary teacher for twenty years, education of children with diverse backgrounds, abilities, and experiences is a topic about which I feel strongly.

I taught children from…

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The Enneagram and Me

Conversations About Autism

For a long time, I have realized that I don’t see most things as black or white. Either everything in life is gray or I am a wishy-washy person.

That’s me. If someone presents a good argument on why the sky is green, I will nod my head and think yeh, that makes sense. To them, my nodding head might indicate agreement, to me it just means I could see where people can think that.

A few weeks ago, when I was talking with my Texas daughter, whom I haven’t seen since February, our conversation trailed down an unusual path. Conversations between people in the COVID world of staying home and having little to do can get pretty unusual, I have found.

My daughter is one of the people who got me interested in listening to podcasts, so I asked her what she is listening to currently. She wanted to…

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Author, Writer, or Listener?

Conversations About Autism

What am I? And, maybe more importantly. where am I headed? I frequently ask myself these questions.

It’s been almost a year since my book was published, so I guess that mean’s I’m an author. When I meet someone who asks me about myself, I still don’t find it easy to say, “I’m an author.” I’m not sure why that is.

Book marketing is an impossible, uncomfortable, self-promoting beast to me. I probably could think of a few more adjectives to convey my strong emotions on the subject. But an author doesn’t sell books without promoting those books.

Then there’s the word writer. As a published author, I’m certainly a writer.

One has to write in order to publish, right? That makes one a writer. Or maybe it doesn’t.

I can and will say I’m a listener. Now, don’t get me wrong. In the right circumstances I can talk someone’s…

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Seating Charts for Video Conferences Please

Conversations About Autism

Video conferencing is not like meeting in person, is it?

Since March, I use conferencing apps for four regularly scheduled appointments. Early on during the pandemic, I did family meetings, played chess with my son, and engaged in a few other virtual social events. Now, it’s pretty much just four.

My WW (formerly Weight Watchers) group meets weekly. I use my phone because I can’t see all of the forty or more people on my computer screen anyway. With my phone, I can sit outside enjoying my morning cuppa if the weather is nice. Or turn off my video and harvest a few snow peas.

For my monthly publisher’s association meeting, the fiftyish participants all turn off our video and audio as the presenter takes over the screen.  No problem with these for me.

It’s the other two meetings that seem to have caused me a senior moment.

Here’s a…

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