Impact of Environment on Learning in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

EDUC-EDRD 6305: Research Design

Kathy Challis

The University of Texas of the Permian Basin

Abstract

The research case study proposal topic is the Impact of Environment on Learning in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. The hypothesis is: Are students with Autism Spectrum Disorder positively or negatively affected by the classroom environment?  Special education classroom environments are studied for objectivity in the placement of furniture, sensory input such as visual cues, smells, salivatory, tactile response, hearing (auditory) stimulus, and perceptions of comfort and well-being.

Two qualitative classroom samples will be collected as evidence of existing research in practice and compared with other datum collected from quantitative and qualitative research studies articles. The focus will be on furniture placement, light, sound, and food stimuli. Autism Spectrum Disorder will be defined by the American Psychiatric Association APA. Legislation about Public Law 106-310 (2000), and Public Law 109-416 (2006) will be defined. Other research studies are included in this article. Finally, the Ziggurat Model is presented for study.

Keywords:  Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Classroom Environment, Sensory sensitivities, emotional response, classroom performances, behavior modification, Ziggurat Model,  Public Law 106-310 Public Law 109-416

Chapter One

Introduction

The purpose of this research study is to determine what are the effects on Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder by the classroom environment. The quantity of available research are limited ( ≤40) related topics. We will discover the manners of which, students with Autism Spectrum Disorder are affected by the classroom environment. The objective of this study is to identify the effects of Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder in the classroom environment. To be discussed are the questions; What environmental stimuli encourage or discourage children with Autism Spectrum Disorders to be successful in the classroom?

What are the effects on Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder by the classroom environment? How can educators prepare their classroom environments for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)? We will look at how available research on the physical environment of dependent variables such as light, sound, furniture placement and the use of food reinforcers will affect student behavior. The independent variables are the presence of an Autism Spectrum Disorder student, length of school day, subjects taught in the school day. And the dependent variables are lighting, noise, temperature, smell, tactile, taste, change in routine (perceptions), and legislation for research into Autism Spectrum Disorder.  

The hypothesis is students with Autism Spectrum Disorder are affected by the classroom environment. The essential question is what environmental stimuli encourage or discourage children with Autism Spectrum Disorders to be successful in the classroom? The Foundation of this paper is: My grandson is an Autism student in K-5 for Eagle Mountain ISD, and my daughter teaches Autistic students K-5 for Fort Worth ISD, I am interested in why their classrooms are successful.  

What is Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)?

 According to McAllister and Maguire (2012), and Kinnealey and Pfeiffer, (2012) “Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a term that covers many subgroups within the spectrum of autism. Autism can be termed as a lifelong complex neurodevelopmental disorder. It is characterized by a triad of qualitative impairments in social communication, social interaction, and social imagination.”

These social cues are essential to the normal function of human beings. In people with autism, their environment processes their environment in over-stimulation of sight, sound, noises, taste, and touch. “For people with ASD to function properly, their environment must be adapted whenever possible according to the experts. The experts are defined as teachers, parents, behavioralist, and environmental psychologist” according to McAlister and Maguire (2012), and Martin, (2016).

How common is ASD?

“In 2010, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported a 1600% increase in the number of individuals between the ages of 6 and 22 years with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) from 1993 to 2013.” (Martin, 2014, p.280) Although, Autism Spectrum Disorder occurrences are on the rise in early childhood, today (2014) at a ratio of  1:68 children are born with ASD (Martin, 2014, p280) the physical classroom has been neglected by researchers to determine the optimal sensory settings for ASU students. 

“In 2012, according to the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, the population of ASD is 9.0 per 1,000 population or 1 in every 110 children.” (Kinnealey and Pfeiffer, (2012) that number is up from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in 2013, in children with ASD ages 6 years and 22 years old are estimated at 1: 88, with the incidence of boys to girls to be 5:1.

Definitions

Autistic Spectrum Disorder is a disorder identified by a lifelong complex neurodevelopmental disorder. It is characterized by a triad of qualitative impairments in social communication, social interaction, and social imagination.”

Developmental dyspraxia is a disorder characterized by an impairment in the ability to plan and carry out sensory and motor tasks.

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, a US law designed to provide privacy standards to protect patients’ medical records and other health information provided to health plans, doctors, hospitals and other health care providers.

The Ziggurat Model was co-authored by Ruth Aspy, Ph.D., and Barry Grossman, Ph.D., licensed psychologists specializing in assessment and intervention for individuals with autism spectrum disorders.  The model was created to address concerns and common pitfalls of typical approaches to developing intervention plans, such as incomplete pictures of the person’s challenges and failure to target specific behaviors.

Acronyms

American Journal of Occupational Therapy -AJOT

American Psychiatric Association- APA 

Autism Spectrum Conditions -ASC

Autism Spectrum Disorder- ASD

Centers for Disease Control -CDC

Collaborative Virtual Learning System (CVLE)

High Visual Display – HVD

1nteragency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC)

Independent School District- ISD

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH),

National Institute of Health -NIH

Public Law- PL

Sensory Processing Measure (SPM).

What legislation regarding ASD is available

Legislation for research into Autism Spectrum Disorder. Directly quoted from National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), (2006), “2000—Public Law 106-310, The Children’s Health Act of 2000, Title I Autism, instructed the Director of NIH to carry out this section through the Director of NIMH and in collaboration with other agencies that the Director determined appropriate. The Act expands, intensifies, and coordinates activities of the NIH concerning research on autism, including the establishment of not less than 5 centers of excellence that conduct basic and clinical research into autism. The Act also mandated that the Secretary, DHHS establish an Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) to coordinate autism research and other efforts within the Department. Authority to establish the IACC was delegated to the NIH. The NIMH was designated the NIH lead for this activity. 2006—Public Law 109-416, the Combating Autism Act of 2006, authorized expanded activities related to autism spectrum disorder (ASD) related research, surveillance, prevention, treatment, and education. Specifically, the Act authorizes research under NIH to address the entire scope of ASD; authorizes a review of regional centers of excellence for autism research and epidemiology; authorizes activities to increase public awareness, improve use of evidence-based interventions, and increase early screening for autism; and calls on the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee to enhance information sharing.”  What these two laws mean to the layperson is that the government is paying for research into all Autism related disorders that have been lumped into one umbrella of Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Summary

            What environmental stimuli encourage or discourage children with Autism Spectrum Disorders to be successful in the classroom? And What are the effects on Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder by the classroom environment? The independent variables are the presence of an Autism Spectrum Disorder student, length of school day, subjects taught in the school day. And the dependent variables are lighting, noise, temperature, smell, tactile, change in routine (perceptions of comfort and well-being). The purpose of this research is to determine the effects on Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder by the classroom. Public Law 106-310 (2000) and Public Law 109-416 (2006) are established to formulate government research and fund five agencies in the discovery and treatment of ASD. In a future study, temperature, smell, and tactile dissemination could be addressed in addition to the perceptions of a child’s well-being and behavior analysis.

Chapter 2- Review of Literature

Articles spanning 2001 to 2019 were utilized, with an emphasis on the more recent eight years whereas possible. The following Keywords:  Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Classroom Environment, Sensory sensitivities, emotional response, classroom performances, behavior modification, Ziggurat Model, are used to define the research parameters. Topics are included in the Body of Reviews, herein.

Body of Reviews

Hanley, Mary, Khairat, Mariam, et al. (2017) Classroom Displays- Attraction or Distraction? Evidence of Impact on Attention and Learning from Children With and Without Autism. Developmental Psychology, 4 May 2017, Vol. 53, No. 7, p1265-1275. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/dev0000271

The authors used video recordings to tape children’s eye movements in a controlled setting without any high visual displays (HVD) in their background and another group with HVD. In both children with and without autism, had difficulty recalling two stories and two mini-lessons on a worksheet after exposure to HVD backgrounds as part of the presentation. The students with autism did not do as well as students without autism when the HVD was present. It is noted that 8 of the 34 students were tested at their homes in comparable environments of visual displays. This quantitative paper covers time spent looking at teachers face and looking at HVD’s. The math in this paper was hard to understand. I will use it in my research papers to give credence to MacAllister and Maguire’s papers.

Kinnealey, Moya, Pfeiffer, Beth, et al. (2012) Effect of classroom modification on attention and engagement of students with autism or dyspraxia. American Journal of Occupational Therapy (AJOT), 66, 511-519, http://ddx.doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2012.004010

The authors offer a solution to poor behaviors in a classroom with an autistic and dyspraxia student, by incorporating halogen lighting and sound-absorbing walls and ceiling material. “Results included increased frequency and stability of attending and engagement and improved classroom performance, and mood.” I will use this summary as a primer to my hypothesis about Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder are positively or negatively affected by the classroom environment.

Ma Fernandez-Andres, Inmaculada, Gemma Pastor-Venezuela, & et al. A comparative study of sensory processing in children with and without Autism Spectrum Disorder in the home and classroom environments. (2015) Research in Developmental Disabilities, 38. P202-212. , http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ridd.2014.12.034

The authors did a study on two groups of children ages five to eight years for Sensory Processing Measure (SPM). They had parents (more mom than dad) and teachers (more women than men) complete questionnaires based on home environment or school classroom environment. They used a Likert-type scale on the questionnaires demographic datum, age, years with ASD contact with student/child, and parental: education, occupation, income, and marital status were all considered as variables in the research. The teachers reported more dysfunction in social participation, touch, and praxis (the ability to plan and organize movement). Other areas to be considered were sensory processing, social participation, and praxis of the ASD group. I will use this data DSM-5 definition of ASD in my research.

Martin, Caren S. (2016) Exploring the impact of the design of the physical classroom environment on young children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs, Vol 16 No.4 280-298 doi: 10.1111/1471-3802.12092

This is a quantitative report regarding students in preschool to 6th grade with ASD; the ages whereas experts agree are critical in forming a foundation for the students’ well-being and life-long learning practices. There was limited research available at the time the article was written; there were limited resources available for comparisons and most of the data were anecdotal in terms of creating an optimal learning environment. Such anecdotal information came from designers, teachers, and school administrators. This article was concerned with the interactive relationships between humans and the environment as explored by environmental. Psychologist and behavioral psychologist. This article gets precise details with classroom modifications in the comparison of 19 articles summarized. I can use this article as a checklist of expectations in the development of a classroom environment.

McAllister, Keith, Maguire, Barry, (2012) A design model: the Autism Spectrum Disorder Classroom Design Kit British Journal of Special Education ©NASEN

The authors present a study of a classroom environment that is specially equipped to handle students who have “sensory sensitivity to visual, auditory, tactile, proprioceptive, gustatory, and olfactory stimuli.”   The difficulties that architects have with interacting with the teachers and pupils are detailed as architects use pictures to demonstrate the needs of a client, while teachers use words to describe the needs of the child. This study was conducted in nine “key one” classrooms, (ages five to eight), and one “key three” classrooms, (ages 11-16). The purpose was early intervention strategies that would be conducive to the children feeling comfortable, and at ease in their learning environment, The key three was a control unit of expected behaviors, while the key one was working hypothesis to get to stage three developmentally. I think this paper has merit, and I plan to use the information in my own research paper in comparing the three elemental teaching zones for the classroom.

McAllister, Keith, Maguire, Barry, (2012) Design considerations for the autism spectrum disorder-friendly Key Stage 1 classroom. 18 Sep 2012, Https”doi-org.ezproxy.utpb.edu/10.1111/j.1467-9604.2012.01525.x

The authors engaged classrooms in three stages of development over a two year period that broke 16 components into “four category bands; control and safety, classroom character, classroom usage, and classroom physical factors.” The purpose of the design was so that teachers could define their ideal ASD-friendly classroom and discover what worked and didn’t work.  The 16 areas of concentration are spelled out. I will use this article to compare the results of my study to determine if there is a correlation of findings between this study and my study herein, Becker-Smith.

Negilioni, Kappa, and Ramani, Krishna Kumar, (2019) Environmental factors in school classrooms: How they influence visual task demand on children. © Negiloni et al. PLoS One 14(1):e0210299  https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0210299

 The authors did a quantitive study on the effects of light in a classroom on fixtures such as chalkboard, green and black with white chalk and the students’ desks. They discovered that 62% of the 29 classrooms they evaluated had low lighting [<150lux] so that visual acuity was problematic as determined by light in lumens. The optimal lumens is >150-300lux. The study found that the classroom placement of desks in relationship to chalkboards needed adjustments and the lighting needed to be increased. Once the lighting was increased, assessments with the variables such as letter legibility, stroke-width, and chalkboard contrast we took under advisement.  Also, regular audits of the classroom and recommended eyes screening of the students are necessary. I will use this article as reference material to the placement of a zone of learning between chalkboards and student desks and teacher placement.

Yufang, Xhen, and Jun Yee (2010) Exploring the social competence of students with autism spectrum conditions in a collaborative virtual learning environment- The pilot study. Computers and Education, Science Digest, 54, p 1068-1077. Doi: 10.1016/j.compedu.2009.10.011.

The authors define autism spectrum conditions (ASC) and collaborative virtual learning system (CVLE). The research is done with three students (one girl and two boys) with social competence disorders with ASC, normal average IQ’s, and normal cognitive abilities. There were two scenes; classroom and outside, for the student to engage in using a self-expressive avatar in a 3D social situation. The students were able to use verbal and non-verbal cues in selecting responses to stimuli. They were evaluated on a post-game simulation by describing; what happened, what do you see, and why do you feel, questions about the pictures or scenes in the game. The findings were positive that students with ASC could benefit from using virtual reality games to support their social confidences and have improvement in reciprocal social behaviors. I will use this research to validate the sensory tactile, visual, and oratory aspects of ASD in my research paper.

The reason we need to research this topic is that new to ASD teachers need to know the environmental factor that will occur in their classroom, solutions, and support of peer-to-peer teachers. The latest research study (Becker-Smith) was conducted by me in February 2019, in The form of a questionnaire, a poll, and an opportunity to share personal insights of teaching ADS Students. The study was completed by Megan Becker, B.S. of Saginaw/Eagle Mountain ISD and Ms. Kassidey Challis, M.Ed. of Fort Worth ISD. My hypothesis statement; Are students with Autism Spectrum Disorder positively or negatively affected by the classroom environment? The questionnaires gave me similar results on the qualitative case study. The purpose of this research study is to determine what are the effects on Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder by the classroom environment.

Chapter III- Methodology

Research Designs A Qualitative Study

How can educators prepare their classroom environments for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)?

  1. Independent Variables, social cues,
  2. Ethics- Is self-contained classrooms presenting the world view of living?
  3. Participants; (Becker-Smith, 2019)
  4. methods of research: inventory of knowledge questionnaire and opinion poll

We will look at how the physical environment of dependent variables such as furniture placement, light, and sound will affect student behavior.  In the research (Becker-Smith), Megan Becker (2019) teacher stated, children, “tend to stim (stim- is a repeated behavior consciously or unconsciously acted out), on lights or reflections created by overhead fluorescent lighting. There is one child who avoids walking on the reflections in the hallway.” She also conferred that natural lighting at different levels in the classroom was best. She has noted that fluorescent light can cause headaches to occur. Kassidey Smith (2019), the teacher stated that different types of lights like florescent will aggravate kids more than other types like ambient (lamps) lighting around a classroom. Smith has found that LED lighting has the least flicker and is not as harsh on the eyes. The dependent variables are lighting, noise, temperature, smell, tactile, change in routine/perceptions. The effects of light and sound barriers are discussed. In the study by Kinnealey and Pfeiffer, et al. (2012), six weeks study of videotaping an empty classroom, for sound in decibels (dB). In sixteen 10 minute intervals of videotaping at various times day and night for the control group and then adding sound barrier treatments for two weeks and halogen lights for the final two weeks “improved the overall sensory comfort, attention, engagement, emotional mood response and improved classroom performance of the four participants/pupils evaluated.”

In another research group, they used four male participants, three of whom were on the spectrum (ASD), and one had Dyspraxia.  “Developmental dyspraxia is a disorder characterized by an impairment in the ability to plan and carry out sensory and motor tasks. Generally, individuals with the disorder appear “out of sync” with their environment. Symptoms vary and may include poor balance and coordination, clumsiness, vision problems, perceptions of comfort and well-being difficulties, emotional and behavioral problems, difficulty with reading, writing, and speaking, poor social skills, poor posture, and poor short-term memory.”  (NIMH, 2019).

The four participants were in the age range of 13 years to 20 years, and the “participants demonstrated classroom-ready behaviors as defined by the school and be free of special health concerns, cognitive impairment, or a psychiatric condition.” (Kinnealey and Pfeiffer (2012)). The participants kept journals and answer pre-post surveys and guided questions by the Occupational Therapist. The findings were conclusive; however, there is much more experimental research that needs to be done in the area of a broader-based sampling of participants, varying sequences of interventions, using a dB meter that has lower than 50dB capabilities.

The Becker-Smith research parameters such as; gender of teacher/aides, student/teacher ratio, the age of teacher, the age range of students, and education of teacher were noted.  In my research, Becker said that the placement of furniture can help control student behaviors by giving them a well-defined workspace. Younger children do well in defined expected areas like their desk and chair. Smith concurred with Becker that some students do better with a specified single area, while others do better in groups.(Becker-Smith, 2019)  This is especially true if they are adapted to using visual cues. Visual cues can include pictures with written labels on a sentence strip. Simple things like Velcro on a desk can help define the parameter or focus for a child of ASD.

In Becker’s classroom, (Becker-Smith, 2019), she has repeatedly observed the phenomena that removing as few as one child from the class due to absence can cause a shift in behaviors, the students usually are quieter. However, when adults focus their attention on other adults, the children start acting out; much like in regular classrooms. Becker and Smith both state that when noise is the over-stimuli, it is beneficial to offer headphones to the affected child or switch the background noise type to quiet or soothing music. They both use headphones on computer stations. Becker said because background noise competes with internal noise, children on ASD need extra time to process responses to questions.  Smith also stated that weather and full-moon stages positively affect children’s behaviors negatively.

Olfactory stimuli such as smells/odors like disinfectant and cleaners can cause discomfort to those with autism. (McAlister & Maguire, 2012).  Temperature, tactile, change in routine can all affect the comfort perceptions of the student’s well-being, and the participants daily journaling helped researches determine the cause-effect parameters of the study.

Yufang, X. (2010). The research is done with three students (one girl and two boys) with social competence disorders with ASC, normal average IQ’s, and normal cognitive abilities. There were two scenes; classroom and outside, for the student to engage in using a self-expressive avatar in a 3D social situation. The students were able to use verbal and non-verbal cues in selecting responses to stimuli. They were evaluated on a post-game simulation by describing; what happened, what do you see, and why do you feel, questions about the pictures or scenes in the game. The findings were positive that students with ASC could benefit from using virtual reality games to support their social confidences and have improvement in reciprocal social behaviors. I have used this research to validate the sensory tactile, visual, and oratory aspects of ASD in the Becker-Smith research paper.

Research Methodology

Ma Fernandez-Andres, I. et al.  did a study on two groups of children ages five to eight years for Sensory Processing Measure (SPM). They had parents (more mom than dad) and teachers (more women than men) complete questionnaires based on home environment or school classroom environment. They used a Likert-type scale on the questionnaires, demographic datum, age, years with ASD contact with student/child, and parental: education, occupation, income, and marital status were all considered as variables in the research. The teachers reported more dysfunction in social participation, touch, and praxis (the ability to plan and organize movement). Other areas to be considered were sensory processing and praxis of the ASD group.

The research parameters for the qualitative case study of Becker-Smith’s group I and II are the gender of teacher/aides, student/teacher ratio, the age of teacher, the age range of students, and education of teacher was noted. Foundation: My grandson is an Autism student in K-5 for Eagle Mountain ISD, and my daughter teaches Autistic students K-5 for Fort Worth ISD, I am interested in why their classrooms are successful. The intent for my research paper is so that new or non-ASD teachers will have a basic understanding of what autism is and how the environment plays a factor in their success or failure as a student. Hypothesis: Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder are positively or negatively affected by the classroom environment. Topic: Impact of Environment on Learning in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Essential Question: What environmental stimuli encourage or discourage children with Autism Spectrum Disorders to be successful in the classroom? Independent variables: Presence of an Autism Spectrum Disorder student, length of school day, subjects taught in the school day. Dependent Variables: lighting, noise, temperature, smell, change in routine (perceptions).  Research question: What are the effects on Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder by the classroom environment? Research purpose: The purpose of this research is to determine the effects on Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder by the classroom environment. Research objective: The objective of this study is to identify the effects of Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder in the classroom environment.

In my qualitative case study of group I and II, the teacher was female, white, and age 36, taught in a structured self-contained classroom, taught a minimum of 5 years but not more than 10 years, taught students with ASD factors and taught in public independent school districts. The variable that was different was the ratio of student: teacher, Group I, 7:2 and Group II, 11:3 respectively.  I propose that additional research is needed with a broader sample of the ethnic background of teachers, ages of teachers, years of teaching experience, type of classroom, private vs. public Independent School Districts and comparable student to teacher ratios in order to see the similarities and differences that sensory output and input has on a students behavior.

One final note is that food (taste/salvatory) was considered as a variable. Becker said food can be a positive reinforcer of behavior if the student doesn’t become over saturated. And Smith said that it is not the food item itself that reinforces behavior, it is the “how” (methods) it is used, that makes the difference.

Research Design: Qualitative Research- The Ziggurat Model

Articles to answer the research questions such as: “How to support the well- being and education of children with ASD in the classroom environment” [from an educator’s perspective.] (Martin, S. 2014 p.281).  Martin states, ‘Sensory Differences’ area and include issues such as responses to sounds, light (including reflections, shadows) or color, temperature, smells (sometimes undetected by others), need for movement (including pacing, rocking), avoidance of movement and sensory exploration of objects, as depicted in the hierarchical approach in the Ziggurat Model.  (Aspy and Grossman, 2013) How it Works. See figure 1. The Ziggurat Model is based on the premise that we must first understand why individuals are engaging in specific behaviors and identify what is reinforcing for them before attempting to teach them new skills.  The Ziggurat approach centers on three assessment tools and a five-level hierarchal system, and it utilizes students’ strengths to address  underlying deficits.    Each level represents an area that must be addressed for an intervention plan to be comprehensive.

Figure 1: The Ziggurat Model

Effects of the Physical Classroom Environment

Architects are employed by schools to decorate the schools’ environment with wall placements and lighting designs, acoustics, and even furniture choices. ASU student physical classrooms are not typically specialized by architects, their classrooms are designed for non-handicapped regular students.  Usually, it is heuristic, anecdotal information from other teachers, parents, and behaviorist that inform the school of classroom accommodations that are needed, and as such are unreliable local knowledge. (Martin, 2014, p281).   

According to Doctoroff, (2001, pp105-109,), “Thoughtful arrangements of space and High noise levels have the potential to impede materials can invite children’s participation in play and communication during social play. In general, noise level contributes to their efforts to organize and utilize materials should be moderate so that children and teachers can also, engage peers, and persist in play. In many instances, be responsive to each other’s social cues. (Ramsey, environmental enrichment or modifications result in 1991).”

     Adaptions to the physical environment can limit or enhance a child’s ability to play and learn at the same time.  Natural or ambient lighting can be an asset or a determent depending on the child’s needs for sensory input.  Noise levels pose a challenge for some children with handicaps like AUS students. Noise-canceling devices or headphones can be given or take away input. Accessibility to all play areas using ramps as needed to aid students with physical limitations should be provided. Doctoroff (2001), sites examples of modifications to play areas and inclusion of mixed play areas to keep student interest elevated. “A classroom play environment that is careful development. Adaptive play for special needs children: planned to meet the developmental, sensorimotor, behavioral, social, and emotional needs of each child has the potential to enrich and extend the play possibilities.)”

Summary

The HIPPA Law required I use (in)formal questionnaire and poll format vs. in-person classroom interviews. Due to the convenience of the Educators involved in the Becker-Smith research, the datum were collected by questionnaires and polls (Becker-Smith, 2019) and accessed to assess the value of interpretations of open-ended questions and an opinion poll.

Martin and Doctoroff have essential revelations about the physical classroom. Martin is in the design elements of the physical classroom and Doctoroff is in the accessories within the physical classroom. Future empirical research evidence is needed to serve the classroom environment for students with ASD. 

The Ziggurat Model was co-authored by Ruth Aspy, Ph.D., and Barry Grossman, Ph.D., licensed psychologists specializing in assessment and intervention for individuals with autism spectrum disorders.  The model was created to address concerns and common pitfalls of typical approaches to developing intervention plans, such as incomplete pictures of the person’s challenges and failure to target specific behaviors.

Chapter IV- Ethics & Human Relationships/Timeline

There are not any threats to the educators reporting the information, they are protected by the Hippa “gag” order. I am physically handing the research documents to the educators and retrieving the finished product. I gained formal consent to approach educators at their place of employment. It took three weeks to get the information questionnaire and poll back from the educators. Two weeks to synthesize and compare data from the poll and questionnaire and one week to write proposal.

Reference[KAC1] 

Aspy, R & Grossman, B.G. (2008) The Ziggurat Model: A framework for Designing Comprehensive Interventions for Individuals with High-Functioning Autism and Asperger Syndrome. Shawnee Mission, KS. AAPC, Reviewed at http://www.aapcpublishing.net

Avissar, Gilada. Partnerships between Special and Mainstream Schools., ERIC Number:                                                     EJ1184106 Record Type: Journal Publication Date: 2018-Jul Pages: 8 ISSN: EISSN-1471-3802 Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs, v18 n3 p149-156 Jul 2018

Becker-Smith, (2019). Becker, Megan. Eagle Mountain Independent School District, Educator, Bailey Boswell Elementary School. Smith, Kassidy M. Fort Worth Independent School District, Educator, Wayside Elementary School.

Boser, Katharina I. Technology Tools for Students with Autism Innovations that Enhance    Independence and Learning http://www.brookespublishing.com/technology-tools and http://archive.brookespublishing.com/documents/boser-technology-tools.pdf    Reviewed Jan. 27, 2019

Conroy, M. A., Asmus, J. M., Boyd, B. A., Ladwig, C. N. & Sellers, J. A. (2007). ‘Antecedent classroom factors and disruptive behaviors of children with autism spectrum disorders.’ Journal of Early Intervention, 30 (1), pp. 19–35

Delmolino, L. & Harris, S. L. (2012). ‘Matching children on the autism spectrum to classrooms: A guide for parents and professionals.’ Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 42 (6), pp. 1197–1204. doi: 10.1007/s10803‐011‐1298‐6

Doctoroff, Sandra, Adapting the Physical Environment to Meet the Needs of All Young Children for Play Early Childhood Education, Journal of Research in Special Education Needs, December 2001, Volume 29,  pp 105–109|Winter 2001 Reviewed at https://link-springer-com.ezproxy.utpb.edu/article/10.1023%2FA%3A1012524929004 on Jan. 29, 2019.

Friedlander, D. (2008). ‘Sam comes to school: Including students with autism in your classroom.’ Clearing House: A Journal of Educational Strategies, Issues and Ideas, 82 (3), pp. 141–144.

Ganz, J. B. (2007). ‘Classroom structuring methods and strategies for children and youth with autism spectrum disorders.’ Exceptionality: A Special Education Journal, 15 (4), pp. 249–260. doi: 10.1080/09362830701655816

Guldberg, K. (2010). ‘Educating children on the autism spectrum: Preconditions for inclusion and notions of “best autism practice” in the early years.’ British Journal of Special Education, 37 (4), pp. 168–174. doi: 10.1111/j.1467‐8578.2010.00482.x 

Hanley, Mary; Khairat, Mariam; Taylor, Korey; et al., Classroom displays-Attraction or distraction? Evidence of impact on attention and learning from children with and without autism. Developmental Psychology, 07/2017, Volume 53, Issue 7 Reviewed Jan. 27,2019

Khare, R. & Mullick, A. (2009). ‘Incorporating the behavioral dimension in designing an inclusive learning environment for autism.’ International Journal of Architectural Research (Archnet‐IJAR), 3 (3), pp. 45–64.

Kinnealey, Moya, Pfeiffer, Beth, Miller, Jennifer, et al. (2012). Effect of classroom modification on Attention and Engagement of Students with Autism or Dyspraxia. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 66, pp511-519. Reviewed at http://dx.doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2012.001010

Ludlow, A. K., Wilkins, A. J. & Heaton, P. (2006). ‘The effect of colored overlays on reading ability in children with autism.’ Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 36 (4), pp. 507–516. doi: 10.1007/s10803‐006‐0090‐5

Ma Fernandez-Andres, I., Gemma P.V., et al. A comparative study of sensory processing
in children with and without Autism Spectrum Disorder in the home and classroom
environments. (2015) Research in Developmental Disabilities, 38. P202-212.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ridd.2014.12.034

Martin, Caren S., Exploring the impact of the design of the physical classroom environment on young children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). pp281-298.   First published: 19 November 2014 Reviewed 1/31/19 at https://doi-org.ezproxy.utpb.edu/10.1111/1471-3802.12092. ). Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs– Vol 16/4 pp280-298. Martin,

McAllister, K. & Maguire, B. (2012a). ‘A design model: The autism spectrum disorder classroom design kit.’ British Journal of Special Education, 39 (4), 201–208. doi: 10.1111/1467‐8578.12006

McAllister, K. & Maguire, B. (2012b). ‘Design considerations for the autism spectrum disorder‐friendly key stage 1 classroom.’ Support for Learning: British Journal of Learning Support, 27 (3), pp. 103–112. doi: 10.1111/j.1467‐9604.2012.01525.x

Meadan, H., Ostrosky, M. M., Triplett, B., Michna, A. & Fettig, A. (2011). ‘Using visual supports with young children with autism spectrum disorder.’ Teaching Exceptional Children, 43 (6), pp. 28–35.

Mohamed, Ahmed Hassan Hamdan, Attitudes of Special Education Teachers towards Using Technology in Inclusive Classrooms: A Mixed-Methods Study Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs, v18 n4 p278-288 Oct 2018  https://eric.ed.gov/?q=Journal+of+Research+in+Special+Educational+Needs%22&pr=on&id=EJ1192682  Reviewed: Jan 27, 2019 

Negiloni, Kalpa; ⨯ Krishna Kumar Ramani; Rachapalle Reddi Sudhir. Environmental factors in school classrooms: How they influence visual task demand on children. PLoS One; San Francisco Vol. 14, Iss. 1,  Pp1-12.  (Jan 2019): e0210299.DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0210299 reviewed at https://search-proquest.com.ezproxy.utpb.edu/docview/2166102289/fulltextPDF/98AB3070F19C43F4PQ/1?accountid=7137

National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). (2019)          

https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/All-Disorders/Developmental-Dyspraxia-Information

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). 2000—Public Law 106-310, The Children’s Health Act of 2000, Title I Autism. https://www.nih.gov/about-nih/what-we-do/nih-almanac/national-institute-mental-health-nimh).

Oakley, B., Autism Preparation Kit for Teachers, 2018, www.snagglebox.com, pp69. https://www.gadoe.org/Curriculum-Instruction-and-Assessment/Special-Education-Services/Documents/Eligibility%20Areas/Autism/autismpreparationkitforteacherspdf.pdf reviewed on Jan. 27, 2019

Ostafa, M. (2008). ‘An architecture for autism: Concepts of design intervention for the autistic user.’ International Journal of Architectural Research (Archnet‐IJAR), 2 (1), pp. 189–211.

Paola Ricciardia, Cinzia Burattib 2018, Environmental quality of university classrooms: Subjective and objective evaluation of the thermal, acoustic, and lighting comfort conditions. Building and Environment Volume 127, January 2018, Pages 23-36 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.buildenv.2017.10.030

Reszka, S. S., Odom, S. L. & Hume, K. A. (2012). ‘Ecological features of preschools and the social engagement of children with autism.’ Journal of Early Intervention, 34 (1), pp. 40–56. doi: 10.1177/1053815112452596

Richmond, M. L., Accommodating Children With Autism Within an Inclusive Setting  © 2007 Super Duper ® Publications • www.superduperinc.com https://www.superduperinc.com/handouts/pdf/134_AutismintheClassroom.pdf

Schilling, D. L. & Schwartz, I. S. (2004). ‘Alternative seating for young children with autism spectrum disorder: Effects on classroom behavior.’ Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 34 (4), pp. 423–432. doi: 10.1023/B:JADD.0000037418.48587.f4

Setter, Maria Earman, The Use of Technology to Assist School-Aged Students with High Incidence Special Needs in Reading ERIC Number: EJ1199417, Record Type: Journal, Publication Date: 2018, Pages: 10 Reference Count: 53 ISSN: EISSN-2227-7102 Education Sciences, v8 Article 61 2018  Reviewed Jan 27, 2019. https://eric.ed.gov/?q=environment+of+special++need+classes&pr=on&id=EJ1199417

Scott, I. (2009). ‘Designing learning spaces for children on the autistic spectrum.’ Good Autism Practice, 10 (1), pp. 36–59.

Smith, D. (2009). ‘Spatial design as a facilitator for people with less visible impairments.’ Australasian Medical Journal, 1 (13), pp. 220–227.

Smith, Kassidy M. Fort Worth Independent School District, Educator, Woodway Elementary School.

Tufvesson, C. & Tufvesson, J. (2009). ‘The building process as a tool towards an all‐inclusive school: A Swedish example focusing on children with defined concentration difficulties such as ADHD, autism and Down’s syndrome.’ Journal of Housing and the Built Environment, 24, pp. 47–66. doi: 10.1007/s10901‐008‐9129‐6

Vakil, S., Welton, E., O’Connor, B. & Kline, L. (2009). ‘Inclusion means everyone! The role of the early childhood educator when including young children with autism in the classroom.’ Early Childhood Education Journal, 36 (4), pp. 321–326. doi: 10.1007/s10643‐008‐0289‐5

Woodcock, A. A. & Georgiou, D. D. (2007). ‘Project spectrum; Evoking, focusing and demanding action.’ CoDesign, 3 (3), pp. 145–157. doi: 10.1080/15710880701520987

Wright, K., 20 Classroom Modifications for Students with Autism, From November–December 2001 Autism/Asperger’s Digest, Reviewed on Jan 27,2019  http://tcsps.sharpschool.net/UserFiles/Servers/Server_981069/File/Migrated%20Documents/20_classrm_modifications_for_students_with_autism.pdf

Yufang, X., & Jun Y. (2010) Exploring the social competence of students with autism spectrum conditions in a collaborative virtual learning environment- The pilot study. Computers and Education, Science Digest, 54, p 1068-1077. Doi: 00.1016/j.compedu.2009.10.011.

Zhi Zheng, Zachary Warren, Amy Weitlauf, Qiang Fu, Huan Zhao, Amy Swanson, & Nilanjan Sarkar, (Brief Report): Evaluation of an Intelligent Learning Environment for Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder https://link-springer-com.ezproxy.utpb.edu/article/10.1007%2Fs10803-016-2896-0  First Online: 25 August 2016, Journal Subset: Biomedical; Peer Reviewed; USA. Instrumentation: Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS). ISSN: 0162-3257 MEDLINE Info: NLM UID: 7904301 Grant Information: This study was supported by in part by the National Institute of Health under Grants 1R01MH091102-01A1 and R21 MH103518. Work also includes core support from EKS NICHD of the NIH under Award U54HD083211 and by CTSA Award UL1TR000445. Entry Date: Accession Number: 118940956 Today’s reference: 27 January 2019


 [KAC1]Unable to invent text on 2nd + lines.

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Creamy Potato Soup

6 medium irish potatoes, peeled and quartered

1 medium yellow onion, diced

1 10oz package phili cream cheese

1 1/2 cloved garlic, diced

30 oz chicken stock

optional garnishes: shredded cheese to top and bacon crisp bits

Crockpot: add all ingredients together at one time and cook on low about 4 hourd or till tender

This is not my original recipe.

Poetry

Poetry; an expression of one’s desires, thoughts, and hopes; music to one’s emotions, casting shadows upon the tides, evoking memories of bitter-sweetness, tantalizing the senses in awe.

Poetry; a word…. a phrase… a reflection of one’s inner soul; counting the moments, awaiting the freshness of a child’s’ tender kiss, or the fire of a lover’s embrace, and the joy of co-creation in Gods’ Universe.

Poetry, is the beginning of Dreams and the Idealism of Reality; Poetry is Today!

cc 1/17//1990 Kathy Challis

#poetry

Depression and Stinking Thinking

This is how it works. You can wake up in a fantastic mood, invite a friend over for coffee and then realize the house is in a bigger mess than you thought. So you shower and dress and begin in earnest cleaning the kitchen and doing laundry. The anxiety mounts, your friend comes over and see’s the condition of you- shaking and stemming and decides to help you get the mess under control. You take little rest breaks as the shaking has worked into a full blown pseudoseizure. Then you getup and work hard again. Your work is caught up and your friend goes home tired and still didn’t get the tea and coffee promised. You feel bad about that. You feel bad that she felt sorry for you enough to help you out. You felt bad when you asked your adult daughter to help you out the day before and she put you in your place- low woman on the totem pole.

So your worn out and decide to lay down and rest for an hour; two go by. The behaviour health nurse calls and you rant to her for about 30 minutes and decided to get out of bed- finally. But the negative talk continues inside your head. So you call your mom and she reaffirms the lack of respect at home life. Feeling worse. So you rant in your personal digital diary for an hour. Stinking thinking sets in. You start thinking about suicide. Oh not recognizable right away- it slithers in like a snake, and coils itself around your brain stem. You think about what your family’s reaction to having to find a maid and childcare would be for that is all you think you are.

So you begin to pray and weep. You are down in the toilet and you have a grandson due home any minute. The depression continues until 40 minutes after he gets home and you have to go get your other grandson from school. Praying constantly, LORD don’t allow me to have a seizure or get into an accident while the boys are in the car with me.  Their chatter actually helps you snap out of the depression, as you try to pay attention to the road construction and run two errands while you are out.

When daughter gets home late after a meeting at work, you ask he to take the trash out and she say’s NO! But said she will take the dumpsters out in the morning- we’ll see. I asked her if she noticed the clean house, she replies “yes, you got motivated.”  I prepare myself some dinner, she doesn’t want what I am going to serve so she heats up something for herself and the boys- that’s fine by me.

The stinking thinking starts to rear its ugly head once again- and you rebuke it in the name of GOD. Today, I got lucky and was able to write and pray through the issues.  Tomorrow is a new day, I pray it’s not like today. I have made up my mind to ask my neuropsychologist for Lexapro and anti-anxiety medication. I will explain what I just wrote and tell him that waiting for a new psychiatrist is tenacious at best and puts me at greater risk. If I can scale back the anxiety, perhaps the depression will go away and the pseudoseizures will too.

My blog friends, if you have stinking thinking going on inside your head, speak to someone who has common sense or seek medical attention. I thought about going to the hospital today, but I had the boys to take care of. People think pseudoseizures are non-damaging and attention seeking. They are wrong! You may not burn up brain cells, but you do burn up self-confidence and assurance that you are in control of your body at all times. And the depression never fully goes away- it’ s simmering on the cooktop waiting for a trigger.

 

 

 

 

 

Accountability is Responsibility

Every person is accountable for their own actions and reactions and choices that they make.

We can blame society, our parents, GOD, or someone else for our troubles, but that doesn’t mean we are right. If you do not like your present circumstances then change them.

Change can be a painful process, but allowing something or someone to control you is even more painful as it chips away at your spirit, confidence, self-esteem, and ability to make decisions.

I didn’t like the way my father reared us three children. He was quick to anger and quick to hit you with a belt repeatedly.  I chose NOT to spank or beat my children long before I had any.

I didn’t like the way my father would humble himself before anyone wealthier than us and say we were inferior to them. So I chose to teach my daughters self-respect and dignity and GOD was the only person worthy to be humble too; humans are fallible and just because you’re rich doesn’t mean you’re right.

I didn’t like the way my father was a womanizer to any female beginning puberty to old age. He saw every female as fair game to have sex with. Pedofilia was his actions and his excuses. So I chose to marry a man who had self-control and boundaries of moral conduct.

I didn’t like that my father thought education was a waste of time and money. So I earned my GED and Bachelor of Science Degree and instilled the values into my daughters so that they graduated 12 grade and earned Bachelor and Master Degrees. My husband earned certifications, Associates and Bachelor Degree. And we all continue to learn daily, and are instilling those values to our grandchildren.

What I did like about my father was his thriftiness. He went to yard sales and auctions all the time and bought and repurposed items or sold them for a profit. He also was a hard worker and keen provider (mom’s financial  management) until my mother divorced him.

I used the above personal examples to show you that no matter what  your circumstances are you can change. It doesn’t cost money to make subtle changes within yourself; ideas, values, and  identity. You don’t have to follow family traditions if they are poor choices made by demoralizing people.

Ultimately, you should like yourself as a human being thus causing other humans to want to be around you and get to know in what ways you are a terrific person to know.

 

 

 

 

72 hr’s EEG with visual

Day 1:

I look like I am getting ready to don a space helmet. My head is covered in sensors and tape. I am not suppose to drive anywhere until after the test is complete.

Day 2:

Had to go back in to a lead reglued. It is hard to sit still in one place while the video captures you every move.

Day 3:

Yea! today is the final day. I am concerned with all the rest I have recieved sitting and laying in bed, my routine has been off. I haven’t had any seizure activity. I think I would have been better served being active.

Day 4:

Yikes! I went yesterday morning to have my leads taken off only to discover that I was one day early. Well, I finally got them off, then came the process of washing the glue out of my hair. I used Head & Shoulders 5 times, then wound up combing and brushing the dried glue out. Not Fun!  I get my results next week.

Two weeks later, I get the results. I have a conversion disorder which is a nonepileptic seizure called pseudoseizures. They are psychosomatic; meaning it’s all in my head.

When I have one my eyes get glassy or glazed and I can’t maintain eye contact  for several minutes after the shaking has stopped.  I stay cognitive throughout the episode but sometimes have a little confusion as to what I was doing prior to the episode. I have been placed back on the medication that the withdrawal from started this whole mess in the first place.

#conversiondisorder #pseudoseizure #nonepileptic #eeg

 

Hurricane Harvey- Americolds efforts

People are still be rescued from the rising tides as Harvey stalls on the Houston/Rockport area. Americold Logistics told effected employees yesterday that they have a job in Ft.Worth & Dallas locations. They will have to find away up here, but then Americold will provide them and their immediate family lodging, food, clothing, and anything else required until they can return to their city of employment. Americold is sending truck loads of food to the affected areas.  The Houston & LaPorte plants are under 4′ water above loading docks. Fortunately, the power is still own in the buildings.

Labor Day 2017, the Houston plant is up and running. Still waiting to hear on other plant affected.

October 2017, the plants are back in operation in Houston and La Porte and people are trying to rebuild their lives one stone at a time. Americold gave the employees effected three days off with pay. Some had lost every material possession while others were just inconvenienced by receding storm waters.

The Dallas & Ft. Worth plants sent care packages to the afflicted in the first days of the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

 

cyberbully, troll, & demoralize

de·mor·al·ize
verb
gerund or present participle: demoralizing
1. 1. cause (someone) to lose confidence or hope; dispirit.
“their rejection of the treaty has demoralized the diplomatic community”
synonyms: dishearten, dispirit, deject, cast down, depress, dismay, daunt, discourage, unman, unnerve, crush, shake, throw, cow, subdue;

troll
verb
gerund or present participle: trolling
1. 1.informal
make a deliberately offensive or provocative online post with the aim of upsetting someone or eliciting an angry response from them.
“if people are obviously trolling then I’ll delete your posts and do my best to ban you”

cy·ber·bul·ly·ing
noun
noun: cyberbullying
1. the use of electronic communication to bully a person, typically by sending messages of an intimidating or threatening nature.

There was an incident of trolling and cyberbullying tonight among two residents. It started out innocent then moved to trolling, and finally escalated into cyberbullying. I was called in to mediate one side of the process. I responded that the one that was feeling threatened; and indeed were in person, should call the non-emergency police line and report it to protect themselves from retaliation from the bully.

When people are being rude on social media towards you. Take the higher ground and don’t respond. That’s especially true for personal attacks. Bullies need an audience to justify their own self worth. Try to remain calm and if you feel threatened by them call the police. We have anti-cyberbullying laws to protect oneself and family.

Taking the higher ground isn’t always easy, there are rocks, boulders, dips and ruts that threaten to bury you or leave you stuck on the side of the road endlessly. It takes courage not to get sucked into someone else’s drama.  Especially, if the comments go from trolling to cyberbullying, to just plain demoralizing an individual.

Taking the higher ground ensures you won’t get caught in a flood or back lash of water. It allows you the visibility to look ahead and all around you to see what is on the horizon. Taking the higher ground gives you choices and opportunities to deflate or diffuse a situation before it escalates.

Usually, the reason for trolling, cyberbullying, or just plain demoralizing someone shows a great deal of lack of self worth. Trollers and Bullies need an audience to give them the attention they feel they deserve and are unable to get their needs met in a positive venue. If they can stir the waters of contention they can reroute their own sense of failure.

My advice for what ever it is worth: When someone else is fishing in your pond you can take the higher ground and ignore them or if you want a little battle of wit; join them. Just don’t stay too long in the pond or you’ll have a host of other problems crop up.

#cyberbullying #demoralize #trolling

 

 

 

Freedom to be Patriotic?

The United States of America- Land of the Free!

Some people are foolishly chasing their own tail.  Racism is alive and thriving in America. People of African descent claim their ancestors were abused by Americans and they would be correct. But there were whites than were enslaved as well. And Indians, Chinese, and other immigrants that cheap labor and inflated prices kept them enslaved to the LandLord. All americans can look backwards and find injustices done at the mentality and hands of others.

Inciting riots based on race or skin color is just plain wrong. It really bothers me that White Supremacist or Black  Supremacist think they are entitled by the Freedom of Speech to hold riots, destroy people and property in the name of their cause. God gave each of us free-will, a conscious, and a way out of tyranny or oppression. There was a time when passive resistance- marches and boycotts were needed to bring attention to someone else’s free will being violated. That time has passed. We have equality laws to protect women and other minorities (which if you added them all up would be the majority) of people.

I may live a sheltered life but I know right from wrong, foolishness from wisdom, and the ability to see that America is being sold a pack of half-truths, misdirections, and immorality.  If the supremacist can achieve their goal of spread half-truths then they can agitate the masses into immoral conduct, while they try to achieve their real agenda. And that is to keep the fight going and reduce productivity in our society.

When people have a cause they become zealots in their quest to find or manipulate people into like mindedness. They want to belong to a larger group to justify their attitude or behaviour. They deflect from what is good in the world, what is good in America, and what is good in their little corner of society.

If the zealots put Patriotism in front of their cause by burning, defacing, and demoralizing our Nation’s Flag then the majority says, “that okay- they have that freedom of expression rights”. But it is more than a flag they are mocking; it is a symbol of hope and freedom- just ask any immigrant in today’s society that flea tyranny or oppression from their government- or those who have HOPE that America will provide good jobs, increased income, and freedom to choose where they will live, what occupation they will hold, how much schooling they can achieve, which GOD they can worship, and their right for individuality and privacy. Values that we Americans take for granted as a GOD given inalienable rights.

If supremacists start talking their spiel in your presence at work, church, school, or anywhere; shut them down. Tell them NO!  n-o you will not oppress me into your way of thinking. If you give them permission to rant and rave – they will, then productivity of positive thinking is down the drain. One has to stand up (self will) and just say NO!

 

 

 

 

History will be forgotten and repeat itself

If we take down statutes that immortalize Confederate Army personnel then we are guilty of  re-writing history.   2017 Race Riots and Bigotry are doing quite well in the United States of America- Land of the Free!  Statues, naming schools, or towns are symbols that change meaning the further you get away from the beginning of history. Politicians run scared of opposition and cow down to fear of what might be rather than stand up and say “Look! It is what it is!”

The German occupied people removed statues and other reminders of the Hitler-Stalin years. Children need to see these once revered people and understand the political era and agenda that erected the monument in the beginning. Only by understanding the beginning will we hope to understand its ending. I want opportunities to take my grandchildren to see monuments and open a dialog about what happen, when, and where it happened, who was involved,  and most importantly why it happened. So that they can process the information for themselves and form an learned opinion regarding the topic of discussion.

We need the physical reminders or history will be forgotten and doomed to repeat itself.

 

I Break for Yard Sales (Across the Southern States)

Historic US 80 Hi-Way Sale Dates and Hours

  • Third weekends of April and October each year
  • Friday through Sunday, except when the sale falls on a holiday
  • 2017 Fall dates: October 20, 21 and 22
  • 2018 Spring dates: April 20, 21 and 22
  • Hours vary, but typically vendors are operating by 8 a.m. and operate until the evening

Shoppers are encouraged to stop and enjoy local cuisine, flea markets, and community events along the way. Check the Chamber of Commerce website in each individual state for more information on the sale and affiliated activities.

411 sale

The Route

  • More than 250 miles along U.S. Highway 411
  • Leeds, Alabama to Knoxville, Tennessee, with stops in Cave Spring, Georgia

Dates and Times

  • Held annually at the end of September / first of October
  • Wednesday through Saturday

    Gabby sets up on April 20-22, 2018

  • Be on the Lookout for “GABBY” at the 411 sales in Tabs storage in Centre, Alabama, 35960 and  Leesburg, Alabama. She has name brand clothing and quality merchandise for real bargains.  Appliances, pictures, furniture.

  • Tell her that her sister Kat sent you.

    31W Treasure Hunt / Yard Sale

  • Historic Highway 31 W began as a buffalo trail before becoming Kentucky’s first paved highway. Today, it’s the home of the 31W Treasure Hunt / Yard Sale.
  • The annual highway yard sale takes place each September. It spans approximately 150 miles of the historic highway, from Louisville, Kentucky to Nashville, Tennessee.
  • Antique Alley Texas – Cleyburne to Maypearl
  • Antique Alley Texas may not be the biggest or longest antique and yard sale trail on the list, but it’s definitely one of the most exciting.
  • In addition to lots of yard sale fare, you’ll spot vintage clothing and home decor, antiques, collectibles, and community events along the route. There’s a reason it’s sometimes called “Little Round Top.”
  • Antique Alley Texas takes place: May 17th thru 20th, 2018
  • and September.
  • Benton County Bargain Highway in West Tennessee
  • Looking for something to do over Labor Day weekend? Shop the Benton County Bargain Highway.
  • Started in 1998, the Benton County Bargain Highway usually has between 150 and 200 participating yard sales along its 30-mile route. The annual event takes place in Tennessee’s Benton County.
  • Highway 61 Yard Sale
  • Shop more than 60 miles and up to 300 sales each year at the Highway 61 Yard Sale in Missouri.
  • The highway yard sale route runs from Jackson to Bloomsdale. It always takes place in late August or early September, on the Friday and Saturday before Labor Day.
  • Kan-Okla 100+ Mile Highway Sale
  • Treasure hunt in two states at the Kan-Okla 100+ Mile Highway Sale.
  • The annual event takes place each September in numerous participating towns in Kansas and Oklahoma.
  • Highway 54 Yard Sale – Western Kentucky
  • Western Kentucky’s Highway 54 Yard Sale gives you two chances to treasure hunt each year. The fall event always takes place on the third weekend of September.
  • The 50-mile highway yard sale route runs from Owensboro to Leitchfield.
  • Highway 60 Yard Sale
  • The annual Highway 60 Yard Sale in Western Kentucky takes place each fall, typically in late September or early October. The event includes eight counties and approximately 200 miles of sales.
  • Highway 75 King of Trails Market Day in Minnesota – Luverne to Hallock
  • Western Minnesota’s King of Trails Market Day features antiques, vintage goods, and lots of yard sale bargains along its 400-mile route.
  • The highway yard sale always takes place on the second Saturday of September.
  • Hwy 411 Yard Sale – Leeds, Alabama to Knoxville, Tennessee
  • Bargain huntacross three states during the Hwy 411 Yard Sale.
  • The Hwy 411 Yard Sale takes place in late September and early October of each year. The route spans more than 250 miles. If you start in Alabama, you can finish the weekend in the Smoky Mountain area of Tennessee.
  • Roller Coaster Yard Sale – Kentucky and Tennessee
  • Enjoy an autumn weekend twisting along the 150-mile route of the Roller Coaster Yard Sale in Kentucky and Tennessee.
  • The annual highway yard sale takes place each fall, at the end of September or beginning of October. The scenery is nearly as exciting as the treasures you’re sure to find.
  • S. Highway 36 Treasure Hunt
  • The U.S. Highway 36 Treasure Hunt features yard sales all across the state of Kansas, from border to border.
  • The highway yard sale takes place each September. The 400-mile route includes yard sales, flea markets, and community events in participating cities.
  • Warrensburg Garage Sale
  • What’s better than autumn in the Adirondacks? That would be autumn in the Adirondacks during the Warrensburg Garage Sale.
  • The upstate New York event takes place each year at the end of September or early November. In addition to all the great garage sales, expect to see antiques, vintage clothing, crafts, and lots and lots of food.
  • Dates are approximate as found on the internet in various places.Check with Chamber of Commerce for accurate information.
  • yard sale sign

RJ Llama

 

RJ is such a clown. He loves to tease people and is rewarded with his favorite HORSE Treats. He is docile but will love to give chase; his favorite game, with the dogs. He’s been known to go inside the house to check it out, and see where our accommodations are.

RJ rubs his head against the tree until he gets his harness off. His expression is one of self-satisfaction as he almost succeeded in getting the harness free. Underneath the guard hairs his fur is soft; he enjoys getting haircuts as they cool him down in the hot Texas heat.

One of RJ’s favorite pastimes is playing tag with the people. One time he got out of his acreage and made it up to the interstate and was starting to egress on the interstate. People appeared and made a circle with their cars so it would corral him in and give me a chance to rope him and take him back home. It was raining and I had my hand out the window holding the rope on RJ and I ran/walked his butt back home. The police were kind enough to follow us and keep us safe had their been any cars on the roadway.

Another time Rj jumped the fence into the neighbors paddock, he played keep-away for also an hour when he finally came and stood by me, I admonished him and told him to go home and he did. He was sure ornery and cantankerous when the mood struck him.

I miss my RJ so desperately. I only prayer is that he found a good home and doesn’t hold a grudge against me in letting him and his family go. Robert was so very ill and we couldn’t continue to pay out the $250.00 a month for their food, haircuts and vet bills were extra. So I gave them to a good man who promised they would have good long lives protecting his goats. As fate would allow seven years later, I can now afford their upkeep but have know way of knowing where they are located at. 😦  I know it was near Waco, TX.

Peace Rj, peace.

 

 

The Power of Friendship

The class was over, and still I sat, it was 1988. The professor, an old woman asked if she could buy me a soda pop. Her name is Dr. Edythe Leupp, a professor at Southern Nazarene University, Bethany, Oklahoma. I had decided to drop out of college; a dream of mine since I was 14 years old. Dr. Leupp asked me to tell her my story- who am I. In a cantankerous moment, I decided, “what the heck, you want to know, I’ll tell you.”
I was enduring a serious depression, later (1993) identified as Schizoaffective Disorder and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Multiple Personalities Disorder and Post Trauma Stress Disorder. I was a mother of two very bright girls and a wife of a hard-working man. I was 27 years old, (married since I was 15 yrs.’ old) a traditional student and I was hopelessly floundering in my classes. I was the first person to get a GED and attend college in both my husband and my families. Finances were tight and I was attending a private university on school loans.
Dr. Leupp listened to my career goals of Teaching Wildlife Biology in the future. She happed to be a Teacher Education Professor. She asked me if I would give SNU another chance and come to the Teacher Education classes and she would be my Academic Advisor. I was eking out D’s and my GPA was tanked, I was overloaded, over worked, and just plain tired. But I changed my degree plan to test this old lady’s word and see if she would bail on me too.
I used the psychologists’ services on campus to help me function with the stressors of daily life. I started having anxiety seizures because of stress. I earned A’s in all my education classes. My husband was very supportive and proud of me and stood by me while experiencing my mental illnesses. Dr. Leupp was proud of my accomplishment’s and listened to my hopes, dreams, aspirations, and well as the negative stuff, she told me I was smart – brains plus- and said I was achieving success already; I had Dr. Leupp in my corner.
Mom Leupp attended mother-daughter events with me and would later say I was her success story. She talked to me about Gods love for me and helped me heal old wounds. If she hadn’t taken a moment out of her busy schedule and offered to buy me a soda pop my life would have turned out different. I would have considered myself a failure at life. I am eternally grateful to Dr. Edythe Leupp; aka Mom Leupp. She cared to see beneath the pain to the potential of what I could be. She is 95 years old and still and active part of my life.

Walking in my shoes- a father’s tale

My dear Son,
I anticipate the arrival of you birth with wonder.
I promise that I will be a great provider
of unconditional love.

I remember with delight…
The joy of hearing “Dah-dah” from your tiny lips.
The pleasure of holding your hands as you prance and
practice taking your first steps.
The excitement of your first day of school
And the name of your first girl to love.

I remember the agony you felt
when you received your first black eye
from a bully twice your size, then later,
the pride of the victory when
you cut him down to size.

The little things that were a major milestone;
like having a pimpled face, falling in and out of love,
driving your first car, the Prom Dance, and
graduating from high school.

I wait with you as you anticipate the arrival
of your child’s birth with wonder,
as you solemnly promise that you will be
a great provider of unconditional love.

I am so proud of you, and I shall treasure
all the moments we have shared
For now, you are a man
Walking in my shoes!

The NERVE of some people

My sister Gaynell came to visit for three weeks between our moms’ in Oklahoma and my place in Texas. While she was gone from Alabama, someone decided to make a house for themselves out of her belongings. She got home to find that most of her stuff was gone, stolen, and the near neighbors a mile away suspected nothing amis.

We are talking groceries, towels and linens, jewelry, computers and electronics, pots and pans, dishes, clothes, everything imaginable but furniture. She is discombobulated at the nerve of some people. Someone had to know she was going out of state. Her husband stayed gone from the premises except for two days when he came home and discovered stuff missing.  “It’s the extent of getting someone’s underwear out of their drawers and taking off with them that makes it so ridiculously maddening, ” says Gaynell. The police had no comment about the variety of items stolen. Meanwhile, Gaynell is shaking her head and trying to find out how they can survive taking baths and replacing everyday items on her limited budget.

 

Excerpt from Shining Armour

He was handsome. Nearly six feet and one hundred seventy pounds of lean muscle. Dark brown hair and chocolate eyes that a girl could lose herself in. He was shouting, “Hey! Evelyn, is it you?” Coming out of the temporary daze I answer, “No!” Coming closer still he saw his mistake and apologizes that he mistook me for someone else. At five feet and one-half inch and weighing in at eighty-nine pounds; I was used to hearing lines from boys and men; even while assuming it was just a line, I was flattered to be noticed by him, if only for just a moment.

 

 

Why a Blog?

I began my blog as a forum to display works in progress of different literary activities and craft projects.  I am trying to become an excellent writer with a variety of subjects to capture a wide audience at first. Basically,  I’m throwing darts and seeing which ones stick.  If you have any suggestions on my work efforts please send me a comment. I can only improve from this point forwards- I think!

 

My Very First blog post

This is my very first post. I hope that you love to read novels, short stories, and poetry blogs. I have a chapter book in writing stages of the novel,  Shining Armor  due out by December 2017. I will be installing excerpts from the book.

Shining Armour is a love story that entreats the audience to ask; will young love ever be enough to sustain these lovers or will their young ages doom them to fail?