Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Human Roots....a Little Bit of Kindness Goes a Long Way....

I don't normally read email forwards, forward them onward, or include them with anything.  But this email was different, and the story was so touching that I thought I would include it in my blog.  I am not sure of the author, but from his message I do believe he would like it passed forward to those you know. 

Something to think about......

Two Choices

What would you do?....you make the choice. Don't look for a punch line, there isn't one. Read it anyway. My question is: Would you have made the same choice?

At a fundraising dinner for a school that serves children with learning disabilities, the father of one of the students delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended. After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he offered a question:

'When not interfered with by outside influences, everything nature does, is done with perfection.

Yet my son, Shay, cannot learn things as other children do. He cannot understand things as other children do.

Where is the natural order of things in my son?'

The audience was stilled by the query.

The father continued. 'I believe that when a child like Shay, who was mentally and physically disabled comes into the world, an opportunity to realize true human nature presents itself, and it comes in the way other people treat that child.'

Then he told the following story:

Shay and I had walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball. Shay asked, 'Do you think they'll let me play?' I knew that most of the boys would not want someone like Shay on their team, but as a father I also understood that if my son were allowed to play, it would give him a much-needed sense of belonging and some confidence to be accepted by others in spite of his handicaps.

I approached one of the boys on the field and asked (not expecting much) if Shay could play. The boy looked around for guidance and said, 'We're losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team and we'll try to put him in to bat in the ninth inning..'

Shay struggled over to the team's bench and, with a broad smile, put on a team shirt.. I watched with a small tear in my eye and warmth in my heart. The boys saw my joy at my son being accepted.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shay's team scored a few runs but was still behind by three.

In the top of the ninth inning, Shay put on a glove and played in the right field. Even though no hits came his way, he was obviously ecstatic just to be in the game and on the field, grinning from ear to ear as I waved to him from the stands.

In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shay's team scored again.

Now, with two outs and the bases loaded, the potential winning run was on base and Shay was scheduled to be next at bat.

At this juncture, do they let Shay bat and give away their chance to win the game?

Surprisingly, Shay was given the bat. Everyone knew that a hit was all but impossible because Shay didn't even know how to hold the bat properly, much less connect with the ball.

However, as Shay stepped up to the plate, the pitcher, recognizing that the other team was putting winning aside for this moment in Shay's life, moved in a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shay could at least make contact.

The first pitch came and Shay swung clumsily and missed.

The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly towards Shay.

As the pitch came in, Shay swung at the ball and hit a slow ground ball right back to the pitcher.

The game would now be over.

The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could have easily thrown the ball to the first baseman.

Shay would have been out and that would have been the end of the game.

Instead, the pitcher threw the ball right over the first baseman's head, out of reach of all team mates.

Everyone from the stands and both teams started yelling, 'Shay, run to first, run to first!'

Never in his life had Shay ever run that far, but he made it to first base.

He scampered down the baseline, wide-eyed and startled.

Everyone yelled, 'Run to second, run to second!'

Catching his breath, Shay awkwardly ran towards second, gleaming and struggling to make it to the base.

By the time Shay rounded towards second base, the right fielder had the ball. The smallest guy on their team who now had his first chance to be the hero for his team.

He could have thrown the ball to the second-baseman for the tag, but he understood the pitcher's intentions so he, too, intentionally threw the ball high and far over the third-baseman's head.

Shay ran toward third base deliriously as the runners ahead of him circled the bases toward home.

All were screaming, 'Shay, Shay, Shay, all the Way Shay'

Shay reached third base because the opposing shortstop ran to help him by turning him in the direction of third base, and shouted, 'Run to third! Shay, run to third!'

As Shay rounded third, the boys from both teams, and the spectators, were on their feet screaming, 'Shay, run home! Run home!'

Shay ran to home, stepped on the plate, and was cheered as the hero who hit the grand slam and won the game for his team

'That day', said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, 'the boys from both teams helped bring a piece of true love and humanity into this world'.

Shay didn't make it to another summer. He died that winter, having never forgotten being the hero and making me so happy, and coming home and seeing his Mother tearfully embrace her little hero of the day!


We all send thousands of jokes through the e-mail without a second thought, but when it comes to sending messages about life choices, people hesitate.

The crude, vulgar, and often obscene pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion about decency is too often suppressed in our schools and workplaces.

If you're thinking about forwarding this message, chances are that you're probably sorting out the people in your address book who aren't the 'appropriate' ones to receive this type of message Well, the person who sent you this believes that we all can make a difference.

We all have thousands of opportunities every single day to help realize the 'natural order of things.'

So many seemingly trivial interactions between two people present us with a choice:

Do we pass along a little spark of love and humanity or do we pass up those opportunities and leave the world a little bit colder in the process?

A wise man once said every society is judged by how it treats it's least fortunate amongst them.

You now have two choices:

May your day, be a Shay Day.


Friday, April 20, 2012

Earth Day

Earlier today, I made mention that this month is Autism Awareness Month.  True, it's Autism Awareness Month, but today is an incredibly important day: Earth Day; and this should not be discounted.

We need to remember to take care of the only Earth we have.  In our attempts to do so, I truly believe this may help with trying to curb and decrease the number of children and families being affected by the Autism epidemic.

Learn more about Earth Day, and how we can take action to take care of our home.


Also, a fun side-note, for a fun family activity...please go to the movie theater today and see the Disney Chimpanzee movie.  My 6-year old and his entire school went for a Whole School Field Trip that included Kindergarten through eighth grade to see this movie, and I took our 3-year old son to see it earlier this morning.  This movie is fun, educational, and moving.  Chimpanzee is a truly moving and inspirational story about how special and intricate our ecosystem and the forces are within.

Autism Awareness Month

April is Autism Awareness Month.  

The statistics from the Center for Disease Control are astounding.  The results now indicate that 1 in 88 children will be diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and 1 in 54 of those children are boys.

New CDC Autism Statistics

Attached is the link to Autism Speaks, which provides important information and resources regarding early signs of autism. 

Autism Speaks-Signs of Autism

If you have any concerns that your little one may be showing any signs that they may be having trouble with their development, please seek help and intervention as soon as possible.  Early diagnosis and intervention services, including: occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, and clinical developmental psychology are integral components of helping children make great strides in their development and overall progress. 

It is also imperative that we find a way to get involved and try to find a cure for autism.  Attached are links that help encourage ways to help.

Ways to get involved:



Please don't ignore what is going on.  Most likely you know or you will know someone that has been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.  Let's all work together to try and make a difference.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

New Sensory Modulation Dysfunction Research by Katherine James, Lucy Jane Miller, Roseann Schaaf, Darci M. Nielsen, and Sarah A Schoen

Phenotypes within sensory modulation dysfunction by Katherine James, Lucy Jane Miller, Roseann Schaaf, Darci M. Nielsen, and Sarah A. Schoen.


Here's another breakdown of this research from the Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation (http://www.sinetwork.org/):

Hope you all find this useful.

New Autism Statistics from the CDC

Hello All,

Here are some the most recent statistics from the CDC regarding the autism rates.  The statistics are terrifying.  It's time for us all to be very alarmed and become active in trying to figure out why the numbers are increasing at such an alarming rate.  We need to make sure we advocate for these little ones and their families to get the treatment they need, and provide them with as many resources as possible.