My friend Vanessa just started a blog called Closing the Gap for Individuals with Disabilities that I see kind of as a post M.ed. collaboration tool. She puts it best when she says
My hope for this blog is to facilitate conversations with and between other special educators, caregivers, and anyone working with individuals with special needs. I believe in collaborating with others to provide my students with effective and appropriate services.
Anyway, Vanessa is supremely cool and I hope that her site can serve as a nice forum for people with special needs, their friends, families and service providers. (Wow! I am sounding all grown up here, more like a grad paper than my usual rambling blog fodder)
A colleague/professor of ours piloted an exercise program, called Jumping Jacks & Jills, for kids with ASD in Cincinnati. Vanessa has successfully expanded this program in her new neighborhood in NJ. I love the program and it is something I would like to see nationwide. I have already started talking to people I met at a school curriculum training last week about starting one near here in the spring. (I am not quite as quick as Vanessa at getting these things together, but really, I typed it out now so I am accountable for making it happen.)
Finally, Vanessa is so crazy motivated that she is also doing a Walk for Autism Research on September 30th, and raising money as a team for the Jumping Jacks & Jills. So, if you are just sitting there with all that money you meant to earmark for charitable donation burning a hole in your bank account go visit her Walk site to make a donation.