Wednesday, July 29, 2015

R.I.P. Cecil

I can’t stop thinking about it.  I really want to, but I can’t.  Ever since I saw the picture online of that A$$hole dentist, standing over a dead lion and smiling, I have been thinking about beautiful Cecil. 
 I will never understand the desire to kill such a beautiful creature simply for sport.  Pictures of Cecil have been circulating on social media for the past few days, and I find myself captivated by his regal stature.  He was truly majestic. 
 I know that social media brings out the crazies, and I am not joining the chorus that is demanding we shoot and skin the dentist, but I also do not feel sorry for him in any way.  I do believe that his dental practice will be closed.  Quite frankly, if this man has $50,000 to waste on killing a beautiful animal, he has enough money.  I don’t think he will go to jail, he did hire local guides who broke the law, but it might be very difficult to prove that this dentist knowingly broke the law.  Apparently he has gone into hiding due to death threats.  Again, I do not feel sorry for him.  This man is getting a great big dose of karma – when you kill for fun and sport, you are doing something very wrong. 
 The tragedy here is the loss of this incredible animal; the local population revered Cecil.  It is easy to see why.  The loss of Cecil is not only affecting the humans who loved him, he was an important part of his pride.  Lions are the only big cat that lives in a large group or 'pride', with as many as 40 individuals, primarily female and cubs.
 Around the world, big cats are endangered and the main threats are from human activities. Roughly 80 percent of the  wild cat species are shrinking and sixteen of them are considered vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered.  Lion numbers have dropped an estimated 30 percent over the past twenty years, to less than a total of 30,000. Their top threat is conflicts with humans, especially when they hunt livestock, often resulting in the owners hunting them.
Trophy hunting is a controversial but popular recreational activity in Africa.  The public outcry for Cecil could have some positive effects.  If this needless and brutal act can motivate change in the practice of trophy hunting, then at least Cecil’s death will have some meaning. 

While we cannot regulate other countries, we can make it illegal for anyone to bring ANY dead animal trophies to the United States.  That way, a$$holes like this dentist will not be able to decorate their homes with these trophies, and hopefully this will deter them from participating in this horrific so-called ‘sport’. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Back to school help when your child has ADHD

Having a child with ADHD can be a struggle for parents.  One of the biggest challenges is the ongoing accommodations necessary for your child to do well in school.  I found that communicating with teachers and school administration is essential for parents of students with ADHD.  As parents prepare for another school year, I wanted to share this sample letter  to teachers as a resource.  
Sending a letter like this to your child's teacher at the beginning of a new school year is a great way to establish positive communication.  Feel free to copy and edit this letter to suit your child's individual needs.    

My child Name is scheduled to be in your class this year.  I would like to share some pertinent information regarding my child as you begin the new academic year together.  Name is a very bright student and s/he is extremely friendly and outgoing (or whatever pertinent details you wish to share about your child).  Name has been identified as having mild/moderate/severe Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).  Name also has (list any other medical conditions such as asthma, allergies. seizures, migraine headaches, etc).  At this time Name is/is not on any medications for ADHD. 
Name may require some accommodations to improve her/his classroom behavior and academic performance.  S/he works best with a teacher who utilizes a daily or weekly checklist for classroom work/assignments. Name works very well if s/he can follow a list and check off the items that s/he has completed.   S/he may need additional reminders to turn in her/his work and may need extra supervision for overall planning and organization.  I will do my best to make sure that s/he completes her/his assignments if I have a way to access daily assignment info.  In the past teachers who have utilized class room websites or daily planners that require a parent signature have worked very well.
 Name is very motivated by reward systems, and s/he responds extremely well to teachers who utilize humor and creative classroom instruction techniques(or whatever technique works well for your child).  Name needs visual and other stimulation, as s/he will frequently ‘tune-out’ during auditory instruction.  I believe that for Name to be the most successful s/he will need teachers that can effective motivate and focus her/his gifts and talents, while making it very clear what is required and expected of her/him.    Name is capable of doing honors-level work.  I would be happy to provide any additional information necessary in order to help both of you have a successful year.  Please feel free to contact me at any time.