Thursday, July 30, 2009


I spent the whole day ....really....the whole day walking the streets of Toronto. It was awesome. A 7 hour meditation. What did I think about? .....wouldn't you like to know :) ?

So I was so excited walking to the designer district by Younge and Bloor...until I got there and saw....Holt Renefrew. My body felt like a deflating balloon as all the excitement flowed out of me with a big ....ugh..... Okay, yes, I know you're, what were you expecting?

I'll tell you what I was expecting....struggling Toronto designers in small little shops with totally awesome clothing....and most of them (if not all) dedicated to sustainability. I was expecting Main Street in Vancouver. What would that be called?

I could be a little niave.

moving on.....On the way up Younge street I walked into Cat's Cradle Boutigue ( Ahhh...did I ever mention I am not into that whole american dream thing....and buying stuff.....and materialism....and you know.....well, forget it...for now....I bought an awesome dress by Myco Anna ( Christiane Garant designs are fantastic, perfectly dreamy clothing, made from whole or part recycled or equitably traded material. Although not a toronto designer she is from my home province, Quebec. Her flag ship store is in Quebec City and she has just opened a store on St. Laurent street in Montreal.

and I finally made it to Kensignton Market and to The Rage; where "Every item in the store is designed and made by young Toronto-based artists EXCLUSIVELY. " I bought a duplicate toronto shirt....also made of recycled materials....check out her myspace account (

Liza's here...will write later....if I have's a beautiful sunny day here in toronto....without all that Vancouver heat!!

Friday, July 24, 2009

The American Dream

“I believe that to pursue the American Dream is not only futile but self-destructive because ultimately, it destroys everything and everyone involved with it. By definition it must, because it nurtures everything but those things that are important: integrity, ethics, truth, our very heart and soul. Why? The reason is simple: because Life/life is about giving, not getting.”

Hubert Selby Jr., in Requiem for a Dream (Preface, 2000).

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Survey for Physicians

The SPD foundation needs your immediate help with an important effort to obtain diagnostic recognition of Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) in the upcoming revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM).

The DSM committee has asked for research showing that doctors would use an SPD diagnosis if it were added to the DSM-V. In response to the DSM committee’s request, the SPD foundation has developed a very short online physician survey (it literally takes a doctor three minutes to complete).

Please support the DSM initiative by recruiting your child’s physicians or your physician colleagues to take the survey and show that doctors would use the SPD diagnosis if it were in the DSM-V. Send them the suggested cover letter below or simply forward this link.



The DSM-V committee is requesting data from physicians about Sensory Processing Disorder. Below is a link to a three-minute online survey. The survey will provide data about whether the new diagnosis would be used in the medical community. By taking this very short survey, you will help answer the usefulness question.
The millions of children, adults, and families living with SPD need the diagnostic status and standards of assessment and treatment that come with diagnostic recognition in the DSM. Diagnostic recognition will also make it easier for families to get reimbursed for the services their children need and for scientists to receive the funding they need to continue researching the disorder.
Thank you for taking a few minutes to answer the basic questions in the survey.
If you have any questions about this survey, please contact Kim Leserman at 310.937.9992.
To take the survey, click on this link or copy the link into your browser to begin:

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Welcome to Holland

Today was a rough day....sometimes, I forget that my son has special needs....I let his home therapies slide....we spend our days doing "normal" things instead of all the things we should be doing....all the things that help us keep on track....we slack off....and inevitably, everything goes to hell and all I could do is cry and wish I was in Italy....

I read "Welcome to Holland" by Emily Perl Kingsley and I cry some more. Eventually, I will get up and start again....this time, keeping everything right on track.

by Emily Perl Kingsley.

c1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......
When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.
After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."
"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."
But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.
The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.
So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.
It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.
But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."
And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.
But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.

(copied from the followin link:

Monday, July 6, 2009

Children and Labels

As I list my favorite books and web links on my blog, I remember reading The Mislabeled Child by Brock Eide, M.D.,M.A., and Fernette Eide, M.D. They clearly stated the problems associated with adding "labels" to children. "Labels," they wrote, "…. can lead us to view children with learning challenges as diseased or disordered rather than as simply in need of further learning and development. In the age-old struggle between nature and nurture, nature currently dominates the battle for “expert opinion.” As a result, the labels applied to children with learning challenges often sound as if they represent fixed and unchanging brain disorders, caused by irresistible forces that a child’s development and experience have no power to change. Yet, a growing body of research has demonstrated that brain development is an ongoing process that can be shaped and accelerated through the use of “targeted experience”."

But, they also quote an old Chinese proverb, " The beginning of wisdom is calling things by their right name". Drs. Eides' book helps parents (teachers, or other child-care professionals) find the right names for their struggling children. In doing so, children can begin the road to learning to their full potential.

And is a great place to visit when looking for resources on Brain Gym that can help shape and accelerate brain development and empower those with learning challenges.