Friday, February 22, 2008

Conversation with Jonathan Mooney Part II (show #79)

In the second half of my conversation with Jonathan Mooney, we talk about his great book, The Short Bus, and how many kids and parents chase the concept of "normal" or "fixing" their kids with LD. We also discuss how parents can help kids learn to play some of the "games" of school- like giving teachers exactly what they want, plus a little bit more, along with other ways to be successful. Kids need mentoring, and sometimes parents are always the best mentors, which is where Jonathan's Project Eye to Eye comes into play.

I also talk about the progress we're making on raising money for the Ma Chen- Autism School in China Project! Thank you so much for everyone who has donated! We're running the program through March 22nd, at which time I will wire 100% of the money we've raised to Ma Chen, paying any associated costs myself.

I want to take the opportunity to thank CC Chapman for donating $750 he raised during the My Oovoo Day events towards the Ma Chen project. Joseph Jaffe, head of Crayon, an internet marketing firm, and Scott Monty, put together a great project where people could try out the new video conferencing service, Oovoo, by signing up to speak with some of the great "players" in the internet blogging space. In return, Oovoo is donating money to the Susan Rynolds "Frozen peas" fund for breast cancer research. CC Chapman, whose sister is a speech therapist working with autistic children, asked to have half of the money he earned donated to the Ma Chen Project. This means we will have at least $1,500 to send to Ma Chen, helping towards her goal of buying a farm so the autistic children in her school will have a chance at a future, in a society and culture where there is no real societal safety net for people with disabilities.

I'll be at Podcamp Toronto this weekend if the weather holds, and if you are there, please come say hi!

Also mentioned in the show-

March, 2008 issue of Parent's Magazine- great article about speech and language delays

Click here to download Jonathan Mooney Part II

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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Conversation with Jonathan Mooney

Jonathan Mooney is the author of two great books, Learning Outside the Lines, and a new book, The Short Bus. Both books tell of Jon's journey from being a child who couldn't read at age 12, to graduating from one of the top colleges in the Country, Brown University. Jonathan is CEO of Project Eye to Eye, a non-profit foundation that helps find mentors for students struggling with LD in elementary and middle school school. Jon speaks extensively across the Country, both to help people realize kids can be both smart and learning disabled, and in the hopes that we can remake education to concentrate less on labels and more on what kids can accomplish.

From Jon's Website:

When his teachers decided Jon needed special ed because he couldn’t follow directions, sit still, or read well, he feared he’d lost his chance to be a regular kid. Suddenly he was “not normal.” Suddenly he was a short-bus rider destined to travel a harder road, a distinction that screamed out his “difference” to a hostile world. Along with other kids facing similar challenges, he was denigrated daily. He almost lost hope. Yet ultimately, Jon shocked the skeptics, graduating from Brown University (with honors). But he could never shake the voice that insisted he would always be "less than."

Jon's first book, Learning Outside the Lines, also contains great strategies geared towards college students, to help them succeed in school- strategies you may be able to adapt to help your younger child figure out the game of school.

Today's show features Part one of my conversation with Jonathan Mooney, and a bit about a wonderful educational conference I recently attended, Educon 2.0. Jon and I talk about Project Eye to Eye, what it was like growing up with LD, and how we can change education to be more compassionate to people who learn differently.

Click Here to listen to Part One of our Conversation with Jonathan Mooney

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