Friday, December 28, 2007

Judy Winter's FAV Quote of the Month January 2008


"I've seen and met angels, wearing the disguise
of ordinary people, living ordinary lives..."
-Tracy Chapman

Me, too!

Have you?
Breakthrough Parenting for Children with Special Needs: Raising the Bar of Expectations

New Beginnings January 2008

Did you know that the Romans named the first month of the year after Janus, god of beginnings? That according to the Jan '08 issue of one of my favorite magazines Traverse: Northern Michigan'as Magazine ( For pure creative visual inspiration I also love Santa Barbara magazine-( Both provide pure escapism that's healthier for the eye and soul than most reality tv!

But I digress.

I like the possibilities in that simple calendar action taken by the Romans as I face the discovery of my own life goals for 2008. Let's face it, talking new beginnings sure beats talking tired-old resolutions! And writers are all about working hard to find new ways to say the same old stuff.

So what 'New Beginnings' will be on your list of goals for 2008?

I'm still working on mine...

Happy New Year!
Breakthrough Parenting for Children with Special Needs: Raising the Bar of Expectations

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Catch my Interview with Timberly Whitfield on Hallmark Channel

If you want to catch my interview on the program 'New Morning' with Timberly Whitfield that aired on the Hallmark Channel this a.m., here's the link. After today, you'll have to search their archives. It's one of the interviews I did recently in NYC. Timberly was terrific!

Breakthrough Parenting for Children with Special Needs: Raising the Bar of Expectations

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Judy Winter's FAV Quote of the Month #2 December 2007

During this sacred season too often overshadowed by excessive materialism, I've chosen to end this month's blogging as it began, with a favorite quote. Simple words worth thinking about as we face the tremendous challenges of realizing peace and justice and a healthier planet for all in 2008.


"If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there'd be peace."
-John Lennon
Breakthrough Parenting for Children with Special Needs: Raising the Bar of Expectations

Friday, December 21, 2007

Holiday Blessings to All!

As we close in on one of the biggest holidays of the year (got your shopping done yet?!), I offer huge thanks to all of you for your continued support of my work, especially when it involves improving the lives of children with special needs. Your positive feedback and great stories fuel me on each and every day. I have such respect for what you do 24/7 for your children. Please give them all big holiday hugs from me, and send me your holidays tales!

I wish each of you a blessed holiday season, whatever and however you celebrate. For those who celebrate the sacred day of December 25th (that''s me!), have a very Merry Christmas, and don't forget to water the tree!

Get ready for new adventures, and even greater awareness of special needs in 2008! I plan to continue to do my best to stir things up, for the good of our kids, of course!~ Much work remains.

Peace on earth to all, and yes Virginia, it is possible...or at least that's my grownup Christmas wish. But I'm a hopeless optimistic, forever focused on life's possibilities. To me, the glass is always half full...

Breakthrough Parenting for Children with Special Needs: Raising the Bar of Expectations

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Oprah Show Looking to Cast Pre-Teens with Down Syndrome for Tribute to Martin Luther King!

Here's another opportunity from my friend Gail Williamson for kids with special needs (Down syndrome) to have a shot at stardom- this time on Oprah!

Deadline for submissions is this Friday, Dec. 7th!

OPRAH needs 10 - 11 year olds with DS

10 to 11 year olds with DS and good speaking skills, the Oprah show is looking for you to say a line for their Martin Luther King episode. They will be filming in San Diego on Dec. 19th, (subject to change). The line is currently "I have a dream today." They already have someone deaf doing it in sign, so our talent submissions have to be able to articulate the line. All filmed will not necessarily be in the completed montage. If you are interested please send your child's name, age, your name (parent) and contact number along with a jpg of a photo of your child (just one photo) to this email address with Oprah in the subject line. All submissions have to be received by Friday, Dec. 7, 2007. No work permit will be required, there is no pay for this project.

Gail Williamson
Executive Director
Down Syndrome Association of Los Angeles, Inc.
315 Arden Avenue, Suite 25
Glendale, CA 91304
818-242-7871 voice
818-242-7819 fax

Gail also shares this information:

Actor Nick Weiland, who has Down syndrome, will be a guest star on “ER” this Thursday, December 6, 2007. According to Gail, Nick has been training at Performing Arts Studio West , an adult day program in Inglewood, CA that trains actors and performers and helps facilitate employment for many of their students.

Nick will also appear on SAVING GRACE, Monday, December 10, 2007 on TNT. The guest star on the episode is Nick Daley also a student at Performing Arts Studio West. There will be several other actors with DS from DSALA Heart Halo Talent as background performers including: Briana Barlow, Elliot Orenski, Bahareh Saviss and Shannon Dieriex.

For all those wanna-be actors/models with special needs out there, here are two valuable industry resources! (DSALA Heart & Halo Talent)
Performing Arts Studio West:

Break a leg!!
Breakthrough Parenting for Children with Special Needs: Raising the Bar of Expectations

Sunday, December 02, 2007

'Including Samuel' From Filmmaker-Dad Dan Habib

One of the really good things about the Internet is how quickly you can connect with others who are doing important work with their lives.

Award-winning photojournalist/filmmaker and dad, Dan Habib, is one of those people.

After hearing Dan's interview on NPR recently about his efforts for inclusion for his son, Samuel, who has cerebral palsy, I contacted Dan. We e-mailed back and forth about our mutual efforts to more positively impact the world of kids with special needs. Dan's son is similarly challenged to my son who passed away in 2003.

Dan's passion, commitment, and his deep love for his child resonated with me. We are made of similar parenting cloth. I like what Dan is doing a lot. So I've listed his two websites in my FAV resources for 2007/08. But he's worthy of another shout out here.

Check out this terrific dad and find out more about his powerful documentary, 'Including Samuel' at: or

Dads like Dan are true VIPS!

I love sharing great resources with you!
Breakthrough Parenting for Children with Special Needs: Raising the Bar of Expectations

Judy Winter's FAV Quote of the Month December 2007


'In the practice of tolerance,
one's enemy is the best teacher.'
-the Dalai Lama

Good food for thought...
Breakthrough Parenting for Children with Special Needs: Raising the Bar of Expectations

Giving Thanks for All Your Children!

While traveling a bit more slowly than usual yesterday on an ice-covered highway near a major city, I was struck by the following message on a holiday billboard. It read:

Give Thanks for All Your Healthy Children!

The wording got me thinking (again) about how many people believe that having a child with any kind of health challenge or disability is a fate worse than death (it's not), and how often our media messages help support this kind of limited thinking.

My first reaction was to stop the car, get out, climb up the billboard and X out the word healthy, making the message read:

Give Thanks for All Your Children!

Though tempted, I didn't go that far in my advocacy (except in my mind), but you get my drift. Fortunately, my level-headed husband was behind the wheel and he's a stickler about safety on the road. That includes not stopping in response to my highway whims at a moment's notice!

Plus, we were on our way to a wedding and I was sporting four-inch heels!

If you are blessed with healthy children, you should give kudos to the universe, and to God, for these gifts. But we should also remember that all children are valuable and worthy of our thanksgiving, including millions of children challenged by health issues and a wide range of special needs. Our public messages can and should better reflect more inclusive content.

Healthy or not, they are all our children.

I, for one, am thankful for each and every one of them.

And for flat, comfy shoes....
Breakthrough Parenting for Children with Special Needs: Raising the Bar of Expectations