Tuesday, January 23, 2007

National Radio Campaign Schedule for Breakthrough Parenting

For those of you who would like to hear me talk about my book Breakthrough Parenting for Children with Special Needs: Raising the Bar of Expectations check out my 2007 National Talk Radio Schedule below. You can check for regular updates on my website JudyWinter.com. You can also find my 2007 national speaking schedule & book signings there.

Through 2007, I'll be doing my best to make sure the family voice is heard on important issues impacting special needs families, including adding my take on the recent Ashley Treatment controversy. Feel free to write and tell me what issues you most want address in the media. I'll take your concerns with me. jappwinter@aol.com (no attachments, please!).

Listen to Judy’s 2007 National Talk Radio Interviews!
Please check back often— schedule subject to daily updates.

Fri. 1/19/07— KXEN-AM 1010- St. Louis, IL / (Interview Taped)
Interview Airs: 1/20@ 7 a.m. ET & 1/23 @ 8:45 p.m. ET
Jay Madas-Host/ Simulcast

Fri. 1/19/07— WMUZ-FM 103.5 / Detroit/ The Bob Dutko Show /1:30 p.m. ET/ Bob Dutko-Host/

Thurs. 1/25/07-- WPTF-AM 680-Raleigh, NC/ North Carolina's Morning News with Jack Boston / 8:10 a.m. ET /Jack Boston-Host/ www.wptf.com

Fri. 1/26/07- WIBQ-AM 1220 / Sarasota, FL / 8:20 a.m. ET
Rochelle Herman-Host / simulcast at www.newstalk1220.com

Sat. 1/27/07 & Sun. 1/28/07- KCBC AM 770/ San Francisco/ 9 p.m. PT/Midnight ET/Community Focus with Pamela Reddington/ www.770kcbc.com

Tues. 1/30/07— WACK-AM 1420/ Rochester, NY/ 8:40 a.m. ET
Dr. Rus Jeffrey-Host/

Wed. 1/31/07— Issues Today Radio Network/ Originating from Los Angeles/ Broadcast on 188 stations nationwide-check web for stations/ (Interview Taped-TBA) Bob Gourley-Host/

Sun. 2/4/07— WDTK-AM 1440- Detroit/ Disabilites Today/ 11 a.m. to noon ET/Roger McCarville-Host/

Mon. 2/5/07— WAWZ-FM Star 99.1 / New York City/ 10:30 a.m. ET (Taped-TBA)
Michael Leach-Host/

Mon. 2/5/07- KPTK-AM 1090 /Seattle/ 1 p.m./ ET Taped-TBA/ Tami Kosch-Host/ www.am1090seattle.com

Wed. 2/7/07— WNTN-AM 1550/ Boston/ 11:00 a.m./ Paul Roberts-Host/ simulcast on www.wntn.com

Mon. 2/12/07- WBZ-News Radio 1030/ Boston/ The Jordan Rich Show/ 11:30 a.m. ET/ Taped-TBA/Jordan Rich-Host/ www.wbz.com

Wed. 2/14/07— WFHM-FM 95.5 & WHK-AM 1220/ Cleveland/ 11:30 a.m. ET (Taped-TBA)/ Family Matters/Caroline Kruse & Jacquie Chakirelis-Co-Hosts/

Fri. 2/16/07-Conscious Talk Radio Network/ Washington State/ 10:33 a.m. ET/ 7:33 a.m. PT/ Rob Spears & Brenda Michaels-Hosts/ simulcast @www.conscioustalk.net

Mon. 2/21/07-Autism One Radio /Worldwide Broadcast/ 10 a.m. ET-(Interview Taped-TBA)/ Randy & Sandy Waters-Hosts/ www.autismone.org

Wed. 2/21/07— WOGL-FM 98.1 Philadelphia/ (Interview Taped-TBA)
Brad Segall-Host/ www.wogl.com

Weekend of Feb. 24/25-airing of interview taped Mon. 2/12/07- WBZ-Talk News Radio 1030/ Boston/ The Jordan Rich Show/Jordan Rich-Host/ www.wbz1030.com

Sun. 2/25/07-KPTK-AM 1090 /Seattle/ (taped on 2/5/07)/ 7 a.m. PT/ 10 a.m. ET/Community Matters with Tami Kosch-Host/ www.am1090seattle.com

Mon. 2/26/07-Dr. Pat Show/ National/ 11 a.m.- Noon ET/ 8 a.m.-9 a.m. PT/Dr. Pat Baccili-Host/ www.HealthyLife.net

Weekend of March 3rd & 4th, 2007-Issues Today Radio Network Interview (Taped in February) program originates from LA, airs at 188 stations nationwide/ Check www.issuestodayradio.com For listing of all national affiliates- then check that station for broadcast time

WILS AM 1320, Ebling & You/ 5:35 p.m. ET/ Host-Jack Ebling/ Lansing, MI


Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Get Organized!

With 2007 just a couple of weeks old and many kids back in school, now is a great time to get a handle on all of that paperwork generated by your child's special needs. I know firsthand how easily, and how quickly, all those reports and other documents can take over your house - and your life.

It's time to get organized!

When you need to put your hands on important information quickly, and end up spending valuable time searching through mounds of paper and notebooks to find it, that adds to your stress load. Most families of children with special needs already have far too much stress in their lives, right?

That's why I'm a big fan of good organization!

Don't let the nasty paperwork trail take command of your life! This is something you can fix, and you can begin anytime the organizational spirit moves you. For most of us, the activity will prove relatively painless, and anyone can do it in the privacy of their own home.

Be aware that the earlier in your child's life that you begin this habit, the less 'catch up' work there will be waiting for you down the road. That will make your job easier. If your child is older and you have accumulated a much larger paper trail, try to break it down into more manageable chunks. Then, make a commitment to doing a little bit each week until you have it all organized.

Your actions will pay off in spades as you prepare more easily and more effectively for all those stressful and on-going meetings and appointments, including annual IEPT meetings. That helps fuel parent empowerment!

Here's my simple formula for getting a grip on your child's records:

-First, get yourself some colorful file folders, stickers, and three-ring binders. I vote for anything that looks less institutional! Also, purchase some black markers or make sure the ones you have are still going strong. If you prefer colorful markers, use 'em. Just make sure you can read them easily when searching through your files.

The purpose of getting organized is to reduce stress, not increase it.

-Next: Create whatever and however many files you need for categorizing your child's life needs, esp those that generate reports of any kind. Here's a sample of the kinds of files you may want to create: Medical (you may prefer separate files for physicians, specialists and hospitalizations)/Education/Individual Services (OT/PT/Speech)/Misc Programs & Activities/ Childcare-Respite/Personal (may include a favorite photo, birthday card, a child's artwork, etc).

-Once you have gathered the materials you need, find a good working space where you can keep everything out for a few days as a continued work in progress. If you have to remove everything to serve dinner each night, use a laundry basket.

-Gather all your supplies. Put on your favorite music, and don't be shy! Sing along loudly. It helps up the mood and energy for the task at hand.

-Sort through all your paperwork and place all reports/paperwork into the appropriate piles and label those piles so you can easily add to them.

-Organize the paperwork and throw out anything you don't need, including duplicates (shred any paperwork that has sensitive information). Reducing the load will help you keep your files more manageable. Don't throw away any important official documents (i.e. IEP, therapy reports, etc), or those with special sentimental value.

-I suggest placing one copy of official reports into appropriately labeled three-ring binders so you can find them when needing additional copies for meetings.

-Label the folders and/or binders.

-Place important papers into folder so that you can easily access them as needed. Keeping track of medical records will help you hand over a copy of your child's history quickly during visits to specialists and for hospitalizations without relying on your memory, something especially tough to do during stressful visits or emergencies.

If age/ability allow, invite your child to help you decorate the files with stickers, etc. to make them even more user friendly. Help your children feel part of the decision-making process about their own life (think self determination!).

-When finished, place the files/binders alpabetically in a file cabinet or other storage place where you can easily put your hands on them. If you need to purchase storage boxes for this purpose, make sure you do that before starting the process.

-Update the files regularly so you don't fall too far behind on your paperwork (reduce stress!). Schedule a time each week to address filing neeeds.

-Also,provide a corresponding file on your computer where you can add the most critical dates and details so you can also easily print out a copy without going through all the records in your child's files.

Getting organized can help you to become a more empowererd parent by allowing you to easily access the information needed to address your child's medical, educational and other needs more accurately, and more productively.

Finally, don't forget to have fun! We can all use a bit more of that in our lives!
Let me know about all the creative ways in which you make this project even more productive and fun! email: jappwinter@aol.com.

Now go to it!

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

Monday, January 15, 2007

I Have a Dream, Too, Dr. King

Today, the nation pays tribute to the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, and rightly so.

Still,I can’t help but ask why so many discussions involving discrimination and equal rights focus mainly on race. Skin color represents one form of injustice against which we must be vigilant. But the definition of discrimination is much broader. Discrimination involves more than only race, something those with special needs understand far too well. That's why I believe we should all take time to understand and reflect on the meaning and power of today's celebration.

Robert F. Kennedy once said, "When the rights of one are denied, the rights of all are endangered." Like Kennedy, Dr. King knew this reality well and spoke eloquently about it. As someone who parented a child with cerebral palsy for nearly thirteen years, I understand the power of that statement well, too.

It wasn’t race that first inspired me to embrace the doctrine of equal rights, although I support the continued struggle for racial equality. It was my challenging role as the parent of a child with a disability.

I am an upper-middle class, white female with a successful career as an author, journalist and speaker on special needs issues. I have been married to the same man for thirty years. I have two children and live in an upper-middle class suburb, complete with a white picket fence. I have never gone to bed hungry, experienced homelessness or been the victim of racial profiling.

But I’ve felt the sting of discrimination intended to deny someone basic human rights. My brushes with intolerance stemmed from the limiting words and actions directed toward my son, who had cerebral palsy and used a wheelchair. Eric passed away in February 2003 at the tender age of twelve, but each act of intolerance directed toward him is forever deeply etched in my mind.

From all the outward appearances, no one would believe that I would be the subject of discrimination. Our definition is too narrow, something that allows many people to easily turn the other cheek to this discussion.

Fifty-four million Americans have disabilities; 170 million people worldwide have intellectual disabilities. People with special needs represent the largest minority group in this country, but their struggles are rarely included in discussions of discrimination and equality. Yet, the societal struggles faced by people of race closely mirrored those of my son, making the fight for equal rights increasingly relevant to my own life, too.

Eric could not walk or throw a baseball, tie his shoes or speak full sentences. Were it not for my passionate commitment to him, he might have been denied access to his neighborhood school or missed outings because of accessibility issues he could neither address nor resolve. My demanding advocacy role has granted me renewed appreciation for the Civil Rights Movement for the work of Dr. King, and for the struggles and accomplishments of those with disabilities, achievements that too often go unrecognized.

I have renewed respect for the passionate commitment of those involved in the Women’s Suffrage Movement, and the tireless work of visionaries like Jesus, Gandhi, and Mother Theresa. Because of Eric’s needs, I’ve learned that discrimination isn’t always about skin color. Often it represents a blatant disregard and intolerance for human differences, be it race, ability, age, appearances, sexual orientation or cultural beliefs. We can and must do better by all people.

With a solid focus on my child’s intrinsic value, I worked hard to counter stereotypes about him and others with disabilities, but it wasn’t easy. It still isn't. With his bright mind, eager spirit and remarkable patience, my son taught me volumes about forgiveness and the value of diversity, and the importance of speaking up for individual justice.

My advocacy hasn’t been free of heartache.

In an increasingly diverse society, we are all beneficiaries of the work of those who fight discrimination in any form. Only circumstances separate us. As Dr. King eloquently stated in his now famous speech, “What impacts one, impacts all.” Our discussions about discrimination and equal rights should include a broader understanding of its impact on all of society, including those with special needs.

Dr. Martin Luther King's message was one of equality, peace and justice. He had a dream that all people who suffer at the hands of discrimination of any form would be truly free. I share that dream, Mr. King. That is why I recognize Martin Luther King Day, and that's why I believe that all those who care about individuals with special needs should, too.

My dream for a better life for my son, and millions of other children with disabilites, lives on. I know that Dr. King would support my dream, too.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Cemetery Gang Offers Support in Loss

When I was a child, cemeteries scared me to death.

I associated them with every terrifying image that I had ever seen in those scary Hollywood horror flicks of my childhood-- especially the one about the disembodied green hand that terrorized unsuspecting young lovers at those once hip drive-in movies. Years later, Michael Jackson's graphic
Thriller video did little to help dispel these disturbing images when it aired repeatedly on MTV. I found myself going out of my way to avoid driving by cemeteries, especially late at night, when it was storming, or on Halloween when the spirits were said to be especially restless and feisty.

I didn’t understand that cemeteries could be places of great beauty and healing until my 12-year-old son, Eric, died suddenly in February 2003. Now, I’m part of
the Cemetery Gang, a term my husband and I have coined for grieving adults of all ages who visit the cemetery searching for answers to life’s tough questions. Many of us have buried children.

We come to the cemetery looking for healing and relief from grief. Some days we find it.

Marcella is our gang leader and a friend to all. Her husband died seven years ago and she still mourns deeply. The petite, silver-tressed senior citizen serves as the living cemetery angel. She tells newcomers the best clippers to buy to trim around family gravesites, and where to buy candles that burn for hours, providing light for our loved ones on the darkest night. Eric was afraid of the dark, so that information has comforted us. She gently and confidently introduces the shell shocked to this new place of refuge.

Marcella shares cemetery expertise to help mend her own broken heart. She waters wilting flowers on children’s graves on the hottest days or when families try to out run tough emotions if only briefly by escaping out of town. When the grass surrounding our loved one's gravesites isn't groomed to family standards, it's Marcella who takes a gutsy stance and advocates for needed change.

When her husband died, cemetery rituals gave Marcella a reason to go on living.

The cemetery gang is only one blessing found here. The cemetery is an important social gathering spot where true community is still found. That’s a priceless gift when death blindsides you in the middle of the night and steals away your only son. The cemetery has become my refuge, my friend and confidant, a place where strangers share intimate details of a loved one’s death.

When the cemetery gang asks you how you’re doing, they listen to your answer.

Here, I have watched innocent children gently lay flowers on the fresh dirt of gravesites and realized that we’re not born fearing cemeteries. Still, cemeteries can be brutally honest. My son is buried near a college student who was murdered, a popular cheerleader who died of leukemia, an eight-year-old boy taken by sudden illness, and an infant girl who lived long enough to receive her name.

It’s common to see graduation hats, birthday balloons, enchanting angels, well-loved teddy bears, even Christmas trees at our children’s gravesites. These stark reminders that death doesn’t discriminate, impact how survivors walk. Our gaits are less steady, our immortality less certain. We grant strangers unconditional support. Instant friendships and loyalty are formed. There is little room here for meaningless, idle chit chat.

We protect each other's cemetery turf, and one another.

The cemetery now serves as my life raft in grief’s unpredictable raging storms. After being with my son, the rough waters of daily living seem somehow easier to navigate. I have rushed to the cemetery eager to share exciting news with Eric. Then the reality of his death slaps me hard again, and I wistfully add, ‘but you already knew that didn’t you?' I am convinced that my son now serves as my omnipotent, ever-present protector.’ In the rawest cemetery moments, I’m certain that Eric can see and hear me.

Some days, I share my lunch.

I have reconnected with Eric graveside after rushing frantically to every room in my house, desperate for his scent, desperate to hold him. At my neighborhood cemetery, Eric is not lost, and neither am I.

There is comfort in cemetery rituals that defies explanation to those who have so far been saved from from this rocky path. No one escapes forever.

The cemetery offers me peace and resolution, solitude and friendship. The people here never tire of seemingly endless stories of loss, nor do they urge you to get over it and resume normal life, whatever that means. In the sacred stillness of this place, I can hear children playing on the nearby school playground where my son once played, and church bells ringing as the setting sun hides its face in a dense forest of trees. Here, I have argued tough faith issues with God, while cemetery birds sang bedtime lullabies to my son.

I have learned that cemeteries are resting places for the living. When the cards, phone calls and lasagna stop coming and people go back to business as usual, the grieving come here to remember. At the cemetery, I talk to my son and tell him how much I love him and always will. I grant myself permission to release powerful tears that have threatened to overwhelm me. I remember that Eric’s life and death both hold great meaning and promise to honor his remarkable legacy, whatever the cost.

The cemetery has made me increasingly bold. Life seems simpler, the choices clearer when you are standing on the tender grass or pristine snow of a loved one’s grave. Whatever time each of us has left is far too fragile to spend living with regret or anger. You learn to put one foot in front of the other and move forward, moment by moment, day by day, until the pain begins to ease and gentler breathing returns.

Somehow I have survived every parent’s nightmare. My son died suddenly from medical complications fueled by cerebral palsy. He died peacefully, but my grief is not less intense. My husband and I raised Eric as a child of value. He dreamed of studying music in college one day, a dream we planned to support fully. Hundreds attended Eric’s funeral, touched deeply by a life rich with promise and talent, one cut far too short. I remember all their words of love and support and admiration for my son- and remember how lucky I was, and am, to be Eric's mom.

Visiting Eric at the cemetery has helped me resume my passionate work as an author, journalist and speaker on disability parenting issues, important work he and I began. It’s work I now continue alone, fueled by Eric’s teachings and regular cemetery visits.

As I survey gravesites well tended and those rarely visited, I think Hollywood may have done a great disservice to many grieving souls by promoting cemeteries as places of fear and horror. Today, I know that cemeteries are instead peaceful places of healing and great beauty, and the Cemetery Gang understands far better than most that I didn’t bury a 'disabled' child whose value was too often questioned by society. I buried my beloved son.

In the neighborhood cemetery, everybody’s equal.

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

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Ashley is Much More than a "Pillow Angel"

Every so often, a story breaks in the press that commands both the world's attention, and its prompt response. Such is the case with the story that broke this week about Ashley, the nine-year-old girl with special needs whose parents chose to have surgery to stunt her growth. Like many tough-life stories about children and parenting, this one tugs at our heart strings, while seemingly dividing us into solid camps of for or against the actions of Ashley's parents.

But there is much gray area that remains to discuss.

While this story has been played out in the press as an ethics issue, it's so much more. Ashley's story represents a human-rights struggle of grave importance, one with the potential to generate invaluable discussions about the never-ending demands of special needs parenting. Regardless of where you stand on the issue of right and wrong, the issue of disability raised by this one story (and there are many that go untold) deserves more thorough discussion.

My hope is that the media, as well as all those so quick to judge the actions of Ashley's parents, will instead take a deep breath, then add their thoughtful, passionate voices to increasingly balanced discussions that will help us create real change for this population, and their families.

If there is one point that this story has driven home, it is that for all of our apparent gains, when it comes to special needs, we are still in the dark ages.

There is no clear-cut, simplistic response to this story, and those trying to make it into one only add more fuel to the story's confusion and public outrage. That will do little to serve the best interests of Ashley, or that of others facing similar struggles. This is ultimately a story about a young girl's life, and the right to be part of what happens to her.

Briefly, here are some of the most pressing issues that I believe this story demands we discuss more fully.

First, while ethics is an important part of this complex discussion, it should not be the defining one (nor the primary topic/guest on talk shows). We need to include the voices of those who live with the day-to-day demands that this story brings to light. We should also include individuals who are living with a disability so we can make more educated decisions. This topic deserves that kind of coverage.

The reach of special needs is huge; 54 million Americans, and more than 600 million people worldwide, have disabilities. Special needs reaches across all socio-economic and cultural borders. We must stop ignoring this timely discussion and instead, do a better job of addressing and resolving the complex issues it creates. We need to reduce the number of images involving self-pity and self-deprecation.

We need to include the achievements of those with special needs in our history books and classroom discussions.

Also, we cannot continue to ignore the lack of adequate resources, services and respite care provided to the families who care for their children at home. Many families are breaking under the weight of their demands. We cannot continue to pretend that their struggles don't impact us. Special needs can happen to anyone at anytime, thrusting once typical families into unchartered territory for which they, and society, are ill prepared to handle. That's a sobering thought.

There is no clear-cut, definitive road map for the challenging journey of special needs parenting. It often does take a village...and the village, and our nation, need to step up.

I parented a child with cerebral palsy for nearly thirteen years. Eric had limited speech and motor skills and was fed through a g-tube, just like Ashley. I know about the issues raised by impending puberty and the demands faced by lifting your child every day. My back still bears the results of that tough responsibility, four years after my son's death.

Still, my husband and I agree that we could never had made a decision to intervene in our child's development in a way as dramatic as that chosen by Ashley's parents. We were always too busy focusing on maximizing our child's potential, not on changing the essence of who he was as a human being. Our choices, while rarely easy, focused on what would best serve our son's wishes, even as we fantasized about tropical vacations far away...

While there were no firm promises early on about what Eric's future development and life would become, other than dismal, we never allowed disability to define our child's value. It took years for the results of some of our commitment to be fully recognized, but ultimately we were rewarded for our steadfast parenting focus.

It took lots of time, patience and hard work. The work was at times exhausting, but when our son achieved even the smallest, most unexpected success, the rewards were exhilirating.

Like many children fed through a g-tube and lacking in mobility, we knew that our son would probably never have reached the height and weight of other typically developing children, making the weight issue a bit of a mute point for us. Perhaps that would have been the case for Ashley, too.

The fact is that the future of many children with special needs may still be up for grabs, and the outcomes may be determined by the choices that we as parents and professionals make every day to help them thrive and grow and lead increasingly productive, fulfilling and independent lives. Our decisions can last a lifetime.

Should we have the right to make decisions that cut a child's full potential short so early in their lives, or at all?

Today, many kids with special needs are still written off far too early in their development. On the flip side, I've met many others given every opportunity to thrive. The difference can be remarkable. All the successful individuals with special needs that I have interviewed during the past fifteen years credited a parent's love and positive choices for their 'unexpected' life success-- and for believing in them when all around them saw only a 'disabled" child.

Brighter futures begin with greater awareness of a person's intrinsic value, lots of love, valuable resources and services, pit-bull parental advocacy, and a mindset focused on what's possible for that child, regardless of a disability. Not every child will achieve the dream of full independence or reach those all-important, age-appropriate milestones, but don't they deserve the chance to try, especially while they are still so young?

We need to provide families and society with greater examples of those with special needs who are productive, independent, contributing citizens. We need to redefine family, and provide these families with the critical support they need to handle their challenging roles well. The lack of positive parenting examples for families helps create a sense of hopelessness that too often results in limited, self-fulfilling prophecies for their children.

I don't always agree with the decisions made by parents, including this one, but I do respect their right to seek out decisions they believe are in the best interests of their children. What disturbs me greatly here is the complexity of a decision that raises serious issues about the value and rights of those with special needs. It reminds me of the experiments that were conducted in secret on children with cerebral palsy in institutions years ago.

They, too, had no voice. We cannot allow the ignorance of the past to define the futures of our children. We have traveled too far.

I can't help but ask if the physicans in this case gave the family an opportunity to talk with parents of children with similar challenges who were handling their child's needs without such drastic intervention? I am concerned by some of the arguments attributed to the professionals involved stating that the parents' actions did not hurt their child. Today, too many professionals still foster stereotypes about children with special needs, while armed with dismal statistics and powerful, stinging words that may take away the kind of hope families need to help them create better futures for their children.

There is still a critical need for the press and public to stop using language that fosters the view of this population as less valued. That includes the use of outdated terminology that reinforces stereotypes. Words like severely disabled, handicapped, crippled, 'suffering from', brain dead and 'confined to a wheelchair' do nothing to raise the image of the value of those with disabilities. The fact is that we can still tell the stories accurately and fairly by using more up-to-date terminology.

One of my biggest arguments with the coverage of this story thus far, is that Ashley's name is often not even mentioned until far into the print or broadcast coverage. We need to focus on the fact that this girl is a human being first and foremost, not just a nameless child with a disability that we can easily disregard. That means using people-first language, always.

While there are many things about this story that concern me, I believe that we have been given an important, long-overdue opportunity as a society to address this population with the respect it deserves.

Ashley deserves at least that much from us, as do all the other children counting on us to best serve their interests and needs, not only our own. After reading their blog, I do believe that Ashley's parents made their decisions out of deep love for their child. But I can't help but wonder if those choices might have been made differently with access to more positive resources, additional dynamic parenting examples, further discussion about Ashley's future potential, and with the benefit of time. We will never know.

We cannot undo what has been done to Ashley, but we can and must remember one important fact: Ashley is much more than just a pillow angel. She is a living, breathing human being.

As a society, how long will we continue to ignore or gloss over that fact?

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

To learn more about Ashley, this story, and what is now called "The Ashley Treatment" visit the parents' blog: http://ashleytreatment.spaces.live.com/