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Apt. 11D
Laura McKenna's Publications and Posts

August 2019

Hi all!

It's Labor Day weekend, a time to take stock of how well we used our summer hours. Was there too much work? Did we get enough sun? Did we check all the boxes for adventures and self-improvement? Expectations for summer never quite live up to reality, so there's usually a slight feeling of disappointment in these few days that mark the end of summer. 

But not this summer. We did a real mix of stuff that was good for our brains, bodies, and souls. The boys took classes, and Jonah visited the offices of friends and family. We travelled and camped. Steve grew some scraggly tomato plants in the backyard. I got some reading and writing done in between driving Ian to his various activities. But mostly we just hung out together as a family. It was lovely. 

I'm gearing up for September with two freelance articles and one personal essay in the works. Ian and I will travel with Steve to Toronto for his job over one of the long Jewish holidays. We'll be sitting on the bleachers for a lot marching band performances this fall, but we're good with it, because we're convinced that marching band rewired Ian's autistic brain. I still have to write about that. 

Thanks for reading! Laura

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A Camping Trip to The Catskills
Towards the end of August, we visited my old stomping ground of Roscoe, NY for a fun week of camping, canoeing, and outdoors fun. 
College Boy Departs
We said good-bye to Jonah, who returns to Rutgers for his third year of college with a new pair of glasses and a clearer vision of future careers, thanks to family who gave him low stress informational interviews

Jonah's experiences applying to college and then as a student at flagship public college have always been a fountain of article topics. Hope that he continues to prime the topic pump for me. And, yes, I always get his okay before I write about him. 
How Parents of Special Ed Kids Use the Internet To Find Support Systems and To Work Around School Districts

I wrote about my peeps -- special education parents -- for The 74 this month. So many of these parents are forced to turn to each other on amateur websites that they make for themselves to get help navigating a purposefully complex system for getting their kids an education.

My article began with the story of Stasi Webber, who was forced to move across the country just to find the right school for her son with autism. Things should not be so hard for parents, who are already heavily burdened with responsibility. These websites are a sign of how corrupt and broken our schools are for the most needy of students. 

The 74 included this piece in their "Best of Summer" roundup
ICYMI - July's Articles and Response
Two articles of mine were published in July.

Community colleges offer students a low cost education, flexible schedules, and direct career paths. But students aren't learning enough about community colleges at their local high schools, in part because high schools don't have enough of guidance counselors. I wrote about this issue for The 74, an online education website

I also wrote my most popular article ever. It appeared in HuffPost and described an incident that happened on our flight home from Scotland and London. A flight attendant gave us a hard time about Ian's autism.  My essay was reprinted in Japanese and French. I'm continuing to hear from parents about their experience. Kindness matters, people. 
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Laura McKenna · 861 Bingham Rd · Ridgewood, NJ 07450-2111 · USA

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