If you have a child in the regular ed classrooms, most likely you have heard the term “Scantron” before. If not, these are the “bubble cards” that go with most standardize tests. The student can usually write in the test booklet, but then must transfer the answers onto the “Scantron” or “bubble sheet.” These “Scantrons” are a quick and convenient way for schools to grade the tests.

Many times teachers want all students to use these bubble cards. Unfortunately, for a child with processing issues, eyesight challenges, or any forms of Attention Deficit Disorder, these bubble cards can be counterproductive. If the student misses a question, skips a question or gets off line, the entire card will be skewed. The teacher may walk around and try to see if the student is bubbling correctly, but once the student is off line, most likely, he or she will be confused about which answer they wanted in the first place. By this time, if the student has to “fix” the answer card, he or she will most likely give up.

My suggestion is to get rid of these “Scantrons” altogether. Have it written into the IEP.  “Marks in Book.” These 3 magic words will allow the student to write on any test or worksheet. With resources scarce, many times teachers will pass out a test and the students cannot write on it. They need to transfer the answers to a sheet of paper. Here we go again with processing. Maybe your child can handle reading the test and going back and forth to mark the answer down. But if not, a good choice is to protect your student by adding it to the IEP.

Teachers and administrators will try to talk you into allowing the student “to practice” using the Scantron. They will tell you that Scantrons are needed in High School and College. DON”T FALL FOR IT! The “Marks in Book” accommodation is available all the way through high school including the SAT Test.   Colleges also offer similar accommodations.

The teachers want you to let your kidlet “try it” because the teachers don’t want to be the one that has to bubble in the students answers. Yes folks, you heard it here first. If the student has “Marks in Book,” then the teacher, upon completion of the student’s test, will bubble in for the student.

But let’s be honest. Teachers have plenty to do…special ed or not. You can’t blame them for wanting to do less work. I encourage you to consider adding “Marks in Book” only if you feel in your heart this is the best option.

Many times, using a Scantron can be confusing. Remember, the least restrictive environment includes optimum test setting.

Social Reaction:  This has to be one of the greatest things I missed during my time working with grade school children.  During my foundation year of the MSW curriculum, I was placed in an internship at a local elementary school.  I admit that before starting my internship, I felt nervous because I had no experience working with grade school children, let alone, children in general.  But after working as the “School Counselor” this past academic year, I came to realize the importance mental health plays during the childhood. 

During my internship, my main responsibilities were to perform a psychosocial assessment to the children who were referred to seek school-based counseling.  I was also present during IEP (Individualized Educational Plan) meetings which involve attendance of the student, parents, teachers, staff, and sometimes, administrators.  

I believe that this article is important to be aware of.  Some of the students that I saw would have benefited from this profoundly due to some learning limitations they had.  I will keep this in mind for any time in the near or distant future if I ever I work in the school-setting. 

Source: http://specialedteens.wordpress.com




Congratulations to the USC Class of 2014!!  It has been another year for many USC students!  As I was driving to work (on top of being a USC graduate student, I also have the privilege of working as USC staff), I noticed the smiles that many students on this campus shared with each other, friends, and families.

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I’m sure by now all of you have heard about Conchinta Wurst, the 2014 Eurovision winner.  I admit,  as of 4 days ago, I was not familiar with the Eurovision program.  It wasn’t until my boyfriend showed me a YouTube video of Conchinta’s AMAZING performance that made me drop my jaw!  Not only was I amazed (and surprised that the silhouette figure was a male) but the voice behind the performer blew me away!   She definitely RISED LIKE A PHOENIX!

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SD Fires

Carlsbad, California (CNN) — A major firefighting offensive Thursday sought to douse wildfires that have so far charred 9,987 acres in California’s San Diego County, with the worst being a nearly uncontrollable blaze in San Marcos.

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And so he returned!

After almost 2 years of hiatus, I have decided to return to the world of blogging.  First and foremost, I would like to apologize for my departure as I underestimated the workload of being a Master of Social Work graduate student.  With a full-time job, internships, meetings, studying, and a relationship in between, I never realized the extent of how much time it took to blog a simple post!

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We have one more week to plan out the most important day of our lives….MOTHER’S DAY!  Now I don’t know about you, but my mom is my #1 woman in my life.  My mom has supported me through everything and anything that Life has brought me.  Coming out to my mom about 10 years ago (wow, I just realized it’s been 10 years) was one of the best feelings I felt throughout my entire life!  I feel like since I came out to her one Summer evening, our relationship has brought us a lot closer.  I can share and talk to her, pretty much, about everything!  I also thank her for a lot of my successes as she has been my prime supporter (both morally and financially).  Without my mom, I don’t know where I would be today. Continue reading


Ever wonder why you are the only one out of your group of gay friends who does not have a boyfriend?  Or, is it possible that you came across the idea that you are not THAT bad in the market, and wonder why others have the hottest guys, leaving you alone on a Friday night?  Luckily for me, I met Mi Amor at the time when we used to work for the same company.  It’s actually a story that we enjoy reminding each other about and love telling others.  But for your favor, I’m here to help you out!  So, here’s a few GREAT ideas on HOW TO FIND YOU A MAN! Continue reading

Making a Difference: Local Man Launches New Gay and Lesbian Center


Ever thought about creating your own Gay & Lesbian Center?  I have!  I came across a blog today that gave me a sense of inspiration.  The following article was published from the Hanford Sentinel and  looks into the development of the Hanford Gay and Lesbian Center. Continue reading

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