Learn how to equip your child to read with dyslexia.

Literacy is a skill set that has the power to improve one’s economic security, and overall well-being. Yet according to the U.S. Department of Education, 32 million adults can’t read and 14% of the population reads at a below basic level. These figures are of considerable concern in relation to delinquency, poverty, and learning disabilities, where the latter contributes to illiteracy and its impacts, and the former are negative impacts of illiteracy.

Does your child struggle with reading and writing? Are you spending hours assisting your child with their homework? Does your child cry when you are dropping them off at school? Here are some of the red flags of dyslexia:

• Difficulty with reading and spelling.
• Not retaining words consistently.
• Not understanding what he or she is reading.
• Problems converting sounds into symbols
• Difficulty concentrating and getting easily distracted,
• History of reading difficulty in the family.
• Jumbling letters and figures.
• Leaving letters out of words or putting them in the wrong order.
• Lack of progress in reading, writing and spelling, when compared to peers.
• Confusing right and left.
• Trouble with handwriting.
• When reading out loud, often misreading, omitting or inserting words.
• Difficulty learning a foreign language.
• Issues with sequencing words or ideas.

Dyslexia is a learning disability that is neurobiological in origin and has been identified as a frequent cause of reading difficulties. Dyslexia is a language-based learning disability. Individuals with dyslexia have difficulty using and acquiring written language. Dyslexia is not a result of a lack of intelligence, or poor work ethic. Dyslexia affects an estimated 5%-17% of the population in the United States. Genetics, brain anatomy and brain activity have been identified as possible causes of dyslexia.

When a parent suspects that their child has a disability, the parent should submit a written request for an assessment for special education services to the district special education director (Sample letters can be obtained here). Be sure to include your concerns regarding your child’s educational progress. Deliver the letter to the district office and make sure you have it stamped with the date it was received. If you are told there isn’t a date stamp, have the person receiving it sign and date the document. Keep the original document. The school has 15 days from the date the request was received to respond to your request with either an assessment plan, or prior written notice indicating why they are refusing to assess your child.

The research is clear about the importance of early intervention to address the needs of students with dyslexia. Fortunately, those affected by dyslexia can still make improvements in their reading ability through structured, scientifically-based reading intervention. Additional interventions such as access to assistive technology and effective instructional practices that target the critical components that are essential for teaching children to read can improve the educational outcomes of students with dyslexia.

By: Michelle Perry, Special Education Advocate
Phone: 562-213-8759


Female teachers having sex with their students. Learn to protect your children. reported on the alleged improper actions of 45 female teachers arrested and charged with having a sexual relationship with their high school and, in a few cases, middle school students. The pictures of the teachers and their alleged actions were gleaned from news releases. Following is a partial list of the 45 notorious female teacher sex scandals:

An Oxnard, CA, high school substitute female teacher age 24 was accused of using text messages to exchange inappropriate photos with a 17-year old male student.
A 28-year- old former math teacher in Austin, TX, was arrested for allegedly having an improper relationship with two of her students. One of the students alleged a several month relationship that included sex.

A 35-year-old former Utah high school English teacher faced four separate trials over allegations she had sex with male students. One student claimed he considered her his girlfriend over their year-long sexual relationship.

Two Louisiana female teachers ages 24 and 32 reportedly had group sex with a 16-year-old male student. One of the teachers had reportedly had sex with the student previously.
A 32-year-old female teacher from Connecticut was accused of having a sexual relationship with a student. Her 18-year-old victim told police when he tried to break off the relationship she assaulted him and threatened to fail him.

A 28-year-old female high school English teacher, wife and mother of three was convicted on 16 counts of having improper relationships with students in August 2012. She allegedly had sex over a two-month period with students at her home.

A 36-year-old South Carolina teacher was sentenced in 2014 for having sex with a 14-year-old former middle school student.

In 2011 a 24-year-old high school teacher in Iowa was sentenced for engaging in sexual misconduct with students ages 16-18. She allegedly also sent nude photographs of herself.

A 28-year-old Minnesota high school teacher and coach was convicted of having sex with a former student and football player in 2008. She had been working in the weight room as a supervisor at the high school. She was 25 at the time and the student was 16.

A 35-year-old English teacher in Indiana was arrested in 2011 after allegedly having an affair with a 17-year-old student. Police reported she admitted to having sex with the student several times at her house. The two had been exchanging messages via text and social media.

A 29-year-old high school teacher in Louisiana was accused in 2012 with having sex with a 17-year-old student. The student showed police numerous text messages some of them of graphic sexual nature allegedly from the teacher.

A 29-year-old West Houston middle school teacher was accused of having sex with a 15-year-old boy at his home in 2012 while his parents were away. The police learned she also had sex with him at a hotel the night of a school dance and in her classroom.

In Colorado a 29-year-old former high school teacher and wife of the school principal was accused of having sexual contact with a 17-year-old student while chaperoning a school camping trip.

A 23-year-old Florida middle school teacher was accused of having sex numerous times with a 14-year-old student, including once in a car while his 15-year-old cousin drove. She is described as being bright and beautiful. She was a newlywed.

A 33-year-old former Burbank middle school teacher was sentenced for carrying on a nine-month affair with a 14-year old former student.

A 24-year-old eighth grade English teacher at a Houston middle school told police about her relationship with her 14-year-old student. It started with messages on Instagram and evolved into a great love. They had sex on almost a daily basis. She ended up pregnant. She later aborted the baby. On her cell phone police found many messages between the boy and his teacher.

A 24-year-old Iowa substitute teacher said it’s the school’s fault that she had sex with a 17-year-old student. She claimed the school allowed the relationship to blossom between the pair.

A 49-year-old substitute teacher in Pennsylvania who served as the head of her church council was charged with having sex with a 17-year-old student in a parked car at a cemetery. She had first taught the boy when he was in middle school. He was now a junior in high school.

What can you as a parent learn from this? I suggest the following:

1. No matter whether you are a man or woman if you socialize with a minor you can become sexually attracted to them;

2. Parents must on a regular basis monitor and review their children’s phones, their text messages and their social media. If they do furnish a smart phone to their teenager, it is essential they install parental controls to prevent the viewing or exchanging of pornography. Their teenagers should be banned from downloading and using apps like Snapchat or other similar apps which permit minors to send pornography to other students and/or access pornography;

3. Permitting teenagers, both boys and girls, to view pornography or to sext will most likely result in unlawful sexual behavior with potentially devastating lifelong consequences.


Are you enabling your child to be a sex offender? Learn to protect your children.

Having been a defense attorney for 42 years, I have represented many adults and juveniles accused of sexual offenses. Anyone, either a minor or an adult, charged with committing sex offenses against minors can suffer lifelong negative consequences.

In most cases the juvenile has been exposed to pornography. They have viewed it on a smart phone, a computer, a TV, or a friend has given them a disk. No matter how good a son or daughter you have, the first time they have seen pornography the idea is planted in their minds to experience some form of sexual behavior. A small minority of kids have been the victims of sexual misconduct and they experienced their first sexual encounter as victims.

The idea to commit sexual misconduct does not just come out of the blue. They will want to experiment. Many fine young boys from good families will experiment with younger minors they have access to. They think they can get away with their improper touching without others knowing about it. The victims are usually someone they know and have access to. It is not just boys who do this. Girls do it as well.

How do parents enable their sons/daughters to become sex offenders?

1. They provide them access to pornography. You would be aghast if you read that a parent was permitting their child or teenager to visit an adult bookstore. You do just that when you provide them with a smart phone. I can guarantee that your teenager will soon figure out how to bypass any parental controls you might place on it. Do they have the Snapchat app on their phone? Snapchat is a photo and video sharing app for smart phones. Google the name and you will find articles detailing how teenagers regularly use this app to send naked photos to others. Snapchat is well aware this is going on. Snapchat is not the only app teenagers use to transmit pornography. But doesn’t Snapchat delete the photo after ten seconds? A screen shot of the sext photo can be taken, saved and distributed over the internet.

Most TV owners who have access to premium channels will have access to pornography. You can see adults at times on these channels having simulated sex before a lot of teenagers go to bed. You might believe that your teenager does not see it but if you and the adults in the home view it, it is just a matter of time before your teenagers view it as well.

What about computers and viewing pornography on your computers? Does your teenager have access to a computer that has internet access? If the computer has internet access, the chances are great your teenager can figure out how to get around any parental controls and view pornography. I know of parents who have put parental controls on their computers but not on their smart phones.

2. Most adults who work for business or government entities must take yearly sexual harassment training. It is stressed that if you engage in sexual harassment, dire consequences will occur. Your child does not take yearly sexual harassment training.

When did you last have a conversation with your children or teenagers about not viewing pornography and not engaging in risky sexual behaviors. I have represented 10-year-olds charged with sexual abuse of younger minors. The victims in a number of these cases were 2 years and older. When was the last time you spoke with your 4-5-year-old about good touch/bad touch and to tell Mommy or Daddy if anyone ever gives you a bad touch? Do you do so yearly?
Do you want your child/teenager to be arrested/charged with sexual offenses towards children? What about their being labeled a sex offender and possibly being having to register as a sex offender? Do you want them being suspended or expelled from school for sexual misconduct?

3. Be observant. Boys and girls playing in their bedrooms out of the sight of adults can quickly start engaging in risky sexual behavior. Very often the young girl will go along with what the older boy is doing sexually and not tell a parent. Eventually they will disclose. Sexual misconduct occurs frequently between siblings, step-siblings, cousins, and neighbors.

The child or teenage offender can suffer lifelong consequences resulting from being charged with engaging in lewd and lascivious conduct with minors. Do not let this happen to your child or teenager. Please review prior blogs I have written on this subject. Teen Sexing; Sex Between Minors; Minors Can and Do Commit Sexual Abuse; The Most Dangerous Gift A Cell Phone;  What if Your Child Has Been Accused of Sexual Misbehavior with a Minor Under 14 or If Your Child is a Victim of Sexual Misbehavior; Causes of Juvenile Suspensions Expulsions, and Criminal Charges; Ways to Protect Your Minors from Being Sexually Abused, and Increased Punishment of Sex Offenses by Juveniles.



Many families today who would like to adopt a child are becoming Foster/Adoptive Parents. They are willing to take children temporarily placed in foster homes through the Juvenile Courts. You must be willing to adopt the foster child/children should the parent(s) not reunify. These are children who have been removed from their biological parent(s). The parents are required to participate successfully in reunification services to get their children returned to them. The court has legislated mandates with strict time limits for the parents to reunify with their children. The Legislature does not want foster children languishing in foster homes.

What do you have to do to become a foster parent?
1. Apply for and obtain a Foster Home license. Call your local Health and Human Service Agency or licensed Foster Family Agency in your area to sign up for an orientation;
2. There is a 27-hour Pre-Service training called Trauma Informed Pre-Service required to become a Foster/Adoptive Parent. Each licensed County Foster/Adoptive Parent must also complete 8 hours of approved training per year.
3. After you finish Pre-Service, you will be assigned an Adoption Social Worker. That worker will tell you which of the adoption preparation classes you should complete. Stay in regular touch with your social worker for placement of foster children with you.
4. If a foster child/children are placed with you, fully cooperate with the social worker assigned to the case. Follow their advice regarding taking care of the foster child regarding how to interact with the birth parents and visitations by the birth parents. Follow the court orders. Do not bend the rules for the birth parents unless cleared by your social worker.
5. Take a class called Know the Regulations Avoid Losing Your License. This is a very important class for a foster parent. The worst thing that can happen to you is an allegation of improper conduct or violation of the foster home rules which could cause you to lose your foster child just as you are believing you have a good chance of adopting the foster child. Please review our prior blogs: Foster Parents Beware: No Physical Discipline of Foster Children and Contest the Removal of a Wrongly Removed Foster Child.

By adopting through the Juvenile Court system and having the services of Health and Human Services or the Adoption Agency you are working with, you will save yourself thousands of dollars. You will not have to worry about hiring a lawyer to terminate the parental rights of the birth parents, pay the adoption fee, pay the costs for the adoption filing and court appearances, and pay for a home evaluation.

As a foster parent and adoptive parent, you are entitled to assistance from the County and Federal Government. In California should problems develop with your adopted child you are entitled to Adoption Home Services which can provide for residential placement and counseling services. Your adopted child, since he or she is adopted through the Juvenile Court Dependency system, will be eligible for AB12 benefits for college and living expenses. Please review our previous blogs on Financial Assistance for Foster Parents and Foster Children and Financial Help for College for Adopted Foster Youth.

Sex and STD: Prevention Really is Worth A Pound of Cure


An article titled Adolescent Sexuality in the United States, from Wikipedia sets forth: “According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the year 2007, 35% of US high school students were currently sexually active and 47.8% of US high school students reported having had sexual intercourse. According to a 1994 study, every year an estimated one in four sexually active teens contract a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Teenage pregnancy is four times as prevalent in the United States as in the European Union.”

New data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows an ongoing increase in STD (Sexually Transmitted Diseases) rates nationwide. The increase in the rate has been described as “epidemic” and “alarming.” The major STDs include HIV/AIDS, gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, genital herpes and genital warts. Some are curable but with others it is only possible to treat the symptoms and infection can return.

Syphilis can cause miscarriage, still birth, or foetal abnormality, while chlamydia and gonorrhea can leave a woman infertile. Genital warts are a serious health concern as certain strains of the virus causing this STD have been associated with cervical cancer. In the United States about one out of every six people aged 14 to 49 has genital herpes. You can get it by having vaginal, or oral sex with someone who has the disease. You may get it from a sex partner who does not have a visible sore or who may not know he or she is infected. Genital herpes is not curable. It can cause infertility. It can also be passed from mother to baby. This can cause a deadly infection in the baby.

The only way to avoid STDs is to not have vaginal, anal, or oral sex. If you are sexually active, you can do the following things to lower your chances of getting a STD:
1. Being in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested and have negative STD test results;
2. Using latex condoms the right way every time you have sex.

Herpes symptoms can occur in both male and female genital areas that are covered by a latex condom. Outbreaks can also occur in areas that are not covered by condoms so condoms may not fully protect you from getting herpes.

Key factors in preventing pregnancy and sexual transmitted diseases are:
1. Knowledge and a keen desire by the participants not to get pregnant or get a STD.
2. Studies have shown that families who have been able to discuss these subjects openly with their children have the best success.

Girls/women/boys/men should demand proof of a recent lab report. Check with your doctor as to how recent the lab report should be. The entertainment industry requires a lab report within 14 days of a sexual encounter. Make sure your partner is wearing a latex condom.

The revised form titled Consent to Engage in Sexual Acts can be an excellent starting point to discussing safe and legal sexual acts by your loved ones. We strongly encourage use of this or a similar form on each occasion before engaging in sex acts. Please click the link to download and print a copy.

We refer you to a prior blog article to assist in understanding the law regarding sex between minors in California; Sex Between Minors.

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