Author: Melanie Dunn

Parenting the Twice Exceptional Student: Advocacy Tips for Your Gifted Child with a Learning Disability

This mom’s frustration with her local school district just bowled me over completely. This is my client population: parents who are tired of being dismissed by their children’s educators as crazy, money-hungry, or power tripping. Parents of kids who burst into tears because a 30-minute homework assignment takes three hours. Parents who are ready to throttle the next teacher who tells them that their child is just so smart, so why isn’t he doing the work? Ms. Thompson’s plight resonates with me in particular, because so called “twice exceptional” (2e) children are uniquely disadvantaged if the school’s IEP team...

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Finding My Place In a Small Town

I like the world around me in general, and the community I live in is just fine — very good, even. But I am not the type to seek out activities to do or places to be. I just let them happen, when I’m not actively resisting them. Connecticut is chock full of New Englandy quaintness, and my little Hartford County town is a decent example. There is a farmers’ market in town every summer. It was adjacent to the park we went to after school, so we walked over there. It was crawling with other moms and little kids,...

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I Hate Cooking: An Update, Podcast Interview, and Tips for the Unwilling Chef

I was recently interviewed for an episode of The Food Chain, a BBC World Service podcast. As you might imagine after reading this oldie but goodie post by yours truly, this particular episode featured people who don’t cook or don’t like to cook. You can listen or download it here. The irony at this point is that I actually DO cook, out of necessity. And truly, I never said that I don’t cook at all, or that I can’t do it when push comes to shove. I just love to avoid it as much as possible. Over time, I...

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“And Now for Something Completely Different”: Working Moms In the Age of Online Entrepreneurship

Big, big changes are happening in the Dunn household this spring. It’s best not to dump those details here, but the essential points are: (1) I’m going to be severely limited in my ability to work with my special education law clients this year, but (2) there’s a burgeoning business opportunity I will be able to harness this summer if I play my cards right. As you might have guessed from the title of this post, the key is to shift my time and energy away from in-person interactions to online communication. But just as importantly, I need to move away from work that requires active case management, and toward projects that are more short-term, focused on products rather than service delivery, and involve more automation and routine than the unwieldy world of special education law and advocacy. That’s right.  In 2017, I’ll be ramping up my fashion resale hobby into a real business, while scaling back on lawyering. The circumstances that heralded this change are not new ones. Parents in the post-industrial age, and mothers in particular, have consistently struggled to delineate and refine their roles and responsibilities as the needs of their families evolve throughout the various stages of childhood/parenthood. That’s why we have entire blogs like this one, which over time have transmogrified vague musings like “having it all” and “work-life balance” into the familiar, endless bleating we now hear...

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