Etta Brown, author of LEARNING DISABILITIES, Understanding the Problem and Managing the Challenges, received her undergraduate degree from the Ohio State University with a major in Dental Hygiene Education and the Masters in Education degree from South Carolina State University with a major in Special Education. The Educational Specialist Degree was conferred at Kent State University with studies in School Administration, and a major in School Psychology.
Through her graduate programs, and internships, the author acquired skills with speech and language, visual-motor training, auditory training, and the teaching of reading and handwriting.
During twenty years of professional experience in the public schools in Ohio, Iowa and California she has worked as a special education teacher, a school social worker and as a school psychologist. At no time, in either of those positions was she able to use any of her knowledge to help children to learn.
Instead, while she didn’t always agree, much was learned about what not to tell parents about their children. She also learned how school systems function, why they function the way that they do, why there were some things that it was not in the best interest of the school district for parents to know and why they should not be told.
Those were long, frustrating years watching children being placed in Special education because that was all that the School District had to offer. On the other hand were the frustrated parents who agonized over what to do about their child’s learning problems and the stigma of being placed in Special Education.
Having recently retired from public education and started a practice as a Licensed Educational Psychologist, the author is now free to discuss Special education and share information believed to be in the best interest of parents without being unprofessional or disloyal to employers.
She continues to reach out to parents and children through her writing. Her current book is a summary of all that she would have told parents during her career had she been permitted to do so.
The book is available at www.understanding-learning-disabilities.com. The site contains other helpful information which is not included in the book. The site also provides an opportunity to contact the author for discussion or to ask questions. Those who purchase the book are assisted with free fax and phone information needed by parents who are seeking to become more empowered during the special education process.
Please answer the following questions (at least 15):
- Where do you live (city, country)? Oakland, California 94610, USA
- What is the weather like? Usually sunny, but kind of chilly this summer.
- Have you lived there very long? Relocated to California in 1994, and on to Oakland in 1998
- Would you rather live somewhere else? I have lived in the east and Midwest with a temperate climate which includes the changing of all four seasons, hot summers and cold winter. In California, I miss the changing of the seasons, the changing color of trees in the fall, and most of all I miss the spring thunder storms. Afterwards, the air was so clean and pure that it was a delight to be outside. California is not privy to having the air cleansed by nature. However, I have adapted and have begun to appreciate all that California has to offer. I still miss the storms and changing seasons, however.
- Are you married or single? I am single
- Do you have kids? No children
- Where were you born? Xenia, Ohio, USA
- What was your childhood like? Childhood was a challenging time growing up the last of five children. We lived on the edge of a small town, and our backyard was miles of meadow, woods, creeks and streams. Our house was where all the children in the neighborhood came to play. My mother embraced this situation because she always knew that her own kids were playing in the “back yard”.
- Back to the present, what’s your favorite room in your house? The favored space in my home is a combined kitchen- computer nook- living room that I designed when I remodeled my condo. The only enclosed spaces are the bedroom and the bathroom. The living space has glass doors which open onto a large deck full of potted plants including a form of orchid which blooms during the winter in California. It is my sacred place of refuge.
- Do you have an outside job? No, I retired 4 years ago, traveled some and during the second year I started writing. The writing process covered three years because I just started writing one day without a title, or objective for the work. At the end of the year when I did not have anything more to say, I began editing and realized that I had been doing some pretty good therapeutic writing. I had verbalized all my anger and frustrations about schools, children and parents that I had not been able to address during my employment. After editing out all the anger and frustration of a 30 year career working with children, I found that there were some gems of wisdom that would be helpful to those who could benefit from an insider’s view of public education. In the book I shared with parents all the intimate details of how to navigate the special education process and emerge victorious with an appropriate education plan for their learning disabled child. This wisdom I edited carefully and published.
- What is your favorite thing to do on your day off? When I am not writing, I study metaphysics and world religion. I have gained insight into the process of spiritual development which is exciting and validating for me as a post menopausal woman. A book about the marvelous benefits of post menopausal living is a book in the making. I plan to expose the beauty of the elder female and validate all those who no longer look like the ideal picture of beauty seen in ads, TV and movies. Older women reflect an inner beauty which comes with spiritual transformation during the post menopausal years.
- What’s your most favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Fresh fruit found in abundance all year round in California. Some it is imported, but still available at reason costs.
- Do you have any pets? I had a tom cat that was the love of my life. He was one big bundle of love. I miss him years later, and have not been able to get another pet.
- Do you know your neighbors? I live in a condo in a large city. In my building you become speaking acquaintances not neighbors like in a Midwest neighborhood of house. Yet, people are courteous and polite, not friendly.
- Pepsi or Coke? Neither, I am a tea drinker.
- Favorite time of year? Summer in California, I get to repot my plants and watch them regenerate into big beautiful things that I could not create in the Midwest. In the Midwest, I love the Fall of the year, it was a time of completion and preparation for a long winters rest.
- Favorite color? Pastels of any color. They compliment my skin tone.
- Favorite book? Ageless Bond, Timeless Mind by Deepak Chopra, anything metaphysical
- Does your car look better than your house? No, it is parked in an indoor garage so no comparison can be made.
- What’s on your mouse pad? I had to look. It is a freeby from a county agency that I picked up at a convention of some sort.
- How many times do you let the phone ring before you answer it? I always answer the phone as quickly as it is convenient to do so. I appreciate others doing the same.
- What’s the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning? Whatever my intuition feeds into the daily calendar. I have trained myself to confer with my intuition first thing each day, and things always go well. I study metaphysics, remember.
- Chocolate or vanilla? Vanilla if it is made by Bryers my favorite ice cream company. They make ice cream from simple things like milk, cream, sugar and fresh fruit. There is nothing in there that you can’t pronounce.
- Do you like to drive too fast? I drive a foreign car which runs best when it is exceeding the speed limit.
- Do you sleep with a stuffed animal? I divorced the stuffed animal with which I slept. Have not considered marrying another one.
- If you could meet one person dead or alive, who would it be? I would like to visit with my brother Waldon again, he protected me from many sources of discomfort while I was growing up.
- What’s your favorite alcoholic drink? After many evenings of headaches and emergency room visits, I found that I am allergic to alcohol and made the logical decision to not drink any more sloe gin.
- What is your zodiac sign? Scorpio and I am not on the cusp. All of what they say is true, and I am loving every moment of it.
- If you could have any job that you wanted, what would it be I think I would be a teacher of metaphysics and counsel those who are having difficulty finding the purpose and resultant beauty and benefits of the human experience.
- What’s under your bed? It is a very private place where my dust bunnies tolerate no interference in their life style.
- Is the glass half empty or half full? If the glass was full and you poured half out, then it is half empty. If, on the other hand, it was empty and you put some in, then you filled it half full. There is a starting point for everything and you progress from the beginning. It is impossible to begin at a half way point. Life begins and progresses to the half way, and then the full point. My glass (life) is full, and I cannot imagine it being only half full again. At the beginning when it was not so full, I rejoiced knowing that I was privilege to learn the secrets to living that would fill it to the rim.
These secrets will be revealed in my next book: Secrets of the menopausal transformation. Leave your comments at www.understanding-learning-disabilities.com click on Contact Etta Brown.