About me

Me – Casey

I am 40 ish  year old former scientist in the field of biotechnology. I had 12 years of clinical laboratory experience in three different areas (microbiology, forensic DNA, and medical genetics). I now stay at home with my three wonderful, bright and active girls.

I spend much of my time researching about child development, attachment theory, neuroscience, psychology, philosophy and gifted issues.

I enjoy reading, writing, photography, sewing.

I dislike housework.

This blog is devoted to learning all I can about raising smart girls, about reaching out to other parents of children who may be experiencing selective mutism and to write about my thoughts about gifted issues, attachment parenting and just about anything else that strikes my fancy.

Contact me at raisingsmartgirls@yahoo.com for more information regarding child development or selective mutism.

The supporting cast –

JB – the last love of my life, my husband and my friend. You put up with such weirdness.

M – the daughter that made me a mother. 9 years old and full of wonder.

K – the daughter that made me look deeper than the surface.  7.5 years old and full of spirit.

E – the daughter that made me remember it’s fun to be a child. 6 years old and full of giggles.

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The rules for playing nice in my online home:

I was given a great link to this blog post by Steve Pavlina about Free Speech in Online Communities: The Delusion of Entitlement.

I love what he has to say about Free Speech in private online communities (ie private forums or blogs).

When people approach online communities with the erroneous belief that they’re entitled to unbridled free speech, this misjudgment often leads to inappropriate behavior.

~ Steve Pavlina

You Are an Invited Guest

Here’s an attitude I suggest you adopt when it comes to participating in online communities. When you visit someone else’s online community, you’re a guest in the owner’s online home. Behave accordingly. Your participation there is a privilege subject to their owner’s discretion.

….

If you’re going to come into my private online home and behave like a jerk in my presence, I will show you the door every time. And after you’re gone, I’ll return to my other guests and refill the snack bowls.

….

Do you have to become my close personal friend or agree with everything I say to participate in my website’s online community? Heck no, I’m not that strict. But if you pay me a visit online or offline, I do require that you treat me […} with basic courtesy, politeness, and respect. Treat me online as you would if you were a guest in my home. Just as I open my website to others, I often open my home to a variety of guests as well. I love hanging out with many different kinds of people, as long as they behave with a modicum of human decency.

~ Steve Pavlina

26 Responses to About me

  1. Natalie says:

    Hi there,
    I’m a 36year old mother of one daughter (3 years 9 months) with another on the way. I was surfing the net in desperation this morning because, after a year at nursery, my daughter is still having tantrums, clinging to me, exhibiting loads of general anxiety etc.. I found your site and couldn’t believe it- as my daughter is also selectively and electively mute (ie. she’s fussy who she talks to).
    I’ve only read a couple of your posts but am so excited to find someone who might be able to relate a little. I feel like such a failure around my friends whose children are confident and outgoing and I keep wondering what I’ve done wrong, and feeling lost about how to put things right.
    I live in the UK (I’m guessing you’re in the US?) and so reliant on the good old NHS. So we’re still waiting on a psychologist referral at the moment.
    All tips very welcome.
    Natalie PS Weirdly I am also a scientist of sorts. (I’m a statistician and research methodologist in health sciences)

  2. raisingsmartgirls says:

    Natalie – Welcome!

    I’m sorry I haven’t gotten to my blog before now.

    Yes, I live in the US.

    I can pretty much assure you, having a highly sensitive daughter is difficult at times, but not always. There are many positives to it. Your daughter, probably has a lot of good things about her that will come out when she feels safe. My daughter, for instance, is very loving and gentle when she is in a good mood. She is really gentle with babies and with animals, and she loves to brush my hair and pretend to put makeup on me with some inexpensive makeup brushes I had bought for her or pretend to cut my hair.

    I will update this blog so that you can get some more ideas on what has been working.

  3. Libby says:

    Hi. I ran across your blog in the Mothering.com forum for Gifted kids. I was just kind of looking around, trying to gather some information about 1st grade public school curriculum, etc, when I ran across your post about your dd’s first grade class and the Scott Foresman Reader. I have 2 dd’s, one is 6 1/2 and one will be 4 in November. We also have a little guy on the way in January 2008. I noticed that you live in Indiana. Just wondering, are you in NW I? We live in NW I. Just thought I’d toss it out there in case you are actually somewhere nearby. We moved from the city – which I miss terribly) 5 years ago. When I saw the flooding pictures, it made me think that you might be nearby. We were luck ourselves to avoid floods, but some of the nearby neighborhoods got it pretty bad and the kids didn’t have school for 2 days. I blame it on the lousy I infrastructure, but that’s a whole other rant…..

    We’ve been in this neck of the woods for 2 years now. Can’t say I’m loving it, but it is a compromise….closer to family, lets me work part time, etc. It’s a little too townsy for my tastes, but, at the same time, with two little ones and another one on the way, it’s not like I am sitting at the corner starbucks sipping a latte and chit chatting with urban friends about where to have lunch! It’s more about making the trip to Stracks to go grocery shopping and an obligatory stop at Target!!

    Seeing your pics from your annivesary made me nostalgic, even though I get out there about once a week to teach a class. It’s not the same as being able to walk around and truly enjoy the wonderful sites and architecture.

    After browsing some of your other pictures, I have to say (other than feeling that I’m invading your privacy!) is that I am somewhat jealous of your organizational skills! It all looks so wonderful, especially the Montessori manipulatives in your little girls’ room. Plus, all those great activities….it’s what I would love to do if I was more organized! I need to get on the ball myself with de-cluttering and simplifying.

    Also, caught your post about SAH and making career changes. I’m not SAH, but I made a serious break from the career path (law) to be home more with the kiddos when I left a pretty prestigious job to work PT for the government. There were definitely a few raised eyebrows, family included. I don’t regret it, but I do grapple with that choice every now and then. Even though I am slowly working my way back to doing more work-related activities, it’s not like I am jumping to the top of the ladder. It’s a slow journey that changes as the kids get older and as our family needs change. I totally know what you mean about wanting the mental stimulation and the external accolades that come with a job well done. No matter how creative I get at home or how much I clean, it is just not the same sense of pride. I enjoy time with the girls, don’t get me wrong, but it is not the same as getting that sense of accomplishment from external sources at work.

    Anyway, just wanted to say “Hello!” from another parent who is wading through first grade milestones and dealing with the Indiana Foresman book, parent-teacher conferences, career choices, parenting, etc. etc.

    Libby

  4. raisingsmartgirls says:

    Hi Libby. You are correct. I will try to find you on the MDC site and I will PM you there. I would be guessing we are probably closer than you think.

    I’d like to find out more how you will be handling a career and 3 kiddos, because I know I wouldn’t be able to. Unfortunately, there was no way I could get a part time gig going in the biotech field. I already tried with my boss and there was no way I could supervise PT.

    Anyway, hubby is home and it’s dinnertime. Gotta run.

  5. Barb Barry says:

    I had not seen your blog until today, but I am so impressed with your entry about breastfeeding. What a wonderful story! I admire your dedication and persistence.

    I also like the picture that you posted with the entry. I have a blog (bfino.wordpress.com) that features pictures of women breastfeeding, so I greatly appreciate pictures like this one when I come across them. I don’t know whether you are interested in publishing it beyond your blog or not, but I would be glad to use it with a link to your blog if you are interested. Just let me know (barbbarry@ymail.com).

  6. raisingsmartgirls says:

    I’ll have to think about it, but I quite possibly might. Give me a little bit of time to mull it over.

    Thank you. I’ll be checking out your blog. 🙂

  7. lynn0906 says:

    Hi!

    I have been searching for someone who has traveled down the road I am currently traveling down. My child is in our Early Childhood Program after spending time in our state’s Early Intervention Program. Needless to say, we have spent numerous hours with OT’s , Psychologists, Speech Therapists, etc. Our son (also our middle child) has among other things, SPD, speech issues, and just recently has been identified as having Selective Mutism. The similarities that I have noted in your blog in just the small amount of time this evening are encouraging! Thank you for having this blog!! I am excited to read more of your journey and for the much needed help information it will provide.

    Thanks again,
    Lynn

  8. raisingsmartgirls says:

    Lynn –

    Welcome! I’m glad you found my blog encouraging. That’s why I decided I needed to write about it – to help myself sort things out, as well as to hopefully give helpful information to other mothers with children with SM. It’s been very challenging and promising to see her come so far. She still has her difficult moments with SM when she’s in new situations, but for the most part, her teachers have helped her work through it in the school setting, which is where she will spend most of her time, so that’s a huge relief.

    The rest will come in time, but it is so much better than it used to be.

  9. J-viere says:

    Hey lady! 🙂
    I just wanted to say how much I’ve enjoyed reading your blog. Thoughtful and articulate — you always give me much to ponder.

  10. Douglas Eby says:

    Thanks for your site/blog: Raising Smart Girls.
    I have listed it on one of my Talent Development Resources pages:
    Giftedness – High Ability related sites / blogs
    http://talentdevelop.com/resources.html

  11. raisingsmartgirls says:

    Hello there Mr. Eby.

    I remember you commented a while back. Thank you for your appreciation of my blog and for linking it to your website. I will have to go and visit your site more often. I know I have seen a lot of good resources there.

    🙂

  12. I saw your comments over at the PhDinParenting blog. I also got ranty with it (but at 2,400 words opted to post it on my own blog)!

    I love your site, particularly your page on your highly sensitive child.

  13. raisingsmartgirls says:

    Zoey – I like what you wrote very much. I’m going to link to it. I also like the one about Unconditional parenting too, and I’m going to link to that from my other blog.

  14. And thanks for appreciating my site!

  15. Laura says:

    Hi Casey –
    Your site is the right place at the right time. Our DD2 is an extroverted HSC and we are a bit late to the table figuring that out (she is 7). Thanks for all the great info on here.

  16. raisingsmartgirls says:

    Laura – you’re welcome. Figuring this out at 7 is much better than figuring this out at 17 or 27 or 37 (which is when I found out I was an HS Person)…

    Good luck and have fun parenting your daughter. I hope you find some useful tidbits here.

  17. Casey,
    I’m thrilled to have found your site. My 4.5-year-old son has selective mutism (I blog about him at http://www.bloomingboy.com) and even though we’ve had the diagnosis for a year I feel like I’m learning something new every day. I believe he is a gifted child too–he has been doing addition for months and in the past week begun to read. But he will not speak in school, and I have so many worries for the future with him. Anyway, I’m happy to follow your journey on your blog. Thanks so much for sharing your story and your insights.

  18. raisingsmartgirls says:

    Kim –

    Thanks for stopping by. I will check out your blog soon (it’s 7 am and time to get the kids to school).

    I know there’s a lot to be concerned about…but also you are intervening now…rather than when your son is older. You are already way ahead of the game. Keep that in mind.

    Remember to breathe and take time to get some relaxation in for yourself. If you are stressed out…your son will probably pick up on it. Perhaps do yoga together (Gaim’s Yoga For Kids – ABC’s and From Silly to Calm is a great couple of titles). It will help you both out.

    Casey.

  19. Sue-Ellen Repeta says:

    what are your thoughts on homework for those who are considered gifted? how much is too much? and how oftern

  20. raisingsmartgirls says:

    I honestly believe it depends on the child.

    There are gifted children who LOVE homework. I did as a child. I loved the challenge of learning all the time. Homework wasn’t a punishment, but a challenge. I was a highly motivated child because it was the only thing that gave me pleasure (long, boring story).

    There are gifted children who are twice exceptional (gifted but with a learning disability, like dyslexia or something), and homework could be a problem if the learning disability is not addressed.

    Or the math gifted child could absolutely hate writing exercises. Or the gifted linguist not be crazy about math.

    Some say 1-2 repetitions for the highly gifted child is enough for mastery. So pages of math exercises might be insulting for the child.

    But others say that doing what’s expected of us, even if we dislike it is a good character building skill.

    I guess you’ll know if the child starts complaining, at which point a conversation with the child and the child’s teacher might be in order.

    My daughter’s gifted program teacher doesn’t believe in giving lots of homework, but they do have lots of in class time to do work.

  21. Ashley says:

    Hi Casey

    Ive been reading your posts and am really interested in what I have read. I was just wondering whether you could help me out. Im currently undertaking a reserach project and needed volunteers to complete a questionnaire about their views on home schooling children with selective mutism. If you could take part, I would very much appreciate it. If you could reply on my email, that would be great. Cheers.

    Ashley

  22. raisingsmartgirls says:

    Ashley,

    I’ll send you an email…

    Casey

  23. raisingsmartgirls says:

    Ashley,

    I just tried to send an email off to you, but it got bounced back.

    If you could contact me at raisingsmartgirls @ yahoo.com, maybe then it would work. I’d like to participate in your project.

    Thanks much,

    Casey

  24. Misty says:

    Hi there,

    I just came across your site while surfing the net and really enjoyed reading it…well…what I have been able to read so far. I have 3 little ones myself. I have a 22 month old girl and 7.5 month old b/g twins. My days are full and I am do glad I found this site to read at night once the little ones are asleep. Can’t wait to keep reading!!

  25. raisingsmartgirls says:

    Misty –

    Welcome and congratulations! It’s quite a joyride to have three little ones. I hope you find some good information here. I occasionally got whiny, but I tried to keep the whining to a minimum. Actually, if you like to write, you might enjoy blogging too about the joys and challenges of closely spaced children.

    Best wishes on your mothering journey.

    Casey

  26. your story is amazing it sounds so much like my life every day with my 4 yr old with sm…thank you for sharing is there anyway we could talk I need all the help I can get I feel like I’m lost Thanks again. Debbie

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