Episode #87 Interview with Award Winning Published Author, Dr. Dawn Menge

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Dr. Dawn Menge has won seventy International awards as the published author of the Queen Vernita's Educational Series and Dragon's Breath, including the Special Recognition Champion Award from Conquering Disabilities with Film, Best Written Word from Miracle Makers Film, Hollywood Dreams Film and International Author Boss Award from Power Conversations Magazine. Her published works also include: THE SIX FEDERAL INDIVIDUAL EDUCATION PLAN GOALS AND THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THEIR IMPLEMENTATION IN PREPARING FOR TRANSITION.

Dr. Dawn Menge has a PHD in Education. She specializes in Curriculum and Instruction. She also holds a Master's and a Clear Credential in Moderate/Severe Disabilities and a Bachelor's Degree in Human Development. Dr. Dawn Menge has been teaching students with severe cognitive delays for over twenty years, and mentors/lectures graduate students.

Dr. Dawn Menge is the mother of three, and the grandmother of six beautiful grandchildren.




Automatic Transcription from Otter.ai

students, books, disability, friend, workability, queen, reading, rett syndrome, film festival, child, learning, write, device, share, autism, lives, down syndrome, teaching, talk, volcanic

Hey everybody. Welcome back to another episode of the autism and action podcast today we have another very special guest for you. We have Dr. Dawn mange, and she is out of Wrightwood California. And I can't wait for her to share with you all about the awesome work that she's got going on. Welcome to the show. Thank you so much for taking time to be here today.

Oh, thank you for having me. I'm so glad I get to be here. And I'm loved sharing about what we do with our students. I've been teaching students with severe cognitive delays for over 20 years. I work right now I'm working with 12 to 22 year olds who are doing a lot of the community instruction, the workability. So it just wanted to talk a little bit about it. And I have an educational series that I write. And I that's all based on my actual adventures and real people. And I've included my students in my books to educate others while they're reading it. And I just got back from Film Festival, and my whole series won the special recognition champion word from the conquering disabilities with Film Festival.

That is so awesome. Now, if you would share with our listeners what the name of your series is.

The name of the series is called the boot Queen for native visitors. And there's now 13 In the series, I'm actually at a bed and breakfast in Tucson, Arizona. My newest book is vague based on the bed and breakfast I have here and the mission and we did the Day of the Dead. But this is one of the books I entered in the film festival. And this is actually based on Kona, Hawaii, it's named after my grandmother. And I have a friend that lives in CONUS. But I went there a lot with this little girl. Her name is Ireland and her mom's name is Heather and she has Rett syndrome. So in this story, she's lacing lays by the for the top with the flowers for her mom. And it talks just a little bit. All of my book is based on each month as a new friend and a new subject. And then there's seven facts one for each day of the week. And so they're just seven facts on Rett syndrome. And she's explaining to the Queen, why her mom needs to help her and what's going on with her. And then this page, this page is Connor and Connor was one of my students. And this is Connor and his dad. And they're at the volcanic National Park with the queen. And Connor has autism and he was nonverbal. And so he's teaching the Queen, he has a communication device. And so he's teaching McQueen about his communication device, and why he's using it. And of course, the volcanic National Park. So I like to depict my students and the disabilities that I've included in my books. As you know, they're their children who are just living their lives. You know, they're learning about volcanoes and lacing flowers for their friends, and they're learning about Alaska. And so if a child's reading the book, they're just they just start reading about this person that has a disability. I have Down Syndrome and cerebral palsy, and what do I have hard of hearing. And then all of a sudden, oh, here's one of the friends and they're doing whatever they're doing in the book. And so there's not this stigma of this person has a disability, this person is living their lives, and they have a special needs that they have. And they're just teaching a little bit about it. And so there's, it's not like a big thing about having it just kind of forced on you. And so this one, this one I wrote, My brother is an astronomer at JPL in Wrightwood. And so he helped me write this. And he wanted to be this nutty professor with the curly hair. And he has bunny slippers in the book and everything in it teach us all about astronomy. But this little boy has a mixture of cerebral palsy. And he is actually a foster child of one of my friends that worked with me. And so he's learning about the moon, and he's talking to the professor. And then there's just some information here about his disability, but he's still living his life. He's learning new information. And then this avoid, he was my student, his name is Jeremy and he has Down syndrome. And his mom was one of our teachers. And so they're again, they're learning about. Let's see, I think they're like learning about asteroids in the solar system. But there's information here about Down syndrome, and Jeremy, and so you're just reading the book about astronomy. And then here's, here's a friend who just has the disability. And then they just you just learned a little bit about it.

I think this is incredible. This really gives students a way to relate to the characters in the story and learn something new at the same time as they discover new things about our world. And, you know, I think that's very important to have that connection with characters that we're reading about. Oh, they're like me, you know, oh, this is very similar, you know?

And They, they're living their lives, you know, they're not not, you know, sitting at home, you know, all by themselves. And with with corner, my little autism friend. The one thing I like to bring up about him is he has, he has a communication device. And so if someone's reading this, then they're starting to understand it. So if there's a child on their campus, who's walking around with an iPad, or some kind of device, you know, children think, well, why did they get to play games, you know, I don't get to play games. Now. He's not playing games. He's using this to communicate. And so they will look at the communication device, and then they will know that that is how this child is trying to communicate. And it's kind of interesting. The other day I was watching, they did a movie about a little boy who had autism. And it's called Play with me, I think it was it was a scary movie. But that actually was what happened to the little boy at the beginning of the story. He had a communication device. And he was getting bullied, because the boys, you know, they were young, but they were saying, Well, how come he gets to have his, you know, how come he gets to have his phone? How can we get to play with his games? And the teachers didn't really explain it very well. But you know, he's not playing games. This is how he's communicating. Right? You know? So

that is awesome. Now, where can our listeners find your books? Where can they go check that out?

My publishers Rushmore press, they're on Amazon, I have a Facebook Don manage one, an Instagram, Don manage a Twitter Queen Vernita. And then you can contact me on any of those and get an author signed copy. And my my books are pre K to sixth grade. So dependent on the level reading level of your child. That's the book that you should look at. If you have any questions, which one you want to do, um, just, you know, send me a little pm or something on social media. I like this one is based on Hawaii. And it's about fourth grade level. So but you can have an older child read it to a younger child. But I just got this on my way here today. So I wanted to share it. I did an article for a new magazine called prosperity magazine, I did an interview with her. And she let me write about my students. And these are actual pictures of what we're doing with our workability program. So our students are doing some work here. They're putting tags on hats, Ski hat, so we're getting ready for the winter. And we're riding the community bus. And we do this with them. This, it's with mountain hardware in Wrightwood. And we do work for them this this month, we added up the receipts, and then they give us a movie card. So every month, we get to go to the movies, and we ride the community bus. And so our students are earning their own money to go to the movies. And they also involved in the workability program. So they ride the community bus to CVS, and they work there. And they're getting paid to do that. So there's a lot of things that we can do with our students and out in the world to help build their independence, and their self esteem and their self worth. And

so, absolutely, well, this workability program sounds like it's very, very good. I know that a lot of individuals in our neck of the woods could benefit from something like that. Absolutely. So we might talk a little bit more about that afterwards. I know.

It's through the Department of Rehab. So yeah, you might want to contact them or your local high school, they should have some kind of a program.

Okay, we'll definitely do that. Well, thank you again, so much for taking the time to be here today and share your incredible stories. I can't wait to get online and order my own copy as well. You guys go check out her information online. Dr. Don names.com. And then we'll link all the other links that she had listed before in the show notes for you guys. Dr. Mehta, is there anything else that you would like to share with our listeners today?

No, just go out there and have a great a great life and a great time. And if you do you know want any my books, let me know which ones you you bought or if you liked them and because that's something authors don't hear very much is when people are actually reading their books and if they liked them what they got out of them. Pictures of people reading them is wonderful. So just let me know.

Awesome. Thank you so much for taking the time to be here today.

Thank you for having me. Bye


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