Inclusion Zone

Dr. Robert Pasternack-Disability Leadership Insider-Let’s Pull Back the Curtain

Interview with Melissa Rizio, Robert Pasternack, and Mark Friese

Transcribed by Sarah Blahovec

ANNOUNCER: Blog Talk Radio.

(slow rock intro plays)

MELISSA RIZIO: Hi everybody, welcome back to the Mary and Melissa show. This is Melissa. Happy New Year! We are really excited to start this new year with you again. We have our wonderful guest, Mark Friese with us today, and for those of you who are just tuning in after a respite, perhaps a refresher, Mark Friese is with Merrill Lynch, he is Senior Vice President of Management, and advisor for families with special needs in particular, and he has been on our show on numerous occasions, I’m grateful to have him back again this year with us. Our other guest is new to us and we have the pleasure of having on our show the Honorable Dr. Robert H. Pasternack, PhD, who has an amazing background in special needs and special needs education. He has 40 years in public education including a term as Assistant Secretary for the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services at the U.S. Department of Education. I’m just gonna go ahead and welcome our guests and see who’s here today, so we can just have them give us the lowdown on themselves. Hi, is anybody there, Robert, Mark?

ROBERT PASTERNACK: Good afternoon, this is Bob Pasternack.

MARK FRIESE: Good afternoon, it’s Mark Friese.

MELISSA: Hi Mark, how you doing?

FRIESE: I’m doing very well, how are you?

MELISSA: Great, thank you. Thanks for joining us today. Dr. Pasternack, I was looking up your bio and I can’t say enough good things and I’m so honored to have you as a guest on our show tonight. Really, there

PASTERNACK: Thank you very much.

MELISSA: There could be no person, there’s no better person equipped to do the kind of work that you’re doing and can you tell our audience a little bit about, we know that you were born in Brooklyn and that you have a long educational history and I’m not sure who you’re working with right now. Can we start there? I saw so many different things, tell us what exactly what you’re doing today.

PASTERNACK: What I’m doing today is talking with you all and I am the Chief Education Officer for Accelify, which is a corporation that provides a variety of consulting services and technology services to school districts across the country and I’m also the President of (unclear) Educational Services, which is a consulting firm that works with the largest school districts and states in the country to help improve our results for students with disabilities and their families.

MELISSA: And this trickles into the public school systems as well, all schools, all kinds of schools?

PASTERNACK: Absolutely, primarily public schools, but also charters, private schools, and some part C programs which as you know serve infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families, so a wide variety of work which I have been doing all over the country and as Mark knows, I’m trying, not succeeding, to cut back fairly significantly as I get into collecting Social Security rather than paying into Social Security.

MELISSA: Right. I’m sure that’s gonna be a tricky balance. You’re such a capable person and you can go in so many directions. Our audience sometimes, especially me, I like to look at myself as how my audience would see things, like I’m not even familiar with some of the projects that you have been involved in but from my end and as a parent, we’re always saying where are those accommodations? Why aren’t the recommendations implemented yet? Is this right for my special needs child? And I know that I’m not sure of the years, but weren’t there some big changes that took place or are going to be taking place, can you kind of orient me as to the IDEA and where we’re at with the implementation aspect?

PASTERNACK: Sure, I’d be happy to. In 2004, the Individuals with Disabilities Act was reauthorized, passed by Congress and signed by President Bush and it continues to be the version of IDEA that states and school districts across the country are trying to comply with and to use your words, to implement. Interestingly enough, I was guardian for my brother who had Down syndrome, who died about 10 years ago and was his guardian for about 25 years so not only do I have tremendous respect for parents and the challenges they face in raising a child with a disability and the impact that having a child or adolescent or an adult with a disability has on the family system, but I have tremendous empathy from my own experience in that arena and my stepson, as Mark knows, who’s 30, has Down syndrome and I have the thrill of dealing with the parenting issue that are affecting an individual with disabilities on a daily basis, since Michael continues to live at home. To your point a second ago, one of the things we’ve seen across the country is actually a reduction in the amount of litigation that has been brought regarding complaints in special education which if not resolved, will elevate themselves to become court cases. So I think what you’re seeing across the country is in the reduction of court cases anyway, is sort of a realization that money that gets spent in the courtroom is money that can’t get spent in the classroom and administrators are working very hard to meet the needs of students with disabilities and work collaboratively with their families. We tried for years to inculcate a letter and spirit of the law where folks understand that parents are the true experts on their kids, know more about their kids than anybody else, and special educators and regulator educators and administrators need to be resources to those parents and work in a collaborative partnership in order to best meet the needs of students with disabilities.

MELISSA: Wow, I’m impressed, of how you have the gift and the knowledge and the experience of having not only studied it but are living it with your family members and, ‘cause Mary and I often talk and with other parents, it’s so hard to identify sometimes and people don’t really get it until they are doing it themselves, and I can’t think, that’s what I was trying to say earlier, that I can’t think of anything better qualified to be in the position you are and I’m so thankful that there’s someone like you up there lobbying for us and helping to make those changes necessary. I’m constantly arguing or debating the school system whether the curriculum is appropriate, even for my son right now, and I can imagine that you have more than 40 years of watching the system change. Can I just take a little moment here and ask you something, can you think back in your big, long career, what was one of the one things that really made you say aha, we finally got somewhere, that your hard work was, you know?

PASTERNACK: Thanks for asking that. I guess as I get older I’ve been asked that question before and I’ll tell you that as I look back on lots of work and the privilege of serving in a variety of roles, one of the things that I think I’m most proud of is when I was chair of the governor’s Developmental Disabilities Planning Council in New Mexico where I had the great privilege of living for 30 years. We closed down the institutions for people with developmental disabilities and there were three at the time and we closed all of them, and not only did we succeed in closing the institutions but what New Mexico did which unfortunately has not happened in enough states, particularly where we live in Virginia, is that money actually followed the individuals with disabilities to the community so we could create a more inclusive approach to integrating these individuals in the community with the kinds of services and supports they needed in order to live the American dream. So they could work and have competitive, meaningful, integrated employment if that was appropriate, to have supported employment if that was what they needed, to have employment that was sort of within the purview of the developmental disabilities programs, I don’t like to say sheltered workshops because I’m not really a big fan of sheltered workshops but depending on the level of support that the individual needs. If you’re really going to create a system of care, you have to have all those kinds of things and it does require funding and there’s never enough funding for services for adults with disabilities because you know, as your child ages, and Mark I know is going through this, as families experience their kids aging out of the special ed system, which provides services to students with disabilities and kids with disabilities birth through 21, unless you live in Michigan where they actually provide services through the age of 26, then you move from the world of entitlement to the world of eligibility and it’s a very different system and families really have challenges in terms of trying to navigate the new system of vocational rehabilitation from the world of IDEA where they have lived for perhaps 21 years (garbled). So it’s not as easy as it should be but a lot of administrators are working very, very hard to make it easier and to really try to engage families and treat them with the respect they deserve and (garbled).

MELISSA: Okay, looks like we’re losing Dr. Pasternack for a little bit.

PASTERNACK: I’m still here. How’s that?

MELISSA: Gotcha.

PASTERNACK: Is this better if I hold the phone closer?

MELISSA: That’s great.

FRIESE: Speak up a little on the phone, that’s perfect.

PASTERNACK: So what I was trying to say was, I don’t know how much of that you picked up but the challenges as families face as their children age and move from the entitlement system of IDEA to the eligibility system of adult services.

FRIESE: I was curious Bob, I mean you know there’s a big settlement in Virginia, it’s kind of local to where we are and where my son is, there was a $2 billion settlement with the Justice Department which did break up four to five training centers in our area, one of which is actually pretty close to my house, and they’re having residents move to smaller facilities and homes and apartments and regular neighborhoods. I don’t know whether the money followed them or not, I was very curious after your comments. Do you know anything about that situation or any feelings on that or any insight you can provide for that?

PASTERNACK: You know, I don’t have the specifics, Mark. I know that Virginia if you look at the national rankings in terms of the amount of money that’s spent on individuals with disabilities, unfortunately Virginia ranks towards the bottom rather than the top. I’m glad that the Department of Justice forced the state to move to close the institutions, but as you and I have talked about on a number of occasions, there just aren’t enough options, housing opportunities as an example for adults with disabilities, supported employment, all of those sorts of things that should be made available in order to give them the quality of life that they deserve. So I can’t speak specifically about that but I can tell you that I know that in the school districts that I’ve worked with in Virginia that the folks are working very hard to do their best, to try to meet the needs of students with disabilities.

FRIESE: Yeah. I know I talk to clients every day and a lot of families come into our office and just have a consultation about what to do next and there’s usually a timeline of when to do when, when to do something, when not to and so, one of the first things as far as advice that I provide them with is sign up for the waivers that are available. I know there’s long waiting lists I think right now in Virginia it’s like thousands, not hundreds of people long, so take a long time to maybe get to the top of the list, the Medicaid-type waivers will allow for money that’s received for that to be spent on housing and nursing homes and long-term care facilities and to be used in community settings so one piece of advice for families is sign up now, early, don’t wait until your child is 17 or 18 and now you’re, as Robert talked about, falling off the cliff of being supported by the state and now you’re kind of on your own when you’re out of the school system.

PASTERNACK: That’s a really important point, Mark, and I think unfortunately Virginia is not alone in having way too long waiting list for individuals with disabilities and so your advice to parents in terms of getting them on the list as early as possible is really important and you know, one hopes that there will be an expansion of Medicaid services. You and I have talked before that unfortunately too many adults with disabilities are afraid to get competitive, meaningful, integrated employment because if they make above SGA, sustained gainful activity, they are at risk of losing their Medicaid which is their health insurance, and so the system has to change and that really is about adults with disabilities so I think as we talk some about IDEA and I appreciate the kind introduction but I did work quite a bit when I worked with the president with the vocational rehabilitation system and that is a system that is very different from the entitlement system of IDEA. It’s not as well funded, many states are on what’s called an order of selection which means that they’re required to work with individuals with the most significant disabilities first and then if there’s any money leftover then they can work with individuals with milder, moderate disabilities, so there needs to be more effort to find work because as you and I have talked about, people with disabilities make great employees. They are productive, their attendance rates are higher, they are reliable, all of those kinds of things are important messages to get to employers. It’s not about sympathy or pity or compassion, it’s about a good business decision to hire individuals with disabilities and I wish that there were more businesses doing more of that for more individuals with disabilities.

FRIESE: I’d echo that 1,000%. And I think there are some things that have changed in a very positive way, so we talked in the show about Achieving a Better Life Experience Act which has passed. Unfortunately it’s not available yet in Virginia or in Maryland or in DC or any other state yet, but hopefully within the next nine to 12 months that’ll be an account and it’s available and it will allow people with individuals, especially adults with individuals to save money in an account on their own behalf up to $100,000, so a good amount of money and not be kicked out of Medicaid and still be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits. So we definitely moved a few steps forward in the right direction and then of course once that happens, it leaves additional money available outside of that to pay for housing and that of course, we’re trying as financial planners to find out where you can get the money fund and what’s the best plan to do that and figuring out what the budget is and where are some extra dollars gonna be saved and ABLE is powerful because it’s also tax-free money so all their earnings on that part of the portfolio grow without any federal or state tax on them.

PASTERNACK: The work that you and the others did to get ABLE Act passed and signed needs to be applauded and recognized and celebrated and I think that it really sort of gets to the essential point of making sure that we have systems in place that respect individuals with disabilities, that give them choices, that give them options, get them involved in taking control over their own lives, whether it’s in educational decisions, whether it’s employment decisions, whether it’s post-employment decisions, whether it’s post-secondary programs if that’s what they decide to do and I think the ABLE Act is yet another step in that direction of person-centered planning and setting high expectations and giving people the opportunity to live the American dream and not get punished if they can get some money together and I think that’s a great thing that you all have done.

MELISSA: Yes, it’s wonderful, and you know I’m always the one pushing just a little bit further into that major subject. Okay, so we’ve made all this progress, yet there’s still that funding issue. And I think, my frustration always is why isn’t there more funding for people with disabilities in general? Why is it so hard to get, and I know that we know the bureaucracy and we know that there’s just not enough money to go around, but other programs get funded, and can I have a perspective of maybe it’s a historical thing, Dr. Pasternack you must have a different perspective than I would have given the positions you’ve had. Is this something that just hasn’t caught on yet because it wasn’t very popular back then?

PASTERNACK: Well this is a very complicated question, and an important one that you asked. So usually I talk about, I’m an evidence-based policy maker so I like, trained as a scientist, I like to talk about evidence and then I’ll also give you my opinion. There has been historic increases in IDEA funding and IDEA, when public law 94-142 was first passed and most people have forgotten that it was signed by President Ford, President Ford was actually going to veto the bill because in the bill is language that says that public schools shall receive 40% of the excess cost incurred in providing specially designed instruction and related services to what we used to call handicapped kids but we now call kids with disabilities. Well, that was 1975, so here we are, we just celebrated last year the 40th anniversary of IDEA, and estimates are that the federal funding is only at about 16% rather than anywhere close to the 40%.

MELISSA: Right!

PASTERNACK: So President Ford was absolutely prophetic in his prognostics about what was gonna happen. Now some of the lions and champions that we’ve had historically, particularly in the Senate, Senator Kennedy, may he rest in peace and Senator Harkin who just retired, these are folks who really fought very hard for many years to try to get more federal funding. But I wanna tell you that there’s a great deal of money that is spent on special education and here’s where my evidence and opinion may differ from some of your listeners and even from you, but we’ve got the wrong kids in special education. Most of the kids that are currently receiving special education are not disabled, they are in fact instructional casualties. The number one reason why kids get referred to special ed is that they have trouble reading and the reality is is that most of those kids could have learned to read if they were taught by effective teachers using evidence-based strategies. So they don’t need to be in special education and that’s one of the reasons why the outcomes and results are so poor for too many students with disabilities. So while people think it’s about a money issue, imagine what would happen if we were able to prevent the entry of so many of these kids into the special ed system by strengthening the general education system, how much more money would be available to serve the kids with disabilities who really do have disabilities, who really deserve the specially designed instruction and related services that must be provided when a student is determined eligible for special education. It would reinvent, it would transform special education, and it would give administrators an opportunity to spend the money that they do have differently than they’re currently spending it because 90% of the kids, about six million kids receiving special ed around the country, 90% of those kids are kids with mild disabilities and the largest category out of the 13 categories of eligibility for special ed continues to be specific learning disabilities, and those kids include kids with dyslexia and significant reading disabilities, so imagine what would happen if many of those students did not get into special ed because they actually were having their needs met by a stronger intervention system provided in the general education setting. And I just want to add something that a lot of your listeners may not be aware of and that is the fact that special ed teachers get less training on how to teach reading than their general education counterparts, so when we think that we’re doing the kid a favor by pulling the kid out of the general education classroom, and sending that kid to a special education teacher, in many instances we may not be doing the best thing for that student, particularly if our goal is to teach that kid how to read because I hope we would all agree that reading is a gateway skill, you spend your first years learning to read and the rest of your academic career reading to learn and so you’ve got to be able to know how to read in order to be successful in our society, and we’re not doing as well as we should be despite the well-intentioned efforts of great teachers who care deeply about doing the best they can and show up every day to do this very important and difficult job that we ask them to do.

MELISSA: My gosh, you just really pictured my whole struggle, my whole life with my child right now, what you just said. I’m (chuckles), my constant predicament is my child has mild disabilities compared to what I feel are, I don’t know how to say this, but true, truer, there’s no such word as that, but I’m in competition constantly with the funding for my child who needs supports. But I know that money takes away from another child who really needs it much more than my child, and I’m always asking why can’t my school do a better job at screening and providing supports and presenting various learning models, because you don’t always get it the first time, you might have to get it the third time, and what you just said, if general education was made longer and the teachers were better trained and they have more differential education options, we could shift the funding and how it gets dispersed.

PASTERNACK: Absolutely.

MELISSA: How do we do that? Where do I go?

PASTERNACK: Well, it is being done in some places. Let me tell you though, I was just out a couple weeks ago meeting with the Executive Director for Special Education in LA Unified which is the second biggest school district in America. You know, we can’t even get people in Washington to agree on how many school districts we have in the U.S., let alone agree on how to change the education system, but what she is doing, Sharyn Howell, who is a wonderful, caring, dedicated career special educator, she’s really trying to focus more on preventing kids from getting into special education. And to use a term that Mark’s very familiar with, the best return on investment that we get for any money that we spend in education is actually on pre-K, and in LA Unified to give you an example, 46% of three and four-year-old kids who are in their effective pre-kindergarten programs did not need special education when they got out of those pre-kindergarten programs. So we can actually prevent students with disabilities from, we can prevent students who are struggling from becoming identified as students with disabilities and then getting into special education which quite frankly, is not as special as it needs to be for the vast majority of kids. You know, the graduation rate for students with disabilities continues to hover around 60% while the graduation rate for non-disabled kids continues to climb in the 80 percentile range plus. So while things have gotten much better, we still got a long way to go and I really have to applaud the woman who just left as the Director of the Office of Special Education Programs at the U.S. Department of Education who worked very hard the last five years to try to get the country’s special ed system to focus more on improving outcomes and results because unfortunately, when you look at (garbled) spend (garbled) educating kid with a disability compared to a non-disabled kid. So there you go, I put everybody to sleep.

FRIESE: I think it’s very important.

MELISSA: You’re breaking in and out a little bit. Are you there now?

PASTERNACK: I’m still here. You know, money is a necessary but not sufficient condition to educating kids with disabilities. You need effective teachers using evidence-based practices. You made a point that’s important, we have to do a better job at screening and a much better job at catching these kids early because you know, the medical community will tell you that no matter what human condition you’re working on, the earlier you can identify it, the earlier you can bring to bear evidence-based practices to treat it, the higher the probability of being successful. So we’ve got, we’ve come a long way but we’ve got a long way to go to improve outcomes and results for kids with disabilities.

MELISSA: In the meantime, we just have to keep plugging along and have to keep advocating for our children and continuing to rattle the cage of the school system or the providers to give the best angle and the best support to help them be as independent as possible in the future. It’s so challenging, I thought that it would be easier somehow. But I live in the District and I’ve been constantly challenged since Diego was two, trying to get early intervention implemented. We always seem to be competing with funding and here we go again, with the DC structure. But I’d like to say that things are getting better. Where do you think, Mark, could we take a moment here to talk a little bit about how some of the educational funding applies to your neck of the woods?

FRIESE: So far,

MELISSA: Saving for college, and.

FRIESE: So there’s some special rules obviously, if you have a special needs member of your family, and we’ve talked about that before in your show before, if they’re receiving or they’re potentially going to be receiving Social Security benefits. They’re not allowed to have any more than $2,000 in a child’s name. The ABLE Act is freeing up some of that restriction and allowing the number to open up in each state, they’re going to be able to put $100,000 in there so that can help a lot. And I think part of it is just kind of realizing what the timeline is. So for education, what are you trying to do, as Bob talked about I think very aptly, start early, early intervention is good. Work with your teachers, try to find the right schools. If you’re in a school situation that is not positive, there are other options, and almost every day I have a call from somebody saying it’s not working out with my son at the school or my daughter at the school. What can I do, and there are attorneys who can help in that area that will be happy to talk with you. Most of them will talk with you for free for at least the initial consultation, kind of find out what your background is and what you’re trying to do with your child, and they might even go with you as I’ve done with my son and they’ll go with you when you’re doing your IEP, ‘cause even though the school system says something’s going to get done and you have this beautiful IEP that looks like hey, everything’s great, it doesn’t necessarily mean all that’s happening in the classroom. So as Bob brought up and I think it’s absolutely true, you have to be an advocate for your child, you have to be involved with your child, and the best way and the best people to do that are certainly the parents. And then if you’re not sure where resources are, I think we’re an excellent resource. I’ve been doing this now for almost 30 years, so I know a lot of people that are in the special needs world, the attorney part of it, the special trust, you know, where’s housing gonna come from, when you start applying, what about guardianship issues when you’re looking at that, do you have enough money, and for most parents the biggest issue is not just is the child gonna have enough money, but these issues for raising a child with special needs are very expensive. And the average family spends somewhere between 30 to $60,000 extra every year to make sure their child’s okay, their adult is okay at some point. So they’re not in a financial position that some other people are ‘cause they’re spending more money, so how do you make up for that and how do you look for Medicaid waivers and government help and there’s mini-grants available through some organizations, so knowing where the money is and how to get the money and how to financially structure your situation so that you know you’re gonna be okay as parents, financially, and you know very importantly when you’re no longer around, that your child or your now-adult child will be okay too.

PASTERNACK: I would also add that parents need to know that there’s at least one parent training information center funded by the U.S. Department of Education in every state. Now that amount of money is not as large as it should be, but those organizations, the Virginia branch or the Virginia nonprofit is the Parent Education Advocacy and Training Center, PEATC, and I can send you the information so if parents are interested and need that support or want that support, they can certainly contact the parents of kids with disabilities who run those organizations and then you can have your voice added to the voice of others or get information if you’re struggling to sort of learn things about how to navigate the system, how to participate actively in an IEP, how to find the right services and programs for your kids, the things that you mentioned about your son Diego. These are one important resource and it is a system that is available throughout the United States and there are parent resource centers and the larger urban centers. It does give parents an opportunity to not only get information, training, help, assistance, resources, but also to get the support that a lot of parents need because a lot of parents feel like they’re alone and they’re not alone. As I said earlier, over 6 million students receiving special education across the United States, that’s a lot of families and I think they can find support, empathy, compassion, that may help them on their journey.

MELISSA: Yeah. I know that our neighborhood didn’t have anything like that here, and I realized that my neighborhood park became our community center where I could get, I could have him running around and he was doing his OT and nature. And DC has come a long way. I’ve seen the progress in my short 10 years with Diego, that there wasn’t a lot of resources at the very beginning, and thanks to this show and thanks to the people who are really working hard in the District, they are putting more centers and making it easier for parents to get the support, ‘cause it’s a very lonely road at times and both of you know it just as well. I don’t think it matters the degree of disability your child presents or your family member presents. It is more challenging in some particular way just as much, it’s more rewarding. Like you said about your brother, Dr. Pasternack, he taught you more than you taught him, and I think that’s really the gift that our society tends to overlook, you know. I mean we’re all here for some reason and sometimes I think people with disabilities have a tap-in in the higher levels than we could ever get to, and that they’re a gift to us.

PASTERNACK: Yeah, there’s a line that says that only special families get special kids. So I think that what we know the reality, is different than that and the divorce rate among families of kids with disabilities is higher than the divorce rate in the general population, so I think, it puts an inordinate amount of stress on the entire family system. Not only the parents, but we don’t talk enough about the siblings, the brothers and the sisters of the kids with disabilities and that’s another discussion to have and the support.

MELISSA: And that goes into the infrastructure and where is the infrastructure and then we go back to funding and then we go back to the movement and here we are, you know, and we’ll have more and more conversations about this and there will be progress. And we just have to go one day at a time just like we do.

PASTERNACK: Absolutely.

MELISSA:  Thank you so much. Dr. Pasternack, what is your affiliation with Accelify in the sense that is, are parents allowed to contact you through there or is that something that’s, you’re working at a different level? And it trickles down or can I, a random person, contact Accelify and ask, can you help my school?

PASTERNACK: I think that Accelify would welcome that kind of opportunity to engage with families but really, the primary audience for the work that we do is administrators, the directors of special education. We just are embarking on a huge project with Miami Dade Public Schools which is the fourth largest public school district in the country, so the company is small and very, very busy, but one of the things that we do exceedingly well is help school districts increase the Medicaid in the school’s revenue that students with disabilities who are Medicaid eligible can generate. And that is a funding source that a lot of people are not using as well as they could. So yeah, we’re happy to talk with families but that’s not really the main thing that we do but we would never ignore any request for help or information that we would receive.

MELISSA: Oh, excellent, thank you so much. So they can just go to the website?

PASTERNACK: You bet. It’s accelify.com.

MELISSA: Alright, I’m good. Is there anything that anyone wants to add?

FRIESE: No, thanks for the opportunity to get the word out again and I think it was a very important subject, and thank you Dr. Pasternack for helping. You have a lot of knowledge and I was really appreciative that you’re willing to come talk to everyone today and a lot of families will be better off after having heard what you had to say.

PASTERNACK: Well I hope. And I would remind everybody that as I said earlier that parents are the true experts on their kids. They know more about their kids than anybody else, and educators and special educators need to be resources and partners.

MELISSA: Oh, thank you so much for saying that. Wow, that’s, thank you, thank you so much. Well good night to both of you and I hope to have another show with you on a different topic, I’m sure we have plenty to discuss.

PASTERNACK: Plenty, thanks so much.

MELISSA: And Happy New Year.

FRIESE: You too, Happy New Year, thank you.

MELISSA: Great, thank you.

PASTERNACK: Bye bye.

MELISSA: Good night. Thank you all for listening to the Mary and Melissa Show. This was a very insightful and wow, isn’t it great when you just get to talk to somebody that says the kind of things that you wish other people would just say to you, and they validate you and remind you that you’re not alone, we’re here for you. So keep checking us out. Remember we have that website, www.inclusionzone.org, and this Blog Talk, and you can find that at blogtalkradio.com, so look up the Mary and Melissa show and feel free to reach out to us, ask us a question. If you have a suggestion for a show, please don’t hesitate. Talk to you later.