Monday, May 6, 2013


What could 24 professional women from almost as many fields of expertise possibly have in common? Well, for the women of 411 VOICES  they have a drive to help individuals, communities and businesses through their very engaging and successful collective network via new and traditional media outlets.

Formed in March 2011, 411 VOICES came together  as a group of only ten women with the goal of simply bringing resources to people who were in need of some direction in the areas of Education, Social Media, Life Leadership and Child-Family Relationships.

Fast forward to 2013 and now 411 VOICES has become a leader in helping communities  brand ambassadors and social media architects and implementers.  Also these experts are often called upon as speakers in media and during conferences on subjects from Astrology to Youth Development and much more!

Discover the women of 411 VOICES via their media guide  biographies listed on our website, on our radio shows via Blog Talk  and via our welcome message video. (The one below is featuring Britt Michaelian, a founding member)

We hope that you will call upon 411 VOICES to help give your organization vision and voice through our collective reach!

This author, Louise Sattler, is also a founding member of 411 VOICES.  Inquiries may be made via the website here  411 VOICES

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Who will be on Learning and Laughter in April- May 2010- How about Great Women and we have AMERICAN IDOLS, too!!

Who will be our special guests on Learning and Laughter with Louise? Where can you learn more about our guests?

First- check out the details on

Here is the April- May 2010 list! Listen LIVE- Podcast- iTunes! And of course, info will be HERE, too!!

April 21st- We are privileged to have Maimah Karmo talk with us about the topic of breast health. Learn how you can be educated, supported or become an advocate. Maimah Karmo has a wonderful group called the

April 28th- We have immensely popular author, Annie Fox in the house! Annie is the writer of many books for tweens and teens- including my personal fave - MIDDLE SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL ( I love the WHOLE SERIES- genius!)

May 5th- Alison Rhodes will be chatting summer safety, negotiating special education as a parent, and so much more. Alison is a great person and someone who I am proud to call friend. She always is one who talks from her heart. Join us for this special and very personal hour.

May 12th- My gal-pal- Hilary Bilbrey is joining the show. We are going to talk about a multitude of topics- including Hilary's brainchild businesses. I just love her dedication to helping others learn about keeping children safe.

May 19th- AMERICAN IDOLS. That's right we will have AMERICAN IDOLS from previous seasons on our shows ALL WEEK! (Not only here on Learning and Laughter!) My guests (confirmed) are John Stevens, Scott MacIntyre and Becky O'Donohue.

May 26th- WOW- you'll love Wendy Young and her Kidlutions. Call in with questions or send them to me in advance to ask Wendy those "hard to parent" questions.

We will post June in a couple of weeks!
Also, don't forget to become a fan of WE WANT MY DEAF FAMILY on TELVISION! Check out the pilot on YouTube, too!!

By Hilary Bilbrey-

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Are YOU on a "Trip To Holland"?

This is a post that has appeared on numerous special education, parenting and family blogs.  I am often cited for it or receive requests to repost.

Enjoy and if you want to share your experiences with being on a Trip To Holland, by all means leave them here.

Also, this article is dedicated to our son, Seth- who taught us long ago that Holland is simply beautiful!

Are you on a "Trip to Holland?"

Submitted by Louise Sattler
The poem written by Emily Perl Kingsley was cut out and pasted on refrigerator from February of 1992 until we moved to a new home in 1995. It was titled, “ Welcome to Holland”.  In essence, it was a snapshot of what it is like to being unprepared when you give birth to a child who has challenges, such as medical or cognitive disabilities.

Louise Sattler: author and speaker.
There is one section of the poem that I read over and over again, “After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."   "Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy." But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.”
My husband and I wanted to go to Italy and ended up in Holland on February 7, 1992.  I should have known that our trip to second time parenthood would be bumpy as we were told that our second born was to be a girl.   “Two girls, so nice”, my OB-GYN told me.  Guess what, we had the first boy born in 28 years in my family when he arrived via emergency c-section.  Not breathing right.  Sugar too low, heartbeat too high.  I could already feel the “plane veer” off course.
Days later we were allowed to go home only to notice that our little “fella” was turning the color of a Sunkist orange.  Not good.  Not good at all.  Rushed back to the hospital to be told it was simple “jaundice”.  Nope, nothing in the child’s life would be simple, I found out. Days go on and before the first actual tulip bloomed that year we were in intensive care with our young guy.  Jaundice ended up to be a “liver problem” - not yet determined, but possibly very serious and could lead to severe retardation.  Respiratory syncytial virus/ RSV nearly claimed his life.  Reflux choked him every third breath.  Our nightmare continued.  You know you have a very sick baby when you can’t find room in the isolated PICU suite because of the number of doctors, nurses and respiratory therapists working with your child to keep him alive.  You also know your baby is very ill when the nurses come and ask you questions such as, ‘Is there anyone we can call for you?”  Does God have a hotline, I wonder?
For any new parent who has a baby you know this is the worst part of the scenario- waiting.   You wait to see if the tests are positive for illnesses that are unimaginable.  You wait to see if the insurance will cover the rare and complicated blood work, machines that are helping your child stay alive or special therapy sessions ordered.  You wait to see if you will ever have a “normal” life again for yourself, your family, your work, etc.  Will your child walk, talk, eat normally, have friends, etc.? You begin truly begin to hate Holland.
Then little by little the wait can end.  Test results come back.   Therapies begin.  Hospitalizations end and you go home.  But, for many of us, this is when you start a new journey in to the realm of Special Education.  Here is the most ironic part of this story and the reason I am writing it for this blog.  I am a special educator.  I am a full fledge, certified School Psychologist that is trained with helping parents and children with special needs.  All my training flies out the window as   my mind is trying to process the months of evaluations, reports and recommendations from specialists.   Ironic indeed.  I have now changed teams!  Instead of being the intervention specialist I now am the one calling our local school district asking for help from the Early Intervention Team!   And I am so grateful when they appear at my door. But, I still have problems with paperwork and understanding all the information.  How can this be?  I do this job everyday and I am still wading through it because my head is so full of grief and confusion.  The team helps me. Everyday gets a little better. Clarity arrives with every meeting or visit from a team member. Family members come on board to help.  We get it through it.
Now fast- forward, our son improves with therapy as he starts to talk, walk (actually run) and become quite sociable.  He has more hospital visits but he is deemed fairly healthy.  His liver has a benign disorder and we are told that he shouldn’t go without food or enter in to the military.  We can live with those two stipulations to have a benign liver disorder vs. the alternatives.
I also become a much better psychologist.  Often I go to our refrigerator and I read Welcome to Holland.  As I do I imagine my own fears, but also the see the faces and hear the sad, confused and sometimes hopeful voices of countless parents and children I have worked with in the past. I am a better person because I stopped in Holland than Italy.
As for the little “fella”, he is applying to colleges now. He has had his challenges, but nothing we couldn’t handle without the help of school and healthcare professionals.
And guess where he suggested we go on summer vacation this year?  Holland.  Well, I’ll be!

ABOUT the Author:
Louise is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP), owner of Signing Families™, writer for the JustAsk forum and host of her own radio show, Learning and Laughter with Louise.

Louise resides in Central Maryland with her amazing family - hubby, Marc and two adult kids- Seth and Natasha!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Join the Campaign to Bring- MY DEAF FAMILY- to television

It would be great to have a deaf family and American Sign Language portrayed on television for ALL to view and enjoy!

Marlee Matlin once again is bringing the need for deaf entertainment and equal access in the spotlight.  She has championed for closed captioning to be on all TV sets sold in the United States and now she wants to highlight how YouTube can have immediate closed captioning services available.

Here is more info and the sites for you to peruse.  Would love your comments!  Here is the pilot of MY DEAF FAMILY

Here is a great story explaining why this seminole program could be so important to all:

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Knowledge Safari and KidQuest-TV- two great websites!

Learning and Laughter with Louise- Wednesday, April 7th show-  On part of the HerInsight Network!

I love innovation!  Which is why I picked for this weeks show two great companies and their websites to spotlight-  Knowledge Safari and KidQuest- TV!

Knowledge Safari  is a great website for people who who live or work with individuals with special needs.  In addition, you can read or add reviews of products, restaurants, businesses and so much more.  Marci Hersh will be joining us for the first half of our show.  She would love to connect with you, learn more about Knowledge Safari and help YOU to network with others!  Call in your questions and comments on Wednesday, April 7th at 9am EST - 1-877-864-4869 is my second highlighted website.  What are cool kids doing?  Riding hot air balloons? Raising hawks or falcons?  Well, Robert Marshall captures great kids doing amazing things!  He should know a good story when he sees it as this group owns two Emmy Awards and have been Parent's Choice Gold Award!  

presented on

Tweet our guests, too:  @KnowledgeSafari and @KidQuestTV


Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Welcome to the Virtual Job Fair!

Welcome to a Virtual Job Fair sponsored by
 Learning and Laughter with Louise 
on the HerInsight radio network of

Today on Learning and Laughter with Louise we had three sensational companies chat with us.  ALL THREE HAVE EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES.  So, if you are looking for a job or to re-enter the workforce and need assistance this blog should be a "must-read".  Good luck and PLEASE let us know if you obtained a job through our virtual job fair.  We would love to hear about success stories!!

Our first guest on the radio show as Debbie Lesser.  She represented Keith Wann's company-
This company has many facets which are clearly explained on their website-
Debbie indicated that American Sign Language CERTIFIED interpreters are needed nationwide. She also explained that provides video interpreting and also remote video conferencing, such as with when a physicians/ lawyers office in a rural area needs to communicate with a deaf individual.  

What is great about this company is that stories online are also available for children and adults to enjoy. This multifaceted and national company is desperately looking for interpreters.  Spanish or other languages in addition to ASL is also desired.

Contact Debbie Lesser at
The website is

Our second guest was the incredible Candi Wingate.  She has several companies LOOKING TO HIRE!  Now we are talking Part time, Full time, you make the hours!! Men, women, single, married, ALL 50 STATES AND CANADA!!  No reason to be unemployed with this group!  This is an incredible opportunity for people who are in college or need to augment their income.  Full time work for those who need it.  SUPER!!

Candi owns:  and

Both of these companies are reputable,  have stringent applications for those who are searching for help and those they help to employ.  So, if you are looking to be a nanny or to hire one, is a MUST to research.  

In addition,  website cites the following information:   Our database is designed to assist families in finding a quality babysitter, housekeeper, tutor, companion/eldercare, pet sitter and Miscellaneous care such as a personal assistant, gardener, party planner, etc. for their specific needs and requirements and offer caregivers an enjoyable employment experience.

Contact them TODAY- you can have a job by the end of NEXT WEEK!!  Keep in mind that this company will have security measures in place.  Also, they have been receiving kudos from tons of people (see website).  Even Kate Gosselin (John and Kate +8) used their services.  So,  hurry and check them out!!

Our third, but certainly no the least in any way- was Sandra Beck from the fantastic company     I LOVE THIS COMPANY.   Why?  Because people can work from home within the tech, corporate or creative companies and still be at home with their children  (By the way, you can hire a nanny from to help make your home work life run even more smoothly - hint, hint)

Their website is super and was created by people they employed through this company- how great is that!  Here is what they want you to know if you are looking for a job:

 Many mothers leave the traditional workforce to raise their children. Contrary to popular belief, their skills do not evaporate the day they do. The work at home mother is the largest untapped resource for skilled work in the United States today. 

Every day we are contacted by educated, skilled mothers who want to write, create, design and facilitate - only not in a traditional office. They are smart, they are business savvy and they are successful in what they do. They are "our moms."

And every day we are contacted by companies, small businesses and sole business operators looking for alternatives to traditional hiring. A way to get work done without additional office space, equipment and software needs, taxes and costly benefits. These are "our clients."

Motherhood Incorporated brings Moms and Clients together to get the job done effectively and efficiently using phone, fax and Internet.

We at Motherhood Incorporated believe that Outsourcing should be Home Sourcing and that Pink is the new Green. Using a Home Based worker reduces fossil fuel emissions and allows ours mother's more time with their family.

We save our families and our planet at the same time. What could be better than that?
or call directly at 310-424-5324


To recap-  ALL of the above companies are hiring!  They want to connect with
people from all over the United States and Canada. Now this is what you need to

1-  An email, phone call  or checking out these companies cannot cost you a thing
other than your time and effort.  If you truly want a job and don't have a felony
record- then you have a good chance of having a job- very soon

2-  These companies were selected because they value their employees and
clients.  These are not menial jobs.  These are careers.  You can be helping children,
elder care, work outdoors, be a virtual assistant, design graphics, design websites,
and much more. The only company that required certification is

3. The pay from these companies varies according to the tasks.  That is up to
you to discuss with potential employers.  However, I guarantee that you will EARN
no money from your skills if you stay at home and do nothing. EARN is the key
word in this sentence.

4.  You need not finish high school nor college for consideration for some of these
jobs.  Yes that is right.  There is something for almost everyone.  Also, people who
are deaf, blind or do not use English as their first language are encouraged to check
out our information, too!

5. Please let me know if you successfully obtained employment.  There are no
guarantees, however here is great info for you that may lead to you being a virtual
career fair success story!



Wednesday, March 17, 2010

You are never too old to......(fill in the blank!)

     Let's start with the facts.... I teach sign language.  DUH!  But, what you may not know is that the average age of a student in my classes or workshops is not the typical college aged student.  Nor is this student between birth to 18 years old. Nope the median age of my students is up around the 30 year old mark.  HUH!?!  How did that happen?  Well, quite simply I have noticed a trend where many of my sign language students are parents, business owners, healthcare professionals, first responders or senior citizens.  I have one class now, in which one of my students is retired from NASA and helped to create the Hubbell Telescope.  (Trust me I stopped using the phrase- "This is easy, its' not ROCKET SCIENCE" during this class!)

    Since today is my birthday I wanted to reiterate to those of us who are a bit "mature" that is is NEVER too late to learn ANY SKILL! Go ahead and learn to make the quilt you always wanted, dance the Zumba, learn conversational Italian and then go take that dream trip to Italy!  And if you are so inclined, learn the fourth most common language used in the United States- Sign Language.

     I would love to know... what is on your "must learn" list?  Well, let us all know here and maybe you will help to inspire someone else.

     Have a great day!


Twitter / Louiseasl

Support the Haiti Disaster Relief Effort


An interactive trilingual book to teach young children basic math skills! Learn three languages at one time. Available at Harris Communications or directly from


Made especially for adults and older children to learn the basics of sign language and teach younger children or individuals with special learning challenges. Available on our Signing Families website, Amazon, Harris Communications , Barnes and Noble and many more sites.


About Me

My photo

Welcome! Like many, I wear a lot of different 'hats' - Psychologist - Entrepreneur (Signing Families) - Disaster Preparedness Trainer - Educational Consultant and Social Media Expert via 411 VOICES.

Media requests:  Please use the contact form via 411 VOICES or email:

No 'hat' more important than MOM!