Ron Cable Now Juvenile Court Magistrate

This article was originally published by the Akron Legal News on January 12, 2017

Summit County Juvenile Court Judge Linda Tucci Teodosio has announced that Ron Cable accepted a position as magistrate with the court and began his service on Jan. 3, 2017.
Cable comes to juvenile court from the Summit County Domestic Relations Court, where he served as a judicial attorney and part-time magistrate in 2001 before becoming a full-time magistrate in 2005. He was promoted to chief magistrate last June.
Cable is a 1996 graduate of The University of Akron, where he received his bachelor’s degree in political science. He then attended the university’s School of Law where he earned his juris doctor in 2000.
As a magistrate, Cable will hear both delinquency and dependency, neglect and abuse cases.
“We are thrilled to be able to bring Ron Cable to the juvenile court,” said Judge Teodosio. “He brings a broad scope of experience as an attorney and a magistrate and he will be a valuable addition to our court.”

Ron Cable Helps DR Court Get New Therapy Dog

This article originally appeared on www.ohio.com

The Summit County Courthouse is going to the dogs.
 
First, it was Avery II. Now, Trotwood has joined the pack.
 
The furry friends are part of an effort to make court proceedings less intimidating for children.
 
The Summit County Prosecutor’s Office began using Avery in August 2013 to sit with children who testify in criminal proceedings. Inspired by this idea, Summit County Domestic Relations Court recently recruited Trotwood to assist young people who are part of custody, visitation and domestic violence cases.
 
“It has always been the No. 1 thing I was worried about — how to make kids feel more comfortable,” said Domestic Relations Court Magistrate Ron Cable. “I believe this is the answer.”
 
Avery, a 4-year-old Labrador-golden retriever mix, has been involved in 88 cases and helped 111 victims during competency meetings, trials and sentencing hearings, according to the prosecutor’s office.
 
“Our facility dog Avery has proven how impactful having a dog in court can be,” Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh said in an email. “I commend Summit County Magistrate Ron Cable for continuing this innovative approach in easing the stress children face when appearing in domestic relations court.”
 
Trotwood, the newest canine addition, is a 3-year-old Goldendoodle — a cross between a golden retriever and a poodle — owned by Magistrate Maureen Foley.
 
Cable recently used Trotwood in an interview with a 10-year-old boy for a custody case. He said the boy was delighted to meet Trotwood and feed him some treats. The boy told Cable about his own pets.
 
“I felt it was a nice ice breaker,” Cable said.
 
At one point during the interview, Cable said he had to ask the boy some uncomfortable questions. He said the boy leaned down to pet Trotwood, who was laying at his feet, as he answered.
 
Foley, who sat in on Trotwood’s pilot session, was pleased with how well it went for both the dog and the boy.
 
“It reframed his experience,” she said of the boy’s interview. “He could say, ‘I got to leave school early, I went to court and there was a dog there!’ ”
 
Cable said the boy’s parents were fine with the dog sitting in on the interview.
 
“Most of the folks we see are good people going through a difficult time,” he said. “They didn’t want to see their child upset.”
The two domestic relations judges and 11 magistrates will be able to use Trotwood to assist ­children during interviews for custody and visitation disputes and the issuance of civil protection orders for domestic-violence cases.The dog won’t be used in the courtroom.
 
“Being involved in a conflict between their parents can be traumatic for children,” Judge John Quinn said in a news release. “We are fortunate to have Trotwood to help children through this process and begin to heal.”
 
Trotwood also is in the process of joining the Doggie Brigade at Akron Children’s Hospital.
 
The magistrates think there could be more opportunities for dogs to be used in other local courtrooms in which children are involved in the proceedings.
 
“It’s just something good,” Cable said. “I think everybody acknowledges that.”
 
Avery and Trotwood haven’t yet met, but court officials say an introduction may be on the docket in the near future.
 
Stephanie Warsmith can be reached at 330-996-3705 or swarsmith@thebeaconjournal.com. Follow on Twitter: @swarsmithabj and on Facebook: www.facebook.com/swarsmith.

Few Really Understand Autism’s Impact

This post originally appeared in the Nordonia Hills News Leader

April was autism awareness month. Although most people know about autism, few really understand its impact. A lot of work still needs to be done to make people more aware of children and adults who are autistic, and the struggles they and their families have with the disability.

I have an 18-year-old son, Ronnie, who is autistic. He was diagnosed at about the age of 2. Ronnie exhibited no signs of autism until about 18 months of age. Then one day he quit making eye contact, and would make strange and repetitive noises. It was like my child was stolen by a thief in the night.

The doctors did not give us a good prognosis when Ronnie was diagnosed. I remember a child development graph the doctor showed us. It looked more like a flat line than a typical developmental graph for children.

More worrisome than the graph was Ronnie’s behavior. Ronnie was having constant tantrums where he would bite, kick and scream. He also showed very little ability to love, as most of us understand love between a parent and child.

There were not many hugs or gestures of affection.

I remember feeling hopeless for him. Until one day when I met a person who actually knew about autism. She explained to me that autistic people’s brains light up on scans when they are shown pictures of their families, and that my son does love, he just does not know how to show it. In his world, we are all speaking a foreign language and he is frustrated because he does not understand us, and we do not understand him.

He has anxiety because noises sound different to him. However, she also said that it would be important to make him do all of the things that we do, to the best of his ability, because he must live in our world, and that we cannot live in his.

I am proud to say that my son, although he has language difficulties and continues to struggle with his disability, is a gentle young man who works hard and enjoys his life.

He goes to school, is on a swim team and has a job. I know that Ronnie loves his family, even though he may not be able to show it in a traditional way. I am thankful each day that Ronnie is a part of my life.

I will share a few things that I have learned in the last 18 years of raising my son. Autistic kids are beautiful; moms and dads should not be made to feel like bad parents when their autistic children misbehave, it is part of the disability; people should not stare when an autistic person is doing something weird, such as staring at their hand or making sounds, because it is part of living with autism; and most importantly, autistic people can do some amazing things, so it is important that we include them.

I ask that we remember those with autism and other special needs throughout the year. It is my hope that we are not only aware but accepting of people with differences.

Photo credit: @Becky Wetherington on flickr (under creative commons)

Guest Column: Working together to make holidays work

This article originally appeared in the Stow Sentry.

 

Holidays are fun times for families. Many holidays are rich in traditions, food, and family. Springtime brings a number of ethnic, religious and family holidays.

Most parents want their children to be with them on the holidays. Children love spending time with parents and extended families during those times.

When parents are separated or divorced, holidays can sometimes be full of tension and conflict. It is sometimes difficult for parents to want to share the children, or not see the children on holidays. Here are some tips for making it work.

Children don’t care what day something happens on. Most children don’t keep track of the calendar or the holiday schedule. What they care about most is keeping the same traditions the family had when they were together. That may be special worship services, special decorations and food. They love special holiday activities that happen year to year. Being flexible with the other parent, and the other parent’s extended family, lets children enjoy these traditions with both parents.

Children don’t mind having more than one holiday celebration. In my years working with families in Domestic Relations Court, I have never had a child tell me they didn’t want two Christmases, two Hanukkahs, two Easter egg hunts, two of anything! Children simply want to enjoy the holidays with each parent and their families. You can schedule your holiday for any day on the calendar. Your children won’t mind.

They only thing that can spoil the holidays for kids is the parents’ disagreements. The Standard Order of Parenting time for holidays is designed to allow children to have time with each parent on an alternating schedule.

However, parents can agree to any schedule that meets their children’s needs and desires. If parents can’t agree, then they fall back on the Standard Order. I have spoken to hundreds of children over the years. With very few exceptions, what children really want is to love both parents, to spend time with both parents, to have both parents love them, and for their parents never to fight and argue.

Working together with the other parent allows children to relax and enjoy their holiday. It teaches children how to problem solve in a civil respectable way (even with people they may not like). That is an important skill they need for life.

Parents are children’s most important teachers. They watch everything we do. Parents who give their child to the other parent freely, and encourage their children to build a good relationship with both families, help their children to become loving and caring adults. Hopefully, these tips will assist parents in making the holidays a time to treasure.

Photo credit: Adam Carter on flickr under Creative Commons

Guest Column: Resolving conflict between two homes

This article was originally published in the Hudson Hub Times.

I can remember the summers from my childhood. They seemed endless. Long days of sunshine, friends and family vacations made this time special. School, lessons and sports were all put on hold until after Labor Day.

Sadly, some children never get to experience this special time of their lives due to the conflict between their parents. As a veteran magistrate at the Summit County Domestic Relations Court, I see families arguing over what weeks they will spend with their children. I have had trials over the Fourth of July weekend alone. I’ve had parents both pay deposits on high end vacations during the same week and request that the court interview the children to determine their wishes. I’ve ruled on emergency motions for Disney World vacations.

We see good people who are going through difficult times at the domestic relations court. However, sometimes the stress of co-parenting with a difficult personality clouds the ability to make the right choices — even choices that involve our children.

I remember a case where the father was to provide the transportation for summer parenting time. The agreed order did not specify where the transportation was to be “to and from” so the mother decided to travel out of town each day before the father was to enjoy his time. As one can imagine, this caused severe conflict between these parents.

Another case involved a father who would sign the kids up for overnight camps during the mother’s parenting time, causing the children to resent their mother when she refused to give up the few weeks that she was able to spend with the children. These tactics caused constant summer litigation between the parties.

Simply put, high conflict and litigation is bad for kids. We know that children from high conflict homes have much greater chances to suffer from anxiety, depression, low self- esteem, and often grow up to have negative feelings about both of their parents. We also know that children from high conflict homes turn to drugs, alcohol and promiscuity at a higher rate than children who grow up in a peaceful setting.

Kids enjoy unstructured time with each parent. Summer is a time they can spend extended time with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. They can sleep in and not have the rushing around that happens during the school year. The kids who come in to speak to the court just want to have fun time with each parent. They know when their parents play games with the time. They can’t stand when their parents fight over time, whether it is summer vacation or holidays. The fact is parents will only get so much time with their children before the children are teens, and involved in activities and employment. It’s important for everyone’s sake, that parents work together to ensure a happy restful summer for each child.

I have a few tips on how to reduce conflict with summer parenting time.

1) Choose your battles. It is not a good idea to fight with your co-parent just to prove a point. Your kids are watching and it is important that they have one parent who puts their needs first. Your kids will appreciate this later.
[See also – Capital News: Ohio Statehouse Potpourri … Marijuana, voter fraud and underage drinking]

2) Just stick to the schedule. It is not worth saving a few dollars on airfare, or attending a function with your kids if trying to change the schedule with your co-parent will case a family war. Kids want to be happy, especially in the summer.

3) Plan far in advance for out of town travel. Both parents should have a mechanism in their order where they are trading vacation schedules by at least May 1 of each year.

4) Stay child focused. Really try to enjoy the summer parenting time that you have with your kids. We have all heard the saying that “they grow up fast.”

We have a significant number of cases in the summer that deal with schedule changes and contempt. If parents are truly having a hard time with the summer schedule, they can ask for an Informal mediation to assist them is resolving the issues peacefully. They can find the form online, at www.drcourt.org. It only takes a few weeks to schedule and it’s free! Remember — your kids just want to enjoy their time off with family and friends. I hope that all of us out there that have two household families make a resolution to enjoy our time with our kids. They do grow up fast.

Photo credit: Olga Lednichenko on flickr under creative commons.

Ron Cable Helps Lead Women Self-Defense Classes

Domestic Relations Magistrate Ron Cable helped lead self defense classes put on by the Summit County Prosecutor’s Office. At the Turner Club in Tallmadge, Ron and Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan-Walsh provided tips and support to everyone who attended. Ron’s experience as a domestic relations magistrate proved invaluable–his court sees thousands of protective order cases each year.