by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Blue's Clues, Kids, Parenting


Happy Birthday to my (newly) 10 year old! There are no more children with single digits in my home [sigh].

But while there’s a lot I miss about her younger years, there’s so much I have to look forward to on the road ahead.


Thank you for your inspiration and for being the incredible person that you are! Enjoy 10!

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Panic Disorder

When I was growing up, my sister would talk about things that would enrage her and then half jokingly say about me, “He just doesn’t care. He couldn’t care less”. That was my rap.

Fact of the matter is, I wished that was true. I did care..too much.

I was a worrier growing up..grades, friends, social situations, etc. I did well across the board, so I guess I did a good job of hiding it. At the time, that was something I thought I was supposed to do. Keep the armor on & keep barreling forward. Fortunately, unbeknownst to family & friends, I sought the help I needed after my first, full-on panic attack. 

This is 1 trait I’d rather not share with my kids, so I recently spoke with a good friend of mine to get some more info on the subject.

Subway by Paul Cooper


Barbara was on a crowded NYC subway 20 years ago and began to feel dizzy. She was a fun, free spirited girl, in her early thirties but she began to imagine herself fainting somewhere along her routine commute. For no logical reason she spiraled downward into the darkest, most unnerving place that she ever found herself in. She wondered what would happen to her. Who would find her? Would someone assist or take advantage of her situation? Her heart was beating at least twice its normal rate.

Drenched in sweat, she wondered, “Aren’t I too young for a heart attack?!”

The next day Barbara felt better taking a less crowded train 15 minutes earlier. With the feeling creeping back again the next day, she caught an even earlier train. The pattern grew over the years to the point where she was leaving 2 hours earlier than necessary to sweep her panic under the rug. Even though Barbara successfully graduated college, was happily married & had kids, there was an odd sense of impending doom that seemed to follow her. Mundane tasks such as standing in the checkout line at the supermarket or driving alone began to cause her anxiety.

After many agonizing years & thousands of dollars wasted on misdiagnoses, Barbara finally found an informed cognitive behavioral therapist. A recovered phobic himself, the psychiatrist eventually taught Barbara how to meet these bouts with panic head so that she could move on with her life. This was the start of her road to recovery.Panic Bttn


Years later, having learned a great deal from her experience, she decided to help others that share such experiences. Today she is one of a few hands on therapists that go out “into the field” with her clients to control their emotional disorders. I spoke with Barbara about this crippling illness which silently affects so many people.

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by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Good Use of Media, Kids, Parenting, Super Why!

Super Why Fan - Cole

Meet four year old Cole, undoubtedly one of Super Why‘s BIGGEST fans. When he was a year old, Cole was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy.

His Dad, Adam, recently told us:

“When Cole was introduced to Super Why at 6 months old, it had been the only TV show my wife would let him watch regularly because of the positive messages it brought across for our son..

Your show has made some tough times in our house more simple..The smile on his face when he hears the opening song come on or from hearing a character’s voice is priceless. If he’s not in a very good mood or crying, instantly his attitude & personality changes.

Cole - Super Why Fan

For that, I say THANK YOU”

Adam & his wife Jennifer would love for more of the public to understand that special needs children have so very much to offer. In fact, Cole has taken some time out of his day to do some modeling and he can be seen in the Toys R Us “Differently Abled” catalog.

Thank you Adam & Jennifer for your message and especially your pictures of Cole.

Enjoy the ride Cole & we expect to see big things from you!


“A quarter of U.S. households have a member with special needs. More than 8% of kids under 15 have a disability, and half of those are deemed severe” –Jeff Howe/CNN Money
by: Angela Santomero | Filed under Conferences, My Projects, Parenting, PRESS

iQ: smartparentMany parents are concerned about the enormous media content their children are exposed to. And while the number of avenues that deliver these various messages is increasing, there are just as many contradicting opinions on all of this content.

How can a parent properly assess it all, so that their children can consume age appropriate material that’s conducive to their growth?

WQED launched iQ: smartparent in response to a research study made up of parents expressing a desire to build their confidence with educational, 21st century media & expand their capacity for co-learning with their digitally savvy children. Through a series of 6 hour-long broadcasts & numerous online resources, iQ: smartparent equips parents & caregivers with tools & resources to aid their understanding and use of digital media & technologies for learning.

Thursday, June 27th, I will be hosting iQ: smartparent Tune In, Tune Out” in the Fred Rogers’ Studios.

Do your children believe everything they see on TV? How does your child learn to separate fiction from reality? This episode will empower families with skills & techniques which will assist in evaluating media while identifying ways that it can positively impact their lives.

iQ smartParent guests

I will be speaking with Board Certified Family Physician, Deborah Gilboa MD (@AskDocG), educational psychologist & children’s TV producer Alice Wilder (@alicewilder), Emmy®-award winning music producer, Emmai Alaquiva (@Emmai_Alaquiva) and behavioral scientist at the RAND Corp., Steven Martino.

If you are interested in attending the “Tune In, Tune Out” live taping in Pittsburgh, PA on Thursday, June 27, 2013 from 6:30-8 PM (EDT) please visit iQsmartparent4’s eventbrite page. iQ smartparent’s “Tune In, Tune Out” episode premieres: August 29, 8:00pmCommon Sense Media

iQ: smartparent is brought to you by WQED Multimedia with generous support from an anonymous donor & expertise from Common Sense Media.

“We are thrilled to welcome Angela Santomero to the iQ: smartparent series. She offers the sensitivity, advice, and media savvy to help any parent make great decisions about how 21 century media impacts a child. As a parent and TV creator she lives it every day.”

-Jennifer Stancil – WQED Executive Director of Educational Partnerships


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by: Greg | Filed under Dad's Clues

Happy Father’s Day!


Thank you

Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads who take their title seriously!

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