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Archive for the ‘Advocating for special needs’ Category

Today I did an interview with Louise Sattler who is the creative owner/operator of  http://www.signingfamilies.com.   Louise is an expert trainer at workshops and classes that teach American Sign Language to help people communicate with one another.  She is also a certified school psychologist who has an awareness of the importance of the need for families and community leaders to learn sign language.   Sign Language opens doors and bridges gaps for people who are hearing impaired, or who may have developmental delays or special needs.  Communication is something that many people take for granted.

Put yourself in the position of a person who is hearing impaired, or a person who lives with special needs; and, consider some environments they they may experience differently than you; such as a trip to the hospital or emergency room.  How different would the experience be for you if you were the one who had difficulty making your needs known to the health care professionals.  Or say you are an elderly person who is experiencing hearing loss…how are you going to communicate with other residents or say the staff?   How about shopping or getting educational services at college or in elementary school?   How about ordering a meal in a restaurant?   Do you see how the quality of life can be improved for people impacted in this way?   Can you see how sign language could open doors for people if others in the community took the opportunity to learn it from someone like Louise or through her DVD’s?

Click on Image to listen to Interview Click on Image to listen to Interview

If you are interested in learning more about Louise and her educational services please listen to the interview here:  http://www.rapidcashmarketing.com/lorrainesinterview/signingfamilies.htm

I have moved to a new Url here: WriteWhereYouAre if you are interested in reading more of my blog posts!

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I know people who are struggling, people who have cut back in every conceivable way to save money just to stay afloat.  I also know people who are living very comfortably in nice homes, with fancy vehicles, going out to eat regularily and have no worries when it comes to bills or their health.  The world definately has classes of people who are in the haves and the have nots.  There is also a large population of people who are somewhere in the middle.  The thing is…we all have things that we could share.  Blessings come in many packages.

Everyone of us has gifts, talents, finances, possessions, strengths, knowledge or time that we could share with others.  What I love to celebrate and learn about are those who share those blessings with others without thought or expectation of getting something back from that experience of sharing.

Our society is going through some amazingly challenging times…people are struggling.  We need to be aware of others around us who are in need…those who could use a little pick me up.  It could be a kind word, a nice deed, financial gift, or it could be a sharing of knowledge that could bring a positive change to another.   There is a spiritual attitude that I love, it says this: “Those to whom much is given, much is expected in return”.  I call that an attitude of gratitude; being thankful for all that you have been blessed with and a willingness to share it with others!   I challenge you to find some way to bless others in your daily life.   Consider this a compassionate call to action…what can you give to others with no strings attached?

I have moved my site to a new Url: WriteWhereYouAre if you are interested in reading more blog posts!

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     If you were traveling through a poverty striken area and you had a baby of your own that you were still nursing…could you walk away from a hungry newborn baby that had nothing to eat?  Actress Salma Hayek was in Sierra Leone on a humanitarian mission…she nursed an African newborn who was starving because his mother could not produce milk for her child.  Salma was moved to feed that child.  She talked about his eyes lighting up as he began to feel the nutrition flow into his body.  She was moved in her heart to feed him; because i believe that a nursing mother can’t ignore a hungry baby that is crying out in his/her need;  that is called basic human compassion.  Still, you would think that we all had that in abundance; but, not always so, some would run the other way as quickly as they could go.

       This moment was captured on film by the news crew of  “Nightline”  who were along on the trip for Unicef , to promote the importance of tetanus vaccines.   Unicef and Pampers have a campaign called 1 Pack=1Vaccine; Salma is a spokeswoman for Pampers.  www.unicefusa.org or www.pampers.com/unicef 

         I love the message of what Salma did; purely from the standpoint of, if you see a need fill it.  Salma still is breastfeeding her own child who is approximately 1 year old.  She understands the importance of, the nutritional value as well as the bonding value of, breastfeeding. 

         Surely there will be those individuals who will criticize her for what she did.  There will be naysayers who will bring up the issue of aids and to the  possible exposure to her health or that of her own child.  They will say that she did this as a publicity stunt, or for the attention.  Some will say in the larger scheme of things…did that one feeding make a difference; will it save the life of that child.   I believe it made a difference.  I believe an African woman saw an American woman with heart.  I believe a baby felt fulfillment, comfort, and love.  I pray that the mother and child received more help.  A world saw a desperate moment and an act of love.

          I say, she was in the moment.  She saw a child in need; she felt the despair of a mother who could not provide for her child the most basic necessity in life at that time for her child; she did what she was able to do.  I love that she didn’t think twice.  Those who have been blessed in life and find themselves around others in need have a responsibility to share.  I respect Salma for doing it so very naturally.  There are so many in need around the world…what can you do to make a difference?

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       Grrrr…I am a bit torn on this news item; whether to feel more anger or sadness.  It seems that a young 18 year old woman found out that she was pregnant.  She went to a clinic to have an abortion and was given medicine to dialate her cervix to prepare for an abortion procedure.  Before the doctor could perform the abortion…the medication caused her to deliver her baby daughter at just 23weeks of pregnancy.

       A clinic owner allegedly came in and cut the umblical cord and put the child who was struggling to breathe into a red plastic biohazard bag and threw the child in the trash…all as the mother watched in horror.  Allegedly a doctor came in and gave her some medicine to calm her down and sent her home in shock.  The police were called and the child’s remains were identified by DNA as being related to the mother.  Now the mother has sued the doctor and the clinic where the delivery/abortion took place; the doctor has allegedly lost his license.

         This procedure took the life of a human baby almost three years ago.  That child would be walking, talking, singing it’s abc’s , potty training…and maybe even going to pre-school now.  She would be making her mother or another mother figure (she could have been adopted by another mother) mother’s day cards in May…she was not a blob of flesh like so many of these clinics try to tell young women.  She would be a daughter, and a granddaughter; if she could.

        The mother allegedly has said that she changed her mind about the abortion, once she saw her daughter  alive; now she is traumatized by the memory of watching her child struggle for breathe and being tossed away like a bag of garbage.   I am sure that the legal question was did the abortion come first/or the birth…was the child actually born alive?  Testing supposedly revealed that the child did actually breathe, so that means that she was born alive.

        So, who is to blame for this child’s death?  Is it the clinic owner, who by the way did not have a license to practice medicine allegedly?  Or was it the doctor who was not present?  Was it the mother who went in for an abortion in the first place?  Is it society who allows abortion in the first place?  Do we blame the makers of contraception for possibly having failed the mother and father of the child?  Who exactly is at fault?  I say, it is all of the above; at least morally, if not legally. 

        First of all, I believe that abortion is wrong.  I think that if it is true that a clinic owner, who was not a medical doctor, did what has been alledged, then they are also at fault.  I think if the doctor perscribed the medication that caused her to go into labor and deliver a live child that was indeed tossed away in a plastic bag when it was struggling to breath…they that doctor is also wrong.  Was there contraception used in the first place?  I dont know.  I do know that if the teenaged mother was having sex..she should have understood the consequences of her actions that resulted in a pregnancy and that by going to have an abortion…that that child’s death was a direct result of having medication that was designed to result in the death of the child; it should not have shocked her that the child died as a result of taking medication designed to cause said abortion.  Is society at fault here?  Yes, because we allow these things to happen …because we don’t stand up and scream bloody murder that it happens every day around the world. 

        Which came first, the  abortion or the birth?  Does it really matter at this point regarding this particular child?  No, it died needlessly.  If that mother was truly horrified by this situation…then maybe some good can come out of it by her lawsuit, by her speaking out…maybe even by doing a special service announcement on television or in the schools. 

         It is outrageous.  Yes, that child was only 23weeks in the womb of it’s mother…and yes, it may not have survived even had the clinic called for medical help or intervention for that baby…it was pre-mature…not by nature’s designs but by mankinds design.  However, it may have had a fighting chance if it had not been aborted or if it had been taken to a neo-natal unit.  Life is precious…dont abort.  That mother will relive those moments for the rest of her life.  The child didn’t get to have a rest of it’s life. 

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       Surely you have heard the news about the mother in California who gave birth to eight babies this past week; she already has six children; they are all under the age of 8.  The mother, Nadya Suleman, conceived all of her children by invitro fertilization.  She is unemployed and living in a three bedroom home with her parents.  There are so many questions about how an educated woman, could allow herself to get in this position of having 14 children with little or no support.  Many are questioning the ethics involved in allowing a single woman with 6 children and no job to get invitro fertilization in the first place; let alone, get implanted with 8 embryos.

         Part of the conflict is that people are wondering how did she come up with the money for the invitro for any of her pregnancies?  That is not cheap…let alone to have it done so many times.  Also, it is not normal procedure to implant so many embryos for one pregnancy.  Even when 4 or so embryos are implanted…it isn’t expected that all would become viable babies.  That is amazing in itself that all 8 would be viable and born.

        Now, the woman is living in a home with her parents with only three bedrooms.  There are already 6 children in the home.  Where will these babies live when they come home?  Nadya’s father is a contractor who works overseas and probably wont be around to help and the media has been reporting that Nadya’s mother is threatening to leave the home when her daughter comes home from the hospital.  She says that her daughter has been obsessed with having children her whole life; and, at some point received counseling for that obsession. 

     Nadya’s mother is saying that she is leaving.  So, that must be hard for her to even think about…but by staying would that be considered enabling her daughter or supporting her?  At this point, the babies are already here…they have been born.  The mother says that Nadya is out of embryos so that her obsession will have to end.   I think that is a good thing. 

         The question is…if Nadya truly has an obsession…why wasn’t that dealt with before this latest pregnancy?   Will the department of human services get involved to ensure that all 14 children are being cared for properly?  Will a social worker be assigned to the family to co-ordinate some kind of system to make sure that everyone is doing what needs to be done to support this family?  Who will pay for that since Nadya doesn’t work and her parents have filed for bankruptsy within the last couple of years?  The state of California, where she lives, certainly can’t afford to pay for that. 

         The medical expenses alone for this pregnancy will be astronomical.  Babies born prematurely will have huge medical bills from the birth and caregiving alone…not to mention possible life-long disabilities that they could face.  I heard, dont know if it is fact, that one of the older children has possible autistic tendencies.  That too, would be a big financial concern.

         All 14 children were allegedly fathered by the same sperm donor.  Does he bare any legal, financial, or moral responsibility?  Do you think he knows about the children…or do you think it is an annoymous sperm donor?  If he knows about the children…should he be legally forced to help provide physical and financial support?

          News programs were speaking today about the possibility of Nadya selling her “story” to Oprah’s show or maybe even Diane Sawyer for ABC news for something like $2million dollars.  Do you think that is appropriate or inappropriate?

           I at first thought…that is not cool.  She should have to work to provide for those children herself.  But then, reality set in…child care fees alone would take every penny that she makes; and she would still be a drain to the tax payers.  Not to mention…who in their right mind would take the responsibility of providing care for 14 children, all at once?  Another thing, if she was working round the clock to provide for them…she wouldn’t have any time to dedicate to the emotional needs of her children.  If she can’t make money from her “story” then…she would just be another single mother who supported her children from the money the rest of us tax payers pay in…and that is definately not ok with me. 

         As much as I dont like the idea of selling her story to the highest bidder…it is the lessor of two evils.  I dont think the American public (or California tax payers) should foot the financial or medical bills of that family.   Children are a blessing…i do believe in pro-life values.  However, this was a definate abuse of  the system to create a family.  Not the invitro itself…because i think that does provide an avenue for many families who have trouble conceiving children.  However, she already had children…she was not supporting them herself.  That was already a drain on her family and the tax payers assumably.  I do think it was unethical of whatever medical clinic that provided it’s fertility services to her, in her situation. 

         But, on the other hand, once they did enable her to conceive…I heard that she was offered selective termination of some of the fetuses to offer them a better chance of being born without difficulties.  I am glad that she did not terminate any of the babies…because i believe that is murder.  It is a terrible no win situation…but , life is life…and whatever she is able to do to legally support those children should be done.

         I do think if she is indeed offered a large sum of money…she should be court ordered to repay the tax payers for any support or monies that she/her family has received from the tax payers as no one else had the choice about how many children she chose to bring into the world.  I truly would be surprised if some reform or investigation is not performed to question the medical and legal ethics of this situation.  What are your thoughts on this story?

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        Today is a life affirming day of recognition….it is the Sanctity of Life Sunday…a day when most churches and individuals choose to celebrate life and inspire individuals to cherish & protect it.  Many churches concentrate on the issue of teaching that abortion violates the sanctity of life (I happen to agree)… however, there are many, equally important ways to honor and celebrate life.

        While abortion is a horror to me and i think it should be repellant to all human beings; that issues comes up at the very beginning of life.  There are other circumstances that need to be addressed as well. 

          There are issues such as injury, illness and those who fight for the right to commit suicide.  Life is precious at all stages.  Should we turn a blind eye to those who would turn out the light of another human being simply because they are infirmed, disabled, impaired, terminally ill or have no desire to live another moment?

            For those who truly believe in the sanctity of life…it gets a bit stickier for some when you enter into the idea of criminals who commit heinous crimes; and, the criminal justice system offers up the death penalty or death row for certain individuals who have been convicted of crimes that can dish out the death penalty as punnishment. 

        For me that is a bit trickier –i have not sorted out the boundaries of my beliefs on that.  Criminals who commit the most horrible, vile crimes….it is a struggle in my heart to remind myself that God says, “Vengence is mine sayeth the Lord”.  But, if that verse is applied strictly…then…punnishment will come later from God (in the meantime…life in prison without parole is the only recourse to prevent further tragedy).  

          On the other hand, there are scriptures that also talk about an eye for an eye…and if a man take a life he must also forfeit his.  So…this part of the sanctity of life, i am still working out in my mind and heart.  Until i have studied the issues more closely..i am going to err on the side of; Life is precious and must be protected…at the beginning of life, in the early part of life, in middle age, in the elder years and in all stages in between.

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       Did you ever wonder about the integrity or the value systems of the people who work in your area as a first responder? These are the people on the front lines of emergency calls when people find themselves, or another person in desperate need of medical/fire/police personel.  Most people in those positions are there because they care about people and because they love what they do.  They take that reponsibility seriously.  However, a news story this week was a bit eye opening as first responders often are in the position to decide who lives; and, who dies according to the actions that the first responders take.

     It seems that in Britain a man by the name of Barry Baker thought he was having a heart attack and called emergency services.  The dispatcher kept him on the line talking, getting information until he collapsed and was no longer able to stay conscience.    The phone line was still live and recording which is how two first reponder/emergency workers have now found themselves under arrest.

        Barry Baker lived alone and used sticks as an aid for walking.  He had hip replacement surgery and did not get around well.  His home was messy.  We know this because of the live phone line that was left open for the dispatcher who was gathering information to aid in the emergency services provided.  The EMS workers can be heard commenting on the messy conditions of the home as well as  allegedly discussing whether this man ” was worth saving”.   If the man was not able to move around easily it is easy to understand why his home was not neat and clean.   It is also alleged that the EMS workers discuss what to tell the ambulance dispatch…apparently deciding to tell them that the man was already dead when they got there.  The problem you see, is that this conversation was being recorded unbeknownst to them.

       Barry Baker did indeed die that day.  Would he have lived had different medical tactics been employed?  Who is to say.  However, it is fairly clear that these two first reponders did not employ proper actions, if reports are true, that would have increased the likelihood of Mr. Baker’s survival.  This is unacceptable.  There is an ongoing investigation taking place at this time.  If it is proven that they acted improper…and how can it be otherwise if there is sufficient evidence on tape….they should be held to a very high standard.  After all, they are entrusted with the most valuable thing which is human life.

     Does anyone know what the criteria is, regarding resuscitation and or an evaluation of a patient’s condition for a first responder or a medic when sent out on a call?  Is the criteria different from one country to another? 

         

       

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