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Posts Tagged ‘special needs’

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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      If you are the parent of a special needs child then you know that growing up special in today’s world is not easy.  Finding ways to help your child be successful and to be as independent as they can be is often a challenge.  Too often those children, or young adults, are shuffled off to a seperate area or to a “special” program.  Acceptance is sometimes hard to come by.

        Therefore, it is vitally important to create an environment where your special person is accepted, loved, encouraged and challenged to spread their wings.  Finding appropriate venues to integrate them with “normal” or “average” peers is difficult. 

        When you are able to find a good fit…often you must force yourself to stand back and let them do and be.  That is easier said than done.  As a parent you are always in a protective mode…and you should be…but…you must also let them be as independent as they can be without interference.  🙂 

          Do you have some great experience that you could share with other parents of special needs children or children who have been adopted who struggle with issues?  If so, others could benefit from your successes and possibly even your struggles.  Check out this blog:  http://www.growingupspecial.com/  Introduce yourself and leave a comment.  You never know…you just might find others to share with. 

          

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      There is a terrible abuse of power, allegedly, in the investigation of a double murder case in Arizona.  A young 8 year old child was being interviewed by the police in the murder case of his father and a houseguest/friend of the father who were shot and killed. The interview was recorded; thank God, because it shows the leading questions being asked by the officers; as well as the answers given by the child.

      This is outrageous; children are very easily led by those in authority.  This child was a potential witness and was being interviewed as such.  The officers allegedly said to the child, what if we had someone who ‘saw’ something?  Then, when a series of questions was put to the child and he was led to say that he ‘might’ have shot the gun that day, then he might have shot his father, then he might have shot the friend…before long he was shooting the gun that day and he didn’t know…if maybe he shot his father.  You see what i am saying…this line of questioning was done without an adult advocate for the child being present.

       There was no attorney in the room who represented the child…there was no parent present (father was killed…but the child had a mother who lived out of state) there was no friend or clergy present…no teacher…no person who could stop the interview when it allegedly (and in my opinion was) turned into coersion to get the child to confess to murder.  This is an 8 year old child.  Clearly, he was anxious, fearful and wanting to give them answers…he was wanting to be pleasing to the authority figures in the room so that the questions would stop.  Whether he is guilty of murder or not…this is not how questioning should have been conducted.

        Even if it is true that this child committed murder (it would indeed be a terrible thing)…the case will probably be thrown out because the ‘evidence on tape’ was done without the child being read his rights/and in lieu of not being able to comprehend his miranda rights (or to have anyone unbiased explain it to him)…there was no adult advocate present to prevent him from implicating himself in the taped ‘confession’.  What if this child confessed to a crime that he did not commit?

        This is a huge problem in our court system.  People who conduct police interviews with children, or with people who are disabled/special needs….should be required to have special training.  It is very easy to lead a person to ‘confess’ to a crime when they are being questioned by a person who is viewed as an authority figure when they are at a disadvantage intellectually (disabled) or if they are not of an age of understanding…a young minor child.

          This case will have long term repercussions in the legal system; as it should.  It was an outrageous abuse of power and the impact on police procedures should be addressed.  What do you think of this situation?  You can watch part of this interview on cnn.  http://www.cnn.com/2008/CRIME/11/19/boy.confession.tactics/index.html#cnnSTCVideo

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       Tonight, a totally moving and strong speach was given by Sarah Palin, the Republican nominee for the Vice President of the United States.  This woman i believe could very much be good for our country.  She has given a message that the people of the United States have wanted to hear from their leaders…whether they be Republican or Democrats.

       She is down home, grass roots…and very direct.  She exhibits qualities that hit home with real people…who work hard for their money and struggle to keep it for their families.  She believes in cutting down on government control.  She encourages improving the living conditions for special needs children and their families.  She promises that when elected…those families will have a friend in the highest offices of the land.  She has a sense of humor and she knows how to use it.  She asked what the difference was between soccer moms and a pit bull…she said soccer moms wear lipstick…she classifys herself as a soccer mom!

         She illustrates the difficulties that the American middle class families face with job cuts and taxes that burden families; she declares that she and McCain will cut excess government spending.  She has proudly underscored the strength of the hard working people in the country who do not live as the elite in Washinton DC.

        It is powerful to see this speach take place.  It will be interesting to see what happens in the polls now.  Whether in the Vice President position or not…this woman is going to make a huge impact on America.  She is proud of her son in the United States military, her daughters and her husband, as well as her son with Down’s Syndrome.  I applaud her support of those with special needs.     See related website on special needs: http://www.growingupspecial.com/

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        Ben Stiller, the talented and funny actor has a new movie coming out; it is called Tropic Thunder.  It is a movie he was instrumental in producing, by doing the writing and directing, among other things.  There is a boycott brewing by special needs advocacy groups because of a movie within the movie.  The movie is supposed to be a mocking satire of actors who will take any movie no matter how over the top or bizarre to make a name for themselves as an actor, without regard for the subject matter. 

         Is this something that is supposed to be funny?  The lower our standards of conduct go…the funnier it is supposed to be…is that the concept?  Instead of getting kudos by the industry for a financial success…there should be a call to accountability; demanded by the American public for standards of decency.  Controvery about the subject matter should not just be just a tool used by public relations departments to garner curiosity that translates to box office rewards; that is my opinion. 

         One of the movies within the movie called, Simple Jack, allegedly mocks and makes fun of people with disabilities.   Meetings with advocacy group leaders were held with Stacey Snider who is a chief executive at Dreamworks…the company that released the film to try to address the concerns about the movie.  The studio has refused to make changes to the movie.  Shame on them!  Their attempts at humor just aren’t funny when the laughs are at the expense of a population of people born with disabilities.  Where is the respect?  (more…)

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       Here is a story i could sink my teeth into since i am the parent of several special needs children.  A young boy, by the name of Adam Race, has been banned from the church that he has attended since 1996.  He has been banned because he is autistic, and is very large.   He has several behavioral challenges that the church is suggesting endangers other attendees.

        Adam’s priest by the name of Daniel Walz has filed a restraining order against the 13 year old’s parents; which the mother has violated.  Understand that Adam is only 13; however, he is six feet tall and weighs somewhere around 225 pounds.  The sheer size of the young man is definately something to consider. 

       The priest alledges that Adam has struck another child during services and that in his zeal to leave the building, has at times almost knocked over elderly parishioners.  Adam has also run out of the building and, started a couple of vehicles to hear the “calming roar of the engines”.  This is another danger concern.   Adam sometimes has a problem holding his urine; and, if he needs to be restrained during difficult behaviors, he fights it.  The mother and father, do at times, have to restrain him.  This can all be quite disruptive; and that, plus the concerns for safety, has led the priest to file the restraining order.  The priest felt they had no other choice.

        It seems that before that filing, the priest and a church trustee attempted to discuss their concerns with Adam’s parents.  They offered the family other options and accomodations to deal with the behavioral issues.  The family refused.  It hasn’t been revealed what those other accomodations were.  The family has defied the restraining order and continued to attend church with their son.  By the way, this is a family of seven.

       I have special needs children as i said before.  I have also been a foster parent to many special needs children who were behaviorally challenged.  I know the stress of that.  I know the need of sitting in church to receive peace and a strengthening of my faith.  I also, am well aware that most of the time…it is much more stressful trying to achieve that goal of peace and strength in a very public setting with others who have no idea of the daily struggles living and providing for special needs young people requires.

        You see, you need special training to deal with some of the behaviors and special requirements.  So you can’t just happily send a special needs child off to a sunday school classroom with people who are unprepared or untrained in those skills. 

        My husband and I have been teachers in several church settings.  We know what it is like to be the teachers or instructors in charge .  We have had to teach and sometimes handle special needs children or teens in that environment as well. 

          One time, we did have a young man who was also very large for his age and autistic.  It was a child that did not attend regularily, this program was a vaction bible school event.  The platform was a raised one.  All of the children were encouraged to stand in front of the platform during praise and worship.  Then, when that was done, they were encouraged to sit down in the rows of pews.  The young man in question, at one point, ran to the front while the puppets were performing.  My brother- in- law, who was a weight lifter, was operating a large puppet that included having his arm encased in a fur lined sleeve.

       The young man ran up on stage and grabbed my brother-in-laws arm and pulled it down over the front of the puppet stage and almost broke my brother-in-laws arm.  It took several people to disengage him.  It was something we were un-prepared for.  The parents had dropped him off during the services and left.  This was unusual…because the other days of that week, they had stayed with him and helped to keep him under control when he would get overly excited.  Communication is key in these situations.  Educate the workers or volunteers to the special skill sets that they will need to work with special needs youths successfully!

        Most of the time, having special needs children in church is workable.  You discuss with the family members or care givers what works for each child as an individual.   Maybe you can even get the parents to help volunteer in the children’s program to help out. You do your best so that the caregiver can get a couple of hours of peace and “down time” from the strains of 24/7 caregiving, if possible.   Raising awareness about those who live with special needs children and providing support is the goal of this website:  http://www.growingupspecial.com/  (more…)

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         Well, now i have heard it all.  My one son had a plan to put to stud our new young puppies with some females dogs when the pups came of age.  His plan was to sell any future puppies that came of that mating.

          There were several problems with his plan.  One thing…the pups we have are part lab and part who knows what.  So, i dont think any pups that they bring into the world are going to sell for much if anything.  Another problem is that we plan to get them (both males) neutered.

         So, my younger son informed his big brother, who is special needs, that the dogs were going to get neutered.  He responded, “No way are they going to get denoodled”!

         We were all rolling on the floor…we had to explain to him that they were getting neutered, not denoodled!  This has made for a nice family joke once he understood the difference.  🙂

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