International Day of Persons with Disabilities recap

I was thankful to take part in IDPD again this year. Shaw TV Medicine Hat captured highlights of the events. One minute into the video they focus on Autism Spectrum Disorders. I had the privilege of being interviewed. The interview took place in the foyer at the end of the school day just as parents were arriving to pick up their children. My "robotic" voice reveals that I'm using a significant amount of my brain for self regulation. Tools I used to manage myself during the interview:
  1. I focused my eyes on Leslie Jerry, a familiar face from the Advisory Committee on Disability Issues.
  2. Before being interviewed I asked the interviewer what questions she would have for me.
  3. I remembered that any part of being Autistic that I couldn't hide from the camera could become another avenue for ASD awareness.
The comments from students demonstrated that IDPD increases inclusion. The sessions increased the level of students' understanding of different disabilities. IDPD also helped the students to be comfortable talking about disabilities and talking to people with disabilities.

I hope to take part in IDPD again next year.

International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Celebrate the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3, 2014 to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities.

The UN has gathered information on disabilities which you can read here. The article highlights barriers that people with disabilities face. "These obstacles can take a variety of forms, including those relating to the physical environment, or those resulting from legislation or policy, or from societal attitudes or discrimination."

I'll be doing my part to remove obstacles by giving two classroom presentations to grade five students on Autism Spectrum Disorders at St. Pat's school.

Pinterest

I've created a Pinterest board about Autism. You can check it out here. I choose pins that are educational or encouraging and a few have an edge of sarcasm. I enjoy the visual environment of Pinterest. Faith Jegede's TedTalk about having brothers with Autism inspired me to create this:

I think I'll head over to Pinterest now and pin it.

Sensory support and fine motor skill development


Linking Together Update

Unfortunately November 14 was a typo on the Linking Together brochure. The group was held November 12. If you set aside the third Wednesday, November 19, for Linking Together, you now have a free evening. There will be no group in December. We meet again on January 21, 2015. The group is still welcoming new members.
So far this year we have enjoyed Wendy Johnson explain what criteria are used to formally diagnose Autism. Todd Samuelson and Nicole Stein from CHHS shared ways to communicate your child's needs with school as well as different options for completing high school. Ruth Isaac demonstrated sensory strategies and gave a tour of a children's gym downtown.

Steptember

Steptember - Every Step Counts

Yes, the title is spelled correctly. I joined a team called "Brave Girls" to challenge myself to take 10,000 steps per day for the month of September. My biggest insight so far is I lead a very sedentary life. The first two days of September I added a walk to my day and barely reached the 5000 mark. I planned a long walk with a friend for later in the week and discovered it was still under 10000 steps. Fortunately other exercise can be converted into steps. A bike ride with my daughter nearly make me reach my target on the weekend.

I'm realizing simply adding a pedometer doesn't change my activity level. I need to be intentional in adding exercise to my schedule. One of my technically savvy children suggested I shake the pedometer to reach my goal. It was a family lesson on integrity as I shared I would rather provide the true number than boost my stats artificially.

I'm thankful for my team as we encourage each other both for days where we achieved our goal and that tomorrow is a new day. A few steps are better than none.

While I haven't focused on fundraising, to learn more about cerebral palsy or to donate to their foundation, click here.

UP

The UP (Untapped Potential) program gives adults with Autism and other developmental disabilities employment support. Training includes skills and employability assessments, Life Skills workshops, job search skills, continued support on the job site, support to the employer, multiple work experiences, job customization, job placements, and three and six month follow up. I'll be doing some of their staff training. More information is available at Being Human Services.