Thursday, October 31, 2013

Updates. and apologies and random thoughts

Hello to anyone who is reading this. I apologize for not posting for a long time. Life has been busy. Sometimes I wonder where life is leading. I have since moved out of my parent's house. I live in an apartment. It's a big step. I still have yet to find a fulltime job. I am hopeful that i will find one that i can do sucessfully without too much struggle. It does make me ponder... does having a job determine worth? No, of course not. A person is a person whether they are poor or rich, unemployed or part time or fulltime. What job you have is not your whole identity. Yes, it is part of it. By nature, we as human beings need to be productive, and current society and economy is cost based; one need money to live, and having a job is how one oridnarily makes money. But, some can't work in the traditonal sense due to disability. But they do have a need to have a purpose. This is where it is important to examine why so often what one does for a living is intertwined with their life. I guess what I'm saying is, i have wondered what kind of job will i have in the future. What will i be? It seems that that notion implies that in order to feel normal, i have to be something.. for example, i am waiting to hear back from Walmart. When i graduated, I graduated with a bachelor's in sociology...hoping to get a job that would utilize that degree. working at walmart may not utilize the degree, but it is a JOB. It is important then, to be able to define a person by personality, and what they are like, rather than what their job is. A child with high fucntioning autism might wonder, what will i BE, when i grow up. Notice, they don't say.. what Job will i have, but rather what will i be? What if they can't work and will need to have help the rest of their life? What will they BE then? A person with value and need for love purpose, and security. So, it could be said that some may need to stop worrying so much about what kind of career can i have, but instead what kind of person can i be? How can i make a difference? This has been a random thought blogpost.. I hope it makes sense :)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

the special needs battle Of and For perspective:Us Versus Them-WHY DOES IT HAVE TO BE??

Greeetings my readers, for those of you anxiously waiting for an update on posts, well here it is.. this one is conflict theory based. For those of you not familiar with conflict theory paradigm, its founder was the same person who was responsible for the phenomenon known as Communism. Yes, you guessed it, Karl Marx. While i MUST take exception to his ideas about the uselessness of religion (due to the fact i am a man of faith, always have been and always will be), i do relate to his idea that the upper and lower classes struggle for dominance and control, which is the basic strife of society in his view. Enter the special needs funding cuts and what have you, and you definitely have a battle. There's a battle of ideas and attitudes about special needs. In my blog hopping i came across a comment Love that Max, where a person stated that she was told by a person she was having a conversation with that she wouldn't want special needs kids in the school because it would-get this-LOWER THE TEST SCORES OF THE SCHOOL. Not because she feared that the kids wouldnt be accepted, not because she felt that they would disrupt the environment of learning (which MIGHT actually be more valid concerns), but rather it made the school look poorer academically The commenter noted how she felt like her head would explode in anger, and I myself was incensed enough by the remark to not comment, but write an entire blogpost about this. Perhaps the person here was approaching the cynicism of Marx so the reference is apt. Indeed, the totalitarian regimes often were abandoning of people with special needs. In the blog post itself, the author related how she was having a conversation with a woman about autism and budget cuts and that money should only go to those with moderate to light autism versus sever autism because those with severe autism have less chance of benefiting society. Quite frankly, this utilitarian approach scares me. Every child regardless of ability or lack thereof deserves to receive any and all support they need to live the life to the FULL. THAT is where money should be spent, NOT on bridges that lead to nowhere, or buying a politician a Lear Jet. Some might argue that we have to take a rational approach to this, sort of like Rebecca Payne took in the Movie John Q when Mike Archibald was dying. So, in order to be rational then, we as a society have to be utilitarian? I think not. We lose our humanity, our sense of decency. It is this attitude that i have seen where people comment on YoutTube videos about special needs persons that they should be left to die, that they are burdens for society etc etc. if this is being rational, then I for one REFUSE to be rational. Why does there have to be a fight for those with disabilites? Why is there an us vs them mentality? It's like i said before, that either you get special needs or you dont, and if you do, you have either special needs yourself or you know someone who does. If you dont get it, you have the very real and scary potential to be crude and rude. IT is peopole like those that use the R word without regard to who they are insulting. It is very late here and i must bring this blogpost to a close. Please find below the link to the blogpost in question; be warned reading it may make one's blood boil. NOT because what the author says, but what other people say. But, it also may inspire hope. The blog writer, Ellen S, writes a very compelling blog about life with Max, an 8 year old with cerebral palsy. This has become one of my favorite blogs to read..highly recommend it.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Unexpected turns

Life often takes unexpected turns... case in point.. i was expecting to finish out the year substitute teaching and then go back to the special needs camp again this summer.. But, that all changed when I was offered a part-time job involving finding resources for people who need them. And I accepted, of course. I would be a fool not to take it, after all, its a regular 20 hour week job. It's just that i was attached to the special needs camp to a degree where i actually went through with withdrawal, and it took time to come to terms with the fact that i probably won't return to work there THIS summmer..there is always the hope of next summer. Another unexpected turn is that this job involves driving out of town, as far as an hour away on a semi-regular basis. Oh boy. Well, if i ever want to become independent in driving long distances (which I do) now is the time. Oh, for those of you who don't know, I do well enough driving independently around town and for relatively short distances (read: hour or less), but when it comes to driving say, 4 hours, ive never driven that far by myself. So, now is the time where i drive an hour and a half west of here and an hour south on a regular basis.

Also, ive thought a lot about where my life is leading. What will i do with my life after ive reached the goals ive set out for myself( pay off college debt). Will i obtain my goal of marriage? Of rasining a family? Of total independence, moving out of my parent's house? Of working as an occupational therapist? To be perfectly and utterly bluntly honest, I don't know. But what i do know is i will never give up striving to improve myself, even if the days seem like there are days where i feel so lazy i dont feel like doing the tasks i neeed to do.

As a cradle Catholic, i have a strong faith in God and i know He has a plan for me. It is that assurance alone that has brought me this far. I don't know if i would have made int through college without His help. Praying to him through the intercession of St Jude, patron saint of impossible causes seemed to help mounds. I found a focus i didnt have before. So, There is strength that i can have to overcome daily struggles.

To anyone who is reading this who may have a child with a disability, be it developmental or otherwise, autism or cp, etc, know this: You are not alone in your fight, and you do not bear your burdens alone. There are people who live the same struggles as you do. Keep up the good fight, fight for your child to the death, and NEVER give up hope, do not lose heart. For those of you who have a child recently diagnosed, i say this: take the doctor's words WITH A GRAIN OF SALT. Often times, doctors and other "experts" take a very pessimistic view of your child's quality of life. My mother was given the same bleak prognosis by either doctors or teachers or psychologists, i couldn't remember. My mom decided to ignore that bleak prognosis, and never discouraged me from following my aspirations and dreams. Look at the result: a 28 year old man, graduated from college, with a Bachelor's and an Associate degree, studied abroad in China, gainfully employed (part time, but still gainfully), driving independently, and working to pay off his loans in hopes of becoming an occupational therapist someday in order to help others with the same situation. I could have been like so many others i have rad about who are higher functioning who don't finish college. I could have thought, i can't go any farther, i might as well stop here. And those of you who have read my previous blog posts know that there were times that i didn't know if id make it through college. But, NO. I am a fighter. I see what i want in life and pray for God's grace and perseverance, and try my darnedest to LIVE LIFE TO THE FULL. It isn't always easy, but when is life ever easy?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Snow snow snow

I have a love-hate relationship with snow. I love it because it is so pretty, and has been known to inspire yous truly to write poetry (unfortunately, said poem was lost when pevious computer crashed), it creates idyllic landscapes worthy of any painter's brush who just happens to feel like painting a wintery theme.

I hate it because its cold, and its a pain to shovel and an even more pain to drive on. I am thamkful for the blessing of fianlly having good traction on my car. But, it's not all bad. At least i don't have the situation of having to park a long way away from where my classes are, like i used to before i was a college senior. Of course i dont take any classes, but thats beside the point. I don't recall in recent months or years (since i graduated in May 2010, 2 years ago this may..WOAH!) having to park in a parking lot and walk more than 50 feet to my buldiing in 14 degree (or less) weather. (Michigan January anyone?)

peace out!

Friday, December 2, 2011

More updates...

To my small but loyal group of followers.. Greetings and apologies.. apologies for not keeping up with this blog. My life gets very busy. I guess a sociological insight i can give is this.. when it comes to the special needs community, we are a quite homogenous group. In order to actually "get" a person who has special needs and know how to relate in a way that doesn't come off as perhaps insulting or ignorant, you either have to have special needs yourself, or know someone who does. Society in general does not understand autism as much as a parent of an autistic child does. They do not know what the word "autistic" truly means. They may know in their head what that entails..oh yeah, they have difficulty with social commutation, reception etc. But they dint know what that MEANS until they are face to face with someone who has those difficulties. I realized myself its one thing to read about autism and having meltdowns and perseverations and the like and another to actually work with persons on the spectrum and see the good and the bad aspects first hand. No doubt my own experience on the spectrum proves useful to understanding my students who have asperger's and autism and the like..

It also strikes me how the special needs community is a quite small world. Ive run into the same people (children, usually) at two different settings or more.. and its funny how we all "know" the same people and have similar connections.
Speaking of the special needs community, i have been proud to serve in one capacity or another..respite care worker, summer camp counselor, etc...but the jobs i had were always temporary, or always filling in. But my perseverance and patience have paid off. I landed a Part time job as a recovery coordinator for an organization known as SAIL or Superior Alliance for Independent Living. What it entails is providing outreach and resources for individuals living with serious mental illness who no longer qualify for services at community mental health. This definitely a step in the right direction. The only down side is it requires driving out of town i the winter..which im nervous about..but ill manage somehow.. pay is definetly worth it..12 bucks an hour. Peace out!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

6 months later...

Well, i finished out hte year subsitute teaching..and leave this morning to return to the special needs camp i worked at last year. I will be there till september 1. Peace ou!

Saturday, December 4, 2010


Hello...for those of you who are reading this.... I do just as bad about updating this blog as i am with handwriting.....just kidding. Actually, my handwriting has improved.....but, i still rely on a computer to type everything. If i really need to, given time and enough writing space, i can write legibly, just have to work harder at it. Which is good, beacause sometimes in my job, i have to write things for kids...what job is that, you ask? I work as a substitute teacher, and substitute instructional im busy....I love my job, because i love kids...and enjoy seeing them reach their potential.