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Posts Tagged ‘special needs adults’

A Look At The Week Ahead 6-12-11

Shockingly, I didn’t get to post everything I meant to this past week, but that didn’t stop me from adding six zillion more things to my “To Post” list (my husband hates when I exaggerate numbers like this, but in my opinion I am barely stretching this one).

I partly blame the MLK Health Center for getting me behind schedule since I had to devote so many hours to being on hold, and then even more time to complaining about it online (see Shame On You MLK Health Center). But in reality it was also because I was doing some covert behind-the-scenes work on this blogsite (to keep the magic alive). And, the kids don’t care about making time for my personal business unless it involves changing diapers, reciting Goodnight Moon or making rice krispie treats (peanut butter and plain).

So, here we are – Sunday night and I’m already behind. James has another half day at school tomorrow, which is just a waste of a day for both of us in my opinion – he also had one last week and a day off on top of it. It would be nice if we could just end the school year a little earlier, but hey, I’m all for dragging it out as long as humanly possible since I’ll be in the one percent of New Yorkers with 3 whole kids home this summer.

So, in the spirit of dragging things out, here is my list of the topics I plan to post in the week ahead:

St. Patrick’s Cathedral and the luck of the Irish – My long overdue story from James’s confirmation service last weekend.

Curious George at CMOM – A look at the exhibit from three points of view – the toddler, the special needs child and the parent who brought them both.

Deal Alert! I snagged some discounts from special needs stores and providers to pass on to Foorce.com readers – watch for details to be posted later this week!

My Children the ABA Therapists – We are always the first ones to say how amazing ABA therapy was for James, but who’s training who these days?

Going to the beach with your special needs child – Yes, we are. Though the trip is still two weeks away, I’ve been ordering supplies for the last month. Watch me whip up packing lists and itineraries that anticipate even the most special of special needs, while still leaving room for spontaneity (it’s scheduled in).

July Calendar for Summer Social Group – I’m still working on the calendar feature for this site, but July’s meetings are tentatively set and include potluck picnics, outdoor music events, special needs museum trips and lots of water fun. Hey, I figure if I can accommodate my family’s special needs beach trip, this meeting group should be a cinch.

How to ignore your special needs child (Uncomfortable Subjects Part 3) – Don’t judge until you’ve been there or read this.

Sneak Peek at Fall speakers 2011-2012 season – I know it seems like a long way off, but you’ll want to make time for next year’s meetings. We already have 6 amazing speakers/programs lined up! And, some of your favorite speakers from this past year are joining forces (I am letting this double “oo” opportunity pass me by out of respect for them) this year for some especially awesome opportunities. I hope I can tell you more about this soon!

Aside from the half day, there should be more time to post everything this week. But be warned, I am having trouble getting one of James’s prescriptions refilled and I also need to schedule two more appointments for him. Thankfully, neither of them are at the MLK Health Center (the grudge will eventually fade, I swear).

Have a great week!

Central Park Challenge Recap and Photos

So here is one of my first posts with photos (took long enough, right?), all of them borrowed from the YAI website so far. I want to make sure to share as much of the experience with you as possible – it was that good!

To the left are James and his friend Will – they were standing along the finish line to cheer on our team members in the 5K run. And James is shamelessly posing with our team sign. We had to write our sign by hand for the second year in a row because they “corrected” our premade one to say “The Force,” with only 1 “o.” Well I never….

As usual it was an amazingly fun time (despite some trouble getting coffee in the wee hours). Our runners went first and all did well. My little brother beat his big brother’s record from last year, and one of our runners placed first in her division – go Kim!

As you can see from the pictures, we really did take anyone onto our team (our team’s dog was not the only one in a walk shirt, either) .

We knew better what to expect this year, including how slowly the walk would move with such a huge crowd participating, so I was less impatient this time around (and less pregnant). And, the weather was really perfect for the occasion – mid-70s and sunnyish – so we weren’t moving slowly and cooking like last year.

After the walk was the Jr. American Races. My 2- year old showed up late (the walk really does move slowly) so she raced in the 4 yr old division but since everyone got a medal she was thrilled anyway.

We had a lovely BBQ picnic at a nearby playground afterward (lovely except for the giant raccoon casually sauntering up to people) and said our goodbyes. All of that fun and it was only 1 o’clock!

 

Yep, you should have been there. Maybe next year! The Foorce raised $1100 this year, which was only a drop in the bucket of the $1.6 million raised overall! We almost doubled our team size from last year, a trend I would very much like to see continued. For more details about the Central Park Challenge on June 4th and a lot more pictures from the big day, click here.

We’ll definitely be back for third helpings next June. There is nothing in the world that makes me feel less alone and more inspired than watching thousands of runners, walkers, men, women and children (and dogs) get together and pay tribute to a common cause, especially one so close to my heart. It really helps me keep things in perspective when I see how many people are going through the same thing we are in one way or another. Yet we were all able to be there and we were all there to celebrate – amazing! Regardless of our abilities, we had a lot in common and a lot to be proud of on Saturday.

Go Team Foorce! (still looking for a team photo to insert here, hint hint)

There’s still time to join The Foorce on Central Park Challenge Eve!!

I know you are probably wondering how the meeting went today (see Dirty Laundry post) – I plan to tell all when things aren’t so chaotic but right now I want to make sure I get one last plug in for the Central Park Challenge, which is finally upon us!

To recap: This is one of my favorite things. Last year was the first year we tried something like this, and being 6 months pregnant with a toddler and a disabled child in tow I was a little nervous. I am so glad we did it – we had an awesome team and the whole day was really fun. Some of us did the run (NOT me) and another group of us did the walk, which started shortly afterward. There was also a child area with races, games, and face painting, and lots of free giveaways. Seeing the huge crowds of people gather for the same cause was truly touching and motivating.

This year we have an even bigger team – it looks like 20+ of us so far. The event is open to all ages – my 8 month old, 2 yr old and 10 yr old will all be joining us in the walk and my 2 yr old is also going to try the junior races later in the morning. I hope you will consider walking or running with us – it’s exercise while supporting a truly worthy cause, a great way to start off any Saturday. Here is our team page – http://support.yai.org/site/TR/Events/CPC2011?team_id=14203&pg=team&fr_id=1090 – scroll down until you see the list of team members and click Join Team to join us.  The more the merrier!

Upon joining I will email you with details on where to meet up with our team. You can also come to the park between 9:00 and 11:00 AM to find the crowds and cheer us on – we start by the Bethesda Fountain (enter at 72nd). I would LOVE to see a couple of “Go Foorce” signs out there! Or, if you can’t be there but would like to support our efforts, there is a Support The Foorce button too. Any donation, even $1, makes a difference toward our goal!

I plan to win the walk for my division – Moms Wearing Two Children.

Thefoorce.com’s first survey is here!

I would be very grateful if you would take my first ever foorce.com survey – it is on the right sidebar under Click Here.

It will help me to decide which directions to pursue first as this site grows, and will hopefully help you in the process!

Your input is extremely valuable to me, and anonymous – please answer what questions you can and spread the word to others in the special needs community. Thanks in advance for your time and effort!

PS – There will also be a weekly poll to the right – after you vote you can see the results. Polls will often be related to a recent or upcoming post.

Creating a Meaningful Life after High School: Keynote Event June 6, 2011

Just passing along an email I received earlier today. This looks like a really excellent event for parents and special needs young adults. James is not quite here yet but I think about this topic all the time and would love to attend this panel discussion, and hope someone can benefit from this information:

Steven Morales graduated from the AHRC New York City Melissa Riggio Higher Education program at Kingsborough Community College in May 2010. He now works as a film production assistant, and contributes to the important mission of a vibrant non-profit organization in Manhattan.

Every parent wants their children to realize their dreams.

On Monday June 6, all parents and professionals have a chance to hear from leaders in the field of individualized supports about how to help their children design a meaningful life at this free event. Parents will learn how to explore and build on their young person’s passions and abilities, and design person-centered supports to help young adults live a life they choose, not one defined by their disability.

This is a chance for all parents to get a glimpse of the amazing possibilities that can be achieved through person-centered planning–and to understand the public funding streams available to support this work.

Steven Morales will be there to tell his story as well–together with Lisa Severino, a young staff member with the Self-Advocacy Association of New York State who has been living in supported housing with HeartShare for the past seven years, and Todd Irby-Rannair, a 2005 graduate of the Manhattan Occupational Training Center now working at a midtown law firm.

Please forward to any parents or professionals you know who might need this vital information. (Printable PDF here.) The event is free, but seating is limited. Online registration strongly recommended! Registered attendees will receive a free publication at the event.

Bright Futures FLYER

DMF Concert today at 1 and 4pm!! Hope you can join us!!

I bet that you would have more fun at this concert than anything else you could do today (unless you are on a vacation somewhere tropical or at a spa). It’s not too late to join us! There are a few seats left at the 4pm show, and more left at the 1pm concert today. All of the information and how to reserve tickets can be found in the invitation from the Trush family, copied below:
To our friends,

Hope all is well!

You are cordially invited to join us on Sunday, May 22nd at The Dalton School, 108 East 89th St. (between Lexington and Park Ave.) for one or both of our Music Celebration concerts – 1:00PM-2:30PM and/or 4:00PM-5:30PM.  Our theme for this semester is “Give Our Regards to Broadway – A Musical Celebration.”  Each show will have eleven different performances and will also include a video clip of our Member Leadership Program. We will be performing songs from Guys and Dolls, The Lion King, Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music and Cats, among others, and our members will be introducing props into their songs as well, for the very first time. Should be a wonderful day!

We look forward to having you join us. Please RSVP if you will be able to attend by using Eventbrite – dmfspring2011.eventbrite.com or if you prefer, contact us at daniels@danielsmusic.org or at 212.289.8912.

Help us spread the word and fill both shows (seat capacity 400 at each show), by inviting your family/friends to join us (just let us know so that we can keep track of the number of attendees)! As always, many thanks for being part of the DMF community!

Warm regards,

Daniel, Ken, Nancy and Mike

You can check out http://www.danielsmusic.org for video clips from past concerts. I’ll be there with Ryan and all of the kids (4pm) so make sure to find me and say hi if you’re able to make it. Hope to see you there!

Transitions program at the JCC – Ages 16-21

James isn’t old enough for this yet, but I thought this program looked interesting and helpful to those of you with special needs young adults. The excerpt below was taken from the JCC website, http://www.jccmanhattan.org:
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Transitions is a social program for 16-21 year olds with a variety of special needs, including teens and young adults on the high functioning end of the autism spectrum and those with varied communication and learning differences. During the academic year, young people meet at the JCC to participate in activities both on and off the premises. Programming may include sporting events, bowling, yoga, cooking, and community service. Through these fun and social activities, there is an opportunity to build friendships while emphasizing independence and the acquisition of life skills. Participants’ interest helps to shape the program and the activities that are chosen.

Transitions is generously funded by Council Member David I. Weprin, Chair Finance Committee and The New York City Council.

In order to assure that classes are comprised of a group of children who will optimally benefit from the program, a brief intake process has been devised. For more information or to begin the intake conversation, please contact Leslie Epstein Pearson, LCSW, at the Learning Resource Network at 212.632.4499.