Wednesday, April 29, 2009
How is everybody's week going? Mine had been pretty hectic lately with car problems and trouble getting splints made for my hands. This process has been months in the making, ever since I got my first round of Botox. Unfortunately, though, it keeps getting passed on from doctor to doctor because they're not really sure what they want. Not that I'm complaining, I am definitely not looking forward to wearing them both day and night. But I guess that's the only way my arms will see changes in the long run.
Today I will be concluding my series on Grown-Up Girlfriends. I hope through my notes during this series my readers have learned to value the relationships that God puts in our lives. I have certainly learned a lot about myself as well as the importance of Christian friendships in my life. The final two chapters focus on the importance of learning through this process and growing up in response.I would love to hear how and if the series impacted you.
Notes on Chapter 12- A Grown-Up Girlfriend Passes On What She Knows
1. Make Yourself Available- if the opportunity arises, be ready and willing to share your experiences
2. Spreading Your Wings- allow yourself to grow from experiences and develop your own convictions about friendships. Every person is different and takes different perspectives on any given situation.
3. Deuteronomy 6:7
4. Remember To Pray for The Females In Your Life- a prayer could be as simple as the one given on page 199
"Lord, please help my daughter [or niece or any young lady] have with some when selecting girlfriends. Please bring girls into her life who love you, most importantly, but who also make good choices in life. Protect her from harm and bless her abundantly with healthy friendships. Amen".
Notes for The Final chapter: Chapter 13- The Grown-Up Friendship Requires Us to Grow Up
1. Too Often We Want to Be Comfortable, but Becoming a Grown-Up Requires Change and Growth
2. "God will provide what is needed for this change throughout the journey- if we choose to follow him" (page 209)
3. The Goal of Growing Up - Ephesians 4:14-16, taken from The Message
It says in part, "God wants us to grow up, to know the truth and tell it in love- like Christ and everything."
4. Qualities of A Grown-Up Girlfriend- to encourage, give hope, and provide a Christ- like example to those around us
5. Growing up is a choice we have to make
6. Signs That You Are a Grown-Up Friend- (page 216)- Accept rather than judge, express your feelings and expect friends to do the same, take responsibility for your own feelings; however, never lay guilt trips on your friend for how you feel, show empathy and compassion and true understanding for your friend.
Since the series is over, I am beginning to wonder where to go from here. I know a while back I had talked about doing a review of Patrick Henry's new book, I Am Potential. But I would like to hear from you, what would you like to see done with this blog? Any feedback readers provide me with is greatly appreciated. I look forward to hearing from you all,
Monday, April 27, 2009
Okay, so I came across this website on the weekend and thought it was quite interesting.. A wheelchair bound model is challenging what it really takes to "walk" the runway.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Since it is the week of my birthday (or it was), I have decided to change things up a little. I still have some catching up to do with my posts, but I figured if I followed my pattern of writing on Tuesday, I should probably finish the week out by writing on Thursday. That being said, I will only write twice this week.
Today's post is going to be a short one. There has been a lot of buzz going around about a recent commercial put out by the Dove company. This newest one portrays the daily struggles of a wheelchair bound person getting ready to go out. On the other hand, a able-bodied person struggles with self-esteem issues. The tagline, Self-Esteem: a man-made disability. A lot of people are outraged by this commercial. Personally, I can see both sides of the debate. Some might say that they are making light of disabilities, putting them alongside able-bodied people with their own personal issues. Maybe it's just me, but I feel as if they are trying to bridge the gap between us as a society-saying that we're not that much different than everybody else. One could also remember that the Dove company provides self-esteem workshops for young girls, so maybe that's what they are trying to promote..
That's my take !
Judge for yourself..
By the Way, if anyone can tell me how to embed videos directly onto the site. I would be very grateful.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
So it's official, I'm 29 today.. (Okay, so I realize I'm writing this post a couple days late!) I know I usually post on Monday, but I thought I would change things up a little. 29 years old, I can hardly believe it myself. Growing older, time seems to fly by; that's why I strive to maintain a sense of innocence in my life, remembering that life is a gift never taking it granted. However, it's so easy to get in a mode of living day to day forgetting what's truly important. But every once in a while God uses unexpected circumstances to remind us how connected we really are or should be as a society. Take for example the unexpected gift I received the night of my birthday. My family and I were celebrating at a nearby Japanese steakhouse and a stranger wished me a happy birthday. Come to find out later, that he had the for our family's meal. Isn't that amazing?
This unforgettable gift kind of reminds me of a movie that debuted in 2000 entitled Pay It Forward. This movie starring Kevin Spacey, Haley Joel Osment and Helen Hunt really says something about how we are connected with each other as a people as well as individuals. Too often, the focus is on ourselves when it should be on other people. We forget that we are all in this together. Granted, I will never know the reason why a complete stranger paid for our food, but even with that small gesture he caused me to stop, remember my purpose and why I am here, and move on with a renewed sense of self.
We all have a chance to make an impact; but what will we do with it?
I am going to pay it forward someday
Trust me on that..
Friday, April 17, 2009
So I am about done with reading my book on maintaining friendships with a Christian perspective. Through it all, I have learned a lot about myself and to cherish every friendship for what it is-a gift of God. I hope my notes on the book have helped you as much as they have helped me..
Chapter 11 Notes-A Grown-Up Friend Reaches Out in Crisis
1. A crisis builds endurance-James 1:2-4
2. a introvert and extrovert can act differently to a crisis
3. introverts may need time to reflect on their situation before reaching out (page 178)
4. You need to know when to ask for help, sometimes this is difficult for people (page 179)
5. Know Your Own Responses to a Crisis (page 180)
6. Ask Yourself is your relationship a safe place to fall for your friend?
7. Never Give up Hope on your situation or your friends
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
So it may look like I am posting my articles on time, but I do realize I am about a week behind schedule. I apologize to everyone who clicks on my website every day hoping to see some new words of wisdom. Things just keep coming for me, taking my attention. That being said, I hope to catch up with all my posts for the week and start fresh.
Sadly, there is nothing disability wise currently in the news; however, I did come across this website in the process of searching. This website is one of a series of blogs by various contributors. This specific blog focuses on areas of faith. Most entries take five minutes to read and are quite interesting. Feel free to take a look.
Monday, April 13, 2009
Okay, so I know I'm a week behind schedule. In truth, I didn't think I had anything of value to say last week. I let my negative thoughts eliminate any possibility for changing people's perspective this week. Today, I was reminded how God's love is not conditional but unconditional. My sanctification is not based on my own actions, but the actions of Jesus Christ took on my behalf-dying on the cross and rising on the third day. Therefore, I am saved no matter what.
Sunday's sermon was much needed...
Over the last few weeks, I have attempted to illustrate the importance of remaining a disability advocate for yourself or your child. The following blog post from from further illustrates my point implementing the use of a person centered plan. The plan simply outlines your child's goals for the future. They are not limited to the educational goals but include social and long-term ones as well. Feel free to learn more about this process by visiting the following blog:
On a personal note, I have gone through this process myself. Not only did this provide a clearer picture for those involved in my daily living, but this process allowed me to figure out what I wanted during my educational career as well as in my future.
Friday, April 10, 2009
So I have had a pretty busy week and a discouraging one at that. The process of finding the right personal assistant for me is taking way longer than I ever expected. We just can't seem to find people that could our needs; instead, we are expected to fit to the agency's. I may be completely off base here, but I think that's the wrong philosophy. After all, you're helping people and impacting their lives by caring for them. It's not about business, or at least it shouldn't be. These people are depending on you to live independently as well as becoming successful American citizens trying to make their way in the world. That's why I'm slightly disappointed with Virginia. I knew things would be different here, but I never imagined it would be this difficult. At least I have my parents I can depend on.. But, unfortunately, it won't always be that way. I'm 28, going on 29 (in two weeks) and can't help but wonder what the future holds for me.. Still, I guess I have to trust in God and his plans for the future. I don't know about you guys, but as I get older, I find this task increasingly difficult.
On another note, my therapy continues.. In the beginning, I was amazed by the progress I've made; but now I am not so sure. I'll admit part of it is because we still have to find the right hand splints for me to wear daily, so I'm not really seeing the whole impact. Sometimes I wonder though, why my life has to be this difficult. I mean, it's just another thing my parents and I have to do.. I wonder when it will be enough.
Anyway, in keeping with this theme, I would like to pose a question to my readers. How do you cope with your disability on your bad days? I would love to hear your opinions and thoughts. Until then, here's one man's take on "Making Every Day A Good Day". Feel free to take a look.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
I don't know how many of my readers have been keeping up with Scott McIntyre on American Idol. But tonight was his last performance; unfortunately, he didn't make the cut. It was a tough decision on whether to use the judges'save-50/50 split, but it wasn't enough. He certainly remains an inspiration to people all across the world to follow your dreams, no matter what because anything is possible. His songs are still available on iTunes though if anyone is interested. I will probably end up downloading a few as a birthday present to myself since my birthday is coming up
See You Friday,
Monday, April 6, 2009
I'm sorry for posting this later than usual, but I have been out and about today. I enjoyed my weekend, getting time to spend with my father. He helped me to develop a plan of action for writing my book; now if I can only stick to it. Hopefully, the new Christian CD I bought featuring Mandisa will help provide me with the motivation. Wish me luck, I really do need it-because lately I haven't felt like writing.
But anyway, on to today's post. Recently, there was a documentary featured on the Discovery Health Channel looking at autism from both a scientific and human perspective. In "Unlocking Autism", scientists consider the many different factors that can contribute to the disorder. Autism is largely considered a behavioral disorder impacting one out of every 150 children. This increase in diagnoses have caused many to question it as well as its origins. Questions like "Where Did It come from?", "Is it in fact Hereditary or Environmentally Impacted?" are at the center of the debate.
"At the moment when a child is diagnosed with autism, parents feel helpless that there isn't something that the scientific community and the clinical community is offering them," says Richard Amaral, Research Director for the UC Davis M.I.N.D Institute.
While the causes of autism remain a mystery, parents are willing to try anything-even alternative therapies-to help their children. Jackie is one such parent. Her three-year-old son Fintan has autism; as well as trying conventional therapies such as occupational and speech therapy, she has also tried oxygen therapy and chelation (taking metals from the body). Today, she has enrolled her son to take part in the Autism Phenome Project. This study is the largest of its kind , funded by The M.I.N.D. hopes to provide more insight into the disorder and some characteristics that set it apart. In all, a total of 1800 children will participate.
Although many of the symptoms of autism are the same despite its severity, scientists are still having trouble distinguishing one type of autism from another. Common symptoms include a difficulty with communication, socialization problems (being able to bond with people), and a stickler for routines or organizational skills.
The testing includes taking 3-D pictures of his brain; these may show any abnormalities as far as shape and size. According to research, about 20% of people with autism have enlarged heads. This may be because the frontal lobe has not developed properly.
But for right now, the most effective form of therapy focuses on intensive behavioral therapy in the early stages of child development.
"The window is open in a special way in infancy. In infancy babies' brains are literally forming. Neurons are moving, they're establishing connections. They're connecting by extending out little processes to each other with a little gap that the currents can actually flow across and that is how one neuron communicates with another and how the brain manages to talk to itself. After all these connections form, a baby has a lot more connections than they will ever need and so the brain actually starts to clear away some of the clutter, it's called pruning.." says Sally Rogers, one of the leading behavioral therapist at the MInd Institute.
Unfortunately, not everyone has had early intervention for their for their autism. That is when programs like the ones at the Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center comes into play. These programs teach the importance of social skills for teenagers as well as the right way to get way you get what you want.
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Citation for TV Program: "Unlocking Autism ", Discovery Health channel 161 DHC . April 6, 2009 at 11 PM. (Original air time, 8 PM, repeat)
Friday, April 3, 2009
For today, I have decided to continue my Grown-Up Girlfriends series.. Since there are only a few chapters left, I hope to finish up the series by the end of the week. If you have enjoyed this series, I hope you will let me know. I found the book very enlightening myself and I've learned a lot. The following notes are on chapter 10 of the book; this chapter focuses on knowing when to let go of a friendship. Letting go is a difficult process, but sometimes a necessary one. Especially when the friendship becomes a bad influence or seems to be over.
Chapter 10 Notes for Grown-Up Girlfriends
- A grown-up girlfriend knows when to let go
- Possible Reasons Why a Friendship Has Ended
- Betrayal /loss of trust
- Growing apart
There are two reasons why this can happen:this can be regained if both parties acknowledge the distance and want to change things
The "Different Friends for Different Seasons Of Life" philosophy
- Moving away
3.Dealing with the loss of a Friendship
- Acknowledge and accept the grief
- Allow God to help you through it
- "It gives us an opportunity to grow, to change and become more Christlike" (Page 170)
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
So I don't know if you all have been watching Scott McIntyre's progress on American Idol. He has made the top 10 and continues to astound the judges and audiences alike with his talented skill to play the piano. Scott has made the top 10 on the show; his appearances on Idol just proves that people with disabilities are seeing the changes. In the past, this may have not been possible because of stereotypes in such. Last night, Scott did a heart felt rendition of the Billy Joel classic, "Just The Way You Are".
At the end of the performance, Paula Abdul summed up what people with disabilities want to hear on a daily basis from their employers, friends and communities-that she could see him, not the disability.
Her quote: "So, Scott, I must say out of all the contestants that have graced this stage that I'm most proud of you and I want the audience to know it has nothing to do about your challenge, but everything to do with that makes me forget about that challenge.."