Friday, February 26, 2010

Another Lesson from Patrick Henry Hughes

Hey Everyone~

It's Friday again and as I look forward to this weekend I can't help but be amazed at how fast the time flies. Just yesterday, I was thinking about this while having dinner with my father. He's getting older as much as we both hate to admit it and it shows- in the little things such as the wrinkles of his hands and his "memory lapses". It scares me to think of a future without my parents because it's all I've ever known. I know I will have people that take care of me and support me, but nothing can ever take the place of your parental support. That brings me to the topic of this post; as promised, it is a continuation of Patrick Henry's book, "I Am Potential: Eight Lessons to Living, Loving, and Reaching Your Dreams." Ironically enough, the next lesson is this: Be the You Your Mother Would Be Proud of.

Being Different

What does it mean to be different? Growing up, Patrick Henry liked to feel things with his hands. He would notice small differences of how people's eyes would flutter when he touched them; unlike his own, which were hard and didn't move. His family treated him like everyone else, so Patrick just assumed everyone had to be carried around or fed. Eventually though, he began to wonder how his parents got from place to place.

"They must be able to do something I can't," he thought. From then on, he was even more determined to do everything to be "less" different and try to walk on his own. But to no avail, Patrick still got a wheelchair at the age of four. "Why do I need a wheelchair?" Patrick would often ask. His parents explained that God made him different, using that example of a box where God gives out different abilities to different people when they were born. He accepted this explanation.

For many people, acceptance of a disability can lead to many misunderstandings among the nondisabled community. After all, wouldn't we love to be able to walk or see? Of course we would. But here's the difference: "Some might think I don't care or that I'm hiding from reality," Patrick says, "I do care- very much. If God said to me, 'Patrick Henry, would you like to start walking today?'I'd immediately say yes. I believe most people in a wheelchair would love to be independent of their chair and live life completely on their own.. but nothing is accomplished by dwelling on what you can't do ! So you have to shrink its importance down in your mind .."

After a while, his grandparents became increasingly concerned that Patrick didn't know how to socialize with kids his own age. As a result, his parents tried getting him into daycare. Many of the centers wouldn't take him because of his disability.

That is, until his parents found the Wesley Community House. Like most parents, their first days proved difficult for parents and son alike. Eventually, though, some kids warmed up to Patrick listening as he played music on the electric keyboard. One day as he was playing, Patrick Henry was asked, "why are you blind?"

He replied he didn't.

His friend continued, "Because you were born that way."

This brings up such an important point.. Having a disability, many of us don't know what life would be like without one. We have nothing to compare it to.. Just as, Patrick is often asked "What do you see?" He can't tell you. As a result, he depends on his other senses such as touch and smell to create mental models of what he thinks something they look like.

When Patrick entered public school, his disability was a attention- grabber from the start; everyone wanted to push his wheelchair or read to him at story time. As time progressed, though,, he realized the source and felt differently.

".. I didn't want to be seen as so different," he says.

When he was mainstreamed, he had to have personal assistants. Patrick participated in every activity he could in the effort to be accepted by his peers. And he was. Despite all this, one quote stands out the most for me.. Patrick says, "but no matter what you do and however much people welcome you among them, the truth is, if you are special and you can never be exactly like everyone else.."

Eventually, he accepted this as well and started looking at his music talent in a different way. "This [my music] allowed me to be recognized for a different kind of special! The kind I wanted to be. Once I go it, I could let the other feelings go,"

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Basketball is more than just a game..

Welcome back,

Okay, so I have decided to delay this week's encouragement untill Friday to bring you this special new segment I saw

I was just about to change the channel from the news when a interesting sports story was shown. The story featured high school senior Tyler DeVries. Tyler isn't your typical basketball player. You see, he has cerebral palsy- the kind that affects his walking etc. But that hasn't stopped him from wanting to play basketball. Throughout his high school career, he tried out. He didn't make it .Eventually, though, he settled for being a manager for the team.

But that all changed Tuesday night. It was Senior's Night and the last game of his high school experience and the coach gives him an extra uniform to play. Unfortunately, the first two shots he missed while playing a game. He was devastated. But his teammates assured him they would put him back in soon..

They did. Tyler was able to shoot the last ball of the game. They won the game and are off to the playoffs. However, that isn't why they are excited. It's because Tyler accomplished one of his dreams that night.

"I can't believe it happened.. I felt like Michael Jordan," said DeVries

What does he hope to show people with disabilities?

"I just want to represent all people with disabilities and all the people who went out for basketball and didn't make it."

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Citation for TV Program: News segment, Beth Parker reporting Fox channel 5 WTTG DC, News at 5 pm, February 24, 2010

Monday, February 22, 2010

Another week has passed and I'm just now posting Monday's post. How bad is that? The next two posts are more in-depth, so I thought I would make this one simple. Many of us wish our lives could be more "normal". But what is normal really? In one way or another, each family is unique.

Here is an example of one such family.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Smart House

Hey Guys,

I thought this article was interesting. What will they come up with next? I'm waiting for a totally voice-activated house..

I'm just kidding, but who knows? If they came up with this, who knows what will happen next

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Finally... The Continuation of the Patrick Henry book review


So this post has been a long time coming, I know. I apologize if it's not to the standards of my previous posts regarding this book review. In the previous posts, we have explored the following themes:

1.) Turning Lemons into Lemonade (a.k.a. making the best out of a difficult situation)
2.) Do what you can to make your life better, while accepting the rest.
3. ) The power of and how it impacts someone's life.
4.) Passion: Doing What You Love

As I continued to review this book, it amazes me how many lives have been affected just hearing Patrick Henry's testimony and music. I think his father puts it best when he says, "Finally, I have a purpose in life that is bigger than me- spreading God's message of possibilities and unconditional love to all who choose to listen. It's a wonderful and I owe it all to Patrick Henry!"

When we last left the book, Patrick Henry was in high school and taking piano lessons with Ms. Henda at her house. Over time, this became difficult because of accessibility issues (Up until this point, his father had been carrying his son inside the house) As a result, Ms. Henda began coming to their house and still comes there today for his lessons. To Patrick, music is not only a love but a challenge.

"The most exciting late pursuits are the ones you can never fully master," he replies. That challenge, he says, is what propels him to the next day, overcoming whatever comes his way. He admits it's not always easy finding one's passion. But when you do, it changes your life forever.

As one of Patrick Henry's friends put it, music was a form of escape for her. At first, he didn't quite see his passion that way. But now he does. He explains, "It's an escape to places inside of me that I couldn't otherwise reach,"

I think this is an appropriate place to stop for right now. Next week, we will explore his next principle, "Be the You Your Mother Would Be Proud of."
Most people would be surprised to find out music is not Patrick's only passion in life. He also enjoys studying Spanish.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Opening of the Winter Olympics last week

Welcome back,

Okay, so I used be more into the Winter Olympics then I am today. It's probably because all of my old favorites have turned professional in their winter sports or have retired to move on in their lives. Not that I blame them though of course. That being said, I was upset like most people when I heard of the tragedy from Vancouver. But in the tradition of the Olympics, the athletes stayed strong and continue in their games.

On another note, I was surprised to find out that Paralympic athlete Rick Hansen was chosen to carry the torch into the opening ceremonies. What a unique choice; a great way to show the diversity among people. I tried to find a full clip of the Rick Hansen making his entrance. But I couldn't find one; this is the best I can come up with...

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Another interesting piece about autism


So I don't quite get it, the last couple of days there has been a lot of disability related information on the news. This one is yet another study on the probability of autism in premature births. University College in London connected the research evaluating over 250 births. The results: over 8% of those premature births (births before the 26th week) were diagnosed with autism by the age of 11

-- --

Citation for TV Program: "Health Alert " Fox channel 5 WTTG DC, News at 5 pm, February 12, 2010

Friday, February 12, 2010

Possible MS breakthrough

Hello everyone,

I'm sorry I haven't been feeling well enough to continue my series on I Am Potential. I hope to be feeling better by Saturday, so I can sort through what I think is most important about the book. When we last were reviewing it, I told you about his struggles to find the perfect piano teacher that would suit his disability- adapting the lessons to his limitations and yet giving him the wings to fly on his own. Please stay with me, it's a remarkable story that I'm sure we can all learn a lot from.

For the time being, though, I came across this new segment that I found quite interesting. This one involving the possibility of a blood flow abnormality causing the symptoms. The study suggests that patients with MS are "twice as likely to have blood flow problems in the neck". This not only restricts blood flow to the brain but is thought cause the iron deficiency that leads to the MS symptoms

-- --


Citation for TV Program: "Possible MS Breakthrough " Fox channel 5 WTTG DC, News at 5 pm, February 11, 2010

Monday, February 8, 2010

New study regarding autism risks

Welcome back,
Okay, so I didn't make my projected deadline for the Patrick Henry book review again! I just don't think I have the patience to listen to the CDs to find out where I was. Let alone, it seems to be snowing again in Virginia, so I can't really do much. Since it doesn't seem like my personal assistants will be working for me anytime this week, I plan on getting a lot of writing done. Still, be on the lookout for the book review this Wednesday. I might just do it! For the time being, I heard a interesting piece of news related to autism today. A recent study showed the impact that age had on pregnancy risks. According to the study, your risk for autism increases by 18% for every five years in a woman's age

Citation for TV Program: "Health Alert " Fox channel 5 WTTG DC, News at 5 pm, February 8, 2010

Friday, February 5, 2010

Makeover for 23-year-old young woman on the Tyra Banks show.


So it looks like I'm going to be snowed in for another big snowstorm. Over the last the last couple of months, Virginia has said records amounts of snow. Not that I mind, but that's one of the positives to moving here and what do we get? I can't figure it out.. I guess this will allow me the time to catch up on some writing projects. That being said, I haven't forgotten about my promise to continue my series on Patrick Henry's I am Potential. That blog post was scheduled for Wednesday, but it's going to take me a few hours to figure out where I left off in the book and write an adequate post. So look for it later on this weekend..

Today, I want to highlight something very special on my blog. I just happened to be watching the Tyra Banks show and see clips from upcoming shows. In my area, the Tyra Banks show is shown during the three o'clock and four o'clock time slot . Well, I just happened to be watching the three o'clock episode oddly featuring women who are newly divorced and struggling to find themselves again- but that's besides the point. Anyway, they previewed clips from her next show which included random strangers who thought they had fashion sense trying to make over some of the people on the streets of New York. me tell you, the people with fashion sense were right to pick the people they did because their transformations were amazing..

Part of the show included Tyra telling this inspirational story of meeting one of her fans on the street. This fan, named Janelle,, who happens to be in a wheelchair with CP, was "walking" with her mother and just happened to see Tyra up ahead. Obviously, Janelle wanted to meet her. So her mother introduced the two of them. But you know what the first thing Janelle said was? It was: "Tyra, I want a makeover!"

So that's what Tyra did.

Turns out, Janelle avidly watches America's Next Top Model, so as part of the surprise, she had two of her favorite models Yvonne and Aminat to help out.

Janelle wanted to make over.. but why? She puts it best saying, "She wanted to prove that people in wheelchairs would like makeovers once in a while,"

In the end, Janelle came out wearing a pink sweater with some kind of Leopard print underneath and black tights. She was also accessorized with a pink headband.

I applaud Tyra so much for doing that for Janelle. Like her, I have never disabled models in media, which is something I would like to see more of.

-- --


Citation for TV Program: the Tyra Show: CW channel 3 or 463 (WDCW or WDCWDT) February 5 at 4 PM

Monday, February 1, 2010

Growing Problems in Adults with CP.

Welcome Back~

Okay, so silly me.. I can't remember whether I posted this article before or not. This article makes some startling revelations as to the growing number of health problems in adults with CP. I know it's true because I've already experienced a few of these problems myself. But I figure if you know what to expect, then you are better prepared for what may come in the future. That's what I keep telling myself anyway.

On a personal note, I realize that I have yet to finish my book review of Patrick Henry's book, I Am Potential. For those of you looking forward to the continuation of the series, I am truly sorry it's taken me so long. I have every intention of finishing it- starting Wednesdays from now on. I will do my best to start where I left off, but I really can't be sure if I'm doing so because I'm going from a audio book. Also, if you have any other suggestions or comments, feel free to e-mail me.

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