Sunday, March 12, 2017

Possible business opportunity for adults with autism:making pillows for caretakers?



All staff who work with Lauren are aware that we have cameras in Lauren's apartment.

One day, Tom and I were taking a look, as we often do... just to see how things are going.

To our surprise, Lauren was watching a DVD and her companion/caregiver had her head down on the table. It was 
10:00 am and the person had arrived at 9:00 a.m. 

We watched and watched...she didn't budge. So, we called the agency and they promptly called and woke her up.

Am I missing something? Is it okay to take a nap when caring for a disabled person?

Or, is this a possible business opportunity for people with autism and other disabilities?

Is there a market for pillows for caretakers?


Keeping it real,

Donna

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Is there a bring your puppy to work day?


While "relaxing" one evening with Lauren's retired service dog (a black lab) at my feet, I received an email saying:

"There was a bit of an issue today at class.

Lauren arrived with her service dog and unfortunately my child is severely allergic and can't be anywhere near a dog. So while they were trying to figure it out, Lauren and her caregiver left." 

Lauren's caregiver didn't report that they had to leave the class (which cost $25.00). The dog (an 8 week old puppy) belonged to the caregiver. We were unaware that she had been bringing her puppy to Lauren's activities. 

I questioned the caregiver about the incident and shared concerns.
So....she quit.

I ask, is it okay to bring your puppy to work?

Keeping it real!

Donna




Saturday, April 9, 2016

                    

             Is she artistic or autistic?


For autism awareness month, I was asked to 
write an article about my daughter, Lauren, who is diagnosed with autism and related disabilities. 


The article shares a positive perspective on her life and the impact she has had on so many people. It also sheds light on the path to my disability advocacy efforts for nurses with disabilities.

Please take a look at the article, make comments and share. We need all of the autism awareness we can get...this month and each and every day throughout the year!

With thanks in advance,

Donna

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Speed dating? Or, one night stands?



Speed  dating has many similarities to hiring staff to work with adults with autism.

Applicants speed through in record time. Some even dress up for the occasion.

Some visit with Lauren for an hour and are never seen again. Others, don't show up at all.

Some sleep over and help Lauren with one shower..... and never return.

Hungry? Help yourself. Eat a meal with Lauren and then decide she lives too far away.

Like to bowl?.... Take Lauren bowling...then stand her up the next week.

Does this sound like speed dating or many one night stands?

Lauren’s resilience in the face of all of this is amazing.

Can you imagine handling rejection this often?

Keeping it real!
Donna



Saturday, February 6, 2016

Where have all the washcloths gone?



A washcloth is defined as a small towel for washing the face and body. 

So, I ask how many 
washcloths do you use in a month or year?

Honestly at our house, we have washcloths for years!

I have to buy Lauren a 6 pack every 6 months...not because I have a "new washcloth obsession", but because hers disappear. 

Fortunately, Bed Bath and Beyond carries these great 6 packs.

Where do all the washcloths go? Have you seen them?

Keeping it real!

Donna 

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Cold trash bags: A new trend?



When Lauren returns from the grocery store, she immediately puts everything away (something positive about obsessive compulsive disorder!).

If she doesn't know where something goes, her "default" place is the refrigerator. She has been known to put canned goods, boxes of pasta and cereal in the refrigerator.

Last week, I found a box of garbage bags in the refrigerator. I totally understand Lauren's behavior...but overnight staff had to move the box of trash bags to get to the milk and orange juice.

Should I include "if Lauren puts garbage bags in the refrigerator, please put them under the sink" in the orientation to working with Lauren? Or where in  a conversation, should I bring up this topic? 

Do some people keep their garbage bags cold? Please help me understand....

Keeping it real,

Donna

Monday, October 12, 2015

Per Amore grocery shopping

We are regulars at Sal's restaurant for Sunday night pizza with Lauren. After dinner, we walk over to the Publix grocery store where Lauren does much of her shopping for the week.

From a young age, Lauren grew to love the Italian tenors particularly Andrea Bocelli. 

In the middle of a grocery aisle, Lauren will begin to sing "Per Amore".

Wouldn't it be wonderful if we all had a song in our hearts and no qualms about singing.. anywhere?

This one is for you Lauren...per amore!