Friday, March 23, 2018

Can you help ring our dreams to life?

Lauren Maheady
Can you help us launch a special needs handbell choir? This approach led by music therapists and music teachers nationally and worldwide has successfully taught adults at various ability levels. Since the 1950s, music and music therapy have proven useful in treating people on the autism spectrum, improving learning and communication in a structured environment that encourages more social interaction. 

Can you help us start a choir in Jupiter?

With thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!

Donna
https://www.gofundme.com/ringdreamstolife

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Green is the new "low"



I never liked labels for people.

I always thought labels were for jars!

Over the years, I have been able to deal with comments from strangers and lack of acceptance from people and family.


Recently, I've had to come to grips with Lauren being labeled by other parents of adult children with disabilities. 

Hurts pretty bad....

What does "low" or "low functioning" really mean? No matter how you answer, it isn't good.

So, I decided that Lauren is going to be the color "green" like Kermit, her favorite Sesame Street character.

When you refer to Lauren and need a label, please call her "green".



Thursday, August 24, 2017

Do you sleep with your glasses on?


Cute picture for sure! But, seriously do you sleep with your glasses on? I'm not talking about a nap. Do you go to bed for the night with your glasses on?

For many years, Lauren had to be cued to take her glasses off and put them on her dresser. 

One night, staff forgot to cue her or assist with taking her glasses off.

So...she slept all night with her glasses on. Can you imagine the indentations in her head from wearing glasses all night? Think she had a good night's sleep?

Keeping it real!

Donna

Thursday, August 17, 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

Double-dip or dive?




One evening, I received a text from a friend. She asked, "Is Lauren living in a group home"? I  replied, "No".....why do you ask?

My friend responded, "I saw Lauren at the movies seated with residents of a group home". 

We knew that the staffer working with Lauren also worked for a group home. But, we were totally unaware that she was taking Lauren to work with her at the group home. 

For that evening (and other times), we learned that the staffer was paid by the agency who provides staff for Lauren and paid by the group home.

Ummmmmmmmmmm?

Double-dipping is defined as obtaining an income from two different sources,
 typically in an illicit way.

Is this double dipping? Or a dive??!!!




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