Today I have several articles pertaining to Autism. They were e-mailed to me by a follower. I hope they help you.
Wow. You know, growing up I never knew if I liked children. I admired children’s play, their innocence, their creativity. Children’s way of simplifying things: good, bad and indifferent.
I was a communication board user growing up. I was the second oldest of five grandchildren. I loved experiencing the three younger cousins growing up. The problem was my communication board didn’t talk. I couldn’t talk to my cousins.
Well, now I have an AAC device, that changed. I can talk to my cousins. I can converse on a different level.
I even gave a speech to a fifth grade class last week. A fifth grade class. They were doing a unit on inspiring people. They read a book called “Out of My Mind”. It was about a girl like me, who had a photographic memory. I do not have a photographic memory, but this girl had a disability that’s similar to mine. They found my blog and invited me to speak.
I spoke. They loved it. Now a second class asked me to speak. Who knows? Maybe public speaking will be my career. Time will tell.
OK guys. This is a two-part blog. In the first part, I have a website to share and then, I want to talk about a speech I’m giving tomorrow. Sound good?
Alright, let’s go…
Part A. A website to share.
So, one of my readers asked me to share this website with you: https://www.basementguides.com/home-safety-for-people-with-disabilities/. It’s a guide to make your home more handicapped accessible. I always like to share these. My grandfather did some home modification work, and a lot of construction. So whenever I get one of these, I think of him.
Part B. A Speech to Give
Tomorrow, I’m giving a talk to fifth grade class about inspirational people. They read a book called Out of My Mind. It was about how a girl with an AAC device has a photographic memory. They found my blog and asked me to come speak to their 5th grade class.
I’m excited to do this. I don’t know how good I am with kids. I think this will be a learning experience for me and I hope it’s a good one.
You know, I think I went off on this before, but I wanted to blog about it again. Why are aides, people that assist the disabled, elderly and sick, getting paid close to minimum wage? We’re talking about people that help people with daily needs. Aging family members that need help.
This might be one of the reasons why Self Direction is growing so rapidly. The participant can adjust the pay rate. No more minimum wage. It could also be that participants are getting more assistance.
I encourage two things: a) More people to get onto Self Direction, and b) More aides to get on these budgets. I predict that if those two things get done, there will be more aides. It’ll be easier to find assistance too for the young and the old.
Last Thursday, I went back to swimming in five months. I had to stop for the winter. It felt really good to get back in the pool. My instructor has me using one noodle that’s really buoyant, and it seemed to really help me. Let’s lay out the progress I have made getting over my fear of swimming over 15 years:
- 2004: Horrible fear & using an Aqua Jogger
- 2005-06: Swimming with no floatation devices & just my gym teacher
- 2007: Calmer in the pool
- 2011: Fear minimizes & swimming in deep end with only two noodles and my teacher. I’m more relaxed in the water, but I still don’t have the capability to use goggles
- 2018: I start swimming at the YMCA. Now I’m starting to be able to use goggles
I have made tremendous progress with swimming over the last 15 years. I can’t wait to see what 2019 brings!
“Spring has sprung. The grass has ris. I wonder where the flowers is.”
Although I am not a heat lover, I enjoy being a waterbug. I had a fear of drowning growing up, but I always dreamed of participating in water sports like snorkeling, swimming, boating…I have always had a profound interest in going snorkeling.
There were just two problems with that: 1) I couldn’t swim, and 2) I had a lot of masks. Every time I went underwater, I came up with water in my mask, causing my body to flail all over the pool!
But, did that end my snorkeling dream? No.
I encourage you guys to watch the movie Soul Surfer. It’s about a girl that was a surfer, loses her arm in a shark attack, and she eventually goes back to surf in Regionals. She went on a retreat to another country and while she was there, she taught kids about surfing out of love. How many acts of love do we see nowadays?
Now, I have a dream that I would like to pursue. It’s snorkeling. Did I fail a hundred times? Yes! Of course I did! But last year, I went back to swimming after eight years and I was able to use goggles for the first summer. So now, I’m like, “Is this dream pursuable?” I have a great instructor. Maybe he can help me.
I may have sunk a thousand and one times, but maybe this time, I’ll sail.
Who is Amberley Snyder? Here, watch this YouTube video of her: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7pGEYL0jYU.
I have a confession to make. When I was little, I had so much drive to be as independent as possible. I had a dream of being a firefighter like my grandfather was. I also wanted to be an astronaut (but what little kid doesn’t dream of being those things?).
I went for my Associate’s and then, I got my Bachelor’s in psychology. After that, I got my paralegal certificate. So, as you can imagine, school took a lot out of me, and I took some really tough classes. Now that I’m done with school, I’ve started to work on myself again. It’s not easy, but I need to try to regain some strength and muscle control.
I look at the amazing Amberley Snyder and I ask myself, “Even in my late twenties, can I still become a rodeo queen like this beautiful American icon is?” I’ve begun stretching again, lifting weights, and taking walks.
I may be shooting for the stars, but maybe someday I’ll land on the moon.
Yes! Walmart is my favorite store. I don’t wear trendy clothes, buy fancy Michael Kors bags, or buy fancy shoes (Ick! I dread shoe shopping!) But I love, love, love Walmart merchandise…and the people as well.
I went to Walmart this past Wednesday and I was shopping in the clothes aisle. While I was shopping, there were two store associates and they were signing. It turns out that the one associate was deaf. Now, my signs are minimal, but I know more than people realize.
So I sign, “What’s your name?”
He signed his name. But because my signs are modified, I had to type the rest of the conversation out.
It was pretty neat to have a conversation with someone else in sign language.
This is probably the last idea for a revolutionary invention that I have, but what about an augmentative communication device for the visually impaired?
I think that there needs to be a way to put braille on an AAC device. Not everybody that has a speech impairment can see. I mean, raised letters were used before braille, but I can’t imagine them on an AAC device. I think that braille would work better on a computer screen.
Again, it’s just my idea. What do you think? Helpful, not helpful or the tip of the iceberg?
An augmentative communication device is a wonderful idea. I use one and I love it. I have always pondered, “How would I advance it? What feature would I add to it? What group of disabilities would this accommodate?”
Well, I am proposing a speech-to-text feature on every AAC device to help those with hearing impairments, or those like me that are just auditory and visual learners. It would be like the phone for seniors that when the person on the other side speaks, the conversation is transposed into written text. It would be great for meetings, school or normal conversation. And then, there would be a ‘Save’ button for saving the conversation and the text would be able to be made smaller or larger.
What do you think? Helpful, not helpful or the tip of the iceberg?