Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Signs Restaurant: Deaf Servers

 A restaurant in Toronto is serving unique experiences not only to its customers but also to its employees. All the servers at Signs are deaf and for some it is their first opportunity to work and freely use their sign language.

Signs Restaurant Toronto

Autism Knowledge

In the courses that I have been taking in Autism and Behvioural Science the actual cause or causes of Autism are unclear however genetics does appear to play a role. In this Ted Talks, Dr. Wendy Chung, provides insightful background as to some possible causes of Autism, what is known and what clearly is not known.

Enjoy this informative Ted Talks.

Monday, 28 July 2014

Autism: Coping With Adult Children

Another news clipping to share about Autism. This one is from the Washing Post and is more emotionally difficult.

 Autism: Coping with Adult Children

Autism and Calgary Pilot Project

A company in Calgary has a one year pilot project involving individuals on the Autism Spectrum and IT. Check out the link below.

Autism and Calgary Pilot Project

Friday, 11 July 2014

MATT The Film: Never Give Up

MATT The Film is about a teen who has special needs. It is filmed by Diesel Films and is classed as a short film; lasting just a bit longer than 13 minutes.

Matt was born with special needs but his life is marked by success from infancy. As an infant he was not supposed to survive, but he did. He was never to walk but he walks, sprints, runs and plays sports. His father had been told that he wouldn't talk, but he does. 

Matt didn't know all that he wasn't supposed to accomplish. He asked his high school football coach if he could join the team and the coach said yes. Then he joined the basketball team. 

 Watch MATT The Film and see how this remarkable young man never gives up.

Friday, 4 July 2014

I'm Into Autism but Not Everyone Is!


This was evident in this report by  The Star with the comments Councillor Doug Ford made towards a parent and his autistic son. 

I love working with children, teens and adults who have an Autism Spectrum Disorder, also known as an ASD. Parents of children, teens and adults with an Autism Spectrum Disorder absolutely love their kids. If your child had an ASD you would love them too wouldn't you? It's your child, wouldn't you want what is best for your child and wouldn't you as their parent, move mountains to see that your child would get the best schooling, the best care, etc. Wouldn't you fight just as hard or even harder for your kid that had special needs because they would not be able to do for themselves? 

My journey into Autism

A few years ago, I answered an ad in the newspaper asking for applications to work with a boy who had an ASD. Training would be provided. With my background in Special Education and teaching, experience with Developmentally Delayed I thought, why not apply. 

I was called in for an interview in the boy's home to meet with his therapist and his mom. The job offer went to someone else however, the therapist asked if I would be interested in working with a preschooler who lived closer to me. I said I was interested and a meeting was set up with his parents and I was hired to work with their son.

So my introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorder began.....but actually, it really started years ago when I was a teen choosing a topic for my speech. I decided to talk about Autism so really, it began then but I put it aside for many years until just a few years ago.

Not only did I work in one family's home but soon I was working in with three families with two teens, and a twenty-something year old. What I learned in working with each of these individuals is that when it comes to ASD no two individuals are the same. That\s basically why it is referred to as a  Spectrum Disorder. The teens with whom I worked were very capable of talking but had other academic weaknesses. The preschooler and the twenty-something, had very little speech but, over time their vocabulary was increasing.

Then I, with my years of teaching, decided to apply to be an Educational Assistant, because I was not able to get on the Supply Teaching list and I wanted to work with exceptional children. As I worked in different classrooms and in Autism classrooms I realized that I wanted to learn more about ASD so I was accepted into the Autism and Behavioural Science graduate program offered at the local college. The course is ideal because I can work during the day and study my online, part-time course in the evening and on the weekend. 

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Swamp Views

While driving to Kemptville to say good-bye to a friend who was moving to St. Catharines I pulled up along the side of the road to take these pictures.

This was just outside my car window. At first I took a few pictures through the window and this is how they turned out.

You can see the road reflected in the side view mirror.

Window and mirror this time. The gray plastic in the swamp was not really supposed to be in the picture so eventually I cropped the bag, the mirror and the window.  I'm learning! 

See, no window, mirror or gray bag. Cropped! I find it easier to crop the pictures on my tablet before transferring them to the computer.

Of course stepping out of the car to take more pictures meant that I had less to remove. 

Across the road from where I stopped were cattails. 

Another look at the cattails. All of theses photos were taken along Dwyer Hill Road, just before descending into Burritts Rapids.

 Admittedly, I am much better at taking landscape pictures than I am of people. So these are my mementos of our last in-person visit before she leaves the area.

When this friend and I first met it was only over the internet and through working on a newsletter together. Then we realized that we only lived about 45 minutes from one another the occasional trips to see each other began. How many years has it been? Perhaps 7 or 8 years. It seems like a lifetime.

So we are back to where we started but with more options today than when we first met. With social media the sky really is the limit for staying connected.