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OT: Your Thursday Pick-Me-Up -- Caroline's Cart

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  • cherylswope
    replied
    Re: OT: Your Thursday Pick-Me-Up -- Caroline's Cart

    Originally posted by debbiejz View Post
    Cheryl
    Let me know what you find in Missouri. I'm in Franklin County and my daughter is 12. I think we are another 10 years away from calling her a young adult but she insists she is now.

    Debbie
    Hi, Debbie. Let me encourage you! We found two good options, both administered by capable, loving, Christian adults. My daughter attends an adult day program founded by an order of nuns. Though the center does not actively teach Catholicism, they freely say a prayer of thanks before meals, and the care is evident. When we toured, I noticed the head nurse's gentleness amid nonverbal adults, some in wheelchairs, some with incontinence, many with loud vocalizations. I marveled as she seemed to float among them, establishing order and calm. She said to me quietly, "You know my secret?" I shook my head, waiting. She smiled, "I love every one of them."

    So this morning, my daughter left to join her friends at this adult day program. She had just spent several edifying, even cerebral, days at Sodalitas, so I wondered how she felt about going back. She said, "Oh, yes! If I do not go, I will miss musical chairs, crafts, Bingo, Nail Care Day, seeing everyone, playing cards...." It seems Michelle started musical chairs in this program that had not yet embraced such jaunty fun. She especially enjoys the women and their "girl talk." She has a place there.


    Across town, my son attends our local sheltered workshop. This, too, is run by hard-working, problem-solving Christian woman who matches tasks to individual abilities. When we first toured, she intended for my Michael to work in the woodshop, but when his hands immediately went to his ears at the high-pitched whirring, she casually said, "You know, I think you might enjoy our next area even more." Michael works on higher-level tasks that are still sufficiently "mindless" to allow his thoughts to explore ideas. He says this is a favorite aspect of his work. He also appreciates his Lunch Buddies. He tells me that in other work settings, he had to try to be someone else in an effort to both discern and assimilate into a social culture he could not access. But at the workshop, he says, "everybody has something. We all look out for each other and work together." He rides the work van to and from, so that adds to the sense of community. He says he has not known such camaraderie his entire life. One of the other workers spent much of a weekend here at our home, so the two could talk without end, swim, and share more time.


    All of this is to say that much has changed from the time we started exploring this world-after-homeschooling. Both of my young adults have enjoyed their respective, new places over a year. They also enjoy taking long pre-dinner walks together to share the antics of the day. It gives them much to discuss.

    Neither attends daily, because they need time to relax a little in between, engage in good reading, personal studies, and writing, but so far, so good! If you work with your local agencies, they can help you find something compatible when the time comes.

    Leave a comment:


  • debbiejz
    replied
    Re: OT: Your Thursday Pick-Me-Up -- Caroline's Cart

    Originally posted by cherylswope View Post
    Btw, the "rough" had nothing to do with curriculum. SC 2 is humming along nicely, with SC 3 following not far behind.


    We're just still navigating young adulthood with special needs here. (As it turns out, homeschooling was the easy part!!)

    Having explored local day programs and settling on one for a few hours a week with my daughter, we're touring the sheltered workshop next as a possibility for my son. That will be interesting.

    However, ... if anyone would like to open a beautifully classical Christian school for young adults with special needs (in Missouri), please let me know!


    Cheryl
    Let me know what you find in Missouri. I'm in Franklin County and my daughter is 12. I think we are another 10 years away from calling her a young adult but she insists she is now.

    Debbie

    Leave a comment:


  • Anita
    replied
    Re: OT: Your Thursday Pick-Me-Up -- Caroline's Cart

    Originally posted by tanya View Post
    Anita,

    I can see we need to make some changes in our office to increase productivity. All we need is a 250 pound bully, and we may get high school finished in record time.

    Thanks for the tip.

    Tanya
    He has to be personable and enthusiastic, though. He has to love being a productivity bully. I can see finished high school curricula already

    Leave a comment:


  • tanya
    replied
    Re: OT: Your Thursday Pick-Me-Up -- Caroline's Cart

    Anita,

    I can see we need to make some changes in our office to increase productivity. All we need is a 250 pound bully, and we may get high school finished in record time.

    Thanks for the tip.

    Tanya

    Leave a comment:


  • Anita
    replied
    Re: OT: Your Thursday Pick-Me-Up -- Caroline's Cart

    Originally posted by DiannaKennedy View Post
    Ahem.

    Anita, I'm bringing out the bazookas of funny.

    I present, Cake Wrecks. You have been warned.
    I looooooooove Cake Wrecks! A classic!

    Leave a comment:


  • DiannaKennedy
    replied
    Re: OT: Your Thursday Pick-Me-Up -- Caroline's Cart

    Originally posted by Anita View Post
    Thanks to you and my three-year-old, I now have reggae wedged in my brain for the rest of the day.

    Friday pick-me-up: Ultimate Wile E Coyote cat fail -- I don't ever not laugh. And I've seen it 152 times.
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Awf45u6zrP0

    And this is for Tanya:
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=tbSpAsJSZPc

    Go get em Supers! You got this!
    Ahem.

    Anita, I'm bringing out the bazookas of funny.

    I present, Cake Wrecks. You have been warned.

    Leave a comment:


  • Anita
    replied
    Re: OT: Your Thursday Pick-Me-Up -- Caroline's Cart

    Originally posted by cherylswope View Post
    Part of my concern was that the program usually requires full days. (Many clients attend M-F 8-3!) They say a full day is best for the client and the caregiver. But even one day 8-3 is too much for someone with such strong sensory issues. And I did not want her to give up the other good things she enjoys! (Today she sang along pensively to Lingua Angelica in her room. We love good "downtime.")

    It feels very similar to those early preschool years. (To enroll or not enroll?) Much to navigate...
    So glad this has come together for everyone! Good for you for advocating and anticipating their needs. Good job, mom

    Yes, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Winston needed a nap every day until he was a little over six years old. It's not that he doesn't sleep well at night -- he does! He averages a 10-11 hours a night, even now. But he has such a monumental challenge processing the world that even now when he doesn't need a "nap" he always has "quiet time" every single day. If he doesn't get it, things go awry for everyone. (The fancy term for this, I believe, is "self-regulation".)

    My daughter also needs it; my 3 yo still needs to actually sleep; and (chuckle) *I* need it. It's an essential part of our day. So putting them in "school" -- of any kind -- would have been a nightmare. They need rest -- even if they're not actually sleeping. They need time to process and decompress. This is not available in most mainstream schools or program-type options. Two hours is our max for doing almost anything -- grocery shopping, errands, dinners out, big events. (School we can actually do for up to five hours, but never longer than that.) Add to this that Winston becomes completely unmanageable when he is hungry? Fuhgeddaboutit.

    I suspect this will be our "normal" for awhile -- if not indefinitely. It means we get "less done" including school (which is part of why we school year-round). But it also means we accomplish our goals with joy and true achievement. What they learn "sticks" because it's accomplished appropriately, with their needs and limitations in mind. We go a little slower, but we get there! And, like you, when my children are happy and adjusted -- I am happy and adjusted!

    Happy Thursday (again).

    Leave a comment:


  • cherylswope
    replied
    Re: OT: Your Thursday Pick-Me-Up -- Caroline's Cart

    Thanks, Anita.

    Regarding this - (It makes me wonder why you were stressed to begin with, though -- I presume all these activities have not materialized overnight...?) - yes, exactly. Part of my concern was that the program usually requires full days. (Many clients attend M-F 8-3!) They say a full day is best for the client and the caregiver. But even one day 8-3 is too much for someone with such strong sensory issues. And I did not want her to give up the other good things she enjoys! (Today she sang along pensively to Lingua Angelica in her room. We love good "downtime.")

    So ... with the doctor's expert guidance and the director's great flexibility, we created a much lighter schedule of participation for her. She's happy, and I'm happy for her!

    My son, too, has new plans. All good.

    It feels very similar to those early preschool years. (To enroll or not enroll?) Much to navigate in young adulthood, but all is made much easier with a strong, willing "team" in place. This, too, took time to assemble as we moved from pediatrics to adulthood. Thankful to see everything coming together for them.


    Keep nurturing and teaching those "young'uns" to keep their minds strong and their souls courageous.

    Thanks-
    Cheryl


    See CherylSwope.com for newly organized audio recordings available (free) - with another free download to be added early next week

    Leave a comment:


  • Anita
    replied
    Re: OT: Your Thursday Pick-Me-Up -- Caroline's Cart

    You just made me laugh and grin a mile wide! So good to hear things are rounding out. It sounds like you have things well in hand. (It makes me wonder why you were stressed to begin with, though -- I presume all these activities have not materialized overnight...?) Regardless, listen: the world needs your children. They may not be able to serve in the capacity that many "typical" people can, but I honestly believe that is why they *want* to. They want to give ALL of what they have, not what costs them the least. And since they have rare perspective, they can serve where others can't -- or where many fear to tread. (Like secret ninjas or a SEAL team -- I'm not kidding! How many years would it take to train people to serve where your children just "fit"? I realize it's taken almost 21 years of "training" to get them ready, but you know what I mean.)

    Winston does this, too. He was our "Eucharistic Ambassador" at Mass from the time he could stand up and smile. When parishioners would come down front for reception of Holy Communion, he would stand at the end of our pew and shake hands with each person or "five" them. You should have seen the joy on people's faces (he might have been two years old...?) They used to get a little sad if they couldn't get their handshake. He is now the "Official Door Opener" for students coming into our Taekwondo studio each class. He watches and waits for people coming from their cars to the front door or vice-versa. We never asked him to do any of this. And "typical" kids aren't lining up to do it (not that I've ever seen). He couldn't talk back then, but he could smile and serve. He can't communicate very well now, but he can smile and serve. All are done out of love -- something special needs children seem to have a greater awareness of since so few "filters" separate them from what and whom they love. Propriety is less of a concern (sometimes for good *and* ill, right? The previous posts in this thread visit that sentiment -- grocery shopping with special needs toddlers... Oyyyyyyyy)

    But all of this reminds me of three stories:
    The widow's mite
    The mustard seed
    And the loaves and the fishes

    The widow gave *everything* she had -- even though it was "nothing"; the faith of a mustard seed (you've seen one -- teeeeeny tiny) moves mountains and grows into a plant so large birds nest in it and people rest in its shade; and a little boy's lunch was enough for Jesus to feed thousands of people. It's not what you're born with, it's what you do with it

    Leave a comment:


  • cherylswope
    replied
    Re: OT: Your Thursday Pick-Me-Up -- Caroline's Cart

    One more update for the day, this time on navigating an adult child's days.

    After speaking at length with my daughter's doctor and with the director of the adult day program, we now have the following key components firmly in place:


    Sundays
    She sings in the church choir, participates in adult Bible study, and plays tone chimes for festival days. I love this.

    Schooling
    She continues her Latin, voice, and Iliad lessons at home. This is essential. We're in FFL now. I allowed her to watch the FFL DVD to review the other day. It was her first time. I heard snorts of laughter. The telling comment: “He's funny and engaging. He's very intelligent and doesn't need to change his clothes every lesson.” (Likely a reference to a Great Courses DVD in which the teacher “became” a different costumed character from history.) This First Form Latin teacher made quite an impression!

    Exercising
    She continues exercising daily with a white-board-posted routine for cardio, strength, flexibility.

    Serving
    She still volunteers weekly at the nursing home. She has been doing this for a few years now. She has learned to arrange flowers donated by the local grocery store. Then she places them in small vases and delivers them with her unique cheer to the residents. She is also getting very good at helping with Bingo. Not long ago, one of the ladies insisted on giving Michelle half the winnings (50 cents!).


    Socializing
    She attends the Christian adult day program, but only for a few hours at a time now. The staff is willing to help enrich those hours. When I asked, “What was your favorite part about the day today?,” she said, “We classified animals: birds, fish, ...” Great to hear. They are also playing Scrabble, cards, and Yahtzee as leisure activities with the higher-functioning clients.


    More Serving ...
    The director of her adult day program has also encouraged my daughter to be more like the staff when needed, so she feels more empowered with the nonverbal clients. As she climbed into the car, I asked, “How did things go today?” “Great! I told (x) to stop banging his head. And he did!”

    She paused and added, “And when I saw that (xx) was feeling a little sick, I made a poem for him. I entitled it Remembrance."

    The Little Things
    "Oh, and we had baked chicken, mashed potatoes, and green beans. It was a good day.”


    Relieved to have such immediate changes -- thanks for the encouraging words, flipping horses, and dancing owls while I waited!


    When we all ask for a little bit more for our children with special needs, regardless of the setting, it makes a difference.

    Cheryl

    Leave a comment:


  • Anita
    replied
    Re: OT: Your Thursday Pick-Me-Up -- Caroline's Cart

    Originally posted by DiannaKennedy View Post
    KNow what makes me laugh more than horses? Dancing owls.
    Thanks to you and my three-year-old, I now have reggae wedged in my brain for the rest of the day.

    Friday pick-me-up: Ultimate Wile E Coyote cat fail -- I don't ever not laugh. And I've seen it 152 times.
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Awf45u6zrP0

    And this is for Tanya:
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=tbSpAsJSZPc

    Go get em Supers! You got this!

    Leave a comment:


  • DiannaKennedy
    replied
    Re: OT: Your Thursday Pick-Me-Up -- Caroline's Cart

    Originally posted by Anita View Post
    What Tanya said And, hey, they're making margaritas over in K-8 in the Sodalitas thread. That might be worth a try. (Laughter? Yes? Anything for a laugh. Have you seen the horse video? Dianna and I are big fans... https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=YBkmefllgiE)
    KNow what makes me laugh more than horses? Dancing owls.

    Leave a comment:


  • cherylswope
    replied
    Re: OT: Your Thursday Pick-Me-Up -- Caroline's Cart

    Originally posted by tanya View Post
    Ahem. Look in a mirror, my friend. You could easily get this started ....

    Tanya

    Thanks, Tanya. We really do need to do something for young adults with special needs. I see the need more glaringly than ever, as my children approach age 21! Something inspiring, edifying, and mentally engaging.

    Maybe a "post-schooling" curriculum (unless someone thinks of a better name) ....


    In the meantime, my young adults serve where they are able. Tuesday they both volunteered in our local nursing home. She arranged flowers; he chatted with older gentlemen. And they helped serve snacks. They were both beaming when they left.

    Last night my son ushered during the Lenten service in our small congregation.

    Tomorrow we plan to visit their grandpa in the hospital. I know they'll want to pray for and with him.

    Much to be thankful for --

    Thanks, ladies.

    Leave a comment:


  • Anita
    replied
    Re: OT: Your Thursday Pick-Me-Up -- Caroline's Cart

    Originally posted by tanya View Post
    Ahem. Look in a mirror, my friend. You could easily get this started while writing curriculum, answering forum posts, etc. You are Super Woman!

    I hope tomorrow is better!

    Tanya
    What Tanya said And, hey, they're making margaritas over in K-8 in the Sodalitas thread. That might be worth a try. (Laughter? Yes? Anything for a laugh. Have you seen the horse video? Dianna and I are big fans... https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=YBkmefllgiE)

    Leave a comment:


  • tanya
    replied
    Re: OT: Your Thursday Pick-Me-Up -- Caroline's Cart

    Ahem. Look in a mirror, my friend. You could easily get this started while writing curriculum, answering forum posts, etc. You are Super Woman!

    I hope tomorrow is better!

    Tanya

    Leave a comment:

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