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Sunday, May 1, 2011

Ramblings of a confused mind....

Today I write not knowing or forming fluid conscious thought...

I guess you could say I am baffled lately by our countries politics and government decisions and the state of the economy.. And what that has meant for me in my personal life.. I was unemployed from 05/01/09 to 01/31/11 when I finally was hired at one of my current part time jobs... I currently have two part time jobs neither pay me the hourly wage I used to make and together they don't even equal a full time job. And I am scared... I filed bankruptcy because I got real behind in my bills... It was discharged 3/16/11 but I am still behind in my day to day bills and I am weary... I may have to turn over my car to survive or try selling some belongings. 

I have begun to doubt my decisions... I have become unsure of a solid future. I know my friends in recovery are going to say I need to connect with my higher power and have Faith in a God of my understanding. Which they say could be a door knob for now if it needs to be.. I have been sober since 06/23/05.. I have been baptized Presbyterian and was a deacon at my church many years ago. But, in reality I find myself more geared to the hippie spiritual earth religions. I try at times to mix the two making an alter with my crystals and praying to God as the person I feel I am not pretending to be something I am not.. But, I am not vigilant. See I am told God helps those that help themselves.. So, I help myself and forget to turn over the stuff I don't control over to God. 

I feel like I am moving through the motions of life but not living it because I can't afford my bills let alone set money aside to enjoy the life I am living. I am not sure I am making sense right now. My head is full of anger, and heartache. I am lashing out at the loved ones around me and taking my frustrations out on them. It is totally unhealthy. I have moments of reason and days where I see hope. But, I can't hold onto that feeling long enough to escape the trappings I find myself in... I feel I am in a mental or spiritual prison. Trapped by the conditions of this county as one of the millions the unemployment and economy crash has effected. There isn't enough jobs and I know I am not alone but that doesn't seem to fill me with comfort. It angers me! Especially when I see people supporting relief and aide going everywhere but here in the USA where relief is needed. If you are married and childless and your spouse makes over a certain amount of money there is no program to help you lift yourself up. 

I have tried to appeal to family but it seems me and my husband are left on our own.. Seeming like nobody in the family cares if we make it through this or not.. I need friends and at the same time I am backing myself into a corner and facing the wall instead out to my friends who would support and love me. Today is a down day for sure.. I fought with my husband last night and I feel something is going to give and it will be the last person I have clung to in support... I feel lost and afraid to share everything on my mind and to let people see how weak I really am right now. This seems to be my only way to open up so you can't look directly into my face and see everything fading from my eyes and that I am empty and hollow.. Gone is the spark I once had! 



Friday, February 25, 2011

The Children's Center

The Children's Center: A special place for special children 

The Children's Center for Neurodevelopmental Studies is a state-certified, non-profit school and therapy center for children with autism and other developmental delays. The Center was founded in 1978, by Lorna Jean King, OTR/L, FAOTA. The Children's Center is internationally known for its unique and effective therapeutic approach to education. The Center's philosophy emphasizes facilitating neurodevelopment,the formation of new neural pathways, rather than simply training the child to act "appropriately". It is based on well-known research demonstrating neuroplasticity and the ability of the brain to continue developing at any age. 
Why is the Center so uniquely qualified to help - and add hope - to the lives of these children and their families? The key lies in the neurodevelopmental needs of the children. One of their defining characteristics is sensory integrative dysfunction - the inability of the brain to process input from various senses to create meaningful information. When neural pathways are damaged or impaired, correct processing cannot be achieved. The Center's primary therapeutic approach, called sensory integration, addresses these dysfunctions. 
To promote the development of new neural pathways and minimize the effect of sensory processing dysfunction, staff provides appropriate forms of sensory input - a sensory diet. These personalized plans may include swinging, deep pressure, music - all aimed at facilitating the processing of information. When sensory issues have been addressed, learning always follows. Sensory integrative therapy helps "get the brain ready to learn".  In over two decades of service, the Center's sensory integrative approach has proven highly effective for hundreds of children in Arizona, across the United States and around the world. The Children’s Center is a private, non-profit corporation (501-c-3) founded in 1978 by a group of health and educational professionals, under the leadership of Lorna Jean King, OTR/L, FAOTA. 
Beginning with just one student, one teacher and one therapist, the Center’s staff now includes occupational, speech, music and recreational therapists and  certified special education teachers.

       The above is the center I am working as a substitute teacher's aid. And I am enjoying my time there so far. When I was unemployed for the past almost two years I never envisioned this as my next job. I do more for autistic children then substitute at this learning center. I also have two clients I go to there house and continue to work on their treatment goals one on one in the home "Habilitation". These children are a joy to work with and doing this work is changing me in ways I am also liking. I am return to an attitude and feeling of my younger self. I see myself happy and it isn't just because I am getting paid.. I started with one client 7.5 hours a week for most of February so my first monthly check will not be that big. But now between this job and Hope Group, LLC for habilitation hours I have built my hours up to 19.5 and two days a week I can be called in to substitute as a teacher's aid at The Children's Center. If I am called in both days that is 28.5 hours and the pay which basically will take the place of what i was making on unemployment.. But, my point here is I am getting more out of it then the pay. I didn't intend to go back to a regular 9-5 customer service job but didn't know what that would mean for me...

This job is changing my perspective of people, my outlook on my life, my attitude and it is giving me joy. That alone is worth more to me than how many hours and what my hourly pay is... I can't even take credit for me trying this out as a job. I did not find it on my own. My sister in law Kim is a full time teacher's aid at a different school and suggested the other Hope Group, LLC where she works habilitation for after school. From the Hope Group, LLC job I was introduced the The Children's Center as a place to work with the same population and pick up some additional hours and it is in my town really close to my house. Between the two agencies I made a little niche for myself. I smile at work, I enjoy my co-workers, and my habilitation kids are a breath of fresh air. Maybe my next post I will write about and focus on Hope Group, LLC who started this whole progression but it was The Children's Center that helped me the most. 

I see this as a wonderful new adventure maybe career... it has revived my spirit and not just my employment for sure...


Monday, January 31, 2011

There is hope...

Hello friends,

I know it has been some time since I have composed a blog entry. But, I am going to turn that around and get back to putting down my thoughts at least once weekly. 

Part of me feels like I have been just hanging on feeling incomplete without direction. The truth is I have been unemployed and dealing with life issues as a result of my unemployment benefits ending, having to file bankruptcy, and fighting to stay positive with all the changes and challenges I faced head on...

Recently I took some free training to work with individuals with autism. I went to CPR, First Aid, Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA). ABA is the most current, scientifically proven, and efficient method of teaching essential skills to children on the autism spectrum. It is beneficial for individuals with a variety of other developmental disabilities as well. An effective ABA program may incorporate multiple theories and approaches to teaching, including analysis of verbal behavior, picture schedules, play therapy, and discrete trial training. Each program must be tailored to suit the needs of each individual child and the skill levels of those implementing the program. ABA programs are very child friendly, and focus on teaching the function of language in a positive, age appropriate environment. I interview with my first family 1/28/2011 and was offered the provider position for about 10 hours a week. This is a new direction for me to do something fulfilling and get back into regular employment. I need more than 10 hours a week and will be searching for either another client or a part time position to increase my income. I didn't take this job for the money. I was looking to be out of retail or just a customer service position. I wanted the work I was doing to matter and have that feeling of enjoyment. I am also going to take additional training for the habilitation part of my employment so I can offer my clients better teaching skills to assist with their current program goals. Habilitation is one-on-one therapy to teach and/or improve an individual's daily living, social, gross/fine motor, communication, and/or memory and organization skills. Habilitation providers will implement the goals and objectives written by the lead habilitation therapist. I will also do respite care. Respite is a service designed for short-term, temporary care to our clients with the purpose of giving the parents a break from the everyday routine of raising a child with special needs. An important purpose of respite is to provide parents and families temporary relief to relax, run errands, work, etc. I am looking forward to expanding my employment at H.O.P.E. Group, LLC.