Friday, September 12, 2008

Abilities

You all know I have two children with Down Syndrome, but some of you may not know that I also work with adults with disabilities. I work for a good size organization that provides support to people with developmental disabilities. I supervise a medically fragile home with three individuals. I occasionally do a crafts class for my organizations day program. I have to look for a craft that can be done by people with different abilities. We often hear about disabilities, but it is important to look for a persons abilities. Everyone has abilities, and that is what I try to focus on.

Christie over at the Pretty Paper Blog always has cute idea's for projects. She had a post about a bucket she had fixed up for a gift and I borrowed her creativity to do crafts with the individual's I work with. Christie was so great and answered my emails to what kinds of supplies I needed such as Modpodge! OMgosh, how could I have never used this before. I have since bought over 3 big bottles of it. Anywho, at work we had a family luncheon and they needed a craft project to use as table settings. I knew this was the perfect craft. I had two individuals whom couldn't use scissors because their hands would be unable to manipulate them, but they were able to tear scrap pages for what we needed. Everyone had fun using ink to stamp and antique the paper. But Modpodge was the favorite part for most. This bucket was made by a man whom was bedridden at the time and he was so happy to be able to put this together. I so wish that it wouldn't be a violation to show you a picture of how big of smile he had, making this. For most of our buckets we put a wire handle that looked like a twig, with a ribbon on it (none of these were photographed because I forgot to take pictures before they were given away). For the table setting's, plants were placed in the buckets, but I killed the one that had been in this:(



This bucket was made yesterday by an individual I work with, for another individual whom is in the hospital. She also picked out a cheap dollar frame and put a stamped message in it, to replace giving a card. I think it turned out great.



Yesterday I went to a BBQ that was put on by another organization that serves people with disabilities, one that my girls receive services from. There were people with a wide abundance of different abilities. I was having a conversation with a man named Will (I changed his name.) Will has CP and uses an electric wheelchair to get around town (I say town, cause I see him all over the place). Will has slurred speech due to his CP and can be hard to understand at times. A mistake many people make is that they treat individuals such as Will, as a child. Will is not a child and should not be treated as one. If you have trouble understanding someone with a disability, don't be afraid to say "I'm sorry, could you repeat that, I didn't quite understand." Because many people (including me at one time) make the mistake of pretending they understand a person and totally ignore what the person is trying to say. Will asked me a question and I had to have him repeat it several times before I understood. He asked me what led me to work in the field of disabilities. I told him I had two children with disabilities. He shook his head "yes", thinking he understood. But I told him that even if I didn't have my children, I think I still would of been led to this field of work. I think I always had a calling for it. Will asked me if I thought I would always work in this field. I said "Well no, if I win the lottery , I'm going to sit on my butt, watch TV and eat chocolate." We enjoyed a good laugh over that fantasy. Will has the ability to make good conversation, only most people don't give him the chance. Remember...... see people for their abilities, not their disabilities.

22 comments:

Hot Tub Lizzy said...

Girlfriend - can you give us a little hanky warning please... I'm not sure why, but that post just really hit me.

Mr. B has a son with special abilities (;-) )and I know I'll have to work to understand what he's saying, and understand what he's able to to and all the special things about him...

thanks for this post

Lisa Petrarca said...

THANK YOU! I have never really been around people with disabilities this is very eye opening for someone like me. Yu just are not sure how to act because you don't want to hurt their feelings.

You are going to hate me but it has to be said, "I HOPE YOU NEVER WIN THE LOTTERY!" You are a blessing to too many people. What a waste you'd be sitting on your butt all day!LOL!

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!

Does Anybody Hear Me said...

What a beautiful post!

stefanie said...

Awww, I love the buckets, and I love your mooshy heart!

Have you seen this?

http://www.google.com/reader/view/?tab=my#stream/feed%2Fhttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.boston.com%2Fbigpicture%2Findex.xml

Christie said...

Gayla! These buckets are amazing! I am so touched that you saw this idea and put it to good use! You're an incredible woman working with incredible people!
I love reading your blog! You have such a huge heart and it shines through.
My son, Parker has Autism and I've had the opportunity to work with children and adults with various disabilities...I love the way suggested saying "I'm sorry, could you repeat that, I didn't quite understand."
I tend to be a fast talker...people are constantly saying, "What?" and I have to repeat myself. I find that I am saying "What?" a lot too...You're way is MUCH nicer. Thank you for that!
And again, I am SO very honored that you liked my idea. They went above and beyond with their buckets. Tell them that Christie says they're VERY talented!!!

Kathy said...

Love your blog! You are a very caring and special person. Sorry, but there just isn't anything I can find that I don't like here, even your "Leave Your Comment" comment has me laughing out loud....

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I'll be watching you - ha ha...

Kathy said...

Oh yeah I forgot to ask.......

Can I add you to my side bar?

WheresMyAngels said...

Lizzy, I didn't know that. Your have to tell me more about him.

Lisa your too sweet.

Stef, the link just went to random stuff every time I tried it.

Christie, you and I both. I'm a fast talker and unfortunately now Cheyenne is having trouble with speech cause she tries to talk as fast as me. I didn't realize your son had autism but I did see you had an Autism link up, so I knew it hit close to home for you somehow. I still wish I would of had pictures of all the buckets :(

Cristin said...

My son is Deaf and most people can't understand his speech. I find it very interesting how different people react to him. I find myself translating for him most of the time, I don't mind doing it, I just want him to be heard.

Casey's trio said...

Beautiful post!!!

Tracy P. said...

Very sweet! Thanks for stopping by The Journey for my SITS day. You really do have quite a journey going here. You must have quite the heart to be able to juggle the stresses of home and the work you do.

Kristi Smith said...

Great post, Gayla! Love those buckets. I need to make something with my guys too, we tried cards but they didn't seem too interested.

I think if you won the lottery you would still work in this field, maybe just fun stuff though, no paperwork. ;)

Lane Boyz Mom said...

You have such, uh, meaningful posts, which make mine look uh, like I'm playing hopscotch. I'm sooo immature;) LOL

Seriously tho, I think I'm growing up just reading your blog:)

Tiffany said...

You give the best lessons. Seriously, I love how you just take people for who they are.. no matter what their ABILITIES!

oº˚ Queen Bee ˚ºo said...

I worked a couple of years at school with kids with disablilities, I was so glad I had that chance. I loved those kids to death. Love the bucket. Much Love

sheree said...

those buckets turned out adorable! I may have to go find myself some modgepodge now!

:)

Heather said...

Awesome post and awesome buckets! I want some of those for myself. Day Program wouldn't be the same without Crafts with Gayla! Not sure I ever said thank you, so I will say it now...thank you!!!

mommaof4wife2r said...

that is soooo cute! what a great idea. i love it...in fact, i just might have to steal some of those ideas for my pen bucket! yeah!

Insane Mama said...

This is so informative andI thank you so much for sharing your lifestyle with kids with disabilities. It's hard to comprehend when you just don't know

oº˚ Queen Bee ˚ºo said...

Thank You -- I went and changed it!

Keeper of the Skies Wife said...

I have worked with kids with disabilities for 18 years. It is near and dear to my heart. My oldest works at a camp and does respite on weekends with young ones to teens. My girls grew up surrounded by this population and have the biggest hearts because of that. Love the buckets!!!

Astrid said...

Those buckets are fantastic! The more I read the more amazing you seem to me. :)