Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Sometimes it Takes a Village

At least several minutes out of every hour, my mind is on a trillion different things.  When I write I attempt to focus on what I'm writing but that doesn't always work out.  This time I have had this in the back of my mind for several days and feel this is a great time to blog about it.  Sometimes it takes a village to make things come together and not just for the love of what is being done, but for the support and connection of professionals who believe in the same thing.

I love my work and the area of specialty I serve - children with a hearing loss and their parents.  Part of this love is my supporting an organization I believe in greatly.  En Voz Alta, which in Spanish means, 'In a Loud Voice'.  It is a group comprised of parents and professionals that strive to educate, advocate, and support the area community of hearing impaired individuals or parents of children with a hearing loss.
This group has sponsored two bi-national medical symposiums focusing on distributing information to those parents and professionals who had been looking but couldn't find what they needed in regards to help and contacts within this area.

There is so much more to rave about when it comes to this dedicated group - but if you need information and/or want contacts.  Here is the link:  http://umcfoundationelpaso.org/ - look on the left hand column and click Focus Funds, then find En Voz Alta - it will give you more than enough to get you started with contacts. 
Because Sometimes it Takes a Village

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A New One

"Why wish for the Privilege of living your past life again? You begin a New One every morning."
Robert Quillen
You begin anew every morning.  I really was taken aback when I first read this and then this smile came across my face.  Wow - the thought of starting over everyday has never crossed my mind before.  I could easily keep up the same thing from day-to-day; or even review things from last week.  Or. . . 
what a concept! Start fresh everyday!!  
I guess it's all a matter of how you approach the day and the things that need to get done.

One of the things I need to get done, new lessons and approaches for the children I have in my therapy sessions.  I love the activities I teach and there are those lessons I wouldn't trade for any new activity with all the 'bells and whistles'.  I have activities I know will get the child's attention and keep it all through the session. . . .well, most of the time. . . then there is the child in which no activity engages them.  Start anew!  Think of something!  I can't always think of something - my mind does not always work as fast as some kiddos!
New lessons every morning? Well, no - but how about new apps after the activities have not worked and you're looking around to decide what to try next.  Sometimes I forget that I, being the dinosaur in a generation of constantly changing technology, have the answers at my fingertips.   Recently, I learned the art of apps for students to learn, and I'm learning the art of apps for listening and spoken language.

My strategy for all lessons is auditory first, visual if needed, and then return to auditory to build memory for the student/client.  The second strategy for all lessons is Observe, Wait, Listen and find out what the student/client needs or seeks.  If my activities are not working for the student then I use the apps that build off of my activity, and they all involve listening - yea!!!  I just had to take the time to start anew and think about today's new life.  On top of that - sessions move smoothly and clients are interested.

Starting anew everyday for me is moving outside the box-that is for me- the dinosaur box, and begin using what is fresh and new for the times.  There are educational apps for speech, language and listening to develop the auditory means and language gains that go with auditory learning.  Some of those for children are free and easy to find - use your Internet and go surfing.  I love . . . 'Moo Box', 'Little Farm' and 'Where's Mommy?' for toddlers and Pre-k kiddos.  Parents can find the apps under the name; Approved4Kids for their elementary child and there are so many stories and language games for Kindle and/or The Nook.  Even adults can use audio books and music memory tunes to keep their auditory memory, discrimination, and perception keen and fresh.  

So. . . . 'why want the past over again, when you have the opportunity to begin new every morning'

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Managing: Work, sleep, and thankfulness

Oh my - work has taken over my life!  Something I promised myself would not happen again.  Alas, some areas of my life become sooooo consuming if not 'stayed on top of '.  Work, unfortunately is consuming - so many items to be taken care of and so little time.

Managing areas of life is a part of all of us - don't you think?  My area of work in which I don't do well is managing the paperwork and time lines associated; which causes the domino effect.
I do believe we are all victims of the domino effect in our lives in one way or another.

As parents managing our children and their life's - we can definitely feel the domino effect.
The entire reason I do parent classes and/or include parents as part of the therapy session, is for them to see why it is so important they change their persona and become teacher.  So they do manage - and do not feel the domino effect with their child.  If a parent does not take the teacher role during rehabilitation of their child's speech and/or language, if they wait and say the therapist/teacher can do this part; sooner or later,  the domino effect will rear its ugly head.  A child has to feel the parent is not only vested in the therapy but that the therapy is worth the practice to make the child better.  A parent should know and understand, if you don't 'buy in' 100% - 24/7 - in child and practice - time will release the domino and their child will continue to have problems that may manifest itself into more difficulties - in more areas - and more challenges.

My area of work releases the domino to sleep and soon I am exhausted because I am playing the 'catch-up' game and not resting.  Even my blog is effected!
A parent will see - hopefully sooner rather than later - their child is effected - in so many ways.

Thankfully, vacation days come.  At this time of year I am thankful -for so many things.  This year I am thankful for the days to 'catch up'.  Shame on me for doing it that way, but this year - it works.  As a parent, those vacation days come in handy at some time or another.  I urge parents to take advantage of them every once-in-awhile.  I also point out, it should not become the answer.  Time is of the essence for children with a handicap to overcome.

This year, I have noticed on social medias, the idea of using each day to make a statement about being thankful for something.  Mine is still a list, a reminder I have so much - hopefully, you do as well.

I am thankful for: family who cares, friends who never disappear, work that is always there, and sleep that may or may not appear.  I am thankful for: An army of men and women who watch over us constantly and a country I am concerned over regularly, doctors who find cures to illness purposefully and patients who live their lives fully.   I am thankful for: my beliefs, my morals, my life - no matter how mismanaged I make it at times.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!