Medicaid is important. It should not be cut.
We all need to be activly involved in this issue to ensure that medicaid services are protected.
Parents of and individuals need to be educated on what medicaid services are available and what are the eligibility requirements to receive it. We think that everyone knows, but many don’t. Can we post a link to coverage and eligibility information? Thanks!
Article on Down syndrome – would like to known when it was written.
This is important legislation.
From my experience, the ADA is a bunch of CRAP!…..A manager in the government office I worked in, harassed me to no end! He indirectly harassed me because I had used my handicap to keep my job, 20 years earlier. Because in the early 2000s from his harassment, my medical condition got extremely bad!
And you know what? If I faught him (got him fired, in jail, or sued him), he or his friends would probably get me fired or make my working conditions awful!
The ADA may help in employment. But after one is employeed, and discriminated against in handicap, there is no place to turn!
You raise a legitimate concern. If you’re angry and disappointed in the system, channel that energy into something that promotes effective change for all of us, and yourself. Write to your congressman (see our post today at http://tinyurl.com/658jwx), tell him or her what you think needs to be changed. Thanks for your comment, and reading our blog.
Should anyone think that DreamWorks unwittingly disparaged people with disabilities, particularly those less well equipped to argue their corner, I would urge them to follow the links on this page, then decide whether or not they should see this film. I don’t advocate a boycott: I advocate an informed decision.
This is a wonderful opportunity to hear from a family. Thank you for sharing your experiences and keeping us mindful of all that The Arc of Berks, Bucks, and Montgomery Counites is doing.
Thanks to all who came out for the event at Linvilla! About 50 people came and enjoyed festivities including a hay ride, PlayLand, PumpkinLand, and lunch. Families enjoyed meeting eachother, spedning some time outside on one of the nicest days this fall, and learning about support and resources available.
The Fathers’ Group looks forward to seeing lots of dads along with their children at our next meeting at the offices in Eagleville. Any father of a child with developmental delays is welcome to join us at any meeting. Childcare is available while the dads meet and then together we will do an activity and have snack.
Again, thanks to all who came out for the event. Hope you will join us again!
I hope that many more families are able to understand the full extent of services that the ARC provides. It has made all the difference in the world for my family and I hope that others are able to benefit from the knowledgeable caring staff that I encountered.
I strongly encourage all families and Arc supporters to write to our state government officials about the funding cuts. Although the economy is tough – it is tough for everyone. The Governor’s website displays the following: “The Rendell administration is committed to creating a first-rate public education system, protecting our most vulnerable citizens and continuing economic investment to support our communities and businesses.” In my letter to the Governor I quoted that statement and made clear that cutting funds for Marc’s Advocacy services is in direct conflict with this statement.
Because our systems are complicated it is imperative that organizations such as Marc exist and thrive to ensure that those who need services the most get them.
Please take a few minutes….if you are not sure what to write, there are sample letters you can use as a reference…and write to our Governor, Secretary of Public Welfare, and your state legislators.
Awesome interview! Clay has an attitude about life and love that is inspirational. I hope many will take the time to listen to this podcast and be blessed.
Thank you for raising this important issue. I hope you will do a follow up. Besides the success stories, a reference to the community imperative, the threat of budget cuts, and the VOR saying that some people still need institutions, I’m not sure that anyone who is not well versed in the issues facing people who are illegally and unnecessarily institutionalized would be adequately informed or have a sense of urgency from this recent segment. What you revealed in Willowbrook is still happening in institutions today.
What the story didn’t tell you was that Walter has lost Christopher dozens of times because of poor or no supervision and this was another example of him not properly supervising his son. The other thing the stories didn’t say was that after an hour in the water, Christoper was clinging to Walter and Walter pushed him away and let him drift off. They were found over a mile apart. Christopher spent 14 hours adrift alone. What an amazing child and a terrible parent.
I was unable to catch this newscast. Will there be any opportunities to see it again? Will there be a video available or a re-broadcast? Thanks!
We’ve been getting a lot of inquiries like yours, and I’m in contact with Geraldo and his team to see if there will be other opportunities to see the show. We’ll keep you updated!
Mr. Rivera, I do not know why in trying to help the mildly retarded that are able to live in apartments you had to speak badly of the ones that are profoundly retarded and are best cared for in the MR Centers with 24 hr. care 7 days a week. With nurses, doctors in campus, they go to school, work there and have the best life that they can have considering their circumtances. Please go and check what the centers have to offer now in the year 2009 not go back what was 38 years ago. I live in PA and you are welcome to go to Ebensburg Center, in Ebensburg PA.
107 S. Market St.
Martinsburg, PA 16662
Geraldo’s ‘Waiting List’ special will be on his Web site by week’s end.
Please check out the site for constant updates at http://www.foxnews.com/geraldo/
If you ever have any questions or would like to see video of an interview or special Geraldo did, just e-mail us:
If it’s not already on the Web site, we’ll make a point to get it up there.
Thanks for your comment. I have several thoughts in response, but they were too lengthy for a comment, so I wrote up a post here: http://blogsnap.wordpress.com/2009/01/13/why-institutions-cannot-replace-homes/.
I’ve spent my career working with both institutional and community-based care systems. I speak from 27 years of experience when I say I’m completely convinced that individuals with disabilities have a better quality of life when living in the community.
I was born and raised in Carrolltown, Pa. It’s a stone’s throw from Ebensburg Center. My grandfather, Tom Owens Sr., was county commissioner when the center was built, and supported its benefits at the time. My mother and sister worked in the dietary unit, and I had a summer job there in high school.
I’ve been an advocate for The Arc of Montgomery, Berks & Bucks Counties for 10 years. Before joining The Arc, I garnered 17 years of experience supporting adults with mental retardation in central, western, and eastern Pennsylvania.
In 1986, I was a unit director at Elwyn. In the mid nineties, I coordinated and co-published a research report on group homes with the assistance of the Pittsburgh Arc and Developmental Disabilities Planning Commission. And over the years, I have been part of monitoring teams at Ebensburg, Polk, Selinsgrove, Western Center, and Hamburg Center.
I have met and befriended many individuals who have worked and directed state institutions. I agree many improvements have been made over the years in areas of self care, privacy, and abusive practices. However, I have two major concerns that make state center obsolete in today’s society.
Firstly, a hospital, no matter how hard one tries, cannot and will never be able to become or take the place of a home.
Secondly, as an educational advocate for children with disabilities, I regularly see and experience children who are not growing up in institutions. I am overwhelmed and totally convinced from the parents I talk to on a daily basis that segregation does not challenge disabled children academically, nor does it give them sufficient role models to reach their true potential as citizens of this country.
I challenge any reader to talk to a parent who has had a loved one move from an institution to a group home. Or talk to a parent who receives funding to support their loved one within their home. I can assure you that you would be hard pressed to find anyone who felt institutions are a better way of living.
Most importantly, I challenge anyone to talk to an individual who has been in an institution, and wants to go back.
I understand, have worked with, and supported parents who were frightened for their loved ones coming out of institutions. Specifically, this comes from my experience in Pittsburgh as a case manager for the county. Not once did a parent come to me and say life was not better for their loved one after leaving the institution.
As far as the severity of mental retardation, I have seen time and time again — despite the medical, cognitive, or behavior issues — individuals who were in institutions that are now out. Without exception, they have seen a better quality of life when they are free from a hospital setting and not segregated from society.
Wanted to let everyone know that Geraldo’s show is up on FOX’s Web site, if they haven’t seen it yet: http://www.foxnews.com/geraldo/
Another important promise that Obama has made to people with disabilities is to sign the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and to encourage the US Senate to ratify it. Although most of the CRPD is already consistent with US laws we have in place, implementing the CRPD would also help strengthen protection certain key human rights for people with disabilities that are currently not well addressed, such as the right to live independently in the community (instead of in institutions).
how about are newest member of the foundation board sue
Looks like everyone had a blast!
interesting material, where such topics do you find? I will often go
Hello, I am looking to do the same thing for my 7 year old autistic son, but need some guidance on how to go about it. Is there anyway to contact Justin’s family to see how they developed Justin’s swimming? Thank you.
Maybe try contacting the photographer who covered the story to see if she could connect you. Her name is Toni Sandys. You could probably find her contact info online, or try calling the Washington Post’s main number. Someone from The Arc might be able to help you too, and I’ll refer your comment to them, so they might be reaching out to you also.
SAVE PENNSYLVANIA COMMUNITIES!
Protect families, children and investments in stronger communities by raising your voice for a
STATE BUDGET that’s supports Pennsylvania!
TUESDAY, August 11
MEDIA, PA, Courthouse
201 Front Street
(Front Street and Veteran’s Square)
In the legislative district of some of the leading voices in the state budget battle
(and loudest proponents of budget cuts!)
Featuring speakers from
Education, child care, business, housing, prevention services, health, children’s healthcare, disability rights, community development, the arts and more!
Public Citizens for Children and Youth, Delaware Valley Association for the Education of Young Children, ActionAIDS, Pathways PA, Pennsylvania Head Start Association, Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition, Pennsylvania Council of Churches, Greater Phila. Cultural Alliance, PA ACORN, Media Arts Council, Maternity Care Coalition, Childspace CDI, Pennsylvania Child Care Association, Mental Health Association of Southeastern PA and more…
(List in formation. To co-sponsor or for questions, email@example.com, 215-563-5848 ext. 12)
Let YOUR voice be heard about the impact of these cuts on the future of your communities!
There HAS to be a better way! Join us in telling our legislative leaders to FIND ONE!
Will YOUR community be affected by the state’s proposed cuts?
Drug Education & Law Enforcement 100%
Violence Prevention 100%
Police on Patrol 100%
Safe Neighborhoods 100%
Inmate Education 21%
CHIP Program 10,000Children Cut
Cancer Programs 57%
HIV/AIDS Programs 25%
Regional Cancer Centers 100%
Tourette Syndrome 100%
Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia 100%
Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh 100%
Fox Chase Cancer Institute 100%
Burn foundation 100%
Pre K Counts 50%
Head Start 50%
Adult Literacy 27%
Charter Schools 12%
High School Reform 75%
University of PA 100%
Pa College of Optometry 100%
University of the Arts 100%
Science and Math Education 100%
Customized Job Training 54%
Business Retention and Expansion 100%
Small Business Development Centers 62%
Minority Business Devpt Agency 100%
Housing & Redevelopment Assistance 100%
Self-Employment Assistance, Family Savings Program, PA Community Devpt. Bank 100%
Arts & Culture 100%
Pennsylvania Public Libraries 50%
Autism Intervention & Services 24%
To send a message to your state legislators urging them to reject these cuts –
even if it requires a temporary tax increase — click here.
Public Citizens for Children and Youth
215-563-5848, ext. 12
I think state-operated developmental centers enable abuse and neglect. I think the system is corrupt.
I recently worked at a State of Ohio developmental center as a director of nursing. I had been there for four years. I always had a psychiatric nursing background but I thought I had found my “calling” working with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
I grew up with my Uncle Greg– he has Down’s Sydrome. My Grandma Opal had raised him with much love and devotion during a time when most people born like Greg went to institutions. I always said that my Grandma and Uncle Greg gave me the gift of empathy and my kind heart….I always looked out for the so-called “underdogs” in this world.
When I first started my job as a nursing supervisor, I was asked to spend an evening on one of the 16-bed cottage areas. I witnessed disturbing behavior my very first evening. A TPW (direct-care staff) was visiting from another area. When she arrived on the area, another TPW looked at a client sitting in a recliner and said, “Get up”– in a very mean manner. He was made to get up so the visiting TPW would have a place to sit down. I could not believe it! I thought– were we not in the individuals home?? Also, I couldn’t believe that the TPWs were sitting around and behaving in that manner. I thought that they would have at least “put on a show” for a new visiting supervisor.
I would later discover that the TPWs were very brazen in their behavior. It would become clear to me how they came to act in that manner.
The TPWs are in Labor Unions. Many of them are acuused of abuse or neglect and the Union gets their jobs back. I learned that one TPW was witnessed punching a client by a state surveyor and got his job back!!
During my first year, I learned from other members of management that they never go to one particular cottage because they are “afraid” of what they might witness. I really couldn’t believe it!
I learned that any new TPW reporting abuse or neglect would soon be let go or the other TPWs would make their jobs so difficult that they had to resign.
I was amazed– what a dysfunctional culture….and how it was enabled!!
I had a nurse report one time that she was concerned because a client that had returned from eye surgery and was placed on 1:1 supervision. She reported the TPWs were not watching him. The nurse was made to look like a “trouble-maker” and a “liar”. I told her that I believed her. She told me when she had expressed concern over the client’s safety, one TPW said he didn’t care if the client died or not (this was the same TPW that was witnessed punching a client during the survey). I was disturbed by his comment. I encouraged the nurse to also report what the TPW had said. I supported the nurse and went with her to the investigating administrator— he told her that perhaps she should go home and “sleep on it” and that maybe she really didn’t hear the TPW say that. He then took her written statement and shook it in the air and said, “We can make this go away”. I couldn’t believe it! I was so embarrassed. I was an administrator trying to support an employee in doing the right thing and this is what was happening!! The administrator told me that he would talk to the TPW and let him know that if he made that comment that it wasn’t acceptable. I was very doubtful at that point that any “documented discussion” with that TPW even took place.
The nurse told me she didn’t even want to report anything because the TPWs on that area would “make her job hell”. She soon left the center to work at another place.
Executive staffing once received an anonymous letter from an employee detailing wrongful events on the so-called “bad cottage”. I remember they spent much time attempting to figure out the author of the letter. They thought that it was a new nurse that I had hired. I thought it rather odd that they never addressed any of the issues or concerns…just wanted to pinpoint the author. It only showed me that it appeared to be true– speak out and report abuse and neglect and you are done.
And it was not only from a TPW level.
We had a new client that was once admitted to the so-called “bad cottage”. She was higher functioning. She had a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder. I wondered at the time of her admission as to why they admitted her there because it seemed to me that she would probably report abuse. I was right….she reported a male TPW (same TPW witnessed punching a client in front of a state surveyor) was kicking a blind client while he was seated on the floor telling him to get up. She was immediately transferred to another cottage! Even the psychologist used her diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder and said that she had a history of lying. I could not believe it!!
One of the administrators asked one of the nurses to do a “body-check” on the client that had been reportedly “kicked”. She was told to do the check–look for bruises and any injuries– but she was not told as to why she was checking him. It made me wonder if she did find anything suspicious if they would have done anything at all…my guess would be no. Why didn’t they make an incident report out that a client reported physical abuse and investigate it?? But I soon learned that any official investigation was a waste of time because TPWs would cover for each other…and if they didn’t cover, then their life was made uneasy until they resigned or administration found a way to let them go.
Right before I left- a TPW got her job back after being released for verbal abuse….another client’s Mother/guardian reported her…yes– the TPWs are so brazen they do anything in front of supervisors, surveyors and/or guardians. The Union got her job back and she received a years back-pay! She had yelled at a client, “If you piss or shit your pants one more time I’m sending you to a nursing home!!”. The client had also reported she hit him. Another client was bothered by the act of verbal abuse and he even said he feared this woman.
So- I was learning that if you were a TPW reporting abuse– you were either let go or the others made work so difficult that you resigned. If you were a client reporting abuse, you were made to look like a liar and tranferred to another cottage.
As an administrator, I would soon learn I was not “immune” from the corrupt system.
I recently was told I had to resign or have my position revoked. I had reported to a central office executive that my boss, the superintendent had “hid” a client in an activity center during our last survey.
The superintendent had started about a year before I resigned. I had high hopes that he would come to the center and rescue us from the corruption. He had been there for about two months and our state surveyors came to the center. I had a nurse call me and question as to why one of our new clients was being made to stay in an activity room all day and not allowed to go back to his cottage/home. She had needed to check his blood pressure. I thought our superintendent could not know what was going on. I was wrong. When I questioned him in front of his assistant, he asked me if I wanted the “bull-shit” answer or the “real” answer. I told him I would take the “real” answer. He said, “We are hiding him”. I could not believe it!!! We had just received this young man with autism just a week ago. We had decided to integrate him on a cottage area. I had been told he was doing well. We established a routine for him…which is very important with individuals with autism. I had sat in an admitting team with this young man’s Dad– he had lived at home all of his life with a loving family but then he started to become aggressive and his parents had to place him at the center. As you can imagine– it was a very difficult time for his parents. His Dad had looked at me when he left the center that day and said, “please- take good care of my son”. And now we were “hiding” him from state surveyors??? Making him go to an activity center room from 7:30 each morning until 5:30 each evening (or until the last surveyor had left)??The superintendent said, “The TPWs work hard all year long and we don’t want to take a chance at taking a feather out of their cap”. I thought, “Who are we serving…the TPWs or the clients????” I could not believe it!! I went over to the activity center and took the young man’s blood pressure since they would not allow him to go to his home. He kept getting up and trying to put on his coat and the TPW kept saying, “Sit back down– sit back down”. I sat in my office tearful that night. I kept thinking about my Uncle Greg. The superintendent came back to my office that evening. He knew I was upset. He said, “How can you do things differently tomorrow?” He thought I should have disciplined a nurse for not wanting to go to the activity center to take the clients blood pressure. I couldn’t believe he would even say that to me! I wanted to ask him how he could do things differently to better serve the clients….and not the TPWs.
The new superintendent starting doing things that made me wonder if he even cared about the clients. He seemed to want to make a name for himself as a leader…not an advocate…and he was turning out to be a Narcissistic leader at that….demoting certain employees without just reason. At no time did I ever hear him say that he was doing what was in the best interest of the clients.
He paid big money for the materials and labor to have a OSU room, 50s diner and a theatre room done. He told me it would make the center look good. He never once said that he thought the clients deserved to have a nice place to go for leisure activities….just that it would make the center “look good”.
It was becoming clear to me that the developmental center was not what I thought it was…..and I was told by one employee that I wasn’t aware of what really goes on..she said clients were being abused and it was covered up. She said that many of them become dehydrated because the TPWs don’t want to give them too much to drink because they would have to be changed more often. One nurse confided in me and told me she could hardly bare to watch the clients being treated so poorly…being cursed at on a Saturday morning and being told to get back in their rooms…like dogs…like animals. One nurse also told me that a client that was known to regurgitate food was kept in a fenced back yard area all day long during the summer. When I would make nursing rounds, I would see him sitting on a swing in the yard…and when I would return hours later, he would still be sitting there.
One good employee told me she will not really know how the system has made her so dysfucntional until she is able to retire and is out of the system. She told me she was proud that I spoke up for what was right even though I lost my job. She said she could not afford to lose her job because she could not readily find another one in this area.
My boss that retired year ago…a very good hearted and loving woman..said that she thought by working at the center she was supporting the abuse and neglect and exploitation of the develpmentally disabled. She thinks they are also exploited because the workshops are making money for labor that the TPWs really do.
I think the TPWs behavior are being enabled by a corrupt system. They are brazen…they know they can get their jobs back. The system keeps burnt-out workers because the state pays good money and benefits unlike community group homes where the turn-over is high due to low wages.
The center keeps abusive TPWs because of the flawed system. One center even placed video cameras in their day areas. A TPW was so brazen that he was seen placing a towel over the camera.
I think adminsitration enables the corrupt system as well because the state pays such good wages for their positions, too. I know most administrators that turn the other cheek because they know they need their job….or the money becomes the “root of all evil”.
The system is corrupt all the way to the top. When I reported the superintendent “hid” a client during survey, his boss– the administrator over the ten state-operated developmental centers– told me that some centers often fear a “condition-out” during a survey. I could not believe that she defended his behavior!! She placed me on speaker phone the very next day telling me my position was being revoked. She assured me that there would be no retaliation.
She told me she had also received a complaint from another member of management but it was an anonymous email. She said she did not like to receive anonymous complaints. The manager, after seeing what happened to me, was so thankful that he did not come forth. He had concerns too— but he needed his job to support his family…and he is close to retirement. Managers are exempt employees with no Union protection. My position was called unclassified exempt or at “the appointing authorities pleasure”….it became clear to me that one did not “displease” the appointing authority if you wanted to keep your job.
As for me…it was hurtful that I was stripped of my position for only expressing concerns at the center…concerns for the safety and well-being of the clients….and that I was placed on administrative leave and escorted out the door for only expressing concerns…and TPWs that abuse a client can either keep their job or get their job back (and receive back-pay).
However, I wouldn’t have lasted much longer. I could not rightfully be a part of an institution that went against everything that I believe in…or an institution where I would never place my Uncle Greg.
Where is the justice in that system?? And again– the very people that the system is supposed to serve–the individuals with intellectual and developmental diabilities are the victims.
I think the developmental centers should be investigated because of this corrupt system. I think the high wages paid to state workers and the Labor Unions contribute to the corrupt and dysfunctional sytstem….and it is our state tax dollars that is contributing to the system as well. The developmentally disabled are the victims of the system. They deserve so much better care…especially from a state-operated facility!
It saddens my heart for all of the individuals at the developmental center. I pray for them each and every day. I also pray for the good employees at the developmental center that truly care and do kind things for the individuals.
Andrea, I am researching Columbus Ohio State School history for a biography of one of its residents who was able to get out of there after confinement from age 13 to 21. His story is compelling but I can find nothing about the school at 1601 N Broad Street in Columbus in the 1950-60 period. I would love to talk with you. I have one interview with another nurse that collaborates part of his story.
He did it because if he hadn’t let go, then Chris would have drowned the both of them because he didn’t know what to do. It was for both of their own goods.
Very interesting topic,please send more of this in the future.
All state institutions arent necessarily bad, I know of community homes as well that have abuse. I have passed by community homes where you see inside of the homes naked individuals running thru the house, or you never see them out. There are people in institutions as well as the community that abuse the people they serve. I have a nephew that lived in the community, who was not treated well, that ended up in the institution that i work in. He has since though been moved back into the community after we got his medications straighten out. I dont think anyone should have to live in a institution all there lives if they can be rehabilitated or habilitated into the community. Also, one reason some guardians and families dont want there family member in community settings, is when a individual that lives in the community has extreme property destruction or physical abuse he is arrested. I know this for sure , one of my individuals I served was discharged, he started having problems at his home, the next thing I know he was arrested for physical abuse , and is now back at the institution. We are currently working on getting his medication in order. so he can return to the community. When he was at the home alot of medications were use to control behaviors instead of using intervention plans. I can understand why people dont like institutions because of past and present treatments, but that’s everywhere, someboby not doing right.
I’m glad to see that persons with intellectual disabilities are valued members of society who seek fulfillment in living everyday lives and that we should support them and their families as they strive to live self-deternmined lives & realize their own personal aspirations. Now all we need to do in PA is have the funding follow that message, and not be bias toward institutional care.
Thank you for posting this checklist. I will be printing and taking it with me,when my advocate and I go see my daughters new placement for next year.
What a great post. Very timely reminder for me that no matter how frustrating it gets,the out comes are really for the greater good.
I LOVED this blog!!!! Servered as a reminder to me that this is a matter of extreem importance that we need to attend to for our 2 special needs kids.
Thank you for the comment, that is exactly why we posted it. Sometimes we all need reminders.
Great post!!! I will be checking out that web site. Since both my kids are on the spectrum
That is maddness!!!!!
Everything Andrea said was true. I worked for 11 years at a Developmental Center. While there are a few good staff, the majority are corrupt, lazy, thieving, lying abusers inflicting horrific injuries on the individuals. I have literally hundreds of horror stories about this facility. Everything negative is always ignored and the public never hears anything but how hard working the TPW’s are and how important the facility is due to employing a large number of people in a poor area. The staff there only earn 10 x’s what they deserve. There are definitely kind staff, staff who are cruel can be kind too, and most have a “favorite” that get special treatment. However, the individuals are horribly violent and rarely controlled by medication (meds are deemed their own type of abuse since the meds are “forced” on the. individual). This is detrimental and dangerous to the staff and individual. *Sigh* I could go on for hours.
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Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate
you writing this article and also the rest of the site is also very good.
Chandler, I’m excited to read more about you and your blog. Good luck to you!!
Welcome Chandler! I hope you have a good time blogging for ARC Alliance. Looking forward to reading your posts.
Hi Chandler. I was your PT about 10 years ago at Easter Seals. I have many special memories of you including you learning to drive a power wheelchair (you almost ran me over a few times), walking in your gait trainer, and spending circle time with you practicing sitting on a bench. You were a very intelligent and adorable preschooler! Best wishes to you and my best to your family. I have never forgotten you! Hope to see you around the Arc. Aimee
I am doing good, how about you?
I work on Wednesdays, and I am enjoying my new job. I am still running people over. Ha ha. Hopefully I will see you around but if not, have a happy holiday and a happy new year.
Great start Chandler! I’m looking forward to reading your blog.
Nice blog. I am looking forward to your next post.
Welcome to the agency!! Hope you enjoy it here.
Keep up the posts dude! The blog is awesome, what a great idea!
I was so happy to see that you are blogging! You sound very excited about the ipad, I am sure you will love it. Please make a posting about your favorite apps after you check some out. It will be interesting to see which ones help you the most. I hope you and your family have a great Thanksgiving!
Hi Chandler: It’s Mrs. Spagnoli (hall duty princess of the cafeteria…haha). You are “all that” I’m so proud of you that you’re blogging…and it seems to me that you’re so savvy with it!! I now get what you were telling me on Monday in the hallway…about going to court and losing. I am so sorry Chandler. You are so worthy of having a chair that could help you stand. Don’t give up hope; someone out there may have the answer to the needed to get you that chair. Enjoy the i-pad. Who are you sharing it with? Have a great week; next week we start the countdown for your next long break!! Mrs. S.
Great post Chandler. Keep us updated on your vacation!
Have a great vacation! Hope you fill us all in on your experiences when you get back.
Chandler this blog is awesome. Keep it up!!
Hi Chandler, just saw your post. It love it. Can’t wait until I here from you. We are leaving for FL the last day in Feb and come home the last day in Apr. This senior sounds really great. Let me know how it goes. Love ya, mommom
I’m soo jealous that you get to go tubing!!
I think you forgot to mention that you are great as kissing-up. Have fun at work today!
I had to make up for being late to music this morning!!!!
Nice blog Chandler!!!! Very funny! Next time I see you before gym class in the morning I will remind you HOW MUCH YOU LIKE IT!
See you in Science with lots of rocks and minerals:)))))
That sounds like one stinky problem Chandler! So glad I didn’t that weekend! I guess I’ll have to take back that pet skunk I got you for your birthday! I love reading your blogs. You are becoming quite the writer. Keep up the great work! Love Aunt Donna
I believe you have a real talent for journalism! Your blog was very expressive, informative and witty. I enjoyed reading it and can’t wait for your next article.
Thank you for asking me to read it. it gives me a better sense of what you enjoy and what you like to do.
I’m glad you enjoy school and especially reading because there is a big world out there and there is alot to learn and read about. I like to read too!
Have a good weekend!
Take care, Mrs. T.
Thank you for a great day thank you for reading my blog.
Hope to see you soon Chandler
I loved your explanation of how you and Satchel work together. It was very clear and easy to understand. Your subtle humor cracks me up, such as when you were talking about wheel chairs and tough terrain. The Arc Alliance and your boss sound wonderful. They are just as lucky to have such a hardworking and interested employee there with them. Keep up the great blogging on the new computer!
Love, Aunt Donna
Thanks again love Chandler
Love you lots your favorite Chandler
You always seem to write the most interesting things about people. Thanks for the shout out. You can be my press agent. Best wishes as you move forward however 41 days of school means 41 days of school. You need to finish as strong as you started.
You will me missed next year!! Who will I talk to in the morning on your way to the “dreaded” gym class???
You are an AMAZING young man and I have learned so much from you in the past two years! Keep your positive attitude always – it inspires us all!
I will miss your smile!
Sounds like a fun day!
Chandler you are an inspiration to me. I work with a student that has l/DD also and I am excited to get back to school in the fall to help him discover a passion such as this one that you have discovered.
Great job Chandler, I am so proud of you doing this one all on your own. You are an amazing young man. Love Mom
Hello Chan man, I love to read your blog each week, I love to take you to movies at the movie tavern I wish we could go more often. They are great seats for you and me. You are an amazing young man and are becoming a very independent man. love you always Mom
That’s one heck of a story! A bird told me that your first wish already came true. As far as the second, did you not get a new one at school? I know the red man with a beard will not disappoint. Merry Christmas CB!
one word!!! I married a woman from Wellesley!! Very clever wise guy. My brain hurts after that one.
Feel free to provide a summary. I heard that you’re pretty good at providing a synopsis or 2.
Please sign me up for the June 14th blood drive.
Thank you, Linda Chesney
FYI: The time stamp on the website is 5 hours ahead….I wrote on the web at 1:33 p.m. and it stamped it for 6:33 p.m.
Just in case there is ever a need for the correct time to be noted.
Hi Chandler, I found your definition of a developmental disability interesting. I never thought of it in those terms. I am glad you have such a strong support system!
Yikes. I wish I didn’t read this blog. Your least favorite class is mine. Sigh.
Everyone has to face challenges. Fortunately we don’t have to face them alone!
It is inspiring to watch others face challenges, and to remain strong and determined. You are inspiring to me. It’s not easy to take your opinions and thoughts and put them down in words for the world to read, but you do it beautifully. Thank you for sharing.
I like your Blog! Very Nice! How are you doing? I’m doing great! I’m still teaching at the 5/6 grade center. Mrs. Brenda Haydt
Chandler, your attitude has improved tremendously since I first met you 6 years ago! Keep up the hard work and don’t ever let anything hold you back from your goals. Set them high, too…no slackers allowed.
I didn’t know until recently, that you have a blog. I enjoyed reading it. You are a very good writer and you express your feelings very well.
I enjoyed the blog about the skier and I did see the part about Alex and his brother on TV. They are both amazing people. And one would probably not be as successful, in art or skiing, without the other! And, without the fabulous support system, they would not be as good, either. We all need help and encouragement in our lives no matter what!
You certainly do have a fabulous support group!
We ALL need help and encouragement now and then.
Thank you for blogging. Keep on writing, and let me know when you post again.
So great to see your blog! I had no idea you were blogging. This is really exciting, and I’m quite impressed with this post. I really appreciate your philosophy for life. If only more people embraced that idea, the world would be a better place. Don’t you think?
Please say HI to your parents and brothers for me. I’m looking forward to catching up and reading your other posts. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep up the GREAT work! I’m extremely proud of you!
What a great point you make, Chandler, about everyone having different strengths and needs. Sometimes it is not easy for people to absorb that idea, but it is true. When I saw the video clip of Frederick and Alex at my house, I could not help but get teary eyed. My two sons asked me why I was sad and I told them that I was so happy to see two brothers treating each other so kindly. I can only hope that they would treat each other that same way, no matter how different they are from one another. I am so proud of you, Chandler! You are an awesome student and an awesome young man. Keep up the good work!
You Insprire ME Chandler!!!! We miss you over here at the 9th grade center! Come visit us!!!!!
Great post as always – keep it up!!!
Chandler you are an inspiration to everyone you meet. Many years ago you taught me to be patient and understanding. You also taught me that no matter what, a smile that comes from the heart can make all the difference in the world. So you see, you are not only a student, you are also a teacher.
Your blogs are AWESOME!!! I’m so proud of you and your accomplishments! You are quite an inspirational young man and I’m so glad you are doing well! I have very fond memories of you from Royersford Elementary School and it’s hard to believe that you are in high school already. Please give my best to your brothers and your parents! I look forward to reading up on your blogs! Way to go, Chandler!!!
I was looking at parent resources in Montgomery County and stumbled upon your blog. This one made me laugh. Hope you don’t mind, I passed along the link to some of my colleagues.
Sorry to hear about your teeth. As a parent of a child with a disability and also working in the special education field, I can sympathize with your ‘not so routine’ routine. Yes, we definitely take for granted the little things in life that are sometimes overwhelming to individuals with disabilities. And, no, it is NOT cool to have to have your mother undress and bathe you. But, hey, think how WE feel! Lol.
Great Blog and even better editing. Keep up the good work!
Chandler, continue to inspire others through your forum, but more powerfully through your efforts and actions. Remember, eyes are always upon us and we do not choose who looks to us as role models. Allow fear of failure to be your ultimate motivation to become GREAT and to silent naysayers! Research the “Little eyes upon you” poem. Nice Job CB!
Amazing video and commentary. You are a very good writer (and comic!) Other than the reporter’s mentioning Frederic ‘suffers from’ CP (the media just doesn’t get it), I enjoyed watching it. Thanks for sharing.
We do lots of training on Presuming Competence – assuming individuals with disabilities CAN do any task, instead of automatically thinking they can’t. It begins with people-first language — putting the person before the disability. e.g., you are not the ‘CP kid’ or ‘wheelchair-bound student’. You are a young man with CP who happens to use a wheelchair. We ALL have special needs, and they come in all types – otherwise, IOS devices, cosmetology, or psychotherapy wouldn’t be the billion dollar industries they are!
Hi Chandler –
I wanted you to know how much I enjoyed this video, the story about the brothers and your comments. I don’t remember hearing the story about Alex and Frederick during the Olympics; I’m so glad you shared it. My secret dream has always been to win a gold medal so I really love stories about the Olympics! Plus, it’s always nice to hear what motivates people and think about who inspired you and who you might be inspiring. Keep up the good work! Amy
Chandler – your post is very inspiring. It motivates me to get through difficult days!
Great job on writing your blogs! I enjoyed reading about you and who inspires you. I look forward to reading more of your posts. How often will you post your blog?
Chandler, Very nice writing. I enjoyed reading it . I look forward to your next blog. Keep up the good work.
Very informative blog. Remember that those people around you who drive you a little crazy can be the most inspirational! Your positive outlook and sense of humor (that most of all) are motivating to me when I see you in school. Keep those inspirational and informative stories coming.
This was an extremely interesting and inspiring blog! I especially agree with the line, ” Well, you know how they say you only live once and you should take every day as if it was your last.” I hope you are well and I look forward to future posts.
…hey Chandler, my other email was “cut off”. Anyway, you are my new hero. You inspire me!! My hope for you is that you rise to your greatness; from what I’m gathering by the way you write…you are on your way!! Stay well, keep writing and reaching out to others, and for heaven sake…THINK SPRING and warm weather thoughts!!!!! We need all we can get!!!!! Mrs. Spagnoli 9GC
Your Blogs are fabulous! It sounds like you are doing well. I am sure your blog is an inspiration to so many. Keep up the good work! I will look forward to reading more of your Blogs.
Mrs. Preston, Royersford Elementary School
Chandler, thanks for sharing your thoughts. You talk about all the people who inspire you and I wonder if you know whom you inspire. I bet there are more folks than you might realize who are inspired by you!
What a fantastic idea, Chandler! Our staff had a training on providing guided assistance to a blind person. Each had a turn to be blindfolded and have to navigate our way out of one room into another. Wow, what a humbling experience! People tend to do these ‘a day in his shoes’ type activities for disability awareness with younger students. I agree it is equally, if not more, important when kids are teens and young adults. All middle and high schoolers experience many changes – physically, emotionally, and socially. It is not an easy transition from childhood to adulthood. What they don’t get is – layer on top of all this turmoil a disability! We all really do take things for granted.
I love your insight about challenges and your constant strive to better yourself! You inspire and drive me to be. I hope your teacher knows how much you appreciate him! He’s a very lucky teacher to have such a hard working, caring and insightful student!!! Love Aunt Donna
Chandler: Your comments are very important. Thank you for sharing valuable information regarding people with disabilities. One of the things that I encourage everyone to understand is the “People First Language.” Instead of a learning disabled student, we say, “a student with a learning disability.” We are all people first. The disability does not define the person. Also, I prefer to think of a disability as a unique ability. I think your blog and work on it is fantastic. Keep up the great work.
I totally agree that young people today need to see the world through the eyes of someone who lives with a disability. When I was in grad school for PT, I had an amazing professor who stressed the importance of the person, not the disability. We had to spend an entire day as if we had a disability of our choice. Ironically, I chose CP, and although I was not in a wheelchair, I used Loftstrand crutches for the entire day. We also had to chose an activity to experience. Not sure what or if I was thinking clearly at the time, but I chose to go to the Art Museum. Rocky did not use Loftstrand crutches, that’s for sure! I was physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted by day’s end. Never had I felt so many eyes on me, or had people rush to help me, when I knew I could do something myself and did not need help. I learned a lot that day about myself and about all who live with disabilities on a daily basis. More proof that what is on the inside counts the most!
Keep up the good work,
Thank you for hosting this!
Three tickets for 11:00 am, Mom- Diane Sorg, son Jaymes Beckwith and Dad-Ronald Beckwith
Thank you for hosting this wonderful family event!
Please reserve 3 tickets for Justin DiFilippo and his grandparents for the 11:00 Ride.
Please reserve 4 tickets for Dominic Testa, his twin sister, and his parents for the 11:00 ride. I tried to book online but it wouldn’t go through! Thanks so much, I’m very excited and I know my kids will be too!!
Please reserve 3 spots–two adults and one child.
Please reserve three spots, two adults and one child.
Chandler, thanks for the invitation ot read your blog. I will check it periodically to see how things are going. They are very well written, maybe a career where you write? Your sentence structure is very nice and you have a nice way of expressing yourself.
We have done this the past 2 years and it is a wonderful event. Thank you so much for hosting this!
Great blog. Yes, we ALL have challenges and all learn differently. Last year I didn’t need reading glasses to see. This year…ugh! Teachers and other staff need to work collaboratively with the student and parents to come up with accommodations that will make your learning style successful for you, and your needs met. Sounds like you have had some very good teachers and paraprofessionals who have done just that. Keep up the good work!
Hello Chandler this is a very good article I enjoyed reading it and look forward to reading more
Porter, Penny, Danielle and RC will attend. Thanks!
4 to attend
Pat and Pat hunter and Kurt will attend
Miss seeing you in the office!!!! Enjoy your summer and stay out of the heat.
Hi Chan, I work a lot this summer but my best time was going to the movies with you. I think you could visit different shop of the same thing, like yogurt and give your opinion on how is was how handicap accessible they where.
Hi! I loved reading your blog, this is such a great idea! I’m so glad that your summer was a success! Mine was good too, but I worked a lot, so that wasn’t too fun. But one place that I did love going to was the beach with Melissa! We spent the whole day there, and it was a blast!
I read that you were teaching other students this summer! It looks like you’re following Aunt Donna and Aunt Aly’s footsteps…and hopefully mine in a few years! The fact that you held your breath for 45 seconds is so amazing to me. I would defiantly NOT be able to do that, so good for you!
As far as a suggestion for a new topic for next week… Maybe you could talk about what you “typical week” is like!
I can’t wait to keep updated with your blog! Talk to you soon!
Hi chan! Your summer sounded exciting and a lot of fun! I worked a lot this summer like your mom did but when I had free time I did some fun things as well. The most memorable time I had this summer was going to the Philadelphia Zoo!! There were so many cool animals to see! My favorite animal that I saw there was the tiger! It was so fluffy and cute and I wanted to pet it but I knew I could not because it might have attacked me! I have a question for you, have you gone to the zoo? And if so what was your favorite animal that you saw there?
Great to see you posting again! Also glad to hear your realization about teaching. It’s not as easy as it looks…at least to do a good job. I had a great summer, too! My favorite place to visit was the Strasburg Rail Road with my grandson. He was so excited. Send me your email address and I’ll send you a link to a Shutterfly book that we wrote about the day. Make it a GREAT school year…the choice is YOURS!
My favorite thing to do this summer was to swim in my pool. I also drove to Myrtle Beach SC to visit family for a few days. Glad to see that you are so active an involved in your community Chandler.
Hey Chan! Your summer sounds like fun! I had a baby at the end of the summer- so we spent the summer getting ready to have Emmy and spending extra time with Carter! So exciting to be starting a new school year! How have your first couple weeks been? Any favorite subjects so far? If you liked learning about the Terracotta Army, have your thought about researching other historical sites?
Hi Chandler glad to see you back at work again. I worked the entire summer (to much if you ask me), but I am going to Williamsburg in October. I am also glad you had a good time at the Variety Club this past summer. As for a topic to blog about how about doing something on the Senior Class at Spring ford and how they are getting prepared to graduate this year.
I spent this summer working for Sabra Dipping Co. I got to make hummus all summer, I had never had it before and it turns out it was delicious. I think for a later blog post you could go try lots of crazy new foods (like eel or octopus) and write all about the experience. I’m sure you’ll be able to find all sorts of delicious foods that the rest of us can then try later!
We were away last week, and I missed this post. Another GREAT job, and you’ve offered a lot of good advice. A single drop in a bucket might not amount to much, but taken together they can fill it to overflowing.
I took my first read today and realize that I will continue to return. You have some great thoughts on here and I am very interested in becoming a return reader! I think your campaign sounds very interesting and would be willing to help if I can. I can tell you that when you shared that Haagen-Dazs story in class, it made everyone’s day as it was such a wonderful act that it inspires others to do the same. Additionally, I read the first post from the beginning of September and thought the facts about the Terracotta Army were very interesting. I look forward to your future posts!!
Hi everyone, it’s my first visit at this website, and post is truly fruitful in support of me, keep up posting these articles or reviews.
Chandler! Great to see you are keeping up with blogging. Hope you and Scott are doing well!
What a great question, my normal is getting up everyday and taking care of my family.
When I hear the word “normal”, I often think of “average” or “common”. In other words, when considering a diverse population of people, the average of sizes or shapes would be “normal”. Or, an ability that is shared by the majority would be “normal”. However, in all cases it is important to remember that you have a diverse population. Normal can help provide a central design target, but there must also be flexibility in order to have inclusion.
This is a great scenario that Scott gave you! Personally, this really relates to what I am currently learning about at school. Being a second year Early childhood/special education major, we are learning all about how to treat our students, and different techniques we can use in our classroom, especially working in the Special ed. field. One thing that I would love to share that I learned, is that we should always put the person before the disability! For example, the right way to say it would be: “this little boy who has a disability,” and the wrong way would be: “the disabled boy…” I thought that was very interesting, and that we should all watch how we phrase things! Also keeping on topic about the scenario, I believe that it is very important for the teachers to treat everyone equally. And like you said, it doesn’t matter if they’re disabled or not. Some teachers have their “favorites,” but it is important for them to not show what/how they feel about their students as far as liking and disliking more or less.
Everytime I step foot in a classroom, I will now think more in depth about how to treat everyone equally, and give each student the same amount of help and care as needed.
Thanks for this life/classroom lesson!
That is some great insight, I could not have said it any better than that. That train of thought will carry you far in life so please do not change a single thing about you.
That is one of the greatest statement I have ever read. You are well bless and a beautiful person
Although I can thankfully not relate to this blog for myself, I have definitely seen bullying take place in school (especially middle and high school). It is a horrible thing, especially after reading the stats, it’s very surprising… Or am I really surprised…? I also believe it is important for teachers to be aware of these stats and be on a look out for changing behaviors and attitudes in students. Maybe by having more awareness will bring these heartbreaking numbers down!
I loved your blog and am grateful that you have never been bullied! This is such an important subject these days and one that many people think they know about but really don’t have all of their facts. The facts you state are so important and so sad at the same time! I hope too that it will change.
There are so many thoughts that I have it’s hard to pick. We talk about this in our school.
Some people don’t do anything because they don’t think an action or words said are bullying. Understanding bullying is the first step.
True bullying is made up of 3 components:
* It is intended to hurt
* It is repeated (the same person is repeatedly bullying either 1 person or many different people but they keep bullying)
* There is an imbalance of power (due to age, physical size, group vs individual, boy to girl just to name a few)
In bullying there are also three groups or individual:
* the bully
* the target
* the bystander
People always think of the first 2 yet fail to realize the power of:
1. standing up for yourself and
2. the role of the bystander
John Quinones has a show “What Would You Do”. He focuses in on the bystander. While the situations may not be founded bullying cases he is bringing to light to power of the bystander and our duty to help each other especially the targets of the world!!
I love you and am so proud of all that your are accomplishing! Keep it up Chanman!!
Love Aunt Donna
Hi Chan, I love the idea of a flash mob! Fun, attention getting and makes a lasting impression if done right. You know what my holiday plans are and yes Pollyanna was a blast. Keep up the great writing. Keep striving to make a difference! I love you,
Hi, Chandler, and happy belated holidays! I hope yours were relaxing and fun. I’m a little behind in your blogs, so I will combine a few of them in my comments – sorry!
This blog – you end with, ‘For now, my name is Chandler…’ What will your name be in the future? LOL.
Disability Awareness – excellent blog and campaign! It’s a long process, so know you are making small strides, even if you DO only get to one person. Obviously, I am also on a quest to educate the public (and sometimes even family) on disabilities. I like the woman’s comment about Person First Language. It all boils down to respect and not being afraid of what you don’t know. My generation didn’t have the pleasure of growing up being classmates, friends, or even around many individuals with disabilities. They weren’t a visible, participating part of society, through no fault of their own. Things are getting a little better, slowly. At least you see people with disabilities in (some) workplaces, on TV shows, in movies, and celebrities are more forthcoming about theirs. One small step I take is educating people on how offensive the ‘R’ word is. Society has come to use it as a synonym for ‘stupid’ or ‘hideous.’ In that same vein, individuals are referred to having an ‘intellectual disability,’ rather than being ‘mentally retarded.’ This changed with Rosa’s Law last year. A side note – the terminology we use is ‘Down syndrome,’ not ‘Down’s.’ It was named after Dr. John Langdon Down, who discovered a physical difference in some children with what was then called mental retardation. The medical term is Trisomy 21 (‘Tri’ meaning three – three chromosomes, versus two; ‘somy’ relating to chromosomes; and ’21’ – the extra chromosome occurs on the 21st pair.)
Keep up the awesome work, Chandler! You are a perfect example of what people with different ABILITIES can do.
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