Monday, November 25, 2013

Speaking is different than writing!

Speaking is much different than writing because when someone has to speak to a group of people they might prefer death. Some others love talking and they do it for a living.

People who are pubic speakers can show us that they love talking to a group of people by the sounds in their voice. We can hear lots of different tones in a person’s voice. Some people are better at pubic speaking than others but we can learn to become more skilled at vocal communication. Talking about a subject that you are passionate about is fulfilling for people.

Writing is a tool that most of us have used from a young age to adulthood. People use this tool for their work in a variety of ways. They might have to write letters and create contact lists or take on bigger tasks, like proofreading and editing.

People can tell a story in their writing and show us how much they enjoy it by the words they use to explain things when they write a novel or a biography.

There are some people that can't handle sitting down to write because they find it a challenge to get started and to figure out what to say. Some writers get great ideas in the middle of the night and get up and start writing.

Writing can be a wonderful tool if you use a journal. It can help you sort out your thoughts and feelings and is one way to get out your frustrations.

If you are an excellent at writing and suck at pubic speaking, you can be a writer for someone else who is an excellent public speaker. If you are good at both and you enjoy writing and speaking, this is a bonus.

The ability to write well does not make someone a good speaker and a good speaker doesn’t have to be a great writer, but it helps.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Sleep Deprivation

People can have problems with sleeping in the night. In fact, we all need up to 6 hours of sleep or more per night.   Everybody knows someone who has this problem from time to time, so I decided to blog about Sleep Deprivation. The big deal is that there are a lot of sicknesses associated with sleep deprivation.  I want to share some of what I found out.

An article on by Camille Peri and reviewed by James Beckerman MD (2012), talks about “things to hate about losing sleep”.  I learned that sleep deprivation has a negative effect on things like memory, appearance, and even the ability to lose weight.

It is pretty hard to keep your mind on your work when your body wants to sleep.  It can be very dangerous to drive when you haven't had a good night sleep.  Sometimes it can affect your leisure time as well.  For example you might discover that you are falling asleep during a movie or not having the energy to play your favorite sport.   

Some people might think using a sleep aid is the answer but, if you start using sleeping pills you might become dependent on them and this can negatively affect your life too.
Camille Peri highlights many other things that increase in risk as you reduce your sleep like
heart disease, heart attack, irregular heart beat and even heart failure.  Included in this list is an increased risk of high blood pressure, stroke and diabetes.

So if you know someone who has a sleep problem, be a good friend and suggest they go to a doctor and get some advice.  It is essential for their health and you want them to be around for a long time.  It could be a small remedy for many bigger problems and make their life a lot more enjoyable.

I also learned a bit about why we sleep.  According to an article I found on about the reasons people need to sleep, I discovered that sleeping is like feeding our body.   The body needs to shut down every night to recharge and be able to function the next day.  Over time we sure wouldn’t want to starve our body of what it needs and most of us know what can happen if we don’t eat well.  Lack of sleep can be just as serious.  There is a series of articles on the topic from the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School and WGBH Educational Foundation.  Check it out.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Feeling left out or Feeling included!

What is it to feel left out or to feel included, to me?

Well here are my thoughts about the subject of feeling left out or feeling included and living with a disability.  This is part two of the blog that I wrote on my thoughts and feelings about being handicapped!!  The blog that I post it was on Aug, 3 2013.

I do not know what my life would be like if I did not have Cerebral Palsy.  If I answer that question I think it would mean I would lie to myself on some level and say the past 32 years never happened.  I am so proud of myself for what I have accomplished, so ignoring my experience with life being me would take away too much.  I realize now that I am not ashamed of my life challenges.  I am a woman who always tries to get more from life.

For a long time I felt like an outsider with my disability but now I don't feel that way anymore.  What really matters is being happy in life.  When I'm out with family and friends I feel loved and included.   Some people who I know with a disability want a relationship with a partner and it seems like that is all they want in their life. If I found someone to share my life with, that would be wonderful but it's not the end of the world if I don’t.  And I am not waiting around.  I am happy being me.

People who know me know I have goals and dreams that I want for my life. My friends make me feel included in everything we do together.  We enjoy each other no matter what we are doing, like going out to a movie and supper. But sometimes when I go out around others, there are people who look at me and then they ask my friends what I want rather than asking me. This is when I feel the greatest amount of exclusion.  I believe that many people don't know anything about someone who has a life challenge.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Choosing a computer

When you are choosing a computer always ask yourself some questions before buying one!!  What do I need it for or how can I use it?  Choosing a computer for your personal or academic use can be easy or it can be difficult but I want to make it a bit easier.

You have the option to choose a desktop, laptop, an iPad, an iPad mini, and a tablet. There is a difference between a laptop and an iPad.  A laptop is portable but still you need to get it out and set it up like a desktop. An iPad and tablet are portable and you can use them anywhere, like walking to a meeting.  It is also easy to use them to check your email, go online and look up topics. 

You can download movies and music on an iPad or tablet, just like a desktop.  There are also different sizes of memory in these items. The choice you make on the size of memory depends on what you want to put on it. If you need to print anything off from the iPad or tablet you need an App Print Function.  Do some research online at the library or with a friend to see what device would be most suitable and consider how much money you want to invest for a computer.  

To get some answers before you buy a computer, it is a good idea to write down the questions that you want to ask before you go into the store and talk to someone.  Talk to a Sales Person where you are considering a purchase and you can ask all the questions that you want.  Some locations have more knowledgeable staff than others.

I purchased my first Mac computer for school; it was a Mac Book Pro. I went with my mom into the Apple store to talk to the Sales Person and we told him that I needed a computer for school.  The Sales Person showed me one that would work for me. There are Mac products and there are PC products to choose from but not always available at the same location.

I have used a computer for most of my life and since I have a disability that impairs my ability to communicate, I use a computer for everything involved in my work and my personal use. It is a lifeline to the outside world.  I also decided on buying an iPad to have something easy to use at home to check email and also for my personal use.

Computers can also be used to create a voice for someone who cannot speak.  I read about a young girl who has autism and at age thirteen she finally got to talk with her family.   Using a computer gave her a tool to communicate.  Now she has a new way to talk to her family and friends.   People of all ages and all diversities are becoming more familiar with computers and finding how they can open up a whole new world for them.  Sometimes it is just easier having one because our world is changing how we use devices like computers.  Learning what you can use a computer for helps you keep up with the changes.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Getting Out There - Fun activities with friends

We don't know how much time that we have on this earth so I want to spend time with my loved ones and friends. In my life, while growing up with my sisters it was very hard for me to watch them go out with their friends.  I was someone with extra life challenges and I wanted so badly to be independent. This was one of the reasons it was easy for me to make up my mind to move out of my parents house into a group home when I turned 18.
I lived in a group home for approximately eleven years and I was able to go out with friends and have a life of my own. However, there were limitations.  At that time it meant that I was allowed to go out with friends but it was inconvenient because It was necessary to check with my parents and to get permission according to the rules of the home.  Although the group home was a good transition for me, It is better now that I live with my best friend.  There is ample opportunity to enjoy time with my family and friends but I have the freedom to choose when and how I spend my time.
Parents who have children with life challenges may think they are doing the right thing for them by sheltering them away from too much responsibility.  Maybe they believe their child can't handle the outside world. I believe the parents of a child with additional challenges needs to allow the person (whenever possible), the opportunity to experience their own life.
If we are at all able, we all need to go out and have a life for ourselves.  We all need to learn what it is to have freedom, to have some fun.  We cannot live our lives through someone else.  I have not been on the parent’s side of the equation but I think we are fortunate to be living in a country where there are supports available for persons with life challenges.  It is not perfect I know but we are lucky for sure.
Some parent’s may feel no one can look after their child better than they can.  I think some risks are worth taking because the result can mean the person may feel less challenged.  Being less dependent on my parents helped me to feel less challenged as a person.  I am grateful that my parents did the right thing by letting me be as independent as possible when I was a young woman. They supported my choice to move out and have my own life.  My parents will be here for me as long as they are able but I now have my own life and I am free to go out in the world without my family.  It is the right thing for me.
It is ok if parents do not want their child to move out on their own but it will be very difficult for a person with a life challenge to be independent if they always rely on their parents.
Bottom line is that we need freedom to explore our life and freedom to make the choice of how we spend our time and to act on the value we have for our family and friends?

Family Celebrations

I celebrate the basic holidays with my family like Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, birthdays and weddings. There are several different kinds of celebrations around the world.  To name a few, there is Hanukkah, Chinese New Year, Diwali, Ramadan and St. Patrick's Day.  In Canada Christmas is a big deal.  Some families don't celebrate Christmas the traditional way with exchanging gifts but they still get together with family and friends to enjoy their company and food.  As my family grew our gift exchange routine changed a bit but the menu my mother prepares for all of us remains the same each year.  This is our way of being connected and sharing a happy time. 
I also enjoyed getting together with my family to celebrate my sisters’ weddings, the birth of their kids and everyone's birthdays.  We spend all the traditional holidays together as a family.  We also spend some unique times together celebrating.
It was Halloween last week and it was also one of my niece’s birthdays on the same day so we got together for supper to celebrate and then the kids got ready to go out with their costumes on for trick or treating.
I love to get together with my family and have these special times with them. Some families don't have any members of their family around or they live far way so they spend the holidays alone. It is very sad to see when someone doesn't have any family around to share and celebrate. Everyone needs to have love and support.  I am so lucky to have a wonderful and loving family to spend time celebrating life with no matter what day it is.  Having a special event just makes it lots of fun.