Tag Archives: developmental disabilities

Don’t Let Your Disability Define Your Life

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Don’t Let Your Disability Define Your Life

Disability is something that has been defining people for years and years. There’s, sadly, still so much bullying and hate that we just can’t stand to think of. Because those with disabilities deserve support the most. Not support to live their lives, but support to help them believe they can live their lives on their own, without carrying around that label of having a disability. If carrying around a label is something you feel like you’ve been doing all your life, it’s time to rip it clean off. There are so many things you can do with your life, and so many things your mind can think if you don’t let your disability define you. Some of which, we want to talk about today. It’s the perfect time to think about how the rest of this year is going to be totally different. Have a read on to find out more:

The Mindset Of Other People:

This is a really important one that we wanted to start with, because we think that more often than not it’s the mindset of other people rather than yourself that’s holding you back. And, thankfully, we will say that there is now such a better understanding of the different disabilities out there, how they can affect the life of that person, and how they deserve to be treated. At the end of the day, even though our body’s or minds might be a little different, we still crave those basic human needs of love, affection, and normality. What we’re trying to say here is, if you ever come across someone who you know is being a bit awkward and standoffish because of your disability, simply try and educate them. Don’t be afraid to talk about your condition and express that you’re no different to anyone else in the things that you want out of life. If this doesn’t work, just walk away. You really don’t need negative people like that in your life, and you should gravitate as much as you can towards the people who are positive to you.

The Things You Think Will Hold You Back:

Finances are something that is talked about a lot in life and, disability or not, everyone goes through a struggle at some point. If you ever feel like you are in a rut with money, don’t be afraid to look at loans for people on disability with bad credit. It’s a quick way of getting that pick me up that you need, without having to worry about being rejected. We will promote safe lending and encourage you to always make sure that you’re only borrowing what you can, so that you don’t find yourself in more financial trouble further down the line.

The Life You Need To Think About Living:

The life you need to think about living is a free one. It’s a life where you’re out with your friends or family, making the best experiences for you to look back on when you get older. Don’t be that person who is always staying in on the weekend, because before you know it a whole life is passing you by. Going out for food or drinks, swimming, walking, going to the cinema… there is a world of things out there for you to do, you just need to have the motivation to go and do it. You might feel limited in what you can do compared to your other friends, but if they’re true friends they’ll be the ones encouraging you to do it. Surround yourself with the right people who are going to enrich your life. If you feel like you don’t have the right people in your life, it might be time to join a new crowd. Participate in clubs, do things you don’t usually do, and you’ll soon start to feel your mood lifting completely.

We know the world is changing so quickly and so is the views of disability, but let’s change how you view your world and its surroundings, too!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

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Want to Help People? Here’s What to Study

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Some people just have a huge heart. If you’re thinking of going to college, you might not know exactly what you want to do yet, but you do know that you want to help people. If helping others is what you want to do with your life, you have many options to play a part in improving the lives of other people. Some careers that will help others take place behind the scenes, perhaps as part of scientific research or even administration. Others involve much more interaction with people who need help and care and are much more hands-on. If you want to go into a caring profession or help others in any way that you can, here are some fields of study which you might want to consider:

Types of Study: Depending on what you think you might want to do with your life, you don’t necessarily need a degree. Some professions require you to have a college education, whereas others might ask that you have specific training or experience. You can study your chosen area of interest in different ways, too. Even if you want to get a bachelor’s degree, you can study it online instead of having to go on campus. Many people improve their education in their evenings and spare time while they work. You might decide to spend around four years doing a bachelor’s degree at college and, perhaps, even go on to postgraduate study. Or you could do a shorter associate’s degree for some subjects. There are lots of ways to study and to reach your desired career path, although some have paths that are more set in stone than others.

Getting a Nursing Degree: For many people, the first caring career that they think of is nursing. Nurses can do a huge range of jobs, from supporting doctors in hospitals and clinics to working in nursing homes or out in the community. As well as becoming a nurse, you could also consider being a nursing assistant, who helps nurses to do their jobs. To become a nurse, you have to get a degree in nursing, which could open you up to a wide range of specialisms. You need to be registered to practice, which proves that you have the qualifications that you need. During a nursing degree program, students will get to experience a range of patient care scenarios to prepare them for the work force.

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Such a flight attendant pose!

Do You Have What It Takes to Be a Doctor? If you’re considering working in a medical profession, you might also have considered becoming a doctor. Some people start thinking about it long before graduating high school, whereas others might not think about it until after they’ve completed their undergraduate education. Qualifying as a doctor takes grit, especially if you want to work in a high-pressure field like emergency medicine or surgery. Not everyone makes it, so it’s important to be sure about what you want to do before you start your medical degree. There’s no doubt that you’ll help lots of people as a doctor, but it also needs to be the right career choice for you.

Human Services: Not every caring profession involves working in a hospital or medical environment, or even working with sick or injured people. Many caring professions involve various supporting roles, which help to deliver services to the people who need them. This could be in areas such as social services, family support, veteran affairs, or elderly care. If you want to work in community outreach and help to connect people to services that they can benefit from, a degree in Health and Human Services could be right for you. This degree teaches you how to help people with a number of challenges in their life, from disabilities and illnesses to difficult home situations. It could lead to a career working with people of all ages, from children to the elderly.

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Wikimedia Image

Admin, Management, and Support: There are also lots of other roles in health care, caring, and social work that are more behind-the-scenes. There are careers in management, administration, and support that might appeal to people who don’t want to be as hands-on as a nurse or carer might be. It could still involve working with people who need help and doing a lot to improve people’s lives, though. Some specific fields of study to consider include Healthcare Management, Medical Billing and Coding, and Health Information Technology. These careers can still often require plenty of compassion, as you might be making decisions that affect people’s lives.

Studying Pure Science: What about being a scientist? It wouldn’t necessarily mean that you work directly with people who need help. However, it could mean that you do a lot to help the people who need it. Working in scientific research can give you opportunities to help people by furthering understanding of medical conditions and diseases and developing and testing medications and treatments. If you want to work in scientific research, you might consider a Biology degree. A science degree could also lead to working in laboratories, hospitals and medical clinics.

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SCIENCE!

Social Work: Outside of healthcare, one of the professions that many people who want to help others consider is social work. It can be a tough career, but there can be plenty of rewarding moments. People often think of working with children and families when they think of social work, but it can involve working with anyone who needs help. A social worker might help people with disabilities or perhaps people who have experienced an abusive relationship. They can work with elderly people or people experiencing health issues. A bachelor’s degree in Social Work is a necessary foundation, while some roles in schools or clinical work require a master’s degree. Like many caring roles, social workers also need to be licensed by their state.

Education: Another way to help others is to assist them with their education. This could mean working with children, but there are lots of ways to begin a career in adult education. If you want to teach children or teenagers, there could be several different education paths which you can consider. High school teachers are often required to have a bachelor’s degree in the subject that they want to teach, perhaps with a minor in education or a qualification in a program that prepares them to teach. If you want to teach kindergarten or elementary, a bachelor’s degree and teacher education program would probably be necessary, as well. Some specialist education areas might include teaching English as a second language or teaching music, which you could do for both adults and children.

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Knowledge is power!

Counseling: When people need help, they don’t always need assistance with physical illnesses. Sometimes, they require help through talking therapies, whether it’s to help with a mental illness or just personal problems. Being a counselor or therapist is one option that you have if you want to help people work through their problems. Counselors can help people with their relationships, give school guidance, help with addictions, and much more. Although you can start off with a bachelor’s degree, many counselors also have a master’s degree and even a PhD.

Ministry: Some people want to help others in a more spiritual way. If you’re religious, you might consider some form of ministry. If this is something that interests you, entering the career might involve attending a specialist institution or school, such as a seminary. However, some people might begin by studying theology or even philosophy. If you want to offer religious leadership and guidance, it’s best to look into the structure and rules set out by the religious organization that you’re a member of. Different groups and churches may have their own ideas on what qualifies you to help others.

Law: If you want to help people, another area to consider is the law. There are many areas of law in which you could practice and several of them involve helping people to get justice. You might consider criminal law, in which you can also help people on matters such as accident claims and other civil matters. Of course, to be a lawyer, you need to go to law school. There are also other careers and roles that you might consider, though. For example, you could look into being a paralegal or a legal secretary. These still involve some legal knowledge, but you don’t have to study for as long.

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#justiceisserved

Emergency Services: If you think that you can handle a high-pressure and fast-paced job, you might consider a role in the emergency services. For several of these roles, you’re unlikely to need a college degree. You will have to complete the necessary training and education, though. You could consider roles such as an EMT, firefighter, or emergency call responder. Some people take on these jobs as full-time careers, while others do them while studying to help them pay for their education. It can also give valuable experience for future careers and opportunities.

People who like to help others can use their career to change people’s lives in many different ways. You can choose to study a variety of subjects at college or find other ways to get the skills that you need to positively impact someone.

I Still Get Jealous

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I Still Get Jealous

Heyy everyone and TGIF! Have any of you ever gone through your social media pages and have just felt insanely jealous of people? This happens to Lil Red on occasion and it really grinds my gears. It’s one of those things where you see everyone and their brother on your friends list being happier, better, prettier, etc than you and it can really get a gal down. So what brings on these feelings? What can you do to remedy them? Take a listen to an ironic choice in music and then let’s discuss:

^^^ I had to!

This past week I saw that a girl who I went to high school with was studying abroad in France and Italy and it made me SO insanely jealous. That’s one thing that I would love to do and that I have mentioned frequently on the ol’ blog and to basically anyone who will listen. A thing about me is that when I want things, I want them ASAP. So to see someone who is my age essentially living my dream kind of killed me. It can be hard to see people doing something that you want so desperately while you’re sitting in Akron, Ohio being miserable. -__-

As soon as I became green with envy over this, I began to evaluate my life and what I was doing wrong. I was turning the pages in my mind of everything that I could be doing and that just made me feel even worse. I then made a mental list of everything that I do and all of the responsibilities I have and it felt like a slap in the face. I was doing what felt like a lot but I still couldn’t have this one thing that I really want.

My mental list ended up looking something like this:

  • Attending school full time at Tri-C.
  • Coaching figure skating for the Special Olympics.
  • Transporting both of my siblings who can’t drive multiple times per week.
  • Working as a freelance writer for different companies, artists, and musicians.
  • Doing consultations for individuals who would like to start their own blog.
  • Working for two different media companies on my social media pages.
  • Working for the Ohio Board of Developmental Disabilities to make sure that everyone is receiving the best care possible.

With all of these things stacking up in my day, I barely have time to breathe but it still didn’t seem good enough. But then I started to think about how I work my ass off every day and am doing so much to improve the lives of others. I reminded myself that it will be my turn to travel soon enough and that it would be all the more sweeter when it finally does happen. Then the mental list began to shift and it looked more like this:

Mental list take two:

  • I work hard at school and have gotten all A’s since I began college last year.
  • I bring joy into the lives of my skaters and their families.
  • I help improve the quality of life for others.
  • I get both of my siblings to where they need to be when they need it.
  • My freelance work has been really taking off and I have the articles, followers, and media companies that I work through to prove it.

Yes, it does suck when you want something that you simply can’t have. It also sucks even more when you see someone with what you desire so much. However, all I can do is keep on going because I am making great strides on my own even if I don’t feel that way sometimes. It can be hard to remember that at times but when I do it definitely helps easy my jealousy!

In the words of Nick Jonas, “I Still Get Jealous”, but that won’t stop me from continuing to keep on trucking and working hard! What is something that makes you jealous? What do you do to help with those feelings? I wanna hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Monday Update: NCI Training Edition

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Monday Update: NCI Training Edition

Hi everyone and happy Monday!! This past Thursday I had my training for the National Core Indicators (NCI) research project in association with the Ohio Board of Developmental Disabilities at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio…What a mouthful! I had the honor of being one of fifty out of over five hundred selected to take part in this opportunity and I was so happy to be there – even though I had to get up at 4:15 in the morning to begin my day! Let’s discuss, but first take a look at some of the responsibilities that my new job will hold by watching some or all of this video:

My day began early on Thursday morning and didn’t stop until I got home at roughly 7:30 in the evening. After I finished getting myself ready for the day, I packed some snacks, made some coffee, and then hit the road. I live in Akron, Ohio and my drive to Columbus took a little over two hours. Luckily, I began my drive early enough to account for traffic because the rush hour traffic was insane! I had to be at The Ohio State University’s McCampbell Hall by 8:30 to begin checking in and because of my early start I made it right on time.

When I got to our designated room number, I was a bit taken aback by the fact that I was easily the youngest person there. Everyone was at least thirty or older and as I learned throughout the day, all of them had some type of job in the field of service for people with developmental disabilities. Other members of the research project had children with some type of special needs and there were also some fantastic self advocates taking part in the day as well. My parents were so impressed when I told them this and I have to say, I was quite impressed with myself, too!

Our day began at 9:00 sharp and we were introduced to the responsibilities we would have as members of the NCI research project. It’s going to be our job to interview people with developmental disabilities to make sure that through the Ohio Board of Developmental Disabilities they’re receiving the best care possible. It’s also going to be our duty to report anything suspicious to make sure that there is no negligence or abuse going on.

Throughout the day we watched and analyzed the video I posted above, learned how to report possible cases of abuse, and listened to speakers such as the head of the Nisonger Center at OSU who is assisting with this project, department heads at the Ohio Board of Developmental Disabilities, and the people in charge of the NCI project. It was so cool to be able to ask questions and interact with people who are in such high esteem in the world of developmental disabilities.

My training went on until five in the afternoon and I learned so much. We went over the survey that we’ll be completing in extensive detail and I feel confident in my ability to do it well. I have a folder full of paper with the slides of the Powerpoints that we were viewing too so I can look over them whenever I need. My mom read some of them with me too because she’s a developmental pediatrician and is always hungry for more knowledge!

My day was so jam packed with information that I couldn’t even begin to cover it all in one post. All of the speakers did a great job of holding my interest because it definitely would have been easy to zone out during the day! I am so happy to take part in such an important project and I can’t wait to begin conducting my interviews throughout the next few months!

So there you have it, this week’s Monday Update: NCI Training Edition! How was everyone’s weekend? What are your plans for the holidays? I wanna hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Exciting Announcements!

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Exciting Announcements!

Hellooo everyone and happy Hump Day! A few weeks ago I applied for an interviewing position for families effected by developmental disabilities. I would get to chat with the family for a half hour or so and report my findings so that they can be provided with the best services possible for them. Well, yesterday I received an email that I was one of the fifty applicants accepted out of over five hundred for the position!!

Next weekend I’ll be making a two hour trek to Columbus for a day of paid training and then I can be on my merry way with the program. It promises to be a great opportunity and I’m so excited to get started! I was so happy to have heard back from the company because I had given up hope on earning a position with them! The timing couldn’t be better, either, considering my winter break from Tri-C starts next week! It looks like homegirl won’t have to scrounge around for a short lived retail job for my month off! 🙂

You’ll notice in the title of this post that Announcement was plural, so yes, I have one more cool happenstance to share with you guys. As you know if you follow lifewithlilred, I started working for Twistfire Media last week. Things are going fantastic as you might have read from my post about it! Someone pretty special to the company also happened to stumble upon the article, as well…The president of Twistfire!!

Yesterday when I was with Kyle, I checked my email and saw that I had a new message with the subject “Blog Post”. I opened the email and saw the sweetest memo from Twistfire’s very own president thanking me for my post and also giving a shout out as a fellow redhead. I was SO surprised and proud as I read through the email and it made me even happier to start working for a media company where the founders have a genuine interest in you and your work. Thanks again, Mr. President! (And if you’d like to know more about working for Twistfire Media, you can email me at sarah.mush6794@gmail.com)

So there you have it, this week’s Exciting Announcements compliments of Lil Red! Who else has some exciting news to share? What was the best news that you’ve received this month? I wanna hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

^^^ That pretty much sums up how I’m feeling! 🙂

Monday Update: Winter Fest Fun Edition

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Monday Update: Winter Fest Fun Edition

Hellooo everyone and happy Monday! I had a sub par weekend due to some unfortunate family falling outs BUT I did have an awesome Saturday morning! I coach figure skating for the Special Olympics and at the Lock 3 skating rink in downtown Akron a winter fest was held through the Summit Developmental Disabilities Board. I had such a blast with my skaters and their families and my mom joined us as well which made the outing even better! Let’s discuss:

Lock 3, as pictured in my featured image photo, is a fantastic landmark in Akron. There are concerts there during the summer and a lot of great winter activities as the weather gets colder. It was a frigid morning on Saturday but when my mom and I arrived at the rink, I was happy to see a lot of my skaters already there chatting, skating, and tying up their skates.

I was excited for my mom to meet everyone and I was also pretty pumped to have some Sarah skating time, too. When I’m coaching, I rarely have time on the ice to do any of my old jumps or spins so it felt SO good to be able to break out some of the tricks up my sleeve, even though my skates are dull as dish water…They need sharpened so bad! After some time to myself on the rink, more of my skaters showed up, so I got off to assist in tying up skates, helping with stretches, and introducing my mom!

After everyone was geared up and ready to go, we all got on the ice together along with the members of the community who were there. I was under the impression that my skaters were going to be able to perform their routines that they’ve been working on as their showcase for the morning, but I was in for a pleasant surprise once the ice was cleared and my skaters began to line up.

I got off the ice and put my blade guards on then took my spot by the side of the rink to watch the show. But because the event was thrown together pretty last minute, it turns out that my skaters were just going to have the ice to themselves for five or so minutes to show off a little. I then got called over from my spot by my students and the organizers of the event because they wanted me to join the skaters on the ice!

I haven’t been on the ice to “perform” in years and it felt great to share the rink with such wonderful skaters. All of my students got to share some of their moves with the crowd as I skated back and forth between them to check up on them, offer words of encouragement, or give suggestions. The exhibition was a hit, and the Akron Beacon Journal was even there taking pictures! All of my skaters did so well with their laps, spins, and gliding and I was so proud.

After our five minutes of fame, the doors to the rink opened and the community members were able to join us. I got off of the rink and was greeted by the crowd who was so kind and a big hug from my mom. She told me that “every second spent on skating was worth it to watch you just now” and it warmed my bitter and cold heart.

I spent a little more time on the ice with my students and then my mom and I hit the road. I didn’t exactly want to go but it was SO cold and my mom didn’t dress accordingly! The winter fest was a huge success and it was one of the best times I’ve had in ages. I was so happy that my mom, my skaters and their families, and the community was able to share in such a special event!

So there you have it, this week’s Monday Update: Winter Fest Fun Edition! I hope all of you had a great weekend! Do you have something similar to Lock 3 in your neck of the woods? Who has gone ice skating this winter? I wanna hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah