The Status Woe

Rising above mediocrity one mishap at a time

Can you help?

Dear “Friends of Kelli,”

While visiting with Kelli this weekend, we realized it’s been 9 months. In the past 9 months we have learned even more about what an amazing person Kelli is and how much she is loved by her family and friends. In the past 9 months Kelli has faced significant personal challenges besides being incarcerated. As her friends, it has been hard for us to watch her go through such a difficult time in her life while remaining helpless. We support Kelli to remain hopeful and then there are days when she supports us to remain hopeful. Kelli wants us to thank everyone who has so generously offered words of support, donations, and action on her behalf. She feels lucky to have people in her life who are willing to remind her she is worth it and she is loved!

As the trial grows closer, we continue to struggle with the financial aspect of this situation. Right now we are seeking funds to hire an expert witness we believe will give important insight to the judge and jury at her trial. Currently, Kelli has no assets to speak of and we are growing extremely concerned about her future without this expert witness. The charges against Kelli hold a maximum sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole. Our friend has been broken for a long time. We all know Kelli has struggled with her daughter’s continued aggression toward her and her family. We know how hard she fought in attempts to give her daughter a better quality of life that included community support and a home free from aggression for her family. No family should have to struggle as much as Kelli’s family has. Since she has been gone, her daughter continues to struggle with the same aggression, the only difference is there is only 1 parent left to coordinate her care while continuing to raise their other two children.

OUR FRIEND NEEDS OUR HELP! We currently need to raise funds in EXCESS of $20,000 for an expert witness crucial to Kelli’s defense. All donations make a difference whether you are able to donate $20 or $2,000! Please give what you can, share on your blog or website, and pass it on to those who can also help. Below is the link for donations. Feel free to copy the donation link. If you’d like a paypal button for your blog, please email us at kellistapletonfundraiser@gmail.com

Click the link below to donate online. You do not need a paypal account to pay by credit card, just click the link on the page to the left that says to pay without a paypal account.

https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=FT765MLU9TM7L

You can also donate by check or money order by mailing a check in Kelli’s name to the address below. All funds raised go to Kelli’s personal account.

If you would like to donate via check, please make it out to Kelli Stapleton and mail it to:

PO Box 58, Frankfort, MI 49635

PLEASE help our friend Kelli…she needs our love, support, and a strong defense.

Please give what you can.

Thank you so much.

~Marlowe and Vickie

P.S. One of Kelli’s friends has taken action to get the ‘postcard only’ decision by the sheriff overturned. She was successful! Kelli can once again receive regular (PLAIN) letters! So keep on writing!

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Retrain The Mom Brain

OutofOrder

Photo credit here 

Parent training II

You may remember this post about my first time working with Issy here.  Or you can just check out this video.

Well, you will be glad to know that it got better!

She tends to get angsty to me.  Always has.  I think that is pretty typical for most kids (even “normal” ones).  They always seem to have a short fuse when it comes to their parents.

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Our behavior plan is AMAZING!

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Right from the start Issy’s aggression has gone down.  And by down, I mean nearly disappeared!

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Well, we saw a spike in behavior when I started working with her.  14 years of her having a short fuse with me is bound to affect her.  However, our behavior plan is so kick-ass that even with me implementing it, her aggressions have gone down!

We’re on the right track!

When our insurance company saw the data, and the behavior spike, they determined that the behavior treatment wasn’t working anymore and that they were pulling funding.

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Of course, it was explained to them.  They didn’t care, they were done.

No problem!  We’re ready for her to come home.  And most importantly, SO IS SHE!

So I explained the behavior plan in this post here.

It’s intensive, meaning that when you’re on duty, you’re busy!  But her behavior plan isn’t rocket science.

To put it simply, she gets tokens.  She turns in her tokens to get things she wants.

Sort of reminds me of something…

Oh yea, life.

Well, she earns token much faster than most of us earn money.  And we give her tokens constantly for doing the right things.

When I am working with her I have to carry a boatload of things:

Tokens

Token board (with Velcro so it all attaches)

Two timers

Counter

Ponytail holder

Baseball cap

Obviously, I need to carry tokens.  The token board has to be close for Issy to actually put the tokens she earns on it.  We time many activities so it really helps to have TWO timers.  The counter is when I need to count something.  For example: if she starts to get aggressive, I need to count how many times she hits me, herself, or property.  The counter is the easiest way to do this.

And if she does get angsty, it’s best if I get this mop of hair into a ponytail and put a hat on.

I found this belt on Amazon.  I took off the chains but I love all the loops for hooking things onto it.

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Matt calls it my batman belt.

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I love that man!

Here is a video of Issy trading in tokens for ipad time!

Nightly prayers.

Some personal thoughts on my training:

What my instincts are, as a mother, to do with Issy are almost always wrong.

Here are some examples:

If she is sad about something I should NOT go and try to comfort her.  She gets no comfort from it and I’ll likely get hit.

If she wants something I should not give it to her.   She has to earn everything.

If she is sitting quietly for long periods of time I should not try to talk to her.  She’ll get mad and hit me.  I remember feeling that way about my mom and I’m NOT a child with autism!  Hahaha!  Soooooo totally normal?

If I have to tell her “no” and I feel badly about it.  It does no good to explain.  Once we wanted to go to the fair.  We got there and it was closed.  I said how sorry I was and it was a bummer.  I used my (sincere) but sad voice and got hit.  Just saying “no” and moving on is better.

It’s generally better to avoid her.   I need to step in when I know I’m going to be successful and not get hit.  We have 14 years to re-shape.

Going up to her at any given time and hugging her and telling her I love her.   Yea, that doesn’t thrill her.  So am I doing it for me?  Or her?  I don’t want to spark an aggression so I’ll just love her from afar!  Or wait for her to initiate a big ‘ol hug for me!

There are a million more examples.

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But to sum it up.  My parenting with her is nearly the opposite of what I have to do with my ‘neruro typical’ children.  For about .05 seconds a day I feel very sorry for myself.  The rest of the day, I’m so grateful that I’ve figured it out.  Because clearly, I wasn’t doing a great job for the last 14 years (well, I did fine.  The best I could under the circumstances, but it will be better now.)

So the next chapter in our saga is her transition home!

Thank you for reading!

Kelli

kelli-stapleton,the-status-woe,blog-photo,autism

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Angsty is not professional or helpful. I’m looking at you Recipient Rights Office in Lansing, MI *waving*

If you read my last blog post about my friend Lisa, you know that we asked anyone who read her story to submit a recipient rights violation and send it (old fashioned snail mail)  to the recipient’s rights office at the main building in Lansing.

Many people sent in letters.  And I’m happy to tell you that Preston is in treatment.

PRESTON IS IN TREATMENT!!!!

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I’m not exactly sure how Preston got into treatment.  Letters, prayers, and I suspect there were many people working behind the scenes to move mountains of paperwork for this child.  They did it.  A family who was in severe crisis is now on their way to an improved life and getting Preston the help he deserves.  I don’t know who you are but THANK YOU!  You have just given this family a miracle.

Similarly, there were people working behind the scenes to get Issy help.  Moving mountains of paperwork, phone calls, jumping through hoops.  We are so very thankful.

It seems to me that currently, to get a child who has extreme behaviors help, you almost need special treatment.  You have to get the attention of important people.  I hope that changes.  I hope there becomes a streamlined process for families who have suffered at this level (yes, living for years in a life threatening situation is enough suffering) so that the attitude is helpful and sincere.  Please say words like this to those families:

How can I help you Mrs. Stapleton?

I don’t know how you have done this for so long!

Here is our plan for your child.  What do you think?

Here is a program for you and the siblings, run by excellent professionals who have experience with what you have gone through.

Please call us with any concerns.  We want to help you.  We want to improve our services for other families.  So really, any concerns you have, just call, email or text me. 

Ok….I know that’s a dream but I believe it can happen.  We live in a great state!  The mitten state!  We are surrounded by HUGE freshwater lakes.  Did God do that with the other states?  Noooooooooooo!  Clearly we are favored here!

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Which brings me to a recent EPIC disappointment.

Just the other day I got this comment on my blog about Lisa  from Beverly Sobolewski 

She works at the recipient rights office in Lansing.  I’m hoping that she isn’t the main director.  If she is, my disappointment just became exponentially worse because this attitude will have a trickle down effect with her underlings (I’ve seen it before).

This is the comment:  photo (3)

It just seems angstyya know?!

My reaction:

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Well, I can’t speak for the entire state government, but this is the attitude that exemplifies what is wrong with our state system in dealing with extremely disabled children.   And not unlike what I’ve gotten from nearly everyone who is in a position to help us and chose to say words that ultimately do nothing to help more the situation forward.

Here is the comment I wish she had written.

Dear Kelli,  Thank you so much for bringing this case to our attention.  It is heartwarming to see so many good people support Lisa and Preston.  I wish more families had this wonderful of a support system!  We have received 50 letters from MI, 20 from other states and 2 from
Canada!

Now that we know about this situation we will open an investigation.  It will involve talking to her, her local CMH, and others so we have a complete understanding of her situation.  We understand that this is an emergent situation so we are pulling all of our resources to help this family.

Our office is here to help families like Lisa.  Please don’t hesitate to file a recipients rights complaint in the future anytime you feel a consumer is being mistreated.  It is our job to help.

Best wishes to Lisa, Preston, you and Issy!

Sincerely,

Beverly

I know, I know.  This isn’t realistic.  Not yet.  But someday the attitude in our great state will be one that is supportive and helpful.

YOU MAY SAY I’M A DREAMER

but I’m not the only one

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Thank you for reading,

Kelli

the-status-woekelli-stapletondomestic-abusenovember

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Mail a letter, save a family. Get some karma for yourself here!

Please help my friend Lisa and her son Preston.

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Lisa is a widowed mother of one boy, Preston.  He is severely autistic and horrifically aggressive.  He decimates property, injures his caretakers, and hurts himself.  Lisa has been asking for help but not getting it (sound familiar).

There are some issues in the state of MI regarding children like Preston and my daughter Issy.  No one wants to be responsible to pay for the treatment they so desperately need.  It’s complicated.  Lisa is exactly where I was six months ago when I had lost all hope for my future and Issy’s.

violent-autism,hitting-and-autism,

Only Lisa’s situation is much worse.  There is no insurance company that is going to come out of the woodwork for her and play the fairy godmother.

fairy-godmother

It is like watching a train wreck.

I now know exactly how my friends and family felt when it was me.  Helpless, horrified, mystified that there REALLY isn’t any help.

Well, WE CAN HELP LISA!!!!!!  It took some people smarter than me to figure it out (I’m looking at you Nicole and Suze) but here is the information we learned:

Lisa is getting services through her community mental health agency (but clearly, not enough).  When you have a problem with your services you file something called a “recipients’ rights violation” report.

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Well…..this is where it gets good:

ANYONE CAN FILL OUT A RECIEPIENTS RIGHTS VIOLATION REPORT ON BEHALF OF ANOTHER PERSON!

We can ALL file a report to the recipient’s right officer at the state capital (in regards to Lisa and Preston).  All of the reports MUST be followed up on (as required by law).

This will help Lisa in the following ways:

*It will let her complaints be known at the state capital and prevent her local community mental health agency from ignoring her.

*It will let important people know that MANY of us are watching this case and expect intervention.  And if something terrible happens to Lisa before she gets help, well, there is a paper trail from all of us who love, worry, care, or can relate to her and her needs.

*Not only are we helping Lisa, we are helping the state of MI recognize children with severe aggression and their desperate need for help.  Michigan is an amazing state.  Once they know better, they will do better for our kids.

when-you-know-better-you-do-better

All you need to do is print out a copy of the recipients rights complaint.  Fill out the 5 blank spaces that are pointed to in red (I filled in the rest for you, to make it easy).  Then mail the complaint to the capital.  Emailing is not an option (I totally wish it was).

Here is what you do:

*Click the link

*Print and fill out the 5 spaces on the form

* Mail to:     MDCH – Office of Recipient Rights

                          320 South Walnut Street

                        Lewis Cass Building

                        Lansing, Michigan 48933

Here I provided these examples.  The form is already filled out except for the information we need you to provide.

PicMonkeeey Collage

PicMonkkkey Collage

Here are the downloadable forms:

You can click on this version:

Microsoft Word version here: Preston RR form 1

or this one.  They are the same:

PDF version here: Preston RR form 1

Want to help more?

Here is a fundraiser—> http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/help-lisa-preston-put-their-life-together-piece-by-piece-/47136

If you would like to send help in the form of gas cards, target cards, walmart cards, (or anything else you can think of) you can send them directly to Lisa here:

Lisa Sain

9422 Tiger Run Trail

Davison, Mi 48423

*When I asked about putting her address ‘out there’ in public Lisa laughed.  She said if anyone wanted to come to her house for unkind reasons, they would take one look at her life and run in the other direction.  I just love her!

Thank you everyone!

Here is mine!

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Please take a picture of your envelope and post it here on my Facebook blog page here—> Kelli Stapleton-The Status Woe   I hope there are thousands!

*fingerts crossed* for you Lisa!!

Thanks for reading everyone!

Kelli

UPDATE!!!!! 

Preston went into treatment today! July 29, 2013.  Welcome to your miracle Lisa and Preston!  

Please check out Lisa’s blog for further updates!!  

Kelli-Stapleton,the-status-woe

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Kelli (mom) implements the behavior plan. Success does not ensue.

Mom training

We’ve reached the point in Issy’s treatment where we need to bring in the parents to do the behavior plan  so Issy can transition home.  This is a bit of a process so we’re starting several months before her expected release date.

Issy has been following the behavior plan at The Great Lakes Center for Autism Treatment and Research for many months.  Successfully!  The numbers of aggressions has gone down significantly. Yay Issy!!

So I (mom) show up for my first “hands on” day with her.  Just so you understand, I’ve been visiting Issy once a week and only had a few problems.  I also had two seperate trainings on her behavior plan, and watched it implemented by her staff.

I was ready!

Runner Crouching at Starting Line

And excited.  The sooner we get through this step, the sooner she can come home!

Carly, Issy’s behaviorist, was there to make sure I said and did the right things. Basically, I just had to give her tokens for having ‘quite hands and feet’ and redirect her when she started perseverating (you know, getting stuck) on certain topics.

We walked into the classroom.  Issy was so happy to see me (and I her!).  I told her I was there to be her worker.  I sat down next to her and started to work on a coloring page.  Issy started perseverating, I redirected.  She got physical…

The following is the video from that incident.  I’m the one with the blonde hair.  Carly is the behaviorist.  Thankfully Issy had one of the bigger, guy workers (I’ll refer to him as J).

The video below has no sound.  Thankfully!

Poor guy…

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I retreated to the corner and refused to look so I wouldn’t reinforce Issy’s aggression.  I’m here to tell you that Carly and all of Issy’s workers are superheroes.  Honest to God.  They were both bleeding before it was over.

They are true professionals.  Carly kept asking if I was all right.  I was.  She was bleeding and her adrenaline was kicking in.  As professional as she is, I can tell she isn’t used to getting attacked.  I feel so horrible and responsible for Issy’s behavior.

I just want to mention that they never got mad at Issy.  Never yelled or screamed at her.  Just reminded her that she could earn tokens for ipad time when she had quit hands and feet.    Did I mention that they are superheroes?!

Well,  we’re about to do another mom training.  I’m hoping it goes better (it has to, right?!).  I’ll let you know!

Thanks for reading!

kelli-stapleton,the-status-woe,blog-photo,autism

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Fully funded and it feels so good. Fully funded ’cause you understood……

We. Did. It.

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Messa has been Issy’s fairy godmother.  In addition to helping Issy they have laid down the very first brick in a path that will get residential treatment for extreme behaviors covered by insurance and Medicaid in the future.  There will be many, many (many, many,many,many,many, stoopid amounts of ) bricks on this path; but this is where it starts.  Right here.

Yes, they just did that.

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Here is their facebook page.  Please, I beg you, like their page and tell them thank you for supporting Issy, saving our entire family, and breaking new ground in autism treatment.  https://www.facebook.com/MESSAOnline?ref=br_tf 

With the help of Messa and donations, we feel confident that Issy’s treatment will be able to continue through to her discharge date of  September 2nd, 2013.

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We are finished fundraising.

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Any additional funds that come in from t-shirt sales or donations will go toward all of the expenses related to Issy’s care that aren’t covered by insurance, Messa, or Community mental health.

Appropriate gif for autism related expenses not covered by insurance….

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Issy update.

Issy is doing so well in therapy.  Everyone at the facility is working hard to help her.  She has prayers, letters, and good energy coming from all over the world.  She will be a success story for the facility (and the first to go through fully funded), for us, and all the families who are trying to get treatment at Great Lakes or in similar placements.

kid success

In fact, Issy’s treatment is going so well we were able to move her release date up two months, from November 1 to September 2 (In time to start school on the 3rd!).

We are working on thank you notes but please understand if we’ve missed you.  So many donations have come from many different places.  Looking back, I should have set up a spreadsheet.  But I seriously had no idea so many people would want to help us.  We are so very fortunate.

Thank you everyone.  At this moment, I have so much happiness and hope.   Please stay tuned because I plan to continue blogging about her progress (I just had my FIRST training session to transition home. Wow…wait until you hear about that!).

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Thank you for reading,praying,donating,loving,hoping,and wishing!  There is a lexical gap for a word to describe the amount of gratitude we feel.

Kelli-Stapleton,the-status-woe

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Autism’s hard to love club

Autism’s hard to love club

 hard-to-love-club

Well, this isn’t the first time I’ve found myself on the wrong side of popular.  I have a daughter firmly planted in autism’s “hard to love club”.

She is well beyond “cute toddler” stage; where she had bright blue eyes, ringlet curls, and deep sweet dimples.  And her behaviors could be passed off as “age appropriate”.

She is a teenager now.

She is overweight.  It isn’t her fault; we had her on medications that caused her to gain weight.  A lot of weight.   But there isn’t anything endearing about an overweight teenager rampaging through a house or classroom.

She could care less about hygiene.   It’s not uncommon to see her with wildly unruly hair, food in her teeth, stains on her shirt, or even smelling of body odor.   Of course, her dad and I do what we can, but we aren’t with her every minute.  At school, she may get food on her face.  Sometimes it gets wiped off, sometimes not.

food in the teeth

Teachers aren’t exactly begging to have your child in their classrooms.  People aren’t knocking at your door asking if they can “babysit” your child.  Doctors reject you, clubs reject you, and summer programs reject you.  Anyplace where rejection can happen, it’s going to happen to your child.

Rejection Just Ahead Green Road Sign with Dramatic Storm Clouds and Sky.

She is loud and she is scary.  Imagine the worst tantrum you’ve ever seen from a toddler.  Now picture that with a teenager the size of an adult, with an adrenaline infusion like those of a person lifting a car off of a loved one.   That’s what it looks like for us.  Everyday.

Every. Single. Day.

People in the autism community understand and embrace the “hard to love club”, right?

Nope.  They can’t.

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Autism organizations and big names can’t risk talking about autism and aggression/violence in the same sentence.

You see, there has been some bad violence around the country lately.  Almost every time, some newscaster throws around the “autism” or “Asperger’s” label.   So good people are working very hard to clear up that little public relations snafu.

bad public relations

But what if you have a child who is capable of great violence and they happen to be autistic?

Who can champion the cause for the “hard to love club”?  None of these kids are “cured” of anything.. so no book deals with fairy tale endings.  No team managers getting into games here.  No sudden youtube fame.  Many in this club can’t even speak.  There isn’t going to be profound poetry or music coming from anyone in this group.  Well, not without a lot of treatment and help.  Does anyone care about potential except the parents?  And we all know parents are less then nothing when you deal with professionals, insurances, schools, and politicians.  Silly parents can’t fund treatment and help themselves.

And let me just tell you….young adults in behavior programs at the universities aren’t going to school to work with this club.

behavior students

This is what behavior students dream of doing.

Would some gorgeous Hollywood actress make a commercial in support of the “hard to love club’?

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And would she be able to stand up to the criticism that would come from the “easy to love club”?

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Many people have told me to shut the F*** up.  Not to talk about aggression and autism.  That I’m not helping “the cause”.  That I’m being selfish.

violence and autism

If you’re in the “hard to love club”, you aren’t alone.  We don’t have much, but we have each other.  Our club will grow.  Problem behaviors are a part of autism and if autism is on the rise, so are behaviors.

wrong side

We can’t really have conversations with each other.  You know how it is.  Phones get ripped out of your hands, your ears ring from taking blows to the head.  But just know that someone understands.

So here I am sitting on the wrong side of popular.  Again.  But I’m happy you’re here too. We have each other. We aren’t alone.

Your bff!

the-status-woekelli-stapletondomestic-abusenovember

A much loved child

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Team Issy Shirts

Issy’s treatment is going really well.  She is responding and the data shows that her instances of aggression AND the intensity are going down!  Yay!!  We still do not have treatment fully funded.  The insurance company (MESSA- not really an insurance company, but close) wants more information.  They will pay for Issy’s treatment until March 22nd.  With donations we can cover Issy’s therapy until the beginning of May.

A $3 donation = 6 minutes of therapy

A $10 Shirt = (math) minutes of therapy.  She is worth it!  I promise you!

The Team Issy Shirts

These are 100% pre shrunk short sleeve cotton shirts

Black with Hot pink lettering.

Front: Team Issy and a puzzle piece ribbon logo

Back: #autismawareness Helping advocate for all of those who have been “Issied” by the system

100% of the profits of these shirt sales goes to Issy’s treatment.  That’s because these amazing companies sponsored the shirts!  Please go to their Facebook pages and websites and show them some love  ♥

Britten Banners

http://www.facebook.com/BrittenBanners?ref=ts

http://www.brittenbanners.com/

In Home Health Care Services

http://www.facebook.com/pages/In-Home-Health-Care-Services-Inc/162179727168543

http://www.facebook.com/pages/In-Home-Health-Care-Services-Inc/162179727168543

Graceland Fruit

http://www.facebook.com/gracelandfruit?sk=wall&filter=2

http://www.gracelandfruit.com/

Curtis Insurance Agency

http://www.frankfort-insurance.com/

Crystal Lake Glass.

Corner Drug and Corner Toy Store

http://www.thecornertoystore.com/

http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Corner-Toy-Store/134864012488

Honor, Frankfort, and Onekama Building Supply

http://www.honorbldgsupply.com/

I’m on the left wearing the team issy shirt.  I’m wearing a size adult medium (and a black shirt under because it’s cold here).  I like my shirts roomy and this was perfect (usually I prefer large but the large was a little too big). Hope that helps…

photo 4 (1)

Team Issy shirts are no longer available.  Thank you for your support!

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Meaningful Work

I had lunch with two of my bffs, Vickie and Wakako.  They are both amazing women and it was bliss to sit and have a grown-up lunch with them.

Pleasure-Lunch-Friends

At some point in the conversation Wakako asked me:

Wakako: What’s Issy going to do when she gets older?

Me: Well, she will be home.  She can’t have a job. Can you imagine the first time her boss asked her to do something she didn’t want to do?!  I really just want her to be happy.  I guess she can watch movies ands surf youtube…..

Wakako.  Well, I think she can to do something.  She can do something that’s meaningful AND contribute to society.  I don’t know.  Maybe a chocolatier?

Me: I guess she could learn to melt chocolate and pour it into molds.  I could have her sell the chocolates to the local stores.  Maybe?

Wakako:  Well, that or something else.  You’re just going to have to pick something for her.

Me: Pick something for her?  Like a career?

Wakako:  I’ve had students that were “typical” but extremely indecisive.  I told their parents to just pick a career for them.  If they changed their mind later, fine. But at least they were working toward something rather than just fumbling through different courses in college.

Me:  Well, Issy’s smart.  She can learn ANYTHING!  She’s only 13…. so if we started working on skills now, well heck, she would be able to do millions of things!

That moment Wakako  seriously changed my life!!! I was so excited! I didn’t sleep a wink that night.  I was going to find “meaningful work” for my daughter.  It was time that she started a “job”.

In ‘normal’ life, most 13 year olds do not have jobs.  However, most of them do homework or participate in sports and/or any number of extra curricular activities.  Issy however, doesn’t do any of those things.  But instead of those things, she will have “work” or she will go to her “job”.

A huge problem we have with Issy, is boredom.  She just doesn’t enjoy that many activities.  Sure she loves to go to the water park but clearly, we can’t do that very often.  So she has a lot of time where she is just hanging out at home.  The more unstructured time like this, the more we see her behaviors.  During the weeks she is busy with school. On Saturday she is really happy to just hang out at home watching videos or playing on the ipad.  But by Sunday, she wakes up full of rage.

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Is it because she is board?  Is it just a habit that she has to rage on Sundays?  We’ve tried to structure Sunday’s but failed when we tried to take her to church (she had a melt down. I was hit several times. It was horrible for the congregation to see.). We also live an hour away from a shopping mall or fun activities like a bowling alley or large movie complex.  Sundays are just bad news for us.

Back to my point, Issy will now have to do work daily.  It is going to be a part of her schedule just like going to school is.  In fact, she will go to school ride the bus home, have a snack, then go to work.  Just like other kids go to sports practice or whatever.  She will also have “work” on the weekends.

“Work” will be in a different place than home.  Our church offered the use of one of their rooms.  She will go to work, stay for a reasonable time, and then come home.  “Working” will help structure her time and may even give her the opportunity to earn her own money.

Currently, Issy is in residential treatment.   I told the behaviorist about Issy’s “work”.  They are incorporating Issy’s “work” into her daily schedule.

So what did I decide to do for Issy’s meaningful work?

Ready for it?

Drum roll…….

crafts

Yes, crafts.

meaningful work

She will be able to make crafts that we can sell at our two local art fairs in the summer.  I’ll also set up a website where she can sell her crafts. Maybe someday we can purchase a craft tent for shows and/or maybe eventually a building for her work in!!  Who knows?!

So for now, Issy’s work is using this paper punch to punch out pretty scrapbook paper, fold it into an envelope and use a small piece of double sided tape to secure the envelope.

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I doubt that there is much demand for a large number of mini envelopes.  I’m thinking that we may not do any craft fairs this year.  But the point is that she is learning to use the double-sided tape (she has to be careful and only use a small piece), she is using a paper punch, and she is doing SOMETHING.  There is great value in her just doing something.

So I’m on a quest to find crafts that Issy can do, but not childish looking craft projects.  So please comment if you have any ideas.  Oh, and have you SEEN PINTEREST!?!?!  I’m getting some great ideas there.  I even started an Issy board!  Let me know if you want permission to pin to it and I’ll add you (and be forever grateful to you).

I don’t know that Issy will do crafts for her entire life.  At 13 years old, and starting now, she may develop into quite an artist.  Or maybe we’ll switch over to making candies and chocolates.  She may, at some point, be able to tell me what she wants to do.  Can you imagine that day?!  We would turn the world upside down to offer her any opportunity she wanted.

So what about ‘meaningful work’ with your children?   Have you thought about it?  What have you decided to do?  I would love to hear your ideas and feed back.

Thank you for reading!  This is a picture of me giving you all double high 5’s!!!!!

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An essay from one of Issy’s early intervention therapists, babysitter, and friend.

Kelly wrote this beautiful essay about Issy.  We are very close to Kelly and her family.  Seriously, we couldn’t love her more if she was our own.

Sorry you have to click on a different link to read it.  I wasn’t smart enough to get it in this part of the post.  But please do.  It’s worth it.

Thank you Kelly!  We love you very much.

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Whatever “it” is. Kelly has it. She draws people in with her energy and love. I’m glad she is a part of our lives.

Click right here —> https://thestatuswoe.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/undiscoverd-voice-issy.pdf

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