When Beliefs and Reality Collide

By Connie Horn

It has been 24 hours since the phone call.

My grandson was having tests done. I was patiently waiting for the phone call to hear the results. I was also thinking about some of the behavior changes I’ve seen in him over the past few months. He used to respond when you called his name, now I can say his name over and over, with no response. Not even a glance my way. He used to let me hold and snuggle with him, now it is a struggle to get him to hug me or to sit on my lap.

Then the call came.

It is not easy to hear your grandson has autism. Continue reading

Saying Goodbye…

By Connie Horn

“There is a moral task of caring for someone, and that involves being there, being with that person and being committed. When there is nothing that can be done, we have to be able to say, ‘Look, I’m with you in this experience… right through to the end of it.’ ”

- Dr. Kleinman, Harvard Medical School

Where I work, there is a 24 hour companionship system in place when death is imminent for someone we support. People sign up for times during the day and night to stay with the person so they are not alone during their final days. I am on this list and recently received a call to serve. It turned out to be a person I have known for years and had shared many memorable times. Continue reading

Accept or Change?

By Ellen Hierl

My family recently went to the movies. As in most theaters, prior to the movie there was the usual announcement about turning off your cellphone and not talking. As the anticipated movie began, several rows behind us, someone kept making noise. It was annoying to say the least.

I couldn’t make out the words but this person was loud and disruptive. After listening for a little bit and debating if I should go let the theater staff know about the situation, I realized that the person making the noise had an intellectual disability. Once I realized this, I became much more accepting of the situation, but should I have? Continue reading

Soft Skills vs. Hard Skills: What’s Desirable?

By Lynn Wiles
Bethesda Lutheran Communities

Employers describe “soft skills” as those that cannot be taught but that are intrinsic to good workers.

When polled, the three soft skill traits most often identified as “desirable” among workers by almost 1,000 U.S. and Canadian employers were:

  • Motivation,the inherent drive one has to work.
  • Reliability,equated with doing one’s tasks consistently.
  • Dependability,which differs from reliability as defined by employers to encompass consistent attendance and punctuality. It is being able to be counted on. Continue reading

Can Someone’s Height Be a Disability?

By Connie Horn

In May, I wrote a blog about Equal Access for People with Disabilities.  In the time since I wrote this blog, I have become more aware and honestly looking for, barriers to accessibility for people with disabilities, especially if they happen to use a wheelchair. Continue reading

I Can Do It!

By Connie Horn

Recently I watched as my grandson was interacting with his mom.  It was one of those mornings where everyone was rushing around trying to get ready for the day. My grandson was told to put his shoes on. He still struggles with putting his shoes on the right feet and it takes him a little longer than most, but he is learning. His mom didn’t think he was putting his shoes on fast enough, so she decided to put them on for him. He pulled them off, looked at her, and in a loud voice said, “I can do it!” Continue reading

Do YOU still play with blocks?

By Connie Horn

Activity’s purpose is not to kill time,
but to keep time alive,
not to keep a person occupied,
but to keep him refreshed,
not to offer an escape from life,
but to provide discovery of life.

  -Unknown author

Continue reading