Tag: disabled

Believe It! Achieve it!

believe it“Believe it and you will achieve it,” says one parent. “Don’t try because you may fail,” says another. Still another says, “You can’t do that.” And another says, “You are different and you won’t be able to succeed.” Yet another says, “You have a handicap but you can accomplish anything if you believe you can!”

What kind of parent are you? Time for some soul searching here!

Are you the kind of parent who compliments your child for anything and everything? If you are, you are not helping your child because he or she doesn’t believe you or your false compliments.

Maybe you are the kind of parent who tells your child that he or she “can’t” when the child tries? If you are that kind of parent, your child will assume that he or she shouldn’t be confident.

Are you the kind of parent who is honest with your child? Because you believe in your child’s abilities and you help your child learn how to accomplish goals through work, perseverance and discipline. An example of this kind of parenting is Stash Serafin’s mother and how she helped her blind child succeed.

Believe It! Achieve it!

“In the middle of the vortex is the eye of the storm. There’s a stillness and a quiet in there. The eye of the storm is the real metaphor of my life,” he said. “If you can’t see, you might as well do the things your mom taught you in the little circle.”

The little circle has been Serafin’s safe haven since his childhood on a four-acre farm in Blue Bell.

“It all started with a little circle my mom would do on the front lawn,” he said. “She would put acorns in her pockets. She’d say, ‘Catch me if you can,’ and start running. I would hear the acorns rattle and I would chase her. She’d start with a small circle around me, then make it bigger and bigger. Eventually, her circle became the whole front lawn.

“I must have incorporated that when I started skating,” he said. “I would work in a little tiny area and never leave that area until I felt comfortable about where I was.”

Looking back over a half-century to his childhood, he still draws strength from it to navigate through his blindness.

“The thing my family did was, they just assumed I was going to be a regular kid, so they . . . let me do whatever I could do,” he said. “I learned to climb trees. I don’t know how. I just did.

Believe it! Achieve it!

My parents were always supportive about my skating though they felt uncomfortable that I was the only blind skater in the world with little support from any organizations. They were always proud of me. I passed figure tests, dance, and free style tests — All with flying colors and high marks. ”

In a 2007 memoir, A Skating Life: My Story, the Olympian Dorothy Hamill said she was “moved to tears by Stash’s courageous performance” at a show in Wilmington in the 1970s.

“He didn’t let his blindness stop him from expressing his passion on the ice,” Hamill wrote, adding that Serafin stirred her to teach ice skating to children from the Los Angeles School for the Blind.

Competitively, Serafin won an artistic solo gold medal for his figure skating routine at the 2014 Gay Games 9 in Cleveland, interpreting his own musical composition, “I Don’t See You But I Sense You.”

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Therapy Dog – Rugby Jones

therapy dogGuess what? I am going to try to learn how to be a therapy dog because I love kids so much and I know I can help. I have had some things happen in my life that have been difficult and those things helped me to be a better dog. They have helped me to have a better attitude about overcoming adversity. I know that I will be able to be more understanding when a kid has problems because I have had them too.  I think those are very important things for a therapy dog to know.

Have you ever wanted to do something so badly that it actually hurt? Well that’s how I feel about becoming a therapy dog. There are so many kids who have special needs and I know they need me.

Some of the kids just need to know that there is a cuddly someone who loves them unconditionally… someone who doesn’t want anything from them. Someone who just cares… I mean really cares. That’s me!

Therapy Dog

I will do whatever it takes to be a therapy dog. I know it will be hard work and I know that I have a lot to learn but I am determined to do what it takes! I know I can do it because I am very smart! I won’t be able to be a therapy dog for kids who would need me to run up and down stairs because I am on wheels but I can do other things. Besides, most places have ramps that are wheelchair accessible for   people in wheelchairs. I have used those ramps before and they work for me too.

I obey very well and I stand when I’m told to stand. I don’t bark when I’m not supposed to bark. I don’t eat people food, well except when my mom gives me liver. Did you know that I just love liver? Well I do but only on special occasions. Do you like liver? A lot of kids don’t. Look at this picture. Can you tell how much I want to eat those tasty treats? Well I do but I am so well behaved that I don’t even try! How cool is that?

I’ll let you know how my training goes. I know you will be in my corner and will wish me the best on my therapy dog training.

Dare to Live
This post is about life and about giving whatever it is that you have to give. It is meant to say, “Please” to those who haven’t yet and “Thank you” to those who have and to those who will… GIVE!
Thanks to Andrea Bocelli

Dare to Live

Try looking at tomorrow not yesterday
And all the things you left behind
All those tender words you did not say
The gentle touch you couldn’t find
In these days of nameless faces
There is no one truth but only pieces
My life is all I have to give
Dare to live until the very last
Dare to live forget about the past
Dare to live giving something of yourself to others
Even when it seems there’s nothing more left to give
Dare to live searching for the ones you love
Dare to live no one but we all
Dare to live until the very last
Your life is all you have to give
Dare to live until the very last
Your life is all you have to give 
I will say no-I will say yes
Say… Dare to Give!
 

Dare to Give

Wherever you are in life and whatever you have… it’s all about living and giving. When all you can give is part of you, that may be the best that someone could ever hope to receive.
Our Hero: Eli Reimer (and His Dad)

Elisha “Eli” Reimer is our newest hero. He is fifteen years old and the first person with Down syndrome to reach the base station of Mount Everest.

This amazing young man has a passion for sports and his enthusiasm for “life” is contagious.

Eli gave the world yet another reason to come to the realization that with the right attitude, special needs kids can do just about anything that other kids can do. Eli trained for over a year before he began his unique climb. He and his dad and six others hiked with purpose. They climbed 17,600 feet in frigid temperatures to benefit the Elisha Foundation.

The Elisha Foundation, named after the ninth grader, was established in 2005 with the goal of helping families of children with disabilities by offering “practical and emotional support” through free retreat programs. These programs are funded totally from donations. In addition, the Elisha Foundation is dedicated to raising awareness and funds for orphans with disabilities.

Those of you, who are regulars here, know that we share stories about people who have all kinds of differences. We are so very impressed by the parents who do not allow their “dif-abled” children to feel sorry for themselves.

This is indeed the story of believing and achieving. As Eli’s father  Justin Reimer says, his son’s Down syndrome is a “uniqueness.”  As with other “dif-abilities,” there are  sometimes prejudices among people who don’t understand.

So far, Eli’s hike to the base station of Mount Everest has generated over $85,000.

Eli’s father, Justin Reimer was quoted as saying, “I would say over 90 percent of the world’s cultures don’t accept disability and wouldn’t think that somebody like my son would be able to attempt let alone complete something like this. So it was an amazing experience to do it with him. And like I said he actually led the way. We were dragging. We were experiencing our own sense of disability as we went up into the mountains and he led us all the way to base camp.”

What a father son relationship and what an example for all of us to emulate as we face our own life’s trials and tribulations.

Photo: ralky

And The Winner Has Autism!

Alexis winemanAs a continuation on the subject of Autism, there has been some recent news that should offer hope and an understanding of what people with Autism can accomplish.

The news is about Alexis Wineman, who was crowned Miss Montana. She was the first Miss America Contestant who had been diagnosed with Autism in  the pageants 92 years.

Anyone who has listened to Alexis’s comments during her interviews heard her courage and desire to accomplish the same things that people without Autism can accomplish. She has been quoted as saying, “I have overcome a lot.  I have overcome so many of my symptoms.”

Alexis was diagnosed with Autism when she was 11 years old. She shared the fact that she was bullied because she has a speech impediment and is so shy. “I would stay in my room for hours, not wanting to talk to anyone. Growing up, I barely hung out with anyone and that’s because I was afraid of being laughed at.”

One of the things that Alexis has shared is much the same as what other successful people with disabilities have said. Her family never gave her an easy way out because of her disability. Quite the contrary, they made her do things that brought her out of her comfort zone. She was a cheerleader and ran cross country. She even became the captain of her cheerleading squad during her senior year of high school.

She has shared the fact that she entered the Miss Montana pageant on an impulse. What is so much to her credit and her family’s credit, she went into the pageant to win! Alexis Wineman plans to attend the University of Montana after her reign to study for a degree in art therapy.

Her talent for the Miss America Pageant was comedy. She said, “I realized if I laugh at myself, then that’s OK.”

Alexis Wineman did not win the Miss America Pageant but she was voted the people’s choice winner. What an amazing young woman. What an amazing family. What an amazing story!

You go Alexis. You are our newest hero!

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