Tag: Health

I Got It… I Got It… I Got It!

I got itThere are times in life when we ask, “Why did this have to happen to me? Why did this have to happen to the person I love? Why does life have to be so difficult?” There are people who seem to live their lives free of problems. Then there are times when we come across people who have had terrible things happen and they remain upbeat.

Even more than that, we come across people who seem to relish in learning how to do things in new ways.  They have an energy and positivity that is infectious. They offer each and every one of us lessons about the strength we have within.

Such is the case with a youngster named Kayden Elijah Kinckle who was born with omphalocele which is a type of hernia that can cause organs to grow outside of the body. In Kayden’s case, according to his mother’s Facebook post, Kayden’s intestine and abdominal organs formed on the outside of his navel.

In addition, Kayden’s legs and feet were trapped under his mother’s pelvis which caused his bones to become deformed. According to his mother, the  doctors said that he wouldn’t survive and suggested that she terminate her pregnancy. Thankfully his mother didn’t listen.  The youngster did survive and has been healthy enough to have corrective surgeries that included the amputation of his right foot and his left leg.

Kayden Elijah Kinckle proclaims,”I got it. I got it. I got it”

If you are feeling sorry for yourself and need a “pick me up” or a “kick in the pants “ this video might be exactly what the doctor ordered.

If you are so busy that you can’t watch the entire 1 minute 55 second video, do yourself a favor and watch it from the 1 minute point when Kayden exclaims, “I got it. I got it. I got it.”

His delight is infectious. Maybe you will catch a bit of his positivity! I sure did.

You can find out more about Kayden Kinckle here.

Autism-Spectrum Disorders Landing Jobs

autism-spectrum disordersParents! There is good news for people with autism-specttrum disorders! The number of diagnosed autism-spectrum disorders has increased to about 1% of the population in the United States alone. That means that over three million people have autism-spectrum disorders of some kind.  According to the latest figures that were issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that one in sixty eight children are identified as having autism-spectrum disorders.

Parents with special needs children including those with autism-spectrum disorders worry about their future employment.

Until very recently the lifetime employment of people with autism-spectrum disorders has been very low. According to a study published last year in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry only 50% of adults between the ages of 21 and 25 years old have held paid jobs outside of the home if they have autism-spectrum disorders. Even though many have higher education and are qualified for various positions, they often have difficulty in getting through the door because of difficulties with networking and interviewing.

Some characteristics of autism-spectrum disorders can include:

  • Average or above-average intelligence.
  • Poor or delayed motor skills
  • Lack of skill in interacting with others
  • Little understanding of the abstract uses of language, such as humor or give-and-take in a conversation
  • Obsessive interest in specific items or information
  • Strong reactions to textures, smells, sounds, sights, or other stimuli that others might not even notice, such as a flickering light
  • Inability to read facial expressions or body language well
  • Interpret language literally
  • Need others to explain exactly what behavior is expected
  • May have a rigid or unusual way of interacting with others.
  • May have difficulties with non-verbal communication including awareness of and understanding of facial expressions, gestures, etc.
  • May have an inability to pick up on unwritten social rules, so may stand too close to other people, talk about taboo subjects, be overly demanding, etc.
  • Rocking, tapping, fidgeting
  • Insistence on talking about only one or two subjects of personal interest
  • May have advanced skills in one area and very low skills in another – e.g. advanced computer programming skill but need support with daily living skills.

Thankfully some companies are recruiting people because of their autism spectrum disorders and not in spite of them.autism-spectrum disorders

Thorkil Sonne of SAP (A German multinational software corporation that makes enterprise software to manage business operations and customer relations.) has children with autism. He understands that people with the disorders often possess the very attributes that SAP wants in certain employees. Often they have high intelligence and memory and the ability to see patterns and have a great attention to detail especially when doing repetitive tasks.

Sonne is quoted, “If we could use skills like I saw among people with autism in software testing, data analysis, quality control, that would be phenomenal… There is no reason why we should leave these people unemployed when they have so much talent and there are so many vacant jobs in the high tech sector.”

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, students with autism spectrum disorders receive support in school, but that stops after they graduate. A recent study published in the journal Pediatrics, found that 35 percent of young adults with autism-spectrum disorders were not employed or attending college or technical school within six years of graduating from high school.

Often people doing repetitive jobs get bored but this is not the case for people with autism-spectrum disorders.  Routine works well for them.

Amy Purdy: Handicapped… NOT!

Amy PurdySo you think you have it bad? There is a quote that comes to mind, “I felt sorry for myself because I had no shoes until I saw a man who had no feet.” The lesson that we must teach our children is that no matter what difficulties come our way in life, we can overcome them with the right attitude.

Today’s post is about another hero and she has an attitude that will knock your socks off. Her name is Amy Purdy and in 1999, she contracted bacterial meningitis. She was 19 years old at the time and the doctors gave her less than a 2% chance to live. As unbelievable as it may seem, Amy Purdy survived but lost both of her legs below the knee. She later needed a kidney transplant, which she received from her father a week before her twenty-first birthday.

Amy Purdy had been an avid snow boarder before the meningitis. She wanted to compete in the sport again but there were no prosthetic legs available that would help. What did she do? She built her own! Amy co-founded Adaptive Action Sports which a non-profit organization that introduces people with physical challenges to action sports. Amy was instrumental in advocating the inclusion of snowboarding into the 2014 amy purdyParalympic Games.

All of the details of Amy Purdy’s biography pale in comparison to her enthusiasm and courage. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. In this case, a video is worth thousands of words. In addition to everything else that Amy does, Amy Purdy dances. I mean she really dances. Amy and her partner Derek Hough competed in Dancing with The Stars.

If you or someone you know need some true inspiration, this video of Amy Purdy promises exactly that!

Amy Purdy is not handicapped!

As you watch, think about the words of Amy Purdy, “I can still do the stuff that I love, I just have to do it differently.”

Amy Purdy is our newest hero!


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.

John Hudson Dilgen – A Boy

John Hudson DilgenWe have all heard motivational sayings that are meant to help us feel better about whatever ailment or adversity comes our way. Many times the attempts that others make to help us feel better succeed. Other times they don’t help and in fact they irritate us. After all we, are the masters of our own destinies. We are the only ones who can make the decision as to whether we will succumb to the obstacles we face in life or use them to make us stronger.

That all sounds good and it may even be poignant in many cases.  The subject of today’s post has temporarily imploded my usual positivity. I am confident that this will not remain the case because maybe just maybe we can help to make a difference for one very special child by the name of John Hudson Dilgen.

This is the story of eleven-year-old John Hudson Dilgen who has a rare skin disease called Epidermolysis Bullosa or EB. The disease is cruel and it ravages the delicate skin of the people who are afflicted with it. EB makes the skin so fragile that even the slightest bump or touch can rub the skin off and cause blisters and great pain.

Every morning John Hudson Dilgen must have a bath and his dressings changed. The process is pure torture for him. Each bandage must be removed and then his skin must be rinsed with bleach or vinegar to kill the bacteria that has grown on his skin overnight. After that excruciating process is over, antibiotics and moisturizers are applied. He has wounds covering over 50% of his body and he must wear special bandages continuously.

Therapists come to work with John’s hands, feet and mouth which are often blistered and painful. He cannot eat or drink until the blisters on his tongue have drained.  There are often blisters in his eyes, which are the most agonizing of all of the wounds. There is no treatment for the corneal erosions. He must keep his eyes closed and take pain medications until the erosions heal.

There is so much more to John’s story. Please check out his site and spread the word about EB.  If you are so inclined, you canJohn Hudson Dilgen send a donation to help fund research for Epidermolysis Bullosa.  As we give thanks for all that we have this Thanksgiving, let’s do something to help John’s dream come true. It’s a simple dream. It is a dream about a day in the future when he won’t have to suffer in such excruciating pain.

The following is from http://www.johnhudsondilgen.com/ 

“We are waiting for a day free from pain and suffering and worry. There is no cure for EB at this time, only bandages and pain medications.. Research going on in Stanford Ca. will go to human trials in a few years and may have hope of a treatment for RDEB. Until then, we are spending our days praying for a cure and hoping I survive the infections and anemia of childhood. I need a cure well before my first bout of squamous cell carcinoma, as this will surely kill me. If it is in your means, please help spread the word about EB, help increase EB awareness, visit my website for updates on me. Please remember me and my other EB friends in your prayers. Tomorrow is another day and my family continues to hold out hope for a better day for me.” ~ John Hudson Dilgen

To get involved, contact Faye at johnhudsondilgen@aol.com.

“We never stand taller than when we kneel to help a child.”  It goes without saying that John is our newest hero on our Wall of Heroes. Please keep him in your prayers.

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