Tuesday, April 28, 2009
The photo is of Griffin at bedtime with his Doodle Pro and his VHS tape, he has been drawing and writing like crazy and he has perfected a lot of what he does because he will write/draw them over and over until he is satisfied with the outcome. He seems to find it very relaxing because he does it throughout the day and into the night and he is always so mellow when he is using the Doodle Pro.
He had a major meltdown today, his shadow called me and asked if he had had his meds in the morning and he had. So I called his doctor and he said that we just don't know enough about autism to figure out what causes meltdowns sometimes but for sure it wasn't the new medicine causing it. If he does it again and it is so severe then we might consider increasing the Abilify for severe mood swings. He has been taking it for a year so it might be time for a change or it could have just been a sensory overload.
Griffin is lying down about to go to sleep so I am going to go tell him goodnight and see if he will let me snuggle with him until he sleeps.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Friday, April 10, 2009
Joe Steffy is off to Overland Park, Kan., this week to do a PowerPoint presentation on his business, Poppin' Joe's Kettle Korn. He's a 23-year-old small-business man with a goal of $100,000 in sales by 2012. Joe also has autism and Down syndrome and is nonverbal. When he gives his talk, he will push buttons on an augmentative speech device to deliver the words. His audience will be parents who fervently hope their own special-needs children will be able to work, too.
Joe's parents, Ray and Janet, of Louisburg, Kan., didn't agree with the assessment of the school district in which they lived previously, which had said Joe would never be able to work or live independently. "I'm one who can easily get ticked off," says Ray. "That ticked me off. We saw more in Joe than that. We set out to prove to the school that he had capabilities." They came across kettle corn while on a trip to Alaska and realized that all that popping, scooping, and serving suited Joe's love of work.
The path to Joe Steffy's success was not an easy one; Ray Steffy worked closely with Dave Hammis, an advocate for self-employment for people with disabilities in Middletown, Ohio, who trains business owners, government employees, and parents on how to make use of state and federal programs. The Steffys wrote up a business plan and helped Joe secure $25,000 in grants from programs like Social Security Administration'sPlan to Achieve Self-Support program (PASS).
In 2005, Poppin' Joe's Kettle Korn was born. Sales have grown from $16,000 in 2005 to $50,000 in 2008, both from selling at festivals and from delivering popcorn to local outlets. Joe has five part-time employees, and his parents help out with driving and other tasks. "Pop and everyone that works with him knows whatever Joe wants to do you let him do, because he's the boss," Ray says. "If he wants to pop, he'll shove Dad out of the way and pop."
If the business stays on track, it should be grossing more than $100,000 in three years, and the Steffys are seeking a business partner who can work with Joe to manage the business. Joe is no longer on Social Security disability payments; instead, he pays state sales tax and state and federal income tax. He rents his own house and is helped by caregivers who are paid by a state program.
"It's been hard work, from the standpoint of physical work," says Ray Steffy, who is 67. "But a parent with a child like Joe has a choice. You can either kick in and do this kind of thing, or you can sit and fret emotionally with the amount of energy, worrying about what's going to happen to them."
The payoff for that effort, as far as the Steffys are concerned, has been priceless. They see their son make a local popcorn delivery, accept payment, fold it, and put it in his pocket. When he walks out, his dad says, Joe looks 3 inches taller than when he walked in.
US News. Written by Nancy Shute
Wednesday, April 08, 2009
Sunday, April 05, 2009
Anonymous wrote: (see what I wrote in the previous post about this comment)
Please stop blaming his past teacher. As a teacher of children with autism this will do you or your child no good. Educators may make mistakes but are not the cause of your child's behavior. When I see this with parents who have children with behavioral issues it is so frustrating and really helps noone.
April 05, 2009 11:12 AM
To clueless Anon.- what is frustrating are "teachers" who are teaching kids on the spectrum who have NO CLUE. If you read closely regarding this case in particular that teacher had no behavior plan for this child, no clue how to break down skills and teach in an errorless manner using positive behavior practices (which is required by FEDERAL LAW) and she used extremely reactive and punishing procedures. "Teachers" such as that should stop pretending to understand how to teach kids on the spectrum and should STOP denying the kids FAPE under IDEA. Furthermore, there is an old saying in good ABA teaching in particular (and in all methods of teaching kids on the spectrum)--when a child is having problems "look to the teaching, not the child" meaning it is up to the teacher or therapist to have a complete understanding of behaviors and erroless teaching and be delivering it in a way so the child is successful. Teachers who have no clue to the extensive needs of autism spectrum children end up increasing their behaviors and then who do they blame? The child of course. Really, do the kids a favor and get out of the industry. You are destroying the kids who need experienced instructors.
April 05, 2009 2:13 PM
To clueless anon. Please read the other message I posted and get the hell out of the industry if this is your attitude towards parents and their children on the spectrum!
- I am the mother to the most amazing child whose name is Griffin Blaise and he was born Jan. 31,2002. He is named after the mythological creature,the griffin which was half eagle and half lion. Griffins were in Greek mythology considered to be a symbol of integrity and protection,and are said to protect hidden treasures. His middle name, Blaise, is an ancient Celtic name for fire. Griffin is half Samoan but his dad has been absent since he was born. We live in North Carolina presently but I lived in Alaska for 18 years, that's where Griffin was born. I am a former exotic dancer, I worked for the FBI undercover, I have been a ballroom dance instructor, and have worked on a commercial salmon fishing vessel. I hope that you find this blog delightful, informative, humorous, and perhaps at times a tear jerker. Share in our joy and pain as you read the chronicles of the life and times of Griffin Blaise and Lora.