by Dennis Townsend, Contributing Writer
When we send our troops off to war, we expect a lot of casualties, and even though we hate the violence and the thoughts of losing a loved one, it is the nature of the beast. And the soldiers that are not killed, are often faced with the reality of coming home mentally or phisically disabled. That is very traumatic change of life situation for the soldier for sure, and when they get back, someone is going to have to cater to his or her every need. Depending on the severity of the disability, they may require constant care, and someone to not only keep their spirits up, but to also help them to do task that we ourselves take for granted each and every day.
That person has been given the official name, “caregiver”, and nine times out of ten, it’s a spouse who, when they took their wedding vow “in sickness and in health”, had no clue that they would be taking on an unforseen burden of an unimaginable magnitude. The caregiver must not only keep the person that they love so dear encouraged, but must also do the same for themselves. Sometimes it requires long hours of trying to run the household, and then making sure their “hero” has everything they need including medicines, getting them to physical therapy, and taking care of the children if they have any. The strain on someone doing all these things is enough to bring the strongest person to their knees, but these caregivers "soldier" on, and often spend many a night awash in tears that have waited all day to fall.
With about 28% having no healthcare for themselves, and another 40% suffering from severe depression, the possibility of a nervous breakdown looms like goliath waiting to pounce on the caregiver. And they know that if they give up for a minute, the possibility of complete failure would become all to real. There are very few organizations that offer solace to the caregiver, and the Disable American Veterans Association can only do so much with the donations that they collect, that's why they have enlisted the help of private citizens to help with this crisis. One such person is the wife of a true hero, and her name is Elizabeth Dole. For those of you who don’t know her, she is the wife of former Senator Bob Dole who himself was tragically wounded during the war with Germany, and carries the battle scars to this day. So Mrs. Dole herself understands the burdens of the caregiver, and has started an organization, The Elizabeth Dole Foundation, to provide help to those with the task of keeping the familes of the disabled veterans together and functioning.
While we pay our utmost respects to our returning heroes, let us not for one minute forget the hero behind the disabled hero who unselfeshly let the person that meant the world to them go off and put themselves in harms way so that we could be free. If you know of any organization that is geared to help the caregivers, or if you know of someone taking care of a disabled veteran, offer what help you can, for they should be given the “Medal Of Honor” for all they do, and always remember to keep a disabled veteran in your prayers.
by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
When learning they will be attending a camp, some children will be ecstatic, while others may be much less enthusiastic. In either situation, it is a good idea to emotionally and physically prepare your child for camp. Kids with disabilities, as well as parents preparing them, may sometimes face even greater challenges in this area than others.
Dealing With Emotions
Some children may not be very excited to attend camp. They may be concerned about being away from the parents or friends for a long period of time. They may also be concerned about spending so much time with strangers. To ease a child's concerns and fears, discuss the positives of the camp, such as any fun activities your child might enjoy doing. If it is a camp for kids with disabilities or special needs similar to those of your child, let your child know he or she will get to meet children with similar needs as their own. Another thing to remember is that kids can be cruel to each other. There may be some teasing involved. With disabilities involved, it may compound that issue. Do some research and be sure your child is prepared to possibly deal with this. Even children who are overly excited will still need to be prepared for attending a camp. It is a big adjustment to be away from family and home life. Focus on the positive aspects of the camp to emotionally prepare your child for this rewarding experience.
What To Tell the Camp
The camp will need to know a variety of things about your child. As the parent, it is your job to be sure you inform the camp of any special needs or accommodations your child might have. One of the most important necessities a child attending camp will need to have is an emergency contact list. For kids with disabilities, this list may be even more important. Ideally, an emergency contact list should include how to the mother and father of the child, backup emergency contacts in case the parents are not available, as well as phone numbers for doctors, caregivers, and any other pertinent contacts. Kids with disabilities may have extra contacts on this list, such as caregivers and specialists. The camp should be alerted of all allergies, medical conditions, disabilities, special needs accommodations, or other pertinent information pertaining to the child's safety and well-being.
Some camps provide transportation. However, not all of them do. Even if the camp you have chosen provides transportation, it may not always be accommodating for kids with disabilities. Check with the camp your child is attending to see if they provide transportation and if so, what the mode of transportation will be. Ask questions about the accommodations and do not be afraid to be specific. If the camp does not provide the type of transportation your child will need, look into alternative modes of transportation. If you cannot bring the child to the camp yourself, see if a family member, friend, or relative is willing and has the appropriate accommodations to do so. Be sure that whichever mode of transportation is selected is available for the return trip as well.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
Different types of extracurricular sports options can help make it possible for people with disabilities to participate in a variety of sporting activities. Electronic, segregated, unified, parallel and regular sports all are options for persons with disabilities. There are some major and minor differences between these five methods of extracurricular sports activities available to students with disabilities.
Electronic sports are those extracurricular activities in which the results are computed electronically. These types of sports are useful to those with disabilities, as they can make game play more accessible, depending on the individual's disability. This can also prevent any unfair scoring from taking place. An example of an electronic extracurricular sport is bowling. In bowling, a computer keeps track of the turns and scores of players. It is all displayed on a monitor near the bowling lane. Other electronic sports for extracurricular activity include the shot put, the high jump, track and field and power lifting.
In parallel sports, those with disabilities run their sports activities during a certain meet or event after or at the same time as those without disabilities. For instance, if the event in the competition or track meet is a long jump, those without disabilities would complete their event together. Then, immediately following would be the same event for individuals with disabilities. At times, the two groups may participate together in the same event. Paralympics is one example where parallel sports are effectively used for students with disabilities. Special Olympics is another organization that employs parallel, extracurricular sporting methods.
When students with disabilities play on segregated sports teams, they play and compete only with each other. They do not compete in extracurricular activities with individuals who do not have disabilities. This is common in special programs created for individuals with disabilities. Many public and private schools offer these options to students with disabilities. The disabilities can be either mental or physical.
Unified sports are those in which students with disabilities participate in the extracurricular sports activities with others who do not have disabilities. An example of unified sports would be a team for students with disabilities accepting those without disabilities to play on their team for reasons of either filling team number requirements or just to be inclusive of everyone. The same could occur in reverse where a "regular" sports team allows students with disabilities to participate.
This, of course, is when students with disabilities play on "regular" sports teams. Similar to unified sports, everyone plays together. However, the difference is that with regular sports, there may or may not be mention of a student's disability. Accessibility issues are addressed when or if they arise. For instance, someone who has a prosthetic arm or leg could play along with students who do not have any physical disabilities. This type of interspersion is often done to foster the notion that everyone is equal and should play and compete on teams together.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
Lyn Lomasi is founder and owner of the Brand Shamans Content Community. Services include ordained soul therapy and healing ministry, business success coaching, business success services, handcrafted healing jewelry, ethereal and anointing oils, altar and spiritual supplies and services, handcrafted healing beauty products, and more!
Lyn is your brand healing, soul healing, marketing & content superhero to the rescue! While rescuing civilians from boring business practices and energy vampires, this awesomely crazy family conquers evil and creates change.
They live among tigers, dragons, mermaids, unicorns, and other fantastic energies, teaching others to claim their own power and do the same.
By supporting us, you support a dedicated parent, healer, and minority small business that donates to several causes. Profits from our all-inclusive store, Intent-sive Nature support these causes and our beautiful family!
HIRE OR SHOP WITH LYN | CONTACT LYN