Special Sauce

A mish-mash of twisted thoughts from a fevered ego. Updated when the spirit moves me, contents vary and may have settled during shipping. Do not open towards eyes. Caution: Ingestion of Special Sauce may cause hair loss, halitosis, and a burning sensation while urinating.


Oscar Nods

Some of you reading this know what I do for a living. Some of you don't. I work for a teeny nonprofit whose goal is to build an independent living facility for individuals with disabilities (think of a retirement home sort of a setup, where help is there if you need it, but you come and go as you please, and do your own thing and that's sorta what we're aiming for), foster an environment of inclusion in the community through the arts, athletics and employment, and include a senior living component, for aging primary caregivers. As much as I bitch about my job, (which I would do even if I was sitting on my ass, getting paid to have a shirtless Christopher Meloni feed me peeled grapes) I really do enjoy what I do. I like the fact that what I am doing today, will make an impact (and hopefully a positive one) on someone's life.

With this in mind, I was thrilled to see Autism is a World is up for an Academy Award for best Short Documentary. It's all about a 26 year old with autism, (click the link for further details) and the fact that it's up for an Oscar is particularly swell. They also bring up an interesting point at the Syracuse website about Facilitated Communication. Some people think it's bullocks and some think it's swell when used properly.

I'm of the mind that it's actually a pretty good thing, and I think that's what the movie is also trying to illustrate (especially since a syracuse prof is pitching it, and they're one of the big proponents of FC in the US... y'know...) One of the residents at the retirement home I worked at was a very young man (42) who had a stroke in his late 30s- the man was VERY bright, (was a grad from film school, had done a lot of neat stuff) but had severe aphasia (where you have massive difficulties speaking).

By the time he came to our facility, he was trying to be more independent, but he was a stubborn guy. Because his parents spoiled his ass, and would do things FOR him, instead of having him do what he was able to do, he would dig his heels in about stuff...we had a hard row to hoe there. While he was in rehab, he worked with one of the tablet style communicators- I got to use the thing, and it was really freakin' cool. And really freakin' expensive. Before his parents set him back, he was using the tablet, and WAS communicating with his therapists. I never was able to convince him that we could use the device again (then again, I'm also not a professional, but...) After a while, he left our facility- ran out of money. A shame, because he was doing much better not living with his parents- he was more animated, more willing to go out and DO things and not just watch Spongebob all the time. I know that without the opportunity to socialize, and get out with other people, he wont make progress. Then again, I also don't think that our facility was right for him either. He was 42. You don't want to chill with 79 year olds, when you're 42, disabled or no.

Which takes me back to the whole point of inclusion vs isolation, and horrific waiting lists, and why I do the job that I do, and why I can't look at Spongebob Squarepants without thinking of that particular resident.


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