Monthly Archives: August 2015

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Assistive Technology, Accommodations, and Employment – “It’s All About the Little Things!”

It's the little things

“It’s the little things.”

 We hear time & time again… it’s the little things that can make the biggest difference… or at least, as of late, this is all ringing true for those who are in my professional & personal life.
I had the opportunity to hear of the success a particular person has been having & experiencing while interning with an area business… his name has been changed, but the story is the same. His job coach led off the story with, “It’s all about the little things…”
Michael had a real knack for information & researching where & how to find out information… & enjoys sharing his know-how & knowledge with others. Michael also discovered a real interest in using computers & is excited & motivated to learn more about them & all the ways he can use them. Researching addresses to send fan mail to his favorite celebrities got him started…
He also doesn’t like being on his feet for a long period of time. He tells us, “I’m not as young as I used to be.” Makes sense, doesn’t it? We’re not all spring chickens anymore. He also doesn’t like to be hot. Hot work environments are not his cup of tea. I can’t say I blame him.
His supporters, employment specialist, & job coach were hearing all of this & keeping good notes.
His job coach said, “It’s all about the little things…” Michael needs the room temperature to be (at least) 73 degrees. 74 degrees won’t work (they tried!). If Michael had it his way, his office would be in a meat locker. No lie. He needs a comfortable chair, a dedicated & quiet work area, & a place to keep his lunch cold.
He was previously attending, regularly, a sheltered workshop. While there, he stopped keeping his lunch in the refrigerator. A few times someone took his soda, or lunch. He didn’t like having that happen, so he kept his lunch in his thermal bag with him. The thermal bag only keeps things cool for so long. By the time lunch rolled around, his would be warm. He wouldn’t eat all of his lunch most days (or sometimes not at all). He’d be tired. He wasn’t eating a good lunch. It needed to be cold. Now? He has a cold lunch. He eats all of his lunch… & happily.
Now, he’s very productive. Really productive & motivated. Really motivated. He doesn’t want to leave at the end of his time interning that day. What did it take? Doing something he likes doing, doing something that is meaningful for him. Having a comfortable chair, a cold lunch, & a quiet & cool work environment.
Remarkable.
Or is it?
What are some of the things you need to be successful on the job?

Miracles? Probably not, but…..

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Several years ago, I was asked by a friend to attend / demo our approach to body / energy work at a health fair in my local community… two colleagues, Marianne & Jess, joined me.  We set up a massage table & the adapted massage chair & several people enjoyed mini-treatments from us.  A couple of folks came easily up to us, a few kept coming back for more, & one man kept circling closer & eventually landed & was skittish but then melted! (I was later told that people who knew him were almost in tears watching him!  Apparently he is a very cautious man & rarely lets people in.)  A woman similarly kept coming by & watching but when asked was clearly not sure & would kinda run away (never said a word).  I kept talking with her with each round she made & offered my hand to her (my palm up) & she took it…. I put my other hand on top of hers & she put her other one on top of mine.  She then quickly pulled away & fled again.  She came back a few minutes later pulling a young woman with her.  This woman introduced herself as her nurse & said she had never seen her friend so interested in something.  I reached out my hand again & she took it & walked me over to the massage table where she climbed aboard & laid down face up, as she had seen others do.  I started Reiki with her & she reached out for her nurse friend.  Within a couple of minutes, the woman started showing signs to her nurse that she was having auras & was about to go into a seizure….. but she didn’t want to move off the table.  Not knowing what their usual process was when she seizured I asked if I should stop & the woman on the table said “no!” very emphatically.  Her nurse friend looked very surprised she spoke & so strongly & so I kept doing what I was doing.  I had recently studied CranioSacral Therapy (CST) so sat down at her head & did some very simple “adjustments” & a “stillpoint”.  The nurse kept watching closely but the seizure never happened.  After awhile, I finished & she slowly sat up.  She was smiling ear-to-ear & very calm.  Her nurse was blown away & said this never happens —- once an aura is that clear, a seizure happens & apparently her seizures are pretty substantial.  The nurse asked what I had done & I tried to explain Reiki & CST, as best I could.  I told her where she could go for more info.  From what I was later told, the nurse took a CST course at Upledger Institute.  I told this story at my CST II training at Upledger & my teacher was aware of cases where seizures were lessened in intensity & regularity by CST but not prevented or stopped while in the midst of one or as it was coming on…. but he certainly confirmed that it could.