People with profound intellectual and multiple videos – in online training

Last year I was honored to be asked to be part of Nick Lennox and team’s fantastic online learning course focusing on the health of people with intellectual disability.

https://www.edx.org/course/well-able-improving-physical-health-uqx-able201x

Here is my little piece of it. I hope it does positive justice to people with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities, enhancing understanding, respect and consideration of them and those people who support them.

DVD cover Understanding Suraj
DVD cover

I was excited to see this snippet today called Understanding Suraj (read about it in the most recent UK Intensive Interaction Newsletter). I will definitely by buying the whole DVD. What do you think of it, how did it make you feel?

Nate Hajdu’s poem on friendship

I read this poem in a book (which I’ll talk more about soon). On many levels in resonated with me (whilst not being religious) and thought I’d share it. It came from the Jubilee Association of Maryland website: http://www.jubileemd.org/template/page.cfm?page_id=45

My Friend Charlie
Nate Hajdu shared this heart-felt poem at the Interfaith Disability Pre-Summit in Washington, DC on September 22, 2005.

My Friend Charlie

He is my friend: I am his friend
I help him out: He helps me to learn
I help him to learn: He helps me to grow
I help him to grow: He teaches me to accept

His struggle: Is my struggle
His vulnerability: Leads to my respect
My respect: Leads him to trust
His trust: Leads to my devotion

His availability: Feeds my desire to be needed
I keep his secrets: He keeps mine
We have an arrangement
His lack of self-consciousness: Leads to my tolerance
His constant need for stimulation: Leads to my patience
His discomfort: Sharpens my sensitivity
His unhappiness: Is my challenge
His presence: Eases my isolation
His loyalty: Leads to my loyalty
Which leads to mutual appreciation

His brokenness: Makes me accept my own brokenness
Which leads to healing
His humanity: Leads to personal connection
His steadfastness: Centers me

His smile: Is my reward
His joy: Lifts my spirits
His happiness: Gives me a sense of purpose
His struggles: Expose my anxieties
Which tests me
Then strengthens me
And in turn bolsters my faith

In guiding: I am guided
In helping: I am helped
In teaching: I am taught

In his laughter: There is joy
In that joy: There is energy
In that energy: There is spirit
In that spirit: There is grace

Interaction shame???

I’ve been noticing lately how many people seem a little apologetic when they tell me or show me what they do when they are interacting with people with PIMD. I hear things like “we just muck around”, “just have cuddles and stuff”, “we don’t do much”, “I probably baby her a bit”, “you’ll think I’m a bit of a loon”. But the person knows that those are the things that work in interactions: playfulness, fun, repetition, quiet being together, tickles. Why is that people are apologetic about doing these things, when they are the things that contribute to a person’s quality of life? Why can’t people stand up and be proud (in the home, day service, and out and about) and say this is what being with this person in a meaningful way is all about?
So many great quality interactions happen in bathrooms and bedrooms behind closed doors (often people are more vocal, move more, and are most alert) where people won’t be embarrassed by their playful interactions – can we get playfulness out of the closet?!?