2 months in

2 months into 2011, and what a busy time it’s been and is.

Multiple follow-ups from Patrick’s lengthy hospital stay last fall, and a few more thrown in with other referrals, thought to be considered and necessary.

Wait for it now………………………………

I’m in College!!!

I am registered at Lambton College and taking a Certificate Program, Community Advocacy.  February 1st, began with 4 courses of the 8 courses required for the certificate.  The first 4 this month are:  Community Advocacy Techniques (the only mandatory course for the certificate), Canada Pension Plan, Ontario Works Act, and Residential Tenancies Act – Part 1.  March courses will consist of:  Employment Standards Act, Residential Tenancies Act – Part 2, and Human Rights Ontario.  The last course, set to start Apr. 1st will be Ontario Disability Support Program.

The courses for Feb are 4 weeks long.  Mar and Apr’s courses are 5 weeks each.  For the current courses now, there are 25 assignments to be completed by the 25th of Feb, then an exam to be completed by the end of the month.  Assignments are 50% of your mark and the exam is the other 50%.

It’s alot of work, but I’m really excited at finishing this certificate.  The resources and information I’ve already learned are great!!  Quite useful for an advocate!  I have organized my bookmarks into folders and categories with each ‘topic’ and ‘field’ to help locate the resources much more quickly and easier.  I’m continually finding resources that will be very helpful when helping others.

There are other courses available, on other topics that are available to be taken, but only 8 are required for the certificate.  Aside from the Community Advocacy Techniques, being mandatory, you can choose from the rest of the list, courses you think will benefit you and be useful to the people you are/may be working with.

My first meeting with the Accessibility Advisory Committee for the city is next week.  I’m looking forward to that, meeting others on the committee and being able to have a voice on accessibility in the City.

As I mentioned in an earlier blog post, I was also going to tour a couple respite houses and see what they were like.  As of today, I have toured one and the other I will be touring next Thursday.  I know this is a good thing, it’s still going to take some getting used to, for myself and for Patrick, but I think it will be ok.  I’ve heard some nice things about the 2 remaining houses I’ve not seen yet.

I am also on a list to be called for a training date for our local Snoezelen Room.  The do the training once a month and I’m hoping the March date works out for me to attend.  February’s date found me already otherwise busy.  For those who don’t know what a snoezelen room is...

“Snoezelen or controlled multi-sensory stimulation is used for people with mental disabilities, and involves exposing them to a soothing and stimulating environment, the “snoezelen room”. These rooms are specially designed to deliver stimuli to various senses, using lighting effects, color, sounds, music, scents, etc. The combination of different materials on a wall may be explored using tactile senses, and the floor may be adjusted to stimulate the sense of balance.

Originally developed in the Netherlands in the 1970s, snoezelen rooms have been established in institutions all over the world and are especially common in Germany, where more than 1200 exist. The term “snoezelen” (pronounced /ˈsnuzələ(n)/) is a neologism formed from the Dutch “snuffelen” (to seek out, to explore) and “doezelen” (to doze, to snooze).

Ideally, snoezelen is a non-directive therapy and can be staged to provide a multi-sensory experience or single sensory focus, simply by adapting the lighting, atmosphere, sounds, and textures to the specific needs of the client at the time of use. There is no formal focus on therapeutic outcome – the focus is to assist users to gain the maximum pleasure from the activity in which they and the enabler are involved. An advantage of snoezelen is that it does not rely on verbal communication and may be beneficial for people with profound autism, as it may provide stimulation for those who would otherwise be almost impossible to reach.

Snoezelen is used for people with autism and other developmental disabilities, dementia, and brain injury.”

Knowing about this resource and having being able to be trained for the room, I feel will be a benefit to individuals/families that I am helping, should this be a resource that they may find beneficial.  Seeing and knowing what the room is like and does, will help me be more informed and perhaps alleviate any anxiety and/or answer any questions a family/individual may have regarding the Snoezelen Room.  🙂

Next week is also the IPRC meeting at the highschool for Patrick.  Both Patrick & I will be in attendance.  We will be going over the transitioning for Patrick and picking his courses for the upcoming new school year.  Apparently, something all the highschools are doing now, is a $50 ‘student fee’ that is payable with registration.  I inquired what this fee was for and what it covered.  Some of the things included in that fee are a student card and a hard cover yearbook at the end of the year.  Ok…I can be cool with that  hahaha  🙂

Once I find some time, I really need to sit and write about everything that happened and went on while Patrick was in hospital last fall.  I’m having a few concerns the past week that there may be some issues brewing again.  I’ve placed a call to the Neurosurgery team and am waiting for a phone call to update them and see what they’re thoughts are.

I will go into the rest later on…lunch time is almost over, its time to hit the assignments again.  I finished 2 more this morning! 🙂

Have a great day all!! 🙂


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