September 2012


Online Continuing Education and Training Opportunities

The AAIDD Online Learning Site is brought to you in partnership with Essential Learning and provides access to more than 300 courses accredited by national and state organizations. The Developmental Disabilities Course Library contains courses on a wide variety of topics at multiple skill levels. The courses help busy professionals access continuing education credits (CEUs), remain in compliance with regulatory training requirements, improve staff performance, and deliver high quality services to people with developmental disabilities and their families.  The Online Learning Site is open to everyone, but AAIDD members receive a 10% discount on all courses. 

Our newest offering is the AAIDD Supervisory Skills Certificate Curriculum.  This curriculum covers:

       –Supervision and the Principles of Positive Behavior Support
-Supervisory Training Part 1: Defining Work Expectations
-Supervisory Training Part 2: Assessing and Supporting Work Performance

-Supervisory Training Part 3: Knowing How to Discipline and Promoting Positive Work Place Enjoyment

Each of the courses in the curriculum combines interactive exercises, detailed case examples, and instructive information to guide supervisors in promoting work quality and enjoyment among support staff working with people who have developmental and related disabilities. Each course is guided by the principles of Positive Behavior Support and the course content complements the important work originated by Reid, Parsons, and Green in The Supervisor Training Curriculum.

“These courses highlight the importance of an effective supervisor-support staff relationship in providing quality supports and services. We hope that these courses will assist supervisors in guiding staff to provide the best supports and services possible for people with disabilities. AAIDD is committed to investing in the disability workforce by providing evidence-based, practical, and skills oriented tools for success through our online learning program.” says Margaret Nygren, Executive Director & CEO of AAIDD.

Founded in 1876, AAIDD is the oldest professional association concerned with intellectual and developmental disabilities. AAIDD advocates for the equality, dignity, and human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and for their full inclusion and participation in society.

For more information, please contact Danielle Webber at dwebber@aaidd.org.

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At Special Gathering, we don’t often lose a member.  There are many reasons for that.  Yet when we lose a member, it is as difficult for us as any other pastor.  I meet with many pastors fellowship groups during the month.  The one enduring subject discussed is the hurt these men and women of God experience when a member leaves the congregation.

That pain is multiplied when the member is in leadership or has been faithful for many years.  It doesn’t matter if a pastor loses a member because of a death, a move to another city or state, or a misunderstanding, the hurt is there. And it is real.

It may appear that rejection could be the overwhelming reason for this pain; and, of course, that is a part of the formula.  Another cause may be the finances.  A faithful member is almost always one of the principle givers.  In one church where I was on staff, two families left suddenly.  This left a gaping hole in the budget of over $40,000.  The treasurer freaked but not the pastor.

Naturally, these are both burdens; but I’ve found that it is seldom the primary worry of a pastor.  The focus of most pastors who lose members is a deep interest in the spiritual well-being of the person or family who leaves. I have often been surprised at the level of commitment found within these men and women of God who shepherd a flock.

At one church where I worked, the laity on staff often joked about forming an Exit Committee–a board responsible for asking difficult people to leave.  I noticed that the pastors never joined in the laughter and teasing.  They were serious about the spiritual health of all of their members.  I suspected that much of their prayer time was spent on the maverick, thereby, binding the problem sheep to their hearts with a greater degree of compassion.

Of course, I am generalizing and there are really bad pastors out there.  However, the Elmer Gantry’s are few and far between.  While a pastor may not be a great orator, the cry of their hearts in prayer are almost unanimously pleading for the health and growth of their members.

As their hearts yearn for answers to why people leave, there seems to be no accounting for men and women who one day get up and go.  At times, they are called away; and that is a situation that the pastors can reconcile.  But when the parting has been painful and disruptive, it leaves a deep wound and a longing to bring true closure for the sheep who have wandered away.

In a few weeks, we will be beginning Pastor Appreciation Month.  If you are in a church body, remember to pray for your pastors.  If you aren’t participating in a church body, maybe you should seek one out.  Perhaps, you are a part of a fellowship that ministers to people who are intellectually disabled, during this time of the year, these folks are often overlooked.  Be sure to give them a hug of appreciation.  No person will care as much about your soul as a undershepherd of the flock of Jesus.

This year has been a transition point for my life.  Last year, I had a drastic change when my husband died.  In some ways, there is a new freedom.  During other times, I realize that I’m much more constrained.  There was a lot of freedom in being a married woman and simply having another warm body in the house.

The other day as I walked down my street, a man I never met called out my name.  Shocked, I turned and realized that even though we have been distant neighbors for many years, we had never met; but this person knew my name and was bold enough to yell at me.  Surprised, I smile, waved and quickly moved away.  My thoughts were Yipes!  This is unpleasant.  Okay, now what?  Do I stop walking down this street?

Because of this whole transition, I’ve yearned to know where the Lord is leading for the next years.  I believe some things are settled.  My work within the mentally challenged community through Special Gathering will be ongoing.  However, the fringe exercise and direction of my activity in this ministry is always in question.

During this time, I received some “words from the Lord” from several interesting places.  First, came a dream that I didn’t understand.  I shared it in front of a large group because I felt that the Lord wanted me to share it.  (By the way, I always advise people to never share their dreams in a crowd.  Dreams reveal a great deal about you.)  My good and trusted friend told me what the dream meant.  She said I was planning to drop a portion of my ministry; and I must not do that because it was having a wide ranging effect.  I had planned to drop somethings that I felt were not beneficial but very time consuming.

Later, as I pondered dropping a different portion of my ministry, another friend said that the Lord was telling her that even though I was thinking about dropping somethings, I should not do this.  Through my friend, the Lord said that this too was much more effective than I knew.  She hesitantly shared this during a prayer session.

God often speaks through a prophetic word to our hearts when it comes to direction.  The key is that we should be listening.  To tell the truth, I was not at all pleased with these two messages.  The things I wanted to drop have been hard work and I like results as much as anyone else.  The results I see are barely accountable.

Over the past few months, even after these clear messages from the Lord, I tried to rationalize why I should not continue doing this work.  However, there was no way these two friends could’ve known my heart-plans because I had shared them with no one–only the Lord.

Clearly, not everything that people tell us is from God.  When God speaks to us, it should be a confirmation of what you already know or the answer to a question that we are actually asking.  Therefore, if a neighbor yells your name out of the blue, giving you a message that does not apply to your life, then you should smile and move away as quickly as possible.  This message is probably not from the Lord.

Where am I? is a question that we ask in many situations.  The question may not mean that we are lost; but simply in transition.  We feel the need for more secure boundaries in our life.  God will supply the answers for us and most of time it is through godly men and women we know and trust.

The Power of Courage

Acts 4:29

Central Theme:  God gives us courage to speak and do what is right.

Introduction–Bring one of your gardening books. Explain how much I love gardening and I find it easy to talk to people about gardening.  I like to share tips and information.  Explain how nobody is going to kill me for talking about my garden.  Immediately after Jesus died, arose and ascended into heaven, the church was people who loved Jesus so much that they couldn’t stop talking about Him even though it meant that they would be in trouble.  Have a member read Acts 4:29. 

I.     What would happen to you if you decided to tell every person you met about Jesus tomorrow?  Would that take real courage?

A. Would you be arrested?

B.  Would you be put in jail?

C. Would you be killed?  Would you need courage?

II.     In Acts 12:1-25, we read about a group of people who were so happy that they could not stop talking about Jesus.

A. The church leaders of the day got very angry and put their leaders in jail.

B.  James, the brother of Jesus, was killed.

C. But they had great courage.

III.     We know that Jesus has the power to change lives and we want to tell others about what has happened to us but we are afraid.

1.  God can give us courage and joy.

2.  Tomorrow ask God to give you one person who is hurting and needs your help.

A. Become their friend.

B.  Tell them about Jesus.

Conclusions:  We can make a difference in the world, one person at a time, if we have courage.  God will give us courage if we ask.

This is not an endorsement nor recommendation of this facility.  It is offered merely for information purposes.   I have not viewed these homes, nor do I have any connection to this organization.   I am simply passing on an email I received today. –Linda G. Howard

Home – About Ever Care – Services Provided – Local Attractions – Contact Us – Future Plans

Call Mary Jo Henderson at 727-449-7045 for more information.

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Caring to be the best all along the journey

Ever Care Adult Care Services, LLC was created to enhance the lives of all persons with disabilities. Providing choices, Protecting the rights of our residence, Providing excellent housing in a beautiful environment and helping residence to meet and exceed their goals is our number one concern.
 

Ever Care Adult Care Services, LLC. 2840 West Bay Drive # 342 Belleair Bluffs, Florida 33770 For more information contact, Mary Jo at:
Cell: 727-449-7045       Office:727-475-8068

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Perhaps the most miserable place on earth is Shallowland.  This is a place into which most of us slip in and out.  Sometimes several times a day.  Others live there permanently, docking their storm-worn boats just outside the majestic Courts of the Almighty where amazing blessing flow.

For the folks living in Shallowland, they are content to merely see or guess about the wonders which remain freely available inside the gates of God’s courts.  Shallowland is as dismal as the name implies.  Vacant and hallow, morbid, desolate.  Yet, the fear of giving up the familiar holds the resident boat people of Shallowland captive.

Almost no one who lives in Shallowland actively engages in horrific acts of sin.  They satisfy themselves by merely existing in their world of prideful contentment.

Please understand the residents of Shallowland are Christians.  They are simply not deeply committed to their Savior.  Sunday morning church is the best they can muster.  And that may be interrupted by weeks,months or years of “not feeling well” or greater commitments.

When the subject comes up, Sarah tells everyone that she is a member of First Church of Shallowland.  However, she has not attended in more than ten years.  Sarah would be surprised that everyone she once knew there has also disappeared.  She doesn’t expect Pastor Whatshisname to know her; but she would be shocked that First Church took her off the roll five years ago because of inactivity.

While most of the members of The Special Gathering which is a ministry within the mentally challenged community could not be called “Saints of God.”  They desire and aim for that status.  Like green apples, they cling hard to the Source of Life because they want to grow in Christ.  Few of them desire to live in Shallowland.

I’ve learned from them that regarding growth in Christ IQ is not as important as WantTo.  While Paul emphasizes that faith cannot be bought with the price our good works, the book of James reminds us that living for Christ is hard work.  Prayer, study and commitment do not come without determined effort.

But the rewards of living in the Courts of the Almighty are worth every bit of strength we muster.  The Special Gathering members are a stark reminder of the merits of pursuing Christ.  As I look at the joy on Jack’s face and catch a glimpse of Shelley’s heart, I become more and more convinced that the Courts of the Almighty is where I want to be.

This an email from Sharon Gomez, President of American Association of Intellectural and Development Disabilities board of director, I received announcing a new publication, Inclusion.  Perhaps you know someone who would qualify.

Sharon Gomez

Dear Colleagues,

I am delighted to inform you that AAIDD intends to launch a new journal in 2013 and has launched a search for the first editor of this new publication.

This new journal, Inclusion, will be third synchronous journal the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, which publishes the highly ranked Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (Glenn T. Fujiura, editor) and American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (Leonard Abbeduto, editor).

Inclusion is a new, peer-reviewed journal that will provide a multidisciplinary forum for the discussion of interventions and strategies that promote the full inclusion of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in society. This journal will be issued quarterly in an online format only, with an anticipated inaugural issue in June 2013.

To learn more about the vision for this new journal, how it complements the Association’s other publication activities, and editor application information, please visit http://www.aaidd.org/content_9815.cfm.

Sharon Gomez, FAAIDD
Chair, Inclusion Editor Search Committee

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