jassmineGod is Patient

II Peter 3:9

Central Theme: God is patient with everyone.

Introduction– I had purchased a new jasmine vine that that I brought to show. My other vine was killed in a hurricane.  It took me a long time to replace it because I was really sad that the other one  died.  It had grown so large that it was a shelter for my back yard. Do you think a man of God should be more concerned about a dead plant than he is a city like Vero Beach  or Melbourne, Florida?  (Insert your city.)

I. Have a member read II Peter 3:9

  1. Tell the story of Jonah.
  2. Show a dead plant.
  3. Jonah wanted God to kill all the people in the city on Ninavah. But he was so angry he wanted to die rather than live because his vine had died.   (Jonah 4)

II. God is patient with everyone.

  1. He does not want anyone to have an unhappy life or die without Him.
  2.           A. There was a time that I got angry with some people who were gossiping about me.  There were actually times I wanted them to die.
  3.           B. God helped me to love them because He loves them.
  4. This is how God will help me to be patient with people, especially people who are being hateful to me.

A. God helps me remember that God loves that person as much as he loves me.
B.  God  helps me find out good things about that person.
C. God  helps me think good thoughts about the person when he or she is not with me.  I find that we usually like people when we are with them.  But we will think bad thoughts when there are not with us.

a. Many times when they are not with us, we think about what the people did or said.  Then we get angry.

Conclusion–God is patient and he can help me to be patient with other people.

Family Cafe logo

Dear Friend,

It’s almost time to register online for The Family Café’s “Sweet Sixteen,” The 16th Annual Family Cafe!

Online registration for The 16th Annual Family Café will open on another sweet occasion, Valentine’s Day, Friday, February 14th at 9:00 AM (EST). At that time, you will be able to visitwww.FamilyCafe.net to register. As part of the registration process, you will also be able to request Financial Assistance to cover the cost of your hotel stay at the Hilton Orlando, host site for The 16th Annual Family Café.

A PDF version of the registration brochure is available on our website right now. It can be viewed by following this link. Feel free to download the brochure and share it with other families in your community! If you wish to send in your registration form immediately instead of waiting until February 14th to register online, you can fax it to us at 850/224-4674 or mail it to The Family Cafe at 519 N Gadsden St., Tallahassee FL 32301.

Remember, Financial Assistance will be distributed through a lottery process. Whether you register online, by fax, or by mail, your chances of receiving Financial Assistance remain the same.

Also, if you register by mail or fax, there is no need to register again online after the online registration form becomes available.

The Family Café’s Sweet Sixteen will be held June 6-8, 2014 at the Hilton Orlando, 6001 Destination Parkway in Orlando.  A block of rooms has been reserved at a special conference rate of $109 per night.  To make a reservation, call the Hilton at 407/313-4300. Make sure to mention The Family Café to get the special room rate.

No matter how you register, please remember to mark your calendar for The 16th Annual Cafe! It should be a fantastic Sweet Sixteen weekend with much to offer you and your family. If you have any questions about the event or the registration process, feel free to contact us at 888-309-2233(CAFE) or by replying to this message. Otherwise, we will look forward to seeing you in June!

Thanks,

The Family Cafe

The Family Cafe 888-309-CAFE www.FamilyCafe.net

519 North Gadsden Street
Tallahassee, FL 32301
United States

angel-shepherdsThat night, some shepherds were in the fields nearby watching their sheep. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them. The glory of the Lord was shining around them, and they became very frightened. The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I am bringing you good news that will be a great joy to all the people. Today your Savior was born in the town of David. He is Christ, the Lord. This is how you will know him: You will find a baby wrapped in pieces of cloth and lying in a feeding box.”

Then a very large group of angels from heaven joined the first angel, praising God and saying:

“Give glory to God in heaven,
and on earth let there be peace among the people who please God” (Luke 2:8-14).

storm cloudAs often as we quote these amazing promises, the signs of our times proclaim that “there is no peace on earth.”  This year, we must bow our head in wonder at the gross event that happened in the elementary school in Sandy Hook, Connecticut on December 14.  While others are calling for gun control and more security in schools, parents of children who experience  psychotic episodes are pleading that our nation will begin real reform in our mental health system regarding children and young adults who are prone to violent behavior.

Ministers and pastors within the disability community are filling Internet blogs and social networks with information and warnings that our health care system regarding psychotic young men is not broken but non-existent.

President ObamaI am not an expert in this area.  In fact, in my ministry, our members who are mentally challenged, are remarkably healthy in the area of mental health considering the rejection and ill-treatment they receive on an almost daily basis.  Therefore, I do not speak as one who lives with the effects or desires to bring a measure of peace and health to this population.  Yet, I do have a small voice and there is great need to speak.

The concern for many in the area of mental illness is that nationalized health care will not mean better care but less care.  History speaks a prophetic work of more neglect as the government takes more and more power in the area of public health.  As other populations have benefited, this segment of our nation has been overlooked more and more.  This must not be.  It has become clear that the lives and well-being of our most vulnerable populations are at risk.

Our prayers are extended to the families of the young ones who were killed.  We also extended our prayers to the parents and children–who like this young shooter–suffer every day the torment and cruel effects of mental illness and psychotic behavior.

We pray that the peace of God will reign in the hearts and minds of all who seek the Lord.

Congressman PoseyIt was a happy day when I mentioned to a person who works at Congressman Posey’s office about my AT&T phone problem.  “Oh, no,” the Congressman’s helpful office manager, Pam Gillespie, said.  “It is a federal law that you must be able to transfer your number to your new carrier. They are breaking FCC rules.”

For over a month, I’d been fighting with a slew of AT&T representatives to get my home/ministry phone connected from a different carrier.  The result was that AT&T had somehow lost my phone number; and they were reporting to me that there was no way to retrieve it from the new carrier who had acquired it.  While this didn’t seem reasonable to me, because the phone number would not be given to someone else for at least two months, I could not get anyone at AT&T interested enough to eliminate the problem.

Mrs. Gillespie advised me to notify the Congressman’s office and fill out and sign a privacy form.  She assured me that if there were a Congressional Inquiry started regarding my situation that my month-long ordeal would be resolved to my satisfaction.  Mrs. Gillespie was correct.  Even though it was the day before Thanksgiving, I received calls from my former carrier and AT&T within an hour of the carriers’ receiving the inquiry information.

By the end of the week, I had my phone with my old phone number.  While my ordeal seemed complicated and overwhelming to me, a report to the Federal Communications Commission from Congressman Posey’s office quickly untangled the knots from the problem.

I want to personally thank Congressman Bill Posey and his fine staff for solving this perplexing situation.  Phone service seems to be a complicated problem for many people and there are many complaints regarding AT&T service.  However, if you are facing this hassle, call your congressional representative.  I did and I was thrilled with the results. In addition, I found that every AT&T rep that I spoke with (and I chatted with about 100 of them) were all friendly and sincerely wanted to help me.  Almost every time I yelled at them, I was almost sorry that it did it.

Linda G. Howard

This is my opinion and reaction alone.  It does not reflect the opinions of Special Gathering or any other staff member or volunteer.

Since sarcasm is a staple in the life of my family, here are 11 reasons to NOT evacuate when a life-threatening storm is approaching.  I’ve had plenty of experience to accumulate reasons over the 45 years we’ve lived in a beach community.

I live in Florida on an island about a half mile from the ocean and 1 and 1/2 miles from the inlet waterway.  My family and I have faced repeated evacuations.  When our children were younger, we told them that they could bring one thing with them that they could not live without.  We had a hurricane box with needed supplies and food for a week.  We learned to pack a week of clothing in about five minutes.  We had a big supply of candles and a gas lantern.  We left our home at the first call for evacuation, long before the traffic jams or mandatory evacuation orders were given and house to house searches were performed by the police.

Each year, many others stay on the island.  Therefore, I’ve heard all the excuses for not leaving.  However, I’ve accumulated 11 reasons that I believe motivate people to stay in dangerous places.

  1. I have a death wish for myself and my family.
  2. Because I enjoy watching my home burn down to the ground should there be a gas leak that would cause a fire near my home, I won’t leave.  I know that 40 mile-an-hour winds cause fires to spread.  Yet, I assume that my life is The Great Exception and my home won’t burn down like the house down the street.
  3. Because I am much larger than my 1,500 square-foot house, I must stay to protect it.
  4. The possibility of losing my roof is common; but it certainly will not happen to me or my house.
  5. I am a thrill seeker and risking my life is the biggest thrill of a lifetime.  Riding a roller coaster is a small thrill. Watching trees fall onto my roof and trying to dodge broken glass is much more exciting.
  6. I am an intelligent person; but I am stupid when it comes to common sense involving my life and limbs.
  7. I truly believe that I am the strongest person who ever lived. I am much stronger than any storm a hundred mile wide pounding 90 mile-per-hour winds for 12 to 14 hours.
  8. Should I have to be rescued, I enjoy putting other people’s lives at risk.
  9. While I’m the first person to give lip-service to the heroes in my community,  I do not truly value the lives of our firemen and police officers.  Therefore, I will happily put their lives at risk so that they can rescue me in the middle of the storm.
  10. I can use my beloved pets as an excuse for my fool-hearty actions for facing dangerous, devastating conditions.
  11. The fact that I can take my pets with me and deliver them from danger does not make sense to me.  Even though almost all hotels will waive their restrictions on pets and keeping a pet safely in a car makes more sense than putting their lives in danger, they are such a convenient excuse why not use it and put their lives in danger also?

Of course, there are exceptional circumstances.  During Sandy, the floods were higher than predicted.  Yet, people who lived on these islands did not leave until their homes, clothes, shoes and outerwear were underwater.  They have not coats, food or water.  It is sadder than anyone can imagine.

However, when devastation can be seen approaching, isn’t it common sense to simply pack a bag and leave?

Worship is the apex of all the many things we do at Special Gathering.  Therefore, it is vitally important to us that things go smoothly but there are weeks that are beyond interesting and border on bazaar.

A couple of years ago, there was a Sunday at our Melbourne program that was “beyond interesting.”  We were celebrating a birthday.  Then some of our members with autism began to exhibit behaviors.  As I was closing the devotions for the day, Criss began to yell, “Don’t do that!  Stop it!”  Criss and her twin always sit in the back of the room.  They have a friend/volunteer who sits with them because even though Criss is high functioning she is blind and in a wheel chair.  She needs physical assistance.  Her twin is much lower functioning but with no physical disabilities.

When I looked over her way, Criss was frailing and trying to hit her friend.  Because this is totally out of character for Criss, I knew that she must be seizuring.  Without changing the tone of my voice, I said, “God wants to honor each of us.  Time it,”  However, everyone seemed to be confused about what was happening and no one began timing the seizure.

I knew I needed to get the attention of our most experienced volunteer.  David is a professional who owns and operates three group homes.  He has been on staff with Special Gathering.  “David,”  I said, “please begin to time this.”  He immediately started to time the seizure and walk toward Criss’ small group.

I closed in prayer and dismissed everyone.  The other volunteers snapped to attention and put their best plans into action.  “We have birthday cake,” Priscilla said loudly.  “Let’s go celebrate.”  After worship we normally go to the social hall for refreshments with the church body.  The other volunteers began ushering all the members out of the gym into the social hall.  David was still timing the seizure, by now it had been 1 minute and 45 seconds.  I called the girls’ caretaker.  After explaining the situation to her, I said, “We normally call 911 after three minutes.  It’s been 3 minutes and 10 seconds now.  I believe that most of the seizing has stopped but we can’t get her to respond.”

“Call 911,” the caregiver said.   “I’ll meet the ambulance at the hospital.”

After my phone call to the caregiver and while I was dialing 911, I asked David to go to the hospital with Criss.  I gave the 911 rescue personnel the exact address of the church, the details of the situation and my phone number.  The ambulance factility was close by the church.  They assured me that they would be less than two or three minutes for them to get to the church.

By now children’s church had invaded the gym with basketballs and other ball games.  They were not able to move out of the gym because there were too many of them and there was only one person to supervise them during this play time.  Therefore, I thought it would be better to move Criss out to the large hallway that is also used as a lounge.  Normally, you would never attempt to move a person in her condition.  However, she was in her chair and this would be an easy and safer situation for her.  By the time we had moved her chair the few feet into the lounge, the fire department had arrived.

Before they would take her, they wanted to see her ID and her Social Security card.  This was a new requirement from emergency personnel and Cris didn’t have any ID with her.  We again called the caregiver.  She had the needed information.  Once the ambulance arrived, she wanted to have the caregiver give her the same information.  The ambulance attendant was insistent that information regarding her medication could not be taken from our database that we carry with us accessed from the Internet but must be in writing.  I believe that this was HERrequirement, only.  We have never had anyone ask for this.

I can’t explain how extremely proud I was regarding the performance of our volunteers during this emergency situation.  To review quickly, these were the things that went smoothly and wer done right in the face of a seizure emergency.

  1. Our volunteers had been trained to know what should and should not be done in the case of an emergency.
  2. Timing of the seizure began immediately.
  3. Our staff and most experienced volunteers took control of the members and relieved me of the concern for their safety.
  4. Our senior volunteer knew that it would be expected of him/her to go to the hospital.  Before I asked, he had made plans to be at the hospital until I could arrive, after the program.
  5. Unlike the shepherd who left the 99 to seek after the one sheep, a program director doesn’t have the luxury to leave the members and rush to the hospital.  However, I can assure that my most experienced volunteer goes.  Then after I have insured that all our members have gotten on the bus and they are on their way home, I can go to the hospital.
  6. After 3 minutes of seizuring, call 911.
  7. Have medical information ready for the EMT or fire department.
  8. According to a group of experienced nurses who have worked with us, you need to have a list of medications, information regarding if there are allergies or seizures for the EMT.
  9. Be sure that you have current phone numbers, emergency numbers and cell phone numbers for the people in your program.
  10. Members should be moved from the area as quickly as possible.
  11. Do not move the person seizuring, unless they are in danger of being hurt where they are.
  12. Do not attempt to stop the fall.  However, you might cushion his/her head as s/he hits the floor.
  13. Do not attempt to pull the tongue out.
  14. Try to get the person to respond to you by asking questions.  Don’t hit or slap the person but try to get a verbal answer from him/her.
  15. When you call 911, they will need the exact address of the place where you are at.  Be sure that you have this physical address memorized to the point that it will roll off your tongue.  If the address contains an East or West, this is essential for the ambulance to know.
  16. Remain calm.  Speak in a measured and calm, quiet voice.  In this way, your members will pick up from your cue and they will remain calm.

What are some other things you have learned in dealing with emergencies and seizures?

California farm from which diseased cow came

There is another case of Mad Cow disease found in the US.  The medical name for the disease is bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE.  As predicted, we have been told that the United States beef supply is more than safe and there is absolutely no danger to the public.

Yet, I understand from some folks from England that they were also assured that their meat was all right until the government officials could not longer ignore the people who were suffering with this maddening disease. The human form is known as variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD).  The beginning stage is largely one of anxiety, depression and other psychiatric symptoms.

You may be questioning what causes this dread cattle malady.  It has been proven that the disease is caused from feeding cattle meat and body waste.  Some years ago, it was found that chicken by-products and manure could be added to cattle feed and the cow would eat it.  It also seemed to be good for them because they were able to gain more weight faster.  Then the dreaded disease began to appear in the herds.  In an article no longer available on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website, this excerpt was published as “Information for Consumers Food and Drug Administration Center for Veterinary Medicine entitled, The Use of Chicken Manure/Litter in Animal Feed.”  The sub-title of the article states “The following consumer information is provided by Daryl Fleming, Communications Staff, FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine.”  This is a small excerpt from the article.  

Recycled animal waste, such as processed chicken manure and litter, has been used as a feed ingredient for almost 40 years. This animal waste contains large amounts of protein, fiber, and minerals, and has been deliberately mixed into animal feed for these nutrients. Generally, animal waste is used within the State where it is produced because the bulk and weight of the product makes interstate shipment uneconomical. Normally, this animal waste is used by small farmers and owners of beef and dairy herds as a winter supplement for mother cows and weaned calves.

We have been assured that this deadly practice has been eliminated but how much oversight is given over the production of this cattle feed?  The FDA in the paper “Framework for the FDA Animal Feed Safety System” admits, “Animal feed ingredients and mixed feeds produced and used in the US have a good safety record.  However, because oversight of this industry is limited and focused on a few known safety issues, potential human and animal health problems remain hidden. ”

There are often concerns regarding the foods we eat.  It is a fact that cows fed only grain will never have contract Mad Cow Disease. The Bible prescribed for us clean and unclean foods.  In simple words, scavenger animals, birds and sea foods should not be eaten.  Fruit and vegetables are all right.  However, the animal kingdom is divided clearly in the Old Testament.  Clean animals do not eat animal flesh or other by products, including manure.

I understand as Christians, we no longer live under the law of Moses.  Yet, the Old Testament prescribes stern warning regarding the foods we eat.  Of course, there is the vision given to Peter regarding the sheet that came from heaven.  God clearly said to him that everything that He had made was clean.  Christians have taken this as a proclamation to allow us to eat those unclean foods.  Never the less, there are reasons for God’s prohibition.  The Lord’s reasons weren’t arbitrary or even legalistic. We are finding that these laws contain clear concerns for our health.

There may never be a need to teach the clean/unclean foods in your special needs program or ministry.  However, you may want to begin to consider the foods you are eating out of concern for your own health.

When Sally met Matthew, she said she loved him from the first.  Of course, Sally had never had a man give her any attention all of her 30 years.  A petite blonde, she had lived in a small town in North Carolina.  Her parents had protected her to the point that she wasn’t even able to go to a sheltered workshop to work.  Then tragic events brought her to our county to live with a distant relative that she had only met one time.

After several years, the relative was overwhelmed with the responsibilities of a young woman with Downs Syndrome.  She turned to a local agency for help.  Sally was able to obtain a placement in a group home.  Within a few months, Sally was moved into an apartment.  Matthew lived in the apartment across the hall from Sally.  He was an experienced young man who understood how to win Sally’s heart.

Unfortunately, Matthew was the victim of abuse in his family.  Therefore, he proceeded to abuse Sally, beating her badly after their sexual encounters.  Because Matthew was also a mentally challenged individual and Sally refused to press charges against the man she loved, Matthew was never arrested or paid any price for his brutal beatings.

It is a well-known psychological fact that victims of abuse become abusers.  While we hate to admit it, this fact is true within the mentally challenged community, also.  While the story of Sally and Matthew is ugly and rare, it is true.  Perhaps the blame rests on the professional community, who believed that the indisputable principle of choice was more important than safety.  Perhaps it was the fault of APD who encourages the placement of people into apartments, whether they are ready for that move or not.

It would seem obvious that Sally wasn’t prepared to handle Matthew’s advances.  Yet, she wasn’t moved from the apartment complex or given the kind of protection that she needed.  Perhaps, it is the fault of politicians, who can’t seem to find the money to provide funding for our most vulnerable citizen.  Perhaps it is the fault of an entire society who discount the value of mentally challenged people.

Perhaps, there are too many people who cling to a faulty and unsafe philosophy to point fingers to any one set of people.  Could it be that there are so many problems involved in the system that there is no good solution?  This is why we at The Special Gathering, a ministry within the mentally challenged community, must advocate for the community we serve.  Richard Stimson, the Executive Director of Special Gathering, has said, “A shepherd protects his sheep.  Therefore, advocacy must be a part of pastoral care.”

What do you think is the responsibility of a specialized ministry in regard to advocacy?  Even though Sally wasn’t a member of Special Gathering, did we still have an obligation to advocate for her?  What could be done for Sally, since she didn’t want any help?

It seemed like three hours but it was no more than 10 minutes.  Ginny–an elderly Special Gathering member with diabetes–has seen her cognitive abilities eaten away from the circumstances that surround her life.  As Ginny got off the SCAT bus to join us at Special Gathering, she was separated from the members going into the gymnasium; and she was swept away by a different group of adults going into the elevator.  She followed them into a different Bible study class.

They knew that she belonged with Special Gathering; but Ginny refused to go with a stranger from the classroom.  In the meantime, we were frantically trying to find her.  After a search of the church and the neighborhood, she was found by our supervisor who crashed the Bible study class and was told that Ginny was with them.

In the end, when I heart began to beat again, I was grateful for the system of checks that we have in place at Special Gathering.  Each person is checked four times:  1) When they arrive.  2) When they enter the room for worship.  3) When they go into their Bible study classsroom. 4) When they leave.  With 60 or more people, it could be easy to lose track of one person without this checking system.

As soon as we realized that Ginny had not entered the room for worship, we began to check the bathrooms.  Her routine is to go to the bathroom because she has a long bus ride.  When she wasn’t there, we checked the obvious places.  When that search didn’t produce any results, we canvased the building.  Then, the entire campus and the neighorhood was reviewed.   She was found safely tucked in a class in a secluded corner of the room.

The lesson I learned was that God’s protection sometimes involves our being proactive with safe guards.  My husband often warned me that my impulsive personality frequently prompted me to move from the bounds of God’s protection.  When our son was younger, he got large carbuncles as a result of playing in the sand in the vacant lot adjacent to our back yard.  His greatest joy in life was digging great big holes and then playing in them.

For about a year, I didn’t know why he was getting these bad sores.  The doctors had no clue regarding the source.  Then I noticed a correlation between his playing in the sand and these infections.  “We are tempting the Lord, if we continue to let him play in the sand,” my husband said.  Even though I knew we would be taking away his greatest pleasure in life,  it made sense.  He was no longer allowed to go into the back lot and the carbuncles stopped.

While our checks may seem inconvenient, it is a great blessing when we realize that the system works.  God’s protection is there but we must avoid tempting the Lord with our careless actions.

Today began the myriad of e-mails that Special Gathering staff will exchange in preparation for Camp Agape that will be held May 25 to 28 in Vero Beach, Florida.  Actually, the e-mails, faxes and memos began in January but they were mostly to other businesses or organizations: transit operators, business owners, and professionals that we need to contract with to start our preparations.

I know camp is well on the way when we begin the MANY decisions regarding health and safely.  Each year should we hit a snag, we methodically endeavor to fix that error by the next year.  The one thing that Richard Stimson, Special Gathering Executive Director, tries to drill into each new employee’s head is that the safety of our members, especially at camp, is the paramount thing.

Those of us who consider ourselves deeply spiritual try to discount his concerns.  After all, “The Lord will provide.  He keeps watch and guards over the weak,”  we mumble to ourselves as we walk away from our less spiritual mentor.   It is the spiritual well-being that we must be concerned about and let the Lord take care of the mundane things like health and safety.

Then one day the truth of his assertions slams us square in the face.  Usually it about noon time the first day, we have total responsibility for a person, group or activity.  It could be something small, like Joanie who stumbles over a shoe lace getting up one step leading to her position where she will sing with the choir.  And you suddenly realize that in her fragile physical condition, she could have fallen and seriously hurt herself.  Checking shoe laces becomes a priority from that day forward.

Or it could be a large rock that bops you in the forehead.  My least favorite shocker was the day that someone dropped off a new person at the front door of the building where we were meeting and then drove off.  I had no information, no phone number, no way to reach anyone should there be an emergency.   You didn’t know the person’s name and he was non-verbal.  I didn’t have to be told again that the safely of our members becomes the hippopotamus in middle the room that can rip the heart of your program into shreds.

You see, in this ministry to people with special needs, we cannot continue to survive unless we take care of our members in a safe and professional manner.  When we come into a new community, we intend to be there forever.  We aren’t there for a year or two but for decades.  However, we must build the trust of parents before they will entrust their children into our care.  That means sweating the little details, like proper shoe care and getting up-to-date information about each of our members.

After a time, you realize that God will methodically take care of the spiritual needs of his children.  Of course, we prepare for the spiritual needs, also; but it is ultimately, his work and his work alone.  Only a supernatural power of the Holy Spirit can open and change a heart. allowing us to understand his love and grace.   But we are his hands and feet making sure that the shoe laces are tied and the information sheets are up to date.

Is there one thing that you have found is vital in the operation of your program?  What safety factors have you put in place?

At Camp Agape

At Special Gathering, much like your own ministry, there is much debate about health and safety.  For a couple of weeks our executive director and area leader for several counties has been fighting a virus that doesn’t want to go away.  Even though he is no longer contagious, he simple doesn’t feel up to par.  He would much rather stay in bed than get up and run his weekly programs.  But he gets up and he goes in spite of his feeling of weariness.

There is no doubt that without someone to be in charge of a program, we cannot have the Special Gathering program.  Yet, what do we do in emergencies?  For about seven years, I had in place a plan for what would happen if my husband died on the weekend when we were having Special Gathering or during camp.

A few years ago, our South Carolina program director started taking her members on cruises.  The agency could not send paid staff; and so she went as an unpaid volunteer.  On occasion, she would ask me to go with her as an additional volunteer.  Again, we put into place what would be expected should our mother or my husband died.

When we were out of the country, we asked that we not be contacted because there was nothing we could do until we came home.  At camp, I’m less than an hour away from my home.  Yet, we put the same plan in place during that time.

Fortunately, the Lord was gracious and we didn’t have to put our plan in place but the instructions were there.  Honestly, at times, I balked inwardly at having to do this kind of preparation.  However, the reality is that we deal with medically fragile and vulnerable adults.  Once an event is in place, we don’t have the luxury to stopping to meet a personal emergency.

As a caveat, the Lord has been gracious.  No emergency has ever happened during a time that was not “convenient.”  (Can an emergency ever be convenient?)  In addition, I’ve seen all our my grandchildren within 24 hours of their births. And they were all born at least a thousand miles from our Central Florida home.

Whether you are involved in a ministry for a special needs population or not, I’ve come to believe that all of our lives should be lived in a state of preparation.  We need to exist  much like the Lord’s parable that tells us that we should not begin to build a house until we count the cost of the construction supplies and labor.  We should not go to war unless we have the troops and will to win.  We must count the cost but He plans and knows our future.

Action Alert – SB 1516

The Florida Senate Health Regulation Committee is about to take up SB1516 which will substantially alter how services are prioritized and individual consumer iBudget allocations are decided.  The bill was amended this week but key issues were not resolved.  The bill is scheduled be heard as early as Tuesday January 31st.

Background:    Sen. Joe Negron filed SB 1516 on behalf of the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) earlier this year.  This bill changes APD’s responsibilities for services to those related primarily to health and safety.  As filed, the bill limits APD’s responsibility for quality of life to individuals living in its two major state institutions. What this means in terms of iBudget allocations is that an individual’s need for funds excludes any need for adult day training, transportation, respite care, dental care, companion services and several others.  With this methodology, people would have to choose what to give up if they wanted any of these services or find another way of funding them.

While there is no House companion, this is a very dangerous bill.  APDs strategy is to get this bill passed through the appropriations process which could happen even without a House version of the bill. 

Action Needed:  Contact your Senators and tell them (in your own words) what it would mean if you had to give up any of these services.  If your Senator is on the Health Regulation Committee ask them to vote against this bill.  Below are the members of the Health Regulation Committee.

______________________________

Miguel Diaz de la Portilla – Miami Florida

(305) 643-7200 & (850) 487-5109

portilla.miguel.web@flsenate.gov

________________________________________

Mike Fasano – New Port Richey Florida

 (727) 848-5885 & (850) 487-5062

 

fasano.mike.web@flsenate.gov

__________________________________

 Don Gaetz – Destin Florida

 (850) 897-5747 & (850) 487-5009

gaetz.don.web@flsenate.gov

_______________________________________

Rena Garcia – Hialeah Florida

305-364-3100 & 850-487-5106

garcia.rene.web@flsenate.gov

_______________________________________

Dennis Jones – Seminole Florida

(727) 549-6411 & (850) 487-5065

jones.dennis.web@flsenate.gov

_______________________________________

Jim Norman – Tampa Florida

(813) 265-6260 & (850) 487-5068

norman.jim.web@flsenate.gov

_______________________________________

Eleanor Sobel – Hollywood Florida

(954) 924-3693 & (850) 487-5097

sobel.eleanor.web@flsenate.gov

A Unique Summer College Experience 

For teens with Asperger’s, Nonverbal, ADHD and other Learning Differences

Dear Debra,

Applications are arriving daily for our 2-week Summer Programs for teens 16-19 withAsperger’s, ADHD and NLD and other Learning Differences.Don’t miss this unique opportunity at six college or university locations in the US!

If you’re interested in joining us for another fun summer submit your application now! Participants who join us this summer can expect expert staff and outstanding programming, a top-rated college or university setting, and plenty of action-packed learning and recreational activities.

During our two exciting weeks together, participants will be introduced to CIP’s comprehensive curriculum, developing goals through the Person-Centered Planning process, practicing independent living skills and social competencies. Best of all, participants will have lots of opportunities to build new friendships and have plenty of fun!

FUN Activities!

During the CIP Summer Program we feature theme-based curriculum, connecting important concepts with fun social activities throughout the day.  

All locations feature:

  • Rock climbing or ropes course
  • Bowling
  • Movies
  • Laser Tag
  • Amusement or Water Park
  • A Field Day with CIP students
  • 1 meal per day at a restaurant
  • Board games
  • Yoga or meditation

Other activities may include:

  • Zoos, kayaking, baseball games, mini golfing, and/or roller skating
  • Museums (Children’s, Science, Art or Naval and Military)
  • Local attractions including Alcatraz (Northern California), Niagara Falls (New York), Kennedy Space Center (Florida),  Boston Aquarium (Massachusetts), and Wonderlab Science Museum (Indiana) just to name a few! 

Summer Program Dates & Locations

CSU Dominguez Hills *NEW* 

Carson, CA

July 1- July 15, 2012

 

Florida Tech

Melbourne, FL

June 24 – July 8, 2012

  

Indiana University

Bloomington, IN

July 1 – July 15, 2012

More info

 

University at Buffalo

Buffalo, NY

July 8 – July 22, 2012

More info

 

University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, CA

July 15 – July 29, 2012

More info

  

Elms College

Chicopee, MA

July 15 – July 29, 2012

More info

 

Apply or Learn More! 

*Acceptance is limited to 12 students at each location. Applications are processed on a first-come first-served basis. There is a $50 application fee. Full payment of $3,975 is due upon acceptance.

Answers for many of your general questions.

We hope that you’ll join us for an incredible two weeks that students will remember for a long time to come! 

Sincerely,

Abby Tierney

Summer Program Coordinator

College Internship Program

phone: (877) 566-9247 x 13

fax: (413) 243-2517 

info@cipsummer.com

18 Park St

Lee, MA 01238

www.cipsummer.com

This is the current newsletter sent by WaiverProvider.com. I am unable to format this correctly. To see the entire newsletter, go to the websight.

WaiverProvider.Com September 30, 2011

Is Your Support Plan Current And Correct?

All cost plans are being reviewed between now and November 15, 2011. If your need for services are not well documented, they could be eliminated or reduced. It’s very important that all documentation be sent up at the time of review. If your services are reduced or eliminated, you will have a chance for due process, but the judge will only be looking at what was actually submitted. You will not be allowed to give the judge more documentation during your hearing. Contact your support coordinator to learn more.

Minor Differences, That Are Not So Minor

Is Justification For Your Residential Habitation Rate Documented?

Minimal

$2195.48 Month

Moderate

$3294.48 Month

Self care/daily living tasks:

including physical assistance and mealtime intervention to eat safely, may require mealtime interventions and/or devices.

May require consistent verbal and physical help to complete self care/daily living tasks,

Requires substantial prompting and/or physical assistance to perform self-care/daily living activities.

May be totally dependent on staff for dressing/bathing. May require mealtime interventions and/or devices OR receives all nutrition through a gastrostomy or jejunostomy tube.

Toileting

May require scheduled toileting or use of incontinent briefs.

Incontinent of bowel or bladder. May require scheduled toileting or use of incontinent briefs.

Walking

Walks independently or independently uses a manual or power wheelchair.

Independently uses a powered wheelchair, may need assistance with a manual chair.

Transfer / Change Positions

· May require assistance to change positions.

· Needs physical assistance of one person to transfer or to change positions.

· May require assistance to change positions.

· Needs physical assistance of one person to transfer or to change position.

· Disability prevents sitting in an upright position, has limited positioning options.

Behavioral

· May exhibit behaviors that require formal and informal intervention;

· requires frequent prompts, instruction or redirection, some environmental modifications or restrictions on movement may be necessary.

· May exhibit behaviors that require frequent planned, informal and formal interventions.

· Assistance from others may be necessary to redirect the recipient. May require psychotropic medication for control of behavior. Self-injury or aggression towards others or property results in broken skin, major bruising/swelling or significant tissue damage requiring physician/nurse attention. May have threatened suicide in past 12 months. May have required use of reactive strategies 5 or more times per month in last 12 months. May routinely wear protective equipment to prevent injury from self-abusive behavior.

Physical

· Seizures: If has seizures, no interference with functional activities;

· May require medication for bowel elimination.

· May require a special diet. May require staff supervision to self-administer medications.

· Seizures: May have seizures that interfere with functional activities; receives 2 or more medications to control seizures.

· May require medication and daily management, including enemas, for bowel elimination.

· May be nutritionally at risk and require a physician/dietitian prescribed special diet.

· May have experienced a pressure sore requiring medical attention in the past 6 months.

See All Provider Rates

(888) 444-3331

WaiverProvider.Com

727-841-8943

*Information in our newsletters is provided by Clear Choice Web Solutions, Inc. which is not controlled or monitored by The Agency For Persons With Disabilities. The information provided in our newsletters has been submitted by support coordinators, waiver providers, and family members. Research has been done by Clear Choice Web Solutions. Inc. staff. We do our best to provide you with up to date and accurate information, however, always check with The Agency For Persons With Disabilities. You can call their Toll Free Number 1-866-APD-CARES or 1-866-273-2273 .

2011 All Rights Reservered | WaiverProvider.Com | 1.727.5841.8943