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I remember feeling lost sometimes in India. I was wandering around one day, looking for ways I could help, when one of the women in charge came up to me, pointed to a woman in a hospital bed, and handed me a washcloth. She nodded like I had done this a thousand times before. My face probably looked a little puzzled as if to ask, Uhhh, what? but I think I nodded. Sometimes I find myself doing that- nodding, when really I’m lost. I should probably stop that. I stood there for a minute, trying to figure out how I thought a bed bath should be done. I was the only volunteer in the room- no one else to ask. Before I knew it, she had brought me another volunteer and asked me to show her how it was done! I tried to object and let her know that I didn’t know what I was doing either, but she was gone. So there I was, with this expectant helper looking to me for guidance, and a woman in a hospital bed in front of us with IVs hooked up to her. No idea what to do. Thankfully, another woman came alongside me. The first words out of her mouth were have you never given a bed bath before? She saw right through me. I noticed she was much less hurried. I shook my head and she proceeded to show me how to do it, explaining each step and why it … Read More



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As you might know, people with developmental disabilities have impacted me in a way I wouldn’t have expected five years ago.  I didn’t understand what it meant to have special needs and I didn’t know what a friendship might look like. As ashamed as I am to admit that, I think there are other people out there who don’t understand either.  (I haven’t shared a lot about my own experience with this on the blog yet, but don’t worry, I will.) Having said that, in honor of April being Autism Awareness Month, I talked to one of my friends, Rob, about his autism, hoping to help those of you who, like I used to, have a fuzzy idea of what autism is.  (You can find Rob on twitter @wwerob.) First of all, I asked Rob about what words people use that might be offensive. Obviously, everyone has their own opinion of what is hurtful, but I think Rob’s answer makes a good point. He said that it isn’t about which word you use, but it’s about how you use it. If you’re doing your best to respect people, that intention will shine through the way you say things. That is, with the exception of the r-word. Clearly, the use of this word is disrespectful. In Rob’s opinion, calling someone the r-word is like saying they are “dumb”, “an idiot”, or “not worth anything.” It has become an extremely hurtful term and there is no reason why it should be used … Read More


travel: venice, florida

akwittafriendships, travelLeave a Comment

· hiking · picture taking · netflix watching · beach laying · swimming · hand holding · tanning · bird watching · excellent food eating · singing · shopping · sleeping · reading · appreciating ·   Spring Break 2014 was delightful.