Wednesday, April 26, 2006

You may have read my previous posting about my interdisciplinary training program, but we got to have the experience of being in a wheel chair. In this class, we learn about different disabilities and we sometimes get to go through simulation experiences so we have a little bit of understanding what it would be like to have a disability.

Last week we learned what it would be like to have a mental disability (like schizophrenia). We got to go through the Hearing Voices Simulation. Basically, it was the “voices in my head” simulation. This is where we got to put on head phones and listen to a simulation of what some one that hears voices might hear on a regular basis. We weren't allowed to talk about what we were hearing with anyone at the time because hearing voices is a very personal thing. While we were listening to the voices we had to do some lovely cognitive tasks like reading an article and then answering some reading comprehension questions about it. We were suppose to put a bunch of toothpicks in a certain shape and then change it by only removing a certain number of toothpicks (personally I don't think I could have done that with or without voices, I'll leave the confusing puzzles to Jim). Then the person putting together the presentation gave us a psychiatric exam, which we all failed (mostly because the stupid voices kept drowning out everything else). Then we were suppose to socialize with the other IDT trainees while still hearing the head phones. We were still not allowed to talk about what our voices were saying, but now that I'm not hearing them anymore (at least not from the head set).

The voices were weird. There were a couple of people in the back ground that were whispering in a way that I couldn't understand what they were saying. There was some kind of heart beat sound in the beginning. Some lady started to tell me that I was the "one" and that everybody believed in me. Then this rude guy started to tell me that I smell like @#$# and that everybody was looking at me and knew what I did. That voice was a little psychotic. He kept swearing at me and yelling at me while the two that I couldn’t understand kept talking in the background, laughing at me.

It was kind of weird. I had a hard time talking to anyone because I couldn't hear them and I was a little distracted. I'm just glad the voices in my head did argue with the voices on the recorder. That would have been really disturbing.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Well, this was Sydney's first Easter. She went to the family Easter egg hunt and everything. (We helped her out a little bit.) Every year Lindy's mom's family has the Easter egg hunt at Granny's home and all the kids look for eggs. They get to have three small eggs and two big eggs. The big motivator is the fact that there is money in the eggs and a couple of them have a lot of money. This year there was a fifty dollar bill, twenty dollar bill, and a ten dollar bill in one of the eggs. I think there were some fives too, but the rest of them had ones. Our dang cousin Carly got the fifty and the ten! Errr.

Sydney had so much fun shaking her eggs. She's only nine months right now so she didn't do much of the work on her own. Next year.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Spring is back and in full force, thank heavens. No more snow. However, can one really enjoy Spring before the end of the semester??? It taunts us with the beautiful greenery and sweet smells while we still in overly warm classrooms learning about who knows what. I just want to be outside 24/7 when we're getting this perfect weather.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Well, I don't have time for this posting, but if everyone else in Utah was going to post about this ridiculous weather than I want to also. Yes we have snow in April. Luckily it’s not sticking to the ground, but it is suppose to be spring. My friend Racheal put it in her blog this way:

"We have been taunted and teased with the prospect of spring. It has been warm enough for the kids to play outside. It has been warm enough for me to wear shorts once, and sandals on numerous occasions."

We have been teased and taunted; toyed with the prospects of warmth. Hopefully the end of the semester will still come at the beginning of May.

Well, now that I’ve wasted some time, I had better get back to school work.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Now, I don't want you guys to think I'm a big slacker (I am, but I don't want any of you to think it). The only reason why I'm justifying making this blog entry is because I'm staying home with my sick daughter. I wrote this on Friday, I just thought that I'd put it up now. It's a little longer, but one long blog every once in a while is permissiable.

I'm in an interdiciplinary training class where I work with all of these different professions related to working with people with disabilities (For example: social workers, psychologists, audiologists, and of course, speech-language pathologists). We also have people with disabilities and parents of children with disabilities participate so we can get there perspective. We get to learn about each others' professions and other disability related topics.

Well, on Friday we were having a disability awareness day. We all had assignments were we had simulated disabilities. We were grouped in pairs for these assignments. One person took the turn with the disabilities and the other was an observer who couldn't help. My group had three people, Amy (audiology), Eric (as he would call it: hit by a truck), and myself (speech-language pathology). Our assignments included using a manual wheel chair to go to the other side of campus to the library to check out a book, hold an umbrella while wheeling our way across campus and getting into a bathroom stall with the wheel chair.

I have a lot more respect for anyone that uses a wheel chair. They are not the easiest things to maneuver. Trying to keep the stupid thing going straight while Eric was making fun of me. He was pretty excited to watch because he had to spend many months in a chair after his head injury. He told us that watching us struggle was "Kicks and giggles" for him. Because of his hemiparesis he could only use one hand to wheel himself around. Eric said that he spent many hours in physical rehab going in circles.

Trying to get into the library was a trick. I couldn't find the handicap button in the vestibule; so, I was forced to open the door by myself, which was a bit of a trick in a wheel chair. The door was so heavy that when I opened it, the chair would be pulled to the door, making it near impossible to open. People walking by probably thought my friends were pretty big jerks, but they weren't allowed to help me. It didn't help that they were making fun of me. More kicks and giggles for Eric.

Holding an umbrella while trying to wheel yourself proved to be quite the trick for me and Amy. (Eric had already completed his tour of duty; so, he was exempt from the wheel chair.) I attempted to hold the umbrella with my knees. That didn't work well unless I hunched over, which just looked silly. I also tried to hold the umbrella with my neck, which was not working. What I ended up doing was trading off the umbrella between each hand while the opposing hand wheeled forward. This turned into a slow zigzag formation. I decided that if I used a wheel chair that I'd rather just get wet than bother. Amy figured it out better than I did. She put the umbrella handle down the back of her shirt and leaned back. She still looked silly, but it did the job.

I won't even talk about the difficult with getting into the stall with a wheel chair. Let’s just say you should go before you have to go or you'll be in trouble.

I think everybody should have this experience. You'll realize that even though places are technically accessibly they may not be practical. Sidewalks are not was smooth and even as you think. Again I have a lot more respect for people who spend there lives in their wheel chairs.