Your Personal Values of Faith are Important as a Caregiver

“Your beliefs don’t make you a better person, your behavior does.”

personal values of faithPersonal values are important, but…

The person who tells you that he is kind to all, then who quickly turns around in the check out line to give a piece of his mind to that mother who can’t control her kid as he pushed the cart into his ankles…is just one of many examples of the unnecessary stress we have because our lifestyles don’t mirror our beliefs.

While it may be natural to say, we all do it, it becomes a big problem when you are a caregiver trying to assist your clients towards better lifestyles.  In my previous post, I gave the example of a group advocating for their clients to define their own goals, but with the unspoken caveat of as long as it is ‘doing it my way’.

So, just how is your value system influencing those people in your charge?

Reverse Stigma: I am in Process

Stigma destroys ANYONE in its pathI see Stigma every day.  It is seen in a perturbed look at someone with a mental illness.  It is seen by two people with disabilities being co-dependent upon one another.  It is seen by the stares at those who have great difficulties walking or talking incoherently.

Stigma isn’t only, though, ‘out there’.  It can be found in each one of us as a type of ‘reverse stigma’.  Let me explain:

Letting Go of Someday

Today, I am posting an article by Vonda J. Sines.  Her reflection on living with Chrohn’s disease is brutally frank, and becomes a clarion call to ALL individuals to reconsider their outlook on life because of their disability.  Yet, there is something else in this story that speaks of HOPE even in the midst of letting go.  If you are struggling in your life with an issue like this, why not make a commitment today and seek support for yourself.


Letting Go of Someday

Vonda J. Sines

Be Different. Stand Out. Fight Stigma.

Be Different Stand out Fight StigmaThis month is Mental Health Awareness month. Too often, I have found that we take less thought of our mental acuity than on our physical bodies, being more inclined, for example, to visit our family physician for a broken arm, but dismiss the amount of stress overload we are having at work.

Be Different. Stand Out. Fight Stigma.

Be Different Stand out Fight StigmaThis month is Mental Health Awareness month. Too often, I have found that we take less thought of our mental acuity than on our physical bodies, being more inclined, for example, to visit our family physician for a broken arm, but dismiss the amount of stress overload we are having at work.

The Hope of Glory

to whom God willed to make known

what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Colossians 1:27 NASB

skyscape pic that I tookTo close out this month that I have devoted to people with Autism, I thought it fitting to end with a scriptural reflection which I hope is both challenging as it is inspirational.

Robert Kennedy Jr had it Wrong

The brain is gone (?)

April is Autism Awareness MonthThis statement by Robert Kennedy Jr was his description of people who have autism. Fortunately, some people have spoken out on this to set the record straight.

You can too.

The context of this statement came during his attempt to campaign against a bill that would make it harder for parents to opt out of vaccinations. His position is due, at least, in part, to his view the significant correlation between vaccinations and autism. (two things to note here though: first that correlation is STILL in question, and that ‘brain dead’ is not a characteristic of autism)

The Foundation to Support

Do You Have Support as You Move ForwardSupport is astronomically vital to our well-being.

Without others cheering us along, or providing some sound counsel on our own ideas, we are not going to be as productive as we could have been.



Basically, we really do need one another.

Today, I want to turn the corner –slightly, in order to talk with you about how one’s faith plays into this whole idea of support. I will be coming at this from the Christian faith perspective and along the way, I hope to challenge you to reassess your own faith.

The Importance of Support

SUPPORTOver the years I have had opportunity to lead life skill groups for individuals with disabilities.  And, while there are a lot of different techniques that can be learned there is one thing that continues to so essential for ANYONE to succeed.


Watch this short clip about AMY and her recovery from mental illness, paying particular attention at 1:30 minutes


Did you catch that one thing NECESSARY for success:  having someone believe in you! Please note in the picture to this post that the only thing missing in Support is You.  Namely, there is support available to you, but it will not be handed to you on a silver platter.  You will have to invest time and dedication to make it come about.   

Helping People with Anxiety Set Goals

SMART Goals Created my MKDOne of my most popular downloads is my S.M.A.R.T. Goal worksheet.  Now, I would like to elaborate on the steps to reaching  S.M.A.R.T. Goal as it pertains to someone who has an anxiety disorder.

Helping people with anxiety set goals can be daunting, but not impossible. And, while the details will be different from one person to another, and from one disability to another, the general principles will be the same to all.  (If you have questions on how to adapt S.M.A.R.T. Goals to your lifestyle, contact me and I will do my best to help you.)

A Prayer for Those who Work with the Disabled

Plug into the Power of Prayer (Self created)As I was driving to work the other day  I was more aware of the wide disconnect between some people’s faith and their lifestyles when working with people who have disabilities, which translates into weakened relationships with those whom they serve.

And, as I drove I began to formulate a prayer for us who work with the disabled, a prayer that can be very powerful.

Dealing with Delusions

(NOTE: what I am describing is not intended to be used for someone who is having delusions that would put anyone in physical danger!)


Delusions:  a strong belief that is not supported with rational thinkingTalking with people who have delusional thinking can be difficult when you start discussing areas that you know are ‘hot spots’ for them, which makes it akin to walking through a mine field.   Please remember –let it be burned into your mind- that sheer reasoning with them regarding the absurdity of their convictions will not convince them to change their belief because this is not about educating them. Mental Illness does not mean stupid! Far from it. Mental illness is -in the vernacular- a broken brain.

Replacing Your Fear with Freedom

The Word of God is Applicable to us Today

Self Created:  "Freedom necessitates dealing with our FearsThe other day I was thinking of Moses and the Israelites facing the Red Sea while the hordes of Egyptians descended upon them to kill them.  And while the Israelites feared for their lives, Moses told them to stand still and see how God was going to save them.  You can read the full account of this at Exodus 14

1 Incredible Tool for Rebuilding Your Life

self made:  "life is good and it gets better as you realize your potentialThe incredible tool is W.R.A.P.

Mary Ellen Copeland is the founder/developer of W.R.A.P. (Wellness Recovery Action Plan), which is a fairly intense and extensive program to help individuals not only manage their life with disabilities better, but to move towards enjoying their life more.

You can read more about W.R.A.P. here. If you have a mental illness-and personally from my experience of 7 years leading life skills groups, it can be useful to anyone- it is geared specifically to you.  If you can answer the following questions with a YES, W.R.A.P. might just be something for you to investigate:

Is Your Disability an Excuse for not Living Well?

Having a disability can be brutal!

  • …when symptoms of mental illness flare up, life suddenly becomes overly complicated
  • …when your child who has autism is going through a spell, you are at your whit’s end to know how to comfort him
  • …when your deafness is yelling at you so loudly that you can are not able to be a part of the conversation, your self esteem can take a plunge


And, yet, there IS a way through these struggles:

  • support groups
  • medications
  • assisted-living devices/animals


1 Divine Way to Deal with Discomfort

And mark that you do this with humility and discipline—not in fits and starts, but steadily, pouring yourselves out for each other in acts of love, alert at noticing differences and quick at mending fences.

Ephesians 4:2  The Message

Mountainside Community Church in Newport, NHOne thing that can easily be forgotten in our churches is that there is nothing in the Greek Text, no variant readings, that would even suggest that this verse excludes people with disabilities, as if to convey a message that being tolerant of others can stop when it comes to some sort of outlandish behaviors from one who is disabled

1 Step to Perseverance


a skyscape with the words written across it FOR THE JOY SET BEFORE HIM HE ENDURED THE CROSS.  A small cross in in background1 Important Question

Recently, I asked myself this question as I am preparing to launch my book (see the right side bar!).  Why am I doing this?  Is is to make money, or is there another purpose?  As I jostled with that question for several minutes, I knew the answer:  it was to convey a message of hope to people who have disabilities that there is LIFE beyond the disability.  Sure, I am aware that I may make a few bucks because I am pouring my all into making this book look good and be great, but, again, my reason is to get my message out there.