Tuesday, April 17, 2012

FREE Apps During Autism Awareness Month!!!

This month is Autism awareness month, and free Autism apps are being given away. 

Autism is a developmental disorder that appears in the first 3 years of life.  It affects the brain's normal development of social and communication skills. These apps are designed to model communication skills, identify emotions, and practice sight words.  These are great apps not only for children with Autism but for all early learners. 

One of the free apps that I recommend is ABA Flash Cards - Emotions.  This app has visuals and speech associated with pictures of children displaying different emotions on their faces. 
Autistic children can have a difficult time identifying facial expressions and emotions, and this app can help with that.   It is also helpful for all children to identify emotions as it can help them develop empathy.   

Monday, April 16, 2012

Cancer Diagnose, What Would You Do? - Guest Post

The following post is a guest post by my niece Sarah Edwards.  The essay, as a blog post, is a requirement for the Rhio O'Conner Memorial Scholarship application.    

Sarah G Edwards
Iowa State University
Dairy Science Major

  Rhio O’Conner was diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer and given one year to live. With extensive research and educating himself, Rhio created his own therapeutic protocol and lived more than six years after his diagnose. He spoke with doctors, researchers and patients. Rhio spent countless hours in libraries, learning about different treatments, theories and philosophies. He beat the timeline odds of this ‘incurable’ cancer and in his search of survival, he has inspired hope and is a testimony and inspiration to others searching for options and making decisions in their treatment.
  Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer. Malignant cells are found in the protective sac that covers most of the body’s internal organs. Standard treatment is generally not curative. The progress is poor and most studies report survival of less than a year. You can gain more knowledge about Mesothelioma by going to www.survivingmesothelioma.com. Cancer Monthly is a very informative website on different types of cancer and their treatments.
  Rhio’s story on how he handled his prognoses is very inspiring to me. He took a dire situation in his life and gained knowledge in order to help make important decisions about his own treatment and the options. I would mirror how Rhio handled his diagnosis and the challenge to save his life. Knowledge is the key to make informed decisions. I would research thru reading and the scientific expertise of doctors, scientist and researchers. Speaking to patients and learning from their experience would be an inspiring journey and an eye witness to those living with cancer. Looking beyond the traditional treatments of chemo, radiation and surgery would give me knowledge of options for my own personal treatment as well as being a witness to others in search of saving or extending their life. I believe in doing this, it’s an extra hand for researchers on the outcome of cancer patients and their treatments.
  My experience with cancer has hit very close to home. I would like to share stories of two different women who are very close to my heart. Breast cancer was the diagnosis for my Great Aunt and a very close friend of our family. Each women chose different treatment methods.
  My Great Aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009.At the time, she was the caregiver of my Great Granny. Her treatment included many chemo treatments, radiation and surgery. During those years, we learned a lot as a family. We shared tears of sadness and laughter of the past and present. Wigs have many styles to them and she looked great in every color. She was a very strong woman and to watch her care for my Granny, you would of never of known how much of a struggle she was actually going thru. Taking care of my Granny became too much for her and eventually we all took care of both of them. Up to the day she passed, she continued to have a smile on her face and still remained very strong. Her passing was very heartbreaking and fully opened my eyes to the challenges one faces with the diagnosis. I have to thank Hospice in this essay, as they are a wonderful organization and was there thru everything. Their group of caregivers was very special and we were blessed to have them. They shared the tears and laughter right alongside us. Their professionalism and skills were so much a part of my aunt’s care, as well as their concern for our whole families well being.
  Our close friend was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1998.Her only surgery was the biopsy to determine the diagnosis. She is 78 years old and has educated herself with the treatments available and made her decision on how to handle her diagnosis. She is content with her choice and we are blessed everyday with her life.
  Rhio, my aunt and close friend are all inspiring to me. Different decisions were made with all three on how they handled their diagnosis. One does not know how they would handle a situation until faced with it. I believe gaining knowledge on the subject at hand, is always the best approach. Educating yourself in every area of the subject is a must in making important decisions, especially when your life and the life of others depend upon it. Making decisions at times, is like walking down an unknown dirt road with a fork in it. You might not always choose the right path, but educating oneself about an unknown, puts you more in control of what could be ahead. It gives you an advantage you would not have otherwise.
You can learn more about "Mesothelioma Cancer" at  www.survivingmesothelioma.com.