The Mass Lifespan Respite Coalition panel discussion on “Caregiving Innovations” in which I participated March 1st may be watched on YouTube now:
I spoke about our Rest.Stop.Ranch Sunday Strolls and Memory Café seasonal once-a-month program, and new, available year-round, Respite Retreats for Weary Caregivers. I also shared a bit about “How I got here.”
Check out my panel-peers innovations, and share with people who may benefit!
Galit Schwartz: Owner, The Power Cafe, Watertown, MA
Power Cafe is staffed and run entirely by people with physical and/or developmental disabilities. I am very excited about creating a venue which not only creates real opportunities for people with disabilities, but does so in a context where they can interact in a powerful, autonomous way with the mainstream community. I see this as building bridges and forming personal connections to overcome prejudice and stereotypes.
Lenard Zohn: Founder, Autism Eats
Lenard Zohn, a parent of a child with Autism, has networked in his community to offer yet another option for respite that involves dining out,called Autism Eats. Autism Eats provides autism-friendly non-judgmental environments for family dining, socializing and connecting with others who share similar joys and challenges.
Going to a family restaurant should be an enjoyable experience. A time to relax, enjoy good food and spend time with your family. Let someone else do the cooking and cleaning. Unfortunately, for those of us who have a child with autism dining out can be anxiety provoking and stressful. As parents, we may feel that “all eyes are on us” when our kids exhibit certain behaviors, have outbursts or refuse to sit still. Other diners may be disturbed and the well intentioned wait staff doesn’t really know the best way to help out. Many of us decide it is just not worth the effort and that is unfortunate. We created Autism Eats to bring the fun back to eating out.
Catherine Boyle: President of Autism Housing Pathways
Catherine Boyle is a commissioner of the Winchester Housing Authority, and a member of the Winchester Housing Partnership Board. She is the recipient of two Margaret L. Bauman Awards: one for her work with Autism Housing Pathways, and another for the development of the St. Mary’s Curriculum for Students with Autism, a religious education curriculum. A former Foreign Service Officer, Catherine is a graduate of Dartmouth College and holds a certificate of graduate studies from UMASS Boston in adapting curriculum.
From the AHP’s original 2010 Mission Statement:
Autism Housing Pathways (AHP) was created to provide information, support and resources for families who seek to create secure, supported housing for their adult children with disabilities. Autism Housing Pathways seeks to foster education and awareness and disseminate information about the creation of self-directed housing for individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities; to promote and support the formation and maintenance of such housing; and to assist families in creating self-directed housing for their adult children that supports their residential, recreational and community needs.
Pat Lawrence: Pat Lawrence, “My Name is Advocate”; Mental Illness Advocate
My name is Pat Lawrence and for the past twenty years, since my 18 year-old daughter became mentally ill, my focus has been to help all of the innocent vulnerable people with a mental illness. I am past-president of the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Massachusetts and co-founder of the New England Personality Disorder Association which supports parents and children with borderline personality disorder. In 1996, I wrote the Massachusetts Mental Health Insurance Parity Bill for biologically-based brain disorders sponsored by Senator Fred Berry and Representative Byron Rushing and written into law on 5/2/2000 by Governor Paul Cellucci giving insurance equality to the mentally ill. One piece of legislation equaled one giant step to end stigma.
Moving forward with a listening heart,
vision, inquiry, and action,