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5 Quick and Easy Travel Tips

As we approach the end of the school year and we prepare for the travel season, there may be a few of you that need help preparing for trips. So, here are 5 quick and easy travel tips to help you plan for your upcoming vacation.

  1. Have something to help keep your child occupied. Items like portable DVD players, games, books, or even a favorite toy can help ease the anxiety of travel. Don’t forget the headphones, if your child will wear them.
  2. Bring some snacks. I am one of those people who gets a bit cranky when I haven’t eaten, so I always remember to pack something to snack on. If you are bring a cooler, don’t forget the reusable freezer packs, or freeze a bottle of water to keep help everything cold.
  3. Prepare a schedule. Many people do better with a schedule of events. You don’t need to include times, but you can include locations. For example, if you were driving from DC to Philly then include places and landmarks that you will pass along the way. If you know that you will be stopping at certain point (like if you always stop at Maryland House), then include that on the schedule. You can name the locations as you pass them to help your child along the way.
  4. Take breaks, especially when taking longer trips. Consider stopping to explore along the way. This will also give your child a chance to burn off some extra energy along the way.
  5. If you will be traveling by airplane contact the airline for help with accommodations. Don’t forget to contact the Transportation Security Administration as well. Their TSA Cares program has a webpage (http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/travelers-disabilities-and-medical-conditions) help line that provides information for travelers. You can reach TSA Cares toll-free at 1-855-787-2227.

Do you have other suggestions that may be helpful? Feel free to leave them below.

Safe travels,

Barbara Erby-Young

New Year’s Resolutions?

Many people look forward to the new year for a new start on old habits.  ~Author Unknown

 

Each year people make New Year’s Resolutions. Well, I learned a long time ago that I wouldn’t keep them. However, I did learn that setting goals each year works for me. I don’t know why the change in language works, but it does. Sometimes the goals are abstract, sometimes they are concrete, but they are mine and I own them.

During this time of year, I also like to help students and their families work on their goals. That’s why this month is Program Review and Assessment Month. It is during this time of year that we take a look at what each of our student has accomplishing and set new short-term goals as well as adjust the long-term ones.

I also like to take time at this point in the year to celebrate the BDS Behavioral Technicians. They are so important to helping each of our students succeed. They spend so much time working to help support out students. So to help kick their year off right, we also call this Rising Star Month.

During Rising Star Month, we ask that you all write in and tell us why you love your Technicians. You don’t have to limit it to praise, we welcome all feedback that you can provide. The best way to help our star Technicians increase their skills is to tell us what they are doing right and wrong so that we can provide more guidance or resources where necessary. Send your feedback to HR@BDSHelps.com.

Thank you so much for continuing to read our blog, following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook, and checking out our website. If you are in need of assistance, services, or just have a question for us, feel free to use our Contact Us form, email us at Info@BDSHelps.com or give us a call at 240-355-0834.

Have a safe, happy, and prosperous year,

Barbara Erby

President

Breakthrough Developmental Services, LLC

www.BDSHelps.com

Planning for the Upcoming Year

Many parents have spoken to us over the years about the possibility of social groups being offered. We need to get a count of how many families are truly interested in their children participating. The social groups would take place in the Bowie/Mitchellville
area and we are looking at beginning the groups in the early part of 2013.

Please let us know as soon as possible, so that we can fill you in on the wonderful plans. Email Info@BDSHelps.com or
give us a call today! Not yet a BDS client? Visit us at www.BDSHelps.com to learn more about us or complete our Contact Us form and a representative will contact you.

Employment Follow-up

Hello all,

I truly love how beginning a discussion can bring more resources to the forefront. In yesterday's blog posting (Employment and Differing Abilities) , I started talking about something that has been in the news as of late - the lower rate of employment for those diagnosed with Autism. Later in the evening, I received my usual newsletter email from the National Center for Learning Disabilities (http://www.ncld.org). I was elated to see information related to employment in the newsletter and thought that I would share the information with you all as well. The links to the pages are listed below. There is a good bit of information on the site, so make sure that you visit some of the other pages that they have posted about jobs as well.

Continued success,

Barbara Erby

President

Breakthrough Developmental Services, LLC

How Can I Get Work Experience? Volunteer and Paid Jobs for Teens
http://www.ncld.org/college-aamp-work/in-the-workplace/finding-the-right-job/volunteer-part-time-a-internships

Tips for Workplace Success
http://www.ncld.org/college-aamp-work/in-the-workplace/finding-the-right-job/job-checklist

Would you like to speak with a BDS representative? Our caring staff will work with you to help your child master skills and move towards greater independence. http://ow.ly/b2HnE

About BDS

We help families, schools, and individuals achieve big results by helping them discover their strengths, develop interests, prioritize their focus, and teach them what to do with their children to get them on the path towards success. Breakthrough Developmental Services’ goal is to provide affordable home and community based services to families in need. Programs are designed to meet the needs of the individual and aim to increase learning as well as foster a student’s greater future independence in society.

Employment and Differing Abilities

“He who enjoys doing and enjoys what he has done is happy.” ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

There has been a lot of discussion in the last week or so concerning adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders and employment. With the recent publication of data showing that approximately 1 in 3 adults diagnosed with Autism are not gainfully employed (see http://ow.ly/aYxPq) and the latest CDC rates of Autism diagnoses at 1 in 88, I can understand why people were alarmed. And while the discussion may have died down for some people, it is one that has been ongoing for the staff members of Breakthrough Developmental Services, LLC (BDS) and the families that we serve.

It is not difficult to grasp that people need to be able to pay their bills and provide a living for themselves. Regardless of ability level this is true. However, I think that people can sometimes forget that work needs to be meaningful to the person performing the task. It is not fair to relegate persons diagnosed with an intellectual, developmental, or learning disabilities to do the jobs that no one else wants to do. It is fair to teach people to do jobs that are important to them and that they will enjoy on a daily basis.

Honestly, if you told me that I had to bag groceries on a daily basis (and I have been a cashier at a supermarket), I would lose my mind. I am not a person who is really into spaceships, so working at NASA would probably not the best job for me either. In contrast, there are those students that I work with that love spaceships and space exploration. They can tell you all kinds of facts about the space program. For them, working at NASA might be the perfect job. I have students that are fascinated by languages. Then why can’t we guide them towards being Interpreters or Linguist?

We need to stop limiting students based on what we see them as right now and start thinking about what they could be in the future. There are any number of positions that students regardless of their ability could fulfill, but we need to be providing them with job experience that meets their individual needs just as we do with therapeutic services.

When I look back over the years at the things that I have learned through classes, internships, and employment, I can see how my community supported me. When I look at what brought me to BDS, I can see the encouragement that I received from those that were around me. I want those things for my students too. I want them to be able to live as independently as possible. I want them to have a community of support and encouragement. I want them be able to having a job that is meaningful to them and that they enjoy going to everyday as much as I enjoy what I do every day.

Barbara Erby
President

Breakthrough Developmental Services, LLC

Would you like to speak with a BDS representative? Our caring staff will work with you to help your child master skills and move towards greater independence. http://ow.ly/b2HnE

About BDS

We help families, schools, and individuals achieve big results by helping them discover their strengths, develop interests, prioritize their focus, and teach them what to do with their children to get them on the path towards success. Breakthrough Developmental Services’ goal is to provide affordable home and community based services to families in need. Programs are designed to meet the needs of the individual and aim to increase learning as well as foster a student’s greater future independence in society.