Cosplay for Charity with SporeRose and Dreamscape Foundation
ReAbility: A Brand New Disability Research Tool
today’s technological world are still confused on where to go for information to help them support and love their disabled friend/family member. Sometimes even getting a diagnosis is a struggle. This is where ReAbility comes in!
A Father, To Researcher, To Advocate.Meet Chris Myers, a Father of Four, Writer, and Marketing Professor at the University of Memphis. Myers’ son Taylor lives with special needs, ever since he was born in 1992. Try to remember what it was like to live in 1992! Walkmans, Baggy Jeans and Grunge Music were all the rage. But the internet was fundamentally non-existent. Once Taylor was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and autism, he a least had a starting point. This was a huge undertaking for Myers. The library was any persons’ logical first step. Myers took to the book and tried to learn anything to help find an accessible life for his boy Taylor, and a more educated life their family. After a few years of raising Taylor, Myers’ wife encouraged him to be an advocate for people like Taylor, living with debilitating disabilities. What would follow for The new father would send him to help spread the word to committees and organizations.
A Light Bulb Goes Off!In 2010, Chris Myers had the flash of an idea. He thought, “If only there were an internet search engine for parents of children with special needs!”. At that moment, ReAbility was born. Fast forward to the present year of 2020. Wouldn’t you think there is a resource tool for parents or family members to guide their loved one(s) through their life? Don’t go looking for a website, we’re sad to say there are none. Lifeplan was his first idea. He wanted it to be a place where people could come to find information to make it easier for parents, caregivers, etc. Myers conceived a place to easily find answers and information to make their lives and the lives of the special needs better. He started work in 2014, but was unimpressed with the lack of user-friendliness on the website presented to him.
Dreamscape, the Charity Hero.Come 2019, the Father of Four stumble upons a 501c3 nonprofit based in Naples Florida. With similar mission statements, we easily and happily saw common ground. With the website launching on July 6th, 2020 we continue to grow our database and knowledge for this undertaking. Starting within the limits of Memphis, Tennessee (Myers’ Home Location), we hope to reach nationwide status in the near future! We reached out to Chris Myers for a status update:
Things have been going pretty well, I’ve had a few interviews so far and I’m actually having an article go live today with an online site that reaches over 15,000 people right in the Memphis area. I also have an upcoming interview with a technology company that wants to help promote and spread the word. The whole point of launching now is we are living in such uncertain times, having some light and good come out into the world is exactly what we need. Wherever you are, whatever you do, you probably have some connection with someone who has special needs. The only reason this exists is because of the help of Dreamscape and ISKPRO and our willingness to try and give us a chance.If you’re located outside of the Memphis TN area, we understand! You can still test drive our website here. We will continue to better the website and improve upon the database of knowledge every single day! « PreviousNext »
Living with Learning Disabilities
National Center for Learning Disabilities, one in every five children are affected. These children are more likely to fall behind causing them to repeat a grade, get in trouble at school/with the law, and eventually they could drop out making it difficult to pursue a career as an adult. How this is prevented is simple, but first you must understand what a learning disability truly is.
The factsThe Learning Disabilities Association of America defines a learning disability as a neurological disorder that comes in many different forms. The forms include dyscalculia, dysgraphia, and dyslexia. Dyscalculia affects the way the brain processes numbers and math facts. Dysgraphia affects a person’s handwriting and fine motor skills. The most well-known is Dyslexia, and this affects reading and language-based processing skills. Kids can be ashamed and carry this disability with them into adulthood. Some may never disclose their disability with close friends or even their significant other. But, what people don’t realize is these kids are just as smart as their peers! Looking for the early signs and identifying the problem(s) will help significantly with your child’s early development skills and reaching their full potential.
Looking for the signsIt can be very challenging to identify if your child truly has a learning disability or not. Pay close attention to the little warning signs when you start introducing them to the first stages of school (informational learning, i.e. memorization). There are different ways to pinpoint if your child has a problem. Preschool/Kindergarten:
- Difficulty connecting sounds & letters or pronouncing words
- Problems with counting
- Difficulties using crayons/paint
- Trouble being understood by strangers
- Difficulty with dressing themselves
- Can’t speak in full sentences
- Continuously forgets newly learned information
- Trouble holding pencil/writing
- Problems following directions & routines
- Can’t play age appropriate games
Next stepsThe first step after you have a suspicion that your child is struggling it is time to seek professional help and have an evaluation done. There are plenty of resources for you to take action. The easiest would be to see your pediatrician to meet with them and discuss your concerns. You could also contact the school your child is attending and let them know you would like to have your child evaluated or to keep them updated with the evaluation process. Most likely, they will have noticed the signs or will recommend you to someone you should see for the professional evaluation. After they evaluate your child’s basic skills, they will go over their results and tell you if your child should need to receive special education services or additional help. If this is the case they will go over a learning plan based on where the help is most needed. Most schools accommodate to the specific learning plan for any child with a disability or already have a plan set for different types of disabilities. During this process, your child could become very self-conscious or embarrassed. This is normal and happens quite often, that is why as a parent it is important for you to help continuously build up their self-esteem. Some easy ways to do this are by pointing out things your child is good at and praising them for that specific attribute. Also, getting them involved in activities they know they do very well at! This will help develop their self-worth and determination to keep striving to succeed even with the extra difficulties. Living with a learning disability can be difficult for all parties. Remember, this does not make someone less than anyone else and with your help, love, and support your child will strive to be the absolute best at anything they put their mind to! « PreviousNext »
Dreamscape Works With Louisiana Elementary School To Create A Sensory Room
A Classroom Not Meant for LearningWhispering Forest is in the process of designing and implementing a complete sensory room. This room will be unlike any other accommodation they have to offer. Fit for any need, a sensory room is a therapeutic space with a variety of equipment that provides students with special needs a personalized sensory input; to help them calm and focus themselves so they can be better prepared for learning and interacting with others. “Its very hard to explain what the room is and how it works and how it benefits people, without seeing it and experiencing it”, stressed Whispering Forest teacher Peyton Capretto. At first glance it is common the room will be mistaken as a play area. I mean, what kids wouldn’t love diving into a crash pad or jumping on a waterbed? But for children with sensory, mental, and behavioral disabilities, these activities are equally as therapeutic as they are enjoyable. Many children with autism, sensory processing disorder, and other disabilities can experience a sensory overload. A sensory overload is an episode where the five senses take in more than the brain can process. These episodes can happen at anytime, even something as simple as multiple conversations or bright flashing lights can cause an episode. For young children this can be an extremely frightening experience. That is why a safe, conducive environment can play a major role in working through it and preparing for future incidents. Now this room wouldn’t just aid in calming and helping students suffering from sensory overloads. These rooms are also a great way to help children with special needs put themselves in the proper mindset for learning. Students in the Pre-K to 3rd grade levels don’t always focus and pay attention in the classroom. When you can get the students in the right mindset, they will keep focus and increase the effectiveness of each lesson. Sometimes kids just need to blow off steam and get out some energy/anxiety. When children enjoy the learning process, they are more likely to succeed. More so, they are less likely to act up. Bored students become disruptive students, even when they don’t mean to be. This says nothing about the true character of that student, but kids will be kids. It is important to remember and embrace that fact. Allowing small freedoms in a controlled environment where they can throw objects or run and dive into pillows can be all a wild child needs sometimes.
The Sensory Room DécorWhere many sensory rooms have similar objects and equipment, each is unique in its own way. The design at Whispering Forest was strategically planned to have a sensory input for every child’s needs. So what will their room consist of, you might ask? We start with the needs of the students and what would help them best calm themselves and prepare for learning. These needs can range across multiple senses from visual, to sound, and lastly physical. For the visual aids, Whispering Forest plans to implement multiple acrylic mirrors, 2 interactive bubble tubes, and a number of effects projectors. All of which hold a therapeutic purpose. Sound can have a major impact on people with special needs or sensory disabilities. In the sensory room, calming and peaceful sounds/music are all around. Through multiple stereos, sound systems, and speakers, children can listen to sounds of nature, or light calming music depending on what they react to. But that’s not all. In addition, a vibroacoustic platform will be installed which not only plays music but will vibrate in accordance with the beat. Lastly, for physical accommodations. There will be a waterbed surrounded by crash pads and floor mats for the students to lay on and jump into. All these accommodations sound like great fun and excitement, but their true nature is shown when they are seen in action. The impact they can have on an upset child is unlike any other option a school can offer.
Dreamscape’s First Efforts of SupportRecently, on Saturday June 1st, the Dreamscape Foundation teamed up with Twitch Streamer: PaintWithJade, to host a 12 hour charity stream event. But for Jade that wasn’t enough. She decided to continue on and dedicated her following 2 streams towards the campaign as well. As we are still wrapping up the final details and preparing for the raffle prize drawing, we anticipate that through Jade’s efforts, $800-$900 will be contributed towards the school’s fundraising goal of just over $11,400. While we still have a ways to go, this truly was an incredible first step towards helping hundreds of children get the most out of their education. Our next event is still to be determined, but rest assured, there is still more to come! Lastly, all of us at the Dreamscape Foundation and Whispering Forest would like to thank Jade for her efforts and support! For more information on Whispering Forest’s campaign and how to get involved, please feel free to give us a call: (239) 325-1881 or send us an email: email@example.com. « PreviousNext »
25 Asperger Syndrome Traits and Treatments
Positive Asperger’s Traits
- Remarkable focus and persistence
- Aptitude for recognizing patterns
- Attention to detail
- Difficulty with social interactions
- Restricted interests
- Desire for sameness
- Hypersensitivities (to lights, sounds, tastes, etc.)
- Difficulty with the give and take of conversation
- Difficulty with nonverbal conversation skills (distance, loudness, tone, etc.)
- Uncoordinated movements, or clumsiness
- Anxiety and depression
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- The idea behind CBT is to change your behavior by adjusting the way you think about things. According to CBT “Negative thinking leads to negative actions”. “Cognitive-behavioral therapists teach you to get some separation from your thoughts,” says Dr. Bea. “You can acknowledge them, but you let them pass without letting them control you. In that way, it is similar to mindfulness meditation.” CBT can be beneficial to people of all ages.
- Here is a quick article from Psychology today on how Cognitive Behavioral Therapy works.
Social skills training
- For children diagnosed with Asperger’s, social skills training can be a very useful tool to help them better integrate into schools and other parts of society. The goal of these training sessions is to help develop skills like empathy, social queues, and speech to better help them succeed as adults. Here is an article that helps illustrate the benefits of social skills training, as well as some tips for parents of children with Asperger’s.
Antidepressants/ ADHD Medications/ Anti- Anxiety
- While there is no medication that “cures” Asperger’s, there are medications that can help you cope with the symptoms. Some doctors may prescribe Antidepressants or ADHD medications depending on the person’s symptoms.
- While there can be many benefits to these medications, in order for a Dr. to prescribe them the benefits must out weight the risks. Some risks may include, liver damage or other internal organ damage, as well as fatigue and drowsiness.
- Medications such as anti-anxiety medications can be great for people with Asperger’s. Often time these people experience high anxiety or stress in many social settings such as large crowds or even classrooms. Medication can help them to remain calm and feel more comfortable in these situations.
Social GroupsSocial groups and support groups can be a great way for people with Asperger’s and their families to connect with one another, as well as other people who are in similar situations. There are many different kinds of groups available across the country. Some of these groups are more activity based, with the goal of gathering people of common interests in order to stimulate social skills. Other groups are more support based. These kinds of groups can be great for the families. Often times families feel that they have don’t have anyone to confide in, or know how best to help their family member.
- There is a wide range of other treatments for people with Asperger’s.
- Applied behavioral analysis (ABA)
- Anger management
- Horse therapy
- Art or music therapy
Plazma Streams for Joy
Who is Plazma?His real name is Haike Van Rooij, but his audience/community knows him best as Plazma, a League of Legends streamer on Twitch. At age 6, he was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Autism, yet he hasn’t let it slow him down. Instead, he spent several years receiving help to work through some of the challenges that came with his diagnosis. That isn’t to say he hasn’t experienced the impact of ADD and Autism. There have been times when the label that came with his diagnosis felt like a stigma. “People often separate you from the rest; as in they are normal and you are strange,” Plazma explained. “It’s like you’re being tagged and you can’t get rid of that tag.” However, bullying was never really something he experienced firsthand. With a strong support system of friends and family, he doesn’t let those “tags” hold him back. “I actually never really cared about [my diagnosis] because yeah, it’s real, but it doesn’t really matter that I have a condition,” he said. “I’m just myself.” Plazma turned to streaming because he wanted to do something that made a difference in people’s lives. He received a lot of support from friends, family members, and people online, encouraging him to grow his channel. “Making people happy makes me happy and it keeps me motivated,” Plazma said. It helps that the computer is his favorite gaming platform. As a streamer, he’s able to share that passion with others while creating a community that isn’t limited to state lines or country borders.
Streaming for a CauseAs Plazma joined the streaming community, he encountered the Kool Kits, a stream team on Twitch. Impressed with how interactive the audience was and how everyone was having a great time, he decided to stick around the channel. That eventually led to him getting involved with the team. Kool Kits recently did a stream for Dreamscape Foundation during our holiday fundraising. Plazma was part of their team during this event. One look at our mission and goal made him want to work alongside us to help others with disabilities. In fact, he is now an active part of our community, spreading the word in whatever way he can to help us reach a bigger audience/share the dream. When asked about the event, his response was a humble one. “Definitely check out everyone at the kool kits,” he said. “They made it possible for me to help Dreamscape and given me the [opportunity] to go further with streaming.”
A Word of InspirationWhile young, Plazma has been adamant about embracing life to the fullest. When asked for any words of wisdom for others who are struggling with ADD or Autism, his words were encouraging. “Whatever condition you have, don’t see it as a disability,” he said. “See it as a possibility.” You can check out Plazma’s Twitch channel at https://www.twitch.tv/officialplazma or follow him on Twitter. « PreviousNext »
Kessler Foundation Uses Research to Improve Lives
Many nonprofit organizations raise money for research. Dreamscape Foundation is no exception. But what does “raising money for research” really mean? More importantly, what does it do? We recently interviewed the Kessler Foundation in order to give our readers more insight into how funding research can make a big difference.
What is the Kessler Foundation?Kessler Foundation is a nonprofit research center dedicated to helping individuals with disabilities through both scientific breakthroughs and specialized programs. “We strive to improve quality of life for individuals with disabilities through innovative research,” said Kessler Foundation Research Recruitment Specialist Samantha Schmidt. “We want to help people regain physical and cognitive function after a brain injury like a stroke or a debilitating illness like multiple sclerosis.” The Kessler Foundation has grown significantly since its founding in 1947. It now has 6 research facilities where scientists develop potential treatments and effective interventions. This foundation hones in on specific disabilities caused help by:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries in Adults and Children
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
- Breast Cancer
- ADD and Autism in Children