Saturday, October 24, 2020

The Parent Dilemma, Ritchie Shares Her Advice on COVID Peer-Pressure


As parents, we all want what’s best for our children, and ultimately that should be to keep them safe. But really, WHY is It harder than it sounds? And why it’s OK to say NO. 



  • Don’t Buy into the Telephone Game. ‘Orders’ during the pandemic are ever-changing, and confusing for anyone. Keeping up with all the press conferences and CDC guidelines is not easy. It’s really becoming a game of telephone, from one friend to another who missed the conference. At the end of the day, make your own executive decision for you and your family and do your own research if needed.

  • Dealing with friend/family barriers. With the upcoming election, there are already barriers and eggshell walks when views are different in your friend/family groups, add a pandemic to it. Not every parent is doing the same thing right now. Some parents are getting kids back into school, some parents are homeschooling. Some parents are still practicing strict social distancing, and some parents are keeping their kids home. All decisions being made have the best intentions, but if you do not agree with another parent and their choices, that’s OK. 

  • Covid Peer-pressure is a thing. There are many parents being peer-pressured to do what they are not comfortable doing right now. New mom’s especially, it’s OK to stay home in your bubble, enjoy the time with your family, do not feel pressured to expose you and your family to anything if you do not feel comfortable, Its’ OK to SAY NO.

  • Getting a Cold Is OK. Right now, everyone that coughs, sneezes or has an unexpected runny nose seems to get banned. Kids get runny noses all the time. This is their way of building an immune system. We cannot add more stress to our lives thinking the worst, the more positivity we have during the circumstances the more better chance we have to stay strong through it all. Try not to overreact as that affects everyone around you. Now is best to get yourself and your family healthy, so put all the extra love you can into living a healthy lifestyle. 

  • Take Advantage of a Quiet Holiday Season. This is the one year that you actually have an excuse to get out of family functions during the holidays, so take advantage. Everyone will still be there, when you decide to make decisions in your own time.

As parents for our children, stay safe, stay smart, and know it’s OK to just say NO.

About Jennifer Ritchie, IBCLC:

Jennifer Ritchie is an Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) who spent more than a decade helping countless parents navigate breastfeeding challenges, including latching difficulties, painful nursing, low milk production, inadequate weight gain, and induced lactation. She has worked with big-name celebrities and as an on-location consultant, in addition to authoring "I Make Milk What's Your Superpower?" and "Bringing Baby Home - A New Parents Guide to Breastfeeding.” Committed to providing community-based, long-term support to breastfeeding mothers, Ritchie’s insights and approach empower thousands of new and expecting moms to embrace the joys and challenges of motherhood. Find answers to a wide range of breastfeeding questions online at JenniferRitchie.tv, along with articles, “how-to” videos, and more. For an exclusive interview with Ritchie, reach out to Leigh-Anne Anderson at LeighAnne@Anderson-PR.com.


Friday, October 23, 2020

A Place in the World: Fueling Housing and Community Options for Adults with Autism and Other Neurodiversities

 First Place® AZ and Autism Housing Network have released a new study, A Place in the World: Fueling Housing and Community Options for Adults with Autism and Other Neurodiversities, which offers the universal language for a guiding narrative to research, develop and achieve supportive housing solutions.

 

The groundbreaking 2020 report includes more than 150 terms to help guide people to better understand housing preferences, accessibility needs, supportive amenities, service delivery models and more. It aims to clearly define nomenclature and market segments for the benefit and application of all sectors; establish best practices and guiding principles; and drive crucial partnerships and policy decisions that address pressing needs compounded by the current housing crisis.



(Cutline) First Place–Phoenix, the first property of developer First Place AZ featured in A Place in the World, offers 55 private apartments, along with active living and life-skills training for neurodiverse residents in a consumer-controlled setting. 


“We get daily pleas from desperate autistic adults facing homelessness and senior caregivers who just can’t support their loved ones’ needs anymore,” says Desiree Kameka Galloway, report co-author and director of Autism Housing Network. “They don’t know their options and the reality is they often must choose between the next empty bed 100 miles away or homelessness.”

 

Current data indicate more than one million adults in the U.S. with intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DD)—such as autism, Down syndrome and cerebral palsy—live with a caregiver over age 60.

 

Informed by a cross section of pioneering leaders with expertise in real estate, community development and public policy from within and outside of the disability community, A Place in the World targets the housing industry, scholars, direct service providers, policymakers, researchers, residents and other stakeholders. 

 

“A Place in the World will be the go-to source for developing and expanding housing and community solutions for neurodiverse populations in communities everywhere,” says report co-author Denise D. Resnik, First Place AZ founder, president and CEO, and mother of an adult son with autism. “The report was designed to raise the bar on a new generation of options so that individuals with different abilities and their families recognize that a diagnosis need not stand in the way of friends, jobs, supportive communities—and homes of their own.” 


(Cutline) First Place–Phoenix opened in July 2018. The First Place Transition Academy offers a two-year, residential life skills program to empower residents to find employment and live more independently.

Named for the 2016 PBS NewsHour series featuring Greater Phoenix as “the most autism-friendly city in the world,” A Place in the World is the sister study to the groundbreaking 2009 report, Opening Doors: A Discussion of Residential Options for Adults Living with Autism and Related Disorders, the first-ever study to focus on the housing challenges of adults with autism and other neurodiversities. Opening Doors resulted in the founding of First Place AZ, a real estate and community developer, and the Autism Housing Network, an online platform bringing together the best ideas and resources in housing for adults with autism and others with I/DD.

A Place in the World is a unique collaboration among a wide array of partners from the private, nonprofit, philanthropic and public sectors that includes Arizona State University Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions and its Morrison Institute for Public Policy, the First Place Global Leadership Institute and its Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation Center for Public Policy, Autism Housing Network, and pioneering leaders from across the U.S. and around the globe. 

 

“Through a broad and more robust marketplace, individuals can better match their needs and interests with homes they choose, combined with natural supports and long-term support services,” says Resnik. “Together, we can and will inform outcomes demonstrating what works, what needs to work better and how supportive policy can better align the interests of all sectors,” says Resnik.

 

The report uses descriptive language defining features, amenities, locations, price points and economic realities in straightforward terms for consumers, developers, providers and funders. By aligning housing, long-term support services and community supports expressed in precise terms for the benefit of those poised to deliver, the report can more effectively fuel a dynamic marketplace of options.

“We have united to take a critical step toward fueling a marketplace of options while recognizing the historic disconnect among prospective residents and their families, service providers, housing developers and policy officials struggling to address demand based on vastly different experiences and points of reference,” states Kameka Galloway.

Sponsors of the report include UnitedHealthcare Community Plan, the Phoenix IDA and the Arizona Community Foundation, organizations that recognize the value of housing as a major social determinant of health and the need for a common language to inform, improve and launch a marketplace of innovative housing solutions.


First Place is hosting its eighth semi-annual Global Leadership Institute Symposium Webinars on October 21 and 22. More than 500 attendees from most U.S. states and more than 280 cities, as well as six countries, are registered to participate in the free event launching A Place in the World. Sponsors include UnitedHealthcare Community Plan, the Phoenix IDA, Arizona Community Foundation, Sprouts Farmers Market, Inc., Jaburg Wilk and Interest Ministries.

 

For more information or to get involved, email info@firstplaceaz.org or visit firstplaceaz.org.

 

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About First Place® AZ

First Place AZ, a charitable nonprofit organization advancing innovative residential options for adults with autism and other special abilities, celebrates neuro-diversity, independent living and the belief that housing options for people with autism and other special abilities should be as bountiful as they are for everyone else. First Place is creating replicable residential and post-secondary education models that promote collaboration among the public, private, philanthropic and nonprofit sectors, serving as a catalyst for advancing public policy focused on housing solutions for special populations.  First Place–Phoenix, the nonprofit’s first new property, opened in 2018. Leasing opportunities are available. View PBS NewsHour’s two-part series about First Place at “Giving Adults with Autism the Skills to Build Independent Lives” and “How Phoenix Became the Most Autism-Friendly City in the World.” Learn more at firstplaceaz.org.

 

About Autism Housing Network

Autism Housing Network, a project of the Madison House Autism Foundation, brings together the best concepts in housing for autistic adults and others with intellectual/developmental disabilities on an online platform. Our goal is to empower local communities to build the homes needed to address the current and persistent housing and supports crisis. AHN raises awareness for various supportive housing models while sharing lessons learned, providing technical assistance, conducting market analysis and advocating with our partners across the country to ensure that policy does not create barriers to home and community choices of adults with autism or other neurodiversities. Learn more at autismhousingnetwork.org.


PHOTOS AND SUGGESTED CUTLINES

Photo Dropbox Link - https://www.dropbox.com/sh/zvy8l4jxpwf959e/AAB37GrkpIqvDbhSCzWY9vjWa?dl=0

 

APITW Report Cover

A Place in the World report was designed to raise the bar on a new generation of housing options so that individuals with different disabilities and their families recognize that a diagnosis need not stand in the way of friends, jobs, supportive communities and homes of their own. The groundbreaking 2020 report includes more than 150 terms to help guide people to better understand housing preferences, accessibility needs, supportive amenities, service delivery models and more.

 

Chapel Haven Schleifer Center

The Chapel Haven Schleifer Center in Connecticut is a featured property in A Place in the World. Chapel Haven offers student-housing apartments for young adults enrolled in the center’s unique transitional programs designed for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities and other neurodiversities.

 

Denise D. Resnik

Denise D. Resnik is co-author of the A Place in the World report. Resnik is also First Place AZ founder, president and CEO—and mother of an adult son with autism. “A Place in the World will be the go-to source for developing and expanding housing and community solutions for neurodiverse populations in communities everywhere,” says Resnik.

 

Desiree Kameka Galloway

Desiree Kameka Galloway is co-author of the A Place in the World report and the director of the Autism Housing Network. “We have united to take a critical step toward fueling a marketplace of options. We recognize the historic disconnect among prospective residents and their families, service providers, housing developers and policy officials struggling to address demand based on vastly different experiences and points of reference,” says Kameka Galloway.

 

First Place AZ

First Place–Phoenix, the first property of developer First Place AZ featured in A Place in the World, offers 55 private apartments, along with active living and life-skills training for neurodiverse residents in a consumer-controlled setting. This intentional community and mixed-use development is also home to the First Place Transition Academy, a two-year program that helps neurodiverse adults build crucial skills for independent living and career-readiness.

 

First Place–Phoenix

First Place–Phoenix is a consumer-controlled apartment property and intentional community of neurodiverse residents. Opened in July 2018, the mixed-use building includes 55 private apartments, as well as recreation spaces, relaxation spaces and common area spaces. The First Place Transition Academy offers a two-year, residential life skills program to empower residents to find employment and live more independently.

 

IMG 5779 and 5780

Desiree Kameka Galloway (right), co-author of the A Place in the World report, speaks with a fellow attendee at the fall 2018 Global Leadership Institute Symposium in Phoenix. The groundbreaking report presents descriptive language defining features, amenities, locations, price points and economic realities in straightforward terms for consumers, developers, providers and funders.

 

The Arc Jacksonville Village

The Arc Jacksonville Village in Florida is a featured property in the A Place in the World report. The village offers 97 affordable one- and two-bedroom rental apartments for 121 residents and caters to individuals interested in a live-work-play lifestyle.

  

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Healthy Habits: Transplants During COVID

 Approximately 80 people undergo organ transplants each day – these recipients are presented with unique challenges during the pandemic that require them to make substantial changes in ways that they receive medical care from their healthcare professionals.  Organ recipients are at higher risk of contracting the virus because the immunosuppressive drugs they take to prevent organ rejection also limit their body’s ability to ward off infection.


As restrictions start to lift, and the world seems more like normal, existing transplant patients would benefit from practical tips that help them remain informed and hyper-vigilant about safety. And as organ transplant surgeries begin to resume at centers around the country, transplant professionals can provide guidance to new patients regarding staying healthy in our “new normal” environment.


Leading transplant surgeon Adam W Bingaman, MD, PhD, Director of Abdominal Organ Transplantation at Methodist Hospital/Specialty and Transplant, is on the front lines during this crisis in his community and provides tips to both patients and their caregivers about keeping safe, during the “new normal.” Additionally, CareDx CEO Peter Maag – the company behind RemoTraC – discusses widespread usage of the service during COVID-19, and the company’s ongoing commitment to addressing patient needs. 


  • Seek Care with Telemedicine: Consult with your doctor about available telemedicine programs.  Also known as telehealth, telemedicine uses phones, tablets and laptops for virtual medical appointments, remote but in real-time, with healthcare professionals. 

  • Evaluate Caregivers’ Risk: In addition to transplant patients being hyper-vigilant of their own health, they must also monitor their caregivers' exposure to the public. If a caregiver needs to go into public areas– for example, if they are an essential worker – then they should take necessary precautions.

  • Inquire About Home Blood Draws: Transplant patients undergo frequent blood tests in labs or hospitals to monitor for the health of their transplanted organs. There are at-home services that A service allows patients to receive home blood draws from trained technicians called phlebotomists to access for organ rejection: 



 Interview courtesy: CareDx, Inc.


Caring Causes: Wreaths Across America

 Wreaths Across America (WAA), is the non-profit organization best known for placing veterans’ wreaths on the headstones of our nation’s fallen at Arlington National Cemetery. However, today the organization, in total, places more than 2 million sponsored veterans’ wreaths at over 2200 participating locations nationwideIn order to achieve this mission, in this challenging year, the organization had to be open to new approaches and partnered with generous organizations willing to share new technologies while helping achieve our ultimate goal of fulfilling the mission to Remember, Honor, and Teach in part by placing veterans’ wreaths at the headstones of all fallen U.S. service members.

Wreaths Across America’s existing website capabilities allow for customized fundraising pages for Participating Locations and Sponsorship Groups, providing real-time information to donors and volunteers across the country. In addition, the nonprofit has focused efforts on other owned-media channels, including Wreaths Across America Radioan internet radio station bringing you a unique mix of music, interviews and entertainment designed to uplift the American spirit during these challenging times and to promote our mission to remember, honor and teach about America’s veterans.

Expanding on the Teach aspect of the mission, WAA’s Mobile Education Exhibit hit the road early this summer. This traveling learning experience helps live the mission to remember, honor, and teach. The expanding internal movie theater and interactive learning displays help remember the sacrifices our nation’s heroes, honor living veterans and teach future generations about the price of freedom.

In the last two years, by partnering with AT&T veterans, WAA has been able to offer a pilot “Text to Donate” program that is allowing donors in several states to sponsor a veteran’s wreath for a family member or loved one from the comfort and safety of their own home. By texting 20222 and a corresponding text code specific to an area cemetery, a contribution can be made over the donor’s phone no matter who is their primary service carrier. All mobile users can obtain a tax receipt for donations made via text message by visiting: http://mobilegiving.org/tax-receipt/.

Although the use of social media has been around for some time and become a business mainstay of building a community of supporters, virtual events have also become the norm this year as many live events have had to be transformed from their original live format. These virtual events have allowed us to share a once regional concert, with our entire supporter base, removed 5k races from the bounds of a set course, offered mothers homeschooling their children the chance to share in a pledge of allegiance with their children, and expanded a local flag waving effort to the entire nation.

Some of these efforts have even spawned the need for their own new technology approaches. For example, WAA’s race partner CompetitorME began utilizing an App, called RaceJoy, to help track runners and share vital information while participating in a virtual race. And while most theater chains were trying to figure out the business of survival amidst a pandemic Showcase Cinemas made community service a priority by lifting the virtual concert from the pages of Facebook to add it to their newly launched streaming service called Showcase NOW.

As you can see, no one change is helping make it through rough times. However, utilizing technology to make many small changes is helping WAA continue toward its goal of honoring and remembering as many United States service members as possible nationwide this National Wreaths Across America Day—Saturday, December 19, 2020.

However, there’s still more ways to help and it doesn’t have a touch screen or hi-def display…. It’s you!

You can sponsor a wreath for $15 at https://www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/. Each sponsorship goes toward a fresh balsam veteran’s wreath that will be placed on the headstone of an American hero as we endeavor to honor all veterans laid to rest on Saturday, December 19, 2020, as part of National Wreaths Across America Day. You can text WREATH22 to 20222 to sponsor a wreath for Arlington National Cemetery right from your phone.

To find a cemetery near you to support click here.


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About Wreaths Across America
Wreaths Across America is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded to continue and expand the annual wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery begun by Maine businessman Morrill Worcester in 1992. The organization’s mission – Remember, Honor, Teach – is carried out in part each year by coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies in December at Arlington, as well as at thousands of veterans’ cemeteries and other locations in all 50 states and beyond. 

For more information or to sponsor a wreath please visit 
www.wreathsacrossamerica.org.

Healthy Habits: Self-Care for Busy Moms During The Pandemic

 The ongoing pandemic has everyone working harder than usual. Millions of people are now working from home, and millions of kids are adapting to remote learning, but these people are not changing alone. Some people might think that being a mom would be easier right now, but many moms are busier than ever. As mom’s to-do lists continue to grow, after weeks of lockdown, many moms are stressed, tired, and far too busy with no end in sight. We might forget to practice self-care during these stressful and uncertain times as we try to get everything else done and take care of the people around us. Moms often have to wear too many hats and juggle too many things that self-care is often neglected. Some moms might think they don’t have the time to stop and practice self-care, but self-care doesn’t need to take up a lot of time. Here are a few ways moms, or anyone, can practice self-care during the pandemic without unnecessarily eating up hours in the day. Self-care covers a wide range of activities and ideas. Sadly, some people see self-care as selfish, but that could not be further from the truth. Self-care is critical to maintaining your physical and mental health with different activities targeting different areas of care.

Physical Health With Self-Care



Taking care of your body and overall physical health is an essential part of self-care. You do not need to go to the gym or workout for hours a day to stay in good health. A quick walk around the block after dinner or 10 minutes of stretching after sitting all day will go a long way towards keeping you healthy. Physical care also includes taking care of your skin, hair, nails, and all other parts of your body. Instead of taking a quick shower, indulge with a bath bomb and a quiet moment to yourself in the tub. Take the time to wash your face, break out the hair dye to redo your color, paint your nails, anything that brings you a spark of joy, even if it’s just for a moment. These short breaks to take care of your bodies are helpful for both your physical health and your mental health. Even taking a moment to stop and focus on breathing to lower your heart rate and blood pressure can help you navigate each day and each tomorrow.

Mental health With Self-Care

Many people discount mental health, but it is a part of your health you must care for and work on like any other part. Taking care of your mental health is less about working out and more about giving your brain a rest. Everyone is under more stress than normal right now as we navigate uncertain and unprecedented issues, which is bound to take a toll on your mental health.


Mental health self-care looks different for everyone, and what works for one person might not work for you, so it is important you find your brand of mental health self-care. One of the most common ways people take a break for their mental health is unplugging from social media for a bit. Taking a few hours break from checking your timeline can make a difference in your mood and outlook. It is important to stay informed about current events, but not to the point of obsession or hurting your daily wellbeing. Set a timer to set your phone down and close the Internet so that you can decompress.



Writing things in a journal at the end of the day can be an excellent way to empty your head, so to speak, and let the worries of the day wash away. Meditation, breathing exercises, or listening to calming music can also help you unwind. Put on an uplifting movie to watch with dinner or have a private dance party at home; it doesn’t matter how silly an activity looks; if it helps your mental health, it is worth it.


Everyone is busy right now, but moms have more on their plate than most. Between taking care of kids, the household, and current events, busy moms need breaks in the day to practice self-care. Talk a walk around the block, stretch for 10 minutes, or just stop to breathe for a moment to improve your physical health. Use what works best for you regarding mental health self-care, whether that is a long bubble bath, meditating, or a solo dance party. Take the breaks you need to practice self-care to continue wearing many hats and keeping your family going.


Contest: HALOween Dog Costume Challenge

 It’s time for tricks and treats this Halloween— dog tricks and dog treats, that is! Halo with Cesar Millan is launching its first-ever HALOween Dog Costume Challenge on Instagram today.


Dog lovers across the country are invited to share photos of their costumed dogs on Instagram and Facebook with the official hashtag #HALOweendog2020 to enter the challenge for a chance to win one of three pawesome prize packages. 

WHO

Halo Collar is the first and only smart dog collar with smart fences, intuitive training, and GPS location all in one, designed with Cesar Millan’s time-tested expert dog training methodology in mind. 

WHEN 

The HALOween Dog Costume Challenge is open for submissions now through Oct. 31, 2020, at midnight. The Halo team will confirm and announce the top three prize winners during the first week of November.

WHERE

Halo Collar’s Instagram, @halocollar. Enter by posting a photo of your dog on your instagram profile, which must be public, and use the hashtag #HALOweenDog2020

WHY

The ​HALOween Dog Costume Challenge will provide an opportunity for ​canine-​loving people and ​families to express ​themselves and have fun. Did we hear someone say "witch way to the treats?"  

PRIZES 

All three winners will get a Halo T-shirt (for humans!), an exclusive invitation to Halo Collar’s virtual launch event with Cesar Millan, and the ability to select a pet rescue or shelter to which Halo will provide a $500 charitable donation on their behalf. In addition, the first prize winner will receive a Halo Collar, a professional photoshoot with their dog as the model, and a special feature on Halo’s website and/or social media pages. 

DETAILS
The judging criteria will be based on 1) Originality/Creativity, 2) Authenticity, 3) Family Appropriateness, 4) Overall Presentation, 5) Number of Likes, and 6) Photo Quality/Attention to Detail.

Entrants must have their Instagram profile set to public (not private) to be eligible, and the photo must contain the official hashtag to be entered. Entrants must live in the U.S. and be 18 years of age or older. One entry per person per dog. If a person has multiple dogs, he/she may enter a separate individual photo for each costumed pet, or he/she may submit one group entry photo. Photos must be of dogs (sorry, cats!) and all costumes must be family-friendly and not contain any trademarked/licensed brands. 

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About Halo
Combining smart technology with Cesar Millan's expert dog psychology, Halo provides the world's greatest all-in-one smart fence, tracking, and training solution, making it the world’s most effective smart collar system for dogs. Built on a mission of “no more lost dogs,” the Halo Collar offers safety, communication, and freedom for dogs and their owners alike, designed to build a better world for dogs. Founded in 2018, Halo is headquartered in Plano, Texas with team members across the nation. To find out more about the world’s most complete safety and training solution or to purchase one today, visit www.halocollar.com.