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Old February 27th, 2012, 04:30 AM   #91
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Default Re: 'Agricultural specialisterne': rural employment revolution for those with Autism

It is a great incentive for people with disabilities, of course, to continue to be eligible for benefits as they enter the workforce.

Plans for Achieving Self-Support (PASS) were developed as an incentive to enter the workforce to encourage individuals who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Supplemental Security Disability Income (SSDI). The point of this plan is that it allows an individual to work and save money without being penalised with a deduction from their SSI or SSDI check. There are restrictions though on how the saved money can be used.

Molly Sullivan of Griffin Hammis Associates is an expert on the matter; here is a presentation of hers on Plans for Achieving Self-Support: http://www.start-up-usa.biz/training...an_pass_ho.pdf
(source: ICI - Postsecondary Education Options for Students with Intellectual Disabilities)
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Old February 28th, 2012, 09:22 AM   #92
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Default 'Agricultural specialisterne': rural employment revolution for those with Autism

A paper from staff at Griffin Hammis Associates makes the point that Plans for Achieving Self-Support (PASS) are vastly underutilised. PASS plans offer opportunities, for people with disabilties, via consumer-controlled money to:
- go into employment;
- earn a post-high school qualification to enhance employability;
- acquire specialised skills;
- buy job development and coaching services; and/or
- cover transit costs.

The paper also offers an example where a PASS was successfully utilised:
Quote:
...Steven, a young man on the autism spectrum transitioning from high school, was on a track for referral to a local day activity center. In the last year of high school his family became aware of Customized Employment (CE) options and reached out for assistance for community employment.

...The local Small Business Development Center assisted when the business idea was initially proposed and continues to provide technical assistance. Funding was amalgamated from multiple sources, including 6 months of final transition School Staff funding, Medicaid waiver self-directed community day services funding, State Vocational Rehabilitation CE services and business equipment funding, a local small community business development grant, plus a $9,000 PASS was developed and approved for supporting business operating expenses, materials, supplies, web site development and ongoing internet access fees. PASS, by default, is mainly building operating capital in the business each month, and by the end of 18 months will have provided $9,000 in operating capital, while simultaneously paying for business operating expenses....
(source: http://www.employmentfirstgeorgia.or...f-2012-cg.aspx)
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Old February 29th, 2012, 01:46 AM   #93
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Default 'Agricultural specialisterne': rural employment revolution for those with Autism

On a very different note, I will now focus on an athlete with Autism. And this is very pertinent for those of us in the Southern Hemisphere, today being the last day of Summer

We have seen in this thread that nature can bring out the best in people on the Autism Spectrum, and for Clay Marzo the waves and surfing are what he lives for...

Here is a full version of the documentary ('Just Add Water') from a few years ago on Clay Marzo, a Hawaii-raised professional surfer with Asperger's Syndrome: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-F6uB4xt8o
Notice how one of the surfers comments that he seems much more comfortable in the water, in terms of interacting with others and even eye contact, than on land...

Last edited by Visionary7903; March 1st, 2012 at 05:33 AM.
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Old March 1st, 2012, 12:40 AM   #94
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Default 'Agricultural specialisterne': rural employment revolution for those with Autism

From the Clay Marzo film, 'Just Add Water', pasted in below are insights from two Autism experts. Note that the ideas described do not just apply specifically to Clay Marzo and Surfing. They could as easily apply to some of the Autistics clearly excelling in other fields, utilising their obsessiveness in one area of interest to succeed...
Quote:
...Dr. Tony Attwood (Asperger's Syndrome Expert):
The best description is that the brain is wired differently. It means that some things are processed so superbly that the person has areas of excellence. There's a tendency in Asperger's Syndrome to have, what we call, a special interest. What it means is that when the person with Asperger's Syndrome chooses to do something, they will become an expert at it, probably the best in the world at it.

Dr. Chitra Bhakta (Autism Specialist): That one activity or one sphere of excellence that they have that they can devote I think exceptionally long hours in concentration that I don't think a typical person could bring to it.

Dr. Tony Attwood (Asperger's Syndrome Expert):
But when they become so dedicated and they let their mind really focus on aspects and connections that noone else has thought of, so it becomes intuitive, that's when they excel.
...
Dr. Chitra Bhakta (Autism Specialist): You can see the passion that he feels for doing what he's doing. I think it's somehow he comes across, he's so passionate about it, it's almost like what he's living for.

Dr. Tony Attwood (Asperger's Syndrome Expert):
What he'll do is have a schema of many waves that he's had before and then be able to predict what he'll do in that situation. So his brain disconnects from everyday functions and just becomes one with the wave. And so he'll intuitively know what the wave is doing and so he will anticipate that and be ahead of everyone else...
(source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-F6uB4xt8o )
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Old March 2nd, 2012, 07:32 PM   #95
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Default 'Agricultural specialisterne': rural employment revolution for those with Autism

We have seen in this thread that nature can bring out the best in people on the Autism Spectrum, and that goes for Clay Marzo too. As a professional surfer, he excels on the water, rather than on a rural environment.

Clay Marzo also helps regularly out at Surfers Healing, an organisation dedicated to using the surfing experience as a therapeutic tool to help Autistic children...
Quote:
...Several professional surfers have been very supportive of the program. It's not uncommon to see pros like Sunny Garcia, Danny Fuller, or Clay Marzo, one of the most accomplished surfers and aquatic athletes in the world today.

Coincidentally, after years of surfing, Marzo himself was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, a form of autism, in 2007 at the age 18...
Here is a clip from 'Just Add Water' on this organisation: Surfers Healing - Clay Marzo - YouTube
(source: http://www.liquidhip.com/2011/06/sur...or-autism.html)

Last edited by Visionary7903; March 2nd, 2012 at 08:14 PM.
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Old March 4th, 2012, 06:44 PM   #96
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Default 'Agricultural specialisterne': rural employment revolution for those with Autism

This thread has been about how the outdoors can bring the best out of people with Autism Spectrum Disorders and be therapeutic for them.

Below is more on how the organisation, Surfer's Healing, operates. Note the similarity to how the water seems to affect Clay Marzo. Like many successful interventions for Autism, time in the water consistently calms and soothes the children down...
Quote:
...Today, Surfers Healing travels the country to bring the surfing experience to autistic children. Typically, the full-day camp includes an afternoon of music, comedy, and art produced by children who have varied degrees of autism.

But it's the main event that has so many families turning out to participate -- sometimes as many as 500 children for only 100 spots (which are reserved in advance). Amazingly, even among those who are initially frightened by the unfamiliarity of the boards, they calm down almost immediately as they enter the water.

..."I truly believe the water is the element that soothes," [Izzy Paskowitz, founder of the organisation] has said. "Water, any water, makes a difference."

And for the rest of the day, they take turns riding the waves with experienced and sometimes well-known professional surfers, all of whom volunteer their time. In some cases, older children even learn enough to surf a small distance on their own.

...Since its first event, Surfers Healing has grown to touch the lives of more than 2,000 children and their families who participate at special camps all over the world ...Surfers Healing has future camps planned ...with first-time campers being given priority enrollment.

In prior years, the camps were also open to brothers and sisters, but growing demand had made it more difficult to accommodate more children on a shoestring budget. Expenses to host the camps typically include beach permits, insurance, administration, and food for the families. Surfers Healing also purchases new wetsuits, surfboards, rash guards, life vests, and other equipment every season.

...Even today, despite demands, Surfers Healing asks most donors to sponsor children, thereby reducing the cost of the camp and also helping the nonprofit to expand by offering more camps throughout the year.

Inventive sponsors have even sponsored bake sales, car washes, and barbecues, a few of several dozen grassroots ways that people have helped fund the organization. Surfers Healing also manages an online store with T-shirts and charm bracelets to help raise funds and maintains a Facebook page, helping to increase awareness for autism.
(source: Liquid [Hip]: Surfers Healing Opens Up For Autism)

Last edited by Visionary7903; March 4th, 2012 at 07:07 PM.
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Old March 6th, 2012, 08:03 AM   #97
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Default 'Agricultural specialisterne': rural employment revolution for those with Autism

In the above post on Surfer's Healing, the quoted article includes the following passage:
Quote:
...In other cases, they might only have short ride but as Tim Haddock recently shared with ESPN, his son had fun anyway. And Haddock's son is not alone, as evidenced by the growing number of personal videos about Surfers Healing online...
Indeed, a place like YouTube is good for raising awareness for successful interventions for Autism Spectrum Disorders. While not as scientific as a formal clinical trial, seeing how various kids with Autism react to interventions in real life can give one an insight into an intervention's relative merits, and whether it is worth a try. Here are just some of the many YouTube videos on Surfer's Healing for example:
Eye To Eye With Katie Couric: Surfer's Healing (CBS News) - YouTube Ryan Alberto - Surfers Healing Jobos, Isabela PR. 09-Apr-2011 - YouTube Paul surfing in Montauk with Surfers Healing - YouTube Tori Surfing with Surfers Healing-Montauk, NY Sept. 16, 2011 - YouTube Surfers Healing Wightsville Beach 2010 - YouTube

(source: Liquid [Hip]: Surfers Healing Opens Up For Autism)

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Old March 7th, 2012, 06:20 AM   #98
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Default 'Agricultural specialisterne': rural employment revolution for those with Autism

This thread has been about how the outdoors can bring the best out of people with Autism Spectrum Disorders and be therapeutic for them.

While Surfer's Healing is an organisation that focuses on bringing the surfing experience to kids with Autism, AmpSurf widens the net to include adults and various other disabilities...
Quote:
...It wasn't long before [Dana] was conspiring with his surf teacher--Rodney ... another amputee--to launch a surf clinic for other people with disabilities.
"We did that first clinic in October of '03, and AmpSurf was born," [Dana] said.
The goal of the nonprofit AmpSurf was simple: Show disabled people the therapeutic benefits of surfing by teaching them to ride waves.
While many AmpSurf participants are veterans, anyone with disabilities can participate. That has included people with missing limbs, brain injuries, blindness, autism and post-traumatic stress disorder.
The first year, AmpSurf taught a dozen people. This year, with clinics in Southern California and on the East Coast, AmpSurf will teach 500...
(source: Veterans’ champion: Co-founder of AmpSurf widening his impact | The Tribune & SanLuisObispo.com)
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Old March 8th, 2012, 04:23 AM   #99
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Default 'Agricultural specialisterne': rural employment revolution for those with Autism

Indeed here is the inspiring story of the founder of AmpSurf, and how therapeutic surfing helped him to be something other than 'that poor guy who lost his leg'...
Quote:
Dana ... is aware of the irony.
After serving two tours of combat duty in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, the former Marine lost a leg as a civilian in California.

"A lot of people ask, 'Did you lose your leg in the service?'" he said. "And I say, 'No--I lost it right here, on the 101.'"

While the car accident forever disabled him, it positively changed his life. Since that 2002 incident, [Dana] has taken up surfing, launched a camp to teach other disabled people to surf, accepted a job as the county's Veterans Services officer and appeared in a major motion picture.
"Honestly, looking back, everything happens for a reason," said [Dana]...

...So surgeons had to amputate.
Despite experiencing the worst pain he'd ever felt (it didn't help that his insurance company denied him rehabilitation), [Dana] made it his goal to take up surfing as soon as he could.
"I didn't want to be defined by the fact that I've got a missing leg," said the 41-year-old father of five. "And I thought, if I can surf, then I won't be this poor guy that lost his leg."

...After losing his leg in August, Cummings was carrying a surfboard the following January, a prosthetic limb attached below his left knee. Like most beginning surfers, Cummings rode his first few waves on his belly. But that was enough to experience what jubilant surfers refer to as 'the stoke.'
"To feel that rush of the wave pick me up--I was just blown away," said Cummings, who had tried surfing before the injury but quit out of frustration. "And the next day I was able to stand up."...
(source: Veterans’ champion: Co-founder of AmpSurf widening his impact | The Tribune & SanLuisObispo.com)

Last edited by Visionary7903; March 8th, 2012 at 06:34 AM.
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Old March 9th, 2012, 06:41 PM   #100
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Default Inspired by those with added challenges

Furthermore there is that capacity in people to be truly inspired by being around and working with people with disabilities...
Quote:
...But the surprise was how [Walgreens' Disability Employment Initiative] changed the employees without disabilities.
One team member talks about how he is a better father to his children because of the character building that has happened within him as he has learned from the tenacity of those with disability he is surrounded by...
Quote:
..."You just have a greater appreciation for people after working with someone like Lucas, [an employee with Asperger's Syndrome]" says Graham. "It benefits your organization and brings morale up. I'm a better person for knowing and working with Lucas."
Quote:
..."Dana [founder of AmpSurf] inspires you to be a better person," [Frank, a volunteer with AmpSurf] said. "He propels me to take on more things and be successful at them..."
(sources: Walgreens: Same Standards, Same Pay for People With Disabilities | inclusionparadox.com; Human Resource Executive Online - Aspies in the Workplace; Veterans’ champion: Co-founder of AmpSurf widening his impact | The Tribune & SanLuisObispo.com)

Furthermore skills of others can be enhanced by interacting with people with Autistic Spectrum Disorders...

Quote:
...Another thing I’ve learned about people who don’t know someone with autism; assumptions are automatically made about their abilities. In fact, when I told another friend about the tours with Erik’s Minnesota Adventures, he was astonished that the experience guides are able to conduct the tour. This lack of awareness about autism is a huge barrier and even more reason for people to get to know individuals with autism. These tours are designed to do just that. They are at the heart of our purpose; bidirectional integration (a term we coined). Or in simple language, this kind of exposure helps those with autism gain socialization, communication skills and self-confidence as experts in an area. It helps those without autism expand their socialization, communication skills and self-confidence in interacting with different capabilities. Seems like a win-win to me...
Quote:
..."Employers are recognizing the benefits of hiring an employee on the autism spectrum," [Erin Onacki, the employment service program coordinator of the Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center (SARRC)] said. "They're seeing there's a huge benefit to their organization. It has diversified their work environment, changed the dynamic for their employees and used us as a resource for their friends and family."...
(sources: http://eriksranchandretreats.wordpre...less-traveled/; http://www.azcentral.com/community/p...ults-jobs.html)

Last edited by Visionary7903; August 6th, 2012 at 06:51 PM.
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