Groups come together to promote reform of ideas

Published 5:00 pm Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Arc Minnesota, in collaboration with the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities, is promoting these reform ideas for services and supports for persons with disabilities.

• Housing Access: Increase cost-effective housing options and reduce service costs by expanding the successful housing access services to all waivers.

• Self Direction: All Minnesotans with disabilities should have an annual budget for their services, know how they can spend that budget, be accountable for their expenditures, and have great flexibility in customizing the supports that help them live in and contribute to the communities.

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• Personal Assistance: Redesign and simplify personal help at home and in the community across all disability programs, including personal care assistance, waivers, and state grants under the Community First Choice Option that is part of the federal health care reform law.

• Quality Assurance: Develop an alternative way of licensing services for people with disabilities statewide. This should be based on whether persons with disabilities are achieving the outcomes intended in their services.

• Case Management: Redefine the role of counties in providing case management, and create options for individuals with disabilities to choose their own person or agency to help plan their supports.

• Administrative Simplification: Support the implementation of ARRM’s Transformation Bill. This would reduce unnecessary regulations on providers of disability services.

If you would like more information on current legislative activities, join us at the 59th Annual Meeting and Awards to hear our guest speaker; Steve Larson, Public Policy Director from The Arc Minnesota.

Ask The Advocate

Development asserts a very strong influence over children’s behaviors. Children have an innate need, or drive, to practice the important tasks of different developmental stages.

Each stage has predictable behaviors associated with it. For example, a 9-month-old infant finds delight in repeatedly dropping a spoon from her high chair, while her exasperated mother tells her to keep her spoon on the tray.

This baby is practicing the concept of object permanence. The baby tests out this new awareness, which begins to develop around eight or nine months, by dropping things and having them “reappear” when picked up by a patient parent.

How can you tell whether or not your child’s behavior is due to a developmental stage? Gather information about general development from well-respected sources such as parenting books, from your experience with children of the same age, or by reflecting upon your own childhood.

Ask yourself:

• Have I read about this behavior in parenting literature or heard about it from my pediatrician or other trusted professional?

• Have I seen this behavior in other children of the same age?

• Do I remember doing this myself?

• What is my child trying to communicate? How can understanding this help me in knowing how to respond?

If your child’s behavior is due to a developmentally based need, he may be communicating to you that he is exactly where he needs to be, working on something very important! Here are some strategies for responding:

• Relax. Your child’s behavior is not due to something you have done or not done. It stems from an internal, developmental drive. The behavior will pass or evolve as your child masters the particular skill or task.

• Try to tolerate your child’s behavior; it is developmentally useful.

Channel the behavior, if it is still challenging. When you channel behavior, you don’t try to stop it. You allow it to happen in certain places or at certain times. This allows your child’s developmental needs to be met as well as yours. To enhance object permanence, you might channel behavior into games such as peek-a-boo and appear-disappear-reappear games.

This allows the infant to practice this new developmental skill in a fun and engaging way.

Upcoming Events

Sunday: Happy Mother’s Day and happy birthday to Dawn, executive director of The Arc of Mower County.

Thursday: Special Olympics Softball begins

Friday: 50’s and 60’s Sock Hop

May 24: 59th Annual Meeting and Awards with special guest Steve Larson, public policy director from The Arc Minnesota.