Friday, February 22, 2013

No More a Whiter Shade of Pale

Over a year ago, Brad communicated restlessness and boredom with his life through a number of behaviors that included pacing, hitting his knee with the palm of his hand, frustrated vocalizations, and self-stimulation.  Today reveals a completely different Brad thanks to the commitment and dedication of his Cottage staff who recognized Brad’s need for more in his life than therapy three times a week, and recreational activities that did not interest him.  In addition to expressed frustrations, Brad was experiencing insomnia that made for a very cranky and obviously unhappy man.  Brad swims twice a week at a local health facility, but the staff wanted to keep him active the entire week through the summer months. 

Staff scheduled bike rides for Brad on his AmTryke at least twice a week, knowing already this activity was a favorite of Brad’s that left him feeling content while on the move.  Just as she does with swimming, Brad’s Direct Support Professional (DSP,) Tammy, goes along with Brad on his bike rides in the community, riding in the nearby neighborhoods as well as downtown near Smother’s Park area. They initially explored taking Brad to a local park to ride; however, there were some issues about allowing the AmTryke onto a city bus.  Recently, the folks at Owensboro Transit (OT) have since resolved this problem by training their drivers on how to load the adult AmTryke onto their buses so they may better accommodate active individuals with developmental disabilities such as Brad!  Over the summer, Brad’s leg strength has improved greatly from the swimming and biking exercise; and Tammy reports he hardly needs help getting up hills or with his pedaling.  Rumor has it Brad has the nicest toned legs on Campus!  On the bike, Brad has built his physical stamina and increased his speed some too; though most of his rides are still rather leisurely. He also sleeps better at night.
So impressed were the Cottage staff at Brad’s interest in these outdoor activities, they decided to purchase a summer season pass for him to Holiday World, an area amusement & water park. Holiday World, located in Santa Claus, Indiana, offers a variety of daredevil rides like roller coasters to leisurely antique car rides.  Having been to Holiday World before, Brad was familiar with the hustle and bustle of the park and its rides.  Brad went every Wednesday with Tammy to spend the day.  Brad enjoys most of the roller coasters, especially the Raven, and the Liberty Launch, etc. but he especially loves the Water Park rides.  They did the park rides in the morning, then after taking a break from the sun’s heat to eat a packed lunch, they head to the water park.

Another vast improvement was Brad’s tan!  Previously, Brad’s skin was very pale, leaving look sickly.  Another positive improvement was Brad’s ability to tolerate the heat of summer.  Many individuals with developmental disabilities cannot tolerate extreme heat well, usually because of the medications they are on, which limits their outdoor activities.  In some cases, they have had limited exposure to the heat and sun, often kept indoors for a variety of reasons.  With many of our Campus members, staff takes great consideration as to how hot it will be and always take precautions if they do go out in it.  In Brad’s case, this heat intolerance theory fell to the wayside as Brad started riding in the spring more and more outdoors.  Over time, he acclimated to the heat so well that when we did hit higher temperatures this past summer, Brad had no reaction to it and his tan never looked better!
With a full and active life doing things that left Brad thriving in a fulfilled and happy life, the staff wanted to do two more things to complete Brad’s transformation.  First, they wanted him to feel more at home within his own living space; and second, they wanted to give him a clothing makeover that would leave him looking like a sharp dressed man.

In the Next Blog Entry:  Sharp Dressed Man in Groovy Digs - ". . . staff decided to take Brad shopping. . . . Brad was very thoughtful in his selections. . .  it was a long shopping trip."

We want to hear from you! Please share your responses and comments by clicking below on “Comment” – you may post them anonymously or using your profile name.

“The educated do not share a common body of information, but a common state of mind.” ~Mason Cooley
Please share our blog with others via Facebook, Twitter, or email! Follow our blog! Click on “Join our Site” below.

Blog content is copyrighted property of Wendell Foster’s Campus for Development Disabilities and Carolyn Smith Ferber and/or other blog authors). Content may be used, duplicated or reprinted only with the expressed authorization of the Wendell Foster’s Campus. Permission for use, duplication or reprints may be made to

No comments:

Post a Comment