Archive for June, 2010

Holiness via the Happy Home

I found a wonderfully personal blog by an Orthodox Christian homeschooling mom who has lots of children; some of them have disabilities (as well as many abilities!)

This is where divine-human socialization (or, more properly, Theosis) happens- the Orthodox Christian family. This is where loving parents, by the grace and energies of God, self-sacrificially rise to the challenge of seeing children, with all their strengths and weaknesses, through to adulthood toward true personhood in Christ. And here is one family in which this is happening:

Here are some of her posts which make reference to disability:

Meet Miriam:

Miriam’s growth in Christ and my growth in Christ and all our growth together towards theosis in Christ is of ultimate significance. And we must attend to the how, and this mother is giving us the privilege of seeing how their family is proceeding in Christ.

Thank you, Mairs!


Dr. Pascal “Pat” Trohanis, Memory Eternal!

Dr. Pascal Louis "Pat" Trohanis

“Pat Trohanis, champion of children with disabilities, dies at 64” (June 23, 2007, 3 years ago today)

from UNC School of Education,  SOE News:

Posted on June 29, 2007

“Pascal “Pat” Trohanis, a champion of children with disabilities, died Saturday, June 23 after a long battle with cancer. He was 64. He was a clinical associate professor at the School of Education and a senior scientist at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Trohanis came to Carolina in 1972. Since 1987, he was director of the National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (NECTAC), a technical assistance center housed at the FPG Child Development Institute that is dedicated to ensuring that young children with disabilities can participate fully in community life with dignity and respect.

NECTAC’s impact is now felt by one million children throughout the United States. It is the U.S. Office of Special Education Program’s national resource for states on implementing the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, particularly the early childhood provisions.

A parishioner of the Greek Orthodox Church of St. Barbara in Durham, Trohanis received the St. Barbara achievement award and the Archangel Michael award for leadership at the diocese in Atlanta.

He was born Feb. 6, 1943, in Cincinnati. He received a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University, a master’s degree at Bridgeport University and a doctoral degree in educational technology from the University of Maryland.

He is survived by his wife Donna; daughter Zoe Elena; mother Mary Trohanis; and brothers Andy and Bill. Gifts in Trohanis’ memory may be made to the St. Barbara Greek Orthodox Church Building Fund, P.O. Box 1149, Durham, NC 27702-1149.”


Here is a memorial video of Pat Trohanis:

He was the director of NECTAC, the National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center: (source of picture)

May his memory be eternal!

a successful adoption: John Lahutsky

We’ve heard a lot in the media about the woman who, feeling threatened by her Russian adoptee, a young boy, put him on a plane alone for a one way trip back to Russia. And this sort of story leads the Russians to want to stop adoptions by Americans of their country’s orphans.

Back in February the story of Pasha Kurov’s successful adoption w

as posted on this weblog: 2010/02/24/the-story-of-an-adoption/

Here’s the story of another successful adoption of a Russian by an American, chronicled in the book, Boy from Baby House 10: A Child’s Journey from Heartbreak to Happiness, by Alan Philips and John Lahutsky, who is the boy, now a young man.  John has cerebral palsy.

But instead of growing up with no education and a bleak future as a Russian orphan, John has a pretty full life now.

Explore the entire website for yourself:

I’m going to buy the book.

Disability Awareness Sunday at the Archdiocesan Cathedral, New York

His Eminence Metropolitan Iakovos




Here’s a letter from His Eminence Metropolitan Iakovos of Chicago, written September 1, 2009 encouraging Orthodox Christian parishes to observe Inclusion Awareness Day:

And here is the note concerning its observance at the Cathedral: 

In the Fall of 2008 in the Publication “Cathedral Voice” Phaedra Vasiliki Damianakos put out a heartfelt call for volunteers for a disability committee: (P. 6-7)

One of the results- a groundbreaking effort: 

Picture from 

Inclusion Awareness Workbook, Orthodox Christian edition

Now here’s a major effort, by the Greek Orthodox Christian Archdiocese- an Inclusion Awareness Day Workbook – Eastern Orthodox Christian Edition: 

This is a workbook developed specifically for the Orthodox Christian Church through the efforts of  members of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese in the Chicago, Illinois area (see acknowledgements below) It was initially developed by the organization Pathways Awareness for adaptation by various Faith communities.

TABLE OF CONTENTS (from the workbook)

A Letter From Pathways Awareness…2

Inclusion Awareness Sunday Activities …4

Inclusion Awareness Sunday Prayer Card …6

Bulletin Article for Inclusion Awareness Sunday …7

How You Can Make a Difference …8

Guidelines for Ushers and Lay Leaders …9

Using Appropriate Language …11

Sample Inclusion Awareness Sunday Booklet …12

Involving Teens in Inclusion Awareness Sunday …13

Involving Children in Inclusion Awareness Sunday…15

I Am .Thumb. Body Activity …15

Paper Doll Activity…15

Starting a St. Stylianos Children.s Ministry…16

Press Release…17

Quotes from The Body of Christ …18

Creating an Accessible Facility…18

Facilities Survey….19

Inclusion Resources from Pathways Awareness …25

Inclusion Resources from Light and Life Publishing…25

Acknowledgements, from the Workbook:

Acknowledgements for the Orthodox Christian version of the Inclusion Workbook: Great appreciation goes to His Eminence Metropolitan Iakovos for his blessing on Inclusion Awareness Sunday, to His Grace Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos for his guidance and for reviewing this workbook, and to Father John Rallis and Father John Kalomas for their support. We wish to thank Eleni Patos, Maria Kotsinis and Constantine Zografopoulos for their contributions to the Inclusion Awareness Sunday Workbook and for introducing Inclusion Awareness Sunday to Eastern Orthodox parishes.The image of the icon on the Inclusion Awareness Day prayer card is used compliments of the Blessed Isaac of Syria Skete, Boscobel, Wisconsin.

Autism / ADHD / MR-DD material to train camp staff

This is the title of another discussion:,20581.0.html

There are four links shared on the discussion which are good resources for aiding those with these particular disabilities, as well as some good advice given within the posts themselves.

I remember from a Proverb in the RSV version this insight: “In the abundance of counselors there is victory.”

2010 disability film festivals

Here is where some are, with links to the venue and  the film titles:

Toronto, Canada:

Athens, Greece:

Austin, Texas:

Moscow, Russia:


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