Archive for December, 2010

discussion on adhd

from the discussion board at,20075.0.html

The discussion turns from Learning Disabilities to ADHD.  ADHD and Learning Disabilities are two different things. The respondents to the question reinterpreted the difficulties of the student in this story-based question this chemistry professor shared as more likely ADHD.

The main thing here are the references to some resources on ADHD, “Driven to Distraction” and “Delivered from Distraction,” by Edward M. Hallowell and John J. Ratey. (There is apparently a third book in the series, “Answers to Distraction.”

The thing is, ADHD and Learning Disabilities are two different things. The respondents to the question reinterpreted the difficulties of the student in this story-based question this chemistry professor shared as more likely ADHD.

the eternal God born as a little Child!


Nativity Icon

Christ is born. Glorify Him!

Some of my favorite Nativity verses from my patron saint St. Ephrem the Syrian, one of the Church’s all-time greatest poets:


Today the Virgin gives birth to the Transcendent One

And the earth offers a cave to the Unapproachable One! 

Angels with shepherds glorify Him.

 The wise men journey with a star!

Since for our sake the Eternal God was born as a Little Child!

I also offer, from You Tube, an Arabic Christmas Carol (Byzantine Hymn of the Nativity) :

(Icon from  )

Armenian Orthodox ministry to persons with hearing disabilities

Armenian Orthodox sign language committee

The Western Diocese of the Armenian Orthodox Church (Oriental Orthodox) is making arrangements to provide sign language for persons with hearing disabilities in their Liturgies. Read and view the details below:

Subdeacon Gregory Kattouf

On June 11, 2006 His Grace Bishop Thomas made his annual arch-pastoral visit to St. George Orthodox Church in Altoona, Pennsylvania to celebrate the Feast of Holy Pentecost. . . .

On the Sunday of Pentecost Saidna (Bishop Thomas) gave an encouraging sermon that challenged us all aspire to holy living.

His Grace also elevated Greg Kattouf to the sub-diaconate and was honored along with Sub-deacon Greg at a banquet following the Divine Liturgy and Kneeling Prayers.

Sub-Deacon Greg Kattouf has long been a faithful servant of God at the Holy Altar and is an example to us all of holy living and we are grateful to the bishop for honoring him by making him a sub-deacon.

Having written many times of universal human disability as well as the multiple intelligences we also have all been graced with by our loving Lord, here is a man who exemplifies this, having been counted worthy and able to serve in the most holy place of Orthodox Christian worship. In our worship this place is symbolic [in the “Present” (rather than absent) sense] of heaven itself. Sub-deacon Gregory has Down Syndrome, as well as many abilities, including the ability to perform the holy and joyous tasks of a “servant of the Light” (one of the duties of Subdeacons is to light the candles in the Altar). Surely there are many other things he is and does for the glory of God and the good of his neighbor. Those who know him are most welcome to illuminate the rest of us by means of writing a supplemental comment to this Post.

From right to left: Deacon Gregory Roeber; Sub-deacon Gregory Kattouf, Father Stephen Lourie, His Grace Bishop Thomas

Subdeacon Gregory is also on the Board of Directors of the ARC of Blair County PA:

Additionally, He received a Special Award from the Ecumenical Conference at the 2005 Annual Dinner to recognize his support of the weekly religion classes for students with mental and physical challenges:

(from the website of the Ecumenical Conference of Greater Altoona:)

a reflection on the disinformation swirling around the Terri Schiavo saga

Stephen Drake

From the weblog Not Dead Yet: Fifth Anniversary of Terri Schiavo’s Death: A History Lesson


Both political parties are indicted for revising history toward political ends at the expense of persons with disabilities. Evidence is presented.

NDY’s Terri Schiavo articles page: 

NDY’s articles on “the vegetative state/consciousness: 

Not Dead Yet does not approach these issues from a religious viewpoint at all. They are simply fighting for lives of value, against powerful interests who would deny the value of of the lives of severely disabled people.

Picture from Euthanasia Prevention Coalition (March 18, 2009) 

Priest regrets sending disabled adults out of Divine Liturgy (forum topic)

Here’s an forum discussion on this issue:,4823.0.html

The Priest is actually a Roman Catholic priest, but those discussing the matter are, I believe, for the most part, Orthodox Christians. This gives us a picture of how the Orthodox Christians who care enough about these issues to address the matter in this forum actually understand them.

from the Basis of the Social Concept- Russian Orthodox Church

XI. 1.

. . . Many illnesses are still incurable and cause suffering and death. In the face of such illnesses, the Orthodox Christian is called to rely on the all-good will of God, remembering that the meaning of life is not limited to earthly life which is essentially the preparation for eternity. Suffering is a consequence of not only personal sins, but also the general distortion and limitation of the human nature and as such should be endured with patience and hope. The Lord voluntarily accepts suffering so that the human race may be saved: «with his stripes we are healed» (Is. 53:5). This means that God was pleased to make suffering a means of salvation and purification, possible for every one who endures it with humbleness and trust in the all-good will of God. According to St. John Chrysostom, «whoever has learnt to thank God for his illnesses is not far from being holy». This does not mean that a doctor or a patient should not struggle with illness. However, when human resources are exhausted, the Christian should remember that God’s strength is made perfect in weakness and that in the depths of suffering he can meet Christ Who took upon Himself our infirmities and afflictions (Is. 53:4).


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