Archive for October, 2013

Creative abilities

Will, Kate happily accept painting from artist with Down syndrome


The British Royal couple, Prince William and Duchess Kate have accepted a painting by Tazia Fawley as a gift for their newborn son, Prince George. Tazia has Down Syndrome, but more importantly, wonderfully creative gifts.

Here is the painting, courtesy of Dave Hingsburger:

Rupert Flies Over the Clifton Suspension Bridge

The organization I work for, Friendship Community, has a gallery in which the artistic capabilities of the people in our group homes are developed, and the works displayed and sold: the Friendship Heart Gallery

I personally know some of the artists who are pictured on this website; they are my friends.


AARP: Protect a Relative with a Disability (1page)

Protect a Relative with a Disability, by Jane Bryant Quinn

(When you open this page, you will need to go to the top of the page, to the   + (plus) and enlarge to page as needed)

This article is concise- one page.

This is financial advice for US citizens with family member who have disabilities. Various options are laid out, and there are warnings against those who would seek to make a profit at your expense for unneeded services.

The page to the right is an AARP advertisement; they represent one option among many.

As to Oak Wealth Advisors , which is listed within the article, they do offer a wealth of information on this page:

Special Needs Resources :




For families with children with Autism From families with children with Autism TOP 10 RECOMMENDATIONS

For families with children with Down syndrome From fa milies with children with Down syndrome TOP 10 RECOMMENDATIONS


In addition to these there are links to useful documents and to the websites which provide them, (Here’s one: With Open Arms ) as well as a list of organizations which serve the Special Needs Community in which they have a membership and active board involvement.

It’s worth a look. This is not a recommendation for their services, but the information they provide is helpful.  The organization is located in Illinois.

While we’re at it, another great resource: My Child Without Limits

Two stories of healings from the website Orthodox Psychotherapy

From Psychotherapy/Psychoses 

by Dr. Dmitri Aleksandrovici Avdeev, translated by Nicolas and Natalie Semyanko _______________________________________________________________________________________

Receiving Holy Communion

“Most of psychotic pathology is traditionally considered incurable. This particularly applies to difficult psychoses, degenerative-dystrophic illnesses of the cerebrum, innate forms of mental inferiority and so on. But God’s mercy performs miracles according to people’s faith, and the laws of nature beat a retreat. Let me present several examples.

“About five years ago I saw a woman in church with an infant in her arms, the face of which is familiar to any doctor. The diagnosis, as is said in such cases, was written on the girl’s face. It usually sounds like a verdict. Down’s syndrome. This pathological disease arises as a result of genetic disturbances.

“The following week I again turned my attention to this girl, and then saw her at services regularly. The child (she was 3 or 4 years old) was always taken to Holy Communion. I lost sight of my “patient” when I had to move to another city because of my job. And so, one summer, four years later, I happened to see her again. The little one was returning with her mother from Vespers. Her face was sweet, smiling, beautiful! There were two snow-white ribbons under her light kerchief. It was impossible to recognize the “doomed invalid” in her. Only an experienced specialist could see the traces of the illness. May the Lord protect you, dear child!”I will present a clear example, which was written up in a small booklet called “When children are ill.” Its author is the doctor and priest Father Alexei Grachev. “Two and a half years ago, a 12 year old girl from an orphanage came to me for confession. She could not put two words together, twisted like a top, her abnormal glance, continual grimacing, her whole appearance spoke of her “inferiority.” And so, she began to come to confession and take Communion every Sunday.

“Within a year, she felt the need to reveal her thoughts (whoever prays and takes Communion often, knows what this is). The girl began to lead such an attentive spiritual life that even those people who consider themselves great believers and churchgoers do not even begin to suspect. She began to read the Jesus prayer (“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy upon me, a sinner”), to fight temptations, forgive offenses, to bear everything. In the course of several months, she learned to read and write, all signs of debilitation passed away, the stamp of spirituality appeared on her face. There was feeling and reason in everything she said or did…” Similar examples are not exceptions, there are multitudes of them…”

from Orthodox Psychotherapy/Psychoses

picture from  St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral: Receiving Holy Communion

Light shines out of the darkness: Happy Child, Our Sunny World, Kitezh, …

In the countries of Russia and the Ukraine which are dotted with bleak orphanages with marginal budgets, numerous ministries are bringing bright hope to those they can. Happy Child (Zaporozhye, Ukraine) and Our Sunny World (Moscow, Russia)  are just two of many organization that seek to help orphans and children with disabilities in these countries.

Access many more loving efforts by means of these websites: Action for Russia’s Children & Help Moscow Charities & Children of Zaporozhye & Russian Orphans Opportunity Fund

Here’s a promising model of Christian community from the latter site:

The founders of Kitezh, an experimental orphan community, hope that their village can be a model of reform for Russia’s decrepit child welfare system

. . . The 30 or so children who live there study, work and eat together, and live in private homes with their adoptive parents, who are also trained teachers, psychologists and medical personnel. 

a birthday party!

“We are trying out the latest methods in psychological therapies: play therapy, art therapy, drama therapy,” Mr. Shchurav said. “We even play economic games. No one in Russia has tried what we are doing with these children.”

The experiment has yielded notable results. Of the 40 or so children who have graduated from Kitezh, about 60 percent have gone on to higher education and all have found good jobs, parents in the village said. 

Vasily V. Burdin spent four years in an orphanage after his parents died from complications related to alcohol abuse when he was 4. He said he was treated fairly well there, but gained “an understanding of the world” only when he moved to Kitezh. 

With almost fluent English picked up from British students who at times volunteer in the village, Mr. Burdin, now 18 and enrolled in a Moscow law university, described his struggle to overcome his past, and — something few Russian orphans have — his hopes for the future. 

“I will proceed with law for my business, for my career,” he said. “But after I have stability, I will do something with music — maybe open my studio. It’s a dream.” …

from In a Fairy-Tale Village, Russian Orphans Thrive

Author: By MICHAEL SCHWIRTZ “The New York Times”, Published: 2010-08-17 17-00-00Viewed, times: 831
photo from  Maya’s Hope


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