SATURDAY'S WITH STEF: What I Learned from a Mentally Challenged 60 year old woman.....

12:00 AM


This past week at work I was helping a 60 year old woman who is diagnosed as severely mentally retarded. They told me she cannot zip zip-locks bags and they are trying to get her to do it on her own with repetition. Something so EASY to us, was hard for her. There was an order:

-Give her the zip-lock bag
-First Shampoo
-Body wash
-toothpaste
-mouthwash
-Soap
-help her zip it

It had to be in order. REPTITION is KEY when workign with disabled adults and kids for that matter. 
(SIDE NOTE: I am a job coach for disabled adults and I help them find jobs. My clients range from 18 plus to ALL disabilities)

Anyways back to the lady. Well of course she would get side-tracked and grab another toothpaste, etc. To prevent that we have to KEEP them from doing this. She has the hardest time applying pressure to zip the bag, so with our fingers with guide em. First bag took 15 minutes. Second bag, she did everything in order ON HER OWN! Here came the tough part though. ZIPPING THE ZIP-LOCK!

I was helping her zip it, the first few times, it was a no-go. REPETITION THOUGH! At one point I turned my head to look at my co-worker. Well she raised it up to signal "Done!" I figured it wasnt zipped since I wasn't helping her this time. I went to go tell her "No try again" and IT WAS ZIPPED! Everyone was shocked! I was amazed! Something they were hoping for her to do, she did it on HER OWN with me! Totally made my day! 

My heart melted. My eyes wanted to cry, I have NEVER in my life felt so proud of someone who I didnt know. This old lady did it on her own on MY time.

We found a new house and it really made me think of new beginigns. Things are looking up and I am thankful for MY life because something so simple like zipping a bag could be a struggle for me. I am thankful its not! The little things are appreciated and I am moving forward with open arms, an open mind, and an open heart.

Who I end up with is not in my hands. I know God has a GOOD, AMAZING man for me. I know God has nothing but clear skies from here on out despite if theres rain.

BE THANKFUL YOU CAN ZIP A ZIP-LOCK!

Stay mindful and stay prayful!


16 comments:

Sarah R said...

What a beautiful story. My son has autism and is almost 14, and I think about his future and wonder if he'll ever be able to have a job and such. I hope we can find someone as sweet and patient as you down in Florida to help him someday!

♥ Nica said...

This is an awesome post! I'm sure it felt amazing to see her do it on her own!! I've worked with disabled individuals for almost 10 years now, and I love it. It's such a rewarding job, and you can honestly say that you do a job that not a lot of people can do. Have a great weekend chica!!

xoxo, Nica

http://www.traviesa-nicalica.blogspot.com/

Mrs. Behind These Blue Eyes said...

This is beautiful! You are such a beautiful and kind soul. Im so happy things are looking up for you :) x

Mari said...

I feel you on this one. I used to work with mentally disabled adults. It was 6 of them living in a house and they had people taking care of them 24/7. We had to help them get to a certain objectives, like putting a shoe on by themselves. Some were more advanced than others and some needed a lot more help. None of them could speak so it made things a bit more difficult but they showed their emotions so well. I really enjoyed helping them get to their goals and have them be at least a little more independent. Congrats on finding a new house!

Overweight in SoCal said...

We take so many little things for granted so its always refreshing to have such a reminder.

♥ CG ♥ said...

There's nothing like seeing the lessons in all situations, whether direct or otherwise. Great reminder!

wait until the sunset said...

awww what a gorgeous story Stef! xx

Arlin said...

That was such a great post :) Makes me appreciate everything a little bit more.

Becky said...

Beautiful story Seff! Wow!

Becky said...

I meant Steff

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