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Looking at Ourselves

As caregivers we need to talk among ourselves and develop a feeling of companionship and community so we can teach it to others. A first step is to look at our fears and get a feel for our interactions, and how others see them. We need to lift up our interactions that bring peace and serenity to others. We all have little ways of showing love. If we can highlight these, then we have taken a first step in the discovery of what care giving is about. We bring much to the care-giving act. Our presence needs to express our warmest caring. We need to be aware of the beautiful deeds that we do and deepen them. As caregivers, we need to find ways to share each other’s acts and remind one another what care giving is all about– giving a part of ourselves to others.

CHECKING OUT OUR OWN WAY

Self-assessment is a difficult task. We have to look at ourselves and discover our own weaknesses and take pride in our strengths. Finding our strengths is the easy part. The difficult part is to recognize our care giving needs. It is a human tendency to deny our weaknesses. So, we have to create a process in which we feel safe enough to examine ourselves and pinpoint areas to improve. What makes this even more difficult is that we have to see ourselves as those whom we serve see us.

We need to look at ourselves from the perspective of those who are obviously extremely vulnerable as well as from the perspective of those  “who know better.” It is sometimes easier to serve those who are more dependent or more obviously marginalized such as abused babies, orphans, abandoned children, and persons with severe disabilities.

Try to put yourself in the person’s shoes and sense what they are feeling: fear, disengagement, being unloved, and unable to convey a sense of love to others. Then look at yourself again and analyze your interactions. We need to realize that every move we make is an act of teaching. Our most subtle interactions are seen and interpreted by those whom we serve. Every interaction we express is a critical element in teaching companionship.

OUR VIEW OF OURSELVES

Purpose: Look at your own care giving interactions from the perspective of how the persons we serve see us. We assume that you feel that everyone feels safe with you and even loved by you. The challenge is to look at ourselves from the point of view of how the people we serve see us— people who are terrified and see little or no meaning in life or in us.

John J. McGee

Growing to Feel Safe and Loved

The culture of gentleness that I have been able to create started in 2013 with lessons taught from COR’s mentors, Deirdre and Tim. From the little things like looking past the negatives and to discuss the positives everyday, coupled with a common saying, “lets turn the day around!” are – to me – exemplary of what Gentle Teaching is.

The individual I serve has become very comfortable with me and he is now more willing to engage in new activities together with me. I achieved this comfortability by methods as simple as telling him “I love him”, “I am proud of him” and by holding his hand. Situations can be difficult, but through the COR teachings of gentleness and kindness, and respect, the individual I serve has grown to feel safe and loved by myself – which means that he is loving and willing to be engaged in return.

Greg, COR Support

Being Awesome On An iPad – COR Ventures To RDACL!

Sharing Your Awesome Online from Creative Options Regina (COR) on Vimeo.

This Summer COR has the pleasure of collaborating with the fine, friendly folks at the Regina and District Association for Community Living (RDACL). RDACL has been hosting workshops on how to use an iPad for several months now for folks with intellectual disabilities in the Regina area. So far the feedback has been very positive! They’re helping to enhance one’s quality of life by giving people the tools and knowledge of how to use state of the art technology.

“When you first turn it on or play music for the first time, you get to experience this moment of pure bliss in their eyes. When you see someone’s face light up by seeing something for the first time, it’s truly a magical experience.”

Not only does the workshop cover online privacy, what you can and can’t share, how to download apps, use the calendar, set alarms, take notes, save contacts, research information, change the time, draw a picture, play music, play a video, and even download several bowling games.COR goes to RDACL

When we learn, it’s never about the one teacher who’s the be all and end all, it’s about all the peers sitting beside peers. It’s the conversations in between lessons, it’s students being students. People understanding how other people tick.

A good teacher isn’t the focal point of the classroom, a good teacher facilitates the conversation where people can learn from each other, where they can teach each other, and where they can find comfort in one another. Yes there’s a lot of learning going on, but the social benefits are arguably more beneficial in the long run.

We love the Being Awesome on an iPad workshops at RDACL!

Finding Value in My Day: May 7th, 2014

Cara Milne- person centred planning

This practical workshop will begin by learning about the power of creating valued roles for children or adults with disabilities. Those attending will leave with a better understanding of how to improve the quality of someone’s day, based on building genuine relationships and roles, rather than only supporting them in activities.

This workshop will also examine ways in which people with disabilities can increase their involvement within their own homes and the surrounding neighborhoods. Cara will give some first steps in how to support people with disabilities to lead inclusive and value filled lives. 

Who is Cara Milne? Cara is the owner of M-Powered Planning Ltd, a Calgary business that promotes positive and valuable roles for people with disabilities. The variety of workshops and seminars encourage staff and families to see the strengths of their existing services, and simple strategies that create positive changes in the lives of children and adults with developmental disabilities. Cara’s positive and energetic approach supports both common sense and sustainable change.

Out-care the Competition: how to compete in a changing world

The Gentle Teaching Symposium was held in Regina in April 2014. On the Thursday afternoon of the symposium, Jeph Maystruck from Regina’s Strategy Lab led the workshop “Out-care The Competition: how to compete in a changing world”.

Here are the slides from the workshop:

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Gentle Teaching Symposium

Gentle-Teaching-Symposium

Gentle Teaching Symposium
Date: Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Time: 7-9pm
Venue: Research & Innovation Centre, Lecture Theatre 119 (University of Regina)   

This community event, hosted by Dr. Jim Daschuk & UofR students enrolled in Health Studies 301, will bring together COR Supports, families and community stakeholders to hear stories of how Gentle Teaching philosophy and practice is influencing people’s lives across Canada.