#85 - Health Series Recap

The health series included 3 episodes focusing on caregivers and 9 episodes focusing on individuals with special needs. What did you miss? What’s coming next?

Episodes in the Health Series

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#74 Caregiver Emotional & Mental Health

We know caregiver self care is important but we don’t do it. Why? What is the missing link between knowing what we should be doing and actually doing it?

Rose Reif, LPCA, CRC, BC-TM, is the owner of Reif Counseling Services. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor Associate, a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, and a Qualified Developmental Disability and Mental Health Professional. She is also Board Certified in providing Telemental Health. Her clients are teens and adults with disabilities and caregivers.

In this episode on caregiver mental and emotional health, Kim talks about her own mental and emotional struggles and success the last 15 years as Rose identifies the missing link between knowing the importance of self care and actually taking action.

#75 Physical Fitness in the Disability Community

Maintaining healthy fitness levels is challenging enough for the general population and can be even more complicated for those with disabilities. What can we do about some of the common barriers so our loved one with differing abilities is on a path toward health?

Ryan Lockard, CSCS, CSPS, is the founder and CEO of Specialty Athletic Training. Since it’s launch in 2012 Specialty Athletic Training has exclusively trained individuals with special needs.

Ryan shares with us how to he makes fitness fun for his clients and some ideas on how we can use waiver funding available to pay a trainer. While not a registered dietitian, Ryan tells us some tools his clients are using to help with the dietary aspects of fitness.

#76 Caregiver Physical Health

As caregivers, we want to be there for our loved ones and we want to be there for many years. Caregiver health is much more important and complicated both physically and emotionally than for the general population. How should we be approaching this important aspect of our role?

Today’s guest, Betsy McNally Laouar not only trains gold medal olympians but she is also an autism mom and has been Kim’s personal trainer for over a decade. In this episode Betsy and Kim talk about their complicated journeys toward health and the ways physical fitness is different, and necessary, for caregivers.

#77 Your Body, Your Boundaries: Teaching Sexual Health

Individuals with disabilities are 7 times more likely to be victims of sexual assault, yet they typically are not taught about their bodies nor boundaries for themselves and others. How can we begin these much needed conversations?

On the show today, to help us navigate this space, is Katie Thune. Katie is an educator, author, and advocate for people with disabilities. She has her Teaching License in Health Education, and Special Education K – 12, as well as her MA in Education. Katie worked as a teacher for Saint Paul Public Schools for 12 years. She has done extensive curriculum writing on relationships and sexuality education. This can be found, along with other resources, on the website sexualityforallabilities.com  

In this episode, Katie shares some foundational things we can be teaching our loved one such as consent, rules, and guidelines around some of the grey areas, public vs private spaces, compliance vs appropriate non compliance, and necessary vs exploitive touch. 

#78 Dignity & Hygiene

Many individuals with disabilities are dependent on caregivers to present them to society with the dignity they deserve. Some hygiene and care will require creativity, persistence, and continual reminders that it matters and our loved one is worth it. 

Geege Tayor is widely known in the autism community as a mother who places high standards on the way her son is presented to the world. Geege goes the mile as her son’s dignity surrogate and as a result has several hygiene tips and tricks that she has refined over the last 16 years.

The first half of the conversation is a discussion about going the extra mile to ensure our loved ones are presented to the world with dignity and why it matters. The second half covers Geege’s tips and tricks for dental hygiene, fashion, acne, shaving, showering, and haircuts. 

#79 - Better Doctor Visits for Patients with Disbilities

Patients with disabilities are often misdiagnosed and sent for diagnostic tests that can not be preformed. Operation House Call is a program that trains the medical field to better treat patients with special needs.

Operation House Call is part of the curriculum at the Yale School of Nursing, Boston University Medical School, UMass Medical School, Tufts University, and Simmons University. As of May, 2019 Operation House Call is available nationally for medical programs wishing to offer the training.

On the show today is the director of Operation House Call, Maura Sullivan. She is going to share with us the impact the program is having on medical students and nurses who are educated via the 5 components of the curriculum which include an orientation led by self advocates, website courses, a 2 hour immersive visit to the home of a family who has a member with an intellectual or developmental disability, a reflection stage, and feedback from the host family.

In addition to discussing operation house call, Maura shares pending legislation that could have a very positive impact on the medical care the disability community is receiving and she also gives us a few tips and tricks to make our next medical visit run smoothly. 

#80 Winning Insurance Battles

When you enter the world of differing abilities you also enter the not so pleasant world of insurance. What are the tips and tricks to ease the pain of this experience and most importantly, get your claim approved?

This episode is one you will want to tag, earmark, and save to revisit again and again. It may require more than one listen to absorb all that you are getting ready to learn about the mystifying and often frustrating world of health insurance.

To demystify the world of denied insurance claims and equip us is Karen Fessel, the executive director and founder of the Mental Health and Autism Insurance Project, a nonprofit with a staff of insurance ninjas talking on insurance companies on behalf of the disability community. 

In addition to serving as the executive director of MHAIP, Karen co-moderates the ASDinsurancehelp and ASDMedi-Cal Yahoo users groups. Karen holds a doctorate in public health from UC Berkeley. Her prior work experience includes developing technology assessments and treatment guidelines for the Permanente Medical Group and conducting research projects at the Department of Public Health and UCSF. On the public policy front, Karen co-chaired the autism subcommittee on insurance with the East Bay Autism Regional Task Force and served as a parent advocate on the initial Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) Autism Advisory Workgroup. She is the proud parent of a 22-year-old son with Asperger's and an 18-year-old daughter.

#81 When Your Faith Feels Fragile

When our faith and beliefs about God take a hit, how should we respond?

Diane is a disability ministry consultant, national speaker, and author of Unbroken Faith: Spiritual Recovery for the Special-Needs Parent. As the mother of children with multiple disabilities including autism and ADHD, her two-fold passions include encouraging families, and equipping local churches into becoming inclusive faith communities. Her work has been featured in Joni and Friends, Christianity Today, LifeWay, Bible Gateway, Parenting Magazine, Moody Radio, and Jen Hatmaker’s For The Love Podcast. Diane and her husband, Eddie, live in Silicon Valley with their two uniquely-abled sons. Connect with her at dianedokkokim.com where she blogs on being, “wrecked, redeemed and repurposed."

#82 Dental Visits for Patients with Special Needs

There are over 52 million people with disabilities in the U.S. and only 10 percent of dental professionals are prepared to treat them. What is being done about this and is there anything care providers can be doing to better support dental health?

Guest Kyle Guerin is the Executive Director of the Pacific Dental Services Foundation. The Pacific Dental Services Foundation improves oral healthcare to four distinct underserved populations, one of which is patients with special needs. They are leading the charge to make oral healthcare more accessible to people with special needs through training, advocacy and the first dental clinic dedicated to providing care to this underserved population. To date, they have trained over 1500 dentists and have opened a clinic in Arizona.

In this episode, we learn the clinic’s roots are from a dentist, Dr. Jacob Dent, who has a son with autism. Dr. Dent began to take his knowledge and creativity as an autism dad to transform his practice into one that could effectively and creatively treat patients with disabilities.

Kyle then shares tips to finding a dentist who can treat our loved one and how we can, as caregivers, come alongside the dentist prior to the visit to set them up for success. 

#83 The Thoughtful Use of Medical Cannibis

Cannabis has been used as a medical treatment since ancient times yet still has an attached stigma. Laws are inconsistent from state to state and regulatory gaps with distribution and use exist. How do we responsibly approach this agent as a medical option?

Joining us for the discussion is Dr. David Traver.

Dr. Traver is a board certified pediatrician by The American Board of Pediatrics and an award winning Fellow of The American Academy of Pediatrics. He believes strongly in practicing as a member of a diversified health care team for each patient so he collaborates with many different health care practitioners, both in academic centers as well as in private practice.  

Dr. Traver spent two years at Stanford University Medical Center’s Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. There, in The Pervasive Developmental Disorder Neuropsychiatry and ADHD Clinics, he became familiar with the treatment and management of individuals with Autism and ADHD utilizing psychopharmacology. Dr. Traver has been directly involved with autism research for the past fifteen years.

#84 Menstural Manipulation & The Pelvic Exam