Professional Development at NADSP Conference

Staff Perspectives

I just got back from St. Louis where I was fortunate enough to attend the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) conference for professional development. There were many great presentations, new connections made, but mostly importantly, validation. Validation for who I am as a DSP, the work I do, and why I do the work I do. I came to the realization that while progress feels slow here in NY, it’s actually a lot more progressive than other states.  This was frightening to me. I realize that you can’t “know” better if you don’t learn better, and more importantly, …

Sign Language and Inclusion

Staff Perspectives

Recently while working on a video project, I attended a karaoke soiree at Ballantyne, a day habilitation program designed to support the specific needs of older adults.  I was curious how such an event was going to work given that there were several people in the room who do not use words to communicate or are deaf. I watched as the room lit up with smiling faces, people taking turns belting out their favorite tunes using words, sounds, facial expressions, or gestures. I noticed Kris, a Direct Support Professional, using sign language, translating the feeling and energy of the on-stage …

Shelley VanLare

Cholesterol: The Good and The Bad

Health and Wellness

If you find the below article useful please consider making a donation so we can create more articles like this.   Your body makes all the cholesterol you need to stay healthy – yes, healthy!  We need cholesterol to help our bodies build cells, make hormones, regulate metabolism and help your body absorb Vitamin D (which we need to help us absorb calcium and for a healthy heart) – WOW! KINDS OF CHOLESTEROL LDL – Low Density Lipoprotein – also known as BAD cholesterol. Maybe you can remember this by thinking the first ”L” means LOUSY!!!! LDL is sticky stuff …

Autism: Gifts and Challenges of Living on the Spectrum

Uncategorized

If you find the below article useful please consider making a donation so we can create more.   I am an adult who is on the Autism Spectrum. I was diagnosed with autism when I was three years old and I have had thirty years experience of living with this condition. From what I know about living with autism it has its ups and downs. First, I will tell you about the gifts I feel I have because I have autism. Then I will tell you about the challenges of living with autism. Eight Gifts of Living with Autism Outstanding …

What is a Direct Support Professional?

Staff Perspectives

What exactly is a Direct Support Professional?  These are people in the human services field.  In the world of intellectual and developmental disabilities it is the person who supports someone with a disability. Direct Support Professionals, or DSPs, are helpers.  They are empathetic and caring.  They work in residential homes, day programs or vocational services. You will find these people advocating for the people they support, and helping them be as independent and integrated into their communities as possible.  This is a 24/7 job. What does a Direct Support Professional do? DSPs can be found coaching someone they support at …