OMG Wesearch Episode 02!! I just wanted to say thank you all again for the overwhelming support and enthusiasm over my first episode. It really means the world and there were times when all I could do was respond to people with a happy cry gif because that’s where I was emotionally with that.
So this week on Wesearch, I sat down with Sara Maloney, the director of the Collaboration Employment & Education Synergy program, within the Office of Advancement and Transition Services at the University of Cincinnati. Sara is the kind of person who makes you feel good about yourself through her listening and genuine compliments. We talked about transition services, disability, positive interventions, self-worth, accessibility, being a positive resource, and so much more, on this episode of Wesearch!
Something that I’ve had written in my notes from the beginning of this show that I really wanted to drive home is that It’s okay to not know everything! All experts started by learning the basics and finding a passion for it! That could be you too.
I also want to use this moment to point out that we’re always learning. I’m trying my best to educate myself on these topics, and I occasionally will still get things wrong. With this subject, and really any subject that deals with understanding and helping people, I’m trying my best to be a good listener and resource. I acknowledge that I ‘m coming from a place of privilege when I went out to make this episode because of the fact that I’ve had very little interaction with special education and developmentally disabled individuals. I’m trying my best to learn, but I encourage those of you who might know more to help weigh in if I get something wrong. I want to be able to share the best information that I can to help others learn too.
Want to learn more? Here’s what Sara recommends:
The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist's Notebook by Bruce D Perry and Maia Szalavitz
Let’s Talk Sources
Stepping Stones is a non-profit that serves the southwest Ohio area and seeks to increase independence for children and adults with disabilities through day and overnight camps and weekend programming.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has set standards for normal child development milestones and resources about what to do if you think that your child isn’t meeting those milestones. But why is monitoring milestones in childhood development so important? Sometimes, these milestones can inform a parent or guardian that a child may have an intellectual, developmental, or speech disability. By acting and diagnosing a developmental concern early in a child’s life, the earlier that child can receive positive interventions and care that will have the greatest impact on their life.
Visionaries and Voices is a non-profit organization that supports artists with disabilities and works to build a more inclusive art community in the Cincinnati area. Their goal is to provide the artists with professional, creative, and educational opportunities and a place for them to exhibit and celebrate their creativity with the community through their gallery spaces, workshops, and storefront location, The Visionarium.
Some other non-profits that Sara admires that are active in Cincinnati are Living Arrangements for the Developmentally Disabled (LADD) and the Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD).
Garlic’s smell comes from a compound called allicin, which helps garlic to combat pests, microbes, and fungi that may hurt its growth out in nature. Letting garlic rest after it’s crushed will allow more allicin to develop in response to the garlic “being attacked.” For more on the magic of allicin and food science, you can check out this video.
How Can I Apply This To My Life??
I know that I said I would put reference materials that Sara and I discussed about how productivity doesn’t equate to your worth, but I think that this idea needs its own section. Sara and I both have had our share of experience with days where we feel awful for not accomplishing tasks or being as productive as we’ve wanted to. To get very real here, I personally struggle with depression, which can make getting the energy to accomplish tasks incredibly hard.
I think that this is something that many people struggle with, and as Sara pointed out, is something that society judges disabled and chronically ill people by, on a regular basis. This idea of “productivity culture” isn’t something new, but it is something that is more and more heavily enforced as a result of workplace trends and the gig economy. For someone who is able-bodied and neurotypical, the fact that we equate our productivity with our value in society is bad for our mental health and might make us burn out fast, but for someone who may not fall into those very privileged categories, it could be even more detrimental.
Something that might be helpful to remember, though, is that, while this standard is something that affects almost everyone’s school/work/life, we’re not alone in trying to reconcile with it. As part of my own education on this and attempt to get out of this mindset, I’m going to be reading How to Not Always Be Working: A Toolkit for Creativity and Radical Self-Care by Marlee Grace. Let’s chat if you read it too! Maybe we can start a Wesearch book club (all joking aside, I did start a Goodreads list of all of the books that I recommend on the show).