A place to show my love for my granddaughter who lives with Cerebral Palsy and my passion for painting. In an effort of raising awareness for C.P. every painting brush stroke I make on raw canvas is a stroke of love, as I discretely paint a green C.P. awareness ribbon in every piece. Can you find them?
Do you know someone who would like to have a painting done? email www.harrold.janet@gmail.com

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Blue Rose

I remember seeing this written somewhere in the past but I can't remember where I read it. If I did I would give this person proper credit. If anyone knows the author, please add the name in the comment box. Enjoy!

Blue Rose

Having four visiting family members, the wife was very busy, so I
offered to go to the store for her to get some needed items, which included
light bulbs, paper towels, trash bags, detergent, and Clorox. So off I

I scurried around the store, gathered up my goodies, and headed for
the checkout counter, only to be blocked in the narrow aisle by a young man
who appeared to be about sixteen-years-old. I wasn't in a hurry, so I
patiently waited for the boy to realize that I was there. This was when he
waved his hands excitedly in the air and declared in a loud voice, "Mommy,
I'm over here."

It was obvious now, he was mentally challenged, and also startled as
he turned and saw me standing so close to him, waiting to squeeze by. His
eyes widened and surprise exploded on his face as I said, "Hey Buddy, what's
your name?"

"My name is Denny and I'm shopping with my mother," he responded
proudly. "Wow," I said, "that's a cool name; I wish my name was Denny, but
my name is Steve."

"Steve, like Stevarino?" he asked.

"Yes," I answered. "How old are you Denny?"

"How old am I now, Mommy?" he asked his mother as she slowly came over
from the next aisle.. "You're fifteen-years-old Denny; now be a good boy
and let the man pass by."

I acknowledged her and continued to talk to Denny for several more
minutes about summer, bicycles, and school. I watched his brown eyes dance
with excitement because he was the center of someone's attention. He then
abruptly turned and headed toward the toy section.

Denny's mom had a puzzled look on her face and thanked me for taking
the time to talk with her son. She told me that most people wouldn't even
look at him, much less talk to him. I told her that it was my pleasure and
then I said something I have no idea where it came from, other than by the
prompting of the Holy Spirit.

I told her that there are plenty of red, yellow, and pink roses in
God's Garden; however, "Blue Roses" are very rare and should be appreciated
for their beauty and distinctiveness. You see, Denny is a Blue Rose and if
someone doesn't stop and smell that rose with their heart and touch that
rose with their kindness, then they've missed a blessing from God.

She was silent for a second, then with a tear in her eye she asked,
"Who are you?"

Without thinking I said, "Oh, I'm probably just a dandelion but I sure
love living in God's garden."

She reached out, squeezed my hand, and said, "God bless you!" and then
I had tears in my eyes.

May I suggest that the next time you see a BLUE ROSE, don't turn your
head and walk off. Take the time to smile and say Hello. Why? Because, by
the grace of GOD, this mother or father could be you. This could be your
child, grandchild, niece, or nephew. What a difference a moment can mean to
that person or their family.

From an old dandelion!

Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the
rest to God.

"People will forget what you said, People will forget what you did,
but people will never forget how you made them feel."

Sunday, March 27, 2011

American Sign Language

Sign language...hmmm...another way of communicating for many people, not only for people who are hearing impaired but for many children/people who are non verbal, some people who have autism use American Sign Language, others who have C.P. have found it helpful and so many others.
Hailey uses her Dynavox V at school to help her communicate and they are also teaching her a bit of sign language as well. Last year my husband and I decided to have someone come to the house once a week to teach us sign language so that we would be could keep up with Hailey. This year for Christmas we got our family an IPAD so that Hailey could use the proloquo2go app. Some people in the special needs world are referring to this app as “a miracle device.” I think it is important for us to have many different ways of communicating with Hailey if not with words.
Because we did not actually use the sign language steadily and regularly, I have already forgotten some of my signs. :( A couple of months ago my local library had the Program Director of the ASL Academy come in and teach some basic signs, I thought this would be a great opportunity for me to take a refresher course. I attended this workshop and struck up a conversation with The Director about the Academy. He told me a bit about his program and also offers a course on line. For so many families out there, finding the time to commit to a class seems nearly impossible. Taking the online class may be the answer for your family. I hope you find this helpful.

The American Sign Language Academy offers classes in American Sign Language in Pawtucket, RI, with over 90 students attending regularly. In addition, to accommodate those who would like to take classes but may be too far away or have scheduling conflicts, ASLA will be offering an on-line course starting in April.

The course utilizes 21st century technology with the benefit of teacher feedback. The idea is called the Blended Classroom. The cost for level 1 on-line is $125.00.

After registering for the course, students will be sent their course materials. They will go to the website and use are a password for the first of nine weekly lessons. They will see a video with detailed instruction. At the end of the lesson, students will need to set aside time to practice. After seven weeks, students will meet with the teacher (Manuel Martin) via webcam and do their first presentation. They will receive feedback from the teacher. In the ninth week, they will do their second presentation. After the teacher indicates the two presentations are successful, students will be mailed a certificate of completion and they will be eligible to go on to level 2.

Students will be able to access each lesson for the assigned week. If they miss a week, they will be allowed to go back to that lesson as a make up. Only one lesson may be repeated in this way during the course.

More than one student may use the course. However, each additional student will be charged $25.00 if they want to do their presentations for the teacher, receive feedback and receive a certificate at the end of the course.

In a few weeks, when the program is ready to be launched, information will be posted on the website. Contact us with any questions you may have.

Manuel Martin
ASL Academy
401 722 1022

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Core Strength

I just love to spend Sunday afternoons with Hailey, we are not usually rushed for any particular reason. No school, no work...no worries. We can read as many books as Hailey wants to read, she loves to put about 10 books at a time on my living room chair and then come and get me to read them to her. She never tires of reading the same books over and over again. We watched movies together Dora and Tinkerbell. Hailey had to show me how to put the movies in the blue ray player, Grammie doesn’t have a clue how to work it. Thank goodness Hailey did.

Hailey has been accepted and will be attending The Conductive Learning Center In Michigan in May. We are very excited about this!
Because Conductive Education promotes development of the whole person, including physical, social, cognitively and psychological aspects, this intervention is not viewed as a traditional therapy but rather a multi disciplinary approach to improving the quality of life for children and their families. Hopefully Hailey will learn to gain control of her movements, increase her core strength and increase her level of independence. It may also help with potty training. The children and families who attend C.E. are taught problem solving skills that will allow them to develop unconventional ways of accomplishing motor tasks. Today we worked on core strength and neck and head control by sitting independently at this table that we fashioned out of a $7.99 ikea table and a towel holder that was bought at home depot. Hailey seemed to like sitting this way, but when she got excited she would let go of the bar, so of course she could not be left unattended. And of course, she still amazes me everyday!

If you have adapted any furniture in your home to help with core strength...please do share!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Art Exhibit

I am very Lucky to work with a great group of talented artists. On March 24th our 5 man show will go up at Cedar Grove Gardens and will stay up until April 7th. An opening reception will be held Thursday Night march 24th from 6:30-8:30p.m. This is a great collaboration of Artists and friends and we welcome you all to share with us in the fun for a glass of wine and hors devours.
Above are a few samples of our work and below are short statements/bios from each of us. If you enjoy looking at this work, I hope to see you on opening nights. If you know a friend who may enjoy this, please share this link with them as well. We really appreciate it!

Janet Harrold-oil
Growing up in Boston was a constant inspiration for me.
I love to paint the brownstones in the South End especially in the
spring time when the dogwood are in bloom.
Every brush stroke I make on raw canvas is a stroke of love, I paint to raise money and awareness for Cerebral Palsy. To own a painting by me is to own part of my passion. I am doing something that I love to do for someone that I love. Proceeds from my paintings go directly to my granddaughters alternative therapies. To signify the cause, any recent work will have a green Cerebral Palsy awareness ribbon placed discretely in the painting.

June Alexandra- stained glass
As a stained glass artist and floral designer, I am always working with the play of color, light, texture and design. The dearest things in my life have been flowers, trees and the dogs I live with so, naturally, most of my art is concerned with these subjects. I spend part of each day in the Arnold Arboretum in Boston, MA communing with the trees, earth and sky and it is here that I find my inspiration. Nature has so much to teach

Mitchell Karas -oil and pastel
My paintings are based on my love for the natural world. They are my impressions of nature,beaches.marshes,gardens,forests,rivers and flowers. The images are a metaphor for my continuous struggle to find harmony and balance amidst the restless intensity of life. I am fortunate to be an artist because i can spend time exploring my feelings. I can look around and see the beauty in things and create more beauty from what i see.

Cat Thomson- oil
Painting has always been one of my favorite ways of expressing my inner world. It allows me to explore my emotions through the use of color and line, and I find it very freeing. Often, my paintings have been symbolic of events in my life, relationships or raw emotion. Recently, my works have focused on pieces of fiction, notably fairy tales, and their allegorical content.

Kristen Ahern- Photography

Emotion - that is my goal every time I pick up a camera and compose a shot.

It has taken me a long time to determine that photography is my life's love. After studying advertising and graphic design in college, I finally realized about 4 years ago that it was the art of photography that I needed to learn in order to start to speak to the world.
For me, a photograph is much more than a picture of something or someone. It is a visual representation of emotions, thoughts and moods. It is a way to speak without actually talking. Exploring a subject - whether a person or a thing - from all angles; revealing it's personality with light and color - this is always in my mind as I approach each subject.
Whether it's visually organizing a complicated scene to convey a message, or a simple, solitary subject emanating a mood, when I take a photograph that requires no words for explanation - I am in heaven.

Please feel free to leave us a comment
For more information on this exhibit you can contact:
Cedar Grove Gardens,
911 Adams St.
Dorchester, Ma. 02124
or email me www.harrold.janet@gmail.com

Friday, March 4, 2011

Images for Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month

In honor of Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month

To choose a profile picture to add to your facebook page and to help raise awareness for Cerebral Palsy.
Click here When I look at my newsfeed it is full of C.P. awareness messages from friends and family who have changed their profile pictures to support the cause.
From the bottom of my heart, Thank you!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Did you know that March is Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month

This is a month specifically dedicated to raise awareness for Cerebral Palsy. This year the actual day falls on March 20th.
Since Hailey was born with C.P. almost 4 years ago now, (my where does the time go)? Any mom of a child with special needs can easily tell you where the time goes... it goes to the countless hours spent in so many therapy sessions, to hours, days and weeks spent in the hospital whether it be for an unexpected emergency, or a routine check up. Endless days and hours researching and grasping bits of information that will help you to understand his/her diagnosis better and help your child to live as independently or comfortable as they possibly can. I have always looked for ways to educate others about Hailey and this month gives me an opportunity to really drive it home. I would love to share with you, just a few little things that I will be doing this month in an effort to help Hailey and others who have C.P.
The first thing I did was write an article in the special needs edition of The Boston Parents Paper.
You can read this article here on page 10 of the electronic version of the magazine. I also made green ribbons and handed them out to friends and family who wanted to wear them in support of Hailey. I changed my profile picture to one that has a positive message about C.P. and encouraged my friends to do the same, you can find your own here. Another thing I did was to help raise money for Hailey’s Conductive Education by placing a few donation jars in convenience stores in my neighborhood. (May will be here before you know it and that is when Hailey will be going to Michigan for 4 weeks to attend Conductive Ed)! I have also suggested that friends join the event that Natalie started called “Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month” and I will be posting facts about c.p. on my facebook status quite frequently this month to help others understand just what C.P. is.
If you can add to this list and help others raise awareness please comment below.