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Showing posts from September, 2010

A promise to Dolores

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I can only remember one time in my professional career that I cornered myself with a promise - and as terrified as the experience made me feel - I am so much richer for having made a promise to Dolores.

Dolores had mild learning disabilities and some motor clumsiness. She and her brother were being raised by their mom who was a single parent. Things I remember about this family focus a lot around their names: Dolores, Wally (brother), and Hazel (mom). All of these names are uncommon today, but as uncommon as the names were they fit this family well, because the names reflected precisely on the way that they did not exactly 'fit in' with most of the other people around them. The family was quite poor, and perhaps a little socially awkward, but at the same time the kindest people I have ever met.

Dolores wanted to learn how to ride a bike - she was clumsy and could not coordinate her balance with the motion of her legs. In therapy we worked on developing these skills so that she…

Annual update: Another massive hike in health insurance rates

Yawn.

Is anyone surprised?

We received our new rates for the cost of the health insurance that we offer to employees. The single rate increased 21% and the family rate increased a whopping 27%. I surveyed other WNY health insurance plans and they all have similar increases.

Click here for the ongoing documentation in this blog on the issue. If you can stomach it.

This is not a local New York phenomenon - you will begin hearing a lot of press on this issue now that the October and November rates that reflect mandates from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ('so-called ObamaCare') are being implemented. Headlines out of a neighboring state are similar. Insurance companies claim that removal of lifetime limits, removal of pre-existing condition waiting periods, and assorted other mandates are responsible for driving up the costs.

What this will mean, of course, is that fewer families will be able to afford insurance - which will lead to the accelerated collapse of a m…

Somewhere that's green.

This entry is another study in parenting occupations, and in studying how children help to make meaning for their parents and in turn for themselves. So this is for Caleigh.

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To say that I wanted to tame the yard wouldn't be entirely accurate. That would place the yard in a subservient position to myself, and that isn't really how I felt about it. Rather, I wanted the children to be able to live in it and to play in it, and in its state at the time it just wasn't a habitat that was conducive to children's play and development.

One of the immediate problems was that in the back yard the ground that was ten feet closest to the sliding glass doors wasn't graded properly, so water would tend to puddle against the house. The previous owner was dog-sitting a large golden retriever that got left outside a lot - so that caused the space in front of the sliding glass doors to be a giant mudpit of dog prints. No grass grew there. I tried…