I have worked with adults with various forms of Autism for five of the past ten years, and have found it important to see them first as individual and unique persons. Many times, in working with them and others who are developmentally challenged, I found it important and beneficial to spend time to just sit down quietly with them and observe them; in this way, they taught me about themselves.
I also believe strongly in treating the person as a person first, with individual talents and skills. I worked with this community both as a caregiver and later as a case manager, working with them to develop their skills and talents, listen to their needs, work with them in developing skills and in decision making; in the process, I feel that I learned more from them than they did from me, and my life has been blessed because of getting to know them and work with them.
I have worked with adults and teens with developmental disabilities for 5 years in the Seattle area, working as a caregiver, and a counselor.
I worked as a caregiver with them in their homes, working with them to find what were their interests, and work with them in making personal choices about their activities and needs. It was part of my responsibility to accompany them to those activities of choice.
I also worked with this community as a counselor/case manager intern at Sound Mental Health in Seattle, both leading or co-leading art, anger management, and socialization groups, working with them individually in counseling, and also have a clientele that I visited in their homes.
I would also initiate with them activities and programs that they might be interested in. With one woman I worked with, the staff had difficulties leaving her home to go to outside activities; I found out that she liked tea, and there was a nearby coffee shop that had it; so, we started going as an outside activity, and she still continues to do so today. It was me learning about her and her interests, and meeting that interest.
I have been an avid baseball fan from my youth, and have attended games Little League, High School, College, Minor League and Major League games in many of the areas of the country I have lived in. Now, my wife and I are active in supporting and working with two of our nephews who are active in the North King County Little League.
I see that youth love and need 1-1 support and attention. I have never been a coach on any level, but I have worked with kids 1-1 to teach them the basics of baseball, share my love of the game, and even bring them to games whenever possible to see the game live. And they love it!
I have a BA in Philosophy, and a Master of Divinity in Theology from the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology in Berkeley, CA., and continued studying Scripture during my 25 yrs in ministry. Many of my courses were in Scripture, and I still have a deep love and passion for the Bible. I find that many of the stories found in the Bible and shared in Church on Sundays are still relevant and meaningful today.
I have had some training in the field, and am interested in this field. In the training, I learned of resources available to individuals to discover their career skills and to help the person look into fields of interest that can lead to employment.
This is a growing field, both in counseling and in talent and skills development, and I have grown in my skills and knowledge of the resources available for individuals looking into either entering the job market, wanting to learn new skills, or change professions based on their skills and interests.
I have played chess since I was a teenager, and enjoy playing the game to this day. Chess is a game that teaches strategy, and teaches one to focus on the overall picture of the game. It is also one that sharpens one's intellectual abilities.
In the past 10 years, I have worked with a young member of my immediate family, a 12 year old nephew, as one of his trainers in chess; I have found that the best way for me to work with him on chess has been to go to the Lake Forest Park Town Center, which has a large chess board on the floor which makes it much easier for the player to view the entire board, and in teaching the game to explore with the student various possibilities.
I have worked in the teaching field in the past, but one of my strengths is an openness and sensitivity in working with people from other cultures. I've learned that, in working with people of different cultures, I learn from the person about not only themselves, but about their culture, which helps me to understand the person.
I have a strong background in spelling, grammar and writing because of the amount of writing, teaching and spelling that I've done in the past.
I was a Catholic priest for 25 yrs, serving in parishes and hospitals in California, Washington, Arizona and New Mexico. I not only did Sunday preaching on a regular basis, but also gave public presentations when called upon. I recently spoke out publicly in a press conference on an issue that was on the Washington State Election ballot this past November, and continue to actively express my views to legislators through regular correspondence on issues of concern.
I have a background working with adults with autism, having worked for five years from 2003-2008 with developmentally challenged adults (Autism, Cerebral Palsy and others) as both caregiver and case manager. In those roles, it was my responsibility to work with each of them in training, and aid in their making their own choices and decisions affecting their own lives.
I was a member of a Catholic religious community for 33 years, a Catholic priest in that community for 25 years; during that time, I worked as a counselor and chaplain in a Catholic high school in Los Angeles, CA, a hospital chaplain in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, CA (2 x's), and Everett, WA. I was also a campus minister at Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ, and an associate pastor at St. Dominic's Church in San Francisco.
My skills in this field include teaching, preaching, pastoral counseling, and love for the people that I served.
I have worked with people with special needs of different ages for many years. First, as a hospital chaplain, I worked for 9 of my 18 yrs in that ministry in county/public medical facilities in California, New Mexico and Washington, meeting the needs of people from a variety of cultures and ages (I even developed what I call a "working knowledge of Spanish"). Then, during the past 10 yrs, I have worked with adults with developmental and psychological challenges, from middle age-seniors as caregiver, counselor and as a case manager.
Spelling has been a strength of mine since my youth, where I excelled in it (in the days when the only resource was a dictionary, and not a computer spell check!).
I am sensitive to the needs of the individual child, and their cultural and family background.
While I have not been an English teacher in the past, I do have teaching experience; but one of my strengths is also a sensitivity to different cultures. In working with people from different cultures, I find that not only am I giving to the person, but I am also learning about the person and their culture, and am enriched as well in the process.