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November/December 2009 Volume 3, Number 6

“The Right Services...To the Right People...At the Right Time”

Boundaries students learning social skills ‘Circle of relationships’ part of lesson plan By Jim Tracy tudents in AWARE’s Boundaries class for adults with developmental disabilities use hula hoops in their lessons — and not just for laughs or for exercise. “People learn from various styles,” says instructor Jamie Knott. “Some people are visual learners and some are auditory learners. Others are kinesthetic learners. The hula hoops are a visual example of personal space and where each person’s boundaries are.”


See Boundaries Page 5

Instructor Jamie Knott explains the “circle of relationships” to Stephen Addington at a recent Boundaries session. Photo by Jim Tracy

Enterprise Learning Center

AWARE opens school for students with autism By Tim Pray


utism is “a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life and is the result of a neurological disorder that affects the normal functioning of the brain, impacting development in the areas of social interaction and communication skills,” according to the Autism Society of America.


Note to staff and friends

— Page 2

Apostrophe enjoys growth spurt — Page 10

“Both children and adults with autism typically show difficulties in verbal and non-verbal communication, social interactions and leisure or play activities.” At the Enterprise Learning Center in Billings— AWARE’s school for adolescents with autism—every aspect of curriculum is designed to help kids address any difficulties they have been having in the more traditional classrooms of the school district. See Enterprise Center Page 8 CFO embarks on insurance tour — Page 11

ShrinkWrap with Dr. Lourie — Page 18

Corporate Congress set for Dec. 9-11 — Page 23

Another productive year draws to a close for people with disabilities. With this new model of housing service we’re offering, gone are the days of blanket policies and services that people don’t need. If someone from one community decides that he or she wants to move to another one because of a job, family or any other reason, they should be able to do so knowing that the most important issue of “where am I going to live?” will be a lot less daunting. In the past people with developmental disabilities who moved were subject to residential services that they don’t need or want. If someone feels they need 20 hours of residential support per week, great, we’ll provide that to them. If they feel they want 40, great, we can do that, too. It’s important for people to feel that their home is really a home, and this new way of offering services should be a real step in that direction.

Dear Staff and Friends, This is the last newsletter of 2009. Again, I’m stuck using all the clichés that come with a year-end summary of an organization, but things tend to become a little less cliché when they have a real substance to them. Over the course of the last year, we—you—have built a body of work that any organization in the country would be lucky and proud to stand behind. Here are some of the highlights: We opened the second residential Larry Noonan program for youth with autism in Missoula—the Frasier Court home. Autism is so drastically misunderstood, and as providers of services to people who have it, it can seem like we’re just trying to catch up to the newest research and methods that attempt to explain it. But it’s equally—maybe more—important for us to focus on life’s basic dignities at the same time: a safe place to live, access to the community and schools and offering whatever insight we have to the families that direct the course of their child’s treatment. We have tried to do that with both of the community-based residential programs we’ve established.

In addition to the aforementioned developments, we also managed to: expand our network of psychiatry throughout the state through both face-to-face meetings and our ever-growing teleconferencing network, appoint Dr. Len Lantz as AWARE’s new medical director, become an official state employment network for people with disabilities, hold a second annual Montana Mental Health-Head Start Consortium, publish the seventh issue of Apostrophe magazine, open a second home for youth with autism, present a paper on AWARE’s philosophy of wraparound-ready services at a national conference in Florida, be invited to participate in a statewide webinar on services for

In continuing the theme of opening up the community to people with disabilities, the Enterprise Learning Center began its inaugural school year in September. The learning center serves four young people from the Billings School District who have autism spectrum disorders. The school is the first and only one in Montana that adheres to the principles of applied behavior analysis and is testament to the ways in which our staff understand the ways in which a community works and are able to offer programs that adapt to the unique needs of a community.

Lawrence P. Noonan, CEO Geri L. Wyant, CFO Jeffrey Folsom, COO Mike Schulte, CHO Board of Directors John Haffey, President John O’Donnell, Vice President Al Smith Teresa Marshall Cheryl Zobenica Russell Carstens Stephen Addington Editor: Jim Tracy Staff writers: Tim Pray Bryan Noonan

We have begun work on several new housing options 2

AWARE Ink is published bimonthly by AWARE, Inc., a 501(c)3 non-profit organization at 205 E. Park Ave., Anaconda, MT 59711. Copyright ©2009, AWARE, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this newsletter may be used or reproduced in any form or by any means without prior written permission of the publisher. Please send correspondence to:

people with developmental disabilities, have the Lewis and Clark Children’s Advocacy Center of AWARE be accredited by the National Children’s Alliance, and the Montana Home Choice Coalition became a HUD-certified housing counseling program. Through all of these achievements, though, we continued to offer the highest-quality services possible to more and more people throughout the state. Amazing. The work continues, though, as you all know, and our organizational directives for the upcoming year will take the first step toward their formation at the upcoming Corporate Congress. I urge all AWARE staff to contact their representative—they’ll be listed in this issue of Ink—and offer them any suggestions you may have for ways that we can better help people achieve their goals in the community, with their families, with their social circles and for themselves. Also in this issue, you’ll read about the upcoming open-enrollment period for AWARE’s health insurance program. It’s important information, so be sure to check it out. You’ll read about AWARE’s two basketball teams, both of which played at the State Special Olympics Basketball tournament in Butte. Both teams played well, and are AWARE’s first Special Olympics basketball teams. You’ll also read that AWARE is now a Gold Medal sponsor of the Montana Special Olympics. AWARE’s Apostrophe magazine team is headed to Pittsburgh for the TASH (The Association for Persons with Severe Handicaps) conference, at which they’ll be conducting a poster presentation for the magazine, talking with those in attendance about the magazine, gathering story ideas, answering questions and making valuable nationwide contacts. As usual, there’s a great deal happening at AWARE throughout the state. Every year we seem to look at situations in a new light, finding ways to improve them. None of it would be possible without the work you’re all doing and the flexibility you continually show. People throughout the state notice that work, and the individuals and families we serve notice the flexibility. Thank you all for a robust and productive 2009.


Disability Rights sponsoring blog Disability Rights Montana has updated its webpage and its electronic presence. The federally mandated civil rights protection and advocacy system is sponsoring a weekly blog titled 52 weeks. 52 weeks features people, places and issues that are part of the everyday reality of people with disabilities. At least once a week, Disability Rights Montana will feature a person with a disability, a place that supports people with disabilities, or an issue that affects people with disabilities. The site is meant to promote dignity, equality, and self-determination. It is meant to be interactive, allowing people to comment and discuss the topics posted. Go to janda/ and click on the blog.       Last week’s entry was Living and Working with a Disability. featuring Shyla Patera. “We are open to suggestions for future blog entries,” said Raylynn Van Oort, DRM outreach coordinator. Send ideas to bernie@ or to Andrew@ DRM is also now active on Twitter and sends tweets everyday with information that is relevant and helpful to the disability community. “We are encouraging our friends to sign up and follow us,” Van Oort said. You can pass the word and sign up at:


Boundaries students learn social skills in sessions that include hands-on lessons and lectures at AWARE’s Administration Offices. They are, clockwise from the front, Brandi Wilson, Terry Rodden, instructor Jamie Knott, Bill Plummer, Craig Keller and Stephen Addington. Photo by Jim Tracy


velopmental disability quality assurance coordinator, and other service coordinators who work with people with developmental disabilities in the Anaconda area. They drew up a list of adults they believed would benefit from boundaries training. Knott met with each potential participant to create a strength-based curriculum. “We discussed with each person his or her strengths and the concerns they felt they would like to work on,” she said. Those concerns and strengths were then incorporated into the curriculum. The adults guide the group in what they want help with.” For instance, one adult said he struggles with honesty, which was something the group hadn’t covered yet, Knott said. “I added that to the next group session,” she said. “We work on other topics besides honesty. For instance, we have discussed rules in the group and how the rules can be carried over into their lives either at home, at work or in the community. We have discussed how anger has been an issue for folks and we have developed de-escalation strategies.

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To demonstrate that concept, the students place a hula hoop – about 40 inches around – on the floor and then step into it. The area inside the hula hoop represents the personal space most people feel comfortable with, Knott said. A therapeutic services coordinator, Knott has been meeting with the class of 10 adults from Anaconda every weekday since late September. The class is split into two groups of five who meet on alternate days – one on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and the other on Tuesday and Thursday. The next week they switch. The idea for the class originated with Knute Oaas, AWARE’s longtime behavioral services coordinator, who had used a similar concept when working with people at the Montana Developmental Center at Boulder. “He thought such a class would give participants insights into the issues they face while at the same time helping them develop a sense of personal boundaries and respect for themselves and others around them,” Knott said. Oaas’ first step was to meet with Donna Kelly, de-

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Knott said participants have shown an eagerness to learn new skills. “They see how methods they have been using perhaps aren’t the only way to handle a situation,” she said. Class participant Terry Rodden says Boundaries has helped her feel more comfortable in social situations. “And it’s pretty fun,” she added. Oaas said feedback he is getting from people who live and work with the boundaries students show the classes are having a positive effect. “The students are starting to apply in their lives what they’re learning in class,” he said. “I’ve wanted this in our training program for some time. To have it started and producing results is good.” Once the program is firmly established in Anaconda, he hopes to implement it in other AWARE communities.

“We’ve also developed a greater sense of awareness in regards to feelings. We work on controlling emotions, ways to express their emotions calmly, how name calling hurts feelings, treating others the way we want to be treated, respect, boundaries and relationships, and developing assertiveness since many of them fear saying ‘no’ because they might lose a friend or they fear they won’t be liked.” Knott uses the strength-based plan to measure progress. Participants also measure their own progress toward the established goals they’ve chosen to work on. Knott updates the strength-based plans every three months. “We encourage and invite members of the team, including the program manager, the independent living supervisor, family and other community support,” she said.

Expo artists Missoula artists Dave Englund, Marcia Ballowe, Brian Schweyen and Mark Gibson exhibited their work at AWARE’s Administration Building turned gallery in September during the annual Anaconda Wildlife Expo, which is becoming a ‘need to see’ show for art collectors throughout the country. Artwork on display at the Expo varies from photography, documentaries, watercolors, acrylics, oils and wood and bronze sculptures. AWARE’s lobby at 205 E. Park Ave. has doubled as a gallery for the Expo for the past three years. Photo by Jim Tracy


Galen School students publish monthly newsletter

Holiday card winners

Galen School is continuing to publish its own monthly newsletter. Galen Ink, a two-page news sheet with stories, photos and features, is distributed on the campus northeast of Anaconda. “It’s all Galen news,” said Kari Hoscheid, who turned over duties as adviser for the publication to teacher’s aide Mary Spehar this year. “We make copies and give them to Staff. Hoscheid said the students write poems and stories “and report on whatever news is going on on campus. “They love doing it,” she said. “They type it up and do most of the work. They are very proud when they hand it out to staff.” Students of the month for September and October, respectively, were Tyrae and Yuri. Students of the month are chosen by the teachers, while the students vote on staff of the month.




Designs by three students at Galen School were chosen for AWARE’s Holiday card. Winners were Tristan, Elizabeth and Ashley. Each of the three winners will receive $25. Twenty students submitted designs. AWARE will send cards to more than 500 customers and friends.

AWARE’s men’s basketball team won their division at the Special Olympics Montana State hoops tourney in Butte. Starting front row clockwise, they are Craig Keller, Billy Plummer, Jay Arensmeyer, Dan Bowen and Troy Miller. The team is coached by Aaron Mondie. Photo by Tim Pray


Enterprise Center... Continued from Page 1

A great degree of flexibility in curriculum is taken into account at the learning center, made evident by the myriad of different games, books, puzzles, balls, beanbags and activities that come into play during the treatment of autism spectrum disorders. The learning center is three months into its first school year, being Exercise balls of all sizes and beanbags can be used therapeutically at the Enterprise Learning Center. Photo operated in collaboraby Tim Pray tion with the school that they’ll be working on that subject for another 15 district. Three AWARE minutes. The same happens when there are 10 minutes staff work with the youth at the school, each of them left and five. This provides predictability, consistency behavior care coordinators. In addition, an academic coordinator from the school district’s special education and clarity that is crucial to any ABA-based program, said Renae Jones, AWARE’s Children’s DD service department is present at the center to ensure that each administrator. student’s academic goals (formed through individual“We go over the kids’ schedules with them,” said ized education plans) are being met and to oversee the Jones, AWARE’s autism services administrator. “If educational program as a whole. they’re going to be working on certain reading or A typical day at the learning center begins with arithmetic, we tell them just what those things are goa van pulling up to the students’ homes throughout ing to be and if there’s going to be a change so that it’s Billings and bringing them to school. When they get totally predictable.” to school, the day begins with some exercise and time As the day progresses, there are to work with staff on the goals and snacks and a lunch, and the continuaplans for that day. tion of work in academics. When the Depending on the student’s We’ve been trying to build school day is finished, the kids are behavioral and educational needs, a bridge between home and given rides back to their respective the day’s lessons range from funcschool our wraparound aphomes, at which point the parents or tional academics such as reading proach encompasses the caregivers are given news of the day’s and writing to life skills curricula needs of a child across all set- progress. that incorporate personal, social, “These parents want—and depre-vocational, vocational and daily tings, and if additional settings serve—updates daily on the things living skills. arise, we feel like we’re able to their child learned that day,” said Combinations of those subject address them, or at least offer Jones. “Having been the key role areas are worked on throughout the relevant input to the parents. players in the development of their day in 30-minute segments. When child’s educational plan, they’re a segment approaches its halfway — Dan MacDonald, Enterprise Center program director aware of what needs to be done. point, the educator tells the student “It is that one-on-one sort of com-


munication with both students and parents that makes this service unique.” As with all AWARE services, the Enterprise Learning Center was developed with a wraparound approach in mind. That approach involves the families of the children, the school district, the learning center staff and the community as a whole. Staff focus on developing trusting relationships with both the children and their families as the key drivers of the individualized education plans. Dan MacDonald, program director at the school, says that the center has worked hard to be flexible for the community—crucial to the success of any new school. “We’ve been trying to build a bridge between home and school,” MacDonald said. “our wraparound approach encompasses the needs of a child across all settings, and if additional settings arise, we feel like we’re able to address them, or at least offer relevant input to the parents. “For instance, our intensive day services at the school are designed to help a child develop selfesteem, make developmental progress, learn through

their experiences, develop social circles of support, make friends and gain the skills they need to help them transition into adulthood, but to do any of these things, we need to understand, quite simply, the places that these kids and their families live. We need to know what supports are available to them. That’s wraparound.” On Sept. 24, an open house was held at the learning center. In attendance were school district representatives, AWARE learning center staff, parents of students and Nicole Hausman, a representative of the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, which is renowned for its leadership in applied behavior analysis in the treatment of autism. Hausman was at the school to observe AWARE’s ABA therapeutic approaches and offer notes based on her expertise. She also answered questions parents or school district representatives had about the curriculum. Many parents in attendance and school district special education staff were pleased to have the chance to connect with AWARE staff and have their questions answered.

Parents, educators and AWARE Enterprise Learning Center staff gather for an open house on September 24. The Enterprise Learning Center was developed with a wraparound approach in mind. Photo by Tim Pray


Apostrophe growing in size, circulation


in people’s lives. very weekday, In a year and a half, Len Nopen Apostrophe staff have met wakes up, gets hundreds of people who dressed, eats breakfast have overcome apostroand heads to work. Len, phes and achieved quiet featured on the cover of success, which is all most Apostrophe, works at of us could hope for. Len Sam’s Club in Great Falls. and Dean are two indiReliable, conscientious vidual examples. and always willing to lend Sometimes success a hand, Len was named takes a group effort, as in employee of the month the case of the VSA Monin September 2005 at the tana Choir in Missoula warehouse retail store. He or the Twisters basketball greets customers at the team from the Helena door, parks and charges area, both represented in the electric carts, chips in the pages of the Fall ’09 at the return counter and issue. does whatever else he’s Apostrophe staff will called on to do. be taking the magazine He lives in his own and the message to Pittsapartment in downtown burgh in November. AposGreat Falls near the Countrophe will be represented ty Courthouse, serves on Len Nopen, an employee of Sam’s Club in Great Falls, was featured in with a display table and the board of a local service the Fall ‘09 issue of Apostrophe. a poster session at the provider and contributes in July 2008 contained 48 pages. annual TASH convention. his opinions as a member The Summer 2009 ballooned to 84 TASH is an international grassroots of the Great Falls Tribune Readers pages. So much to talk about; so leader in advancing inclusive comPanel. few pages to do it in. munities through research, educaFew people can boast a more Apostrophe is being featured on tion and advocacy. impressive job history than Dean Lamar Advertising outdoor digiFounded in 1975, TASH is a Moen, who has worked at Alberttal displays in Billings, Butte and volunteer-driven organization that son’s (formerly Buttrey Food & advocates for human rights and Drug) in Glasgow for 40 years. The Great Falls through November. The magazine is also growing inclusion for people with the most manager of the store describes him significant disabilities and support as “focused and religious on time.” in reach. As of the latest printing, staff had signed up subscribers in needs — those most vulnerable Len rides his bicycle to work, 27 states and three Canadian provto segregation, abuse, neglect and sometimes even when it snows. inces. Many out-of-state readers institutionalization. The inclusive Len and Dean are the latest have remarked how much they like practices TASH validate through success stories to be featured in the stories, photos, features and research have been shown to imApostrophe, which is a success how-to’s in Apostrophe. They can’t prove outcomes for all people. story itself. find the same articles all in one You can also find Apostrophe in Apostrophe, AWARE’s glossy an easy-to-access electronic form quarterly magazine, has completed place anywhere else. They also appreciate the idea online at: apostrophe.journalgraphone cycle and started another. Over behind the magazine, eliminating the past 18 months staff have pub— By Jim Tracy lished six issues. The premier issue “can’t” and “don’t” and “shouldn’t” 10

CFO to discuss health insurance, 401k plans


ealth insurance and 401(k) will be the topics at a series of meetings Chief Financial Officer Geri Wyant has scheduled at AWARE offices around the state in November. “It is a great time to bring your questions to us as well as become informed as to health plan differentiation to help you determine if you have the correct plan,” said Wyant. “Or, if you are not currently on the plan and are eligible, the meetings will help you decide whether or not you want to make the choice to sign up for this benefit.” Open enrollment is Dec. 1 through 31 for those who are qualified. AWARE will switch its health insurance plan to a calendar year at the end of 2009. One of the major benefits to the participants is that now the deductible year and the Medical Flexible Spending Account year will run concurrently and that should be less confusing. To learn more about the insurance plan, check the AWARE Intranet. You can also email questions and concerns to Wyant any time at gfwyant@aware-inc. org. During her visits at community offices, Wyant will also discuss AWARE’s 401(k) plan and demonstrate how it can benefit participants. Financial adviser Elizabeth M. Harris, with Intermountain Financial Group – Montana in Bozeman, will attend sessions in four cities to help answer questions about the plan. “Whether you pulled money out of the stock and bond markets or stayed put, you need to take a look at your portfolio allocations now,” Harris says. “Otherwise you risk getting burned again as the market recovers.” Here are questions Harris says you should ask before changing your 401k investments:

Meeting schedule  „„ Tuesday, Nov. 10 — Bozeman, 9 a.m. „„ Tuesday, Nov. 10 — Billings, 1 p.m. „„ Wednesday, Nov. 11 — Miles City, 9 a.m. „„ Tuesday, Nov. 17 — Helena, 9 a.m. „„ Tuesday, Nov. 17 — Great Falls, 2 p.m. „„ Wednesday, Nov. 18 — Kalispell, 9 a.m. „„ Wednesday, Nov. 18 — Missoula, 1:30 p.m.  All meetings will be in AWARE community offices. All have conferencing capability using the general line (1-877-768-0032, room number 4335141).

How long will you be investing? Historically, good quality investments recover with time. The longer you can hold onto an investment, the better off you’ll probably be. A long time horizon enables you to afford to take more risk with your investment and thus increase your return potential. Why diversify? Diversifying among several investments is a key way to reduce risk. It’s important to build an appropriate mix of investments so that your overall mix—or portfolio—can achieve maximum potential returns without exposure to more risk in any single investment area than you’re comfortable taking. What is dollar cost averaging? For most investors, the best way to put your money into the financial markets is systematic investing (or, contributing small amounts at regular intervals). The net effect of this technique, known as dollar cost averaging, is that you will pay less per share for your investments over time. Since a 401k plan takes the same percentage out of every paycheck, it does the systematic investing for you.

What is risk? In investing, “risk” doesn’t really mean the risk that you’re going to lose your investment. Risk is more accurately defined as the amount that the investment’s value fluctuates over time. “Risky” investments go up and down more steeply than “safer” investments. Risk and return have a direct relationship. Usually, as an investment’s potential return increases, its level of risk increases too. Conversely, “safer” investments tend to have lower return potential.

Why do you need a plan? A comfortable retirement doesn’t just happen. To achieve the retirement of your dreams you must have a plan. Once you’ve determined your retirement needs, the next step is to develop an investment plan to reach your goal, execute your plan and stick to it. If you have questions about the 401k plan or your investments, call/email Harris: 1-800-888-4068 or 11

Hoops Dreams

Anaconda’s People First women’s and AWARE’s men’s basketball teams have been dribbling, passing, shooting and defending for more than a month in preparation for the annual Special Olympics Montana State Basketball Tournament Nov. 5-7 in Butte.

Special Olympics Montana is a 39-yearold movement that enables children and adults with intellectual disabilities to train for life through sports. More than 700 athletes and 180 coaches who represent 65+ teams from over 25 communities across Montana took part in the tourney, which has grown in size each year for six consecutive years. In addition to 125 team competitions over three days, more than 50 athletes participated in Individual Skills competition. AWARE was a tournament Gold Sponsor ($5,000 donation). Above (left to right), Brandi Wilson, Judy Armbruster and Amy Cozby of the Mountain View Social Development Center People First Griz team practice shooting from just inside the free-throw line at the Anaconda Latter-day Saints Church gym. The team poses for a picture below. They are, (l to r) Russ Carstens (coach), Lisa Kopp (coach), Lisa Vidrine, Brandi Wilson, Aimee Roberson, Heather Arnaud, Judy Armbruster, Amy Cozby, Lisa Laslovich (coach) and Tory Hill (coach). Not pictured: Kelly Murray. Laslovich and Hill, both seniors, are members of the Anaconda High School varsity girls’ team. The women’s team squared off in a Griz-Bobcat matchup at the Butte tournament. They played the Bozeman Outreach Bobcats. Photos by Jim Tracy


Photo by Jim Tracy

The AWARE men’s team — the Vipers — listen (at left) for instructions from Coach Aaron Mondieduring a timeout at the Special Olympics State Basketball Tournament in Butte Nov. 6. They are Craig Keller, Troy Miller, Jay Arensmeyer, Dan Bowen, Billy Plummer, and Drake Massey. Above, the team teams poses for a group picture during a practice session. They are, left to right, Billy Plummer, Craig Keller, Jay Arensmeyer, Aaron Mondie (coach), Dan Bowen and Troy Miller.

Photo by Tim Pray


NEWS BRIEFS sisters,” the duo uses humor and personal experience to initiate a cause known as the “Movement of Imperfection,” which they say allows the parents of non-perfect children to come out of their messy closets. “We are proud of our kids for different reasons, like their resiliency, their courage, their strength and their compassion,” Gallagher said. “So we started the movement of imperfection. It invites parents of kids who are not perfect to go brag about your kids.” Gallagher and Konjoian explained that in a society that gives expectation of perfection, it could be hard to come to terms with your or your family member’s mental illness. They learned to appreciate the little things in life, like having a child come home proud for answering even just one question correctly in class. People listen to us laugh now, and they’re not always aware that there was darkness. Sometimes we didn’t think we’d make it through the day,” Gallagher said. “But there is hope. That’s our message. It’s not humorous; we just use humor to tell stories for our daughters. It’s real.”

Focus group looking for parents, adolescents

The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services has contracted with Health Improvement Team of Helena to study the health-related needs of families and children. This study is performed every five years to improve health services and resources. Three focus groups will gather on Friday, Nov. 20, at MSU Billings, downtown. The focus group is asking for parents of children aged infant to 12 years, parents of children with special needs, and adolescents between the ages 13 to 22. Ten to 12 participants will be needed for each group identified above. For information on participating, contact Colleen Roylance at 406/439-1764.

Bill includes protection for hate crimes against people with disabilities

Story by Michelle Diament, The federal law that provides protection for crimes committed based on race, color, religion or national origin has recently been expanded to cover gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and disability. President Barack Obama signed the bill into law in late October of 2009. “We must stand against crimes that are meant not only to break bones, but to break spirits – not only to inflict harm, but to instill fear,” Obama said during a speech at the ceremony celebrating the new law. “No one in America should be forced to look over their shoulder because of who they are or because they live with a disability.” According to a Justice Department study released in early October, people with disabilities are 50 percent more likely to experience nonfatal violent crime than those without. The study also found that one in five victims felt that their disability was the reason they were targeted.

New Kindle may help people with visual impairments Story by Karen Meyer, ABC News The Kindle is a device that allows people to download books and publications to the handheld device to store and read. This summer the Kindle DX was introduced with adaptable textbooks for everyone, including people with visual impairments. Although an excellent invention, the new Kindle has its critics. Some hope that improvements will be made to accommodate different levels of vision impairments. “The benefit of the DX is the large screen that gives someone with low vision access to large print materials,” said Andre Lukatsky, director of computer services for Hadley School for the Blind in Winnetka. “It’s not good for people who are completely blind because the user interface doesn’t speak; it doesn’t have text to speech for the features in the menu. It doesn’t allow a person who is blind to actually select a book through speech access.”

‘Shut Up Sisters’ entertain, packed house in Helena

Story by Eve Byron, Helena Independent Record

— Compiled by Bryan Noonan

Gina Gallagher and Patty Konjoian, co-autohers of “Shut Up About … Your Perfect Kids,” spoke to a full crowd at the Red Lion in Helena. The book discusses the challenges that children with mental illnesses and their families experience. Calling themselves the “shut up 14

Adult Day Center opens in Hamilton Story by Marysa Falk — Ravalli Republic

— Compiled by Bryan Noonan

Construction has begun on a new duplex in the Teresa Anne Terrace Subdivision in Anaconda. The project will include two self-contained three-bedroom homes with a common area between them. Photo by Jim Tracy

AWARE breaks ground for new home, others in the works AWARE has begun construction on one new group home in the Teresa Ann Terrace subdivision in Anaconda and has plans to build five additional homes in another location nearby on the north side of town. The Teresa Anne Terrace project is actually two self-contained houses with three bedrooms each and a shared common area and office. Each home will have its own kitchen and two bathrooms. The homes are scheduled for occupancy next spring. Bartel Construction of Missoula is a main contractor.

In the meantime, AWARE is negotiating to purchase one and a half acres at Pennsylvania Avenue and Cedar Street in Anaconda to build five additional homes, most likely homes for children 12 to 18 years old. The project would include two three-bedroom plus three-bedroom duplexes, two four-bedroom homes and one four-bedroom plus four-bedroom duplex.

This architect’s drawing shows the layout of five new homes AWARE hopes to build on the north side of Anaconda. Drawing by CTA Architects Engineers of Bozeman


Party Time

Bowling and karaoke were part of the fun at AWARE’s annual Halloween Party Oct. 23 at Cedar Park Lanes in Anaconda. Karaoke singer Aimee Roberson, above left, and Jeanne Klima, Stacy LaForge and Stephen Addington, at left, provided entertainment at AWARE’s Halloween Bowling Party Friday, Oct. 23, at Cedar Park Lanes in Anaconda. Photos by Tim Pray


Makeup and masks were standard attire for the annual AWARE Halloween Bowling Party Friday, Oct. 23, at Cedar Park Lanes in Anaconda. Among those who dressed for the occasion were, left to right at the top of the page, Heather Arnaud, Dan Schlangin and Jerry Micheletti, and John Micheletti, above. At left, Joyce Ebel tries to put a spell on bowling pins. Photos by Jim Tracy


Shrink wRap

we think they should be? Let me tell a short story that happened to me very recently in another state in which I work. A therapist I work with and I had been struggling to stabilize an 11-year-old girl who had not seemed to respond to anything that we did. While in this case we did not blame her mother, who seemed to work and struggle along with us, we did begin to think that placement in her home would not work and that maybe an out-of-home placement might be better.

To Blame or Not To Blame, That Is the Question By Dr. Ira Lourie

Throughout my career I have listened to my therapy, case management and psychiatric colleagues talk about those parents who are really difficult to work with. They often label them as “dysfunctional” and approach the care of their children by saying things like, “The parents don’t want to change” and “This would be simple if the parents would just do what I say.”

We made a recommendation to get her child into a state-run diagnostic unit, which ultimately turned out to be a disastrous decision as the child seemed Dr. Ira Lourie to get worse and then the state refused to Early in my career I said such things just let the child go home. When the mother finally got and even now and then, when I am tired or overher child back with a recommendation to use a differwhelmed by things not going well, I can still slip ent type of therapist, the mother stopped returning our into similar language. When we start to use this therapist’s calls even though we just wanted to offer kind of language, it is a simple shift for us to slip continued medication services since there was no other into thinking that residential treatment is the only answer because we can get the child out of the nega- child psychiatrist in the county. When our therapist ran into the family’s lawyer, we found that the mother tive environment of this home and family. never gave him the consent to talk to us and was planning for her child without us. We justify our desire for out-of-home placement with the feeling that, away from the incendiary The therapist was upset. She bemoaned the fact that influences of home, the child’s emotional state will stabilize and troublesome behavior will settle down. we had done so much for this family and their child and now the family was being ungrateful and treatAnd, indeed many times this is exactly what haping us like we were the enemy. My reaction was to pens. But when these children are discharged and respond to her with the simple sentence, “We failed sent home the same old problems arise again, often them.” And then I added, “Maybe we need to blame very quickly, and we are back to where we started, and sometimes even in a worse position because the ourselves for not coming up with solutions that work.” child is angry that he or she was sent away. Those of you who have read my book about wraparound services, Everything is Normal Until Proven So what is the answer to the problem of parents Otherwise, might remember the story I told about who we don’t believe will or can do the best for going to visit a model residential institution that was their children—those guys who just don’t seem part of the first program in the country to use the word to do what we want them to or change into what 18

“wraparound.” When I was there, remembering my old experience working in residential treatment programs, I got interested in what they did when children lost control and had tantrums. In the last such program I worked in, they would restrain kids and put them in a “safety coat” which is a cross between a sleeping bag and a straight jacket.

let’s apply this theory to parents. When we don’t make a useful relationship with them, maybe we should blame ourselves! Yes, we are the professionals. The parents are who they always have been and are only doing the things they have always done. It is our job to find a way to connect with these families so that we can find a way to help them find the solutions to both their and their children’s problems. If we truly believe that families are the key to helping kids get better, this is our job just as much working with the kids themselves.

So I asked the question, “What do you do when kids go off?” The reply I got startled me. They said, “We have a meeting.” I said, “ What do you mean you have a meeting?”

How do we do this? Here are some suggestions:

They stated succinctly, “We have a meeting to figure out how we failed to meet that child’s need.”

Be as strength based with parents as we are with their kids.

The point I usually make from this story is about unconditional care and how our job as interveners is not to blame children for being who they are and doing the things that they have always done, but rather to blame ourselves for not finding a way to help them stop doing those things. But in this article I am going to do a switch and aim the lesson towards families.

After you find the strengths, make sure that you give the parents a chance to tell and/or teach you something related to them; it is very confirming when you let them know that there is something they know that you don’t. Alternately or at the same time, if you have something in common with them it is alright to share with them about it, like talking about knitting or your favorite football team; this makes them feel like they are on a more equal footing with and more likely to be a partner with you.

One of the things I teach is to respect families and to listen to them about how they perceive the problem and how it might be helped, regardless of how difficult they have been to work with. I wrote a recent ShrinkWrap article about “Saurkraut Juice,” in which I focused on this point. At AWARE, we do a great job living up to this concept….when the families do what we think they ought to.

Give parents credit for having to live with the behaviors of their kids 24/7. Be empathic with them about how difficult their child is. Ask them at what age their child began to have problems and how much help anyone gave them, if any. Ask them how often they were blamed for their child’s problems throughout their child’s life.

But, when families don’t do what we want them to, or we feel that they have too many problems of their own to be able the meet the problems of their child, we have not done as well. We stop listening to and respecting them, rather we start to blame them. And just like how we used to blame children for doing the things they have always done, here we are blaming parents for being who they are and doing the things they have always done, one of which is to live for years with a very difficult child. In the case of children, we have come to understand that the answer is to blame ourselves instead of them. Now

Give parents credit for having tried to get help from a system that has not offered useful options in the past and have blamed the parents for the failure of those options. Encourage them to vent all about their negative experiences with these systems, which often includes things that worked which weren’t continued for one reason or another. If they haven’t told you already, ask them about what has worked and what hasn’t in the past. If you Continued on next page 19

BOOK MARKS Each issue of AWARE Ink includes books, articles, documents, texts, and even movies recommended by staff, covering a range of topics related to the work we do. Job Success for Persons with Developmental Disabilities David B. Wiegan Joseph Kingsley Publishers – 2009 Ask a person who they are, and they likely will tell you the job they do. Many people identify themselves by their occupation — doctor, accountant, teacher, cashier, farmer, shopkeeper, carpenter. Each of these titles (and thousands of others) communicate more about us in less time than anything else we might say. In a word or two they suggest our socioeconomic status, education level and role in society. “It should come as no surprise that people with disabilities have the same perfectly normal human perspective,” writes David Wiegan in Job Success for Persons with Developmental Disabilities. “They want to be viewed in the same light in terms of their contribution to their society. They want to be seen as individuals who have a legitimate role relative to the abilities they possess. “The last thing they want is to be seen as merely ‘disabled,’ ‘handicapped,’ or whatever other deficiencyoriented view is used.”

Shrink wRap... Continued from Page 19

treat them as an expert as to the care of their child, you will most likely find out that they are. Discover out-of-the-box ways to connect. One of the founders of wraparound services once told me about “six-pack therapy,” in which he brought a six pack to share with a recalcitrant parent; it worked. Most of all, regardless of how angry and frustrated they are with their children, give parents credit for loving and wanting the best for them. The sooner we start accepting the responsibility for our failure to make good connections with parents, the sooner we will find ways to become better partners with them. The better the connec-

That seemingly simple concept forms the philosophical foundation for successful employment for people with disabilities, says Wiegan, executive director of Mid-Valley Rehabilitation in McMinnville, Ore., where the job placement system he uses boasts a 90 percent success rate, with some people holding their jobs for more than 20 years. Wiegan notes that most people with developmental disabilities are unemployed, underemployed, or work in sheltered programs where it is almost impossible to reach their full potential. In the United States, he points out, there are some three million people with a developmental disability, but fewer than a third are active in the labor market. His book (157 pages) provides a comprehensive approach to developing a successful jobs program for people with developmental disabilities, drawn from his more than 30 years’ experience and measured success. Job Success includes chapters on corporate job development, on-the-job training, job coaching, hiring and training staff, and health, diet, exercise and socialization. You’ll find Wiegan’s 13 “Principles of Job Success” in the appendix. By Jim Tracy tions we make with parents the easier it will be for us to work along with them in finding solutions for their problems, so that ultimately we can work together in finding lasting solutions for their children’s problems and keeping them out of residential treatments far from home. When we can’t make this happen, we end up with kids placed out of home and families no more prepared to deal with the problems of those children when they return home. I would choose the path of making it my job to make a connection with every parent. How about you? Dr. Ira Lourie of Hagerstown, Md., serves as AWARE’s senior medical consultant.


Borrow a book

AWARE opens library at corporate office


WARE now has a lending library. The library, on the second floor of the corporate office in Anaconda, features materials pertaining to disability, advocacy and non-profit subjects. Employees are encouraged to check out books any time. Contact Bryan Noonan at 563-8117 ext. 54 ( Also available are assorted magazines, newsletters, DVDs, CD-ROMs and material collected at conferences and training. “If you have any books that you would like to donate, or know of a book that we should have, let us know,” Noonan said. Here’s the list of available books:

Imponderables: The Solution to the Mysteries of Everyday Life by David Feldman Count Us In by Jason kingsley and Mitchell levitz The 3 Keys to Empowerment by Ken Blanchard, John P. Carlos and Alan Randolph Raymond’s Room: Ending the Segregation of People with Disabilities by

Dale Dileo Self-Directed Work Teams by Jack D. Orsburn, Linda Moran, Ed Musselwhite and John H. Zenger Managing the Nonprofit Organization by Peter F. Drucker The Power of Open-Book Management by John P. Schuster, Jill Carpenter and M Patricia Kane Teaming Up by Paul and Sarah Edwards What the CEO Wants You to Know by Ram Charan The Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun by Wess Roberts Montana Center on Disabilities: Focusing on Abilities by Shackleton’s Way by Margot Morell and Stephanie Capparell Sue Hart The Team Building Tool Kit by Deborah Harrington-Mackin Streetwise: Managing a Nonprofit by Riddle with Drenth The American Who Taught the Japanese about Quality by Essential Manager’s Manual by Robert Heller and Tim Rafael Aquayo Hindle Disabling Professions by Ivan Illich et al Kaizen: The Key to Japan’s Competitive Success by The Vest Pocket CFO by Shim Siegel Masaaki Imai Managing Quality by Jacqueline M. Katz and Eleanor Green We Cry Out by Susan Dahl, John DeFrain and John S. Successful Team Building by Thomas L. Quick Campbell The Centerless Corporation by Bruce A. Pasternack and Everything is Normal Until Proven Otherwise: A Book about Albert J. Viscio Wraparound Services by Karl W. Dennis and Ira S. Lourie Why Should Anyone Be Led by You? by Rob Goffee and WAY: When There’s Nowhere Else to Turn… by Cheryl Gareth Jones Mayfield and Dennis McGee First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest ManBaseball Bouillabaisse and the Best of Class: How to Inagers Do Differently by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffcrease Your Personal Power, Energize Your Team and man Astonish Your Customers by Darby Checketts The 80/20 Principle by Richard Koch Fear of Falling by Barbara Ehrenreich Managing at the Speed of Change by Daryl R. Conner Effective Fundraising for Nonprofits by Ilona Bray The Individualized Corporation by Sumantra Ghoshal and The Leadership Challenge by James M. Kouzes and Barry Christopher A. Bartlett Z. Posner The Wisdom of Teams by Jon R. Katzenbach and Douglas K. Confessions of a Professional Hospital Patient by Michael Smith A. Weiss Safely Home: A Profile of a Futures Planning Group by House Calls by Patch Adams Betty Atherton and Julie Shaw Cole IQ of 63 - So What by Ben D. Anderson On Competition by Michael E. Porter American Samurai by William Lareau Fast Forward by James Champy and Nitin Nohria Boards That Make a Difference by John Carver The Strategy Focused Organization by Robert S. Kaplan and The Deming Management Method by Mary Walton David P. Norton Gesundheit! by Patch Adams Competitive Strategy by Michael E. Porter Creating a Habitat for Humanity by Jonathan T.M. Teams at the Top by Jon R. Katzenbach Reckford Competitive Advantage by Michael E. Porter


COMING EVENTS November 13 – 14 Montana’s First Parent Empowerment Institute 3:00 pm Friday – 4:00 pm Saturday Red Lion Hotel, Helena Contact: Kandis Franklin (406) 444-6018, kfranklin@

December 1 Family Health Advisory Council 10:30 a.m. – Noon Diane Building conference room and via teleconference Contact: Jo Ann Dotson (406) 444-4743,

November 15 – 16 MBI Youth Day(s) Sunday — 2 – 8 p.m. Monday — 7:45 a.m. – 2 p.m. Bozeman Contact: Susan Bailey-Anderson (406) 444-3095

December 6 – 7 MBI Youth Day(s) Time TBA Miles City Contact: Susan Bailey-Anderson (406) 444-3095 December 8 DIR/Floortime Approach for the Severely Challenged Elementary Student Time TBA Billings, for information on location and registration visit Contact: Debra Miller (406) 657 2072,

November 17 Disability Rights 1 – 2 p.m. Youth Track Web Conference Contact: Kim Brown, Registration due by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov.11. November 17 HJ25 Study on Application and Determination Process for Medicaid Long Term Care Assistance 1 – 3 p.m. Arcade Building Conference Room, 5th floor, 111 N. Jackson St., Helena Contact: Linda Snedigar (406) 444-6676, lsnedigar@

December 8 Social Security Part I 1 – 2:30 p.m. General Track Webinar Location and registration information available at Contact: Kim Brown,

November 17 – 18 Autism Spectrum Disorder Conference All day events Red Lion, Kalispell Contact: Nancy Marks (406) 728-2400 ext. 1088

December 15 Surviving the Holidays 1 – 2:30 p.m. Teletraining To register for event visit

November 18 – 19 Autism Spectrum Disorder Conference All day events Holiday Inn Downtown at the Park, Missoula Contact: Nancy Marks (406) 728-2400 ext. 1088

December 17 – 18 RTI Building Capacity Time TBA Billings, for information on location and registration visit

November 20 Free Dental Care KULR-8 All-day event Riverstone Health and 16 local dentists, Billings Contact: Riverstone Health (406) 247-3200

December 18 Montana’s Emerging Leaders 1 – 2 p.m. Youth Track Web Conference Contact: Kim Brown, 22

Tim Pray photo

Delegate Dave Caldwell addresses delegates at the 2008 Corporate Congress. Corporate Congress 2009 convenes Dec. 9 at Fairmont Hot Springs.

Corporate Congress delegates selected


wenty-three delegates will converge at Fairmont Hot Springs Dec. 9-11 for the 2009 Corporate Congress. Each delegate serves two terms. Here are the delegates: Jenny Burk, representing the Missoula and Kalispell district, first term. Dan Cass, representing the Galen district, first term. Jamie Clawson, representing the Anaconda district, first term. Michelle Dolan, representing Adult Work Services, second term. Jen Fleming, representing the Billings district, second term. Dawn Goulet, representing the Helena and Great Falls district, first term. Gary Hart, representing Adult DD Residential services, first term. Rusty Jones, representing the Bozeman and Livingston district, second term. Jamie Knott, representing Support Services, second term. Patrick Maddison, representing targeted case management services, first term. Blanca Marckwordt-Carou, representing admin field rep services, second term. Ki-Ai Mason, representing youth residential services, first term. Lura Nuthak, representing the Butte and Dillon district, first term. Barbara Porter, representing autism services, first term.

Karen Richards, representing the eastern Montana district, first term. Natalie Rutherford, representing youth case management, first term. Mike Shea, representing transportation services, first term. Scott Trzinski, representing CSCT services, first term. Charrisse VanDyke, representing Early Head Start services, first term. Casey Wagner, representing adult mental health services, second term. Janis Zeier, representing central administration services, second term. Kalen Zier, representing IFES services, second term.

These delegates will come to Corporate Congress having written bills—suggestions for ways in which AWARE’s services can be improved—based on: 1) feedback from the delegates’ constituencies, 2) data gathered from surveys that are extended to community stakeholders and clients and family and 3) the personal suggestions and insights of the delegates themselves. If AWARE staff have ideas on the ways in which services can be improved, please do not hesitate to contact either your district representative or your service representative. If staff do not know their service or district representative’s contact information, they can email Tim Pray at and he will relay the suggestion(s) to the appropriate delegate. 23

AWARE, Incorporated

205 East Park Avenue Anaconda, Montana 59711 1-800-432-6145

Printed on recycled paper


Coach Lisa Kopp, left, and Brandi Wilson exchange high fives during a timeout at the Special Olympics Montana State Basketball Tournament Nov. 7 in Butte. Also pictured are Kelly Murray, Judy Armbruster, Heather Arnaud and Russell Carstens. More photos on page 12 and 13. Photo by Tim Pray

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