Overcoming a spinal injury

Watch this inspiring TED talk by Janine Shepherd. While training for the Olympics, Janine suffered a spinal injury after being hit by a truck. With a crushed L1 vertebrate, Janine underwent bilevel fusion. Listen to her inspiring presentation on her recovery and how we are more than just our bodies.

Continue reading Overcoming a spinal injury

When to help a blind person?

Here’s a great video from Blind Film Critic Tommy Edison answering the question, when do you help a blind person in public?

It all comes down to:

  1. Take a moment to observe the situation.
  2. Does the blind person need help?
  3. Offer to help. Do not just grab ahold of the blind person.
  4. If you are helping the blind person, they may hold on to your elbow as you walk slightly in front of them (this helps them feel you go up and down stairs, ramps, curbs, etc).

Game or therapy?

Check out this demo for a Xbox Project Natal game called “Milo & Kate.”

Can you imagine the therapeutic value of this? From phobia therapies like the one below, to helping people with social phobias, to even more complex therapies such as helping individuals with Asperger’s syndrome pick up on social cues, vocal inflections and body language. The possibilities are amazing!

It also opens the possibility of long distance and even multiple provider therapies: the patient interacts with a single avatar which may be “driven” by different therapists at different times (allowing 24 hour care and a consistent “face”), or even running on auto-pilot as in the “Milo & Kate” demo above.  I did not realize we were so close the the ‘ractors in Neal Stephenson’s Diamond Age.

Virtual therapies could be amazing, or they could be awful! What’s your opinion?

What to do for a person having a seizure (video)

One of my favorite shows on the web, GeekBrief.tv, now GeekBrief with Cali Lewis, interviewed actor Greg Grunberg (Matt Parkman on “Heroes”).  Greg’s son, Jake, has epilepsy and Greg talks about what to do for someone during a seizure and what not to do (don’t put something into the person’s mouth!).

It’s a great video!  Greg talks about seizures starting at 3:50.

What is Social Anxiety Disorder?

Many sufferers of Social Anxiety are made to feel that they do not have a “real medical condition.” This prejudice makes it all the more important to have a firm grasp on the medicine behind this condition.

This is a terrific video from University of California “Health Matters” program providing an in depth discussion of social anxiety and social phobia including its causes and treatment Continue reading What is Social Anxiety Disorder?

Celiac Disease

Bob Kraft’s PISSD is one of my favorite disability blogs.  Bob recently wrote an article about Celiac Disease awareness:

Celiac disease is a hereditary allergy to gluten. In its worst forms it can be crippling. But more and more doctors are becoming aware of this disease and making proper diagnosis of it in their patients. Until only a few years ago, the symptoms frequently went undiagnosed.

Correction: while the exact cause of Celiac disease is not known, it is often considered an auto-immune disorder (not an allergy). Continue reading Celiac Disease