The Arc’s Operation House Call would like to thank the 170 volunteer families in Massachusetts who make experiential “real life” learning available to hundreds of medical professionals every year. We would like to wish our OHC “host families” a healthy and happy 2016!
Max Plansky was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when he was 9 months old. As a young child, he and his father spent time on basketball courts with college players. Max loved it. But when it came time to get an education he lost contact with the basketball court. His educational plan focused on a range of special education activities along with regular curriculum and students in those courses. Max is not able to communicate like others and uses a
wheelchair, but he knew things had changed and showed his disappointment in a variety of ways such as withdrawing, getting sick with stays in the hospital, and temper tantrums.
After turning 22, Andrew started the Bridges to Work Program at Friendship Home (FH) in Norwell. Through this program he got his job at Not Your Average Joe’s doing food prep. He works Tuesday and Thursday and has been there since April 2012. Andrew loves his job! He also enjoys other programs through FH like Guys Night Out which are one Monday a month. Every month alternates between eating dinner at Friendship Home and hanging out with the guys to watch a movie or sporting event or going out to different restaurants for dinner. He also enjoys Theme Parties one Saturday night a month and weekend outings. This month is Blue Man Group and the Globe Trotters at TD Banknorth Garden.
Tyler Buckley is 12 years old and has autism. He is one of OHC’s younger co-teachers. Tyler co-teaches for Tufts Medical School with the help of his big sister Gillian, who is 17. Together they spend a half hour of class time helping the medical students learn strategies to communicate better as well as build sensitivity.
Tyler didn’t begin to speak until he was 5 ½ years old. He still struggles to express himself but does a great job allowing the students to ask him questions. Gillian typically fills in some of Tyler’s history and shares what it was like to grow up with siblings with autism. The students are able to see the bond that exists between these siblings. Sharing their life experiences in this non acute care setting provides students insights and helps them develop better practices for treating people with autism.