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Disability Awareness


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A presentation given to 5th graders

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Disability Awareness

  1. 1. Disability Awareness Multiple Sclerosis
  2. 2. <ul><li>MS is a disease of the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM </li></ul><ul><li>which does damage to the BRAIN, THE OPTIC NERVE AND THE SPINAL CORD.  </li></ul>Brain Spinal Cord Optic Nerve
  3. 3. <ul><li>MS causes SCARS, CALLED LESIONS, to build up on the NERVES in your brain. </li></ul>Nerves Myelin MS Scar
  4. 4. <ul><li>These NERVES CARRY MESSAGES from your brain to the different parts of your body to tell them what to do.  </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>The lesions from the MS can stop these messages, or SHORT CIRCUIT them.  </li></ul>
  6. 6. YOU CAN’T CATCH MS FROM SOMEONE. <ul><li>Scientists and doctors don’t know what causes MS, but they do know that YOU CAN’T CATCH MS FROM SOMEONE.  </li></ul>
  7. 7. SYMPTOMS Because MS makes scars in different places on the nerves in your brain, it can cause DIFFERENT SYMPTOMS.  Not everyone with MS has the same symptoms.
  8. 8. MS can cause problems with walking, grasping things, talking, vision, and thinking. What is affected depends on where the lesions are in the brain
  9. 9. Mobility – the ability to move freely <ul><li>Sometimes my legs feel very heavy. I get DIZZY, and I loose my balance, so it is hard for me to walk. </li></ul><ul><li>Some people with MS need to use a wheelchair or scooter all the time; some only need a cane.  </li></ul><ul><li>And some of us need a CANE sometimes, a WALKER sometimes, and a WHEELCHAIR other times. </li></ul>MS can limit your mobility
  10. 10. <ul><li>I get TIRED QUICKER than healthy people because it TAKES A LOT MORE ENERGY for me to move my legs or control my hands.  </li></ul>Fatigue
  11. 11. <ul><li>I have TROUBLE GRASPING THINGS, so I use a very fat pen when I have to write. </li></ul><ul><li>Sometimes I have trouble buttoning things, and have to ask for help. </li></ul><ul><li>I get FRUSTRATED when I pick something up and drop it, especially if it makes a mess.  </li></ul>Grasping, manipulating
  12. 12. Grasping, manipulating <ul><li>I went out to eat one night and was having so much trouble with my hands that I couldn’t use a knife and fork.  I had to order a sandwich.  I was EMBARRASSED when I kept missing my mouth with the sandwich. </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>Because I SLUR my words speech and have POOR COORDINATION, sometimes strangers make rude comments or give me disgusted looks, and I know they think I’m drunk or stupid.  But I’m not; I just have trouble saying what I’m thinking.   </li></ul>Speaking
  14. 14. I just want to be treated the same as everyone else. <ul><li>Sometimes I want to get a </li></ul><ul><li>t-shirt that says I’m not drunk I have MS.  I wish </li></ul><ul><li>people would not judge me. </li></ul><ul><li>It makes me ANGRY.  </li></ul><ul><li>I am not stupid and it hurts </li></ul><ul><li>when people who don’t know me </li></ul><ul><li>treat me like I am. </li></ul>
  15. 15. But I am learning to be less frustrated and less embarrassed. I know it’s NOT MY FAULT that I have Multiple Sclerosis.  And it’s not my fault that I walk or talk funny, and drop things. 
  16. 16. Remission My symptoms come and go.  When I don’t have symptoms, it’s called a REMISSION.  While I’m in a remission I feel almost normal.  I swim ...
  17. 17. I snorkel
  18. 18. I hike...
  19. 19. I have fun with photography.
  20. 20. I explore caves
  21. 21. MS Can Cause Memory Problems I used to have a very good memory. Now I have trouble remembering things.  So I have learned a few tricks so I don’t forget important things.
  22. 22. Computers are Great! <ul><li>If I need to remember an appointment, I use a computer to help me.  I PUT APPOINTMENTS IN A PROGRAM CALLED OUTLOOK. </li></ul><ul><li>I set it to remind me. A reminder pops up on my computer screen when it’s time to do something.  </li></ul>
  23. 23. Call Home <ul><li>If I’m not home and I need to remember something when I get home, I call my house and LEAVE MYSELF A MESSAGE.  </li></ul>
  24. 24. Low Tech -- Sticky Notes I use a LOT of sticky notes! <ul><li>I put them on my door. </li></ul><ul><li>I put them on my mirror. </li></ul><ul><li>I put them on my computer. </li></ul><ul><li>I have them in all different colors and shapes. </li></ul>
  25. 25. I love computers! <ul><li>The doctors tell me to play word games on the computer to help with memory. </li></ul><ul><li>I can tell if I’m having a good day by the score I get on the games. </li></ul>
  26. 26. Adaptive Equipment / Modifications <ul><li>Ramps and elevators so I don’t have to climb stairs and don’t get tired.  </li></ul>Some things that make my life easier are:
  27. 27. Adaptive Equipment <ul><li>EMAIL / TXT. I use it instead of the phone whenever I can because I can take time to think about what I need to say, and it doesn’t matter if I’m slurring my words.    </li></ul>
  28. 28. Adaptive Equipment <ul><li>Because the hot weather can make my symptoms worse, I have COOL HEADBANDS, WRISTBANDS AND VESTS THAT STAY COLD and help me feel better. </li></ul>
  29. 29. Adaptive Equipment <ul><li>AIR CONDITIONING, </li></ul><ul><li>I didn’t used to like it, but now I need it if it’s very hot out. </li></ul><ul><li>Without it I get weak and dizzy </li></ul>
  30. 30. With the help of adaptive equipment, I can lead a fairly normal life. <ul><li>I have a great job that I love.  </li></ul><ul><li>I get to help other people who have disabilities. </li></ul><ul><li>My disability doesn’t get in my way at work; it actually helps me to do my job because I understand what it is like to have a disability. </li></ul>
  31. 31. One of my favorite parts of my job is when I get to go to schools to talk to teachers and staff at PPT meetings. Together we help students get the help they need so they can succeed in school.
  32. 32. PEOPLE FIRST <ul><li>DON’T THINK OF PEOPLE AS DISABLED, THINK OF THEM AS PEOPLE.  </li></ul>Just like you, they need friends and understanding.  Even though it might be hard for them to do some things, they have different strengths. People with disabilities just have a harder time doing some things, and may need some help.
  33. 33. PEOPLE FIRST <ul><li>If you don’t remember anything else from today’s talks on disabilities, I’d like you to remember this: </li></ul><ul><li>WHEN YOU SEE SOMEONE WITH A DISABILITY, REMEMBER THAT </li></ul><ul><li>THEY ARE PEOPLE FIRST .  </li></ul><ul><li>They just happen to have a disability. </li></ul>
  34. 34. For more info on MS, contact <ul><li>The National MS Society </li></ul><ul><li>1-800-344-4867 </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>The MS Foundation </li></ul><ul><li>1-888-MSFOCUS </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>Thank you!