Our story

Our experiences and services used for our special needs young adult son. Also a sister blog to our caregiving & caring for elderly parents.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Services for Special Needs Children

(picture from 'Good Therapy.com) I was going through folders, looking to clean up papers, when I came across some fact sheets on different services that can be provided either in the home or community. One is 'home based therapeutic services, HBTS). These are medically, necessary, & intensive services that can be provided whether it is just more convenient or necessary to be in the home. Our state department of human services states that these services: 1 - maximizes the child's ability to live at home; 2 - the child can participate as a valued member of their family & community; 3 - improve the child's ability to function in the least restrictive level of care; 4 - improve the child's ability to transition to adulthood. Eligibility is based on: 1 - child being Medicaid eligible; 2 - child up to 21 years of age; 3 - living with their family, legal guardian, or foster care; 4 - child with a chronic & moderate to severe cognitive, physical, developmental and/or psychiatric conditions with a DSM-IV or ICD-9 diagnosis within the last 2 years; 5 - child who has not benefited from other intensive outpatient services; 6 - child who may be at risk for hospitalization or out of home placement without HBTS; 7 - child who is enrolled in a CEDARR Family Center and have a Family Care Plan. To continue on with this program, it is not only the child and agency who have to participate. The family as well has a role & responsibility: 1 - family must ensure that the care setting is safe; 2 - families work with the HBTS agency to develop the treatment plan. The family must be present & participate in a majority of the time set in the treatment plan; they also must be present when siblings in the home need to be supervised; must have a parent goal on the plan; keep track of child's behavior during non-HBTS time. It is the role & responsibility of the HBTS worker to: implement the Treatment Plan by providing one-to-one therapeutic services, reinforce the identified goals on the IEP or IFSP, keep progress notes on the Treatment Plan goals, provide information to families & clinical supervisor on goals, attend weekly supervision sessions with clinical supervisor, attend on-going training sessions held by HBTS agency. Please talk with your local social service agency, teacher, or doctor to see if these services can be of help. These rules & regulations may change by location, so make sure you have all facts to see if you qualify. Looking for a PASS?

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Support for a special needs employee.

On the 'Today News' website there was a story about a young man, Chris Tuttle who is 28 and lives is upstate New York. He has Asperger's Syndrome.
Chris works at a store and came home one day telling his parents there was a customer who berated him for scanning items too slowly. This customer then went to the store manager complaining that Chris worked too slowly. “When she was mean to me, it made me really upset and sad, and tears were about to fall down my face,’’ Chris told TODAY.com. His sister Jamie Virkler decided to ask a few people to post some positive comments on Facebook for him, since he loves social media. She said she was only expecting a handful of people to respond. At press time there were over 100,000 likes and 15,000 comments coming as far away as Australia and South Africa besides his friends and store customers. The effect was so positive, Chris felt able to go to work the next day. He has received such an outpouring of support - people have waited in his line (even if others are clear) just to shake his hand or give him a hug. “It makes me feel blessed and loved and cared for,’’ Chris said. “They made me feel a lot better afterwards. It was overwhelming, and it was really supportive for all those people to be in my line, shaking my hand, hugging me and giving me nice cards.” “The community has come together and made him feel good about himself,’’ Jamie said. Even though the woman who yelled at Chris has not come forward. Jamie is hoping that people will think about life from the other person's eyes before getting angry at someone like Chris.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Help from a 'bag of tricks' for those long rides and waits.

'Tis the season for long lines - at the stores, restaurants, road trips, maybe even just a visit to the doctor. Even with children who have no special needs, we bring along a 'survival kit'. In the case of 'About.com' it is called a 'bag of tricks'. As we all know, children with special needs have less of an attention span, have a hard time transitioning, finding ways to amuse themselves, and may have trouble avoiding meltdowns with all the aforementioned going on.
'About.com' reminds us to make sure you remember your ABCDs when packing your bag: Amuse, Bribe, Comfort, Distract. Whatever number and type of item you do take, all of them must be at your immediate disposal to use. There are both concrete and interactive ways to fulfill your ABCDs. They are not fancy. Depending on your child, some of these may not work. Here are their ideas to try, to see if they hold any merit for you: • Toy cars • Deck of cards • Flash cards • Little notepad and pen • Dice • Fidget toys • Finger puppets • Keys • Coins • Photos • Hard candy • Pretzels • Small storybook • Puzzle book • Raisins • Animal crackers • Doll • Magnetic travel game • Crayons • Stickers Then there are the more 'interactive' ones: • 20 Questions • I Spy • Taking a walk • Getting a drink from a water fountain • Looking out window • Saying something silly • Tickling • Blowing a raspberry on his or her arm • Clapping games • Pushing hard against each other's hands • Rock-paper-scissors • Whispering secrets • Asking questions • Word games where each person adds an item, alphabetically, and the next person must remember the whole string of words • What color am I looking at? • Tell me three things you did today • Let child choose what to do next • Math facts • "Dots" game: connecting dots on a paper to make squares • A is for ..., B is for ... • Hide something in fist -- guess which hand? • Play with child's hair We adults get antsy with all the standing and waiting around so we can imagine how hard it is for our children. For those who can speak, these ideas may even open up a communication line with your child, learning about school and friends, hopes and dreams. Maybe even questions about what they think about, what do they think they would like to do after graduation, what kind of food would they like to learn about or grow. For those who are non-verbal, bring paper or their communication device and talk about what they like -- food, drinks, TV shows, music. Maybe download music on an iPad or iPod. Depending on where you are, you can get silly and dance!! Windowshop if you can get away. Also if you can, plan trips when you feel the wait lines will be the shortest. We are all in this together and if anyone watching is not happy with the behavior, OH WELL!!! Santa is watching for good behavior!!

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Touchdown of a Lifetime

There was a wonderful story on Life News about a middle school football team in Olivet, Michigan that secretly schemed to let a special needs player score a touchdown. Teammates of Keith Orr plotted to let him score during one of their games. The coach was not even in on it. Neither was Keith's parents. It took weeks of planning but finally during one game, the ball was
intentionally downed at the 1 yard line. Watching the video, apparently the people in the stands were not happy. But then came 'the Keith special'. Someone hiked the ball, it was given to Keith and his teammates surrounded him, protecting him so he could run it across the goal line! Needless to say, everyone went crazy. Please take the few minutes to watch the video - you can see even one of his teammates has changed his attitude and outlook toward Keith. He says: 'it was to make someone's day, someone's week, to make him happy'. Keith has learning disabilities, has problems with boundaries but is loveable, hugging everyone he knows. His teammates wanted to prove he was part of the team and meant a lot to them. As wide receiver, Justice Miller, said “He’s never been cool or popular. He went from being a nobody to making everyone’s day”.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Unique therapy animals to help.

(picture from MSN) Today on MSN there was a story about a variety of animals being used for therapy. 'Ok so?' you say. Yes, I have another post regarding this earlier on, under "Feel Good Stories" and "Dolphin Therapy". Your point?? Well, I came across a few other animals helping folks and thought I might share the information. Of course there is the loyal dog, coming in all shapes and sizes, man's best friend, ready to help at the call. How about a
miniature horse helping those who are blind or have cerebral palsy since they live longer than dogs? Elephants are being cared for by autistic children in Thailand improving social skills, daily activities, posture and balance. Capuchin monkeys help quadriplegics because of their dexterous hands and they live a long life. You can see from the top picture, parrots can work with people who are bipolar. In this case, the gentleman would try to calm himself when he felt an episode coming on by telling himself 'calm down'. The parrot learned to mimic him and also say 'calm down' which he found soothing. The soft tactle sensation of petting a duck can help those with dementia. Know people who feel lonely and isolated in a hospital? Have a llama visit them. Having a cat nearby if you suffer from temporal lobe seizures may help you identify one before it happens. Twinkie the pet therapy pig in Florida helps a boy with Down Syndrome.
Iguanas can help mood disorders. Social anxiety disorders can be helped by pigmy goats. Kids having difficulty reading seem to relax more when reading to rabbits. One woman has found her pet rat sitting on her shoulder can warn her when back spasms will start. We all know our pets love us unconditionally. They help in many ways - even sitting with us on the sofa at night after a long day makes us smile, allowing us to pet them slows our bodies and minds down. They can sometimes can act faster than medicine.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

With Thanksgiving approaching, giving thanks with a spin.

(picture from About.com site) I saw on About.com a list of 10 reasons why we should be thankful for a child with special needs. We all have our days where we wonder why things happen the way they do, wonder if there are ways out there for situations to get better.
But kids are kids are kids, no matter what state of mind or physical condition, they still manage to bring a smile to our faces when they say or do something totally out of blue that makes no sense to us but makes them laugh and laugh and laugh. You look at them and anyone else around thinking - what is going through their head?? In a few minutes, you are laughing too maybe because you just thought of some bizarre way they interpreted a word, something they saw or heard. Terri Mauro from About.com gives us 10 reasons, some silly some emotional, why we should be thankful for our special needs children. 1. You never have to worry about worrying over nothing. Let other parents obsess over the frivolous and the shallow. Your child will make sure you always have something worthy to worry about. 2. Developmental delays = more years of hugs, kisses, and little-kid sweetness. My 13-year-old still wants to sit in my lap, give me hugs, and tell me he loves me. What mom of a sullen teen doesn't secretly wish for the same? 3. Maybe someday, Ty Pennington will come build you a house. Hey, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition loves families of children with special needs. Your little one may be your ticket to a lavish living space. (Are they still on??) 4. Any little milestone is a cause to throw a party. Your child works hard for every step, sit-up and syllable, giving you lots to be excited about. 5. Every day is a learning experience. Some days it's a pop quiz, some days it's a crash course, but life with your child is always an education, for sure. 6. You have the privilege of putting several doctors' children through college. After paying for all those appointments, you may feel like a one-family scholarship foundation. Put your child's name on some letterhead and take pride. 7. You meet a better class of parent in waiting rooms and support groups. Your child frees you from having to hang out with those snotty parents on the playground, and gives you entry into an exclusive club of people who are sensitive and sure of their priorities. 8. You have an iron-clad escape excuse for any occasion. You'd love to stay at that boring party, crowded event, endless church service, but, you know, your child just can't tolerate it. (And if sometimes it's you who can't tolerate it -- who's to know?) 9. Coming up with new strategies every day keeps your brain sharp. They say doing crossword puzzles helps ward off Alzheimer's. Figuring out your child's schedules and treatments and lessons and rights and restrictions must easily provide twice the protection. 10. Your blessings will always be fully counted. Other parents may take the gifts that their children bring for granted. Not you. Not ever.

An emotional rollarcoaster ride with this story. Conjoined twins reach their teenage years : amazing.

I watched this video from LifeNews.com and a whole host of feelings and thoughts raced through me. I wasn't sure how to react or feel or whether to even share this. I know I sat there dumbfounded, not knowing what to say or do after I watched it. Abby & Brittany are such an inspiration! After hearing from them, you can't even think they are disabled. Their parents and family are an inspiration! They have the girls doing anything and everything they want to live a normal life. Tell me you are not touched in some way by these girls. There are no words left to say except, 'watch it' here....

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Gold Goes to Willie and Team & Congrats to the Special Olympians

The Annual Special Olympics Bowling Tournament took place today for several of our local teams. I would like to extend congratulations to Willie and his team for winning gold. Everyone had a great time - the olympians as well as the cheering crowd made up of family and friends. We cheer loud for the strikes and spares and extend our 'good try' for the gutterballs. The kids do a great job and so look forward to this, practicing hard for weeks. I would like to extend my thanks and gratitude for all the volunteer coaches and extra volunteer staff that helps our kids get the most out of the time spent bowling.
Most have been with these athletes for years. Now we look forward to spring -- track & field. Then the Summer Games!!! For those of you who may not be familiar with Special Olympics, its mission is to 'provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community'. It started back in 1950-1960 by Eunice Shriver who started a summer day camp in her backyard for children with intellectual disabilities, focusing on what they CAN DO, not what they cannot do. July 19-20, 1968: the First International Special Olympics Summer Games held in Chicago, Illinois. February 5-11, 1977 saw the First International Special Olympics Winter Games in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. The Law Enforcement Torch Run was started in 1981 and is the movements largest grassroots fundraiser. It is a great organization to have your children join or for any adult to offer their volunteer services and help coach. So many coaches agree and will tell anyone they talk to -- they get more out of it and more back than what they give the kids. To read more, click here...


Department of Rehabilitative Services:

Updating the family calender, I am reminded of Will's IEP/transition meeting coming up in January. Seeing that, I have to go through his file of 'stuff' I have already started to apply for and/or need to update - to bring with me so I can find out what the next steps will be. He leaves school this next December - on to bigger and better things.

I find in the handouts from the transition seminar, information on our Office of Rehabilitative Services (ORS). The national website is under the Department of Education. The office offers career planning for students with disabilities, they help prepare eligible people to prepare for and obtain employment. Each person is assigned a Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) counselor who helps the individual and his/her family to make good choices in their planning.

The VR counselor offers assistance in a variety of ways: *providing career information
*assisting in choosing employment goals, services, and training
*develops an Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE)
*provides information on programs and services for transitioning
*helps with guidance and counseling
*vocational assessment & community job trials
*on-the-job training

You need to apply to ORS. Ask your child's teacher who from ORS is assigned to your school and a parent or guardian MUST attend the meeting if the child is under 18 years old. If the counselor determines that a vocational assessment is needed, arrangements may be made through school and done during school hours. The results will be shared with family, school personnel, an evaluation team and the counselor - all can help the student develop career goals.
ORS may even help pay for post-secondary training, certification, license, or college degree, books, supplies, specialized tools - you get the picture. It may even go as far as helping to pay for bus transportation and gas. Assistive technology can possibly be included or software if needed for a computer to complete assignments.

ORS offers a lot of help and direction for those getting ready to transition out into the work world. Make sure you contact your local office or school for any information you may need.

Michael Garcia

Three Cheers for Michael Garcia!!!

(Milo's picture from 'Today Moms' website)

I came across a story on "Today Moms" about a waiter in a restaurant in Texas who defended a 5 year old boy with Downs Syndrome. Milo was at the restaurant with his family, who are regulars, and was showing off his new words and telling Michael Garcia, the waiter, about his birthday. At another table nearby was another family who are also regulars. They asked to move away from Milo's family and a man sitting there said 'special needs children need to be special somewhere else'. To which Michael replied 'I am not going to be able to serve you Sir.' YES!! Good for you!!! More people should be like you Michael.

Michael was afraid he would lose his job but more people have been turning up at the restaurant to shake his hand. There have been lots of postings on the restaurant's Facebook page. The family has been going there for so long, Milo and Michael even have a special way of going to their table when the family arrives -- Michael always carried Milo.

As many other families, they have had their share of stares and parents pulling their children away from Milo when out, like on a playground. We too had something similar happen when Will was young. He was about 4 and we went to a family type of restaurant, sat down next to a party of 4-5. Will, who is autistic, is non-verbal and back then had no way to communicate except to make a noise (AH-AH or similar) when he wanted something. A woman at that table told us we should leave him at home and that she too had special needs children and they would never act that way when out. My mother got on her 'grandmother high horse' and told that woman if she didn't like the noise, feel free to move to another table on the other side of the restaurant - her grandson is fine and that's the only way he can express himself whether she liked it or not!! The wait staff kept on serving us and was attentive to Will. We're going back probably 16 years ago, so keep doing what they were doing was probably comparable to a member of the waitstaff standing up to a customer.

They stayed put but were not happy and the evil looks continued.

We can only hope that this ignorance will someday disappear. As Milo's mom puts it “Maybe next time they’ll think twice before they utter those words or say something derogatory about somebody else.”

iPad Communication

I attended an iPad workshop that Will's teacher had told me about. It was given by a local company, Tech Access, that evaluates and gives special needs students communication devices to use while in school and to take home during this time as well. There were only a few of us there but this seems to be a useful tool for those specializing in Speech Therapy and are teacher assistants working with special needs students (one other person was a parent).

While the instructor went over all the basics of how to set it, use it, make folders, delete icons, etc., we did touch upon some apps that are good for special needs. Going through the App Store can take time - as he said - you really have to be specific or you get thousands of results. There are free apps and those with a small fee, as well as those that can cost upwards to $200.00 (US dollars). The program we use for Willie is called 'Assistive Chat' which I think was about $35.oo US dollars. Others at the workshop were using 'Proloquo2Go' which runs about $200.00 It depends on what your child can do -- "Assistive Chat" is more for someone who can type and knows words; Prologuo has pictures that you can use along with words. One way to help with this dilemma is to go to AppShopper. This is NOT connected to Apple. There you will find a lot of apps for iPads and iPhones as well as Macs, along with their price changes (if applicable), new apps, app updates. Check it out - great site!! One drawback, even on the 'iTunes store', is that the majority of apps are for younger children, not high school. Even though he does work like a younger student, the pictures and manner of presentation is too young for him. So if you have a pre-schooler or elementary aged child -- you are good to go!!

One good one for those who like to 'see' the results of an action -- 'Songify'. Speak or breath into your Android device and the app will turn the action into a song.

Also, he mentioned a website called 'Moms with Apps'. While this site will include all sorts of apps for all varieties of skills and needs, it also invites app developers to share their programs -- see "App Friday". I checked out 'App Resources for Special Needs', went to 'Mashable article on iPads and disabilities' and not only found apps for children but a couple of them for seniors: one memory practice one that was created by someone who's mom has Alzheimer's and two for medication reminders (though one was NOT available in the US store). You can check out a previous post regarding 'Tech Items for Seniors' that had ideas from 'Senior Savvy' regarding the same.

Of course YouTube has everything!!! The instructor was talking about different types of a stylus pen for people who cannot type and have a hard time holding onto a pen - type device. Of course you can buy one but you can also make your own. Check out a variety of YouTube videos to make one. TechAccess also has instructions.

Spend some time in the 'iTunes store' and the 'AppShopper'. Check with your child's teacher and speech therapist so see what will be good. Find a workshop in your area. Time well spent!

Will's New iPad for Communicating.

We picked up an iPad for Will this weekend and downloaded 'Assistive Chat' for him as his communication program. There were 3 choices for a voice output, so I played each for him and let him choose - one was male, one female and one 'mechanical' for lack of a better word: Ryan, Kenny and Heather. He chose Ryan.

There were choices for the voice output to 'speak' every letter, word or sentence when done - we chose the latter. As a person types, there are predictive words that come up, so you really do not need to spell the entire word - just tap the appropriate tab.

As per usual, Will has attempted NOT to use it - this is his usual M.O. When something is new, he puts off using it, especially when he feels there is no need. "Mom knows what I am talking about!", I am sure this goes through his head - which I do but a lot of people who don't know Will's version of sign, have no clue what he is saying and THIS is what he needs to be prepared for.

I think once he gets to school and can see the other ones that are being used, he'll get into it. He is also more apt to follow his teacher's constant request to use it, rather than ours.

Getting Excited About Communicating the 'i' Way.

Today we had our transition meeting regarding how things stand for Will - what we need to do, who we need to contact, etc., since he will be done with school in December of this year. It seems we are on-track, no additional school testing needs to be done, unless some social service agency needs it. Right now, we wait to hear from one agency; we are not sure if we need it since he has been given a case worker at another one similar in mission. Vocational assessment will probably be done in the summer.

Anyway - I spoke with his teacher and asked about an iPad for Will to use instead of his current communication device. (See older post - "Communication Devices"). She was all for it; he had experimented with another student's a short time ago and Kerry said it went well - he learned it quickly and handled the touch screen keyboard nicely. So we will be getting one soon.
(picture of Will's teacher's book)

Kerry also gave me a book to look at in the meantime. I figured we would be going with the app "Assistive Chat" but "Sentence & Question Builder" looked good too, maybe a nice sister app. The book she gave me is called "Apps for Autism" by Lois Jean Brady M.A.,CCC-SLP, , 2011 by Future Horizons. You buy the apps from the 'iTunes' store. The book has over 200 apps that help improve communication, behavior, social skills, etc.

(Steve Jobs picture from iPad Wikipedia)

The book covers A LOT of information. Lois discusses how technology is changing so fast. As she puts it: 'New mobile technologies for people with autism are creating new opportunities at an exponential rate. The message is that we can create tools that can make profound differences in the trajectory of people's lives and in education in general'. 'Thank you Apple! Finally, devices that support communication, scheduling, academics, social interactions, video modeling, and leisure time are wrapped up in hand-held, super, cool packages. Individuals who cannot use a mouse or keyboard can use the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch because there is no disconnect between the screen and the keyboard/mouse.' As she also states, there is a big difference in price between the older communication devices (which can run $8 - 10,000 dollars and take months to come in after ordering) and the new Apple products that run more or less around $500 and have apps that you download and use right away. Yes - there may be a charge for some apps, some are FREE. Still, it's a whole lot LESS money. I would suggest you speak with your child's teacher and speech/language person to discuss good options.


I just want to mention some of the categories in the book and some of the apps. The book gives current app prices (prices may change over time) and gives website addresses for each app so you can look it up. I checked out a few. One I could not find, nothing came up, but the others looked great.

There are 12 categories in the book, each with plenty of apps to choose from. I'll just list a few -- apps to get the word(s) out; sign language; articulation; concept development; hygiene & pre-vocational; graphic organizers & visual supports. Apps are: autism shapes, small talk letters, numbers, colors; idress for weather; uzu; body language; is that glutten free?.

I highly suggest you try to find the book ($29.95 US if you want to buy it). I think Kerry said you can find all the apps on the iTunes store if you have an account and they constantly add more. I can't wait to try Will's!!! Our work is set out for us this weekend. I would love to hear from anyone out there using these already - give me/us your feedback -- please!!!!!

Robots help kids with autism.

Robots Help Children with Autism:
There is a school in England using robots to help reach their students with autism. The robots vary in style but researchers are finding that over time, the boys and girls are opening up. The researchers find that the children feel comfortable around these robots because they are predictable since autistic people have a hard time understanding facial expressions. These children also have a hard time with touching - some of the robots are covered in silicone patches to feel like skin. There is another version looking more like the traditional robot that moves and dances. Researchers are also hoping to increase communication and social skills.
In the case of the robots looking like children, some of the students are imitating its responses. A scientist controls the robot and will make it laugh, frown, blink, or wave its arms. Some children are starting to react to its movements by saying what it is doing - like 'happy' or 'sad' when they recognize a facial expression. As well as things are going, they are warning that parents should not rely on these robots totally since autistic people still have to deal with the real world. Also there needs to be more studies on how this will work over time.You can read the following stories from a variety of locations regarding this great idea.Now Dancing Robots to Teach Autistic KidsRobots'>http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41967936/ns/health-mental_health/t/robot-teaches-autistic-kids-interact/">Robots Teach Autistic Kids to InteractRobot'>http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/09/robot-helps-autistic-kids_n_833321.html">Robot Helps Autistic Kids

Transition and work

As I continue to do the paperwork and contact the appropriate agencies for help, I am also looking at agencies that help find work. There are several. There are companies that hire people with disabilities; my list is for those looking for something else.

I also think of an agency that interviews the person, their family and friends to see what he/she might be interested in doing on their own. I like that idea. This started me thinking, my husband would say 'look out' or 'I could smell that smoke', about possible types of jobs that could be considered a business that they could do, work from home or a family business. I understand they cannot make a lot of money due to SSI regulations so it would be part-time/on a small scale. These can also be done using a mentor. There are agencies that have folks who want to mentor a challenged child/adult or use a Best Buddies person.

Here are some possibilities - just ideas I toss around in my head especially after I leave a place or talk to someone who owns a business:

*bake cookies or cakes to sell to friends or family (this one came up during a seminar - someone's son was doing it and loved it);
*walk a dog/take care of a pet for neighbors or family;
*work with a local small business -- we go to a local car repair business, I think a small 'stand' could be set up selling coffee and snacks, on a Saturday for instance. After visiting mom at the nursing home and hospital, how about working with a local gift shop setting up a place on the weekends selling some items or take some items from the hospital gift shop around to some floors and help sell. The young businessman or woman keeps a percentage of what they sell. At nursing homes, they can sell on weekends or family nights;
*collect scrap metal, cans and/or bottles and sell them. They would be helping the environment as well;
*if they are artistic do some art work and place it in local businesses;
**this one I had started trying to work out a plan to do for Will and maybe a few others in his group (or for his work group in school) but due to family illnesses and my work gearing up I did not get far. I still think it is viable. The idea came from my mother actually -- she was commenting on how she has a hard time getting to the cemetery to put flowers on family graves. So what about a business where people can go for them? They advertise in churches, funeral homes; they charge a straight fee to order either fresh or artificial flowers or a flag; who goes can clean the stone a bit and maybe say a prayer. Take a picture to show their client what it looks like.