Recycle and Give a Voice to those Without

Let’s give ’em something to talk about y’all!  It’s official! We’ve just received our first media coverage about our recycling project.  Thanks to Reno News & Review for taking an interest in Turning Views Foundation’s efforts to collect last generation iPhones, iPods and (soon) iPads. These devises are much much more than a phone or a device to house all your favorite songs.  They literally give a voice to those without one.  We are in the midst of a communication evolution that has shifted in such a way to include a segment of the population like never before.  1 of every 8,000 people in the United States has a communication disability. You can read more about my thoughts on this topic at The Evolution of Communication.

These mobile, compact and cool Apple devices can be used as speech generating devices for those that communicate with sign language or who aren’t able to articulate words.  By installing an application like Proloquo2Go one can communicate and express themselves using a modern hand held device.  The community for socializing and conducting business has exponentially increased for those who have a communication disabilites.  Insurance companies and Medicaid do not cover these; but do cover big clunky speech generating devices that cost anywhere from $5,000-$10,000. Let’s be clear here though.  We do understand that there are instances where these devices are the right fit for someone.  We are not discounting their usefulness and need.

We would like to officially thank Robin Snegg Krueger with Disability Resources/New2U Computers, 50 E. Greg St in Sparks, Nevada and Alicia Detriech of Mac-O-Rama, 4690 Longley Lane, Reno, Nevada for their involvement with our “Gift a Voice” Project! If you are local to Reno, you can drop off your last generation devices at either of these locations.  Alicia, owner of Mac-O-Rama (an authorized Apple service provider), will reset the devices so no worries about your personal information.

If you are not local to Reno you can mail your device to Mac-O-Rama, For Turning Views Foundation, 4690 Longley Lane #22, Reno, NV 89502 (make sure it’s packaged to protect!)  Thanks and we would love to hear your Comments!

The Importance of a Friend

(Guest post by Alisha Marie Peters – Alisha blogs at The Moments That Change Everything)

I am a regular mom in many aspects. The biggest being that I worry about my child constantly. Most who know my daughter would probably think I worry about her health, her well being, her never-ending surgeries, and of course I worry about those things. How could I not? But, those who know her, also know that she is probably one of the strongest, most resilient children to ever grace this planet. So those things don’t threaten my thoughts as much as the looming question of, will she have friends?

I don’t have to tell most of you that survived junior high and high school how vital good friendship really is. In fact, most of us thrived on it in those awkward and relentless years.

A good friend can make you laugh at even the most unlikely of times. They can pick you up when you are down, be a shoulder to cry on and a source of advice when you need it the most. And I worry that my daughter will not have this. Why? Because unbeknownst to her, she has been ostracized already, and not just once or twice. She has already been seen as “different” to some of her peers, and it literally shattered my heart. I worry about the day that it will affect her the same way. It baffles my mind that anyone can see her as anything other than how her parents see her- perfect, beautiful, sweet, loving and endlessly happy. I wouldn’t change anything about her, right down to her missing DNA 😉

But, wonderful friends are everywhere. And thanks to the Chromosome 18 Registry and Research Society, we have been connected with families all over the world who like us, have children as unique as ours.

That is also the beauty of the annual Chromosome 18 conferences, where you get to physically meet these families. Where our daughter can feel at home, and just like any other kid. There’s no judgment or criticism, just accepting and happy, loving friends.

Here are some of the friends we’ve met along the way.

Our family is eternally grateful for the connections we have made through the Registry!

Why Different iz Good?

In looking at the Different iz Good website and Different iz Good blog, I have noticed there is something missing.  There is really not a good explanation of what you’ll find on this site.  I think it’s explained pretty good and definitely too lengthy as to why this nonprofit organization was founded and what the goal and mission are for the Turning Views Foundation and the Different iz Good movement.  You will also find information about the Founder, Camilla Downs.

Beyond that, what will YOU receive in return for your time spent on this website?

Let’s start with what Different iz Good is NOT – what you will NOT find here.  Different iz Good is NOT about being easy. Being a parent of a child with genetic differences is absolutely not easy.  The blog articles and resources on this site are not meant to put forth that message.  Different iz Good is also not about attempting to induce feelings of sorrow from visitors and it is not about spotlighting difficulties.

The message we do want YOU and anyone else visiting this site to leave with is that Different iz Good . . . Different iz Beautiful . . . Different iz Happy . . . Differnet iz Love . . . Different iz Magical . . . Different iz Powerful . . . Different iz Educational . . . Different iz OKAY and Different ROCKS! We want you to leave this website happier and lighter than you were when you first got here!

Our articles are written by me, Camilla Downs (Mom to Lillian who has an 18p deletion) and other parents of children with genetic differences (chromosome deletions and/or additions).  In the near future, we will have affected individuals themselves contributing articles and siblings of affected individuals.  Since we have views coming from different paradigms you may indeed see inconsistent posts.  You can leave this site knowing you have a well rounded view!

What the term “Different” means on this website

  • Chromosome Deletions/Additions
  • Genetic Differences
  • Albanism
  • Downs Syndrome
  • Autism
  • MS
  • Hearing Impaired
  • Speech Impairments

(This is not an exhaustive list; but you get the general idea.  If you have something to add please do so in the Comments section and we will add it.)

Our goal is to share with the world our views of raising a child that is different, sharing views from those that are different and sharing views from those that are siblings to someone who is different.  We absolutely want you to leave this website feeling uplifted, inspired, grateful and by all means motivated to help us Spread the Word that Different iz Good!

If you would like to contribute an article, please email to article @ differentizgood . org.  Thank you and please let us know how we are doing in the Comments section.