Saturday January 19, 2019

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  • Injection Opioid Use…

    Press release

    A recent study indicates Oklahoma ranked second in the nation for prevalence of Hepatitis C (HCV).…
  • Jalapeño Popper Casserole

    Serves 6-8


    1 (32 oz.) bag frozen tater tots, thawed2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened2 cups…
  • Linda Hoffman with Family…

    Linda Hoffman, APRN is ready to take care of you and your family's needs? Just some of the services that she offers at…
  • Decorating Wisely: Authentic…

    By Glenda Wise

    It’s no secret that Grayson is all about all things European, particularly Parisian. She has…
  • Sleep with ease at EOMC

    Poteau, OKLAHOMA - The sleep Center at Eastern Oklahoma Medical Center specializes in helping patients who may have…
  • Tuesday Lunch at the Museum…

    Poteau, OKLAHOMA - Tuesday Lunch at the Museum will be January 15, 2019 from 11am until 1pm at the Hotel Lowrey.
  • Mullin, Schrader Celebrate…

    Press release

    WASHINGTON—Congressmen Markwayne Mullin (R-OK-2) and Kurt Schrader (D-OR-5) celebrate a legislative…
  • For the Children: Three Key…

    By Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy CEO Joe Dorman

    The 2019 Oklahoma Legislative Session is now less than one…
  • EarthTalk® BITCON

    From the Editors of E - The Environmental Magazine

    Dear EarthTalk: How is it that bitcoin, a virtual currency that…
  • Decorating Wisely: New Year

    By Glenda Wise

    Now that all the Christmas decorations are put away (ok, mine are still out, but, hey, we celebrate…
  • EOMC offers Walk In Clinic, …

    If you are feeling a little under the weather right after the holidays.

    Eastern Oklahoma Medical can help.

    Try the…
  • Living Wisely Column : Bread

    By Grayson Wise

    Hello friends! It is Grayson once again. I’m back from OU for the break.

    My first semester of…
  • Going Smokefree in 2019: Free…

    Press release

    OKLAHOMA CITY – (December 27, 2018) – Today, the American Lung Association in Oklahoma announced free…
  • EOMC offering Telemed to…

    Eastern Oklahoma Medical Center is proud to offer Telemedicine to students, faculty & staff of both Howe and Poteau…
  • EOMC’s Walk In Clinic opens 7…

    If you are feeling a little under the weather right before the holidays.

    Eastern Oklahoma Medical can help.

    Try the…
Health & Wellness
Sunday, 25 October 2015 22:41

I Hope You Dance

Pervasive Parenting


As I write this I’m sitting in a hotel room in Phoenix, AZ, at the National Parent to Parent Conference. As many of my readers know I work part time for the Oklahoma Family Network, which is the state P2P group. So, what does at P2P group do, you might ask? Well, this week I’m going to try to break that down for you and help understand how it can assist families in our area, and eventually change the future.

Before I tell about what a P2P is, let me give a little background in how I got introduced to OFN. I had met Joni Bruce, the director of OFN, when I was in the Partners in Policymaking program in 2013. She came in to present to us about the organization, and when she did I didn’t think much about it to be honest. I thought it was a great group, but wasn’t sure how to use it.

However, as I began making regular trips to the state conferences and other events I started noticing her more, and we began talking about the things that I had been working on in our area of the state. That is when she said, “You know, this sounds a lot like what we are doing. Do you need a job?”

I explained that I didn’t, and probably couldn’t spare any time anyway. She just kept hitting me up to help them out, and finally I told her I would. It was a great decision because I have learned so much from my experience.

So, today as I’m setting in the conference welcome ceremony I picked up a few things that explain what we do. In a nutshell it breaks down to four things: support, self-advocacy, inclusion, and self-determination.

The support part is the easy part to understand. We work to help support families who are going through the same, or similar issues, as other families. This may include finding resources, being a sounding board, linking them with other families to talk to, or a variety of other one-on-one supports.

The self-advocacy is a way of helping those families, and potentially those with disabilities, advocate for themselves. It’s like the old saying, feed a man fish and he eats for a day, show him how to fish and he will eat for a lifetime. If we can show families how to find the services and empower them to stand up for their own rights they will be stronger advocates for themselves and hopefully others.

Inclusion is also self-explanatory, but we have to work to make sure that people with disabilities are being included in all aspects of life. Often we are fighting for inclusion in education. The reason is that schools seem to need more help with this idea, and our children spend most of their time there during the day. We can’t forget about other areas that we spend our time. Churches, clubs, organizations, and restaurants all have to be places where we feel comfortable taking our families.

Self-determination is a bit trickier. You see we have to garner a sense of leadership in families as well as those with disabilities. We need to help them understand that they must be the ones to change things. They are the ones going through the issues, so they have the best advice and insight on the problems.

The most important thing that they discussed giving was hope. I’ll leave you with this quote that was presented from Rob Bell: “Ultimately our gift to the world around us is hope. Not blind hope that pretends everything is fine and refuses to acknowledge how things are, but the kind of hope that comes from staring pain and suffering right in the eyes and refusing to believe that this is all there is. It is what we all need – hope that comes not from going around suffering, but from going through it.”

I Hope You Dance - 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 vote

According to a press release from the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH),  three laboratory-confirmed cases of flu in Oklahoma, all of which were influenza A H3.


Two of the confirmed cases were from Tulsa County, including one hospitalization, and one case was from Oklahoma County.


According to the OSDH Sentinel Influenza Surveillance System, the percentage of influenza-like illness among outpatients indicates that influenza activity is elevated in Tulsa County. OSDH urges all Oklahomans to get an influenza immunization if they have not already done so.


An annual flu vaccination is recommended for everyone 6 months and older. “If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to get your flu shot before influenza begins to spread more widely,” said Laurence Burnsed, MPH, OSDH epidemiologist. “Persons who have the flu can spread it to others even before they feel sick. The flu vaccine provides the best protection for the individual who receives it and reduces the chance of spreading the flu to persons who have not been vaccinated, including babies too young to receive a vaccination.”


Vaccination is especially important for those persons at high risk from flu complications including children less than five years of age and persons age 65 years and older. Pregnant women should also receive a flu vaccination, as it not only protects the mother but also protects the baby for up to 6 months. Since influenza is more likely to cause severe illness in pregnant women and newborns, this protection is important.


Flu vaccination is safe during pregnancy, after delivery, and for breastfeeding women. Persons that are 50-64 years of age with underlying medical conditions such as chronic lung disease (asthma and COPD), diabetes (type 1 and 2), heart disease, neurologic conditions, other long-term health conditions are at increased risk of more severe influenza disease and hospitalization and should receive a flu vaccination.


In addition to getting your flu shot, the OSDH reminds you to follow these prevention tips:

· Frequent hand hygiene using soap and water, or alcohol-based products
such as hand gels when hands are not visibly soiled;

· Make “respiratory hygiene” a habit, including use of tissues to cover
coughs and sneezes, then disposing of them and performing hand
hygiene at once. When tissues are not readily available, use your sleeve, never your hands;

· Stay home from work, school, and other public places when you are ill;


Visit for more information about the flu and for weekly updates.

Sunday, 18 October 2015 22:53

You Will Always Be My Boo

Pervasive Parenting


Halloween is upon us again, and I would like to revisit some tips for parents dealing with autism during this season. These are things that I have written in the past, but I feel they are important to remember.

The first one says: “The child who is grabbing more than one piece of candy may have poor fine motor skills.” Don’t forget that reaching into a bag full of goodies can be challenge for a child who can’t grip a pencil right, or grasp a spoon just right. Don’t scold them for having too many items....

“The child who takes forever to pick out one piece of candy may have motor planning issues.” It takes Konner a few seconds to process information when it is presented to him. Have patience with children. It may take them a little longer to decide, first what they are supposed to be doing, and then what they want.

“The child who does not say trick or treat may be non-verbal.” If they can’t talk you can’t hold that against them. They are not being rude, just being themselves.

“The child who looks disappointed when they see your bowl might have an allergy or be diabetic.” It’s always a good idea to have some alternatives for children with either of these issues. Some parents won’t even let their children go out on Halloween because of this. It’s a good idea to think about the allergies when picking out goodies ahead of time.

“The child who isn’t wearing a costume at all might have a sensory issue (SPD) or autism.” If underwear have teeth, then a costume with lights, lots of plastic, and a mask could feel like hooks digging into their skin and face. Don’t shun a child, or become rude if they are not wearing anything. An idea for a parent may be just to put a festive shirt on instead.


Something that says Happy Halloween, or just boo.

Also, if a child wanders and invites themselves into your home, it may just be their curiosity. Konner is a wanderer and every year we have to tell him not to just walk into a house.

These are just a couple ideas. Be nice and be patient.

Don’t forget that Halloween is supposed to be a fun time of year for all children. Those with social and sensory issues can have a hard time with all of the mingling involved in going from house to house and talking to strangers. Please don’t make it a spooky time for them.



Monday, 12 October 2015 13:40

Kick A Little

Pervasive Parenting


Last week we got up extra early to head out to Owasso for Konner’s first ever soccer game. This was his first sporting event ever actually, this is because he’s never really been interested in sports. We’ve never really pushed him into anything he didn’t want to do because we don’t want him to be too uncomfortable. We always ask, but he usually says no.

So, when we heard about Special Olympics having soccer we asked if he was interested. I was a bit surprised at first when he said yes, but then I was a proud. He was to a point where he decided on his own that he wanted to try something new, something athletic, something social, and something that does not include electronics. This may also be because Kruz is playing this year.

I was still a little concerned a few weeks ago when we showed up for the first practice. I knew that this was the first time Konner had been out of the house for any athletic activities. Ok, he does things in P.E. class, but let’s face it, soccer is not the easiest sport to play. You have to run...a lot.

When we had arrived to the first practice I was watching closely and tried to walk out on the field the first time he got frustrated. This was when his coach Barbara Leonard told me that he is fine and that I could go sit down. I decided to let her handle it and watch from afar.

Let me stop now to explain to those who don’t know about how Special Olympics works, because I didn’t prior to this experience. The athletes, who have disabilities of some sort, work with partners who are their typically developing peers. This is such a great show of inclusion. Everyone is equal. In fact, if anything the partners are at a disadvantage because they are not allowed to dominate the games. They are there to encourage the athletes and help them do their best on the field.

With that being said, we drove to Owasso for the 12th Annual Statewide Special Olympics Oklahoma Soccer Competition Wednesday. Konner has a tendency to fall down when he gets frustrated, or tired, so him staying in the game long seemed a stretch, but he played about as much as the other kids did. When he did get in the partners and coach were on the field helping to pass the ball to him and encourage him to score.

Once he got hot and tired he told his coach that he was too tired to play and just wanted to help her coach, so he spent most of the second game on the sidelines helping Barbara.

The sportsmanship is far above anything else I’ve ever seen. During the games I saw a little boy with noise-cancelling headphones being encouraged by his peers to kick the ball into the goal. I saw a little girl holding her ears with her hands, but she was led to the goal to score. I also saw opposing teams parting like the red sea to allow children with walkers and crutches to kick the ball to the goal and score.

I can’t say enough about the girls who worked with Konner to help him be a better athlete and person. Allison Matos and Hanna Weaver were great with him. They didn’t get frustrated with him when he decided to throw himself on the ground and have a fit, or when he would wonder and whine in the hot sun. They just worked to help keep him on task and tell him how good he was doing. The same goes for Barbara and Tanna and Randy Weaver, who work so hard to lead all the athletes and keep the Special Olympics going in this area. It is a great organization.

I would encourage any parent to try to push your kids to join if they are interested. Even if you don’t think they can do it, which I was skeptical, do it anyway. Make them get out of their comfort zone. You don’t have to torture them, but any social and athletic gathering will help them.

Kick A Little - 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 vote
Saturday, 10 October 2015 17:38

Training on Engaging Autism

A Training on Engaging Autism has been scheduled for Monday , December 7 at 8 a.m. C at the Patrick Lynch Library.

The Pervasive Parenting Center and LeFlore County Sheriff’s Department will host Sgt. Cory Sutton of the University of Oklahoma Police Department, for training in Law Enforcement Contacts of Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The event will be held on Monday, December 7, 2015 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Patrick Lynch Public Library in Poteau.

This class is free and will go toward 8 hours of continuing education for all law enforcement. This will include 2 hours in mental health training. It will also include a parent panel to give insight into their lives with children on the spectrum. There will be a presentation from Sutton along with his wife Traci, a speech pathologist that works with children with autism and other disabilities.

“I’ve been trying to hold a training like this for a while in the area,” said Kodey Toney, director of the Pervasive Parenting Center. “I feel there is a huge need. I received the information on this training and jumped on it. With help from Kendall Morgan and the LeFlore County Sheriff’s Department and other local law enforcement we are working with Sgt. Sutton to help bring awareness to the officers and peace of mind to the families in this area. With 1 in 68 diagnosed with autism, and an increase of 72 percent in the past seven years, it is an issue that will become more prevalent in the near future.”

Sutton and his wife have developed this training to help officers understand people on the spectrum a little better.

“I put this together because of a close friend of ours that has had three negative experiences with her son and law enforcement,” said Sutton. “It made me sick, so I started looking into training myself and then to train other officers. My wife is a speech pathologist and works with a lot of individuals on the spectrum. So between the two of us, we have put this class together. I have had nothing but positive responses, in fact very positive responses, from everyone that has attended so far.”

To register online visit:

The LeFlore County Health Department announced today its seasonal influenza vaccination clinic schedule for the upcoming flu season. Clinics will begin October 12, 2015.


The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) and LeFlore County Health Department recommend flu vaccination every year for everyone 6 months of age and older. The more people vaccinated, the less the chance that flu will spread in families and communities.

Each year in the United States, flu causes millions of illnesses, hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations and thousands of deaths. The flu vaccine is the best defense against getting the flu. Flu season usually starts in September or October and runs through April or May.

"It takes about two weeks after vaccination to become fully protected so get everyone in your family vaccinated as soon as possible," said Jill Larcade, administrative director for the LeFlore County Health Department. "Protection from the flu vaccine lasts about six months, so people vaccinated in October should be protected through April of next year."

Immunization is the safest and best way to protect people at high risk from the flu such as pregnant women, children, and people with chronic heart and lung diseases. In addition to getting a flu vaccination, persons 65 and older, and those with chronic health conditions, should ask their doctor about being vaccinated against pneumococcal pneumonia. Pneumococcal pneumonia is a common and potentially serious complication of the flu. Unlike the influenza vaccine, the pneumococcal vaccine does not need to be given every year.

The LeFlore County Health Department will be providing flu vaccine using the following fee schedule:
• There will be no charge for families whose income is less than 185 percent of the federal poverty level. However, those with health insurance should bring their card. The insurance company will be billed for the vaccine and an administration fee.
• There will be no charge for adults 65 years of age and older. These adults should bring their Medicare Card or other health insurance card.
• There is no charge for children 18 years of age and younger who have no health insurance, whose health insurance does not cover flu vaccine, who are eligible for SoonerCare, or who are Native American or Alaskan natives.
• All others will be charged a fee of $25 to cover the cost of the flu vaccine and the cost of administering the vaccine.

Clinic days and times are as follows: Monday through Friday, 8:00 – 4:00.


The LeFlore County Health Department will accept SoonerCare, Medicare, all private health insurance, cash, checks, or credit cards as payment for flu vaccine.


For more information about the upcoming flu clinics at the LeFlore County Health Department, call (918-647-8601).


Oklahoma City— It is the first time this has happened in modern history—four generations working alongside each other. From the Baby Boomers to the Generation X'ers and Millennials, each generation has its own unique characteristics. Finding a way to communicate effectively in the workplace is the topic in the next installment of the Fall Lecture Series presented by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS).


"Multiple Generations in the Workplace: Who is that Working Next to Me?" will be presented Thursday, October 22 from noon to 1 p.m. at the Oklahoma History Center, 800 Nazih Zuhdi Dr. in Oklahoma City. All lectures are free and open to the public.


Guest lecturer will be Karen Youngblood, M.Ed, who will discuss the characteristics of each generation in the workplace and identify methods to more effectively communicate and collaborate across the generations. She will provide a new awareness and approach to managing the generational gap.


Youngblood is the Executive Director of Customized Education at the University of Central Oklahoma. In her position, she provides transformative opportunities by creating customized solutions to equip businesses, government, community organizations, groups, and individuals with the knowledge and skills that benefit personal growth and organizational success.


The Practice and Policy Lecture Series has two remaining events in their fall series. Naneida Lazarte will report on the school readiness of Oklahoma's pre-school population on November 5. Then, the December 8 lecture will highlight food access and health disparities in Oklahoma City. These events will also be held at the Oklahoma History Center at noon.


The Practice and Policy Lecture Series has been developed to provide thought-provoking presentations on Oklahoma's emerging policy issues, trends and best practices. The series is sponsored by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services Office of Planning, Research and Statistics and the University of Oklahoma Center for Public Management with the goal of providing the best educational opportunities available in a forum that offers participants an opportunity to question, share and learn from each other. Register to attend by phoning (405)521-3552.

Monday, 05 October 2015 14:48

Positively 4th Street

Pervasive Parenting


I've discussed in the past that Konner has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in addition to autism. The fun part is that our youngest, Kruz, was also diagnosed with ADHD a little over a year ago. That means that mornings in our house are twice as hectic. However, we have worked with a specialist to get medication for them that seems to help during the school day.


Jen found an article to help with ADHD in the classroom. I'm going to share some of these to try to help. You can use this information for all children though, not just those with ADHD or autism.
When you have a child with ADHD they can be impulsive and aggressive. These children usually don't think about their actions before they act. According to the article, they can't self-regulate or modify behavior. They don't think about future consequences. It takes years of patience and persistence to successfully change this.


These are things that I lack as a father, so I'm usually at wits end with my boys. As I've said before, this is especially hard for someone who was raised by a father who was strict with the way we had to act. Looking back, I probably had ADHD. I can see it in Kruz, and have to remind myself that he probably had the same issues with me.


So what can we do to help curb these issues?


The first suggestion is behavior cards taped to their desks. Many teachers I know use behavior cards or some version of this.


I think the second suggestion is one of the best for everyone involved. They recommend using a daily schedule on the board or wall. Each time you finish a task or subject then you erase them from the board. This allows the child to feel a sense of control, but you have to let them know if there are any changes ahead of time.


The next is something that I've talked about many times with children on the spectrum. Routine is such an issue that warnings before transitions are a must. You should give a five minute warning before changing subjects, moving rooms, or just moving on to another task. This will let the child know that they need to either finish up quickly, or that they won't be able to finish. It's just good for all children.


They say you must have a plan ready in case something sets these children off. Let them have a special job to make them feel more in control and stay focused. They recommend a "monitor" or "coach" as a special job.


One thing that I liked about this article is the discipline section. It says that, "While ADHD is an explanation for bad behavior, it is never an excuse. ADHD may explain why Johnny hit Billy, but ADHD did not make him do it." They have to understand their actions and suffer the consequences.


It says that discipline should be immediate, short, and swift. If you wait until later to discipline the child they will not completely understand. They need to be reprimanded immediately so that they understand within close proximity to the action.


As with any child, you have to provide immediate positive feedback and attention when they are doing good things. You have to give them positive reinforcement. If they constantly hear about the bad things they are doing they are going to start having self-esteem issues. They need to know that they are doing good things to know what you expect from them.


Rules posted are important. Again they have to know what you expect from them. We have even posted rules in our house before for Konner, and as I write this I think we need to post more for both boys.


A point system is good. Konner has a behavior punch card at school. Every time he does something positive he earns a punch. When the card is full he gets a reward that was agreed upon earlier in the week. This has worked well. Many see this as a bribe, but it's actually positive reinforcement. A Bribe would be something we give him to stop or change an action that is actually happening.


This can be done with pennies or stickers as well, but never take away a point.


I hope this gives a little insight into a child with ADHD.

Wednesday, 30 September 2015 22:27

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Attorney General Pruitt Urges Oklahomans This Month to Raise Awareness of Domestic Violence Prevention

OKLAHOMA CITY –According to a press release from Attorney General Scott Pruitt, Domestic Violence Awareness Month will be observed beginning Thursday with several events scheduled throughout October to raise awareness about domestic violence prevention.


"Unfortunately, domestic violence is a serious issue in Oklahoma, affecting thousands of families each year," Attorney General Pruitt said. "It is our hope that through our efforts this month, we can make strides towards preventing the tragedy of lives being destroyed by violence in Oklahoma."

Domestic Violence Awareness Month will kick off with the 8th Annual Excellence in Action Awards and press conference. This year's event will take place Thursday, Oct. 8 at 1:30 p.m., in the Oklahoma Judicial Center auditorium.


The goal of the press conference is to increase awareness of domestic violence in our communities and honor the law enforcement, victims' advocates, prosecutors and other partners who have gone above and beyond to assist victims of domestic violence.


Award winners this year are Corporal Vivian Lozano, Shawnee Police Department; Kyle Alderson, Pawnee County Assistant District Attorney; Bunny Landis, Domestic Violence Program of North Central Oklahoma in Ponca City; and Mason Boring, Northwest Domestic Crisis Services in Woodward.

Other events planned for the month include the annual Wreath of Hope Ceremony to honor victims of domestic violence, taking place on Thursday, Oct. 15 at 1:30 p.m. on the south lawn of the State Capitol. In conjunction with the wreath ceremony, the Department of Human Services will hold a wellness walk from the Sequoyah Building to the State Capitol Complex.

Also, in what has become a tradition across the state during the month of October, Attorney General Pruitt is inviting Oklahomans to join him in wearing purple every Thursday of the month as a visual reminder.

To report incidents of domestic violence or to seek help, call the statewide 24-hour hotline at 1-800-522-SAFE (7233).


For other resources to assist victims of domestic abuse, contact the Attorney General's Victim Services Unit at (405) 521-3921 or (918) 581-2885.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month - 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 vote

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