On Becoming a Practitioner of the Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning

ANCORA IMPARO BY RICK RADER, MD ■ EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Exceptional parents have far too many artifacts to sift through and decide which pile to place them in. What do you do with early IEPs, MRI findings, Special Olympic medals, behavioral support plans, clinic appointment cards, support group newsletters, insurance explanation of coverage and conservatorship papers? It started innocently enough. My wife decided it was time to change the carpeting in our bedroom. It had outlived its […]

On Early Warning Systems

ANCORA IMPARO BY RICK RADER, MD ■ EDITOR-IN-CHIEF It falls upon parents, clinicians, teachers, job coaches, direct support professionals, friends, siblings and case managers to understand what constitutes an early warning system for the individuals they care about, treat and support. Several days ago, over a million residents in Hawaii were horrified to receive a cell phone warning that North Korea had launched a nuclear missile so the residents needed to seek immediate shelter. What […]

On Learning How to Face Up to Things

ANCORA IMPARO BY RICK RADER, MD ■ EDITOR-IN-CHIEF At the Orange Grove Center we are investigating the merits of using robots in teaching medical students and family practice residents facial expression recognition. Some diseases, conditions and disorders just don’t sound menacing. Cramps, flus, corns, styes and cysts. Even without knowing what they actually are, you could easily shrug your shoulders from the sound of their names. But then there are others. Take Mad Cow Disease, […]

Beat the Clock

ANCORA IMPARO BY RICK RADER, MD ■ EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Not being able to “Beat the Clock” for AAMD physicians, dentists, psychiatrists, behaviorists, neurologists, optometrists and other healthcare specialists means not being able to tell families that everything that can be done is being done. Earlier this morning I found the time to glance through the latest issue of the British Medical Journal. It’s somewhat ironic to say that “I found the time to glance through the […]

On Learning That My Brain is Shrinking

ANCORA IMPARO BY RICK RADER, MD ■ EDITOR-IN-CHIEF I was quick to process and accept the news that my marinated tofu was shrinking. Doing crossword puzzles, listening to Mahler and navigating cornfield mazes was not going to curtail the shrinkage. My boat was dirty. It was the weekend; I would clean it. The plan was a “no brainer,” and I was soon to learn that the expression “no brainer” was an accurate description. Apparently it […]

On Catching the Number 7 Bus Home

ANCORA IMPARO BY RICK RADER, MD ■ EDITOR-IN-CHIEF The tale of Gertie and Gail serves to emphasize the fundamental tenet of caring for and about individuals with dementia, and that is to “live in their world.” Following family tradition, England’s Prince Charles, the Duke of Wales, served in the Royal Navy. He served on an array of ships including guided missile destroyers, frigates, mine hunters and aircraft carriers. Young English schoolboys looked up to him […]

On Coming Out of the Oven Too Soon

ANCORA IMPARO BY RICK RADER, MD ■ EDITOR-IN-CHIEF In the 1920’s, babies like Lucille faced almost certain demise. Lucille did not escape the inevitable and she passed away… but not until she celebrated her 96th birthday. Lucille died earlier this year after living a very meaningful life. In the late 1930’s American songwriter Johnny Mercer wrote a classic tune that had the entire nation singing, You must’ve been a beautiful baby You must’ve been a […]

The Case of the 125-Pound, Drooling, Snoring, Gassy, Loud and Silly Girl

ANCORA IMPARO BY RICK RADER, MD ■ EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Most journal case presentations provide building blocks of information. After the initial description, they proceed with the results of diagnostic tests that were ordered. In 1792, British physician Dr. John Howard advised his colleagues, “The examination of a patient should be made by a medical gentleman of the hospital, with the patient before him, his notes to be corrected by himself… and if anything extraordinary or worthy […]

Honoris Causa

ANCORA IMPARO BY RICK RADER, MD ■ EDITOR-IN-CHIEF If my work in the disability arena over the last 20 odd years is deserving of an honorary doctorate from this respected medical-dental university, the honor belongs to the disability community. My stock has just risen to new heights. I now have something in common with the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibet; Nelson Mandela, the leader of the movement that defeated apartheid in South Africa; […]

In and Out of the Lines

ANCORA IMPARO BY RICK RADER, MD ■ EDITOR-IN-CHIEF People, like crayons, come in a vast array of colors; but each one contributes to our collective palette. Stephanie Botswich had a particularly stressful day at work. Traffic was horrendous. Paperwork was time sensitive. Emails were haunting. Meetings ware laborious. Lunch was at a drive-thru. Colleagues were indifferent. Her desktop was indignant. By the time she made it home, she was frazzled. Having been through this familiar […]