Hurricane Prep Tips & Links

LPB Professional Photo

Living in Florida my entire life, I’m used to watching the weather and I’m also used to keeping emergency supplies on hand year -round. Since we’re in nearing the height of Hurricane season, I’d like to share some hurricane preparation tips with you.

First, please know Laura Peddie-Bravo, LMHC, NCC and The Bravo Counseling Goup, LLC, will NEVER charge a late cancellation fee for someone who cannot get to the office for a scheduled appointment safely due to weather or weather-related concerns, i.e. flooding, downed power lines and so on. (Please see The Bravo Counseling Group, LLC’s “Severe Weather Policy” https://laurapeddiebravolmhc.com/2015/08/27/the-bravo-counseling-group-llc-severe-weather-policy/https://laurapeddiebravolmhc.com/2015/08/27/the-bravo-counseling-group-llc-severe-weather-policy/ for more details.) Your safety is my priority!

Here are some basic hurricane tips I’ve learned over the years:

  1. We usually have advanced warning of potentially severe weather. Decide now if you choose to stay or go somewhere else to ride out the storm. Note: if you live in an already flood-prone area, you may want to seriously consider leaving ahead of the storm.
  2. Arrange for someone (i.e. friend or family member) outside of the storm impact area to be your communication liaison to the rest of your loved ones. That person can keep everyone informed as to how you are doing.
  3. Make sure you have enough prescription or non-prescription medication, and enough water and food to last for — at the minimum — three days (for each person in your household).  Note: After Hurricane Charley, it took seven days to restore power to my family’s home.
  4. Have extra cash on hand. I rarely carry cash anymore, but think about all of the electronic ways we pay for things. If there’s no power, we will need cash to purchase gasoline, groceries, water, etc.
  5. Pets – please remember your pets and stock on on their food, medications, and water.
  6. If you have a yard, please pick up items that strong winds can turn them into projectiles. If you have a pool, you can sink your lawn furniture, etc., in the pool (so it doesn’t go flying through your or your neighbor’s windows).
  7. Have a battery powered radio so you can listen to weather alerts, i,e. tornado warnings. Many of us rely on our smart phones for everything but it’s a good idea to have an old fashioned AM/FM radio on hand (with extra batteries!)

Here are links to Hurricane planning resources:

Ready.Gov:  www.ready.gov/Hurricanes

FEMA: https://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/98105

The Weather Channel Hurricane Central, Storm Safety Tips: https://weather.com/storms/hurricane-central 

Local news resources for Central Florida:

Local Channel 2/WESH: http://www.wesh.com/

Local Channel 6/WKMG: https://www.clickorlando.com/

Local Channel 9 news/WFTV: http://www.wftv.com/

Local Channel 35 news/Fox Orlando: http://www.fox35orlando.com/

Local Radio Station Z88.3 FM 88.3: http://zradio.org/about/eas/

If you have any questions regarding whether or not it is safe to travel to a scheduled appointment, please never hesitate to contact your counselor or The Bravo Counseling Group, LLC at 407-222-6239. Your safety is the top priority!

About the author: Laura Peddie-Bravo, LMHC, NCC is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Nationally Certified Counselor and the owner of The Bravo Counseling Group, LLC. The Bravo Counseling Group, LLC provides outpatient counseling to individuals, couples, and families in the Central Florida area. For any questions or to set up a complimentary phone call about counseling services, please call 407-222-6239. Your call will be returned as quickly as possible. Please note: commenting or messaging on any social media platform, i.e. a blog, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and so on, is not confidential. To ensure your confidentiality, please call 407-222-6939. Thank you!

No Need to Drink & Drive: AAA & Budweiser Continue To Offer The Tow-To-Go Program

Laura Peddie-Bravo, LMHC, NCC

For upcoming holidays, (most major holidays), AAA and Budweiser continue to partner with each other to offer the Tow-To-Go program. If you or a loved one are unable to drive, you can call for the Tow-To-Go program and obtain a FREE tow to your destination. There’s no need to drink and drive!

Upcoming Holidays for 2019:

St. Patrick’s Day March 17, Cinco De Mayo May 5, Memorial Day May 27, Independence Day, July 4th, Labor Day, September 2nd, Halloween, October 31, Thanksgiving, November 28th, and Christmas through New Year’s Eve, December 20th through January 2, 2020.

To access the program in Florida, please call: call (855) 2-TOW-2-GO or (855) 286-9246 To learn more, you can click on the following link to go to AAA’s website:

AAA Safety Link

May you and yours enjoy a year of safe holidays!

LPB Portrait (best) 11-2017
Laura Peddie-Bravo, LMHC, NCC

Laura Peddie-Bravo, LMHC, NCC is the owner of The Bravo Counseling Group, LLC in Winter Park, FL.

Welcome to Autism Spectrum Disorder, Now What?

 

Question Mark

As a parent of a child on the Autistic Spectrum, I’ve had numerous conversations that started something like this:

Me: “Oh, you have a child on the Autistic spectrum too?”

Acquaintance: “Yes, what have you tried to help your child?”

Me: “I’ve tried Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Hippotherapy, Therapuetic Riding, Digital Auditory Aerobics, iLs,” and so on. “What have you tried?”

Receiving a diagnosis of “Autism” isn’t like being diagnosed with a broken arm, for example. If someone has a broken arm, we know exactly how to treat it. With Autism, it’s a completely different story. We don’t really know what, if anything, will help. We do know that recent research indicates that early intervention with children on the Autism Spectrum can yield incredibly positive results.

You may be thinking “Ok, but exactly which interventions?”

That’s the tricky part.

We don’t know exactly which therapies to recommend. Some therapies have emerged as helpful, largely in part to documented research that proves positive results. Occupational Therapy is routinely recommended and has been proven to help those on the Autism Spectrum. Speech Therapy also has been documented to helpful, if it’s needed. ABA therapy has also been shown to be a solid, helpful therapy. Play Therapy can be helpful too. But there are other therapeutic approaches, and they can be very expensive. My fellow parents traveling the ASD journey know how many thousands we have spent “trying” therapies.

There is a saying in the Autism community “If you’ve met a child with Autism, you’ve met ONE child with Autism,” meaning, each child with Autism is affected differently. Occupational Therapy on horseback, called Hippotherapy, may have worked wonders with my child, but your child may not obtain the same result. That’s the reason most of us say we’ve “tried” this and that therapy.

Here’s a list of every therapy I know about that my friends and I have tried with our ASD children, and I’m sure there’s plenty I’m missing:

Occupational Therapy http://www.webmd.com/brain/autism/benefits-of-occupational-therapy-for-autism

Applied Behavioral Therapy (ABA) http://www.autismspeaks.org/what-autism/treatment/applied-behavior-analysis-aba

Speech Therapy http://www.webmd.com/brain/autism/benefits-speech-therapy-autism

Hippotherapy http://www.freedomride.com/programs/hippotherapy.html

Therapuetic Riding http://www.freedomride.com/programs/therapeuticriding.html

Play Therapy http://www.a4pt.org/?page=WhyPlayTherapy

Learn To Learn http://www.learntolearn.com/

Vision Therapy http://visualhealthlearning.com/

Social Skills Group http://www.autismspeaks.org/family-services/community-connections/social-skills-and-autism

Digital Auditory Aerobics http://holistichealthchicago.com/ait.html

iLs http://www.integratedlistening.com/autism/

Gluten/Casein Free Diets (GFC) http://www.autismspeaks.org/node/112986

Chelation http://www.generationrescue.org/recovery/biomedical-treatment/treatments-to-explore/

Hypobaric Chamber http://abcnews.go.com/Health/AutismNews/story?id=7070353

Fast 4Word https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2T6QpYUtVt0

Music Therapy http://www.joyfulmusictherapy.net/about-us.php

Marital Arts (with an instructor who is an expert with both martial arts and ASD) For example: http://www.dragonflyasd.org/

Luminosity http://autismsd.com/lumosity-and-autism/

The Salt Room http://www.saltroomorlando.com/about-salt-therapy.html

And more (i.e. therapeutic swimming, therapeutic gymnastics, etc.)

So, how do you know what will be best for your child? What I recommend is connecting with other parents who are a bit further down the road than you. Talk with them, listen to their experiences, ask questions and take notes. Support for the parents and caregivers of ASD children is critical. Some places to obtain parental/caregiver support: 1. Parent Support Groups through your child’s school, 2. parent support groups through local chapters of Autism groups, i.e. Greater Orlando Autism Society in Orlando, Florida, 3. Parent Support through local therapy clinics, and 4. If no face to face parent groups are available, try online support through Autism Speaks, CARD (Center for Autism Research and Development), Autism Support Network, etc.

I encourage you to maintain high expectations for your child, and be patient with him or her as (s)he develops at his or her own pace.

Let me leave you with hope and positive quote from Dr. Temple Grandin (if you don’t know who she is, look her up. Her books, website and public appearances about Autism are incredibly helpful.)

“The most important thing people did for me was to expose me to new things.”

Dr. Temple Grandin

 

About The Author:

Laura Peddie-Bravo, LMHC, NCC is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in the State of Florida, and a Nationally Certified Counselor. Laura is the parent of three amazing children, one who has ASD. She  has extensive experience with the Autism community in Orlando, FL  as both a parent and professional. You are welcome to distribute this article as long as you keep the author’s information intact. For more information, or to schedule a complimentary phone call, please phone Laura Peddie-Bravo, LMHC, NCC at (407) 222-6239.

The Bravo Counseling Group, LLC and Email

Picture1

The Bravo Counseling Group, LLC and Email

The Bravo Counseling Group, LLC takes your privacy seriously. As you likely know, emails are not a secure form of communication. Emails are, however, extremely convenient. While The Bravo Counseling Group, LLC would like to make your counseling experience as convenient to you as possible, in order to protect your confidentiality, we have created some restrictions on how we send and receive information.

Regarding email: Our email address will be changing from LauraPeddieBravoLMHC@gmail.com to Laura@TheBravoCounselingGroup.com. This change will occur in order to utilize a business email account with a HIPAA business partner agreement with the email provider, which is Gmail/Google. (If you would like to read more about HIPAA, you may visit this website: http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/).

If you desire to schedule and reschedule appointments via email (or text message), you are welcome to do so. We simply require a release of information form in order to be able to provide this for you. Remember, you control your information including if and how it can be shared. Emails or texts which simply schedule appointments do not require encryption, but they can be encrypted if you would like.

If you love the convenience of email, and if you do not mind if your emails are not 100% confidential, you remain able to send private information to The Bravo Counseling Group, LLC, however, you will need to fill out a special release of information form for this. According to The Person Centered Tech, http://www.personcenteredtech.com/, clients are able to choose to disregard HIPAA if that is their choice. The Bravo Counseling Group, LLC, however, cannot disregard HIPAA (and HITECH) changes, without a release of information and documenting the client’s wishes. That means you may email your confidential information to The Bravo Counseling Group, LLC, but, The Bravo Counseling Group, LLC cannot respond in kind. The Bravo Counseling Group, LLC must use encryption when sending emails which contain confidential information.

Using encryption is fairly simply. If you use Gmail, for example, you would need to open your Gmail email account in Google Chrome. Google Chrome provides free encryption. Additionally, your counselor will have to ask you a question which only you would know the answer to. It is also recommend to make this question and answer tricky, for example: “What is your favoriate color?” and your answer may be the city you were born, i.e. “Orlando.” Before sending confidential emails back and forth, you and your counselor will work out some questions and answers that only you would know. Likewise, if you want to encrypt your confidential information before sending to your counselor, you and s/he will need to work out a question and answer so that s/he will be able to unlock your email.

In sum, The Bravo Counseling Group, LLC wishes to provide you the most convenient counseling process possible, along with doing the utmost to protect your confidentiality.

If you have any questions about The Bravo Counseling Group, LLC and email, please do not hesitate to contact us at 407-222-6239.

Three Tips for Dealing With The Boston Tragedy

Driving hoambulenceme with my child in the back seat, I learned something terrible had happened in Boston. I choose not to tune into local new stations due to graphic content, but I did pull my car over and checked the news on my Iphone. What I read was horrifying; critical wounds, dismemberment, and death in an instant after two bombs exploded in a heavily crowded area near the end of the Boston Marathon.

What does one do in the face of such horror?

First of all, if you find yourself deeply upset by this event, do not turn on the news coverage today. You already know what happened; and right now, no one knows any more. The details will come out eventually, but be patient and stop seeking news, and, by all means, do not look at the photos. They will only upset you more.

Secondly, know that while there was great horror and tragedy, there were also great heroics. Many people rushed towards the chaos to help victims. People who were spectators became engaged, ripping off their own clothing to make tourniquets for the wounded. In the midst of unthinkable pain and agony there was also amazing love, kindness, compassion, and bravery – things which we are so thankful for in our fellow Americans.

Third, hug your loved ones. Forget the worries of the day, the bad traffic, the parking ticket, the late fee, the spilled drink, or stain on the new carpet. It all pales in light of today’s tragedy. Let’s focus on our loved ones, hold them tight, and be thankful we are together.

There are many more ways to deal with trauma, and for more information, contact your counselor, spiritual adviser, the Red Cross, NAMI, or your local physician.

Resources:

http://www.NAMI.org

The Red Cross: http://www.redcross.org/find-help/disaster-recovery/recovering-emotionally

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: http://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/index.asp