• August 29, 2013 /  Special Needs

    I had a blind guitar instructor in college. He knew his way around campus (Sac State) and was more than proficient playing the guitar. He didn’t need help, taught me the right way to “guide” him (he held on to my arm) when he needed help in negotiating or was lazy in using his stick, and amazed me with his independence.

    One day he was teaching me a fancy lick on the guitar and all of a sudden he “disappeared”. I mean, not physically but mentally…personality left. He was quite for a few moments and then asked, “Where am I, who are you?” I asked him if he was okay and he started getting agitated so I told him my name and that we were in his house. He asked what was going on and why he couldn’t see anything. At that moment I remembered that sometimes when someone “blanks” out that it could be a form of epilepsy.

    the arc logoI don’t know why I should think of that right then but I decided to “play along” with him. I told him that the lights went out, we were waiting for them to come back on and that, in the meantime, I was playing guitar for him. So I asked if I could continue and he was okay with that.

    When he “came back” he again, asked what happened. This time I used his name and asked him, “Is that you?” Answering in the affirmative he asked if I understood what just happened. I told him that I guessed that he had an epileptic episode and he confirmed it. He was pleasantly surprised that I would know that and apologetic that he hadn’t told me that he had seizures in the past but hadn’t had any for a couple of years. He was the best guitar instructor I ever had and miss him and his corny jokes.

    The point is that I was prepared and that is one of the messages of The Arc organization. They want the public to understand and be prepared for including those with intellectual and developmental disabilities into their world. They also advocate on their behalf and provide resources.

    Please visit the national website http://www.thearc.org/who-we-are and then go to the state site http://www.thearcca.org/ and finally our local site in Roseville http://www.thearc.org/.

    Serving Auburn, Lincoln, Roseville, Rocklin, Sacramento, and the counties of Placer, Sacramento, Sutter, Yolo, Yuba, El Dorado, Nevada and even Humboldt.

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