Thank you

I would like to thank the following people for their generous donations on Richie’s Birthday.

Kasia, Adrian and Louis: Our wonderful family in Germany. Can’t wait to see you guys in a couple of weeks.

Michael LoVuolo: Our dear friend from Texas. When you are up visiting for the Holiday’s let’s get together.

The Lisowski Family: We can’t wait to meet up with you guys in Orlando next week.

All our love and thank you for remembering us and Richie on this special day. Your donations will be helping so many people and we are thankful for friends and family like you.

Happy Thanksgiving and see you all very soon.

Love Richie, Barbara and Matthew Pryor. xo

 

Happy 30th Birthday my son.

My dear son.

 You were taken to soon.
 
I felt abandon by the life that I had once treasured.
 
My heart was broken.
 
My pain and suffering became an enormous cross to bear.
 
Life had no meaning and I lost my purpose.
 
I was lost in darkness and needed your help.
 
I prayed for help and a miracle happened.
 
You answered my prayers.
 
You gave me hope when I thought all was lost.
 
You gave me strength when I was weak.
 
You gave me courage when I was afraid.
 
You gave me inspiration when I was discouraged.
 
You lighted my path on my journey of grief.
 
Your energy enlightened my soul and guided me to my purpose in life.
 
You taught me to enjoy each day and never sweat the small things.
 
Because they really never matter.
 
You taught me to enjoy every second of life and make every moment, magical.
 
You showed me how to love more than I ever have.
 
You helped me see who was important in my life.
 
You inspired me to help anyone in my path.
 
You were sent from the heaven’s to teach me about life. When I was supposed to be the teacher.
 
Thank you for all the gifts that you have given me.
 
I hope that I am making you proud of what I am doing here to help others.
 
I know you are bragging to everyone. Saying “You see that bad ass down there? That is my Dad!”
 
I am so honored and proud to have you watching us.
 
We miss your smile, your sense of humor and your beautiful laugh.
Today is your day for eternity, because You are my Warrior of Life.

 

                                   

Happy 30th Birthday my beautiful angel. We welcomed you into this world on this day 30 years ago at 10:57 am. You left this world too soon and will be forever young in our hearts. God Bless you and enjoy your birthday.  Say hi to the pa’s for us and give Toby a big hug. We love you and miss you so much. All our love, Mom, Dad, Matthew, Herbie and Gizzie.

Letter from the I.R.S.

When was the last time you received a great letter from the I.R.S. AHHH…Never.
Well, we are so happy to announce that we received that one letter in a hundred million letters that is good news from the I.R.S.

They gave us our 501c3 Tax-Exempt status for the Richie Pryor Foundation. What????
Yes, they gave us our 501c3 Tax-Exempt status for the Richie Pryor Foundation.

What does that mean?

That means that when you donate to our wonderful charity you get to deduct the donation on your taxes.
What an amazing way to beat the government at their own game.
You help children and adults in need and you get to reduce your net income of your income tax.

It’s a win-win for everyone. So please, don’t wait for someone else to take the initiative. We are looking to help a lot of people in our son’s name.

So please find it in your heart to donate to our cause. Especially, during the holiday season.
Do you really need another Iphone that will smash into a million pieces when you drop it.

Thank you all and God Bless.

Richie, Barbara and Matthew Pryor….It’s All Good….

Emarc Journey program members enjoying their new laptop.

Many thanks to The Emarc Journey program (Maureen and Becky)  for sharing these wonderful pictures with us. These pictures gives us so much peace and happiness. Richie is smiling down upon us and I am quite sure he is saying that is ALL GUCCI.  Thank you all for keeping our son’s legacy alive.

 

Also a big Thank you to Prosper Solutions for donating a new color printer and networking the laptops for the Journey Program.

 

God Bless you all and keep the donations coming in so we can share more happy moments from other people’s lives.

 

Donate

The Richie Pryor Foundation makes it’s first donation to the Emarc’s Journey Program.

We are so proud and honored to have the Emarc’s Journey Program be the first recipient of Richie’s foundation.

Autism Groups

There are two different models connected to the Emarc’s autism groups. At their Reading site they focus on individuals with high and more intense needs. Communication is paramount with this group and the use of technology and adapted sign language is incorporated into an individual’s learning and daily activity. A concrete and consistent daily schedule is required. Individuals in this group are usually supported via lots of prompting and hand on hand techniques. The “Journey program “is their second Autism Group that is based in at Their Burlington Site. The model there is similar to their Reading site however here participants have a more varied schedule of activities that include some community trips. A set schedule is important for activities that are

adapted to meet communication, exercise and sensory needs. Individuals in this group usually have lots of energy where movement is a vital component to the day.

 

Their request for assistive technology for their Journey program was as follows.

A touchscreen laptop w/CD ROM.
Their computer lab can be very over stimulating for the members of journey and lab time is limited to one hour per week.
a quiet environment inside of journey room with only one computer would benefit participants and instructor.

If you look closely at the cloud above the building. What do you see? I asked several people and it looks like a turtle. Richie always gave his mom turtles. This is truly a sign that we are on the right path.

Their daily practice with

*Board maker
* ASL sign language
* safety signs
*Journey program art and greeting card production
*link  internet  to television for autism specific social skill and sensory instruction
* ABA behavior plan reinforcement
* confidentiality and timely documentation with EMARC, DDS, group homes, and families.

The Richie Pryor Foundation met their request by donating a touchscreen laptop with CD-ROM drive that will benefit their members in so many amazing ways. With a special thanks to our dear friend, Maureen O’Brien (Director of Community Relations at Emarc) for matching our donation to provide the program with 2 brand new touchscreen laptops.

 

 

Matt Pryor, Prosper Solutions Help Desk Manager

Another special thanks to our wonderful friends at Prosper Solutions  who donated their time and resources to configure and setup the laptops. They also donated a color laser printer to The Emarc in order to fulfill the color printing needs of the Journey Program. We thank them for their continued support of such a fantastic organization.

 

 

 

 

It was such an emotional day for Barbara, Matthew and I. To help this wonderful organization and their members in Richie’s name. We are so proud to make differences in people’s lives, while keeping Richie’s memory alive and building on his legacy. We know Richie is proud of us as we made a commitment to help as many people as we can in his honor.
Love to all and thank you so much for your donations which makes this world a better place.

God bless everyone because “It’s All Good”.
Richie, Barbara and Matthew Pryor

 

For more information on Richie’s foundation or to donate please visit us at. www.richiepryorfoundation.org.

For more information on the wonderful work and the other programs that Emarc has to offer,  please visit their website at www.theemarc.org.

 

 

We are proud to announce that Richie’s Foundation is 100% operational. It’s all Gucci.

We have finally completed the setup of the Richie Pryor Foundation. Setting up this foundation has been an inspirational and healing journey for our family. We are so proud to be helping people all over the country in Richie’s name. Through this foundation we will keep Richie’s memory alive and bring comfort to those who need it.

I just finished the donation button that will allow all of our generous followers to donate using a credit card. You may also send a check to our Mailing address. Donating will make you feel happier and us as well. Please read the following blog post to see how. Want to be Happier, Give More. Give Better.

We have submitted our application to the state for our 501c3, which will provide us with our non-profit status. Therefore, until we receive our approval we will not be able to give out tax-deductible receipts. However, once we obtain our 501c3 we will send out receipts to all the angels that have donated.

Now for the real work. Barbara, Matthew and I will be recruiting an army of angels to help us with this foundation. We will call it our board of saints. Our board will work on fundraising aspects of Richie’s foundation, develop a marketing campaign, create fund raising opportunities, develop an annual gala for everyone to gather and share memories of Richie and DONATE LOTS OF MONEY. The board positions will not be paid. Hey, you get to spend time with Barbara and I. That in itself is priceless.

If anyone is interested in joining our board of saints please send me an e-mail at rpryor64@gmail.com (still have to get foundation e-mail setup). We are looking for individuals that want to help fundraising, marketing, volunteering, etc. I hope to have the board recruited by mid October. I am currently in the middle of writing my book, so time has become a very precious commodity. Plus I have the Gucci boys that distract me at times. Which is a very welcome distraction. Please share this post so we can make our mission come true. Stay tuned for some upcoming blog posts about the people we are helping and our fundraising activities.

God bless you all
Richie, Barbara, Matthew, Toby, Herbie and Gizzie Pryor.
“It’s All Good”

The picture above was taken at Ruth Chris Restaurant in Cancun, Mexico where we celebrated Gucci style, Richie’s 21st birthday. A magical trip that we will remember for eternity.

Five Ways Assistive Technology Helps Children with Down Syndrome

Students with Down syndrome have delays with cognitive ability. Their brains have a delayed reaction when their neurological system sends a message to complete a task. This causes them to take longer to complete a task than their non-disabled classmates. But since federal legislation requires students with learning disabilities to be educated in the same manner (and often the same classrooms) as other children, there has been a need for modifications and tools to assist special needs students in meeting their educational goals.

Assistive technology for Down syndrome is a new method that has been developed specifically to help special needs children in the classroom. It includes any type of equipment or materials that will enhance the child’s learning and make the tasks easier to complete, from scissors with a spring to a shortened pencil or enlarged graphics.

Below are five areas where assistive technology for Down syndrome can assist special needs children in their classrooms.

Cognitive skills

A child with Down syndrome automatically has delays in processing information and working to complete tasks. When special needs students are in the same classroom as non-disabled peers, it is important to gauge the amount of work they are each able to accomplish in the same amount of time.

If a non-disabled student is able to complete a worksheet with 10 problems on it, the Down syndrome student may only be able to complete two of those problems. Assistive technology for Down syndrome comes into play by making the information accessible to a special needs student. This may require using fewer words, enlarging the graphics and lettering or even highlighting key words so the information is not overwhelming in addition to verbal instructions.

Writing skills

A child with Down syndrome tends to have shorter, stubbier fingers and a lowered thumb making their ability to write more difficult. Since some of the wrist bones are not formed, holding regular-sized objects and manipulatives may be more difficult for these students.

Assistive technology for Down syndrome has learned that slanted desks or a three-ring binder turned sideways allows a Down syndrome student to compensate for the lack of mobility in their wrists.

Also providing shortened or triangular-shaped pencils can help them in holding their pencils properly.

Cutting skills

Assistive technology for Down syndrome has also created awareness that children with the condition often have trouble using the scissors provided in the classroom. Their hand mobility does not allow the ease of opening and closing the scissors since that motion is difficult.

The aid provided are scissors with springs that are fixed to automatically open once it has been shut. Since the Down syndrome children are unable to learn that motion through their own experience, they are able to simulate it through these special scissors.

Tactile opportunities

Every child needs those opportunities to work with their hands and learn through experience and touching. But children with Down syndrome, even more so, need tactile experiences for their growth and development. Assistive technology for Down syndrome offers some creative tactile ideas for allowing special needs children to learn in their school environment.

Among these suggestions are forming their letters and numbers in Play-Doh or making them in shaving cream on their desk. Children who are just beginning to learn the alphabet can use enlarged letters and glue to trace the letters on the paper. It is not only a fun way to learn, but encourages the children to follow the lines while tracing with their pencils.

Technology

Children are beginning to learn how to use computers and other electronic technology at a younger age. In school, it is just as important to begin utilizing that knowledge and applying it to their school work as well.

Smartboards are being installed in most elementary school classrooms and is an excellent tool for students with special needs. Lessons can be created that allow the students to move objects with their fingers and draw lines to connect sounds with the correlating words and use a mouse to gain fine motor skills.

All in all, assistive technology is an asset to any school with special needs children, especially the tools designed for children with Down syndrome.

http://education.cu-portland.edu/blog/classroom-resources/five-ways-assistive-technology-helps-those-with-down-syndrome/

Governor Baker’s 9C cuts

Looking to resolve a $768 Million projected shortfall for this fiscal year (ending on June 30, 2015), Governor Charles Baker released his reductions on February 3.  He stated:  “These adjustments were considered carefully, understanding that the decisions we make today are crucial to implementing responsible fiscal planning for the future.  Thankfully, our response to the spending problem we inherited protects local aid, taxpayers and critical services for people without drawing from the rainy day fund.  We recognize that some proposals represent one-time fixes and that further structural changes will be needed to correct the spending imbalance for next year and beyond.”

Most disability services were protected on this round of cuts. We are concerned about some pending changes in MassHealth for the PCA (personal care attendant) and AFC (adult family care/group family care) programs.  The eligibility bar has been raised for both (see pdf) as well as days cut in AFC.  Thank you to Governor Baker and his leadership team, particularly EOHHS Secretary Mary Lou Sudders.  Reductions that did take place maintained budget totals above FY’14 figures with one exception.  After experiencing service reductions in November at DDS (Dept. of Developmental Services), we were fortunate that the Governor chose to protect all supports there.  Service cuts in DDS would have had a doubling effect given the time of year and federal reimbursement projected for state dollars spent.

Governor Baker has been quoted several times to the effect that the state has a “spending problem”.  The governor also noted that some of the steps his team took are one-time fixes.  As advocates for people with disabilities, The Arc took tough stands in the past supporting then Gov. Weld’s reallocation of disability resources and the re-development of community care.  Today most of those savings are gone and investments are needed for families who have an urgent need for support.  For example, the November 9C cuts reduced Family Support to below the 2009 spending figure.  Mirroring this reality are the line items which fund the partnership between education (DESE) and DDS, the autism waiver, and to a lesser extent, Turning 22 services. These are all cost effective programs.

We look forward to working with the administration to address these unmet needs and thank the Governor and his cabinet for their strong support of disability services reflected in the recent decisions.

http://thearcofmass.org/governors-9c-cuts/