It has been awhile!! 12 days in!

Hello everyone!

It has been crazy since I have entered into British Columbia. Between not having internet on ferry’s and short stays other places. Finally, I get a minute to lay in bed without falling asleep within seconds. I have changed many of my plans, which is never a bad thing. I have experienced aspects of this adventure that I did not anticipate, which is always thrilling. The ride into Juneau was wonderful. The ferry itself was slightly boring, however I met some pretty amazing people. People from all around the globe. A few of them I believe I will keep in contact with for years to come. It is amazing how connections can be made with only 36 hours. I do wish that I could have spent much longer in Alaska. If I could go back I would change some things. Although I know Alaska is not going anywhere. I was able to have a bite to eat with some people that Dr. George Drake (Associate Dean of Education WCU) connected me with. They were wonderful people. Then, I was able to get a bed at a youth hostel in downtown Juneau for $12! I will tell you it is so easy to travel! If you have a brain and are resourceful anything can happen. Anyway, the next day in Juneau I was able to get over to REACH. That program they have going on over there is wonderful! They provide services to individuals with disabilities from 3 years old through adulthood. They work with individuals in schools, homes, and throughout the community. I have a lot of information on them that I would love to go into if anyone would like any other information. Furthermore, REACH provides a community project that is designed to bring all members of the community with disabilities or not to do art together. This project is called, “the Canvas”. They do an array of different kinds of art that ranges from painting to ceramics and everything in between. The Canvas works to bring artists from the community in to teach different kinds of art classes for any members of the community that wish to participate. The classes are very affordable. One of the goals is to bring people out to work along side of each other whether someone has a disability or not. In turn, those who have disabilities will benefit greatly through socialization, while also allowing others to better understand those who have disabilities. I have a lot of information about the Canvas if anyone would like any other information. This program is really making a difference within Juneau’s community and I felt that with only a few hours spend there. Later that day I went to the glacier with a couple of friends that I met. The sights were gorgeous, but again I wish I could have went much deeper into Alaska to really see the soul of the state. I feel as though I barely brushed the surface. Once again Alaska is not going anywhere! I loved this trip even though it was so short. I met incredible people that I will indeed stay in contact with, while also seeing so much beauty. Today, I was fortunate enough to ride Vancouver Island. It was wonderful! real beauty lays just in this Island alone. I believe that much of the Twilight Films were shot on this island. I will admit that made me love it even more because I have been listening to the audio books on repeat while I ride. The ferry rides have been boring, but very scenic. I am eager to get on the road soon. This trip has really been a trip of a life time for me, but I am still eager to see it through. I hope to still get home by Friday. A lot still needs to be figured out with my clinic visits tomorrow and motorcycle maintenance. I will keep everyone updated.

350 miles since I last updated blog!

Remember please email me if you have any questions! I also look forward to the conversations I will have when I return home.

Remember to keep following me on:
Twitter: AKbound4autism
Instagram: Alaskabound4autism

We broke $2000 with online donations and check donations! Keep it coming. We are almost to our goal!!!!! Donate at: http://www.youcaring.com/nonprofits/alaska-bound-for-autism/53795

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Ferry pictures.

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Some pictures from the Canvas at REACH in Juneau.

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The glacier in Juneau!

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Where in the world is Jimmy?!?

Jimmy is doing well and really enjoying his adventures in Alaska.  He is back on a ferry on his way down to Prince Rupert and will be back on his bike tomorrow bound for Vancouver.  I have only been able to text with him a few times due to access issues but he seems very jazzed about his Juneau visit and cannot wait to get back on the blog to let everyone know about it.  Until then, have a great weekend and thank you for all your support!

Dr. Murphy

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Spreading Awareness

Jimmy has no doubt been spreading awareness across the country and into Canada.  It has been really great to hear not only his stories, but to see the people who have started to follow his journey throughout the trip via word-of-mouth discussions about his mission.  Not only is Jimmy spreading awareness, but by continuing to share his story with others, our supporters have continued to spread awareness as well.  I can’t wait to hear all about Jimmy’s visits, and am really shocked by the continued outpour of support as well as the amount of donations we keep receiving.  Our aim is to help the families at SPARC as much as possible, and with your continued support and spread of awareness, we will undoubtedly be able to make a big difference for those families and SPARC as a whole.

Thank you!

-Liz

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Chatting with Jimmy

I have had occasion over the last few days to have a few phone conversations with Jimmy.  He sounds terrific and is really enjoying his journey.  I think he has surprised himself with how well he has acclimated to the long days on the bike.  His hours on the bike give him lots of time to think and reflect.  I am looking forward to his visit in Juneau.  From what I understand, increasing access to services for individuals with autism has been a more challenging process in this area of the country.  I anticipate some eye-opening conversations for Jimmy based on the limitations associated with a geographical area such as Juneau.  Having grown up on the east coast of the United States, Jimmy has easy access and knowledge of special education services. Comparatively speaking, supports for autism abound in our area of the country.  As he experienced on our trip to Eleuthera over spring break, special education services are entirely dictated by geographical region.  There are no “clinics” or site-based services available in either Eleuthera (average temp 83F) or Juneau where the average temperature is below 40F. Completely different regions and I look forward to hearing Jimmy’s perspectives on the similarities and differences in the availability of services between these diverse areas.

He has a few more hours of the ferry ride left before he lands in Juneau.  He will visit with a local family this evening and then meet with Millie Ryan, Executive Director,  and her staff of REACH.

A little about REACH:

REACH offers programs that provide housing, independent living, respite for caregivers, grants, job coaching and skill development, employment, developmental screenings and assessments, education, information and referrals to children and adults with developmental delays or disabilities throughout the northern part of Southeast Alaska.

REACH is Juneau’s 4th largest private employer with 300 employees serving over 400 individuals and families.  In addition to Juneau, REACH has an offices in Haines and staff in Petersburg. From these locations, services are available to residents of Skagway, Hoonah, Wrangell, Yakutat, and other communities.

www. reachak.org

Don’t forget to track Jimmy and check out his donation page.  We still have t-shirts available for anyone who would like a commemorative souvenir of Jimmy’s amazing journey!!

To track Jimmy: http://share.findmespot.com/shared/faces/viewspots.jsp?glId=0lbQtEeAd4rL65b5kX7JyiqF7slSvb5ND

Remember to donate via the blog every dollar matters to these families. Thank you so much. http://www.youcaring.com/nonprofits/alaska-bound-for-autism/53795

Also follow the:

Twitter: AKbound4autism
Instagram: Alaskabound4autism

~ Dr. Murphy

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Ferry spotty service. Day seven complete

I will blog tomorrow!

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Day six completed.

Day six is done!  Wow, what a journey so far.  When I arrive at my destinations each day I typically have at most an hour or two before I need to sleep. The past two days have been thrilling to say the least. They have been filled with ups and downs. The beauty of British Columbia is never ending. When I was in the States I would get such a thrill out of seeing a few snow capped mountains. After travel through British Columbia for the past two days it has become the norm for me. I have such an incredible experience so far. I am now in Prince Rupert. I can finally sleep in for a little while! Maybe 6 or 7am! I am set to go over to the ferry by 12pm. We should be departing by 330pm or so. I am very eager to cross over into Alaska! I have been bound for Alaska for these past 6 days and I am finally able to get there tomorrow! I have not really let all of it set in. I have just been getting up each day and going for a ride. It’s hard for me to believe the map when I look at it. 450 miles today.

As for the changes…
I will be cutting things a little short. I know a few of my riding buddies may be in disagreement, but I have to listen to my mind and body.

June 5th – Wednesday – I will arrive in Juneau on Wednesday night.

June 6th – Thursday, I will meet Mille Ryan to discuss how individuals with autism are receiving services in Juneau. I will be getting back on the ferry to Prince Rupert at 830pm.

June 7th – Friday – I will be on the ferry.

June 8th – Saturday – I will arrive in Prince Rupert early in the morning and I will ride to Prince George.

June 9th – Sunday – I will ride from Prince George to Vancouver.

June 10th – Monday – I will stay in Vancouver for a couple of nights and I will be meeting with professionals from the clinics in Vancouver to discuss how individuals with autism are receiving services. I will be also getting some maintenance done on the motorcycle.

June 11th – Tuesday – I will ride to Billings, MT from Vancouver.

June 12th – Wednesday, I ride to Tomah, WI from Billings, MT.

June 13th – Thursday, I will ride from Tomah, WI to HOME! June 13th.

Now this is still all up in the air, especially the journey home from Vancouver. Keep track of me and keep following. I have decided to change this because I have a hard time sitting still. I like to keep moving, so I decided to just rely on the rest that I will get on the ferry and in Vancouver. That will be enough rest for me.

As for my dinner conversations with Dr. Marissa Congdon. I learned a great deal from her. She was kind enough to send me an email with a lot of the information that we discussed over dinner. Due to my exhaustion, I will be copy and paste it directly. If time and energy permits, I will blog more on this on another night. If nothing else, I would love to have conversations about this experience when I get home!
Marissa writes…
Families that work for Microsoft and military families have insurance that pay for ABA services- The family that I work with in the home is a military family and their insurance pays for the in home/school services I provide. Many of the families that participate in the community base social skills groups I work in have services covered through their insurance through Microsoft insurance. In the western washington there are many military bases and military families- and there are a good amount of ABA service providers for these families. As far as diagnosis in this area, I am uncertain. I know there is some diagnosis services through the University but not certain exactly what that consists of. Various BCBA and other consulting firms provide services for children with ASD in this area, of course some BCBAs are better than others (like everywhere else). There only one feeding specialist in the area (that provide similar services that SPARC does to help with feeding issues ), there is currently a one year waiting list to get in.
Marissa writes…
Families that work for Microsoft and military families have insurance that pay for ABA services- The family that I work with in the home is a military family and their insurance pays for the in home/school services I provide. Many of the families that participate in the community base social skills groups I work in have services covered through their insurance through Microsoft insurance. In the western washington there are many military bases and military families- and there are a good amount of ABA service providers for these families. As far as diagnosis in this area, I am uncertain. I know there is some diagnosis services through the University but not certain exactly what that consists of. Various BCBA and other consulting firms provide services for children with ASD in this area, of course some BCBAs are better than others (like everywhere else).
there only one feeding specialist in the area (that provide similar services that SPARC does to help with feeding issues ), there is currently a one year waiting list to get in.

Finally there is the Haring Center- which consists of the Care Clinic, the Applied Research Unit, and the EEU- experimental education unit. I have had experience working in the EEU and have done two of my three studies at the EEU. My first year as a doc student I worked in the preschool classroom room to get practicum hours necessary in the BCBA program. The preschool class rooms are inclusive of children with a variety of different disabilities and typically developing children (about half and half). The teacher to student ratio is about 3 or 4 children (if you include all kids in the class) to 1 teacher… a great environment. The teachers are some of the best teachers I have ever worked with. There is also the DATA project. Kids in the DATA classroom all have ASD and spend half the day in a preschool classroom and the 2 to 3x a week they spend half the day in DATA. The teacher to student ratio in DATA is about 2 students for every 1 teacher- these are amazing teachers as well. In DATA they work on specific skills with each child in a small group and 1:1 format.

Here is a link to the EEU website if you would like look at it : http://www.haringcenter.washington.edu/eeu

Everything we discussed was really incredible and enlightening for me. Again, I would love to have further conversations about this with anyone who expresses interest.

Thank you again to everyone for all of your support. I will be on the ferry tomorrow and I hope to take hundreds of pictures. Keep an eye out.
Remember to follow me at Twitter: AKbound4autism
Instagram: Alaskabound4autism

Keep the donations coming! Everyone at SPARC and I really appreciate it!
http://www.youcaring.com/nonprofits/alaska-bound-for-autism/53795

-Jimmy

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Trip Update

Hi Everyone!

We continue to be so grateful for everyone’s continued support of Jimmy’s journey. I was able to speak with Jimmy over the weekend and he is in great spirits. He says that being on the bike now feels like the ‘norm’ and being off the bike feels strange! He has decided he does not need as much recovery time as originally planned so we will be modifying his schedule a bit which will allow him to see everything but get home a few days earlier. We will post the modified schedule later today. Jimmy is only one drive-day away from the breathtaking ferry ride he will take up to through the straight and in to Juneau.

Jimmy, we are all so proud of you!

Dr. Murphy

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