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Organizing For Special Needs by Lisa Alishio

I will be writing about organizing for a variety of special needs, based on over a decade of experience working with people throughout their lifespan with injuries and disabilities. I will try to touch base on most common medical diagnosis' that people may frequently experience. We will cover ideas for those living with brain injury, wheelchair users, blindness/low vision, arthritis, and folks with very low endurance due to a variety of conditions, among others. If there is a special needs topic which interests you, feel free to email me with suggestions.

Latest Posts:

The Challenge of Time Management

Does it seem impossible to imagine a day when you aren't stressed out about being somewhere on time?

Do you frequently tell yourself that if your life was different (different job, less children, more support), things would be easier?

Life can be easier with a shift in how you look at your time.

By rethinking your schedule, you can create more calm in your life, and in the lives of those who count on you.

1) Keep a Calendar and write down everything

  • Big Appointments
  • Recurring Activities
  • A list of things to do that day



posted on: 2/20/2008 12:30:00 PM  by Lisa Alishio
category: Special Populations

The Brain and Memory Support

... or "I don't have a brain injury, but I sure as heck can't remember those people's names either."

A common result of brain injuries is memory loss.

We can have memory loss from brain injuries, strokes, serious illnesses, or stressful events.

Many people complain about their memory.

Our ability to recall things can fluctuate depending on our natural abilities, our health, and what is going on in our life at any given time.

How does forgetting things impact your life?

1) You are embarrassed...


posted on: 2/13/2008 12:30:00 PM  by Lisa Alishio
category: Special Populations

Solutions in A Chemical World

When I picked up the paper today, I read about a Seattle pediatirician, Dr. Sathyanarayana , who recommends that parents limit the amount of lotions, powder, and shampoos they use on their infants.

In a federally funded study she conducted at the University of Washington, it was discovered that babies who had been treated with these products had twice the level of 3 different chemicals called phthalates in their urine than babies who had not.

Don't expect that your newborn nursery or doctor should be able to tell you about these things. There is so much information in the world, and we must pick and choose what is important to us. ...


posted on: 2/6/2008 12:30:00 PM  by Lisa Alishio
category: Special Populations

Living In a Chemical World

In the past 4 decades a woman's risk of getting breast cancer or thyroid problems have greatly increased. We are surrounded by items which are the marvel of modern science.


posted on: 1/30/2008 12:30:00 PM  by Lisa Alishio
category: Special Populations

Create Well Being with Communication

Are you someone who tries to make everyone else happy?

Do you find yourself stressed out and sometimes even resenting the commitments in your life?

It seems so cliche to say that you must take care of yourself before you take care of others. What does this even mean?

It is o.k to say NO!

People will reflect back to you how you feel about yourself and your time. If you have never had boundaries they will expect this of you. If it seems that you "need" to do things for other people, they will fill that need.


posted on: 1/16/2008 12:30:00 PM  by Lisa Alishio
category: Special Populations

Information Overload!

In this age of information, we can find ourselves buried with junk mail, catalogs, magazines, bills, emails and unsolicited phone calls.

What can you do to reduce these distractions, simplify our lives, and respond to what really needs our attention?


1) Contact www.catalogchoice.org to stop catalogs in your mailbox.
Doing it now will eliminate something from your "To-Do" list.

2) If you don't need the yellow pages, then look at the marketing number and call to stop delivery.
It's that simple, and you wont' have to haul them out to the recycle bin again, while thinking about the tremendous amount of wasted paper.


posted on: 1/9/2008 12:30:00 PM  by Lisa Alishio
category: Special Populations


Showing our gratitude and love draws more of these same feelings our way.

It is the greatest gift we have as a human being, to give of ourselves and let our light shine.

If we have a disability that affects our writing abilities, or our speech we may have to be more creative. With a little effort or help...we can all find a way to share.
It can be almost magical to see the amount of love you get back when you put an effort into giving.

People want to be connected.

By showing kindness, we are making our life easier and better.Anyone we remember in this way is going to want to make the world a nicer place for us too.


posted on: 1/2/2008 12:30:00 PM  by Lisa Alishio
category: Special Populations

Living Well In A Healthy Home

Well, to quote the elementary school kids...

People who have chronic illnesses or spend some time in hospitals are more likely to become hosts to "cooties" than the general population.

We'll look at some of those unwanted house guests that make our bodies home.

There is a lot of talk in the media about both community acquired and hospital acquired staphylococus infections.

It has always been my belief that it is better to be informed about health issues, rather than ignorant. Of course, no one wants to live in fear, so how can being educated about possible health risks help us?


posted on: 12/26/2007 12:30:00 PM  by Lisa Alishio
category: Special Populations

Creating Sanctuary in Medical Crisis

Several years ago my then 12 year old daughter was hospitalized for a perforated appendix.
By the time we discovered what was wrong she was VERY sick, and ended up spending over a month in the hospital over a 3 month period. We were re-admitted 4x for complications which required surgical intervention.

How did I create any sense of structure, continuity, and safety?
As a woman who has worked in a hospital for over a decade and has a professional organizing business, I will share what I have found helpful.

You never really know how long your stay might be.


posted on: 12/19/2007 12:30:00 PM  by Lisa Alishio
category: Special Populations

Supporting Our Elders in Their Homes

It is often a revelation to older folks, that they still feel mentally like they did 30 years ago, but the body seems to be doing its own thing.

We want to be active, useful, and to do what we always did without worrying about it. All of the worry we heap on them seems to strengthen the idea that they are no longer useful, at least in the ways that have always mattered.

How can we help without offending?
It is a very fine line, and sometimes takes an injury for an elder to let someone help.


posted on: 12/5/2007 12:30:00 PM  by Lisa Alishio
category: Special Populations

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About Lisa:

Lisa Alishio, COTA/L, is a professional organizer with a background in pediatric and adult occupational therapy. Her intention is to help people of all ages and abilities to "Live Well in their Home".

Lisa's Website:


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