Adventures close to home

Yesterday we took a trip to an archeological excavation that is located within walking distance from home. The plan is to build a residential area at the site once the excavation is done. To be honest there isn’t that much to see unless you have someone with you who can tell you what you are looking at and lucky for us, I had my wife with me and she had the opportunity to listen to the archeologists explain the excavation and the findings.

The archeologists had stripped of the first 1-1½ foot of dirt and then created a lot of small holes everywhere they thought they might find something interesting and according to the archeologists they have found proof on more or less static settlement on the site since the 4th century, some of the items found points to merchants or a trading post.

According to the archeologists they now have material to examine for the next 2 years before they publish a report from the excavation. I’m looking forward to the report.

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Is that a castle?

Castles aren’t what castles used to be in in the stories. Today me and my son visited Wik castle some 30-40 minute drive from home. The castle is situated in a beautiful park that was our actual goal as there are two multi-caches hidden there.

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The park consists mostly of oak and hazel, and even the old and dead oak was left alone so they would attract bugs and birds as an effort to preserve the wildlife in the area. The oak-trees blocked most of the direct sun out and kept the temperature at a perfect level for our 2 mile walk through the park.

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When on our way back to the car I noticed that one of my favorite “smelly” flowers was just starting to bloom, it’s the lilac shrub.

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Did I mention that the whole area is full of history? Just a couple of kilometers away from Wik castle I found this 11th century rune stone depicting an elk-hunt. In the picture is a hunter on skis and one riding a horse. You can also see the elk and a hunting falcon that just has attacked the elk.

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Tales from the trail V

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Just 30 minutes south of where we live there is a forest area called Lunsen. The northern part of Lunsen is today a nature reserve that is the home to many endangered species. Through Lunsen goes a hiking trail called Upplandsleden and in the middle of Lunsen is a small cabin that contains 4 beds and that is open to anyone who needs to spend a night here.

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As you probably can guess there is at least a handful of geocaches in a place like this so my son and I took our backpacks and left for Lunsen one day. It was a wonderful hike in sunny weather and perfect temperature. The trail is full of roots and stones so it was also some extra exercise for my son after an operation where they lengthened his Achilles tendons, both to strengthen his ankles and to train some balance. This day we went from west, to the cabin in the middle and then back out, next time we will walk the trail from east and to the cabin.

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I also think it’s time for a small update on the C25K challenge that I’m trying to follow. When I started I thought that jogging 90 seconds with 60 seconds walking between was though and never thought I’d manage to jog 30 minutes or 5 km, guess what, yesterday I actually jogged 20 minutes without any walking.

Soon back on track.

My son was away the last week so there was no geocaching, and it’s just as well as I had to send my smartphone on some warranty repairs. I noticed how handicapped one gets if one is accustomed to the services of a smartphone and then suddenly the smartphone gets taken away from you.

But now both my phone and my son is back so we’ll soon be back on track with the tales from the trails.

On the other hand it was nice to get some “extra time” to place on different projects.

• I’ve managed to complete all mini-projects for the python class that I took part in at courser.org. This will be a valuable addition to my mystery cache solving toolkit as well as a good help for me in my work.

• I’ve had the energy to finalize my application to the CCE bootcamp and the certification so soon-ish I’ll be a certified forensics computer examiner. I’ve always said that I don’t need a certification to know what I can and can’t do but I’ve discovered that a piece of paper tells customers and employers more than my promises.

• Training. I think I’ve started to understand the thing with running. By changing my running style I feel an ache in different parts of my body and as long as the ache is in muscles I feel I can overcome it by training those muscles. I’ve reached the point where I can run 16 minutes of 30 minutes training and I’m confident in that I’ll be able to run 10 km in 50 minutes once I lose some weight. I’ve actually decided to take my son to Seattle once I reach that point, guess why?

• Model building. I’ve completed two of the planes I’ve had sitting on my desk for quite some while. I build models mostly in evenings while I wait for my son to fall asleep so I can get into my own bed without worrying that my son will wander into the kitchen or do anything else that he isn’t meant to do when the rest of the house is sleeping. Normally he sleeps well once he falls asleep but unless someone keeps an eye on him while he is trying to fall asleep he will get up before he falls asleep making it impossible to sleep.

Here in Sweden the spring has transformed into full summer, school has ended for the semester and I’m mostly concentrating on finishing of things before my summer-vacation even if it’s hard to keep focus when I’m thinking of all the fun we have planned for this summer.

Quality of Life

This will be a post on the subject autism and what kind of help is available in the community. I’ll try to explain The Swedish Act concerning Support and Services for Persons with Certain Functional Impairments (LSS) and I would like to hear about the support offered to parents in our situation around the world.

LSS is an entitlement law that guarantees good living conditions for people with extensive and permanent impairments, ensuring that they receive the help they need in daily life and that they can influence the support and service they receive.

Those who are qualify for measures pursuant to this Act are entitled to the following:

  1. Advice and other personal support.
    Individuals who qualify for measures pursuant to this Act may be entitled to support from experts who, in addition to their professional knowledge, also have special knowledge about what it is like to live with serious functional impairments. A social worker, psychologist, physical therapist, preschool adviser, speech therapist, occupational therapist, or dietitian can provide such support.
  2. Personal assistance
    To be entitled to personal assistance, the individual must need help with meals, personal hygiene, dressing and undressing,communicating with others, or need some other assistance that requires extensive knowledge of people with functional impairments. The municipality may provide assistance directly or the individual may obtain financial aid, in which case the individual acts as an employer and hires someone to provide assistance.
  3. Companion Service
    Individuals who do not have personal assistance may be entitled to companion service. Companion service shall be personalized, tailored to meet the needs of the individual to have an active social life.
  4. Contact Person
    In order to reduce social isolation, assist in participation in leisure activities, and provide advice in daily situations, individuals may sometimes need help from a contact person, who can make it easier for the individual to live independently.
  5. Relief service in the home
    Relief service is available both as a regular service and for unexpected situations.
  6. Short stay away from home
    The purpose of a short stay away from home is to provide the individual with the opportunity for recreation and a change of environment while providing relief for relatives.
  7. Short period of supervision for schoolchildren over the age of 12
    Schoolchildren over the age of 12 are entitled to supervision before and after school and during holidays.
  8. Living arrangements in a family home or in a residence with special services for children and adolescents
    Children and young people who cannot live with their parents may be entitled to live with another family or in a residence that provides special services. This should be a complement to the parental home both for the children who can live with their parents part of the time and for those who cannot live at home at all.
  9. Residence with special services for adults or other specially adapted housing
    Residential arrangements may vary, but the most common forms are group housing and service housing.
  10. Daily activities
    Working age individuals who are not gainfully employed or studying are entitled to assistance participating in daily activities

In principle, these special initiatives are free for the individual, with a few exceptions.

There is of course a lot of paperwork to do and people to convince before you can take part of these services but once you are through the bureaucratic barrier an individual plan is formulated in order to decide which services are needed. The services in them self are sometimes a real lifesaver but the people carrying out the services are often young and underpaid so it is a bit hard to obtain continuity in the people who works with my son and introducing new people to my son and his disabilities is never a fun thing to do. Today my son has 10 nights a month in a short stay away from home service so we can sleep a little extra and spend more quality time with my daughter and on Thursdays he has a companion service that takes him to a “members café” to meet other youths with similar disabilities.

I know some other EU countries have similar laws but I don’t know how they differ and where they exist so I’m curious, what support are you entitled to and what services do you use? Does it work well and in what way has it helped the impaired individual or the family?

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