Des Moines, I am Proud to Be a Resident! Our City Loves Rehab as Much as I Do!

Reading Time: 3 minutes

As a rehabber, it’s my natural tendency to want to change things to function better or differently than from before! Of course, my focus is rehabbing people, but you could ask anyone around me and know that I also rehab myself!, plants, animals, used items, and just about anything else that engages my rehabber instincts!

Image result for instinct never doubt

I love to see improvements within people and within existing places. I get a thrill from seeing enhancements, more functioning, beauty and lovely spaces and places to visit! Simply put: a high standard quality of life is good for all.

I’ve been a DesMoinesian since the mid-1980s and have witnessed our town improve greatly! Have you visited the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden recently? While touring the “new” outdoor area, I kept repeating “wow” over and over.  The pathways and waterfall are  spectacular!

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I’m happy the rainbow sculpture didn’t go far!

I’ve always had a fascination with along the rivers and the Capitol area…and downtown too!!

Luckily, I often see our beautiful Capitol building ~ 

 Built 1871-1886        

The city of Des Moines is really cool which is incredible considering our town was stalled for awhile. I’m proud to be a resident and am excited to be a part of where we all are going!  Even Cowles Commons, formerly Nollen Plaza has been rehabbed! My motto  “use what you got!”  must be aligned with the City! 

“Crusoe Umbrella” It was also a good beer holder!

My brother Steven and I loved going to Seniom Sed in the 80s. I’m also  fond of Gray’s Lake and recall how it was so many years ago, pretty hidden and not nearly as impressive as it is now.  Gray's Lake BridgeHacky Sack Anyone

My brother loved to play hacky sack with his buddies in the grassy area near the north entrance. Steven’s plaque is on the southeast  end of the bridge. In Memory of Steven J Prochnow Hacky Sack Any1?

Des Moines continues rehabbing our downtown and East Village in an incredibly tasteful fashion! Our outdated buildings are turned into new beauties. We are seeing lofts going up in warehouses, the new YMCA, and what will be of the Younkers building? I used to work there as a clerical temp in the marketing department in the 80s!

Have you been inside Central Campus, the DMPS building which undergoes rehabilitation as well? Of course, our libraries have seen great improvements, and the sculpture garden is worth a visit! I could go on bragging about how Des Moines loves rehabilitation and so do I!  

My brother Steven was an avid skateboarder. He would be thrilled about the plans for a skate park along the river, along with a sculpture that is proposed for skaters to actually use! It’s size is going to WOW us!

Image result for wow spelledWOW Rose!

I’m here in Des Moines, Iowa, yet can work on a case across the country! Please contact me for help on a litigated case involving work and disability. As a rehabber, you’ll find I focus on quality of life and will instinctually put my best effort forward!

P.S. As the city transforms, I can happily add to this evergreen post. 

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My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

 

People and Their Pets…Got Cat? A Good Vocational Assessment Question to Ask

Reading Time: 5 minutesOriginally published on: Dec 17, 2012/updated Dec 17, 2019 and posted again today!

When I meet with an individual to perform a vocational assessment, I ask questions to gather information about their work and life background. One question I ask, underlying other questions regarding psycho-social factors, is about pet ownership. Asking about pet ownership during an evaluation can tell me a lot about a person!

Got Cat? Dog? Rabbit? Snake? Fish? Iguana? Bearded Dragon? Horse?

Of course pet ownership is not for everyone, but if the individual is a pet owner, and a discussion develops about the topic, it offers me insight about the person. Pet ownership allows for psycho-social benefits accruing within an individual from the one-to-one type interactions with their pets.

Pet ownership can also influence broader social interactions and perceptions, experiences of sense of community (you recognize the dog going for a walk in your hood!), and social capital at the neighborhood level.  (Ever been to a dog park? Or even to the pet store that allows pets! You’ll know what I’m referring to!) In addition, a pet owner’s sense of health and well-being often emerges as a valuable and positive feature of daily living.

SamiJo The Love of My Life!
SamiJo The Love of My Life!

This is SamiJo, the Love of My Life!

Okay: At one point in my life a few years back, I had 3 cats (Felix, SamiJo and Alaska*), a dog (Bella*), a guinea pig (Peggy), and a fish (Bluebee). Oh, and a hedge hog (Sandslash). My beloved rabbit, (a mini rex named Patches) died last week.

*Update as of 12/17/19: Alaska is now the #1 only puddy in the house, and Bella has penetrated the interior as well (she used to be an outdoor dog). Along with these two loves, I’m also the pet mother to a fish named Focus and a rabbit named Mollie.

It’s a big responsibility to own a pet. You must provide basic care which includes food, water, shelter, veterinary care, and exercise for your pet. And you must abide by the City’s bylaws around pets and animals. 

Another view into pet ownership is that of having the physical ability or mental capacity to care for something other than yourself. In fact, this could change in a positive or a negative way based on experiences in your life.

For Bella’s 5th birthday awhile back, she received a dog pass to the Riverwalk Dog Park!  Another update as of 12/17/19: Bella  no longer likes dog parks…at age 15 she mostly just likes to be fed treats, be petted and beloved by those who she knows and likes how they smell! 

In May of 2019, Bella experienced an “old dog condition” diagnosed as idiopathic vestibular disease.  This is an inner ear problem leading to dizziness, just like a human can experience.  It was very distressful to witness my dog going through the acute stages of this condition, because I thought she was experiencing a stroke. Her head was tilted way to the right and she kept on twirling around that way. I had to drive her to the emergency vet clinic where she received this diagnosis, and then back to our vet for follow-up. She was put on medications and her condition mostly resolved other than a slight tilt to her beautiful head!

Bella December 2020

Update: in August of 2020 she had another episode, however this time it resolved on its own and she was not prescribed medications. The vet said it is unusual to have two flareups of this disease within a little more than a year.

Patches

Patches was a grateful rabbit

Patches had plush, velvet like fur and a happy personality. He was a mini rex, a small rabbit, weighing 3-4 pounds. A mini rex is known as “The Velveteen Rabbit”.  Patches liked to lunge out of his wooden hut when his cage door was opened. Some people (like my husband) got a little frightened of this burst out, thinking they were in danger! But I saw his behavior as a great show of energy! I also loved his happy hops!

Patches loved rose petals…He ate them! 

Patches always was thankful when he was fed (and especially when he received a treat!) with a little snorty sound. I had noticed he was getting very thin, however he still was eating. And then one morning, he was not lunging out of his hut, and he was very still, yet he was breathing. I checked on him several more times.

Later in the afternoon he did lunge out, although it was a very unusual lunge. He bonked off his litter box and landed on his side. I started to pet him…continuing to stroke his very soft fur…until he died. And the whole time this was happening, my daughter was also experiencing this loss. She, in fact, took on the responsibility (age 15 at the time) to plan a service and bury him.

Think about pets you’ve known and understand why I find it important to ask about pet ownership. Back to the dog park experiences, you learn the dogs’ names, but never ask the owners for theirs, right!? How about the observations of the behaviors (both dogs and the owners) you arrive at to compile evidence about your theory of dog parks!?!

In a previous post on April 2nd 2012, I blogged about another question I ask about the person’s nutritional intake and habits. Want to Heal that Injury? Focus on Your Nutrition!  Healthy nutritional intake is just as important for your body as it is for your pets. Please feed everyone well!

For You Patches. I Loved You!

Image result for purple grape

And for you Mollie, she prefers grapes!

Let me know if you have questions about how I perform a vocational assessment. You can also click over under documents for download to see a sample vocational assessment and evaluation report.

Give me a call at 515-778-0634 or email me amyebotkin@lcpresourcesplus.com to discuss your case and how I could help you help your client. 

Thank you for reading. I’d love to hear your pet stories!

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 My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

Alaska and Her Rehabilitation Plan…Patience Beyond that of a “Normal” Cat Owner!

Reading Time: 5 minutesOkay, another cat blog! Yes, I’m a cat lover and I love all pets and I care for all living creatures! I’m not a cat fanatic, it’s just that felines have been an important part of my life since my teens, and I love cats!

I love to write too. I love my work. I love my family. I love my life! I love a lot actually! Amy means beloved, so it’s reciprocated in many ways : ) Read on please! I’d love it!

Cat Plate
Cat Plate

Little did we know that 3 months after Max my manx was murdered in early 2002 by something in the street, (I don’t love creatures who kill pets, and on the other hand I don’t like it at all when my pets kill creatures), a tiny meow would emit from our neighbor’s garden. Oh my, this long haired kitten was awesome!

Felix! Welcome! (Okay, this blog is not about Felix today!)

Max, (nope this blog not about you either, meooowww) a dearly beloved yet wild cat, found me in ~1987 when I was renting the basement of a brick home in Windsor Heights (it had a pool in the back yard.)

Speaking of cat claws! A word of advice from a long time cat owner, (counselors shouldn’t give advice, but in this case, listen to me!): Don’t think it’d be fun to give a cat a ride on an air mattress in a pool. Trust me. Sure looked like I had open heart surgery!

kitten-3

Alaska, when she was skinny

Now, here’s a blog devoted to Alaska. She’s the cat who strutted on down the street one Spring evening in 2012 (following my son Jacob and his friend Josh) directly into our house and to a bowl full of cat food. Score!

I recall saying “Wow I’ve always wanted a white cat!” She’s all white with beautiful eyes (I love the green one; no, I love the blue one!). Oh dear, upon her arrival she was a very thin stray!

And oh dear, oh my, oh dear, I would have no idea what trouble she would end up causing over the next year or two (…).

You really don’t want to know all the horrid details, but just know her behavior  involved lots of $$$$ due to her destructive nature of clawing at furnishings (another word of advice regarding leather furniture and cat claws, expect your sofa to be a target!) and depositing her scent in various places throughout the house. 

Plus there were even more costs $$$ over veterinary bills due to her actions toward the existing female feline (my love of all cat loves SamiJo.) But Alaska was still a cat I had no plans to give up on! To this day, she’s definitely not the perfect puddy and I don’t expect she ever wants to be in “her eyes”!

When she arrived, she looked like a kitten, however our vet, Dr. Michael Forret, said she was about 7 months old when she decided to ditch being a stray and choose our home. She was hungry and dirty!

Even her ears where filthy. Jacob named her and she has a middle name too, but I don’t think I should let you on to that just yet!

Alaska Our Putty TattyI rehabilitated Alaska TF into one big healthy white cat!

Part of Alaska’s rehabilitation included a lot of touch. She didn’t like being touched much, probably because she had not experienced much touch. To this day, she still will allow being touched only upon her terms and conditions, but I like to make her think she loves being petted which she really does but tries to hide it (cats).

kitten-in-toteAJ & AK bonding!

ArinJune figured out a way to carry her around in a tote bag (and to this day I often find her lounging in one of these she found!) to feel safe. With ongoing rehab,  regular vet care, good food and water, and lots and lots of love and attention, she thrives! Treats are nice too!

AK is much calmer of late into her more mature cat years. She loves the freedom to do what felines do (….sleep…and read above [hunt]…). She continues to be “a wild one” however and she herself does her share of “killing and delivering….” But, how can I stop a cat from that? Her hunting is actually of value to where we live because of an unkept property or two in the hood. But the dismembered gifts by the back door, come on! Enough. I purchased her a new collar with a loud bell that will hopefully help plus she only goes outside about once or twice a day.  

Update, Alaska has not gone outside for the last several years, so, no more worrying about what she’s killing, whew! Plus, after that one cat fight many moons ago (which lead to another visit to the vet, and resulted in stitches and a chipped ear), she prefers the indoors! And that’s where I like her to be! She’s a homey!

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Alaska helping me on a case!

Good communication and problem-solving skills are required in order to counsel others. In my role as a rehab counselor, I truly want to be empathetic and reveal my desire to help people fulfill their goals. Counselors need good listening skills, compassion, and patience while working with individuals who have suffered serious injury and disability.

2012-09-23-13-29-43

She found this case interesting and pauses to reflect!

I know I have patience beyond that of a normal cat owner! Thank you my felines for teaching me how to listen and show my true self.

If I can help you, my attorney reader, help your client with a life care plan that includes vocational rehabilitation, please let me know! Contact me at 515-778-0634 or email  amyebotkin@lcpresourcesplus.com

Thanks for reading! I hope you “loved it!” If you have a cat, maybe I’m motivating you to cuddle up now! Prrrrr

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My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

Free Initial Consultation on Personal Injury Litigation, Give Me a Call!

Reading Time: 4 minutesFree is always my favorite Word of the Day! What about you? Does free rank right up there for you? If you’re not aware, Zombie Burger makes excellent milk shakes, and what’s really special is on your birthday, your shake is free!  Image result for free

The chocolate wedding cake shake is my favorite although it’s really “only a chocolate shake” because Zombie’s wedding cake shake is actually made with a vanilla base.

But, I like to imagine it as a unique shake made by my only daughter (who works there) to help me celebrate my birthday, my wedding anniversary,  and my work anniversary all mixed together deliciously chocolately!Image result for free

Image result for chocolate milkshakeSpoil me, don’t spill me! 

Actually when you think about it, I’m a basic, simple customer considering how many different shakes are available in the shake lab!

Image result for free

Image result for chocolate milkshakeYou and I, my Attorney Reader, can meet and I can offer you free initial consultation to discuss your litigated case and how I might help you help your client!

Free Initial Consultation on Personal Injury Litigation!

I may not foot the bill for your meal (let it be known we can equally share in the cost), but I will offer you a free steel straw to drink your shake! Trust me, any shake tastes better through a steel straw rather than plastic.  

If it’s not your birthday on the day we meet, I will buy you a shake of your choice! And during sips, we can talk about details, how you see my work as helpful, my bill rate, and other business policies and procedures pertinent to involving me on your client’s case. 

If you have questions on a case that have anything to do with work and disability, you need solid and detailed information to base your decisions. I am here to help you design questions and build your case.

Image result for jalapenos cartoonKeep in mind that when we meet (if at Zombie in the East Village), I may even try to motivate you to try my favorite sandwich with extra jalapeno just the way Arin knows I like it ordered!  And I can introduce you personally to the front hosts, a fine, upstanding couple! 

Image result for jalapenos cartoon

Excuse me, I’m losing a bit of focus between thinking about eating ice cream and hot peppers with zombies, and I’m hungry! So at this point in my post, I want you to know I can also help your client by designing a life care plan.  

A plan helps determine lifetime needs and costs of care to address serious injury resulting in permanent disability while highlighting the medical recovery process, current problems and potential complications.

Life care planning that encompasses forensic vocational rehabilitation is a unique concept and I am able to provide this service.  As a certified life care planner, I guarantee I will comb through the healthcare and vocational complexities of your case,  prepare the most comprehensive plan I can for your client, and come prepared to educate a jury should it go to trial.  

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Contact me at 515-778-0634 or email me at    amyebotkin@lcpresourcesplus.com

 Let’s talk briefly and set up a time to meet!

I’ve uploaded an updated resume along with a sample plan, and brochures on my co-companies, Vocational Resources Plus and Life Care Planning Resources Plus, which you can access at the links on my website. Any questions are welcome!

By the way, Zombie Burgers’ knowledgeable staff  is used to working with various dietary preferences and restrictions, so let your voice be heard (comes naturally doesn’t it?!) when you require specific food and drink or you have interest in requesting something new!

I am a vegetarian; and I tend to order the same food and drink (boring I know) when I eat out at my restaurants! But that doesn’t mean I’m not a creative person!

Most importantly, always be sure to leave good servers a good $$$ tip $$$.  Word of the day: douceur   pronounced:  doo sur    a gratuity; tip. 

Here’s my counseling “tip” for the day:  Practice yoga at home, it’s free!  I hope to hear from you soon and look forward to helping you help your client (that’s why I’m here!). Thank you for reading my post!

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My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

The Proof is in the Pudding ~ Try Avocado Chocolate & a Life Care Plan for Your Client!

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Consider how a Life Care Plan can help your litigated case, especially when the proof is in the pudding.  The ‘proof’ here is a verb meaning ‘test’ and a noun meaning ‘the evidence that demonstrates a truth’ as in a mathematical or legal proof.  To know if a plan has succeeded, consider the true value or quality of it, as seen when it is experienced, tried, or put to use.

PuddingInterested in a life care plan for your client?

One recent case where I prepared a life care plan helped attain a $3.43 million settlement and judgment in a catastrophic personal injury case. Another plan I wrote helped to reach a $1.5 million award in a medical malpractice lawsuit.

I repeat, interested in a life care plan for your client?

Pudding

As a certified life care planner I will prepare a reasonable plan and I will expend whatever time needed to do a fully competent job. As an added benefit, how about including vocational rehabilitation consulting in a plan? That’s where my forte’ lies!

A plan can take upwards of six months to prepare, depending on the case. By taking the story directly from the patient with input from the family, my subsequent reports and expert testimony become viewed as genuine in front of a judge or a jury. The goal is to zero in on the specific needs and costs of the individual’s current healthcare needs and consider those into the future.

With your input or agreement with my report to be sure we understand everything, I’ll help you be well equipped to persuade others about the bottom line of your case, which can be significant! When preparing a plan, I carefully consider the client’s life and how it has been impacted, while remaining cognizant of safety and rehabilitation.

Third time here, interested in a life care plan for your client?   Pudding

The proof of the pudding for a business is also what customers say about it. To find out what customers say about my work in the areas of life care planning, as well as my professional work in other areas, including my writing capabilities, I’d be happy to provide references.  

I can help you help your client! 

Pudding

The proof of the pudding for a plan is also what transpires when it is followed by the individual for whom it was written. You’ll find I truly care about what I do and can provide references who will attest to my ethics, research capabilities and the value that I can bring to a case involving work and disability.Money Centerpiece

A Life Care Plan can truly become the centerpiece of your client’s claim!

Because each case is unique, to help identify the level of service for your case, a 15 minute complementary consultation can be arranged.

Subsequently, a preliminary assessment of the time-frame a plan could take to prepare can then be offered that helps outline the projected costs which can be anywhere from ~40 – 80+ hours, not including expert testimony preparation and witness time.

Keep in mind the necessity to schedule an in person meeting and follow-up visits with the individual and his/her family. Contacts involving his/her treating physician and other members of the healthcare team are made as well over the course of preparing a plan. You can find a simple sample plan on my website under documents for download.

Pudding

Now, “the proof of the pudding is in the eating” means that you don’t really know your dessert has come out right until you taste it. Seriously, try this pudding: It’s yummy, healthy and easy to make! Avocado

Avocado Chocolate Pudding

Prep Time: 2 minutes Total Time: 5 minutes Yield 2-3 services Serving Size ½ cup

  • 2 ripe medium avocados, peeled and chopped
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ½ cup milk (regular or almond milk, coconut, etc.)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

Blend all ingredients until smooth in a blender, food processor or using a hand held beater or mixer. Serve immediately or chill first. Eat with a lovely spoon!

***

Contact me, Amy E. Botkin at 515-778-0634 or amyebotkin@lcpresourcesplus.com for a life care plan because I have studied it, experienced it and continue on my journey growing as an expert in my field.

An expert is someone who has enough knowledge to help others confidently! And, darn it all, I like it and I’m good at it (with a humble Arr Arr)!  If you’d like more information, let me know!

___________________

 My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

Like Mother, Like Daughter, One Tough Cookie! Want One in the Courtroom?

Reading Time: 6 minutesThursday, May 28th, is my daughter’s 24th birthday. I am proud of her in every way (currently she’s into gardening)! She’s physically and emotionally strong, independent, and One Tough Cookie!  Off the top of my head, here’s a few memories of my daughter and her “toughness” over the years. 

One Tough Cookie!

Before she was born, let alone named, her birth cord was wrapped around her neck while she was being delivered. As I was pushing down as one is to do during natural child birth, the doctor told me to STOP!

What? Stop? So I did and, (not knowing what was going on) he very quickly cut the cord from around her neck, and blood shot above me onto the ceiling. Nice, huh, and yuck! My new baby girl scared her parents alright! She was just fine though and had a good APGAR. Rather quickly, the housekeeper came in the room and cleaned the blood off the ceiling with a mop as I was still lying in the bed. Yuck again! She was doing her job and it was much appreciated!

Pin on blouse mtrl

Arin was a calm baby!

I remember the first day of her life, Arin seemed to care more about how the nurses felt when holding her than actually being the new baby in the room. And her eyes were (and still are) so huge, she kinda looked like an alien with eyes on both sides of her head! 

Later in her babyhood, heck, I cut her toenails too short and they bled. I felt horrible, and this was my 3rd child, but she didn’t cry.

Around age 3,  Arin fell from a chair at the babysitter’s kitchen table while she was eating lunch. Upon facial impact with the floor, her  front tooth was knocked out, and said tooth landed down in the heater vent, where it potentially could have trace elements today.  She was whisked to the ER by her sitter, but there isn’t much one could do for this injury, other than wait! 

Baby With One Tooth ClipartIt took years for her new tooth to come in.

Last year around this time, she had four wisdom teeth removed. She was tough with that surgery and the healing time involved…and her poor face was so swollen. This link takes you to a blog for a bit on costs of the procedure!

When she was a little older, around 8ish, we were working in the basement and somehow the iron got knocked off its board and landed on her foot. Her big toe sure bled a lot and a deep bruise definitely developed and stuck around. Luckily the toe wasn’t broken and the iron wasn’t hot! Yikes!

Here’s another story of my dauther’s toughness: As were in the process of remodeling our house (in 2009), Arin would’ve been age 13, she was cleaning our new windows (with water and an ecloth!) and the larger kitchen window suddenly fell down (the type of windows that fold into your house), whacking her head.  Her head broke the glass, and the glass shattered on to the floor. Arin immediately felt a headache, but there was no blood involved and we didn’t take her to the doctor, but I certainly cared for her closely and watched like a hawk for any concussive symptoms! I informed the salesperson who sold us the windows of this mishap, and he showered her with gifts. He was probably pretty darn grateful that we didn’t, gasp: sue! But no we did not, and her strong head was fine. 

With New Nordic Emojis, Give Your Texts That Finnishing Touch ...

Moving on into her middle school years, from what I was told by said daughter, she went snow shoeing on recess. Somehow her tongue landed on a metal pole, got stuck and she had to pull away from the pole. Yep, her tongue ripped and yep it bled and yep it hurt like he double toothpicks. 

She said this was a dare; the sticking her tongue out purposely onto a cold pole in the middle of winter. But in reality, I believe she fell into the pole because she wasn’t very good at snow shoeing. Again, nothing really you can do for this injury but give the tongue time to heal!Image result for tongue pierced cartoonA while later she got her tongue pierced anyway! She also pierced her septum; eyebrow too. Don’t forget thee belly button piercing! (I actually did that once, but let it grow back because it bothered me when I did a yoga pose or exercised on my stomach).

And speaking of, both her ears have pretty good sized gauge holes! I’m not including the numerous tattoos Arin has received.  To me, getting a tat seems a little too drawn out painful.

ColorColorful AJ

Colorful AJ

One last story off the top of my head at this time, and I’m not happy at all with how this happened. In early March 2019, Arin was at a birthday party held at a hotel for her friend Taylor. Arin was picked up and thrown (grrrr) into the pool. Kassidy, who she landed on, hurt not only her head, but bit down and injured her tongue; and Arin ended up breaking two ribs.

Image result for xray ribs cartoonHowever, Arin didn’t find out her ribs were broken until almost a week later when she was in much pain and having problems at work. On a Sunday she had to be taken to the ER which included x-rays and a pain prescription.  Again, this involved a long rehabilitation / healing period.

Okay, enough writing for now. Like mother, like daughter!  Yep, considering I was able to live through hitting a train headfirst!  I believe this “toughness” is heredity, and comes from my mom.

Last year (2019), my mom was experiencing an acute medical condition while visiting us from her home in Florida. As we were waiting at the airport for her and her new husband’s flight home departure, she took a dive (right in front of the drinking fountains by the rest rooms on the main level) on to her face, breaking her glasses. She ended up in the ER for numerous stitches rather than on the flight home. Mom didn’t cry or wince, or even complain a bit.

The bottom line of this post is to let you, my Attorney Reader, know that I am a strong “tough-minded” resilient person who has the capacity to face difficult facts and long odds with resolute optimism.

I define a tough-mind as having the resources, mental skills, and physical capabilities to confront difficulties of all kinds. And then afterwards, the resiliency to slow down and relax.

I know if I succeed, I caused it and if I failed, yep, I caused that too. (Don’t worry, I won’t say yep during testimony.) I will be tough for you and I will be tough for your client.

I won’t be so tough you may choke, but I will be tough enough with your case where it counts: in my reports and in the courtroom and in my resolve to never give up. I got this strong “tough minded” trait from my mom and have passed it on to my daughter and I am proud of it!

Thank you for reading my post. Let me know about a case I can help you with that involves disability and rehabilitation. I believe rehabilitation is the care that can help an individual get back, keep, or improve abilities needed for daily life. I’m a rehabilitation counselor who cares.

Contact me, Amy Botkin at 515-778-0634 or amyebotkin@lcpresourcesplus.com 

___________________

 My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

Hello My Attorney Reader! Want to Buy Some TIME From Me…a Consultant and an Educator?

Reading Time: 3 minutesYou’re a good attorney, and you care about the people you represent. You’re busy working on cases and spend a lot of time on time. In fact, you even buy TIME! I’m writing to help you make a more comfortable TIME purchase from me, a consultant who is also an educator!

MoneyTime

I fully realize attorneys buy TIME

Time – Because you bill by the hour (and so do I), I promise to help you be more productive and, thus, more successful by providing value laden services.

Pinky SwearI promise to always respect your time.

 

Information – Because I totally understand why you HATE looking stupid (and so do I), I will provide accurate information that you want or need.

Pinky SwearI promise to always ensure you have a good reason for working with me.

 

Money – Because saving money and making money are the goals for almost every law firm (and for every consulting firm too), I will effectively use all the resources available to help with your case.

Pinky SwearI promise to be accurate and fair with my billing.

 

Education – Because lawyers always need continuing education (and so do I) to maintain your license, I am available to present to any group that would benefit from learning about my work and rehabilitation consulting. In addition, as I’m a well-trained educator and counselor, I can help you and your client in many ways throughout the case and onto trial, where my educational background is useful in front of a jury.

Pinky SwearI promise to bring new light to your litigation strategies.

 

Time on HandsHow much TIME would you like to have on your hands, especially when working on a complex case that has to do with work and disability? So there it is!  But wait, there’s more:

I, Amy, promise to Always Be True at My Core, Apple Butterflybecause that’s all I have ever had and have ever needed and I’m willing to share what I know is true.

Enjoy a piece of quality fruit (I love organic apples) and then contact me, Amy E. Botkin, to discuss your case. I’m here to help you help your client!

Call me at 515-778-0634 or email me at amyebotkin@lcpresourcesplus.com to connect so we can discuss your case and how I might help! Thank you for reading.

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 My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

“Somebody Call for An Expert?” I’ll Answer That Call!

Reading Time: 3 minutesI’ve written about my fondness for Eeyore and want you to know I’m a bit attached to Gopher as well, especially when he comes to the rescue! You’ve heard the story when Pooh eats too much honey (honey is often on Pooh’s mind) at Rabbit’s place, gets rotund, and subsequently gets stuck in Rabbit’s front door.

45 Awesome winnie the pooh bees clipart Winnie The Pooh Pictures, Cute Winnie The Pooh, Winnie The Pooh Birthday, Whinnie The Pooh Drawings, Bee Clipart, Friends Wallpaper, Cute Disney Wallpaper, Cute Animal Drawings, Pooh BearRabbit is not happy and help is needed! Gopher recommends using dynamite, and he’s an expert with that subject, but Pooh isn’t so hot on the idea. If dynamite was needed, Gopher was ready for the rescue!Gopher

Popping out, Gopher exclaims “Somebody call for an expert?!” 

After thinking it through, Pooh, with assistance from his friendly team, realizes how to get unstuck. He agrees with Christopher Robin’s recommendations to patiently wait until he gets thin. Time passes, and it works (he gets thin!), however, he still needs a good jolt to move through the door. The team is successful and Pooh ends up in a happy place filled with honey! 

Related imageHoney! Yummy! Yummy!

I hope you appreciate this Pooh story.  I do. When called, I too, will use my expertise to help you and your team out in complex cases. I’ll answer just like Gopher but am not an expert in dynamite, I am in forensic rehabilitation consulting

Several years ago, I made an executive decision to study forensic rehabilitation counseling at George Washington University.  I started the post-graduate level educational on-line program on April 15, 2013 and graduated on August 15, 2014.

The coursework taught me more about courtroom testimony and how to function more effectively, efficiently and confidently within the legal system. I gained valuable insight into personal injury, medical malpractice, marital dissolution, product liability, and catastrophic injury cases.

A good expert has more than expertise that you can appreciate! It’s important for me to stand up under questioning (here’s a post on intimidation), commit to my opinion, and stay within my area of expertise. Thankfully, all my training including my background in Community Health Education helps! 

I strive to educate others in a clear manner and explain a complex subject to a lay audience in simple terms.

And you know what else, a good expert like me cares. I love my career, and deeply care for my work.

There’s plenty of satisfying work to accomplish and life constantly moves forward at a really swift pace so it’s important to not slow down. I work hard for my customers, for myself and for my family.

When labeled “a firecracker” by a classmate during our 15th year high school class reunion, I had to look up what that meant!

Yes, I realize I can be a bit firecracker-like, mostly because I’m a bold individual and will do what I have to do to accomplish my goals. I believe it’s always beneficial for lawyers and experts to spend time getting to know each other.

Yep, attorneys think differently than counselors. So, please let’s spend a little quality time together before we meet in a courtroom! It will truly prove beneficial.

You’ll find I’m a genuine person who truly cares about serving as an expert in the field. I’m ready, willing and able to offer my voice to help you help your client.  

Give me, Amy Botkin, a call at 515-778-0634 or email me at amyebotkin@lcpresourcesplus.com to start a discussion about your case. Thank you for reading!

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My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

 

Happy Rehabilitation Counselor Appreciation Day!

Reading Time: 4 minutes

March 22 of each year is designated as a Happy Day to Celebrate Rehabilitation Counseling!   

A bouquet of pink roses, along with dark chocolate layer cake with vanilla bean ice cream help make the day turn even happier!

My career choice is Rehabilitation Counseling, a unique job for high-energy people who want to make a real difference in the lives of people with disabilities.  It’s also a challenging job that requires creativity and vision to see possibilities where others see only problems. 

Here’s a great brochure prepared by the Rehab Services Administration, Department of Education describing the profession, rehab jobs, and information you’ve always wanted to know!  It’s the source for some of the paragraphs in this post.

It seems when I reply that my master’s degree is in “Rehabilitation Counseling” often the person wants to know if that involves drugs and alcohol. The answer is no (although at times a case does involve an individual using some degree of drugs and alcohol in an unhealthy way). 

I explain to my listener that I chose a different path as a rehab counselor and provide consulting services on litigated cases involving work and disability.  Then I usually get a ‘oh that’s cool’ response and I continue the conversation, keeping in mind the context and scope of what I share about my work depends on the nature of the inquisition! (In other words, do I think the person asking really wants to know more about what I do or not?!) I definitely trust my intuition.

EnlighteningRehab Counseling is a High Energy Profession! 

In short, the goal of rehabilitation counseling is empowering people with (or even without) disabilities to make informed choices, build viable careers, and live more independently in their community.

Rehabilitation counseling trains professionals who will be dedicated to working with individuals with disabilities in order to help them achieve productive and independent lives. Just as other counseling tracks, rehabilitation counseling educational programs – in order to produce competent and certifiable professionals – are at the master’s level.

Drake University, School of Education, Des Moines, Iowa offers an excellent Council of Rehabilitation Education (CORE) accredited master’s level Rehabilitation Counseling Program.  This accreditation enables graduates of the program to become Certified Rehabilitation Counselors. The Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC) sets the standard for quality rehabilitation counseling services in the United States and Canada.

Image result for spike drakes mascotDrake’s Mascot Spike with a Nice Bike!

Below’s another great bulldog picture. She has experience in Drake’s Beautiful Bulldog contest! Her name is Fat Amy. She owns Jeska Reese Dean, a family friend.

FatAmyFat Amy is Experienced!

I completed all required coursework at Drake University in the Master of Science in Counseling program. In addition, I took extra coursework focusing on job placement and mental health.

I was then eligible to take a national examination which I took on October 30, 2004, and upon passing, I earned the coveted CRC (Certified Rehabilitation Counselor) designation. Since then, I re-certify every five years which requites earning 100 hours of continuing education, 10 which must be in ethics.

For background purposes, there are two main sections of the CRC exam:  Counseling and Rehabilitation/Disability.  A statistical procedure called equating is used to ensure all examinees demonstrate the same level of ability in order to pass the exam. Here’s my results:

Counseling Section:

Amy E. Botkin’s Scaled Score:       598        

Passing Scaled Score:   500

&

Rehabilitation/Disability  Section:

Amy E. Botkin’s Scaled Score:       628            

Passing Scaled Score:   500

TaDa

Here’s a copy of my CRCC Certificate (I know it’s a bit blurry): I love my career and every day try my hardest to use my talents wisely!

Please let me know if you have questions about the profession, my education, or the professional  associations and groups I belong to. It may be a good career option for someone you know!

If your career is in law, please contact me at 515-778-0634 or by email at amyebotkin@lcpresourcesplus.com to ask me questions regarding how my work helps attorneys help their clients!  BTW, when is Attorney Appreciation Day?

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 My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

 

Need A Good Report? Rebut No Matter What!

Reading Time: 5 minutesI was taught that vocational report writing is a very powerful form of communication and can influence the degree of success for the individual for whom it was written.  I love to communicate through the written word and have written many, many, reports! Blog posts too!

So this blog is to be sure you, my Attorney Reader, know I’m here to help critique and/or rebut a report that may cross your desk.  Image result for report

How many people do you know who really love to write reports? I do! It’s not that the report writing process is easy, it’s a challenge!!

Let me ask: Have you ever read (or tried to decipher) a vocational report that doesn’t make sense?  Is the report ambiguous and difficult to read? Does the person it was written for understand it? Do you understand it? Is it possible the report can be defended? Or should the report be ripped apart, piece by piece to get to its’ nuts and bolts? Need a critique or a rebuttal? I’m here to help!

Rebut No Matter What! 

Bull

This was my husband Randy’s Grandpa Cliff Yearington’s Bull. Cliff knew a lot about Bulls & Bulls*** too. 

Loosen, take apart and re-assemble that poorly prepared report. Will it fall apart or simple wobble on? A poorly prepared report stresses difficulties but doesn’t offer much information about solutions. It talks about weaknesses rather than strengths; deficits and negatives rather than pluses and positives. It seeks to make threats rather than suggest changes. It uses multiple words, unclear statistics, and a slick method to confuse rather than clarify.KeepitSimple

Simply, it’s not helpful to write an entire vocational report about how bad off the person is, especially without mentioning plans to help make a positive impact on the individual’s life.

I love to comb through reports and make all attempts to uncover what the contents say to the reader.  Just because it’s a report doesn’t mean it doesn’t have to make sense! A report still needs to flow, tell a story, describe details and make valid and reasonable conclusions.

Here’s a sentence commonly found in reports from the same vocational person that I’ve been asked to rebut. [Keep in mind this long line comes after results of testing are provided within the report, but they are not explained at all!]

It is important to note that the purpose of all vocational testing done and reported here is to compare an individual’s current performance with their past performance as documented by their education, training, experience, and the standard worker trait factors associated with that history.

Say what? What does this run-on sentence mean?  The writer is using testing to compare performance? Did the evaluee’s past performance have anything to do with the testing administered? Did this person take the same tests throughout their work history? And then the paragraph continues…

 It is NOT correct to confuse an individual’s current test performance with performance in work prior to injury, as current performance is likely affected by the sequelae of disability.

Okay, now who is confused? The test taker? The person administering the test? I’ll tell you who….the reader!Related image The reader is easily confused by a poorly prepared report! 

Don’t be a confused reader! It’ll get you nowhere!

My initial question regarding this vocational report scenario, maybe helping to avoid confusion from the get go, is WHY were EACH of the specific testing instruments administered at all to this specific person? What is the rationalization for administration? The vocational person who wrote the report does not come close to answering these questions. To be ethically sound, administer testing only with a direct and relative reason to do so. 

I’ve written a professional report about my opinion on ethics and use of testing in vocational evaluations. Please contact me for a copy of the report. If you are my contact on LinkedIn, you’ll find it there readily available for now.

The underlying use of testing results to try to prove a person is permanently and totally disabled raises many ethical questions. Would you want that for yourself?

A test, really, a series of tests that I was forced to take, I didn’t understand, and simply put I didn’t want to take…those results determine my fate? Absolutely ridiculous! Results of testing are meant to assist a person for true and valid reasons…..not to paint a picture of “post injury residual vocational potential”

Image result for testing cartoon

Would you like to take ~ 10 tests in a single sitting?  Heck, No!

Without testing, evaluation is merely speculative

Really now? I’ve helped to place literally hundreds of people without administering testing! And many other placement people do too! If you understand the persons skills and match them with jobs in the local labor market, there’s a match!

Yes, of course I use certain standardized tests and self-assessments to help people when it is appropriate for reasons directly related to their placement goals, but that isn’t all I use during a vocational evaluation! I gather knowledge and assess many other areas involving work, interests, skills, aptitudes and lifestyle to help. I do not rely on only the use of test results!

Back to report writing, which is a very specialized skill; and I continuously study, practice and improve upon my own writing skills. As a professional writer, I never stop training! I think I gained natural talent from my Grandpa Jack, a journalist!

Image result for writing

When I’m writing, I get very absorbed! My office cat will testify to that!

Again, do you need a critique or a rebuttal? I’m Your Person to Help!

If your opinion on a case doesn’t mesh at all with the report on your desk, please contact me to help sort out the discrepancies. Keep in mind, I know opinions are just that, opinions.  And reports are meant to answer questions, not raise more!

I also want you to keep in mind that if you believe in the truth, there’s a way to show it. Contact me for expert testimony and witness services, too! Oh, and I definitely can rebut a life care plan (especially if it doesn’t make a lot of sense to you!).

Contact me at 515-778-0634 to discuss your case and how I can help!

 ___________________

My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.