I Love the Smell of Fresh Honeysuckle

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Just some random personal stuff about me … I smile at myself in the mirror. I use organic extra virgin olive oil to remove my make-up and also use it as my facial moisturizer. When I choose to feel down … Continue reading

2012 Most Popular Posts

It’s always fun and useful to look back through the previous years posts and pull out the most popular. I really enjoy when those I follow take the time to pull together the most popular posts on their sites just in case I missed something or want to revisit a post that is thought provoking. So, here ya go! Just took the time to take a stroll down my blogs memory lane!! Enjoy!

The Story Behind the Book Cover Artwork

Time to Just Be

I Wish I Wasn’t an 18p- Girl: Moment of Defeat – Take Two

Journey to Magical Moments – The 19th Annual Chromosome 18 Conference

Lillian and Being Different Presentation

Steps out of Darkness

You

Go here for 2011 Most Popular Posts Y’all! May each and every one of you have a Happy and Blessed New Year!!

The Story Behind the Book Cover Artwork

I’ve been asked about the reason behind the choice of artwork for the book cover …. So, here’s the story behind the book cover artwork …

I’m a member of The Chromosome 18 Registry & Research Society based in San Antonio, Texas because my daughter, Lillian, has 18p- (meaning she’s missing a piece of her short arm of chromosome #18). The C18 Registry is for all who have a change in their chromosome #18. Through the C18 Registry I met Mark Sogard, who is uncle to Liz Cody, who is daughter to Jannine Cody, who founded the Registry about 22 years ago.

Mark and I are connected online via Facebook. Mark lives in North Carolina and attends Hope Church. Through attending his church he met and knows Daniel (D.J.) Svoboda. D.J. is a very talented young man, who also happens to have autism. D.J. was 29 yrs old when he and I met online … through facebook. Mark sent me a message one day, maybe a year or so ago, that I should connect with D.J. as he felt we just needed to know each other.

Excerpt from D.J.’s biography in the beginning of ‘D iz for Different’: “Growing up, D.J. was teased and bullied. These negative experiences inspired D.J. to create the land of Imagiville; a safe place in his imagination where everyone is treated kindly and accepted just the way they are. Through his art and public speaking he brings Imagiville and the Imagifriends to life and uses them as a vehicle to spread a message of hope, inspiration and awareness that those with autism and special needs are special just the way they are.”

This is why D.J. and I were drawn into one another’s world. His mission and message are so similar to mine. When I began writing the book, I had a spark of inspiration to ask D.J. if he would like his artwork on the cover of the book. The rest is history!!!

If you and I are connected on facebook you will see D.J. commenting frequently on many of my posts …. especially posts having to do with the book. D.J. is one of the kindest, most positive people I have ever “met”. I’m grateful that Mark followed his instincts in connecting us and grateful that D.J. is getting to experience having his artwork on the cover of a published book!!!

There you have it … The story behind the Book Cover Artwork!

2011 Most Popular Posts

We’re all busy, we’re all in a hurry and we all have too much to do. So, I’ve combed through the posts on this site for 2011, looking at the total number of facebook likes and comments, and created a “Most Popular” list for those that may have missed something and those that want to read again and share. Enjoy y’all!

Dares, Choices and Changing the World – April 5, 2011

Decisions from the Gut – May 27, 2011

The Shift That Happens – May 31, 2011

O is for Observe – August 7, 2011

Purging, Weight Loss and Writing a Book – September 11, 2011

More About Camilla

I’m Mom to Lillian and Thomas Darnell and I speak, train and consult with small businesses and nonprofits regarding Social Media Marketing.  I’m also the founder of the Turning Views Foundation, Different iz Good . . . Spread the Word movement™ and the Gift a Voice Project.

My five year old son, Thomas, cracks me up with his fantastic imagination and adds to my joy and happiness in an indescribable way!  My nine year old daughter, Lillian, is a self proclaimed fairy angel and I happen to agree with her 100%.  Lillian is the spark that ignited the creation of the Turning Views Foundation, the Different iz Good movement and the Gift a Voice Project.

In mid December 2004 I received a phone call that changed the direction of my life and landed me in a Different place than I had planned and a Different place than I had ever dreamed.  Lillian’s pediatrician phoned one evening during dinner to let us know that she had gotten the results of Lillian’s Karotype testing.  This is a test where blood is drawn and examined on a cellular level to check for chromosome abnormalities.  Lillian was born on September 14, 2001 about a month before her natural due date.  She was a bit different from the first day of her life and a bit behind with many milestones.  Being a new Mom I just kept associating her delays to being born a month early and being a preemie baby.

Lillian’s pediatrician delivered the news that she had a chromosome abnormality.  Specifically, a deletion of the short arm of Chromosome 18, referred to as 18p-.  I cannot remember a great deal of the rest of the conversation as my mind sort of stopped and I started thinking, “Wait a minute.  What are you talking about?  No, this can’t be right.  No, No, No.”  I remember mention of it being very rare and that visits to specialists must begin immediately – heart doctor, eye doctor, geneticist, etc.

I immediately got online and began researching Chromosome 18, 18p- and chromosome abnormalities.  I learned a GREAT deal online and even knew more than the geneticist when we met with him.  That is also how I discovered The Chromosome 18 Registry and Research Society. The people of this fabulous organization, the Founder, Board Members and Family Members have become my second family and I am grateful and blessed to have each and every one of them in my life.  The Registry exists because a Mom was told 20 years ago that her daughter had 18q- (deletion of the long arm).  We as a society are all blessed that Jannine Cody chose the path she did as the genetic research they perform benefits ALL with genetic disorders.

So began my journey to a different place.  You can read more about the beginnings of this journey here.  The time and space between then and now I’ll cover in blog posts here, over at the Different iz Good website and my upcoming book.

Fast forward to about one year ago when I discovered Proloquo2Go on Twitter as I had created columns in Hootsuite tracking keywords for speech impaired.  I immediately bought Lillian an iPhone and installed Proloquo2Go.  That became the driving force behind learning more about this technology and then also combining that technology with the web and social networking.  These forces combined have opened a world of communication for the nonverbal and speech impaired that have NEVER been there before. We are experiencing a communication evolution.  The way in which we communicate and conduct business has shifted forever and is evolving.

In my online research I kept encountering people asking where they could get assistance purchasing an iPhone, iPod (and now an iPad) as private insurance and Medicaid do not cover these devices.  There were also many who mentioned they were on waiting lists to receive one.  This led to thoughts of “Something has got to be done about this.” It’s completely ridiculous that nonverbal and speech impaired children CANNOT have an inexpensive modern way to communicate. Inexpensive compared to traditional augmentative communication devices; which typically cost between $5,000 – $10,000.  One can get an iPhone, iPod or iPad with an AAC Application and needed accessories for approximately $1,000; could be a bit less or bit more depending on version purchased.

At the same time I was discussing with other Chromosome 18 Moms about how our beautiful special needs kiddos do not like change and changes in their schedule or routine that cause things to seem different. Susan Moran commented that they really stress in their house that different is good and show it by changing furniture around often and other methods. My eyes, heart and soul wrapped around those words and with Susan’s permission I tucked it away to “incubate” until the timing was right! You are a beautiful rockin Mom Susan!

These two paths bordered with what I had chosen as my career (teaching, training and speaking to others about Social Networking) led to the creation of the Turning Views Foundation, Different iz Good . . . Spread the Word movement and the Gift a Voice Project.

The Formal Version

Camilla Downs is an influential guide in teaching the keys to Social Media Marketing. She is a social media marketing and community-building strategist, working with businesses and individuals to maximize the internet to enhance their brands, connect with customers, build communities and network for success. As Chief Community Builder at Turning Views, Inc., keynote speaker and trainer, Camilla has inspired hundreds of people to confidently use Facebook, Twitter, blogging and other online social networking tools through conferences, specialized workshops and consulting.

Camilla has consulted with businesses and nonprofits in Nevada, California and Texas, teaching them to establish, maintain and grow a commanding social media and online presence. She advises organizations on increasing their visibility on search engines and strengthening their brand identities online. She also offers video tutorials and online resources for many people seeking efficient assistance with the proper usage of these new tools of marketing.

Raised in Mississippi and Louisiana, Camilla relocated to Nevada after working for 10 years as a paralegal in Washington State. She has combined her research skills with a passion for collecting and testing the constant torrent of new information regarding social networking. “I am passionate about supporting nonprofits, fellow entrepreneurs and small business owners by teaching them to strategically use online and social networking tools”. “Small business owners are among the bravest and gutsiest among us, and they are starved for assistance in understanding the why and how of effective and proper use of these tools”.

Camilla is mother to two children, Thomas, five years old, and Lillian, nine. Lillian was born with a chromosome abnormality called 18p- which primarily manifests in communications deficits. Lillian has inspired Camilla to be a proponent for speech-impaired individuals, their families and caregivers in using technology and social media to communicate and improve quality of life. “Opportunities exist as never before for speech-impaired individuals to be business owners and entrepreneurs because of social media and technology”.

Different iz Good . . . Spread the Word

It’s time to begin unveiling The Turning Views Foundation and the Different iz Good™ movement.  Those of you who know me know that I’m Mom to Lillian Darnell, 9 yrs old, and Thomas Darnell, 4 yrs old.  Lillian has a Chromosome 18 abnormality called 18p-.  The  main way in which this manifests is that Lillian is speech impaired (she’s about 90% unintelligible). Lillian uses an iPhone with an AAC Application called Proloquo2Go to speak.

Turning Views Mission is To Empower Those With Genetic Differences by giving them a voice, helping them to be a part of the conversation like NEVER before! Turning Views Slogan is Different iz Good . . . Spread the Word!

Our main goal is to provide nonverbal or speech impaired children with an iPod Touch or iPad with the Proloquo2Go AAC Application (or similar) installed and all needed accessories.  In addition, to train caregiver and/or the child how to use the device.  Another goal is to hold workshops in conjunction with schools and speech therapist to educate regarding this technology.

This device and application are life changing in an unbelievably good way for the nonverbal and speech impaired.  Insurance companies and Medicaid do not cover these.  The alternative up to this point have been heavy, bulky devices that cost anywhere from $7,000 – $10,000.  One can have an iPhone or iPod Touch with the Proloquo2Go application installed and all needed accessories for around $600 – $1,000.

One additional major aspect of the Turning Views Foundation is to educate how technology combined with Social Networking sites improves quality of life for special needs children ~ especially nonverbal and speech impaired children. The way in which we communicate and conduct business has fundamentally shifted and changed forever.  It is my opinion that the World has shifted in such a way to include the speech impaired like they have NEVER been included before.  We are no longer solely communicating with our mouths and voices.  A large portion of the population is communicating using technology and social networking sites.  The speech impaired are now able to be a part of the conversation like NEVER before.  Their community and those they can engage with, socialize with and conduct business with has grown exponentially.  A second phase to our mission is to facilitate the making of entrepreneurs of those special needs children, teens and young adults who choose to pursue this exciting venture.

Different iz Good . . .  Spread the Word ~ we will be rolling out tons of DIFFERENT and fun ways for y’all to help spread the word.  I invite anyone who knows a special needs child, teenager or young adult (and even they themselves) to post a video reply on the Different iz Good YouTube channel telling us why Different iz Good, Different is Beautiful and Different is OKAY or what it means to you.

I believe Lillian is different for many reasons.  She is a special young lady who shines like no other and has a beautiful inspiring energy about her.  She is here to teach me and the rest of us some lessons.  One of which is to embrace technology and the shift in the way we communicate or at least approach with an open mind to how life changing this is for some of those amongst us.

Spread the Word Y’all ~ Different iz Good!

I want to steal a  bit of space here and thank a ton of special wonderful motivating and inspiring people for encouraging me and being a part of the creation and birthing of the Turning Views Foundation and the Different iz Good movement.  First, and foremost, Susan, a fellow 18p- Mom.  When I came across the phrase “different is good” in something she had written about a year and half ago, I asked her at the time if I could use that phrase on t shirts.  {Thanks Susan ~ you are a beautiful, smart and amazing Mom to IM.} It has since grown into the slogan for this 501(c)3, Turning Views Foundation.  My wonderful and supportive family who at times, I’m sure, wonder if I’ve lost my mind!! My Chromosome 18 Family ~ having y’all there means more than could ever be expressed in writing.  My eWomenNetwork Family ~ Love y’all to pieces – many times y’all are my glue and facilitate my Glow!  My friends from Oaklawn Junior High (Houma, LA – way down in da bayou) ~ I’m blessed to have y’all in my life!  Friends from my past and my newest friends and supporters.  Thanks a million to all of you!