Category Archives: Muscular Dystrophy

Assistance in the Rio Grande Valley and more

This is a message from our exceptionally brilliant and compassionate trainer, Jacqueline (Jackie). Her life’s passion is to help Veterans, and she asked us to post this for all Veterans, especially in the Rio Grande Valley (RGV), if they need help.

I have been a graduate psychologist at the VA down here in the RGV. After working in 3 different VA health care systems, I have seen the great need for Veteran care and have seen both good (actually excellent) and bad ways VAs are run and treatment is provided. It is with an EXTREMELY saddened heart that I can no longer allow myself to provide a lower level of care to Veterans than what they deserve, nor be forced into functioning in a treatment setting that is providing unethical care.

I LOVE my work with Veterans and see such a huge need for this to continue, but as I leave, I also see several other amazing psychologists leaving as well due to the same challenges. I continue to see a need for Behavioral Health Care in the Rio Grande Valley, with Veterans and Civilians alike. After 11 years of schooling and 7 years providing Behavioral Health (BH) Services, I was completing my licensure requirements as a psychologist to provide the highest and most comprehensive options out there, however, despite the need for services in the RGV, I ran into several dead ends for finishing this last piece. However, I am willing to put my own final step on hold to help two communities (Veterans and anyone in the RGV) in need of BH services.

I hold a Masters Level License in the State of Texas that allows me to practice independently (but with some restrictions from what I would have had with my psychologist license and obviously at about 1/3-1/4 of the pay). I am hoping to make some things come together over the next month or two (and will probably be open to picking up random general labor work as my student loans have gone into effect and I incurred debt moving from Idaho to here), but am hoping to offer TeleHealth (similar to Skyping but in a much more secure system) and/or in home therapy/animal assisted-therapy services here in the RGV at hopefully a fraction of the cost of some other places (most likely on an income based sliding scale fee basis) since I will not be accepting insurance and I am wanting to reach a larger population of those in need.

That being said, minus the in-home piece, I am able to offer this TeleHealth service within the scope of my practice anywhere in the state of Texas. I am most wanting to reach Veterans as I know for many, wait times between treatment sessions is 2-3 months in several facilities throughout the state. However, I am also really wanting to service Civilians in the RGV and throughout Texas. I am NOT bilingual unfortunately, but have a considerable amount of understanding of the RGV culture, the Hispanic Culture, and the Texas Hispanic Culture.

For those of you who may know of people who may be able to benefit from this, please feel free to contact me. I will gladly share my extensive training and treatment experience with anyone who requests this, and am hoping to start this as an option for the community within the next two months.

Please contact me at: Jacqueline Kappelman

Vedant’s SDiT Simba

From our trainer, Candace, in Ft. Worth. She has been juggling an internship while training, so she apologizes that there are not more pictures. But we congratulate her on passing her internship!

“Simba, the Singhania family’s son Vedant’s SDiT, (Vedant has Muscular Dystrophy) has been on a little bit of a training vacation. But, he is doing wonderfully! Today, the family worked on retrievals! We practiced with one of Vedant’s socks, so that Simba can get used to bringing back things that smell like him. I showed them how to turn the command into a game, and their SDiT just had a ball (or sock!) We also addressed his digging behavior, which he has just picked up. It seems that it might be an anxiety issue when he digs. Also, it seems that the family were accidentally reinforcing that behavior by engaging him in a game of chase once they caught him digging. We are still working on this.

Vedant got a new electric scooter, so we practiced walking Simba with the scooter. He wasn’t scared, nor did he bark at it! They need to practice walking with Simba and the scooter outside, but it was too hot at the time I was there to do this. Simba is a dark dog and just doesn’t like the sun so much. He has quite a personality! There was a lot of review that happened to go over his basic and advanced training techniques. Simba is still so young and has come such a long way. He will be a great companion for young Vedant. The Singhania family is doing great with him!”

From Candace, working hard in Dallas!

“The Singhania family had a two-hour private training session for their son with Muscular Dystrophy and his SDIT, Simba. The session was split up into two activities: proper leash walking and command-work. Simba needed a lot of help last week, and a head harness was purchased to reduce his pulling. The family was happy with how well it worked, but Simba was still pushing boundaries- or should we say “pulling” those boundaries. Also, since he is so young, we wanted to increase his endurance and attention span. Heavy emphasis was placed on “stay,” “touch,” “come,” and “closer.” Simba is doing well, and the Singhania family are doing a great job with their SDIT puppy.”