Quality Supports People Need

  • What We Do

    IHS Services, Inc. is an Ohio-based company that provides support services to people of all ages in our community. We provide: I/O Waiver Services, Level 1 Waiver Services, Supported Living Services, Passport Services, and Private Pay Services.

  • Our Mission Statement

    IHS Services, Inc. is dedicated to facilitating a high quality of support services to enable individuals to make life choices through living, working, and community options.

  • Philosophy

    The philosophy of IHS Services, Inc. holds to the basic tenet that every human being has the right and freedom to live as independently as their capabilities allow. With this thought in mind, individuals require many kinds of assistance in … Continue reading

  • Management Philosophy

    IHS Services, Inc. finds that the Chain of Support is the most effective method of management for our agency. This emphasizes the team approach, which is at the heart of everything IHS does. Within this chain of support the IHS … Continue reading

As We Move Forward: Symbols

There is virtually no area of our lives where symbols do not play a major role. From the time we are little, we see and hear symbols all around us. The toys we play with are symbols of things in adult life. SymbolsPlaying with things like dolls and cars, to name just a few, uses specific symbols to represent ideas and concepts so we can learn through play how to act out situations in real life.

Games are filled with symbols. The rules and the strategies in games allows us to test out life lessons in structured environments where mistakes have non-serious, short term consequences, and where victories bring lessons and the experience success.

The difficulty comes in finding agreement or common understanding of what symbols mean. Trying to have a conversation without a common understanding of what the symbols used in the conversation would be like two people, who each speak a totally different language from one another trying to have a meaningful conversation.

We might think we have common understanding of symbols, but there have been some very clear divisions over what basic symbols stand for. We have historically used symbols like the flag to symbolize basic understandings about our country. Activities in recent years would suggest the meaning of the symbolism represented by the flag is different to some people than others.

Relationships have symbolism that is important when the relationship is established. An example of what I am saying is the parent/child relationship. This changes as it moves through phases like adolescence and adulthood. ConversationThe relationship can also change when external factors  occur and change the dynamics of the relationship.

As we move forward, it is a good idea to be always looking at the symbols in our lives. Understanding those symbols and our relationship to them. This allows us to be sure they have a clear meaning for everyone involved. Honest dialogue is the best way to be sure that everyone understands the symbolism they are dealing with. I welcome hearing, ”I’m not sure what you mean by that (symbol). Could you clarify for me what it means to you?”

I would rather honestly disagree with someone’s understanding of a symbol than criticize or judge out of a lack of understanding. As we move forward, join me in seeking to understand symbols and what they mean to others.

If you would like to receive new As We Move Forward posts, please subscribe to the As We Move Forward mailing list by clicking here. I release entries on a bi-weekly basis.

We have a podcast containing the As We Move Forward articles read by Jonathan Bloom.

As We Move Forward: Seeking Truth

Many SourcesOne of the foundation documents of the United States of America contains the words, ”We hold these truths to be self evident….” The phrase goes on to list the truths, not to define truth. It is evident that to the founders of our country, the concept of truth needs no definition. In the same way, witnesses in legal proceedings are asked to promise, “to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth….” Here again, truth and what it is are assumed to be understood. The emphasis in both these instances is to act in accord with the truth.

Much of our education is focused on teaching truth. In most cases family values are formed around and taught on the basis of truth. Thinking back on your childhood, what are some of the first truths you remember learning? Who did you first hear these truths from, and what impact do you remember them having on your life? As certainly as we learn truths, there are instances in life where we have truths challenged.

These challenges may come from friends and acquaintances. They may come from trusted leaders who have influence in our lives. Hearing challenges to truth and figuring out how we will respond is a part of the maturing and growing process for each of us. An important part of becoming an adult is settling on the truths we embrace as an adult as we use these to form the basis for our relationships in life.

The number of people claiming to speak truth today is only exceeded by the number of outlets they have. From sources like traditional media to all the current forms of social media, not a day goes by without someone declaring something to be truth. The problem is there are so many “truths” being declared, it can be very confusing to listen to the many seemingly conflicting proclamations of truth and to make sense of what is truth and what is not.

In the past, we have often looked to history to evaluate truth as something which has stood the test of time. With the revisionist mentality so prevalent today, it can be easy to discount all historical interpretation and rely only on what seems to fit with a present day understanding of both history and truth. This approach can lead to uncertainty and confusion about what is truth. Like all approaches, this one has its limitations.

ReadingAs we move forward, it is important to remember that while truth is not always comfortable, it is always truth. How do you determine what is truth in the midst of so many conflicting ideas? One way is to look to the guidance of those you know and trust. Find someone who seems to you to be living in truth, and study what that person does. Truth is consistent, and it produces positive outcomes.

As we move forward, may we never waiver in our determination to seek after and to live out the truth in everything we do. The more experience we have in living out truth, the easier it becomes to stay on course. As we move forward, join me in making that the ultimate aim of life.

If you would like to receive new As We Move Forward posts, please subscribe to the As We Move Forward mailing list by clicking here. I release entries on a bi-weekly basis.

We have a podcast containing the As We Move Forward articles read by Jonathan Bloom.

As We Move Forward: Acceptance

KidsThere are few issues more basic to a person’s overall sense of well-being than the need for acceptance. The widely different outcomes in the lives of people based on the degree to which they either experienced or were denied acceptance has been the subject of numerous studies and much literature on human development and behavior. We don’t need exhaustive studies to explain the plight of the child who was either chosen last or not picked at all for activities involving peers. That is a familiar scene to all of us.

I had the experience early in life of being praised and complimented when I volunteered an answer in school. In the third grade, tryouts were being held for a class musical. During the casting for three clown parts, I shouted,”I can stand on one finger!” I immediately placed an index finger under my shoe and “stood on one finger,” I got the part, and the acceptance I experienced encouraged me to speak up and spontaneously say whatever came to mind. I gained the acceptance of being told I have a way with words.

I am fortunate that my early experiences were largely positive and gained me the acceptance and approval of others. I am aware that many people do not find that kind of acceptance. Like many of us, I have known people who engaged in elaborate behavior only to be rejected by others. In a few cases, I have seen this behavior become so extreme that it led to serious negative consequences. The attention this type of behavior gains is as far from acceptance as it can be.

As we grow up, our behaviors can take on the form of ideas. As we share these ideas, one of the things we are seeking is acceptance. As these ideas deepen and become our core values and beliefs, sharing these ideas with others carries the possibility that our beliefs and our values will either be accepted by others or rejected by them.

To further clarify acceptance, let me say that I have always enjoyed discussing ideas with people who hold opinions different from mine. I learn from people who have deeply held beliefs that reflect a different point of view. This level of acceptance requires us to distinguish between a person and their ideas. It also requires an understanding that acceptance does not necessarily mean agreement.

GroupAs we move forward, it is a good idea to look at our own lives and the areas where we feel accepted. What does that mean? Do people we are in relationship with us have the ability to accept us if we have differences in ideas and or beliefs? Does the respect in these relationships go beyond ideas we may or may not hold in common?

I hope you, like me, accept and respect people with whom you may disagree or whose ideas and beliefs you may not share. Remember, acceptance of another person does not mean you agree with everything they think. As we move forward, let us keep the difference between integrity and ideas clear. That way we can all grow in our understandings of one another and our acceptance of one another.

If you would like to receive new As We Move Forward posts, please subscribe to the As We Move Forward mailing list by clicking here. I release entries on a bi-weekly basis.

We have a podcast containing the As We Move Forward articles read by Jonathan Bloom.