“Purposeful Architecture” Featured in Albemarle Magazine

Purposeful Architecture – Designing living and learning environments for adults and children with disabilities
By Cathy Purple Cherry, featured in Albemarle Magazine’s October/November 2017 issue

The name “ Purposeful Architecture” was selected for the specific body of work within my architecture firm, Purple Cherry Architects, dedicated to positively impact living and learning environments for adults and children with disabilities. In this work, I serve as a special needs architect consulting with teams across the country to positively influence the built environment that supports individuals with special needs and the staff that serve them. For me, this work has a very specific purpose. Thus, the name. My “Purposeful” heart extends to my other non-profit work as well. I am dedicated to helping nonprofits and have found the design and building process to be very intimate ….

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“Ask Cathy” Column: August 2017

“Ask Cathy… An Open Dialogue with a Mother and Special Needs Architect”

Q: With school about to start, can you advise how I might prepare my young daughter with ASD so that she is ready to return to a regular routine?

A: I would recommend a few things. Getting your daughter into a predictable routine and preparing her environment to support that routine are the best first two steps. You may want to use a wall clock, a song, and several strategic signs mounted in her room, her bathroom, and around the house. Even before school starts, if you can encourage her to select her clothes for the next day the night before, this will help w ith her routine. In the morning, you may want to play a favorite song or two to ….

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“Ask Cathy” Column: July 2017

“Ask Cathy… An Open Dialogue with a Mother and Special Needs Architect”

Q: I have a 13-year-old in public school. She has developmental and physical disabilities. I feel she struggles with anxiety but I’m not finding any program that supports her for Psychiatry. Can you help me to understand how I might find support? Each time I take her to a psychiatrist, I am having to private pay. 

A: I’m  going to assume that your daughter has an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) that provides her modifications and support services within her public school. Please understand that this IEP can also identify the need for psychiatric and counseling services so that you do not have to pay out-of-pocket. This may be a service that you need to fight for, but it will be worth ….

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The Great Divide

The Great Divide: What do we need to keep in mind when faced with a mental health situation?

Almost everyone reading this article knows someone who is affected by mental illness—their own or that of a friend or family member. What do we need to know if we are going to be supportive? What are the resources available in our community and region for treating mental illness? Can these mental illness crises be more than Hobson’s choices, with only one course of action, one lifeline?

Cathy Purple Cherry contributes to this discussion in What’s Up Annapolis Magazine in the FULL ARTICLE HERE.

life skills

“Ask Cathy” Column: April 2017

“Ask Cathy… An Open Dialogue with a Mother and Special Needs Architect”

Q: Do you personally believe it is dangerous to teach our kids how to make fire or cook with gas? Do I need to worry about putting in a  new gas stove?

A: Yes, I believe it is dangerous to teach our children to do anything that can cause a life-threatening event. I believe they struggle with judging what is right and wrong and they don’t always know what is inherently dangerous. This is compounded by the fact that they frequently perseverate over things they find fascinating. Fire can be one of these fascinations. I would strongly recommend not having a gas stove in your home or even having free access to matches or other fire starting elements.

Q:  I have ….

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