Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Parents, you've got to keep movin' forward!

In previous posts, I gave you examples about the basic struggles people with disabilities go through while they are growing up. The basic struggles are; holding too much in, standing up for yourself, knowing that only the individual can move them-self forward and knowing when and who to ask for help. 

It is important for parents of small children with disabilities to grieve and accept that their child will live with challenges. These realities are always going to be there, but they don't have to be a barrier for success. Just because a child has disabilities does not mean that they cannot live full lives in their community. Building up your child's confidence, responsibility, life and work skills will help them become more able to live  independently in the future. Giving them space to grow and make mistakes is very healthy and important. 

As parents, the more you accept your child for who they are, the easier it will be to follow their lead, letting them experience all that life has to offer; the good, the bad and the ugly. Once you let go a bit, you might be surprised at their improvements and what they can accomplish. This supportive effort will slowly help them learn, grow and get stronger. I am in my 40's, believe it or not, making a living because  my parents accept and trust me to move forward at my own speed. I am responsible for myself and my life. 

People with disabilities slowly become more comfortable with handling life's challenges when they know that there is support always around them. 

All children are equally human in a different way. Love them and cherish them. Everyone has gifts. 

I hope this helps you, 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Who to go to for help.

Often times, people with struggles feel lost and overwhelmed. They might not know when to ask for help or who to turn to for guidance or support on a regular basis. 

Some people that may be able to help problem solve are:

-Police, firemen, paramedics, etc. (personal safety workers in times of emergency)
-Paid professionals (agency support workers, life skills tutors, counselors, social workers, therapists and doctors)

It is crucially important for individuals to identify a consistent and ongoing support team. A support team is made up of people that we trust who help generate ideas and solutions to challenges, needs, wants, goals and desires that we have. 

Tips for choosing your team:

-Identify people in your life (between 5-10) who want to be there for you, who know you well and are supportive of your goals and aspirations. Know that everyone has their own set of strengths and weaknesses. Identifying how important people in your life can help you based on their own strengths will help you decide who to turn to based on the problem at hand. For example, you wouldn't go to a friend for medical advice or your boss for problems at school. 

-Focus on needs. There is nothing wrong with asking for help. In fact, it shows strength to know when you need help and can ask for it. 

-Make a list of important phone numbers and keep it with you. This includes the numbers of everyone on your team, doctors and emergency responders. You can program them into your phone or keep a card with them in your wallet. Having access to your team at all times is important. 

-Gather members of your support team so that they can get to know one another. It is a team after all right?! The ability for members to be able to share observations and information with each other and you  is crucial. They will be better able to support you this way. 

-Share your successes and struggles with your team. Trust your intuition and be confident. Most importantly, HAVE FUN IN LIFE!!!