You are a self-reliant person with know-how and ideas. You are surrounded by a great team and community. So good, so far.
But, one thing is missing:creative ways to execute your great ideas.
The good news as a parent of special needs you are already being creative, whether you knew it or not.
Think back to an IEP meeting. Yes, the one where you and your child with special needs were surrounded by a legion of professionals? As the meeting progressed the special educator asked your child about their goals following graduation from high school. All attention in the room turns towards your child.A long pause, deep breathe and …
Perhaps, the student with the developmental disability said they wanted to be a pilot, a football player, a model or movie star. Maybe the child in the wheelchair said they wanted to race cars. More silence follows. The room drains of air as people take a deep breath wrestle with what to do next.
Someone finally breaks the silence and asks the right question. “So, what is it about being a pilot that excites you?”
As the parent you might be still scratching your head, wondering just how this is possible or even realistic.
Instead of shutting down the dream, explore it. Contact your community and find out who knows a pilot or works at an airport. Find out why this goal is important to your child and work towards making it happen. Engage the creativity of the right brain and question and quiet the logical left brain. Assume success or something close to it. It may be good enough to work at the airport, or clean the planes. An encounter at the airport may lead to a private pilot taking enough of an interest in your child, then invites them to go up on a short flight. Who knows, they may share the controls for a few minutes.
Find out where the desire to be “a pilot” will lead. It is our job as parents to nurture the dreams, then help summon the resources necessary to support it. If not you, than who? There is someone in your community that can step be the your child’s champion. . It could be a member of the team you have assembled or might be you.
You can do this!
Embrace your parenting passions. If you are a passionate provider of services than you know that it takes every fiber of your being to solve problems and create opportunity for people with disabilities. It is a time for growth and rejuvenation of supports for people with disabilities. It is after all the 21st Century. It is the exciting time to live in.
Go forth. Create. Connect. And, trust yourself to figure it out.
Let me know your strategies by commenting on this blog post.