Tuesday, February 22, 2011

February 2011

This entry is all about empowering families!! I am running into so many families that feel that they do not have the skills to make change in their child's life and it bothers me. As the parents/caregivers, you have ALL the power to help your child. Let me expand on this.

When your child is being seen by "specialists" like speech therapists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, special teachers, tutors, medical staff and even school teachers, it takes some of your power away. You may feel inadequate or that you do not have the skills to help your child. It is understandable that you will feel that these "professionals" know best for your child and that you need to do what they say. But I want you to realize something else.

You are the person that cares the most about your child; understands your child the best; reads your child the best; enjoys your child the best and loves your child the most. You are the center of your child's universe and that makes you the one with the most power. (even if you don't feel that way).

When you are dealing with professionals, try to remember that. Ask questions, have them explain anything that you don't understand; don't sign anything that you don't agree with; ask them for more time if you need to think things over. It doesn't always feel like it, but you make the decisions about what you think is best for you and your child. It's scary to stand up for yourself with professionals, but you can do it and you will feel so much better if you understand and agree with what is going on.

Also, remember that the things that you do with your child when they are not in school or special programs is the meaningful, fun part of their lives and will help their development as much as the special programs. This will tie again into making your child's life, your family's life, rich in experiences that are joyful which will lend itself to overall development of communication; motor skills; behavior concerns; cognition, etc. etc......it goes on and on.

So, look at your day. Think of including your child in some of your daily activities and don't look at the clock. Just enjoy the process. If it's cooking, let your child help and talk about what you are doing and let them stir and measure and pour and push the button on the blender. Delight in their joy in trying new things. Incorporate the hints on popping language and words. If there are motor issues, get suggestions from your therapist on how to best position them so that they can participate.

Think of all the daily "chores/routine" that you get tired of doing yourself and let your child help once in awhile and make it a language time. Sweeping, turning on the vacuum, letting them help push the vaccum; sorting clothes; bath time; taking a walk, etc. Everything you do during your day can be changed out a bit to incorporate your child.

Remember, you have the power!