Welcome to the Expanding Worlds Podcast
128 Planning The Journey – Using the VOCAL Method
Planning the future for our children with additional needs is not only challenging, it’s crucial. In this final episode of the Planning the Journey series, I’m talking about how to navigate each of the four lines Daily Living Relationships, Purpose and Financial using the VOCAL method. VOCAL stands for Vision, Options, Create, Assess and Legacy. Using this model helps identify the end goaI, identify the options available, create a plan that gets you started, assess over time what might need changing and, finally, leave a legacy of confidence, ability and self-worth.
127 Planning The Journey – Financial Security – Why Enough Is Enough
Providing financial security for our children with additional needs when we are no longer around is one of our greatest challenges. In this episode I talk about why it is achievable once we decide how much is enough. I also discuss the levels of control to consider, the tools available and the factors to consider when thinking about who will support them after you. I also look at some strategies I’ve used to help my own daughter develop money skills so she can control her day-to-day financial life.
126 Planning The Journey – Why Presumption of Purpose Matters
Having a purpose provides meaning and direction to our lives. In this episode I talk about ways to support our children to find purpose and the importance of a Presumption of Purpose. I also discuss the role of mindset in developing a presumption of purpose for both ourselves and our children. When we support our children to find purpose, paid or unpaid, we are helping them develop their sense of identity which helps them live a more meaningful and satisfying life.
In Support of Supported Internships
To celebrate the first National Supported Internship Day, here in the UK, it seemed like a good time to explain why I’m such a fan. When we decided to take our daughter out of her post 16 education placement and head off on the supported internship journey, we were scared. Her education placement was safe and gave everyone a couple of more years to think about what next if we wanted.
Why without Visibility there will never be Real Awareness, Genuine Understanding and Actual Inclusion
When was the last time you met someone, and you really weren’t sure what to say or do? How did it make you feel? Confused? A bit fearful that you might say the wrong thing? Why did this happen? Was it because you didn’t really understand how to interact with this person? Was it because you had never met anyone like them before?
Start Early And Often
My ultimate objective is to get rid of my daughter. That’s not quite as bad as it sounds! My goal is to enable my youngest daughter to move out and live in a place of her own. When I have spoken on the podcast to people involved in training programs, one common theme has been that often the young people that come to them lack some of the basic daily living skills.
Young people with additional needs should have the opportunity to live independently in a way right for them. The podcast is about sharing stories and sharing solutions that enable parents and carers to support them on this path to greater independence.
Independence for most people consists of three things:
1) Having a Purpose for the day – usually paid employment, but possibly a place to go to make a contribution to the world.
2) Having the Daily Living skills for independence – being able to look after ourselves, cooking, shopping.
3) Having Relationships with family, friends and maybe even a partner one day.
There is also an additional consideration that serves as the foundation of all these – Financial. Like it or not money often dictates how we live our lives, and we need to confront the issue of how our children will survive financially when we are gone.
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125 Planning The Journey – Managing Relationships – Using the AAA approach
Relationships matter. Without them our young people can become isolated. We all have our stories of challenging family relationships and friendships lost. But as our children get older, we need to focus on helping them independently manage the reality of social interactions. In this episode I talk about the difference between dynamic and static relationships and why it matters. I also discuss the AAA approach I’ve used to support my daughter: Ability, Access, Acceptance. These three factors can serve as a structure as you support your child to build their relationship skills.
124 Planning The Journey – Building Daily Living Skills
In this series I will be focusing on exploring in more depth the 4 core topics that the podcast has always focused around: daily living, relationships, purpose and financial. In this episode the focus is daily living skills. I will be sharing some techniques I used to successfully support my own daughter to build these skills. These techniques, which include scaffolding and habit stacking, can be invaluable in helping support young people to build those daily living skills they need as they journey towards greater independence.
123 Housing Options Series: Why Choice and Community Matters
Where will my daughter live when I’m no longer around? It’s a big question, and some of the ideas explored in the Housing Options series just might help answer that question. In this episode I discuss some of those ideas, and why we might need to rethink our assumptions around support. I also talk about why choice and community must sit at the center of any of the housing solutions offered to our children.
New Series – Housing Options