Podcast Episode 25. When faced with a storm the key is to stay calm and get prepared for whatever it might bring. Sometimes dealing with the system and fighting for your child with additional needs is like sailing into a storm. This week Caroline, in part 2 of her interview, talks about her experiences of staying calm and getting prepared.
Caroline starts off by reminding us that parenting is already hard without having the extra challenges that having a child with additional needs brings. As Caroline says, as new parents we are often left to cope until a professional decides that they know better and suddenly we end up being sidelined. It is then that we need to stay calm even if our most natural responses might be anger or frustration. She explains her own experiences and how she learnt the key skill of not saying what she really thought.
Caroline advocates becoming an expert yourself to help you deal with the experts who are sometimes deciding your child’s future. Research is key, in her opinion, so you become aware of what options are out there, even what new thinking is happening that could change the direction of your child’s life. Some of the professionals you deal with will welcome your knowledge and input and see it as a way to make their job easier. Others, and they will be a minority, will not be so welcoming of your input but at the very least they will be aware that you are ready and willing to equip yourself with whatever is needed to get the best for your child.
We finish the interview by coming back to Caroline’s son James and what his future might hold. Caroline shares his thoughts on future careers and as she says some might need a little more thought and others will rely on some technological advances. But the world is changing, and with that more options open up that we could never have imagined.
Caroline’s experiences of her journey with her son are unique to her and her family but there will be similarities with your journey in there. Sharing our unique stories helps everyone because even if the road taken is different our destinations are all the same – our children maximizing their own unique talents.
[2.30] – Parenting is hard but even more difficult is your child has additional needs
[3.05] – You are the expert on your child until it starts to cost money then you’re not
[3.45] – Maintaining the persona of the reasonable parent
[4.10] – What you can and can’t say
[5.00] – Be proactive
[5.30] – Wait until later to be angry and frustrated
[6.20] – Educate yourself so you know what is available to help your child
[7.50] – Be that positive parent at all times
[8.30] – The career options James is considering – astronaut/lego designer/professional gamer
[11.00] – The future always has more questions than answers
Stay calm even if it the hardest choice
Become the expert on what options are out there for your child