Podcast Episode 36. Planning ahead helps us reach our goals, and although we can’t prepare for everything, a plan gives us a general direction to travel and can even help us identify a final destination. In this week’s episode, we hear from Laura who has helped her son Jonathon plan ahead. This planning has enabled him to create a vision for his independent future, as well as prepare for the unexpected.

We start Laura’s story with Jonathan at primary school struggling to access education but finally, after a legal fight, he was placed in a school which could provide the support he needed. Jonathon is now 19 and just about to leave full-time education. Laura spoke about a variety of issues they have worked on related to independence including cooking, cleaning, shopping and learning to drive. Laura talks about enabling her son to be independent but in a very structured way.

One important part of Laura’s strategy was always planning ahead, particularly when it comes to thinking about work.  She suggests sitting down with your child and talking about what they want to do and to making a list. Don’t just leap into the dark, instead, take time and think about it, brainstorm and write it all down. Then, go through the list together and consider each option carefully. Once you’ve done this, you’re ready to plan with a purpose, and you can use the plan as the basis to start moving forward.

Planning five years ahead, or even ten, might sound difficult but working out where you want your young person to be in five/ten years’ time and how you’re going to help them get there is surely better than hoping it all works out in the end. As Laura says, “..never concentrate on the present, it’s the future you’ve got to always be thinking about.”