iDareU recently hosted a workshop to assist carers of loved ones with a disability to become 'naturally' involved in their local community. I decided to eliminate all the 'YEAH BUTS' and other excuses why this can't be done at the beginning of the session. There wasn't one valid reason for not being involved in the local community.
The most interesting thing that came out of the workshop was that 'we' (the carers) are the biggest obstacle to allowing our loved ones to become involved in the local community. It's amazing how often we think we need to protect our children from the 'big bad world' and inadvertently make them dependent upon us. We just KNOW if we allow them to become travel trained they WILL be bullied or worse….We KNOW if the train isn't running, no-one will help our loved one...This is so sad…It is just as likely that the OPPOSITE will happen.
Miss Chloe has been out on her own in the community for approximately six years now and not once has she been bullied or ignored. In fact, she will go up to a person, hand them the phone and tell them her mum wants to speak to them. They will let me know the situation and then watch out for her and make sure she gets to the right place. Many times she has asked school kids....zero times have they treated her badly.
Now I'm not saying that bad things don't happen in the community…But I AM saying:
NOTHING CAN BE WORSE FOR US OR OUR LOVED ONES THAN KEEPING THEM WRAPPED IN COTTON WOOL AND NOT ALLOWING THEM TO LIVE!
Life is all about taking risks. Risk taking is how we grow, become empowered and gain self-esteem. Please don't take this powerful gift away from your children because you fear they CAN'T.... Or because you believe they need protecting from EVERYTHING. Get the local community on board and create a safety net, allowing your loved one to take risks and learn to fly.
A mother bird will push her baby bird out of the nest when it's time for her baby to become independent. They have no idea they can fly until they awkwardly flap their wings about - heading for the dirt. But they keep trying and before they crash, they get the flying thing worked out and they soar.
Isn't it time to let your loved one flap around and learn to soar?