"So many dreams at first seem impossible. And then they seem improbable. And then when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable."
~ Christopher Reeve

Monday, June 15, 2009

Parent To Parent

It struck me last night that perhaps this should have been my very post on this blawg. Better late than never I suppose ...

In rereading my copy of "Changed By A Child - Companion Notes for Parents of a Child With Disability" (which, by the way, I highly recommend - notice I said rereading), I was once again reminded (as if I could ever really forget) of the importance and strength of the connection between parents of children with special needs.

Many years ago I learned that the absolute best source of information on what resources might potentially be available for my children was another parent. Not a social worker, a doctor or some other professional who is paid to help and support our family but another parent. One who has walked in shoes that fit at least somewhat similarly to my own. And while I lamented (and still do) about how hit and miss that made the process of any particular family ever discovering exactly what resources or programs were out there, I remain awed by how well that network can and does work at times.

On a related note, a large part of what motivated me to sit down and start writing this blawg in the first place was the realization, which also came to me long ago, that parents of children with special needs who also hold a professional degree in some area (be it medicine, education, law or some other profession) are in a unique position to make a difference for our kids.

For example, not only can the parent/lawyer bring a wealth of background knowledge as to what it's really like to live this life and how school boards really operate to their advocacy for a child with special needs, they can also connect with the client/parent at some deep level which can, I think, bring a sense of assurance to that other parent that they are finally dealing with a professional that really 'gets it'. That not just talks the talk but also walks the walk. And it certainly cuts down on the amount of background explaining that the parent/client must do.

Substitute the word teacher, psychologist or doctor for lawyer above and you get the picture.

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2 comments:

virgil xenophon said...

Michelle/

I don't hit your place often enough and over here on your professional blog I thought I should say that you are truly doing the Lord's work with this sort of thing, as we have a child who is severely ADHD/Dyslexic and a resource center such as yours would have been invaluable to us over thirty years ago.
Thankfully we were/are both professionals (my wife an RN) living in a major metro area with special schools, resources etc., and we were both keyed into the local medical community. Still and all, it was a rough go for even us, and I can't imagine how people with even fewer resources make it thru the process--especially those who live in rural areas.

I also want to compliment you by saying that almost everything you advocate/suggest/present for consideration rings true to me based on our experience, so quell whatever inner doubts you "might" have (if you ever do) about the relevance of your endeavor--the availability of the kind of information you provide is truly priceless and a much needed public service/treasure. Hope the word is getting/has gotten, out about this blog and that it enjoys the widest possible readership.

All The Best,

Virgil

MMC said...

Thanks, Virgil, that was a very unexpected but much appreciated comment. I am always hoping that what I do here is useful for somebody out there but although I know I have readers I don't get many comments so yeah, sometimes I do wonder, I suppose. Thank you for your kind words, sir.