In times of uncertainly and times of change it is hard to know what to say. What do we tell our loved ones with learning challenges and communication challenges about what is going on in the world? How do we explain the changes they are facing?
Though the answer will be different for everyone, I would like to encourage you to consider, that in this case, “more is more”. I am not talking about statistics and facts of fear, but our loved ones with learning or communication challenges need to know at least the general reasons why life has changed so drastically.
At times like this I try to put myself in my son’s shoes. If I was a person who had questions I could not ask, and wanted information I was not receiving- what would I want to know? What would give me comfort? What would help me understand?
Studies have confirmed that for people with limited language the quality and quantity of their verbal interactions from others decrease drastically compared with those of us who can communicate more freely. Different studies have shared with us the knowledge that most people can understand far more than they can freely communicate about. So- go with that.
Think about what you would want to know, and at least in general terms, and know that “more is more”, because we all need to understand how we fit into our surroundings and be supported when the rules change. So find a time to share the "why" behind the "what", in a way that our loved ones can understand and receive comfort from. Best to you all today, and always.
As we continue to pass our days, full of change from where we thought we would be, and what we thought we might be doing it is easy to go to the negative. OK- let’s be honest- it is easy to begin to panic, even.
We are concerned, and that is understandable. We worry about health, we worry about progress, we worry about school support, and we worry about well- being. Insert more worries here: ___________________________
There is much we cannot control, and so lots to worry about- but let’s agree to collectively take progress off the table.
Your child will progress, even in the face of this change. In fact, in some ways, your child may actually progress more than they would have in their previous routine.
So many times have I worried about progress. Would my son be negatively impacted by no ESY or a change in educator? How about when we moved or added another baby to the family? What was the magic recipe that was allowing progress to occur and would it all stop if we changed even a small amount of one ingredient?
But you know what? We have had many, many changes in our lives and lack of progress was never the reality. In fact, if I looked closely enough and brought the truth into focus, in so many ways there was progress in places that never could have occurred had things stayed the same.
Times of change give opportunities to grow. We have to learn new things by the very nature of change occurring. It is not always quick, and not often neatly packaged, but given time, and different support, by the very nature of who they are, and the fact that they are experiencing life day-in-and-day-out, our loved ones, even our loved one with learning challenges, will grow to levels beyond where they were before.
So look closely, and give it time. Find the growth and celebrate the progress we would never have found had we not found ourselves in a different place than we expected to be.
Kristin Enriquez has dedicated her life's work to children with learning challenges and helping people work together to realize each student's potential. She is the proud mother of 4 children, one of which has Down syndrome. She is not an experienced blogger, or a professional website creator, but she does "tell it like it is," is a collector of facts, and loves sharing the amazing experiences and knowledge that have found her along the way,