My 1 Million Row Challenge

Wednesday, April 26, 2017


Parenting and in particular the parenting of special needs children and adults is the parent's job. In speaking to more than a number of parents on the subject more often then not I hear them complain about the lack of long term commitment from teachers, medical professionals and aides. This just rubs me the wrong way. Don't get me wrong sometimes there are just so many new people in Eric's life that I think my job should be called Training Specialist and not Mom.

I think that it is fantastic that ordinary people take time out of their lives to learn about and help our children. We have a lot of aides who need the volunteer credit, even if it is a paying job with a non-profit to get into medical or nursing school. I really love these people, they learn quickly are usually great at the task at hand and then move on when it is time for medical school. If we get these people from a year or 2, I am extremely happy. The things that they learn while caring for Eric can then be transferred to other families and enhance their carers. But they are not his parents and are not meant to be in his life forever.

Then there are the heroic Special Needs Teachers that not only have to learn a whole lot of things about their students medical and emotional needs even before the education process can even start. Also, every year there seems to be more paperwork required for each student, think of the 504 Plans, Individual Education Plans, paperwork to prove that grant money is being spent within the terms of the grant. Accident reports if a child stumbles and the corrective action that will be taken in the future so the child learning to walk will not stumble again. Did I mention parents with unrealistic goals for their children. From the start of teaching special education to leaving the field average is 10 years. No they will not be there forever. Neither will the teachers of your healthy children.

As for the wonderful people who staff our Adult Day Care Programs, please be very nice to these people. The pay is lower than I would like to see it. The hours are long. Our young adults are sometimes very difficult to work with. If you have a chance schedule a day to shadow your adult child and see how the staff works with them. I am always very happy to see these caring people go back to school to further their carers wherever it takes them. They are not meant to be in our adult children's lives forever.

Ending on a note that no one wants to think about is what happens if you as the parent gets hurt or you can't do your job as a parent? Do you have a backup plan in place? Does your support coordinator have this in writing. If you have guardianship for your adult child, the courts must approve the plan. Talk to your lawyer about this. Your relatives might not be up to the task. Planning is a must.

Just remember that nothing is forever.