Today’s post is a guest post by Connie Baum. She is the author of : http://thehealthyandwealthyyou.com/blog/. Connie knows of what she speaks regarding caring for loved ones with special needs. Please read…this comes from her heart.
Toastmasters International stresses to their membership the importance of preparing each speech. It is important to think each project through, outline it carefully, craft it, and rehearse the presentation to perfection.
Preparing for our beloved special needs family members is even more critical; the quality of their very lives depends upon how carefully their family members have collectively thought out plans, outlined the needs, and decided together what would be the ideal scenario for the life of that special person in the family.
Everyone in town knew Marvin. He was a cheery, personable fellow with special needs and he lived with his parents until his elderly father passed away. For a decade or so Marvin told everyone he was the man of the house now and was taking care of Mother. When Mother died unexpectedly, Marvin was left alone, morose, and with no plan in place.
It was patently obvious Marvin had been well cared for and dearly loved. Close family members were seriously interested to help Marvin get on with his life after mourning his loss; but, they were unable to care for Marvin in their homes on a long term basis. When his mother was gone, he was lost and alone. After much confusion and a flurry of activity by family members and social service workers who intervened on Marvin’s behalf, Marvin was able to find a place to live with an agency well suited to meet his physical and social needs. They even found work for him in their sheltered workshop! Best of all, he could take a bus to his home church every Sunday morning! His value and worth was recognized and all his needs were being met.
Things for Marvin worked out swimmingly. Families who plan together for every eventuality, including burial and internment, can rest assured the needs of their special family member, whose needs are unique, will be properly met. It does take some open and frank discussion, contact with trusted attorneys and/or social workers to create a workable plan for the future for the “Marvins” of the world.
Implementing these plans can often be painful for family and clients alike. It can be reminiscent of the loss of death. It is the demise of the familiar, the comfortable. Conversely, it is entrance into a bright new world with exciting new opportunities, fresh new relationships and networks, as well as discovery of untapped skills and talents! There are transitions that are smooth sailing; other times the move into the new world is fraught with difficulty and adjustment comes more slowly.
Toastmasters members plan for successful speeches; loving families plan for successful lives-particularly where the lives of precious special needs people are their prime consideration.