“If you don’t know where you’re going, you might not get there.
You will end up somewhere, but it will it be where you want? We all want the best for our child, but what does that mean? This program is about how to define and plan for each child’s personal best.
Parents are world-class experts. No one knows your child’s strengths and weaknesses better than you. No one knows better than you what you are prepared to do and what resources your family can bring to the table to facilitate change. So, you are in charge of this program. The first thing you have to decide is whether or not you are happy with your child’s present educational and rehabilitation program. If you are not, then the first step to improving the situation is actually asking yourself “Where are you going? What do you see as your child’s future?”
It sounds simplistic, but every book about coaching, business or personal success that I have read starts with asking the question “What do you want and what will you do to achieve your goals”? Parents often lose sight of long-term goals as their time and energy is swallowed up by all the demands of routine day-to-day care that your child needs now. So, your first task is to make the time to stop and think about the future.
A wise mother taught me her way to envision the future. She developed a plan for her child’s 21st birthday. At first, I thought it was a nutty idea! Her daughter was only 5 years old. Who knew what she would be like in 16 years? She explained that she could not know who her daughter’s friends would be, but it would be important for her overall wellbeing to have friends. She said that knowing this fact helped her think, in the present, about how she could prioritize more interaction and fun with other children into her daughter’s busy schedule.
I think other goals can be envisioned the same way. What are you trying to achieve with your current program? In my experience, most parents say they go to therapy so that their child can learn to walk. Well the odds are on your side! Current cerebral palsy registry data teaches us that roughly 80% of all children will walk and 60% of them will walk independently. The odds go up in your favor to 98-99% if the diagnosis is diplegia or hemiplegia. (Will My Child Walk? Are We Doing the Right Therapy?)
I have set up a private Facebook Group so that we can have a conversation about the 20:4:80 Program posts. I would like to start the conversation with your input on how you envision your child’s 21st birthday. If you are an adult, who has already passed this milestone, what do you wish had been part of your party?