What’s Next for My Child?
What’s next? As parents of children who have any kind of challenges, we are always evaluating, aren’t we? For us, and we think probably for you, too, many questions came to mind as to how we can make life better for the child, for the family, for siblings, etc.
Here are some tips for you to consider as you muse next steps for your family
Consider the present and the past:
- Where are we with current therapies?
- How long has it been that we have been working on the current plan?
- Has there been any progress?
- Are we meeting our goals?
- Do the providers gel with our values and goals?
Where are we with education?
- Is this current educational setting making a difference for my child?
- Is this current educational setting meeting our goals?
- Are the people involved with my child a good fit for him or her?
- Do the people in positions of making decisions for my child consider my child’s strengths, weaknesses, likes, dislikes, abilities?
Where are we with faith-based environments, i.e. church, Sunday School, Life Group, Youth Group, Children’s ministries, Awana, Word of Life?
- Is my child welcomed warmly?
- Are the leaders/teachers open for receiving my child?
- Is this the best setting for my child?
- Do we need to think about a different class, schedule, teacher, leader for my child?
Consider next steps for the future.
As you think about the above questions regarding therapies, educational settings, and faith based environments for your child, evaluate, brainstorm and strategize next steps. Sometimes we get stuck and think that the current situation is our only option. Perhaps not.
Maybe it is time for a change, or a tweaking of the current situation?
Our Amy has a syndrome where there were many areas of her life that needed evaluating often, i.e. medical, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, development and education, and where she could belong and thrive in faith-based settings.
Your child may have one, a few, or many of these areas that you need to evaluate often as well.
So what kind of next steps might you want to consider?
Amy’s medical, physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy appointments took Mom and Amy, and often the siblings as well, out and away from our regular routine often. After a while, it became apparent to us that we needed to find another way to do life. It was becoming super hard on Amy to have to deal with so many outsiders and hard on the family to be disrupting family life so much. We needed to step back and look at the big picture – short term goals and long term goals for everybody.
Evaluate the therapy you are going after for your child.
- Consult with professionals and other parents you trust to brainstorm if you need to possibly scale back a little – at least for a season; or perhaps you need to find different therapists.
- See if there are classes you can take, coaches you can engage, or certifications that you can get to learn to work with your child at home on their development.
Evaluate your child’s current education setting.
- Consider additional or alternative settings, such as:
- Switching teachers or changing up the daily plan
- Hiring a tutor
- Consulting with a coach to equip you as the parent to work with your child
Evaluate your child’s environment in Sunday School, Awana, Youth Group, Children’s Ministries, Word of Life, etc.
- Consider the impact this setting is having upon your child.
- Consider what changes, if any, need to be made to help you reach your goals for your child.
- Consider who you might need to meet with to discuss alternative or additional ideas to make this experience better for your child.
- Consider consulting with a coach to help you open up new possibilities in faith-based settings for your child.
Coaching Help Available for YOU!
If you are ready to evaluate your child’s opportunities with regard to therapies, education, or faith-based settings and you would like to consult with parent coaches to help you navigate these important aspects of your child’s physical, educational, spiritual, and social development, email us at MarchForthFamily@gmail.com and let’s get the conversation started.
With much love,
Tom and Julie Meekins
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