How are you all doing?!
Your son or daughter has started a new school year. For some parents and students this is their last year, for others this is their first year. Some things have changed and some things are the same. Doesn't this happen every year as we experience a new future?
We want our kids to be safe, we want them to reach their full potential, we want them to be independent, and we want them to have friends. We facilitate, we advocate, and we fight for the best outcomes for our children.
We solve problems together, we work as a team, we plan for the future, we have expectations, we have fears and goals.
Every day, every year, we enter the future, a future that has been on our minds for 1...2...3 or maybe 10 years. The big number, "22", looms above our heads, but what does this really mean? For many parents they believe they have reached the end of something and they are exiting the safe zone; for others, it is the beginning of a new future they have been preparing for and are ready to experience.
Nothing "happens" when your child turns 22. You are just faced with a new beginning, you reached the future and beginning a new journey in unfamiliar territory. For many parents, I believe that they are resisting the future and taking it on independently. I can completely understand this. I feel the same way with my sister, but it doesn't have to be this way.
What I realize is that my job is to constantly find opportunities, create opportunities, and connect with people that are part of my community.
For example, my sister couldn't get into an art class in her community because it was full. I can complain or find a solution. My solution...create an art class with LABBB Alumni. Sure, I can do this because I have a way to find resources, but anyone could do this, I have seen it.
In 1986, when there wasn't a camp for students with special needs in Lexington, my mother started one with a group of parents. They built the future. Why not, someone has to. I can't tell you how many students that I know who attended and benefited from this camp.
Be part of building the future, do not wait for it to come to you. Find a network of parents to start talking about a group home or recreational activities post 22. If something doesn't exist, I would love to help you build it.
Everything we do benefits the LABBB community and builds a better future for our children. As you will see in the articles below, our students are part of a community, they are connected. We can do more with the opportunity we are given.