Caring for a uniquely-abled person could be all-consuming. It usually takes its toll both emotionally and physically. While it can be hard to extract time and energy to make uniquely-abled adults more independent, the efforts are definitely worthwhile.
A sense of frustration among caregivers often gives a feeling of letting go. It’s hard to accept the unknown issues involved in achieving an independent lifestyle for a family member who is uniquely-abled. Change can be difficult to accept for many people.
As parents and family members of uniquely-abled adults, we all do our best under challenging circumstances. However, we often want to control someone’s life when we genuinely care about his/her well-being. This is in order to nurture and protect them. We often feel that releasing the control is like the end of everything for that person. We overlook the fact that the more we try to manage the situation, the less responsibility will that person take. That person, over time, will grow more dependent on us.
Instead of trying to manage every decision and interaction of uniquely-abled persons, we should hunt ways to gradually switch to offering support. This will help them to grow up as independent uniquely-abled adults.
The change from “control” to “support” can begin with some simple steps. A tweak in the language we use to communicate with a uniquely-abled person could be a starting point. Instead of “telling” them what to do, we can ask them what they “would like” to do. Such a gradual process will help that person move towards enhanced independence and self-determination.
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