Facilitating Independence and Self-Sufficiency
|A group of youths who use wheelchairs giving their support.|
We have discussed attitudes, communication, selecting appropriate activities, goal setting, and a healthy diet. The information presented may help you assist your child to become as independent and self-sufficient as possible. Utilizing the following recommendations may help create an environment that fosters healthy activity and independence.
Consider the following when helping your child strive towards his or her maximum level of independence and self-sufficiency. FAILURE is a necessary component of growth. Mistakes are opportunities to learn, and failure is an opportunity to try again and succeed by making changes in the process of attaining goals. Do not be afraid to let your child fail. Evaluate how you and your child deal with failure and if the common approach is constructive with respect to growth and independence.
While you must allow your child to fail every now and then, you must also be there to SUPPORT his or her ability to find a way to succeed. Always be positive and supportive and do not set limits on his or her potential. Children have an uncanny ability to live up to expectations, no matter how high or low they are. If you convey your realistic expectations in a supportive manner, you will see your child achieve great success and independence.
You may need to be PERSISTENT in order to initially involve your child in a physical activity. If you have communicated well with your child and know his or her interests, fear not. Be persistent in providing him or her with opportunities to be active, even if your child is not enthusiastic initially.
Do your best to make your home, your child's school environment, and places your child frequents as barrier-free as possible. Often times the disabling factor is not a person's ability, but the inadequate ENVIRONMENT in which he or she must operate. The less restrictions that your child faces at home and in public, the more independent and self-sufficient he or she will become. These changes include not just eliminating physical barriers, but mental barriers as well.