Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Together we can do so much -- the importance of supporting each other

I have always been independent. My mom loves to tell the story that my first sentence as a toddler was, "I do it." I didn't want help. I wanted to prove I was perfectly capable of doing whatever it was all by myself. As I grew up, I learned the importance of working with others. It was not until my son came along with multiple special needs diagnoses that I truly understood the significance of Helen Keller's words, "Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much."

From therapists, to teachers, to friends and family, I cannot list all the people that have come together to help my son succeed. Some of the people in my son's life are professionals, trained to help him in ways I never knew existed. Others are fellow parents who are there for me with a cup of coffee and a sympathetic ear.

The best advice I have for anyone raising or working with a child with special needs is to build a team. If possible, build a team with advisors, cheerleaders, people willing to put in time and effort. Even though I pride myself on being fiercely independent, I have come to accept that when people work together so much more can happen.

Rachel H is leading a team to help put together the end of year ceremonies at her kids' elementary school. Delegation is her word of the week. 

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